Category Archives: Honeymoons

Honeymoon Travel Guide: San Francisco

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Known for it’s steep rolling hills, cable cars and as the home of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is sure to be at the top of many of your honeymoon destination wish lists. Which is why, when I was there recently teaching a workshop, I took copious notes on all the awesome things we did and saw for this blog post!

Eat

We really lucked out with our food selections in here, everything we ate was super yummy! Some of my favourites were Mission Picnic, Foreign Cinema (they play movies on a big screen in the outside seating area!), Kitchen Story, La Palma (best tacos ever, seriously) and Sidewalk Juice. Even the take-out was incredible. We ordered from Basil Thai TWICE while we were there because it was probably the best thai food I’ve EVER had.

If you’re a bit of a foodie, San Francisco certainly won’t disappoint you!

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Gawk

If there’s one thing that defines San Francisco like nothing else, it’s the houses. Huge, foreboding Victorian buildings… painted all the colours of the rainbow! We had so much fun walking around and deciding who should live in which house. However Gala and I might have to share this one…

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Like, literally, my dream home.

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I mean, holy shit…

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Honeymoon Travel Guide: Barcelona or Bust!

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I wouldn’t say Gareth and I were particularly impulsive. My diary is usually pretty booked solid these days, and in the rare times when it’s not I spend most of my time glued to my computer screen, trying my hardest to power through my ever expanding ‘to do’ list. Gareth has also never, ever surprised me with a holiday before so its not something I’d ever expect him to do.

So you can imagine my complete astonishment when he popped into my office the day before my 30th, and said, “I was thinking that for your birthday I’d take you to Barcelona… in two days time!”

WHAT!?! Oh my God!

Never having done a mini break abroad before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I also had NO TIME to research or plan anything. Could we really see everything in just three days? Where were we staying? Was it in the right area? What clean clothes do I have? Where can I grab some Euros?!?

Luckily, my Dad travels to Barcelona a lot for work so Gareth has already grilled him on the best things to see and do. He came armed with a thorough and very packed itinerary!

If you’re after a honeymoon that offers you the best of both worlds then you really need to consider Barcelona. We stayed  in the centrally located Alma Hotel on Carrer de Mallorca which is just off Passeig de Gràcia, the high end shopping area. It was a 20 minute walk down to the gothic district and just four Metro stops right down to the beach. Perfect!

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As I said, we were only there for three short days but with Gareth’s packed schedule we really managed to see a lot! Here are my top ten Barcelona must sees, followed by a few other bonus tips to really get the best out of your time in this wonderful city.

I’d grab yourself a cuppa for this one, I have a lot to say!

1. Stare in awe at Sagrada Familia

One of the first things in Gareth’s plan was to visit Sagrada Familia, the awe-inspiring Gaudí cathedral. I’ll be honest when I say apart from knowing that construction started in the late 1800s and that it was still unfinished, I knew pretty much next to nothing about this iconic building.

As we turned the corner and saw it for the first time, we both audibly gasped. It was much much bigger than I expected (and it’s going to be even taller when it’s finished!) and completely incredible in real life.

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Off we went to find the queue to get in and we – eventually – found the end of it about 10 minutes later! It was going right around the block, and although I have to admit to having a bit of a moan at the prospect of waiting over an hour to get into some old building, I’m really glad that Gareth forced me too. It was totally worth it and, if possible, even more astonishing inside.

A trip to Barcelona won’t be complete without stopping off here. Make it top of your list of priorities!

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Check out the abseiling dude, working on the stained glass windows!

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Honeymoon Travel Guide: 10 Essentials for a Long Haul Flight

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If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from doing so much travel, its that packing the right things can make or break the flight. Even the longest journey in cramped economy can be much more bearable if you go into it prepared. I wouldn’t dream of hopping onto a plane without any of these things now!

1. Headphones. The more noise cancelling the better! Screaming children, clattering trolleys and general aeroplane commotion can make even the most serene of travellers have a meltdown. Gareth has these Bose QuietComfort headphones and the more I travel the more I think I need to invest in a pair too. But whatever headphones you have, bring them. Goodness knows they’re probably going to be better than the crappy ones they give you on the plane!

2 A good hydrating moisturiser. Finding the best one has actually become a bit of an obsession for me! I bought this Clarins HydraQuench recently and its definitely the current front-runner. They also do a mask in the same range which would be great as a post-flight treat for your skin.

I adore this Hydraluron Moisture Booster stuff too. I wasn’t convinced when I first tried it, but a couple of days in and I was completely converted. It makes my normal-dry skin soft, smooth and just generally lovely.

I also just nabbed myself a Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Hydra-Pure Smart Spray to try the next time I fly. It looks great because you can actually use it on top of make up! See, I told you it was an obsession. Dry aeroplane skin is the worst!

3. I am 100% fanatical about Dr. Bronner’s Castile SoapThis shit is actually amazing. You can use it for everything from washing your face and body, to cleaning your clothes, washing your hair, and even cleaning your teeth! Now, instead of packing a million different products when I go away this is pretty much all I need (although in all honestly I haven’t quite been brave enough to try the teeth cleaning yet!) I like the peppermint one, although to be fair it’s the only scent I’ve tried so far. Remember to grab yourself a 2oz travel sized one if you’re going to bring it on the plane with you.

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Honeymoon Travel Guide: Camber Sands

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I’ve travelled to many a-far flung place over the past few years but I was really looking forward to last weekend’s trip down to Camber Sands. The reason being that I was going there with these beautiful creatures, and we hadn’t seen each other in FOREVER. It’s the things closest to home that are often the most special don’t you think?

First, up the house. I found The Warrens online after a fruitless search elsewhere for a place that was big enough for the whole group. It won out because it sleeps up to ten (in double beds or they can split them into singles, two per bedroom if need be) so it was perfect for our party of eight.

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I was the first to arrive, wanting to get there early to avoid any weekend traffic. I walked in and this was the first thing I saw. I mean, how cute and English seaside is THAT?!

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Honeymoon Travel Guide: The Saguaro Hotel, Palm Springs

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One of the highlights of my recent trip to Palm Springs was visiting The Saguaro, the famous rainbow hotel. In fact our friends Allie and Christina booked in here just so we could stop by and take photos!

When we pulled up outside for the first time I actually audibly squealed. I couldn’t quite believe that its rainbow striped façade was real. You’ve gotta love a hotel that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Located on Palm Canyon Drive the surrounding area was also really great, with a well stocked supermarket just across the road. It’s also only a short 10 minute drive from the airport and the iconic Marilyn statue (Palm Springs is teeny tiny). Everywhere you look the majestic San Jacinto Mountains punctuate the horizon.

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I mean, goodness, talk about my idea of heaven…

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How To Choose Your Honeymoon Destination

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Planning your honeymoon can be just as difficult as planning the wedding itself, but it’s also got to be up there with one of the best parts of the whole thing too. Kicking back and relaxing after a year or so of intense preparation is going to be pretty blissful, but how do you make sure you get your choice of honeymoon destination right?

Are you looking for an urban escape with plenty of sightseeing? Would you prefer to get a sweat on with some outdoor adventures? Or is your dream holiday sunbathing on a perfect beach somewhere? What if you and your beau have very different ideas of what makes a good trip?

These are the things you need to consider when it comes to picking a great honeymoon destination that will suit you both.

Weather

First things first, what kind of climate do you love – hot, cold, humid, dry, mild? Deciding on this right away will help you narrow down your choices quickly. Make sure you also check out what the weather and temperature will be like in the season you plan to travel in.

Budget

This is a biggie. How much you are able (or want!) to spend will be a huge factor in deciding where you go. If money is tight why not consider a ‘staycation’ closer to home. I bet there are so many amazing places right on your doorstep, many of which you might not have even considered before. You could book into boutique hotel in your own city, rent a camper van and drive around the countryside or a hop down to a local beach town.

Distance

We went on our honeymoon to Tokyo, which was amazing, but the 12 hour flight (complete with very sore heads!) the day after our wedding wasn’t! If you are thinking about going somewhere far-flung you might want to consider a few days down time after the wedding to get yourselves organised before you head off.

Gareth forgot to bring anything warm, when we arrived we realised we’d forgotten to write down our hotel name or address anywhere and we’d forgotten to tell our banks that we were going away so our credit cards got blocked and we had no money for the first few days! This was not the romantic start to married life that I’d imagined!

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