Favourite European cities to visit in the spring time

Well hello to you my reader chums! Spring is nearly here and I'm very excited about it. When spring begins, it obviously means we're closer to summer and that thrills me - I can't wait for beach BBQs and rocking summer dresses again. As the warmer season is approaching, I wanted to share some of my favourite places to visit in Europe on a city break.

Favourite European cities to visit in the spring time

Whether you're looking for some inspiration on where to go or planning a last-minute city break, here are a few European cities I'd recommend to see in the spring.

Amsterdam

Favourite European cities to visit in the spring time

The canal capital of the Netherlands and one of the coolest cities I've seen, Amsterdam has the most chill vibe about it. I visited in the autumn, however, the spring is the time where it's tulip season and everything is blooming - that you will be in season for the best photos and experiences. Dabble into the quirky cafes, learn all about the Dutch history, ponder along the canals and pick yourself a tulip or two.

Milan 

Home to Italian fashion and designer goods, Milan is everything you'd expect for a shopping lover. It's not the biggest Italian city compared to Rome and Florence, however, there is plenty to see, lots of places to shop (and window shop) and all the Italian food you can think of. The main square with the Duomo is my favourite location as it looks incredible grand and worth the walk around. Visiting in spring will leave you with good weather and a time to beat the crowds.

Paris

Favourite European cities to visit in the spring time

One of the most romantic cities but also a fun location to visit with your gal pals, I love everything about Paris. It's got a fast pace about it but there's also a slower vibe away from the main attractions which will leave you in awe of the city. The art scene is huge over there, it's a dream for designer shopping and you can't help feel as if you're in the land of luxury. Spring is a lovely time to go as the weather is sunny and it's before peak season begins in the summer.

Rome 

Heart of Italy and one of my favourite ever cities; a piece of my soul will always be left in Rome. Despite how busy it can get, I love the hustle and bustle of the city and the Italian charm which seeps throughout. Whether you're looking to learn all about Italian history, venture around my favourite spot in Piazza Navona, make a wish at the Trevi Fountain or generally experience the Italian way of life, Rome is the place to be. I tend to stay away from the main sights to find the best food spots but in general, the whole city has that Italian charm. There's never a bad time to visit Rome as you're bound to get stuck with crowds, but in the spring, it'll be warm enough to enjoy it without being too hot - and it's the perfect excuse for more gelato.

Lisbon

Favourite European cities to visit in the spring time

Lisbon is hugely underrated for the absolute dream it is. Made up of cobbled streets, yellow trams, hilly roads, and the best tapas bars, it's a great destination for a few days away in the sun - and to drink all the sangria in sight. I went in April time when spring just began and the weather was insanely beautiful, it was quiet to explore and I felt like I got a full authentic view of the city. 

Barcelona 

Barcelona is loved by many travellers including myself for multiple reasons and I'd love to go back. It is one of those cities that is generally always busy when the weather gets warmer, however, I would highly recommend choosing springtime to go and visit. Whether you'd like to explore the famous shopping street of Las Ramblas, have a picnic in Park Guell, explore the tucked-away cobbled paths or eat every tapas dish in sight, there's plenty to do in this city.

Athens 

I have a huge love for Athens; I've visited multiple times since I was little as some of my family live out there and it will always feel like home to me. Spring in Athens, preferably Easter is the best ever time to visit. Their Easter celebrations are very exciting and involve a lot of food that you don't want to miss out - plus Athens is packed with lots of ancient history, has the quaintest city centre and warm weather.

Copenhagen 

Favourite European cities to visit in the spring time

I fell in love with Copenhagen when I visited a couple of years ago. It's one of those cities that despite being a tourist hub, didn't feel that way at all. The city has a residential atmosphere to it where you feel like home wherever you go. Copenhagen is a hub for the quirkiest eateries, cleanest streets, pretties canals and plenty of things to sink your teeth into. The city is known for being quite chilly so you'll still need to wrap up in the spring, however, the sights will warm your heart so much that you'll forget about the weather.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Where is your favourite place to visit in the Spring?

Thank you for reading <3

How to pack lightly for a week's trip

Well hello to my reader chums! I used to be a huge over-packer, bringing unnecessary items away with me on city breaks or for a week's holiday. Through going away regularly and backpacking, and not wanting to pay for hold luggage, I learned how to limit what I needed to bring - and some tips and tricks for packing lighter. 

How to pack lightly for a weeks trip

Whether you're a huge over-packer or going away soon and looking for some packing tips, here's how to pack lightly for a week's trip (it is possible)...

Check the cabin luggage size

First things first, check the size limit you're able to bring on the plane as a cabin bag. Each airline varies in size but typically you're allowed a small-sized suitcase as cabin luggage. When packed correctly, you can easily fit enough clothing and toiletries into a small suitcase - with room for souvenirs to bring back.

Think about what you're packing

Something I like to do before a long trip is planning my outfits out and bringing along versatile pieces to ensure I pack fewer clothes. Also, it's worth planning out what you wear to the airport - as I always put on my heaviest/most bulkiest clothes to save room in the case. 

Necessary toiletries 

I'm a bit obsessed when it comes to beauty and makeup products like a lot of people so it can be hard limiting them into hand luggage - but it is possible. The best thing is to make a list of the necessary toiletries, decant the rest into smaller bottles, invest in rollerball perfumes and solid beauty products (as you won't need to put them in the liquid see-through bag.) By doing all this, you should be able to save space - and there's always the option of buying more items when you arrive at your destination (people often forget that.)

Share the luggage

If you're going away with a partner or group of friends, you can minimize the weight limit by sharing a suitcase or putting some of your items in somebody else's case. Either share one hold luggage bag and split the costs or put all of your items in the two cabin bags to ensure you both fit everything in.

Roll your clothes up

Probably the oldest trick in the book, but when it comes to packing, the technique is key. Roll up your lighter items, pack your socks in your shoes and use packing cubes to organise your clothes into different sections - basically play a suitcase version of Tetris until you fit it all in.

Forget about the luxuries

When it comes to budget travel, luxuries don't necessarily have to go out the window but they will need to be limited in order to go through with the trip - and keep to packing light. Try and swaps items like chunky heels, excessive accessories, body lotions or perfumes for something smaller or take them out altogether.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Which tips do you have on packing lighter?

Thank you for reading <3





New beginnings, new goals

  Well hello to you my reader chums! I've been quite absent from this blog for a while, not because I wanted to but because I needed to take a mental break and wait until I was in the right mindset to write again. 


I've taken a step back in the past few months with a lot of things including my blog, to allow myself the time to heal. 2019 didn't end how I expected it to and I've needed the past few months to process what happened and create a new situation for myself - and find myself once again. Learning to find your feet after a shock to the system can be incredibly hard and it's taken its stages (which I'm still going through) but I've made it through to the other side. 

Now, I can finally say, sitting in my new home that I'm ready, ready to take on the world, grab any opportunity that comes my way and be happy. I've learned over the past few months that everything really does happen for a reason and all the things which come in your way are there to teach you a lesson or lead you on the right path. I'm stronger than I thought I was, proud of how I've dealt with my mental health and excited for my next chapter.

I'm feeling much more positive about what this year is going to pan out to be and can't wait to throw myself back into my passions, including this blog. I've been writing it for a really long time that it feels weird not being my current focus. I want to share more travel tips, lifestyle posts and dabble back into the world of beauty. I want to throw my passion back into my writing and share content that I love and hope my readers will love too. 

To document today, here are the goals I hope to achieve by the end of 2020:

  • Keep at a regular blog schedule and post the content I'm most passionate about
  • Continue to travel and plan my next trips (got a few places already booked for this year)
  • Spend more time with my friends and making the best ever memories
  • Learning to love myself and figuring out the things that make my heart soar
  • Accepting that it's okay not to be okay sometimes
  • Learning to listen to what my body and mind needs

I hope you enjoyed this post. What are your goals for the rest of the year?

Thank you for reading <3



Book review: The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Well hello to you my reader chums! One of the types of books I absolutely adore is when they're set in significant periods of history or based on a true story - and that's what The Librarian of Auschwitz is. After finishing the Tattooist of Auschwitz and loving every word, I was intrigued to see how this book would differ and the insight it would give.

Book review: The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Plotline

Based on the true story of Dita Kraus, the plotline follows Dita's life as she enters the horrors which are Auschwitz. Dita is only 14 when she gets sent with her parents to the camp and soon becomes the camp's secret librarian, taking charge of the small collection of precious books the prisoners managed to sneak past the guards. Books are a dangerous thing in Auschwitz where the slightest hint that the prisoners have them could lead to any horrific punishment. Dita was in Block 31 which was also known as the family block and where lots of the younger children were housed - and had lessons from teachers who were also other prisoners. In camp 31, the adult prisoners did everything they could to make things normal for the children ad Dita's library was one of the most heartwarming things in there - the children could learn and imagine other things whilst the horrors were going on around them.

The plot follows Dita's life over the few years she's imprisoned in the Auschwitz camp and gives a raw perspective of what life is like, the relationships she makes and how she pulls of the mission off, being the librarian. It's that task which inspires so many - and inspired the book itself.

Characters and relationships

I always say the characters are the best part of a novel as they really bring the entire plot to life. As this book is set in such a time of sheer horror and inhumane activities, the characters really are everything and the emotion that pours out is intense. Dita is like any other teenager in this book, and that's how she comes across - she's honest, pushes the boundaries and wants to have fun - even though she's stuck in the camp. Her bond with everyone is a huge part of the book and expresses how she is as a person.

Her relationship with her mother is incredibly powerful and it seems like the pair of them are two of the strongest beings you'll ever come across and they've always got each other back. I particularly love the relationship between Dita and her best friend Margit as it shows what every teenage friendship is about - and reminds me of what I would do for my best friends. Dita is friends with so many people in the camp from her bunkmates to those who look after her block and it's really insightful to read about as you get a feel of what their life was like. The people in the camp only had each other and that's why relationships are so powerful - and make the retelling of the story so real and important.

Book review: The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Thoughts on the book

This book left me feeling inspired, heartbroken, educated and sad; a whole mixture of emotions - I absolutely loved it. It's one of those books which takes you on a complete journey and is packed with plenty of knowledge that I was left with so much insight into the horrors of Auschwitz. The way it was written was completely honest and gave that first-hand experience to help the reader understand the truth that went on. It also shared so much about humanity - and how people in the camp helped each other. Overall, I'd recommend it to literally everyone, whether you're a reader or not - as it will leave you feeling so moved.

Ending

Considering the book is set in such a tragic time, I didn't know what I'd expect the ending to be, however, it was somewhat of an inspiring and bittersweet ending which left the story the way it should.

I hope you enjoyed this review! Have you read this book?

Thank you for reading <3

6 ways to feel less anxious at the airport

Well hello to you my reader chums! Travelling and going to the airport may come naturally to some people, however, a lot of people struggle with that sort of thing, whether that's due to the crowds, the stress of the planning or as it's out of your routine. It's normal to feel anxious in situations that aren't in your regular pattern and if you're going travelling soon and nervous about it, here are 6 tips to help you out.

6 ways to feel less anxious at the airport

Map out what's going to happen

When it comes to anxiety, often or not, it can be to do with control and that's why having a plan in place for the day can really help. It doesn't have to be step by step and timings, but it can be a list of things and the order you're going to do them. For instance, say once you get to the airport, you'll head straight to check-in, then to security and then to the food court to get a bite to eat. It may sound like a small thing, but if you have a plan to focus on, you'll be concentrating on that instead of thinking about what's going on around you.

Wear something comfy or 'homely' 

Travelling can be uncomfortable, especially if it's a long-haul journey. To feel a bit more at home and at ease, wear something that you're comfortable in. Airports used to make me really anxious and every time I went to one, I always wore the same jumper and it soon became my 'safety blanket'. I then learned to be more comfortable in that environment as I had a physical thing to hold onto - and it really helped.

Check-in and pay for your seats online

When travelling with a friend or partner, with some airlines you're not always guaranteed to sit next to each other and if you're an anxious flyer, it's not the ideal situation. That's why I would always recommend to pay the extra few pounds there and back to pick your seats as it'll be one less thing to worry about on your travels- as you have someone by your side. Alternatively, on a lot of flights, you can also ask to swap seats with other people so you can sit next to each other.

Get there with plenty of time

There's no point rushing around when you get to the airport; it's meant to be a place of excitement as you jet off to a new location and new adventure. This is why I'd always recommend to give yourself extra time to get there as you never know what traffic delays you'll come across on route. Although there's nothing worse than having time to kill, it's better than having to rush to try and catch your flight! Arrive with plenty of time and find a place where you can zone out before your flight.

Fill yourself with good food

Food is one of the best things in life and something that will give you a massive energy boost at the airport. If you fuel your body with good food then, in theory, it should make you feel a lot better and that could take the edge off your nerves - and how you're feeling. Food is one of the things that makes me really happy, especially when I've eaten a good meal, so scoping out a restaurant can give you a big distraction, and something to look forward to in the airport process.

Keep your mind busy

I always say this but distraction is key when you're feeling anxious - and that's why keeping your mind busy is so important. Whether that's reading a book, listening to a podcast or practicing meditation, there are loads of different things you can be doing to keep busy and zoning out from the airport surroundings.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What travel tips do you have?

Thank you for reading <3

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