How to pick best seat on the plane?

Not all seats are equal. Apart from upgrading to Premium Economy/Business or First there are some tricks which can help to get the best economy seat.

  • check seatguru.com for the map of the plane and reviews of different seats (check the airline as well to make sure it’s the same aircraft type)
  • front part of the plane is usually less noisy (because of engines)
  • emergency exit row seats have much better leg space
  • first row in each section of the plane has generally more leg space, but the entertainment screen is usually less accessible and these places are often occupied with people with infants
  • window seats have usually a bit more space – especially towards the back of the plane
  • if you’re 2 travelling, book seats A and C in the same row (leave the middle seat empty), especially on less busy flights and in rare part of the cabin it’s highly likely the middle seat would be free and you have more space
  • back of the plane has higher change of finding a free seat next to yours, but it’s a bit more bumpy sometimes, more noisy from the engines and also you’ll probably be the last served a meal so your favourites might be gone already

While most of the airlines charge fees on early seat selection (not only lowcost carriers) but lot of legacy airlines like British Airways.

Japan – starter’s kit

  • get a Japan RailPass (7 days / 14 days / 30 days) which will save you a fortune on train tickets
  • check AirBnB to save on accommodation, especially when travelling in a group
  • check Japanese low cost airlines – Peach and Vanilla Air, the fares are more than competitive
  • local SIM cards are a bit more difficult to get (passport is required), however pocket wifi is very common and might be worth to rent a device
  • most of airports, train stations and some of the bigger cities have free Wifi – just need to sign in or input email address
  • get Hyperdia app to search for train timetables
  • Japan’s convenience stores are amazing and have pretty much everything you’ll need – 7eleven, Family Mart and Lawson are most common
  • ATMs at these convenience stores usually let you withdraw money using foreign cards

Investing for Dummies?

There’s a lot of vehicles to invest in. Main difference between each of them is: risk, liquidity and potential returns. Common saving account has high liquidity and low risk but on the other hand returns are generally low. On the other hand land/property has generally low risk, higher returns than saving accounts but lower liquidity. Gold/silver has high liquidity, good potential returns but higher risk than previous ones. Shares are other extreme – high risk, high potential returns and good liquidity (in most cases),

Less common investment vehicles:

  • BitCoin
  • Fine Wine
  • Stamps
  • old Cars
  • limited series items (coins, shoes, vinyl records etc.)

Few tips for shares:

  1. Read and learn before you start. Start small.
  2. Demo investing (without real money) doesn’t count or help – you will behave differently when real money is at stake.
  3. Look around in real world what seems to work well – and check if you can invest in it.
  4. Focus on industry you know or work in, don’t invest in fancy tech stocks if you work in pharmaceutical and vice versa. You’re more likely to know what company is doing well when you understand their business very well.
  5. Keep in mind you can loose almost everything.
  6. Keep calm when things are turning wrong – declining shares will bring good times for buyers.
  7. Stay away from funds with high management fees (most of them).
  8. Check how much is your broker charging for foreign exchange fees if you plan to buy foreign stocks (those 3% when buying and another 3% when selling could make huge difference).

Resources for more:

  • Money by Tony Robins – great starting point for money management and investing
  • One up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch -older book, starting point for shares investing and tip how to do your research before getting involved
  • Shares magazine – good to learn about smaller companies

Working from Bali

In case you get bored with the autumn weather in Europe and decide to travel & work to one of the most favourite places among digital nomads, here are some tips how to make it work:

  1. Get a local 4G SIM card. Internet suggests ‘simpati’ from Telekomsel, which should in theory have best coverage on the island. From my experience it works pretty well in Kuta/Denpasar area and usually the internet is faster than wifi connection. Card itself costs something between 10k – 50k rupiah (depends where you buy it and how do you bargain) and comes with 10k credit to spend. For another 150k you’d get 4GB of data package, good for a month. You can buy other packages as well, totally up to you. Ask the guy to top up and set up the package and download their app to see how much you’ve got left.
  2. Uber around – the prices are really cheap and it’s way more convenient than haggling for prices every time you want to take taxi or scooter. Uber starts rides at 15k (2016), download ‘Grab’ app – another similar service, a bit cheaper and seems to have more cars around (cheapest fare is 10k). Most of the drivers will call you after you make a booking to ask where are you – using street name and some point of interest usually works. You can pay driver in cash (app will display how much) or add your card into the app and it will work same way as Uber then. Third one is ‘Go-JEK’ app which allows you to book anything from scooter ride, taxi, massage or food delivery.
  3. Shop around for reliable internet access – most of hotels and villas have internet but the speed and reliability varies. Usually it’s ok for Skype audio calls but if you need to do video as well, it’s better to find a place and check the connection speed there. Here are few tips for places to work from:
    1. Lineup Hub – convenient coworking place at Sunset Road, great wifi – free water and some drinks to buy are available. Day access is 200k (if you register online for day trial, it would be just 50k) and they have couple more monthly packages. Check the website: http://lineuphub.co/
    2. Sara Residence – it’s hotel and has a large lobby with a coffee place. Really convenient, fast internet, printing available and you can get anything from the coffee shop for reasonable prices (water and one coffee is free). Starts at 100k for day. http://coworkinglegian.com/
    3. Starbucks – having tried the one at Sunset Road, quite large and cosy space. Some of the tables have plugs to charge your laptop/phone and internet is good. There’re couple more Starbucks around Kuta area as well – haven’t tried those yet.
    4. Hubud – one of the most famous coworking places on Bali. Located in Ubud, has a good internet and views of rice fields.
    5. more to come 🙂

 

£1 = 17k rupiah (IDR)
€1 = 14.5k IDR
100 CZK = 53k IDR

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