6 Things to do in Dublin

If you had to make a bucket list of things to do in Dublin before you die, what would you choose? Here are a few suggestions of some of the most popular excursions, and some that are more off the beaten track.

Kilmainham Gaol Museum
This is one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe and it has a history stretching back more than 200 years. It is said to be haunted by the ghosts of prisoners, but if you can stand the chill we have heard it’s well worth making the tour. It has been used several times as a movie location as well which is pretty cool.

Experience The Bars
The nightlife of Dublin is something not to be missed. There are bars and restaurants all over the city. Live music is played in many of them which is incredible! We actually came across an amazing band when we visited Dublin called Keywest, they were busking in the Street. Since then we have been to see them play in London. The atmosphere around the Temple Bar area is incredible.

We stayed in this hotel when we visited- https://www.maldronhotelpearsestreet.com/ in Pearse Street, they also put on a delicious breakfast! YUM.

Watch An All Ireland Final At Croke Park
Croke Park stadium is one of the largest in Europe with a capacity for 82,300 spectators WOW. It is very easy to spend a whole day at Croke Park. By the time you have taken the tour, watched a match and had a meal you will have had ones of the best sporting days you are likely to experience.

A Lazy Day At St Stephen’s Green
Taking a stroll round St Stephen’s Green wouls be ideal. It is the perfect place to take a picnic with you, http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/dublin/ststephensgreen/. There are shops close by where you can enjoy an ice cream in the afternoon.

Shop Till You Drop
Bypass all the big shopping centres and head for places like Capel Street or Henrietta Street. These are places where you will find the likes of the original Louis Copeland outlet as well as the craft beer joint known as the Black Sheep. These may not be the cities most fashionable streets, but you will find hidden gems that are well worth exploring.

Guineas tasting
You can buy Guinness in every bar, hotel and restaurant in Dublin, but why not go to where it originates from. The Guinness store charts the history of the brew from when Arthur Guinness first made it to the present day. You will find out how it is made and get a pint to drink while you are there. We visited during our time in Dublin and we couldn’t recommend it enough.

There are no doubt many other things to see and do in Dublin before you die, and these are just a few of the things you might like.

What to do in Skegness

Skegness is a seaside resort that we have heard has a lot to offer! We have not yet visited Skegness but we would love to and therefore we decided to do a bit of research!

It appears that there is a lot to do in Skegness from relaxing scenery and lots of different attractions. It has always been a popular spot for tourists to visit for a weekend away.

BEACH

There is only one way we would want to begin our weekend away and that would be visiting the beach. There is a pier on the beach that we would definitely take a walk on! The beaches are known for being clean, sandy, and long, and the Central Beach has been awarded the coveted Blue Glad Award. Lifeguard cover can be expected from June to September, and swimming is good here. There are also body boarding and surfing opportunities.

SEAL SANCTUARY

Close to Central Beach, there is also the Seal Sanctuary, which looks like a great place to visit while you are in Skegness. We would potentially visit this after spending the day on the beach!

WALKS

We love to walk so we would of course research a couple of walks we could go on! Sometimes we even just like to put our walking shoes on and see where the path takes us!

HOTEL

Last but not least, the importance of choosing accommodation with care cannot be ignored when it comes to any type of trip. After all, a hotel or B&B can make or break your trip. The good thing is that there are lots of hotels Skegness-based and in the surrounding areas, so you should have no trouble choosing something suitable. Whether you want to be based on the seafront or in the Lincolnshire woods, you will be able to find somewhere beautiful and comfortable to stay with ease.

THE EMBASSY THEATRE

There is always something exciting going on at the Embassy Theatre. Many acts have played here, including Jimmy Carr, Jools Holland, and Lee Evans. From stage shows and live bands to comedians, we would definitely check out the events page to see if there is anything going on during your visit.

As you can see, there are plenty of different things to see and do while in Skegness, as well as lots of amazing places to stay too.

Hopefully, we have helped with suggestions of what you can do. One thing is for sure; you are bound to have a great time, especially if the sun is shining!

Typical Tourist things to do in Rome

After visiting Rome, it would be rude not to write a post like this, plus we want to share our lovely photos with you all!

The Colloseum
This place truely is a thing of beauty! Its so magnifcant and its amazing to think how old it is! We bought tickets in advance online and despite doing this you still have to queue up. The queue was over an hour long standing in the sun. We were advised to pay 15 euros each to have a guide and you skip the queue. We didn’t fancy waiting in the sunshine but also didn’t want to waste our day so decided to go for it. To be honest our guide was so boring and you could tell she hated her job so we ditched the guide and went exploring. Our tickets also included entrance to the Forum which is opposite the Coloseum.

The Trevi Fountain
This fountain is another typical place to visit when in Rome. Make sure you get that coin and chuck it over your left shoulder and make a wish. In the height of the season it is very busy here so be prepared to push your way to the front for a picture!

Pantheon
This is the famous church with a hole in the roof, its simply stunning and so cool to look up and see the sky! The sun shines right down the middle and its beautiful. As this is a church you will need to cover your shoulders to enter.

The Vatican
Again another place you must go and see when in Rome. If you want you can book in advance and the full tour and see the Sistine Chapel etc. However if you don’t want to pay then you can go into St Peters Basilica for free. Everyone said to us that the queue was ages but we queued for about 20 minutes. As its such glorious weather in Rome we didn’t want to spend our whole day inside so this worked out perfectly for us. We were still able to take pictures and say we had been to the Vatican City.

The Spanish Steps
To be honest we were a bit underwhelmed by these steps because basically they are just some steps with a monument at the top. It was so so busy that we literally looked at the steps and then left!

Not so touristy places but so worth the visit:

Roseto Comunale
These rose gardens are soooo pretty and its nice to get away from all the tourists. We literally took so many pictures of flowers! If you fancy some time away from the hustle and bustle of the main city then we suggest venturing here. They are close to the Orange Gardens (below) so you can visit both at the same time. There is also a water fountain here which is useful to know.

The Orange Garden on the Aventine Hill
The view you get from these gardens is spectacular. We chilled up here in the sunshine surrounded by pretty trees. It is worth the climb up here and is pretty underscored too so you won’t see many tourists.

Palazzo Venezia
These gardens are so well hidden and the perfect place just to sit and relax. There is also a water fountain here to fill up your water bottles. We kept going back to this place to fill up our water as it was quite central.

Top tips: you can basically walk everywhere in Rome all the places you want to visit are all close by so wear comfortable shoes and get exploring. You also stumble across some pretty stunning places on route so its defs worth it

Most of the fountains are drinking water so get yourself a water bottle and keep filling up your water, you will save a fortune!

The Cotswolds: Planning The Perfect Weekend Break

Stretched across six counties, The Cotswolds are made up of lots of beautiful Cotswold villages. Think thatched cottages, golden coloured townhouses, beautiful churches, and country estates. The Cotswolds is a beautiful location and a place we like to visit frequently.

The Cotswolds is a great location because there is so much to do and see! From hiking and horse riding to shopping and enjoying the local surroundings, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.

We have come up with some great ideas of things to do in The Cotswolds that should help you organise your trip.

The accommodation is incredible

Throughout The Cotswolds, there is some amazing accommodation to choose from. From traditional pub inns in Bourton-on-the-Water, such as The Old Manse pub and inn to Cotswold lodges at Watermark near The Cotswold Water Park (which we visited the other weekend and absolutely love, if you visit you have to go to the beach and go on the giant inflatable). Cheltenham is also a great place to visit and also has a number of pubs and bars if that is something you enjoy.

The food is fantastic

The Cotswolds is home to some of the best food in the UK, Think organic produce, seasonal dishes, and locally reared meat and fish. The number of farms in The Cotswolds mean that the food on offer is truely what you would call fresh. You’ll be spoilt for choice with a range of Gastro pubs, quaint English tea rooms, delis, and farmer’s markets to choose from. We always make sure we visit Trip Advisor and have a read of the reviews for each place before going!

The villages are stunning

The Cotswolds is made up of some incredible villages (and towns too). There’s Bourton-on-the-Water, crowned ‘The Venice of The Cotswolds’ due to the lovely river running through it. Just a short walk from here, down a country path you will find Lower Slaughter, a quaint hamlet with a beautiful country pub called The Slaughters Country Pub we have read that this is the perfect place for a spot of lunch or even a quick coffee.

Stow-on-the-Wold, the next town across is a market town that is home to the Fosse Gallery and the Famous St. Edwards Church. It’s also home to the historic postbox, one of the oldest postboxes in the UK.

Winchcombe is another Cotswold village that has a beautifully timeless quality to it. Imagine Cotswold stone cottages combined with black and white Victorian-era buildings, narrow cobbled streets and charmingly quaint houses. This small town is famous with walkers, due to the number of trails it has all around it.

There are towns and cities within reach

In addition to the villages and towns of The Cotswolds, there are also an array of other towns and cities within each reach.

Cheltenham is one town that has a lot to offer as we have previously mentioned. There is great shopping facilities, hotels, bars and restaurants.

Burford is also a beautiful town. It’s smaller than Cheltenham and far more traditional, but it’s still a wonderful place to explore. Complete with a small high street full of delis and eateries, this small town is so beautiful and we recently visited and went on a lovely long walk, it was just stunning.

The Cotswolds has so much to offer, which is what makes it such an ideal location for a weekend getaway! We would highly recommend a visit.

The Hottest Holiday Destinations: Europe’s Favourite Locations!

Are you looking for inspiration for your next holiday? If so, we may have some ideas for you! It’s never been easier to spread your wings and fly away (as long as you have some dolla), but saying that there are so many affordable flights now days that is has opened us up a host of new destinations. Although Spain continues to be the destination of choice for most people, other locations are catching up.

Spain is the most popular holiday destination for European tourists, but there are signs that other countries are becoming increasingly appealing. Maybe it’s media attention or the availability of cheaper flights but other locations are appearing on the map. Croatia, for example, has become a leading tourist destination in recent years- a county that is definitely on our bucket list.

We recently visited La Palma, it wasn’t very touristy at all but it was so cheap and such an incredible Island. It was a four hour flight from London and before you know it you are in this beautiful little haven.

Budapest is another country that is ridiculously cheap when you are there! Budapest is the perfect mix of city break and relaxation. Rach loved it when she visited and cannot wait to go back with Annie.

We visited Ibiza a couple of years ago and it barely cost us any money which we were really surprised about. Quite a lot of people are put off of the idea of visiting Ibiza due to its party reputation, but we have to say it was truly stunning and didn’t even visit the party town.

Bulgaria is another country that we would love to visit! Any tips on where to go in Bulgaria would be fabulous! We have heard the skiing there is pretty incredible in the winter months as well!

If you’re looking for a holiday destination, and you fancy a change of scenery, why not consider visiting somewhere you’ve never been before? There is nothing quite like the thrill of exploring new places and discovering different cultures.


Infographic design by Tour Croatia

5 Unhealthy Mistakes New Travellers Could Make

Travelling for the first time can be an absolutely incredible experience, Rachel’s first solo trip was to Australia. Just like us any new traveller goes through a rollercoaster of different emotions; feeling scared because they are away from home for the first time, excited at being in a new place alone, apprehensive because they don’t know what to expect while also feeling thrilled.

When you decide to go travelling, it’s a turning point in your life (lol sorry but it’s true). However, many new travellers make unhealthy mistakes that can ruin their trips and end up cutting them short. Read on to find out what they are so that you don’t end up doing the same!

Buying Street Food In Quiet Areas
Street food is a great way to save money on meals while you travel, but buying it in a quiet area is usually a mistake. This usually means that the food isn’t as fresh, so you could end up falling ill with food poisoning. It’s much safer to get food from places where there are a lot of people around. This way, you can be sure that it’s freshly cooked.

Drinking The Tap Water
This is something your parents may have drilled into you from a young age, but we will say it again; drinking the tap water in many foreign countries can result in a horrible illness, and you could find yourself on the toilet for the remainder of your trip (sorry if TMI). Always buy bottled water, and feel better about contributing to plastic waste by making sure you recycle it or take a reusable bottle with you.

Failing To Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is an absolute essential. In some countries it is compulsory, in others it isn’t – but you should get it wherever you decide to go. Travel insurance won’t stop you from falling ill or hurting yourself, but it’ll help to protect you financially should you need hospital treatment or to cut your trip short. You never know what might happen, so don’t risk it!

Dressing appropriately for the weather, comfort depending on your activity, and the culture that you’re visiting is a must. You might even find that it’s better to buy clothes once you arrive as they are really cheap and help you fit in with the locals! Make sure you do lots of research you can find out lots of info on the countries you are planning on visit online, whether that’s on how to enjoy a healthy umrah or something else you’ve put on your bucket list.

Drinking Too Much
Not only is waking up with a hangover when you’re supposed to be exploring no fun; it’s pretty dangerous. You never know what could happen so always have your wits about you. If you’re travelling alone you’re putting yourself at risk just a little bit more! Limit your drinks and something we have always done is written a note in our room, saying where we are going and when we expect to be back. Try and make some friends in your hostel and head out with them!

Forgetting Sunscreen
If you’re doing anything other than a beach holiday, it’s all too easy to think that you can forget about sunscreen. Wrong! Sunscreen is important even if the sun isn’t shining, so make sure you take some with you and slap it on before leaving. In many counties you can buy massive suncream pots with handles, so just tie to your rucksack and you’ll never be caught short!

Preparing For Your Summer Holiday

Preparing for a holiday is extremely exciting but it can also be quite stressful! Don’t worry though as we have got a check list for you to work free to make sure you have a stress free holiday!

Passport in date
Make sure you check your passport to see it is still in date, there would be nothing worse than realising your passport is out of date a few days before your holiday. Always make sure you check this prior to booking your holiday and some destinations need you to have at least 6 months left on your passport expiry date.

Travel insurance
We cannot stress enough how important it is to get yourself some travel insurance. Obviously no one goes away with the intention of becoming ill or being involved in an accident but it can happen! We tend to purchase our travel insurance for the year if we are off on several trips as it definitely cheaper. Have a look on Bupa for your travel insurance!

Buying the essentials
Don’t forget to buy all the essentials you are going to need especially sun cream. If you are taking hand luggage only remember you won’t be able to take a big bottle through security so you can always purchase it in the airport. If you are going to purchase it in the airport we would advise that on write yourself a check list so you don’t forget any of the essentials.

Check in
Don’t forget to check into your flight before going away unless you want to be met by a fine at the check in desk (not all airlines charge but a fair few of them do)! Once you have checked in you can then print your boarding pass! We actually tend to use the apps now instead of printing out our boarding passes.

Travel money
Check whether or not the exchange rate is better in your own country or when you are abroad. Some countries you visit like Morocco you are not allowed to take their currency out before you arrive and when you leave you have to change it back. If you are taking your money out when you arrive make sure to tell your bank!

Travelling to the airport
How are you getting to the airport? It’s far cheaper if you book your car parking space in advance, the later you leave it the more expensive it is going to be. Why not get the train? The majority of train that go to the airports run through the night as well and can be really cheap.

Traveling to your final destination
How are you getting to your final destination once your land? Have you hired a car? Is there a train line or are you going to hop in a taxi? It’s always worth being prepared so you have a smooth journey and organised start to your holiday.

How To Visit Ireland On A budget

Ireland is an amazing destination for a UK trip but it can get a little expensive depending on where you go. The bigger cities like Dublin are quite pricey and you’ll end up spending a lot of money while you’re out there, sometimes more than you would if you went somewhere in Europe. But you shouldn’t let that put you off going because it’s got so much to offer. If you’re planning a trip to Ireland sometime soon, here’s how to do it on a budget.

Getting There
The good news is, getting to Ireland really isn’t that expensive. The flights take no time at all and they’ll only cost you about £50 if you book in advance. If you’re not too keen on flying or you just want to cut the cost even more you could consider getting a ferry. You’ve got to be careful when you’re booking a ferry because the prices can change so dramatically. You can get them cheaper than flights but on some days, they’ll be a lot more. The best thing to do is just keep checking the prices regularly for a few weeks and work out when the best time to go is.

Where To Stay
Deciding where you’re going to go has a massive impact on the cost of your trip to Ireland. If you go to Dublin, for example, you can’t really avoid spending a load of money while you’re out there. The cost of food and drink is pretty much the same as London so a week there is going to put a slight dent in your wallet. There are some other amazing cities in Ireland that aren’t anywhere near as expensive so you’re better off going somewhere like Cork instead.

Once you’ve chosen the city you’re going to stay in, you need to decide on the accommodation. You can easily find gift vouchers for an Irish hotel break online which will make the whole thing a lot more affordable.

If you really want to save some cash, why not go camping instead? There are some beautiful landscapes in Ireland that create the perfect backdrop for an outdoors trip. You can spend some time hiking around in the mountains and taking in the scenery.

Food And Drink
Eating and drinking in Ireland can quickly get pricey if you don’t know what you’re doing. Alcohol, in particular, is very expensive so a night in the pub can end up taking a huge chunk out of your budget. It would be a shame to miss out on a pint of famous Irish Guinness while you’re out there but just be careful.

Eating out in Ireland can be pricey too but you should be able to find some more affordable places if you look around a bit, how about checking on Instagram which is what we do before visiting a city. You can find some yummy places to eat at. The pubs offer great homely food without a massive price tag. One of the best ways to save money on eating out in Ireland is to ask the locals, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

A trip to Ireland can easily be expensive but if you use these tips, you can do it on a budget.

Staying Healthy And Fit During Your Summer Travels

More and more of us are getting ready for our summer holidays wooohooo! From short-haul to Europe (Annie is off to Spain and Rhodes), to longer haul (Rachel is off to Canada)! Regardless of where you are going you have probably already thought about packing It’s definitely something you either love or hate!

Does anyone else find that whenever they stop and finally rest they get ill? We always do and it totally sucks! Although in summer there are fewer bugs around to catch, you can still get ill in summer, especially in a new country where you’re trying new foods or have a body clock that is all over the place. So here are some of the best ways that you can stay well on your travels this summer.

Hydrate

This is going to be one of the most important points for your summer travels. Temperatures are hotting up, and you’ll be losing a lot of water through sweat when you’re away.

If you decide to go on a boat trip or spend time by the sea you are likely to not feel as hot, as the breeze will cool you. But you will still be losing water. So you need to be drinking at least two liters of water a day, if not more. It can be tricky in some countries to do so, as you can’t drink the tap water. So stock up at local supermarkets with some bottled water. A cost-efficient way of doing it is taking your own reusable water bottle, and then fill it up each day from a large bottle of water bought from a store. Plus, places like hotel gyms have bottled water that you can decant and fill up your own bottle with.

Avoid Jet Lag

If you have jet lag, then it means that you can be sleeping at unusual hours, not getting enough sleep, or just generally feeling unwell. While this is more common when flying long-haul, it can happen any time. One of the best pieces of advice to avoid jet lag is to try to get on the new country’s time, as soon as you get on the plane. If you’re going to be landing somewhere and it will be daytime, then you need to sleep as much as you can on the plane, so that you can stay awake when you get there.

Exercise

Some holidays are going to be pretty active ones (think hiking trips or city breaks). So you’re less likely to need to exercise formally on those kinds of trip. But going off to the beach for two weeks means that you may decide to keep active by going for a run or visiting the hotel gym. We sometimes like to research gyms in the local area as well. It’s not that you have to exercise when on holiday and don’t think you do we just like to it helps us keep sane and also means we can enjoy one of two more cocktails than normal.

Watch What You Eat

This actually doesn’t have anything to do with calorie intake or anything like that, but more about how the foods are prepared and if they will be good for you. Even something like a salad, that has been washed in tap water, can make you sick. So you need to check things like that. It can also be a good idea to avoid certain things on street food carts, especially if you can’t check how it has been prepared. You want to reduce the chance of you getting sick from something you’ve eaten, and avoid getting anything like Delhi-Belly.

Sunscreen

It can be easy to forget about sunscreen and go wild by the pool in the hopes of getting a tan. And while the long-term effects of sun damage aren’t going to have an impact immediately, there are some side-effects that will. You can get sore, cracked, or broken skin, as well as something like sunstroke. That can leave you feeling nauseous, lethargic, high temperature, and in a lot of pain. So it really is simple; wear sunscreen, and keep applying it often.

Relax

Taking some time out when you’re on holiday can be just what you need to unwind and relax. And while you’re taking a break from some of the stressors of every day and your normal routine, holidays can still feel a little full on. So look for ways to help you to be more mindful. This could be meditation, writing in a journal, doing some exercise like yoga, or taking yourself off for a spa treatment. Time out gives you time to de-stress and to relax.

Have you got any tried and tested tips that help you to stay healthy on your travels this summer? It would be great to hear what you think.

Goodbye English Festivals, Hello Spanish Festivals

We love Spain it is one of our favourite countries to visit during the summer months. The warm temperatures, delicious food and the refreshing Sangria is enough to make us return almost every year.

We have been to Spain almost every year since we were little. We have visited lots of different parts of Spain and also visited for many different reasons. We have been to Spain on family holidays, Hen do’s, city breaks and to a music festival which was so much fun.

If you have not heard of Benicassim before then we would definitely recommend checking it out. Benicassim takes place in July just a short ride away from Valencia and Barcelona. There are lots of bus transfers from the airport so it is definitely worth booking one of those as it will be much cheaper than a taxi. This year it starts on Thursday 19th July through to Sunday 22nd July you can purchase a 4 day ticket for 155 euros which also includes camping but you can also purchase 3 and 2 day tickets.

Forget about packing welly boots and a rain coat like you would when attending an English festival! This festival definitely won’t be a wash out like a few of the England festivals we have attended in the past! What you will need is a bikini, flip flops and lots of sun cream.

The great thing about Benicassim is that the music starts at about 6pm giving you the entire day to enjoy the sunshine. We used to take the bus down to the beach and spend the entire day enjoying the sunshine.

We paid about 12 euros for a week’s bus pass which was unlimited and you could use to get to and from the beach from the campsite. The bus also stopped at the supermarkets at well which was incredible. We used to go to Lidl to stock up on our supplies as it was far cheaper.

The bus will drop you at the drive way to the festival and we are not lying when we say this drive way is LONG! Carrying 2 litre bottles of water is NOT fun especially in the heat but it is worth it when you get back to your tent and you are not having to spend a ridiculous amount that the festival tents charge.

We decided to glamp at Benicassim we couldn’t think of anything worse than waking up in a hot tent with a hangover! We paid for the tipi tents which cost about £150 extra each (prices may have gone up a little bit by now as we went a couple of year ago). Inside the tipi tents were blow up mattresses with duvets and pillows it was fantastic.

We were also provided breakfast and a coffee in the morning which was delightful! The breakfast was a selection of pastries and bread with jam etc. There was also a giant paddling pool which someone unfortunately punctured on our first day! DOW!

The showers at the campsite were incredible we had about four showers a day because it was just so dam hot! There were so many showers and they were located outside set up like scaffolding, they were far to begin with from where the sun had warmed up the water and then after a while they went cold which was so refreshing.

The music was great and we enjoyed Benicassim so much, if was our first festival abroad and definitely won’t be our last. We really want to go to the La Tomatina Festival next!