Why Singapore Changi is the Best Airport in the World!

It may sound dramatic, but I could spend days at Singapore’s Changi Airport. Oli could too……

It truly is the best airport in the world, and I’ve thought as much since I had my first criminally short stopover on a flight back to the UK from Australia (45 minutes is just plain cruel!). My love affair hasn’t stopped since and I’ve even enabled Oli too.

It’s regularly been voted the best airport in the world by aviation freeks intelligent types which is no surprise if you’ve visited. But what if you haven’t? You’re probably wondering what all the fuss and histrionics is about, maybe even avoided a long layover there in the past. Sacre Bleu! Read this post and you will never again neglect this heaven on earth known more commonly as Changi.

You Can Explore Every a Terminal!

You know that sinking feeling when you discover there’s no McDonald’s at Terminal 0 of Crappy International Airport? Just me? Once you enter Changi Airport, you can roam freely amongst all 4 terminals regardless of where your flight is leaving from. This is kind of revolutionary, and works because security is at each gate. Say What???? Yep, that’s right, every single gate has its own separate security area making for a pretty stress free experience.

Free Massage!

Well, free massage chairs anyway. They are truly amazing and have a multitude of settings from ‘Sports’ to ‘Relaxing’. After a 16 hour flight, or before one — it’s just what the doctor ordered.

Two Separate FREE Cinemas

I know, it’s kinda ridiculous right? Wrong, it’s what every airport should have. It’s our God given right, surely? Prior to our flight back to the UK in July we watched The Hobbit (snore) and Gravity (not at all snore) and when we landed a few days ago with 4 hours to kill before our Air Asia flight over to Bali we head straight for the big screen. I promptly fell asleep……but it was a damn good sleep.

Side note: Our fave cinema (showing current blockbusters) is in T4, the other one located in T3 has more of a retro vibe.

Long Term Travel with Hand Luggage

Long Term Travel with Hand Luggage

A few weeks ago I wrote about our packing plans. Riveting, I know. I’m almost postive you have been tearing your hair out waiting for a post from us to finally release you from the chains of worry and tell you our final packing plans. I have taken the plunge and bought a 35l Karrimor backpack (a bargain at £16 from Sports Direct), a big step down from my Berghaus Jalan 55+10l. So how am I gonna do it? How am I going to cope with long term travel carrying only hand luggage?

Off to Athens, travel bloggers conference

Off to Athens

1) Downsize Duh| Pretty obvious right? But despite the fact that I have been on several long term trips, I still manage to either over/under or just plain scatter pack. However with the memories of lugging a heavy backpack full of fairly pointless toot around still painfully fresh in my mind, I vowed to change. Yes, I may miss my full sized bottle of Aqua Allegoria perfume but you know what I won’t miss? Being hot, sweaty, tired and very grumpy with 20 kilos of heavy crap on my back, pulling on my neck and making me look like “a tortoise”. Thank you Oli for that flattering comparison.

2) Packing Cubes Are Key| I cannot tell you how indispensable packing cubes are regardless of the size of your backpack. They perform a simple task – seperating and organising your wares in fabric cubes that are zippable and neat. I have 3 — a large one holding all of my clothes, and 2 smaller sizes with my underwear/bikinis and lastly medicine/chargers/jewellery.

3) Urgh….Minimal Toiletries| This is my weakness, I cannot lie and if any of you follow my beauty blog Lucy Loves Lipstick, you know just how hard it will be for me to cut back on my beauty bits. However, I am trying to be a bit more sensible and will be cutting way back and utilising my bounty of sample sized products. Makeup will be massively pared back to around 5 products (eeeeeek).

4) No More Paper Books| I have never been one to extoll the virtues of the iPad/Kindle etc for reading books. I find it awkward in the sun, and it’s not always super safe to have an expensive item in plain view. I just like the feel of paper books, I’m old fashioned like that I guess. We will be taking our bible in the form of the Lonely Planet Southeast Asia on a Shoestring naturally, and I’ll probably only take one book which I’ll likely swap at the various book swap opportunities you tend to find at hostels along the way.

5) Out go Sleeping Bags/Mosquito Nets etc etc| We had an insane amount of stuff ‘just in case’ last time round that we are happy to ditch. In my experience, you WILL be bitten by something when you’re travelling and the best way to avoid it is to be aware — don’t hang around stagnant water after 6 (rivers, lakes….any body of water except the sea) ‘cos it’s a mozzies stomping ground and be real – don’t stay somewhere that costs £4 a night without properly checking the bedding for signs of bedbugs. Also – keep the fan on! It is a very good protection from mosquito’s as are the, very cheap, mosquito coils you can pick up locally.

Do you have a serious case of bad-packingitis? Sharings Caring – drop me a comment below!

L x

Our Future Travel Plans

Our Future Travel Plans

We’ve been back in London for a good couple of months now, and you may have noticed that our humble little travel blog has become more of a beauty blog of late. I guess it’s ony natural that as we aren’t travelling and I have been given free reign, things have erred towards my favoutite topics. But we have been squirreling away on various projects behind the scenes and thought it was about time we shared our future travel plans with you all, our faithful and wonderful readers.

Beautiful Blue Nail polish, manicure, beauty blog

Beautiful Blue Nails

Where are we going next?

On January 7th, a year to the date we left for Sri Lanka, we head off once more to our favourite neck of the woods; South East Asia. We may well have spent 3 months here last year but this time we are adding two brand new places into the mix; Indonesia & Borneo! We are insanely excited about this and have a few rough ideas of what we want to see and do but as you all know, the best laid plans change often so we are taking the pressure off and leaving things pretty open. The only fixed plans we have are to meet Ruth and our fave Geordie, Lucy in Thailand.

Blue Mansion, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Blue Mansion, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

When are we coming back to London?

Our original plan was to stay out until May, making our trip a decent 5 months however I landed a role at Lonely Planet Magazine jazz hands so we are now coming back at the end of February. Initially we felt a bit cheated at this ‘short trip’ but for goodness sakes, its almost 2 months long, which let me tell you, is long enough for me to get a tan and short enough for us to still like each other.

Our travels won’t end there as we are heading to TBEX in Costa Brava at the end of April which will undoubtedly lead to further trips around Europe. We have also loosely planned in some time in the  Middle East (Palestine hopefully) and may end up back in Thailand for TBEX Asia in October.

British Airways to Athens

Any more news?

Yes! You may have noticed a little foray into the world of Vlogging which is all down to Oli’s hard work. We will be doing much more of that, so please do subscribe to our You Tube channel when you get a chance. We also have a Facebook fan page, so please have a look at that too.

Lastly, I will be working on my other blog a lot more which is solely beauty and lifestyle. I’d love it if you had a gander as I’ve recently redesigned it.

I think that’s all for now. Happy Christmas!

L & O x

 

Should You Pack Light? Hand Luggage vs. Checked Luggage

Should You Pack Light? Hand Luggage vs. Checked Luggage

 

Should you travel light? Hand Luggage vs. Checked Luggage! Packing List, Female Packing List | lucylucraft.com | travel, beauty, lifestyle blog

Should you travel light? Hand Luggage vs. Checked Luggage |lucylucraft.com | travel, beauty, lifestyle blog

Oli and I are getting ready for our next trip, and even though, at 2 months, it’s longer than most people would usually go away for, we feel like it’s a pretty short trip. One of the lessons we learned last time, is that you need a lot less ‘stuff’ than you think, even when you are constantly on the road for 7 months like we were. Some of our favourite long term travel bloggers only take carry on rucksacks with them, and seem to manage fine despite also being self sufficient digital nomads. So, can we do it?

Can we travel for 2 months with only hand luggage?

Well, we’re gonna try.

Oli in Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona, Spain

Oli pondering our travel packing options in Barceloneta

We both have hand luggage in the form of wheeled cases and holdalls but the style we prefer is a backpack as it’s just a lot more suited to the activities we partake in…..namely, walking around in the blistering heat trying to find somewhere to stay for £1 less than the previous place…….

So, backpack it will be. We both already have 60 litre backpacks plus 20 litre daypacks so we are aiming to downsize by almost half…..we will both have a daybag too — I’ll probably keep my current tan satchel & Oli will most likely take my Berghaus daybag. We now just need a suitable 30-40 litre rucksack……watch out Blacks, we’re armed with credit cards and we’re coming for you.

Technical, and somewhat boring, details aside what will we actually take? More importantly, what are we gonna ditch to downsize into our new minimalist luggage philosophy.

Taking
Microfibre Towel| This is a must, despite the fact it isn’t the nicest thing to dry yourself with as it packs down so small, is lightweight and dries super quickly. A beach towel is an unnecessary luxury and we didn’t even take one last time.

Lightweight Sarong/Scarf| This was probably the most hard working item in my backpack last time and multitasked as a beach towel, cover up for temples, dress, blanket and wardrobe upgrade. So yes, I am taking 2 this time.

Getting Blessed by Lakshmi, the temple elephant, Hampi, India.

Getting Blessed by Lakshmi, the temple elephant, Hampi, India with my trusty silk scarf…..

Lush Solid Shampoo/Sunblock| To be honest, I will probably check in my rucksack on the flight to Singapore as unfortunately, I can’t take 100ml toiletries for the entire trip (This frizzy hair needs a stack of conditioner!). Halfway through and certainly on the back however, I anticipate having significantly less toiletries so should be able to keep everything with me in the cabin. Regardless, the most important space saving item I will have, and am never without is my caboodle of Lush solid products. They have a stack more shampoo bar varieties (hello honey flavour) so I will be investing in a couple more. I’ll also take my solid SPF 35.

Lovely Lush Travel Friendly Beauty and Toiletries Xmas

Lovely Lush Goodies…..I don’t think there’ll be much use for glittery bath bombs in Indonesia

DSLR, Small Digital Camera & Laptop| These are all tricky additions and seem a bit bonkers given my massive downsize but I anticipate using these a lot more than the stuff I took last time (iPad & iPhone). We will need to work whilst away, so a laptop is totally necessary for both of us. We will be sharing the load anyway and I imagine Oli will carry the laptop most of the time….thanks in advance Oli.

Lucy Loves Lipstick

This is coming with me fo sho…..

2 Bikini’s| We will be on the beach a lot more this trip but regardless, I only need 2 as they are so easy to wash and dry. I actually can’t imagine travelling to anywhere cold…….

3 pairs of Shoes| I actually didn’t take too many last time but I’m probably packing smarter with a pair of flip flops, Nike Free Runs & my Leopard Print Espadrilles. I’m hoping that these 3 will be more than enough to cover al eventualities…….

Tangle Teezer| The logic behind leaving this gem behind last time is completely beyond me.

Snorkel Gear| This is pretty bulky but will save us a fair amount of money, given that we will be almost exclusively on a beach!

Books| We had a lot of books last time and had to post them back as we finished them (we are old fashioned and wanted to keep our Lonely Planet collection in tact) so I think this time, we are only taking one book (Southeast Asia on a Shoestring and the rest will probably be on iPad).

Ditching

Makeup| I’ll be taking some, but a fraction of what I took with me last time and I’m aiming for 1 single toiletry bag to house everything I need for the trip inc. deodorant etc.

Mosquito Nets/Repellant| Honestly, nothing really stops the bugs from biting us so we’ll probably just take our plugin which lasts for ages and we can pop it on in the evenings to keep the critters away. The mosquito nets featured as our least used items in almost every trip roundup last time, so they are a no brainer.

Razors| Obviously I’m not going au naturelle…..I’m just gonna take my epilator instead (eeeeshk), which I may live to regret.

Tampons| Again this may be TMI but since August I have been using a mooncup instead, which is amazing and will save a decent amount of space, although I always used applicator free tampons anyway which are small.

If you want to try packing light and need some advice, the links below helped us out.

Never Ending Voyage Travel Blog

Lonely Planet

Her Packing List

Seat Guru – this website tells you hand luggage restrictions on every airline.

I haven’t started packing yet, so we’ll see how that all pans out and you’ll be the first to know when we have finished our packing:)

L x

Alternative London: Billingsgate Fish Market!

Alternative London: Billingsgate Fish Market!

It seems like an awfully long time ago now that we had the opportunity to visit Billingsgate Fish Market, but I guess that’s partly due to the fact that we had to be there at 6am or some other hour of the morning that neither Lucy or I are used to anymore!

Billingsgate Fish Market Cookery School Champagne and Smoked Salmon Blinis

Billingsgate Fish Market Cookery School Champagne and Smoked Salmon Blinis

Billingsgate is the premier fish market in all the land, and as such sells some of the most amazing (and weird) looking fish to come out of the sea.

Anyway, the reason we actually went was that Billingsgate have launched their new Festive Breakfasts in time for Christmas. We were invited along by the lovely Spider PR to have a little butchers around the place and to taste some delicious treats afterwards!

Needless to say, neither the food or the tour of the market disappointed, and both were great fun. Our guide around the market was the passionate and funny Barry O’Toole. Fun Fact from Barry; There are over 1500 items to buy on the market, ranging from mere pennies, all the way to thousands of pounds for the best Caviar you can buy.

Have a look at our video tour here;

If you want to have the same trip have a look here; Festive Breakfast at Billingsgate Fish Market

Thanks to Billingsgate Fish Market and Spider PR for our lovely complimentary tour.

Top Winter Warmers

Top Winter Warmers

In my opinion, there’s nowt worse than being cold.

As such, I spend a lot of my time coveting knitwear, hot chocolate, furry slippers and generally anything that promises a glimmer of hope that my inner thermostat will heat up a few notches. Finding Winter warmers is kinda  my life goal.

I had such a writers block the other day, so my angel of a friend J-Sco suggested this post and it was then that I realised that she should probably writing this blog…….awks. She is currently my number 1 contributor and mentor:)

I’ve had a think, delved into my (pretty bare) cupboards and pulled out anything I use to keep warm. The shops are full of lovely, cosy pieces at the mo so this is the opportune time to pick a few winter warmers up.

Get Your Scarf On

Scarves, leopard, faux fur, tartan plaid, winter warmers

I like to wear my scarves on my arm….

I’m a massive faux fur lover….so I always have a faux fur stole knocking about. Tartan/Plaid is another love and Oli bought me 2 Scarves from Zara last year which I absolutely adore, so much so that I took one traveling and let me tell you, it was absolutely dreamy on the plane….and in the insane cold weather of Darjeeling too. Lastly, I wouldn’t be anywhere without my leopard print, scarf from Accessorize which is a great all year rounder, as it’s so light (the link takes you through to a similar one from Warehouse, as mine is so old Accessorize no longer stock it).

Ear Muffs

Slippers, Ear Muffs, Hand cream!

Cosy cosy cosy

Oh I do get laughed at when I wear these but you know what? I can’t hear the laughter on account of my incredibly warm and muffled ears:) Again, Oli bought me a set a couple of years ago…as, incidentally, did my mum so I have 2 sets. This set is from Fat Face and is super soft and keeps that heinous chill out.

Slippers

Those cosy little pair of Granddad slippers are my new fave thing. I bought them in Primark for £8 on Monday and they basically haven’t left my feet since. They are the perfect combo of comfy and cute. Plus Oli laughs at me every time he sees them….bonus lols.

Soup, Soup, Spicy Soup, Soup….

Tomato Soup, homemade bread, winter food, healthy eating, weight loss

Obviously the best part is the bread….

I have a strange old relationship with soup, which I think stems from the fact that I feel a bit weird about being able to drink my food. I never look forward to eating soup and I have to push myself into it a bit, but once I get cracking on with the eating of it — I love it. There are exceptions to this rule though, and I tend to be a touch picky with the flavours. I hate mushrooms, and anything creamy…..and I despise lentil soup. Luckily, I love tomato soup which is incidentally, really easy to make at home and is perfect for chilly old Winter.

All you need to do is fry some onion and garlic (I do it with oil, but you could be really saintly and sweat them in water or something), add 400g tin of chopped tomatoes, the same amount of water and a teaspoon of sugar and you’re done. It takes about 30 mins to simmer to a yummy soup, which you can serve with some fresh basil and seasoning. It’s literally about 50 calories so you can guiltlessly fill your boots:)

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate, Bills

Bills Hot Chocolate…..it rocks my world

I haven’t got much of a sweet tooth, and would always choose a cheeseboard over dessert, but since traveling to India earlier this year, where I drank insane amounts of sweet chai, I’ve developed a bit of a sugar craving. Chocolate is still not my go to sweet treat, but I am really a little bit obsessed with hot chocolate. Seriously, I don’t know why I never drank this dreamy concoction before but I am definitely making up for lost time now.

Oli makes a mean cup of Chocolatey goodness, and I’ve learned a bit from his tekkers. I just use standard cocoa powder (Cadbury’s if you are really interested) and the quantities I use are 4 heaped teaspoons to approximately 200ml milk. Along side that, I have been keenly adding a teaspoon of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of ginger and a couple of cloves if I’m feeling jazzy. Heat it super slowly, stirring occasionally until it’s nice and thick. I tend not to boil it, but aside from that I have no hard and fast rules.

Failing that, a Skinny Ho-Cho from Bill’s is the best around. It comes with a side serving of Flake!

Thermals

I have no shame when it comes to keeping warm, and my underwear drawer is filled with layers of decidedly un-glamorous thermals. My favourites are the heattech styles from Uniqlo which are insanely warm and very affordable (leggings are less than £15).

Mulled Wine

As I write this, I am yet to drink my first mulled wine of the season. It’s the 3rd of December for goodness sakes!!! Anyway, I actually could totally just make some myself as I imagine it to be pretty easy. You can buy pre mixed spices from most supermarkets but I think you could easily make your own with some cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and maybe a nip of rum. I’ll try it later and let you know how it goes…….

What are your foolproof ways to stay warm in the Winter? Keep it clean people…..

L x