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News, Interviews and recommendations from High Spirit Bags.

 

Filtering by Tag: europe

How to Avoid Pickpockets in Spain

Josh okungbaiye

Although Madrid and Barcelona are both wonderful, touristic cities to visit, they are both listed within the 10 worst cities for pickpocketing. Here are a few tips to follow in order to avoid pickpockets ruining your holiday full of fun and sun in Spain.

barcelona-buildings-city-17658.jpg


1) One popular scam in Spain is pickpockets masquerading as undercover policemen. They are known to approach you on the street and ask for your wallet. One thing you must keep in mind is policemen are unlikely to approach you unless your behaviour seems suspicious; and even so they certainly are wouldn’t ask to go through your wallet without showing you a police badge of his own.


2) Avoid ‘tourists’. If a random person comes up to you asking for directions, you are most likely going to try and help them out. As nice as this seems, you must be aware that the ‘tourist’ might have an accomplice using the distraction to pickpocket you.


3) Don’t get caught in a people sandwich. If you find yourself sandwiched between two people on the street, an escalator, or public transport, be aware that while the person in front may be blocking your way, the person behind you picks your pocket or backpack. In order to avoid theft, always wear your backpack in front of you and avoid keeping valuables in your pockets.


4) Don’t fall for the fake petition trick. Pickpockets will often approach people on the streets with a fake petition to sign. Whether you choose to sign it or not, they will ask you to donate to a ‘charity’ as a way of extorting money. Moreover, while the person holding the petition sign distracts you, pickpocket is focused on stealing your belongings. Therefore, it’s best to avoid strangers approaching you on the streets and asking for donations; don’t be fooled into thinking the money goes to a good cause.


5) Lastly, as fun as they may seem, avoid impromptu roadside games. While strolling down the street, you may come across a few people playing a card game on the footpath. No matter how enticing it is, refuse their invitation to join the game. One, they will cheat to make sure you will lose your money. Two, while you are busy playing the game, pickpockets may be enticed to steal your belongings.

Into Seoul and Beyond: See, Do and Experience it Beyond the Touristy Stuff 

Josh okungbaiye

 

The vibrant city of Seoul in South Korea is a metropolis that’s brimming with action. There is so much to do and see there that you’ll never be able to see it all. Unless you pack up and move there, which isn’t a bad idea either.

seoul

You’ll definitely want to visit popular tourist destinations like Insadong, where you can check out art galleries, eat temple food while watching a traditional performance, and scoop up amazing souvenirs to take back home with you. You’ll also want to take the subway to Lotte World for a Korean version of Disney World. Plus, there are museums that will help round out your experience. And the palaces! You can’t miss those either. The most famous of them all, Gyeongbokgung Palace, has two museums on-site too.

The DMZ tour is also another popular thing for tourists, and honestly if you’ve got the time to do it, you shouldn’t skip the chance to visit. You’ll need to take a long bus ride for it, but most hotels can set you up for a tour if you ask the concierge.

While these touristy things are incredible and you should make time for them, if you stick to just those things, you’ll miss out on a whole other side of Seoul that you’ve simply got to see. Here are some other things you should make time to do and see while you’re in Seoul.

travel solo in south korea

1. Go for norebang

Korean karaoke rooms, called norebang, are amazingly fun. You get your own private and comfortably outfitted room with a state-of-the-art sound system. This singing room allows you and your crew to sing songs, order plenty of Hite or Cass (Korea’s domestic beers), and have an absolute blast. They have them everywhere so just pick a place that looks good and go. 

karaoke in seoul

2. Take line 2 for a view

The line 2 subway will give you the most impressive view of the Han River. You can also get out at Dangsan and walk out exit 3 to walk across the walkway and take selfies to your heart’s content.

train in seoul

3. Seoul Children’s Park

Most people that visit Seoul for a trip don’t know about this awesome place. You could spend the entire day here and still not do it all. It’s free to get in too. You’ll find a zoo and a stunning botanical garden. There’s also an amusement park. You only have to pay for rides or any food purchases that you make, making this a fantastic way to stay entertained even if you’re low on funds.

south korea architecture

4. Food, drinks, and nightlife

Go out like the Koreans do. Start at one place, like a Korean barbecue where you can grill your meats right in the center of your own table. Make sure you wash it down with plenty of soju, an alcoholic beverage akin to vodka. Then, amble on to the next place. Often, fried chicken joints are an inevitable stop where you and your friends will get spicy crispy fried chicken and a pitcher of beer. Want to dance or do the bar scene? Itaewon practically caters to foreigners, while Hongdae gives you more of that college set. Either place is great for a fun night out with plenty of restaurants, bars, and clubs to fill your night!

nightlife in seoul korea

5. Go shopping

Seoul is one of the fashion capitals of the world. Look at the way the women here style themselves and in a few months, you’ll see the trend take hold in the states. It’s an excellent place to shop. You’ll see plenty of malls filled with sparkly stores that will tempt you to spend. But one place you have to look is underground. Take the subway to the Gangnam Terminal where you’ll find the Goto Mall. Or head to Yeungdeungpo or Jamsil for more underground shopping madness. There are gobs of trendy clothes, shoes, jewelry and more, and the prices are outstanding. Hopefully, you’ve brought an expandable suitcase to take all your goodies home with you. If not, you can find one in one of these underground malls for super cheap.

If you do these things and get in some time at the many other touristy stops you can make, you’ll get the best taste of Seoul. It’s impossible to do it all so plan wisely and you’re experience in this majestic city will be truly unforgettable.

TOP 10 FESTIVAL HACKS

Josh okungbaiye

Festival season is upon us. Epic music festivals will be happening all over the World. In the spirit of that we decided to share with you our Top 10 Festival Hacks. See below. Enjoy! :-)

(1) Make your tent stand out

Make a huge flag to attach right next to your tent (it could be a huge beach towel attached to a nearby pole). Alternatively you can attach really bright balloons to your tent so you will be easily able to find your tent.  If you can’t be bothered with the extras, try and get a really colourful tent that helps you stand out from the crowd.

festival tents

(2) Pick a spot

Try to get to the festival as early as you can so you can claim your spot. Make sure it is a spot that is on higher ground. This is to protect your tent and other stuff from getting flooded if it rains heavily. In addition, pick a spot close to something that is memorable so you and your friends can use that spot as a checkpoint just in case you lose each other in the crowds.

music festival

(3) Keep some emergency cash

Not all the shops and food stores in the festival grounds will accept credit cards, so just in case have some cash hidden in your phone case. This hack will also help you to avoid waiting for hours in a queue to use the cash machine.

(4) Bring a reusable water bottle

Bring a reusable water bottle. Bottled water can be so expensive at festivals and you are going to need water to stay hydrated. So to save some money bring a reusable water bottle so you can fill it up at the taps that will be available.  Also, remember that you will be on your feet a lot of the time so there will be times you will be hungry. As a quick solution, bring snack bars, nuts and bananas.

drink water

(5) Carry your Anti-Theft Backpack

Having your anti-theft backpack will always help in keeping your stuff safe from theft and loss while you are out and about enjoying the music and getting lost in the crowds.  This will be very useful for those that don’t want to leave certain important things behind in their tent.

festival tips

(6) Toilets

The queues for festival toilets can be really long, so locate the nearest restaurants and cafes near to the festival and go there instead. Some of the local businesses nearby will have toilets. Due to the fact that you will have your festival wristband, you will be able to come and go as you please. This will give you the opportunity to use the toilet in a less crowded and cleaner environment.

(7) Use Airplane Mode

Setting your smartphone to airplane mode will help your battery save more energy, especially while you are using Snapchat and taking pictures. You will still be able to upload all your snaps and images to social media once you are connected to the Internet. Remember to save that battery energy.

Please Note: Don’t forget to bring a battery pack for your phone.

 (8) Carry a pillowcase

Carrying a pillow will take up too much space in your luggage.  You can simply make a pillow by stuffing a lot of your clothes into your pillowcase and…voila! You have a pillow.

(9) Carry a rubbish phone

By having a non-smartphone (that only calls and texts) you can use that phone as a back-up/emergency phone just in case your smartphone runs out of battery and you need to call your friends or home.

(10) Leave Early

Make sure you wake up really early so you can pack all your stuff and leave the location before it gets extremely crowded with everyone trying to leave. Try and make a swift escape.

music festival fun