2 days in Santorini, Greece: a dreamy itinerary

2 days in Santorini, Greece: the perfect itinerary | PACK THE SUITCASES

If you’re visiting the Greek islands, you may well be planning to spend 1 or 2 days in Santorini. It’s one of the most popular of the islands in the Cyclades, known for its white buildings, blue rooftops and lush pink flowers. Even if it’s not on your bucket list, you’ll instantly recognise it from about eleventy million Instagram photos! It’s one of the most well-known and touristy places I’ve ever visited, which isn’t usually my cup of tea, but I actually really enjoyed it. I mean, just look at it.

There’s plenty to see, do and eat if you’ve got 2 days in Santorini, but if you’re just visiting for 1 day from a neighbouring island while doing some island hopping, you can cram quite a bit into a short visit too. My only word of warning is that it isn’t cheap, so brace yourself and your bank balance. I managed to do it without bankrupting myself, but I planned ahead a lot to do that. If you just wander around and hope for the best, your purse is going to take a hit. Consider yourself warned.

Here’s my lowdown on the island, and an itinerary for how best to spend 2 days in Santorini…

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A guide to Kōchi, Japan: things to do, see and eat

Things to do in Kochi, Japan | PACK THE SUITCASES

Before I get stuck into this blog post, I should point out that this is a guide to things to do in Kochi, Japan, and not the other place called Kochi that isn’t in Japan at all but in India. When I was researching Kochi before visiting it, I kept landing on pages not even about the right country, so I thought I’d better get that cleared up first off.

ANYWAY, as a total Japan addict who has been lots of times and visited lots of cities, I definitely recommend Kochi as a more off-the-beaten path city in Japan, maybe for a second or third trip. You don’t normally think of palm trees, laid-back attitudes and citrus fruits when you think of Japanese cities, but Kochi is here to turn that on its head.

Kochi (or Kōchi to be 100% correct, but there’s no way I’m copy-and-pasting that all the way through) is the capital of Kochi Prefecture on the southern coast of Shikoku. The city is relatively small by Japan’s usual standards. And it’s incredibly friendly, with a distinct lack of the normal Japanese reservedness (this may be down to Kochi’s love of drinking…). More on that later though.

I spent a few days exploring Kochi, so I feel I can give some decent tips on how best to spend your time there. Here’s my guide to the city, featuring some of the best things to do in Kochi, Japan. Yes, definitely Japan. Move along if we’re in the wrong country…

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20 things to do in Naxos, Greece

Things to do in Naxos, Greece

Here are some of my favourite things to do in Naxos, Greece. I fell in love with the island this year and had a good four days there, eating and exploring. I’ve put this together to give you some decent tips on how best to spend your time on this beautiful island in the Cyclades.

Naxos is often overshadowed by its more well-known and well-Instagrammed neighbours, Santorini and Mykonos. But having been to all three, it wasn’t hard to pick a favourite – that being Naxos, of course. Santorini and Mykonos are both thoroughly on the tourist trail. Both (especially Mykonos) are also eye-wateringly expensive. Naxos was much more unspoilt, peaceful and affordable but pretty much exactly the same scenery-wise. The only difference was you could actually get a good photograph of the classic Greek white, winding streets without it being ruined by crowds of tourists. Naxos is also the greenest of the Cyclades islands, so as well as all the beautiful towns, you’ve got lush mountainous backdrops. Lovely stuff. I’ve not even mentioned the incredible food yet either, but don’t worry. It never takes long on this blog to get back to the important topic of eating.

Anyway, imagine the sunshine and the cheese waiting for you, and read on for the best things to do in Naxos…

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How to visit Russia: 20 travel tips, from visas to vodka

20 Russia travel tips: from visas to vodka | PACK THE SUITCASES

Here’s a list of my top 20 Russia travel tips to get you started with planning a trip. Lots of people have asked me exactly how to visit Russia since I got back and where to start with planning a trip, so I’ve been working on this massive Russia travel blog post over the last few months. It covers everything from how to get a Russian visa, to cultural ‘must knows’, to safety and more. 

After falling in love with both Moscow and St Petersburg when I visited, I realised that although I’d blogged a lot about both cities, I’d not written more generic stuff about visiting Russia overall. It’s not somewhere most people have been to in my experience, certainly not here in the UK anyway. I’ve also not been able to find many UK-based Russia travel blog posts out there. So hopefully these Russia travel tips will help anyone planning on visiting this incredible country.

Anyway, pour yourself a vodka and get reading…

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17 things to do in Liverpool at Christmas

17 things to do in Liverpool at Christmas | PACK THE SUITCASES

I’ve just got back from a magical Liverpool Christmas day out and wanted to share what I got up to. I’m trying to type this up as quickly as possible because I’m very aware of how close Christmas is now and for this post to be useful for anyone planning a Liverpool Christmas trip, it needs to go live ASAP. So apologies for it being slightly shorter than my usual mammoth essays, but I hope you enjoy it anyway and that it helps you if you’re planning a Liverpool Christmas trip.

Christmas is my favourite time of year. Although I no longer live there, I usually spend Christmas back ‘home’ in a village near Liverpool, where I grew up. I always try to cram a day out in the city centre in if I can, because it’s so good for getting festive and doing some Christmas shopping. But I love it at any time of year. If you want to read more about my general Liverpool recommendations (non-festive!), have a look at my best UK city break post, which has Liverpool at the top.

Anyway, let’s pour a hot chocolate and start planning a Liverpool Christmas trip with these festive things to do…

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3 days in St Petersburg, Russia: a complete city guide and itinerary

3 days in St Petersburg, Russia: itinerary | PACK THE SUITCASES

This mammoth 3 days in St Petersburg itinerary (and city guide in general) has taken me ages to write up. But it’s been so worth it to share all of my recommendations on what to do, see and eat in this gorgeous Russian city. Having spent an incredible 2 weeks in Russia this year and absolutely LOVING it, I’m now ready to convince everyone I know that they have to go. 

I actually spent nearly a week in St Petersburg after visiting Moscow, but only had a solid 3 days of full-on itinerary blocked in. The rest of the time, we winged it and found extra things as we went. So although you could cram all of this into 3 days and whiz through the city using it, you could also spread it out over longer. St Petersburg involves a lot of walking and you might want a few ‘rest days’.

Anyway, enough waffle from me. Get your glass of vodka and get reading the St Petersburg itinerary and city guide…

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