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.

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!

Jazz Apples Overnight Oats

We love oats they are our go to breakfast almost every day, they keep us fuller for longer and they are so versatile so we never get bored.

In the winter we love a warming bowl of porridge whereas in the summer we always reach for overnight oats.

We love overnight oats they are delicious and super convenient as you can make them the night before in a jam jar and take them with you to work you the next day. We especially love adding fruit into our oats during the summer months and Jazz apples seemed like the perfect choice.

Jazz Apples were our Apples of choice, if you haven’t heard of Jazz apples before they are a funky fusion of a Braeburn and a Royal Gala, they are tangy-sweet and refreshingly crunchy. The great thing about Jazz apples is that they have a fruit bowl life of up to four weeks.

Jazz Apples are grown all year round in the UK, New Zealand, France, Italy, USA, Chile, Switzerland, Austria and Australia. You can purchase Jazz apples in all major supermarkets in the UK; Aldi, Asda, Co-op. Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose.

You can find our delicious overnight oats recipe below which we have enjoyed on several occasions either outside in the sunshine whilst having a summer breakfast picnic or when we need a quick and easy breakfast during the week which we can enjoy dining al desko.

Ingredients (serves 2)
80g oats
100ml milk (we used soya milk)
150g Greek Yoghurt
1.5 tsp Cinnamon
1tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Grated Apple
1 Sliced Apple

Method

Grate the apple into a medium sized mixing bowl

Add the oats, milk, yoghurt, Cinnamon & Maple Syrup and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined

Leave to sit on the side and slice the 2nd Apple

Place 2 slices at the bottom of each Jam jar and top with a table spoon of oats- continue to do this until your jam jar is full.

Chop two of the slices up and use as a topping as well as a sprinkle of cinnamon

Put the lid on the jam jar and put them in the fridge overnight or for a couple of hours

When you are ready to eat remove from the fridge and enjoy!

This was a sponsored post, all views are our own.

Hello Spring

We absolutely love the four English Seasons, but it just seems like winter lasts forever and always over stays it’s welcome. It’s safe to say we are excited about the warmer temperatures and we are well and truly welcoming spring with open arms. We have been wishing for warmer weather since February but the more we wished the colder it gets.

Easter has been and gone and there STILL wasn’t any sign that spring is on the way accept the fact the clocks changed and it’s lighter in the evenings YAY!

This week though eeeek! We have been in our element loving the hot summer like days (hotter than Ibiza). We feel like we have got our mojo back and a spring in our step! It really is crazy what a bit of vitamin D can do to your mood!

There are so many things we have been missing about spring so we thought we would write a little list about all the things we are looking forward to and have been enjoying this week:

LONGER DAYS
Longer days means we will actually get to see daylight. Driving to work in the dark and leaving work in the dark really starts to take its toll after a while.

ICED COFFEE
We love an iced coffee and it isn’t something we would choose to have in the winter so by the time spring comes around we are well and truly ready to be re united with our one true love.

WARMER WEATHER
Warmer weather means we can wear t-shirts without having to weather a jumper over the top YAY for all the slogan t-shirts we have in our lives. We will no longer have to pack 17 layers in our bags when we leave the house YAY!

DRIVING IN THE SUNSHINE
Okay so this one might sound a bit strange but we love driving in the sunshine with our sunglasses on, windows down, music on and singing at the top of our voices we LOVE it.

BEER GARDEN
Sitting in a beer garden on a Saturday afternoon is just pure perfection, day drinking in the summer is so much fun.

SUN GLASSES
Who doesn’t love going into Primark and purchasing every single pair of sunglasses? We never spend money on expensive pairs of sunglasses as we always find they break! We live in sunglasses in the summer!

PICNICS
Just an excuse to eat your body weight in food and drink all the Pimms! We love a pick a mix style lunch for picnics are perfect for just that.

LONG EVENING WALKS
Evening walks when the sun is beginning to set are literally one of our favourite things about spring and summer. We love walking through the woods and fields breathing in the fresh country side air!

STAXX Protein Bars Review

We had never heard of STAXX Bars before we were very kindly sent them to review as they have recently launched three new flavour- Peanut & Caramel, Cookies & Cream & Dark Chocolate Mint. STAXX previously only had the Chocolate Caramel flavour. We couldn’t wait to try all of the flavours when they arrived as they all sounded delicious.

You can currently purchase STAXX bars on the website or across many other independent and online retailers including Amazon and Muscle food.

We can honestly say that STAXX bars are the nicest protein bars we have EVER tried, and we have tired a lot. We LOVE the fact you cannot taste the protein in the bars which is something we have struggled to find.

When we eat a STAXX Bar it feels like you are eating a chocolate bar, it really hits the spot and doesn’t leave us craving more sugary foods. The sugar content is low with most of them having about 2g of sugar per bar which is also another bonus. They also contain 20g Protein and are also low in net carbs.

We love how chewy the STAXX Bars are as well, they all have a caramel consistency to them which you will also love if you like a chewy protein bar. All the bars have a chocolate rice crispy coating on the outside layer which is something we really enjoyed.

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL
This was the first flavour we tried and immediately fell in love with the brand and the bars they had on offer. Chocolate caramel was also the first STAXX Bar launched and the only one you can currently purchase on their website. I felt like I was eating a toffee crisp which was a massive throw back as I have not had a toffee crisp in SO long, those chocolate bars are so under rated!

PEANUT & CARAMEL
This one was quite similar to the chocolate caramel flavour just with peanuts. We love peanuts and anything nutty  so this bar was right up our street. We loved the caramel in the bar mostly because we are fast eaters and it slowed us down so we could saviour it for longer.

DARK CHOCOLATE MINT
Dark Chocolate Mint was definitely one of my favourites which I was really surprised about but that is just purely down to the fact I always forget how much I actually enjoy mint flavoured chocolate. It reminded me of a mint Aero but with a crispy outer layer.

COOKIES & CREAM
I left this flavour until last as I am not usually a fan of cookies and cream flavoured products but when I did eventually try it I actually really enjoyed it.  It wasn’t my favourite out of the four as it didn’t give me that WOW factor and the flavours were not as intense.

We enjoyed the bars so much we headed straight to the website and ordered a box. There is a taster box available where you can purchase a box of all the flavours for £8.99. We ordered 12 of the Chocolate Caramel Flavour because it was our favourite but we will be ordering some of the Dark Chocolate Mint ones as well.

We hope to see STAXX bars in supermarkets in 2018 because that would be amazing!

Getting more vegetables into you diet

As the world becomes more and more health conscious over the years, people are becoming more aware of the food they put into their bodies and the importance of getting that five a day every day.

Who remembers when School dinners were changed at School? We were at the age where it was the WORST thing in the world! Long gone were our turkey twizzlers and chips for lunch! We were distraught! What we really needed was a little bit of education about WHY they decided to change our delicious school catering!

We have got some simples ways that can help you make sure you get your greens in and the best thing about it is the fact you won’t even know you are eating them!

BANANA BREAD

If you love banana bread, then our banana bread could be the ideal way to add some extra goodness into your diet as it doesn’t contain any refined sugar, it’s so delicious!

SMOOTHIES

One of the easiest ways to get more good food into your diet is to simply make a fruity smoothie in the morning for their breakfast. Smoothies are a brilliant way to disguise vegetables (like spinach) and many people will add things like carrot and spinach into smoothies and then disguise them with fruits. You can even add protein powder or other supplements to your smoothie.

SERVE IT WITH DIP

Why not cut up some veg and enjoy it with a delicious dip like hummus or guacamole. This is one of our go to lunches and it’s even better when you make the hummus yourself. Fancy making it a little sweeter? Chop up and apple and dip it into some peanut butter, it’s the perfect afternoon snack.

ADD IT

One of the best ways to get vegetables into your diet is by adding more vegetable into your meal! If you are making a spag bowl make it from scratch using fresh tomatoes, onions, carrots and peppers. This can be easily done in many recipes such as in cottage pie where you can add some carrot and celery. It will allow you to still eat the foods you enjoy.

Osprey Europe Trillium Bag Review

We were invited to a Press event with Osprey Europe back in September 2017, but unfortunately due to work commitments and working a 9-5 job we couldn’t make the event.  As you can  can imagine we were so gutted that we couldn’t make the event as it but we were extremely grateful when we were told we could still receive one of their Trillium Series Duffel Bags.

Its safe to say that since we received these bags we have been using them every single day WE LOVE THEM and we feel like now is the perfect time to write a review.

The design of the bag is fab and we couldn’t believe how compact they were. When we first received the delivery we were surprised at how small the package was especially as we had seen photos of the bags online.  We soon realised they were fold away bags and immediately thought it was a brilliant concept.

When someone mentions a fold away bag we automatically think of those shopper bags people use when doing their weekly shop but no no no these bags are not flimsy in the slightest in fact they are incredibly durable and amazing quality.

The Trillium comes in five colours; Black, Granite Grey, Sunburst Orange, Truffle Green & Vega Blue. Rachel has the Granite Grey which also has florescent yellow details and Annie has the Truffle Green both of which we love. The Trillium 30 costs £50 which we think is fairly priced especially as the quality is second to none.

The bag has Padded straps and if you extend the strap fully it allows you to carry it as a shoulder bag. If you choose to shorten the straps it turns into a cross body bag. We mostly use it as a shoulder bag!

We particularly love the main zip on the bag as it allows you to fully open the bag up without having to remove everything in the bag, we have all been there when we are trying to find that one thing (usually headphones) and you just cannot find it and end up removing everything from your bag.

We have been taking our Duffel bags to the gym as they are the perfect size to fit our work clothes in and also fit  perfectly into the gym lockers. We also love the fact that there are a number of different pockets allowing us to separate our sweaty gym wear- sorry if TMI but its true!

We have also taken the bag away with us when we have been for weekends away as it is the perfect size for hand luggage. We would also recommend packing it in your hold luggage if you are doing mini trips within a big trip and don’t want to carry a suitcase everywhere you go.

So many people have asked us where we got our gym bag from and we seriously couldn’t recommend the Trillium Duffel enough, it is everything you could want in a gym or weekend away bag.

Morning Run in Jersey

As you know by now we always start every trip we go on with a morning run, it set us up nicely for the day and also gives us a chance to look around running to sites and viewpoints we wouldn’t otherwise get to see. I visit Jersey quite frequently so know the island relatively well but that doesn’t stop me waking up in the morning, tying up my laces and getting outside.

I set out at 7:00am when it was still dark outside, as I was running the sun began to rise and I was quite literally running into the beautiful sunrise. It was so peaceful outside with only runners in site. As I am training for a marathon I knew I had to run a fair way as I always save a long run for the weekend, I googled the distance from St Aubin’s to St Hellier and it said it was roughly 5 miles so a rounded trip would get me up to 10 miles which was perfect.

It was such a beautiful morning it looked like the sky was on fire, by the time I got down to the harbour I just had to stop and take some photos to share with you all.  I wish I could wake up every morning and run along on the beach, I even saw horses galloping along the beach it was truly magical.

Rachel will be joining me in Jersey in June for the Jersey half marathon which we are already so excited about, for someone who has never been to Jersey before running the half marathon will mean she hopefully gets to see a large amount of the island in one go (the island is only 9X5 anyway).

We cannot think of a better half marathon to take part in, the views are going to be truly stunning, if any of you are also running the half marathon in Jersey then please do let us know! Fingers crossed the wind and weather in on our side on the 10th June.

How to De-Stress over the Holidays

Life can be so hectic and sometimes the only time we allow ourselves to chill at home not doing much other than eating and spending time with family is at Christmas time. We have spoken to endless amounts of people about this prior to writing this post and almost everyone says the same thing- Christmas is the only holiday we spend at home doing nothing and don’t feel guilty for it.

It’s important that we have time to switch off from everyday life and the stresses that can come from it. Take the time to do the things you love but don’t usually prioritise or have time to fit in around your daily routine whether this is baking a cake, going for a run, painting your nails or watching your favourite TV show that you are now 5 seasons behind on.

This shouldn’t be just at Christmas time though, try and schedule a weekend in every now and again where you just spend time doing the things you really want to do. We always talk about how much we LOVE these weekends, we wouldn’t want these kinds of weekends all the time because we wouldn’t appreciate them as much but it is nice when you have been so hectic just to sit at home on a Saturday evening with a glass of wine in hand watching your favourite TV show.

We have set ourselves a challenge to make sure we start to schedule in these weekends, putting our self-care and health as a priority. This is going to be really hard for us because we always love being on the go making the most of our weekends and making them as jam packed as possible, but we know sometimes we end up burning the candle at both ends and it usually results in us becoming poorly which isn’t something we want.

So we urge you to do the same as us, start off with Christmas (if you can and have the time off work). Really allow yourself to switch off from your daily routine, say goodbye to the stressful morning commute, work deadlines and everything anything else that angers you or causes you stress on a daily basis. We can assure you your body and mind will thank you for it and you will feel so much better for it, going back to work in January feeling refreshed with a new optimistic mind that is ready to smash everything that comes your way.

So we are going to help you to start, grab a pen and paper and write down everything you love doing in your spare time that you want to do regularly going forward you can see some of the things that are on our lists below:

Annie
Bake banana loaf- my favourite
Swimming
Catch up on Nashville- best TV show ever
Go for a long walk in the woods
Straightening my hair

Rach
Painting my nails
Reading and finishing a book
Cleanse my skin
Cross Stich
Reading my favourite magazines

Why you should take progress pictures

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Its easy to forget the progress you have made when you see your body day in day out. Taking photos of your body is so important and we would say a necessary aspect of your fitness journey.

Step away from the scales and instead take progress pictures to track your progress. The Scales are not always your friend and they can make you feel extremely disheartened if you don’t see the number on the scales drop especially if you have been working hard. We cannot remember the last time we weighed ourselves we don’t think its an important part of our fitness journey and your weight can change by the minute depending on the food you have eaten and the liquids you have consumed. If you do still want to weigh yourself then maybe just do this every other week or once a month instead of stepping on the scale day in day out.

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Taking progress photos will help keep you on track and you can look back and see how far you have come. Transformation can take time and its important to remember it wont happen overnight. Take a photo once a week, pick a day and time and take your photo at the same time each week. This could be first thing in the morning or last thing at night it is completely up to you. We would suggest taking it first thing in the morning when you first wake up before eating or drinking any food.

Even if you don’t want to look at the photos straight away because you don’t like what you see in a couple of months when you look back you should be able to see a big difference in your body if you are living a healthy balanced lifestyle and keeping on track with your diet and fitness regime.

Don’t beat yourself up if progress is slow, you will make progress no matter how slow or quickly it takes!

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