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….
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:
- Goteborg press clips – Gothenburg Official Visitor Guide, July 2016
- British couple ‘shocked’ by the sheer volume of tourists in Reykjavík – Iceland Magazine, August 2016 [and in Icelandic here]
- Non-traditional elegance: a gold dress and first look for a feminist bride and her glasshouse wedding – Love My Dress wedding blog, June 2017
- The best open-jaw trips, as recommended by travel bloggers – Helen on Her Holidays, July 2017
- Foodie travel: What is the ultimate afternoon tea? – Wanderer of the World, July 2017
- International Beer Day – sampling the world’s best beer – Dreams in Heels, August 2017
- Interview with travel blogger Pack The Suitcases – Eat Sleep Love Travel, September 2017
- Travel bloggers’ love stories: incredible, but true! – Travel Moments In Time, September 2017
- 27 bloggers share their biggest travel blogging mistakes (so you don’t make them too) – Jessie on a Journey, September 2017
- 100 best places to visit in Europe – Road Affair, September 2017
- Hiking UK: 22 best day hikes in the UK by travel bloggers – Becky the Traveller, December 2017
- Best sunsets around the world – While I’m Young, February 2018.
- Travelling vegan: everything you need to know – You Could Travel, March 2018
- Fairytale towns in Germany – Wayfaring with Wagner, April 2018
- Pathfinders: top Instagrams: May 2018 – Lonely Planet, May 2018
- Top 10 UK travel bloggers to follow in 2018: couples travel – Feedspot, June 2018.
You can get in touch with me by email or at various online places listed below:
- Facebook @packthesuitcases
- Twitter @packthesuitcase
- Instagram @packthesuitcases
- Pinterest @packthesuitcases.
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.
- 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.
- Scotland – Dumfries & Galloway area – Kirkcudbright and around it (x2), Edinburgh (x3), North Berwick (x2)
- Isle of Man – all over the island! Note: it’s not part of the UK!
- Germany – Munich (x2), Berlin, Landsberg am Lech
- Bulgaria – Sofia
- Portugal – Madeira (x3), Lisbon, Porto, Vila Nova De Gaia, Guimaraes
- Austria – Salzburg, Vienna
- France – Paris
- Belgium – Bruges
- Spain – Gran Canaria
- Italy – Rome
- Vatican City – And what?
- Denmark – Copenhagen (x2)
- Sweden – Stockholm (x2), Gothenburg, Malmo (x2)
- Norway – Bergen
- Iceland – Reykjavik
- Japan – Tokyo (x2), Kyoto, Matsumoto, Kanazawa, Itoigawa, Naoshima, Himeji, Kobe, Nara, Takamatsu, and generally all over Japan
- Malta – Valletta, Mdina, Gozo, Golden Bay, Sliema
- Slovenia – Ljubljana
- Croatia – Zagreb
- USA – San Francisco, Boston.