Travel & Holidays


Leaving Australia next Sunday to head over to the UK for 5 weeks.

This is my first time leaving the country, and first long-haul flight. I have no issues flying, but i’m really not looking forward to the long flight and long stopover.

I’ve got an 8 hour flight out of Cairns to Hong Kong, then a 12 hour layover in Hong Kong, followed by a 14 hour flight to the UK.

Any tips for the long journey, and jet lag? I’m seriously dreading it!


On Boxing Day last year I flew to UK for 2.5 week trip. I have flown to and from Hong Kong many, many times but the flight to London was my first long-haul flight. I flew via Qantas and the flight included a two hour stopover at Dubai (that was before it became Melbourne-Perth-London in late March) which really was just one hour as the other hour was spent queuing at transfer security with other travellers from around the world.
With the 12 hour layover in HK, use the time wisely. You could go to Kowloon or Hong Kong Island for a short trip and sample some local food before flying out. The Discover Hong Kong website has all the details.
As for your flights, I suggest you drink lots of water, avoid alchohol and coffee, get a lot of sleep. When you arrive in UK and check in to your accommodation for the first night, just drop your luggage in the room and take a walk outside to adjust your body clock.
The internet has many, many tips on how to beat jet lag, this is just one of them:


Yes, definitely get out of the airport with a layover that long. The Peak is an easy 10 minute walk from the train station at Central. Head up on the funicular and have a wander around at the top enjoying the views. Head back down and catch the ferry over to Kowloon around sunset (5pm in HK this time of year).

Get some dinner around Nathan Rd (or there are western options in the big shopping centre if you’re not a fan of the local fare) and soak up the lights of the city before getting back on the train at Kowloon by 8-9pm.

Or if you don’t want to go into the busy centre then take the cable car up to the Big Buddha which is right by the airport. Take a bus to Tung Chung (it’s only 4-5 minutes from the airport) and there is plenty of signage to the cable car terminal. Nice area to get some exercise and some fresh air (by Chinese standards!), also wander through the monastery. There are local food options or lots of western places in the big shopping centre at the bottom in Tung Chung.

As for jet lag, you want to spend as much of the flight as possible asleep. Have an active day and get on the plane tired. Drink plenty of water (if you’re on Cathay then they will have big trays of water/juice set up in the galley for you to help yourself to) and I also take a small tube of moisturiser (under 100ml) to apply every couple of hours because I get very dried out on long flights.

And most importantly, stay awake as long as possible on your first day in the UK. No naps, they will turn into proper sleeps and you’ll spend the night awake. Have a quiet morning then have a shower, put on some fresh clothes and go out for a few hours. Five weeks is heaps of time though so it’s not a big deal if it takes a week to adjust. Just take it as it comes.


I got back a couple of weeks ago from a 3 and a half week trip to the UK.

Had a 3 hour layover in HK on the way over, enough time to grab some food at the terminal (I can’t stomach airline food mostly), then go for a big walk around to make me tired for the second leg (I didn’t sleep on the first leg by choice but I only ended up getting 3 hours on the second half :grimacing: ).

As for adjusting to the UK timezone, people are right, stay awake as long as possible. My flight arrived in at 4:45am, which made for a hellishly long day however I went and did the Lord’s tour and a couple of other things before going to a EPL game that night and somehow managed to stay up until 11pm, by which time I crashed for a good 10 hours and was adjusted. (Apart from when I nearly fell asleep in a theatre a couple of nights later!)


What EPL game did you see?


Manchester City v Tottenham at Wembley :blush:


Going to Malaysia for 10 days on Thursday and then Singapore for 5. Never been there before. Does anyone have any tips on where to visit and what food to have there?


Try and stick to the hawker centres in Singapore, best way to experience local food. Outside of the hawker centres I found Singapore to be outrageously expensive for eating out / drinks, even worse now that the AUD is parity with SGD (it was bad enough at 1.2:1 when I was there 5 years ago).

Lots of stuff to see and do in 5 days, my favourite thing there was the Gardens By the Bay… both the Supertrees and the Cloud Forest/Flower Dome. Really beautiful and such an outstanding setup.


How many have done cruising?


I am doing my first ever cruise on the 27th of December. It’s a 12 night one to NZ. It’s not a type of holiday that I ever considered doing myself but my boyfriend and our best friends (another couple) thought it would be good to get away together and chill over the busy season, so I’m looking forward to it.


Yes, the hawker food in Singapore is much better value than cafes or restaurants, but I didn’t think their food was all that great, it was just okay.

Yes, Gardens at the Bay is great, a trip up to the Marina Bay Sands Skydeck is great for the views (S$20 but you get that back in bar credits, but that is only enough for one drink really).

Singapore Zoo is great too, Sentosa Island is worth a trip, and Orchard Road is great for shopping.


To get used to the feeling of jet lag, find a neighbourhood on the east coast of Aus with a common koel going off at 0200 in the morning. That’s what I’ve been dealing with for the last fortnight and it’s still going!

If you go through Singapore you might get to sample the delights of the Asian koel too (just as noisy if not worse than the local version).


In Singapore going to the local hawker centres is a great way of trying to save some money, the food is reasonable but doesn’t taste as good as it did say 15 to 20 years ago. The Singapore Flyer is great, offering spectacular views of Singapore as well as neighbouring Malaysia & Indonesia, it’s $33 per person. The Zoo is great but there’s no Inuka the polar bear anymore, he was my favourite zoo animal. Some people say the Night Safari is great, but I have been there once & all I could see in the dark is the animals eyes. Universal Studios on Sentosa Island is fantastic, plenty of different rides to keep the whole family entertained. As for shopping in terms of variety you can’t go pass Orchard Rd & Vivocity shopping mall, which is next to Harbourfront MRT station. Also Bugis Street, the markets there have some very nice affordable cheap clothes. The public transport system in Singapore is first class, very cheap although the MRT trains regularly get very crowded, sometimes you just have to push your way through, otherwise you will get left behind.


Didn’t want to exclude anyone but thanks to all for the suggestions. I’ll keep those in mind.

Having said that, I’m still open for more suggestions :smile:


I agree, the only thing I didn’t like was that there wasn’t the equivalent of like an Opal or Myki card for visitors where you could load up say $30 at once to cover a few days worth of travel. You could reuse the ticket, but you still had to load money on it trip by trip.



Very interesting since it was only sold last month to the McVicker Investment Group for a decent sum.

I haven’t read this article but I know that the previous owner Rachel James is married to Michael who was attributed to the $90 million collapse of Air Australia in 2012.


Can’t say I trust these online third party agents, especially for flights. I always use something like Google Flights to compare prices and then book direct through the airline.

There are a few exceptions to that (I use Agoda for hotels quite often) but the big global / regional businesses tend to be well and truly big enough that you don’t worry as much about if they’ll remain viable after you book.


Anyone travelling from Melbourne with virgin today? The queue is going through international departures into the quantas departures. Glad I’ve given myself 2 hours


booked a trip to the second ashes test today. i arrive 2 days before the test at lords and than have a week in london afterwards. the only thing i’m not looking forward to is the flights - i’m booked to go over BNE - SNG - LHR but on the way back i’m doing LHR - PER - BNE. The LHR - PER flight will be a killer i think