Monday, May 7, 2012

Travel Tips

To me, travelling is a very individual experience.  By that, I mean that many people have quite specific opinions and ideas regarding how you should go about every stage of it.  For example, you have the super organized travellers who start packing a week before they leave.  Then you have the ones like me, who get it together the night before (or morning of) travel.  Do you wing it, or plan every last step along the way?  I fit somewhere in the middle of that statement.  Usually there are a couple of main attractions that you don't want to miss, and should be booked in advance (click here to look at your options) to make sure they're not sold out, or they may only operate on certain days/times etc.  I like to have a bit of flexibility for the smaller things, ones where your enjoyment might be affected by weather.  Don't forget to allow yourself a bit of a breather during your stay.  Since there is so much to see and do in Australia, no matter what area you're in, do you really want to be on the go 24/7, and too tired by the end of your stay to truly enjoy it?

Now, hotels are another matter altogether.  As long as I have a definite itinerary, I always book my hotels ahead of time.  There is something very reassuring about knowing that I have a place to rest my weary head at the end of long day spent exploring.  I recommend that you book all of your accommodations here.  Something to bear in mind is that in many areas of Australia, the distances between cities can be vast, and you don't want to turn up and find that there's no room at the inn.  You can refer to an earlier post about the size of Australia here, or check the map here.  

Ok, moving on, I thought I'd share a few general tips (and lingo) with you.  

  • Australia operates on 220 - 240 volts, so you may need a transformer (to covert from 110) and plug adapter.  Trust me, you don't want to fry that laptop or camera!
  • We drive on the left hand side of the road.  
  • We have roundabouts - remember to give way (yield) to traffic already on the roundabout.
  • Most Aussies refer to gasoline as petrol or fuel, not gas.  If you show up at a servo (service station/filling station) and ask for gas, they'll probably point you to the LP Gas bowser (propane dispenser).
  • Call your bank/credit card company before you leave to advise them that you'll be travelling.  You don't want to arrive and find yourself cut off because your bank thinks it's fraudulent activity.
  • Check your passport to make sure that you will have at least 6 months validity left after your return date.  Click here for a link about entry visas.
  • Don't forget to take extra memory cards and batteries for your camera.  There's so much wildlife, architecture and gorgeous vistas that you'll want to take heaps of photos!
  • Wear sunscreen.  An already lengthy flight home will feel like forever if you're covered in sunburn and crammed in a small seat.
  • Most important of all - have a bonza time!

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