Friday, June 6, 2014

Wanna Go to Oz?

Lets Travel To The Land Down Under

"I come from a land down under
Where beer flows and men chunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder
You better run, you better take cover"

*Please pardon my Men at Work quote - it popped into my head when I decided to write about Oz!

So a few years back, before I was married, I decided I wanted to move to Australia for six myself.  Well guess what, I only last a month because I missed my now husband so much I came home early! 

I really do not have any reservations about traveling alone, I personally think that it is a great feat to accomplish and everyone should try it once in their lifetime.  You do not have to go all the way around the world but at least get out of your familiar zone 
sometime before you die!

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Lets start planning your trip!

Step 1.  Research Australia - once you do you will realize that their seasons are opposite of ours.  This will help you pick out dates.  If you are looking for an "endless summer" you need to travel there in the winter (their summer).  Australia is a HUGE continent with a ton of things to see so give yourself at least 3 weeks to travel and if you want, you might as well visit New Zealand while you are there too.  
What are the chances in your lifetime that you will be going back there....take advantage.  

Step 2.  Figure out if you want to a travel buddy/buddies, taking family etc.  It is super important to firm up who is going with you and that they will not back out because you do not want to book  things in advance that you can only afford with others then have them flake.

Step 3.  Given the amount of time you are going to be there - decide how you are going to get from region to region.  
For example:  If you are in Sydney (New South Wales) and want to go dive the Great Barrier Reef (Queensland) you are going to need either a plane ticket, train ticket or a car.  
Flying = 4 hours
Train = 3 days
Car = 27 hours with no stops
*I suggest taking the costs the same as an airline ticket but you get to see more of the country.  And I do believe you can take a train to anywhere in the country so plan accordingly.

Step 4.  I highly suggest booking your plane tickets with a travel loan through 
United Military Travel.  Why?  They are going to be pricey and if you can have the opportunity to pay for them over time rather than all at once you can.  Also, keep in mind that you CAN pay off your travel loan all at once with no penalty if you decide you do not want to have a payment anymore.  
Its a beautiful thing :)  Also, they can pre-book a car rental for you also plus hotels etc.

Step 5.  If you choose not to travel through UMT I would book directly through an airline instead of using a travel website.  They may give you discounts for anything and if you are going to book muli-destination tickets it is nice to have someone assist you.  

Step 6.  My biggest mistake going over there was having a set schedule and having things pre-booked!
The main thing you are going to want when over there is freedom and not feeling rushed.  Also, when you pre-book things a lot of times you cannot get all your money back if you cancel, so I suggest getting there and getting settled and booking things a couple of days in advance at the most!

Step 7.  Things are a bit pricey over there but you just have to know the little tricks to saving is possible! 

  *Beer is more expensive than wine.  When dining out you will most likely pay $7 for a draft "domestic" beer.  
But if they have Tooheys beer order that - it is a light beer that is cheaper than the rest.  
But to save real money, drink wine.  Boxed wine or bottled...does not matter.  You will save money.

*Buy groceries and eat most meals at home or pack food for the day - you will save hundreds!

*Walk or take the Metro....avoid cabs.

*Guided tours are a great way to see the country but before booking with one company - price check the competition.

*As for accommodations:  If you are a person or family that needs to stay in resorts or 5 star hotels go right ahead but keep in mind there are some quite nice budget friendly places too.  You will save most of your money staying in places like this and since you are going to be out most of the day anyways, why spend a fortune on accommodation. 

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The photos below are things that I suggest doing while there!

Darling Harbor in Sydney

  About to have drinks at the bar at Sydney Opera House

 View of Opera House on a ferry to Manly

Manly Harbor for some shopping

 Sydney Harbor Bridge

   Go on a guided hike through the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney

Deep in the Blue Mountains

Sick caves on the floor of the Blue Mtns


Dive the Great Barrier Reef

Where sunscreen!!

There are bats everywhere, embrace it!

Swim in crystal clear lakes

Frolic in waterfalls

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Thank you so very much for taking the time to visit my blog! Traveling is very dear to me and sharing my travels and desires with you makes my heart smile. I want to hear all about your adventures because sharing travel stories is the root to all inspiration. Also, any suggestions you may have on how I can improve this blog - I am all ears!!
Allie xoxo