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Love to Travel? Why Not Go a Step Further and Move Abroad!

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If you’re a keen traveller who wants to see and experience as much of the world as possible, have you ever considered moving abroad? Even if it’s just for a year or two- it’s something that could open you up to a completely different way of life and give your opportunities that you never would have had if you’d stayed at home or visited for a shorter time frame. While it can be easier to do when you’re a little younger and before you’re too settled in your life, don’t rule it out if it’s something you want to do at any age. Here are just a few of the reasons why it could change your life for the better.

Decide On The Country

The very first thing you will need to consider is where in the world you’re going to live. If you’re really unsure, start with the continent, then narrow down to the country and finally the destination. Lots of factors should influence your choice- how easy it is to move (some countries will require you to have certain qualifications for example, so would need to be ruled out of you don’t have them). Things like taxes and how much it costs to live there, what the weather is like, the culture and customs and much more will all play a part. Some places in the world are experiencing a skills gap, so depending on your job and experience you might find it easier to move there. Others provide more opportunities, or you might decide to move somewhere because you’ve travelled there, find the place interesting and simply want to spend more time there.

Schooling and Education

One reason you might decide to move abroad would be to get better education. It might be that you come from a part of the world where the schooling isn’t as good, or perhaps you want to go to a university that specialises in the area you’re studying in. If you have a young family and are planning on moving, the schooling system is something you will need to take into consideration. You always have the option to homeschool online, but if they study abroad they’re likely to pick up a language more quickly, socialise and learn customs and generally integrate well into the new country. This is especially useful if you plan on moving long term.

Work and Career

Another common reason people move abroad is to find better work or career opportunities. Perhaps the company you work for now is branching out and has asked you if you want to move and work for them but in a different part of the world. Another country might have better job prospects, or give you the ability to expand your career in a way that you’re not able to do where you live now. Working abroad is also something that looks excellent on your resume, so even if your move isn’t permanent, you can add it to your record and it’s something that employers when you return home will like. It shows that you’re well travelled and experienced and is something that can help you stand out over other candidates. If gaining work and new skills is your primary reason for moving, you will want to rent a house that’s close to where you’ll be working. Lots of places offer longer term lets, you could always look into buying somewhere later on if you want to stay for longer.

You Could Experience Another Culture

As a keen traveller, learning about and submerging yourself in other cultures is something you’re likely to already enjoy. So why not move abroad, where you have the chance to do this properly? You really get to see and understand what life is like in a certain part of the world, not just as a traveller but as a local. This can really open your eyes to other ways of life, and shows you that as a traveller you only really scratch the surface. From learning a new language, which is more easily done when you’re surrounded by it, to tasting different ingredients and recipes. You will learn about traditions and customs, how the weather affects things, religion and general ways of life.

You Could Meet New People

It’s the people you meet in life that are likely to have the most impact. When you travel or even move abroad, you tend to meet people that are very different from you. They’re from a different ethnic and cultural background, a different socioeconomic status, they’ve grown up in a very different place. It means they have a different perspective to you, and can perhaps teach or show you new values or things that matter. You could find lifelong friendships with people you would simply have never met any other way.

It Can Get You Out of a Rut

It’s so easy to get into a rut in life. It might feel like all you do is work and sleep. You probably frequent the same shops, bars and restaurants and do the same things you’ve been doing for years on repeat. Moving abroad gives your life a massive shake up, it encourages you to get out there and experience new things. It’s a change of scenery, and a fast way to get yourself out of a rut. If your life is in need of a revamp its a dramatic yet effective way to really change things up for yourself. Who knows what could come about from the move- you could gain experience to get a better job, meet the love of your life or a person that becomes you best friend, you could learn new skills. At the very least, you will make memories that will last you a lifetime!

Whether it’s for a year, five years, a decade or a permanent move, spending some significant time in a new place in the world can be highly beneficial. If you love to travel then why not go that step further and live as a local somewhere new?

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Travel Tips

Cheap Flights:  When To Get The Best Deal

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Whether you fly once a year or are regularly jetting off on your holiday, you always want to be getting the best prices for your flights. If you’re looking at your next break and wondering when the best time to book flights is, then you may be in luck, as online travel agents Opodo have just released their annual findings. So not only can you find cheap flights, hotels and car hire with www.opodo.co.uk, you can also make a more informed decision as to when to click that ‘booking’ button. So if you’re hoping to get the best deals on the best holiday, check out the key times when buying your tickets will get you ultimate in cost-saving travel value.

Getting the timings right

It used to be that in order to get the best flight prices possible, you’d either book well in advance, or take advantage of those last minute deals that were all the rage. However, if you’re still using that strategy, you may be spending more money that you should be. According to the research findings by Opodo, the optimal time for getting the best deals is by buying your tickets six weeks in advance. There’s a six to seven week window, where flight prices are consistently lower than at any other time, so if you’re hoping to pay less for you travel, that’s the best time to aim for.

What if you miss that window?

It’s very easy to miss that six-week mark, but if that’s happened then don’t worry too much, as there are still options available to you that will still get you a better chance of getting those low-cost tickets. As well as the advanced booking, you can also take advantage of the slight dip that occurs in the two-week window before take-off. That window between 8 and 14 days before travel is definitely the best time to buy if you’ve missed the 6-7 week dip in prices, so don’t put it off in the hopes of grabbing those last minute deals in the week before. Those last-minute offerings are not the deal that they used to be.

Even your choice of day helps

You’re sat at the computer, and you’re ready to book your flights. You’re in the right week and you’re all set up for the best deal, but before you make your flight decisions, it might be worth checking what day of the week you’re on. That’s right, buying your tickets on a Monday is a big blunder, with cheaper prices for the same flight available if you buy on a different day. Depending on your flight type, you may find that booking your flights on a Sunday, Tuesday, or Wednesday will get you a much more satisfying price, and make it more likely that you’ll have a little extra spending money while on your travels.

With a little bit of knowledge and a minor amount of planning, you could find that the possible savings can be quite substantial. If you want to get the best prices for the cheapest prices, then check out the handy infographic, and make sure that you’re buying your tickets at the times when prices are proven to be the lowest.

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Travel Tips

The Perils Of “Cheap” Holidays (And What To Do Instead)

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When it comes to travelling the world, there is one potential downside that stymies even the most determined of travel plans: the cost. Travelling is undoubtedly a very expensive hobby, which means if your wanderlust is biting and you can’t wait to travel the world, the idea of a cheap holiday is incredibly inviting.

However, cheap holidays are rarely a good idea— in fact, they can be incredibly problematic, and can cause you untold stress. If you’re currently being tempted by a cheap and cheerful vacation, then there are a few things you might want to bear in mind…

The perils of “cheap”

Why is cheap so damaging? Well, it tends to mean that every aspect of the holiday has been chosen not for how beneficial it is to the customer, but to how cheaply it can be obtained for the provider.

This means that you could find yourself at a hotel with malfunctioning electronics, bed linens so uncomfortable you can barely sleep, and just a generally poor level of service.

Cheap flights could mean that you are a victim of overbooking, or that the flight will be landing a huge distance away from the city it claims to be landing at.

Finally, cheap deals — such as sightseeing tours — will often be cut short, poor value, and even fail to deliver on what you have been promised.

Taking all of the above into consideration, does that mean that trying to book anything related to a holiday means that you have to pay over the odds just to ensure your safety and security? Not quite…

There’s a difference between “cheap” and “low cost”

Low cost, on the other hand, means that the hotel or deal is being provided with the budget traveller in mind. Yes, the provider wants to keep the costs down, but that’s not the only factor in the decision making. While holidays with low costs providers and hotels won’t be a byword for luxury, they shouldn’t be unpleasant or outright dangerous.

So, the key question: how can you differentiate between “cheap” and “low cost”?

The signs of a “cheap” deal

Learning how to spot the difference between “cheap” and “low cost” is incredibly important.

Signs of a cheap hotel  

  • Very few reviews of the hotel on the website
  • Limited number of photos on the site— or worse yet, the only photos on the site appear to be stock images. You can use a reverse image search to see if this is the case for a hotel you’re considering.
  • Little to no social media presence
  • The website doesn’t use a secure protocol

Signs of cheap deals:

  • Vagueness when discussing travel arrangements or requirements; information is never clearly presented.
  • The deal keeps dropping in price, with often only a few days in between the price drops.
  • There is no set itinerary for what you should expect

Signs of cheap flights  

  • Cheap flights will usually be just that— cheap. They are otherwise indistinguishable any other flight.
  • If you spot a particularly cheap deal, you need to do your research. Don’t take the destination city as read. Let’s say, for example, that you’re planning on flying to Rome. This is the destination that the flight is going to, so you might be happy to make the booking. However, a little research will reveal that Rome has two airports; one of which is convenient, the other of which is nearly an hour from the city itself. You will likely find that a cheap flight provider will be flying to the distant airport, while low cost will be flying to the main airport.
  • So always check out the airport that the flight is travelling to, rather than just the city, if you want to be cautious of cheap flights.

So what are the other options?

You want to travel, but your budget is compromised. The only types of deals that you can find within your price range appear to be alarmingly “cheap”, and you’ve decided not to take the risk… but you still want to travel. What are your options? Here are a few suggestions you may want to consider…

Change your destination  

While travelling is often about exploring foreign lands and delighting in other cultures, you can have a wonderful time in your home country if you’re on a budget. Pick an area that you have never visited before and that you know relatively little about, then visit using public transport and your own knowledge of securing good deals in your home country. It might not be the far-flung foreign travel you dream of, but it should be enough to keep your wanderlust under control until you can afford your next big trip.

Lean on your reward points 

If you’re a frequent traveller, then chances are you have amassed a few reward points or frequent flyer miles. If you can add some funds to your reward points, then you might be surprised by just how fantastic a holiday you’ll be able to afford. As inspiration, consider how Alex Miller from Upgraded Points was able to cover the cost of an incredible trip with relatively little financial investment— the rest was covered by his reward points. This is a great choice if you have some money to spend, but not enough money to spend on an entire holiday— use your reward points to make up the difference and secure yourself a great deal.

Wait

Yes, it’s the option that no traveller truly wants to consider; if you want to travel, then the idea of waiting for a trip can feel extremely stifling. However, it’s better for your financial situation and your own well-being to opt to stay home rather than take a risk with a cheap deal. As you wait, you can keep scouring the internet looking for low cost, rather than cheap, deals that might fit into your available budget.

In conclusion 

So while you may be desperate to travel, it’s important to be careful. Hopefully, one of the alternatives above may help to settle your wanderlust… for awhile, at least!

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Travel Tips

How to Spend a Weekend In a New City

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So, you’ve either planned a mini-break or else you’re stopping over in a nearby city to see the sights while you can. Either way, two days in a city you’ve never visited before may not seem like much, but you can definitely tread some serious ground while you’re there. Whether you’re the outdoorsy type or you prefer perusing art galleries, it’s important to soak up as much culture as you can from the experience, so you don’t feel like you’ve missed out. With this in mind, here are five tips to help you make the most of your weekend in a new city.

Dine In the Best Restaurants

Before you land in your city of choice, do some online research to determine the best restaurants in the area and make some reservations. You can check out the Top 10 lists on Trip Advisor and read customer reviews to find the top picks. If money is an issue, you might want to avoid the pricier options, but you should aim to try as much as you can of the local cuisine especially if it’s food you wouldn’t normally eat.

Take a Historical Tour

If you’re visiting a big city like London or New York, there’s bound to be plenty of history to fill the gaps in your knowledge. Most touristic places offer guided tours of or bus-top tours that show the local highlights, so book yourself on one of these and try to see as much as you can while you’re there. You can also visit local monuments, museums, and landmarks where you can take some great photos of your trip.

Book an Escape Room

If you’re looking for that extra bit of excitement to get your adrenaline pumping, an RVA Escape Room could the perfect way to while away an afternoon. These crop up in most major cities and they’re increasing in popularity all the time. Whether you’re traveling alone or with a partner, you can call upon your inner sleuth to solve clues, crack codes and work on puzzles to break out of the “locked” room.

Stay Somewhere Unusual

Whether you’re a full-time traveller or a summer vacationer, chances are you’ve stayed in your fair share of hotels. Why not switch it up and try something different, such as a Botel (hotel on a boat) in Amsterdam or an undersea lodge in Florida. Staying somewhere new and exciting will give your weekend trip an edge and make it even more memorable.

Fight the Jet Lag

A weekend in a new city often isn’t long enough for you to explore properly, but for this time at least it’s all you have. Therefore, you don’t want to spend the whole period jet-lagged and not be able to enjoy it. If possible, avoid jet lag by selecting a flight that lands early evening, and try to stay up until at least 10pm to keep your body clock on your side. You should also avoid alcohol and caffeine on the plane and drink plenty of water when you arrive. Take short naps if you must, but don’t let jet lag overshadow your experience!

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe 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...

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