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

photography · Travel · Travel Gear

My favourite Camera Gear

Picking your photographic gear, is like picking a car. It is deeply personal. I remember saving for the Canon IXY DIGITAL 320 (2002), I had been going through two or three rolls of film a month and on my part-time Woolies deli wage, that just could not keep up.

So Christmas 2004 I skipped off to Harvey Norman and bought my brand new camera, the printer to go along with it and immediately started with it. In 2004, these were the specs of my first digital camera, which cost me, I think around $500 (possibly more):

3.20 Megapixels * 5.33 x 4mm Sensor * 2x Optical Zoom * ISO: Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400 * Min Shutter speed: 15 sec. My current love, ‘Dotty’ (my Canon EOS 80D) just for a small comparison to the above has the same specs of: 24.20 megapixels * 22.3 x 14.9mm Sensor * Digital zoom * ISO: Auto – 51200) * Min Shutter speed: 30 sec.

Safe to say, there is a noticeable difference, but one would expect that with 14 years difference! Before I purchased Dotty just before Christmas last year, I was the proud owner of Betty, a Canon EOS 550D with only the lens kit it came with, and she was my trusted Camera for eight long years and I cried actual tears when she stopped working.

acs_0237.jpg

My current (every-day) gear includes: my Canon EOS 80D, a 24mm pancake lens, standard 18-55mm lens and my new toy, a 16-35mm lens. I bought my camera strap from Etsy years ago and I love it.

I also have two polarising filters, one for my 24mm pancake and one for my 16-35mm lenses.

I have not included all of my gear, but since I started to really utilising my Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest pages I figured I would show the everyday gear I have.Camera House is where I have bought a fair chunk of my gear over the years and I have included the catalogue for them here.

-What do you use? 🙂

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. I may however 

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

Travel · Travel Gear

Scandinavian Trip Prep – Hiking Boots!

Some people dream of outfits and shoes and hats and all the glitz and glamour when it comes to shopping. I on the other hand, love all my gadgets and travel gear.

Seeing as we are now officially TEN WEEKS away from departing Brisbane and heading off our first leg of our adventure, I thought I would share with you all some of the gear we are taking.

Boots – His & Hers

I am a big fan of Wild Earth, this year I have bought G’s shoes for our adventure – a pair of Merrell Moab Adventure Mid WP boots. They were the boots he had been eyeing off for quite some time and the price was 30% cheaper than Merrell directly. Normally I like to buy directly, but with prices like that it is hard to beat.

img_3296

They also have Afterpay – which is an absolute blessing when it comes to stocking up!

Wild Earth currently has  free shopping across Australia on orders over $99, for the latest specials and offers from Wild Earth click here.

Paddy Pallin is where I bought my shoes, I bought a pair of Scarpa Cyrus MID GTX Boots and I absolutely love them! I also took advantage of their membership option to save 10% on any future sales. At the moment they are having several different clearances and really, with some Scarpa, Icebreaker, Marmot, North Face and Patagonia gear up to 70% off, you really cannot go wrong!

We have taken these boots to New Zealand and really given them a good go, so we are really happy with our purchase. I’ve also taken them on a few different hikes / hush walks in Queensland. Including in the rain and climbing a very thin metal ladder up a tree. I know they are going to be the comfiest boots for our trip this September!

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. I may however receive a small affiliate commission if you follow the above links and make a purchase. 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 · Europe · Travel

Will I break my back(pack) on my next trip?

Have you ever travelled over 36 hours internationally, only to reach your destination and realise you have packed a bag of rubbish (tags and receipts from your pre-vacay purchases), into your suitcase instead of a bag of undergarments? NO? Just me. Weird.

My first solo international trip I had a bag which may as well have been the same size as me. Which was an absolute hoot to drag up and down old European hotels which did NOT have elevators (now is a good time to let you know I was absolutely not prepared for international travel in 2009).

Let me show you the monstrosity I thought was suitable, for those playing at home – a bag this size is never appropriate. Ever. If you notice, there are additional bags because releasing two Aussie girls and a Kiwi girl into America was quite literally, letting loose in a candy store. Yep. Those bags are mostly filled with snacks. #noshame (okay, maybe a little shame).

giant pink bagI’ve tried soft bags, hard bags, bags with internal ribbing, bags with locks, bags without locks, bags wrapped in plastic (thanks to Mum who was not at all okay with me going to Thailand in 2012). I have tried the vacuum packs, the packing cubes and also separating clothes and accessories into their own situation. Guess what? It changed nothing. I am a mess of a person when it comes to contained, constrained and appropriate packing.

Fondly known as a ‘Court-nado’ (thanks Jem), my ability to take a beautiful new space and absolutely cover it in the remnants from my exploded bag within thirty seconds would be (if not hideously annoying), a marketable skill. bag explosionG and I are heading on a different trip this time, we are not guaranteed footpaths or lifts or even paved ground. So it was time to succumb to the backpack. I’ve often put it off because I am not overly sure I have the skills to lug a backpack around let alone pack it correctly. G was pretty excited to get his as it matches his smaller daypack I bought him for his birthday. So I ummed and ahhhed and then in a typical copycat-Wife fashion, bought the exact backpack (but in pink, obviously).

So far it has sat in the cupboard, staring aggressively at me. I think it knows I have no idea how to bond with it. This poor backpack could have been the property of an equipped backpacker and yet it has me. I’m sorry. I am going to try my very best to not ruin you, also I don’t want to ruin my back because then G will have to carry both of our bags and me and I think we all know how that is going to end (G will raid my bag for anything he wants, put it into his bag and leave me and my pink bag on the side of the road somewhere).img_2930So, my question to you all (and please feel free to give me all of the help and all of the advice) is, WHAT EXACTLY DO I NEED WITH MY BACKPACK?

Is there some kind of packing separators? How do you pack it? Are they good or are they bad? Are there any recommended accessories you can recommend? We have 73 days to get this show on the road and I don’t want to appear as obviously out of my depth with a backpack as I probably look now….

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. 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