Hello, Cheryl here (again) to provide you with some tips when you travel to Melbourne! If you have not looked at my other blog post, I gave my recommendations on the places you should visit while in Melbourne. You can click here to see my travel recommendations. In this blog post, I will be giving you some useful tips to ensure a fun and affordable trip to Melbourne!
Weather and Seasons in Melbourne
Depending on the month you visit, the temperatures in Melbourne would differ greatly, and so will some of the activities you get to enjoy. The following chart shows all the weather information you need.
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Time Difference: Melbourne is 2 hours ahead of Singapore!
Tips for Travelling to Melbourne
Now that I have shared my travel chronicles with you, I hope that you have learnt more about the beautiful, hospitable city and how you can enjoy what the city gives this Spring in September! Here are some travelling advice and tips to make your trip to Melbourne a better one!
1) Do your research!
Since you are looking at this blog, you are on the right track! There are many amazing places, shops, and events happening all the time at Melbourne. The city is always open for you to explore so prepare your to-visit places and have fun so do find out more on them! Research you should do includes the operating hours, which days do operating hours extend, nearby places with good food or fun and discounts you may be able to enjoy!
(Image Credit: educared.fundaciontelefonica.com.pe)
2) AirBnb Is Your Best Friend
Not exaggerating here, because we got a beautiful apartment near the city, which was 5 minutes walking distance away from the free tram zone and the South Melbourne Market. The host was extremely friendly and welcoming. He would recommend us places to go (Chadstone Mall) and eat, and allowed us to use any of his appliances. We cooked and ate at the table with the view overlooking the city, visited the market in the morning while our laundry tumbled in the washer and dryer, and went to the balcony to feel the chills of the Autumn mornings and nights, while video-calling family and friends. After a whole day of exploring the city in the day, we unwound by walking to the nearby mall which opened till late, and grabbed dinner while watching fireballs gush out of tall pole-like structures, warming ourselves while bird-watching. The utmost convenience only cost us $110 a night (inclusive of other charges such as cleaning fees)!
We had a similar living space with access the apartment and building facilities
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3) Pack all types of clothes!
The weather can change drastically throughout the day in Melbourne so pack a variety of clothes! Most mornings for us consists of a long woolly top, long pants and shoes but there was a particular morning we had to fight the 7 degree cold weather in that outfit but failed! Usual morning temperatures then were roughly 12 to 14 degrees so had to put on our winter wear instead. The afternoons are a cool 16 to 18 degrees while nights went as low as 9 degrees so do dress appropriately for the 'mood swings' of the weather!
The weather changes within a day can get really drastic, so bring clothes of different seasons!
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4) Use Public Transport Instead of Renting a Car
The parking rates in Melbourne are very high, whereas public transport fees in Melbourne is low. Parking per hour can go beyond $10, whereas a one-week Myki pass goes for $44. You may not even wish to get the Myki pass as there are free trams in the city. Make full use of the free tram area and visit many places! The museums, parks and Arts Centre are all within the free tram zone so stretch that dollar out, you are not done beyond the shopping malls in the city! Basically, we did not spend a single cent on transport in Melbourne!
Another tip is to cycle or walk to your destinations. Walking in Melbourne, especially in the cooling months in Spring and Autumn, is really enjoyable. We managed to walk to many places as we lived near town (and a tram stop within the free tram zone), hence we got to stop and admire views, take photos, or speed up using the free trams!
Map of the free tram zone in Melbourne
(Image Credit: www.ptv.vic.gov.au)
5) Wine more, Dine less
Alcoholic beverages in supermarkets are super affordable (besides beer) in Melbourne. With the same high-quality bottles we see back home, the price there is at least half of what it is back home! If you enjoy a little buzz in your system, and are of legal drinking age (18 years old in the state of Victoria), enjoy some while you can! Of course, you should drink within your limits and not drive after!
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Eating out is really expensive in Melbourne. A simple meal can go past $20 (yes, economic bee hoon and wanton mee is $14 at a food court there) so you can save more by making larger-portioned meals in your apartment! While a cup of coffee can go up to a little over $4 and a nice plate of eggs benedict can go up to $20, you can cut that cost by more than half if you make it yourself! Go grocery shopping on the first day when you arrive, as buying most ingredient loose (such as eggs) is not an option at times. Have fun fixing up breakfast or dinner to save yourself some dollars!
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6) Refill your water bottle at public water coolers
There are many water coolers in Melbourne, which can save you from buying bottled water. You can also boil water in your apartment and fill up your bottles before you leave!
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7) Book Tours
There are some areas in Melbourne that are slightly out of reach via public transport, but that does not mean you need to travel there with a tour group or rent a car! There are quite a few tours provided by many sites, which include visits to breweries, islands, or to the Great Ocean Road. These tours come with a knowledgeable guide that will take care of all the arrangements, taking the stress away from you while allowing you to be flexible on your schedule. Do remember to compare the prices and read the reviews before joining a tour! Note that there are first-purchase discounts available on some sites! We manage to book the cheapest Great Ocean Road Tour online and the price was further reduced when we used a first-timer promo code!
(Note that it is usually cheaper to purchase tours in Australia itself compared to Singapore)
8) Ask Locals to Learn About Events or Deals
Sometimes, research done at home simply is not going to cut it. In my blog post stating my recommendations, I only found out about $30 opera tickets because I asked the customer service if there was any discounts for students ($180 for the cheapest opera ticket was not exactly what we could spend). Locals are also more aware of other mini-events happening that are less blasted out onto the Internet.
9) Know Which Brands to Purchase While in Melbourne
There are some products that are much cheaper to purchase in Melbourne than in Singapore, so be sure to save these products for when you are Melbourne-bound! Some brands include Pandora and Lush cosmetics. At the same time, be aware of the brands that are more expensive in Melbourne (even after the tax refund) to save yourself some luggage space and money!
Pandora, a jewelry store famous for its customizable charm bracelets
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Lush, a brand known for their colourful bath bombs and
nature-infused handmade products
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10) Look Out for Flight Deals
One of the main reasons why we decided to visit Melbourne was because of the incredibly cheap plane tickets we managed to get! That saved us a lot of money which meant guilt-free baggage top-up fees. Perhaps try planning a spontaneous trip when there is a sudden drop in ticket prices!
Go on out there, your adventure awaits!
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I hope that this two-part blog post on my trip to Melbourne and tips can help you navigate through the city while saving money! If you really are travelling this holiday, I wish you a safe and pleasant journey!