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Travel Health: How to Conquer the Fear of Flying

TL:DR The nine steps to overcome aviophobia - the fear of flying. Seek professional assistance from therapists and fear of flying courses, research the science behind modern flights and learn relaxation techniques. Start off slowly by visualising the experience and once comfortable book a flight tailored to your needs. Whilst onboard, use distractions and don't be... Continue Reading →

Lumiere Light Festival, Durham, United Kingdom

“The dance between darkness and light will always remain— the stars and the moon will always need the darkness to be seen, the darkness will just not be worth having without the moon and the stars.” The quote from C. JoyBell C. perfectly sums up why light festivals are the perfect start to enjoying long dark northern European nights. Popping along to the UK's largest light festival 'Lumiere Durham' in North East England was a wondrous winter treat.

Travel Planning: The Footwear Guide

TL;DR Top recommended shoes by type of trip, season, weather, and activities, plus some useful tips for preventing sore feet. Choosing the right shoes for your travels can be a tricky issue, after all, you want to be both stylish and comfortable. You also do not want to lug a dead weight of shoes around... Continue Reading →

A Fragrant Foodie Weekend in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Stone Town in Zanzibar is a secret foodie heaven. Day one: devour delicious smoothies at Lazuli, discover the delight of street food 'Zanzibar Mix', sink sundowners atop Africa Houses' roof and feast at Forodhani night market. Day two: start with a bang at Zanzibar Coffee House, wander through the local markets and lunch at legendary Lukmaans, with a grand finale tasting safari at Emerson Spice.

Travel for Free: The Ultimate Guide to Pet Sitting

Pet sitting (or just house minding) is a wonderful service that allows the animal (or home) owner to go on vacation knowing that their pet and home is being looked after whilst also providing a free accommodation option for the savvy traveller. Here’s a guide on how to make pet sitting the best experience for both the pet owner and the sitter.

Self-Guided Art Walks in London, United Kingdom

Blake's words and paintings have been immortalised in a series of mosaics that inhabit the railway tunnels of Waterloo in South London, just around the corner from the former site of the artist’s residence. It’s one of many art exhibits that provide a lovely adornment to the streets of this large metropolis and one best experienced as part of an alfresco walk. The Southbank Mosaics group of artists took over seven years to create the seventy works that decorate Centaur Street, Virgil Street, and Carlisle Lane.

The WORST Holiday You Could Possibly Take

Cruises. Massive floating cities with thousands of passengers that spend short amounts of time in multiple destinations. So what’s so wrong with that? Lots of people love cruising but not so many cruisers know what kind of impact the cruise is having on them, where they visit or how badly it can end up. Here are just a few reasons why taking a cruise is the worst way to travel:

Super Cute Utrecht, Netherlands

Utrecht is the classic hidden gem, the ultimate understudy, the overshadowed sibling, a forgotten wallflower to cousin Amsterdam. This, however, turns out to be Utrecht’s unique selling point: a charming medieval canal town that is blissfully crowd-free. Only a short train ride away from Schiphol airport, I decided that although Utrecht may not have some of the big name attractions as A'dam it still had enough allure to entice me to visit. I started with an evening mystery light show.

Travel Safety: How to stay SAFE when travelling

Unfortunately, there are people who choose to commit crimes everywhere. The type and frequency of these crimes can vary, but simple theft such as pickpocketing can be prevalent in many countries. Often tourists visit countries or places where people are desperate for money and foreigners can be easy targets. However, there are some steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime.

Travel Planning: What To Do BEFORE You Leave

So you have chosen your destination, booked your trip and packed your bags. You are ready to travel, right? Not quite! There are quite a few things you need to do before you leave for your travels. Luckily, there is a comprehensive checklist right here, so you are fully prepared.

A Grand Old Time in Strandhill, Ireland.

Dolly’s Cottage is more than just a museum. It survived the Great Famine, unlike the majority of the local residents. “A huge number died on the journey to North America, disease and sewage were everywhere. That’s why they were called coffin ships. But the alternative was staying and starving to death.” We were given a brief background to the disaster that severely affected farmers in the 1840’s

Travel Planning: How to CHOOSE the Perfect Destination

How do you plan the perfect travels? The first consideration is to decide on a place or places to go. This could be a difficult decision so you might find it easier if you ask yourself some questions. But what kind of questions? Here is a list of pertinent questions and things to consider that will help you whittle down your options.

Nine Weird Ways to Get Arrested Abroad

Sun, sea, sand and having a great time is usually at the forefront of most tourist’s minds. However, it can quickly turn into a holiday nightmare if they unknowingly break a law. Murder, theft, assault, and rape might be obviously forbidden, but there is a whole range of unusual crimes that can catch travellers unaware. Here are just a few examples to demonstrate the seemingly strange ways to end up locked up abroad.

Travel Funding Bootcamp: How to get PAID to travel

It would be nice to be paid to travel; not only are you able to globe trot, sightsee and soak in new cultures but all expenses are covered and you are even earning at the same time! There are many jobs that allow you to make travelling part of your career and luckily I know experts in many fields. They have imparted their invaluable advice so that you can start earning money whilst travelling.

A nod to the Land of the Rising Sun in London, United Kingdom

‘When you compare the price of a hand painted, made to measure kimono to a Western designer dress it is quite reasonable’. I had to agree with Sonoe, £1000 for the stunning silk gowns did seem like a bargain. She adjusted the kimono jacket I tried on, showing how I could wear it in two different ways. It was from her vintage collection and had a lovely pink tweedy style pattern, circa late 1960’s to 1970’s. Luckily, it was a tenth of the price of the bespoke ones.

Blooming Marvellous Keukenhof, Netherlands

When you catch a man accidentally admit out loud that a display of flowers is 'so beautiful' then you know that it must be pretty phenomenal. Tulips are synonymous with the Dutch and I'd been given rave reviews about the floral shows at Keukenhof, but had also been warned off, with someone else's advice that it was only for flower lovers. Curious to know the truth, I devised a plan for a thorough investigation.

Nine Ways to Beat Loneliness when Travelling Solo

Independent travel is empowering, liberating and builds confidence by the bucket load. When you are travelling alone there’s no: tour guide acting like your mom, telling you what to do, where to go and for how long, irritating friend who was previously up for anything but now seems to prefer staying indoors, group weirdo who wants to be more than friends for the entire two week trip, despite your efforts to explain how that isn't going to happen. Ever. You can spend whatever you wish, your itinerary is your own and spontaneity is your middle name! But it can also have its downsides, and after a while, wandering as lonely as a cloud can make you feel like a real ‘Billy no mates’. So here’s my tried and tested list of ways to instantly banish the ‘toute seule’ seclusion, the ‘peke yako’ blues, the ‘all by myself’ moments.

My Favourite Wastes of Time in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

What do you do with twenty-four hours to kill in Dar es Salaam? The pseudo capital of Tanzania doesn’t normally feature on the tourist trail other than an entry, exit or transit point, a small blip on the itinerary in between safaris, summiting and sunbathing. It’s a dirty, hot, humid, chaotic conurbation; one of the world’s fastest growing cities. But behind this facade what does the metropolis offer the stranger on a layover?  I’ve taken on this challenge many many times, so here are just a few suggestions of how to turn Dar es Salaam into a highlight of your trip.

Travel Funding Bootcamp: How to travel for FREE

Yes it’s completely true. You can travel without paying a dime. Nada. Gratis. It requires a bit of effort, but the rewards are worth it. Use the tips below to travel for free or very little outlay. You should already be saving and making money with the other guides in the Travel Funding Bootcamp series. Now there are absolutely no excuses for not being able to reach your travel goals. 

A Carnival of Culinary and Cultural Delights in Galway, Ireland

What is the most romantic food? Is it falafel? One of the show’s characters came over to ask us for our opinion as we settled into our seats, taking notes of our suggestions.  This was just one of the interactions we had as part of the Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF). It has been a cultural catalyst since 1978 and attracts over 200,000 visitors to the city every July. For two weeks there are over 200 amazing events in Galway including theatre, music, dance, opera, comedy, drama and street extravaganzas. It features international and local acts, many critically acclaimed artists, writers and performers, and has helped the town win European Capital of Culture in 2020.

Travel Funding Bootcamp: How to SAVE Money to Finance Travel

If you are really serious about wanting to head off on adventures you have to bite the bullet, get lean and sacrifice a few things. You might not like it, but it will mean you will have the money to do what you want, which is having amazing travel experiences. Spending can be controlled and once you see your savings grow it can be addictive!

Death, Deception & Dilemmas, London, UK

An evening of mind-boggling, murder and mystery in an old London public house. ‘So the whole idea came from a dress I bought,’ Rosie Andrews, creator and owner of Teamfoolery, explains to me how she came up with their unique concept for group parties. “My partner remarked that it was like something from a murder... Continue Reading →

Sick of Paying the Single Supplement? Six Ways to Skip the Solo Surcharge!

What is a single supplement and why do we have to pay it? It seems so mean. Some travel operators, (for example accommodation providers and cruise companies) impose an extra charge to people who travel alone. Their argument is that a single person does not spend as much as two people on additional revenue generating services such as food and drinks and therefore the lone occupant has to make up that shortfall. However, the percentage of single travellers is increasing, and the traditional industry providers are changing due to the introduction of new competition from innovative demand based start-ups.  Here are a few top tips to use if you are unattached and itching to see the world!

Serene & Satisfying, Schiermonnikoog Island, Netherlands

Texel was chosen as one of the top places to visit in 2016, but they got it wrong, my Dutch friend said. Apparently, Schiermonnikoog, which is also one of the West Frisian islands, is way better and also her favourite place in the Netherlands. The rest of the Dutch population agree; it was voted their best loved nature spot. I was sold. However, she warned me that we should also be prepared for an adventure, as when she has missed the last boat before she slept on the floor of the ladies room of an empty ferry and at the foot of a desolate sea dyke. I wondered, how remote is this place?

Do Geordies have more fun? Newcastle-Upon-Tyne’s arty, party & sporty reputation is put to the test!

Once synonymous with ship building, coal mining, flat caps and whippet dogs, the north-east of England’s main city of Newcastle has managed to migrate into a modern metropolis whilst still retaining its character. It hasn’t shed its party town image, nor its reputation for producing great musicians, comedians and sports players. We jumped at the chance to experience some of the new cultural highlights and also the traditional passions of this full of character city.

Popping up to Perfect Pangani, Tanzania

Who can resist decadent dining, exclusively exploring the seas of a tropical island, topped and tailed with a soupçon of safari? Not I for one! A convenient long weekend, a friend with a tank sized car and a couple of helpful directions later meant I was living that dream. Woop!

What will most likely to kill you when you are travelling?

A few years back I attended the awesome Royal Geographical Society of London’s expedition planning workshop, Explore. One highly entertaining lecture was given by a professor from the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health at the University of Oxford. He began by showing lots of fascinating gruesome and gory photographs of various different infections, infestations, and afflictions. He finished up this part of his talk by saying, ‘ok now that I have satisfied your appetite and gotten your attention I will tell you what you are most likely to die from whilst you are abroad’.

Unveiling the Virtues of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Part 1.

Amsterdam has had for far too long a naughty reputation, often attracting the ‘wrong kind of tourist’. But this former port town has so much more to offer. I wanted to see beyond the seedy, smoky, party facade, take a little peek behind the right kind of curtains and find out what else Amsterdam has to offer.

Uncovering Strange Species & Special Stories at Amani Forest Camp, Tanzania

What is more magnificent than a spontaneous long weekend away in a cloud forest? Luckily, in Tanzania, this isn’t such a crazy scenario. Towards the end of a tough week, a friend and I decided there and then to throw caution to the wind, chuck a few bags in the trunk and to leave our cares behind. We wanted to make a date with weird creatures, bond with the wonderful outdoors and restore our inner chi. Our mission: escape to Amani Forest Camp!

Fromageries, Menageries & Reveries in London, United Kingdom.

The Big Smoke. Nodnol. Londinium. The capital of the United Kingdom. A hectic mash-up, where big business, high-class art, ancient history, urban fashion, aristocracy and international cultures all meet and mingle freely. It’s a festival of human awesomeness disguised as a city. Famous wordsmith Samuel Johnson managed to put it succinctly: ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford’. Too true.

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