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Travel Tip: Using Welcome Rewards

Our experience of using Welcome Rewards program to help us save money and travel for longer around the world.


on Welcome Rewards

Loyalty programs rock when you are a traveller. Being rewarded for flying with a certain airline or booking with a specific online travel site can help save you money while you are travelling. Which basically means you get to travel for longer.

And travelling for as long as possible is what we are all about.

Stoke Travel Surf Camp, Sunset in Zarautz, Spain

We want to travel for as long as possible to enjoy sunsets like these…

After 3+ years of travelling we have learnt a few travel lessons. One of our favourite travel tips is to make sure that you spend just a little bit of time finding the best travel deals online.

Unfortunately, we don’t always have time to research the best travel deals. But we are always comfortable booking our accommodation with because they are one of our favourite loyalty programs, Welcome Rewards. Plus they are guaranteed to have the best prices. Welcome Rewards Review is one of the worlds leading online hotel booking sites with over 65,000 hotels around the world and over 5 million members globally. They don’t have any blackout periods or a complicated point systems.

Basically, for every 10 nights a member stays at a Welcome Rewards hotel, they get 1 night free.

So far we have managed to earn ourselves a couple of free nights accommodation just for booking with each time. Not bad considering we don’t pay any extra and it is free to join.

Our Experience

We recently booked our Autumn in Oslo trip with and considering Oslo is the most expensive cities in the world to travel to, we wanted to make sure we got our moneys worth.

Adela Vigeland Park Oslo Autumn Colours

We had a few things that we wanted to make sure we had included in our accommodation in Oslo.

Firstly, we needed a full buffet breakfast. Secondly, we wanted to be close to central Oslo so that we could use our Oslo Passes and not spend much on transportation. Thirdly, it needed to have a gym for Adela. And finally it needed to be reasonably priced.

Using our knowledge of Hostels vs Hotels vs Apartments we quickly ruled out Hostels in Oslo because travelling as a couple meant that we would end up paying the same price as a Hotel room anyway, without all the benefits of extra luxury.

While apartments meant we could save money by cooking at home, they were ridiculously overpriced within the city center and any that fit our budget would have meant a long commute into Oslo each day. Something we didn’t relish.

This left Hotels as our only option.

Jumping online we signed into our Welcome Rewards program and did a quick search using their simple search engine. Welcome Rewards

Quickly filtering the results to include Central Oslo and a Gym, we quickly saw that the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel was the cheapest option.

Not to mention they were also a member of the Welcome Rewards program, had good reviews, 4 stars, an epic buffet breakfast, indoor pool, free WiFi and had a special discount for that weekend.

We were sold.

Once booked we got our confirmation email and started looking forward to our trip. Simple.

Just a few quick notes about Welcome Rewards:

While we haven’t found a hotel that wasn’t part of the program you want to make sure that you are booking at one of the Hotels participating in the program. These are all clearly marked with the Welcome Rewards symbol when you are booking online.

Your reward points will also not be credited until after your stay. So don’t expect them to show up straight after you have booked.

If you want adventure travel tips, exclusive travel deals AND the chance to win free prizes, then enter your email address for our free newsletter:

Disclaimer: We were provided with a complimentary Hotel stay in Oslo, but as always our thoughts, travel tips and reviews are our own.

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  1. Salika Jay

    December 7, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Good reviews, buffet breakfast and free Wi-Fi is something I look for as well when looking for a hotel. Walking is enough for me so a gym really doesn’t count for me 🙂 Nice tip!

    • Cole Burmester

      December 11, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      I don’t need the gym usually either but we definitely needed it after all the eating at the buffet haha.

  2. Fon

    January 8, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    very useful review. i traveled a lot with my friend, and we always think that Hostels are the cheapest way. Now we have another choise to try. Thanks a lot for sharing 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      As long as you get a good deal on a hotel then as a couple Hotels can be very worthwhile!

  3. Cindy

    April 19, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    There are various hotel deals in the market. There are way to snag a good one bye booking in advance, take advantage of off-peak rates and promotions. Try getting in touch with the hotel and ask for discounts. Some hotels are quite accommodating.

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Bullion Bar: Try Your Luck Online



Slot games have become synonymous with gambling and casino. They provide players the chance to earn big while betting small amounts of money. And it is for this reason that the lure of trying to cash in big on slot games have become somewhat of a tradition for casino and everything casinos-related.

What do we mean by this?

Well, online slot games have seen a massive amount of love from players all around the world. Not only are the simple to play and easy to start earning money but they also offer quite the gambling experience. And it’s for this reason that they are one of the primary online casino games for newbies as well as longtime gamblers.

So if you are new to the whole online gambling casino slot world let us introduce you to this insanely enjoyable slot game called Bullion Bar.

With online slot games having a high RTP – you have very little to lose and so much more to gain.

Bullion Bars: Try Your Luck

Like many online casino slot games, the Bullion Bar has an RTP that is quite high. Meaning the amount of times the online casino game has to pay out to its player is above 95.27%. This means that you have a very high chance of earning money online while gambling and Bullion Bars provides this for their players.

Aside from the high chances that players are given – players are also given a nice cash jackpot prize for the lucky ones. The jackpot prize sits at about £20000 jackpot (roughly $40000 USD. Not too shabby).

The game allows players to wage as low as £0.4 and as high as £2 per line.

The Visuals

As mentioned before one of the best aspects outside of the monetary reason that one may come to play online slot games also are the aesthetics. Bullion Bar provides a fantastic visually stunning slot game that not only escalates the experience and the “gamblers rush” but also makes slots games much more engaging and enjoyable overall.

Why Not Give It a Try?

If you are new to online slot games, then Bullion Bar is a great online slot ahem for you to test the waters. Offering players a high RTP, visuals that will leave the player captivated and a gameplay that is very engaging and immersive – do we have to ask?

What are you waiting for? Try your luck with Bullion Bar.

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Adventure Travel

Scuba Diving the KT12 Wreck in Sardinia – with Sardinia Divers



We woke excitedly at 6am, with cameras charged, lunch packed and our jandals on! Unfortunately we did not have the luxury of a car, so an ARST bus at 6.50am from Orosei town centre to the Sardinia Divers Headquarters 7kms north was our only option. Upon arrival at Sardinia Divers we were welcomed by Chris and his friendly dog (even though we surprised him by turning up 30 minutes early!).

Big gun

KT12 Wreck – the armed German cargo ship’s famous gun

After being kitted out with top quality wetsuits, BC’s (buoyancy compensator) and all the rest of the scuba gear that we hadn’t managed to lug with us from New Zealand, we then piled into their van and headed to Orosei Harbour. We then began to help load the boat and prepare the gear.

Rebecca was eager to prove that she, a girl from New Zealand knew what she was doing and did not need help setting up her gear. But after fumbling with putting the BC over the tank bottle (in what must have looked very awkward) she crumbled to the pressure and just stared blankly at the unfamiliar European style valve of the regulator in her hands. Luckily, one of the crew was quick to see Rebecca’s reaction and show her how regulators work in Europe!

Getting ready

The dive boat (rib), Chris’s friendly pets, and both PADI & SSI certs

We had only contacted Chris the day before, asking if Sardinia Divers could take us diving. The stars must have aligned and we along with six other divers, four staff, and the boat skipper were on our way out on the short 5min ride in the 10m rib to dive the KT12 Wreck! The KT12 is considered one of the Mediterranean’s best wreck dives, and it did not disappoint! However it is a reasonably deep dive at 30-35m, so divers must have their advanced dive qualification. Sardinia Divers does offer full training to all levels in both PADI and SSI so if you do want to dive the wreck or only have your Open Water cert they can sort you out, and it is definitely worth it.

Cargo cranes

Descent onto the cargo cranes

The visibility was a good 20-25m which meant we could soon spot the wreck as we dropped down from the surface. Cristina was guiding us for the day and had run us through the dive plan on the marina before we started out. We first dropped down onto two large vehicles which are believed to have been cranes used for cargo loading, and then made our way across to the main hull at about the back third and where the bridge is. Cristina pointed out the large anchor that was dropped by a trawler onto the bridge and got caught on it, from here we made our way forward and circumnavigated the wreck.

Sea life in wreck

The wrecks sea life

Chris and Cristina had told us of the sea life we may encounter and straight away we were pointed out large moray eels, Spanish (slipper) lobster, grouper, nudibranch, and various other fish in the wreck’s nooks and crannies. It is hard to describe to someone how spectacular marine environments can be and why you should try and discover this underwater world yourself. Watching the video (click here) is a good start but we encourage you to give it a go yourself.

The KT12 is a reasonably large wreck at 225ft/60m and at a depth of 35m your bottom time is limited, so to cover the full wreck we kept moving pretty quickly. The wreck is famous for it’s main gun, which proudly stands on the aft deck. I of course swam straight over to it and started pretending to fire it, Rebecca could tell this by the stream of bubbles that were coming out as I was obviously making my best underwater gun shooting noises.

Shooting gun (471x311)

Boom boom boom….you know you would of done the same

The wreck was sunk by an English submarine’s torpedo, when it hit just behind the bow. The bow broke off and sunk immediately whereas the rest of the wreck sunk slower, slipping backwards away from the bow by about 300m. This meant we dived the two separate parts in two dives. With beaming smiles we surfaced from the main hull and headed back into the marina for lunch and refreshments. Cold water and biscuits are provided by Sardinia Divers but there was also a good little beach bar to get coffee and snacks. It’s also great sitting down with like minded divers and talking excitedly about what you just saw or missed and other must do dive locations.

Sardinia divers 2 Around midday we were back in the boat, the tanks had been changed for us and we were soon back out ready to dive the bow section. The bow is at 33m and lies on its side, though much smaller it’s still a great dive because its smaller size means the sea life is more concentrated in the one area. Bottom time was less as this was our second dive of the day and as nitrogen builds up in your system you must stay in the no decompression limits time zone.

KT12 Bow

The KT12’s bow section

Swimming out from the front of the bow you get a great view back at the bow wreck and then it was time to ascend. The safety stop went quickly as we spent the time trying to touch the inquisitive fish before surfacing and climbing back into the boat.

Rebecca and Cristina

Rebecca & our great dive guide Cristina

We had a great day diving and the team at Sardinia Divers was excellent, they are friendly, knowledgeable and have a real passion for the wreck, while making sure you have a great, safe dive. The only regret I have is that we couldn’t spend more time on the wreck, so if you are in Orosei for a few days or more I would definitely recommend you dive the wreck more than once. Sardinia divers also offers other exciting dives including another WW2 wreck, cave dives, and if you happen to be in Costa Rica visit Chris’s dive shop there to immerse yourself.

The Sardinia Divers Team

The Sardinia Divers team

Facts and additional information about Sardinia Divers:

  • Certified for both PADI and SSI
  • Offers all the best dive sights in the Gulf of Orosei, including three WW2 wreck dives, deep dives, walls, shoals and rocks between 40 and 10 meters
  • Caters to all level of divers, from beginner to experienced, including mixed gases
  • Chris, the owner has spent 12 years in the area as a dive and fishing guide/instructor
  • Very high rating and great feedback on Trip advisor
  • Have great top quality gear to hire

Disclaimer: We were provided complimentary dives with Sardinia Divers, however, our honest thoughts and awesome experiences are always our own.

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Essential Packing: Hoboroll Review

Find out why I recommend the GobiGear Hoboroll an essential packing item for your next travel adventure with the GobiGear Hoboroll Review.



We were sent a Hoboroll from GobiGear a few months ago, but it was only when I set off walking on the Camino de Santiago that I actually got to review the Hoboroll.

Hoboroll Review Backpack

Hoboroll Review

Hoboroll Review

I couldn’t bring myself to use the Hoboroll when it first arrived. It just seemed too gimmicky. But when I started to put together my packing list for the Camino de Santiago, I realised that I was going to need more space in my small backpack.

The Hoboroll came to the rescue.

What is the Hoboroll?

Essentially, the Hoboroll  is a luggage organiser that is split into small compartments for easily packing separate items. The entire Hoboroll can then be compressed using the two compression straps that run around the outside.

The GobiGear Hoboroll is made of tough, lightweight nylon which makes it durable, but still lightweight. It also has a shoulder strap if you want to carry it. Personally I think that looks a little dorky and would rather stuff it into my backpack.

How to use the Hoboroll?

When I first tried to use the Hoboroll I made the mistake of trying to stuff too many big items into each compartment. Each compartment is quite small so this meant that I quickly filled up the space.

Ideally, you really want to just pack smaller items into the Hoboroll. By packing your underwear, socks and other small clothing bits and pieces, you have it all in one tidy pile.

I hate arriving at a destination after a 15 hour long-haul flight and wanting to quickly find a new pair of undies or socks to throw on to regain that “clean” feeling. Before the Hoboroll, I had to rip my bag apart trying to find them. Now I know exactly where they are each time I go searching.

Hoboroll Review

GobiGear Hoboroll Review

What I didn’t like about the Hoboroll

While I loved the Hoboroll, there are a couple of small things that I personally would change to suit my pedantic-self.

I would have preferred the Hoboroll to only have one end that opens up. I felt that a drawstring was unnecessary at either end of the Hoboroll and stuff kept sliding out when I tried to pack it. This also leads to my second modification that I would have preferred the Hoboroll to roll out completely rather than being a cylindrical shape. That way you could pack each compartment before rolling it up. The compartments limit what you can pack anyway so this just makes sense to me.

Finally, one of the compression straps actually snapped while I was tightening the Hoboroll. This was actually my fault because I had one knee forcing the Hoboroll down while I pulled too hard on the strap. And it still worked with just one compression strap.


I definitely recommend the Hoboroll to those that love to be organised with their packing while travelling. While I don’t think the Hoboroll actually saves you any space in your backpack, it does provide a lot more organisation to any traveller.

Update: I have since been contacted by GobiGear and they have taken my review into consideration and are going to provide me with a replacement Hoboroll because of my immense strength breaking the strap on the last one. They are also redeveloping it with one end closed and a secret compartment like I mentioned. Bonus!

I received a Hoboroll for free from GobiGear as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations in consideration for review publication, but my thoughts, and rugged product testing, are always my own.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...