Australia and New Zealand are both renowned spots for solo backpacking. This is because of each country's respective working holiday visa programs. A working holiday visa lets a visitor work and travels in a host country for up to a year or longer. Australia and New Zealand are among the most popular destinations for working holidaymakers.
If you are a solo traveler interested in backpacking New Zealand or Australia, we encourage you to find travel mates to do it with. Exploring with a few friends can make your trip cheaper, safer, and better for the environment.
Here are some ways how.
Your Trip Will Be Cheaper
When you’re backpacking in Australia or New Zealand for a long time, it's important that you budget according. These countries are not cheap to explore, which is why finding travel mates is so important. Splitting costs with just one other person will cut your expenses by half, and finding even more companions will make it even cheaper.
Not only that, but having other travelers to split costs with gives your trip more flexibility. Alone, you may have been traveling in a bus while sleeping in budget hostels, but with a few travel buddies, you can afford a rental car or campervan, and sleep in more comfortable accommodations.
Typically, over the course of a long trip, you will be able to split the cost of accommodations, transportation, fuel, groceries, as well as any park passes (which are usually charged by the vehicle).
Your Trip Will Be Safer
Traveling with others is always safer than traveling alone. This is especially true in Australia and New Zealand, two countries with wide-open roads tailor-made for multi-day road trips.
When you’re road tripping in Australia or New Zealand, you'll be racking up the kilometers. For example, an East Coast Road Trip in Australia from Sydney to Cairns is about 2,400 km, from Broome to Perth in Australia’s West Coast is around 2300 km, if you’re road tripping New Zealand’s North Island it’s approximately 1700 km, and looping South Island is around 1500 km.
Having a travel mate (or a few) to alternate driving duties can be an immense benefit. Switching drivers keeps everyone fresh and ultimately lowers the risk of accidents from fatigue.
Additionally, driving these huge distances is going to result in some wear and tear on your car. As a solo traveler, if your car does break down in an area with no service (there are tons!), it can get overwhelming. It is always nice to have another set of helping hands with you, to either assist you with repairs or to just keep you sane with moral support. Also, having two sets of phones is always nice in case yours is out of service or breaks.
Your Trip Will Be Better For The Environment
You can reduce your fuel usage, and electricity by traveling with others
When you’re traveling alone you are simply wasting fuel. It’s a lot more efficient for you to find travel mates to split fuel with.
Take this example, let’s say you plan on taking 4 long road trips around Australia and New Zealand. If you find two other people to go on each trip, and drive on an average of 1200 miles (1930 kms) per trip, instead of going on 12 different trips, as a group you will only use one-third of this.
Now, if you calculate the numbers based on an average gasoline car, each car emits 771 lbs Co2e. By grouping up and sharing vehicles, you will be able to reduce your carbon footprint by 6,168 lbs CO2e over these 4 trips.
Additionally, when you share your accommodation with them as well, you can save on your electricity use. Most hotels and vacation rentals can comfortably sleep 2 to 4 people. Even if you share your accommodation with just one other person, as a pair, you can cut your electricity use in half for every night you share an accommodation.
As we outlined in this post, for solo travelers, there are a lot of benefits to finding travel mates in Australia and New Zealand. Finding a few friends to connect with can make your trip safer, more affordable, and better for the environment!
This post was written by GAFFL. At GAFFL, you can find like-minded travelers who are going to your same destination at the same time as you, you can connect with them, plan trips, meet, and travel together.