OUR ANTIGUA GETAWAY

Happy Sunday everyone, we hope that you are all keeping well. Like many, we are missing travelling. Scrolling through old travel pics, and reminiscing is making it even harder! We came across pictures from our Antigua holiday back in 2016 and thought to share our experience with you.

With over 365 beaches, rum punch and good food, we were certainly looking forward to our stay. So if you want a chill break and a slower pace of life, Antigua is the holiday destination for you.

Where to stay

We arranged our trip through Travel Counsellors who are absolutely fantastic. They specialise in bespoke luxury travel and tailor everything around your needs to make it a worthwhile trip. We stayed at the Verandah Resort and Spa, which is an all-inclusive resort with spacious villas that offer sea views. It is an eco-friendly resort, that boasts a spa, all-inclusive water sports and a variety of food options. The hotel also has two pools and two beaches. It definitely is a resort that attracts honeymooners and wedding parties. The resort itself, is a great place to stay but is a little bit out of the way if you want to explore the island.

Where to go

Shirley Heights: If you want to see spectacular views and stunning landscapes, then you must visit Shirley Heights. Overlooking the English Harbour and Falmouth, the views are absolutely breathtaking. If you love photography and capturing nature, Shirley Heights is the place to snap the perfect sunset. We recommended visiting Shirley Heights from 4pm on a Sunday because, once the sun goes down the music turns up! Shirley Heights is a favourite spot for both locals and tourists. The local steel band provides Caribbean music and not long after that the DJ set begins. You can party up until 10pm (a little early for us) but the atmosphere and vibe is so good . Also, we have to mention the BBQ which offers everything from fried fish to jerk chicken and of course washing it down with a glass or two of rum punch. Trust us, when we say, you will not be disappointed.

There are other activities that you can do while holidaying in sunny Antigua. For the adrenaline junkies out there, you can try diving, snorkeling, zipline through the rainforest or sail out on the calm Caribbean waters.

Where to eat

There are some great places to eat that serves the most delicious Caribbean classic dishes. The quality of foods is amazing from curried goat to fish dishes. You can try Papa Zouk where there’s a great selection of tasty seafood, or Trappas Bar & Restaurant, a casual restaurant near the English Harbour and the cocktails are pretty strong which is always a good thing! One of our favourite restaurants was Nicole’s at The Verandah Resort & Spa. An a la carte restaurant that served up some of the tastiest seafood and steaks that we have ever eaten.

Useful Tips

We recommend using US dollars, although the official currency is EC dollars. You can take both currencies but we found that things are lot easier to pay for using US dollars, especially when tipping vendors. Always check the exchange rate before travelling and go for the better rate.

We hope you enjoyed our short but sweet travel guide. When things get back to some normality and you want to spend time in paradise as well as enjoying a bit of luxury at the same time, look no further than Antigua.

Shelley & Michelle xx

10 Inspirational Travel Quotes To Live By In 2021

10 Inspirational Travel Quotes To Live By In 2021

We have combined the ultimate list of travel quotes to inspire you to get out and explore the world in 2021. Whether you feel stuck in a rut, demotivated or you’re simply bored and have a thirst for change and adventure then look no further!

It’s amazing how reading inspirational quotes can change your whole mood and push you to get started on your travel goals. They help you to feel inspired and encourage you to take action.

So take a scroll through our epic list of travel quotes that will surely encourage your thirst for wanderlust.

#1 ‘The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.’ Saint Augustine

#2 “If you think adventure is dangeroustry routine; it is lethal.’ Paulo Coelho

#3 ‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ Mark Twain

#4 ‘Don’t count the days. Make the days count.’ Muhammed Ali

#5 ‘I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.’ Susan Sontag

#6 ‘It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.’ Ernest Hemingway

#7 ‘Because in the end, you won’t remember the time spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.’ Jack Kerouac

#8 ‘What you have to decide… is how you want your life to be. If your ending was ending tomorrow, would this be how you’d want to have spent it? Listen, the truth is, nothing is guaranteed. So don’t be afraid, be alive.’ Sarah Desson

#9 ‘A mind that is stretched by a new experience, can never go back to its old dimensions.’ Oliver Wendell Holmes

#10 ‘Wherever you go, go with all your heart.’ Confucius

Shelley&Michelle xx

Travel Savings: Beginner’s Guide to Boost Your Travel Fund

Travel Savings: Beginner’s Guide to Boost Your Travel Fund

Travel has always been one of our favourite ways to not only explore the world but as a way to detox from our busy lifestyles. While travel is considered a privilege it doesn’t mean you have to be rich to enjoy the benefits a holiday destination can afford you.

We have been fortunate to explore various parts of the world while working full-time. But this wasn’t without forward planning to dip into our travel savings which helped to fund our trips.

Saving doesn’t always come naturally for many of us and it can be struggle to get the cash together for a big trip if you’re not used to being careful with your money. While we don’t suggest you have to be overly frugal we have listed our best tips and tricks to get closer to your travel savings goal!

So get out your pen and pad and jot down our savings hacks which will get you closer to your holiday destination and on the next flight out.

Set up a separate bank account

First thing first! Set yourself up a savings account that is separate from all of your other accounts. It is easy to set up an account online with pretty much any and every bank provider. This way your travel fund is totally separate from your regular money and you’ll be less inclined to dip into your travel pot. Many banks will give you rewards for opening a new account, which can include a monthly bonus or you could receive a gadget for showing loyalty. In addition, we would recommend an account which limits the number of withdrawals you can make throughout the year so you’re not tempted to touch your savings.

Set up automatic transfers

To build up your travel savings faster it would be a good idea to set up a standard order into your new account. Put a set amount from your monthly pay cheque into your new savings account. The easiest way to do this is to have cash automatically transferred from your ‘regular’ checking account each payday. For example, you could set up a £50 standard order (depending on your budget) to set aside for your travel goals. It is also a good idea to boost your savings fund with any extra cash you have leftover – whether daily, weekly or monthly – rather than buy that latte put that extra £5 into your travel account.

Get a money jar

Why not go old school and put your loose change into a money jar. We love doing this. It’s always a surprise to see how much you have accumulated over a few months. We both used to put £5 aside and saved over £150 between us in just a couple of months. Setting up a savings jar is an easy way to put money aside.

Use budgeting apps

A great way to keep your expenses low and see how much extra money you have available to boost your savings is to download a budget app. They allow you to keep track of your spending habits which can you give a clue of where to cut back on your spending. Apps like Mint are perfect to use for this. Mint allows you to keep track of and categorise your expenses, as well as set maximum spending limits for yourself.

Top Destinations #10: Click Here for the Best Miami Beach Hotel Deals!

Cancel your Direct Debits

Remember that gym membership you started in January but have yet to step inside – cancel it. Or that magazine subscription you probably don’t need, cancel that too.

Now, take a closer a look at areas that you can negotiate a better deal and pay a lower rate. For instance, do you pay a monthly fee for your bank account? Think about switching to another provider and earning a cash bonus of up to £100. Or you can check what upgrades your current provider offers and decide whether you actually need it. For example, if they offer mobile and travel insurance this can be a great asset for when you’re ready to travel. If you’re paying too much shop around and compare prices on comparison websites.

What about your Netflix account? Check out how much you’re paying each month and if you’re paying for premium consider going back to the basic plan which costs about £5.99 per month.

Don’t Give Up

While it may seem like a challenge it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Travel is one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer and we should all get a chance to get a discover the world. Whether you’re craving new experiences or challenges by following these easy steps you’ll be on your next flight in no time!

Shelley & Michelle xx

5 useful tips to save money for travel in 2020

5 useful tips to save money for travel in 2020

While much of the globe is currently on hold with travel restrictions being imposed following the coronavirus pandemic there has been no better time for us to make some personal finance changes so we can get back to globetrotting!

Are you planning a dream getaway, package holiday, a solo trip or a budget trip and are stuck on ways to save for your epic journey?

In this guide, you’ll find our simple and most effective tips to save for money and embark on your latest travel adventure.

By making small changes today, before you know it you’ll be on your next flight out on a dream holiday.

Before we get started there are a few things you must consider before you begin saving money for travel.

How much are you looking to save and what is your travel budget?

Do you have any outstanding debts?

Are you currently sticking to a budget?

Do you have any ways to make some extra money?

Paying off debt

Paying off any loans or credit cards are one of the first steps you can take to make your travel goals. By freeing yourself of debts gives you more control over your money. While it can be a long journey to be completely debt-free, once you reach that goal it will give you peace of mind.

One option for borrowers is to transfer your credit card debt to a 0% balance transfer credit card where you will not be charged any interest. For example, if you owe £2,000 on your card you’ll only have to pay off the balance only. It’s important to note that some providers charge a fee on balance transfers.

If you have debt on more than one credit card it is worth paying off the most expensive card first. If, for example, you owe £1,000 on a card charging 15% interest and another £1,000 on one charging 30% concentrate on the card charging 30% and pay as much as you can. But make sure you continue to pay the minimum amounts on both credit cards because any missed payments can negatively impact your credit score.

We would also recommend that you set up a direct debit payment for all your credit cards so that you never miss a payment.

READ MORE: New York City Travel Guide

Set a travel savings goal

Before you begin stashing away cash for your dream destination, it is important to set yourself a savings goal. Think about your budget and how much you will need for the trip and how much money you need to save.

Have a look at your finances by creating a spreadsheet where you can clearly see how much you earn each month and the amount you spend. Or you can download a free monthly budget app onto your phone which can track your spending habits. There are also various online calculators that can help you plan a budget.

Are there any areas where you can cut back spending or subscriptions you can cancel like your current gym membership?

Once you have decided how much you need to save set up a limited access savings account and automate payments into your holiday fund each month. This way you can commit to saving for your dream trip and by using a limited savings account you’ll be less tempted to dip into your travel fund.

Let’s imagine that your budget for your trip is £1,000 and you want to save up for your dream getaway in the next four, six or 12 months. Over the next four months you’ll need to save £250, over six months roughly around £167 and in 12 months £83.

By setting realistic money saving goals you will get closer to reaching your target.

Sell your stuff

It’s amazing the amount of things we accumulate over the years that we no longer use but hold on to for whatever reason. Unless it holds sentimental value to you just get rid of it!

There are numerous websites online where you can sell unwanted clothes, furniture or sports equipment online – pretty much anything! With sites like Ebay to Amazon and Depop there are easy ways to sell your old items and make some extra cash along the way.

If you have creative talents you could even turn your handcrafted unique pieces into cash by selling on Etsy. It’s a great way to turn your hobby into something profitable and have some extra funds to add to your travel account.

Start a side hustle

Being in lockdown has given many of us a lot of time on our hands to start being a bit more creative. Maybe you wanted to start a blog or write a book but there are many different opportunities to earn extra money if you have a full-time job.

Find a side hustle that could be working from home or a second job as an Uber or Amazon driver or you could set up an online business. It doesn’t have to be something that makes you loads of money. Just something to help boost your income.

Do some research and find something which matches your talents or skill set. By doing this it will be easier for you to reach your goals and make some extra money.

Watch your savings grow

It is not an easy task but with determination and discipline you can reach your travel savings goal in no time. Check your account every couple of months to see how you’re doing.

Set yourself small targets and treat yourself as you hit each milestone.

When you reach your goal for this year’s holiday, set a new higher target for next year – maybe you could increase the number of destinations that you visit and more holidays.

Do you have any other tips to help others save for travel. Let us know in the comments!

Shelley & Michelle xx