Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Budget hotels at bargain prices

Finally someone has hit the missing spot in the market.  TUNE HOTELS - A good quality hotel room without frills but with many extras individually priced as add ons.  The base price is a modern double fan cooled room with en-suite.

For the first day you must pay a room service charge but after that it is an optional extra.   

Mainly in Asia but with a hotel in London this looks to be the way of the future.  Add ons include air-con, breakfast, internet, towels with toiletries pack, luggage storage and hair dryer all at reasonable prices.

We shall be using the one at Kuala Lumpur LCCT to tie in with a stop over on our Air Asia flights.

A real treat for budget concious back packers and perfect for people who just want a good price on a user pays basis.  Well done Tune Hotels

Monday, 29 November 2010

Air Asia flight deals

A few days ago our friends daughter was looking for flights from Australia to Europe.  I remembered that Air Asia were just setting up a new route to Paris.

She was flexible with dates so we trawelled through the KL to Paris flights from the start date in February to March and by doing this and the same with the Melbourne to KL came up with a total through fare of $345 and that included paying extra for check in baggage.

Takes a bit of time but well worth it in terms of the saving, if you can get them the promo fares are usually the best of all.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

When is a visit to another country not a visit to another country?

Answer  - In Australia when it is a cruise of less than 30 days starting and returning to the same port.  OK so why might this be relevent.

We arrived in Australia with a 6 month multi entry tourist visa subclass 676.  At the end of 6 months the options were to a/ leave the country, b/ pay $255 to extend the visa c/ leave the country and return.


Many people in immigraiton and customs are not aware of this.

Our situation panned out as follows.

Rather than spend $255 on an visa extension we thought it would be smart to put this money towards a trip abroad.  We checked with an immigration office that going abroad would include places such as New Zealand, New Caledonia, Vanuatu or Fiji and it did.  WE OMITTED TO MENTION THAT WE WERE CONSIDERING A CRUISE.

Got a good deal on a cruise to Vanuatu and New Caledonia and left Sydney after showing our passport and customs card on departure.  On return to Sydney there were no immigration people to stamp us for re-entry.  We arrived back the day our initial visa ran out and it was a Saturday and the immigration offices were closed.

Went to immigraiton at the airport to be told we should get on a flight to New Zealand before midnight to comply.  This was going to be very expensive and with prompting for alternatives the immigration officer said we could go to a computer and lodge a visa application on line.  This did not work for our visa type and because of this we were told (wrongly) that we could front up at an immigration office on Monday and be treated the same as if we had applied on line.

Not so.  By Monday we were illegal immigrants and had to bounce between the Melbourne visa compliance office and visa application unit.  First to be issued a free bridging visa giving us 7 days to leave the country or return with a ticket for a flight out within 14 days.  We pushed more saying we really wanted to say and were told to apply for a new visa.  THE BRIDGING VISA CANCELS ALL PREVIOUS VISAS.  This cost us $255 each plus because we had been in a TB country within the last 5 years $100 each for chest x-rays.  WE then had to go back to compliance to lodge our new visa application against the bridging visa so the bridging visa would last until the extension was processed.

A huge amount of expense and inconvenience that could have been avoided if had known the cruise situation.