Tag Archives: backpacking

Budget Travel – London

The draw of London as a city to visit is undoubtedly one of the strongest in the world. Not just the modern vibrancy, the 24-hour possibilities and the never-ending list of things to see and do, but also the olde world charm of it. Many tourists come to London for its history and heritage, to explore museums, take guided tours and get their photos taken near any number of attractions. Unfortunately for a lot of visitors, the reality of visiting London can often be overwhelming as the day-to-day expenses can easily take their toll on even the most liberal of travel budgets. For those who have always dreamed of adding London to their tour itinerary, here are some essential tips for enjoying England’s capital on a shoestring.

So vast and full that it can feel like its constantly evolving, London is certainly a city of temptation where, if you’re not careful, world-famous shopping havens, superb eateries and hundreds of shows and concerts to choose from can all impact heavily on your budget. First things first though, organise your accommodation before you go. There are many hotels that offer a great and memorable service at a good price, like The Beaufort Hotel or any of the Travelodges, but if even these are a little too pricey, don’t forget that London is extremely well catered for when it comes to hostels. However, booking a hotel before you go can be surprisingly good value.

Next you need to be able to get around the city. London is certainly not small and when you are taking any public transport you will undoubtedly see many Londoners using a small blue card to pay for their transport; this is an Oyster Card. These pre-paid travel cards are redeemable against buses, inner-city trains and the Underground, so really take the hassle out of the everyday commute, however they’re not ideal for visitors unless you plan to be in London quite often. A simple day ticket travel card from one of the vending machines in any underground stations will be all most visitors need to get around this colourful city.

Once you are able to get about easily, the world’s your oyster, as London is full of cheap and free attractions; not least is Buckingham Palace. Obviously you can’t get inside it, but getting your photo taken standing in front of it, or next to one of the traditional Queen’s Guards, is a great London souvenir. Likewise, famous sites like Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Houses of Parliament are equally easy to get to.

Many of London museums and galleries are free entry, so it’s easy to make the most of it by spending the day asking up the culture and heritage of fascinating buildings like The National Gallery or The British Museum. Though many, like The Tate Modern and Madam Tussauds, do charge entry, they usually still offer a cheap day out, especially if the weather turns.

So, once you’ve chosen from one of the many budget hotels London has to offer, and then grabbed a day ticket, you’ll never be short of an experience to enjoy on a shoestring budget trip to England’s capital.

Adam Singleton writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

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Backpacking Vietnam Guide

Cheap and cheerful, Vietnam is the ultimate backpacker destination. Weather is pleasant here all year round, and costs for delicious and hearty food are unbelievably low. Vietnam may not be as cheap as Indonesia but the value here is considerably higher with two vibrant and beautiful cities, numerous historical sites and stunning natural landscapes tucked into a long and narrow stretch of land that is easy and inexpensive to explore in its entirety.

Most visitors to Vietnam arrive in the southern capital of Ho Chi Minh City which was formerly known as Saigon. It is a busy, brash city that is home to what seems like millions of motorcycles. Traffic is usually bumper to bumper and traffic laws are chaotic and very loosely adhered to. Adventure travellers can save money by renting a motorcycle for their trip, but inexperienced riders should avoid this option.

Another way to set off on a Vietnam adventure out of Ho Chi Minh City is via the train. There is one main train line that snakes through the entire length of narrow Vietnam and it is called the Reunification Express. The trip takes several nights and can be a great way to meet people. Second class tickets are perfectly comfortable and are very cheap, so a lot of backpackers in Vietnam take this atmospheric option. As well, travelling by train provides great views of the countryside.

With so many budget airlines operating in the area travellers strapped for cash as well as time can speed up their travels by hopping form city to city in a place. One of the many budget carriers that operate flights between Ho Chi Minh City and the northern and national capital of Hanoi is Bangkok Airways. The websites of these budget airlines will advertise all the cheap standard fares as well as rock bottom special prices.

There are many, many flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and the regional hubs of Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Backpackers on the Southeast Asian backpacking trail can easily hop from one of these hubs to Vietnam, but many like to rough it overland, entering Vietnam from border crossings in Cambodia, Laos of China. Buses are the main form of transport for these journeys, but crossings by river boat are also possible.

Once travelling in Vietnam, the opportunities to save money while seeing the country are pretty unlimited. It costs nothing to spend time on the beach, and one of the many things that Vietnam has in abundance is coastline. Some of the beach towns like Nha Trang are justifiably world famous and the party scene at these places is made up of young people on a backpacking adventure.

Eating in Vietnam is cheap. It’s traditional to order several meals and share them all around the table. This makes for a social experience and there are so many backpacker-oriented restaurants in the country that this too makes for a good way of meeting people as well as saving money. Good buys are spring rolls and there are plenty of opportunities for cooking classes, too.

For more Vietnam travel information visit: http://www.1stopvietnam.com/

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