Category Archives: General Travel

The Value Added Holiday

Voluntourism, it’s become a buzz word in the travel industry but what is it, how does it work and how do you choose a worthwhile project?

Voluntourism is a holiday where you go out as a volunteer, usually but not always to a developing country and volunteer. Sometimes it’s just volunteering your time, sometimes you have specific skills that you take to a project and sometimes the project will train you in some basic skills to undertake the tasks that are needed. Either way, is it a good use of your time and money or is it just a ‘feel-good’ holiday where you leave feeling like you’ve done some good, but where the efforts you have put in will crumble just as quickly once you leave. How do you ensure that isn’t the case? Continue reading

Travelling with a Black Dog

Travelling with depression or any mental illness can be challenging. As a long term sufferer of severe, chronic depression and a traveller at heart it’s important to me and to my well being to find ways of getting away when I can. This piece is written with my own experiences in mind and should be taken only with consideration of your own symptoms and experiences – I cannot judge that for you. Trust yourself – you know your own limitations and boundaries. Continue reading

The Bonus of a Common Language

So, you’re off on a trip somewhere, everything is booked and there are a couple of months to go. You’re wondering, should I learn the language? Doesn’t everyone speak English these days? Do I really need to? Continue reading

Safety for Women Travellers

Every now and then you hear stories in the news or from friends of women getting themselves into sticky situations whilst abroad. This always seems to be because women, out there, travelling solo, or in small groups have thrown caution to the winds and forgotten all their normal habits which keep them safe at home and have assumed that no one would want anything but good for them. It’s as if we slide back into childhood, leave the responsibility for ourselves behind and expect the local ‘grown-ups’ to look out for us – why should they? We’re complete strangers. Continue reading

The Unexpected: Know and Prepare Before you go

As the we’re in the middle of vacation season and those of use who haven’t already booked a trip are considering last minute deals there is one question that rears it’s head; that of travel insurance – is it worth buying or not?

There are few cons and many pros to taking out adequate insurance. The only downside to insurance that I can identify is that you have to pay for something that you may or may not use. I can completely understand why some people may decide that this is an expense that they would rather not afford. Cash strapped students who are taking a gap year or going on one last hurrah before the hard work really starts, those travelling on a budget – it’s very tempting to see the insurance as one additional expense that you hope to get away without. But this is exactly the problem. You are hoping to get away with it. What if you don’t? Continue reading

Guatemala and Belize: The Homestay Experience

Volcan Agua towers over Antigua, Guatemala

Volcan Agua towers over Antigua, Guatemala

Home-stays are often touted as the best way to learn a new language through ‘total immersion’ or a good way to really experience local culture and ‘real life’ of the country you’re in. But what is is really like? Continue reading