MY NEXT TRAVELLING ADVENTURE!

On the 24th July, I will be travelling all around South East Asia with my boyfriend for 7 weeks and I could not be anymore excited!

Considering I leave on Monday, I feel very unprepared. I got my injections a few weeks back; I only received Typhoid as I had my Hepatitis A and B boosters not too long ago. I thought they would cost me a fair amount of money, but they were free which I was chuffed about! I could have had extra ones such as Rabies, but the Sister suggested it’s not necessary as I am going to low-risk areas. It also means i’m going to be extra careful around the stray animals.

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Over the past few weeks I’ve been accumulating various creams, lotions, and medical kits to ensure we are going to be safe and organised for anything that may come at us. I know that there’s a lot of shops and malls across SE Asia and everything is pretty cheap; I still can’t help myself buying any kind of bite cream or various forms of plasters (I’m going crazy).

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I stop-over in Abu Dhabi for a few hours en route. It’s a shame it’s a short stop-over as I would have loved to explore Abu Dhabi and see what it has to offer. But instead we’re just going to chill in the airport and have a browse through duty-free. After my 12 hour flight I will land in Bangkok and spend 5 days there.

I’m unsure what to expect of Bangkok. I’ve heard from various places that it is very busy (as expected), there are very little driving laws, and it smells. However, I cannot wait to immerse myself into the culture and to explore their lifestyles.

One thing I cannot wait to do is the floating markets. Despite having to wake up ludicrously early, I’ve never experienced sailing down a market and for people to sell their stock out of boats. It’s also renowned for its amazing food. They cook to order on a boat. How insane is that???

After Bangkok we are then going to explore the ‘party’ islands; the first stop is Phuket, which is one of the larger party islands in Thailand, which is ideal for spending all night partying, and relaxing on Patong Beach during the day. Secondly is Koh Tao, where I’m also going to learn how to dive! I’ve recently bought a go pro so will hopefully be able to share my amazing experience! I’m also visiting Koh Phangan, which is home to the Full Moon Party. This is a tremendous event in Thailand, and i’ve heard it’s a great night. Also perfect for lively bars, a lot of alcohol, and all kinds of clubs. Koh Samui is renowned for its beautiful array of beaches. They also host similar parties to that of the Full Moon Party, which i’m sure I will experience too.

Amongst all of this I will also be exploring Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore!

I cannot wait to get back and share my experience with you.

Similarly, if you have any advice/tips, please feel free to share them! I’d love to know if you have any suggestions of places to go.

Much Love,

Ellen Grace xo

KAVOS 2017

A few months ago my best friend and I spontaneously booked a 5-day holiday to Kavos, Greece, for some well-needed relaxation and to let ourselves go with a couple (maybe more) cocktails by our side.

I personally have always wanted to do a classic ‘girl’s holiday’. They looked fun and wild. Well I definitely wasn’t wrong. I’ll tell you why..

We landed in Corfu, about an hour from Kavos and was greeted off the plane with a blast of hot wind. That’s definitely the most satisfying thing going abroad; leaving the mundane weather behind. We then arrived at our hotel at midnight. We stayed in a studio that was mediocre at best. But hey! it was all part of the experience.

We then immediately hit the strip. This was something i’d never experienced before. If you’re unaware of what a strip is, it is a long road filled with clubs and bars on either side. After having copious amounts of cocktails and shots, we were ready to hit the bars!

Doing this for 5 days consecutively does get absolutely knackering, but I had an absolute blast. There was always something going on, day and night. Be it boat parties, paint parties, pool parties, all the different variations of parties, I did and had the best time.

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The beaches in Kavos were actually very nice too. Most days we would normally sun-bathe around the pool; however, a dip in the sea every few hours felt so good!

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We stayed in a ‘party hotel’ which meant that there was always something going on 24/7 and the pool was always manic.

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All in all I had an AMAZING time, despite it being extremely exhausting, I had the best time and made lots of friends in the process! (we may be in the process of booking Ayia Napa for next year).

Have you ever been on a mad holiday before?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace xo

HOW I TRAVEL ON A BUDGET

This year I am going to be backpacking around south east Asia for 2 months, and also will be visiting Kavos for a week. How can I afford that you may ask? I’m a student, i’m supposed to have zero money and continuously eat cardboard-like food and wallow in my own self-pity about how little money I have. Well this isn’t always the case.

One of the best things about life is travelling. So embrace it while you can. What’s better than being able abandon reality for weeks or months, and have the time of your life?

Here are five tips as to how you can afford to go travelling around to globe on a budget.

 It seems so obvious, but you need to plan ahead. 

Save up enough throughout the year from a part-time job and know how much you need to save prior to booking. This way, you can go on your adventures with enough buck in your pockets to have a really great time and live your adventure to the best, without having financial woes.

Buy your tickets in advance

Following on from the previous point, preparation also includes buying your tickets in advance too. Typically, the best time to buy flight tickets is around 12-13 weeks before travelling. This way you could potentially save 100’s of pounds, which could be spent on other amazing experiences!

Plan your destination wisely

Like I said, i’m backpacking through South East Asia for 2 months, the only way this is possible for me is because this is a cheaper location. For example, on average hostel rooms are around £6 per night, and food for the day will cost a similar price. Whereas some places can be a lot more expensive. So look around before you make any decisions, because there’ll always be somewhere cheaper that may be just as good!

Accommodation – Don’t be afraid of hostels!

Hostels can have a bad reputation. You may think of dirty, grotty, hell holes that will be infested with dirt and smelly people. Well this isn’t always the case. Don’t get me wrong, staying in a luxurious hotel can be the best part of the holiday; however it doesn’t have to be. If you’re travelling around from place-to-place, look into staying in hostels. There are many private hostel rooms so you don’t always have to share with randomers, and they are a hell of a lot cheaper than hotels (and you will meet great people along the way too!)

Be a Traveler, Be a tourist

When you visit new places, you may want to visit all the main, tourist attractions and buy lots of cheesy gifts for friends and family on the way. I get that. However, you don’t always have to be a target where you get charged a hell of a lot more than travellers/citizens because you look like a tourist. Instead, don’t always go for the main attractions, but look a little further and you will find equally exciting things for a lot less. For example, when I visited Rome, in the main market squares restaurants and Gelato parlous would be double, sometimes triple the amount than other restaurants/parlours that are a few back-lanes’ away.

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Rome’s Gelato that we bought in a back-street

Have you got any other money saving tips?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

A WEEKEND IN PRAGUE: IS IT WORTH THE VISIT?

You think Christmas is pretty over here in England? So did I until I visited Prague.

Even though it feels like a lifetime ago…I flew over to Prague in early December with my boyfriend for a long weekend trip, mainly for a weekend full of fun, exploration and to see some new sights.

However, when I was approaching Old Town Square, little did I know that I would be faced with a 31 metre high Christmas tree. It was breathtaking. A row of little stalls were behind this tree too, which smelt divine. They sold a lot of Prague delicacies, such as dumplings, potatoes and pork.

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As well as Prague being aesthetically pleasing, they also had on offer a lot of ‘different’ attractions that we could not resist going into. The first excursion we did was going to a sex museum. I was a tiny bit apprehensive as to what I was going to be faced with… and yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. Hundreds of different and obscure sex toys and instruments back from hundreds of years ago. Despite giggling throughout most of it, it was actually very interesting and now my sex toy history knowledge is tip-top!

To top this peculiarity off, we then went into a little theatre type room which was right at the back of the building. We then sat down with the other tourists who looked just as bemused as us. A few minutes passed and then we found ourselves watching a 19-40- something porno!! We couldn’t not watch it, it was hilarious watching genitals in black and white. I left that place a different person.

We then went to a different museum which I feel more in touch with… the beer museum! Even though I am not a great fan of beer, it was still fun to gain a knowledge about the background history of Prague beer and, more importantly, got to taste lots of it! It’s safe to say I left that place feeling a bit more jolly!

*FYI – The nights out in Prague are amazing, we did a bar crawl and it was so much fun, unlimited drinks in the first bar for 3 hours, which meant only one thing… A very drunk Ellen!*

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Above all of these wonderful experiences, Prague is such a beautiful city. Every angle had something new to deliver, after every hour the sky would turn another glorious shade of blue. Although I felt as though I did a lot during my time in the Czeck Republic, I would definitely return to Prague simply because there are so many more wacky museums and brilliant new experiences that need to be explored.

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Plus, I visited Hamley’s for the first time and I have never seen so many toys under one roof before in my life! There was even a carousel in the middle of the shop, (seriously) and a slide! I couldn’t quite contain my excitement.

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All in all, Prague has definitely been one of the most interesting cities i’ve visited, and would definitely recommend going.. there’s something here for everyone!

Have you ever visited Prague before?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

72 HOURS IN ROME: TIPS AND TRICKS

During the summer of 2016, (I know it seems like a lifetime ago) I visited Italy, Rome, for the first time.

Whilst I was flicking through my photos one dull evening, I realised that I should share the beauty of Rome and what my boyfriend and I got up to during our 72 hour stay in Rome.

Firstly, the views in Rome are outstanding; particularly from Palatine Hill, although it is fairly steep and pretty much exhausted me. It’s located next to the Roman Forum, and only a short walk from the Colosseum.

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The next major tourist attraction that we HAD to visit was, of course, the Colosseum, and I was not disappointed. We bought our tickets at a box office just a short walk away from the Colosseum which was for both the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the Colosseum, this also included a tour guide in the Colosseum too. I would definitely recommend doing it this way as it was cheaper, plus we skipped a massive queue at the Colosseum and instead walked straight in.

The tour guide was excellent too. The information she told all of us was incredible, and made the experience a lot more fulfilling!

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Another huge ‘to do’ when in Rome is to visit Trevi Fountain. This was one of the most incredible experiences ever. We went at night time because we thought it would be less busy. We were wrong. Trevi fountain is always packed; however, this didn’t spoil the magic of it.

(Excuse the soppy picture!)

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Vatican City is A MUST! Be careful though, you need to have your shoulders and knees covered to enter. We didn’t realise this and so had to buy tragic ‘Roma’ scarfs and wrap them around us in 35 degree weather. Such a rookie mistake!

However it didn’t stop us from having a great time. Another recommendation is finding a tour guide before you enter, luckily enough, we saw on Trip Advisor recommendations of which tour guide company to go with, and we were not disappointed. They were easy to find as there are lots of men walking around with signs. It’s fairly expensive but it meant we skipped queues that were hours long, and we had priority access to a lot more other perks.

Plus, our tour guide was hilarious and extremely informative!

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Finally, a major perk to this short break was the food!

I recommend eating in places that are further away from the centre of main attractions as the prices are a lot more expensive there. Instead, go to little back streets a few minutes away from tourist-based areas, as they still serve the same great quality food but at half the price!

Plus, if you go, definitely try the Gelato. As you can see, they have an extensive range of flavours which makes it almost impossible to pick!

Heres a few snaps of what we ate

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Have you got anymore tips and tricks to make the perfect city break?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace x

MY FIRST ENDEAVOUR IN SKIING

So my boyfriend is currently loving life in the alps somewhere in France, whilst I’m sat on my bed in Hampshire attempting to do an essay, reminiscing on that time I fell over so badly mid-skiing I started crying (not embarrassing at all)

He’s currently doing a ski season, so last Sunday I jetted off to see him! We went five weeks without seeing each other and my gosh it was hard. Going from seeing each other pretty much everyday and booking spontaneous holidays, to very little contact for over a month is something I was not prepared for.

I travelled by myself from Gatwick airport to Grenoble and I felt so accomplished I did it all by myself! (Apart from crying at Gatwick when I saw my mum and dad when I came home) But at least I didn’t lose my suitcase, right?

Whilst I was over there I caught the best snapshots – Skiing really is such a beautiful sport. I mean I was on the nursery slopes for about three days, but even during then I could not help but compliment the amazing views every five minutes. However, when I did actually go further than 2 metres off the ground, the views were even more spectacular!

Here a few shots I managed to get in between falling over and making a tit of myself! skiing-5skiing-4skiing-3skiingskiing-7

Being in this kind of environment for a whole week was just amazing; where there was a constant supply of snow and amazing alps with a bright sunshine beaming down on you whilst you ski all day…. It’s a tiny bit different to rainy, grey, dissapointing England.

What’s your favourite thing about the snow?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X