5 life-changing travel experiences that don't involve getting on a plane

Ok, let’s be honest: even though everyone loves to travel, airplanes are not everyone’s cup of tea.

Between the mad rush to the airport, finding out at security that your shampoo bottle is too big for carry-on and the looming threat of turbulence, plane travel is not always the most relaxing way to start your holiday. Even with travel insurance covering you in case of things like flight cancellations, it can be stressful. And that’s without even mentioning those globetrotters who are just plain scared of flying.

So what do you do when the travel bug bites, but setting foot on a plane makes you break out in a cold sweat?

Well, don’t worry, there are plenty of amazing trips to slake your wanderlust, without ever entering an airport terminal. Here are 5 ideas to inspire you.


1. South Pacific Cruise

The beauty of a South Pacific cruise is that there are so many options available - whether you want to head off for a short jaunt to New Caledonia or a long trip as far as Fiji, white sand beaches and perfect blue seas abound.

Why it will change your life: According to 2017 Medibank research, just under 5 million Aussies were suffering from stress. If there’s a better way to unwind than cruising through crystal clear waters, we’d like to hear it.

2. Cruise to Antarctica

If island hopping in the South Pacific doesn’t get your blood pumping enough, then maybe a trip to one of the most remote and mysterious landscapes on earth will. That’s right, you can hop on a ship from Hobart in Tasmania and head off on a trip to Antarctica. Not only is this a trip you can do without setting foot on a plane, but cruising has always been and still is the more common way to get to this continent.

Why it will change your life: More than maybe any other destination, Antarctica makes for a truly unique travel experience. Having this one under your belt means you’re almost guaranteed to have one of the coolest travel stories at any party.

Image source: cruisecritic.com

Cruise travel tip: Before you book your cruise, make sure you have a top notch travel insurance policy with cruise cover. By buying travel insurance before you book in the cruise, you’ll be covered under the cancellation benefit, in case your trip is unexpectedly cancelled.

Great Australian road trips

3. Great Ocean Road

Think long car trips are boring? Then the Great Ocean Road could be a game changer for how you see travel. From the iconic 12 Apostles to cosy beach towns tucked away along the coast, there’s plenty to see, do, eat and experience on this must-do Aussie road trip.

Why it will change your life: The Great Ocean Road is not only breathtakingly scenic, but at 400km long, starting just 90 minutes from the centre of Melbourne, it’s also incredibly accessible. So if you’re just starting out and you’re worried about spending too much time or money, this is a great option with plenty of stops and sights along the way.

Image source: Tourism Australia

4. The Big Lap

This one’s just what it sounds like: a trip covering around 15,000 kilometres of Highway One, taking you in a rough line around the coast between most of Australia’s capital cities.

Why it will change your life: If you want to be able to say you’ve “seen Australia” this trip is a pretty good starting to point. Plus, a car trip this long means getting really close to your travel buddies - this can be a make or break trip for a relationship.

Image source: australiantraveller.com

Road trip tip: Be sure to get your car insurance in order before heading out - remember to have all your drivers covered by your policy and you might like to add roadside assistance before heading out if you don’t already have it, just in case.

On the rails

5. The Ghan

This is a coast to coast rail trip through the centre of Australia, 2,979km over three nights and four days, from Adelaide, to Darwin via Katherine and Alice Springs. History buffs will get a kick out of the fact that the train, originally called the Afghan Express, was named for the cameleers who blazed a trail across the centre of Australia more than 150 years ago and has a long history stretching from 1929.

Why it will change your life: What other trip will take you directly through the heart of Australia? While Aussies tend to gravitate towards the coast for our holidays, this leisurely, extended train trip might just give you a fresh perspective on the beauty of Australia.

Image source: mynrma.com

Train trip tip: After October 2018, the Ghan Expedition won’t operate again until March 2019 - so this might be a trip you need to plan ahead for next year.

Ready to go? Make sure you’ve got your travel insurance in order before you depart, so that your great land or sea journey changes your life in the right way.