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Perth to Cairns: How to survive a budget airline 101

Check In Perth Airport
The first step if you are flying with any average airlines, make sure you have plenty of snacks! Also something for entertainment! On board we had sandwiches, juices, snacks, fluffy pillows and even a blanket! the look on flight attendant’s face was amazing when she saw us carrying so much fluff on board! But who cares if others think this looks ridiculous! Others can enjoy their painful seats and deal with hunger for 4 hours! This was a long flight so we paid extra for the leg room (which was worth it)!

 

 

 

 

Lunch Pack!Tips:

  • DO NOT carry things that slows you down from going through the ariport’s security screening.
  • Bring food/snacks, water and tooth-brush. (this is extremely important!)
  • Utilise your carry-on baggage to its best. Do not exceed the weight and do not pack unnecessary things.
    Bring proper pillows. Airline pillows are smelly and uncomfortable (if there is any!)
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Have some form of entertainment.
  • Consider paying extra for more leg room.

 

Landed in Cairns
We realized renting a car was about the same price as a taxi, plus we had more flexibility. It is humid but not too warm yet, in fact it is very refreshing. Standing outside, the airport, watching the sunrise and fragmented raindrops touched our face every now and then.

 

Sunrise at the airport in Cairns

Something we did not take in mind was how quickly the refreshing whether could turn into a sauna! By 10 am we both could feel the urge of taking a refreshing shower!

Esplanade in Cairns

 

In the city…
Driving up and down the Esplanade. It is extremely hard to find a car park! Also sleeping in the car (i.e. “camping”) is prohibited! something we learnt the hard way!

We tried to sleep on the grass but shortly ants and tiny (unknown!) creatures started to eating us alive!

Tips:
Plan for the best weather. Be mindful of cyclone season (November to April)
Try to avoid travelling during high seasons and school holidays

Mega Dirty, Mega Bat #ZeFrank
Our first encounter with fruit bats (i.e. flying fox) involved gripping our noses and dodging bat sh@t! Regardless, they are fascinating creatures! They are just everywhere!

Bats in Cairns

Tips:
Fruit bats chuck stuff! Be careful when sitting under a tree! We got nearly killed by thrown mangos!

Living a dream (in a peace of sh@t!)
I always dreamt of travelling in a camper van! it is like travelling like a real nomad! Wherever you roam, is home! no fear of not being able to book a room in high season or being restricted to a certain place! (But buff! We shortly realized we had not considered the whole picture!

Living the dream in a piece of shitWe looked at a Hippie Camper Van brochure. It had everything one needed to travel! a bed, a fridge, a sink, a stove and power plugs! And boy the pictures looked glistening! (I always knew the brochures were “slightly” over exaggerated the quality but this time I was way off!

We had nooo idea what we had signed up for!
We underestimated the cost of fuel on those things and the fact that if you are lucky to find a spot in overly booked caravan parks, you still have to pay the same cost that you would at a backpackers’. Due to high level of adrenaline required, I will write the story of the camper van in a separate page!

(At this stage, we had no idea what we had signed up for! we were not going to pick up the camper van until the next three days…)

 

Your main travelling costs are:

  • Transport
  • Fuel
  • Car rental
  • Accommodation
  • Adventures
  • Food

Although at the first glance the camper vans seem to save you money on accommodation, but overall they cost more due to fuel consumption and having to pay for a spot in caravan parks (unless you are a risk taker!).

 

 

 Coincidental perfection!             

Just lovely to wander round in Cairns. Many things to do and many nice places to dine! We found out about free fitness classes and I performed some devious moves in the Zumba class! (check out www.facebook.com/officialcairnsesplanade)

We spent the night relaxing, we had a crazy day ahead of us (at the time we did not know yet!)

 

 

 

 

Dream Dinner in Cairns

This was one of the moments when you could not decide what you liked to eat. “What do you want!?… I don’t know it’s not that easy… WHAT DO YOU WANT!? ”…
We wander around for too long for the perfect place. I was getting a bit grumpy. Tina told me she was craving fish with asparagus, some potato and mashed avocado! But how am I supposed to find a place to tick so many boxes!?

We really needed to eat before turning into zombies! so we just popped in the nearest seafood restaurant “The Raw Prawn”. This food turned out to be perfect! As if the Chief could read Tina’s mind!

Great way to end the first night and tomorrow, the real adventure begins…

 

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18 Comments

  • Reply A Busy Bees Life

    I am actually surprised you got to take drinks through airport security. Here, you can only buy food or drinks after going through security and immigration, then you can purchase close tot he boarding gate. The food from the Raw Prawn looks so good. Enjoy your adventure!

    May 4, 2016 at 9:19 am
  • Reply Rashmi & Chalukya

    We mostly try to sleep most part of the long flights or would prefer to carry books to read if the seats dont help you get some good sleep. But yes agree pillows and a blanket are a must. We too have been dreaming on a experience in Camper Van but the costing always make us procastinate the idea but we hope to plan one trip soon.

    May 4, 2016 at 1:14 pm
  • Reply mishvo

    I was so confused when I got to Cairns – I was like okay where’s the beach? Where’s the Great Barrier Reef? This is just a little town with a weird pool thing. I didn’t realize you have to take public transport to get to any beaches worth seeing and rent a car to see anything in the surrounding rainforest. And the drop off point for the Great Barrier Reef is a car ride away too! (But I loved going to Cairns, it was one of my favorite moments of being in Australia 🙂

    May 4, 2016 at 5:09 pm
  • Reply Jen Morrow

    Airport security is so different country to country, and the US TSA rules are constantly changing, so I only bring a few dry snacks anyway.

    May 4, 2016 at 6:42 pm
  • Reply Tae

    I’ve never been to Cairns – did you like it? LOL about the bats though – stinky but awesome, like a lot of things in life. I know what you mean about the camper van looking much better in the brochure 😛 that happens haha!

    May 4, 2016 at 11:45 pm
  • Reply Liz Gillooly

    So curious about the little creatures that were trying to eat you! I like your advice for the airplanes as well! 🙂

    May 5, 2016 at 8:26 am
  • Reply Liana

    This is so important to know when you’re flying around! I’ve never heard of Cairns, but that’s now def on my bucket list. I’m planning a road trip in Australia and I want to see so much! But, you’re right: bring as much comfy stuff for the plane. It’s essential when you’re flying low coast! x

    http://tomboychronicle.com

    May 5, 2016 at 10:55 am
  • Reply john and Laurel Rodgers

    Some of this we follow exactly as you do, the snacks and food on the plane is a ritual to us. The thing that is most helpful to me is the info on the RV rental. We simply can’t find a way to do Australia on our limited budget. I had seen great deals on just a van “Hippie Van” outfitted with just the necessities and we were considering that. Might have to rethink that as an option. Will look for the post on the RV.

    May 5, 2016 at 11:21 am
  • Reply Bernard Tan

    I dont think you can bring drinks through carry on luggage, I usually bring an empty bottle and fill up with water after clearing the airport security.

    May 5, 2016 at 1:23 pm
  • Reply Tamz

    Almost every airport I’ve been through, they didn’t allow drinks past the security check. But I guess we can stack up on those after that. Getting a travel pillow is something I am gonna do first thing when I go shopping next.

    May 5, 2016 at 1:37 pm
  • Reply blogginginpa

    Great tips! It’s always good to bring food on the plane if you can! I usually buy a drink after security check though! Good luck with the rest of your trip!

    May 5, 2016 at 8:32 pm
  • Reply Ahammed

    i always carried snacks in hand bag but the security never allowed me to carry water in hand bag,for entertainment i always used to magazine and fully charged iPad with me

    May 6, 2016 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply Evanne

    Always pack snacks! airport food is so pricey and I much prefer to bring a sandwich and veggies from home – It’s never a problem for me traveling in the US! Also, flying foxes chuck things??? Ha!

    May 6, 2016 at 8:59 pm
  • Reply Shivansh Chaudhary

    Traveling in budget is always a challenging job, but you seem to have done it well!

    May 6, 2016 at 11:33 pm
  • Reply Sanket D.

    Flights are fun. I actually love them – partly because I don’t really suffer from flight-fear, or motion sickness. The only thing I can’t stand really is noisy kids/travelers on flights. Plus I don’t think I love any view in the world more than out of a flight window <3

    May 7, 2016 at 5:03 am
  • Reply siniciliya

    Look at that color of water! I desperately need to dive in!
    Your airplane tips are great, usually I am not organized when it gets to flying. I prepare snacks and sandwitches for my husband when he flies, but totally forget doing this for myself lol

    May 7, 2016 at 9:19 am
  • Reply Sarah @ Expat of the World

    Great tips! I always prefer a long-haul flight and that short budget ones, they wouldn’t even give me a glass of water I had to buy a bottle!

    May 8, 2016 at 5:10 pm
  • Reply Ann

    Great tips, especially concerning snacks. But it’s always so worth it to have saved on airfare and be able to spend more on experience! Also love your photos!

    May 10, 2016 at 1:44 am
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