Travel has been my life mentor for well over the past seven or eight years. Through exploring unknown lands, meeting new people, experiencing new things and facing an avalanche of challenges. I’m fortunate to see the world through a new set of eyes every now and then. Sydney is one of my favourite destinations on the planet, an incredibly friendly and laid-back city, with residents who admire their harbour and are happy to share it with people from all parts of the world. But this wasn’t the case every time I visited. There are a couple of things you should still avoid to ensure you have a safe staycation, be on the good side of the locals and most importantly, don’t get ripped off.
The classic : Cruise V/S Ferry
While this ain’t a comparison, it’s one of the most asked questions by new Sydney visitors and one you should avoid. While ferries are great in their own right and are cheaper than most cruises, Sydney Harbour lunch cruises are the best option if you're looking to experience top-quality food, views and service in one-go. I have seen plenty of agenda against standard cruises for being too pricey and delivering below-par experiences, but this isn't entirely true. I actually cruised multiple times a week to find my reasons.
A cruise is well worth the money:
Offers plenty of room to view the iconic Sydney attractions
Covers the same ground more than once giving you plenty of time to get a good look at the sights
Gives you multiple boat options.
An interesting selection of dining options
You’ll come across many faces who have their opinion on both, just like me, but it’s ultimately your choice. What I learned was that cruising is actually an experience while ferries are much more of a mode of transport you use to get from one side of the harbour to the other. Also, did I mention the popular Sydney dinner cruises that offer an epic nighttime experience on the harbour? These cruises often see a greater demand owing to its irresistible nocturnal grandeur. So if you're looking to spend a cosy afternoon or night out on the harbour, you know which one to pick.
How to avoid the eye
Sydney is a pretty busy city and the last thing you want is to be THAT tourist who gets in a bus during peak hours and asks a gazillion questions about the Opal system. Opal is a free card which can be bought at most convenient stores or stations and most public transport in Sydney requires one, or you'll be spending half your budget on just going places.
Keep this one close to your skin. Australia has one of the highest skin cancer cases in the world, namely melanoma, the sun is powerful here and the ozone layer is thin. You’ll see a lot of Sydneysieders giving you that grin when they see you with that painful tan, so don’t forget to put on that sunscreen wherever you go. After all, you don’t wanna ruin your holiday due to some tan.
No pressure to tip on everything. The standard wages go in tandem with the general exorbitant prices in the city. The only time you tip is when service is way beyond your expectations.
The art of blending in
There are also a couple of other typical things you’d want to avoid like loitering in public places, drinking in public or saying ‘’Melbourne is better’’. One other thing I picked up by criss-crossing Sydney and NSW is that Australians like to get up early and embrace the impeccable morning weather. So if you decide to sleep in you’ll be missing out on a lot. The city will be up and about by as early as 7am, this is also because most people go to bed early and most bars close before midnight. So if you're thinking of going out late, think again.