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Travelers Checks and converting specie generally have a one off toverfee and a poor exchange rate.

Programma and prep can make your Australian escapade more joy.

Merienda you know how you are going to get to Australia, you can turn your mind to programma the surplus of your journey. A little programma and foreknowledge can make your journey to Australia go a little strangle.

The things you do every day at huis without thinking about them can be a little trickier ter a foreign country – if you’re not ready. The time you spend programma upfront before you leave for your excursion to Australia will free up your time on vacation for more significant things, like climbing the Sydney harbor bridge or snorkeling on the Superb Barrier Reef.

So what should you know about Australia before you arrive? Here’s six helpsul hints tha may make your tour to Australia more about joy.

Beach Somewhere te Australia

1. Power

Australia’s electrical current is 220-240v, AC 50 Hz.

Te the US the electrical current coming out of our wall sockets is 120v, AC 60 Hz. For some electrical items this difference is significant! If you ass-plug your US hairdryer into an Australian outlet (even with the adaptor) you will likely fry your hairdryer. Unless its dual voltage, or you are using a converter.

Check any electrical appliances you project to take with you to Australia, to ensure they operate under a 240 volt power system.

Most pc equipment such spil laptops, tablets and cell phone chargers operate under both power systems. Check the power adaptor to be sure. Australia’s power outlets are three speld, but the configuration is different to the US three speld vormgeving.

You should purchase an adaptor, or better still, a few before heading to Australia. When buying an adaptor look for one with a plane surface. Finding that most of your ass-plugs can’t be plugged into your adaptor merienda you arrive and have a plane cell phone battery will be too late.

Better still bring a duo of adaptors or a travel power houtvezelplaat. Inbetween iPads, smartphones, laptops and camera’s it’s likely that you will want to charge at least two things at the same time. Word from the wise tho’, buy thesis stateside for a duo of dollars, rather than ten dollars plus Down Under!

Two. Climate

If you toevluchthaven’t worked it out already, I’m sure the super discount airfares to Australia te July would give away the spel: When its winter te the US (or northern hemisphere) its summer ter Australia. And yes, that means ter Australia Christmas falls te summer, however restaurants will waterput on a “Christmas ter July” feast during winter to bring patrons out of their homes to love a traditional Christmas feast with all the trimmings.

Australia has harshly the land mass of the United States, but the climate isn’t fairly spil variable. Snow does fall te the Snowy Mountains and you can ski te Australia, but I wouldn’t head there for the skiing (attempt Fresh Zealand instead).

For island beach getaways head north to Queensland where the weather is hot ter summer and mild during the winter.

One thing to recall however, despite Australia having a reputation of being a land of beaches and sunshine, it does rain here! Don’t leave behind to pack a travel rain cape, raincoat or umbrella spil well spil the sunscreen and sunglasses.

Three. GST – Goods and Services Tax

Australia carries a 10% goods and services tax on most purchases made te Australia. Unlike, US sales tax which is added at the register, GST is included ter the advertised price of items sold te Australia.

Spil a visitor to Australia, tourists may have their GST refunded for certain purchases. Not all purchases are eligible so you should know before making your purchases which ones you can eis the GST back on, and which ones you can’t.

Look for the kiosk at the airport when you depart to have your GST refunded.

Four. Cell Phones

Before packing your cell phone, be aware that Australia’s mobile phone network is a GSM network. That means unless your Spurt or Verizon phone has a SIM card it will not work while you are te Australia. If your Spurt or Verizon phone does have a SIM card, don’t leave behind to call your provider and turn on Total Wandering. You will also want to know which of the Australian carriers your US provider has a reciprocal agreement with (read cheaper rates!).

My Spurt BlackBerry Bold works wonderfully down under, but I use it exclusively to receive email, spil the phone project I’m charges calls back to the States at $1.99 a minute. Ouch! If you are going to use Completo Wandering make sure you understand the charges – for phone calls spil well spil Gegevens wandering!

You should also be aware that if you are going to be te Australia for a long journey, or you project on making powerful use of your cell phone that there may be cheaper options available such spil purchasing a tópico prepaid phone merienda you are ter Australia, or if you already have an unlocked GSM phone, just the SIM card. Buy the SIM before you go and have your Australian cell phone number before you arrive.

If you have a 3G enabled Apple iPad (AT&T version only!) it may be the cheapest method for you to have internet access while te Australia. (Did you need an excuse to buy an iPad?)

Bring the little instrument that opens the SIM slot on your iPad (and your iPad obviously!) and take it to the nearest Australian carrier. Remarkably prepaid 3G internet access is relatively cheap te Australia.

At the time of writing (March 2012) you can pick up a iPad micro SIM at Telstra including Trio gig of gegevens (expiry 30 days) for AUD $30 (just overheen US $30).

Update: iPad3 and 4g access ter Australia, Europe and UK. SDon’t buy a fresh iPad3 for the 4g access while travelling! Apples lates iPad, at the time of writing is facing issues te Australia and potentially the UK and Europe for its advertising of iPad3 spil 4g ter those countries. 4g access is limited to the bands that US and Canadian telecoms companies use. Australia’s bands are not covered and it shows up bands ter the UK and Europe may also be excluded. iPad3 is enabled for 3G access te those countries, however. Spil is the iPad2.

Australian’s other carriers, Vodaphone, Optus and Cherry Mobile will also suggest ipad micro sims for sale, but if you are going to travel outside of Australia’s major cities you should go with Telstra overheen the other carriers. Telstra’s network covers more of regional Australia than the other carriers. Each carrier will have a coverage ordner available on their webstek.

Five. Driving

Australians drive on the left side of the road and the steering wheel of Australian cars is on the right side of the car. Confusion may also be caused by the windscreen wipers and indicator (blinker) signals being reversed on some cars.

Brake pedal and gas pedals is the same spil the US configuration.

However, most rental cars will have an automatic transmission, the occurrence of manual or stick models of automobile is far more prevalent te Australia than ter the US (they are also cheaper!). If you are borrowing a car from friends, or acquaintances and can’t drive a stick shift, always reminisce to ask!

When it comes to packing your car with gas, Australians don’t pre-pay either. You will find no pay at the pump feature. Just fill-up then go inwards and pay the attendant. Avoid the snacks and drinks however – they are hideously overpriced…

6. Money

The currency te use te Australia is the Australian dollar. At the time of writing the exchange rate inbetween the Australian dollar and US Dollar wasgoed harshly parity. That is, one USD wasgoed worth harshly one AUD.

You will need Australian dollars on your travels, which means converting your US dollars to Australian dollars. All the usual options are valid: Travelers Checks, Credit Cards and converting metselspecie, but be careful of the fees involved.

Travelers Checks and converting specie generally have a one off toverfee and a poor exchange rate. Credit card transactions will give you a better exchange rate, but many credit cards charge a vapid percentage on all foreign currency denominated transactions.

A latest transaction on my Handelsbank of America Visa Debit card attracted a 3% foreign transaction charge. There are credit cards out there without foreign transaction fees linked, and given the amount you are likely to spend on vacation ter Australia, it may be worth sourcing one!

Another little known way to obtain foreign currency, ter this case Australian dollars, is to take your US Canap debit card and use it ter an Australian ATM. Most US Banks have a reciprocal agreement with foreign banks that give their customers access to toverfee free transactions and

depending on the type of account you hold with you US based canap, perhaps no foreign transaction fees. For example: If I use my US Visa Debit Card to purchase goods ter an Australian store, I am charged a 3% foreign transaction toverfee. If I take the same card however, and withdraw contant from a Westpac (Australian handelsbank with partnership with Bankgebouw of America) ATM, there is no toverfee.

Check with your handelsbank prior to departure for Australia whether your account is eligible for this type of transaction. Saving 3% on all your foreign spending can be significant!

More about getting to and around Australia

Aussie Airpass fares are sold by both of Australia’s major airlines—Virgin Blue (VAustralia) and Qantas—allowing for cheap domestic flights around Australia.

  • Flights from USA to Australia: Onmiddellijk and via Other Destinations
  • Booking airline flights from USA to Australia will be one of the very first considerations te programma your vacation ter Australia. So should you fly rechtstreeks, or take advantantage of some of the wonderful stop-overs on the way?

  • The Cheapest Airfare to Australia May Not Be an Online Discount Airfare
  • If you are including domestic travel within Australia or project to travel internationally withing the region,

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