When I think about the last time that I travelled, my mind goes back to 2012 when I visited Europe. Although I have taken some smaller trips since then, nothing all that significant. There has been two week long trips to Melbourne, ten days to New Zealand and some shorter local adventures. More recently there was a 10-day cruise to the South Pacific. But nothing big and it seems like it is about time to change this.
I have had to rework this post a couple of times now as it has been a work in progress for a couple of months. But essentially with not much more than eight months left in the year, if I am to travel I need to start planning it now. Three ideas have been on the table, which I will discuss. However, they are also in flux to some degree with the changing current world situation.
A road trip is something very much on my mind, even more so after my post last week (Road Trip Brisbane To Stanthorpe). However, I continually seem to have smaller commitments that come up and defer my attention. It just appears that there has been a continual stream of time restraints and the consideration of my cars ability to cover the distance.
Why Drive, Instead Of Fly
Often I am questioned on why I want to drive instead of just flying between the capitals. The answer is simple; I want to see everything that is in between the main cities. For me, the idea of a road trip is less about the mode of transport and the final destination. But all about the many smaller destinations along the route being travelled.
I find that when you fly there is a lot that you are missing in the name of saving time. So if I needed to visit Sydney specifically, I would be more than happy to fly to Sydney. But that does not mean that Sydney cannot be the primary destination while exploring the area in between Brisbane and Sydney.
Where to road trip
Presently there are two trips that I would like to undertake by road. I have a few specific spots that I would like to visit, along with Geocaching along the way, but I am sure there is plenty more in between as well. Essentially, the two ideas are either north or south, Brisbane to Cairns or Brisbane to Melbourne.
It is approaching what would almost be the perfect time to head north along the Queensland Coast. More so because we are heading into winter, and the weather may not be as hot. The route is also pretty popular with backpackers and other travellers visiting Australia.
The other option is to head south through New South Wales to Victoria and Melbourne. There is even some potential that it could be extended to visit Adelaide as well. Looping back to Brisbane via the inland route.
How Long To Travel
I have been drawn to the idea of a road trip in part due to the flexibility of time. Although, I have in the past decided against a road trip because I cannot fit it in between other engagements. But when you think about it there is no need to take this approach. Even if you had to return home with short notice, you are less than a day from an airport almost anywhere in Australia. Or worst case two or three days of solid driving on the east coast Australia.
The overall length of the trip would be an unknown at the beginning. Because I would want to let, things flow depending on what was around to see and do. Ideally, I would be looking not to spend more than 2-3 hours at most driving any day. Especially not multiple days back to back. The biggest factor though can be the distance between towns I want to stay in. Which would be dependent on the particular route to some degree. I doubt I would want to spend less than a month in either direction.
I have visited at last one country in Europe on two occasions. The first was a visit to England for seven days exploring the countryside. The second I visited many more countries both by land and sea. But there is still a rather large amount of Europe that I have not visited, but would like to.
When it comes to countries, I have yet to visit that I would like to there are a couple. Including Norway, Sweden, Romania, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Finland, Ireland, Scotland & I am sure there are more. Needless to say, though some of these countries seem much less safe with the attacks in recent months & years.
So even though I love visiting the cities and countryside to explore the history. Europe may be something that goes on hold for the moment. But time will tell, I believe there are still plenty of relatively safe areas. It is just being selective about where you visit and prioritising less populous areas.
If I had to pick one way to travel over any others that would be cruising. The first cruise I went on it was by chance I decided to make that a part of the trip. But from that first cruise, I have now sailed 93 days on cruise ships over four separate cruises.
The biggest challenge that I have faced in being able to cruise more though is the cost of cruising alone. It often takes a lot of digging and research these days to find a cruise that is good value for a solo traveller. Of course, that is not something that stops me looking, but does make me hesitate in booking quite often.
In the past one of the options that has worked out best for me to cruise is the Transpacific or Transatlantic. Often I have been able to find these are quite good prices. However, it seems with the increased popularity of cruising they are not quite the deals they used to be.
I can say that either way, I will continue to look for cruises at the right price for me to be able to cruise. Some of the options that I am considering could include the Transpacific in either direction or the Transatlantic again in either direction. The biggest challenge I am finding with both options is the cost of hotels at either end. Especially in the USA, and Europe hotels seem to be quite expensive. Either way, I will keep looking at what is available and seeing what might work out best.
Future Travel Ideas
That about sums up the primary options that I am considering for the rest of the year. That is not to say that something else might not come up that seems to be the right fit at the time. I would love to make all three happen and potentially more because that will give me plenty to share with you here as well. If you keep a watch next week I may even look to put together a potential itinerary for a road trip.