Five Ways to Travel To Asia on a Budget

Asia is a great country to visit full of culture, delicious food and friendly people. In case you already have an Asian country in mind to visit in the future, you will have to save up your money and learn as much as you can about the culture. There are plenty of cheap ways of booking your holiday, and – unless you want five-star treatment all the way – we recommend you avoid high street agents. Whether you want to see the ancient temples and cities of India or stay in Vietnam for a few weeks, you have several budget-friendly options. Find out more about them below.

CUSTOM ITINERARY
Instead of going with the flow and listening to travel agents’ recommendations, you might want to stay out of the tourist resorts (which the travel agents will most likely suggest). This will help you save money and learn more about the customs and culture than any other way. You might want to check out blogs and travel guides and create your custom itinerary, so you can see more and go off the beaten path so you can explore the country without having to put up with the crowd.

LOCAL TOUR OPERATORS
If you need to book trips and tours, it is better to find a local operator instead of doing the same thing; looking online. Large companies are generally selling the services of local family firms, so you can secure a huge discount and build a great relationship with the company, so they listen to your needs and preferences, tailoring the tour to your budget.

ON THE WATER
A great way of exploring any country is on the water we love this way of seeing a new place and as mentioned before a holiday isn’t a holiday without a trip on water! You can book private scenic river cruises in most countries. Whether you would like to explore the Ganges or the shoreline of Indonesia, you will find plenty of offers if you look around. All you have to do is check where the main ports of the country are, and you can get a deal with a local operator there and then, instead of committing to buy before you arrive and see the place.

VOLUNTEERING
In case you have extremely limited funds, but would like to visit the country of your dreams in Asia, such as Saigon or Mumbai, you can find volunteering positions. You will have free time to explore the area, and free accommodation and food. All you will have to think about is learning the language so you can communicate with locals and get recommendations on cheap ways of getting around and attractions to visit.

BACKPACKING
Those brave enough to start off without a set itinerary will be able to save money by backpacking. You can get around cheaply by train and public transport, and explore a new city every day. Learn the language before you set off, so you can communicate with locals, and get personalized advice.

Asia is a cheap destination for backpackers and budget travelers. You can save money if you stay away from main tourist hubs and stay with the locals. Make sure that you explore your options before you set off, and learn the language, so you can benefit from locals’ advice and guidance on your trip.

The Key To Avoiding Delhi Belly On Holiday

Travel is one of the most edifying and fulfilling things a person can do. Travel broadens our horizons, and exposes us to new people, places and cultures. It introduces us to a wealth of new sights, sounds, scents and tastes and these help to create the memories that we’ll carry with us wherever we go for the rest of our lives. One of the beautiful things about living in a multicultural society like the UK is how the range of different cultural and culinary influences engender an appetite for variety. But while we may be able to walk down any high street and enjoy everything from burritos to baked potatoes, from seafood to schwarma, there’s no substitute for trying new foods made authentically in their native countries.

But while an appetite for culinary adventurism is all well and good, it can inadvertently end up ruining our trip. A bad case of delhi belly or food poisoning will see you spending the rest of your holiday getting to know a whole lot about your hotel bathroom, and very little else as you spend your days filling in a holiday illness claim form rather than enjoying your chosen destination. If you’re a consummate foodie, you need to be able to enjoy your food without grappling with horrible stomach cramps. Here are a few ways in which you can avoid a dreaded case of Delhi belly…

DONT DRINK THE WATER
Needless to say, whenever you travel abroad it’s not advisable to drink the water, especially when travelling throughout Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and South America where they have a less robust plumbing infrastructure. Not only should you avoid drinking the water, you should avoid eating fresh fruit and veggies that have been washed in it. By all means buy fresh fruits and veggies (it’s one of the best things about travelling overseas) but wash them in bottled water first. This guide to drinking tap water will help if you’re unsure about whether the drinking water in your destination is safe.

DONT GO CRAZY WITH THE RICH FOODS
When travelling around places like India and southern Asia many Westerners find themselves experiencing what they think are food poisoning symptoms which are actually mild IBS from adjusting to the different diets. You are exposing your body to a totally new cuisine full of amazing flavours so no wonder your body is feeling funny! An Indian diet in particular is rich in fats, sugars and spices which is a shock to the system for those accustomed to a bland Western diet. By all means help yourself to that delicious looking curry, but we suggest you pace yourself and build up your tolerance for the spicy and fatty foods.

AVOID MEAT
There are many reasons why eating less meat and eating more veggies beneficial for your health and the environment, but when travelling abroad eating meat can increase your risk of falling ill as a result of your diet far more than its plant based counterpart. Dead animals are (unsurprisingly) excellent incubators for bacteria and as not every country’s health codes are comparable it’s possible that the meat you eat could be kept in unsanitary conditions which makes them the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. In some countries a veggie filled stomach may be a happier stomach – when visiting far away counties we often go veggie for travelling!

Why a Safari has been added to our bucket list!

We don’t think we will ever really appreciate a Safari and just how amazing it is until we have been on one! A safari holiday just sounds so magical and such a romantic holiday.

The beauty in the form of wildlife as landscapes looks truly breathtaking. Now the only problem is the expense of a safari holiday, although we can imagine it if definitely worth every penny!

THE WEATHER

The weather is the main reason that we love going on holiday. With a safari pretty much all year round you’re guaranteed beautiful weather, but obviously some parts of the year are definitely hotter than others. The cooler months still have temperatures well into the 20’s, so it’s not cool by any means. We have heard that if you go during the height of the summer, the heat can often be TOO hot which can ruin the experience.

LOCATIONThere are many different locations to experience in Africa. One of the most popular is Kenya. It’s not meant to be too expensive so many this is the destination for us. There are plenty of safari hotels in Kenya that we have researched and would love to stay in, they are in a great location as well. Kruger national park is also a popular destination to visit. There is a hotel situated on the park, and many surrounding it. We think it’s really important to do your research before going to make sure you pick the best part of Africa or anywhere for that matter.

EXPERIENCEThe wildlife experience would be enough for us and something we wouldn’t get on any other trip! We would love to get up close and personal with animals we have never seen before! Really think about what you want to get out of any trip before booking it so you aren’t let down!

Glampotel Dundas Castle Estate

Glampotel is located in South Queensferry in the grounds of Dundas Castle Estate (the most beautiful castle we ever did see).

We had the most amazing time glamping and we have been so excited to write this post- it was the perfect way to end to our city break.

We have always wanted to go glamping but never actually booked to go so when we were invited to stay at Glampotel Dundas Castle how could we refuse…..!

To be completely honest we did not know what to expect and hadn’t really done much research into the place (which we think is a good thing because it was worth the surprise).

Our taxi driver dropped us off at the castle entrance, which we soon realised was the wrong entrance, it wasn’t a problem although we did nearly gate crash a wedding in our activewear and suitcases (LOL). The staff at Dundas Castle gave us a lift to the Glampotel as it was a fairly long walk.

Joris and Suzie the Glampotel hosts were there to welcome us and show us to our tent, we were staying in Woodpecker which had a beautiful blossom tree outside.

We immediately fell in love with our canvas cottage and couldn’t stop gasping with joy. We were so excited to get settled in.

All of the canvas cottages overlooked a stunning lake, we were able to enjoy this view on our decking whilst cooking and also in the morning when we woke up as the bed was positioned looking outwards.

We were told before we arrived that there would be a bbq available for us to cook our dinner, so we stopped off in Asda and got everything we needed. We There is a Tesco just a short drive away as well which is perfect if you have got a car.

The BBQ was easy to use and it cooked our chicken to perfection. We really enjoyed eating our dinner al fresco taking in our surroundings.

The canvas cottage was really well equipped, they had every kitchen utensil we needed (we were worried there wouldn’t be a bottle opener). The Sink and fridge was located outside on the decking which we absolutely loved! It felt really funny doing our washing up outside but we wish we could do this every day.

There was a log burner inside our tent and we were provided with matches, fire lighter and logs. Joris very kindly set our fire up for us and explained to us exactly what we needed to do. We didn’t turn the log fire on until about 8PM when it started to cool down outside. It heated up the tent nicely and made it nice and toasty, we put a couple of logs on the fire before turning the lights out for the night which kept us nice and warm whilst we fell asleep.

The bed was super comfy and we loved the colour of the pillows and throw, mustard is our new favourite colour. There were also spare blankets in one of the chests which we took full advantage of and used them to keep us warm.

We were really impressed with the electricity in the tents, we had a lamp each that was plugged into the mains that provided tons of light. There was two USB Ports for us to use and charge our phones. It is important to note that the mains plugs are for the lights only and should not be used for hair straighteners etc. as it could result in the fuse going for the entire campsite.

A breakfast hamper was also provided which we thought was a lovely added touch, we had been told there would be a breakfast hamper but we didn’t have any expectations as to what would be included.

We were completely blown away with how generous Glampotel were with the breakfast hamper. We were given a loaf of fresh bread, home baked scones, croissants, strawberry jam, smoked salmon, Ham, Cheese, Cloudy Apple Juice, a Carton of Milk.

We went on a run and came back to refuel on our delicious breakfast spread!

The bathroom was attached to the side of the tent, we were so impressed with the bathroom and the shower was lovely and warm which was perfect post run. We had no issues with the toilets and the hosts are always available to change it if necessary.

We went for a lovely evening stroll around the lake which was so relaxing as the sun was beginning to set.

There is a Guestbook in each of the tents which we think is a super cute idea! We were the first people to stay in Woodpecker so if you book to stay there make sure you read our note. Imagine in a couple of months time being able to read about other people’s adventures at Glampotel.

We had several outfits to photograph for brands whilst we were away in Edinburgh and we are so glad we waited until we got to Glampotel as it was just the perfect setting.

We honestly could not recommend Glampotel in Dundas Castle Estate enough. We had the most amazing time and we will definitely be visiting again.

You can book the Glampotel on the Glampotel website where they have a number of locations. You can also book via the Dundas Castle website.

Dreaming About Our African Adventure

We have wanted to visit Africa for such a long time! There are so many assumptions about Africa and what it is like and we just want to experience it for ourselves! Africa is such a large continent but we have picked out a few of the places we would LOVE to visit one day on our African Adventure!

MOREMI
Located in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, the Moremi Game Reserve is home to some of the most amazing wildlife in all of Africa. Places like Little Mombo, otherwise known as the “the place of plenty”, help to celebrate the conservation efforts of the area. The Rhino population in this area is especially amazing as well.

TABLE MOUNTAIN
We have heard that Cape Town is one of the best beach cities in the world and and thanks to the Table Mountain, it’s also one of the most photogenic as well. One of the new seven wonders of the world, Table Mountain would definitely be a must see on our trip!

VICTORIA FALLS
Victoria Falls is meant to the the most amazing spectacle in africa. Flowing from 108 meters up, the speed of Victoria Falls is almost double that of Niagara.

PYRAMIDS OF GIZA
We have heard mixed reviews about the Pyramids of Giza but either way we would LOVE to visit them- they look incredible.

THE SAHARA DUNES
There is something so wonderful about this clear and open part of the world! We have heard the stars at night as spectacular. It would be a dream to run the Marathon des Sables!

The more we research the more we realise how much there is to see and do in The continent of Africa. It would be impossible to get through it all in one trip but that’s the beauty of travel we can always return!

Why A Camping Trip Is Good For Your Soul

Recently we went camping, okay so we didn’t go full on camping we went glamping but you know what we were in the wilderness, we woke up to the sounds of the birds and it felt fantastic.

We always used to camp when we were younger, we used to go away with the brownies and guides and had such a great time cooking on the campfire. When we were older we did the Duke of Edinburgh and that was a completely different experience but we still loved it!

Camping is one of the best ways to explore the UK and see what it has to offer It can also be far cheaper as well! Just make sure you load up on on camping supplies, pack the tent and get going.

ITS A BREAK FOR THE MIND

Getting back to nature means getting away from it all, and that can be a really valuable thing in today’s fast paced world. Why not just enjoy your surroundings, turn off your phone and log off the social feeds sometimes a digital detox is just what you need. In fact, research by the Camping and Caravanning Club found that 93% of regular campers said it made them happier people!

BONDING TIME

As camping is something that people of all ages can do, it can be a great way to spend some quality time with family or friends. The focus on conversation and time together is invaluable, don’t forget to pack some games!

RESET YOUR SLEEP

Going on a camping trip can actually help the many of us who experience issues with insomnia and sleeplessness. Research has found that camping can help to reset our circadian rhythms– the hormonal patterns that dictate when we feel sleepy and awake. It has a balancing effect that counters our increasing use of artificial light and blue-light emitting devices that are known to disrupt the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Getting enough good quality sleep has a huge range of health benefits.

BOOST YOUR EXERCISE

Working out in the great outdoors is a fantastic boost to your mental and physical wellbeing, and camping trips are ideal for combining with other types of exercise.Hiking is one of our favourite forms of exercise and it’s great because you get to explore your surroundings as well. Plus, doing all this outside ups your body’s exposure to daylight, which results in greater Vitamin D production. This has many upsides, from improving your mood to giving you stronger bones.

Combining a brilliant way to explore the UK with all these other benefits means your next trip should definitely be in a tent. From the stunning coastlines of Cornwall to the beautiful wilderness of the Scotland there are so many diverse areas to explore and get to know a little better.

The Best Travel Hacks Out There

We love a good hack especially when it saves us money! We go on lots of weekends away and therefore never really need to pay for a suitcase in the hols! Read our travel hacks below and see if they help save you a little extra cash! That money you were spending could even be put towards another weekend break!

It doesn’t matter where in the world you heading off to, these travel hacks are total game changers (well they have been for us).

FORGET ABOUT FOLDING
Did you know that folding your clothes actually takes up far more space than rolling your clothes, oh and it also reduces crease marks! You can thank us later. Were possible we always carry our bags with us instead of putting them in the hold, you can actually take on a relatively big bag as well so there is no need to spend the extra money. So the next time you go away try and roll-up your clothes or if you are feeling particularly snazzy vacuum-pack them.

READ ON KINDLES
Gone are the days where you have to choose only two books to take on holiday! We read SO much on holiday two books just aren’t enough and we end up not know what to do when we are on holiday! Well you don’t have to Kindles (other e-readers are available) are a great way of saving space, saving on weight and, best of all, reading while on a lilo without a worry in the world. Yup.. the latest models also tend to be waterproof (so cool)!

FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS
Sites like Skyscanner have so many cheap flights and there are also subscription services out there which will find cheap flights for you. Sure, going down this route doesn’t allow you to search for your bucket list destinations, from Brisbane to LA, but it will convince you to go-go-go when your destinations come up.

CITY CAR RENTALS ONLY
We’ve all been to airports and seen that row of car rental booths and there is no denying that car rentals are a great way to see the country you are visiting but just don’t hire from the airport as they up the prices so wait until you reach your destination instead.

DUTY FREE BAG
This is a hack we only recently discovered and we LOVE it! We hate that all the different airlines have different rules on hand baggage some you can only take one bag others you can take 2 bags (1 small wheelie suitcase and a hand bag). This make travelling much more complicated, especially if you fly somewhere with one airline and back with another. However we have a sneaky solution, all airlines also allow a duty free bag. So why not head to duty free buy something small and ask for a large carrier bag, you can then put your hand bag in here and not have to worry about stuffing it into you suitcase….. genius!

City Life Down Under…Brisbane

Sydney and Perth are main cities that people want to visit when heading down under. However we cannot forget about wonderful Brisbane.

Brisbane is know as a city that provides so many different things for so many people. The modern Australian city has a variety of food, entertainment, nightlife, and much more! Here is what Brisbane has to offer…

FOOD
There is so much in the way of food, from the traditional Australian cuisines, which consists of lots of fish, and also lots of sophisticated styles that have a fast food twist. KFD, yes, actually stands for Kentucky Fried Duck sounds so good and we would love to try it we have heard it is delicious. On the other hand, there are restaurants that have a sophisticated air about them, Il Centro provides lots of fish, but, as the name suggests, modern Italian food is the order of service. Il Centro has all of the details if you wanted to book a table there. There are places where you can get your pizzas and pastas, but also delicacies, such as coconut lobster curry from the Longtime restaurant.

WATER TOURS
If you want to see Brisbane by sea, you’ve got so many different options. the Brisbane River High Tea Cruise lets you indulge in sweet treats while you are being whisked down the Brisbane river on a paddle wheeler. Or if you looking for something a bit more you can take the 4 hour Brisbane River cruise, where you can hire your own private vessel, and even have a party. The https://eventcruises.com.au website gives you all of the information. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the sights of Brisbane from the river, a water tour is a sophisticated way to do it.

ADVENTURE
You can’t talk about Australia without the mountains and rocks that provide any adrenaline junkie with their fix. But we’re talking about Brisbane here. And while the great outdoors in Brisbane is hard to find, instead you can enjoy the thrill of rock climbing or abseiling in Kangaroo Point Cliffs. It’s a safe, adrenaline fuelled descent down a rocky cliff, but with the added views of the Brisbane river. As you make your descent, you will see exactly what Brisbane has to offer, while also conquering your fears.

WILDLIFE
While Australia has its fair share of wildlife, the amount of expeditions you can go on from Brisbane are too many to list. You can go on day trips from Brisbane to the Lamington National Park, or head to  the world famous Australia Zoo, home of the crocodile hunter Steve Irwin. This zoo is a must visit if you have time, make sure you get a selfie with a kangaroo! Or if you are looking for your share of koalas, you could head to the Brisbane Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where you get an insight into one of the most famous South Australian mammals.

Brisbane has so much to offer, and it’s not just the cityscape that proves to be attractive. Instead, you can learn so much about Australia’s which heritage, relax on the river, and see a koala, all within one city. But don’t forget about the lightning…

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A Summer Trip To Long Island

We always recommend to people that they should visit the USA because it’s such a a great holiday destination, Rach travelled around America in the summer and absolutely loved it. We will always have a place for New York in our heart and Long Island is a stunning part of the USA which is a very popular attraction for tourists all over the country and all over the world too. If you are looking for a place to visit this year in the New York area, here is the perfect place to be.

ENJOY THE BEACHES

If you book yourself a stay in the Melville Marriott Long Island you will be able to pack up a bag and explore the many beaches which grace the coast of this island. There are beaches with sand as white as snow, ones with secret coves and ones with incredible views. If you love the beach just like we do, Long Island can give you a magical experience.

OUTDOOR CONCERT

One of the greatest things about the summer season is the ability to be outside off a huge portion of the day. Long Island makes the most of this and hosts outdoor concerts in multiple spaces such as the Clark Botanic Garden, Glen Cove, and North Hempstead. All you need to do is bring a couple of fold up chairs, a blanket and plenty of snacks to enjoy music as the sun is shining.

ENJOY NATURE

Long Island is a great place for you to step away from the buzzing atmosphere of the city and enjoy a more peaceful day. You will be able to enjoy lots of different outdoor spaces and gardens and take your time taking in the various flora and fauna on offer. It is the perfect place for you to refresh your mind and enjoy the simplicity of a summer’s day- sounds like the perfect day to us.

WALKING TOUR

If one of your aims this year is to stay a little more active during your holiday, then a walking tour of the island is the ideal way to spend one of your days. It will give you the chance to stretch your legs, discover new areas and learn more about the history of the island in relation to the rest of the country.

PLAY GOLF

If a perfect summer day for you involves teeing up and playing a round of golf in the summer sun, then you certainly won’t be disappointed when it comes to Long Island, the island has many different golf courses which will be perfect for the beginner all the way up to the professional. Have some fun playing this sport with your friends and your family.

BOAT TRIP

If you love the wind whipping through your hair and the fresh sea breeze taking your breath away, what better way to cool down on a hot day than take a boat ride? We cannot go on holiday and not go a boat trip, it’s kinda become a holiday tradition of ours! There are plenty of places where you can hire a boat or get on a ferry to jump over the the main city, and it will be a fun adventure for the whole of the family. Some boats will even let you bring your dogs along so it can be a fun experience for them too!

Delights On The Iberian Peninsula

We have had our eye on visiting Iberian Peninsula, a bit of a random choice you make think? Read this blog post to see why we REALLY want to visit and why you should as well!

So maybe we should start by telling you what the Iberian Peninsula is. The peninsula is the westernmost point of the continuous European continent. When most people think of the Iberian peninsula, they tend to think it comprises of two countries: Spain and Portugal. We didn’t actually know until we did a bit of research that Andorra is also located on the peninsula and so is a small portion of France and Gibraltar.

So why should we visit we hear you asking? It really does seem like there is something for everyone to do! It’s doesn’t have to be your typical beach holiday (although the beaches do look beautiful). There is so much more to the region. That’s why it’s good to shed some light on the other types of holidays available in the area, as there’s a very good chance some people just don’t know about.

SKIING
Andorra, the tiny country is particularly well known for the quality of its ski slopes and nearby resorts. The skiing holiday industry in Andorra is booming, and there’s a range of slopes offering different challenges for different levels of expertise. We would love to get ourselves to Andorra to experience the skiing there.

Sierra Nevada resort in Spain is another well known skiing resort on the Iberian Peninsula.

It’s also worth knowing there are also skiing resorts in Portugal, So while one might not imagine a skiing holiday when considering a trip to the countries on the Iberian peninsula, there are actually plenty of options you might want to consider exploring.

HIKING
There’s plenty of options across the Iberian peninsula for hiking.

La Concha mountain is known for being a wonderful place to hike. It overlooks Marbella, which is a wonderful destination in itself. The combination of the lively nightlife of Marbella and the mountainous background is truly spectacular; you may even find yourself tempted to look for property for sale in Marbella so you can visit again and again (we can keep dreaming)!

If you’re feeling brave, then hiking the Caminito Del Rey is a must-visit. This hike has been dubbed one of the most dangerous in the world, and actually had to close for renovations to try and improve the safety. Don’t worry, though; the work was successful, and this truly amazing route was reopened to the public in 2015.

Climbing the famous Rock of Gibraltar is also a worthy hike, especially if you’re an animal lover. You’ll delight in the Barbary macaques that line the most common routes, and the view from the top of the Rock is spectacular.

BEACHES
There are so many incredible beaches we would LOVE to visit! We sure do love a good beach:

Playa de Mazagon is on the western coast of Spain, not far from the Portuguese border. It is known for its golden sandy beaches, clear waters, and the gorgeous cliffs and pine trees. The nearby resort has all you could ever need from a relaxing beach holiday, including luxury hotels and excellent dining facilities.

If you’re looking for a beach in Portugal, then look no further than the Algarve region. The Algarve is a familiar destination for thousands of holidaymakers, but its popularity doesn’t diminish the fact that the area makes for a truly outstanding destination. If you’re looking for a classic sun and sand holiday, then any of the resorts on the Algarve will more than meet your needs.

It is impossible not to mention the Costa Del Sol. The Costa Del Sol is, as the name suggests, a beautifully warm and sunny place to visit, and a huge amount of effort has gone into ensuring that tourists feel as happy as possible when visiting the area. We mentioned Marbella above as a hiking destination, but it’s also an excellent choice if you’re looking for a convenient beach holiday where the weather is good, the water is warm, and there’s plenty of nightlife to keep you entertained- sounds like the perfect destination to us.

HISTORY
This is an area where the Iberian peninsula truly flourishes! Find some of them below, but we think this doesn’t event touch the surface:

Grenada might not be the most well-known Spanish city, but if you are a fan of history and culture is definitely going to want to visit. The city is home to the Alhambra, a particularly impressive palace and fortification that still stands in remarkably good condition.

A visit to Sortelha in Portugal is always going to be an excellent choice. It is a well-preserved ancient fortress which would make for an incredible day out. There are tons of bars, cafes and hotels in the area so it would also be the perfect place to stay.

We would love to visit the city of visiting of Cadiz, it has some incredible culture and it has an old style feel. There are lots of museums j. The city and while not necessary historical there is also the Saatchi gallery in Cadiz.

The Iberian peninsula should be able to satisfy all kinds of travellers. So whether you decide to head for Spain, Portugal, Andorra, or even the small sections of France and Gibraltar the Iberian peninsula truly is the travel destination that has it all.

So do you think you might be tempted to visit one of the countries on the Iberian peninsula in future? We know we certainly are!