Planning To Visit Australia? Here Is What You Need To Know

Australia is known to be such a young and fun country, and it certainly lives up to that expectation. Before you go to the land down under, you will need to know how to get the most out of your trip. Australia has cold southern shores, deserts, and a tropical north. It’s best to do your research before you go.

When you should go..

Most tourists travel to Australia in the summer time which is December – February. The most popular cities at that time of year are Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. The sunny warm beaches are one of the main attractions of the country. During the summer time the vibe is at its peak. So many people are flooding the cafes and are still out and about well into the evenings because of the warm weather. However, coming when it’s peak has it downfalls. Accommodation prices will be higher, public transport will be busier, and the queues at the big attractions will be a lot longer.

Where you should go..

If you like the urban feel and you love a quirky vibe, Melbourne is the place for you. Coffee shops everywhere, live music, shops, pubs, bars, galleries, museums, everything is in Melbourne! If you are a lover of wine, then it’s great to be in Melbourne because about an hours drive to the east form the city is the famous Yarra Valley. Known for its beautiful Yarra Valley vineyards, it is the most beautiful valley and an incredible place to visit. Even if wine isn’t your thing, there are so many options. You can do various activities such as hot air ballooning, visiting Healesville Sanctuary, and even just visiting the cute country towns that are around. I recommend doing a wine tour of the Yarra Valley though, it’s so much fun!

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Sydney and Brisbane have some beautiful coastal beaches, and have a young vibe with heaps of clubs, shops, and restaurants to suit everyone. Perth is an isolated city but is great if you are wanting to relax. The Northern Territory is an exciting place full of desert, crocodiles, various wildlife, and even a giant rock, more famously known as Uluru.

One of the main things that unite Australian’s is their love and passion for sport. They host the Formula 1 Grand Prix every year in March down in Melbourne, they have the cricket where they host numerous international games against teams like England and India, the Australian Open (tennis) is in January down in Melbourne, they have the Melbourne Cup during the spring carnival and they have the AFL season go throughout most of the year with the Grand Final to be held at the MCG in September. There are so many more sporting things that are on in Australia but I could go on for hours if I continued. The sporting events are all around the country so wherever you go, you can enjoy sport.

South Australia is a massive lover for wine and they have a beautiful wine region full of wineries just like the wineries in the Yarra Valley I mentioned earlier. Home to Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, and Adelaide Hills (and a few others), South Australia is a beautiful and peaceful place where it’s easy to relax.

Getting around the place..

Australia doesn’t have any big inland towns like Europe and America do. So if you’re planning on doing a driving holiday, then just prepare for long distances between each pit stop. The most recommended way to get from city to city is to fly. Their domestic flights are reliable and affordable.

However, if you’re not in a hurry, take the time to go on a road trip around the beautiful country. That way, you can see everything that the beautiful country has to offer and can do it in as much time as you have to spare.

To read more about travelling to Australia, please visit https://www.lonelyplanet.com/australia/western-australia/broome/travel-tips-and-articles/walking-in-western-australia-on-the-lurujarri-heritage-trail

Holidaying Tips For The Newby Traveler

  1. Home entertainment loads

If you have children, select a hotel that has toy boxes in the room. Yes, they do exist. That way, if little Harriet forgets to bring Barbie, nobody will drown in a tsunami of tears. Great Ocean Road accommodation supply toy boxes, upon request.

  1. Laundry

Doing cleaning on holidays is rather dull. However, it beats soaking your teenager’s stinky socks in the bathroom sink. Each Medina Serviced Apartment has a washer and dryer.

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  1. Free Wi-Fi

This is the holy grail for tweens and teenagers. Then, if they’re all “wah wah” about leaving their buddies behind, they can FaceTime/Skype/instant message them without damaging your vacation budget. A lot of hotels have complimentary wifi in the foyer, however, check which ones include it in the space too.

  1. Solitude

Is there anything worse than checking into a hotel, to a symphony of jackhammers next door? Or a disco? Maybe an all-night celebration? All Vibe hotels have double-glazed windows.

  1. Breakfast

Not simply any breakfast– totally free breakfast. Specifically, if it’s a buffet. Call me tight, but I like shovelling food down the kids’ throats then getting hold of some fruit from the buffet for lunch on the run.

  1. Package deals

Increasingly, hotels are providing lodging plus tickets to regional attractions as part of a “staycation”. Medina Serviced Apartments Canberra has a 3inFun pack, while Novotels boast the Family Staycation brand.

  1. Doggone

A lot of kids fret without their pets. A number of Lorne accommodation like the BIG4 Holiday Parks are dog-friendly, so your fuzzy friends do not lose out on all the enjoyable.

  1. The beach

Is there anything much better than remaining right on the beach? That way, you can inform the kids to go and play in the traffic – emergency room, I suggest, waves– while you’re nearby. Take a look at the Seabreeze Beach Hotel in South West Rocks, on the NSW mid-north coast, neglecting the calm waters of Horseshoe Bay.

Travel Tips For Flying The Plus Size Plane

I have a number of friends that consider themselves as ‘plus size’ and always tell me of the horrors of flying on a plane when going either on holidays or visiting friends and family. They would rather not fly at all most of the time. When I came across this article I thought it is such a helpful piece of writing to help calm some of the nerves for people like my friends. Enjoy the read!

PLUS SIZE TRAVEL – TIPS FOR FLYING

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I’m really excited about my trip to LA but am stressing about the flight.  This is a long haul flight Sydney – Auckland- LA. I’ve traveled quite a lot and spent a year working as a full-time tour guide in Europe. Everything I had for the entire year had to fit into one backpack and a carry-on bag. I consider myself an expert at packing, folding and how to  minimize my individual plus size clothing for maximum outfit combinations.

As a plus size traveler, there are a few extra things to consider starting with  s-q-u-e-e-z-i-n-g into the  economy size seat. Business Class is only but a dream for me.  I’ll certainly try chatting up the check-in staff in hopes of an upgrade to Economy Plus section and scoring a cheeky 5 extra inches but I know the chances are slim (even if I’m not). At  5’3″  a seat upgrade is more about extra thigh room rather than long legs. Here’s my top tips for plus size travel.

BEST DAYS TO FLY

I’m concerned about my comfort and the person sitting next to me too! So failing a big butt upgrade, if the flight isn’t full I’ll request the seat next to me to be vacant or blocked. If I end up next to another big girl then we’re both in for an uncomfortable trip I’m afraid. I avoid busy travel days:   Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings and usually book Tuesday, Wednesday and  super early Saturday morning or  Saturday night. Red eye flights are also a pretty good bet, especially on Saturday night. Just think “when would most people least like to fly” and generally that’s the best time to go for plus size travel!

CHOOSING SEATS

The aisle seat is always my first choice on long haul so I can get up and go to the bathroom whenever I like without having to wake up to strangers and ask them to get up and move.   As much as I like the view on take off and landing a window seat makes me feel trapped and squishy like I’m in one of those small beach cottages (more shoulder room but same hip room).  I know  a meal cart slamming into you is the trade off for the aisle seat but I’m willing to take that risk on a 14-hour flight (at least one thigh and half my bum will be free range).  SEAT GURU is a website where you can check the seat dimensions on all airlines. This is a great tool for plus size travel and is easy to use, just plug in airline name, flight number and date boom it’ll tell you all the numbers.

ARM REST & SEAT BELT EXTENDERS 

I may need to ask for a seatbelt extender if the existing one doesn’t fit.  I’ve never done this before and am a little nervous but I won’t be the first or last person making this request so a quiet word to the flight attendant will sort that out quick.  The flight attendant will also ask  to put the arm rests  down for take off but as soon as that bird is in the sky I’m lifting that sucker for extra room. Fingers crossed if there’s someone next to me they’ll be happy to leave it up otherwise it’s rather squishy experience.

TRAY TABLES

I’d love to work on my laptop for the full 14-hour flight but there’s just not enough room for a plus size person in Economy to have the table down comfortably. Boobs and bellies get in the way and the person in front will more than likely have their seat back. I bring my laptop with me but only to keep it safe rather than use it. However, if the seat next to you is vacant then that is a plus!

FREE DRINKS & BATHROOMS

I love free booze on international flights but the last thing I want to be on a 14-hour flight is drunk and needing to pee every 5 minutes. Those airplane toilet cubicles are tiny so the less time spent there the better! On a side note, anyone who reckons they’re a member of the Mile High Club surely must be lying. I just can’t see how two people (of any size let alone travelers in the plus sizes range) can fit in an airplane toilet stall and let alone get busy and get anything out if it. In any case, once the boarding announcement goes over the PA I head to the toilet for a last visit just to be sure then I’m usually good for a few hours.

LUGGAGE WEIGHT LIMITS

I’ve never been able to tell how much my bag weighs and have been caught at the airport throwing things away so I can make the weight limit. Yes, I’ve even had to wear winter coats and even my plus size evening wear on flights in just to save on excess luggage fees.   Electronic Luggage Scales are a big help!  There are a few on the. If you’re planning on shopping on your trip I’d also suggest taking it with you so you don’t have to pay excess baggage on the flight home too!

Here is the link to their website: http://www.blogher.com/plus-size-travel-tips-flying

What To Do In And Around Melbourne

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Victoria’s capital teems with culture and unique quirks, with a strong sense of creativity in art and home to some of the very best food, dining and live music in the country. It’s also the home of a variety of great tourist attractions and amazing holiday accomodation both natural and man-made, and with lots of appealing destinations within arms reach, there’s something to keep everybody happy when going to Melbourne.

But with such a vast variety of experiences on offer in the city and the surrounds, exactly what is it that a first time visitor to Melbourne better off doing with their time here? And if you’ve got several days on your schedule, what choices are there for traveling outside the city’s limits?

Eureka Skydeck

Area: 7 Riverside Quay, Southbank, Melbourne

If you’re wanting to start your visit to Melbourne by getting an idea of the city’s layout – including getting an idea of the location of a number of landmarks – there are very few better places to do so than the Eureka Skydeck.

Hot Air Ballooning

Area: Flights offered over Melbourne CBD and Yarra Valley Tours

Those with a little extra cash to spare and who are looking for some memorable views should take a hot air balloon trip over Melbourne, as it is among the very few cities on the planet that enable such an experience straight over its skyline. Take in the magnificent views of the city as the sun rises and take pleasure in a bird’s eye view of it all in the middle of the pure calm and peaceful skies.

Half day tours are available and balloon flights typically depart very early in the morning to benefit from the calm early morning air, so you’ll get the advantage of seeing Melbourne lit up by the glow of the sunrise that makes for a beautiful experience.

From high above, you’ll have the ability to see a number of the major landmarks and city highlights of Melbourne from a vantage point very few others get to experience – destinations such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Albert Park Racetrack, Flemington Racetrack, Rod Laver Arena and much more portray a completely different life when seen from above.

Balloon flights are also provided from locations outside Melbourne that provide you with an alternative view if city-scapes aren’t your thing; the Yarra Valley is especially popular, as the lovely greenery and exquisite view of a yarra valley vineyard below you as you float by produces an entirely different spectacle. Additionally, if your time’s restricted, a helicopter ride over Melbourne is the ideal choice for those wanting an aerial view of the city without the early morning wake-up call that a ballooning experience requires.

The Dandenong Ranges

Place: Approx. 1 hour drive east of Melbourne CBD

Those looking for a dose of nature while leaving the city for a day or two can look inland and head towards the rich reaches of the higher Melbourne region’s Dandenong Ranges, a location that’s both picturesque and offers you numerous distinct activities of its own.

The stunning mountain range is famous for its imposing Mountain Ash trees and features a blend of remarkable surroundings, spots to grab fantastic local food, charming little villages and little stores providing various hand-crafted products. Other alternatives for checking out the Dandonongs are plentiful; choose from a selection of tailor made tours and ride on Australia’s favorite and world famous narrow gauge train (The Puffing Billy) through the luscious blue Dandenong Ranges, visit the location by coach, join a smaller trip for the full Dandenong Ranges experience, or have the best of both worlds with a combined city and Dandenong Ranges trip.

You’ll may wish to go to the Dandenongs outside winter, as it gets cold enough for snow throughout the coolest parts of the year, and it’s during the greener seasons the flora generally comes to life. Throughout these seasons, it’s strongly suggested to sign up with a wildlife coach tour to discover the Dandenong Ranges, restaurants in Yarra Valley and check out Healesville Sanctuary, or upgrade to include the Puffing Billy train.

An overall pleasant vacation that puts the focus on nature that the kids are also likely to take pleasure in, the Dandenong Ranges are an excellent place to unwind where you’ll wish to invest several days if you were wanting to get the most out of it without rushing.

Venture Through Melbourne’s Laneways

Place: Various places, Melbourne CBD & surrounds

Melbourne the city itself is, arguably, the main attraction, and whether by bike, by bus or by foot, checking out the city is an absolute must. Filled with quirky alley ways, hidden stores, art galleries and indie theatres, it certainly makes its track record as Australia’s culture capital – Melbourne just would not be Melbourne without its laneways, therefore just simply checking out the city serves as a fun adventure in itself.

Dining is an obvious focus that Melbournians take pride in, and there are wholly devoted streets and laneways to providing all manner of quality fare – while coffee is its most well-known product, the mix of global cultures in Melbourne implies that the likes of Greek, Italian, Chinese, and numerous other foods all have standout restaurants offering fantastic dishes here.