Flying is objectively the worst mode of transport for a summer getaway. Sure, it can be glamorous (if you can afford business class), and maybe there’s something special about defying gravity in an aluminium can, but everything else about it is terrible.
It’s cramped, it’s stressful, and it is expensive as hell. Besides, we’ve all heard about the atrocious environmental impact our penchant for flight has, and packing light can only do so much to offset that. Instead, might we suggest some alternative getaway options? From most to least expensive, these holidays will keep you grounded – literally.
A trans-continental rail journey. If you’re willing to cough up a couple grand, you can see our great southern land in style and luxury aboard one of these desert-bound bad boys. A quick day dash on the Overland, or perhaps a coast-to-coast voyage on the Indian-Pacific is more your speed? You could always go for the Ghan and experience the endless expanse of the Red Centre. Either way, here’s your chance to live out those romantic railroad fantasies, Before Sunrise-style.
Hire a campervan with mates and go road-tripping. Why suffer the squashed conditions of your beat-up old hatchback when you can pile into a ‘van and have your hotel and transport in one? It’ll make for hilarious memories, as long as you set some ground rules about bathroom use.
The only good kind of road trip is a relaxed one, so pick your end goal carefully and give yourself tonnes of time to get there and back. The phrase ‘it’s about the journey, not the destination’ has never been truer. Whether you’re cruising Sydney’s iconic Pacific Drive, or conquering the Top End tropics along the Savannah Way, take time to truly appreciate the stunning scenery.
A suburban sea change. You never really know what hidden gems live right round the corner from you til you stumble upon them. Spending some time in a random suburb you’ve never been to before is the easiest getaway ever – sometimes you just need a change of scenery. You could even take a leaf out of Completing Sydney‘s book and making a challenge of it, by attempting to visit every suburb in your region.
An indulgent local degustation. The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach, so this option is a dream come true for foodie fanatics. There are so many delicious treats here in your backyard – why burn cash all the way to Cyprus for a perceived ‘authenticity’ when the local Greek community are serving up piping hot souvlaki right round the corner? There are probably hundreds of restaurants around you that you’ve been missing out on because you’re sticking to what you already know.
Okay, so dining out isn’t exactly a holiday, but your tastebuds have a sense of adventure too.
Sleep under the stars in the National Park. Camping is severely underrated, IMHO. Everyone thinks it’ll be too much effort, and that it’s nothing like the glossy, romantic TV portrayals. However, I’m willing to bet it’ll cost you less time, money, and stress to grab a tent and a bunsen burner than it would to plan an entire overseas vay-cay.
Besides, there’s a gorgeous National Park on the doorstep of just about every population centre in the country, so strap on your hiking boots! Might want to wait til bushfire season is over, of course.