Road trips are a lot of fun when done right. You can travel to wherever along the back roads and highways, window open and hair billowing in the breeze. It’s such a picturesque idea that almost everyone likes to take the challenge on, and it means you can be away from home for a very long time.


However, road trips are particularly good for a person who hasn’t really been away from home before, and wants to open up a good portion of the world because of it. Yes, this post is talking to everyone who’s a little ambivalent about getting on a plane. Once you’ve mastered being able to live on the road, it’s time to head off to a new life full of adventure. Here’s a few reasons why that is.


road trips


You’re Totally in Control


If you’re the one behind the wheel, then you’re the captain in the cockpit. And that means you’re in full control of the way you get transported, and you can make detours or change your mind at any time. Because of that, you can feel a lot freer when you’re travelling, as well as a lot safer, and you can easily build up your confidence.


You’ve also got somewhere to sleep and eat and retreat to if you don’t have a hotel or hostel nearby to check into. The car can be heated and locked, so little chance of you freezing slowly or waking up to someone opening the door on you! And once you have woken up, you can easily be on your way again in a matter of moments.


It’s Easier to Get Covered


When it comes to travelling far and wide, there’s a lot of insurance options out there that can complicate the whole affair. And as a total novice jetsetter, you’re not going to want to head off to the other side of the world without some coverage over your head. However, if you’re road tripping instead, you’ve already got some insurance on your side to keep you safe.


Using your car to travel works wonders for saving money on an extensive policy, but you need to make sure you’re going to stay covered as long as you’re away. Head here to compare car insurance options if you’re a first time driver as well as a first time traveller, and want to use your car for all it’s worth. Similarly, some providers out there don’t like it if you’re heading off to another country, so never work on assumptions. If they don’t, you’re going to need to pay extra to extend that protection (or simply relocate your road trip to somewhere closer to home).


It’s Still Challenging


Being able to stay in control of a car on roads you don’t know in a place you’re not native to is going to be difficult. Road trips are a lot more fun because of the lack of guidance involved; no thanks package holidays!


Road trips offer what everyone wants from holidays!



Travelling on a shoestring budget doesn’t mean you backpack with just two changes of clothes, hitch hike everywhere and stay in dirty, filth-ridden and illness-inducing hovels. To travel astutely on a budget you need sound money management skills as well as a creative mind and the ability to think outside the box. We are not talking the all-inclusive vacation where you spend your fortnight away trapped around a pool with more food and alcohol than you can shake a stick at. We are talking about real travelling; the kind that sees you immersed in new cultures, eating local cuisine and meeting amazing new people. Take a look at how you can master the art of budget travel.


budget travel




Although this sounds mundane and boring, the more planning you put into your venture abroad, the more successful your trip will be. Make a list of every destination you want to go to, every flight you’ll need to catch and how much the bare essentials like loo roll, snack bars and bottled water will cost in each country. If you spy a particularly expensive city that doesn’t match your budget constraints, you’ll have to make the tough decision to leave that place for another more prosperous time. Remember, you don’t have to do it all in one jaunt. In fact, you shouldn’t. Don’t destination hop so fast that you can’t become truly enamoured with a destination.


budget travel




It’s vital that you budget as accurately as possible and don’t get caught short when overseas. Many travellers decide to clear their debts before they travel or at least consolidate them into one manageable monthly payment. The best place to get a personal loan could be the bank or online. Check out all of your options and select the product that suits your personal circumstances.


budget travel




Forget the expensive Lonely Planet guides, utilise the free Internet forums to help you plan your itinerary. You don’t need to purchase particularly expensive maps or city plans as the Internet holds them all! In any case, you may find that local tourist offices where you are staying have much more detailed and comprehensive versions that are totally free rather than the expensive fold-out laminated ones you can buy in the airport.


budget travel


Forget Direct


As a traveller, you want to go slow; there’s no rush to do anything. Take the trains that stop at the most random little places. These will inevitably take longer to get to your final destination, but they can be ridiculously cheap. Direct trains, although fast, can result in you paying out a much more lucrative sum and you’ll miss the scenery along the way.


budget travel




While you may be expecting a paragraph on the virtues of hostels, you are a little off base. Hostels are great to meet like-minded travellers and can be a good base to begin with. However if you’re spending a long time in one destination and you meet a couple of people doing the same, you could pitch in together and rent a pad on a short-term basis. Between three or four of you, it’ll be cheap and you can save cash by cooking your own grub.


Travelling is one of the most life affirming experiences you can ever partake in. Don’t allow money constraints prevent you from seeing the world.



I am so proud and delighted that Lonely Plant has named Belfast and the Causeway Coast as the number one region to visit in 2018!  The guide described us as “Dynamic Belfast has put its troubled past behind it and is a city transformed”.  How cool is that?


I was born and bred in Belfast.  Considering I grew up during what is known and referred to as the Troubles, I loved Belfast then and I love it now. I am so proud at how far this wee country has come.  Below I want to share with you 5 reasons why you need to visit Belfast now.  I hope you agree with me and make your next weekend trip to Belfast.


Why you should visit Belfast


Our People

We are such a welcoming people.  Warm hearted and we will go out of our way to help you.  I can remember meeting a French tourist in Belfast.  She didn’t have much English but we managed to figure out what she needed and we walked her 2 miles to her accommodation.  Oh and of course we love a great craic!


Our Past

The  well known Belfast politician David Ervine reworded a saying by philospher George Santayana saying “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.”  That is so true of Northern Ireland.  We should not forget our past troubles but use them to move forward and that is what has happened.  Visiting Belfast you will experience the rich history displayed by murals as well as visiting the ‘peace walls’ which still exist in Belfast.


Our Scenery

While not based in Belfast you just need to go to the wonderful UNESCO World Heritage site that is the Giant’s Causeway.  An area of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns which was a result of an ancient volcanic eruption.  It is located in the beautiful north coast of Northern Ireland.


Our Accommodation, food & shopping

There is a hotel that will suit all tastes within Belfast.   You can stay in the most bombed hotel in Europe – The Europa Hotel or you can stay at the new quirky Bullitt Hotel.

You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in Belfast.  From the famous Long’s Fish and Chips which is the best kept secret in Belfast to more funky selection of food from Made in Belfast. There is something to suit all tastes and all prices!

Shopping in Belfast is also a delight.  You can take a wander along Donegall Place for the main high street stores or stroll through Victoria Square for designer wear and even take in the breathtaking views from the doom at the top of Victoria Square.


Have you been to Belfast?  Are you considering it?  I’d love to hear from you.



As someone who was born and bred in Belfast here I tell you why you need to come visit Belfast. Head over to my blog to read why!