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I don't know how else to put this, Thailand is magic. We decided to go big with our travels this year because Niall was going to start Fire Academy in the summer and we didn't know the next time he'd be able to truly take time off. We found incredibly cheap flights with Air China ($650 round trip with a 22 hour layover in Beijing) and decided to just go for it! Just like the last blog post, this one will include all the links, photos, videos and advice you could need for a dope 10 day trip to Thailand! 

FLIGHTS: About 6 weeks before our trip, we found the aforementioned deal on Air China for $650 round trip, out of JFK, with a layover in Beijing. It was a 14 hour flight to Beijing, 5 hour wait, and then another near 5 hours to Bangkok (basically a 35 hour travel day you'll need to factor into your trip). Tips: get to the airport early for check in as they tend to be on the slower side, and bring tons of food/ snacks because you won't find many options in Beijing. Air China also has a pretty strict baggage policy, with size of bag factoring in as well as weight. 

For domestic flights, we flew Air Asia. I really recommend flying from city to city. People like to take the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, but the flight was comparable in price and took 1/13th of the time. All of the blogs we read warned us how stressful and difficult domestic airports and budget airlines would be, but our experience was near perfect. Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport is incredible, the food options are out of control. One of our best meals of the trip was merely in the airport cafeteria. Tips: There are 2 major airports in Bangkok. Don't be like us, and actually double check which one you're flying out of. It'll spare you the panic of cutting the taxi line, a cab going double the speed limit, and sprinting to the gate. 

LODGING: We stayed in Airbnbs for the majority of the trip, using our Chase Sapphire Preferred points to book a hotel for our last night in Bangkok. I love Airbnb because it's the best way to meet locals, and stay in neighborhoods less frequented by tourists and more local. 

Airbnb in Bangkok: this was the cutest room within a narrow house, complete with a rooftop patio. Our hosts were a family and each morning, the matriarch would make us a traditional Thai breakfast, let me tell you it was delicious. 

Airbnb in Chiang Mai: This one may be the best Airbnb I've ever stayed in. This incredible treehouse style bungalow was up in the hills, right next door to a hip coffee shop and complete with a sweet pool. Our room was on the top floor and had 360 views of the tops of trees and mountains. Our hosts were so sweet,  they set up our cooking class, our airport pickup, and they even invited us to have drinks and a home cooked meal with them. 

Airbnb in Phuket: This lovely apartment had a rooftop gym and infinity pool. It was the perfect way to unwind after long hot days island hopping.  

Hotel in Bangkok: The staff were so welcoming and wonderful! They even threw a little party for Songkran Festival and invited the guests to enjoy food and games, dousing us with water as is tradition. The suite was so luxurious, and there was a rooftop pool overlooking all of Bangkok. 


As far as food goes, I definitely took cues from Netflix's Somebody Feed Phil. But we found some gems of our own. 

* Jay Fai, for the best crab omelette of your life. Be prepared to wait a while to be seated, seeing a this Michelin star hole in the wall has one 70 year old woman preparing every meal herself. 

* Err; Urban Rustic Thai, This is such a fun spot for drinks and even a nice dinner. Make sure to get the passionfruit cocktail, Niall and I are still dreaming about it. 

* Thip Samai Pad Thai: this is arguably the "best" Pad Thai in Bangkok and I will say it didn't disappoint. 

As far as places to visit, some notable spots we spent time in were Wat Pho Temple, The Grand Palace, Wat Arun Temple, and Khao San Road (a pretty touristy spot, but definitely worth a walk through). 


* Bird's Nest Caféwas not only a dope spot, but also one of the best banana pancakes I've ever had.

* Free Bird Caféfor one of those Instagram perfect smoothie bowls. This was such a relaxing stop after a long day with Elephants! 

* Ploen Ruedee Night Marketevery option you can think of, plus live music and a sweet atmosphere. 

* Begin Again Coffee Shop: this spot was right next door to our Airbnb and while Chiang Mai is a city littered with fun coffee shops, Begin Again had a great vibe and awesome apple soda cold brew and rose lattes. 

* Khao Soi Loong Prakid Gard Gorm: if you can find this, you'll have the best meal you've ever had for about $1.50. Khao Soi is a delicious northern specialty, but this tarp covered driveway, with rogue roosters and little plastic chairs and tables will serve you the absolute tastiest, meat melts in your mouth version of it. 

Chiang Mai was our favorite part of the trip by far. The city has an incredible laid-back vibe, and the weather is much cooler than in other parts. Besides eating we spent a day at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. They pick us up in a open caravan, drive us 2 hours to the jungle, and we fed, mud bathed and washed Elephants, followed by a delicious fresh meal and the exhausted but happy ride home. I'm not exaggerating when I say this was one of the absolute best experiences of my life. We also took a Thai Cooking class at Pranang Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School. The course was 4 hours and they first took us to a local market to pick out ingredients, then taught us how to cook 4 courses of traditional thai food (which we happily ate afterwards). Lastly, we each had 90 minute full body Thai massages for about $12 total, not a hard sell.

PHUKET: Since we only had about 2 and a half days in Phuket, we decided to splurge and use them to their fullest. For each full day we booked speedboat tours of different islands off the coast. 

* Love Andaman Tours : this was our "budget" version of a speedboat tour, and it was available last minute. We did the Phi Phi Islands day trip, which is a must do. You can find the itinerary on trip advisory or their website, but some of the notable stops included Maya Bay, Monkey Island and Mosquito Island. The boat was a bit crowded, but we still had a blast and spent the entire day snorkeling, swimming, and jumping off the boat. 

* Simba Sea Trips: this tour was absolutely worth the cost. Their boats are brand new, well maintained, and they never crowd the tour so that you may truly luxuriate on the boat. We did the Phang Nga Bay and Koh Panyee tour and some of the highlights were the fresh breakfast served aboard, the cave exploring (gear included), the incredible lunch on an indigenous town on stilts, and a quick stop at James Bond Island, not to mention the secluded beach last stop to really lay out and enjoy the crystal clear water. If you can book with this company, do it. 

* We Work Cafe: this was down the block from our Airbnb and had fantastic food as well as the best passionfruit smoothie I'll ever have. 

* Chillva Night Market: This is a fun night market with countless food options, and really fun shopping. 


BEIJING: We only had 22 hours to spend in Beijing, and while their airport may be my least favorite place in the world (we'll save that for another post at some point), we booked an airport layover tour with our Chase Sapphire Preferred Points to see the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. I'm not going to link our tour because it wasn't exactly cheap and our guide (despite assurances he would) didn't speak any English but despite all of the difficulty related to this part of the trip, it was worth it to check the Great Wall off the bucket list.


Last minute tips and tricks: Much to our delight, we did not get sick on this trip. We were, however, very wary of the water, only brushing our teeth with bottled water, etc... Also, while we're very adventurous eaters, we made sure if we were eating anything street related, that it was cooked at high heat and hadn't been sitting out. Try to avoid raw leafy greens, but don't be afraid of the ice. We had iced drinks a lot of the time and were perfectly fine. We also lathered up on mosquito repellent, and saw our travel doctors before leaving just to update our tetanus boosters and get HEP A vaccines. Also remember, when visiting temples, you must cover your shoulders and knees, and try to wear easily removable shoes so you don't spend a majority of your vacation lacing and unlacing sneakers to go anywhere. 

Enjoy our pictures and travel vlog below! 


So as most of you who follow my Instagram can tell, Niall and I recently returned from an amazing 10 day trip to Ireland (with a little pit stop in Barcelona for warmth). Needless to say, we had an incredible time. I tend to be pretty type A and do extensive research on just about everything, this trip was no different. A lot of my friends have been considering visiting both Spain and Ireland and have reached out to me for advice, so I've decided to streamline the process and write out a pretty handy guide to getting the most out of your time there! I'll put a bunch of trip planning advice and links down for you guys and then pictures and a short video if you scroll to the bottom! 

FLIGHTS: Around early May, we found an unbelievable deal on Norwegian Airlines. We each paid $280.00 round trip from New York (Stewart airport) to Dublin for flights in late August, which is generally unheard of. If you're a bit reserved about going to Stewart-Newburgh International Airport (it's about 60 miles north of Manhattan), there's a shuttle bus service provided from Times Square - Port Authority based on the time of your flight. It was honestly a painless experience, and while the airport is tiny, our flight left perfectly on time. 

* something to note regarding Norwegian airlines, they are very strict with their baggage policy. You pay very little for a ticket, and therefore they try to find other ways to charge you. Make sure your bags are within the size requirement and that they both don't weigh more than 22kg combined. 

Once we had arrived in Ireland, we spent the night in Dublin and flew out to Barcelona the following day with Ryan Air. They have a similar baggage policy, and run a little bit less organized than Norwegian. Expect delays, cancellations, and whatever else they may throw at you, however the prices are still too good to be beat. 

AIRBNB: As far as where we stayed we did a mix of friends, Airbnbs and one hostel. When I backpacked around Spain as a teenager, I had a blast staying in hostels, but at 26, sleeping in bunk beds has lost it's charm. The Airbnbs, however, were so lovely and each of our hosts was so helpful. I've listed each apartment as well as the hostel below: 

Airbnb in Barcelona

Airbnb in Kerry

Galway City Hostel

Airbnb in Belfast

TRANSPORTATION is where the planning in this trip became a bit more complicated. We were adamant about renting a car in Ireland and road tripping around the perimeter of the country for a week. However, after reading reviews, most car rental companies in Ireland are downright thieves. Budget, Hertz, Europcar all have terrible customer ratings, and extremely unreasonable prices. After much research, we decided to go with Dooley's Car Rental.  

* Things to note about renting a car in Ireland: 

- Most credit cards offer a worldwide collision damage waiver, however, Irish car rental companies only accept this waiver from two specific credit cards: Chase Sapphire, and World MasterCard. If you happen to have either of these two cards, you'll have to contact your company, ask them to email you a copy of your collision damage waiver (dated within two weeks of your trip) and make sure to print out a copy for your rental company as proof. This seems like a lot of work, but it will save you a lot of money and trouble regarding car insurance. 

- Most cars in Europe are manual. Here in the states we are spoiled with automatic vehicles, and while they're available in Ireland, it more than triples the daily price of a car rental. If you can drive stick, do it. 

- Even with your CDW, you will still have a 3000 Euro hold placed on your credit card until you return the car. There's no way around this. It's a real pain, but honestly everything else ran so smoothly with the return, it was still worth it. 

- Driving on the right hand side of the car while on the left hand side of the road can feel overwhelming, but honestly it really wasn't so bad as long as you stayed focused. 

Both Barcelona and Ireland were so spectacular this time of year. Below I'll list a few places worth visiting. 


The night we arrived, our Airbnb host walked us around the Born Historical district and gave us restaurant recommendations. He was spot on! Here are some of our favorite places in Barcelona. 

- Casa Lolea: this is a sangria factory with the most incredible tapas. Shoutout to the octopus ceviche I'm still dreaming of. 

- Xiringuito Escriba: After visiting Platja Nova Icaria (a beach a little further off the beaten path from Barceloneta beach), we ate at this lovely open aired waterfront restaurant that served possibly the largest paella I've ever seen. 

- Elsa Y Fred: This place was adorable, and deserves mention for giving us free shots with our check. 

- Caelum: Famous for their homemade cakes and delicious pastries. Niall and I definitely had cake for breakfast here every morning. 

- Ginger: a small but intimate cocktail bar in the historic district. They have excellent cocktails, and a really lovely romantic vibe. 

We spent most of our time in Barcelona eating and drinking, but if you'd like to see some of the sights, I'd highly recommend booking La Sagrada Familia and the Parc Guell far in advance. 


We spent time in Dublin, Kerry, Galway, and Belfast. Here are a few of the watering holes and delicious restaurants worth mentioning in each of those cities. 

- In Dublin, I can't recommend Fade Street Social more highly. It's an incredibly inventive tapas restaurant, the food was delicious. Make sure to reserve in advance. 

- Doolin Cafe: If you're going to the Cliffs of Moher, make sure to stop in Doolin, a charming little seaside town, on the way. If you're going to have breakfast, you won't find a more cozy, irish breakfast than at Doolin Cafe. 

- The Barking Dog in Belfast: Well, this was by far the best restaurant we've ever been to. It may sound like an exaggeration since we live in New York City, but we truly had the best meals of our lives. The cocktails and food were so inventive and yet felt like comfort food. This combined with a fun atmosphere and reasonable prices (as well as it being next door to our Airbnb) meant we ate here for dinner both nights we were in Belfast. 

- Maggie Mays Belfast Cafe: This is a standard breakfast stop in Belfast. We grabbed some of the famous hot chocolate last time we were in Belfast, and we couldn't help but come back for those marshmallows. 

- Sean's Bar in Athlone: This may take you out of your way as far as major cities go, but Athlone is historic and who wouldn't want to say they've had a pint in the oldest pub in Ireland. Dating back to the year 900, Sean's bar had a fantastic live Irish band and great beer selection. 

-The Hole in the Wall: If you're near Phoenix Park, you have to check out this pub. It's officially the "longest bar in Ireland" as it used to be a coach house. The rooms vary from cozy nooks with a fireplace, to a dining room setting, to a typical pub.  

My favorite part of traveling through Ireland was that every pub we stumbled upon had live music. Whether it was traditional Irish music or a folk singer, it created such a warm and festive atmosphere and really made me fall in love with the country and it's culture. 

As far as traveling around Ireland, I'll list the places definitely worth visiting in the proper order:

- The Ring of Kerry: a beautiful drive around Kerry that will take you through Torc mountain and Waterfall, and the Gap of Dunloe as well as other awe-inspiring vistas. 

- Skellig Michael- Be sure to book this in advance. We didn't actually visit because tickets were sold out but as a Star Wars fan, I am dying to go! 

- Drive up the Dingle Peninsula, on the Wild Atlantic Way. Stop in Slea Head, Dingle, and the Conor Pass

- The Cliffs of Moher, just be sure to go on as clear a day as you can manage. 

- Gleniff Horshoe Valley, is a stunning drive and it's right on your way from Galway to Cuilcagh Mountain, a 12 mile round trip hike up a boardwalk path surrounded by wild bogs and painted hills. Honorable mention for one of my favorite destinations on this trip that hardly anyone knows about. 

- NORTHERN IRELAND: Carrick-a-rede Rope bridge, which is incidentally along the Causeway Coastal Route. Stop here first, as it gets crowded when the day goes on, then hit the Giant's Causeway. * REMEMBER, Giant's Causeway is FREE to all visitors. Do not let them fool you into paying a visitor's fee just because you walked through the visitor's center. Just to the right of the building is a tunnel and a free entrance. After you finish up, you'll be nice and ready for a tour of the Bushmills Distillery , tours are first come first serve, but well worth it. On your way back to Belfast, pretend you're Jon Snow and stop at the Dark Hedges for as many pictures as you can get before the tourist buses come through. 

If you're feeling a little overwhelmed about how you can map this trip out, I've created two saved google maps with every restaurant, bar, and place worth visiting pinned and color categorized. Feel free to use them to map out your trip. 

Google Map of Barcelona

Google Map of Ireland

Now for the fun part: pictures and the trip videos! 

I made a Spotify playlist specifically for our Ireland road trip. Check it out here. 

Let me know if you have any questions or need any more details on how to travel Ireland or Barcelona! 


Our friends Courtney and Kenny were going to be in San Francisco for a weekend in January, so Niall and I decided we'd cross another road trip off of our bucket list and drive up Highway 1 to meet up with them. We only had a day allocated for each way, so we knew we had to make the most of it. I know people are always gushing about this road trip and that might make you think it's overrated but I'm here to tell you, it's really not.

We got an early start, leaving LA around 6:30am, and arriving in Santa Barbara just in time for breakfast. After a beachside pancake feast, we continued on past San Luis Obispo, where we stopped to watch the elephant seals (possibly the funniest animals on the planet), and then we hit Big Sur. Let's be honest, I made Niall stop and take pictures of me in front of the Instagram famous Bixby bridge, and we even went for a quick hike at Pfeiffer State Park. By the time we we got to Santa Cruz, the sun had already set so we put off visiting Carmel/ Monterrey for our return journey. 

San Francisco was a dream. We were super tourists and it was excellent. We got Irish coffees at Buena Vista, hiked up Lombard street, ate delicious hand pulled noodles at Chubby Noodle, and visited the Golden Gate Bridge (because we're cheesy, deal with it). Niall and I also drove to the John Muir Woods and went on a 7 mile hike through the enormous, truly ancient Redwood trees and finishing with a perfect vista on a rare clear day. 

We decided that we'd try to hit the spots we missed on our road trip back, stopping specifically at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium (which I can't recommend more), Carmel for a little window shopping and lunch, and then indulging in some more time in Big Sur. Truly, every turn of the highway leads to a majestic new vista, and people are constantly pulling over to the shoulders just to take pictures. We were especially lucky that it was whale watching season, and we saw several whales migrating throughout our drive. If we had taken a few more days, I would have loved to have visited the Heart Castle, and maybe the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. Next time we'd also love to go camping in Big Sur, and really explore the trails, beaches and hot springs they have to offer. 


Food: Sambo's in Santa Barbara // Big Sur Bakery // Chubby Noodle in SF // Buena Vista // Gialina Pizzeria in SF // 

Places: Elephant Seal Beach // Bixby Bridge // Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park // Lombard Street // Golden Gate Bridge // John Muir Woods National Monument // Monterrey Bay Aquarium // McWay Cove // 

Tips/ Warnings:

  •  Big Sur has absolutely no cell service, and no cheap options as far as food and gas go. I'd say fill up the tank, and buy some good snacks before you start the ascent. 
  • There's literally no parking in San Francisco, you're better off leaving your car outside the city and commuting in, or taking Ubers everywhere. 
  • The Monterrey Bay is expensive, but completely worth it (just in case you wanted to budget, I think each ticket for an adult runs you about $50)
  • Download a playlist to your phone, radio is spotty throughout, and when you're taking in the sweeping coastal cliffs you're going to want a soundtrack to live your best music video life. I've created a nice long one on my Spotify (beetsbydre), you can listen to it here: Pacific Coast Highway Playlist

If you guys have any questions or want any further recommendations please let me know in the comments!