26 August, 2016

The average British Holidaymaker

When you go on your travels do you book independently, or go for a package deal? Personally I prefer the freedom of booking flights and accommodation myself and more often than not I have found it cheaper to do it that way too.

Many people still book through a travel agent or online package deal though, as I found out from new research from Nationwide FlexPlus. They conducted a poll to mark the 175th anniversary of the first packaged holiday, and it threw up some interesting facts. Did you know that the average Brit spends 10% of their annual salary on their holiday?

It's no surprise that we all get very excited about holidays, but 6% of Brits are so keen to go that they start packing a fortnight before they're due to leave. I don't miss my home comforts too much when I'm away, but many people do - 1 in 10 admitted they take tea bags with them!

One final fact I liked was that nearly a third of Brits will have a holiday romance and one in 20 will marry as a result. Good news for any singletons out there - get your holiday booked and you never know, Shirley Valentine may not be fictional after all!

19 August, 2016

Friday's Lightbulb: Latvia

Latvia is my featured destination today. I chose this destination because earlier this year, Latvians marked the 25th anniversary of a Soviet crackdown on pro-independence protesters. Twenty five years ago, they built barricades across the country to defend against Soviet attempts to quash the Baltic nation's quest for independence.

It may have taken the country a huge part of that time to shrug off the chains of Communism, but it's a beautiful place and is starting to shine. Riga, pictured above, is its cosmopolitan capital, but aside from that it's a country full of unspoilt parkland.

Latvia's national parks boast fantastic hiking trails, and if you visit in spring you can see huge numbers of wild cherry trees in blossom. If city life is more your thing then Riga boats one of the finest collections of Art Nouveau buildings in the world - in fact incredibly, they account for a third of the properties in the city centre!

When to visit depends on what you're looking for. The summer months are perfect for lazing on the beach, while Christmas time can be great fun if you fancy activities such as bobsledding!

12 August, 2016

Travel Photo Friday: Picture Perfect

I'm sure you've all heard the phrase picture perfect and, although I say it myself, I think this photo sums up the saying perfectly! On a fabulous day in Barbados, I got up to go to the beach and read my book. Strangely there was no one else on the beach, which can happen in the East of the island, but is quite unusual for the West coast.

I was lying there very happily on my sun lounger; turned my head to the side, and this was my view. I had to get the camera quickly in case someone came into the shot but luckily I snapped it in time - my picture perfect holiday shot!

05 August, 2016

Summer of perfection

How to sum up 80 days or summer hols (in no particular order) - no socks or shoes; no straighteners; no hairdryer; no make up; barely a cloud in the sky; only a couple of spots of rain; lots of friends; great food; fabulous wine; lots of champagne; laughter with my best mate; love & hugs with hubby; reminiscing with Dad; life in a country with no terror threats; the joy of floating in a rubber ring in the sea like a kid; remembering to enjoy the simple things in life; realising you don't need much to be happy; reading 14 books and enjoying every one of them; manicures and pedicures; taking time to miss those who are no longer with us but still provide us with great memories; remembering what life is all about and trying to hold onto the idea that life is for living - especially when you're lucky enough to return to a job that you love. 

There is too much sadness in the world - get out there and live people...you only get one shot at it. Life is not a dress rehearsal x