7   103
18   138
17   118
15   107
33   147
4   79
9   75
3   92

In the photo: Travel photography by Dan McLeod

Do you remember how you picked that perfect holiday destination in the old days before Instagram arrived on our screens? Long gone is the anticipation that came with carrying home a ton of travel brochures back from the shops, then dreamily flicking through the pages looking at the white sandy beaches and sparkling swimming pools, deciding where to fly away to next. Choosing a holiday these days is all but just a click away and where we go can be strongly influenced by what we are seeing everyday on social media. 

Are you guilty of choosing a travel destination purely based on how photogenic it is? If so, you are definitely not alone. A recent survey conducted by Schofields Insurance found that two fifths (40%) of millennial’s admitted that how pretty a destination will look on Instagram is a major deciding factor in where they go. This option came out on top way above the likes of cost/availability of alcohol (24%), personal development (23%), experiencing local cuisine (9%) and opportunities for sightseeing (4%).

I can well believe that though, as I’ve often admired the beautiful beaches of Bali and gazed longingly at the bright lights of New York and just wanted to pack my bags and jump on the next plane. As I can only dream about my next getaway, I thought I would share with you my top 5 instagrammable travel destinations. Let me know your top 5, I’m forever looking for new holiday inspiration.

(Image source: tasteinhotels – The Royal Pita Maha Resort & Spa, Ubud)

(Image source: greece – Mýkonos, Kikladhes, Greece)

(Image source: what_i_saw_in_nyc – 42 Street, Times Square, New York)

(Image source: bepartofsomethinggreat – Aurora aka The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

(Image source: beautiful__travel – Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives)

Have you chosen a holiday based on a pretty picture? What are your top 5 Instagrammable travel destinations? Feel free to share them with me in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

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I dunno about you, but I LOVE preparing for a holiday. I find everything so exciting, from the planning and research stages to the last minute holiday shopping – you can guarantee if it’s holiday related, I’m having the best time. As we are now in the middle of July, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share with you 5 easy ways to prepare for a holiday this summer with tips and ideas that have worked for me over the years.

Travel Insurance

Once you have chosen your dream destination, the first thing you need to do is make sure you have good Health & Travel Insurance. This is one tip which I unfortunately learned the hard way when my ex-boyfriend and I went to Thailand back in 2012. In all the excitement of going to Asia, we selected the wrong travel insurance which only covered us for the UK. Oops. We then headed off on a two week holiday to Phuket which was pretty awesome other than the fact we both picked up influenza which resulted in a £200 medical bill from the hospital. Yikes. So yeah, get the right insurance if you are going to get ill abroad.

Research Your Trip

I’m such a nerd when it comes to planning and organizing and one of my favourite things to do before a holiday is to look at websites like Trip Advisor for holiday tips and suggestions. Prior to a recent holiday to Kos in Greece, we discovered that holiday-makers staying in our chosen hotel suggested bringing a torch. We did this and it happened to be great advice. It turned out there were no street lights walking to the town or beach in the evening so our touch proved to be a very handy addition in our suitcase.

Photograph Your Passports

Your passport is quite possibly your most important travel item as without it you ain’t going anywhere. A good tip is to photograph or scan your passport page and e-mail it to yourself. That way, if the unthinkable happens and you lose your belongings, at least you have a copy of your identity on your phone and in your inbox. For extra points, e-mail it to a close family member so that they have a backup copy if things go wrong on holiday.

Holiday Checklist

In the week leading up to the holiday, I write myself a travel checklist (any excuse to get the pretty notebooks out hey). This list includes everything I need to do and pack before we go. My list usually includes things like get travel money, pack sun cream, travel adapters, don’t forget your flip flops, and other little reminders like that. Before you leave, you can quickly scan through your list to make sure everything is ticked off before you head to the airport.

In-Flight Essentials Bag

On every trip I go on, I always make sure I have an in-flight essentials bag. Before I went to Italy in April I shared a post on what I was taking with me on the flight. This included things like antibacterial hand gel, mini body spray, crosswords, notebooks and sweets. Finally, make sure your phone, iPod and camera batteries are fully charged as there is nothing worse than a flight without music.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my holiday preparation tips and tricks. Are you going on holiday soon? What do you do to get holiday-ready? Feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear your suggestions!

*This is a sponsored post which means I received a product/payment in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own. 

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Since starting my blog, Printiki have been my go-to place for photo printing. Their awesome prints have appeared in my Phuket Travel Scrapbook, Greece Travel Scrapbook, Gran Canaria Travel Scrapbook and most recently my Food From Around The World post. I’m always impressed by their speedy service, great quality and value for money. So when Prinkiti contacted me recently to say they had launched photo magnets I was super keen to check them out.

Printiki have very kindly gifted me these magnets and have generously offered a giveaway prize for someone to win their very own personalized set (see end of post for details). You can either select 9 Mini Magnets or 4 Medium Magnets. As Shaun and I have now been on five holidays together, I opted for the 9 mini magnets as I didn’t want any holidays to feel left out.

The Printiki photo magnets look amazing with my World Travel Magnetic Map from Not On The Highstreet.

Printiki make photo printing so easy. All you need to do is upload your chosen photos from your computer, Facebook or Instagram. You also have the option to customize your photos with text, filters, colours and shapes. Lastly, you can choose whether you want to turn your magnets into a collage or a jigsaw.

These are perfect to stick on your fridge to keep the holiday memories alive all year round. Of course, you can print absolutely anything, why not find photos of friends, family, pets, days out and special occasions to make your own awesome collages. If you would like a chance to win one voucher for a set of magnets with shipping all you need to do is:

  1. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @HELLOBEXA

  2. FOLLOW PRINTIKI ON TWITTER @PRINTIKI

  3. RT MY PINNED TWEET 

One winner will be chosen at random on Friday 22nd June at 6pm. Good luck to everyone who takes part! Which photos would you choose to print onto Printiki photo magnets?  Let me know in the comments!

*This is a sponsored post which means I received a product/payment in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own. 

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Having recently come home from a trip to Italy (and eating way too much pizza and ice cream), I was thinking about all the different foods I have tried on various other holidays. So far, I have now been 18 Amazing Places (+ Italy) and experienced a range of different menus from all around the world. Today, I thought I would share with you some of my foodie highlights from a few different places I’ve visited, simply because food and travel are two of my most favourite things. So if you are feeling keen to plan your next holiday and sample some of the local dishes, check out destination2.co.uk for tons of holiday inspiration.

Greece

I absolutely love everything about Greece, especially their food. One of my favourite dishes is the gyros (literally meaning “turn”) which is meat wrapped in a pita with tomato, onion, tzatziki sauce often served with fries. It’s pretty much the Greek version of a kebab. If I am feeling slightly healthier, the Greek Salad is always a delicious option with feta, olives, tomato, peppers, onions, lettuce and olive oil normally served with pita and tzatziki sauce. Oh yeah, and you can’t mention Greek food without including Greek Tapas. This is a selection of little nibbles served on a platter and comes with all sorts such as hummus, stuffed vine leaves, falafel, pita, spinach pie, meatballs… okay, this is making me super hungry. What is your favourite dish to eat in Greece?

Mexico

The other day, I went to Chiquito for my birthday which reminded me how tasty Mexican really food is. I went for the classic fajitas but it was a tough choice between that and the burritos and the enchiladas. When I went on holiday to Mexico a few years ago, it seemed the dish of chicken and rice was a firm favorite. That and tacos! There is so much choice out there, whether you are a fan of spicy food or something a little plainer, Mexican dishes are so delicious and healthy too. You also don’t need to look very far to find fresh exotic fruit either, there is everything from the familiar mango and kiwi to more the more obscure things like mamey and tuna fruit. Do you like Mexican dishes, which one is your favourite?

Thailand

Thailand for me, was my most adventurous foodie holiday. There was no sign of a burger and chips out there. If you like Thai food, then you will love Thailand as it’s even tastier and even cheaper than at home. I still stand by my word that I ate the best ever Pad Thai whilst in Asia (this still hasn’t been beaten yet). Food in Thailand is absolutely everywhere and you can grab something quick and tasty whilst on the move. Popular dishes such as Guay Teow (noodle soup), Poh Pia Tod (spring rolls) and Kai Jeow (omelette and rice) can be found at roadside vendors, in the markets or in restaurants and it’s all so so cheap. A portion of noodles is around 40 baht (90p), how crazy! One of my favourite discoveries was the Banana Roti, a sweet pancake treat which can be ordered with added chocolate. Yum! What is your favourite Thai food?

Italy

A travel food blog post is not complete without mentioning Italy. This is my most recent adventure and I certainly had my fair share of pizza, spaghetti, brushetta. It’s not all pizza and pasta though, fish and seafood is a firm favourite on the Italian menu too. If you are a fan of fish, you will not be disappointed as you can get everything from salmon, anchovies, scallops, sea bream, sea bass, tuna and much more! Finally, of course when in Italy you need to sample a tub or five of their famous galeto. There are so many different delicious flavours to pick from – I tried Fragola (strawberry), Cioccolato (chocolate), Malaga (rum and raisin) and something that looked like cookies and cream. Amazing!

I hope you enjoyed my holiday foodie highlights. Writing this post has made me so hungry! Which country has the best food, in your opinion? What food would you like to try? I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations.

*This is a sponsored post which means I received a product/payment in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own. 

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