Category Archives: My Travels

Here’s Why Whistler Is The Best Ski Resort On The Planet

Whistler consistently ranks as one of the best ski resorts in the world and always is top of the list when it comes to North America.

After you visit you Whistler you understand the hype because it is a special ski resort. There are two huge mountains, breath taking terrain, loads of snow, Olympic history and apres ski that’s unparalleled – I could keep on going with the list but all you need to know is that it checks every box!

If you’ve been skiing before and understand the thrill of being on the slopes, you’re doing yourself an injustice if you don’t visit Whistler at least once in your life. Here are just a few reasons why Whistler is the best ski resort on the planet.

The Mountains

Whistler has two huge mountains for you to enjoy, Whistler and Blackcomb. It was where ski and bobsleigh events were held during the 2010 Winter Olympics. The two mountains are connected by the awesome PEAK 2 PEAK cable car, in the past the mountains used to be rivals and competed against one another for visitors. Here you have a one mile vertical, a whopping 8,000 acres of awesome terrain, 200 trails for all levels, as well as loads of extras for the adrenaline junkies.

The Hotels

The great thing about Whistler is that even though its so famous it has accommodation for every budget. You’ll find shared accommodation all the way up to the high end hotels, chains such as The Four Seasons and The Westin have some stunning hotels here if you want to splash out.

Apres Ski

Whistler is legendary for its apres ski, there are plenty of options depending on your mood. You can stroll along the streets indulging in some retail therapy and check out the art galleries. The if you want to chill out you can hangout in a nice cafe or restaurant, plus there’s a nice family friendly village which people like to visit. On the other hand if you want to turn up the energy you are in the right place because there are plenty of bars and night clubs which keep the party going all night.

The food here is super tasty and there’s cuisine from all over the world. I know that ski resorts can be very pricey and of course you can hit up some fine dining places, but if you’re on a tight budget then you won’t go hungry because there are loads of wallet friendly options. My favourite spots are the Longhorn for a beer, then El Furniture Warehouse for some tasty food and drinks at a great price.

Alor Setar – A Hidden Gem

The last time I went to Malaysia i visited the state of Kedah, it’s a place that most tourists visit but aren’t aware that they are actually there. Langkawi is probably the most famous place in this northern part of Malaysia. My trip to Kedah was not for the glorious beaches that Langkawi had to offer, the reason I was there was to visit Alor Setar – the royal capital of the state.

How do you get there?

Alor Setar is quite a small, humble city, but it does have it’s own airport – Sultan Adul Halim Airport, which has flights to and from KL and Medan. I chose a different route and decided to fly into Penang and hop on a bus for 3 hours before I arrived a my hotel in Alor Setar.

What should you see there?

I must admit that Alor Setar is a little off the tourist trail, but that doesn’t mean that aren’t plenty of tourist sights to see during your stay. SO after breakfast in the Sentosa Regency Hotel I spoke to the concierge about the best places to visit, thankfully he was full of great ideas.

The thing that I liked most about the city was the amazing architecture I saw at every turn, add to that the mix of cultures from the city’s rich history and you’ve got a million opportunities for amazing photos. Alor Setar is located near the borer of Thailand, so every now and then you’ll catch small glimpse of thai influence plus thai food (which I personally love!).

The most famous landmark in the city is Meara Alor Setara, this building stands 165 meters tall and can be seen from pretty much everywhere here. The price of entry is pretty cheap, that’s because you get to take an elevator right to the top and take in the best views from the deck. Make sure your camera is charged and the memory card empty as you’ll be snapping lots of photos.

Other notable places to visit are Masjid Zahir, Balai Nobat, Balai Seni Negeri and Kedah Royal Museum (which is free!).

Have you been to Alor Setar before? I would love to hear about your experiences, tales and tips. I think it is great when we, as a travel community, can come together to help each other plan the best possible trip. Just pop everything you want to share in the comment section below this post – thanks for sharing guys!

Great Tips To Save Money On Flights

I love saving money when I am buying things. For some unknown reason I find that saving money on flights is really fulfilling.


I think the explanation for this is because the amount of money you can save is usually over a hundred dollars, in some cases it can be huge! It could also be that special offers and deals are only available for a short space of time, it kind of feels like winning a raffle when you book one in time.


However you explain why it feels so good to save money on flights, here are some really great tips that you should try before you book a flight. They’ve worked for me over the years, so give them a try and let me know how you go.


Check out other airports

A lot of people don’t realise that you can save a few hundred bucks just by choosing to fly out of a different airport. The airport may be a couple of hours away but if it means that you have a few hundred dollars in your wallet it could well be worth your time. The savings apply to both international and domestic routes.


Things to weigh up when choosing different airports are costs that you’ll incur; parking, petrol and time. I personally do not mind traveling an extra hour or two if I save over a hundred dollars per flight, especially when I’m buying tickets for my whole family.


Be flexible

I recently booked a flight with go air for my holiday and found that by changing the date, by a day or two, saved me money. If you use a good search engine it will tell you the different cost per day. You’ll notice that the price of a flight can double from day-to-day.


If you can hold on and change your dates by more than a month you will be able to avoid traveling during peak times, such as school holidays. This is very important when you’re planning to fly overseas.


One-way or return?

On the whole I find that booking a return flight is the cheapest option. However, with the rise of budget airlines these days, they usually sell you 2 one way tickets when you’re booking a return. So it can be beneficial to book each leg with a different airline. Always do a search for 2 one way tickets before confirming the return booking with your airline.


Have you saved money on flights in the past? I would love to hear about your experiences and tips. I think it is great when we, as a travel community, can share what works for us so that others can save money. Just pop your thoughts in the comment section below – I’m looking forward seeing what you have to share.


Things to know about Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort is the most popular resort in the world, visited by over 52million-excited guests traveling from all over the world, each year.  From its inception in 1971 to the present day Walt Disney World has grown from strength to strength. It now features 4 theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot), 2 water parks (Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach), golf courses, 28 Walt Disney run hotels and resorts spread over 5 resort areas (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Wide World of Sports, Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs) and much more, making it the pinnacle resort of Disney’s worldwide enterprise. Boasting the number 1 theme park resort in ‘The Theme Park Capital of the World’, there is more than enough fun to be had by all the family.

Themed on Disney productions, it gives everyone a chance to meet all their favorite childhood characters up close and personal.

Attractions – With all 4 theme parks in Disney World Orlando being ranked in the top 10 theme parks in the world, there are more than enough rides to cater to everyone’s thrill seeking levels. For the adrenaline junkie’s head to ‘The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’, ‘Mission: Space’, ‘Summit Plummet’, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith’ and ‘Expedition Everest’ to name a few. If the kids are the priority then look to visit ‘Turtle Talk with Crush’, ‘The Seas with Nemo and Friends’, ‘Dumbo the Flying Elephant’, ‘It’s a Small World’ and ‘Peter Pans Flight’.

These are just a fraction of the rides Disney provides which cater for small children. That said if guests are looking for fun and excitement all the family can enjoy then the following are a must; ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, ‘The Haunted Mansion’, ‘Avatar Flight of Attraction’, ‘Star Tours – The Adventures Continue’ and ‘Fantasmic’.

Accommodation – All of the 28 Walt Disney owned on site hotels and resorts are housed on 1 of 5 of Walt Disney Worlds resort areas, categorized into 4 different types (Disney Vacation Club Villas, Moderate, Value and Deluxe). Those looking for ultimate luxury should look to stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa considered the most luxurious resort on Walt Disney World Resort.

Transportation – Guests to Walt Disney World can enjoy free transport around the entire complex using a variety of methods. With its varied terrain visitors can use The Disney World Monorail, buses and a various mode of watercraft ranging from water taxis to ferries.

A Budget Guide to Tuscany

Many people assume that travelling in Italy has to be an inherently expensive business, and Tuscany in particular has an especially pricey reputation. The fact that it is one of the most culturally rich locations in Europe, where luxury boutiques and restaurants serving world renowned cuisine are situated in the shadows of some of the most famous and charming architecture that exists anywhere in the world, nestled amidst iconic rolling hills, means that Tuscany is certainly a place where it’s easy to spend a lot of money.

But there are plenty of options for dining and recreation, and plenty of villas for rent in Tuscany for those looking to explore the region on a considerably tighter budget. And don’t be fooled into thinking that the only way to see Tuscany without breaking the bank is to avoid the most famous sights and attractions and stick to the less well known and travelled paths.

Whilst there are a great number of smaller towns and villages that are untouched by tourism and offer a glimpse into the ‘real’ Tuscan way of life, and whilst visiting these places serves the dual purpose of giving you an authentic experience of Tuscany and keeping your costs to a minimum, it’s also very possible to see all the same world famous sights as the big-spending tourists at a fraction of the cost. When you have the right information and a good plan, this magical, highly desirable destination can be made entirely accessible – whatever your budget.


Eat Like a Local


In the modern world, lifestyles and eating patterns are increasingly similar regardless of location. But for many Italians, the traditional ‘dolce vita’ is more than just a cultural stereotype: it is a much loved and cherished way of life, and it remains a working reality.


Whilst there are many exceptions, particularly amongst commuting workers and during the hot Italian summers, many Italians still eat the main meal of the day during the long ‘pausa pranzo’ (lunch break) in the middle of the day. And when travelling on a budget in Tuscany, you can benefit from joining them.


Whilst eating establishments are notoriously expensive in the evenings, when most tourists choose to dine, a great number of restaurants in Italy offer fixed price menus in the middle of the day. It’s entirely possible to find quality meals for under €15, and if you choose to dine at a pizzeria you’ll be able to enjoy truly authentic pizza and pasta for even less. So filling up during a long, late lunch doesn’t just allow you to experience the relaxation and refinement of the Tuscan lifestyle first hand – it also saves you vast sums of money!


If you’re renting a villa or apartment, you could also buy quality, fresh ingredients from the local market and cook fresh meals at home at lunch time. It’s what the Italians do, and it could save you huge amounts of money.


Sample Street Food


If you do decide to save money by eating your main meal in the middle of the day, you’ll probably still want something to eat at supper time. Fortunately, Tuscany offers a wide range of options when it comes to finding delicious and affordable street food for maximum convenience and minimum expense. Schiacciata is a baked flatbread with olive oil and salt which can be filled with meats, cheeses and vegetables and is available throughout the region at kiosks and bakeries. Slices of freshly baked pizza are also available at very reasonable prices, so you can rest assured that you’ll be able to experience a real taste of Italy regardless of your budget.


Explore on Foot


When you only have a limited time to see all the sights you want to see in a given area and you’re keen to have as many new experiences as possible, it is tempting to spend lots of money on taxis and car hire in order to get from A to B as quickly and efficiently as possible. But, regardless of whether you’re in the town or the country, Tuscany is simply better experienced on foot.


Whether it’s the bustling street life and the characteristic architecture of the big towns like Florence, Siena and Lucca or the quaint and beautiful hills, orchards and vineyards of the ancient Tuscan countryside, the region’s most resplendent sites and memorable attractions are all best experienced at a slow walking pace outside beneath the warmth of the Italian sun.


You’d be surprised how much art and architecture you miss when you travel by vehicle from one gallery or museum to another, but it’s all available to be enjoyed absolutely free when you choose to walk through the Renaissance streets, soaking up the exciting vibes and savouring the smells of beautiful, authentic Italian cookery pouring out of the Ristorantes and Pizzerias.


In the countryside, the rural walkways of the Via Francigena allow visitors to explore a a landscape which seems to have been trapped in time for hundreds of years. The ‘road to France’ has been used as a route to Rome for people from all walks of life since antiquity, and it remains largely untouched by modern industry and technology. The unique experience of exploring an area of countryside where time seems to stand still is completely free, and it’s one of the best ways to get a real feel for the Tuscan way of life.


Use Public Transport


Whilst it’s best to go around on foot when exploring different towns, villages and districts, the question of how to get from one to the next still remains – and it’s this question which frequently causes many tourists to spend large sums of money on hire cars.


Instead, consider using the public transport system that is in place in the region. Not only is it considerably cheaper and less stressful, it also gives you an opportunity to experience the daily lives of the locals – ensuring that at every moment of your trip, you’re being entirely immersed in the culture and lifestyle of this incredible region while simultaneously saving money!


Tuscany is never going to be the cheapest place to visit and explore, but that shouldn’t stop you from going. With some background knowledge and the right plan in place, you can enjoy absolutely everything the region has to offer at a fraction of what you’d expect.

It’s never too late to travel. Here’s why…

If you have ever thought that your days of traveling are over or that you have missed the chance to see the world because of your age, it is time that you started to change your opinion. Traveling has no age limit, there are no requirements on how much experience you have or may not have and the simple fact is that if you have the desire to travel, then you need to do it.

Across  the world there are thousands of people on the road just like you who are perhaps there later years or have decided to travel years after the ‘normal’ travel age. If you need any more convincing, here is exactly why it is never too late to travel.

Parties and Budget Living

When most people think of travel or backpacking, they think of the youngsters out there who are living on a shoestring and spending their evenings partying. A certain romance has been attached to this way of living and many are fooled into thinking that it is the only way to travel. In truth, these youngsters miss 90% of what traveling is about when it comes to exploring other countries and cultures and they arrive home with nothing but stories of hair raising adventures and hangovers. You have the chance to really see the world without living this lifestyle, remember that just because you go to a country, does not mean you have lived it.

Better Appreciation

As you age, you gain a finer appreciation of the differences between people from different countries, you have a greater interest for their history and their culture and you will actually find yourself in a far better position than someone younger than yourself, to relate to cultures around the world.If you have kids for example then you are likely to look on parents from around the world in a different way that you would have done when you were younger. This higher level of appreciation means that you can enjoy traveling far more.

Opening Your Mind

It can be easy to get stuck in your ways after a certain amount of time and stop challenging yourself to be creative and look past the norm. Whilst traveling opens up young people’s minds it will also do the same for you and you will come home with renewed vigor and a very different take on the world than before you left.


Believe it or not, traveling is good for your health and this who go traveling have been shown to live a little bit longer than those who do not do so frequently. When you travel, you spend much more time outdoors and much more things doing exercise such as walking, hiking and other activities which you may take part in. Travel can also help you with infections as you will be exposing yourself to different types of bacteria which your body can use to strengthen your immune system in the future.

If you thought it was to late to travel, think again!

5 Tips for traveling solo as a female

If you are considering solo travel as a female but you have been put off by the scaremongering and horror stories which you may have heard, it is time to rethink your approach. Let’s not sugarcoat it though, traveling as a female on your own is unfortunately very different to traveling as a male and there are additional precautions which you need to take.

Thankfully, in over 10 years of traveling solo, I have never ran into any real trouble and I like to think that this is because of the smart and sensible approach which I have always had. If you are thinking about going traveling on your own, here are 5 top tips to take with you.


The first step is to make sure that someone back home always knows where you are and when. Make sure that before you travel that a family member or friend has your itinerary and that you check in with them as you leave and arrive at your destination. This may strip away some of the freedom element that travel gives you but it will make sure that you can stay safe, and that if you aren’t, someone will be quick to realize it.

Stay in Groups

If you are worried that you may be in danger or even if you feel slightly uneasy in a particular place, make sure that you tag on to, or at least stay near, bug groups of people. Something bad is far less likely to happen if you are in big groups and doing so will discourage anyone who was perhaps looking to cause you harm.

Dress Smart

I don’t agree at all with the “she was attacked because of the way that she was dressed” opinion, but it does make sense to review how you are dressed depending on where you are. For example, I would never walk through the middle of Calcutta wearing a short dress and plunging neckline as I know that the men there see this as an invitation. The key to dressing abroad is to try your best to blend in, the more that you stand out, the more of a target you become.

Always Know Where You Are Going

Before you set off for a new location, make sure that you know exactly how to get there as nothing screams victim more than you standing on a street corner with a map in your hand. What you are looking for when you travel is to become one of the crowd as often as possible and you should know exactly where you are going at all times. IF you do get stuck, head into a coffee shop bathroom or something similar and have a quick check of your map, whatever you do, don’t do so in public.

Hotel Salvation

Make sure that your hotel is not in a sketchy area or and isolated location before you book. Equally if you are heading to a city which is potentially dangerous, don’t be frightened to spend a little extra on getting a nice and secure hotel. The hotel could prove to be your sanctuary if things get dangerous and you will be thankful that you spent the extra.

Don’t worry too much about traveling alone, whilst there are dangers, being smart will keep you away from them.

Traveling in your 40s, why it’s the best time!

Please don’t ever think that you are too old to travel just because you are in your forties, I once thought that and I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I speak about travel I am not talking about a 2 week break to get some sunshine and dip in the sea, I mean real travel, seeing new cultures, new sights and new countries.

Having traveled as both a youngster and someone in their forties, I can honestly say that traveling at the age which I am now, 46, is the most fun that I have ever had and the youngsters housed envy me, not the other way around. If you are over 40 and think that traveling isn’t for you, here is where you are wrong.

Higher Appreciation

When you travel as a kid you don’t really grasp the importance of what you are seeing and things become more about the party element and the freedom of travel, rather than the discovery of new and exciting things. I have never been one to enjoy museums but as someone who is older, I can appreciate these things much more. I also feel as though I can relate to more things that I see than when I was younger and this is a real benefit to traveling as an older person.

More Money

When you are young, money doesn’t really mean very much to you and the consequence of this is that you invariably do not have much of it. I was always of the opinion that experiences were worth more than money was and whilst I still believe this, I also understand that it takes money to have such experiences. I have found that traveling in my forties is much easier because I have more money with which to travel and enjoy new experiences whereas in the past I would have had to say no to many opportunities.


It doesn’t matter who you are or what kind of life you have lived, once you get over forty, your body just isn’t the same anymore and it loves nothing more than reminding you of this fact each day. I have found however, that since I have been traveling, I always feel fitter and healthier when I return than I did before I left. When you travel you are almost always on the go and this really helps the body to feel good, hit the road in your forties and you will feel like a new person when you return.

Less Risk

Although the odd scrape or two does make for a great travel story, I prefer to live a life without risk these days and that means that fewer things can go wrong on the road. When things go wrong on the road it either ends up costing you more money or you end up in the doctor’s surgery. Thankfully I am a bit smarter now than I used to be and this means that I avoid such problems because of my mature and risk averse nature.

Don’t feel bad that you are forty, embrace it and hit the road!