I had the pleasure of speaking at my 4th annual WITS (Women In Travel Summit) and I couldn’t be happier!
It’s also my first time in Milwaukee!
It’s also my first time in Milwaukee!
Israel, I’m really in Israel!
After flying to New York from Houston and landing in Tel Aviv, I was in awe. I’ve traveled quite a bit, but this is one country I never thought I would get to see, and yet there I was in the Holy Land!
Kia Ora from Auckland, New Zealand!
I have been in New Zealand for an entire month and I tell you, it is amazing here! The landscape is to die for, the locals are incredibly nice, and did I mention how beautiful it is here? For the past 30 days, I have been based out of Auckland but was fortunate enough to be able to explore Queenstown (South Island), Rotorua, Waitomo, Waiheke Island, Devonport, Rangitoto Island, and Coromandel. I’ve jumped off the SkyTower, Black Water rafted, relaxed on the Hot Water beach, stared in amazement of the beauty of Piha and Bethells beaches. I fell in love with Queenstown (and wanted to stay there for the rest of my life), partied in an ice bar, paraglided off of a 6000 foot mountain, sipped delicious wine on a vineyard in front of a fireplace, star gazed and even saw some of the planets (Saturn! It was so awesome), learned about the local Maori people and ate delicious food from their culture, hiked a deserted island, soaked in geo thermal pools at the Polynesian spa, and indulged in some of the most amazing deserts around Auckland.
It’s safe to say I’ve been a busy woman, and I have loved every bit of it!
I have been getting so many emails from people seeking recommendations for their travels to New Zealand and I’m here to help you out!
First- I recommend you save up as many days off as possible because you can’t even scratch the surface of this beautiful country in less than a month. But if you have at least a week, I can still give you some awesome ideas on how to make the most of your trip.
All the following itineraries are assuming you will be based in Auckland!
Day 1: Get checked into your hotel, relax, and eat a good meal. Then head out to the SkyTower in the center of the CBD and jump 636 feet from the tower! After you jump, you get free entrance to the viewing deck of the SkyTower, so go have a look.
Explore the shopping area on Queens Street and make sure you grab a delicious coffee (The coffee in NZ is amazing!!).
Go to the iSite tour desk (there’s one located in the Skytower; the same location where you book your SkyJump) and book your excursions for the week.
Day 2: Catch a 45 minute ferry over to Waiheke Island for a day of wine tasting. Waiheke Island is beautiful!!! The wine is just a plus.
Day 3: Get a rental car for 3 days and today visit Piha Beach and Bethells Beach, which are both black sand beaches. These beaches are incredibly beautiful; you will not be disappointed! Be prepared to drive on the left side on the road. You may want to practice on a quiet road before you hit the highway.
Day 4: Wake up early and head to Rotorua (a 3-hour drive) and visit the Polynesian Spa during the day and the Maori dinner event that night.
Day 5: Leave Rotorua and head to Waitomi for black water rafting. Be prepared for cold water. Then, head back to Auckland after your excursion (about a 4-hour drive)
Day 6: Catch another ferry from the CBD to Devonport (15 minute ride) and rent a bike and ride around the island. Don’t forget to stop by the tasty chocolate factory!
Day 7: Visit the Sylvia Park mall for some shopping. When you are finished, head to Parnell Street and stop by Casa del Gelato for the most amazing milkshake of your life.
All of the activities from above PLUS
Day 8: Catch a 2-hour flight from Auckland to Queenstown. Stay for 3 nights.
Day 9: Choose the adventure of your choice (skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, etc.). After your dare devil activity, grab a drink at the Ice Bar. But before partaking in your favorite cocktail, grab a bite at the world famous Fergburger. The burgers are like nothing I’ve ever tasted.
Day 10: Go on the 8-hour excursion to the Milford Sound (One of the most surreal views of your life!)
Day 11: Head back to Auckland. Enjoy the opportunity to have a multicultural dining experience of your choice. Auckland has a plethora of cultural dining choices, from Indian to Thai.
Day 12: Catch a ferry to Coromandel and explore the Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove. This will be an all-day event. Wear comfy shoes and be prepared to walk for at least 2 hours. Beware: there is very little to do in the small town of Coromandel, so you should book a tour. If you buy a ticket to just visit the town, I can guarantee a bit of disappointment. The ferry times are intermittent.
Day 13: Catch a ferry to Rangitoto Island and enjoy a hike on the secluded island! New Zealand is unique in that it doesn’t have pests. So while on your hike, you won’t have to worry about any furry friends trying to join you on your adventure.
Day 14: Catch the bus from the city and go explore Takapuna Beach. Takapuna is a quiet suburb of Auckland and only a 15-20 minute bus ride from Auckland CBD. Bring a book, and enjoy the sounds of the waves washing ashore. If you’re a dog lover, you will definitely enjoy the sights of dogs walking and playing with their owners.
4 weeks or 1 month:
Day 15 and 16: REST and do nothing. Watch a few movies, read a book, and sleep in late. You deserve it!
Day 17-30: Build your schedule according to your flavor. Stay longer in Queenstown, if adventure is your thing. Maybe visit Wellington or take a road trip through the North or South Islands.
Edited by: Tracy Daniel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There is nothing worse than booking a trip, packing to go, and arriving to the airport only to find out you needed a travel visa to enter the country! Believe it or not, this happens quite a a lot.I recently had a friend call me super excited about a trip to Brazil only for me to ask her about her visa and her appear dumbfounded. Not only did she not know she needed a visa, but she was due to leave out the next day- there was no way that was going to happen. Sadly, she lost out on the money she used for the flight and she took vacation days from work only to stay home and not use them for vacation.
I don’t want the same thing to happen to YOU ! When you find a flight deal, please check first to see if you need a visa, the costs of the visa, and how long it will take before you receive the visa!
Here are some of the most popular countries where USA passport holders NEED a travel visa! For a larger list, visit http://cibtvisas.com/visa-quick-check
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How would you like 30 minutes with me to pick my brain? Find out how to budget for travel, plan travel, and use travel to help you in your career!
As I am writing this entry, I am sitting in the airport in Hong Kong headed to Shanghai and it is really hard to leave this place. I landed in HK four days ago and literally hit the ground running. During my stay here I did everything from Disneyland, to the Star Ferry, Victoria’s Peak, Temple Street Night Market, and partied in Macau.
The top SIX things I learned about Hong Kong during my 4 day stay:
1. Hong Kong is a very international city. I saw almost every type of nationality and there are tons of expats who live here.
2. There are about 7 million people who live in Hong Kong and there are tons of buildings (housing) to prove it. There are so many tall skyscrapers here. (Very Tall Buildings)
3. Taxis are pretty cheap but the subway is SUPER cheap. The first two days I took a taxi everywhere I traveled and it wasn’t too expensive but the last two days, I took the MTR and that was super cheap!
4. Disneyland is super small. As a person who was born and raised two hours away from Disney World in Orlando, Florida, I was suprised to see how small Disneyland was, It is literlly probably half the size of one park in Orlando! It was still a great experience though and if you are in HK and have a few hours to spare, it is only HK $499 (about $59 USD) to visit compared ti the over $100USD tickets in the USA.
5. Even though 269 stairs up and 269 stairs sounds like ALOT it is worth it to visit the BIG BUDDHA. Just look at it like a two for one: free exercise and an opportunity to see the GIGANTIC BIG BUDDHA in person.
6. Hong Kong is pretty foggy in the spring.. My visit is in April and a lot of the time there was so much fog in the air!