Author: Craig Hoffman

Double bed in the modern interior room

Choosing A Suitable Hotel When Traveling

If you are traveling and have to stay in a hotel then it is important that you ensure you get the best hotel. Choosing wrong will make your whole trip terrible. Here are some tips on how to choose the best hotel.

Figure Out What Is Essential To You

If you are on vacation, you may want a hotel that has a day spa or a pool. Think about what you really need the hotel to have. This will help you narrow down the hotels that are ideal for you. If you are traveling for business, you should check that the hotel has WiFi in every room rather than the lobby so that you will not be inconvenienced.

Distance To Your Destination

If you are booking a hotel that you will stay in during a trip, you should get one that is near most of the places that you want to visit. Keep in mind that this may be more costly. However, it will be much better than getting a place that is far then being miserable because you have to wake up early and probably struggle to get to the place in time for tours.

Do Not neglect Reviews

Reviews from previous customers who stayed at the hotel are the only way you can know what to expect. Go online and search for hotel websites. These should have reviews from previous customers. Check the latest ones to see if there is great service at the hotel. If you see various complaints about meals being delayed or dirty rooms, then you best continue your search. Do not be mislead by the luxurious pictures you might see on the hotel websites.

Check The Prices

It is important that you have a budget so that you do not end up staying at a hotel that is too expensive for you. Once you have established your budget, start checking the prices that each hotel has. Ensure that you check what each price includes. Most hotels will have extra fees for even the little things but use language that will confuse potential customers. Do not book any hotel before asking all details of the prices. This will prevent you from getting extra charges that you were not aware of during check-in.

Look At Travel Blogs

There are places that may not appear on search engines but will probably offer more amenities. Read travel blogs to find out if there are any smaller hotels in the place you will be traveling to. You may end up finding some amazing places that you would not have had any idea existed had you not read the blog.

Ask About Meal Provisions

You should find out what meals are provided at the hotel before booking it. If you are booking a hotel that is near a restaurant, you can ask them if they offer reduced prices for customers who do not eat in-house meals. This could save you some money. It is also crucial to find out if they offer all meals or just breakfast and dinner.

The small bus with bags on a roof

Road trips Are The Best! Why This Is True

There can be no greater joy than simply loading up the car and setting out om a trip to a far destination. This is one of the occasions where the journey is much more important than the final destination.

A road trip is A rite of passage for those who have just entered adulthood and are preparing to take their places as productive members of society. But it is also a tremendously fun experience for families.

But what is it about road trips that makes them such a life altering experience for those who take part in such an adventure?

Firstly there is the preparation. The excitement of preparing for the ideal road trip is part and parcel of what makes the experience so unique. Rather than simply packing bags for a trip on an airline carrier a road trip must involve some extra careful planning. Choose a rental company carefully (try http://www.rentco.com.au/). There are the snacks and hydration materials that must be carried in the motor vehicle. Then there is the careful packing – and all this time the excitement rises.

But even before this there is the careful planning. In this day and age of cheap air travel the attraction of simply planning a multi hour – or even multi day trip tend to be overlooked.

We use GPS systems on our smart devices to plan out every day movements, but a trip that may take place over a number of hours, with family may not be something that we think about. Planning such a trip may make the trip itself more important than the final destination – especially if there are children involved.

It is those trips that may make the memories that will last a lifetime.

Taking the highways and byways that connect our major cities or points of interest can be an adventure in itself.

The joy of stopping at local points of interest along the way is part and parcel of what makes road trips such an attractive proposition for those who want to cement the relationship between family members. A snack bought at a roadside stop while filling up with petrol can do more for the relationship between parents and their children than a year in a park. the sheer joy of the new experience can be seen in the delight that children take in the simple snacks that are purchased for them.
Stopping at an attraction along the way can allow children to explore both their creativity and the wonder that they have in the country that they call home.

The continual calls of ‘are we there yet?’ are a small price to pay when it comes to spending some quality time alone – be it in a motor vehicle, with those who are part of our family.

Road trips are not only a time to enjoy family, they are also a time to explore what makes us part of that family. We get to know each other in the confines of a small space. we have fun and is that not the point of travelling?

Top 20 safest airlines to fly with – 2017

The 2017 annual survey for airline safety ratings was done by the world’s only safety ratings website namely AirlineRatings.com.  They are an independent rating website for product and plane safety ratings.

From around the world, 425 airlines were surveyed, only 148 were given top marks with the rest coming in with only 3 or fewer stars out of a possible 7.

These star ratings are given for:

Not being on the EU’s blacklist

Airline is certified by IATA (International Air Transport Association)

Accident / crash record

Fleet grounding due to safety issues

To get into the top 20 airlines must show an exemplary level of operations and little to no incidents.  Budget airlines do not get given 7 stars!

The top 20 safest airlines for 2017 were as follows (they were not ranked by AirlineRatings.com but listed in alphabetical order except for the airline that came out tops):

The safest airline for 2017 and taking the title for the fourth year in a row was Qantas.

The rest of the top 20 are:
  Air New Zealand
  Alaska Airline
  All Nippon Airways
  British Airways
  Cathay Pacific Airways
  Delta Air Line
  Etihad Airways
  Eva Air
  Finnair
  Hawaiian Airline
  Japan Airline
  KLM
  Lufthansa
  Scandinavian Airline System
  Singapore Airline
  Swiss
  United Airlines
  Virgin Atlantic
  Virgin Australia

For update-to-date airline and air travel news, https://www.airlineratings.com/ is a great source of information.  It lists a whole lot of news regarding new air craft carriers, what is happening within the airline and aircraft industries.  Flight tickets can be booked on the website, with detailed travel routes, what to expect on board each aircraft such as seat size, leg room, entertainment, meals, kid’s entertainment.
There are reviews, tips and helpful advice from travelers who have travelled on the various airlines for which they share their experiences user ratings.

The website lists the top safest low-cost airlines, each having passed strict IOSA (International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit) audits, there are over 1000 audit considerations plus having to show extremely good safety records.

Airlineratings.com list the following top ten safest low-cost budget-airlines for 2017:

  Aer Lingus
  Flybe
  HK Express
  Jetblue
  Jetstar Australia
  Jetstar Asia
  Thomas Cook
  Virgin America
  Vueling
  Westjet

Australia’s highest mountain is off-limits to tourists

Heard Island

An Australian external territory Heard Island is about 4000km from the Australian mainland and 1000 or so kilometers from Antarctica this island is home to the highest mountain in Australia, Mawson Peak at 2750m.  It is an active volcano with its latest eruption being in April 2013.  The island has a rich bird and marine life as well as some hardy plant species and boasts being the largest sub-Antarctic island with no human introduced plant species to the island.  The Island with its lack of human interference and inhabitants is a great sanctuary for some species to thrive.

Heard Island and McDonald Islands are said to be some of the most remote places on earth and lie on the Kerguelen Plateau located in the Indian Ocean.

It’s not that you cannot go only that going requires a skilled crew with a fully equipped expedition vessel and a willingness to sail the roughest toughest sea there is!  Getting there is not just a hop skip and jump across the grueling sea either it can take up to two weeks to get there.
Then there is the fact that you need the permission of the Australian Antarctic Division to do so!  Unless you have a better reason than “You want to check out the scenery and big active volcano because you think it would be cool!”  you are not likely to get it!

There are some other islands you can visit to see a big volcano and similar wildlife that are not only more readily accessible without all the hoopla of permissions and fully kitted out expedition vessels with their crew.  They are also a lot closer such as Montague which is off the coast of Narooma, New South Wales and White Island in New Zealand if seeing an active volcano is on your bucket list!

A festive season island getaway for the entire family

Finding great destinations for the family vacation is always taxing especially when there are kids involved.  You want somewhere for you as the parent(s) to go to relax, preferably with white sandy beaches, long cool cocktails and clear blue seas! But whilst you are soaking in the vitamin D and reading a good book what would the kids do?  Well if you went to the Vanuatu’s islands there would be plenty for them to do and your dream of an Island vacation suddenly becomes a reality!

Vanuatu’s Islands are only a couple of hours from Australia, filled with fun, adventure and amazing sites rounded off by the absolute freedom to unwind and do as you what you want as and when!  Oh, and you are bound to make new friends as the islands local’s have been voted as some of the happiest people alive time and again!

With chalets to hire where your front stairs leading into a clear blue ocean, palm trees swaying in the background, complimentary drinks on arrival, various free use of sports equipment, wi-fi, etc. it is the place you really want to be.

There is a lot of activities and sights to take in, here are a few:

Horse-back-riding – paths for all age groups and riding strengths. It is a fun family outing, a great way to explore the island and get a different view.

The Blue Lagoon – clear blue warm water, rope swings, picnic tables and all surrounded by a jungle.  Kids will love swinging themselves into the water.

Snorkeling – explore the crystal-clear waters

Jungle zip-line – fly through the treetops at a pace

Hideaway Island – and up close and personal interaction with nature and an underwater post office

Mele Cascades – a swim in the waterfalls surrounded by jungle

Dozens of beaches to choose from – there are about 83 beaches to choose from on all the islands

Village cultural tour – learn about the culture of the inhabitants of the island.

The Port Vila Market – this market runs seven days a week and has great local food, art and people.

Kustom Karnival Beach Bar –  for great sundowners and live music while the kids play

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