Dunedin – surrounded by great places to visit

One of the reasons I love living in Dunedin is that we are surrounded by awesome destinations, all within a couple of hours drive. This Xmas break, my wife and I are taking advantage of this with a handful of small trips in our caravan with the kids.

We are roughly covering all three of the main compass points you can travel on land from Dunedin… Read more…

How's the weather looking for your arrival day?

Your accommodation is booked, the annual leave is approved and your ride to the airport is sorted. Now it’s just the bags that need to be packed and you’re off! But hang on, in our fine country of four seasons in one day, what will the weather be doing? Should you be packing sunnies and daisy dukes, or a scarf and your drizabone?

From today, Trev has turned weather reporter and will let you know the forecast as part of your booking reminder email delivered directly to your inbox. Thanks to our friends at MetService, this swanky five day forecast will let you know what the weather is doing up to and after your arrival date:


Look at that Dunner stunner on Saturday!


8 great New Zealand holiday parks

New Zealand Holiday Park accommodationWith all the rugby-related activities at present it’s hard to look much past October 24th (when the Richie McCaw and his mighty All Blacks will surely hold aloft that wonderful shiny trophy), but sure enough time is marching on and summer is fast approaching. And you know what that means: it’s time to book your camping spot, air the tent out, refill the gas bottle and head off on a road trip to one of NZ’s many amazing campgrounds or holiday parks.

We have plenty to choose from on Travelbug, all bookable up to a year in advance and with no booking fees. But as there are so many to choose from we thought we’d pick out a few that have fantastic user reviews to help guide your choice. Read more…

Travelbug’s rugby fever beatbox opera

The World Cup is in full force and getting more attention than Sonny Bill with his shirt off. Wellington has been rocking, with teams and fans galore, a brilliant fanzone right outside our Travel offices and now the All Blacks arriving readying themselves for their clash against the mighty Canucks. So caught up in rugby fever are we in Wellington that one of our Travel bloggers, Simon, lent his beatbox opera skills to this amazing piece of performance art:

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My first time – overseas travel through fresh eyes


Do you remember what it was like to take your first big trip? To take your first big plane ride, go through customs for the first time, to stay in your first hotel and negotiate your first taxi ride into a new city? I remember my first big trip, which was to the USA and Mexico with my family (my Dad is American) when I was four years old, and I have one clear memory from that trip: my grandfather dangling me over the cliffs of Acapulco by my feet. Fun times.

In today’s blog I want to share with you a recent trip I made across the ditch that reminded me of what it’s like to travel for the first time, having not travelled overseas for a few years. It was a quick trip to Sydney – one night and some meetings – and I decided to act like a tourist.

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The perils of allowing traveller reviews on Travelbug

Travelbug thumbs up reviewTravelbug has been rocking along for four years selling NZ accommodation and I’ve been here for all but two months of those four years. I reckon (all bias aside) that we’ve got one of the best sites around to book accommodation, and generally things go swimmingly. But one of the more common topics that we need to debate with travellers and operators is the area of traveller reviews. Read more…

5 things to love about Paihia

Need a break and love a seaside getaway? Forget saving for a Rarotongan Island holiday, a tropical paradise is only a 3.5 hour drive away (from Auckland) and with discount domestic flights coming up so frequently, a trip to Paihia in the gorgeous Bay of Islands can be very affordable. My partner and I flew from Wellington to Auckland and took a rental car from the airport. Pack your togs, sunhat and make sure your dancing undies are firmly in place!Paihia Wharf

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What’s new on Travelbug? A nerdy update…

We’ve been locked in a vault for a few weeks. Pizza and energy drinks were fed to us through a slot in the door. There was audio playing on an endless loop saying “Make Travelbug the best site around for Kiwis to find and book accommodation”. It wasn’t pretty in there, but we built a bunch of new features for Travelbug and now we’ve been let out to tell our story.

Read on to see what’s new on Travelbug and leave a comment if you have some features you’d like to see on the site.

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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…