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.

Parkway Hotel & Spa, Cwmbran: A Very Honest Review

Parkway Hotel and Spa Cwmbran Review, South Wales

Hey Owlets,

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you might remember our trip to South Wales late last year. It seems a lifetime ago now between multiple lockdowns and English people basically being banned from crossing the boarder into Wales, but it was such a good trip that I wanted to chat about it some more, particularly now we’re actually able to go to hotels again. Honestly, I’m so excited - I’ve got three trips booked already!

 The Parkway Hotel and Spa is the most hidden of hidden gems that you could possibly hope to find. Driving there I genuinely thought we had taken a wrong turn as we made our way through an industrial park, until we spotted a gap in the hedge and a sign. As you turn in though, you instantly forget where you’ve just been as you’re transported into an oasis in the countryside. You drive down a tree-lined road and despite the surroundings outside the hotel you could easily believe that you were in the middle of nowhere. You end up with the perfect combination of secluded but actually quite well connected, with it only being 18 miles from Cardiff and having it’s own train station in the centre of Cwmbran. The first impressions were a very good sign of what was to come.

Let’s Catch Up

Becky leaning out of the door of a cabin in South Wales

Hey Owlets,

A while ago I uploaded a post called “It’s Been a While” and the irony hasn’t escaped me that it’s actually been a while since I uploaded again after that post. In case you missed it, I talked about struggling to find inspiration in lockdown and coasting by doing the minimum each day to continue to keep a roof over our heads - inspiring content, I know. In that sense things haven’t changed a lot, but other things have so I thought we were due a catch up because I actually miss sitting down to put my thoughts on a page with you.

So, what happened in the last few months?

How to Budget When You’re Freelance

Life as a freelancer can be incredibly rewarding. You’re able to choose your own hours, work from anywhere in the world and choose who you work with. Having the ability to step away from work for a while if you’re having a bad day is a game changer and it’s so refreshing to feel like you’re in charge of your own life rather than being beholding to an employer or a big company. Having said that, one of the more difficult challenges to master is managing your money. You can bend over backwards to make a client happy, you can do everything they’ve asked, give them 1000 ways to pay and send repeated reminders when the invoice is close to being due, but sometimes a client just doesn’t pay you on time for whatever reason. As a freelancer you have monthly subscription services to pay for, your insurance, any business loans and you have to make sure you’re setting money aside for tax, so when a client doesn’t pay on time it really piles on the pressure and puts you off working freelance. It really is worth the stress in the end though, so here’s a few ways to prepare yourself and take care of a bad month at the office.

Father's Day Gift Guide 2021

Hey Owlets,

It's coming up to that time of year again where we celebrate the dads in our lives. The only issue is that I haven't managed to get my head around being almost half way through 2021 already, so I'm totally unprepared - if I'm honest the first time Father's Day registered in my mind was when I received an email about last minute gifts! Something about the phrase "last minute" really does snap me back to reality, because I'm pretty sure that's a personality trait for me at this point! So in case you're usually a bit last minute like me I thought I would share a few suggestions I've found while shopping for my own Dad.

5 Things I’m Loving (or Not) Right Now

Plus size blogger standing in between blossom trees

Hey Owlets,

I’ve seen this trend going around Youtube recently where people talk about the things they’ve bought over lockdown and rate their purchases. I know I haven’t done trendy posts for a good few years but with the launch of my new websites coming up it’s allowing me a bit more freedom to post whatever I want instead rather than focusing on what’s going to do well. In all honesty I’m not one of those people that buys a lot of things - I tend to save my money and then treat myself to a trip or a more pricey object that I really want later on. Instead, I wanted to bring back a little 2016 Owlet with an updated version of favourites, sharing things that have come into my life that I’ve absolutely loved, and some that I haven’t as much - because let’s be real, everyone enjoys hearing about the fails, don’t they?