My tips for eco-Friendly travel in 2018

In 2018, it would be near-impossible to act as though you were unawares of the environmental damage we all cause from not only every day life, but in travel. Travel has so many wonderful rewards not only for yourself, but for the world. It increased tourism, throws money into the economy and teaches us the important of awareness and social action around the world.

pexels-photo-346885.jpegOn the other hands, we are all leaving our carbon footprint, the cost of planes, hotels, plastics and packaging, and the equivalent of human wear + tear, wherever we go. We have a lot to be responsible for. There are some people out there who have decided to no longer travel by plane, unfortunately this just is not an option for those of us in Australia. We are simply too far away from anything to not use planes.

Thankfully there are eco-friendly travel practices in place, some of which we can use in everyday life. TripAdvisor conducted a survey where it was found that nearly tw-thirds of travellers do intent to make more environmentally sound choices moving forward.

There are the more simple items, which (hopefully) we have all been practicing for some time. You can turn lights/fans/air conditioners off whenever you are not using them. Re-use your linen and towels, recycle where you can etc., What else can we do? How can we make a bigger impact? Here are my best tips.IMG_9876

Strap on those walking shoes. 

Where possible, explore your destination on foot. Not only will you discover other places, but you will be keeping yourself fit and helping the environment. Rather than taking taxis’, try the public transport system to get around. Every little bit helps, seriously.

Plastics & Papers

Did you know that there is not a single piece of plastic which has ever been made (ever, n history) which has decomposed as yet? Rather than buying and using several bottles a day – buy a reusable water and refill it where you can. Not all countries have drinkable water, so this is not always an option, but where you can, give it a shot!

pexels-photo-580871.jpegDon’t be a litter-bug

Look, I am sure you don’t litter. However, some people do and we can’t really change the minds of people who already disrespect our beautiful earth. We can however, make sure that we take nothing which was there before we got there, and leave nothing which came with us. If you can’t find a bin – that doesn’t mean Mother Earth should have tp cop your garbage. Take it with you until you can find a bin. While you’re at it – pick up any rubbish you see lying around. Every little thing you do for the environment helps!

Low-carbon activities

My favourite travel activity is photography, thankfully it leaves very little of an environmental impact. Activities set in nature and wich are low-carbon are not only good for you,  but good for the Earth!

IMG_4659Be Culturally aware

It is so important to just throw yourself into the social norms and customs of where you go. Live like the locals do and enjoy every minute!

Choosing places to stay

You can research places which are environmentally conscious. Pick a place which is locally owned, hires local people, have a recycling program? Does it encourage the reuse of towels and sheets? Are there energy efficient lighting or alternative energy sources? Make sure you play your part in conserving energy. Treat it like your own home. I know sometimes it is easy to get swept up in the “it’s not my place, so I am not paying for it” with “it” being air conditioning and electricity. Well, no – technically you are not paying for it, but our environment is!

If we all play our part and try to be as green as we can, we can all positively impact our  the environment around us.

IMG_6037If you would like to see how ‘green’ you are, Go Green and Travel Green .com have a quiz here Shades of Green Travel. (I was a Greener/Kelly Green traveler!).

Do you have any travel tips?

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see!

Please note, I am not paid any sponsorships at all, I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

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x C x

 

My 2009 Europe Adventure – at 23

My first solo overseas adventure – naïve, unprepared and a little shell-shocked

Brisbane – London

When I was 23 I had my first overseas adventure. I would love to say I packed a backpack and travelled the world for 12 months, coming back a hardened and seasoned traveller, with empty pockets and a head full of memories.

The last two are true (ridiculous actually) but the first part was a dream which quickly fell to the wayside. My mother basically insinuated that I would be locked in a room if I attempted my solo backpacking trip to South America. So at her requests (read: demands) I was booked on a three week Contiki journey around Europe. I know that sounds terrible (I am sure there are some intense eye rolls happening right now along with “that’s not travel!”).

I disagree though, I packed a bag and went overseas. That’s travel. We need to stop judging each other on our journey’s, the way we judge pain or experience or loss or achievement. It is all relative, who are we to judge others? Some people go overseas and volunteer and sleep rough, that’s amazing. Some people travel luxury and never leave the resorts in the countries they visit, that’s amazing. Some people hitchhike, that’s dangerously amazing. Some people go on a different Contiki each year that is also amazing. Travel is travel, as long as you come home with some awareness of how fortunate you are for being able to travel and you don’t behave like an over-privileged and insensitive jerk, then good on you!

So, back to my Contiki. Regardless of this being an organised tour with one of the world’s most popular tour companies, this trip was something I set off on alone. I had never travelled to Europe, did not speak any other language and the longest flight I had been on was around five hours. I had been to NZ, but really that is just ‘crossing the ditch’, so the journey is still less than it is to fly from the east to west coast here in Australia.

My trip was from London to London, a 21-day adventure took me from London to Paris, Lucerne, the French Riviera, Florence, Rome, Venice, the Austrian Tyrol, Munich, Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam and back to London.

I bought my flights only a couple of months before departure, flying from Brisbane to London, I flew Emirates with stops in Singapore and Dubai. The trip itself (door to door) took around thirty hours. I made the mistake of not getting off the plane to stretch my legs in Singapore and in Dubai I only had time to run from the plane, to the toilet, to my next plane. When I arrived in London, I felt like my head was spinning, I had lost all track of time, realised I had left home without a phone (in 2009 I just didn’t think I needed one?) and caught a shuttle bus into London.

I arrived at the Royal National Hotel in London which has a 3.3/5 star rating on google, but in 2009 it probably would have been 2 stars, if it was lucky. When I made my booking, I had zero idea that I had been booked into a hostel/share-room type situation. I arrived quite late and by the time I was given a swipe card which gave me access to my room (x3 visits back and forth to the front desk with my gigantic pink suitcase in tow), I went into my room, saw the two beds in the dark, saw a suitcase unpacked near the door and actually though I had been given the wrong room. Nope. I was in a share room. Weird, why did I not know that before?

I was so rattled that I just climbed into bed and made zero attempts to let my family know I had A) arrived in London; and B) was okay. Jet-lagged as I was, I was beyond excited to be somewhere else other than Australia, I was in LONDON!

So, first day in London. Woke up, got dressed and went for a wander. Found a delicious little eatery called Giraffe in Bloomsbury (which is still there if you can believe it!) and tucked into a gigantic English style breakfast. Once I had eaten I realised that I should probably find some way to let my Mum know that I was okay (seriously, 23 – can you be any more ridiculous?!), I went to the Contiki Basement back near the hotel and sent a few emails, checked Facebook – you know the usual activities.

I had been booked into the hotel for three nights, so I spent the day wandering around and doing my own thing. Later that afternoon I met up with another Brisbane girl who was booked for the same tour and we made a plan to explore the next day. It was a really weird holding space, waiting for your tour to begin, it was both comforting and limiting spending the first amount of tie with someone from your home town (was this the travel experience I was looking for?). We ended up having an amazing day – we walked from our hotel, down to Big Ben, across Westminster Bridge, down to the London Bridge and back again. It was a really lovely day out, sun shining, beautiful weather and a really nice intro to beautiful London.

We had our tour group meeting that night and as at 6am the next morning we were on the road!

Now – if you are thinking about your first trip overseas, on your own and you’re late-teens /early twenties I have some (probably super obvious) advice for you! This may seem ridiculous but this actually happened and if anything it should give you a laugh:

  • When you are travelling overseas, take a phone or something you can communicate with people through. Checking into Facebook 48 hours after you left home, is not the loving contact your parents are after;
  • When you pack your bag and you are happy with what you have, remove 2/3rds of it. Seriously, you do not need it;
  • Make some attempt of learning basic phrases of another language. Hello, goodbye, please, thank you, toilet, how much? This WILL make your life easier;
  • Have some currency on you. I know this seems really obvious but in 2009 I was kind of just winging it. Learn from my mistake;
  • Have some idea as to where you are staying and if someone will also be in the same room.
  • Pack more than just thongs and runners. This is not enough footwear. Not at all.
  • Pack a wallet or a purse. Again this is so obvious it is cringe-worthy.

Do you remember you first trip? Did you do anything ridiculously naïve like me?

x C x

5 Ways I Save Money for a Holiday

I have been fortunate enough to travel many times in my twenties, travel which has not occurred on credit. It may not work for everybody, but for those of you who would rather take trips and not come home to whopping big credit card bills, then these are my following tips.

pexels-photo-164497.jpeg1. Work out how much you need, the ‘B’ word….BUDGET!

Prepare your budget. Get an idea of where you need to go and what you want to do. Start researching flights, hotels, transit and spending money costs. If you are after daily spending tips, then I cannot recommend Lonely Planet enough! Find blogs, connect with people on instagram or Pinterest or Facebook and start asking questions. Overestimate your budget, add another 20% to it and that is a really good starting point.

IMG_82912. Cut-up your credit cards, buy a jar of coffee to take to work, cancel your social engagements and sign-up to Netflix…GO TO GROUND!

For me, in the last 6-8 months before I go on a large journey, I go to ground. I pretty much use my gym as my social life. Start making sacrifices where you can (and where you are comfortable doing so). The way I save for a holiday is not for everybody, it is strict. I do all of my meal prep on Sunday’s for the week. I stop buying coffee, no more social life. I ask for my family and friends to donate some money to my travel fund for Christmas and Birthday’s – rather than gifts. I sell things I don’t need. For instance, I sold a pair of earrings, the iPod we used once at our wedding and a couple if items of clothing I no longer needed – with that money I bought my husband a GoPro – this was his Christmas present and the perfect present for the trip.

pexels-photo-891252.jpeg3. Commit to your savings needs, make it work – REMAIN FOCUSSED!

Unless you have pretty rotten work ethic, then showing up to work Monday-Friday is not negotiable. This needs to be the same with your preparation and your savings. This is your commitment. If you have committed to save 30% of your income each time your pay hits your bank, then make it happen. Do not deviate. It is hard, you will get annoyed but when you are on holiday it will all be worth it!

pexels-photo-296878.jpeg4. Open those Google browsers, get savvy and RESEARCH!

We live in an age where there are multiple irritating (just me?) ads on t.v each day from various travel websites. I won’t name them, but the general idea behind them is they will compare the price of where you are looking at staying and basically this will result in you having the best price. This is fantastic if you are not much into researching for hours (I definitely am, because I am no longer socialising or going out because I am saving all of my cash!). However, if I can – I highly recommend you go one step further. Contact the places you are looking at staying directly, I would say eight times out of ten, I will get it for cheaper.

Honeymoon 245. Do not get yourself into years of future trouble with your expenses – BE REALISTIC!

If you are not able to afford 5-star hotels, fine dining, private cars and VIP services when travelling, then you may need to just re-set your expectations. At the end of the day, you have to live within your means. Did you know that 70.19% of Australians currently own a credit card, and that at the end of 2016 there was over $56,000,000 debt in the country from credit cards?! That figure is insane and it quickly becomes unmanageable. It is not realistic to put yourself into further debt, just to travel the world, when you can probably afford your destinations making a few cuts or changes. If you are looking at a quick or cheap getaway and you are not fussed about where you are going then look somewhere locally. If you are on the East Coast of Australia then you have Fiji, Vanuatu, New Zealand and Noumea. Bali and Thailand are also really popular. These will be your cheapest options (aside from some domestic travel).

Finally – ENJOY YOURSELF! Don’t worry about bringing money home from your trip, spend it! If that is the money you have been saving to treat yourself overseas, then spend it. Buy something you don’t need, go to the restaurant you have been following for six months on Instagram!

If you want any tips or have any comments at all, I would be more than happy to share them with you – please just send me an email, or comment on here, you can find me on Facebook and Instagram as well!

Happy Saving

x C x

A love for travel <3

One of the most amazing things to occur after you have been planning and saving for a trip after many months/years is when you arrive at your destination. You are no longer glued to that photo somebody else took and which you downloaded or screen-shotted many moons ago. You are there. Finally.

And you know what? Nothing is more beautiful than that moment. I say this a lot, but honestly the most breathtaking moment I have ever had whilst travelling was when I was in South America and I saw Machu Picchu. Anyone who knows me, will vouch for the fact that I am rarely without words, but Peru…Peru silenced me. I had planned the trip for almost two years with my girlfriend Jemma and to finally be there was just amazing.

The first time I knew I wanted to explore the world, I was not quite six years old. I had the most vivid dream. I was exploring waterfalls and caves with my Dad, I think we were in Africa or Asia (or whatever combination my brain had concocted at such a young age). When I was telling Dad about our adventure and he told me I had just been dreaming, I actually thought he was having me on. How could I have dreamt something so detailed? Also, how was I going to deal with the disappointment that I had not been there?

I became obsessed. I WAS going to travel the world. One day. When I was six we went on our first overseas family holiday, to Bali. I have really lovely memories of this trip. Catching the plane with my family, coming across people who neither spoke English or Anindilyakwa, as was spoken on Groote Eylandt where we lived. It was one of the most exciting weeks of my little life – so many beautiful things to see and smell and taste, people to meet. Amazing!

I came home with braids in my heart, a hundred new stories to tell the kids at school and a burning desire to travel. Being a mining brat, I had the ability to see a fair bit of the top end and east coast of Australia, because we typically moved every two years for Dad’s job. I used to pour over and harbour any travel articles I could get a hold of and I wished for a subscription to the National Geographic magazine for years and years.

Then puberty happened. High school. Jobs. Wagging School to go to the beach. Parties. The usual. Sure enough, by the time I was 17 I had planned my next big adventure, I was going to live in London and work in a pub, like nearly every third or fourth Aussie at the time. I went to uni instead.

Then I dreamed of teaching English in Japan, which then changed to working in a ski field in Canada, then back to possibly landing a job in the UK. Then I changed jobs, changed degrees and decided to travel on leave instead.

I must have planned three or four big trips which never came to fruition. I always had friends with the best of intentions, but when it came down to the crunch, they just were not willing to part with ever spare dollar to save it for a holiday. My friends didn’t want to wear the same clothes all year, miss out on parties and dye their own hair. Which was completely fine, my dreams didn’t need to be my friends dreams!

Eventually at 23 I decided to bite the bullet and just go away on my own. I had my sights set on South America. My Mum gave me a firm and resounding “NO” to her 23 year old daughter running off overseas on her own. So instead, at the pleading of Mum/Friends/Employer, I booked myself onto an arranged Contiki tour instead.

This would turn out to be one of the best decisions I ever made, I met some amazing people, experienced the high of travel I had been seeking and knew that every sacrifice I had made in the past was worth it :).

I am pretty sure I would have had Dad over my shoulder (who had since passed), carrying me along my journey – remembering the five year old who animatedly “remembered” an international adventure all those years ago xx

When did you know you had fallen in love with travel?

x C x

It is the season to sparkle! Day 2 – Sydney :)

Good morning everyone!

Yesterday morning we flew down to Sydney, how lucky we are to only have an hour and a bit to fly to Sydney! As we were heading to the airport, we realised we had left something at home and had to turn around (whoops!). Thanks to our amazing Uber driver who drove us all the way home to pick it up and head back to the airport!

Our flight was amazing, thanks Qantas for the delicious yoghurt and snacks and thanks to G who once again gave me the window seat (even though it was his 🙂 – that’s love <3.

IMG_7909We were welcomed by the most amazing Uber driver Ross, who took us in to Darlinghurst, excited to talk about his city and it’s Christmas pride :). Sydney has absolutely turned on the weather! It is gorgeous!

I spent the morning walking around Darlinghurst and admiring all of the amazing big and beautiful trees and wide streets. I then went to the Green Park Tavern and waited for G to return with a car. I did spot the Four Pillars Christmas gin which I am keen to try as well! Hopefully sometime this trip I can!IMG_7872

Our Air BnB has an amazing view and is right near King’s Cross – it’s large and my MIL has given us a Christmas tree and decorations so we can get a jump on decorating the place for the kids!

We hit the shops for food and some drinks and then two of my amazing girlfriends came over for some rooftop drinks. Far too many wheels of cheese, salmon, prosciutto and dips was consumed – and now we are solid Aldi converts! I think Natalie should probably get some of your shares though because she sold it!

IMG_7874By the end of the night we had the speaker on the roof, dancing to Apple’s ‘Party Hit’s and then singing along to Chicken Fried and there were some Spice Girls. At the end of the day, I spent my youth in the 90’s, with what I believe was some of the BEST music for basic white girl shenanigans on top of a roof, over looking somewhere amazing and drinking Rosé ;).

This morning we are doing last minute present wrapping, waiting to go do a K-Mart run for the rest of our Santa pressies (just to help the guy out, you know?) and then we pick the kids up!

Tonight we are going to the Sydney Observatory Night Tour and I am SOOOO excited! It is a two hour tour and we will be able to enjoy our beautiful Southern Sky, visit the planetarium and do a dome tour. I think it is going to be absolutely brilliant!

IMG_7908I hope to take the new camera out and really get a feel for it – new cameras are always hard for me to wrap my head around!

Wishing you all a lovely day, I hope you are all preparing for your Christmas and you have finally finished work for the week!

x C x