All posts filed under: Tips + Tricks

Why I Love Making New Year’s Resolutions

At the end of every year, I set aside a few hours, get comfy, grab a cuppa and the remaining Quality Street from Christmas and set to work on my New Year’s resolutions. Every year without fail. Some people laugh at this practice, “oh what’s the point, you’ll only break them?”, well, I actually try not to break them.  Each new year I treat as a reset, a fresh slate. I like to focus on what went well that year and things I achieved and enjoyed, as well as reflecting on the bad bits or where there is room for improvement. I find it really helpful to kind of soak it all in, we’re all busy, when do we ever take the time to to take stock of our lives? Apparently the most popular resolution for both men and women is to lose weight, no surprises there, and yes I’d always like to lose weight. But as I’ve got older, I’ve learned that these kind of abstract resolutions are designed to make you fail. Either …

How to Get Your Favourite US Brands Delivered to The UK

My Mallbox is a nifty new service which allows you to get your favourite American products and brands in the UK. The premise is super-simple, they give you a US address where you can get whatever you want delivered to and then when you’re ready you ask them to send it on. You can consolidate multiple deliveries into one package which is great, so you could pair up with a friend and then split the delivery cost. I decided that I simply couldn’t wait any longer to try Glossier (an American beauty brand I Instagram stalk) so I made a sizable order with them and got the package delivered to My Mallbox. Read my Glossier product review HERE My Mallbox email you when your package arrives and then you have a choice of delivery options. I chose the fastest option which was fully tracked and cost $38. My stuff was with me in 3 days, which is crazy fast. Plus, there were no customs fees to pay. I would definitely recommend this service, but only …

byredo black saffron perfume bottle

Finding Your Signature Scent 

When I was younger I never bothered with perfume as I went by the rule of ‘if no one can see it, I’m not spending money on it’. This rule also covered underwear, pyjamas and ‘house clothes’ all of which consisted of anything my mum had bought me or ex-boyfriends’ t-shirts. Now I’m a real-life grown up lady woman, I appreciate the power of a great fragrance; and I do my research. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I don’t want one of those sickly sweet scents that everyone down Topshop is wearing, there are so many lesser known perfumers that it’s possible to find a perfume as unique as you. That’s cheesy I realise, so perhaps I need to search for some eau de brie… What’s your flavour? I like to start with my ‘womanly essence’, or in less twatty terms, my personality. So maybe that’s where you should start. Are you sexy and sultry, youthful and girly or chic and sporty? I’m a bit sensual (ooh er) and, I like to think, …

Making Friends While Travelling

Travelling alone is always a little scary (see my post about the nightmare I had in Cambodia) but for the most part you’re never actually alone. Despite being surrounded by lots of other travellers and backpackers you can sometimes still feel a little isolated, especially if you don’t click with anyone. Here’s a rundown of how I made friends and had the best times while backpacking. INVITE A FRIEND FROM HOME! When I announced I was going travelling my old housemate Sinead decided to use her holiday time to join me for three weeks in Thailand. It was so nice to see a familiar face and it was so easy travelling with her since we’d lived together for over two years, I don’t think I could’ve spent 24 hours a day with many people for that stretch of time. We gave each other space when we needed it but also had some absolute screams! Another good friend Lucy was also travelling at the same time so we met up in Pai, Koh Phangan and Bali …

Koh Phangan & Why You Should Skip The Full Moon Party

When I was first planning my trip to Thailand The Full Moon Party was high on my bucket list, despite hearing more horror stories than glowing reviews, I mean it’s a big party on a beach, how could that not be fun right?! My trip to Koh Phangan started interestingly when the hostel we’d booked (Wild & Wandering) was completely closed when we arrived, like chains-and-a-huge-padlock-round-the-front-doors closed. We waited in the blistering heat for 20 minutes and then went next door where we were told the owner had done a runner. Great. Now, accommodation during the Full Moon is way more expensive and hard to come by so I was lucky to find Lazy House Shenanigans (don’t let the name put you off) which is such a cool hostel with a pool and great sound system. You also get a free bucket everyday you stay, free entrance to the water park (which saves you £20) and a free BBQ on Full Moon day.   Koh Phangan itself is really pretty but there are a lot …

Backpacker Fashion: The Headscarf

Main photo credit: Giambatista Valli copyright Vogue Runway If you take one item backpacking with you… make it your passport. LOL. But do take a fashionable scarf. It can be used as , well, a scarf, to tie around a bag. as a neckerchief, bracelet, bandeau and as a headscarf or hairband. This will protect your hair from the sun and hide cray cray hair from strangers too. Plus it looks super cool when teamed with some big sunglasses and you don’t need a stitch of hair or makeup either! Check out this tutorial on how to tie a headscarf:   ASOS has a fab range of scarves HERE

5 Items You Must Take in Your Carry On

Not the only five of course (hello Passport and money) but important nonetheless… A Diary You might use your phone, laptop or tablet you child of the 21st century you, but you tell me when the last time a good old-fashioned diary suddenly stopped working? Technology isn’t infallible, dead batteries, weak signals and general ‘WTF?!!!’ bugs can prevent you accessing important info. So get a mini diary to write down all your important dates and information. You’ll thank me. Your Smart Phone Like a mini computer your iPhone (other brands are available) can let you surf the web, but you can also use it as a camera, video camera, voice recorder, alarm clock… the list goes on. Download some useful apps and this piece of kit is indispensable. I cancelled my phone contract but use Skype and Whatsapp to talk to friends. My favourite apps >>> A Good Book Take a Kindle of course – the Kindle for books is what the iPod is for music – the best thing ever. But technology can fail, …

11 Ways To Make Travel Dirt Cheap

Going backpacking or travelling is very costly, no matter how you do it, but you can do things to be thrifty. I know people who have made £1000 last 6 months or a couple of weeks, it all depends on your travel style. So here are a few top tips to save mucho dinero (my Spanish lessons kicking in there, lol) on your trip… GO EAST The cheapest places to travel to are in the East (for us Brits at least), that means backpacker favourites Thailand, Cambodia and Laos as well as India. Europe is pretty expensive but Eastern Europe can be cheap – try Serbia, Hungary and Croatia. Places to avoid: Australia, New Zealand and America. How to save for a RTW trip >>> COUCHSURFING This is a website that connects hosts and travellers from all over the world. You get a free bed or couch for the night – all you have to do is create a profile and pay a subscription fee. Just be sure that your host has good reviews and …

Almost Time to Go? Get Your Affairs in Order

So you’ve booked your flights, paid them off, saved some cash and waited what seems like a lifetime. Suddenly the time is almost upon you and you’ve got a couple of weeks to get your shit in order. This can be pretty overwhelming, realising you actually have quite a few things to sort out before your trip, so here is a list of things you need to do so you can chill once you’re at your destination. PACK This might sound obvy but pack EVERYTHING in good time, you can always unpack if there are things you’ll need to use but pack up everything you plan to take in your backpack or suitcase to see if it fits. Also to see if you can carry it. If you can’t then at least you have time to edit. Also launder any clothes that need to laundered and purchase anything on your list that you don’t have yet. Read my packing list>>> GROOM Give yourself an epic grooming session before you leave so you can chill out …

The Best Travel Budgeting App – Review

If you’re going backpacking for a few weeks or months then keeping on top of your budget is paramount, I know boring… but if you accidentally blow all your dineros in the first few days your trip will be cut short. Obviously while you do want to be careful with your cash you do not want to spend hours each day faffing around with receipts, spreadsheets and paper. There’s an app for everything and I thought I’d road-test some of the best money travel apps available. Which I did, and as soon as I started looking into it, it became abundantly clear that TRAIL WALLET is head and shoulders above the rest. So I’ll just tell you about that one… *Please note this in no way sponsored or affiliated with Trail Wallet, I just genuinely think it’s a cool and useful app. In a Nutshell “Trail Wallet is an easy travel expense tracker for iPhone and iPad. Designed to be fast, it takes the headache out of expense tracking so you can focus on the …