Ask an expert: Road-trip across the US

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Each week, Flight Centre's team of experts answers your travel question

Finish up in New York on a road trip across the United States, driving from the west coast through the southern states to the east coast. Photot / Flight Centre
Finish up in New York on a road trip across the United States, driving from the west coast through the southern states to the east coast. Photot / Flight Centre

Q: We've seen Fiji from inside the resorts but would now like to get around more of the place with our kids. Trouble is, every time we've stepped outside the resorts in the past, it's seemed way too expensive. Are we missing a trick? Where should we go?

Andy Connor from Flight Centre Albany shares his tips for seeing the real Fiji.

A: Fiji is a fantastic family holiday destination, particularly if you're looking to escape the cooler winter months. I have been to Fiji many times and my favourite thing about holidaying there is the friendly people and the beautiful weather.

A cruise is a great way to see what Fiji has to offer, and because there's a vast area that you can cruise around you're sure to visit places you haven't seen on previous holidays.

There's a wide range of options available, including cruises of the Southern or Northern Yasawa islands.

If you want to take it all in, you could even look at combining a couple of cruises to lengthen your holiday and ensure you take in all the sights.

Dates can vary for these cruises so make sure you talk to someone experienced so who can take care of all the details.

Captain Cook Cruises offers a great range of Fijian cruises that are designed to offer an authentic and personal experience - not to mention they're great for families and cost-effective. It's also a great way to pay for a large portion of your holiday upfront because it includes all daily meals, island stopovers, water activities, guided tours and even snorkelling equipment.

Some cruises even include a kava ceremony and a traditional feast, as well as spa pools, swimming pools, and massage and beauty services, so you're still getting all the benefits of staying at a resort.

Another benefit for parents is that if you want some alone time, some cruises also offer a child-minding service.

Dining also forms a large part of Fijian cruises - whether it's an al-fresco lunch, a casual barbecue or a table d'hote dinner, the food is all prepared on board from fresh produce and the on-board entertainment adds to the tropical dining experience for the whole family.

My last tip: if you find yourself in Pacific Harbour, make sure you head to the Baka Blues Cafe - it serves the best steaks.


Q: I lived in New York a few years back but never really got around to seeing the rest of the States. Now I'm taking my Dad (in his early 60s) on a driving trip across the United States. What's the best route and highlights?

Gemma Grogin from Flight Centre West City has road-tripped across the US and shares her top tips on how to tackle it.

A: Lucky you - I have also done a road trip across the US and I loved every minute of it.

One of my favourite things is that each state feels like you are in a completely different country - and they all have something historical and unique about them.

When it comes to booking your airfares, talk to someone experienced because it's possible to fly into one city and out of another all on the same fare. This is a fantastic option because you can just pick up your car and off you go, and arrange to return it at your departure point.

I drove from the west coast through the southern states to the east coast, and found the hospitality amazing - people were very welcoming and helpful and they love to tell you about their city and what makes it unique.

The interstate highways are really well sign-posted so you will know when to exit for each new city you want to stop in - making it easy when you're driving in an unfamiliar place.

The major cities are a must but I definitely recommend venturing to some of the more remote areas if you have time. We started in San Francisco and drove to Los Angeles and Las Vegas before working our way through the south - Austin, Dallas, Memphis, Miami and Washington - before driving to New York.

When you stop in a city for a day or two, public transport is a fantastic way to get around and see the sights - particularly because driving around these big cities can get a bit stressful and parking can be really expensive.

If you have time, I recommend making the extra journey to San Diego, two hours' south of LA, so you can check out Sea World and the San Diego Zoo - they're well worth the extra effort, and the drive down the coast is beautiful.

If you finish up in New York, I'm sure your dad would love to see all the places you used to go. I really enjoyed venturing out to Albany and checking out the buildings and art galleries. The options are endless and I have no doubt you will have a fantastic holiday.


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Flight Centre has return airfares from Auckland to Nadi, Fiji starting from $799* a person. Valid for sales until July 30, unless sold out. Travel on selected dates until December9.

Flight Centre has return airfares from Auckland to San Francisco starting from $1565* a person. Valid for sales until July 15, unless sold out. Travel on selected dates until December 9.

- NZ Herald

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