Tag Archives: Fiji

Canadian Loonie Tunes

Oh misery me – the mighty US Dollar is dwarfing our Canadian Loonie and now where – oh where – can we go on vacation.  Better not to go.  After all – convert out what you will pay in US dollars into our miserable weak Canadian dollar and we are paying twice as much.  What is the point of a vacation if we have to live on KFC every day.

Hang on a minute!  

Who says you have to go on vacation and spend US dollars?  Really?  So let’s look at where you can go and spend your Canadian dollars so that you feel like a super hero instead of a super flop!

That’s right!  You tell them Super Canuck!

FIJI – (60c Cdn buys you one Fijian dollar) – use Fijian dollars to buy your Kava fix.  This face-numbing, drowsy-making root is ground up with water usually in a large communal bucket – placed in a cloth that sometimes looks like grandad’s old sock and then everyone has a good chug and after a few cups they don’t care what the hell has happened to the Canadian dollar.  Good medicine!

What’s a Loonie anyway?

COOK ISLANDS / NEW ZEALAND – (92c Cdn buys you 1 New Zealand dollar)
Still winning here – and even more so because there is NO TIPPING IN THE COOK ISLANDS.  That’s right.  No need to think about having to add on 15% to the bill.  Even in New Zealand tipping is not expected and is not customary.  So what can you spend your money on in the Cooks (as it is affectionately known)?  Well you could do a tour with Pa – legendary medicine man ex surfing champion and quite the guy.  $70 NZD buys you a nature walk with Pa.

GUESS WHAT?  You don’t use US dollars in Europe!
Cdn $10 will buy you 7 Euro’s.  That’s better than it used to be.  So where is the cheapest place in Europe at the moment?  According to the BackPacker Index for 2015 no surprise that Kiev in the Ukraine is the cheapest place at the moment.  Better give that one a miss!  However there are some great cities out there such as Budapest and Bratislava offering great value for money.

OH AND WHAT ABOUT BALI?  No USD there either?  The only USD you will need there will be for the visa upon arrival.  Once there – go crazy!  Bali is a shoppers paradise.  But be prepared to negotiate for a good deal in the markets.  It is a national sport – especially where tourists are involved – and let’s face it … they are going to know you are a tourist.  Trust me – they know.

Can you pass me the toilet paper?

Who is responsible for designing these new hotels?  You really have to wonder when you see some of the so called “features”.

Room with open-plan bathroomLike the open bathroom concept.  Trust me – the most important thing I want is privacy in my bathroom.  Mexican hotel developers learnt this very quickly when they got feedback from the more prudish sector of their guests (namely Brits and Americans) that ablutions are things not to be shared.  Hastily erected screens do little to give a real feeling of security during those “private moments”.

4259-6050The other little trick seems to be frosted glass doors on the toilet.  Who the hell dreamt that one up?  Not only does it create an echo chamber (embarrassing) but every movement of the occupant is outlined – especially when the light is on.  We had a room like this at the in W in Barcelona and in the end arranged privacy breaks for each other as in “Darling… I am just popping down to pick up a newspaper!”

My absolute favourite is the Jacuzzi tub in the bedroom.  Please don’t.  It makes me feel like I am sleeping in a bathroom.  Especially when the tap drips.
bathroom in bedroom

So you are probably asking by now – what the hell does this fussy bitch like?  (And yes – Darling – I AM fussy).

I love hotel beds – I love the linen – extra soft Egyptian – especially the Starwood Hotels – divine.  I love large walk in showers and rain shower heads. I love to have fresh towels every day – yes I know it is not “eco” but when I am at home I recycle – on vacation I like to be pampered.  Regent Seven Seas Cruises has divine showers – they changed the tub into a walk in shower with excellent results and even installed shelves on the wall inside the shower with stacked up towels.  Going to the South Pacific or on safari?  You have to have an outside shower.  Ivory Lodge at Lion Sands in South Africa has a large walled garden at the back of the bedroom with two huge rain shower heads – just gorgeous.  At Earth Lodge – shower out in the open air with complete privacy.

African Style

African Style


Fiji Style

Fiji Style

Jamaica style

Jamaica style

You see!  There are lots of things I love.