budget Tag

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US Road Trippin’

It was on the third night of driving that I finally gave in, my eyelids heavy and the rest of my head throbbing from a lack of sleep. Despite wanting to stay conscious, fatigue beat good intentions in what had become quite a battle of attrition… and I fell into a slumber, rocked by the movement of the van. Don’t worry. Before you panic, you need to know I wasn’t behind the wheel of the van - the twenty year-old blue and white Chevrolet van that guzzled the gas but made up for that greed with a generosity of space and comfort. No, the driving duties had fallen to TJ, the nomadic musician who was in a rush from Los Angeles to Chicago, and had picked me up as quickly as he’d picked up speed on the desert highways. We were strangers to each other, but we had come together for...

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12 August
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Bad Vibrations

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the vibrations in the van began to take hold. I remember saying something like ‘that doesn’t feel right; maybe you should stop driving…’ And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the van came to a screeching halt on the highway, a huge cloud of dust and smoke as it lurched unevenly, an unexpected and unwanted stop, where previously we’d been a hundred miles an hour on the way to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming, ‘Holy Jesus! What goddamn happened?’   It was with this moment, my phrasing appropriated from Hunter S. Thompson, that a road trip across the United States veered into territory appropriate for the great gonzo journalist himself. The journey from Los Angeles to Chicago had begun with a chance meeting online, a stranger on a website looking for a travel companion to...

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08 August
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Value travel

  Australians always knew there were a few good reasons to travel overseas. Turns out there’s one more! For a moment, let’s put aside the surging Aussie dollars (thank you protectors of the Greek economy), cheap airfares and cultural adventures. Now we have a study of the cost of Australian hotels and they are, in my humble (for the sake for the sake of the argument) opinion, ridiculously expensive! The details are all outlined here on news.com.au And the international comparisons are here on the original press release at Expedia.com.au. Now, for some expert analysis, though. I tend to use beer as an indicator of an economy. It’s fraught with problems because of the various taxes that different countries have. But it is a bit of a constant in my life. Even now, I’m drinking several litres of Chang as I write this post at a restaurant in Thailand. Each of those 640mL bottle of Chang is...

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30 June
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Living La Villa Loca

For most of us, the extravagant life of luxury we see in television shows or magazines stays just that – a notion we understand, can see, can imagine but can’t touch. It seems so close and potentially so attainable but crossing the barrier through the screen or the magazine page to make it reality often stays just a dream. There is a way, though, to bring a taste of luxury to the average tourist and I’ve discovered it while travelling in Bali. As the number of foreign (particularly Australian) tourists increases in Bali, there’s a need for accommodation to keep pace. This isn’t only in the number of rooms available, but in the variety of what is on offer. Bali attracts one of the most diverse crowds of tourists in the region and that needs to be reflected in the services that are provided for them. The signs of development are everywhere...

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26 June