Last-minute hol­i­day get­aways

Re­lax! It’s not too late to book a sum­mer es­cape – here are won­der­ful 11th-hour of­fer­ings

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Contents -

how quickly the year goes by. It seems one minute it’s the start of the year and then, in a flash, the school year is wind­ing up and Christ­mas par­ties start. But don’t worry if you’ve left book­ing a trip away too late, as there are still ter­rific op­tions avail­able for the per­fect sum­mer es­cape.

PITCH A TENT

It’s never too late to grab the camp­ing gear, pitch a tent and sleep un­der the stars. So these Christ­mas hol­i­days (when it’s likely ev­ery­one else will be head­ing to the beach), why not take the road less trav­elled and ex­pe­ri­ence a dif­fer­ent part of Aus­tralia? For ex­am­ple, Na­timuk in Vic­to­ria has easy hikes or bike rides along the 10km trail to Mount Arapiles, there’s farm­ers’ mar­kets to browse, her­itage build­ings to be­hold and sen­sa­tional Wim­mera sun­sets to toast with tip­ples from nearby winer­ies. Find camp­ing grounds around Aus­tralia at Find a camp. find­a­camp.com.au

TAKE A STAYCATION

Here’s a fun idea: feel like a tourist in your own town or city by go­ing on a lo­cal ad­ven­ture or try­ing a new ac­tiv­ity. Stay­ca­tions can be just as re­ward­ing as tak­ing a hol­i­day over­seas. There are web­sites such as Groupon and Red Bal­loon that of­fer dis­counts on ex­pe­ri­ences such as he­li­copter flights, deep-sea fish­ing and V8 car rac­ing. The best way to tackle a staycation is to draw up a plan. Sched­ule an itin­er­ary as if you were in an­other city. When you be­come a tourist in your own town, you see it in a new light. red­bal­loon.com.au groupon.com.au BE­COME A HOUSE-SITTER How would you like to en­joy free ac­com­mo­da­tion in a new des­ti­na­tion? If you love pets or gar­dens and don’t mind look­ing af­ter them, then you could find your­self with a free house-stay via Trusted house sit­ters. For pet own­ers, hav­ing their spe­cial friends looked af­ter at home while they’re away is a great op­tion. The web­site con­nects home­own­ers and prospec­tive house-sit­ters. trust­ed­hous­esit­ters.com/au/ SCAN THE WEB­SITES

Pack your suit­cases, as there are last-minute deals around, if you know where to look. Fin­der.com.au has a list of deals still avail­able dur­ing Christ­mas and sites such as Skyscan­ner, Last Minute, We­b­jet and Tri­vago are there for you to com­pare travel deals. Keen to get away, but don’t re­ally mind where you head off to? Look at Skyscan­ner’s ‘ev­ery­where’ op­tion, which lets you see all the cheapest des­ti­na­tions avail­able.

You can get into hol­i­day mode whether open up you’re at home or away, just to new ex­pe­ri­ences and ad­ven­tures

You don’t have to get on a plane to go on hol­i­day – hit the road!

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