Country Guides Articles and Travel Advice
Cormac Scanlan believes it's time to expose the ignorant and intolerant attitudes that divide tourism in Portugal's beautiful and historic Algarve region.
Vietnam is awesome. The food's great, the scenery incredible, the people friendly and there's loads to do and see, here's what you can't miss out on.
Amber tells us how you can explore Copenhagen with just a few krone in your back pocket - food, drink, accommodation, things to do and all.
Helen Davies tells us all about her experience of spending one month in Vietnam. Her verdict? She loved every minute of it and she can't wait to go back again.
We're loving Papua New Guinea at the moment. So much so that we've come up with 15 reasons why Papua New Guinea is awesome. Hopefully you'll agree with us!
Backpacking around Cuba is fun and actually really easy. If you fancy stomping the vibrant streets of Cuba and seeing what this Caribbean island has to offer, read on...
Colombia is one of the places to start your South American gap year; make sure you read Tej Parikh's article on where to go in Colombia to see what's hot.
Hitting the awesomeness that is Australia on your gap year? Then read Rusja Foster's top 10 of the coolest things you could ever do while you're in Australia.
Phuket is often over-looked as a gap year destination but that hasn't stopped Rob Kay. He's written about 5 things to do in Phuket to change your mind about the place.
Jordan is one of the most magnificent countries in the world and with Petra it boosts a Wonders of the World. Tej Parikh tells us his top 5 experiences in Jordan.
Sara West is currently studying in Oulu, Finland. However, when she's not studying she's travelling, and she tells us about 5 things to do in Helsinki.
What to do in Cuba to get the most out of your trip. From rolling cigars, to cruising down the Malecon and drinking Mojitos, it's an assault on the senses!
Laurie Rappeport has been exploring the mysticism of Kabbalah in the city of Safed, Israel, and goes into understanding the true meaning of Kabbalah.
From oases to El-Djem Lauren Razavi has been exploring the delights of Southern Tunisia and she tells us what the 5 things to do in Southern Tunisia are.
Backpacking in Central Europe; an absolute essential trip for any keen, culture hungry backpacker. Jen found out why this region is a melting pot for East meets West.
The Cook Islands are one of the best kept secrets of the Pacific Islands. That's why we thought we'd show you 9 things you didn’t know about the Cook Islands.
What's there to do in Israel? Lots according to Jessica. She's put together the top five things to do in Israel from seeing the Wailing Wall to eating falafel.
Four and a half years ago Ben sat at home in England with a bit of a dilemma. He wanted something more from life; the answer suddenly found him - Canada.
It's easy to get caught up in city life - it's fast-paced and hectic. But there's a way to chillax - all you have to do is see the green behind the gold.
If you're looking for a party island then look no further than our article on top party islands. From Ibiza to Ayia Napa, you'll find one hell of a party here.
Sri Lanka is one of the most culturally and spiritually diverse countries in the whole world - but what makes the top five list of amazing places to visit?
Hong Kong is more than just a tourist hub. That's why Gemma Knight took to the streets to see what there was to see. Read about her 72 hours in Hong Kong.
Writing this, I am snuggled in my pj's, surrounded by seas of fleecy blankets and a warm cup of tea, with my body pressed up against the fading heater. I look outside, and my eyes are met with the same, dreary canvas of grey. But, while we’re suffering from our annual coughs and snivels in the midst of the winter chill, the little, Caribbean island of Carriacou is chillin' in the summer sun.
Laos is a country that people know little about and they often ask why they should go. The main reason is that Laos has not been exposed to tourism and western culture (and often many other local cultures) for so long. This gives Laos a very undiscovered and natural fell to it, uncommon in large parts of South East Asia. That, and it's absolutely stunning in every sense of the word.
From smelly smurf shoes to cubby-hole capsule rooms, a trip to Honshu Island, Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan, can be overwhelmingly Japanese at times.
South Africa is an awesome travel destination. The backpacker trail is well established and thoroughly worn, but there’re also plenty of opportunities to get off the beaten track, making this a great country for those embarking on their first big trip as well as others seeking more a independent adventure.
So during Feb/March and April of this year I travelled across America from Seattle to New York via numerous US cities. I do not, by any means know everything there is to know about backpacking across the USA but I thought I would write down what I had learnt in case it helps any fellow gap years down the line
If you ever get the feeling you’re a bit cramped in China then remember one thing - the population's 1.3 billion. China can hit you hard with culture shock and in my experience it’s the country with the biggest cultural difference with the UK or other western countries. You're completely on your own. Even words like OK and TAXI don’t work here.
That tingle of excitement, anticipation and nervousness was the exact feeling I had when I first arrived in Thailand on a very hot and humid day back in April 2003. My friends and I had done a little bit of reading on the country, but we decided that we wouldn't do too much research as we just wanted to have a mad experience where we knew nothing except the hostel we were staying in! This added to the excitement and as soon as that plane landed, the magic we had imagined duly followed...
Not only is Germany the true gate way to Europe, (It borders with nine other Countries. Can you name them all? Knowing could come in handy on the pub quiz machine!) but it has some of the worlds most amazing and breath taking landscape of rivers, lakes, forests and mountains, friendly and diverse people and some of the planets greatest beer! Sound good?
Bolivia is one of the most beautiful and varied countries in the world and should be considered a ‘must see’ on anyone’s South American journey; it certainly was on ours...
Just the name Brazil can conjure up images of beaches, parties and jungle. From Copacabana to Carnaval to the Amazon, Brazil is everything you would expect and more. Miles of coastline, blue seas backed by lush greenery lead inland to the biggest rainforest in the world – natural beauty flanked by the awe inspiring sight of the Amazon River...
Japan is a country of contrasts: one day you can be shopping and clubbing in a big city; the next you can be in a sleepy rural village surrounded by rice fields, feeling as though you’ve stepped back in time...
Australia is one of the most backpacked countries on in the world and there’s plenty of great advice from people who’ve been there, done that and still not washed the t-shirt...
Cambodia is a country with so much to offer - fascinating history, friendly locals and stunning scenery, from the most beautiful beaches to majestic mountains – it really does have it all. It’s chaotic and relaxing at the same time; it’s easy yet sometimes challenging; it’s definitely a rewarding adventure and somewhere you’ll never want to leave…
Generally I just like to enjoy the hustle and bustle of a new city, walk the streets, looking, listening and feeling. Each city has a different heartbeat, different things that drive it and Hanoi is no exception...
India is without a doubt one of the greatest countries in the world for people, culture, history, scenery, food and nature to name but a few...
Mexico is a friendly and laid back country, with strong traditional family values and welcoming to visitors. It has suffered with a bad reputation for being unsafe but the vast majority of visits are nothing but enjoyable...
Deep, dark jungles. Vast deserts. Ancient civilizations; Peru really does have something to satisfy even the most discerning of backpacker palates...
There's a few things I wish I'd known before I went to Thailand. Like don't be afraid to try any method of transport, but make sure you cling on tight! Thai driving is crazy! Driving the wrong way down a street, on the pavement and reversing down an expressway were just some of the experiences we 'enjoyed'!
South America is one of those places which can captivate you - we've all seen the iconic images of Macchu Pichu, the Cristo Redentor in Rio, or the glaciers in Patagonia - and it's these sites that inspire people to travel to the continent. There is so much to see and do and such a large area to cover. Hopefully my guide on South America will give you some ideas and inspiration.
The land of nuclear crisis, axis of evil and fundamental Islam, right? Well... no, not really. Iran's a land of elegant and glamorous mosques, amazing history, delicious cuisine, and friendly and helpful people. Iran is a land of rich history and breathtaking cultural splendour. Modern Iran is just as fascinating, from relaxing parks ideal for people watching to the insane traffic. Here's my guide to Iran.
As a female traveller, who went to India all by herself (praying that she would return alive), I feel fit to tell all you girls that it's fine! And it's safe! And it's lovely! And if you want to go, and the only thing holding you back is worry - forget about it and go, believe me! Here are some useful hints and tips on why you should travel to India.
The first thing people said when they heard I was going to Japan as part of my round the world trip was 'Wow, you're brave'. There were times when - thinking about the language (I speak no Japanese) and the squat toilets - I felt inclined to agree. However, I figured that the toilets were part of travelling and that a country that had the World Cup in 2002 must at least have basic English.
My time in Kenya was an amazing one - from the highs of my week long safari and trips to the coast, to the lows, realising the prevalence of glue; each bottle with its own child, trying to escape the realities of life on the street. Nairobi was my home for four and a half months, the most dangerous city in Kenya. It has been nicknamed Nairobbery for a good reason!
"Colombia: the only risk is wanting to stay" runs the country’s tourist slogan. The Colombian Ministry of Tourism is as aware as everyone else in the country that the greatest obstacle preventing Colombia from realising its massive tourist potential is the fear factor. There are of course reasons why Colombia has such a dangerous reputation, but all too often these reasons are blown out of proportion and misunderstood...
Drop all preconceptions (not to mention hang-ups) you may have when getting ready for a trip to the sprawling, steaming asylum that is South East Asia. Simply be ready for a good time, a muggy time and a weird time. Oh, and when an entire village starts pointing and yelling 'Farang!' ('Foreigner!') at you, don't take it personally. Not everybody gets out as much as you do.
This guide is absolutely stuffed with useful information about visiting New Zealand. In it, you can find everything you need for New Zealand.
First things first, the USA is a massive place. Which means that there is a massive amount to do there. Home to some of the World's most exciting and diverse cities, trying to sum everything up in a few pages is darn near impossible...
This summer Thailand was my destination. Before I knew it I'd got my plane ticket, my bag was packed and I was off - but I knew nothing about what to expect and looking back, there were a few things I wished I’d been told. In case anybody else find themselves in the position I was in, I’ve put together a few tips which you should find pretty useful if you are heading towards the land of smiles anytime soon...
Australia is vast. The whole of western Europe would fit in just one of its six states, Western Australia. With all the cool things there are to see and do here - and the huge distances between them - Australia will certainly keep you busy. While most of Australia’s attractions are natural - scarlet rock formations bubbling up from the desert, steaming rainforests, amazing beaches and some truly weird wildlife - the country also boasts some of the World’s most buzzing cities.
If you're off to Australia for a bit of backpacking or volunteering, or even just for a cheeky break, you might be a little tense about the prospect of arriving on the other side of the world with jet lag and little idea of where you're going, how the ticket machines work or just what the bloody hell they think they're doing trying to sell you cold beer in a 'schooner'?
In the last couple of years Croatia has frequently been given the label of ‘Europe’s best kept secret’, so this year I decided to take advantage of an early uni finish and hotfoot it over there before the big summer crowds turn it into one of the worst kept secrets. Hoping for sun, sea and a bit swimming, I grabbed my best flip flops and the cheapest flight I could find and I was off! So here’s my guide to some of the places you might want to take in on a typical Croatian route...
A quick overview of Thailand covering the key facts, visa requirements, getting there, safety information, what do whilst you are there and much more.