Factors to Consider Before Your Partner Visa is Approved

Australia has amazing landscapes, diverse wildlife and some of the best beaches in the world. However, before you move here to be with your fiance or partner, you need to be aware that it can be a little bit of a culture shock. So, here are some factors to consider before you go through the application process and have your visa approved.

There is a Strong Coffee Culture:
Australians tend to take their coffee very seriously. In fact, that the coffee industry is so large in Australia that Starbucks was forced to shut down. This American coffee giant closed 70 percent of their operations back in 2008 because of the fierce competition from the local businesses. Although this won’t affect your partner visa application, this strong coffee culture may take a little getting used to.

We Also Love Our Booze:
Just like our British cousins, Australians enjoy a drink, and it is also part of our culture. You are likely to find a liquor store on every commercial street, and you will be offered a drink in every restaurant. If you enjoy artisanal products, you will also find that we have an impressive selection of locally brewed craft beers and distilled alcohol.

You’ll Still Find Snow:
One of the things that many ex-pats worry about is that they will never see snow again after they move to Australia. However, this is not the case. While we do have a relatively hot climate with some fantastic beaches, there is also a lovely winter season. If you visit the Alpine region, you can still enjoy skiing and snowboarding with real snow.

You Won’t See Kangaroos Everywhere:
Although some locals do consider kangaroos to be a pest, they aren’t everywhere. You won’t see a kangaroo hopping down the street in a big city. If you do want to see kangaroos, you will find them in wild areas or zoos.

We Don’t Use American English:
Something you will discover during the application for your partner visa is that we don’t use American English here. Australian English is closer to British spelling, but we do have our own slang. If you want to feel completely at home, you may need to spend some time getting the hang of the local jargon.

Tipping is Not Mandatory:
Unlike in the US or the UK, Australians don’t really tip service providers. The main reason is that Australia has the world’s highest minimum wage, which means that waiters and other service providers don’t rely on tips for a living wage.

If you are considering applying for a partner visa, you should speak to us. The 888 Migration agents are ready to answer all your questions about applying for a partner visa, Australia visa requirements, and the overall application process.

The Best World Markets

tavalo Market, Ecuador

Known as the “Otavalo Market” to tourists, it is called Plaza de los Ponchos and also Centenario Market by locals.

Otavalo is a town located in the northern Andes. The town center is located at 8345 feet (2543 meters) above sea level. This is a homeland for the indigenous Quechua people, who are still dressed in traditional clothing. Each village in the area specializes in its own craft, from woodworking to leather goods. During the week, the artisans of these small towns converge in Otavalo to sell their products.

The largest day for Otavalo is Saturday, and the second largest is Wednesday. On those days you can see many stalls in the main plaza and in the alleyways of the town. Try to come here early in the morning, before Otavalo becomes crowded with numerous visitors. Here you can also visit the animal market, with chickens, alpacas, goats and sheep.

La Boqueria, Barcelona

Entering this market, you can find all the tasty, healthy and famous products of Barcelona in one place! This trading ground was first described in the 1200s, and at that time it was a travelling market for stallholders from Catalonia. Later, in 1470, pigs were sold here.

Originally, the market was not fenced in, as it had no official status. It was not enclosed and had no official status, as it was regarded as a simple extension of the Placa Nova. It also had no definite structure. Nowadays, this market is the largest covered market in the region. It is located in the Ciutat Vella district and has a very diverse selection of food.

Marche Place Monge, Paris

The capital of France can impress you with more than 80 outdoor food markets. However, if you are visiting Paris, we suggest that you check out Marche Place Monge, one of the local favorites, with a great food selection and decent prices. Here you can buy fruits and vegetables, organic salads, meat and fish from Boulogne and Dieppe, cheese and wine, and many other products. Even clothing and footwear are available. The busiest day of the Market is Sunday, attracting many visitors, both locals and foreign tourists. Plus, you can taste some of your acquisitions in the nearby Jardin des Arenes (the ruins of Paris’s Roman arena), the perfect spot for a relaxing picnic.

Yashow Market, Beijing

The concept of the market is reminiscent of the Silk Market, one of the most famous in Beijing. It is located at Sanlitun, the street where all the famous bars and clubs are situated. In the basement of the market you can find shoes, suitcases and handbags. The first and the second floors are famous for designer clothes, while the third has a big selection of silk and suit fabric and fabric for children.

The two best spots in the city for tourists are the Silk Market (8 Xiushui East St, Chaoyang) and the giant Yashow Market next to Sanlitun.

Cai Rang Floating Market – Mekong Delta, Vietnam

It is impossible not to mention a Vietnamese floating market on our Market list. The Cai Rang Floating Market is one of the largest floating markets in the whole country.

Here the shops are located on boats, and products are fresh, tasty and traditional. You can buy separate ingredients, such as vegetables, fruits, fish and salads, and also prepared meals. Try to come here early in order to avoid it being overcrowded. Visiting the floating markets of Vietnam is a perfect way to study and feel local Vietnamese life.

4 Tips For Hunting in A Ground Blind

Depending on the time of the year turkey hunting or deer hunting could be just around the corner. We all know what that means, it is time to get our ground blinds together and out. Here are some tips for hunting from you ground blind.

First, making sure you choose the right location. Trying to find a natural structure to piggy back off is always a good idea as it might block one side but it can help blend your blind in better. Maybe finding some downed trees with limbs forming a perfect “V” is a perfect place to place your blind. You want to make sure you are finding the perfect location and placing your blind out there months before season opens so it gives the animals time to get familiar with the blind and won’t spook off when season opens.

Second, making sure you have concealed you blind in good. Using debris that is already on the ground is the perfect way of concealing from animals or humans. You always want to use the brush around you and getting it from other areas since it was already on the ground. Having the same brush or limbs around your blind as what you place it in will help conceal it even more and not make it stand out to animals or humans. Like if you are hunting in a bunch of pine trees, you want to make sure you are using pine tree limbs and not oak tree branches. You will stick out to every animal or human that is looking your way.

Third, make sure you have cleared all the leaves and fallen branches out of the way. Last thing you want is having that monster buck or tom coming and you against to get a shot and your foot steps on a leave or branch and makes a noise and scares off that monster. Bringing a rake with you when you are setting up your blind will make it easier to get all the leaves and branches or sticks out of the way and you will have a nice quiet floor for your ground blind. Another idea to silence your ground blind floor is getting a piece of high traffic carpet. It has a rubber bottom and high traffic carpeting on top, plus it is very light. The two positives for this way is that it provides silence so you don’t have to brush anything away and it provides a barrier between the cold ground and your boots to help you stay warmer.

Fourth, choosing the right clothing to wear inside your blind. Most people would think to wear camouflage clothing but that can actually hindrance your looks than benefit from it. To make sure, you are not a silhouetted sitting in your blind, you want to make sure you have at least one side of your blind closed up. That way it will look black in your black to whoever looks in there and wearing black clothing will help you blend in better. Deer might be colored blind, but they can see patterns and in a big black background with a human shaped camo silhouette is a sure way to get busted.

Now that you have some tips for getting your blind to the perfect location and making sure it blends in with the trees or brush, get on out there and shot that monster buck or tom. Remember to always wear black clothing when hunting in your ground blind so you are not making a silhouette. Good luck on your hunting adventure.

Choose the Lake District for Your Perfect Cottage Holiday

The Lake District. It means many different things to each of us. For some it is the stunning mountains and fells which are a beauty to behold. To others it is the ‘creative ‘connection to Wordsworth, Coleridge or Ruskin who were moved and inspired by their surroundings to create some timeless pieces which are still revered today. Many of us each year follow the daffodil trail alongside Ullswater to ‘walk in Wordworth’s footsteps’. The National Trust host the Ullswater Daff Festival (this year 28th March to 17 April), a set of events in the Ullswater Valley to celebrate its natural splendour. For Wordsworth’s poetry enthusiasts, a visit to Dove Cottage, Rydal is a must. You can still visit Ruskin’s former home ‘Brantwood’ which sits on the east side of the beautiful Coniston Water and many of Ruskin’s artworks and writings are available to view.

To many, the landscape offers physical challenges like no other! Walking, climbing, abseiling, canoeing, kayaking, cycling etc. the list is endless. It is the ultimate adventure playground for both adults and children alike. Children can swing through the trees at the Go Ape sites and then tackle the various grades of cycle routes if you head to either Grizedale or Whinlatter Forests. The walking opportunities are vast from the imposing Scafell Pike and the surrounding ranges to the lower fells many of which still offer splendid views. Accessible walks, such as Tarn Hows allows everyone a chance to get away from it all and enjoy the lovely landscape which affords glorious views all round.

Families often come here to enjoy some quality time together and revel in the numerous fantastic eateries that are on offer in the area. Zefferellis in Ambleside not only offers a vegetarian restaurant but cinema as well, and in the south of the area is L’enclume the renowned award winning restaurant in Cartmel (a foodies haven). Many of the pubs scattered through the Lakes offer a diverse selection of meals, so there really is something for everyone.

Dotted through the Lakes are numerous quaint and picturesque villages which are well worth exploring. From the larger settlements, such as Ambleside, Keswick and Windermere which offer a fantastic selection of shops, places to eat, museums and attractions there is so many more places to explore. Don’t miss such as Elterwater, where you can combine a walk and then a fabulous pub lunch or Hawkshead with its many pubs, individual shops and Beatrix Potter gallery.

Once visited, it is a place that’s never forgotten. If you are adventurous enough to scale a mountain peak in time for the sunrise, the serenity and beauty that awaits will seldom be forgotten. The feeling of being at one with the surroundings and seeing the stunning landscape as it is illuminated for another day can be a magical if not ethereal experience.

From majestic peaks to wooded valleys and hillsides, crystal clear lakes and wide open coastlines there is a part of the Lakes that suits everyone. Although not geographically vast the area is home to some of the most impressive, varied and aesthetically pleasing landscapes in our land. For those of us who live and work here, the landscape inspires what we do. From which ever direction you approach the Lakes the mountains that rear up in front of you and offer a tantalising glimpse of the splendours to come when you make the journey among them. Come and explore this wonderful area for yourself and create your own memories.

The Role of Immigration Agents in 820 Visa Applications

Many people that are interested in migrating to Australia for all kinds of reasons, soon discover that it can be a lengthy and difficult process. It’s entirely possible to garner all the information required online, but in reality, that is a bad choice for most people. The most common problem encountered is a lack of any real information mixed with opinion and plain bad advice. In reality, the immigration landscape is in constant flux, and it’s a full time job trying to stay relevant in that environment. This is the reason why many people opt to use an immigration agent to ensure that the process runs smoothly.

Why Choose an Immigration Agent?

As we’ve stated, the rules can be very complex for a layman to understand and they quite often change according to the needs of the country. If they are seeking an 820 visa, Australia bound people without the correct documentation will fail in their application. When you use an immigration agent, the process runs more smoothly for a number of reasons. Firstly, as experienced agents, you can virtually guarantee that they have encountered your particular situation before and know how to handle things effectively. Secondly, they are acting as your agent and have your best interests in mind, if a problem arises they will be available to offer valuable advice. Lastly, there is expediency to consider; an immigration agent will be on hand to check your forms for errors and tell you what you need to do. This will speed up the process a great deal and avoid costly mistakes that could set back your plans significantly.

How Do You Choose an Immigration Agent?

The first thing to realise is that there are unscrupulous people out there posing as immigration agents that will try and con you without offering any help at all. For this reason, all officially recognised immigration agents must be a registered agent in the country they are based in. They will have the correct qualifications and experience to handle your application, and they may even specialise in different kinds of immigration. Don’t be frightened to ask for qualifications and any other questions you can think of. It may be tempting to choose a cheap immigration agent, but cheaper agents are far more likely to be unregistered.

If they are looking for an 820 visa, Perth residents should contact us here at 888 Migration. We are experts in Australia immigration issues and our clients benefit from the advice of our immigration agents. Some aspects of the 820 visa application process may seem simple, but incorrectly filed paperwork and a lack of knowledge can slow the process down significantly. Get in touch with us today; we look forward to discussing your needs in further detail and answering any remaining questions you have.

4 Money Mistakes To Avoid While Travelling

Travelling the world should be an eye-opening and stress-releasing experience, not an anxiety-inducing one. Unfortunately, many of us often stumble into money problems in our trips abroad that can lead to a great deal of anguish – problems that often can be avoided with a little foresight and preparation.

Financing a trip to far-away locales can be a struggle in and of itself. Some will save for months to have just enough to scrape by, others may look for supplementary funding like short-term vacation loans.

Once your finances are in check and you’re ready to go on your adventure, there are some commonly-made money mistakes you should be aware of before setting out. Keep these in mind and plan accordingly before beginning your next journey.

Leaving Your Bank in the Dark

A simple phone call to your bank informing them of your travel destinations can save you plenty of trouble during your trip. When you neglect to do this, your bank may flag your overseas card usage as suspicious and block your account.

Banks can detect unusual card activity fairly rapidly these days and it won’t take long for them to prevent your cards from being used if they feel the need to. While you could probably just call them if this scenario was to happen, the long-distance charges are definitely not worth it.

Not Paying Attention to Fees

Before travelling, it is wise to educate yourself on any fees you may incur – and how to avoid them – in your travels. This includes exorbitant banking fees for being outside your geographic area and fees for converting currency.

Avoid making too many withdrawals from ATMs, especially with a credit card which will have significant cash advance fees. A few good solutions for avoiding fees are the use of a prepaid travel card or finding a credit card made for overseas use that won’t charge conversion fees.

Using the airport for money exchange

Continuing on the topic of conversion fees, avoid exchanging your money at an airport. Their exchange rates are generally dreadful and will cost you much more than if you plan to do your exchange elsewhere in advance.

Not Carrying Smaller Bills

Carrying backup cash is always important no matter where your travels may lead. Many places may not accept debit and credit payment and if you’re unlucky enough to lose your cards, you’ll want to have some extra cash to keep you afloat until you can replace them.

When carrying cash in a foreign country, it’s better to have smaller bills than large ones. You will find that many vendors decline to make change for large bills and some shadier ones even use this common street scam to steal your money.

Another important thing to keep in mind when handling cash during your travels is to never keep all of your money in one spot, lest it magically disappear. While you’re certainly there to relax and enjoy the experience, try not to let your guard down for too long if you don’t want to get a fast one pulled on you.

Final Thoughts

Travelling can be a wondrously valuable learning experience that takes you out of your comfort zone and provides memories for a lifetime. If you neglect to properly prepare and manage your money, however, the experience may end up being less than enjoyable.

Take the time to phone your bank, look up any applicable fees and avoid airport exchange rates like the plague. Always carry some backup cash and be aware of your surroundings and most importantly: have fun!

Selecting a Rental Car or Your Own Car for a Long Road Trip

For most people, the holidays mean spending time with family and friends. And with the holidays around the corner, it’s time plan something special with loved ones. Whether you intend to go on a long trip with them, or intend to travel a long distance by road just to be with them, you would want the trip to be a happy one.

If you’re contemplating whether or not to take your own car and make that extra long journey, you need to consider a lot of things before taking a decision. No matter what type of trip you plan, selecting a rental car or sticking to your own car can make a lot of difference.

Here are a few things that you should reflect on before deciding.
1. Car Condition

If you’re going to take your own car on the trip, you’ll have to get it thoroughly checked a week or two in advance. You’ll also have to spend money on your car in case it isn’t fit for a long journey. If your car is quite old, it’s advisable to avoid subjecting it to the stress of a long trip.

Most rental companies have a fleet of new cars that you can choose from. By booking a new car on rent for your trip, you can relax knowing that you’re getting a reliable car. Moreover, you won’t be adding extra miles to your car which will save you from future car-related expenses.

2. Maintenance Costs

If your car breaks down at any time during the trip, you’ll have to bear all the costs involved in getting your car running again. With a rental car, you won’t have to worry about these costs.

If your rental car breaks down, all you have to do is inform the car rental company about the problem and they’ll promptly sort it out for you by repairing the car or giving you a replacement.

Keep in mind that if you happen to damage the car in any way, you’ll have to bear the charges related to repair. Of course, you’ll have to pay for repairs even if you damage your own car during the trip.

3. Splitting Travel Costs

Things to Consider before Selecting a Rental Car or Your Own Car for a Long Road Trip

If you’re going on a trip in a rented car with a group of friends, you can split the rental costs among yourselves. As per head cost will decrease substantially, the trip won’t be a burden to anybody.

If you’re taking your own car, you can only split the cost of gasoline. But as mentioned previously, your car will experience significant amount of wear and tear. Not only will you have to pay for your car’s upkeep, but also repairs in case you happen to damage it during the trip.

4. Fuel Economy

Your old car probably won’t give you a good mileage. This could raise fuel costs to a large extent. By hiring a relatively new car, you’re sure to get good mileage.

Furthermore, you might have a car that doesn’t give good mileage on highways or on city roads. By opting for a rental car, you can choose a car that gives optimum mileage depending on the type of your trip.

5. Freedom of Choice

As mentioned in the previous point, by opting to hire a car, you get to select a car that will give you the best mileage. If you have a large-sized car, you may want to leave it at home in favor of a rented compact-sized car to get better mileage.

On the other hand, if you have a small-sized car but want to take a trip with your whole family, you have the liberty of choosing a car that is the perfect size for you and your loved ones.

Additionally, your car might not be able to work efficiently on difficult terrain or you might not want your car to get dirty. As such, renting a car is a favorable option if you want an SUV to go to hilly areas or drive on muddy tracks, or if you want a campervan to go on a special camping trip.

By not having the right car, you could get into trouble. You may also have to let go of your dream of going on a trip with all your loved ones in one vehicle. And what fun would camping be if you couldn’t take all your camping gear with you because it wouldn’t fit into your small car?

Conclusion

By taking these things into consideration, you’re sure to make the right choice between your car and a rented one.

Be open to opinions from others but remember that what works for others may or may not work for you. For some people, their own car can be the best choice for a long trip. For those who don’t have the right car, rental car companies can be a blessing.

It’s important to hire a car from a reputable rental company though as you don’t want to be cheated in any way. Also be sure to read a rental company’s policies thoroughly. You don’t want to be over-charged for simple mistakes that you could have easily avoided.

If you’re already in favor of rental cars, be sure to choose the right type of car as per your needs. By choosing to rent an appropriate car, you can be certain of having a gala time.

Planning The Most Adventurous Sri Lanka Romantic Holiday Packages

Element Of Adventure Honeymoon Itinerary
Deciding on travelling to the exotic little island Sri Lanka for your honeymoon is one of the best decisions the two of you would make as you begin your life journey together. The next would be is to plan out how you would enjoy your honeymoon vacation by planning the best honeymoon itinerary. One of the key elements which are not to be missed during such a holiday is to have an adventure of a lifetime. In this manner it will be guaranteed that the two of you can have the most memorable time together through enjoyable Sri Lanka romantic holiday packages.

There are so many Sri Lanka honeymoon destinations which are perfect to have such an adventurous holiday. Since you would be looking at trying something new on your honeymoon you could include visits to locations such as Sigiriya, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Kandy and many others including coastal regions such as Arugambay Beach and Passikuda Beach which have gained world class recognition for being excellent locations to enjoy thrilling holiday adventures.

Best Coastal Sri Lanka Honeymoon Destinations
Arugambay Beach
You may have already heard so much about the excellent beaches of the island. Out of all the amazing beach locations you can include in your honeymoon itinerary, a visit to Arugambay Beach takes a leading spot. In the past decade or so, this location became world renowned for being one of the best locations to enjoy adventurous beach sports. In the entire Asian region, this beach is highly popular as a great surfing point and therefore is a must visit site for every adventure enthusiast couple to include in their Sri Lanka romantic holiday packages.

Passikuda Beach
Every year, the numbers of tourists who are drawn to Passikuda Beach seem to be increasing. Among all the different Sri Lanka honeymoon destinations, this location is ideal for those planning to have an adventurous holiday as the possibilities for enjoying thrilling and exciting holidays are almost endless. Apart from all the fun that is available for all those who visit this location, the amazing beauty of the shallow coast line creates the most romantic setting for the two of you to enjoy your holiday together. This site is an extremely popular diving location and is ideal for couples who would like to explore the depths of the mighty ocean.

I am so glad that I took that first walk with my new Snowshoes

Winter was never my favorite time of year. All I could ever think about was how cold I was, until my husband bought me a pair of snowshoes. I must admit I was not sure this was the sport for me. I have never been an outside person in any weather that was colder than short and t-shirt weather. My sweetie said let’s just give it a try and see how you like it. We started out slow going to the Hiawatha Trail. We strapped on our shoes and off we went. I was amazed at much fun it was. Not only did I get to spend some time with my husband, but we were getting healthier at the same time.

I must admit that I am actually starting to enjoy winter. I know it sounds odd to hear that from someone like me, but it is true. I cannot tell you what it has done for toning my arms and legs. My whole persona is starting to change. I guess what they say is true that muscle keeps you warmer, because I no longer shiver like dog pooping razor blades.

It took me a bit to hit those trails the first time, but since then I have been hooked. At first we would go on the weekends. We started out walking for 20 minutes or so. The times got longer and the laughs got louder. We spend the time rekindling our love for life on the open trails. Now we take hikes during the evenings. I look forward to coming home and grabbing my shoes and communing with nature.

Now it does not matter what life has to throw at me. I take so many more things in stride. I feel so much more relaxed. My energy level has increased and I feel great. We even got our two girls involved. Can you believe they actually enjoy spending time with the old folks! It is so nice to tell our friends that we are going snowshoeing with our kids. They think we are the hip parents now. I tell them to get some snowshoes for themselves and they can see what a difference it will make in your life.

We started to get together and have snowshoeing groups. We all meet at the trail on Saturday mornings. We spend the day laughing, sharing and building bonds that create memories that will last a lifetime. I actually think this is not only one of the best things we could have done for our family, but also one of the best things we could have done for our circle of friends. We kid each other on “how far we have come”. There is a lot of truth to that. We have made leaps and bounds not only in our friendships but also in our physical and emotional health.

I always thought of snowshoeing as something the super athletic do. I have noticed that all types of people love this sport from the young to the spunky adults. I am so glad that I took that first walk with my new Snowshoes.

Business Travelers’ Desires and Prospects

According to recent research conducted by Booking.com, the expectations of business travelers from their corporate trips are increasing. Nowadays many employees tend to agree to lower salaries and accept a job with business trips instead of high pay. Research has shown that there is growing interest among modern workers in travel and associated new impressions.

Forty-nine percent of business travelers confirmed a tendency to extend their business abroad during the past year, with 27 percent admitting a plan to repeat this action in 2017. In fact, a trend among business travelers indicates that 46 percent desire more trips in the upcoming year.

“No longer seen as lost time or a career inconvenience, business travel is increasingly seen as an opportunity to expand horizons, find inspiration, and progress in a career,” proclaimed director of product development of Booking.com, Ripsy Bandourian. “Today’s laptop and latte breed of employee is increasingly mobile and fluid with their travel plans, looking to strike a balance between business and leisure travel.”

When it comes to corporate travel, it is essential to be reminded of the most popular modern business destinations, which are generally located in Asia. Business travel bookings in the region saw a sharp increase over the past 12 months with Shanghai as the unquestioned leader, Tokyo taking second place, followed by Bangkok and Guangzhou.

New York was in fifth place (the only U.S. destination on the list) followed by Budapest, Singapore, Hong Kong, Prague, and Amsterdam.

In fact, only two of these business destinations boast highly convenient transit times between airport and hotel. Booking.com reports that Singapore Changi Airport has the fastest transit time from airplane to city center accommodations, approximately 45 minutes, which is not a lot. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport also showed nice efficiency, ranking third with about 54 minutes.

Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport, Madrid Barajas Airport, and Berlin Tegel Airport completed the top five airports on the list. Their times range from 49 minutes to 60 minutes.

Prompter transit times give travelers more free time for rest and exploration of a destination – something a majority of road warriors strive to do, with 62 percent indicating that they want to do as many activities as possible when visiting a new location.

When booking business trips, roughly one-quarter of travelers wait until the last moment, with 23 percent booking a domestic trip within a week of departure, and 24 percent booking international trips within four weeks of departure.