I have to admit that my travel bucket list is long and keeps growing daily, but one location that I’m always the most interested in booking a ticket to is Australia. I have family there which makes it an easy destination decision but it would still be just as high on my priority list if I didn’t.
Choosing a destination in Australia isn’t easy but if you want to feel the seaside breeze and still feel the exciting pulse of a lively city, then Melbourne is the perfect choice.
By size, English-speaking Australia is the 6th largest country in the world and it extends on to include a group of islands – one of which you might be familiar: Tasmania! Other countries close by include New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Zealand and a few more. If you’re planning a trip to The Land Down Under we have a few tips that might help you along the way.
Planning Your Family Vacation to Melbourne
Planning your family vacation in advance allows you to take advantage of saving money on stellar accommodation options and transportation, plus you can look at researching about some of the once in a lifetime experiences available in Melbourne. You can never start planning too early.
Melbourne is one of the larger cities in Australia, known for its lively city, friendly locals and many sporting events. But if you want to see more of Australia’s rich nature you can, just make sure to plan a few days hiking and camping in the nearby Yarra Ranges and national parks.
If you're a North American traveling to Australia, you're going to need to get some socket adapters and might also need a voltage adapter. This is, of course, assuming that these adapters are not already available at the hotel you stay in.
It is always good to know the customary tipping rules in a foreign country. Fortunately, tipping in Australia is pretty simple. If you want to tip, feel free but note that most service charges are already included in any bill that you pay.
Melbourne Hotels for Families
In the Victoria region of Australia, vacationers can select accommodation styles in the most well-known city, Melbourne or in other nearby towns which are still perfect for families. There are many budget hotels in Melbourne, close to the airport or in the CBD. If you fancy the fantastic luxury choices, have a browse of the incredible rooms and impeccable service of some of the hotels in the heart of the CBD, while the 3 & 4-star accommodation options are aplenty and make the most sense for a traveling family.
Finding accommodation that fits your needs as a family is important, so take your time when considering Melbourne hotels for families.
Finding a Family Friendly Flight to Melbourne
Finding a flight to Melbourne with minimal layovers from Canada can prove to be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect flight and save money:
- Use Google Flights and put a few dates on your watch list, this way you’ll get emailed when the price changes
- Find the cheapest days to fly on by searching a whole month instead of specific dates in the search engine
- Some airlines offer family seating – offering a couch style seating for families on long-haul flights is a simple upgrade you might want to take advantage of, make sure you check with the airline before booking
- Consider budget airlines but keep in mind they charge for every extra piece of luggage, carry-ons, food, beverages, and entertainment
I love booking overnight flights; usually, they’re cheaper and this way you can rest on the plane and be ready to hit the streets and explore when you land. Check with the timing of flights and find one that can accommodate your needs as a family.
Family Friendly Attractions in Melbourne
There are a variety of things to do in Melbourne from visiting the Melbourne Zoo to the Chinese Museum, not to mention the numerous little towns in the area. You might also want to consider a few bushwalks, sporting events and even some Victorian wineries.
While wine might not be at the top of your family travel fun list you might want to consider stopping by a couple wineries in the Yarra Valley. Located a short 90 minutes north-east of Melbourne and home to at least 23 wineries, it is an idyllic destination for a day tour or weekend getaway. Kids will love getting out of the city and into the rugged farm country, where spotting a native animal is very likely.
The local attractions and farmland aren’t enough? Consider a road trip to explore the beautiful beaches along the Great Ocean Road. This magnificent coastal tour combines spectacular Southern Ocean scenery, huge cliffs, lush rainforests, tranquil bays, and clean uncrowded beaches.
Shopping in Melbourne
For lovers of everything fashion, Melbourne is renowned as one of the fashion hotspots in the world. With the top of the range shops such as designer labels Gucci & Chanel, to sneaker lovers dreams and boutique jewelers.
Melbourne CBD holds the largest shopping complex, which has over 300 stores sure to enthuse any shop-a-holic regardless of their personal style and budget. Whilst unlike the unique and modern architecture of Melbourne Central, the Queen Victoria Market is world famous for its great buys and friendly atmosphere. Here you get so much more than a shopping district, out in the open air the scene is vibrant, complete with performing buskers and a variety of different products, making for a truly multicultural and unique affair that has drawn tourists to this historic site for more than 125 years.
Dining in Melbourne
A truly diverse and multicultural city, dining in Melbourne is a treat with restaurants covering every nationality in the world. For fine dining, Southgate is the place to be, offering unparalleled views of the splendid Yarra River and so many different cuisines to choose from.
Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the award-winning restaurants, a quick lunch at the less formal Riverside Food Court or a coffee and sweets at the numerous cafes and bars.
In terms of multicultural restaurants, the options are endless! Try some Italian food at the stylish Lygon Street, Carlton or Greek food in the very Mediterranean Russell street. But if you're looking for Chinese food, look no further than Melbourne's enchanting Chinatown. The brightly colored area offers traditional laneway eateries that will transport you to lively streets of Beijing. There’s more than just food in Chinatown, with unique shops and stalls as well as plenty of Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Japanese restaurants that are sure to be a hit with the family.
What to Pack for Your Visit to Melbourne?
When it comes to traveling solo I like to travel light and can usually pack everything in my carry on. Though for family trips you need to pack smart and a larger piece of luggage is a lot more suitable.
My rule for packing is to wear what you would normally wear at home in the summer; a vacation is all about being comfortable and enjoying your time away. Since Australia’s climate is generally warmer throughout the year take light clothes that are casual, comfortable and easy to layer. If you make your way to Melbourne during winter, then a pair of jeans, a nice jumper and jacket is a must.
I hope you fall in love with the stylish architecture, incredible dining scene and fantastic shopping Melbourne has to offer. When it comes to family vacation you can’t go wrong with Australian sunshine and friendly lifestyle available in Melbourne.
Have you considered visiting Melbourne for a family vacation?