When it came to preparing for our trip to Tasmania, I knew it would be a learning curve. I’m not exactly a practiced traveller! I’ve been to Norfolk Island (for our honeymoon), to Singapore (to visit my sister who lived there at the time) and I’ve been to parts of Australia – all up the east coast of Queensland and out to the beautiful islands of the Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and lots of regional areas in between and nearby (too many to list)! I’ve yet to visit WA, SA or NT but don’t you worry I have every intention of getting to each and every state of our beautiful country!
So, it’s no surprise that I made some travel blunders on our recent trip to Tasmania. This was the first holiday I’ve been on that was a fast paced tourist type trip where we packed up and moved on each morning so I’m not surprised I made some rookie mistakes! Being a blogger and all, I thought I’d share some of what I learnt.
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My top 5 travel lessons learned
1. Keep the suitcase size down and do not over pack!
My suitcase was large and heavy. I was lucky that I had the tennis player with me to help because even though it has wheels and is manageable for me that way, there were some places that we stayed that required carrying that suitcase up multiple flights of stairs which I would have struggled with on my own! Though I did much better than in the past, I still packed some clothes that I didn’t wear and a pair of hiking boots never got worn because I thought they would be too heavy (oh the irony!). When packing you need to ask yourself this question “will I really wear that?” and if not, don’t pack it! Also make sure that the size of the suitcase you take is manageable not only to wheel around but also in the event you have to carry it!
2. Pack machine washable clothes that are also suitable to go in a dryer!
During the course of our trip, I was only able to wash my underwear and socks. What I really wanted to also wash was some of the tops I had been wearing (over and over again!) but being winter tops, all of them either needed to be hand washed and/or could not go in the dryer. We were never in a place long enough to hang up a wet item of clothing for it to dry! This is a problem to be aware of when you are packing for a cooler climate! I should have packed long-sleeved t-shirt material tops that could be machine washed and thrown in a dryer. I could have added layers for warmth but the layer closest to my skin which is what I really needed to be able to wash would have been possible!
3. Don’t try and pack too much into your day when planning the itinerary!
We underestimated some things when planning what we fit in each day on our itinerary:
- Many of the roads were winding and mountainous so to get from Point A to Point B actually took a lot longer than we had anticipated!
- You get tired when you pack a lot into each day and are packing up and moving on each day. Though we had a busy schedule, we managed ok by skipping a few of our planned activities, but were well and truly tiring out by the end of the holiday. We could have relaxed the activity on a few more days to give ourselves a bit of a breather!
- Be realistic with your planning. For example: I had put a visit to Cadbury’s Chocolate Factory on Day 1 of our itinerary. What?! We only had a ½ day on our first day in Hobart arriving there around lunchtime. After checking into our hotel, did I then want to go straight to a chocolate factory? NO! I wanted lunch and to see Hobart! We never did get to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory. Maybe next time!
4. Put a bit more time into researching good, affordable places to eat – particularly in the cities.
The smaller towns and rural areas are pretty easy to work out where to eat. You can usually take a walk around and work it out very quickly! The bakery’s are fantastic in Tasmania for lunch and free WIFI!! However, when you arrive in a city, like Hobart or Launceston late afternoon and exhausted, it would be good to have at hand a selection of recommended places for dinner (takeaway and dine in options). We managed but had some hits and some misses as a result of winging it! Since we’ve got home we’ve had heaps of people saying “oh did you eat at such and such place? It’s a must!”. We wish we knew the ‘must eat at’ places before we left. Lesson learned!
5. If you plan on doing lots of walking and hiking, make sure you are fit enough for it before you leave.
I’m not an athletic or fit person but I had ramped up my walking before I left in the hope that it would help prepare me for all the walking we’d be doing in Tassie. My walking at home was all on flat elevation though at the local waterfront. Many of the walks/hikes that we did in Tassie involved steep inclines, steps, hills and though I did them and survived, I found some of them very taxing (hello walk up to the Wineglass Bay Lookout)! My waterfront walks were better than nothing but hardly a match for what I planned to do in Tassie! If anything it was a wake up call as to how unfit I am and a kick up the backside to be sure that next time if I planned to do any hiking I would make more of an effort to train appropriately for the activity I planned to do! Don’t be delusional in your planning. Only plan to do what you are capable of doing!
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So all of you who have travelled far and wide are laughing at me right now aren’t you? Go on, admit it! Yes I was a dill and made some silly mistakes but I’ll know better now for next time! 😉
Have you travelled lately? Make any travel blunders of your own? Got any fabulous travel tips I should know about?
Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT