Itinerary: Great Ocean Road & Grampians road trip

March 2016

Day 1: Drive to the Grampians

  • Pick up your rental car early and head out of the city to start the 3.5h drive to the Grampians
  • Stop off half way at a town for lunch and a driver switch
  • Spend some time admiring the kangaroos around Halls Gap and prep all your gear for a day of hiking
  • Sleep near the park to ensure you can have quick access to trails tomorrow

Day 2: Hiking around the Grampians

  • Start your day early and get a good breakfast in before a full day of exploring the park
  • Pick your trails before you head off and be realistic about how much you can fit in the day
  • My recommends: The Balconies from the Reek Lookout car park, The Pinnacle from the Sundial car park, and MacKenzie Falls via the MacKenzie Falls Walk

Day 3: Stops along the Great Ocean Road

  • Grab a coffee and pick up some road snacks in Warrnambool before heading towards Melbourne on the Great Ocean Road
  • Make your way along the Great Ocean Road making sure to stop at: London Arch, 12 Apostles, and Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet
  • Stay overnight at a coastal town such as Lorne or Port Campbell

Day 4: Drive back to Melbourne

  • Get in a coastal walk before setting off on your drive back to the city
  • Stop at Bells Beach for a picnic (and a show if you are lucky and there is a surf competition on)
  • Drive back to Melbourne in time to return your rental car at your agreed drop off time

Malta itinerary: Malta and Gozo in 6 days

March 2018

Day 1: Sliema

  • Fly into Malta in the morning and pick up your rental car (hopefully you are more organised than us and booked ahead)
  • Argue over who has to drive first in this foreign land, and when that is settled, head off to Sliema to drop off your stuff (once again, hopefully you are not booking accommodation in the car on the way to the town like us)
  • Make a reservation for dinner at Ta’ Kris and go walk around Sliema and the waterfront, getting a glimpse of nearby Valletta all lit up in the dark
  • Make yourself comfortable (seriously, service was slow) at Ta’ Kris for the best food of the whole holiday – be sure to try the rabbit dishes

Day 2: Valletta

  • Wake up early and shake off your food hangover because it is time to drive to Valletta (see if you can find parking in one of the towns in between Sliema and Valletta and walk the rest of the way as you won’t need the car)
  • Spend the day roaming the quirky streets of the walled city, being sure to make time for some museums (I recommend The Malta Experience for a short film summarising the history of the island) and the War Memorial from which you get a great view of Fort Ricasoli
  • Watch sunset at the upper Barrakka Gardens accompanied by an ice cream

Day 3: Gozo

  • Stop at Għadira Bay for breakfast by the sea before heading to the ferry station near Cirkewwa to purchase a return ticket to Gozo
  • Kill the time until the ferry arrives by taking in the views at Sunset Spot
  • Enjoy the 30 min crossing to Mġarr and upon arrival make your way straight to the Ġgantija temples for your daily dose of Maltese history
  • Drive to Marsalforn for lunch and a nosy around the waterfront
  • Continue on to the Azure Window (collapsed but still beaut) and the Blue Hole and spend some time jumping around the rocks and letting the stellar cliff views sink in
  • When night falls, head to Victoria to spend the night, but only after wandering about the lit up Ċittadella without the bustle of the day tourists

Day 4: Mdina & Dingli Cliffs

  • It is finally time for a beach day, up to you where, but I would recommend Ramla which is one of the most popular on Gozo (be sure to pick up ice cold Cisk beer and some crisps)
  • Get the ferry back to the main island and drive to the Dingli Cliffs for a walk and sunset
  • After sunset, make your way to Mdina, park up and get lost around the awesome old fortified capital at night

Day 5: Marsaxlokk & St. Peter’s Pool

  • Drive over to Marsaxlokk and spend some time at the waterfront checking out the luzzus (traditional Maltese fishing boats which are brightly coloured with eyes on the bow)
  • Leave the car at Marsaxlokk, pack a picnic, and hike over to St. Peter’s Pool and Ras il-Fniek to take in the phenomenal cliffside views
  • Get a little lost and head just northeast of St. Peter’s Pool to find your own private little paddling pools with infinity style views of the ocean

Day 6: St Julian’s

  • Wake up and enjoy a farewell breakfast in St Julian’s followed by a walk along the waterfront
  • Head off to the airport with plenty of time to return the car
  • Bust out the cards, and enjoy the last moments before you fly off reminiscing about the best moments of the trip whilst absolutely dominating at any and every game

Croatia itinerary: Split to Pula road trip in 6 days

September 2018

Day 1: Split

  • Fly into Split airport and pick up your hire car, opting to drop it off in Pula
  • Drive to your airbnb, drop off the luggage and off you go to the old town to explore
  • Wander around the cobblestoned streets and stores of the old town as the sun goes down, followed by a dinner in a plaza
  • Grab some cocktails in one of the many bars along the sea front before hitting the sack ready for an early start the next day

Day 2: Hvar

  • Drive to old town Split to board one of the ferries heading out from the port to Hvar (it is about 1.5 hours one way so bring your headphones, cards, and books)
  • Arrive at Hvar in awe of the docked yachts and take in the old town whilst in search for a haunt for lunch
  • Following lunch, embark on a seafront hike in search of a more secluded beach away from town
  • Have a swim at your secluded spot and start your hike back before the sun goes down
  • Get the last ferry back (check the times beforehand as they don’t run too late)
  • Go out for a night on the town on your last evening in Split 😉

Day 3: Krka National Park

  • Pack up all your stuff, load the car and embark on the 1 hour drive to Krka from Split
  • Park the car and pay for your entrance with or without the bus to the main trail (we opted not to, exercise is healthy, and young adults can be bad at saving money)
  • Grab your towels and water bottles before setting off and follow the trail around the park, taking a dip at the waterfalls!
  • Hopefully you are lucky enough to visit on a sunny day and you can dry off in the sunshine before your walk back to the car
  • Head off to Šibenik straight from Krka, the drive should take approx. 1 hour

Day 4: Šibenik

  • Wake up and make your way to (you guessed it) the old town to wander around checking out the cute cobbled streets, the cathedral, the plazas, the charming shops, and the St. Michael Fortress
  • Get a ticket and wander around the St. Michael Fortress, the views are worth it
  • Following a nice lunch and a smoothie, find the car and head off to your next destination, Zadar, the drive should only take 1 hour again (ideal)

Day 5: Zadar

  • Set off towards old town and start by wandering around Queen Jelena Madijevka Park before you lose the light of the day
  • Grab an ice cream cone before having a nosy around the markets before sunset kicks in
  • Sit down and take in sunset accompanied by wave music at the Sea Organ and the sun induced light display at the Sun Salutation
  • Following the sunset get yourself back to the bar in the park for a cocktail and a shisha before calling it a night

Day 6: Pula

  • Pack the car and head out towards Pula, it is a 4 hour drive so leave some time for stops and ensure you have some snacks
  • Drive alongside the E65 for as long as you can to benefit from the coastal views and a sunset drive!
  • Arrive at Pula, drop off the car (dent free ideally) and go grab a bite to eat before the festival opening concert if you are going to one
  • If you aren’t going during festival season, be sure to check out Fort Punta Christo and the amphitheatre alongside the beach!

Itinerary: Peru in 12 days

November 2018

Day 1: Cusco to Aguas Calientes

  • Wake up bright and early (welcome to your holidays – I’m talking like 5am) and head to a food cart to pick up a quinoa, kiwicha, or maca drink for breakfast and some sandwiches for lunch
  • Get your pre-organised ride (typically from the Plaza de Armas) to Hidroeléctrica
  • Arrive midday at Hidroeléctrica and have a bite to eat
  • Set off on the hike to Aguas Calientes (around 2-3 hours at a calm pace admiring the surroundings – can also get the train but we were on a student budget)
  • Check in to your accommodation and grab dinner at one of the many restaurants around town (go easy on the mojitos as you’re hiking a lot tomorrow)

Day 2: Machu Picchu

  • Wake up even earlier than yesterday (4:30am) to hike up to the entrance of the Machu Picchu site (you can also get a bus, but again, we were on student budgets)
  • Find a tour guide at the entrance of the site (many around forming groups) and be one of the first groups to head in at 6am
  • Walk around the site and go up the mountain/Huaynu Picchu at the allocated time if you have a ticket
  • Tip: We had an early ticket for the mountain and our guide said it wasn’t worth it as there are a lot of steps and the cloud and fog was too thick to see anything at that time. We decided not to go and saw the site at the best time (fog/cloud dispersion was amazing). To be honest there is also enough walking around to do around the site that the mountain would be too much, especially considering we hiked to Aguas Calientes and to the site entrance! If you get tickets though, don’t get morning tickets!
  • Get your tour guide to negotiate with the guards to let you overstay your allotted 4 hours at the site (ours offered to do this!)
  • Walk around, get your fill, and get your passport stamped with a cool Machu Picchu stand before heading back to Aguas Calientes for dinner

Day 3: Cocalmayo hot springs

  • Have breakfast and head off on the hike back to the Hidroeléctrica train station
  • Get in a taxi and head to the Cocalmayo springs (there will be loads of taxis near the station)
  • Enjoy a day of relaxation following all your hikes enjoying the baths of varying temperatures (there is a restaurant and changing facilities)
  • Get a taxi to Santa Teresa and have a bite to eat at a local restaurant before getting a taxi to Santa Maria
  • At Santa Maria find a van making the trip back to Cusco (more likely to get road transport here than in Santa Teresa but beware you will have to wait until the van is full)

Day 4: Sacred Valley

  • Join your tour bus in the morning from Cusco and set off for a packed day of seeing all the top sites in the Sacred Valley
  • Start of with the Moray archaeological site
  • Next head off to the Maras salt mines
  • Following this, roam around the Ollantaytambo ruins and markets
  • Finish off the day at the Pisac site (our group took so long that the site closed shortly after we got there unfortunately)
  • Tip: try space out your exploration of the Valley over more than one day if you have the time to ensure you have enough time at each site

Day 5: Rainbow Mountain

  • Set off (you guessed it) early on your tour van towards the Rainbow Mountain from Cusco
  • Stop at a restaurant pit stop to have some Coca tea before heading to the mountain to begin your hike
  • Hike all the way up to the peak taking your time so as to not suffer any altitude sickness (have plenty of layers at it is very cold at the peak)
  • Enjoy the view, take your photos, then head down again at an equally calm pace as the way down is where my altitude sickness hit!
  • Return to the restaurant for a well deserved lunch and then it is back on the van to Cusco
  • Dinner and drinks in any of the cool spots around Cusco

Day 6: Cusco

  • Finally enjoy a bit more of a lie in before you take the chance to roam around the streets of Cusco before you leave the beautiful city
  • Visit the various markets, including San Pedro, in order to find beautiful textiles, Peruvian chocolate, and much more
  • Get lost in the San Blas area of the city which has lots of cool quirky stores
  • Try and eat and drink away from the Plaza de Armas to avoid the tourist trap and get a more local feel
  • Get an overnight bus to Arequipa to avoid paying a night’s accommodation

Day 7: Arequipa

  • Drop all your stuff off at your accommodation and head off to explore the streets of Arequipa
  • Visit the colourful Monastery of Santa Catalina
  • Take a browse around the Santuarios Andinos museum where the mummy of ‘Juanita’ is housed
  • Roam around the markets (most things are cheaper in Cusco so hopefully you have bought anything you wante to there)
  • Enjoy sunset with a drink at a bar overlooking the Plaza de Armas
  • Organise a day trip to Colca canyon for tomorrow at one of the tour agencies in the Plaza de Armas

Day 9: Colca canyon

  • Head off early in the morning with your tour to the Colca canyon, stopping off at various viewpoints for stunning views
  • Spend some time at the Mirador Cruz del Cóndor to catch the Andean condor in all its glory
  • Enjoy last night in Arequipa with a nice dinner, some drinks, and some cheeky picarones for dessert
  • Get on another overnight bus this time headed for Lima

Day 11: Lima

  • Drop your stuff off at your accommodation and prepare to roam around the city
  • Do a free walking tour to get a good sense of the city and its history
  • Peruse the huge Mercado Central (central market)
  • Walk to the Magic Water Circuit and watch the water show
  • Tip: roam around the park following the show as there is more to see than just the main event
  • Dinner at a typical polleria

Day 12: Barranco & Miraflores

  • Get to Barranco by tram from central Lima
  • Roam around Barranco and take in the beautiful street art
  • Head down to the beach to relax with a beer as you prepare to say goodbye to Peru
  • Have a ceviche lunch in Barranco
  • Walk along the coast to Miraflores to check out the fancy part of Lima (full of expats)

Itinerary: USVI in 7 days

February 2019

Day 1: arrival and ferry to St John

  • Arrive at St Thomas airport and get a taxi to the port
  • Enjoy your first of many Painkillers of the trip at the bar until the ferry arrives
  • Relax on your 20min ride to Cruz Bay on St John whilst breathing in the sea salt air
  • Pick up a rental wranglers (literally all rentals are wranglers on this island) if you are old enough to (i.e. 25 or above)
  • Have dinner at one of the restaurants near the Cruz Bay port
  • Get a taxi/drive to your accommodation (try not to leave it too late if it is a hard to find Airbnb)

Day 2: Hawksnest Beach & Cruz Bay

  • Drive down to Cruz Bay for a lazy breakfast at Cruz Bay Landing (the best company will get two things and share with you)
  • Head to Hawksnest Beach for your first taste of the island’s beautiful waters
  • If you have enough water (and no car) walk back on North Shore Road towards Cruz Bay to see the sights from the viewpoints on the way whilst the sun goes down
  • Wander around the Cruz Bay shops and galleries follower by dinner in one of the many restaurants in the Bay before calling it a night (the sun will have you worn out, truuust)

Day 3: Trunk Bay

  • Head to the grocery store in Cruz Bay before heading out to pick up any drinks and snacks you need for a full day at the beach
  • Drive to Trunk Bay with your snorkel gear in tow
  • Spend the day snorkelling and enjoying the Bay
  • Enjoy sunset on the beach and then get a taxi back (we left too late and ended up hiking it – perks was seeing Cruz Bay all lit up from the top of North Shore Road and a hell of an appetite for dinner)
  • Have dinner at The Longboard in Cruz Bay for some amazing Painkillers (amazing with nutmeg grated on top) and even better poké bowls

Day 4: Snorkelling at Waterlemon Cay

  • Get in a good breakfast in Cruz Bay (we just went back to Cruz Bay Landing because it was the best breakfast in the Bay in our opinion)
  • Drive to the start of the Leinster Bay trail and hike towards Waterlemon Cay (about 20min walk)
  • Spend some time snorkelling in Waterlemon Bay to see rays, turtles, barracuda, and nurse sharks
  • Following this, finish the trail towards the end of the Bay where the Cay sits (a couple was just leaving as we arrived leaving the spot fully to ourselves)
  • Snorkel around the small island just off the Cay to see a beautiful array of ocean life (you can spend hours here)
  • Tip: there is a slight current between St John and the small island, nothing very strong but it’s better to be aware of before you set off
  • Walk back on the trail (might find some donkeys) as the sun sets for beautiful views across the Bay
  • Dinner at another of the fine choices in Cruz Bay (fully guilty of returning to The Longboard again as it was so good)

Day 5: St Thomas & Magens Bay

  • Head to Cruz Bay to get the ferry over to St Thomas
  • Pick up a rental car (we went back to the airport as we had booked one here)
  • Drive to Charlotte Amalie for lunch and a wander round (mostly jewellery shops for all the cruise traffic so not too much to see)
  • Head to Magens Bay for sunset

Day 6: Coki Point

  • Have breakfast and head to Coki Point beach for the day in the company of the day’s DJ
  • Spend the day snorkelling around the coast and stay until sunset
  • Drive to Red Hook for a sushi dinner with some very fresh fish

Day 7: Mermaid’s Chair & Lindquist beach

  • Have breakfast at Barefoot Buddha (amazing sweet potato and goat’s cheese wrap)
  • Head to the Mermaid’s Chair and park up near the estate which you must hike down (we got caught in a downpour so bring a cagoule)
  • Clamber around the rocks at the literal end of St Thomas
  • Stop for some lunch and margaritas before driving around the island to reach Lindquist beach
  • Spend the rest of the day time at Lindquist before heading for some amazing sushi

Day 8: cheeky bit of beach & depart

  • Grab takeaway at Buddha again because it was just that good and head to Lindquist beach for a few hours before heading to the airport (absolutely don’t back into a pavement just before returning the car like we did)
  • Drop off your car and say goodbye to paradise

Note: This itinerary is based on not being able to rent a car. If you can rent one, I encourage you to explore much more of the island! I’ll have to return when I’m old enough to rent one! The renting age is lower in St Thomas but you are not supposed to bring your cars over on the ferry if not a local.


Itinerary: southern Jordan in 3 days

September 2019

Day 1 – Petra

  • Fly in to Aqaba airport or cross the Wadi Araba border from Israel in the morning
  • Take a car straight to your accommodation by the Petra site
  • Arrange a car to drop and pick you up, pack up some food, sunscreen, (plenty) of water and off you go to see Petra
  • Stay until closing time and buy Petra by night tickets off of the workers without leaving the site to observe the “by night” setup and to get the photos without photobombers
  • Have a calm dinner, apply the aloe vera, and rest easy post many hours in the desert sun

Day 2 – pool day, Wadi Rum at night

  • Enjoy a relaxed pool day surrounded by the desert mountains
  • Set off around 2pm on the hour and a half drive towards the Wadi Rum petrol station
  • Get collected at “the petrol station” by the transport from your accommodation and set off on the dusty (please cover your mouth to not inhale half the desert) drive to your hotel
  • Enjoy a zarb (the Bedouin way of submerging your meal in sand to cook it) dinner and then head off for some stargazing with a stellar telescope
  • Wrap up and sit outside your hotel room to truly appreciate the view of the starry sky late into the night

Day 3 – beach at Aqaba

  • Wake up for the desert sunrise and go back to sleep until the desert sun won’t let you any longer (you’ve done a long nights stargazing and sunrise is early, trust me you will want to)
  • Post breakfast set off to your Aqaba accommodation (you will get picked up at the petrol station by your transport)
  • Spend the day at your hotel’s beach and enjoy some luxury and a beautiful sunset over Eilat before you end your trip

Itinerary: Budapest in 2 days

April 2019

Arrive late night

  • Take the bus from the airport to the centre/your accommodation
  • Get a bite to eat for dinner
  • Find your accommodation and settle in

Day 1 – walking tour, ruin bars

  • Free walking tour around the city to see the main sites and get a sense of the place
  • Try local delicacies like lángos and kürtőskalács when you find your energy flagging
  • Go to Szimpla Kert for some drinks at a ruin bar (sample some pálinka)
  • If you’re not tired enouh, go have a boogie at Fogart

Day 2 – Gellért Hill, baths

  • Roam the Jewish quarter to check out the awesome street art
  • Wander over to the Széchenyi baths for a good soaking
  • Check out the city sites closer up without the tour (e.g Parliament, Fisherman’s Bastion, National Gallery)
  • Walk up Gellért Hill and watch sunset with a group of friends, music, and a pack of cards

Depart early morning

  • Take the bus to the airport (take care as it can get quite packed)
  • Grab breakfast at the airport before boarding your flight