Backpacker discount cards and ways to save cash
Australia has full range of discount cards. Some are free and others you pay for. And sometimes just ask for a discount and you will be provided with one. Adventure Travel who operate the Backpackers Travel Shop are on some tours able to accept discount cards to reduce the tour cost. For example where a tour involves bus or train then your travel discount card could result in discounts. Please do mention to the operator if you have a discount card.
If you have a student card bring it with you. Many places offer student and youth discounts. This often called a "concession rate" and covers all concessions that the Australia attraction or tour offers. The International Student Exchange (ISE) card is a paid for card that is often recognised. The International Student Travel Confederation (ISTC) card is available for students, travellers and teachers under 26. The most widely accepted card is the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), however this card is often faked and some Australia tour operators will ask for secondary identification. Often referred to as the “ISIC”, this card can save you some serious cash.
If used effectively, it’s pretty much guaranteed to pay for itself in no time at all. For example for those planning on taking a TOEFL course in order to teach English in Southeast Asia, the ISIC is good for a 15% discount. Every once in a while, you’ll come across a monster discount that more than pays for the card in one swipe. A great Australian example is the 50% discount on fares on the Queensland Rail.
Backpacking is about travelling, adventure, new experiences and meeting new people on budget. Often travel insurance is the last thing on any traveller's mind, however taking out the right insurance policy for your travel needs could end up saving you from some sticky, and expensive, situations.
The International Teacher Identity (ITIC) is a good one to use if you are a teacher.
A number of the hostel groups have discount cards. This includes YHA, Hostelling International, VIP or Nomads World. These have to be paid for and often restrict which hostels you can use. Often it is best value just to choose the best value Australia hostels.
Another option which have no age restrictions are the tour passes. These allow you to visit a number of attractions and tours and work by you purchasing the pass and then booking the tour just 16 hours before to guarantee a seat. The passes work by coupons and can be shared between families and friends. Have a look at the Diamond Pass which includes up to 8 half day tours or 4 full day tours. For Sydney have a look at the Sydney city pass.
Read all about pre paid mobile phone plans and other useful information on Australia mobiles.