Traditionally when booking flights the earlybird gets the worm. This is still true, especially if you are wanting to fly in busy holiday periods, such as Christmas and during school holidays etc. As a standard rule of thumb did you know that often the best time to book domestic flights is approximately 3 weeks in advance (Excluding holiday periods).
Another great way to save on flights is checking out their weekly domestic sales. Virgin Australia’s Happy Hour is on every Thursday between 4 – 11pm which has a selection of reduced fares each week offered exclusively during this time. Jetstar also runs a Friday Frenzy from 12 – 8pm every week with their discounted departures.
To get a better deal on international flights booking at least 6 months in advance will help you pay a fairer price. Most airlines allow you to book up to 11-12 months in advance.
As travel habits change, so have the seasons. You can grab a great airfare if you are savvy and know when the airlines release their Sale Fares. Europe Early bird fares are usually released for sale around Sept/Oct for specials for the following year. Canada and the USA are typically on sale around June. Asia and other South Pacific destinations often have sales on throughout the year, if you want to grab a bargain, January always has great New Year sale fares if you are open to any destination that may be on offer.
The best deal is always when you get free flights. Some travel companies offer Free flights when booking one of their exciting land and cruise tours. We have some exclusive Travelmarvel fly free offers available for Europe / Canada /Vietnam and Cambodia. Click through to take advantage of them now. CLICK HERE
Get your children ready for your fun family adventure. Being prepared takes a lot of pressure off and helps get you ready for anything that might come your way.
A checklist is a very helpful way to help your journey go as smoothly as possible. Here are some of our top picks.
Discuss with your children what they should expect. Special meals, flying in the clouds, new adventures and watching movies. If travelling with more than 1 child – You might want to talk about seating prior to the big travel day – Many siblings have had fiery debates about who will get the golden ‘Window Seat’. They will also be required to sit for extended periods of time, we suggest stretching your legs when you can when the seat sign is off.
Keep them entertained :
Packing these items can also be a godsend : Children’s headphones, colouring in pack, a surprise new toy, travel games and don’t forget the fully charged IPad preloaded with all their favourite games and TV shows/movies.
A few of their favourite snacks never go astray and don’t forget special food if child has allergies. When Travelling abroad or interstate just be aware of any quarantine food items you may need to declare on arrival.
Nappies, wipes and change of clothing and extra dummies - it’s not fun accidently dropping a dummy under a plane seat and not having a backup.
Change of Clothes:
Children can be unpredictable at the best of times. You will never know when they might drop a juice bottle or get a crook tummy – We always recommend having a change of clothing in your travel bag for all kinds of mishaps.
Remember to bring your child’s favourite teddy or snuggle blanket, travelling can be overwhelming for some children, bringing a comfort from home can help them adjust to a new environment.
If your child requires medication, please check with your Doctor how best to carry it and if there is any issue bringing the medication into another country.
On longer flights some parents swear by choosing to fly at night with children so they spend a large part of the flight sleeping and wake up in the morning in their destination. This is not always possible depending on the destination or airline but something worth considering.
Child/Baby Equipment hire :
Every country has different rules around child safety restraints in vehicles. We recommend to do some research about the country you are travelling to. If travelling with young children some parents chose to take their own car seats, stroller etc. In many countries you can also hire child/baby products which can be prebooked. Many parents find this option very helpful and are happy not to be lugging around extra baggage.
Request a baby, toddler or child meal when booking flights. Many airlines do not offer this automatically, this can be done at the booking stage or may be added later with your travel agent or direct with the airline. Depending on what type of fare you have purchased and/or airline you are travelling with, there may be an additional cost for meals. If travelling with a small infant it is a good idea to request an infant bassinet at time of booking, these are very limited as they are only available on some aircraft by the bulkheads.
Many major cities around the world don’t always have lift access to underground transport. If travelling with a stroller also be aware that some destinations have uneven footpaths and hilly terrain. If travelling with young infants a study baby carrier is a great way to explore with your children especially if travelling around on local public transport.
10 STUNNING BATHROOMS IN AUSTRALIA – RIGHT ON OUR DOORSTEP
Australia is a land of vast beauty, with so many stunning landscapes in our own backyard.
We have compiled a list of simply some of the most beautiful bathrooms to take in these landscapes, relax and soak all your worries away. Some of these bathrooms are destinations in themselves!
SOUTHERN OCEAN LODGE – KANGAROO ISLAND, SA
Southern Ocean Lodge, located in Kangaroo Island in SA - has been designed to blend into it's rugged cliff top setting. Floor to ceiling windows take in the expansive and secluded Island views. After a day of exploring this natural wonderland enjoy the sounds of the thundering ocean below while relaxing in your own bathroom oasis.
KINGSFORD HOMESTEAD – BAROSSA VALLEY, SA
Enjoy peace and quiet after a day exploring in the renowned Barossa Valley Wine Country. Kingsford Homestead truly understands the balance between luxury and nature. Tucked away on this extensive property you will find a beautiful claw footed bath, a magic place to open that bottle of red you just purchased from the cellar door.
JAMALA WILDLIFE LODGE - CANBERRA, ACT
This bathroom experience is for the wild at heart. Imagine that only a glass wall is separating you from majestic animals such as Lions, Cheetahs, Tigers and Malayan Sun Bear.
Jamala Wildlife Lodge in ACT is family run and are passionate about the conservation of these amazing animals.
THALIA HAVEN - EAST COAST, TASMANIA
Is this the most scenic bathtub in Australia?
Thalia Haven on Tasmania’s East Coast is the ultimate location where you can truly get away from it all. From the sounds of the rugged ocean below, unforgettable views of the rocky islands of Great Oyster Bay. It is a true natural wonder.
THE STAR - SYDNEY, NSW
The Star Sydney is on the doorstep of one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the world. Take in the energy and vibe that Sydney has to offer then come back to the Star where you can recharge in your own spa overlooking the iconic Sydney Harbour.
PARK HYATT - MELBOURNE, VICTORIA
Have you ever wanted to experience how the other half live? The Park Hyatt in Melbourne is at the height of luxury. Imagine relaxing in one of Melbourne’s largest bathrooms made almost entirely from imported Italian marble. The oversized spa bath even has is own hidden television.
PULLMAN SEA TEMPLE RESORT – PORT DOUGLAS, QUEENSLAND
This striking bathroom is found at the Pullman Sea Temple Resort in the tropical resort town of Port Douglas. The Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. After a day of exploring the surrounding natural wonders come home to this private tropical oasis and reminisce on your days adventure in luxury.
DEJA VU ESTATE - POKOLBIN, HUNTER VALLEY, NSW
If you are looking for modern country luxury in the Hunter Valley, this may just be what you are looking for. Déjà vu estate in Pokolbin is a true luxury getaway. The inside Barbados bathtub even has its own 24 carat gold plated splash back. You can also take in this secluded estates scenery while relaxing in the large outdoor spa bath.
HILTON HOTEL – SYDNEY, NSW
The Hilton Sydney is another luxurious gem in the heart of this metropolis city. Imagine relaxing in your own hydra spa bath, while using essential oils from a complimentary holistic relaxation kit.
Relax in celebrity style, you won’t want to leave this place.
SPICERS PEAK LODGE - MARYVALE, SCENIC RIM QLD
Spicers Peak Lodge in Maryvale QLD is the ideal escape from the everyday, located about a 90 minute drive from Brisbane or the Gold Coast. Of if you'd like to arrive more quickly, take advantage of the helicopter landing pad welcoming aircraft from all over South East Queensland.
Imagine soaking in your own private heated infinity spa while watching the warm Queensland sun set. The Lodge is set in natural bushland and is a perfect getaway all year round with a stunning double sided fireplace you can stoke in the cooler months.
With Asia on our doorstep, Australian travellers have a plethora of stunning Villa style accommodation just a short flight from home, with Thailand and Bali villas some of our most booked holidays.
If the idea of renting a villa, perhaps in the Caribbean retreat owned by Mick Jagger, or a French Villa summerhouse of a notable aristocratic family, sounds impossibly glamorous, but it’s not impossible at all.
There are some extraordinary villa offerings around the world. Here are some of our favourites.
OUTRIGGER KOH SAMUI
Outrigger Hotels are well known for their subtle extra design elements, and Outrigger Koh Samui does not disappoint with it’s lush landscaped gardens, where each of the 52 private suites and villas
The dreamy resort pool, Outrigger’s Edgewater Restaurant’s circular platform protrudes over the sand for views to fight for any time of the day, while The Wet Bar, with it’s day bed cabanas allow you to enjoy beach views in privacy. Save up to 47% for a limited time.
Closer to our doorstep, you can try some exquisite Australian villas and live it up in outback luxury like Nicole Kidman, at Voyager’s Longitude 131, overlooking the majestic Uluru. Visit the critically acclaimed Field of Light exhibition (Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku), where 50,000 spindles of light cover more than 7 football fields. As one of the bespoke Luxury Lodges of Australia, this iconic Australia retreat indulges it's guest with exotic experiences such as bespoke guided tours or nearby gorges, a sumptuous Table 131° four course degustation menu with accompanied wines and visiting the remote Ernabella Arts Studio.
While France’s countryside is dotted with villas, you don’t need to be a celebrity to afford to stay there. Villa Lara, Normandy’s newest boutique villa stay accommodation has rooms from just $315 per night. Don’t miss the UNESCO world heritage listed Queen Matilda’s Tapestry at the nearby Bayeaux Museum, or Australia’s war history at Battle of Normandy Memorial Museum. Compared to the prices of luxury hotels in Europe, that's not a bad deal. You have the run of the elegant villa, its pool and gardens, without having to share with strangers.
For something truly unique, the Manta Resort’s Underwater Room gives you the chance to sleep in one of the most inspiring bedrooms in the world, located 250 metres from the shore in a marine conservation area. An all-inclusive 5 star experience.
A remote tropical and pristine island off the east coast of Africa, untouched by mass tourism. The resort promise it is for those who will endure the extra bumpy mile to discover a haven of non-polluted serenity, of silence, solitude and inclusion.
Punta Aquila, Mexico
Mexico continues to be one of the fastest growing destinations for Aussie’s to flock to, following in American footsteps, who have long enjoyed golden sands and sapphire waters on family and romantic holidays. Sleeping up to 8, the Condo Aquila, on Mexico’s exclusive resort area of Punta Mita offers ultimate luxury and just a few short footsteps from the sand.
PARK HYATT HADAAHA
Secluded barefoot luxury offerings are second to none at the iconic Park Hyatt Maldives Hadaahaa. Escape reality at these 50 intimate villas, relax at the onsite spa after your speedboat arrival or cool off in one of two freshwater pools or dive through the diamond like crystal waters surrounding the island.
Bingin Beach, Bali
Australians continue our love affair with the Island of the Gods, with over one million visiting every year. The Shack at Bingin is a two storey villa, just back from the cliffs at Bingin Beach, catering for larger groups or couples. Modern tropical interior design and ocean views top off the modern creature comforts here and the T Shape pool is surrounded by cloud like sun lounges served upon by the attentive staff.
HORSESHOE BEND ESTATE
Wanaka, New Zealand
For those of us who prefer not to spend 24 hours in a metal cylinder traversing the skies to Europe, a short Tasman flight to Australia’s “other state”, New Zealand, has the ultimate in luxury family villas at the stunning Horseshoe Bend Estate, Wanaka. The riverside location hosts never ending rural and mountain views and is only a 5 minute drive to the nearby Wanaka township. Manicured lawns, a tennis court, steam room, hot tub, petanque court and huge outdoor entertaining areas are perfect for a large family, but offer the intimacy and luxury for a special couples getaway.
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Continuing the trend of ultra modern, minimalist stays, the luxury Mia Resort is set a spade’s length from the hotel’s private beach in it’s own palm-fringed bay surrounded by the South China Sea. Light flooded interiors, patio with sea views, glass encased open plan dining overlooking the sea front infinity pool and 5 bedrooms sleeps up to 10, just a short car trip from Nha Trang.
Perfect for a large family or 5 couples travelling together.
Sapodilla Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos Islands
Soft sand, warm water and just enough room for the two of you. Typed into a crescent of beach on Sapodilla Bay and beautifully appointed with Carrara marble, the one bedroom villa is like your own Resort. Villa Capri all has everything you need to take full advantage of it's spectacular location, from lounge chairs and paddle boards to kayaks. Spend the day sunbathing on the Terrace next to your private pool, then cook up local seafood on the barbecue and watch the waves as you enjoy a meal at the alfresco dining area. Nearby you can enjoy the natural wonders of the Princess Alexandra National Park, visit JoJo the wild dolphin declared a national treasure and the nightlife at Turtle Cove.
Sri Lanka, the hidden Indian Ocean gem, has long been a favourite for the intrepid traveller.
Recently it has been thrust back into the limelight and it is not hard to see why. From its lush jungles, endearing ancient culture, picture perfect beaches, and incredibly diverse wildlife. Sri Lanka has something to offer every traveller. These are our most helpful tips to make Sri Lanka the adventure of a life time.