Off To “The Land Down Under”
If my words are jumbled, forgive me. We’re still working through jet lag after our return from our two-week sojourn to Australia. It was an exhilarating adventure. We’ll cover our travels in several posts in the coming days, starting with the first leg of our journey.
- You’ll need a power converter to charge phones, laptops and things like electric razors. A plug adaptor won’t do the trick, since the current needs to be stepped down from 230 volts to the 120 that’s used in the US. I found the (about $36 US) that has two outlets and four USBs to be excellent.
- For the first time, I used travel cubes for packing. I got a for about $25. This allows you to compartmentalize your suitcase. I had shirts in one, shoes and socks in another and my technology things in another. I found it very helpful, although my wife prefers plastic “vacuum” bags.
- Before our trip I purchased a couple of nice sound-cancelling headphones. We got the highly rated . The cost is about $199 each. These are essential to keeping your sanity on the long flights.
- Recalling our struggles with large suitcases on a train in France a number of years ago, I was determined to travel light. I found that two of our lodgings had guest laundries. I packed just a bit more than a week’s worth of clothing and then did laundry at a mid-point of our trip. This allowed me to pack a smaller suitcase.
- Weird as it initially sounded to me, we wore compression socks for our flight. This improves circulation and helps avoid blood clots. .
For our trip, we used a travel agent who arranged all our lodgings, flights, transfers and tours, based on our directions. We found this to be a nice arrangement, as our preference is to have customized travel as opposed to group voyages. Upon landing and standing in endless line after line to clear customs, we found our shuttle and headed to , our hotel accommodation on St. Kilda Road.
Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city at about 4.8 million. It also is rated as the (behind Vienna). Sydney (No. 5) and Adelaide (No. 10) are also on the list. The city is home to some of the best known cultural institutions in the country, including Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Royal Exhibition Building. It also hosts the Australia Grand Prix and the Australian Open, which we would attend.