Our flights are booked & everything is pretty much set in stone! We have been waiting for the right moment to book our flights – and we wanted to make sure we were picking the right location to start off our travels! We have changed our minds countless times on where we want to head first, but eventually after 2 trips to STA Travel & speaking to two different agents; we came to a decision!
Brisbane it is!
We are flying from London to Manila, and from Manila to Brisbane on Tuesday 22nd August 2017! This will be a 23 hour flight with a 4 hour stop off & excited would be an understatement…
We decided to start our journey in Brisbane because for that time of year, this is showing to be the best location for the weather & for particular produce picking! (We can only hope!)
We booked our flights through STA Travel as well as a package add on called the ‘The Full Monty’, which is also known as a travel starter pack. This is a package which is said to complete all of the hard work for you within your first week to get your working holiday off to the right start! The packages include 2, 4 or 7 nights accommodation with breakfast as well as;
☀ Airport transfer to the hostel
☀ Bank account, Tax file number, Medicare set up and AU Sim card
☀ 12 months’ access to the job Search Australia online jobs board and Job Search Australia offices nationwide
☀ Group welcome drinks and dinner
☀ CV and jobs consultation
☀ Discounted training courses
☀ Free wi-fi for the length of your stay (god forbid.)
☀ Local activities with other Work & Travel participants
☀ Australian Harvest Guidebook
…and apparently more!
I am unsure whether or not we will use all of the above services – but we felt it would not only be better but also safer for us to pay a bit extra for the package. We opted for the 7 nights accommodation as we want enough time to relax, find our feet and make sure all of the important stuff is sorted within the first 7 days. I think that this is a good idea for new travelers, so that you are not dragging the whole process out meaning that you can start enjoying your time in Australia, without the lingering worry of healthcare and tax codes looming!
The price came in at around £250 PER PERSON which we thought was a no-brainer as it means we will have someone to talk to when there is something that we are unsure about. Considering that this is a foreign country for us, I think it is important to be able to ask questions and get the right help – after all, this will save you time in the long run!
We are staying in Base Uptown which is a backpackers hostel located on George Street and are sleeping in a 6-10 bed dorm! We wanted to stay in a shared dorm for our first week so that we can meet new people, make friends (#cute) and find out any tips/info that they have picked up along the way which we may have missed!
So, what did we end up paying altogether for our flights and 7 nights accommodation? This came to a complete total of £1455. I am sure that you could possibly find a cheaper booking price if absolutely necessary, but price wasn’t important to us – we just wanted to make sure that everything was booked through one company rather than various different companies, because I feel that is when large trips can become confusing.
All that is left to do now is arrange our annual travel insurance! Travel insurance is absolutely recommended to be purchased at the time of booking incase of any cancellations and/or emergencies, but we actually totally forgot (oops!). It is hurting my brain a little, trying to find an annual cover which covers us for particular extra’s such as scuba & sky diving as well as valuable goods at a reasonable price – but I guess you get what you pay for when it comes to insurance!
I will of course be reviewing and documenting our first 7 days staying at Base Uptown including what we got up too – as well as my thoughts on the STA starter pack; I have seen mixed reviews but I am really hoping that they are as helpful as they say they are!
The countdown is on!