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Campervan Beethoven
Post subject: Costs
PostPosted: 16:09 on 23rd Aug 2012

Joined: 15:54 on 23rd Aug 2012
Posts: 9
Hi everyone,

I went on my first overseas tour earlier this year to Sri Lanka and loved it so am giving serious consideration to doing the Ashes next year. Obviously, Sri Lanka was pretty cheap but I've heard that Australia is now a pretty expensive place to travel in, so wondered if anyone had any suggestions for money saving tips?

I'll probably look to do a couple of days at Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney (tickets permitting) and will hopefully keep accomodation costs down by staying with relatives and friends where possible. But I'd be interested to know how expensive things like food and drink and trains/internal flights are on average. I presume for example that you can't take booze into the grounds and that bar prices are somewhat inflated (as they are in English grounds). And so airlines tend to whack up the price of internal flights during the Ashes? Any info/tips would be gratefully recieved.

As a final aside, I thought that some BA members came in for some really unfair flak over the Sri Lanka tour and I certainly found the forum really useful in the run up to the series. Obviously there were some unforeseen annoyances like the increase in ticket prices and general shambolic organisation by the Sri Lankan authorities, but that was hardly the fault of the Barmy Army. As I say, I had a brilliant time and only wish I could be back in Galle overlooking the Indian Ocean rather than being stuck in an office!

Cheers

CVB
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addtamx
Post subject: Re: Costs
PostPosted: 08:19 on 24th Aug 2012

Joined: 21:02 on 9th May 2008
Posts: 935
Location: Australia
Campervan Beethoven Wrote:


I'll probably look to do a couple of days at Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney (tickets permitting)


Hey mate. Just asking but you do know the Perth test falls between Adelaide and Melbourne?? Unless you have plans outside of the cricket and are under no time constraints that is an odd combo of tests, especially as there is a gap between Adelaide and Perth.

As for some of your questions, tickets are still relatively cheap in Oz so if you've paid to get here it's not much more of an expense to do 5 days than to just do a couple. Tickets around AUD $35 dollars a day (bit more in Sydney) But as stated if you have other plans around the cricket disregard that advice.

Booze is expensive in the grounds, AUD $7 for 375mm of watered down, half strength, shite beer.

Internal flights don't necessarily jump up around Ashes time and Virgin Blue and Tiger constantly run specials. I'd keep an eye on their websites for a few months before travelling to get an idea of prices and when you are ready to book jump in when it looks good.
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Campervan Beethoven
Post subject: Re: Costs
PostPosted: 11:21 on 24th Aug 2012

Joined: 15:54 on 23rd Aug 2012
Posts: 9
Many thanks for the advice.

Yes, I know that the third test will be taking place in Perth but I'll be travelling with my wife and she's got loads of family in Adelaide, so we'll probably skip a trip to Western Australia and kick around the south before heading over to Melbourne for Christmas.

I had also heard about the paucity of decent beer in the grounds. What the Aussies can offer by way of glorious weather and beautiful beaches, they more than make up with gnat-piss beer :(

Cheers.
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rosedaph
Post subject: Re: Costs
PostPosted: 06:11 on 27th Aug 2012

Joined: 07:57 on 23rd May 2008
Posts: 14
Campervan Beethoven Wrote:
Many thanks for the advice.

Yes, I know that the third test will be taking place in Perth but I'll be travelling with my wife and she's got loads of family in Adelaide, so we'll probably skip a trip to Western Australia and kick around the south before heading over to Melbourne for Christmas.

I had also heard about the paucity of decent beer in the grounds. What the Aussies can offer by way of glorious weather and beautiful beaches, they more than make up with gnat-piss beer :(

Cheers.


You will find higher strength & occasionally craft beers in Members areas at Aussie Tests.

And.... Your gnats p**s comments only apply to the grounds, you will find lots of superb beers elsewhere, being an anorak, I kept track last time. I stopped counting at 200 different Aussie beers, some real crackers...
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Big Harvey
Post subject: Re: Costs
PostPosted: 11:50 on 27th Aug 2012

Joined: 09:14 on 23rd Apr 2008
Posts: 2323
rosedaph Wrote:
Campervan Beethoven Wrote:
Many thanks for the advice.

Yes, I know that the third test will be taking place in Perth but I'll be travelling with my wife and she's got loads of family in Adelaide, so we'll probably skip a trip to Western Australia and kick around the south before heading over to Melbourne for Christmas.

I had also heard about the paucity of decent beer in the grounds. What the Aussies can offer by way of glorious weather and beautiful beaches, they more than make up with gnat-piss beer :(

Cheers.


You will find higher strength & occasionally craft beers in Members areas at Aussie Tests.

And.... Your gnats p**s comments only apply to the grounds, you will find lots of superb beers elsewhere, being an anorak, I kept track last time. I stopped counting at 200 different Aussie beers, some real crackers...


Yes, the days when the only beer you could get was undrinkable fizz are well and truly over. In the cities at least you can generally find something decent if you're prepared to look around. In the grounds it's a different story. Beer that wasn't any good in the first place watered down. Or that's how it tastes to me anyway. Don't waste your money on it.

If you're going to drink in the grounds (other than maybe in the members' areas), your best bet is to have wine, which is often surprisingly good. It tends to be quite strong though, so be careful!

If you're planning on taking any booze in with you, you'll need to have very good smuggling skills.
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Big Harvey
Post subject: Re: Costs
PostPosted: 14:20 on 27th Aug 2012

Joined: 09:14 on 23rd Apr 2008
Posts: 2323
Campervan Beethoven Wrote:
Hi everyone,

I went on my first overseas tour earlier this year to Sri Lanka and loved it so am giving serious consideration to doing the Ashes next year. Obviously, Sri Lanka was pretty cheap but I've heard that Australia is now a pretty expensive place to travel in, so wondered if anyone had any suggestions for money saving tips?

I'll probably look to do a couple of days at Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney (tickets permitting) and will hopefully keep accomodation costs down by staying with relatives and friends where possible. But I'd be interested to know how expensive things like food and drink and trains/internal flights are on average. I presume for example that you can't take booze into the grounds and that bar prices are somewhat inflated (as they are in English grounds). And so airlines tend to whack up the price of internal flights during the Ashes? Any info/tips would be gratefully recieved.

As a final aside, I thought that some BA members came in for some really unfair flak over the Sri Lanka tour and I certainly found the forum really useful in the run up to the series. Obviously there were some unforeseen annoyances like the increase in ticket prices and general shambolic organisation by the Sri Lankan authorities, but that was hardly the fault of the Barmy Army. As I say, I had a brilliant time and only wish I could be back in Galle overlooking the Indian Ocean rather than being stuck in an office!

Cheers

CVB


The price of international flights does go up during the time England fans are going to be flying in or out. The main reason is that tour groups buy up loads of seats before the dates are announced to the general public, so those flights don't tend to be offering cheap fares by the time we get to know the dates.

Internal flights don't have their fares jacked up specifically because of The Ashes, but the increased demand on direct flights likely to be used by England fans means that any cheap seats sell very quickly, so for direct flights especially you may be looking at having to pay the maximum fare. The most convenient flights will sell out quickly too.

There are two schools of thought on booking international flights. The first is that it's best to book ASAP, the second that it's best to hang fire and wait for the rush to die down and the prices to drop a bit. I would advise booking ASAP if you want a specific flight, or are flying over the Christmas holiday period, but if you're less fussy about when you fly or who you fly with, you may be better off hanging fire.

Money saving ideas:

The biggest way to save money on a long trip is to economise on accommodation. If there's a group of you going, check out the cost of sharing an apartment. This is often cheaper and better than using budget hotels, and will allow you to save money by doing some self-catering.

Otherwise there's that great (and sometimes not-so-great) Australian institution, the backpacker hostel. Beds (usually bunks) in shared dorms will set you back anywhere from about £13-£25 per night. Some offer private rooms, too. There's normally a shared kitchen where you can do a bit of self-catering. Some hostels will throw in a basic breakfast of cereal and/or toast with jam, peanut butter, and Vegemite (like an inferior version of Marmite). Free airport transfers are sometimes included, too. Standards vary tremendously - not always according to price - so read the reviews on sites like Hostelworld. (http://www.hostelworld.com). Staying in backpacker hostels is a good way of meeting other travellers and fellow England fans.

I've already mentioned saving on food by self-catering, but also very affordable are the food halls that are found in all the major cities, often in shopping centres. In the UK, such places are the preserve of horrible corporate chains serving up pre-prepared, overcooked, overpriced pigswill. In Australia the outlets tend to be run by (predominately Asian) families, and sell cheap, usually delicious, freshly cooked food.

Asian restaurants, especially those aimed at Asian customers, tend to be affordable, too. Then there are clubs, such as expats' or ex-servicemen's clubs that are normally easy to get signed into, and depending on the type of club, do cheap and sometimes interesting food and beer. I suppose the food and beer must be subsidised by the ubiquitous "pokies" (gaming machines) into which Australians love to feed their money.

To save money travelling between venues, consider having a stopover somewhere instead of flying direct. E.g., what I have done in the past to get from Brisbane to Adelaide is flown down to Sydney, spent a night or two there, then got the first flight down to Adelaide on the morning of the game. Your stopover often doesn't even need to be somewhere that's on the way to where you're going in order for you to save money! Because most people won't be doing it that way, you'll probably even find that suitable flights will be included in the seat sales that happen from time to time.

Another option which will sometimes save you money is to go by bus and/or train. The fares are often no cheaper than flying, but don't forget that if your journey is overnight you're saving on accommodation. OK, if you're planning on staying in backpacker dorms that's not going to be a big saving, but if you're staying in hotels, even budget ones, the saving does start to become significant. Check to see whether the bus or railway company offers backpacker discounts to people who are members of VIP or Hostelling International. I remember once saving myself a packet by paying about 80 pence as it was back then to join the Portuguese Youth Hostel Association (affiliated to Hostelling International) specifically for that purpose.
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Hector
Post subject: Re: Costs
PostPosted: 17:23 on 27th Aug 2012

Joined: 19:34 on 29th May 2008
Posts: 1224
Location: Somerset
If your'e going for any length of time it's accommodation costs that kill you.

The Aussie $ is only going one way against the £ (currently about $1.5 to the £), which makes even an average 3* Aussie hotel very expensive compared to other countries.

If you are happy with hostels it will save you a fortune.
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Campervan Beethoven
Post subject: Re: Costs
PostPosted: 12:09 on 29th Aug 2012

Joined: 15:54 on 23rd Aug 2012
Posts: 9
Wow, thanks to all for the really helpful information.

On the beer issue, normally I'm a real ale (and cider) snob but appreciate that in the Australian summer you might want something a bit more chilled. I loved the Lion beer (lager) in Sri Lanka, although the 8.8% variety was an absolute killer. Good point too about wine. I was in South Africa a few years ago and couldn't stomach the Castle filth served in pubs so drank mostly (excellent) local wine. When in Rome etc...

I suspect that the exchange rate is going to be a killer. Although the strength of the dollar is beginning to really hurt exporters in Australia so its possible that the government might take action to weaken it, although it's unlikely to come down much by the time the Ashes come around (oh for the days when you could get 3 dollars to the pound).

I'm a fairly open minded traveller so look forward to searching out more quirky (and cheaper) places to eat. I'd draw the line at backpacker hostels though...been there done that and nowadays I really need a good night's sleep and a room of my own!

Am really looking forward to the trip so thanks again for all the helpful info.
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Hector
Post subject: Re: Costs
PostPosted: 18:49 on 29th Aug 2012

Joined: 19:34 on 29th May 2008
Posts: 1224
Location: Somerset
Campervan Beethoven Wrote:
Wow, thanks to all for the really helpful information.

On the beer issue, normally I'm a real ale (and cider) snob but appreciate that in the Australian summer you might want something a bit more chilled. I loved the Lion beer (lager) in Sri Lanka, although the 8.8% variety was an absolute killer. Good point too about wine. I was in South Africa a few years ago and couldn't stomach the Castle filth served in pubs so drank mostly (excellent) local wine. When in Rome etc...

I suspect that the exchange rate is going to be a killer. Although the strength of the dollar is beginning to really hurt exporters in Australia so its possible that the government might take action to weaken it, although it's unlikely to come down much by the time the Ashes come around (oh for the days when you could get 3 dollars to the pound).

I'm a fairly open minded traveller so look forward to searching out more quirky (and cheaper) places to eat. I'd draw the line at backpacker hostels though...been there done that and nowadays I really need a good night's sleep and a room of my own!

Am really looking forward to the trip so thanks again for all the helpful info.


As a simple example of hotel inflation in Aus. take an average 3* chain like Ibis;

Ibis Perth (centrally located, rated 3.5 on trip advisor) - £110 / night,

while across the Tasman sea

Ibis Wellington (centrally located, rated 4 on trip advisor) - £65 / night
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timbo86
Post subject: Re: Costs
PostPosted: 10:24 on 10th Sep 2012

Joined: 19:03 on 27th May 2008
Posts: 59
2 tips here from the last ashes series.

Perth - A must try and visit is Fremantle and the brewery ( Little Creatures ) This stuff is top notch 1 of the best ales i have ever come across.

2nd tip to save money travelling from Perth to Melbourne for the test and to actually see some of Australia catch the indian pacific train we paid £120 for a seat recliner rather than a cabin there was loads of room and the views were amazing. This saved 3 nights accomodation and extra we would of paid on flights. Fantastic stuff. We also met fellow barmy army members on board who we kept bumping into for the rest of the trip including a lass who at the time was friends with the current sheffield wednesday manager. Alex i think her name was. Anymore questions from the last trip just ask i did Perth Melbourne and Sydney
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