Last weekend was my birthday (pops a party popper), so as always, I made Sam pack up his bags and whisk me off for a weekend away. So this year it wasn’t quite New York, but our weekend with Hillcrest Park Camping Park came a close second! When we were looking for some alternative accommodation ‘Podding’ (a word I’m taking credit for the creation of) looked right up our street. Podding is essentially glamping, you hire what can be best described as a wooden hut placed in the countryside and spend the night. Pods are inclusive of plug points, heaters, lights and blinds and although you essentially only get the outer shell, I was totally impressed with the internal facilities.
This month, we travel to Asia for a 3 week trip. We land in Bangkok airport on a Saturday afternoon and we leave the same airport 3 weeks later, I have a short list of ‘if we get time I’d like to see’ but we are going with the intention of seeing where the wind takes us.
Free-styling our trip got me thinking, how many people are comfortable to travel with no concrete itinerary? So here I’ve put together my top tips of how to plan for an unplanned trip abroad.
Recently, I provided a piece for Rosie at Why not Blog it Down. As 2014 comes to a close Rosie interviewed me for a Meet the Blogger section on her blog. Here’s my responses to Rosie’s questions!
Meet the Blogger
Blog Name: Rebekah Esme Travels
Blog Description:Rebekahesme.com was born on an August evening in 2011, brought to life to share my passion for Writing, Photography and Travel with bloggers alike. Over time a noticeable adaptation is evident within the style of writing portrayed across the site. Initially intended to mealy document my activities (valued more as an online diary) over time it escalated into a collation of my Memoirs teamed with Reviews and Experiences to be shared with you all.
More recently I have channeled my passion for travel into reviews and tips based on my experience travelling around the world. In 2013, I hired a car and took a Roadtrip around USA. In 2014 I explored much more of America/ Europe and Asia. In 2015 I embark on a 6 month world trip where I intend to document my travels as I go!
Follow my adventures along with 1.1k+ friends on Instagram or join my 500+ friends on Twitter.
1. What was your first song played on your iPod?
I well remember when Apple launched its very first iPod, my friend and I nagged our parent’s months before Christmas for a Mini iPod! A pink one of course. Back then my two best friends had a huge conflict in musical genre, one favoured Indie whilst the other lived for Hip Hop. I have vivid memories listening to What Katie Did – The Libertines one minute switching to Welcome Back – Mase the next!
2. What bloggers do you look upto and why?
I love to travel and embrace all it has to offer, which is why some of my all-time favourite bloggers are travel blogger. Brooke Seward of World of Wanderlust is phenomenal, she inspires me and so many other to follow our dreams and keep our aspirations alive.
I recently discovered an addition to my favourite travel blogs. At the InnTravel Discovery Day Conference I met travel bloggers Andrea & Jack Montgomery who swapped their lives in Manchester to live full time in Tenerife. Jack & Andy write guidebooks and reviews, they really have a niche & inspire me.
Aside from travel, it’s no secret I have a great love for fashion! That’s why Victoria of inthefrow takes prime spot as my ultimate favourite fashion blogger, Victoria recently sold some of her stunning items on Depop and I was honoured to get the beautiful Skinny Dip London phone case I’ve drooled over for months! 3. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Tough question! My best friend went travelling this summer, she’d been asking me to go out and visit her and I’d mildly considered. She skyped me one week telling me she’d a 3 week gap where she could be on her own and pleaded with me to book a flight. I flew out the following week.
If you’ve any further questions I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at rebekah[at]rebekahesme.com or via Twitter/ Instagram
So the Tree is up and so are the embarrassing pictures of this year’s works Christmas do! All the annual pre-Christmas celebrations have been and gone, now it’s time to get back to the parents for some tranquil family time. What’s the dreaded question on everyone’s mind, oh yeah how do we get home!
The timetables have changed and the airport queues are insane so I’ve compiled my tips on how to avoid the hectic bustle of public transport and travel without even breaking a sweat!
1. Book a train, my favourite method of transport! Who doesn’t love a train? Book your train tickets early and reserve your seat to save the stress of price increases closer to the time. Pick your tickets up on the day (because we all know you’re going to go ‘damn, I can’t remember where I put my tickets!’), sit back and enjoy the stress free services provided by Transpennine Express.
2. Ok, assuming you’ve booked your train check your times. Live Departures/ Arrivals are available via the tap here on the TP Express website, alternatively install their free app. Stress-less travel, ensuring you know the exact times as required.
3. If you’re a little further from home and considering hopping on that big bird in the sky then be sure to book as early as possible. Taking hand luggage severely cuts down any waits over the busy period, just be sure to pack no more than the limited 100ml in a see through bag before you get to the airport, follow the guidelines and security is a breeze! I recommend you use Sky Scanner to search out your trip and double check the price isn’t any lower on the airlines website before booking.
4. Driving home for Christmas? Where from? Leeds? London? .. My point, know your route before you set off! Have you checked for road works or diversions scheduled around your travel time. Remember, you can’t plan everything so have an alternative route to hand just in case you come in contact with some heavy traffic.
5. If you can’t get away a few days before then consider travelling on the day. A little risky some might say but queues are guaranteed to be minimal, here’s to hoping you get a row or seats to yourself!
Times like these we all wish we were Harry Potter, flu power & port keys are so appealing right?! Follow my tips for stress free travel over Christmas and enjoy your time with the people you love.
It’s easy to rack up a hefty bill when travelling, flights them-self take up the majority of the cost. Here’s my 5 top tips for avoiding the sting and booking cheap flights:
1. Utilise Sky Scanner! Seriously, if you’re not restricted to dates or location then search by price, my favourite past time is playing with locations and dates to work out the cheapest possible combinations, you’ll be amazed when you find flights to Europe for as little as £16 one way. Cheers Sky Scanner!
2. Is there a perfect time to buy flights? YES, flights are at their cheapest the day/week they come out so if you’re looking at booking a specific location get it booked well in advance. 3. Avoid kid holidays, a cliché in the travel world but one worth pointing out, make sure you’re not travelling during school holidays, prices are renowned for being higher than usual.
4. Incognito is your friend! Ever wondered why flight prices can change, the first couple of time you check them they are the same and then BAM, gone up! .. yeah well some airlines monitor the traffic to their sites, use a private browser to avoid getting stung.
5. Travel weekdays. Personally I find the best prices when booking mid week, simply because not many people shop for flights mid week. Same goes for travel dates, try flying on a Tuesday/ Wednesday and or returning on a Saturday for cheaper flights!
I’d love to hear any tips you’ve picked up, feel free to share them!
The Northern Lights (Arora Borealis) have swiftly become one of the world most desired natural phenomenon! No question why really when you consider the wonder and beauty of the sight. Travellers from all over are frequenting spots hoping to catch a gimps of the Lights!
As something I’ve always longed to see I’m planning a trip and crossing everything that with a lot of planning and a bit of luck, I get to experience the wonder myself!
If you, like me, are considering a trip to the lights then I’ve condensed my research and planning into this post to help you get the best out of the experience. So, where can you go to get the very best chance to see the Northern Lights?
Christmas, my favourite time of year! I love buying presents, wrapping presents and dishing them out to family and friends! The most joy for me comes from wrapping, and this year I’ve been lucky enough to gather some of the best ideas from my friends and colleagues. At work this year I decided to put together a Christmas newsletter asking some of the lovely, talented people in our organisation to donate their ideas and traditions for the perfect Christmas!
My favourite was an idea of a lovely colleague Sarah ‘brown paper packages tied up with string’ (oh I’m a sucker for Julie Andrews!), here’s some ideas for you and me both on how to wrap your presents in a unique and inspiring manor.