University not for you? Here’s why you should take a gap year instead..

University not for you? Here’s why you should take a gap year instead..

In light of the recent A Level results, there are likely thousands of teenagers currently in the UK at a loose end and perhaps you are one of them. You haven’t yet chosen a career path that warrants higher education and maybe you are scrambling through the competition to bag that summer job?

This is the not the time to be pulling your hair out, worrying about your future. This is the time to discover who you are and exactly what you want from this merry-go-round we call life. This is the absolute perfect timing to throw your essentials into a backpack and head of into the unknown as the glorious ‘backpacker’.

The world is a huge place and travel will teach you so much about life. Everyday will bring you opportunities to immerse yourself in a new culture and try food so exquisite you won’t miss your Sunday roast. It will bring people into your life who will mean so much to you and may never leave. Travel will teach you about change. It will teach you confidence and to love yourself and how to treat others with respect. Travel will teach you how to communicate with others, even when you do not speak the same language. It will teach you how to survive without your family and friends to lean on and most importantly, it will show you who you really are.

So when you return, your friends may be a year into their studies, but who will have the better education??

Is it scary? Yes. Is it hard? Yes. Is it possible? Absolutely.

There are companies on the market that specialise in tailoring your year out to explore the world and find you the best airfares to visit all the places you can fit on your list and can hold your hand right up until the day when you spread your wings and fly (well… board the plane!)

So what are you waiting for? The world is waiting for you.

*Warning!! Travel can be highly addictive and you may get the ‘travel bug’.*

info@cuddleyourglobe.com

Gapyear

 

All You Need to Know About What Name to Book on Your Honeymoon Flight Tickets After Taking Your Husband’s Surname…

All You Need to Know About What Name to Book on Your Honeymoon Flight Tickets After Taking Your Husband’s Surname…

Once the ‘I Do’s’ are done, there is more often than not, an amazing honeymoon to look forward to.

During my years as a travel agent, I frequently encountered female clients who had booked their honeymoon and got a little carried away and made mistakes. You may be in this position right now and unsure on how to book your flights once you have legally changed your name.

This blog is here to help you!!

Firstly, don’t panic. The honeymoon is meant to be the antidote to the mounds of stress that accompanies the weeks or months of planning a wedding.

Your airline or travel agent is always very clear when it comes to instructions on booking your flights. Always book your ticket with the name exactly as it appears in your passport. Exactly. This means that even once your name has been changed legally by deed poll, it may appear differently as your maiden name in your passport. Always book the ticket with what is displayed in your passport.

What do you do if you have booked your ticket in your new married name but your passport is still in your maiden name?

The standard rule across the aviation industry is that scheduled airlines do not ever allow a name change. However, they sometimes are flexible on this. If you have made a mistake and booked your ticket in your new name (not as it appears in your passport), contact your airline or travel agent immediately. More often than not, the airline will allow you to travel on the ticket still if you take proof of the name change with you i.e. Birth certificate / marriage certificate. This is not gospel and you must contact the airline to clarify an exemption.

Happy honeymoon!

  

New York City in a Nutshell

New York City in a Nutshell

One of the first thing that surprises me about New York is the size of it. Coming from London which is over 1,500 km2 and homes just over 8.5 million people, New York City is a measly (in comparison) 789 km2 and houses more residents at around 8.7 million. That’s 11,000 people per km2. Not accounting for the hoardes of tourists that flock to the city on the daily…!! You can actually rarely see the sky due to the vast amount of skyscrapers.

  
On arrival to the New York airports, prepare for severe interrogation from immigration. My officer actually asked me for the reason I broke up with an ex boyfriend I had travelled to New York with some five years previously. The only response I could give was, ‘he wasn’t a great egg..’

Whatever time of day or night it is, if you are near Times Square, daylight cannot be detected. At 10pm the skies are brighter than a summers afternoon.

You can’t smoke anywhere in the city! All bars and restaurants have made their outside areas (and within 25 ft) totally non smoking. You are not permitted to smoke in the parks. So if you’re a smoker, try to find a stoop or quiet sidewalk. This is not a bad thing!

The subway is gross. It’s cheaper than Londons equivalent – The Underground (which it actually copied the idea from), but you can tell. It’s quick and convenient, though.

Getting a taxi has become increasingly difficult during the summer months. One day, on fifth avenue in a desperate rush, I was actually reduced to tears and was bargaining with a New Yorker who was trying to get home so I could make it 15 blocks to an important meeting. If you can get the subway, do it!

If you’re in the world’s shittiest mood,  or ecstatically delirious, New York City just works. There is no inbetween.

The stranger in a pub and his advice…

The stranger in a pub and his advice…

I love it when you meet a complete stranger and they say something to you…. A simple sentence that just falls from their lips like an old apple from a limp tree branch. But THAT sentence will stay with you forever. The stranger has no idea that their blaze alcohol fuelled babble with give you a piece of advice that will change your life forever.

I was sat in a bar one summers afternoon with a friend and we began chatting to a man who had flown back into the UK from Japan where he has been living for several years, teaching English. Due to our mutual love of exploring the other continents, the conversation drew in towards my favourite subject… ‘Travel’

At this point, I had never travelled alone before and was toying with the idea of booking a long haul solo trip to Asia and Australia for a few months. But! I was in a long term relationship. One that I thought was very happy at the time. I didn’t want to leave him for several months and I discussed this with the stranger.

What he said to me changed my life.

“In five years time, which will you regret more? Not going travelling or risking the relationship?”

Sure enough, five years have passed since that comment. I went travelling. The relationship didn’t last, and I can honestly look back with no regrets because I found my passion in life and I found myself. 

 

Short Haul Winter Sun for Brits in April

Short Haul Winter Sun for Brits in April

Where is hot in April? 

This is a question I asked myself whilst looking for a hot break somewhere next month.

April is right on the cusp of winter and summer for many destinations in Europe so it’s hard to know where to choose to go if you’re in search of sunshine. I have written this blog to give some inspiration for short haul winter sun from the UK. Short haul, I classify as under 5 hours flight time.

1.

The Canary Islands are mountainous, pretty, volcanic islands off the East coast of Africa and are pretty much in line with the Sahara Desert. They are touristy and often have beaches packed with British tourists. The four main islands are Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Temperatures in April range from 18-20 degrees but often can get hotter.

  
2.

Egypt offers guaranteed sunshine year round. Resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh, Luxor or Hurghada are nestled far away enough from political unrest and are in my opinion, tourist friendly and safe. Temperatures in April average at 25 degrees.

  
3.

Morocco offers many cultural attractions such as the city of Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains, along with beautiful beach resorts. Temperatures in April average between 18-24 degrees.

  
4. 

Malta and Gozo are pretty much as far south you can get in the Meditteranean. They get very warm from May onwards but in April you can look at averages of around 20 degrees.

  
5. 

Cyprus in Europe is verging into the Middle East heat zone and it’s truly a superb country. I’d recommend hiring a car and spend your days exploring. They drive on the left also! Temperatures in April average t the slightly cooler 16 degrees but often reach 21 degrees.

  
6.

Jordan. OK, this is a smidge over a 5 hour flight, but this is my favourite short haul destination. With jam packed fun in the desert, the ancient city of Petra and the Dead Sea on offer, it’s worth the extra bit of flying. Temperatures in April average 28 degrees! Don’t go in July because you will burst into flames.

  
7.

Tunisia. Many people are put off travelling there are the terrorist attacks last year. One could argue that perhaps it is now one of the safest places to travel to. Temperatures in April are averaging around 16 degrees.

   

Does love exist when a plane ticket does…?

Does love exist when a plane ticket does…?

  
It can take a huge amount of courage to commit to going travelling, either alone or with a companion. There is usually a catalyst to boost somebody to swallow whatever has been holding them back from booking their ticket to just go, be it a relationship break up, loss of job or another big change to shake things up a bit.

It’s very normal to plan to go travelling in advance to give ourselves chance to “plan” and save up some pennies. People I know have booked their flights at least 6-9 months prior to departure. So why is it that every, single time, we always meet what seems to be our perfect partner within this waiting period?! It has happened to everybody I know who has gone off backpacking.

My friend Jess met a boy who she was totally smitten with. They were the perfect couple, always laughing and so in love with each other. From day one he had warned her that he was planning to emigrate to Australia in a year and even though she said it was fine, deep down she had always hoped he would change his mind and stay at home to be with her. He didn’t. In fact, when it came to him booking his flight ticket, he made it clear he wanted to go alone. Neither of them wanted to end the relationship so they tried long distance for a while. After two months of him leaving, the relationship began to die and they ended it.

A man I know called Christopher who is Australian spent months planning a detailed itinerary to travel around Europe for a year, visiting every town and city he could fit in. He had saved up for over a year for this trip! He had some relatives living in London and as it was his first port of call, he decided to email them before and stay with them for a couple of nights. They threw a huge party and one of his relatives invited a female friend who he clicked with so much so that he decided to stay in London and not travel to any of the places in Europe he was planning to visit. This was 7 years ago and they are now married with children. 

Then there was my friend Becky. She had been single for about a year when she decided to take the plunge and go travelling by herself in South America. She planned it all months beforehand and was so excited. About a month before she was due to depart… She fell in love. He was her perfect man and they decided to stay together in spite of her travels. They didn’t know each other very well and it was very testing to their relationship being so far apart when their love was so young. Months later, she returned home, they moved in together and to this day they are still in love. 

So… Maybe all I need to do to find my perfect man is book a plane ticket?! 

When both people in a relationship don’t want to travel…

If you love travel, you simply love travel. It is not only your fierce obsession but it gives you a purpose to life if you don’t quite fit into the niche of parent and mortgage payer. 

Sure we all dream of meeting a soul mate who feels the same way we do about travel and heading off into the sunset together with our backpacks, holding hands.

  
But what happens if you meet a potentially perfect partner, settle down and start planning a future together, only to find out that your partner does not share the same passion for travel as you do?

This is a very common issue. It is acceptable to society to break off a relationship if your partner doesn’t want children and you do, so why should this be any different. A desire to travel is not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle. So if you are in a relationship that prevents you from travelling because it is not your partners wish to, you are not being true to yourself.

There are solutions, however. If you really love your partner and see a future with them regardless of their lack in sharing the same life choices as you, you should still try to make it work. You could try to move abroad together and start a new lifestyle. If this is not an option, maybe you can split your own time between travelling and being at home with your partner. You will definitely need a very strong relationship for either of these to work.

Looking at it a little deeper, you may need to assess your relationship. Find out the real reasons your partner does not want to travel. It actually could be that they are not truthfully happy in the relationship with you and committing to a gap year away with you frightens them. Or, it could be other issues at home holding them back. Either way, it is a problem.

You should also look at yourself and really figure out if a life without travel is an option and if you value a loving relationship more than travel.

The love I have in a relationship is very different to the love I have for travel. For me, travel is a journey with myself. Therefore, to have to give that up to be with the person I love would mean I was no longer… myself.