Another year has skipped quickly by and travel-wise it’s been another good one. 2013 was epic and I couldn’t begin to hope that 2014 would be nearly as amazing but it has and I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve visited two of my wish-list destinations. I won’t say ‘bucket-list’ because I don’t believe in ‘places you should visit before you die’– you’re hardly going to go after you’ve kicked the bucket are you?
It’s so easy to put on extra pounds when you’re away from home whether you’re on holiday, a business trip or on the road long-term. I’m having a bit of a fit kick lately which brought to mind lots of things I do to keep the pounds from piling on when I’m away from home. Here are some tips and hints to help keep you fit and healthy while travelling and why travelling is good for your health.
Great food, art, culture, good beaches and a happening vibe. Read my Malaga tips for 48 hours in the city…
Post updated 5 Feb 2019
City Guide – Malaga Tips
Malaga, is a city on the Andalucian coast in Spain. It’s probably best known for being the gateway to the Costa del Sol and for the beaches, resorts and tourists that go with that. But the city has a traditionally Spanish side to it with depth, character and a history which is well-worth exploring. Next time you’re passing through Malaga airport think about taking a cultural swerve and explore the city before moving on to your resort. Read on for what to see and do in Malaga.
Looking for the perfect gift for the travel lover in your life? Look no further because I’ve made a list, and I’ve checked it twice…
Most travel addicts would love to find a weekend away or a city-break tucked under the Christmas tree but that’s a bit on an ask isn’t it. To help you buy the travel lover in your life the ideal present I’ve come up with some quirky gifts, useful gifts and some outrageously decadent gifts. These gifts are perfect for all sorts of travel from luxury weekend breaks to glamping or business trips. And who knows, there might be something in the mix you’ll want to add to your own wish list. Happy giving.
WORLD MAP CAMERA STRAP
Most wanderlusters won’t go anywhere without their camera in tow – me included. I love this quirky strap which is so much nicer than the branded black straps that come with a DSLR. The straps come in lots of lovely designs with a focus on durability, strength and comfort. They are adjustable for positioning either around your neck or across your body. Perfect for the shutterbug in your life. Available from Etsy.com from £21 plus P&P
CARNABY LONDON SKYE WILLOW WEEKEND BAG
I love this stylish, soft leather weekend bag (hint!) which features a neat multi-device charger and a built-in GPS device so you can track the bag if you lose it. The charger is compatible with various smart-phones, mp3 players, digital cameras and tablets. It’s got inner zipped pockets, two pouches and is roomy enough to pack all your essentials. The ideal piece of hand-luggage from carnabylondon.co.uk £140 plus P&P.
THE TRTL SLEEP SCARF
The TRTL (pronounced turtle) stands for ‘travel rested travel light’ and it’s the next generation of travel pillows. Part scarf, part snood, with internal head support the Trtl makes it possible to get some quality sleep on your flight, in the car or wherever you need to sleep sitting upright. I tried mine out recently on a 7 hour flight back from New York and I got some quality sleep – in fact I was out for the count. I usually just doze on a flight semi-aware of what’s going on around me but with the Trtl I was sound asleep for nearly four hours. I won’t be flying anywhere without my Trtl in future. The soft, fleecy scarf wraps around your neck with the internal support allowing you to rest your head in a comfortable position which stops head nodding and neck-ache. It keeps your neck toasty too. The Trtl is very light and you can Velcro it to your bag strap so it doesn’t take up any luggage space and it comes in black, grey, red and pink. Neat at only £24.95 plus P&P from www.trtl.co.uk
A FLYTOGRAPHER PHOTO SHOOT
Do you believe memories are the best souvenirs? Flytographer do and they’ll make sure your special trip, honeymoon or big birthday is captured for ever. If, like me, you’re usually found behind the camera lens then this is a fantastic gift as I rarely get to feature in any of my photos. Book with Flytographer and they’ll send one of their photographers out with you as you explore the city and in a fun, informal photo shoot they’ll capture all the best bits and special moments. They’ll also offer tips and suggestions for the best shoot locations. I think this would make a fabulous wedding present for a couple on their honeymoon or for a group of friends celebrating a big birthday or even, well, just because. Flytographer are based in dozens of cities around the world and prices range from $250-$650.
MAP THEMED TRAVEL JOURNAL
I keep a journal when I’m travelling and scribble down anything from random thoughts about a destination, notes and general diary of the trip. I’ll also slip entrance tickets, maps and restaurant cards between the pages as mementos and reminders. This is the perfect journal for me since I have a little bit of a thing about maps – you might have noticed! £20 plus P&P from Not on the High Street
RAILWAY OF LIFE NOTEBOOKS
If vintage charm is more your thing then there’s a lot to be said for these cute little Railway of Life paperback notebooks – much lighter to slip in your bag if you’re travelling around. Made with plain paper they can be used for writing or sketching and come in at just £4 from www.2littleboys.co.uk
THE TIPPLESWORTH SUITCASE
I’m somewhat partial to a cocktail and just love these gorgeous little vintage-style suitcases (yes more vintage!) filled with cocktail loveliness by Tipplesworth. Now, these suitcases aren’t ever going to get through airport security but they’re perfect for the next time you go glamping because they contain everything you need mix up the perfect cocktail. The quirky little case includes spirits, mixers, professional barware, glassware and recipe card. Ingenious – cocktails on the go! Designed by the lovely Frankie Snobel, they come in four designs each with a different cocktail kit inside; Apple and Elderflower Martini, Bramble, Old Fashioned and the Mince Pie Martini – Mmm, don’t mind if I do… £185 from Tipplesworth.com
So that’s a wrap! What’s on your wish-list this year and what will you be buying the travel lover in your life? Let me know in the comments below – I might have to add it to my list!
New York City in the autumn – or should I say the fall – is a fabulous time to see the city. It’s full of contrast; the russet, yellow and orange-hued foliage looks stunning against the stark skyscrapers and reflective glass tower blocks. The skies go from steely grey, giving the city streets a more dramatic feel, to crisp clear blues. I went back recently for the first time in 18 years and discovered some changes, new attractions and re-discovered some old favourites. There’s so much to see that won’t cost you a dime so here’s my favourites, in no particular order, via Instagram – one of my favourite social media platforms.
1. Times Square
We arrived at night to see the city lit up and sparkling. We stayed near to Times Square and I can tell you now that New York is definitely a city that never sleeps. Take a stroll in Times Square for people watching – you could even try out the indoor Ferris Wheel in the M&M shop or stock up on Hershey’s.
2. The High Line
We discovered The High Line and walked in the rain along the disused rail line that’s now an urban oasis which ribbons above the Lower West Side.
3. Ground Zero
We paid our respects at Ground Zero. The last time I was in New York I viewed the city from the roof of the North Tower and still have vivid memories of how it used to look. The memorial is a peaceful and reflective area. The museum at Ground Zero is well worth visiting although book on-line to avoid lengthy queues. It’s $24 for adult admission and I’ve included it here because if you’re at Ground Zero it’s right next to it.
This is One World Trade Centre, currently the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere.
4. Grand Central Station
Grand Central Terminal is the busiest rail station in America and one of New York’s most historical monuments. Definitely worth taking a look if you’re passing by. There’re are shops and restaurants if you decide to stay longer.
5. A Walk in central Park
A walk in Central Park is a must if you’re visiting New York in the autumn – the colours and foliage are beautiful.
The park’s just as interesting in black and white. This is The Avenue which runs up the centre of the park.
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Trees and Shadows in Central Park I have been challenged by the fab @staceystockwell to post 5 black & white photos over 5 days for the #5shotchallenge – part of the challenge is to nominate another person each day so today my nomination goes to @abitofculture – No obligation to participate it's just for fun. Here's my Day 5 B&W photo. Shadows and trees in Central Park. #centralpark #NYC #5shotchallenge #newyork_instagram
6. Just Walk
There’s loads of iconic New York Street scenes to see just by walking around…
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I have been challenged by the fab @staceystockwell to post 5 black & white photos.over 5 days for the #5shotchallenge – part of the challenge is to nominate another person each day so today my nomination goes to someone who loves a bit of B&W creativity, the blogger and excellent photographer Lucy (@lucydodsworth) No obligation to participate Lucy it's just for fun. Here's my Day 1 B&W photo. New York – stairways and windows #5shotchallenge
7. Take the Staten Island Ferry
See the Statue of Liberty for free from the Staten Island Ferry. Board at The Whitehall Terminal (4 South Street, Manhattan). The Ferry’s free so just stay on for the return journey and see Liberty all over again before you get back to where you started!
8. Views of Manhattan Island
There are fabulous views of Manhattan Island too –
So those are my free sights to see in New York City via Instagram. Do you use Instagram? Leave details in the comments and I’ll follow along. You can check out my Instagrams here
Manhattan Bridge night-scene