Money, Money, Money: How Much to Take Abroad?

Alongside the many little tasks that need doing this weekend, one main question needs answering:

How much money should I take with me to Bali?

As always, my first stop was Google.  I literally typed that in and waited for my laptop to load the answers.  And, well, there were a lot.

I suppose the main problem with asking that sort of question is that there are just far too many variables.  People like to do different things, to eat at different places, to buy different souvenirs.  Every couple will spend a different amount across a two or three week period.

The first search result was a forum.  Someone had asked my exact question.  And the first answer had replied: “At a minimum, $100-150 per person per day.”  My jaw is still on the floor.  PER PERSON PER DAY??

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Books for Bali

Now, I hope that you’ll forgive me for not reading anything that can be considered ‘serious literature’, but I’m just coming to the end of an English degree.  In the last few months I’ve written essays on Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, a range of Cambodian genocide texts and George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss.

The Books for Bali will be a list of books that aren’t demanding, aren’t difficult; books that don’t require me to reread a single line of text.

I recently received a lovely Kindle Fire so I’ve decided to bring a combination of e-books and paperbacks with me.  At least with the Kindle, I won’t run out of books.  Like I did in Cambodia.  (NB: there is an English book shop in Siem Reap and it has an amazing selection – it’s just a little bit tricky to find!)

I received a £20 Amazon voucher as a gift with which I bought these books.  So here is the list:

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Time Flies Whether or Not You’re Having Fun

In January, I booked my trip to Bali.

January.  That was months ago.  And then, all of sudden, April has happened and it is May.  May.  The month in which I go to Bali.

The last few months have been really busy: some of it good, some of it not so.  I’ve done a lot of work towards my degree.  I’ve written my dissertation, I’ve written an 8000 word essay worth 17.5% of my degree and I’m currently getting to grips with a 6000 word essay worth 15% of my degree.  And I’m not going to lie.  It’s making me miserable.  It’s not so much the essays themselves, it’s the fear of them being rubbish.  These last three pieces of work have been worth a lot of marks.  It’s scary.  The essays I did in second year seems to be worth under 3% each, so the pressure for these final few is full on.

But there has been a lot of fun in the last three months as well.  I’ve eaten at a lot of lovely places, celebrated birthdays including my own and those of friends and family, been on a wonderful trip to St Petersburg.

And then, in less than three weeks, Bali.

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An International Driving License-Related Meltdown

At the weekend, I decided it was time to GET ORGANISED.

I think I’ve been over-embracing the new not-a-control-freak-anymore version of myself.  By which I mean, I booked flights for Bali, then I booked accommodation and then I did nothing.

I knew that I would need to sort out an international driving license but, busy with essays, the thought wandered off to the back of my mind.  Until last week.  When I had a mini meltdown, thinking I’d left it too late and that there was no chance I could possibly get it sorted in time and that we’d have to change all of the plans because I had been too disorganised to sort out driving licenses.

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Airport Lounges

A few weeks ago, I posted about the business lounge at Heathrow.

Basically, I said that WE LOVED THEM.  Finding ourselves sitting, sipping beer at 8am was a bit of a surprise, but it was a brilliant start to a brilliant weekend.

 

The lounge at Zürich Airport, Switzerland.

After we returned home, I decided to check out the cost of airport lounges.  I worked out that we would normally spend around £15 per person on water, snacks and magazines before a flight and, at Lounge Pass, discovered that the No. 1 Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 cost £30 per person.  So, as expected, it didn’t really make financial sense.

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Booking Accommodation: Arrive & Find or Plan Ahead?

Travel Guides

Most people I know are ‘booker-in-advancers’.

Before they leave, perhaps even before they book flights, they book accommodation.  However, there seem to be a large number of ‘arrive-and-finders’.  I have only ever done this once.  I’m considering – what with my attempts to become less of a control freak – trying this out more often. There’s More …

Travelling with a Control Freak

Map of Switzerland, published in a 1913 Baedek...

Travelling with a control freak is, I imagine, really difficult and perhaps not that much fun.  I wouldn’t know.  Probably because in a travelling duo, I am the control freak.

With the exception of the Russia debacle, I am relentlessly organised before a trip.  Every destination is thoroughly researched.  Every journey is googled using a number of booking websites, stop overs and airlines.  Travel forums are inundated with my questions.  And while all of these things are immensely time-consuming, I really enjoy the researching and organising stage.  So, at this point, any travelling companion of mine can consider themselves pretty lucky.  I will happily provide them with all the information on the chosen destination, including a thorough break down of costs.

So what about the actually travelling, you know, that bit between leaving home and returning?  That’s perhaps where being a control freak is a less beneficial characteristic.

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