Booking a flight! Tips and tricks!

I recently booked my flight to Spain, it’s beginning to feel so real now! This was actually the first time I’ve ever booked a flight by myself so I was a little stressed by the whole process. Luckily it was really easy and straightforward so I didn’t have any problems – phew! Still, I know booking a holiday can be stressful especially with the amount of airlines competing for your custom! So here’s some advice on getting the best deal for your holiday. I thought it best to mention how these are just bits of advice I’ve picked up through experience, use it as guidance but by no means is it set in stone!

  1. Shop around

I know most people have a preferred airline who they like to travel with and I am not an exception to that. Travelling with the same airline can be comforting as you know how they operate, what services they provide etc. This is especially true if you’re flying for the first time by yourself. However, by only committing to one airline you can actually end up missing out on some really good deals with other companies. So before you decide to book with old faithful, take a look around at other airlines to get an idea of prices and if you’re actually paying a good price for your holiday.

2.  How much luggage do you actually need?

Think about it, do you really need all those clothes? Although the temptation may be to pack as much as possible for your holiday do you really need 22kg worth? For the last few holidays to Spain I’ve managed to pack enough stuff for a week in 10kg of hand luggage. This definitely saved me some money and also a lot of washing back in England! If you do need the extra luggage it’s worth checking out airline offers. Some airlines may offer 22kg free if you go on a package holiday so definitely shop around to make sure you aren’t losing money when paying for extra luggage!

3.  Airport check-in vs online check-in

Nowadays many airlines are moving away from traditional airport check-in to online check-in. Both have their advantages and disadvantages so really opt for which ever one you feel comfiest with. However, just bear in mind that if you chose to check-in at the airport (i.e. you get your boarding pass at the check-in desk) airlines often charge you more. For example, I am paying an extra £20 to get my boarding card when I get to the airport. The reason for this is that as I’ll need to check-in my bags at the desk anyway I thought I might as well pay a little extra to not have to worry about printing out boarding cards and stuff out at home. If you aren’t travelling with extra luggage online check-in may be a better option for you but really just do whatever you feel is best!

4.  Choosing a seat

Before I booked my flights I actually thought that it was free to pick a seat on an aircraft, I was wrong! Airlines do charge you to choose where you want to sit, I paid around £19 more just to get a seat near the front of the aircraft. The price of seats often varies depending on where it is in the aircraft and what type of seat it is. When choosing a seat beware of ploys to make you pick undesirable seats, for example often airlines will try to sell you seats with extra leg room for free. Although this may sound great most of the times these extra leg room seats are emergency exits and whilst this may not bother some people, others may feel uncomfortable sitting next to an emergency exit.

5.  Hidden extras

Finally it goes without saying but just beware of hidden costs when booking a flight. Often if you book on-line there will be lots of promotions which may seem hassle free but may in fact have hidden costs which aren’t obvious straightaway. Just be extra careful and know what you’re paying for!

Well that’s about everything I’ve learnt from my first attempt at booking a flight, hopefully you’ll have found some of it useful! I’m probably going to do some more posts about preparing for travel in the near future!

Books, Books and more books

Hey!

Here I am finally having gotten around to writing my blog. My schedule for having weekly posts has already gone a bit skewed – sorry about that! Life’s being super busy with my new job so I haven’t had chance to do any travelling, sad times! I also haven’t really had any time to sort out anything more for my Year Abroad which is a bit worrying, but I still have a month left to get the bulk of stuff I’m going to need. I did actually buy some stuff today for the plane journey which is a start. Well, when I say stuff what I mean is I bought two books to read at the airport and on the plane. I’m not that great a flyer despite being a frequent one so I always need something light-hearted and funny to take my mind off the flight, which is why I bought these!

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I love both of these two’s programmes and I couldn’t resist buying the books when I saw them today. I figured if there was any book that was going to take my mind of flying it would be Karl’s! The only problem is I’m really tempted to start reading them now! I still need to buy some more books to take with me to Spain – I’m not sure which ones to get yet though but I’ll do a post on them when I do! That’s all for now, but if you want to know what’s happening between posts or when the next one is up I now have a twitter account @travellingtara1 (I really am hurtling into the 21st century haha)!

 

A day out in Sheffield!

Hey everyone!

So this week has been a weird one in that I have been in a bit of a limbo for most of it. The reason being I was waiting to hear when I would start my new job which meant I couldn’t really plan to do anything. However, I did have to take a trip up to my University to hand in some forms so I decided to spend the rest of the day in Sheffield (my home city). Most people think that Sheffield is really boring and that there isn’t much to do – which is completely wrong! There’s plenty of stuff to do and I ended up spending the entire day exploring. So, here is some of the stuff I got up to!

First off I took a quick walk around Weston Park as it is right next to my University. It’s such a pretty place, one that is nestled away right at the top of the city! If anyone wants a peaceful walk or quiet picnic, this is definitely the place to go especially when it’s sunny. It’s also home to a load of adorable ducks – quack quack!

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Next I headed down to the newly refurbished moor so I could do some shopping. A load of new stores have opened there which is really bad for my purse, but oh well I do need new clothes for my year abroad! After that a quick refresh was needed, I couldn’t resist treating myself to a Costa. Their new summer drinks are perfect as a quick refresher.

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Plus, it tasted even better drinking it in the peace gardens, although I was tempted to run through the fountain just to cool off!

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Finally, I had a quick walk through the winter gardens on my way down to the train station. It still amazes how such exotic stuff is able to grow in there! It was an exhausting day but also really enjoyable, I don’t normally go into the centre that much so it was really nice to spend some time exploring my city! I would definitely recommend a day out in Sheffield to anyone!

 

Making Brigadeiro!

So this week I was kind of bored and really craving something sweet. Raiding my cupboards proved futile but I did find the ingredients to make one of my favourite things, Brigadeiro. Brigadeiro is a popular Brazilian dessert and is super easy to make – trust me I can’t cook but I can still make this amazing treat! It’s also really versatile and can be eaten a number of different ways, all equally as good! So I thought I’d share with you how to make it!

The ingredients

1 tin of condensed milk (I used carnation cream but any brand will do)

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (if you don’t have any cocoa powder, hot chocolate works just fine)

15g butter

Chocolate sprinkles (optional, but adds a bit more of a chocolatey flavour)

Mini-cupcake cases

Method

Before we start, the key thing to remember is – do not stop stirring the mixture! Seriously, if you stop stirring for even a minute the condensed milk will start to burn!

  1. In a pan, melt the butter over a low heat
  2. Add the condensed milk and cocoa powder. Vigorously stir for the first few minutes.
  3. Keep the heat on low (about 2-3 on an electric hob). Continue to stir until the mixture thickens, it may take a while (sometime 15-20 minutes) and you may be tempted to think it will never thicken but don’t worry it will!
  4. When the mixture thickens enough so that it is firm enough to stay together and you can see the bottom of the pan for a few seconds when you run your spoon through it, take it off the heat and pour into a greased dish.
  5. Leave the mixture to cool for about half an hour, you can put it in the fridge if you want to but don’t leave it for as long
  6. When the mixture has cooled, grease your hands with butter and take a small amount of the mixture and roll it into a small ball. Repeat this step until you have used up all the mixture.
  7. Roll the balls into the chocolate sprinkles until they are completely covered

And that’s it, the only thing left to do is enjoy eating them! If you want, you can also eat the brigadeiro warm straight from the pan with some ice cream. Both ways are equally tasty and will leave you wanting more, so be warned!

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Marchena here I come!

Hellooo again 🙂

I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post, time completely got away with me. The past few weeks I have been so busy filling in all the forms for my British council placement, but the good news is I’ve finally gotten on top of it and am making real headway into my abroad! The even better news is that I’ve finally found out where I’ll be going in September! Marchena, Sevilla you have got a proper Yorkshire lass coming your way! I am so happy to have gotten Sevilla even though I was hoping for somewhere with a sea, I can’t complain when the place I’m going looks so delightful! I can’t wait to start now!

So, that’s about all for the quick update on what’s been happening. I have a few more posts lined up, I’m still debating whether to do some on my experience apply through British Council and the whole process in general. Either way, it won’t be too long till my next entry is up!

Hey everyone!

Welcome to my super exciting travel blog! Okay, I admit that perhaps isn’t super exciting yet, but it is indeed a travel blog!

But… before we get to that, I think it would be best if I introduced myself first (if you’re not interested in super boring bio’s feel free to skip to the end)! Anyway, for those who have decided to read this bit I’m a University student from England currently preparing to go on a year abroad as part of my degree – crazy right?! I’ll be going to Andalucía (southern Spain) to teach kids English – which could be difficult considering my northern English accent! Anyway, as you can imagine it’s a pretty daunting time for me – especially considering it’s my first ever time away from home! So, I thought I’d create this blog to share my experience with you guys and bring you along for the ride!

So if you’re going on a year abroad or are just interested in travel in general, make sure to stick around! Before I go, I’ll be posting useful tips and tricks for preparing to go abroad and also advice for people in University going on a year abroad themselves. When I get there, I’ll be letting you guys know everything that’s happening and hopefully you’ll find some of it interesting!

Anyway, I sure hope you decide to stick around and see what becomes of my crazy adventure!