Travel Thread


#2804

Possible to do a RTW ticket but I wouldn’t as it’s only really beneficial if you want to stop in multiple continents. Internal airfares in Europe are as cheap as chips and flights are very frequent. I’d book the best priced flight with a decent airline to one of the key hubs in Europe and from there you will have no dramas. London is a great hub but taxes can be higher so Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt or Milan are your other best bets


#2805

If you know a start and end date, then just book to and from Oz. There are some great deals at present.

RyanAir fly everywhere out of Gatwick for Fark all, and they have very cheap prices for standby types flights.


#2806

Just be careful with connections where your international / domestic flights are on different tickets. You won’t be able to check in all the way through, so the fault will be yours if you miss a flight due late arrival of the earlier flight.

So leave heaps of time between (preferably arriving / departing on different days).


#2807

Also I would consider renting a car in Germany if you are spending a few days there especially with little ones. When our son was younger we found it so much better to drive everywhere and when he became hungry or wanted to run around we would pull over at a park near a lake or river and have a bite to eat whilst he ran around and kicked a footy. Germany is very easy to get around and easy to drive in


#2808

And car rental is cheap. Petrol is more expensive and parking in most Cities is difficult though.


#2809

Agreed. Fuel is very pricey so check on models that are more economical. Plenty of diesels get good mileage but the price of diesel is slightly more in most places. The VW Tiguan we had over there was very good on diesel and would accomodate a family of 5. Most hotels will have car parking for a fee and if not will give you a decent discount to park in a public car park. It’s really only the big cities that sting you for parking


#2810

Thanks for the advice all.

So not knowing how / where to book, we thought Airbnb would be most cost effective for decent accommodation (need to check reviews of course), is this definitely the way to go? I can’t imagine booking hotels would be cheap.

My family are in the midlands in England (Wolverhampton and surrounds) so I am also guessing travelling by train / public transport would be the way to go there in and around England?

What about Italy? I seriously have no idea. Is the transport any good? My wifes family are from Calabria and Sicily.


#2811

Also, being first time, do people recommend touching base with a travel agent? Or do your own research and book what you need to when we have more information on dates?


#2812

Do it yourself. Plenty of us on here are willing to help if you need more info. I still have TA logins to search flights, accommodation etc so just ask and I will try to help


#2813

I don’t have much experience with AirBNB and usually book myself. Accomodate can be well priced. Definitely rent a car in England, the midlands are a breeze to drive around with good motorways


#2814

Trains in Italy are excellent.

Also, recommend the overnight ferry from Naples to Sicily


#2815

I usually find I know more than travel agents.

Having said that, the Flight Centre Travel Expo is on in early Feb at the Exhibition Centre. If you have done the research prior & know what you are after (product and dates) there are bargains to be had.


#2816

particularly the youngsters who work at Flight Centre. Whilst planning our trip to Argentina last year, I formed the opinion that Flight Centre staff couldn’t find South America on a map of the world.

Best to research oneself and know most of the answers before you ask any travel agent.


#2817

If you’re internet savvy, do your research, have your itinerary well-planned, book using reputable sites and have a dedicated c/card for internet purchases (low limit in case it gets hacked) there’s no great need for a travel agent these days. We do a couple of family trips a year (often multi-stop) and haven’t used one for a few years now.

AirBnB is great, but research carefully. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Be careful of people who have many properties listed, or who offer you alternative accommodation for those dates - that can often be a sign of a scam. The other thing which can be annoying is that owners seem to be able cancel with limited warning. It will come up on their feedback that they cancelled, but you have limited opportunity to bemoan the fact. We’d booked accommodation 4 or 5 months out for a multi-country trip a few years ago. The owners in both Singapore and Helsinki suddenly cancelled with only a couple of weeks to go. Incredibly frustrating, given we’d booked airfares/trains/transfers/other accommodation etc. so couldn’t rearrange the schedule. We were lucky - while options get somewhat limited the closer you are to actually travelling, we were able to find good substitutes in both cities.

Lately I’ve found booking.com to be a pretty decent option (especially for self-catering accommodation), but again you need to research things carefully.

Trains & buses in most of the western world crap on anything you find in Australia, so are definitely a good option for getting around.


#2818

I can second that for accomodation bookings


#2819

Good Travel Agents will get you better flight prices than you can get on the Net.

I always find the flights I want, take them to our Local HelloWorld and let them do better. They always do.

And if something goes pear shaped with an airline, I like having a Travel Agent to fix it when I am in the middle of nowhere.


#2820

I use a travel agent for work trips only because I have to. Even then it is only to book flights.

Prefer to do it myself and hunt around.

Also have been burnt by travel agents before so am somewhat negative on them.


#2821

Just had our flights to Bangkok cancelled for June. We have been offered to be placed on a different airline (Qantas) but I’ve declined. It was 2x award flights so Qantas will credit my points back thankfully and I’ll now look at other options


#2822

Has anyone tried Swapsy for FX? At present it looks like they only convert between USD and CNY but it looks like a good idea and will be better for us when they include A$ and other currencies.


#2823

An old university mate of mine is down from Sydney for a week, and, despite having lived in Melbourne for 27 years, had never been to the Wimmera, the Mallee or Mildura.

So on Thursday, we set off heading north into the heat…
Lunch at Horsham with my nephew
Through Brim and other Mallee towns with the artistic silos
Overnight in a scorching Mildura
Morning at Lock 11
Off to the Murray-Darling confluence at Wentworth, but according to the lock-keeper, you have to go about 50km north before you see how much damage Barnaby and his corrupt mates have done to the Darling. It’s all Murray water backing up.
Then to Swan Hill for lunch with an old crony known to all here.
Over to Barham, where my mate’s mum hailed from and now lies.
Barham-Koondrook bridge which has recently been refurbished and the elevating centre panel rebuilt.
Off to Bendigo for the night.
Over to Maryborough for a view of that very grand railway station .
Back home through Avoca, Glenthompson, Caramut, Hawkesdale.
Lot cooler back here. It was putridly hot up on the river.