My 2018 Destination Bucket List


So I know we are well and truly in to 2018 now, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my upcoming travel plans for the year ahead and am itching to get away! I haven’t travelled since last September, just before I started my new full time job, which is a really long time for someone who usually takes at least one trip a month. I am restricted to annual leave this year for the first time since 2016, so I know it’s going to be tricky to tick lots off my bucket list, but if anyone can be cheeky and use their AL to the max then it’s most definitely me 😉 So after all this travel talk I was caught by surprise when the guys over at Destination2 challenged me to put together my ultimate 2018 bucket list and, naturally, I jumped at the chance to share my upcoming bucket list plans with you all…


Paris, France


So today I booked my hotel for beautiful #Paris which is the first stop on my upcoming European inter-railing adventure and it feels oh so real now! 🚂 My sister and I are heading to the French capital to devour allllll the croissants, walk along the many winding streets and soak up epic views like this from the top of the Eiffel Tower 🗼 This photo was taken on my first and only visit to the city back in 2013 when I had just one full day there to whizz around like a crazy person and see as much as I possibly could whilst on a day trip from Disneyland 🏰 This time round I plan on seeing the sights, taking strolls along the Seine and finding the most Instagrammable places in town 📸 Have you been to the city of love before? Send me your recommendations! 🇫🇷 #IgersParis #IgersFrance #VisitFrance #VisitParis #JessDoesEurope

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My first trip of 2018 will take me to the City of Love, beautiful Paris, somewhere I’ve been before but only for a day trip and I absolutely cannot WAIT to go back! I spent my first visit running around like a headless chicken trying to see the sights and tick off as much as possible, but there is SO much to see and do that it obviously can’t be done in such little time. I’m heading to Paris at the start of April with my sister as we hop on the Eurostar from London and embark upon an inter-railing adventure that’ll take us to France, Luxembourg and Belgium. I actually haven’t left the country since going back to full time work in September and I am literally just itching to get away with every day that passes. Kick-starting my inter-railing adventure in Paris will be so much fun, and a great start to the trip. We’re staying close to the River Seine and the Notre Dame, so we are hoping to tick off those as well as wander down the Champs Elysee, see the Arc de Triomph, climb the Eiffel Tower and visit The Louvre, the Sacre Coeur and the Moulin Rouge too. I cant wait to get back to the French capital and I couldn’t think of a better place to kick off my 2018 travel plans.


Bruges, Belgium


It's that time of year where I'm thinking of my upcoming travel plans for 2018 and I've got such itchy feet! 👣 I haven't been out the country since September, which is soooo long for me especially as I've spent the past year and a half taking at least 1 trip a month! I'm starting to go abit crazy as I haven't travelled for so long, and I just want to hop on a plane, or train, and get back to exploring ✈️🚂🌍 I don't have long to wait until my first trip of the year though as I'm going interrailing (again) over the Easter period. My sister and I are starting in #Paris and ending up in the beautiful Belgian city of #Bruges – somewhere I have wanted to visit for agessss! 🇧🇪 We can't wait to wander round the old town, see the beautiful belfry and eat allll the chocolate waffles 😋 Have you ever been to Bruges before? Send me all your tips! 📸 – my lovely pal @ambermarie1912 . . . #travel #travelblogger #travelblog #interrailing #europe #city #citybreak #travelgram #instatravel #darlingescapes #explore #travelmoment #igersbruges #brugge #belgium #igerseurope

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After visiting Paris and Luxembourg, the third and final stop of my inter-railing adventure will be the fairytale Belgian city of Bruges and I am equally as excited for this place as I am for Paris. There’s just something about Bruges which looks so magical, especially the gothic architecture, the picturesque river and the vibrant market square. We plan to hit up the museums, wander along the river and check out the historic buildings including the City Hall, Belfry, Basilica of the Holy Blood Church and St Salvator’s Cathedral. We’re going to be eating copious amounts of crepes and waffles and chocolate whilst we’re there and plan on doing this every single day! We’re also hoping we might be able to squeeze in quick day trips to both Ghent and Brussels too whilst we are on the way back to London via the Eurostar, as I’ve heard great things about both cities and it’s always nice to tick even MORE things off my ever expanding bucket list!


Rotterdam, The Netherlands



After spending a week inter-railing in April, my next trip at the end of May will take me on my first visit to the Netherlands and I’m looking forward to visiting my 23rd country! I’ll be in Rotterdam for 3 nights for the annual Traverse conference, a fantastic event which connects brands and bloggers from all over the world. The final schedule for the conference hasn’t been released yet, but I’ll be at the opening party on the Friday night, then at the conference all weekend before flying home on bank holiday Monday. I haven’t heard  a lot about Rotterdam so I have no idea what to expect but I know it’s a super cool city with lots to see and do. I’m actually using the Eurostar AGAIN on this trip as I’ll be spending one day and one night in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam before heading over to Holland’s second city. I have wanted to visit Amsterdam for soooo long and I’m super excited I’ll be there this year, even if it is only for a short amount of time!


Dubrovnik, Croatia



I’ll be having a few months break in between my trips in May and then subsequently in August, when I’ll be taking my first EVER cruise! Ahhh I’m both nervous and excited in equal measure as I get ridiculously travel sick (especially on boats) but I’m hoping that the ship will be so huge I won’t feel anything and I’ll be completely fine… *fingers crossed!* My cruise is a trip around the med and, after starting in Croatia, I’ll be heading to Malta, Sicily, Greece and Montenegro. I am so intrigued as to what the cruise will be like and how I will find it, especially as I’ve never spent any length of time at sea before! I’m looking forward to lots of sun, sea, food and drink though as I spend a whole seven days relaxing. Kicking off in Croatia will be wonderful and Dubrovnik, with its ancient city walls and historic buildings, is somewhere I’ve been dying to visit.


Valletta, Malta



The second stop of my cruise will the Maltese capital of Valletta and I’ve heard so many great things about this place. Listed as the 2018 European Capital of Culture, I think Malta is seriously underrated and is the perfect place for a quirky, alternative city break. Like with most of the places on my cruise, I only have one full day to explore but I’m definitely going to walk around the city walls and see as much as I can. There will be sun, sea, history and culture aplenty in Valletta and it’ll be another new country for me to tick off too. My cruise is a family holiday with 13 of my crazy family members and I am sooo excited for us to all be together and make tonnes of new memories!


Mykonos, Greece


This is a little different to my last few posts, but are you dreaming of blue skies, bright sunshine and warm sands? Yep, me too! ☀️Luckily there's a brand new, wanderlust inducing post on the blog coming soon and it's all about my 2018 Bucketlist 🌍The list includes multiple city breaks round Europe, a Mediterranean cruise and I've been daydreaming about a beach holiday to somewhere like this beautiful place.. hands up who's been to #Mykonos before?! 🙋 Sadly I haven't yet, but I'm hoping to visit this Greek gem one day! 😍 📸- my work BFF @schipps88 . . . #travel #travelblog #travelblogger #wanderlust #worlderlust #inspo #inspire #travelgram #instago #travelphotography #beautifuldestinations #darlingescapes #ig_captures #europe #greece #mykonos #igersmykonos #igersgreece #luxurytravel #travelmoment #tourism #igtourism #travelbug #instatravel #instapassport #europe_vacations #turismo

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The Greek party capital and somewhere that is fast becoming the new Ibiza, Mykonos is Europe’s answer to paradise. With it’s crystal clear turquoise waters, white sand beaches and endless infinity pools, Mykonos has it all. Since starting my new job as a villa rental co-ordinator, Mykonos is one of the destinations I look after and I’m hoping that I might be able to go on a fam trip to the island this year to inspect our existing villa portfolio. There’s something about the Greek island that just screams luxury and I would love to spend a few days exploring the island and seeing what it has to offer. Spectacular sunsets are on the cards most evenings, and I know Mykonos is famed for its rocky landscape too. Here’s hoping I can take a trip to this pretty place at some point during 2018, if work allows me too of course!


Lisbon, Portugal



The Portugese capital of Lisbon is somewhere I was supposed to visit a couple of years ago, but sadly I never got round to booking my flights and it just didn’t happen. My parents actually met on holiday in Portugal over 25 years ago, when they were both young and carefree and enjoyed a real life holiday romance (it lead to marriage and three kids, so it does happen guys!) so I think I’ve wanted to visit Portugal for a long time. Lisbon looks super cool, unusual, vibrant and I’m sure there’s plenty of history to uncover too. I’ve also heard it’s got a brilliant foodie scene and I think it’d be a great place to go for an autumnal city break later on in the year. Although I don’t have any firm plans to visit Lisbon yet this year, I always see cheap flights on Skyscanner and I’m sure I can squeeze in a cheeky weekend away before the year is out!


As you can see, I’m quite ambitious with this year’s bucket list and I’m only 70% sure that I’m going to get to visit some of these places. I certainly won’t be able to do them all, but what can I say? I like to aim high! My firm travel plans include my European inter-railing adventure in April, my long weekend exploring the Netherlands in May and my Mediterranean Cruise in August, but after that who knows?! I’m hoping to try and squeeze in a couple of short UK mini breaks this year too as I still haven’t been to Dublin and Edinburgh yet (bad Brit, I know) and I love to make the most of my weekends whilst I’m working full time. Where are you hoping to head to this year? Let me know as I want to hear all your plans! Don’t forget to check out the wonderful Destinations2 website and blog for plenty of travel inspo over the next 12 months…

Love Jess x

NB. This post was brought to you in collaboration with Destinations2, but as always all thoughts are of course my own.


My 2016 Dream Destinations Bucket List via Ice Lolly #sendmeaway

Hey everyone,

Welcome to February! I can’t believe January is over with already but it also felt like the weeks dragged on FOREVER! I was recently nominated by the lovely Victoria from The Girl on the Move Blog to put together my 2016 Bucket List as part of Icelolly’s Dream Destinations 2016 #sendmeaway campaign. There are sooo many places I want to visit this year, and my list of destinations expands all the time so I’m going to try and whittle this down as much as I can! Here we go, lets get wanderlusting!

Brighton, UK

This is my second planned trip of 2016 (I popped to London last weekend) and it’s not as exotic as some other destinations on this list but a little bit closer to home and I thought I’d get some UK representation in here somewhere 😉 Brighton is a city I’ve always wanted to visit but for whatever reason I’ve never had the chance to! My best friend recently moved down that way though so I’m going to take full advantage and head over to Brighton pier during my stay at the end of Feb – I’m so excited!

New York, USA

New York, New York – isn’t this place on everyone’s Bucket List?! It’s quite possibly one of the most famous cities on the planet, and with good reason – LOOK AT THAT SKYLINE!! There’s so much to see and do in the Big Apple and I’m just dying to explore it’s dazzling streets and wonderful theatres. Hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to visit New York this year, otherwise it’s going straight back on the 2017 wanderlust wishlist!

Rome, Italy

Experience is the teacher of all things – Caesar. #openymyworld with @gabscanu in Rome 🇮🇹

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When in Rome you should definitely check out all things architectural – the Coliseum is an epic landmark by any scale, and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Europe. Rome has been on my wishlist since I was a little girl – I was brought up as a Catholic and I’m fascinated by religion so it would be incredible to attend a service at the Vatican. I’m not sure if my budget/annual leave/free time will allow me to visit Rome this year but I’m certainly going to try!

Tallinn, Estonia

I thought I'd share another photo of beautiful Tallinn in Estonia – I just can't get over the inherent beauty of the Old Town. The core historic part of town isn't that big and can be easily explored if all you have is a day or so there. But I'd recommend spending a little bit more time and get to know the other parts of town away from the colorful UNESCO side, like the trendy Telliskivi district. Housed in a former secret Soviet-era industrial complex, Telliskivi has been taken over by some of the most creative minds in the country. Home to restaurants, bars, shops, galleries, coffee houses, creative companies and NGOs, the so-called Creative City is by far one of the most cutting edge neighborhoods in the world. It's also just a really fun place to visit, grabbing lunch at the F-Hoone restaurant before window shopping amongst the galleries, feeling inspired along the way. Most cities, even those firmly entrenched in their own historical legacies have something surprising to share. All you have to do is look for it!

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Time for something a little bit different now; for those avid readers out there most of you will know that I specialize in European city breaks – the quirkier the better! Tallinn is somewhere that appeals purely because of its harbourside location, cold temperatures during the winter (I need to see some snow!) and beautiful UNESCO world heritage sites. Tallinn is also suuuperrr cheap and I’d love to make the most of my bank holidays this year so I feel a cheeky weekend stopover in this beautiful city is on the cards!

Riga, Latvia

Like a fairy tale 💫 #openmyworld in Riga, Latvia with @augustaleighphoto

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Riga is another quirky destination on my Bucket List and it’s a trendy, up and coming European city attracting more and more tourists. Boasting a picture perfect Old Town, quaint little streets, beautiful buildings and a multitude of museums, Riga offers something for everyone. Like Tallinn, Riga is also known for being excellent value for money and I’ll be sure to book a little weekend getaway at some point over the next few months!

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Croatia is somewhere I’ve been meaning to visit for a while, and Dubrovnik in particular is on my holiday hit list! I’m forever going to cold destinations on my city breaks (flashback to Iceland 2014!) so I thought I’d mix it up a bit and plump for somewhere a little warmer.. With a cool balance of beaches, city life and plenty of historical landmarks I’d be spoilt for choice in cultural Dubrovnik!


So there we have it, that’s my 2016 Bucket List! I’ll be interested to see where I end up this year and I’m so excited to reveal some big news very soon on the blog – I promise not to keep it a secret for too much longer! Thanks again Victoria for the nomination, you can also read her inspiring Bucket List here.

As part of Ice Lolly’s #sendmeaway campaign I’ve also been tasked with nominating three fellow bloggers to share their Dream Destinations Bucket List for 2016. I’d like to nominate Vicky & Chris from Eat Sleep Love Travel, Jess Gibson from The Travelista & Sophie Davis from Sophie’s Suitcase. Looking forward to reading your bucket lists guys!

Where are you heading to this year? Will 2016 be your year of discovery? I’d love to hear your travel plans!

Love Jess x

NB. Thanks to Sophie Davis, Victoria Dovaston, Flight Centre AustraliaMatt Long for the Instagram inspo!