Author: Charlie Stone

Preparing for the big trip

Getting ready for a big backpacking trip can be a daunting task. The knowledge that you are going to have to carry everything you will need in one bag and include items for varying climates and environments is enough to make anyone stress out. So here are some pointers from some of the biggest online travel experts… Avoid Over-packing! The biggest danger according to Travel Independent Info is over packing. Over packing is not good – it makes your trip that much harder as you carry unnecessary weight around. No one intends to pack too much and yet the urge to...

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Co-Working Spaces in Bangkok

There are plenty of places to go to when you are a traveller and work simultaneously. Bangkok is not only a thrilling place to travel to but also ideal because of the places that are considered co-working spaces. Some are unbelievable to work in; you’ll be amazed at the amenities offered to the digital nomads that need a place to work and stay overnight. Although there may be some that are a bit pricey, there’s some that are absolutely cheap and affordable to work in. It’s an absolute dream for those who are fortunate enough to be able to...

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72 Hours in Ho Chi Minh City

The economic powerhouse of Vietnam and formerly known as Saigon, HCMC is a melting pot of different cultures and political stances. East doesn’t just meet west here – capitalist and communist ideologies have also combined making HCMC a unique and interesting place to spend a few days. Well-known brands and big businesses are very visible in HCMC – a reflection of its more relaxed attitude towards capitalism and Western brands. Day 1 – A Whole Lotta’ History Vietnam has a turbulent yet fascinating history and if you take some time to learn more about it you’ll understand and appreciate...

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Local Accommodation in Exchange for Language Practice

These days, travelling the world is almost seen as a necessity. In an increasingly globalized and connected world, it’s easy to learn about new cultures, but true knowledge of the world comes from experiencing these cultures. TalkTalkBnb, a new free social platform, offers travellers this very opportunity – by staying for free with locals and living authentically, in exchange for speaking their native language with their host. Food and lodging in exchange for a service Based on the principle of bartering, TalkTalkBnb offers an entirely free-to-use online community of “Hosts” and “Travelers.” Hosts offer free accommodation; in return, travellers...

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Causing More Harm than Good – The Truth behind Volunteering with Orphans

In recent years the popularity of ‘voluntourism’ has exploded and a huge number of people are now combining a holiday with the feel good factor of ‘giving back’ to the places they visit. At face value it is a hard thing to criticise – what could be wrong with giving up some of your time to help others? The concept is a great one and there are many aspects of voluntourism that should be celebrated but the unfortunate truth is; that hidden behind the veil of ‘doing good’ there are many cases of exploitation, with unscrupulous individuals and organisations...

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How Travel Has Shaped My Life

In 2009 I broke my back and my pelvis in a serious car accident that left me wheelchair bound for 3 months. Less than four years later I was backpacking around South East Asia and three years on from then, I now have a life I could never have imagined 7 years ago. When I started University I had my future pretty much planned out… I would get a job, save some money, go travelling, return home and embark on my busy corporate career. Of course I would also get a mortgage (because I’m British and we have some...

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How tourism is helping disadvantaged youth in Kratie

If you’re going to be travelling through Cambodia then why not get off the typical tourist trail and head to Kratie, a small town situated next to the mighty Mekong river. As well as being home to one of the world’s last remaining populations of Irrawaddy River Dolphin, visitors to Kratie can enjoy its laid back charm, relaxed rural atmosphere and get to know some of the incredibly friendly locals here. Kratie is also home to CRDTours and Le Tonle Restaurant and Training Centre, both operated by the wonderful Cambodian Rural Development Team who work to reduce poverty and conserve the environment...

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Official Supporters of the ChildSafe Movement

I’m very proud to announce that we’re now official supporters of the ChildSafe Movement run by the fantastic Friends International whose work helps to protect children around the world. ChildSafe is a global movement protecting children and youth around the world.  We first found out about the ChildSafe Movement in Cambodia back in 2013 when it opened our eyes to the complexities of volunteering with children. ChildSafe is an incredibly important organisation; not only does it directly protect children through front-line services but it also raises vital awareness amongst tourists and volunteers about child protection issues so that more people travel ChildSafe. Read the...

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Luang Prabrang Half Marathon – Running for a Great Cause

Pack your running shoes and take part in this years Luang Prabang Half Marathon. Run through the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage listed town and raise vital funds for the Lao Friends Hospital for Children.  In its 4th year, the annual Luang Prabang Half Marathon is a unique, charity-focused race. It features a scenic loop course which participants can enter as a 7km, 14km, or 21km (half marathon) distance through the town’s historic UNESCO heritage area, passing golden temples while winding along the Mekong river. Entry fee’s have been reduced to less than half the cost of last year and any runner who independently...

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How to get from Muang Khua to Muang Ngoi by Boat

The boat journey from Muang Khua to the tiny village of Muang Ngoi is one of the most scenic boat trips you can take in South East Asia. If you are travelling to Laos by land from Vietnam and are using the Sop Hun / Trey Trang border crossing then the bus you are on will most likely go to Muang Khua. However, most travellers using this crossing, will skip Muang Khua and head straight to Luang Prabang, thereby having to endure a ridiculously long journey and missing out on one of the most beautiful parts of this country....

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Grab a Bargain on Awesome Adventures in Ha Long Bay

Our good friends at Asia Outdoors are having a big summer sale with over 20% off certain activities.   We’re big fans of Asia Outdoors who have received great praise for their responsibility to manage the sustainable development, bolting, safety, maintenance, and environmentalism required to rock climb in Ha Long Bay. After building such a good reputation, the company diversified and now offers a range of awesome activities and adventures that make visiting this geological marvel even more amazing! Save 23% on full or half day rock climbing tours.  Save 16% on Stand Up Paddleboard Full Day Tour Save 17% on the 2 day 1...

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Sunscreen is Damaging Our Oceans

Until I read an article in the Guardian last year I had absolutely no idea just how bad sunscreen can be for the environment. I guess it’s not something you really thing about, if you’re putting something on your skin, you don’t really expect it to be harmful to anything else. Sunscreens are damaging our oceans The chemicals contained in traditional sunscreens are causing damage to our oceans and the species that reside in them. “As people become more aware of the damage the sun can do to unprotected skin more and more of us are buying sunscreens to ensure a safe tan....

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Bamboo Bridge to Koh Paen Video

In Kampong Cham a bamboo bridge stretches across the Mekong to reach Koh Paen Island. Unbelievably this elaborate bridge is rebuilt every year in the dry season after its been washed away by the wet season rains. Despite being made from bamboo, the bridge is very strong, and can even support the weight of cars and trucks. Hire a scooter from the Lazy Mekong restaurant and you can drive across the bridge yourself before exploring Koh Paen. Alternatively walk across the bridge and hire a bicycle once you reach Koh Paen to get around the island easily.   Related...

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The World’s Cruellest Animal Attractions

This is a list of animal attractions to completely avoid even if it is top rated on TripAdvisor or recommended by a tour company. The sad fact is that many companies in the tourism industry are motivated purely by profits without any regard for the welfare of the animals they exploit. It is also unfortunate that the general public lack awareness with 80% of people leaving positive reviews on Tripadvisor for attractions that are treating wildlife cruelly*. Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit analysed 24 types of animal entertainment attractions across the world. They then rated the attractions based...

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Win a Trip to China with GuideWeTravel

Play GuideWeTravel’s new game and you could win an awesome trip to China! The Silk Road Adventure game is available to play on the GuideWeTravel website and on Facebook. A hidden object game, players will journey along the Silk Road learning about some of China’s top destinations and gaining the chance to win some incredible prizes. It’s educational and you could win prizes – what’s not to love?! You could win: Special Coupons Multiple players will win discount vouchers for enormous savings on some of GuideWeTravel’s most popular tours & itineraries. Vouchers are worth up to $600. Bitcoin Prizes GuideWeTravel now accepts...

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We’re ‘Know Before You Go’ Partners

We’re pleased to say we’re now official partners with the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s ‘Know Before You Go’ Campaign which provides loads of great advice to help travellers plan their trip and stay safe abroad. Set up to help British travellers stay healthy and safe abroad the advice given is universal and useful for travellers or any nationality.  On the ‘Know Before You Go‘ website you will find links to a wide variety of travel advice from gap year tips, road safety and travel insurance to mental health, and attitudes to LGBT travellers abroad. The UK Foreign and...

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Choosing the right elephant sanctuary to visit

With any visit to South East Asia and Thailand in particular, tourists are bombarded with advertisements of elephant sanctuaries and organisations. How do you know that you are choosing the most ethical one that truly looks after its elephants? After all, an enjoyable visit means having a clear conscience. Ask these questions during your research and ensure that you feel good about your elephant visit. Question 1: Where did the elephants come from? Most elephant sanctuaries contain elephants rescued either from the logging industry, or from tourist attractions. This means that they were already ‘broken in’ by the original...

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Dutch Food

Dutch cuisine may not be as famous as some of its European counterparts but nevertheless there are some fantastic Dutch foods not to be missed. Let’s start with some traditional Dutch savoury snacks, usually available to eat as street food… Raw Herring or ‘Hollandse Niewe Haring’ Famously Dutch and very traditional is the eating of raw herring ‘Hollandse Niewe Haring’, which should definitely be tried at least once! The term ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’ should only apply if the fish are caught between May and July. According to tradition, the freshly caught herring are gutted on-board the fishing boats, leaving only...

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Choosing the Right Volunteer Placement For You

It is a fantastic step forward that travellers now think outside the box when researching their next destination. Instead of simply sweeping through the top tourist spots, travellers often want to give something back to the countries they visit. It can be a nerve-wracking prospect, but stepping out of one’s comfort zone is the best way to travel. There are many options out there for the budding volunteer, so how do you choose the project that is right for you? Follow the simple steps below, and find your perfect volunteer placement. Step 1: What is Your Passion? Are you...

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