Journey to Australia: Time to Fly!

It's time to Fly!

Dec 2017
As per plan, I'd be travelling to Melbourne in about a month. I was on my notice period at my current company, and good byes and how did you do it comments were floating around me. I felt happy that I was doing something different, and excited about the future.
Source : https://www.imore.com

With January fast approaching, I still had to make a few decisions. Summarising a few below

  • Flight - Which one? Where to? What route?
  • Accomodation
  • What to pack?
  • What documents should I keep ready?
These might be routine stuff to a seasoned traveller. But for someone migrating to an unknown country - preparation was key.


Flights
As we had already rounded up Kochi as source and Melbourne as destination. It was time to find out how. Google flights is your friend here. We started tracking the flight rates for the whole duration. Cheapest one usually was Air Asia. I was under the belief that the later you book tickets, the costlier it gets. But our observation(and data analysis), proved that the prices were going down. We were targeting to travel in January mid, and unfortunately due to Australian Open the flight rates didn't go down much(realised this late). The flight had a few hours stop over at Malaysia. The overall journey took around 18 hours(4 hours to Malaysia, 3 hours layover and 8 hours to Melbourne). It was a pleasant journey for us, probably because we were excited.

Accomodation
This can get tricky. Getting a place for rent isn't easy in Melbourne. There is a whole inspection -> Submit Application(with a lot of documents) -> Approval process to be done. If you haven't been in Australia before, the probability of renting a place is almost 0.
The next option in Airbnb. This should be the last resort though. Airbnb options can be really expensive, and you might not need that kinda luxury to start with. The cost can come upto AUD 100 per day(approx. Rs. 5000), which can be huge considering your length of stay.
The most effective option is house sharing. House rental is expensive in Melbourne. Lot of people with 2 or 3 bedroom houses rent out one of their rooms. The best place to find such house shares are at Gumtree. There are multiple advantages to this

  • Cheap - Less than AUD 200 a week
  • You get a new friend to get yourself comfortable
  • You get all appliances to share - kitchen, washing etc
  • You deal directly with the tenant, so no legal binding or hassles of document
  • If interested, you can look for Indians sharing house
Gumtree has a catch though, you cannot connect to advertisers if you are outside Australia. Use any VPN and connect through an Australian proxy to overcome this. See this, that site has a free coupon for 10 days usage as well.

As for us, we managed to get a studio apartment for rent. The tenant was going on vacation for a month, and luckily for us our travel dates coincided.

This would be your temporary accommodation(few months or weeks). Once you get a job, you can formally rent an apartment.

What to pack?
This depends on individual preferences. When I called up my friend here in Melbourne, she suggested to pack a small cooker(we Indians are heavily dependent on that, and it's expensive to buy one here). But in my opinion, you can buy almost anything you need from Melbourne. Don't pack things you can buy. Take a few set of clothes, basic medicines, a few footwear. That's all you need to start a new life! Things can be expensive in Melbourne, but you are going to earn good as well.
Note that Australian immigration prohibits carrying a lot of stuff, especially food items. Do a proper research of what you can bring, and what you cannot. The fines can be huge if you get caught.

Documents
Unlike other countries, all you have as proof of Visa is an e-copy of the visa grant letter. And that's all you need. Have multiple copies though, you'll have to show this when you leave India, and when you enter Australia. Before landing, you'll get a form to declare whatever items you have. Do this accurately.

Hope this preps you up better for your journey. Have a great flight!

Read all the posts related to my Journey to Australia -
  1. The Beginning
  2. Road to get a Visa
  3. Cracking PTE
  4. Visa granted, now what?
  5. Job Hunt Part -1 
  6. Time to Fly!
  7. Arrival
  8. Job Hunt Part - 2
  9. Job Hunt Part - 3