Thinking of renting a car for your travel adventure? We’ve had great experiences with hire cars so far on our trip; we spent a month exploring New Zealand and also took road trips along the East Coast of Australia and the Great Ocean Road in our very own rental car. Here’s why we recommend travelling by car and some top tips on how to make renting a car as hassle-free and cost-effective as possible.

It’s finally arrived – after years of planning today is the day we jet off to New Zealand and begin our new life of travel.Since leaving London a couple of weeks ago we’ve been on a whirlwind tour of the UK to visit family and friends, many of whom we won’t see again for quite some time. We spent an eventful weekend in Derby with all Andrew’s family which involved hot-tubs in the snow, a highly amusing murder mystery evening, obscene amounts of food and drink and the most amazing leaving cake I’ve ever seen.
On Friday I turned off my work computer, left my desk and walked out of the office I’ve spent more than three years working in forever. However many times I imagined leaving, saying goodbye and shedding my old routine I never thought it would feel like this: Hollow. Instant. Irrevocable. Insignificant.  All Friday a quote from a TS Eliot poem kept running through my head:

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper

To make the most of our travel savings we’ve always tried to use the best UK savings accounts. Due to the recession, interest rates in the UK have been pretty shocking for the past few years but we’ve still managed to make a bit of extra cash from stashing our money in high interest savings accounts – here’s a guide to what we’ve used in the past and what we’ll use when we start our trip.

As we prepare to leave the UK we’ve begun the tedious, time-consuming process of unplugging from our current lives - and let me tell you, it isn’t easy. You forget just how many bills and direct debits you have bleeding your bank account dry each month; how much useless clutter you have to get rid of and just how frustrating being put on hold can be.

One of the things I quickly became obsessed with when planning our trip was packing lists, I just can’t get enough of them. I’m fascinated by what to take travelling and have searched out as many backpackers’ packing lists as I can find. They’ve really helped us decide what we need to take with us and have been invaluable in the travel planning process. So, here's a look at our travel packing list. 
We knew that our travel adventure wasn’t going to come cheap – that’s why we’ve been saving for this trip for three years. It’s also the reason why I’m securing freelance work before I even leave the country to ensure we continue to make a tiny bit of cash while we’re on the road.
Finding backpackers insurance has been the most difficult travel planning task so far. I left Andrew the task of researching and buying our long term travel insurance while he was on autumn school holidays and I was at work.  He found a great deal, a £253 year-long policy! That’s one more task crossed off the list, or so I thought…