That’s it, you’ve finally made the big decision to go live your dream in Australia? Congratulations! As the saying goes, “All you have to do is decide to leave. And the hardest part is done.” Now come the most stressful phase of preparing for a WHV trip to Australia. In this article, I explain the six steps by step to make your preparation much easier.
6 Steps to prepare your WHV trip to Australia
Get your Visa
The adventure in Australia will be hard to get started without getting your Work Holiday Visa.
Conditions for getting the Working Holiday Visa
- Be resident in one of these countries : Belgium / Estonia / Germany / Japan / Cyprus / Sweden / UK / Canada / Finland / Hong Kong / Malta / Ireland / Taiwain / Denmark / France / Italy / Norway / Korea / The Netherlands
- Be aged between 18 and 30 years of age
- Be an eligible passport holder
- Be able to show sufficient funds on your bank account : about 5,000$ AU
- Not to be on Australian territory when applying
- Be able to justify a health insurance
How to get the Working Holiday Visa for Australia?
If you meet all the conditions to obtain the WHV, then you must go to the official government website. The online application takes about 30 minutes and you will need your passport. The visa application costs 400$AU. Once the request is made, you will receive an answer in a few hours or days. Once “Granted” has been entered, you have just obtained your visa. You will then have 12 months to go to Australia. From the day of your arrival in Australia, you can stay a year on the territory.
What papers do you need for you WHV in Australia?
To go to Australia, you will need an up-to-date biometric passport. If you are still not in possession of a passport, you must quickly go to the town hall of your city in person with 2 identity photos, a proof of residence and 89€.
A second important paper is the international driving license. Even if you think you will not be driving in Australia, the urge for a road trip can happen quickly and it is better to be prepared.
How to get your international driving license?
The international driving license is free and valid for 2 years. It is also a simple administrative formality, so there is no examination to pass. Due to the fact that procedural deadlines may vary, it is better to apply in advance.
The best is to check the website of your own government to be aware of the procedure. In a lot of countries, it is possible to do it online. Once you fill up the form, you just have to print it with a digital version of your driver’s license, a proof of identity and a proof of address.
How to manage your bank account on a WHV trip to Australia?
Your old bank account
Remember to contact your bank to inform them of your departure. If you forget, your card may be blocked when you withdraw from Australia. It’s also important to inquire about the withdrawal fees, the cost of transfer to your future Australian account and the withdrawal limit. If it is low, it is better to increase the ceiling : you never know what can happen.
Your Australian bank account
Once in Australia, you will have to open an Australian bank account. You can do it easily once there. All you need is a passport and a few dollars. If you prefer to do this before you leave, it is possible to do so with Westpac Bank. You open your bank account online and you only have to pick up your credit card once there.
The essential step before leaving for Australia : take out health insurance. Medical costs are very high in Australia. A simple doctor appointment costs $70. You must therefore take out an international insurance for the duration of your WHV to be covered. There are many insurance companies such as Chapka, MSH International or World Nomads which offer similar rates (about 400€ per year or 34€/month). You can easily subscribe them online.
Vaccines and medicines
There is no vaccination needed to go to Australia. That said, keep in mind that at age 25, you have to do the DTap reminder (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis).
Regarding medicines, it is advisable to make a small first aid kit with all the basics. Drugs are particularly expensive in Australia. For prescription medicines, they will be covered by the insurance. For girls, consider filling up on a pill with a prescription for at least a year.
What to put in your first aid kit?
- Dressing, compresses, cotton
- Disinfectant, healing cream
- Burn ointment
- Aspirin and paracetamol
- Intestinal antiseptic and treatment against diarrhea and constipation
- Mosquito spray and cream for bites
Pack your back
Without doubt one of the most difficult moments of trip planning (especially for girls).
Backpack or suitcase?
At first, I really recommend you go for the backpack instead of a suitcase. You will certainly not stay in one place during your year and traveling with a suitcase can quickly become difficult. The backpack can also limit the weight as you can only bring what you can carry. My last argument is that you can’t call yourself a backpacker if you carry a suitcase.
Which backpack to choose?
The most important thing is to choose a backpack adapted to your morphology. Certainly, there are backpacks with a capacity of 80L, but honestly, how can I carry that with my 55kg? I also opted for a backpack that can be completely open, just to nit have to take everything out every time I look for something. I highly recommend Nomadicmatt’s article to choose your backpack.
What to put in your backpack?
The ideal weight of a backpack is between 10 and 15kg. It is therefore important to take only the minimum. By experience, many backpackers have confessed to regretting carrying so many clothes with them. I also advise you to invest in bags compartments to organize your backpack and save space.
- Clothing : Tshirts / Rain jacket / Warm Sweats / Jean / Jogging / Short / Pajamas
- Underwear : socks / underwear / swimwear
- Toilet bag : toothbrush + toothpaste / mirror / cutting nails / tweezers / déodorant / shower gel/ shampoo / sunscreen
- Shoes : flip flop / sneaker / street shoe
- Accessories : sunglasses / cap / locker / adaptater / computer / camera / external hard drive / towel
Also not to forget
Here is a small list of the last steps not to forget to leave home in a serene way
- Cancel your phone line and unlock your phone
- Write your Australian CV and print a few copies
- Stop your home insurance and organize of your mail
That’s it, you’re ready to go to Australia and I hope to see you soon for new articles about Australia and the Working Holiday Visa.