Your South Africa Guide

Heading to South Africa? Here are some must sees you won’t want to miss out on!


Rising 1,086m above Cape Town, Table Mountain is the city’s most recognizable landmark. Known for the incredible view of the city, it is definitely a rewarding experience to hike up Table Mountain from the ground below to its sky-scraping height, which is also possible to reach by an easy cable car ride if you’re not one for hiking.  

There are different ways to get up there but the most popular is taking the “Platteklip Gorge hike” which is a fairly steep climb because it doesn’t zig-zag to help reduce the abrupt change in altitude. It heads straight for the summit and is pretty rigorous but is also the fastest way up – (about 2 hours one way).

If enjoying nature and the hike itself is as much of a priority as getting to the top of Table Mountain, then “Skeleton Gorge Trail” is the more leisurely route is for you. Skeleton Gorge takes hikers through an emerald ravine, lush jungle, and shrub and moss-covered slopes before reaching the highest point of the mountain, Maclears Beacon. – (about 4 hours one way). If you’re up for it, take the detour and check out Table Mountain’s only beach!


Did you really come to Africa if you didn’t go on a safari? We visited Addo Elephant National Park where you not only see elephants, but you can spot zebras, lions, rhinos, leopards and more! This is a self guided tour which makes it even more fun to explore at your own pace in your own vehicle.

Kruger National Park is also a great safari area to hit in South Africa – it is one of the largest national parks on the continent and is home to a wide variety of wildlife.


You heard that right! Looking for an adrenaline rushing activity? Bungee off the largest jump in the world – Bloukrans Bridge Bungy – standing at almost 800ft tall. The views are incredible and it really is that once and a lifetime experience that you will never forget. I will warn you once you have signed the papers and given your money, they have you committed – meaning they will push you off even if you are scared and want to back down. I know this because it happened to me.

I looked over the edge and told the guides I didn’t want to and before I knew it I was off and didn’t have much of a choice. To their defense, they did warn us this was the case by stating “they will push us off if we get scared” beforehand but still good to know once you’re in – you’re jumping off that platform or being pushed off. As far as safety goes, I did feel like they had all the best safety protocols in place and took their jobs seriously when it came to following those protocols. However, at the end of the day it is always still a risk – but if you live for that rush, this is right up your alley.


Volunteering was one of my favorite aspects when I visited South Africa. Its crazy how even one simple act – a small hug or smile can mean SO much to these kiddos. Whether you want to spend weeks or just a few hours serving, I have laid out some top options of organizations for you to volunteer through. 

Volunteer HQ

GVIUSA Volunteer 

Projects Abroad


As you may know, South Africa is home to some of the most famous surf beaches and communities in the world. Whether your down for the surf, or want to relax beachside, these are some top spots you will want to check out:

1. Jeffrey’s Bay – This is the home of the world-famous Supertubes and the annual J-Bay Open, a prestigious WSL event.

2. Dungeons (Hout Bay, Cape Town) – Classed as one of the world’s “big wave” spots, a leg of the red bull big wave competition is held here. Dungeons only pumps during winter storms when 15 to 30-foot swells break over the shallow reef. Located on the ocean side of Hout Bay Dungeons is only accessible by boat and is only suitable for experienced surfers. If you’re not very experienced it can be fun to watch the surfers tear it up with some intense waves.

3. Coffee Bay – If you are looking to escape the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the city life, this might be exactly what you are looking for. Coffee Bay offers incredible beaches and views of cattle roaming free, vast green fields, colorful huts and rocky cliffs with breathtaking views of the ocean.

Not one for the beach? Check out some tranquil lakes nearby:

1. Lake Chrissie – Ranking amongst the top 3 largest lakes in South Africa, Frogging Safaris are one of the unique aspect of this lake where you are surrounded by frogs – maybe not the best to swim in but fun to explore.

2. Lake St. Lucia – You can spot a hippo, reedbuck, and waterbuck on the shores of Lake St. Lucia and it also contains about 150 species of fishes. 

3. Lake Sibaya – This is the largest freshwater lake in South Africa. It is famous for having hippos and crocodiles and is home to a variety of rare birds in the region.

Paraglide Over Cape Town

Get all the views of Cape Town by paragliding – here you will get incredible views of not only the city but the ocean as well.

Click here to book now!

Your Cenote Guide

Lately I have been a little obsessed with cenotes. I have found my favorites to be all in one place – Tulum, Mexico. Its crazy how many cenotes you will find in this area. Mexico is known to have the most cenotes in the entire world. Below is a breakdown of my top favs you definitely will want to hit when there!

Cenotes Dos Ojos

This location actually has three cenotes and all of them are so cool in their own unique way.

Cenote #1:

If you like to cliff jump this is the Cenote for you. With different levels to jump from and stunning scenery this is a pretty spectacular place to cool off at.

Cenote # 2:

This Cenote seriously feels like you are in a dreamland. With lilypads surrounding you and the birds chirping, this is a bliss sanctuary – perfect for the end of the day when you’re ready to relax.

Cenote #3:

This Cenote is so much fun to explore – especially if you’re a diver. We just snorkeled and free dived because we didn’t have our scuba gear, but even exploring when snorkeling is seriously so magical underwater. Theres tons of different hidden avenues underwater and stalactite/stalagmites that you come face-to-face with as you swim past. It feels like there’s so many places to venture to it goes on forever. This one is definitely a must if you like to explore hidden caves.

Cavern Exploration and Cenote Adventure | Progreso Shore Excursion | Mexican  Riviera Cruise Tours

Cenote Calavera

This Cenote is the ultimate “Instagram” location. With a rope swing seat, ladder and holes you can jump through in the back – this Cenote has a lot of cool elements to it. It also has a fun seating area with chairs around it for people that just want to relax without going in.

Cenote Ik Kil

Talk about jungle vibes – here you are surrounded by vines in this underground 360 cave. Theres a fun spot you can rope swing off of and a platform as well. This is a very popular for Cenote and its pretty obvious why.

Most Gorgeous Mexican Cenotes: Swimming Near Cancun, Cozumel & More -  Thrillist

Your Mexico Guide

From Mayan ruins and lush jungles to pristine Pacific Coast surf beaches to Mexico City’s art and food scene to Mezcal to beautiful Oaxaca, Mexico is just amazing. Check out my top recommendations to hit up while there!

Wander through Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park

Chapultepec Park - Mexico City | Chapultepec park, Park around, Urban park

Chapultepec is one of the largest city parks in the world, spanning almost 700 hectares. It contains the Mexico City Zoo, La Feria amusement park, and the Museum of Anthropology. The museum houses a large collection of sculptures, jewels, and artifacts from ancient Mexican civilizations. It costs 70 MXN to visit. You can also rent a rowboat or paddleboat and go out on Chapultepec Lake for 60 MXN.

Visit the markets

Puebla, Mexico | Puebla city, Beautiful places to travel, Mexico

Just about every town in Mexico has a busy, diverse market for you to experience traditional food, pick up some bargain items, and purchase souvenirs. Two of the best are the Mercado Ciudadela in Mexico City (for handmade textiles and artwork), and Oaxaca’s Mercado Benito Juárez (for local foods like fresh ground coffee beans, juices, and grasshopper tacos). If you’re in Merida, check out Mecardo Santa Ana for their Yucatecan cuisine, like cochito horneado, a marinated pork dish that is slow-cooked in underground pits, or head to El Mercado Lucas de Galvez for their specialty seafood cocktails (the locals swear by it to cure your hangover).

Explore Zócalo (Plaza de la Constitución)

14 Best Things to Do in Zócalo, Mexico City | Condé Nast Traveler

Zócalo the main plaza in the heart of Mexico City. It dates back to the Aztecs, encompassing both the Templo Mayor (an ancient Aztec temple) and the Palacio Nacional (a colonial palace with offices of Mexico’s president). Located just off the Zócalo is La Catedral Metropolitana, a magnificent cathedral with a gold altar. It’s a perfect example of Spanish colonial architecture.

Go diving

Cenote Dos Ojos: Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting

The seas surrounding Mexico have some of the world’s best diving spots thanks to their diverse marine life, large coral reefs (including the second largest reef system in the world, the Great Maya Barrier Reef), and excellent visibility. The Gulf of Mexico is home to five different species of sea turtles, blue whales, lemon sharks, and dolphins, and so much more! Aside from diving, the waters are popular with snorkelers, sports fishermen, waterboarding, surfing, and more or less any other watersports enthusiast. A day of diving starts at 2,400 MXN. Some of the best places to dive in Mexico are Discovery Bay, Cenote Dos Ojos, Revillagigedo Islands, and Isla Mujeres.

Relax in Cancun

10 Beaches In Cancun: Explore The Pretty Mexican Shores

Depending on what you’re looking to do, Cancun can offer you a crazy-fun party in the sun or some quiet and hidden local markets and restaurants. On the one hand, you have spas, resorts, and picturesque beaches. On the other, you have Mayan ruins, archaeological sites, and little nearby villages.

Get lost in Guadalajara

15 Best Day Trips from Guadalajara - The Crazy Tourist

Guadalajara is the second-largest city in Mexico and known for its tequila and mariachi. It’s chock full of museums, such as Cabañas (a UNESCO building with incredible murals), MUSA (paintings & sculptures by local artists), and the Páramo Galeria (contemporary art); nightlife venues, and lots of old colonial streets. Visit the Hospicio Cabañas, a hospital built in the 19th century, and then spend some time at the Guadalajara Cathedral. The cathedral’s Gothic interior features artworks from famous Mexican artists like Murillo.

See Teotihuacan

SmartGuide: Discover the beauty of Teotihuacán

The Aztec empire left an enormous mark on Mexico. Don’t miss the awe-inspiring Aztec pyramids at Teotihuacan, located 30 miles (48km) outside of Mexico City. Teotihuacan was founded as early as 400 BCE, but its biggest structures weren’t completed until around 300 BCE. Its three giant pyramids are known as the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of Moon, and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, and they dominate the landscape. If you’re going to visit just one Aztec site, this is it. It’s unsheltered here, so bring sunscreen and a hat. Admission is 75 MXN.

Honor the Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead festival explained | Reader's Digest Asia

Yearly on November 1st and 2nd, Mexico celebrates a major festival: Dia de Los Muertos. The festival is a vibrant and lively affair with celebrations for those who are gone but not forgotten, including parades of elaborate and colorful costumes. Families also commemorate their dead relatives by setting up ofrendas, or altars, with pictures of the deceased, candles, yellow marigold petals, and food. This meant to encourage the deceased to cross back over into the land of the living and join in the celebrations. Oaxaca or Mexico City are the two best places to experience this celebration.

Visit the UNAM Botanical Garden

UNAM Botanical Garden – Mexico City, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

If you need to escape the hustle and bustle of Mexico City for a little while, the Botanical Garden at the National Autonomous University of Mexico is the perfect place. Keeping with the Aztec traditions of having gardens for both medicinal and ornamental purposes, there is also an added focus on conservation and environmental education here. Built on top of and around lava formations from the eruption of the volcano Xitle, visitors can explore the naturally formed grottoes, ponds, and waterfalls. This garden has the most diverse cactus collection in the world (800 different kinds!), and ponds full of koi and turtles, an orchidarium, and a medicinal garden. Admission is free.

Relax on Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox, Mexico's enchanted island | Financial Times

Holbox is an island located off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and is home to white sand beaches and crystalline waters. It is a relaxing, slow paced island that’s easy to get stuck on. One day can easily turn into a week. It’s an island paradise where you can relax in a hammock on the beach, hike in the jungles, swim, dive, snorkel, and everything in between! While it used to be a hidden gem, it’s slowly becoming more and more popular (and developed). Be sure to see bioluminescent waters here. From Cancun, you can get to the ferry port in around two hours by bus. The ferry takes 25 minutes and costs 220 MZN.

Enjoy San Cristobal de las Casas’ architecture

The Magical City of San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico | by Matt Weatherbee  | Medium

San Cristobal is a highland town known for its charming colonial architecture. There are narrow cobblestone streets, local craft markets, and the entire area is enveloped in pine forests. Don’t miss the town’s 16th-century cathedral, and if you want to get out and explore the nearby nature, take a boat tour of the Canyon de Sumidero. You’ll see tons of birds, monkeys, and crocodiles. For a view of the town and surrounding area, visit the Guadalupe Church and pay 5 MXN to enjoy the view from the roof.

The Cenotes of Yucatan

Best Cenotes In Yucatan Guide | The Ultimate List

Cenotes are natural sinkholes that are full of groundwater. They were used by the Mayans as sources for freshwater, however, today they are popular swimming holes for locals and tourists alike (you can even scuba dive in some). There are tons of them all around the Yucatan Peninsula. Some are completely exposed, some are walled in by cliffs, and some are covered entirely by caves. Calavera, Cristalino, Casa Cenote, Yaxmuul, Choo-Ha, and Escondido Cenote are some of the most popular cenotes in the region.

Explore Campeche

Blog | Hoteles City Express | Everything about Campeche, Mexic...

Campeche is located just south of Merida on the Yucatan. It’s home to UNESCO World Heritage colonial architecture, including fortified walls and over 2,000 historic buildings. Visit the Museo De La Arquitectura Maya for Mayan history and antiquities, see the Mayan ruins at Edzná (which is just 45 minutes away and see very few tourists), and wander the old city wall to take in the view.

Your Paris Guide

Paris has been drawing visitors from all over the world for centuries. From it’s beautiful historical monuments to exceptional cuisine, Paris has become one of the visited cities in the world.

But with so much to see and do in the City of Lights, it can feel overwhelming planning an itinerary that hits all the best spots. To help make planning your trip to Paris a little easier, I’ve put together a list of my favorite places that all travelers should visit at least once.

The Eiffel Tower

10 best kept secrets about Eiffel Tower in Paris

What would a trip to Paris be without a visit to the famous Eiffel Tower? Built for the 1889 World Fair, it stands at 324 meters tall and offers some seriously impressive views of the city.

While there is a cost to go up, it’s definitely worth it if you want to see Paris from a new perspective. If you don’t feel like going to the top or have a fear of heights, you can still enjoy it from below at one of the nearby parks.

Louvre Museum

Skip the Line: Louvre Museum Paris Ticket 2021

The Louvre Museum is the most visited museum in the world. In 2017, it welcomed more than 8 million visitors!

Inside the former royal palace, you’ll find some of the most iconic pieces of art in history. From Leanardo Da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa to the famous Venus de Milo statue!

The Louvre is a massive building, and you’ll want to plan your visit out before you arrive. With so many exhibits, you won’t get through everything in one day, so it’s a good idea to have a game plan and download the museum’s app to help you get around.

Notre Dame

What Notre-Dame Cathedral Means to Parisians—And to All of Us | Condé Nast  Traveler

Since Notre Dame was completed in 1345, it has been the religious heart of the city. It’s considered the finest example of French Gothic architecture on Earth and despite the large crowds, it won’t be hard to be awed by the famous stained glass and the gargoyle-framed panoramas of the city.

Top Tip: Get here early before the cathedral opens! It will help you avoid the pickpockets that the crowds attract.

Champs Elysees

Avenue des Champs-Élysées travel guidebook –must visit attractions in Paris  – Avenue des Champs-Élysées nearby recommendation –

The Champs Elysees is one of Paris’ most iconic streets. Lining the boulevard on either side are manicured trees leading up to another of the city’s top attractions, the Arc de Triomphe.

It’s also one of the best sunset spots in Paris!

Palais Garnier

A tour in the Garnier opera | Info, photos & tickets for the Palais Garnier

If you’re a lover of the arts, you can’t miss out on exploring the Palais Garnier. It’s the location the Phantom of the Opera book and musical is based on and the building is nothing short of beautiful.

Today, the opulent Beaux-Arts building is mainly used for ballet performances. Be sure to check out the grand marble staircase, massive foyer and the painted ceiling that depicts the history of music.


5th arrondissement of Paris - Wikipedia

Just like Rome, Paris has its own pantheon in the Latin Quarter. The building was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve.

Today, it’s the final resting place for many of Paris’ famous scientists, generals, writers, churchmen, and politicians. The Pantheon is also where you’ll find Foucault’s Pendulum that traces the path of the Earth.

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe Skip-the-Line Entry Including Terrace Access 2021 - Paris

Commissioned by Napolean in 1806, the Arc de Triomphe was built to celebrate Napolean’s victory at the Battle of Austerlitz. If you’re looking for an incredible sunset spot in Paris, climb the 300 stairs to the top of the building.

It will cost you about $9, but the views are worth it!

Picnic Along Seine

Paris P@RIS #ThisisParis on Instagram: “Picnic season is at our door, a  great location for picnic are the berge d… | Picnic in paris, Paris travel,  Travel aesthetic

If you’re looking for a way to wind down after a busy day of sightseeing, pack a picnic and head to the banks of the Seine. Stop by one of the local grocery stores and pick up some freshly baked bread, cheese and a bottle of wine.

One of my favorite spots is at the Square du Vert Galant. It’s one of the two islands on the river and has uninterrupted views of the Pont des Arts bridge and the Louvre Museum.

Paris Street Art

Where to find the coolest street art in Paris - Urban Adventures

Not all of Paris’ art scene is kept away to crowded museums. Hit the pavements and explore the city’s vibrant street art scene.

You can sign up for a guided tour with Paris Underground that will take you all over Paris. It’s a great introduction to the city’s modern art scene.

Boulevard St. Germain

A Paris Guide: St Germain

Paris is famous for its cafe au lait and the best place to try one is at the Boulevard St. Germain on the 6th arrondissement. The broad tree-lined boulevard is lined with designer boutiques, prestigious cafes, and classic brasseries.

Some of the most popular cafes are Cafe de Flore and Cafe des Deux Magots. Both establishments were frequented by famous historical figures like Picasso and Hemmingway.


Paris is an incredible destination for travelers who love history, art and the finer things in life. With so much to see and do, take your time exploring the top sights and leave room in your itinerary to discover a few spots that are off the beaten track.

How to Find Cheap Flights

Below is a breakdown of my top 3 sites to hit up when looking for cheap flights!

1. Skyscanner

Skyscanner Logo

Skyscanner is by far my favorite place to go to get the best deals on flights.

Skyscanner doesn’t rely on third parties, but searches over 1000+ airlines, booking sites, and travel agencies for the best airfare. The site allows for flexible date searching and makes it easy to see when cheaper fares are available. It also allows a lot of flexibility on location; you can search for flights from an entire country rather than from a specific city or airport, and the Search Everywhere tool shows you the cheapest destinations from your airport during the time period you choose.

Additionally, Skyscanner can show some fares Google Flights and other websites miss, as it searches lots of small OTAs, which can sometimes have cheaper prices. 

After entering your search terms, you’ll have the option to see a calendar view or a chart. Both aim to show you the most affordable dates to fly your selected route. Once you choose your dates, Skyscanner will show your results. The results can be filtered by factors like date, time, airline, and alliance.

Skyscanner also has an explore map feature. You can see which cities are affordable to fly to from your home airport. There are also monthly deals that search for the best airfare prices to “everywhere” from your departure city.

As well as flights you can also search for car rentals and hotels. Once you have searched and chosen your flights you just simply click on either of the taps and your dates and destination are transferred through.

Skyscanner also has a whole load of great resources about just about anything and everything to do with travel. From things to do in destinations through to advice about baggage allowances. All in all, Skyscanner is definitely my top pick when looking for the cheapest flights & stays.

2. Google Flights

Google Flight Logo - United Airlines and Travelling

Using Google Flights to search for cheap flights is simple and straightforward. Enter in your search details and results from many airlines will show. The calendar lets you scroll to check for cheaper dates.

Google Flights will also show money-saving tips if you change your day or airports. There are filters for price, the number of stops, time day, airlines and their alliances, and even the ability to select preferred cities for possible connections. If you’d like to see prices, turn on the “track prices” button to get email alerts for your trip.

You can also expand the map view and drag the red marker to different departure and arrival cities to compare prices. However, Google Flights also has a “hidden” explore feature that is perfect for flexible travelers.

Navigate to and search airfare from your departure airport to entire region. For example, I can search Salt Lake City to Europe or the Caribbean.

This “secret” explore feature shows the cheapest flights to several places in that region, along with bar graphs to that show the range of prices over a few months.

3. Momondo

22 reasons why travelers choose momondo | momondo

Momondo is a powerful search tool with a lot of possibilities. It pulls in airfares from over 1000+ airlines, online booking sites, travel agencies, search engines, and other travel discount sites.

At its most basic level, Momondo can search for the cheapest flights on your selected dates, but also shows a bar graph above the results letting you know the least expensive days to fly. With the prices, Momondo shows the seat class, additional fares, and an overall rating.

Advanced search features include selecting connecting cities and limiting searches to specific airlines and alliances. Once your results have displayed, on the right side above the bar graph, you can click on flight insights for your chosen route. Momondo will show pricing data, including the days, times, and airlines which have known to be the cheapest.

Momondo also shows numerous budget airlines in their searches. For example, a search for short Southeast Asian flights will show budget carriers like Air Asia, Jetstar, and FlyScoot.

Momondo frequently creates itineraries with different departing and arrival airlines, saving you the time it would take to search each way individually in order to identify the best price.

With the Trip Finder feature, you can click on a theme like “beaches” or “cities”, set the continent, month, and budget, and Momondo will return with trip ideas and the best times to visit based on price and weather. Even better, in your flight search set your destination to “anywhere” and let Momondo show you destinations.

Momondo is not a booking site so, once you find the flight you’d like, you’ll be redirected to the appropriate booking site.

Some travelers report feeling unsure about unfamiliar booking sites so be sure to read the terms and conditions and, ultimately, book on a site with which you feel comfortable. Momondo is recommended by trusted sources like Scott’s Cheap Flights, Frommer’s, and the New York Times, among others.

*Tip While Searching*

Websites and browsers store information about the sites you have visited. This could cause prices to go up the next time you return to your search. One way to get around this is to use an incognito window or a private browsing feature while searching for airfare.

The WWOOF Organization


The WWOOF Organization provides travelers the option to work on a farm for part of their stay in exchange for free meals and accommodation! WWOOF stands for “Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms” and WWOOFing around the world is an incredibly popular way to travel long-term on a budget. In exchange for working on an organic farm, travelers get free room and board — allowing them to extend their travels without breaking the bank.


n order to become a WWOOFer, you need to sign up for the national organization in the country you want. There is no international WWOOF membership, so you’ll have to buy a membership from each WWOOFing country’s organization (WWOOF is made up of almost a hundred organizations). Annual membership usually costs around $30-40 USD per country per person (there is also a joint membership for couples that offers a slight discount). You don’t need any previous experience in farming to do this, just a desire to work.

How To Join:

  1. Visit the WWOOF website
  2. Choose destination country of choice. Here is the list of participating countries.
  3. Fill out their membership application and pay the fee
  4. Start searching for opportunities!

Once you’ve filled out the online membership form and paid the fee, you’ll be sent a list of participating farms in your country of choice and can decide which ones to contact.

Each farm description will tell you something about the host, their farm, and their expectations. Read it carefully and ask for accommodation details, examples of work, weekly routine, and food arrangements before you commit. You can also ask whether they have specific house rules and if they’re fluent in English. If they’re not, don’t be put off; this could be a great opportunity to learn a new language!

Be sure to check out the WWOOF Independents section of the site, too, for farms in countries without a central WWOOF body. Join this, and you can visit any of the 1,000+ farms in the WWOOF Independent countries.

Some WWOOFers like to spend shorter periods at farms (1-3 weeks) and visit a wider variety of farms. That lets them explore the country while giving them an out in case their farm stay doesn’t go well. Others prefer longer stays so they can really immerse themselves in the region.

If you’re new to both farm work and WWOOFing, I’d suggest a shorter stay so you can get a feel for the lifestyle without having to commit yourself for months.

Teach English

There are so many places around the world in need of English teachers that will pay you to travel! All you need is a TEFL certification online & you can teach anywhere! Not sure where to go? Here are some of the best places to teach english overseas.

1. South Korea

Spring in South Korea – when and where to see the cherry blossoms

South Korea is one of the best places — if not the best — to teach English overseas. Jobs are abundant, the pay averages $1,600-2,600 USD per month, and you get awesome benefits, like a contract completion bonus, free housing, and airfare reimbursement.

A lot of recent college graduates are attracted to Korea because of the money, benefits, and the fact that Korea takes many first-time teachers. If you don’t have any experience, this country is one of the best options for you. As a place to live, Korea has plenty of things going for it: the food is delicious, the country is dirt cheap, and the people are friendly.

Plus you will find lots of other international young expats there. Since you earn so much money in a country with such a low cost of living, most people leave having paid off a substantial portion of their debts! You could easily walk away after a year of teaching with your loans (school or non-school) paid off AND money for travel!

2. Japan

The 10 Most Beautiful Places in Japan - Avenly Lane Travel | Beautiful  places to travel, Beautiful places in japan, Cool places to visit

Japan has a reputation for good jobs which means it also attracts as many people as South Korea. Though the years of easily teaching in Japan and making quick cash are long, long over, people willing to stay at least a year can generally save a substantial sum of money.

While the cost of living can eat up a lot of your salary, especially in Tokyo, there are a number of programs out there (including the government’s JET program) that reward long-term teachers with generous benefits and completion bonuses.

Additionally, the Japanese are incredibly friendly and polite, the food is endless gourmet heaven, and the culture is unique. It’s one of my favorite countries in the world.

3. The Middle East

The 14 Most Beautiful Places In The Middle East

The Middle East lures many teachers in for one reason: its salary packages. Middle Eastern countries offer incredibly large salaries (up to $70,000 USD per year for an experienced teacher), lots of benefits, and no taxes. A teacher can walk away with around $40,000 USD after one year.

However, this is no place for the recent college graduate. These countries want certified and experienced teachers. If you couldn’t teach at a public school in your home country, you have little chance of getting a job in this part of the world. As such, most of the teachers here are older and more settled and have families.

Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia are the most popular destinations for teaching English in this region.

4. Thailand

The 9 Absolute BEST Beaches in Thailand (2019) | Jetsetter

Thailand attracts lots of young and new teachers with its cheap cost of living, warm beautiful weather, tropical beaches, mouth-watering food, and party atmosphere.

Most of the language school teachers are ex-travelers looking to save for future travels…or travelers who thought they were doing that but ended up never leaving. The pay in Thailand isn’t that high ($1,000–1,500 USD per month), unless you teach in Bangkok or at an international school.

However, teaching English in Thailand isn’t about making lots of money — it’s about everything else: the ease of getting a job, the food, the fun-loving atmosphere, the weather, and everything in between. It’s one of the best destinations for young, new teachers, especially in a larger city, since you’ll fit right in.

5. China

Why Guilin, China is the Most Beautiful Place on Earth

As China rises in global stature, its need for English teacher grows as more and more citizens need to know the language for their job. Moreover, the culture puts an emphasis on learning it. As such, it is one of the easiest places to find work. No matter where you go, you can find work, even in saturated cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

You can earn a decent salary teaching English here (upward of $1,500-2,000 USD a month), and many jobs give completion bonuses, free housing, and airfare reimbursement.

China is the brave new world and a country in constant change. It’s a good location for teachers of all abilities — there’s something for everyone there!

6. Prague

BEAUTY of music | classical music in Prague - American Pianists Association

Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, has a seemingly abundant supply of teaching jobs. The city has grown in size over the last few years, attracting a variety of tech start-ups and expats, which has created a lot more job opportunities for teachers.

While it’s very hard to get a job in the public school system or a university, there are plenty of language schools in the city to choose from. The pay isn’t as high as other countries in the world and there are few benefits (especially when compared to Asia or the Middle East), but you’re a stone’s throw away from everywhere in Europe.

The city is one of the most beautiful, vibrant, fun, and popular cities in Europe, which makes Prague an excellent central base from which to explore the continent.

7. Spain

Spain wants travellers from India to quarantine for ten days | Times of  India Travel

Teaching in Spain is one of the best opportunities for anyone looking to work in Europe. There are plenty of jobs, the government has an active program for attracting teachers, and your visa means you can freely travel around Europe.

There are also many opportunities to teach private lessons on the side. You don’t get many benefits (or high pay compared to Asia or the Middle East), but the pay is still enough to live off of.

8. Taiwan

Taiwan Miracle - Wikipedia

Taiwan is an excellent country to teach English in, thanks to lots of job opportunities (though they tend to be with young kids), high salaries, benefits similar to South Korea, and lots of other young teachers to share a social life with. The country places a high importance on learning English, and you’ll be able to find freelance tutor opportunities besides your regular, steady teaching job!

I loved my time in Taiwan, made some wonderful friends, and adapted to a completely new culture.

9. Teaching English Online

David Foster Wallace was right – even in paradise we will need the internet  | Brigid Delaney | The Guardian

Thanks to the Internet, you no longer have to be tied to one location to teach Teaching online is becoming more popular as a way to make money while working remotely. Platforms like Cambly and italki don’t require any teaching degrees either. The pay isn’t great but it’s something that can have you earn enough money to keep traveling.

Earn Points

Credit card rewards programs offer benefits for everything from free dining to hotels to international flights! Here are some of my top picks to use in 2021.

Chase Sapphire Reserve:

The gold standard of travel cards – yes, there’s a high fee ($550) but you get so many perks that this card can definitely be worth the fee.

the chase sapphire reserve credit card
  • 60,000 welcome offer after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • $300 in annual travel credit
  • 3x points on travel and restaurants
  • 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • The ability to transfer to points to a dozen travel brands (I use this feature the most)
  • A statement credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application
  • Free Priority Pass lounge access (a super awesome perk)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 10x points on Lyft
  • Free deliveries from DoorDash

When you factor in that $300 travel credit, you’re really paying $250 a year. For that, you get 3x on restaurants and travel (which is most of my spending) and, when combined with the other perks, you really make out on the card. 

Chase Preferred:

the chase sapphire preferred credit card

This card is like the “starter” version of the previous card. You don’t get as many perks, but if you’re dead-set on not paying a high yearly fee (this card only $95 a year), you can’t go wrong with this card. It’s great for the more infrequent traveler. When you sign for this card, you’ll get:

  • Welcome offer of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months
  • 2x points on travel, groceries, and restaurants
  • 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
  • 25% more point redemtion value via Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • No foreign transaction fees

It’s a simple, easy to use credit card.

Citi Prestige:

the citi prestige travel credit card

You get a $250 travel credit with this card so you have a great savings there. When used right, you can actually make some money on this card! This card comes with a $495 yearly fee and the following perks:

  • 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first three months
  • 5x points on airfare and restaurants
  • 3x points on hotels and cruises
  • 1x points on everything else
  • Complimentary fourth night at a hotel when booking through (capped at twice per year)
  • Free Priority Pass
  • $250 travel credit every year
  • Points transfer to their 16 partners
  • No foreign transaction fees

American Express EveryDay Preferred:

American Express Amex EveryDay Preferred credit card

This low-fee Amex card is great for the bonus points and the 3x points at supermarkets. Use it when you buy groceries – it’s a great way to rack up Amex points. When you sign up for this card, you’ll get:

  • 15,000 welcome points after you spend $1,000 within the forst 3 months
  • 50% extra points when you use your card 30 or more times each billing cycle
  • 3x points at supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year)
  • 2x points at US gas stations
  • 1 point for every other dollar spent

It’s simple, it’s only $95 annually, it’s a quick way to get points.

Capital One Venture:

the capital one venture credit card

This is a great card to use if you’re looking for an easy to use card with the first year fee waived. When you sign up for this card, you get:

  • 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months or 100,000 points once you spend $20,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Unlimited 2x miles on every dollar spent
  • Transfer miles to any of their 15 travel partners
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No fees for the first year, $95 after that

House Sitting

House sit someone’s house, pets & garden and stay for free by visiting websites like Mind my House, Trusted House Sitters, PawShake, and House Carers. Below is a breakdown of the pros and cons for each site.

Chasing Travel Resource Page

Mind My House Pros:

  • They are a well-established platform who have been around since the very start.
  • A very cheap membership fee for house sitters.
  • Free for homeowners which means more house sits are listed.
  • Easy to use and good looking platform.
  • Alert system.

Mind My House Cons:

  • The number of house sitters outweighs homeowners, so there is a lot of competition.
  • Homeowners don’t need to pay for a membership, so for house sitters, there is a bit of a feeling that the homeowner doesn’t take the assignment as seriously and could cancel at any stage.
TrustedHousesitters: The house and pet-sitting platform transforming the  way people travel -

Trusted House Sitters Pros:

  • Well established and well-known platform.
  • Very easy to use platform and functions.
  • Big team and profession feel.
  • 24/7 customer services and vet advice line.
  • Wide variety of homes worldwide.
  • Very active community on social media
  • Easy to set up house sitter profile

Trusted House Sitters Cons:

  • $129 USD membership fee.
  • High competition on house sitting assignments.
Pawshake reviews: stories from our pet owners | Pawshake

Pawshake Pros:

  • Easy to navigate website
  • Great Mobile app
  • Homeowners are covered by a booking guarantee if the booked sitter can not make it
  • Pawshake will also cover vet fees

Pawshake Cons:

  • You can only sign up if your area is in need of house sitters
  • Customer service has a bad wrap Worldwide House Sitters And Pet Sitters Directory (view  mobile) - Better Travel Agency

House Carers Pros:

  • Lots of options to upload a review, photos, videos, references, id checks and safety checks.
  • Very reasonable membership price.
  • House Carers have a great Facebook community to share ideas with other house sitters.
  • A brilliant house sit notification function.
  • Very well trusted and one of the first platforms on the internet.
  • Lower competition for pet sitters

House Carers Cons:

  • Homeowners don’t need to pay for a membership, so for house sitters, there is a bit of a feeling that the homeowner doesn’t take the assignment as seriously and could cancel at any stage.
  • The platform is quite outdated and can be difficult to navigate for first timers.

Volunteer Work  

Volunteer Work in Exchange for Accommodation 

Websites like Work Away list hosts in all different countries around the world that let you stay with them in exchange for a few hours of volunteer work a week! Work Away offers over 50,000 opportunities in more than 170 countries worldwide. It is an international program that allows travelers to pay for their room and food by helping their host with household work needs, projects, or odd jobs.

Workaway differs from other volunteer programs such as International Volunteer HQ and Plan My Gap Year in that you search for individual hosts on their platform. The projects that they list usually are not structured volunteer programs and you may not have an opportunity to interact with other volunteers or travelers. While you can experience the tourist’s version of different countries by visiting the famous cities and staying in hotels, Workaway gives you the opportunity to spend quality time in the home of locals.

Most hosts expect you to work about five hours a day, and some do offer additional pay, which you can find in their bio on the Workaway website. The duration of your stay could be a few days or an entire year; you and the host decide this before you arrive. Since this isn’t a legal contract between you and the host, you are welcome to leave early if you face issues. Workaway encourages you to have a backup plan in case the arrangement goes poorly, though this should be an option only in extreme situations. On the flip side, you may find that you love the arrangement and can even stay longer than you expected! the site for cultural exchange. Gap year volunteer for food  and accommodation whilst travelling abroad.

To get started, go to Workaway’s website and start researching the projects that interest you. Workaway offers a lot of information about each host, so you can avoid arriving to their home feeling nervous or frustrated. Spending the time finding the host that best matches your needs and expectations will give you the greatest chance at a fantastic experience. Workawayers are encouraged to leave reviews of their hosts, and vice versa – this helps you learn from others about what to expect.