7 Ways to Reward Yourself After Your Final Exams


Your final exams are coming to an end and there is no time but now to reward yourself for all your hard work this year. Whether you’ve finished your first year, preparing to knuckle down for third year or just completed your degree you owe it to give yourself a reward for getting here. Forget about those essay all-nighters, the junk food on tap and coffee shakes. You’ve made it and it’s time to celebrate!

Let your hair down

You’ve been putting off a party so you can get some last minute cramming in. Well, now it’s time to let your hair down! Assemble the gang, get your favourite tipple and get ready to party until the sun comes up. You’ve worked hard so now it’s time to play hard! Just remember to drink lots of water in between drinks to keep yourself hydrated and keep that dreaded hangover at bay.

Go on Vacation

summer student budget

I mean, why not? Go on a trip with the squad. It’s the perfect reward after a hard year of studying. Plan to go interrailing through Europe, go find yourselves in Thailand or go on the ultimate backpacking trip in the land down under. There are plenty of destinations to explore, that will help distract you from September approaching.

Go out for a meal with friends

Now is the time to indulge. Pick a restaurant, call around the gang and treat yourself to be best eats you can think of. Pizza, pasta, burgers, ice cream sundae? You’ve earned it and don’t forget to check out that cocktail list. Bellini anyone?

Catch up on your favourite TV show

Have you missed catching up on all your favourite shows? Been studying too hard and not been able to keep up with the latest gossip? Now you can finally binge to your heart’s content and not feel guilty. It’s okay! You can catch up on everything that you’ve missed and maybe even start a new show to get you through summer. You can finally stick on the next episode without worrying about how it’ll affect your grades!

Go on a shopping spree

Is there anything better than retail therapy? Treat yourself to that dress you’ve been putting off. To a Lush bath bomb or maybe some new cosmetics? You’ve earned it!

Treat yourself to a spa day

Have you ever treated yourself to a spa day? This is the ultimate gift of relaxation after months of stress. Relax and unwind with a massage, chill out in the sauna and watch your worries float away in the jacuzzi. Why not also add on an afternoon tea package?

Catch up on all that lost sleep!

You’ve been pulling so many all nights you could carry home your shopping with the bags under your eyes. It’s time for some well-needed rest and relaxation. Pop on your comfiest PJ’s and climb into a brand new clean bed and catch up on all that well-needed beauty sleep.

Shipping your stuff home after the term ends? Get a quick quote from My Baggage today!

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Top 10 Adventure Activities You Have To Try in New Zealand


New Zealand is the perfect destination for adrenaline junkies. There is something for everyone to experience from bungee jumping, white water rafting, sky diving, canyoning, diving and more!

Scuba dive off Tutukaka coast

Are you ready to explore the deep blue waters off the Tutukaka Coast? Get ready to enjoy some of the best scuba diving you can find in the world. Located off northern New Zealand’s Tutakaka Coast, thousands of scuba divers travel here every year to explore the beautiful variety of marine life this coast has to offer. Famed as one of the top ten diving sites in the world, it is a must-see destination for all diving enthusiasts.

Take the leap off the Sky Tower in Auckland

It’s a long way down!

The Sky Tower is a famous Auckland Landmark which makes up the city’s skyline. The highest building in the southern hemisphere at 328 metres, it offers New Zealand’s only Base Jump by wire. So why not take the leap? Once upon the observation deck, you will be treated to breathtaking views across the city. It may feel like a long way down but this is the ultimate adrenaline rush for anyone looking for the ultimate adventure.

Go White Water Rafting

You have plenty of choices to tackle the rapids in New Zealand. You can explore the underwater Ruakuri Caves or journey down the highest rafted waterfall in the world in Rotura. Not for the faint-hearted, white water rafting is definitely a must when visiting New Zealand. There are plenty of tours and different routes can cater depending on levels of experience.

Bungee Jump

If New Zealand is known for one thing, it’s Bungee Jumping. The country offers plenty of choice from destination to type of bungee jump. Best bet is to start off in Queensland and take the leap off the 43-metre high Kawarau Bridge. After easing yourself in gently it’s time to hit the 134-metre height of Nevis.

If base jumping in Auckland isn’t enough for you, you can also bungee jump off Auckland’s Harbour Bridge. I mean, why not, whilst in the city?

Sky Dive from 15,000 FT

So you’ve completed a base jump, a bungee jump and now you want to move onto something bigger? Why not a 15,000 feet skydive over Queenstown? You won’t have time to be scared, you’ll just be taking in all that glorious scenery whilst you freefall at 200km per hour for 60 seconds.

Mountain Bike the Old Ghost Road

If you’re in search of the ultimate backcountry mountain bike ride, look no further than the Old Ghost Roadon the South Island’s wild West Coast. But you’ll need to be fit, skilled and well equipped to tackle it. New Zealand’s longest single-track, the Old Ghost Road, resurrects an old gold miners’ route between the ghost town of Lyell in the Buller Gorge and Seddonville near the coast. The full trail is remote and challenging, and takes at least two days. However, return trips from both ends are richly rewarding, with scenery and stories in spades.

Heli-Ski in Southern Lakes

The best snow is always the hardest to get to, but if you have a helicopter, there is no such thing. Southern Lakes Heli-Ski will take guests to the best conditions in the heart of the Southern Alps. No lines for the chair lift, just empty valleys of perfect powder ready to have fresh tracks carved through them. With access to over 8,500 square kilometres of terrain, across 11 different mountain ranges and boasting an excess of 600 runs, Southern Lakes Heli-Ski caters for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.

Go Jet Boating in Queensland

Another quintessential New Zealand adventure activity is jet boating. Queenstown’s Shotover Jets wind through spectacular rocky canyons on a breathtaking journey. The Shotover Jet has carried more than three million passengers, hurtling down the Shotover River rapids with squeals of equal parts terror and delight at the full 360-degree spins, twists and tight turns between the grey rock canyons of one of New Zealand’s most memorable landscapes.Today, Shotover’s signature ‘Big Red’ jet boats are one of New Zealand’s most famous and iconic tourist attractions and widely regarded as the world leader in commercial jet boating.

Go Ziplining

You’ll get to experience the rainforest from a whole different perspective up in the canopies. The perfect adventure to take in the beautiful flora and fauna that New Zealand has to offer. Enjoy an early morning tour and take in the lush view of the ferns and sunrise, or why not try it at night and listen to the chorus of birds in the canopies? Get back to nature and get your heart racing whilst you zip through the trees and see New Zealand from a bird’s eye view.

Go Canyoning in the North Island

Have you every gone Canyoning before? Canyoning combines swimming, ziplining and abseiling down New Zealand’s scenic canyons, of which there are plenty. The ultimate natural adrenaline buzz, why not tackle the Sleeping God Canyon in the East Coast of the North Island? Spend your day surrounded by nature, leap off a 13-metre high cliff, abseil down waterfalls and swim in the cool blue water of the rock pools. This is the ultimate way to get back to nature and enjoy the best of what New Zealand has to offer.

Are you travelling to New Zealand soon? Get a quick quote from My Baggage today!

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A Guide to New Zealand’s Working Holiday Visa


Do you dream of leaving the 9-5 rat race behind and eloping to the other side of the world? Have you ever thought about relocating to New Zealand? Find out how you can make the move with our ultimate guide to New Zealand’s Working Holiday Visa.

Step 1: Applying for a working holiday visa

So you’re going to take the leap and head to New Zealand? First things first, you will need a working holiday visa. Head to Immigration NZ to find out all the information you will need. They have a simple step by step process, where you enter your age, nationality etc, and it gives the options that are available to you.

Requirements for a working holiday visa

  • UK age range = You need to be between the ages of 18 – 30
    However, the age range is 18-35 in a select few countries – Check your country here
  • Have a passport from an eligible country
  • Not have any dependents, ie. children.
  • Be healthy
  • Have enough capital to back up your move – NZ wants to see that you have enough funds in your bank to cover your trip, or at least have enough money to book a flight out of the country.

But I’m from the UK & nearly 30?

Don’t worry, once you get the visa you will have a year to activate it, so if you apply when you’re nearly 30 you can still enter New Zealand within 12 months. However, if you’re from the UK and have already celebrated the big 3-0 you should look into a BUNAC visa. You can even apply for this visa if you’ve already been on the Working Holiday Visa. BUNAC allows you to stay and work in NZ for 12 months, however, these visas are limited.

How much does it cost?

The current fee is £106 GBP. However, this price has risen, so it might go up. This cost covers your 12-month visa, including entries in and out of New Zealand.

How long can I work in NZ?

The working visa lasts 12 months, once this completed, you then have the option to extend this visa for a further 11 months. Alternatively, if you know you’ll want to stay for 23 months you can apply for this visa directly, but you will have to have medical certificates to show that you are in good health to qualify. You will also only be allowed to work for the first 12 months of your visa, which you could see as a blessing, giving you 11 months to do the ultimate New Zealand road trip!

Step 2: Start saving!

New Zealand needs you to have at least $4,000 NZD in your bank account, which is expected to cover you for your 12-month stay. You need to make sure you have a minimum of $350 NZD in savings per month to cover your cost of living and help you get set up in NZ. To show evidence of your savings, you will need to submit a copy of your bank statement.

Step 3: It’s time to book your flight

You’ve got your visa sorted and your savings are in the bank, it’s time to take the leap and book that flight. Look out for cheap flights at Skyscanner or kayak. You can also add a flight notification so this will tell you when the cheapest or most expensive time to book your flight is.

Step 4: How to get work

It isn’t hard to find a job in New Zealand. Tourism is a big business and companies are looking for young people like you to be part of the team. You can choose to work in anything from hospitality, to trade or retail.

Depending on your job you will expect to earn from $16.50 NZD to $25 NZD per hour. If you have a specialised trade you can expect to earn a lot more.

Step 5: The essentials you need for life in NZ

Here are a few essentials you need to sort out when you arrive safely in NZ:

Apply for an IRD number

This is a tax number that you will need to have in order to get paid. You can pick up a form at a post office or apply online here.

Set up a bank account

Pop into any bank, such as ANZ, BNZ or Westapac, with a proof of your visa status and a passport. The bank will set up an account for you and bingo, now you have somewhere for your paycheck to go!

Get a sim card

Essential to keep in touch with the family at home and your new found friends in NZ. Check out a variety of suppliers, but Skinny mobile offer good rates for backpackers. Enjoy making all your friends back home super jealous with your Instagram snaps.

Pack for all seasons

In New Zealand, you will experience all four seasons. In summer it’s guaranteed to be warm, however, in winter you might get snow, with the South Island hitting minus temperatures. So remember to pack your thermals along with your flip flops.

Travel insurance

You need to get travel insurance. Do not travel to New Zealand without it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Print your documents

Print your documents before you leave your home, this means that you will have all the proof you need to sail on through customs. Visa, travel insurance and bank statements are normally what the officers like to see. Also, include any accommodation you have booked that you will be staying at.

Consider luggage shipping

Wondering how to transport your life down under? That’s where we come in. My Baggage offers effective, efficient courier service, allowing you ship suitcases and double walled boxes that weigh up to 30kg. Have them delivered from home, direct to the door of your new location. Skip the wait at the carousel and travel light to your new life in New Zealand. Find out more here.

Step 6: Never want to leave?

Well, you don’t have to! Many people on the working holiday visa will fall in love with New Zealand and never want to leave. If you have a good job a supportive employer you can apply for a work visa and be sponsored by your company.

Work to residency

Have you decided that New Zealand is the country you want to call home? Well, you can become a resident if you have a trade such as construction or find your job on the skills shortage list. You can apply to be a resident with a good residency agency company, who will support you throughout the process. Your dream could become a very real reality!

Are you travelling to New Zealand soon? Get a quick quote from My Baggage today!

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The Best LGBTQ+ Friendly Holiday Destinations


June is Pride Month so to celebrate we decided to put together a list of destinations that were LGBTQ+ friendly. We have made strides towards establishing equality in the West and although there is still much to do, there are countries where being Gay is still viewed negatively or even prosecuted. However, some of the biggest and bustling cities and destinations around the world are a Pride paradise with a thriving community and acceptance in the air. We’ve showcased our favourites below.

Berlin

The capital city of Germany has a dynamic gay scene with an infectious open atmosphere that is guaranteed to have you partying to the early hours. Schoenberg is where to go to experience the gay bar scene, with bars, clubs and mini-street carnivals a common occurrence. The city is open, welcoming and offers plenty of activities for same-sex couples. If you want to discover the biggest Pride event in the city, make sure to visit during Gay Pride, also known as Christopher Street Day, for the biggest LGBTQ+ event Germany has to offer.

Ibiza

Ibiza offers you untamed nightlife, idyllic beaches and a great variety of LGBTQ+ events throughout the year. Party all night to your favourite DJs, catch up on the rays during the day and unwind by the pool. This island has everything you could ever ask for a beach holiday that also is inclusive and LGBTQ+ friendly. If you want to take part in a spectacular fiesta, head during the island’s Gay Pride Festival and enjoy concerts, salsa and take part in the Grand Parade. This is an island that needs to be on your bucket list.

San Francisco

San Francisco is a famous destination known for its history of LGBT activism. The city is often referred to as the gay capital of the world and even boasts the first gay neighbourhood in the USA, known as the Castro District. There is plenty to see and do, from enjoying the vibrant nightlife to learning about the LGBT activist movement that took place here. You will be spoilt for choice!

Barcelona

Known as the gay capital of Southern Europe, Barcelona has lots to offer from a thriving nightlife scene to great cuisine and a beach in the city. What’s more to ask for? The city’s Pride event attracts more than 200,000 people from across the world and is the biggest fiesta celebration in the Mediterranean. With fabulous architecture from Gaudi, plenty of art museums and as much sangria as you could dream of, this is the perfect destination for a weekend break.

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is known as the gay capital of the Middle East. The city has a famous welcoming LGBTQ+ scene, with 25% of the city’s population self-identifying as LGBTQ+! With fine, sandy beaches, Bauhaus architecture and a non-stop party atmosphere, this city offers welcome rest bite for anyone looking for a tolerant location to celebrate their love.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs is the perfect hideaway to get away from the bustling city of Los Angeles. Situated in the Colorado Desert, the Rat Pack used to call this city home. It is now an iconic place for anyone who is LGBTQ+ with a substantial community calling this place home. The city has America’s first all LGBT city council and also is home to the Dinah Shore party, a famous party for queer women that was made famous by the iconic TV show, The L Word. With guaranteed sunshine, plenty of museums, shopping and hiking opportunities, Palm Springs really is the whole package.

Toronto

Explore Canada’s capital city and largest LGBTQ+ community! This city has everything from great food, buzzing nightlife and the real-life countryside retreat of Toronto Island. Check out the city’s gay district, known as, ‘The Village,’ for some out and proud bars, restaurants and shops. Toronto’s Pride Parade takes place in June and is a massive event, attracting up to 1.2 million people every year.

Lesbos

This Greek Island was the birthplace of Sappho, the iconic Greek Poet who wrote about same-sex romances and has since made the island a famous LGBTQ+ destination. It has a long tradition with welcoming and attracting Queer women and has celebrated this with the two-week Eressos Festival, which has been celebrating women who love women since 2000. Not only does this location offer you an accepting space, but it also boasts beautiful beaches, great food and a bustling nightlife.

Copenhagen

Denmark is an LGBTQ+ friendly destination, that is hosting WorldPride in 2021. The country recognised same-sex partnerships all the way back in 1989 and has LBTQ+ protections enshrined in law. It’s capital city Copenhagen offers a vibrant LGBT scene, boasting some of the oldest gay bars in Europe, with some dating back to 1917! With a pumping nightlife, quaint canals, art and design museums and friendly Danish hospitality, Copenhagen will make everyone feel right at home.

Why not ship your stuff to your destination and save time and money on airline baggage fees? Get a quick quote today!

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The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English in South Korea


Have you deiced that you want to take the leap and teach English as a foreign language? There are so many countries to choose from, with China and Japan usually being the destinations that come to mind, but have you considered South Korea? This country offers lucrative salaries, attractive benefits and boasts a low cost of living and modern, vibrant culture. We decided to put together the ultimate guide to teaching English in South Korea, so you know everything that this country has to offer and more!

Teaching English in South Korea

South Korea is a dynamic, technology-driven country that is modern, vibrant and exciting. The capital city is Seoul, which is home to more than 10 million people. Seoul is a thriving business hub which gracefully mixes the old city walls, ancient temples and palace with futuristic new buildings and the fifth tallest building in the world.

When teaching English in South Korea, the choice really is yours. Whether you see yourself as a city slicker or want a rural paradise or a mix of both. Wherever you end up teaching, you will have the experience of a lifetime!

Teaching English programmes

South Korea offers an established government-run programme for teaching English called EPIK. This scheme places teachers into Korean schools across the country to give Korean students an opportunity to practise their English with a native speaker. This programme is incredibly popular as it offers teachers with little or no experience a good salary, a wide range of benefits and the chance to experience life living in South Korea.

What are the requirements?

  1. You must carry a passport from one of the following English speaking countries: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, South Africa and any other countries where English is the first and native language.
  2. You must have a university bachelors degree, but it can be in any subject!
  3. You will require a TEFL or TESOL certificate with at least 100 hours of study. This is currently not required for your visa, but the chances of bagging a good job and salary are slim without this.

Where can you teach English in South Korea?

There are a few different types of schools that you can teach in, with each having its own advantages and disadvantages. Most commonly, an English teacher in South Korea works either at a public school or at a private English language school.

  1. Private English Language Schools: Private school teachers start work a little later in the day, with the average school day from 1 pm-9 pm. This is because many children attend these classes on top of their standard school education.
  2. Public Schools: Public school teachers earn a little less than private school teachers but often have more paid holidays per year and work from 9 to 5.
  3. Private and public universities: This is more likely the route for experienced teachers, and often those with a Master’s degree in English, Education or similar.
  4. International schools: International schools pay the highest salaries but have high standards and strict entry requirements. This route would be more suitable for someone who is coming from a teaching background.

Life in South Korea

As an English teacher in South Korea, you can expect a comfortable salary that will go much further than it would in other Asian countries. You can expect to make between $1,600 to $2,675 a month tax-free! But that’s not all, you will also receive incredible benefits such as free housing, cost of airfare and an end-of-contract bonus that equates to another full months pay.

Public services in South Korea are incredibly good, with affordable healthcare, a reliable public transport system of trains, buses and subways and 22 national parks to explore. The cost of living is a lot cheaper than the likes of Japan, with the average cost of a meal at a restaurant being between $5 -$7 USD.

South Korea’s expat community

There is a large expat community in South Korea, with many being English teachers! However, there are also students and business and technology professionals. This means that there lots of cultural and non-cultural things to do across the country. Definitely make sure to check out the Kimchi Festival in Seoul, where you can enjoy everything related to this popular side dish. Take in the cherry blossoms during Springtime, the fun and unusual mud festival on the Western coast and many more.

As a foreigner in South Korea, you are also able to join the Korean Immigration and Integration Programme which provides free lessons in Korean language and culture to help you adapt to life in your new country.

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