Aspiring Backpacker - Just read up and set off! Showing you how to backpack around the world. Fri, 27 Nov 2015 03:58:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Getting the best holiday deals possible Wed, 25 Nov 2015 21:23:34 +0000 travel

Going on holiday is more often than not an amazing experience, but when it comes to organising everything you want to make sure that there is a good balance between price and value for money. There really is not much point in paying a lot of money for a holiday only to have very little when you go on your trip, so here are some great ways to approach organising your next holiday.

Use a flight comparison website

There are many great websites out there like Travelocity, which compare flights from many airline carriers and give you the best prices possible. The great thing is that you don’t have to trawl through the websites of various airlines in search of the best prices, because it is done for you and all you need to do is click a few buttons.

Book a package

Booking an all inclusive holiday is a really great way to ensure you are getting a great deal for your next holiday. The upfront cost of flights, accommodation and food is really great because you don’t have to worry so much about spending money. The advantage is that packages are often cheaper than booking everything individually, so you will certainly have more money to spend on lots of other little luxuries on your holiday.

Make a budget

This may sound like a very obvious step, but there are a number of people who are spending everything that they earn and this makes it difficult to have the money for the type of holiday that you deserve. Simply writing down and allocating your income to various things is a great way to ensure that you can save enough for your holiday. This will help you to identify things that you are perhaps spending too much money on and you can work to reduce this spending and reallocate it to saving.

Book early

The best way to get the best price for your next holiday is simply to pull the trigger and book your holiday as soon as you know you want to go. Booking early often means the best prices and really can help you to focus your efforts on doing the next most important thing, which is getting the spending money you need to make the most of the upcoming holiday.

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Gran Canaria: The Ultimate Holiday Destination This Winter? Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:21:23 +0000 gran canaria

The coming winter holidays are a time that people just want to enjoy, but the circumstances are less than ideal for enjoying your time off. What if you could get in a plane and travel somewhere relatively quickly without travelling to the Southern Hemisphere? Well this is more than possible by visiting Gran Canaria, which is one of the premier Canary Islands holiday destinations. Read on to find out why Gran Canaria may be your ideal winter sun escape this year and next.

How to get there

As Gran Canaria is an island it is generally accessible mainly by plane and for those looking for a great winter holiday destination it is crucial that the location is not so far away. Gran Canaria is only about 4 hours by flight from the United Kingdom and there are many carriers flying there frequently.

When to go

Of course we are looking to find the best winter sun holiday destination out there, but the reality is that Gran Canaria is a great place to go at any point in the year as the weather is very similar all year round. It has a warm to hot climate and this is one of the major selling points of it.

Things to do

    • Going to the beach – hitting the beach in winter is one of the ultimate luxuries of Gran Canaria and the quality of the beaches on the island is nothing short of amazing. Playa de las Canteras is one of the most famous and popular and for good reason, it’s soft yellow sand stretches for around three kilometres, which makes it the longest beach on the island. You can also enjoy the seafront promenade which is perfect to walk, run or cycle on, and there are also a number of great bars, cafes and restaurants to enjoy here.
    • Cueva Pintada Museum and Archaeological Park – This is a cave that was only discovered again late in the 1800s and shows a historical element to Gran Canaria. The walls of the cave are full of pre-Hispanic drawings of geometric shapes, it is thought these relate to some form of astronomy.
    • Jardin Botanico Canario Viera y Clavijo – This is a beautiful botanic garden that is actually the largest in all of Spain. It has a rich variety of plants, trees and flowers which come from the Canary Islands and is a must see for those that love nature and the outdoors.
    • Iglesia de San Juan Bautista – This is a 20th century church that is set amongst the white houses of Aruca in the north of Gran Canaria. It is built in a striking neo-Gothic style and is something that you should experience.

Gran Canaria is the right mix of holiday destination, great weather and culture and it makes it one of the best holiday destinations to get you through any harsh winter.

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Winter walking holidays in South Devon Tue, 24 Nov 2015 04:57:27 +0000 For dramatic scenery and breathtaking views, look no further than South Devon for your winter walking holidays over the coming months. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has a network of rural footpaths just waiting to be explored, as well as miles of stunning unspoilt coast path interspersed with quaint fishing villages, picturesque coves (some only accessible on foot!), shipwrecks and sites of historical interest.

Wrap up warm against the winter elements and take to the beautiful South Devon countryside to explore this hidden gem. Why not start early and make the most of the short but beautiful days at this time of year? Admire the fabulous sunrise, stroll along country footpaths glistening with the crisp morning frost, or take to the South West Coast Path and enjoy the stunning views out to sea.

For winter walking holidays to remember, South Devon is a must visit!

Walking Routes
Here are just a selection of walks to consider, when planning your winter walking holidays.

Dartmouth to Greenway: The Dart Valley Trail


Looking for a day in the fresh air, admiring the breathtaking scenery found around the picturesque River Dart during your winter walking holidays? Embark on a stroll along the bank of the river – this day long round trip takes in numerous sites of interest. Walk past the National Trust property Greenway House and Gardens – the former home of celebrated author Dame Agatha Christie – where you can stop for a cream tea in the tea room. Head further along the wooded river bank before crossing on the ferry and exploring the pretty fishing village of Dittisham. Finally walk back along the water’s edge and finish at Dartmouth, where you can enjoy well earnt fish and chips at the award winning restaurant Rockfish.

Whilst this nine mile walk is strenuous, the unspoilt scenery and wildlife spotting opportunities make this daylong adventure well worth the effort. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars to spot birds and marine life in their natural habitat – during the quiet winter months, who knows what might surface to say ‘hello’! This fascinating route is definitely a great way to see the River Dart, for those looking for winter walking holidays to admire the region’s hidden gems.

Blackdown Rings, near Kingsbridge

River Avon

Having explored the River Dart, why not head to another of the area’s meandering rivers, the River Avon?  Passing through the peaceful wooded Avon Valley – a calm, tranquil area – this is a blissful spot for a walk at any time of year. For those heading to South Devon for winter walking holidays, this ramble could be the perfect option for a day when the weather may not be on your side… the six mile walk runs along the river bank, meaning for much of the route you are less exposed to the elements than perhaps you would be spending a day exploring the clifftops on the South West Coast Path. Particularly in dewy or frosty conditions, this walk is very scenic and special!

Dartmouth Town Trail

For those concerned about the muddy or icy conditions that they may face on footpaths and cliff tops during winter walking holidays, the Dartmouth Town Trail could be a great option. An easy one mile walk taking around two hours, the trail is on surfaced roads and pavements, and includes many of the town’s sites of historical and natural interest, including the boat float, St Saviour’s Church and Browns Hill Steps. You can also enjoy all the views of the River Dart, without the worry about conditions underfoot – perfect for those new to winter walking holidays!

Looking for inspiration for your winter walking holidays in South Devon? Watch this fabulous video, showcasing some of the beautiful scenery you can enjoy during your #7daysinSouthDevon  (

If you are planning your winter walking holidays in South Devon, Coast and Country Cottages ( have over 430 self catering holiday properties in and around Salcombe and Dartmouth – perfect accommodation for exploring this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

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Gi2C Guide for China Travelers: How does a typical scam happen? Wed, 23 Sep 2015 03:33:32 +0000

Gi2C offers an important warning and advice on how to avoid scams in China

Traveling in China is exciting and interesting, yet every year thousands of tourists and expats get taken advantage of while visiting and living in China. At Gi2C, our goal is to make sure our Gi2C interns and China expats have the best experience possible in China. The last thing we want is for Gi2C interns or any foreigner to fall prey to scams while out and about in China.  Here is some advice from our Gi2C staff and long-time Beijing and Shanghai expats about what to look out for in order to avoid being scammed:

 What do scammers look like in China?

They often look very nice and seem friendly. The person wanting to scam you of your money may be a middle-aged woman, a good-looking guy, or a couple of cute college girls who approach you and start talking to you in good English.

How do they start the conversation with you?

They most likely will offer to help you with something such as directions, bargaining, reading some sign in Chinese or help to take your picture. They may come up to you and ask if you speak English or what nationality you are.

What type of foreigners do they target?

Most scam artists will look for foreigners who look lost or confused or who are carrying a backpack or luggage with them. They may also look for people from specific countries who may generally be more friendly to strangers than other countries. Lastly, they’ll look for foreigners who appear to be somewhat wealthy or at least those who might be carrying all of their travel cash with them at that moment.

How do they get you to trust them?

They talk about things that interest you and are very knowledgeable or curious about your home country. They explain a little about themselves and may have a story of hardship such as struggling to come to Beijing or Shanghai and feeling very lonely to cause you to feel like you’re helping to cheer them up by befriending them.

They may say they are also tourists and just got to town a few days ago and are staying nearby. They will often flatter you in every other sentence and make you feel good about yourself.  When is the last time a stranger said you were beautiful, hilarious, cute, fun, brave, strong, handsome, smart and cool all within 15 minutes? Don’t fall for it.

Where do they want to take you?

They ask you to go join them in having some tea, coffee, beer or a meal at a place that just so happens to be very close by but most likely is not a legit or legal establishment. They will then escort you to this shady location in the back somewhere that has little signage and no prices on the menu.

What happens when you get to the destination?

After a usually enjoyable lunch, you’ll be ready to leave in order to get back on schedule. When you ask for the bill, you discover that the total amount is several hundred dollars or RMB. Your escorts may offer to pay 50%; however, in the end, they won’t pay a dime and you will have been seriously overcharged.

Why can’t you refuse to pay and just run out?

Sadly, most foreigners don’t even consider this an option because they either don’t know they are being scammed or simply because this would never be an option in their home country. If you did refuse to pay, most likely scary looking fake security guys who are also in on the scam might appear to try and frighten you into paying.

To be on the safe side, should I just not talk to any locals?

Of course not. The majority of Chinese people are very friendly and kind and have no agenda. However, every country has black sheep and simply due to the sheer size of China, China has more black sheep than other countries. Our advice at Gi2C is to be friendly, but only up to a point. If you are on your own without a trustworthy China tour guide, then don’t go anywhere with a stranger. An alternative might be to take them to a place of your choosing. If they say, “Come with us” you can say instead, “Let’s have coffee at the Starbucks right there”.

Why do foreigners often get scammed in China?

Chinese people know foreigners are usually kind-hearted and think the best of everyone. As a result, certain scams are prevalent to take advantage of this naivety. You should be wary of anyone who approaches you for anything other than wanting to take a picture with you. People offering you a hotel, transport, or entrance tickets may deliver, but you will never know how much more you paid for that service than a Chinese person paid.

Also foreigners, especially those on vacation, are easy targets. They are clearly just passing through and may be carrying all of their belongings with them along with a good deal of cash. Try to blend in more with the crowd and leave extra money, fancy clothes and possessions at the hotel instead of carrying your backpack with you. Even if you don’t fall prey to a China scam, you may fall prey to theft. There are a lot of sticky fingers in China’s big cities. Keep any expensive belongings in front of you where you can see them at all times.

If China scams are so common, why even come to China?

Read any reviews about China and you’ll discover that it’s a place you have visit at some point in your life. Not all Chinese people are out to scam you, and just by reading this article, you’ve done about all it takes to protect yourself against being scammed. Although scams in China exist, they shouldn’t discourage you from missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime.

Over 3,000 Gi2C interns have been brave enough to leave home and come to China and the majority have had an amazing and extremely positive experience. Now that you’re aware of this particularly common China scam and if you prepare well for the unexpected, you’ll have nothing to worry about. China is a fascinating and exciting place for visitors, expats and foreign interns. Don’t waste a second longer waiting to come over to China!

This how-to guide in avoiding China scams is brought to you by Gi2C Group. Gi2C has been an internship provider in China since 2008 and has become a leader in the internship industry. Gi2C’s goal is to help students and young professionals not only safely get into China without falling prey to any scams but also to help them understand China and Chinese business culture. Gi2C interns write honest reviews of our programs which can be read on a variety of online third-party sources. Gi2C provides tailor-made opportunities for interns to work for a variety companies in multiple industries based in China.

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The Smartphone Goes Camping Fri, 11 Sep 2015 09:16:43 +0000 Eighty-four percent of people state that they couldn’t survive without their smartphone for a single day, and two-thirds of the population own such a device. This means that wherever you are, odds are good that you want to check your phone. Even when you’re on vacation in the middle of nowhere, you’ll feel the urge to surf the web to keep up with the news of the day.

That’s not the only reason you’ll want to keep your phone handy, though. A growing segment of campers simultaneously get back in touch with nature while giving in to the urge to grab a 4G LTE capable smartphone like the reinvented Galaxy S6 from Samsung. The explanation is that any type of outdoors adventure, whether you’re roughing it or glamping, is better with a phone handy.

There are 1.5 million apps available for download via Google Play, and thousands of them will add a personal touch to your camping experience. Before you leave, some programs will provide suggestions about packing items that you might have forgotten or never even considered. You’ll even discover some of the best unheralded camping areas thanks to a cellphone download. Once you’ve picked the destination, mapping apps will provide directions to your campsite, no matter how remote the location is.

After you’ve arrived for your rustic vacation, you can learn how to cook the best campfire fish and s’mores, impressing your camping friends in the process. Then, you can master survival skills in the woods. At night, there’s even a selection of stargazing apps to guarantee you have the best view of the breathtaking night sky.

If you’re interested in having the best camping experience possible, carefully study the following infographic. It’ll open your eyes to new vacation ideas via your smartphone.


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Traveling around Denmark away from the main attractions Sun, 30 Aug 2015 15:23:32 +0000 Denmark is a beautiful country and offers many sights for tourists to explore. There are the picturesque castles and palaces around the capital, Copenhagen, as well as the clean beaches and stunning forests if you choose to travel further afield. If you’re looking for a different tourist experience, you’ll find a great range of attractions away from the main tourist sites.


Off the beaten track

For those who want to see the real Denmark, you need to look further than the general guidebooks. For instance, when you’re in Copenhagen, you could visit the neighborhood of Christiania, where you’ll find an eclectic mix of workshops and organic cafés, alongside the freethinking residents. They even provide guided tours throughout the year.

The country is renowned for its natural beauty, and one of the most picturesque areas is Northern Jutland. This offers fantastic landscapes, and the stunning beaches make it popular with locals and tourists. While you’re there, you can visit the spectacular sand-covered Buried Church.

Many tourists spend all their time in Copenhagen, but Aarhus, the second biggest city, also has plenty to see. It has an extensive range of nightlife and restaurants, as well as cultural and historical attractions such as the Aarhus Cathedral.


Sticking to a budget

Many people think of Denmark as an expensive country, but if you know where to go, it doesn’t have to be. The North Sea landscape is one of Denmark’s greatest sights. The cliffs and sand dunes are all free to explore and stretch along the west coast.

For getting around Copenhagen, you can hire a bicycle, which is an extremely popular option and very cheap. There are lots of routes that you can follow, and there are many cozy cafés where you can stop for a rest. While you’re cycling around, you can admire the country’s stunning architecture. Some of the buildings in Denmark date back 400 years, including mansions and castles. Many of these are open to the public, and entrance is often free.


Where to stay

Denmark offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and tastes. You can opt for one of the hotels in the cities or main tourist destinations or choose to camp out in the amazing countryside. If you want to go for something different, there are a range of apartments in Copenhagen and across the country that are available to hire on a short-term basis. These provide you with all the home comforts and are a great option if you want to stay together as a family. You can come and go as you please, and you don’t have the same restrictions on mealtimes as you would with a hotel. There are some delightful residencies to choose from.

A vacation to Denmark doesn’t have to be the same as every other trip or city break. There is so much to see and do in the country that you can spend your time away from the main tourist sites without feeling that you’re missing out.

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