Author Archives: wordsabouttravel

Beeriliant Berlin Birthday Bash

Hallo Berlin

Hallo Berlin

So as it happens every 4 years a bunch of my mates who live in various places  across Ireland meet up and go on a weekend city break together in celebration of a birthday. The first time we went away it was Paris. Next we went to Rome. This time it was Berlin’s turn. Continue reading

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Tinakilly House Hotel Wicklow Weekender

Four poster bed Tinakilly

Four poster bed Tinakilly House Hotel

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My Dublin Bucket List

Seomra Spraoi cafe

Image courtesy of dublinwithfoodallergies.blogspot.ie

 

Since I am now based in Dublin and not currently travelling. I thought it would be an interesting idea to bring my sense of adventure and exploration to my own city. I want to recreate that sense of openess and curiosity that I bring with me while travelling. I want to discover new places, new people, create new memories, push the bounderies a little by doing things I would not do normally, to really experience this city. Continue reading

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Marketing a guesthouse or B&B online

Customers via Google to website

Getting more internet bookings to your website can be a challenge. Especially when you are juggling the day-to-day tasks for your small tourism business and working with limited resources. Often during the busy summer months you just don’t have the time to sit down and work out the nitty gritty of how to market your bed and breakfast. However, there are a few things I would recommend for you to consider if you want to increase online bookings.

 

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Irish Microbreweries the Black Sheep?

 

The Black Sheep Beer Menu - Capel Street, Dublin

The Black Sheep Beer Menu - Capel Street, Dublin

Since we’ve been away there has been a big increase in Irish microbreweries and pubs that stock their produce. I visited Against the Grain on Aungier Street with some mates from The Netherlands and decided to check out their sister pub on Capel Street The Black Sheep.

 

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Being Back in Dub Town

Airbnb Guinness Guestroom

Airbnb Guinness Guestroom

The good thing about returning home after extensive travelling and not having a 9-5 job is that you have lots of free time to explore your own city. A lot has changed in the 2 years I’ve been away from Dublin and I’m enjoying getting to know her again. Continue reading

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Top Travel Trends for 2012

Travel Screen Culture

Gadgetry set for world domination

It is no surprise that tablets, smart phones, e-readers and the like are now the mainstream. How the travel industry will embrace these technologies in 2012 will be interesting to witness.

 

 

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A walk, a fall, a beer & a bet – Dandenongs, Australia

Sherbrook Falls, Dandenongs, Australia

Sherbrook Falls, Dandenongs, Australia

I appreciate a state that gives its residents a day off for a horse race. The 5.6 million inhabitants of the State of Victoria are given a public holiday for the Melbourne Cup each year. So, to take advantage of this free time I roped a friend in to taking us on a road trip.

Sometimes you only realise how much you miss open space and nature when you escape from a metropolis. Ferntree Gully is in the Dandenong Ranges it is only about an hour from Melbourne CBD but feels like another world. Even in the carpark the green & red parrots swooped overhead and happily pottered about in gangs on the tarmac. The sounds were unfamiliar, the air pungent and the temperature was even a few degrees cooler. Continue reading

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Video of travel writer Pico Iyer


 

 

Travel writer Pico Iyer talks with Marcia Franklin about his journeys, his travel tips and his latest book, The Open Road, about the Dalai Lama. The conversation was taped at the 2010 Sun Valley Writers’ Conference.

 
I have just created a Youtube channel with a few interesting videos of various travel writers. Stop by and have a gander.
 

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Travel article round up

 

Travel Mags at Magnation Melbourne

Travel Mags at Magnation Melbourne

 

 

Here is a round up of various types of travel articles from writers I admire. Have a gander.

 

1) World’s Weirdest Animal Smuggling Incidents by Lola AkinmadeTravel + Leisure (Sept 2011)

2) Exploring the pass through province by Robin Esrock – The Globe and Mail (Aug 2011)

3) Magic Moments around Ireland by Manchán Mangan – The Irish Times (Sept 2011)

4) In the bush by Eva Holland – Vela Magazine (Nov 2011)

5) Dubai City Break Guide by Lara Dunston The Sunday Telegraph (Oct 2011)

 

If you have a recently published travel article you would like to see here. Let me know.

 

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[Guide] How to book a cheap flight

 

book a cheap flight to Bali

Bali flight

For me booking a plane ticket is like a game. This might seem a little weird for some. However, I adore the challenge of securing the lowest possible fare.   Often I am used as the go-to person to book a cheap flight. So I thought I would share a few tips with you.

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What am I doing in Melbourne?

view from the rooftop cinema melbourne australia

View from the Rooftop Cinema Melbourne, Australia

This question was asked quite a bit recently, so I decided it would be a good idea to divulge some background information. From October 2010 to April 2011 my boyfriend and I travelled through Thailand, China, Laos and Malaysia. I am not a digital nomad and we got our money for travel the old-fashioned way, by saving.

I was working in contract positions as well as freelance writing. After paying the bills and day-to-day living costs, it took us about 2 years to save up slowly bit by bit. Working hard for our freedom, we sacrificed nights out and buying any new stuff in the process.

However, we had done this all before in 2007 and in 2004 I packed up and moved to Amsterdam for 3 ½ years. Stuffing backpacks, calling the utility companies and just hitting the road for as long as we possibly can is something we are used to. It’s nor everyone, but I find it keeps life interesting.

This is not me trying to show off here, I just want to say that if you really want to travel you can always find a way to do so. Don’t let a mortgage, fixed contract or money be an excuse to prevent you from realising your travel dreams.

So back on topic what the hell am I doing in Melbourne? In April, we flew from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne basically to cash up. As Europe is in an economic catastrophe right now Australia is probably the best place to be. We are lucky that both our passports allow us to apply for a 1 year working holiday visa. I am working full time, writing part-time and my boyfriend is also working full-time and has several projects on the side. So we’re busy and back in saving mode. It kinda feels like being in limbo we are not quite travelling, not quite settled and we are far from home.

If we are able to reach our savings goal by next April we will have a lot of options. One of which is to live in Berlin for a year, en route visiting some of the pacific islands, Peru, New York, ….. ??

Any suggestions on my itinerary welcome!

 

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Melbournes artisan roasters pop up at Black Coffee

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I sampled some of Melbourne’s finest roasted coffee at the Black Coffee pop up last weekend. Continue reading

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Most scenic places I’ve been: Tad Fan Waterfalls, Bolaven Plateau, Laos

Tad Fan Waterfalls Bolavan Plateau Laos

Tad Fan Waterfalls Bolavan Plateau Laos

We peered out from a rickety wooden fence to look at the view. Wow. Parallel streams flowed down 120 meters to the pool below. The strong current smacking the rocky shelf half way, before descending further into a misty cloud. I stood mesmerised following one splash all the way down. We went to the restaurant balcony and zoned out on the view over lunch.


How to get to the Tad Fan Waterfalls:

1. Hire a motorbike from Pakse head East on Road 13 for around 40 km towards Pak Song
2. A tuk-tuk will take you to the falls for US$20 flat rate (source Travelfish.org)
3. The local bus costs 15,000 kip, and departs from Pakse’s Southern Bus Terminal (source Travelfish.org)

 

From my 2007 Asian Diary – Ourechoes.com

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Video of travel writer Dervla Murphy

 

To say I am a fan of Dervla Murphy would be somewhat of an understatement. It is not only the gargantuan stack of published works to her name that I admire, but how she embarks on travel. This writer is brazen, fearless and intrepid, while being sensitive to the environment and cultures she encounters. Travelling slowly, powered by sheer stamina, cycling and walking around the globe. Continue reading

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Most scenic places I’ve been: Termurun Waterfall, Langkawi, Malaysia

Termurun Waterfall, Langkawi, Malaysia

Temurun Waterfall, Langkawi, Malaysia

Langkawi is pretty well endowed when it comes to waterfalls. The Seven Wells is one of the big ones everybody notices. However,  there are a few less prominent falls that are still quite impressive such as the Temurun Waterfalls but they just don’t get the same attention. Continue reading

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65 Degrees Café – Boutique coffee roasters with buzzing baristas

65-degrees-cafe-Melbourne

65 degrees café, Exhibition Street, Melbourne

Lunch in Melbourne CBD can be difficult to navigate for a visitor. The city makes you work to find its treasures. It is well known for hiding bars down maze-like laneways for example. Sometimes, I find it is like an expedition to wade through the high street past cookie cutter cafés to unearth a cosy corner for a tasty treat. However, there are plenty of them lurking under the skin of the city you just have to know where to look.

Melbournites in general are a relatively laid back bunch, however, when it comes to coffee they don’t mess around. Coffee even has its own language here; long black (americano), flat white (latte),  short mac (Macchiato).

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Most scenic places I’ve visited: Ko Wai, Thailand

Ko Wai, Thailand

Most scenic places I have visited - Ko Wai, Thailand

This series is a visual ode to the most scenic places I have visited. I want to pay my respects to the places I have travelled for giving me such rich and memorable encounters. Hopefully, in the process I might also encourage others to go out and explore the world and be respectful and mindful of its beauty.

The photograph was taken from a sea kayak we had hired for the day on an attempt to circumnavigate the tiny  island of Ko Wai. As the island has no roads, no cars or other means of transport except a few small dirt paths the only way to get around is by sea.

En route, we passed dazzling turquoise coastlines, amazing coral life and jungle terrain that flowed almost to the shore. What is not shown however, is my terror.

As we moved further around the island, the waves became increasingly choppy.  We started taking on a lot of water. The wind also picked up slightly making it more difficult to steer and avoid the coral and rocky terrain that lurked underneath the surface threatening to damage the kayak.

When, we eventually did make it back, minutes before sunset fell. We all yelped a ‘wohoo’ as we arrived safely ashore. Dragging our sea soaked, exhausted bodies to the bar for a well deserved Singha beer.

How to get here:
From Bangkok take a bus to Laem Ngop pier then take a ferry to Ko Wai. Alternatively, take a ferry from Bang Bao on Ko Chang

 

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13 great travel industry blogs you must read

Tour Guide Sexy Rexy beside his bar in Negril, Jamaica

Tour Guide Sexy Rexy beside his bar in Negril, Jamaica

I found some great travel industry blogs I thought you might be interested in. They include blogs on what it’s like to run a guesthouse, some provide the latest in travel industry trends, hotel marketing or other insightful resources. In particular, I found the on-the-ground industry blogs to be fascinating. You can get a snapshot into a day in a life of a person in the tourism industry.

It would be a great exercise for many executives detached from the day-to-day consumer facing roles to experience being on the front line. (I would love to see a blog about that – the CEO as a reservations agent for a week) It might even provide more useful knowledge than commissioning that fancy expensive agency to give you a report about ‘why we are losing market share’ or ‘how can improve the customer experience’.

This is a working  list. So please feel free to leave a comment/reply below to add your suggestions. Is there a blog that you constantly read? Please let me know? Do you disagree with any on the list? Just tell me.

I have included links to the RSS feeds and Twitter so you can add them directly.

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