Travelling has always been popular especially amongst students or post-grads that are out there to experience the world a little before settling down into a job and a home. Travelling can be very expensive but it doesn’t have to be! There are many ways to travel about the world without having to break the bank with supplies and accommodation. If you’re thinking about going on a worldly trip here are a few accommodation options and methods of travel that might be of some use!
Hostels are cheap, cheap, cheap! You will find a hostel almost everywhere in the world and they are extremely popular amongst the avid travellers! Hostels offer a bed to sleep in, often breakfast and also showering facilities. In peak seasons it is important to research the hostels to ensure they have a bed free for you to stay. Hostels are a great way to meet other people who are travelling just like you, and who knows you may pick up a friend or two while you spend time in the place that you are currently in! If you are planning to stay there a while, ask the hostel owners if they could use a hand in return for a free bed and breakfast, this way you are living for free and you get to know the locals and the guests. The more connections you make can aid you when you move on, such as staying in someone’s house that you have met, therefore always thinking ahead! Click here for a list of hostels and price ranges worldwide.
With making new friends and connections in mind, couch surfing is a great way to stay places for free! It is an online community of travelling people from all over the world and it is exactly what it says on the tin. You know your desired location, and by signing up to the community you can find people who are willing to host you for a night or two in their home. This is particularly great if you are unsure of the area that you are going to and by staying with a local they can teach you about the culture and the way of life of their town. Always remember SAFETY FIRST therefore if the person you are staying with does not appear to have good intentions leave immediately, and ALWAYS tell someone where you are staying, who you are staying with and the address. This is also necessary in case of emergencies. Click here to learn more about the Couchsurfing community.
If you’re taking a road trip, a motor home is an investment worth making. Road trips cost a lot in fuel, and the last thing you need on top of this is accommodation also! Investing in a motor home means your accommodation is sorted as it is attached to your vehicle! There are a range of different motor homes available in style and size therefore you can design it to suit how many people will be going and the amount of space and beds you will need. If it’s travelling to a different country, or just to the local caravan site where you can set up camp these are great for this use. Campsites and mobile home sites usually offer a motor home section for you to stop for the night at a small price. Travelling this way is fantastic if you are taking children along with you, as it also becomes a funner experience for them. For more information and for a full range of motor homes and services click here.
Canal Boat Hire
If you fancy something a bit more extravagant and different hire a canal boat for your holiday! This gives you an opportunity to sail to different places by the canals, and you have your live in accommodation too! Canal boats come in all different sizes and styles therefore you can have it as big or as fancy as you wish. This is another fun one if you’re travelling with kids, but if you’ve been travelling on trains and planes and just want to spend peaceful time away from all the hectic transports, a canal boat is definitely an option for you. Click here for boat hire in the UK, which will give you an idea of the price range available and the boats available for this kind of travelling.
This is exactly what you think it is! If you don’t fancy a boat, a motor home or a hostel and would rather stay in a hotel but can’t afford it, house sitting is perfect for you! You arrange to stay in someone’s house for free and in doing so there are certain things that they will need you to do, for example look after their pet. Similar to this would be house swapping, where you stay in that person’s house and they stay in yours for free. This is a nice way of travelling for comfort, or if you wish to travel one place at a time and return home. There are lots of websites out there that offer these services click here for more information about house sitting.
These are only a few of the money saving ways to travel however far or near the places are that you want to visit! For more ideas on free and cheap ways to travel check out this article on 15 Ways to Travel.
Are you really ready to travel?
I have just booked and paid for 6 weeks travel in Australia in the summer! I am very excited and cannot wait to travel! But am I really ready to travel?
I will be travelling from Cairns all the way down the coast to Melbourne and then across the county to Perth, I want to experience as much as I possibly can whilst I’m there, from the gorgeous beaches to the buzzing nightlife and varied wildlife!
This will require a lot of planning and I am aware and ready for that. There is so much to think about from Visa to travel money, accommodation to food and drink. The other thing I really need to take care is my health to ensure that I am in the best shape I can be for my travels, I would hate to get ill whilst I’m out there and miss out on experiences because of that. So I have got a plan to ensure I am really ready to travel!
Skin – Everyone knows how important it is to protect your skin from the sun by wearing protective clothing and creams. Check out the SunSmart homepage for more information on how to protect your skin in the sun: Cancer.org.
Eyes – Sunglasses are essential to make sure you protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays at all times.
Teeth – I have been having real problems with my teeth recently, and wanted to get them sorted before I went traveling, because the last thing I wanted was to be relaxing in paradise but suffering from a massive headache thanks to my teeth! To try and avoid any issues I had my wisdom teeth removed last month, at Manor Dental Care, who I would recommend to anyone needing oral surgery Manchester. I have been pain free since; now all I’ve got to do is remember to pack my toothbrush and toothpaste so I can look after them!
Clothes – I need to ensure that I pack enough of the right clothes, so that I will have enough to last me the 6 weeks, without overloading my rucksack to the point where I can’t carry it!
So once I have got all of my travel money through and my Visa and everything in place, I will just need to pack my bag and then I’m ready to get on the plane and jet of to the other side of the world, wish me luck!
I have just returned from one of the most surreal and enviable experiences of my life. My good friend Bryony posted on Facebook that she was taking a trip to Paris to look at some inner city properties and asked if anyone wanted to join her. Of course the post was bombarded with eager requests, jokes, and statements of disbelief, but she was in earnest. Her parents are of course incredibly rich, but despite prejudices Bry is an exceptionally hard worker who earns her own keep. Well, maybe not all the time, but extending her theatre company to Paris required a new living space, and to my surprise only a few of us had genuinely meant to come along. I booked the Friday off work and packed up my stuff for the trip. I was eager to see some of the live music clubs in Paris and slunk my guitar on my back just in case. I had only visited Paris once and didn’t get the chance to see many of the popular tourist attractions as listed here, so this was going to be good no matter what.
It was too early to think when we arrived at Paris, so when me and our friends Jon and El followed Bry to a limousine outside the airport, I initially thought little of it. Unbeknownst to me, Bryony wasn’t taking us to see just any Paris apartments: we were heading to the 16th District, home to some of the most expensive apartments in Paris. Bry had searched for Paris apartments for sale online and booked her viewings with Home and Prestige after falling in love with their exquisite properties. They were the ones who sent the limo too, talk about first class!
Paris is split into twenty districts, each with something new to offer, but the 12th and 16th “arrondissements” are particularly well-known for their beautiful suburban parks: the closest one to us being the Bois de Boulogne. As we marvelled at the sleek Parisian interiors of the apartments, and then back outside to gawp some more at the City of Lights, I got me thinking about how often we take the time to visit our European cousins. Bry hadn’t paid for my flight and it was a lot cheaper than I had thought, even leaving me with some little cash for spends. Not everyone can afford a luxury Parisian apartment, but even the cheaper apartments in the 18th district looked out to the Montmatre which houses the illustrious Sacré Coeur. All this is a short plane ride away and I’ve been kicking myself since for not visiting Paris more than once.
Friends in high places are a new level of fun, but I admit I had nothing to offer when it came to making a decision on any of the illustrious properties we had seen. After a bit of evening shopping and consulting, Bry demanded that I perform for her: what a diva. I’d taken a look at some of the live music bars Paris had to offer and settled on Les Combustibles, a jazz/blues bar in the 12th district. We had an absolutely incredible evening; the acts were just brilliant, and I didn’t do too badly myself, for an Englishman. There is something truly magnifique about authentic French music, especially in the heart of Paris.
I was very sad to leave, until I remembered that Bry would be settling the deal as soon as she had organised the correct moving date for her company. Looks like I’ll have a good excuse to see more of Paris very soon and I sincerely recommend paying a visit to our European neighbours.
If you have ever seen the movie The Holiday, you will remember the snowy little cottage in Surrey that Kate Winslet’s advertises online as ‘up for swap’. When Cameron Diaz consequently arrives at the little cottage she struggles to acclimatise to the British climate and far more simplistic lifestyle that the little cottage supports. Diaz’s character finds herself desperate to escape. Her feelings dramatically change when she meets a man with whom she falls in love (sorry to ruin it for anyone!) and maybe few watchers notice the first time round, but as Diaz’s character begins falling in love with this man (played by Jude Law) she begins to enjoy, even find comfort in the things about the little cottage and England which at first distressed. Both Diaz and Winslet’s character go on a sort of journey discovering new things about themselves through swapping their homes.
While it might seem a little odd to try and push the virtues of holiday cottages over hotels by telling anyone that the holiday home can be an acquired taste, like many red wine drinkers or pongy cheese eaters attest, it is taste well worth acquiring. Had Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz have been two characters who attempted to escape their lovelorn realities through booking into a Premier Inn or a motel or even some wonderful four star fancy hotel, rather than swapping homes, I don’t imagine the film would’ve made it to production, never mind completion. There would have been no story to tell, or if there had it would most likely be a story about how wonderful the hotel was rather than how enlightening the experience was.
So, like in the movie, I favour a holiday home or cottage to a hotel. For me there is no story, no adventure to be had by simply by booking into a hotel; even if the hotel is particularly beautiful or the hoteliers particularly good story tellers, the problem for me is that I want to discover my own story, not be spoon fed other peoples; I want to be a part of the story rather than an audience member. I want to escape the hustle and bustle of business, not enter one…even as a guest.
From the depth of the window sills which, like rings in a tree, provide a clue as to the age of a cottage to the little touches that hint at who may have formally been living in the place like whispered secrets. I remember while staying in one holiday cottage in Cornwall, like those provided by DuchyHolidays, actually discovering notches in a kitchen wall beside an old stone fire place. Running my finger over these little bumps was like discovering a fossil or shell you discover at the beach as a child; you don’t fully understand where they come from or what they mean, but somehow you’re awestruck by their being. If someone found chunks of wall missing in their hotel room you’d probably only hear about it in the form of a furious review on a site such as Trip Advisor. Yet, this is my point about the difference context can make.
Hotels for me are too eager to sponge away any sign anyone else has resided within them. For me the difference between clean and well maintained accommodation and sterile, depersonalised accommodation is exactly that; hotels lack the personality and authenticity a holiday cottage provides. I step into a holiday cottage and I feel like I’m waking up beside someone I love; that moment of being a part of something so intimate and special unperceived by anyone or anything but each other fills me with awe; I am free to understand or misunderstand my life for this small amount of time and adventure as I please; I am free to who I am, and who I truly am happens to be someone who enjoys the nooks, crannies and sometime surprises of a Cornish cottage. I delight in the perfect, little imperfections that make things and people lovable. It is like getting to know someone for the first time, and sometimes even falling in love. And that, for me, describes the perfect holiday.
By aged thirty-six I’d pretty much lost any hope that I’d ever escape this little island – I live in England, by the way. Then, a friend came over one afternoon for a brew and told me they were planning a holiday. There was nothing abnormal about that; my friend holidays twice a year and almost always goes abroad. So I sat, cradling my hot tea while outside the wind howled, listening while my friend explained his plan an why he wanted to explore Crete next, imagining from what he told me the warmth of the sun on my skin and the smell of the sea and the historical sites he spoke about.
Returning from my day dreams when I realised he’d stopped speaking, I opened my eyes to find he was staring intently at me, asking, ‘well, what do you think?’ I smiled and replied, ‘Dale, that sounds amazing, really amazing…’ He beamed and put his cup down, exclaiming, ‘I’m so glad, because I thought you’d say no.’ Say no? Say no to what? What had I just agreed to? My mind instantly jumped to the image of his huge boxer dog pulling me through the fields on a cold winter’s day or drooling onto my lounge cushions. Dale once asked me to dog sit while he went travelling. Hence, I panicked; I almost didn’t dare ask, but I had to: Um, Dale, say no to what, sorry?’
As it turned out, Dale wanted me to join him on his next adventure and spend two weeks in Crete with him. He was right; had I realised what he’d asked I’d have almost certainly said no. I’ve turned down so many holiday offers simply because having got to this age without going abroad, it has become automatic for me to politely decline offers to go abroad. I’ve travelled almost every inch of Britain, mind due. I know its history and geography well, but beyond Britain?
Looking back now, I’m so glad I accidentally agreed. Dale having holidayed all over the globe, knew instantly who to turn to for, well, everything. He’d decided upon Crete as his (or our) destination after seeing a documentary on Youtube –I’ve embedded the video below, as he passed it onto me to check out before we went.
Then, Dale had discovered a company called Freelance Holidays (www.freelance-holidays.co.uk) in a Sunday TimesFeature called ’50 Sensational Villas’. I’d never stayed in a villa having never been abroad, but it was sumptuous and provided the perfect base from which to explore Crete…which we did, just as soon as I escaped the aeroplane. I think I was just so grateful to have my feet firmly back on the ground, but we didn’t waste a minute thinking of jet lag before picking up the hire car Dale had booked, grabbed supplies (food, sun lotion, anti histamines and the likes) and headed out into the glorious Crete countryside.
Maybe though, the absolute gem in my first foreign holiday actually came in the form of a tear or a whole island of them; Spinolonga was not too long ago used as leprosy colony. It is located in the Elounda Gulf, in north-eastern Crete and while the beaches, bars and Crete countryside were astounding, the story of Spinolonga will stay with me forever. To find out why, learn more about the amazing and tragic story of Spinolonga, The Island of Tears.
If you’re planning to take a trip away this year, whether that’s to a part of the UK or to a destination abroad, after that initial decision is made on where your holiday will be it’s imperative to make plans for travel, accommodation and a realistic budget to spend, as well as mapping out the areas you’re intending to visit.
There’s no point in calling it a holiday if you’re coming back that same day, so having somewhere comfortable to check in your luggage, somewhere to lie down and relax at the end of a fun-filled day of events should all be part of that holiday experience.
But you don’t have to travel to the other side of the planet to create a holiday destination that’s just right for you, it might be that staying in London is up your street… and who could blame you? In a recent poll I read on Aol, London was voted as being the best holiday destination of 2012. People flock to London every year to see the London eye, the Big Ben and all of the many other touristy things on offer in the UK’s vibrant capital.
So if we look at this article taken from the Guardian about how densely populated the city is already with just its residents, it’s definitely better to prepare yourself for the hussle and expense that a trip to London will involve. Contrary to popular belief London is not all expensive – if you scour the internet for cheap deals on things like food, travel and accommodation, you will find that a fair bit of spending money will be left over for you and your family to enjoy the sights. Also, it depends on the area of London you go to visit.
There are plenty of tourist-friendly areas to choose from including; Covent Garden, Regent’s Park, Camden town and King’s Cross to name a few. But in terms of hotels that are both affordable and high quality, in my experience of staying in London, I would recommend cheap accommodation in the King’s Cross area, specifically the Swinton Hotel as there are attractions a-plenty close by to this particular hotel, for those looking for an authentic taste of London on a budget.
Hotels are the perfect excuse for a little romance especially when celebrating a special occasion like a wedding. As far as a couple’s wedding night is concerned it is tradition to stay in a luxurious hotel for the night – have a read of this article on about.com which talks about how to create an extra special wedding night. It’s fair to say that for women in particular, the wedding gown is just as important as the hotel accommodation. For people who follow a certain religion there are many beautiful wedding retailers like Sonas Couture who supply lavish wedding gowns catered towards Indian and Asian women so you can choose a gown that is suited to your personality whilst keeping in line with your romantic theme.
So however you choose to spend your holiday or wedding night this year, if you’re going to visit anywhere in the UK, why not visit a city of heritage and culture and create your own night of paradise?
Going on a holiday or a mini-break is an exciting time for people who spend most of their time working and gives us something to look forward to, especially if booked months in advance. For some a holiday is an annual ritual for escapism, others see a getaway as a luxury and may only holiday every few years, whilst there are others known as ‘adrenaline junkies’ who simply have to travel all year round in order to feel they are getting the most out of life. Holidays are a time for family, relationships, leisure and above all, relaxation.
I myself have always seen a holiday abroad as a dream, something to work towards once I am able to afford it. There are many beautiful places that I have read about, yet to be discovered – this is the beauty of holiday destinations for me, reading information and looking at tourism videos on Youtube are a fantastic substitute for getting to experience the real thing. Of course, one day when I’m rich and living comfortably, visiting places like France, America and Japan won’t be such a pipe-dream anymore.
For me, organisation has always been at the forefront of everything I do, whether that’s writing my weekly shopping list, scribbling down appointments in my diary or packing for a weekend away. Despite me never having been to one of the more exotic countries yet, I have been to Dublin a few years ago which was great! One of the first things I made sure I had was a trolley case to pack up my possessions well in advance before the day of my flight. I am meticulous when it comes to finding suitable travelling cases as I prefer them to be durable, practical and stylish which can sometimes be difficult to find. Usually you can find reasonably priced travel cases in high street stores like TK Maxx and Argos which are pretty good for their price, but if you have saved up a couple of month’s worth of wages and really want to make sure your trolley case is the fairest of them all, I would highly recommend online luggage retailers like Sabarini as they have many leather trolley cases of all shapes, sizes and colours. Take a look at their website here to have a look at what’s on offer.
So for those who are lucky enough to be going on holiday this year, why not visit France? There are many beautiful resorts to visit in this magical country; for example, Paris and Provence are just two of the breathtaking cities which France has to offer holiday goers. It’s good to have a purpose in mind when choosing the country you want to visit, so you may want a fun and lively family holiday with lots to see and do or if you’re going on a simple mini-break for two, somewhere with lots of quality restaurants and cultural landmarks may work better for creating a romantic vibe – it all depends on what you want from your holiday.
Perhaps one of the most important elements to bear in mind though is accommodation and the type of establishment that will suit your needs. According to a useful article I found on yellow how to, choosing holiday accommodation and considering various factors before booking is essential for being able to fully enjoy and feel relaxed whilst you’re on your trip abroad. So depending on things like budget, how long you plan to stay and the location, there are actually many options to choose from in terms of luxurious accommodation. From rustic cottages and B&B’s to modern villas and holiday apartments, these days it’s easy to make a home away from home. So if you are planning to visit a gorgeous location like France, holiday property experts like Affinity holidays France are the best on the market where you will be able to find just what you’re looking for in terms of luxury villas.
Wherever you decide to take that well deserved holiday, make sure you have plenty of room for luggage items and the best accommodation to spend your time away in.
If you have decided to take a gap year travelling around Europe, you may have saved up to ensure you can have a comfortable tour, but perhaps like most people aged 18-25 you might not be as well funded as you hoped, so you have chosen to tour Europe on a modest budget. Luckily for you things called Youth Hostels exist that mean you can sleep indoors for a reasonable price. So here are some top, affordable youth hostels around Europe, so you can enjoy the culture and save some cash.
Paris: Smart Place Paris
Smart Place Paris is a Youth Hostel located close to the Gare du Nord, The main rail and metro hub for the city. It has a number of rooms all with ensuite bathrooms and the single and double private rooms have satellite TV. The prices range from £27-38 a night, depending on rooms and unlike some youth hostels there is no curfew. Staff are friendly and helpful and will make sure you get the most out of your time in Paris, booking you tickets to popular attractions like the Moulin Rouge. The hostel also provides Wifi, clean linen and blankets and has newly refurbished kitchen so you can make your meals instead of heading out to restaurants.
Berlin: St Christopher’s Inn
This hostel is situated in the Berlin-Mitte district and prices start from £10.78 for the 16 bed dorm room up to £24.67 for a private apartment. Wifi and breakfast are included in the price and the staff will give you any advice you need on how to traverse the city and get as much site seeing and partying into your trip as possible. Staying with them provides 25% discount to their Belushi’s bar and restaurant so at least you won’t have any trouble finding anywhere to eat.
If you are looking for somewhere trendy to stay then Nikbor is the place for you. Located close to some of Gaudi’s greatest architectural creations on the Casa Mila and La Pedrera you will feel right in the centre of sophistication and culture. Prices start at £14.71 for the 8 bed dorm up to £45.44 for a single. Every room has a private bathroom and there is free WiFi and breakfast included to help you prepare for the day ahead.
All these hostels have tons of positive reviews so always make sure to check online before booking so that you can pick the hostel that is right for you.
Many amateur and professional photographers specialise in, or have a particular interest in architectural photography. It is a specific type of photography that seeks to capture images of buildings and structures that have artistic value, or presenting a building in an artistic light. Many commercial photographers will often find that businesses and companies will call upon their services, particularly if they are skilled in architectural photography to photograph their corporate buildings, often for advertising purposes. Because commercial photographers frequently receive requests for this type of work many professional photographers will include examples of architectural photography in their portfolios to highly to their prospective clients what they are capable of.
Many photographers, both professional and amateur who are especially interested in photographing landscapes at night or in low light will often become involved in architectural photography as buildings are frequently photographed in low light to emphasis their lighting and for dramatic effect. Because of this, many photographers who are involved with architectural photography will have to make use of various items of specialist equipment to achieve the results they require at night time. Lenses that have been specially adapted to produce results in low level light using long exposure times are often used in architectural photography. Tripods to minimize movement and thus blur when taking a long exposure photograph are also frequently used. It is important to carefully pick the time of day when photographing buildings in order to achieve the results you require. Some of the best examples of architectural photography are taken at twilight.
It is understandable to have concerns when you are going on holiday, especially if you are travelling somewhere that may not be the safest place in the world, or are taking unusual or alternative routes to get there. It may be worthwhile in cases like these to consider getting some form of travel insurance, as it can help you if you get into any difficulties on your journey, or while you are there.
You can also get different kinds of insurance to suit your needs and purposes, with a range of levels of coverage in almost every type of danger or expense that you can imagine. You can also get additional coverage if you do not think that your current insurance will be enough for a certain occasion or trip. Temporary travel insurance usually relates to one trip or holiday, and cannot be used to deal with other situations, so this type may be better for people that do not travel particularly often, or are concerned about a specific area of their holiday. More continuous and extensive insurance can be bought from travel insurance companies and insurance companies.
If you are looking at more inclusive and long-term travel insurance, it is advisable to buy from insurance companies, as they often provide better coverage and usually provide a good range of additional insurances that are not available through travel insurance providers. If you are not looking for this, and only require small amounts of travel insurance for a limited time, then this should not concern you as much.