"Staycations" are the latest thing, it seems. Kelly Landry checks out the trend in Brisbane to find out more about holidaying without leaving home. Imagine: no airports, packing, visas or passports. "Staycations" simply mean taking a holiday without travelling anywhere and enjoying some of the things your own city has to offer.
Six million passengers travelled on Brisbane's CityCats last year. They operate between 5.35am and 12.30am every day. The entire fleet is fitted out with Wi-Fi technology. The catamarans make fewer stops than ferries. They visit 15 of Brisbane's most popular spots and are a wonderful means of taking in local sights.
There's space for stowing bicycles, excellent toilet facilities and comfortable padded seating.
A beach in the middle of the city! Streets Beach is one of South Bank's most popular attractions. The manmade swimming beach overlooks the Brisbane River and CBD. The sparkling lagoon has white-sand beaches, palms, pebbled creeks, subtropical trees and exotic plantings. Even though there are no waves or rips, it's patrolled by professional lifeguards every day.
The last thing you want to do with your hard-earned holidays is housework. Absolute Domestics specialise in providing professional domestic cleaners and offer one-off services perfect for a staycation.
Imagine having all the dusting, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning and tidying done, as well as having cupboards tidied, refrigerator cleaned, beds changed and the laundry and ironing done. A holiday at home would be just the right time to call Absolute Domestics who will do all those things you've been putting off.
Alma Park Zoo
If you've not visited a zoo recently, this is the time to do it. Alma Park Zoo is just 30 minutes north of Brisbane. It's on 16 hectares with five of those under rainforest canopy. There are around 24 species of native animals and 23 exotics including two red pandas and Lemur Island featuring five ring-tailed lemurs.
It's not overly busy during the week and there are lots of spots for picnics and free barbecue facilities under the palms or in the rainforest. There are keeper talks and presentations on squirrel monkeys, snakes, crocodiles, koalas and baboons. Friendship Farm is popular with children who love the sheep, chickens, guinea pigs, alpacas and miniature cows and goats.
How does it sound to have a qualified chef do your shopping and cooking, arriving in the morning and by afternoon have your refrigerator and freezer stocked with wonderful dinners? They personalise menus and consider dietary intolerances. They leave reheating instructions and clean your kitchen before they leave. Gourmet Saint operates in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and the Illawarra and it's worth checking out their website.
This shop, designed with a Parisian theme, specialises in exclusive perfumes, home fragrances, skincare and body products. They even run fragrance master classes and brand education sessions. Just the sort of treat to enjoy on a holiday. They carry brands not readily available in Australia Creed, Kilian, Lubin, Cote Bastide and many others you may have been searching for. It's certainly not pompous and visitors are encouraged to touch, smell and spray. If you enjoy the finer things in life, this is it.
Open every day between 11am and 11pm, Vapiano is a little bit of Italy in Brisbane. Old-fashioned recipes are followed using the best local meats, cheese, flour and produce and pasta and pizza is made fresh every day. The chain originated in Europe and now has 65 outlets worldwide. Brisbane's restaurant is Australia's first. Enjoy all that great food and wine without having to travel across the world.
The Go Card is a great idea for cheap travel around Brisbane! You can save around 30 percent off tickets, and if you use it more than 10 times in a week, you will get an extra 50 percent off. They are really convenient. There's no need to buy separate tickets for buses, trains and ferries, and you can top it up online or by phone. Fares are automatically deducted from your balance, and you can register your card for protection.
Great places for a staycation around Brisbane.
Absolute Domestics cost $145 for a one-off three-hour service and $35 for each additional hour. They operate Australia-wide and prices may vary slightly.
Alma Park Zoo entry is $30 for adults, $21 for children and $85 for a family pass for two adult and up to three children. It opens between 9am and 4pm every day.
Gourmet Saint Personal Chef Services are $280 an hour plus groceries for 10 meals, including side dishes. Dinner parties start at $540 for a three-course meal.
Libertine Parfumerie is in New Farm and West End. One-hour education classes cost $29 per person and include a glass of French champagne. They run with a minimum of eight people between Monday and Thursday.
For further information
Ph: 1300 364 646
Alma Park Zoo
Ph: (07) 3204 6566
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Illawarra
Ph: 1300 884 254
156 Hardgrave Road
West End 4101
Ph: (07) 3844 4233
Ph: (07) 3221 4933
Karla M Massage Therapies
Mob: 0414 865 958
To find out more about the hot deals mentioned on the show, check out Holidays for Sale.