5 Unmissable Destinations for a UK Road Trip

Plus size blogger The Owlet in South Wales, UK

Hey Owlets, 

Lockdown is easing up and the world is beginning to feel a little more accessible again, but for a lot of people (including me) it feels just a little bit soon to be starting to travel internationally. Last summer Jack and I went on a mini road trip around the South West region of the UK; even though the idea was born out of being desperate to travel but not feeling safe to go abroad we absolutely loved it and I’m now totally sold on the idea of a road trip in normal times too, not just as a pandemic appropriate holiday. 

Why the Productivity Movement is Toxic

Plus size Bristol blogger The Owlet in Bristol

 Hey Owlets,

This past year has been the year of the side hustle. Saving hours of commuting time every day, multiple lockdowns and not being able to be social in our down time has led people to question what we do with all this free time? And the answer seems fairly obvious on the face of it. There’s so much content online about creating financial freedom and being your own boss - you’ve got all free now so why not start working on growing your brand/business/freelancing career so you never have to go back to the office when this is over with? It seems like an ideal plan, but it’s toxic.

My Honest Opinion of UK Cruising in 2021

Is UK Cruising safe in 2021?

Hey Owlets,

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the cruise industry starting to reawaken, and honestly I’m excited. You have no idea how much I miss having my morning coffee with a view of the sun rising over the ocean, meeting new people and out of nowhere making friends for life, getting to experience a new culture every day and revel in the amazing entertainment. The only issue is that I’m not sure how possible some of the things I mentioned are going to be - it’s almost definite that several of those things are out the window for the time being, but at least we can go on a cruise, right? I have several thoughts about these UK Staycation cruises launching so I wanted to share - if anything just because I’m hoping you can help me decide.

What I've Learnt from 5 Years on the Internet

Plus size blogger The Owlet in Bristol

Hey Owlets,

This February marked 5 years of The Owlet. I know it’s cliche to be like “I never imagined this would happen” but it’s true, I didn’t. I started this blog because I HATED my university and wanted a creative outlet. If I’m honest I didn’t expect anyone to actually read it, I just wanted something to do that wasn’t related to my studies. Now you may have noticed that it’s not February anymore and I’m a solid 4 months late to writing this article, but as I’m sure you can understand, multiple lockdowns kind of got in the way of me feeling creative. Regardless, 2021 is still the 5th year of The Owlet so I wanted to sit down with you and have a bit of a chat. 

I feel like I’ve learnt a lot in the past 5 years, not just about blogging but just more generally about how to be a half-decent human. My family will laugh as I tell you this but I was always well known as the most sensitive of souls growing up - really not the best fit to be a blogger. I would constantly get upset about some keyboard warrior leaving a stupid comment, or I’d accidentally end up in an argument on Twitter because its all too easy to take someone the wrong way and I would try to explain what I meant but it was too late because that person had already decided to take offence. I’ve spoken very openly about my revelation after being in a really bad place back in 2017 but that really was the defining moment. If I’m totally honest, I think it was at that point that I decided I didn’t give a toss what anyone thought of me anymore. 

The Rise of Indie Fragrance Brands

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Hey Owlets,

Ever since fragrances hit the mainstream and became big business a very select number of brands have dominated the shelves in high end drug stores and have become a mainstay of any perfume lover’s collection. If you mention brands like Dior, Chanel or Armani most people will probably be able to tell you the name of at least one of their fragrances. That’s great, but buying from a brand that has a monopoly on fragrance sales gets a little boring. I love when you go to meet a friend and they ask what perfume you’re wearing and you’re able to say something really unique.

How to Travel With Dietary Issues

Gluten Free Icecream cone abroad

Hey Owlets,

I feel like as British people what to eat on holiday is somewhat a point of contention. As a nation we have a bit of a bad reputation for knowing what we like and sticking with it; there’s obviously a reason why there’s so many McDonalds’ restaurants in tourist hotspots around the world. However, if you’re one of those people that struggles with food allergies then eating anything abroad can feel incredibly daunting, even if you stick to the typical bland foods. As a travel obsessive I’ve always been one of those people that likes to visit new places and try to local cuisine. 

Two years ago I discovered that the reason I’ve always been ill growing up was due to a gluten intolerance, and a big part of my holiday suddenly because a minefield; when I was on a cruise it was just easier to eat on the ship in the morning then skip lunch or just bring my own snacks, which meant I missed out on one of the best ways to experience local culture. Since finding out I can’t eat gluten I’ve started to get more confident in trying to experience local cuisines, so I wanted to share my experiences in the most visited countries, as well as share some tips that could help you on your next holiday. Obviously my experiences are all going to be from someone who doesn’t eat gluten, but I’ll try to mention what I’ve noticed of other allergens too.

Everything We Know about P&O Aria

P&O Cruises UK MV Aria

Hey Owlets,

This morning P&O announced the name of the newest addition to their fleet and it’s fair to say I was a little bit excited for it. Named Arvia, meaning, she’s expected to undertake her maiden voyage in 2022 (pandemic willing, of course). P&O Cruises have kept their cards very close to their chest not his one with very few details being shared. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel like we knew a lot more about Iona at this point which makes me think that the cruise line have a few surprises up their sleeves. While we wait to hear more about what Arvia has to offer, let’s have a look at what we do know and perhaps make a few predictions along the way.

A Pandemic Hotel Stay: My Experience

Sitting in the window in a hotel in Cwmbran, South Wales

Hey Owlets,

I originally wrote this post in November 2020, and I've been holding on for "the right time" to post since then. Now things are starting to open back up I'm desperate to get away for awhile, but I know that not all of you feel the same and you're maybe a little nervous about how travel might look after lockdown. With this in mind I wanted to share my own personal experience from our between-lockdowns trip to give you an idea of what to expect.

 In September we went on a road trip around Devon and Cornwall and during that trip I received a lot of messages asking what it was like to stay in a hotel now, what had changed and if I felt safe. A lot of you mentioned that you wanted to go away but you weren’t sure what to expect, so hopefully sharing my experience will help you to feel more informed about staying in hotels when we’re able to travel again. It goes without saying that this is my experience from before the second lockdown, but I can’t imagine that there’s much more that hotels can change so I still think it’s worth talking about. We stayed at a Premier Inn for our trip - this post isn’t sponsored and we paid for the stay ourselves, but I’m telling you this so that you know my experiences are linked to this specific brand of hotels, because the rules may be slightly different depending on where you choose to stay.