If you have ever considered driving around England, Scotland or Wales then you need to do a little bit of planning before you set off on your epic road trip. I should know, I have driven through the highlands of Scotland and finding the right vehicle for your trip is paramount. Use my travel tips below for help picking the right car for driving in Scotland for your next adventure.
Picking the right car for driving in Scotland
The scenic drives in Scotland are some of the best in the world. Whether you head up into the mountain passes of the Scottish Highlands, out to the Isles, or along either of the stunning coasts, you need to be comfortable in your car.
It is surprising how long it actually takes to drive around Scotland if you decide to get off the main tourist trails. And this is something I highly recommend doing. Sure you could buzz along the main highways, but where is the fun in that?
You are unlikely to discover the villages and people that make Scotland amazing fro road trips. Plus you won’t get the chance to see the cutest Highland cows in the world either.
Comfort should be your first priority when picking the right car for driving in Scotland. While you may want to pinch and save your money while travelling, you also don’t want to be suffering from cramp and claustrophobia after driving for 6 hours.
Especially if there are 5 of you crammed into a 2 door hatchback as you road trip up to one of the many festivals in Scotland.
For just a couple of extra dollars a day you can usually upgrade to a much roomier 4 door saloon or 4×4. Plus if you end up with a 4×4 then you are going to have the chance to explore some of the more remoter destinations in Scotland.
If you are planning on spending a few days/weeks driving in Scotland then you might want to consider picking a caravan (campervan or RV). While there are plenty of amazing Bed and Breakfasts throughout Scotland, having a caravan gives you the freedom to stay where you like, when you like.
Especially if you go for one of the caravans with a mini-kitchen and bathroom/shower area. That way you are fully self-contained and don’t have to worry about picking the wrong place to stay late at night.
You might just want to consider checking out the Caravan Club to make sure you have the right insurance before you hit the road.
If you hire a car in New Zealand, then chances are you are going to end up with some old hunk-of-junk. A lot of our cars are Asian imports and therefore not quite up to the same style standards as some European cars.
Scotland is different.
Therefore if style is what you are interested in then you shouldn’t have too much of a problem. Instead of having a little Honda hatchback you will instead have the option of a VW Golf or similar. European styling is usually just that little bit better.
The final point you want to consider when picking the right car for driving in Scotland combines all of the above; price.
There is no point picking the largest and most beautiful car if it is going to cost you a fortune. When I drove across North America I had to resort to eating peanut butter sandwiches every day for lunch. I can tell you know that I grew very sick of peanut butter!
I was very tight with my budget and therefore couldn’t enjoy some of the smaller things at the time. Even a simple cup of coffee was ruled out because of my budget.
Making sure that you budget for everything involved in renting a car, including car insurance and fuel, means that you may need to set your bar a little lower. If you spend it all on the car then you are going to miss out on having the best time.
Ultimately, your road trip through Scotland shouldn’t be about looking good or picking the right car. It should be about the adventure, the people you meet, and the scenery you see. Because I can guarantee you won’t be talking about what car you picked when you tell all your friends about your adventure.
Is It Time to Find a New You at a Thailand Retreat?
If you feel like you a lacking a little direction, or that you have become lost in the hustle and bustle of your faced paced life, do not despair. There is hope. Spend too much time buried by work and inevitably the world will grind you down, but it needn’t. You can do something about it. The answer is a lot simpler than you may think (and more affordable, too).
You have to act though. Indifference or accepting that nothing will change will result in exactly that, nothing changing. What you need to do is interrupt your life and take a step back. Now this doesn’t mean falling off the radar, or a sudden change in your career. You just need to invest a little of your own time in yourself and book yourself into a personal development course at a Thailand retreat.
Isn’t That Strange?
No, it isn’t. Again, you are not changing the world in which you live, rather you are looking to change how you live in the world. A getaway at a retreat can help you do this. So, lose the negativity and cynicism and think about the possibilities for a moment. If you feel strange about going alone, why not round up your best buddies and go together? (Click here for more guy adventure tips)
A Little Self-Therapy
If you work hard, and feel constantly exhausted, at some point things are going to get even worse – be that your physical or mental health. By looking after both your body and mind and learning healthy practices at a retreat, you’ll fortify both your mind and body ready for the rigours of daily life once you return to it. The techniques, practices and understandings that you will gain by attending a Thailand retreat will help you to not only cope, but to thrive. It is like learning a shortcut to happiness that many simply do not know about. Brilliant right?!
Burnout is a real problem in society, and prevention is a much better solution than trying to find a cure. It is likely that you will have to keep working in your employment and that life will throw all manner of things at you as you battle onward, but learning to cope whilst smiling, with a stronger fortitude and greater will to succeed is a more certain way of becoming a success before you become a casualty.
Through mindfulness practice, physical activity such as yoga and stretching, and incorporating meditation, you are adapting a holistic approach to your own health, happiness and self-development. This can help you become mentally stronger, physical fitter, more at ease with yourself and life, and aware of the world in which you live. You can actually learn to live rather than exist. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Life begins at the very edge of your comfort zone, on the outskirts of familiarity and away from your normal habits and routine. Rather than shun it, or even fear it, you can learn to embrace, experience and even enjoy it too. This isn’t changing what you do, but how you do it. It isn’t changing who you are, it is letting you become the true you, unleashing your full potential.
A Thailand retreat based around health and self-development puts your wellbeing at the very heart of the programme. This isn’t self-indulgent but rather self-fulfilment; letting your life exist beyond the limits of your expectations. It is time for you to look after yourself that little bit better.
How to Go Backpacking in Japan on a Tight Budget
Japan is a backpacking destination high on many traveler’s bucket lists. With four main islands and over 6,500 smaller islands, there is an abundance of sights and activities for the eager visitor. From the breathtaking Japanese Alps to the bustling city of Tokyo, Hiroshima with its peaceful memorial sites to Kyoto with its geisha culture and gorgeous cherry blossom blooms, Japan is a country that offers many memorable and unique experiences sure to enrich your life for years to come. While not a cheap destination to explore by any means, there are certain ways to make sure you get the most bang for your buck when visiting this amazing country.
Plan Ahead and Purchase a Rail Pass
At the first stages of planning, you should decide on which areas of Japan you hope to visit. If you’re wanting to experience all the wonders of Japan, it would be wise to look into purchasing a Japan Rail Pass. A JPR allows visitors of Japan an inexpensive option for traveling throughout the country. Available in a 7-, 14-, or 21-day pass which generally range in cost from $250-$523 USD, you will need to purchase it before traveling to Japan.
Find a Hostel or Couchsurf
In most of the larger Japanese cities you will be able to find a hostel, providing you a cheaper alternative to the more expensive hotel options. Many hostels offer free wifi, a shared kitchen, or discounts to attractions in the area.
Another great option is couchsurfing. Line up a place to stay beforehand and your host may help you experience some of the culture and hidden attractions not known to most tourists.
Get a Pocket Wifi
When traveling in a foreign country, it’s beneficial to have access to wifi even in the most rural of places. A Japan pocket wifi provides a fast, reliable wifi connection throughout the entire country for around $10/day. It is important to reserve one before you arrive in Japan, usually 1-2 weeks in advance. At the height of the tourist season it may be necessary to place a reservation at least a month in advance.
Mount Fuji is a must-do adventure for any worthy backpacker in Japan. While not a strenuous hike, prepare yourself to make a slow climb as it is a busy tourist hotspot. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a day enjoying nature’s wonder at a very low cost. In the Tohoku region you can find onsen, natural hot springs to relax in, as well as preserved samurai houses to explore. There are numerous other natural wonders and geographical areas to explore, filling up your days with inexpensive, yet memorable adventures.
Wander the City
With all the brilliance and excitement of Tokyo, don’t skip an opportunity to spend at least a day exploring the city. Catch a glimpse of the Harajuku girls, visit the Tsukiji fish market for an interesting experience, or just walk the streets and take it all in. This is a great time to sample Japanese cuisine as there are various options for every taste and price range.
All in All
When visiting a country as spectacular as Japan, budget planning is important. It can be extremely costly if not planned properly or months in advance. Keep these tips in mind as you plan for your adventure and remember to go off the beaten path for some cheap, yet memorable and worthy finds. Japan is a country full of possibilities and wonder, ready to be found wherever your travels may take you.
Making the Most of your Holiday Adventure in India
A vast country with stunning landscapes and incredible contrasts of culture, India is perfect for a holiday adventure. Whether you are looking to soak in the natural landscapes or explore the historic landmarks, it will be a humbling experience that you will remember for a lifetime. Well, here are some tips to make the most out of your adventure trip in India.
Cover the maximum amount of ground
The Indian subcontinent is huge and offers a variety of experiences. From the deserts in Rajasthan to the Himalayas in the north and the extended coastline along the south, you have lots to see. While everything would be impossible to cover, it is advisable to cover as much ground as possible. Going for a packaged holiday is an option but you can also choose to design your own itinerary and reservations. Getting across India is easy and the country is well connected by a huge network of railway lines and road network. The places you would want to go however depend on the kind of adventure trip you are seeking and the amount of time you have.
Immerse in the culture
The history and culture of India goes back to several centuries. It has been the country for the first human civilization to take form. If your idea of adventure isn’t always about adrenaline thrill but soaking into a vibrant and unique culture, there are a lot of things to discover and get awed by, in India. Be a part of the festivals that are celebrated round the year. Taste the unique food of every region that you visit and travel the history by the folklore.
Invent a new way to travel
The joy of a trip in India lies not in the destination but the journey. There are plenty number of ways you can reinvent you journey across the swathing country – from camel rides to caravans. Forget airplanes and rails for a moment and choose the way of the locals. Boat rides, local buses and minivans can be great ways to hitchhike across the beautiful country. In the meantime, you can go for adventure activities like river rafting, paragliding, bungee jumping, and more. An incredible mix of old and new means of travel will always keep you at your feet.
Be alert and be safe
Lastly, and regardless of which part of the world you are visiting, it is always advisable to be aware of your surrounding and the people and culture you step into. It will be necessary to always stay in touch, be it emergency or just about giving updates about your trip to folks back home. Apps like Viber Out offer cheap calls to Vietnam and can be an incredible and pocket friendly way to be connected. Just pick up a local SIM card and go for a data plan that covers your internet requirements. In this world of technology, you are never too far from help!
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
- Europe10 months ago
Travel Tip: Train to Pisa from Florence
- Adventure Travel8 months ago
Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos
- Adventure Travel5 years ago
2012 Travel Adventures in Photos
- Travel Tips5 months ago
Couples Travel – Why every couple should travel before marriage
- Travel Blogging Tips7 months ago
Our Experience of Starting a Travel Blog
- Personal Musings8 months ago
From Four Jandals to Two Jandals
- Asia5 years ago
The Best of Istanbul – Photo Essay
- Europe5 years ago
Photo Essay from around Costa Brava