💡 Travel Tips
💻 Travel Planning Guides
In this section you will find guides to help you plan your trips more effectively:
I love a list, and I love a map, which is why things like this are dangerous for me! Travel is not all about ticking things off, but it is interesting to see where I’ve been in the world, and I love setting myself targets.
Green = Visited & articles available
Blue = Visited but no content yet
Red dots = Small islands or countries
The list below may look a bit different from the normal list of 195 countries that are currently in the world. I use a list from a book called ‘The World‘ by Lonely Planet. It has a list of 231 countries and territories.
If you want to see how and why I came to the decision to use this list, then have a read of my post ‘How Many Countries are There to Visit?‘.
To count as an official visit in my book, two things need to have happened:
- Leaving the airport.
- Staying overnight.
And if I haven’t been there, you won’t find it on the list. I’m not one of those travel blogs that just collates information, I have to have been there for it to make it on here.
🌍 Country Guides
<<< My Current Total 28/231 >>>
Central America (0/7)
🇳🇱 The Netherlands
🇨🇿 Czech Republic
🇻🇦 Vatican City
🇧🇦 Bosnia & Herzegovina
Middle East (0/10)
North America (0/4)
South America (1/14)
🇱🇨 St Lucia
🧗♂️ Adventure Stories
Love a good story?
Here are some of my favourite adventures from the last 10 years:
- Stuck in a Tropical Storm on Cat Ba Island
- Disorderly Notes From the Algarve
- So…. We Went to Bosnia & Herzegovina and it Wasn’t Quite What we Expected!
- Malta’s Miracle Church of the Unexploded Bomb
📖 Best Travel Books
The Lonely Planet Guides are simply the best books for huge amounts of information in a small space. We grab one for every country we visit and use them to build our routes. The only downside is the lack of imagery, so if you are a more visual person I would suggest the Eyewitness Travel Guides as they contain
The World forms the basis of my country list. It has the highlights of every country on Earth and never fails to inspire me!
When it comes to travel writers Paul Theroux and Bill Bryson are my favourites. Paul’s ability to describe characters on his journies is simply incredible and Bill is just hilarious! I have visited many places based just on the stories these two have told. Start with The Great Railway Bazaar for Paul Theroux and Notes From A Small Island for Bill Bryson.
What To Read Next…
This site is designed to flow from the point you hear about a sabbatical right through to coming home. Below is a suggested order to make your way through the sections.
Useful Tools for Booking Your Sabbatical
I always use Skyscanner or Agoda alongside Google Flights to make sure I’ve got the best price. I use Google Flights to save a route and monitor price changes and a combination of Skyscanner and Agoda to get the cheapest tickets.
If you are in the UK I would also highly recommend signing up for Jack’s Flight Club to get incredible flight deals sent to your email inbox every week.
When booking accommodation I always start with Booking.com as they generally have the best range and prices. I also regularly use Airbnb for longer stays and apartments in cities (use this link for £25 off your first stay). For a different experience try signing up to Housecarers for free house-sitting opportunities (get 10% off membership with this link).
Travel insurance might seem like an unnecessary cost, but when a flight gets cancelled, injury occurs or you damage a piece of gear you’ll regret not paying in advance. I’ve used World Nomads for two sabbaticals and (after badly damaging a hire car in Laos!) found the claim process to be simple and transparent.
Getting from the airport to your destinations is an added stress after a tiring flight, so take the guesswork out and pre-book with JayRide.com. Their prices often beat the local taxis and I've found them to be reliable and easy to use.