Looking for ideas for hen do abroad? This post has all the details for having the perfect hen do holiday in Hvar, Croatia. 

When people talk about the holiday blues, they have no idea. Unless they have been on the best hen do ever in Hvar, Croatia, of course! Looking back over the photos from this trip nearly made me cry. It’s. Just. So. SO. PRETTY! I remember I said every single day we were there (much to everyone else’s annoyance, I’m sure) that I felt like I was in a romantic movie from the fifties. I kept expecting to twirl around and see Audrey Hepburn next to me with a willy straw in her mojito and a ‘bride tribe’ sash slung over her shoulder. Alas, no, just me good old mates from Dartford. 

hen do hvar

Why have a hen do in Hvar?

hen do hvar

If you’re looking for hen do abroad with a difference then Hvar in Croatia is the one. None of us had been before but it was on all of our hit lists. It’s also a good time to go as although it is growing in popularity with British tourists, it’s still relatively untouched compared to most of our typical European holiday destinations. Think glittering turquoise seashores that grow a deep inky blue as you plough out into the ocean, on your way to the next hotspot. 

hen do croatia

This trip was all planned by my good friend Maddie who was pregnant and therefore, unfortunately, couldn’t even come along for the ride! Follow Maddie’s careful planning for a hen do in Hvar, and you can’t fail to have a good time amongst Croatia’s pure Adriatic bliss. 

Split to Hvar Airport Transfer

OK, so first things first – the absolute best thing about a hen do in Hvar? The need for water taxis. And unfortunately the best way to travel from Split airport to Hvar is by speedboat – I know, how tragic? Flying about on boats is what really made this trip so spectacular. We booked our transfer with Dalmatia Express, which also included a bus from the airport to the jetty, and cost 720 Euros for a private return hire. It kicked party proceedings off on the perfect note. After being delayed by EasyJet by over four hours in Stansted, then arriving to then step out on to our own private speedboat pretty much set the tone for the next few days. Arms in the air everyone! (Sorry for the cheese, if you were there, you would have too). 

hen do croatia

Pharos Bayhill Hotel Hvar 

We stayed at the Pharos Hotel which was a little walk up a hill through the trees – so don’t bother unless you can pack lightly! However if you can, it’s worth it. It’s a very modern and stylish hotel with a bar, pool and dining – all you need really. The views are pretty breathtaking – BUT – be warned – unfortunately for different reasons, so was the faint whiff of sewage around the pool area! We shared our stay with a biker club, which made a nice surprise to be greeted by rows of gleaming motorbikes upon arrival (and so began the Hollywood movie vibes). 

Daytime Party in Hvar

Word on the Hvar party scene was that Carpe Diem Beach was the place to be – for day time and all through the night. AND you had to get a boat there – check! So we got glammed up to the eyeballs with all the traditional hen do clobber (body glitter, willy paraphenalia, sashes etc) and headed down to the marina to find the water taxi rank. Now, I will say the first two local ladies we spoke to were very confident – I will give them that. However, their confidence did lead us to believe that Carpe Diem was shut during the day. It wasn’t. Luckily, we didn’t take their word for it and eventually managed to find a water taxi driver who brought us to the Carpe Diem shore.

On the other hand, one thing the ladies didn’t get wrong, was that it was slightly out of season when we were there. So it wasn’t the jumping party atmosphere we had expected, but it was so very idyllic we didn’t mind at all. We spent the day laying on sunbeds, eating fresh seafood and pasta, listening to laid back beats and drinking lots of cocktails and shots before catching the last boat back into the Hvar marina. 

hen do croatia

hen do croatia

Hvar Nightlife

I believe we managed to sample a good selection of the nightlife Hvar has to offer (hic!). There were three main bars we visited: Kiva, Hula Hula and Pink Champagne. 

We stumbled upon Kiva on our first night. After enjoying a civilised beverage (civilised for a hen do in Hvar) next to the marina we asked the waiter where was good to go, he said nothing livened up until about 11pm. So we ordered another drink and waited. A little later we took a stroll to find another bar and heard distant music – and quickly decided to follow that beat! This lead us down what at first seemed like an alleyway but was in fact Kiva Bar!

As it got later the alleyway got packed and the bars either side were rammed with people doing their best lunatic dancing (me included). Music-wise you can expect crowd pleasers and sing-alongs here – so make sure you’ve warmed up with a few cocktails beforehand. There were plenty of other bars near here if you fancy crawling through them, so head to Kiva then work your way up past the marina towards Pink Champagne.

I didn’t actually go into Pink Champagne myself. I’m not really a nightclub kinda gal anymore. I was also well past my prime and thought it best to give it a swerve that night. However, some of the girls did go here and if you are looking for a proper nightclub experience this is the place to go and it leads on nicely from the bars around the marina. 

Sunset Bar in Hvar

hen do croatia

My favourite place, which unfortunately we spent the least amount of time at, just because we discovered it late, was Hula Hula Beach Bar. After talking to other tourists on the previous night out, we found out this bar, nestled on a perfect point of the bay, was THE spot to watch the sunset. The day we went it was a bit cloudy – but the view was still impressive – as is every vista around Hvar! Now, if I’m honest I can’t really remember the style of music, but there was a DJ and I think it was a bit more dancey, classy and cool than Kiva bar… don’t take my word for it though. It was an ideal stop off for a hen do in Hvar. 

hen do hvar

Travelling to Split from London

We flew from Stansted as we were travelling on the end of May bank holiday weekend. At the time of publishing this article, the cheapest flights start from Β£35, flying with Norwegian Airlines, from Gatwick, in early October (when the weather is still good). 

Travelling to Split from Newcastle upon Tyne

Flights to Split from Newcastle upon Tyne start in June. At the time of publishing this article, the cheapest flights start from Β£31, flying with EasyJet, from Newcastle, in late August.

A hen do in Hvar still not your thing? 

Check out my other post for a trip to the classic hen do destination, Ibiza… READ: An Ibiza Hen Do – Totally Off Season, but Totally IN

How to earn money while travelling some of the best destinations across the globe.

When you are in your late twenties or early thirties the idea of taking out a full year for travelling can seem difficult for many. Taking that long a time off can feel like a set back in your career. However, what if you could earn and travel, meaning you get all the juicy life experience, whilst working your professional skills and keeping that CV glowing? There are millions of ways to work abroad, but here’s 9 nifty ways to earn and travel. 


9 Nifty Ways to Earn and Travel

1. Teach in South Korea

Can you speak a language, any language? And have you got a degree? Then you can most likely travel to a country that doesn’t speak it as their first language and teach it there. A friend of mine went to South Korea and did this in a school and absolutely loved it. She had her own apartment, absorbed herself into Korean culture and made lots of friends for life. If you can play an instrument you could also teach music! Duh!?

2. Work in Tourism in Ibiza

Again, I have friends that do this! They spend their summers abroad in Ibiza when the tourist season is high, the clubs are booming and the sun is OUT. Starting off by selling tickets on the beach is hard graft, but this how my friends began their careers abroad – and if you go for this, don’t forget your factor 50. However, after years of building a life for themselves on the white isle, these ladies now have jobs in accommodation, radio and one even has her own business, Below Zero – which does incredible rolled ice cream if you’re interested (OF COURSE you’re interested!). The job opportunities in tourism abroad are endless and you’ll meet plenty of like-minded party people if it’s somewhere like Ibiza that you’re headed for.

3. Freelance Online whilst European City Hopping

This is what actually gave me the idea of this blog post. A few weeks back I kept getting targeted by Facebook ads for a company called ‘Remote Year‘. This is a crowd funded enterprise that offers around 50-80 people to go on a round-the-world trip of a lifetime each year. The beauty of it is that everyone who is accepted is a freelancer, or ‘remote worker,’ and Remote Year will organise accommodation, flights and activities, as well as stylish spaces for co-working each day.

This is a great set up as it’s all planned for you, but also a little restrictive I would imagine (?). Don’t forget, you could still do all that Remote Year offers, all by yourself. It means putting in a bit more work but also leaves you with a lot of freedom to do what you want. Plus, that way, you’ll get to meet new people every day and be able to change your travel plans at the drop of a hat. Basically, if a lush looking bloke asks you if you want to head to the coast for a few days, you can. And you don’t have to worry about wasting money, or missing out on something else elsewhere.

If you’re wanting to work remotely, online, you better have a very understanding boss that sees the benefit of your personal development, or a great bunch of loyal clients that don’t mind not seeing you face-to-face for a while. If you start to struggle while you’re away, hit up local places to where you are staying that need English translations for menus, or try sites like Upwork and Elance for remote project work. 

paris travel

Henrique Ferreira

4. Pick Fruit in Australia

Australia is famed for it’s fruit picking jobs for tourists. The Working Holiday Visa in Australia entitles you to work and live for up to one year, with no longer than six months per employer – it literally encourages you to travel around! But, if you want to stay another year you have to do some sort of farm work. Enter: ‘Fruit Picking’. Picking fruit is tough – Australia is hot, but everyone’s in it together and at the end of the day if you can head to along to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches for a beer and surf after work, it really doesn’t seem so bad after all. 

5. Au Pair in Sweden (for the younger readers)

Why Sweden? It’s got one of the best gigs going for au pairs, especially seeing as it’s otherwise quite and expensive place to visit. As an au pair in Sweden your accommodation and food is included, your host family pay for you to study Swedish, giving you minimum expenses, plus you’ll be paid around Β£400 a month for 25 hours work a week, leaving you loads of free time to get out and about. 

However, if you’re over 30 like me, there’s still hope for being an au pair abroad – just head to Canada – they let you in ’til your 35! Here, you can work on your French and explore some of the most diverse landscape in the world. 

6. Entertain the Masses on a Cruise Ship

Obviously if you are talented at singing or dancing then this is your home from home, the stage is calling darling! Dancers and singers can often earn from around Β£1,150 a week upwards depending on experience. So if you can teach someone how to jive or have a quirky magical talent that would make a great show, you could be a higher earner. It is competitive though as there are only so many cruise ship jobs and there are many people looking to perform and travel. 

cruise ship

Linval Ebanks

7. Photograph the Variety of South America

Travel photography has to be one of the most incredible jobs you could have to earn and travel. Simply heading to places of beautiful untouched landscape or communities unspoilt by tourism and capturing it with your camera seems so simple but so blooming NICE. Obviously you will need to be talented at photography – that is the catch. And have already invested in the best (expensive!) equipment. Being the incredible job that this is means it’s also highly competitive. You need to be able to get unique shots that capture something emotive or tell a story. Not everyone has the talent for this.

South America is an ideal destination for travel photography. It’s full of culture, colour, vibrancy, heritage, wildlife and varied communities. There is so much to see, learn and do you could never get through it all. But I bet you could take an incredible photo that would tell a thousand words. 

travel photographer

Jakub Gorajek

8. Make & Sell from Bangkok

For someone with a knack for fashion or arts and crafts, a thriving marketplace of fabrics, trinkets and accessories is heaven. Bangkok’s outdoor Chatuchak market has over 15,000 stalls to browse along. If you are an artist or jewellery designer then being able to source some local supplies will give your items a real unique selling point and back story that sells itself. Plus, there are plenty of workshops for you to learn from the locals and hone your crafting skills to perfection – check out The Loom for silk yarn and weaving classes run by a family that has been working with silk for over 40 years. Sell alongside the locals in the marketplace or whack it on Etsy for the world to see whilst you continue to travel, learn and explore all that Thailand has to offer. 

bangkok travel

Ryan Tang

9. Blog your Travels all over the WORLD

Finally, here comes ‘the dream’. Heading to different places every month all over the globe to write about hotels, activities, architecture, food, drink, bleugh, blahh, blerr – it would all be wonderful, wouldn’t it? If you have a passion for culture, a talent for writing or photography and a strong work ethic then could be the work-life balance for you. Again, it is so competitive. So seek out the untapped destinations and write about the unusual angles in order to stand out from the crowd. 

travel blogger

Where in the world would you love to explore if you had endless time and funds? 


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Career Crush: Travel, Work and Friendship

The summer time for many people means that the holiday you booked and planned months in advance is finally near. You get to go out and purchase new swimwear, research the best beaches and finalise your travel itinerary. 

We do this because let’s face it; work sucks. Holidays are when you switch off the work email and have fun with friends. But what if your holiday was your job, and your work colleague was your best mate? And you basically got paid to travel? Whaaaaaat?

Well that’s what Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman, or Tash and Dev as they call themselves, have achieved with absolute perfection, with their blog and brand, A Bikini A Day

A Bikini A Day Back Story 

It doesn’t sound like it was much of a rough starting point to the average girl living in the North East England as such, but it’s definitely a small-time to big-time success story. So, Tash and Dev were living and working in Hawaii shooting look books and videos for local swimwear brands. Sounds like a pretty good job so far, right?

Then they went travelling but kept their connections with the swimwear brands and started sharing pictures wearing said bikinis on the relatively new social network, Instagram. They took this simple idea and turned it into a fully fledged blog with travel and swimwear related content and named it, A Bikini A Day. Amassing a huge following this hobby quickly became a full-time job for both women.

A Day in the Bikini Life

OK so a comparison here would be helpful…

My social media: A snap of my lunch, quick video of my dogs and possibly a picture of my trip to the gym for good measure. 

Their social media: exclusive fashion party in the Hamptons, photoshoot on a beach in Turks and Caicos and definitely boat trips off the Amalfi coast. (I would love to share tons of their pictures but can’t because they aren’t my pics to share! – So head to their Instagram here or I have embedded a few Tweets of theirs throughout). 

This might make some people envious or slightly irritated. But these women are always working. The difference is they have managed to carve a career out of doing something they love and other people want too. In Tash’s own words:

“It’s a full-time, all-consuming job to be constantly creating content.” – Harpers Bazaar, 2016

Moral of the story is: find something you love and turn it into something that’s useful to other people too. 

A Blog that Works

With an endless stream of the type of share-worthy content everyone loves; from bikini reviews and healthy recipes, to the best suncreams and stylish beach bags, A Bikini A Day is a blog designed to fuel the ultimate traveller day dream. 

Starting out as photographers and bloggers themselves, Tash and Dev have continued to shoot and edit their own blog content, even with an audience well into the millions, located all across the globe. 

Making Waves

Tash and Dev now have their own bikini brand; Monday Swimwear. The reason for the name..?

“Because when you’re in a bikini on a Monday, you’re having a good day.” – Monday Swimwear

Fair play. As bikini experts they have managed to source the best fabrics in mix and match shapes and sizing to suit a variety of body shapes (only up to size 16 though I would mention as a downfall). But I really want one. They price at around Β£120 though, so this is unlikely for me. They also launched an activewear range; Monday Active and have multiple design collaborations with brands including Guess, Revolve and over in the UK, Missguided

Travel and Life Inspiration

If you’re looking for travel inspiration, or even if you have just booked a holiday, don’t forget to check in with A Bikini A Day blog as they have lots of tips for the best products for skin and hair protection in the sun as well as unique places to visit. Plus, if you have started working on a project with a friend that you love, just look at how it’s turned out for Tash and Dev – anything is possible. Dream big, work hard and have fun.

30 Things To Do After 30 – A Bucket List for Grown Ups

For most people, the bucket list is reserved for before you turn thirty. Everyone seems to want to cram everything in before this milestone birthday to feel that renowned sense of achievement. But why? What happens when you turn thirty?  

30 things to do after 30

When the hotel tries to romance you on your birthday. 

I turned thirty on 4th June and I spent the first few hours hungover in Palma airport with a cut knee, waiting for a second flight having missed my first (in my defence it was also my hen do). In this moment I realised I am not quite the person I expected to be at age thirty. However, having got over my hangover and made it safely back to the UK I have since realised I’m totally fine with that – and not just in a Ross from Friends kind of way – genuinely content. 

30 things to do after 30

View from my balcony in Palma (my hen / 30th holiday)

I never made an official bucket list before I turned thirty – so I’m doing one now and it doesn’t have a time limit, so feel free to pinch some ideas if you are looking to also create a no-pressure-bucket-list. So here it is  – my bucket list, after 30 – including travel experiences, goals for personal improvement and plenty of life ideas that are just plain sensible. 

30 Things To Do After 30

  1. Write a book. 
  2. Write a blog for Huffington Post.
  3. Learn to surf in a surfers paradise e.g. Hawaii, Gold Coast, Malibu… etc
  4. Win a bet in Las Vegas. 
  5. See the pyramids in Egypt.
  6. Learn another language.
  7. Quit smoking.
  8. Be a success in my own right (i.e. actually consider myself successful career-wise).
  9. Have a child or two. And raise them well. (Note to mum: remember this has no time limits). 
  10. Raise money for charity and / or give time to charity. 
  11. Eat sushi in Tokyo.
  12. Fly something better than economy class. I’m realistic: it might not be ultra first class, but a step up would be great. 
  13. Get really fit. Stay fit. 
  14. Save some money. Spend it on something worthwhile. 
  15. Read lots of the classics (in addition to all the other crap I read). 
  16. Swim with sharks in the Maldives. (This was a childhood one and I am already regretting adding it). 
  17. Go white water rafting in Canada. (Another one from childhood but I would do this tomorrow. Can you say: ‘The River Wild?’)
  18. Salsa dance in Havana. 
  19. Spoil my partner with an expensive gift or lavish holiday. 
  20. Learn to play guitar. (I own a guitar but don’t know how to play it. Got the first step down, just need the main step covered now).  
  21. Buy a piece of art that makes me feel happy.
  22. Print and frame lots of family and friend photos.
  23. Ruthlessly clear out entire wardrobe. And general possessions. If you haven’t used it in the last year – bin it (or charity shop of course). 
  24. Say ‘yes’ more. Events, gigs, holidays, a night out – whatever it is just saying yes could lead to so much more. 
  25. Call friends and family more. 
  26. Be an absolutely awesomely badass auntie (nephew coming soon…).
  27. Make fresh pasta. Ohhh yeahh.
  28. Deep clean the house more regularly. Not just when guests come. 
  29. Be more knowledgable about politics and world news. 
  30. Take my make up off every night. 

30 things to do after 30

Buy more flowers for the home? Nearly made the list, but that’s a job for other people. Like when it’s your birthday. 

The point is, turning thirty has not been a big deal, but it has made me realise how much more important it is to collect memories instead of things. So having a bucket list might just help me on my way to pursuing a fulfilling life – or at least, one without regret. 

What’s on your bucket list?

Girls’ Weekend in Barcelona: Pretty as a Picture

Spending a girls’ weekend in Barcelona is always appealing! This photo diary reminds me of just how picture perfect it was there, even in January. 

Dirty Thirty in Barcelona

I’ve been to Barcelona a few times, but never before in the winter. Going on the last weekend in January I wasn’t sure what to expect but a girl’s weekend in Barcelona during the gloomiest month of the year is always a good idea! Keeping the surprise was hard as it was for my friend Maddie’s 30th birthday. It turned out to be a perfect location with mild weather and sunny enough days for sitting outside while enjoy alcoholic beverages like laaaadies. 

girls' weekend in barcelona

View from our MH Apartments Opera Rambla balcony.

girls weekend barcelona

La Rambla.

(Way more hectic in summer).

girls weekend barcelona

The beach. Duh. 

girls' weekend in barcelona

View from Columbus Monument. (It’s a roundabout).

girls weekend barcelona

View of Columbus Monument. Near the port. 

girls' weekend in barcelona

Drizzly walks through the city.

girls weekend barcelona

Architectural oldness.

girls' weekend in barcelona

La Sagrada Familia.

Travel to Barcelona in Winter

Return flights to Barcelona on the last weekend in February are currently Β£82 from London and Β£103 from Newcastle. We stayed at the MH Apartments Opera Rambla – literally a few steps from La Rambla and a few bars (muy importante). The apartments were big with a small balcony and kitchen area (we ate out all the time, but it’s there if you need it!)

A spontaneous weekend in Barcelona would easily make the perfect romantic getaway for two if you’ve not organised anything for Valentine’s this year. 

Where’s you favourite winter city break destination?