It’s a long journey all the way from Australia to Europe and once you’ve endured that epic flight, you want to make the most of your time on the ground. A trip to Europe is an adventure of a lifetime, where you can encounter different cultures and visit fairy-tale cities with long and impressive histories. Soak it all in and enjoy your trip from start to finish with these travel tips especially for Australians.
Book a tour
Booking a tour is a wonderful way to see Europe. It takes all the stress out of the organising process, plus when you are at each destination, you’ll have informative guides to give you a greater understanding of the places you are visiting. Tour Companies such as albatrosstours.com.au have many different itineraries allowing you to find one to suit you. Whether you are a first-time traveller looking for an introduction to the continent or a seasoned wanderer opting for the benefits of a tour guide, a tour is an easy way to get the most out of your travel time.
As it is such a long journey, it can be tempting to try and see everything all at once. However, don’t overschedule by trying to pack too many places into your itinerary as you can end up having a very rushed, tiring trip. It is better to spend longer in each place so you can become immersed in the culture and head off the beaten track to visit sites outside the usual tourist attractions.
Organise visas and passports
Allow yourself plenty of time to organise your trip, especially all your travel paperwork. Get your passport sorted well ahead of time and remember to check expiry dates. It is important to also research each country’s travel restrictions. Russia, for example, has very tight border controls so getting a visa is a lengthy and complex process that cannot be rushed.
Many cities in Europe are renowned for their shopping, especially the fashion capitals Paris, Milan and London. So pack light, taking only the essentials with you, so you can take advantage of the excellent shopping there. Also, bear in mind that European winters are much colder than those in Australia, which means that often Australian clothing isn’t quite warm enough for the climate. It’s best to buy winter coats and shoes while you are away as they will give you the protection from the cold you need. I found a cool article on 15 items of clothing to pack for any trip here.
Learn a few phrases
Be a courteous tourist and learn a few phrases in the native language of each country. Even just memorising the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ will make for a more pleasant interaction with the people you meet along the way. The question ‘do you speak English?’ is also useful, so you can nicely ask if they will speak your language, instead of assuming. Bring a good phrasebook with you as well, just in case you forget.
Will you be heading off to Europe soon? What are your travel tips for making the most of your European experience? Share your experiences and suggestions in the comments section below.
As much as we’d like to pretend, most of us are not flaunting Audrey Hepburn’s style on our budget. And when it comes to travelling, it’s safe to say that style can sometimes go right out the window as we’re forced to opt for practicality instead. Below are a handful of sneaky style suggestions for next time you’re travelling on a budget.
Look the Part
The first thing that identifies a traveller is their luggage, so look and feel the part of the effortless travel aficionado with on-point travel luggage. You can pick up a stylish carry-on bag from luggage-specialty websites like Bags To Go, which will set you up for a stylish arrival at your destination, even if you don’t feel all that fancy after a long flight!
Clothes Make the Man
Clothes do make the man… and the woman. Travelling on a budget may cancel out the option of wearing the latest in fashion trends, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish on your trip – you just need to choose your wardrobe carefully. The key is to opt for a small number of classic, easy-to-match items. That way, you will give yourself numerous wardrobe options without having to carry too much. It’s also worth considering a few small accessories, which can really cement your style. A large statement necklace or stylish, relaxed hat can make all the difference and make you feel more presentable.
Budget Doesn’t Have to Mean Slumming It
Just because you are holidaying on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to stay in shady pub rooms or 16-bed hostels. There are a huge range of budget boutique hotels and B&Bs popping up all around the world that have incredible character and will make you feel at home while away from home. You may find that many of these places also have deals with local restaurants or can set you up with a local guide, making it all the more worthwhile.
If you want to see a new city but are stuck between an awful tourist bus and a personal limousine, now is the time to embrace vintage style and take to the streets with a bicycle. Nothing feels more carefree and effortlessly cool than gliding by the crowds, taking in the sights, and not being caught in the traffic. While it’s probably not as relaxing in cities like San Francisco, a nice flat village in Vietnam will make a cycling tourist feel all the more vintage-chic!
Take the Bare Essentials
Hair, makeup and basic skincare tend to fall by the wayside for many travellers. It doesn’t take much to go from travel eek to travel chic, and the secret lies in the basics. Bring with you small or sample versions of your favourite moisturiser, foundations and mascara, and any other essentials. They are small enough that they won’t affect your luggage, and you will feel positively stylish while strolling the streets of your holiday town.
How do you travel in style on a budget? Share your suggestions below.
I saw a news report this year talking about how there are significantly more mosquitos this summer than there previously have been. This is due to favourable conditions in the spring time when it wasn’t too hot, there was a lot of humidity/wet weather, setting the right breeding grounds for mozzies. If you are like me, ie irresistible to all types of blood sucking insects, you would have noticed a gradual increase in pesky mosquitoes and the dreaded itchy bites. If I’m travelling outside of the city, like when we stayed 5 days in Hawk’s nest over New Years, I have to be covered in mozzie repellant from head to toe – not the most favourable thing I like to be doing.
I was wearing my Para’kito wrist band with natural mozzie repellant pellet day and night while going kayaking, laying on the beach, swimming, eating, sleeping, BBQ-ing. This was to test out whether mosquitos would still bite me at their usual high frequency or
There are so many different bands to choose from – styles/colours. Plain colours or patterns.
The concept is simple, you insert a disposable pellet into your bracelet band of choice and 1 pellet last you 15 days. When you first open up your pellet – its a hard, gel like, soap bar consistency and smells like citronella. At the beginning I could smell this scent everywhere I went, but after a day or so I stopped noticing and the wrist band became a part of my NY attire. A lot of people asked me about the band and I would tell the story and idea behind this product preventing me from getting bitten.
So was I completely protected from mozzies on my trip? Short answer – I wasn’t protected 100%. Truthfully thought, I didn’t get bitten once on the left hand/arm/side of body. My thoughts are, this wrist band would protect anyone at a 90%+ capacity, but if they are not usually mosquito bait. I must emit a scent mosquitos love so I get bitten even when no one else does. Even so, the Para’kito wrist band worked for me and did its job when it came to keeping out swarms of mozzies. I did have to protect my legs with Mosquito spray. I guess the radius of Para’kito tablet didn’t quite reach my feet or the right hand side of the body completely.
Here is me wearing my Para’kito bracelet at the sand dunes.
The key benefits of this product for me are that the pellets are waterproof so suited for all activities, particularly in the summer and that its all natural ingredients. No toxic deet is used!
If you like these bracelets, they are now available in Australia, from the PARA’KITO website. There are also clips that can be used by anyone. If you or family members/friends are allergic to mosquito bites or just get eaten every time summer comes and you can’t enjoy your activities, I would highly recommend getting a few of the bracelets, clips and pellets to keep you protected.
Enjoy your summer!
I’ve never been to South Australia. Come to think of it there are so many places I haven’t been in Australia. Sydney and Melbourne are my two main cities, I’ve spent New Years at Noosa at one point and been up to the Gold Coast a few times. Those memories are usually of summer school trips and most recently a Hen’s. Perhaps those memories are best kept private
I do want to visit South Australia. Now that I am more grown up and more cultured ( well better than before), Adelaide is one of few Australian cities large enough to hold up an individual appeal with a mix of beachfront locations, art and trendy city life. I’ve heard great things about South Australian wineries too. We have Hunter Valley in NSW and that’s our excuse for a short winery trip, it is my belief however that South Australia is where it’s really at.
My ideal trip to South Australia would include these must do experiences:
1. I want to see the pandas at the Adelaide zoo. These are the only pandas in the Southern Hemisphere and the Adelaide Zoo is their home. Their names are Wang Wang (male) and Funi (female). There is even a behind the scenes tour and you can help prepare their bamboo breakfast.
2. We would rent a Europcar and drive down the coast to Victor Harbour. It would take about an hour to get there, so it’s a worthwhile weekend trip. You only need to get across the Causeway made easy with a very unique way of transportation – a horsedrawn pram! On Granite Island I would like to go on a tour to see little penguins. The little penguins are the world’s smallest penguins and can only be found in Australia and New Zealand.
3. Some wine testing at the Barossa Valley would be a must. Again getting a hire car is a must for this as the drive from Adelaide airport is approximately 1.5 hours (if you choose the scenic route). Barossa wines sit comfortably alongside the great wines of the world. The most famous are Shiraz, Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon.
4. The Eyre Peninsula – although located a bit far from Adelaide, the Eyre Peninsula is Australia’s seafood frontier. Boasting generations of fishing and farming, it is truly a place to eat and explore with a local focus. For those more adventurous than I, you can jump into a cage and get submerged into water full of sharks. Most of the shark cage diving is off Port Lincoln. This would be an unforgettable experience indeed, a bit scary but I can imagine just absolutely extreme!
If I get to do all these things in South Australia, I’ll be pretty happy with my trip over there
Have you been to South Australia? Any recommendations?
In the course of a career, it has become commonplace for businesses to conduct business interstate or overseas. But no matter how routine it’s become, there are always things to keep in mind when organising a business trip. Now, there are companies that assist in planning business trips, like FCM Travel Solutions. Travel planning experts organise every aspect of a business excursion, taking care of everything from finding and booking the best airfares and accommodation, arranging transport, catering, activities and everything in between. Whether you enlist the help of experts, or do it yourself, there are four things to keep in mind when organising a business trip.
1. Be Knowledgeable about your Landscape
While frequent travellers are savvy, there are still some areas of the world that should either be avoided or entered with caution. You need to stay educated and updated on hot-spots. To be notified immediately of any danger zone (due to civic unrest) or situation that requires care (like an impending natural disaster), all travelling employees should register with your country’s traveller tracking program, if there’s one available. That means you’ll be registered with your embassy at the destination country and be informed of any warnings being issued in the region. And in an emergency, your loved ones will be put in touch with you.
2. Store Documents on Different Devices
In this digital age, you’re probably accustomed to Internet access and having your business documents on hand by accessing them on your mobile devices. However, there are still parts of the world that may not provide you with this much relied-upon necessity. Before you leave, make sure you have all the information your company needs and save them on laptops and flash drives.
3. Back up Essential Info in a High-security Cloud Drive
For decades, it was a known practice to photocopy important documents like passports, ID, credit cards etc. and store them away from their originals. Today, it’s been made so much easier thanks to cloud storage. Open up a company cloud drive and store everyone’s information in it, along with anything else relevant to the trip, like flight info, transport and accommodation bookings, business contacts, important addresses and essential business documents. All the information you need will be in one place and you’ll have back-ups for just about anything. Plus, you can modify it to suit each trip.
4. Make sure Everyone’s Insured
Travel insurance is an absolute must. Everything and anything can happen to one or all of your group. Luggage can be lost, flights delayed, there could be an accident, or someone may fall sick. The last thing your business needs is to pay ridiculously high costs to cover any of these unforeseen circumstances. And while it seems obvious, make sure all your passports are up-to-date. We’re all busy and can easily lose track of passport renewal dates. Also, keep in mind that if any of you need to drive, an International Driving Permit is necessary, and needs to be accompanied by your actual licences.
Business travel doesn’t have to be complicated. Everything will run smoothly if you keep these things in mind. You’ll all be able to enjoy the trip and focus on the most important thing – business!
Flying: some love it, some hate it. But what most people would agree on is that flying could certainly be more comfortable – especially for those long-haul flights. For those of you jet setting away for Christmas and New Years holidays, here are five tips that you can put into action to make your next flight that much more comfortable.
Walk as Much as Possible
It’s important to walk around and stretch your legs as much as possible when cooped up in a small pressurised cabin. Doing so will prevent muscle cramping and minor aches and pains, as well as eliminate the threat of deep-vein thrombosis – a condition that can turn deadly. It also helps to stretch other parts of your body (including your back, arms and neck) whilst sitting for long periods of time. If you’re a tad self-conscious stretching in your seat, pay a visit to the bathroom and do your exercises in relative privacy.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
In general, wearing loose-fitting clothing that’s breathable should make your long plane journey more bearable. Always remember to pack a jumper or jacket in your hand luggage as we all know how cold it can get whilst cruising at an altitude of 10,000 feet above the earth. I blogged about airplane wear earlier here when we were flying 20 hours to Mexico. Above is a collage of my typical outfit for airplane wear.
Bring your own Neck Pillow
It’s true: unless you’re flying Business or First class and are treated to flat-bed seats, it’s very hard to sleep on a plane. The best thing you can do to help your chances of getting some much needed shut-eye is to bring your own neck-pillow onboard. These pillows will give you something soft to rest your head/neck against, and stop your head from moving around too much. Inflatable neck-pillows are lightweight and very compressible, meaning they won’t take up much space at all in your hand luggage. You can find them in most travel stores and airports before you fly.
Buy Noise-cancelling Headphones
There’s nothing worse than sitting next to loud, unruly passengers whilst trying to get some sleep, or watch that Hollywood Blockbuster. Unfortunately, airline headphones are poor quality, and won’t give you the sound isolation you need to have a comfortable and enjoyable flight. Instead, bring your own noise-cancelling headphones on the plane and effectively drown out all that background noise. Use them to watch that movie, or play some soft, relaxing music on your entertainment device and gently fall off to sleep.
Pressurised cabins usually only contain between 10 and 20 per cent humidity, and this relative lack of moisture in the air can make you feel dehydrated quickly. So drink as much water as you can whilst onboard. More water consumption will also make it necessary to go to the bathroom, allowing you to stretch your legs and get the blood circulation pumping again.
What other tips do you have for travellers to make their flights more comfortable? Leave your comments below and let’s make the world – ahem, plane – a more comfortable place!
Talk to experts such as the team at Corporate Traveller for more invaluable tips on what to take with you onboard your flight.