One day in Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto | PACK THE SUITCASES


My name is Caroline and I write all this rubbish.

You’ll also see photos of my other half Chris in some of my posts. He takes some of the photos, so if you see one with a thumb over the lens you’ll know it’s by him. We’re a 30-something couple based somewhere in the North West of England. We both work full time but try to go away every three months. Or as much as you can stretch 32.5 days of annual leave to.I started this travel-blogging malarkey after getting home from honeymoon in May 2016 and thinking ‘So what now?!’. Basically, I needed a project to fill the void left by three years of wedding planning being over, otherwise I was just going to repeatedly redecorate our entire house for the rest of time.

So I bought a fancy camera, got into photography and wrote some blog posts about the places we went on honeymoon. One of these first ever blog posts went a bit viral (it was about Reykjavik if you’re interested – it’s not even a very good post). I must have loved all the online abuse that came with it, because the rest, as they say, is history. I’ve been blogging ever since.

Travel has always played a huge part in me and Chris’s relationship. Since getting together in January 2011, we’ve racked up a lot of cities and countries together. I also love trips away with my group of friends, usually for hen dos because when you’re in your 30s this is what takes up 90% of your weekends. Wherever I’ve been exploring, I’ve always enjoyed boring friends and family about it when I get home.

I still find it baffling that strangers on the internet apparently also quite like hearing my travel tales. But apparently you do because I’ve somehow ended up with quite a few people reading this blog now. And I’m even shortlisted for a Northern Blog Award right now….

Norther Blog Awards 2018 - Shortlisted

Some other stuff about me

As mentioned above, I work full time and this blog is just a hobby. I don’t earn any money from it (in fact, it costs me a fortune once a year when I have to renew my account). My actual job is working in publishing as a copy editor and general word geek. So if you spot any grammatical errors or typos on here, it’s definitely only because I wanted a break from doing my day job.

When not working or blogging, I’m riding. My horse is my escape and I love working on dressage and just generally being around him. I also like feminism and tea and loads of other stuff that I won’t drone on about here.

What kind of holidays/travel do I write about here?

European city breaks are the ‘bread and butter’ of my travel, as well as local UK breaks. But I’m lucky enough to have friends in Japan so really specialise in that too.

  • I don’t do all-inclusives, package holidays, packing light, super luxury, or roughing it. We never drive abroad and try to avoid it here in the UK too. I’m allergic to any kind of ‘outdoorsy’ stuff (apart from walking and horse riding). I don’t see the point of splurging all your spends on a super swanky hotel when you’re only going to sleep there. As long as it has a decent shower and a well-placed plug socket for hair straighteners, I’m happy.
  • I do do spending far too much on new outfits for the trip (but I always manage to pack the suitcase successfully – see what I did there? Help).We usually stay in apartments or mid-range hotels. I love cramming in loads of off-the-beaten-track exploring, getting some culture with museums/galleries, finding pretty spots and cobbled streets, visiting gardens, eating ALL THE FOOD, trying local craft beer, and doing day trips on trains. I bloody love a good coastal train journey with a nice village at the end of it. Also gin.


Have a little stalk of Pack The Suitcases around the web

Some sites I’ve been featured/interviewed on:

Say hello

You can get in touch with me by email or at various online places listed below:

North Berwick: a pretty seaside town in Scotland | PACK THE SUITCASES

Countries/cities visited

Obvs I’ve been to loads of other places with friends/family, but this is where I’ve been with Chris – our joint list, if you will. And it’s where you’ll find the ones I’ve blogged about.

  1. England – We live here (unfortunately) so have seen a lot of it. I’ve lived all over the place in the North West, but our ‘home’ cities are Liverpool and Manchester. We love Kirkby Lonsdale and Shrewsbury for weekends away.
  2. ScotlandDumfries & Galloway area – Kirkcudbright and around it (x2), Edinburgh (x3), North Berwick (x2)
  3. Isle of Manall over the island! Note: it’s not part of the UK!
  4. GermanyMunich (x2), Berlin, Landsberg am Lech
  5. BulgariaSofia
  6. PortugalMadeira (x3), Lisbon, Porto, Vila Nova De Gaia, Guimaraes
  7. Austria – Salzburg, Vienna
  8. France – Paris
  9. Belgium – Bruges
  10. Spain – Gran Canaria
  11. ItalyRome
  12. Vatican City – And what?
  13. Denmark – Copenhagen (x2)
  14. SwedenStockholm (x2), Gothenburg, Malmo (x2)
  15. NorwayBergen
  16. IcelandReykjavik
  17. JapanTokyo (x2), Kyoto, Matsumoto, Kanazawa, Itoigawa, Naoshima, Himeji, Kobe, Nara, Takamatsu, and generally all over Japan
  18. MaltaValletta, Mdina, Gozo, Golden Bay, Sliema
  19. SloveniaLjubljana
  20. CroatiaZagreb
  21. USASan Francisco, Boston.

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