Hello from sunny (but chilly! 🥶) Sydney! I flew in this morning and am coming to the end of my first day. Wanted to share a couple of tips that made my day a whoooole lot easier.
Frequent flyer = YES
So my (early) morning started by heading straight to the Brisbane Virgin Australia Lounge for a (complimentary!) hot breakfast while I waited for my flight. (When I got upgraded to Velocity Frequent Flyer Silver status, the first thing I did was take advantage of the waived membership fee for the VA Lounge. Added to the fact that I could use my Velocity points to PAY for 1 years’ membership… essentially ‘free’ Lounge access for a year! Huzzah!) Score 1 for me.
TIP #1: Join a frequent flyer program. They’re usually free and you can get some great perks from them. I do most of my flying with Virgin Australia and the Velocity program has been excellent. I can definitely recommend it.
Once I landed in Sydney (where it was a decidedly nippy 9 degrees Celcius!) I took myself over to the Hertz desk to pick up my hire car.
Loyalty programs work!
I joined Hertz’s loyalty program a while back (Gold Plus Rewards) but it wasn’t until this trip I realised how much of a difference that can make!
I know it’s not the same at all airports but apparently “Goldys” (as I heard one of the customer service agents refer to them as) have a streamlined pick up process in Sydney. Basically, I went straight to the car lot, my name was listed on a screen with the allocated parking bay where my vehicle was waiting for me, the keys were in the car… all I had to do was drive off! 😳 Not only that, I had originally booked a small car (like a Suzuki Swift) – I figured that would be handy in Sydney traffic – however when I rocked up a mid-size SUV waiting for me! When I got to the exit (for the final check) the service rep explained it was a free upgrade (they were running low on small cars).
Now, me being a Gold Plus member may not have made a difference, but I don’t think it hurt! Score 2 for me!
TIP #2: With ANY providers that you’re using, see if they have a loyalty or rewards program. You may get some unexpected perks, even if it’s something as simple as an expedited checkout process, for instance, making your travelling life a little easier.
Location, location, location!
I’ve settled into my AWESOME AirBNB in Bondi Beach. The apartment block is located directly behind the Bondi Icebergs club and the views are just stunning (slideshow below of quick iPhone photos I snapped this afternoon). I can’t wait to try and do a sunrise or two above the famous Icebergs pool!
Tomorrow is the true start of my ‘adventures’! I’ve got whale watching in the morning with Go Whale Watching Sydney, which finishes about lunchtime-ish, then in the evening I’ve got the Sydney premiere of Code 8.
For now, I need to figure out where I’m parking tomorrow before the whale watch (it leaves from Darling Harbour) then I need to get to bed. (Particularly if I plan on doing sunrise! 😬) Big few days ahead of me! 😁