When it comes to luxury travel, there’s no substitute for expertise and personalised service. For a quarter of a century, The Tailor has been at the forefront of curating bespoke journeys that transcend the ordinary and immerse travellers in the heart and soul of real Australia. Founded in 1998 by South Australian, Drew Kluska, The Tailor has evolved into Australia’s most trusted and innovative luxury travel specialist. As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we reflect on our journey of crafting extraordinary experiences for discerning travellers.
Before You Fly
#1 – Do Your Research
Before travelling to a new location, you would naturally begin by researching the destination to get a sense of the culture, climate, main attractions and experiences. However, here is where we will differ from most travel tip guides when we tell you that it’s not always helpful to conduct too much of your own desktop research prior to planning a luxury trip to Australia. With a lot of mixed information online and the many nuances of travelling to a diverse country like Australia to take into consideration, selecting the right travel specialist to fulfil your travel needs is how your research will best pay off.
A luxury travel specialist brings a wealth of expertise, insider knowledge, and personalised insights that transcend what you can find online. These experts have dedicated years to curating unforgettable journeys, offering access to hidden gems, exclusive experiences, and unparalleled accommodations that may not be readily available through mainstream online research. Moreover, they meticulously tailor your itinerary to your preferences and interests, ensuring that your journey is not just a trip, but a life-enriching adventure. From seamless logistics to unique, off-the-beaten-path discoveries, the value of a luxury travel specialist lies in their ability to transform a visit into a memorable, bespoke experience that will leave you with cherished memories that last a lifetime.
#2 – Pack Smart
“Always take essentials (things you can’t do without) in your cabin luggage just in case your checked-in luggage doesn’t arrive with you.”
– Inga Afheldt, Commercial Manager
#3 – Stay on Top of Your Documents
“It’s always a good time to check your passport! Never let a lagged expiry date get in the way of a memorable adventure.”
– Emma Welling, Business Development Manager
Whether it’s your passport, visa, or other important documents, staying on top of expiry dates and deadlines can only serve you well when on vacation.
#4 – Know Your Seasons
“Make sure you are aware of different seasonality in various parts of the same country. In a country like Australia, you can always find the sun at any time of the year! For example, in July it can be cooler in Tasmania, but it is a perfect time to visit Northern Australia such as the Top End, the Kimberley or Tropical North Queensland.”
– Megan Lehmann, Product and Projects Coordinator
#5 – Give as Much Information as Possible
“Give your Travel Designer as much information as you possibly can so they can best tailor your personal itinerary.”
– Susanne Regenberg Drew, Senior Travel Designer
Travel specialists, like The Tailor, are here to give you the best travel experience of your life; they are here to get to know you and your interests to better tailor the trip to your personal preferences and recommend special touches that can elevate your experience. Giving your travel specialist as much information as possible up front will ensure a great journey becomes a truly memorable, lifechanging experience.
#6 – Pack a Portable Battery
You never know when you might need something, but you can guarantee that if you don’t pack it, you will need it. For those who use their phone a lot on holiday (taking photos or staying connected to those back home), a portable battery to carry around in your bag to get you out of a pinch is always a good idea.
#7 – Pack Two of the Important Things
Take photocopies of your important documents like your passport or visa, write down the address of your hotel to show the driver if you lose phone service or don’t know the language. Ensure that you bring a backup credit card or travel card, ideally attached to a different bank, to use if something happens to your primary one. Bringing two of everything essential to your travel means that you’ll avoid potential stress if something is lost or stolen.
#8 – Learn a Bit of the Language
The best way to engage with the locals is to speak their language. You don’t have to know everything, just the basics – hello, thank you, this please, goodbye – are enough to get by.
If English is already your first language, try learning some of the local Aussie slang – cossie/swimsuit, this arvo/this afternoon, brekky/breakfast – it’s the perfect souvenir to take home to enlighten your friends and family.
#9 – Travel in the Shoulder Season
Although Australia is considered a year-round destination, where you will find the sun at any time of the year, shoulder season can be one of the best times to visit Australia. For luxury travellers in particular, visiting Australia during the shoulder season is a strategic choice, offering exclusive advantages that enhance the overall experience. These include temperate weather, providing the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities, while still maintaining the exclusivity and privacy. With reduced crowds, five-star accommodations and experiences become more accessible, ensuring an intimate and personalised journey. The cost savings during shoulder seasons can free up additional funds for indulgent extras, such as private air travel or a private host. Additionally, this period often aligns with exclusive events and festivals, presenting unique opportunities for cultural immersion and culinary exploration. Ultimately, the shoulder season caters to the discerning tastes of luxury travellers by combining favourable conditions, accessibility to premium offerings, and a chance to savour the finest aspects of Australia in an unhurried and refined manner.
#10 – It Does Not Always Have to be Hotels
If you’re looking for a more private experience away from the crowds that gives your travelling party a little more space in which to relax, consider staying in a private villa or cruising onboard a private yacht. You’ll have complete privacy and all the amenities you can expect from a five-star hotel with more space to enjoy them in or the ability to explore far-flung destinations.
Alternatively, choosing a wildlife safari or a five-star station stay over a traditional hotel delivers an intimate connection with nature, cultural immersion, adventure, and unparalleled personal experiences. The exclusive and immersive nature of these options enable travellers to explore Australia’s natural wonders and Aboriginal Culture while enjoying the comforts and luxuries of a five-star experience.
#11 – Put Your Phone Away
“Travel is about embracing where you are, really taking the time to lose yourself in the moment. You can watch Netflix when you go home.”
– Georgia Unger, Senior Travel Designer, recommends that travellers put away their technology
“Travellers should try to switch off from the phone; take the time to enjoy the holiday and reconnect with family and friends.”
– Kylie Damen, Senior Travel Designer, mirrors this sentiment
#12 – Take Time to Take It In
It can be really easy to get caught up in the rush of travel, the excitement of new places and people, so finding ways to ground yourself in a new place can really help you connect with the destination. The Tailor team recommends things like walks, mindfulness or meditation to centre yourself in the moment. As one of our Travel Designers puts it:
“While traveling I aim to see the sunrise every day. I love to go for a walk with a coffee in hand and take some time for me while the rest of the world is still sleeping. I use this time to ground myself and be present. I feel grateful for where I am, and it makes me appreciate and enjoy the experiences during the rest of the day even more!”
#13 – Challenge Yourself to New Things
The best way to experience a new place is to try things you wouldn’t or couldn’t do at home. In the words of our Travel Designer Sophie Natera,
“Challenge yourself to new things! If you hate weird food, eat the weirdest thing you can find.”
– Sophie Natera, Travel Designer
“You are more likely to regret what you DIDN’T do than what you did… embrace it all and be open to including a few things you wouldn’t normally do.”
– Cate Harley, Senior Travel Designer
#14 – Go Local
“To really discover a destination, make sure you make the effort to connect with a local guide to show you around. It’s the only way to really go deep on a destination, from the local and natural history to the culture, local tales and the best places to find a great meal. Plus, Aussies are known for their warm hospitality, so there’s nothing better than spending a day with someone who’s passionate about the region they’re sharing with you.”
– Annalise Andrews, Travel Designer
If you want an authentic experience, go to where the locals are and listen to their recommendations. They are the best resource for finding hidden gems away from tourist crowds. All of our tours are guided by locals for this exact reason, our carefully-selected guides know the ins and outs of their city, plus have some incredible connections and networks to deliver truly unique, one-of-a-kind experiences for guests.
#15 – Quality Over Quantity
“Don’t cram too much in, less is best, quality over quantity.”
– Bill Clohesy, Travel Designer
“Experience more of less. Resist the urge to treat your trip to Australia as though it’s once in a lifetime. Slow down and enjoy. Trust me, you’ll be back!”
– Angelica Aidone, Senior Travel Designer
When it comes to travel, take your time to fully immerse yourself in the destination rather than racing through numerous locations in a rush to tick off a list. Slow travel allows for richer exploration, with time to savour each individual experience, allowing for genuine connections with local culture, appreciation of the destination’s nuances and the creation of lasting memories.
#16 – Get Acquainted Early
“On the morning after arriving from abroad, combine an arrival transfer with an introductory city walking, bike, boat or vehicle tour to ground yourself, become acquainted with the city and keep jetlag at bay while you wait for your room to be ready!”
– Janelle Leske, Senior Travel Designer
“Even if you like to explore on your own, book a host/guide for the first day in a destination to get insight into the destination. This will help with gaining orientation and some real insight tips from a local’s perspective.”
– Luisa Kleimann, Travel Designer
Getting out and about from the get-go will give you a good introduction to a new destination, plus ensure that no time is wasted on your dream vacation. We usually recommend a private tour with an expert local guide to begin, which provides a broad overview of the destination, before plunging into some more unique and in-depth experiences.
#17 – Be Supportive
“Consider where your money is going when traveling, aim to be a responsible traveller and do right by the local community and environment. Ask the right questions, understand where your travel dollars are going and aim to invest in destinations, guides or tours that benefit the local people and places you go.”
– Amanda Fisher, Senior Travel Designer
In the realm of luxury travel, the quest for comfort naturally aligns to our innate desire to explore new horizons. However, as seasoned travellers, we also understand that our journeys should not only enrich our lives, but also leave a positive impact on the places we visit. Responsible travel is no longer just a buzz word, it’s an integral component in one’s travel plans.
#18 – Be Flexible
Despite months of careful planning and meticulous coordination, the best-laid plans can go awry. From unfavourable weather to last minute flight cancellations and everything in between, no travel plan is fool proof. Whilst we aim to take all the guess work out of travelling, arranging backup options and putting contingencies plans in place, being flexible, in the unlikely event of an interruption to your itinerary, could prove positive and provide a new and unexpected experience that becomes a cherish memory from your vacation.
#19 – Stay Active
We understand that a lot of vacation time is intended for relaxation and rejuvenation; lounging poolside with a drink in hand and dining at the finest restaurants overlooking spectacular scenery. With this routine, it is easy to get comfortable with just lounging around and feasting your way through your vacation. But trust us when we say that it’s always a good idea to move your body, especially if you’re away for a long period of time. Walking is one of the best ways to take in a city, get a little more energy, and discover hidden gems. Client feedback consistently confirms, some of our traveller’s most memorable moments come from wandering through pristine wilderness or navigating secret side streets in an unknown city with an expert guide.
#20 – Be Patient
There are certain things that cannot be controlled; like the weather. If the last couple of years has taught us anything, it’s that situations can change at the drop of a hat and that the unexpected can change everything. The best thing people can do in these circumstances is to be patient and be kind.
“In the current climate, travelling plans will inevitably change which are outside of your control, even with the best intentions of checking and rechecking, the unexpected can happen. In this event know that plans can always be changed and it’s best to focus on the great memories you create on the trip.”
– Lisa Williams, Product Coordinator
#21 – Sync-up from Day One
If you’re prone to jetlag, the best way to adjust to your new destination is to keep busy once you have landed and stay awake until your normal bedtime. This way, you’ll have a better chance of keeping the effects of jetlag at bay and ensure you’re ready to get going from day one and enjoy every minute of your dream vacation.
Elevate Your Journey
#22 – Be Open to Opportunities
Being open to elevated opportunities as suggested by your Travel Designer will give you unique experiences in exchange for a fairly mundane task.
“I recommend that guests be open to opportunities that elevate their itinerary and transform a straight transfer between destinations to a once in a lifetime experience”
– Kirsty Siekmann, CEO
Imagine you’re travelling in Far North Queensland, instead of returning to Cairns airport and catching the scheduled flight to your next destination on Lizard Island, you take a helicopter along the coast, stopping on a deserted sandy quay for lunch, then making your way to the renowned Quinkan rock art to tour the site with a local Aboriginal family. Such an incredible experience is born out of something as simple as a transfer. Be flexible and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what is offered to you.
#23 – Unwind When You Land
If you’re coming from a long-haul flight, the best thing you can do as soon as you land is rejuvenate and revitalise. For our guests, we recommend a massage and spa treatment or private yoga session to relax muscles tense from airport lounges and flight seats, ensuring you feel refreshed and ready to explore.
#24 – Private Touring
While public touring can be a practical choice for some travellers, the experiences you’ll encounter on a private tour are simply incomparable. We exclusively organise private tours for our guests because they offer an unparalleled level of personalisation, enjoyment, and intimacy, enabling you to explore and engage in activities you might never have imagined. Connecting with locals for one-on-one conversations and experiencing something truly unique can elevate your journey from enjoyable to extraordinary and unforgettable. Regardless of your Australian destination, we create a range of private tours designed to unlock the region’s treasures for your utmost enjoyment.
#25 – Hire a Luxury Travel Specialist
Hire a professional specifically for the way you want to travel. Our Travel Designers are dedicated to their clients, ensuring through any means necessary that they get an unforgettable experience. A luxury travel specialist truly elevates your journey in ways you might never have thought possible and their knowledge of the places you’re travelling to are unparalleled.
Travel can be one of the most rewarding, yet stressful experiences in life. Engaging a luxury travel expert, like The Tailor, can not only take the guesswork out of travelling, but also means that you won’t need to consider most of these travel tips. Our Travel Designers will get to know you, your personal interests and travel dreams to seamlessly stitch together a memorable, lifechanging journey, plus be on call in the unlikely event something unexpected emerges while travelling.