Spirit of Tasmania, Day or Night sail?

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So you have decided to visit the Apple Isle? You have decided when you want to go? You have made the decision Do I fly or Do I sail? If you have chosen the Spirit of Tasmania.

Now to make the next decision. Do I choose a day sail or a night sail? Who knew there were so many options.

We have done both and thought we would write a list of the pro’s and con’s of both. Ultimately it comes down to who is travelling with you, and where your priorities lie.

Spirit of Tasmania

Length of trip

Day –  9 hours

Night – 11 hours (Whilst it is longer you spend majority of it asleep)

Cost  (Depends on age of Children) 

Day sail is cheaper but……

Day – you can get away without a cabin, Especially if your children are older. However if you have preschool aged children (or younger) I would suggest getting a cabin anyway for day sleeps, space away from people.

Night – Realistically you need a cabin or a recliner (Recliners are not as comfortable and there is nowhere to store your belongings.)

View

Day – Have a great view of Melbourne as you are leaving port, some people have told of seeing dolphin pods on the way across.

Night – Great view of sunset as you travel, or pre-daylight savings great view of Melbourne lights, however once you pass through the Heads, not much to see until you arrive in Devonport

Keeping entertained.

Entertainment depends on the age of the travellers.

No general internet/phone service about thirty minutes after you leave port. However, you can purchase Satellite WiFi in lounge areas for $18. This WiFi is very patchy and you cannot use it for streaming services, ie videos, also not available for some games that require a fast internet connection.

Small playground – great for preschool age, however, will not keep them entertained for hours.

Day sails – face painting, circus performers, trivia, and disco bingo.

Small arcade – very busy and normally unless you get in early more time waiting than playing.

Cinema – extra cost Adults $10, pensioners $7.50 Kids $5

(Limited seats)

two kids movies (day sail) one kid’s movie (Night sail) aimed more at school age plus

Two Adult movies (day and night sail)

You can find out screening times here.

Gaming lounge – Open until midnight on night Sails

Reading room
Realistically there are benefits of both the day or night sail, and you need to look at who is travelling?

4 bed cabin spirit of tasmania

Cabin Spirit of Tasmania

Availability of day sails

Day sails are not always available. Through the winter months there are no day sails, and through spring and autumn, they are once (maybe twice a week). In summer day sails are 3-4 times a week. So if you have a set day you want to sail, you need to keep that in mind.

Head across to the Spirit of Tasmania site to check out their Sailing schedule

My thoughts

I hope this has helped you make an informed decision about taking a day or night sail on the Spirit of Tasmania

Previously when our youngest were toddlers we always headed across on a night sail, booked a four berth inside cabin (fits two portacots) and they slept almost the whole way. Now they are older there are no cabins that fit us all. So if we have the choice for our next trip we will probably head across on a day sail. We will still book a cabin so we have space to relax.

 

To find out more about the Spirit of Tasmania.

To find out more about Tasmania.

 

 

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Top travel tips for Aeroplane travel.

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With the additon of so many low cost aeroplanes, overseas travel is so much more accessible for travelers now. So we have put together our list of our top travel tips for aeroplane travel.

Aeroplane travel tips

Comfortable clothes
When traveling in aeroplanes, what you wear is so important to ensure you have a comfortable trip, but it is also important to help you get through security easily as well.

  • Select shoes that are easily to slip on and off, as often you will be asked to take your shoes off to get through security.
  • Also at most airports you need to be careful your belt won’t set off the metal detectors.
  • Loose fitting clothes, this is important not only to minimize the risk of DVT, but also makes you more comfortable. It is also easy for you to get to sleep.
  • Layers, when traveling you are often presented with a variety of climates, the place you are traveling from, the aeroplane itself which is often quite cold, and then your destination. The greatest way to ensure you are comfortable no matter where you are is to wear a couple of layers.
  • Depending on your health, a pair of support or compression tights is helpful.
  • Change of clothes, in case of spills, (or in case of emergency if your checked in luggage goes missing.

Sleep

It’s so important when flying long haul that you try and change your body clock to your destination from the minute you jump on the plane, and having a sleep is a great way to do this. The best way to be able to sleep in the plane is to be organised.

  • Pack a lightweight pillow to keep comfortable
  • Comfortable clothes.
  • Noise cancelling headphones to block out the noisy plane
  • Comfortable eye masks to block out the bright lights.
  • Make sure your buckle is on top of your clothes, so if you hit turbulence the cabin crew don’t wake you to check your seatbelt.

Toiletries

  • Pack some basic toiletries to freshen up before landing, toothpaste, small foldable brush, moisturiser. Basic make up (If you like to wear makeup)
  • Pack eye drops, aeroplane cabins are low humidity so your eyes often get dry and irritated, use eye drops to stop your eyes looking red.
  • Hand sanitiser, there is no way in the quick turnover of plane trips will your seat area by totally clean.
  • Lip balm. Your lips often get dry from aeroplane travel so lip balm will soothe your dry chapped lips.

Hydrate

  • Drink plenty of water it will help you from getting dehydrated. This is important not just for the flight but in the days leading up to your flight.
  • Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake.
  • Dehydration on a plane has a few flow on effects – increased risk of jet lag.

Limit your hand luggage.

  • Think do you really need it. This is really important when traveling with children as you will often be carrying them too.

Food

  • Aeroplane is famous for often being fairly inedible, often overpriced so the best way to ensure you enjoy your enjoy trip is to pack yourself some nice healthy snacks
  • Pack some treats to snack on for takeoff and landing to help with your ears.
  • Make sure your food isn’t to strong smelling
  • Pack nut free, think of your other passengers that may have nut allergies.

Stretch your legs

  • Inactivity in a plane increases your risk of DVT
  • Inactivity increases muscle pain and discomfort.

Device

  • Charge your device before you go, unless you are lucky to fly first / business class you most likely won’t be able to charge your device on the flight.
  • Pack a portable charger and your USB charging cord.
  • Load up your devices with games, books and videos that do not require Wifi.

Headphones

  • Bring your own headphones that are comfortable.
  • Bring noise cancelling headphones, as then it won’t matter if you have a screaming baby nearby, someone snoring, talking loudly, you can sit back and relax.

Wipes

Even if you don’t have young children a pack of baby wipes are one of the most versatile things to pack for your flight, they can be used for many uses.

  • Great for cleaning everything the tray, the chair, your hands, face.
  • Freshen up by wiping your face with a wipe.

Ziplock bags

  • Great for storing the wipes, toiletries, snacks. When empty they take up very little room in your luggage
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Extra tips for aeroplane travel with children

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Aeroplane travel with children.

Most aeroplane travel tips are the same when travelling with or without children however from experience there are a few other things you need to think about.

To check out our basic aeroplane travel trips click here otherwise read on to find out more.

Aeroplane travel

Pack EVERYONE spare clothes.

To really appreciate my first tip you need to take a trip with me to our magical journey home from L.A travelling with four children, A 21-month-old, a 3-year-old, a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old.

Our flight back was late in the day and after a long, busy day at Disneyland, and a nice 3-hour wait at the airport we were off and ready to go. Now I don’t know why it happened but only minutes into our 13-hour flight, our beautiful daughter started to feel a bit unwell and was sick. All over me, my top. Now whilst wipes are great at cleaning stuff up, nothing apart from a change of clothes can really take the smell away.

Now after being sick she felt fantastic, in her fresh change of clothes she enjoyed the rest of trip, however, I spent the next 12 and a half hours with the lovely smell.

Back when my children were babies I always packed a spare top for myself, but I didn’t this time as my children were older, big mistake.

Now the trip wasn’t over yet. Like a comedy over the rest of the flight, I had drinks spilt on me, a nappy accident that almost brought me to tears. I walked into Auckland airport with my baby covering me so it didn’t look like I was the one who had an accident, waiting for our next flight home I had one choice.

I walked into the nearest store and had to buy an overpriced pair of merino tracksuit pants, and t-shirt for myself and my toddler. A very expensive mistake.

Pack some snacks

Children are often fussy, and will often find aeroplane food a little interesting. Keep them happy by packing their own food. Or they will serve yoghurt, yes yoghurt at 10,000 feet, imagine the mess that brings.

Toilet

  • Set an alarm for 45-50 minutes before you are supposed to land, to make sure you take your children to the toilet. Once the seatbelt lights go on, you cannot leave to go to the toilet. And children often can’t last 30-40 minutes it might be between the seatbelt light going on and landing.
  • Young children wear pull-ups just in case. So much less stressful than an accident in the aeroplane, or dramas with in-flight turbulence and waiting for the light seatbelt light to turn off.

Clothes

Skip laces, buttons, zips and anything that could prevent them getting you them to the toilet on time.

Choose a Middle or window seat for your child. 

Aisle seats are dangerous for younger children, little hands reaching for the trolley, elbows or legs hanging over the side.

Hydrated

Keep them hydrated, pack a non-spill cup, a water bottle. When the flight attendants come around get them to refill your bottles.

Pack light

We have found that our children will often stay awake for most of the flight. But with only moments left in the flight will fall asleep. We then are faced with a major problem how we can get all our and our children back of the plane. Often juggling carrying children, carry own luggage back off the plane.

Think of worst case scenario, can I carry my children and my luggage off this plane?

Remember

Not all classrooms have four walls
Not all Classrooms have walls

Embrace the experience, relax memories made together are priceless.

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Travel Quotes.

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One thing that a traveller loves, is a collection of travel quotes.

It’s a great way to daydream the days away as we are waiting on our next trip. And with help from Jayco Ballarat we have put together a slideshow of some of our favourite travel quotes.

Let us know of your favourites in the comments below.

 

 

 

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10 Essential items for your caravan.

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You have your perfect van. Picked up all the extra’s when you pick up the van, the steps, the wheel chocks, water hoses, power cables. You set off on your first big adventure only to find out you have forgotten some essentials items to make your trip easier.

My number one advice when you pick up your new (or new to you) van is to take it away somewhere relatively local first for a short trip to work out the essential items you need to take with you. That way you can work out what you should really pack in your van, and what your won’t really use.

Over the last 16 years of caravan travelling we have worked out a few of our essentials for a great trip.

My ten essential items.

Level

Their is nothing worse than lying down to bed and feeling like you are sleeping on an angle. Feeling all the blood slowly rush to your head. Life is so much easier in a caravan that is level, from eating, sleeping, cooking even showering.

**If you do forget one, and have internet coverage you can download one for your iPhone, android. We used levelling tools on our last trip.

Non- Slip Grip mat.

Keep your food, and tableware form sliding around in the cupboard with some non-slip grip mat.

Camp Chairs

Seems like such an obvious one, but one thing that is often overlooked, the great thing about travelling in a caravan is exploring the great outdoors. Getting to the end of the day and having to try and relax outside on a step just doesn’t have the same appeal.

essential items

Essential items

First Aid Kit.

Be prepared! For any misadventure with a first aid kit, whether its a bite, burn, scratch, ear ache or headache. Their is nothing worse that being stuck in the middle of no where, trying to find something to tend to a wound or injury.

Plastic container for leftovers.

I hate wasting food so always pack a few plastic containers to store leftover meat, salad or pasta we have cooked. Also great to store open biscuits and other snacks to keep them fresh.

Broom and Shovel.

Most of our caravan trips ultimately end up somewhere near the coast of Australia, which means sand, sand everywhere. There is nothing worse that jumping into bed at the end of the night to feel a thin layer of sand in your sheets.

Melamine Tableware

Shatterproof, break resistant, melamine tableware is the only tableware to bring on your caravan trip. Nowadays the food safe melamine tableware is so much nicer than it used to be. Its easy to wash, doesn’t matter if it gets dropped.

essential items

USB Charging Hub

We have purchased a USB charging hub, to charge all our phones, cameras and other devices, so instead of having to plug in multiple chargers they all plug in nicely to the one hub.

Non Slip Floor matting

When our children were crawling this was the most essential thing for our stays in the caravan, our large Coast to Coast floor mat is 6m x 2.5m Its made from foamed PVC so it is a soft breathable mat that won’t kill the grass underneath it. It’s also non slip and comes in a carry bag, so is easy to store. Perfect for when you are on a dry dusty site.

essential items

essential items

Basic tool kit

There is nothing worse than being in the middle of no where. Finding out you have broken something and not having anything to fix it with.

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Tips for travelling with Children

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Tips for travelling with Children

We have been very blessed to travel quite extensively with our four children, from our early days in an Eagle camper with our oldest, as our family has grown so has the size of our caravan. We then moved on to an Expanda, and then to our most recent van a Base station.

But no matter the size of the van, or the size of the family their are some very important things we have learnt when travelling with Children

1. Leave early in the day

Gives you time to enjoy yourself, stop at all the random “touristy things along the way”
Gives you time to take photo’s not just make memories but remember them too.
Less stressful if there is some unforeseen drama along the way.
Important one – Allows you to set up before dark.

2. Bring a First Aid Kit

You have children, which means that at some stage you will probably end up with a child having a scratch, a temperature, a cough. Be prepared as its very frustrating trying to find a chemist open in the middle of the night if your child gets sick

3. Toys, games and Entertainment

If travelling with children on dirt roads Ipads are better than DVD’s as they don’t jump around.
Simple games in the car keep them amused, like the sign game, (Children start at A and try and find a sign with a word on it starting with A, then move through the whole alphabet), The cloud game, make pictures out of clouds,
Try to keep the electronic devices off as long as possible in the car, let them look out the window, once the electronic devices start the opportunity for them to explore around them ceases.

4. Simple games are best,

(especially quite ones) remember you will all be in a small space for prolonged periods

Our kids loved playing with Pegs, simple no noise
Playing Cards
Figurines, (we took our Pocket friends everywhere and took photos of their adventures as we went
Blocks are great as they are so open ended (and quiet)
Dishes, our daughter loves helping wash the dishes, to her its water play, fill a bucket outside, throw in some plastic cups and relax. If your lucky like we are she also loves to dry them too.

5. Some extra essentials

Mattress protector – cover the bed in a mattress protectors / sheet / mattress protector / sheet, that way if your children are sick in the middle of the night you only need to pull of the sheet and top mattress protector. (and you are not storing them in your limited cupboard space)
Powdered or UHT milk, if you are travelling outback sometimes it is hard to get fresh milk, make sure you always have some in your cupboard for cooking.
Baby wipes – what can I say these are essential, they can be used to clean pretty much anything up, from faces, tables, hands, benches.
Sunscreen – Slip, slop, slap. 🙂
Insect repellant, there is nothing worse than your child being awake in the middle of the night with a mosquito bite.
Paw Paw cream – in case you forget to put on insect repellent.
Spare Water – Dehydration is a very dangerous thing,we need water to operate efficiently and sometimes you will pull up in a caravan or free parking spot and the water is not suitable for drinking. Be prepared.

6. Pack for all weather
Australia is famous for, four seasons in one day, so be prepared pack shorts but also pack a jumper.

7. Create learning experiences

Visit the local Visitor information Centre, your children will not only learn about where you are travelling but you can gain local knowledge, where the best touristy things are, best places to replenish supplies
Ask questions, ask you children about where you have been.
Stop at berry farms, You get fresh berries, children get to run around.

8. Relax and enjoy yourself you are making memories that will last a lifetime

What are your essentials you pack when travelling with children?

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