Planning Your Trip

Here are some helpful links and ideas of where to start when thinking about or planning your trip Down Under.

Some of these are links to resources I find useful, and others are links to where you can buy and book your holiday (or things to take with you!). Some of the links do earn us a couple of £ if you buy when you click through, BUT nothing goes on this list unless I think it’s worthy!

Getting there:

The Travelbag website is a great resource for comparing all current flight offers to all Australian International airports in different months. It lists all flight offers here and then by destinations:

The TravelBag prices are quite often the cheapest you can get but its always worth a quick flight comparison site check when you know your dates, destination or airline. I like TravelSupermarket.com (who are a site sponsor) and the new meta flight search site from Cheap FlightsZugu.

Netflights can also be very competitive.

You can also book direct with airlines such as Singapore and Emirates (my 2 favourites for a flight to Australia).

If you want to take in a few stops on the way to and from Australia the world is almost literally your oyster if you speak to the guys at Round The World Flights. They have everything from a couple of stops en route to full blown multi stop round the world flights to get you to and around Australia as part of a complex itinerary.

Where to Stay:

Of course I will have to plug my own site here — Inspired Australia — these are hand picked places (by us!) to stay across that are interesting, often unique, but affordable.

If you like individual properties and your budget is a bit stretchy definitely look at the Mr & Mrs Smith places to stay in Australia. And the chaps at Bridge and Wickers haven’t picked anywhere I wouldn’t want to stay in Australia either.

If it’s hotels in every city and major holiday destination across Australia, you can get some great deals with TravelBag (who have a complete site devoted to Australia for hotels, tours, car hire and flights).

Holidays to Australia:

If you want itinerary inspiration, I’d look no further that Bridge & Wickers. With holidays organised not just by location, but by the ‘type’ of holiday you might want (Scenery, Coast, Active, Taste, Family etc). Nicely done, well informed, and I’d do ANY of their holidays (in fact I have stayed at a few of the accommodation places they feature, and visited a lot of the destinations).

Getting around:

We like Holiday Autos for Car Hire but TravelBag also have good rates.

Also I think its worth getting an Insurance4CarHire policy to avoid paying any excesses charges for when you hire a car. No matter how ‘all inclusive’ a hire I always seem to be charged for something when I pick a car up!

Internal Flights:

I’m a big fan of Virgin Blue. Yes they’re no/low frills but they do it with a touch of style and (in my experience) good service.

Qantas are also pretty decent for internal flights in Australia (and often reach the parts others don’t). But be careful when you’re booking Qantas flights as they also operate a ‘low cost’ airline – Jetstar. Am not a fan (in my experience they make Ryanair look good – and I’ve been stranded at an airport by Ryanair before now!).

You can book all these domestic internal flights online from outside of Australia but if you know you’ll be travelling around, it may be worth booking an international flight that includes or provides offers on internal flights. TravelBag and Round The World flights will be able to help with that.

Things to take:

If you’re travelling with small people then you can get a lot of your travel essentials online with Boots. They sell everything from our favourite travel buggy the Quinny Zapp, to sunshades for your hire car window to disposable bottles, and lots of baby related paraphernalia. And of course a LOT of suntan lotion!

For Small People:

Trunki

Early Learning Centre — the stacking cups are the best travel ‘toy’ we have — they do bathtime, beachtime, playtime, any time!

Reading matter:

Australia and New Zealand Magazine is great…

Always worth a guidebook or 5 from Amazon…