Packing for South America
Dressing for South America

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click-through and make a purchase.

If there’s anything that the above two photos proves, it’s that South America is a diverse continent with various landscapes, climates, altitudes and terrains to conquer! Given the variety, packing for an extended period can be very daunting, but do not fear, it’s super easy!

Considering this was my first time packing for a trip longer than 3 months, I think I did pretty damn well! Of course, everyone makes a few errors in their packing (did I actually wear that super pretty dress for Instagram photos? Absolutely not!) so hopefully you can learn from my mistakes!

Top Tips

  1. Take your route into consideration carefully – Before using my packing list as your bible, check out my 3 month itinerary to see what I got up to! If you’re heading to places like Patagonia or doing hikes that require you to bring your own camping equipment, you will of course need to factor this into you packing plans.
  2. The hard and fast rule when it comes to packing for a trip of any length is that you don’t need half as much as you think you do. Make a list of everything that you think you will need, get everything ready to be packed and then re-assess and put half of it away!
  3. Laundry is not an issue in South America. As long as you’re not in the middle of an arduous trek, you will be able to find a launderette on every street corner! What’s better is that all of your laundry will be done for you, dried and neatly folded for just a few dollars.
  4. Make sure that there is some spare space in your bag. While it may be tempting to pack that extra pair of shoes, I can guarantee that you’d rather bring home some souvenirs (no backpacker manages to leave South America without a fake Alpaca wool jumper).
  5. Remember that you can buy items along the way! Unless you have very specific requirements, all toiletries can be purchased as and when you need them. In respect of cheaper items that you only need for a brief period of time, buy them en route and then gift them on to a fellow backpacker – I purchased a woolly hat for my time in the Uyuni Salt Flats but barely wore it, so ended up gifting it to a fellow traveler who was heading to colder climates than me.

Without further ado, here’s everything I packed for 3 months in South America!


  1. A comfy backpack and daypack – I highly recommend the Osprey Fairview 70 which is a 57L backpack with a detachable 13L daypack. For men, the equivalent is the Osprey Farpoint 70 (both of which are very popular on the backpacking scene – and for good reason)! The best thing about this backpack is that it opens up fully like a suitcase, so you don’t need to stick your arm the entire way into the bag to find the thing you were looking for at the bottom. You’ll be the envy of everyone in the hostel!
  2. Small Cross Body Bag – When travelling in cities, I preferred to use a small cross body bag like this one. When travelling between destinations, it slotted nicely into my day-pack and didn’t take up any extra room!
  3. Packing CubesPacking cubes will become your BEST friend. This was the first time I had used them and now I won’t travel without them!
  4. Bum-Bag – Okay, a bum-bag (or “fanny-pack” for all of the Americans) isn’t the most stylish item you can bring, but it is very handy! I brought mine with safety in mind (i.e. keeping some cash close to me in case of being mugged – which thankfully didn’t happen) but I ended up using it as a place to handily store my camera while hiking!

Clothes – Outerwear

Your choice of outerwear will be fundamental given the range in climates. Get it wrong and you could either be very cold or the complete opposite and end up carrying around a huge coat that never gets worn.

If you really don’t have enough room in your bag to bring outerwear from home, you can find lots of outdoor clothing stores in places like Cusco (your base for starting the Machu Picchu trek) but be aware of inflated prices.

  1. A good quality rain jacket – It can rain a lot in the Andes, so a good quality rain jacket will be your saviour (no matter how ugly it may be). Pick something lightweight that will break the wind to keep you warm but be easy to pack away when not needed.
  2. A warm fleece/hoodie – The comfier and warmer, the better. I tried to pick a fleece that was a bit more stylish so it didn’t feel like I was just wearing ugly hiking gear all the time!
  3. Gloves – Gloves will definitely come in handy on high altitude hikes where temperatures drop (or if you’re clumsy like me, it will save your hands from scratches and cuts if you fall over…).
  4. Multi-use scarf – I purchased a travel infinity scarf  which turned out to be a great investment! Not only is it an additional layer to brace the cold with, the secret pocket means you can keep your valuables (phone and credit card etc.) close to you and I used it as a pillow on bus journeys!
  5. Headband – A cute headband is super handy to cover up greasy hair on multi-day hikes where showers are a distant dream!
  6. Sunglasses – While they are the polar opposite of the last few items, make sure you have some quality sunglasses for your trip. And make sure you don’t sit on them and break them within your first week of travelling (speaking from experience here).

Clothes – Bottoms

When it comes to bottoms, variety is key. Bottoms can be hard to layer so you need to be prepared for a multitude of different climates, I survived just fine with the following:

  1. 2 x shorts – I packed two pairs of lightweight denim shorts (blue and black) for the warmer climates. If I could do it all again, I would probably swap one pair for a sportier style – cycling around the vineyards of Mendoza in denim shorts wasn’t particularly pleasant!
  2. 2 x jeans – I stupidly bought two pairs of jeans with me. In cooler destinations, I lived in my trusty black jeans (the ASOS Rivington are my jeans of choice) and the grey pair lived at the bottom of my bag for the entirety of the trip. Unless you’re a jeans lover, only pack one pair!
  3. 2 x sports leggings – South America is filled with incredible hikes, so make sure you’ve got at least one comfy pair of leggings. If you’re going to do the 4 day Inca Trail, don’t worry about only having 1-2 pairs, everyone is in the same stinky boat!
  4. 1 x thermal leggings – If you’re planning on doing any high altitude hikes, it’s advisable to have some thermal leggings to sleep in!
  5. 1 x lightweight flowy trousers – I am very glad that lightweight flowy trousers seem to be all the rage right now – these are dreamy if you are in a warm destination but want to be a bit more covered up – plus they take up no room in your backpack!

Clothes – Tops

Packing clothes for your top half is much easier. Essentially, you need to pick items that are easy to layer. Don’t bother bringing your favourite jumper as a warmer layer, you’re bound to pick up a “backpacker jumper” whilst on the road!

  1. 3 x normal t-shirts – In hindsight, 2 t-shirts would have been fine but female t-shirts tend to be so lightweight an extra one doesn’t hurt! I ordered this ASOS multi-pack for 3 cheap and cheerful t-shirts that I wouldn’t mind damaging/losing.
  2. 2 x sports t-shirts – Of course you need some sports t-shirts to go with those sports leggings while you’re hiking!
  3. 2 x vest tops – The art of layering requires some basic under layers – I recommend this ASOS multi-pack.
  4. 1 x long sleeve top – This will come in handy for layering on the cooler occasions. While on the Uyuni Salt Flats, I think I wore 5 layers of tops throughout the day so I could adjust as necessary!
  5. 4 x lightweight “nicer” tops – So far my packing list has been very very bland. To save my sanity, I chose to pack 4 light weight nicer tops which I could wear with with a whole range of bottoms to feel a bit fancier for dinners/nights out/exploring cities!

Clothes – Other

Now for all the added “extra” bits and bobs…

  1. 1 x lightweight Summer dress – This is a real necessity in warmer destinations! Pick a lightweight dress that you can both wear in the cities or use as a cover-up on the beach.
  2. 1 x playsuit – Here’s where I admit my stupidity. I had visions of being “that girl” who had a change of outfit and wore beautiful clothes for Instagram. I packed a lovely red playsuit that sat at the bottom of my bag for the entire trip because let’s face it, I’m not “that girl”.
  3. 14 x underwear – I decided to take 2 weeks worth of underwear but I know a lot of girls travelled with a lot less! As already mentioned, laundry facilities in South America are plentiful, so don’t pack too many, it’s just a waste of space.
  4. 4 x hiking socks Hiking socks are an necessity if you plan on doing any walking. No matter how comfy your shoes are, the socks can make a huge difference!
  5. 4 x bras (2 normal + 2 sports) – I packed one nude bra, one black bra and 2 sports bras to cover all bases.
  6. 1 x bikini – I spent more time in the mountains than by the beaches, so 1 bikini was more than enough for me!
  7. Sleepwear – Take some dedicated pyjamas if you want to… or just use your leggings and normal t-shirts to save space in your bag!


I took a very limited shoe selection. While it was absolutely fine, I would consider packing a pair of lightweight comfy trainers so that walking shoes weren’t my only sensible option!

  1. Walking boots/shoes – I opted for walking shoes rather than boots as I wanted to be able to wear them in cities too. I opted for a super comfy North Face pair which I highly recommend! To save room in your bag, always wear these when moving destinations or tie them to the outside of your backpack.
  2. Flip-flops – I picked up a £0.90 pair of flip flops from Primark which I intended to mainly use in the hostel showers but I ended up living in them for most of my trip! Finding a pair of comfy flip flops is fundamental!
  3. Sandals – I packed one paid of nice sandals which I intended to use as my everyday shoes in the warmer destinations. Unfortunately, they gave me HUGE blisters on day 2 and I never wore them again!

Travel “Necessities”

This is the one section where I probably did over-pack. Luckily all of the items are very small and I didn’t know what to expect from my trip, so wanted to be prepared for all outcomes!

  1. Currency, Debit & Credit Cards – I took some Chilean Pesos for the first leg of my trip alongside a credit card with no foreign transaction fees (I opted for the Santander Zero card) and my normal debit card for back-up.
  2. Passport and ID – While your passport is a given requirement, I also took my drivers license to use as ID without the risk of losing my passport while out and about!
  3. Copy of Documents – Keep a copy of your passport and your travel insurance documents
  4. Torch – This is a necessity on some hikes which require very early starts. Most people opted for a more convenient headlamp, but I found a torch to be just fine!
  5. Water bottle – I bought this incredible Brita water bottle which filters dirty water before my trip and LOVED it. Unfortunately, a rather violent horse ride saw it fly from my bag and into the wilderness never to be found again.
  6. Travel microfibre towel – Okay, they aren’t the nicest things to dry yourself with but a microfibre towel is a MUST while travelling. My towel was accidentally taken by another traveller while I was in Chile and I learnt they are a lot harder to find and much more expensive overseas! Take two just in case!
  7. Padlocks – Invest in some good padlocks to keep your bag safe on long bus journeys and also to keep your locker safe in hostels.
  8. First Aid kit – Hopefully you won’t have to use it, but it’s best to have a small kit like this one just in case!
  9. Medication – Be sure to bring enough of your normal medication to see you through your journey. as well as some precautionary tablets such as painkillers and Imodium. Check with your doctors to see if you need any other medication for your trip – I brought malaria tablets for my trip to the Amazon Jungle. If you are affected by altitude sickness, it may be worth getting some Diamox before your trip too (I didn’t).
  10. Insect Repellent – Mosquitoes LOVE to bite me, so insect repellent is a must for me!


Electronics are a very personal matter, so take as many or as few that you think you need. As a solo traveller, I tried to keep my “flashy gadgets” to a minimum and opted to take my point and shoot camera as opposed to my DSLR. I thought about bringing my kindle but instead downloaded the Kindle app on my phone which worked really well!

  1. Phone + charger + sturdy case
  2. Go-pro camera + charger + spare batteries
  3. Normal camera + charger + spare batteries (the Canon G7X is my weapon of choice)
  4. Various memory cards
  5. Headphones
  6. Portable charger
  7. Universal plug sockets

Toiletries / Cosmetics

The thing to remember with toiletries is that you can usually find whatever you’re looking for whilst travelling. So unless you have very niche needs or requirements, bring the bare minimum to get you going and then re-stock when necessary.

Lots of tour guides for hikes will tell you that you need to bring toilet paper with you. Don’t bother bringing it all the way from home, stock up when you’re in South America (I tended to just take as much as I think I would need for day hikes from my hotel)!

  1. Hairbrush
  2. Comb
  3. Nail clippers
  4. Small scissors
  5. Tweezers
  6. Shampoo
  7. Conditioner
  8. Deodorant
  9. Toothbrush
  10. Toothpaste
  11. Make-up
  12. Make-up remover
  13. Sun cream
  14. Moisturiser
  15. Razor

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post (however affiliate links may be used which mean I earn commissions on purchases at no extra cost to you) and all thoughts are my own.





Like this post? Be sure to pin it!

Malta St Julians Bay October
Prague Castle River
Foggy Lake Bled
Hallstatt fog
St Jovan Kaneo Ohrid Macedonia

Shoulder season travel is something I recommend to everyone. What could be better than cheap flights, cheap accommodation and best of all, having a destination all to yourself away from hoards of tourists?

When it comes to shoulder season travel, I am the Queen. From soaking up 30 degrees sunshine in Malta in October to avoiding the crowds in Prague in May (my friend went in August and said it was unbearable), I’ve done it all.

But there is a slight downside… the weather likes to mess with me.

You know those glorious photos of Lake Bled that everyone and their dog are currently posting? Yep. My experience involved being stuck in a car for the day with no ability to see Lake Bohinj or Vintgar Gorge due to extreme fog and dangerous weather conditions. When we could exit the car at Lake Bled, we almost got stuck on the island due to a torrential thunderstorm. It’s all fun and games! The next day, a girl from the hostel went and was greeted by a big beaming sun!

RELATED: Read all about my foggy storm-filled day at Lake Bled here

Lake Como? Same thing happened. Luckily I wasn’t a photo obsessive travel blogger back then! But I can assure you that my old photos look nothing like the sunny Italian scenery you’re used to seeing!

Halstatt? Forget being able to see those gorgeous mountains, here comes the fog! That was the luckiest experience of the three however as it did brighten up eventually!

RELATED: Find out exactly what there is to do in Hallstatt here!

Should the weather affect your experience, I hear you say? No, it shouldn’t. All three times I was with great people and still had a great time. On the even brighter side, it gives me an excuse to go back (although that’s a scary prospect – I’m not sure my life is long enough to see everywhere that I want to see)!

Last year when I was planning an September trip to Bergen and the Norwegian fjords, I was told by so many sources that I was stupid for even thinking about planning a trip to Bergen outside of May – August as even some of Bergen’s biggest tourist attractions close in that time! So, I cancelled the trip.

2 weeks later on the weekend I was meant to be exploring the magical land of the fjords, Planet D post photos of Bergen on their Instagram page looking gorgeous – the caption even saying how they were experiencing freak good weather!

Do I regret it? Life’s too short or regrets, but I would I have had more fun in Norway that weekend than I did sitting at home studying? Most definitely.

Moral of the story & a message to future Danielle – don’t cancel a trip because it might not be “perfect” at that time of year. You never know what might happen. You know you’re too addicted to finding cheap flights to give it up!

What are your thoughts on travelling in shoulder season? Has the weather ever ruined your trip?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin



Firstly, happy new year! I took a break from blogging in February because of how busy work is for me during January – but I’m back now – hope you didn’t miss me too much (ha – unlikely)!

2017, you’ve come round too quickly, but in some ways not quick enough. Whilst in 2016, I spent the year visiting some amazing places and experiencing new things – as much as work/exam restrictions would allow me to anyway! The year was also filled with unexpected sadness following the passing of my beloved Nan and other bits and bobs that I won’t bore you with now!

With the coming of the New Year, I am already thinking about where I can travel to this year – I’ve currently only got one trip booked but as soon as I know how many exams I will be taking this year/how much annual leave I need to dedicate to them, I will definitely be booking more!


Photo: My trip to Slovenia in 2015

You may have noticed that I have become the short-haul European city break Queen (is that a title you’re allowed to give yourself? Sod it, I’ve done it now). At the moment, these are the easiest trips for me to do and I love having loads of little trips spread out across the year!

Marrakesh, Morocco

In March I have a trip booked to Marrakesh with Callum and I can not wait! Marrakesh has been on my wishlist for ages and increasingly more people are telling me that I should go. We’re looking at doing as many excursions from the city as possible – I am loving the look of the overnight Sahara Desert camping experiences. Sarah has got me obsessed with the idea and you can read her blog posts about the experience here and here.


Why would you want to go somewhere so small and insignificant? Yes, that’s a question I’ve been asked many times. But Luxembourg has a huge draw on me at the moment and I don’t necessarily mean Luxembourg City (however, it is gorgeous and I would obviously dedicate at least a day to it)! I want to rent a car and go castle hunting in the countryside during the Summer and also complete the Mullerthal Trails which look incredible. With a country so compact and plenty of flights from the UK, I’m hoping that I can fit a quick trip to Luxembourg into a UK bank holiday.


You may be aware that I am absolutely OBSESSED with Slovenia. I visited for the first time in 2015 and I am itching to get back. I was in the country for 4-5 days last time and it wasn’t enough (I was also really unlucky with weather on my trip to Bled/Bohinj/Vintgar Gorge which you can read about here). I have made a pact with myself not to revisit places that I have already been to as there is so much of the world left to see, but I feel like I still have unfinished business in Slovenia and I want to show everyone else how magical this country is!

RELATED:  Read all of my posts about Slovenia here!

Balkans Roadtrip

I am in love with the Balkans. There are so many little towns and attractions that I want to visit in the whole area. Ideally, I would hire a car and explore the whole of Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro but I think I’d never want to come home!



Photo Credit: Unsplash

With so many busy seasons at work this year and potentially a few exams, I very much doubt that I will be able to make any long-haul trips – but a girl can dream!

South Africa

I was meant to be volunteering in Zimbabwe during 2016 but had to cancel my plans due to study commitments – this does not mean that my dying need to visit the Southern African countries has diminished! At the moment, I’m hugely lusting over South Africa in particular! I want to go on safari in Kruger National Park, hike Table Mountain, explore both Cape Town and Johannesburg, see the penguins at Boulders Beach – I turn into an over-excited tourist just thinking about it.

The Philippines 

I’d be lying if my obsession with the Philippines doesn’t stem from Christian‘s videos earlier this year. If you’ve never considered the Philippines as a travel destination, maybe you should watch this epic drone video. Christian also has plenty of daily vlogs from his time there which I was obsessed with!


Bali is a popular destination for a lot of people at the moment but I want to expand past Bali, I want to backpack through the entirety of Indonesia. I have become fixated with the gorgeous country but don’t think that it will be a possibility to get long enough off work to do it this year!

The Entirety of South America

I have not made it a secret that I am hoping to have a sabbatical from work once I am fully qualified and use the time to travel around South America – the countries/islands at the top of my list at the moment are Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, the Galapagos Islands and Easter Island. Whilst this is more likely to transpire in 2018, I am far too excited at the prospect to not include it here!

RELATED: Read my South America bucket list here


Photo: My trip to Loch Katrine, Scotland in 2016

During 2016, I tried to visit as much of the UK as possible and there’s still so much left for me to see! Edinburgh ended up being one of my favourite destinations of 2016, so here’s hoping another UK gem will steal my heart in 2017!

Northern Ireland

I want to fly into Belfast and explore the city before heading out to some of the really iconic attractions of the area such as Giant’s Causeway. I know a lot of people who fly to Ireland regularly to see family and they don’t understand my dying need to visit!

Peak District

I am happiest when surrounded by mountains and lakes. Fact. So how the bloody hell have I never made it to the Peak District?! Let’s not forget that the town of Bakewell is also in the Peak District and who doesn’t love Bakewell tarts?!

Three Peaks Challenge

Following on from the aforementioned love of mountains, I would absolutely love to be able to conquer the Three Peaks Challenge! If you aren’t familiar with the concept, the challenge involved hiking the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales (usually within 24 hours). Am I fit enough to do this? Absolutely not. Is that going to stop me? Absolutely not.

More of the Scottish Highlands

It’s no secret that I fell in love with Scotland last year. How I hadn’t yet visited that glorious northern territory is beyond me. I’d love to spend a week or so driving around the Highlands, basking in the glorious scenery. I think that all we’ve learnt from this post is that I like pretty scenery.

RELATED: Read about my day-trip to the Scottish Highlands with The Hairy Coo FREE tours here!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin



Photo Credit & where to purchase these baubles: here

01. So, how many long weekends can I buy as presents for other people before it’s obvious that these are really just presents for me?

02. Oh my god, it’s nearly 2017, I have no travel plans yet. WHERE DO I WANT TO GO? THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER.

03. Wait, no, how much annual leave do I have next year? Eurgh, is this the year I quit my job to travel?

04. I can’t really afford to quit, maybe I’ll buy another lottery ticket this week… or six.

05. Am I allowed to use my phone at the dinner table today? RyanAir just announced their boxing day sale… PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: £9.99 FLIGHTS EVERYONE. NINE POUNDS.

06. More presents with maps on? You guys know how to please me.

07. All of these travel pictures, posters, scratch maps, memorabilia as presents are great… but I’m running out of wall space. Time to build a new wall.

08. Do people think I’m weird for getting excited about packing cubes as a present? Probably. Do I care? No.

09. I’m off work till the New Year – where can I go to escape the miserable British weather? Ooooooh, this snowy Winter holiday looks fun, I’ll go somewhere with even worse weather than home! Logic.

10. I want to go away over Christmas. Wait, what if that country doesn’t have pigs in blankets?


Okay, so maybe it’s not a list for EVERY traveller. I know my obsession with RyanAir and pigs in blankets is abnormal, but I’m sure you can relate to at least some of them!

I honestly can’t believe that it’s Christmas already. 2016 has flown by so quickly – it’s been a pretty pants year by all accounts, but I did get to travel to some new and exciting places (you can read my 2016 travel round up here).

I can’t complain too much though, on Boxing Day I’m off to Canada – what are your plans for Christmas? I want to hear all about them!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin


HOW is it almost the end of 2016? This is absolutely ridiculous, I’m sure January 1st was yesterday.

Back in April, I wrote a blog post called “My 2016 Travel Plans“, so today I’m going to do a big summary and see how well my plans held up!

January 2016 – Work Busy Season

As long as I’m working in personal tax, I won’t be travelling in January any time soon! This is our busy period and we work 6 days a week – I definitely am not allowed a holiday!

February 2016 – York, England

I didn’t get my butt in gear quickly enough after the January busy season at work to plan a trip for February, but I did get to discover a new UK love of mine – York!

  1. A Day In Beautiful York!

March – Krakow, Poland

Wahoo, the first international trip of the year! To Krakow, a city I had been dying to visit for quite some time due to my inner history geek! Having the opportunity to visit Auschwitz was incredible and I really want to return to take some of my family members who are as history obsessed as me!

  1. What’s It Like to Visit Auschwitz?
  2. Top 16 Things To Do In Kraków!
  3. Kraków – Is it Worth the Hype?

April – Studying

I had two pretty massive exams at the start of May, so April wasn’t a great travel month for me! I was confined to my desk with my head in books for most of the month! The good news is that next April should be my last study session EVER!

May – Ohrid, Macedonia

Lake Ohrid Macedonia Swan
Lake Ohrid Macedonia Boat

After the mayhem of exams at the beginning of the month, I was dying to have a trip booked for late May. When I saw cheap flights to Ohrid (a place I’d not even heard of) on Skyscanner, I was sold! I treated my friend to the trip for her birthday and I honestly think it was one of my favourite trips this year – I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere so beautiful!

  1. Best Things To Do in Ohrid
  2. Things You Should Know Before Visiting Ohrid
  3. Budgeting For Ohrid

June – Salzburg & Hallstatt, Austria

Here’s the true Instagram trip of the year – I can’t scroll through Instagram without seeing a picture of Hallstatt! I originally started looking at booking a trip to Vienna but the prices for accommodation were just too ridiculous in June, so we settled for Salzburg and I am SO glad! It was the perfect little city for a long weekend!

  1. How to Spend A Long Weekend in Salzburg
  2. What Is There To Do In Hallstatt?
  3. How To Get From Salzburg To Hallstatt
  4. Is The Salzburg Card Worth It?
  5. Budgeting for Salzburg, Austria
  6. Visting Arundel Castle

July – Arundel & London, UK

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to see more of the UK and I think I achieved that this year! Arundel was my favourite little day trip this year, if you live nearby, I would definitely recommend that you visit! I walked around the town exclaiming “I want to live here” more times than I care to admit!

The latter half of the month saw me and my friends take another friend on a surprise day trip to London for her 21st birthday which featured drinks at the Sky Garden and dinner at Crazy Bear – both are now highly recommended by me!

  1. Visting Arundel Castle
  2. The Sky Garden, London

August – Cologne, Germany

Dun dun dun, my first international trip with Callum! And he was the unlucky soul that got to experience my incessant need to visit remote castles. Visiting Burg Eltz was perhaps my favourite day of this year – the long hike was beautiful in itself but having the perfect travel buddy made it even better!

  1. How To Spend 3 Days In Cologne
  2. Is Cologne Worth A Visit?
  3. Our Experience of Burg Eltz

September – Edinburgh, Scotland (& Nearly Norway)

Another UK gem was found in September – how bloody lovely is Edinburgh?! This is the “surprise” birthday trip that I described in my 2016 travel plans! I tried to throw her off the scent by saying in that post that it was an early birthday present for someone when in actual fact it was a late birthday present for her!

We had the BEST long weekend in Edinburgh and I have fallen head over heels in love with the city!

  1. How to Spend 4 Days in Edinburgh!
  2. Visiting the Harry Potter Locations in Edinburgh!
  3. Hairy Coo Tours – The Best Tour Company!

This was also the month of the almost trip to Bergen (Norway). I had reserved a space at a hostel and cancelled at the last minute because I had been told by everyone that experiencing the fjords in September was a bad idea because of fog – little to my dismay, after cancelling Planet D were in Bergen that EXACT weekend and took so many amazing photos with glorious weather!

October – Centre Parcs, UK

This was another month that I should have been sitting at home revising, but I did manage to sneak away on one little trip! I headed to Centre Parcs with my Callum’s family for the weekend. It was my first time there and I’ve just realised that I never wrote about it! Watch this space!

November – Birthday Month

Keveldon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker

At the beginning of the month, I had more exams and I turned 22! Sadly, I didn’t go away anywhere to celebrate but I did book my first trip for 2017 in November – so that counts right? Marrakech here we come!

We did however take the time to explore some more of Essex (my home county if you couldn’t tell by the blog title!). We had the best day at Rope Runners, Kelvedon Secret Nuclear Bunker and Hopefield Animal Sanctuary using my trusty Essex Pass!

  1. £20 Day Out Using the Essex Pass!

December – Toronto, Canada

From 26 – 31 December, I will be in the very cold city of Toronto! It’s my first time in the city (and Canada for that matter), so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin


Shop the photo:          The Best Place to be Today by Lonely Planet – Amazon (£14.94)          Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 – Amazon (£103)          Wooden Perpetual Calender (Similar)- Ebay (£8.99)

Working full time and finding the time to travel is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. At the moment, my wanderlust levels are so high, I can barely make it through 30 minutes at work without opening Instagram and seeing the amazing adventures other people are on.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I work for an amazing company and some of the people I work with have become life long friends (in fact, I’ve travelled with two of them already and we have another trip to Salzburg booked this year!).

But. And this is a big “but”. I NEED to travel. Currently I have 30 days “annual leave” per year and because I am currently studying to become a Chartered Tax Advisor, 10 of those days are used as days off to study. That leaves 20 measly days a year to try and cram as much adventure into my life as possible!

So here are my top tips for making the most of your holiday periods while working full time!

  • Decide what you want early on – For me 2016 should have revolved around a 16 day trip to Zimbabwe to embark on a solo volunteering adventure. Unfortunately I had to cancel this trip earlier this year due to work/study commitments. Instead of booking another long-haul trip, I decided I would take lots of mini-breaks this year. It gives me something to look forward to almost every month and makes all of those deadlines and exams seem a little bit more bearable! Now I know exactly how many annual leave days I have left and will definitely need to use them wisely!
  • Make the most of your weekends – So you want to go away for 4 days? Take a long weekend, you’ll only use 2 days of annual leave and still get the benefit of a 4 day mini-break! On a similar level, don’t ever waste your weekends at home – go and explore your home country!
  • Take advantage of holiday breaks – My company currently close every year for Christmas and New Years for around a week and half – this is the perfect time to go away! A whole week away without using a single drop of your excess annual leave – perfect! The same goes for “bank holidays” in the UK. If you are being given an extra day off work, take it in your stride and do as much as you can with it!
  • Be a bit cheeky and negotiate – This isn’t something I would ever imagine myself doing. I always had planned that I would become qualified and then leave my job to travel the world extensively before returning to the UK and looking for a new job/reapply to the firm I currently work for. In a recent catch-up meeting with one of the partners at my firm, I mentioned that I love to travel and he immediately said “GO TRAVELLING. Do you want 6 months off after you’ve qualified? Do it. You have job security. Make sure the other partners are aware of it now so that we can start planning ahead”. Incredible. That is more than I could have ever wished for – don’t feel afraid, ask your employer what your options are! The worst they can do is say no!
  • Take this time to save – Remember that every moment you are working, you are earning money that can be set aside for travelling. Set up a special bank account dedicated to travel funds, do whatever it takes to remind yourself that this is a great time in your life and you’re aiming towards something even greater. Unfortunately travel isn’t free, so any money you can save now will really help in the future!
  • Never waste a day of annual leave – Are you feeling a bit tired? Feel like you might need to  rest? Don’t do it. Don’t take that day of annual leave unless you really have to. You know you’ll regret it later on in the year when you have one less day of travelling.
  • Book early flights/transport to your destination and late flights home – If you’re doing lots of long weekends like me, make sure you book early morning flights to your destination and late night flights home. Make the most of every day and don’t waste days off work by sitting around waiting for flights when you could be exploring!
  • Travel with work – Unfortunately this isn’t something that I can do given that I work for a single-office accountancy firm in London. However, if your firm needs someone to do something abroad and you have the correct skill set – take the opportunity! One of my friends is always flying over the globe for work. Of course she doesn’t get to see as much of the destinations as she would like – but it keeps her wanderlust ticking over until the next trip!

So let’s summarise, I get 104 weekend days a year, 20 annual leave days that can be used for travelling, 7 days off at Christmas, 8 national bank holidays – suddenly travel seems a lot more realistic with 139 days to be played with!

Are you working full time and travelling? What are your top tips?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin


Buy this print here – Credit to the rightful owner

Why hello there guys and girls! This is a very belated post. Lots of people wrote posts like in January to signal the start of the new year, however I don’t like to play by the rules and thought I’d keep you all guessing (not that you probably care where I’m going this year, as long as I have pretty pictures to show you all).

2016 is going to be a bit of a rubbish year for me travel-wise. Not because I’m not visiting amazing places (of course I am!), but because I’m very restricted about what time I can and can’t be out of the country. I’ve had to cancel some trips (read more about that later!) and my year very much revolves around work and studying.

I’m currently studying to become a Chartered UK Tax Advisor and the exams are TOUGH. I’m told that in the US, the term “chartered” is somewhat equivalent to a Certified Public Accountant for example if that puts things into perspective? I have lots of deadlines to meet, lots of courses to attend etc. which really hinders my travel ability.

But without further ado, these are the plans I’ve managed to rustle up so far!

January 2016

Sadly, as I work in personal taxation in the UK, January is an absolute no-go for travelling due to a big deadline on 31 January. So instead, I spent the month tirelessly submitting my client’s tax returns, working and commuting all hours of every single day – alas, the overtime money will cover my travelling needs, so there’s a light at the end of every tunnel!

February 2016 – Various Locations in the UK

I wanted to go away in February SO much. After the stress that is January tax season, I felt like I needed a break, but I also felt like I wanted to sit on a sofa all day and vegetate until it wasn’t certain whether I was still alive or not. So instead I took a happy compromise and spent my weekends traipsing backwards and forwards from Essex to Leeds to see my boyfriend who is currently studying up North. I wish I had more to show for these trips but for some of them I was ill and spent most of the days in Leeds in bed and waiting for pizza to arrive. What a life. However, I did discover my love affinity with the beautiful city of York – read all about it here!

March 2016 – Kraków (Poland)

YAY, finally it’s time for me to start properly exploring again. Starting with a long weekend in Kraków with 3 friends. This trip had been booked for MONTHS in advance, so it’s safe to say that we were excited! Kraków is a beautiful city but didn’t quite live up to my expectations. However, I am very glad to have ticked Auschwitz off of my ultimate bucket list! Read my first thoughts on the city here – more blog posts will be coming in the upcoming weeks!

April 2016

Unfortunately, another quiet month for me.  I have one of the potentially hardest exams I will ever sit in my life at the beginning of May, so I am on lock down, spending every single waking moment of April either working or revising (apart from the time spent writing this blog post obviously hehe).

May 2016 – Lake Ohrid (Macedonia)

Photo credit here.

FREEDOM. My exams are over and some of my friends are graduating university. What’s the best way to celebrate? Take your best friend to Lake Ohrid for a few days as her birthday present. Unwind, soak in the beauty of the former-Yugoslavian country, have great food, hopefully great weather and just generally have a great relaxing time. We’re only in Macedonia for a few days but might be able to manage a daytrip outside of Ohrid. Is there anywhere that you would definitely recommend?

June 2016 – Salzburg & Halstatt (Austria)

Photo credit here.

And we’re heading off to Austria! Myself and two of the girls from work (you may recognise them the beauties in my Prague posts) are off to Salzburg with hopefully a stop off at Halstatt also! While Vienna looks beautiful and I’ve heard great things about it, flights and accommodation were hideously expensive and Salzburg looks like a great alternative. I haven’t seen half as many blog posts on Salzburg as I have Vienna, so hopefully you will enjoy that!

July 2016 – Tallinn (Estonia)

Photo credit here.

This trip isn’t yet booked, but hopefully in the next few weeks the entire thing will be under way! My amazing friend Grace (of the hilariously written, deep, meaningful and all-round amazing blog Finding Graceland) has always wanted to go to Tallinn and after our amazing trip to Copenhagen together last year with two other friends, we knew the 4 of us need to make another trip. I couldn’t be more grateful to have these 3 lovely people in my life and can’t wait for another trip with them, even if we don’t end up in Tallinn (but lets be honest, we will if Grace and I get our way!).

I had 2 weeks in  Zimbabwe booked for a volunteering/safari experience with a trip to Victoria Falls but I had to cancel it due to work/study commitments. I am so gutted but hopefully I can do that trip next year!

August 2016 – Cologne (Germany)

Photo credit here.

My boyfriend and I are taking our very first international trip together! We’re heading off to Cologne for a few nights and I can not wait. The entire trip was based around the fact that Eltz Castle was seemingly popular on my instagram at one point and I decided that I simply couldn’t not visit! Although it isn’t a new country for me, so doesn’t mean I can update my “Been” app or my scratch-off travel map – dammit!

September 2016 – It’s a Surprise!

So I have a little something in the works for September but it’s a surprise for someone special’s birthday and I don’t want to ruin the surprise! As a few clues – it’s reasonably close to home, looks absolutely stunning and will make the perfect short September break (that narrows it down to practically the whole of Europe). Unfortunately it’s an early birthday present for someone as I can’t go away in October boo!

October 2016

Another quiet one for me as I have exams in the first week of November (on my birthday too boo-hoo!). P.s. my birthday is on 2 November and donations to the Danielle birthday fund are welcome.

November 2016

This is when our busy period really starts kicking in at work, so I can’t really take any more time off than necessary. I’ll probably spend the latter part of the month having belated birthday celebrations in the UK with my nearest and dearest. *starts singing Taylor Swift’s 22*

December 2016 – Undecided – Maybe Iceland?

Photo credit here.

Each year I get somewhere between a week and 2 weeks off work as the office closes due to Christmas and New Years. Last year, I used this time to go to Amsterdam and I really want to get away again this year – preferably somewhere Christmas-y! I have been thinking about heading to Iceland, but it seems so expensive, I’m not sure I can justify that amount of money around Christmas time (I do like to spoil people on special occasions after all!). Also, a lot of people seem to be heading to Iceland at the moment. I’d love to go somewhere off-the-beaten-track. I’d love to hear where you like to go around Christmas!

Other Plans

I do have a few more days off work that I can play with. There’s only a few days, so I can’t go too far a field, however any recommendations would be great! I’m thinking about maybe spreading my horizons and leaving Europe and heading to Morocco? After all, a girl needs a bit of sun during the year!


Get ready for some really exciting plans for 2017. I’ll be done with studying in May 2017 (hopefully) and can go further afield, take more time away, potentially take a sabbatical from work for a few month long trip – I can’t wait!

I’d love to hear where you’re going this year! Do you have any exciting plans? Have you already visited some of the locations I have booked? Do you have any recommendations! I hope you all have a fantastic travel year *raises champagne glass*.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin