Traveller Letters: 'We have money too' - travel companies ignoring solo travellers

SINGLE MINDED

As someone who has travelled independently and in groups across six continents and many countries over the years, one of the things that has stopped me travelling in Australia is the single supplement. But it is  being handled very differently in the current environment.  I have experienced everything from it being waived (hiking the NT's Larapinta Trail), to a base cost where an  amount was added per extra person (the fairest in my opinion - Gwinganna on the Gold Coast as an example), to double the cost (hiking Lord Howe Island). Double the cost is ridiculous and I wonder how they will survive the pandemic. I want to travel and enjoy the great country we live in, but I won't pay double just because I travel solo. Way too many travel organisations focus on groups, families or couples, leaving out singles who have  money and will spend it on travel.

Rebecca Phillips, Brisbane, QLD

GONE TO KAMPOT

We all miss the sights, sounds and smells of overseas travel. But what about the quirky little things we buy overseas because they are different or much cheaper? I will soon run out of Kampot pepper from Cambodia, my tie-dyed indigo top from Chiang Rai, Thailand, is fraying at the edges and the gorgeous Scottish Highlands cow greeting cards are all used up. My floppy white pants made in Hoi An, Vietnam - too floppy now, and we have treasured every drop from the one bottle of rosé from Avignon Wine Tours in France. And let's not forget the supply of hotel shower caps - eked out so they now look like loose old jelly-fish on my head. Let's hope the travel world starts turning again, so at least we can grind the world's best pepper onto our dinner, along with the herbed salt from Provence.

Sally Pope, Five Dock, NSW

FIRST AND FOREMOST

Canberra does boast outstanding museums (Traveller, November 21) and many Australians have enjoyed visits to most of them. However, the paragraph in the article on the National Museum of Australia makes no mention of the exhibitions (permanent or temporary) relating to the first Australians in that fine institution. As the most obvious place for recognition of the heritage, contribution and suffering of our Indigenous brothers and sisters, it is unfortunate that the writer neglected to highlight this important aspect of the National Museum.

Meryl Taylor, Beaumaris, VIC

POOR PLATFORM

We visited Sydney's Central Station recently to pick up a meal. What a surprise to see a near empty food display cabinet at the magnificently-restored Eternity Restaurant, Cafe and Bar. Only one person was behind the counter serving and preparing food. She also had to clear up. She was most efficient but her task was almost impossible. Maybe we were at the end of serving time (1 pm on a Sunday?) but at the Central Station of Sydney one might expect full service for more hours of the day. Train travellers are coming and going at all hours of the day, surely there is a need for this restaurant, bar and cafe to be open for food and drink service for longer opening hours with more staff than we observed. However, we certainly enjoyed our toasted ham and cheese croissant, as well as the coffee, and many thanks to that one employee who was there then.

Alison Stewart, Waitara, NSW

TRAINS OF THOUGHT

Thanks to the Traveller readers who have recently written regarding the cameleers and drawn attention to this part of our history. My great grandfather, Musha Mustan, was a cameleer from Karachi. He married an English woman and ran camel trains through South Australia. My husband and I took a road trip through South Australia to Marree where we were able to locate his grave. Farina, 55 kilometres south of Marree, was once an important part of this area's history and is now known as an outback ghost town. It is being restored by the Farina Restoration Preservation Group to  retain this important history. I have a copy of my grandmother's leaving certificate from the school in Farina of which she was very proud. I highly recommend a road trip through South Australia - not just for the history but stunning landscapes like Wilpena Pound and, of course, South Australian wine.

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Joanne Fitzgerald, Harrison, ACT

CRUISE CONTROLS

I have a further consideration to your excellent and timely cover story, "Pier review", on the resumption of cruising (Traveller, November 21). Cruise lines should provide access to medical staff at reasonable cost to passengers on their ships. As it is, the exorbitant cost of consulting a doctor or other medical staff when on board, is a real deterrent against testing and self-reporting.

Trevor Taylor, Port Macquarie, NSW

STAY WHERE YOU ARE

May I suggest Sydneysiders see their city first before rushing out of town? We recently spent a relaxing day on the spacious Sydney Sundancer charter boat on Sydney Harbour. We were all impressed at the professional and friendly service provided by John and Lynne Boyce, from the first point of contact until we disembarked their magnificent yacht after a day on the sparkling Harbour. There is a large deck with cover from the sun, as well as easy access to the water if you want to swim. Twenty of us enjoyed a birthday celebration in impeccable style and comfort. The lunch was delicious and beautifully presented, with beef fillet, salads, and huge king prawns and oysters. If you don't want to travel too far and would like to relax in style, I recommend this boat charter. You may be pleasantly surprised at the wonderful experience right on your doorstep.

Helen Lipton, Randwick, NSW

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