Author: Daniel James (Dan Flying Solo)

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Home » Destinations » Europe » Spain » Renaissance architecture, sacred statues, and plenty of vino: how to spend a weekend in Valladolid, Spain Updated: 20th November 2022 This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission for purchases made at no additional cost to you. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH #SPAINBYTRAIN Whizzing through the arid fields appearing like a golden mirage on the horizon, a weekend in Valladolid, Spain, was awaiting. Just a short one-hour journey from Madrid – courtesy of the country’s high-speed rail network – somehow, this storied spot had slipped my radar on previous trips. While I’d…

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In Partnership with #SpainByTrain Nestled on the lush ‘Green Coast’ of northern Spain, Gijón has become a favourite beach escape for both local Asturians, and Spaniards from further afield. Lured in by the curved bay, golden sands, and gently lapping sapphire waves, it’s a refreshing escape when the mercury start’s going above 40-degrees in the country’s south. Gijón’s beaches aren’t the only pull, though, as the city provides all the seafood restaurants, nightlife, and Art Nouveau architecture that you’ll need for entertainment away from the waters. As the largest city in the autonomous community, with around 270,000 residents, it’s a…

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Sri Lanka is renowned for its golden sand beaches and tea-plantation-coated countryside, yet there are plenty of historical sites to explore too. In fact, there are eight World Heritage Listed locations across the country, and Sri Lanka’s UNESCO attractions provide an alluring mix of spirituality, ancient kingdoms, and endemic fauna and flora. On my first visit to the country, truly one of the most beautiful Islands I’ve visited, I was left in awe by the dazzling beaches, verdant and lofty tea country, and the ancient citadels and temples that bejewel the nation. With a rich and varied history that has…

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Spanning out from the eternal city, the region of Lazio delivers an array of beautiful villages near Rome waiting to be enjoyed, and with far fewer visitors, they nearly all deliver a tranquil escape, especially outside of the summer season. Of course, tearing yourself away from the country’s attraction-packed, sightseeing-centric and footfall-heavy capital is a tough decision to make. However, if you’re not in the mood for a non-stop city break and instead want to slow down and savour the good things in life alongside the best Italian experiences, the countless small towns in Italy close to Rome promise plenty…

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Home » All » Checking in: Stockinggut, Leogang Hotel Review – an almost all-inclusive Austrian Alps experience  Updated: 16th August 2022 This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission for purchases made at no additional cost to you. Produced in Partnership with #RealAustria If I close my eyes, it’s just me and the birds. The tap water tastes like an iced glacier. Occasionally, a little lick of a light breeze crosses my face, a refreshing relief to the warm mountain air that, just a few weeks before, would have sent the snow cascading down from the jagged peaks…

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Produced in Partnership with #RealAustria It’s a little after 9 in the evening, and the final slither of the sun withers behind the verdant mountain saddles surrounding me. Siping a chilled glass of locally distilled schnapps, I raise a toast to the summer solstice – what a sensational pocket of the world to spend the longest day of the year in.  With little warning, the sky radiates in shades of violets and tangerines, the Asitz Mountain’s final performance of the day.  The Asitz Mountain ‘Cinema of Nature’ This true peak of serenity, soothing sounds, sceneries, and introspection had been my…

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Home » Travel Style » Technology and Gear » Holafly, the eSIM for travelling to Europe and avoiding roaming fees Updated: 3rd June 2022 This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission for purchases made at no additional cost to you. Produced in partnership with HolaFly Sadly, the days of travelling with just a beat-up map and our gut instincts are long gone, and while it’s still nice to dabble in some off the beaten path adventures in Europe or further afield, the digital world we live in has undoubtedly changed the way we travel forever.  Don’t get…

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There are countless reasons you might want to learn Spanish online rather than take classes. For some, it may be a matter of cost; for others, it could be simply wanting to master the basics for an upcoming trip, while many might just want to dabble in an easy to access option before signing up in a language school.  There are over 550-million people who speak Spanish globally, making it one of the best foreign languages to learn for a myriad of reasons. These could include travel, re-locating, making new friends, or enjoying the fantastic music and movies that hail…

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Getting to lingo with the locals is the most important thing to me when I travel, so, finding the best language learning apps before I travel to a country has become more and more important over the years. I bet travelling the world years ago when English wasn’t such a common language made for a much more exciting journey, sadly, nowadays we seem to have become a bit lazy. If people don’t understand, often people will just try to say it louder and slower, and throw in a few hand signals, with the hope it helps. However, learning a few basics…

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Visit in partnership with the Tourism Recovery Programme Throughout the global pandemic, conversations in the tourism industry have re-focussed on all our favourite buzz words; sustainability, responsibility, and community. Many of the loudest voices in the industry envisioned some kind of tourism overhaul – where local businesses would thrive as travellers, wary of the world around them due to the pandemic, would opt to research and focus more on locally owned operators. However, now nearly two years on and as tourism slowly re-opens globally, how many of these predictions still ring true? The World Economic Forum recently investigated how quickly…

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Visit in partnership with the Tourism Recovery Programme During my recent week-long visit to Mexico City, I was privileged with the opportunity to visit six of the businesses receiving support and mentorship from a recently launched Tourism Recovery Programme.  From organic-only wine bars to agricultural experiences and tours with an indigenous twist, it quickly became apparent this was a programme loyal to its word – where small, sustainable and impactful local businesses were genuinely feeling the benefits.  As I met more and more passionate business owners, each with their own unique stories to tell, I was reminded of just how…

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Visit in partnership with the Tourism Recovery Programme As the traffic breaks and we leave the bustle of downtown Mexico City behind, the colourful trajineras boats of Xochimilco burst into view. Lined up in their hundreds, these crafts sit ready and waiting to whisk city-dwellers and tourists alike off on an afternoon of mariachi bands, ice-bucket cooled beers, and laid-back, good-time vibes. However, we aren’t here to stop and join the waiting crowds for a morning of pre-lunch revellers. Instead, we continue a little further towards the traditional and more authentic reason these waterways exist: the Protected Natural Area of…

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After 318 updates and a lot of crazy changes along the way, this post is now retired and no longer being updated. With the mask mandate being dropped (except for care homes, hospitals, and on public transport) in mid-April, and day-to-day life *pretty much* being back to normal, there is no need for this article to be updated anymore.. I’m keeping it here as a reminder of some crazy years, and all the amazing people I’ve connected with, and helped plan their trips and even weddings (thank you to both the invites I got to attend for helping to plan…

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Visit in partnership with the Tourism Recovery Programme ‘¿Más pulque?’ Ericka half-asks, half-orders with a cheeky glint, pouring the fermented Agave milk-like drink into my glass. Raphael, her husband, sits by my side, doting on videos of his wife cooking up various Nopal dishes, as the table starts to overflow with Mole, carnitas, tacos and freshly mashed avocado. ‘This one is her own recipe’, Raphael exclaims with glee as the video’s audio cuts off Alejandro Fernández crooning from the stacked speaker system, photos of their grandchildren perched above. In the space of a few hours, I’d gone from perhaps the…

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Visit in partnership with the Tourism Recovery Programme Sporting a baseball cap and low hanging jeans, a young man practices the trombone as dog-walkers stroll by, swinging their hips from the soothing sounds. At this intersection of a tree-lined boulevard, each corner houses a grand and ornate building that wouldn’t look out of place in the heart of Italy.  Welcome to Colonia Roma, a suburb of Mexico City and perhaps the most exciting neighbourhood for aficionados of the capital’s growing culinary scene. Of course, Mexico and delicious food are ubiquitous, but in the wide boulevards and corner enclaves of Roma,…

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Visit in partnership with the Tourism Recovery Programme Beyond the dense rows of Nopal plants (Prickly Pear Cactus) spreading out before me, the towers of downtown Mexico City rise in the distance. Somehow, we’re still in CDMX, yet as skilled farmers quickly slice chunks of Nopal like knife-wielding ninjas, it feels a far cry from the hubbub of the city’s downtown. Amongst one of the largest Nopal farms in Mexico, and a substantial part of the local economy, the air was fresh, the breeze relaxing, and the verdant setting a welcome sight.  I’m here on a brand new day tour…

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Visit in partnership with the Tourism Recovery Programme Two puppies eagerly chase their tails as Ava Álvarez Sánchez slides canvases adorned with thick acrylic strokes across the floor of her spacious studio, the leafy residential streets of Coyoacán perfectly framed in the wide windows.  As with the rest of her creative family, Ava has been instrumental in bringing Casa Jacinta, a boutique hotel in Mexico City’s most bohemian neighbourhood, to life – her artwork decorating each individually styled room.  For three generations, this ample house has been home to a passionate and cultured family, a dwelling where books were scribed,…

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Home » Travel Style » Food and Wine » Discover amazing Wines from Europe with home delivery | 8 Wines Review Updated: 31st January 2022 This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission for purchases made at no additional cost to you. One of the finest pleasures about setting foot in a new destination is the unexpected and unknown treats that will revitalise your senses. From the babble of another language, to the sight of the unfamiliar, or – a personal favourite – savouring flavours your palate hasn’t encountered before, especially when it comes to wine!  Having spent…

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Where to start with Dominica, wow! This country absolutely amazed me beyond any expectations. Coming into land on the tiny runway, I knew this was going to be a special trip, and I’m excited for your adventure to the nature island. Hopefully this Dominica travel guide will give you the insight you need to make the most out of your trip to this incredible island, one which now owns a little slice of my heart. A land where the mangos are delicious, the waters refreshing, and the honking of horns will make you smile as friendly faces exchange brief greetings…

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Tumbling waterfalls shrouded by lush rainforest, volcanic crater lakes adorned with kaleidoscopic Hindu statues, and verdant tea plantations ideal for tranquil kayaking are perhaps not the first scenes that spring to mind when you imagine this idyllic island nation. They are, however, just a few of the best places to visit in Mauritius beyond the cyan waters and silky soft white sands.  Often touted as a dream honeymoon destination, thanks to the plethora of luxury resorts and seemingly endless beaches, many overlook the other offers of the island. While, for some, the irresistible cocktails crafted with local rum and warm,…

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Exploring the best spots in Europe often means cheap flights on Ryanair, heading off the main path or simply finding yourself somewhere totally unexpected.  Some people call that inconvenient. I call it winning. I love hunting out the hidden gems of Europe, the places still waiting for the crowds to descend and those destinations that unexpectedly capture your heart. If you are like me and would rather point to a random island called Nisyro on a map and head there on a whim, then this list, my friends, is for you. The other magical thing about exploring Europe is how easy it…

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Whether you want to live the island life with a coconut in hand or head inland on a jeep for some incredible adventures, there are countless spots dotted throughout our oceans which will oblige. Here I’ve rounded up some of the best island vacations you can enjoy, and many of them won’t break the bank, unlike more luxury island vacations. I have no shame in admitting I’m an addict for the island life, but as someone who tires quickly of lazy days in the sand, I’m often looking for something a bit different. These unique island escapes each offer something…

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The addictive echo of feet stamping to a flamenco rhythm, those first rays of daylight breaking over jagged peaks, bar counters drowning in Pintxos, waves gently lapping against tranquil islands, and a plethora of architectural styles from centuries gone by – welcome to Spain, a nation full of world-famous monuments and countless hidden gems.  Here, the culture and landscapes are as delicious and varied as the dishes served across the country’s seventeen regions. While most travellers make a beeline to Barcelona, pack their party outfits for Ibizia, or settle in for some flamenco in Seville, there is a seemingly never-ending…

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Home » All » A quick guide to Palma de Mallorca: Spain’s best island city break? Updated: 10th January 2022 This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission for purchases made at no additional cost to you. The grandeur of a Gothic Cathedral towering above the city, a labyrinth of brightly coloured walls enclosing tiny streets, shaded squares sound-tracked by birdsong and free-flowing fountains, and a plethora of delicious restaurants and nightlife lie waiting for you along the oceanside in Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearics.  The first time I visited the island, my only plan…

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Touching down in the land of fire and ice is sure to send a shiver down the spine no matter the season. Whether it’s the first glance at a snow-covered city in the depths of winter, admiring verdant greenery against striking black beaches in summer, or being dazzled by the northern lights on approach, Iceland certainly enthrals all the senses. But picking the right season to visit Iceland will not just shape the appearance of this jewel between the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans but also shape the whole way you travel. Camping, for example, is far more enjoyable in…

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Recently I was writing a list of places my friend should visit in Spain, and as I read him out my proposed agenda, he scoffed at the idea of Mallorca. ‘Isn’t that just Magaluf, all about the booze and wild nights out?’ he asked, and I remembered that was exactly what I had expected when I boarded my flight to Mallorca a few years back. But the truth is, I barely did Mallorca justice because I went with that expectation myself. I was looking forward to a holiday, think crystal-clear waters, days by the beach, afternoons snacking on tapas and relaxing in the…

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It’s certainly no secret that the UAE boasts some of the most luxurious hotels and experience globally – an accolade that extends to their two most famous airlines. Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are popular city-break destinations, and thanks to the stopover options offered by Emirates and Etihad, it’s easy to combine exploring these cities with your primary destination. With both airports being key hubs on international routes between Asia and Europe, chances are you might have the option to visit the UAE as a stopover.  But, which airline is better? What can you squeeze into a stopover in either…

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Getting stuck into a grand adventure in the great outdoors is an easy task in all four corners of the United Kingdom. Sure, sometimes the weather doesn’t play ball, but when you’ve got some of the most magnificent beaches in the world decorating the Hebrides and countless national parks ripe for hiking, a little bit of rain is never going to ruin the day. As we get more reunited with the idea of holidaying closer to home and UK staycations grow, the abundance of natural beauty across the nation is practically calling out our names. Here are some of my…

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Home » Travel Style » Journal & Personal » An ode to arriving Updated: 13th December 2021 This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission for purchases made at no additional cost to you. Touchdown. Hello, Privet, Gamarjoba! It begins again… That fleeting feeling of first setting foot in a new nation – the scents, the flavours, the unknown words, the unique culture, the stories of your life being written in real-time. The coat hanger-level grin as you breathe in the ambience and dark-night air of what will be home for however long this journey calls you. Each…

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Home » Destinations » Europe » Scotland » A Quick Guide to the 11 Edinburgh Festivals in 2022 Updated: 9th December 2021 This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission for purchases made at no additional cost to you. Edinburgh is a stunning city and is by far my favourite in the UK. Between its history, the warmth of the Scottish people, the grand architecture and the ever-increasing creative scene it’s a true rival to London for your UK visit. Whilst most people know about Edinburgh Fringe Festival there are actually 11 unique festivals that take place throughout the year…

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Home » Destinations » Europe » UK » Crimbo in the capital: festivities and Christmas shopping day-trip ideas in London 2021 Updated: 6th December 2021 This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission for purchases made at no additional cost to you. Wow – where did 2021 go? It seems only five minutes ago we were welcoming in 2021, albeit for many of us under lockdowns and restrictions, yet here we are now – ready to make the most of the Christmas festivities, gifts and magical light-lit winter nights!  With the capital very much open for business (for…

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Home » Travel Style » Travel Tips » Is it worth getting an allergy test before travelling? Updated: 6th December 2021 This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission for purchases made at no additional cost to you. Advertorial Content  Before setting off on a big adventure around the world, we all know to do a few things: buy insurance, check visas, and look into any vaccinations we might need. However, one thing I hadn’t considered before my big round the world trip was allergy testing. Luckily for me, this is what my Mum used to do for…

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Sponsored Content Bathed in glorious summer light, waves breaking upon beaches of treasured fossils, laughter spilling out from country pub gardens and the addictive scent of fish and chips floating through the air – my childhood memories of the South West of England (Dorset, to be precise) will always be fondly remembered.  Stretching from Cornwall to The Cotswolds, this collection of counties offers visitors the chance to hike through forests meeting friendly ponies, sun themselves on some of the best beaches in the land, devour freshly caught seafood, head on an island escape or wine and dine in now-trendy cities…

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Sponsored Content The lingering taste of ocean salt on your lips, the scent of fish and chips doused in vinegar, the soundtrack of lapping waves and sprightly birds – Cornwall has become the most quintessential of English seaside getaways, and all for good reasons. When I first set off to discover the craggy-coves, idyllic villages, and breathtaking coastline of Cornwall, I did it all wrong. Every day we would drag our cases back to the car for another non-stop whirlwind of sightseeing, exhaustedly tumbling into bed full of locally-brewed beer and freshly caught seafood. Sure, we saw a lot –…

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My first memory of the Algarve is a beaming face and wrinkled-hand passing me a freshly-picked orange. I quickly peeled and devoured what at the time tasted like sweet, juicy heaven sat against an almond tree and, twenty-five years later, I still smile at that moment every-time I step off a flight at Faro airport. In many ways, a lot has changed in the two-and-a-half decades since; more resorts, more tourists, fishing villages that have developed so much you wouldn’t recognise them in an old postcard. On the other hand, it’s still just the same. Beaming, wrinkled-faced ladies sell oranges…

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I’ve been visiting the Algarve since I was a toddler and what once felt like a second home is now my first home, which has allowed me plenty of time to explore both the hidden gems of the Algarve and discover some of its more unusual accommodation along the way. While some of these more unique accommodation options in the Algarve have proven perfect staycations for me, others are those I recommend when people reach out asking where to stay to make their trip to this sun-kissed, beach spoilt, southern stretch of Portugal that bit more special. I’m sure I’ll be adding…

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The golden hues of the fading sun imprint the silhouette of the Dom Luís I Bridge onto the Douro some 45-metres below, our modern tram gliding high above the buzz of activity. The famed bridge connects the city of Porto on the northern bank with Vila Nova de Gaia on the south, and from my window view, I was captivated by the colourful charm of these sexy cities. Nowadays, the two cities blend together, and to most tourists, they are one and the same. On the north, cafe tables are overflowing at the base of colourful townhouses, and on the…

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PRODUCED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH #SPAINONMYMIND Since the world started shuttering its borders just over a year ago, Spain has certainly been on my mind. Living in Portugal, I’ve always taken for granted that a short drive will deliver me to the cities, mountains, beaches and culinary gems of Spain – and if there is one destination that effortlessly encompasses all of those, it’s San Sebastián. Last summer, when restrictions eased, a few of us instantly jumped in the car and nipped over the border towards Seville. For four hours we feasted on dish upon dish of tapas, before raiding the…

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Since I was a child I’ve been obsessed with the oceans and boats, and in awe of the great expanses of water that seem so never-ending. The idea of exploring the islands of the world by yacht has become even more appealing since my best friend started working in the industry, even though she tells me it’s a far cry from the life ‘Below Deck’ would have you believe. As a chief stewardess, she has been lucky enough to traverse the world visiting amazing places for her job. For those of us who don’t have the ocean as our office…

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A land of lochs and munros, castles and craggy coastlines, Scotland brings breathtaking beauty to any trip. With cliff-hugging lighthouses and grand castles to admire, there is plenty to explore. Even better though, did you know you can even stay in these unique attractions? Yep, there is a wealth of unusual places to stay in Scotland which will help you make your trip even more special. So, forget the chain-hotels to typical accommodation ideas, and opt for something a little bit different instead. The dramatic landscape of the Isle of SkyeStay in a lighthouse on the South West Coast 300…

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Home » Destinations » Europe » Italy » Why I love Italy – my favourite Italy experiences and places Updated: 27th February 2021 This website uses affiliate links, and I may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post at no additional cost to you. Dear Italy,The last year has been unimaginable,We’ve missed so many meals with friends and loved ones,So many moments of laughter.We’ve lost out on experiencing new things and exploring new places. So this year we’ve all had to travel through our memories or photos,and so many of my favourite travel memories are because of…

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Relaxing on a beach, cocktail in hand, or zip-wiring through a rainforest? When it comes to honeymoons there is no perfect blueprint to follow. Sure, that all-inclusive beach escape might be someone else’s dream way of celebrating their nuptials, but if you want to turn your honeymoon into an epic adventure, there are plenty of options too. Making your romantic escape something special is the main rule for a honeymoon – a trip that is both unforgettable but also unique to your particular interests. Whether that is mountain hiking, wildlife adventures, or indulging in the finest things our world has…

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Staycation – the portmanteau whose official meaning, or even legitimacy as a word, has become a very hot topic over the last year. Unsurprisingly, as if we are honest, we haven’t had that much to talk about! Debates on meaning aside, the rise of the UK staycation looks very much here to stay for the foreseeable months, so we might as well focus on making them interesting and exciting, rather than worrying about defining the meaning. Far-flung destinations are off the menu just now, and something closer to home seems a much safer bet for your summer booking. But, fear…

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Futurist trees in Singapore 2. Enjoy a luxury journey from Bangkok to Singapore Singapore is a city I’ve visited countless times on stopovers when I lived in the Pacific, and I love it! It’s futuristic, exciting and inventive, while also holding its heritage in high regard. Bangkok is another city that holds countless attractions, from religious sights to sky-high bars, and somewhere I wish I had spent more time visiting. With a flight between the two-cities being a quick hop, taking the train between Singapore and Bangkok is all about the journey. The Eastern & Oriental Express trains transport you…

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Bologna One Day Itinerary From Michelangelo’s sculpture work to Morandi’s paintings, Bologna is a city you could easily spend days enjoying the art and architecture off – in fact, in the Emilia Region alone there are 13 UNESCO sites, so be sure to enjoy those that are in the city. For day one, let’s start with some of the highlights, and some gelato because it’s a totally suitable food-group to build a whole lunch out of when in Italy! Looking out on Basilica di San Petronio Piazza Maggiore Set in the centre of the old town, Piazza Maggiore will forever…

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Street Art Walks One of the best ways to get to know the city is through a street-walk with one of the tour leaders from Cosecha. Once-run down walls have been smoothed over and now proudly display work from local artists, other Caribbean contributions, and in-fact, street art from as far afield as Portugal. In fact, two of my favourite artists from my adopted homeland were even there during my visit, and if you spot the ‘One Happy Island’ mural to the left of the centre, a little bit of my (terrible) spray-paint work is included! The walk takes around…

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8. Slow down with rural agri-tourism Agriculture has always been a huge focus in the Region of Murcia and is an impressive achievement given the arid soil. In the 17th-century orchards starting to convert to vineyards, however, it’s still often called ‘Europe’s Orchard’ due to the sheer number of fruits grown here. The Almond blossoms provide a colourful sprinkle to the region in Spring, while the harvest here, which can last as long as from August to November provides a coating of greenery and grapes across the countryside from the low hanging Monastrell grape which grows outwards, rather than upwards.…

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Pocket-sized side trips California Lighthouse, Alto VistaI’ll be honest, when it’s warm I don’t always want to be trekking around all day in the heat ticking off lots of different attractions. Thanks to never being far from the beach in Aruba, and the bite-size nature of the popular tourist spots, you can easily do a half-day visiting sights, or combine them with a beach visit. For example, the California Lighthouse stands above the California Sand dunes, alongside the beautiful Arashi Beach. You can enjoy some time on the sand and gently trek towards the lighthouse. From the top, you can…

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Nearly four years after moving to Portugal my feet finally set foot on the rugged, volcanic island of Madeira. Over the next few days and weeks, as I explored, I’d quickly realise what a mistake it had been waiting so long to visit. The photos of Madeira I’d seen online before had either been moody and foggy or cruise-ships and crowded. In reality, it’s a perfect paradise that packs a lot in. The archipelago of Madeira consists of the main island, the golden-sand beach escape of Porto Santo, and a few other islands that serve as uninhabited nature reserves. An…

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Traditional wall vats at Castano Winery Castano Winery Before visiting Barahonda, we stopped by Castaño Winery located in Yecla itself. This makes it easy for those who don’t want to drive, as you can simply walk there. Our guide, Raquel Ortuño, who has taken care of the wine tours and tasting for over a decade, led us around the tour of the Bodega which lasted about 90-minutes. Visiting the production areas and tasting rooms, you can see some of the original vats built into the wall and ceiling, before sampling four of the estates best wines. Be sure to sample…

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What else to experience in Kutna Hora? While perhaps Kutna Hora sounds like a haunted place of dramatic stories and creepy chapels, the city itself is actually very inviting. Warm and welcoming Cafes serve up cappuccinos and local plum cakes, while greenery and trees spread out into Bohemia, while venture inside the old neighbourhoods will allow you to experience more of the city. The Italian Courtyard, once the Royal Central Mint of Prague until a fire put an end to that, is home to a grand palace, and nowadays the town hall and a minting museum. Dating back to the…

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There is an abundance of beautiful viewpoints and temples here, so hiring a scooter and just exploring for a few days is a great idea. The town itself was busy with flower markets, street-stalls and fantastic noodle restaurants. From here, we took local boats to visit some of the floating villages. These certainly aren’t set up for tourists in the way that other parts of the Mekong are. Our group was actually delivering water filtration units to some of these communities as part of a project. Thus, my trip was likely much different to what yours will be as a…

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Admire the architecture while soothed by waters Not content with wowing us with waters, Karlovy Vary is also an incredibly beautiful city. The architecture is grand, intriguing, and non-uniform – with buildings in various styles next to each other creating this very unique layout. Most of the architecture in the city is either neo-Baroque and neo-Renaissance, and the historic centre is compact to explore by foot – mainly following the Tepla river which flows down the centre of the pedestrianised area – with colonnades providing cover from the elements if needed. The gardens in-front of the Elizabeth Bath Many of…

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The stunning island of Madeira has a lot to offer – incredible hiking and adventure sports, luxury resorts and rural retreats, a dramatic coastline of black sand beaches and tumbling waterfalls, and the golden-sand island of Porto Santo. It’s a destination that, although pretty small, packs a lot that appeals to many age groups. I spent a month from November to December on Madeira. As a resident of Portugal, the rare trips I’ve had this year I’ve stayed local, travelling domestically – and I completely fell in love with this island. It’s also done a much better job of managing…

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Whether you are heading off on a gap year, packing light for a couple of weeks summer break or getting stuck into the culture of a country for the foreseeable, there is one thing we all have in common: the smartphone. Here’s what you won’t find my phone without and some of my favourite travel apps, covering everything from flights to money exchange and even stargazing. Jess and I muddling our way through Indonesia Flight delay app: Colibra If you’ve ever dealt with trying to claim for a delayed flight under regulations, you’ll know it’s not always a straight forward…

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