On the Web

Citizens in Arthur C Clarke’s futur-
istic sci-fi book The City of the
Stars took their holidays by attaching themselves to some kind of electronic sensor that sent them on virtual holiday to any part of the world they wished. I hope nothing ever replaces the real act of going and seeing something really different, or getting somewhere quiet for some time to unwind. The internet, in its virtual way, can be helpful for researching potential escapes. Just type in “private retreat” or “holiday” and see where it takes you. Here are some ideas for starters.

www.riveriarental.com/tools/agency.htm If North America sounds appealing over the winter, check this website for huge list of travel and accommodation rental options. It contains an extensive links list to destinations all across North America and it also provides detailed information with accommodation prices and travel options. The sites only drawback is that possibly it offers you too much choice.

www.cvillas.com This site will give you the low-down on how to get to number of countries in the Caribbean, the scenery of which looks stunning. This part of the world has been holiday destination for several generations of fairly wealthy American tourists however, and so if the average price of accommodation listed in this site is typical, then you can expect your holiday to be very expensive – nightly prices for accommodation are four figures in greenbacks.

www.holidayshomes.com Click on the Union Jack for an English version of the homepage when you first arrive at this site unless French is your second language. You then gain access to comprehensive range of rental homes in France, Europe, Africa, America and the West Indies – note the emphasis here is on ‘homes’. Very functional, easy-to-use site, once you’ve chosen roughly where you want to go then you are transported to range of possible destinations and accommodation choices – photos and prices all provided.

www.pacific-travel-guides.com If you want to escape the New Zealand winter but don’t want to travel too far then you can’t do better than Polynesia or Micronesia. There is huge range of holiday potential contained on this site including decent amount of geographic and basic demographic information to help you decide whether it’s Tahiti, Tonga, Niue, Samoa, Hawaii, Fiji or the Cook Islands that takes your fancy. The site sells itself as one-stop resource for travellers of all ages, and offers broad range of accommodation budget choices as well as information about flights, tours, the works.

www.the-cook-islands.com I’ve always wanted to go the Cook Islands, and this site made me want to go even more – it’s got all the right photos of different golden beaches, lush tropical fauna and ultra-marine blue ocean. You can find out about accommodation and pricing details for all the four main holiday areas including Rarotonga and take virtual photo tour of these islands to get an idea about the geography of the Cooks through range of maps and photos.

www.villasantai-bali.com This will throw the holiday bee into the hornet’s nest. This private villa in Bali is located in Ubud. The photos show beautifully kept villa surrounded by the lush Balinese rainforest. Being luxury resort, it doesn’t come cheaply – starting price is $2500-$3000 per night (low season) and between $4000-$4500 at high season – did I mention that’s American dollars. Visit this site and I think you’ll see why. Honeymoon perhaps? M

Damon Birchfield is an Auckland-based freelance writer.
Email: [email protected]

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