A Solo Travel Guide to Florida Keys

Traveling by yourself can be invigorating, exciting and a little bit scary! We have wanted to visit the America again for quite some time and the Florida Keys are definitely one of the things that is close to the top of our list of places we want to visit.

We have heard there is plenty of things to do in Florida Keys when travelling solo! Just always make sure that you have your wits about you and you have put a few safety precautions in place (including where you are going to stay!) and you’ll love it! Who wouldn’t it looks like paradise!

Staying Safe

One of the biggest concerns about girls/women traveling alone is obviously safety. In addition to the usual obstacles women face!The Florida Keys also have the added issues of wildlife and weather (although this is a risk for anyone not just women)!

In particular, you’ll need to be careful when you’re swimming in the ocean, as there are two kinds of fish that can cause you problems. The barracuda has sharp edges that are known to cause cuts and gashes if you get too close. Even worse is the man-of-war jellyfish (we are terrified of jellyfish)! These can give you a painful sting. To avoid these mishaps, swim only in marked areas, such as public beaches. Additionally, make sure there’s a lifeguard nearby in case you need a little assistance getting out of the water.

Weather can also be a concern, especially during hurricane season. This occurs yearly between June 1 to November 30, so we would definitely try to schedule our trip outside of this time. Since there’s only one way off the islands we have read that traffic can get crazy if there’s an evacuation, so it’s probably better to avoid the area entirely if there are any looming threats.

Items to Pack

The Keys are hot and humid, so you’ll need to pack items to accommodate this. Make sure you have a variety of clothes for the different activities you chose to participate in! We will definitely be packing our sun cream as well! A top tip about packing would be to roll your clothes instead of folding them, it saves so much space!

Where to Stay

The Florida Keys aren’t just a single island; they are made up of dozens of small and large areas where you can stay (we would probably move around a bit so we could experience all areas) Some of the main destinations include Key West, the Lower Keys, Marathon, Islamorada, and Key Largo. Any of these locations look like a good place for a relaxing vacation.

However, if you want to be close to the action, then you might want to consider booking Key Largo hotels using Hotel Planner. It’s just an hour drive from the airport on the mainland and gives you access to two state parks, a marine sanctuary, a national park, and more.

What to Do

Snorkeling, swimming, boating, and diving abound freely throughout the Keys, and all of these activities sound incredible. In Key West, we would like to visit the Hellings House Museum, which is also the home of the Key West Woman’s Club. Check out the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, or catch a show at the Theater of the Sea in Islamorada.

There’s no reason to stress out about your solo trip to the Florida Keys. Just use these tips to plan your journey, and you’ll create lasting memories you’ll never forget! 🙂

Trastevere Rome

We were so excited to write this post and to share our new favourite place with you all! I (Rachel)have recently returned from a trip to Rome where I stayed in the Trastevere area at a beautiful Air BnB.

We did not know what to expect from this area, but we were recommended it by a friend who used to live in Rome. We love finding out tips from others as the majority of the time the tips are usually spot on. This is why we are sharing this area with you all too!

Trastevere is south of the River Tiber in Rome and could not be more convenient. A 15 minute walk to the Colosseum and 20 minute walk along the River and you are in the Vatican City.

The Trastevere feels like its very own town and we would’ve happily never left! There are cute little streets with bars, restaurants, shops and ice cream cafes and also a lovely square. The square is in sunshine all day and the many cafes are perfect to sit at and watch the world go by. We even took our books with us and read whilst drinking prosecco – how divine.

We ate at a couple of placed when staying here so decided to share with you:

Enoteco Trastevere
We spent a lot of time here as we loved it. Despite the service being really slow the staff were friendly and happy hour was fun. There were a number of drinks included in happy hour and we spent lots of time chilling here and enjoying their good music playlist.
One day when we had a big lunch we had drinks and antipasti for dinner here which was tasty too.

Pasta e Vino
This place was linked to our favourite bar that we spent a lot of time at (above!). It had only opened a couple of months ago but is doing incredible well. This place was full every time we went (we visited twice as we loved it so much!). We suggest you ask for your table upstairs as the downstairs is not that nice, but was always full too.

The quality and value for money of the food here is simply amazing, that’s the only way to describe it. There are lots of starters to share or have for yourself, we suggest going for the mixed antipasti that comes with so much choice, the beans that come with it are delicious and our favourite part of the starter. If they have the ‘special’ starter as burrata we suggest you opt for this too, and ask for bread. The bread comes in a brown paper bag, and is really cute!

For main, you pick your pasta and then pick your sauce which we think is such a clever way to order. There are plenty of sauces to choose from, from a ragu style, to cheesy/tomatoey and pesto too. The first time we visited we opted for the pasta dishes. However the second time chose to go for the lasagne, which in our eyes is the best lasagne we have ever eaten. Honestly the flavours from the meat sauce and the homemade pasta sheets we would pay to fly to Rome purely for this dish!

Now onto dessert, again there is lots of choice and of course a ‘special’ too. However our favourite was the tiramisu which was creamy, chocolate and coffee all perfectly balanced.

The wine list is excellent too, its a whole A4 page but we opted for the cheapest wine and it was our favourite wine of the trip. Both the red and the white we the perfect accompaniment to dinner.

Taverna Trilussa
We were recommended this place by the same person who recommended we stayed in this area and went here on our first night. We didn’t book as it was a weekday and didn’t think it would be very busy…. how wrong were we! Sadly there were no seats outside so we had to go instead. We recommend you book! Obviously we would’ve preferred outside but inside was okay! The menu was a bit more pricey than Paste e Vino but the pasta was incredible.

We didn’t bother with starters as we arrived late and were really hungry. However we were given bread to share and asked for olive oil. The olive oil was incredible, the most flavoursome olive oil ever and the perfect way to start our meal.

Some of the pasta dishes were served in the pan they are cooked in, which showed that each of the pasta dishes was individually made. The sauces were flavoured and the pasta al dente. Any pasta dish you choose from this menu will not disappoint.

You could also order mains and dessert but we didn’t.

Eating is such an experience for italians and can last hours and hours. A typical meal would be starter, pasta, main, dessert – to us this seems like a lot of food! However if dragged out over a long period of time we could be down for this too!!!!

Pimms Good
This bar is what it says on the tin, it serves Pimms. A jug of Pimms if 35 Euros and enough for 2 or 4 to share. It was located in a really cute area of Trastevere and we had a lovely chilled afternoon drinking Pimms here. In the evenings there is often a live band!

Fiordiluna
This was recommended in our guide book as one of the best Gelato around, therefore of course we had to visit. There were not as many flavours as some of the Gelatos places in the centre but the gelato was divine and good value too.

Viewpoint
We also recommend if you stay in this area walking to the view point. The guide booked recommended walking to this view point as having a drink at the lovely bar. We followed our guidebook and found it hilarious that this so called bar was basically a shack serving drinks and snacks! Safe to say we didn’t visit the bar but we did enjoy the view. If you put Bat Stuzzichini into Google Maps it will take you to the viewpoint. This isn’t very busy and gives beautiful views across the city.

Can you Travel on a Tight Budget?

Travel expands the mind, opens your eyes and allows you to learn more about yourself ✌🏼It’s one of the most worthwhile ways we can spend our time and money of course! however it can be really expensive and therefore many of us rule it out as we just don’t have the disposable income to be able to up and go.

Travel doesn’t have to be high end cruises, posh hotels and luxury food, there’s plenty of ways you can explore different without living like the queen (we wish we could)! Find some of our examples below that might just allow you to explore a little more than you originally thought!

Go Camping
Camping can be cheap, you could go super rustic in a tent, or get more of a ‘home from home’ feel with a chalet or caravan complete with caravan awnings. Whether you choose to camp in the wilderness or on a campsite with hookups to water, electricity and wifi you’ll have a fantastic time. We recently went glamping in Edinburgh and absolutely loved it’

Go hiking and go on bike rides It really is a chance to get outside, breathe in some fresh air and enjoy the nice weather with family and friends. Cook over a barbeque or campfire, tell ghost stories and sing camp song- just like in the brownies!

Be a Tourist In Your Own City
When you’re thinking about seeing more of the world, chances are you completely overlook your own city, especially if you live and work in London. You might think you know your own town or city well, but see it with fresh eyes. What is it famous for, what do tourists visit for? Go to museums and galleries that you perhaps haven’t visited since childhood. Go to bars and restaurants you’ve never visited or stay in a hotel. If you have rivers, lakes or canals nearby you could even hire a boat! There is so much to do!

Go Backpacking
Backpacking is one of the most humble ways to see the world. There’s no fine dining or fancy restaurants, you get around mainly by walking (our favourite) and public transport. You live and eat out of your pack, you might be visiting inexpensive cafes and buffets or sampling the street food in the place that you’re in. What an incredible way to see the world, you’re not just visiting the glamorous tourist places but really getting to see what a destination is like ‘behind the scenes.’ It’s great exercise, you’ll do and see so much and will meet lots of interesting people along the way. What could be better?

Visit Family And Friends Who Live Elsewhere
If you have family or friends who live abroad then you’re in a good position- how about going to visit them one year, and have them come to visit you the year after? You both get cheap travel as you have somewhere to stay, all you need to pay for are flights. Even if you have family or friends in another town or city then this is still a great opportunity to travel! You get to catch up with them while seeing and doing new and exciting things. Any place that you go to will have its charms and be worth visiting so this is something to consider if you want to get out there but don’t have a whole heap of cash to spend.

Is Asia On Your Bucket List? The Places You Need To See

Asia is a continent that many have on their bucket list and for good reason. Some of the countries that you would group together under Asia are simply stunning.

Asia is one of those places that is actually really popular with backpackers, and most probably because it’s so cheap and also cos so many people go and it encourages other to visit too. Many students and young adults take gap years and travel around places like Asia to really see some of the unspoilt beauty that is on offer here. Compared to western countries it’s super cheap to stay here and the food and drink is cheap too! However, even if Asia is on your list it is so vast and there are literally so many places to go that you may want to start narrowing down the list to some of the popular destinations. We thought it would be an ideal time to share with you some of our picks of Asia. We hope it gives you plenty of inspiration for your travel bucket list.

Indonesia
Indonesia is one of the South Eastern countries of Asia and has a lot to behold for anyone wanting to visit there. Known for its beautiful beaches, your chances to see Komodo dragons, vast jungles sheltering elephants, orangutans and tigers, and the unpredictable landscape of volcanoes. There really is something for everyone. Jakarta is the capital, and the ideal spot for you to enjoy traveling to other more remote destinations. Websites like https://www.rumah.com/ruko-dijual/di-area-jakarta-pusat-idjk02 are also packed with suggestions of accomodation you could consider. If you want something a little more laid back then perhaps a visit to Bali should be on the cards.

Malaysia
Another country on the South East is Malaysia. Perhaps this one won’t be as well known in terms of tourist hotspots but actually it is definitely a destination worthy of your bucket list. With stunning beaches and picturesque spots you are bound to find something to suit. If you are hoping to have some peace and tranquility then look no further than the island of Borneo. However, the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, is actually becoming a great location to see and experience some of the amazing culture this country has to offer.

Japan
Japan is an island nation situated in the Pacific ocean and definitely a vibrant place to see and witness. We all know that so much of the technology and items we use today comes from Japan, and the main location you can really see some of the high tech in action is Tokyo. Tokyo is also famous for its shopping opportunities as well as some amazing architecture in tall skyscraper buildings. The skyline is simply unforgettable. With cities, mountainous national regions and thousands of shrines, there is something for everyone in Japan.

China
Heading East of Asia you will find the vast country of China. Famous for many things including the popular cuisine and the Great Wall Of China, you really will find that this is one of those destinations so many people would like to see and perhaps don’t get the opportunity to do so. But you really should make time for it. Shanghai and Beijing really are two fabulous cities with amazing cultural influences. Both mix modern culture with historic influences. Some have it on their list to walk the Great Wall, and it is actually one of the few wonders of the world that can be seen from Space. There is some great information online https://www.chinahighlights.com/greatwall/ about traveling to China.

Thailand
We think Thailand is one of those destinations that perhaps we associate with backpackers right? While there is so much to do here for the young at heart such as island hopping, full moon parties and enjoying the delights of Bangkok, there is more to it and actually a great destination for couples to enjoy their honeymoons and for even families to have an explore (crazy huh!?) Koh Phangan and Koh Samui are two of the larger islands with much unspoilt, but you are bound to fund some secluded spots. Taking a boat trip around the islands is one of those things you must do while you are here.

Singapore
Singapore is actually an island city just south of Malaysia and is very well known for being a financial capital of the world. With huge multicultural differences and a very tropical climate, there is much more to this city than humidity and finances. There really is some grand architecture here as well as some of the oldest standing buildings in the Chinatown district. It is like something you may have never seen before.

India
Another country that perhaps is more famous for its cuisines than anything, and who doesn’t love a curry. So why not make it your mission to eat authentic Indian food in the country it comes from? However, there is much more to it than meets the eye. The Indian Ocean coastline will give you breathtaking beaches in the location of Goa. But heading to New Delhi and really seeing what this country is all about is definitely recommended. We have even written a post all about how to avoid the Delhi Belly!

Philippines
Heading back South East of Asia you will find a group of almost 7,000 islands. The Philippines. The capital of Manila is famous for its waterfront promenade and the centuries old chinatown district. Heading to Old Manila, you will find the walled city from colonial times, Intramus. With beautiful sights to behold it really is quite something. However, with such a beautiful collection of islands this destination is also very well known for beautiful sandy beaches and many unspoilt regions. Definitely one for the bucket list.

Maldives
Finally, our last stop on this Asian exploration is The Maldives. One of those places that so many people want to see at some point in their lives. Not just for the gorgeous beach, the luxury surroundings you can get, but possibly for one of the most beautiful sights called the sea of stars. This is when the sky and the sea light up like a glistening night sky. The Maldives is full of luxe surroundings, so whether traveling their as a couple or family, you are bound to have a fabulous time.

We hope that this has given you some inspiration for some of the places you can explore in Asia.

Five Ways to Travel To Asia on a Budget

Asia is a great country to visit full of culture, delicious food and friendly people. In case you already have an Asian country in mind to visit in the future, you will have to save up your money and learn as much as you can about the culture. There are plenty of cheap ways of booking your holiday, and – unless you want five-star treatment all the way – we recommend you avoid high street agents. Whether you want to see the ancient temples and cities of India or stay in Vietnam for a few weeks, you have several budget-friendly options. Find out more about them below.

CUSTOM ITINERARY
Instead of going with the flow and listening to travel agents’ recommendations, you might want to stay out of the tourist resorts (which the travel agents will most likely suggest). This will help you save money and learn more about the customs and culture than any other way. You might want to check out blogs and travel guides and create your custom itinerary, so you can see more and go off the beaten path so you can explore the country without having to put up with the crowd.

LOCAL TOUR OPERATORS
If you need to book trips and tours, it is better to find a local operator instead of doing the same thing; looking online. Large companies are generally selling the services of local family firms, so you can secure a huge discount and build a great relationship with the company, so they listen to your needs and preferences, tailoring the tour to your budget.

ON THE WATER
A great way of exploring any country is on the water we love this way of seeing a new place and as mentioned before a holiday isn’t a holiday without a trip on water! You can book private scenic river cruises in most countries. Whether you would like to explore the Ganges or the shoreline of Indonesia, you will find plenty of offers if you look around. All you have to do is check where the main ports of the country are, and you can get a deal with a local operator there and then, instead of committing to buy before you arrive and see the place.

VOLUNTEERING
In case you have extremely limited funds, but would like to visit the country of your dreams in Asia, such as Saigon or Mumbai, you can find volunteering positions. You will have free time to explore the area, and free accommodation and food. All you will have to think about is learning the language so you can communicate with locals and get recommendations on cheap ways of getting around and attractions to visit.

BACKPACKING
Those brave enough to start off without a set itinerary will be able to save money by backpacking. You can get around cheaply by train and public transport, and explore a new city every day. Learn the language before you set off, so you can communicate with locals, and get personalized advice.

Asia is a cheap destination for backpackers and budget travelers. You can save money if you stay away from main tourist hubs and stay with the locals. Make sure that you explore your options before you set off, and learn the language, so you can benefit from locals’ advice and guidance on your trip.

Edinburgh Foodie

You may remember our many foodie posts after visiting Paris, in fact there were so many foodie places that we ended up writing a number of posts and splitting them out by area.

As we love love walking whenever we visit somewhere we never really take public transport and use our legs instead to take in the city. Not only is this great exercise but it also means we stumble upon some great places to eat and drink. It has become a tradition now (well kinda!) to take a picture of the outside of a restaurant/cafe/bar that takes our fancy to either return for a visit or to add to our foodie blog post.

In Edinburgh this was no different so please see below the cute places we stumbled across and wish we had the chance to visit them all, but lucky to have the opportunity to share with our readers instead.

Coro The Chocolate Cafe – this seems to be a Scottish cafe with a number of branches in Edinburgh (2) and also Glasgow (1). For chocolate lovers this is the ideal place to visit. Visit here for pancakes, waffles, milkshakes, ice cream sundaes etc. Their moto is ‘we pour chocolate over everything’, now thats the kinda motto we like!
Address: 5 Howard St, Edinburgh EH3 5JP & 13 Frederick St, Edinburgh EH2 2EY

Coffee Angel – we walked past Coffee Angel on our way into and out of town from Leith. Another cute little coffee shop that is family ran with the aim to provide great coffee everyday.
Address: 24-27 Brandon Terrace, New Town, Edinburgh EH3 5DZ

New Town Deli – we were lucky to visit here on our walk into town where we enjoyed a coffee and a smoked salmon bagel. There were a number of bagels to choose from on the counter however our highlight was the make your own cob/roll. Customers pick their roll from a basket and then take it to the counter where you can pick your filling – we thought it was a really cool idea!
Address: 23 Henderson Row, Edinburgh EH3 5DH

Skylark Cafe – yet another cute cafe/coffee shop in Edinburgh. A little further out the way but was on our walk from Leith to the city centre. Their latte art looks decent and they seem to be very family friendly!
Address: 42A Hamilton Pl, Edinburgh EH3 5AX

Smith and Gertrude – This is a wine bar and it looked super cute but fancy. This place has indoor and outdoor seating and basically serves wine, cheese and meat…. sounds like our kinda place! We feel we need to visit in the Autumn/Winter as they serve our ultimate favourite thing, baked Camembert! mmmm!
Address: 26 Hamilton Pl, Edinburgh EH3 5AU

Cairngorn Coffee Co – A very light, modern and spacious coffee shop the sort you would want to spend the day chilling reading a book and drink espresso at! This place doesn’t always serve the same coffee rather it serves what tastes good, so you will be guaranteed a decent cup of coffee
Address: 1 Melville St, Edinburgh EH3 7PR

SYGN Bar & Kitchen – This is a cocktail bar that also serves diner style (American) food. From burgers, pizza, hot dogs, wraps and waffles this is true American dining in Scotland. The sharers here also look epic including, nachos, mac & cheese and chicken wings.
Address: 15 Charlotte Ln, Edinburgh EH2 4QZ

Indigo Yard – This place would be perfect in the summer as it has lots of outdoor seating. When we walked past the outdoor area was very busy and we loved all the large umbrellas to sit under. Indigo Yard is a bar and restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also do a boozy brunch!
Address: 7 Charlotte Ln, Edinburgh EH2 4QZ

@Pizza – If you read our blog and follow our Instagram you are probably aware of how much we LOVE pizza so its not surprise that Pizza features on this post too. This modern looking pizza restaurant looked like they served delicious pizza and we love the fact that you can make your own. You can choose your sauce, veggies, protein, and finishers for £9.95 (which is the same price as if you chose a pizza off the standard menu).
Address: 4 Charlotte Ln, Edinburgh EH2 4QZ

Theres No Place Like Home – the name of this place is cute enough and its the name and the sign outside that caught our attention. This place serves Scottish/French cuisine and the menu looks divine. On further research we loved the sound of this place even more, their website states ‘ the restaurant exists for a Social Mission. Our customers can pay meals forward for the homeless, and we offer training and employment opportunities for Edinburgh’s most disadvantaged people’. This is such a lovely concept and we wish we knew this sooner otherwise we would’ve popped in. One to most certainly visit when in Edinbirgh, but please note on Monday’s Theres No Place Like Home is open for an exclusive service for the homeless, where they can dine with dignity.
Address: 7-8 Queensferry St, Edinburgh EH2 4PA

Pumpkin Brown – this is the healthy eating place to head to if youre into your super healthy food. We loved the look of this place and the menu looks great too especially all the different salads.
Address: 16 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU

Lowdown Coffee – If you need a coffee stop whilst doing some shopping in Edinburgh then this is your place. Just behind the back entrance to Primark make sure you pop here for your caffeine fix. This place is what the name suggests, low down! You head down some stairs to the basement entrance and there is also some lovely outdoor seating in the courtyard too.
Address: 40 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2LE

Henderson Vegan – The vegan/vegetarian restaurant seemed to be behind their main shop/deli, which of course you could visit. Established in 1968, formerly Hendersons Bistro and then went 100% Vegan in July 2015. As the Bistro was almost 90% vegan for 40 years it made sense to go completely vegan, making the little restaurant the first of its kind in Edinburgh. If you’re vegan, vegetarian or not you look like you’re in for a real culinary treat.
Address: 25c Thistle St, Edinburgh EH2 1DX

Archipelago Bakery – with its cute blue sign and a couple of seats outside, this place looks like the perfect spot for a drink and homemade cake or two. However you can also enjoy an array of savoury delights too, so this place will suit all.
Address: 39 Dundas St, Edinburgh EH3 6QQ

Cuckoo Bakery – we found this place on Instagram (@cuckoosbakery) and loved a shot they did with iced coffee and it was actually on route back to our hotel from the centre so we managed to stop in for a coffee. There are 2 branches in Edinbugh to visit so you should hopefully be near at least one! The cupcakes may be quite pricey but they do look srummy and they have a variety of different flavours and some unique flavours too. You can also get vegan cupcakes from here too. The iced coffee was delicious none the less. We have written a more detailed post about Cuckoo’s Bakery which can be read here.
Address: 150 Dundas St, Edinburgh EH3 5DQ & 116 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4ES

56 North – this place looked like a good place for a drink as it was so big. There was lots of outdoor seating too, although the blue seats were a little ugly! There was a funny gin slogan on the side of the bar, which makes sense as its actually a gin bar (also serves food and cocktails for those who don’t want gin!
Address: 2 W Crosscauseway, Edinburgh EH8 9JP

Checkpoint – the breakfast/brunch at this places looks right up our street, and oh my the choices as well. We would struggle to pick from their epic menu! You can also visit for lunch/dinner where you can enjoy a burger or salad. The wine list is large too and the place looked very nice inside.
Address: 3 Bristo Pl, Edinburgh EH1 1EY

Frisky – the cutest pinkest frozen yoghurt place we ever did see. We actually didn’t see many frozen yoghurt places in Edinburgh so this was a welcomed surprise. We actually planned to go back here one afternoon but we were so full from brunch we couldn’t manage one. We were gutted as it looks great and frozen yoghurt is one of our faves especially when hot. Please note this place doesn’t open until midday.
Address: 13 Forrest Rd, Edinburgh EH1 2QH

Brunch & Supper – We actually crossed the road to take a look at this place, we think its the word ‘brunch’ that attracted our attention. As the name suggests you can visit here in the day for brunch and then in the evening for supper.
Address: 37-39 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL

The Edinburgh Press Club – Just off Edinburghs Royal Mile is this large coffee shop, and although large it still looks cute and cosy. There are huge windows with high tables looking to the street and lots of comfy seats too. We love the big coffee sign above the counter.
Address: 20-30 Cockburn St, Edinburgh EH1 1NY

The Milkman – this cute cafe is in the busiest part of Edinburgh but in an old store with the sign still up ‘confection snacks cigarettes’. We walked past and had a nosy in and loved that they served milkshakes and iced coffess in jam jars. Definitely one to visit when in the centre of Edinburgh.
Address: Toddle In, 7 Cockburn St, Edinburgh EH1 1BP

Wellington Coffee – this coffee shop is also close to the shops so one to pop in when having a day of shopping. This cafe was located on the corner of the fancy shopping street as we called it. The street which had the higher end shops on it! This coffee shop is located on the basement and has a cute basement courtyard to sit in too.
Address: 33A George St, Edinburgh EH2 2HN

We hope you enjoyed reading our foodie post because we sure did enjoy writing it. We learn so much from writing these posts as sadly we don’t get to visit them all so we go off photos we take and looking through the windows of places!

You will have to let us know if you have visited any of the above or if you are planning on visiting any!

The Key To Avoiding Delhi Belly On Holiday

Travel is one of the most edifying and fulfilling things a person can do. Travel broadens our horizons, and exposes us to new people, places and cultures. It introduces us to a wealth of new sights, sounds, scents and tastes and these help to create the memories that we’ll carry with us wherever we go for the rest of our lives. One of the beautiful things about living in a multicultural society like the UK is how the range of different cultural and culinary influences engender an appetite for variety. But while we may be able to walk down any high street and enjoy everything from burritos to baked potatoes, from seafood to schwarma, there’s no substitute for trying new foods made authentically in their native countries.

But while an appetite for culinary adventurism is all well and good, it can inadvertently end up ruining our trip. A bad case of delhi belly or food poisoning will see you spending the rest of your holiday getting to know a whole lot about your hotel bathroom, and very little else as you spend your days filling in a holiday illness claim form rather than enjoying your chosen destination. If you’re a consummate foodie, you need to be able to enjoy your food without grappling with horrible stomach cramps. Here are a few ways in which you can avoid a dreaded case of Delhi belly…

DONT DRINK THE WATER
Needless to say, whenever you travel abroad it’s not advisable to drink the water, especially when travelling throughout Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and South America where they have a less robust plumbing infrastructure. Not only should you avoid drinking the water, you should avoid eating fresh fruit and veggies that have been washed in it. By all means buy fresh fruits and veggies (it’s one of the best things about travelling overseas) but wash them in bottled water first. This guide to drinking tap water will help if you’re unsure about whether the drinking water in your destination is safe.

DONT GO CRAZY WITH THE RICH FOODS
When travelling around places like India and southern Asia many Westerners find themselves experiencing what they think are food poisoning symptoms which are actually mild IBS from adjusting to the different diets. You are exposing your body to a totally new cuisine full of amazing flavours so no wonder your body is feeling funny! An Indian diet in particular is rich in fats, sugars and spices which is a shock to the system for those accustomed to a bland Western diet. By all means help yourself to that delicious looking curry, but we suggest you pace yourself and build up your tolerance for the spicy and fatty foods.

AVOID MEAT
There are many reasons why eating less meat and eating more veggies beneficial for your health and the environment, but when travelling abroad eating meat can increase your risk of falling ill as a result of your diet far more than its plant based counterpart. Dead animals are (unsurprisingly) excellent incubators for bacteria and as not every country’s health codes are comparable it’s possible that the meat you eat could be kept in unsanitary conditions which makes them the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. In some countries a veggie filled stomach may be a happier stomach – when visiting far away counties we often go veggie for travelling!

Why a Safari has been added to our bucket list!

We don’t think we will ever really appreciate a Safari and just how amazing it is until we have been on one! A safari holiday just sounds so magical and such a romantic holiday.

The beauty in the form of wildlife as landscapes looks truly breathtaking. Now the only problem is the expense of a safari holiday, although we can imagine it if definitely worth every penny!

THE WEATHER

The weather is the main reason that we love going on holiday. With a safari pretty much all year round you’re guaranteed beautiful weather, but obviously some parts of the year are definitely hotter than others. The cooler months still have temperatures well into the 20’s, so it’s not cool by any means. We have heard that if you go during the height of the summer, the heat can often be TOO hot which can ruin the experience.

LOCATIONThere are many different locations to experience in Africa. One of the most popular is Kenya. It’s not meant to be too expensive so many this is the destination for us. There are plenty of safari hotels in Kenya that we have researched and would love to stay in, they are in a great location as well. Kruger national park is also a popular destination to visit. There is a hotel situated on the park, and many surrounding it. We think it’s really important to do your research before going to make sure you pick the best part of Africa or anywhere for that matter.

EXPERIENCEThe wildlife experience would be enough for us and something we wouldn’t get on any other trip! We would love to get up close and personal with animals we have never seen before! Really think about what you want to get out of any trip before booking it so you aren’t let down!

Glampotel Dundas Castle Estate

Glampotel is located in South Queensferry in the grounds of Dundas Castle Estate (the most beautiful castle we ever did see).

We had the most amazing time glamping and we have been so excited to write this post- it was the perfect way to end to our city break.

We have always wanted to go glamping but never actually booked to go so when we were invited to stay at Glampotel Dundas Castle how could we refuse…..!

To be completely honest we did not know what to expect and hadn’t really done much research into the place (which we think is a good thing because it was worth the surprise).

Our taxi driver dropped us off at the castle entrance, which we soon realised was the wrong entrance, it wasn’t a problem although we did nearly gate crash a wedding in our activewear and suitcases (LOL). The staff at Dundas Castle gave us a lift to the Glampotel as it was a fairly long walk.

Joris and Suzie the Glampotel hosts were there to welcome us and show us to our tent, we were staying in Woodpecker which had a beautiful blossom tree outside.

We immediately fell in love with our canvas cottage and couldn’t stop gasping with joy. We were so excited to get settled in.

All of the canvas cottages overlooked a stunning lake, we were able to enjoy this view on our decking whilst cooking and also in the morning when we woke up as the bed was positioned looking outwards.

We were told before we arrived that there would be a bbq available for us to cook our dinner, so we stopped off in Asda and got everything we needed. We There is a Tesco just a short drive away as well which is perfect if you have got a car.

The BBQ was easy to use and it cooked our chicken to perfection. We really enjoyed eating our dinner al fresco taking in our surroundings.

The canvas cottage was really well equipped, they had every kitchen utensil we needed (we were worried there wouldn’t be a bottle opener). The Sink and fridge was located outside on the decking which we absolutely loved! It felt really funny doing our washing up outside but we wish we could do this every day.

There was a log burner inside our tent and we were provided with matches, fire lighter and logs. Joris very kindly set our fire up for us and explained to us exactly what we needed to do. We didn’t turn the log fire on until about 8PM when it started to cool down outside. It heated up the tent nicely and made it nice and toasty, we put a couple of logs on the fire before turning the lights out for the night which kept us nice and warm whilst we fell asleep.

The bed was super comfy and we loved the colour of the pillows and throw, mustard is our new favourite colour. There were also spare blankets in one of the chests which we took full advantage of and used them to keep us warm.

We were really impressed with the electricity in the tents, we had a lamp each that was plugged into the mains that provided tons of light. There was two USB Ports for us to use and charge our phones. It is important to note that the mains plugs are for the lights only and should not be used for hair straighteners etc. as it could result in the fuse going for the entire campsite.

A breakfast hamper was also provided which we thought was a lovely added touch, we had been told there would be a breakfast hamper but we didn’t have any expectations as to what would be included.

We were completely blown away with how generous Glampotel were with the breakfast hamper. We were given a loaf of fresh bread, home baked scones, croissants, strawberry jam, smoked salmon, Ham, Cheese, Cloudy Apple Juice, a Carton of Milk.

We went on a run and came back to refuel on our delicious breakfast spread!

The bathroom was attached to the side of the tent, we were so impressed with the bathroom and the shower was lovely and warm which was perfect post run. We had no issues with the toilets and the hosts are always available to change it if necessary.

We went for a lovely evening stroll around the lake which was so relaxing as the sun was beginning to set.

There is a Guestbook in each of the tents which we think is a super cute idea! We were the first people to stay in Woodpecker so if you book to stay there make sure you read our note. Imagine in a couple of months time being able to read about other people’s adventures at Glampotel.

We had several outfits to photograph for brands whilst we were away in Edinburgh and we are so glad we waited until we got to Glampotel as it was just the perfect setting.

We honestly could not recommend Glampotel in Dundas Castle Estate enough. We had the most amazing time and we will definitely be visiting again.

You can book the Glampotel on the Glampotel website where they have a number of locations. You can also book via the Dundas Castle website.

Dreaming About Our African Adventure

We have wanted to visit Africa for such a long time! There are so many assumptions about Africa and what it is like and we just want to experience it for ourselves! Africa is such a large continent but we have picked out a few of the places we would LOVE to visit one day on our African Adventure!

MOREMI
Located in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, the Moremi Game Reserve is home to some of the most amazing wildlife in all of Africa. Places like Little Mombo, otherwise known as the “the place of plenty”, help to celebrate the conservation efforts of the area. The Rhino population in this area is especially amazing as well.

TABLE MOUNTAIN
We have heard that Cape Town is one of the best beach cities in the world and and thanks to the Table Mountain, it’s also one of the most photogenic as well. One of the new seven wonders of the world, Table Mountain would definitely be a must see on our trip!

VICTORIA FALLS
Victoria Falls is meant to the the most amazing spectacle in africa. Flowing from 108 meters up, the speed of Victoria Falls is almost double that of Niagara.

PYRAMIDS OF GIZA
We have heard mixed reviews about the Pyramids of Giza but either way we would LOVE to visit them- they look incredible.

THE SAHARA DUNES
There is something so wonderful about this clear and open part of the world! We have heard the stars at night as spectacular. It would be a dream to run the Marathon des Sables!

The more we research the more we realise how much there is to see and do in The continent of Africa. It would be impossible to get through it all in one trip but that’s the beauty of travel we can always return!