Category Archives: Travel


Auckland is a metropolitan city in New Zealand and is known to be the most populous city in the entire country. Surrounded by the Hauraki Gulf facing the Pacific Ocean and many mountain ranges, along with a warm climate and various attractions, Auckland has become one of the top tourist destinations in the entire New Zealand. It has many natural attractions as well as man-made ones. Let’s take a look at some of Auckland’s tourist attractions.

Bush and Beach Hobbiton Express

Not many people may know this, but actually New Zealand was the site where the entire Lord of the Rings movie trilogy was shot.  An upcoming film, The Hobbit, was also shot in New Zealand, not too far from Auckland, making for a nice day trip. In the Bush and Beach Hobbiton Express, you get to see the actual set of the film. One will see the actual Hobbit houses and feel as if you are part of the actual film. On top of visiting the set, you get a free souvenir to remind you of your “adventure”. More here.

SkyCity Auckland

SkyCity is another great place to visit when you are in Auckland. This location is famous of the tallest tower in the entire New Zealand measuring up to 1,076 feet. When you get on top of the tower, you get a 360 view of the entire city even up to 80 kilometers away from the base of the tower. There are also many fine dining restaurants in SkyCity that offers delicious gourmet and breathtaking view of the entire city especially during at night.

Zest Food Tours

Food lovers get to treat themselves with the different dishes and meals from different restaurants and food establishments in the city. The food establishments are all are different from each other, thus you get to taste a different menu every time. Beautiful ambience, great views and good service adds up to the beautiful food treat.

Brick Bay Wines and Sculpture Trail

If you want to feel what it’s like to be on the countryside, then this is the perfect place to visit. Few miles away from the city, this spot will surely take you away from the noise and pollution of a busy city. You can visit the vineyard, feel the warm New Zealand sun and get to taste their wine fresh from the vineyard itself. You can also do hiking along the trails if you opt to.

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Here are some tips that will effectively make your trip more affordable; ways in which you can enjoy a vacation without having to spend a lot of money.

  • Booking airline tickets could be a bit challenging if you’re on a budget, but there are tricks on how you could be ahead of other customers. Most airlines will tell people about their promos by sending emails, so register in the airline of your choice (preferably a budget one) and wait for the announcements in your inbox. This is usually a battle of who can log-in first, so always being online is a plus.
  • Booking during holiday season or in dates where there are famous events happening will result to expensive fares, so you may want to set your next trip in off-peak dates. In terms of flight schedules, booking for a late night trip would be more affordable, as more people want to leave in the morning; and weekend flights are more likely to be pricier because more travelers prefer these days for their trips.
  • There are also promo bundles of airfare and hotels that would be offered in the airline, so don’t ignore these. Compute the money you have to spend on accommodation and see if the airline-hotel joint promotion will save you more cash–sometimes they actually do.
  • When booking for a hotel, it is best if you do it with online booking websites. Sites such as Agoda, Expedia, and BackBid have more affordable rates to offer, so choose this over having a direct transaction with the hotel of your choice. Both budget and luxury accommodations have tie-ins with travel booking websites, so you will be in good hands.
  • Check accommodation status before departure – There have been stories wherein guests would arrive at a hotel and find that it’s fully booked, so after you’ve paid and received confirmation from the booking website (do this a day or two before you arrive), contact the hotel and ask if your reservation has already reached them.
  • Cut down on the beers. This does not mean that you should stay sober the entire time–a drink or two is always good, especially if you’re trying to socialize with new people.  Skipping those two bottles could already give you enough money for a filling lunch, so try to have some self-control and know what to prioritize. Besides, it’s always a better vacation if you can actually remember what happened the night before!
  •  This would make you have an idea of the money you should set aside for food. Look for recommendations and reviews of restaurants, bars, and cafes near where you’re going–you don’t want to end up in a place that would charge you triple the cost.

Apply these steps for you to have a wonderful time in another country and not have to spend all your life’s savings. Preparation is key–if you don’t rush things out and you plan early, you will have a lot of time to do arrangements and research. Good luck, and plan wisely!

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Hotel All Seasons Auckland is consciously aging and aging with grace. For some reasons, a lot of its amenities are either defective or under repair.  Because other than those few hitches, All Seasons Hotel Auckland is otherwise a great accommodation with quality service and a cordial and extremely friendly and helpful staff.


Perhaps compensating for its obvious problems on physical and sometimes functional aspect, All Seasons Auckland has built up a local/domestic reputation of being superbly friendly to its guests. It has made it a point that guests’ expectations are met and whatever disappointment they may have during their stay shall be covered by a good impression on service.

 But as you climb floors you will not only get the peace you want but also a nice view at the harbor horizons and the city lights at night. All the 141 rooms have different view and environmental relationship to its surrounding environs depending on the angle it affords with respect to the sceneries, the distance from the streets and the functionality of the surrounding amenities.

Rooms feature a kitchenette and wash nook, with a simple TV and radio set serving the entertainment requirements of guests. High speed internet connectivity is also available.

Located at a spot that is easy for Auckland adventure travelers and with a price that is most reasonable, Hotel All Star Auckland is right where it should be and with the right upgrade, it has the potential of attracting more guests.

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New Zealand is mostly famous for its green pastures and its relatively nature picturesque view of the mountain top. But behind that stunning view lying in the Northern Island are the famous Auckland hotels tourists are tirelessly raving about.


The Auckland region, though widely populated, home to almost a million people, still holds intact its rich culture and elaborate harbors made real in the Auckland hotels, particularly the Pullman Auckland Hotel, an upscale hotel made for business and leisure.

Surrounding the said hotel are designer shops, world-class restaurants, extraordinary museums and art galleries, and stylish night clubs made for both looking for a place to relax, enjoy, and most of all, have fun.

The Pullman Auckland Hotel is one of the largest in the Auckland regions located at the very heart, flaunting its flawless style and design.

Although close to keeping intact the culture of New Zealand, it still keeps pace with the scrumptious New York fashion its international restaurant exudes. Located at the hotel’s lobby, you definitely could not miss its memorable décor, more so, the whiff of the cuisines served fresh.

For those who are more active and sports oriented, the hotel also offers a variety of choices you can definitely choose from. From outdoor sports such as swimming, football, quad biking, and horse back riding, and rafting among others to cooling down afterwards, via a dip in the Jacuzzi or spending time at the sauna – is always the best way to end a good workout.

If you’re one who likes to indulge in catching up with the whims of the world, and is still drawn to be updated by your gadgets on hand, the Pullman Auckland Hotel also has Wi-Fi access in the entire vicinity of the hotel.

Though New Zealand may be a big country, the Auckland Hotels she is famous for is one giant in itself as it is one avenue wherein New Zealand is not only able to enrich its culture, it also becomes a haven of a new experiences for people coming in to experience Auckland at its best.

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Flying could be complicated if it’s your first time. The processes you’ll have to go through in the airport alone could already be stressful, as you’d have to go through different windows and security stops even before you get to the aircraft.


Don’t let these things scare you. With proper preparation, you will be able to get to your destination smoothly. If you’ll be taking your very first airplane ride soon, read on. Here are some tips that will help you  have a trouble-free trip.

1. Research before you leave.

Each airport / airline is different, and you should get to know the rules days before you fly. Go to your airline’s website and look at the rules and regulations. For example, if you are departing from Auckland International Airport, then you should checkout the Airport Information section (of their website). This is where you’ll find the things that you should and shouldn’t bring. Some of the most important details that you have to pay attention to are: luggage requirements and weight limits (how many carry-ons are allowed, how many bags can you check-in without additional charges), and rules on liquids and gels (hair products, perfumes).

2. Make sure you have all the necessary documents for the flight ready (print extras, too).

Aside from your passport, ticket, and itinerary, you should also have at least two I.D.s with you (most check-ins would require identification with photo). Print extras of all your important documents and put them in different bags so you’ll instantly have back-up in case you misplace a set.

3. Wear clothes you are comfortable for your flight 

Most airports will require you to take off your shoes, jacket, and accessories (or other forms of metal such as keys), so dress up in comfy clothes to make the process move faster.

4. Arrive at the airport early.

Frequent travelers would usually be in the airport two hours or less before the flight.  You will most likely ask questions on where to go and what to do when you get there, so you’ll need more time. Here’s the usual process in most airports:

– Show ticket and passport to security at the entrance.

This is also where you’ll be assigned a seat (window, center, or aisle).

– Go to the check-in terminal and go through inspection / scan by security.

– Go to your gate and wait until they call you for boarding (if you’re there early, you can go around the airport, eat, and maybe do some shopping).

5. When you’re already in the plane, put your carry-on in the compartment and take a seat. Listen to the safety video and watch the flight attendants demonstrate all the security measures.

6. It’s normal to be nervous on your first time on an airplane, but try your best to relax. If listening to music, reading a book, or watching a movie will help you ease up, take some with you. Entertainment will be provided in most flights, but it’s better if you bring your own. If you’re feeling uneasy, you can let the flight attendants know that it’s your first time–they would check up on you every once in a while during your flight. Also, do not forget to ask questions. The crew will always be ready to help you out.

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Having two or more bags for traveling is not a problem, as you just need to throw in just about any stuff you think you need in your luggage. Sometimes, however, if you need to travel with just one bag, things could be way more complicated–careful choosing and deliberation must be done, as you will need to squeeze in all the necessities for the small space you have. 

Why travel light. …?

Before we give the tips, let’s enumerate some advantages of traveling light.

1. It’s cheaper – By having just one carry-on bag, you don’t have to pay the fees for excess baggage (this varies, so better check your airline for rates. By traveling with a single bag, you will also get to skip the usually-overpriced taxis and private vehicles and take public transportation like trains, buses, and shuttles instead. You won’t also be obliged to give tips to porters who will carry your other luggage.

2. You won’t have difficulty moving – mobility is one of the most important parts of travel, and if you don’t have much stuff to bring, you’ll easily be able to explore more places. Small bags will also save you from end-of-the-day back pains and throbbing arms. There’s a reason frequent flyers travel light…they have learnt the hard way that lugging a huge suitcase across a crowded airport terminal isn’t much fun, nor is dragging it in and out of taxis, buses and hotels. And unless you go upmarket you will be doing a lot of your own lugging!

3. It saves time – Having only carry-on luggage means you don’t have to wait for your other bags to go ’round and ’round the airport conveyor. Also, because you never know what will happen to your checked-in stuff while you’re in transit, you will not be at risk of waiting for delayed (and possibly damaged) luggage.

After choosing a bag (make sure that it fits the airline height and weight requirements for checked-in luggage–it’s usually 20lbs per bag), lay out all the things that you want to bring. Before packing, check everything twice, and only put them in the bag if you really need them. Don’t bring bulky items (big shampoo bottles, boxes of snacks) that will be available in your destination, and avoid bringing too many thick items of clothing.

Opt for doing your own laundry.

If you’re up for doing some laundry, bring a small pack of detergent with you. This way, you could wash your clothes immediately after you use them–these won’t feel like a chore, as you’d be washing them in small batches. If you don’t want to do your own washing but would be willing to shell out a small fee, you can ask the hotel to do it for you (they would usually give it back after 24 hours or less).

Roll your clothes.

This tried and tested way of packing will allow you to store more things in your bag. Aside from saving space, rolling clothes (many travelers even roll two items together) will also cause less wrinkles. This method will also allow you to easily find what you’re looking for–folded clothes will give you a harder time if you don’t want to take everything out of the bag.

Leave room for purchases/souvenirs.

Last but definitely not least: save some space for your purchases–pack your bag about two-thirds full so you’ll have extra storage. If this is not possible or if you think you’ll need a bigger space, you can also pack a separate light nylon bag that you can easily carry on your way back home.

Packing light won’t be difficult if you don’t rush, so take your time in listing/packing what you need. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to having less headache and hassles when you travel.

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How to shop abroad

Shopping is one of the most fun things to do when traveling. Before you start haggling and shelling out some hard-earned cash, however, you need to be take note of some guidelines on how to make the most out of your shopping experience. In no particular order, here are the things that all shoppers must keep in mind:

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Do some research before you leave.

There are two main shopping-related things that you must research on when before you leave home: the places where you can get the best deals and the local crime rate. Famous shopping destinations are easy targets, so you should be extra careful and be aware of the theft situation.

And once you arrive talk to the concierge at your hotel (eg. the Sofitel in Queenstown), they’ll be able to give you some insights into the local shopping scene and some local knowledge to help you snag some bargains.

Speak their language.

Learning how to speak in the country’s language would also help a lot. In addition to simple greetings and courtesies, you should also learn phrases like “how much?” or “can i get a discount?” to make the bargaining easier for both you and the seller.


You will not get a good deal if you do not haggle. In local stores or markets, you will really need to exercise your bargaining skills in order to save money. You must see to it, however, that you’ve already done your research about the haggling strategies in the the place you’re visiting, because these things vary in every country. Also, haggling should be a healthy transaction–you will not be able to get a good deal if you start raising your voice or start insulting the merchant.

Keep it simple.

Dress in simple clothes and do put that much jewelry on you when you go shopping. You will most likely have a more difficult time getting a good deal if you wear flashy outfits, because the sellers will instantly infer that you can easily afford what they’re selling.

Put your cash in different pockets.

This is one of the most common rules for traveling, but many forget or simply get too lazy to do it. If you’re going shopping, it’s a must to have small amounts with you because the chances of theft are higher–so place your money in different places like pockets, bags, purses, or wallets.

Go to different stores before you buy an item.

If you’re going to bazaars or markets, there will surely be competition, so it’s always best to walk around and compare prices first. Before you purchase anything, make sure that you’ve already hopped on several stores selling the same thing (this is one of the reasons why rushing will not be a good idea if you want to get the best deal).

Consider the space you have left on your luggage.

You’re on the other side of the world and you really want that vintage lamp or huge painting–they all may look wonderful and they’re way cheaper compared to the ones sold back home, but can you actually take it home with you? It’s possible to ship some extra or fragile items, but it would not be cheap. If shipping is not an option, however, you should be aware of how much space you have left in your bag and base your purchases from there.

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