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Victoria is the most urbanized and most populated in state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Victoria is bounded by Tasmania in the south, South Australia in the west, and New South Wales in the north. Work And Travel Australia, Moving To Australia, Visit Australia, Australia Living, Melbourne Australia, Australia Visa, Australia Trip, Australia East Coast, Australia Tourism
Thoughts on my Move to Melbourne, Australia Home ABOUT PRESS CONTACT CATEGORIES Accommodation Books Budget Travel Food Lifestyle Entertainment Packing Lists and Tips RESOURCES Solo Travel Working Abroad PLACES Asia Bali Japan Singapore Australia New South Wales Sydney Queensland Brisbane Magnetic Island Tasmania Victoria Melbourne Western Australia Canada Vancouver Europe Austria Belgium Croatia Czech Republic France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Lithuania Netherlands Slovakia Slovenia United Kingdom USA California Hawaii Nevada New York North Carolina Oregon South Carolina Tennessee Washington State WORK WITH ME Content Writing Services PORTFOLIO SUBSCRIBE Search this website Six Months Later – Thoughts On The Move To Melbourne June 23, 2015 in Australia, Lifestyle, Melbourne, Victoria This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read the full disclosure policy here. A few months ago I posted on the blog my reasons for moving to Melbourne. Well, that post has since become Hayley on Holiday’s most viewed story. So since I have been living here for two months now, I thought I would do a follow-up. Here’s how the move to Melbourne has been, so far. Table of Contents Show 1. My thoughts on the move to Melbourne… six months later 1.1. Four seasons in one day 1.2. So much to see, eat and do 1.3. Travel made easy 1.4. Slowly meeting people 1.5. I love where I live 1.6. Career progression – an update 1.7. The one negative 1.8. Melbourne, I love you My thoughts on the move to Melbourne… six months later Four seasons in one day People aren’t kidding when they say Melbourne has four seasons in one day. I mean, I can sit at my desk and see it be sunny in the morning, raining and cloudy by the afternoon but sunny again before the day ends. Melbourne weather is unpredictable. But when it is sunny, man is it a beautiful place to live. It’s similar to Canada too, in that even in winter when the sun is out so are the people. It’s one of the things I remember most about my time in Vancouver – how everyone made the most of the sun and the outdoors on beautiful days. So much to see, eat and do Seriously, I am currently compiling a bucket list of everything I do want to see/eat/experience in Melbourne and it is LONG. Every time I scroll through Instagram I find another restaurant, cafe or bar to add to the list. I am excited to eat my way around the city, just like I did in Vancouver. There are also other suburbs I am yet to wander, street art I am yet to find and other activities I am yet to do. Lucky I have no deadline in my new home to see and do it all. If you’re looking for more things to do in Melbourne, check out these posts for free things to do, 50+ things to do and things to do at night. Travel made easy Since I have been living in Melbourne I have travelled north to the Sunshine Coast for a wedding and south to Tasmania for a midweek break in Hobart. Everywhere in Australia seems so accessible now, especially because I live very close to Southern Cross Station. This means I can catch a certain Skybus with ease. Yep, I’m now that person who is signed up to receive emails about specials from Virgin, Tigerair and Jetstar (Check out Webjet too, which is basically Australia’s Skyscanner). I’m heading home in August because I got a return fare for $170, which is crazy. I also discovered today that Jetstar flies direct from Melbourne to Singapore. Country 26 perhaps? Slowly meeting people Before moving to Melbourne, I was at home on Magnetic Island and didn’t really socialise with anyone other than my family and their friends (lucky they are awesome). When I moved to Melbourne, the people I knew could be counted on one hand. This didn’t matter much to me as I had moved to Vancouver knowing even fewer people (a.k.a none). But since being here I have tried to get out and meet new people and grow my very small social circle. I visited Hobart with a friend, met up with an awesome fellow travel blogger and I have started attending some Meetup events. I am an absolute introvert, so attending Meetups is a big deal for me. But everyone is there for the same reasons — to meet like-minded people. I can’t recommend the website enough. I love where I live Before moving to Melbourne, I spent some time browsing websites such as Gumtree and Flatmates to see if there was someone advertising for a room to rent around April. I was fortunate to find a room in an apartment building in Docklands, which is just south of Melbourne’s CBD. It’s such a fantastic location as you are walking distance to the city, outlet shopping centres (plural, which is dangerous), a train station and a tram stop is two minutes away. Docklands is also classified as in the free tram zone, which means I can travel all around the city centre for free. It’s in a very convenient position for car-less me and the views aren’t horrible, either. How nice it is to just step out of the apartment and go for a walk along the Yarra River. Here’s how to spend a day in Melbourne’s CBD Career progression – an update One of the things I listed in my previous post was the career progression I hoped to have in Melbourne. So far I am writing for the same clients I was at home. I have been looking for new opportunities, but patience seems to be key in the freelance business. Melbourne-related, I am writing for a local food blog called Feast Melbourne, but that is it so far. But the move has allowed me to add a new dynamic to blog content, which is always good. Besides the writing, trying to find a casual/part-time position to help boost the funds was not easy. I must have applied for nearly 70 jobs before I finally found the right match: working casually across Etihad Stadium and Melbourne and Olympic Parks. Patience, again. The one negative My only downside (and I am unsure if this is Melbourne’s fault or just my rotten luck), but for the past month, I have been sick. First, it was a sore throat that saw me bedridden for an entire weekend. I thought I had fought it off, but then about a week later I started coughing all the time and couldn’t stop. This has gone on for nearly two weeks and as you can imagine, I’m over it. I never got this sick in Canada and it is obviously much colder there, but perhaps my immune system is just a little weak now? Sigh. Melbourne, I love you As you can tell, other than my immune system hating on me, the move to Melbourne has definitely been a good choice. I love the city life, the endless options and the place I call home. I am a wanderer, so being in one place with no travels on the horizon is hard for me. But right now I am settling on always having a plane ticket booked for interstate travel. I hope to get to Adelaide before the end of the year so I can officially say I have visited every Australian state and territory. For others wondering whether moving to Melbourne is the right idea, I say yes! It has everything you would want and need in a city. I feel like this was the right choice for me as this point in my life. Although I have dreams of living the ex-pat life again, I am happy with where I am right this moment. How about you? If you missed any Melbourne posts, head straight to my archive! Follow along: Facebook | Twitter | Bloglovin’ | Instagram | Pinterest 23 Comments Previous My Favourite Things To Do in Hobart, Tasmania Next In Photos: Mount Wellington in Hobart, Tasmania RELATED POSTS The Ultimate Aussie Battle – Should You Visit Melbour... 3 Ways My Working Holiday Changed My Life The 10 Best Places to Visit Alone in Australia Reader InteractionsComments Aradhana says June 8, 2021 at 7:18 pm It was so much fun to read this post, and the moment I read the heading I just had to click. Also because I have just moved to Melbourne and done a similar post on my blog, though it also has my take on moving during the pandemic. Am excited to explore this city like you, which I call home now! :) Reply Hayley Simpson says June 10, 2021 at 9:13 am Thanks so much – enjoy the city for me ❤. Reply Emma Feather says September 12, 2015 at 2:49 pm Dear Haley, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and especially the Moving to Melbourne post. I have a question you may be able to help me with. I am planning a move to Melbourne, however, I am also a nature lover and find myself feeling rather uncomfortable if I’m not able to see trees or water, hear birds or get a general sense of nature on a regular basis. Based on your experiences of Melbourne so far, what would you say to someone like me in regard to Melbourne’s natural side? I realise people don’t move to Melbourne to be closer to nature :-) Thanks for your thoughts on this. Kindest regards, Emma. Reply Hayley | Hayley on Holiday says September 12, 2015 at 9:25 pm Hey Emma, there are mountain ranges close to Melbourne that sound more like what you are looking for. Melbourne does have great parks but that is about it. Reply Emma Feather says September 13, 2015 at 2:57 pm Thanks Hayley – Yes, the Dandenongs and some other areas are beautiful and great for a day trip. I’m also keen to find natural areas closer to home so it can be more of a daily influence. I’ll keep looking for those little green gems – thanks for getting back to me :-) Reply Emma @ AdventuresofaLondonKiwi says July 6, 2015 at 4:18 am Just think of all the amazing adventures you are going to have… Reply Hayley | Hayley on Holiday says July 6, 2015 at 11:40 am I can’t wait, Emma! Thanks for stopping by :) Reply rikkajayne says July 4, 2015 at 6:29 pm Just got to Melbourne a few days ago – I have one day (tomorrow) to see do a ton of stuff. I hope I can fit it all in! Then it’ll be a road trip up to Cairns. After reading your blog, I think I’ll have to come back down here to see more. Yesterday, I went to Philip Island. Definitely a must-do during your time here! The Koala Sanctuary (!!!) and the penguins coming up onto the beach after dark are both spectacular! Reply Hayley | Hayley on Holiday says July 5, 2015 at 5:30 pm Enjoy your road trip to Cairns. If you get the chance visit Magnetic Island and the Whitsundays in Queensland – my old stomping ground! Thanks for reading :) Reply Sara @ Sara Sees says June 27, 2015 at 5:56 am From one expat to another, I was reading this list and noticing that I myself have a lot of these same thoughts about my recent move! It sounds like you’re having a great time there! And yes, I’ve learned that patience in the job hunt is the only thing that makes me not go crazy! Things will all fall into place! Reply Hayley | Hayley on Holiday says June 28, 2015 at 8:53 pm Thanks, Sara. Keep enjoying Ireland! Reply Van @ Snow in Tromso says June 24, 2015 at 6:55 pm Wow, travelling for free in such a big city? How awesome is that?!! And I hope your health gets better!! I’m sure it’s just the different climate and adjusting to it…. Since I moved to Norway I seem to get a cold constantly…. Reply Hayley | Hayley on Holiday says June 25, 2015 at 10:34 am Sooo awesome. It’s only a new concept but a great one at that! And my cough has finally subsided, thanks for the well wishes. Reply Justine @thetravellush says June 24, 2015 at 2:03 pm Melbourne sounds exciting! It seems like there’s so much to see, do and eat! And kudos to your for putting yourself out there and meeting people! That’s definitely something I struggle with! Reply Hayley | Hayley on Holiday says June 24, 2015 at 4:43 pm Thanks, Justine. Good luck putting yourself out there in Cambodia. How exciting! :) Reply Ashley says June 24, 2015 at 5:49 am You’re so lucky to live in Melbourne – I love that city! I was on a backpackers budget when I visited a few years ago, so I’d love to revisit and eat at all the amazing restaurants and cafes. Good luck trying to narrow down your restaurant options – I feel like it would be next to impossible in a city like Melbourne! Reply Hayley | Hayley on Holiday says June 24, 2015 at 11:12 am Ha I know, it’s going to be a good foodie challenge. I’m looking forward to reading more about Edinburgh on your blog – I really need to visit there soon! Reply Isabel says June 24, 2015 at 4:35 am Good luck in your new adventure. They have told me that there is no city like Melbourne. I hope you make memorable moments and continue to learn in this new process! Reply Hayley | Hayley on Holiday says June 24, 2015 at 11:13 am Thanks very much, Isabel! Reply Christine | A Keane Sense says June 23, 2015 at 10:55 pm I have heard so many good things about Melbourne and from your post, everything I’ve heard is true! I would love to visit Australia one day. My old college roommate is Australian and now lives in Darwin. And I have a friend that moved to Bryon Bay for work and decided to stay there. Reply Hayley | Hayley on Holiday says June 24, 2015 at 11:14 am You know I still haven’t been to Byron Bay – I feel like such a bad Australian! I hope you get to visit soon, it’s a beautiful place. But hey, so is the US ;) Reply Karen says June 23, 2015 at 10:54 pm Hi Hayley! I enjoyed your post and can relate to moving far from home and all the challenges that come from that, especially as a somewhat introverted person. I am from Los Angeles and now live in Singapore (yes, come to Singapore for country 26!). I used to say that L.A. got all the seasons in one day too! It’s gotten a bit warmer and more uniform in temp there lately though. Anyway, thanks for sharing about Melbourne. I really want to visit Australia sometime so I like to learn about the sights there. Reply Hayley | Hayley on Holiday says June 24, 2015 at 11:16 am Thanks so much for reading, Karen. I am so keen to make Singapore the next country – I will definitely check out your blog for tips too! Reply Leave a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Primary Sidebar About Hello 👋🏻. I'm Hayley, an Australian freelance writer and travel blogger. Welcome to my blog, where you will find plenty of solo travel advice and expert travel tips. Having visited over 40 countries, I hope to inspire you to take the leap and travel this incredible world we live in. read more Search this website Instagram Finally ticked Hawkings Point Lookout off my Maggi I felt this delectable breakfast box from @squeeze Heading back to Maggie today for another adventure Honestly, I would have zero Instagram content with Going on a mini Maggie adventure today 🙌🏻. Looking for Something? Search this website LATEST POSTS The Best Places to Stay in Cornwall on a Short BreakThis post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read the full disclosure policy here. Now, there are many places I dream of visiting once we can eventually leave Australia. One of those destinations is the United Kingdom. I’d love to spend more time exploring different parts of the UK I haven’t been to yet and you know, living the life in Edinburgh! Today we’re talking about Cornwall in southwest England, an area I’ve only briefly visited in the past. This blog post features not only 10 of the best places to stay in Cornwall on a short break, but some of the most amazing Cornwall holiday cottages from Classic Cottages too. A girl can dream, right? 10 great places to stay in Cornwall St Ives St Ives has to be one of Cornwall’s most beloved destinations. It’s easy to see why, though, with its sandy beaches, idyllic harbour and quaint cottage-lined cobblestone streets. While you could spend your entire short break in St Ives alternating between the beaches and beachfront eateries, other things to do in St Ives include visiting the Tate St Ives, seeing the seals on Seal Island and hiking to Zennor. My cottage pick: 4 Bowling Green had me at mini library! But seriously, this terraced cottage has a prime location in the centre of St Ives, with multiple beaches within walking distance. Mevagissey Dating back to medieval times and found on the Cornwall coast, Mevagissey is known for its picturesque twin harbours. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and bars lining the village’s pretty streets, but you can’t visit Mevagissey without indulging in a seafood feast. Top nearby attractions include Caerhays Castle and Gardens and The Lost Gardens of Heligan. My cottage pick: Ever wanted to stay in a former marine officer’s house, because you can totally do just that in Mevagissey at the Harbour Master’s House. Once you see the view, you won’t be disappointed. Penzance Way back in 2007, I stayed with family in Saltash and took the train down to Penzance for the day. One of the best places to stay in Cornwall, if visiting in summer, you could easily spend a day at Jubilee Pool, which is actually the UK’s largest art deco seawater swimming pool. But other things to do in Penzance include window shopping down Chapel Street and visiting The Exchange (a contemporary art gallery). While in Penzance, you can’t leave without seeing St Michael’s Mount in nearby Marazion either. My cottage pick: I cannot resist a place called The Chocolate House and wow, it looks like the quintessential Cornish cottage. The renovated 18th-century cottage features the most amazing ornamental entrance sign and inside you’re greeted with its original charm. Penzance is also on your doorstep, so what more could you want? Widemouth Bay Widemouth Bay is a small village in North Cornwall. It’s primarily known for its large family-friendly beach, which has hundreds of rock pools to explore once the tide recedes. Fortunately, it’s also located only three miles from Bude, which has all the amenities you need for a Cornwall short break. My cottage pick: The Granary is a converted farmhouse with a sunny conservatory, large arched windows in the sitting room, multiple bedrooms and, you know, a large outdoor hot tub. Sign me up! Port Isaac A small but picturesque medieval fishing village, Port Isaac is the former home of Doc Martin. When my parents visited Cornwall in 2008, my dad fell in love with Port Isaac, with its Mediterranean-inspired waters and narrow cobblestone streets. Nearby, you’ll find sandy beaches, a coastal path for cliff top walks and more fishing villages, if one isn’t enough! My cottage pick: When they say go big or go home, I think they were referring to Silver Spray. I mean, look at this 7-bedroom holiday home’s scenic location. Fortunately, you can take in the views from nearly every room or the spacious patio and terrace. With Port Isaac on your doorstep, it doesn’t get any better than this. Boscastle Boscastle is one of the lesser-known spots in Cornwall, but what a cute little Cornish village! It’s known as Britain’s answer to Salem, thanks to being home to The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. But we also can’t overlook medieval-era Boscastle Harbour, the view from Willapark and Cornish cream tea from the Harbour Light Tea Garden. Nearby you’ll also find Tintagel Castle, St Nectan’s Glen and the village of Crackington Haven. My cottage pick: Harbour Light is the definition of charming. With river views, a bright interior and a Greek-inspired courtyard, Harbour Light ticks all the boxes. Newquay Another one of the most popular places to stay in Cornwall on a short break is undoubtedly the seaside town of Newquay. Home to nearly seven miles of sandy beaches, popular destinations include Crantock, Westgate Bay and Fistral Beaches. Newquay is overflowing with family-friend attractions too, including Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay Zoo and Lappa Valley Steam Railway. My cottage pick: Okay, I love both the exterior and colourful interior at Fourshore. Plus, you’ll find it in the centre of Newquay and less than a minute’s walk from the South West Coast Path, which sounds like my kind of place. Mousehole Just down the coast from Penzance, Mousehole is definitely one of the most underrated places to stay in Cornwall. You’ll find rows of cottages overlooking picturesque Mousehole Harbour, as well as plenty of seafood establishments. Just don’t miss visiting The Mousehole Gift Shop! If you visit Mousehole before Christmas, you can also enjoy seeing the village aglow, thanks to thousands of Christmas lights. It’s a sight to see and one this Christmas enthusiast is adding to her bucket list! My cottage pick: Thimble Cottage is like my Cornwall cottage dream come true. From the original features to the sea views from every room to that terrace, I’m sold. Plus, it’s located in the heart of Mousehole. Falmouth One of Cornwall’s biggest towns, it’s fortunately still easy to navigate Falmouth on foot. […] How to Have a Great Day Trip to Fitzroy Island from CairnsThis post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read the full disclosure policy here. Here’s my guide on how to plan the best Fitzroy Island day trip. Believe me, it’s one of the best things to do while you’re in Cairns. So, I grew up in Townsville, which is about a 5-hour drive south of Cairns. We went on a couple of trips to Cairns over the years, but I never got to have the quintessential Fitzroy Island experience. Thankfully, I finally ticked Fitzroy Island off my bucket list in June. It was as dreamy as I expected, so this blog post is basically an excuse for me to share my favourite Fitzroy Island photos. However, I’ll also share some Fitzroy Island day trip tips too, promise 😉. Planning your Fitzroy Island day trip How to get from Cairns to Fitzroy Island First, to get to Fitzroy Island from Cairns, you need to book a Fitzroy Island day trip package. Fitzroy Island day tours only include return tickets with a tour company and start from $83 for a full day, so they’re not cheap. But I promise the experience is worthwhile. Anyway, there are half and full-day tour options, but for us, the half-day trip would have felt rushed. When we went to make a booking a few days in advance, there were, unfortunately, a lot of sold-out options. Thankfully, GetYourGuide came to the rescue, and we secured full-day tickets through the platform with Sunlover Reef Cruises 🙌🏻.  Here is the link, but I highly recommend GetYourGuide. I’ve used them around the world with no issues. Departing from Cairns’ Reef Fleet Terminal, it took just under an hour to reach Fitzroy Island. Then we were on the island for approximately six hours. Another option is the Fitzroy Flyer, which offers return ferry transfers to Cairns Marina as well. Their full-day option is similar in time and pricing. What to bring to Fitzroy Island There’s a small convenience store on the island, but you better believe it includes island pricing! So if you’re on a budget, I recommend bringing your own water and food, otherwise, you can purchase meals from Foxy’s Bar too. We also packed bathers, towels and all the necessary sun protection (hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc). If you’re keen to hike, don’t forget enclosed walking shoes like my fave Allbirds. I also brought my thongs (flip flops) to slip on as the beaches on Fitzroy Island aren’t pristine and sandy! Things to do on Fitzroy Island Now you’ve made it, here are the best things to do on Fitzroy Island: 1. Go on a hike So, we did the hike to the summit, which is estimated to be 4 kilometres return. What we didn’t realise was how hard it would be and for me, the views weren’t that good or worth the effort. But if you’re a hiker, you’ll definitely enjoy the challenge. We followed the signposts from the jetty to the summit track and then headed down via the lighthouse track.  If you go this way, expect lots of steps to the summit and a steep decline through the rainforest back to Fitzroy Island Resort. If you’re also carrying heavier bags, don’t take them with you like us. There are lockers available next to Foxy’s Bar. Be very careful doing this hike in the wet season as well, as I can see it being both extremely hot and difficult to navigate following heavy rain. For more hiking information, visit the Fitzroy Island National Park website. 2. Snorkel around the fringing coral reef One of the most popular things to do on Fitzroy Island is to go snorkelling around its fringing reef. There’s a coral reef located metres from the island’s shoreline at Welcome Bay, so you don’t have to go far to see coral and a plethora of tropical fish. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a friendly turtle. To hire equipment, head to the Fitzroy Island Sports Hub at the resort. 3. Tour the island on a glass-bottomed boat Another option the Fitzroy Island Sports Hub offers is glass-bottomed boat tours. The one-hour guided tour allows you to see the coral reefs and marine wildlife surrounding Fitzroy Island from the comfort of the boat. For more information about any of these services, visit their website. 4. Visit Nudey Beach If there’s one thing you do on your Fitzroy Island day trip, it must be visiting Nudey Beach. Repeatedly winning the title of Australia’s Best Beach, this little slice of paradise is a brief walk from Foxy’s Bar. Yep, you’ll wrack up the steps in no time on Fitzroy Island! I don’t know if it’s the best beach, but the water was beautifully clear. 5. Lunch and a cocktail from Foxy’s Bar For lunch on your Fitzroy Island day trip, you have limited options. Fortunately, Foxy’s Bar offers sweeping ocean views and a satisfying lunch menu of burgers, salads and other specialties. If you’re feeling fancy, why not indulge in a cocktail overlooking the water? 6. Go sea kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding If you’d prefer to see the reef from above, you can hire a sea kayak or stand up paddleboard (SUP). The Sports Hub has a staff member stationed at Welcome Bay for all your kayak and paddleboard needs. 7. Visit the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre Fitzroy Island’s Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is a non-profit organisation that rehabilitates sick and injured turtles. The Great Barrier Reef is home to six of the world’s seven marine turtle species and many are under threat. To learn more about the centre and to see what the team does, you can book a guided tour. The 30-minute tours operate every day at 1 pm. They recommend booking in advance, which you can do here. 8. Relax in the ocean If you visit during the dry season like us, the water will be the definition of refreshing. We swam around Welcome Bay, but you can take your pick of locations […] 5 Top-Rated Sydney Hostels For Solo TravellersThis post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read the full disclosure policy here. Looking for where to stay in Sydney on a budget? Well, here are five outstanding Sydney hostels you need to check out.  I can’t wait to head to Sydney for a solo weekend later this month. When I started researching cheap Sydney accommodation, I noticed there were a lot of Sydney hostels. Some had good ratings, some… did not. So I thought it’d be helpful to compile a list of five of the best hostels in Sydney, so you find the perfect place for you.  Alternatively, if you’re looking for where to stay in Sydney in terms of location, I recommend checking out this post on The Nomadvisor. They’ve conveniently listed 10 of the best neighbourhoods to stay in Sydney. The best Sydney hostels Wake Up! Sydney Central Spoiler alert: Wake Up! Sydney Central is where I’ll be staying in Sydney. It won points for multiple reasons. First, it has a very convenient location for a long weekend, as it’s next door to Central Station and in the heart of Sydney. Second, Wake Up! Sydney Central has reasonably priced private rooms, which is my preference when I’m not travelling long term. Finally, the hostel won me over with its great ratings and reviews. I mean, it won best hostel in Australia at last year’s HOSCAR Awards. Sold. It also sounds like Wake Up! Sydney Central is a great option if you’re looking for a party hostel in Sydney, as it has an onsite bar/nightclub. The hostel hosts daily events too, like coastal walks, trivia nights, guided tours and more. I think I made the right choice. I booked my accommodation through Hostelworld, as it offered the cheapest rates and refunds, which are necessary in the world’s current state. Check out Wake Up! Sydney Central on Hostelworld here. The Pod Sydney If you’re searching for Sydney hostels with a difference, let me introduce you to The Pod Sydney. One of the city’s newest accommodation options, The Pod is located a 10-minute walk from Central Station. It offers both private and dorm rooms, with privacy bed curtains, personal lockers, free Wi-Fi and power outlets by each bed (so important). The fully equipped kitchen and lobby both look very stylish as well. So, if you’re looking for a comfortable dorm room in the heart of Sydney, I’d recommend The Pod Sydney. For more info, check out The Pod Sydney on Hostelworld here. Here are all of my hostelling tips for solo travellers, plus the travel essentials I pack for every trip. Sydney Harbour YHA Sydney Harbour YHA is the only hostel and budget accommodation option in the city’s historic The Rocks district. Its main drawcard is its rooftop terrace, which offers stunning views across Sydney Harbour. But wait, there’s more. Combining state-of-the-art facilities with a unique heritage experience, Sydney Harbour YHA is also home to a large self-catering kitchen, spacious communal areas (plural), daily activities and ensuite rooms only.  Plus, my sources tell me The Australian Heritage Hotel next door has an extensive beer list. Sydney Harbour YHA is one of the best Sydney hostels if you want a unique accommodation experience and prefer to be steps from the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. For more info, check out Sydney Harbour YHA on Hostelworld here. Coogee Beach House Coogee Beach House is one of the best Sydney hostels for travellers hoping for a more relaxed Sydney vacation. The suburb itself is seven kilometres from Sydney’s CBD and this hostel is located directly on Coogee Beach. Spend your days walking along the coast, snorkelling in nearby Gordons Bay and surfing, or you can easily take public transport into the city. Coogee Beach is home to the world-famous Coogee Pavilion with its rooftop bar (just down the road), as well as plenty of other cafes and bars. Now, let’s discuss the hostel. The Coogee Beach House is home to a large communal area, dorms with king single beds and a selection of private rooms. The hostel embraces the laid-back lifestyle Australia is known for, so you’re in for a treat!  For more info, check out Coogee Beach House on Hostelworld here. Wake Up! Bondi Beach Speaking of beaches… Wake Up! Hostels also has an option in stellar Bondi Beach. Newly refurbished, Wake Up! Bondi Beach is home to a rooftop terrace furnished with umbrellas and deck chairs, which offers panoramic beach views. Inside, the multi-storey hostel has private rooms and dorms rooms (deluxe dorms include Bondi Beach views too). Bondi Beach is located approximately 40 minutes by public transport from the CBD, so I’d recommend this Sydney hostel to travellers who want to spend more time at the beach than exploring the city.   For more info, check out Wake Up! Bondi Beach on Hostelworld here. I hope this list of the top 5 Sydney hostels helps you choose where to stay in Sydney. Perfectly embracing the city and coastal life, it’s easy to see why it’s one of Australia’s most popular cities. Thank you to The Nomadvisor for partnering with me on this post. The Best Experience Gifts to Buy Grounded Aussie Travellers This YearThis post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read the full disclosure policy here. Now, I know us Aussies are confined to domestic travel for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, our country is huge and filled with many beautiful places to visit (head to this post for some solo travel inspo). If you’re searching for the perfect present for a grounded Aussie traveller like myself, I highly recommend an experience gift from RedBalloon. They’re a great way to have an at-home adventure, support Aussie businesses and create long-lasting memories. Keep reading for an overview of some of the most popular experience gifts available through RedBalloon. RedBalloon Experiences I feel like most Aussies have heard of RedBalloon by now (if not, where have you been?). The Australian company has been around for over 20 years and is all about gifting experiences and supporting local Australian businesses – two things I absolutely love! The Christmas gifts section on their website is insane in the best way possible. No matter what experience you’re thinking of buying that special someone, you’re bound to find it on RedBalloon. Here are some of RedBalloon’s most popular experiences: Wine and Dine It’s been a tough year for a lot of people, so a Wine and Dine experience may be just what the doctor ordered.  Dining out experiences While we’re on the top of common sayings, they do say the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach! Fortunately, RedBalloon has experiences from brunch to degustation lunch, fine dining to cheap eats and everything in between. Enjoy a memorable meal served alongside incredible views of places like Uluru and Sydney Harbour. For my fellow NQ locals, you can enjoy a six-course Modern Australian tasting menu from the award-winning Ochre Restaurant overlooking Cairns Marina.  Feel like royalty with a High Tea experience A quaint High Tea experience is the perfect gift for your best friend, mum or grandma. There are High Tea experiences available in many major cities, like Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. Personally, The Ultimate Chocolate Fondue High Tea with Sparkling in Brisbane sounds right up my alley.  Wine tasting from Maleny to Margaret River RedBalloon has a bucket load of wine tasting experiences and winery tours available. From the Sunshine Coast to the Yarra Valley to the Barossa, all of Australia’s most popular winery regions are covered. Some of the most popular (and unique) experiences available on RedBalloon include the Make Your Own Blend Wine-Making Experience at Penfolds in South Australia and a Picnic Among the Vines with a Wine Tasting Masterclass in the Hunter Valley. Wine and Dine at home If you’d prefer to Wine and Dine at home, RedBalloon also has experiences like online cooking classes, a Homemade Pasta Making Kit and an Australian Gin Tasting Set. Fly away! Okay, so we may not be able to fly overseas right now, but we can take flight within Australia. RedBalloon’s flying experiences include scenic plane and helicopter flights, hot air ballooning, indoor and outdoor skydiving, and paragliding. At the top of my list would be this scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsundays, but here are a few other options: Skydive inside or outside I’m too chicken to skydive, but you can choose to skydive over locations like the Gold Coast or the Great Ocean Road. As for indoor skydiving, you can give an experience at iFLY, which is located in many Aussie capital cities. See a different side to your city from a hot air balloon I’m yet to enjoy a hot air ballooning experience myself, but what a magical gift to give that special someone. I used to see hot air balloons floating over Melbourne in the early morning on my way to work and I just think the views would be incredible, so this is my top pick. Plan a great getaway Enjoy a getaway close to home next year, thanks to RedBalloon. They offer weekend getaways, glamping experiences, spa retreats, romantic getaways and so much more. At the top of my wish list would be this Luxury Treehouse Getaway in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Go glamping Glamping is definitely a travel trend that’s not going anywhere anytime soon. It’s all about a luxury camping experience that combines adventure with comfort. Personally, I’d love to experience glamping on Rottnest Island, as I haven’t visited the island since I was a kid. Take to the sea on a cruise A scenic boating experience with RedBalloon is the perfect summertime gift for every family member. Choose from lunch and dinner cruises, sailing boat experiences and scenic cruises coast to coast. Some of my favourite options include this Full Day Great Barrier Cruise and Snorkelling Experience from Cairns, a Whale Watching Cruise on the Gold Coast (a very affordable option) and this Sydney Sunset Harbour Cruise, which includes a three-course dinner and drinks. Shark diving, if you dare! If you’re a little bit more adventurous than me (please see the comment about me being a chicken under skydiving), there are 12 different shark diving experiences available via RedBalloon. You can observe great white sharks in their natural habitat in SA, Swim with Whale Sharks in Exmouth or Ocean Dive with Sharks on the Sunshine Coast. Which option would you choose? Too many choices? Now, you may struggle to decide on an activity (I get it, there’s a lot to choose from). So, RedBalloon also offers experience vouchers, gift vouchers and e-gift cards. Finally, I have to mention that RedBalloon price matches too, if you happen to find a cheaper direct price.  When it comes to keeping a grounded traveller happy this festive season, you seriously can’t go wrong with giving an experience from RedBalloon. It’s a different way to create unforgettable memories in 2021. There’s truly something for everyone on their website – whether you’re searching for a spa getaway or a fabulous gift hamper. Merry Christmas! Thank you to RedBalloon for partnering with me on this post. All photos […] My Short But Sweet Salzburg Travel GuideThis post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read the full disclosure policy here. Here’s my Salzburg travel guide, featuring the top things to do in Salzburg, where to stay and my food recommendations (of course). Well, I’ve already written about my Hallstatt day trip from Salzburg, so it was about time I followed up with my Salzburg travel guide. I ended up really enjoying my time in Salzburg. Known for its starring role in The Sound of Music, Salzburg is surrounded by mountains and looks pretty amazing in autumn 😏. Austria is brimming with pretty towns and cities and Salzburg is definitely one of them.  Fun fact: it has only 150,000 residents but gets approximately 6.5 million annual visitors. Here’s my brief Salzburg travel guide for you to follow during your own weekend in Salzburg, which covers everything from transport to accommodation to the best things to do in Salzburg. To get you started, here are two comprehensive posts on budget travel and solo travel in Europe. Salzburg travel guide – general travel tips Getting to Salzburg I took a trusty FlixBus from Heidelberg to Salzburg, with a lunchtime stopover in Munich. The bus journey from Munich to Salzburg is only two hours, but the bus does drop you off on the city outskirts. However, across the road, you can hop on a public bus into the city centre. There’s a ticket machine conveniently located at the bus station to make life even easier. Other options include getting a train or flying into Salzburg Airport. Accommodation in Salzburg I stayed at Yoho International Youth Hostel in Salzburg and I would recommend it to fellow budget-minded solo female travellers. I stayed in a four-bed female dorm room, which had a private shower and a toilet down the hall. There’s also an onsite bar, free breakfast, cosy common areas and they play The Sound of Music every night. It was fun being able to watch Salzburg on the screen before exploring the next day. If you’re looking for a completely different experience, Hotel Sacher Salzburg is a five-star property established in 1866. Its luxurious rooms feature original paintings and silk wallpaper. There’s also three onsite restaurants and the infamous Café Sacher Salzburg, which serves the original Sacher cake. If you want to meet in the middle, Hotel Wolf Dietrich is a more affordable hotel in Salzburg and one of Booking.com’s top picks. Solo travel in Salzburg I found Salzburg to be a very safe destination to visit as a solo female traveller. I did find myself walking back to the hostel at dark and I felt comfortable. Furthermore, it was easy to get around Salzburg and the locals were very friendly. Salzburg travel guide – 10 things to do in Salzburg 1. Head up the Imbergstiege Staircase for amazing views I randomly found the Imergstiege Staircase on Google Maps, so headed up the stairs to be greeted with amazing views. I highly recommend taking the time to soak in the views from every angle. Walk around, up and down and you can capture Salzburg surrounded by snow-capped mountains (if you visit in late autumn/winter that is). Don’t miss it! 2. Visit Salzburg Museum If you’d like to learn more about Salzburg, the Salzburg Museum focuses on the city’s art and cultural history. 3. Stroll through the Old Town Of course, you have to spend some time strolling through Salzburg’s Old Town. You can cover a lot of ground in a limited time, as I wandered from Mozartplatz to Residenzplatz to Salzburg Cathedral and Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse –one of the city’s oldest streets. The main street, Getreidgasse has the prettiest signs and it may just be me who notices these things, but it looked exceptionally clean too.  4. Visit scenes from The Sound of Music There are organised tours that take you to The Sound of Music locations both in and on the city’s outskirts, including the original The Sound of Music tour bus. However, if you’re on foot like me, one of the most popular attractions is Mirabell Palace and Gardens – home to the Do Re Mi fountain. Then there’s St Peter’s Abbey, Cemetery and Catacombs. Another option is to head out of town to the 17th-century Hellbrunn Palace, which is home to The Sound of Music pavilion.  5. Walk along the river The Salzach is the river that flows through Salzburg and going for a walk along its banks is one of the best things to do in Salzburg. I also loved the autumnal Old Town photos I was able to capture from the Müllner footbridge. 6. Learn more about Mozart at Mozarts Geburtshaus Translated to Mozart’s birthplace, this is where the legendary composer was born in 1756. One of the world’s most frequently-visited museums, the three-story attraction gives you an inside glimpse into Mozart’s life. If one Mozart attraction isn’t enough, you can also check out Mozarteum and Mozart’s Residence, which features a Mozart Sound and Film Collection. 7. Do a day trip to Hallstatt There was no way I was visiting Salzburg without checking out Hallstatt. I decided to do an organised day tour to Hallstatt from Salzburg and wrote a whole blog post about my experience. But you can’t miss it. Seriously. LOOK AT IT. 8. Visit the Museum der Moderne Focusing on art created from World War II to the present day, the Museum der Moderne has two locations: Mönchsberg and Rupertinum. Fun fact number two: Mönchsberg is the name of the mountain, which has hiking trails if that’s more your cup of tea. You can also just take the lift up to the top for the views, minus the art. 9. Visit Hohensalzburg Fortress Another one of the best things to do in Salzburg is to visit Hohensalzburg Fortress. Towering over the township and possibly Salzburg’s top attraction, it’s actually one of Europe’s largest medieval fortresses. The views from up top are worth the trip! 10. Do a day trip to Munich Alternatively, you could […] SOLO TRAVEL POSTS My Top Picks For The 21 Best Places To Travel Alone In EuropeThis post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read the full disclosure policy here. Looking for the best places to travel alone in Europe? Well, you’re in the right place. Keep scrolling to discover the best cities in Europe for solo travel and my recommendations for the safest places to travel alone in Europe. So far I’ve published posts on the best places to travel alone in Australia and the United States. Hence it’s now time to turn my attention towards Europe. Altogether, I’ve spent approximately six months travelling solo across Europe and in that time I’ve visited (and revisited) many amazing cities. So, from my personal solo travel experience, here are 21 of the best places to travel alone in Europe.  I base whether a city is a good place to visit alone in Europe on a few elements. This includes good public transport and easy navigation, hostel options, a variety of activities you can do alone and friendly locals.  Before we begin, make sure you check out these two informative guides: top tips for travelling alone in Europe and my Europe budget travel tips.  Best places to travel alone in Europe 1. Dublin I flew into Dublin after visiting family in Bristol and my initial thought was, this city is BUSY. But besides the crowds, Dublin is one of the best cities in Europe for solo travel for multiple reasons. This includes the fact you can easily walk between most attractions or catch public transport. I only caught two buses: one from the airport and the other to the train station. Dublin is also overflowing with hostels and fun things to do. I recommend doing a free walking tour (how unusual), visiting the Chester Beatty Library, having a picnic lunch in St Stephen’s Green and going on a Dublin doors excursion.  Where to stay in Dublin: Abbey Court Hostel, which has pros and cons. Pros: central location and large common area. Cons: small eight-bed dorms and tiny ensuite bathroom. Related Dublin posts: 20 things to do in Dublin and my Ireland/Northern Ireland itinerary for solo travellers. 2. Amsterdam I’ve said this before, but when I first visited Amsterdam at the ripe old age of 18, it was overwhelming. I was overwhelmed by the eccentrically-dressed locals, the smell of pot in the air and by our eye-opening adventures into the Red Light District at night. But when I returned 10 years later, it felt like I was visiting a different city entirely. Amsterdam is now firmly one of my favourite European destinations and it also happens to be one of the best places to travel alone in Europe. With friendly locals, good public transport options and many walkable districts, I highly recommend visiting Amsterdam as a solo traveller. Where to stay in Amsterdam: Generator Amsterdam, which again had pros and cons. Pros: modern facilities in a scenic park setting. Cons: expensive and located about a 30-minute walk from the city centre.  Related Amsterdam posts: My three-day guide to Amsterdam and where (and what) to eat in Amsterdam. Omg, that post makes me want a fresh stroopwafel immediately. 3. London Ah, lovely London. I don’t feel the need to live in London like so many fellow Aussies, but it’s one of my favourites cities in Europe to visit. I love that I’ve been there multiple times, yet I still have things to tick off my London bucket list. As one of the best cities in Europe for solo travel, spend your time visiting museums, having lunch at its many marketplaces, strolling through its colourful neighbourhoods and shopping along Oxford Street, of course. I also highly suggest seeing a show on the West End. I went to two matinees on my recent visit to London and my row alone was made up of multiple people seeing the musical alone. Where to stay in London: I’ve stayed at Wombats multiple times and it’s fantastic. Good common areas, kitchen facilities, an onsite bar with nightly activities, and modern rooms. I also stayed one night at Astor Victoria because it was close to the Victoria Coach Station, but it had nothing on Wombats. Related London posts: My solo traveller’s guide to London, an Oxford day trip from London and London at Christmas. 4. Copenhagen Copenhagen is definitely one of the most expensive cities to visit alone in Europe. Nevertheless, it’s a great city for solo female travellers. There are plenty of hostels to choose from, a long list of things to do and the friendliest locals. From the talkative guy behind the counter in 7/11 to the supermarket clerk, everyone politely switched to English without hesitation.  Where to stay in Copenhagen: Urban House Copenhagen by Meininger was expensive, but the dorm rooms were modern and large with plush beds. There’s also a kitchen, multiple common areas and you’re walking distance from many of Copenhagen’s main attractions. Related Copenhagen post: My budget travel guide to Copenhagen and if you’re interested in a Malmö day trip, check out this post. 5. Belfast Belfast may be one of the most surprising cities on this list of the best places to travel alone in Europe. However, I really enjoyed my weekend in the city. I did a day trip to Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and spent the following day seeing the sights and joining an eye-opening political walking tour. This is my top pick for things to do in Belfast if you want to learn more about the city’s history.  Belfast isn’t the city that instantly comes to mind when thinking about the safest places to travel alone in Europe. But I felt comfortable walking around the sleepy city centre during the day and along the main street at night to get back to my hostel. I didn’t know what to expect in Belfast as I’d previously heard mixed reviews, but I highly recommend visiting if you’re travelling alone in Europe and the UK. Where to stay in Belfast: Vagabonds, a very […] The Ultimate Bali Solo Travel Guide – What You Need To Know Before You Visit Bali AloneThis post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read the full disclosure policy here. As someone who’s visited Bali, Indonesia on multiple occasions (both with my family and as a solo female traveller), here is my top advice for solo travel in Bali. Keep reading to discover the best places to visit in Bali for solo travellers and the top things to do in Bali alone. Hi, my name is Hayley and I miss Bali. But seeing as we can’t travel there right now, the next best thing (for me, anyway) is to write about it. I’ve visited Bali on several occasions and last year I stayed for a whole month (and didn’t get sick 🙌🏻). Bali will always be one of my favourite places and it’s already been the focus of quite a few blog posts. But I thought I would talk about Bali from a solo female traveller’s perspective today. With detailed information on the best places to visit, things to do in Bali alone and general travel tips, this is the only travel guide you’ll need to read before you solo travel in Bali. General solo travel in Bali tips Firstly, I want to direct you to this post, as it covers all of my top Bali travel tips. But here are some additional tips, specifically in regards to solo travel in Bali. Getting around Bali as a solo traveller Arriving at the airport You’ll undoubtedly be arriving in Bali via plane. The airport has gotten a lovely renovation in recent years (I still have fond memories of the previous airport). Nonetheless, once you step outside you will be overwhelmingly greeted by hundreds of locals holding signs that display different names. Most accommodation in Bali will offer to organise airport transport for you. I take them up on the offer as it’s the easiest option, especially when you’re arriving in a foreign country late at night. Alternatively, you can visit the taxi desk at the airport. Day to day transport As for day to day transport, if you feel comfortable renting a scooter, it’s one of the most popular options. There are locals renting scooters everywhere in Bali, which shouldn’t set you back more than 60,000 IRP per day. However, if you want to hire a scooter I recommend organising an international driver’s licence before you leave your home country. Personally, I rely on walking and Blue Bird taxis as a solo traveller in Bali. Blue Bird has an app, but I’d just walk and wait for one to appear on the main road. Once you arrive in Bali you’ll understand what I mean. The Balinese streets are overwhelmingly filled with a lovely combination of scooters, cars and taxis. Now, Blue Bird is the best company because all taxis have meters for the most affordable rate. If you hop into a different taxi, the driver may try to barter with you or “forget” to turn the meter on and no one has time for that. Uber and Grab are also present in Bali, but drivers are prohibited from entering many of the main tourist areas. As for public transport, the only option is the Kura-Kura public shuttle bus service. It travels between Bali’s most popular tourist attractions and destinations. I’ve never used this bus network, but I have seen them travelling around Bali. Travelling around Bali alone On my last solo trip to Bali, I also travelled from Kuta to Ubud and back again. In the first instance, I got my family’s driver to drive me as I wanted to stop at a few different places along the way. He’s fantastic, isn’t pushy like some drivers and speaks great English. If you’d like his details, let me know. On the other hand, from Ubud to Kuta I paid 60,000 IRP to travel on a shuttle bus with other people backpacking Bali alone. I just booked it at the travel desk outside my homestay in Ubud. If you’re a fellow budget traveller, this is a good option.  Money tips When I visit Bali, I travel with my Citibank debit card as I don’t get charged any international fees. I also predominantly use official bank ATMs. If you prefer, you can also bring cash in your local currency and change it at a money exchange. Although a few high-end restaurants have card facilities, cash is king in Bali. Tipping is also always appreciated at both restaurants and spas.  What to pack for solo travel in Bali As luck would have it, I’ve already written a post that highlights the 10 things I highly recommend packing for a trip to Bali. Check it out here. How to avoid Bali Belly on your solo trip to Bali We have to get real for a second because Bali Belly is a menace I am, unfortunately, all too well acquainted with. It’s essentially an upset stomach or travellers’ diarrhea that you can get while travelling around Bali. Predominantly caused by contaminated food and water, stay away from Bali’s tap water as it isn’t potable. Although experts say to not drink the ice in Bali, it’s government-regulated now and safe to drink.  I also take Travelan before lunch and dinner in Bali and it seems to be the magic ingredient. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited as I was when I travelled around Bali for one month without getting sick. Life goals, friends 😂. If you do inevitably get struck down by Bali Belly, make sure you stay hydrated, take rehydration drinks (available from convenience stores) and stick to a bland diet. Bali Belly is also why I highly recommend purchasing travel insurance before your solo trip to Bali.  Is Bali safe for solo female travellers? This is probably one of the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to solo travel in Bali. In my option, Bali is safe for solo female travellers. Personally, I’ve never felt afraid while walking around Bali alone. On my last trip, I […] My Complete Solo Traveller’s Guide to Lovely LondonThis post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read the full disclosure policy here. My latest solo travel guide focuses on lovely London. Keep reading to find out where I stayed in London, solo London travel tips and the best things to do alone in London. It’s about time I wrote a guide on solo travel in London. I’ve spent nearly a month in London overall, so I’m basically a local 💁‍♀️. It’s one of my favourite cities to visit – there’s just so many cool neighbourhoods to visit and attractions to see. It’s also a great city to visit as a solo traveller. So here’s my guide to visiting London by yourself, including the best things to do alone in London. If you’ve ever wondered what to do alone in London, I have you covered. Solo London travel tips First up, here are a couple of travel tips for fellow solo travellers visiting London alone. Most importantly, be aware of your surroundings in busy places as there are pickpockets in London (like every other major city in the world). I also found I felt safe walking from the tube back to my hostel at night alone, as it was located on a busier street and there were always people around. However, I only did this on a couple of occasions. As always, do what feels right to you. All of the amazing things to do alone in London listed below are daytime activities anyway. How to get to London alone Hello, my name is Hayley and I am now a pro at travelling to London alone. So far I’ve arrived and departed from London by plane, train and bus. I’ve flown in and out of London from both Vancouver and Australia – check Skyscanner for the best flight deals. I’ve also taken the Eurostar from London to Paris and FlixBus to Bruges. Within the UK, I have taken National Express buses and the train from London as well. So yes, there are plenty of ways to get to and from London. How to get around London Public transport is fantastic in London, so take advantage. I used the tube most days and even caught a few buses. I simply relied on Google Maps to figure out which tube line or bus would take me to my destination. The best hostel in London for solo travellers In my opinion, the best hostel in London for solo travellers is Wombats City Hostel. I’ve now stayed there multiple times in a six-bed female dorm room (with ensuite). It’s conveniently located 10 minutes from both Tower Bridge and Brick Lane in East London. The hostel is also walking distance from two tube lines and two grocery stores. I like the large common areas at the hostel and the onsite bar. The bar hosts weekly events as well, which is the perfect place to meet other solo travellers in London. I’ve also stayed overnight at the Astor Victoria as it’s walking distance from Victoria Coach Station. Let’s just say, Wombats is 100 times better. I had to walk up seven flights of narrow stairs to my female dorm, which isn’t the easiest with a nearly 20kg suitcase. I also thought the shared bathrooms weren’t the cleanest and the common areas at Wombats are so much better.  Here are my top hostelling tips & travel essentials for fellow solo travellers Fun things to do alone in London  Here are lots and lots of things to do in London on your own. You won’t be bored in London after reading this list! 1. Walk along the Thames to see the best London attractions If you’re wondering where to go alone in London, here are several ideas. On my first day in London in 2017, I ended up walking from my hostel near Tower Bridge to Oxford Street. It was a lot of steps, but I passed so many beautiful London attractions on the way. Firstly, there’s Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. I haven’t been to the Tower of London yet, but I’ve heard it’s worthwhile. Then there’s St Paul’s Cathedral before you make it to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. It was pretty quiet until I got to Big Ben, which is always overflowing with tourists. Don’t forget Westminster Abbey either. On another day, I walked on the other side of the River Thames to visit some Christmas markets. This is where you’ll find the Shard, the London Eye and Shakespeare’s Globe. A final, but nonetheless awesome option, is to take a cruise along the River Thames. I’ve included some options from GetYourGuide below. 2. See the Queen at Buckingham Palace Can you even say you’ve been to London if you don’t visit Buckingham Palace? It’s fortunately located in central London, so there are other things to see and do nearby. If you happen to visit in autumn like me, don’t miss seeing all the falling leaves in St James’ Park and Green Park. It’s magical! While we’re on the topic, check out my autumn packing list 😉 3. Do a free walking tour Can you believe I’ve never done a free walking tour in London? I’ve done one in like every other country in Europe, but not London. Anyway, don’t be like me and join a free walking tour. It’s one of the best things to do alone in London (and any place for that matter). 4. Go shopping along Oxford and Regent Streets Oxford and Regent Streets are hectic, no matter when you visit. But Oxford Street is home to all of my favourite English stores (a.k.a. Primark), so it’s always on my personal list of things to do alone in London. If you end up visiting London at Christmas, you also must see the Christmas decorations along Oxford and Regent Streets. While you’re in the area, head to Carnaby Street, which has more independent stores. I loved the handmade products and unique London souvenirs inside We […] The Best Places to Visit in 2020, Based on My 10 Favourite 2019 DestinationsThis post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read the full disclosure policy here. Let me help you plan your next vacation! Here are the best places to visit in 2020 (a.k.a my 10 favourite destinations in 2019). My epic 2019 adventures already feel like a dream. As I type this in mid-December, I’ve only been back in Australia for two weeks. But so much has happened since then that I really can’t fathom that I visited 16 countries in 2019! As I was deciding how to do a brief end-of-year recap of my travels, this post idea came to mind. I thought I’d attempt to pick my 10 favourite destinations, out of over 40 I visited in 2019. So here we are, the places I think you should visit in 2020. I also wanted to note that I visited all of these destinations solo too. Let’s go! My favourite destinations in 2019 (and where you should visit in 2020) Edinburgh I fell in love with Edinburgh when I first visited in 2017. So much so, it instantly became one of my favourite cities. I was scared that it might not live up to my expectations the second time round, but fortunately it exceeded them. Seriously, if you haven’t visited Edinburgh, remedy that immediately, as it’s a city filled with beautiful historic buildings and amazing eateries. I highly recommend heading up to Edinburgh Castle and along the Royal Mile in the early morning to take photos without crowds. A few of my other favourite things to do in Edinburgh include visiting Dean Village, checking out the free museums (yes, plural) and enjoying the delectable French toast at Mimi’s Bakehouse. I really need to write about Edinburgh sometime soon, don’t I? Where to stay: I’ve stayed at Kick Ass Greyfriars (formerly called Budget Backpackers) both times. It’s in a great location and my dorm room was so cheap. Here’s everywhere I visited in the UK and Europe during my three-month adventure in 2017. Hallstatt Hallstatt is the first of two Austrian destinations on my list. I did a day trip to Hallstatt from Salzburg and all I can say is… WOW. It’s a very small town, but it sits on a lake and is surrounded by mountains, so it is the definition of picturesque. Fortunately, I visited after the first snowfall of the year, so the combination of blue skies and snowy mountains made for beautiful photos. I could honestly look at photos of Hallstatt all day, but I should probably keep writing 🙃. London I’m so glad I decided to spend over a week in London in 2019. This has to be one of the best places to visit in 2020 (or any year, let’s be real). I don’t think I could ever live in London, as it’s just too big and busy for me. But I hope I can manage to visit every couple of years. That would make me very happy indeed. A big blog post about London is coming up, but some of my favourite things to do include doing a day trip to Oxford, seeing a musical (or two), shopping along Oxford Street and spending the day in East London. I loved checking out the street art in Shoreditch and having lunch along Brick Lane. Where to stay: Definitely stay at Wombats (I didn’t like Astor Victoria personally). Gothenburg Gothenburg was the second destination I visited on this trip, but it left a lasting impression. It’s one of the best places to visit in 2020 as it’s still a bit of a hidden gem (a.k.a there aren’t hoards of tourists). Gothenburg didn’t have a lot of must-see attractions, but I loved just wandering and eating. Don’t miss seeing the view from Skansen Kronan, eating a massive cinnamon bun from Cafe Husaren and a brownie from Brogyllen, and walking through the park. Where to stay: Backpackers Göteborg. Although it’s located out of the city centre, it was easy to get a tram directly to the bus station and then I walked everywhere else. Wrocław Okay, Wrocław was a complete surprise to me. I basically chose it as it was in between Berlin and Warsaw. But as it turns out, I liked it so much more than both of those destinations. Its Old Town is filled with the most colourful buildings, everyone I spoke to was very friendly and the food was delicious (and SO cheap). Don’t miss the perogies at Pierogarnia Stary Młyn. Where to stay: I highly recommend checking out TOGOTO, which is right next to the Old Town. It’s brand new, so everything is modern and clean, and the private rooms were so cheap! Vilnius Vilnius exceeded my expectations and was my favourite destination in the Baltics. I’ve already written a blog post about Vilnius (look at me go), but definitely check out Užupis, do one or two walking tours, and head up to one of the city’s many viewpoints. Where to stay: I really liked my stay at Old Town Trio. It was walking distance to everything, the room was big and very comfortable, and the breakfast was delicious. Athens One of the most interesting places to visit in 2020 has to be Athens. I didn’t really know what to expect from Athens, but I was really surprised from the moment I stepped onto the metro at the airport. The city was this interesting (and captivating) combination of old and new. Like you can casually walk past an ancient site on your way to shopping at Zara. My top recommendations for things to do in Athens include this walking tour, devouring loukoumades at Lukumades, wandering around Plaka, checking out the street art and views in Anafiotika, and enjoying a burger at Mama Roux. I did not have a bad meal in Athens, just lots and lots of good ones. If you, like me, also want to visit a Greek island while staying in Athens, check out this post for a look […] The 10 Best Places to Visit Alone in AustraliaThis post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read the full disclosure policy here. I’m back with another solo travel-focused post today. This time, we’re talking about my favourite solo travel destinations in Australia for solo weekend getaways. Here are my recommendations for the best places to visit in Australia alone. My solo travels are not limited to overseas destinations. Yes, I’ve travelled solo across Europe and North America. But I’ve also visited many Australian cities alone as well. Don’t be daunted by solo travel in Australia, because I guarantee you can have a great time Down Under with or without a travel companion. Based off my personal experience (and wishlist), here are the best places to visit in Australia alone. Can you tell I’m a Queenslander? 😂 Note: Australia is a big country and most people will recommend hiring a vehicle to see all the best sights: from cute country towns to cosmopolitan cities. However, I chose these Australian solo travel destinations as you can visit them without hiring a car and still have an unforgettable vacation. The best places to visit in Australia for solo travellers 1. Melbourne Let’s start with my current home, Melbourne. Thanks to the immense amount of things to do and its great public transport network, I believe Melbourne is one of the best places to visit in Australia if travelling alone. However, I would recommend spending more than just a solo weekend here. Some of my favourite things to do in Melbourne include visiting St Kilda, having brunch and a browse of the boutiques in Fitzroy, spotting street art in the CBD and going for walks through the city’s many gardens. You also shouldn’t leave Melbourne without doing a trip along the Great Ocean Road. I did an organised tour a few years ago and thought it was excellent. Where to stay in Melbourne: I have a post on where to stay in Melbourne. But my parents have stayed at the Atlantis – great location, good price and comfortable beds. I also recently stayed at Space Hotel, which has dorms and private rooms. The central hostel is fantastic and has a rooftop deck, lounge and gym. I’ll be back on return visits to Melbourne for sure. Read more: Where to eat in Melbourne, free things to do and general things to do, where to take the best photos and other day trips to check out. 2. Magnetic Island This may be a surprise entry, but I had to include Magnetic Island on this list of solo weekend getaways in Australia. Located a 20-minute ferry ride from my hometown, Townsville, this is where my parents live. It’s one of the best solo travel destinations in Australia because it’s made for tourists. With public buses and two great hostels located in different bays, Magnetic Island is one of the best places to visit in Australia if you’re travelling alone. On Magnetic Island, I recommend doing the Forts Walk, seeing the sunset at Horseshoe Bay, feeding the rock wallabies at Geoffrey Bay and swimming at Alma Bay. You can get to Townsville by flying or taking the Greyhound bus from two other destinations on this list: Cairns and Airlie Beach. The bus even drops you directly at the ferry terminal – now that’s convenience 😉. Where to stay on Magnetic Island: Bungalow Bay or Base are the two hostels I mentioned. Bungalow Bay is probably my favourite though, purely because it’s located in Horseshoe Bay. Read more: Things to do on Magnetic Island and where to find koalas (I share my secret spot). 3. Sydney Ah, Melbourne’s rival and Australia’s biggest city. Sydney is another one of Australia’s best solo travel destinations. Although I think Melbourne has more things to do, Sydney does have the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach. However, I found that it takes longer to get places in Sydney when using public transport, so be prepared. You can get the bus to Bondi and do the Bondi to Bronte Walk. Then you can hop on the train to Instagram’s favourite place: The Grounds of Alexandria. Where to stay in Sydney: Can we talk about the epic views from both Bondi Backpackers and Sydney Harbour YHA?! They’re also top-rated on Hostelworld, which is what matters most to me. Read more: Fun things to do in Sydney As you’ll see with these places to visit in Australia, I only recommend hostels for solo travellers. Read this post for my top hostel tips and check out this post for great ways to meet people when travelling alone. 4. Hobart I know Hobart isn’t the first place you think of visiting on a solo weekend getaway in Australia. But if you have the time, it’s a short flight from Melbourne and a totally different city. It’s home to beautiful architecture, Australia’s most unique museum and some delicious food. I recommend visiting Mount Wellington, getting up close to Aussie animals at Bonorong Sanctuary and wandering around Salamanca. Where to stay in Hobart: I stayed at The Pickled Frog and wouldn’t recommend anywhere else. They offer free day trips to both MONA and Mount Wellington, and the hostel is conveniently located in the CBD. Read more: A visit to Mount Wellington, top things to do and where to eat in Hobart. 5. Cairns So Cairns is located a five-hour drive north of Townsville (the two cities have been frenemies forever). Thanks to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, it’s the fourth most-visited destination in Australia. Because it’s such a tourist hotspot, Cairns is also one of the best places to visit in Australia when travelling solo. The city centre is compact and easily walkable, and there are plenty of tours available. Top attractions near Cairns include Port Douglas, Daintree Rainforest, Mossman Gorge, Kuranda and Fitzroy Island. You could easily spend a week enjoying Cairns and its surrounds. Where to stay in Cairns: I’ve stayed at Gilligan’s before for a friend’s 21st and it’s a […] READ MORE... 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Wondering what life is like in Melbourne? Click to find out my thoughts six months after moving to Melbourne, Australia // Hayley on Holiday