I'd like to think of myself as a pretty well travelled individual. Over the last 10 years I've found myself making memories all over Europe, and with doing so I've picked up a trick or two.

Travel can be one of the most amazing experiences, but it can also be costly, and a bit of a hassle sometimes, which is why it's so important so take note of travel hacks. And with that in mind I thought I would share my own tips that will make travel a little easier and save you a few quid too.

So here are my top cheeky travel hacks...


Need quick transport in a city you don't speak the language? Ask any hotel reception to call a taxi for you. Unfortunately for those who like easy travel, Uber isn't available everywhere yet. So when you need transport and fast, you might find it tricky to communicate with taxi companies if you don't speak the language. If you are near a hotel however it's likely that the receptionist will speak English and be able to order you a fuss free taxi, whether you're staying there or not. Yep it's a little cheeky but I've not yet met a receptionist who wasn't willing to help me out!

Out and about but an item of your clothing has ripped, or snapped? Ask any hotel reception for a sewing kit to fix it quick. When exploring beautiful Almeria a few years back, the strap on my playsuit snapped and I didn't have time to return to my own hotel before my tour started. I nipped into the closest hotel and asked the receptionist very nicely if they had a sewing kit I could use. Luckily they did so I soon had a fully functioning playsuit with minimal hassle. 

Low on phone battery? It's always worth keeping a whole phone charger in your bag incase you visit a cafe or bar with an available plug socket. When I go camping I also keep the charger for my battery packs in my bag so that I can charge those up at the pub as I rarely have access to electricity while camping. 

Helped yourself to the drinks and snacks in your hotel room mini bar and now you're facing a bill larger that it should be? Restore the items with shop bought replacements. Hotel mini bar items are often incredibly expensive compared to buying them in regular stores so depending on how much you scoffed you could save yourself a good few quid by replacing them.


Minimal hand luggage allowance on your flight? Just hide anything extra you bring! Buy anything from the airport shops, ask for a large carrier bag and put your forbidden hand luggage inside. Most airlines won't have a limit on the amount of duty free shopping you can buy and wont check what's actually inside your shopping bag, meaning you can bring along whatever you want as long as it will fit discreetly inside a duty free carrier bag.

Want a cheeky bev on the airplane but don't want to spend a small fortune? Smuggle it on. I'm not sure about the legalities of this one but let's say in theory you bought a small bottle of alcohol in the duty free store which could be quite cheap. In theory you could also buy a 600ml bottle of Pepsi, drink half of it and then refill the bottle with the alcohol, discarding the empty spirit bottle in an airport bin. I have it on good authority that a whole bottle of 20cl Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum fits completely into half a bottle of Pepsi and also matches the colour quite closely meaning no one on the airplane would be able to tell it was anything other than a regular bottle of Pepsi - in theory. 

Arriving in a new place? Always take a free walking tour! If you've been reading the blog for a while you'll know I'm a huge advocate for free walking tours, but for a good reason. If you're new to a city taking a free walking tour provides you with an affordable way to view important parts of the city, as well as gaining valuable knowledge from the guide. Often guides will also hand out free resources like vouchers and city maps which you might not get for free elsewhere.

You can find more reasons to take a free walking tour here.

Hotel with no pool? No problem, just nip to the hotel next door! When on one of my recent trips I met a lad who was working in a small Spanish town. His apartment block didn't have a pool so when he wanted to go swimming he simply found out which local hotels had easy access swimming pools. I've never done this one myself but I think it's a brilliant idea!

So those were my top cheeky travel hacks! I've love to know some of the travel hacks you sweat by! Let's have a chat about them on twitter or in the comments below!

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North Wales is a beautiful region but not one known for its exotic cuisine. When you think of North Wales your mind would likely picture mountains and pretty little seaside towns, it's doubtful you'd even think about food, but let me tell you there is some good grub to be had there.

Throughout my trip I munched my way across Conwy, Llandudno, Anglesey, and more, so here's everything I ate in North Wales...

4 photos of different meal we ate in North Wales (Fish & Chips, Full English Breakfast, Battered Sausage and Chips, Ice Cream)

Finley's Sandwich Bar - Llangollen

5 Abbey Rd, Llangollen, LL20 8SN

In the tiny picturesque town of Llangollen you'll find Finley's Sandwich bar and cafe. The dog friendly eatery serve's all sorts from full breakfasts and burgers to sandwiches and salad, and they delivery it all with a smile.

This was our first pit stop in Wales and being hungry tourists we all ordered the largest breakfast option - Finley's Big Breakfast. For £7.50 you'll receive 2 slices of bacon, 2 sausages, 1 egg, 2 hash browns, black pudding, mushrooms, baked beans, or plum tomatoes, and 2 slices of bread. But if something doesn't take your fancy they had no problems swapping a couple of items up!

The breakfast was delicious and it was clear that they only serve really good quality ingredients. Not only that everything was cooked just right - hello perfect dippy eggs! 

Would I recommend a breakie at Finley's? Absolutely I would, and I think my pooches who were also well looked after would recommend a trip too!

The Big Breakfast at Finley's Cafe Llangollen

Finley's big breakfast 

Llangollen train station nestled among beautiful rolling hills
Llangollen Railway station opposite Finley's Sandwich Bar

Windsor Fish Bar - Abergele

Towyn Road, Towyn, Abergele, LL22 9HE

Eating fish and chips on the beach was high on my to do list for my Welsh holiday. Luckily for us we found a chippy not too far from the seafront where I was able to make my dream a reality. 

Windsor Fish Bar near Kinmel Bay looks like your bog standard chippy, and well it is, but take a short drive (or a 10 minute walk) and you'll find yourself on a beautiful beach. Now this stretch of land from Rhyl to Abergele is packed with other takeaways and fish bars and I can't tell you if this one is the best, but I can say that we all thoroughly enjoyed our boxed up chippy tea. The batter on the fish and sausage was delicious and the chicken kebab my sister ordered was cracking quality for a takeaway! 

There was quite a queue when we went for our food, this is to be expected at tea time in the school holidays, but it might be worth keeping in mind if you're looking to eat in the area.

Overall I very much enjoyed my tea by the sea, and I didn't even have to fight back any seagulls this time - bonus!

A tray of battered sausage and chips

Battered Sausage and Chips on the beach 

A table full of our chippy tea (Battered sausage and chips, fish and chips, chicken kebab)
Our chippy tea which we ate on a bench on Kinmel Bay

The Menu for Windsor Fish Bar. Our food can be seen in the background.
The Menu for Windsor Fish Bar Abergele

Horizon Shine Kiosk - Colwyn Bay Beach

Promenade, Colwyn Bay Beach, LL29 8HH

Is it even a UK holiday if you don't have an ice cream in questionable temperatures? Well I don't think so, which is why I treated myself to a little chocolate ice cream at the beach kiosk the second the sun appeared.

Regardless of the temperature (which was not at summer holiday levels) I wolfed down my delicious icy treat while the rest of my family sipped on hot chocolates from the same kiosk. 

Would I recommend? Of course!

Two cups of coffee and a chocolate ice cream
Coffee's and Ice Cream from Horizon Shine Kiosk

Holding my melting Chocolate Ice Cream in front of the beach
My very melted Chocolate Ice Cream

The Mulberry - Conwy

Conwy Marina, Ellis Way, Conwy, LL32 8GU

Conwy is very quickly becoming my favourite seaside town. It's gorgeous castle, fantastic history, and quirky little streets have so much to offer tourists, and that's ever before you take in the gorgeous views across the harbour. One thing it doesn't specialise in however is dog friendly pubs. Now we could have very easily missed them (so feel free to drop your recommendations in the comments) but we did struggle to find somewhere we could sit inside with our little angels. 

We did however take a suggestion from one of the local sales assistants who recommended we take a walk to The Mulberry which is roughly a 20 minute walk from the main town of Conwy. 

Looking through a window to the Marina. Lines of boats can be seen.
The view from the dog friendly seats inside the Mulberry Conwy

Conwy marina. The sun is setting in the background.
The view across Conwy Marina

The Mulberry overlooks Conwy Marina which makes for a beautiful setting to have a relaxing meal. They are also dog friendly which is essential for us. Dogs are allowed on several tables inside the restaurant and at all of the outside tables as far as I am aware. Water bowls are placed in various locations across the venue, though we did have to ask for these to be refilled as it seems that must have had lots of little visitors that day.

The menu at the Mulberry is fairly standard for a more upmarket pub, though I did find several dishes I quite liked the look of which is very unusual for a picky eater like me. I ended up ordering the Chicken Schnitzel and let me tell you I left feeling very full.

I would absolutely recommend a trip here if you don't mind a short stroll (which is actually quite lovely) and you need somewhere dog friendly. 


A plate which chicken schnitzel, chips, egg, and salad
Chicken Schnitzel with egg, chips, and salad

Steak pie and Katsu chicken burger
Steak Pie and Katsu Chicken Burger at The Mulberry Conwy

Pound bakery - Llandudno

54 Mostyn Street, Llandudno, LL30 2RP

I'll be honest, I didn't even realise this was a chain until it was too late. I thought I'd stubbled across a nice little local bakery but nope. We all had cheap little Cornish pasty's here which filled the gap but were actually pretty rubbish. I didn't even get a proper photo of them but believe me you're not missing out on much.

It wasn't horrible but I wouldn't rush back to buy from there again. I mean what did I expect for £1 really?

Holding a half eaten traditional Cornish pasty
£1 Cornish Pasty from Pound Bakery in Llandudno

Holding a traditional Cornish pasty in a slightly different angle
The £1 Cornish pastry from a different angle - it doesn't look anymore appealing from this side

Emperor Chinese Restaurant - Llandudno

2 Mostyn Street, Llandudno, LL30 2SW

If there is one thing I love it's Chinese food. I could happily eat noodles, spring rolls, and satay chicken every single day - no seriously. But I didn't expect to get good oriental grub in the pretty little seaside town of Llandudno. 

Well how wrong I was! While hunting for food one night we stumbled across a fairly well hidden all you can eat restaurant, jackpot! For just £14.99 per person we stuffed our faces silly with a mix of buffet food we could plate up ourselves, and main dishes which were cooked to order.

Everything we ate was super fresh and very tasty which was a pleasant surprise. The dishes we ordered were also good portion sizes so we left very happy and very full. 

Unlike many of the other places I visited, this one isn't dog friendly but we were able to park on the street below and check on them frequently. 

Several plates of Chinese food (Rice, chicken, prawn crackers,etc)
Some of the cooked to order dishes at Emperor Chinese Restaurant Llandudo

A buffet of Chinese food
The buffet which includes favourites such as Spring Rolls, Spare Ribs, Chips, Etc

Pantri Beach Cafe - Abergele

Promenade, Abergele, LL22 7PP

Abergele wasn't actually a stop on my to do list but we were absolutely starving one day as we were heading towards Conwy so stopped at a little beach cafe. It was serving a good breakie, had parking, and was dog friendly - perfect.

Pantri Beach Cafe is exactly that, a cafe overlooking the beach, and so we thought it would be an overpriced venue targeting tourists but we gave it a go anyway. We ordered our meals and waited, and waited, and waited a bit more before asking when our breakfasts were likely to be served.

It was clearly quite busy so we didn't expect have our meals immediately but in all honesty I think our order may have been misplaced. It wasn't ideal but it happens from time to time and the staff were so lovely about it even though they were clearly under pressure.

All of our drinks were taken off the bill and when our food did arrive it was delicious. The quality of the breakfast was good, and the portions were generous too. We definitely left happy despite the hiccup, which I think the young members of staff handled incredibly well. 

Two big breakfasts
Our breakfasts at Pantri Beach Cafe

A close up of the Pantri Beach Cafe breakfast
A Closer look at the Pantri Beach Cafe breakfast

Anglesey Arms - Anglesey

Mona Road, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, LL59 5EA

Another stop were weren't planning on making was to Anglesey. We only really stopped as I saw we were quite close to the fabulously named town of Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch (YES that is it's real name) and I couldn't resist taking a photo with the sign at the train station! Once I'd snapped away we really needed some grub so stopped off at the first dog friendly pub that served fish and chips.

And that pub was The Anglesey Arms! The pub/ restaurant was surprisingly nice inside and had a cracking menu with several options for us all. It also had a lovely view of the Menai suspension bridge which I think is quite famous? Anyway, it was a good choice for our final meal in the wonderful North Wales.

I ordered the Brewery Tower burger with 2 beed patties, pulled beef brisket, bacon, cheese, relish etc etc and it was just as massive and delicious as it sounds. I would definitely recommend. Mom went for the fish and chips - standard. And Dad opted for the Slow Braised Lamb Shank which I think he probably still has dreams about now.

The Service at the Anglesey Arms was also very good and one of our waiters was even from the Midlands which we very much enjoyed. 

Braised Lamb Shank with greens in a deep plate
Slow Braised Lamb Shank

Traditional fish and chips on a plate
Fish and Chips at The Anglesey Arms

A large burger, fries, and coleslaw on a big round plate
The Brewery Tower burger

So that's it, every single thing I ate in North Wales!

Now while I'm no food, critic I did experience some tasty eats (and some not so tasty ones) on my trip so hopefully this gives you a good idea of where to eat well in the North of Wales.

Let me know your favourite holiday snack or meal in the comments!

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It's no secret that the Lake District is fast becoming one of my favourite places in the UK to visit. From the many beautiful waterfalls, to incredible walks, and more, the Lake District really has it all! There are so many fantastic areas to visit but Coniston Water in particular really stole my heart last summer. 

It's the third largest of the Lakes meaning you've plenty of water to explore, or if keeping your feet on the land is more your thing, there's miles of breathtaking countryside to tour.

Looking across Coniston Water from the back of of boat. The ripples the boat leaves can be seen going across the lake.
Looking out across Coniston Water from the back of one of the Coniston Launch boats

So what exactly can you do around Coniston Water... 

Coniston Launch boat trips

No break to the lakes is complete without a boat trip, and luckily Coniston has its very own fleet of VERY affordable passenger boats. There are several routes running on different days which are well worth joining, however the fleet also acts as a water taxi for foot passengers picking up and dropping off at several locations around the lake. The Coniston Launch boat trips employe an extremely knowledgable and friendly bunch of staff who will gladly answer any questions you have and also point out important points of interest. Come rain or shine, this is a great activity to do while exploring Coniston.

Grace and her family sat inside on of the Coniston Launch boats. It is very cloudy and the lake can barely be seen.
Inside one of the Coniston Launch boats, hiding from the rain

Climb Coniston Old Man

Recently featured in the top 10 of Britains Favourite Walks The climb up to the peak of Coniston Old Man isn't for the fainthearted. While it's no walk in the park, it's certainly one not to miss and I would recommend that even inexperienced climbers give this one a go!

The views across Coniston Water (and much further on a clear day) are well worth the roughly 2.5 hour scramble to the top. 

While there are easier routes I would recommend parking at the Walna Scar Car Park and walking up towards 'Big Hill' and then 'The Bell' before continuing on the only path. This route can be quite steep in parts but it's very scenic and takes you through the old Slate Quarry which is worth exploring. I'd recommend taking a map for this walk however there is a map at the edge of the car park which you can just take a photo of.

View from the top of Coniston Old Man. Beautiful countryside can be seen all around as well as Coniston town and Lake in the background.
The view from the peak of Coniston Old Man

Visit Donald Campbells Grave

Fancy a bit of morbid tourism on you visit to Conison? Well you're in luck! Just a short walk from the centre of Coniston town is Coniston Graveyard where you can find the final resting place of Donald Campbell, the speed record breaker who sadly lost his life on the lake. 

Campbell continues to be only person to set both world land and water speed records in the same year, a record which hasn't been beaten in over 50 years!

Looking across Coniston Water to Wild Cat Island, the small Island featured in the book Swallows and Amazons
Wild Cat Island, the island featured in Swallows and Amazons

Grab a beer in Coniston Town

Coniston town, small as it may be, it still host to several lovely pubs and restaurants. While you'll still be able to grab your favourite beer, it's well worth trying something new and opting for one of the locally brewed beers. Coniston Brewing Co, which has won multiple awards over the years, seems to be especially popular in the town.

Visit the Blue Bird Cafe

Whether you fancy a nice cool beverage at the side of the lake, or you're trying to escape the unforgiving lake district weather, the Blue Bird Cafe is the perfect place to spend a couple of relaxing hours. The cafe, which is named after Donald Campbells Hydroplane, can get busy in the summer months however it's location on the shore of Coniston Water brings people back time after time.

Grace and her dog George standing at the peak of Coniston Old Man
Standing at the Peak of Coniston Old Man after a very sweaty scramble to the top

Kayak from one side to the other 

There are many ways of getting from one side of Coniston to the other. From long winding roads, to the more direct Coniston Ferry, but there is nothing more rewarding than rowing there yourself. I'm not willing to comment on how safe an exercise like that is but I am willing to say it's lots of fun, and much further than you realise. 

Kayaks, Canoes, rowing boats, and more can be hired from Coniston Boating Centre if you don't have a boat of your own.

Read Swallows and Amazons on the shore of Coniston Water

Want to feel like you're in the centre of the action without having to actually go off and explore?  Grab yourself a copy of Swallows and Amazons and experience Coniston Water through the eyes of children. The novel, which is set on the lake, was released almost 100 years ago but luckily the area remains as beautiful as descirbed.

Another marker at the peak of Coniston Old man. this marker is made from layers and layers of stones.
Another peak marker at the top of Conison Old Man, Coniston Water can be seen below

With all that to do and more, it's really no surprise that I fell in love with Coniston Water and the Lake District in general. And I'm not alone! It ranked VERY highly when I asked over a hundred bloggers where their favourite place to holiday in the UK was!

Have you been to Coniston Water?

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