Tips for Seeing Melbourne on a Budget

There is no doubt about it; Australia is an expensive place to holiday.

Flights to the continent at the bottom of the earth are costly and then there are accommodation and entertainment costs that will quickly drain a meagre travel budget.

But that is no reason to leave Australia and its second biggest city Melbourne, off your itinerary. We’ve got the tips for how to experience Melbourne on a budget!

No other city in Australia is so diverse and rich in different styles, cultures and lifestyles as Melbourne. There is a Mediterranean atmosphere in the metropolis, which is called the cultural capital of Australia.

Under the influence of the many immigrants who since the start have established in Melbourne, the city has become a melting pot of peoples and cultures. This population composition ensures that the young city in constant motion.

Let’s dive in.

Melbourne on a budget
Melbourne on a budget

Melbourne on a budget

Listed below are some tips for seeing the best that Melbourne has to offer on a tight budget.

Sport

Melbourne is obsessed with Australia Rules Football, a game, as the name suggests that is played only in Australia. A standard ticket to see a game costs more than $20 however at Melbourne’s biggest sporting ground, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the gates are opened at three quarter time, mainly to allow for the losing side’s supporters to make a humbled exit from the venue. For the budget savvy traveller this means that you can get in and watch the final, and most exciting quarter of a match for free.

Free tourist shuttle

Fancy a free tour around the city of Melbourne? The Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle is just that. This free jump on, jump off bus makes a trip around the city of Melbourne and includes sites such as The Shrine of Remembrance, Southbank, Docklands, The Melbourne Museum and Chinatown. The driver gives a short commentary as the bus makes its one and a half hour round trip and buses run every half hour.

Food at Queen Victoria Market

Eating in restaurants quickly eats up your travel dollars. Self-catering is the way to go if you are on a budget and a great way to combine sightseeing with shopping is by going to the Queen Victoria Market. The Queen Vic, as it is known to locals, has been on the same site since 1878. The deli hall has all sorts of goods from fresh made pastas, sandwich meats and homemade dips. The fruit and vegetable are also fresh and cheap.

Queen Victoria Market is the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, with over 600 traders selling everything the palate could desire, and shouting out their tempting offerings in traditional market style. On Sunday the produce stalls are replaced with clothing and knick-knacks – great for finding something weird and wonderful. In summer the market is open on Wednesday evenings from 17:30 to 22:00, when it features hawker-style food stalls, music and dance performances.

Explore the art scene

Melbourne is known for its vibrant art scene. A few of the free galleries to check out include the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, known by the cute acronym ACMI, which has changing displays based on digital culture.

Set in an imposing boom-style terrace, the Alcaston is a contemporary Australian art gallery, focusing on living indigenous artists. The gallery works directly with communities and is particularly attentive to cultural sensitivities. There’s also a space dedicated to works on paper.

However art is not just confined to stuffy galleries in Melbourne. Hosier Lane, near Flinders Street Station is an outdoor gallery of street art which is always evolving. Every available space in the laneway is spray painted, stencilled or postered with designs including the rubbish bins and metal bars of gates and because it’s a laneway it’s always open.

Swan around Albert Park Lake

Hundreds of elegant black swans and a plethora of exotic water birds including pelicans, cormorants and herons will greet you as you stroll around the 5km perimeter of this beautiful lake. Lakeside Drive was used as an international motor-racing circuit in the 1950s, and since 1996 the revamped track has been the venue for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix each March. The lake offers stunning views of down-town Melbourne, so worth the visit for a bit of camera action.

Chinatown for slug dim sum

The red archways across both ends of Little Bourke St’s Chinatown are your gateways to clattering woks, glowing neon, exotic aromas and shops with floor-to-ceiling chambers of medicinal herbs and tinctures. Melbourne’s Chinatown dates back to the 1850s when Chinese prospectors joined the rush to find gold. In the 19th century the single-storey brick buildings once housed brothels, opium dens and boarding houses. It’s the best place for yum cha (dim sum) or sea slug in Sichuan sauce for the adventurous eater!

Flinders Street Station for a schooner in a dirty old boozer!

Melbourne’s first railway station, Flinders Street, was built in 1854 and designed by two railway workers who ensured fabulous facilities for their fellow workers. Sadly the station is in disrepair but in its heyday buzzed with a concert hall, a library, and even a ballroom. Now it’s reportedly one of the busiest train station in the Southern Hemisphere!

Enjoy a schooner (slightly smaller than a pint) in the city’s iconic pub Young & Jackson’s, which sits opposite the station and has been in service for over 140 years. It’s also famous for the naked young lady who hangs around upstairs! The nude portrait Chloe, painted by Jules Lefebvre, caused an outcry in the puritan Melbourne of 1883. Public opposition saw the painting taken down from the National Gallery of Victoria and bought by the hotel in 1908.

Melbourne on a budget, Australia
Flinders Street, Melbourne, Australia

More typical Melbourne experiences

While there are loads of ways to experience Melbourne on a budget. If there’s a little bit of room in your budget to splash out…we recommend some of the below typical Melbourne experiences to add to your bucket list.

Eating and Drinking in Fitzroy Street

Melbourne was founded in 1835 after it was found in the area around the city of gold. The inhabitants of the city are proud. Much more than people from Sydney, they love their city.

The population of Melbourne loves the good life and loves to eat and drink. Throughout the city you can find cheap food and drink, but in some parts of Melbourne going out to eat can get pricey. In the district around Fitzroy Street bars and cafes are piling up.

Melbourne coffee in Brunswick

Around Brunswick Street are the best pubs and bars tucked away in the narrow alleys called laneways, that wind through the area.

Cozy little bars are filled with young and artistic city residents, getting together to the famous Melbourne to drink coffee. Many former residents of the city say they still miss Melbourne’s coffee times.

Federation Square

For a good cup of coffee, you can also go to the Federation Square. This square was built in 2001 to celebrate Australia and the centenary of the state.

The modern design of the square stands in stark contrast to the Victorian buildings that define the face of Melbourne. 

During the long summer evenings it is an ideal place to enjoy the view over the Yarra River and the Botanical Gardens. During the Australian Open tennis tournament, mad people of Melbourne follows the matches on big screens at the Federation Square.

Melbourne Sports City

Melbourne is a sports town as shown by the several major sporting events that are organized every year.

Besides the Australian Open there is also the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix held in Melbourne. The final of the long Australian Rules Football season is played in Melbourne too. Though, these are probably the least budget-friendly times to visit Melbourne.

The most important sporting event is the Melbourne Cup, the horse known as ‘the race that stops the nation’. Dressed in gala dress attracts everyone to the Flemington Race Track to gambling.

Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix

Steps to St. Kilda Beach

Besides a sports city, Melbourne is also the cultural center of Australia. Every night of the week there are concerts, shows, club nights and festivals organized throughout the city.

The night is long in Melbourne. Only around sunrise are the young people of the city after a party night.

One of the areas holding many nightclubs is St. Kilda. An additional advantage is that just a few steps from the club, you can stretch out on the famous beach of Melbourne.

Budget-friendly accommodation in Melbourne

We’ve searched high and low for the best budget-friendly accommodation options in Melbourne – for all types of travelers!

Boutique Hotel: The Plough Hotel

Part restaurant, part bar, part hotel, this multitasking space was established way back in 1868, but came back on the scene after a heritage-friendly refurbishment in 2013.

Hotel: The Victoria Hotel

A hotel with all the features without a high price: onsite bar, restaurant, fitness centre, plunge pool, spa and sauna. Plus, it’s located in the highly sought-after Little Collins Street.

Hostel: Melbourne Central YHA

Centrally located with both shared dorms and private dorm rooms. If you want to splash out for a private room, you can get a balcony, en suite and coffeemaker (depending which tier you opt for).

Apartment: Cosmopolitan Hotel

A great option for families, offering spacious two-bedroom apartments with a kitchen, lounge area and space to chill out.

More into Airbnbs? Search for Melbourne Airbnbs below:

Interested in the big Australian cities? Check out these posts:

A Guide to the Best Cities in AustraliaA Guide to the Best Cities in Australia

A Self-Guided Walking Tour in Sydney

Reasons to Visit Brisbane, Australia


Girl use laptop on the beach

Tips for Working Remotely While Traveling the World

 

Being able to work wherever you want and travel the world sounds like a dream to most people.

Usually, you’re either able to do one or the other – rarely both. However, it has become an increasingly attractive concept that many people wish to make a reality.

Whether you are a novice at remote working on-the-go, or you’re a seasoned traveler who still makes a living while traveling, we’ve compiled expert advice for all those who wish to be successful in this arena. 5 Tips for traveling.

5 Tips for Working Remotely While Traveling the World

1. Figure Out Your Working Style

Knowing how, when, and where you’re most productive is essential in making the most of your time. Although traveling can offer a stunning atmosphere, it can also be a distraction.

If you know you work best indoors, without the buzz of others around you, during daylight hours, work then. Are you more of a night owl but prefer to have your toes in the sand while working? Fantastic. There is no right or wrong work environment, only an environment that works for you. Find it, and you’re golden.

2. Plan for Your Internet Connection

Working remotely can be challenging while traveling, especially when your most important tool to work is removed. These days, an internet connection is vital to any freelancer or company-employed individual. It is simply the only way to get any work done, period.

If you know your destination ahead of time, check out the Wi-Fi situation in your nearby hotel or café. Many countries now offer internet cafes specifically for the purpose of working individuals. Also consider going to the local library for computer and internet services. Depending on your work situation and travel destination, it might be better for you to purchase a pre-paid reliable hotspot (like skyroam) for a quality internet connection.

These options might be foreign and cost a little money, but it’ll be well worth it to afford your traveling lifestyle.

3. Invest in Quality Travel Electronics

Research the countries where you’re traveling to know what specific travel adapters you need for the outlets. As a rule of thumb, most European outlets are the same (excluding Great Britain), and a lot of Asian countries have similar outlets. Take at least one spare adapter with you before you leave, and it wouldn’t hurt for you to buy a portable charging bank as well.

If you would like to create better ambiance for your travels, purchase some quality headphones or earbuds – they not only drown out excess noise, but they also upgrade your entertainment experiences.

4. Communication Skills Are Key

Although you will be on-the-go (or on an island) most days, it’s still very important to stay in touch with your coworkers and managers. Prepare your communication methods ahead of time so that you can avoid technical mishaps or general misunderstandings when you arrive to your travel destination. Most companies employ the use of video chats and conference calls at least once per week in order for everyone to stay updated on important information.

Some employers may want to err on the side of caution and enforce strict procedures for communication, or they might mandate you make physical appearances at least a few times per year. If you are bound by constricting rules, it might take away the joy of your scenic view. However, your best response is to be flexible and available whenever possible since they are being flexible with your location as well.

5. Always Have a Backup Plan

There will be a day where it’s impossible to find an internet connection, you miss your taxi, you lose an import work file, or your electronic accessories stop working altogether. Count on it.

“Have a backup plan for your backup plan,” HR Director Charlene J. Robinson of Resumes Planet. “When you’re traveling, anything can go wrong. It’s critical to have options when something does happen, such as technical issues during a conference video chat.”

These experiences are tough to swallow, but they sting much less if you prepare for the worst. If you can’t connect to the internet, carry a notebook and pen with you; jot down your most pressing concerns and ideas for the next time you communicate with your staff. If other technical issues arise, plan for an alternative way to chat online – email, Skype, or another messaging platform.

6. House Sitting – Consider different accommodation options

Why not to try to reduce costs and still enjoy a different culture? There are house owners who are looking for reliable house sitters. Like that you can work remotely and explore the world. We have a complete article about house sitting for you here.

It’s a great alternative, which not many have on their radar when they want to travel and see the world. Like that you have a proper base and all the conveniences of “home”. You can explore a region in more detail, as you stay longer in one destination, before heading to the next spot.

Some Final Thoughts

Working remotely while traveling can be an enriching experience for many people. Keep in mind these main concerns before you begin your travel journeys indefinitely in order to best prepare yourself for any obstacles that can occur on the road.

With the quality products mentioned, along with the highlighted personality traits, you will undoubtedly be successful during your remote working endeavors.

 

Thailand girl massage a guest

Thai Massages in Thailand: Tips for First-Timers

 

When you travel in Thailand, the following scenes can be found everywhere:

small shops lined with comfortable chairs with footstools with visitors having foot massages, and inside, a line of comfortable chairs with footstool; many visitors, rolling up to their knees, are enjoying a special Service-Thai women are kneeling beside their feet and continuously kneading these overworked limbss.

A similar place, not too far away from that, many visitors are laying pleasantly on a comfortable mat and being pulled and stretched into pretzel shapes again and again by local women.

All visitors seem to be lost in such a state.

What is happening?

1. Thai Traditional Massage

The original Thai massage included the masseur massage subject’s back by feet as well as stretch the fingers and toes. But, it has been replaced nowadays. If you think the masseur’s intensity is too energetic for your taste, you can ask her to be more gentle. A superb Thai massage can relieve stress, relieve tension and stiffness in the muscles and joints, increase vitality and promote blood circulation. In short, it makes you feel great.

How to Do Traditional Thai Massage

You only need to wear a relatively loose casual clothes but without essential oil.If you are facing any health problem, such as back pain or knee pain, you need to tell masseur in time. Relieve yourself as undergoing massage and work with your masseur.

2. Massage on the Beach

You will find flock of masseuses, who usually appear on the beach in November and stay until the end of April. They looks like a cuddly auntie, waiting below the shade with pillows and mats and offering you traditional Thai massage service to help you relieve yourself. Besides, in Patong beach, you can experience foot pedicure services, including removal of dead skin and other items, but for girls, nail services will be provided. Specilists will help you remove white hair, making you feel young.

3. Spas

Phuket is one of the world’s top spa venues and masseurs are born with excellent massage techniques. Few people can withstand this temptation-enjoying a full suite of luxury treatments at one of Phuket’s top SPAs.

Either franchise SPA or hotel SPA, the service will amaze you, so many visitors try their best to get the most affordable spa in Phuket. Usually, when you stay at a resort with a high-end spa, you can take a multi-day course and turn the experience into a life-enhancing event. Many hotels in Phuket are as luxurious and elegant as the Roman palace, and its interior décor will leave visitor a deep impression.

4. Foot Massage in Phuket

Foot massage can be seen everywhere in Phuket-in the shop, in the hair salon, by the beach or even in the shopping mall ad much more. Foot Massage, renamed as reflexology, firstly originate from China. Many Chinese believe that each part of human body corresponds to a acupuncture point on foot. If we can message the spot precisely, it will bring a great of benefit to our body health. Anyway, there are many theoretical doctrines, such as it can stimulate the nervous system to get through the veins, which can release endorphins and promote lymphatic reflux. But who cares? In fact, nothing is more than to do a comfortable foot massage to restore strength after shopping all day long.

How to Do Foot Massage

Firs, soak feet with warm water. The masseur smudges body lotion or essential oil on your feet, one foot wrapped with a towel and the then the next one. If you fell part of pain in any spot, it is said there must be a problem with the organ connected to related part of the feet. It helps relieve yourself though you don’t face any health problem.

5. Naughty Massage in Phuket

Many visitors never try therapeutic massage as they worry about some traditional masseurs offering massage on untouchable body parts. You should not come inside if masseurs are massaging for others.

-It is dark inside with curtains blocked the light.

-Young and beautiful masseurs dress sexily, but a professional masseur will always dress properly or formally.

-there is a young girl yielding in front to attract you to come in. Most will ask you: would you like a “special” message?

6. Fish Spa or Dr Fish

As a newcomer, you may feel surprised and stop to see such a scene-people put their feet in the fish tank, but what are they doing? Dr Fish, also named fish spa, or other nicknames, such as nibble fish, kangal fish, physio fish, and doctorfishen. The Garra rufa love to sip dead skin. When people put their feet into warm water, Dr fish will flock to eat the dead skin softened by warm water. This little fish can survive at a water temperature of 43 degrees Celsius.

7. Massage for Pregnant Women

For most pregnant women, a nice back massage is a great experience. Many pregnant women find that they sleep better and have less paining both neck and back and less stress and discomfort. Of course, you need a choose a masseur from some perspectives-her knowledge, care and gentleness. In fact, massage should not be provided during the first three months of pregnancy. If you need a skilled physiotherapist, please consult the island’s well-known spa. Most of them have a lot of experience in pregnant women massage.

Some tips:

If your masseur does a good job, the may hope that you can give them some tips. In fact, masseurs who works in some big SPA or five-star hotels, they will get no salary. Instead, they share massage fee with their bosses. For beach masseuses, they need to pay for the place they rent, so if they can earn 300 baht at once, they can get 150 baht so tips therefore makes a difference. It is reasonable to pay about 50 to 100 baht for a comfortable massage.

Where Should You Go? And How Much It will cost?

Most traditional Thailand massage are simple without too much decoration or promtion. An ordinary massage lasts about 2 hours and consumes 300-500 baht, but a foot massage is about 40-50 minutes and costs 300-400 baht. Of course, it is more expensive if you massage at any five-star hotel – the price can be triple, or more. If you massage on the beach, it will cost you 300 baht per hour.