Ultimate Bucket List Guide To The Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is set over miles and miles of valleys, moors, hills and pretty villages and towns in northern England. It is located in the county of Yorkshire and sits central on the Pennines in North Yorkshire and Cumbria and also includes a small part of Lancashire. Unlike some overseas National Parks the Yorkshire Dales isn’t a wilderness area, it’s full of lots of wildlife but also home to many people who farm the land and live and work in the area.

This national park has so many recreational activities to offer its visitors from hiking, walking trails, waterfalls, lakes, cave systems, ravines and limestone formations. The Dales is famous for the Three Peaks which are Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent mountains, the peaks form part of the Pennine range.

If your looking for some adventure and love the outdoors then the Yorkshire Dales are for you, they offer a good balance of stunning outdoor sights and you can stop, refresh, shop, eat and drink in its quintessential English villages and towns. You could spend weeks in the Dales and explore so much and not get bored once. We spent a long weekend up in the Dales and had 4 days to go sightseeing, however there was still plenty more we could have seen. We chose to visit some of the top sites in the area. So if your short on time here are the absolute bucket list must dos when in the Dales!

What To See & Do

Bolton Abbey

Entrance Fee: £10 per car for parking

Bolton Abbey is one of the Dales top attractions it’s an area of stunning natural beauty sitting on the River Wharfe, and just a stone’s throw from the town of Skipton. The area has plenty to do with lots of walkways and countryside to explore and ancient priory ruins from the 12th century. You could easily spend a full day venturing around this area, it’s popular with families especially in the summer who come to have picnics and BBQs. There are also several cafes and places to get food and drink from at Bolton Abbey too. We visited in the morning and parked at the Bolton Abbey car park so we could easily explore the priory church, ruins and stepping stones, we spent about an hour or so there which was just enough time, however I would love to go back and spend a full day exploring the area. So if you have the time I would recommend spending a full day at Bolton Abbey.

Bolton Abbey

Burnsall, Grassington & Linton Falls

Burnsall, Grassington and Linton Falls are all closeby to Bolton Abbey and are all situated really close to one another and are easily accessible and easy to visit all of them in one morning or afternoon. Burnsall is a tiny village but draws many visitors because of its picture postcard setting. It’s surrounded by beautiful green hills and sits on the River Wharfe. There’s an arched bridge in the centre of the village which is a perfect spot for a picnic. There are several hiking trails which lead off from Burnsall as well. It’s a nice spot to stop off at to admire the views or to just grab a drink or something to eat as there are a handful of pubs and cafes and a village shop.

Grassington is only a few miles away from Burnsall and is another picturesque Dales market town, it has a cobbled square in the centre which is surrounded with lots of independent boutiques and craft shops, cafes and pubs and has quite a lively buzz to the area. Surrounded by the Dales it’s a great place to base yourself too as there is lots to see and do in and around this area, and with plenty of amenities close by.

A mile up the road from Grassington centre are Linton Falls which are some waterfalls situated on the River Wharfe, they aren’t very tall however they are the largest falls on the river and are very dramatic and powerful. There is a bridge over the top of the falls where you can witness their full force crashing through the jagged limestone rocks. A little upstream of the Falls there is a restored hydro-electric plant which has been restored and reopened and is supplying electricity through water power once again.

BurnsallLinton Falls

Haworth

Haworth is an absolute must when in the Dales, this pretty village has a vintage feel and feels like you step back in time with its cobbled street overlooking the moorlands. This village is most known for the Brontë sisters who wrote the famous book Wuthering Heights, which draws many literacy enthusiasts. As well as the village being steeped in history and heritage it has lots of independent businesses from specialist shops selling crafts, homemade produce, homewares, gifts, art galleries, cafes, tearooms and more for such a small village there is a lot to see and do.

We booked an afternoon tea at Forteas Tearoom which is a 1940s tea room and is another great experience to have while in the village, it’s a unique and quirky tearoom, service and the food is excellent and it’s such good value and you won’t leave hungry! If afternoon tea isn’t your thing then pop in for lunch or drink and a slice of cake. Haworth is my absolute favourite village in the Dales, and I can’t wait to go back. If you only have time to stop at just one of the Dales villages or towns then make sure it’s Haworth!

HaworthForteas Tearoom Haworth

Ingleton Waterfalls

Entrance Fee: £7 per person

Ingleton Waterfalls is a nature lovers dream, and one of the best nature walks in the UK in my opinion. This waterfall and woodland walk takes approximately two and a half hours and is just over 4 miles in a loop. It’s a pretty easy and accessible walk, which trails through woodland and moorland and along the way you will pass Pecca Falls, Hollybush Spout, Thornton Force, Beezley Falls, Rival Falls, Baxenghyll Gorge and Snow Falls. This was one of the highlights of our trip the scenery is truly stunning. We went late morning and it was busier than we would have liked but we still enjoyed it, I would recommend getting there for when it opens as I imagine it wouldn’t be as busy at that time.

Ingleton WaterfallsIngleton Waterfalls

Lund’s Tower & Wainman’s Pinnacle

Lund’s Tower and Wainman’s Pinnacle are located in Sutton-In-Craven set on top of a hill overlooking the Dales. The views up there are unreal! Both are stone-built towers also known as follies. Lund’s Tower and Wainman’s Pinnacle are also referred to as the salt and pepper pots by locals. We visited in the morning and pulled up on the side of the road as close as we could to them and walked up to them which was an easy walk up and we had the area to ourselves. The views were some of the best we saw in the Dales and we walked up the steps in Lund’s Tower for even better views across the moors. We spent less than an hour walking up to it and around so it’s the perfect place to start your day before venturing off to explore more.

Lund's TowerLund's TowerWainman's Pinnacle

Malham Cove, Gordale Scar & Janet’s Foss

Malham Cove is a huge 230ft curved limestone cliff formation, it attracts walkers and rock climbers from all over. It doesn’t feel like something you would normally see in the UK, the sheer scale of the rock makes you feel so small. While visiting Malham Cove also check out Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss as they are all within walking distance of one another.

Gordale Scar is a huge limestone ravine with overhanging cliffs and waterfalls, the landscape of Gordale Scar is just epic and looks like a scene from a film. I couldn’t believe the amounts of times I’ve visited Yorkshire and not been to the area of Malham which holds so much dramatic and stunning scenery!

Janet’s Foss is a waterfall and pool in a woodland area and feels like a scene from a fairytale as you walk through trees, ferns and pass moss-covered rocks. Along the footpath are several trees which have had lucky pennies pushed into the bark where people make wishes to the queen of the fairies, so it’s a great place to come with children as the whole place has a magical feel to it.

Malham CoveGordale ScarGordale ScarJanet's Foss

Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead Viaduct is just over the border from Cumbria into North Yorkshire, this viaduct is a huge structure on the Settle-Carlisle Railway. It was constructed back in the 1870s. The construction cost a lot of the railway builders their lives and many died due to accidents while constructing the viaduct. This huge structure is built 32 meters above the moor and made up of 24 arches, not only is the viaduct an impressive, but it has spectacular views stretching across the moorland and the three peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside. This is also the starting point to where many people start their journey on the three peak challenge. You can spend time hiking around there or there is plenty of places to pull over and just admire the view.

Ribblehead Viaduct

Skipton & Ilkley

Skipton is a charming market town and is often referred to as the gateway to the Dales, the cobbled high street is popular with locals and visitors with lots of independent shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs to visit. This market town has lots of history, one of its main heritage sites is the 900 year old castle – Skipton Castle. Bolton Abbey is also just a fewmiles up the road which is a great place to wander. I would suggest visiting Skipton for a few hours either over breakfast or lunch grab some food and wander the shops and make sure to have a browse in the beautiful shopping arcade – Craven Court. 

Either before or after visiting Skipton head into the former spa town of Ilkley as it’s only a 15 minute drive away. It’s another one of the Dales picturesque towns full of Yorkshirecharm. If you fancy a traditional afternoon tea then head to the famous Bettys Tea Room. Have a stroll along the River Wharfe and if it’s views your after head to Ilkley moor for panoramic views.

Craven Court SkiptonIlkley

Where To Stay

Catgill Farm

If you love the outdoors then why not camp or glamp in the Dales?! There are so many amazing places to stay from cottages, hotels, guesthouse and campsites the Dales isn’t short on accommodation options. We opted to glamp and came across Catgill Farm when we were searching for quirky places to stay. We booked one of their timber pods which had an en-suite, firepit, hot tub and views over the Wharfe Valley. It was honestly a perfect set up, the glamping pods aren’t the cheapest, it cost us £430 in total but between 4 adults wasn’t too bad for 2 nights. On our first night in the Dales, we stayed at the premier inn as nearer the time to our trip we all realised we had the day off so decided last minute to head up a day earlier.

Catgill Farm also has bell tents available to book as well as a campsite. We loved the timber pod as it was great for self-catering in the evenings and we cooked pizzas in the outdoor pizza oven and both nights spent the evening in the hot tub which was absolute bliss after lots of walking during the day. The glamping options are great for families too as while the kids are in bed the parents can enjoy the hot tub, firepit and views. The location is also a great place to base yourself as it’s set in Bolton abbey and a few minutes drive to the Bolton Abbey car park, and all other areas of the Dales are within easy reach.

Catgill Farm GlampingCatgill Farm Glamping

Transport & Getting Around

The best way to get around the Yorkshire Dales is to drive, by driving you have all the freedom to make quick stops at places of natural beauty and stunning viewpoints and get directly to where you want to go. It’s the easiest way I personally think to really get the most out of your trip. However if you don’t drive there are plenty of bus and train services available and taxis in Yorkshire are much cheaper than down in the south of England.

4 Day Itinerary

  1. After arriving spend an afternoon strolling around Skipton and Ilkley.
  2. In the morning walk up to Lund’s Tower and Wainman’s Pinnacle for amazing views, then head to Haworth for the rest of the day and book in for an afternoon tea at Forteas Tearoom.
  3. Start your day by exploring Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss grab a pub lunch from the Buck Inn. In the afternoon visit Linton Falls and then head into Grassington for a walk around and finish your day in Burnsall for picturesque views.
  4. Depending on where your staying I would suggest starting your day at Ingleton Waterfalls to beat the crowds, however if like us you’re going to stay at Bolton Abbey start your day by exploring some of the ruins and stepping stones in Bolton Abbey, then head to Ingleton Waterfalls. Before heading home after your long weekend make a stop at Ribblehead Viaduct for more gorgeous views over the Yorkshire landscape.

Top Tips

Pack for all types of weather and take walking boots as some of the walking trails can be especially muddy.

Helpful Information

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How To Spend A Long Weekend In Norfolk: Norwich, Norfolk Broads & The North Coast

Norfolk is a county in the East of England and is part of East Anglia. It’s a county which is bordered by Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. The county of Norfolk is surrounded by 90 miles of coastline and its famous for the Broads National Park, countryside, forests and the historic city of Norwich.

The county of Norfolk can sometimes be overlooked or associated with posh old people, but I can honestly say the past few times I have visited Norfolk I have been pleasantly surprised and asked myself why I hadn’t visited sooner?! I am the worst person at always jetting off to exotic locations rather than exploring my own home – the UK. Coronavirus this year has made us all slow down and appreciate just what we have on our doorstep.

My husband and I decided we fancied a little break after lockdown and somewhere that wasn’t more than 3 hours drive away from our home. So we opted for 3 days in Norfolk, and left our home Friday morning and spent our first day in Norwich, our second day kayaking and sightseeing around the Norfolk Broads and our last day doing a mini coastal road trip (a typical English weather day on our last day and it poured with rain for most the day). If your looking for a long weekend away then head to Norfolk it really does have something to suit everyone.

Norwich

Norwich is steeped in history from over the years and this still shows vividly through the cities unique and charming architecture and is the most complete medieval city in the UK. It’s been a city since 1094 and is the county town of Norfolk. Norwich used to be the largest city in England after London during the middle ages and right up until the industrial revolution. Norwich has two universities and has a hipster vibe to the place, I was really surprised at how cool and quirky Norwich actually was full of stunning buildings and cute shops and cafes. There’s plenty to see, do and eat in the city, even if you don’t spend a weekend in Norfolk, if your not too far away from Norwich it would also make an excellent day trip, just set off early so you can make a full day of exploring this pretty little city.

Sights & Activities

Cow Tower

Cow Tower is one of the oldest artillery blockhouses in England, and was constructed in approximately 1398 and was to assist with the cities defence. The inside of this brick tower is closed to the public, however you can wander around the outside and there is an information plaque just by it. It’s close to the city centre and within walking distance of Norwich Cathedral, Pulls Ferry and situated next to the river which is lovely to walk along.

Cow Tower Norwich

Elm Hill & Tombland

Elm Hill is a medieval street in the heart of the city located in Tombland, this cobbled street is the most famous street in Norwich and full of historic charm with merchant houses, thatched roofs, arts and crafts shops and cafes. There’s plenty to see and do and you can even do a self-guided walking trail (pick up a map from the tourist information centre or from specific shops in the cathedral quarter). The streets a great place to visit all year round and has a quintessentially traditional English feel to it, and lots of great spots to snap pretty photos.

There was a big fire back in 1507 which destroyed a huge majority of the street, but the street and it’s properties were rebuilt shortly after. The only surviving building from that fire was The Britons Arms which was originally a Tudor inn, but today is a family-run coffee shop and a must visit.

Tombland is in the very centre of Norwich and used to be the hub of activity before 1066 before the Normans arrived. There are lots of historic architectural gems to see in the area such as Erpingham Gate, Ethelbert Gate, Tombland Alley, Augustine Steward House and The Maids Head Hotel to name a few so pin these places on your map and seek them out.

Elm Hill NorwichElm Hill NorwichErpingham Gate Tombland NorwichTombland Norwich

Norwich Royal Arcade

Norwich Royal Arcade is a beautiful shopping arcade which was built towards the end of the Victorian era. The Royal Arcade is in the city centre and full of cafes, specialist shops, vintage boutiques and gift shops. If you enjoy shopping but prefer shopping from independent shops then this is the place to come!

Norwich Royal ArcadeNorwich Royal Arcade

Norwich Castle

Entrance Fee: £9.90 Per Adult

Norwich Castle is one of the cities famous landmarks and is perched on top of a hill overlooking the city. The castle was built over 900 years ago by the Normans as a royal palace. Today it stands as a museum and art gallery, there is a range of displays from various natural history, archaeology, fine art and much more. When we visited the museum was closed due to COVID-19 so we just had a walk around it to admire the building itself.

Norwich Castle

Norwich Cathedral

Norwich Cathedral is another one of the cities famous landmarks, the cathedral’s construction began in 1096 and was completed in 1145. The cathedral is run by the Church of England and is one of the most complete Norman cathedrals in all of England. The cathedral is a grand and stunning building with lots of intricate details both inside and outside. The cathedral is free to enter and explore and there are lots to learn about the cathedrals 900 years of history. There are some gardens, a cafe and lots to explore around the cathedral and visit the cathedral quarter of the city.

Norwich CathedralNorwich Cathedral

Pulls Ferry

Pulls Ferry is set along the River Wensum and is a 15th century watergate, the channel running up to the gate is much older. A canal used to run under the arch of the building and was built by monks to help with transporting stone and building supplies to build the cathedral which would have been offloaded there. The building is privately owned and you can access the outside of the building and walk around it, there isn’t much else other than a sign with information on about Pulls Ferry. I would recommend stopping by here as the walk along the river is a really enjoyable and relaxing thing to do in the city, and you can see many of Norwich’s famous landmarks which are closeby.

Pulls Ferry Norwich

The Lanes

Norwich Lanes are a must when in the city, these beautiful lanes, alleyways and courtyards are full of quirky appeal and lots of historical architecture. These narrow lanes are mainly pedestrianised and have lots of traders from boutique shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, galleries, museums and even an independent cinema and community theatre. We loved exploring the lanes and seeing what specialist shops were selling, the whole area has a real buzz about it.

The Lanes Norwich

Norwich Market & Jarrold Department Store

Norwich Market is an attraction in itself and is one of the oldest and largest markets in England. The market is bright and colourful and situated in the heart of the city. It doesn’t just sell your typical wares you would find on a market, but a whole range of unique stalls selling vintage fashion, crystals, homewares, homemade goods and lots of food stalls and delicatessens as well as your more obvious market stalls selling fruit, veg and flowers etc. We loved wandering through the market and found lots of cool things to buy.

Just a stone’s throw away from the market is the independent 250 year old department store – Jarrolds. This family-run business is a great little place to have a browse and shop, they have several other shops dotted around Norfolk but the one in Norwich is their flagship store.

Norwich MarketJarrold Department Shop Norwich

Food & Drink

Alchemista Coffee

Alchemista Coffee is a unique independent cafe in the city centre and serves up amazing food and drink, and specialises in quality coffee. Try out one of their speciality coffees or signature cocktails. We visited in the morning before we headed to the Norfolk broads and we got there just in time before there was a queue out the door, this cafe seems really popular with locals. I had the black toade coffee and it was delicious!

Alchemista Coffee Norwich

Erpingham House

Erpingham House is an absolute must visit if your vegetarian or vegan they offer a full plant-based and plastic free menu. Not only do they have a really good sustainability ethos and menu but the restaurant, bar and cafe themselves are stunning, the decor is very insta-worthy and very feminine, I dragged my husband there for dinner. It’s set in a beautiful old building and spread across three floors. I opted for the hoisin jackfruit pancakes which were amazing! Erpingham House is the perfect place to come and has a luxe vibe to the place. The service was also really good, add this restaurant to your Norwich itinerary!

Erpingham House NorwichErpingham House NorwichErpingham House NorwichErpingham House Norwich

Little Shop Of Vegans

Little Shop Of Vegans is the cutest shop and full to the brim with vegan products that I didn’t even realise existed. It’s a great place to come to pick up kitchen staples but also a great place to pick up lots of vegan snacks too. They also have a plastic free section too selling lots of sustainable toiletries. We bought a few items to take home with us to try and some snacks for the weekend. My husband and I are both vegetarian but dabble in veganism and love finding places like this as it gives us lots of ideas to make some more simple vegan switches.

Little Shop Of Vegans NorwichLittle Shop Of Vegans Norwich

Thai Kitti

Thai Kitti is a family-run restaurant and is a great place to come in the centre of Norwich serving up Thai comfort food. We went there after our day out on the broads, they have a lot of choice on the menu with a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes as well as meat dishes.

Thai Kitti NorwichThai Kitti Norwich

The Tipsy Vegan

The Tipsy Vegan was our absolute favourite place we ate at all weekend in Norfolk! It’s set in an old pub in the lanes area of the city and serves up delicious vegan comfort food, tapas and cocktails. It’s an intimate restaurant and the staff were really friendly and helpful. We opted for the tapas for lunch and selected several dishes from the menu all of them were cooked to perfection, my absolute favourites were the bao buns and coconut crusted tofu bites which I still dream about to this day! This small restaurant is a great place to visit any time of day for either brunch, lunch or dinner or just a few cheeky cocktails, make sure this place is on your must visit list.

The Tipsy Vegan Norwich

Accommodation

Suburban Bedouin Tent

If your looking for an affordable and eccentric place to stay then this Surbuban Bedouin Tent is the perfect place to stay for the weekend. As we visited Norfolk in the summer holidays and during the summer of COVID-19 where no one was really travelling anywhere outside of the UK. We found that a lot of places were fully booked or ridiculously overpriced, which for a UK break I just can’t justify. As I was searching for accommodation in and around Norwich I stumbled across this little Airbnb and it was an absolute gem. It was quiet and comfortable and at only £50 a night it was really affordable.

It’s set less than a 10 minutes drive out of the city centre of Norwich and our host Gary was really warm and friendly and couldn’t do enough for us, and even welcomed us with some traditional mint tea to get us settled in. The tents tucked away his back garden and feel really private and aren’t overlooked. Inside the tent is decorated beautifully and has a proper bed inside and is adorned with soft furnishings and lanterns. The bathrooms are in the house but you could access the bathroom from the back door which we had keys to, we also had access to the kitchen and there was parking available.

If you’re looking for an affordable stay in Norfolk and to be within driving distance of Norwich, Norfolk Broads and Norfolk’s coast, then this really is the perfect spot to stay and something a little bit different to your box standard hotel or bed and breakfast.

Suburban Bedouin Tent Airbnb NorwichSuburban Bedouin Tent Airbnb NorwichSuburban Bedouin Tent Airbnb Norwich

Norfolk Broads

The Norfolk Broads is a huge national park full of waterways, lakes, rivers, marshes and countryside and has unique wildlife, flora and fauna. In between all the water are lots of lovely quaint towns and villages. The city of Norwich is in the national park, so it’s easy to reach the Broads from there. Spend a full day exploring the Broads as there is so much to see and do, especially if the weather is nice then there are lots of lovely walks to do around the area. The weather wasn’t great when we visited so we just opted to drive around and stop at various viewpoints and mills after a morning of kayaking on the Broads.

Sights & Activities

Hickling Broad

Hickling Broad is the largest out of all the broads and is a great location as it’s not too far from the Norfolk coast. Hickling is surrounded by pretty villages, pubs and a whole array of local wildlife that call this broad home. The best way to experience the Norfolk Broads is by getting out on the water either by hiring a boat or by doing some water sports such as paddleboarding, kayaking or canoeing. We decided to hire a double kayak from Norfolk Outdoor Adventure which was £35 for two hours and included all our equipment. We spent the morning kayaking around the broad and saw lots of birds and wildlife. It was such a great way to start our day around the broads.

Norfolk Outdoor Adventure Hickling Broad NorfolkHickling Broad NorfolkHickling Broad Norfolk

Horsey Windpump

Entrance Fee: £7 Per Adult

After kayaking we drove to Horsey Windpump as it’s not very far from Hickling Broad, this mill has been there since 1912 and is one of the more well known mills in the area and is owned by the national trust. Due to COVID, it was closed however you could still walk around the outside and the tea room next to it was still open. Normally there is an entrance fee to go inside the mill so you can get views of the surrounding area.

Horsey Windpump Norfolk Broads

Stubbs Mill

Stubbs Mill was another mill we drove to as it wasn’t too far from Horsey Windpump, this brick mill was constructed between the late 1700s and early 1800s. You can’t enter inside but you can walk around the outside. When we visited we were the only ones there it’s quite hidden away and down a country lane. There also looked like there were plenty of nature trails nearby you could walk on a nice day.

Stubbs Mill Norfolk Broads

Thurne Dyke Mill

Thurne Dyke Mill was built beside the River Thurne in 1820, this was my favourite mill we visited as the surrounding area was stunning and there were lots of boats cruising down the river, there’s also a pub across from it so you can stop here for a drink too. The windmill is closed to the public like many of them are but you can still admire the building and the surrounding areas from outside.

Thurne Dyke Mill NorfolkThurne Dyke Mill Norfolk

Wroxham Barns

We stopped at Wroxham Barns for some lunch there’s a restaurant, tearoom, local arts and crafts shops and shops selling local produce. It’s a great place for families too as there are play areas and animal farms for children. I would recommend coming for lunch and a wander around the independent shops, we spent about an hour or so there in between driving around the Broads.

Wroxham Barns NorfolkWroxham Barns Norfolk

North Norfolk Coast

The North Norfolk Coast is a long stretch of coast with millions of years worth of history surrounding it. There are award winning beaches, salt marshes, coastal trails, pretty villages, seaside towns and inland there is plenty of countryside and nature walks. North Norfolk is also home to a big part of the UK’s largest wetland – The Norfolk Broads. The north coast of Norfolk is a great area to explore either for a day trip or you could easily have a UK holiday in the area and spend days at different beaches. The weather wasn’t great the weekend we visited so on the last day of our weekend away in Norfolk we decided to just drive along the coast and stop at different beaches and towns to sightsee.

Sights & Activities

Mundesley & Overstrand

Mundesley is situated on the eastern corner of the North Norfolk Coast and not too far away from the beach town of Cromer. The beach at Mundesley is backed by colourful beach huts, cliffs and a promenade. The beach is a lovely long stretch of sand and is spotlessly clean, you can easily find a nice quiet spot to yourself by just walking along a little bit away from the promenade. Overlooking the beach is the UK smallest museum which is the Mundesley Maritime Museum which is now used as a coastguard watch. Aside from the large beach, there’s plenty of nature walks and coastal villages to see in the area.

Overstrand is joined to Mundesley beach a little further along and is slightly quieter and again has lovely long stretches of sandy beaches and a backdrop of green cliff edges. Even if you just want to spend the day at one spot I would recommend walking along the coast between Mundesley to Overstrand or you can drive between them within minutes.

Mundesley NorfolkMundesley NorfolkMundesley NorfolkOverstrand Norfolk

Cromer

Cromer is the next town along from Mundesley and Overstrand, it’s a traditional seaside town with a Victorian pier full of attractions. We had planned to spend the afternoon in Cromer but it didn’t just rain it poured so we decided to skip past Cromer and carried on to Blakeney where the weather was much drier. I would recommend either spending a full day in Cromer or allow a bit of time to spend a few hours in the area if you’re doing a coastal road trip like we were. Cromer’s streets are filled with little shops and cafes to explore and if you enjoy shellfish then try some Norfolk Crab which the area is known for.

Blakeney & Morston Quay

Blakeney is an area of natural beauty providing stunning panoramic views over its vast coastline, this pretty village has traditional Norfolk cottages and buildings with lots of gift shops, boutiques, cafes and pub restaurants. It’s especially popular with families who come to try their hand at crabbing. Many people base themselves in Blakeney for holidays due to its central location on the North Norfolk Coast. We stopped in Blakeney for the afternoon and spent some time wandering it’s pretty streets and grabbed a bag of chips for lunch.

Blakeney is also the place to come if you’re interested in taking a boat to see the seal colony out on Blakeney point. I would highly recommend pre-booking your tickets, especially during the summer months as there are only several small boat tours that operate this tour. You can also purchase tickets in Blakeney and then head over to Morston Quay where the boats depart.

We booked through Bishops Boat and it was £13 per adult and the tour is about an hour long. This was an absolute highlight of our trip as you don’t really expect to see such a vast amount of wildlife in one place in the UK. The seal colony and seabirds were great to see and we had so many seals swimming around the boat too, this is an absolute must have in Norfolk.

Blakeney NorfolkBlakeney NorfolkMorston Quay NorfolkBlakeney Point NorfolkSeal Colony Blakeney NorfolkSeal Colony Blakeney NorfolkSeal Colony Blakeney Norfolk

Stiffkey Salt Marshes

The Stiffkey Salt Marshes are an important area of natural beauty and one of the country’s richest areas in wildlife. The area is full of plants and wildlife and the reason it’s so biodiverse is due to the muddy creeks which become flooded by the tide every day. Protected by the national trust the vast expanse of pristine saltmarsh form part of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve. The salt marsh is an important conservation area for breeding birds. You could spend a full day walking and spotting wildlife in this area, however if you are limited on time you could just make a flying visit on your coastal road trip. We drove over to Stiffkey while waiting for our seal tour time slot over at Blakeney.

Stiffkey Salt Marshes Norfolk

Transport & Getting Around

The city of Norwich is incredibly easy to get to and also to travel around. The city is accessible by train, coach and buses from other areas of the UK. Norwich also has its own international airport. We drove from our hometown of Milton Keynes which is about a two and half hour drive. We parked at St Andrew’s multi-storey car park which was cheap to park at for the day in comparison to other UK cities. Once parked we didn’t need the car for the rest of the day, Norwich is a small city and most places are easily accessible by foot and everything is within walking distance. If you did want to use public transport then there are plenty of buses and taxis around to get out of the city and around. I would recommend driving around the Norfolk Broads and the North Norfolk Coast as you can stop as and when you want in places and it’s the easiest way to get around.

Itinerary

Norwich

  • Morning: Grab a coffee and some breakfast at Alchemista Cafe, and spend the morning shopping and wandering around Norwich Market, Jarrolds, The Royal Arcade and The Lanes.
  • Afternoon: Have lunch at The Tipsy Vegan and afterwards visit The Little Shop Of Vegans which is across the street. After lunch head to Norwich castle and either wander the outside of it or pay to enter the museum. Explore Elm Hill and the Tombland area before heading to Norwich Cathedral. Spend the late afternoon walking along the river and stop at Pulls Ferry and Cow Tower for a quick spot of sightseeing.
  • Evening: Head for some pre-dinner drinks at one of Norwich’s many bars or pubs, then have dinner at Erpingham House.

Norfolk Broads

  • Kayak / visit Hickling Broad > Stubbs Mill > Horsey Windpump > Wroxham Barns > Thurne Dyke Mill

North Norfolk Coast

  • Mundesley > Overstrand > Cromer > Blakeney > Stiffkey Salt Marshes

Top Tips

My top tips would be to get up early and make the most of each day so you have a full day exploring each area as there’s so much to see and do! There’s still plenty we would have liked to have done but just run out of time. We found the city of a Norwich and Norfolk County to be a very relaxed and slow paced, not like other places in the UK, we had a really relaxing weekend exploring Norfolk and it really was a perfect weekend away minus the weather.

Helpful Information

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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A Stay At The Boutique Puri Mas Resort In Lombok

Puri Mas Beach Resort & Spa is an award winning boutique hotel located close to Senggigi beach in Lombok. The resort is split in two with a beach resort that has 45 rooms and villas with a beachfront location, and then there is the spa resort which has only 2 villas and is located 10 minutes away inland. Both resorts are adults only and no children under 12 are permitted, so it makes for a romantic and peaceful getaway. This hotel is honestly the best place we have ever stayed!

It’s such great value for money, we paid just over £50 per night bed and breakfast, obviously, this can vary depending on the season and which room type you opt for etc.

There are various options of room types at the beach resort, we chose the cheaper option which is the quirky garden room, it was huge and so well decorated. We had a beautiful bedroom with four poster bed, a small open air lounge and the best bathroom ever – which was also open air, so you could literally shower or have a bath under the stars but in private. All the furniture in the room is traditional Indonesian wood furniture and everything in the room feels of really good quality and well made.

Puri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa Lombok

The room and all the grounds of the hotel were just so well thought out and well kept. The gardens were beautiful and the whole place was extremely tranquil! The infinity pool is stunning and overlooks the beach and ocean. The gardens have carp ponds, spice gardens and yoga areas. The hotel offers its guests lots of inclusions such as welcome drinks, breakfast, internet, yoga classes, shuttles between the spa resort and there was also water sports equipment available on the beach.

Puri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa Lombok

We only stayed in Lombok for 3 nights but had the best stay at Puri Mas, we loved it so much we have recommended it to several friends who have also stayed there, and all came back raving about how great the hotel is. You cannot fault the place, the staff provide excellent service, tasty food, beautiful traditional Indonesian styled accommodation and well kept gardens and grounds all at pretty affordable prices – what more could you ask for?!

We stayed at Puri Mas Beach Resort and Spa and ate around the pool a few times, and had breakfast every morning in the hotel. The food was always fresh and delicious and the service was great. The hotel offered both traditional Indonesian dishes but also western food. We also visited the spa resort one night for a beautiful dinner to celebrate our wedding anniversary. If your staying at Puri Mas I really would recommend booking a dinner at the spa to eat in one of the Javanese pavilions. The spa resort is simply stunning and set with a backdrop of lush greenery, the grounds are full of flowers and plants with so much attention to detail.

Puri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa Lombok

The beach resort drove us 10 minutes down the road to the spa resort which is absolutely stunning! We booked the set Indonesian menu and ate outside in one of the Javanese pavilions which we had to ourselves. The attention to detail by the staff was incredible the table was decorated beautifully with flowers and leaves. The food was all really fresh and tasted amazing, and the staff were attentive and looked after us so well. After our meal, they drove us back to the beach resort. The whole meal was just flawless and so inexpensive, this was a real highlight of our trip!

Puri Mas Resort And Spa LombokPuri Mas Resort And Spa Lombok

The hotel also offers a shuttle service into Sengiggi which is great to venture to in the evenings for some dinner and drinks. The hotel is also happy to organise tours or days out for you too.

If you’re looking for somewhere that is luxurious and full of authentic Indonesian charm with a beachfront location and with the option of a serene spa at affordable prices then look no further than Puri Mas Resort. !

Helpful Information

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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How To Spend A Weekend In Margate

I had never really ever considered going to Margate and I hadn’t really heard much about it, other than when it was in the Only Fools and Horses episode when they have their disastrous jolly boys outing to Margate.

A little a while a go one of my oldest and closest friends asked me to be her maid of honour at her wedding, so straight away I knew I had to organise her an epic hen weekend with the other bridesmaids. When I asked my friend where she would like to go on her hen do her reply was ‘I really fancy going to Margate’ shocked at her response half expecting her to say somewhere hot and exotic abroad or a big city in the UK, I decided I best get to work researching this small British seaside town.

Margate is a small town in Kent which sits on England’s southeast coast. While googling I was pleasantly surprised at how trendy Margate seemed to be, with lots of cafes, bars and vintage shops on offer, the hen do planning had officially begun!

When we arrived into Margate we were so amazed at how lovely everything was and it was so good to see a Great British seaside town being bought back to life, and small businesses booming in the area. We honestly had such a great weekend in Margate and it really exceeded our expectations, so much so I really would love to go back for another weekend in the future. If your looking for retro seaside kitsch – then don’t delay and head to Margate!

Sights & Activities

Dreamland

Entrance Fee: Unlimited ride wristband from £8

Dreamland is one of Margate’s main draws, like many British seaside towns Margate has its own amusement park. Dreamland is along one of the main streets and directly opposite the beach. It has something for everyone from rides, entertainment , art installations, arcade games, food and drink vendors, music venues and even a roller disco. We didn’t really know what to expect from Dreamland half expecting it to be your usual tacky seaside amusement park, well it did not disappoint one bit!

While from the entrance it doesn’t look particularly appealing, once your in its full of vibrant colours and a really relaxed atmosphere. It was also really good value for money, and I would recommend purchasing the unlimited ride wristband. We spent a few hours on the rides and wandering around. We were lucky when we visited as queues weren’t too bad, however I can imagine in the height of summer the park being a lot busier. Dreamland is an absolute must when in Margate!

Dreamland MargateDreamland MargateDreamland Margate

Haeckels

Haeckels is a shop and spa which promotes coastal natural ingredients as well as conservation and beach clean ups. This small luxury skin care brand showcases many of Margate’s coastline natural ingredients. I stumbled across this little shop overlooking the seafront just before heading home, and wish I had known about it before as they offer a variety of spa treatments onsite too. If your a girly girl like myself then make sure you pop into Haeckels for some skincare retail therapy or even try out one of their spa treatments.

Haeckels Margate

Margate Clock Tower

Margate Clock Tower is in the centre of town and was constructed to celebrate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria in the late 1800s. When walking along the Margate Main Sands or heading to Dreamland this beautiful Victorian clock can’t be missed! It’s one of Margate’s stand out landmarks.

Margate Harbour Arm

The Harbour Arm is a concrete pier in Margate overlooking Margate Main Sands and the beach front high street. The pier was created in the early 1800s for its lighthouse. Today as it stands it’s a small extension of Margate’s trendy scene with a few small cafes, restaurants, galleries and even a micro pub (The Harbour Arm) and showcases many art exhibitions and music events which run during the summer, check individual businesses for opening times during the winter period.

A symbol of Margate also stands at the end of the Pier, Mrs Booth is a famous statue in Margate. It is also known as the shell lady, and is a large scale replica of the shell lady ornaments sold in all of Margate’s souvenir shops. The Harbour Arm is a lovely pier to walk along (although very windy) and you get amazing views over the seafront.

Margate Harbour ArmMargate Harbour ArmMargate Harbour Arm

Margate Main Sands

Main Sands is Margates main stretch of beach and has its own tidal pool. The beach is really clean and well kept and a sandy beach too. The promenade is great to walk along both during the day and the evening. The beach is really popular with dog walkers and families and during the summer has beach bars and seafood stalls. Just by the Turner Contemporary by the Harbour Arm are some steps to sit on and enjoy the sounds of the ocean and beach views.

Margate Main SandsMargate Main SandsMargate Main Sands

Old Town

Margate is a regenerated seaside town and when stepping into the old town you can see why so many hipsters are attracted to this trendy part of town. All of Margate oozes retro seaside chic. The old town is really quirky and full of buzzing cafes, galleries, vintage shops, junk yards and niche shops and has lots of colourful street art.

The old town really is the hub of Margate and you can easily spend hours wandering the old streets and dipping in and out of its many eccentric shops. Some of the shops that stood out in the old town were Peony Vintage, Madam Popoff Vintage, Pothead, Little Bit, The Light Keeper, Kings Emporium, Handsome Freaks and Fort Road Yard to name but a few. It’s really great to see so many independent shops and businesses open, it’s so refreshing to see and a nice change from your standard high street chain shops. A trip to Margate wouldn’t be complete without a meander through its colourful old town!

Margate Old TownMargate Old TownMargate Old TownMargate Old Town

Shell Grotto

Entrance Fee: £4.50

The Shell Grotto has to be one of Margate’s more kooky attractions, it was discovered in 1835 and is still steeped in mystery to this very day with so many unanswered questions who, what, why and when?! These once hidden passageways are covered in millions of shells, and its definitely one of Margate’s more eccentric attractions. The Shell Grotto is a must go and see, it really is such a cool place to visit, I have never been to anywhere quite like it before!

Shell Grotto MargateShell Grotto MargateShell Grotto Margate

Food & Drink

Beet Bar

Beet Bar is a little hidden vegan oasis tucked behind a street in the old town. This quirky cafe delivers the most delicious healthy vegan food, juice drinks and health shots, the service was really welcoming too. The avocado on toast with sun dried tomatoes was just what we needed for a hangover cure and it came with a small dessert of your choice, I chose the mango sticky rice and it was just delicious! I really liked the decor in Beet Bar and its just really cool cafe to visit, and has great food and drink at affordable prices!

Beet Bar MargateBeet Bar MargateBeet Bar MargateBeet Bar Margate

Fez

Fez is a wacky bar located on Margate’s high street, this micro bar has a friendly atmosphere, and the decor is very off the wall with a floor covered in sand, and bric a brac covering the walls, ceiling and every surface going. We popped into this cool little bar in the afternoon for a quick drink, and we did try to come back in the evening but got there too late as last orders are at 11.30pm.

Fez MargateFez MargateFez Margate

GB Pizza Co

GB Pizza Co is situated looking out on Margate’s seafront and is small little locally owned restaurant which serves up delicious fresh wood fired pizzas. We came here for a late lunch/dinner and the pizzas were just fab and they have prosecco on tap too, what more could a girl ask for?!

GB Pizza Co MargateGB Pizza Co Margate

Harbour Cafe Bar

Harbour Cafe Bar is a cute and cosy cafe overlooking the sea and serves up cooked food as well as a selection of hot drinks and cakes. It’s a great cafe to have a pit stop in for a slice of cake and a drink.

Harbour Cafe Bar Margate

Mar Mar

Mar Mar is the new place to go in Margate and is honing in on the recent trend of plants and succulents. Stepping into this cafe/shop is liking walking into an exotic jungle set just on the streets of Cliftonville. A selection of cakes are made daily onsite. I had a delicious chocolate and coconut flapjack and chai latte, and afterwards did some plant shopping to bring home some cute little succulents, which hopefully I don’t kill! As well as selling lots of plants they also sell lots of cute stationary, accessories and books.

Mar Mar MargateMar Mar Margate

Sundowners

Sundowners is Margate’s only LGBT bar, club and restaurant and overlooks the coastline. Set in an old building we headed there for a few drinks before we were meant to hit another club in Margate, but we all ended up having such a good time in Sundowners we ended up staying. The night we visited they had a Boy George tribute act on which was fantastic. It had such a great vibe and everyone both staff and punters were so friendly, everyone just gets along and starts up conversation in this place.

The Bus Cafe

The Bus Cafe sits on the promenade and overlooks the beach. This old 1980s double decker bus has been converted into the cutest cafe and cooks up delicious fresh and seasonal food and uses as much local produce as possible. The cafe also does lots of good within Margate’s community and supports lots of local charities, and as well as doing all this also ensures it’s not creating to the waste problem and uses only biodegradable and recyclable packaging. This cafe has gorgeous views of the beach, delicious food and great staff. The Bus Cafe is also next to a few little street food stalls and Ziggys Bar which during the summer months I can imagine are really popular.

The Bus Cafe MargateThe Bus Cafe MargateThe Bus Cafe MargateThe Bus Cafe Margate

The Old Kent Market

The Old Kent Market used to be a cinema and bingo hall years ago, and has been lovingly restored, and still holds lots of its original charm. The market has a range of different stalls selling food and drinks, as well as some micro pubs and bars. There are also some units selling crafts and a variety of products and services.

The Old Kent Market MargateThe Old Kent Market Margate

Accommodation

Sea View Terrace Air Bnb

As Margate is a seaside town it has a good selection of hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest houses to choose from. As we were a group of 11 we opted to search on Air Bnb, and we stumbled across the most beautiful 4 storey beach front townhouse situated in Sea View Terrace. It was perfect for our group with 6 bedrooms all with en-suites, it was great for 11 girls trying to get party ready! The downstairs space was also amazing and meant we could have pre-drinks and hen party games without feeling like we were crammed in. The house was in such a great location we could walk into the town centre within a few minutes, and it was a refreshing stroll along the beach promenade.

Sea View Terrace Margate Air BnbSea View Terrace Margate Air BnbSea View Terrace Margate Air Bnb

Transport & Getting Around

Margate is really easy to get around once you have arrived, I would recommend going around the town on foot, as everything is easily walkable and you get to walk along the seafront and take in Margate’s cool and quirky vibe.

Top Tips

The only tip I would have is for girls with long hair, oh my god Margate is windy (or it was when we were there), so expect to look windswept the whole time or just wear your hair up so you can actually see where your going!

Important Information

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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Essential Health & Safety Travel Tips

Essential Health & Safety Travel Tips

When travelling anywhere around the world either as a family, with a friend or going solo, always do a little research before you go – expect the unexpected. Even if your a pretty confident traveller and not much phases you, it’s best to go with some form of local knowledge. I know many people that worry when travelling, and just by going a little prepared should take away any anxiety you may have, and make you a more confident traveller.

We all save hard so that we can venture off to exotic destinations and spend our spare time in amazing places all around the world. The last thing anyone wants is to have their trip ruined. So to ensure you go away on your next adventure and come back with nothing other than good memories and the odd souvenir, read my top tips below for staying healthy and safe while away.

General Tips

Appropriate Clothing & Footwear: Always plan what your going to wear and what you need when visiting a place. If your planning on walking up a mountain make sure you have the correct footwear for it, if your travelling to a place that has unpredictable weather then pack clothes for all weather occasions.

Carry On Luggage: If your checking a bag in, then I would suggest always packing a few essential items in your handbag/carry on bag such as a spare outfit, swimwear, a few toiletries etc. Have a think what you would need to get by if you check in bag didn’t turn up straight away. This happens a lot more than you would think and can have a massive impact on the start of your holiday. Go organised with a few items so it won’t put a complete dampener on the start of your trip, if it were to happen.

Credit Cards: Credit cards are great to travel with, even if you don’t use it just having one incase of any emergencies is always good for peace of mind.

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is vital for any trip! Always take out reliable and reputable travel insurance, you wouldn’t drive your car without car insurance and booking a trip is exactly the same, do not risk travelling without it. Travel insurance should cover any medical bills incase you have an accident or become ill, and should cover damaged and stolen goods. If you travel frequently look into an annual policy, and triple check your insurance and what your covered for prior to going on your trip. If there is one piece of advice you take away from this blog – it should be always travel with insurance.

Essential Health & Safety Travel Tips

Health Tips

Drinking Water: Whenever travelling anywhere in the world triple check if the tap water is safe to drink, according to research there are 187 countries where visitors should be wary of drinking from the tap. There are several ways you can make tap water safe to drink either by boiling it, adding iodine to it or the easier way is to purchase a life straw or water filtration gadget. If your travelling long term it makes sense to purchase a life straw or something similar, as it will save you money in the long run instead of having to buy water and will reduce the amount of plastic bottles you are using.

First Aid Kit: Always pack a basic first aid kit in your bag, a good first aid kit should have some antiseptic wipes, plasters, paracetamol, anti diarrhoea tablets, rehydration sachets, travel sickness tablets, allergy tablets and anything else you think you could need.

Immunisations: Before setting off on any trip always triple check to see if you need any immunisations, you can check with your local travel pharmacist or look online for lots of information on what vaccines you may need.

Manage Jet Lag: If your travelling through various time zones, then make sure you stay hydrated and well rested. Severe jet lag can really spoil your first few days of a trip, so do what you can to minimise the affects. Check out my blog post – Tips On How To Reduce Jet Lag.

Staying Healthy: Staying healthy while on your travels is essential as nobody wants to loose a day of their trip stuck in bed unwell. While away remember to drink plenty of water, eat well, avoid excessive alcohol intake, exercise, wear suncream and use hand sanitiser regularly while exploring.

Wear A Helmet: In South East Asia it’s really easy to hire a scooter/moped and the laws are pretty relaxed about wearing helmets. Ensure to always wear a helmet as it could save your life if you were in any kind of road accident. I would also recommend only hiring a scooter if your fully confident driving one, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Essential Health & Safety Travel Tips

Safety Tips

Accommodation: When leaving your hotel or accommodation always leave any valuables in the room safe. If you don’t like the idea of staff going in and out for your room, then put the do not disturb sign on your door so staff don’t go in. When in your room always put the bolt lock across, so no one can get into your room while your inside.

Basic Phrases: Learn a few basic words or phrases or at least have them written down, most guide books tend to have a section where they have basic words and phrases wrote down in, so carry one with you.

Carrying Cash & Valuables: Never let any valuables leave your sight, even if sat in a restaurant be careful when leaving your bag hung on a chair or by your feet, as it’s easy to grab without you noticing. Leave any sentimental valuables at home if you are visiting somewhere with high crime rates. When carrying cash try and carry smaller amounts and don’t carry it all in your purse/wallet, maybe keep some in a pocket or hidden compartment in your bag. I’ve heard of some people that make a fake wallet with old expired credit and gift cards, and a small amount of cash to make it look realistic, and if someone asks you for your purse/wallet you can just give them the fake one. 

Embassy Registry: A lot of embassies around the world are now setting up systems where you can register your details online, and it helps with their crisis response. Have a look to see if your countries embassy offers this service.

Keep In Touch: Keeping in touch with back home is probably the last thing you will think about while away, but every now and then drop your loved ones a message. Before heading off on your trip leave your emergency contact the details of your itinerary and where your staying.

Respect Local Laws & Customs: Research before you go anywhere about local customs and ensure you blend in and don’t stand out from the crowd, especially in more conservative countries where people are expected to have certain parts of the body covered. When travelling anywhere always respect local laws and customs.

Scams: Google local scams before you go, there are so many scams that happen all around the world. Have a quick glance online prior to going so that you are aware of any in your destination, and you know what to look out for.

Situational Awareness: Make sure to always have situational awareness and don’t trust blindly and trust your instincts. Whatever your gut tells you always listen to it, because normally it will be right. If something sounds too good to be true it probably is, when your away from home it’s easy to become complacent. It doesn’t mean you can’t relax but always have you wits about you wherever you are in the world.

Taxis: Use reputable taxi and transfer companies, when at the airport book a transfer at one of the licensed desks, and from your hotel ask them to call you one. Ask your hotel what the main licensed taxis look like so you can flag one down if you need to. In cities all around the world taxis have certain colours for example New York has yellow cabs, London has black, Thailand has bright pink or green and yellow etc. If your travelling solo I would suggest downloading the maps.me app on your phone as it works offline, and you can check that the taxi is taking you to the correct destination you asked for.

Travel Documents: Always look after your passport and travel documents and store them safely, make some copies either by taking a picture on your phone, emailing them to yourself or photocopying them, keep them separate from the originals incase they are stolen.

Essential Health & Safety Travel Tips

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

Essential Health & Safety Travel Tips - Pinterest PinEssential Health & Safety Travel Tips - Pinterest PinEssential Health & Safety Travel Tips - Pinterest PinEssential Health & Safety Travel Tips - Pinterest Pin
A Complete Guide To Sustainable Tourism

A Complete Guide To Sustainable Tourism

Sustainability holds huge importance in today’s current climate both at home and now when travelling. Companies and people are starting to consider their impact on the world and how they can reduce it. The travel industry is forever evolving and changing, and now the industry along with governments are starting to realise it must change to a more greener way of working, to ensure a long term sustainable future and to protect destinations so they don’t become ruined.

There are so many eco companies popping up and companies are becoming more environmentally alert. Just beware that some companies are jumping on the bandwagon and trying to greenwash everything, when in fact they are far from being sustainable! There is plenty of information out there on green travel, and just because you have decided to take an extra moment to consider your impact while travelling doesn’t mean you have to stay in a tent, cooking on a solar powered camp stove and singing and dancing barefoot around a camp fire!

The truth is that sustainable eco tourism is all about making simple choices in order to lessen your negative impact on a destination. I myself am not perfect when it comes to eco living and travelling, I work for an airline, I drive to work, I sometimes still buy items wrapped in plastic etc. However in the past few years I have really started to focus on the way I live my life and what I can change both in my day to day life, and while I’m travelling to amazing places around the world.

Like most people the thought of climate change, air pollution, deforestation, water shortages and mass waste production breaks my heart. I’m a huge people, animal and nature lover and the thought of the way I live my life having an affect on another area of the world, impacting a community or disturbing the lives of wildlife was enough for me to make a few simple changes.

A Complete Guide To Sustainable Tourism

Again no one will ever be perfect it is impossible in this day and age to live completely sustainably, unless you move off grid and live self sufficiently. However for us average working folk there is a lot we can do, and just making some small changes and tweaks it can have such a huge impact. As the saying goes “we don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

I wanted to write a blog about sustainability for a while now, and want to focus this post on environmental travel, however there will be some parts of this blog that cross over into your home life too.

This blog contains lots of information on accommodation, flights, transport, wildlife, travel eco products and more. You can use these tips when travelling domestically or abroad. You don’t have to religiously stick to all of these tips and don’t put to much pressure on yourself, the fact that your even doing a little bit of research into sustainable travel is a step in the right direction. Just remember there will always be judgement with whatever you do, and all you can do is what you can and what works best for you and your lifestyle.

Accommodation

When planning your trip one of the first things you will look at is where to stay, there is whole range of things you can do to ensure you lessen your impact. Here are few main points that you can focus on when booking your accommodation and when your staying at there too.

When booking your accommodation look to see if there are any eco hotels, lodges, resorts, camping or glamping in the area. Eco accommodation isn’t always easy to track down as major booking sites don’t have an eco filter option on their search bars…yet! A good way to find eco accommodation is to google – eco accommodation followed by your destination, and see what comes up. Also Ecosia is a great search engine which plants a tree for every search, other good booking sites to use are:

However more and more pressure is being put on accommodation providers to improve their sustainability. So if you can’t find an accommodation that’s eco friendly or that fits your needs, then you have the option to book your accommodation through B’n’Tree. This site allows you to book through all major booking agents and plants a tree for every booking with just one click.

There isn’t just one governing body to certify if an accommodation provider is behaving in an eco friendly way, there is a whole range of green tourism schemes, with some being more reputable than others. If you wanted to see how environmentally friendly your sleeping arrangements are have a look to see if they are accredited by Earth Check, Green Key or Green Globe which are some of the more reliable eco tourism accreditors and labels. However take note that to gain an eco certificate the membership costs are very expensive and time consuming, and many smaller accommodation providers might be just as eco friendly but don’t have accreditation. So check their website to see if they have a sustainability section outlining the way they run.

Even if you’re not staying at an eco hotel there are still several ways you can make a difference to your environmental impact such as:

  • Avoid using the hotel miniature toiletries and take your own.
  • Conserve water – opt for a shower and don’t leave water running unnecessarily.
  • If you do have rubbish that can be recycled ask the reception if they have a recycling scheme.
  • Reuse towels and request your bedding to not be changed. Would you have fresh towels and bedding every day at home?! By doing so it saves water and reduces harsh cleaning chemicals.
  • Turn off all appliances and lights when you’re not in the room.
A Complete Guide To Sustainable Tourism

Food

When in your destination, shop and eat local by going to local markets and restaurants, and try and avoid chain restaurants not only does it help towards the local economy but less likely produce will have been imported in. Small businesses will tend to use local food and produce that has been sourced locally. Eating locally also gives you the chance to interact with the locals providing a more authentic experience, while getting to try lots of new and different food.

Consume less meat as producing it uses far more energy and water, and creates more waste than fruit and vegetables. If you’re a meat eater I’m not saying give up meat entirely, but maybe opt for the odd plant based meal or reduce your intake of red meat, and choose a healthier meat or fish alternative for yourself and the planet. If you want to find vegetarian or vegan restaurants in your destination download the Happy Cow app for guides on vegetarian restaurants in the area.

When eating avoid throw away cutlery and single use packaging if possible, refuse straws and eat in places rather than take away, if you have the time. Take your own reusable travel cutlery and if you’re opting for take away, take your own lunch box/wax wrap and see if the restaurant can put your food in there for you. I know this isn’t always a possibility, but having your own travel cutlery is always easy to carry and pack to avoid using disposable plastic cutlery. If tight on space when packing instead of packing a lunchbox why not pack a reusable wax food wrap or some disposable paper bags. Although the paper bags are still waste it’s a much better alternative than plastic packaging.

A Complete Guide To Sustainable Tourism

Flights

There is no denying that the aviation industry is key player in the cause of global warming and releasing carbon emissions into the atmosphere. However many airlines are slowly changing their ways, and investing in better and more fuel efficient aircraft and reducing waste onboard. When travelling overseas there isn’t always much choice but to fly, and especially when most people have limited annual leave. There are however some simple tweaks and considerations you can make to your journey to make it slightly more environmentally friendly.

When booking flights always try and opt for direct flights when and where possible, and if your budget allows for it. The take off and landing of a flight burns more fuel than when the flight is cruising at altitude. When flying direct your limiting your take offs and landings which reduces the amount of carbon going into the air.

Many airlines are now paying into carbon offsetting, it’s by no means a perfect solution, but it’s a step in the right direction and still better than doing nothing at all. Carbon offsetting helps fund projects and schemes all around the world to help balance out the effects of carbon emissions from the aviation industry. Carbon offsetting is a good way to help reduce your impact, and as a passenger when booking your flight most airlines will now give you the choice to pay into carbon offsetting. You don’t have to pay a lot in, just as much as you can afford or think is reasonable, even if it’s just a few extra quid – every little helps.

When packing try and pack as light as you can, as the heavier an aircraft is – the more fuel it burns. Lighter aircrafts produce less carbon emissions, so really have a think about what it is your packing and plan your day to day outfits to avoid over packing, and anything that isn’t necessary leave it at home.

A Complete Guide To Sustainable Tourism

Local Customs

Always try and support locals and their businesses as it’s better to contribute to locals and their economy rather than huge international chains. When visiting a place always respect their local customs and traditions, and read up about a place before travelling there so you’re aware of their customs. There are so many pros and cons to the tourism industry and the affects it can have on a place. In one way it’s great as local communities can make a living from the industry, but also it can have a negative impact of diluting the culture of a place. My best bit of advice is to be culturally aware and respectful and dress in an appropriate way, and be aware of where you are visiting and the people around.

When visiting developing countries sometimes low income families will send their children out to beg on the streets, as hard as it is the best thing to do is not give children any money as it encourages the families to not send them to school. Instead if you want to help take some books and pencils instead and keep them in your bag and if you come across any children then you can give them stationary or stuff to learn and create with which will help them more in the long run.

If you really want to feel like you’re making a difference in a place then why not have a look into volunteering or working along side an NGO (non-governmental organisation) there are a whole range of volunteering schemes all around the world, so do your research and see which would suit you best.

A Complete Guide To Sustainable Tourism

Nature & Wildlife

In all destinations a huge factor when visiting anywhere should be consideration for its nature and wildlife. Always respect nature and wildlife and take care when visiting somewhere of natural beauty. Ensure you take any rubbish with you and find somewhere to dispose of it, and if possible find somewhere that recycles it (if it’s a recyclable product). Some hotels recycle so take any rubbish back with you and put into their recycling. Try and avoid making waste if you can by taking your own cutlery, refusing carrier bags and straws etc.

If you spot some litter pick it up and dispose of it into a bin, whenever I visit a beach I always try and make a conscious effort to pick up at least 5 pieces of rubbish and dispose of them. In some places and especially in developing countries where there is little to no waste management, and there is so much rubbish it’s an impossible task for one individual. If that’s the case make more of a conscious effort to not add to an already huge existing problem in that place.

When visiting a beach and swimming in the sea always choose a suncream that is ocean and reef friendly and not full of harmful chemicals that will harm coral and marine life. Take all rubbish and waste with you because if it is left on the beach it can easily blow into the ocean or be dragged into it with the tide. Rubbish and plastic pollution is already causing so many issues for marine life, wildlife and seabirds and it can be fatal for them. When snorkelling or scuba diving always refrain from touching or standing on any coral reef as it can cause huge damage to their fragile ecosystem.

One of the most important sustainable tips I could give is to avoid animal tourism such as elephant riding, selfies with tigers, dolphin shows and cuddling a monkey – the list goes on…I am guilty that in the past I have contributed to negative wildlife tourism, I was naive and didn’t do my research and assumed because somewhere had added sanctuary to the end of its name that it must be a great and caring place for the animals, how wrong I was?!

Most places that are offering a hands on experience with wild animals are more than likely out for personal financial gain, rather than providing what’s best for the animals. If your visiting a destination because you want to experience wildlife then do your homework before hand.

I had always wanted to swim with dolphins, but I didn’t want to swim with them in captivity. When I visited Kaikoura in New Zealand I found a tour that offered a small number of visitors to swim with wild dolphins, and some of the profits went back into the local marine conservation. They took us on a small boat and we just got into the water and it was completely on the dolphins terms if they swam near us. It was a once in a lifetime experience and we’re so lucky that the dolphins were inquisitive and came swimming up to us, that in my opinion is a far better experience than swimming with them in a tank, where they are more than likely mistreated and forced to do tricks and swim with you.

Researching into wildlife tourism is always a must before visiting anywhere and always avoid purchasing any animal product souvenirs such as coral, fur, feathers, reptile skin, turtle shells and ivory etc. Some animal items are illegal and if they’re not, they should be. Morally it is wrong to harvest animals for their body parts to make decorative items out of. Sometimes endangered species are exploited in this awful trade which has a huge effect on their numbers in the wild, and can bring some species to the brink of extinction.

A Complete Guide To Sustainable Tourism

Shopping

I love shopping and I’ll admit I’m a bit of a shopaholic, however when travelling I always keep my eye out for locally produced souvenirs over mass produced ones. Not only are handmade souvenirs normally of better quality, but also have more meaning and more care gone into them. By purchasing them you are contributing back into the economy or helping a family make ends meet. Remember when travelling to always pack a light reusable shopping bag, or if you’re walking around and have a bag or backpack then refuse a carrier bag and pop the item you purchased into your bag.

A Complete Guide To Sustainable Tourism

Tours

When booking onto tours and activities check the sustainability of a tour or activity, and ensure it’s not having a negative impact on the destination. There are some tours that contribute a donation for every booking back to a charity or environmental scheme. A good example of this is when I visited the Cook Islands there were two tour companies offering a boat trip out on the lagoon, however I swayed towards booking the one that donated a percentage of their sales to local marine conservation. There are plenty of eco tour operators, google eco tours followed by your destination to see if there’s any available for your trip. If in doubt or not sure on where to find eco tours then go to Trip Advisors Eco Tourism Forum and ask a question.

A Complete Guide To Sustainable Tourism

Transport

If you aren’t time constraint, then have a look at other modes of transport alternatives to reach your destination, such as Eurostar or ferry to get to mainland Europe from the UK. If your travelling around in a country or continent then there’s plenty of options for trains, boats or buses instead of an internal flight or short flights. If crossing over borders triple check visa details and read up on anything you may need to know about, like you would when flying into somewhere. In your destination, explore as much as possible by foot or by cycling, and use public transport when and where you can such as trains, subways and buses etc.

A Complete Guide To Sustainable Tourism

Travel Accessories & Products

Go prepared when travelling the world and take some key items with you to help you reduce the waste you leave behind in a destination. Here are some great accessories and products to take with you on your next trip;

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula xx

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The Best Travel Apps

The Best Travel Apps

Technology has made travelling so much easier, cheaper and more efficient, and there are so many amazing apps out there to download to help you along with your travels. On this blog I want to share with you some of my favourite travel apps that I use to help plan my trips, and ones that I also use while I’m away exploring.

Accommodation

Agoda: Agoda is my absolute favourite accommodation app, I always find them to be the cheapest booking agent in my opinion, and as I book regularly I always earn cash back which I can put towards future bookings. The app is user friendly and the filters are great for narrowing down your search. Book through the BA Avios app to collect air miles, same for Airbnb and Booking.com as all those points add up overtime.

Airbnb: Airbnb is a booking app to use if you want a home away from home, or want to live with a local, there’s so many people now offering their homes out to rent to tourists for some great prices, and there are so many amazing options to choose from.

Booking.com: Booking.com is another app I use regularly I normally always check their prices to compare with the Agoda prices, and both their apps are really similar and have a really good filter options to help you narrow down your decision on where to stay. Have a look at Booking.coms genius loyalty program, especially if your planning on making several bookings.

Hostelworld: Hostelworld I don’t use a lot however in the past when I have gone to expensive cities or been on a tight budget, I normally have a look on the Hostelworld app. In the past I managed to get a cheap hostel in Singapore. This app is easy to use and great for budget or solo travellers as it gives you the price per person for dorm rooms, private rooms and some guest houses.

Roomer: Roomer isn’t an app I have personally used before however it’s a good one to know about, if you are ever stuck with a non refundable hotel room because your plans have changed, download roomer and sell on your room to other travellers, or if your looking for a great deal yourself maybe in an a expensive part of the world it might be worth having a look on the app to see if you can grab yourself a bargain!

Budgeting

Smart Receipts: Smart Receipts is a really helpful app to have especially if you travel a lot with work, or your just one of those people that like to keep hold of receipts. The app allows you take a photo of a receipt and upload it straight away and you can add dates, notes, prices and exchange rate, it’s so much better than carrying round old tatty pieces of paper.

Trail Wallet: If your on a tight travel budget or just like to keep track of how much you spend while your away, then Trail Wallet is the app for you! You can enter daily budgets and if your visiting several destinations on one trip you can make several wallets, and set the local currency and give yourself a trip budget which it will then break down into your daily budget. You can add what you spend and organise into categories, and the app will even make you a pie chart to show what you have mostly spent money on.

XE Currency: XE Currency app is one I use all the time when I’m away, I always have it on my phone and when I’m out and about exploring and I need to work out the cost of something, it converts for me and you can convert every currency into another so it’s a great app for everyone to use.

Flights

EasyJet, Jet2, Ryanair & Wizz: All of these airline apps are great and anytime I fancy a cheap trip around Europe, I always have a play with these apps, and see where I can get a good flight deal to. Sometimes their flights don’t always show up on flight comparison sites and apps, so always have a look at their apps to make sure you’re getting the best option available.

Hopper: Hopper is great if your seeking out a flight bargain as it uses data driven research and predicts prices for flights and hotels up to one year in advance. You can watch a trip on the app, and Hopper will send you a notification of when the best time to book is or advise you if you should wait a little longer. The app is also great at finding the cheapest dates to travel on their calendar.

Kayak, Kiwi & Momondo: All three of these apps are pretty similar they are all flight comparison apps, however each one of them has some pretty good features. Kayak has a watchlist, travel planner, flight tracker and the explore section on the app is good for finding cheap flights. The Kiwi app has airport and aircraft maps and destination guides. Momondo has similar elements to the other apps but also has a hotel comparison section. There are so many flight booking apps out there, download a few have a play and see which one you prefer.

Skyscanner: Skyscanner is one of the most popular flight apps out there, it’s an independent flight comparison website and app. The app has some really good features such as price alerts which is amazing if you hate missing out on the best price, set up a flight alert with the app where you can input a range of dates, and Skyscanner will email you when the best time to book is. There is also an option for month view, which shows you the cheapest times to fly and compares the prices for the month your planning to travel, which can save you money if your flexible. If you want to go away and your on a tight budget type in everywhere in the search box along with your travel dates or month of travel and the app will bring up the options, and you can see where to jet off to for a bargain. Take note when booking a flight on skyscanner sometimes the airlines have extra fees for baggage and other services, so check out their airlines fee page on the website.

Food

Happy Cow: Happy Cow is a must have app if your vegan, vegetarian or just health conscious, the app lists vegan friendly restaurants all around the world. You just type in the destination your going to and it will bring up a choice of restaurants in that area that are either fully vegan restaurants or places that have vegan and vegetarian options, there’s also a display map so you can see where restaurants are located with ease.

Holidays

Lucky Trip: Lucky Trip is a really fun travel app and if your open minded to where you go and just fancy an inexpensive trip somewhere, all you have to do is set your maximum budget, departing airport and dates, and Lucky Trip will do the rest and show you a variety of trips you can take, and you can just tap through all the options until you get to one you like the look of. Give this app a try to see how far your money will take you and for some inspiration if your struggling to decide on somewhere.

Travelzoo: Travelzoo is an app for anyone that doesn’t like planning their holidays and prefers packages or just really good deals. Travelzoo lists thousands of deals for package holidays, twin centre breaks, city breaks, tours, spa days, UK breaks and much more, there’s some excellent savings to be had on the app and if your quite flexible or just not too sure where you fancy going just browse through all their deals there’s bound to be something on there that catches your eye.

Maps

Google Maps: Google Maps is every travellers go to map app, it’s great for working out how to get from one place to another, and allows you to pin places on your map. There’s also an explore feature which is great if you have just arrived somewhere without doing much research and a want to see what’s nearby such as restaurants, cafes, attractions and anything else you could want. To use the map offline you need to download the map prior to loosing your WiFi.

Maps.me: Maps.me is my favourite maps app and has helped me so many times, you need to download the destination map prior to venturing out and loosing WiFi, but I use this app regularly, it’s great for pinning places and while your out and about you can search for places too. It works just like a sat nav and also provides ways to get to a place by giving driving, walking, metro and cycling options. You can also search places by categories such as where to eat, hotel, WiFi and shopping etc. If you download one app today make sure it’s this one, thanks to this app I have managed to explore so many places on my own without getting lost.

Miscellaneous

Been & Visited: These two apps are completely separate but both do the same thing which is keeping track of how many countries you have travelled to. The Been app also has a USA map so you can input all the states you have been to. Whereas the Visited app has a few more features where you can customise your travel map with different colours and keep lists on experiences you have had.

Holiday Extras: The holiday extras app lets you book all those little extras to go along with any trip such as travel insurance, airport parking, airport hotels, car hire, airport lounges and more. It compares all the options and prices of what’s available, I always use them to book my airport parking and have always had a good experience with them, and it saves all your details so makes future bookings easy and quick to do.

Tipster: Tipping can become a nightmare when travelling never knowing who to tip, when to tip or not to tip. Tipster takes the stress out of trying to figure it out, just input the destination and it will give you all the tip advice you need for that country, and saves you any embarrassment.

TouchNote: If your travelling for a while and want to send loved ones a postcard, rather than traipsing around trying to find a postcard, stamp and letterbox, download the TouchNote app. You can create your own postcard with photos, prints and stickers and design your own layout, once you have designed it you can then get it sent off, it’s a really lovely gesture if your loved ones are missing you, and a nice surprise for them to receive.

Tripit: If you have several confirmations and itineraries, Tripit helps organise all your travel documents all in one place, and you can share your travel itinerary and documents with your travel partner too.

Translation

Duolingo: Travelling or not?! Duolingo is a great app to help you learn a new language or even if you just want to learn some basic words or phrases prior to a trip. If your travelling long term and want to learn a certain language this is a great app, and you can fit it around your lifestyle.

Google Translate: Google Translate has helped so many travellers and as the world is becoming smaller this app is helping with language barriers, the app offers voice translation so you can have conversations with locals when neither of you speak the same language. It has the option for text or speaking so if your trying to talk to someone that can’t read it has both options available. There is also text translation where you take a photo of the text and the app will translate for you so it can help translate menus, ingredients, signs and much more.

Transport

Rome2Rio: Rome2Rio is one of the best travel apps I’ve discovered, it helps you route and map out your trip. If you want to know what routes are available from getting from A to B, then this is the app to use. Just input where your going from and where you want to get to, and the app does the rest and will list all options available to you such as flights, ferries, trains, buses and more and gives you cost and time breakdowns. It even seems to pick up other available routes that other map apps don’t. This is an absolute must download!

Travel Guides

Culture Trip: Culture Trip have an amazing app and if your looking for lots of travel guides and blogs all in one place then this app is brilliant just type in the destination and lots of travel blogs appear and you can narrow them down by food, attractions, accommodation, guides and tips etc. You can also save any helpful blog posts to your planner page on the app so you can refer back to them. You can also book guides, tours and experiences too.

Get Your Guide: Download the Get Your Guide app to help compare and book tour guides, excursions and experiences. This company tend to have very competitive prices and allow free cancellation if your plans change.

Klook: Klook is an app where you can book local tours, guides and experiences and they are competitively priced and work with lots of local tour operators worldwide.

Lonely Planet Guides: Lonely Planet Guides app is good if you haven’t purchased one of their books, but still want to find all of the must dos in a particular place, you have to download the destination first. Once downloaded the guide displays lists of top attractions and tours you can book, as well as having a section for categorised attractions for example architecture, museums, religious sites, parks, the list goes on depending on which guide you have downloaded.

Triposo: Triposo provides guidebook apps, just download your destination guide and it provides lots of information for local restaurants, activities and events, and you can use the app offline.

Viator: Viator is a huge tour booking agent, there are thousands of tours, excursions and experiences to purchase worldwide, even if your not wanting to book a tour it’s a good app to go on, to have a browse of what there is to do in a destination.

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula xx

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5 Tips For Planning Your Trip

5 Tips For Planning Your Trip

When organising a trip one of the most fun parts is planning the trip and piecing it all together, and finding out what there is to see and do in the destination you have chosen. Personally I’m a bit of an organising freak and find the part of planning a trip really enjoyable and exciting. When I was a travel agent many years ago I used to love helping people plan their dream trips, so in this little blog I wanted to share with you a few tips of what I normally do when putting together my own trips.

Guidebooks & Travel Blogs

My best bit of advise before planning any trip is to invest in a decent guide book. My favourite guide book go to is Lonely Planet (obvious I know, but they’re great) they do great pocket city guides with pull out maps and suggested walking routes. Lonely Planet Pocket Guides are great for city breaks as they break down the different areas of the city into small sections, so it’s easy and quick to look up information.

Lonely Planet also do huge country guide books too, which are great if your planning on stopping off at several places in one country. You can purchase their e-books and download it instantly so you don’t have to wait to receive a hard copy in the post. I normally find flicking through a guidebook helps me to plan the rest of my trip, and helps me work out how much time I need in a destination and which area is best to stay in.

If you haven’t already, download the Pinterest app and search through tons of travel guides, blogs and pictures and discover lots of travel inspiration and ideas about your chosen destination.

Guidebooks & Travel Blogs

Plan & Prepare

When starting to plan and organise any trip or holiday do not book the first thing you see, do some research first. I always search several different sites that I use all the time and that I trust. When looking for flights I tend to look at my preferred airlines direct website, and also search for cheapest flights on a variety of comparison websites and apps, and then compare the costs and what’s included, some great sights for searching flight deals are:

I like to see what flights are available and which ones are direct and non direct as sometimes the non direct ones are great too. If you can get a long layover in places, you can go off exploring somewhere completely new, and it helps break up a long journey. We did this when flying to Melbourne my husband and I stopped in Abu Dhabi for 24 hours, we just paid for a hotel and went exploring the city and it really helped break the long trip to Australia up.

It’s always good idea before booking any flights to check out accommodation and to get an idea of what’s available and the cost. I like to stay in a variety of places, literally from one extreme to another. I’ve roughed it in some pretty grim hostels and guest houses but also some amazing and quirky hostels and guest houses too and stayed in luxury hotels.

Sometimes it’s good to mix it up, if your staying in cities I think it’s better to stick to cheaper accommodation as normally you will be out sightseeing all day, so all you need is a bed and shower. When you want more of a relaxing and chilled out trip make a splurge for some nicer accommodation. Personally I normally don’t like spending too much on accommodation as I would rather have more money to spend on the destination itself like eating out, tours and experiences, saying that you don’t have to completely slum it, in certain destinations you can get so much for your money. Some great accommodation providers to use are:

Once you have your flights and accommodation booked, then it’s time to start adding the extras such as travel insurance, airport parking, car hire etc. I always use Holiday Extras for these types of add ons. Always make sure you take out adequate travel insurance it’s an absolute must when travelling! If your a frequent traveller purchase a worldwide annual policy, this is normally what I do and if I’m taking a long trip I call up once it’s booked and check I’m covered and pay any additional charges.

Another way to help with planning your dream trip is to check out things to do in the area your staying in. There is so much information now available on destinations and you can find some pretty quirky stuff to see and do just by doing a bit of research before hand, have a look at the following for ideas and inspiration:

Before going on your trip I would suggest downloading maps.me, it’s an app that I absolutely swear by, it works offline and kind of works like a sat nav so it’s easy to find your way around places. You can pin places on your map so it’s good for planning itineraries, and if your short on time ensuring your not going out of your way to places and missing things to see and do along the way.

Plan & Prepare

Travel Checklist

When planning your holiday or trip write up a quick list of things you need to research. I always do this as there is always something to be missed such as forgetting a visa or booking that popular limited excursion. Go over a travel checklist to take the stress out of travelling and so you know prior to going you can just relax and enjoy yourself when you get there.

  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers & Transport
  • Visas
  • Holiday Extras (parking, insurance, car hire etc)
  • Experiences & Tours
  • Check Passports in date
  • Vaccinations

Even if you don’t book everything in advance or all at once it’s still a good thought to get an idea of costs for accommodation, transfers, taxis, excursions, entrance fees etc so you don’t get any nasty surprises when your away, and have to worry about money.

So your fully prepared and not forgetting anything also make a packing list, I have one permanently saved on my phone, being cabin crew I am forever living out of a bag, so it’s handy to have it ready to glance over when packing.

Read more about packing: Ultimate Guide To Packing

Travel Checklist

Money & Budgeting

Once you have done all your research and worked out the cost of everything, you will have a better idea of how much your going to need when you get there. Keep a note on your phone of how much local transport may cost, as many locals especially in developing countries may see you coming and try to overcharge you. It’s better to have a rough idea of the cost so your prepared. In a lot of travel guidebooks they tend to give you a breakdown of an average cost of things such as taxis, food and accommodation. If you are on a tight budget download the Trail Wallet App and keep track of your spending that way.

Money & Budgeting

Travel Itinerary

Once I’ve worked out all the logistics and budget of my trip I then like to come up with a rough travel itinerary for each day I’m away, if your backpacking or travelling long term, then I would recommend just typing some notes on your phone, and when you see places that you fancy visiting just add them to a list so you don’t forget about them.

When planning a break or layover with work I normally have a search on Google, Pinterest, Instagram, Culture Trip, Lonely Planet, Viator and Klook and see what there is to see and do, and then I pin the places on my maps.me app. Once I’ve pinned everything on my map I’ll make an itinerary on the notes on my phone for example here’s one I made for a day in Seoul that I had with work:

Day 1: Brunch at Egg Drop Cafe / Bukchon Hanok Village / Unhyeongung Palace / Tapgol Park / Cheonggyecheon Stream / Ihwa Mural Villave & Naksan Park / Grab some street food for dinner Namdaemun Market / Night Markets in Hongdae

This is a great way to make the most out of you trip, I don’t religiously stick to my itineraries it’s just more of a guide so that I can see everything that I want to see, and don’t waste time trying to decide where to go next, or miss something that I wanted to see entirely. It saves time as your not having to go back on yourself, and if your in a certain area it’s worth making the most of your time there and seeing everything that you want to see. There’s nothing more annoying than discovering something after your have returned home and thinking to yourself “wish I had gone there!” So just by having a rough guide saved on your phone really helps you make the most of your trip.

Travel Itinerary

Bonus Tip – For When Your On Your Trip

When your away on your the trip best thing to remember is to be yourself and relax. It’s always best to keep an open mind when travelling as you will meet some of the most amazing people along the way. Try to take part in as many amazing experiences as possible.

Remember to have a laugh and don’t take life too seriously, have a laugh with the locals and don’t be afraid to chat with them. Theres always a common ground where ever you are in the world. Basic English is spoken widely around most parts of the world, so don’t be afraid to get stuck in making new friends and sharing a joke. In many places locals like to practice their English and you to can have a practise at the local language or learning a few new words.

Wake up early and make the most of the day and to avoid the crowds in popular attractions. Take in the daily life of a destination by sitting outside and watching the world go by, you really get a feel for the area when just stopping for a little while and taking in the local life, sights, smells and sounds. Take tons of pictures when your away, they’re always great to look back on and reminisce when you return home. Always try and back up your photos too, just incase you loose your camera/phone or it gets stolen.

Most importantly just let go and have fun and enjoy yourself, life is far too short, cliche as it sounds live the life you love.

Travel Quote

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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