LezGoMelbourne

A lesbian couple loving free, learning anew, and living in Melbourne


Leave a comment

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Packing and Buying Winter Essentials Part 2

You remember Wency Cornejo’s song Next in Line that goes, “What’s there to look forward to beyond the biting cold?” Well, I finally get. What I mean is, I now know what the biting cold feels like. It’s so cold, you feel like someone is pinching your nose or your skin. If you don’t want to wake up to that kind of morning or to settle in for a really, really long and uncomfortable evening, then here are a few items that may just help you.

1. Bathrobe ($20 and up)
Fumbling out of bed, one of the first things anyone would reach out for is a bathrobe. Yes, you can either grab a bathrobe to wrap yourself with or drag the blanket out to the kitchen as you make the morning coffee.

2. Slippers ($3 and up)
I always go barefoot inside the house, I don’t know why but I do. However, nothing compels me more to wear a pair of slippers than the cold floor.

3. Quilt or Duvet ($30 and up)
Sometimes, a blanket is just not enough .

4. Heater ($30 and up)
You don’t have to have a fireplace to keep your house warm. Just plug a heater to the wall and you won’t be shivering in your sleep.

5. Mattress Topper ($40 and up)
If you have a foam mattress, then you’re in luck. You don’t have to be disturbed by the fact that every coil in a spring mattress feels like ice. The cold seeps through the fabric or the pillow top and it almost feels like you’re lying on the bare floor instead of the bed. The only thing I can think of to reduce this is by increasing the barrier between the spring coils and the skin, therefore a mattress topper.

6. Rugs ($15 and up)
There are houses that are carpeted wall to wall, but if you don’t happen to live in one of them, then maybe a good area rug will do. Anything that can ward off the cold helps, especially when you are still fumbling in the morning looking for your slippers.

7. Pocket Warmers or Heat Packs ($6 and up)
As the name suggests, keep these in your pockets to help you and your hands keep warm. Follow product instructions carefully to avoid misuse.

8. Door Draft Stopper ($2 and up)
Keep the cold wind from coming in by placing a door draft stopper. I didn’t know what it was until I came across one in one of our friend’s houses. You can buy one or if you’re crafty enough, you can make one. It is simply a cylindrical or tubular fabric filled with weights to keep it in place.

9. Heavy fabrics ($20 and up)
Choose heavy fabrics that will help keep or maintain heat in the house, from your bed sheets to your curtains. Wool, flannel, fleece and velvet are just some of the fabrics I know that insulates well.

10. Chocolates ($2 and up)
Chocolates don’t only ward off dementors, but the cold as well. For me at least, that holds true. Lol. Drink a hot mug of chocolate or maybe eat a couple of truffles and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it works.

With these tips, I hope I have given you a good idea on how much budget you should set aside for your home this winter and on what you should spend them on. The price range is a very rough figure and is only based on my personal experience. Expect the minimum price to vary from store to store.

Click here to read Part 1

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

Advertisements


3 Comments

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Packing and Buying Winter Essentials Part 1

Brrr! Autumn is the season where you start piling one layer of clothing after another. It is also the season where you have to wrestle yourself out of bed every morning. And now that it is almost winter, it only gets colder and harder to wake up and leave the comfort of those warm blankets.

If you’re moving to Melbourne or Australia during this time, and if you’re not used to cool temperatures like that of Baguio and Tagaytay, then you must prepare yourself and pack some of these items with you. Sure, you can find and buy these items when you get here. It won’t be a problem if you have a budget allotted for winter clothing.

But then again, with temperatures of 7C – 17C, can you brave the cold with barely anything to keep you warm? Besides, you can buy all of these back home at much cheaper prices.

1. Beanies
In the Philippines, we call these bonnets although that may not be accurate. Anyway, bring some with you, especially when you are prone to getting headaches from being exposed to cold weather.

2. Gloves
As I am typing this, my fingers are feeling numb from the cold. If you’re like me whose hands turn to ice whenever the temperature drops, then bring a pair or two. You might want to buy a full finger glove and a half finger glove. Half finger gloves expose the tips of your finger so you can easily text or sms someone on your touch screen smart phone.

3. Scarves
It’s not just a fashion statement; you can keep warm with a simple scarf wrapped around your neck on a cool, windy, winter night.

4. Thermal undergarments
If you like to keep warm without putting on thick layers of clothing, bring thermal undergarments with you. I did because I don’t have any idea how cold autumns or winters can be. Others will tell you it is not necessary, but a pair is okay. I think it will help you adjust to the cool temperature better.

5. Umbrella
It sometimes rains in Melbourne; it doesn’t matter if it’s summer or autumn. You have to have a sturdy and reliable umbrella with you, especially if you don’t want to get soaked in freezing water.

Umbrellas here aren’t cheap and the cheap ones end up in the trash really quickly. So buy a really good umbrella and bring it with you. I’m not telling you to buy golf umbrellas since you won’t be able to put that in your luggage. Just buy a really good one, one that can withstand strong winds. It can be windy here so cheap umbrellas don’t last long.

6. Coats or Jackets
There are many kinds of coats or jackets that you can buy, but what you should be bringing with you is one that is thick enough to keep you warm. There are puffy jackets or vests that you can buy and bring with you. If that is not your style, you can buy a cape, a parka or any coat made of fleece or wool. There are also jackets that are thermal lined so you can keep warm without wearing too many layers.

7. Sweaters & Cardigans
You don’t have to bring a ton with you, just bring one or two so you can layer your clothes. Sometimes, when you attend dinners or parties, it can be too warm to wear a jacket indoors. You have to leave your jacket at the cloakroom, but still keep warm wearing your sweater or cardigan.

8. Boots
If you want to keep your feet and legs warm, then you have to wear boots. But I suggest you invest in a pair that you can wear to work or wear for hours on end. Let’s be practical here. You will do a lot of walking, so invest in a pair that won’t torture your poor feet.

You can buy a good pair of leather boots in the Philippines or you can buy them here for anywhere between $150 – $200. It’s your call. And while you may be able to find $10-$30 boots from big department stores, I don’t think it will be real leather. So, invest wisely.

9. Tights
Tights or leggings help keep you warm. I don’t know how or why but it acts like a second skin for me. So yes, you can wear your dress and keep warm by pairing it with tights or leggings.

10. Facial moisturiser
It doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter; I find my skin drying up like the dessert. There is very little humidity here so you have to keep your face and body moisturised. Buy some facial moisturisers to take with you and remember to choose one with a good SPF. Australia is near the hole or tear in the ozone layer, so you have to protect your skin.

On my next post, I’ll be making a list of items that you can buy to make you home more warm and cosy this winter. If you have other suggestions or questions, please feel free to comment.

 

 

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.


Leave a comment

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Eat, Breathe, Live Like a Local Part 2

They say it’s autumn but it still feels a lot like summer. Is there a sign that would signal the start of autumn? I really have no idea. The abundance of dry leaves on the streets isn’t much of an indication since trees have been shedding all summer.

Anyway, I’m giving you the second part of my list which includes shops you need for particular necessities, recreation, and of course, food.

1. Your Barbeque Spot
Summer is about the outdoors, the picnics. So put on some sunscreen and grab a bit of sun. Fire up the briquettes and grill some sausages and burgers. Man the barbie or laze out on the grass. The choice is yours. The parks here are amazing. There are trees everywhere, so you really have plenty of shade. So pick out a nice spot and spend the afternoon with your friends. Afterwards, maybe you can walk off some of that meal.

Lezgomelbourne Goodness Me Gelato Bridge Road, Richmond, Melbourne

Goodness Me Gelato on Bridge Road, Richmond

2. Gelato
Summer is the best excuse to have some gelato. I’m glad I am within walking distance to two famous gelato shops. Why is it essential you ask? Well, it seems I can’t find a tub of pistachio ice cream on the grocery aisles. So, if you want a good range of flavours, this is the place to go. Many popular gelaterias include Il Dolce Freddo, Casa Del Gelato, Fritz Gelato, Goodness Me Gelato, and Trampoline Gelato among others.

3. Sushi Rolls
Anywhere ranging from $2 to $3, these sushi rolls are compact and really filling. The city is littered with them, there’s a stall every corner. This is one of the cheap eats you must try and have on your list.

4. Convenience Store
Groceries stay open till late, so why would you need a convenience store? I could give you three reasons. One, for when you run out of smokes in the middle of the night. Two, when you just want to get some slushie on a really hot day. Three, and the most important one, when you need to top up your Myki.

5. Video Place
There are just some titles you can’t find anywhere. I was able to rent Fingersmith at my neighbourhood video store. Hooray for lesbian titles!

6. Chemist or the Pharmacy
Need a first aid kit or your prescription filled? The chemist is the place to go, especially when you need some advice on which over the counter medication is best suited for you.

7. Locksmith/ Key cutter
People moving to a different country or area would most likely have the number of the police or the fire brigade as a standard practice. However, as a precaution, you need to keep the number of a locksmith near you as well.

8. Shoe Repair Shop or Cobbler
A really good shoe is worth an investment, but what happens when your scruff it or wear out the heel of that stiletto? A good shoe doctor is handy to be around.

9. Op Shop
Where can you get a bargain every day of the week? Op shops or opportunity shops are somewhat similar to the thrift shops we have back home. You may also identify it as “ukay ukay”. Op shops are run by charitable groups and institutions who sell donated items from clothing to house wares. A lot of the items here are second hand, but there are also new stuff mixed in their shelves somewhere. And if you fancy some vintage pieces or clothing, this is the place to go. Some of the popular ones include Salvos or the Salvation Army, Savers, and Vinnies among others.

10. Recreation Facilities
Fancy a game of tennis? How about a dip in the pool? Organizing a game of basketball? Pumping some iron? You might want to consider a membership at the local recreation centres near you or you can scout a good gym that provides you exactly the facilities and services you need. However, if you can’t afford an annual membership just yet, remember you can make casual visits to the local recreation facilities. For example, a casual visit to the pool can cost just $5 for adults and $2.50 for students.

You can view and read Part 1 by clicking here.

PS. If you have some ideas to share, please do 🙂

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Leave a comment

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Eat, Breathe, Live Like a Local Part 1

Moving to Australia feels like I can do anything. I was positively excited to try out what this city has to offer. I want to mingle. I want to go places. I want to go out and eat. I want to know where or how I can fit in.

My way of doing that is by knowing my way around the city or the neighbourhood. I want to have my own share of favourite hang-out spots. I want to have an instinct of where I can go on a Thursday night or a Friday night. I want to manoeuvre the markets, the lanes, and the find exactly what I am looking for.

Friends, even acquaintances, will gladly advise you some places that you need to take note of like the Asian grocery or a market stall where you can get really good seafood. Those are some of the essentials. However, what I’m sharing with you are some places that I could find within a few steps or blocks from my place.

1. Hotel
You want to grab a drink with some of your buddies? Go to the nearest watering hole, also known as your local bar. Here, they call it the hotel. Yes, you read that right. And no, they are different from the ones who offer guests accommodation but they do have that too.

2. Bottle shop
There are bottle shops that close early and some that are open until 1am. Knowing where to get a bottle of cider after a hard day’s work or if you just plan on bringing some wine for dinner with friends, this is the place to go to. This place is really handy, especially when the walk is too long and it is too cold to go to the grocery which may or may not carry your preferred drink or brand.

3. Laundromat
Your apartment may be equipped with a washing machine or there is a communal laundry facility in the building. However, don’t be too confident that you won’t run into any problems with the laundry machine. You need to be a boy scout and prepare for the worst. Locate where the nearest laundromat is and save yourself the hassle of hand washing everything.

Hmmm Burger, Lezgomelbourne, JusBurgers

Hmmm Burger

4. A Great Burger Joint
You earned your hunger. Only a really great burger would do. Remember, you are in Australia. Quality beef, lamb, and veal is cheap. That means a great burger isn’t too far behind. So, if you want to reward yourself with real comfort food, you will find yourself a great burger place that serves a grilled patty.

5. Chinese Take Away
Rice? Noodles? Dumplings? You can have all three if you want, especially when you’re too busy or lazy to cook.

6. Pizza
I think Filipinos enjoy a great burger as much as a great pizza. Try the local pizzerias first. If you don’t think they’re better than the big wig fast food chains back home, which I doubt, then by all means, go for the one that best suits your palate.

Melbourne Australia Coffee Shop Cafe LezGoMelbourne 10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Eat, Breathe, Live Like a Local Part 1

A great cup of coffee

7. A Good Cup of Coffee
This is Australia. The number of cafes and brekkie places here is more than I can imagine. There is good food to be had. And the coffee, a number of good ones are out there I’m telling you. You’re in for a great brew.

8. Pie Shop
You’ll be seeing pie shops everywhere in the city. There’s quite a few of them scattered around the suburbs. Why is a pie shop on this list? Well, if you want to be a local I assume you would want to have or develop an appreciation of pies. So grab a freshly made one from a local store before you grab a frozen pack from the grocery.

9. The Post
Snail mail is alive and it is nice to send your loved ones back home a postcard or two just because you remember them. Also, it comes really handy to know where you can collect that package your mailman can’t leave at your door.

10. The $2 Shop
I thought that the only places I could score some nice bargains from are Dimmeys, The Reject Shop, and Arthur Daley. Well, there is a $2 dollar shop here in my neighbourhood and it really is like a scaled down version of these discount shops, albeit with a narrower selection. Still, I find that I can buy a range of items here without breaking the bank, like a cake carrying case, a rolling pin, and even tabo. Yes, tabo like the ones we have back home.

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Leave a comment

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: How to Cope

Having arrived late last year, I was able to keep myself busy by taking in a bit of the sights Melbourne has to offer. The first couple of weeks were truly exciting since everything is new and different. You get to check some of the things the city has to offer like the parks, the local watering hole, the nearest place to get brunch or Chinese take-away, and of course for the sweet tooth like me, where to get your fix for gelato.

Arriving late last year also means I was occupied with shopping for Christmas presents. Yes, we are quite lucky to have more than a handful of friends when we got here. There were get-together dinners, exchange gifts, and parties.
By January, I was getting settled on a routine. There are days reserved for a trip to the market, nights for playing badminton, and a whole day spent on making a full diner with friends. Then there was the Australian Open and Australia Day too.

And wouldn’t you know it, a few days after, the calendar moves to February. It’s love month and the Chinese New Year has come and gone too.

Nothing says you have to get a move on than two New Year celebrations. I would love to have a job by now, but, that is not the case.

So, if for some reason you find yourself stuck or unmotivated or lonely, you’re not the only one. You can keep your sanity in check and maintain your positive attitude by always doing something. In my case, sleeping in and watching television all day helps pass the time, but it doesn’t make you less depressed.

Lezgomelbourne Yarra River

Walking along the Yarra River

While you fine tune your resume and here are some ways you can do to beat the blues away. Again, I’m making a list because it’s just a really nice and easy way to organize my thoughts.

1. Have you talked to someone today?
Hello! How are you? Even a simple exchange of greetings is enough acknowledgment. So take advantage of these days when you can make new friends or acquaintances.

Talk to people who matter while you are not yet too busy to catch up with them. Use whatever social media you can. Skype, Facebook, Yahoo Messenger, Viber, and WhatsApp are just some of the applications out there.

2. Participate
I’m sure you have your own stories, your own stock knowledge, and other ideas. You can share these to the community or to the world wide web by writing your own blog like I did. Share what you find interesting, inspiring, or even helpful.

If you think making a blog is too demanding of your time or patience, you can always post your ideas in forums. I’ve mentioned some sites in a previous post, here.

Hopefully, that would give you an idea on the kind of people you want to engage with or the kinds of topic you want to discuss.

3. Pick up your old hobby
Do you knit? I would love to learn how to knit. I think one of my hobbies is picking other hobbies. Lols.

All I’m saying is it’s the best time to practice or indulge yourself with your hobby. At the end of the day, you have made some progress or end up with a finished product in your hands that you can be proud of.

4. Life is out there
Explore a different part of your neighbourhood, or a different neighbourhood altogether. Don’t stay cooped up inside the house. While it isn’t too cold out, while you have a few hours before picking up your kids at school or fixing dinner, you can roam like a local. Walk. Get some sunshine. Breathe in the air. And don’t forget your sunscreen.

If you want more ideas, this other post here and here just might help you.

5. Have a Calendar
Do you know what you are going to do tomorrow? What about the next day? Next week? A calendar encourages you to set some activities you can look forward to. It can be a simple letter you need to write or a short coffee break with a friend. It can be anything you want it to be.

6. Learn something new
Do you like pomegranates? I do. You haven’t tried it? Well, you won’t know unless you try, right?

7. Be Grateful for Something
We all have bad days. We all go through a rough patch every now and then. The thing is, you can always choose to look on the bright side.

8. Love yourself more
People can beat you up physically, emotionally, psychologically. Life is hard enough as it is. We need to help ourselves and love ourselves more.

9. Time Out
It’s okay to take a break. You earned it for trying day in and day out.

10. Make your own list
Always aspire for the things you want to achieve. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short-term or a long-term goal. Write it down. If you can think it, you can do it. If at times you forget, put it up on the walls or on the mirror where you can see it every day. Give yourself a boost.

I know, it’s beginning to sound like a self-help post. But, it is what it is. I try to take my own medicine so I don’t get stuck in a rut. It’s not a pill. It’s not a cure all. It’s just about getting busy and staying positive. It takes some effort, but it’s better than beating myself down. It’s just not healthy for my self-esteem.

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


3 Comments

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: To Buy or Not to Buy

I was in a shopping frenzy two weeks prior to my flight for Australia. I was thinking, what clothes do I need? What was worth buying here that was cheaper? Do I need to bring my books?

I am a bargain shopper and I want nothing but a good deal with every peso or dollar that I spent. So, what is it that I just had to pack in my luggage and had to have shipped? And what makes sense to just leave behind? Read on and find out.

1. Bed sheets
Philippines is a textile manufacturing and garment producing nation, so if you look really well, you’d be able to find lots and lots of good sales and deals on items from something as small as socks to as big as bed sheets.

I had brought with me two sets of queen size bed sheets with a 500 thread count, both of which I had bought on sale for around $40 equivalent. If you were to buy bed sheets here, it would probably go for $39 that barely has a 300 thread count. It’s one of the luxuries you can afford.

2. How cold is cold?
I kept asking everyone as to what the weather is like in Australia. It differs from state to state, but it can be agreed upon that it can be quite chilly. And even though the temperature doesn’t go below zero in winter, you can gauge just what winter clothes you need.

I, for one, bought thermal inner wear, and a thermal lined jacket. Many may laugh at me but I can’t stand walking out on a windy, 14C evening. It’s summer here and that temperature is but normal at night. So you can imagine how cold it’ll be by winter time when it goes down to 2C.

3. If you’re going to ask, “Can we find tabo in Australia?” As a Melbourne resident, I can say that yes, you can buy one but finding it is not easy. We went to Queen Victoria’s Market and entered an Asian Grocery, I think it was Minh Phat Supermarket and bought one for around $2.50. So go get your tabo now or later, your choice.

4. Buy new shoes. Sanitize and disinfect old ones.
Buy new shoes and pack it with you. Old shoes means you have to wash them, wait for them to dry, and then put it in your luggage.

It is much cheaper to buy shoes in the Philippines. Even a pair of boots in Payless Philippines has much better quality than a pair of boots, on-sale, at Rubi Shoes on Bourke St.

5. Toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner can be quite heavy to add to your luggage. And you can’t have liquids shipped by air or sea freight, to the best of my knowledge. So, keep them to a minimum. Purchase what you need for a couple of weeks and not more than that.

6. A pair of denims is a great investment, now and forever. One that fits really well gives anyone that tailored look. That way, you can wear it for a casual stroll along the city or dress it up on a Friday night out. Splurge and find a good tailored pair or two to bring with you.

7. Jackets. You can never have too many jackets, I think. You wear one over a dress, you wear one for the office, you wear one for the movies, and you wear one for winter.

8. Underwear, lots and lots of underwear. A good pair of briefs, on sale, can cost $5 each.

9. Buy something for your skin, especially if you have the sensitive type. Weather or temperature changes can be rough on your skin and you are best prepared to handle it with products you know and can rely on.

10. A month’s worth of over the counter medication is more than enough. Don’t forget to declare them, if or when you are in doubt.

You can also read:
10 Tips on Moving to Australia: The Necessary Preparations

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: All About Packing Up for Down Under

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


2 Comments

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: All about Packing Up for Down Under

Southgate, Yarra River, Melbourne, Australia, Lezgomelbourne, Packing, Travel, Tips

The Yarra River and the Southgate Cityscape

I am a bit OC when it comes to packing. I have to have my lists, Ziploc bags, Sharpie, packaging tapes (which for security reasons, as I recently found out, you cannot bring in your carry-on luggage), and scissors among other things.

I don’t have any idea as to when or how many days you should pack before your departure. (I was packing for a whole week and I was stressed at the very last minute). I’m guessing, you should be packed, at least your check-in luggage, two or three days before your departure date. Afterwards, you can just dump anything you forgot in your carry-on luggage or purse.

Other than that, here are a few simple things you can do to make sure you got what you need:

1. Pack new clothes and ship the old ones.
You won’t be taxed for your clothes purchases, as far as I know. To be on the safe side, make sure you don’t go over $1000 on your shopping expenses, including your gadgets. So keep your receipts.

Your old clothes can be shipped as unaccompanied personal effects, including old shoes. Make sure you have used or owned them for 12 months and have had everything sanitized. Write down everything that you packed too.

2. Sea freight or Air Freight?
There are many pros and cons to having your stuff shipped from the Philippines to Australia. They call it reverse cargo and it comes at a much heftier price tag than sending a balikbayan box from the US or Australia to the Philippines.

Sea freight packages needs to be picked up at the port, which means you have to have a car. Second, you may have to clear customs by yourself and pay certain taxes. I don’t have experience on this regard so you may want to ask around. But from what I gather, you can ship as much as 3 boxes for the price of one. Still, you may have to wait for about 15 days to a month for it to arrive.

Air freight ships your package door to door, in 3-4 days. However, this does not guarantee that you won’t be charged by customs for certain taxes. There have been stories about that going around. I, however, didn’t get charged for anything at all. So, you may want to verify that and you may also want to shop for the cheapest cargo forwarder around.

PS. From what I gathered, FedEx doesn’t ship used clothes.

PPS. As of Oct 16, 2012, the DTI released a number of cargo forwarders who are blacklisted because some of the packages failed to make it to their destinations. You can view it here.

3. Check your airline baggage restrictions.
PAL offers 23kg for economy flights, a hand-carry luggage limit of 7kg, and two carry-on items such as your purse and laptop bag. JetStar allows you to choose your baggage allowance, allowing you to purchase up to 40kg. The only drawback is JetStar does not offer direct flights from the Philippines to Australia, unlike PAL.

I have also been reading certain information on the forums that you can try and get the help of IOM or International Organization for Migration for booking your flights as family/migrant to Australia. The contributors to the forums also said that you would be able to get between 40kg – 60kg baggage allowance per person. Again, you may verify this on your own.

4. Electronics
You may be asked to pay certain taxes or fees by Australia customs for bringing in more than $900 worth of new electronic goods or gadgets. But, if your gadgets have been used or owned for more than 12 months, then I’m guessing it’s all good. So, once again, keep your receipts if you can.

But, the duty free concession for minors is less than $450. So please, compute and check how much your household will be bringing in. You can read more about it here.

5. Piracy
Australia is strict when it comes to piracy. So don’t bring any pirated CDs or DVDs. I’m not sure about pirated, luxury bags, but to be on the safe side don’t bother.

They may also do random checks on your laptops or external hard drives. Purchase and store only original software, music, movies, and books. No pirated materials!

6. Bag it!
Place all your gels, liquids, lotions, and even perfume in Ziploc bags so the customs can easily see how much liquid you have on your carry on. More than 100ml and Philippines customs will chuck it out before you board the plane. But, if you plan to put them in your check-in luggage, double bag it for good measure.

7. Porn
Do you really have to?!? No porn!

8. Food Stuff
You can’t bring in any dairy products or food with dairy as an ingredient from the Philippines such as milk, cheese, or polvoron. Meat products, canned, dried, or otherwise, cannot be brought in Australia as well. Certain spices, fresh fruit or dried fruit with seeds, produce, and other food stuff with seeds are not allowed either.

One way to breeze through customs is to just not bring in any food, even the ones from the airplane. But, if you persist, read and familiarize yourself with Australia customs rules and regulations.

9. Cigarettes
Only 50 pcs of cigarettes is allowed tax-free. Bring more than that and you either have to throw it away or pay the appropriate fees and fine.

10. Wood, shells, feather, and raw hide.
No, no, no, and no. If the restriction on animal by-products is too vague for you as it was for me, I declared the pearls that I was wearing to Australia customs and I had no problems whatsoever. So, if in doubt, declare it.

This list is not a comprehensive guide that lists what can be brought in or what shouldn’t be brought in. It is a rough guide that will give you an idea on what restrictions there may be. So, once again, if you aren’t sure, declare it to customs. Or you can learn everything by heart here, here,
and here.

You can also read:

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: The Necessary Preparations

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.