Travel-advice-2

23 Hotel Views So Stunning They’ll Make You Weep

How’s this for a room with a view?

February 3, 2016

8 Legit Ways To Get Upgraded To First Class

Get off the ground with these tips.

January 22, 2016

17 Tiny Hotels That Are Too Cute For Words

Bigger isn’t always better…

January 20, 2016

The Ultimate Guide To A Wild Week In Queenstown

Welcome to the adventure capital of the world. 

January 6, 2016

14 Next Level Hotels That Have To Be Seen To Be Believed

There’s nowhere in the world quite like them.

December 4, 2015

17 Places Every Foodie Needs To Eat At

We’re already salivating.

November 8, 2015

8 Genius Gadgets For Kicking Jet-Lag’s Ass

Punch jet-lag in the face with these killer remedies.

November 6, 2015

21 Bars You Need To Drink At Before You Die

It’d be rude not to stop by for one drink…

November 1, 2015

9 Travel Hacks For Surviving A Long Haul Flight

There’s no need to feel wrecked when you touch down. 

October 30, 2015

13 Holidays For Loved-Up Couples

Prepare to be swept away in these romantic destinations.

October 16, 2015

How To Deal With The Post-Holiday Blues

Whether you’re returning from an extensive trip abroad or simply lamenting about a short trip interstate, there’s no denying that the post-holiday blues are a serious part about returning home.

RELATED: Why You Should Consider Solo Travel in 2015

Maybe it’s adjusting to your old schedule that makes the transition tough, but don’t let it get you down! We share a few of our own tips to settle back into your ‘normal’ life, and find a happy medium between your trip and co-existing back home.

Don’t deny these new changes

Especially if you’re taking a trip in your early twenties, it can be most difficult to adjust back into your everyday routine at home. Work, friendships, studying and relationships are all factors that will change as your perceptions of the world have been widened.

Take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone in your feelings! Everyone who has ever travelled goes through these feelings and you can learn to embrace them into your daily life.

Go through your photos and videos…within reason

One of the best parts of going on a trip (other than the memories), is definitely the pictures and videos you accumulated along the way. Make sure to keep them in a safe place (and make extra copies) so they don’t get lost on your phone on laptop in a digital detox.

Going through travel pictures is a great way to reflect on your trip and even get you prepared for the next one! If you’re on the crafty side, why not compile a scrapbook or collage of your travels? It’s a fantastic way to commemorate your travels and keep them as a constant reminder in the house. A music playlist or laying out your souvenirs are also great ideas!

Stay present

Many of us can get caught in the vicious cycle of sitting at home and remembering better days spent in another country. It’s important to get out there and enjoy the life you’re living now! Stay in the present and find new bars, restaurants and cafes in your current city – it’s always great to explore and stumble upon new things.

Jump on Instagram and see what’s opened up while you’ve been away – it’s so quick and easy, especially if you’re strapped for time.

Take care of your body

Odds are you treated yourself to pizza, gelato and pasta (well, we certainly did) on your time abroad. Instead of beating yourself up over those extra kilograms, make some healthy changes in your life.

Grab a friend and try a dance class, yoga, or something you’ve always wanted to do. It will definitely keep you healthy and feeling positive.

Start thinking about your next destination

Whether it’s six months or one year from now, start thinking about your next travel destination. This way, you will have something positive to look forward to and can begin the planning all over again!

What are some of your tips to beat the post-holiday blues?

Image via Worldette

September 22, 2015

iPhone Apps For Travellers

Technology has changed the way we travel. It’s made travel easier, but also more complicated – we now have so many options that often we don’t even know where to start. Not sure how to make technology work for you? Check out this list of my favourite iPhone apps for travelers.

RELATED: 10 Don’t-Leave-Home-Without Travel Tips

Packing Pro

Love to travel, but hate packing? Packing Pro makes your job a lot easier with a pre-designed packing list and suggestions on what to bring based on your personal needs, trip duration and destination type.

Weather+

This app gives you the weather conditions at locations worldwide plus the forecast for the next 5 days, invaluable when you’re planning your trip.

TripAdvisor

When you’re not sure what to do at your destination, check out TripAdvisor for recommendations. And if you’re worried about your mobile data usage, download the TripAdvisor Offline City Guides before you go – you won’t even need to access the internet.

XE Currency

Ever walked into a shop in a foreign country just to realise that you have no idea how much everything costs, because the prices are in a different currency? You can easily convert every world currency with this app plus it stores the last updated rates, so you can use it offline.

JetLag Genie

JetLag Genie creates a personalised plan so that you can get over jetlag as quickly and easily as possible. It gives you a daily list with the best time to wake up, sleep, get sunshine, stay in the dark or take a nap.

myTracks – The GPS Logger

This app helps you record where you’ve been and presents your tracks on a map. You can even take photos and attach them to the tracks so that you remember interesting places you’ve seen and you want to revisit. What’s great about myTracks is that you don’t need internet connection to use the maps.

Google Translate

A bit of local language can make your life easier in a foreign country, whether you need directions to get to your hotel or you’re ordering a meal at a traditional restaurant.

Finally, a word of warning: iPhone apps are great to make your travels smoother, but remember to check the rates you’ll be charged for using your iPhone before you leave or your bill can give you quite a fright. If you’re staying in the same country for a while, it can be worth getting a local SIM.

September 2, 2015

How To Pack Light For Any Trip

Packing light for a long haul trip seems nearly impossible, especially if clothes and toiletries are the main reasons why your baggage is over the limit. Save yourself the extra fees and learn to pack light with some of our top tips for frequent flyers.

RELATED: Would You Like To Get Paid To Travel?

Pack what you need

Not what you think you’ll need. If ever in doubt, you can always pick-up a few things you’ve left behind from the local supermarket, clothes store, or pharmacy when you land. Leaving behind those high heels won’t be the worst thing in the world! Plus, you can always buy more when you land.

Leave the shampoo behind

Hotels are usually equipped with shampoo, conditioner and a hair drier, so you don’t need to lug around the extra liquids in your checked baggage. If you absolutely cannot live without your straightening iron or curling wand, bring them along. Just make sure you have an adaptor which is compatible.

Bring versatile outfits

Going on vacation during the summer is much easier than in the winter months. Clothes are thinner, jackets aren’t always required (bring just one for the plane trip) and you can always stock-up on more when you arrive. Pack some easy day-to-night outfits that can be worn in a variety of ways; maxi dresses, playsuits and shorts are all essentials.

Work from a list

This way, you will only pack the things that you need and leave behind those impulse add-ons right before leaving home.

Don’t overdo the liquids

Most airlines have strict policies on the amount of liquids you can carry in your luggage. Buy minis of your favourite products to maximise on the room in your suitcase and avoid any hefty fees imposed by your airline.

Use a smaller suitcase

If you’re planning a multi-city trip, make sure your suitcase is easy to pack, move and unpack on a regular basis. Choose luggage that holds no more than 96L, otherwise you won’t be able to carry it around! This will force you to minimise your luggage and only pack the essentials.

What are some of your tips for packing light?

Image via Tuula Vintage

August 12, 2015

7 Things Not To Pack While Travelling

While an upcoming trip can have us all a little over-excited, packing in excess is something we’ve all done at least once. Rather than telling you what to pack (don’t forget that passport), this general guide is all about things you should leave at home.

RELATED: Travel Essentials – What To Pack In Your Suitcase

Unnecessary makeup and skincare

Most airlines only allow 100ml worth of liquids in your checked luggage, so don’t over-do it and pay the extra baggage fees, or worse, have your items confiscated at the airport. De-pot your favourite foundation into a lighter, plastic bottle so you’ll have more space in your luggage. Plus, you can always re-purchase these products at a pharmacy when you land.

Books

It might feel a little tempting (especially if you’re on a long-hair flight), but lugging around a book won’t make your suitcase or hand luggage any lighter. If you’re bringing a tablet, load it with various books to keep you occupied during the trip.

Clothes you’ve never worn

Bringing along that sundress you’ve been hoarding since 2009 isn’t exactly an efficient way to pack your luggage. Make sure your outfits can be worn in a variety of different ways, and that you will actually wear them. Otherwise, just remember all the shopping you will do when you arrive!

Hair straighteners

It might seem you can’t live without your hair drier, straightening irons, and curling wands… trust us, you can. Embrace beach-hair and save that room for other things in your luggage. Plus, most hotels are equipped with a hair drier, so don’t worry too much.

Towels

Most hotels, beaches and resorts come with complimentary towels to use on your stay. Keep a small hand towel in your hand luggage if you absolutely need to, just make sure it dries before packing it again.

Guidebooks

Instead of lugging around a string of books in your bag, store it all electronically in your phone. This way, you can easily browse, compare, and travel light!

Digital camera

If your phone is equipped with memory, won’t shut down randomly, and has great optical zoom, them its best to leave the bulky DSLR at home.

Image via Late Rooms

August 7, 2015

Travel Rip-Offs: How To Fight For Your Rights

Travel should be all exciting adventures, stunning sunsets, delicious cocktails and rest and relaxation, right? But what happens if it all turns to shit?

RELATED: Why You Should Consider Solo Travel in 2015

Be alert and alarmed dear reader, for travel crimes against humanity do happen, and when they do, it can be very handy to know what to do in the wake of a heinous travel rip-off. First things first – when you do suffer a horror travel rip-off, the worst thing you can do is stay silent and suck it up.

I only know this myself through bitter experience. I’ve packed a lot of travel into my 40 years and while travel will always be a true passion of mine, I have endured some toe-curling incidents that left me wanting to burn my suitcase.

And while I used to think complaining was a waste of time and energy – the advent of social media teaches us that sometimes it pays to loudly voice your opinion about travel rip-offs.

travel, travel advice, travel scams, travel rip-offs, consumer rights

Case in point: unfortunately for me, I recently got ripped-off by an online booking site I’d used many times with previous success, when my “4.5 star luxury hotel”, as advertised, turned out to be anything but!

When I arrived at said hotel, I felt sick to the stomach at the sight of my grotty room, complete with heinous carpet and mattress stains, disgustingly cheap furniture and a barely-working air-con unit. To make matters worse, my promised luxury “pool view” which I’d even paid extra for overlooked a run-down, burnt-out house (I’m being generous here) and the hotel manager was surly at best.

I knew in my heart I was in the wrong place, even before I got to my hotel room. For, despite the hotel’s good, central location (arguably its only virtue), when I checked in, I politely asked the hotel manager what the restaurant directly below was like, to which he snapped: “I’ve never eaten there.” Hmmph.

travel, travel advice, travel scams, travel rip-offs, consumer rights

And, like I say, the situation turned dire when I got to my horror hotel room, which was nowhere near worth the money I’d spent on it. It was an absolute dump! At best, more like one-star worthy. I was bitterly disappointed and fairly livid at being fleeced of my hard-earned.

Incidentally, sadly for me, I’d treated myself to a solo getaway in order to catch up on sleep; a rare night off from two toddlers under three, entrusted to my husband. Long story short: I complained to hotel manager – who couldn’t have cared less and refused to offer me another room.

I then voiced my disgust to my online booking service, which refused to take me seriously and/or issue a refund for my blatant travel rip-off until I sent them photos of the horror hotel via email and then finally, out of sheer frustration and rage, complained on social media when I didn’t get a response.

And, even then, I still only got HALF my money back. Oh the burn?!

In the end, I returned home that same night, a broken shell of a human, into the loving arms of my husband, who poured me a big glass of wine, having already put the kids to bed. And I did enjoy some solo beach time that day. Life wasn’t so bad…

travel, travel advice, travel scams, travel rip-offs, consumer rights

So, what do you do when your dream travel escape turns into a nightmare? My travel rip-off fight-back plan is as follows:

  1. Complain loudly: Voice your outrage, the quicker the better, to whoever has so ruthlessly fleeced you of your hard-earned.
  2. Be courteous yet direct. Don’t give in easily. Be a warrior woman: stand your ground! Consumers have rights.
  3. Always, always take photos of dodgy hotel rooms and/or keep any other evidence of your travel rip-off.
  4. Turn to social media if all else fails – ain’t nobody got time to be stuffed around, and most travel companies, if smart, do not want a PR disaster on their hands. Post often until you get a response.
  5. Contact Australia’s competition and national consumer law regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Visit ww.accc.gov.au or consumerlaw.gov.au.

Do you have a travel horror story? How did you fight for your rights?

Images via driverlayer.com, pixabay.com

June 24, 2015

10 Essentials For Any Summer Holiday

If you’re planning a getaway this summer, there are a list of things that you mustn’t forget for your travels – and no, we’re not talking about your passport or your boarding pass (although that’s also important!). Make sure you add the following items to your checklist before boarding the plane!

RELATED: 7 Family-Friendly Holiday Destinations

SPF

It goes without saying that SPF is absolutely necessary, even if it’s not summer! The higher protection, the better. Try for an SPF 50+ since this means you won’t have to apply it as regularly throughout the day, plus you will avoid burning.

Moisturiser

The chlorine and sea water can dry-out even oily skin and leave it looking rough and flakey. Keep your skin hydrated every morning and night with a lightweight formula that sinks easily into the skin.

Razor

If you haven’t already waxed your legs before leaving, a razor is necessary for those touch-ups. Choose a small, travel-sized razor which fits into your carry-on luggage and will last the entire trip.

Face wipes

Keep your face feeling hydrated with a pack of face wipes in your beach bag. Not only are they great at removing excess dirt and makeup, but you can also clean your hands with them – without the use of water.

Sunglasses

Protect your eyes from the sun (and glare from the water) with a pair of stylish sunglasses. Don’t invest in an expensive pair since they’re likely to get scratched, lost in transit, or stolen!

Hat

A baseball cap or a wide-brim hat is a must-have to protect your face, neck and décolletage from the suns rays.

Swimsuit

Pretty obvious! Pack a few different swimsuits in your beach tote to have some variety in your outfits each day. This also means that you don’t have to wash your swimsuit every day after the beach.

Cover-up

A cover-up or loose dress for the beach is necessary for commuting back and forth all over town. Choose a dress which protects your skin from UV rays – it’s crucial!

Thongs

Thongs, flip-flops or sandals are essential if you’re travelling to and from the beach. Pebbled beaches are painful to walk on and you might need to swim in your sandals. Don’t get annoyed if they get wet from the sea water!

Cosmetics bag

Pack a small cosmetics bag into your tote and store your essentials such as makeup, phone and iPod. Most cosmetic bags are actually waterproof and won’t destroy your precious items inside.

Have we forgotten any other must-haves for the beach?

Image via Cindy Mangomini

June 15, 2015

10 In-Flight Travel Essentials

Whether you have a relaxing trip booked overseas for a week, or are simply heading interstate for a girls weekend, there are a few items which you should never leave home without.

We’re not talking about your passport and credit cards (those are a given), but these will make your trip run smoother and are a little more on the pampering side.

RELATED: Would You Like To Get Paid To Travel?

1. A good book

Bring along a book you’ve had pinned onto Goodreads for the last few months and have been dying to get stuck into. Stick to something short and sweet (less than 500 pages) if you’re bringing a paperback, or bring an entire library if you have a Kindle in your handbag.

2. Hand sanitiser

It goes without saying that keeping your hands clean is absolutely necessary. Keep a few hand sanitisers in your luggage and handbag, but make sure they’re alcohol-free so the formula won’t dry your hands.

3. Mini moisturiser

Flying can leave the skin on your hands feeling particularly dry, so always make sure to carry around a small hand moisturiser. Choose a soft, lightweight formula which won’t feel too greasy on your skin.

4. Face mask

A portable face mask is the perfect way to keep your skin hydrated if you’re on a long flight. All you need to do is apply it on clean skin, then sit back and relax!

Just pat the excess product into your neck and hands, then dispose of the mask after you’re done. It also takes the place of an eye cream, which can be hassle to apply and will free some room in your cosmetics case.

5. Noise cancelling headphones

Nobody wants to hear your music and you probably don’t want to hear theirs. A pair of noise cancelling headphones is a must-have since you can discreetly go about your business, or even block every thing out as you sleep.

6. Mints

Keep your breath fresh by storing a few mints into your carry-on luggage. You probably won’t be able to brush your teeth on a longer flight and mints are so much more convenient than gum.

7.  Lip balm

Many women suffer from dry, chapped lips since the moisture is sucked out of your skin during a long-haul flight. Choose a stick so you don’t have to dip your hands into the little pot, which also keeps it clean and sanitary!

8. Socks

A pair of warm, woolly socks is the best way to keep your feet warm during a long flight. Since planes have the air conditioner on at all times, choose a beanie to keep your head and ears warm as well. A scarf also works well at keeping the cold away.

9. Leggings

If you’re strictly a ‘no-leggings as jeans’ type of girl, then you could make an exception for a long plane ride. If you haven’t changed into a pair of comfy pats before boarding, do it right away!

10. Floss

Finally were would we be with a bit of floss? Use it to keep your teeth fresh (especially on international flights), then dispose of it afterwards. Those little picks are extremely helpful since you don’t actually have to touch the inside of your mouth.

Have we forgotten anything? Comment with your essentials down below.

Image via Refinery 29

March 11, 2015

Tips For Female Solo Travellers This International Women’s Day

Tomorrow (Sunday, March 8) marks the annual International Women’s Day aimed to inspire women and celebrate their achievements. With global guided holiday leader Trafalgar revealing that 77 per cent of its solo travellers were female in 2014, we’ve listed the top female-focused travel trips to help women embrace the female solo travel trend in 2015.

Turkey

Turkey

The small village of Demircidere in Turkey has the second-highest rate of working women in the country. The women enjoy an equal status in community relations and open their doors exclusively to Trafalgar guests. The women invite you inside their family homes to share their love of traditional Turkish cuisines and culture in an unforgettable Be My Guest experience. Sitting around the table, you’ll be empowered by the remarkable persona these women share as they interact with you through their native language. In a truly emotionally filled holiday, you’ll be able to walk the pebbled shores of Anzac Cove 100 years on remembering the brave soldiers that lost their lives in Gallipoli. Trafalgar offers single supplement waivers of 100per cent on its 8-day Highlights of Turkey guided holiday departing April 25, June 27, August 29 and October 24. For more information, visit www.trafalgar.com.

Scandinavia

Norway

 

The World Economic Forum recently ranked Norway, Finland and Sweden as the best countries for gender equality. The survey measures opportunities available for men and women in four critical areas – economic opportunity, health, education and political empowerment. Experience the Scandinavian culture first-hand when meeting Arild Nydegger Øvre-Eide on Trafalgar’s 14-day Scenic Scandinavia & its Fjords guided holiday. Arild is one of the fifth generations living on her family owned farm, Ovre-Eide. A working farm since the Viking Age, Arild’s family bought the property in 1870 and has continued to pass it down generation to generation. Arild will share her experiences of working on the farm as well as her ambition to teach students the skills of becoming bakers or pastry chefs. Dining with her family, you’ll discover their passion for using Norwegian products in their dishes that are locally grown to ensure the economic growth within their community.

Europe

Hungary

Unpack once as you cruise the breathtaking rivers of Europe enjoying scenic views and indulging in all-inclusive luxury. Travel with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises on the new S.S. Maria Theresa on the 15-day European Jewels itinerary and experience a world of history, culture and art as you journey along three great rivers. Spend the day absorbing the musical background in Vienna, get active with complimentary bicycles to discover the banks of the Danube or relax onboard with a good book. Uniworld offers single supplement waivers on select itineraries and departures, for more information visit www.uniworldcruises.com.au

India

India

Recalibrate and connect with your inner goddess in India. Women who spend their days juggling commitments and children can’t help but unwind amongst the temples and monasteries in the foothills of the Himalayas. Be soothed by the serenity in the home of the exiled Dalai Lama with Adventure World’s Journey to Himachal Pradesh. The 8-day journey is priced from $1,514 per person including accommodation, many meals, transportation by private vehicle, sightseeing with local English speaking guides and train journey between Shimla and Kalka.

Tasmania

Tasmania

According to a survey released by Lastminute.com.au, a third of Australians are planning to travel solo in 2015 with meeting new people, cultural immersion, freedom, and getting to know themselves better listed as the top reasons to take a trip alone. Take a step in the direction of the popular novel and new film ‘Wild’, and find yourself during a hiking trip through Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park. Rise with the sun and take in the beauty of Bryan’s Beach, Wineglass Bay and Bluestone Bay before following the track used by the Oyster Bay Tribe through the pristine bushland, you’ll be captivated by the rich and diverse nature that surrounds you. On AAT Kings’ 5-day Tassie Trails – Freycinet Experience Walk, you won’t be completely alone. On this world-class hiking trip, you’ll enjoy the company of up to 10 people, luxury lodge accommodation, scenic boat cruises and delicious Tasmanian food and wine.

March 7, 2015

Should You Consider A Family Cruise?

Going on a family cruise was our kids’ idea. For years, every time they saw a cruise ship docked at Circular Quay they’d ask if they could go on it. Finally, we said ‘yes’. Wondering if you should do it, too? Here are just a few things to take into account before you make your decision.

RELATED: The Most Affordable Cruises From Australia

Everything is done for you

No cooking and cleaning. No need to go out at night to get dinner. On the flip side, the kids end up eating way too much junk and the food can get boring. I was craving home cooked meals and green smoothies long before the end of the cruise.

Kids’ club!

You can drop the kids off and have a few hours to yourselves as a couple. If your children love the kids’ club, you can achieve the perfect balance between a romantic time away, a relaxing retreat and a family holiday. Only our kids hated it. Every time we wanted them to go to kids’ club, there were tears. We only took advantage of it a couple of time. After all, it was our children’s holiday, too, and we wanted them to enjoy it.

You only unpack once

There’s no flip side to this – if you have little children, you know well how much stuff they need and how frustrating packing can be. Being able to just unpack once and not worry about it until the end of the holiday is definitely a massive plus in my books.

The sea conditions can vary

If the sea is calm and the sun is shining, you will have a great time on the deck. But when it’s storming, there’s possibility of sea sickness. Even if everyone is feeling ok, the chances are that the swimming pools and the outdoor activities will be closed, and there’s only so much you can do indoors. We had a couple of those very long days during our trip.

Limited time at the destination

We visited 4 destinations and each time we had to be back at the ship no later than 4.30-5 pm, even as early as 2.30 pm at one of the ports. We didn’t get to see all major attractions and we had to keep track of time throughout the day. I didn’t like feeling rushed, I much prefer travelling slowly.

How did our family cruise go? The kids loved it and we had a hard time dragging them off the ship. The adults – not so much. It was an interesting experience, but I think I’m flying next time.

Image by tpsdave via pixabay.com

February 3, 2015

5 Things You Must Do In Amsterdam

Amsterdam is renowned for many things, not the least of which is a liberal attitude to drugs and sex. But the city is so much more than a party destination for British students. Its architecture is unique, and its people beautiful. Beyond the red light district are amazing canals, parks, and eateries. If you’re limited on time, here is my pick of the must-do activities in this great city.

RELATED: Stylish Cities You Must Visit

See the Anne Frank Museum

Starting with the obvious: the house in which Anne Frank hid during Nazi occupation has been transformed into a museum and memorial for Anne, her family and fellow holocaust victims. The diaries she wrote while in hiding here are now among the most popular published memoirs in history. This is perhaps Amsterdam’s greatest museum attraction, so expect lines. But arrive early, and don’t miss out on this important slice of history.

Hire a bike

When in Amsterdam, you must travel like a local. Your hotel or hostel should hire out bikes, but there are stations all around the city, if needed. Cycling in Amsterdam is a serious business. The locals have cycle-skills you have never seen before, and – being a clumsy tourist – you will undoubtedly get in their way at some point or another. I recommend practicing in a park before hitting the streets. Which brings me to…

Picnic in Vondelpark

This green eden in the middle of town is a great place to escape and just take in some nature. Take your bike for a ride in the wide open space, or pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Stroll through Jordaan

Jordaan is Amsterdam’s trendy burrough. It has a number of great boutiques, galleries and dining experiences, and is also quite easy on the eye, so even if you’re short on cash, you will enjoy a stroll through one of the loveliest parts of the city.

Visit a coffeeshop

Not to be confused with a coffee house or cafe, the coffeeshop is where you can buy your weed and related products. If smoking pot isn’t your thing, just go, keep an open mind, take a look at the menu, and chat to the helpful staff. It is a one-of-a-kind experience. Ironically, or perhaps not, coffeeshops also tend to offer the best coffee!

October 4, 2014

Why You Need To Switch Off And Take A Digital Detox

We all travel to escape day-to-day reality. Scanning work emails, checking in on Facebook and uploading instagram selfies while away makes it tricky to get the most out of a well-deserved break so lastminute.com.au travel guru Louise Ryan looks at why a digital detox is more than necessary for most of us.

“New research by lastminute.com.au shows that while 64 per cent of us say we go on holidays to relax, the reality is almost a third (31 per cent) of Australians check their work emails while on holidays, 13 per cent do work on their laptop and 12 per cent even take work calls while on annual leave.

We also have attachment issues with our mobile phones, with less than half (41 per cent) of us saying we feel relaxed without our phone on holidays. 

Social media is one of the biggest distractions to people ‘switching off’, with 78 per cent of people needing a social media fix while on holidays, with one in ten people admitting they are addicted to social media and can’t bear to ‘switch off’ while away.  

From past experience, I know there is nothing more refreshing than completely switching off for a real holiday. By turning off your mobile phone and banning emails, outlook reminders and social media, you can clear your mind and focus on the destination you’re in, and the company you’re with.”

Below are Louise’s top tips for switching off:

  • Leave your work phone at home so you don’t get tempted to scan an email or two
  • Advise your family and friends know that you’ll be offline for a few days (so start panicking when they don’t hear from you!)
  • Plan ahead and organise yourself so you don’t have to stress out about work matters while on holidays.
  • Live in the moment! Enjoy your incredible holiday and the people you’re with without getting distracted
  • Go remote! If you are really addicted go somewhere you literally are unable to get phone/internet reception (check out top lastminute.com.au detox destinations below)

Need a digital detox break?

Here are Louise’s top five suggestions for a tech-free vacation in Australia (where you’ll have very little phone reception even if you tried).

NSW

Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, Wolgan Valley

Just a few hours from Sydney, this six-star resort will make you feel a world away. Not even Telstra’s nationwide network can be picked up out here.

Tasmania

Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, Cradle Mountain  

Located on the edge of the spectacular World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, just 1.5 hours from Launceston, this is the perfect destination to relax, retreat and rejuvenate.

Northern Territory

Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Mary River

Nothing says remoteness like the Top End of Australia. Stay in this luxurious retreat in the heart of the majestic Mary River National Park Wetlands of the Northern Territory, just outside of Kakadu and make crocodile spotting your morning ritual rather than replying to work emails.

WA

Eco Beach Resort, Eco Beach

Choose between glamping in a luxury safari style eco tent or staying in your own solar powered eco villa overlooking the Indian Ocean. This Kimberley region retreat is just 90 minutes south of Broome and is all about sustainability, fresh produce and relaxation.

QLD

Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa, Daintree

 

Imagine switching off by staying in heart of the world oldest rainforest. Bliss! Situated between the Mossman and Cape Tribulation end of the Daintree National Park, this lodge & spa is escapism at its best.

*According to lastminute.com.au’s 2014 Travel + Lifestyle Report which surveyed 5,700+ Australians. 

August 10, 2014

5 Items You Need For Backpacking

Regardless of where you’re travelling next, bringing along the right equipment is important especially if you’re backpacking and have limited room in your luggage. Packing at the last minute often results in forgetting many essentials, so try and be well prepared by preparing your bags ahead of time (without forgetting any important essentials). Keep reading for our top 5 items you will use regardless of where your next destination is.

1. Flip-flops

An easy-to-carry pair of sandals, flats or trainers is important to bring along if you’re constantly moving from each destination. These are an inexpensive option especially if you’re constantly required to take your shoes off when entering various temples, mosques, and even people’s homes. Flipsters make a variety of stylish fold-up shoes and sandals which easily pack away into a small carry case (as big as your smart phone!).

2. Face wipes

You’ve probably got this one covered in your makeup bag, but bring along a small pack of face wipes wherever you go. Not only are they great to use on the face, but help to eliminate germs and sanitise your hands without the use of water and soap. Great to use for cooling off, or simply just to freshen up throughout the day or night.

3. Book

Many may choose to disagree with this option, but a book is a great item to pack since flights and transportation take up so much time. If it feels too bulky to carry around on your trip, try out eBooks since they are easily stored on the phone and won’t take too much space in your carry-on or luggage.

4. Microfibre towel

Not only are these towels light and easy to carry, but they dry in half the time of a standard towel. A great option for anyone choosing to backpack throughout the duration of their trip, since towels come with a handy zip carry pouch of their own for those day trips.

5. Pen and paper

Bringing along a small un-lined journal and pen makes it easy to jot down experiences, people’s details and fun-facts throughout the holiday. This also comes in handy if you’re trying to remember some of the local languages, during your stay. Moleskine provide a large collection of classic notebooks which come in various colours and styles for people on-the-go.

Image via A Not So Lonely Planet Blog

July 19, 2014
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