Travel Diary (Day 14) – Sogndal & Flåm

Day 14 – 3/10

This morning we woke up and the night before we had changed our minds about driving to the Geiranger Fjord as it would have resulted in an eight-hour trip (without stops), so we decided that unfortunately would not be seeing this famed Fjord as we had also missed the season of going into this Fjord on our Hurtigruten cruise.

IMG_2452Instead we decided we would catch the ferry back across the Sognefjorden and visit Flåm. With the ferry crossing we were there within an hour and a half and it was like driving into the little town of every persons dream!

This sweet little village of Flåm has since the late 19th century been a tourist destination. It currently receives almost 450,000 visitors a year and if you’ve ever researched the tourist destination spots of Norway, then it is more than likely you have seen pictures of this wonderful spot!

During our original plans we had initially thought we would do the Norway in a Nutshell tour but again the price was incredibly expensive so we decided not to. Once we got to Flåm we decided it was time for hot coffee and maybe a picnic. We had taken our own food for the day, so what we did buy was two coffees (from a machine) and it seriously nearly cost us $20. Glad we had our picnic!

We figured since we were at Flåm, and as we had saved money by taking our own food, that we would splurge on a round trip on the Flåmsbana. Now the fare itself per adult return did set us back $780 NOK (or $150 Australian each). Which, to be honest is super pricey, unless it is something you really have on your bucket-list it’s not necessary but I really wanted to ride the tail and visit Myrdal.

Here are some fun facts about the Flåm- Myrdal railway:

  • The journey will take you from stunning Fjord landscapes up to beautiful snow-capped mountain peaks;
  • The journey explains to you the history of the area and gives you a wonderful background of traditions which do date back to pagan times;
  • The journey is 20km and the scenery does meet the tourism promise of dramatic scenery;
  • When you reach Myrdal, you are 866 metres above sea-level.

As you leave the azure waters of Aurlandsfjord you will pass the beautiful Flåm Stave Church (have you worked out our love for churches yet?), and this beauty dates back to 1667!

My favourite stop was the amazing Rjoandefossen waterfall, magnificently hurling herself 140m straight down the mountainside.

Rather than building bridges, the engineers actually opted to run the river through tunnels underneath the railway line. It is incredible! There is evidence of rockfalls and avalanches throughout the entire journey and it just reminds you again how brave and incredible the people who created all of these places we get to explore now really were.

IMG_2396There is a decent 1,320-metre tunnel, the Nåli tunnel, and past this you stop at the Kjosfossen waterfall. Now I’ve had some pretty amazing train + waterfall combos in my time, but I can honestly say this one was the BEST! Especially with the fresh snow all around us!

I don’t regret the expense or the experience at all, when it comes to travel it all comes down to what you are okay sacrificing in order to splurge elsewhere. For me and thankfully for my Husband as well – we are happy to smash servo sandwiches and filtered coffee in order to spend money on experiences. For others its fine dining. For some it’s shopping. Don’t let anyone dictate to you what is it is not a waste of money. It’s your holiday, you do you x .

After our Flåm adventure we hit the road, made it back to our ferry, crossed the river. Went through that bloody 24km tunnel again and then we were home. Home for our last night in our gorgeous little boat shed loft.

Somehow, the tiny village of Sogndal has a burger and gin joint which basically screams ‘Welcome Courtney‘, so we had our last dinner there – delicious. Although there was an odd man across from us who was participating in our conversation, without being in our conversation. If you know what I mean?

I don’t think we could have utilised our time any better than what we did and I am just so thankful to have a travel partner who travels the way I do. We take turns both in being in charge or navigating or having melt downs. It’s how it should be. For those of you who travel solo, I think you’re amazing. Seriously.

My tips for the Flåm rail:

  • Choose the return trip up to Myrdal;
  • Don’t panic if you cannot get a seat on the right hand side, your view up the mountain will not be “as good”, but that’s okay – I’ll tell you why in a minute;
  • Sit nearer the doors – the train will stop for a few minutes at the Kjosfossen waterfall, you want to be one of the first off your carriage and up to the barrier for the waterfall. If you move quickly you’ll get a few snaps in before the swarms make their way!
  • The train, regardless of how crowded on its way up, will NOT be that crowded on the return trip. Many people are doing the Norway in a Nutshell, which means flicks of your fellow passengers are getting off at Myrdal. You will then have the seat of your choosing! Swap sides from where you were on the way up and have a different perspective!

For more information on Flåm you can click here.

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

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Why I love being a Bonus (Step) Mum

The expectation when you are growing up is to meet the guy/girl of your dreams, and build your life together. For some people (not all), that dream extends to having children. To building a family, and loving that family, hard.

While I was growing up, I never had those marriage fantasies. I dreamt of far away places, of travel, of writing or creating movies. There was a small period of time where I actually tried to change my name to something horribly embarrassing. Most people laughed at me, my best friend Meagan backed me and immediately started rolling with it. Because she is amazing.

The thing is, I didn’t dream of my wedding. I didn’t dream of the family. The white-picket fence. Being pregnant. They all seemed like great things but they just weren’t on my ‘list’.

I had boyfriends. I had love stories. I had break ups. I did the thing. I have a lot of wonderful memories. The love of my life was always travel. I would work myself into the ground, saving every $ I had. Creating travel plans. Dreaming of my escape and throttling those holidays by the neck when I was on leave.

When I started to head towards thirty, something changed. I wanted that special someone. I wanted the text messages and the calls. The cuddles and the kisses. Holding hands. Being nauseatingly in-love in public, pissing-off all who saw.

I made a list. My now-Husband doesn’t know about the list. Because let’s face it, the list is something all of us girls keep hidden. Whether it’s in your diary, on your blog, in your notes, on your phone or just in your head. We ALL have the list. If you say you don’t, then you’re lying.

For me, my list looked something like this.

Taller than me. Has a job. Brown hair. Kind eyes. Great sense of humour. Likes to travel. Is honest. Is respectful. Hasn’t been married. Doesn’t have kids.

Your list might look like mine, or it may not. No judgement, #womensupportingwomen.

On my 27th birthday, I was out with my girlfriends, far from home. I met a man. He was the perfect man for me. We hit it off straight away. To say it was love at first sight, is an understatement. I KNEW this was the man I was going to marry.

The list wasn’t so much as a role-call as it was a guide. Find a man who doesn’t treat you like shit and wants to hang out with you and only you. The rest, was completely negotiable.

Fast-forward five years and I’m a Step-Mum. My dream man has two kids. Two gorgeous, intelligent, funny and loving kids. It was an adjustment. It wasn’t easy. For any of us. There are many extenuating factors when it comes to being a step-parent.

As much as you love them, you haven’t been a part of their firsts. You haven’t watched them grow. They aren’t yours. Now before you read that as a negative, I need for you to know that it isn’t. It’s anything but. Being a step parent is hard. It’s challenging, heart breaking and rewarding. All at the same time.

Do you know why this love feels insanely pure? It feels pure because there is no biological link. Your steppies are not a part of you. You are not biologically wired to love one another. The maternal instinct cannot be compared to that of a mother. That would not be fair. Unfortunately we have Cinderella to thank for the awful banshee portrayal of a step-mum. Step-dads are painted as self-serving, violent or cruel. Step-mums are painted as jealous, baron, nasty bitches.

We aren’t. When you choose to love children that aren’t yours- it shows dedication, commitment and intentional love. They are an extension of the person you love. When you look closely, you see the physical similarities, you also see the biological traits which do not match your partner. A reminder of where and from whom they were created.

You know what though? Children are innocent. Children do not choose where they come from. They don’t choose their future and they certainly cannot be expected to navigate the complexities that blended families bring.

So, in a painfully long-winded post, let me tell you this. Never shy away from a challenge. Never think that someone with children has “baggage”. You are only doing yourself a disservice. It means you have someone who can love others more than they love themselves. They are raising, loving and protecting kids and that is noble and attractive as HELL.

So….

To my two bonus-kids. I love you. I am proud of you and I thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life. Consider me part of your cheerleading team. We all want the best for you both. I love your Dad and I love you. I could not be prouder to call you my bonus-kids xxxx

Are you a step-parent, are you a step-kid? I want to know!

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! 

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

5 Activities to do in Brisbane this weekend…

Spring has sprung! It won’t be long now until those beautiful Jacaranda’s start blooming, the cardies are no longer needed and the air changes. Seriously, is it just me that smells that beautiful change in the air?!

There is so much happening in Brisbane in September, it is a shame I will miss a good portion of it, but there is no reason why you should!

So, here we go – my roundup of my favourite upcoming events:

1. Boaters & Beers at Newstead House Brisbane – a pretty unique Father’s Day idea or really an amazing relaxing day for anyone in the Brisbane area. Celebrate Brisbane’s oldest surviving residence with one of the best views on the river.

2. Wildlife Photographer of the Year at BRISBANE POWERHOUSE. Not only is the exhibition free but it has 100 award-winning images – this event goes back to 1965 all thanks to the BBW Wildlife Magazine competition.

3. Valley Fiesta is on again, bringing you five days of live music, theatre, food, workshops, visual arts and performances across the Val’s laneways and in more than 40 venues.

4. Seadeck, Brisbane is heading out tonight, Saturday and Sunday for its cruise along our river. Tickets start at $25 and you are guaranteed a fun time on this 42m luxury floating oasis.

5. Ballistic Beer is having their Dogs Go Ballistic festival tomorrow! It is a festival with beers and dogs guys and prizes and events. I cannot make this one, but I would love to see the pictures if you DO go!

If you do get to any of the above or for any other activity / festival you attend, please tag us in Our South-East Queensland #ourseqld !

~ Courtney Gaye ~

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The danger of #begpacking

city man person people
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference ~ Kevin Heath

I have often said that if you cannot afford travel insurance, you cannot afford travel. I work my arse off to save and pay off my trips, sometimes this means a lot of sacrifice and sometimes it can result in two years between trips. Do you know why I don’t deserve your pity or empathy on this one? Because it is completely my choice.

That being said, I want to talk about “beg-packers”, entitled Western travellers who head overseas with no more than a flight and maybe enough money to carry them through their first week in whatever hostel they are staying in, who then have the audacity to sit in the likely third-world country they are in and beg for money to continue to fund their travel.

When you have had the luxury to fly to another country for travel, this actually puts you in the top 1% of the world, financially. So to sit in a country in which you should be contributing to the economy and then beg for money is, ridiculously tone-deaf and ignorant. Let’s not minimise the actuality of poverty.

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Photo by Denniz Futalan on Pexels.com

It goes along with GoFundMe pages for generic things – I once saw a lady asking for a bowling ball, gym shoes and a treadmill – perhaps GoFundMe was in her eyes, the grown up Santa-list?

The ethical implications of being a guest in a country without any financial security or means to support yourself, is further damaging that countries economy. How do you set up outside of an airport and beg for money with your gear and passports and camera/phone (to put your #begpacking on social media, obviously), in a country which has 1.2 million homeless children (Philippines), 180000 people living in informal settlements (Cambodia), 78 million people -0 including 11 million children (India), 30 000 homeless (Mexico City) & 15000 homeless people – 4500 of which are children (Buenos Aires); is….disgusting.

backpack bag blur commuter
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

Your international travel is not the responsibility of others. We are living in a time where we are far too quick to put our hands out and say “help me”. Please do not travel if you cannot afford it. please do not make your financial burden become that of your host country. Give YOUR money to those who need it. Be prepared. In case of emergency, make sure you have travel insurance. If you cannot afford to stay abroad and need to come home and start again, then that is what you need to do. Our world needs our help, if you are reading this – remember we are the top 1%. You may not think it, but we are the most fortunate people in the world. It is our job and luxury that we are in a position to help.

To donate (every dollar helps!)

Australia – StreetSmart – Action Against Homelessness – https://streetsmartaustralia.org/donate/

WorldWide – Homeless World Cup Foundation – https://donate.homelessworldcup.org/au-en

Cambodia – Habit for Humanity – https://www.habitat.org/donate/?keyword=header

Bali Children’s Project – registered non-profit in Bali, helping children escape poverty through education – https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/BCP

If you see any of Australia’s friendly ‘Big Issue’ distributors and you have cash, please purchase one of these for $7. For every magazine sold – the distributor keeps half. Say hello to them, they all have a story to tell – they’re people like you and I. Give where you can & be thankful for how fortunate we are.

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

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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

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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

 

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

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

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Buderim Forest Walk

IMG_9696The Sunshine Coast and South-East Queensland is home to an absolute plethora of family-friendly activities. From Noosa Heads, out to Toowoomba down to Warwick and then south to Mt Warning, South East Queensland has so much to offer. I am a strong advocate for South East Queensland being more than theme parks, beaches and Brisbane CBD.

My sister is one of the most incredible mothers I know and I work / know many other incredible parents who will go out of their way to ensure their kids and families experience everything our beautiful corner of the world has to offer. So in the spirit of finding activities which everyone is able to participate in, I decided to take myself on a road-trip during the School activities.

As I had only headed South on the Wednesday, I decided North was my destination for the Friday. The Buderim Forest Waterfall Walk is a 45 hectare oasis, on the northern side of Buderim. It is a welcoming rainforest with tall trees, ferns, waterfalls, beautiful bird calls and cascading water.

I chose to enter from the Lindsay Road via Harry’s Lane in Buderim and there were plenty of parking spots. There is a beautiful area of electric barbecues and picnic tables and as you start your walk, it commences on an elevated wooden boardwalk. I made my way through the forest, crossing over the impressive Martins Creek at several way points. I made my way up to the Buderim Falls, however once I got there and set my gear up, we were met with polite yet persistent rainfall. This quickly escalated into moderate rainfall and I fund myself packing up my gear and making a very wet (yet fun) journey back to my car.

Here is a fun fact bout the bridge, it was actually lowered into place by a helicopter after it was built offsite! Swimming is ill-advised given it is a spring fed source which has weaved its way through many urban developments by the time it gets to the falls.

I live on the Southside of Brisbane and my journey took around an hour and twenty minutes to reach my destination (with rainy weather and slower traffic). The drive way beautiful and I could not recommend this destination enough for an easy and cheap adventure with the family.

IMG_9683Where is your favourite bush-walk in Queensland? Anything you can recommend to others?

For more amazing activities you can do on our beautiful Sunshine Coast – please check out the below link:

https://www.visitsunshinecoast.com/What-to-do/Things-to-do

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

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