Photo Challenge: Transient

IMG_0232via Transient

How ironic this was the photo challenge

We just said goodbye (Saturday) to my 24 year old son.  He packed up his car and is driving across country to California to live, not knowing anyone there, not knowing what to excpect when he arrives.  He is following his dream of wanting to make movies

He has a few screenplays he’s written under his belt, a car full of his clothes etc and a shared apartment he’s renting with people he hasn’t even met yet waiting for him when he gets there, Talk about a gutsy move!

He’s going to be transient for a week or more, moving from city to city, stopping off a few places along the way in scorching summer temperatures

I couldn’t even be sad he was leaving, because I am so happy he’s doing what he’s always wanted to do

He’ll be seeing different towns, interacting with and meeting lots of new people

The last memory of him leaving was me giving him a hug, and because he is so tall, my head was on his chest, I could hear his heart was beating fast, it’s the last thing I will remember

Tonight I went to the kitchen to make myself a salad, there was no light under his door, it was completely dark, but instead of being sad, it made me smile, he’s really doing this!

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

Biloxi, MS

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After Hurricane Katrina, much of the Gulf Coast was submerged under water
Biloxi has had a pretty rough trot with Hurricanes going through the area
nearly every year since
Hard to believe this was all under water at one stage
1412 Biloxi Postcard
It’s amazing to see how these little towns bounce back, one tragedy after another
We were first introduced to Biloxi, Mississippi when Jay Leno did a benefit concert to help raise funds to restore the community
We were invited to go for a weekend and have been back several times since
The views alone are pretty amazing, but also the casinos and Headliner acts they get down there are world class, big name musicians, comedians and entertainers
See my Travel Guide Post on Biloxi here
I am sorting through my photos at the moment and listing postcards to sell in my Photography Store
I forgot about some of these photos, they are pretty neat looking over them again
I have more somewhere, I need to find them
2658 Biloxi Postcard

BILOXI bird

BILOXI POSTCARD

Biloxi Postcard1

BILOXI sailboat

FUN FACTS: Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Today the Sydney Harbour Bridge is 85 Years Old

1. The Bridge, affectionately referred to as “the Coathanger”

by Sydney-siders, is a globally recognized, iconic Landmark and today has earned its own hashtag #SydneyHarbourBridge on social media, who would have thought?

2. It was opened March 19, 1932

3. Today the Bridge carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney CBD (central business district) and the North Shore

4. The public was allowed to walk across the deck of the bridge 
when it was first opened in 1932 but not allowed 
to walk across it again until  1982

5. When it was first opened, the ribbon cutting ceremony didn’t quite go to plan.  NSW Premier the Hon. John T. Lang was supposed to cut the ribbon, but Capt. Francis de Groot of the New Guard paramilitary group beat him to it, slashing the ribbon with his sword.  The ribbon was tied back together and Capt. Francis de Groot  was arrested

6. It took 1,400 men eight years to build the bridge 
at a cost of 4.2 million dollars 
16 lives were lost building the Bridge

7. It took 272,000 litres of paint for the initial 3 coats of pain needed to paint the bridge

8. In the 70’s, actor  Paul Hogan was a painter by trade and one of the ‘tradies’ / crew who was employed to  paint it.  He later went on to host his own comedy show on tv (it was hilarious) and then launched his acting career with Crocodile Dundee placing him on the world stage.  He was commissioned by the Tourism board of Australia to do a TV commercial on the Sydney Harbour Bridge aimed towards getting American Tourists to visit Australia

9. When the bridge was built,
800 families living along the path of the bridge 
were demolished without any compensation

10. It took 55 years to pay for the bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge.png

Postcards Available In our Store

5773 Harbour Bridge

 

 

You might like my other Sydney Posts:

10 Sydney Lighthouses

28 of Sydney’s Best Photography Locations

10 Hidden Bars in Sydney

Pawleys Island, SC

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A little while ago, we were watching Beachfront Listings and they were doing a feature on Pawleys Island, South Carolina
Its a beautiful tiny beachfront community not many people have heard about
I knew some day we were going to travel to South Carolina, I was mainly interested in the Myrtle Beach area
The photos and tourist brochures online looked amazing plus we knew people that lived in the area
I also knew it was going to be a good photo op with all the beaches and sunrise / sunset pictures I was seeing around the internet
As I was planning our trip, I discovered Pawleys Island was very close to Myrtle Beach and I remembered it from the show on TV.  It was definitely ‘do-able’ while we were there
I am so glad we went to see it, it is a beautiful place, small, quiet, remote. There are lots of little beaches that are close enough to do a day trip from Myrtle Beach
I am revamping my blog, my website and my online Stores and  have spent most of today uploading and sorting through photos of Pawleys Island & Myrtle Beach to sell on Postcards in my Photography Store

Pawleys Island 1

Pawleys Island 2

We are blessed to live in a place with so many beautiful bays and beaches and to be able to travel and see the country.  I don’t get to travel nearly as much as I’d like, but hopefully we’ll get to see a few more of these places before we are too old to enjoy it

 

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