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Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Old May 4th 2013, 5:29 am
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Default Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Hi
I have not been on this forum for a long time!! My Family and I have settled really well in Aussie with a great job, home, friends. I am thinking of paying the expensive air flight costs to go back for a visit to Blighty to see my famiy. But keep thinking of all the fantastic places I could spend my money on travelling to, on this side of the world including Australia. Is it worth going back and have things changed at all? friends who have been back say it hasn't.
Not sure what to do ????
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Old May 4th 2013, 5:54 am
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Originally Posted by Sunshine777 View Post
But keep thinking of all the fantastic places I could spend my money on travelling to, on this side of the world including Australia.
Well, many of those places are convenient stopover points on the way back to blighty - so you can do both (time permitting).

I'd say its worth going back, if only for calibration and to see the place as an outsider, rather than with rose tinted specs.

You do, however, have to be smart about how you buy the tickets so not as to be stung with the overpricing from Aus travel agents - which is also where that stopover comes in again....
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Old May 4th 2013, 5:56 am
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Of course it has changed in the same way that Australia has changed in the past decade - some things change, some things stay the same. If you don't feel you would enjoy being a tourist then don't go because you will begrudge the money and have a miserable time.
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Old May 4th 2013, 11:29 am
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Originally Posted by Sunshine777 View Post
Hi
I have not been on this forum for a long time!! My Family and I have settled really well in Aussie with a great job, home, friends. I am thinking of paying the expensive air flight costs to go back for a visit to Blighty to see my famiy. But keep thinking of all the fantastic places I could spend my money on travelling to, on this side of the world including Australia. Is it worth going back and have things changed at all? friends who have been back say it hasn't.
Not sure what to do ????
The biggest shock will be how much cheaper most things are in the UK - and better quality - and how much you are getting ripped off here, especially Perth.
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Old May 4th 2013, 11:55 am
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Do it to see your family, fill your boots of anything you miss, purchase the little luxuries you'd like that are way cheaper back in the UK, and have your actual holiday on your stopovers on the way there and back!

It's changed. So has Australia and every other country in that time too. You can argue til you're blue in the face whether it's for better or worse. Doesn't really matter to you if you're coming back to Australia. Just make the most of your time there and the stopovers you have, IMHO!
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Old May 4th 2013, 12:02 pm
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Originally Posted by kips View Post
The biggest shock will be how much cheaper most things are in the UK - and better quality - and how much you are getting ripped off here, especially Perth.
Totally agree. We have just been back to the UK, not been in over 4 years, and could not get over the choice, quality and value for money. Eating out was great, most places do 2 adult meals for 10 pound and kids eat free. Kids also get refills on soft drinks in lots of places. We pay over $150 to eat at the likes of The Cornerstone or Whale and Ale for the 5 of us...that's for just a main meal each and couple of drinks!!!

And as for alcohol....the pubs are so cheap, couple of pound for a pint in the likes of Weatherspoons. They all seem to be busy but it was Easter.

Petrol was expensive but then you don't use as much because everything is close by, car tax can now be as little as 20 pound for the year!!! No charge to see the doctor, kids don't pay for prescriptions, interest rate very low for mortgage repayments and houses very affordable...has made us think a lot about our future here and more importantly our kids future. Very worried if they don't secure very well paid jobs they will never be able to afford to live in Perth.
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Old May 4th 2013, 8:01 pm
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Originally Posted by kips View Post
The biggest shock will be how much cheaper most things are in the UK - and better quality - and how much you are getting ripped off here, especially Perth.
Australian retail is very expensive, which is why wise people buy everything over the internet. Australian wages are for the main much higher than UK wages, so to be able to earn Australian dollars but pay British retail is the best of both worlds. You also need to remember that the British market is much bigger than the Australian market, and this always reduces prices. My opinion is that the current exchange rate is a new paradigm and will not change for decades unless it is to make the AUD even stronger against the pound.

More broadly, we're going back this year for the first time in many years (we left long before "austerity") and I'm looking forward to seeing the changes. We want to return to the UK at some point for a period of several years to enable the family to be together again, so I will be using this holiday to observe local conditions!!
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Old May 4th 2013, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Originally Posted by munch View Post
Totally agree. We have just been back to the UK, not been in over 4 years, and could not get over the choice, quality and value for money. Eating out was great, most places do 2 adult meals for 10 pound and kids eat free. Kids also get refills on soft drinks in lots of places. We pay over $150 to eat at the likes of The Cornerstone or Whale and Ale for the 5 of us...that's for just a main meal each and couple of drinks!!!

And as for alcohol....the pubs are so cheap, couple of pound for a pint in the likes of Weatherspoons. They all seem to be busy but it was Easter.
A few quick points in Australia's defence here:

1. We can get a good meal here for a couple for considerably less than you describe. One of the first things we noticed was how much cheaper and higher quality the eat-in food was. Takeaways on the other hand are not!

2. The dirt-cheap price of alcohol in Britain is not a good thing, in my opinion. It is these low prices that have turned many of the town centres across the country into Hogarthian no-go war zones. £1 a pint? Really? How could that ever be necessary?

3. I used to pay around a quarter of my take-home pay on fuel just to get to work to earn the pay in the first place. We had to do the commute because the house prices in the city were totally unaffordable.
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Old May 4th 2013, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Granted, it's been around 3 years since I was living in Oz now but...

It's all relative regarding costs. Depends if it works for you in your particular situation, line of work, if you have/had money to move between countries and at what rate, blah blah.

I don't think the food's better here or there. Seafood's on the whole better in Oz, but you pay through the nose for the good stuff. Curries - or at least the kind that I've grown to love - are better in my favourite spots in the UK. It's definitely cheaper to eat out in the UK though, regardless of where you are and how much competition there is. If it was all about the food then I'd live in Lyon, France instead!

Alcohol's not dirt cheap in the UK either. Cheaper than Oz, yes, but again it's relative. Supermarket offers and price wars can definitely work out cheap. For example though, my local where I am now charges just shy of 5 quid for a pint of most strong, continental lagers. Real ales offer much better value and can be found around £2.50 to £3.50 in many pubs, if that's how you like your beer. There's offers and cheaper places, but nobody ever went for a nice night out to a Wetherspoons! They seem to have turned into the get ratted/top yourself up cheap places before moving on elsewhere. S'pose it's nice to have the option though, even if I do avoid them like the plague these days myself.

And Zen, if you happen to have bought property in Oz at the right time then I'd say you might be in for a surprise as to just how far your dollars will go in buying a place back in Blighty these days. London's a law unto itself, as always, but as for the rest of the country on the whole it's cheaper to buy property than it has been for years. What with the dollar being so strong now and the property market in the vast majority of the UK having fallen or stagnated at best, someone whose assets are all in AUD will find their purchasing power twice of what it was 5 years ago.

As for fuel, well it's probably around 40% more in the UK. But I cover far less miles than I did in Oz. My car insurance in Oz was about a third of the price that it is back in the UK. Mind you, the car's a third of the price of buying it in Oz! Pros and cons... ;-)

Hey, I realise all of this but I'm still itching to get back to Australia myself. Love England - don't want to live here though. Grass may be greener. Still gotta mow it. Can't wait!
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Old May 4th 2013, 9:01 pm
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Originally Posted by rickjohnson View Post
Granted, it's been around 3 years since I was living in Oz now but...

It's all relative regarding costs. Depends if it works for you in your particular situation, line of work, if you have/had money to move between countries and at what rate, blah blah.

I don't think the food's better here or there. Seafood's on the whole better in Oz, but you pay through the nose for the good stuff. Curries - or at least the kind that I've grown to love - are better in my favourite spots in the UK. It's definitely cheaper to eat out in the UK though, regardless of where you are and how much competition there is. If it was all about the food then I'd live in Lyon, France instead!

Alcohol's not dirt cheap in the UK either. Cheaper than Oz, yes, but again it's relative. Supermarket offers and price wars can definitely work out cheap. For example though, my local where I am now charges just shy of 5 quid for a pint of most strong, continental lagers. Real ales offer much better value and can be found around £2.50 to £3.50 in many pubs, if that's how you like your beer. There's offers and cheaper places, but nobody ever went for a nice night out to a Wetherspoons! They seem to have turned into the get ratted/top yourself up cheap places before moving on elsewhere. S'pose it's nice to have the option though, even if I do avoid them like the plague these days myself.

And Zen, if you happen to have bought property in Oz at the right time then I'd say you might be in for a surprise as to just how far your dollars will go in buying a place back in Blighty these days. London's a law unto itself, as always, but as for the rest of the country on the whole it's cheaper to buy property than it has been for years. What with the dollar being so strong now and the property market in the vast majority of the UK having fallen or stagnated at best, someone whose assets are all in AUD will find their purchasing power twice of what it was 5 years ago.

As for fuel, well it's probably around 40% more in the UK. But I cover far less miles than I did in Oz. My car insurance in Oz was about a third of the price that it is back in the UK. Mind you, the car's a third of the price of buying it in Oz! Pros and cons... ;-)

Hey, I realise all of this but I'm still itching to get back to Australia myself. Love England - don't want to live here though. Grass may be greener. Still gotta mow it. Can't wait!
Dan Murphy's regular beer: $4.80 per litre, bulk offer, Tesco's: $1.50 per litre, bulk offer. That's 50p a pint. Dirt cheap.

Property - recently looked at rural properties with acreages in the West Country and Wales, the cheapest part of the country, and was shocked at the asking prices - $750,000 for four acres in the arse end of nowhere and a broken down house requiring renovation, etc. Here, in SA, I can get a decent property 45 minutes from the CBD for that, or a large house with a pool in a good suburb. The only upside I could see was the low rates, and when those babies start going up the fireworks party really begins. And up they must go!

Like you, I wish I could live in both countries. I love both, and want to spend my time in both, but it's not financially viable. Even if I were a multi-millionaire you still have to consider your children's education and their friends, etc.
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Old May 5th 2013, 12:35 am
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Ah, yeah...acreage is a different kettle of fish. From my travails in house hunting in Oz you seem to get less house for your money, but land's cheaper. All depends on where though, obviously. Very different styles of properties too. That's the thing about generalisations, they don't apply to all and can be very subjective and plain wrong in the experience of others. I thought maybe you'd got lucky and made a mint on the Sydney or Melbourne property market!

I've only ever seriously looked into buying and house hunted in northern NSW, Brissy, or the Sunshine Coast. Brissy was ridiculous within half hour of the centre. Could have done well out of some other places I looked at near the NSW/Qld border if I'd bought when I first got to Oz. No chance now! Those places would have meant a 2 to 2 and a half drive to where I worked out of anyway, which just isn't cricket in anyone's book, even if I didn't have to go there every day.

For me, I realised Brissy had become a tad steep when my 3 bed, 1 parking space townhouse (1 of 6 on a redeveloped block that used to have a Queenslander on it), on the south side of Brisbane (Hawthorne), was costing me the same in rent as a 2 bed, 2 parking space apartment in Covent Garden would. That trip back to the UK in 2009 opened my eyes a bit. Mind you, since then the dollar's become considerably stronger and yet I'm still going to return!

I s'pose it seems (to me) that the major cities in Oz are more expensive to buy and rent in than just about anywhere in the UK, excepting London, Edinburgh, and the odd enclave here and there. There's property you just couldn't get in either of the other countries though - lifestyle acreage in Oz where something similar would be completely out of reach of the majority in the UK, or chocolate box period property in the UK that you'll never find in Oz. It's when looking at the character, period properties in the UK (even in the south east and being half an hour on a train to London away) that the prices in, and close to, Australian capital cities look a bit crazy to me. Still, nowt I can do about it. It is what it is!

As for the booze...I guess I'd better brew my own upon my return, stick to cleanskins, or (dare I say it) go on the wagon. (Yeah, right...I'll just work overtime!)

I'd also like that ideal compromise, and one day I'll sort it out somehow (I have plans afoot, but years in the making) - 6 months in Australia and 6 months in the UK/Europe. Life may well get in the way of my ideas, but we'll see. For now I'm going to give Melbourne a go as (for me) I think it offers the best of both worlds (food, culture, events, Aussie salaries). Still keeping my house in Kent though, just in case... ;-)

I've meandered off topic somewhat. Apologies OP.
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Old May 5th 2013, 12:49 am
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

We're going back soon and it's been two years since our last visit. Up until then we had been back every year so for us it will be interesting as I'm sure we'll notice things this time.

According to my Mum, a lot of shops in Brighton have gone and big names too. She is saying food has gone up a lot but I'll check that out in Asda as I'm sure it can't be as bad as here.

Property prices in Brighton seem to be holding up okay, so no bargains to be had there!

And will Heathrow have changed? I saw it came 10th in top 10 airports...mmmm we'll see!
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Old May 5th 2013, 1:09 am
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

No point comparing prices in another currency unless you are earning money in that currency.
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Old May 5th 2013, 1:24 am
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

How did this thread turn into another cost comparison? I go back every year for a holiday. I try to make sure its in the english summer as it opens up opportunities to do more things and there's more events on. This summer will be doing a drive through France then checking out the First Test at Trent Bridge. Very much looking forward to it.
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Old May 5th 2013, 1:28 am
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Default Re: Have not been back to Uk for 10 years has it changed?

Originally Posted by commonwealth View Post
No point comparing prices in another currency unless you are earning money in that currency.
This ^^^^ (When it all comes down to it, especially if you're starting out from scratch.)

Although I reserve the right to shop in amazon.co.uk when in Oz!
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