Saturday, December 8, 2018

8 TIPS to an Amazing and Affordable Holiday


I know that each and every traveler will have their own preferences and way of travelling. I’ve been writing up so much on the places I travel and this time, I decided to do something more different and give a hint on how do I plan my itinerary and grab good deals. I do not really go all out into budget travelling, but I make sure to be able to get the most out of it at a lower cost. I am quite picky and hence, if you are like me, I pretty sure you understand what I mean. I usually make sure I save for a long time before heading on for a trip. I don’t spend much on the normal days so that I could spend it while I am out around the globe.

 Good Deals on Flight Tickets and Accommodation

The most obvious thing to do for good deals is usually buying your ticket much earlier and also keep up on the airlines newsletter on what are the latest deals. For most of us who are working or have inflexible time table, this would be hard because we wouldn’t know what happen and our timetable few months down the road. Hence, I would definitely say if you are really busy, always try to get tickets to places where its an off peak tourist season. For example, I bought my Slovenia return ticket for about 50 pounds which is actually quite reasonable since it was 6 days beforehand.

As for accommodation, there is always cheaper place to stay. You just need to work harder in looking. I would say in Europe, always go for the Boutique Hotels. They are really pretty and have quite the ambience and decoration giving you the feel of staying in that city. Usually, they provide breakfast which means you don’t have to worry about your meals. If you calculated it right, it’s actually more worth it than to eat out.


Planning the Itinerary

I know spontaneous trip can be really fun but I would definitely suggest to plan an itinerary before heading to a place. I am pretty sure everyone has their own bucket list. You can always start planning ahead before you even get the tickets, save it in your computer and open them when you need it. Planning an itinerary saves you so much trouble.

  • No confusion and won’t stressing out to find means of transportation and system
  • Efficient and Good Time Management. Won’t be wasting precious time trying to find out about a place before thinking of going.
  • Prepare the necessities you’ll need for the trip based on the activities that you will be doing.
  • Prioritization on the places you want to visit. Sometimes, a city/ country has so much to offer but yet you have limited time to explore these places.
A lot of people uses trip advisor but I tend to follow travel bloggers because their experience tend to me more suitable for me. They not only discover hidden gems because trip advisor only suggest mainstream places, they even give you an actual review about the place more often.

My other way include going to tour packages to look at their itinerary and plan mine by referring to those. These are mostly professionally planned itinerary and I'll always take those packages who had good reviews. Going on paid tour are usually much more expensive. Hence, this is one of my few tricks in getting a well planned itinerary.




Travelling Styles

I love planning my activities of various kind and visiting different things. This would mean that I will make sure when I visit a place, I would visit the historical landmark (museum and such), lookout points for city views, visiting different types of cities, theaters, zoo, beaches, coastal area (if they are popular for it), caves, water activities and going to their local market. A country / city has so much to offer so I don’t restrict myself to just one type of sightseeing. 

Certain people has more preference to make their trips just for hiking, history landmark, or water activities and that is totally fine because they might have their own priority which is awesome, ticking off their bucket list.




Sightseeing Entrance Ticket Deals

This is a major problem when it comes to trying to budget because entrance tickets can be so expensive at times. I usually like going to travel webpage that offer packages with 3 in 1 sightseeing which is a steal. My favourite was the one I got in NYC where I wait 80 pounds for 6 entrances tourist place which would have cost me 100 over pounds more.

Also, do check the entrance fees on their webpage before buying online. Sometimes online can be more expensive but most of the time, it’s much cheaper. Yes, again.. this is planning the itinerary. As I said, blogger who bought these packages usually share the link so I love reading bloggers pages.




Marketing Scam

As we all know, this is very popular all over the world and it’s really important that we know how to protect ourselves from these. Again, I have read up on experiences of bloggers who got scammed and share it out. Learn all of this to prevent them. Things to note:

  • If someone is offering to help you for free, there is definitely a catch. For example helping you to get a photo which then he / she charge you a high price for it. 
  • Giving you flowers and wrist band for free only to ask you for donation.
  • Taking you to places, offering you to give a market tour and then asking you to buy stuff forcefully from their friends (Pretty much common in Morocco cities)
  • If a deal is too cheap to be true, make sure to check the source and validity of the company or website.
There might be more and it will really be helpful for you guys to leave me a comment below if I missed out on anything. I will just add it up here for everyone’s information.

Pickpocket

Another common crime that a lot of us would experience when we are travelling. I would definitely suggest that for guys, if you are keeping wallet and stuff in your pocket, make sure to get jeans that have tight pockets. If there is any movement you will realise it for sure.

As for girls, make sure to carry sling bags facing you at the front and keep it zipped all the time. The problem with backpacks is that they usually silt open the bag and take everything out and before you know it, everything is gone.

We can’t stop this act but we can prevent it from happening to us. So why not, take precaution before we regret after.

Check the Weather

One thing I learn is that make sure to check the weather before heading off to certain places. I always make this mistakes where I put indoor activities during a good weather and outdoor activities when there’s a bad weather. Now, a week before I head over to the place, I make sure to rearrange my itinerary based on the weather to make the most out of it. In that case we won’t be annoyed and enjoy the activities as it is.




MOST IMPORTANTLY, HAVE FUN

Don’t get overly stress out over your travel trip. Remember that its something that relieve you from your stress and also taking a break out of work. If travelling is your work, you must love travelling for you to make it your life. Just keep remind yourself why did you start travelling. Always have fun and make the most of it. Don’t be stress out if you did not cover all the places, you can always come here again. The country/city will always be there.

If something unfortunate happen, don’t be too down over it. It something that has happened and all you need to do is just move on and try to enjoy on the rest of your trip.

I hope that this would be helpful for those of you out there and feel free to leave suggestion on anything that I’ve missed out.




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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Brisbane Travels

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland. Definitely a city to drop by for 1 - 2 days and spend at the same time, you can go over to Gold Coast or Cairns. Gold Coast for theme parks and Cairns for diving and the Great Barrier Reef. If you would like to know more what to do in these place feel free to click on link to find out!


Flew into Brisbane from Adelaide to travel around before heading back to Melbourne. I had a friend living there so I stayed at his place. It was nice because he had a car there which made it really easy to get around. So, what did I do there? I was there for 4 days 3 nights where I spend a day in Gold Coast.

Day 1

Lone Pine Koala Santuary

World largest and oldest (founded in 1927) koala sanctuary. I spend almost a full day here as there was quite a lot to do and see. Although its called a Koala Santuary, there is more than just Koala. There were the different species of birds (I LOVE THE BIRD SHOW). The show was very interactive. Also, every animal touristy area in Australia would definitely have the kangaroo and wallaby. You can feed them here as well.

There was so much going on in the place and I had a fun time and even a selfie with the koala. Their fur are so soft and nice to pet. They really do sleep a lot and I am amazed they sleep while hugging the trees. If I had to hold on something when I sleep, I’ll definitely fall from it.



Mount Coo-tha

To get Brisbane best view, head up to Mount Coo-tha, a lookout over Brisbane itself. Its super close by to the Koala Santuary which is perfect to get there on the same day. You can spend the whole day around Coo-tha going to the gardens and go for the hiking trails as well. There is also a planetarium there which you can go for stargazing.





Day 2

Brisbane CBD

We went around the square and wander around. Brisbane city is very similar to Adelaide CBD. They weren’t as crowded and busy as Sydney and Melbourne.

King George Square
This is a public square and also where the Brisbane City Hall was located. Since Christmas was just around the corner, there was this really big Christmas Tree there. We spend time exploring the square and the shops around it. I rarely go around squares in Australia but this one is the biggest I been to around Australia.  



South Bank
There was a man-made beach there which was the most crowded place I seen in Brisbane so far. I guess it was summer and since Australia only had 3 months of sun and most of them were windy and gloomy, they would maximize the beach activity as much as possible. Apart from that, you can visit the South Bank Parklands and the modern art gallery or even take the Wheel of Brisbane, a close up look of Brisbane city when you reach the peak.



City Hopper
Board the ferry and start exploring the city through the Brisbane river. You can make stops on the way which in my case I was heading to University of Queensland. This is like the cheapest way to explore a city. By means of a transportation to get you to places and at the same, you can to see most of the city and decide where would your next destination would be in.






University of Queensland
I absolutely love this university. I been to Cambridge and it definitely have that Cambridge feels in terms of the architecture of the university. There was a lot of green everywhere which made it really pleasing to the eyes. This is a public research university ranking in the top 50 worldwide and definitely should rank as the few top campus in the world. You can get to the university by bus or ferry.

Its super cool to actually get to university by ferry. You can the view of the city from the Brisbane river and at the same time, how many people go to university by a ferry? Super cool isn’t it. However, now let me get the picture to do the talking.








Basically after exploring the city, some wine tasting and cherry picking and encounters with the animals, that pretty much sum up my 7 days trips to Adelaide and Queensland.

Feel free to pin this onto your boardd....




Saturday, September 22, 2018

Italy Traventures : Top Sightseeing Places in Exploring the Beauty of Florence


The capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and also the most populous city there. People there are called Florentines or known as Florentino in Italian. The name comes from Latin word which gives a meaning of flower, in the sense of a flower blossoming. This is another city of Romance after Paris that is recommended by a lot of people to come with your partner.

After exploring Rome and coming over to Florence with more knowledge of the Roman history, we were pretty excited to travel around Florence. We heard great things about it and it’s actually a lot of my friends favourite city in Italy. We stayed at the city centre so it was easy to get around.  Our hotel reception was super friendly and gave us tips on how to get around with the main neighbourhood. We visited almost all the neighbor and these are the best places I picked that I really like and the highlights of my trip. 

Mercato di San Lorenzo



First stop was the market because we were super hungry. The famous bustling indoor and outdoor market where they sell all kind of stuff which include local arts, food, leather goods and also all kind of local food. If you are a fan of truffle, this market is filled with it. We had our meal at Nerbone which is located on the ground floor and it was super delicious. The best meal we had in Florence actually. We started the trip off on a good note and was already looking forward to the entire day.



There was two floors in the market and we were told the food court is not as good as the local stalls. The local introduced Nerbone to us and we went up to the food court as well. Although the food court look much more fancier but sometimes those are just pleasing to the eyes. Definitely suggest to head over the ground floor for more local food.

Basilica di San Lorenzo

Largest church in Florence which is super close by to the market. It is situated in the centre of the main market district. It a landmark Renaissance church and also a burial place of the Medici. All of these churches have really beautiful interior and if you have the time, do go in to stop by.


Galleria dell’ Accademia

Decided to make another visit to the museum where the David Michelangelo sculpture is presented. You must be wondering what’s so famous about this sculpture and what differ it from the others. It is THE masterpiece of Renaissance created in marble. A nude sculpture which is so craved in so much detailed. You can see veins in the hand and legs. The meticulous designed of the sculpture is what makes it so special. Before the final piece, there have been so many failed one and no one has yet manage to replicate such elegant piece.


Do note that we had to wait for about 45 minutes before we got it so to skip the queue please get tickets! J The entrance fees is slightly more expensive and we chose to go for this over the Uffizi Gallery. Partly because we weren’t really art people and thought we just visit the famous sculpture.

 Piazza del Duomo (Basilica Santa Maria del Flore)

The large city square which contains the Basilica of Santa Maria del Flore, the third largest cathedral in the world and the baptistery. The building craving and external interior of this building is really capitivating. A true beauty. If you climb up the Duomo, you’ll get an city view of Florence. I did not do this because not only the queue is long, I have already decided to head onto the lookout at Piazza Michangelo for a sunset view which you can see the cathedral itself. My friend did mention it is two different beauty but if you have the time, just head on to both.


Florence Baptistery

Baptistry of Saint John is another name for it. A religious building and has a status of a minor basilica. It is right beside the Florence cathedral so you don’t have to travel far. One of the most ancient and religious building in Florence. The Gate of Paradise right outside the baptistery is really stunning. Just another beauty of architecture right next to the cathedral.


Museo Galileo

History of science museum and Galileo was someone that I learned about back in high school about his inventions. If you are not interested you can definitely skip this but this has gave me a lot of insights about all the science invention and how it has come about. This is not a super big museum but just nice to spend 1.5 hours in it. The whole museum portray how has science help in building instrument and improvising it over time. It also showcase astronomer instruments as well which is quite interesting. There is an area which is interactive which makes you wonder. Its amazing what science can tell us.


Palazzo Vecchio

This is the town hall of Florence with a replica of the David Michangelo status. A castle like building accompany by a 311 foot high bell tower. Another museum in Florence. We did not went in for this but briefly pass by. We were heading over to Piazza Michangelo so we had to pass by the town hall but definitely suggest you to head there since I saw a really long queue. Feels like there must be something interesting there but I was chasing the sunset so I had my priorities.


Ponte Vecchio

A medieval stone segmental arch bridge over the Arno River overlooking the view by the river of the city. This was a really unique bridge as there were stores along the bridge but the main highlight for me was the design of the stores were really medieval. They had big brands store there but it brings you back to a different era as though there was much changes. It was indeed a good walk for us and admiring the beauty of the city from the river.




Piazza Michangelo

The HIGHLIGHT of my trip definitely! Climbing up was the toughest part for to head over to the lookout to witness the sunset and beauty of Florence from above. It was all worth it. The view was breathtaking and the best part is that this is FREE! Although a quick tip for you guys, please make sure you get there early if you want a space to witness the sunset in a comfortable area. Otherwise, you will cramming with everyone else and with taller people in front of you, it’ll block the view.




You can grab a beer and some small food and sit down to wait for the sunset. I did not have enough of the view. I stayed there for about 2 hours just to see the day turn night and get the view for both. Despite the hardship of climbing up a steep hill and steps, I felt like it was all worth it the moment I got hold of the view.

This pretty much sum up my highlight and recommendation in Florence where you really get to explore its beauty. If you wish to follow all my Italy traventure, I wrote up on my trip to RomePisa and Milan as well.



Saturday, September 15, 2018

5 Themeparks Adventure in Gold Coast that you CANNOT miss!

Gold Coast located at the South of Brisbane on Australia's east coast. Famous for their long sandy beaches, surfing and water activities and of course last but not least, THE THEME PARKS!
I may not seem like it but I love going for theme parks and the thrill rides. Where else if not in Gold Coast. There is like six main theme parks that you can visit and they are super duper fun. I was there in 2013 for 4 days visiting one theme park a day and again in 2015 for a day.

Here are the theme parks available in Gold Coast that you should drop by. They have theme parks that are family friendly, thriller rides for the youngster like me and also the water parks. Firstly, do not get these theme parks passes and tickets individuals as it will cost you so much more. Buy it in package online before you head there you will save lots. Each theme park would cost you at least $89 to $100 individually.

RECOMMENDED PACKAGES 

SKYPOINT is where you get a skyscraper of view for the entire Gold Coast. It's in the package so might as well make a visit and its a real beauty at night. I've been there and I really love it. 

Disclaimer : The photos was taken way back in 2013 from my really old iphone. Hence, the quality might be really poor and also it was so long ago, I couldn't really find most of it. I will give it a go and make do with what I have. 

The ranking of the theme parks are how I would really rank them to go and priortise. 

WARNER BROS MOVIE WORLD

A movie theme park in Gold Coast that was open in 1991. My favourite theme park among all because the rides were super fun and thrilled! Super scary! The only movie realted theme park in Australia with attraction ranging from motion simulators to roller coaster and slow river rides. There are also minor street shows all around where there will be performance by characters from Scooby-Doo and Shaggy and Looney Tunes character. 

Batman, Green Lantern and Superman are also there. You know where to go if you want a photo with these superheroes. My favourite ride was the Superman ride. It will go at a pace where you think that any other typical thrill ride and an announcement will come up to say "Hold on that, 3..2..1..." And there you go. The speed superman fly. Yep, before you know it you are heading up there on a super fast pace trying to catch your breathe while screaming your lungs out. 

The other rides were also super fun like the Gotham City and Green Lantern ride. The rest were the typical rides you would get. My highlight would definitely be the Gotham City Batman, Superman and Green Lantern ride. 


WET N' WILD

This was the most popular water theme park in Gold Coast. There are a couple water theme park but this has the best water rides in Gold Coast. It was also my favourite water theme park so far. I haven't been to many water theme parks but definitely open to any other recommendation that you guys have on this. In 2009, the park received 1,085,000 which rank 8th in the world which justify that this definitely is one fun thrilled water park. This theme park is much older, opened in 1984.



Source: Google Images 
As it was a water theme park, the moment I arrived, didn't waste any time, took no photos and hence, only took a photo from google image.

DREAMWORLD

Dreamworld is the largest theme park with 40 rides and attraction with several themed such as Rocky Hollow, Tiger Island, Town of Gold Rush, Dreamworks Experience and Ocean Parade. They not only have rides but collection of animal exhibits which is suitable for the younger kids which cannot take the thrill rides. Opened in 1981, this one has even more thrill rides than Movie World. However, I felt like the rides were much more older and hence, I don't feel as safe as sitting the rides in Movie World. It just me being paranoid but when the environment and decoration looks like its been a long time since refurbishment. 


However, I gotta say the most thrilled ride I sat was in Dreamworld. The name is Buzzsaw. It was an achievement photo for me. Basically the rides takes you all the way up and then you have a free fall down letting go two rounds which is super fun. That twist at the top where you turn 360 degree added the twist to your ride. I scream so much when I came down, I felt like I lost my voice. 


WHITE WATER WORLD

Opened in 2006, this is situated in the suburb of Coomera in Gold Coast. We wanted to go both white water world and wet and wild and we went both of them in a day. Not the best choice but we only had 4 days in Gold Coast. Either ways, we went there in the morning for about 4 hours. There wasnt any queue and we manage to sat almost all of the rides. It's very similar to wet and wild but lesser rides of course. If you have a less crowded water park, this is definitely your choice. The queue lines are much shorter as well .


Quick tip : My attire was not water friendly for sure. Changed into a t shirt and water based shorts. Do not that denim shorts are not allow in the rides. So be sure to make sure you wear the right attire and when visiting water parks.

SEA WORLD

This is more like an aquarium, a marine mammal park and sort of a mini themepark. It does not have as many rides but a lot of activities where you can interact with marine animals like the seal and dolphins. The rides are not the thrilling type as this theme park was meant for the family and kids. The rides were a lot of kids ride but honestly, I had fun playing those. It might seem childish and for 20 year olds to be playing against all the kids. 

But hey, it always important to keep the youth in you. Bringing you back to your childhood times as well. I had a great time and especially I absolutely love the dolphins show. They are such elegant yet playful animals.




Oh! Also, if you are there, make sure to chill and get sun tanned at Surfer Paradise as well! The beach is beautiful and it can get really crowded. I visited sea world on my second trip and i had to pay a full 80AUD for my entrance so please please get packages.

SKYPOINT

Located 230 metre from the ground, this place will get you the view of the City of Gold Coast. If you've been following my travel diaries, you will notice how much I love going up to skyscrapper and climbing up to high points to get views like this. My absolute and MUST Do things in a place. Any place that gives me a city views, you named it, I'll be going. I need capture a memory of all this cities. I cant go and visit them all but I would love to at least get an overview of it. 


I didn't manage to get the day view as I was too busy with all the theme park but night views are almost as beautiful. The lights make the city look so much more alive.

My take on this :
- These are the best 5 themeparks in Gold Coast that you cannot missed. They should be the priority
- Make sure to get recommended packages to make your trip worth.
- Make sure you get the right attire to the themeparks.













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