I spent my first morning in Sydney in the Royal Botanic Garden where I had the best view of the sun rising over the harbour. The World Heritage-listed Opera House glowed in the early morning light, and even though I was jet-lagged, I could not help but be inspired by the beauty and all the possibilities of this amazing city.
Visiting Sydney has always been my dream. This is where modern-day Australia began, and the city is steeped in history. Unlike some historic places, however, Sydney is dazzlingly modern, and the sleek skyscrapers of the CBD coexist peacefully with the cobbled streets and sandstone pubs in The Rocks. I spent a day at the Taronga Zoo where I was able to see wombats, platypuses, red pandas and other unusual creatures and a night at the Opera House where we were able to relax with a glass of wine on the terrace overlooking colourful Circular Quay. Every day that I spent in Sydney brought something new and exciting, and my evenings spent exploring the city’s fine restaurants and indulging in the diverse flavours of Sydney. I even whiled away an entire day shopping the markets.
By researching deals on travel when visiting Sydney, I was able to save more of my budget for all the side trips I really wanted to take and all the little luxuries in which I wanted to indulge. It can be really hard to find good rates on airfare and accommodations, but I wanted to have enough left over to visit the Blue Mountains, some of the area wineries and splurge on locally made products at Sydney’s markets. Finding good airfare can be difficult since the rates tend to change daily and even sometimes hourly.
The cost of airfare can be affected by where you book, how you book, when you book and where you travel. When you are ready to book, you may even discover that you are being charged numerous and pricy extra fees for checked baggage, using a credit card or changing your reservation. Check the carriers’ sites to look for coupon codes or advanced notice of sales, which can really save you money.
I was able to get some really great deals on airfare, which allowed me to splurge a little more while exploring the city. I am a comparison shopper by nature, so I already knew that travel-related search engines were my best bet. I keyed in my preferred travel dates, and they returned a number of different airlines with great deals. Before booking those flights, however, I went directly to each carrier. Only after doing all my homework, I booked my flight directly through the carrier, which eliminated the extra fees associated with using booking sites.
Nonstop flights would have been the most convenient way to fly, but a flight with a stopover was much less expensive and also gave me an opportunity to experience another city even if only for a day. Being a little more flexible with my travel dates allowed me to book in the middle of the week and score major savings. Using my rewards credit card gave me cash back on the price of the airfare and my accommodations.