Mak, Wifey, my son and I, so it was slightly challenging to plan because it involved senior citizen and a toddler. Long walk is not suitable for Mak while for my son, all of his needs must be fulfilled.
My great references for travel plan are Tripadvisor, Agoda and GoogleMaps. Itineraries can be easily prepared even for those who are going to the place for the first time.
Before making any booking, I’ve made online application for Electronic Travel Authority. Pretty easy, just pay AUS$20 per person and the reference numbers were immediately sent to my mailbox. No need to bring the copy of the email to enter Australia but I do keep the numbers, just in case.
Initially for Sydney, I planned to stay at Kent Street Meriton Serviced Apartment and for Melbourne at Quest on William Apartment. Wifey was OK with Quest on William but thought Meriton was too expensive so I booked for Regent Court Apartment instead.
To detail-up the itineraries, I read through interesting places and activities in Tripadvisor and chose based on Wifey and my preferences. And to put in plan, I used GoogleMaps to know the distance between all the places and the best route to get there. This took long time but it really helped especially when we already there. My travel practice is to use my phone Nokia Maps and have a printed daily route map as back-up. The Nokia Maps is accurate and never fail so far only that the battery will get weak by the end of the day.
I planned to drive in Melbourne since I’m going to Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island. Through Thrifty Car Rental, I paid it online. Before going some of my friends said I need to translate my driving license and some said I need to get international driving license. No need translation, no need to apply international driving license – when I went to pick up the car, my driving license was accepted and the process was smooth. Car park booking also was made up front. I booked for overnight parking just at AUD6.50 per night at Wilson, which is just within walking distance from the apartment. To enter the car building, just swipe the credit card used for online transaction.
… to be continued