Lifestyle blogger, photographer, mother to my son Boden and frenchie Smalls, wife to my hubs Trevor. I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
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Ten years ago I took my first international trip — six months studying abroad in Australia. My parents were reluctant but I was insistent. I wanted to see the world and this was the trip to kick it off. I’m so happy I went as it was one of the best experiences of my life.
It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, but as I spent two weeks there with my husband over Thanksgiving playing tour guide, I realized that my memories from my time there were very fond, but also very distant.
Australia has been at the top of his list for places to travel to in the world, so when we decided it would be one of our next international trips, I set my alerts on all my favorite travel apps and found a deal of a lifetime: $550 round trip from Seattle to Sydney on United.
W A T ? ? ? I know.
Even when I studied abroad the price was quadruple. The secret? Set travel alerts on Hopper for optional dates and set low fare alerts on Kayak for desired places to go. You’ll get notifications when they’re extremely low and when to buy. When I received the 5am push notification from Hopper a week after we had booked Paris, I freaked. Trevor thought I was ridiculous and was reluctant at first. It was going to be too much travel at the end of the year. But wow was it worth it. He fell in love and it was our best trip yet.
I always hoped to find someone who wanted to experience life just as much as I did, and feel so lucky because Trevor is that someone. We’re having so much fun as a married couple. We have our home, we have our little family with Smalls, and we have freedom. We’ll be settling soon, but until then, these two are living like Ja Rule does, and livin’ it up!
So we took a two week “holiday” down under. A two-week vacation for an American is a great thing, right? That’s like a honeymoon. It’s funny how the Aussies laughed when we’d tell them how long we were spending time in their country for. They’re used to six weeks off from work for holiday. Though it wasn’t a month as they suggested, we made the most of our 15 days.
For those of you wanting to visit Australia for the first time, I wanted to share with you the itinerary I planned for my husband and I. It’s jam packed, full of fun and I think it did the job of winning hiIm over. We now have new retirement goals ;).
Fly out of LAX or SFO to SYD. Expect a 16-hour flight. Pack it with lots of movies or finish those last minute work items before you unplug. Don’t forget, you’re time traveling, losing an entire day here. We scheduled this trip Nov 16 – 30, Weds – Weds with Thanksgiving week in the middle which worked out great as many people were out for vacation as well.
When you look out the window as you fly into Sydney, you’ll get butterflies. Seeing the Sydney Harbour in real life is incredible. We thought we had three days in this city, but because we didn’t account for the day lost, we had two. Oops! Husband and I on a role per usual with travel mishaps. Makes it fun ;).
We booked all domestic flights in the mornings so we could make the most of our time. I recommend flights between the hours of 9am – noon. This way you can get in a good amount of sleep, snooze a little extra on the plane, and be ready to go in your new location. Jetstar operated by Qantas has many cheap options and is a great carrier.
Okay. The Whitsunday islands are a MUST. Our favorite part of the whole trip. Think white sand beaches and clear turquoise water. It was awesome to have this type of island vacation a few days into the trip.
Byron Bay is where hippie paradise meets hipster paradise. It’s just the definition of cool. It’s home to the most easterly point of Australia and many surfers. It’s eclectic and fun. A must visit.
Wake up uber early and start walking towards the Byron Bay Lighthouse to catch the sunrise. Be prepared for a 45-1hr walk with hills, worth the morning exercise. Cuddle your loved one at the James Cook lookout to avoid the crowd and then be sure to snap photos at the most easterly point of Australia.
We loved that we started in the city and ended in the city with this trip. Melbourne is super cool – in more ways than one. We fell in love with the laneways and cafes, but definitely wish we would have packed better for the weather. A bit of a prep for cold weather at home.
Fly out of MEL back to LAX or SFO. Expect a shorter flight than the way there, around 13 hours. Pack it with more movies, more wine, and eating the unhealthy meals your airline gives you. After all, diet starts the day after vacation, right?
Hope you found this post enjoyable and helpful in planning your first Australian adventure! There’s a whole lot more where that came from, so please comment or email me with any questions!
// cb ✌????
Lifestyle blogger, photographer, mother to my son Boden and frenchie Smalls, wife to my hubs Trevor.
I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Get To Know Me
Mother. Wife. Blogger. Photographer. I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Hi, I'm Cortney
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