Been there, done that

Last updated 05:00 22/12/2013

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EUROPE

We did a six-week tour of Europe and loved the Eurail train pass. When you book from overseas, like we did, you travel in first class! You can sleep on board as the seats stretch out, use free wi-fi, eat in the restaurant carriage or eat your own food, and enjoy the amazing views. The toilets are clean and plentiful. We travelled to six countries and 11 cities, all by Eurail.

But the hit of the trip was using Crumpled City Maps in every city we visited. They are light, waterproof, squash into their waterproof bag, feel like paper and never tear or rip. Ours are still in excellent condition and we thrashed them all.

Angela Lane, Auckland

UNITED STATES

We fell in love with the Grand Californian Hotel in Disneyland Resort Anaheim. We discovered it after having breakfast at one of its beautiful restaurants. After that, we switched hotels. It has its own private entry to Disney's California Adventure.

Laurelle Jury, Hamilton

I recently went to Bardstown, Kentucky, and visited Maker's Mark distillery. It is on a smaller scale (and a lot more interesting) than other distilleries. The grounds and buildings were immaculately maintained and I was really impressed with their tasting rooms. If you are a bourbon drinker, get a Kentucky Bourbon Trail Passport and set aside a few days to visit the eight distilleries included in it.

Loryn Newton, Auckland

We spent eight fantastic days at Waikiki Beach, Honolulu. Most days in Waikiki have perfect weather as cloud is contained by the mountains. Add the plentiful supply of water from those same mountains, and you have the kind of lush greenery you only expect to see in travel brochures. I've been to beaches on every continent (except Africa) and I give Waikiki the big thumbs up. Yes, it's very commercial and full of holidaymakers, but the beach is stunning, the shopping is fantastic, and compared to the slow-paced, cooler climes of Dunedin, that is exactly what I wanted.

Tess McLauchlan, Dunedin

CAMBODIA

I feel obliged to tell the world Cambodia is a must-see destination, an absolute gem. Head to the south coast and relish the warmth of the Gulf of Thailand sea. Visit Sihanoukville but instead of hanging out at touristy Serendipity Beach, head to nearby Otres Beach. It's much more laid back, with gorgeous little bungalows on the beachfront and squid cooked over charcoal on the beach in front of you.

Michele Meade, Wellington

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THAILAND

The city of Hua Hin is often overlooked but is perfect for families with elephant safaris, Monkey Island, safe swimming beaches, national parks, and water parks. Escape the bustle of Bangkok and touristy islands of Phuket for seclusion and white sandy beaches almost to yourself at Dolphin Bay, Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Amanda Hull, Hamilton

- Sunday Star Times

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