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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How to be an environmentally friendly scuba diver


In order to celebrate World Ocean Day 2019, we have decided to put together this guide on how to become an environmentally friendly scuba diver. Being a diver is one of the best ways to explore our underwater world, but there can be an impact on the ocean. It is our duty as scuba divers to ensure that we are scuba diving sustainably and not damaging the corals that we have came to see. But how can we ensure this? Read below to find out how.

The only souvenir you need is pictures

As a responsible scuba diver, it is your duty to leave nothing behind and to remove nothing from the dive site. Refrain from picking up a token shell, coral or anything else that might take your fancy when you dive. Even the smallest thing you remove can have an environmental impact. And the same goes for things you could leave behind. Pick up all your rubbish, ensure if you drop some kit you retrieve it and ensure the dive site was as it was when you leave.

Dive locally

The location you choose to dive in will also have an impact. Travelling to locations around the world will add to your carbon footprint and will put a strain on the environment. Choose a local dive site to practise and qualify as one of the main causes of scuba diver damage to marine wildlife is diver inexperience.Source

Choose a reputable operator

Whether you decide to dive at home or abroad, make sure to pick a tour operator that has a sustainability ethos. Enquire about their anchoring policies, as carelessly dropping an anchor can cause damage to coral reefs. Check if they are accredited by any environmental organisations, and ask them about their diver education practices. The more questions you ask and the further you push for responsible diving, the more likely the industry will change.

Be picky about gear

Did you know, that there isn’t an environmental certification needed for diving equipment? This means that it is fundamental that you, as scuba divers make the correct decisions when sourcing your kit. There are some options to choose battery-less equipment, opting for gear that can be charged by the sun or by movement. You could also opt for rechargeable batteries or if in doubt double check with the diving company to see which environmentally friendly equipment they would recommend.

Do your bit with every dive

You would be surprised at how much rubbish litter our oceans. A clever idea to combat this and to do your bit, even if very small is to pick up a piece of rubbish each time you dive. It can be as simple as a plastic bottle, to a beer can ring. Every time one diver brings back a piece of rubbish, that is one less item that could have a potentially dangerous impact on marine life and their environment.

Watch your fins

Fins can damage the underwater sea bed and sensitive coral reefs. It’s important to practise swimming in your fins before embarking on a dive. Finding a good technique is vital to make sure you leave your dive location untouched. Source

If you must hunt, hunt smart

We don’t want to condone or endorse underwater spearfishing. This is something that is essential for some communities who rely on the underwater fish for their staple meal but hunting as a tourist for the thrill of it, isn’t environmentally friendly or responsible.

However, if you are determined to give spearfishing a try, follow the rules and regulations for the region you are hunting in. Do not spear young, endangered or pregnant fish. Know your seasons and follow all advice given from your dive instructor. If you are going to do this, do it smartly and leave as little an impact behind as possible.

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

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15 of the Best Jobs for Travel Lovers


We know how it is, you love to travel but scrimp and save all year for that dream getaway. Maybe you’ve grown tired of squirrelling away year only to be able to enjoy yourself for a few weeks at a time? Why not make money whilst you travel? It’s completely possible, we assure you, here are 15  of the best jobs for travel lovers.

  1. Teach English as a foreign language

This is one of the most popular jobs for someone who wants to work while exploring the world. English speakers are sought after in many countries around the world and providing you have a TEFL certificate you will find many opportunities to teach and travel. You don’t have to be fluent in another language or have years of teaching experience, there is plenty of jobs just waiting for you from South America, China, Japan, the Middle East or teaching remotely online. Teaching English as a foreign language is a good job if you want to make travelling your career.

  1. Work in a government position

This is ideal for those who have studied subjects like International Development or Social Policy. If you manage to get a job in foreign affairs or with the consulate offices you can expect to have wide travel opportunities. However, you will not have a say in where you are posted, but this will open the door for a truly adventurous travel lifestyle.

  1. Become a tour guide

If you are passionate about the new city or country where you are living and want to share its cultures and history with others then maybe consider becoming a tour guide. You will have to be outgoing and friendly and know your stuff, but this can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

  1. Flight attendant

This is the perfect job for anyone who loves to travel and it is also easily attainable. Imagine a life of jet setting around the world and staying in a different location on a regular basis. You’ll also benefit from discounts flights with some airlines and a variety of locations you can transfer to. You’ll have to definitely be a people person, but regarding qualifications as long as you have experience in customer services or customer service or airline qualification then you meet the criteria for most airlines.  

  1. Work on a cruise ship

There are plenty of jobs on cruise ships, from bartenders, waiting staff, beauty therapists to entertainers. They are highly sought after, but if you manage to secure a job you will make a living by travelling the world and will also receive free accommodation and meals!

  1. WWOOF

If you want to give back then take a look at WWOOF ( World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). This initiative offers travellers a chance to do farm work whilst travelling, so you can finance your trip of a lifetime whilst on the move.

  1. Work as an au pair

If you love children and have studied or trained in childcare then working as an au pair may be for you. As an au pair you will often live with the family, look after the children and receive a small salary for your services. It is a great way to completely immerse yourself in another country, however, you will not make a lot of money and your time to explore will be limited as it will be dedicated to the children you care for.

  1. Teach yoga

If you have a niche skill such as yoga, then why not do something you love and get paid for it? Train as a yoga teacher and take your skillset on the road. You can take part in plenty of teacher training academies in India, Nepal or Bali, so why not transform your hobby into your day job?

  1. Bartender

As long as you have experience and the necessary working visas required you can become a bartender pretty much anywhere in the world. From a hostel in Barcelona to an Irish bar in Budapest, you can enjoy the nightlife and immerse yourself in a new culture all whilst earning money.

  1. Ski or surf instructor

If you love skiing or surfing, why not take a seasonal job as an instructor? Popular locations include Canada or Austria for skiing and Mexico and Hawaii for surfing. If this is your passion, why not look into making this the first step of your dream getaway? You can enjoy teaching what you love, exploring a new country and will be able to use your money to finance further travels.

  1. Work for an international hotel chain

If you work for an international hotel chain there are lots of opportunities for transfers to other locations around the world. If you can speak more than one language then this will open the door to new positions elsewhere. Inquire with your company about the possibilities and see if you can make this dream a reality.

  1. Travel agent

If you really love travel, then why not make it your career? Not only will you get to fulfil the travel dreams of others, but your company will also often send you on their holidays so that you can give your customer an honest review. You will often receive heavily discounted holidays for yourself and your family and may even receive free travel depending on the company you work for.

  1. Photograph & film travel

Are you a talented creative? Then why not make a living staying on the road full-time and sell your images and videos online? This job will enquire a small investment and some skill on your part but as long as you have perfected your craft you will be able to make it a realistic career option.

  1. Become a travel blogger

Becoming a travel blogger is more attainable than some may think. It will take time to establish yourself and you will have to start off working for free to gain a name and traction for yourself. You will slowly be able to make some money off this, but it is all about how you sell your blog and your brand. Everyone has to start somewhere and as long as you perfect your writing skills and follow basic digital marketing advice it can be an option for you, however, don’t underestimate the amount of work you will need to put in. This is a 24/7 job that will require you to be social media savvy.

  1. Freelance

You can pretty much become a freelancer in anything and work remotely. All you need is a laptop and a good Wifi connection and you’re good to go! From copywriting, web design, marketing or interpreting, there are so many jobs out there that you can be your own boss with. Many small companies have started off life like this and have built a name and following for themselves whilst on the road.

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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How to Travel on a Student Budget


How to save money for travelling

Summer is fast approaching and it seems that everyone is planning trips around the world. But just how are they affording this?  Here are our top tips on how to save money for travelling on a student budget.

Plan well in advance

 

The more you plan in advance, the longer you will have to save money. Once you know where you want to go and who you are travelling with your plans can finally take shape. Your budget will vary depending on where you want to go, it will all depend on the cost to get there and the extra costs of travelling there as a tourist. A trip to Europe might work out cheaper with flights, but travelling to South East Asia might be easier on your wallet when you get there.

Roughly add up how much you believe the trip will cost, by adding the cost of flights, accommodation, spending money and emergency money together. Now you will have an overall total that you need to save. So if you will need £800 to visit Thailand in June then start planning in October! Set aside a set amount of cash per week/month. A good way to do this is to set up a standing order with your bank account. This means that every week or month, the amount you set will be transferred automatically to your savings account so you can’t accidentally splurge it away at the bar!

There are always unexpected costs for every trip

Many countries will require you to have a visa, so this is an added extra to account for, just in case. Having back up money to cover unexpected costs is a clever idea to keep yourself covered.

If you get ill on holiday these costs can add up, make sure you have taken out comprehensive travel insurance. Or if you are travelling to Europe and are from an EU member country bring your EHIC card. However, remember that if you use travel insurance you will not receive compensation for the whole medical bill which means you will need to cover some of the costs yourself.

You will also need to budget for transfers from the airport to your accommodation, as well as any other public transport you will need to take during your trip. Always save up more than you need, as you never know when you might need to catch a taxi in an emergency.

Assess how you spend your money during uni

It’s hard to resist splurging the student loan on new clothes, a bar crawl and take away dinners. If you want to travel, you’re going to have to save. This can be achieved in little ways, like swapping your takeaway pizza for one from the frozen aisle, using your student discount to bag a new top or having pre-drinks in your house before a night out so you’ll save money at the bar. Every little bit helps and for every drink you don’t enjoy in the bar here, just think how many cocktails you can get in Thailand for that money!

When to go away

One of the benefits of being a university student is long holidays which are outside of school term-time. You can use this to your advantage to get a better time on offers on out of season. Below we’ve put together some extra tips on how to ensure you get the cheapest deal possible.

Best day to pay for flights: Tuesdays are the best day to book flights. This is due to many airlines announcing their latest deals on Monday evenings.

Best days to fly: As well as Tuesdays being the best day to buy a plane ticket, they are also one of the cheapest days to fly on. If you can’t fly on a Tuesday, choosing to fly on a Wednesday or a Saturday will also help you cut costs.

Best time to fly: Early morning flights are usually cheaper than any other time. You will be sacrificing sleep, but the money you will save may even allow you to pay for another night in your chosen destination.

Best time of year:  Choose to fly outside of term-time school holidays. May and October are the cheapest times of the year to travel, if you have classes then alternatively September and June are also cheaper than July and August.

Last minute: Many airlines will offer last minute deals, or drop their flight prices if the flight does not sell out. It is worth keeping your eyes peeled for these deals, but you could also end up losing out and having to pay more.

Flights

Use Budget airlines: British Airways, American Airlines, Emirates and Virgin are all very popular airlines. However, this comes at a cost. By booking flights with these major brands, you may be spending up to double on trips in comparison to a budget airline.

Choosing non-direct over direct flights: Adding a stopover to your journey can save you a lot of money. Don’t just see it as a waste of time. It can really make the difference!

Comparison websites: Using websites such as Skyscanner and Kayak allows you to compare hundreds of flights and get yourself the best deal. You can also sign up for deal notifications so you know when the flights are at their cheapest rates.

Accommodation

Now you have your location chosen and the flights sorted it’s the fun bit, let’s choose your accommodation!

Airbnb: If you want to take in the sites like a local and save money whilst travelling Airbnb is the perfect combination. Offering accommodation much cheaper than hotels you can find yourself staying in an ideal location for half the price. You will also have your own kitchen space which will save you money on eating out.

Hostels: If you don’t mind sharing a dorm, or you’re interested in meeting other travellers, hostels are another cheap form of accommodation! You can book in advance using Hostelworld or for many, you can just show up on the day. Some hotels even offer smaller dorm rooms or the option to pick a private double or twin room with a private bathroom!

Tips for Sightseeing

 

Once you get there and want to start sightseeing it’s best to look into the following ways to save cash.

Travel blogs: Follow a few travel blogs before you set off. Many will give you budget saving tips and ideas, as well as let you know the places you simply can’t miss out on.

Haggling: In many countries, it’s cool to haggle. Turkey, China and Morocco, are all known for having souks and markets, where you can test out your haggling skills. To ensure you get the best price, and you aren’t ‘ripped off’, haggling is sometimes necessary. Next time you are at a souk, offer a lower price than advertised and see how low you can take it from there. Never be afraid to walk away, chances are you’ll find someone with something similar a few shops away.

Free activities: In some countries, museums and art galleries will be free. There are also often travel companies that offer free walking tours that you will pay for with an optional tip at the end. Try a quick search for free things to do in the area and you’re bound to find plenty of stuff you can do without cost.

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