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Posted on Jun 11, 2010 in Travel |

“How much would it cost ?” Tool

We’ve found another useful online tool to introduce to the travel lovers – especially to those who like to budget their trips optimally.   With Kayak’s Tool, you can easily compare how much it will cost you to get to places all over the world as you see them on a map. Once you click on the spot you wish to know more about, you will see details on flight costs per person as well as prices for hotels in the area. You get pretty much all the information you need about the destination – how to get there, how much it will cost, where to stay, etc. Visa FirstMore...

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Posted on May 21, 2010 in Travel, Uncategorized |

Perky Facts about Australia and New Zealand

In Oz:   People drive on the left side of the road. Speed limit in towns and cities is 50 to 60 km/h, and 100km/h on the highways unless signs specify otherwise. In USA you are likely to hit a deer on the highway; in Aussie–watch out for kangaroos. Australian tourist information is available everywhere. The voltage is 220 volts, so make sure you get the correct plugs for your electric appliances. Aussie servers, drivers, and other service staff don’t expect to be tipped, so you are not obliged to do so, although if you are happy with the service, leaving change will make someone happy. Weather is not perfect everywhere and all the time. It does get from freezing cold to red hot depending on the area and time of year. For example, it’s hot in the North and West, and cold in Tasmania. January 26 is a national holiday. Salt water crocodiles could be found in any river or beach, so beware. There is usually a sign indicating if such creatures are inhabiting the area you plan to swim, so look around and talk with locals. Watch out your feet as 8 out of the 10 most dangerous snakes live in Oz. Instead of running or trying to kill it, however, just stay still until it goes away. The Tasmanian devil—the largest surviving carnivorous marsupial in Aussie–can be found only in Tasmania. It has black fur, pungent odour and is very loud when is stressed. Since 1941 it is an officially protected animal. Kangaroo is the national symbol of Oz. It is a marsupial and a macropod meaning “large foot.” Australia is said to be one of the best countries to be travelled by car despite its huge size (it’s the 6th largest country in the world).   In NZ: The best time to visit New Zealand is during the warmer months. Summer is from November through April. The most attractive months are February, March and April. The further you go south, the colder it gets. Don’t drink water from lakes, rivers, etc. because it contains the...

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Posted on May 20, 2010 in Travel |

Stay in Melbourne for Free

Yup, you got that right—you can stay for up to four nights for free in a hotel room in Melbourne between June 1 and August 31—as long as you are a social networker. “Melbourne’s booking agents are looking for people with a keen interest in a creative field (not necessarily their job) and strong social networking connections,” according to The online tourism guide Lost and Found offers the accommodation at the top of Little Collins Street. The room is furnished with products chosen specifically for their quality and to present Melbourne as the “city of creative people producing interesting things.” Guests can enjoy the free night at that room which is like a gallery showcasing artistic solutions from different designers and artists—from pillow cases, to lamps and lotions for the bathroom. “Part publication, part hotel room, part cultural therapist, part gallery and part guide” is how Lost and Found greets the visitors at their website In addition to the rather unusual offer, visitors will also have a private concierge who will make the bookings and will provide tips and information about exploring Melbourne. “Your concierge also writes copy for the Lost & Found publication so you can expect them to be very well informed,” Lost and Found say. Social networkers are the targeted guests because “social networking and digital media are now mainstream channels of communication,” Tourism Victoria’s Ali Garner, said. “These mediums are changing the way people travel, putting the consumer in control with the ability to create and share their own travel content.” For more information and reservation, visit Visa FirstMore...

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Posted on May 19, 2010 in Travel |

Airplanes Vs. Airports—Which One Is Filthier?

Opposite to most people’s expectations, travellers are more likely to catch a cold or flu at the airport rather than on the plane. Airports appear to be full of germs, and according to Dr Deborah Mills, from the Travel Medical Alliance, the airport toilets are filthy and third of people don’t wash their hands when going in and out of there. Mills added that it’s a misconception to think that the airconditioning at the airplane spreads viruses and gets people sick. In fact, getting sick on the plane is as likely as getting sick at a shopping center. “The air on the plane is funnelled through the jet engines to purify it which kills all the germs,” she said.”The way the airconditioning works is that when the plane is running it only goes over a few seats and then gets sucked in.” Specialists also warn that the sanitizing gels that are massively being used when travelling cannot replace the actual hand wash with soup and water because the gel doesn’t remove the dirt and germs, and it cannot kill tougher viruses like hepatitis A.   Source: Visa FirstMore...

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Posted on May 19, 2010 in Travel |

Guide Books and Maps Are Démodé—Rent a Local Friend

If you are travelling alone or if you have no idea where you are going; if you don’t know where to check for directions and how to get places—if only you had a local friend to ask… Guess what: You can now rent a local buddy. Thoughtful journalist Alice Moura from Brazil first came up with this simple but very useful idea, which is already an official service. She created the website where one can literally rent a local friend from the visited place. Since he is local, the “friend” will be able to show you hidden gems and make you blend in with the culture, so you can experience the local spirit to the fullest. This service is totally different from the usual organized guide tours and excursions which are quite limiting and not synchronized with the personal preferences. “I thought mostly of backpackers. But many clients are elderly people who like personalized service. We also have families that don’t like inflexible tours, and young people who want to know trendy places,” Moura said at The local buddy can take you anywhere you want according to your preferences and taste. He will take you places that are not popular tourist spots and only locals know of. Moura created this service after she had been a traveller for years and discovered that the best way to explore and understand a culture is when she was interacting with locals. Then, she wanted others to experience the same. The service is quickly gaining popularity and is now available in Brazil, USA, Portugal, Spain, UK, France, Italy, China and India. Moura said that many clients have remained friends with their guides and had a lot of fun. Here’s what somebody had to say about “Rent a Local Friend” at “During these days I can say I felt like a local. I had the opportunity to know the highlights of the city at the same time that I have discovered some exclusive and unique places that just Paris citizens know. I did not want to go that deep on history...

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Posted on Apr 7, 2010 in Travel |

Little Advice for Big Australia

Travelling does make you feel alive. Going places, meeting people and taking pictures is breath-taking, fulfilling and incomparable. Memories remain and make you feel nostalgic about the good times you once had. You don’t want to remember these times with regret. That is why you need to ensure the fun as much as possible. Planning the trip too much does not work out most of the times because it ruins the adventure. Knowing what’s coming up next just kills the excitement for some people. They prefer to hit the road with a small backpack–and improvise. It is truly great times–if you are lucky. A survey targeting backpackers from Ireland, who went to Australia,  showed that more than 35 per cent said they wished they had saved more money and hadn’t  spent it all in one place. Because they didn’t plan their budget, they missed the opportunity to visit all the places they originally intended to see. A common problem among backpackers on a working holiday visa is that they have had a hard time finding a job in Australia, and thus, they hated the whole travelling experience. Jobs are never guaranteed upfront, but one thing you can do is research where and what jobs are currently available. Try to contact some employers, send out resumes, contact with other travellers through forums and blogs for advice. Going with the flow also can get you trapped in one place, while the real action is still out there. It’ll be a shame to spend half of your trip in Sydney for example, as 8 per cent of the survey participants said. They all regretted that they didn’t leave the big city earlier, and that living there is really like living in any other big city. In short, planning without ruining the trip is possible–and smart. Researching the area you are going to, checking the weather and getting answers to your questions increases the satisfaction, and more importantly–it’s life-saving. blog.visafirst.comMore...

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