Ideas, suggestions and recommendations that can help you choose from a more limited palette of options that we know — both from professional and personal experience.

Queenstown — Day 2

Oh the joys of not having to pack and unpack again! That’s probably the worst part about any itinerary that has you staying just one night at each location. The guest house that we’re staying at in Queenstown has the most extraordinary views over Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables and the couple who run it are delightful. Indeed, the whole B&B ‘experiment’ has been a resounding success to date as the accommodations chosen have been

Queenstown — Day 1

It’s often difficult when preparing a multi-centre itinerary such as this one to decide on how long to spend in each place. Should it be one night or two? Will there be enough to see and do there to justify the additional night? From the outset, I had decided to overnight in Queenstown for two nights whereas almost every place else on the itinerary was getting just one night. As it turns out, I made

Milford Sound

If you look at both Queenstown and Milford Sound on a map of the South Island, they appear to be approximately 70 or 80 kms apart but because of the tortuous topography of this part of the south island, you have to travel almost 290 kms via Te Anau in order to drive between them. The last 60 or 70 kms between Te Anau and Milford Sound itself is a lovely drive and passes through

Te Anau

Todays’ drive was a long one from Twizel to Te Anau, passing by Queenstown along the way. Door to door, the journey was about 385 kms and took about four and half hours, not including a stop for lunch that I took along the way in a place called Cromwell. Cromwell was a lovely looking town and someplace I would have liked to have spent more time in. It’s set in a very scenic location

Aoraki — Mt. Cook

When planning my trip to New Zealand, I considered a number of different options — hotels, camper van and bed & breakfasts. In the end, I opted to go down the B&B route. My reasoning was twofold: (1) B&B’s by their very nature, tend to have more character than the relative anonymity of hotels; (2) You’re more likely to get a feel of a country by statying in someone’s home and benefitting from their local

Twizel

Did nothing yesterday as was too tired from all the travelling and anyway needed to rest before hiring my 4x4 today. Didn’t even bother going in to the city as there was nothing much left of it to see anyway. The devastation is on a much larger scale than appeared to be indicated by any of the reports that I had seen on TV. I stayed in a B&B in one of the suburbs out

Christchurch

I arrived in Christchurch around 1.30 after having caught my connecting flight in Sydney. When you look at New Zealand on a map it looks quite close to Australia — almost like the way Ireland is close to England. What we forget however is the scale of both countries. The flight from Sydney to Christchurch took almost 3.5 hours. When I subsequently looked up the mileage between the two cities, I was surprise to find

Stopover in Singapore

It was only on my way out to the airport to catch my onward flight to Sydney that I passed by a cordoned off area of the city centre. It was then that the penny dropped.  The Formula 1 Grand Prix circus was in town (for three days as it turned out) so that probably explained the high prices everywhere. My 4-star hotel had cost me about €280 for the night which is not cheap

Singapore is not cheap!

Singapore has a well deserved reputation as a shoppers' paradise but prices have clearly risen sharply since I was last here years ago. Being a typical man, I'm a bit of a gadget freak so I set off for Funan Mall which was located about a 20 minute taxi ride away. Although the taxi itself was cheap (just over $6 Singapore or approximately €3.5) I struggled to find a single bargain in a shopping mall

The joys of international travel

Connected through Heathrow yesterday, having flown in from Dublin on Aer Lingus. Despite there being three hours connecting time between the flights, my bag never reached the Qantas flight in time with result that I have to kill 24 hours in Singapore in the clothes that I'm wearing. I got 100 Singapore dollars straight away which was something I suppose but it barely coverd the cost of a cheap shirt and underwear in M&S. Also

First Mobile Post

Wow! The onward march of technology never ceases to amaze me. So I can blog away on my forthcoming RTW trip, I've just added a neat app to my Samsung Galaxy SII that will enable me to upload content directly from my phone to the TravelBug website. How cool is that?

The art of getting a quote that is both competitive in price and relevant to your needs starts with gathering all the right information about what you want to do (or think you want to do!).