Recently, we at BookSinglesHolidays.com had the pleasure to chat with Michela who shared with us stories on her exciting travel adventures all around Australia (she’s now on her 12th year!) . Lucky for us, she also dished out some of her best travel tips and advice! Read on.
You’ve been traveling for years, but what made you quit corporate life and decided to go backpacking?
I didn’t quit corporate life for backpacking or becoming a digital nomad. Quitting corporate life was a life-changing decision, probably the answer to my need of more quality life rather than accumulating money I wanted to accumulate more personal experiences and memories. Backpacking unleashed my thirst of exploring remote countries like Australia.
In 2004 you visited Australia for the first time, which is where you said your love affair with the country began. What exactly made you fall you love with Australia?
Image credit: Michela Fantinel
I fell in love with Australia because this is what I was looking for and what I couldn’t find in my own country. A pristine untouched nature, amazing wildlife, empty open spaces, a back-to-basics lifestyle in Outback areas, all of this was fascinating me and made me dream of exploring more of the country. This is what I have been doing for 12 years.
Can you share with us three of your top tips on traveling in Australia on a budget?
There are many ways to help you travel on a budget in Australia here are my best tips:
1) First priority get good flight deals to and within Australia. Set alerts on comparison travel websites for international as well as domestic flights. And possibly consider other options of cost-effective transportation like train travel or relocation car rentals when covering long travel distances.
2) Accommodation is expensive in Australia. So be open to try different budget accommodation options like hostels, private accommodation like Airbnb, house sitting if travelling long term, or Couchsurfing.
3) Eating out can be very expensive, so try to keep day-travel expenses to the minimum by cooking/preparing your own food and when eating out opt for street food, food markets or food halls as these places are good value for the money.
You said Australia is perfect for female solo travelers. Why is that?
Australia is a wonderful destination for the female solo traveler because it is first of all a safe country. From the moment you arrive till when you leave you will feel comfortable. People are very friendly and love to help, so if you travel alone in Australia you will never really feel alone, it’s so easy to strike up a conversation and get to know people, and most of times you don’t have to make the effort, as you are likely to be approached by the locals.
Was there ever a time when Australia ‘scared’ you? If yes, can you please share a bit about that experience?
While I cannot recall a really scaring situation, I have been travelling on my own in the Outback at night and this is not something I would not do it again, because it’s dangerous with wildlife crossing, and the idea of driving completing alone in the middle of nowhere at night scared me a bit.
Tell us something about your book, The Ultimate Guide to Australia Itineraries.
Image credit: Michela Fantinel
I wrote this book thinking of travelers who want to make the most of their time in Australia, without spending a fortune. From the book you not only learn how to allocate your time to each single destination and all the important steps in the trip planning basics, you also have over 65 pages of detailed itineraries and customization options that you can use to suit your own need and wants. The book reflects my personal experience over 10 years of travels in OZ.
We know this won’t be easy, as Australia is the 6th largest country in the world, but off the top of your head, can you share with our readers three must-see attractions in Australia?
It’s difficult to answer, because there are so many places to visit in Australia. I would pick the red Centre with Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta although seen as a touristy destination this is really a must when traveling in Oz. You’d better travel off-season in April-May to enjoy this place fully. The Daintree Rainforest & the Great Barrier Reef in North Tropical Queensland with Cairns, Cape Tribulation and the Atherton Tablelands. This is such a wonderful and ancient region of Australia with a varied landscape, excellent local produce and 2 World’s Heritage sites. The third place I would probably pick is Tasmania. If you like hiking in pristine environment Tasmania is probably the top destination in Australia that should be on your list.
What is your favorite spot in Australia and why?
While I don’t have a favorite spot in Australia, I can tell you where I would like to live one day. In South West Australia with Perth as capital city and Margaret River 300km south west, this is truly a hidden gem with a Mediterranean climate, a magnificent coastal landscape, huge forests, and some of the best beaches I have seen, fabulous local produce, I would say a real paradise to live in.
As a professional travel blogger, what advice would you give to other travel bloggers who are just starting out?
It depends what you want to do with travel blogging. You can blog for fun or you can embrace professional travel blogging, which is truly hard work. It’s about being committed to promoting destinations and share your knowledge and experience while building a trusting community. You are a traveler and a marketer at the same time, with the difference that nobody pays you for your work at the beginning, so you must build credibility. You need lots of perseverance, determination, and self-esteem too.
What are some travel destinations you would like to explore in the future?
I am intrigued with all Eastern Asian countries and China but I am sure I will keep exploring Australia too!