Sunday, February 7, 2016

Day trips from London - top 10 city breaks


I love to make day trips or weekend getaways when possible. When I am thinking right now, such a shame that back in Czech, I wasn't doing that much, but not whenever I am back, trying to catch up with all that beauty around. However, that's human thinking, we all want something different rather than what is much closer with an easier access. Read 50 reasons why actually you have to visit London at least once and read more of my Dear X diaries here.

UK is very well connected by trains or buses, I advice you to book tickets in advance, because ticket prices may fluctuate. These places are within an hour to 2.5 hours away from London. Great nature and places may be visited in further zones of London too (which may take you 30min to an hour - yet and still in London!).

1. Brighton -
great sea side city with the famous pier and Brighton wheel. Don't forget to get fresh fish and chips over there.

2. Oxford - a beautiful old university city with great architectures. Just couple minutes away from Oxford you may get into the bus which will lead you to Bicester village, which is a biggest outlet in UK

3. Cambridge - another old towns of the great university campus, people say that the city is much better compared to Oxford. Visit both and be your own judge.

4. Manchester - a city know for its football teams, gigs and engineering sides. Very nice red brick city with a nice canal side and night life.

5. Bath - a great town in the countryside known for its hot springs. You have Stonehenge nearby too!

6. The Costwolds area - a pretty rural area covering 6 counties with many nice small villages and nature. Great for some true British countryside walks.

7. Cardiff - a "capital" of Wales, located nearby the waterfront. Let's go explore some Welsh!

8. Eastbourne -  a town in the seaside area, known for a series of white chalk cliffs - Seven Sisters which are not far away from the town.

9. Birmingham - the second largest city (but Manchester seems to be better!)

10. London's surroundings zones and areas (Richmond or Kingston upon Thames)

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Top 10 tips for effective travelling planning


Planning trips is my favourite hobby and procrastination! I love researching about the other country and culture, writing down all the things I wanna see and experience there, planning day to day activities and of course, most importantly looking for prices and budgeting the trip. World offers endless options and choices for you to discover. In this post I am sharing with you some tips crucial to think of when starting to plan a vacation, weekend trips or getaways. 
I have summarized key checklist points for you to download and print here , hope it is useful for your trip planning!:) Now it depends how much in advance you like to plan. 
I got my plans until March done and now thinking even forward for summer holidays. What are your plans for this year?

A summary of key points to highlight:

1. Motivation

Clearly define what is the idea behind of your trip. Is it because you want to discover the place, is it because of you wanted to attend an event/festival there, is it because you want a place to relax and enjoy sunshine or is it because it offers you sports activities that you are unable to do it in your hometown?
Whatever the reason or reasons are, set it clearly so you know what you are going for and plan your time spent there correctly. 

2. Check bargains and book in advance

Checking all suitable flights or other travel options in days you are free to travel. Check for the best accommodation, including hotels, airbnb, hostels or couch surfing. Check for travel agent's deals and packages. Do your research and book in advance.

3. Visas?

Check if the country where are you going need visa, if you do, apply early to avoid any disappointments and delays with paper working. When applying for a visa, you will already need to have booked tickets and accommodation. Also check the processing time, where you should apply for a visa (maybe in the embassy or maybe at the airport?)

4. Budgeting

Set yourself a budget and work from there. How much are you willing to spend for activities? Food? Check prices of places you want to go, check the average prices of the country/city you are going. Try to get familiar with the prices for locals, in order to avoid any scams or over expenses tourist prices.

5. Activities initiary

A week or two before the trip is a good start to look at some tours or activities you may want to do there. Write down all places you want to visit, schedule it by your time availability, places of location in order to fit with your available time there. It is always good to come prepared, at least it will save your time, you will get straight to the point and the rest free evenings or days you can spend to explore local entertainment or do some random walks/trips.

6. Check how you will get to your accommodation

Before your trip, it is good to check and maybe book a transport to your accommodation. Where is the airport? How long does it take? Will you go straight to the accommodation or will be in center first? What time is the train/bus going from/to the airport? From where?
Check and research it prior you get pannick.

7. Check the weather and plan what to pack

A day or two before you leave, check the local weather for the period of time you will stay there. Pack accordingly to the weather. Be prepared also for any cases of rain or colder weather. You never know how the weather is unpredictable. Write down a list of things you need to pack, so you will not forget anything and so you will have time still to buy some last minute necessities if needed.

8. Change money

A day or two change your money currency (also it's good to check what currency they are using before changing, as I know many people who have changed to Euros, because they though all European countries have Euros, oops). Sometimes it is also good to change in the country when you get there.

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Golden touch


Some quick snaps of a causally formal look, wearing a skirt and a bag from Asteri boutique. You may have read the post a while ago back, if not, read it here

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Denim skirt and high boots


I love turtle necks for winter seasons. It keeps you warm, it looks nice and act like a second scarf too. Have you fallen into 70's A line denim skirts and dresses too?

Boohoo turtle neck top / Asos denim skirt / Boutique coat / Dorotha Perkins high boots
Photos by Ola Rolka

Thursday, January 21, 2016

TRAVEL GUIDE: Travelling and enjoying on budget


How to enjoy the world on as little as possible. As a student and an endless wanderlust, I know how it is sometimes such a pain to choose and plan a trip on a tight budget. Especially now, when I do not earn yet enough money to be able to be spending like that from my parent's pocket. Therefore, I always try to solve it somehow and try to spend as little as I can, but still have the most from it. 

1. Bargain hunt

Keep an eye on whatever is going on around. Whether it's holiday packages, hotels, flights or excursions. It's good to check regularly websites or subscribe to their mailing list. Check and compare your flights through Sky Scanner and also do comparion between airlines, hotels or other companys'.

Check low fare airlines first if travelling nearby (e.g.:WizzairRyanair or Easyjet are great to look at if travelling around Europe mainly). They often have also great deals, such as 1+1 or cheap tickets to some destination! Good to check for some spontaneous trips or weekend getawats. It is worth to put some time into researching the best deal.

Don't forget to check what airport it goes to, often the cheap airlines' airports are far away from the city, so ask yourself if you do not mind spending some time after arriving on the bus or train travelling to the city (or taxi?).

If you prefer whole package, check all tourist organizations that it offers the whole package. Read through their pricing, travelling options and daily schedule. If that matches you, the go fot it. Again, research more companies that offer similar trips and compare. Make a list of advantages and disadvantages for easy selection to see what suits you the best.

2. Skip hotels

In terms of accommodation, I have been using Booking majority of my time while travelling, but I have been lately used to check as well Airbnb (by signing through my link you can get some free credits to use when booking).

If you are travelling for lesuire or just for fun, majority of time you will be spending outside (right?) not in the hotel and enjoying all services they got (maybe for a beach holiday or with your partner or family?), therefore book family run places or hostels or places for reasonable price.

Check their reviews and whether the price matches to what they are offering. (My criteris are always within my budget, city center and clean). But others may look for breakfast included, facilities, room size, reputation etc. 

 Airport in Morocco

3. Pack essentials

A travel guide can be read on my blog.

Do not pack too many things that you won't be using at the end. Pack essentials for an occasion and just right for the place. Think about the culture, behaviour or religious. Think about the purpose of why are you actually going there.

Take as minimum as you can. You can always purchase on place in the worse case. Don't need to bring your whole wardrobe and make up shelf.

Make a checklist before packing on what you do actually need and what you actually will be using. It will be a waste of weight and space bringing stuff that you don't use at the end, you can save space for your souvenirs and shoppings to bring back home. 

4. Meet with people

The word is international and thanks to internet we can have access to endless of sources than never before. Use it.

It is always good to know some local people. Either you already know or will meet there. Talk to them, ask them questions and be friendly. It is always handy to know some tips from locals and maybe they can give you a tour.

Ask for the best tips to get around, the best places to eat local food, to best things to do from the local point of view or things to avoid there. It is a great opportunity to experience local things and avoid manstream places.

Whether you are travelling alone, with a friend, family, partner or in the group, go out and meet with people. Talk to the people in the bars, accommodation places or just randomly on the streets.
5. Avoid touristy places

On one hand, yes, you should see all those tourist attractions that the city/country is known for. When finished sight seeing, try something unsual and experience things you can't do back home or you have never done that.

Try local restaurants and their foods if you are already there. Go shopping to their local boutiques and shops. Try to turn left and right all the time when you feel like, don't always stick to the main street. You never know what you can find in hidden places. Local places are always cheaper and you will get merged into their culture more as well as since you are there you have the opportunity to experience their lifetsyle. Take the opportunity to learn and gain some new views and experiences!

6. Keep track of spending

Keep tracking of what are you spending on your travels. So you can always compare between cities or you can set yourself a budget. A good way to monitor your money out, because on holidays we tend to spend more then usual. Download a budgetting app, keep written down all expenses or keep or receipts. I have just came across a great site where it gives you an average overview of diffrent costs and prices of different countries and cities.

7. Travel at night

Costs of travelling (either by train, bus or plane) are much cheaper in late evenings, because they are not that popular time. It is a good way to save on tickets and a night stay in an accommodation. Especially if you are travelling from a city to city or to longer destinations.

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