A slice of Croatian produce 😍 One of the reasons we love staying in an @airbnb is so we can cook and eat like a local (as well as being safe and hassle-free if you’re #glutenfree) Top tip: Markets are easy to come across in cities like #Split and #Zadar. If you do visit, get talking to a few vendors and you should bag yourself some free goodies 🍆🍅
A snapshot of 📍 #PlitviceLakes, Croatia. Top tip: Visit early in the morning - preferably off season between April and June - to avoid the hectic crowds. The views are worth it but be prepared to share the scenery with thousands of selfie sticks ⛰📸 £11 entry fee per person (£100 kuna). Information in our Croatia story highlight ☝🏻
We can not get over the sunset in #Zadar - no wonder it’s world famous! 🥇 Top tip: Avoid the sea organ like the plague (it’s so busy) and head to the west side of the old town for deliciously cheap cocktails at @tramontozadar. Sex on the Beach for £3 with a view to die for, yes please! 🙌🏻
🚨 ONE CITY, 24 HOURS: Lyon, France 🚨 Hotel: €79 (one night at Mama Shelter Lyon) Average flight: £52 pp return Average Eurostar: £160 pp return One: Only here for 24 hours? That’s enough time to sample the variety of French wine at Rue Mercière - a strip of wonderful bars 🍷 Two, three, four: The river Saône in all its glory as the summer sun sets! 🌝 Five: Rue de la Bombarde - the perfect place to stop for an ice cream and snap the architecture. Six: @slothyfraser in the Parc De La Tête d’Or enjoying all the cacti! The zoo is also located in the park, and there are loads of activities to take part in, including boules. Seven: Making the most of the sunset on the bridge - pre-cheap cocktails at Lyon’s famous “L Bar” 👯♀️ Eight: Mama Shelter Lyon is superb! We love this hotel chain and would recommend to anyone looking for a fun, budget break ✅ Top tip: Lyon is an authentic city set in the heart of France. It feels more welcoming than Paris and is small enough to see in a day - but there is lots to do if you choose to stay that bit longer! We recommend traveling down on the Eurostar (you will have to change in Paris) and bring an extra, empty suitcase for all the wine! 👜🍷
🚨 VALENTINE’S WEEKEND: Folkestone, England 🚨 Train: £32 return (Two Together railcard) Airbnb: £127 for two nights One and two: Folkestone is a creative, vibrant fishing town, located just an hour away from London via train. You’ll spot a plethora of unique art pieces around the town including the famous Antony Gormley “Another Time XXI” installation, pictured here, on the brilliant @fstonehbourarm 🎨 Three and four: Folkestone’s lighthouse has been transformed into a charming champagne bar. A must visit if you’re on the harbour! 🍾 Five and six: Coffee by day, espresso martini by night! You must visit the quaint @steepstreet for a delicious coffee - they also serve cakes and breakfast. Also try @RocksaltFolkestone in the evening for great cocktails - the bar overlooks the harbour and everything on the menu is reasonably priced. Seven: Folkestone is right on the English Channel so it’s home to plenty of freshly caught fish. If you’re not in the mood for cooking, head to @SmokehouseFolkestone for fish and chips; they have #glutenfree options too, including mouthwatering battered fish! 🐠 Eight: Our apartment was in the heart of the @CreativeQuarterFolkestone. It was fantastic base to explore the independent shops, art galleries and local eateries 👀 Top tip: We really enjoyed our visit to Folkestone and definitely recommend a trip to anyone! We suggest coming down in June, during the festival season. According to locals, it’s when the town is at its best as it comes alive with music, film and art celebrations. 10/10 would visit again! 💌
🚨 GOURMET GETAWAY: San Sebastián, Basque Country 🚨 Average flight: £87 pp return Average Airbnb: £84 per night One: Exploring all that San Sebastián has to offer - great wine, food, culture and friendly locals. Two, three and four: This city is a treat for the tastebuds. The fresh Pintxos are a real delight. We recommend @casagandarias for the best and most authentic bites. Great #glutenfree options including a goats cheese tart and the most succulent pig cheek we have ever had! 😋 Five and six: San Sebastián is full of #Michelin restaurants but we recommend avoiding the prices that come with a star and instead Googling places on the local Michelin Guide. We found @rekondorestaurante - a small barn located on the top of a hill in west of the city. It was phenomenal and the head waiter gave us a wine tour. The cellar is home to some 150,000 bottles, including one from the King of Spain! 🍷 Seven and eight: From restaurants to beaches and gardens - there is lots to explore here. We recommend avoiding the busy La Concha beach in the centre of San Sebastián and heading out to Ondarreta - conveniently a seven minute downhill walk from Rekondo! ☀️ Top tip: Live like a Spaniard and head out for Pintxos at around 21:30. The streets come alive and the food is fresh out of the oven as the locals eat late. San Sebastián is famous for food, and there are a lot of expensive eateries, but you can find some delicious delicacies for half the price. Visit the restaurants around the Parroquia Santa Maria (the famous church) for a tasty bargain 👛
🚨 AUTUMNAL ESCAPE: Edinburgh, Scotland 🚨 Airbnb: £320 for three nights Train: £50 return (Two Together rail card) One, two, three: Unique Airbnb in the centre of Edinburgh, overlooking the famous Edinburgh Castle - a fantastic view to wake up to 🏰 Four and five: You can easily explore the city on foot, but expect a few hills and stairs! If you don’t fancy walking, the hop on, hop off tour bus is only £15 for two days and is a great way to see everything. Don’t miss Arthur’s Seat and surrounding Scottish hills for a birds eye view of the city🚶🏼♀️ Six and seven: Edinburgh’s nightlife is fantastic, with a variety of pubs playing music until the wee hours. We treated ourselves to dinner at @toweredinburgh - the highest restaurant in the city. After this, we stumbled upon a small pub that specialised in gin (we were too drunk to get the name!) and the bar tender challenged us to guess the gin brand. One of our favourites in Edinburgh is @edinburghgin - try the Rhubarb flavour - it’s phenomenal 👌🏻 Top tip: Edinburgh is a fantastic city to visit all year round. However, due to the Fringe Festival, prices increase dramatically during the summer months. Therefore, we recommend visiting in autumn or spring in order to grab a bargain!
🚨 BEACH HOLIDAY: Biarritz, France 🚨 Flights: £42 pp return Airbnb: £316 for four nights One, two, three: Situated on the west coast of France, Biarritz is not particularly well known among tourists, making it the perfect summer getaway. The beaches are empty but the centre of town is buzzing thanks to markets, cheese shops, bakeries and... The Kooples! 👛 Four and five: We opted for a studio apartment about a ten minute walk from the centre of town as we wanted to be right on the beach. The complex has a private pool, as well as a stunning view over the Bay of Biscay 🌊 Six: Just one of the many original and aesthetically pleasing buildings #Biarritz has to offer Seven: Freckles galore 😍 Top tip: We recommend visiting in May / June to avoid the summer surge prices - the apartment we stayed in is only £31 a night during these months - and you’ll still get the fantastic weather 🌝 Tag your beach babe!
🚨 GLAMOROUS GROUP MINI BREAK: Paris, France 🚨 Airbnb: £810 for two nights (sleeps six) Eurostar: £65 pp return One, two, three: One of the world’s most famous landmarks right outside your window! The Tower lights up on the hour every hour each evening (trust us, it never gets old!). The dining room and lounge of this phenomenal Airbnb. Link in bio🗼 Four, five, six, seven, eight: Visit the Sacré-Coeur for a breathtaking view of the entire city. Rather than heading straight back down into town, walk the streets of Montmartre (just behind the cathedral) and enjoy the art shops, markets and fantastically cheap bars Nine: When the food at @lecinqmars arrives! You simply MUST visit this restaurant if you’re in the city. It’s small, friendly and has a wide-ranging menu filled with mouth-watering dishes that won’t break the bank. They also understand #glutenfree requests, which is often difficult in Paris! 🍷 Top tip: We highly recommend staying in the same apartment as we did. The place comfortably sleeps six and, if spilt between this amount of people, it’s a steal at £135 each for the whole weekend!
🚨 ROMANTIC WEEKEND AWAY: Arundel, West Sussex, England 🚨 Airbnb: £229 for two nights (link in bio) Train: £32 return (for two with a Two Together railcard) One, two, three: This country Airbnb is perfect for a romantic getaway! Set in the centre of the charming town of Arundel, it has everything a couple needs, from an open fire to a large bath. There’s also a rustic kitchen with an aga oven - perfect for cooking up a feast after a full day of activities 👩🏼🍳 Four and five: Speaking of activities, we recommend a visit to the medieval Arundel Castle. Although the castle was closed when we visited Arundel last February, the castle grounds are stunning and make for a lovely walk. The River Arun runs through the eastern side of the town too, which is also a picturesque jaunt, and its a route littered with enough pubs to quench your thirst 🍻 Six and seven: Us trying our hand at hosting Escape to the Country. Top tip: Bypass restaurants and get back to the cottage for a long soak and a home-cooked feast. We visited the local butchers and bought a large roasting joint for less than a fiver at closing time! If you’re a veggie or a #vegan, don’t worry, the farm shop next door has a variety of meat-free / plant-based alternatives, as well as loads of delicious fruit and veg. Tag someone you want to spend valentine’s weekend with here ♥️
🚨 SOUTH OF FRANCE SUMMER SUN: Marseille, France 🚨 Hotel: €328 for two in a double room for five nights at Mama Shelter Marseille Flights: £32 return per person One: Calanques National Park. This breathtaking hidden gem is a thirty minute bus journey (€1.30) from the centre of Marseille. The park boasts the highest maritime cliffs in Europe and is free to enter. A must-see if you’re in the area but remember to take suncream and plenty of water 💧 Two, three, four: Rue du Vallon des Auffes - in the 7th arrondissement of the city. It’s a small fishing cove that not many tourists know about, with easy access to the cool, Mediterranean Sea. Five, six, seven: Marseille’s vibrant staircase with a fantastic view of the city from the top. Watch the boats bring in the freshly caught fish at the port and try some for yourself. Sophie on her way to sample local delicacies 🐠 Eight and nine: Mama Shelter Marseille! We are huge fans of Mama Shelter - comfy rooms for bargain prices with lovely staff and a brilliant bar and restaurant with tasty #glutenfree options 🛎 Top tip: Visit Marseille for a long weekend in the height of summer and reap the benefits of this bustling city - great markets, history, beaches nightlife and eateries. Flights are dirt cheap all year round and Mama Shelter offers a €20 voucher for its bar, restaurant or parking on a Sunday.
🚨 COSY WINTER GETAWAY: Dawlish, Devon 🚨 Airbnb: £297 for five days Travel: We travelled by car as train prices to Dawlish are expensive. We filled up the tank twice, which came to around £90 in total. One: The Devon coastline in all its winter glory 🙌🏻 Two and three: This cosy Airbnb was perfect for a winter escape. It is a short walk to the dramatic cliffs and sandy Dawlish beach and near enough to stumble back from the local pub. It had everything you could possibly need and the host, Janet, was really friendly. She even baked us a #glutenfree lemon cake... using mashed potatoes! Four: The steam train from Paignton to Dartmouth, who’s engine dates back to 1904, was a great experience. This is a must do if you’re visiting the east coast of Devon 🚉 Five: Dartmouth harbour looking like a seaside town in Scandinavia Six: Sophie realising she should have worn waterproof mascara in the pouring rain... Top tip: If you do the Paignton to Dartmouth steam train attraction, be sure to buy a combined train and boat ticket for £27 per person. You’ll see seals on the coast, so it’s worth every penny! We highly recommend Devon for a winter break. There are a plethora of hidden gems dotted around the coastline and you’re never a stones throw away from a pub with an open fire 🔥 exactly what you want a cold day!
🚨 FESTIVAL AND MINI BREAK: Bilbao, Spain 🚨 Flight: £23 per person (one way) Airbnb: £229 for four days Festival: €34 per person (for one day) One and two: This quirky, modern and comfortable apartment was situated in the heart of Bilbao. It had a great balcony for people watching with a local beer while soaking up some sun 😎 Three: Breathtaking panoramic views from the top of Bilbao. Definitely head up here if you get the chance. Don’t break a sweat, just jump in the funicular for €3.25 return per person. Four: @childishgambino at @bilbaobbklive 🕺🏼 Five: Oh, just us again exploiting golden hour again, huns Six: Croquets to cure a hangover from @dabutensingluten! Of course they were #glutenfree - Bilbao has an array of tasty gluten free restaurants so you can eat out without having to worry🍴 Top tip: We bought our ticket for the festival in early February, just before the main headline act was announced - Florence and the Machine - although Childish Gambino and Alt-J were already on the bill. This meant that we saved £80 on the ticket, as prices increased after they were added. If you’re looking to go this year (it takes place in July), we suggest you take the plunge and do the same; the likes of Thom Yorke and The Strokes are already confirmed 💶 If you’re searching for a festival set in the stunning mountains of a cultural, cheap and friendly city then #bbklive is the one for you. It’s clean, well organised and just bloody gorgeous. Short queues for beer too, which you don’t get at Glastonbury! 10/10, would visit again!
🚨UK MINI BREAK: Deal, Kent🚨 Train: £36 return for two people with a Two Together rail card Airbnb: £173 for four nights One and two: This spacious, well equipped cabin in a woodland holiday park was a great find! The cabin can comfortably sleep up to six (eight with sofa bed). It also has an outdoor patio, with a BBQ, and the park offers free activities such as mini golf and table tennis 🏓⛳️ Three: This beautiful beach is a stone’s throw away from the cabin. This is an east facing beach, so perfect for a romantic morning sunrise. Four: Just us exploiting golden hour 🌝 Top tip: If you want to save extra cash, visit the farmers’ market in the centre of Deal on a Saturday from 8am - 3pm and buy some delicious fresh produce for next to nothing. Every cabin on this site is fitted with a fantastic kitchen so cook up a feast and enjoy the patio. There’s also a dishwasher so you don’t even have to do the pots! 💅🏼
🚨AFFORDABLE LUXURY OVERNIGHT STAY: Iberostar Grand Mencey, Santa Cruz de Tenerife🚨 Cost: £77 for two for one night Average cost: £217 per night for a double room via booking.com Top tip: We used Tesco Clubcard vouchers on Hotels.com to get the best rate and saved a cracking £140 on a double room. If you combine vouchers with secret deals, which you can find on the website, you can grab a real steal. Every little helps! 💰 Iberostar Grand Mencey is a clean, modern and comfortable hotel. Be prepared to spend a little more on spa access (€18 pp for two hours) as this is not included in the room rate. The outdoor pool - pictured - is free. We also opted to get a late check out until 6pm for an extra €39 - good if you have a late flight 😴 Our rating: 8/10, would consider an Iberostar again. Not quite a 5* experience though, huns.
🚨 WINTER SUN: North Tenerife 🚨 Flights: £187 Airbnb (six nights): £265 Spending money: €290 One and two: Airbnb in Bajamar, North West Tenerife 🏡 (ask for link) Three: Bajamar natural swimming pool 🏊🏻♀️ (free, but bloody freezing!) Four and five: Anaga Mountains ⛰ (great for walking, recommend visiting in the morning to avoid crowds) Six: La Orotava 📍 (the prettiest village on the island. Eat lunch in the town hall) Seven: Whale watching in Adeje ⛵️ (do not book online - you can get a better price in person on the day at the main harbour) Eight: Bodegas Monje, North West Tenerife 🍷 (excellent wine tour for €5 per person) Nine and ten: El Sauzal, North West Tenerife 📍(definitely visit this hidden gem - we ate at Terrazas del Sauzal. Pig cheek, steak, three drinks and dessert for under €50. Fantastic service and a breathtaking view!) This island is known for its southern coastline, but travel up north and discover authentic Tenerife. Our rating: 10/10 would visit again. Top tip: Hire a car! No journey is going to be longer than one hour and it saves so much money on taxis, etc. Suggest booking with Sixt and ask for a free upgrade on arrival - it worked for us! 🚙