Tag Archives: Holiday

5 Reasons Why Travelling is Good for Your Mind, Body and Soul

Travelling is the ultimate way to literally and figuratively expand your horizons, but it’s also extremely good medicine for your mind, body and soul. In fact, frequent travel can help you de-stress, improve your personality and can even keep your heart healthier. Here are our top 5 reasons to go travelling as much and as often as you can.

1. Travel boosts your immune system

When you leave the comfort of your home and step out into the world, you’re also exposing yourself to new and foreign bacteria. As a defense mechanism, your body naturally produces antibodies that help to protect you, and over time, your immune system develops resistance and gets stronger. The more you travel, the more your body is exposed and the stronger your immune system will become. Some well-seasoned travellers even swear by travelling as the ‘best probiotic on the planet’. Whilst we are by no means suggesting you forget basic hygiene and take unnecessary risks, we do think that a little dirt can do more good than harm.

2. Travelling improves your heart health

Believe it or not, travelling can actually decrease your chances of getting heart disease. A study conducted in the U.S. found that men and women who travelled more frequently were less likely to develop heart problems compared with those who vacationed less often. Amongst women it was found that heart disease risk could be reduced by as much as 50% and around 32% in men. Great news for anyone looking to justify their next holiday, as it could literally be giving you the gift of extended life.

3. Vacationing keeps your mind healthy

When you travel you’re constantly challenging your mind, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures and pushing your boundaries. All of these have been shown to increase your concentration, memory and overall cognitive flexibility. The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published research that proved that travelling improves your personality across the five overarching domains (emotional stability, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness). In addition, travel has even been linked to people being more outgoing, optimistic, interesting and just generally more awesome!

4. Holiday = ultimate stress buster

It may be one of the most obvious benefits on our list, but it’s definitely one not to underestimate the importance of. Rest and relaxation whilst on holiday helps your body to rejuvenate and recharge. It doesn’t take much for down time to make a big difference either, almost 90% of holiday makers surveyed said they felt a significant reduction in stress levels after just a few days away.

5. Build stronger relationships on vacation

Solo travelling can be great for helping you find yourself, but when you travel with your loved ones, holidays take on a new meaning. You can build even stronger connections with your partner, family or friends simply through your shared vacation memories. For couples, travelling frequently can be hugely beneficial, with 63% of people believing that it helps them stay together longer. For families there are benefits too, 49% of adults claim they still have vivid (and happy) recollections of their family holidays, showing just how important it can be to make sure you take your family away every now and again.

Hopefully this post has left you with no doubts as to the amazing health and wellbeing benefits of wanderlusting. To summarize, travelling is almost guaranteed to help you live a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life – and could even help you live longer! Don’t forget to take along your very own Tep portable wifi device to get the most out of your time away. The device will help you reduce stress whilst on vacation, you won’t have to worry about huge data roaming bills when you return home (it’s just $9.95 per day for unlimited wifi for 5 devices) and you’ll never have to worry about getting lost as you’ll have access to the internet on the move! To buy or rent a device click here or for more travel inspiration check out our blog here.

Best amusement park holidays around the world for the whole family

Amusement parks (or theme parks as they’re commonly referred to) are a one stop shop for families seeking an adrenaline-filled vacation that is guaranteed to give your kids memories for a lifetime (and give you a peaceful night’s sleep). You’ll enter every child’s dream world, filled with castles, water rides, carousels, roller coasters, ridiculously catchy musicals, fast food, eye candy and plenty of picture perfect moments to capture. Many parks even have their hotel accommodation on-site, so you can make the most of your stay and avoid those summer queues! If you’ve never experienced an amusement park as an adult, it’s definitely one to tick off your bucket list plus, your children will definitely thank you for it.

North America

You’ll find a giant selection of amusements parks in the US, from the magical Disneyland in California and Florida to the ‘Roller Coaster Capital of the World’ (a.k.a. Cedar Point) in Ohio there is sure to be a park suited to your requirements.

The original Disneyland was opened by Walt Disney in the 50’s and despite the franchise expanding globally, it is still extremely popular today. Some of the park’s highlights include the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride which takes you on a winding journey through haunting mines and eerie caverns, Star Tours – The Adventure Continues that lets you relive the Star Wars adventures in an epic 3D motion-simulated space flight and daily extravagant fireworks displays. You’ll need at least 2-3 days to fully cover the entire park without having to rush around (it’s pretty big). Prices for 2 day passes start from $97.50 per person or $85.00 for 3-day passes – book here.

On the other side of the country you’ll find Magic Kingdom Park, another epic Disney creation and one of the top attractions in the U.S. The park is divided into six distinct lands: Main Street USA (the entry plaza), Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, which all offer unique experiences. We cannot recommend enough the Space Mountain roller coaster, Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride and the emission-free Tomorrowland Transit authority people mover to take in the beauty of the park by night. The park is just one of the attractions within Walt Disney World’s gigantic 40 square mile resort. As with Disneyland, you’ll need a couple of days to truly enjoy the entire park but if you have more than a week to invest in your trip, we suggest visiting some of the other parks on offer including  Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Typhoon Lagoon. You can conveniently buy a 14-day pass which includes access to all of 4 of their theme parks and 2 of their water parks. Prices start from $420 per person, to buy or find out more click here.

Cedar Point is perfect for thrill seekers and is world renowned for its selection of roller coasters. Located an hour’s drive from Cleveland, Ohio, the park features 18 world class rides including Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster, and Maverick. Daily tickets start from $47.99 and can be purchased online here.

We could quite literally write an entire post on the best parks in the U.S. but thankfully you can refer to this very handy guide for some of the other options available.

Europe

When it comes to world-class amusement parks, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Europe. In fact, the oldest theme park in the world, Bakken, can be found there, in the picturesque woods of Denmark. You can also visit the famous amusement park and pleasure garden, Tivoli Gardens, in Copenhagen. The park is well regarded for its 100-year old rollercoaster, open-air stage shows and storybook atmosphere. Day passes are extremely cheap and start from just $17 (110 DKK) and can be bought here.

France is home to many amusement parks but perhaps the most well known is Disneyland in Paris. Instead of repeating the magic of Disneyland’s French version here, we’d recommend reading this extraordinarily detailed guide to the park with all the tips, advice and recommendations you could wish for.

If you’re looking for a more unusual theme park with a historical twist then Le Puy du Fou in Western France is an absolute hidden gem. Unlike most parks you won’t find any rides here, just spectacular historical shows recreating everything from Viking battles to Roman gladiator scenes, complete with stunning visual effects. You can also visit the meticulously reconstructed historical sites, settlements and even an 18th Century farm which even include artisans, bakers and blacksmiths to teach you the ancient ways. Tickets start from $35 dollars for advance booking or $41 if you buy them on the day.

PortAventura is the most popular theme park in Spain and is our pick if you want guaranteed sunshine for your family holiday. The park is located in Salou and is also easily accessible from Barcelona. The park hosts a plethora of rides across 6 themed lands and also has its own water park. The park’s best-loved rides include Furious Baco, Stampida, Hurakan Condor and Dragon Khan. This super useful guide will give you advice on how to make the most of your trip and save time and money too! Prices start from $50 per person for a 1-day ticket, we recommend you buy in advance here.

Other European amusement parks we recommend include Gardaland Park in Italy, Efteling in the Netherlands and Germany’s Europa-Park. For a selection of less famous but extraordinary parks check out this article.

Rest of the World

The east of Asia is fast becoming a hub for amusement parks and theme parks. Leading the way is Japan with Universal Studios in Osaka. Brought to you by the world famous Universal Studios who have produced some all-time hits including Harry Potter, Minions, Despicable Me, Shrek and Sesame Street, Universal Studios Japan is one of four worldwide theme parks. Some of their must-see attractions include, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman: The Ride and Jurassic Park: the ride. We also love their Peter Pan’s Neverland show held on the park’s lagoon. Day passes to the park start from $67 and can be purchased online here.

Lotte World in South Korea is the largest indoor amusement park in the world and the only one on our list where you are guaranteed good weather no matter the time of year. Also referred to as the Disneyland of South Korea, you’ll be sure to find plenty of thrills here. Our favorite rides include the Atlantis Adventure water coaster, the Pharaoh’s Fury dark ride and Desperados II. Entry to the park for one day costs around $47 for adults, for ticket information click here.

The final park on our list is Beto Carrero in Brazil. It’s the biggest amusement park available in Latin America. It’s consistently been rated as one of the best places for the family in the country and is located just south of the capital, Rio de Janeiro. Some of the best bits include the Velozes e furiosos show, Fire Whip roller coaster, Imperio das Aguas and the Traum Boat 360. Daily entry costs around $27 per person.

Here are our top tips for planning and enjoying your amusement park holiday

1. Research the amusement park before you book – assess whether the rides will be suitable for your kids’ age range.

2. Shop around for prices/deals – you may find special offers and cheaper prices for booking early or at certain times of the year.

3. Get your kids involved and make a list of all the attractions you’d like to see – this will get them super excited for the trip and will you prioritize and make the experience that much better.

4. Plan the best route around the park so you can save time when you arrive – this will also allow you to enjoy as many rides as possible. Don’t forget to factor in queuing times for the most popular rides.

5. Get there early morning (or pay extra for priority passes)! Queues are part and parcel of theme parks, particularly in peak season, so either get there early or pay your way to get on those rides first.

6. Most rides have a height restriction (usually displayed on their website) – so be wary before getting your kids all psyched up for rides they might not be eligible to ride.

7. Pack a poncho! Some rides can get wet and wild so you’ll want to protect your clothing. We’d also suggest wrapping your phone in a zip lock bag to protect it from unnecessary water damage.

8. Designate a place to regroup if anyone in your family gets lost – we also recommend attaching your contact details to any of your younger children, just in case they wander off (theme parks are big places). If you’re super paranoid about losing your child this app could help you geo-locate them using a smart-phone.

9. Carry a rechargeable phone case. It might sound a little over the top, but given that amusement parks are usually all day events, you’ll need to make sure your mobile can be used to find your family or navigate back home after a long day. This BoxLengend case is very affordable and highly effective charger for just such situations.

10. Stay connected to the internet. You can share videos of those epic rides in real-time, WhatsApp your location to your group and even Instagram some of those priceless memories all from your phone. Data roaming is very costly (and risky) so we recommend bringing your own Tep portable wifi device to ensure you have safe and secure access to the internet wherever you go. The device gives you unlimited internet access for just $9.50 per day and can be used by all the family simultaneously. To find out more or to buy a device click here.

5 great novels set in Europe that will make you wish you were on holiday

If you need a break from reality or just need to recharge your batteries a novel can be a great way to escape to another location, perhaps one you never knew existed. However, there’s nothing quite like exploring the actual destinations you’ve only read about, the one’s that, once upon a time, influenced the best literary minds to put pen to paper.

Particularly for bookworms and budding writers this post will give you a glimpse into the exciting real locations that gave rise to works that have inspired generations.  In this whistle-stop tour of the literary greats that have made us wanderlust for Europe we have paired 5 great novels with the location, they’re set in to get you reading and travelling this year!

Wuthering Heights

Set in: Yorkshire, England

“I wish I were out of doors—I wish I were a girl again, half savage and hardy […] I’m sure I should be myself were I once among the heather on those hills. Open the window again wide […].” 

  • Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

We begin our tour in the west Yorkshire moors, which sets the scene for Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (and was also the inspiration for her other two sisters Charlotte and Anne). The story is set in the actual area that the author grew up, in northern England, and tells a tale of love and revenge (in no particular order). The Moors are vast, wild and scattered with heather and are truly as picturesque as Brontë describes them.

You can visit “Brontë Country” but you’ll have to tread off the beaten tourist path to get there! Located on the outskirts of Bradford, you can drive or take the train to Haworth (the nearest station). The trek is definitely worthwhile, as you’ll get to walk the very same moors that the famous Brontë sisters would have as girls. This article gives you a full overview of the best route to take if you’d like to explore the scenery that inspired the book and also includes a pit stop at the Brontë Parsonage museum.

Dubliners

Set in: Dublin, Ireland

“When the short days of winter came, dusk fell before we had well eaten our dinners. When we met in the street the houses had grown somber. The space of sky above us was the color of ever-changing violet and towards it the lamps of the street lifted their feeble lanterns. The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed. Our shouts echoed in the silent street.”

  • Dubliners, James Joyce

This collection of short stories by James Joyce has inspired many to see Ireland’s capital with new eyes. The stories all take place in early 20th Century Dublin and showcase the lives of the middle class. Like many authors, Joyce’s work centered on a location he knew like the back of his hand and many of the stories featured in Dubliners can be re-lived simply by walking Dublin’s streets.

Dublin is a real gem of a city, which, although small, is filled with plenty of delights including cobbled streets and quintessential Irish pubs (we recommend Kehoe’s) and is fittingly bestowed with the title of UNESCO ‘City of Literature’. If you really want to soak in the literary history you can try the ‘Dubliners walking tour’ organized by the James Joyce Centre or if you’re feeling in a more boozy mood, the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl is a great way to take in the culture with a side of beer.

The Sun Also Rises

Set in: Pamplona, Spain

“The things that happened could only have happened during a fiesta. Everything became quite unreal finally and it seemed as though nothing could have any consequences. It seemed out of place to think of consequences during the fiesta.”

– The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway

Often described as one of Ernest Hemingway’s greatest works, The Sun Also Rises charts the journey of American and British expatriates who travel to Pamplona in Spain to enjoy the annual Festival of San Fermín. They watch the famous encierro or ‘running of the bulls’ and are consumed by the dancing, drinking and debauchery of this eternal fiesta city.

Pamplona was one of Hemingway’s first obsessions and became known worldwide for its famous festival thanks to his work. The most notorious element of the festival is the encierro, where a group of adrenaline junkies run in front of bulls through city’s narrow streets. The event is as dangerous as it sounds, so we would really recommend you view from a safe distance (since records began in 1910 around 13 people have been killed in the running). To book a place at the event we suggest The Running of the Bulls Travel. The city is located in the north of Spain (about 60 km away from the border with France) and is very easily accessible by air or train. Many of Hemingway’s haunts can be visited today including Bar Txoko, Hotel La Perla and Café Iruñathis guide will give you a complete list of all the places he would have visited over the course of 9 visits he enjoyed in Pamplona!

The Three Musketeers

Set in: Paris, France

“I came to Paris with four écus in my pocket, and I’d have fought with anybody who told me I was in no condition to buy the Louvre.”

  • The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas

This classic historical novel recounts the adventures of the three Musketeers (Athos, Porthos, Aramis) and D’Artagnan in their quest to protect the Kingdom of France. The novel, written by Alexandre Dumas, is set in early 17th Century Paris and many of the scenes are based on real locations.

Much of the story takes place in the Luxembourg area of Paris and you can visit the streets where the characters lived including D’Artagan’s house on Rue Fossoyeur (now called Rue Servandoni) and the Musketeers headquarters on Rue du Bac. This handy map charts all of the real locations that were mentioned in the book, so you can plan a tour of Paris through the eyes of the Musketeers without an official guide. From September of this year, you’ll also be able to enjoy the musical remake of the novel at Le Dome de Paris. We highly recommend visiting Le Pot de Terre – a Musketeer themed restaurant very close to the pantheon – for a bite to eat. For more information on visiting the ‘city of love’ check out one of our previous posts here.

Death in Venice

Set in: Venice, Italy

“Yet whether the pilgrim air the stranger wore kindled his fantasy or whether some other physical or psychical influence came in play, he could not tell; but he felt the most surprising consciousness of a widening or inward barriers, a kind of vaulting unrest, a youthfully ardent thirst for distant scenes—a feeling so lovely and so new, or at least so long ago outgrown and forgot, that he stood there rooted to the spot, his eyes on the ground and his hands clasped behind him, exploring these sentiments of his, their bearing and scope.”

  • Death in Venice, Thomas Mann

Death in Venice is a story of a writer (Gustav von Aschenbach) who travels to the “floating city” to break the suffering caused by his writer’s block. The novella, originally written in German by author Thomas Mann, was highly acclaimed and has since been made into a movie, opera and ballet.

Venice has plenty to offer the inquisitive tourist including gondolier rides along the canal, amazing cuisine, shopping and, of course, a timely beauty that has inspired some literary giants including Marco Polo, Shakespeare and Thomas Mann himself. The author actually stayed in the city’s Grand Hotel des Bains on the Venice Lido (both of which feature in his book) whilst writing his novella. Whilst you cannot visit the hotel anymore (as it has sadly closed down) you can walk along the Lido (a 7-mile long sandbar) that is famous for hosting the annual Venice Film Festival. Take a free walking tour of this water city or take in the sites from your very own Gondola cruise.

We hope this list has given you some inspiration for your next trip abroad (or to your local Barnes & Noble). Our top tip for exploring new cities is to make sure you always have access to the internet whilst you’re on holiday. This will help you check those trusted Trip Advisor reviews before you have a pint at James Joyce’s local pub, allow you to get perfect snaps of the bulls in Pamplona, and also let Google maps guide you through the very same canals that Marco Polo wandered as a young man.

Tep offers you the safest, securest and most cost effective way of accessing the internet when you’re away. For one fixed daily cost of $9.50, you can enjoy truly unlimited data for up to 5 devices on the go (the device is pocket sized and works in over 80 countries worldwide). With Tep you’ll never have to worry about returning to a shock bill or being stranded without access to the web – so you can leave the drama to the writers! To rent or buy a Tep portable wifi device click here.

Brexit: What does it mean for holidays outside the UK?

Unless you’ve been residing under a rock for the past couple of weeks you’ll have heard the word ‘Brexit’ (aka Britain’s formal exit from the European Union) being thrown around in the news. On the 24th June 2016 the great British public, and the world, awoke to the news that they would be saying auf wiedersehen to the EU, after 52% of the population voted to leave in a referendum. In this very topical post we’ll be exploring what impact Brexit could have on European holidays and what it means for British tourists who want to travel outside the sunny British Isles.

So how will the Brexit affect travel plans and the thriving European holiday industry? It’s tough to call exactly how the new Europe (minus Britain) will look, given that they haven’t actually officially left yet. ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents), who are pretty well placed to judge the changing travel landscape, post-Brexit, have argued that there could be a broad ranging impact:

Many consumer protection issues, such as financial protection, health cover, and mobility, are all subject to EU regulation. As such, Brexit could potentially have a significant impact on many pieces of legislation that impact UK leisure and business travellers.

Once Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (the constitutional agreement that holds Europe together) is triggered, the UK will have exactly 2 years to negotiate trade and other deals with Europe and the rest of the world. Until then, the UK will remain part of the EU and will still benefit from the free movement of goods and people. So for anyone who has booked a European getaway, you’ll still be able to travel with your existing passport, you won’t need a visa (if you’re British) and crucially, you’ll still be able to take full advantage of duty free – for now!

What’s going to change once the UK finally leaves?

Almost certainly prices will go up for anyone earning in pounds. On the day of the referendum results, the pound (one of the strongest currencies in the world at the time) fell to a 31 year low as global markets said “oh golly” to the news.

Whist this is splendid news for foreigners, wishing to travel to the UK this summer, it’s not so fabulous for Brits – who’ll have to fork up more money to pay for their cerveza in the sun this year. The knock on effect of the devalued pound is that everything from flights to room service at the hotel will cost you much more than it would have earlier this year.

Bye bye cheap European airfares?

As part of the EU, the UK currently enjoys very airline friendly service agreements that allow companies like Easyjet and Ryanair to operate routes from as little as £10 each way. Once the UK has left the EU it will have to renegotiate these agreements and this will ultimately impact how cheaply airlines can continue to run. Last year David Cameron even used the threat of losing consumer friendly airfares as a key reason for people to vote remain.

Sadly, it’s not only higher plane tickets that Britons will have to worry about. They might also lose some consumer rights that are currently protected by EU laws. For example, if you’re flight is cancelled or arrives more than 3 hours late (into its final destination) you could claim up to €600 from your airline. Once Brexit becomes official, the same protection will not be guaranteed, as new legislation will need to be passed in Parliament in order for it to be applicable to UK citizens.

Adios healthcare?

Under the current system, any British travellers with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can benefit from lower or completely free healthcare across Europe – should they fall ill whilst on holiday. Until a new agreement is in place, the EHIC scheme is in jeopardy and could mean higher premiums on health and travel insurance once Brexit is a reality.

Au revoir cheap roaming deals?

The European Union has done its utmost to try and reduce costs for EU citizens using their mobile phones across the continent. They’ve currently capped roaming charges so that telcos can’t exploit their customers for simply wanting to access the internet or make calls whilst abroad. They’re also set to abolish data roaming charges as of next year (2017). ABTA and Deloitte have already predicted that a Brexit will equal disaster for any travellers hoping to roam using their UK mobile phone service provider.

“…leaving the EU would exempt the UK from these regulations, meaning costs may increase. The uncertainty is a particular worry for those who use their mobile phones as sat nav devices

Once the UK is no longer part of the European Union, consumers will not have the same protections, including the cap on data roaming charges. Particularly for families who take a range of mobile devices, tablets, laptops and sat-navs, it could spell shock bills on their return.

Weather the Brexit storm with Tep

Instead of worrying about the potential shock bill you could be receiving when you next roam – why not avoid the unexpected costs altogether by renting a wifi device instead. Tep’s portable wifi device can help you avoid the uncertainty of European roaming charges, leaving you to bask in your holiday snaps instead of Brexit madness.

Our device allows you to connect up to 5 devices simultaneously (yes – that can include a satnav too) and gives you access to safe, secure and unlimited internet on the go. The device is just £6.50 per day – so no surprise bills, just one fixed daily cost.

Whilst we can’t tell you exactly how Brexit will play out over the next couple of years, we can give you peace of mind that you can still go on holiday without having to worry about the added cost of data roaming!

The Best Options For Travelers Lodging Abroad

Long stay holidays are the perfect way to submerse yourself in an exotic new world and actually find out what it’s like to live like a local; there’s only so much you can get from 5 star resorts with pristine private beaches and packed hostels in the middle of a bustling cities! In order to truly experience your destination away from the overpriced tourist hotspots, you’ll need to venture off the beaten track. With just a little research and some cash to burn you could be enjoying weeks or even months of authentic adventures in a new found home. Here’s our pick of the best options for travelers who want to lodge abroad:

The Homestay – Your home away from home

If you’re looking for the real deal when you go abroad, there’s nothing quite like staying with a local family. Homestay is a great site to check out if you’re looking to return each day to a delicious home cooked meal instead of an all you can eat buffet. They advertise homestays all over the world and are very reasonably priced for long trips (on average you can expect to pay around the same or less than a hostel). You can also read detailed reviews for every host to help you decide which will be most suitable for your needs. Airbnb also offers a selection of homestays where your host will be available during your stay. We also recommend trying GoDifferently if you’re interested in visiting Vietnam or Thailand. Apart from offering amazing homestays with local people, GoDifferently also give their guests the opportunity to mix holidaying with volunteer work. For some handy do’s and don’ts whilst living with a family check out this blog post by GoOverseas. If you’re willing to compromise a little, MonasteryStays offer incredible deals on rooms in stunning churches and monasteries all across Italy. All their accommodation is run by real monks and nuns, so be warned of their strict room policy, like no unmarried couples sharing rooms. If you’re cool with sticking to the rules and are in the mood for a tranquil location in some of Italy’s most idyllic cities this might just be for you.

If you’re a homeowner yourself, you could even try a home swap vacation. Instead of paying to stay in someone’s home you can search the internet and find someone who’s willing to come and live at your house whilst you try theirs! It might sound like a logistical nightmare but there are entire sites dedicated to matching people who want to find the perfect swap. LoveHomeSwap, Homelink and HomeExchange are some of the best sites to use on the market and are tried and tested by thousands of users. Home swaps are a fabulous option if you can find your ultimate match, but they aren’t free. Most sites will ask for a monthly or annual subscription to access their property swapping services, which can range from $50-$100 per year – even if you only plan on using it once in those 365 days we think it’s totally worth it!

Free Accommodation – Give a little, to get a whole lot more!

If you don’t have savings in abundance but still want to escape to your dream destination you could always volunteer your time in exchange for a free stay. So it’s not exactly ‘free accommodation’ but it is as close as you can get without sleeping on the streets (especially for those on a shoestring budget). There are plenty of people all across the globe that would love an extra pair of hands to help them out with the daily running of their businesses. For just a couple of hours of your time you could be enjoying a holiday with free food, free accommodation and the opportunity of a lifetime. Volunteering can give you the chance to try out some pretty extraordinary (and sometimes outrageous) things like milking goats in Hawaii, conducting llama treks in Peru or meditating on an organic farm in the Himalayas. Some of the best sites to search for work-trade volunteering opportunities include, WWOOF, Help Stay, Workaway, Caretaker and HelpX. For a really in depth guide to volunteering abroad make sure you read blogger Nomadic Matt’s post on ethical volunteering.

Private Lodging – Get off the beaten path

For people who like their privacy whilst on holiday, private lodging is a great alternative to homestays. If you have the budget for the additional costs you could enjoy a dream home all to yourself. Airbnb is a leading site and has a very good range of properties all over the world including castles, penthouses and cottages – if you’re feeling extra fancy. Their prices can be on the higher side if you’re looking for a long term options so make sure you factor this in before you book. Spotahome is another great site that specializes in mid to long term holiday rentals – so it’s naturally much more cost effective plus it gives you way flexibility. Spotahome currently operates in major European destinations like Barcelona, Paris, London and Rome so you’re guaranteed to have a true taste of chic city life. For a slightly more rustic experience away from the big city lights Tep highly recommends trying out ‘Glamping’ (aka glamorous camping). It’s the perfect blend of outdoors and comfort so you’ll be able to take in the scenery, go on long walks in the countryside and will still have all the luxuries from home like running water, a bed and even electricity. GoGlamping or CanopyAndStars are the top websites to check for unique camping experiences all over the world.

For any travel plans you make, we always suggest you research the location and all of your options carefully. Apart from comprehensive travel and health insurance we also recommend you bring along your mobile, tablet or laptop (if you’ll have a safe place to store it) when you go on holiday. Not only will these devices let you stay in touch with loved ones, they’ll also let you explore the world around you more quickly and efficiently – Google Maps and TripAdvisor are on our ‘must-not-travel-without’ list for obvious reasons. Unfortunately adventuring comes with a high probability that internet access will be sparse and when you do find it, you’ll either be logging onto to dodgy public wifis or will be getting charged the earth for using your mobile’s data roaming. For a full overview of the pitfalls of holiday wifi and data roaming check out our informative post here.

Thankfully Tep has come up with a solution for modern wanderlusters who need to stay connected even when they’re off the beaten path. For a fixed daily cost you can have access unlimited internet through Tep’s portable wifi device. The small pocket sized device can easily be transported when you’re moving from one destination to the other and it works seamlessly across over 80+ countries so you won’t even have to worry about buying local SIM cards or paying for overpriced wifi access! It’s perfect for uploading holiday snaps, blogging about your travels, keeping in touch with friends and family or just simply helping you navigate unchartered territories. For more information on how Tep works or to rent a device for your next trip click here.

Finally, Tep’s affiliate program is one way for bloggers to generate income from their website and we already have a few on board such us Travel with Bender, Gypsynester, TravelingMom and Traveling Well for Less.