Las Vegas Part one – a week in the dessert

There are times in your life when you need to forget about the consequences and let yourself go. A couple of months ago, I headed to Las Vegas and did just that, and loosened the waistband of my pants a little while I was at it.

Vegas has changed a lot over the years and its latest self-reinvention is as a foodie’s paradise, a gourmet oasis in the middle of the barren deserts that surround this odd town. While I did enjoy some very tasty food, what seemed to take me most were the sweet treats, so this first post from my time in Vegas is about the five sugary episodes that stood out most to me.  In no particular order: Read more…

Tipping in New Zealand – why don't we do it more often?

Close your eyes and imagine you’re at an Auckland hotel. You’ve just checked out, and a nice hotel employee piles your bags onto a trolley, takes them outside, waves over a taxi and helps you get your stuff into the car. Before you get in the taxi do you a) thank him sincerely and give him a smile, or b) slip a few bucks into his hand for his efforts?

Two recent events have brought tipping onto my radar. The first was our Travelbug survey in which we discovered that 85% of Kiwis don’t tip hotel staff. The second was my recent trip to Las Vegas where I was tipping willy-nilly and anyone who was even slightly helpful had money thrust at them. I think at one point I may have even tipped a guy who helped me fix my glasses.Big tip

In New Zealand, tipping simply isn’t habit. I think for a while, brochures even told tourists arriving into the country that tipping wasn’t required in New Zealand. But how common is it, and how common should it be? Read more…