I have recently shared our family Perth trip on Petite Travellers, so please do head over there to read it!
To add on to that post, this post is more about the trip, what went into the planning, and how we ended up doing what we do. We are not the type to have a full-on or detailed itinerary before we travel, and we like to think that the journey is just as important as the destination, so it’s not all about checking off the most touristy must-sees.
Earlier this year, in fact in March, I spied some cheap fares on Singapore Airlines to Perth (they were from $90 without tax! In the end we went for the $110 ones per pax), so we decided to spend a week there during the September school holidays. When I’m in planning mode, I can be on the SQ website every day!
SQ flies to Perth 5 times a day, but we generally prefer not to take red eye flights, because we have always felt that getting there is part of the fun. We chose the 935am flight, and reached there just before 3pm. It was a good flight timing because we didn’t have to wake up insanely early, but yet early enough for Scout to sleep through most of the flight (yay for me!).
Collecting the keys to the car took a very short time (perhaps because we’ve rented from Avis before), and they gave us a SPANKING NEW Holden with INBUILT GPS so we didn’t even need to hire one! I brought THREE car seats with us because based on the estimates I could have bought new seats with the amount I was quoted for, and airlines do not have any weight restrictions on car seats, so hey, why not! I dug out and bought mesh dive bags to put the car seats in, but on both legs the check-in staff gave us the huge stroller bags for us to dump them all in. Yes, all 3 together.
We decided to rent a car from the airport because a taxi from the airport to the CBD would have cost us almost a day’s rental, and with our 3 car seats, and although there are plenty of buses within the CBD, since the apartment had a few parking lots available, we rented a car.
Just next to the Avis counter at the Perth airport is the Optus and Vodafone counters. Since there was a customer at Avis and no one in Vodafone, we decided to check out their SIM cards as we often buy local SIM cards for use on holiday, so that we could still be connected for information and maps, etc. The pleasant surprise was that they were selling a 3G Pocket Wifi for AUD$39, which could connect up to 5 devices, was valid for 30 days, AND you did NOT need to return it AT ALL. Seriously, that is my top tip for going to Perth. Changi Recommends charges SGD$10-$12 PER DAY for rental of their wifi routers for Australia, so you do the math!!
Where to go?
Our first stay was at the Citadines St. George’s Terrace within the Perth CBD. We arrived on a Friday afternoon, and rooms in the CBD were almost half the price on weekends than they were on weekdays. We also figured that the Margaret River area would be less crowded on weekdays, so that was how we planned the itinerary.
Our next apartment was the Bay Village Resort & Spa Dunsborough. We chose to stay in Dunsborough as there are many child-friendly activities in that area, and Bay Village have loft chalets which has 3 single beds and a queen bed at the loft, which meant that we could all sleep together instead of in 2 separate rooms!
We had originally planned our last night at Mandurah, which is about an hour away from the airport, but we were loving the Margaret River region so much we decided to spend the last night in the Margaret River town itself. However, we woke up late at 9am on the day of our departure, and had to get to the airport, 3 hours away, for a 2pm flight! Thankfully we made it in good time. Next time, we will probably stay closer to the airport!
As a family holiday, we generally like to take things free and easy. I will usually do a lot of research on what to do, where to go, and often I will mark all of these on my Google maps for easy reference. I only wish there was a way for me to add notes on to each destination because sometimes I forget what it was at the pin that I was interested only. Duh! If you know of a better way to work with Google maps, do let me know.
Although our car had GPS, Google is also so handy for finding the closest of anything. For example, after an afternoon at the Caversham Wildlife Park, we decided to head somewhere for an early dinner and groceries. With Google maps I was able to locate a Nando’s and a Cole’s a short drive away. It is really so handy to be able to research on the go, so we could still be spontaneous but not have to drive around aimlessly! With connectivity, I often also used Tripadvisor to find the recommended places to eat in the area or town. How technology has changed the way we travel!
Even though we were there for 7 days, we really enjoyed our trip to Perth and can’t wait to go back again!