Tag Archives: travel

If you’re looking to squeeze the most out of your travel budget this year, then you need look no further than this hotlist of four favorite budget destinations to visit in 2018.


Thailand Temples Landscape Photography

THAILAND

Thailand remains a firm favorite amongst families, couples, backpackers, and solo travelers alike.  There’s still much unspoiled beauty in the tantalizing Kingdom of Thailand left to discover, particularly in the region of Krabi and Koh Lanta, but the undeveloped and rustic image that was so prevalent twenty years ago has since been replaced with neon lights, massage parlors, non-stop parties, and gridlocked congestion.

One of the best ways to see Thailand, is on an extended trip as a backpacker, for it will allow you to scratch beneath the commercial surface of popular places such as Krabi, Phuket and Koh Samui whilst taking you on a journey to more remote parts of Thailand such as Pai and Udon Thani – that you might not otherwise discover if you were there just for a couple of weeks.

Chiang Mai could be of particular interest, known as the “capital of the north”, many would describe Chiang Mai as a mystical land of temples, rice paddies, monks and natural jungle; though whilst this is true for the areas around Chiang Mai, the town itself is pretty bustling and at times resembles a less frantic version of Bangkok.

Chiang Mai is a great place to have as a base, in which you can explore the rest of Thailand.  With direct flights to Krabi, Phuket and Koh Samui you are able to have a base in the North of Thailand (much cheaper than the south) and go on mini breaks to more exotic locations.

There are several modern condos available, for exclusive rent, on AirBnB at a cost of just $10 per night if you were to consider renting for an extended period and setting up a base there for a few weeks as a hub.

Turkey Photography

TURKEY

Turkey has unfortunately received a lot of bad press in recent years, with terrorist attacks, political instability and social unrest bombarding the headlines.

The truth is, that whilst there are pockets of unrest, Turkey, is a place where people get along with each other very well and there is a sense of community / hospitality that instantly makes you feel welcomed into the local culture.  Whilst there are the occasional demonstrations, on the whole places such as Istanbul are incredibly safe due to the increased police presence and security measures that are now in place.

Turkey has, unfortunately, seen a rapid decline in tourism, however the majority of the country is an incredibly safe, calm and peaceful land of respect and culture.  Indeed, the Turkish people are some of the most sincerely hospitable people around.

Istanbul is the clear capital of tourism and is famous for being one of the most interesting and culturally rich places for city break in the entire world.  Then, there are the mystical lands filled with natural “fairy chimneys” in the Cappadocia region – or hidden away seaside coves such as Olympos, just a couple of hours from Antalya.

The greatest thing about Turkey, at the moment, is that due to the lull in tourism, you’ll get to experience a more authentic and traditional experience whilst reaping huge cost savings, particularly on hotels, as Turkey’s tourism infrastructure has always catered for package holidays – meaning there’s a huge supply of hotels with depleted demand; resulting in 4* Hotels costing as little as $10 per night.

Istanbul is unlike any other city in the world due to being separated by the Bosphorus Strait which divides Istanbul into two sides, on two different contents, the European Side and the Asian Side.  The European side offers the more modern side of the city, with well known brands occupying prime real estate on the busy high street whilst independent hipster bars and coffee shops can be found near the river.  Indeed, the European side has a feel of San Francisco about it, with all its unique and creative independent stores, cafes, restaurants and watering holes.

In terms of finding a property, this side of the river is where you’ll find trendy loft apartments at a quarter of the price you would pay in New York.  The Asian side, however, is a little more shabby, and this is where you’re likely to find a great deal on a property.  The Asian side has a much more “local” and rustic feel to it.

Wall of plates in the market in Fez Morocco

MOROCCO

Marrakech is an incredibly colorful and vibrant city that is like a beacon drawing in tourists from all over the world.  The majority of people visit for just a short while, as there is an element of endurance to be had with exploring Marrakech, due to the frenetic pace, the hustle and bustle, and in the summer at least – sweltering heat.

Marrakech, for some, may feel like stepping into Disneyland, in that it is an overwhelming experience on all the senses.  Whilst it provides a stark contrast to the Western World, it is only a short hop on a cheap flight to Mainland Europe and the “new city” offers some very luxurious accommodation at an incredibly cheap price.

Marrakech can be a fantastic place to base yourself for a few weeks whilst exploring the gems of Morocco such as the Sahara Desert and Atlas Mountains.  A more relaxed alternative to Marrakech is Essaouira that has a more chilled out coastal vibe to the city – or further North in Fes, which has less tourists and is much smaller than Marrakech.

You may wish to visit http://www.visitmorocco.com/en in order to gauge the full extent of this fascinating country and see what areas suit you the best.

Vintage Volkswagen, Bali

BALI

If you’re heading to Indonesia, Bali isn’t one of the cheapest places you could go – and if you’ve got your eyes on the Gili Islands this is even more the case.  However, there are a number of apartments for rent that make a longer stay much cheaper; you can find more information on sites such as https://rumahdijual.com/bali/.  Bali is an incredibly vibrant island that has something for everyone; yes, it has become much more touristy in recent years and suffers with the problems of many SE Asian tourist hotspots; such as congestion and pestering from touts – but the beauty of Bali is that there are still plenty of tranquil and serene places to relax and rejuvenate… and you can still do it on the cheap!

The party area of Kuta is reasonably isolated, so if you’re looking to party – this is the place to go, and if you’re looking for peace and quiet, this is definitely the place to avoid.  If you’re wanting to trace the footsteps of Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, you’ll want to head toward the sanctuary of Ubud.

Bali remains very high up on most people’s bucket lists and it is strongly encouraged you visit reasonably soon before tourism takes over.

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Going out alone can be a liberating experience, whether you’re exploring a new city for the first time or a brand new country! However, you want to enhance this experience further by making sure you pay attention to a few safety tips that will keep you feeling confident. Read on for a few safety tips you really shouldn’t ignore when out alone!

Vegan leather city backpack

Keep Your Music On Low

First of all, we’re going to tell you why you shouldn’t have your music blasting at top volume. Having your music on loud can be an immersive experience when you’re getting lost in your own world, and it can be great for places like the gym, but it isn’t great when you’re unfamiliar with an area, or sometimes even if you are! Having music on loud takes one of our key senses away. I’m super guilty of this- I’ll just be walking along lalala listening to music when I should probably be paying attention to my surroundings. Our ears can quickly alert us to danger, whether that’s a passing car or a criminal. You’re actually at much more of a risk of suffering from a pedestrian accident when you have your music on loud, as you can’t always hear oncoming traffic – the music distracts you. By all means wear your headphones, but don’t deafen yourself. It’s bad for your hearing, and could jeopardize your safety.

Download A Map Of The Area

If you’ve never traveled in this area before, download a map of the area before you go out. You should hopefully be able to find wi-fi to connect to and do this easily enough. Use the map to get around, find shops, places to eat, and more. Just don’t forget to charge your phone before you leave the house – ideally, you’ll have a portable charger on hand should you need one!

Read Up On Local Forums

Want to know what to look out for when exploring a new area? One of the best ways to do this is to read up about the area on forums. You may be able to find out about any scams or people to watch out for in the area. You may discover a place to avoid. Just don’t let forums put you off visiting!

Tell Somebody Where You’re Going

Stay connected with your friends and family when going somewhere alone. Just drop them a message and ask them what they’re up to, before telling them where you’re going. You never know what’s around the corner. I’ve started really using the feature on Uber to let Kendall know when I’m in a car. Even though he’s currently on the other side of the country, it gives both of us piece of mind. I also send these updates to friends if I’m meeting them out.

Carry Something With You For Peace Of Mind

Carrying something with you for protection will give you peace of mind. Pepper spray is an idea (check out the legality of carrying it with you), but a simple alarm carried around your wrist or in your hand could be great too, especially when you’re on your own once it gets dark. Just don’t make the mistake of keeping the alarm or spray in your bag. It’s best to hold it in your hand or at least your pocket while you walk. You want to know you have access as quickly as possible!

Stay safe when exploring alone, and most importantly, have fun.

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There’s nothing quite like packing up for a road trip. Getting the car loaded with a drinks cooler, blankets, overnight bags and if feeling adventurous, a tent, is pretty much the most freeing experience that you can ever have. Choosing your route for your road trip is probably the hardest decision you could make, given the fact there is so much out there to be seen. It’s quite exhausting, planning a route that suits the whole family and all ages, so it makes sense to do as much research as possible before you get on the road.

Let’s go road Trippin’

Plan your route and your stops along said route before you leave the house. You may know your end destination, but your stops can depend on your style of travel. It won’t suit everyone to stop at hotels near Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, but for thrill seekers who love an adrenaline rush, it’s an absolute must! Don’t forget: you and your passengers will be together for up to eight hours a day of driving and stopping at various attractions, so it has to be well thought out and make sense for everyone before you put the pedal to the metal and get going. Apps like this one can help you to plan your route to perfection, so you don’t have to simply wing it when you’re on your way.

Don’t forget, though, that the fun of a road trip is knowing where you start and knowing where you end, but that doesn’t mean you have to plan every single stop to a tee. You may come across things that you haven’t even found online, and so deviate from the rough plan that you have already set out for yourself. Don’t feel bad about that, as part of the fun of a road trips is discovering something new. You also have to account for budget when you make your plans, because if you deviate off your path in the pursuit of something new, you need to factor in expenditure elsewhere than you’ve planned. Driving can cost more money than a flight sometimes, so you need to have a contingency plan of cash for extra mileage and gas. You also need to make sure that you plan for extra nights in hotels or food if you get stranded.

Before you embark on your road trip, you need to take your car to an auto shop for a tune up. You need to have a fresh battery, new gas, and new oil. You should also have the interior and exterior of the car cleaned, and give a friend or relative who isn’t travelling with you a copy of your itinerary. You need your car to be in the best condition possible so that you don’t break down on the road. Your road trip should be a time where you make as many memories as possible, and it’s up to you to plan for those memories accordingly. Plan well, and your road trip can be the stuff of legends.

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The down under of Africa, South Africa gives a home to many people from all around the world. One of the most lively cities of the southwest coast is Cape Town. The nightlife is amazing, as the friendly and colorful people celebrate their culture loud and proud. However, when travelling to Cape Town remember that it’s a port city, and the amount of trade that goes through is amazing. This is why it’s also important to realize the harbor is busy with boats that are heading to the local islands that once even held Nelson Mandela. The country has a historical vibe still within it as the rapidly changing culture from West to more Africanized is occurring. It’s a once in a lifetime trip to visit to Table Mountain where you can look down upon the city from an awesome viewpoint. The cable cars are often the main transport up, so you’ve got to come early in the day to get ahead. There are so many things you can do and here are just some of them.

Mountains and Clouds at Signal Hill Cape Town, South Africa

 

Shark diving

It just wouldn’t be Cape Town without a spot of shark diving. It’s safe as can be because professional crews that organize dives for tourists do so with state of the art metal cages. Strong and sturdy, they allow you to get up close to the great white sharks that roam the southwest coast. By feeding the shark bait, you can see closely how the animal hunts and builds up speed in the water. Far from being the mindless creatures often portrayed as in movies, you’ll get an education on how complex their anatomy is. You’ll understand how they use electrodes in their nose to pick up signs of blood in the water and also, how they socially interact with each other.

Table Mountain

If you’re looking for  Things to do in Cape Town, look no further than the secret Table Mountain adventure. First, you’ll hike up the mountain, going through different passes that have their own character. At first, you’ll be treading on the grassy lands, and as you approach the mountainous terrain, you’ll be in one of the multiple rock formations. As you get higher and higher, now you’ll be on the designated footpaths, and using safety lines to get across the treacherous parts. At the end, you’ll be standing just over one kilometer above sea level, and looking down on the beautiful picturesque nature of Cape Town.

Wine Tour

Going on a full day wine tour is really something that you’ll never forget. South Africa is fast becoming the place to be if you want to drink and buy some of the best wines in Africa. The climate is just right to grow ripe grapes that are both sweet and bitter. You’ll sample some of the most full and punchy red wines in the country, as well as sip on the delicate tones of white wines. You’ll also get a chance to buy some exclusively at the end of the tour.

South Africa is truly a jewel in the southern part of the continent. It’s one of the most vibrant places on earth and is continuously growing. Trekking up the Table Mountain to look down below onto the city of Cape Town will give you a true sense of its scale. Diving with sharks and drinking wine to finish off your day is by no means, out of the realm of possibility.

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In case you missed my stories this past weekend, here I am being the happiest little llama in the land:

And what was it that kept my booty shakin’ with glee? I had one of the nicest Halloweekends I’ve had in a long time. My old roommates, Kendall, and roommates’ friend and a couple of his friends all rented Lockhouse 28 Saturday night. Before you click on that link you might be asking, “what’s a lockhouse?”

Well…

Completed in 1837, Lockhouse 28 stands as a reminder of the fierce competition between the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the race to reach the Ohio River Valley. At Point of Rocks the land between the Potomac River and the rocky outcropping becomes precariously narrow. Both companies knew ownership of this strip of land was imperative to winning the race to the Ohio. Adversaries in the courts for four years, both canal and railroad were given rights-of-way, with the C&O Canal allowed to build next to the river, and the B&O Railroad forced to carve its way through the hillside just above the canal.

We essentially went camping. No electricity or running water. And it was perfect. There weren’t more pictures because weren’t really on our phones. We I toasted ‘mallows, we sat around a fire and told scary stories that I think really only scared me, and enjoyed the slightly cold but not too cold weather. The house actually came with beds and once I got to sleep, I slept amazingly. Kendall, my old roommate Meghann, and I wore our costume onesies and we just were.

My personal favorite time was our long, relaxing campfire breakfast. I’m legit worried that I’ll never enjoy eggs again unless they’re cooked over an open flame. Between those, crispy sausage patties, doughnuts, and coffee- it was just perfect.

The Lockhouse itself was only about an hour outside of DC and a beautiful hour at that. If you want to get away with some friends, it’s only about $100 a night. This location’s 1/2 mile away from parking makes it still feel like camping. I truly needed this trip and highly suggest it for anyone feeling a need to get out there. It was a great way to spend Halloweekend that was totally different than just drinking in a costume somewhere.

What’s your favorite way to disconnect? Because I think I found mine. 🙂

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!