Last night Lana and I were remembering our travels to and from the US. We figured it would be a good idea to give some travel tips for people travelling to Australia.
1. Remember Australia is a LONG way away. By the time you land in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane you will probably have been travelling about 24 hours.
2. Australia is on the other side of the world. Opposite Season and opposite time. 8am in Sydney today is 6pm Atlanta yesterday. Summer in the US is Winter in Australia.
3. Drink plenty of water. Avoid too much fizzy (pop/soda) and alcohol. This will avoid headaches from drying out.
4. Sleep however you can on the plane. I know that you will be excited, and uncomfortable in "cattle class" (economy), but try to get some power naps.
5. Pack sensibly. You probably won't use half the stuff you bring.
6. Australia has different power. We use 240v and different power sockets. Your equipment won't work without an adaptor, and an adaptor alone won't help if the item cannot handle the 240v. Most computers, iPods and other stuff have adaptors that handle both power levels - check your power brick and adaptor.
7. The mobile/cell phone network here is NOT the same as yours. If your mobile carrier allows International roaming, you will be slugged a heavy price. You are better off getting an International Phone card in Australia, or using the Internet.
8. There is hardly any Free Wireless Internet coverage in Australia, and it is not extensive.The public access at airports and McDonalds is expensive. There is quite a bit of "free public" wireless coverage from an abundance of unsecured wireless routers, but that isn't really the same thing.
9. When you land in Australia early in the morning, DO NOT go to sleep until night time. This means another 12 hours up and awake, but it is the only way to minimise jet lag. If you sleep on arrival - during the day - you will probably be zonked out for the first 3 or 4 days of your trip as you adjust.
10. Be patient. There will be hundreds of thousands of people landing within a short space of time. Being self important and impatient will actually DECREASE your assistance from local people. A friendly request will get a great response.
11. Australians drive on the correct side of the road - the LEFT SIDE. So be sure to look BOTH ways before crossing the road. Your habit will be to look one way as you step off the curb. This will ensure that the car will hit you on your blind side.
Anyone else have more tips?
(This photo is of us in Atlanta airport when we started our travel home in September 2005.)