Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Budgeting for 2 weeks in Bali

Are you taking a trip to Bali soon? Are you wondering how much you will need for a two-week vacation? Well, that is perfect timing then because I have got the low down right here! Prices are accurate as of February 2018.

- 450k surf lesson with Pro Surf Bali.
- 400k Mount Batur, coffee plantation, rice terrace, Balinese massage with Puji Hostels
- 40k each paddle board rental for 1 hour
- 30k waterfall entrances 
= 920k (£48)

- £51 for 4 nights Airbnb/ Canggu (private room)
- 100k p/n * 3 for Ubud/ Puji Hostel (8 bed dorm)
-150k p/n * 2 for Gili T/ My Mates Place (3 bed dorm)
- 96k p/n * 3 for Kuta/ Kayun Hostel (8 bed dorm)
= £51 + 888k (£46) = £97

- £10 black Billabong bikini
- £7 glasses
- £2 Sarong
- £15 green Billabong bikini set
- £10 Billabong top
= £44

- 225k to Canggu (airport taxi)
- 35k Canggu to Ubud (split between 4 on Grab)
- 500k return to Gili Islands including transfers from ubud and back to Kuta
- 60k from kuta to airport (uber)
-55k bike rental per day * 4 Canggu, 1 Ubud, 2 Kuta = 7 days (385k)
= 1205k (£63).

Overall accommodation, activities, shopping, transport: £252.
Other/ mostly food + drink: £190. 

= £442.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Budget for 20 days on New Zealand's South Island: Route, Car Rental & Accommodation

·      $0: Couchsurfed in Christchurch, Kaipoura, & Nelson
·      $0: Carpark for non-contained vehicles near Lake Rotori
·      $18 pppn: Punakaiki Campsite
·      $32 pppn: Glowworm Hostel in Franz Josef
·      $36 pppn: Base Hostel in Wanaka 
·      $25 pppn based on 4 sharing: Wanaka Lakeview Holiday Park
·      $24 pppn based on 4 sharing: (x 2 nights): Te Anau Kiwi Holiday Park
·      $30 pppn: (x 5 nights): Nomads Hostel in Queenstown
·      $0: Carpark near Lake Ohau
·      $28 pppn based on 3 sharing: High Country Lodge and Backpackers Motel in Twizel 
·      $7 pppn: Carpark in Mount Summers
·      $34 pppn (x 2 nights): Urbanz Accommodation in Christchurch
= $388 (£200) for 20 nights accommodation on the South Island.

Note, to rent a car if you choose not to take the full insurance policy offered by Jucy you will need a credit card as they will hold $2,000 for a car, or $3,000 for a campervan. The insurance they offer you is insanely expensive ($25 per day) so it's best to find an online insurance company to cover the excess for you should you get into an accident. I used the website: www.worldwideinsure.com but fortunately I didn't have to claim so I have no idea how 'good' they are.

First rental
·      $252 (£130) Car Rental for 9 nights/ 10 days from Christchurch to Queenstown. Free upgrade from their cheapest model to the compact model as they had run out of their cheap option. 
·      $52 (£27) insurance.
·      $365 (£189) on fuel - note, drove 2,600 kms (1,600 miles)
·      = $669 (£345) for 10 days of car rental via Jucy on the South Island.
o   But, I split some of these costs with another person, then when another 2 joined us we split fuel with them too so I ended up personally spending $365 (£180). 
§  Note to self: $185 of the fuel was shared with just Aimia ($92.50 each), then $180 was shared between four of us ($45 each), and $17.50 was spent just by me as I had to drive to see if I could find my purse.

Note, spent 4 days in Queenstown just enjoying it without a car then...

Second rental
·      $144 (£74) Car Rental for 5 nights/ 6 days from Queenstown to Christchurch.
·      $35 (£18) deluxe insurance.
·      $142 (£74) on fuel - forgot to note kms.
·      = $321 (£165) for 6 days of car rental via Jucy on the South Island.
o   But, I split some of these costs with 2 others so I ended up personally spending $107 (£56).

I worked out I spent roughly £385 in 10 days, that includes most of the first car rental (£135), accommodation for the first 10 days (£82 worth), £12 Milford sound, £18 sleeping bag and coat, £22 on alcohol (2 bottles of cider at $10 each and a 3L box of wine at $24), and £116 on other items (mainly food).


Monday, 1 January 2018

2017 Year-in-review + Plans for 2018!

So in this past year, I graduated from the University of my dreams and fell straight into unemployment. Well, actually, I have been employed - many, many times. I have done every type of work possible! But nothing others would consider 'normal' or 'conventional'. I cast asides my hopes of corporate law and have decided to lead an unconventional life for now. 

When it comes to online work I have been paid to comment on tech-related articles, conducted research for the Canadian History Channel, produced a preface for an archival series on historic steamboats, proofread countless books and articles, written content guides to several counties around the UK, and written a powerpoint for an Iraqi card company to present to the British and Iraqi government to gain the business of the Kurdistan government. I mean... that's just a small sample of the random work I have been doing.

I have also completed a load of promo work - I spent a month working for Volvo as a Welcome host, handed out champagne at the opening of a sofa store in Norwich, worked for Xbox at the EGX games show, directed people around a track at a biking competition, and stood in Tescos getting customers to try Maybelline products. 

In terms of travelling, over Easter I spent time in Denmark, Barbados, and the USA (Boston, Providence, Newport, D.C.). In the summer I then travelled to the Middle East and spent a month in Isreal, Palestine, and Jordan.   

USA, Denmark + Barbados.

Jordan, Israel + Palestine.

So what am I doing now? Naturally, I am doing what every person in my situation would do... right? And I have booked myself on a trip around-the-world. I have found a job that allows me to work remotely. I can write as many articles as I want every week which is handy. So, if I need more money on the road I can just work more to afford whatever I would like to do that week. They are all history-related too so I feel at least I'm doing something with my degree! 

Anyway - where am I going? Check out the interactive map below. To be honest I would have loved to go to some really rogue places but I also wanted to visit my sister in Australia. I have therefore settled on a more conventional trip. I am going to spend some time in Bali making money and enjoying the cheap cost-of-living before heading to Australia. I will then travel all down the east coast before spending a few weeks with my sister in Melbourne. After this, I am going to spend one month in New Zealand before flying to Hawaii. My parents are doing the second-half of Route 66 so I only have 2-3 weeks in Hawaii before flying to the mainland. I'm not sure what I'm going to do after that, but I plan on being away for about eight months. 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

"I fainted in a burger shop after an overdose": 3 times I ended up in hospital abroad

Warning: Disgusting details and vomit-inducing stories ahead!

So, it turns out I have a habit of getting ill in the least convenient places in the world. Why? Well, read on to find out:

1. Yangon, Burma (2014).
Ah Burma: at the time it was possibly one of the most beautiful and friendly countries I had ever been to. But, with that said, it is not the type of place you want to have to end up taking a trip to the hospital. While the treatment is likely to be cheap, it will not necessarily be the best. 

So what happened? Well, I believe I was bitten by a spider (or spiders) in the Philippines, then every mosquito bite I got after that somehow got severely infected! I had about 10 of them over my body, and every time I accidentally knocked them against anything, the bites exploded and pus just went everywhere. It felt like they were never going to stop spreading and I was in a constant state of agony. 

After some internal debate on what was the best move, I was fortunate enough to track down an international private clinic. Here, I was treated by two doctors and a nurse, and it only cost £40 for the consultation, cleaning, dressing, and two swabs to be sent off and analysed. I was told not to leave Yangon for three days before my results came, but I had only gone to Burma to see Bagan, so I cut my trip there short and made it back in time for the results and medication. 

The worst part is that I had delayed my flight back to the UK for two weeks because I wanted to learn to dive in Koh Tao, but after developing this infection I was told not to go in water for one month - my hopes of diving were over! Thankfully, I ended up in Thailand back in the summer of 2016 and squeezed it in then, but it was very upsetting at the time (first world problems). I also still have the scars on my legs today. (Before and after pictured below).

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Why do I travel?

Greetings fellow traveller!

My name is Scarlett, or at least I pretend it is, and I'm 23 years old. So why Scarlett I hear you ask? Here's a fun story for you - my mum was going to call me Scarlett, but I was born in an ambulance so they called me Amber. My father joked my middle name should be lance... but thankfully mum put her foot down!

Anyway, I digress! My parents always enjoyed taking us travelling as children - instead of stops at resorts in Miami, with four children to cater for, we went on long-distance camping trips all over Europe in a van we dubbed 'the mystery machine' (for its similarities to the one used in Scooby-Doo)! Further, at 11 years old, my parents picked up my life and moved our family over to Canada. After a hard year, we decided to return home. My eldest sister fell in love and stayed out there, she still lives there today with two children and a husband, so I always have an excuse to visit. But on the whole, my parents are a large part of why I love exploring the world so much, and hearing about my mother's stories from her youth inspired me to do the same.

But why did I decide to continue travelling without them? Well,  aged 17, I picked up my best friend Olivia on the morning of our exam results and we stopped at McDonald's to calm our nerves. In our glass half empty approach to life that morning, we discussed what we would do if we failed. We jointly concluded we would just get up and leave, escape the stress, and travel around Southeast Asia. At that moment in time it felt like such an odd concept, we did not have any friends that had been travelling, and it felt like we would be the only people in the world that had gone to Southeast Asia at such a young age. Of course, this was entirely naive in hindsight, but we definitely were the youngest people in every group we met, hence the blog name "Never Too Young To Travel".

But that's skipping ahead... anyway, needless to say, we both passed our AS level exams with flying colours, but the fun thoughts we had of chilling on a Thai beach and riding motorbikes through Vietnam lingered in the back of our minds. That is, until we realised this didn't have to be a pipe dream, with hard work we could do this.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Travel Route in the Middle East (Summer 2017)

Are you thinking of travelling to the Middle East? Are you looking for a safe route to do so? Look no further. I took this route in the summer of 2017 and it provided a wonderful variety of things to see and do! Of course, please be mindful of the political situation as it can be extremely volatile; be sure to check your government's recommendations before you go, not only because it may not be safe, but I have found it can null your travel insurance too.

Note, I travelled via Prague on the way to Israel as I managed to find cheaper flights via this option using WhizzAir. I stopped over for a few days to soak in the sights. 

I also heavily advise you to look at getting a visa into Jordan before you depart. The only way you can currently cross is through the Jordan River Border Crossing located on the Israeli side closest to a town called Beit She'an. [Correct as of August 2017]. The other border crossing, while often better located, require you to have a visa in advance. Getting across to Jordan is generally quite a hassle, but you can read about that in another post soon!