We all have things we want to do in life, and taking trips that will stay with you for life tend to be high on people’s agenda. What truly constitutes as a once in a lifetime trip will be personal. But there are some locations that everyone agrees are the ‘must-see’ type. For this list, you’ll probably need a great pair of hiking boots, a bike, and a passport!

Photo by Reynier Carl on Unsplash

Polar Bears

The Svalbard Islands are the home to many beautiful Polar Bears. They are located in the Arctic ocean, between the North Pole and Norway. Much of the area is completely untouched and could be described as rugged. Only around 3000 people are living across the islands and 2000 of those line in Longyearbyen. Longyearbyen is the largest settlement and admin center. 

You will be treated to Arctic food, and they pride themselves on a high standard of delectable treats. In fact, you can visit the world’s northernmost sushi restaurant! You’ll probably need to get the by plane. But it is worth it to see the two-thirds of the protected Svalbard area. Flights take 3 hours from Oslo. You’ll need to pack your thermal for this trip and, when you arrive at the visitor’s center, check out tours and activities. 

Pasta Please

Millions of people visit Italy every year. But, many people tend to stick to the tourist areas. But if you step outside of those spaces, you are in for a treat. The Lake District has a lot to offer. It is in northern Italy and surrounded by mountains and stunning lakes. The largest lake is Garda, closely followed by Como and Maggiore. This is more for people who love natural beauty and some history. The Aeolian Islands are situated in the northeast of Sicily and the perfect getaway if you are ready to take it easy for a while. It comes highly recommended to scuba diving, and you can find active volcanoes here too. More than just great food!

Himalayas

This is where those trusty walking boots will be your best buddies. Dolpo is a part of the Himalayas that is only accessible by foot. You will want to book a tour for this one, as it takes around 13 days. The trails are untouched, and you will see various villages too. The region is culturally Tibetan which means you’ll get a real feel for how the ancient Tibetan people lived. And, of course, you’ll see Kathmandu’s temples, shrines, and the beautiful Phokosundo lake. 

Cruises

This one isn’t so much to a specific location but rather the experience itself. If you think about the cost of flights, hire cars or public transport, a week or two in a hotel plus food and experiences, a cruise will always be cheaper. Even luxury cruises will have a better price point. The all-inclusive nature of them means that you are never going to be worried about how much a meal is going to cost, or the snack breaks. You will probably need to add on a drinks package if you are partial to an alcoholic beverage. 

Nomad 

There are specific tour companies like G Adventures’ that have a 10-day tour package that involved living nomadically during that time period. You’ll get to ride on horseback, stay overnight at a nomadic camp – where you’ll sleep in a ger, which is a bit like a yurt. Mongolia is looking to increase their tourist visits in the next few years, which should go some way to showing it doesn’t see nearly as many tourists as many places. 

Finland

Many people want to see the northern lights. It is quite the experience to see different colors dance across the skies. But it is a different experience entirely from sleeping under them. The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland has a range of glass igloos. There is a glass compartment next to a more traditional log cabin – so privacy isn’t an issue. If you are going to check this one out, then you will want to book between August and April. 

Galapagos Islands

If the idea of giant turtles doesn’t entice you, then maybe the opportunity to swim with penguins might? You can also watch seals playing and swimming off the coast too. The Galapagos is made up of 19 islands and was untouched for millions of years. Each of the islands has an entirely different makeup, so you should check out maps long before you go. There are also some entry requirements to visit the Galapagos Park because they pride themselves on the protection of the habitat and inhabitants they are vigilant with bag checks, fees, and alien species. 

Temples

If you love to have your breath taken away repeatedly, then you should consider temple hopping. Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia are relatively close, and the flights between each country are affordable and fast. If you choose two or three places that you want to visit, you can make a round trip in a matter of days. They recommend Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the White Temple in Chaing Rai, Thailand as the perfect spots for avid photographers. 

Paris

Yes, it has thousands of tourists, but with good reason. When the sunsets and the city noise dulls down to a hum, the Eiffel Tower lights the sky. It is something spectacular and one of the most iconic structures on the planet. You can even have dinner in Les Ombres if you want to experience dinner and a view of the tower. There are of course other things that may draw your attention, like the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe or bag a bargain at Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

When it comes to once in a lifetime trips, they don’t need to be expensive or in a far off place. What matters the most is that you do something that means something to you. Watching wild horses run across fields, sitting in a safari car in Africa, or trying sushi in Japan. Travel well by doing what you love.

Sarah x

Driving with mobile phone

When driving, whether it is a short journey to work or a road trip that is going to take all day it is equally as important that you are safe whilst driving and stay alert.

A lot of us use smartphones on a daily basis, nowadays they are not only phones but can be used as an mp3 player and also as sat nav. It is so important that you don’t let your phone distract you whilst driving.

A recent survey was conducted about drivers and mobile phones and honestly I am quite shocked with the results!

19% of the surveyed drivers admitted that they sometimes take calls while driving, 17% admit that they read texts off of their phone, and 12% send texts. All of these reasons can result in a penalty if the police pull you over and find that it was distracting you.

I am honestly shocked that people are still using phones to text and call whilst behind the wheel knowing how dangerous it can be. Not only does it put your own life at risk, it will put at risk anyone in your car and also the drivers/pedestrians around you.

The best tips I can give when taking a long journey to avoid being distracted would be to set up your phone before you leave. Make sure you know your destination and have the address set up already on google maps so you do not have to fiddle around with it once on the road. Planning your journey is so important so you know exactly where you are going. Also, put your phone on driving mode if it has it, you can even set them up nowadays that if you are driving and someone calls or texts you then your phone will automatically text the person back to say you are driving and will respond once you have reached your destination.

If you get a lot of calls and text and like to check social media and the news regularly then plan this into your journey. Don’t look these things up when at traffic lights or when in traffic like you see some people doing! If you are on a 4 hour drive then plan before you go any places that are suitable to stop at like motorway services. You could stop once an hour for a break and have a suitable time to use your phone.

Not only are you putting people at danger using a phone whilst driving but you are also liable for a penalty if you get caught!

In the recent survey with Kwikfit:

“43% of the drivers we asked, that’s more than two in five people, did not know that the minimum penalty is now 6 points and a £200 fine if you are found to be using a mobile phone while behind the wheel. For particularly dangerous offences you can be taken to court where you could receive the maximum fine of £1,000 and even banned from driving. Drivers who have passed their driving test in the past two years will lose their licence outright for a single mobile phone related offence. Only 47% of the people we asked knew about these additional rules that specifically target inexperienced drivers who are the most likely to use their phone behind the wheel.”

You may think that you are capable of texting and driving but it IS NOT WORTH THE RISK! Take the Driven to distraction test and see how you get on!

Drive safely!

Sarah x

Something I struggle with when travelling is what to do with my jewellery. No matter how I pack it, my necklaces always end up tangled, or I end up losing an earring!

I have recently been using this travel jewellery organiser from Ellis James Designs and it has come in so handy. It is great to store things in whilst travelling to keep them safe and can then be used whilst away as storage.

It is a decent size to fit lots in but not too big, so it won’t take up too much room. If you have a safe in your room whilst away it is ideal to use as quite often you end up putting lose items in there, so this will hold them all together.

It has a special section for earrings at the top and a really cool section at the bottom for necklaces or bracelets as well as multiple zip sections. It comes in a choice of colours and I love the grey.

It would make a great gift for anyone that travels a lot.

Sarah x