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Your Travel > Travel Tips

NEW ZEALAND

If you love Asian food I recommend that you experience the central food courts in Christchurch. The food is beautiful and within walking distance to the city with three foods courts to choose from. $15.00 per person is more than enough for dinner or lunch.

Activities in Christchurch - The Art Centre Markets is a must do for tourists. It is unique and you can pick up great hand made things direct from the crafters. Enjoy the delightful foods, live entertainment, handy crafts and much more. Make sure you also visit the Fudge Cottage, and at an additional cost you can also do a tour of this family owned business. The Art Centre Market is free to visit and is located in the grounds of the Art Centre on Saturdays until 4pm.

Auckland International Airport now has a new Airside Smoking balcony between immigration processing and the departure gates.

AUSTRALIA

It is a must when travelling to Western Australia to visit Rottnest Island just a 20 minute ferry ride off the coast of Fremantle. It is spectacular with white sand beaches and turquoise waters, an absolute paradise. The best way to get around the island is to hire a bike as it is a car free zone. Watch out for the Quokkas they are cute miniature kangaroos that are very tame.

When visiting Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland don't miss the Sunday markets held in the park grounds. Here you can find amazing arts and crafts.

It is still possible to take liquids onboard domestic flights within Australia, as it is here in NZ. So if you buy dutyfree on the way out, you can still transport it in your cabin bags domestically around Australia. It does not have to be placed into your stowed luggage.

The Margaret River region is Western Australia's premier wine region that is internationally known for its quality premium wine. It is a haven for lovers of food and wine. A must visit is the Chocolate Factory.

In Western Australia explore Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort where the wild dolphins come to play. The Resort is located in Shark Bay, a World Heritage marine park.

SOUTH AMERICA

In Mexico get an Authorised Taxi from the counter, they are at a fixed price for different areas of the city.

If visiting Mayan Ruins in Mexico go early in the morning when it is less crowded and not as hot as later in the day.

If in Cuba it is a must that you do a Cigar Factory Tour.

PACIFIC ISLANDS

A visit to the Cook Islands is not complete without a visit to Aitutaki. Even if you don't get to stay in Aitutaki make sure you do a day tour. Air Rarotonga operates regular schedules to Aitutaki, which is 220 kilometres north of Rarotonga and less than an hour's flight away.

When in Rarotonga make sure you visit the Saturday markets, a great opportunity to find that perfect black pearl.

EUROPE

If you're visiting a city for the first time, try and take a general sightseeing tour on your first day to acquaint yourself with the area. Then go back to the places that looked particularly interesting. A lot of European cities now offer sightseeing tours in Hop-On, Hop-Off double-decker buses - your tour price includes earphones that are plugged in at your seat. This type of sightseeing is highly recommended.

UK

If you're planning a trip to London a "flight" on the London Eye is a must. Tickets can be pre-booked via the internet and it's recommended that you arrive approximately 45 minutes before your "flight" due to the queues.

If visiting London, pre-purchase a London Travelcard before you leave New Zealand. Huge savings on the Underground and/or bus services throughout the city!

Rail travel within the UK - look for the local railway line website as their rates can often be cheaper pre-booking the tickets rather than booking through a wholesaler.

Air New Zealand - they now arrive into Terminal 1 at London Heathrow, connecting flights from the same airport need to be at least 2 to 3 hours after arrival as the gate you arrive in at is a long walk from the Customs hall. If traveling to one of the other airports from Heathrow to connect to Gatwick, Luton or Stansted at least 5 hours between is required as the M25 motorway is extremely busy every day of the week with constant road works so extra traveling time is required.

ASIA

If you visit Shanghai it is a must to visit the 'Shanghai Pu Dong Ya Tai Sheng Hui Clothing Gift Market', you will find the best copies of handbags, sunglasses, shoes, watches etc, from Gucci to Prada to Dolce & Gabbana, and much more. Make sure you bargain down to at least 60% of the price! Ride the 'MIT' train for about NZD40 cents, and get off at the stop labelled 'Science and Technology Museum'.

When travelling in the vicinity of Hong Kong, making time for a side trip to Macau is a great idea. Allow at least a couple of nights, rather than just an exhausting day tour by hydrofoil. The evening light shows on all the Casino buildings and famous Portugese cuisine are a real treat. But ensure you travel midweek as the weekends are hugely popular with local Chinese and hotel rates can double in price.

As a general rule, if you are travelling in China make sure you carry a handy supply of toilet paper with you for public toilets ... even in malls and department stores!!

New Zealand Dollars (NZD) are not that easy to exchange in Shanghai, and credit cards can not be used everywhere, so make sure you have thought about foreign currency before you go.

If you have planned a trip to Phi Phi Island, off Phuket in Thailand and you get sea sick easily DO NOT organise a transfer by ferry!! It is extremely rocky and the whole journey will take up half your day. Pay the extra to get a speedboat if you can find someone to split the cost. The Access Pool Resort and Spa is highly recommended in Karon Beach, Phuket. It is not too big or over-crowded, it is very elegant, every room has direct pool access out the back door, and the staff were fantastic!! Contact Capital Travel for more details.

AIRPORTS & TRAVELLING

With the new security regulations requiring passengers to carry liquids in a small clear plastic bag that can be separated from the rest of the carry-on luggage, it is recommended that you carry a spare plastic bag in case your original bag bursts at an inconvenient moment going through a security check.

When travelling with young children my tip would be to take not only a spare set of clothes on board for them, but a new top for you as well - just in case of those little accidents.

Have plenty of snacks for the kids as they can often be asleep on long flights when the food is being delivered. The airline will hold their food but will not re-heat the main meal - and nobody likes a cold dinner. This is also handy for the long check-in at the airport as it can keep them occupied whilst in queues or whilst waiting in the departures. When requesting seats with bassinets - the bassinets are not that long so beware. They are roughly 72cm from head to toe, so they may be handy but not at all comfortable for babies to sleep in as they can't stretch out.

Confused about the new regulations for 'LAG's' (Liquid, aerosols & gels) ... here is a handy tip. If you can pour it, pump it, drink it, squeeze it, spread it, smear it, spray it or spill it you need to lag bag it. (Current airport security regulations can be viewed at www.flysmart.govt.nz.)

More than two hours connecting time in Los Angeles Airport is advisable

OTHER

Weddings abroad - Highly recommended. Arrive at least three days prior to your wedding day so you can make sure all your last minute worries are taken care of.








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