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Stationery TEFL courses are probably the best option for those wanting to teach in Thailand. They normally give you much more information than the online studies, you have an opportunity to talk to experienced teachers and sometimes you can even get a job through your TEFL course provider.

That was my first choice. I chose SEE TEFL in Chiang Mai, which I was very happy with. I learned so much about Thailand and Thai people, and they prepared me for my first job at a local college. They also helped me to navigate around visas and formalities.

If you have some time to spare and money then I would recommend doing a stationary TEFL course.

Why is it worth doing a stationary TEFL course?

The biggest advantage of a stationary TEFL course is the fact that you have a direct contact with experienced teachers who have already taught in a school before.

During your studies, you will have an opportunity to practice grammar and learn methodology as well as teach a couple of classes.

I also think that it’s important to have an additional certificate. In Thailand, it is not required by law, but your future employer most probably will demand a proof of a TEFL course. If you’re not a native speaker, the certificate will improve your chances of finding an employment.

What should your TEFL course include?

A good TEFL course should include:

  • Grammar review – you should spend some time doing grammar exercises and reviewing theory.
  • Listening, speaking, reading, pronunciation lessons – you should learn how to teach every aspect of the English language.
  • Methodology – this is the most important part. You should learn how to teach, what methods to use for listening, speaking, vocabulary and grammar lessons. Methodology might be different depending on the country you want to teach in, so it’s quite a good idea to do your TEFL course in that particular country.
  • Discipline – this is quite important in Thailand. Thai students can be quite naughty and a teacher cannot get too stressed and raised their voice as they might lose face. That’s why keeping up discipline in your class might be tricky sometimes. Your TEFL course should show you how to do it, so you keep your honor and don’t allow your students to do whatever they want during your lessons.
  • Practice – this was crucial to me. I had never taught before and I really wanted to get some experience. SEE TEFL provided me with 2 weeks of teaching practices in different schools with different age groups. I could also add these hours to my CV as my experience.
  • 120 hours of learning – at the moment most employers want you to have a TEFL certificate with this exact amount of learning. If you have less, you might not get a job that easily.
Where to do your TEFL course?

The most famous stationary TEFL course is the one offered by Trinity College in the UK. However, this is quite expensive, especially if you don’t permanently live in London.

If you want to teach in Thailand, then the best option is to do it in the Land of Smiles. Thailand is a country with different culture and different way of life. It’s important that you understand the rules before you get your first job.

A stationary course in Thailand lasts a whole month. It’s also not cheap, but you can save some money on accommodation and food. In the UK you’re not able to find a room for 100 GBP a month and that’s possible in Thailand.

The best stationary TEFL courses

There are a lot of TEFL courses on the market. Which one to choose?

Thailand

SEE TEFL, Chiang Mai – my number one! I loved my time with them. They also found me my first job and helped me with formalities. I didn’t have to worry about anything. They also looked after me for 3 years and I still keep in touch with them and visit them whenever I’m in Chiang Mai.

CMU Chiang Mai – they guarantee finding a job after the course.

IH Bangkok – they also guarantee to find a job after the course. The certificate is accredited by Cambridge University. This course is much more expensive then the previous two and the price for one month is $2,100.

Europe

British Council – one of the advantages of doing a TEFL with them is that you can find a better-paid job with them. They also work with schools and place their graduates there.

Trinity College – the most famous TEFL course. You don’t need to do your TEFL in London. You can choose one of the schools that are accredited by them around the world.

London School of English – the TEFL certificate from this school is accredited by British Council, which gives you a chance of working for BC somewhere in the world.

In my opinion, stationery TEFL courses give you a much better chance to learn something than courses online, which are cheaper, but not as advanced. If you’re seriously thinking of getting a teaching job in Thailand this should be your choice number one.

The post Get qualified to teach in Thailand: Stationary TEFL courses appeared first on The Blond Travels.

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Chiang Mai is a place where it’s good to slow down and relax. During the day you can spend your time shopping in various boutiques and malls, or drink coffee in a beautiful and stylish cafe. And when the sun sets you can head to one of the bars in the city and mingle with the locals. After all, what’s better than a cool beverage after a hot day?

Chiang Mai offers many places for having a drink and rooftop bars is the latest craze. Nowadays, they pop up everywhere in the city, attracting their customers with good quality cocktails and good views. Below you will find the best rooftop bars in Chiang Mai. Don’t miss visiting at least one of them during your stay!

EN: One Day in Chiang Mai

“One Day in Chiang Mai” is the essential guide for a short trip to Thailand’s Rose of the North. This handy ebook guide includes 13 of the most fun and interesting things to see in Chiang Mai as well as recommendations for restaurants, cafés and accommodation. Make the most out of your trip and Find out more!

Maya Rooftop Bars and Restaurants

Maya Mall is the most modern and newest shopping centre in Chiang Mai. From the outside it looks very impressive, especially during the night, with its colourful fountains and lights. Inside it’s full of stylish shops. If you’re not familiar with this place, you won’t probably know that on the rooftop you will find many great places to eat and drink. They usually remind me of the bars in London – all stylish and expensive, offering fancy cocktails and dishes. It’s a great place for a date and for a New Year’s Eve Party (but book early as the bars get booked very quickly).

Come here for a sunset and then stay for a drink and a live music concert.

Directions: Map

THC Rooftop Bar

A favourite among young backpackers, who come here to enjoy cool ambience of this place. You have to enter the bar from the street and climb set of stairs going through empty rooms, illuminated by fluorescent lights. It might be a bit creepy, but once you get to the top, you won’t regret it. The view is not that impressive, but the atmosphere, good music and cheap drinks make up for it.

Find out what to do next! Read about the best clubs and bars in Chiang Mai. 

Woods Bar A cool drink on a rooftop? That’s what I like, especially after getting a bad sun burn!

Probably my favourite rooftop bar in Chiang Mai. I had discovered it just before I left the city and I regret not going there before. The bar offers magnificent views over the nearby streets and the mountains. It also has a swimming pool, which makes it a great place for some photos. The staff here is very cool and laid back, but also really pleasant. They organise concerts and events, so follow them on Facebook to be up to date.

EN: One Day in Chiang Mai

“One Day in Chiang Mai” is the essential guide for a short trip to Thailand’s Rose of the North. This handy ebook guide includes 13 of the most fun and interesting things to see in Chiang Mai as well as recommendations for restaurants, cafés and accommodation. Make the most out of your trip and Find out more!

Yayee Visit Yayee for a stylish and delicious cocktail!

This place is hidden in Nimmen and is a good place to meet your friends, or set up a Tinder date. They serve amazing cocktails and some good food. Although pricey, Yayee would be great to start your night out.

The post 4 awesome rooftop bars in Chiang Mai appeared first on The Blond Travels.

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I have been in Europe for a while now. You have probably noticed that I still write about Thailand and on my social media, it’s all about Europe. I have a huge backlog of posts about the Land of Smiles, so trying to catch up on those, but since I’m on the old continent, I have been traveling a little and planning some more trips.

So, I have actively searched through blog posts and Pinterest posts in a lookout for inspiration. Recently I have found an article about luxury homes in Italy and have decided that I need to treat myself somehow this year and go to some places I have never been before. To give myself an extra boost I have decided to create my own list of my top dream vacations in Europe, start saving money and visit these places before I go back to Thailand again.

So, here you go – my personal bucket list for Europe! Don’t forget to comment and let me know where you would like to go this year.

Reynisfjara Beach – Iceland

Iceland seems to be the top destination for travelers nowadays. I actually want to visit the whole of Iceland, but this place got stuck in my mind. When I first saw a picture of it, I was in love straight away. What a view! The sandy beach is surrounded by tall rocky columns and the waves here are huge. From nearby Dyrholey – a pillar of black lava – you can see distant glaciers. It looks really romantic. I am even prepared to brave the cold weather to be able to see the dramatic landscape.

Tuscany – Italy Old typical farm in Val d’Orcia (Tuscany, Italy) with yellow fields and winding road

I’ve always dreamed of going to Tuscany. Italy was my first foreign destination. I visited Rome and in the hotel lobby saw that it was possible to go to Tuscany and that it’s not that far from the capital. Unfortunately, at that time I was traveling on a budget and had a limited time. I went back home feeling in awe of Rome but also disappointed because I couldn’t see the other places I liked.

Now I can afford more and I can spend more time abroad, so I think that this year I will go to Tuscany and will rent a luxury villa there. It would be a great present for myself for my birthday!

Madrid – Spain

I sometimes see a place in a magazine, or on tv and I love it so much that I decide to go there. It happened with Tuscany and it was the same with Madrid.

I once was looking for places to go in Europe and I found pictures of Madrid. I have been dreaming of going there ever since. Madrid doesn’t seem to have impressive historical sites, but it has a lot of culture. There are museums, galleries and events take place almost every day. I have recently heard from one of my students that Salvadore Dali used to study at a university there and as it’s my favourite painter, I want to go even more!

Faro – Portugal Ocean view from the cave at Praia do Beliche

This summer I am ready to discover Portugal. I have a whole list of places to see and things to do there. Living here gives me a great opportunity to visit the whole of the country. I heard that Faro is very busy during the summer, so I might wait until it is a bit quieter, but I cannot miss the chance of going there! I would love to see the yellow cliffs and the blue water. There are also some local attractions that look great and would keep me busy during my stay.

Budapest – Hungary

It is a shame to admit, but I have never been to Hungary. There are frequent flights from the UK and Poland, so I have had a chance to do it many times and yet I have never taken it. Since I am now living in Europe, I have decided that this year is the year! I really need to go there. I also heard that Budapest is an ideal destination for digital nomads, offering affordable cost of living, lots of coworking spaces and fast internet. Sounds like a perfect place for me!

London – UK Westminster Bridge at sunset, London, UK

If you follow this blog, you know that I lived in London for 10 years and quite recently I have visited it. I enjoyed my time so much that I really would like to go there again. Why? I think the city has a lot to offer to travelers. Yes, it is expensive and sometimes a little overwhelming, but overall it’s exciting and beautiful. I love to discover some unknown spots in the city and I really would like to do it more often.

Berlin – Germany

I visited Berlin only once before when I was still at school. I heard that the city has changed a lot and it’s now a hub for young and talented. I would like to go for a few days and experience the vibe of the city. This time I would avoid all the historical places and only focus on culture and food.

To be honest my list of places to see this year is very long. I have at least 10 more destinations there, but these are my top seven. For the time being, I have been traveling quite extensively and I hope that I will have time and money to tick at least a few items from the above list.

And what about you? What destinations do you want to visit this year? Remember to leave a comment!

The post My 7 top dream vacations in Europe appeared first on The Blond Travels.

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From my observation, it appears that almost everyone can become a teacher in Thailand. All you need is a good appearance and a university diploma. In the Kingdom, the TEFL course is not formally required by law, but it is worth having it especially if you do not have a passport from one of the countries where English is the official language. Schools look favorably at those who can present a certificate of this course completion and the chances of employment are much higher.

You should consider completing a TEFL course among other things that you need to do before moving to Thailand. It will help you with finding your first job and dealing with Thai reality.

Here’s what you should know about TEFL courses.

What is the TEFL course?

The abbreviation TEFL stands for Teaching English for Foreign Languages (note: do not confuse it with TOEFL, which is an exam in English) and this is a course that prepares you for the job of a teacher.

TEFL lasts for a month. During this time students review English grammar, learn methodology and discipline in the classroom. Classes also cover issues such as teaching listening comprehension, pronunciation, as well as preparing lesson plans, games and activities for the youngest students.

Completing the TEFL course allows you to work not only in Thailand but in countries around the world. It is definitely a good investment if you dream about traveling and living abroad.

Why do you need a TEFL course?

The TEFL course increases the chances of employment in Thai schools. Institutions that are serious about education and the teachers they employ require TEFL certificates for their employees. Also, in major cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai, most schools are more willing to hire teachers on a course.

There is a chance that you will also get a job without a certificate but finding it may take a little longer or you will be forced to move somewhere outside the larger urban centers and give up the entertainment and comforts you got used to.

The TEFL course is especially useful for so-called non-native speakers or people whose English is not the first language. If you do not have a British or a US passport, you can have problems finding employment in Bangkok or Chiang Mai without a TEFL certificate. Your earnings will also depend on whether you have a TEFL certificate or not. The more qualifications you have, the better.

Where can you do TEFL course?

There are several ways to complete the TEFL course. You can choose a slightly longer and more expensive route and complete a full-time course or you can pay a bit less, save time and get an online certificate.

Stationary TEFL courses

Stationary TEFL courses are not the cheapest. It is a daily study and it contains between 120 and 240 hours of learning, so the price often exceeds $1,000. However, the price is one of the few drawbacks of such courses. If you choose a reliable and proven company, you will learn a lot in a month. Direct contact with the lecturer, ability to practice lessons in a real classroom and the experience offered by TEFL full-time tuition are just some of the good parts of this learning type.

You can complete stationary courses in Europe or in Thailand. I especially recommend the last option, because the course made on the spot will allow you to get to know the local culture, language, customs in schools, and also give you a chance to find a job sooner.

I did my TEFL course in Thailand at SEE TEFL, which was not always a great experience for me as a future teacher, but also gave me an opportunity to meet new people, get to know the city and Thai culture. I highly recommend it!

EN: SEE TEFL

This 4 Week TEFL Training Course in Chiang Mai will prepare you to teach English as a foreign language. Thanks to SEE TEFL’s job guarantee for graduates as well as classes on Thai language and culture you won’t find a better course to kickstart your new life as an English teacher.

Online courses

At the moment, you will find many online courses on the market that also guarantee the acquisition of the TEFL certificate. They contain the same number of hours of study and cost much less (from $200- $500). By doing this course, you save time and money.

The downside of online courses is that they do not include internships in schools and you do not have the opportunity to practice your newly acquired skills. Courses often offer care and an experienced teacher, but you have to convert a very large part of the material yourself. Such system is certainly good for those who already were in Thailand and know a bit about local culture and customs.

How to choose a TEFL course

If you are serious about learning in Thailand and want to be a good teacher, then it is worth investing some time and energy in finding a good course. It took me a few weeks to find something that suited me. I know that making decisions is often stress-related, and because the cost of the course is quite high, there are always doubts whether the money is well-invested or not. That’s why I’ve created a short list of things to consider when choosing a TEFL course.

My experience

I did my TEFL course in Thailand. It took me a good few months before I came across something that suited me. On the one hand, I was tempted by beaches and companies offering TEFL courses in places like Phuket. On the other hand, I knew that I would be terribly lazy there. That’s why I gave up on a tropical island and chose SEE TEFL in Chiang Mai. 

The post All you need to know about TEFL courses for teaching in Thailand appeared first on The Blond Travels.

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Becoming a teacher in Thailand is relatively easy, but in order to make the whole process run quickly and smoothly, you need to prepare for it.

Even if you are going to the Land of Smiles in a year, it is worth starting the preparations right now. Below you will find a list of what you should have and do before you go to Thailand.

Moving to the Land of Smile does not have to be stressful. All you have to do is organize yourself well and make all things clear before you go.

Start preparations as early as possible. Make a list of things to do. Divide them into important ones and the ones that can wait a bit. Gradually draw from the list the points that you managed to do. Do not put off anything for later. The sooner you deal with the formalities, the better.

Documents

First, check if you have the right qualifications to become a teacher in Thailand. If you have them, prepare the following documents.

  • Higher education diploma – you must be able to provide proof of graduation. If the university has issued you official copies of the diploma, it is good to take them with you. You can also scan it and keep it on the hard disk in electronic form and print it when you are asked to present your diploma. You must also have an original translation made by a sworn translator into English (if you’re not a native speaker).
  • Excerpt from the index – not all schools require it, but it is worth having an excerpt from the index also translated into English by a sworn translator.
  • Certificates – the TEFL course completion certificate should be attached to the documents. It is not required by law, but many schools prefer to employ teachers that finished this course. It is especially useful for those whose English is not the first language, and therefore, for you as well (unless you have a British or American passport). If you have additional courses in pedagogy or supplementary studies, add them to your documents as well.
  • Criminal record check – you can get it from your local police station (UK).
  • CV with a photo – it is worth to write a short CV before you leave. Do not worry that you do not have experience working at a school. Maybe you used to give private lessons? If not, enter the employment history in the experience section. Therefore, it is worth doing a TEFL stationary course, because it contains internships in schools which you can put to your CV as an experience. See how your CV should look like.
EN: SEE TEFL

This 4 Week TEFL Training Course in Chiang Mai will prepare you to teach English as a foreign language. Thanks to SEE TEFL’s job guarantee for graduates as well as classes on Thai language and culture you won’t find a better course to kickstart your new life as an English teacher.

Funds

Thailand is considered to be a cheap country. This does not mean, however, that you can come to Thailand without money. There are still cases when future teachers appear with empty pockets and have to ask for a loan to return to the country. I’m sure you do not want to end up like them. Money is important, and if you are moving to a new country, you have to be very well prepared in financial terms. It is worth coming to Thailand with good savings.
See how much it costs to live in Thailand, add 20% to it. You will need this much more for the start. Also, be prepared for the fact that you will not find the job for at least a month, and you will receive the payment only after having worked the right amount of days.

Visa

The visa often gives sleepless nights to those that want to become English teachers in Thailand. It is certainly a complicated thing to think about long before you go.

To work in Thailand legally, you must have a non-immigrant visa and a work permit. You cannot get them before you find a job and before you come to Thailand if you go to the Kingdom on your own without any help.

How do you get both documents?
It’s best if you get a tourist visa for 3 or 6 months. After finding a job, your school should help you with the formalities. Most likely, your employer will tell you that you must leave the country and apply for a non-immigrant visa in Laos or Malaysia. This means additional costs for accommodation and transport, as well as time for which nobody will pay you. However, it is possible to exchange a tourist visa for a non-immigrant one in Thailand.

Insurance

Never go abroad without a proper insurance – this is one of my first advice. You may consider yourself a lucky person or a person who is always healthy and not believe that something can happen to you. Accidents, however, go around people, so it is really worth to be insured.

At the beginning of your stay in Thailand, you can buy travel insurance. It will be enough for you in the first months. Travel insurance to Thailand often protects you if you get an accident, airlines will lose your luggage or if they cancel your flight. This is a very good temporary option.

Remember, however, that in the case of an accident and applying for compensation, the insurance company will require a return ticket to your home country from you. Travel insurance is not designed for those who would like to live somewhere longer.

One of the other options is World Nomads insurance, which does not limit you in this way. You can use them in almost every country and you do not need to present a return ticket. The policy is quite expensive, but if you are looking for a quick solution, this is the perfect option.

EN: World Nomads

Where ever your journey leads: One thing you should never travel without is insurance. Missed flights, lost phones or sudden illness can easily drain your bank account and ruin your holiday. That’s why I use World Nomads. Check out if it suits your needs, too! Get travel insurance →

Many expats use medical insurance. Medical insurance covers medical expenses in the case of an accident or illness, regardless of whether it is a chronic illness or not. Many policies also include check-ups, cytology, and even maternity leave. It’s worth taking interest in this insurance if you have diabetes or if you are at a higher risk of getting cancer or other similar illness, or if you are 45 years old or older.

Take care of your health

Thailand is a developing country and is not as clean as in Europe. The food is prepared on the street, often without facilities or refrigerators. It may seem that it is easy to get infected with dangerous diseases here. Fortunately, it is not. If you are well protected before you leave, you will enjoy good health in Thailand.

You should think about vaccinations for Thailand about 6 months before you go. On the tropical medicine website, you will find a whole list of recommended vaccines. You do not have to vaccinate all of them! Some of them are completely unnecessary. For example, you should only get rabies if you intend to work with animals or spend a full day bus ride from the nearest hospital. Otherwise, you can skip this vaccine.

In Thailand, malaria prevails only in some regions and is not a direct threat if you are not in the deep jungle. Therefore, taking anti-malarial drugs is a waste of money and your well-being, as they often cause nausea and stomach pain.

Remember that Thai healthcare is at the top level, but you should always take care of yourself both before and during your stay.

Flight

I left the most obvious to the end.
Currently, flights to Thailand are very cheap. You can use search engines like Momondo. If you search well, you may find a flight below $200.

I hope this helps you a little with preparing for your move to become a teacher in Thailand. If you need more information, check out my related posts or the related links in this article.

The post Teach in Thailand: What to prepare before moving appeared first on The Blond Travels.

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As a digital nomad, I have travelled and lived in quite a few countries. Every time I move, my first priority is finding affordable short-term accommodation with good wi-fi. It’s crucial for me to feel at home wherever I decide to live.

My experience has taught me that it’s not always easy to find a place to stay. In Vietnam I had no idea where to start looking as Da Nang has only recently started becoming more and more popular among foreigners and information about the accommodation was scarce. In Europe, it’s always hard to find something for only a couple of months for a reasonable price. In Krakow, I was very lucky to rent a small apartment and in Lisbon, the search turned out to be a nightmare.

Does it sound familiar? Have you also had trouble with finding short-term accommodation around the world? Or maybe you’re just starting out on your nomad journey and wondering what the easiest and quickest way is to search for an apartment?

I have recently sat down and thought about what I would recommend others to do. That’s how the below list was created. Here are …..ways of finding affordable short-term accommodation around the world without stress and breaking your bank.

1. Set your budget

How much can you afford to spend per month? This is the question I ask myself first before I choose any destination. I don’t want to spend all my money on a beautiful serviced apartment and then not be able to go for trips and enjoy myself.

Money is quite important to me, so I have never made an error of spending excessive amounts on accommodation or something else for that matter. However, I know quite a few people, who did just that and at the end, they started hating their digital nomad life as they were left with no money to spend on other things.

Budget wisely – that’s my main advice. I would say, spend around 20% of your income on accommodation and not more.

2. Choose the next destination

If you’re just starting out and not earning too much, then don’t follow the crowd. You might be tempted to go where all other digital nomads go, but remember that places such as Canary Islands, Lisbon, or even Medellin in Colombia can be pricey.
Of course, this is a bit different if you have an established client base, but remember to check the costs of living in your destination and then make a decision if you can afford to live there.

3. Think about your expectations

This is directly connected to the previous points.

We all have different standards when it comes to living conditions, especially when we travel. Some prefer luxury penthouses, others love sharing a house with other nomads. There are those, who don’t mind dark, small spaces, and those that hate spending their free time in rooms that don’t get any daylight.
Whatever your preferences, you need to know how you would like to live and if this is possible in the country you’re going to.

4. Browse the internet some more

I started my digital nomad journey when I was in Thailand, where apartments for monthly rent are plentiful and easy to find. When I moved to Europe I started having problems with getting something I liked for a good price.
I made my biggest mistake before moving to Lisbon. I thought there would be plenty of vacant places just waiting for me to grab them, so I didn’t spend any time doing any research. Oh, how wrong I was! It turned out that not only were there just a few flats available, but the prices were often way too high for me.
That’s why I think it’s always a good idea to browse the internet a bit more before you move to yet another country. Check what’s available, compare the prices and find out the general standards of apartments to rent.

5. Don’t rely on booking sites

I love Booking.com when I travel and go somewhere for just a couple of days, but it’s different when I move for longer. I never rely on holiday rental sites. In my opinion, Airbnb is not a good solution. Many times the prices are too high and the standards of the apartments are not worth it. That’s what happened to me in Lisbon. I found their offer way too expensive.

One of the things I do is to look for rental sites first in English and, if that doesn’t work, in the language of the country I am going to. I use Google Translate and look for a phrase ‘short-term apartments to rent in….’ or ‘apartments to rent in….’ and put the translation into Google. It is a great way of finding a lot of good deals.

6. Forget the estate agencies

Estate agencies are good when you’re in a rush, or it’s your first time looking for a short-term accommodation abroad. However, remember that estate agencies charge high commissions and charge landlords 1-2 months lease in advance. If you don’t have money to spare, then it’s best to avoid their services.
Find out first how estate agencies work in the country you’re going to. Sometimes, they don’t require any fees from you, so there are no additional costs. Just bear in mind that you will probably need to pay a higher price for your flat.

7. Send emails

Once I have a good list of apartments I am interested in, I contact the agencies, or the owners by sending them an email. Depending on the country I travel to, I do it before my arrival, or just after. For instance, if I look for a place to stay in Europe, I know that I need to do it a few weeks ahead of getting there.
Finding an apartment in Chiang Mai, or almost anywhere in Asia, is never too difficult, so I leave it until I arrive as I know that I can always find something.
I wait for their replies and schedule a Skype call. This way I rented an apartment in Krakow. I was still in Da Nang when I found what I was looking for. I made a deal with the owner and he reserved the flat for me. Easy!
You can also send inquiries to apartment hotels, or even to landlords on Airbnb (if you feel that they have a good deal for you). Usually, people are willing to reduce the price if you want to rent something out long term.

8. Go from door to door

Not literally, of course, but sometimes it’s worth waiting until you arrive and find a few suitable places then. I would say that it’s good to find out first if that’s possible. In Asia, you will normally see condos with a sign informing of free places. In other countries, it’s not so common.
If you know that it’s easy to find a flat this way, then rent a car, or a taxi, and drive around. Remember to always negotiate your price!

Finding short term accommodation around the world can be a hassle and something that stresses many people out. However, if you are reasonable and well organized, you can easily rent something for a good price. Just allow some time and mind your budget. A digital nomad lifestyle is something that needs to be enjoyed and I hope that I helped you to reduce the stress of your move.

What would you add to the list? Have you had trouble with finding an apartment? Do you have any questions? Don’t be shy! Leave a comment!

The post Ways of finding affordable short term accommodation around the world in 8 easy steps appeared first on The Blond Travels.

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Thailand is now not only popular among tourists. It is a favorite country of digital nomads who come here to take advantage of the sun, comfortable life and, above all, low maintenance costs. This is a great option for those who are just starting their adventure with remote work and want to develop their skills and businesses.

I started my adventure with digital nomadism in Thailand. After long 2 years in a Thai school, I have had enough and I started to work on the Internet. The Land of Smile turned out to be very friendly to digital nomads and it’s no wonder that cities like Chiang Mai become their Mecca.

If you are thinking about working remotely and moving to Thailand for a few months, then in this post, you will find the most important things you need to know before you go. Do not miss the links to other posts that will help you prepare for your trip.

Pros of digital nomadism in Thailand
  • Weather – even in the rainy season, the sun shines often and the temperature is around 35 degrees.
  • Low prices – the cost of renting an apartment with one bedroom is 10, 000 Bahts. The price often includes a gym or swimming pool. In Thailand, it’s really easy to stay and save.
  • Comfortable life – especially when you live here only for a short time, everything seems to be easier and less complicated.
  • Exotic – who would not like to live in a country where palm trees grow outside and glisten the golden roofs of temples.
  • A large community – something for extroverts and people who like to make friends. There are many digital nomads in Thailand, as well as co-working and co-living places.
The negative aspects of digital nomadism in Thailand
  • Visa – if you can not afford a 6-month visa, then you can stay in the Land of Smile shortly. Continuous border runs and visa runs are the everyday life of every digital nomad in Thailand.
  • Poor internet – depending on the location, but mostly wi-fi in cafes and apartments is fairly weak. If you teach online like me and need a good connection, you have to invest in better internet and buy a package.
  • Language – sometimes it’s hard to get along in Thailand. You must be a really open-minded person or speak a bit of Thai to get friends among local residents.
  • Transport – in Bangkok, moving around the city is not so difficult. Transport in the Thai capital is well developed. However, there is a problem in other parts of the country. Here, you have to take taxis, Uber, or have your own scooter.
  • Crowds  – Chiang Mai is slowly failing in its popularity. This is particularly visible on roads that are extremely crowded during the day.
What you should know about

Before you become a digital nomad in Thailand, it is worth getting acquainted with some facts about the local life there. Then you will avoid surprises and quickly get used to the new reality.

You are in Thailand illegally

That, unfortunately, is the truth. If you work and do not pay taxes in Thailand, and you do not have a work permit, you are here illegally. It is best not to speak out loud about what is being done and not to admit it to the people in Thailand. Thai people are a nice nation, but you never know when they will recognize that you have lost honor and go to immigration with a message about farang who works illegally in Thailand.
Of course, there are thousands of digital nomads in the Land of Smile, and I bet that virtually none of them have legal documents. Just do not admit it to what you do and it is best not to ask about legal matters on Facebook forums.

Your visa will not last for too long

Currently, you can use a 6-month multiple entry visa, but if you can not afford it, you can only apply for a visa for 90 days or enter the country on the so-called visa exemption, i.e. permission to enter. Having a tourist visa in Thailand means that you will have to enter and leave the country from time to time, which also involves costs and the loss of valuable time that you could spend on working on projects. This year, a new visa designed for nomads will come into force. Unfortunately, for financial reasons, not everyone will be able to afford it.

Chiang Mai is the capital of digital nomads

You must have heard about it already. There are plenty of digital nomads in Chiang Mai. If you are a person who likes company, want to meet others at workshops, this city in the north of Thailand will be the best for you. Why do digital nomads love Chiang Mai so much? Because there are plenty of cafes here, finding a flat is easy, and the cost of living is lower than in Bangkok. The city has a really great atmosphere. Unfortunately, its popularity also brought many cheats who want to put others in a bottle (if you have not heard of the Atlas Brothers, google them and you’ll see what I’m talking about). For me, Chiang Mai has also lost a bit of charm and I am sad to see a city that was wonderfully original four years ago, turning into a pretentious hipster seat. If this does not suit you, go to Bangkok, Phuket or Koh Samui.

You will not be insured in Thailand

Take care of your health and not only get vaccinated before leaving, but also buy insurance. If you go to another country after Thailand and do not have a return ticket to your country of residence, you may have problems getting compensation from most insurers. In Poland, Planeta Młodych is very popular, which I personally did not use. I do not know exactly what their policy is. I’m using World Nomads alone and I’m really happy. The big plus is that I do not need to have a return ticket, and their procedures are fast and very clear.

EN: World Nomads

Where ever your journey leads: One thing you should never travel without is insurance. Missed flights, lost phones or sudden illness can easily drain your bank account and ruin your holiday. That’s why I use World Nomads. Check out if it suits your needs, too! Get travel insurance →

Do not worry about the flat

A flat in Thailand is very easy to find and you can do it upon arrival. It’s best to simply rent a hostel for a few days and look for a different place during this time. Of course, you can stay in a hostel, but usually, the internet is very weak and the guests are loud in such places.

Prepare for unstable connection

Honestly, after my short stay in Poland and Germany, I no longer think that the Internet in Thailand is so weak, but it’s better to prepare for problems anyway. People who need a stable connection around the clock may be disappointed. That is why it is good to rent an apartment and buy a package from eg Sinet, which costs only 700 Baht a month. You can also buy a Sim card and use mobile internet, which is quite good and cheap in Thailand.

If you need more information, leave a comment or read my post about the things you should know before going to Thailand.

The post Remote work in Thailand: What every digital nomad should know appeared first on The Blond Travels.

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Your first days in Thailand can be a bit overwhelming. New conditions, new people, maybe a new job. It seems that there are so many things to do, and the day has only 24 hours. Organizing your life in Thailand is not as complicated as it may seem. It’s definitely easier than you think.

My experience may be slightly different. I moved to Chiang Mai being aware of the realities of my life there. I also spent a month at the SEE TEFL teacher training course, and everything was sorted out without stress. I met a few people who had to organize themselves immediately without too much time. That’s why I put the most important things in the list to help you.

Do not forget to check other articles. The links can be found in the following paragraphs.

Your first days in Thailand

Are you already in Thailand and are you wondering how to arrange your life here? I know that this may seem like a big task to you, but do not worry. Here, some matters are dealt with quickly and you will certainly manage them with a little patience and good organization.

If you have not yet made a decision to move, see what to do before you go to Thailand.

Find an apartment

The first thing you should definitely do is find the right accommodation for you. Fortunately, it is very easy in Thailand and should take you a few days. The rental conditions for foreigners are much more favorable than those in Europe, and you can rent a flat for 3-6 months. The cost of renting varies depending on the apartment and location, but in comparison to prices in Europe, it is much lower.

If you want to know more about finding an apartment in Thailand, go to my previous post.

Connect with the world

For me, buying a Sim card when you arrive in Thailand is the most important thing. Without it, I can not contact the owners of the flats I want to see, or let my family know that I am okay. Sim cards are available for free at airports, in 7-11 or in stores in shopping centers. All you need to buy a card is a passport.
In Thailand, you can also easily buy an internet package for your apartment. It is quite simple and requires minimum formalities. To buy the package, go to the nearest shopping center.

Embrace transport

Transportation in Thailand is an important matter, even if you live somewhere in the province and it’s easy to move from one place to another on foot. In Bangkok, you will have to get used to continuous traffic jams, subways, using BTS and taxis. In Chiang Mai, you have to limit yourself to the so-called songtaews and Uber. A good way out is also a scooter in Thailand, but here you must definitely have a good insurance and a lot of courage.

EN: World Nomads

Where ever your journey leads: One thing you should never travel without is insurance. Missed flights, lost phones or sudden illness can easily drain your bank account and ruin your holiday. That’s why I use World Nomads. Check out if it suits your needs, too! Get travel insurance →

Find a job

Let us assume that you have not done it yet and you come to Thailand with the assumption that you want to work there. Unfortunately, the country is not so kind to those who want to stay there longer than to tourists. You must meet certain conditions to be able to weld the place here. There are a few ways to live in Thailand. The simplest way is to become a teacher. It’s harder to open your business. If you do not have enough cash, you will be able to take a TEFL course and find a job in one of the Thai schools.

Visa and work permit

You can start making these two documents before you leave. It all depends on what you want to do in Thailand and whether you already have employment before you leave. For longer stays in Thailand, you must think about a non-immigrant visa or immigration visa that will protect you from endless visa runs, as is the case with tourist visas.

Take care of your finances

It is always worth opening a bank account in Thailand. This will significantly reduce your costs – no more paying commission at ATMs! It will also allow you to send money to and from Thailand. Currently, some of the banks open accounts without a work permit and a non-immigrant visa. It is worth using this opportunity. You never know when the law will change again.

If you have any questions about living in Thailand, leave a comment and I will definitely answer.

The post An expat guide to your first days in Thailand appeared first on The Blond Travels.

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Regardless of whether you want to stay in Thailand for a few weeks or a few years, you probably still want to communicate with your loved ones and use the internet wherever you are. When you are staying in a new country, it is not easy to figure out which package and which company offering mobile services will be the best for you. Fortunately, the Sim card in Thailand can be found virtually anywhere.

Sim or roaming card?

People who go to Thailand only for holidays often choose to roam. I used this option myself during my first stay in the Land of Smile. The bill was not very high and I tried to use calls and the internet only in emergencies. However, I think that it is always much more profitable to buy a local Sim card, which is extremely simple in Thailand.

Before you buy a Sim card in Thailand

Before leaving, check if your phone has a Simlock downloaded. In Thailand, downloading it can be a challenge. In the case of an iPhone it can take up to two weeks!

It is also worth checking which Sim card you will need. Different models have different card sizes. This knowledge will help you communicate in the store and buy a new card.

Sim card in Thailand

Buying a Sim card in Thailand will depend on for how long you intend to stay in the Land of Smiles. Below you will find a brief information about places and offers of mobile telephony in Thailand.

Where can I buy a Sim card in Thailand?

If you only stay in Thailand for a few weeks, the card can be bought at the airport. Often, cell phones deal cards for free. They are only valid for a week or two, but for shorter stays they really pay off.

Are you staying in Thailand for longer? Buy a sim card directly in the store. Representatives of all companies can be found in your local shopping center.

Read about how to open a bank account in Thailand 

How to buy a sim card?

All you need is an ID document. In Thailand, card registration is currently in force. In smaller stores and provinces, service is a bit more flexible when it comes to the law, but it is better to have a passport with you.

Sim cards in Thailand – offers

AIS

  • Daily unlimited internet – 19 Baht
  • Weekly unlimited internet – 79 – 89 Baht
  • Monthly unlimited internet – 488 Baht
  • 14 GB – 888 Baht per month

TrueMove

  • Daily unlimited internet – 15 Baht
  • Weekly internet, depending on consumption – 55-199 Baht
  • Monthly internet – 199-899 Baht
  • Monthly unlimited internet – 599 Baht

DTAC

  • Daily internet depending on consumption – 19 – 49 Baht
  • Weekly unlimited internet – 59 Baht
  • Monthly internet, depending on consumption – 299 – 799 Baht

Personally, I recommend True. It has the best range and the hottest spots in Thailand. DTAC is very friendly to western expats and offers the best service in English.

How do I top up the sim card?

In the case of DTAC networks, you can do it very easily via the internet or via SMS. However, the other two networks do not have such options in English. For example, the True website, despite having English information, is very difficult to navigate. The best way is to go to 7-11 and ask for top-up (you can simply say “top up phone” or try in Thai: dterm ngern). In most stores, the cash registers have a special device that looks like a credit card reader. You can just write your phone number, pay the right amount, and after a few seconds you will receive a text message confirming the top-up.

Otherwise, the cashier will give you a receipt with a top-up code, which you must send to the number provided by your cellular network. I definitely prefer the first method.

The post Sim card in Thailand: Choose the best plan for you appeared first on The Blond Travels.

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Opening a bank account in Thailand solves many problems and makes your life easier, but expats often face obstacles and have no idea how to approach them. If you have a work permit and a visa, creating a bank account is not difficult. The case is worse if you do not have these documents. You can find all the information about opening an account in a Thai bank in both of these cases below.

Thai banks

There are a lot of banks in Thailand. If you want to open only a basic account, the terms will not differ. However, if you are going to create your own business, it is worth visiting the facilities of each of the banks listed below and learn as much as possible.

The most popular banks in Thailand

Bangkok Bank

One of the few banks that allow you to open an account without a work permit (see below). It is also the favorite bank of Americans because it has a branch in New York, which makes transfers easy. The bank also has an application that works very quickly and efficiently.

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB)

If you have a work permit and a visa, this will be one of the best options for you. ATMs can be found almost anywhere, and you can pay online using their card even if you have only a basic account.

Kasikornbank

Personally, I have never used this bank, but I have heard a lot of good things about it. Apparently, their application is one of the best on the Thai market. Kasikornbank also offers ‘K-Web’, where you can get a virtual Visa card through which you can pay for online shopping. You can also use their cards at selected ATMs abroad.

The advantages of having a bank account in Thailand

In fact, there are only a few ones, but I am sure they will convince everyone who lives in the Land of Smile a bit longer: no fees when withdrawing cash from the ATM (no more adding 200 Baht to every transaction!), no currency exchange fees, the ability to transfer money to and from Thailand.

My experience with a Thai bank

I opened my first account thanks to SEE TEFL. I was just finishing the course, I did not have a job yet, but my school offered me to open an account at Krungsri to facilitate my employment later. I had to sign a few forms and pay 500 Baht.
When I got a job, it turned out that the school would prefer me to have an account in SCB. So, I got a confirmation of employment from the employer and in one day I opened an account in a new bank. I have been using SCB accounts until now.

Sometimes I have clients from Thailand, who appreciate that they can easily deposit money to me. I have an account linked to PayPal, so I can send money to my English account.

SCB is one of the best banks in Thailand, and I have never had problems with them. The staff is always nice and, in most cases, speaks English. The bank also offers medical insurance, which has a really good price in comparison to many other foreign offers (note: it covers Thailand only).

I do not recommend accounts in Krungsri, because they do not have outlets anywhere and it is very hard to find them. Therefore, I will not write about this bank at all.

How to open an account in a Thai bank

Until recently, it was not possible to open an account without a visa and work permit. Currently, some of the banks have loosened their requirements and if you do not have these documents, there is a high probability of opening an account.

For people with a work permit and visa

In this case, it is a really simple matter. Your visa, work permit and passport will be enough in most cases. Take your address (in Thai and in English) and your phone number with you.

For people without a visa and a work permit

The good news for this group of people is that a few Thai banks open an account without these two documents. Currently, these are:

Bangkok Bank
Required documents:

  • Passport
  • One of 3: an identity document other than a passport (driver’s license, student ID), a letter of recommendation from the embassy or your bank, a lease agreement, an account with your name, confirmation of property ownership.
  • Deposit: 500 Baht

Kasikornbank
Required documents:

  • Passport or other identity document
  • A copy of your home or real estate registration
  • Deposit: 500 Baht

TMB
Required documents:

  • Passport or other identity document.
  • Deposit: 500 Baht

UOB
Required documents:

  • Certified copy of passport
  • A work permit or student ID issued by a Thai institution.
  • Deposit: 50,000 Baht
Other things to keep in mind when opening an account at a Thai bank:
  • If you do not have a work permit and a visa, it may be difficult for you to open an account even in the banks listed above. In smaller establishments, the service may not be fully informed about everything and refuse to open an account. Do not give up and go to another branch.
  • Keep your finger on the pulse. As it always happens in Thailand, everything changes very quickly here. That is why it is worth following internet forums and Facebook groups.
  • It will be much easier for you to do anything at the bank if you go there looking neat and clean. Dress nicely, cover your arms and legs. Remember to smile and be polite and patient.
  • Service at banks in major establishments and cities speaks English well. However, this is not always the case. It is good if you have friends who speak Thai and who will be able to help you. If not, you must be patient.

The post How to open a bank account in Thailand appeared first on The Blond Travels.

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