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PRODIJEE Roadtrip – day 1 AUS

This isn’t really our first official day of the trip, but it starts off the holiday with some nice downtime before jumping on the plane. We are spending the night before we fly out at the Holiday Inn, Melbourne Airport.

We have stayed at an airport hotel before all of our overseas trips – the stress of being on Melbourne’s Ring Road in peak hour traffic is horrendous at the best of times, but when you have to be at the airport at a certain time and there is a car crash ahead of you, the chances of making your flight deadline can become pretty slim, often simply not possible.

This is the first time we have stayed at the Holiday Inn. In the past we have stayed at different airport hotel, but I as I am still waiting for an early morning ‘wake-up call’ from a few years ago we have decided that this ripparticular hotel wasn’t quite as reliable as we would like. Thankfully there were no disastrous consequences of not receiving that call, but only because my excitement levels for the upcoming trip were so high I couldn’t sleep anyway.

The Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport is within the airport precinct and only 400m from the terminals, but there is a free shuttle service available should you require it. Onsite you will find the Vargas Restaurant and Bar which offers a wide range of food and beverage options and there are live flight status screens throughout the hotel to ensure you catch your flight on time and maximise your relaxation time. We found the Vargas bar a wonderful place to sit back and relax with a quiet drink and something to eat before turning in the night.

Even though I had set the alarm on my phone we received our ‘wake up’ call right on time. Unfortunately the shower at this Holiday Inn was horrendous. I have experienced hotel showers that cycle the water so that after a certain period of time the water cools considerably, but this one completely shut off before starting up to nothing more than a trickle before shutting off again. This happened over and over, I guess it is a water saving thing, but in reality, when you are washing your hair I can reliably say that by cycling the water in such a way only causes heavier water usage AND guests that will  NOT return.

The Holiday Inn also offers a ‘Park, Stay & Go’ plan which avoids the hassles and expenses of public parking, taxis, long queues, and our main reason, avoidance of peak hour city traffic. You can include up to 10 days parking with an accommodation which makes your travel even easier.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) our trip is going to be longer than 10 days, so this option isn’t suitable for us, but we are always extremely happy with the service offered by Jetport Security Parking. Located just a few minutes from airport terminals, you will find Jetport parking at Garden Drive, Tullamarine. Jetport has always been our choice of airport parking. The service they provide is excellent – as well as looking after your car while you are off jetsetting, they offer a wonderful shuttle service which drops you off (and picks you up) from the terminal doors. Check the website for all the information about Jetport’s multitude of services, including, as of August 17, free luggage wrapping for Melbourne Airport travellers – perfect timing!

It’s nice to note that a fairly recent change to travelling overseas from Australia is that now you don’t need to fill in a departure form.  Other than that, there is nothing different, queues, people, baggage, passport checks, security, removing shoes, praying that you aren’t going to be the one they decide to pull over to the side to do an extra check on, and through to the waiting lounge. I am always undecided about how I feel about this part of the airport.

  1. It means you are getting close to boarding your flight – yaaayyyy.
  2. It isn’t very comfortable.
  3. Time drags by when you are sitting there waiting.
  4. If you get up to have a bit of a wander around, stretch those legs before you are cramped up on a plane, there is a good chance you will lose your seat and not be able to get another one.
  5. It is always worse when you are waiting to catch the flight home than when you are waiting to catch your flight towards your holiday.
  6. If you park yourself near a window, you can sometimes see your plane as it is being with food from catering trolleys and baggage from other trolleys – but, for some reason, you NEVER see your bag on those trolleys, no matter how good your view is. If you are like me, then you start to worry about your bag ending up at the same destination as you – or is that just me?
  7. Sitting in the waiting lounge gives you time to think – for me the thoughts go to –

Did I pack enough?

Did I pack too much?

Did I pack my phone charger?

Did I pack my computer charger?

OMG, where is the vital sat nav?

What is the pass code for my new travel card?

Did I turn the iron off?

No matter how good you are at packing, and how many times you checked the iron, these thoughts will jump into your brain – or is that just me again?

Now to battle with other travellers for prime overhead baggage storage space and to squeeze into one of those tiny seats – have they become smaller or has sitting at a computer so much caused my derriere to become larger – I know which answer I would prefer it to be, but I know which one is actually true.