5 Fun Ways to Keep your Holiday Memories

When I was in primary school and we had class photos, my Mum told me to write the names on the back. I scoffed at this – the concept that I might one day forget the names of my classmates was unthinkable! But now I struggle to remember names of those in primary school, secondary school, university, and previous colleagues.

The same goes for travel – at the time I know all the names of all the places, hotels, airports, and even metro lines we took. But fast-forward several years and it all blurs into one. So like my primary school class photos, there’s a lot to be said for writing the names on the back. Continue reading

Advertisements

The Travel Photos that I’m Most Proud Of

My photos are mixed – there are some floor shots, while i’m working out how to use a camera, and some in the dark while I haven’t managed to put flash on.  But sometimes the stars align and my photos come out well and I’m proud of them! So here is a showcase of some of the photos I like best (this is subjective – you might think they’re rubbish! 🙂 )

Continue reading

My Top 5… Rural Idylls

Spending time in the countryside can be rejuvenating and an escape from the rat race. Here are my top 5 rural places to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty….

Number 1: Switzerland

Switzerland has rolling valleys of the greenest of grass, grazed by doe-eyed cows with bells round their necks, in front of snow-capped mountains. Continue reading

My Top 5… Cities

I am a sucker for a vibrant city, ideally one with culture, and some form of water – be it the sea, a lake, a river or canals. Here are my top 5….

Number 1: Barcelona

Barcelona has everything – the wide tree-lined boulevards, the tiny quaint Gothic streets to get lost in, the lovely sandy beaches, complete with volley-ball courts and surfers, the harbour with yachts and palm trees. Barcelona is famous for the architect Gaudi. His work is beautiful and versatile, ranging from the huge gothic cathedral the Sagrada Familia to the lovely Park Guell. Continue reading

How to… Not get Travel Sick!

I was actually fine with travel for most of my life. As a kid I went on boat trips where on the way out, everyone was cheering and whooping. On the way back, everyone was puking over the side. My Mum and my sister were among them, but me and my Dad had stomachs of steel and were ok. On car journeys we would drive to the bottom of the road and my sister would be sick. I was “the normal one” (according to me anyway, don’t ask my family 😉 ).

Seattle from air

All that changed after the Nazca bus trip – a horrifying 15-hour vomit-inducing bus journey full of hair-pin bends through the Andes in Peru. I have literally never been the same since. Luckily it hasn’t stopped me from doing anything but the subsequent trips, including flying over the Nazca Lines, going Whale Watching in New Zealand, and Sailing to Ang Thong in Thailand, have been particularly difficult. Continue reading

How to have a Theme Park Holiday when you Hate Theme Parks

Considering how I’m always saying I’m not a theme park fan, I have spent a surprisingly large amount of time in Orlando going to, um, theme parks.  In Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson says of James May “He’s the only man whose been to the North Pole who didn’t want to be there”.  This is basically me at Disneyworld.Magic KingdomI feel the pain of everyone who is dragged along to theme parks against their will – be it parents who accompany theme-park-mad-kids, long-suffering partners of theme-park-nuts, or the grandma sitting with the bags and coats. How do you have a good day in these circumstances? Continue reading

How to Travel in Countries with Different Alphabets

A colleague once told me that I could not, would not, should not travel in China without being part of a guided tour group. I wasn’t sure if this was correct or not, but he had been there, after all, so I was inclined to semi-believe him.

Well, I am happy to say that I laugh in the face of this advice now, as I have travelled in many countries where I cannot read the “A, B, C”, let alone speak.

Hong Kong streetThis blog is not about travelling anywhere abroad Continue reading

How to get to the Great Wall of China on the Public Bus

I realise that this is a very niche blog post. If you’re not going there, don’t read it. But if you are, it could change your life (well, it could make your day a lot better anyway).

We attempted to get a public bus from Beijing to the Great Wall of China and I found it difficult to find information on this topic from guidebooks or tourist information. The internet was the best source. We managed it, but as I described in my last blog, it was a total nightmare.  So here are my tips, in case you want to attempt it:- Continue reading

How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip

Everyone loves a Road Trip. There is something special about having the wind in your hair, radio on, singing along, leaving all your troubles behind. But if a trip is not well planned it could fall flat. So here are a few Rules simple principles to help you have a great trip.

Near Monument ValleyRule 1 – Pick a good travel companion.

Whatever happens on the road – good or bad – it’s great to have someone to share it with. Ideally someone who doesn’t annoy the crap out of you. Continue reading

How to Pack for a Round the World trip

What to take with you on a Round the World (RTW) Trip is often the least exciting bit – you dream of far-off places and just want to go! But the practicalities can make or break a good trip, so it is worth spending some time considering what to take.

Bag / Suitcase

First, figure out what bag to take. Think of the terrain you’ll be going over, and the places you are going to. Maybe if you’re going to be walking through remote towns in undeveloped countries, a backpack might be more discreet, as a wheely suitcase would just create noise and might attract unwanted attention. However, if you’re travelling exclusively to large cities like New York, then a wheely suitcase might be easier to manoeuvre. I took a 65 Litre backpack, and felt like a bit of a pillock in New York, but was glad of it in Peru. Continue reading