A few tips to get out of the way before you get to the fun and exploration.

That wonderful sunshine …

The sun is relentless here so it’s best to wear a wide brimmed hat or a cap most of the time. As much as possible never go shirtless. On the telly, especially during summer, you will see plenty of Australian informercials reminding you that there’s nothing healthy about a tan. Your best bet is to have sunblock with at least 30 SPF (Sun Protection Factor) and be a little bit generous when you apply it to areas of body that you expect will have the most exposure throughout the day.

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Bring a smaller tube of your sunblock with you all the time. You never know when you need to reapply. In fact, a few sunblock lotions give protection that don’t last the whole day.

 

Tipping and Bargaining

Tipping is mostly not expected. But establishments in Australia do not add a service charge to your bill. For anybody, local or tourist, tipping is still the best way of expressing appreciation when service rendered is beyond expectations is still the tip. Usually, at high-end restaurants and other dining establishments it is common to tip servers at least ten percent of the total bill.

There are plenty of shopping attractions and options all throughout the major cities in Australia. You will be amazed at the array of choices you find and may be tempted to haggle to get the most out of your money. It’s not customary to bargain. However, Australia is such a multi-cultural nation and such a tourist friendly place that you will find some shop owners can offer better deals to make the sale.

 

Everyday Kit

Whether you packed light or not on your way here, it’s best to bring along a small bag or purse that is comfortable to lug around during your daily explorations. Bring important information in that bag as well. A good guideline on what to pack inside that everyday kit is to think of it this way: you lose all your luggage and other stuff, but with what’s in your everyday kit you can get home.

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Keep some form of identification and your tourist visa details (which is usually just a number) in the bag. Having enough cash to get you through the day is also useful even if you use a credit/debit card most of the time. That occasional, rare find may be much easier to purchase with cash.

Sometimes your choice of everyday bag will also matter. Some prefer fanny packs while others prefer sling bags that go over your shoulder and hang to your side. Backpacks are good, but quick access is an issue.

 

Resealable Plastic Bags

Yes. Small to medium-sized resealable plastic bags. Like Ziplock. The ones you use to keep food fresh in the freezer or in the veggie bin. Yes those ones.

Keep maybe one or two of these in your everyday bag. When you’re out having fun it’s easy to forget that you have important electronic gadgets and other items that might need protection when things start getting wet and wild. There are plenty of gorgeous beaches and other water attractions in Australia. So before you dive in, put these electronic gadgets and other important stuff inside your resealable bags. Even if you and your bag go into the water unexpectedly, your gadgets and other important stuff don’t get damaged.