Packing for my New Year holiday

Packing for my New Year holiday

I’m heading off to Gardaland and Europa Park this Thursday to see in 2020 – my first time abroad during this period. It’s certainly going to be a new experience for me having always stayed in the UK and avoided booking travel during the Christmas holidays. There’s a lot of things I am looking forward to experiencing including Europa Park’s Winter Season event and my first ever visit to Gardaland. So what exactly am I packing for my New Year holiday?

I am travelling with RyanAir using hand luggage only. Sounds like an impossible task right? Not really if you plan well when it comes to your clothes and toiletries. Not gonna lie, I’ve travelled using hand luggage for various trips to Europe in order to save costs on luggage, and sometimes travelling light can save you a lot of hassle. Whilst some people might wonder how I do it – whether through the fact I am a woman, or some people might call me crazy in general and can’t fathom the thought of travelling hand luggage only. I’m here to tell and prove to you it can be done.

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So what exactly am I planning to take?

Before I even start getting the suitcase open and chucking clothes into it, I actually plan out my outfits for each day of my trip. This not only helps me to avoid overpacking but it actually helps when I am out travelling. Ever feel stuck trying to figure out what outfit you want to wear each day? You won’t have that issue any more! I will write down my list using the Notes app on my iPad. With this trip in particular, there’s going to be lots of theme park days so obvious choices will be t-shirts, leggings, shorts/skirts etc.

Mix and matching outfits is the key part to packing light with hand luggage. I also have a few evening meals planned so nicer outfits are required, whether that is a nice top paired with leggings or a nice dress with tights. Ensuring outfits are easy to fold and don’t take up too much space, like thin cotton t-shirts or dresses, will really help to ensure you can take the basics with you without weighing down your case.

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Top Tips:

#1: If you can make some outfits split into multiple uses like transitioning from daytime to evening, this can really help with space.

#2: Packing cubes. If you haven’t used these before, buy some from Amazon – they are not even that expensive, but please give them a go. They have changed the way I pack my suitcase for any future trips. They really help to utilise the space in your case better – ideal for hand luggage trips.

#3: Having a designated travel outfit can really help avoid overpacking. Wearing bulky items when travelling will save you lots of space in your case – this includes hoodies & coats.

#4: Toiletries & make-up? Try to take the bare minimum and avoid anything that is liquid based. That 100ml limit and one liquids bag can be a pain in the arse but you can make it work – stick with eyeliner pencils, lipsticks, powders etc.

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My packing list as follows…

Clothing

  • T-Shirts x5
  • Jeans/Jeggings x1
  • Shorts/Skirt x2
  • Leggings x1
  • Dresses x5 (Including NYE dress!)

Layers & Necessities

  • Underwear x9
  • Bra x1
  • Thermals x1 (Top & Bottoms)
  • Tights x2
  • Socks x4 (Thick socks mostly cause who wants cold feet when walking around a theme park?)
  • Scarf, Hat, Gloves
  • Leather Jacket (Evening purpose)
  • Superdry Jacket

It’s pretty basic but it’s amazing how I can fit 9 days worth of outfits in my carry-on suitcase without going over the 10kg from RyanAir. It’s not magic, it’s practical and sensible packing!

Have you travelled abroad only using hand luggage?

How do you pack? Do you create a list?

Do you shove everything in and hope for the best? What works for you?

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, see you all in 2020!

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

How to prepare for a theme park trip abroad

How to prepare for a theme park trip abroad

how to prepare for a theme park trip abroad

As you can imagine, I love going abroad. Travelling + theme parks = a very happy Lottie! So much so I am off to Poland tomorrow! But does anyone ever wonder how to prepare for a theme park trip abroad? From the dreaded packing routine: How many outfits do you need? Is the suitcase going to be big enough? to the major essentials of planning (boarding passes, park tickets etc). You know you need to get your brain into gear so you don’t forget anything!

Trust me, I haven’t forgotten anything in the past but I do end up using all my energy getting prepared for my holiday. More so than when I’m actually on the road, travelling to that next theme park destination. Yes, preparing for a holiday is common sense but sometimes a little helping hand can help you be on your way. Read on for my top tips on how to prepare for a theme park trip abroad.

Park tickets

Now that we live in a world where technology is at the palm of our hand, gone are the days where you need to print everything. I love that you can now show off the PDF park tickets on your phone. Or if you’ve been to Hansa Park recently and own an iPhone, your ticket sits nicely in your Wallet app! It makes life so much easier as you’ll have your phone on you at all times.

Pro tip: To avoid those mishaps with WiFi or lack of internet, open up the PDF/e-mail ticket on your phone and take a screenshot. That way you can still show off your ticket at the entrance without worrying about no internet! Of course, certain theme parks around the world will send you park tickets in the post. Make sure you have these to hand when you are packing for your trip.

Park Opening Times/Info

Okay, you should do this in the trip planning stages. However sometimes a week or so before you fly out, it’s best to double-check park opening hours & extra information. We all know park hours are subject to change and even days can change. Although this is very rare! The last thing you want to happen is to arrive at your destination and find that you have less time at the park than you first anticipated. If you’re lucky, you might find hours have been extended!

Car Hire/Hotel Booking Confirmations

In a similar vein to park tickets, you can keep all your booking confirmations on your smartphone. Just remember to take screenshots of booking confirmation numbers, arrival dates, payment confirmation details etc. Your internet can be temperamental so don’t get caught out. Of course, printing off the confirmation details won’t hurt. I know that for hotels, especially if you have booked through Hotels.com, Booking.com or AccorHotels, you can view all your bookings on their apps – incredibly handy to have!

Sat Nav

Whether you choose to use your smartphone or an actual Sat Nav unit, make sure you update the maps. Don’t get caught short when you suddenly find a road or motorway no longer exists! My preferred app to use is Waze as it provides you with the most up to date maps, it’s super easy to set up and it’s FREE! Other options include Google Maps or Apple Maps (depending on your smartphone of choice). Don’t forget to pack chargers and any other accessories such as phone holders and USB car chargers. Whilst most new cars have USB facilities, you can’t guarantee you’ll get them in your hire car. Be prepared for any eventualities!

Public Transport Info (if travelling via Public Transport)

If you are travelling via public transport, make sure you’ve done plenty of research including bus/train timetables, stations near the attractions, any shuttle buses that need pre-booking etc. My preferred choice is to get a hire car where I can but if I need to travel anywhere by public transport, research is key. Make sure you know where you’re going. The last thing you want is to appear lost in a foreign country as this will make you a prime target for scammers etc. Stay safe at all times.

Essential Toiletries including First Aid Kit

Sounds like common sense right? But I’m sure there’s a handful of people who may have forgotten something for their trip. What do I class as essential toiletries? Anything from Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower Gel, Deodorant, Toothpaste, Toothbrush etc. Anything that is a basic need for your everyday routine. Also, add a First Aid Kit whilst you are at it. I might go overboard in this respect by packing a lot of first aid bits but ‘You never know what may strike at any given moment!‘ I’ll pack plasters, tissues, paracetamol, ibuprofen, vitamins, contraceptive pill (if applicable!), Strepsils, Bonjela, Anthisan etc. Ladies, if you know your time of the month is due during your holiday, make sure to pack your pads & tampons too.

Travel Money and Passport

What? I left the most basic and important thing till last?! Passport is mandatory, obviously! Pro tip: Put your passport in your suitcase when you start your packing and you won’t have to worry about it being left behind. Okay, I have left getting travel money to the last minute before – NEVER AGAIN! Obviously, the earlier you can buy your travel money, the better rates you will get. ALWAYS AVOID GETTING MONEY AT THE AIRPORT!

There’s plenty of comparison sites online where you can compare the different rates. However, just recently I’ve been introduced to Monzo (back in June!) and I bloody love it. Easy to transfer money from my own bank account and no need to worry about conversion rates. The standard credit card exchange rate fee applies. Plus you don’t need to inform them every time you travel. My favourite part is the spending notifications you get. Very easy to keep track of how much you have spent and converts it straight back into pounds from your destination currency. So fab!

I hope this has given you some handy tips on how to prepare for a theme park trip abroad. If you have any tips of your own, please leave them in the comments below. Sharing is caring.

That’s all for now!Lottie xoxo

My Most Anticipated Halloween Attractions 2018

My Most Anticipated Halloween Attractions 2018

Halloween, in the death of the night, hear me scream
I’m coming, I’m coming
Halloween, is the fear that I fight, in my dream
Keep running, keep running …

Halloween season has really grown on me over the last couple of years, and it truly is the most wonderful time of year. I mean, I’ve already written a post on the top 8 reasons to love Halloween season, check it out here. After exploring some new scare events last year, it has really got me inspired to try out even more this year!

So here’s what I’m getting up to this spooky season 2018…

THORPE PARK FRIGHT NIGHTS

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This one is pretty much a given. Every year, I always visit Fright Nights because it’s pretty much a chance for me to have a bloody good time with my friends. Plus the maze line-up is looking so strong this year – especially with the new mazes that were announced a few weeks ago. Okay, I will bloody miss The Big Top but oh my god, there are so many good choices of mazes for this year. I honestly cannot wait to make many trips to Fright Nights this year.

ALTON TOWERS SCAREFEST

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Another staple in my calendar every year is Scarefest. Ever since my first trip in 2012, I have bloody loved the whole event. The atmosphere around the park is insane, and with is being so big, it can be pretty creepy at night. And with a new addition of Project 42 in the Nemesis Sub Terra building, oh my god, I cannot wait to see what this is all about. Us geeks definitely like to speculate about what will be included in this maze, and I sure as hell can’t wait to get stuck in – and maybe never get out? Plus Scarefest is also the chance to ride Wicker Man in the dark – yes please!

CHESSINGTON HOWL’O’WEEN

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Again, another staple that is always in my calendar. Despite this being more family orientated so the scares are not what I would consider scary but they are so fun, and damn, Chessington do some pretty good theming. Creepy Caves Unearthed last year was fantastic so I can’t wait to give it a go again this year! I think having visited the Halloween event at Chessington for a few years, I still have a lot of good memories at the event including The Mystery of Hocus Pocus Hall and Vampire: Haunting in the Hollows, which is why I still make a visit each year.

TULLEY’S SHOCKTOBER FEST

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Oh yes. I visited Tulley’s for the first time last year and honestly, I was questioning why I have never been here before! It is so bloody GOOD! The mazes are epic and each have their own theme. The actors are so in character the whole night that it builds up the anticipation and atmosphere. The general mood is spooky and I don’t think I found anything I didn’t like. So yes, I will be back this year and very much looking forward to seeing Circus of Horrors.

XTREME SCREAM PARK

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Now… I have to say this, I did not enjoy this place when I visited last year. It wasn’t a good visit and the mazes felt very lacklustre and when you hear everyone else saying they had the best time on their trips, I had to come back this year and give it another go. And I want to be scared… so give it all you got Xtreme Scream Park! 😉

DR. FRIGHT’S HALLOWEEN NIGHTS

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I’m not gonna lie, I don’t really know much about this place. Based at White Nurseries, near Gloucester, and described as having a variety of walk through horror attractions of a varying theme. In each attraction you will follow a dark and winding trail that will (hopefully) lead you to the exit. They have received many awards including UK’s Best Halloween Screampark and Best Original Concept and Design at the annual Scar Awards. I cannot wait to give this a try this Halloween Season.

BURTON SCREAMFEST

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I have driven past this place so many times when driving up to visit Alton Towers Scarefest and have never made time to visit! That’s going to change this year as I am very much looking forward to trying out all the scare attractions here. All the reviews and awards this place gets makes me want experience the greatness of Burton Screamfest for myself. Especially the scare maze in a corn field – sounds like an interesting experience awaits…

FEAR AT AVON VALLEY

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This is yet another scare attraction that I have heard some great reviews of from within the theme park community. Based near Bristol, I haven’t really thought about venturing towards that part of the UK, however for this year, I will definitely give it a go. Once again, I don’t really know much about this place but isn’t that kinda the fun of it? The anticipation of not really knowing what to expect – she says, nervous about what awaits her at Fear at Avon Valley. 😉

THE HOWL

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With a name like The Howl, I wonder what you could associate with it… Werewolves perhaps? I am intrigued as to how a park where all of the attractions are linked with the same story thread can be executed so smoothly. Again, it’s another place where I have some fantastic reviews so I am really looking forward to giving this a go in 2018. And to be honest, with the place being created by the same people who did Tulley’s, I am sure this is going to be a real hit.

Okay, I think this list has become way too long but as you can see, I want to try out more new scream parks. I can’t wait to see what all attractions have in store for me and I’m sure I will have a lot of tales to tell you on my blog so watch this space for reviews this Autumn!

That’s all for now.

LOTTIE TRAVELS