Stories of Female Travellers and Travel Plans Post Covid-19

Picking up from a previous post written as the UK entered lock down, Thinking about Travel in The Time of Covid-19; I have been contacting some of the amazing women I have met whilst travelling. We have discussed: life currently, food, drink and travel.

Please continue reading to hear about their incredible adventures, hopes for travel post Covid-19 and some very envy worthy travel inspiration, written in their own words. Thank you so much for contributing ladies.

Links can be found at the bottom page to places mentioned.

Rachel, USA – I met Rachel at The Banana Bungalow hostel in Maui, Hawaii

Rachel, pictured below in Slot Canyon, Southern Utah, USA


What is your favourite travel destination so far?
My favorite travel destination is Split, Croatia.
Purely for solo travel- Latvia!
Travelling with people- The Bahamas, for sure.

Your best piece of travel advice?

Don’t be afraid to go alone.
Bring an extra charger that has 8+hour battery.
You should try everything once, you may not get another opportunity.
Stay in a hostel that provides tours or pub crawls or group activities. Also remember that American hostels (other than on the coasts) are very different from European hostels.

Do you have a hidden gem that you’ve found on your travels? Maybe a place, bar, restaurant etc.

Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships, operates as a ship during the day and hostel by night. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the hostel has only 8 bedrooms or so. It’s truly like getting to opportunity to sleep on a baby pirate ship. Cute, well-priced, and better than any of the offered hotels or airbnbs (there didn’t seem to be any decent hostels). Right on the harbor!

Anywhere in Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, or Bears Ears in Southern Utah. These are beautiful national parks filled with slot canyons and hikes and red rock and you will feel like you have the whole place to yourself. It’s a good substitute for Bryce Canyon which is small and overcrowded (and there’s Cedar Breaks for the exact same view as Bryce Canyon). Just rent a car and take lots of water! Not feeling that brave, Moab Utah has a hostel and provides the same outdoor red rock experience, just with a town nearby for comfort!

Grenen on the tip of Skagen, Denmark. To travel there, take a short ferry from Gothenburg, a train north, a beautiful bike ride, and a good walk on the beach to arrive. This is the place where the North Sea and Baltic Sea collide. It’s a beautiful short day-trip where the wind, seals and sandy beaches all collide. For an added bonus, grab an AirBnB in the town where the ferry arrives and spend the night staying there before your adventure.

What are the top 3 places you will visit post quarantine?

My original game plan was Costa Rica and Nicaragua, but I think recovery time might be a bit longer for them, especially Nicaragua. So, that trip is still on hold for at least another year. I’d also love to go to Russia, but I suspect the political landscape and COVID19 will prevent that for a while. Realistically, I’d say Australia, Ireland, and the rest of the 50 States in the USA (I have 7 left to visit).


What will be your first drink post quarantine/bar? 

Probably a Hurricane from my local Gumbo spot called “Betta Gumbo.”
What will be your first meal out post quarantine?

First meal out, I’m definitely going All-American. I going to order a cheeseburger pickle only, french fries, and a strawberry milkshake and sit down at a table near the windows inside the restaurant and revel in the busy noises and terrible-quality delicious food.



Annika, Germany – I also met Annika at The Banana Bungalow hostel in Maui, Hawaii.

Meet Annika below,



What is your favourite travel destination so far?

This question is quite hard to answer, but I think I have to say the Cook Islands. I love how it is not so overrun with tourists on these remote islands. Even though there is not much to do, besides laying on the beach all day long, it was one of the best trips I had so far.

Your best piece of travel advice?

Don’t plan too much! I must say, the best memories I made while traveling, happened unplanned. It is funny to say for me, since I used to plan out everything. During my travel in New Zealand, I learned that you don’t necessarily need to know in the morning, where you will end up that night. I’m sure I missed out on some fun opportunities while planning out where I would sleep each night, especially since I had my bed traveling with me the entire time.

Do you have a hidden gem that you’ve found on your travels? Maybe a place, bar, restaurant etc.

My hidden gem is a beautiful beach on the north coast of Mallorca. It is called Platja des Coll Baix. You can only reach there by boat or drive to a carpark and hike down the cliffs for about 30 min until you get to this remote beach with beautiful turquoise colored water. Some people like to spend the night there.
What are the top 3 places you will visit post quarantine?
I was planning on traveling to Sweden in September to enjoy the beautiful nature they got there. I still hope that is going to happen. The next trip was going to be Mallorca. I know, it sounds very stereotypical for a German to travel there, but I won’t be going there to party. Mallorca also has some very beautiful beaches, you just need to know where 🙂 Last but not least, I have always wanted to go to Istanbul. That city sounds so fascinating to me, that I really want to go there some day, hopefully soon.

What will be your first drink post quarantine/bar?

My absolute go-to-Drink is a Moscow Mule. That would be my choice and I would have it at a local bar in my hometown Friedrichshagen, which is called ‘Cafe Rabu’. It is small and artsy bar, my friends and I go to when we all are back home.

What will be your first meal out post quarantine?

I am already looking forward to having Pad Thai at my favorite Asian restaurant ’Simply Asia’, also located in my hometown. Every time I go there I tell myself to try a different dish but I always end up getting the same one, because it is so delicious.


Jo, Australia – We shared the same dorm room at the Nola Jazz House, New Orleans

Here’s Jo at Table Mountain, South Africa.


What is your favourite travel destination so far?

Africa! Every single place I went on that continent was incredible – particularly Victoria Falls and Botswana.

Your best piece of travel advice?

Not to completely book every single day with activities ahead of getting to a place. Leave days free to just see what you can find on the day. These are the days you end up in a little bar in a random city because you went on a walking tour.

Do you have a hidden gem that you’ve found on your travels? Maybe a place, bar, restaurant etc.

Relish and Sons in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam! It’s a brewery owned by two Aussie guys and they do great burgers.


What are the top 3 places you will visit post quarantine?

1. South America – all over really but particularly Peru and Mexico.
2. Africa again – Kenya and some of the more western countries there.
3. New Zealand – so close to me, yet I’ve never been!

What will be your first drink post quarantine/bar?

The first bar I visit will probably be my local pub – the Bangor Tavern. I’ll likely order a Canadian Club and Dry from the tap (just doesn’t taste the same in a can!). I’m sure the whole town will be there the first weekend it is back open, so will be such a fun night just running into everyone I haven’t seen in quarantine.


What will be your first meal out post quarantine?

There is a restaurant in Cronulla, Sydney that is on the beach called SeaLevel and it does the most amazing seafood platters. I have been meaning to go for ages, but haven’t gotten around to it – won’t be putting it off any longer!

Have you visited a destination that you could see yourself moving to? Why?

New York – I loved exploring the city and would love to experience a winter living there. I don’t think I would ever get bored.
What is the first thing you will be doing post quarantine?
Booking a weekend getaway down the South Coast of Australia or in the Blue Mountains with my girlfriends, drinking loads of wine and enjoying some wild nights together.
And if music festivals are back up and running soon – I will be first in line to buy a ticket!
Liv, Australia, travelling with her friend Jo, we shared the same dorm room at Nola Jazz House, New Orleans.
Meet Liv below,

What is your favourite travel destination so far?

I absolutely loved Greece!!! I went to Athens, Mykonos and Ios. Had an absolute blast! The food is amazing and fresh, the people are upfront but lovely and the views are phenomenal. Will definitely be going back and dragging many people with me.

Your best piece of travel advice?

FREE WALKING TOURS!!!! These people are experts and locals, great way to start the first morning in a city you don’t know a lot about. You cover heaps of ground and can bookmark places to go back to. The tour guides also have great restaurant and bar recommendations, or little tips about cheap tickets.

Do you have a hidden gem that you’ve found on your travels? Maybe a place, bar, restaurant etc.

Van wonderen, Amsterdam (freshly made stroop waffles-get the speculaas cookie topping 🤤).
Cup a la cake, Amsterdam (bakery that does cheap as sandwiches that will knock your socks off!!! Was overwhelmed by choice so I asked her to make me her favourite-OMG some sausage and mustard combination!!! I still dream about that sandwich) (see photo)


What are the top 3 places you will visit post quarantine?

I would really love to visit Peru, Zambia and Mexico

What will be your first drink post quarantine/bar?

There’s a frose bar on King Street wharf in Sydney, I’d like to work myself at for a day.

What will be your first meal out post quarantine?

YUM CHA!!! Blakehurst, southeast Sydney
Have you visited a destination that you could see yourself moving to? Why?
Whistler, Canada. Childhood dream of living in a ski town. The people and the place are beautiful!
What is the first thing you will be doing post quarantine?
Going on a road trip to camp, I think down the NSW coast, Australia. No big trips just yet.
Tiffany, Canada – Travelled through Southern India together.
Meet Tiffany with her fabulous mum, Cynthia in India.

What is your favourite travel destination so far?

I have three, India, Australia and Bali!

Your best piece of travel advice?

Travel safe and be prepared. Understand that you’re no longer in your home country and be safe there and respectful of their cultures.

Do you have a hidden gem that you’ve found on your travels? Maybe a place, bar, restaurant etc.

I have found so many! I loved the bar in Mexico that was this tiny place, but it had swings. Jen (also travelled with Jen in India) and I found this gorgeous little cafe in Ubud. I’ve come across some incredible snorkel places.

What are the top 3 places you will visit post quarantine?

I have no idea where I will visit. A lot will depend on what borders open up, the price of flights and safety concerns related to other countries’ safety.

What will be your first drink post quarantine/bar?

Since it is getting closer to summer, I suspect my first stop at a bar will be a local brewery.

What will be your first meal out post quarantine?

My first meal will probably be sushi!

Have you visited a destination that you could see yourself moving to? Why?

I’d love to move to Goa, India. It is cheap, there is beach and I love it there.



Rhyannon, Ireland, we met at The Banana Bungalow hostel in Maui, Hawaii. She is also from the same county as my family, Sligo, Ireland.  
Below, Rhyannon’s photo of one of the secret waterfalls we visited during our tour of the Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii.

What is your favourite travel destination so far?

This is so hard. I fall in love with almost every place I visit. I lived in Vancouver for over two years so, this city and Canada will always have a huge spot in my heart. The balance between city life and the huge outdoor culture they have there all on their doorstep is amazing. From skiing on Cypress Mountain (catch the sunset it is next level), hiking up Grouse mountain in summer, to chilling on Wreck beach (the local nudist beach, if you choose to partake) and exploring every type of food you could think of in the restaurants all over the city, it’s got something for everyone. It’s a beautiful place to live or for a holiday, warning, you may be tempted to stay forever.

I also have to mention Hawaii and Italy, they are a must!


Your best piece of travel advice?

Solo travel changed my life for the better, so I am always encouraging people to step outside their comfort zone and experience all the wonderful experiences and lessons solo travel has to offer. Another would be not to over plan, if you have time to do so of course. Go with the flow and don’t rush through a place just to tick it off your list, there is so much beauty hidden away from the main tourist hotspots.

Do you have a hidden gem that you’ve found on your travels? Maybe a place, bar, restaurant etc.

I was in Sorrento, Italy and a friend from the last hostel I stayed at in Naples came down for the day.  We got the bus halfway and then hiked down to Bagni Regina Giovanna, a beautiful secluded swimming spot with Roman ruins of an old villa. As we were walking back, we came across a tiny bar/restaurant nestled in the rugged coastline, Lido La Solara. We dived into the beautiful ocean and drank some strong Long Island Ice Teas. Bonus was it was off-season so there was only four of us there, bliss!

What are the top 3 places you will visit post quarantine?

Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

I was due to be travelling right now in SE Asia and beyond. So, as soon as this is possible again, I will be booking a one-way flight and heading off on a new adventure.

India has also been high on my list since I was a kid, but I am waiting for the right time to go. I know it can be an overwhelming experience and want to make sure I am fully prepared so I can have the best experience possible.

What will be your first drink post quarantine/bar?

Got to be my local watering hole The Swagman in Sligo. A nice cold pint of White Hag, a beer brewed locally, in their sunny beer garden is calling my name.

What will be your first meal out post quarantine?

I’m going to have to go with an Indian. Definitely my favourite food, their vegetarian and vegan food is next level. Also I have a weird obsession with cinema popcorn and usually buy it once a week and take it home, so I cannot wait to be able to do this again!

What is the first thing you will be doing post quarantine?

I would choose to live in Maui. The lush green tropical landscape, full of hidden waterfalls and the black/red sand volcanic beaches and rugged coastlines are out of this world. It reminded me of a tropical and very hot Ireland, which I loved. Surfing, snorkelling (huge sea turtles what’s not to love), hiking volcanoes and swing ropes into crystal clear water are just some of the amazing ways to enjoy Maui. If you are ever in Maui, The road to Hana is a MUST! Not a drive for the faint of heart, going with a local driver would be a wise choice, and they also know all the best secret spots!!

I love the laid back lifestyle and how the locals are so welcoming and have such strong connections to nature and each other, one big ‘ohana!

It’s also where we met 🙂


Katie, UK, we meet in India, she had been living and working in New York (The Dream) until Covid started to take effect.

Here is Katie, enjoying Voodoo Juice on Bourbon Street, New Orleans.
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What is your favourite travel destination so far?

Cuba – I visited in 2012 before US relations had relaxed and got to experience travelling PROPERLY off the grid: no phone and no internet whatsoever. The people were so friendly and the country is a real mix of irreverent city/rural country/beautiful beaches.

Your best piece of travel advice?

Make friends with bartenders. They’re invariably young, friendly and local, and happy to tell you the best places to eat/drink/visit. Save all their recommendations in Google Maps by hitting save and tapping ‘Want to go’, you’ll always have a trusted recommendation to head to when you’re a bit lost and hungry.

(Bonus tip: if you know you’re flying/travelling in the late afternoon/evening – don’t stay in an Airbnb the night before! It’s really rare the host will let you store your luggage after you check out, which often means the last day is marred slightly by having to find a locker or cart your stuff around town).

Do you have a hidden gem that you’ve found on your travels? Maybe a place, bar, restaurant etc.

Mission Beach in San Diego. It’s less popular than La Jolla to the north and the city centre to the south but is THE quintessential SoCal neighborhood. Stay in a beach house, people watch on the boardwalk all day and eat tacos at World Famous all night.

What are the top 3 places you will visit post quarantine?

  1. A Greek island, maybe Lefkada or Paxos (I’ve been dreaming of drinking Mythos beer on the beach throughout lockdown)
  2. Montreal, Canada – my friends and I had booked to get the train up from New York and spend a long weekend there in May (which is, obviously, no longer happening)
  3. Mexico – I’m meant to be exploring the country for three weeks in November with my friend Rosie and we’re hoping that will still be possible!

What will be your first drink post quarantine/bar?

In an ideal world it would be an Aperol Spritz on the pavement seating outside the GMT Tavern on Bleecker Street in New York. As I’ve had to move back to the UK for lockdown, it’s more likely going to be a Thatchers Gold cider in the beer garden of the Five Bells in Wootton Bassett.

What will be your first meal out post quarantine?

I want a perfect plate of pasta with lots of wine and lots of friends – either Vic’s in Noho NYC, Burro e Salvia in Shoreditch London (I can never get a table at Padella) or Fratello’s in Swindon.


Have you visited a destination that you could see yourself moving to? Why?

I did! I visited New York for the first time in 2015 and moved there for work in 2018. I’d love to live in LA for the sun and sea or Amsterdam for the chilled out lifestyle.


Teresa, Germany, shared a dorm at The Banana Bungalow hostel in Maui, Hawaii.

Meet Teresa in Laos, pictured in the middle of this photo.


What is your favourite travel destination so far?

There are so many but I really loved Morocco and Cambodia.

Your best piece of travel advice?

Always stay open minded.

Do you have a hidden gem that you’ve found on your travels? Maybe a place, bar, restaurant etc.

In a small town in Morocco, there is a little café/restaurant. They had the best avocado smoothies I ever had and the staff were so so nice!

What are the top 3 places you will visit post quarantine?

Erfurt, Cologne and Bavaria to visit my best friend and my family. I really miss them and I’m excited to see them again.

What will be your first drink post quarantine/bar?

Some white wine or cocktail with Mezcal in the SOHNEMANN bar in Berlin, my favourite bar here! 

What will be your first meal out post quarantine?

Probably some Asian food, but there are so many great restaurants, so its hard to decide yet.

Have you visited a destination that you could see yourself moving to? Why?

That’s a hard question! I was dreaming about living in Berlin for so long and now I live here, so it’s hard to think about another place now. But if I could choose another country to stay and live there for a bit, I would probably choose something in SEA. Maybe somewhere in Vietnam or Cambodia. Life is so different there. I love the mentality of the people and the nature is absolutely breath taking!

Elsje, The Netherlands, we met whilst travelling around China.

Elsje is also a travel writer, her blog can be found here,

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What is your favourite travel destination so far?

Definitely South-Africa. It has so much to offer. Wildlife, bustling cities and stunning nature, all in one country.

Your best piece of travel advice?

Take your time! It’s better to choose fewer places to visit and take time than to rush and see as many things as possible. You will eventually end up in the bus or train all day, seeing nothing.

Do you have a hidden gem that you’ve found on your travels? Maybe a place, bar, restaurant etc.

Worth a visit is the Buza Bar in Dubrovnik. The bar is hidden between the old city walls. You really have to know about this bar, otherwise you would walk straight past it. With a cold drink in hand and a stunning view on the Adriatic sea this is an ideal spot for a break.

What are the top 3 places you will visit post quarantine?

  1. Patagonia in Argentine and Chile
  2. Wild camping in Norway
  3. United States, roadtrip on the West Coast

What will be your first drink post quarantine/bar?

I think I will head straight up to the rooftop bar Doloris in my hometown Tilburg. They have the best cocktails in town. I will definitely choose a good cucumber Gin-Tonic.

What will be your first meal out post quarantine?

Pretty sure that’s going to be asian street food. Spring rolls, dim sum, dumplings, sushi, buns. It doesn’t matter what it is actually! Really looking forward to a spend a long night at a shared dining hot spot. You find them a lot in The Netherlands lately.

Have you visited a destination that you could see yourself moving to? Why?

Beijing. I really loved it there. There is so much to discover and explore in that city. Also, I would like to experience what it’s like to work and live in a completely different culture.
Rose, UK, we travelled around India together.
Here is Rose pictured with her sister on the Galapagos Island.


What is your favourite travel destination so far?

In terms of a specific location, Whistler in Canada is my all time favourite (and feels a bit like a home from home, as I’ve been lucky enough to go many times). In terms of a more general location, I went to Ecuador recently and it is one of my favourite places I’ve ever been. The Galapagos Islands were absolutely incredible (and the wildlife was amazing – with lots of animals you can’t see elsewhere). I also really liked being off the grid and not having phone signal – even though I dreaded it initially. I also visited Cotopaxi in The Andes while I was there and that was spectacular (although quite high altitude!)

Your best piece of travel advice?

On a general level – if you can travel (and work and money allows) then do it – even if you’re scared or travelling solo there are so many options. I also think travel is a real privilege and times like now (when we can’t go out or travel like we’d like to) really bring that home. In a more practical sense,  my top tips would be: wrap liquids and shoes in plastic bags, try to learn some of the language (Duolingo is really helpful) and carry a paperclip and some elastic bands (both are good for attaching visas/documents to your passport, and a paperclip helps to remove a SIM card. Elastic bands can be used as e.g. a makeshift GoPro strap).

Do you have a hidden gem that you’ve found on your travels? Maybe a place, bar, restaurant etc.

Not so much a ‘hidden gem’ but Amazake Chaya in Hakone, near Mount Fuji. It’s an old tea house (I think about 400 years old) on the Tokaido road, which is from the Edo period and connected Kyoto to Tokyo. I went with my sister so have great memories – although my coat smelt of the smoke inside for a while after! In terms of countries I’d say Uzbekistan. Located on the Silk Road, this route features some  incredible cities.

Nicaragua, which is growing in popularity, and has a lot of very interesting architecture and nature. In terms of cities, Plovdiv in Bulgaria really surprised me – it had so much character and history. It was the capital of culture last year. I have so many restaurants to recommend too, but some highlights are Cosmos in Sofia (recommended by a fellow traveller – thank you Caroline!) and Monstera Bistro in Ljubljana. Ljubljana also has an excellent food market on a Friday, open from March until October I think.

What are the top 3 places you will visit post quarantine?

Colombia, I’d like to see more of South America! Namibia, Alaska or more of North America.

What will be your first drink post quarantine/bar?

Prosecco or maybe an Aperol Spritz, although quarantine hasn’t stopped me drinking!

What will be your first meal out post quarantine?

I’m craving a Dishoom, but it will probably be something more local – I have quite a few really good restaurants on my local high street.

Have you visited a destination that you could see yourself moving to? Why?

If I could live anywhere, it would be near Vancouver – I actually applied to my firm because I knew they had an office there! You can see the mountains from the city, and you’re next to the sea. It is absolutely beautiful.

Julia, Germany, we travelled through Northern India together.

What is your favourite travel destination so far?

Wellington, New Zealand. The hills, the harbour, the multicultural atmosphere- I love this city. Located on the southern tip of the North Island, ’the coolest little city in the world’ not only offers you perfect views on the South Island and a perfect spot for surfing, it also has one of the best café cultures I experienced so far.
As the locals would say: ’Nothing beats Wellington on a good day’

Your best piece of travel advice?

Keep an open mind!

Do you have a hidden gem that you’ve found on your travels? Maybe a place, bar, restaurant etc.

Qavam’s Orange Garden in Shiraz, Iran. Best place to enjoy a Persian Tea and take a travel break.

IMG_5405 Julia

What are the top 3 places you will visit post quarantine?

Nepal, Bhutan & Lofoten (Norway)

What will be your first drink post quarantine/bar?

Indian Masala Chai Tea best enjoyed together with Kulfi- traditional Indian ice cream.

What will be your first meal out post quarantine?

Kahvalti, a traditional Turkish breakfast. Enjoy on one of Istanbul’s  rooftop restaurants.



Finally, it’s me, in the UK.  

This photo was taken by my wonderful friend, Esther @consumedbywanderlust in Mykonos.


What is your favourite travel destination so far?

I would say India, I had always wanted to experience the country. It was incredible and I would love to go back for a tiger safari. Japan was also insane, in a completely different way to India. I would recommend both countries to anyone and plan to visit again one day to experience cherry blossom season, the beaches down south and stock up on Japanese skincare!

Your best piece of travel advice?

If you have never travelled solo, do it. When you arrive at a new destination, if time allows, spend a few hours walking around with no phone, just take everything in. Lastly, download Maps Me while you have access to WiFi, this app is great and allows you to navigate offline.

Do you have a hidden gem that you’ve found on your travels? Maybe a place, bar, restaurant etc.

Visit the museum above Saint Mark’s Square in Venice for incredible views, people watching and coffee at a reasonable price. Visit the local jazz bar in every destination you travel to.

What are the top 3 places you will visit post quarantine?

It looks as though staycations will be around for a while. In the UK, I would love to visit a few new locations, Brighton, York and Edinburgh. My boyfriend and I booked tickets for Hogmanay, a new years celebration in Edinburgh, back in January. I cannot wait for my first trip to Scotland.

Further afield, I’m craving a long weekend in Ireland, exploring the Wild Atlantic Way and if time allows, a trip up north to the Giant’s Causeway.  The local town near to my family’s house, Tobercurry, featured in the series Normal People, based on Sally Rooney’s novel.


Lastly, when travel permits, Sri Lanka and South America if possible.

What will be your first drink post quarantine/bar?

I will be heading to Worcester, to the Belgian Bar, TipleB, for a well overdue catch up with my sister, her boyfriend, my boyfriend and I.

What will be your first meal out post quarantine?

Chester’s in Worcester as I’m really craving Mexican food! There is also a new 16 seat, fine dining restaurant opening soon in Birmingham, 670 grams, I need to book a table.

Have you visited a destination that you could see yourself moving to? Why?

I would move to Australia, the Aussie sense of humour is similar to Brits, although the weather is 100% better, the lifestyle is so relaxed and there are hundreds of wonderful places to visit.


Thank you for reading.





Amazake-chaya Tea House

Narenjestan Garden or Qavam House in Shiraz

Travel Vision Boards 2020 and Beyond

With the current global situation, are you struggling with motivation? Challenged by trying to visualise where you want to be in the future? Or, the direction you are heading in life? Lastly, do you just need a theoretical kick up the bum from time to time?

If your answer is yes, think about creating a vision board.

Boards focus on what individuals want out of life, any aspect of it, pick your topic. Essentially, a hard copy of Pinterest. Vision boards are an important tool for me, I am a visual learner and goal setter. Why not read through all those magazines cluttering up the house and rip out your inspiration?

Today, reading through old issues of Conde Nast Traveller, Lonely Planet, Suitcase Magazine and many more, the boards below have been created. My travel destinations for 2020 and beyond are laid out on the boards.


2020 – A British Year of Travel

Once lockdown is over, I would like to support my local and national economy. Supporting UK businesses.


The Next Decade

Adventure is key, visiting new destinations and meeting people around the globe.

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Would you create your own vision board?

What are your plans and goals for this year and beyond?

Thank you for reading.

Please Give Credit Where Credit Is Due.

My Own Images May Not Be Used For Commercial Purposes Without Prior Written Consent.




Birmingham, UK – A City Guide

Thinking about all the exotic places you’ll be travelling to next? Have you ever thought about what you’re missing in your home city? Or do you have businesses that you would like to support when travel limitations are lifted? Below is a breakdown of the sites, bars and restaurants, I recommend to visit in my home city, Birmingham.


City Centre

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery features the largest collection of Pre- Raphaelites art in the world as well as the Staffordshire hoard and is free to enter. However, I would suggest giving a small donation to help with the upkeep of the building. The Edwardian Tearooms are also a great place to sit with a cup of coffee and a newspaper.

As you leave the museum, directly in front on you, is a landmark of Birmingham. Locally referred to as ‘The Floozie in the Jacuzzi’. At the time of publishing, there is a major drive to make the fountain fully operational again.

Head to the top floor of The Library of Birmingham, to take in views across the city from the observation deck.


Bennett’s Hill is the best road in the area to find a wide range of bars and restaurants.

Looking for a quiet cafe and good coffee? There are lots of independents around Colmore Row.

A few bars and restaurants to visit:

Hotel Du Vin – The Bubble Lounge – ask for a Thyme Collins

Buffalo and Rye – American style burgers and the best shakes

Loki Wine Bar (City Centre)- a wide selection of wines served from a vending machine and delicious deli platters of meats and cheese

Sabai Sabai – delicious Thai food

The Old Joint Stock Pub and Theatre – located in a old Victorian bank, a great place for a drink


Brindley Place and the Canal Quarter

Backing onto the hubbub of Broad Street, the club area of the city. Brindley Place has a more relaxed tone. Full of restaurants and bars, on a sunny day, there is no place better to sit with a gin and tonic and watch the world go by. Follow the canal path to visit The Mailbox for designer shopping.

A few bars and restaurants to visit:

Be At One – this is a chain but they make great cocktails and play great music

Vietnamese Street  Kitchen – fantastic pho and chicken wings –


A small place, I am yet to try but, looks incredible  – Tiger Bites Pig (bao buns, rice bowls and sake!)


Jewellery Quarter

Located on the outskirts of the city centre. As the name suggests, the Jewellery Quarter is steeped in history, producing 40% of the UK’s output. This is a bustling area full of independent shops, perfect for a walk around and a visit to many of the great pubs, bars and restaurants in the area, particularly around St Paul’s Square. This is my favourite area of Birmingham.

A few bars and restaurants to visit:

The Vanguard Bar at 1000 Trades- my favourite independent bar, creating the most incredibly creative cocktails. If you’ve never tasted Mead before? This is the place.


1000 Trades – an independent bar located below Vanguard Bar, they display artwork for sale by local artists

The Wilderness – great music and an incredible tasting menu available with cocktails to match


The Jam House – live music

Jojolapa – an authentic Nepalese restaurant

The Pig and Tail- small plates, craft beers and cocktails

The Rose Villa Tavern – American diner food in a old world, pub setting


Chinese Quarter

The Birmingham back to back houses are preserved by the National Trust. This amazing courtyard documents the lives of 19th century working class people in Birmingham. The time capsule shows what the streets of Birmingham would have originally looked like.  There is also an old fashioned sweet shop selling all types of confectionery. Definitely worth a visit. On the outskirts of the Chinese Quarter and positioned next to the Birmingham Hippodrome, a historic theatre open to this day for performances. One of the resident partners is Birmingham Royal Ballet.



Two sites I would recommend to visit are Winterbourne House and Gardens and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Winterbourne, an Edwardian period building, influenced the design of affordable housing across Birmingham. The gardens are grade two listed.

The Botanical Gardens are a great place to visit in spring and summer time, there are butterfly houses and a number of glass houses containing tropical plants.

A few bars and restaurants to visit:

Loki Wine Bar – larger than the City Centre venue, both venues are great


The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel Cocktail Lounges – creative cocktails in a opulent venue


In and around Birmingham

Did you know that the young JRR Tolkien lived in Birmingham? He was inspired by the city when writing the Lord of The Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit. Birmingham Museums have put together a pdf walking trail of landmarks. I would suggest picking a few key points to visit.

Lastly, the world famous chocolate brand, Cadbury’s is manufactured in Bournville. The factory offers tours and Bournville village, ‘the garden of the factory’ is a beautiful location.


Where will you be visiting next?

Thank you for reading.

Japan By Rail – The Best Way to Travel

Japanese travel is centralised around the highly efficient rail network. There are two main options to allow you to travel including: the JR Rail Pass and Suica card. Note: other cards are available but the two mentioned above are most commonly used.

Below is a breakdown of the different cards, how they work, limitations of use and how to buy them.

The JR Rail Pass

Planning on travelling long distances and visiting multiple locations? The JR Rail Pass is for you. The system is designed for foreign travellers sight seeing in Japan. Each pass acts essentially, as a passport for travel. The document shows the full name of the user, nationality and passport number. A few weeks before travelling, I would recommend pre-purchasing a JR Rail Pass. Once you have reached Japan, passes can be purchased but I would encourage buying one in advance as the queues are long.



Do I qualify?  

To qualify, individuals passports must be stamped on arrival with a temporary visitor stamp. The stamp allows either 15 or up to 90 days of travel within Japan. The stamp inside your passport must be shown when exchanging your confirmation for the pass.



The ticket seems extremely expensive but pays its own way, once you add up the cost of a few journeys. 7, 14 or 21 day passes are available. There are two classes of pass. An ‘ordinary’ pass gives the user access to unreserved seating, the ‘green’ pass is the equivalent of a first class ticket, seating can be reserved at the ticket office for each journey; there is also the option to sit in the unreserved seating.

IMG_7998 (2)

Cost of tickets at time of publishing, as stated on JR website.

Type Green Ordinary
Duration Adult Child Adult Child
7-day 44,810 YEN 22,400 YEN 33,610 YEN 16,800 YEN
14-day 72,310 YEN 36,150 YEN 52,960 YEN 26,480 YEN
21-day 91,670 YEN 45,830 YEN 66,200 YEN 33,100 YEN

Where can I travel and what options do I have?

The JR Rail Pass is a joint pass covering travel on the majority of trains in Japan, under the “JR” company. Exceptions include: “NOZOMI” and “MIZUHO” trains on the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen Lines. The map shows of overview of the network.



How to get your pass?

Confirmations must be exchanged at one of the designated JR ticket offices, there is a full list of locations on the website. As a rule of thumb, airports and train stations will have desks.

How to use the pass at stations?

Pass through the gates at train stations and show the attendant in the booth your pass.

For more information, please refer to the JR website.


Suica card

Planning on travelling short distances or staying with Tokyo? The Suica card is the best option for you. A Suica card is a prepaid smart card.

Do I qualify?

Anyone can purchase a Suica card.

Credit can be added to the card by topping up at machines located in metro and train stations and topped up as many times as you like. Cards are debited by touching the card against readers at train stations etc. when travelling.  A 500 yen obligatory deposit is needed to buy a card and 2,000 yen of credit is pre loaded. Deposits can be claimed back in Tokyo only.


If purchased online, each card costs $24. In Japan, a 500 yen obligatory deposit is needed to buy a card and 2,000 yen of credit is pre loaded. Deposits can be claimed back in Tokyo only. Credit can be added to the card by topping up at machines located in metro and train stations and qualifies for unlimited top ups.

Cards can be purchased at:

Where can I travel and what options do I have?

Developed by JR East, it can be used throughout Japan as well as on other prepaid card networks such as Pasmo. Suica allows individuals to travel on most public transport (metro, trains, buses, monorail). The card remains valid for 10 years.

How to use the card at stations?

Cards are debited by touching the card against readers at train stations etc. when travelling.

For more information, please refer to the JR website.

My own experience using the JR Rail Pass and Suica Card  

Before reaching Japan, I had been travelling for nearly four months and felt as though I needed a bit of luxury when travelling and also room to store and move a 20 kg rucksack. I used the JR Rail Pass and purchased the green card. Having sat in both ordinary and green areas, I would recommend either option, depending on budget. I was given a Suica card by a fellow traveller prior to arriving in Japan but never used it.

My top tip is to pre plan your itinerary before purchasing, allowing the best use of the cards. Japan is expensive and this will help your money stretch future. Goggle and HyperDia are useful for looking up busy train schedules in a country where language is a barrier.

Shortly, I will be publishing Japan By Rail –  A three and a half week itinerary.

Thank you for reading.

Please Give Credit Where Credit Is Due.

My Own Images May Not Be Used For Commercial Purposes Without Prior Written Consent.


Oh The Places You’ll Go! An Itinerary for Tel Aviv, Israel

This post is a collaboration with my close friend and fellow travel enthusiast, Consumed By Wanderlust.

Based on the Dr Seuss poem, ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go!’ Each of us, has been challenged to design a tailor made travel itinerary. This itinerary is best suited to five days of travel.

Dubbed the “Manhattan of the Med”, Tel Aviv, Israel is a party city, with an energetic soul, distinct food scene and art culture. With it’s coastal location, beaches are widely accessible, providing the perfect swimming  and sunset spots. This is a ideal location for Esther, due to the huge Vegetarian food scene and mixture of cosmopolitan and historical sites. Providing the best location for adventure, culture,photography opportunities and a glass of wine or two!

20 Must-Visit Attractions in Tel Aviv

Photo taken by The Culture Trip

Where to stay?

Tel Aviv can be a costly city to visit. With this in mind, I suggest staying at ISLA Tel Aviv. Located in the city centre, this is a modern hostel offering shared or private rooms at reasonable prices. Perfect for socialising and relaxing as a solo traveller or part of a group.

Hostel ISLA Tel Aviv, Israel -

Photo taken by ISLA Tel Aviv

What to see?

To get your bearings, a free city walk tour allows you to navigate the historic and modern sites. Key points include: the Rothschild Boulevard, Rabin Memorial, Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, Habima Square, Helena Rubinstein Pavillion and Tayelet, the paved boardwalk heading to the beach.

Top beach spots include: Frishman Beach, Banana Beach and Gordon Beach. All are suitable for swimming, provide fantastic sunset locations and are free to enter.

If you are visiting the Floretin neighborhood, look out for street art wherever you turn.

Where to find Tel Aviv's best art outside of its museums - Lonely ... Photo taken by Lonely Planet

Israel is well known for it’s market culture, top locations include: The Carmel Market or Shuk Hacarmel , the largest market in Tel Aviv. Selling everything from spices to clothing, this is an opportunity to soak up traditional culture and perhaps, purchase a souvenir!  Tours are suggested as the best way to see the shuk, available through Tripadvisor. The market is open from Sunday-Friday 09:00-17:00.

Shuk Hapishpishim, Jaffa Flea Market, is a jumble of second hand and vintage shops. Located in the ancient port of Jaffa, this is the centre out of which current day Tel Aviv has grown. Once you have perused the stalls, enter one of the cafes within the market, and watch as the world goes by. Open Sunday-Thursday 10:00-18:00 and Friday 10:00 – 14:00.

What to eat?

New Vegan and Vegetarian cafes and restaurants constantly pop up in Tel Aviv. This list provides just an overshot of the buzzing Vegetarian food scene. It’s out there waiting to be explored.

One of the most popular dishes is hummus, the best in the city is believed to be offered at Abu Hassan. Address: HaDolphin Street 1, Tel Aviv- Yaso.

Freshly made Mexican comfort foods are offered at Cafe Xoho, all Vegetarian friendly.

The bustling bistro, Coffeebar (perceptive title) is an ideal brunch location also serving pizzas. Packed from morning until night.

Meshek Barzilay create globally inspired, Vegetarian dishes using locally sourced ingredients, it’s that simple!

Neve Tzedek, the Pastoral neighbourhood, is the perfect afternoon hangout area.

Where to drink?

Israel’s first and oldest running cocktail bar, 223, was established in 2008. They believe that no detail is too small. Definitely one to try.

Craving a pub? Hashotim pub is a family run business providing reasonably priced cocktails and happy hour from 16:00-20:30. 39 Ibn Gabirol, Tel Aviv

With visitors names scribbled on the walls, Shem Tov can be described as a friendly bar. The four cheese pizza is not to be missed. 14 Masaryk Boulevard, Tel Aviv

After unlimited pizza and wine? Visit Rutina, on Mondays. 41 Frishman Street, Tel Aviv

Lastly, searching for music and bars, head to the Levontine area.


Hope you have enjoyed reading.

Stay Safe, Rachel.

Thinking About Travel in The Time of Covid-19

After seeing the global impact of Covid-19 throughout the last few months on the news and through social media, I have thought to myself; when will we next be able to travel freely?

The question seems unanswerable currently, however; remaining positive is vital.


Here are a few suggestions to help with getting through this time:

  • Do you have a Pinterest account? If not, set one up and start pinning your next travel destinations. It may be a year from now but, so what!
  • Watch your favourite travel films and documentaries, build up some inspiration.
  • Lots of travel photos stuck on your phone or camera? Print them off and pop them in a photo album or build a photo wall.
  • Start learning a language to help you communicate during your next trip.
  • Download or update your Been app, mapping out all the countries you have visited.
  • Cook your way around the world, whipping up recipes from your favourite cookbooks. (Keep away from recipes involving flour if you live in the UK, it’s currently like gold dust).
  • Indulge in a few travel books to be transported round the world from your own sofa.
  • Take pictures or edit existing photos.
  • Create a Spotify playlist of music from around the world.
  • Catch up with friends across the globe.
  • Reflect on previous travel and all the fantastic memories these experiences have left you with. Revisit your travel journals or invest in one.

Mostly importantly, I think this is a time to be creative and remain forward thinking.

Thank you for reading and stay safe.


Please Give Credit Where Credit Is Due.

My Own Images May Not Be Used For Commercial Purposes Without Prior Written Consent.

A Short Budget Break to Venezia, Italy

Visiting “The Floating City”  in January was an entirely unplanned but fantastic move. The canals and cobbled streets are almost completely deserted allowing you to truly lose yourself within the heart of Venezia.


The weather may not be perfect, but this results in additional benefits such as, cheaper prices.

I would suggest staying off Venice island if you are looking to save money. During my visit, we stayed at Hotel Aaron located in Mestre. To reach Venice from the hotel, simply catch the local bus for 15 minutes and cross the Grand Canal. Tourists are able to buy a Venezia Unica City Pass. The card costs around €28 for three days of unlimited travel on all buses and water taxis. It can be brought through the website (this is based on a twenty-something year old buying the card). A PNR code will be generated and the card can be collected from multiple collection machines found at train stations and bus stops. This was very worthwhile as this covered our travel costs for visiting Venice, Murano (the glass making island) and Burano (the lace making island).

Although Venice is known for the tradition of Gondolas, we choose to view the canals on the water buses. The rides are not budget friendly!


Looking for cheap drinks? I would suggest drinking Italian/European brands. Aperol Spritz as an example is sold for between €2-3 per glass. The perfect snack to accompany any drink is Cicchetti, Venetian tapas. Each piece is roughly €1 each. One of my favourite bars was Cantine del Vino gia Schiavi, friendly staff,  a cosy bar and lots of amazing Cicchetti.


Continuing the foodie review, tasty ciabatta style sandwiches can be found on every street corner on Venice island. A recommended takeout option is, The Corner Pub.

To take in the views of St Mark’s Square, I would suggest enjoying a coffee in the museum cafe, edit note, you do not have to pay for entrance to the museum, simply walk up the museum steps to the cafe doors.

During the evenings,we tended to amble our way back towards Mestre after long days walking around Venice.

A few recommendations in Mestre include:

  1. Hostaria Dante- a quaint family run business offering delicious fish risotto. This was the best meal we ate in Venice.
  2. Al Vapore – a jazz bar with a buzz.
  3. Marciano Pub- think Venetian tapas and the classic features of an English pub.


This rounds up my mini review of Venezia  on a budget. 

Thank you for reading.


Please Give Credit Where Credit Is Due.

My Own Images May Not Be Used For Commercial Purposes Without Prior Written Consent.














A Quick Guide to Travelling on a Budget

Budget Travel is a huge topic for my generation. For clarity, I’m a Millennial.

This post features a few quick tips that, from my experience, have saved me money over the years.


There are so many apps available, a few I have relied on for years are:

  • Maps Me – download the map for the area your visiting when you have WIFI, then use offline without eating into your data. The language can also be changed. This was useful when my family were lost in the middle of Cuba.
  • HostelWorld/ compare accommodation and prices.
  • Monzo and Revolut cards – use for spending abroad 


Food is pricey, save money and buy food from a supermarket. This also allows you to see how the locals live. It’s also an excellent way to save money on alcohol. A picnic in the park is always a good idea. Another useful tip, take a reusable shopper bag with you. The picture was taken before the evolution of reusable carrier bags.

IMG_5915 (1)


Book early or last minute

This seems to be an ongoing debate,especially for flights. Book early and guarantee your dates or grab a last minute deal. For accommodation, hostels tend to be the best value but,double check. Also hostels aren’t for everyone. AirBnB can be a great option for those travelling in groups.


Where possible take public transport, the cheapest option. Alternatively, up your step count for the day.


Before you travel, budget. Try and stick to this where possible. Set a maximum spending amount for each day or assess your spending over a few days. Use budgeting apps such as Chip to save pockets of money for travel.

Walking tours

If you are limited on time, walking tours can be great. They also usually work on a tipping basis, you decide the tip. Just remember to tip the guide for their time!


Looking at the most efficient ways to travel and complete all the activity you aim to do. This will save you money and time.


Thank you for reading.

The Year in Review and Looking Forward: 2019 A Year of Boozy/Foodie Travel 2020 A British Year of Travel

As the golden autumn leaves are well and truly falling and the frost is starting to set in, this seems like an appropriate time to reflect on my last year of travel and look forward to 2020 travel ideas.

2019 has been a year of visiting new countries and completing a fair few mini breaks. Here is a somewhat boozy/foodie review of my trips.

The year started in snowy Bratislava, Slovakia.


This was a fantastic budget break. Beautiful cobbled streets,  dramatic castles, plenty of garlic, cheese soup, hot stews, beer and hot aperol for 1 euro a glass. What could be bad about that?!



Whilst we were in Bratislava, we took an hour long train to visit Vienna, Austria. The ticket cost 14 euros return so, defiantly worth the trip. My favorite treat in Vienna, although rather pricey would be a trip to Hotel Sacher.

Two delicious choices include the famous chocolate cake (ensure you like the taste of apricot jam) and an Austrian classic, Apple Strudel.


In February, we took a relaxed weekend trip to Hereford.

We stayed at a beautiful AirBnB with views across the river and visited the Chase Distillery. The distillery tour is a fun experience talking through the vodka and gin distilling process. The cocktails offered after the tour are a delightful ending.


My recommendations from Chase include:

  • William Chase Elegant 48 gin served with a slice of Granny Smith Apple
  • Chase GB gin served with a slice of Ginger
  • Chase Marmalade Vodka


The plan for May was a trip to Portugal to celebrate my Birthday. This was a country that I had wanted to visit for years!

The itinerary was to drive from Porto to Lisbon and down along the coast of the Algarve.


I cannot recommend Portugal enough! From Port walking tours to beaches to incredible tapas to Pastel de nata, Portugal has it all to offer in a very relaxed way.

If your in Lisbon visit:

  • Pasteis de Belem- Pastel de nata heaven. There is a beautiful park across the road from the shop to eat the tarts in.
  • Time Out Lisbon

More recommendations for Porto and Lisbon to follow on a separate blog post…


Due to cheap flights and the opportunity to prolong the trip on the way home (always do this if possible!) we stopped off via Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Having spent a lot of holidays throughout my childhood in the south, the opportunity to experience Belfast; not just drive through the centre or bypass it on the way to the Giant’s Causeway was great.

Belfast had a great buzz, with live music and traditional Irish pubs in the Cathedral Quarter. I would suggest staying in this area.

Bar and food recommendations:

  • The Dirty Onion
  • Yardbird
  • The Duke of York
  • Find a cafe serving an Ulster Fry – a Northern Ireland fry up


Make sure to visit the Titanic Museum, follow the Game of Thrones glass windows along the riverfront and try and learn about the history of Belfast. There are buses and black cabs offering political and mural tours around the area.


The last trip of 2019 was Bruges, Belgium, a celebration for my Boyfriend’s 30th Birthday in his favorite place.

With my boyfriend taking the lead, we got return flights for £19 each but did end up travelling across most of Belgium by train to reach Bruges. Regardless, this gave us the opportunity to really experience Belgium fully. Day trips included Ghent and Brussels.


Again, as the theme has been for each trip, this holiday was extremely boozy and food based.  Think huge hot chocolates, delicate crepes and waffles and a lot of beer.


My beer tour suggestion would be the De Halve Maan XL tour costing 21 euros. This includes a brewery tour and three beers to try at the end.


A few good bars to visit in Bruges include:

  • Comptoir Des Arts
  • Le Trappiste
  • Bauhaus Bar
  • Groot Vlaenderen – pricey cocktails
  • Bieratelier Brugge
  • Vlissinghe – delicious food also served

I would also suggest walking into a supermarket and buying a few beers. The ranges are extensive and it’s an easy way to save money and/or have a few pre-drinks before leaving your accommodation.

Secondly, mussels and frites are widely available in Bruges, my recommendation would be to eat them at lunch time. Prices are increased for dinner.

This was my last planned trip and wraps up my travel plans for 2019. Looking forward to 2020…


I would like to make the year, a British year of travel (wait for the exception later). My plan for next year is to visit friends across the UK, join the National Trust and get outdoors all while promoting the Great British mini break. Most importantly, I plan to be a bit more budget savvy as I reach further towards my goal of buying a house.

The exceptions to this rule are two pre planned mini breaks.

The first to Venice and the second Malta. Who can say no to a holiday costing £99 per person with flights and hotel included. Let’s see what these Wowcher deals have to offer…


What are your travel plans for the year ahead?

Thank you for reading.


Please Give Credit Where Credit Is Due.

My Own Images May Not Be Used For Commercial Purposes Without Prior Written Consent.


Support Your Local

After catching up on “Climate Change The Facts” earlier this week, I have thought about FOOD and it’s impact on the planet.

The biggest food related message I took from this programme is wasting less and reducing food miles.

Think about supporting your local producers and Buying British where possible.


Just look around and discover all the great small businesses out there and local food markets championing Great British Produce and innovative food. Not only are you reducing food miles but also putting money back into your local economy.

But, most importantly eating the freshest, most delicious and lovingly produced food.

A few places that I want to visit in the Midlands:

– Wild Shropshire Restaurant

– Peel & Stone

– Daylesford

– Mad O’Rouke’s (supplier of the pie photo)

– Digbeth Dining Club and many more…

Finally a fantastic card for money off Birmingham based businesses, Independant Birmingham.

Support Your Local, getting out and explore what’s on your doorstep!