After months of being cooped up, Australians are eager to get out and about, breathe in that fresh air and start holidaying once again. We know that road trips within our own shores will be our favoured travel method in the 20/21 summer period and beyond, with RV travel presenting us with the most desirable option in today's pandemic-altered travel climate! Newcomers to RV travel are emerging across the nation, all keen to shake off that cabin fever and experience our awe-inspiring country whilst having control of their own environment.
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Travel will make a return, though we will have to expect a lot of changes.
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand. Photo taken by the Scrubba Team.
While many businesses have been affected by the coronavirus crisis, the hardest hit has been the travel industry. With eerily quiet terminals, cruise ships docked and hotels closing their doors, there is much uncertainty if and when things will run back to normal. The question on everyone's mind is when can you freely travel to any chosen destination? The sad reality is no one knows precisely how long this will pan out; some experts think it may take until 2023 for air travel to revert to its usual schedule.
One sure thing is that travel will come back. Though it certainly won't seem the same as before, higher authorities are trying to find new ways to make travel a safe prospect. Travelling is important in our lives as it can help improve our mental health, understanding and appreciation of other cultures, expanding our social connections and supporting tourism. Travel can have negative impacts on the planet however, with carbon emissions causing more global problems when travel is not approached sustainably. Since government-imposed quarantines have forced millions around the world to work/stay at home, we've seen glimmers of hope for the natural world amongst the horror and uncertainty of a global crisis. From crystal clear canals in Venice, heavy pollution reduction in cities like India, and local wildlife moving into urban areas. Here are some of the current and possible changes that we may see across aviation, cruise and hotel industries.
Domestic Travel Comeback
Since the process of travel will gradually return, borders won't open as fast again. Most people may use this time to reflect and probably come to the realisation of how little they may have travelled in their own country. It is a better time to support your local economy, explore and see all the hidden gems closeby. A survey conducted by LuggageHero suggests that "a quarter of participants will try to avoid big cities and public transportation and 21% will choose domestic travel" Christopher Elliot. People will drive to domestic destinations like national parks so that they can quickly get back home if another outbreak occurs. With this in mind, caravans/RVs and camping may make a resurgence with families and couples liking the idea of being self-contained with all the facilities you need to head out to the backcountry. The Scrubba wash bag can help you distance yourself from others by avoiding the use of public laundry facilities. The financial impact of this global pandemic may change the duration of trips as people may not be able to travel for as long as they previously did. With low petrol prices, road trips are a budget-friendly and more sustainable way to take a trip.
Hotels have reopened their doors.
Allia Villas, Uluwatu, Bali. Photo by William Sun from Pexels
With travel gradually starting again, we may be cautious about staying outside our homes or vans. The hotel industry usually follows a pretty high standard of hygiene however, they will increase the cleaning of key touch in places like the check-in area, lifts, and doorknobs to remain safe post COVID19. Hotel chains such as the Marriott and the Hilton have already announced new guidelines and procedures that they will adhere to good hygiene to improve confidence in guests. Online check-in is strongly encouraged with keyless entry to hotel rooms using a smartphone to enter. Limited staff will be present at the main counter; they will be behind plexiglass, similar to our supermarket checkouts. Buffet breakfast may be a thing of the past where your more than likely to receive a la carte service. Forgot about some of the extra features in the rooms from the mini bar, coffee machine, pillows and hangers everything will be kept at the minimal to facilitate fewer objects to be disinfected. Housekeeping may only occur before and after a guests stay to minimise contact.
Air travel will then pick up.
Photo by Sourav Mishra from Pexels
Aviation over time has managed to bounce back from catastrophic events like 9/11 with stricter security regulations, this time around we may see airports add in health screenings to combat any future pandemics. Domestic flights in the coming months will gradually come back, with some governments allowing neighbouring country citizens to visit without a proposed quarantine. Since the outbreak, airports have added sanitization stations with some airports like Singapore's Changi Airport installing no-contact temperature scanners. Even Hong Kong airport is trialling new technologies through decontamination tanks called " Cleantech". These booths claim to kill any bacteria or viruses on both clothes and exposed parts of your body in a matter of forty seconds while Emirates have begun running instant blood prick testing that can identify COVID19.
Among the new health and screening tests, we may need to be prepared to be patient and expect long queues. Most airlines will also limit the amount of contact with their staff and encourage travellers to check-in online and use a self bag drop. As planes across the globe are pretty empty; this has allowed for some airlines to block off middle seat selection.
Janus Seat concept by Avointeriors
Once air travel picks up again, airlines will have to find other alternatives as this option is not economically sustainable for the long run. Since the removal of the middle seat has turned into a debate, Avoininterirors an Italian design firm designed a set of solutions which could pave the way an aircraft may look going in the future. They have come up with two designs; one is a plastic barrier in between each seat in economy, and their other model has a middle position reversed in every row. Qantas has boldly mentioned that they would not eliminate the middle seat, removing it would only provide 60cm of social distancing; social distancing is impossible to follow on any aircraft.
To make flying safe, they will have increased sanitizing between every flight; they will provide gloves, masks antibacterial wipes for both passengers and staff. The HEPA filters in an aircraft filter out 99% of airborne microbes just like the air quality in an operating theatre. By not using the middle seat, it would instantly double airfares, which would not be an attractive option. To counter these airlines may be similar to pre COVID19 but there may be additional charges for baggage and onboard food and beverages. We have to get used to having less service on the plane and expect packaged food instead, and extra items like blankets and headphones may not be offered. Boarding on a plane probably will work out better, in the long run, minimising contact with others by entering back to front.
Cruise ships docked for longer.
Sydney Harbour, Australia. Photo by David Dibert from Pexels
While air travel will recover from the pandemic, cruise ships will likely be in troubled waters for an extended period. After incidents like the Ruby Princess, being quarantined in a small cabin with sick passengers doesn't sound inviting. It is unlikely that cruise ships will ever return to normal, everything from booking a cruise, dining, excursions will need to change. Before cruises can even think about embarking, they have to improve their health screenings and hygiene on board. Along with aviation, temperature checks will become the new normal, and higher risk travellers may have to get medical clearance before they can step onboard.
Onboard significant changes to the medical units will see dedicated isolation units and better life-saving equipment along with better emergency protocols. When cruising returns, there will be lower passenger capacity so that crews can adhere to social distancing guidelines. Shorter cruises will be more favourable as not every single port will reopen. A higher frequency of sanitization and disinfection in high touch areas will be cleaned hourly, sanitizing stations and automatic doors.
One of the rare positives for cruise travel is that there will be better flexibility within the industry to cancel or change your booking if your flight gets cancelled or you fall ill.
With most initial trips likely to be restricted to destinations within your home state or neighbouring countries. Regardless of where you go, social distancing will still be encouraged, so make sure you pack your Scrubba wash bag to avoid needing to use public washing machines or shared facilities.
Washing reusable masks in a Scrubba wash bag MINI (or original)
With the Covid-19 pandemic in full swing and many of us now wearing multiple re-usable fabric masks each day when working, shopping, exercising or otherwise leaving the house, it is becoming more important for us to appropriately handle and wash the masks.
It turns out the Scrubba wash bags MINI is perfect for both tasks.
Handling your face mask
Fabric masks are good for a short period of time and reusable masks will need to be washed after every use. If the mask you have been wearing is a little wet or you have worn it for more than 2 hours, then you should replace it with a clean mask and store it in a sealable bag to prevent potential contamination of other surfaces. The compact size of the Scrubba wash bag MINI makes it ideal for storing used masks. When taking a mask off, try to only touch the elastic straps and be sure to wash or sanitise your hands after taking an old mask off and before putting the new mask on.
Washing your reusable face mask
You can wash your reusable face mask in a washing machine on a hot cycle and in a delicates bag to prevent the ear loops from tangling in the machine. However, given the need to wash masks on a daily basis, we have found the Scrubba wash bag MINI to be perfect. Used masks can be safely stored in the bag throughout the day and then hot (but not boiling) water can be added along with cleaning liquid when it is time to clean them. This minimises handling of used face masks and also keeps them separate from other clothing thereby avoiding potential cross-contamination.
Washing in the Scrubba wash bag MINI is fast (a matter of minutes) and the performance is on par with a washing machine and twice as effective as handwashing in a sink.
As an added advantage, the Scrubba wash bag MINI uses minimal water and no electricity so it is good for the environment.
Detailed Steps for Washing Your Reusable Face Masks
- Place face mask in the Scrubba wash bag MINI then wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap or hand wash
- Add laundry liquid and hot water (around 60֯C)
- Optionally soak the face masks in the hot water for 10-20 minutes by closing the Scrubba wash bag MINI without deflating the air and stand the Scrubba wash bag MINI up (i.e. the bag should sit upright with the closure at the top)
- Deflate the air from the bag and rub the face masks against the inner washboard for up to 3 minutes.
- Discard the dirty water and add fresh water
- Close the bag without deflating the air and shake the bag to rinse
- Discard the dirty water and gently wring out the face masks
- Lay face masks in a Scrubba towel or Allurette towel and roll up the towel to par dry the masks
- Hang the face masks to dry (ideally in direct sun and fresh air)
- Optionally reusable face masks can be dried near a heater, in a tumble dryer or ironed (check care instructions on the face masks for drying suitability)
- Turn your Scrubba wash bag MINI inside out and allow to dry.
Find out more about the Scrubba wash bag MINI here!
We've come a long way in the first half of 2020 and it been a bumpy ride. There has been much debate and conflicting advice about who should wear masks, when they should wear them and also why they should wear them.
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While Australia’s stunning East Coast undeniably offers some of the nation’s top tourist spots, the underrated West boasts a plethora of incredible locations that ought to be added to your Aussie travel bucket list for 2020!
The largest of Australia’s six states, Western Australia (WA) comprises a third of the country offering so much more than just arid Outback. You’ll find an unparalleled coastline, national parks, wildlife experiences, exquisite wine and food regions and an exciting and ever-sunny urban capital, the city of Perth. A vast state with so much to offer makes picking just ten must-sees no mean feat, though hopefully the following list provides a solid place to start. The two towns kicking off our list recently made it into Australian travel website Wotif’s annual awards top ten places to visit, which is the first time that two WA locations have made the cut!
With its rolling mountain ranges and spectacular coastline, from Torndirrup National Park's surf-pummelled cliffs to Middleton Beach's white sands and the calm waters of King George Sound, Albany in the state’s South West claimed Wotif’s seventh spot. Known as a little slice of Europe in WA, Albany is the western state’s oldest European settlement, shown through its unique heritage architecture and fascinating museums. Situated on the traditional lands of the Minang Noongar and Wagyl Kaip peoples, Albany is rich in Aboriginal history too, with evidence of habitation dating back over 18,000 years, which makes taking a trip to the award-winning National Anzac Centre a must! As well as being an incredible destination for history buffs, Albany offers lots for families too. Hire bikes and cycle to Emu Point, take a dip at the hidden gem that is Waterfall Beach, take a killer whale boat cruise or have the "best fish and chips in WA" at the award-winning Ocean & Paddock!
Walk along the stunning coastline! Photo via @visitalbanywa
2. Margaret River
WA’s premium wine region took spot nine on Wotif’s list and we can certainly appreciate why. Margaret River is the renowned surfing location and wine region of WA's South West with over 135 wineries, making up 3% of Australia's grape production. However, there is more to the beautiful region than simply great wine and surf. Along with fantastic local produce, art galleries, and impressive coastlines, visitors can explore underground caves, hike untouched trails, and bike through towering forests. A few standout activities for us include hiring SUPs and cruising the turquoise waters of Prevelly or Meelup Beach, taking a dip at the famous Injidup Natural Spa or combining two great past times - wine tasting and cycling - by taking a Sip’n Cycle Winery Tour. An awesome one for the kids (big and small) involves hanging about in the treetops at Forest Adventures South West.
Immerse yourself in the magic of the natural spas. Photo via @margaretriver
3. Swan Valley
While we’re on the topic of wine; just north of Perth lies the picturesque landscape famed for being Western Australia’s oldest wine region, with a 32km loop full of food and wine to indulge in! Blending rich Indigenous history with strong European roots, the Swan Valley not only offers an abundance of wineries but also walking trails like no other, historic buildings and some of the finest foods in the state. A few tips from us; take a relaxing boat cruise along the blue waters of the Swan River from the CBD right through to the Swan Valley, or sample some decadent delights from Windarra Honey, Margaret River Chocolate Company or Mondo Nougat! Fun child-friendly activities include hand-feeding roos at the Caversham Wildlife Park, navigating a challenging maze, or playing mini-golf at the Maze, as well as plummeting down an inflatable slide at Outback Splash!
Take a walk through the vines. Photo via @westernaustralia
4. Rottnest Island
A trip to WA wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Rottnest Island; a picturesque island with a laid-back atmosphere, stunning scenery including the world’s most pristine beaches and bays and some incredible marine life. One of the main attractions of this sunny little island are the quirky little marsupials, the quokkas! If you’re wondering how to get around Rottnest Island, bikes are the transport of choice and can be hired or brought along with you by ferry for a small fee. The island is only 11km long and 4.5km wide making it easy to explore with a number of great trails to follow. As well as relaxing, swimming or snorkelling at one of Rottnest’s beaches, or exploring the island on foot or two wheels, you can climb the Wadjemup Lighthouse for the ultimate views across the whole island. From September to May explore the world beneath the waves on the Underwater Explorer!
Float in crystal clear waters. Photo via @rottnestaustralia
5. The Kimberley
A region full of natural wonders not to be missed. The Kimberley, which is located in the northernmost part of Western Australia, consists of small country towns, dramatic coastlines, and World Heritage Sites such as sandstone gorges and incredible waterfalls. We could write an extensive list of places to see in The Kimberley but we’ll narrow it down to a few favourites. Firstly, Broome with its camel-riding on Cable Beach, Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park, Roebuck Bay, and SSJG Heritage Centre is known as one of Australia’s top tourist destinations for good reason! If exploring waterfalls is a must, you really are spoilt for choice in The Kimberley. Marvel at Mitchell Falls in the Mitchell River National Park or Fortescue Falls in WA’s second-largest national park, Karijini. Take a boat ride or seaplane ride along the wonder that is Horizontal Falls and for the adventurers among us, four-wheel-drive along the Kimberley's Gibb River Road or stay at remote wilderness camp Kooljaman run by the local Bardi people, amidst the rugged red cliffs, white sands and pristine waters of Cape Leveque.
Appreciate The Kimberley's rugged beauty. Photo via @thekimberleyaustralia
6. Ningaloo Reef
There is nowhere quite as spectacular in Australia as Ningaloo Reef. The lesser-known and therefore quieter but equally as impressive as its Eastern counterpart, (the Great Barrier Reef) Ningaloo is a World Heritage Site that will leave you awestruck. A breathtaking 300km stretch of unspoiled underwater paradise renowned for its amazing shark diving, snorkelling with Manta Rays and turtles or swimming at Turquoise Bay. A 13-hour drive (or 90-minute flight) from Perth, Exmouth is the closest town and main gateway to the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area. Exmouth is also home to the amazing Cape Range National Park and Charles Knife Canyon where hiking, camping, and scenery appreciating are second to none. A bit further South is Coral Bay where the Ningaloo Reef is closest from the shore, just 500 meters away, and is a small, laidback location where exploring the reef, quad bike trekking, fishing, boat tripping, diving and enjoying a meal and a beer at Bill’s alfresco bar make it a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventurers alike.
See the reef a stone’s throw from the shore. Photo via @visitningaloo
A dynamic and sun-soaked metropolis set on the banks of the picturesque and winding Swan River, Perth is renowned for its water sports, awesome beaches, gourmet eateries, quirky galleries, and hip boutiques. One of the most isolated capital cities on the planet yet often voted as one of the most liveable, Perth exudes a relaxed, natural charm. Choose from one of many family-friendly sheltered inlets or beaches such as Como and Cottesloe, or for the keen surfer, the best breaks can be found at Trigg Point and Scarborough. There are many picturesque suburbs to explore by foot or bike and delicious places to fuel up along the way. Nature lovers will delight in Kings Park and Botanic Garden, being a tranquil escape from the CBD and one of the largest inner-city parks in the world. Here you'll find stunning city views atop Mount Eliza and walking trails aplenty, including the Lotterywest Federation Walkway suspended in a canopy of Eucalyptus trees.
Take in incredible city views from Kings Park. Photo via @cityofperth
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The 2019 Kings Park and Botanic Garden Festival is kicking off on Sunday! The Festival is packed with events and activities for garden gurus, wellness devotees, keen conservationists, culture cravers, families and wildflower enthusiasts. Dozens of free guided walks, outdoor exhibitions, acoustic musicians and roving performers, science talks and other activities will take place, against a backdrop of colourful wildflowers. With Instagrammable spots around every corner, iconic WA species including kangaroo paws, waxes, Qualup bells and carpets of pink everlastings are just some of the 3,000 plant species growing in Kings Park. The Kings Park Festival runs from 1 – 30 September. Learn more at @kingsparkandbotanicgarden 📷 @danniexdough
If you like the relaxed vibe of Perth, then you’ll undoubtedly love the laid-back artistically inclined historic port town of Fremantle. A short drive from Perth city where so much local goodness can be found, from eclectic pieces of art, jewellery, and fashion to delicious organic foods and locally brewed beer. Check out what local producers have to offer at the Fremantle Markets or take a walk down Fremantle’s legendary ‘Cappuccino Strip’ where you can sip wine whilst watching street performers or enjoy live music from the towns many restaurants, cafes, and pubs. A trip to the fascinating Fremantle prison, one of Western Australia’s most significant cultural attractions, is a must, as is the Western Australian Museum’s Shipwreck Galleries. The Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour is another favourite with delicious seafood restaurants aplenty, and of course the Little Creatures brewery, the birthplace of their world-famous craft beer.
Browse the famous markets. Photo via @visitfremantle
Another of WA’s spectacular destinations is Esperance, on the Southern Ocean coastline, approximately 720km from the state capital Perth. A great way to check out this beautiful region is to take a road trip from Albany through to Esperance, which is 483 km of beautiful beaches and wonderful national parks. When in Esperance, the Great Ocean Drive provides an awesome winding Cliffside route to all the best beaches in the area and another of WA’s fascinating museums, The Esperance Museum, is a great place to learn about the area’s rich history. National Parks, Cape Range, and the further out, more rugged Cape Arid, are incredible, with the first being home to stunning white sand beaches such as Cape Le Grand Beach and Lucky Bay, where friendly kangaroos hop along the shoreline. If time permits, we suggest taking a short scenic flight or one hour cruise to Middle Island, where you can see the extraordinary bubble-gum pink Lake Hillier, juxtaposed against the deepest blue ocean.
Don’t be tempted to take a sip! Photo via @westernaustralia
10. Pinnacles and Cervantes
Rounding out our list we've chosen another natural phenomenon, to be found in the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park. Roughly 200km north of Perth, the 4ft limestone formations of the Pinnacles present an almost other-worldly landscape to explore. As well as walking on the moonscape that is the Pinnacles, we recommend surfing giant sand dunes and just outside of the desert, taking a trip to the sandy beaches of Hangover Bay and pristine waters of Jurien Bay Marine Park. Spending time in the town of Cervantes is also a must, ensuring that you sample the area’s famous seafood delicacy of lobster, and journey to the Thirsty Point Lookout that offers panoramic views of the ocean and sand dunes below. Head slightly north to Jurien Bay where you can get up close with sea lions!
Wake up and walk on the moon. Photo via @westernaustralia
We hope our list gives you some food for thought! The easing of restrictions could present the perfect opportunity to pack up the car, camper or RV and hit road, ticking off as many spots as you like on the way. There are many benefits to having your accommodation and wheels all in one, and to make your journey a little easier, pack a Scrubba wash bag for self-sufficient laundry on-the-go! Browse the Scrubba wash bag range to pick up the ultimate gear for your next WA adventure.