Visit Melbourne, Australia: 5 Tips for Planning A Trip Down Under
Disclaimer: This is a Guest Post written by Army Wife, Marla Bautista. All content, pictures and opinions are her own.
I’ve always wanted to throw a shrimp on the “Bar-Be” and I finally had my chance. We booked a 5 day trip to Australia and it was a dream come true! Planning a trip down under was fun and slightly confusing. When it comes to making travel plans, I believe, I am an expert. I have planned trips for my family, not only in America, but in at least seven countries outside of the U.S. On this trip, we are travelling from Chicago, Illinois to Melbourne, VC, Australia for a wedding. This trip involves a lot of planning. Airfare, hotel, transportation, currency exchange, and other travel necessities will need to be preplanned to avoid a travel catastrophe. In this article, we’ll talk about just that. Ways to plan a fun filled vacay minus the travel blues.
Visit Melbourne, Australia : Finding the Most Affordable Flights and Accommodations
Booking a flight seems easy enough, right? Well, it mostly is. However, if saving money, finding convenient flights, and seeking a hotel that meets your needs is a priority then you have some research to do. Honestly, my favorite place to find flights is Orbitz. There are a lot of options for flights, and when pairing them with hotel accommodations and transportation you can find a great deal. Be flexible, this is the best way to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal. When I search for flights, I check different dates and times that are close to my preferred travel dates and times. Sometimes, a matter of departure times may decrease the cost of your flight by hundreds of dollars.
When booking hotels, Airbnb’s, or hostels, make sure the accommodations you want are listed prior to confirming. Once, my family stayed in a tiny room with a standing room only shower, one full size bed and we were travelling with two adults, a toddler, and an infant. Imagine how fun those sleeping arrangements were. Try to find living accommodations close to your desired attraction location (If costs allow). When looking for accommodations, I try to find something close to a main city or near a transportation hub, like a train or bus station.
Visit Melbourne, Australia :Checklist of Official Travel Documents Required
Not so fun fact; Did you know that in order to travel to Australia, you need not only passport, but also a VISA? Yes, I didn’t know this until I stood at the ticket counter and the attendant asked to see my VISA. Lucky for me there was a quick fix. You can apply and be approved for a VISA within minutes. The cost was $25. I applied online and receive my confirmation and VISA number in less than 15 minutes.
Visit Melbourne, Australia: How to Stay in Touch Back Home
Depending on your cellular network, international phone service in Australia may be included in your plan. With T-Mobile, I had unlimited texts and a 2G internet, phone calls were .25 cents which was more money than I wanted to spend. Good news, most people live in the 21stcentury and have Wi-Fi calling through apps, email, and other forms of communication that are more cost effective when you travel. If you need to make phone calls, one option is to purchase a prepaid phone and buy a minute card for the duration of your stay.
Melbourne, Australia Currency Exchange
There are plenty of places where your cash can be exchanged into Australian Dollars. Do some research. Knowing the current exchange rate is necessary, you should know exactly how much your money is worth. I find that exchanging cash at airport kiosks, happen to be more convenient and cheaper than doing it at a foreign bank. However, if you can exchange funds at your home bank, do it. Using a foreign ATM or Bank Branch can encompass excessive fees.
Things to Do In Melbourne, Australia + Melbourne Public Transportation
There are so many things to do in Melbourne, VIC, Australia that are cheap or free! Did you know the trams in Melbourne are free! Yes, free transportation around the city. If you want to visit anywhere outside the city, you can travel with ease using the Victorian Metro System. MyKi passes are less than $10 per day and gives you access to the states train, bus, and tram service.
If you’re looking for family friendly fun, check out Sea Life Park. The aquarium is home to many unique animals, rescued, bred, and protected by the Sea Life Aquarium. If you are looking for some adult only fun, there are casinos, footy games, and vineyards galore! The Tarrawarra Estate, located in Healesville, is beautiful, the wine is amazing, and the food is second to none! The views at the vineyards are unlike anything you will ever see in America. Purely Breathtaking! We went on a tour of Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. The stadium was spectacular! We got a behind the scenes look at where the AFL players took ice baths after games, and where Taylor Swift prepared for concerts! This was an experience I will never forget!
If you ever have the chance to visit Australia, do it! There is so much to see and do, you won’t be disappointed. Book your flight, get yourself some swanky accommodations, and hit the town!