CANALS BY KAYAK

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - YOUR VIEW -

If you have a sense of ad­ven­ture and like to be ac­tive on hol­i­day you might like to take a kayak tour of Venice. Most trav­ellers take a crowded va­poretto or over­priced gon­dola to see this fas­ci­nat­ing city but sit­ting low on the canals in a kayak al­lows a dif­fer­ent and a less crowded ex­pe­ri­ence. Not to men­tion a dar­ing thrill.

My hus­band and I booked a dou­ble kayak and guide for 1½ hours and toured around the la­goon, smaller back canals and large main canals. We crossed the Grand Canal not once but three times. Our guide, Jack, gave clear in­struc­tions in flu­ent English, of­fered fas­ci­nat­ing in­for­ma­tion and en­cour­aged our con­fi­dence in our pad­dling and nav­i­ga­tion abil­ity.

We felt we had learned about Venice in greater de­tail by get­ting closer to the bridges and build­ings and Jack gave us plenty of lo­cal sto­ries to em­bel­lish our un­der­stand­ing of Vene­tian cul­ture.

Re­li­able and pro­fes­sional kayak tour busi­nesses can be found online and if you like to do things a lit­tle dif­fer­ently from the av­er­age tourist, I urge you to try it.

My hus­band and I agree it was the high­light of our time in Italy. KAREN ROSS

SMART TRAVEL

My hus­band and I al­ways pack a light out­fit for each other in our suit­case. If one case dis­ap­pears at least there is a de­cent out­fit avail­able for the one whose case has gone walk­a­bout. JENNIE READ

SEAT MAP

The Boe­ing 777 is a long, nar­row plane that ta­pers to­wards the rear so that in­stead of a row of three, the last few rows have a two-seat con­fig­u­ra­tion – no be­ing squashed in the mid­dle seat. Even if the air­line charges ex­tra it’s worth it. LIND­SEY EVANS-HUNTER

EASY EN­TER­TAIN­MENT

Trav­el­ling with kids can be chal­leng­ing so I al­ways ar­range a trea­sure hunt to keep them en­ter­tained. It’s as sim­ple as get­ting a brown pa­per bag and then not­ing things that they must ob­serve or col­lect through­out the trip. Col­lecta­bles could in­clude a ticket stub, a brochure or sea shell, a leaf larger than your hand – any­thing re­ally. Items to ob­serve could in­clude par­tic­u­lar land­marks, a par­tic­u­lar an­i­mal, a group of peo­ple do­ing a par­tic­u­lar ac­tiv­ity.

It’s a great dis­trac­tion and some­thing that helps them learn about their des­ti­na­tion. NAOMI EVANS

STOCK UP

If I am trav­el­ling for more than four weeks, I make sure I have a new foun­da­tion and mas­cara so they will last. It is hard to get your pre­ferred brand and colour in some places. WENDY MATH­E­SON

CAR HIRE

Hav­ing hired ve­hi­cles for a group of six a few times now, I have learnt not to take the agent’s word for ca­pac­i­ties. When they sug­gest a seven-seater for six peo­ple, I ask for a nine-seater to ac­com­mo­date six adults com­fort­ably and lug­gage, es­pe­cially when tour­ing. We did this in Great Bri­tain and it worked per­fectly. It keeps the lug­gage out of sight of would-be thieves as well. MICHAEL BISSETT

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