Personal Concierge Travel Tips
by Debbie Alford
Packing the kids in the car and driving off to see the countryside can be a wonderful experience or a nightmare and it all depends on the preparation that you do beforehand.
Kids love to go places and explore new things. They are excited at the idea. Do you remember how it used to feel? Your breath would come faster and you’d feel tingles up and down your spine as you piled into the car. The problem is that excitement and impatience work in inverse proportion. The more excited you were the less patient you became. Your kids are no different.
It doesn’t matter whether you are driving or flying, the best thing to do is to keep your children amused and comfortable on the way.
Here are some great tips that will make your next family outing more pleasant.
1. Make a simple map and mark on it some of the things you will see along the way. It gives your children something to watch out for and lets them track their progress.
2. Scour the internet and your memory for some games that you can play along the way. You can only play “I Spy” for so long!
3. Take a stash of little travel games and puzzles. If the only time your children are allowed to play with these it makes them seem very special and adds a novelty value.
4. Pack a picnic lunch and stop somewhere along the way so they can use up their energy with some running and play.
5. Keep a snack pack with you as you travel. A drink, a piece of fruit or even a lolly will distract them for a while.
6. Go high tech. Some cars have built in DVD players so your kids can watch a movie on the way. You can also buy portable DVD players or download movies onto your smartphones.
7. If your child is really young, make sure he or she has their favourite toy or cuddly to snuggle up to. They are more likely to settle in and even sleep part of the way.
8. Take your child’s favourite CD’s and have a sing-along.
9. Buy a backseat desk. It’s a plastic desk that attaches to the headrest in front and when opened, can be used to rest colouring books and pencils. Some come with built in activities.
10. Camera’s are cheap now. Let your kids take photos of interesting things along the way. You can try disposable cameras or even play ones if they are too young for the real thing.
With all these ideas up your sleeve, travel will be fun.
If there is anything I can do for you around the home while you are away, call me!
by Debbie Alford
Americans take note. You may think you are familiar with our way of life thanks to Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee) and Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter), or familiar with our diet courtesy of the Outback Steakhouse (Bloomin’ Onion anyone?) but we offer much more to American holiday makers. Australia is a country with a great many varied travel destinations from the outback to the beaches through to the multicultural cities offering a wide variety of entertainment and dishes to eat ranging from spicy Thai to tasty Lebanese.
However there are some things to know before you visit, especially to do with our language. We don’t all speak like Crocodile Dundee and some of our phrases tend to be a little unusual. Here are some which may be helpful to you during your visit:
A shout – Your turn to buy usually referring to drinks as in “your shout” or “my shout”
Cuppa – A cup of tea or coffee
Chook – Chicken
Maccas – McDonalds
Footy – Australian Rules Football
Barrack – To support as in a particular team
Snag – A sausage
Tomato Sauce (or sauce) – ketchup
We love our meat pies at sporting events and vegemite on toast is a breakfast favourite. We rarely say “Gidday” opting for the more universally accepted welcome of “Hello”. And we NEVER EVER use the term fanny pack preferring bum bag or belt bag instead. In Australia the word ‘fanny’ refers to a part of the female anatomy. Use of the word and the anatomy can both lead to trouble!
Our currency is dollar and cent-based although you may notice the absence of the one cent coin and the quarter. Our lowest coin is 5 cents and we have a 20 cent coin as opposed to a quarter.
One important fact to remember is that Australians drive on the left side of the road. To counteract this make sure you look both left and right before crossing a street. Speeds and distances are measured in kilometres not miles and this can add to confusion.
Stay safe but most of all have fun!
Looking forward to meeting you!
by Debbie Alford
If you would like more information, please contact Debbie
by Debbie Alford
My favourite thing in the whole wide world (except for pretty padded coat hangers – my therapist says I am making progress).
Of course there was a time not so long ago when all major travel planning, be it for business or pleasure, was organised through the local travel agent. Then along came the internet and now we have the opportunity to spend countless hours scouring websites for a great travel deal.
There is a “must look at” website called Trip Advisor. Any question you may have about accommodation, modes of travel or must see attractions in any place in the world can be answered on this site. The hours spent on this site are a delight as you are constantly educated and more often as not amused by the comments posted by fellow travellers. Of course when you a reading the recommendations take note of where the posters are from – need I say more?
When booking your flights and considering a stopover, whether it be Dubai, Singapore or another destination always check on the airline website to see what deals they can offer with hotel accommodation. You will find many 5* hotels at an extremely reasonable rate.
For those of you planning to holiday closer to home, check out the Stayz website. This is a fabulous site for finding accommodation throughout Australia. It is an extremely user friendly site and enquiries are dealt with promptly. Whether you are planning ahead or decide to go away at the last minute, I would have to say that this one takes some beating.
There are many fellow travellers who are willing to give you a few tips. These may include:-
Purchase a Lonely planet or similar book for your destination area and, during the mandatory happy hour rest period back at the hotel, go through your photos you have taken during the day and write down (in your travel diary) exactly where the photos were taken and of what using your book as a reference. All churches/cathedrals/duomos start to look the same; however you may wish to remember the name of each one.
Light a candle in each of these churches, always believe it can’t hurt and hopefully will give you good luck for your journey.
Before you head off, photocopy all documents, cards etc and keep these copies in a folder in your suitcase. Leave a copy with someone at home also.
If you are travelling with a partner/companion divide some of your clothes between the two suitcases. Hopefully the two cases won’t go missing at the same time and you will at least have something of your own to wear to tide you over.
Now this is mainly for the ladies, excuse us for a moment gentlemen. There are some wonderful travel clothes to be found such as the Mela Purdie range, Feathers and Vigorella. Even good old Postie fashions have some slacks (one of my favourite words, along with frock, yes the therapist is happy with my progress there also)
Happy travelling everyone.
If you would like a hand with your travel plans or need someone to keep an eye on your home while you are away, please get in contact with me – I’d be more than happy to help.
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