As an Accountant and self-confessed thrifty person, I hit the jackpot with this one: A free return ticket back to Australia! This is a story of highs (free ticket!) and some lows (thinking I was caught up in some sort of terrorist plot!)
What is an Emirates Options Voucher?
An Emirates Option Voucher is a complimentary ticket that the airline uses for compensating passengers who are either voluntarily or involuntarily denied boarding to the plane (for reasons outwith their control). The voucher, which has a validity period of one year, gives the person a free return flight to a destination of similar mileage from the airport they were denied boarding. I think the business reason behind this system is to overbook seats to ensure a a full plane, and hope that a few people can’t make the flight so they don’t have to use the voucher system. If this fails and every passenger booked on the flight checks in, they have the compensation option up their sleeves to avoid a possible lawsuit!
How Did I Get Denied Boarding?
Location: Albion Park Cost: $20 AUSD (£10 /$15) Length: 1.5 Hrs More Details: Click Here
I think the below picture of me standing in front of a retired Boeing 747 probably falls under the ‘geeky’ post section of this blog. Count yourself lucky that you were not my friend, who got dragged on a two hour train journey to the museum, a two hour tour (which he just waited in the reception), and then a further two hour train journey back!!!
It’s my thing, ok. I try to make it to at least one transporty thing when I am abroad.
HARS caught my attention through a great travel podcast I have been listening to called Layovers. They discussed that Quantas had donated it’s first ever Boeing 747 that was delivered direct to the company to the HARS museum. I couldn’t turn down the chance to get a tour of a Boeing 747.
HARS is based at the Illawara Regional Airport, and is easily accessible from Sydney by a two hour train journey from Sydney Central Station to Albion Park train station. The train journey was great; a mixture of stunning forests to scenic beach views.
Location: Sydney Harbour Cost: $363 AUSD (£185 /$260) Length: 2.5 Hrs More Details: Click Here
If you are going to visit Sydney, or even Australia in general, one of the most iconic landmarks that you will want to see is the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There is then the temptation to climb the frickin’ thing!
On Australian tourist information sites, the Bridge Climb is often recommended as a ‘must do’, both for spectacular views over Sydney Harbour and Circular Quay, and for the experience of climbing the tallest steel arch bridge in the world . However, they often fail to mention that the climb is done in a jumpsuit with only your underwear on underneath!!
REAL TALK – IS IT WORTH IT?
Location: Darling / Sydney Harbour Cost: $129 AUSD (£65 /$93) Length: 2.5 Hrs More Details: Click Here
Sailing Sydney Harbour in Australia in a 75ft former Americas Cup Racing yacht was a standout highlight of my trip to Sydney – even more so than climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge!
The route of the sail is dependent on weather but will nearly always take you around the Sydney Harbour area, up to Manly and back to Wharf 9 in Darlington Harbour. This included sailing under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, past the Opera House, and alongside the massive cruise ships that enter the harbour.
Don’t worry if you have no prior sailing experience. The crew will get you involved in ‘grinding’, and will guide you in helming the boat. They also got involved in taking pictures and videos (see below with the Skipper using my GoPro for a video and a ‘selfie’!)
Sun cream and cold drinks are provided throughout the trip, so you are always protected and hydrated in the strong Aussie sun. There is also a nice breeze when sailing, so despite the warm weather, it was a comfortable sail. The pro’s are quick to force you down some water and top up on suncream as it is easy to forget about the blaring sun with the nice cool breeze of the sail.
When I first booked the trip I thought it was fairly pricey, but on reflection, it was worth every penny. I would highly recommend this to anyone going on a trip to Sydney, it was phenomenal.
SAILING SYDNEY HARBOUR VIDEO
Welcome to my first post on my travel blog, Holiday From Real. If you would like to know a little more about the site, or on me, check out my About page here. To co-incide with my first blog post, I thought I would write about another one of my ‘firsts’: Airbnb.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb lets you to rent a room in somebody’s (the ‘host’s’) flat/house or book their entire property.
I KNOW, I KNOW… it sounds kind of dodgy. Are the hosts murderers or sexpests? Is it in a safe area? Is it actually anything like the pictures?
The site concept is similar to an ebay mixed with Tripadvisor. Guests are encouraged to rate their stay and can rank the Airbnb host/their accommodation on things like price, cleanliness, location etc. As a result, you end up with high or low rated hosts, shown via a star rating system. Those classified as ‘the best’ are given the title ‘Superhosts’ . To earn this accolade, hosts must meet a number of benchmarks, including at least 80% of reviews gaining 5 stars. Airbnb users can filter their accommodation search based on various criteria, such as amenities, neighbourhood ,size and the aforementioned Superhost badge.
How do I book on Airbnb?