Julie's Australian Diary on a Working Holiday Visa - Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting My Backpacking Journey in Australia

Diary Of A Working Holiday Maker: What I Wish I’d Known Before My Aussie Travels

Welcome to Julie’s Australian Holiday Diary: the travel tales of a 20-year-old from the Netherlands who’s flown to Sydney, Australia on a Working Holiday visa. In each episode, she’ll be sharing what life is like living, working and travelling in Australia. From how to meet new people, to what it’s like living in a backpacker hostel, to her favourite experiences… Julie will share it all! Let’s dive into Episode Four…

My Backpacking Journey In Australia On A Working Holiday Visa

If I think about myself exactly one year ago, I would not have believed where I would be in life right now. Living abroad isn’t new to me (I was an exchange student in the United States at the age of 17). But now living, working and backpacking Australia, I keep on learning new things. So, in this Julie’s Diary episode, I will be taking you through all the things I wish I had known before starting my Australian journey. All of this in order to give you the extra push that you need to build up your confidence and comfort, before and during your own Australian backpacking journey. I will be highlighting some small things about my (basic) preparations, the Work Holiday Visa, and my personal tips & tricks for all of these upcoming experiences.

When looking back at my first blog about my first month in Australia, I can confirm that I still relate. But now – 3 months later – with way more memories, deeper relationships, and more knowledge. When comparing my expectations and reality, it becomes clear that reality has been different from my expectations… luckily in a good way. There has been so much more to my journey than my internship. I consider the combination of work, travel, and experience the absolute best mix ever, especially in your early twenties. Stepping out of my comfort zone by taking on this adventure has given me so much. But for now let’s focus on my personalised guide to how you can also make the most of your adventure…

Tips & Tricks To Making The Most Of Your Backpacking Australia Journey

Preparing For Your Australian Travels

  • Know All The Ins And Outs Of Your Visa
    To get the best out of your Australian Visa it is extremely important to know all the facts – including all the possibilities, criteria and rules. By familiarising yourself with the visa, you can identify some key points to focus on during your preparations. For one person, that could be insightful when looking at what kind of company they want to work at. For another, it could be useful when creating their to-do lists.

    Check out which visa you need to choose for travelling to Australia, and Wake Up’s top tips for preparing for your Working Holiday Visa.
Wake Up! Hostels provides award winning backpacker accommodation in Sydney, Bondi Beach and Byron Bay. Australia's top hostel and affordable accommodation.

Adjusting To Backpacker Life In Australia

  • Acknowledge Your New Place
    All of a sudden you will put yourself in a new place outside of everything that you’re used to. Taking your time to adjust is extremely important in these times. It will be easier to acknowledge your new place by embracing the adventure that comes along with it. Embrace the new people in your space and what they will teach you. Embrace your feelings and acknowledge that nothing is permanent.
  • Focus On Your Mindset
    Something that has changed for me during my months here in Australia, is that I went from the ‘planning’ mindset to the ‘enjoyment’ mindset. I would recommend to simply do what feels right, spend time with the people you want to spend time with, and take the time when you need some peace. I have experienced that this mindset gives me more opportunities to live in the moment and seize the moment.
  • Confidence Over Language
    There is no need to stress, feel embarrassed or even apologise when you’re struggling with the language. It takes time but if you build up the confidence to try out the language, you will notice that you will learn quicker and that people will notice your improvements. You can only learn by doing and the main changes will come at the moment when you dare to take on the challenge.

How To Spend Your Time

  • Put Effort In Friendships
    Creating a good friendship group takes effort and time. But at the end of the day, some relationships will be so special. You get close with people easily and quickly over here, as long as you put effort into it. You’ll experience that there are many similarities between travellers in Australia. You can put effort into your relationships by connecting over social media, making new plans, and sharing your experience(s).
  • Live In The Moment
    Take pictures and videos whenever you can because it is so important to capture the moment. You will be accomplishing big things and I believe that it will definitely help you remember the moment more if you have the chance to look back at it. However, don’t overdo it. Living in the moment also means trying out random things, doing things without thinking, and just going for them. Time will truly pass by way faster than you would expect.

Budgeting For Your Australian Backpacking Travels

  • Save Every Penny
    To be completely fair, Australia is expensive and this adventure will cost you a lot of money. So save every penny that you can, get a job back home before you travel, or find a job over here in Australia (Wake Up! has put together a list of the best backpackers jobs!). A big help could be to set up a savings goal in order to give yourself the extra push to go for it and earn enough money to cover your expenses.
  • Budget Your Expenses
    Working with budgets, which are all categorised by the type of expense, will give you guidance whenever you spend your money. You could do this by using a mobile app, writing your expenses down, or looking out for Special Deals in Sydney or Cheap Eats in Byron. Saving money is easy when you think about it. It could be small things – such as booking all parts of your trip together to go for a bigger discount – or comparing different travel agents for your next hostel stay or tour.
  • Stay In Hostels
    When you are staying in a hostel, you share all the facilities with like-minded travellers. All the main facilities are included in your stay, which will save you money. Especially when you make use of the shared kitchen. Making your own meals will help you save tons of money and you even get to decide how much you are willing to spend our your meals. Not to mention, conversations in the kitchen is one of my favourite ways to meet other travellers and make friends.

    Did you know that you can stay in three different Wake Up! Hostels during your East Coast adventure? Check out all their different locations!


  • Depend On Yourself
    As solo travellers, most of us will start this adventure alone and that’s okay. It is important to keep on following your own path and at your own pace. I believe that it is a strength to be able to depend on yourself and make this possible for you, by you. Even though you will meet your kind of people along the way, at the end of the day you came here yourself and you can do it without anyone else. Believe in your strengths and the person that you are.
  • Help Each Other
    I wish I had known before that everyone loves to help. Knowing that people are willing to help will make it easier for you to take the step of asking for help. Use your connections, build up your relationships and help one and another.

Do you even want to know more tips & tricks? Make sure to check out Janine’s blog, in which she introduces you to a first-time guide to backpack Australia.

I hope these tips & tricks will provide you with some more guidance to make your journey the best one so far.

I know you’ve got this,

About Julie Eikelenboom
About Julie Eikelenboom

Hi fellow travellers! I am Julie Eikelenboom, a 20-year-old travel enthusiast, who is ready to explore all the ins -and outs of the Work Holiday Visa in Australia. I am currently doing my internship, while also creating plans to travel Australia. Next to travelling, I love dancing, meeting new people, chatting for hours, and checking off all items on my bucket list. Want to know more? Let’s keep in touch through @julieeikelenboom 

Julie's diary, solo travel, working holiday australia

Check In
Check Out