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How far can you travel for just $99?

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I love finding a good bargain and when I find one, I enjoy sharing it with others.

Whilst living on Sydney’s North Shore is wonderful, there’s nothing like a quick trip outta town. Travelling doesn’t have to mean long, painful car trips with unhappy young passengers in the back seat. Nor does overseas travel mean spending thousands of dollars on airfares.

Travel to regional NSW by train

When was the last time you enjoyed travelling on a train? Think bigger, better and far less crowded than City Rail commuter trains.

Train travel to regional NSW is surprisingly inexpensive and potentially a relaxing way to travel with kids. But, let’s talk money. Did you know children travel for just $1? For every adult fare, you pay just $1 per child up to four children (under the age of 16 years).

The Big Banana at Coffs Harbour

We are so fortunate to live on the North Shore train line, with Hornsby being one of the three Sydney boarding stations for NSW TrainLink services. Jump on board at Hornsby and travel to…

  • Tamworth for $75
  • Dubbo for $84
  • Coffs Harbour for $95

Trains depart daily, usually in the morning, which means you arrive at these regional NSW destinations mid-afternoon. Forget red-eye flights or being caught in traffic on the Pacific Motorway (previously F3).

This is what I LOVE about travelling on trains.

  1. There is plenty of leg room and the seats recline.
  2. Each seat has a foot stool and tray table.
  3. It’s easy to move through the carriage (even at top speed).
  4. You have a choice of Economy or First Class carriages.
  5. There is an impressive variety of food and drinks available from Buffet Carriage throughout the entire trip.
  6. They’re air-conditioned.

For me, though the air-conditioning is just too cold. On a recent trip to Tamworth, my 11-year-old daughter packed a very full backpack as her hand luggage. She had included three throw rugs – two of them were for me! She knew I would freeze on the train (a cold mummy is an unhappy mummy!).

For young kids, travelling on a train isn’t just a means to a destination, but an exciting adventure in itself.

So why not jump on a train for a quick trip to see The Golden Guitar in Tamworth, Western Plains Zoo  in Dubbo or The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour? Click here to check out the timetables.

Travel Overseas

It’s hard to believe, but you can sometimes travel to Malaysia for less than the cost of a taxi to the airport (from Wahroonga).

I am a big fan of AirAsia and our family have flown with them dozens of times over the past seven years. They have been awarded World’s Best Low Cost Airline each year since 2007. AirAsia regularly promote sale fares of just $99 (including taxes) from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur.

KL is AirAsia’s main airport, and offers hundreds of interconnecting flights to other parts of Asia. During Sale periods, expect to pay just $6 AUD for a flight to Penang, Langkawi or Singapore.


A Samsung Tablet provides the in-flight entertainment

Remember, this is a budget airline, so you pay extra for things like:

  • Food (fantastic range and very reasonably price)
  • Entertainment (Samsung Tablet)
  • Luggage (approx. $15 for 25kg)
  • Comfort Kit (blanket, pillow and eye mask)

Here are a few things I’d like to point out about AirAsia:

  1. Leg Room – similar to other airlines however you can pay extra (approx. $45) for a ‘Hot Seat’ which is generally located at an exit row
  2. Three sections; Economy, Quiet Zone (no kids) or Premium Flat Bed (available on Syd to KL flights)
  3. The food is excellent. Airline food that has great flavours (and not all meals are hot and spicy). Broad offering of on-board snacks and drinks available.
  4. The service is brilliant. They may be a budget airline, but they do not skimp on number or quality of their staff.
  5. Cabin Temperature – it is cold.

I know I said the train was cold, but Air Asia flights are absolutely freezing. How cold? Well, I actually wear thermal underwear during any AirAisa flight plus a jumper, pashmina, two pairs of socks and a blanket … or three! But that’s just me. I’ve always felt the cold!

Even if you can not wait for a Super Airfare Sale (generally 2-3 times a year), AirAsia regular fares are very reasonable. You can ‘like’ them on Facebook to get their updates and low fare alerts.

Stop dreaming and start booking. Your trip to Asia is just a few clicks away.

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