HOW TO TRAVEL WITHOUT BLOWING YOUR BUDGET

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Have you ever done your best to save up as much money as you can for a trip, only to come back broke and wonder where all your money went? I know that has happened to me more than once.

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Both when planning for an upcoming trip and also when you are actually on it, I find it very useful use a budget spreadsheet for the trip. One half should be the amount of money you have (income) and the other half what you expect to spend (expenses).

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LOUNGING AROUND IN LUXURY

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We all know how uncomfortable airports can be with hard, cramped seats at the gates (if any), lots of noise and expensive food. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just dash away for an hour or two before your flight for some good food, a shower and free wifi? Well, that is what lounges are for.

‘Aren’t lounges just for people flush with cash?’ I hear you say? Well, not necessarily.

On my way to Europe last month, I was lucky enough to have lounge access in four airports in the US, Turkey, Sweden and Switzerland. Have a look at them and read below as to how you can get behind those exclusive glass doors too without flying first or business class.

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THE EXPAT LIFESTYLE

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I came across an article in the Wall Street Journal from global jetsetter and expat Rashmi J Dalai about what makes the expat lifestyle so addictive.

My favourite quote was:

“It’s like becoming a Switzerland, neutral – politically and emotionally – and experiencing a culture without having to be involved with the internal affairs.”

You can check out the full article here.

Camp Stories

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Every year I have the pleasure of coming back to Spain to teach kids English.

As I enter Spanish Summer #6, here is a collection of my favourite Camp Stories from last year’s camp. I hope you enjoy.


Camp stories #26

Six-year-old Elena joins my class after three weeks in Vanesa’s class

Me: ‘Elena, I have a question for you. Who is a better teacher? Vanesa or me?’

Elena: ‘You, Matt’

Me: ‘Girl, you got swagger. Five extra minutes in the swimming pool for you’

Score.

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TOP TIPS: MADRID AND SPAIN

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Partying, siestas and sun…my three favorite things about Spain, the third-most visited country in the world. A lot of people ask me where to stay, when to go and what to do in Spain, so here are my top tips to enjoy the best of the bustling capital and this beautiful country…


WHAT TO SEE IN MADRID

  • To get your bearings, do a free three-hour walking tour with Sandemans New Europe Madrid. I have a few friends that have been tour guides for this company. Having done the tour myself, I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Madrid
  • Walk through El Retiro park and rent a rowboat for cheap (€5 approx) if it is sunny. Have a picnic on the green grass with some vino, aceitunas and queso (wine, olives and cheese)

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LOVE IS IN THE AIR

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I strongly believe in following your heart, wherever that may take you. And as our world becomes even more interconnected, cross-country relationships become more of a reality.

My first love was an Italian working in Madrid but living in Mexico City. I followed him to Mexico.

My brother is married to a Canadian who he met studying in Denmark. They now live in Sweden.

Three Virgin Group airlines – Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia – produced Departure Date, a half-hour short about falling in love in the air.

I found it very touching and hope you enjoy it too.