For various reasons I’ve been thinking ahead and planning my holidays for next year already (well, not planning them as such, more like sketching out a plan of how to split up my annual leave and do all the things we want to do) and it got me thinking about the sort of holidays we go on and how we travel. I know that everyone does it differently and the things I love would be someone else’s idea of a nightmare and vice versa. I love that there isn’t one way to travel or one kind of person that does travel, we’re all different and I take a lot of inspiration from that.
So, with that in mind, what’s my travelling style?
Backpack or luxury?
I am somewhere in between. I am definitely not a backpacker, not least because I am incapable of not packing everything and the kitchen sink, but also because I fear I am far too old for that lifestyle now, I can’t keep up with 18 year old gap yearers. I like a fancy hotel as much as the next girl but doing a balancing exercise, I would generally rather pick a decent hotel in a good location and save money for other stuff while on holiday than stay in a fancy five star hotel. Because, let’s face it, if I’m on holiday then I’m not spending that much time in my room anyway.
I will make an exception for phenomenal places and our Airbnb in Slovenia, right on the water at Lake Bled with private kayaks was certainly an exception (if you missed the post, you can read more here).
City or beach?
I’m a city girl at heart, both in London and abroad. I’m very pale and burn easily and beaches, whilst lovely, can’t keep me occupied for too long and certainly not for a week or more, so it’s cities for me (or at least if nature then it’s forests, lakes and mountains for me).
Package holiday or go it alone?
Apart from the odd holiday (like a mini-cruise we did to Guernsey and France a few years ago) we mostly go it alone and book our own flights, hotels and restaurants separately. It gives us the flexibility to decided where we want to stay and what we want to do without being tied to certain times or group tours or anything like that. Having said that though, I did do an organised tour of China back in 2011 and it was SO much easier than trying to arrange several internal flights, transfers to all the big attractions and hotels. We might not have done a lot of what we did on that holiday if I had been required to organise it myself. So there are fors and againsts for both, mostly in Europe we can do it all ourselves pretty easily.
Long haul or short haul?
Some people are all about big one-off far-flung trips to exotic destinations and, don’t get me wrong, that sounds great, but I am all about the city mini-break. It’s not that I don’t love exploring the world (I do) but right now it feels like my time and money are better spent exploring lots of different European destinations rather than doing a longer holiday to the other side of the world. Plus, I am much more likely to retain my sanity at work if I know that a holiday is no more than a matter of weeks away.
The downside of lots of little mini-breaks? None of them are all as well planned as big holidays that you spend ages building up to. I buy guidebooks and maps and always have a sense of a place before I go but I’ll be honest, most of my plans are made when I’ve got my head in holiday mode when I’m on the train to the airport or when I’m either sat at the airport waiting for departure or am actually on a plane.
The thing with travelling is that everyone has their style and everyone is different. That become clear when you learn that the Heathrow Express has carried 100 million passengers since it started running in 1998!
To celebrate they have photographed some of the diverse people travelling on their trains. The photos will be on display in a photo exhibition, HExhibition, which will be on display at Paddington station near the Heathrow Express platforms (6 and 7). It’s free and closes on Tuesday 4th July.
Why not watch the video below for a glimpse behind the scenes of the shooting of the photos in the exhibition (one of which features above)?
This is a collaborative post.