Australia is a big place. It’s the only country that is both a continent and a country. That makes Australia unique, because in this aspect, Australia becomes one-of-a-kind in the world! Australia seems to have it all; exotic wildlife not found natively on any other continent, gorgeous beaches for water lovers, good food spots for the foodies, daring adventures for those with a wild side, and rich in-depth history of the continent and its original people for the historians. But with so many places to go, so much to do, and so much to see, how can you even begin to do it all? Where do you start planning a killer vacation to Australia?
If you ask anyone, they will tell you that planning ahead will give you an advantage in almost every situation. This principal certainly applies to traveling and planning any kind of trip. A lot of people try to minimize or avoid the planning step altogether because it can get a little stressful. But it’s important to not minimize or avoid it… because doing so can ruin your entire trip before it even gets started! You’ll want to plan how much you’re going to spend, how many nights you’re going to stay, traveling routes and arrangements (if you’re visiting more than one place), and special needs for yourself and those you’re traveling with. You’ll need proper documentation as well; for example, you will need a passport if you don’t have one and obtaining a passport in the United States can take up to 6 weeks – hence why you’ll want to get your pre-planning done as soon as possible. You should also keep in mind that another key part of your pre-planning is securing an Australian visa. The visa permits you to enter the country and gives you a valid reason for being there. It’s best to apply for your visa as soon as possible; if you’re completely set that Australia is your travel destination of choice, start planning your trip with getting Australia visa now so you won’t run into any potential delays at the last minute.
Don’t let planning be too much of a chore – you don’t want to get too stressed out. If anything, proper planning should make you excited for your trip! Don’t think careful planning will suck the fun and spontaneity out of your trip to Australia; planning ahead doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous! For example, with a solid budget, you can probably squeeze in an extra diving experience, or fancy dinner, or two. Careful time management will allow you to do more activities and see more of Australia. The pre-planning stage allows you to squeeze the most out of your trip.
Decide what you really want to see
In the pre-planning stage, you’ll more than likely have a laundry list of things you want to see. We’re all ambitious when we set out on an out-the-country vacation. It’s easy to say you want to explore every nook and cranny of Sydney or Melbourne on your first visit. Realistically, we both know that is pretty much impossible; that’s like saying you want to explore the entirety of New York City in a few days!
Naturally, you will have to cut that laundry list of beautiful views and lovely sightseeing a little short. Because of this, you’ll want to prioritize what you truly want (read: need) to see so that you don’t feel like you are selling yourself short or missing out. If you’re eager to see some of the unique and crazy (sometimes deadly!) wildlife of Australia, you’ll want to make sure you see and visit places such as Kangaroo Island. If you want to focus on the rich history of Australia, you will want to visit Uluru – a sacred monolith of the aboriginals, which is in Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. Maybe you just want to enjoy the vast amount of beaches Australia has to offer – such as the popular Bondi Beach. Consider taking it one step forward and traveling the Great Ocean Road; it has numerous landmarks and beaches. For all you beach goers, just keep in mind that even if you visit a new beach in Australia every single day, it’ll take you more than 25 years to see them all!
Decide what you really want to do
You could lump doing activities into sightseeing and visiting notable landmarks, but there is a difference between the two. On average, engaging in activities, as opposed to just sightseeing, are more time consuming and expensive (think also, time management and budget). You could make a whole day out of doing one or two things in a small area. For example, you could make an entire day surfing the waves at Bondi Beach. In fact, you could probably make several days out of traveling the Great Ocean Road! However, just like cutting your list down to what you truly want to see, the same goes for the activities you want to do. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day and our human selves can only handle so much fun and adventure!
Get up and go!
This doesn’t need much explaining. If you feel like you’re forgetting something, make sure to double check what you’ve packed. Don’t forget your airline tickets! Don’t leave your passport on the bedside table either. Enjoy your trip to Australia!