Friday, 18 August 2017

Tips for Nervous Flyers

 It's finally holiday season, and I've definitely not 100% been counting down the days...everyone loves a good break away in the sunshine. Holiday season used to be bitter sweet for me because it meant getting on a plane. I used to be the world's worst flyer. I cried, I yelped when there was turbulence and it was a pretty embarassing experience for anyone who's ever flown with me. Slowly but surely though, I've worked out a routine which helps to combat my anxiety about flying. It's pretty common to be a nervous flyer so I'm putting together a post of the things which help me. If you're an anxious flyer, I hope they help you too!

Distractions -  When I'm waiting for the flight I need something to take my mind off it. Before I go away I tend to download lots of films and TV programmes onto my iPad which always helps. I also always have a book on me! It keeps my mind off it, and is also a great opportunity for me to start that book, or watch that film I have been waiting to watch for ages.

Comfort - There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable when you are already feeling a bit nervous. I wear clothes that are super comfortable, and always take a scarf because planes can be so cold sometimes. It makes a great blanket!

Seats - If I am feeling particularly nervous before a flight, I will book seats so that I know I am sat next to Dan or a family member, and that I'm sitting where I want to sit especially as Ryanair no longer allocated you next to each other like they used to. I don't really like to sit in the window seat so we always make sure that Dan is the one sitting there when we fly.

Communication - Speaking to the person you are with and letting them know you are anxious is always a good place to start. If you are flying with someone who doesn't know you as well, it's best to get it out in the open. Plus, speaking to the cabin crew has helped me in the past because they can explain any strange noises and reassure you throughout the flight if necessary.

For me, flying is now something that happens and I'm not hugely bothered by it! I don't particularly enjoy it, but I focus on the fact that it is taking me to somewhere new to explore which is definitely worth it for me.

Are you an anxious flyer? What are your top tips?

Friday, 11 August 2017

An Adventure in Valencia

 Spanish cities are probably some of the most enchanting places I have ever been to. The gorgeous Plazas, and the pretty streets make for an excellent city break. Dan and I wanted to head somewhere new, so when we found reasonable flights to Valencia we booked it straight away.

Only two hours away by plane, Valencia is a slightly less impressive Spanish city than Madrid or Barcelona. Whilst stunning, I definitely preferred Spain's bigger cities. Despite this, Valencia definitely has a lot to offer. If you are looking for a slightly more affordable Spanish city, Valencia is your gal. You also get the best of both worlds with the stunning city, and the beach just a short tram ride away - perfect for a summer jaunt!

After arriving at around midday on Sunday, we took the metro straight to the city centre. There was a festival going on in the main square by the town hall which was a great welcome. Music was playing, and people were enjoying their weekends in the sunshine! A five minute walk from the central plaza was our hotel, the Ayre hotel Astoria Palace. It definitely wasn't the best hotel we've ever stayed in, but the service was good, and the location was excellent.

Heading out for some food took us to which sold "fast paella". I've only ever had paella once before, and I wasn't convinced that I'd like it, but this one was so delicious we went back again a few days later! It was affordable (and filling!) which is perfect when you are trying to keep costs low whilst travelling. Our first day over, and feeling tired from our early start, we headed to bed to prepare for the Bioparc the next day!

The Bioparc is a zoo which aims to create enclosures which are most suited to the species living there. We saw so many different types of animals, and we both felt that enclosures were well suited to the animals living there. One thing that really impressed us too, was that it wasn't too busy. The park was big enough for quite a few people to visit but not once did it feel overcrowded - even with a few schools on trips! My favourite animal was the hippo, and Dan loved seeing the giraffes stride about next to the water.

Our final day in Valencia was spent on the beach after checking out the Mercat Central de Valencia which was stunning - there's nothing quite like a Spanish market! Whilst we both love the idea of spending hours on a gloriously sunny beach, we both find the sand quite irritating. 2017 has been the year of taking chances, so we chanced our luck and headed out to the beach. Whilst it is around 30 minutes away from the city centre, it was so worth the trip. We had a lovely morning on the beach relaxing with our books and enjoying each other's company!

The afternoon was spend ambling the pretty streets of Valencia, which were incredibly pretty. It was relatively easy to navigate the city too! Our final evening was spent just off the main square where we had stumbled upon the festival. We ordered a massive paella to share, which disappointingly wasn't the best one we had whilst we were in Valencia! How could we complain after three days of Spanish sunshine though.

Whilst Valencia wasn't my favourite European city, it's definitely worth a visit. If you've seen a lot of Spain and fancy something new, Valencia is the place to go!

Have you ever been to Valencia?