Why Now Might Be The Perfect Time To Travel

Coronavirus. Covid-19. The words that are on everybody’s tongues. It’s everywhere, it’s now a global pandemic. So what’s the advice? Wash your hands and don’t travel.

Yes maybe globalization is why the virus spread in the first place. But only now that it’s spread are we questioning if travel is a good idea. But consider this: cities and tourist centers ghost towns, tourist operators are struggling and airfares are at an all time low. So perhaps it’s time to turn the conversation and consider that now might be the perfect time to travel*.

Person Holding World Globe Facing Mountain

Advantages include little to no wait time to visit attractions because queues are a thing of the past, when coronavirus is in town. Your photos will be epic, because all those other pesky tourists won’t be accidentally photobombing them. Plus, flights and accommodation are cheap because they desperately need your patronage.

Coronavirus has now infected every continent except Antarctica, so you’re probably as likely to catch it in pretty much any country now. But if you need to self isolate after your holiday, consider it an extra two weeks vacation. Think about how much progress you’ll make on that novel or bod with two weeks of nothing you have to do.

Woman Walking on Pathway While Strolling Luggage

The disadvantages of travelling during the coronavirus outbreak are simple, if the borders are closed in a country where you’re travelling, getting home may become a bit more difficult and accommodation may suddenly become a much bigger expense. Travelling can put you at more risk to catching the virus, and while you might survive fine, it can put other people around you at risk.

So is it worth it? I’ll let you weigh up the odds**.

Man Wearing White Shirt, Brown Shorts, and Green Backpack Standing on Hill

*Only travel if you are in the low risk category and are willing to self isolate for 2 weeks after your return so you don’t pass any potential virus on.

**This article is not intended to replace official advice, merely offer some lighthearted relief.

Finding Accommodation When Moving Cities – And My Experience With Airbnb.

If you’ve ever read an article on this blog before, you’ll probably already have noticed that I enjoy travelling and have traveled to many places, so I am no stranger to finding accommodation in a new place. But when moving permanently to a new city to live, that’s when things got a little trickier.

My first thought was to start in hotels and hostels like I would normally do when travelling and book a few weeks. This is a viable option, but the expense really starts to stack up after a few weeks.

I next looked into renting out an apartment. I have done this in other places before and found it quite affordable. But at the time I was looking all the apartments were extremely expensive or a more permanent tenancy. However, something to also know, is that those looking for tenants that were going through a property management company, wouldn’t rent a property without you or a representative viewing the property first.

My last place I looked was Airbnb, where I did find a really affordable place, staying with the host, so being new to the city I chose this option.

I rented out the place for a month, because I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to find somewhere to rent more permanently (now that I was in the city and could view the listings in person). However, I’d found somewhere by the end of the first week, which I have moved into.

Now of course the dilemma with booking these places, is that they aren’t too keen to refund if you want to cancel early. With Airbnb it depends on the hosts policy how much you get refunded and for stays over 28 nights, then you need to have more than 30 days remaining on your reservation in order to get any money after that period refunded. However, I will give credit to Airbnb, when I rang them to discuss this policy, they were happy to contact the host to try and negotiate a refund, because obviously there are reasons for someone cancelling early.

On hindsight, I probably didn’t need to book an Airbnb for a month, but you don’t know how long it will take you to find permanent accommodation or what the place will be like in advance.

Since booking an Airbnb, a lot of people have shared their Airbnb stories with me and common themes that have come out of it are that places aren’t cleaned well despite cleaning fees or that hosts have already filled wardrobes/cupboard etc with their belongings in the rooms people have booked. Most have opted for an Airbnb because it was cheaper than other accommodation options – but not always.

Comment below if you have any accommodation tips and tricks when moving cities.

Krystal xx

Travel Hot Spot: New Caledonia

New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie) is a hidden gem in the South Pacific. It is in French Territory and for many in the Southern Hemisphere a more affordable place to practice one’s French than in France.

Flying over New Caledonia

New Caledonia, is comprised of islands and is surrounded by barrier reef. The capital, Nouméa, merges French-influenced restaurants and luxury boutiques selling Parisian fashions with local island flavor.


If you are looking for a getaway that isn’t overrun with tourists and has both French and Caribbean type vibes. New Caledonia is the place for you. Relaxing on the palm lined beaches and exploring the marine life both in the ocean and the aquarium were the biggest highlights for me. But there is a great range of exploring and hiking, shopping, cuisine and cultural activities to keep you entertained.†

Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Caledonie

5 Best Monuments and Cities To See At Night

Hearing the sad news about Notre Dame recently reminded me of when I was in Paris and some of the amazing sights I saw. You can read about some of my favorite attractions here. But what it also inspired was a train of thought about which attractions are really work braving the cold dark night to see (although they all look great during the day as well). And unsurprisingly at the top of the list is…


  1. Eiffel Tower – Paris

The Eiffel Tower or Tour Eiffel is at its most beautiful at night. Twinkling against the Paris skyline it is both striking and majestic. Recommended vantage point: Place du Trocadéro.

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  • Times Square – New York

While still amazing during the day, these LED Billboards are most impressive at night. Recommended vantage point: in the middle of Times Square.

  • Bellagio Fountain – Las Vegas

When this is lit up it’s pretty spectacular. Recommended vantage point: in front of the fountain.

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  • Manhattan – New York

Manhattan transforms at night. The hustle, bustle and city grime are masked when this city lights up. Recommended vantage point: Empire State Building, 86th floor.

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  • Las Vegas Strip – Las Vegas

It’s called the strip for a reason, the city most famed for its use of neon is spectacular and lively at night. Recommended vantage point: there are too many places.

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Krystal xx

Travel Guide: Christmas In New York

At the time of writing this, it is December 1st and we’ve just put up our Christmas Tree and are getting ready to decorate the rest of the house. This time last year, we were getting ready to spend Christmas in New York, so the tree was all we put up. But onto the actual article: a guide the Christmas in New York.

Santaland/Macy’s (Herald Square)

We went as a group of adults, but we still went to Santaland. It is kind of like walking through a short north pole stage set. But it didn’t have quite the Christmas magic I was expecting. At the end you can go and see one of several Santa’s, but we left that bit for the kids.

Macy’s as a department store is 11 floors and has a lot to offer. I spent most of my time looking at Christmas decorations, clothes and make up.


Santaland – Macy’s

Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue has several shops that dress their windows for Christmas. However they aren’t all Christmas themed. Fifth Avenue also provides access to the Rockefeller Center which has the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree and ice rink. This is a show stopper in the evening because it looks most impressive when the tree is lit up in the dark. Facing it on the other side of Fifth Avenue is also the Sax light show, which adds to the festive feel.


Rockefeller Christmas Tree


Sax Fifth Avenue Light Show

Sixth Avenue

Head out through Rockefeller to Sixth Avenue and you will be by Radio City Music Hall. Here sits the giant baubles in front of the Exxon Building. There is also a few other light up displays nearby, such as the Reindeer in front of the Fox Building.





Empire State Building

The top part of the Empire State Building also lights up in red and green for the festive season.


Empire State Building

Christmas in New York is not the family sitting around the festive meal in a cozy picture book house. In fact it is a good idea to check what places are open Christmas day. We ended up having pizza – which while delicious wasn’t particularly festive. However we did see some amazing iconic sights. It is also worth remembering that it is really cold so dress warmly.


Krystal xx

Must See Attractions In The World’s Most Liveable City

Wellington, New Zealand has been voted number 1 on Deutsche Bank’s global study of the most liveable city. The study has been run both in 2017 and 2018, with Wellington being declared the city with the world’s highest quality of life both years.

But before you rush off to live in this fantastic city, you’ll probably want to take a holiday first. So here is a list of some of the awesome attractions you can visit in Wellington.

Mount Victoria Lookout

Mount Victoria Lookout WellingtonThe Mount Victoria Lookout provides panoramic views of Wellington City and harbour. The lookout is up a hill that can be accessed by foot or car and is free to view day or night.

Wellington Waterfront

Oriental Bay WellingtonThe Wellington Waterfront is home to beauty, culture and food. Internationally renown museum Te Papa and iconic theatre Circa sit adjacent to eat other, with the City Art Gallery and Museum of City and Sea just moments away. Meanwhile event venues TSB Arena and Shed 6 stand nearby at Queen’s Wharf. Nearly every building has a famous history; which you can read about, just down from Frank Kitts Park. The town belt, railway station and Westpac Stadium are all easily assessible from this end of the Waterfront. Down the other end, are the golden sands and towering pines of Oriental Bay. And across all of it are delicious eateries and a beautiful clear waterside view.

Cable Car And Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens WellingtonGo between CBD shopping hub Lambton Quay and the gorgeous Botanical Gardens on the classic Wellington Cable Car. Visit the Cable Car Museum, Planetarium and see stunning city views at the top of the Cable Car, then head down through the Botanical Gardens to see the award-winning Lady Norwood Rose Garden and many more hectares of specialty gardens and horticultural displays.

Te Papa

Te Papa WellingtonTe Papa is Wellington’s biggest museum and a place of cultural, heritage, science, art and creativity. The museum is free entry and current displays can be found on their website. Being on the earthquake fault line, they also have some of the most innovative technology for keeping their building safe during an earthquake.

The Beehive and Parliament Buildings

Parliment WellingtonTake a free tour of New Zealand’s decision-making hub at Parliament Buildings and snap a photo of Wellington’s iconic Beehive building in the CBD. Then take a relaxing through Parliament’s gardens.

Weta Workshop

Seen Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit. Find out how they were made and pose with some of the characters at Weta Workshop in their world famous Weta Cave. Film buffs through to novices will enjoy seeing how these characters and movies were made.

Wellington Zoo

Wellington ZooFor encounters with native and non-native animals, visit the Wellington Zoo. Here you can see New Zealand’s icon, the Kiwi as well as animals from across the world; including Giraffes, Monkey’s and Lions.


Castle Point WairarapaGet a taste of local wine and food in the Wairarapa, north of Wellington City. Several charming small towns make up the wider area. Visit vineyards in Martinborough, home of Wellington’s winemaking. Enjoy food and galleries in Greytown, coastal views at Castle’s Point and see Stonehenge Aotearoa in Carterton.
While you can drive around all of Wellington’s attractions. If you want a driving free holiday, or perhaps you’re used to driving on the right side of the road (in New Zealand they drive on the left), there are a great number of tours you can also take.

No matter how you choose to explore, be sure to check out the ‘coolest little capital’ next time you’re planning a trip.

Travel Guide: Switzerland – Lucerne, Engelberg, Swiss Alps, Mount Titlis

Switzerland wasn’t somewhere I’d ever really thought about visiting, until I did a European tour that stopped there. After visiting, it is somewhere I would definitely want to visit again. The tour I went on primarily stopped in Lucerne and from there went up to the Swiss Alps.

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City Center

Lucerne is a gorgeous town. It has an old regal presence, mixed with richness, modernity and gorgeous waterfront sites. In the main hub there is several places that you can discover swiss-made watches, eat swiss chocolate and walk alongside the water. The Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), is said to be one of the oldest covered bridges standing today and also showcases stunning views of each side of the Reuss River.

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Chapel Bridge

Close by is Lake Lucerne (south side), which from this side has a stunning waterfront with botanicals, hotels, eateries and water features. Following it around the large water fountain and train station, there is several stalls in the station for more affordable eating and a large railway station which is a central hub in Lucerne for domestic and international travel.

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Lake Lucerne

In Lucerne, we also saw the Lion Monument, giant dying lion carved out of a wall of sandstone rock. It was designed as a memorial for Swiss soldiers, who lost their lives during the French Revolution. It is said that the outline of the memorial is carved like a pig to show the artist’s objections to being rushed then not being paid in full, while creating the monument.

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Lion Monument

Outside of Lucerne, we travelled to Engelberg then up to Mount Titlis. Heading up the mountain required a gondola and a 360 degree cable car. I enjoyed the gondola but the 360 degree cable car provided lacklustre views, between the number of people and windows that needed a good clean. The gondola also had windows that were scratched, but when I went there was also a window I could open and stick the camera out (for memory).

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View From Gondola

Standing on the mountain, there was snow and beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding alps and alpine towns in the distance. You could go for a walk up the mountain, do the cliff walk (including Europe’s highest suspension bridge) and do the ice flyer. In summer, the ice flyer takes you to the glacier park and up to the ski slopes in winter. In the mountain station there were also places to eat, shop and a glacier cave.

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View From Mount Titlis

Switzerland was gorgeous, and I want to go back and visit more cities. Please comment below if you have any you particularly recommend. Other things to note, it that it is quite an expensive place. They also accept both Swiss Francs and Euros. At the time I went Swiss Francs were better value, but it all depends on conversion rates. It was also a place where shops closed more often (ie Sundays), particularly outside the tourist hub. There was also a fabulous sense of history and culture. For next time I would brush up on my German though.

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Krystal xx

Top Free Attractions In New York City

  1. Times Square

This colourful hub is an LED wonderland and also has most of the shops you could want to go to.


Times Square

  1. Fifth Avenue

You don’t have to shop to check out this iconic street.

  1. Central Park

The greenest part of Manhattan and miles of iconic greenery from so many movies lies within Central Park.


Central Park

  1. The High Line

As an elevated linear park, the High Line gives you an elevated view of the surrounding area.

  1. The Brooklyn Bridge

For a view of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines as well as a view of the Hudson River and a distant view of the Statue of Liberty, a walk along the Brooklyn Bridge is a must.


Brooklyn Bridge

  1. Macy’s/Santaland

Macy’s is awesome any time of year, but extra fun and festive at Christmas.

  1. Rockefeller Center

Watch the ice skating and check out the massive Christmas Tree and Rockefeller Center. It’s also a great place to see the light show on Saks at Christmastime.


Rockefeller Center

  1. Bryant Park

For a bit of greenery with a nearby famous public library, check out Bryant Park.

  1. 9/11 Memorial

A beautiful and somber memorial where the Twin Towers once stood.

9/11 Memorial

9/11 Memorial

  1. Grand Central Station

This restored station is another icon and on the roof, you can see a tile they left to show the condition the station was previously in.

Please note, these attractions are in no particular order.

Happy Travels

Krystal xx


Seeing Lady Liberty in the Flesh

A trip to New York is not complete without seeing the Statue of Liberty. But what is the best way to see this iconic monument?

IMG_3142I personally, think the best way to see it is up close and personally. But the only way you can do this is via a trip with Statue Cruises. Onsite, Statue Cruises are incredibly and lack customer service skills. The lines are long (3+ hours at the height of the season). Booking your tickets online will save you getting in line for tickets and may allow you to go up in the Statue where tickets are very limited.

After waiting in line for the boat for a rather long time. You will go through a security screening. They want people to remove hats, scarves, gloves etc. So expect to strip half your layers in winter.

The boats themselves are designed to have nearly everyone standing, with rails on the sides and hand holds from the ceiling. The windows provide an excellent view, but could benefit from being cleaned.IMG_3167

You arrive at the back of the statue, where there is a souvenir shop, toilets and a place to eat and drink. Following the path around to the front of the statue gives you a great view of both the statue and the end of Manhattan.

If this doesn’t sound like you, the Staten Island Ferry provides a free boat ride and passes by the Statue of Liberty and tour boats also pass by the statue. But Statue Cruises is the only one that will allow you to get up close and personal with the statue.

Happy Travels.
Krystal xx

Silence in NYC: An Infrequent Event

Silence is a moment of stillness or quiet. In New York that is fairly hard to come by and treasured when it does. Here are some moments of silence in the city that really does never sleep.

Silence is a quiet frozen stillness, like on this pond in Central Park.


Silence is a respectful pause of reflection, like here at the 9/11 Memorial.


Silence is when you finally get out of the crowds and no one is around, like this little corner behind a wall by Fox.


Silence for a moment is golden, silence for a lifetime is bleak.

Krystal xx