In Australia the Christmas – New Year period is awesome and intense. The country comes to a stand still, no one is actually working (anyone at the office is just pretending to work) and 99% of the country seems to be at the beach. It’s an amazing time of year to kick back, relax and catch up with friends and family. The issue is that crowds don’t always = relaxation. So here’s my advice on how you can have your cake and eat it (have it all).
Don’t go to the main beaches
Sydney has a load of beaches that are amazing but it seems like everyone heads to Manly in the North and Bondi or Bronte beaches in the East. These are great, but if crowds get your undies in a twist then you should find some secluded alternatives. Shark Beach (don’t fear the name) is a great harbour beach, so is Cabbage Beach over in Manly (less secretive) but there are loads of secret Sydney beaches to explore that can save your sanity this summer
Go to some cool bars
Australians love a drink, but during the holiday season the big bars and pubs are pretty packed out with revellers getting their fill. Unless you like standing 3 deep in a queue for the bar, it’s a good time of year to go off track. Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth all have little areas tucked away that won’t be so packed. Chill out in front of a jazz band, pay $18 for a cocktail in a pretentious Melbourne laneway bar just to get away from the VB swilling (local beer) idiots.
Don’t Travel on the ‘Bad Dates’
I learned the hard way once. We drove from Sydney to Byron one Christmas holiday season, I believe it was the 26th. My theory was that everyone will be too full from Christmas and and relaxing so we can get a jump on them. An 8 hour trip took 15. Bumper to bumper traffic along state highways. It was hellish, luckily we didn’t have my old car and had a new rental because we were passing overheated cars on the side of the road the whole way. If you have to travel on these dates, get on the road at early, maybe 3/4/5 am at the latest.
Control your Family Exposure
I love (most) of my family, however it can get a little full on after a while. My sage advice is to visit them, don’t let them visit you. This way you have control over when to pull the pin and return to the sanctuary of your own home. This might sound a little harsh, but it’s just a little advice that can help to preserve your sanity if you’ve suffered in the past.
Don’t Go Out on New Years
Generally it sucks, the streets are full of trashy drunks and the bars are gross. Get a house party together and watch the madness from the safety of a balcony. Watch the fireworks, have a BBQ and leave the carnage to the idiots.
I’m no expert but these are a few of the things that I’ve learned the hard way in the past. I hope this makes your holiday season that little bit smoother.