16 highlights from 2016: it had been an epic year!

2016, what a year! But I’ve got to admit, before composing this list I truly thought I hadn’t done much this season. In a few ways the entire year has flown by into the blink of an eye but in alternative methods it is felt like the longest year of all.

What exactly I did in January feel like a lifetime ago, or like they took place to some other person. When I think about my trips from the beginning of the season it is like thinking about a film I watched years ago or even a fantasy I’m able to just keep in mind fragments of.

That’s one of the numerous reasons i really like maintaining a weblog. In years into the future, or simple months in my instance, I’m able to scroll back through my archive and look in wonder at all what exactly I did. I’ve a written record of all of the my thoughts and memories and photos to trigger emotions and many other memories used to don’t dare write on pages with this blog.

We developed this variety of 2016’s shows while scrolling back through my Instagram feed. I stumbled upon things I’d entirely forgotten about, like an morning hours coffee Elle and I also enjoyed while you’re watching the sunrise over Edmonton (see pic here), or the look on George’s face the very first time he rode along for a bicycle (see here), or just how pregnant I looked while exploring the cool underground grottos in Southern France (see right here) and how much enjoyable I’d jet skiing the new in Florida (see here).

Searching through my photos made me personally realise just how much we treasure these small memories. For me personally, Instagram isn’t an endless stream of very carefully curated pictures being completely in the pipeline become great looking. Instagram is my corner of the internet in which I share snapshots of memories which’s how I like it.

Therefore here it really is, my 16 features from 2016…

no. 1. My child kid

Definitely, the highlight of the year occurred just a couple weeks hence and ended up being the delivery of my 2nd son, Joseph. It’s crazy to imagine that at the start of the 12 months I’d no concept I’d have baby by the finish of the season!

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number 2. Budapest, Hungary

My absolute favourite journey in 2016 was a 5-day day at Budapest with Elle. We visited in January when it had been cool, sharp and beautiful and I fell mind over heels in deep love with this town. Elle and I also additionally simply had a great deal fun together and we’ve vowed doing an identical journey in 2017. We simply need to determine where to go as we would like to get everywhere!

Browse our websites from Budapest here.

Budapest Parliament from Fishermen's Bastion

no. 3. Valencia, Spain

My 2nd favourite trip of the year had been a solamente trip to Valencia. This trip amazed me for just two reasons; firstly as it was a solo journey and I also frequently hate travelling solo but next because I knew absolutely nothing about Valenica before I visited therefore I didn’t expect it to be this type of gorgeous town. Why had nobody explained relating to this place prior to!

If you’re searching for a chilled out city break with year-round sunlight, a lovely town, an attractive beach, amazing food and loads to accomplish however suggest Valencia.

Read my blogs from Valencia here.

Valencia cathedral

# 4. Menorca, Spain

Ahhh, Menorca, the spot I invested numerous a childhood summer holiday. We returned to Menorca in spring and I saw it from the totally new viewpoint. As and adult I appreciated more than simply the splash parks while the ice cream vendors.

Read my Menorca websites right here.

Cala sant Esteve in Menorca

#5. A road journey in Southern France

It was another trip Elle and I took together after which went our separate means on individual road trips. Southern France is simply so jaw droppingly stunning and I amazed myself by enjoying another solo journey.

Consider a lot more of our Southern France posts right here.

5 things you can do in Ardeche, Southern France

# 6. Skiing in Tignes, France

If you told me that skiing with a one-year-old will be the many relaxing getaway of the season I would have thought you’re lying, but it surely was. We went away with Mark Warner sufficient reason for lovely nannies, evening babysitting, great skiing instructors and delicious meals this turned out to be the right family members cold weather holiday.

Read all about my Mark Warner ski trip here.

The Travel Hack and also the Tiny Travel Hack in Tignes

#7. A spring weekend in London

This was a trip you do not be prepared to see on list. We accustomed live in London and I look at the town on a regular basis for work and weblog meetings, just what made this one therefore special? Basically, I was offered a large spending plan and told to pay it on my perfect week-end in London. In order that’s exactly what Elle and I did so we had a fabulous time!

Read about a great 2 times in London.

Elle Croft at Duck and Waffle

#8. Florida Keys, USA

I’m never ever planning to state no up to a week in Florida sunlight if the British is within the depths of cold temperatures. This was a very fun trip plus lovely destination – made even more fun because i eventually got to spend time with my writer buddy Vicky Flip Flop.

See my Florida Keys blog posts here.

The Travel Hack on 7 Mile Bridge, Florida Keys

#9. Algarve, Portugal

Employing a big villa in Portugal has become something of a family tradition as this is the next year I went away with George and my parents. We’ve even booked to accomplish it once again next year!

Read the Portugal property we stayed at right here.

The Travel Hack in Portugal

#10. Montana, United States Of America

It was an epic journey with Expedia. It absolutely was full of outdoorsy such things as climbing and ship trips, horseback riding and exploring. Nights were invested watching the sunset over lakes while toasting marshmallows more than a campfire. It was pure bliss.

See my Montana posts right here.

Staying at a Dude Ranch in Montana

#11. Northern Ireland

It was my first visit to Northern Ireland and we made it our objective to search out a few of the Game of Thrones filming scenes and iconic areas just like the Giant’s Causeway. Which was an important bucket list item ticked!

Discover my perfect itinerary for week-end in Northern Ireland.

The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland. Game of Thrones movie location

#12. Family glamping in France

I’ven’t written about this trip yet as I’m saving all of it for the following month. Sam, George and I also hired a vehicle and visited some fabulous glamping spots in France. Our journey ended up being with Les Castles who specialise in family members camping trips. I can’t wait to generally share our journey because we had that good time.

#13. Edmonton, Canada

For those who haven’t heard of Edmonton then don’t stress, you’re not by yourself. It’s the main city of Canada’s Alberta province and is a astonishing town that’s a perfect gateway to many other shows of Canada. Elle, Elizabeth and I also travelled online together for the first Travel Hack Team journey.

See all of us websites from Edmonton right here.

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#14. Paris, France

My last journey abroad before I’d Joseph had been a chilled week-end in Paris. They say that Paris is often a good idea and I couldn’t concur more!

Consider my review from super trendy Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel in which I stayed.

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#15. UK foodie adventure

This is more a series of 5 small trips in the UK as Elle and I lay out on a objective discover new foodie trends. We began in New Malden in the west London to use Korean food, Bristol for Caribbean meals, York for Nepalese food and North Wales for sustainable seafood safari. It had been epic and exposed my eyes to many places in the united kingdom that I’d never ever even considered visiting before.

Take a good look at the foodie articles right here.

Lebanese food in Manchester with all the Travel Hack

#16. A summer time at home

It could not appear to be it from looking over this list but 2016 had been in fact a reasonably chilled year for me personally in comparison to other years. I did son’t travel as much as normal, mostly because i needed become with George and because I happened to be pregnant. I invested more time in the home, especially through the summer time towards the end of my pregnancy, and I positively adored it. I liked hanging out with my children and buddies, enjoying our home that we’d renovated the season before and generally maybe not rushing from journey to the next!

We had many day trips around Wales, several camping trips and weekends away and I also simply generally enjoyed relaxing at home. I became never ever a fan of ‘relaxing weekends’ before so I guess I’m growing older!

Among my favourite weekends away ended up being whenever we went camping in Beddgelert in North Wales.

Camping in the Forest, Beddgelert

I truly don’t understand what 2017 provides. I thought there’d be described as a great deal less travel but I already have three trips booked and I’m preparing additional. I’m hoping I’ll be composing another post this time around next year!

An Insider’s Guide to Sydney

Today’s web log is from Lucy over at The not likely Bookworm. She’s presently surviving in Sydney and, as you’re able to inform out of this post, has fallen mind over heals in love with the city. Here’s her insider’s guide to Sydney with great what to see and do and gorgeous places to eat and take in.


Frequently cited among the world’s many gorgeous cities, Sydney appears to have all of it. House for some of Australia’s many beloved – and famous – beaches, from breathtaking Bondi to Residence & Away’s summertime Bay – additionally features a bustling CBD, a cosmopolitan café culture and, definitely, the famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Add in towards the mix endless stretches of rugged coastline line plus near perfect skyline, and its particular obvious why ex-pats, backpackers and globetrotters alike flock to its sunny shores in their droves.

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Since going to Sydney a little more than a year ago, I’ve made little key of simply how much I’ve fallen in love with this brand new city of mine; featuring its endless coastal walks, breathtaking balmy conditions and sunset-spots a-plenty. And while Bondi and its own world-famous coastline is in which I call home, and it is certainly a hot spot for tourists, you will find endless pockets of this city, from the pretty roads of Paddington, towards the bright lights associated with town being oh-so well worth visiting.

What to see in Sydney

There are a good amount of scenic internet sites to see while you’re in Sydney, nearly all of which are operating out of the main CBD. Top of any tourist’s struck list should be the spectacular Harbour Bridge (which you yourself can rise if you are feeling daring), the iconic Opera House, the oasis-like Botanical Gardens and shore-side Taronga Zoo whose harbour views and animal life

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Where you can stay in Sydney

Perfect for the more discerning traveller is The QT resort. Fusing hints of gothic with art deco interiors, the QT is nestled between your historic Gowlings and State Theatre structures and is within simple hiking distance for the famous Opera House. By having a lively restaurant and relaxing spa and Hamman, this boutique resort is achingly hip and a stone’s throw from trendy pubs and restaurants; perfect for anyone attempting to explore the town. Offering a comprehensive breakfast menu – with from indulgent pancakes to their signature Eggs Rockerfeller, city-side living doesn’t get a lot better than this.

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How to proceed in Sydney

 

Coastal Walking

Even though the most famous seaside walk is Sydney could very well be the Bondi to Bronte – or Bondi to Coogee if you are feeling energetic – my own favourite has to be Rose Bay to Nielsen Park. The beach at Rose Bay is quite quiet – in top period – and appeals to regional dog-walkers and the ones wanting a sunlight drenched afternoon regarding the sand with views of famous harbour bridge. The walk to Nielsen Park is simply over 2.km and features stunning harbour views, remnant heaths, woodland plus some spots of rainforest also craggy cliffs and secluded coves for fishing. Post walk, Nielsen Park – deemed by numerous as one of Sydney’s best beaches; with gorgeous white sand plus bustling picnic area for friends and families alike – is a great spot to drink inside views of Sydney with a fresh juice or some tempting bites from shaded café.

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Paddle Boarding

If you would like make like a local, you will find few improved ways to see Sydney’s gorgeous water scene than for a paddle board. Offered to employ from beaches throughout the city, the most scenic spots include Watson’s Bay – whose ocean vista provides an unbeatable view of Harbour Bridge, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park – where you are able to paddle down the vast, still waters of Basin, and Shelley Beach in Manly, perfect for bathing in the surf atmosphere.

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Shark Island

A small area that lies off Sydney suburbs aim Piper, Vaucluse and Rose Bay, this 1.5 hectare area is well worth a visit. Accessible by ferry from Circular Keys, water taxi if you’re feeling flush; or kayaking if you are feeling energetic, this gorgeous and history-drenched spot is well worth a visit. Pack a picnic and enjoy the outstanding ocean views.

Where to eat in Sydney

Bar Machiavelle

Nestled down a peaceful street a brief walk from Rushcutters Bay’s beautiful harbour, is Italian Restaurant Bar Machiavelli. Housed in a historic tyre factory, the décor is metropolitan – with soaring brick walls and cinematic pictures of Hollywood movie stars – the environment is bustling; the meals delicious. Try the half shell scallops and fig with prosciutto salad.

Catalina

For meals with a view, few places take action a lot better than Rose Bay’s Catalina. On the harbour, the restaurant offers scenic views associated with water and is the right spot to watch sunlight set within the city. Take to the mango panna cotta with fresh passionfruit and coconut sorbet; an ideal mixture of refreshing and sweet.

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Café Del Mar

Set in tourist hotspot Darling Harbour, Café Del Mar’s Mediterranean menu and bustling location causes it to be a must-visit for anybody wanting to explore Sydney’s most readily useful bits. Having an outdoor terrace and panoramic views of Darling Harbour, the menu is as tasty as it is tantalising. Decide to try the spiced seafood stew for two.

Where you should drink in Sydney

The Royal Paddington

Couple of places do sundown drinks like they are doing them in Sydney and for unbeatable views of this city’s skyline, The Royal Paddington’s Elephant Bar and Rooftop is where it is at. The right destination to view the sun go down by having a cocktail at hand, The Elephant Bar and rooftop supplies a lively vibe plus mouthwatering cocktail List. Try the Passionate Botanist and watch the sun’s rays emerge design.

Bondi Hardware

Make like a Bondi native at locals favourite Bondi Hardware. A stone’s throw from the coastline, it appeals to a crowd comprised of travellers and post-work revellers and it is a fantastic spot to spend an evening after a time in the coastline. Take to the new Prince of Bell Air for a retro vibe.


screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-12-50-01Lucy is really a certified bookworm, wanderluster and yogi with a thirst for adventure and love for a lifetime. Previously a Londoner, this woman is now a transformed Sydney-sider, loving life down-under. It is possible to read the woman blog here and discover her on Instagram and Twitter.


Read more about Sydney:

10 things you should know to fall in love with Sydney 

How exactly to present a week-end away being a gift

how-to-give-the-gift-of-traveli’ven’t written a travel themed Christmas gift guide this season since the more we thought about it, the greater amount of I realised top present you could possibly offer a travel enthusiast (which I’m sure you are if you’re reading this weblog) is…well…travel. Duh!

Nobody wants fancy baggage tags or passport holders, we would like to be whisked away on holiday. A week-end away is the better present ever also it’s better yet since you get to share for the reason that gift too. And, let’s be honest, it is much nicer to spend an evening in the settee looking for resorts than it’s fighting your way through the crowds as you buy gifts regarding high-street!

The only problem with giving someone a week-end away as being a present usually they don’t have any such thing real to open on Christmas time day/their birthday/Valentine’s time an such like. I don’t care your actual age, it is always good to have actual present all wrapped with a pretty bow. And as the present giver it’s nice to see their face because they unwrap their present and realise where they’re going.

Therefore check out innovative methods offer travel as being a gift and provide your loved one a physical present.

Happy gifting and delighted travels!

Provide them with a guidebook

Buy them a guidebook toward destination you’re viewing. You’ll understand flicker of confusion that operates across their face because they open a Lonely Planet to Venice and wonder why in the world you’ve bought this. They then put on their fake look while they graciously accept this random present…then it finally clicks and you see their face light if they realise exactly what the true present is!

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Have a suitcase loaded for them

This one takes a little bit of organization and you’ll have to know the other person very well however if you’ll pull it well it’s a great way to shock them. Pack a suitcase for them after which wrap up the suitcase for them to start. They’ll probably be actually confused as to the reasons you’ve covered up a classic situation but that is still a terrific way to shock them.

Bonus tip: once you learn anyone very well and also you’ve got more money to pay, fill the way it is with brand new clothes for them to wear while you’re on holiday.

Provide them with a journal together with your holiday dates marked in

That one works particularly well in case the weekend away is really a Christmas gift as being a new journal at first seems like an extremely normal present. But this is usually a dairy by having a distinction since you will have currently marked a unique trip in it!

You may need to pop a post-it note or even your tickets in page for the journal to make sure it opens here – it may get boring asking them to flick through every date!

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Give them mini clue presents

Let’s say you’re using the one you love to Paris for the week-end, you might give them a mini Eiffel Tower statue, some French brie, some French wine or perhaps a beret. Or you is actually a extra cryptic and provide them a number of more challenging clues to aid them figure out in which you’re going.

Summary their passport

If you’ve currently invested your complete current budget on your weekend away then why not simply summary their passport? Keep it a key as to where you’re opting for added excitement!

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Make sure they are a voucher

Keep things inexpensive having a DIY voucher for your weekend away. You can even produce a voucher booklet for some other part of your trip like a intimate meal, an extra resort, a spa therapy and morning meal during sex.

Write a poem

You don’t need to be William Wordsworth to create a poem – the easier the better in my opinion! Write a poem describing what’s happening and watch their face differ from confusion to pleasure as they read it away!

Have you ever given the present of travel and exactly how did you provide it?

An introduction to Joseph

It’s been 7 days now and I also still haven’t got round to properly presenting you to my baby kid.

Introducing you to definitely your baby for the first time actually weird thing since you genuinely wish to leap down and up and clap your hands such as a seal and squeal, ‘Oh my goodness, come and satisfy my baby boy. is not he just adorable!? examine his hands…aren’t they small!? consider his locks, isn’t it lovely. Provide him a cuddle, is not he simply the yummiest bundle of gorgeousness you’ve ever seen!?’

But you can’t state that. You should be a bit cool about it and in some way imagine this will ben’t only a little miracle and you’re not amazed and proud at how incredible your system is really because it simply produced freaking individual!

And so I wind up simply casually smiling and awkwardly saying, ‘So…errr…yea…this is my baby…this is Joseph.’

Plus the other individual will smile and tell me he’s pretty and I wonder when they realise this can be a cutest baby on earth? Like actually, the cutest.

So yea….this is Joseph (the very best child ON EARTH!)
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That’s why I haven’t written this basic post yet because we can’t get the words to tell you how awesome he could be and exactly how much I’m loving life at this time.

Motherhood is really a weird things also it’s therefore various for every mother. Plus it appears it can be so various for each kid a mom has.

The strange thing for me personally usually once I had George (my first son that is 20 months old) I didn’t feel a mum. I felt the same as me; the same old me, the me that forgot she had beenn’t 16 yrs . old and got nervous about getting ID’d everytime she bought a low priced bottle of wine. The me whom consumed Supernoodles for morning meal and Cocopops for lunch. The me whom hung down with my mates, worked ridiculously long hours and jetted down on countless vacations without packing much more when compared to a passport, a camera plus clean couple of knickers.

I happened to be me but with an adorable small sidekick whom accompanied me personally almost everywhere We went. I became me personally but with only a little less sleep, fewer evenings out and more stuff in my suitcase!

But having Joseph changed every thing.

All of a sudden i’m such as a mum.

I’m not just a girl playing household and pretending to know exactly what she’s doing. I’m a genuine mum with actual children. The top one calls me ‘mummy’ and every thing.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m still me personally. I happened to be plotting our very first family members getaway within days of returning through the hospital and Joseph’s first journey is scheduled for January.  We still desire to travel the planet and explore to check out new places but I’m definitely considering things from a mum standpoint.

I speak about ‘my kids’ and possess to end and possess a giggle because We sound like such a developed. I love saying ‘my guys’ so I squeeze it into every possible phrase i could.

Things are also so different 2nd time around. They truly are SO much better.

With a very first child you have got no freaking idea what you’re doing. I kept thinking to myself, ‘I can’t think they allow me to have this child without passing an exam or performing a test or something!’

With the help of my loved ones, and George’s instant screams basically did something wrong, I slowly discovered how exactly to take care of him. But I worried and I panicked and constantly 2nd guessed myself.

Having second child you have got all of the loveliness without the of the worry so I’m loving every second of it.

I’m doing all the stuff people tell you straight to do together with your very first infant, you never do. Such things as taking many pictures, resting whenever they sleep, seeking help from anyone who can give it and putting myself first once in a while – as you can’t have a happy child without a delighted mama.

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I realise this will be a travel weblog and a lot of of you lovely readers either don’t have young ones or have cultivated up children so me personally gushing over my infant most likely won’t interest you! Don’t stress, I’m perhaps not offended. I realize there’s an occasion and a spot and also this most likely is not the area. The Travel Hack is always a travel web log which explains why I’m focusing on a couple of brand new tasks so I don’t mess up this website with baby spam. I’ll be suggesting more in brand new year!

However in the mean time, this really is Joseph…my….errrr….new infant. (Yes, the BEST child on earth!)


I made the statement cards utilizing Postsnap – a lovely way to introduce an infant to family and friends or even a fast and simple way to deliver personalised thank you records for presents.

If you’re having a baby or perhaps you know an individual who will be We highly recommend using once a week milestone phones just like the people above! Simply 7 months in and I’m currently loving looking straight back to them and seeing how he’s changing. I did so them monthly for George but threw in the towel once he could roll over and I really regret it now. All you need are some fridge magnets plus white blanket.

Review: Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel

you may well be thinking it is impractical to find a reasonable but stylish and luxurious resort in Paris. Admittedly, it is a hard task but it’s something we cracked inside my final visit.

By having a perfect location next to Le Marais region, Put de la Republique, Canal Saint-Martin and Gare du Nord, Renaissance Paris Republique resort ticks the box with regards to location. We visited Paris for the weekend and I constantly think that whenever you are brief on time you can’t compromise on location.

It might be simple to walk past this unassuming hotel but once you step in those double doorways you wonder the method that you ever missed it from the exterior.

The general vibe regarding the resort is fashionable and stylish yet fun. The employees had been super friendly and quirky small designs provided it something intriguing and original when compared with many big resorts. In reality, it didn’t feel just like a resort string at all. It had been similar to a big boutique that made me feel right at home. We went upright to your space and I also had been immediately attracted to the long windows searching on the city. I possibly could sit because window chair and luxuriate in that view for days. The room had been spacious plus the restroom ended up being encased in cup for the even more spacious and airy feel. I hate those hotel bathrooms where you feel like you are caught in a little box!

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While I took some pictures, Sam headed down seriously to the hotel bar for G&T. I happened to be busy trying out the gorgeously magnificent sleep, sniffing all lovely toiletries and rummaging through the mini club and cupboard to see which treats (like in your area brewed beers and French chocolate) I’d be devouring later while Sam assimilated the sunlight outside.

The outside bar and restaurant area ended up being by far our favourite benefit of the resort. Paris is indeed busy and bustling but this back yard is just a serene and relaxing destination to escape to. After a G&T or two it is very easy to forget you’re in a city anyway. It’s a great sunlight trap where you can admire the living wall while the friendly waiters whisk around you. I happened to be pregnant at that time and they caused it to be their mission to create tasty mocktails for me personally. These were so delicious I becamen’t also jealous of Sam’s gin or icy beers (well, only a little bit anyway!)

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It took plenty of dedication to leave our sunny spot and head out in to the town to explore. We actually may have remained here throughout the day and never seen a single thing from Paris.

Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel is conveniently located close to several tube prevents so escaping . and about had been effortless enough.

It absolutely was Sam’s first-time in Paris since he visited with college as he ended up being 14. We’d chose to have a chilled weekend in Paris – mostly because I was pregnant but in addition because we didn’t would like to get home on Sunday night feeling like we needed another getaway. I’ve another blog post going real time soon about what we did during our relaxing week-end in Paris therefore look for that!

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Consuming at Renaissance Paris Republique Resort

Dinner at Renaissance Paris Republique resort ended up being delicious. We dined outside and enjoyed a delicious three courses. The menu was filled up with contemporary French food and Sam and I also both opted for dishes we mightn’t usually go for but were actually happy with our choices. So often when I play the role of courageous and order one thing uncommon I wish I’d gone the ‘safe option’ but which wasn’t the case here.

Break fast within the hotel ended up being in the same way delicious nonetheless it had been amazing exactly how different the atmosphere had been. At night time it seems very sophisticated with a lot of visitors from away from hotel. It absolutely was still casual however with a stylish environment. In the morning it was way more laid back as sleepy visitors woke up with strong coffee and eggs benedict. It had been bright and sunny and also the staff had been chatty and efficient as they brought us fresh pastries plus choice of cheeses.

When our breakfast had gone down we donned our fluffy gowns and slippers and made our method to the resort spa. We hadn’t scheduled any treatments but we enjoyed a soothing hour in Jacuzzi and vapor space. A cosy sitting area with publications and interior planning books managed to make it the perfect destination to chill for a Sunday morning.

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Final thoughts in regards to the Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel

The Renaissance Paris Republique resort is 100percent the type of hotel I’d suggest to my buddies. It’s an attractive resort with fashionable and unique features, a great outdoor area plus great location. Our space was comfortable and roomy with amazing views. Most of the staff had been beautiful together with meals had been unbeatable. The spa had been tiny but a tranquil spot to escape.

Travel Hacking with Marriott Benefits

We stayed on Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel with Marriott Rewards, a resort loyalty program that’s absolve to join and points are redeemable at over 4,400 resorts. When you’re a Marriott Rewards user you obtain countless advantages during your stay like free wifi and late checkout (both which i usually take full advantage of!) You can use your points buying other things too like retail present cards, routes and experiences.

I’ve just used my points to book another swanky weekend away. I’m taking Sam away for the shock week-end for their birthday in January. The hotel I’ve booked looks a-mazing so I’m actually excited. Nevertheless the spot we’re going actually surprise for Sam so you’ll must wait until January to find out in which it is!

Profit a North Face Thermoball Jacket

win-a-north-face-jacketIt’s time for the last xmas competition.

Today’s reward could be the gorgeous North Face Thermoball Jacket from Blacks. Browse the women jacket right here while the mens right here.

I’ve been putting on this jacket for 2 months now and I also like it. Utilizing the fitted, nipped-in waist it appears trendy it is nevertheless actually warm. I often discover that warm coats look a bit like bin bags and generally are really unflattering but this 1 does not at all. Because of the textile up the edges it seems somewhere between a hoodie and jacket, however the extra insulation means it’s much warmer than either. it is nevertheless quite thin and versatile too to help you use it for sports activities or pack it up small into your suitcase whenever you are travelling. We additionally discover that it’s tiny sufficient to wear under my big cold weather coating for anyone freezing cold evenings when I’m walking canine at night! On these evenings I squeeze into as numerous layers when I are able to!

The men’s variation is very similar and is absolutely a must-have for wintertime!

If you’d prefer to get hold of this jacket then enter through the application below. You’ll be automatically signed up to my fortnightly publication.

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Competition T&Cs

  • The prize is certainly one The North Face Thermoball jacket in either the men’s or women design
  • Entrants must enter by subscribing towards the Travel Hack’s once weekly publication
  • Your Competition closes on December 8th 2016
  • This competition is available to British residents just with a UK postal target
  • The champion is opted for randomly making use of Rafflecopter
  • The winner is going to be notified via e-mail within a day of the competition closing and will have 7 days to respond having a valid postal address before a brand new champion will soon be selected
  • The champion agrees due to their title to be used in every publicity product
  • Any individual data associated with the champion or every other entrants is going to be utilized entirely in accordance with current UK information protection legislation and certainly will not be disclosed to a third celebration without the entrant’s prior permission

a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 reasons you should drop everything and visit the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you should go to the East Coast of Australia

I’m typing this sitting on a trip to Perth, a five-hour long term to Western Australia, once we leave the East Coast of Australia.

it is needs to sink in that it’s over, we’ve completed our as soon as in a lifetime trip and I also have the overwhelming urge to show around and start all of it once more.

We’ve simply completed our many months’ journey along the gorgeous sun-drenched (usually) East Coast of Australia. We made it happen all, from Sydney to Cape Tribulation, chasing sunlight up the coastline, loving all koala spotting, kangaroo chasing and beach hopping adventures.

Here’s in which we went in this epic adventure…

10 reasons you ought to go to the East Coast of AustraliaWhenever anyone asks what our favourite component was, it really is incredibly difficult to pick. We battle to narrow it right down to a premier 30, but just for our lovely readers we now have whittled it right down to a premier 10. Here are 10 of our features from the East coastline of Australia and 10 reasons we think you’ll desire to drop every thing and mind here yourselves.

Warning: If you have ever contemplated visiting Australia, it’s going to shoot directly to the top of your list in the event that you continue reading.

number 1. Sydney

Our house for several months, we’d to include this 1. A magnificent town on water having a bit of every thing, which town marked the start of our adventure. Home toward iconic Sydney Opera household, Sydney Harbour bridge, Bondi Beach and Manly. This is an substantial city with many stunning nuggets to explore, browse our post dedicated to Sydney for more enticing insights.

10 things you should know about Sydney

10 reasons you should visit the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to visit the East Coast of Australia

# 2. Port Stephens

With 26 golden beaches plus vast blue bay, Port Stephens is definitely an idyllic beach getaway. The beautiful Nelsons Bay, Salamander Bay and surrounding areas are home to pods of extremely cute and playful dolphins. Through the primary bays you can have a watercraft out into the serene water and revel in a morning with these curious pets and dip to the boats’ nets for up close in their mind! Ensure it is an action loaded time like us and you may go sandboarding down huge steep dunes whilst taking in the sun’s rays. it is interestingly perseverance but totally worth it the views and fun.

east-coast-8

10 reasons you need to visit the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you should go to the East Coast of Australia

# 3. Surf Camp

Aussies are created for the water so that it’s no surprise surfing is second nature in their mind. For people like us through the other side associated with the pond (and perhaps a little unprepared) there was surf camp, like bootcamp but also for searching, except it’s loads of enjoyable. You may spend the occasions browsing the waves, then a nights are spent socialising in the camp round the fire, all whilst living right next to the coastline. We selected Mojo Surf, a business having a range surf spots all over the world, our camp was Spot X coastline only a hop and skip far from Coffs Harbour. We absolutely suggest to kick-start an ideal Aussie experience and set yourself up for the rest of your time in Australia being fully a surfing pro.

10 reasons you ought to look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to visit the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to visit the East Coast of Australia

# 4. Rainbow Beach

The gateway to one of the finest beaches in the east coast and known as after the rainbow colored sand dunes – Rainbow Beach. This really isn’t an obvious place to stop and isn’t somewhere you need to want to remain for too much time, but when you delve deep you discover this coastline town comes with an extraordinary add up to offer from breathtaking sunsets, to sea kayaking, recognizing turtles and dolphins, to whizzing down sand-dunes on only a cardboard slab. A popular as of this colourful spot had been the Rainbow Beach horseback riding, a somewhat pricier option but worthwhile. You ride down the coastline on stunning horses taking in the beach scenery, we found this destination to be considered a key haven for laid back enchanting travel.

10 reasons you should look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you should look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to visit the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to visit the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to go to the East Coast of Australia

#5. Fraser Island

The biggest island in Queensland, plus the biggest sand island on the planet. Fraser Island is home to panoramic views, crazy dingo’s, whale observing, manta rays, normal creeks that become water rapids, ribbons of white sand together with wonderland that is Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora in Aboriginal). You can have a tour or, like us, have a three-day trip journey around the island. You thunder across the coastline in a tag along of 4×4 Land Rovers, each taking it in turns to operate a vehicle through the thick sand and exploring exactly what this area provides, such as the famous Maheno shipwreck. In summertime you camp regarding the beach, into the cold temperatures you have got beachside rooms available. Don’t miss the outstanding star gazing available as a result of insufficient light air pollution. They’re the most effective we’ve ever seen!

10 reasons you should look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to visit the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you should go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you should go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to go to the East Coast of Australia10 reasons you should look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to visit the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to visit the East Coast of Australia

number 6. The Whitsundays

Comprised of 74 islands, this positively stunning stop can be home to Whitehaven coastline; the 7km stretch of pristine stunning white sand in which the tide shifts the sands making an attractive fusion of colours behind. The coastline is only available via motorboat to guard its beauty, so people decide to take a three-day trip round the Whitsunday island. We opted for a three-day journey in which we were fortunate discover volley work (Leah ended up being employed as being a photographer) on cruising boats that these trips. This implied we got the opportunity to go through the Whitsundays while cruising round the spectacular waters! We got to learn the infamous giant trevally fish whilst snorkelling the truly amazing Barrier Reef and viewed the sun set on the area scattered water. We also enjoyed the on deck spa and sleeping beneath the movie stars! It is certainly since dreamy as it appears…

10 reasons you need to visit the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to go to the East Coast of Australia

#7. The Yongala Wreck

Ranked one of many top scuba dives worldwide, the Yongala Wreck lives up to this score. ‘Wow’ may be the only word I am able to think to explain this amazing experience. I’m a professional scuba diver and so I ended up being fortunate to just take this journey, sadly those who find themselves unqualified cannot take part as a result of complexity; the currents are strong plus the wreck is deep, around 14m deep to your top regarding the wreck so it’s perhaps not visible to swimmers. This sunken ship happens to be sitting at the bottom of ocean since 1911. The ship has become covered in gorgeous, vibrant coral and an selection of spectacular sea life – a turtle swam into me. Enough said.

10 reasons you need to visit the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to visit the East Coast of Australia

#8. Magnetic island

Magnetic area is just a peaceful island off the coast of Townsville, you are able to ride around in true to life Barbie vehicles, snorkel a area of the truly amazing Barrier Reef and walk through forestry with adorable crazy koalas tucked up into the woods, ready to spot. I kid you maybe not, all for a small area where you are able to drive from north to south in 10 minutes. It’s a tranquil area, but we had a very good time zipping around within our red Barbie car seeking out all of the pretty fluffiness and hidden boulder bays we’re able to find.

10 reasons you ought to go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you should look at the East Coast of Australia10 reasons you ought to visit the East Coast of Australia
10 reasons you need to visit the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you should look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you should go to the East Coast of Australia

#9. Mission beach

As adrenaline junkies, this will be something which’s been on our bucket list consistently – sky scuba diving. We headed north to Mission Beach solely for the intended purpose of throwing ourselves out of a plane at 14,000ft to secure on a palm tree lined coastline with views of Dunk Island and an array of blue hues in the ocean. Mission Beach it self is really a quiet spot so only mind right here for stopover or even to benefit from the web sites from high in the sky. It’s, as many people that have skilled it would say, an amazing feeling – a necessity do.

10 reasons you should go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to look at the East Coast of Australia

#10. Cairns

Home to at least one regarding the natural wonders worldwide, The Great Barrier Reef. We explored this stunning wonder in three ways – through the sky in a helicopter, deep underwater scuba diving and over the ocean in a giant yacht, it really is simply dazzling. And being a great base to explore the truly amazing Barrier Reef, Cairns has substantially more to provide so your routine is loaded complete (once we experienced from our intensive three days of enjoyable and research). The backpackers, Uncle Brian’s trip for the waterfalls and forests of Atherton Tableland’s area actually fun packed day of swimming inside rivers, leaping down waterfalls and admiring the amazing rainforest and mountain landscape. Cairns offers great access to Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation which is house towards the Daintree Rainforest, a striking rainforest by having an immense quantity of history.

10 reasons you ought to look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you should look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you should go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you should look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to visit the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to look at the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you need to go to the East Coast of Australia

10 reasons you ought to visit the East Coast of Australia

Wish more? We could double the list, therefore if you’re hungry for a bit more travel inspiration on the eastern coastline, tell us. I’m yes we could provide a long version…

10-unmissable-sights-on-the-east-coast-of-australia

Apps you will need to access it your phone for the smug, easy Christmas

I tried so hard to find yourself in the festive sprit in 2010 but i simply had beenn’t feeling it. This can ben’t just like me because I usually begin feeling excited soon after my birthday in October!

This season is specially exciting because George understands what’s going on a bit more. I don’t think he understands Santa but he loves the lights therefore the woods, decorations, music and sweet treats every-where! We likewise have a little infant to dress up in absurd clothes and that’s always fun! But until Friday night I became feeling somewhat ‘meh’ about it all.

baby-dressed-up-as-an-elf

Everything just thought like a great deal effort. Too much effort maybe…

Having an ever-growing household and tribe of friends with kids, Christmas seems to get bigger and bigger every year. Sufficient reason for so it gets more expensive and much more effort to shop for every thing, prepare every thing and organise everything. There’s an alternate event every evening and I just have actually so much doing!

Wow, I’m beginning to sound very grown-up and boring right here!

I would like to really enjoy xmas this present year without worrying about the boring organisational material, the buying gifts, sending cards and stocking up on things before the stores sell out. I would like to enjoy making stockings, gonna Christmas time areas (without just whizzing across the market looking for unique gift suggestions), cooking festive treats and relaxing in the evening with mulled wine and festive movies.

Etc Friday I had a really exciting night in on my own. The 2 guys had been tucked up in bed and I ended up being sat on the couch in my own dressing dress with Louie snoring on my lap. Glamourous mum life, right? But in that three hours I was sat in the couch i did so every thing I had a need to do for Christmas….from my phone.

Yes, actually. EVERYTHING.

And I can’t let you know how amazing it feels.

Suddenly i’m therefore festive and excited for Christmas because i am aware I have every thing prepared. Armed with just my phone, one cup of wine and half of a field of mince pies (don’t judge) I got everything purchased and prepared.

Therefore here’s what I did as well as the apps I used to do it…

Order personalised Xmas cards

making-christmas-cards-with-postsnap

The very first thing used to do was order adorable household Christmas cards. We utilized the Postsnap application (you dudes keep in mind simply how much i really like this from my final post about reintroducing postcards).

Postsnap is really a mobile software which allows you to create personalised cards like postcards, birthday cards, many thanks cards and, definitely, xmas cards.

They will have xmas templates you should use to incorporate your personal text and upload your own pictures either from your own phone or from the social media marketing account. I made cards for close family and friends. The people I designed for the boy’s grandparents are my favourite!

I’d them delivered right to the recipient’s home so I don’t must faff with postage or dropping cards down. Does someone else spend times writing their Christmas time cards and then the cards sit in their bag for months until it is either too late to hand them away from they’ve got therefore dirty and bent you can’t possibly let them have to anybody!?

So there’s a huge tick in box for Christmas cards done and they’re therefore pretty and personalised that we have extra brownie points! These only have a few minutes to generate in your phone and they’ve delivered within about 3 days so I’d do them recently!

Travel Hack Suggestion: just take some festive pictures as at the beginning of the holiday season as you’re able in order to consist of them in your cards. What this means is having your Christmas jumpers and ridiculous outfits early and heading out for festive photo shoot.

Have the Postsnap app here.

*** visitors of Travel Hack have 20% off their very first postcard utilising the code: TRAVELHACK ***

postsnap-christmas-cards

Buy the gifts

I feel like i willn’t just lump that one under one heading as ‘buying gifts’ is a biggy! Frequently I invest times, if not days, Christmas time shopping. I get a couple of bits and bobs everytime We go right to the stores. But what this means is my shopping drags on and on, so this 12 months I’ve bitten the bullet and did every thing in a single huge haul.

We utilized Amazon for almost everything and within an hour I’d purchased every single person’s present. #SmugFace 🙂

I actually used the ASOS Christmas time gift guide while the perhaps not in the traditional guide for inspiration however found almost everything on Amazon for lot less.

Travel Hack Tip: Sign up to Amazon Prime the free trial offer and you’ll be capable of getting most of your presents with free distribution.

Buying for the those who have every thing

For the people who have every thing and I never ever know very well what to get, I’ve bought experience gift suggestions particularly a spa day for a buddy and a drive-in cinema experience for being a present for the family members with kids.

Groupon is truly advantageous to these gift ideas and they’re interestingly low priced!

Travel Hack Suggestion: I’m surprising these people (who don’t read my blog, fortunately!) by asking them to babysit on a particular time. Once they turn up at my house to ‘babysit’ I’ll whisk them off for his or her surprise! This way you are able to keep it a shock without worrying about them making plans for that time.

Perform some festive food store

Last xmas I made an epic error. We went along to the supermarket on xmas Eve to complete my ‘big Christmas time shop’. But wait, it gets far worse. I took George with me too. And George was at an age where he’d pull everything from the racks and shout ‘DADDY!’ at each and every guy by having a beard. Yea, that has been an embarrassing phase.

The year before we wanted to do the xmas meals go shopping for my mum (who was having EVERYONE over for Christmas time supper). Naturally, we procrastinated and place it well and off until it was Christmas Eve so we wound up with a turkey that seemed a lot more like a sparrow and now we had no cranberry sauce. Shock horror, it’s not Christmas without cranberry sauce!

But I’ve discovered from my mistake and I will never do this once again. So I’ve already done my Christmas food store and made a good amount of space within my fridge. Now all I’ll have to do is buy fruit and veg nearer the time.

Get organised

I’ve reached acknowledge, i will be a fan of a good old fashioned calendar it is possible to wait the wall surface. This works perfectly…until I go out and I also don’t know just what I’m doing or when I’m carrying it out. Easily bump in to a buddy who would like to make plans I’m able to never ever keep in mind just what I’m this  I’ve finally joined the 21st century and I’m using a calendar application.

In case the social life is chocker this season you then need a good calendar or organisation software to ensure that you don’t double book yourself or forget any such thing. I really like the Bing Calendar software to help keep things organised. I take advantage of this on my mobile and laptop computer plus it automatically syncs to keep things simple. It is possible to have joint calendars for families or associates which means you all understand what you’re doing.

Then add Christmas Time magic

These apps are all extremely practical aren’t they so that it’s time for you get some good festive magic in to the mix. Download this software to obtain unlimited telephone calls or text messages from Santa for the extra little festive cheer.

George does not 100per cent understand santa claus as of this time but he likes to respond to the phone (something we maybe shouldn’t be encouraging but this might be so sweet I’m letting it slip!) and…well I’m a huge kid and I also desire to talk to Santa!

santa-claus-on-the-phone-app

Is other people feeling a little smug and organised about Christmas time?

Where you should take the most effective photos in London with panoramic views

Do you want to understand the best places in London for selfie? Or gorgeous locations to have the greatest pictures of this city? London is that beautiful city however it may be tough to photograph, specially when you’re at road degree. Dozens of high and historic structures actually make it truly tough to get yourself a good shot, particularly when you are shooting on your own phone. For the best pictures of London you will need to get fully up high and obtain a panoramic view to start to see the gorgeous, sprawling city.

Travel Hack Suggestion: For panoramic photos of London, i will suggest addressing your photography location at either sunrise or perhaps before sunset. At sunrise you’ll see all the gorgeous colours inside sky and it will be very quiet so you won’t have lots of people blocking your view. At sunset you’ve got the option to remain slightly longer and find out the city in daylight, at sunset, at night after which at night. In the event that you’ve had miserable climate throughout the day and city appears grey and lifeless then after dark is frequently local plumber to acquire a good photo while the lights twinkle and you can’t see those miserable clouds!

the-best-panoramic-views-in-london

Listed Below Are 10 of the finest places in London to get great photos…

# 1. Parliament Hill, Hamstead Heath, 98 metres high

no. 2. Sky Garden, Walkie Talkie, 155 metres high

no. 3. Primrose Hill, Regent’s Park, 65 metres high

number 4. Tate Modern, 65 metres high

#5. Emirates Air Line, 90 metres high

no. 6. Monument, 62 metres high

no. 7. Duck & Waffle, Heron Tower, 200 metres high

#8. St Paul’s, 134 metres high

#9. The Shard’s watching platform, 243 metres high

#10. London Eye, 135 metres high

Read more:

London’s most useful restaurants with a view

A perfect 2 days in London plus travel hack to truly save a lot of money in your trip

How to plan a weekend in London

The greatest outside restaurants in London

How to endure the London Underground

Just what is a blog, anyhow?

what-is-a-blog-anyway-the-travel-hack

“Are you employed?”

“Yes, I’m one-man shop. I’m a…blogger….” I state with uncertainty, knowing my answer would be met having familiarly blank expression. “I’m a travel blogger,” we add having bit more conviction.

“A….blogger….? That’s your job…?”

I understand the drill now. Her expression will either turn from confusion to intrigue as she starts asking around 400 concerns (none of which I mind answering btw). Or she’ll try and pretend she understands this is a legitimate task and certainly will breeze within the concern with an, “Oh…OK….” As she writes it straight down in the type and quickly progresses.

I’ve completed a lot of types recently because of the endless appointments you have when you have a baby. I have no concept why my work status is relevant when expecting but it keeps cropping up therefore’s got me thinking plenty by what a web log happens to be – I have been expected sufficient times recently!

It’s additionally got me thinking about exactly what my web log is.

In my experience, a blog is really personal. It’s a person’s slice of internet where you are able to share anything you like. It almost is like a person’s online house. You fill your property with pictures and trinkets, your favourite things, souvenirs, letters, postcards and notes which make you’re feeling good or recreate memories.

Opening up a web log the very first time is really a small like walking through someone’s front door. You’re stepping within their life, their personal room, their pleased, safe place.

I believe for this reason a lot of people love running a blog. You’re feeling like you’re producing one thing worthwhile the other that’s gonna last. It’s something others can enjoy but, eventually, you do it on your own. It’s an innovative socket and a method to keep your memories and ideas, similar to the present day form of scrapbooking.

But also for a lot of people, myself included, you stop seeing your blog as an on the web scrapbook when people start reading it. After which lots of people begin reading it and you have an inside freak-out at the thought of them peaking at your own personal scrapbook. After all, you’ve said some stupid material over time and now real genuine people are likely to read that! And that means you start changing your voice, changing your tone, running a blog about normal material additionally the type of stuff people are Googling. You compose listings and imitate other bloggers and also you view your pageviews increase or over or more. And also you feel proud and surprised that a lot of people are reading your blog… however it does not constantly feel quite right.

Things have actually changed and it’s alson’t about you any longer. it is about every thing surrounding you, not you.

And then I feel like I’m completely self absorbed wanting this amazing site to be exactly about me. Do people also care? But that’s just what began this in the first place to maybe they do…?

Based on Google (the fount of most knowledge), a weblog is “a frequently updated internet site or website, typically one run by an individual or small team, that’s written in a informal or conversational design.”

Therefore I think it is time and energy to start having a few more conversations with this weblog.

I’ve enjoyed each and every second of working on this web site. I’ve enjoyed the little team who’ve joined me personally and I love working together with them on amazing travel projects and campaigns. It’s all been plenty fun nonetheless it’s time to get personal and show whom we are really. We don’t would like to talk about our activities, i wish to speak about united states. My favourite blog sites are more about the individuals behind them just as much as just what those people are now doing.

So you’re planning to start seeing more personal posts here regarding Travel Hack. There’ll be much more peeks into my entire life at home and more vlogs that explain to you just what we’re actually as much as. Don’t stress, we’ll never lose our travel focus and we already have some exciting trips coming for 2017!

Yes, you’re going to be seeing more vlogs hers on Travel Hack and to kick things down I’m going to be doing Vlogmas!

For those of you who’ve never ever heard of Vlogmas, it is a YouTube thing in which vloggers create a movie each day within the run as much as Christmas. It begins on December 1st plus some vloggers take action until Christmas time and some can do it all month.

Elle and Char may joining me in the challenge doing our very first ever Vlogmas so discover their YouTube stations too. Elizabeth has done this all before so that it will undoubtedly be the woman 2nd 12 months doing vlogmas.

If you’d such as for instance a behind the scenes examine my entire life then contribute to my YouTube channel for a day-to-day video clip.

For me, Vlogmas is all about more than simply making a movie daily. It’s about challenging myself to master a fresh skill and extend myself artistically. I’ve been blogging for such a long time now plus it comes so obviously and easily if you ask me. This is certainly brilliant however it’s been a long time since I’ve pressed the boundaries and done such a thing actually brand new and creative.

We skip those beginning when I nervously hit ‘Publish’ and sat there striking ‘refresh’ to see how lots of people had been reading my articles. It took me personally hours to accomplish anything and I also pondered every process. Every thing was so brand new and scary but exciting and challenging. I loved this and I also want this feeling once more. And making videos undoubtedly offers me this feeling!

The second explanation I’m interesting to make videos is the memories. I like utilizing photography as a means of taking memories but movie is even better. You get all of the little details with videos like the sounds associated with birds early in the early morning, very first giggles, very first words if not the sizzle of a steak because it fries in a hot pan. Videos really bring memories to life and I’m already excited to help make videos merely to view them in a long time.