Q&A – Solo Travel

Here we go with number three of my Q&A series. This time, I am answering all the frequently asked questions about travelling alone (for the first time).

I always get so many questions from friends, strangers, other travellers or follower on Instagram, so I wanted to answer them all and help new travellers to feel more confident, safe, get inspired to travel themselves and help them plan their own journey.

  1. Q&A – Backpacking Australia
  2. Q&A – Work & Travel Australia
  3. Q&A – Solo Travelling
  4. Planning your own Work & Travel Year
  5. About being an AuPair

If you have further questions or topics you want me to talk about, please feel free to message me on Instagram or comment down below!

I really want to create more content that is helping, informing and inspiring my readers/followers, so if you have any ideas or interests that you are interested in – tell me!

IMG_9421But for now: let’s get started…

How is it like to travel alone?

I love it! It is so much fun to feel free to do exactly what I want without making compromises. It is so easy to meet people in hostels or on tours and here and there you are lucky to make some real friends for a lifetime. You never have to be alone if you don’t want to but you still always have the chance to spend time by yourself and do what you desire.

In Perth I had some days where I felt lonely and just not myself…  but that’s alright.

Do you feel lonely sometimes?

Since I started I only had one week where I felt a little bit down, lonely and homesick and that was in Perth after my cousin left me and my parents were about to come and I didn’t find many nice people that I really connected to in my hostel. I also wrote a blog post about my feelings at that time called the downside of travelling alone.

And usually after I have to say goodbye to travel mates and friends that I had an awesome time with, I get a slight feeling of loneliness and it is a little bit weird to be alone again, but that usually disappears after a while.

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When you ask strangers to take a picture of you and it actually turns out great! :D

Is it easy to meet people (even when you are shy)?

I would say yes! For me, it depends on the situation and the people if I am shy or not, but I would say it is super easy to meet people when you live in hostels.

In your hostel room, in the kitchen, TV room, sitting area there are fellow travellers everywhere that also want to meet other people and even if you are shy but just smile and look friendly there will be people talking to you and starting the conversation. Or you can start it yourself by just saying “Hi, how are you?” or asking a question. You will get more and more used to it and it gets easier every time.

I also found it super nice and very easy to meet people when you do a bus tour with a small group for a few days. Because you have to stay together for several days it is a lot easier to make friends because you actually have time to get to know them and you also are kinda forced to talk to each other as you are travelling together. With my three tours I did so far, I was always very lucky with my travel mates and met some nice people.

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Are you scared of travelling alone sometimes?

I am not a person that gets scared easily and until now I’ve been not in a situation that really scared me. Obviously, there were some moments that I didn’t felt completely safe walking home alone or being in a surrounding that doesn’t feel completely safe, but you also have those moments at home. Overall I would say Australia is a very safe country and you don’t need to worry a lot. It is definitely a great place for females travelling alone or travelling alone for the first time. Usually, you are in bigger cities/towns anyways and the hostels are in animated and busy areas.

I also experience so many great situations where people asked me to help me, told me what to do and how to stay safe and in general Australians are so nice and helpful.

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Easy questions for first conversations:

  • Where are you from?
  • What are you doing in Australia?
  • How long have you been here?
  • What are your plans?
  • What have you seen so far? Where have you been so far?
  • Are you travelling on your own?
  • What are your plans for today/tonight?
  • How was your day?
  • What do you do at home/what have you done at home before you left?

Those are the easy questions you basically ask and get asked as a traveller EVERY TIME you meet people :D Can get annoying, but it’s fun at the same time, especially when you get over these basic questions with someone and have real conversations. Another funny thing is that you usually ask very late what his/her name is because it doesn’t matter that much and you meet so many people and can’t remember all their names anyways :P

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Two weeks into Solo travelling and already met two wonderful people that I’ll stay friends with forever <3

How do you get to meet/talk to people?

  • In your hostel room. Just say hello to everyone in your need room, smile and if you get a friendly response and a real smile back just ask one of the questions above t start a conversation
  • In the kitchen. When you ask to get a kitchen tool after they are done using it or tell them that their food looks/smells yummy you can easily start a conversation and sit together while eating after cooking.
  • In the common area. When you sit down with your food next to someone/at the same table, smile, say hey and if you get a friendly response/smile back you can start a conversation
  • On Tours. Because you are travelling for a few days together, it is a lot easier to find friends here because you are kinda forced to talk to each other and get to know one another. When you meet at the bus ask where they are from or see what the situations bring you. Oftentimes the tour guide also makes everybody to introduce him-/herself.

And you will see that oftentimes the other person is just as willing to start a conversation and starts him-/herself. Especially when you are travelling alone and other people are together or in a group they will start a conversation because it is a lot easier for them than for you as a solo traveller. And when you are shy to do the first step, better choose another person alone than a group/couple because that makes it less scary.

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Why Australia and why on your own?

It’s hard to exactly say what made me do all this. There were several reasons behind it, but the biggest was that it just felt right. I felt the urge to go travel on my own after school and Australia called me.

Other than that, Australia is a warm and sunny country which I love, it is big so it makes sense to explore it in one year and really see many places (for example New Zealand can also be done in 2-3 months, at least that’s what I think), the nature and animals are completely different than in Europe or wherever I’ve been so far and it’s supposed to be a very good country for travelling solo as a female for the first time when you are still very young. It is also pretty popular for travellers, so you can easily meet others, find jobs as a Backpacker and travel around.

When I was thinking about my gap year I was always seeing myself doing whatever I want, not being with someone and when I started to get more into it and read amazing experiences and advantages solo travel has I knew, I want to do this on my own.

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Why do you love and recommend travelling alone?

Because you learn and grow so much as a person

  • You learn to be confident,
  • to make your own decisions,
  • stop being shy and practice talking to strangers
  • getting life experiences that will help you your whole future life
  • meeting many different people from all around the world
  • you will get to know yourself and your own character trades more
  • making friends with new people and some will be part of your life forever
  • you get to see the world and culture more intense and maybe even differently
  • you can do whatever the hell you want to without having to make compromises or justify it

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I love travelling with my friends or going on vacation with my family. But solo travel just has such a special feeling to it and it changes and lets you grow even more than travelling already does.

I can only recommend everyone to try it themselves! It’s special, it’s an adventure and it will only have a positive impact on your life at the end (even with a bad experience you will learn something).

I urge you to travel. On your own.

Q&A – Work & Travel Australia

Blog post number two in which I want to answer all the questions I daily get about doing Work & Travel in Australia.

I already posted one that included all the questions about Travelling and Backpacking through Australia and because there are a few more topics that I want to talk about, there are more informative blog posts coming soon:

  1. Q&A – Backpacking Australia
  2. Q&A – Work & Travel Australia
  3. Q&A – Solo Travelling
  4. Q&A – AuPair in Australia
  5. Planning your own Work & Travel Year

So I hope I will answer as many questions in all these posts as possible and give you guys the information you may want and need for your own adventures.

If you have more questions or ideas what I should include into the following posts, please comment them down below or message me on Instagram @mind.wanderer

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Are you in Australia with a Work & Travel Agency?

No. I planned everything myself and would say that it is not necessary to get help from an agency to apply for a Visa, Tax Number, get a bank account setup or a SIM card.

I decided to do everything myself because the daughters of my mom’s friend tried both and said that it’s way cheaper than with an organisation and you don’t need the help they offer you.

On the other hand, I met a German girl here that came to Australia with ‚Praktikawelten‘ and paid 2000€ which included her flight, the first week in Sydney in a hostel with everyone that travelled with the organisation and they did a lot of things together. As well as getting a Visa, Tax File Number, Bank account and SIM card and more – which I think is an amazing price.

I still liked that I did everything on my own because I learned a lot and it’s not too hard to do it yourself.


I am currently writing on a blog post on planning and organising your Work & Travel year in Australia with many tips, websites & books that helped me, as well as a checklist!

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How is it going with the English language, Australian accents and have you improved?

I was never nervous about speaking English or not being able to understand/talk with people when I arrived because I already felt comfortable with it.

I would say that my English was already a bit better than average school English because I started watching English YouTube videos when I was 14 years old and improved my English at home ever since by listening and reading in English (not specifically to improve my language but because I loved American/British/Australian YouTubers more than Germans).

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The Australian accent is for sure very hard to understand. But the good thing is that most Australians don’t have a very strong accent, only older people, people from the country land or so-called Bogans (not very educated people) have a very strong and hard to understand accent.

But Australians do have the tendency to shorten words: Brissie = Brisbane, Avo = Avocado, Cambra = Cambarra, Breakie = Breakfast, AC = airconditioner and phrases like “Hey, how are you doing?” (verschmilzen) to “Hai-ho-a-u-duin?” …but you get used to it.

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The worst thing you can do is to be scared of talking to others in English because you think you won’t understand them or they won’t understand you. Especially when you are travelling with a friend/friends some people tend to hide behind others and let them handle things so they don’t need to talk in English or they only talk/make friends with other Germans… but that doesn’t help. Talking, practicing, trying is what makes you improve in the end and Australians/other travellers are usually so nice, take their time to listen to you and help you out if you need a word. So don’t worries mate!

My English for sure improved in the last four months. I got more confident and more fluent. Especially my Aussie and Canadian friend that I hung out with for around 2 weeks each helped me by correcting me, teaching me new words, sayings or pronunciation. For others, it might sound rude how often they corrected me, but I want to get better and learn so I was glad they took their time to help me improve.

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What phone contract / SIM card can you recommend?

I have a pre-paid SIM card from Lebara that I like and recommend. Every month I get to choose how much data/minutes I want to purchase (depending on where I am and what I think I will need) which is practical. But I’ve heard that Telstra is even better because you have a better connection, I still have to say that mine is totally fine and in the middle of the Outback, there is no connection for anyone anyways.

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What bank card do you have? How do you pay?

I came to Australia with 200$ of Australian cash that I already changed at home and would recommend to get some and not change at the airport. I also took two German cards with me for safety and to have a credit card to pay online. In Melbourne, I also went to the Commonwealth Bank to open an Australian Bank account which is necessary if you work here and very practical because you can do tap-paying without a code or anything up to 100$ here.

I transferred some money from my German bank account to the Australian with ‚Currency Fair‘ which is a cheaper and better way to do international transfers.

I always have a little bit of cash with me for markets or places that have cash only, but usually, I try to pay for everything with my Australian card.

I also write down every spend to have an overview for myself on what I spend the most money and also to show you what a year of Backpacking can cost and what is the most expensive part of my travels.

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What do you want to do after your gap year?

My plan is to return home in August and then search for an apartment in Wernigerode and start studying International Tourism Management in October.

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What do you work? How can you afford to travel?

I haven’t worked so far and been only travelling for the past four months. I saved up some money back at home with my job as a barkeeper back at home as well as my Birthday & Christmas money since I’ve been 14 years old as it has always been my dream to come to Australia.

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But now it is time to settle down and work for a while. I started as an AuPair for a family on the Sunshine Coast in February and will work for them for 1,5 months. Afterwards, I am planning to find another job somewhere along the coast. My dream would be to work in a health food café selling Acai Bowls, Smoothies, Juices and (vegan) healthy snacks and meals.

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I love to hear how many people are planning to travel through Australia soon and I hope my tips and suggestions can help you a bit, take your insecurities and make you even more excited for your journey! If you are ever in the same area as I am (stay up to date through my Insta stories @mind.wanderer) please message me and maybe we can meet and hang out together!

If you have more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Q&A – Backpacking Australia

Every day I get messages from travellers and future travellers asking me about my experiences and tips for backpacking through Australia. So I decided to write a blog post that I can refer to, so I don’t need to answer the same questions again and again.

Because there is a lot of information that I want to share with you, I decided to do a series of informative blog posts in the next weeks:

  1. Q&A – Backpacking Australia
  2. Q&A – Work & Travel Australia
  3. Q&A – Solo Travelling
  4. Q&A – AuPair in Australia
  5. Planning your own Work & Travel Year

So I hope I will answer as many questions in all these posts as possible and give you guys the information you may want and need for your own adventures.

If you have more questions or ideas what I should include into the following posts, please comment them down below or message me on Instagram @mind.wanderer

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What have you done/seen so far?

I flew from Germany over Doha to Melbourne and stayed in the city for 2,5 weeks to settle in and also because I met some lovely people and my first friends on my journey that I am still in connection with now.

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Afterwards, I did the Great Ocean Road and met two lovely German girls that I hang out with for a week in Adelaide afterwards.

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Then I did another tour for 6 days that lead me through the Red Centre and Outback of Australia to see the famous Uluru / Ayers Rock.

From Alice Springs I flew to Sydney to spend a week with one of the German girls from the Great Ocean Road in Bondi Beach, Sydney before I had to say goodbye and welcome my Cousine Lisa to Australia that visited me for three weeks.

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We spend 5 days in Sydney, went to the Blue Mountains and then started our journey to Brisbane with stops in Port Macquarie, Byron Bay and Surfers Paradise before we explored Brisbane for a few days and then flew back to Syndey.

When Lisa left me I wanted to take a flight to Perth, but it got cancelled and I had to stay in Bondi Beach for a few more days before I finally got to Western Australia.

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I experienced one very lonely week in Perth and then went to another 6-day tour to Esperance and see Wave Rock, Margaret River and Albany before I returned to Perth and finally meet a nice girl from Korea that I hang out with for another week in Perth before I flew to Cairns.

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In Cairns, I met my parents and brother after 3 months of travelling thousands of miles apart of them. We travelled three weeks with a campervan from Cairns to Sydney over Christmas and arrives for New Year’s Eve in Sydney to watch the world famous fireworks over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. It was a lovely time together with them and I am very glad that I was lucky to spend some time with them, especially for the Holidays.

Afterwards, I stayed in Sydney for a few days before I started my journey along the East Coast for the third time, but solo travelling for the first time. I also now have a lot more time and can stop wherever I want.

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So my first stop was Newcastle where I had two amazing days and wished I could stay longer because I got to meet and do Yoga together with @sjanaelise my favourite Yogi.

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Afterwards, I went to Woolwolga aka Mojosurf Spot X where I did a surf camp for 5 days and learned to ride the waves which is so much fun!

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Then I continued my journey to Byron Bay and was lucky to meet some amazing people in my hostel room that I hung out with for 6 days. It was an amazing time and I was glad to travel along with two guys to Surfers Paradise where I spend 5 more days with them and then finally met my first friend I met in Australia: Sabrina from Italy that I met in Melbourne again and we spend a wonderful weekend together.

Then I had three last days travelling and exploring Noosa on the Sunshine Coast before I met and moved in with my AuPair family that lives in Mudjimba on the Sunshine Coast and that I am now going to spend 1,5 month with.

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Your favourite places?

Not a ranking, because I could never decide:

  • Byron Bay
  • Newcastle
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Fitzroy in Melbourne
  • Bondi Beach in Sydney

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The best memories you made?

Again, I can’t rank them, but here are my favourites:

  • the time with Sabrina and James in Melbourne
  • the Twelve Apostles
  • Sleeping under the stars in the Outback on my Red Centre Tour
  • Living in Bondi Beach for a week
  • Travelling with my family and my cousine
  • Sailingtour on the Whitsundays
  • Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Doing Yoga with @sjanaelise in Newcastle
  • Learning to surf
  • Lots of fun and a wonderful time with friends I met in Byron Bay
  • Spending four days with Sam, a Canadian guy, in Surfers Paradise
  • Weekend in Surfers with Sabrina and Keith
  • Experiencing having an Aussie family

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Are you travelling solo?

Yes, I am mostly travelling alone, but I travelled three weeks together with my Cousine that visited me from Germany and three more weeks with my family that came over for a road trip along the East Coast over Christmas and New Years.

Sometimes, when I meet some nice people I stay together with them for a few days/ a week or two, but I have not found a long term travel buddy as I oftentimes everyone has their own plans and I prefer doing my thing.

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Is there anything that you completely dislike about Australia / Backpacking / Work & Travel?

To be honest… there is only one thing that I don’t like and that is being away from my family and friends for so long. Everything else is only so small and gets defeated by all the great things here. And even being away and not seeing friends and family is so worth it for the life that I am living now… at least for a year.

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What do you miss about Home/Germany (besides friends & family)?

I miss… German bread, a fridge with a variety of food, a kitchen to myself to cook, bake, test recipes with all the ingredients I need, my own bed and room for some privacy and relaxed & calm times alone, having a routine, cozy cold days for long winter walks, drinking tea and going to the sauna (at least for a weekend), my cat, not having to pack/live out of a backpack, always having washed and fresh clothes/towels if I need them.

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What is the cheapest/best way to travel around?

As I am travelling alone the best way for me is taking a Hop-on-Hop-off bus. I can make as many stops as I want along the way and see all the places that I want to. The Greyhound bus is the more known Backpacker bus, but I am taking the Premier Motor Bus because it is a lot cheaper and besides that you don’t get Wifi it is just as good.

When you are travelling with a friend / a group it is for sure cheaper to rent or even buy a car/van because you can also sleep in it and save the costs for a hostel bed. And you are more free with the time and places you go to and can explore some unknown or further away places.

Where are you staying?

I usually stay in Hostels as they are easy to find and book everywhere in Australia.

With my cousin I stayed in AirBnBs which usually is a bit more expensive than a dorm hostel room but also more private and when you are lucky, book early or travel outside the season you may find some super cheap and very nice places.

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When I travelled with a campervan with my family, we stayed at campgrounds. They are around 60$ per night but there are also free campgrounds or parking spots where free camping is not prohibited.

I also tried Couch surfing in Surfers Paradise with my friend Sabrina for the first time and had a great experience. She found the offer over Facebook and already stayed with this guy once and he invited us to stay with him again and took us on a little adventure in the rainforest to a waterfall and surfing at the beach on the Gold Coast. I hope to be able to do couch surfing more often as it is super interesting (and cheap) but you need to find good people that you feel safe with.

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View from my hostel in Melbourne: The Nunnery.

Where do you book your hostels and what do you look for?

I always book over the Hostelworld App as they have a great overview over all hostels available at a destination for the time and you can choose the best/cheapest one over a rating, read about the hostel and see reviews of past travellers.

A nice central location, Wifi and maybe free breakfast is what I usually look for as well as a good price (between 22-35$ depending on weekend/weekdays, holidays, season and place) and then I read the comments to see if there are many bad reviews on the cleanness, kitchen, facilities and if the hostel is a major party hostel. But I always keep in mind that some travellers are just not used to hostel life and write bad reviews.

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Sadly, I do not have the fitness (and body) like I used to have anymore…but at least I have a tan now :D

How do you try to stay healthy while travelling (and not having access to a full fridge and a variety of foods)?

As you know healthy, fitness and nutritious eating is very important to me. I try to live as healthy as I can while travelling, but that’s not always easy. Especially when you are meeting friends and going out with them or relying on the free breakfast or free food options that hostels have to save money.

When I cook and make food myself, I try to get as many nutrients and vitamins in as possible. Frozen veggies, fresh baby spinach, canned beans or lentils, seasonal fruit and oats are my staples. They are the cheapest and still wholefoods and nutritious.

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I already made a blog post on some healthy, easy, cheap and vegan lunch/dinner meals and showed you my go-to healthy breakfast recipe, as well as a blog post on healthy and cheap food shopping in Australia. In the category ‚What I Eat‚ you also find some What I Eat in a Days from Melbourne or Perth.

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I want to get my post-travelling body back, but on the other hand, I really want to enjoy my travels. So for now, I am eating and enjoying and working out a bit on the side.

For working out there has been a lot of up’s and downs on my travel. It’s not always easy to stay on track with it when you are moving places and cities a lot, trying to see and experience, meeting and hanging out with friends and not knowing where to go for a run or workout.

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Best running view in Bondi Beach, Sydney.

It is definitely easier when you stay at one place for several days and can find a park to run in / workout like I did in Bondi Beach, Perth or Melbourne. As well as when you have an AirBnB hence space to do a home workout without fellow roommates staring weirdly at you.

A lot of parks here in Australia have some outdoor fitness devices which can be handy to use after a run or in addition to your bodyweight exercises. Some backpackers also join Gym chains that exist in whole Australia and that they can use wherever they are, but for me, that’s not worth the money and I rather go to a park.

The good thing is that you are usually very active when you travel, walk a lot or do hikes.

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Surf camp was another thing that kept me fit and where I had a daily and very fun workout in the waves.

I also went to different Yoga classes which is another great and fun workout and if you look for good deals, it doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, in the Yoga Loft Newcastle I paid 20$ as a new member for as many classes as I wanted in 10 days. I only stayed there for 2 days and joined 3 classes, but it was still a good deal. In Byron Bay there was the option to join future Yoga teachers in a teaching practice class and I only paid 5$ for 90 minutes of yoga.

Some hostels also offer free Yoga once a week or at least Yoga mats to use for free.

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What should I pack when backpacking Australia?

You can find my complete packing list for Australia here as well as a guide on what I have with me in my toiletry bag (that is mostly eco-friendly and very light packed as well).

There will be an update of my “What’s in my Backpack” soon when I am leaving my AuPair family as I will probably go shopping a bit now that I am settling down and I will give you some tips and suggestions that I learned travelling with under 15kg for over four months now.

Anything for Mom!


I love to hear how many people are planning to travel through Australia soon and I hope my tips and suggestions can help you a bit, take your insecurities and make you even more excited for your journey! If you are ever in the same area as I am (stay up to date through my Insta stories @mind.wanderer) please message me and maybe we can meet and hang out together!

If you have more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!