Meet Laura from Passport Collective. This travel loving blogger is from Melbourne, Australia. She blogs to encourage adventure and shares her stories to help inspire you to travel too.
From forgetting her handbag just before leaving for a trip to a terrifying rhino encounter, today Laura joins me for Travellers 10 Questions where we can learn more about her travelling experiences, tips and tricks.
1. Where was your last trip? What was the best part about it?
Our last trip was moving overseas to England for 2 years. We lived around 1.5 hours south of London on the south east coast. It was a unique experience as not too many people chose that part of England to have an overseas experience, so we got to immerse ourselves in ‘authentic’ English life, rather than spend our time with other Aussies.
I grew up on the South coast! I’m glad you enjoyed your time in England, it’s an amazing country.
2. What is the best place you’ve been to and why?
The best place I’ve been to is Sweden. We flew up to Kiruna, which is in Swedish Lapland, in the Arctic circle. We got to see the northern lights several time, but the biggest highlight would have been watching the lights streak across the sky in bursts of red, yellow and pink at around 1am whilst we were standing on a frozen river. It was truly awesome!
We also got to partake in traditional arctic adventures such as dog sledding, snow mobiling and of course having an outdoor hot tub and traditional steam sauna.
Sounds beautiful. Having seen the northern lights on our trip to Iceland, I have truly caught the aurora bug. The nordics are definitely on my list for more northern lights time and to enjoy more cold weather.
3. Would you describe yourself as a happy budget travelling, prefer luxury holidays or somewhere in the middle?
I’m somewhere in the middle. If I travel with my husband, we tend to stay in hotels or in Air BnB properties. I like to travel a lot, so I am happy to stay in hostels or go on tours that involve hostels. I do tend to book a hotel room at the end of the trip for a night or so for a little bit of luxury. It’s hard to justify the expense of a hotel room for your whole trip when you travel solo!
It feels like you’ve managed to find a nice balance. Nice touch to finish off your holiday in luxury though.
4. What’s the most embarrassing or weirdest (if you’re not brave enough to tell me about your most embarrassing moment) thing happen to you while travelling?
To say I got a little forgetful whilst I was travelling is an understatement. One of our first trips after moving to England was to Scotland. Now, I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to Edinburgh, but if you haven’t, it is one big giant hill. Our hotel was at the bottom of the hill, my tour check in location was at the top of the hill.
So, after climbing about one million stairs I got into the line to check in for my tour and realised that I had left my handbag at the hotel. My lovely hubby, who wasn’t joining me on the tour, ran back down to the hotel as fast as he could to fetch it for me. Not wanting to seem like a bag thief, and also not wanting to tackle all of those stairs again in a hurry, he opted for a taxi back up the hill to greet me. Luckily I made the check in and spend a week happily touring the Scottish Highlands!
This sounds hilarious, we’ve all left something behind and had to go back for it, but this seems a little excessive! I would have loved to have seen your husband look like a bag thief though, running back up the hill.
5. What was the scariest moment you’ve encountered while travelling?
I was visiting Chitwan National park in Nepal. We were on an open jeep safari through the jungle in search of rhinos. We’d seen a couple in the distance grazing and thought that we were pretty lucky with that. That is until we came upon a mother and her calf. Unfortunately, the mother felt that we were a little too close and decided to charge our jeep!
We were sitting at about horn height in the open on the back of the jeep, so there was a definite moment of panic as the wheels span against the dirt track and the driver accelerated us out of there. The mother in her haste also scraped against a tree which slowed her down slightly and allowed us to get away. One of my travel mates even managed to get a shot of her charging us. It was scary and exhilarating all in one!
We’re planning on going on safari next week, maybe I won’t share this scary story with my partner in case he says he doesn’t want to go anymore! This picture is amazing though and you’ve definitely got a scary travel story to talk about!
6. Where is your least favourite place you’ve visited and why?
I think when you travel a lot of places are really hyped up. Despite having a bad cold, I really loved Belgium, and in particular Brussels. What I thought was totally overrated was the Mannikin Pis. What a big fuss over such a small statue. Luckily the chocolate and waffles were good!
What is it with statues of weeing people with fountains coming out of their parts. I’ve seen so many. The chocolate and waffles alone make Belgium worth visiting though so I agree with you there.
7. What is the most creative thing you did to save money while travelling?
I’m terrible at cutting corners to save money when I travel. I would like to say that I ate all of the packets of porridge that I packed for breakfasts in order to save money, but I most often ended up buying something on the way and returning with as many packets of porridge as I left home with!
My tip would be to be realistic. If you know you’re not a skimper, then don’t skimp. Chances are you’ll spend more money than you would have if you just bought what you wanted to initially. That being said, I’m not huge on getting super drunk whilst travelling, and alcohol / taxis and the misadventures that ensure when you have lots of big nights out do put a hole in your wallet!
Realistic is much better than attempting and failing because, of course, you want to enjoy your holiday! I would definitely agree with your second tip though. I’d much rather spend money on trips and doing things than on alcohol. I also don’t see the point in getting really drunk and wasting a whole day of your holiday with a hangover not being able to do very much!
8. What’s your top travel tip?
If you’re planning on a lot of travel in one year search out your flights in advance. This will allow you to pick destinations with cheaper flights in mind. This worked particularly well for me when travelling in the UK as the weather was similar in my destinations. I chose to visit places such as Scotland in Autumn rather than high summer as their weather isn’t remarkably better during the summer months and then used my savings to spend the summer in places like Spain as the weather is fantastic. Doing the majority of my travel off peak and with cheaper flights meant I could book high season fares without having to scrimp.
This is a great tip. Going off-peak also means that when you arrive at the place, it’s less likely to be jam-packed with tourists!
9. What can’t you travel without?
I always travel with packing cells. One of my pet hates is having to rifle through a pack or a suitcase looking for small items such as cables or underwear. Since I’ve started using pack cells I haven’t looked back!
I have had a lot of people recommend packing cells and I think I am going to have to invest in some. They seem so sensible especially when being used in backpacks.
10. If you won the lottery, where would be the first place you’d book to go?
The Maldives! Man you could easily blow a lot of money in that place and I would do it by living it up in an over sea villa, probably with a butler and lots of massages, for at least a week. I’d also completely ignore my advice about not drinking too much and enjoy quite a lot of cocktails whilst sitting in a net balcony dipped in the water!
It looks so dreamy doesn’t it! If you win the lottery can I come along for this trip? Sip and dip, I’m so there
You can hear more about Laura from Passport Collective and her travels on her blog.
Like this? Make sure you check out my other interviews at Travellers 10 Questions!
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