Picture by Nathan Barro: Lake Nagu Nagu, Queensland, Australia

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Travel TIp Time: Send yourself a postcard!

This is a new tip which I only recently discovered but  it is by far one of my favourites and I am definitely going to be doing it when we travel to Asia at Christmas time.  

In order to remember what we did on holidays I write a travel journal.  I love writing my journal, I put lots of information in it like where we went, where and what we ate, how much things were etc and I find it to be an invaluable tool when I travel to that place again, when I am sorting photos and recording memories here on the blog. It's also nice to read and remember.

Next time I go away I will still write my journal but I am going to send myself (or our family) a postcard each day.  It's pretty easy to do and completely affordable, after all postcards are really inexpensive and so are the stamps for them.  Then when you get home and collect the mail you will be able to relive what you did and bind them into a book (like a mini album) to display and look at for years to come.  

(Photo source: Pinterest)

Some days I will get the kids to write on the postcard or let them send one each. There are no rules here, you adapt it to suit you. 

Every postcard will have the following information on it:
* the date (so we can bind them in the correct order)
* the weather (I just use a small symbol and the temperature)
* where we were and something we did there
* a stamp from our destination which is interesting in itself

Pretty basic stuff but the stuff that good memories are made of.  

(I have no idea how I am going to bind my postcards at this point, but I have some time to think about it, I love the binding on the ones above)

Next time you go somewhere - send yourself some postcards!

Monday, 19 August 2013

3 Islands, 1 Day - The Great Barrier Reef

During our recent holiday to the Whitsundays we spent a day on the Three Island Discovery Cruise (Link here).  We had a really great day and I would recommend this particular cruise to anyone.

Our day started at Shute Harbour where we hopped onboard our boat for the day. We were given morning tea before our first stop.



 (Hamilton Island)

We cruised past Hamilton Island on the way to our first stop of Whitehaven Beach.  The sand on this beach is so amazingly white it's easy to see why it's one of the best beaches in the world.  We were able to spend a couple of hours here, walking the beautiful beach, playing beach sports and discovering some of the local wildlife.  The kids had a ball, although no swimming went on (the water was really cold, it is still winter after all).




  








Having a couple of hours here was perfect, enough time to soak up the beautiful surroundings but not enough time to get bored.


When we got back on the boat we had a buffet lunch which was plentiful and delicious, a mix of cold meats and salad and of course desert on our way to Hook Island Coral Gardens.


When we got to Hook Island we first all hopped on the semi submersible and headed out to the reef for some coral and fish viewing.  To be honest we weren't all that thrilled with this bit, it was hard to see much and I found myself itching to get back to some fun.




Once we got back and headed to the beach on Hook Island, I enjoyed myself sitting on the sand while Anthony and the kids had a go at snorkelling.  The water was pretty cold here too so no one stayed in for very long.  



They also had a go on the kayaks, racing each other around which proved to be plenty of fun.  Nathan managed to find some coconuts and have a go at husking them (I don't think I've mentioned that Nathan does this really well and everywhere we go! He learned it with all our trips to Fiji).





When we got back on the boat we headed to Daydream Island Resort.  


Another beautiful place.  They have a Living Reef at the resort which was full of fish and stingrays etc. We spent a bit of time watching and enjoying it (The resort runs experiences with these amazing creatures where you can get up close and personal with them in the water).




We had a couple of hours at the resort so we spent time wandering around and looking at what was on offer.  We walked to the point and had our photos taken with the mermaids and enjoyed a drink by the beach.  We also saw kangaroos on the beach which I was not expecting at all.





The kids swam (although the pools are not heated and the water was freezing!).  We didn't get to play the putt putt but apparently it is really good on Daydream.



After all that we had a super quick 10 minute boat ride back to Shute Harbour where the bus took us back to our accommodation.  We had a fantastic day, we loved everything that we got to do and see and would definitely do it again.

*I forgot to mention that we travel with our own snorkelling gear but you don't need to, they supply it all on the boat, as well as sporting equipment to play with on the beach and life jackets for the kids.  It wasn't stinger season when we travelled but when it is they provide stinger suits too.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Travel Tip: Packing Shoes

When I travel I always put my shoes in the bottom of the case, I don't like them touching my clothes that much and I have tried a couple of what I thought would be solutions but didn't really work. 

First of all I sewed lovely fabric shoe bags for all my shoes.  I was planning on using them all the time UNTIL I realised how heavy they were.  So they never got used for travelling because I am a shopper and I need every gram of weight that I can get when coming home. I also couldn't see in the bags to see what shoes I was grabbing.

So then I turned to good old trusty plastic bags, they didn't really suit me either.  I have no idea why they just didn't last.  

So now I have found another solution.

(Photo from Pinterest)

Disposable shower caps.  I haven't used them yet, I have a packet ready to go next time I pack (which I picked up for $2 for 6).  I know this solution won't suit everyone, especially those with heels but I rarely pack or wear heels so that's no problem for me.  I like that your shoes just slip in and out of them easily, you can see what shoes you are grabbing and you can still stuff them with your socks etc.

If you have other shoe solutions let me know, I'd love to hear them.

Happy Travelling

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Our Singapore Top 5

We have been lucky enough to visit Singapore twice and we have another trip planned in the new year.  We love Singapore and it was hard to think of only 5 things as my top ones to see but here it goes (in no particular order):


  • Singapore Zoo.  We are zoo people, wherever we go in the world we always visit the zoo.  Singapore has the best zoo we have ever been to.  It is top of our list for our next visit.  We always go early and have breakfast with the Orang-utans which is simply amazing in itself.  The kids love to hold the snakes too.  I love feeding the giraffes and seeing the elephants.  The best thing about this zoo is that you can't see any barriers between you and the animals, it feels like they are right there with no cages (well there are no cages just clever ditches etc).  The toilets are pretty amazing here too, LOL!




 

 

  • The Night Safari.  It's an extension of the zoo and open at night so that you can visit and see the nocturnal animals.  Lots of animals are active at night.  You can jump on the tram and it will take you around showing you all the animals and you can catch the bird show or you can follow the walking tracks around to explore on your own.  Well worth a visit.





  • Sentosa Island.  This place is a treasure trove of amazing things, one day here is really not enough.  We spent one day here.  We travelled over from the mainland on a cable car which was an amazing view.  When we got there we had the best time on the toboggan ride (we went on it about 10 times!).  We also visited the Underwater World there, we went to the beach and the kids got to go on the Flow Rider (which was really inexpensive compared to what you pay in Australia).  There is also Sentosa Resort World there now which they were only building when we visited and the day we were meant to go to Universal Studios it was stormy so we missed out.  These two are on our list for next trip.








  • Marina Bay Sands. This photo below shows you what this place looks like, taken from our hotel balcony.  We paid to go up to the top observation deck and the views were excellent.  It was also interesting to see the amazing pool area.




 (The Spa)

 (The pool)

 (We love a selfie, every where we go)

  • Raffles.  This hotel was right across the road from our hotel and it is beautiful.  Of course you can't visit Singapore without a visit to Raffles to have a famous Singapore Sling.  We visited one afternoon and had a Singapore Sling each and the kids had a mocktail.  Be prepared when you come here to have a hole in your pocket when you leave.  Our four drinks cost us $94 SGD. They were really good though!








All of these places are ones we will go to again on our next trip as well as some new ones.  In fact I think I will make a new list after we get back, although I might have to make it a top 10.

If you ever have the chance to visit Singapore, do it, it is a great place.