Budget traveling is in my blood and you know I can’t resist a cheap ticket. CA and I have been meaning to take a baby-moon trip so when we saw that there was cheap tickets on sale at Jetstar, we jumped on it. Return tickets to Perth costs just about SGD200 and we decided to take my MIL and FIL along as well since we thought it was rather affordable.
Neither of us have been to Perth though we have been to other parts of Australia and did not know what to expect from the trip. We planned for 8 days and some of my friends and colleague thought that it was too long for a Perth trip.
However, it turned out to be a good decision as the long duration meant that we could do a road trip! It would be our first time driving overseas and Western Australia is HUGE so 8 days was not that much either.
Once we landed in Perth International Airport, we spotted the duty free shop selling local prepaid phone cards. I inquired if the cost of the prepaid cards are similar among other telcos and he assured me that it was. LIESSSSSSSSS! DO NOT PURCHASE THERE!
Thankfully, my husband talked me out of getting it there and then in the duty free shop and suggested that we check out the public area of the arrival hall instead. We very easily found 2 telco shops side by side and managed to buy a plan that suited us very well. I can’t remember the exact plan we had but I believe AUD 40 got us 2 SIM cards and data that lasted the entire 8 days trip.
Another necessary part of our Perth trip was getting a car of course.
Car rental in Perth was unbelievably affordable, I guess it has to do with being from Singapore where the average price of per day rental car is around SGD80 and that is excluding the very expensive cost of petrol here as well.
Just doing a search on http://www.rentalcars.com quickly showed us that basic sedans will set us back just AUD23 per day for a 5 day rental period. There were cheaper options but we felt that going with a Japanese car (Toyota Corolla) would be better for us since we drive a Nissan back home. As you can see from the rate quote we got, we have to pay some additional fees at the Hertz counter, but the overall costs is still within our budget.
As for where to rent from, I would say it seems to be a luck thing. There are quite a few established car rental companies in Perth like Hertz, Europcar and Thrifty. I tried to do a research on which one is better, but the reviews seems mixed across all.
Every car rental company seems to have some reviews claiming that the client was charged heftily for tiny scratches or that they were billed wrongly and it was hard to get back the money from the incorrect billing. But despite that, we decided to go ahead with Hertz and figured that we would be extra vigilant when it came to dealing with the rental car company.
On the day of collecting the car, we took pictures of the car from every possible angle and zoomed in on all the tiniest scratches we could find. Do note that you need to do this BEFORE you leave that carpark where you collect the car from.
A good way to avoid discrepancies on the condition of the car is simply to return it during office hours (which can be difficult given that most rental companies do not operate on Sundays and only on half days on Saturdays). When I returned the car, i requested for them to check the car on the spot and to issue me a final bill which I paid there and then, thus releasing the deposit that they hold on your credit card.
After the initial preparation for the road trip the rest of the road trip was certainly enjoyable!
Updates on the rest of the trip soon!