The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary

When we were planning our one month Japan itinerary, we knew we wanted to fit in as much as we could, into those four weeks. Japan might be a pretty small island, but there’s an incredible amount of things to see and do. It would take an entire lifetime and then some, to just explore Tokyo. We wanted to visit as many cities as we could, tick off as much as possible, and have the time of our lives while we were at it.

Well, I’m happy to report that all three of those goals were achieved!

We managed to travel to six different cities over a four week period. Starting in Yokohama, we then traveled to Osaka, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Nagano and finally, Tokyo. We didn’t want to spend the entire four weeks, only exploring the major cities.

We wanted a taste of traditional Japan amongst all of the bright neon lights. So we broke up the bustling cities with some lesser known, traditional towns across Japan.

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary | Rhiannon Travels

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Days 1 to 3 – Yokohama

We were quite sluggish upon arriving at Haneda Airport at around six thirty in the morning. We were running on almost no sleep, after suffering through two six hour flights, plus a seven hour layover at Singapore Airport. That was before we even arrived in Japan.

Before leaving Australia, we researched the best way to get from Haneda Airport to our hotel in Yokohama. It ended up being super easy, and all we had to do was catch a bus to Yokohama City Air Terminal (also known as YCAT), then catch a train to Shin Yokohama Station. Click here for more information on getting from Haneda Airport to YCAT.

Finding our way from Yokohama City Air Terminal to our hotel was quite overwhelming. We arrived during the morning’s peak hour rush, so combine that was almost zero sleep and being thrown into a foreign country – it was pretty intense. In an exciting way, of course. We eventually managed to manoeuvre our way through the hundreds of business people, rushing in every direction through the station.

Where to stay in Yokohama

We stayed at the Shin Yokohama Kokusai Hotel for our first two nights in Japan. The hotel is fairly close to the Shin-Yokohama Station, however it took us a while to find our bearings when we first arrived, and definitely took a few wrong turns. Be sure to have an offline map with directions to your hotel, before arriving in Japan.

Note: Something that we didn’t realise before arriving in Japan, is their hotel check-in policy is quite strict. Check-in time starts at 3pm (in most hotels across Japan) and if you arrive early, you are not allowed to check in without paying to do so. We arrived at around 10am, but were so desperate for a shower and bed, we paid the extra fee to check in early. From memory, it costs about 1,000 yen per hour before check-in time.

Visit the Cup Noodle Museum

We decided to visit the Cup Noodle Museum on our first and only full day in Yokohama. If you’ve never heard of the Cup Noodle Museum before, it’s basically exactly what it sounds like. You can learn all about the history of cup noodles throughout the world, and even design your very own cup of noodles!

We’ve written an entire post about our experience at the Cup Noodle Museum. So go give that a read for a full recap of our noodle cup designing adventure.

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary | Rhiannon Travels

After designing your Cup of Noodles, the friendly staff member lets you capture each step of the process on camera!

Shopping in Yokohama

If shopping is something you’re keen to do while in Japan, Yokohama has quite a few shopping malls. Queen’s Square and Landmark Plaza are two of the more generic shopping centres that you’ll find. However, if you’re looking for a more unique shopping experience, visit World Porters. This mall attracts a younger crowd, so you’ll definitely find some bargains if you shop around.

Yokohama Ramen Museum

On our last night in Yokohama, we decided to set off on foot to the Yokohama Ramen Museum. We had read about this place during our Japan research, and it was added straight onto our bucket list. The Ramen Museum is an awesome, well, museum, filled with everything you didn’t think you needed to know about ramen.

To make the experience even better, you’ll find two floors downstairs that are designed to replicate streets and houses from an old town in Tokyo. These floors contain around a dozen different ramen restaurants. Choose your meal using the vending machine outside of each restaurant, and take a seat inside. You can also purchase mini ramen bowls, if you would prefer to sample more than just one.

Note: The bowls are huge. Even the mini bowls were just about all the food I could manage. Keep this in mind if you want to try as many ramen meals as you can.


The atmosphere and design of the Ramen Museum is definitely unique. Entry to the museum and access to the restaurants costs 310 yen per person, plus whatever you decide to spend on ramen. There is also a bar with super cheap alcohol. That had me sold, for sure!


Days 3 to 10 – Osaka

Day three on our one month Japan itinerary started with a Shinkansen Bullet Train ride from Yokohama to Osaka. The journey only took around three hours, and we even saw Mt Fuji on the way from the train! We’ve already published our Osaka Itinerary in a seperate post, simply because we had so much to talk about.

There is so much to see and do in Osaka, that we highly recommend staying in the city for at least a few days. We stayed in Osaka for seven days, and even that wasn’t enough time. That being said, we did manage to tick off quite a bit from our list.

Where to stay in Osaka

We stayed at the Hotel MyStays Sakaisuji-Honmachi during our time in Osaka. This was a great location, putting us super close to the main shopping and entertainment district of Osaka, Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi Street. We were also close to major train stations, tons of food options and plenty of things to see and do.

Note: Osaka is a great starting point to explore nearby cities and prefectures. As you can read about here, Japan’s train system is world class. It’s super quick and easy to travel to almost any city across Japan. We suggest making the time to visit Kyoto and Nara during your time in Osaka.

Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to visit Nara, but we did take a couple of day trips to Kyoto and absolutely loved it. You can read all about Kyoto in our Osaka post as well.

Shopping in Osaka

There are plenty of places to shop in Osaka. The most popular shopping districts, Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi Street, were only a twenty minute walk from our hotel. You’ll find hundreds upon hundreds of chain stores, Japanese souvenir stores, boutiques, street food, restaurants and much more.

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary | Rhiannon Travels

The bright neon lights of Dotonbori in Osaka’s shopping district.

Universal Studios

Universal Studios was one of the main reasons we wanted to visit Osaka in the first place. We’re both huge Harry Potter fans. As soon as we realised there was a Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Osaka’s Universal Studios, we just had to go. If you love Harry and his friends as much as we do, definitely set aside a day to live it up at Hogwarts.

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary | Rhiannon Travels

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, Osaka. I lived another dream of spending the day at Hogwarts. Japan, I love you.

Day trip to Kyoto

Kyoto is one of my favourite places in Japan. It’s such a beautiful way to get an insight into traditional Japan. With endless shrines, temples and beautiful places to sit and relax, you’ll fall in love with Kyoto just as much as we did. We spent one day exploring Arashiyama and another visitng the Fushimi Inari shrine.

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary | Rhiannon Travels

The beautiful Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama, Kyoto. A perfect day trip from Osaka!


Days 10 to 12 – Hiroshima

The first thing I’m going to say about Hiroshima, is that I wish we stayed longer. After spending such a long time amongst the crazy hustle, bustle and flashing neon lights of Osaka, Hiroshima was a very welcome change of pace. The people are incredibly kind and friendly, and there’s a beautiful peaceful vibe about the city.


It took roughly two hours to get from Osaka to Hiroshima on the Shinkansen Bullet Train. Compared to the rest of our Bullet Train journeys, this one was fairly quick. When we arrived at Hiroshima Station, we then had to catch a tram to our hotel. The tram ride costs a flat rate of 160 yen for adults, which you drop into a clear container before departing the tram. Super easy!

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary | Rhiannon Travels

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Museum.

Where to stay in Hiroshima

We stayed at the Comfort Hotel in Downtown Hiroshima. This was the perfect location, as it was within walking distance to almost everything we wanted to see during our short time in Hiroshima. There was a train station nearby and the tram stop that we needed to get back to the airport was right outside our hotel.

Shopping in Hiroshima

Hondori Shopping Arcade is the main shopping mall in Hiroshima. It’s very similar to Osaka’s Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi Street, but a lot less busy. You’ll find tons of familiar chain stores, restaurants, pharmacies for some reason, boutiques and street food. We walked up and down this mall quite a lot, and found something new each time!

Don’t miss the Book Off store in Hiroshima. If you love finding classic gaming consoles, super cheap electronics, Japanese and English books for less than a cup of coffee and an endless amount of toys, Book Off is going to feel like heaven. It’s essentially a second hand store, but it’s the best second hand store you’ll ever visit. I promise.

Cheap food in Hiroshima

During our time in Hiroshima, we discovered a wonderful little Italian food chain called Saizeriya. Their menu is loaded with delicious, super cheap meals to suit almost anyone’s taste in food. Some of their menu items include foccaccia (100 yen), garlic bread (170 yen), soup (150 yen), various pasta and pizza (400 yen), chicken and steak meals (up to 900 yen) and desserts (400 yen or less).

Other than food, you can also get unlimited soft drinks, juice and iced teas from the drink bar for 190 yen. Water is free. And the best part of all, you can get half a bottle of wine for 200 yen. Yes, I had some with lunch. Yes, it’s cheap house wine but still, 200 yen? Can’t complain about that. It was drinkable, and that’s all that matters!

Hiroshima Peace Memorial and A-Bomb Dome

Our first and only full day in Hiroshima was spent at the Peace Memorial and A-Bomb Dome. It’s pretty difficult to explain the feeling you get when visiting this area of Hiroshima. The park is extremely clean, quiet and relaxing. I highly recommend paying the 200 yen entrance fee to visit the museum, even if you don’t know anything about the history of the Atomic Bomb devastation.

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary | Rhiannon Travels

We didn’t know a great deal about it, but it’s a surreal experience learning about the devastating events that happened. It will give you a new perspective about why the people of Japan are such friendly, accepting and wonderful people.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Hours + Pricing

Cost: 200 yen
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 6pm
Closed: The main Museum building will be closed until July 2018.

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary | Rhiannon Travels

The Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, Japan.

Hiroshima isn’t a city with lots of tourist attractions or crazy things to see and do. But if you’re looking for a relaxing and peaceful city to visit, to help break up the hustle and bustle of big city Japan, we definitely recommend adding Hiroshima to your itinerary. It’s a beautiful city with lovely people and an inspirational history.


Days 12 to 14 – Nagoya

If there’s one thing I regret from our trip to Japan, it’s cutting our time in Hiroshima short to visit Nagoya. Each to their own, but I wasn’t too fond of Nagoya. Although it’s Japan’s fourth most populated city, compared to Yokohama, Osaka and Hiroshima, it was pretty dirty and uninspiring. There isn’t a whole lot to see and do, besides the Nagoya City Science Museum and Planetarium and Toyota Museum which were both closed the day we visited.

Where to stay in Nagoya

We stayed at Hotel Trusty during our two days in Nagoya. This wasn’t a very good choice in regards to location, because we had to walk quite a decent distance to the main part of the city. It was also one of the dirtiest Japanese cities we had seen so far. Choosing a hotel that’s closer to the main attractions will make your experience a lot more convenient.

Learn from our mistakes

Be sure to check opening hours for main attractions before planning out your day. Two of the things we wanted to see during our time in Nagoya was the Planetarium and Toyota Museum. Both were closed on our only full day in the city. Don’t end up like us, bitter at Nagoya, wishing we were still in Hiroshima. Plan your visit better than we did!

Shopping in Nagoya

Oasis 21 is a modern shopping complex with a ton of cool shops and restaurants. Oh yeah,  it’s also conveniently a bus terminal! There is almost always some sort of event held underneath the epic glass roof filled with water. There are also a few larger shopping malls in the area, dozens of restaurants and in true Japanese fashion, an endless amount of convenience stores.


Days 14 to 17: Nagano

Nagano was on our itinerary for one main reason: snow! We spent quite a long time during the planning stage of our Japan trip, trying to find an easily accessible way of seeing snow. Eventually, we settled on Nagano.

We arrived in Nagano early afternoon on March 14th, via the Bullet Train from Nagoya. Nagano Station is fairly small – as is the city itself – so finding our hotel wasn’t difficult. It took around 20 minutes to walk from the station to our hotel (Hotel Kokusai 21).

Where to stay in Nagano

We stayed at Hotel Kokusai 21 during our time in Nagano. Our hotel was in a pretty good location, taking us roughly twenty minutes to walk to the station. There were a few convenience stores within walking distance, plus plenty of vending machines and even a Japanese style Denny’s restaurant. Our hotel was huge, definitely one of the biggest Japanese hotels we’d had so far.

Shopping and Dining in Nagano

We were pretty hungry the day we arrived in Nagano after not having enough time that morning to eat breakfast, before leaving Nagoya. So the fact that we spotted a Japanese style Denny’s a few minutes from our hotel was pretty exciting and super convenient.

Right next to Denny’s is a Family Mart convenience store. If you’re not familiar with Japanese convenience stores, they’re basically the best thing in the world. Selling everything from water and alcoholic beverages to quick snacks, toiletries and hot meals. I bought a bottle of wine, Russell bought a bottle of whisky and we also stocked up on snacks.

Day trip to Hakuba

Our first full day in Nagano was the day I finally ticked see snow off my bucket list. Excitement was bubbling over the edge, as I added layer after layer of warm clothing onto my body, and made sure my camera battery was fully charged. It was the moment I had been dreaming about for most of my life.

We took a bus from Nagano Station to Hakuba, and ended up in the beautiful snow village of Happo One. Something cool about Happo One, is the 1998 winter Olympics were hosted there! The Ski Jumping Stadium is still there, Olympic rings and all. For around 500 yen, you can take a ski lift to the very top, and be rewarded with the view in the photo below!

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary | Rhiannon Travels

A beautiful view of Hakuba in Nagano, Japan. Our first time seeing snow!

To read all about our day in Hakuba, click here. It was such an unbelievable experience. I’m so glad I can say that I saw snow for the very first time, in Japan.

Nagano is a great city whether you visit during the warmer or colder months. Similar to Hiroshima, it’s a nice place to rest and recharge, especially if you’re headed to another big city.

Or, like us, the mother of all big cities: Tokyo!


Days 17 to 29 – Tokyo

Ahh, Tokyo.
Japan’s capital and the world’s most populated city.

With a population of around 13 million people, 47 different prefectures and endless things to do, you’ll need an entire lifetime to explore the city. Once again, because I talk a lot, we have a seperate post all about our time in Tokyo. If you’re interested in reading about everything we did during our twelve days in Tokyo, click here for a full recap!

Where to stay in Tokyo

We spent twelve days in Shinjuku, which is one of Tokyo’s most popular cities. Shinjuku is in a great central location, and is the perfect base to explore Tokyo. We stayed at Shinjuku New City Hotel, which was only a 20 minute walk from Shinjuku Station, the biggest train station in Japan.

Shopping in Tokyo

The shopping in Tokyo is probably the best I have ever experienced. With a literally endless amount of shopping malls, outdoor shopping streets, boutiques, souvenir stores, department stores and more; there’s something for everyone.

I had a ball shopping on Takeshita Street in Harajuku. Shibuya is filled with familiar chain stores like Forever 21, H&M and Gap. Don’t miss Shibuya Crossing – the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world! Enjoy the view from Starbucks or one of the shopping buildings surrounding the crossing.

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary | Rhiannon Travels

The crazy, bustling Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan! The busiest pedestrian crossing in the world.

Dining in Tokyo

Whether you love sushi, fried meat on sticks, tasty desserts, noodles, pizza, pasta or almost anything else – Tokyo is a city filled with cuisine from across the globe. Restaurants in Tokyo have more Michelin Stars than Paris and New York combined. Regardless of your budget, you will have no problems finding something delicious to eat during your time in Tokyo.

Attractions in Tokyo

There are so many different things to do in Tokyo. From spending a couple of days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, to enjoying a Robot Restaurant show in Shinjuku. Don’t miss the beautiful gardens, shrines and temples throughout Tokyo. Visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for an incredible FREE view of Tokyo!

One Month Japan Itinerary: The Ultimate Travel Guide For A Four Week Visit

Head to Shinjuku to enjoy this incredible view for FREE at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building!


Tips for First Time Visitors to Japan

Now that you have some ideas for your own one month in Japan itinerary, here are some tips and tricks to help make your visit as smooth sailing as possible!

Purchase a pair of comfortable sneakers

One thing I noticed during our month in Japan, was that we walked a lot. My phone has an inbuilt pedometer (as do most smartphones these days) and there were multiple days where I walked over 20,000 steps.


If you enjoy exploring new places on foot like us, you’ll definitely need to invest in a good quality pair of sneakers or walking shoes. There are tons of different styles available for both men and women.

Invest in a good backpack

Japan is one of the best places in the world for day trips. You can explore so much more of the country, simply by taking the Shinkansen Bullet Train to smaller towns from major cities across Japan. If you’re keen on doing some day trips during your time in Japan, you’ll need a good quality backpack, or daypack, to keep all of your essentials.

Don’t forget your camera

Almost everywhere you travel to across Japan, is incredibly beautiful and worthy of the millions of photos you’re going to take. Before arriving in Japan, consider purchasing a good quality camera, if you don’t have one already.

I have the Sony Alpha a5000 Mirrorless Digital Camera, and I love it. It takes incredible photos and has a whole bunch of awesome features and settings that I’ve had lots of fun testing out.


If you would prefer to try your hand at a more in-depth camera, consider a DSLR like the beautiful Canon EOS.

Bring plenty of entertainment for the Bullet Train

If you plan to travel between cities and prefectures in Japan, you’ll probably be catching the Shinkansen Bullet Train quite a bit. Depending on the distance you travel, the journey could take more than two hours. Think of the Shinkansen as a much more comfortable plane.


I like to have plenty of options available when it comes to keeping myself amused. General things like a good book, my laptop to watch movies or get some writing done, or a Kindle filled with tons of classics to read.


So there you have it, our one month Japan itinerary. Just remember, there is a lot to see in Japan. One month is definitely not enough to see everything. But it’s still a good amount of time to tick lots of awesome places off your Japan bucket list. Use this guide as a starting point to plan an amazing and memorable visit to the incredible Japan.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to follow along with our travels. You can also find us on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram!

Have you been to Japan before? What was your favourite city? Tell me in the comments!

Did you like this post? Pin it or share it with your friends!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Post updated in January 2018. All prices and facts are correct at time of last post update. 

rhiannontravels

Rhiannon is a travel blogger from Adelaide, Australia. Together with her partner, they have been traveling the world for around two years, and hope to not only visit every country in the world one day, but also live in Japan. Rhiannon started this blog back in September 2016, and has been helping people just like you, travel the world with ease!

10 Reasons to Travel with your Partner

10 Reasons to Travel with your Partner

When it comes to travel, there are quite a few different options to choose from regarding travel buddies. You can choose to travel alone, with your family, a group of friends or my favourite – couple travel. There’s no right or wrong answer, and it can be hard to decide what’s right for you. Everyone enjoys different aspects of travel, and depending on your preferences, one style of travel can be better than the other. We love traveling together, and I definitely could not go back to traveling solo. There are lots of reasons to travel with your partner, and we’re going to talk about some of them in this post!

10 Reasons to Travel with your Partner | Rhiannon Travels

We love exploring the world together, making lots of incredible new memories and broadening our travel horizons. I’m extremely lucky to have the opportunity to travel with the person I love. If you’re trying to decide whether traveling as a couple is the best option for you, here are 10 of the best reasons to travel with your partner.

10 Reasons to Travel with your Partner

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Making memories

Making memories and experiencing new places together, is one of the best reasons to travel with your partner. Think about all the stories and special moments you will share with that person while seeing the world.

I often think back to the time I visited New York City back in June 2015 with Contiki. Although I had an incredible time, being able to experience the city I had dreamt about my entire life, with the person I love, would have made the moment so much more special.


In March 2017, we spent four weeks exploring Japan together. Neither of us had visited Japan before, so it was an incredible experience to have together. We have hundreds of photos and an endless amount of memories together, that we can look back on for years to come.

Couple Travel: 7 Perks to Traveling With Your Partner!

Help with carrying heavy bags

When it comes to travel, there are two things about me that can make it a super difficult experience (mainly for Russell). First, I am a terribly bad over-packer. I always bring far too much with me, and regret it almost instantly. As soon as I pick up my luggage from baggage claim, I immediately regret packing three pairs of leggings when I really only needed one.


Second, I am quite unfit. I can’t walk too far with my super heavy suitcase, without having to stop and take a breather. So when Russell and I spent the month of March in Japan, and realised that not every train station has elevators, it became quite a difficult task. There were many times that Russell had to carry both of our suitcases up and down staircases, because I was too weak to carry my own. Sorry, babe. Thanks for being a gem!

If I had been traveling solo, I definitely would have struggled. I know some travelers swear by backpacks, and this is probably why. Traveling as a couple means less heavy lifting, which is a pretty great reason to travel with your partner.

Couple travel is never lonely

I definitely couldn’t ever travel solo again, purely for the fact that I wouldn’t enjoy the loneliness. I know there are a lot of people who love exploring new places along and not having to rely on anyone. But I love having company while traveling. Sharing our excitement the night before a busy day of new adventures; or having a few drinks together in the hotel room while looking back on the day’s events, are some of my favourite parts about traveling with Russell.

Couple Travel: 7 Perks to Traveling With Your Partner!

Safety

Another one of our reasons to travel with your partner, is safety. Traveling with Russell automatically gives me an incredible feeling of safety. I know that he will always protect me if something were to happen. Not that you should rely on somebody else for your safety, and everyone should know basic self defence, but it’s still nice having the reassurance of traveling with another person.


Traveling with your partner means safety in numbers. If something were to go wrong, you will always have somebody there to help. Having someone you trust with you while traveling makes all the difference!

Working together to solve problems

Unfortunately, travel is going to bring some problems whether you travel solo, with a group of friends or with your partner. But traveling with someone who knows you well, and vice versa, is going to make life a lot easier.


Whether you’re stuck at the airport due to delayed flights, lost luggage, hotel rooms mix ups or transport issues. No matter what the situation may be, working together to solve the problem, is another reason why couple travel is awesome!

Different ideas lead to new experiences

I have seen and experienced so many things that I never would have, if I didn’t travel with Russell. Combining your interests and bucket list with the person you travel with, will mean seeing so many places that you never thought you would. If you and your partner want to see different things, even if it’s something that you don’t think you’ll enjoy, give it a shot! Bounce ideas off each other, and you never know where you’ll end up.

Couple Travel: 7 Perks to Traveling With Your Partner!

Planning and counting down to the next trip

Planning for an upcoming trip is so much more exciting when you’re traveling with another person. I love researching our next destination, watching endless videos about the next place Russell and I will be visiting. Writing those bucket lists are even more exciting when you’re traveling with your significant other, because we discover new and exciting places and attractions!

Strengthens your relationship

Traveling with your partner and dealing with travel issues, arguments, lost luggage, delayed flights, being stranded in a foreign city and not knowing how to get back to your hotel, is definitely going to strengthen your relationship. You’ll learn to communicate better, put each other’s needs ahead of your own and learn how to work together in ways you may not have yet.

Traveling together is cheaper

Think about all the costs that come with travel. From flights to accomodation, travel insurance, food, spending money, and transport. Traveling with your partner is a great way to cut most of those costs in half. If you’re booking accomodation for five nights and your total comes to $400, split that in half and you’re already saving a huge chunk!


This is one of my favourite reasons to travel with your partner, because it can significantly lower the cost of travel and make international travel in particular, a much more attainable goal. It’s still a good idea to set yourself a budget, and may mean being able to splurge in a different area, now that your costs are cut in half!

Couple travel is romantic

Depending on where you’re heading, traveling with your partner can be a super romantic way to spend time together. If your budget allows it, visiting a beautiful island such as Bora Bora or Fiji is something that you will never forget. Otherwise, there are plenty of places around the world to enjoy a romantic weekend away with your significant other.


If you have an anniversary coming up, book a week in a place neither of you have been before. This is a great way to spice things up, see more of the world and have a romantic time away with your partner.


There are lots of awesome reasons to travel with your partner. From saving money to the feeling of safety while exploring a new city. If you love the sound of experiencing a new city with your significant other, couple travel is definitely the right option for you. I love traveling with Russell, and being able to explore the world together. I will always be grateful for the chance to make new memories and see incredible places all over the world, with the person that I love.

Do you travel with your partner, a group of friends or go it alone? Tell me in the comments below!

Did you like this post? Pin it for later or share with friends!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!
rhiannontravels

Rhiannon is a travel blogger from Adelaide, Australia. Together with her partner, they have been traveling the world for around two years, and hope to not only visit every country in the world one day, but also live in Japan. Rhiannon started this blog back in September 2016, and has been helping people just like you, travel the world with ease!

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan

Japan is a weird and wonderful place. I didn’t really know too much about the country before Russell and I decided to book our first international trip together, where we would spend a month exploring Japan. It wasn’t long before we realised just how amazing the country really is. We read stories and blog posts, watched an endless amount of videos and did as much research as possible before booking anything. We wanted to find out what other people thought were the best things about Japan.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

Although doing research and watching videos made our decision a no brainer, we still weren’t expecting Japan to be as amazing as it was. If you’re looking for your next travel destination, have a read through what we found to be the 20 best things about Japan. One of the most beautiful, traditional, modern, unique, safe, foodie heaven and friendly countries in the world.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

The people

These aren’t in any particular order, but I feel as though I should mention this one first. Japanese locals are definitely the nicest group of people we have ever met, and probably the nicest people we will ever meet. At no point during our month long stay in Japan, did we come across a Japanese local that wouldn’t go out of their way to help us.


Everyone we met was incredibly friendly, helpful and a joy to be around. There was more than one occasion during our four weeks in Japan, where we must have looked confused or lost. I know this because we had people offer their help, purely out of the goodness of their hearts.

One woman stopped us on the street in Osaka, while we were heading to the train station on our way to Hiroshima, to ask if we needed directions.


Another young woman saw we were struggling with our luggage in a Tokyo train station, and pointed us in the direction of an elevator we didn’t know was there. Honestly, if you ever need help while in Japan, don’t be afraid to ask. You will be shocked to experience such a widely friendly and genuinely kind group of people.

The convenience stores

There’s only one word for Japanese convenience stores: epic. If I could choose one overall, stand-out thing about our time in Japan, it would absolutely be the convenience stores. I’m sure for most of you, that’s probably a super sad thing to admit. But we don’t have anything like them here in Australia. At least not in Adelaide where we are from.


Japan convenience stores sell a huge variety of snacks, hot and cold drinks, hot food, alcohol, toiletries, cigarettes, everyday household items and so much more. Plus, everything is incredibly cheap. So if you’re ever in a jam and need an emergency umbrella or quick bite to eat, visit one of Japan’s millions of convenience stores.

The Best Things About Japan: What I Loved & Miss The Most

Vending machines

I can guarantee one thing to anyone who is visiting Japan for the first time: you will never go thirsty. There are vending machines on literally every single corner. Some even have more than one vending machine.


In winter, you’ll find a combination of hot and cold beverages. During summer, there are generally only cold drinks available. In bigger cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, there are even more vending machines located almost everywhere you go, some even selling unique items that you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

Here’s a fun game: every time you come across a vending machine, buy something that you haven’t tried before. Most items are around 100 yen, so it’s a super cheap and fun way to experience Japan’s quirky food and beverages!

It’s a very safe country

Japan is definitely the safest country I have ever visited. Russell and I traveled together, but even if I had traveled alone, I would have felt perfectly safe walking down the street by myself at night. Just like everywhere in the world, I’m sure there are parts of Japan that aren’t entirely safe. But generally speaking, I felt very comfortable exploring even the overwhelmingly busy Tokyo.


Even the train stations are incredibly safe, which is great news for solo travelers. If you decide to explore Japan alone, I’m happy to confirm that it is one of the safest places in the world to visit. That being said, it’s always best to have common sense and remain alert, especially when traveling alone.

Japan’s train system

One of the things we underestimated most about Japan, is the public transport system. Before arriving in Japan, we knew that it is a very punctual and smoothly run country. Everything and everyone is on time, and there is a system in place for absolutely everything. Not to mention the pure convenience of having almost everything you need, at super easy access.


The public transport system in particular though, runs more smoothly than anything else we’ve ever experienced. Given the fact that we were westerners in an Asian country, we expected to see little to no English. Well, that wasn’t the case at all. The signage in (almost) every train station is written in both English and Japanese.

Other than trains being precisely on time (if you’re 10 seconds late to the station, too bad, you’ve missed the train) in most major Japanese cities during day-time hours, trains run as frequently as every two minutes. This came in handy quite a few times, when we were hesitant to catch a particular train incase it took us in the wrong direction.

The Shinkansen Bullet Train

This is one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. If you’re not familiar with the Shinkansen Bullet Train, it’s a super high-speed train that takes Japanese locals and international visitors, between cities across Japan.


We used the Shinkansen five times during our month long visit to Japan, and never got sick of it. It’s essentially an airplane for the ground, and is an awesome way to travel around Japan. I’ve written an entire post about the Shinkansen Bullet Train and the Japan Rail Pass that you’ll need to use it. So click here to check that out.

Visit Japan: A Practical Guide For First Time Visitors

Heated toilet seats

This is probably one one of the things I miss the most. Being able to sit on a warm toilet seat, in the middle of winter when getting up during the night to pee, is something that I could definitely get used to.


Although we only had this experience for one month, I don’t know how I’ve survived 25 years of life without heated toilet seats. They are a game changer, especially in winter. Come on, Australia. Why isn’t this a thing yet? Or maybe it is, and I’m just totally left in the dark.

If for no other reason, please visit Japan to experience their heated toilet seats. You won’t regret it. I promise.

Japan’s snacks and Cup of Noodles

I’ll be honest, I personally don’t think that anything can beat the incredible snacks that you’ll find in Australia. We have some pretty delicious, super unhealthy foods.


Maybe it’s the convenience, or the wildly cheap prices, but Japan’s snack foods are awesome. There is such a large variety, and half the time you won’t even know what you’re eating. But that’s half the fun. Not to mention the Cup of Noodles. You’ll find a huge variety in convenience stores and vending machines, for super low prices.

One Month Japan Itinerary: The Ultimate Travel Guide For A Four Week Visit

Towards the end of our trip when we had barely any money left, I ate cup noodles for almost every meal. They were delicious, and I got pretty good at using chopsticks, too.

Combination of modern and beautifully traditional 

All over Japan, you’ll notice there is a wonderful combination of both incredibly modern and beautifully traditional. Even in Japan’s busy capital of Tokyo, you can be shopping for quirky fashion one minute, and be strolling through a beautiful garden on your way to a shrine or temple the next.


You will always be able to find a relaxing place to spend the morning or afternoon. Not to mention the large array of temples and shrines, for that little bit of beautiful Japanese history, to break up the craziness of Japan’s big cities.

There are so many things to see and do in Japan

It would literally take an entire lifetime to experience everything there is to see and do in Japan. We visited for one month, and didn’t even scratch the surface. Not only are there dozens of incredible cities and prefectures to explore, there are tons of small towns and off-the-beaten-path experiences to be had.


I’ve written a post with our month long itinerary, sharing everything we did during our four weeks in Japan. This should give you a brief insight into just how huge Japan really is, and how many incredible things there are to see and do all over the country.

Japanese cuisine

I’m not a foodie, in fact I’m quite the opposite. I’m a picky eater and always have been, so I tend to stick to what I know. But Russell had a blast trying all sorts of crazy Japanese cuisine. Whether you love red meat, seafood or crazy snacks and desserts – Japan will feel like heaven. Dotonbori in Osaka is one of the best places to go to experience some of Japan’s best food, so be sure to add Osaka to your bucket list.


Other than Japanese cuisine, you’ll find a ton of western options available if you’re like me and stick to the basics. From McDonalds to Subway, KFC and plenty more – there’s a wide variety of options to choose from.

Japan’s love of gaming

Now, although I don’t technically play video games, I do enjoy watching Russell play them. There are certain areas within Japan, that are a gaming lovers heaven.


Akihabara in Tokyo is one of the brightest, bustling, exciting and unique places I’ve ever been. There are an endless array of stores to browse until you run out of money or the store itself closes – whichever comes first. So bring along plenty of cash, wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to leave with a suitcase filled with gaming goodies.

Cherry Blossom season (Sakura)

We visited Japan at the beginning of Cherry Blossom season, which begins in April. This is one of the busiest times of the year in Japan, and it’s easy to see why.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

For a few weeks at the end of March to middle of April, Cherry Blossom trees (or Sakura) bring beautiful, breath-taking colour to streets and gardens all over Japan. It’s quite an incredible sight, and if you plan your trip perfectly, you may be able to experience the falling petals.


We had unfortunately already returned to Australia when the petals began to fall, but it was still an amazing experience witnessing the gradual blossoming of the trees and Sakura petals during our last week or so in Japan.

Japan’s Gardens and parks

Japan has a seemingly endless amount of beautiful gardens and parks. Some cost a small entry fee, some are entirely free to wander around. My favourite two gardens were Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. These are both incredible gardens, and although they cost around 300 yen to enter, I truly believe it’s worth it.

There’s something so relaxing and peaceful about Japanese gardens, and is another one of the best things about Japan, and a big reason why I miss the country so much.

The shopping in Japan

No matter what your interests are, there is something for everyone in Japan. Tokyo’s Akihabara is the gaming hub of Japan. Takeshita Street in Harajuku is perfect for experiencing Tokyo’s quirky fashion scene. Osaka’s Dotonbori is absolutely insane, and you’ll be bumping shoulders with people no matter which time of day you go (but the shopping is totally worth it).

12 Day Guide to Exploring Tokyo: A Tokyo Itinerary For a Memorable Experience

Japan was one of the best shopping experiences I’ve ever had. There’s something for everyone, and if I didn’t run out of money, I would have definitely needed a second suitcase.

The Best Things About Japan: 10 Things I Loved and Miss The Most

Being able to purchase alcohol from convenience stores (and vending machines)

If you’re a regular reader, you would already know that we both love alcohol. Not in a way that you should be concerned. I simply like a glass or three of wine, and Russell is a big supporter of the Whisky industry.


Not only is alcohol in Japan incredibly cheap, it’s also legal to consume on the streets. You can bet your bottom dollar I took full advantage of this. We live in Australia where takeaway alcohol can only be purchased from a bottle shop, so it was pretty fun drinking vodka on the streets of Tokyo.

I’m not gonna lie: that’s probably my second reason why I miss Japan so much, and would move there tomorrow if I could.

Japan’s convenience and punctuality 

If you thought the fact that there’s a vending machine on every corner is convenient, wait until you experience things like using an elevator. Other than the trains running precisely on time and being able to drink alcohol while exploring the streets of Japan, there is even a system in place for using an elevator.


In all cities except Osaka, it’s customary for people to stand on the left side of the elevator, leaving the right side free for people who want to walk up or down. This was so strange to us, but it was incredibly helpful and convenient. I even find myself getting annoyed at people in Australia who don’t do this.

Hiroshima

I feel the need to mention Hiroshima separately, because I adored it that much. For a city with such a devastating history, it’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I’ve ever visited.


From the beautiful Hiroshima Peace Park and Memorial to the incredible Shukkeien Garden, there are plenty of things to see and do. We spent two full days in Hiroshima, and to this day, I still wish we stayed longer. The people are some of the kindest I’ve ever met, the streets are 100% clear of any rubbish and it’s definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

A Day In Hiroshima, Japan: Peace Park + Museum, Shukkeien Garden and Hiroshima CastleA Day In Hiroshima, Japan: Peace Park + Museum, Shukkeien Garden and Hiroshima Castle

If you get the chance, please visit Hiroshima and see for yourself, just how wonderful the city truly is.

Japan’s countryside

We spent a couple of days in Nagano, which is a town in the Northern Japan Alps. We visited at the end of the snow season, which is the main reason we decided to detour north on our way to Tokyo, and I’m so glad we did! Japan’s countryside is absolutely stunning, and although I can only share my experience about a snow covered countryside, I’m almost positive it’s just as beautiful during the rest of the year.

The fact that we loved Japan so much, we are returning one year later

I’m sure this post has subtly shown you just how much we absolutely adore Japan. There are so many unique and wonderful things about the country, that we have decided to return, just over one year after our first visit! So prepare to read more about Japan in 2018, because I guarantee I will have a lot to talk about!


So there you have it. The 10 best things about Japan (in my opinion, anyway). There’s so much to love about Japan. It’s an amazing country, with incredible people and a ton to see and do. If you’ve visited before, tell me in the comments what you think the best things about Japan are! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

rhiannontravels

Rhiannon is a travel blogger from Adelaide, Australia. Together with her partner, they have been traveling the world for around two years, and hope to not only visit every country in the world one day, but also live in Japan. Rhiannon started this blog back in September 2016, and has been helping people just like you, travel the world with ease!

A Packing List for First Time International Female Travelers

A Packing List for First Time International Female Travelers

If you’re about to head off on your first international adventure, you probably don’t quite know what to pack. I used to be a serious over-packer, but over time I’ve learned just how important it is to pack light. Traveling internationally for the first time can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Don’t let the fact that you already have three pairs of jeans and five sweatshirts thrown into your suitcase stress you out. I’ve got your back! In this packing list, I’m going to give you all the advice I have about the things you absolutely must take with you, what you can afford to leave behind, and what’s easy to pick up along the way.

A Packing List for First Time International Female Travelers | Rhiannon Travels

If you’re a female who is about to travel internationally for the first time, get comfortable. I’m about to share everything I’ve learned thus far, in regards to not taking my entire life’s possessions with me, for a two week trip. I don’t need those four pairs of leggings, and neither do you.

Related: Planning Your First International Trip: A Useful 10 Step Guide

A Packing List for First Time International Female Travelers

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Packing List for Summer Seasons and Hot Climates

Your packing list will depend on what weather and climate you’re heading into. Packing for a summer holiday will obviously mean you’ll be taking up far less space in your luggage, and will leave you with more room for shopping! Here are our suggestions for essentials items to pack when traveling to hot climates and warm destinations.

A Packing List for First Time International Female Travelers | Rhiannon Travels

Clothing & Underwear

T-Shirts and Tank Tops (two of each) – Packing two different t-shirts and two tank tops will give you a bit of variety, and is a great space saver. Choose simple, versatile shirts for optimal convenience.

Shorts (three pairs) – Pack one pair of comfortable shorts to wear around the hotel or on a quick walk down the street, and two nicer pairs of denim or patterned shorts for every day wear. Just like with most of my suggestions in this post, the more versatile the shorts you pack, the better!


Comfortable and Good Quality Leggings (one pair) – I swear by Lorna Jane leggings. They may be a bit more expensive than most leggings, but I promise the cost is well worth it. I have six different pairs, in all sorts of shapes and lengths, and I love them all.

Dress or Playsuit (two) – I’ve recently started to delve into the world of summer dresses, and I must say, it’s pretty exciting. Shorts were my go-to summer outfit, and despite how uncomfortable some were, I refused to switch things up. Well, I’ve come to realise just how great dresses and playsuits are, especially when it comes to traveling. They’re super thin, light-weight and easy to pack and can be versatile enough to go from day to night.

Light Jacket or Sweater (one) – Although you may be traveling during summer, evenings and nights can still get a bit cold in certain parts of the world. Pack a light jacket or sweater, just incase!


Underwear – Depending on the type of accomodation you choose, you may have the convenience of a washing machine. If you do have access to a washing machine, you won’t need to pack as many pairs of underwear. Even if your accomodation doesn’t have laundry facilities, there will almost always be a public laundromat that you can use.

Bra or Sports Bra (two) – I like to pack one proper bra and one sports bra whenever I travel. That way, I have the two options of either wearing a full support bra, or a comfortable sports bra.

Socks (three pairs) – Pack your socks depending on how often you’ll be hiking or spending time wearing sneakers. When we travel in summer, I don’t generally pack too many pairs of socks.


Bathing Suit or Bikini (two) – If you’re traveling to a warm and summery location, pack a couple of bathing suits and bikinis. They’re small and won’t take up too much space in your luggage, so you can afford to pack some variety!

Pyjamas or Lazing Around Clothes (one) – I generally walk around the house in an oversized basketball jersey during summer, whether I’m on holiday or at home. They’re comfortable, cool in the warm weather and nice to sleep in! Pack one pair of pyjamas or lazing around clothes, for some added comfort during your down time.

Footwear

Sneakers or Walking Shoes (one) – Whether or not you plan to do lots of hiking and hour long explorations through the jungle, it’s still a good idea to pack a comfortable pair of sneakers.

Everyday Sandals (one) – I like wearing sandals while out exploring, except times where a lot of walking is on the cards, like a theme park day. Pack a comfortable and good quality pair of sandals that will go with every outfit.


Thongs or Flip Flops (two) – Here in Australia we call them thongs, but to everyone else in the world, you would probably know them as flip flops. These are great for almost any occasion, and an absolute must if you’re visiting a beachside location. I always pack two pairs of thongs, just incase.

Fancier Sandals or Heels (one) – If you’re planning a night or two out on the town, or even just out for a fancy dinner, don’t forget to pack a cute pair of heels. I personally don’t wear heels, because I’m far too uncoordinated and tall, so I just pack an extra pair of sandals instead!

Miscellaneous & Accessories

Plastic Bags and Sandwich Bags – Plastic bags are great for storing dirty shoes, clothes and underwear in your luggage. I always pack a few plastic bags, as well as some sandwich bags to store small bits and bobs. Sandwich bags are great for keeping chargers separated and toiletries organised.

Packing Cubes – These are a traveler’s best friend. Although they are mostly used by backpackers who travel with only the bag on their backs, I use them whenever I travel and I almost always have checked luggage. Packing cubes are great for keeping my suitcase organised, and makes it super easy to find exactly what I’m looking for.


Sun Protection – If you’re traveling to a hot location, a floppy hat or protective cap is a must. Don’t forget to pack a good quality pair of sunglasses too.

Packing List for Winter Seasons and Cold Climates

Your packing list for winter will include much heavier, bulkier and ultimately larger items. This will make it harder to remain under the weight limit for most airlines, so always make sure you’re just packing the essentials. Here are some of the things we suggest packing, if you’re traveling to a colder location.

A Packing List for First Time International Female Travelers | Rhiannon Travels

Clothing & Underwear

Long Sleeved Shirts (two) – Long sleeved shirts are great to pack when traveling to colder destinations. They are awesome for layering, can be super versatile and will keep you a lot warmer on a brisk and cold night.

Sweatshirt or Hoodie (two) – I have a hoodie obsession. No matter how many I currently have sitting unworn in my cupboard back home, I always buy more while traveling. I don’t know what it is, but it’s becoming a problem. Don’t be like me. Pack one or two comfortable, warm and versatile hoodies for the duration of your trip and try not to buy ten more while you’re there!


Full Length Leggings (two) – Lorna Jane’s full length leggings are probably my favourite clothing item of all time. I pretty much live in them during winter, and wear them every day while traveling. I generally wear one pair on the plane and pack the other in my suitcase.

Comfortable Jeans (one to two) – I’m personally not a fan of jeans, so I don’t normally pack any when I travel. But if you have a favourite pair or two that you love, bring them along! The more comfy and versatile the better.

Thermal Shirts (three) – Thermal shirts are great if you’re heading to much colder destinations, particular those in the snow. They will keep you much warmer than a regular long sleeve shirt, and are also great for layering.


Warm Coat or Jacket (one) – Even if you have to wear it on the plane, always pack a warm coat or jacket when traveling to cold locations. You may not wear it everyday or need it at all, but it’s always a good idea to pack one just incase.

Underwear (ten) – Depending on the type of accomodation you choose, you may have the convenience of a washing machine. If you do have access to a washing machine, you won’t need to pack as many pairs of underwear. Even if your accomodation doesn’t have laundry facilities, there will almost always be a public laundromat that you can use.

Bras (two) – I generally pack one proper bra and one sports bra when I travel. That way, I can either wear a full support bra, or a comfortable sports bra.
hug

Socks (five) – If you’re traveling to a colder location, you’ll more than likely need more pairs of socks, as you’ll be wearing enclosed shoes more often.

Pyjamas or Lazing Around Clothes (two) – I don’t normally walk around the house in an oversized basketball jersey during winter, that would be silly. Instead, I tend to wear oversized hoodies instead. Whatever your cold weather comfortable clothes are, pack a couple sets of them!

Footwear

Sneakers or Walking Shoes (one) – Whether or not you plan to do lots of hiking and hour long explorations through the jungle, it’s still a good idea to pack a comfortable pair of sneakers. These type of shoes also come in handy during cold weather, and you’ll more than likely be glad you packed them.

Comfortable Enclosed Shoes (one) – If you decide you don’t want to browse New York City wearing bright pink sneakers, perhaps opt for some more every day type shoes instead. Vans and Converse are great options, and come in a huge range of styles and colours.


Nice Boots (one) – When you’re not out exploring during the day and hiking up mountains, you’ll probably be going out to dinner and enjoying the night life. Pack a nice pair of boots to wear out at night – just make sure they’re still versatile!

Thongs or Flip Flops (one) – You probably won’t need thongs or flip flops for anywhere other than your hotel or accomodation, but it’s still a good idea to pack some just incase.

Sandals (one) – Even if you choose to travel to a colder destination, there may be a nice and sunny day or two throughout your stay. Be prepared and pack some cute sandals. They’re small and don’t take up too much space in a suitcase.

Miscellaneous & Accessories

Winter Accessories – If you’re traveling during winter, you’ll probably need a scarf, pair of gloves and a beanie. Even more so if you’re spending some time in a snowy location! Don’t forget to pack your favourite winter accessories.

Packing Cubes – You probably won’t fit as much in them, but packing cubes are still a must.


Plastic Bags and Sandwich Bags – Just like when packing for summer trips, plastic bags are great for storing dirty shoes, clothes and underwear in your luggage. I always pack a few plastic bags, as well as some sandwich bags to store small bits and bobs. Sandwich bags are great for keeping chargers separated and toiletries organised.

Packing List – Toiletries

Generally speaking, you can find most toiletries quite easily in most places around the world. Items such as shampoo, conditioner, hair dryers and soap are also fairly commonly provided by hotel rooms.

Toiletry Bag – I recommend buying a hanging toiletry bag that has clear, zipped compartments. This will make finding what you need much easier, and will also save space in your luggage and accomodation.

Moisturiser – I get dry skin all year round, even more so during the colder months of the year. Packing a good quality moisturiser is always an essential, and I don’t leave the country without one that I know works for me.

Travel Sized Bottles – Most hotels generally provide complimentary shampoo and conditioner, though, so double check with your accomodation before arriving. If they do not provide shampoo and conditioner, squeeze some from your full sized bottles at home into travel sized bottles!


Medication – Any essentials such as birth control, vitamins and pain killers for headaches, stomach aches and colds and flu. 

Toothbrush and Toothpaste I personally suggest packing your toothbrush and toothpaste in your carry on bag. That way you will be able to freshen up during your flight or when arriving at your destination. 

Sunscreen – You’ll generally be able to find sunscreen pretty easily in most parts of the world, but if you have sensitive skin or use a specific brand of sunscreen, remember to pack your own.

Deodorant Aerosol cans are not allowed in carry on luggage, so I suggest packing a roll-on instead. That way you can pack one deodorant in your carry on backpack and one in your checked luggage, without taking up too much space or causing issues when going through security. 


Makeup – I wear make up on most days while traveling, for no other reason than the fact that I enjoy it! Of course, I don’t go overboard, and only pack what I feel are essentials. Generally when it come to make up, I pack: mascara, concealer, loose powder, eye lash curler, bronzer and make up remover wipes. 

Personal Hygiene – Tampons can be hard to find in some countries, so it’s always best to bring your own just incase. Pads are generally much easier to find, so keep this in mind when packing for that time of the month. 

Hair Straightener – I always pack my hair straightener, regardless of where I’m traveling. I’m sure there are backpackers cringing right now, but I like my hair to be straight. Okay? Travel sized hair straighteners are a good alternative if you’d prefer to not pack a full sized one. 


Depending on where you’re traveling (especially in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand), it’s best to bring any medications in their original packaging, and take your prescription with you. Pain killers are pretty easy to find in most countries, so to avoid drama at the airport, consider purchasing these when you arrive.

Packing List – Carry On

Good Quality Backpack – If you are traveling with both checked luggage (that goes underneath the plane) and a carry on bag, be sure to purchase a good quality backpack. I guarantee it will not only be the perfect way to store all of your in-flight essentials, it will always come in handy while you’re out exploring each day.

Travel Wallet – These are great for keeping your passport, credit card, debit card, cash, boarding pass and all sorts of tickets in the same place. I have a travel wallet with a zip, so it’s essentially just a purse that has been specifically designed for travelers!


Passport – The most important possession you will have with you while traveling. Pack your passport first, then triple check that you’ve got it before heading to the airport. You won’t be able to leave the country without your passport.

Passport Holder – What better way to keep your passport safe, than in a cute passport holder? Some come with other card slots for storing a credit or debit card, and some just come with a pretty design on the front. Whichever you choose, you will rest easy knowing your most important possession is safe and sound.


Neck Pillow – These are available at the airport if you decide to purchase one at the last minute. We highly recommend memory foam neck pillows, not only for use on the plane, but also in hotel rooms and on longer duration public transport trips.

Travel Documents – Most travel documents are sent electronically these days. But it’s always a good idea to have a hard copy of all flight, hotel and ticket information, just incase. You can keep them in that travel wallet you just spontaneously purchased! 

Phone and Charger – Because, well, duh.

Laptop or Tablet and Charger – Whether you decide to take your full size laptop or just a tablet, make sure they are easy to take out of your carry on luggage when going through security. 


Headphones – Noise cancelling headphones are a must, especially on long haul international flights. I have a pair of over the ear, noise cancelling headphones and they’re great for blocking out sounds while on full flights.

Camera and Charger – Whether you’re a professional photographer or not, you will want to pack your camera. Don’t forget the charger and a protective case or camera bag to store it all in.


Spare Memory Cards – It’s always a good idea to bring a second or third memory card. Then you won’t need to worry about taking too many photos, and can snap away until your heart is content. 

Small Toiletry Bag – Pack a small, see-through toiletry bag for essentials like lip balm, tissues, deodorant, pain killers, birth control (if you use it), toothbrush, toothpaste and moisturiser. Remember all liquids must be in a travel size bottle.

Sanitising Wipes – These are perfect for freshening up during a long flight or wiping down your tray table and seat before sitting down or eating. Keep a small travel sized pack of sanitising wipes in your carry on backpack, and you won’t have to worry about cleanliness on flights ever again!


A Kindle or Book – Kindles are becoming more and more popular these days. They are great for travel, as it means you don’t need to lug around a thick, heavy book and can instead store hundreds of e-books on your very own Kindle!

Spare Outfit and Underwear – Touch wood this doesn’t happen to you, but lost luggage happens quite frequently. Although losing your luggage is a very annoying and upsetting situation, if you’re prepared, it won’t be as bad. Pack a spare outfit and underwear in your carry on bag, just incase. That way, if your luggage does get lost, you will still be able to freshen up in a nice clean outfit.

A Travel Adapter – Different countries use different plugs and adapters. We recommend purchasing a multi-country travel adapter, so you don’t need to purchase individual ones for each country you visit. Most even come with USB ports, for ultimate convenience!

Thongs or Flip Flops – If I’m not already wearing a pair of thongs on the plane, I like to keep some in my carry on bag just incase. They’re great for trips to the bathroom and to wear on a long airport layover.


A Warm and Comfortable Jacket – Planes can get very cold, especially on international flights. The further you travel, the higher you will fly; and the higher you fly, the colder the plane will be! I like to pack a warm jacket, regardless of the destination I’m traveling to.

Empty Water Bottle – Open and full beverages aren’t allowed through security, so bring along an empty water bottle to fill up while you wait. Then you’ll have plenty of fresh water to get you through your flight.

Snacks – I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but plane food sucks. Solve this issue by bringing your own delicious snacks. If you forget to pack some before arriving at the airport, there are a ton of stores that sell snacks before and after security, you’ll just have to pay a little extra.


Portable Wifi Device or Local Sim Card – A portable wifi device is the best way to ensure you will have internet almost anywhere you travel. For an alternative to portable wifi, consider purchasing a local sim card at the airport. You can find them in most terminals upon landing, and you’ll not only have data, but also credit to make phone calls and send text messages.


So there you have it, the ultimate packing list for females traveling internationally for the first time. Whether you’re visiting a hot or cold destination, I hope you learnt some new ways to pack efficiently and save space while doing so! Your packing list will vary depending on where you’re traveling, how long you’re staying, your accomodation and personal clothing choices. But generally speaking, these are the main essentials you should add to your own packing list!


Are you about to embark on your first international holiday? Have you written your packing list yet? Tell me in the comments below!

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A Packing List for International Female Travelers: A First Timer's Guide A Packing List for International Female Travelers: A First Timer's Guide

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

rhiannontravels

Rhiannon is a travel blogger from Adelaide, Australia. Together with her partner, they have been traveling the world for around two years, and hope to not only visit every country in the world one day, but also live in Japan. Rhiannon started this blog back in September 2016, and has been helping people just like you, travel the world with ease!

Ocean Vista on Alex: 2 Bedroom Apartment with Rooftop Spa – Mooloolaba QLD

Ocean Vista on Alex: 2 Bedroom Apartment with Rooftop Spa – Mooloolaba QLD

If you’re looking for the perfect Sunshine Coast accomodation location, Ocean Vista on Alex is definitely one to consider. Russell and I spent four nights at this Mooloolaba apartment, and we couldn’t have been happier. While researching accomodation on the Sunshine Coast, we knew we wanted to splurge a little if possible. We didn’t want to spend a fortune, but considering our time spent on the Sunshine Coast would fall on our two year anniversary, we wanted a little bit of luxury.


Ocean Vista on Alex isn’t luxurious per say, but it is extremely impressive for the price that we paid, and the location of the accomodation. Incase you’re wondering, no, we weren’t paid or sponsored for our stay here. I had always planned on writing a review about our experience staying at Ocean Vista on Alex and I’m happy to report, it’s going to be a fabulous one!

Ocean Vista on Alex: 2 Bedroom Apartment with Rooftop Spa - Mooloolaba QLD

Ocean Vista on Alex: 2 Bedroom Apartment with Rooftop Spa – Mooloolaba, Queensland

What style of Accomodation is Ocean Vista on Alex?

Ocean Vista on Alex is a self-contained apartment. This means, each apartment has a kitchen stocked with almost everything you will need to cook your own meals. Each apartment also has a laundry, with a washing machine and dryer. Self-contained apartments are great for families and groups of friends, as you have everything you need, conveniently located right in your room!

Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD

2 Bedroom Apartment with Rooftop Spa Self-Contained Apartment

Russell and I spent four nights on the Sunshine Coast. As I mentioned earlier, we specifically planned our stay to fall on our two year anniversary. We wanted somewhere that was relaxing, comfortable, clean and within walking distance to everything we needed.


We booked the 2 Bedroom Apartment with Rooftop Spa self-contained apartment, at Ocean Vista on Alex. As soon as we walked through the door, we were immediately impressed. Now, I am fully aware that this type of accommodation isn’t for everyone. Not every visitor to Australia can afford to splurge on accomodation, and would prefer to spend their money on other things. But Russell and I like to be comfortable. We like waking up to amazing views, and being within walking distance to all the essentials. Well, we got all of this and more at Ocean Vista on Alex!

Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD

Upon arriving, the hotel manager walked up the stairs to the reception desk, carrying a carton of beer. If that’s not Australia for ya, I don’t know what is. The coolest hotel manager I’ve ever met. We were a little bit too early, and unable to check in as our room was still being cleaned. That didn’t matter though – it gave us a chance to head down to the beach! Less than a 5 minute walk, and we were barefoot, walking along the beautiful Mooloolaba Beach.


An hour later, we headed back up to the hotel, and were shown to our room by the hotel manager. He was kind enough to also show us our private rooftop spa (which I’ll get to in a bit), as well as walking us directly to our room and giving us a brief overview of the things we needed to know.

What’s Included in the 2 Bedroom Apartment with Rooftop Spa Accomodation

The first thing I thought when walking into the room, was “Wow”. Paying extra for a little bit of luxury, is definitely worth it. We had a full-size kitchen stocked with utensils, pots and pans, plates, mugs, glasses, dishwashing liquid, tea towel, kettle, toaster, microwave, fridge, oven, stove, coffee, tea and more.

Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD

Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD

One of the aspects of Ocean Vista on Alex that appealed to us, was the private spa that’s included in all rooftop apartments. Our room was located on level 3 (the top level) so all we had to do was walk up two short flights of stairs, and we were our our very own rooftop, decked out with an incredible spa, deck chairs, dining table, sink and barbecue. As I mentioned earlier, we stayed at Ocean Vista on Alex for four nights, and we spent at least an hour each night, enjoying the incredible views from our very own private rooftop spa. Absolutely worth the bit of extra money – especially for a special occasion!

Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD

Note: Hotel management requests that guests vacate the spa area by 10pm each night. Be sure to take all your belongings with you when you leave, and turn off the spa and any lights.


Our room had two bedrooms, which we weren’t aware of when booking. We obviously didn’t need two bedrooms, as it was just Russell and I. But for a family or group of friends, the second bedroom is perfect! In the main lounge room, there’s a ceiling fan as well as reverse cycle air-conditioning. The main bedroom also has a ceiling fan, lamps on both sides of the kind bed, a large sliding built in wardrobe with mirrored doors and a second storage cupboard.

Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD

The bathroom has a large shower/spa, wall-length bench top with sink and obviously, a toilet. The second bathroom (located in the same area as the laundry) has a shower and bench top with sink. Using this second bathroom will incur an extra fee for cleaning. The room does include small tubes of shampoo and conditioner, as well as small packets of bar soap. I decided to purchase my own bottles of shampoo and conditioner, though.

Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD

Over the four nights at Ocean Vista on Alex, we paid a total of $790. Although this might seem like a lot, like I mentioned earlier, we like to be comfortable. Our apartment was definitely worth the cost, and I would stay again in a heartbeat! The view was absolutely incredible, from both our balcony and the rooftop spa. Of course, there’s also a pool that can be used by all guests. We only used the pool once, but it was the perfect temperature!

Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD

Note: Each room is also allocated one carpark, which in located in the garage underneath the building. There’s a driveway to the left of the reception, and a gate which you’ll need a garage key to enter. When checking in, you’ll receive your room key with garage remote attached! The parking cost in free/included in room fee!

Convenient Location to Beach & Shops

Ocean Vista on Alex is conveniently located almost right across the road from Mooloolaba Beach. Hence, the somewhat hefty price-tag. Not only are you less than 5 minutes away from the beach, Ocean Vista on Alex is also under 10 minutes away from the heart of Mooloolaba. You’ll find a supermarket (Coles) and liquor store (BWS), as well as a ton of restaurants, cafes, clothing stores, souvenir stores and much more. There’s plenty to see and do on Mooloolaba Beach, and all within walking distance of Ocean Vista on Alex – bonus!

Ocean Vista on Alex: Deluxe Rooftop with Spa - Mooloolaba QLD

We walked to Coles numerous times and picked up some groceries. It was great having our own self-contained kitchen. I was able to make myself some toast and a coffee each morning, like I do every day back home in Adelaide! Definitely gave our stay a very homely feel, with a luxurious touch.


A few minutes drive down the road, is Maroochydore. Here you’ll find a shopping centre with a huge amount of stores including Kmart, supermarkets, restaurants and cafes. There’s also a ton of dessert stores, so if you have a sweet tooth, I recommend paying a visit to Maroochydore. You can catch public transport from Mooloolaba Beach to Maroochydore, otherwise it’s a very scenic 45 minute walk from Ocean Vista on Alex to Sunshine Plaza Shopping Centre!

Distance from Ocean Vista on Alex to Popular Attractions

Mooloolaba is relatively close to a lot of popular tourist attractions in Queensland. We hired a car the day we arrived, which we booked a few weeks prior. This is the best way to experience everything that Queensland has to offer, and especially if you’re hoping to head from the Sunshine Coast to Surfers Paradise.

Here are the rough travel times by car, from Ocean Vista on Alex to some of Queensland’s most popular attractions:

Australia Zoo – 30 minutes
Noosa Beach – 40 minutes
Brisbane City – 80 minutes
Surfers Paradise – 2 hours

Related: Spend a A Day at Australia Zoo

Our Final Thoughts on Ocean Vista on Alex

Both Russell and I loved our time at Ocean Vista on Alex. The hotel apartment had a very relaxing and laid back atmosphere, the staff were very friendly and helpful and the location was incredible. It’s important to note that it is beachside accomodation, so there was some rust and parts that were worn and torn. But that’s a given for any accomodation, no matter where in the world you visit. Please don’t let something as small as some torn outdoor seats or tiny bit of general wear and tear, stop you from enjoying your stay at Ocean Vista on Alex.


Of course, I can only comment on the room that we stayed in (2 Bedroom Apartment with Rooftop Spa), but I feel confident in saying that all of the other rooms at the Ocean Vista on Alex would be clean, tidy and taken care of for guests to enjoy a comfortable and relaxing visit.

For more information about Ocean Vista on Alex and viewing/booking one of their rooms, click here.


Have you visited Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast before? Tell me about your trip in the comments below!

Related: Check out the rest of our Australia archives

Did you like this post? Pin it for later or share with friends!

Ocean Vista on Alex: 2 Bedroom Apartment with Rooftop Spa - Mooloolaba QLD Ocean Vista on Alex: 2 Bedroom Apartment with Rooftop Spa - Mooloolaba QLD


rhiannontravels

Rhiannon is a travel blogger from Adelaide, Australia. Together with her partner, they have been traveling the world for around two years, and hope to not only visit every country in the world one day, but also live in Japan. Rhiannon started this blog back in September 2016, and has been helping people just like you, travel the world with ease!

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

Back in June 2015, I left Australia for my very first solo travel adventure. I had spent a long time trying to find a reliable and decently priced company to travel with, and finally came across Contiki. Given that it was my first time traveling overseas by myself, I wanted everything to be taken care of for me, leaving me with absolutely nothing to worry or stress about. If you would prefer to have everything planned for you, choosing a Contiki tour is definitely the way to go.

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

I’m gonna throw this out there straight away: Contiki tours aren’t for everybody. You need to have an open mind to fully enjoy everything that Contiki has to offer. But if you’re up for a good time, want to explore a new city or country with a bunch of strangers, keep reading! I’m about to share everything you should be aware of before embarking on a Contiki tour.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour

Once you first open the Contiki website, you’ll see a tab on the left hand side that says trips. By clicking this link, you can between all of the Contiki tours using a few different filters. If you already know which part of the world you would like to visit, you can select that region to make life even easier!

Some quick facts about Contiki

Here are some quick facts about Contiki, just to give you a bit of an idea as to what they’re all about, and whether Contiki is going to be the perfect tour company for you!

Contiki tours are for ages 18 to 35 only

Contiki tours are made for the younger generation, and only people aged between 18 and 35 will be allowed. Contiki tours have a very heavy party scene vibe about them, which is perfect for the age bracket.

Contiki travels to six continents 

Almost anywhere you wish to travel, Contiki can take you there. Contiki tours stretch across the world; and choosing to travel with Contiki means you’ll have a choice between: Australia, Europe, United States, Asia, Canada and New Zealand.

Over 300 different trips available across the world

Choosing the region you want to travel is only the first difficult decision you’ll have to make. Once you’ve picked where you want to go, you now need to choose a tour! There are over 300 different trips to choose from, traveling to countries all over the world. Good luck narrowing down your huge bucket list!

The regions that Contiki travels to

Contiki tours cover most of the popular continents around the world. Going from one tour to the next, will allow you to visit lots of incredible places around the world, and have a totally different experience every time. Below are the countries and continents that Contiki travels to.

Europe

Europe is one of the most popular Contiki destinations. Most travelers choose to do a Contiki tour across Europe, because you’re able to visit so many countries in a short amount of time. You’ll stay in a wide range of accomodation from hotels and hostels to boats and tents.


Most Contiki tours throughout Europe are bus tours. That means you’ll be traveling across the country by road as opposed to flying in and out of cities each day. Bus tours aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they’re a great way to see as much as possible!

Australia

Australia is another awesome country for road trips. This means, a lot of the tours across my wonderful country, are on the Contiki bus!

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

Mooloolaba Beach on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

You’ll visit almost every inch of Australia, including Sydney, Queensland and even the Northern Territory. Experience Uluru or climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Contiki ensures the sky is the limit on your adventure to Australia!

United States of America & Canada

The Contiki tour that I did was in the United States. I did the Best of USA tour, and it was so much fun! I lived my dream of visiting New York City, finally made it to San Francisco, and partied in Las Vegas. Tours throughout the USA and Canada provide pretty comfortable accomodation.


The United States and Canada are also very bus tour heavy. You’ll find that most of the tours are on-road ones, meaning you’ll be traveling from state to state on a huge bus, pimped out with Contiki in huge letters on each side.

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

The catamaran cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, that Contiki organised for us. The Best of USA tour takes you to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York City!

New Zealand

Explore the beautiful New Zealand on-road, on Contiki’s awesome pimped out bus. With four different ways to travel (see below), accomodation in comfortable hotels plus fancy, Special Stays, you’re sure to have the time of your life.

Asia

Staying in comfortable accomodation, explore Asia from one end to the other. From Japan to China, Thailand and Cambodia – you’ll see it all. Traveling across Asia with Contiki means a combination of on-road and flights between cities.

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

The Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan. I didn’t visit Japan on a Contiki tour, but I highly recommend doing so! Japan is an incredible country.

Latin America

Visit beautiful countries like Brazil, Peru and Belize on Contki’s Latin America tours. You’ll stay in unique and comfortable accomodation, with flights between cities to save on time.

Enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu in Peru or being at the base of Christ the Redeemer in Rio. There’s tons of incredible things to see and do in Latin America, and Contiki does all of the planning and organising for you. All you have to do is have fun!


Clicking on one of the above regions will bring you to a new page, listing all of the seperate tours within that country or continent. If you’re unsure which region you’d like to visit but have a particular travel style, there’s a filter for this as well!

The types of travel that Contiki offers

Contiki offers a wide range of different tours, that will suit almost any type of traveler. Whether you want to party hard for two weeks in a row or take it slow and travel at your own pace. There are so many choices, you won’t know where to begin your search! Here are the eight different types of tours that are available with Contiki.

Independent Insider

The Independent Insider trips are perfect for anyone who wants to stay in control of what they do and where they go. These tours offer a lot more freedom than others, so they’re perfect for someone who doesn’t want to travel with a strict itinerary.

Camping

The Camping tours are only available in Europe, but they are perfect for someone who enjoys nature. With the opportunity to visit multiple countries over a short period of time, it’s the perfect way to fully experience everything Europe has to offer.

Discoverer

This type of travel is perfect for someone who enjoys lots of adventure and ticking off lots from your bucket list. If you’re hoping to see and do as much as possible while on Contiki, the Discoverer tours are perfect! The Discoverer tours are available in all countries and continents that Contiki travels to.

High Energy

The High Energy Contiki tours are perfect for anyone who loves to party. You’ll visit all the major sites in a short amount of time, then party the night away – most of the time in a brand new city! The High Energy tours are available in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and Latin America.

In-Depth Explorer

In-Depth Explorer tours are for travelers who enjoy history and really getting to know a city. You’ll have your own time to explore beyond where Contiki takes you. If you’re hoping to see more than the most popular tourist attractions, the In-Depth Explorer tours are for you. The In-Depth Explorer tours are available in all countries and continents that Contiki travels to.

Short Trips & Festivals

Perfect for people who love to have fun and party the night away. The Short Trips and Festivals tours are available in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America. Bring in the New Year in a totally different country while you dance the night away!

Winter & Ski

Dreaming of a white Christmas in New York City? How about skiing or snowboarding down a mountain in Europe? If so, the Winter and Ski tours are perfect. These tours are available in Europe, the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

Seeing snow for the first time, in Nagano, Japan. *This wasn’t during a Contiki tour

Sailing, Cruise & Beach

If you’re someone who dreams of laying on the sand in the Whitsundays or enjoying Santorini’s breathtaking views, these tours are calling your name. The Sailing, Cruise & Beach tours are available in Europe, Asia and Australia.


This is a cool way to narrow down your options, especially for people who would prefer a winter trip over a summer trip, or an adventurous trip over an easy-going one. Choose the style of travel that suits you, and you’ll have a list of suitable tours right in front of your eyes!


You can also filter your search by length of trip, departure date and the budget you’ve given yourself. For instance, if you’re only willing to spend up to $3,000 and want to travel for two weeks, select both of these options in the right hand column, and all of the available tours with those specifics will be listed for you!

Review the tour you’ve chosen

Once you’ve picked the tour that’s right for you,  a new page will open with all the information you need to lock in your selection. At the top of the page you will find:

  • The name of the tour you’ve chosen
  • The countries you will be visiting
  • Some tours will take you to more than one country, such as any North America based tours!)
  • Duration of the tour
  • Cost of the tour
  • Amount of money you save through Contiki

When you scroll down, you’ll come to the itinerary section and all of the awesome things included in your Contiki Tour cost! The itinerary tells you how many days you spend in each city, what you’ll be doing as part of the tour group, and the inclusions and ‘me time’ that are offered.


Note: You get a certain amount of ‘Me Time’ each day. This means, most of the time you’re traveling, you’ll be given either half a day or a full day to go off and explore on your own. Everyone has a list of things they want to see while traveling, and those things may not be included on the itinerary that Contiki has created for you.

This is where your Me Time comes in! On those free days, head off on your own (or with your new friends) and visit those places that are on your bucket list! Contiki has a huge range of suggestions too, if you’re unsure of where to start.

If you keep scrolling down the page, you’ll come to the ‘What’s Included’ section. This tells you how many nights accomodation you’re paying for, information about your Tour Manager and Driver, how many meals are included, the cool extras that you can experience at a discounted price, Me Time suggestions and transport information.

Once you’re ready to book

Next comes the exciting part. Once you’ve chosen your dream tour, it’s time to book. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see a button that says ‘Book Trip’. Clicking this button will open a pop-up page with a calendar. Here, you’ll be given the available dates that your tour will be running. Choose an appropriate time of year, and follow the prompts! You’ll be jetting off on the trip of a lifetime before you know it!

Things You Should Know & Tips for your First Contiki Tour

Now that you’ve booked your trip, I’m sure you’re wondering what to expect when you arrive at your first destination. Right? Duh, of course you are! I know I was.

Contiki is well known for its party scene, people getting drunk and passing out on Hollywood Boulevard (okay, maybe that was just me), and crazy antics that no one ever remembers the next day. Sure, that’s all true. But there are so many other cool experiences you’ll have if you choose to book a Contik tour.


I didn’t know what to expect when I stepped foot into my hotel in Downtown Los Angeles at the beginning of June 2015. I had done quite a bit of research prior to my trip, and I had joined a Facebook group started for my specific Tour group, but I was still somewhat in the dark about what Contiki was really all about. So here are some things you should know, to prepare you for your first Contiki Tour!

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

I lived my dream of visiting New York City on the Best of USA Contiki tour. I’ll always remember the moment I stepped out into Times Square for the very first time!

People do drink – a lot

The rumours are true, there’s a lot of alcohol involved in the world of Contiki. But that’s okay. Whether you drink alcohol or not, you can still have an epic time. Your tour group will consist of a wide range of people. There will be some who enjoy a cocktail each day with breakfast, and some who decide not to drink at all.


Once you’re settled in and start mingling with the people in your group, you’ll find the people who you click with the most and have more in common with. Stick to what your gut is telling you. Don’t fall into the trap of ‘trying to fit in’. It isn’t high school. You’re with a group of adults who are there to have an amazing and memorable time – just like you!

There will be differences of opinion

Being thrown into a group of people from all over the world and different ages and personalities, there’s bound to be clashing amongst one another. But if you’re mature about it and don’t let it ruin your trip, you’ll be fine. You may be in a group environment, meeting new people and making new friends, but it’s still YOUR trip. So don’t let anybody pressure you into doing something you’re not keen on. Do your own thing, and you can always catch up with your new friends later!

Your group will probably be mostly younger people

The first thing I noticed when my group started to roll in on the night before our Contiki tour officially started, was that we were all on the younger end of the scale. Considering the age bracket for Contiki is eighteen to thirty five, the small amount of older group members was surprising.

Something else that surprised me, was the fact that most of the members in my group were Australian! I was expecting to walk in and be greeted by people from all over the world. That wasn’t the case in my particular Contiki group unfortunately!

Make the most of your me time

One of the things I didn’t like about Contiki, was the lack of Me Time. Sure, on the longer trips you get quite a few days to explore and do your own thing. But most of the time, there’s a set time you need to be back to attend group events and things you’ve already paid for. If there’s something that you’re dying to see, make it a priority on one of these Me Time days.


Head out first thing in the morning (sleep is for the weak!) and cross it off your list first. You can then plan the rest of your free time accordingly. Spending as much time heading out exploring the city and crossing off those bucket list items, will ensure you make the most of all your time on Contiki!

Take plenty of spending money

The inclusions and even the ‘extras’ that are listed on the Contiki website or in one of their booklets, aren’t the be all and end all of your trip. Those booklets and the website aren’t updated regularly, so there’s bound to be some opportunities that present themselves, that you wouldn’t have planned on.


For example, while we were in New York City during the Best of USA Contiki tour, our lovely tour manager Steph, gave us the opportunity to go to a Yankees game! This wasn’t something that I had anticipated happening, but lucky I had enough spending money with me to be able to go. Don’t be caught short if something cool comes up. You’ll definitely regret it later! It’s always a good idea to have more money than you think you’ll need. Remember, you can always convert it back when you get home!

Related: Click here to read about my 5 days in New York City

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

Pack light

The Best of USA tour isn’t like other Contiki tours. Most are road trip style. You know, where you’re stuck on a bus most of the day or night, on your way to the next destination. This is cool if you like a good road trip, especially in a place you’ve never been. But I personally loved the fact that being an air travel tour, we had more time up our sleeves in each city, as our travel time was significantly shortened.


Whether you’re doing a bus or plane tour, it’s always a good idea to pack as light as possible. Not only will is cause less back aches and sore arms from carrying all your luggage, but you’ll also have lots of room to shop!

Tipping is sometimes included in the cost

If you’re new to the concept of tipping, don’t worry, sometimes a percentage of this is covered in the cost you pay upfront for your Contiki Tour. However, you will still need to tip for your own personal meals and any services that you receive when you are not with your group. So make sure you’ve got plenty of small bills on you to cover the cost of individual tipping. In a lot of countries, tipping is essential.

Some of your meals are included

Meals also tend to be included in the overall cost of your Tour. Most of the time, breakfast is one of those included meals. This gives you the chance to fuel up for a busy day of exploring, shopping and drinking! Dinner is also another frequently included meal. Usually, you’ll eat dinner out at a fancy restaurant with your group and tour manager! Most of the time, however, you’re on your own when it comes to lunch.

Always, always make sure you’re on time

This is super important! On the first night of the Best of USA tour, Steph (our tour manager) told us how important it was to be on time. Generally, you spend each day in a new city with your tour manager and tour group. Your tour tanager will give you a specific time to be up, ready and waiting in the lobby to leave for the day’s activities.


If you’re late, the group will leave without you. You’ll then need to find your own way to the first activity for the day (or the airport if it’s a travel day!). This can be especially difficult if you’re in a city you’re unfamiliar with – so always make sure you set plenty of alarms the night before!


I remember on my Best of USA tour, one of the guys in my group was late back to the bus after the couple of hours of free time exploring Hollywood. Our tour manager gave us a specific time to be back on the bus, and after waiting ten minutes with no sign of him, the bus left. He had to make his way from Hollywood to Santa Monica Beach on his own. Always make sure you set alarms for everything, to avoid being caught in this situation!

Related: Read about my experience on the Best of USA Contiki Tour, here

[bctt tweet=”Here are some tips and tricks for anyone planning their first @contiki tour! ” username=”rhiannontravels”]


Everyone has a different experience on their Contiki trip. Whether you’re a heavy partier or prefer to spend your free time exploring museums, the point of Contiki is to give you the freedom of choice. I would recommend Contiki for someone who is relatively new to travel. It’s also a great way to meet people if you’re a solo traveller.


Have you done a Contiki tour before? Which one did you do? Tell me what you thought in the comments below! 

Did you like this post? Pin it or share it with your friends!

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I will always only share my 100% honest opinion, and will never endorse a product or company that I would not personally use.

Originally published in February 2017. Updated January 2018
rhiannontravels

Rhiannon is a travel blogger from Adelaide, Australia. Together with her partner, they have been traveling the world for around two years, and hope to not only visit every country in the world one day, but also live in Japan. Rhiannon started this blog back in September 2016, and has been helping people just like you, travel the world with ease!