The Lifestyle Post #2: What January Blues?

For the past couple of weeks I have had a, somewhat unintended, blogger holiday – getting far too caught up in all the festive and birthday (I’m a December baby!) madness. And sadly the next few weeks will be a more planned blogging rest as in three days I am jetting off to Thailand for three weeks. So this post is a sort of mix match of life updates, travel tips and a last sprinkle of festive cheer before the January fever really sets in.

Firstly, I have now turned 22 and I had a really lovely birthday spending a chilled day with my family and friends. I was so lucky to have loads of lovely presents, but the main thing I wanted to show you was my beautiful cake! It was made by my friend Hollie who owns Cupcakes Boutique and if you are looking for some serious cake making skills in the Midlands you should definitely check them out!

Following that, Christmas day was spent how it should be, eating loads of good food and spending time with the people I love da’ most! One of my favourite stocking fillers was this super cute Blair Waldorf motto pen which my mum found over on etsy.

And finally the past two weeks have been spent doing some serious prep for my first taste of a real travelling holiday! Me and my boyfriend will be travelling round Thailand visiting Bangkok, Chang Mai, Khao Sok, Phuket and Phi Phi Island and I cannot wait! I usually get such bad January blues after all the nice things in December but this year I couldn’t wait for January to come around.

My brain has been seriously overloaded with to-do lists, guidebooks, packing lists, flight numbers, shopping lists, currency rates and did I mention more lists? 

BUT throughout this crazy couple of weeks planning I have managed to put together my top 5 tips for getting ready to travel.

1) Do your Research

Before you go anywhere, I think it is definitely worth taking the time to really research the place. There are so many things we have found that we want to do when we get there just by looking on blogs and reading guidebooks that otherwise we wouldn’t have even known existed. Trip advisor is always the go to site for reviews but other gems I have found are the Eyewitness Travel Books which give a whole host of information on attractions, culture, cuisine and language! Make yourself a rough list of the things you would like to see and do, but don’t go crazy and plan too strict an itinerary – sometimes the spontaneous things are the best! Get a good balance of planned fun things to look forward to whilst also leaving yourself time to discover new things while you’re over there.

2) Shop Around

There are lots of boring things you need to buy for travelling like insurance, currency, toiletries etc. Leave yourself enough time to shop around and make sure you are getting the best deals. Online sites like Money Supermarket work like a dream to help you make sure you are getting the right deal for you and that’s the kind of shopping around you can do in bed with a sugary cup of tea!

3) Fill your Ipad

Although travelling is super exciting the actual getting to and from places can also be really boring! Fill your iPhone, Kindle or iPad with loads of books, games and films to keep yourself entertained. 4oD and BBC iPlayer both allow you to download and store TV shows on your iPad so you can watch them without internet connection – perfect for the plane. 

4) Organise your documents

In the couple of days before you go make sure you print and organise all the documents you are going to need while you are away. Get a folder or a document holder and section it into tickets, hotel vouchers, excursions, passport etc. That way you won’t have any airport freak outs because you can’t find the ticket for your flight that is taking off in ten minutes! Disaster designs do a beautiful range of travel accessories and I am taking the Ditsy High Flyer Travel Wallet and the Bon Voyage Document Holder, both available from Mollie & Fred, to keep all my bits and pieces together.

5) Buy a travel journal

I hadn’t really considered buying a travel journal, however my brother and his wife brought me one for Christmas and I absolutely love it! It is the I Was Here Travel Journal from Chronicle Books and it is filled with loads of quirky tips of what to document and photograph while you are away to really get a sense of the place you are in such as local road signs or weekly papers. It also has room for notes and lists to help you get the most out of travelling both before you go and when you come back and tons of helpful info like plug shapes and tea traditions around the world!

Have you guys got anything fun planned to beat the January blues? Hope you all have a great month and I will be pack posting in February…once I have got over the jet lag!

Charlotte x