Which type of traveller are you?

After having been and seen all of these types of tourists I’ve decided to put together a post on how I categorise my style of living while travelling based on budgets, luxuries and what we do.

Through my 4 months travelling South East Asia, i’d have to say Liam and I were Glam Packers
Backpacker

-Staying in dormitories

-Most meals are street food

-Pre-drinking before nights out, then beers at the bars

-Drinking every night because beer is cheaper than water

-Cheapest forms of travel (long and uncomfortable journeys)

-Walk everywhere

-Research different places you can go and get to them by yourself as its cheaper than tours
Glam packer

-Staying in private rooms or guesthouses

– Most meals are in relatively cheap restaurants. You still choose the countries cuisine because they’re the lowest prices (and you still look at the menu for prices before you enter)

– Drinking in places with happy hours and BOGOF deals, ordering vodka on the odd occasion. Not drinking every night

– Cheapest forms of travel with the odd upgrade here and there if its only  few extra pound

-Create you tours by yourself using research, but taking 1 or 2 company tours if they’re really cool

-Walk most of the time, with the odd tuk tuk here and there, but barter of course

Holiday maker

-Staying in hotels

-Meals in restaurants, eating what you want

-Drink to get drunk on any drink you choose. Maybe even a bottle? It’s only 30 quid.

-Taxis and tours all the way – who exercises on holiday?

My Full Thailand Itinerary

Hi guys,

I’ve had a lot of emails/messages lately from bloggers/travellers asking how long I think they would need to travel different places in Asia. This was one of my main questions too when trying to work out how to fit it all in in under 4 months.

So im going to post my itinerary of each country in the hope that it helps some of you.

Here is the first 45days of my travels in Thailand and my opinions/feedback.  

 1-4th December: 3 nights in Bangkok (way too long. I weren’t a fan of Bangkok. 1 night here is enough, 2 at max as you’ll be returning here to travel North) 

4-7th: 3 nights in Kanchanaburi (we did a tour here that included elephants trekking, Tigers and other activities so the timing was perfect)

7-8th: overnight train to Phuket

8-12th: 4 nights in Phuket (This town reminded me a bit of Ibiza. It’s very touristy and there’s a really long bar strip. 3 nights here would’ve been enough for me)

12-15th: 3 nights in Koh Phi Phi (my favourite place. Beautiful beach and the Sunset day tour was epic: even know I was eaten alive by mosquitos)

15th – 18th 3 nights in Ko Lanta (super chill days. The only thing to do here is relax and spend a day island hopping) 

18th – 21st 3 nights in Krabi (you can get a day trip to Railay and many other islands and the bar strip is long)

21st-24th 3 nights in Koh samui (unfortunately it rained here for us so there weren’t much to do)

24th-27th 3 nights in Ko Panghan (only the left part of the island is utilised. Make sure you attend a full moon party!)

27th- 4th: 8 nights in Koh Tao (we spent extra long here because we did our scuba diving course over New Years so we were delayed. The ferry was also fully booked on the day we wanted to leave! I think 5-6 nights here would be perfect)

4-5th: overnight bus to Bangkok from Chumphon; after a 2 hour boat from Koh Tao

5th-6th: 1 night in Bangkok (the overnight bus arrive at 5am so we needed this night to sleep before heading to Chaing Mai by train)

6th-9th 3 nights in Chiang Mai (perfect amount of time: ethical, elephant sanctuary, ethical tiger sanctuary, night bazaar)

9th – 13th 4 nights in Pai (too long but I got food poisoning. 2 nights would be perfect)

13th-14th: Chiang Mai (had to come back here while we waited for our Visa Approval letter for Vietnam then flew to Bangkok 

14th-15th stayed overnight in Bangkok airport and departed for Vietnam at 6.30am

This is all of course, based on my opinion of each place. Taking away all the extra nights I spent in places that I don’t feel is necessary, i personally think you could do the whole of Thailand properly in 35 nights.

I will also be posting my budget and spendings in each country in future posts when I get a bit of spare time. 

If you would like further advice on your travels, where to miss/where is best for certain things, feel free to drop me a comment and I’ll be happy to help!

LwL x 

Vietnam by foot

Ok let’s not take this literally. I don’t mean that we’ve actually walked from city to city, I’m not that fit. 

What I mean is that we haven’t got one taxi in the whole of Vietnam, we have walked everywhere, yes I’m very proud of myself. 
Every site, every museum, every park and every market. Our legs have done a lot of walking and every glide was worth it. 
  
We only had four exceptions, but all were very necessary. 

 Sleeper buses

Here’s the whole city to city part. Vietnam is 1000 miles in length from North to South, it would probably take a while to walk. 

Easy Riders

  Remember my post about Thangs easy riders in Phong Nha; the ex-hunters who take you around on bikes for the day? We used transport then, as the National Park is too long to walk and too dangerous for bicycles, so we had no choice but to drive to see the sites. 
Ha Long Bay & Cu Chi tunnels 

  
  The tunnels are built a 2.5 hour drive out of Saigon, and Ha Long Bay is a 4 hour drive west of Hanoi. So both are only really walkable if you have a spare few days and want to camp along the way. 


Bigs pro’s

We’re helping the environment – We’ve had no real contribution to pollution here (I think they have enough of that, what with all he motorbikes). 

We’ve saved money – with no pennies spent on cabs each day, we’re have lots spare in the kitty to either indulge or save for a future activity.

You get to know people better – When you have company along the way, you have endless amounts of time to really gets to know the person/people you’re with. Que the ‘what did you want to be when you were younger?’ type questions. 

Your keeping fit – Did you know that most people burn 120-160 calories per kilometre. That means in 10 kilometres you’ve burned a women’s full day of calorie intake, crazy hey.
Best of all.. 

You don’t realise your exercising – there thought of exercising pains me. I want to be thin but refuse to work hard to get a good body, so subconcious exercise is the way forward. 

It’s been lots of fun, and surprisingly you don’t realise how far you go, I haven’t even moaned about the walking; can you believe that??

The not so pro’s 

Safety on the roads – Some areas do not have a pavement so you have to walk beside the road. Just stay alert at all times and walk against the traffic so that you can see everything coming in front of you.

The noise – Vietnamese people just love to beep their horns, a 4 hour walk on main roads can start to give you a headache.
It takes up time – On foot is not advised if you’re on a tight schedule, but hey I’m a traveller, all we have is time. 

Pat on a back, well deserved I think. I challenge you to try it yourself! 

Pop on your walking shoes, grab a water from the VMart and go and explore. You never know what you might find! 

LwL x 

Sightseeing in Nha Trang

It appears that there are 3 main tourist spots that get circled around Nha Trang. A lot of places operate half day tours that cost around 1.3 million dong (£40). What with us being ‘travellers’ and all, 40 quid for half a day out just couldn’t be justified. We therefore popped on our walking shoes, GPS in hand and headed straight for the hotspots
Here’s a map to give you an idea of our day. 

  
We headed to the Long Son Pagoda first, this was approx. a 3.5km walk from our hotel.

Long Son Pagoda

One of the oldest and biggest pagodas in Nha Trang. It was built in 1886 but has more recently been dedicated to the monks and nuns who died protesting against the US supported Diem regime. 

  
I’d be lying if I said I was unbelievably impressed by this site but that’s just my opinion. Let me know when you visit? 
  We then climbed the 152 stone steps leading to the giant white Buddha sitting on a lotus blossom. It really was giant! We also had great view of the whole city from here and we passed some other cool stuff on the way up too.

We stopped for lunch after this in a random restaurant that we found. It was really hard to find somewhere to eat around this area, we were looking for ages! 

The benefits of walking everywhere is that you truly get to explore the place you’re visitong. We see some great sites along the way

  The Cham Towers were a further 3 or so km. We weren’t sure if this was walkable. As you can see from the map, there is a motorway and an island to get past beforehand, but we decided to take the risk. This was actually super easy so don’t be put off by this. The bridges had pavements and so did the busy roads. 

Cham Towers

The Po Nagar Cham Towers is a sacred Hindu site. The towers were built between the 7th and 12th century in honour of the Cham Princess. Today it’s still used as a pilgrimage for the local people. 

  
I loved this place, so much detail on the buildings and lots of scenery to enjoy. 

  
Entry fee: 22,000 dong

Dam Market 

On our way back we popped into the Dam Market, the famous trade centre of Nha Trang.
The market is a circle shape with stalls both in and around the circle. Expect all the obvious merchandise being sold here. 

  
I’d say it was approx. a 12km walk all in all. We did the whole day in the space of 4 1/2 hours; including a stroll along the beach and a cake stop on the way home. 
Our total day cost 275, 000 dong (£8.60). This included our lunch, fluids for the walk, 2 big cakes and entry into the Pogar Towers. 

I also lost about 200 calories. Well, before I ate the cake. That was my reward for the exercise ha.  

That means we saved over £30 each by avoiding a tour!

You may have seen some memes taking Facebook by storm recently. So I’m going to join in, as I feel I deserve one. 

 
LwL x 

6 ways I saved for my Dream Trip

Its very rare that I come across someone who doesn’t wish they could leave their reality for a while and go travelling across the globe. Its also rare that I come across someone in the older generation who doesn’t regret not going when they were ‘younger’.

I have came across the ‘couldn’t leave my job to..’ ‘not brave enough to..’ ‘didn’t have the money to..’ ‘was never the right time to..’

Now I cant turn back time and I am yet to obtain the miracle of making anyone younger, I also cant force anyone that isn’t brave enough to take the leap, but I can help when it comes to the money side with a few tips and tricks that I learnt while saving for my dream  trip across South East Asia (leaving on Monday!).

First things first, I have been saving since November 2014. In that time I have been on 5 holidays abroad, 2 festivals and 2 UK based holiday weekends amongst many other enjoyable nights out.

I think its fair to say I haven’t scrimped and scraped and I haven’t missed out on anything I didn’t want to. But if you are not me and you do not share my love to socialise as much, I assure you, you will be able to save a lot more.

  1. Monitor what you spend

spreadsheets-finances-personalOk not the most fun thing to do, but I’ve put it first as I believe it’s the most important.

This trick made it very clear to me that I had an impulsive shopping habit and that I spend way too much money when I’m drunk.  This is probably relatable to most people.

I was spending 1/3 of my wages per month on going out and shopping! (enter the ‘you need to go to AA meetings’ comment.) I never  realised until the figures were put in front of me.

When you monitor what you spend you become aware of your habits. Being aware means that you can fix it, and save it.

Heres some budgeting spreadsheet to help you out

2 . Ditch the Gym membership

I don’t know about you but I could never bring myself to pay £60-70 per month for a gym membership. Its crazy how much fitness costs these days!

The only way I can warrant that money is if you go to the gym everyday, for hours on end and I’m way too lazy and too tight for that.

Ditch the membership and get yourself outdoors. Go for a run or ride a bike. If its too cold get yourself on Youtube and go through some home workouts in your living room, technology is the answer.

8-Minute-Abs-Floor-Exercise-Routine-Ab-Home-Workout-Fitness-.jpg

For all you fitness crazed loons who must be a gym member (or those that feel thinner just for being a gym member aka me), at least try a cheaper one, I signed up to Fit4Less. At £25-30 per month and no contract, that’s saved me £360 for the year.

3. Bring your own lunch to work

packed-lunches--z.jpg

Its probably the most obvious one I can think of, but laziness with this got the better of me until recently.

Working in the city means an average of £6 spent on lunch everyday. That’s £30 over a 5 day week! Get creative and prep your meals the night before, or at the start of the week if you want to.

Prepping = eating healthier = thinner human = no need to exercise as much = no need for a gym membership – see how it all fits together!

4. Sign up for the discount cards

The Unlimited Cineworld card  is one for the movie buffs, or for those who hate staying in. One trip to the cinema for an adult these days is £11 in London! £16.50 per month gets you unlimited films as often as you like. You do the math.

Taste card is one for the foodies. You can buy a card for a £1 and you have access to 2 for 1 and % off at just under 7000 restaurants!

This way you can avoid being a hermit at a much lower cost. Try and get all your friends involved as it isn’t as fun to go cinema or dine by yourself.

Best of all, although you enter into a contract, you can cancel it early if you can prove that you have a one way ticket out of the country for a while, just as I did. (you didn’t hear that from me)

5. Find the deals!

Ok so you want to go on a night out? Yes you are allowed, saving does not mean putting your life on hold! You just have to be a bit clever.

These days thanks to the internet there are deals galore. For literally everything. Spa deals, 2 for 1 cocktails, theatre tickets, comedy nights, zorbing, food deals and the list goes on.

GoGroopie, Amazon Local, Opentable, Groupon and Wowcher are all great options. If there is an activity you really want to do, always check on these places first before booking anywhere else. Trust me you’ll save hundreds!

6 . Sell you unwanted/unused goods

Now this is something I’m taking true advantage of, thanks to my impulsive spending habits. Most of the time when I buy things, I change my mind an hour later. I either don’t like them anymore or don’t want to after I’ve worn them once (thanks to social media). I am also just a hauler of absolute crap.

Wallapop and Depop are great places to sell clothes and accessories. Ebay is a great all rounder to sell pretty much anything! (vice versa I have bought most of my travelling stuff on here and saved loads of money). You can put fixed prices or starting bids on anything so you never have to worry about underselling your valuables. (Does anyone want to buy my Finepix Underwater camera by the way? I found my old one that i lost yay!)

$_57.JPG

Raid your house and room and look for those unwanted goodies. Get out that Karaoke kit you haven’t touched since you was 14 or those  DVDs you haven’t watched since Netflix was invented and get posting.

One mans trash is another mans treasure..

I could go on all day to tell you how I have managed to save pennies and pounds here are there. The truth is, every person is different.

It all boils down to your expenses vs. profit. To save more, spend less – simple!

I hope this helps. Do you have any useful money saving tips?

LwL x