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General Travel Tips
Planning Global Travel
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So, you’ve made the decision that you’re going to travel around the world. Appreciate that for a second; it’s amazing! Most people think about it but never actually do anything. However, the planning global travel shouldn’t be underestimated. Taking the time to plan is going to make a huge difference to how successful your global trip is. Here are some pointers you could look at to help you get started:
Starting The Planning Process
When you start to plan global travel, you need to focus on what you want and not what anybody else has done. Where do you want to go? You can make a shortlist of places that appeal to you so you can narrow down the route you’re going to take. You can identify places you really want to see and then work out your route from there.
Considering your method of transport is important when planning global travel. Will you fly, sail, drive in a camper or cycle? This can make your trip unique. Your budget will play a big role in what you do and where you go, too. You have flights to think about, as well as hostels or hotels, insurance, vaccinations, and other things that are essential when travelling to different places. Of course, you need to have a good idea of what you’re going to be doing, but don’t overplan. There is such a thing, and it can leave you feeling rigid within your schedule and like you’re not having the carefree time that you envisioned.
Now you have to think about how you’re going to get to the places you want to go. The biggest expense you’ll pay up front will be transport. Booking a round the world flight is the most economical thing to do, and you’ll be able to stop at different places. The cheapest one may only cost a few thousand. You should ideally ensure that your route is in a continuous global direction, as backtracking adds miles on to your ticket and may not be permitted by certain airlines. It’s different depending on where you get the ticket, so be smart and find one that will suit you best depending on where you plan on going to.
If you live in Europe, tickets with layovers in Asia and North America plus Australia/New Zealand are usually less expensive than those stopping in Africa and South America, so this is worth remembering as you plan your route.
How Long Will You Need To Travel For?
Of course, if you wanted to travel around the world without stopping just to say ‘I travelled around the world’, you’d just need a few days. Those who want to actually do the travelling part will need to think about what they’re going to do for work. Can you take a sabbatical or some extended leave? Some tend to quit their job altogether, but you need to think about this carefully as there may be no going back once you’re doing the travelling. You could take one month to travel the world, or a little longer if you’re having the time off work. If you haven’t got work to worry about, you can travel indefinitely, depending on what your budget allows.
Bear in mind that many round the world tickets expire after a year, so if you intend on taking your time in each place and travelling slowly, you may need to look at other options when planning global travel. Some travellers go for years!
Packing For Your Round The World Trip
What should you pack? As little as you can get away with, really. Every bit of weight in your case counts. You may want to take a home comfort, but be mindful of what this will mean for the rest of your belongings. Some people manage to go with nothing but the clothes on their back. You should never pack more than you’d be willing to carry with you up flights of stairs. Plenty of things can be replaced on the road, so try not to worry too much about taking everything from home.
What Should You Look Out For?
Of course, there will be challenges while you’re travelling. No matter how well you plan, you can’t depend on the conditions to be as you imagined them. You can try to plan it so that each place is at its best when you arrive, but you really can’t guarantee. Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings, too. Maintaining your budget and finding work on the road (if you intend on doing that) can be tough, but it can be worth the effort, even if you have to work at strange hours. Being able to work remotely will help you in a big way. Make sure you carefully research any accommodation you intend on staying in, whether it’s a hostel, hotel, or apartment. Looking at PropertyGuru Singapore can help you to get started if you plan on doing what most travellers do and visiting Southeast Asia. Your accommodation should be affordable, but it’s important to ensure that it’s safe, too.
Bonus Tips For Planning Global Travel
- If you don’t board one of the flights you’ve booked because you decide to stay somewhere a bit longer, they will likely cancel any other flights you have booked.
- It can be cheaper to book internal flights at the same time as booking your round the world ticket.
- Be flexible when booking your trip. If you can move your departure date a few days, you may be able to save money. Flights on Christmas day are really cheap, and mid-week flights tend to be cheaper, too.
- Always search around for cheap flights. This resource of How to find the Cheapest Flights to Anywhere is a great start.
- Talk to a professional before you decide to book. You’ll have your own idea of where you want to go, but speaking to somebody who is accustomed to booking round the world trips can advise you on routes that could be better, or help you to save money. A few small tweaks to your plans could help you save money and have a better time.
Are you ready to start planning global travel?
Table of Contents
Ideal Cities For A Long Layover
Without a doubt, my most hated aspect of travelling is flying. Being confined to a small space for an extended period is not something I enjoy. Luckily my love for travel outweighs this hate for flying, and I am still managing to see the world. However, what is up there with my hatred for flying is boring as layovers stuck in airports. Who agrees with me? Come on now I bet you do! I mean, to be honest, some decent airports can entertain me for a couple of hours, but after that, besides sitting on my computer and working I know, I would much prefer to be exploring the city just outside the airport. Therefore to make life easier for travellers who feel the same I have put together a compilation of ideal cities for a long layover.
NOTE: It is your responsibility to check visa requirements for each country you are travelling to including places you are hoping to have a layover in. Depending on your nationality these layovers may not be a viable option for you. The Traveller’s Guide By #ljojlo takes no responsibility if you are denied entering a country for a layover.
AFRICA – Ideal Cities For A Long Layover
ETHIOPIA – Addis Ababa
By Travellers Archive
The Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa may not sound like an ideal city for a long layover, but it offers endless options that will let you dive into Ethiopian traditions and the culture within minutes. Immigration into Addis Ababa is only allowed with a valid visa. If you are just transiting you can apply for a transit visa up to 14 days prior to departure or simply get it at the airport in Addis Ababa.
Start by taking a taxi from the airport and get right into this bustling African megacity with its 3.3 million inhabitants. Not only is Addis, like the locals call their city, located at an altitude of 2.355 metres above sea level, but also does it have its own mountain, Mount Entoto, from which you’ll have limitless views over the Ethiopian capital. Apart from that, Addis Ababa is the home of the largest open-air-market in West Africa, the mercato. Come here and get lost between mountains of spices, various metal shops as well as vegetables and fruits. It’s one of the greatest things to do in order to watch Ethiopian daily life pass by. If you still have time left, make sure to check out the 3.2-million year old fossil Lucy, which is located in the National Museum.
Time to head back to the airport already? Well, you are in Ethiopia and should better get yourself a strong coffee. Drinking coffee is one of the major parts of Ethiopian culture and tradition. It’s usually served in small cups and drank with 4-5 spoons of sugar. That should get you pumping for the next flight. In case you would like to go out for dinner, ask any taxi driver about a “cultural” restaurant and you’ll end up enjoying delicious Ethiopian food.
Written by Clemens @ Travellers Archive
KENYA – Nairobi
By Bren On The Road
I always encourage people to take a few days in Nairobi. A lot of people pass through this airport as it’s a gateway into East Africa, but most jump straight onto a connecting flight to the region’s tourist zones. It’s a shame because Nairobi has so much to offer!
If you’re taking a short layover here, you’ll need a transit visa which will give you 72 hours in the country. It’s $20 USD and you can get it online or on entry. The process is reasonably smooth.
Next it’s time to explore the city. Taxis are plentiful and shouldn’t cost much more than $7-8 (you may need to haggle), or you can use Uber which is very popular in Nairobi and slightly cheaper.
There are many things to do here. You can visit Karura Forest, feed the giraffes at the Giraffe House sanctuary, explore the bars and restaurants of Westlands, see the animals at Nairobi National Park. If it’s your first time in Africa, just wandering around Nairobi city centre and mingling with people makes for an interesting day. Don’t worry, everybody speaks English, and is super friendly. You might even find yourself leaving completely enamoured with the city – all it needs is a chance. Enjoy!
Written by Bren @ Bren On The Road
SOUTH AFRICA – Cape Town
By Singapore N Beyond
While Cape Town is more of a destination than a layover city, you may indeed find yourself passing through. Cape Town International may only be number 19 in the world’s best airports, but it is the best in Africa beating Durban’s King Shaka and Johannesburg by a mile. Even though it is a fairly small airport, there is free wifi, good coffee shops and restaurants, prayer rooms, a pharmacy and other facilities for a shorter layover.
If you have the necessary visa requirements, travel resources and time to spare you can enter the city as it is only a few kilometers away. There are also luggage storage facilities at the airport. Famed wine route Stellenbosch is only a 30-minute drive, white sand beaches at Camps Bay and Sea Point are 20 minutes and other sites like Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront shopping mall are about the same distance. If you’re roaming, you can take an Uber to any of these attractions. Otherwise, there are taxi and MyCiti bus services available if you don’t like the idea of renting your own car.
An even better idea is to organise a tour with a reputable company beforehand. Depending on how much time you have and what activities you want to partake in, you could be shark-cage diving, riding a helicopter over the peninsula, watching penguins, or sipping international award-winning wine for as little as US$35 pp for a half day tour. It should be noted that traffic going into the city between 6:30-9am and back to the airport between 4-6:30pm is rather painful. So while it may take 20 minutes to get to a destination with no traffic, it could easily take around 1 hour for the same trip at peak times. Please factor this in when planning your excursion!
Written by Callan @ Singapore N Beyond
ASIA – Ideal Cities For A Long Layover
CAMBODIA – Phnom Penh
By Travel With Maria
On your way to see Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, you’re flight booking may bring you to Phnom Penh first – the capital city of Cambodia. It’s a city that still carries its old charm so please expect a bit of inconvenience in terms of transportation. From the airport, there’s no train so prepare to take a tuk-tuk instead. There are taxis but you’ll pay more so it is up to you.
For 30 to 45 minutes you can reach the hub where the majority of tourist attractions are located. There are no free tours and it may be difficult to do a DIY way of reaching each of these because you’ll end up paying more. You can join a group or get a packaged tour arrangement. Your tuk-tuk driver will offer you to tour around from the moment you take a seat. Feel free to haggle or just pick the ones you want. Grab a free copy of the airport’s Phnom Penh travel guide complete with maps, how to get there and most recent events you don’t usually read online.
Best way to start is by getting to know the tumultuous history of this country by visiting The Killing Fields and the S21 Tuol Sleng museum. For shopaholics, go to Russian Market. For culture buffs, please go to Wat Phnom, National Museum, Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. If Paris has Eiffel Tower, Cambodia has Independence Monument. It is a lotus-shaped stupa that you will see from the country’s flag to the Khmer temple at Angkor Wat. Don’t leave without having a photo taken here. There’s also a sunset boat cruise for $5 only along the Mekong river, it’s a nice way to meet fellow travellers, take photos of the city from afar and finish a long layover.
Written by Maria @ Travel With Maria
CHINA – Beijing
By Travels Of A Bookpacker
Beijing is a great city for a layover since the introduction of a 72-hour visa free window for citizens of the USA, Canada, Europe and many other countries. There is an express train straight to the city centre which only takes 20 minutes. Once there you can use the easy-to-navigate subway system to get around to some of the amazing sights and make the most of your layover.
The number one thing to see is the Forbidden City, a complex maze of palaces, temples and walkways all beautifully decorated. But in just a few hours you can also take yourself to Tiananmen Square, Jingshan Park and the Wangfujing food markets for some authentic Chinese food. If you have more time there is also the summer palace, Olympic stadium and Lama Park.
If you don’t feel up to negotiating Beijing on your own there are plenty of tours which pick you up from the airport and take you to some of the major sights before dropping you back in time for your onward flight. For longer layovers, there are tours to the Great Wall which is also within a few hours of the airport!
Written by Rohan @ Travels Of A Bookpacker
CHINA – Guangzhou
When the circumstances allow, I try to maximize my layovers in different locations. My recent one was Guangzhou, China. There are exceptions, but if you have a ticket purchased to a 3rd country and you will be leaving within 24 hours, most people do not require a Visa to travel through China.
My layover was around 9 hours so I went through the airport to an immigration check. At the check I received a stamp for temporary transit for 24 hours, allowing me to leave the airport. I flew China Southern so they took care of me, including someone waiting for me after I went through the check, which was very helpful. China Southern actually has great perks (including a travel card for the train) they share with their passengers on long layovers.
I placed my carry-on bag in the left luggage facilities, used an ATM for money, then headed downstairs to the train station. There was English at the station and on the train from the airport. Not everyone speaks English but most of the airport and China Southern employees did. The trains and stations were very busy on a weekday morning. Thankfully I read the map on the first train and counted the stops because once I transferred trains, there was no English. I visited the Guangdong Folk Arts Museum which was mostly outside and about a one hour train ride from the airport.
While I would have liked to see more, the China Southern free city tour would have been great, I am happy I chose to see something in Guangzhou. It was my first time in China and it was a great teaser for the country. Seeing a new location is a wonderful way to spend your layover time between two long-haul flights.
Written by Teresa @ Dapsile
CHINA – Hong Kong
By Getting Stamped
Hong Kong is the perfect city for a short layover and for most tourists it’s visa-free. As Americans, we require a visa for China but for Hong Kong we are visa-free. You can store your luggage right at the airport so you don’t’ have to drag it around the city as you explore. The Hong Kong airport express can have you in the heart of the city in 20 minutes for $16 round trip, which is really cheap compared to other things in Hong Kong. You can catch the train right at the airport, purchase your tickets online in advance or right at the airport kiosk.
I wouldn’t suggest leaving the airport if you have under 5 hours because you really would only have time for some dumplings and to see the skyline. If you have 6-12 hours you easily could cover some of the best things to do in Kowloon but probably not enough time to go to Hong Kong Island too. You can’t go to Hong Kong and not visit Tim Ho Wan known as the world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant. Head to Victoria Harbour for the skyline view of Hong Kong Island and if you have time hop on the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island for only $2.50HK which is only $0.40. If happen to be here during the evening the Star Ferry is great at night when the city is all light up. Hong Kong is an amazing city and after a short layover, you’ll add it to your bucket list to return to as you’ll need a few days to see everything.
Written by Hannah @ Getting Stamped
CHINA – Hong Kong (With Kids)
By Our Kids V The World
Hong Kong is a great city for a layover with young kids, it’s easy to get around and the public transport system is one of the best in the world and easy to navigate. There are numerous ways to get from the airport to the city, including a free shuttle bus to many of the hotels in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The train also runs from the airport although you will need to purchase an Octopus card which can be organised for you at the airport.
Hong Kong has plenty for the kids to do, Hong Kong Disneyland is a short ride on the train from Kowloon and is focussed at the young ones specifically aiming at those 13 and under but also suitable for the whole family. We choose Hong Kong Disneyland for our first Disney experience because the kids were between 5-9 years and they were able to ride every ride.
Hong Kong’s Ocean Park is another zoo/theme park aimed at those kids just a little bit older. It’s full of extreme roller coasters and rides that your thrill seekers will love. It’s also suitable for little ones as the animal enclosures are impressive, especially the aquariums and Asian animal enclosures with giant pandas and red pandas being a big hit.
The Peak Tram is a great way to take in the view of Hong Kong from behind Victoria Harbour. On a good viewing day, you can see across to Kowloon. The old tram railway opened in May 1888, comprises a total distance of 1.4kms and elevates to 400m. I don’t think you can visit Hong Kong and not take in the view at the Sky Terrace 428.
As you can see I’ve only mentioned a couple of things, there’s plenty of shopping and other sightseeing to be done in Hong Kong. If you have the chance Hong Kong is an ideal city for a long layover. I highly recommend it.
Written by Sally @ Our Kids V The World
CHINA – Shanghai
By Ten Thousand Strangers
The Bund is a waterfront area along Zhongshan Road of Shanghai and a great stop on a long layover. To reach The Bund by train, take the MagLev Trains at Pudong International Airport. This is a single point journey which will take you to Longyang Road Station.
The MagLev train itself is a one-of-a-kind and a must have experience when you’re in Shanghai. This transport system boasts of being one of the fastest MagLev trains in the world with peak speed of 430 km/h. However, not all trips run at this peak speed, other trips only speed up to only 300 km/h. If you want to experience travelling at 400 km/h, take the 9:02 AM – 10:47 AM and 3:02 PM – 4:47 PM trips. A single journey ticket costs 50 yuans, while a round-trip ticket (valid for seven days) costs 80 yuans.
From Longyang Road Station, take Subway Line 2 (Green) to Nanjing East Road. From there, take a short walk southeast to The Bund. The entire travel from the airport to Nanjing East station could go from 40 to 60 minutes so you’ll have enough time to explore the area. Stroll along The Bund promenade and enjoy the view of Shanghai skyline. Here you can do your shopping, sightseeing, or enjoy China’s extensive cuisine.
The Bund has become Shanghai’s symbol of cosmopolitan prosperity. To maximize your experience with this massive waterfront, you may also consider taking one of the more lucrative Huangpu River Cruises.
Most air passengers can avail of free transit visas when having layovers in major airports in China, including Shanghai. However, check your eligibility at the Chinese Embassy website here: http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/zgqz/t84242.htm
Written by Noel @ Ten Thousand Strangers
MALAYSIA – Kuala Lumpur
By Arzo Travels
Written by Arzo @ Arzo Travels
By Adventure Travel Family
Singapore‘s Changi airport is widely hailed as the best airport in the world. As well as numerous food courts offering local and international cuisine, Changi is home to a butterfly garden, field of sunflowers and a free 24/7 cinema as well as a quirky rooftop cactus garden.
For those waiting for a connecting flight during the day, a complimentary city tour is available so that visitors can take a whirlwind tour of Singapore and enjoy its highlights. There are two options to choose from of you can take the tour most suited to your interests.
The Heritage Tour takes guests to the colonial and cultural districts such as Little India and Chinatown. The bus stops at the Merlion Park for passengers to take a photo with the symbol of Singapore, and again at Kampong Glam in order to soak up the colourful vibes of the ethnic district. This tour is 2.5 hours long and departs at 9am, 11,30am, 2.30pm and 3.30pm with registration closing one hour before departure.
The City Sights tour is ideal for those who want to see the modern and innovative side of Singapore. Visitors will take in Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore Flyer and the Esplanade as well as other sights. Stops for photos will take place at Merlion Park and the Gardens by the Bay. This tour is 2.5 hours long and departs at 6pm and 7.30pm, with registration closing one hour before departure.
Registration booths are found in the Transit areas of Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 of Changi airport.
When catching a connecting flight from Changi airport be sure that you have thoroughly read the visa regulations for your next destination. Singapore is meticulous with paperwork and if you do not have a required onward ticket from your next location they will not allow you to board your flight. Still, there are worse airports to be stuck in!
Written by Hannah @ Adventure Travel Family
SOUTH KOREA – Seoul
By Adventure Family Life
Laying over in Seoul is great because you can easily see the city in a few hours and the airport has top-notch amenities for transit passengers. If you want to see the city during your visit, you can do easily it on your own as the city train stops at the airport. However, the government also offers free city tours especially for those passing through. There are eight different options with durations from 1-5 hours. Most of the tours are free but a few have a small entrance fee (but those usually include a meal!). The tours allow you to see some of the top sights in Seoul without having to plan a thing. I’d suggest booking a tour that includes a palace visit and a stop on Insadong Street which is a popular shopping destination. They even offer a tour of the airport which points out all of the cultural attractions that are spread throughout Incheon Airport. However, you can certainly visit the Traditional Korean Cultural Center to make a Korean craft or listen to traditional music on your own without participating in a guided tour.
Of course, if you don’t have time to leave the airport at all, there’s plenty to keep you entertained and refreshed. One of our favourite features is the free hot showers. The showers are clean and include toiletries, towels and hair dryers. After you’ve showered, you can relax in one of several rest areas that features lounging chairs perfect for resting or sleeping during your layover.
Parents with young children will love the play areas which offer fun ways for kids to burn off energy as well as the Nursery rooms which are perfect for those with young babies, especially if you are looking for a quiet, private place to feed your baby.
Written by Melanie @ Adventure Family Life
TAIWAN – Taipei
By The Hot Flash Packer
Taipei, Taiwan is one of those ideal cities for a long layover. Taiwan is visa-free for most nationalities and the immigration is a breeze. There are ample ATMs and currency exchanges at the airport. There are two great ways to explore Taipei when on a long layover in TPE:
- In a morning or afternoon 4-5 hour free tour. This only works if your layover fits their schedule. Book ahead and online as they have limited spots.
If you plan to DIY, the best way to get downtown is on the purple line on the MRT. This extension of the Taipei metro system just opened in early 2017. Surprisingly, they don’t take credit cards – cash only for tickets. This will take you to the central station where you can transfer to another line (separate fare) or set off on foot. The sites of Taipei are fairly spread out so if you want to save time, use the MRT system. Unless you’re planning more than 5-7 rides on your layover, it’s cheaper to buy individual tickets rather than an MRT day pass. Some of the highlights of Taipei on a long layover:
- Taipei 101 – this was once the world’s tallest building and a focal point of Taipei’s skyline.
- Elephant Mountain – Climb this hill for a great skyline view. It’s especially beautiful at sunset.
- Night Markets – There are many. Raohe is a favourite and you can visit the temple at the east entrance.
- Longshan Temple – this is one of the top temples in the city. Make sure you check out the waterfall wall.
Overnight layovers are common at Taipei and it’s easy to combine one or more stops above with a stay in a hostel, pod hotel, or hotel – accommodation choices are abundant.
Written by Lisa @ The Hot Flash Packer
THAILAND – Bangkok
By Travel Tom Tom
Laid on the edge of a skyscraper today, watch it on Snapchat👻: traveltomtom. Tried out a new rooftop bar today in Bangkok and was positively surprised! Great value for money. 👍🏻 #bangkok #paraiso #paradise #krabi #instapassport #mothernature #wanderlust #travelling #instatravel #igtravel #travelingram #travelblogger #instapassport #backpacking #worlderlust #viajar #3opreis #phuket #natureporn #islandlife #kohsamui #peoplewhodofunstuff #sunsethunter #sunsetbeach #sunsets_captures#igworldclub #voyage #viajem #viaje #fernweh
If you have a couple hours while at Suvarnabhumi Airport then definitely make sure to explore this crazy city, Bangkok. There is something for everyone in the Thai capital and that is why I encourage people to leave the airport. Bangkok is the city of endless opportunities and just wandering around in the city centre will already amaze you.
To get to the city you can either take the direct sky train for $1.50 or an Uber for around $12. It will only cost you about 30 minutes with a taxi and there is cheap luggage storage at the airport if you don’t want to take your (hand) luggage with you. Bangkok is amazing for shopping and if that is your thing make your way to Siam Square where you will find 5 shopping malls within 2 kilometres. For around $10 you can get yourself a VIP seat in one of the ultra-modern cinema complexes on the top floors of the malls, worth the experience. For a more authentic shopping experience head to local markets like the Pratunam Street Market or Patpong Night Market.
One of the most fun things to do in Bangkok is to have a drink on a rooftop bar. Forget about the Hangover bar where you pay $10 for a non-alcoholic drink but instead head to Octave, Red Sky Bar or Park Society. For food lovers, a culinary journey through Chinatown cannot be missed and even a quick visit to the most famous temples can be done within 30 minutes at Grand Palace.
The best thing about all this: immigration in Thailand is really smooth and easy for most of the countries making Bangkok one of the ideal cities for a long layover.
Written by Tom @ Travel Tom Tom
EUROPE – Can NOW be found at:
MIDDLE EAST – Ideal Cities For A Long Layover
ISRAEL – Tel Aviv
By The Fashion Matters
Tel Aviv is a city that is totally worth visiting for its beautiful sandy white beach, unique architecture and delicious food. On a long layover, it is very simple to get to town via train. Tel Aviv city centre is only one stop away from the airport and once there: everything is possible!
Chilling on the gorgeous beach is one great option or alternatively, you can walk around the Old City of Jaffa which is located right off the beach. Jaffa is picture perfect, but it doesn’t stop there, Neve-Tzedek is another beautiful neighbourhood that has been known as an oasis of art and architecture.
For food lovers, Tel Aviv is heaven! With so many great food options- you’re guaranteed to be mesmerized. Definitely try out the local dishes such as Schnitzel, Falafel, Shakshuka and Hummus. If you’re into food markets Shut HaCarmel is a few minutes walk away from the beach and has the most delicious fast food. This is also a good place to buy souvenirs from the Holy Land to your friends and family. Around Rothschild Boulevard you can find a wide variety of great restaurants and cafes as well as an amazing nightlife. For shopping, you should definitely stop by Dizzingof Street that has cute local clothing boutiques and a shopping centre.
Tel Aviv has so much to offer that can only be fully experienced in a visit of a few days, but, if you’re already at Ben Gurion Airport, it would be a shame to miss out a little taste of Tel Aviv.
Written by Hadas @ The Fashion Matters
JORDAN – Amman
By Eleonore Everywhere
The urban city of Amman, just 45 minutes from Queen Alia International Airport, is the perfect spot for a long layover. Spread out across seven hills, this city will give you a taste of the Middle East and leave you wanting to come back for more! Getting into Amman itself is easy. When you arrive at the airport allow up to 1.5 hours to get through customs and get your visa (40 JOD / £42). Once outside the airport, there will be plenty of taxis airport ready to take you into Amman. The prices are fixed (20 JOD / £21) so you won’t need to worry about having to haggle the price.
What should you do during your layover? Start in downtown Amman and visit the Citadel which is perched on top the highest hill in the city and is a great spot to get a view of downtown. From there, walk to the nearby Roman Theater, taking in all of the beautiful urban street art as you go. Have lunch on the terrace of Shams al Balad or falafel and warm Jordanian tea at Hashem. Habibah Sweets is perfect for trying to hot Kunafa. Other great things to do in Amman include visiting the Abu Darwish Mosque, wandering the various stores selling handicrafts in downtown or soaking it up at the Al-Pasha Turkish Bath. And if you need a coffee before the next leg of your trip, wander to the beautiful al-Weibdeh neighbourhood to Rumi Cafe.
If you have a longer layover of a day or two, you can wander further afar from Amman and visit the Dead Sea (1 hour), Mount Nebo (45 minutes) or even the spectacular Petra (3 hours). Royal Jordanian Airlines offers specific layover packages that arrange tours for you to Amman, Petra, the Dead Sea or a number of other beautiful spots in Jordan.
Written by Eleonore @ Eleonore Everywhere
QATAR – Doha
By The Traveling Ginger
It would seem that Doha, Qatar is made for travellers, particularly ones that want to utilise their stop-over to the max! Qatar Airways seems to make it easy for travellers by offering multiple extended layover options, easy VISAs (for most countries, apart from those currently in the Middle East), and the city has so many easily accessible sights, hotels, and restaurants. After landing in Qatar, most nationalities can purchase a VISA on arrival (or ahead of time) and make their way through customs. To get into the city, utilizing Qatar’s taxi services is best – note though that they do not accept credit cards. Withdraw/exchange money from the airport; it’s quick and efficient.
Once in the city, there is plenty to see, and most of it is in easy walking distance, or accessible with a taxi. The Museum of Islamic Art is beautiful and free to explore. From here, you can walk along the Corniche, passing the dhow boats. You may even want to board one of these party boats and travel across the bay. Past the dhow boats and along the Corniche you will come to the Souq Wafiq. It is a traditional market in Doha that has absolutely anything and everything, including dozens of restaurants. The Qataris have made Doha an easy excursion on a stopover. Qatar Airways even offers free city tours dependent on your layover time. If Doha is an optional stay over on your travel route, I would book it and explore this tiny country’s capital city!
Written by Nikki @ The Traveling Ginger
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Abu Dhabi
By Pack The PJs
Abu Dhabi is a hub for many journeys towards the Far East, India, Australia and New Zealand. But it is more than just a stop, it is a fabulous and interesting city in its own right, with a lot to offer and much to see, making it one of the ideal cities for a long layover. If you find yourself with a layover of half-to-a-whole day, there are lots of options to get out the airport and explore.
The airport is about 45 minutes from the city centre (the Corniche) and so at the very least you can do a city tour and take in the highlights, such as the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Souk Qaryat Al Bery (for gifts), the harbour (to see Arab Dhows being built), Yas Marina Circuit (for Formula One fans) and the Corniche (the heart of the city). More experienced travellers might make time to visit Ferrari World (you could be there all day), visit the Grand Mosque (3 hours to do it justice), play golf or even do a desert safari tour with dune bashing and camel rides (all afternoon into the evening).
It purely depends on how much time you have, but the main thing is to plan ahead as much as you can. Eat out in the city – it is cheaper than the airport and there is more choice from steaks to a SpongeBob-themed Kebab house. Taxis are highly regulated and so a ride from the airport into the city is quite reasonable (70-80 Dirhams approx $30). Be bold and see the sights. Abu Dhabi is a great city to visit and one that we want to return to.
Written by Tracey @ Pack The PJs
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Dubai
By Happiness Travels Here
With the help of Emirates airlines, Dubai has firmly placed itself on the map as a premium layover destination. The city of skyscrapers, perched between the desert and the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf has something for every style and budget.
Take an Agra boat along Dubai Creek to see the heart of historic Dubai. Visit the souks and shop for spices and cashmere scarves. See the traditional Dhow boats being loaded with cargo bound for India and China. Head to a luxurious resort along the marina or on the man-made Palm Island. Lay by the pool with a cocktail and be pampered at one of the many spas. Experience Dubai from the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world and shop high fashion at the deluxe Dubai Mall, here you’ll also find a dazzling fountain light show after dark. Thrill seekers can take a waterslide through a tank of sharks at the Atlantis waterpark, ride roller-coasters at the many theme parks, carve out some turns on the indoor ski slopes or experience one of the worlds top sky-dives.
The logistics of a stopover are simple in Dubai, the city is easy and cheap to navigate via taxi or the clean and efficient metro. Many hotels offer airport pick up as well as free shuttles to and from Dubai Mall. If you are transiting with Emirates choose one of their stopover packages where everything is taken care of down to the last detail.
Written by Kaylie @ Happiness Travels Here
NORTH AMERICA – Can NOW be found at:
So there you have it! An extensive list of cities you can visit instead of being stuck in an airport while on a long layover.
Which ones have you experienced? Did you agree with the information or is there something even better to do while on the layover? Is there another city you would like to add to the list? Please comment below and let me know.
I am hoping to make this list as accurate and extensive as I can. Who knows maybe we can have a city from every country included on this list one day, however visas might be a slight issue, which is a bummer.
Anywho I hope this list has helped or inspired at least one person to leave the confines of one of the airports above and explore a glorious city.
IN CELEBRATION OF AUSTRALIA DAY
With Australia Day here and being out of the country, I must admit I am a little homesick. Surprising, because if I were home I would be working on Australia Day to plan for the upcoming teaching year and I am most certainly not missing that. To brighten the day I thought I would hunt down some incredible Aussie Travel Bloggers and share them with you all. There really isn’t a better way to spend Australia Day than promoting what my amazing fellow Australian colleagues are doing while they hop, jump and skip around the world.
So here it is, a list of INCREDIBLE Aussie Travel Bloggers that everyone should check out. Do yourself a favour, you know you want to!
- HAPPINESS & THINGS – Just little time to explore, Silke knows how to make every second count. She is a curious explorer and avid hobby photographer.
- THROUGH AN AUSSIE’S EYES – Helena, lives in Canberra and wants to bring the hidden gems that the world is hiding.
- TRAVELING HONEY BIRD – Jean is a coffee nerd, travel addict, horse rider and adventure racer. Coupled with James, the camera guy they make one mean Aussie travel blogging couple.
- FRUGAL FIRST CLASS TRAVEL – Jo has refined her packing techniques, her planning and ability to hunt down authentic experiences at a bargain price. Jo now pays less and travels more – in First Class.
- MAKE TIME TO SEE THE WORLD – Vicki who is actually English, coupled with her Aussie partner Gavin are skiers, scuba divers and foodies with a passion for travelling.
- TRAVEL WITH JOANNE – Joanne lives in a small river community on the Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney. She has set herself a challenge to explore suburban Sydney, visiting on suburb a fortnight to share with her readers. A Sydney lovers dream.
- NOT A BALLERINA – Amanda is not a ballerina, but a traveller and a thinker, who loves to write about her travel experiences in a way that is both fun and meaningful.
- LEGGING IT – After spending three years traveling around Europe on a motorcycle Ron and Michele are now at home sharing the beauty of Western Australia. Follow them as they live by the motto less things more experiences.
- ESCAPE WITH KIDS – Kirralee is a Sydney-based mum of two who squeezes in her love for travel in between making lunch boxes and picking up Lego.
- WANDERLUST STORYTELLERS – A crazy, fun-loving family of 5 with Andrzej, Dad, who immigrated from Poland and Jolene, Mum, who immigrated from South Africa.
Enjoying it? There are more Aussie Travel Bloggers to come. Keep reading!
- MAPPING MEGAN – Adrenalin junkies, and incredibly active travellers, Meg and Mike have been blogging since 2007 to bring their readers the best in adventure travel from all over the globe.
- AUSSIE ON THE ROAD – Chris daydreams of a life of scuba diving, beaches, drinking, video gaming and new adventures.
- TRAVEL-LING – A travelling couple consisting of Guy & Kim-Ling. Guy is an up-for-anything adventure addict who loves scuba diving, mountain biking and hiking, while Kim-Ling is determined to make travel blogging her career (unless Chocolate Taster or Professional Shoe Collector become viable career choices).
- THE TRUSTED TRAVELLER – Jen began The Trusted Traveller (TTT) in January 2014 because of her passion for travel and eagerness to help others plan their travels in the most prepared way possible.
- THE COMMON WANDERER – Mark & Miranda are a common Aussie couple travelling the world together. They wander the globe and share stories, guides, tips + hacks to inspire and empower you to travel deeper.
- WHO NEEDS MAPS – Jack who is Aussie with his American Partner Jenn use their blog to track all their adventures, misadventures, food experiments, random ramblings, interesting encounters and wild and crazy times they endure.
- BIG WORLD SMALL POCKETS – Steph is a travel addict! She has never been one for staying at home and working for too long, and she’s always had to make sure she can travel on the cheap to fund her nomadic lifestyle.
- POLKADOT PASSPORT – Nicola, a 22-year-old Aussie girl with a camera glued to her hands & adventure glued to her feet. She seeks out the most beautiful destinations & bucket list worthy experiences across the globe!
- OUR 3 KIDS V THE WORLD – Sally & Craig have 3 kids & love to travel both locally and overseas with their kids in tow. The aim of their blog is to share their discoveries and tips on how they manage to do what they do on an average yearly income.
- DARE 2 GO – Yasha & Juergen travel differently, not flying from one dream destination to the next. Instead, they take it slowly, take side roads, discover places aside from the typical “bucket list” and guidebook highlights. They drive and live in their self-built overland camper, called “Berta”.
Bored yet? Or still wanting to find more Aussie Travel Bloggers?
- THEY GET AROUND – Lexi & Steve are a young Australian couple with a passion for travel photography and scenic travel. Their blog hopes to inspire and improve your travel photography.
- A TASTE OF TRAVEL – Jenny loves to travel! She loves exploring the markets, trying new tastes and finding fabulous restaurants. So really her blog is also about food!
- NOMADIC NOTES – James and his blog Nomadic Notes is about his travels and life as a digital nomad. Nomadic Notes is a travel blog from the perspective of a long-term traveller. The site features travel guides, travel tips, and notes on places I have visited around the world.
- BITTEN BY THE TRAVEL BUG – Nicole is a frequent flying freelance writer and blogger who works in advertising. Bitten by the Travel Bug was created for people who don’t fit neatly into a box when they travel.
- THE TRAVELLING LINDFIELDS – David and Lyn make The Travelling Lindfields. David is a traveller – never happier than when sitting in an aeroplane headed to somewhere new, whereas Lyn tags along. They are both keen leisure cyclists and seek out bike paths wherever they go.
- A HOLE IN MY SHOE – Lyn and Steve, based in Perth, Western Australia gained a thirst for travel, which began in 2011, on their honeymoon and first overseas trip. In the next 2 years, they travelled to 16 countries and everyday they are one step closer to their next big adventure.
- WYLD FAMILY TRAVELS – A family from a small country town in East Gippsland Victoria, Australia. They originally got the travel bug way back in 1999 and have now infected their two daughters. They are hoping to inspire as many people as they can to get out there and travel!
- MELB TRAVEL – Melissa decided in 2004 to move from Australia to London with her fiancee to travel, take pictures and to experience other cultures. After 13 and half years, over 300 cities and 60+ countries, she is still in London and her hunger for travel, adventure, food, wine and culture is still growing.
- VAGRANTS OF THE WORLD – Kate and Mark of Vagrants Of The World focus on slow travel, iconic journeys and boutique holiday experiences. Immersing themselves in countries, sometimes for months at a time, they get to the heart of the destination.
- NOMADASAURUS – Alesha & Jarryd have been travelling the world together since 2008, searching for the planet’s best destinations and adventures. Through the art of storytelling and photography, they help their readers explore the globe with them with the aim to get everyone on the road as well.
So, there is my list! Have I missed anyone? Is there an Aussie Travel Blogger you just love and want to have included in this list. By all means please comment below so I can check them out.
HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY EVERYONE!!
Contributed by 1 Cover whereby some links are sponsored
Going on a gap year can be a barrel of laughs – but ensuring you have the cash to keep you afloat throughout the entirety of the process isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Here are seven money management tips for your gap year.
(Image credit to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zedzap/)
1.Manage Conversion Rates
Some countries will offer a much better conversion rate between their currency and your own, so it might be prudent to actually base your holiday around travelling to a nation where the rates are generous in your favour.
In truth, this might be something you consider taking into account prior to actually booking your holiday. Aim for a locale where you’ll be able to afford everything easily.
2. Book Ahead
If you book up a long way in advance, you’ll drastically increase your chances of finding cheaper accommodation and travel than you would when leaving things to the last minute.
Nab yourself an ideal spot for a heavily reduced price and chortle at all the holidaymakers who are spending twice as much as you did to get crammed up in a room which is half the size.
Plan roughly what you’re willing to spend when it comes to your days out, food, travel and accommodation.
Sure, you’d like to spend the night in a five-star residence dining on the finest Michelin star food, but Hostel World says a cheap youth hostel is a much more viable option.
Along those lines, make sure you’re taking the right amount of money with you. The Secret Traveller advises to take the amount of money you think you’ll need, and then double it.
The key to making sure you have enough in the first place is to do your work in the background and planning stages. Save frugally – and even consider opening a separate bank account just to store cash for your upcoming holiday
5. Get A Job
Make things that little bit easier by finding steady employment while you’re out in the world. Finding additional funds while travelling is the key to this.
This is again something you can search for while you’re still in the planning stages of your big trip. Reach out to part-time employers throughout the region you intend to travel to and see what you can arrange
6. Look Around for Deals
Not everything good will cost you top dollar. There are plenty of amazing deals out there which are going totally unnoticed by a lot of travellers.
Nomadic Matt advises to add yourself to mailing lists – something he has benefitted from himself, with United Airlines giving him“1,000 miles for watching a demo on their new shopping toolbar”.
7. Sofa Hop
Jump from sofa to sofa at locals’ houses, and save yourself an absolute fortune when it comes to the cost of accommodation.
Coachsurfing is a pretty popular method of finding free (or at least very cheap) rooms to stay in, and is definitely something you need to consider.
Looking for a way to feasibly afford your gap year? Take this advice into account and you should be able to power through your year out in fine fashion.
Disclosure: This post is published on behalf of a partner
Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, the home of the PETRONAS Towers and a fantastic spot for a stopover. In fact, I have had fleeting visits twice before by strategically booking a stopover with my flights. Occurring once on the way to Europe for a backpacking trip back in 2012 and recently on my Sri Lankan / Maldivian odyssey. Being the home of Malaysian Airlines Kuala Lumpur is an easy stop over just like other major hubs such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai and is a place not to be missed. Oh and did I mention it was a cheap place to visit?
So what is there to do while visiting the incredible city that is Kuala Lumpur besides booking a hotel and staying in? And if you interested more specifically on ethical travel, also check out this ethical guide to KL.
1) The obvious, PETRONAS Towers
These iconic towers stand tall across the skyline and are famous within the city of KL. Missing the opportunity to visit the top of the PETRONAS towers while on my first trip due to it being sold out, I made sure to book online before arriving in the city. I was able to skip queues and not waste the small amount of time I had within the city. Once at the top of the towers, the view of the sprawling city is mesmerising.
Travelling from Penang to KL. Check out how to Bus from Penang to KL.
2) The Batu Caves
Would you like to see a 42.7m high gold statue of Murugan, a Hindu god? Yes? Be sure to head out to the Batu Caves just out of the city of KL. Not only is it famous for the gigantic statue there is also some caves, fancy that. After walking up a multitude of steps avoiding the sneaky yet cute monkeys who will steal anything and everything you arrive at some pretty epic caves that are certainly worth a look.
Looking for other places to visit in KL? Check out this 2 day itinerary.
3) The Butterfly Park
This small yet pretty Butterfly house can is situated within the Lake Gardens of Kuala Lumpur not far from the famous bird park. If you are interested in a butterfly park without thousands of butterflies swooping around your head, and you want a tranquil place to relax in be sure to check out the Butterfly Park. However, if you are more into thousands of butterflies everywhere, I wouldn’t waste your money on exploring this park. To be honest, I was a little disappointed with the lack of butterflies however the massive coy fish were especially fun to feed
Check out 13 more places to see in KL.
4) Templer Park Waterfalls
North of the city is a park known as Templer Park. Home to some stunning waterfalls, often filled with locals and tourists alike there are many beautiful natural pools. There are chances to bathe in the water below the waterfalls, and this is a place not to be missed.
Want a cheap souvenir? Like to haggle your way to a bargain. Don’t miss the markets in Chinatown.
Interested in more experiences in KL? Why not check out 25 Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur…..
Where to stay!!
Kuala Lumpur is home to a massive array of accommodation options. From hotels, hostels, resorts and Air BnB’s there is something to suit everyone’s needs. On both occasions, I have stayed in hotels. Once in a luxurious hotel and the second was more of the standard level. However being within Asia the standard level is still incredible for a very reasonable price. To check out some hotels in Kuala Lumpur with fantastic prices check out Traveloka.
Traveloka are specialist when it comes to Southeast Asia. Whether you are booking flights or booking a hotel to rest your weary head Traveloka will cater for your needs. This online platform allows your to conveniently and quickly book online with 24/7 customer service. So be sure to check out their Great Sale Promo for fantastic deals in South East Asia.
Need to get to KL?
Depending on where you are coming from, KL can be easy to get to. For me, from Australia, I have a direct flight from my major capital city, Adelaide, on Malaysia Airlines. So it is super easy. However, coming in overland can be a little trickier. Check out Travel The Fire’s tips for Using The Train In Malaysia.
Interested in seeing Kuala Lumpur with kids? Check out this Complete Guide to Kuala Lumpur with Kids.
Or interested in alternative things to do? Check out Alternative Things to do on a Layover in Kuala Lumpur.
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Skydiving was a word that used to strike fear to my heart, and quite honestly would make me feel a little sick. However, during my trip to New Zealand and Australia last year I decided that it was time for me to get over all my fears and man the fuck up. This included white water rafting grade 5 rapids, black water rafting, free diving, swimming with a 5 and a half metre long croc, hugging a Komodo dragon, bush camping in the desert – you get the point. Anything that my immediate thought equalled possible death or discomfort I went for and tried out as a rule of thumb.
Skydiving was the one thing my mother was not worried about me trying, she knew that this was something I would never do… How wrong she was! It was the activity I loved the most – I think it’s one of the world’s little tricks that generally we love what we have hated or feared and this was definitely the case for me.
Interested in more information on New Zealand? Check out:
– Comparing the Best Motorhome & Campervan Hire – New Zealand
– Review of a Maui Campervan New Zealand
– Review: Kiwi Campers and Happy Campers NZ
– How to Save Substantial Money Using Bookme NZ
– 12 Experiences in New Zealand
Now it’s well known that New Zealand is THE place to launch yourself out of a plane, it’s got the highest safety record in the world for skydivers and the scenery will take your breath away (as you hurtle towards it of course). So being helpful as ever, I’ve written up for you the top 5 places to jump in New Zealand based on my experience and from friends I travelled with along the way who shared their thoughts. Unfortunately I couldn’t plummet 16,000ft in each of these locations due to the fact I was on a budget – you’re looking at between $300-$550 NZD per jump depending on the height. But, I have been to each place and can only imagine how stunning it is from above!
Queenstown – Nzone
Queenstown makes the list as it’s considered the adventure capital of the world, so why would you not consider skydiving here? With tandem jumps from 9,000, 12,000 or 15,000 feet you are spoilt for choice. Queenstown from the ground is stunning so I can only imagine what it would be like from 15,000 feet with a Birdseye view! While I couldn’t jump here, fellow travellers told me how stunning it was.
Taupo is one of the most popular skydives in New Zealand due to the price. It really is the cheapest place to jump and you’re definitely not compromising on the view as it’s still awesome. In Taupo, you’re also able to jump out of a big pink plane which made me a little jealous as the one I jumped from was just white (but still awesome). One of my closest friends, Erin of Canada did this jump last year, and this is what she has to say about it!
“A 15,000 Ft jump over a beautiful lake and volcanoes in the background, I knew Taupo was the perfect place for my first skydive. Me, being afraid of heights, I was absolutely terrified to jump, but it turned out to be the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. The free fall was for a minute but it went by so fast because I was having so much fun. My fear of heights completely vanished and once I landed I knew this would not be the last time I skydived.”
With views of the city below, this is the best place to jump and see a mix of urban jungle (or as ‘urban’ as New Zealand gets’ mixed with the peaks and troughs of the landscape. If you cannot wait to leap out of a plane, this will be your first stop as it’s only an hour from Auckland international airport.
Franz Joseph Glacier
In the South Island, New Zealand is pretty special in that it’s one of the only places in the world that has a glacier going into a rainforest. Doesn’t make sense, but I’m sure science can explain it better than me. In Franz Joseph, you can do one of the highest jumps in the world, 19,000ft, and do it right above a glacier! With this, you can free fall for almost a minute and a half taking in the view as you go – what more could you ask for when adrenaline seeking?
Bay of Islands
The bay of Islands was one of the first places I visited in New Zealand, and I can understand why everyone would want to skydive here. It is what it says on the tin, a bay full of islands with sandy beaches and blue waters. The guys who skydived here got picked up in the biggest limousine I’ve ever seen and whisked away for their big moment. Tyne, one of the brave people who took the first opportunities to jump told me her thoughts!
“Sky diving over the bay of islands was for me the highlight of my trip. For someone who is terrified of heights (to the point I dislike standing on a chair) it was a challenge I was determined to face sky high! It was so surreal and left me speechless – apart from mumbling thank you in Fijian in a daze to the camera afterwards. (I had just volunteered in Fiji to save confusion)
The view was spectacular as we twirled our way down to the ground (not for the nauseous if they say grab the reins!) What an exhilarating, breathtaking experience, putting your complete trust, faith and life into the hands of a complete stranger strapped to your back. If you are willing to make the jump then I would definitely recommend the 16,000 at bay of islands. The staff were so welcoming, hosting us for a day whilst we waited for clouds to pass and then bringing us straight in the morning after to ensure we had the best dive. I’d go again tomorrow if I could!”
Skydive Abel Tasman – this was my chance. Abel Tasman national park is near the top of the south island, and the view you get is spectacular. Both the snow capped mountains, the beautiful ocean and best of all, you can see BOTH islands during your free fall. For me, this was so magical and the moment I jumped out of that plane was the moment I smashed through my biggest fear. From the moment we were picked up to the moment we jumped, the team here talked through exactly what was going to happen and ensured we were happy with our safety information. Essentially, when doing a tandem jump you have to do very little (which is lucky because I was enjoying it so much I probably would have forgotten to pull the parachute cord!) I cannot recommend the venue enough – so get your boots on and give it a go!
Interested in more than just skydiving on the beautiful South Island? Check out this epic South Road Itinerary.
About – MillieGoes
Leaving school I had no intention to go anywhere other than 5* resorts, drink fantastically delicious champagne and be the epitome of class in all aspects of life. Three years on, aged twenty one, I am very different to the person I used to be. I’ve thrown away the heels and donned the hiking boots. Sure, I still frequent the champagne bar (when it’s free!) but I’m less concerned about how I look and more concerned about how I feel. For all the girls out there who always say ‘I can’t’ – You can. The only person stopping you from achieving your dreams is yourself. I have skydived, surfed, trekked, swum with massive crocodiles, kissed a komodo dragon, been shot at, tackled tumbling falls and raging rivers, camel raced and sipped cocktails in over a dozen countries. When it comes to stepping out of your comfort zone; I know my stuff. It doesn’t matter how you do it; in a 5* resort or camping on a beach. Trust me, trust yourself, hit the road, it will change your life.
Want to read more, check out Millie’s blog.
Don’t have time to read it now? Pin it for later!
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Have you been somewhere that didn’t live up to expectations? That you didn’t like? Do you know why you didn’t like it? Did someone paint a picture of high expectations that the place didn’t live up to? Did something scary happen to you? No matter what the reasons there will always be a place that you didn’t love. In saying that what is off the travel list for you and do you agree with any of the destinations below?
12. Negombo, Sri Lanka – Luxury Travel Hacks By #ljojlo
Negombo, our first stop in Sri Lanka! Our first impression! We didn’t love it! Why might you ask? Well, I can’t honestly put my finger on it. This beachside town seemed touristy yet quiet, there wasn’t much going on, and maybe we didn’t explore enough, but we got a little bored. The Dutch canals were a good outing (seen above) and the fish market is worth a look, however, other than that I would head south to the southern beaches or east into the mountains. The pearl of the Indian Ocean is a stunning country with amazing places to explore, however, I wouldn’t waste your time travelling 40 mins north of Colombo to the town of Negombo.
Have you visited Negombo? Did we miss something? Did you love it? Please let us know!
11. Halong Bay, Vietnam – No Hanging Around
Derek hiking in the middle of a volcano in Kenya instead of hanging out at Halong Bay
I am also yet to experience Halong Bay and have also heard these same rumours. Has anyone been there? Can you confirm? Do you agree?
10. Cusco, Peru – One Weird Globe
9. Barcelona, Spain – You Could Travel
8. Bali, Indonesia – My Adventures Across The World
7. Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand – Getting Stamped
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands – Kids Travel Books
5. Paris, France – Postcards & Passports
4. National Parks In The USA – Adventure In A Backpack
3. Bangkok, Thailand – Don’t Stop Living
2. Dehli, India – Travel Woman
1. Kyrgyzstan – Années de Pèlerinage
1) Don’t book a tour
2) The scenery is breathtaking and I must go there
3) Take Imodium
So, is there somewhere that is off your travel list? Are one, two or three of the above destinations some of your favourites? Please comment below and let us know your thoughts? If you are a travel blogger and have a destination you would like to add to this list again comment below because I would love to share more thoughts.
The Hindu island of Bali, Indonesia, is more often than not a dream destination for people. In saying that though this is certainly not the case if you are Australian. Why you ask? Unfortunately, Bali has a stigma in Australia and one I listened to for far too long. Certainly not proud of that fact! Four years ago if you had asked me whether I would go to Bali, the response would have been HELL NO. Again, why? Well, I can’t even justify it. Maybe I was naive; maybe I listened to my mum too much and the fact she thinks Bali is one of the most unsafe places on the planet. Or maybe it’s the horrible drunk antics of Australian’s while holidaying in Bali. So why this post? Why share my newfound thoughts and love of Bali? Having now been to Bali 6 times, I have changed, and my opinions of this island and why everyone should visit Bali at least once. So please enjoy this true guide to Bali.
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I land in Bali, and my stress disappears. I land in Bali, and I feel excited. I land in Bali greeted by their unique culture and friendliness. I land in Bali with my friendly driver Nyoman waiting patiently. I land in Bali and lap up the humidity and its heat. I land in Bali, and I feel happy. I land in Bali, and it now feels like my second home. I love it, I love being there, I love taking friends to experience the side of Bali I love.
Interested in the logistics of Bali? Check out the Ultimate Guide to Visiting Bali.
With all this love for Bali’s way, it must be mentioned that even more love gets thrown to its island neighbour Lombok. Why? Because Lombok is the island, that drew me to Indonesia and the reason I now also love Bali.
So if you can drag yourself away from the hustle and bustle of Kuta Beach, Bali is full of culture and unique experiences. In saying that if you want to party and be one of those drunk Australian’s by all means head to Kuta, I have done it, it was fun; I wouldn’t do it again. Whatever you do be careful and be safe because my mum is right and there are aspects to Bali that have a dark side.
So what is there to do in Bali besides drink Bintang in the Kuta nightclubs?
Heading to Bali for 4 days? Check out Life of Doing’s 4 Day Bali Itinerary.
Temples……Oh So Many Temples……
You can easily temple yourself out in this country. It is a bit like the whole museumitis when you have seen every museum in Europe. Therefore, I limit myself to two temples a visit to take in their real beauty.
So what do we have to pick from?
Tanah Lot Temple
This water temple is, of course, situated in the water and is a picturesque spot for photos especially at sunset. Located approximately 20kms north of Kuta this temple is easily accessible as a half-day trip. Just note that if you are planning on seeing the sunset get there early because it is a very popular spot and therefore is often packed, unfortunately.
Uluwatu Temple – Shared By Not Without My Passport
Uluwatu Temple may not be the most beautiful temple in Bali, but its cliff-top setting makes it spectacular. Situated 70 metres above sea level on the edge of the Indian Ocean in southern Bali, this Hindu temple is one of the six key temples in Bali. In addition to being a place of worship, Uluwatu Temple is a sunset lover’s dream, a favourite spot for watching the hypnotising Kecak dance, and home to a large group of bold monkeys (watch your belongings!). If you find yourself in southern Bali, this religious site is worth a visit.
Ulun Danu Batur Temple
Do you love Instagram? Check out The Ultimate Guide To Bali: Instagram Checklist
Situated in the northern area of Bali, where it is much quieter, is the lakeside temple, Ulun Danu Batur. Snaking your way through mountains passing strawberry fields sees you arrive at this glorious spot. Cooler than the south of Bali this temple is one of my favourites due to its quieter nature. I would suggest arriving at the temple as early as you can in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Holy Spring Water Temple
Fancy a dip in some holy water? Well, this temple, also known as Tirta Empeh is for you! Locals travel from all over Bali to collect water from these springs and in doing so bathe in it. In saying that they don’t, in fact, bathe in the sacred holy water (no one is allowed in there) but there are outlets from the holy water in different sections of the temple. This is where locals and tourists can bathe together.
Others that I am yet to visit include:
- Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave)
- Besakih Temple
- Goa Lawah (Bat Cave Temple)
Pretty Places & Activities Not To Be Missed……
Padang Padang Beach
Imagine descending a narrow set of stairs between a set of cliffs where you wait patiently in single-file for surfers heading back from the beach. Once through this narrow passage it opens up to this small yet stunning beach. Padang Padang Beach is easily one of my favourite places in Bali but be warned it can be supremely hot in the afternoon so bring your togs for a swim. Also, situated in the south of Bali this place is great coupled with a trip to Uluwatu Temple.
Interested in other beaches around Uluwatu? Check out the best Uluwatu beaches.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
One of my favourite spots in Bali without a doubt is these rice terraces. Situated a half an hour north of Ubud and a good two hours from Kuta these rice terraces are magical and picturesque. The photo does speak for itself, don’t you think?
Not convinced check out Visit a Rice Terrace – Bali.
If you are into massages but not interested in paying $60US, then Sedona Spa is for you. Now I will be honest and inform you that I am relatively new to the art of massage, and I like them soft so in my books if a masseuse can put you to sleep you are in good hands, literally. What is even better about Sedona Spa is its setting. Also situated in Ubud, this spa has a bungalow feel where you and your partner can have a massage in the privacy of your own bungalow. If you go for a 90 min package costing approximately 200,000 rupiah approx. $20AU ($15US) you even get to enjoy a beautiful spa bath featuring rose petals to complete what is an incredible experience. I have visited three times now and ensure I visit every time I come to Bali.
Interested in Ubud in general? Check out Best Things To do in Ubud
OR more interested in an Ubud Hike? Check out Campuhan Ridge Walk in Bali.
Climbing Mt Batur – Shared By Jon Is Travelling
Climbing Mt Batur during the early hours of the morning is one of the highlights of any trip to Bali. You’ll be guided by starlight and the glow of your torch — it’s pretty tough going but most people will be able to handle it. After a few hours, you’ll reach the top the volcano, where you’ll be greeted by one the most scenic sunrises in Southeast Asia (assuming the skies are clear!). The view of Lake Batur and the surrounding mountains is awesome, the climb back down over slippery rocks and gravel isn’t much fun, though. You’ll need a guide to climb Mt Batur so it’s best to get a group together to share the costs, or you can easily join a tour.
What about heading to the East of Bali? Check out discovering Bali, the East Coast.
After All Of This You Must Be Hungry……
Views, vibes, views and vibes, this place, has the most incredible feel. Situated again in the south of Bali you can easily finish your trip to Uluwatu temple and Padang Padang Beach with drinks and dinner at this stunning bar overlooking the Indian Ocean. Perched high on the cliff over looking Single Fin Beach, this has to be one of my favourite places to eat. The sauce came in a container made from a leaf, how cool is that? It simply is the small things!
Have you always wanted to drink cocktails and eat tapas in beanbags on a beach? If you haven’t….…I suggest you try it. La Plancha was a place recommended to me by fellow travellers while I was in Sri Lanka and I thank the Lord I met them. What an experience this place is. Situated on the beach in the Double Six area of Seminyak this hip and trendy place to eat is a must while in Bali. Ensure you arrive before sunset so you guarantee a bean bag. Then watch the sun disappear, drink cocktails and eat tapas! What more could you want?
To be frank, I am currently going through a Mexican phase and hence I couldn’t leave this place off the list. Another hip and trendy eatery you will not be disappointed by its quirks and food. The drinks list however was not extensive and was pricey unfortunately.
But How Do I Get To These Places? With The BEST Driver……
Nyoman, my mate Nyoman from Bali Tours By Nyoman Zeng, is your man. My driver from the start and now my driver every time I visit, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Arriving for the first time to Bali from Lombok, I met Nyoman, as he was my driver at the villa I was staying. Since then we have struck up a friendship through and now without fail Nyoman drives me somewhere new every time I visit this glorious island.
Or rent a VINTAGE VW and go on Safari just like Luke from the Backstreet Nomad….
Not To Mention You Probably Need Somewhere To Lay Your Head…..
Hotel, villa, resort or kids club Bali hotel? There is a multitude of options in Bali in a myriad of areas. I couldn’t possibly cover all of the options and hence have obtained the services of some incredible travel bloggers, to help me out. But before we get to them I must give a shout out to one place:
Villa Club Corner Residence – Canggu
hVilla Club Corner Residence, Canggu, is where I stayed with friends on my last trip. Situated in the Canggu area north of Seminyak and Kuta this villa was the epitome of relaxation for a group of teachers whom just required recuperation while visiting Bali. Please check out my review, the place is INCREDIBLE.
Interested in knowing more about Canggu? Check out what Canggu is really like in Bali.
Nusa Dua Resort – Samabe Bali Suites and Villas – Shared By Where’s Sharon
Nusa Dua is the area to go for Bali’s top resorts – and that is where you will find the luxurious Samabe Bali Suites and Villas. The Samabe Bali defines luxury as having space and privacy, so while you will find all the comforts (and more) that you would expect from a 5-star resort, you’ll also find plenty of space and privacy. We stayed in a suite which was just gorgeous. It was massive and more like an apartment with two rooms and ocean views. There are also suites with private pools as well as beautiful villas with pools. There are rooms specifically for families as well as a kids club, but whether you have children or not, you will love it here. On top of the gorgeous rooms, there is a beautiful infinity pool, a private beach, two restaurants – including one on top of a fish pond – a spa, water sports and a gym. You can choose whether to have an all inclusive package or not. This package includes a range of activities to choose from as well. We enjoyed a cooking class and massages in our room.
Everything is amazing at the Samabe Bali, and I can’t recommend it enough for people who want to get away from it all in style.
Villa With The Locals In Jimbaran – Shared By Travel With Bender
For beachfront dining or a low-key stay, Jimbaran is perfect. You can be a relaxed recluse in your resort or stay with the locals. Situated on the south-west coast just a few minutes south of the airport. Jimbaran is not everyone’s first pick to stay. We spent a month living in a villa with the locals in Jimbaran. Our favourite part of Jimbaran was the proximity to Kuta without being as touristy. Which mean’s lower accommodation costs, plus there’s the beach! Many people flock to Jimbaran for its famous seafood fiesta on the Jimbaran Beach. Get there early and grab a table to watch the sun go down, while you enjoy the freshest seafood in the country. Perfect for families as the kids are constantly entertained playing in the sand, while you sit back and kick down a cocktail. Once the sun has gone the beauty doesn’t stop as hundreds of candles line the tables on the beach, and the whole beach front turns into a twinkling wonderland.
Want To Stay Somewhere Quiet? Why Not Try Sanur? – Shared By Fit Travels
Experiencing the sunrise in Sanur is a good enough reason to stay here. Set on Bali’s East coast, watching the sun come up over the calm morning water is a magical sight. There’s a laid back feel to Sanur that you will notice straight away, especially if you have already been to the popular areas of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak. Small cafes, bars and warungs line the main street back from the beach and by 10pm you can almost hear a pin drop. On the weekend the Sanur Beach Grove market is the perfect spot to relax with food from one of the local stalls (food truck style) and bask in the afternoon sun. The more expensive hotels in Sanur are located right on the beach with their swimming pools providing views out to the ocean. I found you could get some great hotels just one or two streets back, and some even have private sections of the beach available for their guests. Sanur would definitely be one of my favourite areas to relax on Bali. Check it out on your next visit.
Now With That Inspiration You Need A Place To Stay In Bali?
Why not book your hotel, villa or resort of choice through Booking.com? I most certainly have before! The above link is an affiliate link for Booking.com and if you search and book through this link I make a small amount of commission to help keep this blog alive.
Or if you prefer Airbnb – you can check that out HERE.
Otherwise, if you would prefer check out my mate Dan and his blog over at Dan Flying Solo for in depth information on where to stay in Bali.
To Conclude, What is Overrated?
Overpriced, overpopulated and frankly I was just over it. I have visited twice, loved it the first time, despised it the second. Maybe on the first occasion, it felt exclusive, fun and fresh while on the second visit, there were too many people and it lost its exclusivity. But if you are into a place full of basically naked people drinking overpriced cocktails, by all means, check it out.
The Main Drag
I count the main drag as Kuta, Legian and Seminyak. Don’t get me wrong these places are still great and serve a purpose but now having travelled to Bali so often I would avoid staying in these areas to experience other sections of Bali. These areas are the touristic sections of Bali and great to visit, but I find not great to stay. Get yourself out into the heart of Bali, experience its culture and if you are wanting to visit the ‘Main Drag’ give my mate Nyoman a call.
FURTHER INFORMATION ON INDONESIA
Disclosure: Some of the links below maybe affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Travellers get to enjoy the pleasures of seeing London even more when they feel like they’ve scored a favourable deal. In a way, visiting the many popular sights and immersing themselves in the beautiful culture of the city would be the be-all and end-all of a typical wanderer’s itinerary. Wise tourists, on the other hand, look to stretch every penny in the hopes of achieving maximum gains. From signing up to promo flights and going on an exciting walking tour, to reserving airport parking spaces and knowing various transportation options, crossing out all the boxes of a travel checklist is like winning half the battle all by itself.
In London, or just like any other major city in the world, airports somewhat reflect the nation’s thriving tourism industry. Conversely, it opens the issues of congestion not just on the roads, but also inside these establishments. Say you were to fly in from London Heathrow. Of course you wouldn’t have to worry about finding or pre-booking a suitable airport parking space. You will, however, have to know about the various ways of commuting to and from the airport.
A reliable price comparison website, which concentrates its attention on all the major airports in the UK, including Heathrow suggests the quickest way to reach central London is via the Heathrow Express. For a less expensive alternative, the Piccadilly Line of the Tube gets passengers to the heart of the city for as low as £3.10 during off peak hours. Basically, for a traveller to make the most of their transportation budget, it’s best to distinguish what works and what doesn’t work in their favour. If time is of the essence and they have a little extra to spare, then they can opt for a faster way to transit. If not, London won’t be considered a city that’s built about as good a transport network as it could for nothing.
Once in London, neighbouring European cities practically comes within arms’ reach. By simply going online, travellers can check on local train schedules and even car rental services. Daily living expenses also won’t be an issue, as – contrary to what most people think – one can enjoy a conventional day for just under £50.
All things considered, travelling to London is all about having the right perspective. In addition, tourists are encouraged to be on the lookout and have a curious mind when it comes to getting the best deals available. The overall costs may or may not exceed your expectations. But at the end of the day, only one thing’s for sure: investing on travel will always bring endless benefits and a lifetime’s worth of memories.
Interested in travelling further from London? Check out how to travel on a budget in Europe.
Author – Lee Smalling –
Lee has been a travel writer for almost 15 years, after graduating from University with a degree in journalism. When not writing about travel, he enjoys golf and swimming, just like any active person :-).