Make your travel dreams a reality

So many people say they’d love to visit a particular place, but there’s always a reason to stop them going, whether it’s timing, money or fear.

Travelling is all about exploring, but you have to let your inner-adventure free, otherwise you’ll forever be making up excuses. In exactly one year to this day, you could be on a beach with sand between your toes and sunshine beaming down on you. Wherever it is in the world you want to go, don’t let it be a dream or a wish, make it a reality. You can start saving, start making a realistic plan of your journey, or simply look at photos or videos to inspire you.

We’re all humans, and we’re born to explore, so make sure you go on the adventure you’ve always dreamed of, because no matter who you are, it is possible if you make it so.

Brisbane Living Costs compared to London

To follow on from our last blog post, which focused on Cairns, we’re going to be looking at a city in Australia positioned a little further down to the South, Brisbane.

Brisbane is now the third largest city in Australia, and it’s hugely popular, while living costs are considerably cheaper compared to Sydney and Melbourne. Let us prove it by looking at data from Numbeo.

If we compare Brisbane to a city we know very well like London, the living costs (in British pounds) vary considerably. Consumer prices in Brisbane are 19.07% lower, rent is almost 35% cheaper and restaurant prices are 23% cheaper. That gives you an idea of how much cheaper life can be in Brisbane, and that’s why it’s a prime location for British gap year travellers. If you’re looking to move to an Australian city without paying over the odds, Brisbane cod be your best bet.

What’s life like in Cairns?

Cairns is a well-known holiday destination in Australia, renowned for its golden beaches, hot weather, beautiful clear water and of course the Great Barrier Reef.

It’s a city but it certainly doesn’t have the look or feel of say Sydney or Melbourne. Life seems to move a little bit slower in Cairns, and depending on where you’re situated, you can feel more in the wilderness than in the city. I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here is filmed not too far from Cairns, and that goes to show just how close it is to the wild!

If the laidback lifestyle isn’t for you, then Cairns isn’t the place to be, but if you love the idea of relaxing in the sun, not spending too much money and meeting people from different parts of the globe, it’s definitely the city for you.

Long Haul Flight Tips

There are many long haul flights, and while some people will take a long haul flight every month or so, others may only have two or three in their lifetime. If you’re taking a long haul flight in the not too distant future, then there are a few things you should know:

  1. You need to move your legs – Cramp occurs unless you move your legs about, and you do have the chance to walk up and down, and even if you walk to the furthest toilet every hour, you’ll be doing you legs the world of good.
  2. You need to get comfortable. It’s really tricky, but it needs to happen otherwise you’ll be in agony. Keep moving until you’re in a comfortable position, then sit back relax and enjoy the flight.
  3. Eat and drink plenty – You’re going to be on the plane for a long time, don’t wait until you’re plane lands to get food, make the most of it while you’re on the plane. We all need fluids to keep the body running nicely.

The Northern Lights – Sweden

Sweden is home to one of the most magnificent natural sights you could see. This amazing light show forms when charged particles emitted from the sun during a solar flare break through the earth’s magnetic shield and collide with atoms and molecules in our atmosphere. The Northern Lights shimmer right across the polar regions but undoubtedly the best place to see them is Abisko’s Aurora Skystation.

Sweden can be a beautiful country and there is plenty to do there other than seeing the Northern Lights. If you are looking where to plan a holiday to next, then consider Sweden. The Northern Lights will fascinate anyone that sees them and will make memories that you will remember for ever.

Many travel companies offer holidays that are tailored around viewing the Northern Lights so shop around for the best deal. This type of holiday is suitable for couples, singles and families so there really is something for everyone.

Camping on Shell Island

Shell Island is a little place just up the western coast of Wales. It is near Barmouth and is a popular destination for families, couples and friends. It is called an island because there is only one road that comes in and out and when the tide comes in this is cut off from the rest of Wales making it an island.

Recently, when staying in Barmouth, I took a day trip to Shell Island to see what it was all about. Once there, there is not much in the way of entertainment but the sites are beautiful and the location unspoilt. You have the valleys on one side and the ocean on the other.

You can chose to camp at Shell Island and once you are there can pitch your tent pretty much anywhere as long as you are not within 20 meters of the people next to you (without their prior consent).

If you like crab fishing, then this is definitely the place for you and with a local shop, pub and showing facilities onsite, you really do not need much more.

Making the most of bad weather on your UK holiday

If you are choosing to holiday in the UK then you may expect bad weather as unfortunately we cannot seem to have steady seasons like many other countries do. No matter what is forecast, you need to plan for rain as even in the peak of summer, it is not unknown for the UK to see days of rain.

Holidays do not have to be spoilt if it does rain, just may mean that your plans need to change a bit. Instead of sun bathing on the beach and building sand castles you may need to have a walk along the beach finding shells and looking in rock pools for crabs.

Sometimes finding things to do in doors does mean that you may have to spend a little more money but you may be surprised to find out how many location attractions such as museums offer free entry.

As long as you have the right clothing for wet weather there are many activities to enjoy and it can mean that you have to drop your plans and do a few more spontaneous things which can be exciting for all the family.

Chasing the sun for your holiday all year round

Most of us try to take our holiday in the summer months however that is not always possible and can be costly so here’s a mini guide of where to go for each month of the year to get that much needed sunshine!

January – Cuba is lovely and hot this time of year with plenty of beautiful unspoiled beaches to relax on.

February – Gambia is perfect for winter sun and has temperatures around 33⁰C in our winter months.

March – Mexico is very popular this time of year sun, sea and tequila!

April – Egypt, this is a great time to go and see the pyramids and all of the amazing things Egypt has to offer.

May – Turkey this is great if you want a taste of the Mediterranean for a fraction of the peak season cost. Turkey is beautiful and a great place to take an early summer holiday.

June, July, August – these are the peak seasons so places like Greece, Portugal or Italy would all be fantastic here however the price will be the highest of all the year.

September – Ibiza not just for the party goers, Ibiza also has a much quieter side that is picturesque and boast beautiful beaches too.

October – Cyprus is still plenty warm enough this time of year and starting to get a little quieter in touristy areas.

November – Florida with its theme parks and abundance of things to do is great fun for all the family and has the bonus of being nice and warm too.

December – Cape Verde is the ultimate place for winter sun, white sands and lots of relaxation, this could be a real Christmas treat!

Traveling abroad whilst pregnant

The outdated opinions of most used to be that a pregnant woman should try to do very little during pregnancy and rest at home, however recent studies have actually proved that during a normal healthy pregnancy you are much better off staying active and continuing with exercise and day to day tasks as usual whilst you are able to do so.

In many ways traveling is the same however there are some things to consider prior to traveling if you or your partner are pregnant.

The first thing that you would need to do would be to notify your doctor or midwife of your travel plans to see if they feel you would be fit to travel. Where possible it’s a good idea to obtain a copy of your medical notes so that you can take them with you in case you need any treatment whilst away.

You’ll need to check the rules of the airline regarding traveling whilst pregnant with regards at what gestation they consider you fit to fly.

Getting really good travel insurance has never been more important and it’s vital that you check the terms and conditions to ensure that should something happen and you have to have your baby delivered abroad the insurance covers all medical cost of the unborn child as well.

Activities to try on your next holiday

For most a holiday involves little more than a beach, a book and a lot of lying around in the sun however this doesn’t always have to be the case and if you are board of the same old boring holiday then maybe it’s time to start planning some holiday activities.

Why not try:-

Scuba diving – this is a great activity to do whilst abroad and often the shallower beginner’s dives are the best places to see the most colourful reefs and interesting marine life.

Kayaking – this water activity is great fun and you don’t necessarily need any experience, most of the kayaking experiences tend to start with an instructors session briefing you on technique and safety information before you start.

Cycling – this can be an exhilarating activity that you can do with your family on holiday and a great way to get about to see the sights without hitting traffic or being stuck on public transport in the heat. It’s also a great way to burn off those extra holiday calories.