Is your body calling out for a break? Could your mind do with a rest? Do you wish you could get away from the rat race and jumpstart your energy engine? Welcome to the club! According to a study conducted by Tourism Australia, a whopping 60 per cent of us are not taking our four weeks annual leave each year. So why aren't we up for a break? Many people think it's too expensive or difficult to book a holiday, but they couldn't be more wrong. Whether it's a trip up the coast or a plane ride to one of the islands in the Whitsundays, an Aussie sea-change is the key to making your happy basket overflow.
There are a variety of destinations in Australia that make the perfect getaway. So why not explore your own backyard? You can skip the hassle of currency change, vaccine shots, language barriers, hefty credit card bills and foreign culture shocks and instead relax on the most beautiful beaches in the world or amongst the prettiest rainforests around the globe. We do, after all, have 16 World Heritage Listed sites and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World!
So now you've got all the excuses you need to set off somewhere in Australia, but how can you make sure you get around with minimal fuss and maximum enjoyment? You're going to print out and hold onto our nifty travel tips, that's how!
Ride in style
- On your departure day call the airport or look up the Internet to check that your flight is on time.
- Try to drink plenty of water whether you're driving or flying so you don't become dehydrated from the air-conditioning.
- Reduce the pain of popping ears on the plane by sucking a lolly, chewing gum or gently blowing your nose.
- Make regular stops when driving and walk around on the plane to kick-start your circulation.
- When travelling wear comfortable, loose shoes that you can slip on and off easily and that will allow for your feet to swell.
Know the Aussie climate
- Regularly apply repellents and only sleep with the window open if you have flyscreens to avoid insect bites.
- Apply sunscreen regularly. If you are snorkelling or swimming, make sure your back and all other exposed areas are well covered. Four days lying on your tummy in agony does not spell fun.
- Only swim in the safe area at the beach - between the red and yellow flags.
- If walking for long periods of time, make sure you take a bottle of water or better yet, a sports drink, to replenish fluids quickly.
Stay safe and sound
- Keep your shoes on when outside and wash hands before eating.
- Jetlag isn't pretty, but fight the temptation to dive into the hotel bed at 2pm and go for a walk instead. Sticking to regular sleeping patterns will help you bounce back quicker. Also try essential oils such as eucalyptus, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lemongrass or peppermint dabbed on your forehead or on the balls of your feet for an extra boost.
- Going on a boat or a long car trip? Combat travel sickness by taking ginger tablets one hour before leaving. Peppermint, spearmint and lavender will also help.
- If you're trekking at high altitudes make sure you give your body time to adjust to the thinning air and carry adequate supplies.
Get around town
- If you're new to a city, the best way to get your bearings is to take a tour so you don't spend hours with your nose in a guidebook.
- If hiring a car carefully check it for dents and scratches and insist the rental company makes a written note to confirm them, so you're not lumped with a repair bill.
- Collect local bus, train tram and monorail timetables so you can catch as much public transport as possible it's cheaper and often quicker than taking taxis.
Quick, super smart tips
- To safeguard your holiday pics, take a photograph of your address on the first frame, then if they go missing you'll have the best chance of getting them back.
- Avoid making long distance calls from your hotel room, it's expensive! Use reduced rate phone cards.
- Divide your money into cash, traveller's cheques and credit cards and keep each in different spots in case you lose your wallet.
- Don't use laundry services at hotels, instead go to a local Laundromat or take some clothes soap and wash underwear in the bathroom basin. It's much cheaper.
- Keep a travel journal so you have something to look back on when you get home.
- Always check under the bed and in the cupboards before checking out of a room. You'd be amazed what people leave behind.
- Late night shopping is different in most states in Australia ask locals for the insider info.