Australia · photography · Travel

Barefoot Farm Byron – Our Camping Adventure

Very little is needed, to make a happy life – Marcus Aurelius

Sometimes you just have to escape, am I right? Honestly it has gotten to the point where I am sure that G and I really only have quality time together at the end of the day, when we eat dinner and before we go to bed. I am incredibly thankful for everything we have and everything we continue to grow, but I have to tell you, I miss my Husband. So very much!

IMG_0329With only five or so weeks to go before our trip of a lifetime, and faced with our first weekend together in six weeks (seriously!), we woke up last Saturday and we just knew that sitting at home was not going to cut it. It just was not how we were going to want to spend out weekend!

The weekend I went hiking with my friend to watch the blood-moon, she told me all about YouCamp, an amazing Air BnB type platform, but for camping on private properties. Seeing as G had only just bought his new toy (the double swag), and faced with a particularly warm “winter” weekend we decided to hit the road.

G has gone camping many, many times before and as a man, he is quite comfortable just jumping in the car and going. I on the other hand, am really struggling to learn the art of ‘minimalism’. My Mazda 3 was packed within an inch of her life (her name is Scarlett by the way) and we hit the road. We had found the Barefoot Farm Byron, which is a gorgeous working pecan farm with a stunning Pantry on its property.

It only took us around two hours to get to our destination, that was with heavy traffic along the Motorway. We were warmly welcomed by Ash and Matt and shown around their property, honestly our excitement levels to be staying on such a beautiful property, for such an affordable price was beyond. To think we had thought of paying for a hotel somewhere for the night instead!

G had the swag up in a matter of minutes and then went off to prepare the firewood. I decided to take the drone out for a spin, which was all well and good before we lost lighting and I somehow landed her in a tree. Soooo, hopefully any day now my new blades and the blade protectors arrive in the mail! Practice makes perfect I suppose and better I crash her while we are in Australia and before our big trip overseas.

We spent the night by a beautiful fire, enjoying the Aussie version of s’mores and drinking whiskey (he) and wine (she). Having no electrical distractions (no reception) beyond our already downloaded music and the calming sound of the fire in front of us was perfection.

As for the stars, of my goodness – the stars! They were absolutely incredible and we were right under the path of the milky way. We had our first attempt at shooting star trails and it has given me enough confidence to try and work on it a little more before our big trip overseas.

I definitely could have packed a tenth of what I did and could have gone with the clothes on my back and maybe a beanie, but like I said – I would not know how to pack lightly if my life depended on it. I suppose the only reason I did not take more, was because my little hatchback was filled to the brim already!

We had one of the best sleeps we have in weeks, no barking dog next door or little girl across the road who is constantly yelling at her neighbours to play with her. No cars, no planes (we live super close to the airport and right under the path for landing). No doors slamming or fire alarms going off. Just the sound of nature, a couple of cows in the distance and the crackling of the fire. Absolute bliss!

IMG_0420I woke up to a beautifully cooked breakfast and fresh orange juice and the most beautiful morning breeze making its way through the swag. Coming home was incredibly disappointing, but having spent such a beautiful night away with my Husband, without distractions was unbeatable.

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 have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

Courtney Gaye Signature copy

Australia · Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · photography · Travel

5 beautiful sunrise quotes <3

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“When you do something beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.” – John Lennon.

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“Come sit with me, and we can watch the sun stretch in the sky as our city wakes, ever so slowly, into a beautiful day.” – R.J.L.

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“Forever that girl that gets really excited when the sky is in pretty colours.” – Word Porn.

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“It was sunsets that taught me that beauty sometimes only lasts for a couple of moments, and it was sunrises that showed me that all it takes is patience to experience it all over again.” – A.J. Lawless.

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“The sun is a daily reminder that we too can rise again from the darkness, that we too can shine our own light.” – S. Ajna.

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 have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

 

Australia · Discounts

Travel Promotions & Discounts – August 2018

Good morning everyone!

Can you believe it is August already? G and I can now officially say we are heading off on our five-week holiday NEXT MONTH!!! Our excitement levels are off the chain at the moment, I almost feel like I have ants in my pants, just trying to sit still and do my work!

Given it is August, I thought I would share a few promotions running this month with you!!!

Contiki AU Adventures

Australian residents can save up to $1,315 on USA and Canada deals, 10% on Europe trips, 20% off all Iceland and New Zealand winter trips!

I could not praise Contiki more, I have been on three Contiki trips and each one I have made lifelong friends, seen more of the destinations we visited than I would have if I travelled alone and had an incredible amount of inclusions in my booking!

Booking.com $20 discount

$20 refund with every Booking.com reservation made (for you and I!), just follow the link above.

When you book and pay with Booking.com you are guaranteed the best prices and also unlock personalised travel guides to your destination – which is amazing.

Scoopon Australia

Save 35% on your next holiday in Australia, 45% on your next trip to Bali or 50% on your next vacation in Vietnam!

Exclusive offers on extraordinary everyday experiences from luxury travel to local activities with Scoopon:

P&O Cruises

$1 deposits are back! Check out the Ship Yeah! sales running until 14/8/18.

Enjoy not only the $1 deposit per person but the free room upgrade. G and I have taken advantage of this and it is absolutely worth it! P&O Cruises – stress free travel, loads of inclusions and the friendliest people you will ever meet. They have some really amazing promotions at the moment and you can book up to three years in advance and pay it off!

Europcar

Enjoy 15% off the base rate for 5 days.

We have booked our hire cars for our adventures through Scotland and Norway with Europcar, we have found that their prices, inclusions and fine-print have been the best.

Travel Insurance Saver

Save 15% to 33% with Travel Insurance Saver.

Finally, but possible MOST importantly – your Travel Insurance. Do not forget to book your travel insurance. For competitive prices, check out Travel Insurance Saver for your next trip.

Let me know how you go and if you get any discounts!

ENJOY!

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 have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Australia · Courtney's Travel Tips & Tricks · New Zealand · South Pacific / Australasia · Travel

Cruising Holidays: Pro’s & Con’s

After all of these years, I refuse to be a travel-snob. I get no satisfaction in entering some tireless debate about whether 5✩ or backpacking is ‘real’ travel. Hostels v. hotels. Taxis or the local bus, so on and so forth. Travel is an incredibly personal experience, I just don’t think it is fair to compare your preferred travel with others.

What I do support and encourage however, is sharing knowledge! Let’s foster a community where we share what we know and support everyone in their own chosen method of travel, yeah? Great!

My first cruise was on 2010, I was excited because my brother had just turned 18 and we wanted to go on a trip together. So a couple of friends and my brother booked a 7-night cruise to the South Pacific. It was a great escape during the winter but here is why it was not so great:

sharing a quad room with four adults, none of whom are in a relationship with one another, gets…cramped.

having a quad room down in the bowels of the ship and not checking whether or not anyone gets sea-sick, can be problematic.

↑ being stuck on a boat without an escape and having the same places to drink / party every afternoon / night.

↑ Four people having the inability to decide what they do / do not want to do.

↑ having your room down on the party-level of the ship and not partying = sleep can be tricky.

Basically my clearest memory of my first cruise, was feeling like I was in a washing machine when we hit high swell and feeling rather violated (personally and financially) when I paid nearly $200 to cop a needle in the backside to stop my sea-sickness.

In 2016 my fiancé and I headed out on a new cruise and boy, it could not have been any more different to the first one! We had a balcony room on the beautiful Pacific Aria. We were on deck 10, near the coffee shops. We had pre-paid most of our activities and had scored a complimentary drinks package. We spent seven nights cruising up / down the beautiful Queensland coast. We visited Hamilton Island (a place close to both of our hearts), and Cairns. The cruise was amazing, the staff excellent and the experience itself turned me into a total cruise convert!

My top five reasons as to why I love cruising:

  • Everything can be pre-paid. Including sail-away inclusions. Want champagne and strawberries for your sail away party? You can have it.
  • The day of the Bain Marie’s where you self-serve eating areas are gone. Instead you line up and have pleasant and good-safety aware people serve you. There is nothing more repugnant than watching someone stand at the Thai beef salad / prawn salad area and pick all of the meat out, leave the place in a mess and sneeze all over the uncovered food. So for me, I think ta wonderful that P&O have changed the way they serve food.
  • Activities for days! Unless you are completely ignorant, you are able to fill your days with a variety of activities. Sure Bingo isn’t cheap, but it’s worth it for a bit of fun. If you aren’t playing yourself, get to the area early and watch the bingo die-shards go in for the kill! It’s amazing!
  • Tricia and game shows are also great. They also show movies up at the top deck with the pool.
  • You don’t need to pack and unpack at are such destination! You just grab what you need for the day and take off! Its amazing going to sleep somewhere out in the ocean, being gently rocked to sleep and waking up against the incredible backdrop which is Cairns!
  • If you’re after an adventure packed holiday, then a week at sea on an all-expenses paid cruise may not be for you. However if you need a break and you want to board a boat, unpack your stuff and then have everything organised and paid for ahead of time, then I cannot recommend a cruise highly enough for you.

Some tips:

  • Your travel insurance may not automatically cover cruises. Double check the fine print and know that there is cruise-specific travel insurance out there.
  • Drinks packages are worth it, if you are planning or drinking more than three or so beverages a day. Keep in mind they are normally capped at $12 or $15. If you purchase a drink above this amount, the total cost will go against your account. Keep that in mind.
  • The water package is worth it. Buy your six bottles, keep them in your room and I guarantee you will value it.
  • Tea and coffee from the barista is worth it.
  • Tip your stewards. We tend to go with around $5 a day for the cabin stewards and leave a rounded tip at the end of the trip. Don’t pinch your pennies.
  • Be friendly! Talk to your stewards. Get to know them. Know that anyone serving you spends up to eight months on these boats. Away from their friends and families. Kindness is free. Don’t be ignorant. I spent a good half hour shaming a guest on our last cruise, whose stance was “they don’t mind being away from home, it’s a great privilege to work on these boats”. Okay. Ignorant much?
  • The restaurants on board, aside from usually one or two are included in your fare! Try them at least once. Your out of pocket is usually drinks and a tip. Want a date night with table service? Give it a go. You won’t be disappointed.
  • Have fun! Relax! Sleep in. Enjoy it and go with the relaxed vibe there is. Things take a little longer. Remember the other people on the ship also paid to be there. So just avoid unnecessary aggression and if the line is too long where you are, then move on to the next!

P&O have a sale at the moment and seeing as you can book and pay off your holiday years in advance, you really have nothing to lose!

To check out their current offers click here. They currently have $1 deposit sales with free room upgrades. We have been on four of them and quite honestly, I cannot wait for the next one!

I have never bought a cruise holiday when it wasn’t on sale or didn’t have some amazing additional perks thrown in (on-board credit, drinks package, dinner credit etc.,). The beauty of this is they are on sale all the time!

Here are a few links to get you started!

P&O Cruises

Travel Insurance Saver

Trip.com

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 have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Courtney's Travel Tips & Tricks · Travel

Step by Step – How I budget for my travel

Budgeting for travel can be incredibly difficult, it takes dedication, a lot of thought process and also careful planning.

There really is no wrong or right way to plan for travel or to determine your budget for travel. There is however a right way for you.  I have many friends who can see a sale, book flights and be on the road within 48 hours. I on the other hand need time to plan.

woman on rock platform viewing cityI have had many of my friends ask me how I organise my travel, so I thought I would set it out, step-by-step. The below is not set in concrete, but is has always offered me a really good starting point.

  1. Choose where you want to go.
  2. Work out which time of year is when you ideally would like to travel to this destination.
  3. Research the price of flights.
  4. Pick 4-5 must-see or must-do activities/destinations – resarch the price of this.
  5. Plan how many days/weeks you will be spending in your destination.
  6. Plan your spending money (asides from specific activities). So what is your daily budget for accomodation, meals, transport and everyday walking expenses (tips, drinks).
  7. Once you have your budget, sort out your accomodation choices.
  8. Add up your budget for: international flights, specific activities you will book ahead of time, daily budget, daily accomodation budget. Now add 50% on top of this.

beach beautiful bridge carribeanWhat you now have is your base budget, keep in mind it is nearly impossible to stick to a bse budget so if you think you will be struggling to meet this, then you should either review the time of year you are going, where you are going, who you are flying with and how long you plan on staying.

Let me know if there are any other tips or tricks you are interested in and I will absolutely post more!

Just remember that there may be a few additonal expenses you may need to consider:

  • Travel insurance. If you cannot afford travel insurance, then you cannot afford to travel. Simple.
  • Last minute cancelletions or changes in plans (missed planes, accomodation which is not suitable, weather events etc.,).
  • Luggage costs. They can seriously add up, especially if you are on any flughts which did not include luggage.
  • Visas.
  • Currency exchange.

To get your travel planning started, an excellent resource is Trip.com. You can book flights, hotels, trains, cars and keep all of your bookings together.

Save 30% off your hotel bookings (up until 31 August 2018).

Let me know if there are any other tips + tricks you would like for me to share, I would love to share more posts like this if it something that you may be interested in?

beach blue car combiThank 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 have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x