HomeTagsPosts tagged with "travel"

travel

by

I took a trip to Edinburgh for the first time a couple of years ago, and was absolutely blown away by how amazing it was. 

(I've been back twice since). 

It is a city so rich in culture and beauty, combined with friendly people, good food and great fun at every turn. 

The city is buzzing with excitement, and countless things to see and do – from dungeons to castles and everything in between.

Here are the experiences in the Scottish capital that you cannot afford to miss: 

1. Dinner at The Witchery

This place is not exactly somewhere you would dine on a budget, because it is pretty fancy – but you seriously need to have an evening out for yourself and the gals here. The Witchery by the Castle has developed a world-wide reputation for its exceptional dining experience, showcasing the very best of Scotland's produce in the most magical of settings.

Now in its fourth decade, the Witchery is a Scottish dining landmark, much loved by loyal locals, its celebrity fans and visitors to the city alike. Alongside the Scottish seafood, beef, lamb and game you'd expect to find, you'll also see the Witchery's legendary Angus beef steak tartare, briny-fresh seafood platters, wild game and even some haggis featuring on the menu.

 

A post shared by The Witchery (@the.witchery) on

2. Take in the scenery at Linlithgow Palace

Explore the magnificent ruins of the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots with a trip to Linlithgow Palace! The royal retreat was built and added to over two centuries by the Stewart kings, resulting in a superb Renaissance residence. 

High towers look out over lush greenery and a loch brimming with wildfowl, which is today a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Several monarchs were born in this royal ‘pleasure palace’, surrounded by its peaceful gardens and grounds. 

Take a jaunt around the grounds of the Palace, enjoy the lovely gift shop and explore the quaint village of Linlithgow – which is filled with cosy pubs and fun little boutiques. 

3. Experience The Real Mary King's Close

Beneath the City Chambers on the Royal Mile lies Edinburgh's deepest secret, a warren of hidden streets where real people lived, worked and died between the 17th and the 19th centuries.

The Real Mary King’s Close is a warren of underground streets and spaces, where, back in the 1600’s, Mary King’s Close and neighbouring Closes were at the heart of Edinburgh’s busiest and most vibrant streets. Once open to the skies and bustling with traders selling their wares to the Old Town’s residents, discover why would this street find itself underground 400 years later?

For years, the hidden Closes of Old Town Edinburgh have been shrouded in myths and mysteries. With a costumed character tour guide based on a one time resident, your group will explore this underground site, hearing these fascinating stories

4. Have Afternoon Tea in The Signet Library

If you manage to find yourself in Edinburgh on a weekend away with the gals then head to The Signet Library for the most wonderful afternoon tea in Scotland. You’ll discover the finest seasonal ingredients in sandwiches, delectable savouries and decadent cakes – all served on bespoke silver tea stands – so fancy.

Surrounded by vintage books and beautiful artwork, you will find yourself in ambience like no other – prepare to sit back, relax, and indulge. 

 

A rainy day in Edinburgh meant high tea at the Signet Library….

A post shared by laura nelkin (@lauranelkin) on

5. Explore at Edinburgh Castle 

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most exciting historic sites in Western Europe, and not even torrential rain can dampen the experience (my god, did it bucket down!)

Set in the heart of Scotland's dynamic capital city, this most famous of Scottish castles has a complex building history. The oldest part, St Margaret's Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around 1510; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton in the late 16th century; and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First World War.

The castle houses the Crown Jewels of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th century gun Mons Meg, the One O' Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland.

 

Glorious sunshine at the castle tonight. Summer is that you? #sunshine #edinburgh #scotland #thisisedinburgh #sunshine #summer

A post shared by Edinburgh Castle (@edinburghcastle) on

6. Eat haggis (yes, really!) 

I know what you're thinking, but just hear me out for a second. When one of my lovely pals suggested that I try the Scottish delicacy of 'haggis, neeps and tatties,' I initially was disgusted, at the sheer idea of it.

However, I gave in, and decided to give the sheep stomach a whirl, and it was DELICIOUS. The meal was served like a small cottage pie of sorts, and was genuinely so tasty. Arcade Bar is the spot to try this famous dish – you won't regret it! 

 

Lunch with mam

A post shared by Hugh McAndrew (@hughmcandrew) on

 

Trending

Anyone getting ready to get married knows that picking where to go on the hen party is important.

It needs to be cheap, have a selection of bars and restaurants, good weather and a party buzz.

Can you guess where the top destinations are?

Mecca Bingo ranked them and the first is…the gorgeous city of Prague. 

1. Prague

The Czech capital is good for nights out and cheap food, with the average price of a meal around a fiver. 

It has an enormous 620 bars and clubs, making it an excellent night out. 

You could have a spa weekend and choose from one of Prague’s 161 establishments.

2. Barcelona 

The Spanish city is good for sunny weather, relaxing spas a there is also a beach nearby.

With 531 bars and clubs, and the average price of a bottle of wine is just five quid, so it’s also a great night out.

Image result for barcelona city

3. London

It is chock-a-block with bars, clubs, and restaurants as well as many spas.

However, meals, taxis, and bottles of wine could really chip into your bank balance. 

Related image

4. Madrid

This city is good for bars, clubs, and cheap taxi fares.

The city boasts 613 bars with cab prices starting at just three Euro and a good choice for sun-worshipping hens too.

Related image

5. Budapest

This Hungarian city is great for cheap food and alcohol, with the average cost of a bottle of wine just five quid and main meals around the same.

Image result for budapest

6. Sofia

This Bulgarian city is home to outrageously cheap taxis and eating out is affordable also.

Image result for sofia bulgaria

7. Berlin

The German city is good for cheap booze and nights out.

Berlin has 515 clubs – what more could you want?

 

Trending

Believe me when I say that I love to travel, seriously I'm on a plane every bloody chance I get.

Hell, I'm on a plane right now. 

Anyway, I'm ALWAYS looking at places to visit and places to stay, even if I genuinely have no intention of going there. 

This has resulted in what I call 'Airbnb binges' where I spend hours looking at amazing places to stay all over the world. 

Here are some of my BEST discoveries:

1. Secluded Intown Treehouse, Atlanta, Georgia 

Because who hasn't dreamed about sleeping in a grown-up treehouse?

From €312 per night, Sleeps 2.

2. Tile House, Twentynine Palms, California, US.

This one is like something out of a movie – we love it! 

From €154 per night, Sleeps 4.

3. Romantic Cabana with view, Armenia.

Perfect if you want some quality time with the love of your life. Beautifully rustic. 

From €33 per night, Sleeps 2. 

4. Dairsie Castle, Fife, Scotland 

From €653 per night, Sleeps 14. 

Have you ever wondered what life would be like as a royal? Well, now is your chance. 

5. Luxury, cosy and private villa, Bali.

Heaven. Absolute heaven. 

From €32 per night, Sleeps 2.

6. Laura's Cottage, Redford film spot, historic, Savannah, Georgia, US.

You can actually taste the history here. How cool?

From €132 per night, Sleeps 4. 

7. Cuckoo Wood Hexagon, Westpot, Ireland.

Cheeky staycation anyone? How cool is this? 

From €74 per night, Sleeps 2.

8. Yui Valley-Traditional House , Fujieda, Japan.

The real Japanese experience, and not a bad price either. 

From €88 per night, Sleeps 6. 

9. A Pirate's Life For Me – Houseboat!, Charleston, South Carolina, US. 

I've ALWAYS wanted to stay on a house boat, and honestly this is the coolest one I've ever seen.

From €173 per night, Sleeps 4. 

10. The Woodcutters Cabin, Collooney, Sligo. 

The perfect country getaway with fishing, hiking and mountain bike trails on your doorstep. The hosts are also AMAZING! 

From €77 per night, Sleeps 2. 

 

Trending

If your social media feed is to believed, glitter and wellies are the only things you need to call your Glastonbury experience a success.

Unfortunately, as many festival newbies quickly learn, glitter is the last thing you care about when your phone is dead, your tent is leaking and your back is painfully sunburnt.

Sure, festivals are an incredible opportunity to get creative with your look as well as being the perfect chance to kick back with your mates for an entire weekend, but that doesn't mean the practicalities of daily life stop applying.

From protecting your skin from sun damage to ensuring you remain connected to the outside world with a fully-charged phone, here are six festival essentials every die-hard music fan will be carrying this weekend.

1.  Antiseptic wipes

We hardly need to spell this one out, but unless you've encountered your own personal hell in a festival toilet, you may not fully appreciate the importance of a pack (or three) of antiseptic wipes.

From helping to make your chosen portaloo that little bit easier to use, to saving the day when the sinks outside are overrun with people, antiseptic wipes are your best friend. Forever and always.

2. Sunscreen

Whether or not the forecast looks good for the weekend ahead is beside the point. You're going to be spending the vast majority of your time outdoors (rain or shine) and that means you need to protect your skin against any pesky sunrays that break through.

Opt for P20 with its unique composition of extremely photostable UVA and UVB filters,which are very slowly degraded by the sun. The ingredients in P20 adhere to the skin and remain on it, and the combination of these two factors makes P20 Sunscreen last for up to 10 hours

And remember, the average adult needs to apply 30-40mls of product during each application to ensure sufficient coverage and effective protection, so make sure that goes in your rucksack.

3. Portable charger

Anyone who has spent even a moment praying their battery will last long enough to locate their friends by the main stage will attest that a portable charger is an absolute must-have at any festival.

Yes, it costs a few quid, but when you've splashed out on a festival ticket, the last thing you want is to hand over more cash to charge your phone or spend hours queuing to charge your phone thereby missing the act you paid to see.

Divide the cost between a few pals, and check one worry off your list for the coming weekend.

4.  Duct tape

Whether it's for a hole in your tent or a leak in your welly, you will not regret packing a roll of duct tape.

You never know when you'll use it, but trust us, there will come a point at some stage over the weekend, when you actually will need it. 

5. Binliners

Like duct tape, you may question why you need it when you're already spent money on a quality tent, hardy wellies and expensive rain jacket, but trust us on this one.

Whether it's simply for using to collect rubbish around your tent or as a makeshift rainjacket when you lose your own, a roll of binliners weighs next to nothing, but will always, always, always come in handy.

6. Folding chair

After you've spent one festival sitting in the lotus position for three days straight, you'll soon realise that a folding chair is one of the most important things on your 'To Pack' list.

The floor of the tent is all well and good for a few hours, and sprawled on the grass definitely works for a while, but there will come a point in the weekend when you'd step over your own mother just to get five minutes on your neighbour's folding chair.

 

 

Trending

Solo travel is a goal many of us have on our bucket lists, but unfortunately, the world isnt always safe and accommodating for women. 

Thanks to Holidayguru, we now have a concise list of the best places for solo female travellers, compiled by their travel experts. 

'Travelling solo as a woman can seem daunting. While loneliness, organisation and crucially, safety, are valid concerns, we see it as a rite of passage and experience you can be proud of.'

Australia

Cosmopolitan cities, sandy beaches, rugged wilderness and the Great Barrier Reef. Is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to see Australia? Of course, it’s expensive to get to but this shouldn’t put you off taking the plunge down under for your big solo adventure along its famed coasts. “There are so many backpackers there that the tourism industry is really tailored to solo travel,” according to Online editor for Holidayguru Netherlands Willeke van Doorn, who’s been twice. Willeke says: “If you are open to meeting new people, you'll never really be alone. It's safe too – I always felt comfortable going out and about on my own. Plus, koalas are adorable!”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Cam Alex Horne | DRONE (@camalexhorne) on

The South of France

For first-time solo travellers, European cities are probably a good way to test the waters. But who says you have to see just one? Head to the South of France to enjoy some beachside glamour in and delicious food – both Italian and French! Inland, there are beautiful wildlife parks and mountain-top medieval towns. Astrid Klaver is an SEO manager at Holidayguru. She recalls: “I booked a one-way ticket to the South of France. "I went to a different town every day. Monaco, Nice, Cannes and the artist village of Saint-Paul de Vence. I didn't get bored for a second and at the end, I just booked a flight back.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Côte d'Azur France (@visitcotedazur) on

Thailand

While Thailand is a well-worn backpacking trail, its undeniable beauty, friendliness, affordability and ease make it perfect for the solo adventurer. Rosella di Gioia from Holidayguru Italy says: “Whether you want to explore the North with its amazing temples and wild nature or the paradise beaches in the South, you will never feel lonely.” "Travelling in the country by bus or plane is super easy and if you enough have time, you could also easily reach Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar or Laos with low-cost flights.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sarah Magliocco (@sarahmagliocco) on

Sweden

Sweden’s modern cities, coupled with its reputed safety and laid back atmosphere, make it a great place for a solo city break. You’ll be enchanted by Stockholm’s waterside buildings and modern touches! Ella Carroll from Holidayguru.ie recommends adding in a trip to the North as well. She says: “It is an incredibly remote and wild region, but in the end, it was my favourite part of the trip. “People were so welcoming – people were happy to tell you about life there and will be more than happy to help you if you're a bit stuck.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nammiami39397979 (@nammiami39397979) on

Turkey

As the meeting point between Europe and Asia, Turkey offers plenty of architectural treasures from empires past. The Turkish Riviera offers the perfect sun holiday, while Pamukkale offers the chance to see Roman ruins amongst white travertine terraces. Istanbul’s international vibe makes it a great place to party after a day of sightseeing. Nerea Gutiérrez Ruiz is an online editor for Holidayguru Spain. She says: “If you prepare your trip a bit in advance the language doesn't need to be a problem. I've been in four different cities in Turkey and the people will try to help you all the time. She has some advice for counteracting unwanted attention too: “You just need to know how to be polite, and tell them you would like to be alone.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Türkiye En Büyük Tatil Sayfası (@travelturkeyy) on

Slovenia

From the eco-friendly elegance of Ljubljana to the Venetian beauty of seaside Piran, Slovenia’s cities are perfect for the any budding photographer on the go. Omega Love, founder of lifestyle blog Love Scribe, says: “The streets of Ljubljana are buzzing because of the university but the city isn't boisterous – it’s subtly elegant and charming. “In Piran, there's a gorgeous castle and centuries-old cathedrals dotted around the city. The main square is an Instagrammer's dream. “I went over the border to Trieste in Italy too. The highlight of Slovenia is that you can travel around so easily and that made me feel really empowered.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Willabelle Ong (@willamazing) on

Canada

Canada’s mix of bustling urbanscapes and woodland charms give it constant variety. You can go hiking in the mountains of Alberta or be astonished at the picture-perfect lakes in Banff National Park. Want to practice your French? Go to the East Coast and visit Quebéc and Montreal. Marit Houben from Holidayguru NL says the “mind-blowing” North American country lives up to its reputation of friendliness. “Canadians won’t hesitate for a second to help you out or have a chat with you,” she said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Wander Vancouver (@wandervancouver) on

Costa Rica

With a population of less than five million, Costa Rica is small, but it certainly packs a punch. This critter-filled Central American country is home to a variety of ecosystems and exotic landscapes. Chill on tropical beaches, hang out with a sloth or zip line through clouded forests. Marit says: “Costa Rica has it all. People are friendly and helpful and will do anything to make you feel welcome. “Travelling around the country is super easy and safe because you can usually book a direct shuttle to your next destination from your hostel.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@janikrobichaud) on

Tanzania

Tanzania must have been the inspiration behind Toto’s “Africa”. From lounging on the tropical islands of Zanzibar and Mafia to marvelling at the Big 5 in the Serengeti, Tanzania will have you singing at the top of your lungs. English teacher Daire Louise Ni Dhubhda has taught in Abu Dhabi, Australia and Vietnam and has mastered the art of solo travel. She says: “Tanzanians are so welcoming and hospitable. 'Karibu Sana' is their local phrase in Swahili, meaning you are most welcome. “My only advice is to make friends with a local and get a driver – they will haggle on your behalf!”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Exploring Islands (@exploringislands_) on

Japan

This is a destination for the more advanced solo traveller. You won't get very far with English in Japan, but the good transport in and between the cities and the famously low crime rate make this Asian country a must for a solo holiday. Enjoy a meal for one at a city ramen counter. Challenge yourself as you navigate signage and maps. Grab the bullet train to travel cross-country. Stay overnight in hostels to save some costs and meet other travellers. Be warned, it is a bit isolating but ultimately rewarding.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Beautiful destinations (@placesincolours) on

Trending

by

There are few better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon than a spontaneous cross-country day trip, and with so many fantastic destinations dotted around this little island of ours, there's no reason to ever be stuck for something to do on your day off. 

Ireland is bursting with pockets of cultural, scenery and heritage just begging to be explored, and seeing as most of them will only cost you the price of petrol money or bus fare, it'd be rude not to, really. 

Here's our top five picks:

1. Glencar Waterfall

Situated near the Leitrim-Sligo border, Ireland's most beautiful waterfall flows from a height of 50ft and once served as inspiration for the William Butler Yeats poem, The Stolen Child.

The relaxed atmosphere offers the perfect escape from urban life and is a popular day trip destination for families, couples and friends alike.

There are picnic and café facilities available on site, as well as ample parking and tranquillity for days.

2. Lough Derg

Easily accessible from all corners of the country, the Lakelands Lough Derg are absolutely bursting with scenery and heritage just waiting to be discovered.

Located between the counties of Clare, Tipperary and Galway, the lake offers a huge variety of water activities including stand up paddling, sailing, cruising canoeing and fishing.

And for those of you who don't fancy getting wet, there are plenty of scenic walking routes to explore and local food to be sampled.

 

A post shared by Miki Mihai (@mmihaelarom) on

3. Kinnagoe Bay – Donegal

One of Ireland's most beautiful 'hidden' beaches, this small stretch of golden sand is completely enclosed by a sloping hillside, making it the perfect spot for some serious rest and relaxation… well once you get down the hill, of course.

There are a handful of parking spaces available, however, if you're not lucky enough to nab one of these, you'll need to continue your journey on foot.

The steep descent does require some hard work, and you'll probably fall more than once, but hey, it'll all be worth it when you get a glimpse of that breathtaking ocean view.

 

A post shared by Joey DeCourcey (@decourj) on

4. Cobh – Cork

Popular among tourists and local alike, Cork's colourful waterfront town is one of the most charming Ireland has to offer.

Visitors can grab a bite at one of the many bars and restaurants, or soak up the history at the Titanic experience.

Or, if you fancy, you can even hire your very own self drive boat and take it for a spin around the world's second largest natural harbour.

 

A post shared by Turismo Irlanda (@turismoirlanda) on

5. The Japanese Gardens – Kildare

Created between the years of 1906 – 1910, the world famous Japanese Gardens were laid out by Japanese gardeber Tass Eida and his son Minoru.

Designed to symbolise the 'Life of Man', the gardens offer vistors a uniquely peaceful experience as they stroll through the seamless fusion of Eastern and Western cultures.

Oh, and if you fancy a bit of retail therapy to go along with all the soul searching, Kildare Village is just a 4 minute drive away – just saying.

 

A post shared by Jane Derrick (@janederrick11) on

Trending

Sick of the same pubs, the same people, conversations, bus routes and seemingly never-ending days that blur into each other?

You, my friend, are not alone.

And the answer? Travel. 

Travelling alone might seem like this big, daunting, terrifying thing – and in this day and age, no-one could blame you.

But what about those visions of sitting on a side-street cafe in Paris having your Instagram-worthy morning croissant and black coffee?

Or trekking through the Grand Canyon or swimming in the sea on one of the many Greek islands?

I can see the crystal-clear sparking water in my mind as I write this. 

So what are you waiting for?If you find yourself single and your mates are doing their thing then don't sit at home and wait for someone to be free.

Pack a suitcase and be that free-spirited person you always wanted to be – life is short, right?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Solo Female Traveler Network (@solofemaletravel) on

The essential tips for travelling alone are important and as follows:

1. Screw the itinerary (kinda)

It might sound cool and spontaneous to just go wth the flow and not plan anything but when you're flying solo, it ain't so clever.

Do you really wanna arrive in a foreign place and, tired and with no idea how to get around and have no bed sorted for the night?

Didn't think so.

Always have accommodation arranged and a rough idea of what city is to come while still keeping your plans loose. 

Better to safe than sorry, right?

2. Be careful with the booze

All-you-can-drink-in-two-hours might sound tempting and if you're flanked by mates then go for it.

But when you have to watch your own back, maybe skip Margarita Hour.

I'm not saying you can't enjoy a glass of local vino or try out he popular beers in whatever city you're in, but don't get hammered.

It's easy to lose your bearings, your possessions or become a target for crime.

Also, nursing hangovers alone is plain old depressing tbh. 

3. Curiosity killed the cat

A little mystery never hurt anyone, right?

While it might seem like you've known the people you've met on your travels for years as you laugh at dinner together but they are also strangers.

So when it comes to talking about where you're staying, keep scutum.

Ditto on where you're planning to go – be breezy and vague. 

No-one needs to know you're every move and the info might end up falling into the hands of someone, let's say….undesirable. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Solo Traveler (@solo_traveling) on

4. Don't take everything and the kitchen sink with you

You don't need to bring that much shit.

One of everything is enough – are you really gonna wear three pairs of runners and four pairs of heeled boots?

Obvs not.

And remember that you're gonna be lugging all this stuff around with you so if you don't mind carrying your entire wardrobe on your back, go for it. 

5. MIX WTH EVERYONE

This is your time to be whoever you want to be, approach anyone you want and not having to worry about seeing them again.

The world is full of interesting people and you – go forth and meet them.

And think of all the funny stories you'll have to tell your mates in the pub when you're back not to mention the KILLER Instagram feed that will have everyone frothing at the mouth with jealousy.

Now we're off to buy some tickets…

Feature image credit: solofemaletravel/Instagram

Trending

Is it just us, or does anyone else feel like winter is here to stay?

Below average temperatures and cloudy skies have us pining for beer gardens, BBQs and long summer evenings, but alas, it looks like it'll be a while yet before the sun makes its annual appearance on Irish shores. 

But why wait? There are plenty of sunny holiday destinations just waiting to be explored this Spring, and with so many Bank Holidays coming up over the next few months, you've no excuse. 

To help you decide, we've put together a list of the best last-minute spots –  perfect for topping up your tan before summer officially begins. 

Sicily, Italy 

Rising temperatures, celebrations, and delicious food make Easter is one of the best times to visit Sicily.

With daytime highs of 18°C, you'll get a well-needed does of Vitamin D without feeling like you've been burnt alive.

What's more, each town celebrates the religious occasion with its own traditions and processions, so you'll get an authentic look into Sicilian culture.

Tenerife, The Canary Islands

With the mercury rising to the early twenties, and miles upon miles of sandy beaches, Tenerife is pretty much a sun worshipper's paradise.

Sure, it's nothing compared to the highs experienced in July or August, but unless you're in potion to cough up for flights to the Caribbean, it's probably the best you're going to get for this time of year.

The island has something for every type of holiday maker so make sure to choose your location wisely.

Those in search of a party atmosphere should head to the resorts of Playa de Las Americas or Los Cristanos, while those looking for something more relaxed should try Los Gigantes or Puerto Santiago.

Faro, Portugal 

Located in the heart of the Algarve, Fargo is often overlooked by tourists who instead opt to spend their holidays in the neighbouring towns.

History and culture are two of the city's biggest draws, and its position makes it a great central base from which to explore the rest of the Algarve.

With temperature once again hitting the early twenties, this picturesque little city is the ideal destination for a relaxing couples break or a well-deserved chill-out trip with the girls.

St. Paul's Bay, Malta 

During the day, Easter sun-seekers can enjoy highs of 20°C at the Golden Sands Beach, before spending the evening relaxing at one of town's glamorous bars and restaurants.

What's more, the Maltese resort also caters for the adventurous traveller, with scuba diving, snorkelling and water sport activities.

Heraklion, Crete

A prt city and the capital of the Greek island Crete, Heraklion (also called Iraklio) offers holiday-makers the perfect balance.

City vibes, seaside views, and a bustling nightlife – what more could you want?

Temperatures typically peak in the late teens or high twenties in March and April.

 

Trending

Backpacking around Thailand sounds cool and exciting, right?

Asia never really appealed to me because it was so far away and the culture is so different to what I'm used to – but I've realised they should've been the reasons why I wanted to go.

My boyfriend had travelled around the country for three months last year so he was the perfect travel companion – also, he took care of all the boring booking so I had more time to drink Margaritas. 

Right, if you have a spare two weeks, are cash-strapped and have a desire to go on an adventure, then read on…

Before we begin, these are some of the essential things to pack:

Sunscreen (It's HOT)

Mosquito spray (I was eaten alive)

Flip-flops – easy to shower in and throw on/off because many restaurants and hostels expect you to be barefoot. 

You will also need vaccinations if you haven't gotten them – I got typhoid, polio, hepatitis A, tetnus. 

Change your money from Euro to Baht.

Before our flight, we had only booked a hostel with a private room for one night because we knew we'd be jet-lagged – so don't plan too much. 

Where to stay

Hostels all the way.

They are cheap AF – like 250 upwards Baht a night (around 7 Euro). 

Obviously, make sure they come with air-con or fans included. 

The best place we stayed in Bangkok was Pop Art Hostel run by Luca, a cool Italian guy. It's central, bright, clean and we meet other backpackers there in the communal rooms.

You can sit outside, get some local beers from the shop right next door – it's perfect. 

We stayed in hostels in Pak Chong and the coastal province of Krabi too. 

We later took a boat to the island of Railay where it was a bit more touristy.

We stayed in Rapala Rockwood Resort which cost a tenner for a room and a communal shower.

We also spent a night in Railay Viewpoint Resort with was 14 quid a night and came with a pool.

The cutest place we spent two nights was in Koh Lanta. 

They were rows of actual mini huts with a huge double bed and private bathroom and the cutest porch with chairs and a hammock.

It was near the beach where we had an evening swim and pubs/restaurants were a few minutes away.

It came with breakfast and set us back 8 quid a night – like C'MON. 

We booked everything online the day before – it was sooo easy.

Food

While you're in Thailand, eat the local food.

Not only is DIRT CHEAP (like 1.50 for a meal) but it tastes unreal.

Who knew fried rice and vegetables could be so delicious?

We are vegetarian so no meat for us, which helped lower the risk of food poisoning. 

Ethos restaurant is kinda hidden but such good food and massive portions.

For snacks, we ate sticks of pineapple from street stalls (my boyfriend drank, no joke, four fruit shakes a day at the stalls).

It's easy to eat cheap in Bangkok, but more touristy places like Railay can be a bit pricier and less local. 

Be careful of water there are 7-Elevens on every corner so no excuse not to stock up on bottled water.

I also didn't try any scorpions etc but people we met in one of our hostels did and they were fans. 

The best Pad Thai is in a place called Thipsamai in Bangkok, there's always a queue but they stay open until 2am – and when you eat it you'll know why it's in such demand. 

Transport

First off, you've gotta get a few tuk-tuks.

You can haggle and get them for quite cheap and it's so fun to be whisked around the Bangkok traffic in one. 

If you're getting taxis ALWAYS ask for one with a meter so they can't charge you tourist prices. 

For a 15-minute drive, it was less than two Euro for us. 

Motorbike

If you have a driving license, you can rent a motorbike (well, moped) there.

My boyfriend drove so it was fine – bit f*cking scary the first time we're speeding along the main roads.

By day three, I was as relaxed as the locals…a family of four with a toddler went by us on a bike one day.

Train

We got the train from Bangkok to Pak Chong – it was four hours of gorgeous scenery and no Wi-fi.

Prices were around four quid one way – there are fans and people walking up and down selling soft drinks and bags of rice, of which we devoured.

Night bus

This goes from Bangkok to the coast, for everyone who wants to get to the islands.

It leaves at 7pm and we got to Railay around 10am the next day.

It's not the comfiest (obviously, we slept on recliner chairs) and they put on The Shallows, which was an odd choice for a group of travellers going to the beach for the weekend. 

We stopped off for food and drink at around midnight and all in all, it was a long trek but worth it when we arrived at the island.

We got the day bus back to Bangkok and I wouldn't recommend it.

We chose it because we wanted another night in Koh Lanta but we spent our last full day – 12 hours – on a bus…it wasn't fun. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Milena Dukhnenko (@milenaeephoto) on

Things to do

Temples 

There are millions of temples across Thailand, all of which expect you to be covered up clothes-wise just FYI.

However, the Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi is special and is famous for its 1,260 steps to the top, which are ''fun'' to climb.

DO NOT attempt this if you're in any way unfit because I died several times on the way up.

Khao Yai National Park

It was seven Euro entrance fee and then we biked through it, saw waterfalls and slept in a tent next to a river – a dream come true for anyone who loves nature.

That isn't me, it's more my boyfriend so it was tough, but worth it because we saw monkeys, gibbons, porcupines, deer. 

We also did many hikes as well as the Night Safari where we went around the park after dark with rangers to see if we could see any wildlife at night.

We rented the tent, sleeping bag and pillow there and it was super cheap.

P.s A deer broke into our tent because my boyfriend stupidly left peanuts in there so don't have any food on you. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jeroen & Alette (@thebookofwandering) on

Beaches

Thailand has some stunning beaches – and the sea is the perfect temperature for a swim. 

We spent the weekend on the island of Railay where we just swam in the sparkling blue sea and sunbathed. 

The beaches were busy enough but it was absolutely stunning. 

In Koh Lanta and Krabi we biked around different beaches and just swam lazily in the sea for hours – it was perfect (especially after the nights spent on a bus and in the jungle).

For a more touristy vibe, Ao Nang beach in Krabi is the place to be.

Massage

When you're in Thailand, you need to get at least one massage.

We had three – two full body ones and one just neck, back, and shoulders.

Be warned – the therapists are not gentle but you will feel a million dollars after. 

An hour costs about five quid. 

Nightlife

Bangkok is obviously mad with bars and restaurants and the insane Khaosan road, which everyone should visit.

We went onto the adjoining road and got beers and cocktails in one of the many bars.

Try the local beer – Chang, Leo or Singa and there's always cocktail deals everywhere.

It was a relaxed holiday so we did a few bars, live music and then some nights we had drinks with other backpackers we met.

All in all, we spent 300 Euro each in 12 days backpacking – not bad, right?

So, book those flights and pack your bags because a holiday in Thailand is something you will never regret. 

Trending

We have been bitten by the wanderlust bug and have been itching to get away from gloomy Ireland for far too long.

We are forever checking airline prices, swooning over travel blogger’s Instagrams and wishing we could just drop everything, grab our passports and abandon the dull realities of everyday life.

There are too many places we want to go to but one at the very top of our list is Iceland.

The Irish Globetrotter aka Niamh McDonnell sat down with us to share her words of wisdom after a recent trip to Iceland.

Niamh headed to Iceland for three full days and managed to squeeze everything and anything into her quick getaway.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Irish Globetrotter (@theirishglobetrotter) on

Flights:

“We flew into Reykjavik on Thursday afternoon with Icelandair, who are so lovely to fly with. The two-hour flight was a breeze, especially because of the TVs.”

The flight cost €120. Niamh recommends booking your flights at least three months in advance to get the best deal.

Accommodation:

Airbnb is extremely popular over in Iceland so you’ll have a much easier time finding somewhere to stay if you rent an apartment as opposed to staying in a hotel. Niamh and her pals found an apartment that slept up to six people.

The apartment cost €625 between their gang, which works out just at a little over €100 each.

“Staying near the main strip will make your trip a lot easier, as that’s where all the bars, pubs, restaurants and shops are. Staying close by will save you a lot of hassle, especially on nights out.”

The other great thing about renting an apartment is having a kitchen to rustle up meals throughout the day. “The food in Iceland isn’t the best and is extremely overpriced, so making breakfast and sandwiches to snack on during tours was a huge help financially,” Niamh shared.

Night Life:

Speaking of nights out, like every Irish person on holidays, Niamh ended up going to an Irish pub during her trip to Iceland. She said the best thing about the Irish bars is the mix of people you unexpectedly meet there.

“There were international students and Norwegian sailors drinking in one Irish bar, and the atmosphere was so different.”

“Dubliners is a great spot, as is the Drunken Rabbit, where you can order food from the fish and chips next door whilst you’re enjoying a pint.”

"Appy Hour is a life-saving app that will show you all the local drink offers, which will be a huge help to you as Iceland can be super pricey,” Niamh shared.

Sightseeing:

“We booked our tours with Reykjavik Excursions for €330. This price included the Northern Lights tour, pick up at the airport, Blue Lagoon entrance and drinks, Golden Circle tour, a glacier tour and even pick up on our last day.”

“Head to the Blue Lagoon in the early evening because you will experience it during daylight and as the sun sets.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Irish Globetrotter (@theirishglobetrotter) on

The main reason she headed to Iceland was to see the Northern Lights, so it’s safe to say Niamh was gutted when the weather meddled with her plans.

“We were scheduled to go see the Northern Lights on Friday evening, but the tour company cancelled the trip because of the weather.”

September and October are supposed to be the best months to go, but the weather wasn’t on Niamh’s side. It was extremely overcast and cloudly on the second night they tried to see the lights.

Despite the Northern Lights disappointment, Niamh adored seeing the glaciers and waterfalls Iceland is so famously known for.

“We went on a four-hour tour to see glaciers and waterfalls, which was an experience I’ll never forget,” Niamh said.

“The only thing is the weather is extreme. There was one point where I had to get down on my hunkers because the wind was so harsh, so dress warmly.”

Forget about your Nike runners and OOTD Instagram snaps, because all you want to wear in Iceland are a pair of boots and about 50 layers.

Flights: €120

Accommodation: €125

Spending money: €350

Sightseeing/tours: €330

Total: €925

Niamh experienced all Iceland has to offer and more for less than €1000 so if you’ll need us we’ll be booking our flights immediately.

 

 

Trending

by

Oh the weather outside is frightful! And we must admit we really want to jet away.

Travel bans and Covid restrictions have seriously put a damper on our travel plans over the last two years, making our wanderlust greater than ever! To help you figure out where your post-pandemic sunny getaway should be, we composed this ultimate list based on your stars.

Aquarius (January 20- February 19)

The open-minded Aquarius loves being pushed out of their comfort zone and experience life different to their own. Pick somewhere off the beaten track for your next big adventure like Japan. Immersing yourself in a unique culture and history is ideal for Aquarius! 

Pisces (February 19- March 20)

Pieces are all about experiencing multiple things at once- they want it all and they want it now! South America is calling for you Pieces, embrace the landscapes and friendly locals of Peru. 

Aries (March 20- April 19)

A creature of habit, Aries find one spot they love and stick to it- try something different and head to USA this year. With so many different climates and cultures in the one country, America has tons to offer the Aries looking to expand their travels. 

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Lovers of aesthetic beauty and great food, Thailand is the destination of choice for Taurus. a tactile sign, they'll love the stunning scenery, smells and sounds of this bustling destination. 

Gemini (May 21-June 19)

Ever the adventurer, Gemini's love pushing the boundaries and uncovering the hidden gems of new countries. Try somewhere completely mad like Singapore and embrace the intelligence of the East. 

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Creative, emotional and artistic, Italy is the holiday of choice for Cancer. They'll love the art and architecture of Italy's museums and churches… also did someone say pizza? 

Leo (July 23- August 22)

The confident and easy-going Leo's are as perfect fit for a trip down under! Take a chance and head to Oz — from golden sunny beaches to the endless deserts, Australia has more than enough room for a Leo to prowl. 

Virgo (August 23- September 22)

The logical and curious Virgo is bound for Germany. Get lost in the hustle and bustle of Berlin or embrace the nature of the Black Forest, Germany is the ultimate place for our hyper-organised Virgo to chillax. 

Libra (September 23- October 22)

A lover of balance, a Libra needs a little bit of everything to be fully refreshed after a get-away. Treat yourself with a trip to the Maldives. Libra's will just love the laid-back vibes and sunny beaches of the islands! 

Scorpio (October 23- November 21)

The complicated and enigmatic Scorpios love finding somewhere that's as complicated as themselves. Try somewhere away from the crowds for the ultimate get away. Try Romania and be the first of your friends to talk about it! 

Sagittarius (November 22- December 21)

The adventurous Sagittarian will absolutely love India. A combination of physical beauty and deeply enriching philosophies will both challenge and excite a Sagittarius. 

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

The disciplined and self-contained Capricorn is destined for China. The restrained nature and complex history of China is right up a Capricorn's ally! 

Trending

Do you brace yourself every time you use your card in Dublin? Do you mumble excuses at the cashier when it’s declined?

I’ve taken to pre-emptively warning the staff at Zara that my card may not work. Dublin is one of the world's most expensive cities to live in, and we’re feeling it this summer.

With this in mind, we’ve come up with a few tips on how to make the most of your Irish summer on a tight  budget.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@jamesbaker_photography) on

1. Get familiar with the best-for-your-euro food options around the city centre

Looking for a burger? WOW Burger does a mini burger for €4.95 that ain’t so mini. Carluccio’s on Dawson Street does a half box of delicious pasta at lunchtime for less than 4 quid.

Mongolian BBQ in Temple Bar does an enormous Lunch Bowl for €7.90 that will do as your main meal for the day.

If you need to eat out, look around and see where a fiver lunch or a tenner dinner is available- be strict with yourself.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@mongolianbbqdub) on

2. Choose culture for dates

The National Museums of Ireland are all free to visit and are simply gorgeous. The Archaeology Museum is on Kildare Street and the Museum of Decorative Arts and History is just beside the Museum stop on the red Luas line.

The Natural History Museum (think weirdly interesting stuffed animals) is on Merrion Street and is a fab place for a date or a stroll at lunch. Spend your free afternoons this summer, learning about Dublin for free.  

The National Gallery of Ireland also has breathtaking art with collections from icons like Caravaggio, Jack B Yeats, Mantegna,Titian, Monet and Picasso.

Paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photography, archival and bibliographical material all feature, as well as furniture. The inside of the building itself is worth a look for the beautiful design.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@nationalgalleryofireland) on

3. Buy a good raincoat NOW

It may sound expensive, but if you make an initial investment, it will stand to you. Dublin is WET during the summer.

If you don’t have a waterproof jacket that a) has a hood and b) fits into your bag, you WILL accumulate several sh*t umbrellas over the coming months.

Not only is this a financial drain but its also the most unsustainable way to keep yourself dry this summer. Buy yourself a raincoat that will last and both your pocket AND the environment will thank you come September.

4. Drink off-peak

We don’t mean drink on your lunch break or have a liquid breakfast. We mean slightly earlier in the day or midweek.

Many places around town will have a two-for-one deal on cocktails (Fade Street Social, Pygmalion, Capitol Bar, Xico) or cheap pints (Dicey’s Garden) during the week or early in the day.

Have a scout and plan your drinks based on the deals- it will be worth the extra bit of research when you have more cash leftover at the end of the week.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@pygmaliondublin) on

5.  Avoid the following high street stores like the plague:

  • Zara
  • Penney’s
  • H&M
  • Pull and Bear
  • River Island

Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t window shop or go in for a ‘quick look’. You WILL end up spending money. As usual, you will come across the most gorgeous clothes when you have the lowest funds available.

If your route home passes by these shops, choose another. An extra five minutes walk may save you money in the long-term. It's also beneficial for the environment to avoid these stores full stop…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@bestirelandpics) on

6. Look for half-price stickers

Once you get into the ‘reduced’ or ‘half price’ mindset, you'll be flying it. Food shops such as Marks & Spencer and Avoca have a system where they cut the price of many of their products (such as ready-made meals) at the end of the week.

Keep your eyes peeled for such stickers so you can eat well on a budget.

7. Shop Charity

If you take a turn up George’s Street, you will be met by an abundance of charity shop options.

St Vincent’s, Enable Ireland and Oxfam are all a stone’s throw from each other, so you are bound to find something.

The same can be said for the Aungier Street/ Camden Street area which is home to shops like Age Action, Gorta and the Dublin Simon Community Shop.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@vidanaak) on

Charity shopping is a great way to save money, not to mention a greener way to shop for clothes and shoes.

Keep an eye out for the vintage racks in these shops where you might find some real treasures.

An unforgettable Dublin summer isn't impossible to reach for. If you carry out the right research and plan your budget, you can make the most out of this fun city without going into massive debt.

Trending
Well hello there!
Help us help you by allowing us and our partners to remember your device in cookies to serve you personalized content and ads.

We're on a mission to help our mums and their families thrive by informing, connecting and entertaining.

Join us in our mission by consenting to the use of cookies and IP address recognition by us and our partners to serve you content (including ads) best suited to your interests, both here and around the web.

We promise never to share any other information that may be deemed personal unless you explicitly tell us it's ok.

If you want more info, see our privacy policy.