I have been here in Australia for the past few days and here are some of my experiences which I think are worth sharing. At first I was hesitant to make this post because I don’t know if it is really worth sharing. At any rate, here is Part 1 of my Travel Tips When Visiting Australia:
Every time I travel, I always bring US Dollars with me for the reason that it can be easily exchanged anywhere in the world and it is usually the basis of conversion for any currency. If you check the conversion of USD to AUD in any Foreign Exchange site, USD has greater value than AUD. However, it’s not the case when you exchange USD to AUD in Australia. AUD here has greater value than USD. Banks and Money Changers would change USD to AUD somewhere between 1USD = .96AUD or 1USD = .90AUD. Over and above the devaluated USD is the fact that banks charge 10-12AUD commission per transaction. For example, 100USD becomes 96AUD minus 12AUD bank commission equals 84AUD. Hence, 100USD is worth only 84AUD! Thus, if you change USD to AUD, make it one time to save on the 10-12AUD bank commission/charge. Better yet, when traveling to Australia, bring already Australian Dollars. As to bank charge and exchange rate on ATM and Credit Card withdraws, I haven’t tried and I won’t try. It is logical to say that it works the same way.
I have to admit that food is great in Australia. Food here is very much American. The past few days remind me of American restaurants and American foods – burger, bread, fries, sausage, pies, steak, potato, pasta, salad, and the list goes on. By being great comes with a price. Now, what about the fastfood chains like Mc Donald’s and KFC? In Mc Donald’s say for instance, one Burger Meal is about 11AUD, 1 medium coffee is almost 5AUD – that’s the same price as 1 grande Starbucks Coffee! Meals with servings of rice is only available in local restaurants and not in fastfood chains. Of course, Asian, Chinese, Indian, Mediterranean and other restaurants can be found just anywhere. Bottled water on the other hand costs 2AUD.
Make sure to bring electrical adaptor that fits the Australian electrical socket. Australia and New Zealand have different electrical sockets. American, Singaporean, European and all other sockets do not work here. And say if you failed to bring one, it’s available in electrical shops for 12AUD. I failed to bring one myself. Note that it’s not easy to look for one.
I will come up with Part 2 or 3 of Travel Tips When Visiting Australia as soon as I get new experiences to share.