Destination Tips – A Trip to Bali

Bali is an Indonesian Island, located west of the Lesser Sunda Islands. The climate is comfortable year-round making it a desirable vacation spot. Bali is known for its beautiful mountain and natural beach areas. There is an abundance of sea life, preservation of wildlife and coral reefs. The Padang-Padang beaches at the Bukit Peninsula are among the top three of the favourites for surfers. Nature lovers will surely love watching the manatees, dolphins and other marine life.

A vacation is certainly a time to enjoy and relax. The private Bali villa is a place to where you will be treated like royalty during your stay. Your private staff complete with butler, chef, housekeeping service and even a gardener and pool man who will take care of your every need. Often, your English speaking staff will do your marketing for only the freshest ingredients to prepare all of your meals. The Bali villa does not fall short of modern amenities to make your stay comfortable.

For a get away from the children, arrangements can be made with your staff, or you may want to consider day-care services that are provided by Cheeky Monkey.. The activities for the children, under the age of six, range from arts and crafts, mini golf, as well as singing and dancing, amidst a tropical garden. After a busy day, you can take your children to the cafe with special menus full of meals to accommodate the young palate.

There are a few activities which you surely will want to explore. The Elephant Safari Park is certainly something you and your family will never forget. Nobody should get tired, or complain of weary legs, since they will travel while sitting atop of an elephant. With your guide along, take advantage of experiencing the white waters during a water rafting tour. The tours in Bali are offers a variety of unforgettable experiences at reasonable fees when planned through a local tour agency.

Dance is very much part of the Bali culture, and something you surly do not want to miss. Before you leave, visit a Bali theatre for some of the most amazing shows ever known. Before you end your trip, surly you will want to learn a bit of Balinese dancing after your private dance performance while you may be relaxing in the garden of your private Bali Villa. Bali is absolutely amazing and breathtaking. The natural volcanoes, mountainsides, along with the exotic animals and birds, certainly explain why Bali is also called, “Land of The Gods.” Bali certainly is a paradise.

Affordable Travel Destination Tips

Your first stop should be at your local travel agent. Ask about special packages to specific destinations that don’t cost an arm and a leg to get to and see the sights. This opens the door to what is sometimes called ‘adventure’ travel. Ever been to the Galapagos Islands? This is an affordable vacation destination, as many travelers are now hearing. Costa Rica, a U.S. territory, is another popular and affordable travel destination. You have no exchange rate to worry about and by going to some of the more out of the way beach locations, you get a better flavor of the culture, enjoying pristine beaches that aren’t overrun with other tourists and at a very attractive price. Give your travel agent the parameters of what you’d like to get out of your vacation, as well as how much you can spend. He or she is going to work very hard to find an affordable travel package that satisfies your objectives and budget.

Do some research on the net, too. Scope out travel destinations you find appealing and try to get a baseline on cost of accommodations. Consider alternative accommodations, such as youth hostels, convents and monasteries (great places to stay, BTW) and residency apartments, sometimes known as ‘efficiencies’. For about the same price as a hotel, you can rent a furnished apartment, with a kitchen, cookware and bedding. It’s obvious you’ll cut your costs by shopping locally and eating at home. Affordable travel plans require flexibility.

Another strategy is to simply throw your wish list out in a Google search. For example, you’ve got a budget of $1000 and would like to get away for 7 days to a beach holiday in Costa Rica. Google it! Something like ‘travel package Costa Rica 6 nights’ ought to get you to a site offering a deal.

Your travel agent is your best ally in finding a good, affordable travel package. The agency makes a commission, but only if you buy the package! After making your own online investigations, see what your travel agent has found. It may be far better than what you were able to find on your own. Especially in difficult economic times, the sharp travel agent’s connections serve your needs well.

Boracay Destination Tips – Which Area Should You Stay in?

Boracay is a very popular beach destination in the Philippines. It is one of the most famous beaches in Asia. It is suitable for all ages, the water is clear and shallow which is safe for children, and there is plenty of night life for adults. The main area is a strip of lovely white sand called White Beach. It is a postcard perfect combination of palm trees and blue water.

There are other beaches on the island with resorts, but most people head for the long stretch of beach at White Beach. It is jam packed with hotels and restaurants and has options for all budgets. The beach is divided into 3 areas named stations 1-3.

Station 1 is at the north end, the sand is best here, it is amazingly powdery and white. Some of the top range accommodation is situated here like Discovery Shores, a hotel with private jacuzzis on the rooms’ balconies. There are mid range resorts in station one,/ and even a few budget places, but it is generally considered by the top range travellers.

Station 2 in the middle is the most busy area, this is where you will find most of the night life. There are tonnes of restaurants in this area too, many offer buffet meals at night on the beach. There are also shops in the D’mall shopping complex. This is a very busy area on holidays, so decide whether you want the convenience of being near the action or peace and quiet.

Station 3 at the south end is much quieter especially at the very foot of the beach, there are more budget resorts here. Long term guests like this are too because it is so quiet compared to Station 2. It can be a long walk to the action but trike taxis are always available to get you closer from the main road.

Destination Tips If You Are Going to Formentera

Going to Formentera is easy. You will just need to take the ferry from Denia, Barcleona, Alicante, Palma or Barcelona. There are regular crossings during the high season (May to September), but outside on this season your options are a lot more limited and you will almost certainly need to enter the island at the port of La Savina on a boat that has come from Ibiza. The crossing to Formentera from Ibiza should only take 30 minutes, but the channel of Es Freus does have some strong currents which can slow you down on a choppy seas.

Once you arrive at the port of La Savina, you will step off the boat to face the Tourist Information Office. This is a great first stop to pick up leaflets and maps, and chat to the staff about the best things to do. A nice lady named Carmen is usually at the office and more than happy to give practical advice and insider tips. What you decide to do will very much depend on how long you are planning to stay on the island. If it is just a day trip then you should exit La Savina and head to Es Trucadors.

Es Trucadors is an amazing stretch of white sand beaches, coves, islets, turquoise waters, views out to Es Vedra and S’Espalmador, and rampant naturism. If you are offended by naked bodies soaking up rays of sunshine then this may not be the place for you after all. However, if that is not a problem then you can cycle there in twenty minutes from La Savina and enjoy the views. Of all kinds.

Disney – Affordable Destination Tips

Is Disney an affordable place to go on a family vacation? It may be more affordable than ever to plan a great and memorable getaway for those young hearts who love the wonder of Disney. You can have a great time on a shoe string budget, it just may take some planning rightly.

You would be amazed that you can save hundreds if you get into the little tricks that few people are aware of. Disney some times has promotions that can save you big money. More savings can come in the form of a guide. These printed savings are great.

All inclusive packages can save you money too. And don’t overlook the savings that you can gain by ordering tickets in advance. A travel agent can guide you through this and may save you money if you don’t want the hassle of doing your own homework.

Disney sometimes offers great deals like free shuttle service and baggage. This keeps you organized and its free.

There is a lot you can do to avoid expenses on your room and dining out. Just plan a big meal once a day and try to eat on the cheap for the other meals. The children are more interested in Mickey anyway. Use little good judgment on games and trinkets, set a limit before you go and stay with it.

The internet is full of tips good and bad. Discounts and special offers abound. In magazines and other advertisements you may find some useful savings.

Just remember that you can save money this way, but be sure to get the facts from a real live person. The internet is also full of people trying to scam you into a dream vacation that may leave you on the street looking for a hotel that does not even exist.

Packages of all shapes and sizes exist. If you take the time you may find one that is a big bonus to you. For example some packages include free hotel and tickets for the kids. That is great if you are planning to take a large family.

Bali Destination Tips For Aussie Travellers

Bali Travel Tips

Seasons/When to go

Anytime is a great time to head to Bali. Dry season, which roughly runs from May to October is the most popular time to visit (with June/July sometimes totally overcrowded). Although during the wet season November to April still has some fantastic weather there is just more chance of rain. Having to sit back and wait for the rain to ease up is a good way to recover as it makes you stay in the one place long enough to soak up your surroundings that you may have strolled past quickly in a normal sunny day. The rainy season doesn’t really stop people enjoying their time in Bali, as any time here is a good time!

Getting cheap flights from Australia to Bali

There are quite a few airlines that can take you to from Oz to Bali. If you can try to avoid the peak times like the Australian school holidays (both secondary and university) and Christmas. June/July is the busiest period. Currently outside of these times you can get return flights into Bali from around $400 in tax, depending on your departure point. Very cheap!

Air Asia Asia’s budget airline. Extremely cheap, all you have to pay for is your food and drinks while onboard. There isn’t any in-flight entertainment although some of the flights can hire you a movie screen where you can watch TV shows and movies on demand.

Jetstar Another cheap option. Both airlines have great service, best to sign up to their websites email list and book when they send out their specials.

Strategic Air – A new full service airline from Perth to Bali, with rates similar to the no frills Jetstar and Air Asia

Check out sites like Jetabroad for cheap deals as well.

Don’t forget to check out qantas.com.au, garuda-indonesia.com, and singaporair.com even those these are known to be a bit more expensive than the no-frills airlines; they still have great specials that will bring them into line with the no-frills airline prices.

Costs

Bali is a very cheap destination, and with the Aussie dollar now buying almost double what it did last year a trip here is usually cheaper than staying within Australia. Depending on the type of traveler you are, you can opt for the 1 star hotels and guest houses to the 5 star and anything in between.

Food is extremely cheap as you can get your classic Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice) and Mee Goreng (fried Noodles) for 20,000 Rupiah a meal (approx AUD$2.20). This usually comes with a couple skewers of meat and a fried egg on top with the rice crackers on the side.

Bintang is the local beer and if you are a beer drinker, a delightful drop. A small Bintang will set you back 8,000 rupiah (Approx AUD$1) and a large Bintang 640ml’s 16,000 rupiah (Approx AUD$2.00). You can find Bintang anywhere from the local 7 eleven store to the markets (just ask the shop owner).

If shopping is your reason to go then Bali is the right choice! Anything from market shopping to retail outlets you will be able to find it here. In the retail outlets all prices are marked but head into the markets and its bargain time. Don’t forget to start off very cheap around 1/3 of the price they first gave you. Just remember that towards the end of the bargain you may only be arguing over a couple of dollars. Remember that bargaining is a custom, a way of laughing and interacting with the locals, it’s a way of life so don’t get mad or treat them like they are ripping you off just keep bargaining till you both agree on a fair price.

Domestic Airlines

If you want to travel around some of the surrounding islands to Bali quickly then flights is your option.

merpati.co.id

lionair.co.id

mandalaair.com

All these airlines are quite cheap; they can be booked online or through a travel agent while you are in Bali.

Getting from Denpassar airport to Kuta/Legian area

After collecting your bags and heading to the exit you will probably face the crowds of people holding signs and taxi drivers ready to pick you up. Just ignore these people and turn right to an isle of small shop windows.

Along this wall is a Taxi shop that sells one way fares for the taxis at 50,000 rupiah (about 6 Aussie dollars). This is the easiest way, as describing your hotel they will then organize a taxi to grab you and take you there. Don’t pay more than 50,000!

Accommodation options

You can get everything from backpacker accommodation to 5 star resorts.

Backpacker guest houses range from AUD$5 per night which normally also come with breakfast. Just make sure that you check out the room before checking in. You want to make sure that the standard is exactly what you’re after. Your $5 in backpacker accommodation will change depending on the area, the further away from the tourist trail the more you will get. In most backpacker accommodation in Bali you will get an en-suite, fan and double bed for your money.

If you’re on a budget but can afford to splurge a little then going with a 3 star is always a good option. There you will usually receive a pool, possibly a swim up bar, en-suite, double room, aircon, breakfast and usually a couple of other things thrown in.

Just remember with all the options, you are never in your hotel as there are so many activities to do during the day. It’s just a bed for the night; you just need to decide what level of luxury you want to sleep in.

Popular 1 star options are scattered around Poppies One and Two, two roads at the heart of Kuta (also the noisiest and most shambolic).

Popular and still cheap 3 Star options around Kuta are places like the Legian Jayakarta, and the infamous Bounty hotel.

Seminyak, up the beach from Kuta, is the more civilized alternative to Kuta/Legian. This area houses some spectacular 5 star hotels, as well as a few decent cheapies and some of the best restraunts on the island. This area is better for families if you feel the need to get away from the bogan/crowd factor in Kuta.

For a good website to look for rooms of all varieties check out asiarooms.com.

Getting around Bali

Taxis are around on every corner and will drive past you as you walk down the street asking if you need a taxi, so these are not hard to find. They are relatively cheap and if you catch the Blue Bird taxis they have a meter. Just make sure you tell them you want a meter before you hop into the taxi.

For the more adventures hiring a Motorcycle or Car is an option. Both are reasonably cheap and you have the freedom of driving wherever you want. The only downfall is the lack of road rules might be hard to navigate. A lot is done from the horn. Just remember its not rude to toot like it is regarded in Australia, it’s just signals to warn the other drivers.

1 toot – “hi I’m here”

2 toots – “move”

The other option is to hire a car with a driver. They are more than happy to drive you around and show you all the tourist destinations.

Beach Destinations

Kuta beach is the most popular and with all the action you can understand why everyone hangs around. You can hire a sun bed with a umbrella and relax while you watch all the action from the hawkers, masseuse to the tourists learning to surf.

If you want some quiet time with a more picturesque beach then heading over to Sanur or Nusa Dua is where you want to go. Only 30min drive from Kuta it’s a nice day trip to get out of the hustle and bustle of Kuta/Legian area.

Nyepi day

Nyepi day is Bali’s day of silence. This is Bali’s first day of the New Year celebrated in March; make sure to check out the coming dates as it changes each year.

The night before Nyepi day the Balinese celebrate by creating huge floats which they parade down the street. These floats seem to look like they are made out of papier-mâché but don’t be fooled into thinking they are like children’s art these have so much detail on them from the long eyelashes to the finger nails. Every inch of their creations have been thought about and well designed. These floats are Ogoh-ogoh which symbolizes the evil spirits which they have to get rid of out of their lives. These floats are tied onto bamboo which is then lifted by the dancers and they dance the floats around to the music. It’s quite incredible watching these huge creations dance around in fluid movements.

The next day is the day of silence, no one is to walk outside and this includes the tourist. Apparently as the story goes, the gods come down on the day of silence, look around Bali and then decide that Bali is inhabitable so they leave.

You cannot leave your hotel so make sure you have chosen one that has a restaurant inside and perhaps rent a DVD player and pick up some DVD’s to watch as if you try to leave the hotel staff will stop you as well as the police on the streets. Some of the hotels even go to lengths to put up black plastic to cover the entrances.

The Balinese love Nyepi day as it’s a day where they travel back home to spend it with their family, like how we spend Christmas.

Off the beaten path

Not really off the beaten trek, but Ubud is definitely worth a look. With awesome arts and crafts to monkey forest its worth the 1 hour drive to get there. You can stay up there with plenty of hotels offering cheap rooms. As you wonder around the town which is situated up in the mountains you will fall in love with the shopping, atmosphere and culture.

Balian is a village an hour or so north from Kuta.. A quiet alternative and more a village than the free for all of Kuta.

Also check out along the relatively new highway on the opposite side of the Island from Kuta. There’s some great surf spots and interesting villages to pass through.

Visas

Australians can get a 30 day visa on arrival which costs US$25 per person. It’s a bit of a myth that you need to have this $25.00 in USD: they will take Aussie dollars and you will get through just as quickly as if you had bothered to get the same in Us dollars before you arrive.

There are ATM’s at the airport which will give you decent rates (usually much better than changing money before you leave Australia).

If you liked this article check out my travel site Aussie Travel Advice. It’s a free and independent site with over 140 pages of travel advice and links, as well as our travel blog. It’s written by a former travel agent, doctor and journalist and contains the best travel tips for Australians going overseas.

Travel Destination Tips

Destination tips serve as a guide for a luxury vacation. Always remember the reason as to why you want to travel. Remember that travelling is always a good idea. It helps you see the world in a new and different perspective. You get a glimpse of their must try and to die for cuisines and the different tourist destinations.

Remember these travel destination tips when planning a trip.

Be open-minded. Try to learn about the place that you want to go to. With Internet access, it is very possible to get a grasp of what to expect from that place.

Be creative and consider underdogs: Try to pick locations that aren’t very familiar with tourists and be a little creative when visiting their tourist spots.

Be decisive: Don’t let peer pressure get to you. If your friends tell you that they’re going to visit the Eiffel tower and you’ve plan to visit the Maldives go for your first choice. Never regret so you don’t miss out on what you could experience in a certain place.

Ask yourself why: Remember to ask yourself the reason why you want to go there. Is it because you want to do some soul searching? Are you trying to reconnect with an old flame? Whatever maybe your purpose you always have to be definite because this will help you choose the perfect places to travel to.

Remember to remember: When travelling to a different place don’t forget to research about their culture and traditions. Furthermore, keep your valuables handy. Don’t let them out of your sight when travelling so better make sure that all of your must haves are in your travel pack.

Safe choices aren’t bad choices: If you want to travel but are having second thoughts about your safety and the location of your chosen place. Don’t worry and stop bugging yourself. If you feel like going to a different location is a perfect fit for you then try to choose the location where your heart is set in.

Go solo: You may wish to travel in groups but sometimes you must not be afraid to go alone. Going alone doesn’t mean you’re desperate or lonely. It will help you discover your abilities to be independent. You get to explore more places on your own without the hassle of worrying about your companions.

Don’t miss out on the backyard: Different places have different must try locations. They might offer pretty souvenirs or trinkets, their delicacies, and everything else in between. These little backyards will help you learn more about the place you are in.

Budget options: It doesn’t necessarily mean that when budget is tight you would not be able to enjoy different places and attractions. Try to choose the places where you spend less but enjoy a lot more. There are a lot of destinations right now that are not too expensive but have a wide array of travel and tour packages.