Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Travel plans, Tips and Trends 2019

And so here we go another year gone, I travelled I explored but I did, in fact, waste a lot of time too. So in preparation for a New Year and a new start and to properly make a go of this blogging malarkey I have finally purchased a proper template which should make things easier for you to explore.

I’ve been reading a few travels blogs as of late and became inspired/determined by certain challenges faced by many a travel blogger e.g. the logistics of taking a certain number of breaks when you only have a set number of days holiday per year, what to do when your budget is like urrm zero and also where the hell is it you even want to go? These challenges I’ve then had to sift and wade through and come up with a plan that tries to tick off most of my said goals for the year.

·         At least one beach break where I do completely jack shit, one long haul break, a couple of city breaks and finally some days out and stay cations.

·         To use a variety of travel methods, a trend I see this year is to be more environmentally friendly and use varying methods of transports such as trains and ferries.

I am fortunate in the fact my weekly roster at work isn’t your daily 9-5. As a Fashion Stylist, I work alternate weekends and often get time off during the week. These can be godsends when it comes to day trips and or cheap city break bookings. Places often double in price when you want a long weekend away and you try to book a Friday to Monday off work. If you do work traditional hours try working it to your advantage (you’ll most likely have bank holidays off). I’ve seen many a post where there is a way of booking holidays utilising weekends and bank holidays to have a rather substantial number of days off whilst only using a rather small portion of your allocated days.

For example, this year the May bank holiday falls rather early so if you book April 19th till Monday, May 6th you will get 18 straight days off in a row whilst only using 9 days, as this holiday period falls over the Easter break. This is perfect if you have any long haul destinations in mind!

As I work alternate weekends the ones I do have off with my husband have become golden moments and are the perfect opportunity for us to explore with day trips and mini breaks together. We are fortunate that we live in an area of sublime natural beauty; we have the peak district and North Wales and the stunning lakes on our doorstep. If anything was achieved last year I have understood the power of a restorative weekend and finding genuine pleasure in exploring what is in your back yard. So please do make the most of your weekends, as the saying goes

‘A Sunday well spent brings a week of Content’.

Of course, stay cations and mini-breaks in this country are fabulous but also being able to jet off at a moment’s notice is pretty exciting too. Check out your local airport's website, have a look under new routes, these can often be fairly reasonable if no one yet knows about them and they can often be to destinations that are a little under the radar so are cheaper to explore. I have managed to book flights to Izmir in Turkey for a wonderful family holiday for my parents 65th birthday for a pretty reasonable amount as Jet2 have announced it’s a new summer route and as we will be staying on the Turkish Riviera Conde Nast announced it was one of there must visit destinations for 2019. Winner!   

If you’re travelling on a short break for a few nights don’t bother spending out on eye-watering baggage costs either you can get everything you need on a hold on and still have room. It also means you can go straight to boarding and don’t waste unnecessary hours at the airport which inevitably will end up costing more money.  There is also a wonderful sense of freedom and achievement you get from knowing that you’ve got everything you need in this one small case. I have booked a very reasonable flight with Ryanair for our wedding anniversary in April to the North Coast of Mallorca (I intend to live out all my The Night Manager fantasies to the full) and have only taken a carry on. It’s all I need. Also be sure to subscribe to the low-cost carrier’s websites too and be aware of flash sales.

I’ve never really been a saver it’s not in my nature but this year I have realised I can save so much money towards my travel if I just changed a few of my shopping habits. It was often duly noted that I spent an average of £30 worth of food shopping a day and I never quite understood why. Bizarre impulse purchases would often entice me but now in a bid to not only save money but be healthier too, I’ve made recipe lists, stocked up on store cupboard essentials and try to shop on line with home delivery services knowing I have a list I can stick too and won’t be tempted by anything else. I have also started using cashback websites such as Top Cashback and Quidco which pay money back to your card from shopping you were only going to be doing anyway. There are also many pre-paid debit cards such as the Pockit MasterCard which give you monthly cash back at various retailers and restaurants, last month when I did my Christmas food shop at Marks and Spencer’s I received the tidy sum of £14.00 cashback at the start of January which I will use towards my travels this year.

I have also opened an account with a bank called Starling. It really is the best bank account I’ve ever used. You can open one in literally a few minutes from your phone. It’s one of the only accounts I know where I don’t have to tell the bank I’m going abroad and it doesn’t charge me to take money out from an ATM when I’m away (unless it’s one of those dodgy weird ones usually found usually in off-licences) or to pay on my card either. It also has the really genius function of letting you have a ‘Goal Creator’ so I’ve used this towards my holiday funds, it just rounds up your spending to the nearest pound and transfers the rest to your goal which you can withdraw at any time. As someone who is clueless when it comes to maths and tends to round up amounts anyway this little invention is genius you’ll be surprised how quickly this adds up. As well as staycations, off the beaten track destinations, foodie city breaks being a trend for this year I also feel being savvy and budget breaks will be huge. Let’s face it who the hell does have any spare cash these days?

And so with a few breaks already booked for this year, that’s one beach break (well two really) and one mini break I best start looking at long haul options. I heard Manchester Airport has announced TUI is flying to Langkawi in December. A beach break for Christmas, now that’s bucket list goals for sure.

What are your travel plans for 2019? And do you have any tips to share?  

Here are a few little foodie photos and bits to share with you from 2018, posts to follow shortly. 

Glorious Sorrento!

My home town 

 Day trips!

 More plane views for 2019

And the best pizza in Naples!

P.S If you book a hotel through this link https://www.booking.com/s/21_8/3035617b
and you will £15 as a reward.


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