The answer my friends, is simple: fly into Sydney.
You think I’m kidding, no?
Compare the last two times we flew internationally:
1. We flew direct to Melbourne. Then waited two hours in line to clear customs. Meanwhile, as we needed two cars, there were two family members with cars in the car park waiting to pick us up. Total amount of parking time paid for – over four hours worth. Total paid $48
2. SGM and Beckham flew to Sydney. They cleared customs in less than ten minutes. The bus transfer to the domestic terminal was included in the ticket price. They ate tea at one of the fast food places in the airport – apparently the food court is pretty good. They then flew domestically (ticket price included in international airfare) to Melbourne. We watched the arrival time on the airport website and simply drove up to the front door to collect them. Total paid – about $16 at Subway, but at least they felt like they got something for their money. Also, it was over $165 cheaper to fly via Sydney than direct to Melbourne.
So, Sydney = cheaper, faster and no parking required.
Don’t even get me started on the fact that at Melbourne you have ten minutes from paying for your ticket to exiting the car park, otherwise you go into the next price bracket. And that they only have machines to pay for your tickets at one end of the carpark. BAH!
One of the things that is hugely annoying about living in the Southern hemisphere is the huge mark up we seem to pay on almost everything just for living on the wrong side of the planet.
This is especially clear in things like airfares. As the Age reported today, Australians pay twice the price to fly from Australia to the UK as the British do to fly to Australia (this is taking into account the exchange rate, comparing $Au to $Au).
Qantas’ spokeswoman yesterday said the difference between UK and Australian pricing on the route was a result of factors including seasonality, exchange rates and passenger demand.
Britons were still recovering from the effects of the global financial crisis and special discounts were needed to stimulate UK demand to travel to Australia, the spokeswoman said.
It’s hard to think of when I’ve heard a bigger load of tosh. The airfares were priced like this before the recession, despite the exchange rates or seasons. It is absolutely clear that Australians and NZers are simply being ripped off by the airline. I hardly think Australians should be made to subsidise the travel arrangements of Brits. The fact is that airlines might say it depends on the exchange rates but they never lower the prices for Australians when the Aussie dollar is high (as it is now). And um, excuse me airlines, but if twice as many Aussies flew to the UK and back, then surely you wouldn’t need any British bottoms on the seats at all??
The website for Parc Asterix is all in French, and as my French is a little lacking, I ran the one of the pages through the handy dandy Google-translatometer:
Gauloiseries for the whole family
One thing is certain: the Gauls have the sense of celebration. So when it comes to entertain Petibonum and their parents, Parc Astérix is small in large pots. The result is dramatic and leaves everyone Baba .. orum. At Theater of Poseidon, attend one of the finest performances of current Dolphins, where animal trainer and offers a ballet aquatix wonder that, certainly, big and small.
In good Gauls immoderation you like? So do not miss your hands on the Mona Lisa: a breathtaking spectacle that combines magnificent scenery, stunts, special effects .. An incredible show that will live as a family adventure really fantastix.
And as countries Gauls, the emotions do not expect the number of years, Parc Astérix offers several attractions like Grand Splatch wonder where feelings and make appointments to young people … but never fear them too. This is just a preview, then quickly learn other attractions to have a vision of Panoramix step in your tour de Gaule Family.
This post has a really great collection of ideas to do with kids – no matter if you are homeschooling or not! Some great ideas for books to read as well.
The only problem with this post is that I suffer from a massive anxiety attack reading it, known as “guilt induced homeschooling inadequacy”. I read that they are doing things like making notebooking pages and putting stamps in their passports and I think “that’s so cool! We should be doing that! Why aren’t we doing that?” And then I remember that the reason we aren’t doing that, is because I’m too busy actually planning a real trip to France where they will have to use their real passports and visit the actual Eiffel tower. Guilt semi-purged.
Still – anytime this life time, I should really put together a list of the books we have read (and *ahem* DVDs we have watched) in preparation for the trip. Just don’t hold your breath… I still have to book our accommodation in France first!