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Signs of Good Cafes to look out for

Boutique cafes have become increasingly popular nowadays. Some cafes are great, and some not-so-great. Generally, cafes are usually bursting with energy as customers make them places to hang out with friends or family, study, write and a lot more.

Smaller cafes are more popular than the giant conglomerate coffee shops. It’s because the smaller cafes dot smaller towns and cities. With this said what then are the signs commonly shared by good cafes?

Good cafes, as a rule, have a reputation to maintain. The signs commonly seen in good cafes include:

Spotlessly clean

Walking in on a spotlessly clean cafe is already a good sign. The things to look at such as counters, steam wand, and the espresso machine should be as clean as the floors, chairs, and tables. Keeping the cafe meticulously clean conveys the message of the importance of the business and the guests.

Friendly and energetic staff

The welcoming, happy, and friendly staffs of a cafe are always a common sign of great cafes.  Cafe owners train their staff to make each guest feel important. After all, customers shelling out a pretty penny for a few ounces of espresso deserve to be treated best.

Bustling and crowded

Crowds of people in a cafe are a good sign. This means that everything is up to par with the services, food, and drinks served by the cafe. While giant conglomerate coffee shops are always bustling and crowded, a crowd inside a small cafe means it’s one of the best.

Specialised coffee concoctions

The pride of small, but good cafes is with their offer of specialised coffee concoctions. Getting fresh beans for every cup of coffee is off to a good start. Often, though, dark roasted coffee is the usual serving. If you go for lighter roasting, talking it over with the staff might probably get you what you want.

Great menu

Good cafes are known for their offers of multiple coffee flavours. You would know you’re in a good cafe if the menu features more coffee than food. However, a cafe featuring a menu of only a few coffee drinks along with a slew of different sandwiches is not a good sign. However, you can give it a try. You can always avoid another visit when the cafe is not up to par.

Espresso

A good cafe knows what to do with espresso. This means that a cafe properly timing their shots, tamp, and the dose is one to go for. However, it’s best to walk away if you see the staff perform an 11 shot espresso.

Barista

Watching a barista mix your coffee concoction will make you see if he/she has undergone training. However, you can always make inquiries when in doubt. Owners of good cafes usually require their baristas to undergo training.

Drip Coffee

Airpots with digital timers and frequent brewing are signs of a good cafe. A selection of coffee flavours is another good sign. However, if the flavoured coffees are more than single blends or origins, you may get disappointed. A cafe offering a bunch of coffee blends is never a good sign.

Going to a great cafe is always a fun experience for coffee aficionados. The rule of thumb when it comes to cafes is with their menu. More coffee blends or origins than flavoured ones ensure getting the best cafe experience.

Blog, Travel

How To Enjoy a Weekend Getaway On a Limited Budget

A weekend getaway with family and friends gives a tremendous chance to tranquilize, reconnect and have some major fun. But the real challenge here is how to manage your money when you are on a limited budget. When you are on a low budget, it may be easy to brood on the stuff you cannot afford. Nonetheless, keep in mind that happiness is not about how much money you spend or have, it is about the quality time spent with your loved ones. Moreover, it is a wrong impression that you need to have a huge amount of money to go on a trip. No doubt, weekend trips do cost money, but by managing your money and using cheap melbourne holiday packages you can have fun on a limited budget. Here are some tips that will guide you how to enjoy a weekend getaway on a limited budget.

Cook your own food

Cook your own food as eating in restaurants daily will cost you a lot especially when you are on a limited budget. When traveling on a tight budget make sure that you cook for yourself as it would save a huge amount of money. Moreover, no doubt it is a very important part of experiencing to try the national food of the place you are visiting but having a limited budget, make sure you do not eat your every meal out in restaurants. Hence, make your own breakfasts and other meals and do not spend too much only on eating.

Getaway offseason

The best time for a weekend getaway on a limited budget is after peak times. If the offseason timings gel with your schedule or if you have a flexible schedule, you can save a huge amount of money by simply traveling in the offseason. Plus, the costs get much lower, you can gain advantage from less crowded destinations, and experience an overall less stressful getaway. Moreover, avoid going on trips during holidays or in summers this is the peak time when prices are touching the sky. Therefore, inquire about the right time to visit your intended destination, before or after the peak season.

Try to travel by road

Keeping your weekend getaway at a local destination with a limited budget is the best way to go. You hopefully get a reasonable price for things, along with getting connected with the culture and encouraging the local economy, instead of large multinationals. Moreover, you enjoy and get to spend more time with your friends and family when you travel by road in your own city, or another city, for your weekend getaway. While having a limited budget you can manage things by cutting off expensive flights, not hiring a tourist, or by planning a trip within your city or nearby which can be traveled by road.
If a weekend getaway is something you and your friends and family cherish to do, it is forever a challenge when you have a limited budget. Keep in mind that a weekend getaway does not have to include expensive things or resort it can be spent enjoyably with your loved ones with even a limited budget by setting your priorities. You can adjust and manage your budget by making your own meals or by cheap traveling depending on your priorities.

Blog, Travel

COSTS OF A JOURNEY IN AUSTRALIA

Australia is expensive, intercontinental flight costs a lot, travel costs, overnight stays cost, it costs to rent a car and it costs to eat out. It costs everything 😀!

With this I don’t want to scare anyone, but we have to deal with reality, having said that it is also true that if you want you can not spend a fortune by living an unforgettable experience anyway. For example, despite being on our honeymoon, we have sometimes opted for cheaper solutions such as hostels or lodges booked on Airbnb, so we could cook in the evening and have breakfast in the morning at home, saving a little money. In any case, the cost of accommodation depends greatly on the period in which you decide to leave. We were there during the summer (a time when children are at home from school and even Australians go on vacation) and in Sydney we went to New Year, so it’s normal to have found in some cases very high prices.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO ENTER IN AUSTRALIA

To enter Australia you need to apply online to get a visa . In this post I will only talk about visa for tourism purposes because it is the one experienced by us in the first person, if you need information on other visas, I refer you to the website of the Australian tourism authority where you can find all the visas explained one by one.

Back to us, if you have a passport from a European Union country to obtain a 3-month tourist visa, you will have to apply on the official eVisitor visa website (subclass 651) . After making an online request, you will receive permission to enter Australia directly in your e-mail box, so make sure you have correctly entered the e-mail address, otherwise you will not be able to retrieve it.

DISPLACEMENT IN AUSTRALIA

AIR : in Australia everything is immensely large and far away, initially I could not believe that I had to take all those planes to move from city to city. Then I understood. I realized that for example between Melbourne and Sydney that, on Google Maps seem so close, in reality there are 900 km of distance (about 8 hours of car), so here the plane wins easy both for convenience and for speed , especially if you have limited time.

CAR : we rented it with Hertz to travel 7 days in the Northern Territory (Darwin, Litchfield National Park and Kakadu National Park) and to make a splendid ride on the road from Adelaide to Melbourne along the entire Great Ocean Road.

FERRY : To reach Kangaroo Island we took a ferry whose journey takes about 45 minutes. Tip: if you suffer from seasickness, equip yourself with anti-vomit tablets and sit in the back of the ship.

Quantas

WHERE TO STAY IN AUSTRALIA

Australia is a country suitable for all types of travelers, you will always find beautiful hotels and resorts for those who want to live a 5-star holiday, as well as more basic solutions for those traveling low cost. We have tried mid-range hotels, campsites (accommodation in bungalows), swag (go and see on Google what they are 😀), hostels and apartments. We had a good time almost everywhere and for this reason you will find a list of solutions that we can recommend:

  • Perth: Hotel Pension
  • Darwin 1: Palm City Resort
  • Litchfield National Park: Litchfield Tourist Park
  • Kakadu National Park (Cooinda): Cooinda Lodge Kakadu
  • Kakadu National Park (Jabiru): Mercure Kakadu Crocodile
  • Darwin 2: Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront
  • Alice Springs: Chifley Alice Springs Resort
  • Outback: under the stars, with swag
  • Adelaide: Adelaide Central YHA
  • Kangaroo Island: Central Backpackers
  • Mount Gambier: The Barn Accommodation
  • Great Ocean Road (Port Campbell): Best Western Great Ocean Road Motor Inn
  • Melbourne: apartment with Airbnb
  • Phillip Island: apartment with Airbnb – Aloha HA
  • Melbourne Airport: Ibis Budget Melbourne Airport
  • Sydney: apartment with Airbnb
  • Airlie Beach: Waterview Airlie Beach (apartment)
  • Brisbane: Meriton Serviced Apartments
  • Melbourne Airbnb

RENT A CAR IN AUSTRALIA

To be able to drive in Australia it is necessary to have an international driving license , to be requested at the Civil Motorization for time (count about 2 weeks to get it), you can apply for both versions of the International Driving License because you accept both, basically the difference lies in the duration , the “Geneva Convention 1949” version has a duration of one year while the “Vienna Convention of 1968” version lasts three.

Driving in Australia is on the right, this may initially destabilize you a little, but in reality the roads are so big and there are so few cars around that you won’t even notice! We have rented a 4 × 4 in the Northern Territory and a Nissan X-Trail for the road on the Great Ocean Road and we relied on Hertz , with whom we never had any problems. If you drive in areas that are not as popular as the Outback, I suggest you run out of petrol every time you meet a distributor because you might not meet more for the next 200 km !!! In general, respect the speed limits and do not drink before driving, the penalties are very high and severe in these cases.

Blog, Travel

Practical tips for a trip to Australia do it yourself

After returning from our trip to Australia and having put some scattered thoughts on paper, the time has come to gather all the information and practical tips that can help you organize a wonderful month-long trip to Australia!

Places visited : Perth, Northern Territory (Darwin, Litchfield National Park, Kakadu National Park), Outback (Alice Springs, Uluru, Olgas Mountains, King’s Canyon), Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Phillip Island, Sydney, Withsundays (Airlie Beach, Great Barrier Reef, Withsundays Islands), Brisbane.

Movements :

  • Milan – Singapore and Singapore – Perth by plane with Singapore Airlines
  • Perth – Darwin by plane with Virgin Australia
  • Darwin – Alice Springs by plane with Virgin Australia
  • Alice Springs – Adelaide by plane with Qantas
  • Adelaide – Melbourne (via Kangaroo Island) by car
  • Melbourne – Sydney by plane with Virgin Australia
  • Sydney – Proserpine (Airlie Beach) by plane with Tiger Air
  • Proserpine – Brisbane by plane with Jetstar
  • Brisbane – Singapore and Singapore – Milan by plane with Singapore Airlines

COSTS OF A JOURNEY IN AUSTRALIA

Australia is expensive, intercontinental flight costs a lot, travel costs, overnight stays cost, it costs to rent a car and it costs to eat out. It costs everything 😀!

With this I don’t want to scare anyone, but we have to deal with reality, having said that it is also true that if you want you can not spend a fortune by living an unforgettable experience anyway. For example, despite being on our honeymoon, we have sometimes opted for cheaper solutions such as hostels or lodges booked on Airbnb, so we could cook in the evening and have breakfast in the morning at home, saving a little money. In any case, the cost of accommodation depends greatly on the period in which you decide to leave. We were there during the summer (a time when children are at home from school and even Australians go on vacation) and in Sydney we went to New Year, so it’s normal to have found in some cases very high prices.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO ENTER IN AUSTRALIA

To enter Australia you need to apply online to get a visa . In this post I will only talk about visa for tourism purposes because it is the one experienced by us in the first person, if you need information on other visas, I refer you to the website of the Australian tourism authority where you can find all the visas explained one by one.

Back to us, if you have a passport from a European Union country to obtain a 3-month tourist visa, you will have to apply on the official eVisitor visa website (subclass 651) . After making an online request, you will receive permission to enter Australia directly in your e-mail box, so make sure you have correctly entered the e-mail address, otherwise you will not be able to retrieve it.

DISPLACEMENT IN AUSTRALIA

AIR : in Australia everything is immensely large and far away, initially I could not believe that I had to take all those planes to move from city to city. Then I understood. I realized that for example between Melbourne and Sydney that, on Google Maps seem so close, in reality there are 900 km of distance (about 8 hours of car), so here the plane wins easy both for convenience and for speed , especially if you have limited time.