Online forums are full of questions: Should you organize the Working Holiday in Australia yourself? Or should you hire a travel agency that organizes the trip for you? How to apply for the Working Holiday Visa? Do not worry, we will tell you exactly what to do and how you can save a lot of money.
We all faced the same question: with or without agency? Some have decided to pay an agency so that the start in Australia is as smooth as possible. Others have decided to start their Australian adventure without any paid help. After the trip, however, we all agreed: There is absolutely no need for an agency to work and travel in Down Under. You can do it all by yourself. Just follow this guide here on Travelgott.
Travel agencies often ask a ridiculous amount of money for organizing a Working Holiday Visa and a trip to Australia. Of course, they also have to make money. But why would you want to pay money for something you can yourself without any problems?
What services travel agencies include for the Working Holiday Australia program?
Travel agencies usually include the following services in their Working Holiday packages:
1. Application for the working holiday visa
2. Booking an overpriced flight
3. Sometimes they take care of the travel insurance (not always)
4. Booking a hostel for the first 2-3 nights at the destination
5. Miracle courses with which you are supposed to find a job immediately – not really
6. Postal address for the time in Australia
7. Assistance immediately after arrival
8. They open a bank account for you – at the wrong bank
9. The agency will help you to apply for Tax File Number
10. A SIM card is often included with agencies – costs $2
In the following, we will analyze these points and show you why you can do every point without a travel agent.
1. Application for the Working Holiday Visa for Australia – takes only 30 minutes
Really everyone can apply for the work and travel visa themselves. We will give you a step by step instruction on how to apply for the visa. Within 30 minutes it can be done, much shorter than the time you have to spend choosing an travel agency and writing with it back and forth. To apply for the visa you can follow our step-by-step guide on how to apply for the Working Holiday Visa for Australia.
Do not be fooled when they tell you the visa will be approved for 100%, if the application is filed by an agency. This is total nonsense. The granting of the visa does not depend on whether it is done through an agency or not. In addition, there is nothing to prevent the visa from not being granted, provided that all conditions are met.
- All Requirements to Obtain the Australian Working Holiday Visa
- How to Apply for the Working Holiday Visa for Australia
2. Booking flights to Australia – find the best prices online
You can easily book flights to Australia yourself. The best way to find cheap flights are price comparison portals, like Skyscanner and Kayak. All you need is a credit card. If you book the flight yourself, the price will also be many times lower than the one of an agency. You will also eventually need to book domestic flights in Australia anyways, without the help of a travel agent.
- How to Find and Book Cheap Flights to Australia
- When is the Best Time to Book Cheap Flights to Australia?
- Return Flights from Australia: Insider-Tips from Experienced Travellers
3. Travel insurance is necessary for your Working Holiday and can be purchased within a few minutes
Travel insurance is essential when traveling in Australia. If something happens during the trip (car accident, work accident or whatever), then you won’t be sitting on immensely high bills. We will show you where to get the best travel insurance for your working holiday visa here.
4. Book the accommodation for the first nights in Australia in advance
You will always have to book hostels again and again during the course of your trip. Therefore, you can also book the first nights yourself without paid help. This is also a good opportunity to get to know the destination city better.
You can find the cheapest hostels on Booking and Hostelworld. In our destination bible we will also list the most popular hostels in popular backpacker places. Just navigate through the menu to the respective destination.
5. A travel agency can hardly help with your job search in Australia
Stay away from paid courses that promise you immediate work in Australia. They will not help you. You will have to go and actively seek for work. We are giving all our knowledge on how to get a job in Australia.
6. A postal address in Australia – theoretically useful, practically not
Agencies offer the possibility of sending letters to their addresses in Australia. They keep the correspondence, which can be picked up at their office at any time. This sounds very practical at the first moment, especially in the first days in Down Under: to receive the tax file number, register a newly bought car, for the bank account etc.
However, practically it is only little useful. The offices of the agencies are generally all in Sydney. If you are not in Sydney or far away from an office of your travel agent, you have no way to get your correspondence. We therefore recommend you give the address of your hostel when needed. Ask your hostel if this is possible – they won’t refuse this request.
7. Airport transfer to your hostel
Agencies often offer a transfer service from the airport to the hostel, which of course you pay for in the final price. This is most certainly no reason to hire an expensive agency to plan the trip to Down Under. From every airport you can take public transport to get to your hostel. You can always jump on a taxi to get there. This will even cost you less than the fees for a travel agency.
In addition, you should know that many hostels offer a pick-up service from the airport, often even free of charge. Pay attention to this when needed when booking on Booking or Hostelworld.
Tipp: Download the app Uber and set it up before your trip. With Uber you can call private taxis all around the world and it works great in Australia. It’s cheap, save and reliable.
8. Travel agencies help to connect with other backpackers
Travel agencies organize a workshop or meetings, where you can meet fellow travelers. The truth is, that there is no place on earth where it is easier to meet other travelers than Australia.
In fact you do so automatically already when checking into a hostel, if you haven’t met already some backpackers on your flight. It will be full with like-minded travelers who are looking for people to hang out with as well.
There is also online services to meet other backpackers, for example Facebook groups or Gloqon – The Travellers Network. On Gloqon you can get in touch with other travellers in your area and find useful travel tips.
READ MORE: 11 Reasons not to be Afraid to Travel Alone!
9. The agency helps you to open an Australian bank account – but you have to do it yourself anyway
You should open a bank account in the first days after your arrival in Australia. You will need it to get money from your employers, to avoid withdrawal fees etc. Be aware that the agency can not do that for you, because you have to personally present yourself at the bank.
10. The application for the Australian “Tax File Number” – a simple online form
During your Working Holiday you will need a Tax File Number to get a job. Otherwise you will lose 50% of your income as tax. You can only apply for the tax file number once you have arrived in Australia. The process itself is very simple, you just have to fill out a simple online form. Here we show you how it works and what you have to consider.
11. SIM Card – get your best option for $2
Many work and travel packages include a SIM card. You can also buy them everywhere yourself for $2. We are also going to tell you what the best network is in Australia (especially if you are planning to travel around the country) and the secret where to find the best mobile offer.
LEARN MORE – Insider-Tip: What is the best network and the best pre-paid mobile offer you can get?
A quick overview to remind you that is not worth to spend your money on a travel agent for organizing a work and travel adventure in Oz.
Travel agencies sell only “security” to Working Holiday Makers
If you can organize the Working Holiday Visa and the trip in Australia yourself, why do many backpackers do it via a travel agency?
The answer to that is quite simple. The product such agencies sell is actually “security”. Backpackers will feel more secure knowing that in the initial phase they can ask for help at an agency, even if they do not ever need to. With our help you will feel safe and at the same time save thousands of euros.
We ourselves have left thousands of dollars behind in Australia and want to pass our knowledge on to you so that this does not happen to you. Read our tips – it will pay off! You can also publish your own tips here on Travelgott.
If you are still not convinced or have questions, just write a comment. Have fun in Down Under!
N.B. Find all articles about the Working Holiday Visa Australia here: travelgott.com/australia/working-holiday-visa.