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Archive for July, 2013

Top 50 Travel Blogs

Top 50 Travel Blogs

Top 50 Travel Blogs
Top 50 Travel Blogs

Sadly, we can’t take the credit for compiling list this but Matt Stabile of TheExpeditioner.com can and has obviously spent a bit of time compiling the Top 50 Travel Blogs for this quarter.

There are some great entries in here that cover everything from top listed Aussies yTravel and their planned year-long (or could it be 2?) journey around Australia to Traveldudes who talk about worldwide travel.

We have featured A Luxury Travel Blog before in our own post on Luxury Travel Blogs, and the Leave your Daily Hell travel blog has some great tips on traveling abroad – particularly in exotic countries.

Traveling with kids is always a challenge but you can find some great insights from the Travel Mamas (“for anyone who wants to travel with children… and stay sane!”) and Have baby will travel (although sadly they don’t feature Australia..)

What we found really interesting is that across all the blogs, there was little mention of our great location in Northern NSW! Whilst we are known to be a little biased about our beautiful region with all its wonderful food, fantastic markets, great attractions and beaches to-die-for, maybe we really are the best kept travel location secret on the planet?

…or maybe it is just that we secretly like to keep it that way for all the discerning travelers out there who are looking forward to a really private, family or couples beachfront getaway which can offer the luxuries you would expect, but in a location that enables a truly relaxing holiday (although it can be ramped up with easy access to the Gold Coast and/or Byron Bay)…

But we will let you explore all the blogs for yourself…  Here they are – and thanks for compiling it all Matt!

Top 50 Travel Blogs (Q2: 2013)

1 Y Travel Blog  
2 A Luxury Travel Blog  
3 Go Nomad  
4 Migrationology  
5 Travel Dudes  
6 Wandering Earl  
7 Wild Junket  
8 Adventurous Kate  
9 Go Backpacking  
10 Leave Your Daily Hell  
11 Twenty-Something Travel  
12 OttsWorld  
13 Legal Nomads  
14 Never Ending Voyage  
15 Imperator Travel  
16 The Vacation Gals  
17 Travel Mamas  
18 Ordinary Traveler  
19 InACents  
20 Four Jandals  
21 Turkish Travel Blog  
22 Hole In The Donut Cultural Travel  
23 Finding The Universe  
24 Traveling Canucks  
25 2 Backpackers  
26 Have Baby Will Travel  
27 Wandering Educators  
28 Esacape Artistes  
29 Medellin Living  
30 Brendan’s Adventures  
31 Yomadic  
32 The Expeditioner  
33 Changes in Longitude  
34 That Backpacker  
35 Amateur Traveler  
36 Around The World L  
37 A Little Adrift  
38 My Yatra Diary  
39 Inspiring Travelers  
40 Desi Traveler  
41 Man on the Lam  
42 Nomadic Notes  
43 Adventures By Daddy  
44 Never Ending Footsteps  
45 Travel Wonders Of The World  
46 Heather On Her Travels  
47 Breathe Dream Go  
48 Alex In Wanderland
 
49 Monkeys & Mountains  
50 Travelogged  

About the Author

The Top 50 Travel Blogs (2nd Quarter: 2013)Matt Stabile is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheExpeditioner.com. You can read his writings, watch his travel videos, purchase the book he co-edited or contact him via email at any time at TheExpeditioner.com

Would you like to book or find out more about us?

Check out our rates,

Look at our last minute accommodation specials or

Send us an enquiry now! 

You can also Contact us for more information or Subscribe to our free monthly email newsletter

Until next time – enjoy your day wherever you are from La Maison Pacifique “The Peaceful House” and your boutique designer luxury holiday home vacation rental in Casuarina, New South Wales, Australia – half way between the Gold Coast QLD and Byron Bay NSW, Australia.

Di Hendy

Di Hendy
Property Consultant
La Maison Pacifique
Telephone – call +61 (0) 411 052 759
Mobile/Cell – call or text +61 (0) 411 052 759
Email – contact info@lamaisonpacifique.com
Website – visit http://www.lamaisonpacifique.com
LinkedIn Group – join http://www.linkedin.com/groups/La-Maison-Pacifique-4634043
LinkedIn Company – follow http://www.linkedin.com/company/la-maison-pacifique
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Video Tour http://www.youtube.com/embed/KR8MiuA00Xg

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Fun Winter Beach Activities

Fun Winter Beach Activities

Fun Winter Beach Activities
Fun Winter Beach Activities

You may not think that winter could be your favourite time to visit the beach but there are benefits and many fun winter beach activities to enjoy! With fewer people and a real chance to relax, an Australian winter holiday can be a perfect time for a mid-year getaway.

Let’s not forget that the Northern Rivers area (Tweed Coast to Byron Bay) is the perfect spot for the winter getaway.  With mild weather and cool nights, its the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beach – and you are only 90 minutes by car from Brisbane or 20 minutes from the Gold Coast Airport.

When the beach is yours, there are no crowds and the weather mild, here are some fun winter beach activities!

  1. The brisk walk along the beach – nothing like it to refresh the mind, soul and spirit and the cool breeze blows your cares away.
  2. Surf’s up.  There are plenty of local surf companies (try Josh Fuller at in2surf)  keen to take you surfing out during winter.  Waves are good and a great opportunity to improve your skills.
  3. Watching the whales go by – spotting them from the shoreline – or high up from Cudgen Headland – and watching these majestic creatures as they make their way up (and down) the coast as part of their winter migration.  Binoculars optional!
  4. Kite flying.  No chance of their not being enough breeze and a great activity for all the family to enjoy (now is probably not the time to tell you about a funny family kite story where we flew a kite so high that the airport authorities paid us a visit! – true story! :-))
  5. Beach cricket/rugby/AFL/Soccer etc etc – beach sport games are still popular in winter – getting your feet wet is optional.
  6. Watching the sunrise/sunset with a warm drink and a moment to pause.  Winter nights produce many spectacular sunrises and sunsets (and lately some great moon shots courtesy of the “Super Moon”).  This is great any time of year.  Even better – bring along friends and nibblies and enjoy it all together.
  7. Fishing is great in winter too.  Watch the tides, bait your hook and cast your rod into the surf.  Tailor is currently biting from Cudgen Headland to Cabarita, bream and jew along the rock walls at the Tweed River mouth, luderick close to the bridges and rock walls and flathead on the ebb tide around the sand banks.
  8. A warm, sunny spot to read is the perfect way to relax on your winter break as well.  Shelter in amongst the dunes or byo shelter and enjoy the fresh air whilst retreating to the world of your favourite book in a perfect location.
  9. A winter swim.  Many “icebergers” or winter swimmers swear by the therapeutic benefits of swimming in the cooler months.  Is it your turn to try?
  10. And don’t forget to build that sandcastle.  With a lesser risk of sunburn (you will be rugged up after all!) play in the sand and build your own creation decorated with shells, moats, driftwood and grasses scavenged from the beach.  A fun activity for all the family and a perfect way to soak up the sun and atmosphere on a perfect winter break.

…and if all else fails (and the weather is really terrible), there is nothing better than visiting the local movie theatre, markets or other attractions, or just curling up by the fire at your own luxury beachfront holiday home

Chances are may already be enjoying these ideas. I’m glad to share them with you in case you forgot one. Have a great winter!

Would you like to book or find out more about us?

Check out our rates,

Look at our last minute accommodation specials or

Send us an enquiry now! 

You can also Contact us for more information or Subscribe to our free monthly email newsletter

Until next time – enjoy your day wherever you are from La Maison Pacifique “The Peaceful House” and your boutique designer luxury holiday home vacation rental in Casuarina, New South Wales, Australia – half way between the Gold Coast QLD and Byron Bay NSW, Australia.

Di Hendy

Di Hendy
Property Consultant
La Maison Pacifique
Telephone – call +61 (0) 411 052 759
Mobile/Cell – call or text +61 (0) 411 052 759
Email – contact info@lamaisonpacifique.com
Website – visit http://www.lamaisonpacifique.com
LinkedIn Group – join http://www.linkedin.com/groups/La-Maison-Pacifique-4634043
LinkedIn Company – follow http://www.linkedin.com/company/la-maison-pacifique
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Video Tour http://www.youtube.com/embed/KR8MiuA00Xg

 

Latest news from La Maison Pacifique July 2013 Update – our best yet!

Read La Maison Pacifique July 2013 Update online at
http://www.lamaisonpacifique.com/blog/la-maison-pacifique-july-2013-update

La Maison Pacifique

Hello

Latest news from La Maison Pacifique July 2013 Update – our best yet!

Our La Maison Pacifique July 2013 Update includes our recent social media articles (and some other great information added in) including:

  • a range of great articles on renting holiday homes (why, how to and avoiding scammers);
  • handy travel apps;
  • tips when travelling with Kids (essential items for travelling and what to pack);
  • a range of local upcoming (and current) events and activities;
  • and a bit about Destination Weddings too…

A handy, delectable travel dozen all up!

You can also link with us via Twitter, facebook, Google+, Linked in and Youtube for our news/stories as they happen (although our newsletter does have added extras too)  …and you will notice that we are getting more creative with our newsletter design (loving the photos :-))  Enjoy!

1. Lisa’s top things to do in Kingscliff NSW

Top things to do in Kingscliff NSW
Top things to do in Kingscliff NSW

We feel that there is no better recommendation than one coming from a local so we have spoken to local resident Lisa and she has come up with …drumroll please….  TA-DA! Lisa’s top things to do in Kingscliff NSW.  Prepare now for a range of activities you might not have thought of.  There are some real surprises there – and information that only the locals would know…
http://www.lamaisonpacifique.com/blog/top-things-to-do-in-kingscliff-nsw/

2. Why rent a holiday home?

Well, apart from the fact you get all the extras (including our fantastic newsletters :-)) smart, savvy travelers are making the switch from hotel accommodation to holiday home rentals and are basking in the glory of having their own private resorts – sometimes at a fraction of the cost of hotels (particularly when sharing with friends and family). This is a great article on why we think a holiday home is a great option for all holiday makers.  We’re sure you will be convinced.
http://www.lamaisonpacifique.com/blog/why-rent-a-holiday-home/

3. Tips for renting a holiday home

Tips for Renting a holiday Home
Tips for Renting a holiday Home

Planning your next holiday and looking for tips for renting a holiday home?  Read about our ideas so that you can make the most of your holiday experience.

  • Ever wished that you could live like **pop stars**/the wealthy/ the privileged but don’t think it is possible due to a tight budget?
  • Do you dream about a luxury holiday where you have access to every mod con you can think of – and with access to facilities and activities for adults and kids alike?
  • Do you like holidaying with a group of family/friends and are keen on exploring all the local activities (or just relaxing by your own private pool or spa)?

If you have answered “YES” to any of the above questions, then a holiday home rental could be just the thing you are looking for!  But hang on, about those tips.  I’ve decided to rent a holiday home, but how can I avoid any pitfalls? We don’t have all the answers (who does?), but here are some great tips to minimise any risks..
http://www.lamaisonpacifique.com/blog/tips-for-renting-a-holiday-home/

4. Avoiding Holiday Rental Scams – Top Tips

We’ve found a great UK article on the best way of avoiding holiday rental scams – and which complements our earlier articles “Why Rent a Holiday Home” and “Tips for Renting a Holiday Home“.  We’ve added to it though – and gone into a bit more detail about avoiding scams plus adjusted the aforementioned article’s comments for an Australian holiday rental context and added a couple of our own tips as well.  Well worth a read.
http://www.lamaisonpacifique.com/blog/avoiding-holiday-rental-scams-top-tips/

5. 8 Travel Apps to Make Your Summer Holiday Less Stressful

Well, we can’t take the credit for all the ideas in this one, and you will have to “Austrailanise” the content, but we thought this Huffington Post article pretty interesting and perfect for our tech savvy guests/travellers….  Just in time for preparations for our summer holidays too!
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/parmjit-parmar/best-travel-apps_b_3596614.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003&ir=Travel

6. Top 10 Essential Travel Items For Kids This Summer

Another great article we have found – this time from The Luxury Travel Blog.  Whilst the items listed are on the luxury side, the ideas are there and you can swap and change for local products and suppliers.  We think this article is spot on!
http://www.aluxurytravelblog.com/2013/07/11/top-10-essential-travel-items-for-kids-this-summer/?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer06b2b&utm_medium=twitter

7. Holiday House with Kids Survival Guide

Now, talking about kids and holiday rentals (perfect places for family holidays we know), we have found a fun (and informative!) article from the website Vegie Smugglers on their top tips on what to pack when you go.  There are a couple of items on the list that we already supply at La Maison Pacifique (ie. corkscrews, knives – we have Furi ones, plastic plates and cutlery, plastic containers and coffee machine – Miele cappuccino machine), but all items are great must-haves for holiday house rentals with kids!  BYO wine (see Emmanuel’s below).
http://vegiesmugglers.com.au/2010/09/28/my-holiday-house-survival-guide/

8. Caba Creative Carnivale – Cabarita Beach – Sunday September 29, 2013

Caba Creative Carnivale is our inaugural community event for Caba Creative (a local volunteer-run not-for-profit community organisation).  They operate as a platform for local artists, artisans, performers, business operators, residents, youth, indigenous people and environmentalists. Caba Creative’s key aims include networking and collaboration leading to community benefits while actively endorsing environmental and economic sustainability. They work within the splendour of the local beach and bush environment.  Come along and join in the fun of what promises to be a fantastic, inspiring community event – and one which we are sure will continue in the future!
https://www.facebook.com/events/348528121888336/

9. Ben Quilty – After Afghanistan – at Tweed River Art Gallery – 21 June-29 September 2013

Ben Quilty - After Afghanistan
Ben Quilty – After Afghanistan

As an official war artist of the Australian War Memorial, Quilty was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 where he observed Australians’ activities in Kabul, Kandahar and Tarin Kot. Archibald Prize winning artist Quilty says, “Afghanistan exposes the basics of humanity right there in your face: matters of life and death, the biggest themes an artist could ever imagine. I hope that when people walk into this exhibition they get more of a sense of what is like to be in Afghanistan. Not what it looks like, but what it feels like. What it is like to survive an experience such as these Australians have been through.”

Air Commodore John Oddie, former Deputy Commander of Joint Task Force 633 in the Middle East Area of Operations, and a subject of Quilty’s portraits says, “Ben exposes the unvarnished, visceral experiences of military service and confronts the subject with previously deniable truths as a critical step to reintegrating with family and society.” The exhibition showcases 21 studio paintings and 16 works on paper sketched during Quilty’s tour of Afghanistan in 2011.  Sobering, but a must see.
http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/ArtGallery/ArtGalleryExhibitionsDetail.aspx?Doc=pdfs/CurrentExhibitions.pdf

10. Knightsfest Kingscliff Lantern Markets – First Friday of Every Month

Kingscliff Lantern Markets is another great reason to visit and stay in the beautiful seaside village of Kingscliff. Eat, drink and be entertained at this fiesta by lantern and light. A celebration for families, friends and all walks of life and fast becoming one of the must things-to-do each month on the local calendar.
https://www.facebook.com/KingscliffLanternMarkettah

11. Wine tasting every Friday night at Emmanuel’s Wine Shop Kingscliff

We have only recently found out about this one – thanks to local resident Lisa.  It is such a good thing that we have not only included it in Lisa’s top things to do in Kingscliff, bnt deserves its own space in our newsletter!

Emmanuel's Wine Shop Kingscliff
Emmanuel’s Wine Shop Kingscliff

Emmanuel’s is not your standard bottle-o.  Emmanuel’s Wine Shop aims to provide a selection of wines, premium beers and selected spirits that offer quality and value for money at every price level.

An independent store,  Emmanuel’s can do what no-one else can…offer a thoughtful product range including small producers from around Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world. Emmanuel knows his wines; knows the regions that they come from and in most cases the vineyards and wine makers that produce them.  Impressive, eh!

So about this wine tasting…  Friday evenings from 5-7pm is another way to not just taste (and buy) some great wines but is a bit of a local’s institution as well.  Emmanuel taps into his vast knowledge as a wine merchant to provide his clientele with an interesting and comprehensive array of wines, beers and spirits from around the world.  Don’t forget Emmanuel’s is open until 8.00pm (every night except Sunday – 5.00pm) so there is time to buy some great wine and BYO to the local restaurants.
http://www.lamaisonpacifique.com/blog/top-things-to-do-in-kingscliff-nsw/

12. Osteria, Casuarina

In Italy an Osteria was originally a place serving wine and simple food. Lately, the emphasis has shifted to the food, but menus tend to be short, with an emphasis on local specialities such as pasta, grilled meat or fish, and often served at shared tables.  In this tradition, Osteria has created theme nights each Wednesday and Thursday.

  • Wednesday nights is Soup Kitchen, where for $7.50 you can have a hearty bowl of home-made soup.  They also have a soup & house wine special for only $10. Osteria guarantee that all take-away orders will be ready in less than 10 minutes.  Cool (or should we say, HOT) eh!
  • Thursday night’s feed the family shared table is inspired by the many dining houses around the world that do not see the need for a conventional menu. Guests are simply welcomed into the dining room and the chef, usually the owner of the establishment, prepares you a meal. Menu changes every week and bookings can be made.  Cost is $27.90 per person.
Destination Wedding Casuarina NSW
Destination Wedding Casuarina NSW

…and if you are thinking about your own Destination Wedding, Osteria has a fantastic new partnership with Casuarina Weddings and they are able to host special, unique and personalised weddings – using their own wedding planner – to make your day everything that you and your guests could hope for.  Don’t forget your Jaabay Candles – and local photographer Kristy of Figtree Pictures Wedding Photography who has just released a gorgeous new video too!

Wow!  So that rounds out a big month of news – the holiday home rental delectable dozen as promised – from us!  We do hope that you have enjoyed your newsletter and hope that it all inspires you to visit our beautiful Northern Rivers area sometime soon.  Remember we are not that far away – La Maison Pacifique is located 1/2 way between the Byron Bay NSW and the Gold Coast QLD, and easily accessible from Brisbane (90 minutes by car) or the Gold Coast Airport (20 minutes by car).  See you soon!

Late breaking news…

I know, should try to keep this shorter, but this was too good to miss!

Babalou Hearts Books
Babalou Hearts Books

Babalou Hearts Books

Calling all bookworms – Babalou will be launching its first Book Club Wednesday 31st July.

They will be doing 2 meetings – a 10 am and a 6pm. Join the lovely Nerida over coffee and cake and talk all things BOOKS 🙂 To book please email/call connect@byNerida.com.au or jodi@babalou.com.au 0266748764.

Would you like to book or find out more about us?

Check out our rates,

Look at our last minute accommodation specials or

Send us an enquiry now! 

You can also Contact us for more information or Subscribe to our free monthly email newsletter

Until next time – enjoy your day wherever you are from La Maison Pacifique “The Peaceful House” and your boutique designer luxury holiday home vacation rental in Casuarina, New South Wales, Australia – half way between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay.

Di Hendy

Di Hendy

Property Consultant
La Maison Pacifique
Telephone – call +61 (0) 411 052 759
Mobile/Cell – call or text +61 (0) 411 052 759
Email – contact info@lamaisonpacifique.com
Website – visit http://www.lamaisonpacifique.com
LinkedIn Group – join http://www.linkedin.com/groups/La-Maison-Pacifique-4634043
LinkedIn Company – follow http://www.linkedin.com/company/la-maison-pacifique
Google+ Person – add to circle https://plus.google.com/112592221587833404365/
Google+ Page – follow https://plus.google.com/b/112592221587833404365/
Twitter – follow http://www.twitter.com/maisonpacifique
Facebook – like http://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Maison-Pacifique/231607423592843
Newsletter – subscribe at http://eepurl.com/Am0zz
Video Tour http://www.youtube.com/embed/KR8MiuA00Xg

 

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Lisa’s Top things to do in Kingscliff NSW

Lisa’s Top things to do in Kingscliff NSW

Top things to do in Kingscliff NSW
Top things to do in Kingscliff NSW

We feel that there is no better recommendation than one coming from a local so we have spoken to local resident Lisa and she has come up with Lisa’s top things to do in Kingscliff NSW.  Prepare now for a range of activities you might not have thought of!

Over the next few weeks we will bring other locals’ thoughts on their favourites and we invite you to tell us yours as well!  You will see a few surprises and we will provide you with some links to the businesses/activities mentioned where we can.

Read on and be tempted to try these activities and local attractions for your next Northern Rivers holiday!

About Lisa

Lisa owns a local business based at Casuarina and her top things to do in Kingscliff NSW include:

Movies – Cinemax

There is a great little art-house theatre right on the beachfront at Marine Parade.  Cinemax Cinema is open 7 days and is a small cinema which offers not only a great cinema experience with a range of art house movies, but with its own Cinemax Cafe offering a range of delectable treats (and not just the normal popcorn, lollies and soft drinks – although you can get them too).  Ticket Prices are reasonable and like most cinemas they also have a cheap Tuesday offer.  Another idea would be to host your own Party – available for groups of 10 or more.  Current movies can be found here.

Stand up Paddleboarding

Hire stand up paddleboards from Watersports Guru at Kingscliff.  Cudgen Creek, Kingscliff is an ideal location to begin your Stand-Up Paddle Board passion. With 9 km of flat water, no boat traffic and beautiful wildlife surrounds, this epic activity, both fun and healthy, will have you grinning from ear to ear.

But don’t stop there!  The Watersports Guru also offers a range of other activities including Snorkeling with turtles, Scuba Diving, Whale Watching, Kayaking, Free Diving and Learn to Surf.

And for all you watersport lovers – don’t forget that the beach at Salt, Kingscliff is patrolled 365 days a year!

Wine tasting – Emmanuel’s choice will surprise

Emmanuel’s is not your standard bottle-o.  Emmanuel’s Wine Shop aims to provide a selection of wines, premium beers and selected spirits that offer quality and value for money at every price level.

An independent store,  Emmanuel’s can do what no-one else can…offer a thoughtful product range including small producers from around Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world. Emmanuel knows his wines; knows the regions that they come from and in most cases the vineyards and wine makers that produce them.  Impressive, eh!

Emmanuel’s best kept secrets (although not from the locals!) are two things:

  • Emmanuel’s Wine Classes.  With his French heritage and over 30 years experience in the Wine Trade, Emmanuel is well placed to offer a range of wine classes.  They are held on the first Thursday every month from 7.30pm-9.30pm and are a must for anyone interested in learning about wine.  Each class will showcase 10 to 12 wines, accompanied by some of the finest deli items currently in stock at the wine shop; Witches Chase Cheeses and Patés, Mistress of Spice dips and Whisk & Bean new range of products.
  • Emmanuel’s regular wine tastings – Friday evenings from 5-7pm is another way to not just taste (and buy) some great wines but is a bit of a local’s institution as well.  Emmanuel taps into his vast knowledge as a wine merchant to provide his clientele with an interesting and comprehensive array of wines, beers and spirits from around the world.  Don’t forget Emmanuel’s is open until 8.00pm (every night except Sunday – 5.00pm) so there is time to buy some great wine and BYO to the local restaurants.

Bike hire

At Kingscliff there is the Kingscliff Cycle Centre and at Cabarita Beach nearby you will find a favourite – Cabarita Beach Cycles.

Bike hire (for that great bike/pathway that extends all the way from the Northern end of Kingscliff,  south past Casuarina and into Cabarita Beach).  Safe as houses and perfect for all ages (particularly novices), this bikeway is a great way to get all the family involved in a fun activity (we suggest ending/dividing your trip in Cabarita Beach with lunch from the Caba Bakehouse or for something more substantial try the Blue Rose Cafe or Cabarita Beach Surf Club).

Shopping

The shopping – there are boutiques aplenty!  Up and down Marine Parade is a wonderful array of great shopping with everything from designer clothes through to swimwear through to kids clothes and surfwear.  The choice is great and a few extra shops are also in the Woolworths Shopping Precinct one street back (they have a Vinnies there as well).

A favourite – Heart of the Home – has a fantastic selection of homewares and clothes.  It is truly easy to while away some time browsing before being tempted by everything from homewares, candles and jewellery to some great fashion pieces.

Fantastic designer fashion pieces can be found at Anna & Ruth and everyone is talking about On Kliff’s reversible jeans.

These are just two of the many fashion stores on Marine Parade and it certainly wouldn’t be too hard to spend a few hours wandering up and down the strip and being tempted by the great fashions, homewares and everything in between on offer.

Time for coffee?

Now after working up a sweat with all that shopping, there are many places along Marine Parade that serve great coffee.  Choux Box is one, Mockingbird another and one street back, Lisa loves the Red Monkey (in the Woolworths Shopping Centre).

Need something different to eat?

Steven and Morgan Snow (from Fins Restaurant at Salt, Kingscliff) will, in August, open a pop-up Portugese Restaurant – Pequena – and run it for 2 months.  More information is available at the Fins Facebook page so “like” them to get the updates and news on their special themed nights and Pequena.

For a great family meal, we tried – and liked – the Cudgen Hedland Surf Club. Don’t be fooled as – despite its name – it is on Marine Parade in Kingscliff and has to-die-for views across the beach.

Well, that’s certainly a lot of information to take in – thanks Lisa!  We do hope that you are able to visit Kingscliff soon – so plan your next holiday now and get in before the big Spring/Summer rush when the town swells to the sound of a wave of wonderful visitors and the surf is up and running!

If you want to book now, it is Whale Watching Season (June – November) and there are frequent, daily sightings up and down the coast! It really is amazing to see.

Would you like to book or find out more about us?

Check out our rates,

Look at our last minute accommodation specials or

Send us an enquiry now! 

You can also Contact us for more information or Subscribe to our free monthly email newsletter

Until next time – enjoy your day wherever you are from La Maison Pacifique “The Peaceful House” and your boutique designer luxury holiday home vacation rental in Casuarina, New South Wales, Australia – half way between the Gold Coast QLD and Byron Bay NSW, Australia.

Di Hendy

Di Hendy
Property Consultant
La Maison Pacifique
Telephone – call +61 (0) 411 052 759
Mobile/Cell – call or text +61 (0) 411 052 759
Email – contact info@lamaisonpacifique.com
Website – visit http://www.lamaisonpacifique.com
LinkedIn Group – join http://www.linkedin.com/groups/La-Maison-Pacifique-4634043
LinkedIn Company – follow http://www.linkedin.com/company/la-maison-pacifique
Google+ Person – add to circle https://plus.google.com/112592221587833404365/
Google+ Page – follow https://plus.google.com/b/112592221587833404365/
Twitter – follow http://www.twitter.com/maisonpacifique
Facebook – like http://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Maison-Pacifique/231607423592843
Newsletter – subscribe at http://eepurl.com/Am0zz
Video Tour http://www.youtube.com/embed/KR8MiuA00Xg

Tips for Renting a Holiday Home

Tips for Renting a Holiday Home

Tips for Renting a holiday Home
Tips for Renting a holiday Home

Planning your next holiday and looking for tips for renting a holiday home?  Read on for our ideas so that you can make the most of your holiday experience.

  • Ever wished that you could live like pop stars/the wealthy/ the privileged but don’t think it is possible due to a tight budget?
  • Do you dream about a luxury holiday where you have access to every mod con you can think of – and with access to facilities and activities for adults and kids alike?
  • Do you like holidaying with a group of family/friends and are keen on exploring all the local activities (or just relaxing by your own private pool or spa)?

If you have answered “YES” to any of the above questions, then a holiday home rental could be just the thing you are looking for!

More and more people are booking their holiday accommodation online.  Some people feel that this is risky and/or are scared of being burnt by scammers, but here are some great tips on how to avoid these risks.

Google is my friend

We all know that there are a number of reputable websites which offer accommodation bookings on line.  Often,  holiday home owners will list with more than one online booking service.  So, check a few options out, make a selection and then google the name of your favourite holiday home selections.  If they are listed multiple times, you know that they are serious holiday home owners and have met rigorous listing requirements across a range of online booking sites/services.

Do they have their own website?

If you have done your search above and found that the holiday home has their own website, check their last minute accommodation specials to see if they offer discounts for booking direct.  This can save you some cash in your booking and offers a nice little added extra.

If the property does have its own website, then there is probably some great information on things to do in the local area.  Have a read before you book to check out things you might like to do and before you go do a quick list of some of the activities and attractions you might like to visit.

Reputable website will also list where you can find them on other websites.  Always handy to know.

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, You-tube, LinkedIn and other networks

We can’t imagine that scammers will go to the extent to update content on all of the above networks, so if you favourite accommodation has all these links, check out what they have to say.  Are you comfortable with what they are offering?

Read their guest book comments – and write your own

Always a good indication of how good a holiday home rental is can be a review from a guest.  Don’t be afraid to write your own too as both the owner and future guests appreciate it.

Understanding the terms and conditions

Ok, so we are all busy people, but have a read of the terms and conditions.  Most holiday homes require a bond.  Our experience is that most holiday home owners are keen to return the bond in full.  However, if there are breakages and damages, these are not covered in the cost of the accommodation.  A bond is totally reasonable, but budget for this in your cost (and chase up once you leave).

There may be other conditions such as no wedding parties/receptions, quiet hours (holiday home owners don’t want to upset their neighbours) and some safety requirements around pools.  Most holiday home owners are reasonable in relation to these but be clued up before you book and confirm.

Check the inclusions – and compare

Some holiday home owners set their rates according to accommodation + add-ons (ie. linen hire, cleaning, beach towel hire, bedmaking etc) – making the initial cost seem “cheap” but the overall cost higher.  Make sure you add them all up to get a real cost for your holiday.

Other holiday home owners have an all inclusive one-off cost with a list of inclusions (including those listed above).  So, when you are choosing your favourites make sure you are comparing apples with apples.  You don’t want a fright when your bill arrives!

Don’t forget credit card fees too.  Are these included?  Does your favourite selection even accept credit cards/paypal so you can earn your frequent flyer points – but also have the extra security provided by booking via credit card?

Confirm, confirm, confirm

Confirm your number of guests with the holiday home owner or their property manager.  If you have selected a home that offers accommodation for 10, you can generally be assured that all facilities (ie. furniture, crockery, cutlery, etc) will cater for 10.  There may also be different bedding configurations so make sure you let them know your choice so that you can cater for your whole group comfortably.

You should receive a confirmation email with all the details from the property owner or manager.  …and if you want to double check your own booking, go back to one of their booking sites and see whether the week you have booked has been blocked out…  If not, send a quick email or call the property manager to ensure you are booked in.

Another idea is to make a calendar note for one month prior to your arrival.  At that time, send off a quick email confirming your booking and requesting any extra information (or extra services – such as groceries – see below) that you need.  You holiday is coming up after all, so now is the time to get excited!

Are you sharing?

Most holiday homes are complete in themselves and you have the whole site available for you and your guests.  However, it is also good to check if there are any shared facilities on site.

Who to call in an emergency

This will often be found in your arrival information (probably worth checking that they have that!), but make sure you know who to contact.  Arrival information is important as it will also give you tips on how things work at the home.  Every home has its own little quirks so it is nice to know that there is a FAQ/information sheet that can solve any dilemmas.  An emergency contact is vital for the unexplained.

Consider ordering your groceries online before you arrive

A classic extra service is grocery shopping.  With the plethora of online grocery stores (including Coles and Woolworths) available throughout Australia, what better thing to arrange for your arrival is for your shopping to be packed away ready?  Yes, you can do your big order online, but check whether your holiday home owner has an “open door and unpack groceries” service (particularly helpful with the cold items) which will mean that you can start your holidays as soon as your arrive and your groceries are ready and waiting in the pantry and fridge/freezer.

We do hope our top tips for renting a holiday home has been useful and feel free to email us with any extra tips that you have.  We love to share.

Would you like to book or find out more about us?

Check out our rates,

Look at our last minute accommodation specials or

Send us an enquiry now! 

You can also Contact us for more information or Subscribe to our free monthly email newsletter

Until next time – enjoy your day wherever you are from La Maison Pacifique “The Peaceful House” and your boutique designer luxury holiday home vacation rental in Casuarina, New South Wales, Australia – half way between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay.

Di Hendy

Di Hendy
Property Consultant
La Maison Pacifique
Telephone – call +61 (0) 411 052 759
Mobile/Cell – call or text +61 (0) 411 052 759
Email – contact info@lamaisonpacifique.com
Website – visit http://www.lamaisonpacifique.com
LinkedIn Group – join http://www.linkedin.com/groups/La-Maison-Pacifique-4634043
LinkedIn Company – follow http://www.linkedin.com/company/la-maison-pacifique
Google+ Person – add to circle https://plus.google.com/112592221587833404365/
Google+ Page – follow https://plus.google.com/b/112592221587833404365/
Twitter – follow http://www.twitter.com/maisonpacifique
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Video Tour http://www.youtube.com/embed/KR8MiuA00Xg

 

Avoiding Holiday Rental Scams – Top Tips

Avoiding Holiday Rental Scams – Top Tips

June 2013 016
Avoiding Holiday Rental Scams – Top Tips

We’ve found a great UK article on the best way of avoiding holiday rental scams – and which compliments our earlier articles “Why Rent a Holiday Home” and “Tips for Renting a Holiday Home“.  Below we have gone into a bit more detail about avoiding scams as we have adjusted the aforementioned article’s comments for an Australian holiday rental context and added a couple of our own tips as well!

Many prospective travelers/holidaymakers can be nervous about booking online for their holiday rental homes. Yes, we all need to show caution when booking holiday homes, villas and apartments, but there are ways to minimise your risk of being scammed.

Holidaymakers can be vulnerable when booking holiday lets online, especially when looking for bargains and last-minute deals. Even booking through one of the leading holiday rental and letting websites can involve risk.  Having said that, many online sites (such as stayz.com.au) request a copy of the title deed for the property so they can check this against the true owner names.  Always a good sign.

To avoid being scammed by bogus holiday rentals, follow these steps to check if a holiday home,  apartment or villa is genuine before booking.

How can I check if a holiday rental property is real?

  • If booking through arental listing site the adverts may show (near the contact details at the bottom) how long the property has been advertised on the site. The length the advertiser has been on the site is usually a good indicator of the owners experience. The longer the better.
  • Is the holiday rental home listed on other online booking sites?  Each time a holiday rental is listed on a site, they must undertake standard checks to prove they are legitimate.  This may include a copy of their property title deed (per above).
  • Does your holiday rental home have its own website?  Is it more than just a one pager and does it provide information on local activities and/or attractions?  Does it have a blog and newsletters?  All of these things can show a commitment to building their business and online presence.
  • Does your holiday rental home have a social media presence?  Can you find it on twitter, facebook, google+, Linked in and Youtube?  Do these listing match with what is provided on the other websites?  Is the message consistent.  If there are anomalies, investigate further.
  • Although many holidaymakers now book holidays via email and online forms without speaking to owners, speaking to someone on the phone can be reassuring that the holiday home is genuine and as advertised.  Call or email the owner/property manager and ask questions about the location, good restaurants, local beaches, nearest supermarket, tourist attractions etc. to get a feel for the place. Serious rental owners will be happy to oblige.
  • There are opinions that testimonials and reviews can be ‘phoney’ – but ones that can be verified are a good sign of trust. Some of the rental sites feature reviews from past guests, read through them and see if what they are saying matches what the property offers.
  • Do you have contact details for the owner, including both holiday let address and phone number? Although some owners will be unwilling to disclose these on their websites due to their own fraud concerns, there should be no problems getting these at the booking contract stage when the owner knows you are serious. If you have concerns, ask for a utility bill for proof of ownership.
  • Once you have these details turn to the search engines to do some research on the owner, the property, phone number etc. By entering the address into Google maps you should be able to verify the address and on some instances, use Google street view to see the actual holiday let. Do the photos on the advertisements match the images on street view?
  • Is information on the terms and conditions readily available?  The property owner/manager should send you a confirmation email, which outlines the terms and conditions of the holiday before you book.
  • Are availability calendars updated? Although some advertisers leave theirs all available to try and sell alternative dates to enquirers, a calendar showing all available could be a ‘flag’ as scammers tend to re-sell peak weeks, as these are the most expensive. If unsure, again, check with the property owner/manager.
  • If the owner has their own website, do a whois lookup which shows details of who owns the website domain. Does it match the owners details provided (mindful that some owners name their property managers rather than themselves? How long has the domain been registered for?
  • …and don’t discount word of mouth!  Know anyone who has been to your planned location recently?  Does anyone know the property?  If it has come recommended, that can be the best check of all!

Protecting payments

The level of protection you have depends on how you pay for your holiday. Consider the following payment options before you send any money.

  • Personal cheques and electronic bank transfers are the preferred method of payment for many holiday let owners, so don’t be alarmed if this is the only payment method available. However, once the cheque or money transfer is cashed, there is very little consumer protection and it will be difficult to recover funds in cases of fraud. Following the steps above and sending a cheque by post to an address, not a post box can help safeguard against fraud.
  • Some owners may have a PayPal account, which allows you pay online via credit card. Payments by PayPal are covered for 45 days after payment, so if you pay your balance 6-8 weeks before (which is standard practice) this should give you enough time to make a claim following a fraud.
  • Paying by credit card offers the most comprehensive protection from fraud. The problem is that most holiday let owners don’t offer this facility due to high costs. However, if you are booking through an agency they should offer this facility.
  • Debit cards may offer some protection, but this varies so check with your bank.
  • Be wary of paying for accommodation by untraceable methods such as a wire transfer company.  (We don’t know anyone who would!)
  • Common holiday rental payment procedure is 25% deposit and then the balance 6-8 weeks before departure. However, some have other terms and conditions.  If full payment is requested up front be wary. Obviously late bookings (ie. 6-8 weeks before departure) will require full payment, but try and use a payment method that offers protection such as PayPal or credit card.

Don’t be afraid!

Whilst we can never guarantee that you will never be scammed, by following the above avoiding holiday rental scams  – top tips, your risk of being scammed will be reduced.  As always, if it smells like fish,  looks like fish and tastes like fish, it is probably fish(y)!

Would you like to book or find out more about us?

Check out our rates,

Look at our last minute accommodation specials or

Send us an enquiry now! 

You can also Contact us for more information or Subscribe to our free monthly email newsletter

Until next time – enjoy your day wherever you are from La Maison Pacifique “The Peaceful House” and your boutique designer luxury holiday home vacation rental in Casuarina, New South Wales, Australia – half way between the Gold Coast QLD and Byron Bay NSW, Australia.

Di Hendy

Di Hendy
Property Consultant
La Maison Pacifique
Telephone – call +61 (0) 411 052 759
Mobile/Cell – call or text +61 (0) 411 052 759
Email – contact info@lamaisonpacifique.com
Website – visit http://www.lamaisonpacifique.com
LinkedIn Group – join http://www.linkedin.com/groups/La-Maison-Pacifique-4634043
LinkedIn Company – follow http://www.linkedin.com/company/la-maison-pacifique
Google+ Person – add to circle https://plus.google.com/112592221587833404365/
Google+ Page – follow https://plus.google.com/b/112592221587833404365/
Twitter – follow http://www.twitter.com/maisonpacifique
Facebook – like http://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Maison-Pacifique/231607423592843 Newsletter – subscribe at http://eepurl.com/Am0zz
Video Tour http://www.youtube.com/embed/KR8MiuA00Xg

Why Rent a Holiday Home?

Why Rent a Holiday Home?

Why rent a holiday home?

Why rent a holiday home instead of a hotel accommodation?

Smart, savvy travellers are making the switch from hotels to holiday home rentals and are basking in the glory of having their own private resorts – sometimes at a fraction of the cost of hotel accommodation (particularly when sharing with friends and family).

Are you planning your next holiday and looking for reasons to rent a holiday home?  Read on as we explain why holiday home rental could be a great option for you, your friends and family…

Hotel Accommodation vs Holiday Home Rental  – the questions to ask yourself

  • Ever wished that you could live like pop stars/the wealthy/ the privileged but don’t think it is possible due to a tight budget?
  • Do you dream about a luxury holiday accommodation choice where you have access to every mod con you can think of – and with access to facilities and activities for adults and kids alike?
  • Do you like privacy and are not interested in sharing facilities with crowds of people you don’t know?
  • Do you like holidaying with a group of family/friends and are keen on exploring all the local activities (or just relaxing by your own private pool or spa)?

If you have answered “YES” to any (or all) of the above questions, then a holiday home rental could be just the thing you are looking for for your next holiday!

Why rent a holiday home?

Well, apart from the fact that a holiday home can be significantly cheaper cost per person, what better option is there for you to enjoy that longed for holiday than to have quality time with your favourite people and with everything at your fingertips?

Holiday homes enable families and friends to holiday together in a location of their choice.  Particularly if family/friends do not live near each other, a “neutral ground” beachfront holiday home could be the answer to a perfect holiday and/or celebration.

Northern NSW is a great holiday location choice if you like access to both the beach (including Byron Bay and the Gold Coast) and the Hinterland.  Easily accessible too with the Gold Coast airport a stones throw away – or a 90 minute drive from Brisbane’s CBD.  Consider the regular arts and culture events, and drop by some of the many local (including organic) food producers.

With everyone chipping in on costs, ability to share activities (or not), and a chance to relax and unwind without the usual “home” pressures is a great way to embrace a holiday and enjoy that special time with the ones you want to be with most of all.

Holiday homes are perfect for groups – couples groups, family groups, generational groups and sometimes for small work getaways.

Holiday homes can also be the perfect answer for destination wedding guests.  Why not pool your resources and stay together – and enjoy the private facilities that a holiday home has on offer?

But why can it be cheaper than hotel accommodation?

  1. Holiday homes offer competitive rates and have a range of options according to your budget.  Also, often the longer you stay, the more discounted the rate.  ie.  weekend rates, whilst still competitive, might be a higher per night cost, but this cost often reduces significantly for weekly stays.  Why is this?  Property owners and managers like weekly rentals.  Once their fixed costs have been paid, then they can afford to reduce the nightly rate for weekly stays (and you get more holiday time to boot).
  2. For large groups (say 6+), to stay in hotel accommodation you might be paying for 3 rooms.  In a holiday home, you can get a 3-4 bedroom home often for less than the cost of a comparable hotel, and you have access to cooking facilities and equipment, a range of extras and you don’t have to share with strangers.
  3. You may also get to stay in a luxury home for the same price as hotel accommodation for your group – and that might include added extras like pool, spa, extra lounge areas, quality fixtures and fittings (like Miele appliances and a capuccino machine), Foxtel/Austar (included in price), board games and of course game consoles.  In addition, it is private, so you won’t have any adjoining walls.
  4. Property owners are keen to keep your business.  For them it is personal, particularly when you are dealing direct.  Remember, if a property is listed on a number of websites (and has their own), plus have their own social media presence (like facebook, twitter, google+, linkedin, youtube etc), you are likely to be dealing direct with the owner and/or a dedicated property manager.  This is good news and you can use their knowledge to make the most of what is available in the region.
  5. Home owners love their location.  If they have their own website, you can get access to “local” activities and events, attractions and even some tips on things to do.  You can find all this out beforehand and plan all the fun activities before you arrive.

As you can see, we feel it is worthwhile considering a holiday home for your next vacation and if you have any other tips, feel free to contact us.  We love to share!

Would you like to book or find out more about us?

Check out our rates,

Look at our last minute accommodation specials or

Send us an enquiry now! 

You can also Contact us for more information or Subscribe to our free monthly email newsletter

Until next time – enjoy your day wherever you are from La Maison Pacifique “The Peaceful House” and your boutique designer luxury holiday home vacation rental in Casuarina, New South Wales, Australia – half way between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay.

Di Hendy

Di Hendy
Property Consultant
La Maison Pacifique
Telephone – call +61 (0) 411 052 759
Mobile/Cell – call or text +61 (0) 411 052 759
Email – contact info@lamaisonpacifique.com
Website – visit http://www.lamaisonpacifique.com
LinkedIn Group – join http://www.linkedin.com/groups/La-Maison-Pacifique-4634043
LinkedIn Company – follow http://www.linkedin.com/company/la-maison-pacifique
Google+ Person – add to circle https://plus.google.com/112592221587833404365/
Google+ Page – follow https://plus.google.com/b/112592221587833404365/
Twitter – follow http://www.twitter.com/maisonpacifique
Facebook – like http://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Maison-Pacifique/231607423592843 Newsletter – subscribe at http://eepurl.com/Am0zz
Video Tour http://www.youtube.com/embed/KR8MiuA00Xg

 

 

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