Where to Stay in Gibraltar? The World's First Floating Hotel!

The Travelling Postcard was invited to step aboard the Worlds First Purpose built 5* floating hotel in Gibraltar. 


Sunborn Gibraltar is a new hotel in Gibraltar which has captivated a new concept in the hospitality industry! 

With its beautifully designed accommodation, elegant restaurant and five-star service, Sunborn Gibraltar makes the ideal setting for an indulgent break any time of the year. 

We managed to stay aboard this beauty of a yacht! Even though it is a yacht and all its features resemble that of a yacht. The floating hotel is actually moored to the marina hence it doesn't move! Wow!

Accommodation is luxurious with elegant bathrooms and superb private balconies and terraces. The hotel comprises of 187 bedrooms with 18 suites! 


The rooms have been designed to the highest standards with electronics features at its best! Imagine, controlling all your lights and curtains via a click of a button! 

Five star service and facilities are seen all around the hotel! A spa, casino, pool and 2 bars and lounges and an elegant restaurant are all housed on board! It truly is a small destination within Gibraltar! 

Now, being Gibraltar's first five star hotel prices are slightly above than other hotels. However, well worth it when you have breakfast included in the rate! What a buffet selection we endured! 


It was an overall luxurious and pampering night stay which managed to overcome our expectations! The Travelling Postcard cannot fault the 5 star yacht hotel because it simply is an experience to be loved when travelling  to Gibraltar! 

If you are travelling to Gibraltar and want to try this place out, book your accommodation here!

What to Pack for Travelling? Five Top Tips For Getting Your Travel Packing Done

Packing... people hate it, I absolutely love it! As obvious as this is, it's the first indication that your adventure will soon begin! So even if you are going for 2 weeks or 6 months, these are a some tips on things to take with you.
Trying to fit everything into a 60L backpack!

The top 5 ideas and advice we received for packing were: 

1. Buy a backpack that opens horizontally, like a suitcase. 
If you need to grab something that's at the bottom of the bag, you don't need to take everything out of it before you get to it. Sounds simple enough, though I nearly made this mistake!
We bought some Quechua Backpacks from Decathalon

2. Get padlocks that don't take keys.  
2 x TRIXES 4-Dial TSA Combination Padlock for Luggage Suitcases and Travel Black 
 You know the number code ones, but take two sets of the same lock. So you open your bag and leave the lock unhooked back in it's place, you start moving the bag about and realise the code's accidentally been changed. Throw the lock. Use the second one. You'd think this is something that wouldn't ever happen, well it did, to us. Yep!

If you wanna go for a lock and key, make sure you keep the second set of keys somewhere safe! 

3. Buy yourself a waterproof cover for your backpack. 
Apart from stating the obvious and covers your pack from the rain, it also works as a great water barrier from buckets of water thrown at you at Thailand's water festivals, just kidding... it's also a wonderful backpack safety at airports. Backpacks have a zillion pockets, cover the bag, no pockets free to wandering hands! Perfect. Something like this is what we took: Rucksack Rain Dust Waterproof Bag Back Travel Pack Backpack Poncho Cover Black (Large (60 - 75L))  

4. Take a guide book with you. 
We arrived at Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam at about 10pm, new country, new culture, nighttime arrival.... Was a bit overwhelming to us both. Make sure you book your first nights stay somewhere and make sure you have studied the city on that long ass flight.

We took this great Lonely Planet Guide which served us well all throughout Southeast Asia. It has great tips on where to stay, what to do and where to eat and was incredibly useful and handy as we had all our locations in one book.  



5. Get a Go Pro camera - Don't miss a single adventure! 
Even If you are the adrenaline junkie, sun worshiper or party goer make sure you don't miss taking snaps of all those memories your making! Take a good camera! Ours was the GoPro HERO3+ Silver Edition Camera/Camcorder with the chest mount and we managed to use it for all the above events as well as capture beautiful time lapse videos of incredible sunsets! 
Koh Phi Phi Boat Tour

Extra - buy a waterproof cover for your phone! 
Tubing in vang vieng, full moon partying in thailand, don't fear for your phone by dropping it in water! Get that phone covered and always know it's safe! 

Lastly, don't fill your backpack up too much. You will end up buying stuff along the way and you will want to keep hold of everything ... Carry light and enjoy the scenery a lot more! 



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We got Mail! - Interview with Alli from The Vintage Postcard

This is Alli from The Vintage Postcard and we had the great opportunity to interview her. She gives us her best tips on one of her favourite destinations from around the globe. Read her story here and find out more! 


Photos provided are from New Zealand: Picton
Postcard Snapshot: 

When did you first start travelling?
When I was 22 years old I embarked on my first solo trip to Europe and was hooked ever since!

How many countries visited?
So far I've visited 26 countries and 6 continents

Favourite Country? 
Such a hard question! My favourite countries so far have been Croatia, New Zealand, Peru and Laos. I can't narrow it down to one! 

Best travel advice ever received?
Life is truly what you make it!

Where are you now? 
At home in Canada!

Photos provided are from New Zealand: Christchurch
In depth with The Vintage Postcard;

Please tell us a bit about who you are, what made you love travel?
I'm a young travel blogger and writer from Toronto, Canada, and experiencing all the unknowns that come with traveling really made me fall in love with it. I love hearing new languages, tasting new exotic foods, and learning unique customs from different parts of the world! It truly gives me so much happiness and joy and I just want to do as much of it as I can. 


How did you bring about The Vintage Postcard?? What is it all about and to what type of traveler is it dedicated to? 
I created my blog The Vintage Postcard as a way to document my stories and photographs from my travels and also to create an inspiring place. The topics of my blog are mainly adventure, food and wine, art and culture, and photography. I love sharing my experiences with others and hope to inspire my readers through my writing and photography. It really is about following your passion to see the world, even if you have so many at-home commitments you don't wish to abandon and leave forever. My blog is NOT a blog to inspire others to sell everything they own and hit the road for years like countless others are. I want my home to come back to, my relationships, my work, my life. Traveling to so many amazing places is still so possible, and I hope my readers will see that through my blog and provide them with inspiration. 


From your favourite country mentioned above, what top experiences would you suggest cannot be missed? Either for the country as a whole or a town / city within it.
For New Zealand as a whole: renting a camper van and driving all along the South Island! It's an incredibly gorgeous country and the South Island brings with it so many diverse landscapes. First you'll be in the dense rain forest, then along the ocean, then an icy glacier, then a pristine beach paradise, then magical fjords, then a beautiful mountain top, then an amazing sparkling blue lake, and then in the flat countryside. . . all within fairly close range!!! A camper van is the way to see it all and take in every amazing landscape.


Two / Three hints or tips for travellers wanting to travel to your favourite destination? 
When traveling to New Zealand, a suitcase is out of the question. Well, it should be out of the question. A suitcase for a trip to New Zealand just isn't practical. It's an incredible place to hike and a suitcase will only hinder a traveler trying to navigate their way through New Zealand's exotic terrain. A backpack will be more efficient in so many ways. It will make life easier and more enjoyable while discovering this gorgeous country.

In Queenstown, enjoying a burger at the famous Fergburger is a must, preferably the "Big Al."

In Kaikoura, locate the hundreds of seal pups at the waterfall in a hidden cove off the shore of the ocean. It's a seal pup party in there! 

Make a visit to Christchurch and support the city's rehabilitation and progress to get back to the vibrant city it was before the devastating earthquake hit in 2010 and 2011.


What's your funniest / most embarrassing thing that's happened to you while traveling? 
The first thing that comes to mind is how much of a giant in a dollhouse I felt while visiting Cusco, Peru. Every shop I went into, I would bash my head on either the ceiling or door frame. The people of Cusco are so small and I literally felt like I was crouching through dollhouses. I'm 5'6" but felt like I was 7 ft tall! Despite my conscious efforts to watch my head, I would always end up whacking it off something here and there, so I couldn't help myself from laughing at how inevitable it seemed. 

If you had just won the lottery, where would you travel to tomorrow or what travel experience would you try? 
I would travel to Japan! I would travel around the whole country and make sure to participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and hopefully partake in a home stay.

Photos provided are from New Zealand: Wanaka
For fellow bloggers/writers out there: 

What advice would you give to start up bloggers? 
Do not make excuses. It's easier said than done, but life is just so short to not do the things you want to do. If nothing else, you will probably make some killer stories out of it . . . I know I did! Most importantly, have fun with your blog. It is very easy to start comparing yourself to others, but please remember why you started in the first place and don't lose sight of that.


What's the best way you fund your travels? 
Simply stating "saving" seems too generic and vague, so here are a few ways I do manage to save:
- Earn some extra income whether it's teaching yoga or my photography business
- Make it a true priority
- Assess expenditures  --> Make a list of daily/monthly expense. Organize into two columns: Needs and Wants. Slowly eliminate all the "wants" from the list of purchased items. I'm always surprised to learn how much I can truly cut back and save, as I discover how little you really need.


Check out more from Alli at The Vintage Postcard with these links below!
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Which Budget Hotel to choose in London?

Working in the worlds first 5 star floating hotel has its perks! You train yourself in becoming a five star employee but it also has its drawbacks when you visit any other hotel be it leisure or business!  



 Why? It's simple, working in a luxury hotel you get to see how a hotel should be classed and what features it should have! For this same reason I decided to write this post which relates to two Budget hotels located in London!

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0



The Battle of these Brands... Travelodge or Premier Inn? 


The Travelodge Convent Garden and the Premier Inn at Gatwick North Terminal! In the last few years I have seen how Travelodge has re-branded themselves to become number one in budget hotels, to be honest they are doing a great job at it! There in room amenities are great for leisure travelers who are on the go and simply use the room to relax after a long day in London Town!  


Premier inn has really outdone themselves at Gatwick Airport! Neighbours with the Sofitel. The budget hotel is wonderful! From check inn to check out! Wow! There is even a guarantee that you will get a good nights sleep or your money back! I doubt they have to repay much with these standards! 


Which Hotel would I chose, if I could only pick one? 


Premier Inn in my opinion is in the lead of budget hotels for these simple but effective reasons! 


1. Free standard WiFi as opposed to Travelodge in Central (£3.00 for 24 hours) 

2. Check in service is 5 star! Everyone is very attentive - they even called us a while later to check all was OK with the room.  

3. Restaurant at Premier Inn is incredible! The offering is superb and was packed on the night we stayed there! Travelodge restaurant is by no way bad, but just not that good! Go for one of the Burgers at Premier Inn. 

4. The new king size beds at Premier Inn are comfortable and pillows have a mix of soft and harder options! 


Why did I choose them both? Because they were both perfect for my needs. 


Travelodge in London cost us £50.00 a night. A Hotel cost us £50.00. In London. A Night. 


You really cannot get much better than that right in the centre of this capital city. The closest station to this hotel is Holborn or Covent Garden and because it is so perfectly situated in the hustle and bustle of the town, we never had to get trains for shopping at Oxford Street or for great food and nightlife at Leicester Square. Superb! 




Premier Inn at Gatwick cost us £49.00 a night, but long gone are those student days when we used to sleep at the airport to get that 07:10hrs flight back to Gibraltar. For £24.50 each, we could relax in the hotel, enjoy those amazing burgers, shower, rest and get up at 05:30hrs for that flight. Yepp, this hotel is literally at the doorstep to Gatwick's North Terminal. Avoid that airport rush! 





How can you get to these hotels?

Travelodge Covent Garden, London 
We arrived to Gatwick North Terminal and got an over ground train into London Victoria. We then got the Underground to Covent Garden and walked about 2 minutes to get to the hotel. 
Trains to and from London are frequent and the system is pretty easy to use. From St Pancras Station it cost us £10.20 each and trains were every 15 minutes. 
Premier Inn North Terminal, Gatwick 
All trains get you to Gatwick South Terminal, so make sure you jump on the free shuttle to the North Terminal. Literally come out of this shuttle and walk towards the terminal, turn right at the end and take the lift one floor down. Cross the road. You're there. Easy!  

Which would you pick?

Even though this is a matter of taste and opinion my sway leans to Premier Inn as an all round budget Hotel both for leisure and business stays!  Tell us which chain you prefer? We would love to hear your thoughts!!



Heading into London? Check out some attractions here: 


Click here for your pass

What to do in Bangkok? Be part of the Hangover Wolf Pack! Visit to Lebua at State Tower.

So you are in Bangkok, Thailand you stroll Khaosan Road, visit the Grand Palace and enjoy some street food ... now what? Take a trip to the Lebua at State Tower for a perfect sunset view of the entire city. 


Lebua at State Tower, Hangover set!

After having been over a month on the road, travelling with a backpack and wearing nothing but baggy print trousers and vests tops we felt like we needed a bit of a change and thought of none other than the famous Hangover set!

Not even getting to Reception and there's a display of luxury cars waiting on the doorstep for you to just gawk at! We were incredibly worried we weren't going to be dressed appropriately for this kind of luxury, but turns out the dress code isn't too strict if you go late afternoon/early evening. 


Entrance to the Lebua at State Tower, Bangkok

We were escorted through the lifts and taken to the 63rd floor a.k.a The Hangover Set! This incredible Sky Bar is host to the now famous 'The Hangovertinis' cocktails - a cocktail created for the cast of The Hangover whilst they were shooting the movie there and which, since then, has become quit the signature drink - I obviously fell into this celebrity starstruck gig and had one! 


View from the Lebua at State Tower, Bangkok
View from the Lebua at State Tower, Bangkok
As you can imagine with a five star hotel comes five star prices and this is something we weren't too keen on, but you honestly pay for the view. I highly suggest you go at sunset to watch the beautifully lit sky fade over Bangkok's skyline. 

Two drinks at the 'Hangover Bar' cost us 1,400 Baht (£28.00), but worth every penny. 

Dylan and I are longing to get back to Bangkok just to enjoy a night's stay there! If the recreational areas looked amazing, we could only just imagine what the rooms were like! We will definitely be checking out the Lebua at State Tower, Bangkok on our next visit! 


View from the Lebua at State Tower, Bangkok
View from the Lebua at State Tower, Bangkok
With our amazing G Adventures Group!
Have you taken a trip to Bangkok? What were your favourite activites or things to do? Share them in the comments! If you would like to get these posts directly to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter! 

Happy travels 
Shereen 


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We got Mail! - Interview with KarolinaPatryk.com

Let me introduce you to this wonderful couple Karolina and Patryk! As you will soon find out from their interview with us, they are fun, super positive and have a great outlook on life! You will have as much fun reading their story as I did!

Postcard Snapshot:

When did you first start travelling?
We were travelling since we were little kids but we started travelling FOR REAL a year after we met, in 2012. So it's 3 years now :).

How many countries visited?
We agreed that we will not count the countries in which we were not together. Since 2012 we visited 15 countries.

Favourite Country? 
That's really difficult question! We will go for Thailand and Poland, our homeland.

Best travel advice ever received?
It's an advice from British singer, Mika. He is giving a wonderful advice to every traveler in his famous song: 'Relax. Take it easy.'

Everytime we have a problem while travelling we are trying to calm down and think logically.


Where are you now? 
We are in Poland but we are living to Asia in few weeks.

In depth with KarolinaPatryk: 
Please tell us a bit about who you are, what made you love travel? 
Until we met, we were just normal people, living an ordinary life. We were both dreaming about wonderful travels, but we weren't brave enough to start doing it.
When we started being together, we decided to support each other in fulfilling our dreams.
And step by step, we were travelling further and longer.
Right now we are nomads, we don't have home. We spend most of the time in hotels.

How did you bring about KarolinaPatryk.com?? What is it all about and to what type of traveller is it dedicated to? 
Our blog is really young, we started it one year ago. Our main mission is to inspire people around the world, support them and give them strength to fulfill their dreams.This is what we mainly do on our blog. After that, we are giving travel tips, teach how to make money online and how to be good couple.

From your favourite country mentioned above, what top experiences would you suggest cannot be missed? Either for the country as a whole or a town / city within it.
When you are in Thailand, you can't miss street food! It's absolutely amazing, one of the best on the world.
It is also worth to go for a Thai massage. An unforgettable experience :).


 
When it comes to Poland, you can't miss Krakow. This city is amazing, historical and full of life.


Two / Three hints or tips for travellers wanting to travel to your favourite destination? 
Don't take suitcase to Thailand. Take backpack instead.
Be respectful and don't get angry. Thai people can not tolerate anger.

Try pierogi and zurek in Poland. These two dishes are absolutely amazing!
Go to Bieszczady Mountains. In our opinion, it's one of the most beautiful places in the whole Europe.

What's your funniest / most embarrassing thing that's happened to you while travelling? 
We remember old Thai lady who flied with us from Phuket to Bangkok. She was so scared that she was hugging Karolina all the way! That was really funny.

If you had just won the lottery, where would you travel to tomorrow or what travel experience would you try? 
Safari in Kenya or Tanzania. It's on the top of our Bucket List :).


For fellow bloggers/writers out there: 
 What advice would you give to start up bloggers? 
Be persistent. It will take a lot of time until your blog succeed.


What's the best way you fund your travels? 
Working online! On our blog we are giving best tips how to do it. Come visit us :).



Check out more from Karolina and Patryk with these links below. 
We wish you all the best for your future trip to Asia! Its absolutely magical and you will love it I'm sure!