How to plan a perfect road trip? My top 5 tips

Happy Friday, people!

Can you believe that it is the 2nd of September. How sad is that? I mean it’s sad because summer is over… and Autumn is pretty depressing in the UK. But at least I can be happy  due to a fact that today is Friday which means I don’t need to go to work and I can, finally,   ‘invest my time’ and write a quick blog post.

So, the aim of today’s post is to share with you, guys, my top 5 tips on how to plan a perfect road trip. If you have read my previous post about my road trip to Spain, then you know that I was planning to share a few tips with you, so, without further explanation, let’s begin!

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1. Do your RESEARCH

When planning a road trip, it is crucial to research as much as possible prior setting off. Why? Because you don’t want to be surprised or unaware of certain things, right? I strongly suggest doing research before a road trip mainly because driving rules (if you’re crossing a border of course) may vary, so nobody really wants to pay a fine just because you were unaware of something? For example, while planning our trip to Spain through France, we did our ‘homework’ and found out that in France you must have an alcohol tester (breathalyser)  at all times in your car. A small thing, right, but can cost you a fine if you are stopped by the police. So, Ignorantia juris non excusat or simply ignorance does not exempt you from responsibility!

2. Do your PLANNING and TRACKING

If your road trip involves doing thousands of kilometres, a dozen of hotels and various countries, do your planning! Maybe it is even worth making a small spreadsheet so you have everything at hand? I found that having a spreadsheet does help a lot. It can be really simple, you can even do it on paper, does not matter as long as you have everything on one sheet of paper.

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A snippet of my spreadsheet

3. Prepare and check your car

A road trip would not be possible without a car meaning that you car has to be in a perfect condition! About a week before you set off, get your car checked by a mechanic who will ensure that car’s fluid levels, tyres, brakes and other important parts are in a good condition. Once you got your car checked from a mechanical side, you also need to have it cleaned inside. Remove receipts, fast food wraps, take-away coffee cups – literally everything from your car before going on a road trip. Travelling long distances in a messy car isn’t nice at all and especially if you need to find something important in a pile of rubbish… So, make sure that your car is thoroughly cleaned!

4. Divide tasks and responsibilities

When going on a long road trip, it is more likely that you will be travelling with someone else – your partner, your friend/friends, family, etc… No matter how good you think you’re at everything – planning, driving, navigating, taking pictures, etc., it is important that you all agree who is responsible for what. For example, when my boyfriend and I were on our road trip in France and Spain, I was responsible for having cash at hand and paying for tolls as well as for setting our GPS while my boyfriend was responsible for planning our ‘rest and eat breaks’ while driving and monitoring our car’s fuel consumption making sure that we stop in villages where we can top up our tank with cheaper petrol. Dividing responsibilities is a key as it prevents from overburdening one person with tasks and responsibilities.

5. Pack the right stuff

A light car means that you will save on petrol, therefore, make sure that you pack only the stuff you need! Of course, take into consideration the length of your trip, the weather conditions and other important factors but don’t put too much into your car’s boot. Think about things that can be shared between you and your travel companions. Why would you need 5 bottles of sun cream if you all can share one? If you travel with a bunch of girlfriends why you all pack a hairdryer if you can take only one and share it? Think smart when packing stuff!

So these are my 5 tips that you should take into consideration when planning your road trip! Road trips are lots of fun but sometimes small things can make your experience unpleasant.

Do you have any tips that you would like to share? Please leave them in the comments’ section below!

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England – France – Spain. Our road trip. Photo diary

Hello beautiful people!

Long time no see. I mean really long time… But finally I am back! I cannot guarantee, though, that I will become more regular in terms of my posting schedule, however, there is no reason why I shouldn’t… I do really miss blogging as well as reading other blogs and engaging with people but in the last couple of months my life was just crazy. So many things happened and I promise to talk about all of them later this month. Today I decided to finally write a post about our road trip to Spain which now doesn’t feel that recent due to so many things happening afterwards. But, I guess, a blog post about it will allow me to revive all the memories from our wonderful time in Spain.

I decided to split this post into two sections. The first section will be about the five mostly asked questions about our trip while the second part will contain a little photo diary. So, without further ado, we should jump straight into the actual post, shall we?

Why Spain and why by car?

First and foremost, a lot of people ask me why Spain and why by car when it is much easier to travel by plane. Well, Spain was on my bucket list for a really long time. I feel that I have always been in love with Spain – I love culture, food, people, weather and Spanish language which I actually wanted to learn for a really long time. So, I felt that this time was a perfect time to finally go and visit this Mediterranean country. Talking about the decision to travel by car, I guess, the best explanation would be our wish to see as much as possible.  I do think now that it would have been more convenient to fly to, let’s say, Paris and then rent a car rather than drive all the way from home, but you learn as you go, don’t you?

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England (Liverpool) – France – Spain – England (Liverpool). We did around 3600 miles in 14 days.

How did we plan our itinerary? 

I had an idea in my head that I would like to travel along the coastline of Spain… So I just needed to get a consent from my boyfriend … Cities such as Barcelona, Benidorm, Valencia – they all are by the sea, so the decision to travel along the coastline really worked out. It was also much easier to plan as you just pick hotels that are on your way…

Talking about hotels, we have stayed in 9 hotels in total, and they were ranging from hostels to 4 stars beautiful hotels. In cities such as Barcelona, it is not worth taking an expensive hotel unless you have a lot of money and you want to live like a queen and a king, hahaha. As we have spent most of time exploring the actual city, staying in a hostel was the perfect option for us.

 *I am thinking to make a few posts about my tips and tricks while planning a road trip, therefore, I’m not going to elaborate too much this time.*

How much did it cost?

The third mostly asked question is how much does a journey like this cost? Well, neither much nor little – around £ 1000 per person (including accommodation, petrol, ferry, food and other expenditures). It might look a lot but bear in mind that we have been travelling for 14 days and we did around 3600 miles in total, so, in my opinion, the cost for one person is justifiable. I guess, the expenditures could have been potentially reduced but, as I mentioned, I will be making a separate post about tips and tricks on how to save, what to see and etc.

What did I like the most and what left me disappointed? 

That’s the easiest question. Both my boyfriend and I loved Barcelona! I mean this city is just ‘life’s goal’… It’s the city which can please anyone. The city which never sleeps. The city which has one of the most fascinating buildings of a single architect Antoni Gaudi. It’s the city which sits between the mountains and the sea. It’s the city which can offer something for people who love history and for people who love modernity. It’s THE CITY where I would love to live. I fell in love with Barcelona and currently I am quite sure that this is my next destination!

Together with my boyfriend, we said a no-no to France and Paris in particular. We had a chance to stay and explore Paris for a few days, and, yes, Paris is beautiful and architecture is stunning but in comparison to Barcelona, Paris wasn’t as appealing. It’s probably kind of my fault as I always judge each place by asking one question ‘Would I like to live there or no?” So, Paris wasn’t that place where I would like to go and settle in. It’s just not my cup of tea.

Was it worth ?

The last question that has to be answered is “Was it worth travelling by car?”. The answer is simple – YES, YES, YES! I mean, travelling by car and doing long distances is definitely not for everyone but we knew that this journey will require a maximum concentration, commitment and strength. But every moment was so worth it!

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A Photo Diary

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The Eiffel Tower (Paris, France)

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Views from the Eiffel Tower (Paris, France)

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Beautiful architecture in Paris, France

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The River Seine in Paris, France

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The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France

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Inside of the Notre-Dame Cathedral (Paris, France)

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Beautiful stained-glass windows of the Notre-Dame Cathedral (Paris, France)

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Driving from France to Spain

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Selfie-stick in use. La Sagrada Familia – a symbol of Barcelona, Spain

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My favourite pizza with a runny egg in the middle (Barcelona, Spain)

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Vegetarian paella (Barcelona, Spain)

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A little gem – Sagunto, Spain

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Benidorm – a city full of skyscrapers 

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Was a bit scary to sit on the edge of a hill but you can probably do even more for a nice picture like this, right? (Benidorm, Spain)

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The rock of Gibraltar (Gibraltar, British Overseas Territory)

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Wondered who was more scared to sit on the edge – me or this cute little monkey? (Gibraltar, British Overseas Territory)

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Rustic interior is my new favourite (Villaharta, Spain) 

 

 

So, these are all the photos I wanted to share with you, my lovely readers. I hope you liked this post as much as I loved putting all these pictures together. Remember that travelling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, so I wish you all to travel the world and experience its beauty!

See you all very soon,

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A little catch up and a new favourite

Hello, wonderful people!

I won’t start this post apologizing why I have been gone for around 1.5 month (as I start all my posts like that)… I better ask you all how have you been doing lately?  Anything exciting happening in your life?  Have you already planned your summer holidays? If yes, tell me the destination and your holiday plans in the comments’ section below.

Speaking about holidays, I can finally say that my dream holidays have been planned! I am super excited about them and I am literally counting my days until we set off. This year we decided to go for a road trip around Spain. I have booked 9 hotels, bought ferry tickets and planned some activities. Hopefully, everything will turn out all right… I am planning to do some posts about the planning of a road trip sharing my tips and tricks, so if you are interested, stay tuned for the future posts.

In addition, I am also planning to make a short movie of our adventures in Spain… I’ve never done something like this before but this trip might be the first time and hopefully not the last time I’ll be trying to make a video. I am still not sure how I’m going to do it… but I can ensure that I’ll share that video with you, guys 🙂

What is more…

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I’ve been recently visited by one of my best friends here, in Liverpool. And she kindly brought me some presents all the way from Lithuania. One of her presents was a facial scrub with a crazy name “Go Nuts” from a Lithuanian brand know as Uoga Uoga (You can read about them here. ). At first I was a bit unsure how this gonna work as it came as a dry mixture rather than the usual form of a facial scrub… In order to make it wet, you have to mix it with either warm water or milk. What surprised me the most was the fact that you can also use it as a face mask. In order to use it this way, you just add a tiny bit of water/milk and you’re good to go.

It’s a natural facial scrub with almonds and white clay suitable for all skin types. The bits of almond are quite gentle on your skin, so it is definitely suitable for those who have sensitive skin. The smell is gorgeous, and I literally want to eat it! 😀 Uoga Uoga ships to the United Kingdom and other countries, so if you’re interested, definitely check their website out :). They have many more products which I’m looking forward to trying them out!

So this is it for this time. I’m hoping to be a bit more organised in terms of my posting in the future.

Thank you for stopping by,

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Birthday Celebration. Christmas Market

Hello, lovely people!

I hope you’re all well. If you live in the United Kingdom, tell me how are you coping with this horrible weather outside? I hate it so much especially in the morning when I have to travel to work by car, train, and bus.

Despite the awful weather outside, I was completely into Christmas recently. I mean I’m just obsessed with Christmas. I literally take pictures of every decoration in town. I also started buying some Christmas presents as well as listening to Christmassy songs. The Obsession 3000 is going on at the moment.

I ramble about Christmas way too much here. The today’s post is going to be about the celebration of my birthday that was on the 15th of November as well as about the trip to Manchester’s Christmas Market. It seems I’m more excited about the Christmas Market rather than about my birthday.

My birthday celebration actually started on Thursday, the 12th of November, when my boyfriend and I went to Liverpool’s city center for a couple of drinks. We visited the place called The Brunch Club, and, honestly, I fell in love with this place. As you can see in the pictures below, I had a few cocktails, and they were absolutely amazing. I definitely recommend visiting this place if you want to enjoy some nice drinks in chilled and relaxed atmosphere.

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On Friday, I received quite a few cards from my colleagues which was very sweet. But, the best present was the fact that I got a day off on Monday meaning that I would be able to spend some time with my boyfriend.

During the weekend I was visited by a couple of friends. I also received tons of e-mails, texts, calls, Facebook messages and even a video with lovely wishes from my family and friends. All those wishes are so important to me knowing the fact that I live far away from my family and friends, and I do really miss them.

On Monday, my boyfriend and I decided to go to Manchester’s Christmas Market, and visit the Lithuanian food restaurant known as the Baltic Cellar. As you can see from the pictures below, we had pretty standard Lithuanian/Baltic meals: Borsch Soup for the starter, Dumplings with Potatoes and Curd for the main course, and the Honey Cake as a dessert. The food was lovely as always, and we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch.

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Once we filled our stomachs with food, we decided to head to the city center. It was a bit chilly outside, so I really wanted to find the nearest Christmas Market spot, and get a glass of mulled wine as it is an essential attribute of Christmas, isn’t it?

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Luckily, we did not need to go so far away, as one of the Christmas Market spots was just around the corner. And I got some wine there!!! It sounds that I am some sort of alcoholic, when I talk so much about wine, but mulled wine is mulled wine, and there is nothing you can do about it…

So, we were strolling around the city center, checking different spots, snacking on caramelised macadamia nuts, taking pictures and just simply enjoying our time. Well, it was only me enjoying my time since my boyfriend got annoyed of me taking pictures of every single thing in this world and then instagraming them :D. But this is what I do, and, yes, I have some obsession over the social media. But that’s another story.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post as well as scrolling down through the pictures. Tell me how do you feel about Christmas? Do you think is too early to be crazy about the Christmas time?

By the way, I’d like to thank everyone who participated in my give-away. The winner was selected, her name is Ruta. I posted the prize to her hoping she’ll receive it soon.

Thank you for reading!

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A little update and our trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Hello everybody!

How are you all doing? I hope you are well because I’m super well :). I guess everything comes into place sooner or later, right? And when it comes, you can finally feel that your life is full, and that you can enjoy every bit of it. Yesterday was my first day at work that I got two weeks ago. You wouldn’t believe but this job was the first I applied for. Whether I was lucky, or they really liked me, I don’t know, but the fact is that the shift to “adults’ life” has been made. It’s a bit strange especially when a month or so ago I still was a student. Of course I might become a student (postgrad) again in the future but it’s too early to think about it now.

Apart from the little changes that had happened in my life, today I decided to write a little post about our experience in Blackpool Pleasure Beach. If you don’t know, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is an attraction park or, more precisely, the most popular attraction park in the UK where you can find a lot of different roller coasters such as the Big One, the Big Dipper, the Infusion, etc.

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of large roller coasters or any thrill rides in general. Primarily I am a bit scared of them. I just don’t feel safe on them but my boyfriend insisted that we have to go at least once. So, we went with a couple of friends, and, honestly, it was a good decision since we all really enjoyed the whole experience.

I’ve been on big, American style, roller coasters in Germany’s Heide Park but at that point of time I was only 13 y/o. From what I remember I went on really big ones, and I wasn’t scared at all, so I’m not really sure when I became scared of those roller coasters.

So, going back to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, we bought tickets (we paid £23 each) a day before our visit which is always a better decision since tickets at the gates upon arrival will cost you £30 each. Students from particular universities are entitled to even bigger discounts, so it’s worth checking whether your university is included in the list of universities that can get discounts. I’ve also heard that the tickets are even cheaper if you buy them 10 days prior your visit, however, I wouldn’t advise you to do so since you cannot really predict the weather.

The rides and roller coasters at this park vary. There are some roller coasters that were built fairly recently whereas others literally bring you back to 1923. Some of them are so squeaky that you’re basically wondering whether you gonna die or brake your neck or back :D. However, we all decided that those old, rickety roller coasters are much more FUN and definitely more extreme.

We spent approx. 8 hours on Tuesday expecting to visit all the rides, however, Tuesday was quite busy, and it sometimes took up to 1 hour to wait for a ride on the particular roller coasters. I just don’t want to imagine what happens on weekends.

Overall, it was great experience. I had to overcome my fear of roller coasters but once I did… I didn’t want to leave the park.

By the way, I almost forgot to add… Make sure you explore Blackpool’s beach in the evening. I promise you’ll be fascinated not only by the beauty of the sea but also by all those little lights…

Here I add some pictures. I am so so sorry for the quality of them because they were taken with phone. However, I hope you’ll get a general impression.

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Thank you for reading my blog,

See you all soon!

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