Luxury Travel on a Budget

Travel Upgrades

Don’t blow your travel budget paying full price when you don’t have to

There are major discounts to be found if you know where to look

1. Travel Off Peak (Shoulder Season)

You can seriously get great discounts on airfares and accommodation, some up to 60% off during off-season

Travel outside of School Holidays or right after major holidays

2. Staycations

If you want to travel and only have a few days off, consider a location closer to home

Domestic or even local hotels offer huge discounts for last minute getaways to fill up their bookings

If you look on Google Maps you can find places to travel to within a 3-4 hour radius of your home, you don’t want to spend a whole day getting there

If you do your travelling overnight the night before you are booked in to your hotel, you can get in an extra day of sightseeing / restaurants

3. Use Hotwire to get 4-Star Accommodation at 2 & 3-star prices

You can get $315 rooms for $128, that’s a huge savings, staying in much nicer rooms, what’s not to love?

4. Book ahead if you are planning to travel during holidays and peak travel

While you can snag great deals on last minute trips during off season, the same cannot be said for peak travel times

Public holidays, School Holidays, Summer are the busiest times to travel.  If you leave it to the last minute to book, you will pay a lot more for accommodation and not get the best deal for your money.  Popular festivals or hotels have people booking sometimes 12 months in advance, around Sydney Harbour or Times Square for New Years Eve for example

Some hotels will only allow bookings 3 months before, so make sure you get in early as soon as bookings are available

It used to be the rule to book international travel 12 months ahead and domestic travel 3-6 months ahead for the best rates

Often vacation packages have special ‘early bird’ rates to popular events like music festivals etc or around Christmas / New Years

5. Book Flights on Tuesday

It’s the cheapest day of the week to travel, and around 3pm Tuesdays is the cheapest time

Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday are your cheapest days for air tickets,  while Sunday is the most expensive

6. Ask for an upgrade, dress the part

If you dress like you belong in business or first class, you can sometimes get an upgrade by politely asking, it doesn’t hurt to try

The answer will be a firm ‘we don’t have anything available’ if you are in a singlet and flip flops or wearing your pj’s to the airport

7. Ask for a Water View

If you are travelling off peak, chances are the hotel isn’t even 2/3 full

Ask on arrival at your hotel if might be any water views available, sometimes they will upgrade you just because you asked

8. Bundle

If you book, car, accommodation & airfare all at once, you will save a lot more than booking them separately

Look for package deals or ‘vacation’ packages

9. Join Hotel rewards programs

They are usually free to join and you can earn free nights accommodation on future travel if you earn enough points

You can earn points from your fist stay and they also send you bonus offers during the year to earn points more quickly

You usually get free wifi, sometimes free breakfast and other discounts & perks for reward members only

Plus you have a better chance of room upgrades if you are a reward member, than if you are not

10.Stay on the outskirts

If you stay in popular ‘touristy’ locations like downtown or on the riverfront  in popular cities, you aren’t going to get as great a deal as if you stay 10-15 minutes outside of these areas

You can quite often get a much better room if you stay 10 minutes out of town and you will get to see a lot more of the city

Most hotels have shuttle services to the city and big tourist attractions for free

OTHER TRAVEL TIPS:

  • Ask the locals what to see, where to eat…we have had some of the best tips by asking people who live there if there are other places to see while we are there
  • Also if you visit museums etc late in the day, say an hour or two before they close, you may get in at a big discount, 1/2 price etc
  • Check the tourist guides and pamphlets at the hotel for discounts to museums and places of interest, they offer discount coupons

10 Sydney Lighthouses

Sydney Lighthouses.png

I love Lighthouses for several reasons, they are the beacon in the dead of night guiding shipping vessels, they offer some of the best water views and if they are open to the public, have the best aerial views for photography

Sydney is lucky to have several Bays and water-ways and numerous lighthouses, the most famous being the one at Kiama on the South Coast near Wollongong, however, it is not located in Sydney itself and may be difficult to get to for those visiting Sydney

Many tourists are short on time and bound by public transport so some of these may not be easy to get to, but I have found ten that are located in and around Sydney that should offer some pretty neat photographs

1. Barrenjoey Lighthouse

By Jeremy from Sydney, Australia (Barrenjoey Lighthouse) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Sydney’s most northern point – Panoramic Ocean views

Located in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Barrenjoey Head, Palm Beach New South Wales 2108

You can’t drive directly to the lighthouse, there is no vehicle access – You can drive to Governor Phillip parking area, in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, there is a park entrance fee, you would have to walk to the lighthouse on a walking trail

2. Hornby Lighthouse also known as South Head Lower Light


Wyp at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Cliff Street, Watsons Bay New South Wales 2030

Hornby Lighthouse is the third oldest lighthouse in New South Wales and is located at the Southern entrance to Port Jackson and Sydney Harbour at Watsons Bay

The site is open and accessible to the public, but the tower itself is closed

3. Macquarie Lighthouse also known as South Head Upper Light


By Sardaka (talk) 08:48, 18 March 2011 (UTC) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Old South Head Road, VAUCLUSE New South Wales 2030

(Macquarie Road)

The best views of Sydney – if you only have time to see one, THIS is the one, the views are breathtaking!

Macquarie Lighthouse is Australia’s oldest lighthouse, boasting a 360 degree panoramic view of Sydney harbour and the sandstone coastline

The grounds are open year round, but the lighthouse itself is only open every couple of months by tour guide and well worth the cost of admission ($5 per adult and $3 per child) and stairclimbing trek to the top

4. Bradleys Head Light Tower

Bradleys_Head_Lighthouse_Sydney

By Wade Homewood (http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15318081) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bradleys Head Light Tower is located within the Sydney Harbour National Park

The site is open and accessible to the public, but the tower itself is closed. Parking is available at the end of Bradleys Head Road

5. Robertson Point Light, also known as Cremorne Point Light

5667 Sydney Lighthouse.png

©2017 KDArtStudio

The site is open and accessible to the public, but the tower itself is closed. Parking is available at the end of Milson Road in Cremorne Point

 

 

6.Shark Island Lighthouse


By Wittylama (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

The lighthouse itself is only accessible by boat, and it is closed to the public. However, it is visible from Shark Island at close range. The island itself is open to the public

 

7. Cape Bailey Lighthouse


Maurice van Creij [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on the south side at the entrance to Botany Bay in Sydney near Kurnell

Lighthouse is closed to the public and access to it takes 2 +1/2 hours to bushwalk/hike  to get to the lighthouse. You enter the national park via Solander Road in Kurnell

Trivia: In 1931, this lighthouse took 19 years 
to be approved to be built.  It wasn't built until 1950
It is completely solar powered today

8. Grotto Point Light also known as Port Jackson Entrance Range Front Light

Grotto Point Light

Brianegge at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Accessed via Manly Scenic Walkway, historic Grotto Point Light offers scenic views, birdwatching and walking options in Sydney Harbour National Park

The site is accessible by a short hike/walk  from the Castle Rock track. The grounds are open but the tower is closed to the public

9. Vaucluse Bay Range Front Light

Vaucluse_Bay_Range_Front_Light

By MorePix (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on private property, it is not accessible to the public

Viewing the lighthouse from the street (80 Wentworth Road) is very difficult, so it’s best seen from the water

10.Eastern Channel Pile Light is also known as the East Wedding Cake


Maksym Kozlenko [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Located off Laings Point in Vaucluse, Sydney, this lighthouse was originally gas powered but has been converted to solar power

It is accessible only by boat, and closed to the public

 

 

You might also like my other Sydney Posts:

28 of the Best Places to Photograph Sydney

10 Hidden Bars in Sydney

10 Fun Facts: Sydney Harbour Bridge

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