You’ve splashed out a sweet £400, been counting down the days since it was triple figures, battled against people who didn’t bladdy separate their liquids going through security at Stansted and had to endure an EasyJet sandwich for lunch, all to get to your dreamiest of holiday locations.
And now, well you’re there and you like it. I mean, anywhere that isn’t your desk at 8am on a Monday basically gives you the heart eye emoji 73657834657 times over, but like, it could have been better.
I mean, you probs won’t come back here. Or tell your mates to come here. Or cry yourself to sleep when you get home. Or forever spend your days pining to come back here.
So yeah. Mediocre holiday destination decisions, story of my life.
When like your inner monologue is going I LOVE IT HERE, IT’S SO GREAT, THE POOL IS A NICE TEMPERATURE AND I LIKE THAT BUILDING, to convince yourself that you’re in the best place ever even when your gut is a bit like, mate, do some better research next time.
It’s probably the reason I keep ending up in NYC and Mykonos because what’s that, no holiday regret? Best places on earth?
So before I get cracking with my fave places I’ve ever visited, here’s a few places that didn’t quite live up to the hype: Stockholm (too bloomin’ expensive), Dublin (meh), Halkidiki (not enough of a ‘vibe’ and the beaches were avs), Crete (WHY CAN’T YOU FLUSH LOO ROLL DOWN THE TOILET, and not enough good food options). And Vegas. But I think Vegas could grow on me. It too was pretty pricey and just didn’t feel like it had a soul. Is that a thing? I’m making it a thing.
Mate, this was always going to be my number one. Always. Bae <3
This May will mark my 5th visit, and whenever I’m like I should go somewhere else, I should explore somewhere new, New York just laughs in my face like lol, go on, try somewhere new, and spend the entire time wishing you were with me. The pillock.
The thing with NYC is that buzz in the air that just uplifts you and makes you feel extra smiley. You know you’re going to get the best food of your life, you know you’re going to have things to do, and you know there’s always more to see.
Best times of year to go are spring and autumn (because 30 degrees in the city are not the one, nor are minus 15). We’re staying at Yotel this year, but I also hugely recommend Citizen M. Both are central, budget, and yet aimed at us young, hip, millennials.
I like to go for a week and save and do a big trip, rather than a speedy 3-night stay and spend some of those days just eating $1 pizza slices for lunch and walking around exploring (which is obvs totally free). Because that atmosphere, it’s like a drug. 94 days and counting, hunny <3
I told Chris I’d like to spend my birthday weekend in Mykonos this year. He laughed. I was being serious. There was an awkward silence.
Mykonos has a reputation for being expensive, and for sure, you could easily blow a £1,000 on a week-long holiday, but it totally IS possible to do it on the cheap. Like, you’re not going to find some amazing 4* all-inclusive for a week in July for £300, but then normally with those deals you end up like YEY MY ROOM SMELLS OF MOULD AND OMG PLZ GIVE ME MORE CHIPS AT THE BUFFET.
Mykonos is sexy and cool and the beaches are beautiful. Like, break your Instagram beautiful. The food is good and there’s a good mix of classic Greek dishes, fresh seafood and some more gourmet stuff in Mykonos Town. And OMG THE ICE CREAM SHOP IN MYKONOS TOWN. Worth going just for that tbh.
The town centre has cobbled lanes and fairy lights and a Sephora and Victoria’s Secret, and has an actual evening atmosphere that makes you want to wander and bar hop rather than just go back and lie in your hotel bed being like ‘it is bad we’re on holiday and in bed at 9.42pm?’. It’s sexy and yet elegantly chilled-out.
I stayed at Mykonos Blanc last autumn, which is definitely at the pricier end of the scale (we stayed out of season so it wasn’t quite so troubling on the ol’ bank balance), but I’ve also stayed at the Yiannaki Hotel which was perfect if you wanna save some dollar for cocktails (and Sephora, obvs). Flights start from about £150 return with Easyjet, so… yup.
Last January Chris and I knew we wanted some sort of long winter weekend away that was ahem, kind to our wallets. So I took to Twitter to make the decision. BEST THING I EVER DID.
Iceland, Budapest and Berlin all came out on top. And, whilst Iceland looked a bit out of our budget, and Chris wasn’t too keen on Berlin, Budapest made both our hearts do OMG YES flips.
We stayed at the Corinthia for three nights, which is a five-star hotel with a ginormous ALL THE FOOD breakfast buffet included in the price, and a swimming pool and spa. I think we paid just over £200 each for the flights and the hotel (which is the 2nd best – oh wait, no, TripAdvisor tells me it’s now 9th, sad face – in the city).
I can’t explain why I loved Budapest, but it was just so charming and magical, and there was something so soothing in my head about exploring more of Eastern Europe and being somewhere so deeply involved with World War Two (my grandparents were born in Poland, for anyone who missed that memo).
We used some recommendations on places to eat, but also asked at the hotel, and just stumbled upon places whilst out exploring. Oh, and one of the most pleasing things about Budapest is that you can drink cocktails like you some fly bitch with a private jet because alcohol is so cheap out there.
For someone so obsessed with feeling fancy and living that hashtag glam life, I didn’t expect Scotland to go snaking its way into my top destinations, but whaddya know, here it is.
I love how familiar Scotland is. I know that sounds weird, but it didn’t take me out of my comfort zone. I knew what the food would be like, what the road signs would look like, what the language would be. I knew it would feel like a prettier version of home – and it didn’t disappoint.
For sure the best way to tackle the Highlands is by car, because it’s the dreamy views you take in whilst driving that make it so HOW IS THIS ON THE SAME ISLAND AS MY HOUSE?
We stayed in Ardmair, and reckon that the fact we had a rented property and had a large-ish group, definitely made the trip. And if I were to go again, I’d have the exact same set-up. Budget (like mega budget – £45) flights to Inverness, shared hire car and a beauts property for cooking, respite and games.
I love that you can just get an Asda shop delivered and make the trip as cheap as you want. Perfect if you haven’t got the time or the money for some long haul extravaganza but your brain is like TAKE ME AWAY, TAKE ME ANYWHERE.
I’d like to be able to say I’ve explored Tuscany and Florence and Pisa properly and could go about recommending sexy pizza restaurants and dreamy spots for wine, but alas nope.
Last year I went on a press trip to Fonteverde, which is a luxury spa resort basically in the middle of no-where. It’s nestled amongst scenic Italian countryside, and is the perfect escape from life – mostly because there’s natural spas underneath it which mean that there’s a swimming pool (I mean, it’s called a spa, but it’s the size of a swimming pool), that’s as hot as a bath that you can just float about in whilst taking in them views.
I grew up having annual holidays to Italy, but across the other side of the country – in Rimini. This makes me sound like some spoilt little rich kid, but my uncle lived over there and managed a chain of hotels, so we got free accommodation and free pasta whenever we visited.
When we flew in to Fonteverde, we flew into Perugia and had an hour-long drive to the hotel – long enough to take in all the OMG HAVE YOU SCENE THE LAKE OUT THIS SIDE OF THE CAR? It was all sorts of Insta-porn, I tell ya.
The food in Tuscany was like nothing I’d ever experienced. It was just so fresh. Full of all the flavour and yet so simple and free of all the processed blah that makes New York food so WOAH MUMMA.
Anyway, I’d like to go back and explore properly. But from what I’ve seen, Tuscany looks and feels like one of the most heavenly places in Europe.
So come on then kids, where do I need to add to my vay-cay list?