A big component of my role at MTC is overseeing and arranging our artists’ travel: whether that be helping some artists relocate to Melbourne, or touring 45 people, two dogs and a LOT of luggage to Canberra for Shakespeare in Love last year! So it’s lucky that I love anything and everything travel related. I’m one of those rare beings that find airports calming!
With that in mind, and with restrictions on travel beginning to ease, my recommendations are for those at home who, like me, might be starting to get cabin fever, dreaming of our next getaway.
These recommendations are about finding inspiration and planning for the future – the near future! – when travel is safe and allowed again. Always be sure to check the government restrictions relevant to your state and stay safe.
I spend far too much time reading travel blogs or watching travel vlogs, dreaming up future trips. Besides providing an opportunity to live vicariously, they’re a great way to discover destinations you might not have considered before. Two of my personal favourites are Kara and Nate – their goal of visiting 100 countries is envy inducing – and Dan Flying Solo. Then for those who, like me, spend far too much energy working out the best way to earn and spend frequent flyer points, you can’t go past Point Hacks here in Australia. Now might not be the right time to travel, but it’s the perfect time to build up your list of places to go one day.
Let’s face it, regardless of the lockdown, the couch is always going to be more comfortable than economy class.
There are so many amazing places to discover here in Victoria and Parks Victoria has some great interactive, 360° time-lapses to help you explore a few of those places from the comfort of home; try a helicopter flight over the Twelve Apostles at sunrise! Or, looking further afield, if your dream escape is cocktails on the beach, the Maldives offer 360° virtual tours of the various private-island resorts and hotels. Virtual Yosemite is another interactive 360° virtual tour, but with sound to really transport you to the Californian wilderness. An African safari is at the absolute top of my bucket-list, but in the meantime Wild Earth offer a 24-hour live-streamed ‘waterhole-cam’ and they run daily live-stream safaris which are always completely unpredictable and exciting.
A little less involved, virtual backgrounds are great for not only hiding that pile of laundry or dishes from your next Zoom meeting, but helping to transport you somewhere far-flung…even if only virtually. Singapore, easily my singular favourite international destination to-date, has some iconic backgrounds, as do Tourism Australia.
Eat out in
One of the best things about travelling surely has to be trying new foods. With so many restaurants that wouldn’t normally offer takeaway now doing so, I’ve been enjoying finding new places to eat and shaking it up by making a point to pick cuisines I haven’t tried before. Recently I had my first taste of Israeli food, thanks to new Prahran-based eatery Golda – I’m definitely a fan. Other times I find myself searching to replicate a great memory from a past trip: the curry laksa from Malay Momma in Southbank, right around the corner from MTC’s Southbank Theatre, is the next best thing to being in Kuala Lumpur. And if Tasmania remains off-limits, the Warburton Bakery is not only a great pitstop on a day trip exploring the Yarra Ranges (when day trips are allowed again), but they do a scallop pie to rival any you’d find at the Salamanca Market.
It doesn’t have to be something outrageous or completely out of your comfort zone, but next time you’re scrolling UberEats on a Friday night, why not mix things up and try something new? And if you like it, you can add another country to your ‘must visit’ list.
Keep it local
As Australians, we are incredibly lucky to have so many amazing places to visit in our own backyard. As restrictions slowly start to ease, this is going to be the perfect opportunity to get out and explore our beautiful country.
‘There’s bound to be some incredible deals when hotels first reopen, so it could be a perfect opportunity to get out of the house, put on that fluffy hotel robe, order room service and treat yourself to a touch of luxury.’
As a first step, once restrictions ease, it might sound crazy but why not treat yourself to a night away in a nice hotel, without even leaving your city or town? Here in Melbourne, I have my eye on the rooftop jacuzzi of The Langham, overlooking the Yarra river and city skyline. My approach is to think less about the hotel room and more about the amenities and facilities. There’s bound to be some incredible and cheap deals across the board when hotels first reopen, so it could be a perfect opportunity to get out of the house, put on that fluffy hotel robe, order room service and treat yourself to a touch of luxury and an experience you wouldn’t normally have in your own home town.
But before then, even closer to home, I’ve found the lockdown’s been a great opportunity to explore areas I’d normally take for granted. Just the other day, I took a different route walking home from the supermarket and found a distillery I didn’t know about (Patient Wolf in Southbank), proving that it pays to explore your own neighbourhood!
Less 5-stars, more ‘under the stars’
Building on the theme of keeping it local, road trips and camping are going to be two of the best and cheapest ways to get out and about once it’s safe to do so. Watching Miriam Margolyes trade Ms Shepherd’s yellow van for a campervan and travel Australia in Miriam Margolyes Almost Australian (airing on ABC) inspired me to download CamperMate. It’s a free app and is full of information to help you find campsites and facilities across Australia and New Zealand.
While restrictions may be slowly starting to ease, please remember to check the government restrictions relevant to your state.
Published on 26 May 2020