Resources for your move to Australian

When you are relocating to Australia, it can get expensive quickly. To save you time, money and energy, I’ve created a list of recommended resources to help make your migration to Australia easier and cheaper. These are services that I have used myself or services that I wish I’d known about when we were moving.

I sometimes receive a referral fee if you choose to follow my recommendation (at no extra cost to you). The full disclosure policy is available in the footer. 

Money Services

OFX

OFX

Currency Transfer

Save time and money on your global money transfers

Whether you’re preparing for a move overseas or sending money back home, OFX can help you take control of your international payments. It costs nothing to register and when you’re ready to go, Smart Steps to Australia readers can enjoy bank beating exchange rates, zero OFX fees* on transfers over AUD$250 and access to 55+ currencies.

When you’re transferring money into or out of Australia, it pays to keep an eye on the markets. An unfavourable exchange rate or an expensive transfer fee can really hurt your back pocket. That’s why, with OFX you also get 24/7 specialist support from a team of OFXperts and the option to secure a rate for up to 12 months or set a target rate to move your funds when the market reaches the rate that works for you.

>> Check out OFX here

Disclaimer > *Minimum AUD$250. Third party fees may apply. OzForex Limited trading as “OFX”. ABN 65 092 375 703 | AFSL 226 484. Read our PDS and FSG at OFX.com

Get in touch with our dedicated Account Manager, Samuel Pitt at Samuel.pitt@ofx.com or +61 2 8320 3683 with any questions and let him know you’re part of the SmartStepstoAustralia.com community. 

Wise

Wise

Currency Transfer

Wise makes moving your money abroad quick and easy
I’ve had many issues over the years with currency companies – one that involved setting up the transfer over the phone ended up with human error causing delays, another company locked me out of the account and I couldn’t figure out a way back into it so gave up, and another offered poor customer service when a problem arose and customer service is something that I value just as much as a great rate.

Check the Wise site and it clearly shows you how much you’re going to get when you move your money over, plus it compares it to the rates to many other sites so you can see that you’re getting value for money. You can also open a Borderless Account with them which allows you to travel internationally and have access to your money at all times.

If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to move your money, this is it! Moving money doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to spend ages on the phone like I did with my first few transfers with other companies. It can all be done online in a few clicks.

>> Check out Wise here 

Travelex

Travelex

Currency

Whether you are moving to Australia or just taking a holiday, you will need some cash.

If you are moving, it is likely to be a few days before you can get to your new bank to collect your new bank cards. If you are travelling, you need to know you have currency in AUD to get you around to save you paying extortionate bank charges on your debit card back home.

Travelex offers great deals for currency and travel cards – choose to get it delivered to your home or it can be available for collection at a number of different locations including airports. Next day delivery is free on orders over £600.

Their Travelex Money Card is a platinum contactless prepaid travel card that can hold up to 10 currencies simultaneously – making it the ideal companion for your stopovers too.

Visit the Travelex website here to order your currency

Banking

Commonwealth Bank

Commonwealth Bank

Open your Australian bank account

Commonwealth Bank advert for opening your bank account in Australia from the UK

Moving to Australia? Start your new life today, with Australia’s leading bank.

Opening an account with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is fast, secure and provides you with instant access to your account details.

Enjoy the convenience of:

  • More than 950 branches nationally
  • NetBank and the CommBank App, where you can access and manage your money – anywhere, anytime
  • Personalised support of a Relationship Manager when you earn an annual income of $80,000 or above*

Read more about opening an account with Commonwealth Bank.

To instantly open an account or for personal support, simply click here


>>Click here to open your Australian bank account from overseas NOW <<

Things you should know: Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 is a company incorporated in Australia. *We will need to verify your proof of income and visa to qualify for this service. +Customers will be able to withdraw their funds once they arrive in Australia and identify themselves at a Commonwealth Bank branch. ^ Customers will have limited access to NetBank until they arrive in Australia and identify themselves at a Commonwealth Bank branch.

Migration Agent

Home of Visas - Fizah Ismail

Home of Visas - Fizah Ismail

Migration Agent (MARN 1684420)

I’m really excited to introduce you to Home of Visas, a boutique migration agency based in Perth, Western Australia.

The agency is run by sisters, Fizah and Zahirah, who have personal experience of migration as their family moved to Australia when they were young. They clearly remember the uncertainty around their family waiting years for permanent residency visas and this inspired them to go into the immigration sector so they could make the process easier and less stressful for other families.

What makes Home of Visas different to the other migration agents out there? First off, I always love supporting a female-led business in a male-dominated industry but for me it’s their story and values that shine through in what they offer. There are no promises – they carefully review each case through an initial questionnaire and discovery call and they only take on clients that they feel they can help. They have a background working for large-scale migration agencies, and now choose to run their own business together so they can provide more personalised, empathetic support. It’s not about volume and numbers; their business is about helping families create a better life for themselves and the visa as the first step towards this.

Read some reasons why you might like to use a migration agent here.

Book in for a free, no-obligation discovery call with Home of Visas here.

Veronika Hurbis

Veronika Hurbis

Migration Agent

Meet Veronika Hurbis of Sort Out My Visa.

I spoke to lots of different agents and struggled to find somebody I could trust with our application until I found Sort Out My Visa.

Although our situation was complicated, Sort Out My Visa made it smooth and simple and it took just a few weeks to get our visa approved.

I’ve referred many people on to her over the last few years and have heard great feedback from each of them, so I know that she’ll look after you. Read some reasons why you might like to use a migration agent here. 

Sort Out My Visa’s services

Please note: Veronika is now only assisting with parent and partner visas as well as offering visa checking services and DIY guides.

>> Click here to read reviews & testimonials for Veronika Hurbis <<

Contact Veronika today to discuss your visa needs or to ask for a free initial assessment.

Contact Veronika now

NB: Your initial inquiry will be CC’ed to Smart Steps to Australia. This enables us to track the performance of our website. The details from your inquiry will not be used for any other purpose.

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    Shipping

    Complete one quick form and get up to five shipping quotes!

    Want to take a container of your belongings with you but not sure where to start? Sirelo have made this quick and easy. Get your quotes now.

    Just fill in one form with a few basic details. These are used to match you with up to five companies that exactly match your requirements, saving you time, money and hassle. Learn more about the process of international shipping here.

    To receive up to 5 FREE shipping quotes, click here!

     

     

    Send My Bag

    Send My Bag

    If you are moving to Australia and don’t want to ship all of your belongings with you, Send My Bag is a fantastic alternative and you can get 5% off with my link!

    It’s a fast and affordable way to send your luggage abroad, door to door. You can send bags, boxes or suitcases.

    Avoid hefty airline fees, and take away the stress of lugging excess bags to the airport and move knowing your things are being taken care of as you enjoy your hassle-free journey.

    Want to know more about the Send My Bag service? Read this post that includes Send My Bag reviews.

    Claim 5% off your first order by visiting Send My Bag here!

    Insurance

    Go Walkabout

    One Way Travel Insurance

    One way travel insurance banner

    Get 5% off Go Walkabout one way migration insurance by using the code SMART5 in the discount code box >> Get a quote from Go Walkabout now.

    When we moved to Australia, I decided to take out one-way travel insurance to ensure we were covered for our journey to Australia, and for our first few weeks in the country. I knew we’d be so busy and wouldn’t have time to think about whether we needed private health cover when there were issues like schools, cars and houses to sort out. I also wanted to be covered for our belongings and things like flight cancellations, luggage delays and any emergencies that came up. Regular travel insurance doesn’t give you cover for moving abroad. Read this blog post for more information about emigration insurance.
    Taking out one-way insurance gave us peace of mind, it was really easy to organise and it was surprisingly a lot cheaper than I expected. We didn’t use Go Walkabout ourselves but their system is easy to use, their customer service is fast and efficient and I’ve read lots of Go Walkabout travel insurance reviews so feel confident in recommending them to you for one-way travel insurance.

    Taking out a one-way emigration insurance police with Go Walkabout will put you in good company as these members of my Facebook community will tell you:

    Louise: ‘I’ve taken a policy out with Go Walkabout who you mentioned in your blog. [It was] Really easy, I had to contact their medical team with a pre existing condition and they were easy to deal with then they just give you a reference to put on your online form, literally only took a couple of minutes to sort out so was pleased about that’

    Lisa: ‘We used [Go Walkabout]. Was struggling to find anyone who had “one way” as an option online – they all seemed to demand you call for that so thanks for the recommendation!’

    Emma: ‘We used Go Walkabout, took out a policy for the first couple of weeks, no problems, easy process and good value. Thanks for the recommendation.’

    Use code SMART5 in the discount code box to get 5% off!  Get a quote from Go Walkabout now.

    Don’t forget your dog or cat! If you’re taking your pet to Australia, you should also consider insuring them. Get a quote for one-way pet insurance from GoWalkabout.

    Cover-More

    Cover-More

    Travel Insurance

    Cover-More offers travel insurance (not one-way insurance). If you’re looking for insurance to cover you for trips or for holidays back to your country of origin, you will need travel insurance.  >> Get a quote from Covermore here

    Many people think they don’t need travel insurance for a trip back to their home country, but you absolutely do! Travel insurance is especially important during the current climate.

    Get started:  Get a quote from Cover-More now.

     

    Temporary Accommodation in Australia

    Trusted Housesitters

    Trusted Housesitters

    Accommodation Website

    Have you ever thought of house sitting as a way of saving money on accommodation? Do you love pets?

    In return for looking after pets in their own home, you can find rent-free and bill-free accommodation for your arrival, for holidays or for big trips back to your country of origin. You might even find a car is included too, so it can save you a fortune (my friends saved $25k by house sitting for 3.5 months when they arrived in Australia).

    Sounds interesting? You can learn all about house sitting in this blog post

    Check out membership options and house sitting opportunities now on Trusted Housesitters

    Booking.com

    Booking.com

    Accommodation Website

    Booking.com is my favourite accommodation booking site!

    You can find everything from hotels and apartments to holiday homes and cabins on the site. Make sure you sign up and are logged in when searching as this unlocks special rates. I particularly love the map view so you can look at a glance and see how much hotels cost in the area you want to be.

    I use this site to book my own trips many times every year.

    Not only does it cover all of Australia, but you can also use it to book layover accommodation or any airport hotels if you need one of these the night before you travel as it covers accommodation worldwide. Some deals allow you to book now and pay later, and some allow you the option of free cancellations so be sure to make sure you check out the terms and book the best deal for your needs.

    Check out accommodation prices now on Booking.com

    Baby gear in Australia

    Hire for Baby

    Hire for Baby

    If you’re moving to Australia with children, you might need the services of Hire for Baby! Hire for Baby offers a range of baby gear for hire which is perfect for your arrival (or for when your friends or family are visiting).

    Need a car seat for your hire car? Hire for Baby can have a clean, safe car seat installed and waiting for your arrival. (Australian car seats can be tricky to install, especially after a 24-hour flight, and car hire companies don’t install them for you!)

    Need a cot, high chair or any other baby gear to be waiting in your apartment or hotel? Hire for Baby have you covered and can arrange to have it all waiting for your arrival!

    Check out products for hire on Hire for Baby now!

    Transport in Australia

    Drive Away Hire Cars

    Drive Away Hire Cars

    When you arrive in Australia, you’ll most likely need to hire a car for a period of time while you get settled.

    You can arrange to collect your vehicle from the airport when you land, or if you think you’ll be too tired to drive and would rather get in a taxi to your temporary accommodation, you can usually find pick up points all over so you can arrange to pick it up a day or two after you arrive and have got over the jetlag.

    Usually, two or three weeks of car hire will give you enough time to buy your own vehicle.

    Don’t forget to hire your car seats if you are travelling with babies or children.

    Check out prices on DriveAway now!

    Mortgage Broker

    Anish Prasad

    Anish Prasad

    Mortgage Broker

    Like all good services, it’s good to appoint people who’ve been recommended to you.

    Anish Prasad was recommended to us by some UK friends who’d just bought their first home in Australia. He’d been recommended to them by an Australian friend. We were nervous about buying a house in Australia as we didn’t understand how it worked, but Anish was great at explaining it all. He helped us work out the best mortgage for our needs and was always at the end of the phone, plus he responded quickly to emails whenever we had questions. He’s the person I’ll call if ever we’re looking to buy another property.

    Anish has access to over 700 products across 35 lenders, and he knows them well so can match you to the deal and lender that suits you best. He was APF Mortgage Broker of the Year in 2014 and 2015, and he’s experienced at dealing with clients all over Australia, including those who have recently moved from overseas.

    He doesn’t charge you for his service or advice – his earns commission from the lenders if and when you take out a mortgage through him. It’s well worth touching base with him now if you’re wondering about your eligibility for a mortgage when you land in Australia.

    YOU CAN NOW GET A $100 VISA GIFT CARD FOR ORGANISING YOUR MORTGAGE WITH iLENDFINANCE! Read this post about finding the best mortgage broker for your needs to find out all of the details.

    You can read a guest post on my blog by Anish here>.

    Contact Anish today for a FREE mortgage review
    (Initial inquiry will be cc’ed to Smart Steps to Australia)

    Contact Anish today for a FREE mortgage review

    NB: Your initial inquiry will be CC’ed to Smart Steps to Australia. This enables us to track the performance of our website. The details from your inquiry will not be used for any other purpose.

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      Experiences in Australia

      Experience Oz

      Experience Oz

      Travel Experiences in Australia

      Whether you’re moving to Australia and looking to explore your new home, or you’re planning a recce to decide whether moving to Australia is right for your family, Experience Oz offers all kinds of trips, tours and attraction tickets all over Australia.

      Keep your travel plans simple and in one place. From theme parks to zoos and wildlife parks, day tours to short sightseeing trips, Experience Oz offers it all on one handy website which is especially handy if you’re planning a roadtrip.

      Fancy checking out the powder white sands of Whitehaven Beach or the burnt red landscape of Uluru? Maybe you want to tour Sydney’s iconic harbour or taste fine wines in Margaret River? From scenic flights to boat tours, gourmet food experiences to animal encounters, Experience Oz has so many inspiring things to do in Australia. Don’t take a trip without checking it out.

      Australia is waiting to be explored! I know I can’t look at this website without being inspired by something new.

      Check out Experience Oz now and plan your dream trip.