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There was a time when hotels or villas were pretty much your only option while on holiday or travelling. We all accepted this and didn’t question if there were any other options available.

If you were travelling on a budget you have to stay in a hideous budget hotel and there was very little flexibility. These days we have so many accommodation options. In fact, we have so many it can be difficult to choose which is best!

Here are some of the best accommodation options while you’re travelling and why they might be a good option for you.

Hostels

Best for: Solo travellers + Budget travellers

First things first, hostels aren’t always the budget option. Hostels are evolving and they’re quickly becoming a great option for the mid-market traveller. People, like me, who can’t always afford a luxury hotel but don’t want to stay in a boring budget hotel. I like boutique hotels that offer something different and quirky and this is exactly what these luxury hostels have.

Hostels used to be over-packed bedroom filled with bunk beds and smelly backpackers but can now be a boutique experience. Boutique hostels usually have private rooms as well as cheaper dorm rooms. There are communal areas where you can meet people (great for solo travellers) and also have some space away from the confines of your bedroom. They have fully equipped kitchens too so you can save money on your meals.

My favourite hostels are KEX in Iceland and Generator in London.

There are also the super budget hostels available where you’re sharing a room with up to 20 people. It’s great if you’re on a strict budget and you’ve got a good pair of ear plugs!


Hotels

Best for: Luxury travel + weekend breaks

When it comes to hotels I often use the phrase, ‘Go big or go home!’ I don’t mean big in size, I mean big in features.

What’s the point in staying in a 2* hotel? It might be affordable but it’ll be horrible. It will be a cookie cutter hotel room with cream walls and views to another concrete block of a building. Every room looks the same, no matter where you are in the world.

If I’m staying in a hotel I want it to be luxurious. I want a swimming pool, breakfast in bed, fluffy pillows, a mini bar, an enormous bath, toiletries worth stealing and a huge robe and slippers.

If I can’t afford a luxury hotel then I’ll go for a more affordable accommodation option.

Metropolitan by COMO lobbyMetropolitan by Como in Miami

Apartments

Best for: Long-term travel + families + groups

I love renting apartments when I travel. It’s great to have the extra space with a living room and the flexibility of a kitchen. When you’re travelling for a long time, it’s often nice to have a space to call home and feel more settled than you ever could in a hostel or hotel.

Apartments are much easier if you’re travelling with kids so you can cook for them and adults have somewhere to sit once the kids are asleep. If you’re travelling with a group of people, apartments are really affordable, especially if you’re prepared to squeeze a few extra people in.

Central Apartments in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Apart’hotels

Best for: An easier and more luxurious apartment experience

Apart’hotels are a new one for me. As the name suggests, they’re a combination of apartment style rooms with hotel features. You have the reception, the cleaners, newspapers, a gym, breakfast and sometimes room service like you would in a hotel but you have an apartment rather than just a single hotel room.

I’m a big fan of Citadines Apart’hotels after staying in lots of their properties last summer.

Citadines Suites Louvre Paris

Guesthouses

Best for: Budget travellers and unique experiences

Guesthouses are most common in Asia and they’re usually small and budget friendly. They range from beach huts to small hotels, little bungalows or rooms in a person’s house like a B&B.
You can often barter with guest house owners over the price or at least get your breakfast included for free.

Time ‘n’ Place beach huts in Jamaica

Homestays

Best for: Local experiences

If you want to get a real feel for the local culture then you can opt for a homestay where you live in the house of a local family. You’ll have your meals with them and one member of the family will often take you under their wing and show you around.

Couchsurfing

Best for: Local experiences and budget travellers

Couchsurfing is a community website where you can seek out hosts and sleep on a person’s couch (or spare room if you’re lucky) absolutely free. Your host will usually show you around town and you’d be expected to hang out a bit rather than just use their place as a free crash pad.


This can be a great way to get to know the local area and many travellers swear by it.

Airbnb or private house rental

Best for: Budget travel, luxury travel, long term travel, groups, families and local experiences

Yes, private house rental is a great option for pretty much every type of traveller. Air bnb is the most popular website to find homes to rent but there are a lot of alternatives out there too. This is basically where you rent out a person’s home for the duration of your stay. The person may live abroad or go and stay with friends or family during the dates you’ve booked.

The houses are always clean, clutter free and relatively unpersonalised (it’s unlikely you’ll find family photos on the walls) but they do have a family home feel with everything you’d need.

You’ll find everything from tiny apartments to enormous and luxurious houses.

House sitting

Best for: Long term travel, flexible travel and budget travel

House sitting usually involves joining a community website and keeping your eyes peeled for the dream opportunity. It worked when a homeowner is going away and they’re looking for someone to stay in their house to look after it and possibly look after their pets and garden too.

It’s a win win situation because the homeowner doesn’t need to worry about their house and gets a free pet sitter, while the house sitter gets free accommodation and a friendly pooch to play with. 

Which accommodation choice is your favourite while you’re travelling and do you have any other options to add to the list?


This article was originally posted on The Travel Hack Weekend Travel Blog and was reposted here with permission.

 
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Monthly check in:July 2017-Airport_news

Total

passengers
for the month

111,665

INCREASE


5.2%

Passenger growth in July 2017 increased by 5.2% compared to the same month last year. This was supported by strong growth on all major routes. The blended load factor for all major carriers was 77.2%.    


Total

passengers for the
calendar year-to-date 

724,114

INCREASE


6.8%

Year-to-date passenger numbers reached 724,111, up 6.8% compared toe the same period in the previous year. Additional seats on all major routes were the main contributors to this figure.

Financial year-on-year comparison


Total passengers (arrivals / departures)










Becoming international ready-Airport_news



In 2016 Newcastle Airport received notification that its application for a Restart NSW grant had been successful. This $855,000 grant will be used towards the funding of the $1.6 million fit-out for the border agency requirements. Until now, Newcastle Airport had only the dedicated terminal space for international passenger processing, not the necessary infrastructure to be able to have international flights to-and-from the airport.

In April, Newcastle Airport announced Hunter-based builder, Kingston Building had been awarded the $1.6 million project. This project involved the installation of the necessary security technology, IT technology, passenger screening equipment, and furniture for the border agencies. Now complete, ahead of schedule which is a credit to Kingston Building  who's managers saw the project executed  to the highest standard with no lost time to injury, ensuring it came in ahead of schedule and ahead of budget.

And, while we haven't got any announcements on the horizon about direct flights to new destinations just yet, here is a sneak peek below of what you can expect when we do get to use our new facilities. You will see we're international ready for when an airline says YES!



Frequently Asked Questions

Does this mean that international flights will start right away?

We wish we could say with certainty yes. But, unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.
Completing this project doesn’t guarantee international flights will start from Newcastle Airport in the near future. But, what it does mean is that from an infrastructure perspective, we have done everything we need to do to prepare our terminal in readiness for international fights.
You can read more about what we’re doing behind the scenes to bring more services to Newcastle here  

Will I get to use the new facilities when I fly domestically?

No. Our new facilities will only be used fro international departures and arrivals.

How is this project funded?

This project has been partly funded through the NSW Government’s Restart NSW Fund and by Newcastle Airport.

Where will you fly to first?

That is a good question and one we are working hard to answer! We are looking at short-haul destinations like Fiji and Bali or New Zealand. It's a long race we're running but we are committed to doing everything we can to bring new services, both domestic and international, to Newcastle Airport to give our region an airport it deserves.

I hate sitting in Sydney traffic, how do I fly out of Newcastle overseas?

We couldn’t agree with you more! That Sydney freeway trip can really take its toll. If you were keen on starting your trip from Newcastle we can hub to more 65 destinations world-wide in just one stop.



Byron Bay is winning at winter-Airport_news


Fancy leaving the chill of winter to holiday on some of the best stretch of coast Northern NSW has to offer?

Catch a plane to Byron this season and you’ll be in paradise in no time. With average winter temperatures around 19 degrees and clear sunny days this cosmopolitan spot is the perfect place to soak up some rays and explore a region that is rich in culture and diversity.

What’s more winter is the perfect time to enjoy a spot of whale watching as Australian east coast humpbacks migrate.

Flying makes quick work of the 800 kilometre trip, leaving you to enjoy your break and the get the most from all that Byron has to offer. This easternmost point of the Australia is famous for its beaches, surf breaks, sunrises, fishing and green hills. But there’s so much more to the area. It’s a foodies dream, from market stalls to high-end restaurants Byron boasts outstanding local produce.

With a host of scenic walks, meditation retreats, regular festivals, shopping and entertainment a trip to Byron will leave you feeling truly inspired.

In fact, the chances are you may never want to leave Byron’s blissed-out buzz, yet there are loads of interesting places within an hour’s drive, not least beautiful Ballina.

This bustling town offers stunning beaches, endless waterside attractions and some of the best local seafood you’re likely to find. With 25 kilometres of cycleways along the beautiful Richmond river, kayak tours, river cruises and heritage walks its captivating scenery can be enjoyed at any pace. Visit Macadamia Castle for some family fun, delve your way through the Ballina markets or saddle-up and take a horse ride along the beach.

With some great packages currently on offer from Pelican Travel, your winter blues may have just turned a warmer hue.


THINGS TO DO IN BYRON AND BALLINA:
Splendour in the Grass –  July 21 to July 23 
Byron Bay Writer’s Festival – August 4 to August 6
The Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival – August 11 to August 12
Ballina Market – 3rd Sunday of every month
Quota Club of Astonville Craft and Garden Fair – Balllina August 26  to August 27
Sample Food Festival – Bangalow Showgrounds

GETTING THERE:

Ballina is just 5 minutes from Ballina Byron Gateway Airport and Byron is under 30 minutes drive.
FlyPelican has six direct flights a week from Newcastle to Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, with flights from $99. 
Flight time is 1 hour 30 minutes.
Looking for all-inclusive? Byron Bay
 packages are available through Pelican Travel. You could enjoy a winter getaway at the luxurious Byron at Byron, with airport transfers to the resort and return flights Ex-Newcastle from $549 per-person.

Why do people love Byron bay so much? Read on to find out our top five reasons to love Byron


*This article first published in the Newcastle Herald 

Monthly check in: June 2017-Airport_news

Total

passengers
for the month

98,217

INCREASE


6.2%

Passenger growth in June 2017 increased by 6.2% compared to the same month last year. This was supported by additional seats on all major routes. The blended load factor for all major carriers was 75%.


Total

passengers for the
year to date (FY)

1,257,210

INCREASE


6.6%

Financial year passenger numbers reached 1.257 million, up 6.6% compared to last financial year. Positive growth from all major airlines and new routes to Coffs Harbour and Dubbo during the year were the main contributors for this record figure.

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