Today is a good day because I finally have a shiny new iPhone. SO HAPPY. I started looking through all the photos on my current phone to see if I could get rid of any before I backed it up and realised it’s been a pretty amazing travel year. I have a definite case of wanderlust, probably quite a critical one actually. I have been on a holiday and travelling binge for the last three years, but it has allowed me to develop skills in travelling cheaply. It’s important to remind myself that I am not a millionaire and I have rent to pay.
As I have now started stringently saving money for future important things and facing up to being an adult, there will have to be less travelling. (Well, in theory there will) I was slightly alarmed when I calculated how many pounds I have spent on travels, but I don’t regret a single penny and this is why:
First stop: spring time Paris with my oldest friend.
This three day trip was as budget as they come. We got flights on EasyJet for £65 return and stayed in a hostel that came highly recommended.The place had pretty much zero glamour but the atmosphere was fun, the facilities were good and the price was brilliant. All in all about £110. Le Regent hostel Montmatre is cheap, fun, colourful and in a good location if you are looking to do Paris on the cheap with friends: http://www.leregent.com/
Next stop: Southern Thailand
Needless to say this wasn’t a particularly cheap trip, but still full of amazing deals. Flights were only £450 with Oman air, who were nothing short of delightful to travel with. I have family living in Thailand who sent me to various websites, the cheapest of which was www.ebookers.com. We booked some accommodation beforehand, but as is standard with Asia, you only generally pay for one night in advance. We did stay in a couple of hostels which we found when we arrived and were cheap as chips, but we did treat ourselves too. If you want a couple of nights of luxury in Southern Thailand without breaking the bank, I couldn’t recommend this place enough: http://www.railayvillageresort.net/ It’s absolutely stunning, on a breathtaking beach, has really good food and fantastic service. It’s also nowhere near as expensive as it looks like it should be.
Railay beach is only accessible by boat, despite being part of the mainland, so boat transfers are worth booking in advance if you can, as it can be cheaper and cuts out long waits at piers. There is no such thing as rushing in Thailand.
For a taste of untouched, undeveloped, authentic Thailand, take a trip a Koh Yao Yai. Hotels are definitely more pricey, but the experience is worth it. However, this is probably not for you if you like being out of your comfort zone and wouldn’t enjoy a cat-sized lizard as a room mate. You will however, if you visit http://www.kohyaoyaivillage.com/ get to experience the most incredible infinity pool, or swimming pool of DREAMS as I called it.
Truly crazy, very busy, very cheap, very noisy and very hot. I would recommend avoiding military coups, as we accidentally stumbled into one meaning we had a curfew and had to stay in the hotel at night. Not ideal. We did squeeze in one drunken night with a friend though, so not all bad. Stay in a hotel with a sky bar if possible, the views are 100% worth it. You can find them for around £50 a night on booking.com, or cheaper depending on the time of year.
Last on the travel list this year was Croatia. I got back three weeks ago from a little town called Rovinj. I went to Croatia last year for a few days too and it is absolutely beautiful. Flights on EasyJet are amazing, as little as £50 return if you are lucky. You can also travel to Slovenia using Wizz Air for £45 and get a transfer into Croatia, depending on which part you are visiting. As the Euro isn’t used, food and drink are still quite wonderfully cheap. The place is an absolute gem, even though they do have quite a few rainy days in summer. The festival scene there is massive now. I went to Unknown festival this year, which sadly turns a cheap trip into quite an expensive one, but worth the experience. I highly recommend Croatia as a summer break without needing to go to a festival though. It’s truly gorgeous and you can do it on a budget.