Travel Tips – Gold Coast Australia – The Southern Coast Queensland

Ask anyone who has traveled extensively which journeys they have enjoyed the most and I think you’ll find a surprising common answer. An answer that no travel agency advertises – because they can not provide it. I know this answer is true for me – and I have traveled extensively.

The answer is; having a knowledgeable local show you the area you are visiting. Let me tell you of one of my experiences to demonstrate. I had traveled the world many times since leaving my birth place in Austria at the age of 4.

At age 50 I was finally on a plane headed for Vienna on a visit to my father, my first return trip to the country of my birth. I had been to Europe so many times but Austria was never on the travel itinerary. My father lived in Africa and had only recently returned to reside in Austria himself, after a three months visit to me in Australia.

I was surprised at the emotions of nostalgia that passed through me as the plane circled to land at the Vienna airport, returning me to my birth country. Surprised because I had always thought of myself as a “fair dinkum Ozzie”; having lived in Australia since the age of 7.

I had a wonderful stay for a week with my father – one of the highlights was a guided tour by my father of the Kunst Museum. However I noted that the tour taxed my fathers failing health and I declined any further offers to tour me around Vienna. Instead I visited the impressive city on my own, did a little shopping and had a fine time.

On my return to Australia I told everyone that I had a lovely trip and described Vienna from a tourist’s point of view.

A couple of years later I met a charming Austrian couple [let's call them couple X] on the island of Gotzo – Malta. We were staying in the same hotel and we hit it off immediately. Gotzo was a fantastic trip as close friends of my mother’s were spoiling us with tours of Gotzo and Malta daily. They were locals and had an in-depth knowledge of the history and current affairs of this fascinating part of the world. I introduced couple X to my mother’s friends and they invited them to tour with us as well.

Before leaving Gotzo couple X insisted that if I come to Vienna again that they would love me to stay with them. As it happened my next stop was Vienna and I took them up on the offer, after spending some time with my father.

Couple X showed me Vienna from a local’s perspective and what a memorable joy that was. Although my first trip to Vienna was a good trip the second visit accompanied by knowledgeable locals was fantastic. They took me to their favourite music venues, restaurants, shops, churches, forests and filled me in on every little detail that I had totally missed on my first trip.

A year later I picked up couple X in Sydney, Australia and drove them to the Gold Coast – the Southern Coast Queensland, showing them all my favourite haunts along the way. For the following two weeks they stayed with us and I toured them around the Gold Coast. We went to the beach daily in the mornings, had lunch at our favourite cafes and then usually headed home for an afternoon sleep. In the evenings we dinned in our favourite restaurants, followed by a variety of the great entertainment offered on the Gold Coast. We also spent a couple of days visiting the Gold Coast Hinterland, where I introduced them to Queensland’s incredibly diverse fauna and flora.

They enjoyed the trip so much that they came again a year later and are planning to come again this year.

This couple travel a lot and they have stated to me that their most memorable and enjoyable travel adventures have always been the ones where a local can tour them around.

Understandably we don’t get the opportunity to have a local tour us around wherever we want to travel. However the internet affords us the opportunity to find local stories about the places we want to visit.

So the next time you are planing a trip, consider looking further than the usual travel brochure. Do searches for websites that describe the place you intend to visit from a local’s perspective. Reading local stories will give you a flavour of the people and places that you are interested in traveling to.

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Planning a Trip? Review These Air Travel Tips Before You Go!

Where are you planning to go for your next vacation? Paris? Rome? New York? Las Vegas? Sydney? Unless you live nearby, you will likely be hopping a plane for at least part of the trip. Even frequent flyers and business travelers will benefit by going through the following tips.

Always dress in layers. It is easy to take something off if you are too warm waiting in the airport or seated in the plane. However, if you are wearing short sleeves and do not have a jacket or sweater handy, you could be destined for a very cold experience. The less active you are, the more likely you are to feel chilled – even at normal room temperature.

Consider taking a backpack to use as a carry-on. Double-check the size before purchasing, to ensure that it meets airline requirements. A comfortable backpack can leave your hands free to deal with tickets, children, and other luggage. However, never place anything like passports or wallets in a backpack. They are easier for thieves to filch.

Airport x-ray equipment can adversely affect some medications, enzymes, and food products. Do your research before you go to avoid nasty surprises. The same goes for photographic film.

E-tickets are more environmentally friendly than regular paper tickets. Best of all, you will never lose or misplace an e-ticket!

Airport shuttles are cheaper than taxis, and often they can be reserved in advance. If you will be staying at a bed and breakfast, hostel, or hotel, check with the reservations desk to see if they have a shuttle or limo service. Many provide them as a free extra. Some lodging establishments charge a nominal extra fee.

It may sound like overkill, but natural cottons and wools will not melt to your skin if you are in an onboard fire. Besides the safety factor, they are more comfortable to wear while you travel, because they breathe better than most synthetics.

Do not guess at luggage weight. Weigh your suitcases before you leave home to make sure that they are within the maximum weight allowance. It is advisable to call the airlines to determine how many pieces of luggage and how much total weight they permit. Regulations vary.

Wear very comfortable, loose footwear for your flight. When sitting for long periods, your legs and feet tend to swell. Tight-fitting shoes can make you feel miserable after a very short time onboard.

You can save a lot of money if you do not mind being ‘bumped’. Be sure to pack a couple of books or audio books, though, to prepare for long waits.

(c) Copyright Kathy Steinemann: This article is free to publish only if this copyright notice, the byline, and the author’s note below (with active links) are included.

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Tips For Sydney Travel

If you are planning a trip to Sydney, if you are preparing for Sydney travel, there are some tips and pointers that you will want to keep in mind to make sure that you have the best Sydney holiday possible.

On many levels, the key to planning a great Sydney holiday is to plan ahead. By planning ahead, by making your necessary reservations early, you will be in the best position to ensure that you have an ideal holiday across the board.

Booking a Sydney Accommodation

Of course, one of the most important parts of your holiday is to have the most appropriate accommodation for your trip. While you are enjoying the sights and sounds of Sydney, it will be your accommodation that truly will serve as your home base.

Fortunately, there are many different accommodation options that are available to you today. For example, when it comes to your accommodation choices you can chose from anything from a five star hotel to affordable properties that are ideal for people traveling on a budget. In short, there really is something for everyone when it comes to the accommodation options that you can select from for you holiday.

Booking a Sydney Flight

The Sydney airport is one of the two busiest in the country. Therefore, when it comes to your holiday, you have a good selection of different flight options available to you – of course, depending from where in the world you are starting your travel adventure.

One tip or pointer that you will want to keep in mind when it comes booking a flight for your holiday is to make your reservation early. Because Sydney is such a popular travel destination today you will have more flight options by making your flight reservations well in advance of your trip. Indeed, if you can arrange to do your holiday planning even six months in advance, you definitely will be able to get a flight on a day and at a time that works for you – plus you will be able to save some money on the costs associated with your flight.

Planning to See Sydney Attractions

Sydney is a city that is full of amazing attractions. For example, there are some great beaches that should be a part of any holiday plan. In addition, Sydney is community that is renowned for its entertainment opportunities, including the iconic Sydney Opera House. In addition, there are numerous attractions at and around Sydney Harbor.

In the end, no matter what specific attractions might be of interest to you, you will want to start narrowing down that list and making some definite decisions about he attractions that you will want to see while you are one your holiday. By planning ahead you will be able to make certain that you actually get to do and see all of the attractions that really are important to you when it comes to your own holiday.

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Sydney Australia – Travel Tips

So here are some travel tips for things to do in Sydney, Australia!

Sydney Beaches

Sydney is renowned for its beach-side suburbs, which include Manly, Bondi and Cronulla plus plenty more. During summer, these beaches are packed full of swimmers, who flock to enjoy the city’s beautiful sandy beaches. Like Rio de Janiero and Los Angeles, Sydney is somewhat unique in that it’s a major metropolis surrounded by beautiful beaches, making it an ideal holiday spot. If you’re heading to the beach in Sydney, don’t forget your sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen, as the UV rays here are extremely high.

Trains, buses & ferries

A combination of all these modes of transport is the best way to enjoy both the tourist and resident experiences of Sydney. A rental car is best acquired for trips outside the CBD; the nearby Blue Mountains are just one of many scenic destinations you can reach from Sydney if you have a vehicle. Within Sydney city itself, however, public transport can very often be faster than driving. Sydney’s integrated ticketing system, permitting travel across trains, buses and ferries on a single ticket, makes traveling on any mode of public transport easy.

Of all the trips you can take in Sydney, the ferry to Manly is a great one for any tourist, offering great view of the Sydney skyline and its beautiful harbour. Ferries can take half-an-hour to travel from Circular Quay to Manly, a refreshing tour itself and a great way of seeing the city. To catch the Manly Ferry, you’ll need to head to the terminal at Circular Quay: easy to find right between the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney Landmarks

The Centrepoint Tower, Sydney’s largest building, rises high about the Sydney cityscape and is an amazing sight to behold from Darling Harbour. The elevator ride and revolving restaurant at its top are well worth doing for the 360-degree panorama of Sydney on a fine day.Like any major destination, Sydney has its fair share of tourist attractions. In Sydney, though, it really is worth seeing all the famed attractions: Bondi Beach, Manly, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour…. All these places really do live up to the hype, and it’s great to cross them all off your list before you go on to enjoy all the rest of the things to do Sydney has to offer.

Sydney CBD

The central city of Sydney is an interesting mix of old and new architecture, parks, and streets, with many unique characters represented. Take a wander around and see what you find. Don’t miss The Rocks: this re-developed historic precinct is located just outside the main financial district, and offers a blend of the original colonial settlement and early Sydney architecture with the latest in Sydney culture.

Eating in Sydney

In multicultural Sydney you’ll be able to sample a variety of cuisines, including Asian, Indian, European and Middle Eastern dining. Fine food venues in Sydney can often be found overlooking the harbour, or along the waterfront at Darling Harbour and the Rocks, meaning a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. The city has many tourist hangouts, however if you want to experience real Sydney cuisine, find where the locals eat and go there.

Prices are generally a little more expensive than Brisbane and other major Australian cities, in keeping with the higher cost of living here. There is a national Goods and Service Tax (GST), to which tips can be added at your discretion, though these are by no means necessary.

Sydney Fashion

Sydney is home to names like Akira Isogawa, Marcs, Morrisey and Collette Dinnigan, so for those fashionistas amongst us, you won’t want to skip taking a stroll down George Street for your fix. Take a look also at The Rocks precinct for boutique shopping and hip haute couture. Sydney is home to a lot of Australia’s glitz and glam, so fashion is a major commodity in Sydney. That said, most Australians are fairly laid-back about dress sense, so you won’t need to worry about dressing up unless it’s a formal occasion.

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5 Travel Tips For Travel to Fiji

Fiji offers a unique blend of culture and natural beauty and travelling to this friendly country always promises a magical vacation. Most people go to Fiji for the gorgeous beaches and relaxing sun and none are disappointed.

Whether you’re looking to dive amongst spectacular coral and fish, laze on the beach under the sun, or explore rich cultural and historical sites, Fiji offers the diversity to please any traveller. As you plan your trip, consider these 5 travel tips:

#1 Choose the Right Island

Think about what you hope to get out of your trip as you start to plan. If you are looking to swim, snorkel, surf and kayak, try the Yasawa Group. If you and your family are seeking a fun time in the sun, look into the Mamanuca Group. If you want to experience awesome diving, consider Taveuni, Beqa Lagoon, to name a few. If you want to tuck away in a romantic secluded spot, escape to the remote beaches of Kadavu, or the Northern Islands of Fiji.

#2 Learn Some Language

English is the official language in Fiji, but the native language is well persevered and widely spoken. There are many terms that you might hear incorporated into everyday language. Before you go, make an effort to learn a bit of the language for the full cultural experience of Fiji.

#3 Book a cheap flight online

Australians and New Zealanders should rejoice in the fact that the flight to Fiji is not only short (3 hours from Sydney to Nadi) but that there is a good range of cheap flight deals and packages to Fiji. There are several international and regional airlines that operate flights to and from Fiji as well as affordable domestic flights to whisk you comfortably from island to island.

#4 Pack Smart

Unless you are planning to take a trek high up into the mountains, don’t worry about packing clothes for cold weather. Fiji is almost always warm, even in the evening and night. Pack plenty of light clothes including bathing suits and cotton shirts, shorts and dresses. Even formal evening events won’t dip below the ‘crisp casual’ range of clothing, so don’t worry about packing formalwear. Prepare yourself for the occasional tropical rain and with a waterproof jacket. As with any beach outing, protect yourself from the elements with hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellent.

#5 Know the Customs

While beachwear is perfectly acceptable at the resorts, scanty clothing is inappropriate in villages. When shopping, remember that bargaining is encouraged at small local shops and stalls, but not at all in major department and grocery stores. Tipping in Fiji is not customary. Visit any village or private home, especially on a weekend, and you will undoubtedly be offered a coconut shell filled with kava, a traditional drink with mildly intoxicating properties. Enjoy!

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