Where To Spend Money When Booking Your Next Travel Trip | AD

 Well hello to you my reader chums! If you’re looking for a new place to visit on your travel this year, it’s worth doing your research before you go. From new areas that have opened up to the wider world, to those areas that have perhaps become more popular in recent years. There’s a lot of enjoyment to be found in travel and exploring someplace new is always fun.

However, wherever you go, it’s worth figuring out how best to spend your money. Some travellers might not have the budget to splurge on every aspect of their trip, so it’s worth knowing what is the better option to spend on and to save on everything else. Here’s where to spend your money when booking your next travel trip.

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Where To Spend Money When Booking Your Next Travel Trip


Accommodation is probably one of the areas you want to spend the most money on, especially if you’re wanting to come back after a long day of exploring to a nice space. For some travel destinations, you may be staying in a resort or somewhere that’s fairly limited for excursions.

With that in mind, take a look at what some of the upgrades offer and whether it’s worth splurging that little bit extra to get additional comfort during your stay. It may also influence the type of view you get too. These exclusive villas Algarve, are a perfect example of splurging on great accommodation.

There are going to be some places that you visit whereby they have experiences that only you’ll be able to experience in that location. From unique tours to adrenaline-pumping activities. Whatever the excursion is, it’s worth splurging the money to do as much as possible, even if it means you’re spending a lot of time away from your hotel.

These experiences will forever be ingrained in your memory, so do them!


Food is the source of life and when you don’t have enough of it on your holidays, it can feel as though you didn’t get the full experience of holiday mode. Therefore, if you’re going to spend your money, spend it on upgrades for boarding or go ‘all-inclusive’ where it’s available.

There’s nothing better than having an endless fountain of food to choose from all day, every day.
Non-stop direct flights

Travel, especially when it comes to flights, is challenging and can put off many people from travelling abroad altogether. With that being said, if you want to minimize the pain, spend your money on non-stop, direct flights, rather than taking flights that have stopovers.

Local food

Finally, if you’re looking to splurge on something meaningful, make sure you’re trying out the local food and delicacies. Of course, you’re not going to get this local food back home, so whatever it costs, use the money you have for spending, to spend on the food.

Be sure to talk to the locals if you don’t know what it is you’re looking for.

Spending money on your travels should be worthwhile but sometimes mistakes can be made. These tips should hopefully ensure you buy all the right

I hope you enjoyed this post! What would you add?

Thank you for reading <3

Travelling with your partner long-term: my top tips

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Travelling is my favourite thing in the world and doing it with my partner makes it extra special. I love how we're able to experience new things together such as trying new foods, seeing new sights or learning about different cultures. Travelling long-term is a blessing but completely different from going on a week-long holiday with your partner. You're with each other 24/7, experience unique things together and see the highs and lows of the travel way of life.

If you're heading on a backpacking or long-term trip with your partner, here are my best tips on how to travel with your partner.


Check-in with each other regularly

Checking in with emotions is incredibly important every day, especially when you're roaming around a new place and faced with different challenges. Also with travelling, it can be tiring and overwhelming and it's important to recognise that. What my partner and I did every day was a check-in each morning. We rated how we were feeling in terms of mood and energy out of ten as it gave us both an indication of where we were at for the day. And, if both of the scales were low, it opened up the conversation to talk about how and why we were feeling that way.

Give each other space when possible

When you're travelling with each other 24/7, it can be hard to give each other your own individual time and space as there's no room for it. However, there are ways around this. For example, if one of you wants to sit and watch something on their phone or take some time to journal quietly, respect their wishes. Or if they simply want to be with their thoughts. Give each other the space and energy to do the things they like on their own accord, even if you're still in the room with them.

Compromise on your plan

A relationship is all about compromise and when travelling with your partner, it's the same premise. You should compromise on your itinerary overall when planning the trip, and the every day once you're there. This can include where you want to go to eat, when you need to rest and the order you want to do things that day. Communication is key to compromising as you can come to a conclusion with what fits you both.

Never abandon each other

You are a team, first and foremost and that means never abandoning each other. You can argue and disagree but never leave as you should stand by each other on your trip. When my partner and I were low energy or tired, we'd bicker a bit here and there, and that's normal. But we always knew we had each other and it was just a little bicker. 

Always be open to talk

As I mentioned, communication is vital in a relationship and especially when with each other 24/7. You need to have an open mind and want to talk things through, the good and the bad, at any point in the day. If you're not feeling up for talking at one point, acknowledge this and say you'll speak about it later.

Be self-aware of your emotions

Self-awareness is something we should all strive to improve on as it helps you recognise your own feelings and emotions and how you're projecting that in a situation. Being self-aware when travelling is really useful in helping to communicate with your partner effectively, and support each other.

Know each other's boundaries

Understanding boundaries can help you both flourish on your travels. You'll both have different boundaries, whether that's having some alone time or not pressing when your partner doesn't want to talk. Boundaries can vary but knowing what your partners are can help you make effective decisions, and aid you in growing together.

Love and appreciate every moment 

Travelling is phenomenal and a wonderful experience to enjoy in a partnership, whether it's a backpacking venture or a luxury cruise ship. Whatever the destination, remember to capture every moment and cherish it. Be present in what you're experiencing, focus on your quality time together and fall in love with your adventure. I can assure you travelling with your partner will help you flourish and thrive as a couple.

I hope you enjoyed this post! What else would you add?

Thank you for reading <3

The best experiences in Sri Lanka

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I fell in love with Sri Lanka for many reasons; the friendly and wholesome people, the natural scenery, the sights and the phenomenal experiences. I've been wanting to visit Sri Lanka for the longest time and after two weeks backpacking around the country, I can say it lived up to every high expectation.

If you're planning a trip to Sri Lanka and unsure what to do, here are the best experiences I had in Sri Lanka.

The best experiences in Sri Lanka

Temple hopping in Anuradhapura

The temples across Sri Lanka were unique and I fell in love with the many stupas I was able to witness during my time here. Anuradhapura is renowned as being the ancient capital of Sri Lanka with a plethora of various temples across the city. My partner and I hired a tuk-tuk driver for the day and he was able to drive us around the most iconic temples as well as the less renowned ones. My favourite temples included Ruwanweli Maha Seya (its opaque white colour stood out for miles), Mahintale (for the gorgeous countryside views) and Lovamahapaya, a unique building. The best thing about temple hopping in Sri Lanka was how welcoming the locals were. We didn't notice many tourists during our time in these temples and despite religious differences, we were welcomed to pray and be blessed.

The best experiences in Sri Lanka

Hiking up Pidurangala Rock

I would put this up there with one of my favourite experiences of all time. Dambulla is renowned for two hikes, Sigiriya Rock and Pidurangala Rock, two huge rocks located next to each other. Sigiriya Rock is a UNESCO world heritage site and is surrounded by the most gorgeous countryside landscape. However, we chose to climb the other rock for a few reasons: it was cheaper, we would have a view of Sigiriya and to avoid the mass of crowds. Pidurangala Rock cost around £2 entry fee and took us around 40 minutes to climb up to the top. It had a combination of steps and rocks to climb up to reach the top. 

The best experiences in Sri Lanka

The challenges and the hiking element added to the overall experience. When we reached the top, not only was I proud of my achievement, I couldn't believe the view. It felt as if I was on top of the world! We stayed on top of the rock to watch the sunset, which still wows me to the day, especially as we had a clear view of Sigiriya Rock.

Elephant safari at Hurulu Eco Park

Elephants are my favourite animal and when I visited Thailand, I had the pleasure to be up close and personal with them. In Sri Lanka, one of the top things I wanted to do was see the elephants and the best way is to watch them roam naturally in their habitat. There are a few national parks across the country and depending on the time of year determines where they roam. During our time, the elephants were in Hurulu Eco Park. Our homestay host got in touch with a safari driver he knew and he was our guide for the day, driving us around the park and watching elephants from afar. The best part was how our driver arrived at the park before any other tourists came, meaning we had a private experience for a good chunk of our time roaming around. And, our driver was incredibly careful and cautious about the elephants as he didn't want to disturb or alert them. 

The best experiences in Sri Lanka

I can't express how much I adored this experience! Seeing the elephants roam made my heart melt, especially when the babies walked alongside their mothers. The whole day was perfect and I would love to relive the moment of sitting in the jeep and capturing the first sight of an elephant.

Tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya

Sri Lanka is renowned as a tea plantation heaven with plenty of available tea factories and plantation tours. I'm not the biggest tea fan, however, that didn't take away from how incredible it was to see tea plantations in real life. In Nuwara Eliya or also known as 'Little England', the endless green fields of tea were a gorgeous sight. I loved seeing them, roaming around the tea fields and visiting a tea factory. It was super interesting hearing and learning about the process of crafting tea and trialling some of them.

Train ride from Nuwara Eliya to Ella

I've been dreaming about this train journey for the longest time and as soon as I arrived in Sri Lanka, I was even more excited to do it. Every influencer or Instagram content creator will say, it's the train journey from Kandy to Ella, however, that's 8 hours long. It's better to go and spend some time in Nuwara Eliya and take the train to Ella from there as you get the full experience. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't on our side for the train views, however, sticking my head out of the train was a unique, and powerful experience. I felt free and on top of the world!

The best experiences in Sri Lanka

Sunrise at Little Adam's Peak

I'm a huge fan of sunrise and sunset as you can't beat the gorgeous colours of the sky and the start and end of each day; it's a sign of hope. Little Adam's Peak is a tourist favourite for experiencing Ella's countryside and the mountains. It doesn't take long to walk up to the top at all, about 20 minutes in total. Although, the view is pretty special, especially if you head up from sunrise or just after the sun had risen like we did. We were also able to see Adam's Peak, which you can climb but only if you have proper hiking gear and experience.

The best experiences in Sri Lanka

Visiting Diyaluma Falls

Waterfalls are one of nature's highlights and in Sri Lanka, we were spoilt for choice, especially with Diyaluma Falls. Getting to the falls took a journey and some great navigational skills but once we made it, my mind was blown. The waterfall seemed to go on and on for miles with warm water to swim in and wonderful views. It also wasn't anywhere near busy, meaning it felt like we had the entire waterfall to ourselves. The weather that day was beautifully sunny, which made the experience ten times better. Other great waterfalls include Ramboda Falls and Ravana Falls.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What's your favourite holiday moment?

Thank you for reading <3

Book review: The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Well hello to you my reader chums! I’m a huge fan of Lucy Foley’s books because her writing style is addictive and every murder mystery has me hooked in straight away. Foley has a unique way of writing and I love the intelligence of her plot lines and their character development.

If you’re shopping for a new murder mystery, here is my book review of The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley.

Book review: The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley


The plot follows Jess as she escapes her hard, personal life to stay with her brother Ben in a Parisian posh apartment. When Jess arrives, she discovers Ben is nowhere to be found and starts a hunt to search for him, uncovering many secrets involving the apartment and its fellow residents.

Characters and relationships

One of my favourite things about this book is the characters because they all have that unique draw about them.

Jess - I thought Jess was a lot younger initially until her age was revealed because of how she held herself and described her troubling childhood. However, I loved the rawness of her character because she was truly herself, living life like she knew how to, fending for herself. She’s independent, strong and feisty, and I liked her determination.

Ben - As the murder suspect, Ben was a complete mystery in all honesty but that made him more intriguing as a character because everyone had something different to say about him.

Mimi - Mimi seemed like a dark and troubled person who needed to learn to love herself with an obsessive personality. She lived in one of the rooms in the apartment building with her friend Camille who was the complete opposite, a confident and sensual individual.

Sophie - As the leading lady of the apartment complex, living in the penthouse, Sophie was made out to be a harsh and snobby character but the more I learnt about her past, the more I realised how most of it was an act. The real her was begging to come through and be loved.

Jacques - I disliked Jacques in many ways because he’s a typical rich man who cares more about the appearance of things and his money than how his family are actually feeling and loving them.

The concierge - Probably one of the most mysterious characters in the book, I loved the insight of her and how different her life had been compared to those in the building. Her part within the story didn’t make sense for a while but as the plot unveils, it explains just why she is there.

Nick - I felt sorry for Nick, similar to Mimi because even though it looked like he had it all, he didn’t and seemed a bit lost. He was the reason Ben moved into the apartment as his old university friend, however, his move affected his life in a negative way.

Antoine - Antoine wasn’t a very friendly or kind character, he is out for himself and that becomes more apparent as the plot thickens.

Overall thoughts

Overall, I adored this book and didn’t want it to end. The fast pace and how the characters and their lives aligned are genius. I thought the book would go one way, but then something happened and my thoughts would change. This constant page-turner made it even more intriguing as dark secrets are unveiled, characters' true colours are shown and the connection of who these people are is revealed. I would recommend this book to everyone to soak up the Parisian world and how the other half live. It’s dark, and hard-hitting at times and shares an insight into what having money can do.


The ending was brilliant in my opinion. After the big secret that ended the plot came out, I didn’t know what was next, however, the author ended it on a note to give the characters what they needed.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Have you read any of Lucy Foley’s books?

Thank you for reading <3

Top apps to download for backpacking Southeast Asia

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Reminiscing about Asia is in my mind constantly, I miss everything about the backpacking trip. I would love to be back travelling around in tuk-tuks, eating street food and seeing new places.

When I was travelling, there were many apps which made it easier to navigate my partner and me around, providing us with definitive answers to new places and experiences. If you're backpacking around Southeast Asia, these are the top apps to download.

Top apps to download for backpacking Southeast Asia


I've been using Booking.com for years as it's my favourite website to book accommodation and find really good deals. As I use it so frequently, I often get discounts and therefore, save a lot of money overall which helped massively with booking accommodation for this trip. Booking.com is great in general as it's easy to filter through and see exactly where accommodation is in conjunction with where you're going. 

Post Office Travel

Backpacking undoubtedly means lots of different currencies across the course of your trip and getting used to new exchange rates. I found Post Office Travel to be useful for all of my travels and it came in handy also for this backpacking trip. Although it didn't have all currencies on, it did have some and allowed me to load on money and take out when I pleased. This also helped as it meant I had another card with me.


This is a genius app we found before the trip and I'm thankful we both downloaded it because the app was incredibly useful. Maps.Me allows you to download maps from any destination all over the world and it provides information on restaurants, cafes, tourist sites and more. The maps also have random commentary on plenty of places where people have added something to the map. It's a collaborative thing, meaning any user can add a location to the map. That's what makes the maps incredibly accurate and useful.


When it comes to planning routes or transport, Rome2Rio is useful as it shares the possible ways to get from location to location. For example, you can fly, take a train or bus and it'll list out the cheapest and fastest routes.


To book transport, this app is the go-to. 12Go provides options for bus, train, boat, taxis and flights, to help you make the best decision for you. I booked plenty of transport via this app as it was incredibly cheap, easy to use and effective.


When I couldn't find transport on 12Go, another app which was incredibly useful was Easybook. I particularly found this helpful for booking buses in Malaysia as there were plenty of options. Although, with Easybook, it's not always clear on the location point of where you need to catch a bus.


I always say when backpacking Southeast Asia, it's better to book excursions and tours whilst you're there because it's usually cheaper and more convenient. However, for the tours or sometimes transport I didn't book in person, I found Klook to work wonders in finding amazing and inexpensive tours. Every tour we did here was brilliant with clear communication and honest reviews, making it easy to pick the right things for us.


Taxis are an inevitable part of getting around when backpacking, especially when you're transporting your backpack. To keep things cheap, Grab is handy to have as often taxis are reasonable and the experience is great. If I wasn't using a tuk-tuk, I'd always go on Grab! Although be aware, Grab isn't available in every region across Southeast Asia.


It's no myth that data is expensive abroad, and instead of buying a sim card at every destination, download Flexiroam. This app allows you to buy sim cards for data purposes worldwide and has an easy-to-use guide on how to install them. They have data plans ranging in the amount of data and length of time, from a couple of days to a month long. 

Google Translate

Unless you're a language queen, being able to speak multiple languages across Southeast Asia is tricky and why Google Translate can do wonders. If you download the languages you like, you can also use it without the Internet. The app can be helpful when you need to translate the menu or talk to a local who doesn't speak English.


Entertainment is key when you're travelling around on buses, boats, trains and planes. As you can't bring lots of books with you, downloading the book app and podcast app allows you to read lots of books and listen to many podcasts.

I hope you found this post helpful. What other apps would you recommend?

Thank you for reading <3

How to deal with post-travel depression

 Well hello to you my reader chums! 'Post-travel depression' is something I dealt with before the first time I went backpacking and this time, I was really worried about coming home and adjusting to life again. It's a complete change from doing exciting things every day to reality and everyday life. I'm grateful for my life at home and I love it, but the adjustment period was hard.

If you're backpacking and heading home soon or just got home from a long trip, here are my best tips on how to deal with post-travel depression.

How to deal with post-travel depression

Take it easy on yourself

The transition from travelling for a long period of time to regular everyday life is a tricky one. When I came home, as happy as I was to be reunited with everyone I loved and my home, I had this sad sense of missing the freedom travelling brings. I missed the food, the new sights every day and the freedom of roaming around with no set plan. I missed how I had no responsibilities and could travel with ease. These thoughts really hit me and I was incredibly hard on myself about needing to snap back to normal life and doing a million things at once. You don't need to do this - take things slow and be kind to yourself. Gradually get things back to how your life was and how you want it to be now as you've settled back home.

Build a routine

Routines are a blessing and can do wonders when you're adjusting back home. I found this to really help me get back to normal and fulfil a purpose each day. When I'm feeling down, it can be hard to want to do anything and implementing a routine, gave me a focus, plan and purpose. I got back into reading every morning, doing pilates and listing tasks I needed to do each day.

Connect with loved ones around you

The best thing for me about returning home was reuniting with my family and friends. Seeing the smiling faces of them all and speaking in person was wonderful, and one of the reasons, it made dealing with post-travel depression easier. If I was having a hard day, I could talk to one of them and they'd offer me love and reassurance. I'd recommend putting dates in the diary before you return home to when you're seeing people because it'll give you something exciting to look forward to on return.

Seek out your hobbies again

Hobbies are one of the things which make home life so wonderful as it's a chance to embrace passions and what you love to do. I tried to get back into this straight away as it allowed me to explore my other hobbies that weren't travelling. I got back into reading, baking, cooking and no doubt, writing. 

Avoid putting pressure on yourself

It's easy to become your biggest self-critic, especially during a period of change. I found I put way too much pressure on myself to build up my freelance work, socialise with everyone and be the best person in normal life, and I didn't allow myself time to ease into things and enjoy the little parts of being back. Take things slow, listen to your mind and body - and focus on yourself.

Find a new focus

For anyone travelling for a long period, that has been your focus for a long time. It would have been your focus before you went to plan and save for and whilst you're in the midst of it, all you're thinking about is travelling. With that in mind, when you're home consider a new focus to put all your energy in. This could be finding a new career, delving into a new hobby or a fitness goal. It doesn't have to be anything too massive but something that you enjoy. For me, it's building my freelancing business and striving to make it a sustainable success.

Cry if you need to - feel all of those emotions

Post-travel depression undoubtedly means you'll experience lots of emotions, including feeling sad and depressed. Don't be afraid of it, if you're feeling sad or down, have a cry. Release all those emotions and allow yourself to process them. If you bottle them up, it'll be worse for you in the long run. I've cried a lot in the first few weeks of being back for many reasons and that's okay.

Plan your next adventure 

If you're like me and came back quite broke, this will be the last thing you want to think about as you can't afford to do it. However, having a goal of where you want to go next, whether it's in a month's or year's time will give you incentive to work towards your goal. I have many ideas of big adventures I want to do, from mini trips to longer trips and I'm working hard to save up enough to make those dreams a reality.

I hope you enjoyed this post! What other tips would you add?

Thank you for reading <3

Everything to know before backpacking Asia

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Backpacking Asia for the second time was a dream come and honestly, as I've mentioned in previous blog posts, one of the best life experiences to date. I miss the dreamy sunsets on the islands, the chaos of city life and seeing gorgeous historic temples, as well as friendly locals smiling in the streets.

If you're planning a backpacking trip to Asia across multiple countries, here is everything to know before backpacking Asia.

Everything to know before backpacking Asia

Paying with cash is the norm

In the UK, using cash seems awfully unnatural but across most countries in south and southeast Asia, it's the norm. Don't expect to walk into restaurants and cafes, especially ones run by locals and be able to pay with a card. Most of the time it's cash or there will be a charge on your card. It's best to bring a suitable amount of cash with you or draw it out at the ATM. Due to ATM charges, I'd recommend getting the highest amount possible to save you keep paying additional charges.

Eating street food is a right of passage

Street food is just a dream! Whether it's pad Thai in Thailand, fried noodles in Malaysia or banh mi in Vietnam, locals know how to cook good food for a very cheap price. Often street food can range from 50p to £3 at most, depending on the country you're visiting of course. It's incredibly cheap but also beautifully full of flavour. I have to admit, I've eaten better food in Asia at street stalls than from restaurants.

English is commonly used in the most popular areas

I say this with any country you visit, it's always best to learn a few greeting phrases to help you travel around and honestly, it's polite for locals who live there. However, English is widely spoken across Asia and in some countries that mean fluent and in other countries, it can mean on a more basic level. It depends on where you are and who you speak to really. For example, a person working at the hotel is more likely to speak better English than someone living in a rural community as they'll need it for their job. Be mindful of people's language barriers and if in doubt about communication, you can always type it in Google Translate.

You'll need to follow the rules of the land

Every country has different customs, laws and rules you will need to follow. Before you go, do your research on the specific destination in Asia and what the laws of the land are. For example, in countries which are heavily Muslim, be respectful and dress appropriately. 

Most toilets are holes in the ground

I don't think I'll ever get over holes in the grounds as toilets but I definitely had to get used to them. It was almost refreshing when you'd find an actual toilet to sit on! As most toilets are holes in the ground, you'll need to get used to going to the loo that way and flushing it with a bucket of water, rather than a typical flusher.

Always carry tissues and hand gel

Because of my previous point, I cannot stress this enough. Most toilets do not have toilet rolls and sometimes even soap which is why you need to bring your own. It's the more built-up places that do provide these things, however, in more local and off-the-beaten-path areas, you won't find this. Always pack tissues (and throw them in a bin, not the loo) and hand gel to keep yourself feeling comfortable.

Dress appropriately for religious sites

Backpacking will undoubtedly involve visiting many religious sites from Buddhist temples to mosques and due to this, you need to dress appropriately. Some religious sites provide sarongs or scarves to cover up with, however, most don't or you need to hire them when you're there. I'd recommend investing in a sarong before you leave as I can assure you, it'll come in handy a lot when visiting these sites, especially if that day you're wearing shorts due to hot weather.

Haggle costs for tuk-tuks and market stalls

People will love to try and con you out of your money, getting you to pay more because they can as you're a tourist. To avoid this, try and haggle the costs down to what you want to pay. Most of the time, what they're trying to charge you isn't the actual price, and you can try and lower it as much as you can. For tuk-tuk rides especially, agree to the price before you get in, otherwise, they'll charge you more.

Book excursions/tours when you're there

Life in the south and southeast Asia is chill; there are always excursions available and most things are very unlikely to book up in advance. I'd therefore recommend booking tours and excursions as you're travelling around as they'll often be cheaper and plans may change. Plus, many online websites do charge a lot more to make money. I will say, one website which we found to do very similar prices to local travel agents is Klook. And quite often, they'd have discounts if you had an account with them.

Always ask for no spice if you don't want spicy food

Asian food across a lot of cultures can tend to be quite spicy and if you're not a fan of spicy food, simply ask for less or no spice. Most often, they can amend the dish but if it's not possible, they may recommend something else. I even had a lovely restaurant owner remake my whole dinner as it was too spicy and didn't charge me for two meals - it was the kindest thing.

If a menu doesn't have vegetarian options - ask

Some Asian cuisines are heavy on meat dishes such as Vietnamese or Malaysian. However, there are usually ways they can make it veggie such as swapping out meat for tofu or just using vegetables. If there isn't an option on the menu, ask if they'll do it vegetarian and most of the time they say yes.

Alternative milk isn't everywhere

The last time I went travelling it was not something I noticed as I still drank dairy milk, but this time I did as an oat milk drinker. Most local places don't have milk alternatives, it's only in the more touristy cafes and restaurants you'll find this. Due to that, you'll have to drink your coffee/tea black. 

Island time is a thing (as in things are always delayed)

Sometimes island time can be convenient, and other times, it's annoying. They don't work on the same quick and to-the-book schedule as we do in the UK across many parts of south and southeast Asia. Buses, trains, tours and excursions for example are commonly delayed or not on a particular schedule. The term 'Island time' is thrown around a lot on the Thai islands and any beach location in Indonesia for example. But this way of life is also common on the mainland. We had a car excursion booked from one location to the other which was meant to take 8-9 hours and took 18. My advice to you is, don't book things to the minute.

Things won't run as smoothly as your itinerary

This leads me to this point - avoid booking things so tightly as you don't know when things will and won't go to plan due to delays and the chill pace many locals do things. Allow time for this, even if that means booking an extra day or a later flight for example. We were lucky only minor things went wrong and not many things affected our itinerary.

Bring suncream with you 

If there is one thing you need to overpack, it's sun cream! Sun cream across Asia is not only expensive (talking UK brands here), it can do the opposite of what you need. Many localised sun creams contain bleaching agents in them to whiten your skin. This is why I would say if you are going to buy suncream out there, you will probably only find it in heavily touristy areas and expect to pay a lot more for it, for smaller bottles.

Clothing is only available in smaller sizes on market stalls

I'm going to admit here that backpacking isn't catered for curvier or plus-size people, especially when it comes to buying clothes. The 'backpacker elephant' trousers you see everywhere are typically in one size and that size is on the smaller end of the scale. I'm a size 10 and they fit me and I didn't see many that were often bigger than that. Even with larger tops, they're not necessarily the size large we would expect in the UK.

Download FlexiRoam for data use 

To save yourself buying a sim card at every new location, download the app FlexiRoam. I originally found this on Tik Tok, but it basically allows you to buy an e-sim for all the locations you're going to, providing access to data wherever you are. It isn't that pricy either and there are options for 1 day to month-long sim cards. It's also easy to install as you just follow the steps on the app.

Be wary of monkeys

We may have pigeons and seagulls but in many warmer Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand, they have monkeys. Be wary of this across many areas and look after your belongings. Monkeys will take anything, especially food and also, don't look monkeys in the eyes as they get intimidated. We had no mishaps with monkeys but I did see a tourist or two behave silly around them. They're wild animals at the end of the day.

Do your research on scams for each country

Scams are everywhere and it can be easy to fall for them as you naturally sympathise with people poorer than you. But, don't get caught out, use your initiative and be stern. You don't have to give people money even if they persist. Just walk away with your head held high.

Pack light - you can buy most things

Backpacks are heavy, especially when you're carrying them to walk somewhere. With that in mind, pack light. You really don't need as many things as you think you do. Pack what you need and half it. On this trip, I actually used everything I brought, whereas the trip before I packed way too much and my backpack was too heavy. The best thing is to pack versatile pieces that layer as it'll always feel like you've got a new outfit.

Have money for emergencies

You never know when you'll be caught out or if there will be unexpected costs. And that's why it's important to have a safety net of backup money. As for us, we had to pay for hospital care for the motorbike accident, the Philippines was doubly more expensive than we expected and we wanted extra souvenirs along the way.

Local food is always best

Food is dreamy as you backpack around Asia and I can assure you, you'll miss the flavours when arriving back home. The best food is always from the locals as they cook with passion and tradition.

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

Thank you for reading <3