For a lot of us, travel is an exciting adventure. Packing bags full of vacation gear, planning alluring holiday hotspots, and booking that much-needed time off work for a little R&R. But what about those of us who travel for work?
In Australia, there are currently over 100,000 people employed as fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers. FIFO workers span a range of industries, including the mining, oil and gas sector, trade and construction, engineering, hospitality, and many more.
If you’re a FIFO worker, you’ll understand better than anyone that the lifestyle is far from easy. From being away from friends and family for extended periods to constantly transporting your life to and fro, FIFO life can be draining and difficult.
We love having FIFO workers stay at our Rambla apartments, and we’ve learned a thing or two along the way about what makes the lifestyle that little bit easier – and what kinds of mistakes are often made when travelling. From planning ahead and doing your research to properly scheduling downtime, we’ve outlined five of the most common mistakes to avoid during your FIFO travel arrangements.
Staying in the Wrong FIFO Accommodation
First things first: accommodation. A home away from home. A place to cosy up and chill out when you clock off. Choosing the right accommodation is a pivotal aspect of a successful FIFO journey.
Whether your work takes you to a remote worksite or a bustling city, the significance of your chosen location can’t be overstated. Here's an expanded look at why staying central is a game-changer.
If your FIFO journey involves a remote worksite, opting for accommodation in proximity to your work location is a strategic move. Remote worksites often entail long shifts, and minimising your daily commute can mean more restful hours, less fatigue, and greater overall well-being. It's a recipe for a more efficient and balanced work-life routine.
Of course, your work may well put you up in some digs right on-site. If that’s you, move right on to the next tip! If not, be sure to research your work destination and scope out the best FIFO accommodation options to lessen further travel time and streamline your daily routine.
Of course, not all FIFO travel involves going to remote sites. If you’re travelling to work in a bustling city, staying central brings a wealth of advantages.
Being close to the central business district (CBD) can be a boon for professionals as it simplifies commuting to meetings and offices. Additionally, easy access to major transport hubs like airports or train stations ensures that you spend less time navigating the city and more time on your priorities.
On the other hand, if you’re staying for an extended period, you might want to consider a slightly outside-the-city accommodation so you can get away from the big smoke and escape into peace and quiet.
This is why Rambla serviced apartments are located in the city-fringe suburbs of Brisbane: Bowen Hills and Woolloongabba. Both locations offer quick and easy transport direct into the city, both are close to major hospitals and corporate venues, and both offer all the cosy comforts of home minus the hustle and bustle of the CBD.
Of course, great FIFO accommodation isn’t all about the location; it’s also about the amenities on-site. Since you’re away from home for a while, you want to ensure everything you need is under one roof.
Does your accommodation have a gym? A pool? Speedy WiFi? These kinds of facilities and inclusions can truly make all the difference between an average trip and a comfortable one. This will be your temporary home, after all; make sure it ticks the right boxes for you.
Not Researching Your Destination
Tip number two: research. We know, we know; you don’t want to do work before you leave for work. But even a quick Google search of your next FIFO travel location can be incredibly helpful.
FIFO travel often takes you to new and unfamiliar places. To make the most of your stay, thorough research of your destination is your secret weapon. Here's why it's essential:
A deep understanding of local amenities is invaluable. Know where the nearest medical facilities, grocery stores, and pharmacies are located. Familiarise yourself with public transport options, and identify the closest dining establishments.
Being aware of these basics ensures you're prepared for any situation that may arise during your stay. Often, in remote sites, there aren’t a lot of conveniences available. Knowing how and where to access essential goods and services is a crucial step to ensure you’re fully prepared.
Restaurant and Dining Options
If you’re working in a more populated or city-scape area, allow yourself to get a taste of the local dining scene. Researching nearby restaurants is a delightful aspect of destination research and can make your time away a little bit easier.
Discover local cuisine and popular dining spots. Are there any unique food experiences you'd like to explore? Knowing where to find a good meal can enhance your overall travel experience.
If you’re travelling to Brisbane, for example, there are plenty of scrumptious cafés, bars, and restaurants scattered all over the place – and many are located in close proximity to our Rambla locations. Check out some of the best new restaurants and bars in Brisbane to kickstart your research!
If you’re a FIFO traveller, you’ll know that managing your finances effectively is more than just a good practice—it's essential for a smooth and stress-free experience. Travel is a notorious bank-buster, and even when you’re travelling for work rather than leisure, we all know that airports can really suck the cash from your wallet. Water bottles for $7 each are just the beginning.
Here's a closer look at the importance of budgeting and how to go about it for your next FIFO travel.
Creating a Detailed Budget
We know it’s not the most exciting job, but creating a full budget for your time away can make a huge difference. Once you’ve researched your destination a little, it’s great to craft a comprehensive budget that takes into account all your anticipated expenses.
This should include essentials such as accommodation, transport (including flights, hire cars, or commuting costs), meals, and any planned leisure activities. Be sure to also factor in expenses like work-related equipment or tools, if applicable.
While no one wants to think about tax time, this is another aspect of your financial planning that should take priority. Tax laws around FIFO work in Australia can be more complex than standard work regulations, so take the time to check them and keep records of all your work-related expenses during your FIFO travel.
Once you’ve outlined a good budget, you might find it easier to narrow down your accommodation options. Your choice of FIFO accommodation often constitutes a significant portion of your expenses.
Consider whether you'll be staying in company-provided lodging or arranging your own accommodation. Compare options, taking into account not only the cost but also proximity to your worksite or convenience to other key locations.
Be sure to check out any available deals for your digs, too. Booking directly with accommodations often provides discounts, and there might be some sweet savings out there that can reduce your expenses. If Brisbane is on the cards for your next FIFO trip, check out our range of offers at Rambla.
Calculate transportation costs, including airfare if you're flying to your worksite, as well as daily commuting expenses. If your work involves frequent travel between sites, explore options for cost-effective transport solutions, such as company shuttles or carpooling with colleagues.
Eating out for every meal can quickly drain your budget. Plan your meals strategically. If your accommodation allows for cooking, like our Rambla fully-equipped kitchens, consider preparing some of your own meals. Alternatively, identify affordable dining options nearby. This way, you can balance convenience and cost-effectiveness.
While it's essential to budget for your work-related expenses, don't forget to allocate some funds for leisure and entertainment. Set aside money for activities that help you unwind and explore your destination. This might include dining at local restaurants, visiting attractions, or enjoying recreational activities.
Stick to Your Budget
Creating a budget is only half the battle; the other half is adhering to it. Resist the temptation to overspend on non-essential items. Monitor your expenses regularly to ensure you stay within your allocated limits. Consider using budgeting apps or spreadsheets to track your spending.
Of course, we all need a little treat here and there. Don’t be too hard on yourself. FIFO travel is difficult enough without forgoing every indulgence under the sun. Allow yourself a little fun here and there without overdoing it.
Create an Organised Itinerary…and Stick To It
As a FIFO traveller, your schedule can be demanding, with work shifts, travel, after-work activities, and staying connected with family to juggle. To maintain balance and ensure you make the most of your time, consider crafting a well-organised itinerary that works for your schedule.
Include Work Commitments and Travel Details
Begin by outlining your work shifts and any associated responsibilities. This provides a clear overview of your core obligations and ensures you're always prepared for your professional duties.
If your FIFO work involves air travel, list your flight details, including departure and arrival times. For on-ground transportation, include details such as shuttle schedules, car rentals, or commuting arrangements. Having these specifics readily available simplifies your logistics.
While FIFO work can seem like it really is all about work and travel, there are so many other essentials that you need to factor into your routine. Scheduling these on paper can make a big difference in your day-to-day, ensuring that life doesn’t revolve around work commitments and making your time away that little bit easier.
We just said it, and we’ll say it again: your FIFO journey isn't all about work. Allocate time in your itinerary for leisure activities and exploration. Research local attractions, events, and recreational opportunities. Whether it's hiking, visiting museums, or dining at renowned restaurants, plan activities that align with your interests.
If you’re in a remote area devoid of too many activities, why not get creative? Gather your work friends for a fun night in, visit the local pub, or host a games night in your accommodation.
Don't forget to incorporate periods of rest and downtime into your schedule. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for your well-being. Use these breaks to relax, recharge, and connect with family and friends online or over the phone.
Feel at Home with Rambla
At Rambla, we understand the unique needs of FIFO travellers, and that's why we're here to make your stay exceptional. Our Perry House and South/City/SQ serviced apartments are designed to provide you with a home away from home. You'll experience the perfect blend of style and functionality, ensuring your comfort throughout your stay.
Our spacious living areas, fully-equipped kitchens, and comprehensive amenities are tailored to meet your needs, whether you're winding down after a productive day at work or preparing a delicious home-cooked meal.
Whether your FIFO travel involves rigorous work commitments or exploring the local culture, our serviced apartments offer the ideal haven. You'll have the flexibility to relax, cook your favourite meals, and rejuvenate after a demanding day.
We hope these five valuable tips will help you navigate your FIFO travels with confidence and ease. Remember that careful planning and thoughtful accommodation choices can really enhance your overall experience.
Safe travels, and we can’t wait to welcome you to our Rambla apartments for your next Brisbane trip!