Lisa Perkovic and Siobhan Curran's Top Travel Tips for Summer Holidaymakers

Lisa Perkovic and Siobhan Curran's Top Travel Tips for Summer Holidaymakers

Lisa Perkovic and Siobhan Curran's Top Travel Tips for Summer Holidaymakers

Interview with Lisa Perkovic

Question: What is your role as a Hunter Valley Ambassador blogger?

Lisa Perkovic: This year I've got the very exciting task of uncovering some of the Hunter Valley's best kept secrets. I'll be blogging, tweeting and Facebooking my time on three weekends away. You'll always know where I am - which is a shame as I was hoping to get "lost" in the vineyardsÂ… I'm not entirely sure what I'll get up because there are so many different things to do in the area but I'll be capturing all the action and can't wait.


Question: How do you prepare before heading on holidays?

Lisa Perkovic: It depends what sort of holiday I'm going on - if I'll be hiking a mountain then I'll try and hit the gym before I go but if I'm lying on a beach, I'll stock up on sunscreen! I always make sure I have a fully stocked first aid kit and some basic knowledge of the local culture, customs and geography.


Question: Can you please share your tips on how to blog about a trip or holiday effectively?

Lisa Perkovic: Take home memories not just photos: I love taking photos but I try not to get so caught up in capturing every moment on screen that I don't miss the actual experience
Make notes: whether you're writing a blog, article or even just a post card, it's easier to convey a sense of the place if you write down a few impressions while you're there. Local characters can be full of great one liners and I'll always jot those down in my phone or notepad
Don't hold back: if you want great experiences, you need to be open to them. Don't say no to something you'd never do at home but don't go too crazy!
Make friends: talking to the locals, staff or even other hotel guests is a great way to get insider tips on the best activities or places to visit
Take the scenic route: you can pack a lot into the day but rushing from one place to the next is stressful and not the best way to properly experience a place
Try public transport: catching a local bus or navigating the subway is a great way to get a feel for a place. You'll get a totally different perspective to just hopping on a tour bus
Be prepared: a bit of research before you leave home never hurts. I try to read travel forums like Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree and check out guides like Luxe Travel before I go
Amazing apps: before going to big cities, check out what iPhone apps are available. I love apps for metro lines and city maps. They'll help you get around without looking like a tourist. Hong Kong has a great local food app with local recommendations, pictures and descriptions so if you really get stuck, you can order with your phone


Question: Why do you blog? What are the main benefits for you?

Lisa Perkovic: I love blogging because I've got my own space, a blank canvas, which I can fill with experiences worth sharing. There are so many fun and interesting things out there that a lot of people don't know about. I get excited when I uncover something amazing and I just want to share that with others.


Question: How important is photography, whilst on holidays?

Lisa Perkovic: For me the actual act of taking photos, of composing a shot and capturing a moment, is the best part of photography. I really enjoy that process - when you get a good hour where everything is going right, good light, good subjects, it's an adrenalin rush. It's also important not to get so caught up in capturing every moment that you forget to experience it yourself. There's a fine line between being snap happy and having a good holiday.


Question: Can you talk about your favourite place to travel in Australia?

Lisa Perkovic: That's a tough one because there are so many different types of places in Australia - ocean, mountain, desert, citiesÂ… One of my favourite spots is Zebedee Springs, in El Questro Wilderness Park. It's a stunning pocket of oasis on the property. Stay at the station camp grounds for the price of a Park Permit or go all out and visit the lodge.


Question: Where is your dream holiday location?

Lisa Perkovic: Hmm, I've got a very long bucket list but I guess my dream holiday location would be somewhere hot tubs are part of the tourist experience (the baths in Budapest), art galleries are works of art themselves (the Hermitage in St Petersburg) and the days are long and warm (anywhere in Australia during summer).


Question: Do you have a website?

Lisa Perkovic: www.Lisaperkovic.com.au


Interview with Siobhan Curran

b>Question: What is your role as a Hunter Valley Ambassador blogger?

Siobhan Curran: To be whisked away for several weekends throughout the year to experience many wonderful secrets of the Hunter Valley, including dinners at fancy restaurants, relaxing spa treatments, wine tastings with experts and maybe even a hot air balloon ride. Then I will share my experiences on the internet via a post on my blog, Cooking From The Heart. I know what you are all thinking. It's a tough gig, but someone's got to do it.


Question: How do you prepare before heading on holidays?

Siobhan Curran: I'm one of those people that firmly believes preparation is probably as exciting as the holiday itself. I can spend hours trawling the internet for recommendations of places to eat, shop and play and talking with people who have been for their hints and tips. Then I make a list of must-see's or perhaps even a loose itinerary and leave the rest to chance (or for time to relax by the pool). It's great to have an idea of what you want to see and do, but experiences derived from happenstance always leave a bigger impression. If it's got anything to do with kids and long distance travel I either book in a babysitter (if they are staying behind) or download a bunch of new apps or old photos for the phone and borrow new books from the library to stave off inevitable melt-downs in the car/plane.


Question: Can you share you tips for travelling with kids?

Siobhan Curran: If you and your partner are flying long-distance with a baby / toddler, sit apart and take turns (every hour or so) to entertain your bundle of energy. This gives each of you and your surrounding passengers a break. Travelling and planning to self-cater? The day before arriving order your groceries online for 'home' delivery. Travelling with kids? Avoid meltdowns. Download some new apps, buy a new toy, books and pack snacks. Kids often like looking at old photos of themselves too (or maybe that's just my kids...) and hearing a story about them when they were little. Whatever you do, don't bring all your tricks out at once.


Question: Why do you blog? What are the main benefits for you?

Siobhan Curran: I started blogging as a way to make me more accountable for doing a lot of the things I chalk up on my 'one day I'll do that' list. For instance, I always wanted to enter a cooking competition in a regional show but never made it a priority. Once I put it out there on Cooking From The Heart I just had to do it. I entered a plate of four plain scones in the Newcastle Show Cookery Competition last year and won first prize. If I didn't have a blog, I doubt I would have realised that dream. Besides the fact it's awarded me the opportunity to be a Hunter Valley Ambassador blogger, it's also given me a terrific excuse to meet local food producers, growers and makers.


Question: How important is knowing about the local culture, food and currency before leaving for the destination?

Siobhan Curran: Knowledge is power, so the saying goes. Even a little preparation can go a long way to making your trip more enjoyable. A quick search can usually sort you out with the basics. Food is a real highlight for me on holiday, so I'll always make an effort to learn about the local cuisine and places to try for the real deal.


Question: Can you talk about your favourite place to travel in Australia?

Siobhan Curran: Since moving to Newcastle from Sydney almost two years ago, we've actually spent every school holiday and a lot of weekends exploring places close to home. Just last weekend we camped at Jimmy's Beach at Hawke's Nest. Treachery Camp at Seal Rocks is another favourite destination. We really like bush camping near the beach. The novelty value for kids is great - their sense of adventure can be infectious and it almost offsets all the packing and unpacking pain the adults have to endure.


Question: Where is your dream holiday location?

Siobhan Curran: Anywhere with a unique landscape, culture and cuisine. Japan, Iceland and Argentina spring to mind.


Question: Do you have a website?

Siobhan Curran: I have two! www.cookingfromtheheart.com.au and www.thenovocastrianfiles.com


Interviews by Brooke Hunter




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