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Travel stories, inspiration, news and musing

We are the dreamers, the seekers, the travellers, the adventurers, the optimists. It's nice to meet you! There are lots of us with the same DNA - we look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Filtering by Tag: Australia

How to get those holiday feels without breaking the budget

Aimee Pearce

Is it just me or does Christmas seem a loooonnnngggg way in the distance! Now I have heard of a species of humans who ACCRUE annual leave and are even FORCED to take holidays because they have TOO MANY?!?!?! But this is a very strange and foreign concept to me. I've always been either in the negative when it comes to annual leave or I can be found on extend unpaid leave. My motto has always been: life is too short to accrue leave!

But sometimes this mandate can place us avid adventurers in a bit of a conundrum. Yes there are years of our lives when we spend all our money gallivanting the globe but there are also, how do I put it....dry spells? You know the years when you undertake a renovation (I'm still contemplating whether or not this is a good idea because I would hate it to distract from travel options) or perhaps you add to your brood or take some time off work and just don't have the kind of cash flow required to jump on a plane to Europe.

I still think, life is too short to accrue annual leave and so we need to think and plan creatively! One of the biggest challenges of being grounded in Australia due to lack of funds for international travel is of course the fact that the cost of living here is really high. You can't just book a last minute weekend away or road trip up north to the Whitsundays, because a) fuel is expensive and b) accommodation is INSANELY expensive. But there are definitely ways to get those holidays feels without breaking the budget and explore some of our own beautiful backyard at the same time. Here are some of my hot tips:

  • Plan ahead. If you can plan some weekends away outside of peak holiday periods, you will save a lot of money on accommodation costs and you will have plenty more options to choose from.
  • Use Airbnb This accommodation service has really changed the way I travel. I have used it prolifically throughout Europe and at home in Australia and it has proved to not only be reliable and reasonable, but it's a great way to obtain local knowledge of the places you are visiting. 
You could stay in central Byron Bay in an overpriced hotel lacking in character and space...or you could stay here! Just 5 minutes from town in a beautiful home with private living space and spectacular views from every room! Check out  Anna's Place on Airbnb  - great economy if you just book one room or share the cost with friends.

You could stay in central Byron Bay in an overpriced hotel lacking in character and space...or you could stay here! Just 5 minutes from town in a beautiful home with private living space and spectacular views from every room! Check out Anna's Place on Airbnb - great economy if you just book one room or share the cost with friends.

  • Couch surf! Couch surfing is a great way to travel for free (you are literally crashing on someone's "couch" or spare bed). It's also a great travelling network - you can accrue friends all around the world.
  • Learn to love roughing it! Camping is such a great way to travel - especially as a family. If you're not a natural camper, learn to love it! Borrow gear from friends or family so you can have a bit of a trial run before investing in the complete setup. Kids love nothing better than the adventure of camping, so head to the bush or the beach and enjoy connecting with nature and getting back to basics. If you can foster a love of camping in your family when your kids are young, you will set yourself up for easy, fun, cheap, holidays for the rest of your lives! And if you're not used to roughing it, just choose your destination wisely. Make sure the campground has good facilities like hot water, toilets etc. And what could go wrong?! The Australian Geographic has put together a great list of the 18 best camping spots in the country.
What's not to love about camping! Even during peak season camping grounds have a great festive vibe - even if the living quarters are a bit close! Here is one of my favourite spots in Northern NSW -  Flat Rock Tent Park .

What's not to love about camping! Even during peak season camping grounds have a great festive vibe - even if the living quarters are a bit close! Here is one of my favourite spots in Northern NSW - Flat Rock Tent Park.

  • Take control of your calendar! We all know how busy life can get. Before you know it the months are taken over with birthday parties, christenings, family gatherings and work events. It might all be fun, but you know what it equates to....months of endless busy weekends where you just can't get away. For me it's all about balance and prioritising holiday time. Whether you want to get away with the girls, your partner or your family, take control of your calendar and book out some weekends in advance so it actually happens.

Even if you don't have any massive international trips on the horizon, there is still something really exciting and rewarding about looking at your calendar and knowing you have a romantic weekend away coming up next month and a camping trip with family the month after that. It's great to allow for some spontaneity - if the weather is going to be good, why not hit the open road and chase the sun? But remember if you want to make holidaying part of your lifestyle you need to plan ahead and prioritise!

Why wouldn't you holiday in your backyard when you get to feel world's away from it all - just an hour drive from home! This is Double Island Point on the Sunshine Coast.

Why wouldn't you holiday in your backyard when you get to feel world's away from it all - just an hour drive from home! This is Double Island Point on the Sunshine Coast.

Happy travels!!

Mid week meetings: Elissa

Elissa Webster

Hello!

I know all the buzz has been about Hawaii this week, but there's also a European adventure in our very immediate future - I'm off to Europe next week! And since we're about to go on holidays together, it seems only proper to get to know each other a bit better. So...

I'm Elissa, Aimee's Wanderlust People partner in crime. This is me dressed up by a Nepali friend for the Teej festival in Kathmandu. It was one of the stand out days of the six months my husband Matt and I spent in Nepal - Teej is the one time of year when the women of Nepal get together without their menfolk and really let loose. A whole lot of preening and bangle jangling and dancing and laughing and joking about husbands goes on, and I was welcomed into the beating heart of it all just by virtue of being a woman and being there. It was a blast.

Nepal-teej-festival

But I was bitten by the travel beast (side note: "travel bug" is an inadequate term in my experience!) long before Nepal.

  • My first overseas trip was a 6 week round-the-world dash, and the first stop was Peru. I ate guinea pig, had a stranger look out for me, saw real poverty, haggled in terrible Spanish, got hideous altitude sickness and became completely smitten with mountains, hiking and travel in general.
  • My pick for good-dash-of-everything destinations is Sri Lanka. World class beaches, check. Magnificent, friendly people, check. Ancient relics, check. Mountains and hiking opportunities, check. Potential for real cultural exchanges, check. Mind bogglingly delicious food, check check. Go there.
  • The place that I first thought I could pack up and move to was Rome (there have been others since, but there's always a special place in your heart for the first!). Anywhere where people will have a good yell at each other over differing opinions on the quality of the pasta and eat gelato in the dead of winter and walk through the remains of a civilisation centuries past on the way to the office is my kind of place.
Ethan-Rome


  • The place most inaccurately represented by Hollywood that I've experienced is Casablanca, Morocco. Forget the romantic nostalgia of Humphrey Bogart; it's a pretty drab commercial centre. Tangier, on the other hand, (where lots of Casablanca was actually filmed, by the way) is pretty underrated in my book - it has all the spice and sea swept exoticism you expect from a Moroccan port town. Morocco is also the place I was first initiated into the rites of travelling with children - our eldest daughter Sascha was five months old when we travelled there. I'll never forget a lady with three children of her own and not a word of English sweeping Sascha into her arms on a long train journey and playing with her for the whole trip, just for the love of babies. I've been sold on travelling with kids ever since.
  • Speaking of travelling with kids - that probably started with my own childhood. I travelled around Australia in a caravan with my parents for a whole year when I was 11. How cool are they??
  • The landmark that most blew my mind is The Great Wall in China. I'd heard all that stuff about it being seen from space, but something about actually standing in the howling wind looking over the desolate mountains from a wall whose first stones were laid in the seven century made me ponder just how small my blip is on the radar of the world at large and the history that has written it. China was also the site of my worst food poisoning experience ever. That's a story for another day, but suffice to say it involved still having to breastfeed an eight-month-old baby (Ethan, our second child), a hideous long-haul express train trip, and a mixed up hotel booking.
  • My last trip was to Italy, Croatia and Turkey in May 2014. And you know how Rome is the city of love? Meet Luca, born in January this year ;)
Luca-owl


  • Our next trip (and Luca's first) is to England, Spain and France - NEXT WEEK!

So enjoy the last days of your Hawaii adventure and get ready for a European change up! We'll keep the photos coming :)