Whether you’re visiting on business or you just want a long, leisurely holiday, organising an extended stay in a major city requires some planning and forethought.
When you’re only in town for a couple of days, a hotel or motel is perfectly adequate and there are plenty of good quality, affordable establishments in and around the CBDs of our capital cities.
But when you plan to stay for weeks or even months, a hotel or motel becomes less than ideal. For one thing, it can be prohibitively expensive over such a period and whether your company is footing the bill or you are paying out of your own pocket, there are much more affordable options available. A hotel also doesn’t offer much in the way of privacy and living out of a suitcase can get pretty old after a while, even for the most seasoned of travellers.
A much better alternative is a serviced apartment. With more space, more privacy and better amenities, an apartment allows you to do your own laundry and cook your own meals, which can be a huge cost saving when compared with eating out for every meal.
Serviced apartments can be rented over a much shorter time frame than the average lease and because many are in buildings with guest amenities, you may have access to a gym, spa, sauna and swimming pool as well.
When you’re in town for longer than a week or so, getting around can also become an issue, as catching cabs everywhere is hardly an option and you won’t have your own car, unless you brought it with you. One possible solution is a hire car, but these can be expensive over time and, as in every big city, there is the question of parking to consider.
A better option is to use public transport. All of Australia’s capital cities have good public transport systems and travel is often free around the central CBD. If you’re planning to be in town for a while and you have a lot to see and do, it would be a good idea to purchase a weekly or even monthly transport pass that gives you unlimited access to tram, bus and rail networks.
Seeing it all
Once you’ve found somewhere comfortable, affordable and central to stay and a cheap, quick means of getting around, the only other thing to plan is what to see and when. If you’re in town on business, you’ll have to organise your sightseeing around your business appointments, but if you’re on holiday, it’s all just waiting for you to get out there and experience.
It’s important not to rush in and see everything in the first week though, because you probably won’t spend enough time to see it properly. If you’ve got several weeks or months, it’s a good idea to pace yourself and catch a show or visit an attraction once every few days, so you can give it the time and attention it truly deserves.