Secret brunch spots in Wellington

If there’s one thing Wellington does really well, it’s cafés. And wind. OK, so there’s two things Wellington does well – cafés and wind. But today we’re talking about cafés. We’re happy to reveal to you our secret insider’s guide to Wellington cafés so that you’ll never go hungry at breakfast time. With this much variety you’ll never have to settle for a microwaved muffin. Read more…

Why we don’t use rack rates on Travelbug

Why rack rates can rack off

You’ve seen them I’m sure, rates displayed for accommodation bookings on websites named ‘rack rates’. Everywhere you look these days there’s another daily deals website or online travel agency offering accommodation deals with a hefty discount. 50% is common, 75% is regular and I’ve even seen 90% discounts being touted. In many cases the comparison prices being used are elusive at best and sometimes just plain non-existent.

Before I get stuck in, though, this post isn’t a criticism of accommodation operators that use ‘rack’ or ‘full’ rates. It makes sense that they set a ceiling price for their product, and there are instances in which a rack rate does actually get charged. This blog is a criticism of third party websites, offering a service like Travelbug, that use these full rates to define price comparisons.

At Travelbug, we don’t use ‘full rates’ or ‘rack rates’ to compare sale rates. We think that for accommodation booking websites like us they are misleading and here’s why: Read more…

The 10 best places to stay in New Zealand

We know that everyone – including New Zealand Prime Minister John Key – loves a good Top 10, so we took a look through the more than 15,000 accommodation reviews on Travelbug and dug out the ten top places to stay. We used a combination of the number of reviews, the review percentage from the last 12 months and the number of bookings (and some secret sauce calculations), so these places are both popular and highly-rated, like Daniel Carter. Read more…

5-star hotels versus backpacker hostels

Back in the “tink” days (two incomes, no kids), it was 5-star accommodation all the way baby! A lot of my friends chose to backpack their way around the world and for them it was a great option, they got to meet lots of new people and experience things that you would only if you were willing to go with the flow – all on a shoestring. But I’ve always been quite accustomed to my creature comforts and fortunate enough to be able to support my high maintenance preferences.

Eagles Nest, Russell

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Announcing our Winter photo competition winners

In the Travelbug newsletter last week we had a photo competition, looking for the best winter photo snaps. Since then winter really hit Kiwis hard with big snow falls up and down the country including my very own Wellington suburb of Brooklyn.

Because of the timing of the newsletter, we probably missed many of the millions of amazing photos that were surely taken early this week, but we got some fantastic shots nonetheless.

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5 things to know about booking rugby accommodation

As the World Cup rushes towards us like Sonny Bill Williams with ball in hand – it’s less than 30 days away – here at Travelbug we’ve taken a look at some trends regarding NZ accommodation bookings and some interesting patterns are emerging.

1. Prices are up – say what you like about how properties are pricing their accommodation, the numbers we’re seeing from bookings on Travelbug tell us that travellers are paying more for bookings in September and October this year than they were last year:

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