Sunday, 7 January 2018

5 travel goals for 2018

2018 is going to be the first year in while where I don't have to worry about assignments or University deadlines, so I'll be able to dedicate more time to travel during my time off work. Whether this be visiting new countries, paying more attention to my travel scrapbook or collecting more PopOut Maps, I am determined to focus more on travel this year. In light of this, I have decided to set myself some travel goals for the year. I always find that goals motivate me to go out more and see the world!

2018 travel goals

1. Make the most of the Eurostar and Eurotunnel.

Disneyland Paris by Eurostar, April 2018. Disney and Paris-themed ornaments. Make the most of the Eurostar and Eurotunnel - travel goals for 2018.

Living in Canterbury, the Eurostar is only 15 minutes away by train and the Eurotunnel is only 30 minutes drive away. In 2018 we are determined to make use of these alternative methods of travel to flying and in the first half of the year alone, we have a trip to Disneyland Paris via Eurostar and a road trip to Bruges via Eurotunnel planned.

2. Visit more places in the UK. 

My UK day trips scrapbook. Visit more places in the UK - travel goals for 2018.

We're all guilty of it, but sometimes we neglect tourist sites closer to home because we're always dreaming about visiting far off places. In 2018, I am aiming to visit lots more towns and cities in the UK.

3. Visit multiple countries in one day.

Slovakia and Austria travel collectibles. Visit multiple countries in one day - travel goals for 2018.

This will be happening in February, as we're going to take the train to Vienna for a day, whilst we're visiting Bratislava. When I went interrailing in 2016, I loved the thrill of being able to hop from country to country via the trains, so I'd really like to do it again in 2018.

4. Put some money aside for a Florida trip with Stuart in the future.

Saving for Orlando - travel goals for 2018. Orlando-themed ornaments.

We've both been to Florida multiple times with our families, but we really want to go together at some point. In 2018, we're going to put our spare change into a jar and any extra cash into the "Florida Fund", so that our dream can become a reality in the near future.

5. Grow my travel book collection.

Paris travel books

In 2018, I am going to be purchasing travel guides for all of the new cities that we are visiting. Most of the time I pick them up in second hand or charity book stores, as that's the most affordable way to purchase multiple travel books and there's something nostalgic about purchasing "well-loved" books. Travel authors know their stuff and it's always good to get recommendations from the professionals!

Do you have any travel goals for 2018? If you do, I'd love to hear them in the comments.

Thanks for reading my blog today.


Sunday, 31 December 2017

My completed 2017 travel scrapbook

As I’m writing this post, it is New Year’s Eve and the end of 2017. This year has been quite possibly the biggest year of my life so far. I graduated University, got a flat with my boyfriend and got my first post-graduate job. From a travel perspective, I visited 7 countries and also started scrapbooking my adventures properly, filling an entire book with tickets, photos and memories that we’d picked up along the way. I enjoyed putting the book together so much that I’m going to make annual travel scrapbooks from now on, which feature all of our adventures. For today’s post, I’m going to show you my favourite pages of my 2017 scrapbook, which has taken a long time to complete. I just keep thinking of how grateful I’ll be of these books in the future, when I want to reflect on what we got up to when we were younger.

2017 travel scrapbook - Rome

The first photo is from our January Rome trip, which was the first trip of the year and a chance for us to visit one of Europe’s busiest cities out of season.

2017 travel scrapbook - Dublin

The second photo features my favourite double page from our April visit to Dublin. It includes a photo and a business card from Sophie’s: a rooftop restaurant with views over the city. This was one of my birthday presents from Stuart and it was a very special evening.

2017 travel scrapbook - Lisbon

Next up is some of the pages from our Lisbon trip. Lisbon was such a beautifully painted city and I tried to create a scrapbook layout with bright colours to reflect this.

2017 travel scrapbook - New York and Toronto

In the Summer I went to Boston, upstate NY, Toronto, Niagara Falls and Orlando, Florida with my family. It was a trip of a lifetime, which involved so much sightseeing! The photos show some of the postcards I collected along the way, as we road tripped across the States.

2017 travel scrapbook - Walt Disney World, Florida

In August, Stuart and I went to Calgary, Canada for 10 days, so that we could visit Banff, Jasper and some of the Alberta national parks. This photo features the Banff part of our trip, which was a collaboration with Printiki, and it’s one of my favourite spreads in the entire book.

2017 travel scrapbook - Banff National Park, Canada

Last up is some pages from our Munich Christmas Markets trip. I bought some special Christmas tapes and stickers for these pages, which were so fun to display amongst the photos from our trip. I bought these festive scrapbooking materials from The Range and they were such good value at £1 a pack of stickers or tapes.

2017 travel scrapbook - Munich

What an amazing year of travel it’s been! I love looking back on all of our adventures.

Have you been on any adventures in 2017?

Thanks for reading my blog today.


Friday, 22 December 2017

Visiting Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland

For a long time, I've been visiting Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland at Christmas. This year I thought we weren't going to get the chance to visit, what with our Munich Christmas Markets trip, festive gatherings and parties filling our weekends in December, but we finally found a chance to visit last weekend with friends and had a ball! We were in London on Saturday 15th December for my Aunt's Christmas do, so we decided to hop on the central line in the late afternoon and head over to Marble Arch station for Winter Wonderland.

Drinking Hot Chocolate at Winter Wonderland

In my opinion, there are two ways that you can visit Winter Wonderland. You can either cram in as many activities as possible and have an action-packed day, or you can have a leisurely time strolling through the Christmas Market and enjoying the yummy food and drink. If you choose the first option, you can book attractions such as ice skating, the Magical Ice Kingdom and the Cinderella on Ice show in advance, which also gives you fast track entry to Winter Wonderland at the gate. If you choose the second option, you will end up spending a lot less money, but you won't need to allow more than a few hours to see all that Winter Wonderland has to offer. When we visited Winter Wonderland last weekend, we didn't prebook any attractions. We decided to just wander around the Christmas Market, drink hot chocolate and catch up with our friends.

Stuart and I having a photo with Olaf at Winter Wonderland

After having visited the Munich Christmas Markets, it was great fun getting to see Winter Wonderland's take on a Bavarian Christmas Market. There was traditional German food on offer, as well as some fast food options. If you fancied a drink, you could easily find stalls selling beer, mulled wine or hot chocolate. We didn't end up eating at Winter Wonderland because we were still so full from takeaway pizza at my Aunt's house, but I did grab a hot chocolate whilst we were there and it was delicious! The Winter Wonderland branded paper cups were too cute to miss!

Some of the gift stalls at the Christmas Market sold fairy lights and lanterns. Against the night sky, the fairy lights looked beautiful. If we had space for more fairy lights in our flat, I would have bought lots of them!

Star lanterns at Winter Wonderland

Next to the market, there was lots of fairground rides. We didn't go on any of them because of how expensive they were, but they looked very Christmassy!

We were at Winter Wonderland for 2 hours and I think that was plenty of time, given that we didn't participate in any of the bookable activities or go on any rides. I really enjoyed our time at Winter Wonderland and will definitely be going back next year. If you get a chance to visit Winter Wonderland before the festive season is over, definitely visit in the evening. Seeing all of the lights at night is extra special.

Have you ever been to Winter Wonderland?

Thanks for reading my blog today.


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

48 hours in Munich

At the start of December, we went to Munich for the weekend. We travelled to Germany on the Friday morning from Gatwick Airport and arrived in the famous Bavarian city late Friday afternoon. We took the S-Bahn straight to our hotel once we'd touched down in Germany, so that we could check in and drop our bags off, before heading over to Marienplatz and the Christmas markets.

Flying to Munich from London Gatwick

We made it to the markets at about 6pm, when it was just starting to get busy. We strolled around the markets for a few hours, marvelling at the beautiful fairy lights, trying the local street food and drinking hot chocolate. The atmosphere was electric and everybody seemed to be in the Christmassy mood.

Exploring the Munich Christmas Markets

Gingerbread heart cookies at the Munich Christmas Markets

Munich Christmas Markets at night

Apple strudel at the Munich Christmas Markets

The following day we walked into the city centre early in the morning and stopped at a cafe for breakfast near Hauptbahnhof. We passed some beautiful architecture on the way into the centre.

Breakfast in Munich

Munich city centre in the morning

We visited the markets at 10am when they opened, before exploring more of the city later in the day. The Isar River wasn't far away from the centre so we walked over there during the late morning.

Munich city centre

Views of Munich from the Town Hall

It only cost a Euro to go up to the top of the Town Hall clock tower, so we took the lift up to the top in the early afternoon and saw some spectacular views of the city. It had been snowing a few days before we arrived in Munich, so there was still some snow on roof tops. We visited some other Christmas markets during the afternoon and took a trip to one of the city gardens. When it started to get cold, we headed into a Starbucks for some warmth and also kept popping in and out of shops.

Views of Munich from the Town Hall

Munich Christmas lights

One of the Munich city centre gardens in Winter

We finished the day at the Marienplatz markets when it started to get dark. I had a veggie burger from one of the market stalls which only cost €3! After a busy day exploring, we headed back to the hotel for an early night. Our flight the next day was early in the morning, so we wanted to make sure everything was packed that evening.

Dinner at the Munich Christmas Markets

It was a spectacular weekend, filled with good food, sightseeing and lots of festive cheer.

Have you ever been to Munich?

Thanks for reading my blog today.