Friday 29 December 2023

Booking a trip with £0 deposit

 It's time to look at the webpages to visit somewhere lovely.

Now that the turkey is drying up, and the crumpled hats sit hiding under the dining room table, many people turn their thoughts to holidays. 

Tui are giving discounts (see my affiliate link below)* which means you can spread the cost, get some money off and even book with no deposit. 

If you wanted my recommendations, please look at the selection of YouTube videos I have on my channel. If I could book a relaxing break right now, I would be tempted to head to Trendy Lara in Turkey, as they had amazing fitness facilities and a great coffee shop where you can sit and read afterwards. 

Lock in your holiday…

…with a £0 deposit*

T&Cs:  *£0 deposit applies to selected new TUI bookings which are 26 weeks or greater from departure when paying by Direct Debit instalments and excludes accommodation-only, flight-only bookings and packages booked with a third party flight. Valid on holidays departing up until 31st October 2024. A minimum of 3 Direct Debit payments are required. If you cancel your holiday you still have to pay the full deposit. The full deposit amounts are £200pp for short and mid haul beach, and £250pp for long haul beach. Direct Debit payment is available for online booking only. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: TUI is a trading name of TUI UK Limited, a member of the TUI Group. Registered office: Wigmore House, Wigmore Lane, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU2 9TN. Registered in England No: 2830117. ATOL 2524, ABTA V5126. 

*affiliate links mean if you book using my link, you may save some money, but not always. It never costs you any more. And Tui will pay a few pence in commision for me sending you to them, which really helps me with my online business. 

Friday 10 November 2023

Discount codes for travel. Where would you go?

When we travel, we sense magic as our bodies begin to flow into a different state.

Currently, I am writing about an experience for my next book.

Think: Eat Pray Love meets Mamma Mia. Yep, it's called Whitewashed. I hope it will be out before Christmas but life is currently getting in the way. Find out more and keep in the loop here.

2025 holidays have gone on sale today. Have a look at what's available here:

*affiliate link (costs you no more, but tui may pay a small commission for my recommending them)


Why I travel - why you travel

You've heard of fight or flight.

Have you heard of freeze or fawn?

It's a new one, which can be a reason that we all love to travel so much. There is a reason we like to escape, to relax, to press pause on the stresses of life. Sometimes, when we go away, we end up feeling unwell. This is the relaxing process.

My online world has always explored the holistic approach to health and a large part of that is using creative writing. Putting my writing world on pause has caused me some low moments. You will see from this blog, I haven't posted very much. I have been posting these kind of thoughts elsewhere. 

This blog seems to do well when I share travel information and stories of journeys with you all. So, that is what you can expect to see in the coming weeks. 

As we all prepare for Christmas, there may be a lack of travel at the front of our minds, but it will come, and you can be assured I will be sharing deals I find in these pages. 

Which would you chose to read about first?








On those links are tours of hotels, information about the food (I travel as a celiac with Crohn's) among other snippets of information. I hope you will love it. If you still want deep and meaningful blogs, they will be here, scattered through the lovely information I'll be sharing with you. 


Sunday 23 April 2023

Living in a tiny house with

A tiny house with a log burner? 

Dog friendly?

Countryside views?

Yes please.

Jasmine, Harley and I booked ourselves a few days of respite with The idea behind the cabins is to switch off everything except for what comes naturally. You can switch off your phone, pop it in a box and give an emergency number to your family. A basic Nokia phone (with Snake game) is provided, and so is a Polaroid camera for you to take some non-digital snaps. We all become creatures of habit and some of the things we are used to become difficult to put down.

We decided to do some reading, (some writing for me), spend precious time with little Harley, and sit looking out of the picture window into nature. 

The cabin had everything you could need to survive. There was even a compostable toilet and eco shower which was hot, powerful and large. The steam awoke my scent senses as I used their shower gel and fresh shampoo. Two gas rings were provided for the morning cuppa, some cooking and a lovely evening chamomile tea. Sleep was plentiful as the natural circadian rhythms instantly switched on to encourage a relaxing slumber. Harley slept at the end of the bed, in his bed, on a wooden platform which looked like it was made especially for him. He has always loved looking out of windows and he sat there watching the local pheasant strolling by with its two crow friends. 

Nighttime saw a bright moonlight up the field in front of the cabin, and we decided to sleep with the blinds open. I wasn't sure if I would be nervous. My mind races a lot of the time and my imagination goes wild, but I was surprisingly calm and relaxed. I'm glad we left the blinds open as we were able to be woken by the rising sun before it met the horizon. My chilly nose led me to the wood burner to light the fire. As the wood caught, the crackling sounds gave a soundtrack to make me smile. I was happy. The kettle was beginning to steam on the gas stove. 

A few minutes later, I was back in bed, with my morning coffee, sitting slowly and watching the clouds roll past and the sunrise into the sky. These were precious moments of pause. So often, we race around with tight shoulders and the time finally came to just be. Listening to the body is more important than we have time for.

Two days into our trip, and we took Harley in his dog pushchair, to see some deer in the forest. I had never been to the New Forest before, but it was not like England. The flat terrain saw herds of cows strolling by at their own pace, and wandering ponies snacking on the side of the road. 

As always, the sun shone brightly for us as we drove through the countryside. We found a stunning cafe which was dog friendly and gluten-free. A rare find. We didn't stay out for too long as the beauty in the tiny house was calling us home. 

Cooking in the cabin was easy, and I loved prepping healthy meals for us to eat outside on the table beside the field. 

I would definitely suggest looking at Unplugged. We loved their ethic and the quality of everything they provided for us. 

I'm glad I filmed these videos to remember our time there. It was wonderful to just be together, letting life be the joy it was designed to be. 

Vlog of our time in the stunning cabin

Tiny House Tour

Pack with me: what did I take?


Friday 10 February 2023

I fell in love with Iceland

 We went to Iceland…


A few years ago, Jasmine mentioned a desire to travel to Iceland. I bought her a keyring with a picture of the Blue Lagoon on it. The idea was, she would get to see the keyring and manifest her trip.


Manifesto later, and we found ourselves looking at hotels to stay at in Reykjavik. It felt like a pipe dream until we made a few tweaks. We found that by flying from Luton Airport, we could save ourselves over £300 each, and found the total bill at £582 each. 

After a little time to ponder, some more research, and a fair dose of dreaming, we decided to go ahead and book our trip to Iceland.


Jasmine oversaw finding out everything we needed to know, as we have become so accustomed to travelling on a package holiday where you don’t really move much from the hotel and grounds. She did an incredible job, and her findings were so golden, I decided to share them here with you. 


We were told by so many people that Iceland was very expensive. We worried about this a little and decided to take extra precautions. Being celiac, I was concerned about the availability of non-gluten-containing food, and so we took things we could eat in the room, such as crackers, tins of ready-made tuna and sweetcorn and Jasmine took a couple of pot noodles. The hotel we stayed in was called the Storm Hotel, and we checked online to see if there was a kettle in the room. Heading to Youtube, I searched for a room tour of the hotel and it showed the kettle, so we knew we could brew up some noodles for Jasmine. My snacks were not the ideal nutrition I could have chosen, but it was legal, and it sounded like it might sustain me while we were using huge energy to adventure around this island. 


Tui had a selection of hotels you could book. Some of them didn’t invite you for breakfast, and some didn’t include any trips. We opted for the version which gave us a trip around the Golden Circle, an evening hunting for the Northern Lights, and breakfast each day. So, our budget was set, we wouldn’t waste away, and we would be able to look around the most famous parts of Iceland.


The blue lagoon was calling us. A morning of bobbing around in the high silica hot springs of the famous lagoon sounded like the perfect way to end the trip. Jasmine set to using the internet to research the costs involved. It was famed for being expensive. It wasn’t cheap. But it was worth it. How can you go to Iceland and not get out the swimming costume? I had heard it was relaxing but I had difficulty imagining that. It was relaxing. We loved it! 

Tickets to the Blue Lagoon were:  £110 each, including transport, a face mask and a drink. We opted for a slushie as it seemed very appropriate. While our face masks were on, we sat listening to a local man tell a story about how the lagoon came to be, who the hidden people were, and many other gems about the tectonic plates, earthquakes and silica. 

The Icelandic people were great storytellers; for me (also a storyteller) this was one of the main attractions. This country was full of wonder and delights and far exceeded my own expectations. I hoped to see some amazing sights but as I detailed in this Instagram post, I didn’t expect to fall in love with Iceland. 


The feeling I had was one of wonder. Nature phenomena were not in short supply in Iceland, and I couldn’t help but feel like a very small human being in the grand scheme of the planet. Sprouting Geysers had a force behind not to be reckoned with, and the heat from the spray soon turned to ice as it drifted across the air. Clinging to the nearby grass, the tiny droplets wove pretty ice patterns, begging us to pull out our cameras. 

My bucket list ticked.

I had always wanted to see a sprouting Geyser. I hadn’t expected it to feel so magical. Perhaps the low-level sun contributed to the magic as it was golden hour all day.


After a short drive between the moon and the sun (one to the west, one to the east) we went to Gullfoss waterfall for the most trying time of the trip. There were stairs to walk down which were covered in ice, so I looked at the handrail. It was also covered in ice. But I knew I needed to hold on to the rail to be able to descend the stairs. It was -13, but the ice did not melt in my hand. My glove stayed dry. My breathing was tricky as I breathed below my scarf. Just my eyes were showing. 

The bottom of the staircase gave me a chance to stop and look up. And there was the inspiring sight of the waterfall. Ice faded into the water as the sides of the fall laughed in their trickery. I didn’t know what I was looking at. But I was inspired enough to remove my hand from my glove long enough to take a photo. 

I was the coldest I had ever been. My legs were tired, my lungs were on fire. This was before I had to climb the stairs back to the coach. I had silently looked for other ways back up, but knowing I had drawn a blank, I faced head down, and began to go up, one step at a time. Breathing heavily into my scarf, the droplets from my breath formed small tear-shaped ice cubes inside my faux fur scarf. At the top, I was proud. I was in awe. 


Our final stop on the Golden Circle was the national park of 

Thingvellir where I was to embrace 

a fear I had of all things ‘vast’ and visiting the tectonic plates. 

They showed us that we were in

Europe to our left, and North America to our right. Several feet 

of ground was separating the

two, and as time goes on, it will split more and more to reveal

 two parts of Iceland. The rate 

is around 2cm per year, so it will take quite some time.

There was another hill to walk down and back up again, but the

views were worth it. 

We were exhausted. 


Our guide for the day was known as Berger, and he was 

‘delighted to announce that Tui have 

Just informed me that the northern lights trip is going ahead 

tonight,’ and we all clapped. This

was such good news, as they always waited for the predictions 

of the aurora borealis to show 

on the KP scores on an app called ‘Aurora’. That meant there 

was a good chance to view the 

Lights – but it was never guaranteed. If you didn’t see them, 

you got to go again and try the 

Next night for free. Jasmine looked and smiled at me, “it’s 4 

Mum.” That was a good 



After snacks back in the room, we headed out to see the best 

lights we could have hoped for.



I never expected to fall in love with Iceland. 

© Louise Usher. All rights reserved.