Monday, 20 August 2018

Do You Need Proof Of Onward Travel While Travelling Long-Term?

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

If you've been backpacking around multiple countries or have travelled long-term, then you'll have probably asked this question yourself or to others at least once. 

It's one of those travel questions that doesn't really have a definitive answer, leading you to panic that you could be turned away at the border or refused access to your plane. 

I was definitely one of those people. 

As someone who a) had never backpacked before and b) not flown longer than 4 hours to a destination, I felt completely clueless when it came to this. 

When we were leaving for New Zealand, it wasn't really clear when I looked online about whether we would need a flight out of the country and so we decided to chance it. However, when we arrived at Heathrow at 5am for check-in, we were presented with the question, "Do you have onward travel out of New Zealand?".

Before we knew it, we were looking frantically on our phones to book a flight to Bali for just over a month later. 

Luckily, I had planned out our New Zealand road trip so that I had a pretty good idea when and where we would finish up so within 10 minutes we had our flight booked and we were checking in for our adventure of a lifetime. 

Now, I have heard many different stories of what some people have resorted to, to solve this problem so that they can keep spontaneous without committing to an expensive flight out of the country. 

Some people try and use bus tickets to show they'll be crossing by land, but I've heard this one can sometimes be unreliable.

Some even forge a flight ticket to make it look like they have a flight booked out of the country. 

One positive, if you are planning a trip at the moment, is that there is a lot more reliable info out there as to whether you need onward travel than a couple of years ago, but I'll tell you one thing. 

I had decided that we would try and book an outbound flight for each country as we went along, and would check the relevant government pages to see what they said. 

99% of the time, they said they wanted proof of onward travel but this was only enforced in 2 out of the 7 countries we visited. 

Can you see how this can confuse travellers? 

I do understand why they have to do this, to tackle illegal immigrants coming across their borders, but I personally wished that we could have spent longer in some places without knowing we had a deadline to leave in the back of our minds.

Luckily, the two that required proof of onward travel (New Zealand and Thailand) were the first and last countries we were visiting, so that worked out well. 

I've also heard that mainly, as a rule, if you're travelling locally around Southeast Asia, countries will happily accept pre-booked bus and train tickets as they know that is a preferred way to travel there.

Out of all the options that there are, the two that I would definitely use again if travelling long-term, regardless of where I'm going are these:


This option is probably the more reliable out of the two. Pick the cheapest ticket to a major city in the country next door, regardless of whether you'll be using it. 

True, you will be losing £20 or £30 on a ticket you won't use, but this will buy you a bit more time before you decide when you want to move on to your next destination. 


This is one option that I'll definitely be trying out when I next travel long-term. 

This is the slightly riskier option, so do your homework about a company first before using them. 

Essentially, you 'rent' a legit flight ticket from a real travel agency for a small fee. Then, they cancel the ticket for you 48 hours later, meaning you are free to book your onward journey at a later date. 


The important thing to remember is to do your own research and decide what is best for you.

You might feel that you like the stability and reassurance of having an exact time to move on to your next destination, or you might be free-spirited and want to see where the wind takes you. 

Either way, make sure you are not putting yourself in danger of being turned away at the border, because it'll be a lot more expensive having to return to the country you just left just to buy an outbound flight.  



Tuesday, 14 August 2018

The Beauty Essentials I've Been Loving This Summer

The Beauty Essentials I've Been Loving This Summer

I haven’t done a favourites blog post or video in what seems like an age. I’ve just not been keen on the added pressure of putting together a bunch of stuff each month to talk about as I find it can feel a bit forced. 

Sometimes I even question whether I’m featuring the product because I do actually like it, or if I feel like I should be featuring it to build up the numbers. 

That being said, when I feel like I have a nice little group of favourites to share with you, I’ll go ahead and share them, normally in the form of a season's favourite series rather than a monthly favourite series. 

So here we are. Summer. 

It’s been one hell of a summer too. With the UK experiencing tropical temperatures for over 2 months, I feel like some of the beauty products I’ve chosen today reflect this heatwave. I've ended up featuring a lot of exfoliating products to keep skin feeling fresh, as well as light moisturisers that won’t leave you feeling clammy afterwards. 

We’ve also got some suncare (obvs) and some beautiful summery coloured makeup. 

That being said, let’s take a look at the beauty essentials that have been getting me through this summer. 



I have always been impressed with how travel-friendly Revolution’s products are, but when they sent over this cruelty-free and vegan palette* by Youtuber Maxineczka to try out, I was thoroughly impressed. 

I actually took a Revolution palette with me backpacking for 5 months, so knew how pigmented their eyeshadows were. With 6 matte and 3 shimmery shades, along with a highlighter, blush and bronzer, this has everything you need in one palette. 

These shades aren’t particularly summery but they are great to work with, and thanks to the shade Brick, I’m now a convert to orangey copper shades on my lids. I’m also really loving Orchid, which is a blue-purple mix and stunning to make your eyes pop. 

The bronzer (The Grand Tan) is the perfect shade for me but isn’t the most pigmented bronzer I own, however it is buildable if you like a more of an obvious bronzed look. 

The blush (Love’s Hue) is gorgeous too but super pigmented, so use sparingly. I think this will look beautiful of lot’s of different skin tones too, so a big tick there.

The only thing in the palette that is a bit of a let down for me is the highlighter, but I think that’s down to personal preference. I’m a fan of a highlight that shows but still looks natural, but this hardly shows up on me at all. I find the finish quite chalky, so once it’s applied it doesn’t allow the light to bounce off it. This does make a lovely eyeshadow when used with a wet brush, so don’t completely ignore it. 



You may have seen in this blog post that I am a big fan of Lush’s lip scrubs, but my Mint Julips one was long passed its use by date. 

Luckily Lush came in and saved the day, hooking me up with some new flavours to try. I decided to use the Chocolate one* first over the Honey* because ya girl is a serious chocoholic. 

These vegan lip scrubs are probably one of those beauty products that I will always repurchase as they are so simple yet effective. The sugar granules buff any dead skin away, all the while tasting amazing. This one tastes like jaffa cakes and I’m honestly hooked! I’ve found if you want your lipstick to apply more evenly, then treating your lips to this beforehand makes all the difference. 



I’m trying to get into the habit more of doing my own nails at home seeing as I’m a bit of a nail polish hoarder. 

Don’t even ask me how many I own!

In the past, I’ve always been a loyal user of the Barry M top and base coat, but now I’ve started using this one* I can assure you this will be the only top coat I use from now on. 

The longevity is amazing- I find my nails last twice as long without chipping than in the past.

I still use my Barry M one as my base coat, but paired with the Nail HQ top coat my nails look shiny and even. I’m really impressed at how quickly this dries too, and thanks to the argan oil in it, it stops my nails from drying out. 



I’ve been trying to make sure I relax more in the evenings and sometimes I can find I can just keep working well into the night if I don’t stop myself. I’ve been looking at fragrances and products that can help soothe me at night and I now really enjoy taking a bath before bed with this body scrub*. 

The smell of the sandalwood is probably a new favourite of mine, and I have found this scrub to be really moisturising as well as good at getting rid of any dead skin cells. 

This is really soft on the skin too, so if you have sensitive skin you don’t need to worry about the scrub aggravating it, and any redness is brought down by the rosemary extracts in it. 



As a huge fan of the original Olympea scent, I wasn’t sure how this version would compare with the original but I didn’t need to worry. The Aqua scent* is almost a lighter, slightly sweeter version of the original, which has led me to use this one more in the daytime, and the original in the evenings for the perfect summer fragrance combo. 

This perfume is delightfully fresh and I’ve come to realise I will never get bored of it. Salty vanilla is at the heart of this, and so if you like a sweet oriental scent that isn’t too overpowering, you need to get your hands on this. 



This may count as more of a homeware item, but it’s one that I use multiple times a day. I can sometimes get dry hands but this hand soap has really been helping with that recently, mainly due to the oatmeal in it. 

Oatmeal extract has been proven to help fight eczema and is included in many of the products that I use to tackle mine. 

Like all of Baylis & Harding’s products, this smells amazing and seems to last forever, even though this only costs just over £2!

I certainly won’t be going back to my basic anti-bac soap anytime soon…



I’m not a huge fan of applying body lotions when it’s hot, mainly because of the fact that it never really sinks in and tends to make the skin clammy when you start to heat up and sweat. If I manage to find a light lotion that sinks in quickly without leaving a residue, however, it tends to become my summer body lotion of choice. 

This Yardley lotion* has become just that, and as well as giving my skin that much-needed moisture without leaving a residue, it also smells super yummy. The wonderful thing about their scents is that they don’t disappear from the skin- in fact, I can normally get hints of the lotion’s fragrance for hours after applying it. 



One habit that I’m trying to get in to is to apply SPF whatever the weather. This has been easier said than done, but this SPF from Bioderma* has actually made me want to apply it, making it less of a chore. 

This is mainly because this is the only SPF I’ve come across that has been effective at preventing sun damage to my skin, all the while using a natural biological tanning process to give you a golden glow. 

It also uses vitamin E to activate the skin’s natural defences, protecting against cellular damage and the signs of ageing, meaning my skin still feels soft and subtle even if I’ve been outside for a long period of time. 

This does give you a slight white wash to start with after applying, but this normally disappears after half an hour meaning you won’t get any flashback when you're getting all your holiday snaps. 



I’ve been trying to make sure I wear more of my lipsticks, especially in shades other than nude, and this is one of the lip products that I’ve been reaching for lately. 

I’m not a huge fan of brighter pink shades, but Extreme Mauve* has actually surprised me! Being the perfect shade between bright and rosy, this shade has been perking up my makeup without making me look too red in the face.

This lipstick is extremely moisturising thanks to the built-in primer, and also stays on for quite a while. 

I love the monochrome packaging but just be aware that the plastic is quite thin, so make sure you don’t drop is as it may crack. 



Saving one of my favourite products until last. 

This mascara from Givenchy* has seriously raised my lash game, giving me stunning volume and length thanks to the amazing brush. 

For some reason I always feel like I’m putting my best face on when applying this- I don’t know whether it’s how it makes my lashes look or the £26 price tag but it’s definitely a joy to apply. 

If my skin is having an oily day then I try and use other mascaras as I find this does give me some fallout, but on good skin days, this lasts for a long time, all the while keeping my lashes looking just as good as when I first applied the mascara. 


I would love to know what products you have been loving this summer, so please do comment below!



Tuesday, 7 August 2018

My Growing Obsession with Leopard Print

My Growing Obsession with Leopard Print

Since returning from backpacking last year, it's been a bit harder to talk about fashion on here, mainly because I had no money to my name. 

That happens unfortunately when you travel, but even once I started earning again I stayed in my money saving default even though I was home and didn't have to think about budgeting as much as when we were away. 

However, in the last couple of months or so, I decided that I wanted to try having a capsule (ish) wardrobe. 

I think one thing that travelling taught me was that if I was able to live on 10 or so outfits that I loved for 5 months, then my wardrobe could definitely learn a lesson from that.

After this realisation came a huge cull of clothing, shoes and accessories that either didn't fit or I didn't love, which were then sent to more loving homes. 

If you want me to talk a little more about my wardrobe declutter or my capsule wardrobe that is coming along nicely, then do drop me a comment at the end of this post. 

Once I had finished my clear out, I sat down and made a list of things that I need to replace or that I wanted to add to my wardrobe- both in the form of basics and trend-led pieces. 

Two of the things on my list were bodysuits and leopard print.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

How to Protect Dry and Frizzy Hair this Summer

How to Protect Dry and Frizzy Hair this Summer

As the British weather has been enjoying a bit of a (rare) heatwave at the moment, I've found I've started to have to deal with the type of beauty dilemmas that I would experience on holiday abroad. 

One of those is dry and frizzy hair. 

I was blessed with long thick hair which is really lovely to have, but as the temperature and humidity rises, my hair starts to resemble one big ball of craziness. 

It can be a right nightmare to handle, but after much trial and error, I think I've managed to put together a routine and dream team of products that are helping me tackle my dry scalp and frizzy ends. 

Take a peek below to see what I've been using to protect my dry and frizzy hair this summer. 
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