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Blog

News, Interviews and recommendations from High Spirit Bags.

 

10 Places to Visit on a Budget

Josh okungbaiye

Let’s face it, we all want to travel the world as often as possible; so what’s stopping you? Oh yes, that one very important factor, money. Worry no more, here are the top 10 places to visit when travelling on a budget.

croatia

 

1) Naples, Italy

 

As one of the the oldest cities in Europe, this Italian city is one of the most unique spots, filled with intriguing cultural sights and monuments. Not only are you able to enjoy the luxurious seaside, castles and Baroque architecture, it is well known for the official birthplace of the one nd only, PIZZA; which did I mention, you can enjoy for as little as €4. Just incase you needed a little more convincing, you are also able to have an amazing view of the famous Mount Vesuvius, just by sitting by the bay.

 

2) Albufeira, Portugal

 

Albufeira’s warm climate, fabulous beaches and inexpensive hotels makes it a must see when travelling on a budget. There are over 100 different restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and even a charming Old Town with traditional Portuguese streets and plazas within the city center. Additionally, the prices for both food and wine are extremely reasonable even during the busiest times in Summer.

 

3) Dubrovnik, Croatia

 

Dubrovnik, with its old-world charm, is one of Croatia’s most beautiful city’s to visit. The streets are paved with limestone, giving it a cool, very much needed feel during the hot summer days. One of the best things bout visiting Dubrovnik, is it’s closeness to Montenegro as well as other Croatian islands, meaning you can go island hopping as well as do day trips to another country. It’s a win-win.

 

4) Prague, Czech Republic

 

Although it is currently one of the main touristic attractions visited by families, bachelor parties as well as backpackers, this city never fails to remain as one of the most affordable places to visit. For just a few Czech Crowns you can enjoy a traditional, Czech meal, washed down with homemade, local beer as well as visit all the famous monuments. The city itself is  one of the most beautiful in Europe, crammed with history, perfect for leisurely explorations by foot.

 

 

5) Karpathos, Greece

 

The magical Greek Island of Karpathos offers much of the same aesthetics as touristic islands such as Santorini and Mykonos, with the advantage of lower prices and less crowded spaces. Not only are you able to enjoy the sun, sand and food, this island features historic ruins which can be found at the Archaeological Museum as well as hillsides covered in vibrant wild flowers with small villages like to explore. It’s definitely a step into the traditional, authentic Greek culture with plenty of budget hotels under 100€.

 

6) Mostar, Bosnia

 

This East-meets-West city in the heart of Europe, embodies a truly authentic experience like no other. If you are looking to get away from all things touristy and eat some organic, homemade foods, you’ve come to the right place. This stunning old town is made of winding streets paved with cobblestones and is known for its medieval arched bridge (Star Most) that towers gracefully across the crystal, cool waters of the Neretva River.

 

7) Sri Lanka

 

This small island is one of the best places to visit when looking for unique experiences while going easy on the money spending. Although some imagine it as a major beach spot, while this is true, there is more to this island than one can imagine. Some other features include, water sports, historic monuments, unique foods as well as, breathtaking hikes. While you are there, don’t miss a chance to visit Ella, a small mountain town with a laid-back hippy vibe, accessible via a scenic train ride that will cost you less than 8€ and brings you past stunning tea plantations. You will most definitely find your inner zen while on this island.

 

8) Fez, Morocco

 

As the second largest city in Morocco, Fez’s enchanting, lively markets filled with fascinating leathers, cafes serving Moroccan mint tea and local pastries is a must see. Here you are able to stay at Moroccan homes built around a central courtyard or garden, which feature cozy rooms and rooftop terraces where you can fully relax after a tiring day of walking through a labyrinth of alleyways. Prices for a double room can be as low as 550 dirhams (60€), while a typical tangine dinner is around 50 dirhams (6€).

 

9) Piran, Slovenia

 

Slovenia is a magical country in the heart of Europe bordering the alps as well as the Mediterranean Coast. If you are looking to experience a little bit of everything such as mountains, beaches, lakes, caves as well as castles, Piran, also known as little Venice, is the place to go. Here you can experience fresh seafood for under 10€ after a day of sightseeing by foot. Climb up to the city walls and to the top of the bell tower for spectacular views, or rent a bike and cycle through the countryside. Whatever you choose to do, you will not regret visiting this enchanting place!

 

10) Hurghada, Egypt

 

When people think of beach getaways, the majority of the time, they never consider Egypt. Tourism in Egypt is currently down, due to the unstable government, shaky economy and terrorism. Despite this, you shouldn't fear visiting Egypt. It’s remarkably cheap considering it has one of the most remarkable coral reefs and deserts in the world. A desert tour can cost you about 30€ while a  five-star luxury hotel can come to 50€ a night.

 

 

Nicole Fernandez Medina

 

 

How to Avoid Pickpockets in Italy

Josh okungbaiye

Although pickpocket spots are similar for every major city, here are a few tips to avoid pickpockets in Italy.

pickpocketing in rome

1) In Rome, specifically beware of Termini, the No. 64 bus (which shuttles back and forth to St. Peter's Square), and the trains to and from Fiumicino (the international airport).


2) While at a restaurant, especially outside, NEVER put your belongings on the ground, under the table or hanging on your chair behind. Make sure to place near you, in sight. Furthermore, don't hang your jacket on the back of chair if there's anything in the pockets.


3) In Milan, avoid Central Station after 9 p.m and walk the city late at night alone as pickpockets take advantage of the darkness. Furthermore, after using an ATM, check the transactions as "skimming" fraud, where your data is stolen, occurs in Italy.


4) In Verona, avoid Portoni della Bra, the City Gate, which is the entrance to Centro Storico of Verona as it is considered one of the most crowded places; the perfect place for pickpockets to act.


5) Naples, a seaside dream, is notorious for pickpockets. When visiting, avoid walking through dark alleys and streets alone. Keep all your belongings with you and carry as little as possible.

Nicole Fernandez Medina

10 Travel Scams to Avoid

Josh okungbaiye

Although travelling can be an exciting time, there are always some who take advantage of our vulnerability when on holiday. Here are a few scams to look out for.

vienna travel

 

1.     Taxi overcharge

 

This is considered one of the most common travel scams out there. Either the driver will tell you there is no meter or that it’s broken and attempt to charge you a huge rate. in order to avoid this scam, you must know how much the ride should be. This can be found out by asking the accommodation you are staying at. Furthermore, never get inside an unlicensed cab as they tend to attempt to negotiate the rate at high prices.

 

2. Games

 

If you see people on the streets playing games including cards or hiding a ball under a cap, do NOT attempt to play as you will never win. Those people are professional scammers who will always attempt to take your money at any opportunity.

 

3. Free Bracelets

 

Most common in Europe, this scam involves a friendly person approaching you for a chat then wrapping a bracelet around your wrist. They will claim that it’s free and sometimes even let you off to do your thing before reproaching you to attempt to charge you for it. Keep insisting you are not interested, don’t let them even place the bracelet on you, its a trap.

 

4. Closed Accommodation

 

Although it may seem silly to fall for such a scam, when travelling to a new country you are often more guidable than not. This scam involves cab drivers insisting the accommodation you have booked is no longer open and instead they will take you to another place for the right price. Don’t believe a word they say and keep insisting on your destination.

 

5. The Fake Petition

 

Usually, while visiting a tourist attraction, you will come across a woman and a child pretending to be a student, asking you to sign a petition. They will not tell you what its for, and if they do they will make up some donation excuse and request money. In order to avoid this scam, the best thing to do is avoid them or insist you have no money to give, they will give up and move on to someone else.

 

6. Flirtatious Male or Female

 

Many times, especially if you are a male, you will be approached by an overly flirtatious woman or man looking for you to spend you money on her or take you out. There have instances where men and women have fallen or this scam; the woman or man disappears and you are left with a couple bucks in your pocket.

 

7. Spill On Your Clothes

 

Although accidents are common, when a ransomer spills something on you, more often than not you need to be on your guard. This scam involves pickpocketing when you are least paying attention to your surroundings.

 

8. Found Ring

 

Someone will approach you on the street asking if you dropped a ring. They will then later point out that it’s real gold and attempt to sell it to you for a “good” price. Although easy to fall for,

don’t. It’s too good to be true!

 

9. Wrong Change

 

When travelling to countries with different currencies, some people may take advantage of tourists who are unaware of the correct amount go change they are due as they trust those handing them the money. To avoid being scammed, count your change carefully every time you make a purchase.

 

10. Unofficial Tour Guides

 

There will often be random people nearby your accommodation or touristic attractions who will claim to be official tour guides. Although easily mistaken for, you need to have specific training and licenses to be able to give official tours. Unfortunately, there are some people willing to create false identities in order to convince you of their authenticity and take your money. Make sure to ask your accommodation staff where you can find official tour guides for your destination.