Everything to know before visiting Vietnam

Well hello to you my reader chums! Vietnam was one of my favourite countries in South East Asia and I really wish I spent longer than the 10 days there. On my trip, I visited 3 different locations, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, and Hanoi and loved exploring them. If you're planning a trip to Vietnam, here is everything you need to know.

Everything to know before visiting Vietnam

The north is different from the south

Similar to England, the culture up north is completely different from the south and people are also different. When I spoke to locals in the south, they were explaining how things are more laid back down there and the people are a lot friendlier and tend not to scam tourists as much. You'll notice the vibe in Ho Chi Minh city isn't nowhere near as wild as Hanoi.

Vietnamese cuisine is super cheap and delicious

The food in Vietnam is one of the tastiest you'll ever try and also extremely cheap. There's plenty of different street vendors, quick stop restaurants and fine dining places where you can try lots of different meals and flavours. My favourite meal in Vietnam was the Beef Pho soup. You'll find they specialize in ramen style soups which are packed with flavour.

The weather can be temperamental

South East Asia is renowned for being hot all year round, however, this doesn't mean rain never occurs. Because of the high heat, it also means there can be very heavy rainfalls, especially in Vietnam. Out of all the places in Asia, Vietnam was the only place where I found the weather to be quite temperamental. There were cloudier and rainy days that it's best to be prepared with a rain mac in your backpack. Down south, between May and October, it's best to be prepared for hot weather and rain too. However, Hanoi has four seasons ranging from hot summers to cold winters.

Visas

If you're British and staying longer than 15 days then you'll need a visa which you can easily apply for online. Or, you can buy one on arrival but that will be more time consuming and mean queuing up. For those visiting Vietnam for under 15 days, UK visitors have a free pass to enter and travel.

Currency 

Vietnamese Dong and US dollars are both widely used in Vietnam that you can get away with using both throughout your travels in the country. Dollars are used for larger purchases such as hotels, tours, and transport, whilst Dong can be used for pretty much anything.

Everything to know before visiting Vietnam

Learn the language 

When visiting Vietnam, it's not necessary to speak fluently as a lot of people do speak English. However, it will come in handy if you know a few phases as it'll help you get around and speak to the locals easier.

Safety first 

Like in all poorer countries, it's best to be aware wherever you go and that means taking extra measures. Try to avoid having your phone out in public, keep your eyes on your valuables and try to avoid bringing expensive items out and about.

 Hotel details

Some taxi drivers in Vietnam won't speak very good English and not know the area too well. This is why it's important to bring the hotel details including the address with you so the taxi driver can be fully aware of where you are going.

Crossing the street

In Vietnam, traffic can be wild especially in the bigger cities where you'll often see a sea of motorbikes. A lot of the motorbikes in Vietnam tend to drive aimlessly and not pay attention to traffic lights as such. With this in mind, it's important to be wary when you're crossing the road. Try and join crowds of local people when crossing the road to help navigate yourself across.

Use cash only

Vietnam is quite old school when it comes to a lot of things and that goes with money too. When travelling, try and leave your cards at home. You're more than able to get around easily with only cash at hand.

I hope you enjoyed this Vietnam post. When are you planning to visit the country?

Thank you for reading <3

24 hours in Pisa, Italy: what to see and do

Well hello to you my reader chums! Pisa is ultimately renowned for its leaning tower and the monument you've got to see whilst travelling around the Tuscany region. It may be touristy, but you'll have a lot of fun getting the candid photo that every other person there will be trying to take too.

24 hours in Pisa, Italy: what to see and do

Pisa wasn't my favourite part of Tuscany as it was smaller than I expected with the square of tourist spots as the main hub. However, it's not to say I didn't like it because in Italy everywhere is beautiful. I don't think it's essential to spend a whole day in Pisa, you can see the main sights in an afternoon, but a whole day allows you to immerse into what is past the leaning tower.

My boyfriend and I stayed 4 nights in Florence previously and took the train to Pisa the next day and it took around an hour. Out of all the train journeys in Tuscany, this was the busiest!

Here's everything we got up to in Pisa:

The main sights

As I mentioned previously, Pisa is pretty small and the main hub of it is the Leaning Tower and the surrounding sights including the cathedral, baptistery, and Camposanto. This square is pretty much crowded all the time (depending on the time of year) so it's best to head down as soon as each monument opens as you have a better chance of avoiding the queues.

For all the sights you can get one ticket which will give you entrance to them and to go up the leaning tower. I believe it was around 18 Euro each and was completely worth it - especially going up the tower.

24 hours in Pisa, Italy: what to see and do

Leaning Tower of Pisa - I saw this in a million pictures prior to my trip so it was pretty cool seeing it in person and walking up to the top. It's quite a long walk up and at first, I felt a little disorientate due to the lean. Still, once we got to the top, the view was insane and you can see the whole of Pisa including all the other monuments. For your 'up the tower' ticket, you're given a set time to climb the tower.

24 hours in Pisa, Italy: what to see and do

24 hours in Pisa, Italy: what to see and do

Cathedral - I love entering cathedrals, there's something so beautiful about them and this one was no different. The cathedral was huge and had the most gorgeous detailing with lots of mosaics and gold everywhere.

24 hours in Pisa, Italy: what to see and do

24 hours in Pisa, Italy: what to see and do


Baptistery - The Baptistery was just as beautiful; it's a huge domed building with two layers and a very similar matching interior to the cathedral. You could see the square from all the windows as you walk around the dome.

24 hours in Pisa, Italy: what to see and do

Camposanto - I think this was the most interesting building to walk around. The entire building was filled with historical statues and artwork which I loved learning about. I always find it incredible how monuments can last for the centuries and still be standing today - I just love learning the history behind it.

24 hours in Pisa, Italy: what to see and do

Hub of shops and restaurants

Pisa isn't the biggest place, however, there was the main strip of restaurants and shops which I loved to stroll around. This strip was located down one of the roads by the leaning tower. This is where you'll find the best amount of buzz and some incredible restaurants to dine at and cute market stalls to buy souvenirs.

Going for a stroll

The more you walk around the city, the more you'll get a feel of Pisa and soak up the culture. There are many quaint streets and Pisa has quite a residential feel when you step away from the main tourist attractions. I liked that as you could feel at home walking around rather than being in a constant tourist trap spot. If it's sunny too, it makes for the perfect romantic walk in a place destined to be explored.

24 hours in Pisa, Italy: what to see and do

How to get there

Pisa is incredibly easy to get to from a lot of Italian cities and towns including Florence and Siena. You can get a direct train and the tickets are super cheap. I got mine on the Omio train app and managed to get them discounted by buying an under 26-year-old ticket. You can also easily arrive by car or book a tour for an afternoon or day visit.

Where to stay

24 hours in Pisa, Italy: what to see and do

On our trip, we stayed for one night at the Can San Tommaso hotel. I loved this hotel; it was located about a 5-minute walk from the tower and was near everything. The station was probably around a 20-minute walk from there. They offered the best breakfast (lots of cake) too!

Where to eat

As we were only in Pisa for a day, we only dined at one proper restaurant in the evening and that was Il Peperoncino, This restaurant was owned by the loveliest man who taught us some Italian and really got chatting to us as we dined. The food was also superb! I loved my mushroom pasta dish and our shared bruschetta starter - I'd highly recommend it.

Places to go from Pisa

Pisa is in a great location to visit other towns and cities. The best places to go either on a day trip or move onto for a few days are Florence, Lucca, Siena, Cinque Terre, Bologna, and even the Chianti Region. All of these places are accessible by train or car (besides Chianti).

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you visited Pisa before?

Thank you for reading <3

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do

Well hello to you my reader chums! Italy will forever be my favourite country to visit and explore. The combination of authentic and delicious cuisine, friendly people and rich history will always leave me wanting more. It's my happy place and I always feel at home strolling around the cobbled streets. I've wanted to visit Florence for the longest time after my previous trips to both Rome and Venice as I've heard so many good things and it really did live up to expectation.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do

As Florence is in the heart of Tuscany, I wanted to make a big trip of it and explore surrounding towns in the region (you can read all about my travel advice and what I got up to in upcoming posts.) I was in Florence for a total of 4 nights which gave my boyfriend and me three whole days to explore and the evening in which we arrived.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do

Florence is a city with a heart of gold, has the quaintest streets and the most impressive buildings you'll ever see. It stole my heart and I can't wait to return one day. If you're planning a trip there, here is everything I got up to on my trip.

Day 1: Exploring the city and main sights 

Duomo, Baptistery, and Giotto's Campanile - Florence is renowned for the Duomo and the picture-perfect view of terracotta buildings. The main square where the Duomo stands should be your first port of call as its the face of the city. You can get a pass for all the sights in this area including the Duomo (to go up the dome as it's free to enter the cathedral), entrance to the Baptistery, up Giotto's tower, the crypt and the Duomo museum.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do

As this part of the city is always the busiest, I would recommend heading over to the sights as soon as they open or in mid-afternoon. We found the line to get inside the Duomo was a lot shorter after lunchtime than in the early morning. The Duomo tends to open around 10am, the Baptistery and bell tower at 8.15 and the museum at 9am. Times can fluctuate depending on the days so make sure you check beforehand. The Duomo is huge inside and incredibly beautiful, and walking up the bell tower (414 steps to be precise) offers a stunning view of the city that I'll never forget. The pass is 18 Euro and completely worth it as you're able to get a full insight into Florence's history and take in the beauty of its buildings.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do

Ponte Vecchio - I never realised how pretty bridges could be until I set foot onto this one. Ponte Vecchio is the only bridge that survived the Second World War and has shops all across it in Florence. It's probably about a 15-minute walk from the Duomo and offers the prettiest views. You could easily spend an hour or so watching the day pass as you enjoy a slice of pizza on the riverfront. The shops across the bridge are lovely and make for a nice mooch. The bridge takes you from the busier side of the city to the quieter side.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do

Piazzas galore - Before I visited Florence, I researched the best places to see and lots of people recommended certain piazzas aka squares in the city to visit. I ended up coming across them without even realising as strolling around the city is honestly as lovely as seeing the sights. There is so much beauty wherever you look that we spend hours soaking it up and getting our bearings. The prettiest piazzas we visited were Piazza Della Republica, Piazza Della Signoria, Piazza Santa Croce and Piazza San Marco (as it made for the perfect lunch spot).

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do


Day 2: More sightseeing and mooching around the quaint streets 

Strozzi Palace - If art is your thing, then the Strozzi Palace is the place to go. You can enter the main courtyard for free and look around but have to pay an admission fee to see the gallery. It's located really close to the Piazza Della Republica.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do


Leonardo Da Vinchi museum - Leonardo Da Vinchi is renowned for his art but something I didn't realise is he invented a whole host of different items. I discovered this at his museum which offered an array of his inventions and things to play with. It's not your typical museum and quite small but it was a lot of fun and about 6 Euro each.

Basilica of Santa Croce - This had to be my favourite church in Florence that I visited. It's set in the Piazza di Santa Croce which in itself is the most gorgeous square. The church itself is astonishing to look at and even more beautiful inside. The tickets are 8 Euro each and that includes entrance to the church, the grounds, the chapels, and a museum. It'll honestly be one of the best 8 Euros you ever spent. I absolutely adored walking around this church and admiring its beauty.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do


3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do

Galleries - Florence is renowned for its huge art scene and there are several different galleries that you can visit on your trip. I didn't go to any on my trip as we were saving our money for different things, however, I kind of wish I did. The two galleries which stand out are the Uffizi Gallery and Galleria dell' Accademia. The two galleries are around a 15-minute walk for each other and will open your eyes to the city's art.

Day 3: Exploring the other side of the city 

Florence is split into two by the Arno river and the several bridges which run across it. You have the slightly busier and touristy side and then the quieter and I suppose 'residential area'. When you pass over the Ponte Vecchio, the initial area you enter is still quite touristy but then as you stroll further, you hit the quainter spots.

Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens - This had to be one of my highlights of the trip. I love visiting a palace and also love gardens so put them together and you have a match made in heaven. The Pitti Palace is stunning in every way possible. There's vintage art that covers most of the walls, traditional furniture, and the most extravagant chandeliers. And, the gardens simply blew me away! As you enter the gardens, you're faced with a massively steep hill and when you reach the top, there is the most beautiful view of both the gardens and the palace. We spent quite a while walking around the gardens as there is so much green to see. It's definitely a place where you can sit for hours and soak up the Italian sun. I really wish we bought a picnic to enjoy there! I can't remember the exact price of the gardens and palace but I think it was around 26 Euro each, however, as we were under 26, we got the ticket for only 8 Euro each.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do

Piazzale Michelangelo - Florence is one of the prettiest cities I've ever seen and I was fully able to appreciate it from Piazzale Michelangelo. This area is located up a lot of steep steps but once you've arrived, the view is totally worth it. The best time to come here would be at sunset as you can watch the entire city turn from day until night.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do

Exploring the back roads - Florence is one of the best cities to literally spend hours walking around and soaking it all up with your other half or best pals. I never got sick of the endless yellow washed buildings or gelato shops on every corner. As this side of the city wasn't as hectic, I was able to take in the rustic elements of the city walls and the Italian music which floated along the cobbled streets.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do

Where to stay

When it comes to Florence, you can pretty much walk everywhere as long as you stay around the main hub. All the tourist sights are within a 20-minute walk (at most) with each other that you rarely need to get any public transport or taxis to go from place to place. We stayed in the Sani Tourist House which was located under a 5-minute walk from the Duomo and close by to everything else - it really was a prime location. Wherever you choose to stay, I would highly recommend getting the tram from the airport to the city centre as it'll save you a lot of money (only 1.5 Euro) and it is really easy to navigate around.

Where to eat 

Florence is the heart of Tuscany and offers the best selection of traditional Italians, wine bars and gelato shops you'll ever eat at. On my trip, I dined at some of the most delicious places which I'd love to revisit.

Gusto Leo Ristorante Pizzeria - Pizza is everywhere you look in Italy and some places do it better than others. I'm personally a huge fan of Italian pizza; I love the thin base and overuse of tomatoes - it thrills my taste buds. This restaurant was located super close to our hotel and pretty close to the Duomo square. The pizzas were delicious and incredibly reasonable in price.

Ruffino - I absolutely loved this restaurant. It had everything that I dream of in an Italian restaurant - super delicious food, good wine, and a rustic interior. We came across this is we were roaming the city and it was a very good find. I had the yummiest pesto with Gnocchi ( I wish I could eat that again) and Dan had handmade ravioli which was as tasty. It's located near Piazza Santa Maria Novella.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do


Osteria del Proconsolo - This was our final meal in Florence and the perfect way to say goodbye to the city. It has everything an Italian restaurant should have; that rustic, family vibe, chequered red table cloths, and traditional cuisine. I had the nicest lasagne there and the wine matched to the food perfection!

Shake Cafe - This little cafe was located a few minutes walks from our hotel and was a vegan paradise. There was everything from smoothies to pastries, and for a couple of mornings, we had pastries in there and their banana bread - it was insane.

Liberiacafe La Cite - Over the other side of the bridge, we came across the coolest cafe which I read about beforehand. It was like a library and cafe all in one. When we went in, quite a few people were in there studying.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do


Cucciolo Bar Pasticceria - Italy is known for its pastry shops and having a pastry and coffee for breakfast. This shop was right next to the Shake Cafe and it has the homemade, family vibe to it. The owner was so lovely and made us feel at home - and even gave us a free doughnut when we bought our morning pastries.

Festival del Gelato - This was definitely the nicest ice cream I had in Florence! My friend recommended it on Instagram and I can see why. They offered every single flavor under then sun and their Nutella gelato was to die for. The prices are reasonable and it was super close to our hotel.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do


Gelateria Della Passera - When you're over the other side of the bridge, this is the gelato place to go for. It's the smallest shop which serves the yummiest ice cream - and the scoops are only 1 Euro each. Their hazelnut ice cream was honestly so moreish!

Spending 4 nights in Florence was honestly so incredible, it's hard to even put it into words. The combination of brilliant architecture, delicious cuisine, the kindest people and quaintest streets made me fall in love with the city more than I ever would. I'd love to go back over and over again, and I know my boyfriend and I could have easily stayed there for much longer.

3 day guide to Florence: what to see and do

I hope you enjoyed this Florence guide. When are you visiting the city?

Thank you for reading <3

What to bring in your carry-on makeup bag

Well hello to you my reader chums! When it comes to flying, whether you're a newbie or someone who flies regularly, packing your carry-on bag correctly will make everything easier. For some people, a carry-on can be a handbag or for others, a small suitcase. Within both of those, the majority of us carry a makeup or wash bag. This is either to keep us fresh on a long-haul flight or put your makeup on ready for landing (we've all done it).

If you're planning a trip away and unsure what to pack in your carry-on makeup bag, here's everything I would bring.


What to bring in your carry-on makeup bag

Moisturiser - The thing about flights, whether you're up in the air for a couple of hours or twelve, they can dehydrate you completely. With this in mind, it's important to keep yourself and your skin hydrated. Drink plenty of water and bring along an ultra-hydrating moisturiser. It's not something you need to apply all the time, but a freshen up halfway through the flight or before you land, will help you feel so much better. My favourite to use is Garnier's Natural Rose Moisturiser.

Lip balm - Lips also get dry on flights which you'll find especially on a longer flight. Being up in the air for over eight hours can make your lips feel very chapped that you'll want a really good lip balm with you. My favourites are Palmer's cocoa lip balm or Natural Line's lip balm. Both of them feel incredibly natural on the lips and leave my lips feeling moisturised for ages.

Hand cream - Another moisturising product to pack and I have on me at all time is hand cream. Hand cream is perfect if you're hands are feeling dry as the flight time goes on or you'd like a little freshen up. It leaves you feeling moisturised and always has a nice smell to it.

Hand gel - Flights aren't the cleanest of places even though they may appear so. As they're packed with lots of different people, germs can literally be flying all over the place. With that in mind and to keep the germs at bay, bring along some hand gel with you. This will come in handy when you're eating or make you feel a little bit more fresh. I love the Bath and Body Works hand gels!

Toothpaste and toothbrush - For longer flights, when you've eaten and slept quite a bit, you'll automatically have that uncomfortable morning feeling. That feeling when you have bad breath and you're a bit groggy. To waken up a little, brushing your teeth is a really good way to have that 'morning feeling'. You can even go a step further and bring mouthwash too if that'll make you feel better.

What to bring in your carry-on makeup bag

Hairbrush and hairbands - Hair can get in the way when you're chilling on a flight. To feel more comfortable, I would recommend packing yourself a hairbrush and some hairbands with you. That way, you can get it off your face and put it in plaits or a ponytail. Tangle Teezers are my absolute favourite brushes and they come in a mini-version too.

Sheet facemask - On a long haul flight, a pamper is always something lovely to have, especially when you have a million people around you. As you can't really do an actual facemask (unless you're flying first class with your own bathroom), then a sheet mask is the way forward. You can put one on in the bathroom, leave it for a while (even when you nap) and peel it off when you've left it on long enough. The beauty of sheet masks is that you don't need to wash anything off and the residue is generally soft enough to moisturise into the skin.

Makeup - This is down to you. If you want to apply makeup on the plane ready for your landing, then bring your whole routine with you (but make sure each product is under 100ml). My tip would keep the bulky makeup to a minimum and pack products that are versatile. For instance, a bronzer and highlighter duo as you can use it for your cheeks and eyes.

I hope you enjoyed this packing post. What else would you carry in your makeup bag?

Thank you for reading <3


Book Review: The Cutthroat - An Issac Bell Adventure by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott

Well hello to you my reader chums! Two things I love are history and a crime mystery, and so when they're combined in a novel, it's basically next level fiction. This book combines both the elements and after I received it from my boyfriend, I couldn't wait to start reading. The title and the plotline really intrigued me and I suddenly found myself transported back in time to the Jack the Ripper era of history.

Here's my review of The Cutthroat - An Issac Bell Adventure...

Book Review: The Cutthroat - An Issac Bell Adventure by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott


Plotline

Set in New York in 1911, a woman goes missing. A father gets in touch with Issac Bell of the Van Dorn Detective Agency about his missing runaway daughter and he promises he'll find her. However, a few days later, her body is found. Bell then vows to find the killer and follows a long list of leads and pathways he comes across along the way. These leads are a series of corpses which date back twenty years across the Atlantic to London where history's most brutal serial killer once operated. Bell is convinced the serial killer Jack the Ripper fled to New York and must use every trick in the book to find and stop him from doing more harm.

Characters and Relationships

The characters are undoubtedly the best part of a novel as you get to see the story unfold through their eyes. This book had quite a few main characters, more than most novels, however, it added to the complexity and the developing layers in the story. The story started at one point with the missing girl and got more and more detailed with added complexities. The main character was Issac Bell and seeing his mission to find out the killer. I really loved him as the main character as he was clever, interesting and brought all the clues together.

Along Bell's journey, he meets a lot of suspects and learns about them and their journeys to finally pinpoint the killer and who was the one behind all the murders of a number of girls. Bell builds really strong relationships with a lot of suspects and other characters and becomes a very trustworthy and friendly person to be around. My favourite relationship in the novel is him and his wife which is more towards the end as it shows the power of true love and adds that small romance element to the plot.

Thoughts on the book

This book was insanely good. It was one of those reads which were packed with a lot of details and complexities that I couldn't help keep turning the pages to read the next bit. Every few chapters, there would be another mystery unfolded and more clues and it would get so intense. Even though there was so much going on, I didn't get bored or confused, I was more intrigued about this whole mystery in the novel. I loved the author's attention to detail when it came to describing the scenery, the characters relationships and building up the suspense for the ultimate reveal at the end.

Ending

The ending of this book was electric. And after the build-up and layers of the clues and mystery, it's as good as the rest of the novel. With an ending for a mystery novel, sometimes they can be anti-climatic or disappointed, but this was nowhere near that. I won't give it away but before you get the real ending, you think there's already been an ending - and so the suspense carries on building. It's incredibly interesting and left me on the edge of my seat!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the level of suspense, the details involved and the whole plotline. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves crime thrillers.

I hope you enjoyed this book review! Are you into crime thrillers?

Thank you for reading <3

Days out: Sausage Dog pop up cafe in Brighton

Well hello to you my reader chums! One of my biggest obsessions (and my boyfriends) is sausage dogs. They're the cutest little animals and I hope one day I'll get to have one as a pet (or maybe two) of my own. As they're our favourite thing, when anything sausage dog related pops up on my feed, I immediately tag Dan - that when I saw this event, I knew we had to go.

Days out: Sausage Dog pop up cafe in Brighton

The pop-up sausage dog cafe or dachshund if you prefer is an event that's popping up all over the country. The event is basically a whole day thing where lots of sausage dogs gather and you can meet and play with them. You can buy a human ticket or if you have a dachshund, bring them along. As both Dan and I didn't have a dog, we bought a human ticket and spent our time at the event cuddling as many pups as possible.

Days out: Sausage Dog pop up cafe in Brighton

Days out: Sausage Dog pop up cafe in Brighton

The event went on all day and each ticket holder is given a time slot of when to attend. Our time slot was between 1.30-3pm and there were over 30 dogs there. In Brighton, the event was held at Revolution Bars and decked out in every sausage dog thing possible. There was a photography booth, a ball pit and play area for the dogs, plenty of treats to give the dogs and a shop station with a selection of dog or human gifts. The whole event was a lot of fun, we met lots of lovely people and plenty of the cutest dogs. Dan and I absolutely adored our time there and wanted to take all of the dogs home with us! 


Days out: Sausage Dog pop up cafe in Brighton

Days out: Sausage Dog pop up cafe in Brighton

Days out: Sausage Dog pop up cafe in Brighton

An hour and a half went super quick and I could have happily spent the rest of the day cuddling and stroking the dogs. They were all so playful and some even had costumes on!

If you're obsessed with all things dogs, then keep an eye on the event as there may be one coming to a city near you. I know they've launched some up north soon!

Days out: Sausage Dog pop up cafe in Brighton


As we made our way down to Brighton (it's about an hour and a half drive from where we live), we decided to make the most of the day. The weather was awful so we mooched around the lanes, had a look at a few shops and dined in the loveliest Italian - Al Duomo - it definitely got me in the mood to go to Italy.

I love going to Brighton, it's one of my favourite UK cities so pair that with sausage dogs and it's a match made in heaven.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you like sausage dogs?

Thank you for reading <3

How I overcame my travel anxiety

Well hello to you my reader chums! Travel and seeing the world is my favourite thing ever. I love having the opportunity to experience new cultures, see amazing places and learn the history of a country, it thrills me inside. However, travelling wasn't something that was always easy for me. I used to dread going to airports, stepping out my comfort zone and going somewhere I didn't know - the whole experience gave me so much anxiety.

How I overcame my travel anxiety

I often look back at those days and feel so proud of the person I am today and how I adore travelling the world. If your someone who is scared to travel or go to a new country, here is how I overcame my travel anxiety and I hope it inspires you to push yourself and do the same.

Stepping out of my comfort zone 

When it comes to any fear out there, the first thing to do is step out of your comfort zone and that's exactly what I did. I used to have the biggest fear of airports and crowded spaces that when I would even contemplate going to one, I'd have a panic attack and the same went for flying. It was the fear of uncertainty and not being safe which really triggered me in these situations. However, one day my friends and I spontaneously booked a trip for a few weeks time abroad, and as it was so quick, I didn't have the time to develop any fear and had to get on with it.

'Getting on with it' wasn't easy as these fears were still prominent in my mind and I was easily triggered at the littlest of things. However, I was lucky to have friends with me which understood my anxiety and did their best to make sure I felt at ease. With all that in mind though, if I didn't go and step out my comfort zone, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to tackle my fear.

Familiarising myself with airports 

Airports used to be a major trigger. It was the whole idea of there were loads of people, I could get lost and I wasn't safe that really freaked me out. However, airports are a very safe environment and organised places that there is no need to get stressed on where everything is. I think this is why it was so important to not only familiarise myself with different airports but to also reassure myself it'll be okay.

I did this by mapping out what went on at the airport, having the times noted down on where I have to be and all the information that's necessary because it gave me something to focus on. With anxiety, distractions are so necessary as they prevent you from overthinking or letting your mind wander. Something that also helped me familiarise myself was getting into a routine at the airport - this for me is going to Pret and getting the same sort of breakfast thing. Now, even to this day, I always have to go to Pret at the airport as it'll be weird not to. I also used to wear my 'travel jumper' as it was a safety blanket in my eyes that meant everything will be okay. Home comforts are everything when you're travelling.

How I overcame my travel anxiety

Make yourself feel at home

When you feel comfortable and at home in a situation then you're less likely to feel anxious and it's one of my favourite pieces of advice to give anxious travellers. Whether you're terrified to get on a plane, a train or go to a new place, home comforts will help you out. I'm not saying to bring everything and the kitchen sink with you but to bring a few meaningful items can help. This could be your favourite jumper to wear when travelling, a pillow or some PJs to wear on the plane (no judgement here). Whatever will help you feel at home can also help you feel better when it comes to travelling. As I said previously I used to bring a jumper and wear it for every trip I went on. I also used to download music that I know would help me feel calm and at ease as I travelled.

Keep at it 

The main thing that helped me overcome travel anxiety was to keep doing it. Book flights over and over again, choose to go to new places and really try to enjoy it. When I first began doing this, I was terrified and didn't think I could enjoy it. However, after a while and getting used to the travelling process, I began to get a buzz to go to new locations and always wanted to be travelling. I found myself really enjoying flights and planning trips and genuinely caught the travel bug.

The world is huge and there are so many places to see that you don't want travel anxiety to limit your opportunities. Step out your comfort zone, be brave and book that flight. You never know what experiences you may find as you land. If I can overcome my fear of travels then so can you!

Happy travelling!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you have any tips for anxious travellers?

Thank you for reading <3