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Category Archive: Destination Travel Tips

The Yosakoi Dance Festival in Kochi

Yosakoi Festival
Yosakoi Dance Festival Parade © Courtesy of Kochi Prefecture

Quite often these days with all the Covid-19 restrictions, rules and travel bans, one question keeps coming up. Where shall we travel as soon as the travel restrictions are lifted?

I know very well where I will like to travel, where I will like to go back. Back to Kochi in Japan and join again the Yosakoi dance festival as we did in 2019.

Let me tell you bellow about one of the most memorable holidays that we ever had, our Yosakoi dance festival experience.

Visiting Kochi in Japan

Most travelers when they visit Japan, tend to travel to the well-known cities across the country, Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Kobe, etc. We wanted to go off the beaten track and avoid the tourist traps.

So, when I ask a Japanese friend of mine to recommend some less well-known places, he said “if you are going to Japan in August, you must visit Kochi and enjoy the Yosakoi dance festival. So, we did just that!

We flown with British Airways from London Heathrow to Tokyo International Airport an eleven and a half hours flight and from there with Japan Airlines in an hour and twenty minutes we were at Kochi Ryoma Airport in Nankoku city.

Yosakoi Dance Festival – Kochi 2019

Yosakoi Dancers
Yosakoi Dance Festival © Courtesy of Kochi Prefecture

The Yosakoi festival is one of Japan’s most celebrated festivals, it takes place the second week of August, from the 9th to the 12th for 4 days in the heart of Kochi City.

Around 18,000 dancers participate in more than 200 teams, including many teams from abroad, like US and Europe.
The participants in the festival wear traditional Japanese costumes, as they parade through the Kochi city, dancing and performing well orchestrated choreographies. In their hands they hold wooden hand clappers called “Naruko”.

Originally “Naruko” was an instrument used by Japanese farmers to scare and deter crows and other pests from attacking and destroying the rice fields. If used correctly they make quite a loud noise.

Also, it is considered a traditional toy for young kids. These days the Naruko hand clappers are used in Japanese dance festivals such as the Yosakoi, as a rhythm instrument held by the dancers.

What does Yosakoi means?

Yosakoi Dancer in Kochi
Female Dancer at the Yosakoi Dance Festival © Courtesy of Kochi Prefecture

That was my first question to our hostess in Kochi. Apparently the “Yosakoi” name comes from “Yosakoi Bushi” which is a folk song, from the Edo era (between 1603 & 1868) indigenous to the Tosa region, a former province of Japan in the area that is today the Kochi prefecture on Shikoku island.

The song is describing a love affair between a monk and a beautiful woman. “Yosakoi” means come and visit at night, and “Bushi” means warrior often used to refer to Samurai. So “Yosakoi Bushi” means, come and visit at night Samurai!

If you would like to hear a really beautiful version of the “Yosakoi Bushi” folk song check out the video here.

What are the rules of the Yosakoi Dance Festival?

Yosakoi Festival Kochi
Young Kids Dancing at the Yosakoi Dance Festival © Courtesy of Kochi Prefecture

The rules are actually quite simple, the Yosakoi dancers are required to march forward dancing while holding the “naruko” clappers in their hands.

The dancers have to incorporate phrases from the “Yosakoi Bushi” song into their dance music.

However, the style of the dance is free style. Participants can dance their own way and bring their own choreography. The regular participants in the festival are taking it very seriously and there is fierce competition between the teams to outperform each other.

There are also some teams who are open to join them for a small fee and participate in this vibrant festival from the inside.

It doesn’t really matter if you speak the local language or not, as long as you hold “naruko” in your hands and you are ready for a dance, you can join in. That’s the spirit of the Yosakoi festival. Yosakoi makes the world smile!

If you are not brave enough to join in, you can watch Yosakoi teams dancing throughout the day for free!

Kochi Castle

Kochi Castle Japan
Kochi Castle © Courtesy of Kochi Prefecture

Since you are in the city you have to visit the Kochi Castle. A very well-preserved castle with a wonderful museum next to it. The Kochi castle is actually one of the twelve Japanese castles with its original towers still intact.

The entrance to the gardens and the surrounding area is for free but if you wish to climb to the top of the castle, there is a fee of 300 Yen each (Two Pounds).

Also make sure you have a small plastic bag with you to put your shoes in, as you will be asked to take them off in order to climb the internal wooden staircase which is quite steep. So, make sure you have a thick pair of socks on.

The views from the top are magnificent, well worth the effort of climbing up and down the steep staircase.

The Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical Garden

Makino Botanical Garden Koch
Makino Botanical Gardens © Courtesy of Kochi Prefecture

This is another of our favorite spots in Kochi, the Makino botanical gardens are well worth a visit. A stunning display of orchids as well as some giant lily pads in the green house. Over 3000 different species of plants and flowers are in the botanical gardens.

You must see to appreciate and enjoy these lovely gardens. Make sure you allocate 3-4 hours at least for your visit, so you don’t rush. If you get thirsty or fancy a quick snack there is small cafe on the side of the botanical gardens.

Where to stay in Kochi

Sansuien Ryokan Kochi Japan
Sansuien ©

During our seven days in Kochi we stayed at Sansuien. A very beautiful Ryokan, which is a type of traditional Japanese inn, with a beautifully maintained garden. There was also a nice spa available for the guests to come and relax after a long day sight-seen.

The Makino Botanical Garden are within a short taxi ride from Sansuien, the Kochi Castel, was less than 10 minutes by foot and the city center was another 15 minutes stroll.

Best Marmaris Excursions for the Summer

Sunset in Marmaris Turkey

Have you booked your summer holidays yet? If you still thinking about it, take a minute to have a look at Marmaris excursions in Turkey. We were very lucky to have stayed in Marmaris for our holidays last year and we will not hesitate to go back to Turkey this summer. Would you join us?

The Mediterranean coast of Turkey is well known for the long sandy beaches, secluded bays and crystal-clear waters. These unique characteristics of the Mediterranean coast have made the Turkish holiday resorts very popular with the UK and the European travelers.

Resorts like Alanya, Kemer, Marmaris and Side can actually become very crowded during the summer months.

However, in Marmaris we have discovered a collection of Marmaris excursions that can provide even the most demanding travelers with a plethora of trips and activities to make your holidays in Turkey an unforgettable experience.

The number of Marmaris excursions on offer will satisfy the majority of travelers. For those who enjoy water sports and seek an adrenaline rush as well as for those who are looking for a relaxing holiday for the body and the mind.

The most popular Marmaris excursion is the Marmaris boat trips

Boat trips from Marmaris Excursions

The Marmaris boat trips are also known as the “floating” Marmaris excursions, are daily tours of approximately six to seven hours long.

Providing that your hotel is in Icmeler, Armutalan, Siteler or Marmaris city center, the Marmaris excursions team will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the harbor. The boats set off from the Marmaris harbor early in the morning.

On the boats you will be welcomed by English speaking crew who will be at your disposal for assistance and information during your trip. Most of the boats have two decks, and are fully-equipped including toilets, showers, sunbeds and bars.

During the seven hours trip you will have the opportunity to swim in the crystal-clear waters, visit secluded bays, and land on small islands with sandy beaches.

If you wish to take easy you can of course stay on the deck of the boat and sunbathe while you are sipping a beer or a cocktail from the bar. There are plenty of sunbeds on the boats, so no worries about finding a free space to lay your towel.

Marmaris Excursions for the adrenaline junkies

Boat trip in Turkey

Most holiday makers are after a relaxing holiday to recharge their batteries and detox from their stressful lives back home but if you are seeking an adrenaline rush during your holiday in Turkey, the Marmaris excursions team has a selection of activities to get the heart pumping.

The Marmaris excursions can be divided into two main groups. Those excursions that take place on the water and those that take place on the land.

Marmaris excursions by the sea
• Marmaris Scuba Diving
• Marmaris Rafting
• Marmaris Parasailing
• Marmaris Jet Ski
• Marmaris Speed Boat
• Marmaris Banana Ride
• Marmaris Flyboard
• Marmaris Fly Fish

As you can see the above excursions, are designed to appeal to travelers with different hobbies and interest. Yet, again they are all based on the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean coast.

Marmaris excursions on the land

Aqua Dream Water Park

Marmaris excursions on the lands are equally fun and exciting. A valid drivers license might be required for some of excursions.
• Marmaris Jeep Safari
• Marmaris Quad-Buggy Safari
• Marmaris Go Karting

No matter which group or tour you choose, you will not be disappointed.

Turkish Baths – The most relaxing Marmaris Excursions

Turkish Baths - Hammam in Marmaris

The Turkish Baths also known as Hammams are highly recommended. A unique experience that you have to try at least once. According to the local culture taking a Turkish bath will help you get rid of the stress, tiredness, negative energy, as well as improve your skin. You can make it a full day or a half day treat.

At the Hammams you can always order additional services like oil massages, mud baths, face masks and peeling applications, the more services you chose and combined the more enjoyment you will get from your visit to the baths.

Soft drinks as well as herbal teas are available to refresh you and stimulate your mind.

Which Marmaris Excursions is the best?

Believe me, this is not an easy question to answer. There are so many different Marmaris excursions and activist to choose from, that it will be very difficult not to find the one that suites your needs.

The staff at Marmaris Travel Agency have been arranging trips and excursions for many years. They have the local knowledge and experience to recommend a number of activities, for you. Without a doubt the Marmaris Excursions will be the highlight of your summer holidays this summer.

So, make sure that you specify what type of holidays you like and the local staff will provide you with the suitable type of excursions.

Where to stay in Marmaris

Grand Pasa Hotel in Marmaris

During our holidays in Marmaris last summer, we stayed at “Grand Pasa Hotel” 5-star luxurious hotel with an outdoor pool. There is a range of facilities on offer to those staying at the resort, including a kids swimming pool, an all-inclusive meal plan and meeting facilities.

The hotel is also a short walk from the Aqua Dream Water Park, which is very popular for families with young kids.

How to get to Marmaris

The Marmaris region is mainly served by two airports.

The first one is the Dalaman Airport (DLM) which is closer to Marmaris. A taxi ride from Dalaman Airport to Marmaris takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes and it costs around 200 Turkish Lyra.

Bodrum Airport (BJV) is the other option but it is further away from Marmaris in comparison to Dalaman airport. A taxi ride from Bodrum Airport to Marmaris takes approximately two hours and thirty minutes, and it costs around 600 Turkish Lyra.

If you land at Bordrum airport it is recommended to catch the bus which takes around four hours and ten minutes including a change over at Yatagan city. The bus fare is 80 to 120 Turkish Lyra per person.

Best taxi in Sheffield city center for airport transfers

Conrad Travel - The best taxi in Sheffield

Congratulations, you just booked your dream holiday abroad but you have not arranged your airport transfers yet? Don’t worry for those of you who live in Yorkshire, Conrad Travel has the solution for you. The best taxi in Sheffield by far.

Quite often we spent hours and hours planning our vacations, but we neglect to arrange our airport transfers on time and we rush the day before departure to arrange how to get to the airport on time, in comfort and without stress. Who needs stress when going on holidays??

Some of us due to our work we travel abroad regularly, and having a professional taxi company to rely on is very important.

Airport Transfers in Sheffield

Airport Transfers in Sheffield by Conrad Travel

Due to its location Sheffield, can be easily reached from most of the UK airports by public transport and minibus or cub hired. No point of asking relatives, friends or coworkers for a lift to the airport.

Also these days most people do not want to depend on others or asking favors, so the professional route is the best way to go.

Let’s see in more details what kind of airport transfer services you should expect from the main airports across the UK.

Doncaster Airport (DSA)

Doncaster Sheffield Airport, which is used to be called Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, is only three miles south-east of Doncaster town centre and 20 miles east of Sheffield.

  • By bus, the Stagecoach has a direct service the X6 running every day at 30 minutes intervals at a cost of 4.90 Pounds.
  • A Sheffield taxi it will take you 35 minutes at a cost of 45 pounds.

East Midlands Airport (EMA)

East Midlands Airport has managed to established itself as an important hub for low-cost airlines such as and Ryanair and tour operators like TUI Airways, which serve a number of domestic and international flights from the airport.

  • The Stagecoach bus service company will get you to East Midlands airport via Leicester with in 4 hours and 30 minutes. However, at St Margarets bus station in Leicester you will have to change bus and use the Skylink service to the airport. The cost of getting to the airport from Sheffield by bus is round 15.00 Pounds.
  • East midlands airport to Sheffield by taxi will cost 65 Pounds.

Manchester Airport (MAN)

Manchester airport is the third busiest airport in the United Kingdom in terms of passenger numbers and the busiest airport outside of London.

  • By bus, the National Express on a direct route will reach Manchester airport in 2 hour 40 minutes at a cost of 12 pounds.
  • By tain, TransPennine Express will take around 90 minutes at a cost of 12 to 25 Pounds depending the type of ticket you book.
  • An airport taxi Sheffield to Manchester will cost you 65 Pounds.

Leeds Bradford Airport. (LBA)

Leeds Bradford airport has become very popular in the last 10 years with the airline flying out to many European destinations from Leeds.

  • From Sheffield you can reach Leeds Bradford airport by bus in 2 hours and 30 minutes at a cost of 7.30 Pounds with National Express.
  • There is no direct train line to Leeds Bradford airport from Sheffield
  • An airport taxi, Sheffield to Leeds Bradford airport will set you back 65 Pounds.

Birmingham Airport (BHX)

Birmingham Airport is located approximately 7 miles East-Southeast of Birmingham city centre and 89 miles from Sheffield.

  • The National Express will get you to the Birmingham airport in 3 hour 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on the time of the day that you travel. The fair for the bus will be around 15 Pounds.
  • Sheffield to Birmingham airport by taxi will cost you 90 Pounds.

Heathrow Airport (LHR)

The Heathrow airport can be reached from Sheffield by car on different routes. Via M1 in 2 hours and 50 minutes as it 170 miles away from Sheffield. If M1 is busy with traffic you can also get to Heathrow via

  • There is a direct coach service from Sheffield with National Express from Sheffield coach station on Pond street to Heathrow terminals 2 and 3. Alternatively you can get to London Victoria coach Station and change to 444 coach to the airport. The direct line coach costs 32.50 Pounds and the indirect via Victoria starts at 12.50 pounds.
  • By train you can get to the airport from Sheffield with in 3 hours and 20 minutes. At a cost of 145 Pounds.
  • Conrad Travel, the Sheffield airport transfer company that we use for most of our trips in and around Sheffield quote us 180 Pounds for a transfer from Sheffield to Heathrow airport. It might sound a lot but for two or three people traveling together it works out a lot cheaper than the train and definitely a lot faster than the bus.

Luxury Taxi in Sheffield

When you travel to an airport on holidays you do not want to be late or miss a connection at a bus station or train station. That could mean missing your flight and ruin your entire holidays.

A Sheffield taxi company could get you to the airport and back at fair rates and in style, as most taxi companies these days have in their own fleet of luxury minibus for hire at very reasonable rates.

Authors Bio

Paul the author of the “Best taxi in Sheffield city center for airport transfers” is a digital nomad born and bred in West Yorkshire. When he is not jet setting around the world, he works for an IT company offering digital banking services to the UK banking sector.

How to rent a car in Crete after Brexit

rent a car in crete

Recently we got an email from Emily, one of our readers who is planning a trip to Greece in the summer and she was very concerned with how a possible no deal Brexit might affect her holiday to Crete. Her main concern was, would she be able to rent a car in Crete with a UK driving license after Brexit?

So we send out our resident fairies to investigate. First stop at the DVLA in Swansea.

DVLA (UK Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency)

The current DVLA law states that any driver with a full valid UK driving licence, is permitted to drive in any country in the EU or EEA.

In order to drive in countries outside the EU the driver will also need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP).

However, after Brexit takes place (whenever that might be) things might change. Especially after a no deal Brexit, renting a car in Crete or anywhere in EU or EEA might be difficult without the International Driving Permit.

There are currently three different types of the International Driving Permits depending on the destination country that you are intending to drive abroad.

  • The IDP 1926, based on the 1926 Paris International Convention related to Motor Traffic (permit to drive in Liechtenstein).
  • The IDP 1949, based on the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (permit to drive in Spain, Iceland, Malta and Cyprus).
  • The 2011 amended IDP, based on the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (permit to drive in all other EU countries, plus Norway and Switzerland).

Are you planning to rent a car in Crete?

Imaging that you arrived at the airport on Crete and when you go to pick up your rental at the car hire desk you find out that your UK driver licence is not valid for driving in Greece.

Even if the car hire company takes pity on you and decides not to spoil your vacations and hands you over the car keys, you better think twice.

If you get pulled over by the Greek police most probably you will get a fine for driving without a valid licence.

In the unfortunate event of a car accident your travel insurance as well as your car insurance will not cover you. So why take the risk?

Head to your local Post Office

Before you land on the beautiful island of Crete for you dream vacations make sure that you first stop at your local post office and apply for the International Driving Permit. It only costs £5.50.

At the post office you will need to bring with you:

  • Your full valid UK driving licence (photo-card or the older paper licence)
  • A passport sized photograph
  • The £5.50 application fee (cash or debit / credit card)
  • Original valid passport as proof of identification, if presenting an older paper version UK licence.

As we mentioned above there are three different types of the IDP but you don’t need to worry about which one you need, just tell the clerk at the post office counter, the country (Greece) or countries that you are intending to drive during your holidays abroad and they will supply you with the correct type of IDP.

Providing that you have with you all the supporting documents that are mentioned above, you will get your IDP over the counter on the same day.

Your international driving permit will be valid for 1 to 3 years from the date it is issued, depending on the type required.

The IDP should not be confused with an International Driving Licence – a document that can easily be purchased online but is not an official certificate and it is not accepted globally.

Renting a car in Crete

Monza rent a car in crete

When you rent a car in Crete or when you driving around the island you must always have with you, your UK driving licence as well as the International Driving Permit. The IDP on its own will not be valid without presenting your UK driving licence.

Now if you are looking for a reliable car rental company to use on Crete, we are happy to recommend MONZA Rent A Car ( ) a local family run business with many year’s of experience and with a large fleet of new rentals to satisfy even the most demanding drivers.

We hope this article sheds some light on renting a car in Crete or anywhere else in Europe after Brexit.

Traveler’s Guide to Guatemala: Cheap Hotels & Delicious Food

guatemala suvenirs salesman

I spent a month traveling through Guatemala and learned a lot about what a visitor needs to know to get through the country safely and have a pretty good time. Due to the low cost of living it can be a very cheap vacation, you can find some very cheap hotels throughout country.

By saving money on accommodation you are left with more money to spend on the delicious traditional food, Mayan art and jewelry. It’s a really beautiful country, no matter where you end up. Here are some tips which can make choosing your Guatemalan destination much easier.

The Sophisticated Shopper – Antigua

Antigua is a gorgeous town with a very metropolitan feeling. During the day there is a long strip of boutiques where you can buy anything from chic Paris fashion to traditional Mayan clothing.

There are street performers and artists that attract crowds until the night when this strip leads to great restaurants and clubs that create a pulsing night life.

There’s also a great central park where you can find a place to sit and people-watch and on occasion hear live music. The city has hiking all around for every level of expertise and you can be sure you’ll find a view that will take your breath away.

Antigua can be more expensive than other destinations, but you can get by with either dollars or quetzales (the local currency). Here the hotels are a bit more expensive, but you can easily find cheap hotels online or by just asking around the local Cafes. Most hotels here will accept major credit cards.

Selina cheap hotels

We stayed at Selina Antigua, on 6ta ave.norte 43A, which is something between a hotel and a modern hostel. If you are into classical cars you will love their recently restored VW Beetle and the yellow School Bus at the back yard, which has been transformed into a spacious chill out room.

We really enjoyed our stay at Selina. The cost of the accommodation was a little less than $20 a night.

Initially we had found on a travel guide a few cheap hotels just around the corner from Santa Catalina Arch, but Ronaldo at the reception of Selina was great when we pop in to ask for directions, so we decided to stay there.

A bit of advice on Antigua, instead of the over-priced souvenirs save your money for a great dinner and maybe a guided hike around.

The Beach Bum – Monterrico

To experience the lovely Guatemalan coastline Monterrico is an ideal location. It’s an incredibly relaxed area that’s perfect for the traveler who just wants to lay on the beach and have a cold drink in their hand.

In Monterrico you can choose between luxury five-star hotels and the many local guest houses. You will find cheap hotels as well as some very expensive hotels like the “Dos Mundos Pacific Resort’, it all depends on the needs of the traveler.  

Dos Mundos Pacific Resort

At Monterrico, you will also find many cafes and restaurants with plenty of fresh seafood, fresh fruits, right on the beach. Guatemala has black sand beaches that look amazing in any light, but here in Monterrico the water can be too rough for swimming–perfect if you just want to get your feet wet and get back in your hammock.

You can also find souvenirs for excellent prices if you walk into the town, though you may need some basic Spanish to communicate with the locals.

Antigua Guatemala -Cheap Hotels

The Student – Quetzaltenango (Xela)

Xela is an urban area that is full of students studying and learning Spanish. If you stay more than a week or two, you can enroll at a local school at a very low cost to take casual classes where they cover everything from grammar to salsa dancing.

Outside of school you may need more Spanish than in other locations because of the high indigenous population, though this really adds to the cultural experience here, where you can find the most authentic mixture of the new world and the old.

Mayan tradition is still obvious in the clothing, religion and superstitions in Xela and is an important part of understanding this area.

There are multiple active volcanoes in this area with guided climbs–during the day to see the lush valley and some at night to see the clear sky.

Xela has many great indoor and outdoor markets where you can find the freshest fruits and some of the best prices on jewelry, clothing and gifts for friends back home.

Tikal Guatemala

The Adventurer – Tikal

This historical site is truly amazing and is suited for the traveler who likes a little bit of exercise and a lot of great photo opportunities.

The ruins are magical and quite expansive–be ready for a day full of walking. It’s a chance to see the Guatemalan rain forest and if you’d like to see a coati mundi or hear the howler monkeys in the trees there’s no better place.

If you want to see the canopy of the rain forest from the sky, you can climb El Gran Jaguar, the tallest temple in Tikal and look down on the jungle below you. For nature lovers, animal lovers and history buffs Tikal is a wonder.

If you get a guide (which is really helpful) there are tours available in many languages. The souvenirs here are a little expensive because it is a tourist hot-spot, but some of the items here may only be available inside the park at Tikal.

About the Author

Nick, the author of the “Traveler’s Guide to Guatemala: Cheap Hotels & Delicious Food” is a full time Travel Consultant for Currently he is on a sabbatical leave, backpacking around Central and South America.

The Ultimate Packing Guide for Moving to Australia

Moving to Australia

Are you thinking of moving to Australia? At Hotels Fairy we drafted for you a brief packing guide with tips and advices for moving to the Oz.

In this article, we will be making a few suggestions that could help you decide how to pack for a long term move to Australia.

When planning to move abroad, one of the toughest decisions you will have to make is what to take along and what to leave behind.

If you are visiting Australia for a short duration, or maybe you have a short work contract in Melbourne, or even if you want to see what life in Australia is like for a few months before committing to a longer stay, you will simply take only what you are sure you will need for the duration of your visit. 

If you intend to relocate permanently, however, or for a longer period, you have a tougher choice to make.

Consider duration

If you are moving to Australia for a short time, between six months to a year, then it is a good idea to leave the bulk of your belongings behind. If you intend to keep your current home, you can leave your belongings right where they are, and carry only the essentials for life in your new city. If you will not be keeping your home, you can store your belongings with friends and family or use a paid storage facility.

But when you are moving permanently, you will want to find a balance between items that are practical and those that have emotional value.

Australia Nature

Consider climate

Another factor that should play an important role in deciding what you should move and what you should leave behind is the climate of your new city. For example, antiques and certain types of artwork may not do well in tropical climates.

Also, dry and hot climates can damage some furniture. You wouldn’t want to move those family heirlooms only to have the hot Australian climate damage them.

To prevent something like this from happening, do careful research on the climate of the Australian city you are moving to, and carry only items that would survive that climate.

Consider import restrictions

Every country places restrictions on certain items coming to their shores and Australia is no different. There are a number of things you are not allowed to take into Australia, including unprocessed food, certain types of plants, and pests.

In some cases, you will be allowed to take some of your items after they have gone through quarantine and you have been given a license, but it is still a very stressful process.

When planning your Australian move to Brisbane, for example, find out the items you will not be allowed to take into the country, so that you don’t waste your time and money. You can find more helpful guidance here.

Consider accommodation

The size of your Australian home will also determine how much you should take. Therefore, when planning for your Australian move, research the price of houses in the city of your choice, so that you will know ahead of time if you will be able to rent a big enough apartment, or make do with a smaller one.

However, whether you are renting a large apartment or a small one, make sure to have a good idea of the size, layout and dimensions of your new home and consider this when packing your belongings.

Port shipping containers

Consider shipping cost

After deciding on the important things that will accompany you to your new city, check shipping options and shipping costs, as this may affect your final decision. Depending on your travel budget, you may need to cut down on some of the items you want to take to your new home.

However, sometimes, the extra charges you will pay for shipping will be worth it, especially if there are certain items that you must carry to your new home.

If you are going to Australia to start a new job, you may want to find out what your new company’s policy on shipping household goods is.

Some companies will either pay for a certain number of belongings or reimburse you when you arrive. This will help offset some of the costs of shipping your household belongings. 

House for moving to Australia

Consider location

If you have a car, making up your mind as to whether to ship it or leave it behind can be a huge deal. For one thing, if you are moving to Australia for the long haul, there is no point leaving your car behind, you either sell it off or take it with you.

But, sometimes selling it may mean selling way below the market value. On the other hand, are you willing to go to the trouble of shipping a car to Australia?

Chances are good that you will need a car for moving about in Australia, especially if you find a house away from the city or business district. But unless you are familiar with the country’s import process, shipping a car into Australia can be a tricky business.

Australia has import laws aimed at discouraging car imports, except where you meet certain criteria. These are the Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme and the Personal Import Scheme that allows you to bring in a car if you intend to stay in Australia permanently, or for a long time. There are a number of rules and regulations that govern car imports into Australia. The key is to do careful research so that you know what to expect when shipping a car to Australia.

Mustang in Australian country side.

Travel essentials when moving to Australia

It is wise when packing for a trip, to scale down as much as you can and carry only the things that are essential to your journey.

This works well when you are going on a short holiday, but not when you are relocating to a new country. When moving to a new country, you want to have a lot of familiar items around you that will make your new home comfortable and help you settle in faster.

That said, there are certain items that must be in your packing checklist, whether you are travelling for one week, one year, or relocating permanently.

These items include:

  • Essential paperwork, such as passports, identity cards, international driver’s license, travel insurance policy, professional reference, credit cards and all other important documents that you will need in a new city.
  • Clothing: sensible clothes for the season and climate of the country you are travelling to.
  • Electronics, such as cell phones, laptops, chargers, eBook readers, and so on. Note that in Australia, there is a tariff on electronic appliances coming into the country. Unless you can show proof that you bought your electronic device within the past six months, you will be required to pay a percentage of the cost as tax.

In Conclusion

Moving to Australia or moving to any country for first time is never easy. When you are planning your trip abroad, you have to get your paperwork in order, and pack your belongings, there are just so many things that can go wrong.

However, leaving your packing in the hands of expert international movers will give you breathing space to handle the other important aspects of your relocation.

Tourico Vacation Reviews: Philadelphia Travel Guide Budget Style

Tourico Vacation Reviews: Philadelphia Summer Fun Travel Guide Budget Style

Planning on heading to the “City of Brotherly Love” this summer but your budget has been busted?

This is one city that won’t try to put a squeeze on your already tight wadded wallet. There are plenty to see in Philadelphia for travelers on a budget.

These are some tips & tricks that Tourico vacation has recommended to us

Things like using an Entertainment Book if you have one, or AAA membership card, or AARP card can all help travelers save money. If you have bought that AAA membership for road safety, it is good for so much more.

Tourico Vacation Reviews - The Borse

First make a bee-line for your local library or tourist office and grab a map of Philadelphia or a guide book on Philadelphia and browse through their hotel sections. They also have listings of things to do along with a listing of the prices. Take your cards with you. Be bold, be brazen with your cards. Lay all your cards on the table. Flash your AAA card, the AARP card, and Entertainment Book card if you have one.

You’d be surprised at how many places including retail stores will give you a discount just for flashing the cards. Entertainment Books are often half price after Christmas. They are available in most cities including Philly.

They can cut that restaurant tab in half if you are eating alone or provide other discounts off your meals and things to do in the area.

Travel Accommodations:

As I previously stated, AAA cards can be used to secure discounts on hotels. In the back, of the Entertainment Book you can find discounts hotels and rental cars and how to book them. If you are flying in you can often get a package deal on your flight and your accommodations when you book through a travel agent.

If you are flying into Philadelphia, many of the most of the inexpensive hotels are located around the airport. However, remember to figure in the added cost of transportation into your budget.

A Guide to Getting Around the City:

Philadelphia Summer Fun Travel Guide Budget Style by Tourico Vacation Reviews

You can easily rent a car when you fly into the city. However, I grew up on the outskirts of the city and I still found it hard to find my way around the city. I never went anywhere without my trusty Rand McNally Street Map of Philadelphia. Most Barnes and Nobles Stores and Amazon Books stores can order this precious lifesaver for you before you hit the road.

The city has a good transit system. The South East Transit Authority (SEPTA) is the name for the transit system in the city. Please call it SEPTA, if you call it ‘The South East Transit Authority”, most of the locals will look at you like you just landed from Mars.

The daily pass which will provide you with a limited number of trips on the bus, subway, or trolley. The train is not included. Or you can purchase a weekly pass if you stay longer. Prices and number of trips are changing from time to time so I’m not going to quote anything here.

There are also bikes to be rented throughout the city. As with any large city, there are some areas that are safe and some areas…well, not so much… especially after dark.

So you may want to avoid public transit or stay in well lighted areas after dark. Don’t let the City of Brotherly Love become the city where you get a not so friendly brotherly mugging or someone really puts the squeeze on you.

Tourico Vacation Travel Guide on What to Do:

Beer Garden in Philadelphia by Tourico Vacation

Philly has what is known as the Philadelphia City Pass. If you want the most bang for your buck this is the way to go. If you are only going to one or two places available on the list, this will not save you money. If you are going to more than that this is pass is a steal of a deal.

Even though I grew up on the outskirts of Philadelphia, it is my favorite way to be able to see various attractions in Philadelphia. The pass claims to provide over $350 worth of entrance fees for just $40.

My favorite haunt that you can take advantage of on the pass is Longwood Gardens. The Gardens feature ever changing displays and a great chance to enjoy nature, get exercise and see beauty all at the same time. Don’t miss out the main fountain garden, the Italian water garden and the open air theatre garden.

Talk about a steal of a deal. Recently the Gardens had a “make over” and they are even more breathtaking than they were before. The Orchid Room is a perennial favorite and if you get there for the July 4th celebration you’ll be in for a real treat.

If you like museums there is the Atwater Kent Museum, National Liberty Museum and the African American. For science buffs or budding nurses/doctors there is The Academy of Natural Sciences and The Franklin Institute Science Museum.

The pass offers many discounts and benefits with its purchase so be sure to check it out.

Morris Arboretum Philly

Close by to the city is Valley Forge Park. I have fond memories of commuting through the park to and from work. I would often take a picnic dinner with me and pull over for some time off prior to heading home. If you are in Philly, don’t miss this park or you may regret this historic landmark.

Philadelphia Travelers’ Guide to Eating out by Tourico Vacations

cheese-steak Philly

Philadelphia is known for its push-cart vendors. It is the home of the soft pretzel, with or without mustard. There are hot dog stands everywhere. And in Philly, they will look at you strange if you are over the age of five and attempt to put ketchup on your hot dog instead of mustard, so beware!

There are also vendors with Italian Water Ice to cool you on a hot summer day. You’ll even find industrious teenagers with red wagons and a blue igloo strapped to it with ice cold sodas.


As far as more traditional places to eat for my money I wouldn’t go any place else other than Barbuzzo.  Barbuzzo has been dishing out Mediterranean fare to the philly faithful for years now. This is ideal for day, night or any special occasion. Intimate and full of charm.

Termini Brothers bakery is also terrific and the Hard Rock Cafe has not failed me yet. Menu Pages can help you easily plan your lunches and dinners out in the city.

Luke’s Lobster Rittenhouse by Tourico Vacation Reviews

If you don’t allocate some money in your budget for a meal at Luke’s Lobster Rittenhouse you will be sorry and probably regret it for the rest of your life. This is where I fell in love with seafood as a teenager. I’ve been a seafood lover since then.

Well I think I have given you plenty to see and do in my old stomping grounds. I hope I was helpful to you and able to help guide you through your summer plans in planning a vacation to my beloved city.

Author’s Bio

Jeff Wilson, the author of the “Tourico Vacation Reviews: Philadelphia Summer Fun Travel Guide Budget Style” was born and bred in Philadelphia. He has been working in the tourism industry in the city for more than 10 years, he is currently with Tourico Vacations.