The countdown is on and Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield is looking forward to Saturday's Festival of Travel
Only a few more days and our biggest day ever will be under way. For our dedicated little team, taking what we do live at our Festival of Travel is a major undertaking. I hope you’ll drop by to support us on Saturday, have a cup of tea, and meet the team . . .
BEING IN THE BAY
We’ve booked the whole University Club of Western Australia for the day, and the festival is from 9am to 6pm on Saturday, August 19. The club, in Matilda Bay, is a home away from home for us — we’ve done so many events there, they feel like part of our extended family, too.
INSPIRE & INFORM
The Travel editorial team will present lots of Inspire & Inform sessions at the festival — and so will the exhibitors, who will have deals for the day.
The sessions are short, sharp, informative and fun — just 15 minutes, so our guests can drop by, hear a bit, have time to meet the team, make a cup of tea, then move on ...
INFORMAL & FUN
But what I really want to emphasise about the Festival of Travel is it’s going to be informal (as much as informing). It’s just us giving you a day to come and say hello. We love travelling and writing for you, and we value that friendship. Do come and say hi.
HOW TO BE THERE
General admission to the Festival of Travel is $20 for a morning ticket (9am to 1pm) or afternoon ticket (1pm to 6pm). Book general admission tickets here.
But (as we go to press) we also have a very few places still at our Morning Tea ($55), World on a Plate Lunch ($95) and Afternoon High Tea ($70). That includes general admission. The easiest way to find them is to go to eventbrite.com.au and search Festival of Travel and the event name.
Or get there through westtravelclub.com.au/events
WALKING ON THE MOON
While the rest of the team was busy preparing for the festival, and producing the 52 pages of Travel (Saturday and Sunday) that we published last weekend, Mogens Johansen was out and about on the road.
More precisely, he was driving one-way from Exmouth to Perth through Australia’s Coral Coast (for a story we will publish next Saturday).
And, specifically, he dropped in at the Carnarvon Science and Technology Museum and, apparently, took a quick stroll on the Moon.
Yeah, while the rest of us were really busy.
Mogens joins colleague Leyanne Baillie to talk about Travel Essentials at the festival next Saturday:
Where should you start when planning a trip? (They have a solid plan.)
What about travel insurance? (Get it when you book.) Is an annual travel insurance policy worth it?
What’s the best way to manage money and different currencies?
What is the most valuable tool to have when you travel? (Answer, the phone. And they have plenty to say about staying up to date with technology and the apps you need.)
Mogens is also presenting travel photography sessions at Festival of Travel.
He will share what he packs when he travels.
And he’ll show ways to make your travel pictures sing.
All his sessions are included in the general admission ticket, of course.
Mogens says: “Phone cameras have revolutionised the way we think about photography and the way we take pictures. They are always in our pocket so we never miss a photographic opportunity.
“Phone cameras have taken the mystery out of photography with their no-fuss approach and they have improved in leaps and bounds to become the ultimate point-and-shoot.”
That said, Mogens reckons there’s still a strong argument for having a “proper” mirrorless camera, and even a drone, in your travel kit. There will be plenty on display, as Camera Electronic will have lots there, and their specialists present to explain the cameras and technology as our guests feel them in their hand — which is, perhaps, the ultimate test.
CHOOSE A CRUISE
Just about the worst thing you can do when booking a cruise is to choose the wrong ship, and the wrong itinerary. Simple as that. But with the huge amount of choice out there, how exactly do you find the ship and voyage that will suit you? Michael Ferrante is Australia’s top cruising writer, and one of his sessions is specifically about choosing your cruise, which is at 10am and again at 2.30pm at the festival. (And included in general admission.)
Cruising is back with a vengeance. Ships are now fully crewed.
Half of Perth seems to have been in Europe — London, Paris, Athens, Rome.
Morocco and Egypt are front and centre.
Africa is in demand — from Botswana to Tanzania and the Masai Mara, and packages in South Africa which include the Blue Train.
Think ahead and book, as demand is strong.
Just about everything is done on your phone or tablet, so have the latest airline apps installed.
Mogens, Leyanne and I will be revealing Travel Trends (and tricks).
Readers often ask me where airfares are heading.
There are no signs that prices will soften over the next 18 months. There will be offers here and there, like a recent $1800 economy return to Europe, but they will be for specific dates and destinations. Generally, we think you will pay about $2500 economy return to Europe.
Demand is strong; expect full flights.
Singapore Airlines is one of our key partners at the Festival of Travel, and their specialists will give much more insight into the immediate and mid-term future of airfares.
$15,000 TO TOUR
Another key partner is Collette, which has sessions on its tours on all continents.
And Collette has a $15,000 travel voucher for one guest who comes to the festival.
They can spend it on the Collette tour of their choice . . . and there’s a huge amount to choose from. Collette has a big range of tours in Europe, from France, Italy, Portugal to Spain. In Africa, the prize could cover most of the cost for two people watching elephants in Botswana. It could take the winner and a guest to Costa Rica, complete with flights for two. It could be put towards a trip to Antarctica.
Everyone who buys a ticket to the festival is in the running.
Penny Thomas will show how to travel with carry-on only.
Olga de Moeller will have advice for those big WA road trips.
Grady Brand will be there to talk about WA, the wildflower season and touring.
Will Yeoman will talk about putting experiences into words, and sustainable souvenirs.
Patrick Cornish shares his belief that motion and emotion are the essential combination in travel.
And, in thinking about the Travel team … well, I can’t forget Casey, my faithful suitcase. Yes, he’ll be at the festival. And, rather oddly, he’s looking forward to it. I’ll be unzipping him and sharing packing tips ...