5 Unhealthy Mistakes New Travellers Could Make

Travelling for the first time can be an absolutely incredible experience, Rachel’s first solo trip was to Australia. Just like us any new traveller goes through a rollercoaster of different emotions; feeling scared because they are away from home for the first time, excited at being in a new place alone, apprehensive because they don’t know what to expect while also feeling thrilled.

When you decide to go travelling, it’s a turning point in your life (lol sorry but it’s true). However, many new travellers make unhealthy mistakes that can ruin their trips and end up cutting them short. Read on to find out what they are so that you don’t end up doing the same!

Buying Street Food In Quiet Areas
Street food is a great way to save money on meals while you travel, but buying it in a quiet area is usually a mistake. This usually means that the food isn’t as fresh, so you could end up falling ill with food poisoning. It’s much safer to get food from places where there are a lot of people around. This way, you can be sure that it’s freshly cooked.

Drinking The Tap Water
This is something your parents may have drilled into you from a young age, but we will say it again; drinking the tap water in many foreign countries can result in a horrible illness, and you could find yourself on the toilet for the remainder of your trip (sorry if TMI). Always buy bottled water, and feel better about contributing to plastic waste by making sure you recycle it or take a reusable bottle with you.

Failing To Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is an absolute essential. In some countries it is compulsory, in others it isn’t – but you should get it wherever you decide to go. Travel insurance won’t stop you from falling ill or hurting yourself, but it’ll help to protect you financially should you need hospital treatment or to cut your trip short. You never know what might happen, so don’t risk it!

Dressing appropriately for the weather, comfort depending on your activity, and the culture that you’re visiting is a must. You might even find that it’s better to buy clothes once you arrive as they are really cheap and help you fit in with the locals! Make sure you do lots of research you can find out lots of info on the countries you are planning on visit online, whether that’s on how to enjoy a healthy umrah or something else you’ve put on your bucket list.

Drinking Too Much
Not only is waking up with a hangover when you’re supposed to be exploring no fun; it’s pretty dangerous. You never know what could happen so always have your wits about you. If you’re travelling alone you’re putting yourself at risk just a little bit more! Limit your drinks and something we have always done is written a note in our room, saying where we are going and when we expect to be back. Try and make some friends in your hostel and head out with them!

Forgetting Sunscreen
If you’re doing anything other than a beach holiday, it’s all too easy to think that you can forget about sunscreen. Wrong! Sunscreen is important even if the sun isn’t shining, so make sure you take some with you and slap it on before leaving. In many counties you can buy massive suncream pots with handles, so just tie to your rucksack and you’ll never be caught short!

Is Asia On Your Bucket List? The Places You Need To See

Asia is a continent that many have on their bucket list and for good reason. Some of the countries that you would group together under Asia are simply stunning.

Asia is one of those places that is actually really popular with backpackers, and most probably because it’s so cheap and also cos so many people go and it encourages other to visit too. Many students and young adults take gap years and travel around places like Asia to really see some of the unspoilt beauty that is on offer here. Compared to western countries it’s super cheap to stay here and the food and drink is cheap too! However, even if Asia is on your list it is so vast and there are literally so many places to go that you may want to start narrowing down the list to some of the popular destinations. We thought it would be an ideal time to share with you some of our picks of Asia. We hope it gives you plenty of inspiration for your travel bucket list.

Indonesia
Indonesia is one of the South Eastern countries of Asia and has a lot to behold for anyone wanting to visit there. Known for its beautiful beaches, your chances to see Komodo dragons, vast jungles sheltering elephants, orangutans and tigers, and the unpredictable landscape of volcanoes. There really is something for everyone. Jakarta is the capital, and the ideal spot for you to enjoy traveling to other more remote destinations. Websites like https://www.rumah.com/ruko-dijual/di-area-jakarta-pusat-idjk02 are also packed with suggestions of accomodation you could consider. If you want something a little more laid back then perhaps a visit to Bali should be on the cards.

Malaysia
Another country on the South East is Malaysia. Perhaps this one won’t be as well known in terms of tourist hotspots but actually it is definitely a destination worthy of your bucket list. With stunning beaches and picturesque spots you are bound to find something to suit. If you are hoping to have some peace and tranquility then look no further than the island of Borneo. However, the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, is actually becoming a great location to see and experience some of the amazing culture this country has to offer.

Japan
Japan is an island nation situated in the Pacific ocean and definitely a vibrant place to see and witness. We all know that so much of the technology and items we use today comes from Japan, and the main location you can really see some of the high tech in action is Tokyo. Tokyo is also famous for its shopping opportunities as well as some amazing architecture in tall skyscraper buildings. The skyline is simply unforgettable. With cities, mountainous national regions and thousands of shrines, there is something for everyone in Japan.

China
Heading East of Asia you will find the vast country of China. Famous for many things including the popular cuisine and the Great Wall Of China, you really will find that this is one of those destinations so many people would like to see and perhaps don’t get the opportunity to do so. But you really should make time for it. Shanghai and Beijing really are two fabulous cities with amazing cultural influences. Both mix modern culture with historic influences. Some have it on their list to walk the Great Wall, and it is actually one of the few wonders of the world that can be seen from Space. There is some great information online https://www.chinahighlights.com/greatwall/ about traveling to China.

Thailand
We think Thailand is one of those destinations that perhaps we associate with backpackers right? While there is so much to do here for the young at heart such as island hopping, full moon parties and enjoying the delights of Bangkok, there is more to it and actually a great destination for couples to enjoy their honeymoons and for even families to have an explore (crazy huh!?) Koh Phangan and Koh Samui are two of the larger islands with much unspoilt, but you are bound to fund some secluded spots. Taking a boat trip around the islands is one of those things you must do while you are here.

Singapore
Singapore is actually an island city just south of Malaysia and is very well known for being a financial capital of the world. With huge multicultural differences and a very tropical climate, there is much more to this city than humidity and finances. There really is some grand architecture here as well as some of the oldest standing buildings in the Chinatown district. It is like something you may have never seen before.

India
Another country that perhaps is more famous for its cuisines than anything, and who doesn’t love a curry. So why not make it your mission to eat authentic Indian food in the country it comes from? However, there is much more to it than meets the eye. The Indian Ocean coastline will give you breathtaking beaches in the location of Goa. But heading to New Delhi and really seeing what this country is all about is definitely recommended. We have even written a post all about how to avoid the Delhi Belly!

Philippines
Heading back South East of Asia you will find a group of almost 7,000 islands. The Philippines. The capital of Manila is famous for its waterfront promenade and the centuries old chinatown district. Heading to Old Manila, you will find the walled city from colonial times, Intramus. With beautiful sights to behold it really is quite something. However, with such a beautiful collection of islands this destination is also very well known for beautiful sandy beaches and many unspoilt regions. Definitely one for the bucket list.

Maldives
Finally, our last stop on this Asian exploration is The Maldives. One of those places that so many people want to see at some point in their lives. Not just for the gorgeous beach, the luxury surroundings you can get, but possibly for one of the most beautiful sights called the sea of stars. This is when the sky and the sea light up like a glistening night sky. The Maldives is full of luxe surroundings, so whether traveling their as a couple or family, you are bound to have a fabulous time.

We hope that this has given you some inspiration for some of the places you can explore in Asia.

Review of: Cambodia and Vietnam on a Shoestring – G Adventures

At G Adventures, we encourage you to step off the beaten path, embrace the unexpected and immerse yourself in the extraordinary. Our award-winning trips embrace authentic accommodation and local transportation to bring you face to face with the world’s most fascinating cultures, customs and awe-inspiring wildlife.

 I booked onto a G Adventures tours as I had been recommended it by a number of friends and I loved the motto and beliefs of the company.  My expectations for the tour was the it would be organised and we would be taken to each destination, but we would also get a lot of freedom, especially when arriving and visiting our destinations. I thought that we would arrive to the destination, maybe sometimes given an orientation walk, or given a map, then suggested places to visit and the key attractions to visit, and told how to make the most of our time. I thought it would feel like a tour but with a lot more freedom, whilst being surrounded by likeminded people where I would make friends for life.

I decided to do a G Adventures tour because I had never been to Asia before an didn’t know what to expect. As a female traveller going with a young tour company seemed like the best way to experience a place, and get the most out of the destination, whilst feeling safe and not having the opportunity to be put in danger. In addition I wanted to make friends and be able to travel with some great people.

However, my experience of a G Adventures tour was not fully as I expected. Firstly our tour guide did not really let us have much freedom and it was frowned upon if we didn’t want to take part in the OPTIONAL activities. Additionally, it was also frowned upon if we wanted to do our own thing for dinner and find our own places to eat. We wanted to do our own thing because our tour guide took us to tacky, touristy restaurants for dinner where we were surrounded by tourists. We wanted an authentic experience and to eat local food like the locals. By the time I reached Vietnam we had plucked up the courage to tell our tour guide that we wanted to eat alone (which we didn’t feel went down very well, but oh well, it was our holiday at the end of the day and we had paid for the trip!), and we hardly joined our tour guide for dinner.

In addition our tour guide seemed to like the sound of his own voice and treated us as if we were on the classic tour not the YOLO tour, sometimes he wouldn’t even let us cross the road on our own! There were times when he needed to be quiet and not constantly talk at us, in addition when another guide was with us for particular tours it was as if it was a competition for the G Adventures guide and he wanted to look as if he knew more about the particular destination than the official tour guide. We found this to be very embarrassing and just wanted to tell the G Adventures guide to shut up

Lastly, it felt like the trip was all for our G Adventures tour guides gain, we went to restaurants where he knew people, so he could catch up with his friends, or where he could eat for free. You could tell the tour guide was focussed on his commission which is not what the tour should’ve been about, particularly as he tended to lie about certain things to get us to book onto activities or tell us false information about where we were eating.

 I have always wanted to visit South East Asia and when I found this tour decided it was ideal for me, especially as visiting Angkor Wat is on my bucket list as was Halong Bay. I wanted to experience a totally new culture, and taste amazing food whilst meeting great new people. I wanted to learn a lot about the places I was visiting and wanted to also live like a local and experience life first hand. I wanted an honest and real experience of both Cambodia and Vietnam. I do not believe that the G Adventures tour fully let me experience the culture of country I was visiting.

 Despite this, I think that tours are a great way to travel the world and an excellent way to meet like-minded people. I always felt safe on the tour and liked the fact we were taken to places and everything was organised. In addition the hotels we stayed in were incredible, and I couldn’t fault them at all. I think the whole trip was excellent value for money, the hotels were spot on and we had lots of meals included. . I did meet some amazing people on the tour and certainly made friends for life, it was definitely the people I was with that made the trip so memorable and so fun. In addition I absolutely loved visiting Cambodia and Vietnam, they were amazing countries and I sure did make memories that will last a lifetime. I ate some delicious food, and visited incredible places; Angkor Wat, quad biking across rice paddies to watch the sunset,  Boat trip and snorkelling in Sihanoukville, the tailors in Hoi An, motorbike tour in Hue and Halong Bay.

 I will definitely book another G Adventures tour as I cannot judge the company by our unfortunate experience with the tour guide (I think I was just unlucky, but believe it’s best to be completely honest) and my friends still rave about how good the tours and in particular the tour guides are. I am already looking at a G Adventures tour in South America!

You can read all the posts about all the different locations here:

Siem Reap
Phnom Penh
Sihanoukville
Vegan Café Sihanoukville
Cao Tao Home Stay
Saigon
Nha Trang
Hoi An
Cookery School Hoi An
Hue
Halong Bay

My Vietnam Homestay experience

Whilst in Vietnam (long post to follow), we went to a homestay which is exactly as the name describes – you stay in someone’s home. This was a great way to experience Cambodian life in the heart of the country. We arrived by our bus and then had to get off at the edge of the village and walk the rest of the way to where the family lived.

We were greeted by the owner of the homestay who was very friendly and picked our rooms/beds.I was with my 3 other girlies on matressss on the floor!

We then headed straight out for a walk around the village, we stopped to see local houses and ‘kitchens’, which are basically huts with a stove. We saw how the locals grew their own fruit and vegetable and got around by boat or motorbike. We also met some lovely Vietnamese children who were so happy and loved to wave at us!

We returned to the home for some chill time where we played card games.Then the women of the house taught us how to make savoury traditional pancakes which we also got to eat! They tasted delicious and were filled with beef and vegetables.

We then all sat around and ate the most incredible home made feast: pumpkin soup, spring rolls, prawn crackers, rice, green beans, tofu and pork curry. Everything tasted INCREDIBLE!

We spent the evening chatting before heading to bed for an early night. The locals all go to bed 9.30pm latest! We slept with mosquito nets to protect us from not only the mosquitos but all the large lizards and rats! Despite this and sleeping on a mattress on the floor in the humidity I slept very well!

I loved experiencing a homestay and think it’s a great way to experience the local way of living and something everyone should do when visiting a new country if possible.

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