top menu

Sydney Travel Tips

sydney-smallAfter flying first class with a cheap flight from Executive Class Travel, you can have much more money and time to spend in Australia. Here, we’ve provided some helpful Australia travel tips for the traveling business professional, including tips regarding Australian business etiquette, tipping, customs, money, and places to go on your day off:

Major Cities in Australia

Sydney, Melbourne, and Victoria are the three largest and most visited cities in the outback. Sydney is the most globalized and popular destination for traveling business professionals.

Emergencies and Safety

The number 000 is the emergency phone number for ambulances, police, and fire brigades. As Australia is a country with a relatively low crime rate, travelers need not worry, but professionals should practice normal precautions when traveling with valuable items (such as one’s passport). One of the largest safety hazards is actually the sun; it’s recommended that travelers wear sunscreen at an SPF of 30 or more. While swimming or surfing, always stay between the red and yellow flags.

Electrical

For professionals, one of the most important tips for traveling to Australia is to remember to bring a three-pronged Australian power adapter.

Money Matters

Australian Dollars (AUD) is the major currency in Australia. Travel tips and guides often advise checking out the exchange rate before you go. On average, the AUD equals about one USD, though it fluctuates. Note that you can also often use major credit cards such as MasterCard and Visa. The country has a tax on goods and services of 10 percent, which can be refunded if you’ve spent $300 AUD or more in one store and apply within 30 days of departure.

Tipping Customs

By and large, Australians don’t tip in most circumstances. Service charges are not added to your bill in hotels and restaurants.

Cuisine

Australian cuisine is varied; it’s a blend of British tastes and a light, indigenous, hunter-gatherer diet, or “bush tucker.” Also, as a result of globalization, you can find many other kinds of regional cuisines. For instance, Sydney has its own Chinatown. Fish and chips, roast dinners, and barbecues are the most popular meals.


Australian Business Etiquette

Doing business in Australia can be a lot of fun. Australians value their individuality and societal equality, and exhibit very similar business and corporate behaviors as Americans in several respects. However, there are some key differences:

  • Punctuality – Time is highly valued in Australia. Punctuality is very important; plan to arrive early to meetings and dinners. Also, keep your presentations informational and brief, as local business people appreciate brevity.
  • Greetings – When you greet people in a business setting, the first greeting is typically casual. A handshake and a smile are expected. Introductions are important in establishing relationships, which are highly prized in corporate culture. After the greeting and perhaps some very brief small talk, Australians often get down to business right away.
  • Communication – Business people in Australia are typically very matter-of-fact and appreciate direct communication. Avoid making exaggerated claims or using “oneupmanship,” and instead present facts. Maintain eye contact, as one would in America. Australians are similar to British people in that they often practice self-depreciating humor. They also value many opinions and viewpoints, and enjoy discussing them, but not necessarily while doing business. Also, one should be aware that Australians may occasionally use colorful language in a business setting, which can be unexpected for American travelers.
  • Negotiating – Negotiations are often short, as bargaining is not typically a long-winded practice in Australia. Don’t plan to hash out details for hours.
  • Faux Pas – Use Standard English; don’t mock accents or use Australian terms if you are a foreigner, especially while conducting business. Class distinctions, as a whole, are disliked in Australia, and accents are often indicative of social class. Note that holding your middle and index fingers up with your palm facing you (creating a “V” sign) is considered very obscene/rude, as in England. If you’re ever teased, the expectation is that you’ll respond with good humor, as it reveals self-confidence; don’t snap back.

Popular Activities for Your Day Off

Most of the major cities in Australia are on the water, so many of the most popular day activities are water-based. Surfing and swimming are by far the most popular pastimes for day trippers. You might want to take a dive and check out the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef, or check out Australia’s most famous natural landmark, Uluru (note that they’re both quite a drive away from the big cities). Touring local wineries, hiking across the outback, and checking out local wildlife are all fun activities that may require a bit more time.

Feel free to contact us if you need any more tips for traveling to Australia. Don’t forget that you can get your next business class tickets at a discount with Executive Class Travel!