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Archive travel Archives | elenastravelsblog
6 Useful Travel Photography Tips for improving your photos

6 Useful Travel Photography Tips for improving your photos

Looking for travel photography tips?

There are people who collect souvenirs from their trips and there are people -like me- who collect beautiful images with their camera or their phone because every destination has its own look, culture, history, people, feelings and stories and I love to capture the moment.

I never did a course of photography but I’ve slowly learned the techniques of travel photography over months of reading e-books, watching online tutorials, and regular practice to improve my craft.

Here are my favourite travel photography tips to improve your images.

1. Wake up early, stay up late

Light is the most important ingredient for great photography — and soft, warm, morning light or the “golden hours” creates amazing images.

Sunrises and sunsets are the best time of a day to catch good light. In comparison, shooting photos at noon on a bright sunny day is probably the absolute worst time for travel photography.

2. Talk to People

Always ask permission for portraits and close-ups. Spend 15 minutes learning how to say “can I shoot a photograph” or “can I take your portrait” in the local language before you arrive. People really appreciate the effort, and it’s a great way to make a new friend.

Some people will say no. Some will ask for money. It’s not the end of the world. Thank them for their time, smile, and move on to someone else and try again. Actually the more you get rejected, the easier it gets to ask!!!

3. Use a Tripod

I believe that more people should be using lightweight travel tripods. A tripod allows you to set your camera position and keep it there. With the camera fixed, you can then take your time arranging the perfect composition.

Tripods also give you the ability to shoot much slower shutter speeds (waterfalls, low-light, stars,…) without worrying about hand-held camera shake. You can keep your ISO low (for less sensor noise) and use smaller apertures, so more of the image is in focus.

4. Make photography a priority

Make sure you plan “photography time” into your travel schedule. Good travel photography requires a solid time commitment on your part.


5. Always be Patient

Photography is about really seeing what’s in front of you, not only just with your eyes, but also with your heart & mind too. This requires dedicated time and attention. Slow down and make a conscious effort at becoming aware of your surroundings before pressing the shutter.


6. Shoot in Manual Mode

By switching your camera into Manual Mode, it  gives you much more control of the look of your images in different situations.

For example, by manually adjusting aperture you have more control over the depth of field in your image, by manually controlling shutter speed, you are able to capture motion in more creative ways and by manually controlling ISO, you are able to reduce the noise of your images and deal with tricky lighting situations.


Do you have any questions or suggestions about travel photography?  Please feel free to drop me a message in the comments below!


Top 20 Fairytale Castles in the UK

Top 20 Fairytale Castles in the UK

I absolutely love the United Kingdom so I may be a little bit biased but I genuinely feel like it has some of the most spectacular fairytale castles to visit.  Below is the list I came up with 20 of the castles you must visit either if you are visiting the UK or living there. They are also great photoshoot places!

1. Tower of London, Central London

Home to the Crown Jewels, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames. In 1078, William the Conqueror built The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name.

2. Windsor castle, Berkshire

The 11th-century castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen, in England.

3. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

A historic fortress which dominates Edinburgh’ skyline and it’s Scotland’s most-visited paid tourist attraction, with over 1.4 million visitors in 2013.

If you are going to visit Edinburgh, please do not forget to check my post on 11 top sights in Edinburgh 

4. Dover castle, Kent

Dubbed the “Key to England” because of its defensive importance throughout history, Dover Castle is a must-see 12th-century medieval structure in Kent.

5. Lancaster castle, Lancashire

A medieval castle that its early history is unclear, but may have been founded in the 11th century on the site of a Roman fort overlooking a crossing of the River Lune

6. Warwick castle, Warwickshire

A medieval stronghold developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068, Warwick Castle is set against the backdrop of stunning scenery and the winding River Avon.

7. Bodiam castle, East Sussex

A stunning 14th-century moated fortress near Robertsbridge, Bodiam Castle was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III to defend the area against French invasion.

8. Bamburgh Castle, Nortumberland

A Grade I listed building, this castle sits on a basalt outcrop overlooking the Farne Islands and Lindisfarne and is home to the Bamburgh Castle Aviation Artefacts Museum.

9. Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island

A 16th century castle located on Holy Island, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England,  what was once the very volatile border area between England and Scotland. It was built in 1550 and it sits on the highest point of the island.

10. Raby Castle, County Durham

Medieval castle that was built in the mid 14th century on the site of an earlier fortified manor house, this medieval castle, near Staindrop in County Durham, sits in a 200-acre deer park. It was built by John Neville, 3rd Baron Neville de Raby.  

11. Totnes castle, Devon

A Norman motte and bailey castle in England; it is situated in the town of Totnes on the River Dart in Devon.The castle is a scheduled monument and a Grade I* listed building.

12. Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire

It is situated 12 miles (19 km) north east of Sleaford and has its origins in either a stone castle or a fortified manor house, built by Robert de Tattershall in 1231. It was rebuilt in brick, and greatly expanded, by Ralph, 3rd Lord Cromwell, Treasurer of England, between 1430 and 1450. Brick castles are less common in England than stone and when brick was chosen as a building material, it was mainly because its aesthetic appeal.

13. Leeds Castle, Kent

Set on two islands on the River Len, in the heart of Kent, Leeds Castle has been fortified for more than 900 years. It has been used by many monarchs as including King Edward I and Henry VIII used it as a residence for his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

14. Arundel Castle, West Sussex

Restored medieval castle founded by Roger de Montgomery on Christmas Day 1067. It is the seat of The Dukes of Norfolk and set in 40 acres of sweeping grounds and gardens.

15. York Castle, York

A fortified complex comprising a sequence of castles, prisons, law courts and other buildings on the south side of the River Foss for the last 9 centuries. The now-ruinous keep of the medieval Norman castle is commonly referred to as Clifford’s Tower.

16. Cardiff Castle, Wales

A medieval castle and Victorian Gothic revival mansion located in the city centre of Cardiff, Wales

17. Carrickfergus Castle, Northern Ireland

A Norman Irish castle in Northern Ireland, situated in the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough.

18. Stirling Castle, Scotland

One of the most important castles in Scotland, both historically and architecturally. The castle sits atop Castle Hill and it is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position.

19. Caernarfon Castle, North-West Wales

A medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, north-west Wales where in 1283  King Edward I of England began replacing it with its current stone structure.

20. Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland

A 14th-century fortification on the coast of Northumberland in northern England, between the villages of Craster and Embleton. It was built by Earl Thomas of Lancaster between 1313 and 1322, taking advantage of the site’s natural defences and the existing earthworks of an Iron Age fort.

Which is your favourite? Have I missed any that you have already visited? Tell me in the comments below


Guest BlogPost – 5 Places in India You Can Visit During Off-Season Without Worries

Guest BlogPost – 5 Places in India You Can Visit During Off-Season Without Worries


Travelling during off-season can turn out to be a whole new and pleasing experience. While planning an off-season trip, you can save on a lot of things from tickets to your stay in hotel. Moreover, travelling at this point, with scarce number of tourist, provide you with an in-depth experience as you can easily communicate with the locals, get personalised attention from hotel staff and get hold of the culture and traditions which lie in the hearts of these destinations. Here are some astounding destinations that are cheap and can prove to be a way better visit during off-seasons.

1. Kerala

God’s own country, Kerala tops the list of the travel destinations in India and will turn out to be the most welcoming state during off-seasons. The hills of Munnar covered with tea plantations, beaches, magical jungles of Periyar and Eravikulum will give you a lifetime memory of an adventure away from the hustle of urban life. Kerala offers their tourists the leisure time they need with the ayurvedic massages, Carnatic music, Kathakali performances and exclusive houseboat experiences. The best time to pay Kerala a visit is during monsoon, that is June-September. Because of fewer tourists and Onam festival, you will be able to witness the culture and the beauty of the state to the fullest.

2. Goa

The party destination of India, Goa will never provide you with any dull moments. Goa welcomes you with its brooding view of beaches, perfect scenery and sunny atmosphere. The perfect time for you to pay a visit to Goa will be around the monsoon period with fewer tourists and several music festivals lined up for you. Its wildlife makes it a perfect destination for a nature lovers, the white sand and the clear blue water will definitely leave you enthralled. If you want to relax during your break then Goa is the place for you as it greets all types of travelers with open arms.

3. Coorg, Karnataka

Referred to as the Scotland of India, Coorg must be visited by a nature lover at least once in his lifetime. The serpentine hills of this city attract a lot of tourists in the month of December. But, if you are a monsoon lover and planning a getaway from your busy life on a weekend then Coorg is the place for you. Covered with exotic greenery of coffee and tea plantations, Coorg also offers the authentic Kodava cuisine. After visiting Abbey falls, Nagarghole National Park and Namdroling Monastery, you would never want to come back from Coorg. The best off-season months to pay a visit to Coorg are from July-September.

4.Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The sparkly beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have always make it to the bucket-list of almost all the travelers who love to spend some peaceful time on the islands. The best off-season time to visit the islands is, during monsoons. Many tourists don’t usually visit it during the monsoon due to heavy rains but if rain is not a big issue for you, then you should surely visit the islands during rainy season. The beautifully carved Limestone caves, the speedboat ride, the Marina Park and Aquarium situated at the Port Blair, even the cellular jail will turn out to be the best retreats in your vacations. The beautiful beache, islands, the rich reserve of flora and fauna and the cheap hotel charges are the reason you should never miss visiting Andaman and Nicobar Islands during an off-season.

5. Leh

Thinking to start your year with a perfect vacation? Then Leh is the answer to all the questions coming to your mind. The monasteries in Leh are usually empty during the winters, which makes your stay serene, yet cheaper and you will be able to enjoy the beauty of nature in a peaceful way. Winters are the best time to connect with the still beauty of the ‘Roof of the World’. The sights and the views will last in your eyes forever but apart from that, Leh is the place for perfect and cheap treks. Leh adapts the culture of the northern India from the localities and will provide you a thorough experience. Also, one of the biggest perks of visiting Leh in winters is that you will find the Pangong Lake frozen, which is indeed a sight to behold. Plus, who wouldn’t want to walk on water!

Fewer tourists, peaceful surroundings, mesmerizing views and discounted rates, travelling in off season to these favorite tourist destinations during the off season will offer you all this and more. Once you visit any of the places listed above, you will yearn for more. So, hurry up, book your tickets now!


Author’s Bio:

Himanshu loves trotting around India and has passion for three things: People, Travel and Social media. He shares his incredible stories of adventure on Pearls India Tour, to show his everlasting love for India.

The beginner’s guide to train travel in Europe

The beginner’s guide to train travel in Europe

Traveling by train in Europe is an experience itself. It’s relaxing, you can see beautiful parts of the countries you travel through and it can also be a great way to meet people.

While it’s mostly an ideal way to get from place to place, there can be some minor hiccups with the system. Below is a basic guide to train travel in Europe and tips for avoiding pricey mistakes or confusion.

For those who are new to my blog you can easily find everything I’ve written about  cities in Europe by using the search tag in sidebar. I hope everything that I’ve posted can inspire you to travel and help you plan your next big trip! Feel free to ask any questions as well.

Throughout Europe, domestic trains (traveling entirely within a single country) don’t require a reservation, so it can be easy to wake up and decide you want to hit a new city. Just arrive at the station before the train leaves, purchase a ticket and climb aboard!


Having said that, especially during tourist season, trains can fill-up and last minute tickets can be expensive.

Depending on the country you are departing in, make sure you check for availability online. One of the best resources for checking train schedules is Rail Europe.
Check train times online and book international train travel in advance if possible.

While flying is almost always faster, there are pains that come with it. Long security lines, cramped seating, baggage fees and an inability to socialise are all annoyances that are avoided with train travel.

European trains are known for their punctuality – on time over 90% of the time. You can bring what you can carry (and more if you really want to), there are no pesky liquids restrictions, you have room to move around, there are sleeper carriages for long journeys and you can be social with your neighbours and you can travel with your pet – always on leash and muzzled only when hop on/off to the train-.

Airports are pretty easy to navigate. Upon check-in, you know exactly what gate to go to and there are numerous signs to guide you there. Trains, however, can be a little more confusing. There are so many trains going through Europe  with multiple trains passing on the same track minutes apart.

Make sure you know exactly what track your train is arriving on and the train number as a train to Madrid may arrive 10 minutes before your train to Paris and, before you know it, you’re in Spain. If you’re ever unsure, there is typically always someone at an information desk around that can help.

And don’t be shy! Locals are often very friendly and willing to help out as well.

The weather is often a major contributor to why flights are often delayed or even canceled. This is another very annoying and almost too frequent inconvenience with flying. Trains usually are free of these hassles and get you to your destination on time regardless of the weather.

However, European railways are known for their strikes. Be sure to pay attention to the news and ask around if there is word of a strike on the verge of taking place. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it if there is. In case it does happen, buses are usually available.

Now that you have your train ticket, what are you supposed to do with it?

Many train tickets need to be validated (stamped with time/date) before boarding the train since they’re open tickets for train travel between two destinations and not for a specific train or time.

There are machines at the station, usually located on the train track. You just stick your ticket in and the machine stamps it. You could receive a fine if that train conductor sees that you neglected to do so and they will think you are trying to ride for free. Try to avoid the “I’m a silly tourist and didn’t know that rule” moment even though they will likely let it slide if you do forget.

Also, most trains have assigned cars for 1st and 2nd class so make sure you know what car you are assigned. It’s not fun being booted out of your seat after you’re all settled in or worse, asleep!


Overall train travel in Europe is fun and easy! Be sure to do a bit of pre-planning and enjoy the ride!


My 16 favourite items in 2016

My 16 favourite items in 2016


This is the list of my 16 favourite items in 2016 that I used under 50€ as a travel blogger.

1.Women 4 pcs 89ml Silicone Makeup Lotion Bottle Set 

These  silicone  make up lotion bottle are perfect for putting small amounts of shampoo, face and body lotion, skin cream and shower gel  and most suitable for outdoor travel, business trip, vacation and everyday carry as it is easy to put into your makeup bag or even your bag. They are very easy to clean and refill.

2. Universal International Travel Adapter Power Plug Converter 

You can use it in most countries and it comes with 2 push switches at the flank for releasing different types of plugs. A LED light indicates charging status and it is compact,  and easy to carry, that makes it ideal for charging your laptop, your camera or phone and other electronic devices

3.Outdoor Travel Camera Backpack 

This  camera backpack is the best choice for travellers who love shooting photos just like me that we are seeking superior weather protection in a comfortable and functional shoulder bag.  It is very practical and attractive and  it is a great option to protect your equipment from moisture and dust as well as rain. The dividers are adjustable, it has pockets on each side for an umbrella, bottle or sunglasses and there is of  a soft protective material. You can adjust its shoulder straps so as to fit your body size for easy and comfortable transport

4. Outdoor Travel Storage Bag 

As I am an organised freak, I am in love  with this carry on travel bag; it is a must if you like to organise and store your necessities, such as cosmetics, toiletries, mobile phone, keys, notebooks etc. It is designed with multiple compartments to classify and store your personal stuff and it folds up for easy storage and travel. You can hang it inside a garment bag, a bathroom door or towel hook as it is waterproof. Its capacity is huge as it has 4 sections and 6 pockets. For me, the only negative thing about it is that it is made of nylon and I don’t really like nylon but it is washable.

5. Draw-bar 360 Degree Spinner Wheel Luggage Travel Suitcase  24 INCH 

Luggages are one of my favourite things in this world and definitely love this specific one because of its large  carrying capacity. You can load it at about 30kg and it is still very flexible to move as it has 4 wheels and it is very lightweight even with heavy loads. It has an ergonomic soft handle and it comes with code lock so your valuables will be protecting.

6. Digital Accessories Storage Pouch Case Travel Organizer Bag 

I am so in love with this pouch case as I keep all my cables, usb flash drive, memory cards, disk, power bank and power adapters inside my bag without being a mess in the bag and avoiding any damages or scratches. It is also made of waterproof material so I am not afraid to put a bottle of water in my bag next to this pouch case.

7. CONQUEST Travel Swimming Waterproof Bag Case Cover 

I used  this case cover a lot during sailing on my summer holidays because of its high-security performance waterproofing system. Besides waterproof, this case can also help to protect camera from snow, sand and dust. Moreover, it is very easy to carry as it is equipped with a string and it can float, so you do not have to worry about it falling into the water. Lastly, it is made of PVC.

8. CAMEL MOUNTAIN 45L Backpack

This backpack  is waterproof, wearable and portable with chest belt and waist belt, easy to fix the backpack on your body and reduce the pressure on your back; it is specially designed with mesh and sponge in the back.

Plus, it has a lot of space and makes it easy to organise your items with network pockets on both sides, convenient to put into bottle, umbrella or other items

9. Female Portable Outdoor Travel Silicone Urination Funnel

A great and very useful thing when you do not want to sit on an unsanitary public toilet. It allows women of all ages to urinate in a standing up or sitting down position. It is very convenient, easy to use as it is portable and reusable (re-washable) and it is an ideal accessory for travel, driving, backpacking, camping, hiking, walking, mountaineering, etc.

10. Practical Emergency First Aid Kit Travel Sport Survival Rescue Treatment Kit with Bag 
A First Aid Kit is always needed for any unexpected emergencies. This one comes with a carrying bag which makes it convenient to carry on your bag.

11. 300Mbps Wireless Travel Router Intelligent WiFi Repeater Bridge USB Network Adapter This mini and portable item is a professional 300Mbps mini WiFi repeater. It solved the common failing of the traditional WiFi router or WiFi products that easily drop the network and  make sure the lasting stability to ensure that the WiFi signal is not dropped.

MINI300 is an environmental safe WiFi signal repeater. Its working principle is that at the edges of the original WiFi hot spot signal coverage, the MINI300 that in repeater mode is able to receive weak WiFi signal, and zoom it to be normal and safe strength signal, and after optimisation and error correction processing, to finally achieve the safe signal coverage of doubled extension. This differs from traditional wireless signal amplifier; only amplifies the signal and ignore the wireless security.

12. 12 USB Outputs Fast Charger Travel Adapter with 1.15M Cable

Not much too say here. Anyone who is travelling need more than one travel adapter so this one is a great option so you only need one travel adapter (this one!) and you can charge all your electric appliances!!

13. 8800mAh Dual USB Power Bank LED Torch 

Power banks are the best thing ever! You can be a whole day outside and there is no need to worry about your phone/camera/tablet battery as this one can charge your phone at least 2 times.It also has dual USB ports so you can charge 2 phones at the same time or 1 phone and 1 tablet or other small electronic devices simultaneously. It has a LED light to know how much power you have. It is also a stylish, portable and practical device that everyone needs today.

14. PANDA Roof BAK – 4 Prism 35 x 50 Monocular & iPhone Clip 

PANDA 35 x 50 HD monocular is equipped with Roof system BAK – 4 prism for a great experience.
Large 50mm objective lens diameter provides you with wide angle. It comes with mobile phone clip and it is convenient to install your mobile phone on, so that you can take awesome photos any time anywhere.

Moreover, the night vision function makes you can watch target clearly even there is little brightness around it! It also comes with extra storage bag, very easy to carry and well protect it from dust when not use while hand rope will protect the monocular from falling down
Most important  is that it is suitable for any smartphone!!!

15.Stylish 3 Pcs Aluminum Tube Fiber Facial Makeup Brushes Set

Great make-up brushes package for travel. The package contains:
1 x Sculpting Brush; 1 x Fan Brush; 1 x Setting Brush

Last item is not a useful thing but it is my most favourite one for the year to end.

16. Large Size Personalized Scratch-off World Map Poster Travel Toy 
The scratch-off wall map lets the fun of travel continue even after you’ve returned home. This map is a modern way to show everyone who visits you exactly where you’ve been.
Just use a coin to scratch off countries you’ve been to and fill your map with colour!


5 career skills for travel bloggers and travel lovers

5 career skills for travel bloggers and travel lovers


Your travel experiences can help your career only when you know how to adjust your skills in your resume and build an exceptional resume.

In order to write a killer resume and nail the interview, you should outline what you have learned and how this knowledge will help you on the job.

To get you started, here there are 5 key skills that someone with travel experience should highlight in his/her resume and interview.

1. Your communication skills

Undeniably, someone  like you who has many travel experiences, he/she has managed to communicate in many unfamiliar languages and cultures from buying a train ticket to ordering a coffee and meeting so many and different people improved your communication skills so communicating in the workplace will be a piece of cake!

2. Your willingness to think outside of the box

A travel blogger has many stories to tell such as where things didn’t go as planned and what did he/she did to overcome it. Describe a situation that you overcame a crisis or an unexpected situation and demonstrate your ability to adapt quickly and find creative solutions like how to get from your hotel to the airport when the roads are flooded. Any employer would be happy to hire employees with these skills.

3. Your cross-cultural sensitivity and understanding

Travelling abroad means a daily interaction with people of different races, socioeconomic backgrounds and culture. This gives you a greater sensitivity to diversity so you will always be able to find common ground with anyone, appreciate how the differences make your team stronger and have a competitive advantage in getting a job that concern about different languages  and cultures.

4. Your time management skills

When travelling, you managed to schedule a weekly or monthly plan in advance taking into account several things. You also create a budget for the selected scheduled plan.

These time and money management skills will help you managing corporate budgets.

5. Your ability to take initiative and work independently

Last but not least, you work hard to plan and save for your big trip. No one was there to supervise or help you, which means that you will be fine taking on projects solo.




European expat guide in the UK

European expat guide in the UK


Are you an European who wants to expatriate  in the UK ? here it’s the ultimate European expat guide and everything you need to know.

Some quick facts: the United Kingdom consists of England, Wales, Scotland and the Northern Ireland; UK is one of the most powerful countries in the world; It is influential in world trade, economics and politics and also has a long and fascinating history, great architecture, great literature,  huge music and fashion industry and football. English people are very friendly  and very polite. Plus, in the UK, you can never be more than 70 miles away from the sea!!!

But, enough said and let’s now see what someone needs to do in order to come in the UK and stay.

First step in this  expat guide in the UK is to get a UK SIM card even before start looking for a job here.

Your resume will look more professional and you can have a UK SIM card either by asking friends or family in the country to buy it for you and send it to you or by buying a UK SIM card from ebay.

One more plus is whether you can show a UK address in your resume, even if it would be for the first  1 or 2 weeks.

Assuming in this expat guide you are European, there are great chances that you are both speaking another European language and English, hence it would be easier for you to get a job that involves your speaking skills.

For me, the best job website is  europelanguagejobs.com and it is very easy to use.

You can sign up either as a candidate or as a company, but here let’s assume that you are a candidate reading this guide.

You can sign up using either your Facebook account, your LinkedIn account (my preferred option) or your google plus account. If you haven’t any of these accounts, you can simply sign up by using your email.

Then, you can build your profile on Europe language jobs by adding name, surname, contact number, region, sector and of course your resume among other things. You can also add your skills in a separate section and your languages you are speaking. What’s more, you can link your profile with any other profiles or blogs or websites you have so companies can have  access to your work and know you better as a person.

As you proceed completing your profile to the europelanguagejobs.com you earn points and this will help you to be visible to more and more companies.

When you complete your profile, the Europe language jobs will match job vacancies with your profile and all you have to do is to apply to any of these jobs that appeals to you.

You can also watch your applications and last but not least, you can read many interesting posts on their blog such as how to dress for a interview or advice and tips for a successful interview. They are really helpful and informative.

Get interviews

When the interview will come, it is most preferably to book the first interview via Skype or FaceTime. If there is no such option with the company policy, then book a date at least after 2 weeks, just to have plenty of time to prepare yourself and find a cheap airfare ticket.

Search for a flight

Immediately after you have arranged an interview, you should start looking for an airfare ticket. There are plenty of sites on the Internet to search for a cheap flight but if you need some help with the flights explorer, you should go and check my previous post.

Go to interviews

You should try and book your flight at least 2  days ahead of your interview so you have plenty of time to get to know the route from wherever you stay to the company’s premises and how much time it will take you to be there. Of course, you can always use google maps or any other navigation app. Plus, if you arrive 2 days before the interview, you will have the chance to practice your english and on the day of your interview, you will talk fluent.

Search for  accommodation

Research, research, research by asking any friends or  family who already live in the country, join Facebook pages that connect people on the area you are looking to stay and/or read one of my latest posts on best places to look for an accommodation.

Get a bank account

Let’s assume you  have passed the interview and you have been accepted.

Now it is time to visit a bank and open a bank account. You can ask the company that  hired you for more information on this one but generally speaking it is not a difficult process. You will only need your passport, a proof of address and your job contract.

Get a NINo

You can only apply for a National Insurance Number once you’re in the UK. You must have the right to work or study in the UK to get a National Insurance number. After your application, Job centre Plus may write to you and ask you to come to an interview where you’ll be asked about your circumstances and why you need a National Insurance number.

The letter will also tell you which documents to bring to prove your identity, eg:

– passport or identity card

– residence permit

– birth (or adoption) certificate

– marriage or civil partnership certificate

– driving licence

You’ll be told at the interview how long it’ll take to receive your National Insurance number.

Register yourself to a GP and your pet to a vet

General Practitioners deal with a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, offer advice on smoking and diet, run clinics, give vaccinations and carry out simple surgical operations.

When you settle in on a flat or apartment in your chosen area, you’ll have to formally register as an NHS patient by submitting a registration form.

When you have completed and returned the form, NHS England will transfer your medical records to your new practice and write to you to confirm your registration as a patient with that practice.

Parents or guardians can register a baby at a practice by completing and presenting a form, which is issued at the same time as a birth certificate.

Some GP practices may ask for proof of identity so it is good to have your passport with you when you register, especially when you register children in your care.  However, registration and appointments should not be withheld from you on the basis that you don’t have the necessary proof of address or personal identification at hand. It is not considered a reasonable ground to refuse registration.

For those with four furry legs  friends.

If you have a dog, your dog should have a 15-digit microchip,  will need a rabies vaccination after the microchip is implanted and more than 21 days prior to entry but not more than the expiration date of the manufacturer of the vaccine and it must be treated against certain tapeworms one to five days prior to entering the country. You should also have the EU pet passport.

Bear in mind that the following breeds or their mixes are not permitted to enter the UK: Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa Inu or American Staffordshire Pit Bull Terrier. Also some kinds of American Bulldogs have been found to be Pit Bulls. It is illegal to enter the UK with any of these breeds or their mixes.

Hope you find my expat guide helpful and informative and I hope I answered most of your questions in the topic.

Feel free to leave your comments, questions and/or ideas on the comment section down below, on my Facebook page or on my Twitter.

With love, Elena


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