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Our Travel Blogging Equipment

Our Travel Blogging Equipment

So we decided to quit the rat race and travel the world, documenting, photographing and filming our adventures as we go.  As beginner wanna be travel bloggers, we realised that to do what we wanted to, we needed to research and invest in some tech and travel gear, so that we can work towards creating better than the average holidaying blog / vlogs.

We spent hours discussing what we wanted to do and then looking up articles and reviews on both Google and YouTube to see what products were out there, what people thought of them and how to actually use them.  It has been a huge learning curve !

In this post, we want to give you the result of weeks, if not months of combined research and what we have chosen to take with us and why.   We have included links to these products, if you want to look at them in further detail.

We have NOT been sponsored or paid by anyone to review these products – as new bloggers we have not received any sponsorship and the reality is that we had to dig into our savings to buy these items, so the comments below ……. are what we REALLY think!

Recommended Products

We are new photographers and usually when we go on holiday we use a small automatic camera or our phone, however a large part of a travel blog is pictures. Likewise Facebook, Twitter and Instagram  the pictures need to show our journey.  How many times have you said “wow look at that” and then when you take the photo say that it doesn’t quite capture it.

Panasonic DMC-FZ1000 Lumix Bridge Camera

We decided that we didn’t have the photography knowledge and experience for a fully manual DSLR,  but wanted more than the point and shoot, so we decided on a Bridge Camera.  The FZ-1000 has hundreds of rave reviews and allows us to learn photography whilst taking great pictures.  It also films in 4K which will be great for YouTube clips.    We already owned a GoPro but that doesn’t allow zooming and being able to control depth of field.  We are very happy with this camera

 £650 – Click Image to view on Amazon

GoPro Action Camera

GoPro have been producing top quality action cameras for some time now and we already owned a GoPro Hero 4 Silver, which we bought a couple of years ago.  Although there are now newer versions we decided to continue to use the Hero 4 as it’s a great action camera which can also film in 4k.  A great all round action camera that with a waterproof case, will be used for all our scuba diving and water footage.  Due to the compact size and various attachments, it can be used for other action shots, like out of the car window or on the handlebars of a motorbike, it can also be mounted on the camper van to catch those carpool karaoke and dance moves ! £369.99 – Click Image to view on Amazon

DJI Spark Drone

I have watched so many travel videos on YouTube and the drone footage adds an excellent varied and imaginative element to the video.  It can really help the viewer engage with your location by showing the whole landscape from above.  We knew we wanted a drone, but had no knowledge of them.   From reading reviews, watching videos and talking to friends, there is no doubt that DJI is one of the main market leaders and producers of fantastic drones.  As a novice I wanted to invest but not spend thousands just in case I crashed it on the first few flights.  I also wanted it small enough that it could fit into my rucksack, day bag or hand luggage.

We came across the new model the DJI Spark.

 £682.85 – Click Image to view on Amazon

I won’t go into all the different features that this amazing little drone can do, but I am so glad that we decided to invest in this.  It is very small, light and is easy to use as a beginner.  I strongly suggest you spend that little more and get the Fly More Combo Kit.  The combo kit comes with the remote controller, spare blades, bag and spare battery.  From watching reviews from people that have had a crash it seems on occasion the tablet or phone has lost connection with the drone, but if you have the remote you can still fly it back.

I am sure we will get some great clips on our travels.  If you want to see my first fight on you tube then click image below:

Apple MacBook Air

We have always used Windows based products and so when we started looking for a small laptop / notebook to take with us on our travels there was a lot of confusion.  We couldn’t make up our minds.  We watched lots of YouTube clips that compared them and they both had advantages and disadvantages.  What was important was that it was able to handle video editing, including 4k so that it future proofed a little.

Then came the question of which spec.  I wanted  a newer processor, so went for an i7 although it seems an i5 would suffice – we ended up going for the cheaper 8GB of RAM.  The 16GB of RAM will work faster but as the 8GB will do the job even a bit slower we decided to take the slightly cheaper option.  As far as hard drive – you can buy an external hard drive so the space required on the computer can be lower.

Apple Macbook Air 13.3″ 1.7GHz Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB Flash Storage

£1450 – Click Image to view on Amazon

 Mini Tablet

Since we had already made the decision to go with Apple – we decided to get an I Pad Mini.  This can be used on the plane and for editing video footage on the go.   It also acts as the visual screen for the drone that we bought.   The main question was do we need the regular or cellular version.  

To explain the cellular version cost £100+ pounds more but it allows you to take the SIM card from your phone and put it into the IPad.    As we are planning to travel a lot, this means we can use the internet from the phone when there is not strandard wifi available.   If you have unlimited internet then this would be recognised as phone usage rather than tethering which generally has smaller data limits.  We ended up buying the Apple Cellular iPad Mini Tablet. 


£529.27 – Click Image to view on Amazon

Zhiyun Z1- Evolution 3-Axis Handheld Stabiliser Brushless Gimbal

During our research on making great videos – there was a lot of talk about Gimbals.   A word that I personally, had never heard of.  A gimbal is basically a device that helps stabilise video footage.  We decided to get one that could be used with the GoPro as it was a cheaper option than buying one for the main camera – this would have been £500+ and we need to be weary not to buy too much to start off with.

There are lots of different Gimbals that can be used for the GoPro – after careful consideration we chose the Zhiyun Evolution and we were not disappointed.   Quentin a friend that was staying with us at the time bought one by Feiyutech which was more expensive and I could not see any additional benefit.

The gimal gives must smoother footage and will stop future viewers feeling sea sick when they watch our videos.  It also has the added feature of a hole at the end so the gimbal can be attached to a tripod or extension pole.  It uses batteries which allows you to carry spares –  whereas some of the others brands, you have to plug the actual gimbal in – this can be very limiting.

£191 – Click Image to view on Amazon

 External Hard Drive

Keeping your data safe is really important for anyone who is taking pictures and videos, whether you are a blogger or not.  Imagine capturing months of footage, only to for it all be lost.  We made the decision that we wanted the best external hard drive that would withstand being knocked in the rucksack or dropped.   The hard drive range from LaCie do just that.  There are various specs – we chose the – LaCie Rugged 2 TB Thunderbolt + USB 3.0, Portable, 2.5 inch External Hard Drive. Drop resistant to up to 2m it will cope with me dropping it (I’m 6ft 3 or 1m 88cm).  

£161.66 – Click Image to view on Amazon


They come in various memory sizes and obviously the smaller ones are cheaper.  Check to make sure they have the correct connections.  The MacBook comes with a thunderbolt socket and this hard drive has a neat cable attached to it so you don’t have to worry about loosing it – it also comes with a separate cable to allow you to link with a normal Windows PC.

When you set it up you can choose either to have 100% for use on Apple, 100% on Windows or a combination.  I would suggest a combination as it allows you to easily share files between your MacBook and Windows PC.  Quite handy!


Protection Accessories

When you invest in great technology the last thing you want to do is scratch the lens  or damage a product by dropping it – so make sure you spend a little extra to protect your gear. Here are some of the items that we bought

Filter for the Lumix FZ-1000

Filters help perfect your images and there are a huge amount available.  As a beginner, I wanted a basic filter that will not only protect the lens, but will also reduce glare and reflections.   We choose the Gobe UV 62mm Japan Optics 16-Layer Multi-Resistant Coated Ultra Violet Filter.    It screws onto the front of the lens and I leave it on, so if I knock it  – I will scratch the filter not the camera lens.   We went for a better quality filter as we decided there is no point investing in a good camera to then put a cheap piece of glass over it . £18.40 – Click Image to view on Amazon

Go Pro Protection

We decided to buy a couple of covers for the GoPro as sometimes it will use in its protective / waterproof housing and sometimes it will be used on its own.

We bought a lens cap that just pushes straight onto the front of the camera for when its out of the protective housing
£6.99 – Click Image to view on Amazon


The other cover we bought was for the waterproof housing to protect it when it’s not in use

£12.87 – Click Image to view on Amazon

MacBook Air Protective Case

There are lots of different cases on the market  – we decided on the UAG (Urban Armor Gear)  MacBook Pro Military Drop Tested Laptop Case.  It had great reviews and when we received it, it certainly felt strong and should protect our MacBook in the event that we have a mishap.  I (Chris) am known to be quite clumsy  so in the future I am sure you will hear me saying “thank God I bought a good case”.
£54.99 – Click Image to view on Amazon

IPad Mini Protective Case

As we were so happy with the protective cover we bought for the MacBook, we decided to stick to the same brand. – Urban Armor Gear.  Again a very solid practicable attractive case.


£34.99 – Click Image to view on Amazon


Other Accessories


Bluetooth Microphone for GoPro

Both the GoPro and Lumix FZ-1000 are excellent cameras however to make those great YouTube clips, we needed an external microphone.  You will see on both the tech Video and drone clip the audio needs improvement.   We chose a wireless blue tooth set made by Removu.  Not the cheapest but it has excellent reviews and I like the fact that it’s wireless and can be used up to 40m away! and the microphone is waterproof!   We haven’t produced any videos showing the new audio but watch this space!

£82.68 – Click Image to view on Amazon

We also bought a cable that allows the microphone to be used on the main camera

£14.99 – Click Image to view on Amazon

Tripod Adapter Mount Bracket 

This small bracket allows any GoPro housing to be mounted (screwed) onto a standard camera tripod.  This will allow us to put the waterproof housing on the extendable monopod for shots out of a boat, close to the water or out of a vehicles window.

£1.95 – Click Image to view on Amazon

 Floating Hand Grip for GoPro

This hand grip is perfect for using your GoPro when doing water activities.  The waterproof housing fits on top and if dropped in the water it will float!  It also comes with the wrist strap.

£7.99 – Click Image to view on Amazon

 Red Filter for Diving

When filming underwater the colours change as you go deeper so to stop your diving footage becoming a green blurry scene you need to use a filter on the GoPro.  DON’T BY A CHEAP ONE.   I made this mistake a couple of years ago when I bought a cheap one on Ebay.  Infact they were so cheap I bought 3 of them incase I lost them.  So being the generous person that I am  – I gave one to a fellow scuba diver who had a GoPro but didn’t have filter.  Both of our videos came out red – it seriously looked like we were diving in a blood bath and the days filming was ruined!
I now buy known brands and Polar Pro is one of the leading brands  – they make a selection of different filters and you know they are going to work.   We bought a switchblade last year for our holiday and it worked great.  It has a red filter as well as a rounded  lens which magnifies the subject making great footage of smaller marine life.   I would suggest tying or cabling the filter to the housing just in case it fall off during diving.

£63.64 – Click Image to view on Amazon

 GoPro Selfie Pole

You can’t be without a selfie pole to enable you to film yourselves.   It gives some great shots whatever you are doing – I have used mine for diving both filming yourself and it allows you to film marine life with out getting too close and causing the creature distress.  Its best to get an extendable waterproof one so it can be used in above and below water.

£8.49 – Click Image to view on Amazon

Extendable Camera Monopod.

We had lots of discussions to decide whether we need this, or if we are actually going to use it a lot.  Time will tell but I think this is a great bit of kit.  It extends to 1.2m and is very light weight.  At the end is a standard tripod fitting, so you can put both your main camera or Go Pro (need the tripod attachment).  It can be used like the selfie pole but with much greater length, with the possibility of attaching the gimbal on the end.  Many options to use this, for some usual shots.

£9.95 – Click Image to view on Amazon

 DJI Spark Spare Batteries

Although the drone comes with 2 batteries, we wanted to buy some spare batteries just in case we are off the beaten track and either don’t have access to charge them or with only 15 minutes flying time per battery, and need that additional flight time.  They are not cheap but are a good long term investment (as long as I don’t end up crashing into the sea!)

£49.99 – Click Image to view on Amazon

Fireproof Lipo Battery Safety Storage Bags

We have all heard horror stories of lithium batteries catching fire and as these batteries are larger, we thought it would be a good idea to buy some protective fireproof bags, just in case.  You also don’t know how strict some airlines might be, so this makes them definitely safer for travelling.

£4.49 (stores 2 batteries) – Click Image to view on Amazon


Lightening Cable for Remote / IPad

The most reported fault that causes problems with the DJI Spark is loss of wifi connection, mainly for those that just use their phones to fly, rather then the remote control.  As we bought the combo pack we have the remote control but it communicates to the IPad via its own wifi.  We decided to buy a cable that goes from the remote into the IPad so that in the event that the wifi signal was lost both elements would still work.  Not essential but a good bit of added security.  You can get a variety of cables for different phones and tablets.

£6.89 – Click Image to view on Amazon

Landing Gear & Mini Launch pad For DJI Spark

This is another added safety device.  When taking off you want to avoid dirt and grass etc, and so this landing gear raises the drone a couple of cm, which can make all the difference.  There are lots of different styles available. – we likes this one, as you can still attach the propeller safety guards which you can’t with other models.

£6.00 – Click Image to view on Amazon

£15.89 – Click Image to view on Amazon

There will be times when you either need to do a hand launch or need a clean surface e.g. on sand.  This hand held mini launch pad does just this and also helps protect you fingers.

Tablet Holder Bracket for DJI Spark.

Depending on which device you use as a display screen, if may not fit into the brackets on the bottom of the remote controller.  If you use you phone it will fit but the IPad mini does not fit.  (I have heard, that some batches of remote do fit and some don’t so check before buying)

This bracket is great as it allows you to attach the IPad and gives clearance underneath for your hands to use the joy sticks.  It also comes with a neck strap in case you drop it!

£8.99 – Click Image to view on Amazon

Spare Batteries for the Lumix FZ-1000 Camera

We choose not to go with original batteries as review said a number of brands gave the same performance at a lower price.

£15.49 – Click Image to view on Amazon

GoPro Rechargable Battery for HERO4

We decided to go for original spare batteries for the GoPro.

£19.99 – Click Image to view on Amazon


So we have invested in what we believe is essential tech to help us provide you with the best blogs, blogs photos and videos.

Stokesay Castle Shropshire

Stokesay Castle Shropshire

Our Spanish friends Pab & Janire (featured in the first Drone YouTube video) who were visiting the UK, wanted to explore a local castle, so we took a trip south towards Craven Arms, armed with our camera, go pro 4 and the new Spark Drone to visit Stokesay Castle.

Stokesay Castle is one of over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites cared for by English Heritage – for more information on other sites visit

According to English Heritage, Stokesay is the best-preserved fortified medieval manor house in England and was built at the end of the 13th Century.


After following the signs, we pulled into the car park, which cost £1 for the day – we headed in.  You pass the church on the way in, so we investigated that before buying the tickets.

Tickets were £7.60 per adult or if you want to visit more English Heritage sites then there is the option to buy an annual membership.

Armed with our go pro we headed through the beautiful gate house.

The Gate House

As we entered the main courtyard, there were some items for the kids (and us) to wear and a couple of staff nearby to help the kids (of course Pab and I couldn’t resist a quick sword fight !)


On Guard !

They do regular events there, so check our their web site.

Of course, I had the wear the TREAD the Globe T-shirt.   The t-shirts were to help promote the blog and our journey and we were so pleased, to be contacted by Helena a few days later, to say that she had seen the T-Shirt and us blogging at Stokesay Castle – thanks Helena !



The views from the top of the tower were amazing and we were surrounded by the beautiful Shropshire countryside.  We did get a few odd looks as Pab filmed me walking up and down the stairs – but we had fun doing the videoing and wanted to get good footage for You Tube Channel.


Top of the tower


As I walked around, you couldn’t help but wish the walls could talk – because you know they would have some very interesting stories of things they had happened over the years.

The Great Hall has been unchanged for 700 years !!  and the staircase at the end of the hall gives a great birds eye view.


The Great Hall


After exploring the castle we headed off to find a spot to launch the drone  – we found a recently harvested field nearby to launch from.  The footage came out really well, and can be seen in our short You Tube clip at the beginning of this post.


Of course before we headed home we had to stop for a cup of tea in their tea room !


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A Day at Shrewsbury’s Dragon Boat Contest

A Day at Shrewsbury’s Dragon Boat Contest

Sunday 9th July we were invited to attend the annual Shrewsbury Dragon Boat race, with the team from the Princess Royal Hospital.

The event held at the Shrewsbury’s School’s Pengwern Boat Club (can also be viewed from the Quarry Park)  is organised to raise money for the local Severn Hospice.

A total of 39 teams competed and each had a team tent along the river bank where they relaxed and many had BBQ’s.

The local hospital team ‘ Stitched Up’ was knocked out after 2 rounds but it was a really great day with many teams dressing in fancy dress.

Team from the Princess Royal
Stitched up by Stacey


There were lots of great imaginative fancy dressed teams, here’s some of the best ones we saw


Meeting Lara Croft was the highlight of my day !



And of course Sloth from the Goonies – “
Hey you guys”


Or How about the Ninja Turtles
May the force be with you


Pirates of the river Severn


The boats raced to the music of Hawaii five o  and Marianne was spotted doing her special Hawaii five 0 boating dance – most entertaining.

Overall the day was most enjoyable – thanks to the people in Shrewsbury for making us feel so welcome and joining in all the photos.

Check out our Face Book page for the full selection of pictures we took and make sure you subscribe to our blog and follow are journey as the TREAD the Globe for ever more.

Why I decided to quit my job & sell my belongings to travel the world

Why I decided to quit my job & sell my belongings to travel the world

We have always loved to travel and experience what our wonderful world has to offer but I would never have actually imagined, that I would one day quit my senior management job to travel permanently…..

As we sat on a beach on the beautiful island of Mabul, in Sabah Borneo, Marianne and I listened with envy as a couple told us they weren’t on holiday – they were just travelling.  Here we were, having saved up all year, for a 3-week rushed trip around the far east, cramming in as much as we could, talking to a couple, who seemed to have no stress and we’re casually talking of their plans, saying maybe we’ll head here or there.  They weren’t the only people we had met on our travels that had such a lifestyle, and deep inside it planted a seed that grew over several years.

  On the  beach in Borneo

Both Marianne and I are from hard working career minded families. I was brought up to study hard, (although as a child I didn’t really- sorry Dad!) to work hard, go for that promotion and save to get a mortgage for a nice house. As we went through life together, we worked hard so we could afford the mortgage and all the wonderful belongings we have accumulated over the many years since we have been married.

I spent many years working every hour possible in 5 star hotels in Singapore, Australia and England.  In this time we had even bought our own pub and set up an internet business called Martial Mania selling Martial Art training DVDs (as one job was never enough!).

I spent the last 9 years as the Head of Catering Services at The Shrewsbury and Telford NHS trust.  Marianne also works for the NHS and it highlights the fact that life is very precious and every moment should be enjoyed to the fullest.  As you get older you do realise that none of us are guaranteed a long-life journey.

One day, it hit us like a bolt of lightning.  So here we are in our late 40’s, with a nice house full of beautiful things, most of which we don’t use.    We both started questioning our purpose and goals in life.  What’s next?  Do we keep working for another 20 years until we reach retirement age and during this time we can pay the numerous bills and buy more stuff?

We both work very hard, to be able to live in a nice house and buy things that we think make us happy, but do they really? Is there not more to life than doing the same routine every day, and chasing the latest gadget or updating tech because your TV doesn’t have 4k (which none of the TV channels currently televise anyway)

I know, that when I am on my death bed, I will not be lying there saying that I wish I had more money in the bank, I wish my house was cleaner or I wish I had worked harder.  I can however, see myself wishing I had walked the great wall of China (or the great wall of Mexico if President Trump ever builds it) or wishing I had dived with a school of hammerhead sharks off Galapogos.  Yes, we both like diving with sharks, who are misunderstood, but I’ll save that for a future blog post.

So, Marianne and I got into a discussion, what do we want to do when we retire, what would we do if our numbers came up and we won the lottery and what would we do if we knew we only had a year to live?   The answer for all of these questions was that we would quit our jobs and travel the world forever more.

But was it possible?  How could we afford it when we haven’t had the fortune of winning the lottery?  The research then started on how could we do it.  The details on how it’s possible will appear in a future blog post (after we have started) but the key was not to sell our house and initially to live on the rent.

So, as I sat in a meeting, under pressure to get action plans, forecasts, reports, audits etc done, my mind started to drift back to the conversation we had on the beach.  I walked out of that meeting knowing that I would draft my resignation and I emailed it to my boss that night.

 Goodbye office

It is the interactions and experiences you share with people that will give you a much greater sense of fulfilment rather than buying the latest gadget which will only give you short term satisfaction (or so you believe).  The more gadgets and equipment you have, the more it seems that something breaks and needs replacing.


 Goodbye tea with Staff at the Princess Royal Hospital Telford

Although travelling and the dream of selling all the belongings you have spent your whole life accumulating, is not everyone’s dream, I would urge you to live your own dream, whatever that is, as expression says “life is not a dress rehearsal its real”!

The first chapter of our new life is beginning, as we plan on quite how we are going to empty our house (yes, we have an attic and garage like many of you – full of stuff) we will initially be blogging about and promoting the wonderful locations and events we have here in the UK.

 Getting rid of all this in the garage may take a while !

Stay tuned for our next post as we get ready to TREAD the Globe.

Subscribe on the homepage to follow our adventures and we are also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  To follow our journey as we now prepare to empty the contents of our house.

Barcelona – our eating experience

Barcelona – our eating experience

When we chose Barcelona, I had a couple of dishes on my food wishlist! – to experience tapas and eat authentic Paella and for the best local food we always follow two rules:

1.  Eat where the locals eat (especially a priest or policeman), not at a place with menus aimed at tourists.

2.  Ask a good local taxi driver!

Our faithful taxi driver (Raul – number available on request!) that we used throughout our visit made a few suggestions and wow he really came up trumps.


Xiringuito Escriba

This was the recommendation for the best Paella in town, and it did not disappoint.  Located on the beach front, it not only has great tasting Paella but you can also enjoy the spectacular beach and sea views at the same time.    Not the cheapest Paella in town, between 16 and 25 euros but definitely worth the extra for that authentic taste.

Marianne enjoying the sun outside Escriba

Watching the chef cook in the open plan kitchen, is like watching the conductor of an orchestra, as he juggled numerous pans of paella.  I chose the ultimate with a mix of meat and seafood with whole prawns and mussels in shells perfectly placed on the top.

Me in food heaven – and that was just tasting Mariannes’ !

The paella is served in the pan with wooden spoons, which I assume, stops you scratching the natural non stick of the pan.  They also do vegetarian paella – Marianne tried a mushroom, asparagus and artichoke paella which tasted equally amazing (not that I ate some of her’s as well!!).


In true Marianne fashion she  managed to sweet talk her way  into the kitchen.


If you make it to Barcelona, then give this place a go! you can check out their web site here


La Esquinita de Blai

There are Tapas bars everywhere in Barcelona,  but Raul recommended us to head to Carrer de Blai.   A long straight pedestrianised road  full of people eating outside, with lots of different bars and restaurants on either side, the whole length!  There was so much choice! but we ended up going to La Esquinita de Blai and we weren’t disappointed.  Its quite a small bar, but was full of locals, which is always a great sign.

As we entered, the bar was covered in beautiful looking snacks, which we found out were called pinchos.


It works like a buffet – you take a plate and help yourself.  You are charged by the colour of the stick,  plain sticks were 1 euro each and the red ones were 1.80 euros (there are little shot glasses by the plates – you put the used sticks in the glass, and they count the sticks at the till when you’ve finished).  I would always suggest finding out the prices before you eat half the buffet,  just in case other bars charge more!  What can I say the pinchos was absolutely amazing – really good flavours and they are freshly made on site.

I wanted to do quality control on the tapas too – so promptly ordered some tapas from the menu too.  My favourite was the prawn tapas – this cost 8 euros but wow – great portion of prawns, with garlic, chilli and apple.  I wasn’t sure how the apple flavour would go but it complimented the taste of the dish and the chilli wasn’t too over powering.  Marianne had a favourite too – it was a croquette shaped mushroom, chicken and creamy cheese filling – very tasty !!

Me with the manager.  Thank you



El Dinamic de BCN

Located very near to where we were staying, is El Dinamic, tucked away down a side street (Passage de Pere Calders, 4, 08015 Barcelona).  It was a great find and somewhere for a relaxed casual evening.  Like the other restaurants we had tried, it was full of locals eating true Spanish style – relaxed eating, with great flavours, colours and people enjoying the food and atmosphere.

There was a menu available in English, but we were offered another menu of ‘specials’ just in Spanish.  The staff were really fun and spoke English, and were very happy to take the time to explain the various dishes.   The roasted peppers and chorizo tapas is worth sampling and they also had great salads, local cheese boards and meat dishes.

More importantly they made Mojitos – which is Marianne’s preferred drink.  They also have a very interesting ‘living green wall, completely covered in plants.  It gives the feeling of sitting outside when you’re not!

Wednesday evening is a great night to go, as they have entertainment every Wednesday,  on our visit there was a guitarist called  Alejandro Salas playing.  Absolutely amazing check him out on you tube here.   The way he played the guitar was mind blowing and he is seriously talented.  We ended up staying until he finished, and enjoyed having a good sing along – although to begin with Marianne was the only one singing! – (nothing to do with the mojitos!)  soon most tables were joining in and it was a great atmosphere.  A beautiful ending to a beautiful evening – Thank you El Dinamic

Alejandro Salas


How to reduce your plastic use on your Travels

How to reduce your plastic use on your Travels

It seems that no matter where you travel in the world, the beaches always have washed up rubbish and are always littered with plastic.    Now, it’s common knowledge that plastic waste is bad for the environment and our oceans, but it is everywhere!.

A plastic bag can take hundreds of years to breakdown, yet despite knowing this, every year, millions of plastic items end up in our oceans.  This pollutes and damages the delicate marine life, I’m sure you have seen some of the postings on social media where, for example a whale or turtle has died as a result of  consuming plastic bags, after mistaking them as edible jelly fish.

All waste is bad, but in many areas of the world they don’t have efficient waste disposal processes and don’t have any recycling facilities.   Please also remember that when you travel to remote picturesque islands, there will be higher costs to dispose of waste via boats, or often waste is burnt, buried or thrown into our oceans as it can be a more economical way of hiding waste.


So what can we do to help reduce waste and in particular plastic waste on our travels, wherever in the world you may be traveling.

Say NO to Straws !

Plastic disposable straws are an environmental nightmare.  You can often see these littering local coral reefs when diving or snorkelling.  For years, I have been told you should use a straw and not drink directly from a can, as you don’t know how dirty the top of the can is! – I would say that is logical, especially if you’re off the beaten track.    So where possible buy glass bottles as the cap protects the lip of the bottle where you drink from, or use a reusable straw.   These now come in a wide variety, they are small, light and easily fit into you backpack or bag.

£4.99 click image to see on Amazon



Avoid using plastic bags

This may seem like an obvious one, but often travellers are automatically given plastic bags as in many countries, shopkeepers will automatically place your bought goods into a bag for you.  Say no! (with a smile) You can get some great, cool looking, practical reusable shopping bags that take up hardly any room.

£5.26 click image to see on Amazon


Buy drink cans rather than plastic bottles / bags.

When you buy a drink choose a canned variety rather than plastic bottles or cartons with plastic straws.   Many local vendors in the Far East sell drinks in plastic bags with straws in – these are the worst to buy.  Marine life wont eat a can, although I have seen crabs live in them!.

Reuse plastic bottles

How you refill your plastic bottle depends where in the world you are.  If you’re in a country with drinkable water on tap – need I say more!.    If you’re in a country where you have to drink bottle water, many resorts have the large water / juice dispensers.  Fill up your bottle from the dispenser.  Not only does this save you money it also reduces your plastic usage.

Take your own drink bottle

There are a wide variety of refillable water bottles on the market and it’s best to find one that suits your own individual needs.  Some are just water bottles and some can filter the water to different qualities.

The Life Saver Bottle:

    • LIFESAVER bottle filters out bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites and fungi from water
    • Tested by Independent Test House to meet adaption of NSF Protocol 231
    • Filters 4,000 litres / 1056 US gallons of water
    • FAILSAFE – an automatic indicator when the cartridge needs replacing
    • BPA and BPS free

£110 click image to see on Amazon

The Life Straw:

This is similar to the Life Saver but it doesn’t remove viruses.  They are cheaper but filter less quantities

£39.99 click image to see on Amazon



Another way of being able to refill your  water bottle is to use a UV Steripen.  You can refill any water bottle and then use the Steripen to make the water safe to drink.  They work really well (the taste is not great – so if you have any fruit put a slice or two in to help disguise the puddle taste !!).  We used one when we climbed Mount Kinabalu.  We were able to fill up from the various rain water tanks on the way up while others had to carry the weight of lots of  bottles of water.

£83.13 click image to see on Amazon


Be aware when your shopping

When you’re shopping consciously buy products with less plastic packaging.  Choose glass jars rather than plastic or products packed in cardboard rather than plastic.  Buying fresh fruit or ingredients you can take your own reusable bag.

Pack a reusable razor.

Take a razor that has changeable blades rather than buying disposable razors – it also takes less space in your backpack or case.  And, any shaving foam, sun creams, shampoo, shower gel or leftover liquids that you can’t take with you – give it to new found friends along the way, that need it rather than bin anything.

If everyone took a few simple steps to reduce their plastic usage, collectively it would make a difference.  We can only control our own actions – so take action and lead by example and TREAD the Globe responsibly.