Tag Archives: travel

Working Your Way Through A Gap Year


For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Taking a year off from studying is a popular choice for young adults looking to spread their wings before returning home to start university or a job. UCAS, a UK body which helps connect young adults to higher education, said in 2015 5.4% of accepted applicants deferred a year (28,805 of 532, 265). Clearly they won’t all be seeking world travel, but for those that did the options of how to spend the time off are vast.

Choosing a destination is the first decision most students have to make. Rough Guide has listed the most popular places gap year students visit with Thailand, Australia and USA taking the top three slots.

For many, the focus of the gap year will be to travel and experience different cultures.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to spend a year doing something valuable and rewarding:

–  Volunteering on a conservation and environment project: Protecting the rainforest in Peru, rehabilitating an injured falcon in Mexico or working with giant pandas in China are just some of the activities you can partake in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Companies such as www.projects-abroad.co.uk are good places to start for ideas.

–   Running an American summer camp: A nine week placement at an American summer camp will offer up all sorts of exciting possibilities. As either a kids counsellor or someone helping to run the camp, companies such as Camp America help you find the best spot. After camp you can travel around the US for 30 days and Camp America even arrange their own treks around tourist hot spots such as the Grand Canyon. The perfect payback for all that hard work.

–  Helping build local communities Living in a country, whilst helping to improve people’s access to safe water and sanitation or support a local business are two of the ways, volunteering can make a real difference. Raleigh’s International Citizen Service (ICS), which is run by the VSO and funded by the UK government, takes students abroad for 10-12 weeks to help contribute to the lives of those living in poverty.

–  Working your way around Australia: As one of the most popular destinations, Australia is well set up for gap years. Once you’ve applied for your Working Holiday Visa (WHV) you’re able to work and travel in Australia for a year. There are some great career opportunities including being a dive instructor on the Great Barrier Reef, teaching sports at a Perth college or pouring drinks in a Melbourne bar. The choice is yours. To find out more about the Working Holiday Visa, see here.

Finally, as with all travel, there is an element of risk involved and the UK government has pulled together a checklist of what you need to do before signing up to any new experience. The document pinpoints the highs and the lows of gap year travel and recommends you are fully aware of what you are entering into. For more information, see here.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Image Courtesy: Zach Dischner (www.flickr.com/photos/zachd1_618/15207970946), Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic | Flickr

What you need to know about moving to India


"Taj Mahal, Agra, India" by Yann (talk) - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taj_Mahal,_Agra,_India.jpg#/media/File:Taj_Mahal,_Agra,_India.jpg

“Taj Mahal, Agra, India” by Yann (talk) – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taj_Mahal,_Agra,_India.jpg#/media/File:Taj_Mahal,_Agra,_India.jpg

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

In recent years, the press have reported on an increasing number of UK citizens of Indian origin moving back to the country that their parents left decades ago. But for those Brits searching for a new life abroad, emigrating to India can provide you and your family with a new life in a culturally diverse, exotic, beautiful and magically vibrant country.

In 2014, India’s population represents a sixth of the world’s total population despite still being a relatively small country covering just 2% of the world’s total landmass.

India has many differing religious and ethnic groups with Hindu’s accounting for approximately 80% of the population followed by Muslims (12%), Christians (2%) and other religions including Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. Hindi is commonly spoken in the upper half of India by approximately 30% of the population with 14 other official languages. English is also commonly spoken and each state has its own language.

India generally experiences two seasons throughout the year; a rainy season and a dry season. From October to March, the weather is, on the whole, drier and mild. Monsoons and flooding are common during the rainy season.

Most of India’s cities offer a very high yet cheap standard of living and the cost of most things, including entertainment, education, housing and food is significantly lower than most western countries – even in Mumbai and New Delhi.

It is estimated that there are currently between 20,000-30,000 expats from all walks of life – teachers, artists and spiritualists as well as CEOs and executives of international corporations, living in the country with that number expected to increase dramatically in the coming years.

Finding work in India can at first appear challenging but there are in-fact many opportunities available. Nevertheless, it’s worth bearing in mind what might be considered a decent salary in the UK will typically be 25% of what expats would earn back home.

A large percentage of expats in India are on assignment with multinational companies but, in recent years, more and more Indian corporations have been importing skills and experience from overseas. However, it is highly recommended that you try and secure work prior to entering the country to be on the safe side and to know that you’ll earn what you’re worth.

Despite the fact that India is recognised as a country that is high-tech and progressive, networking and personal connections remain prominent means of finding suitable job opportunities.

Here are some key facts that every expat should know about living in India:

If you plan to stay in India for more than 180 consecutive days you will be required to register at the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) within the first 14 days of your arrival. Failure to do so could mean that you lose your Indian Visa.

When living in India you will experience very irregular voltages and frequent power cuts. You will need to buy some voltage stabilizers for electronic appliances and UPS for your computer.

The majority of houses and apartments in India do not have ovens although ovens are easily available from large electrical shops.

You should never accept ripped or damaged bank notes – many places will refuse to accept them. You should always hand the Rupees back if they show the slightest sign of ripping or damage.

You should only ever use your right hand to eat and shake hands with. The left hand is considered dirty as it is traditionally used for bathroom duties.

When you are planning to move to a country like India, it is vitally important that you receive the right information and also the right support. PSS International Removals only handle international removals overseas, so rest assured that all our staff have been export trained and have the experience to supply you with an excellent service.

Furthermore, PSS can offer you a competitive quotation, we are members of FIDI Global Alliance, accredited by FAIM quality standard and financially bonded by the British Association of Removers & IMMI Payment guarantee scheme. Contact us now for a free estimators survey, online moving and baggage quote.


A quick guide to finding flights online


By Ironhide 001 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ironhide 001 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

You may have decided which country you’d like to emigrate to, considered the various visa options available to you, started the job-hunting process, thought about whether to take your vehicle or pet with you; maybe you’ve even looked for advice on tax-related issues but don’t want to have to pay for an expensive flight out to your new destination. Thankfully, you’ve got more than enough options when starting your flight search.

Based on feedback from travellers in over 160 cities, Norwegian was recently crowned the best low-cost airline in Europe for a second year running, with the UK’s EasyJet narrowly missing the number one spot yet again. But while cheap flights may seem like great value, more often than not, there are hidden charges and booking fees to navigate through.

With dozens of low-cost airlines offering flights to hundreds of destinations throughout the world, many people say that finding a cheap flight can often be the deciding factor in the location of their journey.

Whether you might have your new country in mind or just be searching for a cheap family holiday flight, researching the various routes will always help you get an idea of which airline flies where.

To get started, you can find out which airline flies to which city by using sites such as Which Budget for routes involving charter and budget airlines and Fly Cheapo, helps you access routes for around 50 budget airlines across Europe.

Once you’ve decided upon your intended route, you should then check the relevant airline’s websites to see if they might have any special flight offers. The likes of Easyjet and Ryanair have been known to announce flight sales offering cheaper deals on selected dates. BA.com has a low-cost flight search engine online, offering the latest travel deals by asking visitors to sign up to newsletters and offering low-fare alerts from low-cost airlines, online travel agents, airlines and travel websites. You will then get cheap flight alerts sent directly to your email inbox.

Additionally, a good newsletter to subscribe to is Travelzoo, which compiles the top 20 travel deals into a weekly e-shot.  Another very popular choice is Skyscanner, which is able to speedily track the booking cost of your chosen route and buy your tickets whilst the price is still low. Skyscanner also allows you to select the dates you wish to travel and see which destinations offer the best value for money.

Many seeking a second opinion, often prefer to consult and cross-search with the likes of Flight Centre, ExpediaLast MinuteEbookers or Low Cost Holidays for flight fares but you could also visit Skyscanner or Travel Supermarket to compare different air fares and help you find the cheapest flight. However, they won’t actually sell you the flight so you’ll have to click through and book directly online with the airline or give them a call. It’s worth noting that cheap flights from low-cost airlines usually go on sale first and prices often rise the longer they’ve been on sale. Charter airlines such as Thomson and First Choice can offer cheaper last minute deals so it’s worth checking their websites for regular special offers.

A word of warning, while many low-cost airlines may advertise cheap flights, once taxes and additional charges are added, the overall cost can work out a lot more than you would expect to pay. Every airport and airline offers different charges, so it’s important to consider the final price and while booking your flight, remember to check whether the airline adds travel insurance on top or not. Many websites offer this as standard, but if you’ve already booked your travel insurance then be sure you un-tick this option. Those without insurance can always opt out and buy your insurance before you travel.

Beware of hidden booking fee charges. Charges vary between the different websites and the cost of flight bookings by credit card has soared in recent years with many low-fare websites charging travellers for using their credit or debit cards.

PSS have negotiated special rates with our flight partners not only on flights but on many of their additional services too. Just some of these services include travel insurance, car hire and hotels which may be required during your journey or when you first arrive in your new country. Our partners are some of the leading service providers in their area and can offer you the most competitive rates. Complete this form for more information.

South Africa – New regulations on travelling with children

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

From safaris to skyscrapers, South Africa is a unique and exciting place to either holiday or start a new life. If you and your family are planning to travel there, it’s important to make sure that you tick all the legal boxes asked of you. As new regulations are soon to be imposed, take a look at what you need to prepare with our simple checklist.

What’s changing?

From 1st June 2015, there will be tighter rules designed to improve child safety. There will be specific paperwork that you need when travelling with children under the age of 18. This will affect joint parents, single parents and other guardians, as all will be asked to show relevant certificates for the children travelling.

What do the experts think?

South Africa saw tourism surge by 284% between 2005 and 2011. Recently ranked as the second fastest-growing holiday destination in the world, 1 in 20 jobs in the country operate in the travel and tourism industry. Because tourism is so important to the country, those who work in the industry are worried that these new rules might be off-putting to families. Dr Anna Spenceley, a tourism specialist based in South Africa, said that “a proper study and evaluation should be undertaken [which] should include implications for normal travellers”.

Going to South Africa?

With such a beautiful and diverse landscape, the perks of travelling to South Africa far outweigh the short-lived trouble of getting there.  Here we’ve created a simple checklist which breaks down the different documentation you will require depending on your circumstances. Most importantly, you’ll need birth certificates, which are fairly easy to get hold of:

– Head to the General Registration Office to order your certificates
– Pay £9.25 for a certificate within three weeks
– Pay £23.40 for a fast-track service taking a couple of working days
– In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the route is similar with slightly more expensive costs
– Alternatively, if you know where your children’s births were registered, you may be able to print certificates off at this specific office

South Africa immigration regulations 2015