I reckon the more I talk about travel and share my sharings about travel and just put it out there into the world, it’ll eventually manifest itself and we can jetset into the skies once again lol

sharing three tips/tricks we’ve picked up over the years of travelling which will undoubtedly come in handy on your next trip which will be very soon inshallah! (manifesting for all of us here)

 

  • changing SIM cards upon arrival

I always change my SIM card as we’re landing, just to save time and have everything up and running once I’ve deplaned but never pack the little iPhone pin to poke your phone to open the little SIM slot. Easiest alternative: your earring! I always get stares by people sitting beside me like what on earth is she doing, but once I’ve managed to make the swap, some have even asked if I can do the same for them lol if you haven’t got earrings in or are a dude with no piercings, be brave and ask the air hostess and 9 times out of 10 she’ll know exactly what you’re on about!

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  • Lost suitcase key

You’ve arrived at your destination itching to shower and change your clothes. You frantically look for the itty-bitty suitcase lock you swore was in your wallet to no avail.  Can’t remember the lock code even though you swore it was 0000, or realize somehow someones magically swamped locks on your case (this has happened), which only annoys you more because you need to get into your case. Find yourself a pen (a pencil works too but preferably a pen) and all is well with the world.

Make sure both zippers are together and simply poke the pen through the closed zip in close proximity to the zippers themselves to ‘break’ the zipness. Run the pen along the zip to ‘open’ the zip et voila! I’m sure this isn’t the best treatment for your zip, but sometimes you really have no choice and are stuck in a pickle so gotta do what you gotta do! Closing the case back is super easy; grab hold of the zippers themselves and run them back around the case to lock it all in place!

 

  • No bug spray, no problem!

Picked this one up after a few jungle treks and safaris! If you’ve left your bug spray in a carry on and its taken at security and you can’t be fussed to get a new one, or don’t like sprays, or simply want an alternative which is a little stronger at keeping pesky bugs away, pick up a vicks/vaporub which works wonders. I’ve found it longer lasting and works fab around campfires or longer treks where maybe you don’t want to carry a spray for topup, but you can either pick up one of the mini vicks tubs or be old school and scoop a bit into a plastic baggy and you’re good to go! I wouldn’t recommend slathering it on your entire body lol but places you’re prone to getting bit ie. ankles, around the neck, wrists. A little defo goes a long way!

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Have you tried any of these before?! Do you have any hacks you swear by?! I’d love to hear from you! Share below in the comments! xoxo

Hola from Mexico!

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We’re en-route again, this time from a new part of the world which I haven’t ventured to yet and quite excited to experience. If you follow me on instagram you’ll know we just left Cancun a couple days ago and spent a day in Mexico City as we haven’t really got to our final destination..!

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My sister in-law is joining me this time around which is grand as we’ve traveled together before so know what to expect from each other (fact: you can’t travel with just anyone regardless of how close they are to you)

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We had decided beforehand that this wasn’t going to be a luxury, wine-and-dine trip, as we just wanted to experience the countries/cities ‘as-is’ without a hefty price tag and to kinda sorta prove to ourselves that you don’t need X amount of money to see the world.

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I know for a fact every time I’ve gone someplace, I get at least a handful of DMs asking how I fund my trips and what I do for work to afford travelling etc. and honestly friends, you can do it too! Not going to go into a long rant about how we all choose our own priorities in life and are conscious of decisions/life choices we make and the potential consequences and repercussions of those choices in the future etc etc etc., but yes, it’s completely realistic and reasonable to travel and experience the world without spending an arm an a leg if you don’t want to! Alhamdulillah I’m forever grateful for the travel opportunities I’ve got over the years with certain brands/charities/tourism boards, but I started off traveling solo to step out of my comfort zone and to try something new for myself, on my own dime, and still do, AND I’m the absolute worst with money, so if I can kinda sorta do it, I think you can too!

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Slightly gone off on a tangent, but yes, back to this trip.

We decided we would only stay in hostels as that’s the most economical option for us – you’ve also got couchsurfing and air-bnb options which are relatively less than hotels, but this worked for us (if it’s the first time you’re hearing about hostels or interested in more info, check out this blogpost here); we decided the most we would spend per night would be $20. This is still relatively ‘a lot’, but again, considering the type of room/location/reviews etc. it’s up to you what you’re okay compromising on. We’ve seen rooms at $5 a night but didn’t feel comfortable with the photos, so this just works for us; the range so far has been between $11-$18 which is in budget so yay!

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In terms of daily expenses, we’ve planned to stick to between $80-$100 USD per day for the both of us (altogether); so about $40-$50 each. This should cover food, transit, souvenirs?, and certain activities we might want to do. Granted, depending on the specific activity/tour etc. we’re willing to be flexible within reason, but obviously not a stupid amount if that makes sense..!

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We’ve been keeping track of our daily spendings and trying to stay within budget, so thought it would be great to share what and how we’re spending to kinda sorta show you that travel doesn’t always need to be super expensive. Promise my intention isn’t in any way to mock or normalize or flaunt the aforementioned budget-range because I know that’s not the case for a lot of people, but it’s one which works for us at this particular moment in time without going into debt for the sake of going on a trip.

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First up is Cancun and Mexico City. These actually worked out to be layovers en route to where we’re headed, and quite long ones at that. 19 hours in Cancun and 23 hours in Mexico City, so of course we wanted to take advantage and explore a little with whatever time we had.

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We were slightly over the 50 but under 60 in Cancun (blaming it on the excitement of it being ‘day1’ plus were super hungry after the trek hence the biggest expense being lunch lol but under is still under!) Mexico City made us both proud as we felt it was the day we did the most walking, most touristing, most eating, and still managed to be way under so yay!!

Apprehensive about the next couple days as I have a feeling we might give up on the budget and pull a yolo lol but we’ll see what happens!

 

 

Had the pleasure of spending some time with my Radisson Blu family again (Dubai) and thought I’d do a quick run-down of the properties I stayed at in the event you’re ever in town and in need of a place to stay!

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First up is Radisson Blu Deira Creek

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Next up is Radisson Blu Dubai Media City

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and lastly we’ve got Radisson Blu Dubai Waterfront

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There are a couple other residences in Dubai and hotels in other Emirates, but these are the ones I’ve stayed at before as well and would definitely vouch for! Everyone at each hotel is always extremely friendly and personable, address you by your first name and wanting to go above and beyond to ensure you have an enjoyable stay x promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Was in Oman a few weekends ago and had an absolute fabulous time. Susan and Dagmo and I worked together in Kuwait and went our separate ways last year so it was lovely to catch up and see each other again! Dagmo’s moved out to Oman and we bunked with her lol so won’t be able to suggest accommodation this time around! She’s based a little out of Muscat itself, but nothing super far out; I was in Oman about 5 years ago and we stayed in Muscat so would suggest that be a starting point!

Created this ‘pocket-guide’ if you will with some of what we managed to get done over the weekend alongside an Oman bucket-list for a future trip so that might help in the event you’re planning to head over!

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I would definitely recommend renting a car or getting a driver whilst your over because it will make your life SO much easier! Last I was over I remember it being near to impossible to hail down a cab; depending on time of day and specific location it was so difficult! We were stranded at the Masjid for ages after prayers because there wasn’t a cab in sight. It didn’t look too promising this time around and from what I’ve heard it hasn’t improved much.. Dagmo having a car was a massive relief!

Sidenote: Omanis are some of the nicest people you’ll ever come across. Not once during our time did we feel unsafe or have creepy men making comments or staring etc. which fyi is kinda sorta common to encounter in most Middle Eastern countries. (I asked if I could take their photo hence them looking lol)

Sharing photos alongside bits&bobs below!

Nizwa Fort/Nizwa Souq

-5 OMR charge ($13USD)

-we drove and it took about 1.5-2 hours to get there. Easy straightforward road similar to the on from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, just a lot more scenic!

-timings vary especially on Friday due to Friday prayers [open on Friday from 8am-1130pm and then from 130pm-6pm]

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

-beautiful masjid and would always recommend Friday prayers at any masjid

-we had a bit of an unfortunate event in terms of who was and wasn’t a ‘tourist’; our friend Susan was kinda sorta kicked out/asked to leave because she wasn’t Muslim and told she should come back during tourist hours. Mind you the space was relatively empty and there was no reason for it..Dagmo and I entered and our Muslamic-ness was questioned quite thoroughly lol whether we were Muslim or not, despite being dressed in full hijab and abaya. Questions were then asked about why we were wearing sunglasses ‘like that’ if we were Muslim coming into a masjid..because it was sunny lol – mind you this isn’t typical

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-spent our last afternoon/evening by the pool which was probably the best decision we could’ve made. Gorgeous weather, stunning views, and the most beautiful sunset as the tide went out x would definitely recommend spending a day or afternoon here even more so due to the location of the hotel up on a bit of a cliff (I believe we paid 8 OMR p/p ($20USD) for a towel/access)

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Would love to hear from you or see photos of your trip if you ever venture to any of the above, or if you find new hidden secrets let your girl know! xoxo.

Hiya! We’re finally back from a few new places which means lots to share with you all and I can’t wait! You probably know by now that mama and I have returned from a pretty epic 10 days in Nepal and India which was an experience I don’t think either of us is ever going to forget! Seeing the sunrise over the Himalayas and Everest, sky-diving over the Annapurna Valley, seeing the Taj Mahal together and just freaking enjoying each others company is something I’m so grateful alhamdulillah that we had the chance to do x check out the pre-pre to our adventure on youtube here!

We moved around quite a bit during this trip, checking into a new place every night which did get a tad tiring, so I think we were both super grateful for our stay at bloomrooms in New Delhi during the final 2 days of our adventure! Coming back to the same place and same room brought a sense of comfort and ease, especially right before heading back to Kuwait, something I’d definitely recommend just before you head home ie. staying put in one location during the final leg!

bloomrooms New Delhi is part of the larger Bloom Hotels Group which oversees a few different hotels throughout Asia. This includes hotels in Delhi, Bangalore, Gurgaon, and Goa [secretly stoked about this one!] They’ve also been featured in the lonely planet guide, Conde Nast Traveler, Cnn, GQ, and the New York Times just to name a few!

The number one priority @bloom hotels is to ensure guests get a good nights rest during their stay, resulting in a custom built cloudbed placed in each room which I think mama and I can both attest to being super comfortable! Showers and the bath area were also super lovely and spacious; after experiencing a couple drip-drippy showers the one at blooms was heavenly. Mama particularly loved the scent of their body wash & soaps so its got an official mum seal of approval lol

We stayed at the bloomrooms @ Link Road location which was awarded with the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence for the fourth year running. At first we definitely found it hard to locate, partly due to the fact our tuk-tuk driver had no idea where he was going and didn’t have a phone or googlemaps and tried to scam us hard core (your girl had to pull out the teacher finger on mandem!), but once we were settled and were able to situate ourselves it was definitely a blessing! It’s quite central and located in a residential area which made us feel quite safe and secure (again especially since our blady driver took us through the backroad slums convincing us we should trust him and check in someplace else he knew of as this was a smelly and unsafe area. Fact: it wasn’t!)

The location itself sports the cutest garden ever, alongside a lounge and café on the grounds. The general atmosphere and vibe was up me alley as well; not too stuffy or too lax, but a balance between the two. Someplace you could def hang out with mates and have a laugh or potentially hold a meeting at; perfect for both leisure and business purposes I suppose! The caf stays open til quite late which I appreciated because mum and I ended up getting munchy at random times lol food is freshly cooked which was another plus and again, mum approved! Mamas the type who isn’t too keen to eat out very often, so when she does she’s quite particular about where she eats lol so the fact that she opted to head back to blooms on several occasions whilst we were out and preferred to eat there is quite telling lol

A 5-10 minute walk via an overpass bridge to Jangpura Metro Station allowed access to the whole of Delhi. A tourist day pass was 200 rupees ($3 CAD) per person which gave us access to all lines including towards the airport metro which was lovely (you know I love me public transport). The location also has a car on the property which I’m sure you can book if you need to get someplace, but be sure to do it in advance so they can coordinate with the driver. Mum and I were kindly dropped off to the metro our first day which def helped visualize our surroundings and mentally map out the route there and back!

I also love meself an old fashioned paper tourist map with sites and metro systems etc. and the one provided by blooms was super helpful, especially because our location was so accessible to everything. Accessibility is definitely something I look for when wanting to stay someplace ie. is it close to public transport, can I get to sites, town etc. without a taxi, can I walk etc etc etc. and so was grateful for where we were placed.

Staying at blooms allowed for a much needed wind down to our trip which I was grateful for. The fact that both mum and I were able to enjoy the space and that it met our different needs (comfort, access to technology, food, location etc.) was blessed. If you’re ever in the region or come across a blooms establishment (click here for a list), definitely give them a go as they’re guaranteed to meet your needs and then some!

Special thanks to bloomrooms@Link Road for hosting me for a night during my stay in Delhi. All opinions and views expressed are my own.