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Planning a holiday using takeabreak.com.au
  • Looking ahead
  • Plan your stopping points and local sights
  • The Twelve Apostles
  • That's why we have GPS!
  • Wye, Victoria

Once upon a time, planning a holiday was both time-consuming and expensive. It could involve a lot of map reading, phone calls and visits to bookshops or the library. Doing all that research and then developing an organised system to record all your findings was a major trauma.

Thanks to the internet, everything is now so much easier - and often cheaper, too. For our Great Ocean Road accommodation, I went to the local travel agency and picked up a few tourist brochures on the areas we intended to visit. These are useful to get an idea of the significant sites and tourist spots, so I can choose to include them in our itinerary – or, in some cases, avoid them.
I then worked out a route using the NRMA Trip Planner, www.drivethere.com.au, which gives you the distance between each stop, as well as information on local attractions. We try to do no more than five hours’ driving between overnight stops – that way none of us get too tired.
It also gives a reasonable amount of time to have a look at points of interest on the way and at our overnight destination. Don’t plan to stay just one night, as you often need more time to explore a place properly. I’d recommend at least two nights in one spot and you’ll often get better accommodation deals, too.  
My top tip for successful travelling is: don’t try to do too much at once.
Once you’ve worked out your stops, it’s time to start booking holiday accommodation. I’ve found takeabreak.com.au a great way to plan my holidays. 
You’ll have a general idea of where you want to go, so enter this in the dropdown menus for state and region. Below this you can then specify the particular locations where you wish to stay (this dropdown menu also gives you a good reference to places you’ll probably want to visit).
Then specify the number of nights and the number of people, and there is a check box that allows you to search accommodation with deals and special offers.
Next choose the type of accommodation you want (the ‘All Accommodation’ tab) and below it the sort of holiday experiences you seek, such as pet-friendly accommodation, romantic, beach and more (or in my case, accessible accommodation).
Hit the ‘search’ button and you’ll get a whole list of places that may meet your requirements. All listings have a summary showing the cost per night, number of rooms, minimum night requirements and a snapshot of the facilities on offer. Click on ‘more’ for detailed information on the property or ‘make enquiry’ to enquire from the operator about availability, facilities, rates and more.
I’ve had an extremely good response rate from operators on this site and the promptness of their reply and the nature of their responses give you a good idea of what to expect! When booking accommodation, always start with the busiest areas and the peak times (such as school holidays and weekends) that will be more difficult to get.
Takeabreak.com.au also has links to Google Maps for each property, which is great, as you can look at the place and its surrounds in real pictures.
Research the attractions and activities at each location where you plan to stay. A good place to begin your search is the local tourist offices. For our recent journey to the Great Ocean Road I began with Tourism Victoria, www.visitvictoria.com, and was referred to the Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre, www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au, which was very helpful. 
Takeabreak.com.au also has a sister site, Holiday Inspirations, which gives useful reviews, stories and general information about many areas you might visit.
So now you’re ready to go. The next challenge is map reading - but that’s why we have a GPS!
About the Author
Bruce Mumford lives at Burrawang in the NSW Southern Highlands with his wife Louise and sons, Ashley and Rohan.  He was formerly an English, History and Drama teacher at high schools in Forbes, Nowra and Moss Vale.  In 1990 Bruce was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and he is currently a Disabled Travel Consultant.  Since Bruce's retirement from full-time teaching, the family has travelled widely in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and overseas.

About the author
Bruce Mumford is a Disabled Travel Consultant...

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