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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, February 23, 2024

College 101: Brisbane for Beginners

I need some travel advice. I just booked a trip for two to Brisbane, Australia. My boyfriend and I are going to spend a whole week there thanks to my parents, who paid for the all-inclusive trip.

My old roommate studied abroad for almost a year in Brisbane. She raved about its beaches and nightlife, so we’re both excited. The one thing she also warned about was the relative cost, but that was almost three years ago.

Now I’m wondering how expensive it might be to collect souvenirs and to go on spontaneous adventures. I realize we might have to make some tough choices but any insights or options for a couple on a limited budget would be ideal.

Your parents are generous. Brisbane, Australia is a fantastic place to visit for any amount of time. Unlike Sydney, Australia, which continues to develop a poor reputation for its unreasonably exorbitant cost of living, Brisbane is considered a hidden gem. While major cities like Sydney and Melbourne succumb to overcrowding and skyrocketing real estate values, Brisbanites are enjoying some of the best times to date. That’s excellent news for your upcoming travels, especially if you plan to have fun without breaking the bank.

The first thing you should do is consult the traveler’s checklist maintained by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. Federal staff writers crafted the comprehensive resource for American citizens planning to travel abroad. Key takeaways include understanding international entry/exit requirements, visas, laws, customs, medical care, travel safety, etc. Lucky for you, entering Australia isn’t as complicated as entering less developed parts of the world. Editors at USA Today explained that American citizens must present a valid passport, transportation documents, and an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). The last item sounds much more complicated than it is. You can find and submit an online application for an ETA with a credit or debit card with ease.

Having your travel arrangements finalized will let you focus without worry on your leisure activities. Since there’s no shortage of fun social events in Brisbane, the real challenge is prioritizing the best options. The first resource you should use is Australia’s official tourism website, which already did you the favor of publishing a highly-informative guide to Brisbane. That guide alone offers vast insight into Brisbane’s cultural cuisines, outdoor markets, nightlife, etc. You can also use the website to learn more about the other major attractions unique to Australia.

Should you want a more focused topical resource, you might consider exploring the website maintained by the city of Brisbane itself. That site offers several suggestions surrounding how to have fun for free and even how to meet locals. However, you’d be remiss if you spent 100 percent of your time consulting official resources. There are nuances that require equal consideration as well. Ellie Griffiths at Culture Trip wrote a piece highlighting 19 things you should know before visiting Australia. Key takeaways include everything from bringing an ample supply of sunblock to knowing where rugby stands as a sport compared to football (i.e., American soccer).

Having a well-rounded knowledge of your destination is always a good idea. Set aside a few hours each day to dedicate to research and planning. That way you have enough time to plan your trip without succumbing to mental fatigue. Your boyfriend can lend a hand, too. Splitting the responsibilities between the two of you should make the experience easier to finish with spare time.

“Wherever you are, be all there.”

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