About Stefano Ferro and MEL365.com
Hi, my name is Stefano Ferro and I am the founder of MEL365, a leading travel website started in 2011 with traffic across 6 continents.
My background is in IT, starting with 4 important years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System where I gained invaluable insights into travel technologies, from content creation to digital networking.
I have helped to connect the travel world planning and installing some of the most important networks around the world, from South America to North America, from Europe to Asia and finally in Australia, where I am now based.
In 2011 I created the website MEL365.com where I started writing some of my most famous travel guides based on my personal trips.
In 2020 I opened also my YouTube channel which has helped me document my trip and help travellers get around the world with destination guides and car rental tutorials.
I have not visited 75 countries in the last 2 years. I prefer to settle and experience the country with long travel plans, and not “tapas” trips. I recently had an amazing year in Costa Rica, in Florida, the Keys & Miami, in the Cyclades & the Dodecanese Islands in Greece. I then rented a car in Italy to experience the entire country, from Sicily to Tuscany, the Alps area and finally Milan. I am now back in Australia after a few weeks’ stopover in Thailand editing new videos, publishing new content and planning the next adventures.
In the last few years, I have worked with some amazing Tourism Authorities like the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia, the Ministry of Tourism of Sri Lanka, and Qatar Tourism to name a few. I have also collaborated with airlines like Cebu Pacific Air and Hotel Chains like the IHG Group and the Marriott Group.
Today, I keep travelling and creating guides to help you plan your trip, understand where to stay, create your itinerary and avoid all the pitfalls when renting a car in a destination.
Work with us
We love travelling and we always write with our most honest and spontaneous view.
Do you want to work or collaborate with us? Are you a tourism board or do you just have a new idea? Contact me directly
By the way, why the name MEL365? Because it all started in MELbourne. I wanted to document the city 365 days a year. Great concept, now expanded.
Expert Insights or just my 10 best travel tips
- Explore Local Cuisine: In countries like Italy, Spain and Greece, don’t miss the chance to try authentic local dishes, often best found in small, family-run restaurants. These are the places where you get the best value for money, with delicious food at a very reasonable price. I may also add that the price of a bottle of wine can be the same as a pint of beer.
- Embrace Slow Travel: In destinations like Vietnam, Costa Rica or Australia, don’t rush from destination to destination, take your time to appreciate the local culture, rather than rushing through attractions.
- Use Public Transportation: In well-connected countries, like many in Europe, public transportation can be a cost-effective and authentic way to explore, especially if you plan to visit the most famous cities and destinations.
- Rent a car: Renting is the best way to discover the country and not just the most popular destinations. I rented a car in Italy for 2 months and I found so many hidden corners. I hired a 4×4 in Costa Rica for a long trip to discover the most remote places, almost untouched by tourism. Renting a vehicle opens up so many opportunities.
- Learn Basic Phrases: Knowing simple phrases in the local language can be a lifesaver, and the locals will appreciate it so much, even in countries like Thailand where English is widely spoken.
- Stay in Unique Accommodations: Opt for locally-owned guesthouses or boutique hotels to get a more authentic experience and support local businesses. I usually use the Booking.com platform, that’s where I find the widest choice and best deals. Airbnb comes second in these days. It used to be my primary source but not anymore.
- Respect Local Customs and Traditions: It goes without saying that respect for different cultures should be the number one priority. It can be all different from what we are used to, but never worse.
- Travel Off-Season: Visiting popular destinations in the off-season can offer a more relaxed experience and better deals. I usually like travelling in Europe in May/June, or in November/December in Costa Rica or Florida. It can cost half the price and typically the hotels and restaurants are so easygoing.
- Pack Light and Efficiently: Especially when travelling to multiple destinations, packing light makes moving around easier and more enjoyable. In my last 6 months trip to Costa Rica, Florida and Italy I took 4 T-shirts and 2 pairs of shorts. Moving around was a breeze
- Document Your Travels: Whether through video, photography or journaling, it’s important to keep the memory of the best time of our life. Currently, I feel like the video is the best form but tomorrow I may roll back to photography
Personal Travel Stories – My 5 Funniest Short Tales
- Public Transportation in Italy: I have been travelling in Italy since I remember my first trip as a little one and Venice was one of my main destinations, where my Grandpa and Grandma used to live. I love Italy until there is a public transportation strike and plans get trashed, more often than not. Once again it happened on my recent trip from Spain to Italy which was delayed for several hours due to a strike in Milan. Once I finally landed, I discovered that trains and buses were already closed and I got literally stuck at the airport. What a great start in Italy.
- Lost in Translation in China: With two years of Chinese language school, I was confident I could get by in China. How wrong I was! I did not expect so many dialects and different accents. I was just naive. China is like any other country, just think about the difference in the English spoken in London and Manchester, not to talk about Edinburgh. I ended up buying a picture book and showing that when ordering my food.
- GPS Misadventures in Costa Rica: On a trip to Costa Rica I rented a 2WD. I then used Google Maps to take me around till one day it suggested I drive on a secondary road, that suddenly became unsealed and then narrower and narrower till I got completely stuck uphill. I had to reverse back for a few km and I probably wasted hours in this detour. Lesson learned. Ask the locals when the roads become too wild, or just rent a 4×4 in Costa Rica.
- Photography Fails: As simple as that. Tripods can be unstable, especially when too close to the sea and waves break a few metres from you. It’s indeed a beautiful spot for long-exposure photography but a small mistake can cause expensive damage. In my case over $4,000 in the salty water which the insurance typically does not cover.
- Packing Blunders: I usually travel very lightly. I rarely pack long trousers when travelling in a warm country. You can imagine my face when on a trip to Indonesia I was invited by the Ministry of Tourism for afternoon tea. So I had to buy something appropriate in the morning, dress up and suddenly discover that the event had been cancelled due to external political affairs.