When I first arrived in Kenya, I felt it. It was unlike anywhere I’d traveled before. Smoky skies, a wet heat that sinks into your skin, and the noxious aroma of trash burning all greet you upon arrival.
I’ve both traveled and lived in Sub Saharan Africa and every time I get off the plane it feels like I’m in a different world. And this is especially true if you’re visiting West Africa.
West Africa is incredible, however, it isn’t for everyone. This is the western most region of Africa, which includes 16 countries, from Mauritania, Mali, and Niger, down to Nigeria, and everything to the west.
It doesn’t have a built up tourist infrastructure, outside of cities there often aren’t hotels or hostels, and it’s not easy to get around. So I’ve put together this guide to help you figure out whether traveling to this part of the world is right for you.
My number one advice if you’re planning to visit or live here, is to understand you are embarking on an adventure unlike anything else.
Famous throughout the world, Japan’s cherry blossoms put on a spectacular show every spring with visitors coming from far and wide to view the incredible sight.
In Japan this season is called “Hanami” which literally translates to “viewing of cherry blossoms” (the flowers themselves are referred to as Sakura). Cherry blossoms play such a significant role in Japanese culture; they are fleeting, short-lived, and cherished for their ephemeral beauty.
The Hanami season begins in March and lasts until May, and whether you’re visiting busy cities like Tokyo or Osaka, or sourcing out hidden parks and temples, pink and white cherry trees will blanket the country from north to south!
But the cherry blossoms are fleeting, and most cities only offer a short window of 2-3 weeks. Tokyo’s cherry tress are predicted to start blooming from March 22 in 2020, with the best viewing from March 29 – April 6.
So, want to learn more about Hanami? We’ve updated our popular guide with dates for 2020, so you have all the info you need for planning a cherry blossoms trip to Japan, and extra fun facts about its significance to Japanese culture.
It’s very easy to travel to Singapore and fall in love with the country; a place where the contrasts come sharp and fast, this is an energetic, cosmopolitan city, where ancient temples blend seamlessly with modernity, and nature spills out from within the city.
Mosques and temples rise up next to skyscrapers in SG, and the concrete jungle is fused with the literal jungle to create a green sanctuary. The meeting point of Asia, a melting pot of cultures co-exist harmoniously, and a symphony of languages reverberates throughout the streets.
I’ve never known anybody who’s traveled to the island, and not decided they would love to live there permanently. The realization only took 48 hours for me.
Consistently ranked as the top country for expats, the city-state has it together when it comes to being a country; it’s safe, clean, and progressive, with incredible public transport, a high standard of living, and excellent health care and education.
Its melting pot of cultures makes it a rich and fascinating place to be, the weather is perfect year round, and English is widely spoken. There’s reliable internet, high tech infrastructure, and it’s a great base for discovering the rest of Asia. It’s also a crazy rich Asian country!
In my mind, that just leaves one question: How do you get permanent residency?!
One of America’s most visited cities, New Orleans is well known for its delicious Creole cuisine, ever-present nightlife, and annual Mardi Gras celebration. But dive beneath the noise of the party scene and you’ll discover a wealth of fascinating history!
NOLA was the largest city in the American South throughout the 19th century. Founded all the way back in 1718 by French colonists, it’s history lives on through its numerous historic buildings, many of which can be found in the lovely French Quarter, as well as several large plantation homes can be found just a short drive west of the city centre.
Many of these significant colonial buildings and plantations are open to the public and several have even become unique heritage listed hotels – NOLA is definitely a city for unique accommodation.
Wanting to venture beyond Bourbon Street and dive into the rich history of The Big Easy? I’ve partnered with Hotels.com to share my fav historic attractions in New Orleans!
Visit these places to learn about the many colorful characters and historic events that helped shape this incredible city. Many of these iconic buildings have survived fires, floods, and wars and will no doubt continue to survive!
2020 is the age of the socially conscious traveler – increased awareness around responsible travel has seen us become more conscious of our environmental and social footprint, and many travelers now acknowledge the importance of traveling with awareness and thought.
And that’s exactly what it means to be a socially conscious traveler – to make ethical decisions where you’re mindful of the impact you have on both the environment and the local community you are visiting abroad.
Ultimately, don’t destroy what you came to enjoy.
The basics of responsible travel apply where-ever you travel – simple things like not littering, leaving places the way you found them, and respecting nature and wildlife. However each destination may have additional specifics to consider.
When you think of the Caribbean, Jamaica or Cuba might at the top of your mind. However, in the midst of the many stunning islands of this region is a gem that literally stands out from the rest: St.Lucia!
This beautiful mountainous island is well known as the worlds #1 honeymoon destination: its array of luxury hotels with gold sand beaches tucked between green towering hills make St.Lucia appear to be the perfect place for lazy days on the beach and laying in the sun sipping pina coladas.
However, the amazing things to do in St.Lucia go far beyond the beach, and to not partake in anything else here would truly do yourself a disservice.
From 2,619 ft volcanic peaks to warm waterfalls, here are 6 amazing things you can experience in St.Lucia, in addition to enjoying the sand, sun, and sea.
Placing a bet in Vegas will always be a gamble, but it’s definitely not the most dangerous risk you can take on the Strip (a far bigger gamble could be a shotgun wedding, married by Elvis, with no telling how your life will pan out!!)
While many people migrate to Vegas for the incredible live entertainment, delicious buffets, and adult entertainment, others are dreaming of striking it rich. And the fancy hotels and lights of the Vegas Strip have a magical way of drawing us in!
If you’re hoping to leave Vegas with more money than you arrived with, you’ll need to know what games offer up the best odds. While you may be counting on your lucky charms to give you an edge at winning big, Vegas casinos don’t need to hope for luck – the odds have, and always will, be stacked in their favor!
Casinos aren’t a charity; they’re in business to make a profit. If you aren’t looking to add to their profits, you need to take a moment to learn about “house edge” and why it’s important when it comes to your odds of winning.
Whether it’s macroons from Paris, or Harem Pants from Bali, there are just some products that are widely unavailable or wildly expensive in your home country. And as a frequent traveler, I’ve been well positioned to pick up goods in other countries.
Yes, it was out of love that I shopped for my sisters in London, would buy my brother the latest American drones, and pick up a Japanese sumo loincloth for my cousin (I don’t ask questions!!). But what if you could connect with people who were willing to pay you for the service?!
Grabr is exactly that; a peer-to-peer marketplace that has exploded since 2016, connecting travelers to shoppers as a way of monetizing the extra space in your luggage!
Thailand is an exciting and exotic destination, but you do yourself a disservice if you show up unprepared; it’s important to properly plan in advance, for everything from the practical side of what to pack, to preparing for cultural differences.
Thailand is a glorious, mysterious, and wild country, full of things to do, places to visit, and experiences to be had. Traveling this year? Here are a few things you need to know before your plane lands.
House sitting has become a massive movement in the travel community, and we can totally understand why; from luxury villas in the countryside, to modern lofts amidst skyscrapers, and cottages right by the ocean, it’s an incredible way to travel, and sample local life.
An exchange where you take care of someones property and pets while they’re away, and in return are allowed to stay in their home, house-sitting is basically “borrowing the homeowners lifestyle for a period of time”.
Owners have peace of mind that their home and pets are lovingly cared for, and that pets get to stay in their own home, while pet loving sitters experience life in new places, without having to pay accommodation.
Now a massive movement, it’s super easy to find house sitting opportunities all over the world, of all kinds; it’s a very viable way to travel (some people even do it full time!), and while some house-sits might only last a few days, some can be for weeks, or even months at a time.
Taking care of someone else’s home and pets might seem like a dream come true, but you do need to be a reliable, responsible, and committed sitter. And there are some things that you just shouldn’t do.
Being a populous city, Phoenix always has something exciting going on; a huge range of special events and festivals throughout the year, which is why I’ve partnered with Hotels.com to bring you a list of my annual favorites, returning in 2020!
This year will see music festivals, big name concerts including Post Malone and Maroon 5, exciting expos, beer and wine festivals, food festivals, professional golf tournaments, special holiday events, and more!
Seychelles is an archipelago located in the Indian Ocean, made up of 115 islands. It’s an extremely beautiful place, and one of the world’s top honeymoon picks, due to its serene natural environment and those stunningly picturesque beaches.
Picture this: gently swaying palms, pure white powdery sand, and unrealistic blue seas; Seychelles invented the romantic vacation!
After having recently taken my honeymoon on the islands, I’ve put together some important tips you should keep in mind for your trip. This will help you prevent avoidable mistakes so you can maximize your bonding!
Let’s be honest. When you’re visiting Amsterdam, you have to see the Dam Square, Red Light District and Rijksmuseum. But is it also a must to hop on a hop-on hop-off bus to check off all main tourist attractions like the typical tourist?
Even though many tourists still jump on that double decker bus, Amsterdam is a city brimming with local secrets and hidden gems that are off the beaten path. So what better way to explore the real city (and avoid the crowds!) than to go on a walking tour with a local?!
Local Amsterdammers are filled with pride for their city; they know its in and outs, know it’s beautiful nooks and crannies, and know which parts of the city offer incredible experiences without any tour groups or crowds.
But where can you find a local Amsterdammer, willing to take you around?
Hi,hi Guide (www.hihiguide.com) is a platform that connects travelers with locals from all over the world. You get to choose a local you like, who will customize a tour itinerary matching your interests. It’s 100% private and pretty cheap too – you can hire a local from €12,50 per hour!
Visiting Amsterdam? Here are 7 reasons you should take a walking tour with a local Amsterdammer!
As exciting as traveling is, airports can be some of the dullest places on Earth (with the exception maybe of Singapore – being in Changi is like discovering wonderland after having fallen down the rabbit hole!) Yes, travel is often about the journey, not the destination, but no one enjoys being trapped in the terminal.
No matter how prepared you are for the airport downtime, armed with a top ten’s worth of airport best sellers and a fully downloaded Netflix hit, it’s still hard to make a layover interesting. Often times it takes all our energy not to fall asleep at the gate!
If you’ve got a long journey coming up, here are a couple of ways you can keep yourself entertained during layovers.
A Spanish volcanic archipelago of seven major islands, the Canary Islands is one of the world’s most beloved cruise stops. While the Canary Islands may belong to Spain, they sit just off the coast of north-western Africa, geographically part of the African continent.
The largest and most populous of the islands, Tenerife offers up a year-round destination with ideal weather and abundant natural beauty; from the north to south, the island is blessed with diverse landscapes and range of unique micro-climates.
There are readily available direct flights from Europe to the Canary Islands, but the most popular way to travel is by cruise. Luxurious Canary Island Cruises not only take in the islands but also often include incredible destinations such as Portugal’s Madeira archipelago and the stunning Cape Verde islands.
While there are a number of beautiful islands to explore in the Canary Islands including Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and La Palma, Tenerife is often considered the most exciting and beautiful.
Traveling to Tenerife by cruise? Whether you’re into nature, outdoor adrenaline sports, archaeology, or simply relaxing, check out these amazing things to do!
There are many tricks out there for booking the cheapest flight, and a lot has been written about hacking your way to paying less.
In 2016 the advice was to book exactly 56 days before departure. In 2017 we went nuts about mistake fares. In 2018 email subscriptions took off, where you could sign up for alerts of cheap prices, and in 2019, companies started offering everyday travelers access to wholesale airfares.
Over the past 4 years, I’ve written about each and every one of these trends. And each and every year I think: This is it, travel can’t get ANY cheaper. This is the biggest game changer yet.
Because you can only hack your way so far before reaching the bottom. Surely, at some point, there’s no more room for any less. But I’m proven wrong year after year – travel does continue to get cheaper. And a new company called FlyLine has just defined 2020’s cheap flight trend.
By offering virtually interlined flights (I’ll explain that in plain English in a sec), while giving you access to wholesale prices, FlyLine is beating out companies like Skyscanner and Kayak for the cheapest flights, and is the newest way to book flights for less.
The cultural shift towards working remotely has been one of the biggest trends of the 21st century. In the 1900’s, people were proud of their traditional office environment, but once the 2000’s hit, we dared to reinvent this.
We dreamed of working from our laptops in Sicily one day, and Switzerland the next. Of filing reports from a villa in Bali, or answering emails from the plane, en route to our next exciting country.
Yes, the concept of remote work has been one of the biggest movements of the century; it’s now incredibly common for entrepreneurs and freelancers to sustain themselves through online income, and more and more companies are offering positions for remote employees.
And while this is exciting; total freedom of movement, and the ability to work from anywhere as long as there’s a laptop with a connection, there’s a lot of work and discipline required to stay on track while traveling.
There are many tools and products that make life easier as a digital nomad, from blue-tooth keyboards, to lap desks, and portable wifi, but today we’re going to look at the apps you need for success.
Covering everything from your accounting, to your diary, and easy-to-use video conferencing, the best thing about the apps in this list is that they’re ALL FREE … keep your business expenses down by using these!
Look out your window, whether that be your office or your bedroom; what do you see? Is it the same old scene; dreary, boring, cold? Is the nine to five, Monday to Friday ritual just becoming too repetitive, too samey? Wish you could magic yourself away for a while?
If only there was a way to fund your travels whilst gaining valuable work and life experience that would not just bolster your CV, but also your character and social network …
Oh, wait, there is! You can teach English as a foreign language – TEFL for short.
For a while now, people young and old have travelled to other countries to teach English. There are a myriad of reasons why: for the love of teaching, experiencing other cultures, funding globetrotting, gap years, a break from the ordinary… the list goes on.
Fortunately, the demand for English grows as the language solidifies its reputation as the international lingua franca. Business, diplomacy, tourism, trade – all are areas where English is invaluable. All the better for you, an aspiring teacher!
Below is a brief guide on the TEFL industry. Read on if you’re keen to learn more about qualifications, destinations, and valuations!
Los Angeles is one of those cities known for its wacky and fun places. In a good day of urban exploration, you can find all types of wild and downright weird stores, museums and cultural sites; being quirky is a big part of the LA identity.
Such wackiness may be due to the city’s cultural inclination, or perhaps due to the influence of Hollywood magic seeping into the streets, but no matter where it comes from, it’s worth making space on your itinerary to experience a bit of the oddity.
Europe is an incredible holiday destination; from stealing a kiss under the Eiffel Tower, to eating your body weight in Spanish tapas, and running scenes from Gladiator in Rome, there’s no continent on earth quite like it.
Whether you stick to the classics like Paris, Rome and Barcelona, or spice it up with some East-meets-West in Istanbul or Russia, there’s literally no end to your options when planning a trip to Europe. So we don’t blame you for not knowing where to start.
Europe is a vast continent, and the logistics involved with planning a trip can feel overwhelming – from hotels to activities, transport, and train tickets; if only there was one site to manage it all.
Spoiler alert: planning a trip to Europe is very easy if you bookmark Klook.com! (worth noting that Klook is for travel all over the world, not just Europe).
If you’re struggling to plan, or wondering about how to start, the following is a step by step guide that covers exactly how to plan a trip to Europe, from setting your budget, to choosing your destinations, planning out your itinerary, and the great news is that you can research, compare, and book everything on ONE website.
New Zealand (NZ) is in quite a unique position in the world. It is one of the most Southernmost countries that is fully inhabited, yet is almost completely isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, some 2,500 miles from it’s nearest neighbor (Australia).
Despite these odds, New Zealand is one of the most popular destinations for tourists the world over, with its enchanted landscapes, breathtaking beaches, incredible glaciers, and a rich and fascinating indigenous culture.
Whether it’s worthwhile to visit New Zealand isn’t a question. It is.
The main question is how to get there.
Given its unusual location and distance from more populous regions, arriving in the country seems trickier than it actually is. But this guide will show you that getting to New Zealand and is easier than many would imagine.
While France may be among the most popular tourist destinations in the world, what with the lure of Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre, many travellers sadly don’t venture beyond the nation’s capital.
While it may be easy to fall in love with Paris, France is full of plenty of other worthy destinations; smaller cities and rural towns that are bursting with authentic French culture and intriguing history.
One such city is Metz.
Known as the “Ville d’Art et d’Histoire” (City of Art and History), and named as one of France’s ‘Top French Cities‘ for 2020, Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region in north-eastern France, set along the beautiful Moselle River.
Just three hours by car from Paris, or half that by train, Metz elegantly blends a rich past and priceless monuments with modern innovation, and is especially well suited for pedestrians and bikes. Its lively atmosphere and perfect size makes it ideal for short breaks, though you could easily find more than enough to keep you entertained for weeks.
No idea where to start? Here’s a list of things to do; a full run down of churches, parks, museums, festivals, and food!
Let’s face it – everyday life can be stressful. So much so that one of the biggest trending issues of the 21st century has been to raise awareness and shine a spotlight on issues surrounding mental health.
One in four people suffer from mental health issues at some point in their lives, whether that’s feeling stuck in life, or battling more severe issues like anxiety and depression. And while traveling may sound at first like you’re running from your problems, the truth can be quite the opposite.