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Benefits of taking a Gap year

There are countless benefits with Gap year and student travel before, after or during university, including:

Increase your confidence and independence

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The trip was one of the best things I have ever done! I met some amazing people and stayed in touch ever since. Absolutely no regrets!

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What is a Gap year?

Gap years can be a great way of enhancing your CV, learn new skills and travel. Typically it’s a year long break before or after university or college, traditionally spent abroad. It’s the perfect time to take advantage of being able to travel freely before the next chapter of either education or a career begins.

Where can you go on a Gap year?

As the world is opening up to travel again, more and more exciting destinations will be available for you to travel on your Gap year. Some people decide that they would like to work whilst they are abroad in order to pay for their travels. There are a lot of places that offer working holiday visa programs for under 30’s, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan. Others may tend to work before they travel and some may want to do a round the world Gap year trip taking in as many countries and cultures as possible within their budget.

How do I plan a Gap year travel?

The best way to plan a Gap year is to consider the places you want to travel to and decide whether you’re going to raise the money in advance or work whilst abroad. It’s always useful to talk to a specialist who can help connect the dots between countries and flight routes. We have dedicated reservation experts who are able to book your tours whilst you are travelling.

Should I take a Gap year to travel?

You should absolutely take a Gap year to travel. Taking a year off to explore the world is a great way to learn new things, grow as an individual and make new friends. In fact, it will even make you more attractive to potential employers, as they will see you as more adaptable, confident and a person that's innovative and independent.

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Best Summer Travel Deals 2024

Want to find the best summer travel deals? Here's a bucket list of discounts on flights, hotels and car rentals from Delta, United, Hyatt, Marriott, Avis, National and more.

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Looking for the best summer travel deals for 2024? Whether you’re booking a fun family trip, beachfront hideaway, golf retreat, or just a weekend away from the daily demands of life — relax, reset and have a care-free vacation with one (or more) of these amazing deals we found. 

Here's a look at the best airline, hotel and resort, car rental, cruise, package and other deals available right now.

Airline deals on flights 

Delta. Delta has dozens of deals on flights this summer, depending on the flight origin and destination. Skymiles members can use or receive points on their summer flights. Traveling from places like Chicago to New York in July? You may qualify for fares as low as $175 round trip. Or, enjoy sandy beaches and endless sun at the Villa La Valencia Beach Resort and Spa , in Los Cabos, Mexico. Kids stay & eat free or, enjoy a free daily breakfast for the whole family. Book your flight by July 8 and travel anytime from June 4 to December 19, 2024. 

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United.   United is offering package deals, weekly deals and promotions to people traveling to countless destinations this summer. And, if you book your next trip by June 25th, you can earn up to 30,000 bonus miles. Fly from Houston to Las Vegas late in  July and book a two-night stay at the Rio Hotel and Casino for only $312 per person. Or, stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in Orlando, FL, from August 10 - 13 for $763 per person. Flight, hotel, taxes and fees included.   

American. Vacationing around the world just got better with American Airlines Vacations and the AAdvantage program. Book your flight by June 30th and earn 20,000 bonus miles when you stay at a Jamaica resort . Soak up the sun for as low as $732 per person. Traveling across the country? Save $100 when you book a vacation using promo code JUNE2024 with a minimum stay of three nights from June 1 - June 30. The average total price per person is based on round-trip flights in the Main Cabin and double occupancy hotel stays. 

Southwest. Southwest Airlines ' summer sale has landed. Save up to $500 anywhere Southwest flies. Plus, save an additional $100 when you book by June 18. Or, plan your dream vacation with RIU Hotels and Resorts and save up to 65% when you book your travel from June 14 - June 20 and travel from June 15 - March 5. Flight and hotel included.

Hotel and resort deals

Hyatt Hotels. Enjoy your Hyatt stay in Mexico or the Caribbean with savings of up to 20% off at participating resorts. Activities such as snorkeling and live entertainment are all included in your room rate. Offers vary per destination and availability.  Rather take in the luxe skyscrapers of Tokyo or the lush gardens of Thailand? Save up to 15% on stays between June 12 and January 4 when you book by July 9 and use special offer code STAYNOW . 

Wyndham. Join Club Wyndham and book your flight, hotel, car rental and package deals all in one place. With Wyndham, you can also save on cruises, tours and more. Not ready to join? You can still take advantage of dozens of discounts on your hotel stay at places like Florida and Tennessee. Celebrate SeaWorld's 60th Anniversary with an unforgettable summer at SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, or Aquatica. Now through August 27, save 10% on your hotel and receive a complimentary theme park ticket to a park of your choice. 

Hilton. Plan your next getaway with Hilton and enjoy resort credits to personalize your experience. Book early and save up to 40%, or stay longer in paradise and save even more at many beach, golf, ski, spa and luxury resorts. Choose from Ocean City, Maryland, Virginia Beach, Virginia, Myrtle Beach, SC and more. 

Marriott Bonvoy. Whatever your travel style, you are sure to enjoy your stay at one of Marriott’s 7,300+ hotels around the globe. Right now, if you book by June 19, and use promotional code ES7, you can stay 4+ nights and receive 25% savings and up to a $400 Resort Credit on your Atlantis Paradise Island stay.

Car rental deals

Enterprise. Whether you’re heading off on a romantic break or getting in some much-needed time with the family, consider Enterprise . Travel to New Zealand and get 10% off your car rental plus a free additional driver if you book your rental by July 31, 2024. 

Hertz. Save up to 15% on worldwide rentals when you book your car rental through Hertz by June 25 and pick up between July 1 and September 30, 2024. You can even save on rentals picked up from June 1 in Mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands.

Alamo. Alamo has daily and weekly specials for last-minute travelers and vacationers planning ahead to destinations in the U.S. and Canada. Both last-minute specials and plan-ahead specials require a one-day minimum rental with a four-day maximum. Price varies on pick-up and final destination. 

Budget. Ready for a summer getaway with a Budget car rental? Plan it now and save up to 35% on your car rental reservation from Budget when you select Pay Now. No discount code is needed—simply input your travel information and choose Pay Now to get the discount.

 More ways to save on summer travel

You can also find dozens of summer package deals, including airfare, hotels and car rentals, from Priceline , Kayak , Expedia , and more. Or search for a summer-time deal on Going . Or try Google Flights , the Dollar Flight Club , Thrifty Traveler , Airfarewatchdog or Momondo . 

Ready for a cruise ? Check out the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and score incredible offers and last-minute deals on weekend getaways to the tropics, week long Euro discoveries, adventures in Alaska and more. Or find other summer deals on cruises at Cruise Critic . Plus, if you’re heading out this summer, we can help you navigate an extra-busy summer travel season . Where will you go next?

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EasyExpat Summer - International Relocation Portal: Move, Work, Live Abroad

Volunteer service contributes to the well-being of an individual and the community and is usually coordinated by a non-profit or public sector organization, and usually it does not pay any salary or wage. However, there are programs where volunteers (especially for international programs) in which accommodation, meals, flights, and sometimes a small amount of money is provided.

There are plenty of areas of need within Moscow and if there is an organization that interests you, inquire to see if there are volunteer opportunities with that organization. Moscow's volunteer organizations seem less open to outside volunteers than in some other countries, but opportunity exists. Some worthwhile organizations are: Maria's Children , the International Women's Club , and various dog shelters. For a more complete list of organizations, go to www.sras.org/news2 or www.expat.ru/forum/charities .

Other opportunities include CCUSA - Camp Counselors Russia : The Russia Camp Program offers people the opportunity to spend their summer volunteering in Russian youth camps. During the 4 or 8 week sessions American counselors learn about Russian life, culture and in return educates Russian children and staff about American culture. Contact: CCUSA - Camp Counselors Russia 2330 Marinship Way, Suite 250 Sausalito, CA, 94965 Web Site: www.ccusa.com .

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Gap Year In Russia

This diverse country has something for every gap year traveller - whether you're looking for natural wonders, beautiful architecture, rich culture, outdoor sports, or just a different way of life, Russia should certainly be on your travel calendar!

Why visit Russia during a gap year?

It’s the largest country in the world; so there is plenty of scope for exploration.

Pretty inaccessible up to 1990 unless you were educated in Cambridge and worked [part time] for British Intelligence, but now the country is opening up to tourism.

A land of extremes; containing the coldest places in both Europe and Asia: namely Ust-Shchuge at minus 58.1 C and Oymyakon at minus 71.2 C. Not all the time obviously!

The two largest cities, Moscow and Saint Petersburg are the main attractions.

The rest of the vast land is terra incognita to most visitors, although the awarding of the Twenty Second Winter Olympic Games and the Ninth Winter Paralympics , plus the staging Russian Formula One Grand Prix, all in 2014, to the city of Sochi is likely to open up this area.

Sochi is located on the Black Sea at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains which contain areas of dispute and in some cases conflict.

For example Sochi is close to the border of Abkhazia, which considers itself an independent state and is recognised as such by Russia.

However, Georgia and most other countries consider Abkhazia as part of Georgia.

There are several other troubled, disputed or independence seeking areas: North and South Ossetia, Ingushetia, and Chechnya being examples. Enough of the politics; in summary – in some areas tourism is a risky option.

Let’s concentrate on Saint Petersburg and Moscow.

What to see and do on your Russia gap year

Saint Petersburg - Peter the Great captured the Swedish fortress Nyanskans  at the mouth of the River Neva in1703 and by 1712 he declared the new city of Saint Petersburg as the capital of Russia.

Built on low lying land around the delta it is a city of islands; one hundred and one of them according to Intourist.

The Peter and Paul Fortress was the citadel established to defend the city from any Swedes or their Great Northern War allies looking to re-establish a presence and hence was the first construction in the city.

It contains, within its walls the Peter and Paul Cathedral where the Tsars from Peter I to Alexander III with the exception of Peter II are buried. (What happened to him?  I hear you gasp – well, Peter II became emperor in 1727 aged twelve and  was pawn of the nobility following the death of Catherine I. He died aged fourteen in Moscow of smallpox and is buried in the Kremlin).

The major attraction in Saint Petersburg is the Hermitage.

The area consists of a number of beautiful buildings, principally the work of the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli.

The Hermitage itself [Small Hermitage and Great Hermitage] is possibly the greatest museum/art gallery in the world.

It houses ten of the twelve known paintings by Leonardo de Vinci and artefacts that, so it is claimed, would take you fifteen years to see if you spent one minute looking at each.

The collections were started in 1764 by Catherine the Great [she being Catherine II, not to be confused with Catherine I above].

Full details of the collections are at www.hermitagemuseum.org/

On the same site are the Menshikov and Winter Palaces.

The former, originally built in 1710, has been restored to shown the domestic life of a Russian nobleman.

The Winter Palace contains, amongst other attractions, rooms occupied by Peter the Great.

It was believed that Peter’s Palace was destroyed during later rebuilding, but this area was rediscovered and restored to reflect the period.

Located to the north east of Saint Petersburg is an area called the Golden Ring.

This consists of a group of cities which played an important part in the history of Russia as it fought to establish itself in face of incursions from west, for example the Poles and Lithuanians, and from the east, by the Mongols.

These cities are not that well geared up to tell their history to the visitor; they are, however wonderful examples of Russian architecture in terms of their churches, monasteries, kremlins and cathedrals.

Pereslavl-Zalesskiy contains the Saviour’s Cathedral constructed of beautiful white stone and topped with green onion domes.

More prosaically, the city also contains a museum dedicated to flat irons, and another to kettles.

The city of Vladimir boasts the Assumption Cathedral, originally constructed between 1158 and 1160, it was later decorated by the master of the icon, artist Andrei Rublev [c. 1365 – c. 1430]

Moscow - the most famous attraction here is The Kremlin.

All over Russia there are kremlins [fortresses] but this is The Kremlin; a fortified complex of buildings that has given its name to the government of what was then the Soviet Union.

As with the Hermitage, it is a complex of buildings including several palaces and three cathedrals.

The main attractions include the Ivan the Great Bell Tower- raised to its current height of 81 metres in 1600 on the orders of Boris Godunov, it was the tallest structure in Russia until the revolution.

Not in the tower but in the square is the largest bell in the world, the Tsar Bell, weighing in at a mere 201,924 kilograms and standing over six metres tall.

The three cathedrals are the Cathedral of the Annunciation, the Cathedral of Archangel Michael and the Cathedral of the Dormition, site of the coronation of the all the Russian Tsars.

The Armoury is the official museum of the Kremlin and contains examples of the applied arts mainly from Eastern Europe.

Examples from the collection are: the throne of Ivan IV known as The Terrible [Ivan that is, not his throne] the Imperial Crown of Russia, and ten examples of the art of Carl Faberge [happiness is egg shaped] More details on; www.kreml.ru/en/info/visitors

Ticketing seems a little [over] complicated. Currently 500 Roubles will get you access to the Bell Tower and the museums; a separate 700 Roubles for access to the Armoury. Some venues are time limited escorted tours rather in your own time access.

The Tretyakov Gallery contains a major collection of Russian art, from Andrei Rublev’s icons to twentieth century masters including Kandinsky and Malevich.

The gallery also includes works of Socialist Realism sculpture, removed from their original locations as the Soviet Union became Russia once again. Further details; www.tretyakovgallery.ru

Before you go

Russia uses the Cyrillic alphabet which has a number of letters which do not exist in our Latin alphabet.

You can learn the phonics of these new characters and be aware that some common letters are pronounced differently; for example B is pronounced V, so Moscow in Cyrillic is MOCKBa, giving us Moskva, which is the way Russians would say Moscow.

The main issue is that signs written in Cyrillic are very hard to decode; in Moscow and Saint Petersburg the English translation is often shown in tourist areas, outside these areas and in wider Russia it is an issue.

The currency is the Rouble divided in to a hundred Kopecks. Credit cards are widely accepted in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, less so elsewhere.

The InTourist web site says that passports and visas should be carried at all times as the police have the right to demand to see them without giving a reason. It would certainly be prudent to travel with copies of important documents in case of loss.

As with most countries you should check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s web site for up to date travel advice: www.fco.gov.uk.

Further information

For more advice on taking a gap year in Europe, please see:

  • Belgium Gap Year
  • Netherlands Gap Year
  • Portugal Gap Year
  • Italy Gap Year
  • Sweden Gap Year
  • Gap Year Accommodation
  • Gap Year Flights
  • Gap Year Visas
  • Gap Year Insurance
  • Gap Year Money & Finance
  • Gap Year Health
  • Gap Year Travel Kit

drc

we know the way  -  show the way  -  go the way

  • May 5, 2023

Russia: Magnit opens first B1 discount store in Moscow

Since February the largest European retail chain, Magnit, runs 2 discount concepts, My Price and B1. The latter shows a bit more features of a hard discount model. Now they opened their first B1 store in Moscow, at Izmaillovskoye prospect.

The store covers 350 m2 and also has its own bakery. The assortment of the discount store includes about 1,000 items of food and non-food products that cover basic consumer needs, including fresh vegetables and fruits. The store presents weight products, which account for more than 10% of the assortment structure (cereals, pasta, sweets, berries, frozen fish and seafood). The share of fresh food products accounts for more than a third of the assortment.

Pallet and box display of goods allows you to instantly place products on the trading floor, bypassing the storage stage in the store after delivery. For the convenience of customers, the outlet is equipped with self-service checkouts in addition to the usual cash registers.

Magnit launched the hard discounter format in February 2023. Currently, the B1 chain of stores unites ten outlets: one in Moscow, the rest in different cities of the Moscow region. Magnit tests various store configurations and types of locations to form an optimal model of a hard discounter, and then will decide on scaling the format. A key feature of the format is low prices, which are achieved through deep optimization of operational processes in stores and logistics.

Source: Retail.ru, DRC

# smartdiscount #b1 #discountfoodretail #discounter #discount #foodretail #retail #drc #discountretailconsulting #myprice #magnit #newdiscountformat #retailconsulting #consulting #consultancy

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