As we hit the middle of our summer months and begin to realize that the cooler seasons are upon us, most of us are already looking to book a fall/winter vacation somewhere warm. If you have your sights set on an international destination, Australia might just be the perfect option.
From beautiful city views to incredible beaches and amazing excursion options, Australia offers a variety of exciting opportunities for U.S. travelers to get out and explore a different culture while also escaping the winter chill. If you’re currently looking into an Australian getaway during the fall or winter, here are a few tips to help you prep for a safe and fun trip!
1. Understand seasonal changes at your destination
In general, the seasons in Australia are opposite of ours in the U.S. which means the ideal time to visit the continent would likely be in November, which is their spring. However, it is important to note that the size of Australia means there will be significant variances in temperature across the continent.
The further north you travel, the hotter the climate will be. This is opposite of the U.S. where the equator is located south of the nation, so the further south you go, the warmer it gets. You can check out a full Australian climate guide here.
2. Purchase a power adaptor
One commonly overlooked international travel detail is purchasing a power adaptor. Although the U.S. and Australia share many similarities, the shape of power outlets isn’t one of them. Australian power outlets are made to fit a three-pronged cord that is shaped a bit differently than ours in the U.S.
Your best bet for getting your chargers, hair tools, etc. to fit in the sockets is to purchase an Australian power adapter. You can choose to purchase an adapter that fits multiple international outlets, or purchase an adapter specific to Australian outlets. I recommend the latter as I haven’t had the best luck with finding an international adapter that functions optimally.
3. Stay in a suburb to save
Tourists in a new country often choose to stay within the major cities since they’re usually not familiar with areas outside of them. This often means they miss out on great deals on hotels that are located just a mile or two outside of the main city. If you’re hoping to visit a popular Australian city like Melbourne or Sydney, check out hotels just outside of their city centers to save on your lodging costs and have more funds for fun activities and souvenirs.
4. Load up on the SPF
Tourists visiting Australia often forget that the sun is much stronger at this destination. According to Australia Online, tourists from the U.S. who are not used to such high UV exposure can start to burn in about 15-20 minutes without proper skin protection. Bring plenty of sunscreen/sunblock and remember to reapply frequently. Clothing that covers your shoulders might also be helpful to keep some of the potentially damaging sun rays at bay.
If you plan to be outside for long periods of time (which you most likely will considering Australia is home to gorgeous beaches and outdoor scenery) bring plenty of water and consider wearing a hat to shield your face as well. If you’re not great at remembering to reapply your sun protection, you might want to look into wearables or apps that remind you to reapply as often as needed.
5. Swim smart
Some of the more popular beaches in Australia are patrolled by volunteer lifeguards during the busier months (October to April). An important way tourists can help these guards is to swim only within the marked areas. Red and yellow flags will be set up in the water to mark the safest swimming areas.
It is important for tourists to avoid areas outside of these bounds as Australia’s waters are known for their strong currents called “rips” that present serious danger to swimmers who are not trained or equipped to handle their strength.
Australia.com also suggests checking the depth of the water prior to swimming, and ensuring that you have at least one other person with you when you get in the water.
So there you have it, five travel hacks to ensure a fun and safe adventure Down Under. If you have any tips or advice you’d like to share with others, please comment below!
Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com