MAP POINT IN RIGHT DIRECTION
Ihave cycled around and across five continents with absolutely no natural sense of direction. What most people don’t know is that Google Maps will show your location with its “blue dot” no matter where you are and without any internet. As long as you have checked over or Google-mapped your route when you actually have internet, it will all be there when you need it. No need to download or save anything and no need to ever be lost!
When travelling with kids, some of the main airports have umbrella strollers you can use right up until you board the plane, which means you can check in your pram and not have to stress about carrying your baby/toddler for an hour-and-a-half before your flight. Massive life saver when you have an uncooperative toddler.
After too many sleepless nights in many a badly soundproofed hotel room, I have finally found the best ear “plugs” to help find those holiday zzs – the moldable silicone ear stoppers, used to stop ear infections when swimming, found at any good chemist. They work to seal the ear hole rather than having to shove something deep inside. I tend to keep them in my carryon for long-haul flights too (just in case of an extra noisy seat during the flight). KIRSTY TRADELL
There is a fabulous coach service available from regional centres direct to the cruise ships leaving Melbourne –
they take your bags and you do not see them until in your cabin, and they pick you up dockside to take you home! When on a cruise I always carry a small Thermos so I can take a hot drink to my cabin for later rather than use room service. It is so convenient and safe to carry going up in crowded lifts.
HAWAII FOR LESS
Here are some of my top money-saving tips from two weeks on Oahu, Hawaii. We took the public bus instead of hiring a car ($5.50 a day) to Haleiwa and the beaches on the North Shore. It can take a while but is a great way to meet people and see the sights.
Foodland Supermarket at Ala Moana Center and Safeway on Kapahulu Ave give great discounts if you sign up for the respective store cards, and the ready-to-go meals there are fresh and good for lunch or dinner.
Renting an apartment through HomeAway was economically a better option as it avoided the daily resort fees which most hotels charge.
WHAT NOT TO TAKE
When travelling I keep a scrapbook/ diary. The last entry of any trip is a list of “what did I take but didn’t use”. You know, that T-shirt you tossed in at the last moment, tights in case it got cold (in Darwin?), a book to read (yes, I do know about e-books) or even small things like four colours of lipstick for a four-day trip. If you didn’t use them then they didn’t earn the space and maybe, just maybe, I will learn from this next time I pack.
Spectacular Uluru in the heart of NT’s Red Centre: sometimes the best travel experiences can happen in your own back yard.
Narrowboats moored at Gas Street Basin in Birmingham, where 56km of waterways were built by 18th-century industrialists.