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Staying at Yotel: Gatwick's First Capsule Hotel

Travel blogger reading travel guide on hotel bed

My quest for cheap travel is often at odds with my North London address. I don't live anywhere near an airport and a bargain flight normally means a pre-9am departure and/or a post-10pm return, often resulting in me being utterly shattered on any city break I go on. For my recent 6am flight to Sofia, this horror was averted by a stay the night before at Yotel, Gatwick*.

Serenity in Shanghai: Staying at the Shangri-La

The view from Shangri-La Shanghai's 34th floor

When I'm travelling, I feel this constant need to be busy. I feel guilty if I'm not utilising every minute to explore, discover and immerse myself into my new surroundings. Which is why, by day 16, I was shattered. I was half in a daze when a car with blacked out windows, driven by a man wearing white gloves pulled up to take me to the Shangri-La Hotel in Shanghai's Jing'an area.

A Luxurious Stay at Pan Pacific Hotel, Singapore

pan pacific hotel singapore

I have a standard outfit for travelling on this trip. It involves wearing the heavy, cumbersome items that are also generally the most comfortable so that I don't have to try and squeeze them into my rucksack which is already heavy enough please and thank you. I arrived at the Pan Pacific in this uniform: ripped mom jeans, trainers, a hoody tied around my waist and no make-up and instantly stood out as 'the backpacker'.

A Room With a View: Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

traders hotel kuala lumpur

I had a few criteria for the first hotel I would be staying in on my trip. I didn't mind forking out for it as I was preparing myself for feeling awful after a 12 hour flight. Being thousands of miles away from home by myself, I didn't know if I'd be emotional or scared, so I wanted to make sure I was staying somewhere that would be safe and comfortable.

The Greyhound on the Test Hotel, Hampshire

greyhound on the test hotel hampshire review

I'm constantly saying that I should do weekends away in the UK more often. It's no secret that London has been driving me a bit nuts recently, so before heading off on my Big Trip, I spent a weekend in Hampshire, checking in at The Greyhound on the Test.

A Weekend in Liverpool: Part 1

museum of liverpool

I'm no stranger to the north-west of the UK, but I'll admit that that's basically been limited to the Greater Manchester area. I went to Liverpool once, four years ago, but it was summer and it was hot and I was basically just there to go drinking with my friend (I don't regret a thing). It is, of course, a world famous city, primarily down to four specific men but I genuinely had no idea what else the city had to offer.

A Night at Clevedon Hall, Somerset

clevedon hall wedding venue

It's very rare that I'll do a weekend trip away in the UK. I'm all for a full blown staycation; a week in Cornwall or the Lake District, but one night away has always seemed like too much of an effort. My recent trip to Clevedon Hall* completely changed my opinion - I can't begin to tell you how lovely it was to escape the city for 24 hours.

Cocktails at the Shangri La, Sydney

Sydney has one of the most recognised skylines in the world; the curves of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge are the most well known tourist attractions in the city, if not the country. I was lucky enough to see these iconic structures every day as I traveled into work at the Sydney office, but the best way to see them is from above.

On the 36th floor of the Shangri La Hotel is Blu Bar, with the best views in the city and some not too shabby cocktails to boot. It's free to get up there but annoyingly you can't book a table up there, so you may have to wait for the tables with the picturesque view. In the meantime, you can wait at the bar and look over the west of Sydney instead, which isn't exactly bad. On the whole, I wasn't a huge fan of Sydney. I felt it was pretty soulless and suburban, lacking the culture and vibe I was expecting from such a metropolitan city. However, these views helped me warm to the place. As I looked over now familiar streets, I realised the city was starting to grow on me, I just had to give it a bit more time.

We managed to get a window seat overlooking the main sights just as the sun started to set, meaning we got to see Sydney transform from a beautiful Summer day into a dusky streetlight utopia and made it one of my favourite evenings in the city.

I'm wearing:
Jacket - Cotton On
Tee - Topshop
Necklace - Vintage

As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review