Travel with a mate http://www.travelwithamate.com Travel advice, destinations and reviews from a family of travel addicts. Fri, 26 Aug 2016 12:58:08 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Navigating Toll Road Routes in Europe http://www.travelwithamate.com/navigating-toll-road-routes-europe/ Fri, 26 Aug 2016 12:58:08 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30552 Before you set off on your journey abroad, it’s always a good idea to get yourself familiar with local rules. Toll Roads for example, are completely different in Europe and you are far more likely to encounter them, especially on the main motorway networks. Whether you’re hiring a car in Madrid, or planning to drive ...

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Before you set off on your journey abroad, it’s always a good idea to get yourself familiar with local rules. Toll Roads for example, are completely different in Europe and you are far more likely to encounter them, especially on the main motorway networks.

Whether you’re hiring a car in Madrid, or planning to drive all the way from Paris to St Tropez, all of the toll road charges can soon add up, so it’s really wise to get your research done and work out how to pay and just how much it’ll cost to before you set off on your road trip.

Popular Holiday Destination Toll Roads

Toll Roads in France

One of the most popular journeys in France is from Calais to Paris, especially if you are from Britain and have decided to take a ferry across. The A16 from Calais to Paris is approximately three hours long, and the toll road costs 21.70 euros by car. With some careful planning however, using other routes are often free and will lead you through remote and picturesque villages where you can stretch your legs and relax

France toll roads

Spain

Spain only has tolls on about 20 % of the motorway network; the remaining ones are free. However, this does vary by region, and places like Catalonia is composed of over 50% toll routes.

Spain toll roads

If you’re flying to Madrid and want to drive to the areas surrounding such as Toledo or Segovia, then this is where you will encounter most toll roads. The best advice is to make sure you rent a car with WIFI so you are able to use the satnav and avoid the unnecessary tolls, although some tolls make little sense to avoid.

Portugal

With destinations like Lisbon and Faro, Portugal is another immensely popular holiday destination, and driving around is one of the best ways to experience the scenery. However, in recent years, Portugal’s toll roads have become infamously tricky to understand. This is due to the introduction of unmanned and completely electronic tolls. Nearly every motorway in Portugal now has an electronic toll, and although it is possible to sneak around them, it’s hard to avoid.

Portugal toll roads

If you are in Portugal for just a weekend, then the 20 Euro unlimited TOLL service is a great deal. For any help, you should ask your car hire company or visit here For more information.

Urban Toll Roads in Italy

‘Area C’ is a section of Milan which is subject to the Italian congestion charge. This has been the case since 2012. This may seem like a bit of an inconvenience if you’re just travelling through Milan or visiting for the day. The primary reason for the conjestion charge is to ease the persistent heavy traffic in the city and improve the air quality in the centre of the city.

The charge applies to every single vehicle entering the city on weekdays between 7.30am to 7.30pm. Every vehicle must pay 5 euros regardless of the pollution level.

Urban Toll Roads in Italy

Europe has a number of official ‘Low Emission Zones’, which Milan is part of, alongside Como, Varese and Lecco provinces.

What you will need when driving abroad

When driving in any country in Europe, you could be stopped at any time and asked to show your documents. If you are unable to produce them, you could face serious penalties.

Here, we’ve put together a list of the required paperwork which you’ll need to keep with you during your trip.

  • Your full valid driving license
  • The original version of the Your vehicle’s registration documents
  • Any International Driving Permits
  • Your certificate of motor insurance
  • Passports of everyone in the car who is not a national
  • You may also need a visa for certain countries
  • Travel insurance certificates

 

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7 Ways To Explore Sydney For Less Than $10 http://www.travelwithamate.com/7-ways-explore-sydney-less-10-dollars/ Thu, 25 Aug 2016 08:25:29 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30544 Sydney is an amazing city, but it could be really expensive to see. Here are five things you can do in the city that cost less than $10. See the city center Shuttle bus 555 takes you all around the Central Business District for free. Climb aboard the free bus and get to Chinatown, Hyde ...

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Sydney is an amazing city, but it could be really expensive to see. Here are five things you can do in the city that cost less than $10.

See the city center

Shuttle bus 555 takes you all around the Central Business District for free. Climb aboard the free bus and get to Chinatown, Hyde Park, Circular Quay, Opera House and The Rocks for free.

Free shuttle in Sydney

People Watch At the Quay

People watch at the circular quay on a nice, quiet afternoon. Most of the area is built for pedestrians, so you can get around on foot. There’s places serving lunch for less than $10 and buskers performing live music at the promenade. There’s also the Museum of Contemporary Art, so you can pop in to have a look around.

Hop Onto A Ferry

Locals in Sydney commute through ferries all the time. It’s a lot more convenient and a lot cheaper. A daypass should cost you less than $10, and you can see all the sights along the Harbour.

Ferry to Manly

Cheap Accommodation

If you’re young enough, you could join the local youth hostel and get a place to live for a great price. There’s also a lot of places in the inner suburbs where accommodation is cheaper than it is within the city. Keep an eye out.

Wollongong

Fireworks at Darling Harbour

Fireworks in Sydney

Every Saturday at 9pm, Darling Harbour hosts an amazing fireworks display for the city. You can get here on foot from Town Hall station or through the 555 shuttle bus. Grab a place to sit and enjoy.

Travel on Foot

Another way to see the city on a budget is to walk around to the best parts of town. Sydney is the ideal city for pedestrians and you’ll have plenty to see as you move from place to place. There are a number of walking tours that feature the main attractions. Take a day off and simply go visit the parks and museums on your own.

Walking tours of Sydney

Get an Opal Card

The best advice I can give anyone visiting Sydney is to get an Opal Card before they arrive. You can get the card for free and top it up with some cash. The card lets you pay for trips on trains, busses and ferries throughout the city. The maximum fare is usually $15, but on Sunday it’s $2.50. That means you can travel from anywhere to anywhere in the city and pay a maximum of $2.50 one-way.

Opal Card Sydney

Sydney is absolutely spectacular, and there’s no way you won’t enjoy yourself. But your tip down under doesn’t need to be expensive. Follow some of the tips here and cut down that travel bill. Have fun!

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5 Ways You Could Travel Around the World http://www.travelwithamate.com/5-ways-travel-around-world/ Tue, 23 Aug 2016 15:47:01 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30542 Travelling the world is a dream for many youngsters, and it’s the best way to make memories for life with friends and loved ones. The world is such a big place, with so many different cultures, so it’s no wonder travelling around it is such a draw for people of all ages. There are a ...

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Travelling the world is a dream for many youngsters, and it’s the best way to make memories for life with friends and loved ones. The world is such a big place, with so many different cultures, so it’s no wonder travelling around it is such a draw for people of all ages. There are a variety of ways to transport yourself around the globe, each giving you a different experience. Here are five ways we think are ideal, and sure to leave lasting memories.

Train

Travelling by train is a great way to see the world as it passes by your window at speed. Thousands of people head off inter-railing each year around Europe, taking high speed trains to transport them to the cities of Europe. This method of transport is both cheap and convenient, meaning you can nap and recuperate on long journeys.

matt on a train in europe

Car

Going on a road trip is a fantastic way to travel. Get yourself a hire car, open the roof and get out onto the open road. You’ll be able to get to know all of the little details about a country while blasting tunes to keep the mood up. If you don’t currently have a driving license, now is the time to get one.  You can use the Toptests website to help you pass your driving theory and you could then take an expedited driving course if you need to learn quickly. It’ll definitely be worth it!

Travel by car

Cruise

Get yourself out on the sea by booking a cruise. This luxury way of travelling with give you the ultimate relaxing experience and also enable you to see plenty of places. With fine dining in the evening, a place to relax in the sun and lots of flowing drinks, you’ll never want to return from your trip on the boat. Stopping off at different locations means you’ll see lots of the world with minimal effort.

things to do on a cruise

Bike

If you like to be active, then taking a bike around the world is a fantastic option for you. It’ll keep you fit, take you to many places and allow for a low budget trip. Cycle through France and you’ll find yourself in mountains and passing through many beautiful little towns. Stay in a hostel or similar accommodation each night to meet other travellers and save money.

Cycling

Coach

Coach travel is popular for older people, but it’s a great way to get you from A to B around the world. It’s a low cost alternative and means that you can relax while being driven around. You may have your own tour guide to make sure you see all the sights at every location, meaning you never miss anything important. Book with a travel company and you could even get accommodation as part of an overall price for the trip.

Travel by bus

 

Travelling the world doesn’t mean having to go from stressful airport to stressful airport, these five alternatives are great ways to ensure that you get the most out of your trip. Find out which option best suits your budget and get booking today. Enjoy travelling the world!

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Sponsored: Explore the Tohoku region of Japan http://www.travelwithamate.com/sponsored-explore-tohoku-region-japan/ Mon, 15 Aug 2016 15:54:05 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30533 We are huge fans of Japan and all things Japanese so when we were asked to write about a specific region of Japan outside of Tokyo we had plenty to share with you! Japan is a country I always recommend to anyone who loves to travel and is firmly in the number 1 spot on my ...

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We are huge fans of Japan and all things Japanese so when we were asked to write about a specific region of Japan outside of Tokyo we had plenty to share with you! Japan is a country I always recommend to anyone who loves to travel and is firmly in the number 1 spot on my all time favourite destinations. Tokyo Metro Gov have asked us to share some of our thoughts on one remarkable region that should definitely be included in your itinerary when you visit Japan.

Why go to Tohoku?

Tohoku literally means North-East and covers a number of provinces with both east and west coast on the largest island of Japan, Honshu. Its an easy region to get to thanks to the amazingly fast Shinkansen or “Bullet trains” that run like clockwork. Its a region that boasts some of the best landscape you will ever see in Japan, with the mountain range running north-south down the centre of the island. While Japan is famed for its trains, once you’re in Tohoku region I recommend a different mode of transport!

Travelling by boat in Tohoku

Boats are a fantastic way to enjoy the scenery whether you’re in an urban area our out in the wilderness. In urban landscapes Japan is a densely populated country so escaping to the river offers a panoramic view that carves its way through cities, unlike the bullet trains, boats are slow and steady so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the views. As with almost everything in Japan, city cruising boats are very well equipped and ultra-modern too. But its out in the countryside where the humble boat is without doubt the best way to get around. In Tohoku region you must visit the Geibikei gorge which  you’ll find in the Iwate prefecture. You can take to the water on the elegant kotatsu boats and tour the gorge between December and February each year. Its a world away from the Japanese city life and a great experience to get back to nature.

Check out this 360 view of boat journeys in Tohoku

The best of Japanese cuisine in Tohoku

Japanese food is without doubt my favourite in the world and it never ceases to amaze me too with such unique flavours and delicately presented masterpieces. The Tohoku region is famed for some tasty traditional dishes that you should definitely look out for. Imoni is a well-loved vegetable soup found mostly in Yamagata prefecture and perfect for the colder months. Sasakamaboko is a perfect snack you’ll find in Miyagi Prefecture with sweet rice and tasty fish paste. You’ll find sushi bars and cute little restaurants in every city and town throughout the region and I speak from experience when I say its really worth taking risks and trying new things, you will not be disappointed in Japan.

There’s something for everyone in Japanese cuisine as the variety of flavours, textures and ingredients is quite staggering. You’ll often find small cafes that specialise in one dish, often family run and have been there for generations. These are usually the best places to eat some of the finest and most traditional dishes. Don’t let the language barrier scare you, there’s often visual representations of food as the Japanese love wax models of restaurant dishes, I always say if it looks good it’ll probably taste good too!

This post has been sponsored by Tokyo Metro Gov, all opinions are my own. Check out our others posts on Japan for my advice and tips for your ultimate Japanese trip.

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Weird stuff to do in Bangkok, Thailand http://www.travelwithamate.com/weird-stuff-do-bangkok-thailand/ Thu, 04 Aug 2016 15:14:13 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30521 Sea Water, Thailand by schaerfsystem Thailand – the name alone provokes a myriad of images and experiences in one’s mind. Typical stories from travellers to the country include shopping, eating, and partying at Bangkok, Thailand’s most popular destination. However, for those who want to veer off the beaten track, there are tonnes of opportunities and ...

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Sea Water, Thailand by schaerfsystem

Thailand – the name alone provokes a myriad of images and experiences in one’s mind. Typical stories from travellers to the country include shopping, eating, and partying at Bangkok, Thailand’s most popular destination. However, for those who want to veer off the beaten track, there are tonnes of opportunities and experiences to in include in their Thailand trip planner that will only go on to deepen your understanding of this vibrant and beautiful country.

The other side of Bangkok

A forensic museum

 Forensic museum Bangkok

A forensic museum, Thailand by Marie

Let’s begin with Bangkok. Apart from what’s been popularised by one very famous Hollywood film that highlights a visitor’s stereotypical experience of the country, there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to this bustling city. For instance, consider making a day out of a visit to the Bangkok Forensic Museum. Located inside the Siriraj Hospital on the west side of the Chao Phraya River, it is definitely not for the queasy tourists or those without a steel armour around their gut. The museum is a fascinating collection of every sort of forensic discovery under the sun, neatly divided into various sections, with the Pathology, Anatomy and Forensic museums being most morbidly popular with the visitors. Not only does the museum house every type of genetic abnormality known to man, but it also highlights the devastation caused due to the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, a harsh reminder of how terrible nature can be.

Volunteer while you stay

Volunteering in Thailand

Volunteer, Thailand by RIBI

Speaking of the tsunami, there are tonnes of volunteer work that involves restoring the country to its former glory. There are several ventures where one can lend one’s services, such as teaching English in schools. Not only will this have you completely immersed in Thai culture, but you do stand to gain a deeper understanding of your host country while doing good work. And while you’re at it, why not use a Couchsurfing website or app like Airbnb and stay at a potential host’s house while on holiday there, as opposed to living in a hotel? The host will also be able to give you a tour of the country from a seasoned point of view, which is far more exciting than a regular tour guide’s typical one.

Vintage shopping

weird stuff to do in Bangkok

Vintage, Thailand by m-louis

No trip to the country without the inclusion of shopping in the Thailand travel planner. Bangkok is well-known for its shopping areas, but why not try some lesser known places, like the Papaya Vintage Shop. A flea market and vintage memorabilia collection all rolled into one; the entrance greets you with James Dean and Darth Vader on display, which leads you into a three-storey building packed with pop-culture memorabilia, guaranteed to have your shopping to your heart’s content. You could try other vintage stores, too!

Rama IX Park

Rama Park Bangkok

Rama IX Park, Thailand by Thai Jasmine

When you want to take a break and relax, make a trip to the Rama IX Park, usually frequented by the locals. While there, why not take a Tai Chi class and get the most out of your relaxation? The park also has a botanical garden to leisurely stroll past and a lake that you can hire paddle boats to float across. The best part is, the entrance to the park has some of the best street vendors in the country.

Cooking classes

 Cooking schools in Bangkok

Thai Food, Thailand by Imola Grácia Marjai

Ah, food. How can we talk about Thailand without mentioning the delicious cuisine? And what’s better than taking home a lifetime of knowledge by taking some cooking lessons in authentic Thai food? Chef LeeZ cooking classes are world renowned, and his students swear by it. Learn to cook local dishes like Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango, Crispy Fish Salad, Thai Noodles in Curry Sauce, Galangal Soup…the mere mention of these dishes makes one’s mouth water. Take the Thai secrets home and recreate the dishes!

A tattoo to remember

 Where to get a tattoo in Bangkok

Sak yant Tattoos, Thailand by MadR1sk

Tattoos from Thailand are world-renowned, especially the traditional Sak Yant tattoos. Sak Yant literally translates to yantra tattooing and the traditional way of getting this tattoo is by a monk who uses bamboo sticks to draw the ink and literally etch it into the skin. The person getting a tattoo also goes through a prayer ceremony (Wai Kru Sak Yant ceremony), where you do a small prayer before sitting down to get the tattoo. It is quite an experience to get a Sak Yant tattoo or even to witness the ritual.

There you have it – there’re lots to do in Thailand for those who are looking to try something different. So take your pick from this Inspirock itinerary planner, for Thailand is your oyster, waiting for you to take a bite.

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Travel tips for Bhutan http://www.travelwithamate.com/travel-tips-bhutan/ Thu, 04 Aug 2016 09:59:36 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30515 Are you thinking about going on a trip to Bhutan? First, remember to look for deals on lodging and airfare so you can travel for less – there are plenty of them on the Internet, for instance at such websites as Discountrue.com, where you’ll find both travel promos and coupons for popular stores such as ...

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Are you thinking about going on a trip to Bhutan? First, remember to look for deals on lodging and airfare so you can travel for less – there are plenty of them on the Internet, for instance at such websites as Discountrue.com, where you’ll find both travel promos and coupons for popular stores such as Kohl’s. Then, once you’ve planned the trip and put together an itinerary, there are a few helpful tips that you will still need to remember about in order to maximize your trip. This miniature Buddhist kingdom is one of the most unique places in the world and as a result, you’ll want to prepare yourself adequately. Read on for some highly useful tips!

1. Protect Yourself From The Sun

Temperatures tend to vary greatly from one part of the day to the next, so be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and keep layered clothing close by for when the temperatures begin to dip. Depending on the altitude of your Bhutan location, the climate can change drastically at a moment’s notice. In addition to your sunscreen and layers, you’ll also want to make sure that you pack some medication to help with altitude sickness in case this problem arises.

2. Keep Cash Handy

Those of us who are used to carrying around zero cash and simply relying on debit/credit cards to make purchases may struggle upon our initial arrival in Bhutan. There are no ATM machines available and 99 percent of establishments do not accept form of plastic when it comes time to make a payment. Bring the cash that you will need during your trip with you and exchange it at their airport, as this simple step will save you a great deal of hassle.

Bhutan money

3. Visit The Holy Places For Fine Art

Some of the finest artists known to man have painted in the holiest locations of Bhutan and even those who do not consider themselves to be extremely religious will enjoy a trip to these sacred locations. If you see a mural that has been painted in a holy location of Bhutan, you can rest assured, knowing that it was crafted by a top notch artist. It’s definitely a must-see there!

Bhutan travel advice

4. Bring Reading Materials

Bus rides tend to take a fair amount of time so if you want to stay entertained during these trips, it is important to bring reading material along for the ride. When you travel from city to city, these seemingly simple journeys can take several hours. If you’d like some added exposure to the local culture, take a moment to ask the bus driver if they are willing to play some local music to help pass the time.

Books in Bhutan

5. Don’t Sleep In

One of the most rewarding experiences that a Bhutan visitor can have is getting up early and going for a walk alongside all of the happy schoolchildren. Curious visitors will certainly enjoy their jaunt and those who decide to partake in these walks should prepare themselves for any number of questions from inquisitive youngsters. Waking up early is the best choice you can make.

 

 

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Summer activities to enjoy in Cheltenham this year http://www.travelwithamate.com/summer-activities-enjoy-cheltenham-year/ Sun, 31 Jul 2016 09:24:37 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30508 If you’re wondering where to head for your UK summer break this year, then look no further than the quaint English town of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the town was actually founded as a health and holiday resort for the wealthy in the early 18th century. Where better to ...

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If you’re wondering where to head for your UK summer break this year, then look no further than the quaint English town of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the town was actually founded as a health and holiday resort for the wealthy in the early 18th century. Where better to head for some rest and relaxation then over the summer months?

The Wild Worlds Exhibition

From the 25th June to the 4th September, you can immerse yourself in one of the most engaging exhibits of the ceramic world. For all of you who enjoy indulging in unusual art, the Wild Worlds exhibition transports visitors into another universe, filled with mythical beings and fantastical creatures.

Wild World Exhibition

All told through the extensive ceramics collection at Aberystwyth University, the exhibition displays the work of many 20th century and contemporary artists from around the world. The whole of the Wilson Cheltenham Museum & Art Gallery will be transformed for a completely engaging environment for all the family, with artistic performances and storytelling.

Montpellier Gardens

These perfectly pruned gardens lie right at the heart of Cheltenham, so there won’t be any excuses for missing it. With over 600 hectares, it’s one of the largest garden estates in the country, so it will come as no surprise that there’s tonnes to do in the area.

Montpellier Gardens

From tennis courts and a skate park to their very own Gardens Gallery which exhibits local artwork, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. You can even book a hotel room overlooking the gardens at the Malmaison, and enjoy breakfast surrounded by nature in the Garden Room for a truly immersive experience.

Open-Air Theatre

If you really want a slice of history, then why not step back in time and experience a piece of theatre the way it was intended – to be seen in the open air! This year, the Cheltenham Open Air Theatre is once again holding its festival, and performers will be returning to the Tuckwell Amphitheatre once more for drama under the stars and musical theatre in the sun.

Open-Air Theatre Cheltenham

There will be plenty of cinema screenings too, so don’t forget to grab your picnic basket and blankets, and bring the whole family to sit and enjoy the 13th edition of this memorable event.

Cheltenham Beery Walking Tour

After sampling the artistic delights that the town has to offer, you’ll be pleased to know that you can take part in the Cheltenham Beery Walking Tour every Saturday. You’ll start off at Cheltenham’s oldest operating brewery, Battledown Brewery, for a guided tour, before moving on to the cellars of Sandford Park Alehouse, the National CAMRA Pub of the Year.

Cheltenham Beery Walking Tour

Then, head over to Wild Beer Co.’s bar and restaurant, where you can try a selection of beers that have being perfectly matched to their gastronomic pairings. Finally, you’ll be taken on a beer tasting journey by an expert, in the last stop at Favourite Beers.

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Set Sail on These 5 Amazing Boating Holidays  http://www.travelwithamate.com/set-sail-5-amazing-boating-holidays/ Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:06:38 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30484 Are you looking for a different kind of vacation? One that you might want to try is to go on a boating holiday. This is perfect if you want to take it slow and savour every moment. If you are thinking of where to head, keep on reading and consider the following destinations. Alaska Cruise ...

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Are you looking for a different kind of vacation? One that you might want to try is to go on a boating holiday. This is perfect if you want to take it slow and savour every moment. If you are thinking of where to head, keep on reading and consider the following destinations.

Alaska Cruise

With rugged mountains and a huge part left unspoilt, Alaska is one of the most unique destinations if you want to go on a cruise. One of the most popular routes is known as Inside Passage, which will pass through the infamous Hubbard Glacier. There are also cruise tours, allowing you to go inland and explore the rich wilderness of Alaska. Because of the weather, however, availability of cruises in Alaska is a bit limited. It is available only from the end of April through the start of October.

Alaska cruises

Canal Boating in UK

UK’s waterways are popular for canal boating. One of the most popular routes to take is Avon Ring, which has a length of 109 miles. Other popular destinations include Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, Llangollen Canal, and South Pennine Ring. From the canals of London to the moors of Bath, canal boating is going to offer a distinct experience that will make your holidays memorable. If you are planning a canal boat adventure, then try Black Prince for more information.

Canal boat hire in UK

Yacht Break in France

When in France, one of the best ways to explore the beauty of the country is through getting on board a yacht. The French Riviera is one of the most popular destinations for yachting enthusiasts. Do not just ride any yacht. To make it more memorable, make sure to charter luxury yachts, complete with butler service. This is perfect for romantic getaways or for vacations with the whole family. While aboard the yacht, you can expect to be treated like a royalty

Yacht hire in France

Sailing in Croatia

With enchanting cities, warm seas, and beautiful landscape, Croatia is one of the best choices for anyone who is interested in going sailing. During sailing trips in Croatia, expect that you will have a slow-paced travel. You will feel relaxed as you take in the view of the surroundings. You can also go sunbathing on the top of your boat or enjoy socialisation with other people who are also sailing. It will go through several destinations, such as Split, which is the starting point for most people who are going sailing. Other places that can be visited include Dubrovnik, Korcula, and Hvar, among others.

Sailing in Croatia

Junk Boat in Vietnam

Forget about huge and luxury cruise ships. When you are in Vietnam, the best way to explore the sea is to ride their traditional junk boats. They look antiquated, but they are fully-functional, and more importantly, safe. The most popular destination to enjoy this would be Halong Bay, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a place dotted with towering limestone formations. The boats will stop in the middle of the sea where you can swim, snorkel, or go kayaking.  If you would like to go on a cruise though Vietnam then have a look at Cruise Sale Finder.

Junk boats in Vietnam

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3 Alternative Middle Eastern Breaks You Have to Try  http://www.travelwithamate.com/3-alternative-middle-eastern-breaks-try/ Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:01:15 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30483 When thinking of where to go for your next holiday, there is a very little chance that Middle East will be mentioned. A lot of people are hesitant about the idea of vacationing in the region because of safety concerns and because little has been heard about its treasures. In reality, however, as long as ...

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When thinking of where to go for your next holiday, there is a very little chance that Middle East will be mentioned. A lot of people are hesitant about the idea of vacationing in the region because of safety concerns and because little has been heard about its treasures. In reality, however, as long as you pick the right place, you can be safe, and most importantly, you will have a memorable vacation. Clueless about where to go in the Middle East? Keep on reading and we will recommend some of the best destinations you can visit.

Dubai 

For those who are looking for a luxurious travel destination, Dubai should be on the top of the list. With lavish architecture, including a man-made island and a 7-star hotel, this is indeed a place perfect for royalty. Those who are on a budget, on the other hand, will still have a good time as there are many things that can be enjoyed without the need to spend a fortune. Click here for a list of things to do in Dubai.

Dubai

Dubai is going to be a paradise for those who indulge in shopping. You should visit the gold market and the traditional souks. They also have high-end shopping malls. It is home to a stretch of nice beaches, the most popular of which being the Jumeirah Beach. While here, you will also enjoy a magnificent view of Burj Al Arab, the grandest of all the hotels in the world. The choices for food will also be endless. The best thing is that it is a safe vacation destination, for more information on planning your trip to Dubai visit Dubai Holidays.

Oman 

This tiny country might be unfamiliar to many people. Once you know about what it can offer, however, it is no longer surprising that this is going to be on your bucket list. The most popular destination in the country is perhaps Muscat, which is also its capital. Here, you can find not only deserts, but also pristine beaches and lush greeneries that envelope its mountains. It is also home to a wide selection of five-star hotels.

Oman

Outside of Muscat, there are many other places that you will definitely love. The Wahiba Sands, for instance, is known for its multiple colours and a good place to enjoy a camel ride. In Sur, you can enjoy beaches, castles, and the sight of turtles laying their eggs annually. Bahla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site will be a culturally-immersive experience.

Iran 

Year after year, Iran is being continuously developed and being safer for tourists. New infrastructures are rising quickly, making it a progressive holiday destination. From heritage, food, culture, and even festivals, you will never run out of things to do and enjoy while you are in Iran.

Iran

The ancient architecture and mosques with striking designs will surely be a visual treat for anyone who is visiting Iran. For those who love physical activities, climbing Mount Damavand, the highest mountain in the Middle East, is one thing that can be included in the itinerary. You can also go on a food trip and treat your appetite with local dishes. Those who want to play it safe should try staples like kebab, falafels, and samosas. Those who would like to be a little more adventurous can try something unique, such as testicles of lamb. There are also religious pilgrims that are hosted in the country annually. Iran Luxury Tours can help you explore everything Iran has to offer.

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7 Things You Have to See in the Cotswolds  http://www.travelwithamate.com/7-things-see-cotswolds/ Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:57:57 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30482 With charming towns and quaint villages, the Cotswolds is one of the best destinations in the UK for anyone who would rather enjoy the quiet rural community than the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. Castles, churches, and gardens are just some of its main attractions. Planning to visit anytime soon? Keep on reading as ...

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With charming towns and quaint villages, the Cotswolds is one of the best destinations in the UK for anyone who would rather enjoy the quiet rural community than the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. Castles, churches, and gardens are just some of its main attractions. Planning to visit anytime soon? Keep on reading as we give a rundown some of the best attractions that you have to see when visiting the Cotswolds.

Bourton House Garden

Situated in Bourton-on-the-Hill, one of the best villages in the Cotswolds, this hidden garden is a treasure waiting to be uncovered. It is best to visit during summer and autumn when you can see the plants and flowers at their best. It adds beauty to the 18th-century mansion that stands tall and proud in the middle of the lush greenery. If you are looking for a scenic place to stay during your visit to the Cotswolds, Log House Holidays provide log cabins with lake views.

Bourton House and Garden

Kenilworth Castle

This is one of the most historic castles that you can find in the Cotswolds as it is linked with medieval monarchs. The castle was built specifically for Queen Elizabeth I. With more than 900 years of history, it offers spectacular views that you cannot find in other castles. From the castle keep to the Great Hall, this castle is indeed fit for a royalty.

Castles in the Cotswolds

Thermae Bath Spa

The mineral-rich and naturally warm water in this bath has been enjoyed by Romans for thousands of years. It perfectly blends historic buildings with modern interior, making it an attraction that you should not miss. More than having a relaxing spa experience, you can also enjoy great food and drinks at Springs Café & Restaurant.

Thermae Bath Spa

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

This is one of the attractions that you should see if you are visiting with family. You can explore the park and enjoy the sights of animals roaming freely in their natural habitat. This is an excellent way to get up close and personal with almost 300 animal species. There are also picnic areas. If you are looking for somewhere to stay in the Cotswolds, Character Cottages provide a wide range of properties for you and your family to choose from.

cotswold wildlife park

Blenheim Palace

When in the Cotswolds, you will never run out of choices when it comes to picture-perfect palaces. One of the best examples is Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill. It is grand from the outside to the inside. It also features a butterfly house, fountain, expansive garden, and exhibitions.

Palaces to visit in England

Gloucester Cathedral

This site used to be an abbey church and is now a cathedral. It is a place of worship that is still functioning today. It is also rich in terms of musical tradition. You can climb up to the top of the tower to enjoy a great view of the surroundings. You can also take crypt tours, which are free of charge, but it will be greatly appreciated if you have donations.

Gloucester Cathedral

The George

This is the perfect place to visit for people who are looking to shop for antiques. It is situated in an inn, which has been around since the 15th century. It has a vast collection of antiques, made better by the fact that the products are sold at prices that will be hard to beat.

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Women’s fashion – Packing your summer vacation into one carry-on http://www.travelwithamate.com/womens-fashion-packing-summer-vacation-carry-on/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 12:28:07 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30460 Whether you’re going on a month-long vacation or taking a 10-day work trip, it’s important to pack smart, light, and consciously. If you’re the type to overpack for a 2-day trip back to your parents’ place, you might want to pay close attention to avoid any travel mistakes. Packing clothes that travel well is as ...

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Whether you’re going on a month-long vacation or taking a 10-day work trip, it’s important to pack smart, light, and consciously. If you’re the type to overpack for a 2-day trip back to your parents’ place, you might want to pay close attention to avoid any travel mistakes. Packing clothes that travel well is as crucial as knowing how to fit days’ worth of clothes in just your carry-on, especially if you want to avoid those hefty checked baggage fees. To travel like an expert, pick up a few of these 5 travel essentials that’ll minimize and therefore maximize, your vacation wardrobe.

Well Travelled Tops

When it comes to the most wrinkled pieces of clothing to come out of your luggage, tops just might take the cake. So unless you have time and easy access to a steamer or iron, pack fibers like rayon, viscose, and spandex. Rayons like sheer fabrics are lifesavers when you have an event to attend the moment you land, or when you’re battling harsh sun. The best go-tos are lightweight neutrals that pair with any bottom you throw under it. Try a crisp wrap around tank in ultra-lightweight construction or a stretchy crop top with trendy off-the-shoulder straps. No steamer required.

Fashion advice for female travellers What to pack on summer vacation
Paige Surplice Tank Top   Tara Off The Shoulder Crop Top

 

 

2. All Day Dresses

While on vacation, you want to feel vacation-y. It may come as no surprise when I say that short shift dresses are vacation essentials! Not only do they pack away easily, they’re forgiving (when you gorge on the local restaurant next to your hotel) and they’re super layerable. Wear them alone in the day or as a tunic with wide leg pants like palazzos, gauchos, and flared denim. A breezy shift dress with dainty tie straps or intricate lace paneling can be worn casually throughout the day and transitions flawlessly for your evening affairs.

Summer clothes travel advice Summer dresses
All In A Days Work Shift Dress Hollywood and Vine Shift Dress

3. Full-Length Styles

Full, top-to-bottom lengths have been trending hard lately. From flowy maxi dresses to wide leg jumpsuits, a lengthy cover-up has become an all-season staple. The great thing about full length outfits are that they’re highly layerable and look appropriate all year long. You can take a cue from the 90’s and layer a basic white tee underneath a strappy number, or pair a relaxed fit tunic on top for a more easy-going outfit. For hotter days, make sure you pick a number with particularly interesting straps (like a strappy cross back or low back halter) when wearing these solo.

Maxi dresses for vacations Travel fashion tips 2016
Show Them Off Maxi Set Layla Crossback Denim Jumpsuit

4. Versatile Sweaters

It’s no secret that airplanes teeter between two temperature extremes at all times; they’re either freezing cold, or hot, musty, and humid. Not only do you have to be weary of your beauty regimen on and off the plane, you have to dress accordingly on and off the flight. Lightweight layers are a must, so pack an easy sweater in low-key neutrals that go with everything. Remember, the more clothes you wear on the plane, the less you have to stuff into your carry-on. Opt for a sweater that you can layer easily over whatever you choose to wear on the flight, whether it be ultra low-key leggings, a maxi dress, or jeans.

Poncho Sweater Female fashion travel 2016
Penelope Poncho Sweater College Ruled Sweater

5. Everyday Bottoms

The key to choosing the perfect bottoms to pack for your trip is simpler than it sounds. To keep your luggage minimal and light (reminder: the goal is to pack your entire trip in one carry-on!), you’ll want bottoms that don’t take up too much space, are neutral enough to go with everything, but also intriguing enough to wear both day and night. Go-to’s include simple patterns in neutral colorways, like stripes, or a solid neutral in a trendy silhouette, like a chic wrap dress in a midi length.

Wide leg pants melrose wraps
Fine Lines Wide Leg Pants Melrose Wrap Midi Dress

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3 Tips to stop micromanaging your trip http://www.travelwithamate.com/3-tips-stop-micromanaging-your-trip/ Wed, 20 Jul 2016 10:15:11 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30455 If you are notorious for planning every vacation down to the last minute, you are not alone. Micromanaging and traveling seem to go hand in hand, and for some good reasons. Going on vacation is expensive and you want to get your money’s worth. Plus, traveling can be stressful so planning every detail helps you ...

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If you are notorious for planning every vacation down to the last minute, you are not alone. Micromanaging and traveling seem to go hand in hand, and for some good reasons. Going on vacation is expensive and you want to get your money’s worth. Plus, traveling can be stressful so planning every detail helps you feel more in control.

But your tendency to schedule and plan everything might prevent you from having a relaxing and wonderful vacation. With this in mind, check out the following tips to help you cut back on your planning and be more spontaneous:

Tip 1: Thou Shalt not Cram

You want to see the Louvre while you are in Paris and your family cannot wait to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower. You also want to take a bus tour, see the famous Monets at L’ Orangerie Museum and hire a taxi to take you around the Arc du Triomphe.

Taxis in paris

But between all these plans, you should give yourself plenty of free time in the City of Lights — or wherever your vacation takes you. Unscheduled afternoons and evenings lead to amazing spontaneous adventures as well as scrumptious pain au chocolat, dinner on sidewalk cafes and trying out your French with the locals.

Along the same lines, don’t schedule your connecting flights too close together. Even though you are in a hurry to get to your vacation, you will appreciate some wiggle room at the airport if your first flight runs late or is delayed.

Tip 2: Think Like a Boy Scout and Be Prepared

One of the best ways to slow down and go with the flow is to know you are prepared ahead of time. Take your smartphone as an example. If you know that you have all of the apps you need, such as Uber, Google Maps and Google Translate, and a full battery, you can enjoy your journey without hunting for free Wi-Fi, outlets to charge your phone and strangers to ask for directions. If you are traveling overseas, make sure your mobile phone has a removable SIM card so you can install a local one when you arrive. Or check with your carrier about international plans. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge from T-Mobile, for instance, has a removable SIM and the ability to get on the Simple Choice Plan that has international calls, texting and data. It also has a long battery life that will keep chugging along, even during a spur-of-the-moment excursion that fills your entire afternoon.

By simply prepping your phone, you can rest assured that you’ll have everything you need when you are out and about. You can take photos, find new locations, call your family and, if need be, call a taxi to get you back to the hotel.

Tip 3: Doing Nothing Recharges the Brain

When you were a kid, remember how an afternoon spent daydreaming and lying in the grass watching the clouds roll by made you feel more energetic and alive? The same is true for when you go on vacation. Giving yourself permission to unwind and take each vacation day as it comes will leave you feeling inspired, emotionally and mentally restored and ready to tackle whatever life throws at you back at home.

Advice on better travel

You spend the rest of your year planning every aspect of your life, from your work schedule to when you eat, work out and sleep. Throw away your planner while you are away, immerse yourself in the local culture and return from your trip rested and rejuvenated, instead of feeling like you need another vacation to recover from your trip.

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Top four attractions in Vienna http://www.travelwithamate.com/top-four-attractions-vienna/ Tue, 19 Jul 2016 18:22:39 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30447 Vienna is one of those romantic European destinations that everyone wants to visit – the little medieval streets set against the grander palaces and museums that dominate the skyline. If you plan on being one of the 12 million people heading there this year, but you’re unsure of where to start, then here are a ...

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Vienna is one of those romantic European destinations that everyone wants to visit – the little medieval streets set against the grander palaces and museums that dominate the skyline. If you plan on being one of the 12 million people heading there this year, but you’re unsure of where to start, then here are a handful of attractions to get you started.

The Albertina

If you’ve decided to take a walk through Vienna’s famous Old Town, or Innere Stadt, make sure you don’t skip the Albertina as one of your stops. The Albertina is a museum that currently houses one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world. With around 65,000 drawings and one million old master prints, it’s of huge historical importance to artistic community. However, it also houses modern graphic works, photographs and architectural drawings for people who prefer more contemporary work.

The Albertina

The Vienna State Opera House

Opera plays an important part in the lives of many Viennese people, and it’s impossible not to get caught up in the romance and excitement of it all while you’re there. A must-see for many tourists, therefore, is the Vienna State Opera House, or Wiener Staatsoper, which dates back to the mid-19th century. Located at the very heart of Vienna, you can expect grand concerts, magnificent ballets and moving performances almost every night, but if you’re planning of visiting then don’t forget to book your opera tickets from viennaoperatickets.com well in advance to avoid missing out – the best seats fill up fast!

The Vienna State Opera House

The Belvedere

If you want to take a walk through the opulent and decadent period of the Imperial era, then Belvedere will take you there. This historic building complex which sits on a sprawling estate in the third district of the city, consists of two palaces, the Orangery, and the Palace Stables. Throughout the stunning grounds, you’ll find many intricately-carved fountains and sculptures from the elaborate Baroque period, while the house itself is now the Belvedere museum. Today, it houses the greatest collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to present day, as well as many other prestigious artists such as Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.

Where to go in Vienna

St Stephen’s Cathedral

As one of the most iconic buildings in Vienna and easily recognisable against the night sky, it’s no wonder that St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of the most visited attractions in Vienna. You can’t escape it’s Romanesque and Gothic form, covered by twisted carvings of idols long forgotten, and symbols of religious protection from evil. The cathedral actually stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, with the first being a parish church from 1147. As one of the oldest and most important religious building in Vienna, St. Stephen’s Cathedral has witnessed the many changes of its people, from medieval peasants to the stylish, cosmopolitan residents of today.

St Stephen’s Cathedral

If you’ve been to Vienna recently and you think I’ve missed somewhere important, do leave me a comment and tell me all about your travels.

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A short break guide to Birmingham, England http://www.travelwithamate.com/short-break-guide-birmingham-england/ Fri, 15 Jul 2016 09:15:37 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30434 I’m often asked where is good for a weekend in the UK and after traversing the entire United Kingdom back in 2012 I can now list a huge number of worthy destinations I’d highly recommend. One place that often surprises people is Birmingham, England’s 2nd largest city and I don’t think it’s too rude to say ...

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I’m often asked where is good for a weekend in the UK and after traversing the entire United Kingdom back in 2012 I can now list a huge number of worthy destinations I’d highly recommend. One place that often surprises people is Birmingham, England’s 2nd largest city and I don’t think it’s too rude to say not a place high on people’s lists when they think of a romantic weekend break for 2. But read on and you’ll find out just why you’re wrong and why you should really consider it for your next short break.

Amazing accommodation

Service apartment in BirminghamFirstly you’ll need a place to stay and with so many people in this vast city there’s plenty of competition which keeps prices reasonable and options varied. Recent years has seen the rise in self contained apartments also known as “short term rentals”. Having experienced a number of these myself I highly recommend them over a hotel stay any day. You get a lot more space for your money and the luxury of having everything you need within the property you’re paying for. I find them so much more relaxing than a stuffy little hotel room you can’t wait to leave. Comfortzone Apartments in Birmingham is a great example of quality serviced apartments well within the areas you’re most likely to visit. Unlike traditional accommodation, you’ll find apartments like this are much more modern with a contemporary interior design and often a range of styles to choose from. I recommend picking accommodation that matches your personal styles as it’ll give you the most relaxing environment to return to after a day’s sightseeing or a night out on the town.

Sightseeing in Birmingham

 

This is the biggest question people ask when I recommend this city to them. Partly because people really don’t get to hear much about the tourist attractions of this traditionally business orientated city. Pure logic dictates that a metropolis of this size has more than its fair share of great places to go. Firstly its a fantastic city for outdoor dining and rooftop bars too. In fact there’s been a real trend recently for this more exclusive feeling venues. Café Opus at Ikon is a great place to start as its easy to find. For upmarket lunchtime dining check out Park Regis, 1565′ Restaurant and Bar and for night-time views high up in lavish surroundings be sure to go to Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill.

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses are a fantastic place to take a stroll with a loved one and enjoy one of the UK’s best 19th century gardens to rival any in London. Cannon Hill Park  is also a great place for a cheap day out and popular with locals.

Where to go in Birmingham

Festivals and events worth checking out

I highly recommend booking your weekend break in Birmingham during a festival to really make the most of the city. There’s all sorts to choose from here including some fantastic food and drink festivals. The Caribbean festival in July is well worth checking out for both music and food! If you like farmer’s markets and indeed any other type of market head to the Bull Ring on Saturdays where you’ll find a hive of activity.  For something a bit different check out the TILT festival in July celebrating the very best of Aerial and Physical Theatre. There’s workshops and demonstrations on including all sorts of skills like Aerial Silks, Ropes, Static Trapeze, Hoops and plenty more. Most of which is free to enjoy.

How to get there

For those flying in to the UK Birmingham has its own international airport with plenty of flights in from Europe and a number to the far east, middle east and North American countries.  It makes accessing this great city very easy and reasonably priced too. If you’re flying in to London and want to venture up to Birmingham there are plenty of fast trains from the city leaving every 30 minutes or so from Euston Station.

image credit: counteract.co

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University travel: 10 ways students can globe-trot for free http://www.travelwithamate.com/university-travel-10-ways-students-can-globe-trot-free/ Wed, 13 Jul 2016 08:24:26 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30421 1. Exchange houses Although the idea that when you are out in your home living someone else may be uncomfortable, the idea of sharing houses between families is becoming increasingly popular. The bottom line: you find the family from the place where you would like to go on the thematic portal. The family should, of ...

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1. Exchange houses

Although the idea that when you are out in your home living someone else may be uncomfortable, the idea of sharing houses between families is becoming increasingly popular. The bottom line: you find the family from the place where you would like to go on the thematic portal. The family should, of course, agree and would like to visit your place. You  agree on terms – and, if scenario is successful, free housing is yours!

2. Look after someone else’s house

This opportunity differs from an exchange. In various forums and sites with ads, you can encounter the request to look after the house while its owners are away. If you manage to take advantage of the opportunity you will get free housing at your own disposal in exchange for the need of others to walk the dog, feed the fish and water the ficus.

House sitting

3. Become a volunteer

Some charities provide the volunteers with free accommodation, meals and a scholarship, some – only housing, some – just an opportunity to help people and nature and to advance spiritually. Anyway, every year more and more travelers are adjacent to the ranks of volunteers to save endangered species, teach English in third world countries or work with children in shelters. Most volunteer programs aimed at long-term cooperation – from several months to several years, so it is necessary to consider this option if you want to escape from the traditional way of life in the long term.

Become a volunteer

4. Hitchhiking

It means to move around the world almost penniless, this type of travelling seems never to become obsolete. Thousands of books and manuals are devoted to hitchhiking, but most experienced travelers say that all you need to get from one city to another are a raised hand and a good mood. But do not forget about the safety rules!

Hitchiking

5. Apply for yacht

Fortunately, for you to be taken in the yachting team, you do not have to be an experienced sailor. Of course, experience in working with machinery or navigation will be a definite plus, but sometimes the captains of ships are looking for a team of people ready to help just with their physical labor. In exchange, you will sail across the seas to the desired place free of charge.

yachting team student opportunities

6. Working on a cruise ship

Positions on cruise ships tend to be more diverse than on a private yacht, but more responsible: you have to work in strict discipline, almost seven days a week, even without the opportunity to see places, just from the porthole windows. But liners pay very regularly, so if your goal – not only to travel, but also to earn money and improve your English, you should consider this option.

7. Challenges

For students, the request “write an essay for me” may sound like a real challenge but there are some more! One of the main trends among advanced modern travelers – do something really crazy. For example, to cross Eurasian continent on foot, to conquer Mount Everest with the minimum of equipment, or to overcome the Sahara on a bicycle. If you invent your original idea and attract the attention of sponsors, we can kill three birds with one stone: to relish travelling, to become famous and earn money. Just to start, make sure that you are not afraid of difficulties such as physical exhaustion, deprivation etc.

8. WWOOF

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms – an association of farmers from all over the world, ready to offer food and accommodation in exchange for household help. Travelers who have worked on farms, claimethat it’s just an amazing opportunity to not only save money, but also get a rich insight into the way of life in the countryside.

Woofing

9. Couchsurfing

The name of the social network Couchsurfing Hospitality has long been a household name, implying the unselfish sharing of accommodation all over the world and experiences in different cities and countries. Many are traveling, staying in the homes of welcoming strangers, not so much for the purpose of saving, but for the sake of new acquaintances and intercultural communication. However, we must be mentally prepared for the fact that you may be offered to sleep in a chair, on cots and, at times, even on the floor.

10. Travel slowly

Whenever you sit down in the plane, bus or ship, your expenses grow significantly. If you really want to save, then think of the journey not just like about a vacation, but as a lifestyle. Do not try to see everything at once, but instead explore one country and one city as longer as possible. This will save your money and expand the perception of the world.

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location independent apartment hunting – my advice http://www.travelwithamate.com/location-independent-apartment-hunting-my-advice/ Mon, 11 Jul 2016 15:30:51 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30417 If you consider the possibility that you will eventually need to move from your current place of residence, then it’s never a bad time to start looking. After all, when you are comfortable where you currently are then you could go out and look without feeling the pressure of needing to move right away. However, ...

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If you consider the possibility that you will eventually need to move from your current place of residence, then it’s never a bad time to start looking. After all, when you are comfortable where you currently are then you could go out and look without feeling the pressure of needing to move right away. However, the one thing that you have to keep in mind is even if you aren’t planning on moving for months or a year, you need to know exactly what you are getting yourself into before you find a specific apartment. Take these tips into consideration to find out if the place you want to live is actually what you think it is.

Speak with Neighbors

When you are looking for a place to not only stay, but commit to for the long term, then you have to know what type of area you are getting yourself into. The best thing to do is listen to the word of mouth and see what the actual residents of the area are saying. This could be trying to get a feel for people who actually live in the unit you are looking at, or it could be trying to discover whether or not the general vicinity is a good region and a place that you think is where you want to end up.

In the worst-case scenario you will still find out more about the potential types of people you will be living by and you can at least spot any red flags that could be a problem as well. However, when you pay attention to the Appraisal Institute and discover that bad neighbors really can have a negative effect on the value of a home or apartment, you might realize why you would want to check out your potential neighbors long before you sign the dotted line on a lease.

Do a Comprehensive Search

When you are thinking about the ability to find the best place, then you must leave no stone unturned. The hardest thing to do when trying to cast a wide net is to figure out if you are actually looking at each and every property, and that’s why you will want to make sure you find a comprehensive list. When you want to specify your criteria for a search, all you need to do when looking for apartments for rent with PropertyGuru Malaysia is to use the search function. You can easily input what is important to you and then discover all of the properties that you think are the most important.

Go Back After Dark and On Weekends

One trick that you can do if you have found a property and have your sights narrowed on a specific place or two is to go back after hours. While you might have seen a professional image of a property during business hours, you should also get a fairly good idea of what you are actually getting yourself into ahead of time by checking out what happens after dark. Furthermore, what goes on during the weekends, and is this the sort of place that you truly want to be?

Depending upon your situation you might absolutely hate living in a place. What if you are looking for some fun and a chance to blow off a little steam with your neighbors in the evenings because you work hard, but find out the place is silent? What if you want silence and need to sleep or at least have a lot to do for school and studying, and then find out that the apartment and surrounding areas are a party-filled region? The key is simply to have that knowledge ahead of time so that you know what you can expect when you finally do move in.

Check Crime Reports

Knowing the general idea of the layout is important, as is information from the landlord, the lease, and even the neighbors. However, you can’t just rely on the printed reviews when it comes to actually understanding where you will be.  As the UK Government reports, there are always options available online to be able to see crime and crime reports. The last thing you want to do is move into an area that you think is dangerous, so you have to be able to know where you will be living and exactly how much crime actually occurs.

It’s not just about living in an area where there is no crime, because technically that would be almost impossible. When you have an area with a healthy mix of people, things to do, and general nightlife then you can have a lot of fun, but still may get a few bad apples. The important thing to do is do your research, understand the risk, and make sure you know exactly what the rates and statistics are. There is a difference between a single incident or two and a crime spree after all.

At the end of the day you need to be the biggest investigator you can before you sign the lease. When it comes to actually enjoying your space and feeling comfortable in it, then you need to know what you are signing up for, both good things and bad. Make sure you do as much research as you can on your next potential home so that you can be aware of what you should expect if you decide to move.

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Top 5 Adventure Activities in NYC to go for http://www.travelwithamate.com/top-5-adventure-activities-nyc-go/ Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:07:21 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30407 Life in New York is never dull and is always an adventure ride for an individual. From running to catch the subway or fighting to get last minute Broadway ticket, the adventure here never stops. However, if you’re not satisfied with these activities and looking for more adventure, then there are few top destinations that ...

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Life in New York is never dull and is always an adventure ride for an individual. From running to catch the subway or fighting to get last minute Broadway ticket, the adventure here never stops. However, if you’re not satisfied with these activities and looking for more adventure, then there are few top destinations that offer true adventure. Tourists flocking in New York enjoy their best time by going through the adventure ride. With the availability of cheap tickets offered by airlines, tourists can easily save money and also enjoy their best time. Let us now check the top adventure activities can be enjoyed in NYC:

Go for Nature Walking in Inwood Hill Park: This 196 acres of land are still blessed with virgin forest in borough and offer some stunning views. There are Inwood trails which are paved and uphill portion is steep and short, that allows a better walking experience. If you love nature walking and get close to it, this is the ideal place to go for.

Go for Nature Walking in Inwood Hill Park

Mountain Biking at Wolfe’s Pond Park: This is the most famous place in New York offering the best biking experience. The park’s trailers are suited for both nvoice and intermediate level riders. Moreover, there are various terrains including glacial ponds, sandy beaches and trails. To train for biking in Pond Park, one can go for mountain biking course offered in the metro area.

Mountain Biking at Wolfe's Pond Park

Red Hook Crit for Bicycling: Experience Tour de France bicycling race, then head to the streets of Brooklyn to enjoy Red Hook Crit. This championship series halts in London, Barcelona and Milan. It is fun to ride, crash and cycle across cities.

Red Hook Crit for Bicycling

Skateboard in Tribeca: Head to ode piers of Manhattan where you can watch and try skateboarding. Hudson River Park’s Tribeca Skate Park offers plenty of area to practise kick-flips and no-replies. Participate into different skate boarding games and join the players around to enjoy their best.

Skateboard in Tribeca

Zip Lining: This is most adventurous activity many New Yorkers and tourist love to do. At Alley Pond Park Adventure Course also referred as Queens hidden gem one can enjoy offers.  This Once you’re done with rock climbing, the staff members will help in strapping on harness, climbing through the elevated platform and zip lining 100 yards above the vast open field.

Zip Lining in NYC

Paddle over Bronx River: If you’ve heard about this place, but haven’t visited, then you must now. The Bronx River is true river in this city and is also a great example of environmental success in city annals. It is also the popular spot for paddlers. One can paddle through New York Botanic Gardens and zip around various issues before going downstream.

Paddle over Bronx River

Planning about the location and scheduling your time is the best way to enjoy the right adventure tour in NYC. There are online services that offer information on US visa and boat service. Using these services will certainly help in making the adventure trip memorable.

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5 Tips for a Family Holiday in Italy http://www.travelwithamate.com/5-tips-family-holiday-italy/ Mon, 04 Jul 2016 15:29:28 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30399 The time has come to plan your annual family holiday again.  The most important thing about a family holiday is to create lasting memories with your loved ones that everyone will cherish for the rest of their lives.  But do not put too much pressure on everyone to have a good time.  This can only ...

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The time has come to plan your annual family holiday again.  The most important thing about a family holiday is to create lasting memories with your loved ones that everyone will cherish for the rest of their lives.  But do not put too much pressure on everyone to have a good time.  This can only create resentment, unnecessary stress, and make people uncomfortable.  The most important thing to remember is to try and do fun things that everyone will enjoy.  Italy is a fabulous place for a family to visit and there are lots of things for people of all ages to enjoy such as; the Coliseum or the Vatican City in Rome; the sculpture of David in Florence; or the glorious sight of the olive groves and grape fields in Tuscany. But if you can’t keep everyone stress free your trip can be unhappy no matter how glorious the surroundings.  Here are five tips for a fabulous family holiday in Italy.

1.  Be Careful About Your Things:  Italy is known as one of the worst places in the world for pickpockets and petty thievery, so it is crucial that all of the family is alert at all times.  Make sure that everyone keeps track of their belongings, especially cameras and purses and ensure nobody leaves anything behind.  Carry your money in a secure place and if you have your get your purse/wallet out then be discreet. Click here for some advice on avoiding being pickpocketed.

2.  Ask Around About What Food To Try:  Each region of Italy is known for different cuisine and makes its own wine.  Be sure to find out what the specialty is for the area that you are visiting and make sure that you try it.  If your children are fussy eaters you can always get pizza made to order.

Italian Cuisine

3.  Take a Kid Friendly Walking Tour:  There are many different walking tours in Italy that allow you to see things like Vatican City, the art displays in Florence, the Colosseum in Rome and many other glorious sites. But there are tour companies that cater to entertaining kids on the walks so be sure to keep this in mind when you are booking a walking tour for your family.

4.  If You Are Travelling Through The Countryside Rent A Car:  When you are travelling with children dealing with inflexible train schedules or bus schedules can be very stressful.  Consider renting a vehicle so that you can keep to your own schedule and just worry about transporting your family to where you want to go.  This also allows you to have the flexibility to do whatever you want whenever you want no matter where you are staying.  Here are some fun car games to make the journey go by quicker.

Italian road trip

Italian road trip

5.  Consider Renting A Villa Or An Apartment Instead Of A Hotel Room:  Staying in a hotel room with the family can be quite difficult and tempers can flare quickly.  Renting a self contained apartment or villa allows you to have your own space where everyone can relax in between outings. The team at www.bridgewatertravel.co.uk can provide you with all the information you need on renting a villa in Italy. You can find rentals in all of the major cities and it is a great way to relax in a home away from home. If you don’t want to compromise luxury for a family friendly trip, then make sure to visit Baby Friendly Boltholes too which has some incredible family friendly properties.

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5 of the Best Places in the World to See Wildlife http://www.travelwithamate.com/5-best-places-world-see-wildlife/ Mon, 04 Jul 2016 15:27:35 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30391 When you work in an office or a cubicle all day it is easy to forget that there is a great big world out there.  It is even easier to forget that there are areas of the world where there are more wild animals than there are humans.  If you are looking for a way ...

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When you work in an office or a cubicle all day it is easy to forget that there is a great big world out there.  It is even easier to forget that there are areas of the world where there are more wild animals than there are humans.  If you are looking for a way to escape the world of humans and get back to nature than these are five of the best places in the world to see wildlife in their natural habitats.

India

Tigers are magnificent creatures and their population continues to dwindle due to poaching and loss of habitat.  India has more wild tigers than anywhere else in the world and there are 39 tiger sanctuaries that you can visit where you can experience safaris through the jungle in the comfort of a four wheel drive vehicle or on the back of an elephant. Here are the top places to see tigers in India.  Tigers are notoriously shy creatures so you must keep your eyes peeled but you may also see animals like elephants, deer, large snakes, and many different kinds of insects.

Indian Tigers

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a great place to experience whale watching and it is also a great place to go on safari.  Mirissa is an area on the south west coast where you can head out on boat excursions to see the giants of the deep.  The southwest tip of the country is a migration route for Fin Whales, Bryde’s Whales, Sperm Whales, Killer Whales and Blue Whales during the months of November to April.  Head over to Yala National Park, which is one of Sri Lanka’s biggest ecotourism destinations, and the most heavily populated areas for leopards in the world.  You can also expect to see monkeys, elephants, deer and many different kinds of birds, reptiles, and insects.

Sri Lanka Whale Watching

Tanzania

Tanzania is a country in Africa and it is the home of the Serengeti.  Every early spring the Great Migration begins and thousands of Zebras, Wildebeests, and a myriad of other animals and birds head off in search of food, water, and breeding grounds. Take a luxury safari and get a front row seat to watch this annual cycle of life unfold.

Tanzania

South Africa

South Africa is a fabulous place to experience the thrill of seeing the big five in their natural habitat.  The big five are the lion, elephant, wild buffalo, rhinoceros, and the leopard.  There are plenty of tour operators that offer different levels of accommodation from everything from tents to five star villas where you rest after a day spent following the lives of the animals.

White Rhinoceros

The Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago formed by volcanic activity off the coast of Ecuador and there are several varieties of plants and animals that are found nowhere else in the world. This is where Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution and you can visit the island of Santa Cruz to see the Charles Darwin Research Station where they still continue his work today.  You can also visit giant tortoises that are more than one hundred years old, snorkel off the coast and see iguanas that have gills, or go bird watching and see the many varieties of birds that call these islands home. Visit Nature Galapagos for more information on planning your trip.

Galapogos

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3 Ways to Holiday on the Move http://www.travelwithamate.com/3-ways-holiday-move/ Mon, 04 Jul 2016 15:23:00 +0000 http://www.travelwithamate.com/?p=30384 If you spend a lot of time sat at a desk for your work then you probably don’t want to spend your vacation sitting in one spot watching the world go by.  You will want to keep on moving on your vacation regardless of whether it is on your own two feet or with the ...

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If you spend a lot of time sat at a desk for your work then you probably don’t want to spend your vacation sitting in one spot watching the world go by.  You will want to keep on moving on your vacation regardless of whether it is on your own two feet or with the help of a vehicle.  Here are three ways to holiday on the move that will make sure you return home feeling like you have had a real adventure.

Take a Campervan Trip

One way to make sure that the scenery around you changes every day is to take a campervan trip in the UK. There is nothing like hitting the open road with a map and some tunes to ensure a relaxing vacation.  A campervan can sleep up to nine people but is still small enough to maneuver easily through traffic and park without a lot of effort.  It is a nice way to explore areas like Cornwall where you can drive between small sea towns, Yorkshire where you can camp and become one with nature, or stop in Wiltshire and see the wonders of Stonehenge. Check out Spaceships Rentals for more information on renting a campervan.

Campervan holidays in England

Cycle in France

For a really active holiday you could try cycling in France.  There are several areas of France that are popular for cycling and they offer well laid out routes, less traffic, and plenty of things for cyclists to see. The Loire Valley is full of castles, vineyards, beautiful rivers, orchards, and several World Heritage Sites.  Make sure you see the stunning Château de Chambor, the largest castle in the valley that blends medieval and classical Italian architecture.  Ride through the valleys of L’Anjou and the Touraine and be sure to sample the wine that these regions are famous for.  The routes are mainly flat and the hills are gentle so it is great for cyclists with less experience as well. Brittany is a region in the northwest that the Tour de France passes through.   You can cycle along quiet country roads with few vehicles, beautiful canals, or you can rent bikes that can travel along old railway tracks. Be sure to visit Quimper Cathedral, a gothic cathedral in the coastal town of Quimper and Château de Dinan in the town of Dinan. Riding all day long you will build up an appetite so make sure you sample the fine food that the region you are in is famous for.  France is famous for its cheese so make sure you sample as many different kinds as you can.

Cycling holidays in France

Go on a Mediterranean Cruise

A Mediterranean cruise is a great way to take your vacation on the move.  There are so many cruises with different destinations to choose from.  Cruise the coastline of Greece on the jewel colored water and explore the pristine beaches, magnificent rock formations, historical ruins, and sample the magnificent food and wine this region is known for. Or combine destinations and hop on a cruise that goes through Spain, Italy, Croatia, and Greece and shows you the best of each destination.  No matter which route you choose, the Mediterranean Sea is beautiful and you will love sailing along it. Click here to plan your trip to the Mediterranean.

mediterranean cruise

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