Archive for ◊ May, 2010 ◊

29 May 2010 Mapping the Land of the Kiwi folk

New Zealand isn’t in the news very much because it is a very peaceful place with rarely any political, religious or social upheaval. People are often surprised to learn therefore that it comprises a large expanse of land almost one hundred and three thousand seven hundred and thirty eight square meters of area. It comprises of two main islands, The North Island and The South Island .The South Island is the largest body of land of New Zealand. In addition to these a number of smaller islands such as The Great Barrier Island, Chatham Islands and the Stewart Island or Rakiura Island as well as island nations that are in free association with it (the Cook island and Niue) They are located in the South Pacific Ocean and are completely independent and autonomous except for the fact that their residents are considered citizens of the country of New Zealand.

New Zealand’s’ territorial claim on the frozen continent Antarctica is known as The Ross Dependancy.

New Zealand is part of a mostly submerged continent called Zealandia (which is almost ninety five percent underwater).The Norfolk Rise, Challenger Plateau, Campbell Plateau is some of the regions of the continent of Zealandia.

Most of the initial geographical knowledge about New Zealand was acquired by Captain James Cook in his sea faring voyage to map New Zealand. It consists of fifty seven districts with sixteen cities and twelve non unitary areas. It is a little larger than The United Kingdom and a little smaller than Japan. It has recently been used as a location for filming many Hollywood (all three Lord of the Rinds movies and the Last Samurai) as well as Bollywood films.

It is located adjacent to Australia in the South Western Hemisphere of the earth and is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and separated from Australia by the Tasman Sea. A sparsely populated country it has a population density of fifteen people per square kilometer of area which is less than the number of sheep per square kilometer of area!

The capital city of New Zealand is Wellington. It is the second largest urban area in Oceania, in the region of Wellington on the North Island and at the centre of the country.

Auckland is the largest metropolis of New Zealand. It is situated on the North Island of the nation and is the most populated urban area as it is the biggest. It is the city with the largest number of people of Polynesian descent. It is home to the busiest air port in the country The Auckland International Airport. Flights from all over the world make port at this air port.

New Zealand has a vast reserve of marine resources and under the law of the sea has is seventh in this respect.

New Zealand houses many natural wonders such as numerous hot springs, geysers, active and dormant volcanoes (A number of which are in Auckland), volcano cones, snowcapped mountains, fjords etc. The hill of Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu on the North Island has the largest recorded place name in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Record!

28 May 2010 Global warming: Whats the real truth?

In the middle of December, to the disgust of my colleagues, I crammed a suitcase with Christmas presents and cute summer outfits, and I dashed off for my holiday in my hometown of Auckland. I endured 26 hours of cattle class crick, spurred on by the knowledge I’d soon be basking like a shark on one of our many, beautiful beaches. I closed my eyes and dreamed of eating melting ice creams while creating deep tan lines, of inhaling the sweet sweet smell of freshly cut grass, and of listening to the sounds of cicadas wafting in on waves of warm, clean air.

Now this may not seem out of the ordinary. I mean, people leave bone-chilling winters for the lazy, hazy days of summer – nothing new there. But here is the interesting (and depressing) twist. While standing in the city, watching the fireworks snap, crackle and pop in the New Year, I was grateful to be wearing my long winter coat. Yes, my winter coat. In the middle of summer. What’s wrong with this picture? Where’s the heat I so desperately longed for?

Well it just wasn’t there. You see, New Zealand has just weathered its coldest December since records of temperatures began. And much more shockingly, across the ditch, it actually snowed in Australia. Although much to the cheer of the firefighters battling raging flames in three of their states. And the children in Tasmania who threw snowballs around, where the previous week, smoke plumed from the forest on fire.

As everyone knows, December through February are the hot summer months in the South Pacific, which makes this drop in calidity a shivering thought. Is this the start of a trend? The contradiction of global warming? What should we call this? Global cooling?

This week’s headlines claimed the UK’s January nights have been warmer than those of last July. The experts are blaming this on climate change, and this is in turn blamed on global warming. Well it seems to me it’s not global at all. It seems that like Peter and Paul, the northern hemisphere is ruthlessly robbing the southern hemisphere of all its welcoming warmth.

Global warming is the hottest debate blazing around the world. Everyone has a tenacious opinion. Yes it exists, no it doesn’t. Who is right? Who is wrong? Is the earth really roasting like Sunday’s lunch? Or should everyone just chill out?

27 May 2010 In Search of Hobbits: A Small Adventure

We couldn’t very well visit New Zealand without seeing some of the Lord of the Rings locations and our first stop was the small town of Matamata on the North Island, which became famous as Hobbiton was filmed around there.

All either of us knew was that it was filmed somewhere on a sheep farm near there, but that was about it. My husband John was driving and I was navigating with a map we’d just bought a few days before in Auckland. The map had Lord of the Rings locations marked on it, but places still seemed to take a little bit of finding.

“What does the map say?” asked John.

“It just says ‘Matamata’ for ‘Hobbiton’,” I replied, which wasn’t much help to us as we both knew that the film location was not in the town but somewhere outside of it. We decided to go into Matamata and see if they had a tourist information centre who would know where the location was.

As we drove into town, there was an information centre sign three hundred metres ahead. Three hundred metres ahead of us was a car park and a small building that looked as if it was in the process of being built or being demolished. There was no information sign anywhere and we wondered if we’d taken a wrong turn somewhere.

We parked the car and decided to have a look around the town, which took about ten minutes. Coming back to the car from a slightly different direction, we finally came across the information centre, which was at the other side of the dilapidated building we saw. And in big golden letters plastered across the window was ‘Hobbiton Tours’.

At last! You could only go on a guided tour as the land was privately owned, we just made it in time for the second to last tour of the day. There were about 15-20 people in our tour, although the bus could probably seat about forty.

It was about a twenty minute drive outside of Matamata to get to the Alexander sheep farm, where the movie was filmed. Of course, most of it has returned to its natural state of rolling hills and lots of sheep, but there are a few Hobbit holes left, including Bag End, Frodo and Bilbo’s house in the Shire.

The day we went, it drizzled constantly, but it didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirit, everyone was smiling and excited that they actually got to see the Shire. John and I decided that yes, we could quite happily live there. There was just something so peaceful about the area, you could see why they decided to film the Shire there.

Our guide Theresa pointed out the various places where some of the structures had been which were no longer there. There weren’t meant to be any structures left at all, but before all of them could be taken down, there was a very bad rainstorm and it was deemed to dangerous to remove the rest, so there are about eighteen Hobbit holes left altogether.

You really do feel that you are walking through the village of Hobbiton, not a film set, despite the Hobbit holes just having a wooden facade now, not gardens and brightly painted doors like in the films. It’s just the sense of the place. I

Once we arrived at the steps to Bag End the guide mentioned that she had a tour once where a girl kissed the top step because Elijah Wood had once stood on there!

“I wouldn’t recommend it,” she said. “There’ve been a lot of sheep walking around here since then!”

Despite her warning, there were a few people who seemed to be considering it!

Of course as you may know, Hobbits are very shy of the Big Folk, so don’t expect to see any on your trip, but if you look closely and are very quiet, you might just get lucky.

For more information, you can visit the Hobbiton Tours website: http://www.hobbitontours.com/

About The Author

Annette Gisby is the author of the novels “Drowning Rapunzel” and “Silent Screams” as well as the short story collection “Shadows of the Rose.” She enjoys travelling and seeing new places, despite getting travel sick and hopes to visit New Zealand again in the future.

For more information on Annette and her books please visit her website at http://www.annettegisby.n3.net

Article may be reprinted with bio information still attached.

26 May 2010 Recruitment is About Being the Hunter, not the Hunted

Over the past years I have give dozens of seminars and speeches on the selection process. It doesn’t matter if I am in Invercargill, Auckland, Napier, Sydney, or Singapore, I always hear the same complaint: “Rob our area is different, there is a great shortage of talent here, we just can’t find good people”.

Yes, we do have record employment figures, but let me shake you up a bit – there is NO shortage of talented people in your area – the truth is that the most productive, motivated, successful, talented people already have jobs!!

Talented people don’t just land on your doorstep when you have a job. Your prime job as a manager is to create a PROACTIVE recruiting strategy that taps into the passive job candidate. If you want a team of truly talented people you can’t wait for people to come to you, you have to go ‘big game hunting’.

I have never seen great hiring decisions made by managers who are only attracting the desperate or the unemployed. You can bet your “bob & dollar” that the best candidates for you business are not amongst the ranks of the unemployed.

Developing a proactive recruitment strategy means developing a continuous hiring process. You will not find the best people launching into the recruitment mode when you have a vacancy. This strategy usually leads to hiring the best of a bad bunch. Hiring is a lot like dating – as desperation rises, standards slip!

A question I frequently ask in my hiring seminars is, “When you have a vacancy how do you start recruit?” In just about all cases the answer will be to put an advert in the newspaper.

Advertisements in the newspaper are estimated to attract the bottom 30% of performers in any job role. Think about it, who continuously trawls the employment pages of the press? Usually those who are getting the squeeze for better performance in their current position or those already pushed out.

There is an argument that press advertisements are good for targeting people new to an area, or those looking for a career change, but advertising in the press should only be a small part of your recruiting effort, not the total panacea. And make sure these adverts are worded to attract people looking for a challenge not a paycheck!

You will occasionally get a great person via the classifieds, but I guarantee to find that person will be like looking for a murder weapon in a rubbish tip! Usually classified ads bring in a combination of the frustrated, terminated, curious tyre kickers, confused and miss-aligned (to the job) applicants – people who are poor performers in their current position and now want to dump this poor work attitude on to you.

Let’s look at some other options. Recruiting from your own ranks rates the best – is that receptionist your next sales star! What about encouraging your current team to recommend people. Many companies pay “spotting fees”, but these are usually too small and the rewards too far out for people to bother. I’ve seen a $500 bonus (50% on hiring and 50% in 90 days) work really well.

Debriefing new hires when they start is an untapped source. Ask the new recruit if they have colleagues or know of others in their network that would be worthwhile approaching.

Businesses or industries where there is a degree of uncertainty are also ripe for the picking. Good talent gets restless when there is a change in the wind – new leaders, mergers, buyout etc. Targeting these businesses often reaps great rewards.

I like radio advertising, although it is expensive because you need frequency, it is great at reaching those talented people not “looking” for a job, but may be stimulated enough by your challenge to enquire or apply.

The Internet is another great source, not just for advertising, that’s not proactive recruiting! Use the Internet to search for resumes. A small fee to join one of the many popular job sites will give you access to hundreds of resumes.

One of my clients created some very inexpensive recruitment cards – these were the same as business cards – he called them Eagle Calling Cards. Whenever he was out and about and met someone who was an eagle (as opposed to a turkey!) he hand them a card and said, “We are always on the look-out for great customer service people like you, if you are ever thinking of leaving this position give me a call.” These cards were printed double sided, introduce the company and the exciting opportunities and benefits of working there.

Instant on site application forms are another good idea, especially for retailers – Take the proactive attitude of Overland Shoes. They have a fabulously designed postcard that is scattered throughout their stores. I love the call to action and eye-catching artwork that “speaks” to the target audience. It says, “Join Our Team! Fun, Rewarding, Dynamic, Energising, Motivating.”

Working your own network is also powerful. You know hundreds of people. Use direct mail, email, notices in your business communications, alerts on the FRONT page of your website, signs on company vehicles, in your premises and on community notice boards etc. I am sure your team could come up with many unique ways to “put the word out”.

We don’t have the space here to explore all the proactive recruiting options. Why not get your team together for a beer/wine and pizza brainstorm. Start writing up PROACTIVE ways to reach those passive candidates and stimulating them to apply through a creative (and honest) recruitment message. At one such client session a crazy idea turned into a winner – fly an aeroplane banner over holiday beaches on a summer weekend! Now that’s brainstorming.

Remember, if you keep doing what you are doing you will keep getting what you got!

25 May 2010 Testimonies: Traveling with a disability

My husband has a bad disability – me! Over the years I have got him trained. If I want to do something – I do it. In-laws questioned how I would cope getting in and out of a 4 Wheel Drive vehicle. I replied that I’d have to do an awful lot of walking if I didn’t!

My preparations were to:

[a] visit my homeopath and get drops for liquid leakage; I took them faithfully every three days. I also increased my intake of cayenne capsules for high blood pressure from 2 a day to 2 three times a day.

[b] visit my bank and get a Visa Debit card each on our joint bank account.

[c] update passports so they had 6 months left after the date we returned – they have tricky little catches these days!

[d] pay the deposits on our camper-van, travel plans and camping sites for specific dates.

[e] replace old suitcases.

[f] and at a later date, complete travel payments.

Selecting clothes for January and February was fairly easy. Where we live in Australia is extremely hot and dry. We needed summer, autumn and winter clothes (just in case) because of the areas we planned to visit over both islands of New Zealand.

I walk badly and use a stick, so the first thing the airport wanted to do was put me in a wheelchair. Fortunately I didn’t agree to one straight away, or we would have missed out on our planned Duty Free shopping. After we’d Duty Free-ed and I saw how much further we had to walk – I was more than willing to accept a wheelchair!

Airports are made long to tire you out so you sleep the whole flight through and never worry the hostesses. I could not believe how far I rode before we got into the plane. Unaccompanied children and wheelchair occupants are loaded first. My husband galloped along in the rear only just keeping up with my fast moving escort – such speed down the long sloping Adelaide Airport ramps was downright scary! Especially as I didn’t control the brakes!

We requested a wheelchair to meet us at Auckland. What a lot of fun that was. The beautiful Maori girl that had to push my weight around was a gem. She told me it was her privilege to escort me in a wheel chair through the airport and customs. We may have been last off the plane, but she had snatched and empty trolley and identified our luggage and had it loaded before my husband could get to the items.

Them we were whizzed through special doors and into the Customs area to lines where there were no queues and those who got off first were only just seeing the Customs Agents.

25 May 2010 New Zealand’s Climate and Weather Patterns

The weather in New Zealand is often like the country’s landscape: dramatic, wild and unpredictable. For such a small country, New Zealand has an incredibly varied climate, and there can be major differences in the weather. New Zealand’s climate creates some diverse landscapes as well, ranging from almost tropical conditions in the north to snowy glaciers in the south.

Just like neighboring Australia, the seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere, when it is winter in the United States and Europe; it is summer in New Zealand, The reverse is true as well. Summer temperatures can be as high as 104F degrees; winter temperatures can plunge to 14F degrees. Also, like Australians, New Zealanders also tend to take their main summer holiday between the middle of December and the end of January, something to consider when planning a trip.

Most visitors to New Zealand notice the similarities with England – the country was once a British colony, after all. One of the biggest similarities is the weather – just like the UK, New Zealand has what is called a maritime climate. The weather is influenced by the sea, no place in the country is more than 79 miles from the sea, and it can also be very transient. The differences in temperature tend to be more pronounced on the South Island.

Similar to England, New Zealand experiences its fair share of rain, although many rain showers are over quickly. On both of the islands, the west side tends to be wetter as the country’s interior mountains block the moisture laden winds that blow in from the Tasman Sea. On average, the wettest part of the country is the southern part of the South Island and winter tends to be the wettest month.

One of the wettest places in the country is the area around Milford Sound, the area averages around 23 feet of rain per year and the record rainfall in one day was 9 inches. Milford Sound is actually a fjord, a narrow inlet, surrounded by steep mountains rising up from the sea and is considered to be one of the most spectacular places in a country that is not short on dramatic scenery.

Many visitors claim that Milford Sound is actually at its most dramatic in the rain, when the many waterfalls swell and cascade down the cliffs, and throw dramatic plumes of spray into the air. The area takes on an almost mysterious quality, and if it looks vaguely familiar, several scenes for the recent “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy were filmed here. Even on clear days, the weather in the area tends to be unpredictable.

However, New Zealand’s forecast does not always include rain. New Zealanders enjoy their summer, which lasts from around the beginning of December to the end of February. In many towns and villages, the arrival of summer means an abundance of outdoor festivals and events, popular summer events include the Auckland Regatta, the Wellington Carnival and the spectacular New Zealand Air Games.

Summer also brings an increase in visitors arriving to enjoy the so-called extreme sports that New Zealand has become known for: white water rafting, jet boating, caving and mountaineering. Also included is most extreme of extreme sports: bungee jumping. The capital of extreme sports is Queenstown, which enjoys an average summer temperature of around 72F degrees.

One aspect that many visitors to New Zealand notice is the clarity of the air. Because of the relatively small amount of industry and the constant exposure to winds, the skies are often bright and clear, which are perfect for photography. New Zealand has long been recognized for its environmental efforts, it was the first country to declare itself a nuclear-free zone and to ban nuclear powered ships from its waters.

The most extreme weather in New Zealand occurs in the Southern Alps, the line of mountains that straddles the South Island. In this area, snow, heavy rain or strong winds can occur virtually any time of the year. Temperatures can fall quickly and rain and melting snow can quickly cause rivers and streams to flood. If you are visiting the Alps, you should anticipate a change in weather before the day is over.

New Zealanders love to ski and the country is one of the biggest ski destinations in the southern hemisphere. Ski resorts generally open in June, although the best conditions can usually be found from July to early September. Some ski resorts stay open into October, including Whakapapa, the country’s biggest and most crowded resort.

So, if you are planning a trip to this remote and beautiful country, plan for several kinds of weather, from rain to sun and strong wind. As they say in some parts of the country – if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes.

21 May 2010 Cruise Ships Are You Living On a Cruise Ship Part Time?

There has been a lot of buzz lately about living on a Cruise Ship full time as an alternative to living in a retirement home.

Ships, even Cruise Ships, are noisy for at least 2 reasons:

No matter how new the ship, no matter what new turbine engines the ship may have, the 24 hour engine noise may get to people.

There is always a kind of party atmosphere on a Cruise Ship, people eat and drink too much, nobody tells them when to go to bed, they don’t have to get up the next morning, so, parties make noise.

Although ship’s activities are very many these days, after a while you’ll get bored with them.
Cabins in general are very small, so after a while you’re going to miss your large living room on the mainland with its 75″ TV.

If you follow that action things become interesting.

The Monthly $18,000 route:

This Cruise Ship has designer apartments with original art.

Great if you can get it.

By small Luxury Cruise Ship

This same couple would spend a minimum of $4000 a month in an old folks home.

Now let me tell you what this $5000 for 2 people gets them:

Southampton ,Tenerife – Canary Islands St Vincent – Cape Verde Islands Fortaleza – Brazil Rio de Janeiro – Brazil Montevideo – Uruguay Buenos Aires – Argentina Puerto Madryn – Argentina Port Stanley – Falkland Islands Cruise around Cape Horn Ushuaia – Argentina Transit Beagle Channel Punta Arenas – Chile Chacabuco – Chile Puerto Montt – Chile Santiago – Chile Cruise by Easter Island Cruise by Pitcairn Island Papeete – Tahiti Bora Bora – Society Islands Pago Pago – American Samoa Lautoka – Fiji Islands Noumea – New Caledonia Brisbane – Australia Sydney – Australia Eden – Australia Philip Island – Australia Melbourne – Australia Hobart -Australia Transit Milford Sound Dunedin – New Zealand Christchurch – New Zealand Transit Marlborough Sound Wellington – New Zealand Auckland – New Zealand Nuku ‘Alofa – Tonga Apia – Western Samoa Christmas Island Honolulu – Oahu, Hawaii Kahalui – Maui, Hawaii Los Angeles – USA Acapulco – Mexico Huatulco – Mexico Transit Panama Canal Curacao – Dutch Antilles Margherita Island – Venezuela Barbados Ponta Delgada

This is on a very luxurious Cruise Ship that has only outside or balcony cabins.

In 2005 a trip around the world lasting 102 days by various freighting companies could be had for $11,750 per person.
That is $117 per person per day including food and all facilities. That is $7000 per couple per month.

So going on this 3 1/2 month World Cruise would cost them $7000 – $4000 = $3000 per month.

The double suites all consist of two rooms, a bedroom with twin beds and a living room.

Each cabin also has its own VCR and TV monitor and refrigerator.

There is also an indoor swimming pool.

This is cheaper yet.
There are lots of 7 day cruises for about $100 per day per passenger.
So you could conceivably take 7 day cruises continuously in the same area, say, the Caribbean, on the same ship, or on different ships until you get sick and tired of the area.

Logistics would be more difficult because you may need a place to stay every 7th night.

Effective in 2005 there is now a discount European Cruise Line operating in the Caribbean that charges $46 per person per night but you have to get your own food.

Still, can’t get any cheaper than this.

J Shipper is very interested in living on a Cruise Ship

http://www.2qz.com/condo-cruise-ship

http://www.condo-cruise-ship.com

http://www.celebrity-cruise-now.info

21 May 2010 How To Live On A Cruise Ship Part Time

There has been a lot of buzz lately about living on a Cruise Ship full time as an alternative to living in a retirement home.

However, I don’t think it would be very exciting after about 6 months or so.

Ships, even Cruise Ships, are noisy for at least 2 reasons:

1. Engine Noise.

No matter how new the ship, no matter what new turbine engines the ship may have, the 24 hour engine noise may get to people.

2. Parties, bars and restaurants.

There is always a kind of party atmosphere on a Cruise Ship, people eat and drink too much, nobody tells them when to go to bed, they don’t have to get up the next morning, so, parties make noise.

It gets boring staring at the ocean 2 out of 3 days.

Although ship’s activities are very many these days, after a while you’ll get bored with them.

Cabins in general are very small, so after a while you’re going to miss your large living room on the mainland with its 75″ TV.

However, if 6 months are too long, there are other alternatives; Cruise maybe a couple of months a year.

If you follow that action things become interesting.

Here are some options:

The Monthly $18,000 route:

Residensea, the world’s only floating Condo, a 47,000 ton cruise ship which sails the oceans,

reportedly offers staterooms for rent for as low as $18,000 per month.

This Cruise Ship has designer apartments with original art.

I mean, this is luxury personified.

Great if you can get it.

Around the world in 102 Days.

By small Luxury Cruise Ship

In 2005 a trip around the world lasting 110 days could be had for as low as $15,600 per person.

That is $150 per person per day including food and all facilities. That is $9000 per couple per month.

This same couple would spend a minimum of $4000 a month in an old folks home.

So going on this 3 1/2 month World Cruise would cost them $9000 – $4000 = $5000 per month.

Now let me tell you what this $5000 for 2 people gets them:

The Itinerary:

Southampton ,Tenerife – Canary Islands St Vincent – Cape Verde Islands Fortaleza – Brazil Rio de Janeiro – Brazil Montevideo – Uruguay Buenos Aires – Argentina Puerto Madryn – Argentina Port Stanley – Falkland Islands Cruise around Cape Horn Ushuaia – Argentina Transit Beagle Channel Punta Arenas – Chile Chacabuco – Chile Puerto Montt – Chile Santiago – Chile Cruise by Easter Island Cruise by Pitcairn Island Papeete – Tahiti Bora Bora – Society Islands Pago Pago – American Samoa Lautoka – Fiji Islands Noumea – New Caledonia Brisbane – Australia Sydney – Australia Eden – Australia Philip Island – Australia Melbourne – Australia Hobart -Australia Transit Milford Sound Dunedin – New Zealand Christchurch – New Zealand Transit Marlborough Sound Wellington – New Zealand Auckland – New Zealand Nuku ‘Alofa – Tonga Apia – Western Samoa Christmas Island Honolulu – Oahu, Hawaii Kahalui – Maui, Hawaii Los Angeles – USA Acapulco – Mexico Huatulco – Mexico Transit Panama Canal Curacao – Dutch Antilles Margherita Island – Venezuela Barbados Ponta Delgada

The Luxury:

This is on a very luxurious Cruise Ship that has only outside or balcony cabins.

By Freighter

In 2005 a trip around the world lasting 102 days by various freighting companies could be had for $11,750 per person.

That is $117 per person per day including food and all facilities. That is $7000 per couple per month.

This same couple would spend a minimum of $4000 a month in an old folks home.

So going on this 3 1/2 month World Cruise would cost them $7000 – $4000 = $3000 per month.

For this you get a double suite with double occupancy.

Port Times range from 1 to 2 days.

The advantage seems to be that there is lots of space in four double suites.

The double suites all consist of two rooms, a bedroom with twin beds and a living room.

The cabins have showers.

Each cabin also has its own VCR and TV monitor and refrigerator.

On board facilities are a private passenger lounge and the sharing of the officers’ table

There is also an indoor swimming pool.

Cruise Hopping

This is cheaper yet.

There are lots of 7 day cruises for about $100 per day per passenger.

So you could conceivably take 7 day cruises continuously in the same area, say, the Caribbean, on the same ship, or on different ships until you get sick and tired of the area.

You can then do the same thing from the West Coast.

Logistics would be more difficult because you may need a place to stay every 7th night.

Discount Cruising

Effective in 2005 there is now a discount European Cruise Line operating in the Caribbean that charges $46 per person per night but you have to get your own food.

Maximum time they allow you to cruise is 2 weeks.

Still, can’t get any cheaper than this.

20 May 2010 Travel Deals To Thailand

Thailand is for many people one of the favorite destinations. And the reasons are pretty much obvious. Even if tourism has really grown during the recent years, Thailand still offers some pretty much unspoiled territories, precious beaches and an amazing cultural shock that you will probably prefer to miss your plane back home rather than coming back to your everyday’s life.

Travel deals when it comes to flying there are many, as competence for Thailand is very high and in this case travel agencies are strongly fighting one with each other. This, in the end, lets us find some very good deals. The idea of the article is in a general way to encourage you to always look for this special offers, to never limit yourself to what you see on your first searches, but furthermore, and being aware that this is a limited time offer, I wanted to share with you for free one of my findings early this morning.

This offer is specially good for all Europeans, as departures are from London, and as I never get tired to say, you can reach London for 20 Euros the round trip with everything included with Ryanair. From there, with flights included and 14 nights in hotels in Thailand, you will get it for the price of 585 UK Pounds (813 Euros) I could kill myself for promoting offers like this for free, as I have no relationship with any travel agency at all, but certainly I am convinced that everybody should have the goal to help people, so here we are.

The way you can book in this case is not online, but online you will find the offer and a number in the UK that you can call to get more information. I haven’t tried, but I imagine that you will be able to make the booking by telephone.

Together with this offer, this guys have other interesting things specially related with traveling to Asia, but also many other offers to other regions, as flights to Auckland for 934 Euros, which is by far the best offer I have ever seen in the market from Europe to New Zealand. Also you can find 21 days campervan plus the flights to Auckland for just 1152 Euros. Again, is the best offer I have ever seen to get to the region. All this offers are generally valid until the 15th of June 2008, but if you wait for the beginning of January, the new offers for the summer and the first September discounted vacations will begin to appear.

They are also offering many possibilities to discover Africa, including some Safari packages, for relatively low prices. Africa is not my area of expertise, so I won’t promise they have the cheapest option, but the numbers look pretty good compared to what I have seen up till now.

In any case, just feel free to take a look at their page and you will find out which offer adapts best to your needs if you are planning to travel Asia, Africa or the South Pacific from Europe.

20 May 2010 Money In New Zealand Real Estate

When considering what type of international real estate investment to make, you will likely want to think about exchange rates in comparison to property costs in the various countries you examine. That brings us to New Zealand real estate. In northern New Zealand, their dollar is worth about $0.53. To put it in perspective, a three bedroom home there can start at about $115,000 New Zealand dollars which exchanges out to about $60,000 US dollars. These rates coupled with the beauty of the region means that a New Zealand real estate investment can mean either a new home or simply a great investment for you.

International real estate can be sticky and difficult to read, but New Zealand has shown great returns over the years. In addition, you may want to think about making your New Zealand real estate purchase one for your new permanent home. Look in places like Havelock North, a small village with Old World Charm. The homes in the village have nice gardens and a beautiful natural feel to them.

For your New Zealand real estate investment you may also want to look for bargains closer to the familiar Auckland, New Zealand. This hotbed of international real estate investment offers familiarity, a great location, and with the US dollar’s strength in New Zealand, it is a great investment. About 90 minutes up a highway that is soon to be finished from Auckland, you will find an area called the La Pointe Beach Estates. This area is just waiting for the international real estate market to catch on to it. This New Zealand real estate will put buyers close to Auckland, but near the coast and the beauty of New Zealand’s outer reaches.

What this all means is that New Zealand real estate is perfect for those looking to invest in international real estate. Not only is the US dollar in good shape against the New Zealand dollar, but it also offers many bargains across many regions of the country. Investors and immigrants from Britton, Europe, and North America are already realizing that New Zealand real estate may not only be a good investment, but may also be a lifestyle change. With an international real estate purchase, you will find yourself with access to swimming, fishing, diving, hiking, and camping in some of the best venues in the world for these sports.

So when you start to think about an international real estate purchase, you may want to think not just in terms of investment. New Zealand real estate offers the opportunity to move abroad and enjoy a laid back and picturesque lifestyle among some of the friendliest people in world. The dollars’ strength will also allow you to make your international real estate purchase one with little worry. New Zealand real estate is beautiful, a solid investment, and may even be a great final real estate purchase for your next life or your retirement. International real estate is not just about vacations or quick profits anymore. It can also be about lifestyle and a relaxing retirement.