Now that you’ve got all the small details down, choosing your destination should be a breeze!
The Australian hotels with the best relation price/quality according to traveler’s ratings online are The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel, Hotel Coronation and Glasgow Arms Hotel, offering nice rooms with services from 109 to 197 dollars per night. Public transportation services are good, so you can use the buses and trains to go almost everywhere in the city and actually get to know it.
Pack comfortable clothes, the Aussies dress casual most of the time. You will only need one good jacket for cold weather in winter, layering is a lifesaver in this case. Also, carry a good sunscreen and an insect repellent lotion or spray. To stay connected, the best option is to take your phone, unlocked, and buy a simcard at the airport for about 30 dollars.
Hotels in this city are generally cheap but, the best relation quality/price is at the Nouvelle Europe, the Annabel and the Pride Hotel, all great places with low rates from 50 to 150 dollars per night. Depending on the time of the year, you’ll need good winter clothes for extreme cold.
If you’re going during the summer a light jacket for late at night is all you’ll need. Be sure to have clothes for rainy days, very common in this city. You should seriously consider learning a bit of conversational Russian. They love foreigners and welcome tourism in their country but it’ll make all the difference to your experience if you take the time to learn some basic skills. You might even make some friends like this, a.k.a free tour guide.
Promenade Leblon and Diamond Hotel are highly recommended by tourists because of their affordability. The weather is always good, so you can pack light clothes, especially if you’re going to Rio. They love a good bikini.
Taxi’s are the main tourist transportation, just make sure they’re yellow. A lot of hotels operate private cars that will cost a lot more than you should be paying. (Try to avoid busses.) Also, when you’re exploring, stay on the main streets, don’t wander off into any small side streets, and stay out of the favelas. It just makes sense to play it safe no matter what city or country you’re in.
For staying in a low budget, classy, well located hotel, the most recommended places by travelers are the Ours Inn and the MyStays Inn. You definitely need to pack according to the time of year. Don’t let rain ruin your time in Japan, just pack rain boots and jeans, and you should be set to tackle the weather.
Also, you should remember to pack shoes you can remove easily. It’s a custom in Japan to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home and even in many restaraunts. You don’t want to have to sit there lacing and unlacing while everyone watches. Thank you slip ons!! It’s also a good idea to learn some basic Japanese. There are plenty of English speakers but there’s no guarantee you’ll run into one when you need them.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in L.A. and a language tutor helping students learn Russian and Spanish in preparation for their study abroad programs.
Here is Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.