Monthly Archives: July 2014

Why Australia should be on you list for gap year locations

Uluru - Versestravel
Uluru – Versestravel

Australia; it’s huge, and really far away from pretty much anything, it’s expensive, everything wants to eat you and the locals have Australian accents. So why is this a must do on any serious year -or-more travel trip?

Top End - Versestravel
Top End – Versestravel

Well, firstly it’s one of the few places that offer the working holiday scheme. If you are eligible (you can find out here) and they pay really well! If you have a good grasp of English, then you’ll easily find a job as a charity fundraiser. It’s not glamorous but it pays pretty well, and if you’re good at living cheap you’ll be able to save a lot more than you would back home. Whether at the start or the middle of your trip, Australia is a great place to rebuild that bank account

Whitsundays - Versestravel
Whitsundays – Versestravel

Secondly, they speak English! This may not be a big sell to those who don’t but as English is the most common second language in the world, being in a country that can work out what you’re trying to say, and being able to respond in a simple way can really ease a traveler in. Better than somewhere in Asia, where your accent and theirs clashes horribly leading to many frustrating and confusing conversations (and this happens when English is your first language plenty enough). For native English speakers, it can also make your arrival so much easier, and a lot less stressful. No language worries piling on top of all the others.

Fraser Island crew - Versestravel
Fraser Island crew – Versestravel

Next up is the huge backpacker community, it’s pretty hard to break out of it at times! There’s loads of people doing exactly the same as you (which can be a little depressing) but it means there’s loads of people who are keen to hang out and be friends, help you out however they can and just make the big scary trip so much more fun. They’re in the hostels, in the bars, on the beaches, on the buses, backpackers get everywhere here, so you’ll never be far from a helping hand and a bag of goon.

Beaches! - Versestravel
Beaches! – Versestravel

Finally, it’s stunning! It’s a huge country, diverse and spectacular, but with such a large amount of desert it’s very manageable for a tourist, even on a tight time schedule. Heading down the East Coast will give you diving, parties, beaches, boat trips, parties, 4x4ing through the sand, parties and surfing of course, down to Victoria and Melbourne for coffee and culture, road trips in abundance, then the Red Centre has a great big rock and lots more sand. The Top End treats you with deadly animals and rain forests while the Wild West covers everything from caves to wine, more diving and deserts.

Sydney - Versestravel
Sydney – Versestravel

If you’re planning that big life changing trip, but you’re a bit nervous, Australia allows you to get settled in a little easier, and has so much to offer you’d be crazy to miss it. Just remember to top up the bank balance before you go, or you’ll find those schooners might have cut your trip a little short.


Never book a return flight.

Just don’t, it’s crazy!

Unless you’re seeing your trip as a holiday or you really have something to go home to, keeping yourself open to all options is the best way to experience things. I try not to book too much stuff up, or have any commitments.

This is not the same as not having a plan. I find a plan allows me to see everything I want, in the most cost-effective and hopefully most enjoyable way. Planning ahead allows you to find your favourite way to approach locations, and to make sure you squeeze everything you want in. Certainly in Vietnam I had a calender worked out for each day, and I’m so glad I did, I got to fit it all in, without (too much) stress! In countries that have limited time visas this is vital. But don’t lock your plan in, it’s not set in stone, so when you meet the coolest guys, or the love of your life, and you hear about somewhere new and secret, adjust that plan and check it out! 

Talking to other travelers is the best way to work out where to go next, better than any guide book or website, these travelers were there only days ago, they know what’s going on, so ignore them at your periL.

I’ve met so many people that have regretted having their flights booked, and none that regret not booking them before. Sure we might end up paying a bit more, but for the freedom it allows, it’s definitely worth it.

And most importantly, never book that return flight! You never know where you’ll end up, or be flying to.



Dublin – First Impressions

I might be jumping the gun a little here, but I thought I’d put up a little post on Dublin. I’ve only been here for 3 days, but it seems that most people aren’t here for much longer.

It’s a very pretty city, with lovely little lanes and alleys all filled with charming shops and bars, there’s also plenty of wider roads with the usual european high street stores. There seems to be an incredible amount of pubs, both traditional and not, on every street, and finding a good one seems to be an interesting challenge. While each has it’s charm, this seems to be very similar to the next. Bar hopping seems to be a common occurance though, so no more than one drink per bar, and you should be able to find a few that you like enough to go back to. 

As for the city sights, the free tour from Isaacs hostel is excellent, run by Hostel Culture Dublin, it shows you most of the highlights of the city, keeping you entertained with good comentary and showing you the essentials. It doesn’t provide huge amounts of detail, but enough to interest the casual tourist. One of these tours is really enough, unless you’re really keen to see everything in the city, in which case you’ll be needing a lot more time. The list of attractions is pretty long, although many are museums and exhibitions, there doesn’t seem to be so much to appeal to the younger more adrenalin focused tourists. I believe that this is something Ireland is trying to address, so perhaps we’ll be seeing some skydives appearing in the next few years.

The nicest thing about the city is simply it’s size, it’s very manageable and with the Lifey running through is hard to get lost in. With buckets of culture, and lots of old buildings, this is a wonderful city to give an example of celtic history and the roots of millions around the world.


Just a simple hello and introduction to this blog, and myself

I am 27, male, from the UK, and have worked in tourism for the last few years of my life. This, along with spending those years, and at least one more traveling throughout Australasia gives me a knowledgeable and unique ability to advise and sell trips to this part of the world.

I am currently working for Isaacs hostel in Dublin within their marketing department, using my skills to improve their interactions via social media whilst learning more about general marketing and improving my skill set.

I will be using this blog to write up certain experiences of my travels and to post current news and my opinions on aspects of the tourism industry in general.

If you have any questions, I am contactable via all the usual social media outlets. I am happy to give advise to individual travelers and welcome business opportunities.

Benjamin Duff