Places I would never like to visit again || My holiday nightmares

This post might contain affiliates links. This mean that if you buy anything by clicking on one of the links, I might earn small commission (for which I will be very grateful) with no extra cost to you

Viator

If you have seen any of my other posts you will know by now that I Loooooove travelling. So far I have visited over 20 countries around the world, with my bucket list growing and growing every day. Going away is my time to relax and rewind. I love exploring new destinations and learning about other cultures. I started my blog to inspire people to travel more and to show how beautiful and fantastic our planet really is. I am always trying to give you my honest opinion and only write about places I visited myself. I always brag about the good things but lets be honest, travelling and holidays are not always “sunshine & rainbows” thats why I decided to also tell you about my holiday nightmare. Luckily I haven’t many of them but here are 2 places I would never like to visit again. Find out why below.

Destinations I would never like to visit again || my holiday nightmares

Agadir in Morocco

This was my first ever holiday with Chris.  Both Chris and I were so excited to spend a week in the sun just the two of us. We didn’t have much money by that point as we were saving for our first house, but we were desperate for a holiday and the hot weather. We booked our budget holiday to Agadir with Easy jet Holidays. On our way to the airport we were excited like two kids that just find out they were going to Disneyland. at first everything was going just fine. The hotel was ok. There were hardly any guests there so we had the entire pool to ourselves. No fighting for sun loungers first thing in the morning etc. You probably think, what the hell is my problem. This sounds like a dream. We found out that night why we were more or less the only people staying there. There was no aircon in the rooms!!! It was about 25-30 degree Celsius at night. There was also no fan or anything that could cool us down. We didn’t know what was worse, having the windows opened or closed. We ended up sleeping cuddling cold water bottles and covering ourselves with wet towels to cool down.

The other reason I would never like to visit there again was how unsafe we felt. Walking along the beach there was lots of people harassing us for money. Even when we sat in the restaurants they were coming over and begging. I had someone coming towards me with a dirty syringe. Luckily Chris realised that and pulled me quickly to the other side. We had been warned that some people even try to handcuff themselves to you and refuse to take the handcuffs off until you pay them.

One day we decided to go to the ZOO as this was one of the places that no one will harass us as you needed to pay to get in. But even the animals in the Zoo looked like they don’t want to be there. They all looked sad and not looked after :,(

The other issue we faced that made me not want to go back to Agadir was the people. Lots of places I visited, the locals were friendly and helpful but not in Agadir. We found them very unhelpful and trying to scam us for money, especially the taxi drivers. We waited for hours to get our food in a restaurant despite the fact there was no-one there.

Tunis in Tunisia

Hmmm where do I start with this one. Our bus transfer was interesting to say the least. Arriving late night in Tunisia and going on a long bus ride wasn’t the one but it needs to be done. It wouldn’t be such an issue but the bus driver said to everyone it is ok to smoke inside of the bus! Like WTF?!

When we eventually got to our hotel around midnight, we were so tired the only thing we wanted to do is go to sleep. When we woke up in the morning we realised that the pictures of the hotel on the internet were far from the reality. The room was dirty and it really put me off. But I said to myself that this will not spoil my holiday, I will spend most of my holiday on the sun lounger anyway.

So the main reason I would never like to go back to Tunisia again was the fact that they were letting strangers into the hotels. I know they rely on tourists to book excursions etc but I really don’t like being bothered every day by 10 different people when I’m trying to soak up some sun and relax. Despite the fact we kept saying no and ignoring them they would not leave us alone. Because of that, we didn’t even wanted to go to explore the area around us.

Again, this was one of the places where we didn’t feel safe to go out and explore. Especially in the evening. I think this is the only holiday I didn’t take any pictures.

I know that some people might have different opinion about those places but is all about our personal experience at the time.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoyed this post, share it with the rest of the world.

Love, Natalia

How to travel with a full time job || How I make the most of my time off

This post might contain affiliates links. This mean that if you buy anything by clicking on one of the links, I might earn small commission (for which I will be very grateful) with no extra cost to you

Viator
I’m not a back packer or full time traveller. In fact I have a full time job and busy personal life, but I still manage to go travel. How to travel with a full time job was the main reason I decided to start this blog. I want to inspire people to travel more and show that it is possible to do so even if you work full time. So now you know my story, just in case you didn’t read my “about me” page.

How to travel with a full time job
Pin it for latter

Short breaks

Coming back to our topic. How to travel with a full time job ? It’s all about preparation and making the most of the time you have available. As I only get 20 days of annual leave a year, I have to be very precise with my planning. The minute my holiday allowance is refreshed on the system I start planing the entire year of travel.
I first mark all the bank holidays on the calendar to see where we could go. My fave is easter holidays as you have 4 days off without booking a single day of holiday. I normally plan all our short breaks/ long weekend during bank holidays. The good thing is that you can fly somewhere like Barcelona or Krakow from London in less that 2 hours. So you can catch Friday evening flight and come back Monday night or Tuesday early morning this gives you 3 full days to explore your destination, which in most cases is the perfect amount for a city break. Not counting Christmas break, that’s 5 getaways you can have without using single day of annual leave just by booking on a bank holiday. Yes, prices are normally a little bit higher during that time but if you plan in advance you will get the opportunity to grab your early bird offers. Lots of airlines have January sales on a selected number of seats. Take advantage and book it then.

Longer Holidays

When it comes to proper holidays I belive sometimes less is more. What I mean by that is that typically people intend to book their holiday for 7 night’s which means you are using 5 days of your holiday allowance and in total you can visit max 4 destinations. By cutting your holiday a day short, for example going away Tuesday to Sunday, means you are using only 4 days of your holiday allowance. This mean you can go away 5 times in a year. This is what we did when we visited Monaco in June.
If you feel like you need a bit of a longer holiday make sure you use both weekends on each side of your week off. Fly out Friday night after work and come back Sunday night. That will give you a 9 day long holiday instead of the usual 7 days you would normally book.


Weekend getaways

Chris and I also like to go away on a weekend. It doesn’t even have to be an overnight stay. We try to go away at least one weekend a month on top of our already planned holidays. You will be surprised how much there is to do within a 2 hour drive from where you live.

How to travel with a full time job on a budget

Despite the lack of time, the other reason that prevents people from travelling is money. When you live the adult life: full time job, home, bills to pay etc. I get that. I’m not rich by any means but I try to make my money go further as much as I can. I love discounts and bargains. In fact I cant remember the last time I paid the full price for something.Here is a list of all the tricks I use to save for my travels.

Sign up to every possible site that sells flights and hotels so you know when they have a sale on.
I like to book my accommodation through booking.com as if you book with them fa ew times, they will give you the genius discount which takes 10% off the normal price on most accommodations.

Use sky scanner to find your flight. Booking directly with the airlines is not always the cheapest. Also sky scanner will show you different options like using one airline one way and the other airline on a way back to make sure you get the best deal. That also helps when you need a flight at specific times.

I use cashbacks apps every time I buy anything online. From House insurance to a new pair of trainers. Over a year I can get around £300 back just by doing this. This will normally pay for our flights or accommodation.
Take time to look for discount codes online before you book anything. There are hundreds of them out there. You just need to take the time to look.

Sign up to every possible member scheme there is. You can get free flights or free night stays quicker than you think. We are lucky enough that Chris travels a lot for work. Chris often goes to Paris via Euro Star. He signed up to their loyalty scheme and after only few work trips he had enough points for us to be able to go to Paris for the weekend.

He also signed up to collect points with Jurys Inn. After a year we had enough points to stay couple of nights for free in one of their hotels.

Travel with a full time job – it’s possible…

Just to show you it is possible to travel with a full time job, here is a list of what we have done so far this year with a few more trips planned for the next few weeks.
January– Poland. We spend Christmas and new year in our apartment with our family and a week of skiing. Instead of booking accommodation in the mountains we drove there and back every day.
February– As it was my 30th birthday Chris booked for us to spend a week in Gran Canaria, which was perfect winter sun holiday
March– we visited the Cotswolds for a day
April– We used the Easter Holidays to have a long weekend glamping in Snowdonia, Wales
May– The first bank holiday we went to Cornwall and the Second bank holiday we decided to camp in the nearby campsite. I also managed to go away with Chris for one of his work trips to Brighton. We also had a day trip to Weymouth
June– this was super busy month for travels. I flew to Poland for the weekend to see my family. Followed by our road trip to Monaco this was great as we could discover so many other places on the way. I was also lucky enough to go on a work trip to Switzerland. In the evening after work, I explored the area near the office. I managed to squeeze 2 hours of exploring before I headed off to the airport.
August– Yet again we went to our flat in Poland but we wasted no time and in the few days we were there we spent a weekend in Krakow and Wieliczka salt mines, explored Wroclaw, climbed Sleza mountain and visited Ksiaz Castle.
September– as we decided to redecorate our house we spent most of our weekends doing this but we still managed to go away for a day to Rye in East Sussex.
We also have a few trips planned for the rest of the year such as Cotswolds in October and Christmas markets in Manchester, Bath and London over November and December. If you don’t want to miss any of this follow me on Instagram and watch my stories 🙂

 

So there you go! I manage to travel with a full time job and visit over 20 destinations using only 20 days of annual leave. To be honest, if not for the house revamp that we have spent lots of time and money on, we would probably have explored a few extra places 😉 My challenge for next year is to visit even more places and spend even more weekends discovering.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoyed this post, share it with the rest of the world.

Love, Natalia


11 facts you didn’t know about your travel insurance policy || Are you protected?

This post might contain affiliates links. This mean that if you buy anything by clicking on one of the links, I might earn small commission (for which I will be very grateful) with no extra cost to you

Viator

Travel insurance policy is super important. You should always book it at the same time as your holiday. This will ensure your holiday is protected in case you need to cancel your journey. But is your travel insurance covering everything you would expect it to cover? Is every policy the same? Which one insurance should you chose? Read on to find out.

Travel Warning

Check the Foreign Travel Advice website before you travel. When your travel destination has a travel warning in place, your policy will automatically become invalid. But If the travel warning was put in place after you booked your holiday, you will be able to claim it through your insurance. If you booked a package holiday, the travel agent most likely will be happy to re-book it to a different destinations.

Annual Travel Policy or one-off?

If you travel more than twice a year, is most likely annual travel insurance policy will work out cheaper. Sometimes you can get annual travel insurance policy together with your bank account. Talk to your bank, as sometimes you can get travel insurance policy, phone insurance policy and car breakdown cover for the same price as you would pay just for an annual travel policy with one of the insurance providers

Is every country covered?

If you traveling to Spain or Balearic Island, make sure you check you travel insurance policy. Some travel insurers exclude Spain and Spanish island from their European policy covers

It’s cocktail o’clock

You travel insurance policy might be invalid if you had a drink. Whhhhat? For most of us that’s a major part of our holiday.But yes. When you lose something or hurt yourself you might not be covered if you had a couple glasses of vino. Be aware! Some insurers might even request a blood test to verify if you consumed any alcohol.

What’s the difference?

Travel Insurance policy and travel accident insurance are two different things. Don’t get those two mixed up. Travel insurance policy covers you for any travel cancellations and medical treatments. Travel accident insurance ( comes with some credit cards) covers accidents on a plane, train or hire car you booked using that credit card.

Medical Conditions

Make sure you declare all the medical conditions, no matter how small they are. Your travel insurance policy can be invalid if you do not provide your insurer with the list of all pre-existing conditions for every traveller that is included in the policy.

Travel insurance policy vs EHIC

Your European Health insurance card is not a travel insurance policy. You should always have both when travelling around Europe. EHIC card is absolutely free. You can get one by applying online here. Your EHIC card gives you the state-run medical cover. So if the locals get certain treatment for free, you will get it as well. This mean you won’t have to claim it on your insurance.

What about private treatments?

Most of the travel insurance policy’s do not cover private hospital treatments. There are some exclusions such as: it was an emergency and there was not state-run hospital in the area.

Active holiday

If you planning on going on a active holiday such as skiing or wakeboarding, you will need to buy insurance that covers extreme sports. You will also need this type of insurance if you planning to ride a moped or go scuba diving. Even going go carting can be classified as a dangerous activity.

What else isn’t protected?

Your gadgets are most likely not covered. With many cheap travel insurance policy’s you need to request for your gadgets to be protected. Of course this can increase your premiums. Talk to your bank, as sometimes they might offer you travel insurance policy and phone insurance policy together with your bank account at a lower price to what you would pay for your annual travel insurance policy elsewhere.

Last day of holiday. You need to check out before lunchtime but your transfer is not till evening. But that’s not a problem as almost every hotel has a luggage storage room. Leaving your bags is the storage room will invalidate your policy as the insurer will classify this as leaving your bags unattended.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you like this post make sure you share it with the rest of the world! 🙂

Love, Natalia

Best of Tokyo in 4 days || everything you need to know before you visit

This post might contain affiliates links. This mean that if you buy anything by clicking on one of the links, I might earn small commission (for which I will be very grateful) with no extra cost to you

Viator

My husband and I go on lots of holidays, but they are normally all inclusive, resort based escapes with few excursions here and there.For our honeymoon we wanted do something special. We didn’t want it to be just another holiday. We wanted to be an adventure. Something we going to remember for the rest of our lives. And there I was. Booking our flights and hotel for our honeymoon in TOKYO!!!

After watching Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift I have always wanted to go to Tokyo. Finally, my dream became true! I don’t think I have ever been so excited about going away.

The ultimate travel guide to Tokyo, Japan
Pin it for later

First Impressions

I’ve never been to place so weird, but so amazing at the same time. When we go away I don’t really like to go to the same place twice as I want to see as much of the world as possible, but Tokyo is one of the destinations I could visit over, and over again! The first thing I have noticed about Tokyo was the fact they had vending machines everywhere, and with everything! I don’t mean your standard machine with canned drinks, or bar of chocolate. They have vending machines with hot food, alcohol, cigarettes, and everything else you might want.

Vending machine with hot food in Tokyo, Japan
Vending machine with hot food in Tokyo, Japan

The other thing that struck me was how safe we felt there, and how nice and helpful everyone was. From the staff in the shops to our travel guides. Even when we waited for the train everyone have been standing in the designated queue line and got on the train one by one- here, in London people won’t lets you even get of the train first before they start pushing their way in.

We used trains as our main form o transportation around Tokyo

We pre-booked all of our tours before our holiday through viator.com and I have to say, they have been truly amazing. As we were in Tokyo for only 4 days we wanted to squeeze in as much as possible, and they definitely delivered on that. The other reason we always book our excursions with them is the fact that they send you an email the day before, remaining you not only of the time, and meeting place, but also attache picture of your tour guide which I think is very useful. Especially if you’re in a foreign country.

Arrived!

After missing our connection flight in Dubai we have finally arrived at the Haneda airport at around midnight of the local time. We decided to get the cab to our hotel as we were to tired to be fussing around on the train. We wanted to get to our hotel as quickly as possible and go to bed as we had an early start in the morning. Our taxi driver was lovely, but he didn’t speak any English which was… interesting. We had no idea if we were going to the right place until we actually arrived there.

Our Hotel

We were staying in the Granbell hotel in Shinjuku. Our hotel was nice and modern. Located just of the main road. It had a rooftop bar and restaurant which was pretty amazing. The room was very clean but tiny. Probably the smallest room I’ve ever stayed in. We had double bed pushed against the wall, and a desk with a chair. There was no wardrobe or drawers to put your clothes away. In fact the room was so small we struggled to open our suitcases. Then we didn’t care about the room that much as we didn’t plan on spending much time in it anywhey. There was lots of complementary products such as toiletry’s, sleepers, and even PJ’s. The most strange thing about this room was the bathroom. It had a toilet operated by a control panel. It also had a window, and this might not be a weird thing to have a window in the bathroom, it was in this hotel as the window was looking out into the room !!!

Tokyo Day 1

After few hours of sleep, we left at 6am for our first day of exploring. We were like zombies, but very excited as nether me or my husband have ever been to Japan before. We set off to get our train ( thank goodness for Google Maps as we would probably still be there looking for the train station) to our meeting point for our first excursion. The first thing we saw was the Tokyo Tower which is the second talles structure in Japan. It looks a bit like mini Eiffel Tower painted red and white.

Tokyo Tower in Japan
Tokyo Tower

Our first stop for the day was at Meiji Jingu Shrine (other known as Yoyogi Shrine) and Imperial Palace East Gardens. Both of which were amazing. During our walk through the Meji Jingu Shrine we were lucky enough to witness real life Japanese wedding ceremony. I have never in a million years expected for this to happen. It was truly an amazing experience.

Japanese wedding in Tokyo, Japan
Japanese wedding in Tokyo, Japan

Imperial Palace Gardens were absolutely stunning and very peaceful, but what I find a bit weird is that all of this is surrounded by super-tall, modern buildings, and busy streets, yet somehow you forget about the fact you’re in the middle of the busy city.

Admission tickets to Imperial Palace gardens

Imperial Palace Gardens in Tokyo, Japan

Imperial Palace Garden in Tokyo, Japan

From there, we made our way to Sensō-ji Temple which is for sure “must see” when you in Tokyo! The temple is free to enter hence it can get very busy, especially during lunchtime hours. This traditional Japaneses Temple is surrounded by little shops selling Japaneses products and souvenirs. There is also a high possibility you will bump into Japaneses girls dress up in traditional kimonos

Sensō-ji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

Sensō-ji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

Geisha, Japanese Girls in kimono in Tokyo, Japan

We finished off the day on the deck of the luxury boat- Symphony where we chilled out with few cocktails, and enjoy relaxing cruise around Tokyo Bay, passing landmarks such as Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Sky Tower, Gate Bridge, Wakasu and Odaiba Seaside before we parked up at the Hlinode Terminal


Tokyo Day 2

Day two was even busier than day one. At list we managed to get a proper night sleep before hand. As on the previous day we left our hotel around 6am and head of to bus station via train to meet our guide- who btw was lovely and very knowledgeable. The main reason I liked our guide?- she wasn’t boring. She provided us with lots of interesting facts during our tour in funny, and engaging way, and even though us a Japanese song.

After few hours on the bus we finally arrived at our destination, which was Man Fuji. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed when we came of the bus. Firstly, because it was freezing cold- like winter jacket freezing cold. Secondly, it was so foggy you could not see 5 meters ahead.

Man Fuji 5th Station in Japan map

Man Fuji 5th Station in Japan
This is how fogy it was

We spent most of our time in the shops pretending to buy stuff but in fact we only wanted to warm up. We then head of to get a mountain rail to the Man Fuji 5th Station. The view from the rail pod was incredible but again, when we arrived at the top it was so foggy we couldn’t see a thing.

Lake Ashi in Japan

We hopped back on the bus and went to experience our traditional Japanese lunch which was part of our tour. Our tour guide took us to a shop with hand made, leather goods where on top floor we were greeted by the owner and sitted at our table with a view of the Lake Ashi. For lunch we had Miso soup-which was very much like chicken noodle soup. We also had noodles, rice, and a bit of a grilled chicken. All of which was very, very yummy.

Traditional Japanese meal in Japan

Lake Ashi in Japan

After our little rest we head of for our cruse around Lake Ashi, which lasted about an hour. Then hop on the bus we go for our last stop of the day at the Shinkansen Train Station where we left on a Bullet Train heading back to Tokyo. I think the Bullet train was the most fun experience of the day, mainly because I was finally in the warmth lol

Bullet train train station in Tokyo Japan

Bullet train train station in Tokyo Japan


Tokyo Day 3

On the day 3 we decided to take it easy and do more freestyle touring. We didn’t book any excursions as we want to have a bit of lay in ( we left at 8am instead of 6am!!) we head of to Harajuku on the mission to find one of the themed cafes. There is hundreds of them there. From unicorn themed, cat themed or french maid themed.

Bunny rabbit cafe in Tokyo Japan, Theme cafe

We went to Bunny Rabbit cafe and it was not what I expected at all. The cafe was located on the first floor of the building. It looked more like a studio flat type of place. You pay at the entry the pending on how long you would like to stay. You have unlimited soft drinks included in the price, but to be honest I wasn’t interested in having a drink as the only reason I wanted to go there is so I can play with lots of bunny’s 🙂 We were provided with an apron to protect our clothes. Just in case one of them decided to pee on us. We were also given a box of treats each ( for the bunnies, not for us) the whole experience was great. Animals were very playful, and we got lots of cuddles. They were well looked after which for me was very important.

Next, we walk around the streets of Harajuku. We went into a few entertainment center’s which are out of this world. In each building there was probably about 10 floors full of different types of games and entertainment machines. You could easily tell who goes there every day lol

We decided to head of to Ginza for lunch, bit of shopping and few drinks on the way. We had a flavoured frozen beer that looked like a beer slush puppy. On the top it had frozen froth which looked like an ice cream. Strange and cool at the same time. We then went Shibuya Train Station (walking through the busiest crossing in the world of course) and head back to our hotel.

In the evening we went out to see a Robot Show– and there is only one word to describe it all – CRAZY!!!! I wouldn’t even know where to start on this one. It was the most bizarre 2 hours of my life, but I will definitely recommend to go and see it as I can guarantee, you have never seen anything like this before.


Tokyo Day 4

Our last day in Japan started again very early. We had to leave at 5.30 am to get to our meeting point for 6am. We then met our tour guide and one more person that was booked to go with us. Our tour guide drove us in his own car ( that was a bit strange) outside of Tokyo to Stables where we took part in a morning training session for…. SUMO WRESTLING!!! This was proper fun to watch. After the training has finished, the sumo wrestlers explained to us what it takes to be a sumo fighter. Told us more about their culture, diet and training. I can tell you that I would not want to mess around with any of them lol

Sumo wrestling fight in Tokyo, Japan

As we still had few ours to kill before our evening flight, we went to Shinjuku Gyoe National Gardens and near by Government Building. You can visit the Government Building and take lift to the top floor. There is viewing trace, and restaurant. Restaurant was a bit pricey, but I it was worth it as the food was incredible. Plus, you’re surrounded by panoramic view of Tokyo. What a better way to finish of the trip ey?!

Heading to Tokyo? Have any questins? Comment below and I’ll try to help you as best as I can 🙂

Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoyed this post, share it with the rest of the world.

Love, Natalia