Hey lovelies!

If you follow my Instagram you will know that I recently got back from the most amazing 3 weeks away in Greece and Portugal! When we go away I tend to like to keep things casual and natural – in fact, we usually only take hand luggage so I couldn’t take loads of outfit changes with me even if I wanted to! However, I always make sure I take a couple of lovely dresses with me to wear in the evenings because I absolutely love holiday fashion. Here are a few of my favourite looks from our trip!


Every girl needs a short, white, floaty dress for a holiday right?! It’s such a staple piece and I feel like it looks amazing with a beach backdrop, especially with a bit of a tan! I love this dress because it can be styled casually or more dressy. It’s also super flattering as it’s a beautiful floaty shape and is layered in all the right places. This dress is from New Look a few seasons ago but you can shop a similar look here.

This is my absolute favourite maxi dress in the whole world! Not only because it is super comfortable; you can literally throw it on and it hangs so nicely, but also because it colours and patterns are so beautiful! The material is really nice and thin which makes it really cool in a warm country and I just feel like it looks amazing and so summery. A floral print is one of my favourite styles for holiday and although I usually go for more pastel colours I like the boldness of this dress and it really stands out and makes an impact. Shop similar styles with this floaty maxi , this bright printed number, or this pretty floral dress.


I saved my favourite until last. I adore this cream and pastel co ord set so much! I bought this last year again, from New Look, for our post-wedding boat cruise event which took place the day after our wedding. I’ve loved it ever since and I tend to save it for special occasions on holiday. The floral pattern is gorgeous and I love the big flowers and well as the peachy colour. The wrap-around style also makes it flattering and helps give me a waist. I always get compliments on this outfit! You can shop similar with this wrap-around dress or this beautiful co-ord set.

Big thanks to my gorgeous husband for snapping these outfit shots for me!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my favourite holiday fashion guys! What are your go-to holiday looks? Let me know!

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It was a good few months ago now that we went on our sneaky Easter minibreak escape to Montenegro and I’m ashamed that I haven’t had a chance to publish a travel post about it yet! So, before we go on our summer holiday (2 weeks and counting!) I thought it only fair to give our trip a little write up and share our photographs seeing as it was so stunning.

The first question most people asked us when we mentioned where we were going was.. well.. why Montenegro? It’s a fair question. Up to this point we are the only people we know out of all of our friends and extended family that have ever been! Scores of people seem to flood to Croatia these days, so I find the lack of the same enthusiasm for it’s neighbour odd, as Montenegro shares a similar vibe, climate and even looks similar! Plus, it’s still a pretty undiscovered gem, so perfect for a quiet, secret escape!

Our holiday

As it was a quick ‘let’s get out of here’ last minute holiday affair, we decided to go inexpensive and simple. Out of season (early April) the climate in Montenegro looked good and we found a great value all inclusive deal at a five star hotel in the holiday beach resort of Budva. All inclusive is not usually something we would go for our main holiday because we like to cook for ourselves and eat out in different places, but for the type of super relaxing short break we wanted we decided to go for it.

The hotel was called the Iberostar Bellevue and it was absolutely stunning. I was blown away when we first got there. Mainly because I’ve never seen a beachfront hotel over looking the sea which is also surrounded by spectacular mountains on the other side! The landscape was just something that you would never see in your normal Spain/ Portugal holidays and I couldn’t get over it! I was super happy to take loads of gorgeous photos with the stunning backdrop. Our room was fine, perfectly comfortable and functional with a lovely big balcony and a sea view which we weren’t expecting and was a lovely surprise. We could actually hear the sound of the waves at night which was amazing.

The Iberostar Belleview hotel

The weather we had was mixed. A bit of rain on the first two days so we took the opportunity to explore the local historic town of Budva and the montain city of Kotor to get some culture and sightseeing in. Due to it being out of season, Budva was a bit dead with a lot of shops and restaurants closed, but Kotor was much more lively and seemed to have a lot of tourists visiting despite the weather. Budva would definitely be worth a day trip particularly the old town to see the historic architecture, and the harbour which had some pretty pricey looking sun seekers! There were also some nice craft shops and cute restaurants.

Budva harbour

Budva old town

The city of Kotor was about an hour bus ride away and it was a whole other level of beautiful! If I had visualised a perfect, quaint Eastern European town then this was it. You can climb up some mountains at the back towards a church and get a load of this crazy stunning view.

The holiday was perfect for what we wanted, a ‘do-nothing’, relaxing break with a bit of sunshine.

 

I would thoroughly recommend considering Montenegro for your next holiday. It’s got great summer weather, beautiful safe beaches and stunning landscapes. Kotor is a stunning historic city and well worth a visit, as it’s a pretty small country most of it is accessible with a short car or bus journey. Although it was a bit quiet when we were there, you could tell that they were gearing up for a busy summer season so there would be no shortage of things to do there.

Have you been to Montenegro? Would you consider it?

 

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When planning a longer than average trip or perhaps a gap year it’s really important to make sure you take not only the right things with you but also the right amount of things. Trust me – you really, really don’t want to take the kitchen sink with you and you will regret lugging around tons of stuff you won’t need. Equally, you don’t want to under pack either. When I was planning my gap year I was at a loss as to what I’d actually need and how much of everything to take. How can you possibly pack everything you would need for several months in one 70litre backpack? Here’s a few tips for anyone in the same position:

❤️ Think carefully about where you are going. This is number one on the list because it’s the most important. There is no generic formula for what to take because the world is such a diverse place and what you may need could vary a lot. In my experience, places like south east Asia are hot, sticky and very casual – pack your shorts and crop tops and leave your heels and hair straighteners at home. You probably won’t need a jumper but you will need a shawl to cover up when visiting the temples. In Australia, however, you might need an extra layer in Melbourne (it’s not always baking hot). Think about where you’re going, the climate, the culture and pack accordingly.

NB I would never recommend taking hair dryers/ straighteners or any of that sort of thing because they are so heavy and take up a lot of room. Having beachy, natural hair is all part of it right?!

❤️ Also – think about what you’ll be doing. New Zealand – high chance you’ll be trekking through those mountains (walking shoes recommended). Singapore – gents, if you want to hit the clubs you’ll need some closed in shoes and a shirt, those baggy vests won’t cut it! In Mauritius you may need a bikini, in Antarctica you may not. You get the idea. There are some things that just require certain equipment or clothing so it’s worth pre-planning a little bit so you make sure you have what you need.

❤️ Get everything out, lay it on the bed, then halve it. TRUST ME you will thank me later. You will only need half of what you anticipate; probably less. Something I always over pack is shoes; taking several pairs of cute sandals for different outfits. When I get there I only ever wear my trusty pair of flipflops, so this year that’s all I’m taking! I know it’s tempting to take all your beachwear but realistically you just don’t need it and you’ll regret it when all your worldly belongings are on your back.

❤️ Pack clothes last. Because you will underestimate how much space other, more essential things, will take up first. Shampoo, for example, is bulky. Same with sunscreen, hiking boots, camera equipment etc. Clothes can be squashed in at the top and can be rolled or folded to fit any gaps.

❤️ Don’t take anything that requires ironing. Just don’t.

❤️ Keep the valuables to a mimimum but, if you can’t live without something then take it. If your life is going to be miserable without your iPhone/ tablet / beats headphones etc then take them; just be careful with them. Don’t force yourself to leave all technology or material possessions behind if that’s just not you. I’m just saying maybe its sensible to leave your Rolex at home in this occasion.

❤️ Remember – they will have stuff there! Unless you are going to the wilderness or perhaps space then you will be able to pick up essentials like toiletries and clothing in the places you’re going. If yo are going away for 6 months please don’t take 6 months worth of your favourite shampoo from the UK. In some places the local shops may even sell items cheaper than what the would cost at home, so do your research. Heads up – this is not the case for Australia, they’re branded goods are super expensive.

I hope these tips will be helpful to anyone packing for a long trip. I will be heeding my own advice next week when Paul and I pack everything for a 3 week holiday in one 60 litre pack between us!

Let me know what you think!

Love,

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♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Star Recommendation

One of my hero products of Summer 2016 – Bed Head’s Beach Bound hair protection spray. I have had quite an extended summer holiday this year, what with a week for the wedding and then Portugal for our holiday, so I was very lucky to spend a few weeks in sun, sea and sand.

I’m a low maintenance girl on holiday (no makeup, natural dried hair etc) so it’s not really the norm for me to stock up on ‘holiday products’ but this time I decided to invest in something to protect my hair from all the damage.

I bought the Beach Bound spray because I wanted something that would protect my hair from sun damage and salt water but also something that I could leave in all day and evening and it would give my hair a nice beachy, wavy look. This product delivered on all levels and it lived up to my expectations entirely. It’s also super convenient and portable for travelling due to it’s compact size and smells yummy. I haven’t much experience with leave-in sprays so I can’t really compare it, but for me, it worked amazingly. My hair maintained good condition and I really  liked the way it looked when I had the spray in. It really made my holiday a lot easier and saved my killing my hair by dragging a brush through it every night!

BED HEAD Beach Bound Spray on Feel Unique – £8.40.

xox

I like to think of myself as a bit of a holiday booking expert. I’ve been ‘in charge’ of bookings for several years because I organised my whole gap year myself (as I travelled alone) and since Paul and I have been together I seem to have taken the lead on the organising front! I love booking trips myself; I’m not really a fan of using travel agents or holiday companies. For me, there is a real thrill in searching, researching and planning elements of a trip. Whether it be a simple flight and apartment holiday or a multi-destination trip like our honeymoon to Thailand (coming soon!) I find it’s more satisfying to self-organise and you are more likely to find hidden, off the beaten track gems that way.

Plus, booking an entire trip yourself now is so easy. Truly. I now do most of it from my phone! There are some amazing apps on the market which you can use to help you book the best holiday ever. Here are six of my must-haves for making the process stress free and fun- and they’re all free!

LONELY PLANET GUIDES

I love the lonely planet guide books and still have a few of the paper versions at home, but who needs a guide book when you can have the same information at your fingertips! No, I agree, there is still magic in thumbing through a guidebook when your exploring, but to get quick access to advice and must-sees, as well as the off-the-tourist-trail recommendations and ‘Top 10’s’ that Lonely Planet are so famous for, the this app is really helpful.

HOMEAWAY

The ultimate villa booking app and my new favourite.. They only deal in villas and apartments so if you are looking for an all inclusive then this isn’t for you. I, however, love having the ‘whole place’ for my holidays and staying in a villa with no one else about is dreamy.  The app is user friendly and easy to book and converse with villa owners. They have literally every type of villa rental you can imagine ranging from budget, studio beach huts to luxury cribs in Ibiza. Even if your not planning a holiday, its fun to look up what you might rent one day when that lottery win comes in…

TRIP ADVISER

The old favourite. But you can’t beat it! I am an avid reviewer and I’m always amazed by how many people read them (I wish my blog got that many hits!).  Written by travellers for other travellers based on first hand experience. I love the idea that customers took things into their own hands and want to give their genuine honest opinion in order to help and advise others. Take it with  pinch of salt, one mans trash is another’s treasure, but I always use Trip Adviser to check hotels and trips before booking.

BOOKING.COM

BOOKING.YEAH. I literally can’t help it. I love this app! It’s so easy, virtually every hotel, motel, hostel and apartment complex in the world is on here. They have budget, luxury, boutique, half board, self catering, all inclusive, adults only, child friendly, sporty, relaxing literally EVERYTHING you can possibly imagine. And the best thing is you can filter all the results by any of these parameters and more or any combination to find exactly what you want. Also, quite often you don’t have to pay until you arrive just putting card details as a deposit which is awesome if you are waiting for payday. Which I am most of the time.

 

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CHEAPFLIGHTS/EASYJET/AIRLINE APP

I’ve bunched these because I prefer the overall comparison apps like cheap flights, to view all the different airlines on offer for your dates, but having the apps for the specific airlines is helpful too , particularly if you know which ones you use. I personally usually fly with easyjet and their app is great because you can view your upcoming flights, check in and even get your boarding pass on your phone. I know ryan air and other airlines have the same.

AIR BNB

I don’t have loads of experience with Air BnB and have never used it abroad but I have friends who totally love it so I plan to use it for my next trip. It basically involves renting someones home for a few nights, whenever they are out of town and therefore it’s available. There are various security, deposit and checks in place to protect both parties and I know lots of people who have used it successfully. Very successfully in fact, several of them have ended up paying very reasonable prices for gorgeous apartments in the middle of cities or in fantastic locations. if you know what you’re looking for and you fancy something a bit different, this is the one for you.

For posts about my previous trips and adventures you can click here.

xox