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How to Safely Get Parcels Home When on Holiday or Travelling

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’ve just got home from Marrakech. I went over there with 11 of my nearest and dearest to celebrate my hen (blog post coming VERY soon!). I love everything about Morocco and I couldn’t wait to get back there with my friends and family and show them why I’m infatuated with this place. If you’ve been, you’ll know one of the great things about this place is the souks. Markets overflowing with gorgeous homewares and handmade leather goods.

Of course, we filled our bags with rugs, slippers and trinkets, then tried to shove them in our suitcases to get them back to the UK. Checking luggage is expensive, and if you’re buying a large rug, even a large suitcase won’t save you. We’re going to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam for our honeymoon and we don’t want to be stuck in that situation again, so we’ve looked into some options for shipping goods home.

How to Safely Get Parcels Home When on Holiday or Travelling | UK Lifestyle Blog

Six years ago when moving back from Australia I sent a large parcel back to the UK. I can’t remember exactly how much I spent, but it was a couple hundred bucks! I was kicking myself for going through to the Australian postal service, instead of looking at options online. Alas! I won’t make the same mistake twice… Here are some tips for if you’re thinking of doing the same.

Perfect Packaging

Parcels get home safely when they’re packaged properly. Particularly if you’re transporting fragile and expensive items, it can be a good idea to wrap them up in polystyrene and plastic wrappings before they’re encased in their boxes. This bolsters their protection against things like knocks and bumps during transit and ensures the item remains intact.

Why put up with the risk? Ensure that there’s the best packaging possible with your items, and your parcel should make it home just fine. By going the extra mile here, you ensure that nothing goes wrong – it’s really that simple!

Tracking Technologies

Of course, even with the best packaging, parcels can be lost or misplaced. This can cause a lot of anxiety and fretfulness, especially when the arrival of the package was highly anticipated and important. Therefore, there needs to be a way of ensuring your parcel gets home not just safely but gets there at all!

How to Safely Get Parcels Home When on Holiday or Travelling | UK Lifestyle Blog

Is there any need to put yourself through all that stress and worry? Consequently, companies like Parcel2Go can help here; their parcel tracking services mean that you can keep tabs on your order wherever it may be. You’ll thereby remove the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ that come with transit complications, and always have immediate access to the status of your delivery.

Neighbour Negotiations

Even when a parcel does make it home, if there’s no one to look after it, worry can set in again all the same. It’s unattended if you’re living alone, or it could be that it’s so big it won’t fit through the letterbox and there’s no one there to receive it. What can you do here?

Well, for all the bells and whistles technology affords, not many devices can beat a trusting neighbour. If you’re concerned that your parcel won’t make it home, perhaps ask your neighbour to receive it on your behalf. It’s the next best thing! This way, you know your package is in good, caring hands, which may just give you some comfort.

2019-03-15T17:41:59+00:00 March 15, 2019|Travel|

A romantic stay in Devon + llama walking + IKEA = A happy girl 🤗🌸

I’m back! After a couple of quiet days and generally slow start to the year, I’m writing again. The last couple of months have been pretty crazy for me, both personally and professionally. Just before Christmas I went away to Jordan with my best friend for a week (blog post being written, stay tune!), and then we had the chaos of the holidays… Returning to work meant I had a million emails to deal with. On top of all of that, we were rolling out a new strategy for the biz. Next thing I know, we’re a couple days away from going on my hen party in Marrakech, and the wedding is literally a matter of weeks away. How on earth did this all happen so quick?! I digress.

One of my favourite things about having the blog is being able to look back on all the awesome things we’ve done and reading about it. I always forget the little details so I try and find the time to write about it as much as I can. It’s something I kind of regret not doing when we went traveling in the van, because there’s already so many little things that I’ve forgotten about. The best time was to write them when we were out there, the second best time is to start writing them now, so here I am… This trip only goes back a couple of weeks ago though so I’ll start here.

A romantic stay in Devon + llama walking + IKEA = A happy girl 🤗🌸 | UK Lifestyle Blog

On Christmas Day my lovely fiancé showered me with gifts. We lovingly bought me my favourite fake tan, some clothes I’d been swooning over at Sea Salt and lots of goodies that he knows I’ve wanted for ages. It was really sweet of him and just showed how well he knows me. Things are great and all (I love being golden bronze and knitwear is always a winner), but I’m all about experiences. Spending the day making memories with my love is far more important to me than anything else. S knows this, which is probably why he also booked us onto a llama walk in North Cornwall! When I opened the envelope on Christmas Day I burst out laughing and was so excited.

We were booked to go the weekend after New Years, so we didn’t have to wait too long before going to visit the llamas. We happened to have a voucher to use from Red Letter Days so we cashed it in to stay at a gorgeous little BnB in Devon to make a weekend of it. It couldn’t have been better timing to use our voucher as it felt like a real impromptu treat when we remembered we had the credit available to enjoy. It was so nice to have something booked after Christmas, too. As much as we adore our friends and family, we found this year to be a little bit exhausting visiting everybody, as we’re usually quite introverted people. It was nice to have some “us” time.

A romantic stay in Devon + llama walking + IKEA = A happy girl 🤗🌸 | UK Lifestyle Blog

We woke up bright and early on Sunday and headed to the llama farm. When we arrived we were greeted by the group we’d be joining and the owners of the farm. We picked out our llamas before having a health and safety introduction, then we set on our way to wander around the farm. They were absolutely adorable and all their personalities were so funny. We learnt tons about the llamas, their wool and the farm which was really interesting. It was clear that the owners of the farm had a true passion for llamas, and they told us about their travels to Peru to see rare breeds of llamas. Who knew there was so much to learn!?

We learnt more about the llamas and fed them, which was pretty funny. We got some shots with the llamas (when they weren’t trying to run away from us1) and then made our way up to a small log cabin in the woods where we stopped for a cuppa tea and a scone. It was lovely to huddle around the fire in the cabin, and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to visit at that time of year – the atmosphere was beautiful. After we finished our drinks we made our way back to the barn where the llamas were kept and said our farewells. The entire session probably lasted about 2 hours, which in my opinion was the perfect amount of time to stay on the farm.

A romantic stay in Devon + llama walking + IKEA = A happy girl 🤗🌸 | UK Lifestyle Blog

We browsed the shops and I swooned over some handmade socks made from the wool of the llamas we’d just walked (how cool is that!?). We then made our way up to the bed and breakfast in Devon.

We arrived at a good time, meaning we could unwind and just relax without feeling rushed to go for dinner as soon as we arrived. It’s the cosiest little cottage I’ve ever been to, we actually ended up snuggling up and having a nap when we first arrived. It was so peaceful, with sheep just grazing out the front (such a contrast from our hectic Christmas!). Feeling completely recharged, we woke up and went downstairs to indulge in a three-course dinner, which was included in our stay.

We found out that we were actually the only people staying at the cottage at that time, I guess because January is a quiet time for them. This meant we got the BEST service you can imagine, and we could feel relaxed knowing we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Absolute bliss.

A romantic stay in Devon + llama walking + IKEA = A happy girl 🤗🌸 | UK Lifestyle Blog

I’m not sure if it’s because we live in a new-build house or what… but I’m a real lover of old cottages and country homes. There’s something about a Chesterfield sofa in front of a roaring log burner that makes me feel happy. We filled our bellies with tasty food and just spent the evening enjoying each others company.

The food was so good, and the chef even came out and told us about his family recipe for the curry – you don’t get this type of service anywhere else. It’s one of a kind and not your ‘run of the mill’ bed and breakfast.

A romantic stay in Devon + llama walking + IKEA = A happy girl 🤗🌸 | UK Lifestyle Blog

After a good nights sleep we leisurely checked out of the room. On the way back to Cornwall we decided to stop in IKEA, it would be rude not to! We didn’t have much room in the car but I thought we could pick up a couple of bits.

I ended up buying much more than anticipated including a lampshade with is significantly too big for our house, and it’s now sitting in the corner of the room because we’re not entirely sure what to do with it – Oops! We got some other nice bits though including a full set of pink crockery 😍, then we headed back home.

A romantic stay in Devon + llama walking + IKEA = A happy girl 🤗🌸 | UK Lifestyle Blog

It was such a lovely getaway. When was the last time you had a romantic weekend!?

2019-02-11T01:59:45+00:00 February 11, 2019|Travel|

6 Reasons I Fell in Love with Indonesia 😍🐘

We Brits have a thirst for travel. Whether we’re backpacking through Australia and New Zealand, kayaking in South America, taking in a show in New York City, trying to navigate the beautiful chaos that is Tokyo or simply lounging on a beach in a mediterranean resort town like Cod or Gran Canaria, we do so love to get away.

Sure, we love our country, sure we’ve got some beautiful places on our doorstep, and perhaps we get a little bit edgy when we can’t get a “proper” cup of tea overseas. The struggle is real, as I didn’t have a proper cup of tea in 2 months because I was traveling! It’s doesn’t end there, there’s tons of home comforts we miss but fear not, sometimes brands just have different names (Data Label actually did some research on this! Definitly check it out before you sob about missing your favourite crisps whilst traveling #firstworldproblem). Before I digress…

The great thing is that the world is such a huge place that whatever our tastes, preferences or budget with the explosion in online travel even the most cash strapped of us can find a great place to holiday when we’ve had a little too much of the gloom and drizzle of dear old blighty. Every now and then, however we may fall in love with a holiday destination that is truly unique in its sights, sounds, tastes, scents, culture, politics and national identity.

Infinitely beautiful and exotic, Indonesia can be an intoxicating place for tourists to fall in love with. As a growing economic hub, many westerners travel to Indonesia for work, while its many gorgeous sights continue to draw tourists from all over the world. Whether you’re staying for the long haul or just for a fleeting visit here are just of the wonderful things about staying in Indonesia and why it remains one of my favourite countries in the world…

6 Reasons I Fell in Love with Indonesia 😍🐘 | UK Lifestyle Blog

Gorgeous scenery and wildlife

There’s absolutely no doubt that Indonesia is one of the most gorgeous places on the planet. Even if you’re staying in one of the country’s major conurbations like Jakarta, Surabaya or Tangerang, you won’t have to far to spend some time amongst lush greenery and breathtakingly beautiful views.

If you need to take a holiday in your down time you’ll find that you’re only a couple of hours from somewhere stunning like Kepulauan Seribu, the Thousand Islands where you can chill for a few days in a glorious overwater hut. It’s the perfect antidote to the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital, yet just a short two hour boat ride away. Animal and bird lovers will also find a plethora of gorgeous and fascinating wildlife. There’s literally nowhere else in the world where you can see a komodo dragon in their natural habitat.

Affordable and luxurious accommodation

If you’re used to paying the exorbitant rents of major cities in Britain like Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester or even London itself, you’ll likely be astonished at how affordable good quality, even luxurious accommodation is across Indonesia. Just take a look at this link and see for yourself; https://www.rumah.com/rumah-dijual/di-area-pakuwon-city-idji29033.

You’ll see a range of luxury homes at the tiniest fraction of what their equivalents would cost here in blighty. In fact, private rent is an estimated 74% lower than in the UK, while aggregate cost of living is estimated at just under 50% lower. If you’re planning on moving to Indonesia with work, investing in property or starting your own business, you’ll find that your opportunities are bolstered by great living at affordable prices.

6 Reasons I Fell in Love with Indonesia 😍🐘 | UK Lifestyle Blog

We stayed in this place, and it was $15 a night and SERIOUSLY beautiful 👆😱😱😱😱

Amazing street food

If you think you’ve tasted real Indonesian street food because you’ve been to Wagamamas or Tampopo, think again! Indonesia’s street food is legendary and oh-so-cheap. You’ll never have a bad meal while you’re there!

Try the rendang curry which can be made with meat of veggies, gado-gado for guilt free vegetarian deliciousness or nasi goreng (fried rice) and mie goreng (fried noodles) if you like your tastes simple and spicy.

Incredible coffee culture

If you have a passion for coffee, you won’t find a better place to indulge your habit. Coffee culture is absolutely massive all over Indonesia and while you may find all the familiar coffee chains in the big cities, the best drinking is to be found in the lesser known areas.

If you’re up for a trek in the Sumatran highlands you’ll find some of the world’s most legendary coffees including the kopi luwak coffee made famous by the film The Bucket List in which Jack Nicholson’s character is mortified to find that his beloved and expensive beverage is made from coffee beans that have been eaten (and defecated) by the local Indonesian mountain goats. While it’s not the most savoury of thoughts, it does lend the beans a unique flavour that all coffee aficionados should try at least once.

6 Reasons I Fell in Love with Indonesia 😍🐘 | UK Lifestyle Blog

Friendly and welcoming locals

The people of Indonesia are uniformly friendly, warm and compassionate, and pride themselves upon treating visitors as if they were their own guests. As such, you’ll find an extremely warm welcome wherever you go.

Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, take the time to read up on local traditions, customs, etiquette and culture and you’ll find yourself a firm favourite among the local populace. Also, don’t forget to take the time to learn a little Bahasa Indonesian, however, and you’ll find that people really appreciate it.

Vibrant art and culture

Culture vultures are often drawn to southeast Asia for its unique art and culture and Indonesia is absolutely no exception. Historically, the country has often been a trading post that bridged the far and middle east. As such, a wide range of cultural influences have shaped the art, culture, religion and politics of Indonesia.

While predominantly Islamic, the culture has also been shaped by Hindu, Buddhist and Confucianist influences to create a style of visual art, literature, music, dance and theatre that are unique and breathtakingly beautiful.

Check out the National Gallery of Indonesia in Jakarta (it’s on my bucket list!) to see a comprehensive overview of the nation’s art, culture and tradition or the Art1: New Museum to get a sample of some of the vibrant modern offerings produced by the nation.

6 Reasons I Fell in Love with Indonesia 😍🐘 | UK Lifestyle Blog

Whatever brings you to Indonesia, and however long you plan to stay for, you’ll find plenty to enjoy in this richly diverse country.

2019-02-11T01:13:39+00:00 February 4, 2019|Popular, Travel|
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