What I Eat in a Day in Melbourne as a Backpacker on a Budget #1

Now that I am travelling I want to show you what I eat as a (mostly) healthy, (mostly) vegan Backpacker on a budget in Australia!

I hope you are excited for some super easy, cheap and quick recipes and meals as I don’t want to spend too much time or money cooking (and I also don’t have the nicest kitchens in the hostels). But I still try to mostly eat homemade food as eating out is crazily expensive. If I do eat out, I like to go to cute little healthy cafés that offer vegan food and I’m okay spending more money there, rather than finding the cheapest takeaway pizza in town :D

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The prices

The first hostel I stayed in offered free tea, coffee, rice and pasta as well as free pancakes in the morning, so I tried to use that to save money.

Besides what I was thinking, the food in the supermarket isn’t that much more expensive than in Germany. Some things obviously are, especially produce that have to get shipped from far away. I tried to mostly shop my produce at the market (for example the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne) as they offer cheaper products that aren’t as fresh anymore or at the end of the day.

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Here is a list of the food I bought and how much I spend on them:
  • 12 tomatoes                                2 $         1,30 €                 market
  • 2 red bell peppers                     2 $         1,30 €                 market
  • 5 bananas                                   1 $         0,70 €                 market
  • Hummus                                     3 $         1,80€                  market
  • Salt                                               2 $         1,50 €                 Coles
  • Olive ciabatta                             4 $         2,50 €                Coles
  • Olive Hummus                          5 $          3 €                     Coles
  • Canned Kidney Beans           0,75$        0,50 €                Coles
  • Soy sauce                                    4 $         2,50 €                 Coles

Next time I definitely should buy my soy sauce as well as tofu for example at an Asian supermarket. They are very popular here (because there are also a lot of Asian people living in Australia) and it’s a lot cheaper there.

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Some prices look crazy at first, but 12$ are actually 7,50€ which is the same price as in Germany for the vegan B&J… but I’m for sure going to try all the flavours when my parents visit me :P

Day 1

This wasn’t actually my first day in Melbourne, but the first day that I took pictures of my food – just to clarify that!

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As I already said, my first hostel offered free pancakes with maple syrup every morning. I wasn’t really happy about that on one hand, because I planned on trying to eat completely vegan, but on the other hand, they were yummy, free and quick to eat before leaving the hostel to explore…

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At the market, I bought this amazing self-made hummus and 4 little loaves of bread (there is no English name for „Brötchen“! :D ) and I dipped two into the hummus for lunch.

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The first meal that I cooked at the hostel was this easy rice & veggie dish. I cooked rice with some salt, mixed the veggies under after the rice was nearly finished and added some veggie broth. That’s it! Not super great, but cheap, healthy and easy.

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Day 2

Another day I slept in until 10:30am and there were no more pancakes. I cooked rice with more water than usual and „overcooked“ it to make it very creamy and sticky rice/porridge texture. Then I added lots of cinnamon, mashed banana, apple, raisins and some nuts.

It might seem weird to try to save money on something inexpensive like oats, but as cheaper you eat on most days, as more often you can spend more money on going out! :D

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Because I had a late breakfast, I just had two oranges as a snack and ate dinner early.

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A combination I just recently discovered is pasta with a hummus sauce and veggies. That’s what happens when you are a backpacker: you can’t buy a large variety of food otherwise it will go bad and you have to use it up before you leave a place – so you have to get creative and buy food that works in many meals.

So I just cooked some free pasta from the hostel, mashed some kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, olive hummus, fresh baby spinach and veggie broth and heated it up.

Throwing different ingredients together and making it a delicious meal!

 

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Day 3

I was very lucky, that my AuPair family that I’m going to stay with in May came to visit Melbourne and we were able to meet each other.

And I was even more lucky, that we went to a café to have breakfast that probably has the best ever Avo smash toast in whole Australia! Only ate this one until now, but I can’t imagine that it can get any better (and my AuPair mom agrees in that and she has already eaten many Avo toasts!)

Sadly I forgot to ask for a vegan version as I was a bit nervous that morning, but it was so yummy and so much variety in one dish – lots of mashed avo, good bread, tomatoes, cucumber, balsamic vinegar, mozzarella cheese & poached egg.

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That day I got gifted Kombucha on the streets as a sample. It wasn’t really a great flavour, but in general, I really like Kombucha.

 

The amazing breakfast kept me full for long, so I had another early and big dinner. Leftover rice with veggies where I only added some pak choi and soy sauce as well as fresh capsicum on the side. As a dessert, I had some sweet rice with applesauce and raisins.


You can also always follow me on Instagram to see what I am up to, where I am, what I’m doing or what I eat! 


Another part of what I eat in Melbourne will follow soon! Including another great breakfast with my AuPair mom and way to much eating out as there are so many awesome vegan places here in Melbourne! :D

 

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What’s in my Backpack for One Year of Work & Travel in Australia

For about 10 months I’ve been preparing my work & travel journey. Reading books, blogs and talking to people. I scrolled through hundreds of articles about what to pack as a minimalistic backpacker, female backpacker, Australian backpacker or on a long-term journey…

I tried to filter what I think I will really need and use and gave my best on packing very minimal. My backpack contains 60l and weights 10kg (which is pretty good for my first time backpacking and without any experiences). In addition to that, I have a small 12l daypack that carries some extra stuff.

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Backpack

I bought this backpack because it was cheap in comparison to the brand backpacks and the quality felt good. It also has a back support that I could easily remove so it’s a lot lighter like that. It has many straps to adjust (too many in my opinion, but I could cut them off if I want to).

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For my daypack, I chose a small and unspectacular one because I am not carrying a lot on an everyday basis and I don’t like too many pockets and straps because they annoy me.

The size is good to carry my camera, water bottle, snacks, papers and wallet like I do every day, but for the plane (where I needed my laptop, pillow, kindle, food, water bottle, papers and more) it was too small and I had to take an extra bag with me on the plane. I also always carry one with me for when I go food shopping.

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Clothes

Luckily, I can replace some things in my backpack when my cousin or my parents visit me. For now, I have some more warm clothes like two hoodies, longsleeves and an extra pair of shoes that I’ll get rid of when it’s summer. Right now, it’s only around 16 degrees Celsius in Melbourne so I’ll be good with an extra layer of clothes.

With all my clothes I tried to stay in the dark colour palette (or it’s stuff that I don’t care too much about) so that I only need to wash one machine every week and not separate into light and dark laundry. I’ve heard that white and light clothes get yellow/grey so fast while travelling and they also get dirty so much more easily, that’s why everybody suggests to leave them home.

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The only ‘unpractical’ t-shirt I brought is my self-made tidy t-shirt, that I have to wash with my hands. But I love it so much so it’s worth it and one t-shirt is washed quickly in the sink.

  • 2 long sleeve shirts
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 4 tops

I don’t have specific workout clothes or pyjamas with me because I feel like being okay with my regular clothes. I’ll just wear one of my comfy shorts for sleeping/working out and a t-shirt and that’ll be fine.

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  • 2 comfy shorts
  • 1 jeans shorts
  • 1 pair of long pants/jeans (very stretchy & comfortable)
  • 1 pair of flowy pants (sun protection on hot days)
  • 1 pair of long leggings (I wore them on the flight)

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Through reading all the blog posts I learned that you should never pack something that you are not sure about or that you can only wear on specific occasions. That’s why I tried to pack clothes that are practical and functional for every day (hopefully!)

  • 1 thin blouse (great sun protection)
  • 1 t-shirt dress (that I can always quickly throw over and be good to go)
  • 1 pretty dress (short, comfy and suitable for every day or special occasions)

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It was really hard to decide how much underwear I am going to take. Some people suggest to only take 5 and wash more often, others had 10 pairs with them so they don’t need to wash that often.

I decided to take 8 pairs so that I can wash around once a week and always have one pair as an extra.

  • 8 pairs of underwear
  • 2 bralettes (because I don’t wear bras)
  • 1 sports bra
  • 2 bikinis
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of elastic stockings

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Organizing

I bought some drybags to organize my clothes and keep them together and I highly suggest that if you travel with a backpack otherwise, you won’t find anything.

I also got a belt bag and 2 more bags with me and I would even suggest taking 3 because I use them a lot. I got one for shoes and the other for food shopping and storage (because at the hostel you store your food in the kitchen area / in the fridge and you need to pack it in a bag).

  • 1 drybag 6l (for underwear, socks, bikinis)
  • 2 drybags 12l (one for bottoms & dresses, other for t-shirts & tops)
  • Deuter belt bag
  • 2 eco-bags

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Shoes

I’m probably not going to carry 4 pairs of shoes with me for my whole year. I plan to get rid of my converse when the weather is warmer and I am wearing sandals a lot, but until then 1/3 of my backpack is shoes…

  • Running shoes (that I can wear for hiking and long walks in cities)
  • Converse
  • Sandals (I know, not the sexiest kinds of shoes but they are super comfy and I already got used to them)
  • Flip flops

It’s hard to tell what you will need at the end of the day because you never know where you’ll end up and what you’ll do, but I still only packed clothes that I knew I will wear a lot. If I will miss something I’ll just tell my parents to bring it or buy it here. That’s so much better than taking way too much stuff with you and carrying it around without wearing it and I already got used to wearing the same stuff almost every day.

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Toiletries

I got a toiletry bag that you can hang which is super practical for hostels where it can be wet or gross sometimes. My towels are super thin, quickly drying micro phaser towels and I got a small one ( 30 x 50 cm) and a big one ( 75 x 150 cm ).

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For shampoo, shower gel and face wash I decided to skip big plastic bottles that are heavy and used up quickly and bought solid soap bars instead. I find it super practical on one hand and it’s also so much eco-friendlier and better for skin and hair because it is all natural.

My face wash is by The Body Shop and I use the “Duschbrocken” from a small German start-up brand that is shampoo and body soap in one. I already used it three times and I love it – the smell is amazing (I got “Frieda Früchtchen”), it feels super moisturizing to my skin and hair because it contains a lot of natural oils and I can’t even tell that I used it at all because you only need so little product. My hair feels really great using it and it doesn’t gets greasy more quickly than usually.

I decided to only take a come with me and so far it’s been alright. If I miss it too much, I’ll just buy one.

For shaver, period hygiene products, deodorant and body lotion I also went for the eco-friendly version because it lasts so much longer and is more practical in many ways. I’ll talk about that in another blog post about eco-friendly & minimalistic beauty products for travelling soon!

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  • Duschbrocken (shampoo & body wash) (*PR-Sample)
  • Face soap
  • Shaver (plastic free!)
  • Shea butter as body butter (in the Body Shop container)
  • Toothbrush (plastic free!) (*PR-Sample)
  • Toothpaste
  • Wolkenseifen Deo crème
  • Coconut oil (in a little container)
  • Lavera face moisturizer
  • Come
  • Hair ties
  • Menstrual Cup
  • Nail scissors and nail file
  • Eye Brow Pen (only “makeup” I take with me)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand cream

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Medicine

I only took a few things with me because you don’t have to be prepared for everything. In case you really get sick you can buy whatever you need. Also, I would suggest to not take a whole package with you – it’s just not necessary.

  • Nurofen painkillers
  • antidiarrhoea medicine
  • Eye drops
  • sore throat tablets
  • plaster

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Food

You aren’t allowed to take most food to Australia, but packed food is alright.

  • Many oat and dried fruit bars
  • Vegan chocolate
  • Instant Oats (I didn’t end up taking it with me bc I was afraid they wouldn’t allow me to bring it because it contains nuts, but they didn’t care a lot so I should have brought it…)
  • Chewing gum
  • Cinnamon
  • Veggie Broth
  • Reusable water bottle (1l)
  • 2 food containers (750ml and 450ml)
  • Camping fork-knife-spoon
  • Vitamin B12 drops
  • Vitamin C tablets

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Important Documents

  • Passport
  • Drivers licence & international drivers licence
  • Visa
  • Flight documents
  • vaccination certificate
  • Some Australian dollar
  • important addresses & phone numbers
  • copies of important documents

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Other Stuff

  • Wash paste
  • Locks for lockers at the dorm room
  • plastic zip bags (to store and organize all the small stuff)
  • travel neck pillow (that you can blow up)
  • Earplugs
  • Sleeping mask
  • Pen & pencil
  • notebook

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Electronics

I tried to minimize my technical gear, but you just need some electronics if you plan to take some pretty pictures and videos.


That’s everything I took with me to Australia! I will for sure make an updated version after a few months to see what I had to buy or what I didn’t need and gave my parents.

What is something you could not travel without?

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