How I afford to travel so often

Well hello to you my reader chums! I'm a bit of a travel addict, to say the least, and that girl which will snap up any cheap flight I can find. Travel is something that fills my heart with so much joy that I try and do it as much as physically possible - and financially possible.

As I go away quite a lot, I often find people asking 'how do you afford it' and so I thought I would share all my budget-saving tips to help you guys travel more often.

How I afford to travel so often

The cheaper the flight, the better

I'm that person who is literally searching flights most days and seeing what cheap deals I can find. If you opt for a very cheap flight, then you've got more money available for the rest of the trip. Flights are half the battle in the grand scheme of how much a trip costs so if you save on that then you're winning. My best tip would be with flights is be flexible on dates and play around with the calendar as you can find good deals as you search throughout the month. And, be flexible on times too - it's usually always cheaper to fly early morning and although it can be hard to wake up, the money you save will pay off.

Keep your eye on every travel sale 

I'm literally signed up to every travel website that does good deals, including airlines. Whether it's by email or following them on social channels, if you stay in the loop, you'll be the first to know about sales- and can get first dips on cheap flights, accommodation and holidays. Think of all the pounds you'll save!

Opt for cheaper accommodation options

Accommodation isn't everything and what I mean by this is you don't need to stay somewhere fancy when you go away - and can save money easily by taking the cheaper options. Hostels, shared accommodation or budget hotels are widely available wherever you are in the world, and by choosing it, you can have more spend on excursions, food or transport - or to book another trip.

Shorter vs longer trips

Something to consider and something that I do often is shorter rather than longer trips as then I'm able to go to more places with the same amount of budget - if that makes sense. I like to take a few city breaks in Europe for a couple of days at a time rather than spend a week-long holiday somewhere relaxing, as one, I get to explore new places and also, I'm able to do more with my money.

Use your holiday days wisely

Not necessarily a money tip, but using your allocated holiday days a year more wisely is half the journey of a budget trip. If you do long weekends then you'll have more days to use for other trips - and won't have to take unpaid days off to go on your travels.

Make savvy decisions as you travel

Getting there cheap is one thing, but keeping things cheap whilst you're there is another. Set a budget for every day, take public transport to avoid taxi costs, dine away from tourist hotspots and splurge in the right places.

Put a bit of money away each month

Obviously, money doesn't grow on trees and travelling does cost money but how you save for it is as important as how you spent your money on travel. Whether you have a lot of disposable income or a little, it is possible to save up for travelling. Allocate a certain amount each month and ensure you stick to that, make wiser decisions for when you go shopping and cut down on unnecessary items - as you'll have a holiday at the end of it. You can always find more money but you can never find more time - travel whilst you're young, broke and have all the freedom in the world.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What are your budget travel tips?

Thank you for reading <3

6 lessons to take into 2020

Well hello to you my reader chums! It's a brand new year and a new decade. And although I'm not here to preach the 'new year, new me' mantra, it's a good time to reflect on the past 12 months and set new goals for another year.

6 lessons to take into 2020

I won't lie but the second half of 2019 was hard for me, for many different reasons but one was my mental health. It's been a hard few months but considering it's a new year, I want to take everything I learned from 2019 and turn it into something positive for 2020.

Here are a few lessons I'm going to take into the new decade - and you should too.

Knowing your self worth

Something I came to realise lately - and a lot of people need to, is your self-worth. With the world we live in, we often spend a lot of our time comparing ourselves to others with the 'perfect life', think we're not good enough and often settle for things that don't make us happy - or that we deserve. This shouldn't be the case in the slightest. Never settle for second best or any less than you deserve. Get rid of toxic friendships, quit the job that doesn't make you happy and don't act on things unless you think they are right for you. Rate yourself highly, work hard, play hard and enjoy everything about you.

Saying no

I've always very much been a 'yes' person, saying yes to helping people, to plans and doing whatever I can do to make people happy. However, I've come to learn that sometimes I want to quit plans, spend time for me or not be friends with a person - but I always say yes and go along with it anyway. I've realised that I don't have to do things I don't need to do. If you're not happy or not feeling it, you can say no. People will understand if you need time for yourself. You do you, and live your life for yourself.

You can only rely on yourself

The past six months, amongst the heartbreak and bad mental health, I felt so lucky with the amount of kindness I've received. However, saying that - the only person you can rely on is yourself. If you don't love you or love your own company, then you'll find it really to overcome things. I'm trying to walk into this year knowing I can ask for help when I need it but also to know that myself is enough - I don't always need to be in someone else's company and should be able to cope with that.

You'll learn who your real friends are in hard times

True friends come out when you really need them and it's something I've definitely learned lately. Whether you're going through heartbreak, grief, losing your job or having a bad time with your mental health, your true friends will be there to help you through it. It may not be them physically being with you, but they can support you in other ways - and you'll understand who the right people are in your life.

Kindness is everything

I always say the phrase 'spread kindness around like confetti' as it's something I believe to be incredibly true. You never know if people are having a good or bad day and your kindness can really help make it that extra bit better. I received so much kindness the past few months and I want to try and spread that love even more so as I walk into this decade. Being kind and caring is what life is all about.

Everything happens for a reason

The good, the bad or the ugly, everything that happens in your life is there for a reason. Even though it may seem awful and you don't understand why that will put you on the right path - it's there for a reason, to teach you something along your journey.

Stay humble, be kind, appreciate good friends, love yourself and live your best life - here's to 2020!

I hope you enjoyed this post. What are your goals for 2020?

Thank you for reading <3

19 tips to know for backpacking Southeast Asia

Well hello to you my reader chums! Backpacking around Southeast Asia was one of the best decisions I've ever made and the greatest experience in my life so far. I loved every minute of soaking up the culture, eating the best food, seeing the sights and lapping up the sunshine. It's something I'll never forget and forever wish to go back.

19 tips to know before backpacking in South East Asia

As it's nearly a year (where has the time gone?) that I was prepping to go, I thought I'd put together a guide of everything to know before you go backpacking.

Pack lightly

This is probably my number one tip for any wannabe backpackers - and something I wish I listened to more when I was packing for the trip. I'd always advise you to pack less rather than more - as you don't want to make your backpack unnecessarily to heavy for you to carry around.

My advice would be to pack what you think you need and then half it. Something I had trouble with was thinking about how many clothes or underwear I'll need for a 2 month period. But, looking back, I certainly brought too many clothing items with me and could easily have halved the load. When backpacking, you can easily buy more clothes on market stalls and wash your clothes along the way.

Try and avoid packing heavy items, bring versatile pieces and sort in packing cubes, to keep organised. For more tips, check out my 2-month packing guide to Asia.

Be wary

Backpacking around Asia will give you a complete culture shock, especially if you haven't been to the continent before. It took me a while to fully immerse and appreciate their way of life - and then fall in love with it. It's so incredibly humble and heartwarming that you'll feel the same.

However, in the same breath, you need to be wary of your surroundings a lot more. Southeast Asia, for instance, is generally a poor area so things like thieving and scams are more likely to occur to tourists. With that in mind, it's important to be street smart as you're roaming around. Keep your eyes peeled on any valuables you may have, look at your surroundings and try and avoid scams. A few ways to do this would be having a travel money card (save you losing any cash), don't carry around anything expensive items and don't walk off the beaten path after dark.

It's all common sense really when you think about it but as long as your safe and looking out for yourself and whoever else is with you, then you'll have a great time travelling.

Learn common phrases

Wherever you go in the world, it's important to have a brief knowledge of the lingo. Whether it's to greet someone or find directions, it's very helpful. You should try and learn a few phrases like greetings, how to get somewhere, how to order food, etc. It's quite lucky that most places around the globe, there is a common correlation where people speak English, but it doesn't mean you should rely on that.  If you pick up a few phrases, it'll help you out when you're venturing around the non-tourist areas - and also means you can understand the locals, and even have a chat with them.

Have the correct gear

When it comes to backpacking, you need to be prepped in the things you're bringing with you, and that all depends on what you're planning to do whilst you're travelling. Whether it's a lot of hiking, heading off the beaten path or island hopping, you need to be prepped with the handy items. For instance a waterproof phone case, a torch, hiking boots, or a reusable water bottle will come to good use.

Research is key

Even though backpacking and travelling the globe is all about being spontaneous, I would recommend doing a lot of research beforehand. From researching where you want to go, mapping out a route, to ensuring you get the right visas, injections, and currencies. Also by reading up, you'll learn tips on how to stay safe, food recommendations and the off-the-beaten-path locations to visit.

Don't be scared

Before I went travelling, lots of people filled my head with danger stories of Asia and it did worry me a lot, however, once I arrived, there was really nothing to be scared of. I found my bearings, fell in love with wherever I went and felt incredibly safe. Don't be scared to see new places, try the crazy foods they offer or speak to locals - they'll be some of the kindest you'll ever meet. Fill your heart with the culture, the memories and embrace any fears you may have.

Cash is everything in South East Asia

Travelling around South East Asia, you'll find that cash really is everything. You can use your card to pay in more of the tourist hubs in restaurants, bars and for attractions, but predominately for more local areas, transport, and market stalls, you need cash. I would recommend bringing cash with you and then put the rest on a travel card - and take out the money when you need it.

19 tips to know before backpacking in Southeast Asia

Download Grab

Grab is Asia's version of Uber and a blessing in disguise when you're lost and need a lift back. The Grab vehicles can either be tuk-tuks or actual taxis, it really depends on the location. Unlike the tuk-tuks you pin down on the street where you can haggle a price, a Grab will give you the price before you book it. It's pretty much available across Asia but off-the-beaten-path areas, you may not be able to access it.

Be prepared for the public toilet situation

If you're a bit of a germaphobe then you won't like peeing in public places. A lot of Asia has squat toilets (literal holes in the ground) so you'll need to train yourself up with squats. As they are literally holes in the ground, a lot of public toilets don't have loo roll or hand wash - so bring your own to keep clean.

Public buses aren't reliable

I didn't get public buses a lot when travelling but when I did, I found they aren't the most reliable things nor do they stick to the schedule. A lot of the time, the buses will leave when it's completely full - so give yourself time to get to where you want to be.

Use 12Go Asia to book transfers 

For longer journeys, however, the company 12Go Asia was a lifesaver. I managed to book all my overnight buses and other transfers on here to get me from place to place. You can also book trains, ferries, and flights on here too.

South East Asia is very humid

I knew it would be hot, but I didn't realise the level of humidity that South East Asia would bring. It was incredibly hot, especially when venturing around the cities. Aircon and ice-cold water was literally a blessing - and suncream. Always remember suncream, and buy a lot before you arrive as it's really pricey in Asia. Because of the heat, bring protective gear (a hat will do) and try to avoid the sun when it's in its prime if you can (or just find a pool - you won't regret it.)

Beware of the seasons

Even though South East Asia is pretty much hot all year round, it does have its seasons - wet and dry. I visited in the dry season so I only saw a handful of rain (it was kind of a blessing) when travelling. However, if you go during the wet season, ensure to bring rain gear as the downpours can be very heavy. Dry season tends to be from November to February and that's usually prime backpacker season time - and the wet season is from June to October. Depending on what time of year you're going will determine what to pack - but try and be prepped for both extremes!

Street food - enjoy but be careful

Asia is renowned for its street food scene and it's honestly incredible. You cannot beat the aroma of when you walk through a food market in Asia - your mouth will literally water! Although street food is one of the best things about travelling (it's cheap and yummy), it can give you food poisoning. As there are a lot more germs out there than the street food you get at home, sometimes, you'll find yourself with a case of the Dehli belly. To prepare for this, take probiotics a couple of weeks before you go and whilst you're there, as it'll build up your immune system for any additional germs.

Locals will ask to have photos

In the lesser-known places, a lot of the locals wouldn't have seen western people before and would, therefore, ask to take a photo with you - as to them, you're like a celebrity. In Vietnam, I had so many schoolchildren come up to me and ask for a photo - it was the cutest thing!

Traffic is mental 

One thing that I'll still never fully take in was how crazy the traffic really was in southeast Asia! There are literally motorbikes everywhere and they don't pay attention to any traffic lights in sight. Be wary if you're a pedestrian but also if you're a driver as you need to be alert at all times. You'll also realise that seeing a family of five on one motorbike will become the absolute norm.

19 tips to know before backpacking in Southeast Asia

Stay respectful

In southeast Asia, Buddhism is the main religion and there are a lot of beautiful temples you'll see as you venture through. I'm still blown away by all the incredible temples I was able to visit and the history I was able to learn. However, as you go and visit the temples, you need to be respectful. That means covering up when needed and following all the rules the temples require. The same goes for the culture in general - be mindful wherever you go.

Always set a price before you go in a taxi

Taxi drivers and tuk tuk drivers can scam you, especially if you look like a lost tourist. Before you get into a taxi, try and haggle a price - otherwise, they can charge more and really con you out of money, especially if they have a meter.

Enjoy the experience

Southeast Asia is an experience like no other and will leave your heart full, your spirit humble and a tummy full of the best ever food. Enjoy it, embrace it and allow yourself to fall in love with the world.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What are your best backpacking tips?

Thank you for reading <3

How to live a more sustainable lifestyle

Well hello to you my reader chums! There's no real secret that the environment needs help - and we all need to be a bit more sustainable in how we live our day to day lives. The saying 'reduce, reuse and recycle' has never been apter and it's a thing everyone should try and put into practice.

If you're trying to take the steps to be more sustainable or don't really know where to begin, here are some tips on how to live a sustainable lifestyle.

How to live a more sustainable lifestyle

Try not to waste as many things

One of the worst things you can do for the environment is lessened how many things you waste. Waste is a wide issue in terms of food, plastic, and clothing. We throw so many things out per day, that when you think over the course of a month or a year, we've added tonnes into landfill - and then, times that by everyone in the world and you're onto billions of tonnes.

However, there are ways we can combat this by trying to live a more waste-free lifestyle. For instance, buy beauty products with no packaging, food with no packing and invest in reusable and recyclable items that you can either reuse multiple times or that will get recycled and made into something new.

Opt for reusable products

Like I mentioned previously, reusable items are a great way to prevent the amount of waste we create. These days, there are lots of sustainable and reusable items on the market from water bottles, toothbrushes, lunchboxes, beeswax wrap to makeup products and meat alternatives. The products maybe a little more pricer but because they're reusable, you'll get your money worth. Or even better, items with no packaging at all work a treat. For instance, shampoo and conditioner bars.

Always carry a tote bag

It may be small, but having a tote bag in tow with you at all times will come in handy more than you think. It'll not only save you a few pennies here and there when shopping, but it will also prevent the need from wasting excess plastic shopping bags.

Take public transport more or carshare

Cars are probably the worst mode of transport for the environment and a major cause of global warming. They emit carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. And although they can be essential for commuting or getting around, there are greener modes of transport to consider. Try and use public transport methods, buy a bicycle or car-sharing - all different ways will help lower the emissions.

Eat and buy locally

Local businesses are a lot more sustainable than larger, corporate firms. Instead of importing goods from abroad or driving it across the country, they source their goods locally or grow it themselves. By doing this, their companies are a lot more ethical - and that's a big reason why you should buy from local businesses.

Avoid bottled water

Bottled water is one of those things that are unnecessarily wasteful. We go through hundreds of thousands or even millions of bottles a day, which is isn't okay. When you can, try and avoid buying single-use plastics and invest in a reusable water bottle. You can then carry it around with you and fill it up for free at cafes or restaurants.

Buy second-hand clothing items

The fashion industry contributes to differing forms of environmental pollution including water, air, and soil pollution. It's majorly wasteful and not to mention, very unethical, especially for cheaper clothing stores. When it comes to shopping for clothes, it can be hard to be sustainable, especially as the clothes in high street stores are so cheap. However, to be more sustainable, you need to try and steer away from those and invest in clothing pieces that are made ethically. These usually cost a lot more but they do last longer - and it'll be a good investment. Shops such as Arket are a good place to begin - or look on the tag to see where/how they're made.

Buy more ethical products

Just like fashion, a lot of other products we buy aren't sustainable such as makeup, beauty products or even household items. When it comes to makeup, for instance, look out for the vegan brands as their products are made more ethically and not tested on animals.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What tips do you have for living more sustainably?

Thank you for reading <3

Book review: The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

Well hello to you my reader chums! Another day, another book. Now it's wintertime, cuddling up with a book has become one of my favourite things to do before bed. I love reading but when life is so busy, it can be hard to find the time to settle down with a good book.

A while ago, I got sent this book to review and it intrigued me, so after finishing it, here are my overall thoughts on the book.

Book review: The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva#


The book is based around Amy and Amy's life and how she is just trying to be the most normal version of herself possible - and how she is trying to fit in. It's very prominent in the book that Amy suffers from a mental health condition which is preventing her from doing a lot of things but it isn't obvious what that is. And the book follows her journey with that, and how she leads her life, overcoming obstacles and pushing herself out of her comfort zone. The whole plot urges you to follow along with her story and gives you that want for her to do well.

Characters and relationships

The relationships in the book are what make it so strong - and allow you to learn the true value of friendship when it comes to someone dealing with their mental health. My favourite friendship in the book was between Amy and Ed. Ed cared for Amy in such a way that it was a friendship most of us would dream of having - and at first, you think there is more to their friendship.

 The other relationships in the book are predominate with people she works with and I like that - as your work colleagues are so influential on you because you are with them so often. Colleagues can become like family and help you deal with day to day things more than the people you have at home - and I like that this book emphasizes that.

Thoughts on the book

At first, I didn't know what to think of this book as it went straight into the deep end of Amy's thoughts and her life. It was very abrupt and honest but as the tale went on, I really liked that fact. It read like a diary and I was investing myself into someone's mindset and experiencing their journey. I found it relatable in a sense, as some of the things she spoke about related to my own anxiety - which made the tale more intriguing and made me read on. It's one of those books that people should read to get a little insight into what those with mental health problems are going through and how it can affect their lives.

Mental health has a lot more awareness these days but compared to physical health, it's still not treated the same and people are ashamed to speak out about their issues. It's okay not to be okay and go through stages where your mental health is in a dark place. Just know, you're stronger than you may think and you can get through it. And this book shares that message - and emphasizes the journey of what having a mental health condition is actually like.


The ending was my favourite part as I think the overall message speaks volumes that we all have people around us who truly care for us - and you can fight more than you ever believe you could. The last few pages were positive and happy - and everything I would have wanted them to be.

You can buy it here.

I hope you enjoyed this book review. Have you read it?

Thank you for reading <3

5 things you can do to boost yourself up on a down day

Well hello to you my reader chums! Whether you deal with anxiety or depression or really are just feeling a bit blue, there can be times where things can get too much to handle mentally. And, that's okay. We all have days or weeks when we're not feeling ourselves - but it's how you snapback from that which is important. This time of year especially is hard to deal with your mental health considering the lack of light weather and the pressure which the festivities can bring.

If you're in this situation right now, here are 5 things you can do to boost you up on a down day.

5 things you can do to boost you up on a down day

Take some time for self-care

Self-care is different for everyone, but for me, self-care means time to myself and all things pampering. Self-care is about indulging and treating yourself the way you deserve to be treated- this means running yourself a nice bath and using all your fancy skincare products. I like to literally delve into my entire Lush collection - I'm talking bath bombs and fresh face masks. It can also mean taking the time to just be, practice meditation and mindfulness - and tune that positive energy into your brain.

Write 5 things good about your day

Even though you may have had the worst day in history, there's always something good or positive that would have happened. It can be as little as eating a really good lunch to having a fun chat with a work colleague. Although it may be hard to think in a negative headspace, it'll do you good to pick out the better things about your day. Then, read them before bed, and you'll fall asleep with positive thoughts.

Book something fun to do

When you're not feeling yourself, it's always good to have plans in place so you have something to look forward to. Whether it's a city break, going away for the night or heading uptown to the theatre. There are plenty of fun activities out there such as a bottomless brunch, castle visit, going to a theme park or ice skating.

Surround yourself with good people

You'd be surprised who'd come to you when you're not feeling your best. Over the past few weeks, I've been surrounded by so much love when my mental health hasn't been right. From my family to close friends and all the colleagues at work. In a time when you're not feeling good, keep busy by making plans with friends, phone people up and stay in the company of people, as it can distract you from how you're feeling.

Do something you enjoy

Even though it can be hard when you're not feeling your best, try and pursue something you enjoy. Whether that's creating a delicious meal, reading a book or dabbling in arts and crafts, hobbies will make you feel a lot better - and give you something joyful to focus on in your low moments. It's all about doing what makes your heart feel full as that'll put a smile on your face.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What things do you do when you're down?

Thank you for reading <3

How to Prepare for a Backpacking Trip

Well hello to you my reader chums! Backpacking around Asia was one of the best experiences I've ever had and I wouldn't change it for the world. It allowed me to experience a new culture, taste some of the yummiest foods and visit some of the most beautiful countries ever. The backpacking experience is something that I thought would never be up my street but I fell in love with that way of life and would love to do it again.

 If you're planning a backpacking trip, whether that's around Asia, Europe or America here are a few tips on how to prepare for a backpacking trip.

How to Prepare for a Backpacking Trip

Pick your location and length

The first step to any trip and any backpacking trip is picking where you're going and how long for. Some backpackers like to travel for a few weeks whilst others go for an entire year. When you've decided on a continent and time length, then you can figure out how many countries you can travel to and how long to spend there.

Write a loose agenda

This brings me to my next point of an agenda. Of course, you don't have to plan things to every detail but it's a good idea to have a rough idea of where you're going and how long for. Then you can research the places and map an outline for your trip. You may arrive in one place, fall in love and want to spend longer or, you may arrive somewhere else and not like it at all. It's all about giving yourself some leeway on the agenda.

Set a budget

Once you know the length and where you're going, you need to set a budget and have finances in mind. Whether that's because you need to start saving or you have some savings ready to spend on your trip. Roughly plan how much you'd like to spend on the entire trip and send an average everyday budget for spending money.

Book your flights and accommodation

Depending on how spontaneous you'd like to be can determine this next step. Once you've booked the flight to the initial location, you can also book the various accommodations and other flights. However, if you want to be fully spontaneous, then you can easily book flights and accommodation along the way. The majority of countries offer hostels, especially renowned backpacking spots like Asia that you won't be short of finding a place to stay. And flights can easily be booked online whilst you're away or at local travel agents.

Purchase your backpack and gear

Once you have a rough plan and a date to go, you need to physically start preparing for the trip. This means firstly going shopping for your backpack. Backpacks come in different sizes and the one I got for a 2-month trip was 65 Litres. It was a really good size and I think it's perfect for those travelling for two months or longer. As well as the backpack, packing cubes are a good investment (the best thing for organisation) - and then you need to sort out which type of clothes you want to bring. For more information, check out my backpacking packing guide and the beauty packing guide.

Write a must-see list

Even though travelling is about being spontaneous and going with the flow, on your trip, there will be things that you certainly want to see. For instance, the Colosseum in Rome or the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia. Before you go, make a list of things you definitely want to do and put them on your agenda. Then, when you're there, you will hear from locals and other fellow travellers about things to see and do. Travel blogs are also a great insight into what attractions there are as they usually give a more honest opinion to travel agency websites - especially off the beaten track type places.

How to Prepare for a Backpacking Trip

Vaccinations and visas

This again depends on where you're going as these can fluctuate immensely. Before you visit any new country, especially if it's in a new continent, you need to research if a visa is required and if there are any vaccinations you will need. This will save you time at the airport and be safer for your health.

Money and currencies

One of the other things you need to sort out is money. If you're going to a few countries with a different currency, then your best bet is a travel money card. You can get these at the post office and top them up with a variety of currencies on the app, and then get the cash out from an ATM in the chosen country. It's really handy and saves you carrying around lots of cash all the time.

Pack and have fun

Once everything is planned and you're ready to go, it's time for the fun part -packing. I absolutely love packing, I find the whole concept very exciting as it means the adventure is actually happening. Write yourself a list and try to under pack rather than overpack. I say this as you're easily able to buy clothes and toiletries along the way that you don't need to cram as many things in your backpack as possible. Use packing cubes and stay organised as it'll really help you out along the way from place to place. Once you're packed, get on that plane and have the best time of your life!

I hope you enjoyed this post. When are you going backpacking?

Thank you for reading <3