We spent six weeks traveling through Australia. This was our longest trip ever and it certainly revealed some flaws in our planning. However, none of those flaws could be blamed on our travel agent. She was excellent.
We worked with our agent at this Australia travel agency. Our agent spent hours discussing our plans and presenting numerous options to us. As a result, once on the ground, everything went perfectly. The hotel selections matched our expectations, and the airport and tour pick-ups worked flawlessly. Besides the upfront investment of time and her extensive knowledge about Australia, a few things stood out.
First, our hotels were always well located. This made dining out and visiting key tourism sites much easier.
Second, we always felt that we had one of the hotel's best rooms. We never overlooked the delivery dock or rooftop air-conditioners. In fact, we usually felt that we had the best possible room in the hotel. Maybe the hotels treat travel agents as "repeat" business and make sure that their clients are not disappointed.
Third, our tours were always top notch. We didn't have to worry about picking the right tour or tour operator.
Finally, this travel agency has an affiliate in Australia. As a result, when a question did arise, the response was always quick. One of the offices always seemed open.
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We found Zicasso to be invaluable in helping us to identify the right travel agent. Without your service and the ability to get trip proposals from pre-qualified travel companies, we would have spent hours searching for a travel agent and its unlikely that we would have found one as eminently qualified. Thank you!
Australia certainly offers a wide variety of options. We toured cities, ancient rain forests, the Great Barrier Reef, the outback, wineries and national parks. Our favorites included Melbourne and wine country options like Adelaide. But we also enjoyed Sydney, Kangaroo Island, Tasmania and luxury train travel on The Ghan.
This trip reminded us that we are probably more suited to urban tourism, train travel and wine country experiences. They are well-paced to meet our energy level and culinary interest.
However, there is something appealing about quiet reflection in a national park where TV is an afterthought and the sight of kangaroos, koala bears and wombats (even cuter than koalas) are common.
This was our first six week trip and we found it a bit too long. Next year, we will look for a mid-point location where we can spend a few weeks in a rental property, relaxing and reflecting over simple, home-cooked meals. Six weeks in hotels meant dining in over 120 restaurants. Around week four, we both craved simplicity.
I think an extended respite in the middle of our "tourism" travel would give us a chance to recharge and reflect on what we had already seen and were about to experience.
Finally, while we are in good physical shape, we'd probably limit our stays in national parks where some of the most memorable experiences involve long walks. Walking hours over sometimes slippery and steep terrain is probably part of our past. That said, we met many fellow travelers who thoroughly enjoyed that part of the trip.
I'd just recommend being thoughtful and frank with your travel agent so that they can plan the most perfect trip possible.
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