Posts Tagged ‘summer’

The Online Travellers Survival Guide

August 14, 2013


People today can’t function without the internet. It has revolutionised the way in which we go about our day-to-day lives.

There is a whole host of websites and apps specifically designed to make your travels as smooth as possible; from planning your trip, to navigating your way around a city, to local phrasebooks on-the-go.

This website is a great place to start when planning your travels. It offers independent advice and ideas for gap year travellers from finding a placement, to average costs and finding the cheapest deals. Great for those travellers who want to get organised before they set off.


Free Wi-Fi Finder

Free internet is like gold dust when travelling, and so this app will become your new best friend. The “Free Wifi Finder” app is designed to locate the nearest free Wi-Fi spots to your current location by detecting them from a pre-downloaded list. This means you never have to incur any data charges whilst away and you can limit the amount of time you spend in pricey internet cafés.



A slightly controversial one. We all know that sinking feeling you get when you take your seat on the plane and realise you’re sat in front of a screaming child, or the incredibly chatty woman who tells you her life story when all you want to do is sleep. “SeatID” is a website that allows you to view the social networking profiles of fellow passengers before you book your ticket, so you can pick your preferred seatmate based on common interests.


Around Me

Anything you need to find whilst on the move, “Around Me” will help you get there fast. From bars and supermarkets to banks and hospitals, the app can direct you to your nearest location using GPS directions. It also provides you with contact details for destinations so that you can call ahead and reserve a table at a local restaurant, for example.


Word Lens

For a faster and more novel way to overcome language barriers while you’re away, “Word Lens” is an on-the-go, interactive phrase book. You take a photograph some text and the app will instantly translate it from one language to another, making reading road signs or menus a walk in the park.

As you travel you will capture some of the most memorable moments of your life on camera. But these pictures are all too easy to lose whilst you’re on the go. BuddyBackup is a free website that allows you to save these files to a computer at home remotely from any location worldwide, as long as you have an internet connection.



“Travel is only glamourous in retrospect.”

July 3, 2013

Top tips for making the most of your gap year travels

Be it because you didn’t get the grades you were hoping for, you’re struggling to get into the job market or you just want to explore the world before settling into a career; gap years can be a fantastic way to experience the world and its many cultures. If done in the right way, they can also enhance your skill set, making you more appealing to potential employers.

Follow our five top tips below to get the most out of your gap year travels.

Preparation is key

If the idea of planning each part of your trip yourself is understandably too daunting a task, there are many travel providers out there who specialise in gap year packages. They can be tailored to your needs, taking into account your budget and your preferred locations.

These organised trips can be a fantastic way to meet like-minded people, and you may even make friends who are travelling similar routes to you, with whom you can buddy-up.

Get advice

Don’t underestimate the value of experience. Talk to friends, relatives, colleagues who have already had experience travelling and get their opinions and advice. Listen to first-hand accounts and take as much from them as you can.

Like Paul Theroux said, “travel is only glamourous in retrospect”, and so hearing what people loved about their experience and what they wish they could’ve changed could be invaluable when planning your own trip.

Pack light

It is said that when preparing for a long stint of travelling you should pack everything you think you’ll need – and then halve it. The last thing you want when wandering round the streets of Bangkok, or climbing a mountain in Cambodia, is to be carrying a backpack that weighs as much as you do.

As you travel from A to B, you will gain various items and souvenirs and so it’s always a good idea to start off as light as possible.

Protect yourself and your belongings

Shop around for the best deals on health, travel and property insurance. There are many specialist providers out there who offer discounted rates for these trips. Whilst it may seem like an unnecessary cost now, you will be thankful for it if you fall ill, or your flight gets cancelled.

A way of backing up your pictures as you travel that doesn’t break the bank is by using a peer-to-peer backup service. Sites such as offer a completely free way to save your files to a computer back at home; all you need is an internet connection at your hostel, or in an internet café, for example. You log in to the site and transfer the files instantly. No more worrying about losing the pictures of your holiday of a lifetime!

Be open-minded

Finally, I can’t stress enough the need to be open-minded as you travel. Plans are important, but enjoying yourself and embracing the cultures you will experience are equally so. Read up on local customs and cuisines and really get stuck in.

Be flexible. Things will go wrong, plans will change. Just embrace all that comes your way and truly make the most out of your experience.

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover” – Mark Twain