Hotel Review – Perth Take 2

Oh boy coming from Rottnest Island we decided to pick a hotel closer to the airport to make our drive there the next morning shorter. We booked into International on the Water for our last night in Perth. Online the hotel looked great, but isn’t that always the case? When we were driving up it seemed as if we were in a residential neighborhood, but then we turned into the hotel property seemingly out of nowhere. It looked really nice from the outside, but when you walk into the lobby your eyes are kind of assaulted by all the gaudy things you can look at – velvet, leather, chandeliers, horse statues, etc. 

All of the superficial riches are quickly dissolved with the rudeness and lack of professionalism of the reception staff. We then had to cart our own luggage up a hill putting the risk of scratching other guests’ cars. Again the hallways were so lavish and overdone with eccentric décor. The room and the bathroom were large, but the beds were actual twin beds, each with one pillow and towel. Then in the bathroom there wasn’t a shower gel and they only had a combined shampoo/conditioner, but don’t worry there was a wine fridge. You also couldn’t dead bolt your door, but there was an annoying alarm on each door that started when opened. 

It seemed like whoever decorated this hotel went a little crazy in trying to make the hotel looknice and they forgot about what guests would actually care about to make their stay more enjoyable. 

Their fitness center was also haphazardly done. Even though the maintenance wasn’t there, the pool area was nice and you could actually see the water mentioned in their name. 

Would I recommend this hotel? No. First of all, the receptionist who checked us in turned me off so much from the property I couldn’t even find the energy to even approach her. Secondly, the extreme, over the top gaudiness of the place is so superficial I would rather stay in a basic, no frills hotel. If you want something close the airport there are cheaper options and this is nowhere near the city to be convenient if you wanted to explore Perth. 

20 Hours in Honolulu

My journey begins after an eleven hour direct flight to Honolulu from JFK. I flew with Hawaiian Airlines and was so surprised by the comfortable, easy experience. And then I had 20 hours to spend in Hawaii.

First thing first, I checked into my hotel the Courtyard Waikiki Beach hotel. I booked through HotelTonight and the location was central and relatively inexpensive.

Courtyard Waikiki Beach

It was a short walk to Waikiki Beach and all the action. That day and evening there was a street party/festival full of live music, dancing, shopping, etc. My first meal in Hawaii was a kimchi rice and a passion fruit juice.

There were fantastic traditional hula dancers. And although, I tried to avoid buying anything I could not resist buying some cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Company, which I had tried on the flight over.

I ended the evening with a quick dip in the pool and hot tub and then went to bed. I was eager to wake up in the morning to get a quick swim in the ocean and breakfast (mocha pancakes) before heading off to the airport. Eleven more hours here I come.

Although, my time in Hawaii was brief I really loved Honolulu and I’m excited to get back and spend more time there one day.

Packing for a Year Abroad

How do you pack for a year? And contrary to popular belief it’s not bathing suit weather 365 days a year in Australia. On top of that it gets quite cold during “winter” in major cities and can even snow. You can guarnettee I will do everything in my power to avoid the cold, but it would be naive of me to think of only bringing warm weather clothes.

Since college I’ve been trying to adopt a minimalistic lifestyle and let’s just say it has been a multi-year work in progress. I’m definitely better than when I was in NYC and even more so than when I was in college, but I’m not there yet. My philosophy while packing was not “less is more,” but “I don’t want to always do laundry and I don’t want to buy things that I have at sitting at home.” I also had the thought process that if I left something at home and could live without it for a year then I really didn’t need it at all. So major clean out will happen once I’m back from Australia.

When I found out the airline I was flying allowed you to bring two 32kg (about 70lbs) suitcases free of charged, I took advantage of the situation. I packed two large suitcases, one carry-on bag, and a backpack. Yes, I brought way too much. I fully admit that, but I haven’t had to buy much and I hope to eventually let go of some things as well.

At JFK airport about to take off

A more practical “backpacker” packing list would be like so:

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 5 tops
  • 1 skirt
  • 3-5 dresses
  • 1 evening dress or outfit (ex. LBD)
  • 3 workout outfits
  • 2 bras
  • 7 pairs of underwear
  • 5 pairs of socks 
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 1 pair of plastic flip flops 
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 pair of pjs
  • 2 pairs of swimsuits
  • 1 pair of sunglasses 
  • Travel sized toiletries
  • Sunscreen 
  • Deodorant 
  • Water bottle

Good luck with packing! It’s stressful, but also an exhilarating part leading up to any trip.