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Start Planning Your Christmas Holiday Now with These Tips

Christmas is just around the corner and it’s time to start planning your holidays if you haven’t already begun. Whether you’re going overseas or staying in this beautiful country of ours, the sooner you start planning the better. In this post, we will take a look at the necessary planning involved to make your Christmas holidays run smooth and stress-free. Christmas is the time for spending quality moments and with your loved ones and the last thing you want is to be stressed out and aggravated when things aren’t running as smoothly as you had hoped.
 

Start Planning Now

Prior planning prevents poor performance – the five Ps to live by. The earlier you plan for your holidays the better. If you plan early you may even be able to a good deal on your airfares and accommodation. It’s a matter of supply and demand. The later you leave the booking process the less of everything there is available, so prices will go through the roof.
 

Deciding Where to Go

This is the first step in planning your holiday. Do you want to be in a sunny location by the beach or perhaps enjoy a winter wonderland? Do you want to be in a crowded place or would you like a nice quiet location? All of these things should be considered before you start planning your Christmas holiday. It pays also to check the weather because some parts of the world will be in monsoon season and probably very wet over the Christmas period. After all, you don’t want to be cooped up over the holiday season with a family that is suffering cabin fever. It can cause kids to become like wild animals, squawking and fighting while you struggle to maintain sanity by keeping them occupied as best as you can in an unfamiliar setting.
 

Overseas Travel

Overseas travel will require a little extra planning especially if you’re intending to go somewhere that requires an entry visa. So, do your research about whether your holiday destination needs a visa and get it sorted as soon as possible to avoid the trauma of getting to the airport and having to go straight home again. Bali is one popular Christmas travel destination for Australians that doesn’t require a visa. You can get 30 days’ entry with no visa or fees to pay but can get quite busy so start booking now.
 

Coastal Getaways

Coastal getaways are usually the holiday of choice for Australians over Christmas when the weather is ideal. The only catch is that everyone has the same idea and beach locations can book out very quickly. If you leave it to the last minute you will struggle to find a place and it will most likely be at an exorbitant rate. Accommodation providers take no mercy and will squeeze you for as much as possible if you leave it to the last minute so decide where you want to go and get in quick.
There are also many less crowded beaches and other holiday destinations in Australia that are beautiful and still relatively cheap. It’s just a matter of doing some research and finding somewhere a little out of the way. Small coastal towns often don’t really offer much in the way of shopping or entertainment but if you’re happy with living the simple life, they will suit you just fine. Such places still offer swimming, fishing, camping and all the rest, and if you have a boat, even better.
 

Stacks of Packing

Don’t get caught off guard this holiday season and be sure to pack your bags according to the weather of your chosen location. As long you as you pack the essentials, everything else can be bought when you arrive unless of course, you’re going off the radar to place like Inskip Point, near Queensland’s Fraser Island. If you are going out bush and camping, careful packing is vital, and you will need a checklist of essential equipment and supplies. For a mission like this, you will need to take everything, including the kitchen sink. Maybe forget the kitchen sink but you will still need a bucket because your planning will be quite a large task especially if you have small children. Start with essentials such as food, clothing, shelter and medicine, and then branch out into activities and entertainment. Always take extra water because as it’s better to have too much than run out. If you decide to cook with gas always take an extra bottle just in case. Even if you don’t smoke, cigarette lighters are handy for starting campfires if they are permitted. Have at least four lighters on hand because they can run out unexpectedly.
Start planning now before you get caught up in the silly season and you should be fine. It will save you time and money down the track and avoid the unwanted stress of last-minute packing. Early planning will also free up more time for you to spend on better things like making magical memories with your loved ones.

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General

How many Flights do Most People Miss in Their Lifetime?

A 2015 statistic claimed 850,000 plane passengers in the US arrive late every day. According to the same source, this accounts for 40%. Their late flights often result in missing their next flights. While this is a broad assumption, it suggests that nearly half of frequent flyers miss their flights every day. Depending on how often you’re on a plane, you have a 40-60 chance of missing every flight you ever take. That’s nearly half, and it’s not a pretty picture. So what happens when you do miss your flight?
If you were flying for an important appointment, like a job interview or a doctor’s visit, you’re out of luck. Not many employment opportunities can be rescheduled. And if you had to fly into a different state, country, or continent to see this particular health expert, they must be really busy. It could take ages to get another appointment, and you’ll probably be charged for the one you missed, because they saved you the slot, which means they closed to door to other paying customers during your missed session.
You may have had to take time off work for that appointment, so it may not be that simple to get more time. And if it was an overseas trip, there might be visa issues to contend with. It also interferes with some of the smaller things, like getting a babysitter for the additional time away. Of course the biggest challenge is getting refunds on your ticket. Not many airlines will pay you back, and if they do get you another flight, you’ll have to pay a hefty cancelation fee. For corporate flights, missing yours makes you look unprofessional.
 

Flights and faults

Of course airlines aren’t always to blame for your missed flight. Other times, your tardiness was a result of poor planning, or traffic. In some countries, you have to check in two hours before your plane leaves, so this lessens the chances of airline error. You can’t always plan for traffic, but you’d rather be at the airport hours in advance than be rushing through the halls. And with increased security measures in the post-terrorist world, check-in requires more time. You also want some wiggle room in case there’s an issue with contraband baggage.
To save yourself the time and hassle, prepare for your flight in advance. This goes beyond updating your passport and getting your vaccinations in order. You’ll want to plan your route to the airport, leaving an allowance for snarl-ups or car breakdowns. You should also organise your parking situation beforehand. Use an airport parking service you can book early. Some have valet services that will take your car the second you arrive, find it a safe slot, and keep it secure until you get back.
If you like, you can request additional services, like a car wash, wax, or polish. They’ll have your car spotless and waiting on your return flight. Because you can ring ahead of time, you can select your preferred parking slot, whether it’s an open air position or something covered. The latter is better for longer trips, because you don’t know what the weather will be like. You can also request extra security, CCTV, or foot patrols. They’re often part of the deal for indoor parking options. And it’s cheaper than using the regular airport parking space.
 

Travelling assistants

You can increase your chances of catching the flight by asking for help. When you’re travelling with children, the elderly, the invalid, or the terminally tardy, you’re going to need assistance. Some park-and-fly services have in-house attendants that are willing to deal with the not-so-little things, like unbuckling car seats, dismantling wheelchairs, or ferrying differently-abled passengers. It saves you a lot of time and stress, making your experience far more bearable. Explore in advance to see how far the car park is from check-in.
As you plan your journey, factor in the time needed to walk from the car to the terminal, especially with heavy luggage and multiple travel companions. If it’s a long stretch, find out whether your parking service has airport shuttles. They generally work on a timetable. Certain companies have shuttles every ten minutes, but others are an hour apart, so time yourself accordingly.
Be sure to double-check the car, not just for forgotten bags, but also for valuables that could get lost or stolen. If you do leave something in the car, get in touch with your parking service as soon as you can. Some are pretty good about safe-guarding your property, and the lowered stress levels will make your flight far smoother. Regulars at the airport can sign up for loyalty parking points. You can trade them in for perks and discounts.

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Featured General

Uber Has Gotten More Expensive in Sydney

Yes, it’s official in most parts of the world. Uber has been gradually raising prices ever so slowly so that the unsuspecting customer either remains oblivious to the slight price hikes or is so used to using the application the inconvenience of changing is not worth the few extra bucks of the ride.
The explanation behind the gradual price hikes has been put down to operational costs which are fair enough. Who am I to complain, when I am in a consumer’s market and the multitude of options for travel are at my fingertips.
I used to Uber to the airport all the time for the reliability, convenience and general cost-effectiveness of the whole platform.  Due to my work, I have to travel a lot and Uber seemed like a logical choice over a taxi and getting my poor wife to drop off and pick me up in the wee hours of the morning or night.
If you are like me and travel to the airport a few times a week you might like to consider one of my recent discoveries of convenience. A park n fly service.
The park n fly service I use is great. I jumped in my car, which I barely get to drive, being away so much and living in the city, and drive myself to the airport with my music thumping, pumping me up for the day ahead.
When I arrive at the airport it’s simply a matter of dropping my car off to the valet who greets me with a smile and parks my car in a safe location and uncover if I choose that option. He will then ask me if I would like any services done to my car while I’m out of town. They provide services like a cut and polish or a full detail, so my rig is looking at its finest when I do eventually make the trip back.
A shuttle then zooms me off to my terminal and I’m good to go, ready to check in and board my plane. It’s that easy. The cost of an Uber ride to and from the airport is almost equivalent to me parking my car there and leaving it in the safe confines of my park and fly service. There is 24 hr security so I know my car will be safe the whole time I’m away. They also offer specials and deals for frequent travellers such as me, such deals or parking or other detailing services they provide.
I don’t mind admitting that I’m one of those late bloomers and later I found out that many of my colleagues have been using these services for a long time. I get excited when I get the opportunity to tell my associates about it and I’m usually greeted with the puzzled look of “You’ve only just heard about this?” One day I will get to inform someone who is yet to discover the park and fly service – but until then I will keep trying!
On my return, there is a shuttle waiting for me that will take me directly to my car. I usually get the detail because I love coming home to a clean car almost as much as I love coming home to my wife and kids. Hahaha.
So, the price hikes may have hit our beloved Uber, but this has left a gap in the market for a completely different service that caters for the frequent traveller such as me. The transition was easy actually. I was complaining to the wife about the price of getting home from the airport one night and within 20 minutes she had shown me a park and fly website. She’s a clever cookie and I value her opinion, so I thought I would give it a try.
We booked and the rest was history. Uber you served me well for airport transit a number of years and I would still probably use it around town for small journeys if I didn’t feel like driving or had a few too many beers under the belt.
But as far going to and from the airport Uber have lost me. Not just due to the price hikes, but service in general. My park and fly service gives me way more bang for my buck and we all know how hard it is to make a buck and support a family.
Hands down the park and fly service has won me over for the many reasons I have mentioned above. I am thankful in a way that Uber did jack up the prices or I would have never discovered the park and fly service. Well, my wife would never have discovered it. Either way, it’s made my life a heck of a lot more manageable and I have no hesitations in recommending it to all the frequent flyers out there.

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Why an Airport Park and Fly Service is Best for Peace Of Mind

I travel for work a lot. I work away on the mines as a FIFO worker so it’s kind of the deal you get. I actually think it’s a great job and I love it, unlike some of the other blokes on site. You’d think that they’d got the rough end of the deal even though everyone’s sitting on some pretty good salaries if you ask for my opinion. Anyway, being a FIFO there was the hassle of getting to and from the airports – a monkey I had to get off my back and I did, with the help of a park and fly service.
I’m in and out of airports a lot and I rejoice the moment when I’m getting off the last plane, ready to go home to my family. I stroll out of the airport and the park and fly service is there waiting to take me to my own car so I can drive home. I don’t get to drive my car that often and relish the chance to do so. Driving home from the airport after a long work week away from home is a nice way to unwind. I turn on my favourite music and I leave stress behind. An old saying of mine is “Happiness is work in the rearview mirror”. And that’s exactly how I feel when I hit that highway on my way home after a flight.
But don’t get me wrong – that’s not the only reason I use the park and fly service. There are many added benefits beyond me getting to drive my own car home from the airport.
So, when the week starts, I drive my car to the airport and drop it off at the park and fly. The valet greets me with a smile and helps me with my bags. The service is second to none and I feel like a bit of superstar when I drop her off. As sad as it may be, but for a has-been rocker turned family man it feels pretty good – and good service is hard to come by these days. But when it does, you really appreciate it! I don’t have to worry about finding a parking spot because they take care of that for me. The parking is undercover too, so I don’t have to worry about my baby being out in the weather.
As soon as I leave her I know she’s in good hands. Kind of like she’s having a week away at the grandparents! Every couple of weeks I’ll treat her to a wax and polish which is all done onsite by the park and fly service.  I know she is going to be safe and sound because the place is fully gated with security cameras and on top of that they have 24/7 security patrols. There’s literally not a thing to worry about when I leave! Well, except for leaving my family – but that’s a given when you work away.
The last thing I need is to be worried about my car as well. Then I jump on the shuttle. I never have to wait around because they leave every few minutes and there hasn’t been one occasion when I’ve been waiting.
The more I use my park and fly service the more I get out of it. The frequent parker program is great. I get discounts all the time because I’m flying all the time. So I use these discounts to treat my baby to a wash and wax or cut polish. I even get exclusive discounts on my bill.
You may ask why I don’t just taxi or Uber. Well, I spend all week away from familiarity. Away from my home, away from my car, and away from family. So it’s nice to drive my car back to my home and my family. The cost is reasonable and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So when I get off that plane and jump into the transit bus back to my perfectly clean car, it’s a great feeling knowing I’m on my home to the welcome arms of my wife and children. The park and fly service has become part of my work family. We all know each other by name and we have become great friends. Like I said when you travel for work a lot, familiarity becomes something to cherish and to hold onto.

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Safety Tips You Should Display with Your Outdoor Play Module

Outdoor play modules in your home or in a public space are a great way for children to socialise and get outdoors and burn off some energy. If you are lucky they will burn off all the excess energy and get them to go sleep a lot easier! But as safe and as fun as play modules are, there are some safety warnings and advice that should be displayed clearly around the play area to give parents and kids an idea of the potential risks. This will also ensure you won’t be liable for any medical costs that occur down the track. Clear signage with should be displayed at all entries to the playground. In this post, we take a look at some ideas for signs in your playground.
 

Children Should Be Accompanied by an Adult

This is an important one. Children should be accompanied or supervised by an adult at all times. Adult supervision is integral to create a safe and fun environment for children to play in. Around your outdoor play module, it’s not a bad idea to install seats for parents to take a load off while supervising their children.
 

Do Not Eat and Drink in the Play Module

This will help keep your outdoor play area nice and tidy so that it can be enjoyed by all. It also helps keep sticky messes from appearing and will cut back on maintenance costs. Also, the sugar in foods can prematurely degrade your outdoor play module. Let’s face it, it’s a public space and should be enjoyed by all.  A messy playground is a turn-off and parents will be likely to walk the other way and little Timmy won’t be allowed to play.
 

Aggressive Behaviour is Unacceptable

We’ve all seen it, kids will be running around the playground, having a great old time and there is always that one kid who doesn’t get his way and starts being aggressive. This is not acceptable in any way and having signage will make the parents and children aware that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. Not on my watch sonny Jim.
 

No Dangerous Behaviour

This is a bit of a blanket statement and is open to interpretation. But due to the nature of outdoor play modules, it can make for dangerous scenarios. If everyone plays safe, it’s not a problem, but you will get the occasional hooligan risk taker who is willing to do some outrageous things for attention. This sign will bring this message to the forefront of parents minds who can hopefully catch the behaviour and stop it before it results in an injury.
 

Refrain from Using the Equipment When Wet

This is an important one. An outdoor playground can go from a fun afternoon into a night spent in the hospital, all because of a quick change of the weather. Wet playground equipment is a recipe for disaster and although it seems like common sense, a sign should be erected to cement the message and remove the liability from you.
 

No Bare Feet

Back in the day we all used to run around in bare feet and had a great old time when we were children. Times have changed, and I guess you could say that children are little more precious than they were back then. Wearing shoes is a good safety measure and will ensure the protection of the child’s feet from getting crushed by another child. It also prevents them from getting caught in places they shouldn’t be.
 

Please Treat Our Playground with Respect

This is a good one to keep your playground in one piece, so it can be enjoyed by families in the future. This simple sign has the effect of bringing some sort of morals into play and generally, children and parents will abide by it. Of course, there is always one in the crowd and some people will disregard your signs or be completely oblivious, but you’ve done your part and can sleep easy at night time.
 

Caution: Playground Equipment May Be Hot

This one depends on which part of the world you’re in. I know in Queensland this one is a must. I remember running around as a kid and scorching myself on the slippery slides. I’d run home to mum and she would patch me up and we would be back again the next day.
 

No Throwing Rocks or Shoes

We all know what kids are like. If unattended they will pick up the nearest thing in sight and hurl it across the playground just for a giggle. Hopefully, they see this sign beforehand and have some respect for authority. It just makes for a safer environment.
When it comes to signage for your outdoor module playground, take into consideration your location and what rules you want to put into place. Remember they are not only for the children, they are for the parents.

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Family Trips Made Easy

It’s important to spend time with family. Over the holidays, most families go out for dinners or have evenings out but some people prefer taking family trips. After busy months in the office, it is important to take time and have fun with your family. The kids get a time off from their busy schedule in school while you get to enjoy the company of your loved ones. Although it sounds like all fun and games, organizing a family trip can be a headache. There are so many logistics to take care of. If you are travelling out of the country for your trip, the planning gets even more tedious. From packing to travelling, there is so much to deal with but here are a few tips to make your family trip easy.
To have a successful trip you must make sure everything from travel to the destination is booked. Have your plane tickets ready in advance and call in to the hotel to confirm your reservation. If you have an alternative accommodation, confirm before you leave for your trip. Moreover, familiarize yourself with your destination. Read up on the best sites to visit and the do’s and don’ts of the place. The internet has a lot of information and it’s a good source for reviews. So, plan out your family trip down to the last minute. If your flight has a layover, have a plan for your stop. The travel experience is all part of your family trip. Maximize on your trip with good planning.
If you have a family trip coming up soon, it is prudent to start preparing early. We often assume we know what we need to pack for a trip. Unfortunately, when it comes to taking a family trip or going on a family vacation you are likely to forget even the most basic items. If your family has a trip, tell everyone in the house to list down what they need to carry. You might need to go through the children’s list to make sure they are not ferrying irrelevant items. Once everyone has their list, you can start packing two days in advance.  We only realize we have misplaced certain items or we lack them while packing. Two days are enough to find misplaced items and purchase what you need. Once everyone is done the packing, you can counter check your luggage with your lists. Not only will this save you time but also you will have everything you need to enjoy your family trip.
To save yourself the hustle of missing a flight, have your documents at hand. Amidst the last minute rush, one can forget their travel documents at home. This either forces families to split up for the flight or everyone waits for another flight. It is not a fun way to start a family trip. The day before your flight, always make sure everyone in the family has their passports and other travelling documents. You can collect them and keep them safe. Only hand them back to everyone at the airport before boarding your flight. Start your family trip seamlessly.
The last-minute rush to catch a flight often ends with forgetting important valuables. If you are with your family there is high chance the rush will be more stressful and more items will be left behind. To save yourself the hurry, you can have a van come pick you up. With a pickup time in mind, you will have enough time to pack your things and double check your luggage. You can comfortably go through your children’s luggage to make sure they have everything they need. Moreover, you can tidy up and leave your house in order. More often than not, after a long family trip, families come back to an untidy home. Once the van is at your door, you are certain to make it on time with all your luggage in order.
Your family trip starts with the journey to the airport. Perhaps you would like to drive to the airport with your family for your flight. This means you must have a place to safely park and leave your car until you come back. It is no easy feat but neither is it impossible. There are service providers who are ready to receive your car at the airport and take care of it till you are back. More often than not, you will park in their designated parking area and your vehicle will be kept safe. Such companies maintain airtight security around the parking area and if you wish they can even wash your vehicle while you are away. Therefore, you can enjoy your trip without worrying about your car.
The best family trips need proper preparation. With the internet and online business platforms, you can plan everything online to the last detail. From reserving a hotel to booking a slot for your family in a nature walk, it can all be done online. So use a proper travel agency, airport parking, and transport provider. You will definitely enjoy your trip and so will your family.