Cairns has long been a popular holiday destination for backpackers and holiday makers in their teens and twenties, and this demographic are usually holidaying on a shoestring. For this reason Cairns is full of places to stay, eat and play for a minimal about of money if you know how to find them. Read on to find out how to find out how to get great value Cairns accommodation and holiday on a budget.
Step 1: Get to Cairns
The first thing you will need to do is get to Cairns. You can save money by catching a coach or train but this will eat up valuable holiday time so looking for a good airfare is the way to go. To make sure you know when special airfares are on, register for Virgin Australia’s Vmail on their website and Jetstar’s Jetmail; that way you’ll be the first to know when discounted airfares are released. Apps such as Skyscanner are also a great way to find the cheapest flights available on any given day.
Step 2: Book your flight & accommodation
Once you’ve booked your flight the next thing on your list should be your accommodation in Cairns. Cairns has a huge range of hotels, hostels, back packers and self-contained accommodation. Although hostels and backpackers are usually the cheapest option, not everyone wants to share bathroom facilities and bedrooms with strangers, so keep a close eye on online for specials or consider doing a house swap. If there’s a few of you travelling, consider getting some self-contained accommodation, not only will you be able to split the bill, but you can save money by preparing some of your own meals.
Cairns promotional websites offer discounts on everything you can think of from dry cleaning to restaurants, pubs and clubs as well as beauty salons and even accommodation. As soon as you start planning your holiday, get online to the discount sites and print off any discount coupons you think you may be able to use and keep them in a file for your holiday.
Many attractions also offer discounts on their websites from time to time. Research the places you want to visit while you’re on holiday then either visit their websites or Google their names to see if you can find any online discounts.
Step 3: Explore Cairns
Getting around Cairns without your own transport can be difficult; the local public transport is definitely lacking. Fortunately, Cairns is a relatively compact city so hiring a bike is a cheap option for getting from A to B or you can choose to travel by foot.
There are also plenty of free activities so there’s no need to spend a lot keeping yourself entertained. Visit the Sunday markets on the Esplanade, listen to the buskers for some free (or cheap at least) entertainment, take a walk in the nearby rainforest or visit the Crystal Cascades for a swim in the natural freshwater swimming holes.
Eating out cheaply in Cairns is fairly easy, there are plenty of places you can grab a cheap burger or kebab and if you fancy some Asian food, then stop in at the Night Markets that have a fantastic selection of excellent cheap take away food. There are also a number of small Asian eateries spotted around the city with fantastic food at great prices.
If you’re planning on hitting the night spots, drinks in Cairns are generally reasonable in price compared to many other cities in Australia. If you know where you’re going, ring ahead and find out if they have any drink deals or happy hour specials… you could save yourself a bomb pretty penny.
The big expenses are always going to be getting to Cairns and your accommodation in Cairns so if you spend some time finding good deals on these two items, the rest should be easy. Cairns is definitely one of the easiest places to holiday on a budget with thousands of tourists doing it annually. For more tips on ways to save money talk to fellow travelers, they’ll be happy to share their money saving tips.