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How to Survive an Early Flight When You HATE Mornings

Queen of Naps jumper

When you're on a constant quest to travel as much as possible, budget airlines are the answer to curing your wanderlust without bankrupting yourself. However, an affordable flight often means departing at an unholy hour of the morning. It's the ultimate internal conflict for this holiday-hungry night owl, but just like when I'm flying long-haul, I now have a routine that gets me through the pain of a 4am alarm.

A Solo Traveller's Guide to Taking Selfies

Montane Mansions, Hong Kong

It's all well and good to have photos of the places you've visited, but sometimes it's nice to appear in them yourself. I like having photographic proof of my presence somewhere, especially when I've travelled half way across the world to see something spectacular. It's not just for Instagram (although I won't lie, I obviously want it for that too), but I want to send it to my mum and say, 'Look where I am!', or to have it put in a frame for memories. Travelling solo means you might not always get a great photo of yourself, but here's how I manage it:

Why I Love Using Guide Books to Plan My Trips

Collection of travel guide books

Back in February 2014, I was excitedly preparing for my first trip to Australia. I was working there for a few weeks, followed by a trip to Hong Kong on my way home, and in anticipation, I bought a couple of guide books. Flipping through them at my desk, a colleague leant over, took a look at them and said, 'Guide books? That's very....analogue of you.'

Six Tips For Eating Well When Backpacking

Travel blogger with rucksack

Travelling for a long period of time is exhausting. Lugging a rucksack from place to place, on every mode of transport you can imagine and then eventually hitching up at a hostel where there's zero food to chow down on. It's so easy to end up snacking on convenience food and getting takeaways, but really, if you're on a multi-month, multi-country trip, that is NOT the way to be saving money. Eating well on the road is easy, cheap and healthy with just a bit of preparation. Here's how I managed it on my trip from Malaysia to New Zealand:

Five Things to Know For Your First Eurostar Trip

Travel blogger on Eurostar

When I go to an airport, I arrive with hours to spare, laptop out and ready for the security checks, nothing over 100ml in my cosmetics bag. When I get a train, I rock up with maybe 15 minutes to spare so I can grab my ticket and a coffee and leg it to the platform, forever surprised that I'm running late again. So I had no idea how to prepare for my first trip on the Eurostar*.

My journey to Belgium from St Pancras was one of the most comfortable, simple and enjoyable travel experiences I've ever had. If you're prepping for your first Eurostar, here's everything you need to know:

Pre-Flight Relaxation at No.1 Airport Lounge, Gatwick

Travel blogger in airport lounge

Being a frequent flier, I don't find airports as stressful as I used to. Flying alone means I have my routine nailed: I know what clothes set off alarms, I know what I have to take out of my carry-on luggage before I go through security, I know that getting a full English breakfast at a Wetherspoons will be a rip off so I'm likely to get a coffee and croissant from Pret instead. And I take that coffee and I plonk myself on a chair as far away from the general public as I can, put my earphones in and wait for my gate to open.

My Long Haul Flight Routine

Aerial view over South Africa

In just over two years I have done a lot of long haul flights. From going to the other side of world to explore New Zealand and Australia, to visiting China (twice), and visited Africa for the first time during my trip to Cape Town over Christmas. 95% of these flights have been done solo, so I've only had myself to rely on to make sure I have as seamless a flight as possible. As a result, I have my long haul flight routine down to a fine art.

What to Pack For Going on Safari

Rain coat / Sunscreen / Leggings / Cotton shirt
Sunglasses / Power bank / Water bottle
Mosquito repellent / Scarf / Binoculars / Trainers

Five Things to Know Before Flying With A Budget Airline

Looking through guide books

If it wasn't for the array of cut-price airlines we all have access to these days, there is no way I would've seen as much of the world as I have so far. I've flown to Europe for as little as £20, with most of my flights coming in cheaper than a return train ticket from London to York, but there are compromises to be made.

This is not luxury travel. The airlines themselves identify as 'no frills' which essentially means you get the pleasure of being safely transported from A to B, but not necessarily in a great deal of comfort. I've only ever flown short haul with these sorts of airlines, although many of them are starting to offer trips further afield. So before you book, here's what you need to know:

What to Pack For a Hand Luggage Only City Break

What to pack for a hand luggage only city break
Eye mask - Liberty / Sunglasses - Topshop / Neck pillow - Muji
Backpack - Radley / Setting spray - Urban Decay / Transparent pouch - Wolf & Badger / Jewellery storage - Oliver Bonas
Korres gift set - Feel Unique / Travel wallet - Aspinal of London
Travel bags - Kate Spade @ Amara* / Fan - Accessorize / Luggage tag - John Lewis

How I Manage to Take So Many City Breaks

Bucharest river view

When I was in Bucharest recently I received a WhatsApp message from a friend of mine who lives in America saying, 'Of COURSE you're in Romania.' This is a woman who I met in New Zealand and loves to travel as much as I do, but being from a bloody huge country that's pretty damn far from everywhere else, a short jump overseas isn't always feasible.

Getting Used to Not Travelling Alone

Fashion blogger wearing black dress, black cardigan, black boots
I'm wearing: Cardigan - vintage / Dress - Debenhams / Leggings - Uniqlo / Boots - Ugg at All Sole* (similar here)

When somebody travels alone it conjures certain thoughts and assumptions from other people: independent, brave, organised. It's always seen as a positive thing, and don't get me wrong, it absolutely is a great experience, every.single.time. But after going on my first group holiday since I was about 21 recently (and with more in the pipeline), I've realised that I definitely travel in a certain (i.e. selfish) way, totally based on my lone adventures.

How to Make Friends When Travelling Alone

Group of travellers at Hobbiton, New Zealand

When I set off travelling for three months, my biggest fear was that I would spend the next 90+ days only having face-to-face communication with hostel receptionists and Starbucks employees. There is no rule book on how to make friends as an adult, and I had assumptions that everyone I'd meet would be of your bog-standard rucksack-with-flags-sewn-on, harem-pants-wearing, 'I'm spending six months in Thailand' variety that I basically have nothing at all in common with.

Collecting Air Miles: Mythbusting and Top Tips

Airplane view over snowy New Zealand

A few days ago I tweeted that I have enough air miles to get me a one way ticket to Japan (which is my big long haul trip for 2017). A few people replied asking me how I collect them and actually I have a few little sneaky tips and tricks that make sure building my air miles is actually part of my everyday life.

You Don't Always Have to Go Off the Beaten Track

Travel blogger at The Bund, Shanghai

It's very strange but there seems to be a lot of stigma around visiting a country's most well-known sights when abroad. For some reason it's perceived that flocking to where everyone else goes and being a 'tourist' isn't how you should spend your money, but I totally disagree. I'm as guilty as the next travel obsessive for seeking out local haunts and secret gems as they do often show a side of a country that isn't as frequently seen, but there are so many reasons why I love to go to the 'main show'.

Top 10 Tips for Staying in Hostels

Passport, padlock, travel guide

Hostels get a bad rap and sometimes it's completely justified. They are cheap and often for a reason but I have experienced places at both ends of the scale. From gorgeous, clean and polite to grotty, smelly and damn right rude, reviews online often mean nothing so you just have to hope for the best.

Six Tips for Finding the Best Cheap Eats Abroad

Food blogger with a pavlova at Salamanca Market, Tasmania

I travel to eat. I mean, I travel to experience new cultures and environments, but I don't think there is any better way to do that then to try local food. I would love to eat at Michelin star restaurants when I'm abroad, but more often than not that's out of my budget, and to be honest, there is so often amazing food to be found for a lot less money.

My Must-Have Cosmetics for Travelling

Variety of cosmetics and medication for travelling

I thought whittling down what clothes to pack for a three month trip was hard enough, but then I turned my attention to cosmetics. I wanted to be prepared for all eventualities because there is nothing worse than being sick abroad. I had a whole other bag for make-up, but these bits addressed cosmetics and medications that I felt were totally essential and well worth lugging about in my backpack

Eight Travel Apps I Would (Literally) Be Lost Without

best iphone travel apps

I don't know how people did this whole travelling thing without the internet. How did they find anywhere good to eat? How did they not get hopelessly lost? I can't read a map to save my life and I have a genuine fear that I'll end up in a foreign equivalent of an Angus Steakhouse.
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review