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Travel Book Series

Classic books to read for Backpackers

May 15, 2016

If you’re going to be a backpacker then you need to read these classic books. These books are practically a right of passage for backpackers. They may be cliché but you’ll gain inspiration for your trip and get to visit the places you’re read about.

books backpacker
The first book you should read is The Beach by Alex Garland. This is the book which inspired the film with Leonardo DiCaprio and is the reason everyone flocks to Maya Bay when they visit Thailand.

This is a definite must read if you’re going to Thailand. Reading about Khao San Road and the Thai Islands will get you seriously excited about your trip. You’ll want to go discover your own private beach but possibly not quite as secluded as the one in the book! I really enjoyed The Beach and read it really quickly. It’s action packed from start to finish and I was desperate to find out how it ended.

backpackers books


The second book for Backpackers to read is The Backpacker by John Harris. This book will take you to India, Australia and all over Asia and really demonstrates the differences between each country.

This book will make you want to rid yourself of all your materialistic belongings and appreciate the country that you’re in. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as The Beach but it’s still worth a read.

Both of these books are full of crazy adventures which would scare your parents so make sure you don’t mention the plot to them unless you want your passport revoked.

Have you read either of these books? What other books would you recommend a backpacker read?

Australia, Lifestyle, Lists

15 signs that you have been a backpacker in Australia.

February 1, 2015

1. You loved your East Coast trip but get annoyed when a stranger asks you too many questions about it.

2. You’ve tried all the different flavours of Coles own brand tuna. Sweet Chilli will always be the best!

3. You were confused the first time you walked into a shop and were asked, “How you going?”

4. Admit it, Bondi was a little disappointing.

5. The lack of hot lifeguards was equally disappointing. Is Bondi Rescue fake?!

6. You don’t actually have any Australian friends, in fact the majority of the time you stick to your own nationality. Oops.

7. You believed that Goon was made from fish eggs.

8. Part of you also believed the Drop Bear story. Backpackers are so gullible.

9. You took the obligatory kangaroo selfie.

10. The 88 days of slave labour farm work were actually one of the best parts of your trip.

11. You make decisions on restaurants, bars and hostels on whether they have free WiFi or not.

12. You always want the bottom bunk. Until the person above starts making the bed shake with a night time visitor.

13. You’ve become obsessed with avocados and will add them to almost every meal.

14. You’ve lived off $3 mince every night for a week.

15. The day you found out Dominoes was only $4.95 was probably the best day of your travels.

Australia, Travel

The East Coast of Australia

November 29, 2014

Have you done the East Coast yet? Did you go up or down? I’ve heard you shouldn’t bother going here but should definitely spend at least 3 nights here! How much money do you need? How long does it take?

The Australian East Coast trip is infamous with backpackers. It’s usually where they spend the majority of their time in Australia and sadly sometimes the only part of Australia they will see. I’m lucky enough to have done the East Coast twice so hopefully I can help with some of the standard questions every newbie in Australia seems to ask.

Up or Down?

Typically, when travel agents say ‘East Coast’ they mean Sydney to Cairns or vice versa but some do include Melbourne (and so they should as Melbourne is awesome!). Where you start your trip usually depends on where you flew into or where you closest. If you are bang in the middle of the two cities, you should think about the weather conditions. Do you want it to get warmer or avoid the heat? Planning ahead is also a good idea. Australia is an expensive country so you may need to work after completing the East Coast. Where would you rather work is a question you should be asking yourself. I travelled up towards Cairns from Melbourne on both occasions. The first time because I flew into Melbourne and out from Cairns and the second time because I was travelling just as the coast was starting to get warmer and I wanted to end in Cairns where it would be hottest. Let’s be honest, all I wanted was a tan!

Where to go?

I’m probably going to contradict myself in this next section. When deciding where you want to visit, talk to friends and travel agents to get their advice but don’t listen too closely. This is YOUR trip. Your best friend might think that you only need to spend 1 night in Byron Bay but you might love it there and want to stay 3 nights. So do your research and make up your own mind. I’ll write where Stu and I went on our trip to give you an idea but there are plenty more places to visit so don’t think this is all the East Coast has to offer.

Melbourne (7 nights) 5 nights spend in a campervan doing the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island. 2 nights in the city. 

Sydney (3 nights) We’d been to both Sydney and Melboune before hence not staying long in each city.

Byron Bay (5 nights)

Surfers Paradise (3 nights)

Noosa (3 nights)

Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island (2 nights in RB, 2 nights on Fraser then 1 more night on RB) A self drive 4×4 Fraser trip is the one to choose!

Airlie Beach and The Whitsundays (1 night in AB, 2 nights on a boat trip then 3 nights in AB after) A travel agent will give you the best advice on which boat is best for you. 

Mission Beach (3 nights) We only went to Mission Beach to do our skydive – amazing as you get to land on the beach.

Cairns (6 nights) There is loads to do here – The Great Barrier Reef, Bungy Jump, Atherton Tablelands, Cape Tribulation etc.

How long does it take?

The simple answer is, as long or as short as you want it to be. It all depends on how many places you want to visit. A typical amount of time is about 6 weeks. You can get open-dated travel vouchers for your trip so if you don’t have any limits on time you really can take it at your own pace. Another factor that comes into play is how you will be travelling the East Coast. If you have your own car or campervan this gives you a lot of freedom. If you will be using either the Greyhound or the Premier coach service then you have to stick to their timetables and ticket restrictions. Most of all, it depends on how much money you have and how long you can actually afford to travel for. Which brings me to my next section quite nicely…

How much does it cost?

It always comes down to money unfortunately and Australia is known for being very expensive. As well as paying for your boat trip and Fraser Island tour, there’s transport to think of, accommodation, extra activities, food and drink. It can add up to crazy amounts and unless you are really good at budgeting, you will spend more than you hoped you would. Our East Coast package cost just over $2000 each. This included our transport up the coast, all our accommodation, our skydive, the Fraser trip, the Whitsundays boat trip and the campervan hire in Melbourne. On top of this is spending money. Everyone will need different amounts of spending money but the East Coast is mainly about making friends and going out every night with them. You can stick to goon as much as you want but you’ll soon realise you’re spending money very very quickly. However, do not panic, remember this is a once in a lifetime experience and you don’t want to be missing out on memories because you can’t afford to do something. Just work a couple more months and do it properly. Australia might be a long way from home and you don’t want to go back with any regrets.

I hope this blog helps some of you plan your trip and you get the most out of it. And don’t forget that Australia is a massive country and there’s a whole lot more of it to explore than just the East Coast.

Fraser Island

Asia, Travel, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

February 22, 2014

Staying at Hoa Binh Hotel.

Hoi An, you beautiful beautiful town. After the madness of Hanoi, you were a much needed breath of fresh air. It’s fair to say that Stu and I fell in love with you.

We stayed a short walk away from the heritage town which is really pretty. The buildings are all painted yellow with colourful lanterns lining the walkways. It’s a ‘walking town’ with no cars allowed and for a few hours each day, not even bikes are permitted – bliss! A river flows next to the town with an old Japanese bridge connecting the two sides of town.

There’s lots of shops and restaurants and we both made a couple of purchases. I bought a beautiful pashmina scarf and we both got our first ‘traveller bracelet’. We just need a tan now and we will be looking like proper backpackers!

A Hoi An speciality is spring rolls and Stu and I could not get enough of them! You can tell fresh ingredients were used in all the food we ate here and the ingredients are sourced from a market in the town. We’re loving Vietnamese food and are becoming pros at using chopsticks!

I’ve really enjoyed my time in Hoi An, next stop is Saigon!




Travel, Travel Advice

Memory Lane.

November 17, 2013

You’re guaranteed to make some amazing memories that you will treasure forever from your trip but I still think it’s really important to document those memories. I made sure I kept a diary on my last trip and obviously took hundreds of photos!

However when you get home lots of people put that diary away and rarely look at those photos. You really should make the time to print off the photos and I think the best excuse to do this is to make a scrapbook. When I was away I stored away lots of random things like leaflets and receipts (even the stickers you get on the overnight bus in Thailand!) and now it’s all in my scrapbook.

I’ve been adding to it today and it’s getting me really excited for my next trip!



Lifestyle, My Life


November 11, 2013

Ah yes I’m nowhere exciting just yet. Tomorrow it is 3 months until we set off on the ‘Big Trip’ and there is still lots and lots to do and lots and lots of money to save! So at the moment it’s the usual 9-(half)5, Monday through to Friday daily grind.

That’s enough about the boring stuff though, let me tell you what we have planned at the moment. D-Day is Wednesday 12th February when we fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After a few days there we fly to Hanoi, Vietnam and gradually work our way down to Ho Chi Minh City. Next up is Thailand, flying into Bangkok and remaining there for about a month before heading back to Kuala Lumpur to catch a flight to Melbourne, Australia. Still with me? I realise it sounds exhausting and is quite an unusual route but my younger sister is planning on being in Thailand in March and I would love to be able to spend as much time with her as possible as she’s been living in Australia for the past year.

So if anyone has any recommendations of things to do in any of these places, please let me know!