The Vintage, Accor Vacation Club Apartments

Timeshare Travel Review – Grand Mercure The Vintage Hunter Valley Resort

Have a vine time

The Hunter Valley region of New South Wales is one of Australia’s best and most popular wine regions, with its first vines planted in the early 19th century. Accor Vacation Club’s apartments within the luxurious Grand Mercure The Vintage are ideally close to numerous cellar door experiences.

Put simply, its a great spot to stop, and enjoy a drop – or more – in this scenic part of the world.

Whether you are interested in a formal guided winery tour, or just wandering and exploring at your own pace, the region has a wine experience to suit casual drinkers to complete connoisseurs’.  Australian Shiraz, Semillon, Chardonnay and even Gewurztraminer. There are a range of styles to suit a variety of palates.

The list of wineries to visit is also potentially very long. Bimbadgen, McGuigan’s, Tyrell’s, Peppertree and Brokenwood. Winwood, Waverley and Ivanhoe – plus many more. It may pay off to do a little research online before heading out, in order to really target those that appeal based on style, production and preferred varietal.

 

Dig life

Exploring the expansive and fragrant Hunter Valley Gardens is a definite highlight for many visitors to this part of the world. Spanning some 25 acres, there are ten separate feature themed gardens to explore, including a spectacular Rose Garden with thousands of varieties on display. Overall there are 8 kilometres of garden trails to enjoy, with special features along the way such as a 10 metre high waterfall above a sunken garden, and a storybook garden for younger family members in mind. The Gardens host special events throughout the year, including a ‘snow time in the gardens’ and Easter event. Its famous Christmas Lights Spectacular, which is on from November 02 – January 26, 2019 is the largest lights display in the Southern Hemisphere!

 

Make for the market

Enchanting is one great word to sum up the experience at the Handmade in the Hunter markets in picturesque village of Pokolbin.

This country style market has the distinction of being the longest-running, genuine, handmade market in the vineyard area, so tis easy to see why many choose to plan their visit to the Hunter Valley around a visit to this charming venue.

There are many wineries come concert venues close by including Hope Estate, Bimbadgen and Roche, and Handmade in the Hunter Markets are held to coincide with concert dates and other major vineyard events.

 

Talk to the animals

The Hunter Valley Zoo makes a great day out for both bog kids, and small! Located just out of Cessnock, the Zoo features a variety of native and exotic animals, plus interactive encounters with farmyard animals plus favourites including Kangaroos, Koalas, wombats and birds.

Daily the Zoo offers a variety of free, educational and fun shows to get up close to pat or take a snap with selected wildlife. There are also paid experiences available on request – such as the Meerkat or Marmoset Monkey meet up for those who want a one on one encounter!

Free barbeque facilities are onsite too for those who want to bring a packed lunch and make a day of it.

 

Bunker down for some golf

As refined as its name suggests, The Vintage Golf Club in the Hunter Valley is widely regarded as one of the most elegant championship courses in Australia, and is home of the NSW Open Golf Championships, held each November.  This spectacular 18-hole, par 71 course (designed by Greg Norman) is rated among the top 2% of courses nation-wide. That makes it a must-play location for those who love the game. Described as “challenging but fair to all handicaps’, the course is an easy two hour drive from Sydney and provides a beautiful backyard scene for those Members staying at the Grand Mercure The Vintage, Accor Vacation Club Apartments. Convenience plus!

 

Apartment life at The Vintage

Accor Vacation Club’s apartments at Grand Mercure The Vintage in the Hunter Valley where beautified in 2019. The stunning update included new electric fireplaces, which are always sure to be given a workout over the winter season. Some other key changes included upgraded wall-mounted televisions and cabinetry, plus fabulous new artwork selected and displayed throughout the apartments.  In response to Member feedback, apartments now boast larger bathroom vanities and mirrors, alongside many other modern accessories and furnishings added to each apartment to complete the contemporary look. In living and bedroom spaces, expect to enjoy new lamps and lighting, scatter cushions, bed throws and brand new sofa beds for added convenience and comfort this summer.

 

 To plan your next holiday escape visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au

 

Address: Grand Mercure The Vintage, Accor Vacation Club Apartments

            Vintage Dr, Rothbury NSW 2320

Phone: (07) 5501 7370

Visit: https://www.accorvacationclub.com.au/property/grand-mercure-the-vintage/

 

The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person.  Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 1 January 2017, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90. All hotel and cruise bookings are subject to availability.

 

Accor Vacation Club travel photography tips

Travel Photography Tips

Story by Jacqueline Hamilton

Photos and videos are our way of freezing a moment in time, waiting to be enjoyed for years to come.

It’s a physical collection of tender moments, sights and adventure. It could be a snap of fascinations never seen before, the story of a face showing the culture of a community, the spirit of a stunning landscape and instant flashes that will never come again. A photo is one of the easiest souvenirs we can bring home with us to remind us of the perfect holiday.

With that in mind, here are some great travel photography tips to help create that ideal image.

 

Protection

That said, now a few words about protecting your camera. Theft is rife in the dodgy areas of our world (and the not so dodgy too!), however you would be amiss if you thought packing your camera in your suitcase was completely safe. Make sure to carry your camera and accessories with you onboard your airplane with you. This should protect it from theft and damage to a greater extent. Don’t flash it about in “dodgy” areas, you may find yourself a target. Overall, insure, insure, insure. Travel Insurance is vital, with the added extras clause ticked and serial numbers documented. We would hate for you to have all those lovely shots held in your camera and to have it whipped away from you the day you are coming home.

 

Memory, Batteries and Backups

Nothing worse than a beeping camera to tell you there is no memory left.

Oh no, you should have bought that extra memory card and battery out with you today. When you think you are covered, slip an extra battery or memory card in your pocket anyway, believe me it will be required when you least expect it.

And I cannot stress enough the importance of backing up. You could use Cloud technology, or you may even want to carry a small hard drive with you to load up. Move your prized images to another device, that way they are secure, you can transfer the images anywhere you need them plus you have all that lovely memory back again.

Learn how to improve contrast, sharpen image elements, soften color tones, reduce highlights, boost shadows, minimize sensor noise, and adjust exposure levels (without going overboard) using the software.

 

Balance

Ask yourself, what are your key points and where do you place them within the frame? The Rule of Thirds is one of the most basic understandings when creating a more balanced photocomposition. Essentially split the image into three imaginary areas both horizontally and vertically. These will help to frame the most important parts of your image in a way that is most pleasing to the eye.

 

Experimenting

By experimenting with your camera you get to know its abilities (and you’re your own!).

Try differently angled shots of the same element. Standing straight on, kneeling, from an elevated height or get right down and shoot upwards from the ground.

Different distances will also change your perspective of a composition. Panoramas, wide angled shots are very different from the more mid-range “generic” shots most people take. And then there is the up close and personal framing that will give you a more in-depth look at part of a building or landscape,or the intricacies of a face – just pay attention to where the shadows are and your source of light, it makes all the difference.

Use your Rule of Thirds to create a pleasing composition – experiment with this too.

What does it look like if you sit the main element to the right, or left? Does it create more interest? Or do you prefer dead centre? It’s your personal preference, so go for it. After all, if you are not happy with it, delete and try again. And again, until you get it just right.

 

People

Walking up to someone and asking to take their picture can be difficult in Australia, let alone a foreign country.

It’s natural to be nervous, after all they are simply living their lives and you are virtually invading their space. Will they say no or get offended? Will they understand you?

If you want to take a portrait, especially if they are going to be up close and personal, get to know the person a little first. Basically, touch base and start with “Hello”.

Chat a few minutes before asking to take their photo – compliment them on something, buy a souvenir from them, ask directions etc. Once you have a line of communication open, asking to take their picture is a lot less intrusive. You may even make a lifelong friend too!

Just remember, not everyone will say yes. Some people will say no. Others will see the opportunity to make some money. Don’t stress if the answer is no, there is always another opportunity around the next corner! And… some people will be just fine with you taking a pic.

Plus, it’s always a good idea to learn the phrase for “Can I take your/your child’s photo?”, “Thank you” and “No problem”. It always pays to be polite.

 

Waiting for the ‘Soul’ of an Image

Photography is about seeing what’s right in front of you. Yet, it’s not just about framing the perfect composition or getting the lighting spot on, although both are important too, your photo should have soul. Use your eyes to see, but attune your emotions, heart and mind to the soul of the image.

Before you press the shutter, take time to slow down and feel. Pay attention to your surroundings, community, culture, even the weather. Be prepared to wait out the weather or light (your research will come in handy here), sit ready for a truck or person to move into or out of frame, have an idea in mind as you look for the face in the crowd that shows the emotion you are trying to capture. Most professional photographers understand they need to have extreme patience and are prepared to wait for that one single moment so they can reap the rewards of a fabulous photo.

Take the time, and look for the soul of the image.

Every destination is different, and every portrait is unique. What are you waiting for? Grab your camera and let’s start! Need some ideas for iconic destinations? Speak with an Accor Cruise and Travel Solutions Specialist at AU: 1800 70 80 90 or NZ: 0800 45 19 97.

To plan your next holiday escape visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au

The Sebel Swan Valley The Vines, managed by Accor Vacation Club

Vacation time, amongst The Vines

It might be a quick 25 minute drive from Perth, but the spectacular Swan Valley is almost guaranteed to have you feeling a million miles away from your everyday cares on your next visit. Whether you are escaping for a mini break or extended holiday in the heart of the vineyards, this destination has something for everyone from manicured golf courses and scenic natural landscapes, to inspiring aboriginal art and historic colonial treasures.

Of course, let’s not forget the famous Swan Valley Food & Wine Trail, a 32 kilometre trail that explores more than 150 wineries, eateries and micro-breweries across this special region that produces some of Australia’s best Verdelho, Chenin Blanc and Shiraz varieties. An ideal destination for those with a ‘taste’ for culinary adventures!

 

 All cellar doors lead to The Sebel

Managed by Accor Vacation Club, The Sebel Swan Valley is the perfect choice for travellers who want to stay a while and indulge in the best of the Swan Valley at their leisure.

A true home-away-from-home experience, The Sebel is a hop, skip and jump away from some of Western Australia’s finest cellar doors and wineries, not least of all the world-class Houghton’s and venerable Sandalwood Wineries, and local fromagerie, the Cheese Factory.

 

Of course, we’re green with envy

Guests staying at Accor Vacation Club’s apartments are invited to play not one, but two challenging 18-hole golf courses, convenentally located at The Vines Resort & Country Club’s.

Thanks to the amazing presentation and experience enjoyed by players on the Ellenbrook and Lakes golf courses, The Vines is continually rated as one of Australia’s best golf resorts. The lush, manicured gardens and immaculate greens of these magnificent Swan Valley courses are surrounded by natural bushland, where you can expect to be joined by local wildlife – not least of all curious wallabies – as you play each course.

For those up for a challenge, The Vines internationally ranked courses are the real deal with unique bunkering and an interesting course layouts that follow the natural landscape making for a testing and enjoyable experience. There is also a driving range, unparalleled in Western Australia, featuring a fully grassed teeing off area and a multi-tiered green surrounded by bunkers, for those wanting to perfect their short game.

 

Practical Magic

Self-catering is definitely a popular option for most guests staying at The Sebel Swan Valley, given each apartment’s great kitchen and lifestyle features for entertaining. However, the nearby Novotel provides an easy alternative for those who prefer to pass on cooking while on a minibreak, providing dining options at the hotel’s award-winning restaurant and bar for breakfast, lunch, dinner or perhaps  a sundowner cocktail as the sun sinks over The Vines.

Guests staying at The Sebel also receive complimentary carparking, and access to Novotel’s outdoor swimming pool and heated spa, tennis and squash courts, a games room, barbeque terrace, hairdresser and massage services. Everything you need for a complete holiday experience.

For those who want to double their holiday fun, Accor Vacation Club offers two more great destinations in Western Australia, within driving range of the Swan Valley.

  

Endearing Margaret River

Set amongst exquisite, manicured gardens in the award winning Margaret River wine region of Western Australia, Grand Mercure Basildene Manor is a one-of-a-kind historic property, dating back to 1912 and classified by the National Trust and Heritage Council.

A three hour drive from the Swan Valley, Basildene Manor is a firm favourite with discerning travellers,

Now owned and operated by one of Australia’s leading holiday lifestyle programs Accor Vacation Club, the old manor house was originally built by the locally renowned Willmott family, 106 years ago, to be their stately family home.

Steeped in history and tradition, the modern Grand Mercure Basildene Manor offers 19 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, in addition to a restaurant that serves a delicious buffet breakfast (and the hotel’s famous Devonshire tea). There is also a fireside reading room, a sunroom and conservatory, a lakeside pergola and even a tennis court. So much to do without even leaving the grounds!

With so many beautiful beaches, caves and wineries within easy reach, Basildene Manor is an ideal home base to explore the natural splendours of Margaret River, beyond the main hotel.

 

The Sebel Swan Valley

Address: 79 Hermitage Drive, The Vines WA 6069

Phone: (07) 5595 3200

 

Grand Mercure Basildene Manor

Address: 187 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River, WA 6285

Phone: (08) 9757 3140

 

Visit: www.accorhotels.com

To plan your next holiday escape visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au

Renovated Holiday Havens

 

Want an update on the newest property updates at Accor Vacation Club? Read on!

 

GETTING BUSY AT THE SEBEL BUSSELTON

The Sebel Busselton in Western Australia recently revealed a modern new look, with Accor Vacation Club recently completing a five phase refurbishment program of its Member accommodation.

All studio, two and three bedroom apartments were given a fabulous facelift over winter. Fresh features cross these spaces include fresh paint, new televisions and USB charge points, bathroom accessories and soft furnishings such as new lamps. Fresh curtains and throws have been inspired by the destination, with a modern coastal palette used alongside textured fabrics and weaves for added comfort.

The Studio accommodation now welcome guests in style with new feature entrance tiles and vanity cabinetry, while two and three bedroom apartments have had modern security screen doors installed.  Gorgeous vibrant local artwork has been added to rooms to provide an energetic pop of colour (think Busselton blue skies and ocean) to help set the scene for holiday fun.

Depending on whether you’re travelling as a couple, or with friends or family, The Sebel Busselton has a variety of modern and spacious apartment options to choose from. Studio spa rooms are ideal for two, while spacious two or three-bedroom self-contained apartments are ideal for larger or multi-generation family trips.

 

GRAND DESIGNS FOR THE VINTAGE HUNTER VALLEY

Our refurbishment team have been busy at work beautifying Accor Vacation Club’s apartments at Grand Mercure The Vintage in the Hunter Valley. The stunning results have certainly captured our attention, not least of all the new electric fireplaces, which were given a workout over the winter season. Some other key changes included upgraded wall-mounted televisions and cabinetry, plus fabulous new artwork selected and displayed throughout the apartments.  In response to Member feedback, apartments now boast larger bathroom vanities and mirrors, alongside many other modern accessories and furnishings added to each apartment to complete the contemporary look. In living and bedroom spaces, expect to enjoy new lamps and lighting, scatter cushions, bed throws and brand new sofa beds for added convenience and comfort this summer.

 

PRETTY AS A PICTURE IN PUKA PARK

What’s new in New Zealand? We’re glad you asked! Accor Vacation Club’s flagship North Island property, the Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort, has completed a soft room refurbishment, introducing some new soft furnishings and accessories for Members to experience on their next visit.

Highlights of the update include new lamps and bed throws, plus painting where required to truly ‘freshen’ up the feel of the space for guests.

Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort combines boutique elegance with retreat style tranquillity. It offers the ultimate environment for you to take time out to restore, indulge and completely relax.

Managed by Accor Vacation Club, Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort is a secluded luxury lodge, set amidst 25 acres of New Zealand native bush, on Mt Pauanui in the Coromandel Peninsula. Only two hours drive from Auckland, the resort offers luxurious chalet accommodation, ideal for any season. Guests can spend the evening star-gazing on the private deck of the grand chalet in the treetops. There is also an award winning restaurant on site, Miha, for those who want to enjoy great dining in an unsurpassable location.

 

 

To plan your next holiday escape visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au

Timeshare

How To Be A Satisfied Timeshare Owner

A timeshare is a form of vacation or holiday ownership. The original definition or style of timeshare (and the one most people probably think of when they hear that word) involves buying the right to vacation for a set period (usually one week), every year, at a specific resort. For many years now, timesharing has become a popular way to take a vacation. Still, a lot of travellers don’t know a lot about how it works, or indeed are aware of how timeshare products have evolved over time to now include more diverse options that open up a lot more variety and destinations.

When you own a single vacation or holiday home, you have dominion over a physical property. You can use it anytime and every time you want. Holiday home ownership comes with responsibility though. You obviously are committed to pay for the full value of the property including year-round maintenance costs plus rates and taxes, water and electricity charges and body-corporate fees (if a strata property). Having a timeshare is different from this arrangement in many ways.

In its original form, a timeshare essentially offers you an allotted amount of “time” wherein you can use your resort’s accommodation. For example, if you choose to own a 3-bedroom timeshare at a Queensland resort for the first week of January every year, your vacation accommodations are guaranteed at that time, every year. If you are a frequent traveller or vacationer, timesharing might benefit you because you get the perks of a high-end vacation home without having to spend for all of its upkeep.

Of course, over the years, timeshare has evolved. There are now timeshare ‘vacation clubs’ that work by providing a set amount of ‘points’ annually that can be used to stay at a broader network of accommodation owned or linked to that club, as opposed to offering a set week to be taken in just one location.  Some clubs have 20+ properties in their own network, which provides a lot of variety.

A lot of timeshare ownership programs now offer the option for timeshare exchange too. An exchange allows you to go on vacation at a different resort, in a different location beyond your own timeshare property or Vacation Club network. This way, you are not tied down to selecting the same vacation spots every year.

There are a lot of unsatisfied timeshare owners. If you listen to their complaints you will find out that the dissatisfaction stems from not knowing what timeshare is, not understanding what different kinds of timeshare options are out there, or grasping how their specific timeshare works. Timeshare is a significant purchase that you shouldn’t go into with your eyes closed. Equip yourself with knowledge before you sign on the dotted line and you will be a satisfied owner of a timeshare that suits your personal lifestyle needs.

 

Frequently Asked Questions by Timeshare Buyers

 

How is timeshare different from a hotel?

In most instances, Member accommodation within a timeshare resort generally offers more space and amenities as compared to a traditional publicly sold hotels, depending on the operator you go with. Often a hotel room is a studio-sized area that has a bed, then there’s a small bathroom and nothing else. With timeshare, you are more likely to get an actual apartment or a condominium-style unit with a choice of several bedrooms, bathrooms, a full kitchen, dining area and a living room. Amenities are also offered in most timeshare resorts – recreational, sporting and social activities both for kids and adults. Many resorts also offer swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, horseback riding, skiing and others all on site.

What are the different types of timeshares?

It’s important to understand the different ways timeshare work. Timeshare ownerships are either deeded or leased for a specified period.

  • Deeded – A deeded timeshare is like a regular real estate purchase. After you buy a deeded timeshare, you own it. You may sell, rent out or will your timeshare to your heirs. A deeded timeshare is a perpetual contract; there is no expiration date.
  • Leased – A leased timeshare gives you the right to use a property for a specific week or weeks for a definite period, usually 20 to 99 years. The right to use the property expires at the end of the leased period.
  • Licensed timeshare – A licensed timeshare requires you go join a “vacation club”. Members of the vacation club receive points that they can use to purchase holidays at a choice of several resorts. (This, for example, is the category that Accor Vacation Club sits within.)

What are timeshare use periods?

When doing your research, it good to understand some basic timeshare terminology, especially in regards to stay options. Depending on the type of timeshare product you might be interested in, you may come across these terms:

  • Fixed week – A fixed week timeshare allows you to use the unit for that specific week. Fixed week typically starts on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
  • Floating week – A floating week timeshare allows you to use the unit anytime during the year based on availability.
  • Flex time – A flex time timeshare is similar with floating week. Flex time refers to a season though wherein you can use your timeshare – winter flex or spring flex

Can I afford to buy a timeshare?

If you are considering buying a timeshare, it is vital to take an honest look at your finances to see what you can afford. First, determine how much you can pay out for the initial purchase price. Most timeshare companies will offer financing, and this can help you delay the up-front cost. Be aware that it’s common for timeshares to require an annual maintenance fee of up to $1,000 or more too (for maintenance, running costs and regular refurbishment). It is good to consider how these costs weigh up against what you might already be spending on annual holidays now and in the future to determine the value and benefits for you personally.

How does timeshare exchange work?

If you own a leased timeshare, a big advantage might be having the flexibility to exchange your week. You can join a timeshare exchange company and trade your week with other timeshare owners. This flexibility allows you to use your home resort every year, if you want to, or trade for any of the affiliated resorts throughout the world. Some timeshare resorts have an internal exchange program while others use an external company. These external companies require an additional membership fee that you can either renew or cancel every year.

 

About Accor Vacation Club

Accor Vacation Club is a licensed timeshare offering of AccorHotels. Members get an allocation of Premier Points annually and they can use this for holidays or short breaks. They can enjoy top-quality accommodation across Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.

A membership in Accor Vacation Club is great if you’re the type of vacationer who plans your holiday in advance and likes the security knowing the type of accommodation you will get. Let’s say your work allows you two weeks of vacation per year that you can pre-schedule. Possibly, a membership with Accor Vacation Club would make a good investment to pre-plan your holiday time in advance. You get pre-paid accommodation that allows you to spread out with friends and family in generously-sized properties, with the flexibility to use the properties facilities to self-cater during your stay.

Here are the top 5 Accor Vacation Club properties that members rave about:

  1. The Sebel Sydney Manly Beach – Your gateway to golden sand, snorkelling and surfing, The Sebel Sydney Manly Beach has a breathtaking waterfront setting. Members can enjoy a variety of fully-furnished accommodations, from studios to one and two-bedroom apartments that boast convenient kitchenettes. Guests can also choose from an ocean view, superior and standard rooms that all have air condition, private bathrooms, LCD TVs and balconies.
  2. The Sebel Melbourne Flinders Lane – Members who love the sophisticated city vibe of Melbourne have good things to say about The Sebel Melbourne Flinders Lane.  Smack bang in the fashion and foodie district of Melbourne, this boutique hotel has 56 exquisitely-furnished apartments that have big bedrooms, living areas and kitchenettes. Just a short stroll to theatres, museums, sporting venues and eateries, urban-loving vacationers surely enjoy The Sebel Melbourne Flinders Lane.
  3. Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort – One of the most popular destinations included in the Accor Vacation Club portfolio, Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort is loved for the luxurious seclusion it provides. Think stylish apartments, and the laid-back ambiance of a mountain lodge.
  4. Grand Mercure Basildene Manor – Accor Vacation Club members love the old-world charm and modern comforts of Basildene Manor. This is the preferred destination for wine lovers not least of all because of its enviable location in the wine region of Margaret River. Needless to say, this rustic manor house and its landscaped gardens is ideal for tourists interested in exploring the area, and is near to great wineries, cafes and restaurants.
  5. The Sebel Pinnacle Valley – An exciting year-round destination, The Sebel Pinnacle Valley offers stylish and modern apartments in the stunning Victorian High Country. Just 30 minutes away from the Mt Buller ski slopes, Accor Vacation Club members can choose from a wide selection of outdoor activities like snow skiing, bushwalking, horseback riding and golf, depending on the time of year.

 

The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person.  Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 19 April 2018, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90.

 

Accor Vacation Club travel tips for long flights

Long Flight Survival Tips for Families

Going on a family trip, especially with very young children, can be stressful and costly. While becoming a member of Accor Vacation Club is a great way to minimise drama on the ground with great apartment accommodation serving up space and amenities perfect for those with kids, the fact is you may still be left with the stress of air travel to get to your destination. Sorry!

But there are some travel tips that you can employ to make even very long journeys with children easier on everyone concerned.

 

Other People.

First of all, think about other people, as counter-intuitive as this might seem. If other people get upset with your children, this can lead you to become anxious – and children pick up when their parents are upset and this can lead them to behave poorly. To avoid this vicious circle, take stock of the people around you and speak to them, letting them know that you want their journey (and yours) to be peaceful and that you are going to work on achieving that. People will often be understanding if you give them the chance.

To this end, be prepared for the whole time of the flight or voyage (trains and buses offer the same cramped conditions as planes, with almost the same restrictions on easy movement), and make allowances for delays too. Bring toys and games – many can be found in travel versions so pieces do not get lost and pieces will stay in place during play. Bring along pens and paper too, most children love to draw, and the pen and paper can be used for other games if necessary.

 

Make sure that you prioritise your children during the journey.

If you are driving, make time for plenty of stops along the way for toilet breaks and leg stretches, and if you are confined to public transport, make sure the children move around a little (subject to the rules and directions of the carrier) – it is not healthy for anyone to sit still for hours on end. Let the children know what is happening, and tell them some of the exciting things that they will be doing during their Accor Vacation Club holiday.

 

Take a Change of Clothes.

Travelling is a sticky, sweaty business, and sitting in sticky, sweaty clothing is not comfortable for anyone. Change the children’s clothes when needed, and carry plenty of wet wipes so you can all arrive cool and clean, in good condition and ready to go. Any family trip can be enhanced by simply taking a breather, acknowledging discomforts and dealing with them as best you can, rather than ignoring wails and protests to ‘push through’ and get there!

Food & Drink.

Even if the flight or journey offers food, make sure that you take some of the children’s favourite foods so they will have something to eat that they know and like – and that will not upset their tummies. Make sure that you read up on restrictions on the transport of food and drink, especially for those visiting different countries, but also sometimes across state lines. Air flights are more likely to have restrictions on some products, so do make sure that you check – there is nothing more devastating than preparing plenty of food and drink for the family, only to have to throw it all away, and rebuy those exact products once through the security checks.

Also one of the more important travel tips when it comes to air travel with youngsters, do not forget something for the children to suck on or chew while the flight is climbing or descending. The sudden change in air pressure can make our ears pop, but can be very painful for young children and babies, those whose ears are more sensitive than adults’.

These travel tips should help your family trip be one that is remembered fondly, with smiles, rather than with a shudder of horror!

 

 

The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person.  Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 1 January 2017, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90.

The Sebel Pinnacle Valley

The Best Places to Visit in Australia during Winter?

Australian winters deliver plenty of snow and balmy, temperate oceans still warm enough for a swim. The continent redefines the meaning of cold, bringing mild days that completely evade the 40 degree heat of December. No wonder so many travellers prefer to get out and take a trip in the milder months. Winter clears away the crowds, too, letting you enjoy a peaceful break without the queues.

Places to Go in Australia during Winter

Australia celebrates its heritage and culture during the winter, bringing vibrant festivals and dynamic music to the fore. May comes with free light shows and art installations to the tunes of local musicians. There’s a winter film festival for cinephiles and a beer can regatta in July. Australia takes its rugby and AFL seriously, so winter is also best for immersing yourself in two of the nation’s favourite sporting competitions. You’ll even be able to pack a little skiing into your schedule. Thredbo has long runs if you prefer speed, and The Bluff is challenging enough for experienced skiers. Mt Buller is one of the country’s prettiest natural areas and offers the best winter family holidays Australia has to offer.

Whale Watching and Water Sports

Whales migrate towards Australia in the winter, so you’ll begin to see them arriving in May and June. Byron Bay and Hervey Bay are the most beautiful spots for whale watching, and while you’re there, shark cage diving will let you get a close view of the local great white and tiger sharks. The New South Wales Open State Titles begin in May, and there are several other surfing contests to check out during the winter. They bring a festive ambience to the coast even if you’re not a surfing enthusiast.

Outback Tours

The Outback is a little too hot for summer, but from May to July, you can take comfortable drives through the desert. Ayers Rock has a surreal atmosphere, and Uluru park has a cultural centre where you can view art exhibits and fetch a visitor’s guide. The hike around Uluru’s base is an unchallenging 10.6 km, but birders shouldn’t miss the Mutitjulu Waterhole, which has a mystical waterfall close to the car park.

Ben Lomond National Park is one of nature enthusiasts’ favourite places to go in Australia in winter. The snow turns the peaks into a wonderland perfect for bushwalking and climbing. Of course, no trip to Australia is complete without a visit to Tropical North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. Rainfall is rare, making this a safe time to dive and snorkel.

The Kimberley region’s landscape gives four-wheel drive adventurers some exciting trails along Gibb River Road. This route is also a gastronome’s heaven, with vineyards and restaurants at Margaret River.

The Australian climate is forgiving, and many of its most important events occur in the middle of the year. With less travellers traditionally around, there are lots of discounts to be had too on popular tourist activities and the dining scene, if you shop around. Whether you’re an adventurer, a sportsperson, or a culture enthusiast, check out your own backyard and some Australian travel to keep you entertained!

For more information about the benefits of a exploring Australia as part of a timeshare membership, visit Accor Vacation Club Holidays.

 

The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person.  Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 1 January 2017, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90.

MGallery st Moritz Accor Vacation Club

Features and benefits of timeshare you might not have considered

We’re excited to share the latest article about Accor Vacation Club, which recently appeared on AccorHotels travel inspiration blog – The Magazine.

The article outlines some of the travel options and ideas available to Accor Vacation Club Members, beyond its core network of 24 hotel, courtesy of its partnership with operators like AccorHotels.

The article reports that,

 

 “Accor Vacation Club Members can enjoy access to a broader range of city hotels and premium resort properties as part of the Club’s ‘Select’ programs, in partnership with AccorHotels. All Accor Vacation Club Premiere Plus members have access to the Hotels Select Program, which opens up hotel options in popular destinations in Australia and New Zealand, beyond the flagship 24 properties. Hobart, Auckland and Adelaide anyone? How about Fraser Island, Darwin or the Barossa Valley? Depending on the level of membership, some Members can also extend their destination and hotel options to stay with Accor Vacation Club across Asia too, staying in style at one of Accor Vacation Club’s carefully curated hotels and resorts in China, Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.”

If you’d like to see more, you can check out the entire article here.

To plan your next holiday escape visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au

 

The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person.  Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 1 January 2017, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90. All hotel and cruise bookings are subject to availability.

 

Oakridge Resort Wanaka, Accor Vacation Club Apartments

Timeshare travel review – Oakridge Resort Wanaka, Accor Vacation Club Apartments

Many people rave about the spectacular destination that is Queenstown, but not too far away in the Queenstown Lakes district on Lake Wanaka awaits an equally amazing resort town, brimming with mountain vistas and activities crossing every season.

The idyllic South Island village of Wanaka is a year round destination that has appeal for those who love the great outdoors and seek a food and wine fuelled relaxation break away from it all.

Situated on the crystal clear waters of New Zealand’s fourth largest lake, just a short drive from Mount Aspiring National Park, Wanaka is an ideal spot to go fishing, hiking, skiing, wine tasting or golfing. In winter, the snow covered slopes of Treble Cone and Cardrona are close by for ski enthusiasts.

The city also hosts an annual event, ‘Warbirds Over Wanaka’, which is the largest three day air show in the Southern Hemisphere.

For some inspiration on all the major events and attractions not to miss, check out this fabulous and comprehensive list of things to do, and the 10 top reasons to visit Wanaka, courtesy of Wanaka Tourism.

We love the sound of Wanaka River Journeys, for a chance to enjoy the great outdoors with a jet boat adventure (to get your pulse racing!). Another fantastic way to immerse yourself in the wilderness, this time on foot, has to be a guided walk or hike to enjoy the mountains, glaciers and for a spot of Lord of the Rings location spotting along the way.

Pool view at Oakridge Resort Wanaka, Accor Vacation Club Apartments

When it’s time to turn in after a day of adventure  in the great outdoors, check into the Oakridge Resort Lake Wanaka. Set in a stunning mountain landscape offering majestic views overlooking the Southern Alps in Wanaka, the resort presents Accor Vacation Club Members with a selection of one and two-bedroom apartments.

One-bedroom apartments can sleep up to four people and include a full kitchen, access to a communal laundry, one bathroom and individually controlled heating for the cooler months. The two-bedroom apartment option can sleep up to six guests, and also features heating and a kitchen, in addition to a convenient internal laundry, two bathrooms, and two bedrooms.

Beyond your apartment, the Oakridge Resort on Lake Wanaka offers two heated swimming pools, seven hot tubs, a 25 metre lap pool plus a gym and sauna.

Of course if pampering is an essential part of your holiday schedule, look no further than The Sanctuary Day Spa, located onsite at the resort. The spa offers a full range of massage and beauty treatments that you can check out here.

For local eats, Jacob’s Grill Restaurant and Bar is open for guests for breakfast and dinner seven days a week. The resort’s pool bar is also open daily from 3pm.

To plan your next holiday escape with Accor Vacation Club to explore the best of Otago and Wanaka in New Zealand, visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au

 

 

The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person.  Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 1 January 2017, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90. All hotel and cruise bookings are subject to availability.

Multi generational travel with Accor Vacation Club

Talkin’ bout multi-generation (travel)

So, it’s official. Multi-generational travel is THE top trend for 2018. Some might argue that holidays that include three or more generations – be it grandparents, parents, children and even cousins and uncles and aunts – have always been a popular option. However, the phenomenon was officially identified by tourism authorities as an emerging ‘travel trend in 2015, and has been on the up and up ever since.

If you don’t quite believe us, then a recent report from travel experts Virtuoso might convince you!

You can check out the full Forbes article here, which reports that, Taking the kids — and even grandma with you — that’s the top travel trend for 2018, according to luxury travel network Virtuoso. It has revealed that the families continue to travel, in search of experiences that create closer bonds and lasting memories. Connecting with family through travel is one of 2018’s must-have experiences.”

Think back to your own childhood experiences. We bet some of the best (and the hilariously worst!) were spent with extended family! Accor Vacation Club is possibly ahead of the curve when it comes to the trend to take grandma, kids and cousins along for the trip.

Indeed, many Accor Vacation Club Members already use their memberships to take advantage of the great apartment accommodation on offer across the Club’s network to spend quality time with extend family regularly throughout the year.

Here are our top five reasons for jumping on board this trend – if you haven’t already.

 

  1. Getting serious about family time

Let’s face it. In our modern world, time is our most precious commodity, and spending it with the people that matter most to us should be a priority. We schedule work time, gym time, even me time – but what about time with extended family members? While social media, phone and email is a great way to stay in touch with those you love, nothing beats scheduling holidays together for actual face time and real contact. Seeing each other in the flesh, sharing a hug, conversation or just hearing each other laugh is the ultimate for creating memories based on shared experiences.

  1. Built in babysitters

For many parents juggling careers and family, grandparents have become more essential than ever to the family mix, lending a hand in the childcare stakes and for emotional support. That of course goes for time spent on holidays too. If a date night is hard to come by, then a multi-generational holiday offers a great opportunity for a mum and dad who have little chance to spend time together the perfect excuse for a mini-date escape. And let’s not forget the other relatives also on hand to keep a watchful eye on little ones, to give Nan and Pop a break too. A million memories are made from playing with cousins and that hilarious uncle or auntie who provide entertainment value for days!

  1. Sharing is caring

The beauty of bringing more family members along for the ride? There are more people to delegate to and collaborate with!  Sharing duties has to be one of the best perks of organising a holiday with an assortment of different family members involved. Cooking, cleaning, and even divvying up who is driving or researching different day trips can be a godsend. It means everyone can actually enjoy some time off, with each person bringing something different to the party. Collaborate and celebrate.

  1. Forging strong next-generation relationships

As we get older, we start to realise just how fragile life can be, and how important creating a legacy and establishing meaningful bonds truly is. Parents age. Children grow up quickly. Other family members move away as ‘life’ and new opportunities beckon. It’s so important not to wait until someone is sick and unwell, or until all your school and work commitments are completed, before planning that special holiday together. An annual trip is another brilliant way to ensure that special bonds are formed, encouraging a lifetime of love, support and of course a lust for travel with the people who know and (still) love you!

5. It’s FUN!

Ok, we admit it. Sometimes family time can be challenging. But in the scheme of things, holidays spent with family also represent some of the most rewarding and beautiful times you’ll ever have the privilege of enjoying. Embrace the crazy – and your family – and enjoy all the fun times that family travel represents.

To plan your next holiday escape visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au

 

The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person.  Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 1 January 2017, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90. All hotel and cruise bookings are subject to availability.