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How to live on a budget!

All travellers know the struggle: How much money can I afford to spend? Will I find a new job? What if I run out of money? Is that the cheapest deal? Questions among questions. And the answer is certainly never guaranteed, but if you know some handy tips and tricks, living on a budget can be made a lot easier!

1. The wreckers. Most travellers are choosing to buy or rent a car for their road trip. But what seems like a great deal, is usually too good to be true. Mechanical repairs are often inevitable, but most of all: expensive! We spend dollars and dollars on car parts, tyres, oil changes and services. It doesn’t have to be like that though! Before you choose to buy new or used parts from the mechanics, check out the wreckers first. Most of the time, they have some spare parts for a lot cheaper! But be cautious: It’s always a risky buy and shouldn’t be considered if you’re planning to keep your car for a long while.

2. Book exchanges. Who doesn’t like to read a good book! Lying underneath the stars with a book in your hand and nothing but peace and quiet around you. Doesn’t it sound tempting?! Unfortunately, stories come to an end at some point. Often quicker than we wish for. So what do we do? Many of us can’t afford to buy new books or an expensive Kindle. Luckily, society looks after all of us people, who like to read. Book exchanges can be found everywhere: in hostels, caravan parks, libraries, cafes. Keep your eyes open, you won’t miss it. But don’t forget to leave a book, in order to keep the exchange going!

3. Tuesdays. Who would have thought, that a day, seemingly just like any other day, could make you save so much money? Whether it’s a plane ticket, a bus ride or sometimes even certain tours and activities. For some reason, Tuesdays seem to promise the best and cheapest deals. So if you’re not in a hurry and need and good bargain, it’s worth it sticking around until next Tuesday!

4. Quick sales. Food can be unbelievably expensive! Especially over in Oceania! 12$ for a small pack of grapes? 2$ for a loaf of good bread? Who can afford that?! That only leaves us with one choice: buying the cheap home brand, which is often simultaneously the unhealthiest and tasteless option. Soon, we’ll lose appetite and stop enjoying our meals. But we don’t have to make such sacrifices, just because we have to keep an eye on our money! Most grocery stores have so-called “Quick sales”. Quality food, that is about to be thrown out or looks a bit odd for half the price! The good thing: there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Of course, supermarkets wanna keep up their good reputation, which is why they can’t afford to keep certain types of food in the store for more than a day. The best time to hunt for quick sales is just before close.

5. Leftover boxes. Most of us would have stayed in a hostel at least once in their life. They’re not necessarily a bad thing, especially when it comes to helping each other out. Many hostels have something like “leftover boxes”, giving travellers that are about to leave the country the chance to get rid of some stuff that might help out the next person. The best part: it’s absolutely free! So you go and buy new and expensive gear, why don’t you check out your nearest hostel and reuse someone else’s stuff?!

While these are just five tips, there are so many other ways to save the one or the other dollar for our next road trip! Let me know if you can add to this list in the comments!

Safe travels,

Dani

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5 hidden gems on New Zealand’s North Island!

Since I recently finished my travels on the North Island, I thought it would be handy for the one or another to know about my top 5 places, that are rather not part of the typical tourist route.

1. White Island 

White Island is a must to anyone, who wants to experience, what it feels like to stand on an active volcano. And by that, I mean a volcano, that could erupt any second. You’re surrounded by sulfur, steaming vents and smoking hot pools! For safety reasons, it’s only accessible on a guided tour. But it’s worth it, for sure! It’s not the cheapest activity, but you can find good and discounted deals on bookme, using this link:

http://www.bookme.co.nz/bookings/tauranga/home#bb2b2


2. Te Mata Peak

In beautiful Hawkes Bay, Te Mata Peak is the perfect destination for anyone, that loves hiking, nature and breathtaking views! You can also drive to the top, but I can recommend doing the 5km return hike, taking you along cliffs, through a forest and of course to the top of the mountain, where 360-degree views of the wine-region are awaiting you! To anyone, who loves adrenaline, I’d suggest hiking the full loop, at some points, the path gets extremely narrow. One wrong step and you might slide down a cliff!

3. Castlepoint

The perfect spot to break a long drive between Taupo and Wellington down. It’s only a 65km detour, along a windy road, to get to this little paradise. Perfect beaches, crystal-clear water and a lighthouse, that offers an amazing view over Castlepoint, when you reach the top! Definitely a must-do!

4. Raglan

Whether you wanna catch the next wave just relax or explore, Raglan has a lot to offer. But what makes it truly special, is its black-sand-beach, which gives you a feeling of walking on millions of diamonds, since it sparkles in the sun! If you’re not the beach-type, Raglan still has you covered. Its close-by “Bridal Veil Falls” are not to be missed. Three different viewing points from three different angles, cover all levels of fitness and mobility!

5. Feed wild stingrays in Gisborne

This is one out of only a few places in the world, where you can encounter wild stingrays. Together with a guide, you walk a few metres into the sea, where you get the chance to pet and feed the stingrays and eventually even wild crayfish. It all is dependent on whether or not they want to show up, obviously, but you are usually lucky. It’s definitely a once in a lifetime experience. Stingrays are nothing to be feared.

I hope these recommendations are helpful to any of you! Feedback is always welcome!

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Safe travels!

Dani

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How to meet the locals (being an introvert)!

Would you classify yourself as a rather anti-social person and find it hard to meet locals. Or are you simply just disappointed, that you’re surrounded by people from your own nation, although you came to a foreign country to get to know the locals? Well, I’ve got some tips for you! I’m probably the most anti-social person among you, but I still managed to meet heaps of locals, that turned into friends for life!

1. AirBnb. The best way to meet locals is to stay with them and to experience their lifestyle. The easiest option to get in touch with them, if you don’t have any contacts is using certain Apps. AirBnB is perfect for booking cheap rooms and apartments. Perfect, if you want to have some privacy for a little while, after spending the majority of your time in hostels.

2. Couchsurfing. If you can’t afford to book a private room, couchsurfing is the best solution. Why? Because it’s totally free. In exchange for a few good chats, eventually a meal and a few tips and advises, locals let you stay on their “couch” for a couple of nights. Although people might find it risky, I am a huge fan of the app, having made some great friends!

3. Get out of the city. It’s almost impossible to get to know the locals when you spend the majority of your time in cities. Everybody is busy working or rushing to catch the next bus. It’s a lot more likely to meet people in smaller towns, where the atmosphere is completely different and everyone is just so much more welcoming!

4. Not everybody has bad intentions. This is pretty much the basic rule, you need to follow. If you want to make friends, you need to change your attitude: Not everybody wants to harm you! You surely, need to take precautions every now and then, but most people out there want to help you and are more than happy to meet someone international!

5. No fruitpicking. When it comes to jobs, I can recommend turning your back to the usually typical “Backpacker jobs” like fruitpicking. If you want to experience a welcoming atmosphere and true local lifestyle, other farm work, like outback station work, is what you should look for.

6. Be yourself. You don’t have to be an outgoing and social person to meet new people. Being an introvert can sometimes even be a perk. I have experienced, that locals often come to you and invite you over, when you seem to be insecure or lost. Don’t forget: Not everybody has bad intentions! There is always a way!

Dare Yourself – Prove them wrong!

Dani

P.S.: Only two more days of work and I’ll be back on the road! Which means, my blog posts will get a lot longer again!!

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6 reasons why you should buy that plane ticket!

G’day all!

Have you ever been debating, whether or not you should take the big step and start your adventure into the unknown? It’s okay to be scared! I will give you 6 reasons, why you should buy that plane ticket!

1. You would regret it.  Never ever reject a big opportunity. If you won’t take chances, you will regret it big time! It will happen sooner or later and who wants to grow old, thinking about the things, we didn’t do, when we had the chance?!

2. It will change you. You might not believe it, but travelling will actually change you to the goood! It might not change your character magically, turning you into the person, that you always wanted to be, but it will certainly make you a whole lot more independent and daring!

3. No Uni can teach you what you learn in a foreign country. You think you need to get far in life? Well, let me tell you a thing: No Uni can teach you, what you learn during your travels. Because it’s not the theoretical things, that you learned from books, that makes you intelligent. You learn a lot more about culture and life, that no one could teach you but yourself!

4. It’s the only ever way to get over stereotypes. If you never give new cultures and nationalities a chance, you will always keep your judgemental attitudes, giving you a hard time in life. The best way to rethink all these stereotypes, that are out there, is to make your own image of the situation!

5. You will make heaps of international friends. Number 4. goes hand in hand with number 5. The more you interact with other nationalities, the more international friends you will make. How amazing is it to know, that you know people from all over the world, that are waiting for you to visit them in their home country!

6. You’re too young to waste your life being stuck in one place. Let’s be honest. Life is not about being stuck in one place and working every day until we die. What do we save up for, if we never do something with our savings? Even if you don’t have any savings, it’s definitely possible to just go out there and live life! We were not meant to stay in one place when there is a whole world to be explored!

Buy the plane ticket!

Dare Yourself – Prove them wrong!

Dani

Little Update: My book is going great! I’m getting closer and closer to finishing the story. Other than that, we have been celebrating “Guy Fawkes”, which is an English thing, to everyone, who doesn’t know it. It was great, with fireworks, campfire and BBQ! Plus, I had to find out, that my car battery is wrecked. Great way to lose all the money, that I just saved up because it’s not only the battery, it’s also WOF, oil change and service, that needs to be done… 9 more days and I will be back on the road!

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Things I wish I would have known before I started travelling!

We know it all. We all have certain expectations and imaginations, before we head off. But mostly, they end up being completely wrong or not quite, how we expected them to be. This often results in us being unprepared and regretful. We’ve all had these moments and I don’t wanna exclude myself. Here are 6 things, that I wish, I would have known, before I started my travels in Australia and New Zealand:

1. It does get cold in Australia! Not every stereotype is true! It’s surely not warm and sunny all year round. Many days, I wish I had packed more jumpers and warm clothes. In fact, I only packed ONE jumper and leggings in the beginning, as I thought thick clothes take up too much space. They do take up a lot of space, but I wouldn’t cut short on that. Leave your hairdryer at home instead!

2. Umbrellas are weird. If someone would have told me before, that the Aussies and Kiwis are not as whiny as the Germans, I would have left my umbrella at home. I have used it once and decided to do it never again, due to all the attention it caused. A lady even told me once, that she could recognize immediately, that I am foreign, carrying an umbrella. Unless, you spend a lot of time in big cities, you need to learn to toughen up!

3. Australia is huge! Never underestimate the size of this massive country. Some days, I have been driving for HOURS just to get to the next petrol station! It’s about 3000ks alone to get from Darwin to Adelaide in a straight line! Germany is ridiculously small compared to that. It could fit into Australia about 21 times!

4. You need to adapt your diet! Depending on the way your travelling, you often have to give up on certain foods. If you’re living in the car/ van like me, I wouldn’t dare to buy a lot of dairy, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables etc., unless you’ve got a proper fridge/ esky! Especially in Australia’s heat, fresh stuff and dairy just goes off within a day/days. It would be a waste of money to invest in those. What can you eat instead? Well, I wouldn’t recommend it, but the instant – noodle diet is quite cheap 😛

5. Way too many Germans! Welcome to Australia and welcome back to Germany! I would have never expected to meet so mamy Germans over her in Australia and New Zealand! You think, you come over here not speaking a single German word?! Hahaha! Good one! They are everywhere! There is probably a massive gap of 18 – 21 year olds that no one officially knows of yet. It’s absolutely ridiculous! If you wanna avoid the Germans, do it like me and avoid hostels and cities!

6. Travelling is not as terrifying as expected. Last but not least, I figured out soon, that travelling is not as scary as expected. All these concerns, thay you might have in the beginning are completely overrated. It’s safer and easier as you think it is! Don’t waste your time worrying and enjoy the beauty of the countries instead 🙂

Happy travels!

Dani

 

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