March 12, 2013

Win an iPad + honeymooning without the Internet.

This is the second post in a series bought to you by Aussie’s New Platinum Card. They have asked me to share a few travel stories. And with this post, I am giving away a new iPad!

The new Aussie Platinum Card offers a low rate, low fees, no international transaction fees on purchases, extended warranty insurance and complimentary international travel insurance. 

So buckle up people, for a travelling tale!

Eleven years ago, Mr. Woog and I wed in my parent’s garden. I wore a green dress with black riding boots underneath, because I hate heels and no one could see them, so it didn’t really matter anyway.

The next day, seedy as all get out, we boarded a plane. Our honeymoon destination?


Vietnam was like Thailand might have been 30 years ago. It had just started to come up on the radar as a great tourist destination, but someone had forgot to tell the hospitality industry over there. It was hit or miss to say the very least.

Mr. Woog was in charge of booking the Ho Chi Minh part of our trip, while I had self assigned to co-ordinate the resort/relax/pampering part of the holiday.

This is where we approach things quite differently. Mr. Woog comes at it from a budgetary perspective, while I prefer to select my destination according to the 5 Star Rating scale.

We arrived in Vietnam and were greeted by the transfer operator who took us on a short but terrifying trip to La Hotel De Dump. Not it’s real name, but sure should have been.


Having been shown to our cell, I went back downstairs to request a room that didn’t smell like a latrine. We were moved to another room that smelt like 4 latrines, and finally to one that had a slight pongy waft, but no where as eye-watering.

Vietnam was incredible though. It was loud and fast and hot and very heavily populated. Now I am not a religious gal, but I took to crossing myself every time I had to Frogger-like hop across the streets. The food was incredible and the people were beyond friendly, although no one spoke a lick of English and my Vietnamese was limited to “rice paper roll.” Which is not even Vietnamese.

Our time in the city flew by and soon we boarded another plane. A small place that had 2 propellers and I swear I saw someone come across the tarmac and give them a big shove to get them going. CROSSED MYSELF AGAIN!

We flew into Nha Trang where things got a whole lot calmer.

We stayed at the Evasion Ana Mandara and it could not be faulted. All was perfect, until one day Mr. Woog ate some dodgy Spaghetti Marinara from a café and that was the end of him for the rest of our honeymoon.

I mean come on! Who eats that when you can pluck a lobster out of a tank, have a little cry because you know you don’t really want to see its demise, and then beam with glee when it is presented to you fifteen minutes later fresh from the BBQ, with a simple wedge of lemon and a dear little dish of spiced salt…..?

The interesting thing about that trip, looking back on it, is that it was all planned without the help of the Internet! Hard to believe I know, but we relied on brochures and speaking to travel agents, none of who had actually BEEN to Vietnam, but a lot of them had uncles who had been deployed there during the war.

Since then, I have been lucky to travel overseas WITH the assistance of the Internet, and I will now share with you some tips on how I organize a holiday.

·   Destination. Work out where you actually want to go. Got kids? Try to keep the plane ride as short as possible. Or use some horse tranquilizers to knock yourself out.

·   Package deals offered by airlines are very competitive. Sign up to as many newsletters as you can bear, and scour them for good deals. A few years ago we went to Fiji on a “Buy One Night Get One Free” deal, which turned out to be very cheap. Cheaper than going to the Gold Coast!

·   I would never* fib and say it is our honeymoon again to get an upgrade.

·   Get on Trip Advisor. I think this is the most comprehensive review site around and always consult it before selecting accommodation.

·   Do some research and email the resort/hotel directly to see whether you can get a better deal by booking straight through them. I have had a lot of success by doing this.

·   Sort out your cash. How are you going to handle the exchange rates and transaction fees so you get the best deal?

·   INSURE INSURE INSURE! Choose a card, such as the Aussie Platinum Card, to get complimentary travel insurance.

·   Consider staying in an apartment. Check out Air BnB, but make sure you read reviews from other travellers to ascertain that the proprietor is legit.

·   Hotel transfers can be a rip off, so ask is it can be complementary or suss out whether it is cheaper to get a cab. In places like New York it is a $45 flat fee from the airport to Manhattan in a taxi.

There are dozens of tips and tricks to get yourself holiday ready via the Internet. There is nothing more I adore than surfing the net and discovering things to do on holiday. Hours can be lost, but once I am on that plane, with a champers in my hand, all those hours are worth it.

But you need something to research with, don’t you!

With thanks to the brand new Aussie Platinum Card, we are giving away an iPad so you can get cracking on researching and planning your next adventure! Entry could not be simpler.**

Just tell me your funniest travel story here in the comments section! Keep it around 30 words, if you can.



The competition is open to all Australian Residents and the winner will be announced here on 31 March 2013. If the winner does not reveal themselves after a week, another will be selected. REVEAL!

This post is brought to you by Aussie’s New Platinum Card, a resource designed with travellers in mind.   Features include:
A low purchase interest rate.
Card has no international transaction fees for OS/online purchases.
Extended warranty insurance
Complimentary international travel insurance.

Click here for more information.
*always try this.
**Terms and conditions apply, click here for details

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