If you are thinking of heading to Australia you can be sure you’re not alone in your thoughts. Why wouldn’t you go? You get great weather, affordable accommodation, great paying jobs, and much more. It can be daunting to commit to leaving home and flying a day away. Keep reading to check out how to get yourself started on your Australian adventure.
Applying for your Visa
If you are planning on staying in Australia for longer than a year you’ll have to apply for a Working Holiday Visa (417). You can apply for your visa here. You will first have to create an immi account and once you’ve created that you can sign in and begin your application for your visa.
With the 417 visa, you can work short-term to help pay for your travels, study for up to 4 months, travel to and from Australia as many times as you like within the year, and do 3 months (88 days) of specified work in order to qualify for your second-year visa (462). The cost of the WHV 417 is €330 (510AUD).
You can check your eligibility here. A few key things to note if you are Irish; you must be aged 18-35 years and you must have €3,000 (5,000AUD) and the cost of a flight out of Australia in your account when applying for your visa and upon entering. Usually, you get a response to your application within 24 hours. From the date your visa is granted, you have one year to enter Australia. i.e if you are granted April 1st, 2023 you have until April 1st 2024 to enter. Your 12-month visa begins on the date you enter.
I’ve Arrived, What Now?
There are a few things that you have to get sorted out when you arrive. Some of these things can take up to a week to process so best to do them as soon as you can.
Get an Australian sim card
Telstra was recommended to me by fellow backpackers and I have no complaints so far. Great coverage and plenty of different data plans to suit your needs. Make sure you bring a phone with you that is unlocked so you can use sim cards from other countries.
Open an Australian bank account
The four biggest banks in Australia are Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Australian and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), and National Australia Bank (NAB).
The most common bank amongst backpackers is CBA. You can apply online here or head to your nearest branch to set up an account. Make sure to bring your passport with you as you will need identification. The bank will help you set up your mobile app and then they will post your card to you. This can take up to 5 business days to receive.
Apply for a Tax File Number (TFN)
You can apply here. You need a TFN to work. It is sent via post and can take up to a week to arrive. If you want to start working immediately be sure to sort this out sooner rather than later.
Open a Super Account
Super is basically a retirement fund. It is money put aside by your employer over your working life. If you are a temporary resident, you can claim the balance when you leave Australia. You must claim the balance within 6 months of leaving. A popular super account for backpackers is HostPlus. You can become a member here.
Completing my 88 Days
As I mentioned before, you must complete 88 days of specified work in order to qualify for your second-year working holiday visa. This means that different forms of work can count towards your 88 days depending on what part of Australia you are in. You can check out the approved areas and industries for specified work here.
Completing your 88 days can be stressful. Some weeks you will work 60 hours over 6 days and other weeks you will only work 2 days. Although this won’t be great for the wallet it is normal and you shouldn’t worry too much about your 88 days. The Australian government said that so long as you attach 13 payslips where you worked whatever you could you should be approved for your second-year visa.
How do I find work?
There are multiple ways to try and find specified work. If you are looking to work on a farm with plants or animals you can call up the Harvest Trail on 1800 062 332. I would recommend completing your 88 days at the beginning of your visa. If you leave your specified work until the end of your visa you may not complete your days due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather, illness, or lack of work.
The Harvest Trail will help to guide you on what areas can supply the most jobs and accommodation but will not source a job for you. I recommend talking to fellow backpackers when you arrive and getting phone numbers for employers and for accommodation. COVID-19 has had an effect on regional farms so finding a farm to work on now is not as easy as it was before the pandemic. The time of year will also play a factor in what part of Australia there will be work and how much of it.
You can also look for jobs on Indeed, Jora, Workforce Australia, and backpacker job board. If you see a contact number on a website don’t hesitate to pick up the phone. Being eager to work in Australia is better and you’ll get a job before someone waiting on an email.
How do I know what is in season and where?
You can check out what is in season at this website for the time of year that you will be working.
Apps to download
There are a few apps that you should download for your time in Australia. These apps range from accommodation to transport to casual working jobs.
Cambodia was the one country on my travels that I was hesitant to visit. Whenever I met other backpackers it was always 50/50 whether they loved or hated it. They had regaled me with tales of how they had been robbed and I was petrified to go. My boyfriend and I decided it was better to wait until our friend had arrived so the 3 of us would go together. Strength in numbers and all that.
To say the state of the 3 of us when we landed in the airport in Phnom Penh would be putting it mildly. I had a decoy bum bag on the outside of my t-shirt and a secret money belt underneath.
I got a Tuk-Tuk outside the airport and drove 10 minutes to our hostel. I’m sure I looked like a lunatic clutching my backpack to my chest inside the Tuk-Tuk so nobody on a motorbike could swipe my belongings from me while driving. We had planned on a short visit to Cambodia. ‘Let’s go just to say we’ve been’ sort of thing. I look back and laugh now as I write this because Cambodia is one of my top two favourite countries in South East Asia.
Entry Requirements and Visas
Something for you to note. Before you can board any vehicle headed for Cambodia you need to have proof of onward travel i.e a ticket to show when and how you are leaving Cambodia. As a backpacker, with plans that are ever changing, it can be hard to decide how long you will spend in a country. To allow me the flexibility while travelling I used a site called onwardticket.com for proof of my onward travel. This site lets you reserve a flight for roughly €15 and holds your ticket for 24 hours. You simply show this at the desk and the reservation expires after 24 hours. This will give you the freedom to travel without a deadline date. You will never be asked for proof on onward travel after entering Cambodia.
The visa process is super quick and easy. You will fill out a visa form on the flight and present it when you land. The visa fee is $35, you have to have this in cash as they do not accept card. USD is used widely in Cambodia along with their own currency Riel. They will not accept any USD that have a slight tear or look worn so be careful when handling your money so as to avoid being out of pocket. I have found while traveling that USD come in handy a lot of the time so if they won’t accept it in Cambodia you will be sure to be able to use it elsewhere.
When backpacking around Cambodia you will either travel from North to South or vice versa. There is an airport in Phnom Penh (N) and Siem Reap (S) which makes it easy to travel to and from other countries from Cambodia. I began in Phnom Penh as I flew from Thailand. You can also opt for a land crossing which is much more budget friendly. Once you are in Cambodia you will travel quite cheaply via bus, train or boat to the other destinations.
Phnom Penh (2 Nights)
I spent two nights in total in the capital and this was plenty of time. I stayed in Mad Monkey Hostel which is a chain hostel found in South East Asia. You can be guaranteed to meet plenty of other backpackers in these hostels as they are sociable and always have plenty of events on. It cost roughly $8 a night for a shared dorm.
I booked through the hostel to visit the S21 prison and the Killing Fields. These tours give you an inside look into Cambodia’s dark history – the genocide killings committed between 1975 – 1979 by Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge leader. This tour is not for the faint hearted but I would highly recommend going.
I booked my 3 hour transfer bus from Phnom Penh to our next destination through the hostel. Plenty of mini buses depart a day so you’ll have no issues booking one. The bus cost us roughly $10 and will leave you in the centre where taxis will be waiting for you with a fare as low as $3 to your accommodation.
Kampot (3 Nights)
I spent 3 nights in Kampot in Karma Traders backpacker hostel. The accommodation cost roughly $5 a night for a shared dorm room. They had events on every night like Taco Tuesdays, Burger nights and table quizzes. If you do stay in Karma Traders be sure to lock away your valuables especially if you are staying in one of their outdoor dorms that can be accessed by the general public.
Another accommodation option popular amongst backpackers is Arcadia. A sociable hostel located on the river that has a selection of water activities for you to try out.
There’s plenty to do in Kampot if you’re looking for an adventure. You can rent a motorbike from your hostel or you can hire a driver for a few hours to bring you around if you are not a confident driver. Check out a list of things to do in Kampot here.
From Kampot I planned on getting the 5 hour train to Koh Rong however, when I arrived at the train station the train was sold out. Be sure to go over a day in advance of your trip or book a train ticket online to avoid disappointment. The views from the train are breathtaking and it makes for a smooth, comfortable journey.
Alternatively, you can get a mini bus from your hostel that will drop you to the ferry point in Koh Rong. If you suffer from motion sickness I would avoid the minibus option as the roads are full of potholes. There is one stretch of road that should take 10 minutes to drive that takes an hour due to the potholes. Make sure to wear your seatbelt as you’ll be bouncing off the roof (I’m not even joking). The minibus seats 12 and it cost roughly $20 each.
When you arrive at the ferry port you will purchase an open return ticket for roughly $30. This boat will make two stops. First stop is to Koh Rong and the second is to Koh Rong Samloem. You can choose to do these islands in whatever order you please. I went to Koh Rong Samloem first but I would recommend going to Koh Rong first.
Koh Rong (3 nights)
There’s not a huge amount to do in Koh Rong and you can walk the entire island in about an hour. This was a great place to simply chill and recharge. There are plenty of lovely restaurants along the beach front that are super cheap, tasty and give generous portion sizes. A backpackers trifecta.
I needed a break from the hostel lifestyle so I booked a bungalow for our stay in Koh Rong. I would recommend your stay in Koh Rong overlap with a Saturday because there is a hostel called The Nest that runs a day festival called ‘Nestival’. They hold plenty of games similar to a school sports day with the inclusion of alcohol. It is a great day that helps you meet people and spend your day doing something different. You can opt to stay in The Nest hostel or stay in local bungalows.
I stayed in Happy Elephant Bungalows. My room slept 3 people, had a private bathroom, a porch with a hammock, fans and towels were supplied and it only cost $46 between three people. Absolute bargain!
Make sure to bring enough cash with you for your time on the Koh Rong islands as there are no ATMs on these islands. There is one restaurant on the entire island that will double as an ATM but charge you a surcharge of 10% to withdraw money. You also have to pay for your accommodation by cash as the entire island is run off of a generator.
Koh Rong Samloem (3 Nights)
You can get a quick 20/30 minute boat from Koh Rong island to Koh Rong Samloem. I recommend going to Koh Rong Samloem first as there are plenty more boat times going in this direction. You can get an early boat to arrive in Koh Rong Samloem early and have two full days on this island as I felt 3 nights was too long.
I stayed in Mad Monkey hostel for roughly $6 a night for a shared dorm. You will definitely experience the remote island life here. I stayed in a 6 bed dorm that is in a hut, there are a couple of fans in the dorm room and a hammock outside on each porch. Be sure to bring mosquito repellent with you for your sanity.
The hostel runs daily excursions and you can also get a daily boat over to the mainland as Mad Monkey is more remote than the other hostels. This does add to its charm. Mad Monkey have a bracelet payment system so you top up your bracelet by X amount using your card (again, you’ll incur a surcharge) or by cash. What you don’t spend on your bracelet will be refunded to you on your departure.
Another hostel option, located on the mainland of Koh Rong Samloem, that is popular amongst backpackers is Onederz. A dorm in Onederz is roughly $9 a night.
Siem Reap (5 Nights)
The journey from Koh Rong to Siem Reap is not one to be taken lightly. I began by getting a boat from Koh Rong island back to the ferry port. I had to reserve a time slot for my return trip. Once I arrived back at the port I hailed a taxi to drop me to the bus terminal for a sleeper bus to Siem Reap. This bus is advertised as a 10 hour sleeper bus it actually takes 15 hours. There are no single beds only doubles so if you are travelling alone prepare to have a bunk buddy. The beds are not your typical sized double, more like a large single so it will be a tight squeeze. The bus also picks locals up along the way so the pathways on the bus will be full of people and luggage.
I arrived in Siem Reap centre in the early hours of the morning and there were plenty of taxi drivers waiting. Don’t be afraid to barter with them as they tend to ask for double the going rate. Be sure to check how far of a drive your hotel/hostel is from the bus terminal so you’ll have an idea of what you’re happy to pay.
I stayed in Lub d hostel for roughly $6 a night in a dorm with a shared bathroom. The bathrooms in Lub d are sex segregated. I love staying in Lub d hostels as they are super clean, kitted out with everything you’d need, and the food on site is always delicious. Usually Lub d is a treat as they can be expensive to stay in, especially in Thailand, however, this was not the case in Cambodia.
Siem Riep was definitely my favourite place in Cambodia. You could easily spend 3 days in Siem Reap and see all you need to see but I wouldn’t spend less than that. I was located in the centre which gave me the freedom to walk most places. There is a bustling nightlife, amazing restaurants and plenty to do in Siem Reap.
The main tourist attraction is Angkor Wat – a temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world. You will also recognise it from the Tomb Raider movies. I booked my tour through the hostel so that transportation and a tour guide was included. You can purchase a day ticket or a multi-day ticket depending on your interests. This tour is a full day tour as you are up at 4.30am to make it to the temples in time for sunrise. Other tours you can embark on are to the landmine museum, national parks, dance and dinner shows and much more.
If you are thinking of heading to Cambodia as part of a backpacking trip across South East Asia or as a stand alone trip I would highly recommend it. You can experience Cambodia as a budget backpacker or a luxury traveller. The Khmer people are so friendly and helpful, the food is delicious, and the views are stunning. What more could you want?
So, you’ve finally booked that flight and you’re heading off backpacking. Whether you’re going for 6 weeks or 6 months you need to figure out what backpacking essentials you need to pack. This should be an exciting time and not a stressful one so I’ve compiled a list of the must-haves for you. Sit back, click away and with OAS’s super quick delivery you’ll be ready to jet off in no time.
Here’s a list of 7 backpacking essentials for you:
1. Universal Adapter
This USB world travel adapter is a backpacking must have. You can charge up to 3 devices at once with the 2 USB ports and the plug socket. Not all plug sockets are the same in each country you visit so this all in one adapter will save you buying an adapter in each country you visit.
2. Document Holder
Keep all of your travel documents at arms reach and together in a safe holder. This document holder is RFiD protected which means your cards cannot be scanned reducing the risk of identity theft. You can wear it as a waist pack or stow it away when it is not in use.
3. Bum Bag / Money Belt
A bum bag will be your new best friend while travelling. Think about it, you’ll be spending most of your days in your swimsuit so where do you keep all of your valuables? I would recommend a money belt for underneath your clothes if you’re travelling to any countries that have high theft rates. There have been cases where people’s bum bags have been torn from their shoulders as they are walking down the street so a more discreet bag will put you at ease.
4. Travel Towel
You’ll find that while travelling and staying in hostels some hostels will supply a towel but that is not always the case. Microfibre and softfibre towels are a Godsend while you’re travelling. Anti-bacterial, quick drying, lightweight and compact, what more could you want?
Think about how much time we spend on our electronic devices. We read our books, book our flights, answer our emails, update our social media accounts and watch our favourite movies and shows on them. The battery on our devices can’t keep up with the amount of time we spend on them so a powerbank is essential. Travel days while backpacking can be excruciatingly long, I mean like 20 hours long. You could be left at a bus station waiting 3 hours for a bus with 50 others all crowded around 4 sockets. Do yourself a favour and get a powerbank – you’ll thank me later.
This resettable 3 digit lock is perfect for keeping your valuables safe while you’re travelling. All hostels will have a locker for you to store your valuables in but they won’t have a lock for it. This lock means you use a code and don’t have to worry about losing a key. I’d get two locks if you’re backpacking for a few months as things tend to get left behind as you jump from place to place.
7. Packing Cubes
Imagine storing all of your clothes in your wardrobe in a heap on the floor. That’s what backpacking with a rucksack is like without packing cubes. Pack all of your clothes into 4 cubes to keep them clean and organised. Unfortunately, packing cubes are not available at OAS yet but they are coming soon and of course for the best value in Ireland.
There you have it. 7 backpacking essentials to pack for your next trip that won’t break the bank. Only at OAS, Ireland’s best value outdoor store.
Our Zoe Kinsella headed off on her very own Outdoor Adventures!
Unfortunately, that adventure was cut short by the Covid-19 Pandemic. This is her last blog from the road and a list of all the Apps that we will need when we get back on the road again. For now, you have the time to look at the wistfully and make plans for the future!
Welcome Back Zoe.
Download these free travel apps before you jet off!
With so many apps available out there for both Android and iPhones, how can we know which ones are worth the space they consume on our smartphones especially when every megabyte counts these days? Before I set off on my travels I had no idea of the array of travel apps that were available to me. Check out these 7 FREE travel apps that will have you wondering how you ever travelled before without them.
1. XE Currency Exchange
There are plenty of currency conversion apps out there, however, XE Currency is at the top of its league. Choose whatever currencies you’d like to convert between and the one you’d like to use right now. Select an amount and the equivalent will show in all of the other currencies you selected. You only need an internet connection initially to download rates when you first select a currency and after that, you can use offline.
2. Google Translate
Probably one of the handiest apps you’ll download for your trip. Not all areas we travel to are used to tourists so they might not speak English. Google translate is the perfect travel companion. You can download a language pack ahead of time and use it without needing to be connected to the internet. Simply type in what you are looking to say, choose your language and off you go. You can also take a photo, handwrite and voice record words or phrases to be translated.
3. Google Maps
Where would we be without Google Maps? By far the best mobile navigation app available, you’ll find yourself using it daily, especially while you travel. Although you’ll need an internet connection to find new locations you can save maps for later use while offline. Google Maps allows you to star locations so while you’re out and about you can pull up your offline map using the GPS signal in your phone and see your starred locations.
4. Trip Advisor
If you are like me and you love to read and also leave reviews of accommodations and attractions, then you just have to download the TripAdvisor app. The app is much more than a place to leave reviews. It provides all of the information available about accommodation, restaurants, activities, and flights. Its forums include information about worldwide destinations and different travel themes such as bargains, business, weddings, ecotourism and so much more.
You can book through
the app and also save what you like for later use.
Similar to TripAdvisor, Booking.com allows you to book accommodation at the lowest price. You receive further discounts and perks the more you use it too. Booking.com helps you make the most of your trip from finding great deals, renting cars, booking airport transfers, reading reviews and also supplying travel articles to help you make the most of your trip.
Traveling can be daunting and no matter how much research you do you can often feel lost. Rome2Rio is one of the best apps I have learnt about while on the road. Simply pop in your starting location and your intended destination, and it will pull up all of the different routes with times and pricing. The app highlights which routes they recommend. The fastest and the cheapest too! When traveling as a backpacker you can be in a different country every other week if you wanted so this app is a lifesaver in helping you get from place to place efficiently.
Who doesn’t love to bag a bargain when booking flights? That trip of a lifetime doesn’t have to cost a fortune and usually the most expensive thing is the flights. Here’s where Hopper comes in. Pop in where you are flying from and to, choose the number of passengers and Hopper will let you know what dates are the cheapest to fly on. You can also choose to watch a trip, so it will notify you when prices have gone up or down and will advise you on the best time to buy.
Traveling the world
and seeing new places is exciting but it can also be a bit scary and
intimidating. Help yourself out and
download these apps so that nothing will stand between you and your perfect
Our Zoe Kinsella has headed off on her very own Outdoor
assisted all kinds of travellers to access the very best in back-packing gear,
she took to the trail herself. Currently
backpacking through South East Asia, Zoe shares her thoughts, musings and
travel adventures with all of us poor folk left at home. Thailand brought beautiful beaches &
clear blue skies and fellow travellers with their noses stuck in phones.
the sun Zoe!
As I walk the white
sandy beaches of Koh Samui, Thailand soaking in every ray of the 34-degree heat
I can’t help but feel lost in the moment. My head clear, my worries
non-existent and my heart full. I can’t help but think of how lucky I am to be
here. As my gaze is pulled from the clear blue ocean to the droves of people
resting on the beach, it’s evident that while I seem to be one of few lost in
the tranquillity of the island, others are lost in endless scrolling on
smartphones. Ignoring those next to
them, their conversations stagnant and with the occasional tilt of a phone to
show the other what they are looking at in order to show that they are
acknowledging their existence and not out rightly ignoring them.
This had me thinking
of my trip to Thailand 6 years previously when I used to call my Mam on Viber
on my iPod Touch whenever I got to a place with half-decent Wi-Fi. There was no
lying on the beach scrolling through social media. Mainly because you couldn’t
connect to Wi-Fi and this was before you could get a sim with data on it for next
to nothing. The sad reality today is that people seem uninterested in each
other’s company until a phone is taken out for a picture or video to post on
social media. And this, to make people feel as if they are missing out on the
‘fun’ or that their lives are inadequate. Feeling as if you’re missing out is
far more prominent nowadays because of posting on social media. People have
become so obsessed with getting that Instagram picture or video that will make
others wish they were them. But, have we become so consumed with this façade? As
I look around the beach groups of friends sit together scrolling through their
social media pages, not acknowledging each other until one shouts “get in a
video” and all of a sudden everyone is animated, laughing, singing, dancing,
and looking like they’re having the time of their lives. Designed to spark envy.
In reality, they are doing the exact same thing as those at home except they’ve
spent a fortune to sit on a beach leeching off terrible Wi-Fi to do it.
When I envisioned
traveling, I imagined people would be chatty, almost intrusive, but in a way
that backpackers can traditionally be. Conversations without inhibitions or
fear of rejection. Don’t get me wrong, these people still exist but it can be
harder to approach others if their heads are buried in their phones. You cut
yourself off from meeting new people and instead feel more connected to your
phone. Think about it, when was the last time you went for a coffee or out for
a meal by yourself and didn’t have your phone in your hand as an armour of some
sort, and to make you look less sad for being alone?
One thing that has
stood out while traveling, is the extremes people will go to bring along their
phones and cameras on excursions in order to document the whole thing.
Waterproof cases, dry bags, and selfie sticks certainly have their uses in
keeping these safe and dry till you absolutely need them. It seems as if nobody
can live in the moment anymore, mentally capturing images instead of physically
recording them. Visiting some of the world’s natural wonders and unbelievably
beautiful sights can really reset your state of mind but instead of realizing
how fortunate you are to be there, tourists queue up to take the same photo one
after the other to boast about on social media. Put the camera down and enjoy
Technology isn’t all bad.
Besides the aforementioned, it has many positives especially while traveling. From maps to Netflix, online banking to booking accommodation and of course being able to Face Time your loved ones or chat instantly on WhatsApp or social media, technology takes the distance out of traveling making it easier to spread your wings without the feeling of being homesick or not knowing if that postcard from home will arrive.
According to new
research published by the communications watchdog ComReg, Irish people spend 4
and a half hours on their smartphones daily and only 10% of that is spent
talking. Balance would seem to be the key. If you are a solo traveller or even if traveling
in a group, why not set certain rules regarding phone time. Try to stick to set
times where it’s okay to be on your phone guilt-free and others times where
phones aren’t allowed. Meal times, for
example, although this means forgoing the ubiquitous pic of your meal! The key to reducing the amount of phone time and
increasing the amount of time you spend living in the moment, is to acknowledge
how much time technology is spent second screening your experiences and how
much is spent actually experiencing! Why not make the facade a reality. Stop
pretending to have fun and actually have it! Lose your inhibitions, leave your
phone at home, make memories and capture each moment with your hearts.
As for me, I am about
to leave this screen time and soak up the sun, the sights, the sounds and the
wonders of traveling abroad. Just don’t
expect any selfies !!!
Kinsella has headed off on her very own Outdoor Adventures!
Having assisted all
kinds of travellers to access the very best in back-packing gear, she took to
the trail herself. Currently backpacking
through South East Asia, Zoe shares her thoughts, musings and travel adventures
with all of us poor folk left at home. Thailand
brought beautiful beaches & clear blue skies but unfortunately the amount
of wasted plastic is of huge concern!
Travel well Zoe!
8 Top Tips for being environmentally conscious while travelling in third world & developing countries:
I sit here getting lost in the sounds of nightlife creatures overlooking a
peaceful pond at my hostel in Pai, Thailand I am struck by the disparity in
lifestyles all around the Globe. Let’s face it we are all guilty of having an ‘I’m on holidays’ attitude
while we’re away. From the amount of calories we consume to the lack of
exercise we do. Regardless of whether we eat too much or move too little, we
aren’t harming anything other than our bank accounts and our waistlines. The
huge influx of tourism in third world and developing countries means that
although they are flourishing in areas such as accommodation, food and drink
and retail it also means that the level of waste and pollution being produced
is taking a toll on the ecosystems of these countries.
In Koh Phi Phi,
Thailand, Maya Bay, made famous in the 2000 movie “The Beach” featuring
Leonardo DiCaprio, has been closed since June 2018 and is set to remain closed
for a further two more years due to tourists flooding the beach and destroying
the ecosystem. The closure of Maya Bay is part of a rejuvenation
program aimed at reviving the area’s decimated corals.
If we are being honest we have become too accustomed to blaming developing countries as the prime cause of plastic pollution due to their non existent recycling programmes. In reality, wealthier countries send their recyclable waste to developing countries branding them the cause of plastic pollution. Although, as a single traveller we cannot fix the world’s recycling issues or rejuvenate beaches whose coral have been diminished we can make simple changes on a personal level to help reduce the amount of waste we accumulate while travelling.
My top tips:
Reuse your towels. Conserve water and reduce electricity and gas costs by reusing your towels.
Bring a reusable shopping bag away with you. These bags can be flat packed or stuff sacked to take up literally no space and can have a huge positive effect on plastic waste.
Ask for no straw or bring a reusable one with you. Can we please think of the turtles?!
Bring a water bottle with you. Many airports now have refill water stations where you can refill your bottle to save some money and also save you from buying a single use plastic bottle. Win, win!
Bring a Knife, Fork, Spoon set away with you. Okay, let me clarify, if you are boarding a plane do not, I repeat do not pack the knife from said set in your carry on luggage. However, the fork and spoon are 100% acceptable on board a flight. Yay!
Ladies, get yourselves a menstrual cup. According to Menstrual Health Alliance India, one sanitary pad could take 500 to 800 years to decompose as the plastic used is non-biodegradable and can lead to health and environmental hazards. Reusable menstrual cups are durable and can last anywhere between 6 months to 10 years with proper care.
Although, it is cheap and easy to hop in a taxi and you tell yourself it’s too hot to walk, if it is within walking distance then walk it! You’ll thank yourself in the long run and so will your waistline and wallet.
Get yourself some shampoo bars and bars of soap. Not only will you reduce the amount of plastic being wasted on packaging but you also reduce the risk of spillage in your backpack that could potentially ruin your year long’s wardrobe! The other handy part of bars of soap is that they smell delicious so store them in your shoes or throughout your rucksack to keep it smelling fresh. Check out the Irish company Suds Johnson who specify in natural handmade soaps and zero waste products.
Trying to reduce your carbon footprint can be a
daunting task at the best of times. If you try to take on too much you can feel
overwhelmed and as a result you’ll more than likely just give up. So, take it
at your own pace and start by doing what you can and encourage others to follow
for me, I will be stepping lightly, very lightly on this planet as I navigate
the road between South East Asia and Indonesia while contemplating the
responsibility we all have to ensure not just the survival, but the celebration
of this wonderful world.