Archive for March, 2012

$562: New York to Paris

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Jaunt to Paris!

Fly on XL Airways France
Leave on May 16, 2012
Return on May 20, 2012
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Where to Find the Notorious Tasmanian Devil

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Perhaps no other indigenous Australian animal captures the imagination more than the Tasmanian devil. The largest carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil is actually a cute looking creature when it’s not baring its fangs. When it shows its fangs, though, you know in an instant where its name came from.

There was a time when Tassie devils roamed freely in many parts of Australia, but they are now found only in Tasmania. Shy, nocturnal animals, they are notoriously difficult to spot in the wild. While viewing them in a zoo is one way to see them, a better way is to view them in a natural setting. Conservation parks in Tasmania have come up with a unique way for visitors to see Tasmanian devils without having to keep them in captivity.

Tasmania has an abundance of wildlife. Unfortunately, where the wildlife is most abundant, it is often accidentally killed on Tasmanian roads. In the far northwest and far southeast of Tasmania, conservation park owners use the road kill constructively to both supplement the diets of Tasmanian devils and offer visitors a chance to see and appreciate them.

King’s Run

Right up in the remote northwest corner of Tasmania is the former cattle grazing land of King’s Run. Today, Geoff King has opened up his coastal property to visitors wanting to see the Tasmanian devil and other nocturnal wildlife in their native habitat. There’s nothing fancy about the setup at King’s Run. You’ll be viewing the animals through Geoff’s rustic cottage window as they dine on the road kill he finds for them. Geoff has also set up a sound system near their feeding area, so you can listen in on their “conversations” as they feed and congregate

King’s Run is located near Marrawah on the Bass Highway, not far from Arthur River. In order to prevent the Tasmanian devils from becoming dependent on road kill, they are fed no more than 3 days in a row for a total of no more than 10 times per month, so be sure to contact the tour operator before you visit to avoid disappointment. While you’re in the area, you’ll have innumerable opportunities for other adventures as well. A wild and untamed part of Tasmania, the northwest coast is known for its rugged coastal landscape and scenic beauty.

Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park

On the opposite end of Tasmania in a decidedly more developed and populated area, the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park is located between Hobart and Port Arthur on the southeast coast. Established in 1978, it is Australia’s and the world’s first of its kind.  Tasmanian devils are fed six times a day here and the park also is home to a number of other animal species, including wallabies, quolls and hawks. Although getting too close to a Tasmanian devil is not really a good idea, you will have the opportunity to hand feed the wallabies.

Tasmanian devils are under threat from a mysterious form of facial cancer they spread to each other when they bite. It is estimated that around half their numbers have been decimated in the past decade due to this disease. The Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park is located in a disease free part of the island and officials there are making efforts to ensure they do not become extinct while at the same time looking for a cure for the disease, so think about donating to the Tasmanian Devil Friends fund while you’re there.

These are not the only two places you can see Tasmanian devils. Other popular conservation parks are located near Cradle Mountain and Launceston. Wherever you go, ask at your Tasmania accommodation if there is one in the area. You’ll not only have a great time, your entry fee and donation may go towards ensuring these amazing marsupials remain a part of the Tasmanian landscape forever.

Rob enjoys the great Australian outdoors and wildlife. Tasmania is one of many places to experience Australia’s unique wildlife. You will find a range accommodation Tasmania to suit all budgets and styles of accommodation. So jump online and start planning your trip to Tasmania today. 

Powerful Packing Practices

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

It seems as if almost every time you take a trip the maximum allowed size and weight of your luggage has decreased yet again. With these ever-shrinking luggage allowances and extortionately high prices for any excess, packing to the limit is an important life skill. Of course, know-how and practice is not all that you need, you also need to take advantage of the available technology, gadgets and gizmos that can make your life easier. With all the advances of modern day know-how and a market that serves every available niche, you would be crazy to ignore the technology that makes today’s packing a breeze.

Vacuum Storage Bags

Vacuum storage bags allow you to suck all the excess air out of your packing. You might be surprised just how small your clothes become when the air is removed and they are compressed to their smallest size.

Look For Multi-Use Technology

Do you really need to bring a mobile phone and a digital camera? Today’s top of the line mobile phones can serve pretty well as cameras, certainly good enough for recording your memories and experiences. Your mobile phone can also function as a GPS if you get lost in a foreign location.

Look for Camping Combos

If you are going camping you might wonder how you are going to fit a sleeping bag and a tent into your bag. With the Jak-Pak, you don’t have to – you just wear a jacket and at the end of the day your jacket converts into a sleeping bag and one-man tent! Even if you are not going camping, check out camping supply stores for combination items. The fact that campers have a need for lightweight, space-saving items means that camping shops have many combination tools and other items that you could find useful.

Check Your Weights

You might have managed to fit everything inside a small bag, but that doesn’t mean you can get on the plane without any fees for excess. The weight of your bag is as important as the size, and if you have not done anything to minimize how much it weighs you could be in big trouble at the airport. Invest in a luggage scale to see how much your luggage weighs before you go to the airport. When buying luggage, always make sure it is as lightweight as possible.

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Prestigious European Hotels for 2012

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Europe is home to some of the most exclusive hotels in the world, but how do you identify a top hotel? We will look at  service ratings, location and food to give you a general idea of the features of these hotels. Percentage ratings are available for these hotels and I used those as an indication to describe the hotels and why they are so prestigious.

Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel – Paris, France 

Centrally located in Paris, this hotel is ideal when planning to visit places such as the Palais-Royal and the Louvre. This hotel was built in the 1800’s, but interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon and Ralph Lauren gave this hotel a modern feel. Outstanding service is delivered by world-class staff who are very friendly, yet efficient. Dishes are served in three portions so that guests have a choice to share this five star food.

Sofitel London St James – London, England

With spacious rooms and funky mixes of colour, what more do you need to feel like you’re on holiday? Close to Soho Square, this hotel is nice and surprisingly quiet. The staff are also very accommodating and are willing to help with anything. What makes this hotel outstanding is its location. You’ll also love this hotel for its friendly service and because the rooms because it is so spacious. Food seems to be of high standard but it won’t be the main reason for you to visit the Sofitel London St James.


Hotel Arts, Barcelona – Barcelona, Spain

This 44 storey glass building is an architecture beaut! With a hotel like this in Barcelona you don’t need to go anywhere. High-tech rooms with a natural look and feel. This hotel is located in the 1992 Olympic Village. Outstanding interior is complemented by high class service, if only they can smile a bit more though. The main attraction here will definitely be the rooms and design. Food does not fall far down the list and is also very well rated.

Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens – Athens, Greece

This historic building was built in 1874 with mostly marble and wood. It has the prime location spot at the Constitution Square and is the pumping heart of Athens. The rooms are smaller than most hotels but are full of antique furniture and a marble bath. To make up for the size each room has its own butler and high class bathing products. You can relax at the downstairs Alexander’s bar, tapestry of Alexander the Great. What makes this hotel, in this specific order, is the location, design, rooms and service.

Hôtel de Paris, Monte Carlo – Monte Carlo, Monaco

So close to perfect you almost hate it! This 1864 Belle Époque palace can be found next to the Casino and Opera House. Overwhelmed with marble this stiff French feeling still feels like heaven. With more than 600 000 bottles of wine in their cellar, you at least don’t have to worry that you’ll get thirsty. In summer nature can give you a kiss on the forehead with the open roof of the restaurant, the fresh sea smell and simmering stars make this place better than it already is. In the rooms you will feel like you’re in the nineteenth century.  What makes this hotel absolutely perfect is its location, design, food, rooms and service. Simply outstanding!

This is only the tip of the prestigious iceberg. There are so many hotels in Europe that’s underestimated. Most hotels have great rooms, service and food. Take a deeper look and appreciate what you see when visiting these hotels or others.

Donne is a travel enthusiast who can’t get enough of Europe. Next up is Ireland! It was as simple as entering “hotel reservation meath“, and checking out hotels in meath.

Lost in Las Vegas – Abandoned Casinos

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012


There is always a huge announcement when a new Casino is about to start being developed in Las Vegas and the show that is put on when the ribbon is cut is usually even more extravagant. This is how things are done in Las Vegas, everything is a show and it has to be put on whenever there is a chance. It has come to the point where there is even a show every time a casino has run its course and is closed or demolished. Massive crowds line up outside demolition sites to see their old watering hole turn in to dust. This is usually accompanied by some old Las Vegas performer doing an act and a huge firework display as the building comes crashing down. So here is a look at some of the latest Casino closures in the gambling Mecca of Las Vegas.

The Sahara

Mark Hardie
This time it wasn’t all about the show. The Sahara Casino had been a prized jewel of the Las Vegas strip for decades, but when its owners didn’t have enough money to keep it going it just shut down. No major performance, no ritualistic ceremony to say goodbye, just nothing. 2011 struck hard on most people but it took a large toll on the Casinos of Las Vegas. Sahara was one of the more famous casinos to go bust during this difficult time.

Western Hotel and Casino

This Casino didn’t look like very much to the naked eye but it was one of those places where the real Las Vegas gamblers started off. But at the end of 2011 its owners had had enough and it wasn’t the cash-cow that it used to be. That’s why they thought it was time to call it quits and in early January 2012 the doors shut.

The Hooters Casino

Paul Lowry
The Hooters Hotel and Casino had to file for bankruptcy in 2011 and they joined in the long line of Casinos that had to wave goodbye to all of their players over the last few years. Even though the owners tried to keep it alive for as long as possible the debt became too high and the property is now on the market. So who knows, this Tropicana Avenue Casino might not have seen its last gambler going bust.

Las Vegas Hilton

sample vegas

Even though the Casino never really shut down they were served a notice of foreclosure in 2011. Their owners defaulted on a 250+ Million Dollar loan which had the bank take legal action. The company had to find new investors or sell the hotel and casino completely. It has now been rebranded and the iconic sign outside has been taken down for good. Instead the Hotel and casino will now be going under the name LHV-Las Vegas Hotel & Casino for as long as they manage to stay open this time. The casino basically lost their license to promote the Hilton brand for reasons that have not been made public. But we can assume that it has something to do with that little foreclosure notice.

Lost in Las Vegas was written by Ladbrokes Bingo – find them at