French Polynesia – A Diver’s Paradise
Hello everyone, this is Shannon. As a scuba diver, I am always looking for places to add to my list for diving. While I have been to French Polynesia twice, I have yet to actually get underwater there! So as you can imagine, I am really hoping to go back to dive in both the Society Islands but also the Tuamotus.
Our friends at Paul Gauguin have put together some of the best dive sites in French Polynesia. Cruising with Paul Gauguin is one of the best ways to see all of the islands in the Society Islands and you can certainly add diving to your cruise!
Check out their post here.
Want to learn more, give me a call or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is it like to travel in New Zealand now?
Hi everyone. It’s Shannon and I have just returned from a trip to New Zealand. While travel has not returned to exactly the same as before COVID, it is easy and very safe to travel to New Zealand. The weather was stunning, consider November for your trip.
Here are some tips:
- Immigration/Customs. New Zealand has dropped their COVID testing and vaccination proof requirements for entry into the country. I flew on American Airlines direct from Dallas to Auckland Upon arrival, there were no lines. I used the SmartGate and was through in under 10 minutes.
- Masks. Masks are not required in the airport, on the plane or in any public places that I observed. Similar to the US, you will still see people wearing masks and of course, it is completely up to your comfort level if you want to wear one or not.
- Staffing Levels. Just like many of you have experienced in America and other places around the world, hotel, restaurants and touring companies are not fully staffed so wait times can be longer. Some tours will change with little warning. So you just need some patience and grace.
Here is what is amazing about traveling now:
- Kiwi Hospitality. The locals are so happy to have you traveling back in their country. They are wonderfully warm and welcoming.
- More Focus on Sustainability and Conservation. The over arching theme/message I received there was that Kiwis are MORE focused on conservation than ever before. There is a goal of returning to only endemic plants and animals in the entire country in the next 10 years. Less plastic, more recycled materials, less stress on the environment.
- No crowds. As New Zealand enters their peak season (first time being open since late 2019), normally you would expect to see crowds and sold out hotels. But I didn’t see any of that. So places like Milford Sound and other very popular places you will see fewer people.
Demand for New Zealand is very high, that means that future dates for hotels and tours are very booked. So we are recommending booking your dream New Zealand vacation for May 2023 and beyond. I would love to tell you more, give me a call or email me at email@example.com.
Benefits of Shoulder Season
The demand for travel has skyrocketed in the last 6 months. After 2 years of most of the world being shut down, people are ready to explore! And many have decided that their bucket list trips can’t wait any longer. Those dreams of 4-6 week holidays are being realized.
For places like Australia and New Zealand, November to February (which are considered their summer months) are a wildly popular time to travel. Hotels and touring companies are absolutely at capacity for those months. For that reason, we want to tell you why shoulder season is a better time to travel.
Shoulder season is a cheeky term we use in the travel industry to describe the off-peak times to travel. In the southern hemisphere, those times are March/April/early May and September/October.
Here are some benefits to traveling during those times:
- You can expect to pay lower prices for hotels and flights.
- Weather is still generally very good. Places like Australia, New Zealand and South Africa don’t get the huge fluctuations of temperatures like we do in the US.
- Places will be less crowded and reservations are easier to find.
- You won’t encounter off-season closures in many places.
Start planning now for your trip in shoulder season in 2023, it’s never too early to plan a dream vacation.