A Girl's Journey Living in Japan

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Budget Travel

Pack it up!

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Packing is not a fun experience, there’s no denying that fact. If you enjoy the experiencing of cramming your belongings into a suitcase that is no way big enough, then please feel free to come and do my packing the next time I go away! I hate packing, in fact, I would much rather pay someone to do it, but needs must!

Despite that, I found a way to cut down on the stress of packing and save money too, which in my world is a major bonus! You might think I’ve gone crazy, but have you ever tried travelling on holiday with just hand luggage?

No, I am sane, hear me out!

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Provided you’re not going away for longer than a week maximum, and provided you book with an airline who offer a generous hand luggage allowance, like 10kg, then you should be able to be ruthless enough to pack a capsule wardrobe, if you wear your heaviest clothes and buy your toiletries at the airport. It can be done, I’ve done it!

Combine this with a cheap flight and you’re saving money before you even jet off. I found a bargain flight recently, but unfortunately it wasn’t from my local airport. I didn’t let this put me off, and instead I got a bargain deal on a night at one of the Gatwick Airport hotels from Holiday Extras, and it all still worked out cheaper than my regional airport. Bargain!

I wouldn’t let travelling to a different airport put you off booking, because really if it all adds up to still be cheaper, it’s false economy to stick with what you know. You will find hotel facilities at most large UK airports, so somewhere to sleep if need be is never a problem. Go on, be a little adventurous and see how much money you could save!

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Don’t forget to insure all your bargain holiday plans ahead of time. Personally I’d always go for an annual multi-trip insurance policy, because it’s done at the start of the year, and it’s one less thing to worry about every time you book a holiday during those 12 months. Just remember to check that your destination fits in with your policy, and you’re sorted!

These ideas for saving money might seem like a lot of extra hassle, but it only seems that way because you’ve probably never done it before. I am the world’s worst for travelling heavily, and if I can pack that capsule wardrobe and venture off to a new airport I’ve never visited before, then believe me, anyone can!

Take to the slopes: Tips for Skiing in Japan on the Cheap

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When it comes to choosing your ski destination this winter, Japan might not be the first place that comes to mind. Most people automatically spring up thoughts of Austria, Switzerland, Canada and North America, however Japan has some of the best ski resorts in the world, with fantastic and plentiful snow quality, and low costs to boot. One of the reasons I chose to came to Japan is actually because of the great skiing options!

Ski holidays in Japan are increasingly low cost, and without a doubt one of the most affordable ways to visit the country, without heading to pricey Tokyo or one of the other cities, which will zap your budget within hours. The breathtaking scenery of the Japanese ski resorts is something to behold, and there is a resort for every level of ability.

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Vientiane: Slow Down and Soak it Up

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Vientiane, nestled along the Mekong River, is a backpacker’s dream.  Free of the bustle of other Asian capitals, the Laotian capital has a laidback small town feel.  It’s the place to go when you’re ready to slow down a bit – things here tend to move at an unhurried pace that can be frustrating if you don’t bring the mindset for it.  If you’ve had enough rush for awhile, however, this easygoing city is sure to bring a smile to your face.  While the experience of being in a country classified as one of the world’s “least developed” can be eye-opening in heartbreaking ways, the friendliness of this city will make you feel right at home.  Accommodation and food here are incredibly inexpensive, making it a perfect destination for backpackers on a budget.

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All you need to know about bargaining

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One of the biggest fears that we face when travelling to an overseas destination is that of being ripped off, of being a part of someone’s mischievous plan of making extra money that will not be earned the honest way. Quite frankly this can happen for a number of reasons and in any country – starting with the plain simple that people in other countries may be making as low as $100 per month and making extra cash on the side from a naïve tourist is a simple way of increasing that minimum wage, or it can be the customs and the characteristics of that specific nation, to be born as scammers – you would laugh, but many people consider Greeks and Turks to be born crooks, but, of course in a nice way. Whatever the situation is, don’t let your guard down and most importantly, learn how to bargain! I promise, it can be a lot of fun, once you get the hang of it.

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The Wonderful World of Indian Street Snacks

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Indian street foods are a fabulous culinary adventure all onto themselves.  As intimidating as it may be to sample food on the street, missing out on delicious street chaat (snacks) when visiting India would be a crime.  Seek out vendors frequented by locals for the best quality and the lowest chance of Delhi Belly, and dive in.  You may find yourself making entire meals out of street snacks alone.

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Deep Fried Delicacies

Samosas are deep fried pyramids of full of potato goodness and served with zingy chutney.  These may be the best-known Indian food outside of India – and with good reason.  They’re addictively good.  While you’re picking up one (or two or three) for an evening snack, try a vada as well.  The same purveyors of fried goods who dish out samosas often serve these deep-fried savory treats.  Masala vada, made with whole toor daal, is particularly tasty.

 

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Old Delhi Delights

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Busy, bustling Old Delhi is a powerful place – if nothing else, the sheer amount of sights, sounds, and smells in this historic walled city can be both thrilling and overwhelming.  Spending a day (or more) in Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi’s proper moniker) is an experience you’ll never forget.  While there are worlds to explore here, these sites will get your started on an unforgettable Old Delhi adventure.

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Remarkable Realm of Red

The Red Fort’s red sandstone walls form a focal point for the Old City.  Built in 1648 as the fortified palace of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan when he decided to move his capital from Agra to Delhi, the Red Fort is a sprawling expanse of architecture that one could easily wander for half a day.  You can tell that this is a product of the same mind that brought the Taj Mahal to life; the Red Fort speaks of a time of culture and poetry through its red sandstone and white marble structures.  Pass through Chatta Chowk, a bustling souvenir bazaar, to enter the complex and travel back to another time.  Be prepared to stand in awe. Continue reading →