I know you’re all in full on Christmas planning mode but this morning I’ve been feeling a bit meh so I’ve been thinking about some plans we’ve made for 2017 which I hope is a much better year for us than this year has been.
Because I haven’t been well for much of the year, we’ve had to have an enforced slow and relaxed (AKA boring and dull) second half of the year. There’s been so many plans that I’ve had to cancel and so many lovely experiences that we’ve had to say no to because they were just too much for me to manage. I’m almost better now though and will be back at work very soon I hope so I feel ready to start thinking about next year and planning how we’re going to make up for lost time and put 2016 behind us.
For starters, we’re going to travel as much as we can afford to as a family because, as much as we love Butlins, the week we spent there cost us much more than I would have liked considering I spent a lot of time in bed watching the fun through the window!
Our first trip won’t be until April I think when Miss Frugal and I are planning on continuing our new tradition of a girls only holiday with a trip to New York. We’ve been saving for this for a few months already but it’s not booked as I didn’t want to book it until I knew I was fully recovered. The money is sitting there but I just can’t bring myself to actually book until I’m back at work, just in case.
Next up we have a week off together in May and although we’ve got no set plans at the moment, I know we’ll be going somewhere. After that we’ve booked a caravan in the Isle of Wight for a week in July with some very lovely friends and then we’ve got vague plans to go to Munich in October as that’s somewhere Master Frugal has said he would love to visit.
That’s a busy year isn’t it?
I couldn’t be happier about it all though and thinking about it is just what I need to focus on right now as I get to the stir crazy at home stage where I’m almost but not quite well enough to be back at work and so sick of the site of my own four walls. That’s why I thought I’d write a bit of a gift guide because there’s nothing I wold like more for Christmas than gifts that are going to be taken with me on my travels next year….
The Perfect Travel Bag
This is actually a bag that I already have thanks to House of Fraser who asked me if I would like to choose a handbag from their range to review. I wanted one that I could use for travel which meant it can’t be too small as I’ll have things to carry around with me but at the same time, it can’t be too big and bulky as I’ll be walking around with it on my arm all day. I wanted a bag that I could use through the day but also at night and it had to have separate pockets so I could have a place for things like my phone, camera and purse rather than having to scrabble around in there every time I needed something.
I wasn’t convinced that I’d find something that ticked all boxes but I’m pleased to say that I did – the Radley Harley Hobo bag which is usually £99.99 but is currently on offer at £69.30!
As well as being very functional (we’ll get to that in a minute), the Radley Hobo bag also looks great and could easily compliment any outfit whether it’s casual jeans and a jumper through the day or a smarter outfit for the evening. The strap is the perfect length for me as the bag tucks under my arm just nicely meaning that when I’m in the crowds of a city or somewhere equally busy, I’m going to feel that bit more protected against pickpockets etc. That sounds daft I know but I’ll be carrying my purse, my Iphone and my camera which all amount to a pretty penny so any extra protections or reassurance is going to make me feel better.
The bag itself could have been custom designed for me as it genuinely ticks all my travel handbag boxes. 😉
I love the two pockets in the front which are the perfect size for my phone and my camera and make it much easier to get to when I need them. I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve missed trying to find my phone in a bag in the past. There’s also a smaller pocket on the back, without a zip that’s great for a travel card if you use one.
The inside of the bag is just as lovely looking as the outside with a gorgeous patterned fabric lining it. There’s another pocket in there too which I use for receipts (or at least that was the plan but it only lasted two days) and there’s plenty of space for anything else you want to carry about with you.
This really is the perfect travel bag so a much as I’ve loved using it, I’m going to switch back to my other bag now and keep this one just for travelling – hopefully it will have visited lots of new places this time next year!
The Perfect Travel Journal
This looks like a beautiful travel journal that would love to come with me on my travels! It’s not too expensive either at £18.99 either so it looks like a winner for Mr Frugal to order for me as a *surprise*. I really want to treasure and remember these times when we travel as a family as it won’t be long before the kids will be off with their friends or their own families.
The perfect camera lens
OK, I don’t NEED a new lens for my camera but I’ve been a good girl and I’d really, really like one. I have two already and the one that I want next is the 17mm f1.8 lens but I think that’s out of our price range so I’ll be happy with the 17mm f2.8 lens which I think should be great for travelling.
I’m not sure I need anything other than a bag, a journal and my camera but just in case, Mr Frugal is looking for some more ideas, I’ve included some other lovely travel gifts below….
This travel map looks brilliant as you scratch off the areas that you’ve visited so it will be a great way
to record of our travels.
I love the sound of Lonely Planet’s The Travel Book but if I want to read it on my travels then I suspect I’ll be better off with the Kindle version!
I could do with a little travel wallet to keep passports and tickets in as I always have a paranoid feeling that we’re going to lose the passports on the journey.
What’s on your travel must haves?
I really enjoy writing the odd littlegift guide – next year I think I might write a whole series of them, In the meantime, I’ve got my tween boy gift guide, my tween girl gift guide and lovely Becky has a gift guide for new parents that you can check out!
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also find me on BlogLovin, Yummly and Networked Blogs and I’d love to see you over on my Facebook page and on Instagram.