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Flight Centre Travel Blog

Where in the world would you rather be? Discover travel ideas and inspiration with stories from our Travel Experts. With new articles every day, you'll never run out of ideas!

The top 5 places to go in Mexico

With its diverse and beautiful landscape, ancient culture, and endless beautiful beaches, it can be difficult to know where to start when planning a trip to Mexico. We're here to help. Oaxaca Located high in the hills 500 kilometres south of Mexico City, Oaxaca (pronounced Wah-hah-cah) is a charming historic city with a thriving cultural and culinary scene. This is a university town, which means plenty of lively bars, cafes and affordable restaurants. Everything from tamales (corn-based ... Continue Reading

Vancouver’s Top 10 Foodie-Friendly Cheap Eats

Some people fly to Vancouver to go skiing at Whistler or cruising and whale watching in Alaska. I went to eat. For a couple of days I grazed the city's best food trucks and snacked my way around Granville Island Market. Add in visits to Vancouver's best urban distilleries and craft beer bars and it was a great foodie stopover before heading on to Europe. Until 2010, an arcane early 20th-century law restricted Vancouver's kerbside dining options to hot dogs, pretzels and roasted chestnuts, ... Continue Reading

The Best of Canberra’s Museums and Galleries

Arrayed around the leafy environs, broad avenues and spacious urban design of Canberra, the museums and galleries of the Australian capital reveal the fascinating, bold and often poignant history and culture of our nearest neighbour. And for visiting New Zealanders, many of the exhibitions have a strong relevance for our country as well. Australian War Memorial With the names of more than 100,000 Australian casualties of war filling the shaded cloisters around the peaceful Pool of ... Continue Reading

On a Pacific Coast High – Driving the stunning Los Angeles to San Francisco coastal road

The Pacific Coast Highway between LA and San Francisco is one of the world's most famous driving routes – and for good reason. So rent a car, put the top down, and get ready for the drive of your life. It’s difficult to make good time when you’re stopping every few kilometres, prompted to take another winning photograph by yet another dramatic view. When you never want a drive to end it can take a surprisingly long time. This will be your experience driving from Los Angeles to ... Continue Reading

Top Five Reasons to Visit Portland, Oregon

Stumptown, PDX, the City of Roses or Brewvana - the city of Portland in Oregon has no shortage of nicknames, and it's definitely a hip and happening place to spend a few days. Improved flight options through Hawaii or the west coast of the United States means it's easy to reach for New Zealanders, and because Oregon has no state sales tax, it's one of the most affordable American destinations for Kiwi travellers. Food Carts More than 600 food carts dot Portland's streets, most announcing ... Continue Reading

Italy by the sea: A tour of Liguria’s Cinque Terre villages and the Gulf of Poets

Most people know what you’re talking about if you say you’re visiting Tuscany, but you might get a few blank stares if you told them you were heading for a holiday in Liguria. And that's completely topsy-turvy, says Sophie Smith: with its stunning beaches, beautiful countryside and great food – and half the tourists of neighbouring Tuscany - Liguria is one of the best regions in Italy for a summer holiday. Genoa is the well-known capital of Liguria (and worth a trip to eat pesto ... Continue Reading

Train to Trinidad: A journey into the heart of Cuba by rail

Cuba is famous for the classic 1950s cars that still cruise the city streets, but there's another link with the past hiding within its transport network: a converted steam train that takes visitors deep into the centre of Cuba's sugar-producing farmland. Confession time – I love steam trains. So, when I heard there was at least still one running in Cuba I resolved it had to be on my itinerary. Three years ago, I was in Trinidad in central Cuba organising the pick-up time to get to the ... Continue Reading

Pedal Penang: Exploring beautiful Balik Pulau on two wheels

There's so much more to Penang in Malaysia than Georgetown, its lively and historic capital city. Get out of town and uncover the largely undiscovered region known as “the Back of the Island” in Malay – Balik Pulau. Quit the car, scuttle the scooter, and pedal-power yourself through the Malaysian state of Penang. So perfectly formed it feels more like a country-in-miniature than an island, Penang is best known for its food destination capital – Georgetown – but it’s also home ... Continue Reading

The Top Five Things to Do in Cuba

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, but it sometimes seems the message hasn't gotten through – many travellers seriously underestimate how much time is needed to explore Cuba properly. A few days in Havana and then a quick dash out to Trinidad, although better than nothing, really isn’t enough to see all this fascinating country has to offer. Whether you’re pressed for time or have weeks to spare, here are five sights or activities that you won’t want to miss. Cruise ... Continue Reading

The Ten Best Caribbean Islands

In the minds of many holidaymakers, Caribbean nations are synonymous with luxury resorts and perfect beaches. But if you think one Caribbean island is much like another, think again. Here's our guide to ten of the best. Barbados The people of the Caribbean are famed for their friendliness and none more so than those who call Barbados home. And why shouldn't they be? The birthplace of Rihanna has everything that makes an island paradise: perfect powder-white beaches, a lush tropical ... Continue Reading

The 5 essential items you should pack for a hot weather holiday

If the lure of a Pacific Island paradise holiday, or an escape to the humidity, street food, and cheap beer of South East Asia has you travelling soon, there are a few essential things to remember when packing for a hot climate. Some are obvious, some are less so, but all will help you avoid discomfort and ensure that your holiday is as sweat-free as possible. Here are some essentials for a hot holiday abroad. 1. Giant scarf Bear with me. I know it sounds counter-intuitive during summer, ... Continue Reading

The two sides of Tulum: Why Mexico’s favourite celebrity getaway is also a great place for a family holiday

Half the charm of Tulum is its split personality. Part adventure holiday destination, part Instagrammable yoga retreat, much of its appeal is its ability to make everyone feel it’s the holiday destination of their dreams. The first time we visited it was a happy accident whilst looking for a reprieve from the stifling heat of Austin, Texas. Friends who had recently returned from Cancun recommended we check out the quieter areas of Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Desperate for a sea breeze ... Continue Reading

Where to go in 2017

Professional travel writer Brett Atkinson shares his destination hot list for the coming year. Magazines, newspapers and websites around the world are now listing the top destinations to travel to in 2017. Providing inspiration for the New Year, here's our own spin on the annual tradition. The first three are places I'm lucky enough to have confirmed for 2017, the next three are on my travel wish list, and the final three destinations are places I'd love to return to. Pacific Coast ... Continue Reading

Top Five New Perth & Fremantle Restaurants

New Zealand travellers are more familiar with the restaurant scenes in Sydney and Melbourne, but the capital of Western Australia and the nearby port city of Fremantle are also exciting dining destinations. Here's our pick of the best of recent openings. Long Chim A longtime resident of Bangkok, Australian chef David Thompson's new opening in Perth's restored State Treasury Buildings offers Australia's most authentic Thai flavours. Harnessing the street food of the Thai capital and the ... Continue Reading

Flying With Kids: 15 Ways to Make it Easier

Travelling with kids is often a challenge (to put it gently), unless you are lucky enough to be one of those rare parents with constantly well-behaved angels. A quick flight over the ditch can be lots of fun but long-hauls can be a test of patience for everyone. Changes in environment, air pressure, food, lack of sleep, boredom and confined spaces can result in kids playing up and parents looking longingly at the drinks trolley and escape hatches. Here are some tips from parents who travel ... Continue Reading

Snapshots from Niue

Niue is a great option if you are looking for something a little different in the South Pacific. One of our Flight Centre customers, Julie Urbahn, shares her amazing holiday experience with us. Niue, "The Rock of Polynesia" is a little gem! While this is an affectionate moniker, Niue is indeed a rock; rugged, solid and jagged with coral cliffs rising straight from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. My husband and I spent a week holidaying on this friendly little island. Niue flights are ... Continue Reading

A beginner’s guide to French Polynesia

The South Pacific is full of idyllic islands, but there's something special about French Polynesia. Few places in the world are more synonymous with luxury and relaxation than Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea – and those are just the better known of French Polynesia's 118 islands, all of them stunning tropical escapes. Tahiti Ahhh, Tahiti. The name is so evocative of Polynesian paradise that it's often used (incorrectly) to refer to other islands in the French Polynesia group. In fact, ... Continue Reading

Top 10 must-dos in Niue

Circled by ocean caverns and home to less than 1500 people, rugged and surprising Niue is unlike any other Pacific destination. Direct flights from Auckland make it the perfect place to experience a unique combination of active adventure and excellent food, all infused with Polynesian warmth and humour. Negotiating sea caves Niue is one of the world's largest raised coral atolls, and the craggy shoreline crafted in nature-eroded makatea (coral) is punctuated with sea caves. In cathedral... Continue Reading

Top reasons to visit Tahiti

Tahiti is one of those places we associate with the exotic. In the depths of winter it’s where you fantasize about being - cocktail in hand, contemplating your next swim in crystal clear waters. And actually the pictures don’t lie; Tahiti is a piece of paradise comprised of 118 islands and atolls and boasting many uniquely Pacific experiences. The most frequently visited islands are Tahiti island, Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Taha’a, and Rangiroa. Here’s why in-the-know ... Continue Reading

Beyond Bali: Exploring the island of Gili Trawangan in Lombok, Indonesia

The island archipelago known as the Gilis are one of the most popular destinations in Lombok, the region of Indonesia that many call 'the unspoilt Bali'. Alexia Santamaria goes exploring on the biggest island of the group, Gili Trawangan. As we disembarked the boat at the island of Gili Trawangan, several things struck me. Firstly, 'That may just be the clearest, bluest water I have ever seen' followed swiftly by 'Wow, there are a lot of tourists on those other boats too' and, after ... Continue Reading