My Top 5 Travel Book Picks

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I’ve said already so many times throughout this blog how much I use travel blogs and social media accounts for travel advice and tips, but sometimes you really can’t beat a good book. So, I’ve compiled a selection of my favourite travel books that I think really help when it comes to planning holidays, and at least one of them can guarantee a few giggles as well.

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  1. Pretty much anything by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is pretty much the Grandaddy of travel writing – he’s absolute hilarious and has this magical ability to combine facts, anecdotes and jokes to keep you hooked and chuckling along. I’m ashamed to admit I hadn’t ready anything by Bill Bryson until I was gifted Down Under by my boyfriend’s parents for Christmas, ahead of my trip to Australia next month. I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time, and it’s meant my tube journey to work has whizzed by as I read through Bryson’s journey around Australia, as he tells you all about how it came to be, whilst also (alarmingly) continuously listing all the dangerous animals and terrains that await you there. It’s such a brilliant read and it’s made me want to explore his other works, which is lucky as he has an absolute ton of books to his name, I reckon my next pick will be Neither Here, Nor There: Travels in Europe.

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2. Lonely Planet’s Where To Go When

Another Christmas present book here, but I’m glad people know me so well that this is what I get! This was a gift from my boyfriend’s brother and girlfriend, and it’s such a perfect book for someone who loves to go on holiday. Laid out with all the months of the year, this guide tells you where best to go in the year, depending on what you’re after. The flow charts at the beginning of each chapter/month map out what you’re looking for in a holiday, and then it sends you off to read about fantastic lcoations you may or may not have ever heard about. This gift was especially perfect for my boyfriend and I as we were looking to go to Barbados, but didn’t know when to – but luckily this guide has recommended November as the perfect month to visit, being neither too humid or dry, and just before peak season.. i.e cheaper than usual! I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who loves to travel and is constantly on the look out for new holidays. And even if you haven’t got anything planned, it’s always great to have a look….

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3. 36 Hours: 125 Weekends in Europe

This book is brilliant, and works similarly to the last one in that it’s great for if you know you want a holiday, but aren’t quite sure where you want to go. This is the Europe edition but they also have an edition for America as well – although for us a long weekend in America isn’t as achievable… 125 Weekends in Europe is split into different areas of Europe and within each section it gives you a brief rundown of all the main European cities perfect for a long weekend. The book breaks down what to do in a few days so you can pack in the essential sights in a small amount of time.

If you fancy a few small city breaks this year, buy the book, open it at a random page and then type that destination in Skyscanner. It’ll essentially pick your holiday for you, and you’ll be thankful for it.

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4. Marco Polo Guide: New York

Moving on to city/country specific travel guides now and my main pick would be the Marco Polo guides. The way they are laid out is super handy, and has recommendations for different type of budgets. It’s up to date, easy and light to carry and has a little map at the back for when you’re on the move. As you can see from my picture above, my copy of the New York Marco Polo guide is quite battered, but that’s the sign of a good book I reckon…

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5. Citix60 Barcelona Guide

So this is another birthday present I received (I have great friends/relatives who certainly know what I like…) and I’d definitely recommend it it you’re after a travel guide that doesn’t just send you to the tourist traps, and gives you the cultural and lesser known highlights of a city. This was great with recommendations of where to go for coffee/brunch/dinner, well anywhere to eat really – and when we used this in Barcelona it sent us to some great places, so I’d definitely recommend.

So, there’s my recommendations and I hope you’ve enjoyed the read. If you know of any travel books I should check out please leave a comment below!

Looking back on 2016, and Onto 2017…

2016 for me was one of the best years I’ve had for travel, and it was also the year I finally got my act together and really dedicated time to this blog! I went on three incredible trips to Iceland, New York and Mykonos, in addition to a 4th year at Glastonbury. Personally I also moved into a lovely new flat with my boyfriend and found my feet at my new job, so I think 2016 went quite well for me..

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I have to say that one of my proudest achievements of 2016 has to be GrundyTravels – I promised myself last year I’d put more time and effort into writing articles, and if I kept it up I would finally buy the domain name so GrundyTravels could properly belong to me. I did have some setbacks – I do find it a bit tricky trying to be a travel blogger when I also have a full-time job, as travel isn’t as often and as easy as I’d like it to be – but I’ve tried to make the best of it. So in November when I hit publish on my 25th post I decided to treat myself to the blog domain, and (as you can see from the URL) GrundyTravels has become a proper website (eep). I also invested in a beautiful new Olympus Pen E-7, as a Christmas present to myself. I’ve always loved travel photography, and whereas I know I’m no expert, I love taking pics of my travels – and then with my new Instagram account I’ve loved sharing them with you (and if you’ve come from there, then hello!).

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So for 2017, I’ve got several incredible trips already lined up. In less than a months’ time I’m heading off to Australia with my best friend, to travel around Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns for two weeks. I am slightly nervous about the huge journey, but the plans we’ve made for our trip have made me so excited. I can’t wait to head out there and explore, and then tell you all about it when I’m back. If you have any tips for a trip to Oz please leave them in the comments below!

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I also have a trip to Edinburgh planned with my boyfriend for our 5th (!!) anniversary, followed by a trip to Berlin for my birthday. Then in November we’ve booked a holiday to BARBADOS. I am excited about all my travel plans for 2017, but Barbados is certainly a pinch-me style trip. I can’t believe we’re actually going, but my love of finding cheap holidays helped once again, and we’re heading to Barbados on a bargain… I can’t wait to share more details, but I’m sure they’ll pop up on here soon enough.

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So, to anyone reading this – thank you for clicking on my blog, and I hope you enjoyed the posts on here. I can’t wait to get travelling this year and report back on where I’ve been with more tips and budget travel tricks. If you haven’t already, please check out the Instagram for Grundy Travels too, where I’m daily posting my travel snaps!

So, 2016 you’ve been pretty great, but here’s to a fabulous new 2017!

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