Iceland | Reykjavik & more!

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If you’re following me on Instagram you may have noticed my recent trip to Iceland. It’s always been one of those places I have wanted to go, but because I hate the cold, I have always put it on the ‘one day’ list.. until now.

We actually booked the trip back in April, whilst having a few drinks and picked January as a suitable time for us all. We booked our flights with easyjet and they were super cheap. Before we went we also booked our Northern Lights and Golden Circle Tour excursions through Reykjavik Excursions so we could plan our days as we were only there for the 4 days. If you’re planning a trip I would highly recommend doing this. These guys have it nailed. They pick you up from where you are staying and take you to the bus depot to catch your bus and drop you off on the way back, and takes the hassle out of sorting out transportation whilst there.

Talking about transport, taxis are really expensive so I would suggest shopping around a bit. When we landed at Keflavik International Airport we ended up booking the Gray Line bus for our transfers to and from the airport as this was the best option, and once again they pick you up and drop you off from your accommodation.

For this trip we decided to book another Airbnb to keep costs to a minimum. As this was the second time using Airbnb I was a lot more confident in the whole process and it turned out to be just as good!

Airbnb
Entire Home (sleeps 4)
50 Grettisgata
Reykjavìk
Capital Region
Iceland

Checked in: 05/01/16

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We went as a group of 4 so we decide to find an entire apartment to rent rather than just individual rooms. We stayed here for the 3 nights at a cost of £90pp, which is nothing really is it. The location was perfect, with the main high street and Old Harbour within a 5 minute walk.

Although Reykjavik is a relatively small city, theres still a lot to see and do whilst you’re there.

The Old Harbour

The old harbour is one of the upcoming areas of Iceland thanks to the recent addition of the award-winning Harpa concert and conference centre and plays host to a handful of bars and restaurants.

The area is also home to Sólfar – ‘The Sun Voyager’ statue, not to mention the scenery.

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Hallgrímskirkja

Located in the middle of Reykjavik, Hallgrímskirkja is the largest Church in Iceland. For around £3 you get access the viewing platform which looks over the city and is something I wouldn’t miss. The views are breathtaking.

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Food & Drink – The Laundromat Cafe

I first discovered The Laundromat Cafe on Pinterest. I find Pinterest such a great way of finding out where to go and what to see whilst you’re away. Although the food was pretty standard (I had a club sandwich and a green juice) the atmosphere is great. Filled with old books and an Americana vibe, it’s a good spot to to stop at and grab a coffee and warm up. As the name suggests, the cafe also has a full working Laundromat downstairs!

Other cool places we visited and I would recommened are Lebowski Bar which does the best White Russians and Vegamòt and Solon Bistro for evening meals and drinks.

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The Northern Lights & Golden Circle Tours

Powered by Reykjavik Excursions, these tours take you to a number of tourist hotspots. Although the Northern Lights were only just visible during our trip, it was a good experience, and gives me a reason to return in the future. The Golden Circle tour takes you to Pinvellir National Park, the Geysirs and to the Gullfoss Waterfall and was amazing. we added on the Fontana Wellness hot springs on to the end of our tour as The Blue Lagoon was sadly closed for renovations. (another reason to return!)

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Have you ever been to Iceland?

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Exploring New York!

Airbnb
406 Linden St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
United States

Checked in: 18/05/15

Ace Hotel
20 W 29th Street
New York City, NY 10001
United States

Checked in 21/05/15

I’m finally back and alive (just about) from the past week in New York. I booked this trip about a year ago so I was definitley ready for it! Despite turning up to the airport 25 minutes before our flight was about to take off, the travel Gods were in our favour and told us that it had just been delayed so they could reopen check-in for us (phew!). It’s not the first time I had been to New York but its always good to re-visit places, and New York is so big and ever-changing that there is always something new going on.

For this trip we booked an AirBnB for the first time. Our apartment was located in Williamsburg, which was made up of five separate rooms, including the one where our host(s) stayed. Our hosts were great and made us feel welcome and were on hand to answer any questions we had about the city. The location was ideal as I had never been to Brooklyn before so we got to see a different side of the city. We were also staying on Bedford Avenue which hosts many great places to eat and drink such as Lucky Dog, where we spent many a night. The commute in to Manhattan was around 15 minutes by subway or a pleasant walk across the Williamsburg Bridge which we did the first day.  At a fraction of the price it would cost to stay in a hotel in central NY, I would definitely book a AirBnB again and stay in this area.

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For the remainder of the trip we checked in to Ace Hotel in Manhattan which was in a great location (29th and Broadway) where we could walk to most places. In fact the Empire State Building and Times Square were both within a 10 minute walk away.  We opted for a medium-sized room, which was probably a good idea, as the rooms were still not very roomy and came complete with it’s own personal guitar, a vinyl player and a selection of vinyls. The hotel itself is aesthetically pleasing, with DJ’s playing in the Lobby, a Photo Booth and housing an Opening Ceremony store. However at around $400 per night, and as nice as it was, I probably wouldn’t stay here again in terms of value for money after staying in the AirBnB.

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Between changing locations we visited all the traditional tourist hotspots. New York is a great place to explore on foot as you discover so much more, in fact we rarely used the subway! Highlights of the trip included climbing to the crown of the Statue of Liberty, Shopping on Prince St. and watching the sunset from Brooklyn over the bridge.

I hope you enjoy these photos of our time in The Big Apple! Let me know what you think in the comments.


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All photos were taken on a Canon S120, using VSCO cam B2 filter to edit.


5 Things | Travel Planning

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So it’s officially Spring, and with three trips already booked for this year it’s time to come out of hibernation and start planning those impending trips away. I like to try and be as organised as I can to avoid that helpless tourist look and so that I don’t waste anytime whilst I am there. With that in mind I thought I would share with you some of my best travel tips for when booking and planning a trip.

1. Check your passport. 

It’s important to check the expiry date on your passport as some country’s require a certain period of time left on your passport to enter the country. Requiring a new passport can also be a lengthy process so take this into consideration when booking a trip. The same goes for visa restrictions and vaccinations. The more remote the destination, the more chances you will need some sort of vaccination.

2. Set yourself a budget. 

I admit it, this is one of my downfalls. I used to have a buy now, worry later attitude when it came to planning a trip, however I have set myself clear, realistic budgets this year in hoping to squeeze in as many breaks away as I can. In short, budget and stick to it.

3. Shop around.

Package holidays are always an option if you’re looking for a quick break but if you are looking to create your own unique trip its a good idea to shop around. Airline prices can dramatically fluctuate. Sign up to airline and hotel mailing lists, or follow on social media. When an airline announces its summer or winter timetable, the quicker you book, the cheaper the seats tend to be. You could also book accommodation through AirBnB, it tends to be a lot cheaper than staying in a hotel .

4. Research. 

It’s important to do your research before you arrive. Tailor your trip to suit you. Create a destination inspiration board over on Pinterest, like my one below, to pin all the things you want to see and do, and for places to eat or stay. Use it as your personal travel guide!

If you prefer a travel guide in book form, I would recommend the Wallpaper City Guides by Phaidon. They are full of useful information, are beautifully presented and are a great reference for discovering new places.

5. Insurance, Travel Money & Phone.

– You should always travel with insurance. It’s that simple.

– When changing currency don’t order on a whim, wait until you can find the best rate.The exchange rate changes daily and it also varies on where you purchase it from. Or if you don’t like the idea of carrying a lot of money I would recommend speaking to your bank about the cheapest and safest way to use a credit or debit card abroad. Halifax offer the fixed rate ‘Clarity Card’ which will not incur those transaction fees on any international purchases. Also make sure your bank is aware that you will be leaving the country as they tend to put a hold on your card for any suspicious transactions.

– If you plan on using your mobile (cell) phone abroad, make sure you know what charges you will incur. It’s never fun realising you have been charged £20 to upload one photo to instagram.

Travel can be stressful, the key is organisation. What are your key travel tips?


Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest to see more travel boards.