My name is Caroline and I’m the travel writer and photographer behind Pack The Suitcases.
I’m a 30-something woman based in the North West of England. I 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 back in May 2016. My other half and I had just got home from our honeymoon and I sat there thinking ‘So what now?!’. Basically, I needed a project to fill the void after our wedding happened, which meant that three years of wedding planning was suddenly over. So I bought a fancy camera and started writing about my travels. One of my early blog posts went viral and I must have loved all the online abuse that came with it because the rest, as they say, is history.
I’ve always enjoyed boring friends and family about my travels. However, I still find it baffling that strangers on the internet apparently also quite like hearing about them. But they do! I’ve somehow ended up with 60,000+ of you a month reading this blog.
“Think about a new destination
If you think you need inspiration
Roll out the map and mark it with a pin
I will follow every direction”
As mentioned above, I work full time and this blog is mainly a hobby. My full-time job is in the UK Civil Service, where I’m a manager of a publishing team. Unlike most part-time bloggers, I adore my ‘main’ career and have no intention of leaving it to blog full time. I’m more than happy with blogging just being a side hustle. It’s enough to pay for all my travels and that makes me happy. If you’re a tourist board or travel brand, you can see my work with me page for more info on working with me.
When not working or blogging, I’m riding. I’ve been an equestrian since I was tiny and I live and breathe horses. My horse is my escape and I love trying to improve in dressage and just generally being around him. I’m also into feminism, reading and endless cups of tea.
What kind of travel do I write about?
European city breaks are the ‘bread and butter’ of my travel, especially Madeira, 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-inclusive, package holidays, packing light, super luxury, or roughing it. I 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? Ha). I 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. Bloody love a good coastal train journey. Bonus points if it has a nice village pub at the end of it.
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Enjoyed my blog or used it to plan a trip?
If you’ve enjoyed my blog and want to say thanks, you can also buy me a drink.
As you can see, I’ve not blogged everywhere I’ve been… yet.
- England – I live here (unfortunately) so have seen a lot of it. I’ve lived all over the place in the North West, but ‘home’ cities are Liverpool and Manchester/Stockport. I love Kirkby Lonsdale and Shrewsbury for weekends away.
- Scotland – Dumfries & Galloway area – Kirkcudbright and around it, Edinburgh, North Berwick
- Isle of Man – all over the island. Note: it’s not part of the UK.
- Germany – Munich, Berlin, Landsberg am Lech, Hamburg, Lubeck
- The Czech Republic/Czechia – Prague
- Bulgaria – Sofia
- The Netherlands – Amsterdam
- Portugal – Madeira, Lisbon, Sintra, Porto, Vila Nova De Gaia, Guimaraes
- Austria – Salzburg, Vienna, Krems an der Donau
- France – Paris, Nice, Cannes
- Wales – but not since childhood
- Belgium – Bruges, Ostend
- Spain – Gran Canaria
- Italy – Rome, Milan, Venice, Burano, Florence, Siena, Lucca
- Vatican City – It counts.
- Denmark – Copenhagen
- Sweden – Stockholm, Gothenburg, Branno, Malmo
- Monaco – It counts, right?
- Norway – Bergen
- Iceland – Reykjavik
- Japan – Tokyo, Kyoto, Matsumoto, Kanazawa, Itoigawa, Naoshima, Himeji, Kobe, Nara, Takamatsu, Miyajima, Hiroshima, Okayama, Kochi, and generally all over Japan
- Ireland – Dublin, but not since childhood
- Malta – Valletta, Mdina, Gozo, Golden Bay, Sliema
- Slovenia – Ljubljana
- Croatia – Zagreb
- USA – San Francisco, Boston, Rockport, Salem, Berkley
- Romania – Brasov, Bucharest, Bran
- Russia – Moscow, St Petersburg
- Greece – Santorini, Naxos, Mykonos.