29 August 2014

Packing To Go Travelling

The Travelling Series

Hello, everybody!

The time is almost upon us; in a few days I will be jetting off on my travelling adventure with my other half.

I've spent the last month struggling to figure out what I'm going to take and how on earth I'm going to make these few possessions last for the entire three month trip. I wanted to show you what it has all boiled down to.

My backpack contents:

My airport attire and daypack contents:

Now I just need to figure out the packing part!

I'm so pleased with my backpack though. I spent a good couple of weeks researching the highest quality backpacks at the lowest possible price and I managed to stumble across this 60 litre Berghaus beauty from the Millets website.

It's big, it's sturdy and it's purple - a bit like Barney the dinosaur. It's also made specially for a woman's body with shape and comfort in mind - I can't ask for more than that!

Wish me luck with packing!

Whilst I'm away I will try and keep you updated on what I'm getting up to, which means this will turn into more of a travel blog over the next few months - I hope that's okay!

Now all that's left for me to say is adios and I will see you on the other side!

First stop: Thailand.


23 August 2014

What to Wear to a S/S Wedding

I once wrote a post with my advice on what to wear to an Autumn/Winter wedding. This was back in 2012 (wow, time really does fly) but I'm happy that I can finally do the Spring/Summer version, even if it is two years later!

I recently went to the second wedding that I've ever been to in Swansea. It was my boyfriend's Uncle's and I was flattered to be invited as I'd never met his extended family. Of course my initial thought was, meeting these people for the first time and being a typical fashion blogger, what on earth am I going to wear?!

I decided on this gorgeous shift dress from the ZARA sale. I wanted a summery colour palette and print so I thought to myself - what could be better than this ditsy floral number?

I wanted to pick out and highlight the pinky/orangey hues in the florals by teaming it with a coral fascinator. A lot of people shy away from hair accessories at weddings and I don't quite understand why. Sure, you have to be pretty brave to rock a hat, but a cheeky little fascinator? Why not? When else can you wear them?

Being such a giant, and the fact that at weddings you are on your feet a lot of the day, I decided on flats rather than heels. I threw on these gold sandals and co-ordinated them with subtle gold jewellery to dress up the outfit, whilst still maintaining the emphasis on the statement dress.

Beauty-wise, I put on my party make-up; this includes dramatic winged eyeliner and bold lipstick, which just had to be coral in colour this time. I then scrunched my hair for a summer beach babe look and pinned a few pieces back to make room for the fascinator.

It was such a good day and I wish every happiness to Kane's Uncle and his new husband!

(Have you been to a wedding this S/S? What did you wear? Thanks so much for reading! Katie-xo)

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10 August 2014

10 Priorities on My Travel Trip to Do List

The Travelling Series

Hey y'all!

Sorry about the lack of post last week - I've had a very hectic couple of weeks! My boyfriend and I recently moved up the country from our flat in Milton Keynes to my parent's house in Wetherby. It's been manic and stressful, to say the least, but we're here now!

A little while ago (in this post) I revealed that Kane and I are going travelling at the beginning of September, which seems to be fast approaching! There's been so much to sort out and organise, and we haven't even finished yet! 

When we decided to go travelling a couple of month's back, I was scrawling the internet for lists and tips on everything that needs to be done before a big backpacking trip like ours. Sure - there's bits and pieces out there, but nothing simple, straightforward and to the point. 

So this is my first post in the travelling series, if you're looking to go backpacking, for everything you need to do before you go away. 

I'm by no means an expert, as this is my first backpacking trip, but this is what I've found and apologies if I've missed anything off!

Travel Trip To Do List:

1. Book your flight(s).

If you want to book multiple flights in advance, like we did, then it's a good idea to go through a travel agency as they can tailor make your flights using the airlines with the best deals. STA is a popular choice, but we actually found a cheaper package with Round the World Experts.

If you want to just book your first flight, so you have maximum flexibility on your trip, then I suggest you use price comparison sites (such as Expedia and Skyscanner) in order to find the cheapest flights possible.

2. Sort out your visa(s).

Even if it's only for a short period of time, certain countries (such as Australia and Vietnam) will only permit entry if you have a granted visa. Use Government websites to research, apply for and obtain the correct visas before you go. It's fairly straightforward and one less thing to do while you're out there!

3. Think about daily transportation.

You've booked your flight(s), you've obtained your visa(s), but how are you going to travel around once you get there?

It's no secret that it's easier (and cheaper) to use local methods of transport in each country - like trains, buses and even ferries. Some countries also have coach providers specifically for tourists and out-of-towners with hop on/hop off passes and different routes which will help you cover a lot of ground on a tight budget. For example, check out Stray or Kiwi Experience for New Zealand, or Greyhound for Australia.

4. Get the relevant injections.

This is a very important one, as you don't want to be struck down by a life-threatening illness when you're travelling. Protect yourself by getting the required vaccinations. You can book an appointment with a nurse at your local GP for this. Another option is to visit a travel clinic (such as STA Travel Clinic), but these will generally be more expensive.

5. Book some hostels.

For every flight that you've booked in advance, it's a good idea to research and book some accommodation for the night upon your arrival in the country. It goes without saying that you will be jetlagged and just need somewhere to crash temporarily, pronto, so try to arrange a hostel or hotel that will pick you up from the airport as part of the package. The Hostel World site is a great resource for this.

6. Sort out your finances.

Again, another important one, as you're not going to get anywhere without money! Move the money that you've saved for travelling into your current account, so it can easily be accessed when you need it. Then investigate getting a travel card, where you can use their website or an app to upload money as you go along, as you won't be charged using these abroad like you usually would with a debit or credit card. My Travel Cash is a good provider to use, but make sure you also take a credit or debit card in case of emergency.

Also, get a little bit of cash converted to the local currency just before you leave, so that you have some money on you in case you need to get a taxi from the airport upon arrival.

7. Think about your phone options.

If you want a phone for just calling or texting home, a lot of people suggest taking a Pay As You Go cheap phone that you can top up as you go along. I do understand the reasoning behind this, in case your phone gets lost or stolen. However, it is also a good idea to take a smart phone as a lot of places have free wi-fi these days, which means you can use Facebook and email to stay connected with people (for free)!

8. Make a list of everything that you need to take.

There are some pretty extensive ones currently on the internet. I personally like Wordly Nomads his and hers backpacking lists as these helped us a lot. One of the most important things you can buy though is the actual backpack. Make sure it's sturdy and of good quality as you will be taking it everywhere with you! Also make sure you have enough space for everything that you need. 45-60L is recommended for a three month trip, similar to ours.

9. Photocopy important documents.

Make sure you make photocopies of all your important documents before you go and keep them in a different place to the originals. This is worth doing in case something happens to the original documents.

10. Use Lonely Planet books to help.

Finally, it's a good idea to research the place(s) you are going to before you leave for your trip. It's a well known fact that you meet people along the way in hostels or on tours, as well as locals, who will help you get your bearings while you're out there. However, it's good to have a bit of a heads up beforehand so you know what you're getting yourself into! I recommend getting a Lonely Planet book for the place(s) you're going to, which are filled with answers to every possible question you can imagine.

Also, it goes without saying, ask around if you know any friends or family that have been travelling. You need all the help you can get, especially if you're going to multiple countries!

I hope this helps, guys! Please leave me a comment if you've got any thoughts or questions - I'd be happy to answer them. 

Good luck on your trip and stay safe!


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