Top Tips For Cheap Flight

How do I get cheap flights? This is a question people I know have asked me endless times, If cheap transport was a sport, I would be an Olympian. Today I want to share with you my top tips for securing the best deals on flights around the world or closer to home.

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  1. Tip number one is to not be picky. This is without doubt the best way to get cheap flights. Stop caring about your destination. Head on over to Skyscanner and set your destination to ‘Everywhere’ I recently did this and managed to find return flight to Bremen in Germany for only £30.00. That’s less than it costs me to get the 40 minute train into London.

  2. Tip two is to look for other options, especially if you are in Europe. I know this is sort of a cheat on a post about flights but sometimes a train can be quicker, easier and much more scenic. If you are travelling around Europe I would definitely recommend looking into rail travel instead of air. Often a city’s airport is far outside the town centre and a taxi to your accommodation can cost a small fortune.
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  3. Tip number three is to break up your flight. If you have a stop over in a country, sometimes it can be cheaper for you to book two separate tickets than all at once. However I would only recommend this if travelling with hand luggage and doing online check ins as the extra hassle of collecting and checking in luggage can add a lot of stress to what could be a fun layover.

  4. Tip number four is to collect air-miles. The idea of credit cards can seem daunting, especially to young travellers but it can often really pay off to collect air-miles for an airline you use a lot. For me this is British airways, star alliance is another good option. These can shave precious dollars off of your tickets or could be used as an upgrade to business class if that’s your sort of thing.
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  5. Tip number five is to really be sure that the cheap price is worth it. Some budget airlines are not too bad and I used to swear by them however after recently flying Air China to Thailand I have changed my mind. The food was awful, the comfort was non existent and the entertainment made the Thai soap Operas I was heading into look Oscar Worthy. For the extra £50-£60 pounds I would have paid on a nicer airline, these problems would not have bugged me for the entire 15 hours.

Why You Should Do A Homestay.

Travelling to another part of the world in undoubtedly and incredible experience however it can also feel quite lonely. You get to see these amazing cultures, foods and people but it can all too often make you feel like an outsider looking in. This is something I personally have felt a lot when doing solo travel trips.

For many people the simple fix to this problem is a hostel and yes, they are amazing. a bustling house filled with people just like you who are experiencing very similar emotions. people who you clearly have a lot in common with because you’ve met in a hostel in a foreign country you both independently chose to visit.

Today I am here to tell you that a hostel is not the only option!

You could instead stay in a regular home filled with genuine local residents from the place you are visiting, people who are keen to share the real culture of the town and also want to learn about you.

The first homestay I ever got to experience was in a small village called Bario in the Kellabit Highlands on the border between Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo. It was in a big farmhouse style building owned by a couple called Nancy and Harris. Each morning my group could have breakfast and coffee on the porch while watching rolling clouds kiss the tops of jungle covered mountains. It was bliss and may well be one of my favourite places in the world. I was introduced to members of the community, went to celebrations with them and felt like I was a part of genuine cultural exchange. If I had of stayed somewhere else, this would not have been the case.

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So What is a homestay?

A homestay is pretty self explanatory, unlike a hostel or bed and breakfast that exists mainly for the visitors to live there and then probably has a separate quarters for the staff or owners, a homestay has very few guests staying in a families or individuals own personal house or flat. Generally you can expect to have your own bed but there is also the option of couchsurfing which is a website and community designed to connect you with someone with a free place to sleep.

Where can I find one?

There are homestays everywhere, in any big city in the world there will be someone proud of their culture wanting to share it with you. In order to find these people a simple google search will bring up loads of tripadvisor recommendations. There are also plenty of homestay websites you can browse through. If you haven’t already, you should 100% sign up for couchsurfing and be a part of the travel community in your local area.

Although many people wouldn’t consider it the same as a homestay, there are loads of amazing airbnb hosts that deliver the same experience.
So really its best to just shop around and find a homestay experience that suits you.

Is it safe?

You might feel a bit uncomfortable staying and sleeping in the house of somebody you only know as round photo and bio on the internet and that is perfectly understandable. I have never had issues with homestays as a solo male traveller however people in different positions may feel uneasy.

With services like airbnb it is easy to find a trusted host with high ratings and good reviews. Thanks to the internet you can see how people of a similar social demographic felt at a particular homestay. If you still feel uncomfortable I do know that some homestays cater for women or lgbt+ guests only if that was something you were looking for.

How much will it cost?

This is sort of the same as asking how much a hotel will cost, there are a lot of factors like, where in the world you will be staying, how nice the accommodation is, if meals are included and a whole host of other commonsense elements.

The best part is that homestays can also be free. Sometimes they are a part of a work exchange on a farm for example or you could just be hosted by someone who values the company and wants to meet people from all over the world.

Anything else to keep in mind?

If after reading this blog, you are thinking about a homestay for your next trip abroad, keep in mind to be respectful and giving. your host is not a server or your staff. I always try and give a little something back. Cook a meal, teach them some language. At the very least pick up a tab at a par one night.

If this has inspired you to stay in a homestay let me know in the comments. I would love to hear your homestay stories as well as any more advice or info I may have missed. If you liked this post then I would really appreciate you checking out some more or sharing the blog with friends.

Happy Travels

Xx

Thailand! My Top 5 Things To Do.

I spent the last month in the south east Asian back packers dream that is Thailand. I stayed in the cheapest places I could and got the cheapest flights I could find. Like any trip it was really eye opening and I was fortunate enough to see and do some incredible things. While it is fresh in my head I want to show you my best bits.

It wasn’t all glamorous, there was cockroaches in rooms and endless con artists. I even got my wallet stolen. Eventually I will get round to a more rounded post about some of the things you should look out for but this is all about the amazing things I got to do last month.  I have tried to include some things I really liked but haven’t seen as many other people mention in their blogs.

1. Khao San Road 

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The beating heart of backpackers Bangkok. Khao San Road is filled with cheap eats, cheap drinks, massages and is a hot pot of people from all over the world. It’s a great place to meet some people to explore the rest of Bangkok with. I stayed in a hotel called Villa Cha Cha which is one of the more expensive options but quite nice. I was in a twin room so only had to pay my half and I also got an extra night for free meaning In the end I got to stay in a hotel for the price of a hostel dorm which is always great. Be sure to grab yourself some Pad Thai from a street vendor and then go sit in a third floor bar with an ice cold Chang to take in the sights. It will also probably be the cheapest place to get a Thai massage.

2. Sleeper Train to Chiang Mai.

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Chiang Mai is without doubt my favourite place I visited in Thailand. If you go there be sure to get the overnight train from Bangkok. It’s cheaper than a plane and gives you the chance to talk to locals and other tourists while travelling, because its overnight you also have the benefit of not losing any precious day time that you could fill with more activities. Waking up early and catching the sunrise over jungle mountains is a priceless memory. Please do yourself a favour and do not eat the food on the train, bring your

 

3. Elephant Sanctuary

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Once in Chiang Mai you will be flooded with options about elephant trek companies, including some from your hostel. I encourage you with all my heart to choose the elephant park with the highest animal welfare standards. It is called ‘Elephant Nature Park’ the day out allows you to feed and touch the elephants as well as interact with all kinds of other animals on their land. It is amazing, probably the most enjoyable thing I have done all year. There is no riding the elephants and they are not disciplined with blades. The animals are very well treated. The vegetarian buffet lunch i also some of the best food I ate while in Thailand.

 

4. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

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Temples and palaces are a plenty in Thailand but for me, this one trumped them all. An easy day trip when staying in Chiang Mai, a taxi will take you to this temple in the mountains for an affordable price. The sights looking down on Chiang Mai and the surrounding jungle is picturesque and the temple itself is luxurious enough to rival even the grand palace in Bangkok. Do not miss this if you are in Chiang Mai. One thing I will say however is…good luck with the staircase!

5. Hit The Beach

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This point is probably pretty obvious but there is nothing better than finding a nice little hostel on an island and really just relaxing and taking it all in. grab yourself an island hopping tour off Phuket and be amazed by what you see, go Scuba diving in Ko Tao, Party in Patong or just lay back and relax on a sun lounger. Thailand brings in a lot of backpackers, these will be like minded people just like you, so grab a beer and a few new friends and watch the sunset.

 

There is so much I have missed, this is really just a starting point, There is so much you can do, including loads that I didn’t get the chance to, I can’t wait to go back and Thailand should definitely be on your list of things to do. Comment down below your favourite bits if you have been or let me know what you want to do if you are planning a trip to Thailand.

Please share if you found it useful.

Happy Travels.

Xx

Explore The Ordinary

Thailand! Australia! New Zealand! South America!
It’s almost impossible to read or watch a travel blogger without thinking about these huge big name trips that everyone seems to have done. For anyone planning their first major trip somewhere, perhaps alone for the first time, these type of destinations can seem almost like a right of passage for becoming an Instagram worthy ‘explorer’.

I myself am definitely guilty of the cliche gap year trips to South East Asia and I would 100% recommend these type of journeys to anybody because they are life changing.
You will meet incredible people and you will see some of the most stunning and awe inspiring places in the world. However… They will cost money, quite a lot of it and they will take some planning to make the most of your time there. Today I want you to know that these types of trips are not the only option. They do not make you a ‘Proper Traveller’ and sometimes we overlook the beauty that is right in front of us.

Your home town or city can be incredible. I know sometimes its hard to believe or easy to forget and that’s why I often need to remind myself to take it all in. Look at the architecture of the houses and the green grass and the trees, go to the pretty coffee shops and try to imagine yourself as a tourist in your city. You will be amazed at the little things you become numb to that you suddenly see as quirky or weird. Embrace you’re own culture and where you are right now.

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In my home town a £2.50 bus journey can take me to the town centre where there is huge green parks and lakes with a canal, restaurants and some amazing cocktail bars. My friends and the people that live here seem to always overlook it because its always there and they’ve done it a million times before. I have recently really been making an effort to imagine these things as the first time and take real pleasure in my everyday.

I want to explore the ordinary.

It will never be as shaping or memorable as a road trip across Australia but it can be a great way to cure itchy feet. We should all try to appreciate what we have around us a little more. For example, all the images used in this blog post I took on my walk to work. They are beautiful but its so easy to just plug in my earphones and not stop to look around me when its something I do everyday.

 

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Another great ways to explore locally is to find a hostel in your town or city or perhaps even an Air B’n’B geared at tourists rather than businessmen. you could meet up and offer tours for people where you can just spend the day with them showing them the best restaurants and parks. This way you’re bound to make some new friends and one day they could even be doing the same for you if you visit their city.

It really is a pain when you’re saving up for a big trip, crossing off the days on your calendar and watching endless videos about your destination. Looking at your home town through the eyes of a tourist can make those itchy feet and that wanderlust ease off just a little and for me, its also made me much happier with the more mundane things in life.

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This blog post was inspired by watching a recent Vagabrothers video where they explored some places around Britain. Seeing visitors enjoy a traditional pub and the country lanes really gave me a new perspective on my own country and how what is ordinary for me can be considered extraordinary.

I’d love to hear what you find amazing in your ordinary. Comment on this post or visit me on Instagram. I would appreciate this post being shared if you enjoyed it, that would honestly mean the world to me and help my blog to grow.

Happy Travels.

Xx

All about me

Hey!
I’m Owen and I really love to travel.

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Everything from a walk round a local lake to an Orang-utan sanctuary in Borneo
I’m never happier than when I am outdoors in a beautiful place and meeting people from all over the world.
This Blog exists quite simply so that I can write about my experiences and note down any tips or advice for someone else who might be planning a trip. I am by no means an expert and definitely make some mistakes myself but that is part of the joy of getting out there and taking in the world.

It can be really quite scary being in a new place or perhaps in an environment you hadn’t expected or planned for so maybe some of my weird tales and bizarre anecdotes could come in handy for you some time. I know they would have for me!

My background is not one you would expect of a travel blogger because, well, for most of my early life I really didn’t travel very much at all. I live in the country that I and my parents are from, I don’t speak any other languages and growing up in a large family we really never took extravagant or long trips abroad because it just wasn’t financially viable.

When I turned 16 there was an assembly in my sixth form about an organisation called World Challenge. The Organisation was putting on a month long expedition to Malaysian Borneo to do everything from trekking and sleeping in the jungle to helping local communities and we would even get to visit an Orang-Utan sanctuary. The cost of the guided expedition was £4000.

That was a lot of money for me and something I thought I would never be able to afford. after some persuading from a few of my friends I put my name down for the trip. I got myself a part time job around my studies and it took two years to save up and on top of that I then had to purchase equipment. It was a lot of hard work but I am so thankful for what I did because that trip really changed me more than I could ever have imagined.

By the time I got back I had full blown wanderlust and the confidence to start planning another trip, this time to Thailand. I had gone from somebody who had never really done more than a family holiday to having this uncontrollable itch to pack a bag and leave my home town.

The world Is massive and I want to see it all.

I’d love to show you as well.

Owen. X