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Gap Year Australia :: keeping in touch
Keeping in touch

Whether it’s calling home to borrow some money or remembering a mate’s birthday, you’re going to want to contact home every now and again. There are many ways that you can keep in touch, so take a moment to let your family and friends know how much of an amazing time you’re having without them and that you’re safe!

:: Internet Cafes

The majority of hostels will have some sort of internet terminal or computer with internet access for you to use, although they may charge a premium for the convenience. In larger towns and cities there will generally be a few internet cafes near your accommodation that charge anything between $1 and $6 per hour. Check at the backpacker travel agents as these may give you free internet, although they might try and sell you something! Try some of the big backpacker/internet café companies - Global Gossip, Backpacker world travel, Wicked travel, Peterpans etc.

:: Mobile

If you’re planning on staying for more than a few weeks then buying an Australian mobile or SIM card is very advisable.
There are a few companies to choose from, all with the usual mind-boggling selection of different tariffs and offers. The main ones are Telstra Mobile, Optus Mobile, Virgin Mobile Australia and Vodafone. The prepay SIM cards usually come with deals of free texts and minutes, however, most cards usually need to be used within 30 days!

:: Phone Cards

These are a good way of keeping in touch with people at home (and being able to ring your parents for money!). You can call from a phone box or landline and for $10 you could get well over an hour’s worth of international calls. Phone cards can be bought from most hostels and newsagents.

:: Mail

Some hostels may let you get some mail or a parcel delivered there if you are staying for a while, however, Australia has a system called Poste Restante, which is perfect for travellers! All you have to do is get the sender to deliver the post to:

FAMILY NAME (in capitals), First Name
Poste Restante

For example:
SMITH, Bruce
Poste Restante

This will send it to the main post office in the city, so all you have to do grab your passport and collect from there! Most Post Offices are open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

:: Freight

Can’t be bothered lugging all your souvenirs around for the whole time? Did you buy a few too many boomerangs?! Then think about shipping your items home by air or by sea. It’s not dirt cheap, but you will probably be glad of the space in your luggage! There are many places where you will be able to do this from including some internet cafes, backpacker travel agencies and some hostels. Just ask at reception at any of them and they will most probably be able to point you in the right direction. Then you can head out to the shops again!



    © Gap Year Travel Guide 2011