Category Archives: Uncategorized

SEO For Bloggers: A Beginner’s Guide To Ranking On Google

Woman in white office on desktop. Work.

SEO for bloggers is not as scary or technical as it sounds. With over 1 trillion searches performed every month on search engines like Google, it’s worth setting aside a few days to learn it!

Have you been wishing your blog’s audience would grow and you could get more traffic? I’ll tell you something. That can happen and it’s not magic. The key is to start ranking on the first page of Google, so more people are seeing your blog and clicking on your content.

This is what we call SEO or search engine optimization.

Being in the first three results, or even just the first page, gives your site more authority and visibility, more click-throughs, and a larger potential audience.

But you won’t just land there by chance. It takes good SEO to get and to stay there.

Woman on computer pointing at line graph.

By the end of this post you will be able to

  • Identify what is needed to write great content.
  • Understand the importance of keywords.
  • Speak Google’s language (it’s not that technical!)

The 5 Most Important SEO Techniques Bloggers Should Be Using

In order to have the best shot at ranking on the first page, you need to set yourself up with an SEO strategy that works.

Today, I’m going to share with you the most important SEO techniques you should absolutely be using if you want to start building your audience and gaining more traffic.

Keep in mind that one step without the other is not a strategy. You need them all to be truly successful.

Here are the main techniques that ensure your site and your content are completely optimized for search engines.

#1:  Create Great Content

Above anything else, Google wants great content.

Google, and the other search engines, spend massive amounts of time perfecting their algorithms that help them determine the best content to rank at the top of their results.

A large part of this algorithm is based on finding the very best content.

There have made many updates throughout the years to perfect their way of finding that content.

But one thing remains constant. If you don’t have great content, you won’t rank at the top.

You probably know this already, but writing 300 words about your experience with some photo thrown in isn’t going to cut it anymore.

In order to truly compete for the top three search results, you need to:

  • Thoroughly solve the reader’s problem/query.
  • Provide incredible value to the reader.
  • Do it better than the competition.
  • Avoid typos, grammar mistakes, and misinformation.
  • Be an authority on the topic – it is better to write in depth about a few than thinly about lots.
  • As well as authority, you need to show you experience, expertise, and trustworthiness (EEAT).
Woman in yellow tshirt holding laptop. Work.

#2: Find And Use Killer Keywords

Have you ever wondered why more people aren’t reading your content?

Or more importantly, why you can’t seem to increase your monthly page views?

It’s likely because you aren’t optimizing your site, or your posts, with rankable keywords.

Keywords are one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization, and are very important to your success.

If you devote time to just one aspect of SEO, it should be researching and using the right keywords.

In fact, you should not start writing a single word without knowing the keywords you want to try to rank for.

If you’re really serious about writing content that ranks, you should even research your keywords before planning your trip.

Why, you ask?

Because writing content no one is looking for is a waste of time.

It is the main reason more people aren’t reading your content.

In order to gain more views for your posts, you have to write content people are searching for, and you have to let Google know you have it.

You’re going to do that by

  • Researching keywords that have a decent search volume with low competition.
  • Using those target keywords to plan and write a high-quality, useful and authoritative post.
  • Including other relevant keywords to thoroughly answer user intent which means, the content the reader is looking for.
  • Read more about finding and using the best target keywords here.

We use Keysearch (screenshot below) to find killer keywords.

It’s not free but a keyword research tool is something you will want to invest in and you won’t think twice about spending the money on it because you will use it every day.

Keysearch keywords example

#3: Integrate On-page SEO Signals Into Your Content

On-page SEO refers to all of the practices used to improve your website – both its content and the user experience.

Optimizing content for on-page SEO requires adding specific ranking signals that act as indicators to the search engine algorithm.

If you go without implementing any SEO signals on your site, you are not optimizing your site for search engines, and will lose out on a lot of traffic that could potentially come your way.

How does this work?

Well, Google’s search spiders crawl around your site looking for indicators of your content.

They look for keywords and the placement of those words, they look at what your content links to both internally and externally, and they look at your title and meta description.

These things all give them more info that they can use to determine what your content is about and how to rank it in the search results.

If you’ve got all the things they’re looking for, you’ll inevitably rank higher.

If you don’t have those things, you’re leaving it up to chance.

Office flatlay laptop. Work.

#4: Improve Your Backlink Profile

Off-Page SEO refers to the things you do to optimize your brand outside of your website.

If done well, off-site SEO will boost brand awareness and cast your site in a positive light that will also translate into positive signals to the search engines, more organic mentions of your site by others, and more authority.

Off-site SEO includes a lot of different aspects, the most important are said to be link building, building and monitoring your brand, and social media.

All three converge to create a solid SEO strategy.

Many bloggers focus a lot of their time on building backlinks.

To improve your backlink profile, you need to do two things:

  1. One is to check and monitor your backlink profile, which you can do in the Google Search Console.
  2. The second is to put some effort into building backlinks.

You can build backlinks through a number of methods including interviews, guest posting and creating infographics.

Facebook groups are a way to find and network with other like-minded bloggers.

Once you’ve established a relationship, you can see if any of them are open to collaboration.

When you start to rank on Google with your incredibly useful content, you find that sites link back to your posts naturally.

Phone with white arrows.

#5: Adjust the Technical Aspects of Your Site

This is the part that most bloggers dread, especially if you don’t have a great understanding of how the technical side of your website works.

You might need to hire a contractor to help you with the technical aspects of your site that affect SEO.

The last thing you want to do is tackle every other technique, but ignore this one.

Technical issues can be a major reason why your site is having a difficult time ranking well.

Without addressing certain issues, you can’t build a solid foundation to give your blog the best chance to rank for relevant keywords.

There are many factors that play a role in technical SEO.

But if you have to direct your efforts in the most opportune way, you should focus on these five, as a basic starting point to building a solid foundation for your blog.

  • Sitemap Optimization
  • Page Speed.
  • Mobile-Friendly Layout.
  • Site Security.

If you can manage to take care of these four major issues, you’ll stand a much better chance to being ranked well in the search engines, because all of these aspects affect the user experience of your site.

If you can’t face working on the technical side of your site, consider contracting an expert such as Alison Donneallan’s services

Website Speed Report

About the Authors

Gemma is the owner of a number of travel and lifestyle websites including Two Scots Abroad Travel Guides. Laura runs a portfolio of travel, food, and lifestyle sites. They both love to travel, drink wine, and increase their website traffic through SEO!

50 Unique Things to do in Bermuda for First Timers

White sand, blue ocean of Horseshoe Bay Bermuda

Bermuda may very well be one of the most beautiful islands to enjoy pink-sand beaches, copious amounts of rum, and brilliant, cerulean waters. But there’s much more to do in Bermuda than hit the beach! This guide details unique things to do in Bermuda. Some of these Bermuda attractions are unusual for first timers, others are hidden gems that even locals and ex-pats may not know about.

Where is Bermuda Located?

Bermuda is situated in the western North Atlantic Ocean and is a self-governing British overseas territory.

There are seven main islands and approximately 170 additional islets and rocks, located 650 miles (1,050 km) east of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, U.S.

Unique Things to do in Bermuda for First Timers

Bermuda Beaches

Building Bay Beach

Building Bay Beach is an entire beach of sea glass!

Located right beneath Alexandra Battery on the island of St. George, this is a fairly secluded and off-the-beaten-path destination.

Just be aware that it is illegal to take the glass from the beach.

Seaglass on Building Bay Beach in Bermuda

Elbow Beach

Elbow Beach is a tranquil beach to bask in the sun, enjoy swimming and snorkeling, or sip a rum swizzle.

If you happen to be spending Christmas in Bermuda, Elbow Beach is where the big party is for the local expat community.

Sun loungers of Elbow Beach Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay

Horseshoe Bay is the most well-known of the pink sand beaches in Bermuda.

Depending on the day, the sand can appear more or less pink.

What gives Bermuda beaches their famous sand?

A combination of parrotfish poop and a red-hued single-celled organism found on coral reefs called foraminifera.

Although Horseshoe Bay is unique since it has pink sand, it does attract tourists so arrive early to avoid crowds.

White sand, blue ocean of Horseshoe Bay Bermuda

Jobson’s Cove

One of Bermuda’s most stunning beaches is actually quite small.

Jobson’s Cove is a tiny stretch of pink-hued sand situated between towering, jagged rock formations.

Jobson’s Cove is not only gorgeous, it’s the perfect swimming basin to cool off from the hot Bermuda sun.

Blue water between rocks at Jobson Cove Bermuda

Tobacco Bay

A stunning spot to hang out in Bermuda is Tobacco Bay is on the island of St. George.

There are epic rock formations to explore and climb (at your own risk) as well as a small, sandy beach.

On the beach you can rent chairs, order drinks, or just lay a blanket down for a picnic.

Blue water at rocks at Tobacco Bay in Bermuda

Warwick Long Bay

Another of the best beaches to add to your Bermuda bucket list, Warwick Long Bay is the perfect place to go if you don’t want to see as many tourists as you would at Horseshoe Bay.

Golden sand, blue ocean, rocks at Warwick Bay in Bermuda

Parks and Gardens in Bermuda

Bermuda Botanical Gardens

Located in Paget Parish, Bermuda Botanical Gardens offer 35 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens to indulge your senses. Depending on when you visit, you can experience different species of Bermudian flora or even catch a wedding!

Pond and plants at Bermuda Botanical Garden

Cooper’s Island

Head to Cooper’s Island at the southeastern point of Bermuda to explore 12 acres of immaculate landscape.

You’ll see seabirds, huuuuuge land crabs, and venerable Bermudian cedar trees.

For years, this nature reserve was off-limits when the U.S. military occupied the region during WWII, and then when NASA maintained a space tracking station.

It only just reopened for visitors in 2011.

Today, you can explore scenic trails and small beaches perfect for a day trip or picnic.

There is also a wildlife observation tower that offers blanket vistas of the island.

Water Activities in Bermuda

Blue Hole Park

Tour the paths of Blue Hole Park to explore hidden caves and paradisal grottoes in Tom Moore’s Jungle.

The park covers 12 acres and boasts an artery of subterranean tunnels that link the pools and caves with water.

The Blue Hole itself is a sizeable (and deep!) pool surrounded by mangroves that affords an idyllic place to swim encompassed by forest.

The park is free to visit.

The Crystal and Fantasy Caves

The Crystal and Fantasy Caves in Bermuda absolutely MUST be included on any Bermuda bucket list! This place is unreal. Just see what Mark Twain had to say:

“We visited a wonderful cave…

The most beautiful cave in the world, I suppose.

We descended 150 steps and stood in a splendid place 250 feet long & 30 or 40 wide, with a brilliant lake of clear water under our feet and all the roof overhead splendid with shining stalactites, thousands and thousands of them as white as sugar, and thousands and thousands brown and pink and other tints.”

The Crystal Caves are open to the public every day from 9 am to 5 pm, excluding certain holidays.

Take a guided tour (and try to wear rubber-soled shoes!) to explore one of Bermuda’s most beautiful natural wonders.

Admiralty House Park

Explore walking trails, ruins, subterranean tunnels and an isolated beach lined with limestone cliffs at this small park on the North Shore.

A small cove at the park (Clarence Cove) is rarely visited by tourists and boasts a quiet beach, lagoon-like waters and jagged cliffs where you can rock climb or cliff-jump into the ocean!

Blue ocean and cliffs at Admiralty House Park Bermuda

Jet Skiing

Discover the best of Bermuda, above and below its turquoise waters.

Since jet skis on offer are small in size, you’re able to discover many hidden gems along the way that are largely untouched by most snorkeling tourists.

Snorkeling at Snorkel Park

Snorkel Park is an admission-charged beach park offering snorkel gear rentals, water sports and a casual bar & grill.

It’s a great option if you’re traveling with kids and anyone inclined to snorkeling! It’s located right by the Royal Naval Dockyard, so combining the two makes for an easy and enjoyable day!

Woman snorkeling in clear waters in Bermuda

SUP Boarding

With its idyllic waters and scenic coastline, Bermuda is the perfect spot to try Stand-Up Paddleboarding (aka SUP).

SUP is a fast-growing watersport that’s popular with people of all ages.

Some companies offer sunset SUP while others, like Lucky Elephant Yoga, will test your balance (and patience) with SUP yoga!

Diving to a Shipwreck in Bermuda

For hundreds of years, Bermuda has gained infamy as the shipwreck capital of the Atlantic.

It was once called the “Isle of Devils” for good reason – the ambiguous and insidious reefs surrounding the island have led to a huge number of shipwrecks.

Beneath Bermuda’s seemingly perfect waters, you can dive or snorkel over more than 300 shipwrecks dating from the fifteenth century all the way up to 1997.

Today, these shipwrecks offer snorkelers, scuba divers and other seafaring guests some of the best wreck diving in the world.

Pro tip: for more modern ships, try diving on the east side of the island. If you’re seeking older wrecks, try diving on the west end.

Scuba Diving around Shipwreck in Bermuda

Humpback Migration

In early spring (specifically March and April) visit Bermuda to see humpback whales parading through the waters off Bermuda as they migrate north to their feeding grounds in Canada, Greenland and Iceland.

Take a tour to see these amazing 40-ton creatures in action and in their natural habitat – humpbacks like putting on splendid displays of water acrobatics for their fans, so you’ll probably get wet!

Humpback whale on its back in Bermuda

Churches in Bermuda

St. Peter’s Church

Located on the island of St. George’s, St. Peter’s Church is the oldest continuously used Anglican church outside of the British Isles.

The steps leading up to the church are a popular stop for tourists looking to get that Insta-perfect photo, so head there super early if you’re looking to do the same.

White building of St. Peter's Church Bermuda

Unfinished Church

Part of the Anglican Parish of St George, the stunning ruins of the Unfinished Church are a short walk from the center of St. George’s.

the Unfinished Church as historic stone arches, lush green grass, and an open roof, it’s pretty unusual and striking sitting against the trees and blue skies.

Grey ruins of Unfinished Church Bermuda on green grass

Ruins in Bermuda

Alexandra Battery

Alexandra Battery is a fortification built in the late 1800’s that offers stunning views of the north shore of St. George’s island as well as the ships’ canals it was created to protect.

Ruins of Alexandra Battery in Bermuda with two rusty canons

For St. Catherine

Fort St. Catherine is a littoral artillery fort whose primary function was to restrict any arriving ships seeking to come in through the reeflines.

Overexposure made it vulnerable, and eventually it became outmoded.

Today, the fort serves as a museum displaying artifacts and historic exhibits, with its original interior preserved.

St. George, Gates’ Fort

As part of a day trip in Bermuda which we discuss below, St. George Gates’ Fort is the perfect sunset spot.

It is Bermuda’s easternmost fortification that was constructed to watch for any potential threats coming from the east.

Its location makes it an idyllic location to check out an island sunrise!

White building at St George in Bermuda

Cultural Activities and Attractions in Bermuda

Front Street

Take a stroll down Front Street in Hamilton to experience the city’s metropolitan dynamism and global feel.

Front street is the heart of the city, lined with fanciful colonial buildings in bright, Bermudian hues on the waterfront.

You’ll find everything on Front Street, from restaurants and pubs to retail shops, jewelers, and of course, rum shops!

In summer months, be sure to visit on Wednesday nights for the weekly Harbour Nights festival to see lively Gombey dancers, sample local street food, enjoy family activities, and shop from local artisans.

Colorful buildings of Front Street in Hamilton, Bermuda

Royal Navy Dockyard

One of the best things to do in Bermuda, especially if visiting on a cruise, is to spend a day in the Royal Naval Dockyard.

Once a principal base for the Royal Navy, the dockyard is now home to the island’s main cruise terminal, King’s Wharf.

Welcoming thousands of cruise goers and island visitors annually, Royal Naval Dockyard is home to rich history, shopping, dining, and beautiful coastline.

For visitors looking for a day in the sun, Snorkel Park Beach is close by and family friendly.

Nearby you’ll find Bermuda Fun Golf, the world’s best mini golf course. Of course visitors will want to spend time shopping at Clocktower Mall, an old Royal Naval warehouse that is now home to major shopping stores, touristy gifts, and homemade souvenirs.

When hunger strikes, grab a bite and a brew at Frog and Onion Pub, a former cooperage turned Bermuda’s only brewhouse.

The Anchor is another popular option – don’t miss the wahoo sandwich!

With any time to spare, grab a treat from Dockyard Pastry Shop. Royal Naval Dockyard is accessible via the ferry or bus, or by foot if docking with a cruise.

With so much to do, a full day is ideal for this part of the island.

Bermuda Royal Naval Dockyard ruins against blue sky

African Diaspora Trail

Over half of Bermuda’s population has African ancestry, as many slaves were brought from the West Indies and Western Africa in the 1700’s.

Taking a tour of the African Diaspora Trail is an introduction which will allow you to gain some cultural insight and learn about the history of enslavement and emancipation on the island.

Explore Art Galleries in Hamilton

Looking for things to do when it rains in Bermuda?

The capital city of Hamilton is home to a thriving local arts scene where you can visit art galleries such as Gallery One Seventeen and Crisson and Hind.

Check Out An Art Gallery in a Hotel

Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club aka The OG Millennial Pink Hotel, has a giant mouse and work by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, René Magritte.

And it’s pink, you’ve probably seen it on social media!

Bermuda Heritage Museum

Here you’ll find information pertaining to the history of slavery in Bermuda.

An eye-opening experience, you’ll also learn of the many achievements of black Bermudians in addition to historical accounts of the end of segregation in Bermuda.

National Trust Museum

Once a hotel, then the office of the Confederate Agent during the U.S. Civil War, the Bermuda National Trust Museum became a museum in 1961.

Here you can view a short film on the founding of St. George’s as well as a replica of the Sea Venture, the ship that brought the first settlers to the islands.

St George’s Historical Society Museum

The St. George’s Historical Society Museum is located in the Mitchell House and focuses on the history of Bermuda.

Here you’ll find artifacts and documents related to Bermudian history, as well as a recreated colonial-era kitchen.

The museum is only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Tucker House

The Tucker House in St. George’s celebrates the Tucker family, who had a significant role in the American Revolution.

In addition to learning about the Tucker family, you’ll learn about life in old St. George’s and Bermuda in general.

Railway Trail

Traversing the island from opposite ends, the Railway Trail spans the length of an abandoned railway, winding through serene panoramas and along the perimeter of Bermuda’s idyllic coastline. 

In total, there are 18 miles of bygone times and epic vistas to discover on foot or by bike. 

Motorized vehicles are banned, so take that into consideration when planning your trip.

Bermuda Railway Trail sandy path with trees

Street Art

Bermudian street art is as colorful and spirited as its citizens.

Hamilton is a popular place to explore the local street art scene.

There’s even a famous ‘greetings from’ postcard mural in Bermuda by Victor Ving and Lisa Beggs!

Experience Gombey Dancing

The Gombey is an emblematic tradition of Bermuda, an exceptional custom replete with vibrant and elaborate masquerade, dance and drumming.

This traditional custom exhibits the island’s myriad of cultures.

You can be sure to catch the Gombey during Bermuda Day and Boxing Day celebrations, as well as during most events involving parades.

Person dressed in traditional clothing for Gombey Dancing Bermuda

Shopping in Bermuda

If you’re looking for a shopping experience you can only get in Bermuda, Hamilton is full of local boutiques seeking to impress shoppers with Bermuda-inspired gifts.

Bermuda shorts and socks are an absolute must – TABS and Coral Coast are popular local brands to try.

Bermuda Festivals

Bermuda Day Carnival

Celebrated on the last Friday in May, Bermuda Day is traditionally the first day that Bermuda shorts can be worn as business attire! Hah!

It unofficially marks the beginning of summer when Bermudians first take a dip in the water.

Of course, for those of us from colder climates, Bermudian waters are swim-able much earlier!

The locals will make fun of you for going in when it’s ‘too cold,’ though.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Bermuda during this local holiday, expect parades, celebrations, drinking ’til the wee hours, and plenty of Gombey dancing.

Couple dancing in street at Bermuda Day Carnival

Bermuda Tours and Experiences

Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute

Heading to the islands with little ones in tow?

Be sure to check out the Ocean Discovery Center at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

Here, kids can enjoy different artifacts and interactive exhibits to learn about Bermudian waters and the animals that call it home

Glow Worm Tour

During mating season, glow worms are a popular attraction in many regions of the world.  In Bermuda, mating season takes place from June-October. 

Sail out on the immaculate Bermudian waters just before dusk to witness a myriad of natural wonders. 

The sunset, coupled with the beautiful mating rituals of the glow worms will have you replete with wonder. 

One of the most fascinating aspects of glow worm mating is that this ritual always transpires two to three days after the full moon, and almost exactly one hour after sunset. 

They glow an almost-unnatural shade of green, with the males flashing up from the deep into a frenzied throw with the female.  It’s truly a sight to behold. 

St George’s Island

The island of St. George is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was the first point of discovery when Bermuda was accidentally stumbled upon by sailors trying to make their way from Plymouth, MA to Jamestown, VA.

Popular Bermudian attractions can be found here, such as Tobacco Bay, the Unfinished Church, and St. Peter’s Church.

There are ferries or buses that will take you to St. George from other parts of Bermuda.

Unique Things to Eat in Bermuda and Cool Restaurants

Fish Choweder

A culinary staple of the island, Bermuda fish chowder features fish, tomatoes and onions, seasoned with black rum and “sherry pepper sauce”.

The recipe is said to be a variation of the original, created in the 17th century by the original British colonizers of Bermuda.

Check out the Lobster Pot & Boat House for their award-winning fish chowder.

Green bowl of fish chowder in Bermuda

Spiny Lobster

Come September 1, there’s only one thing Bermudians are thinking about – Spiny Lobster season! 

The season runs September-May, and you’ll be able to find spiny lobster on almost any restaurant menu in all of Bermuda during these months. 

Unlike its better-known cousin, the Maine lobster, spiny lobsters (aka rock lobsters) have a harder shell and don’t have claws.

Meaning almost all of the tender, succulent meat is found in the tail.

Pro tip: there’s perfectly yummy meat in the legs and antennae as well.

Plate of spint lobster in Bermuda

Wahoo’s Fish Tacos

Wahoo’s fish tacos are phenomenal (and pair very nicely with either a Swizzle or a Dark’n’Stormy).

Be forewarned, they’re HUGE – but they also come in a smaller portion (1 taco instead of 2).

Wahoo’s is by far one of the most fun bars/restaurants in Bermuda, located on the island of St. George.

Come for a late dinner, stay into the evening, and make a TON of new friends – the Wahoo’s crew is super friendly.

Plate of Wahoos Taco Bermuda

Bermuda Bars and Cocktails

Dark ‘n’ Stormy Cocktail

Invented in Bermuda just after WWI, the Dark’n’Stormy is similar to a Moscow Mule, but in lieu of vodka, Gosling’s Black Seal Rum is used.

The result is a refreshing cocktail, typically made with crushed ice, ginger beer, and of course, Gosling’s Black Seal Rum.

While the Rum Swizzle takes the title of Bermuda’s National Drink, I personally prefer a Dark’n’Stormy.

The refreshing effervescence of the ginger beer is absolutely sublime on a hot summer day on this Atlantic Archipelago.

Gosling’s Rum

Gosling’s rum is one of Bermuda’s only exports, so why not sample it in the most Bermudian way possible – on a boat!

Many companies offer sunset cruises where you can indulge in different varieties of Gosling’s as well as some rum cakes and other rum-infused sweets.

Don’t forget to grab a duty-free bottle while you’re on a tour!

Calico Jack’s

All aboard Bermuda’s iconic floating bar for a spirited pirate-themed party, be it day or night.

Calico Jack’s was once a ferry boat that has since been renovated to pass for a pirate ship. 

There are two different bars, and occasionally you can catch a live DJ. 

The ship even has a plank that you can jump into the water from! 

Purple sky and skeleton on flag at Pirate Bar Bermuda

Swizzle Inn

The Swizzle Inn is a must-add item to your Bermuda bucket list.

Home to the original Rum Swizzle, Bermuda’s national drink, you can also get a bite to eat here – pizzas, burgers, traditional English foods such as Shepherd’s Pie.

Located in Bailey’s Bay, The Swizzle Inn is also Bermuda’s oldest pub, opened in 1932.

The pub is conveniently located walking distance from the Crystal Caves and Blue Hole, so after a day of exploring you can grab a nice meal and a well-deserved swizzle!

Glass of yellow Rum Swizzle in Bermuda

Health and Wellness


Looking for luxury? The Hamilton Princess is the top option for an indulgent yet relaxing trip.

Head to the spa once you need a reprieve from fun in the sun to relax in one of the nine treatment rooms offered or a mani/pedi.

The fitness center offers outdoor yoga classes, pilates/barre, as well as a cardio gym and weights.

The rooms here are pricey, but you don’t need to be a hotel guest to book their spa services.


Go to St. George’s to visit Just Breathe, a yoga studio with an attached boutique, and a charming outdoor coffee truck with epic harbor views.

About the author

Jade is a US expat currently living in Romania. She enjoys slow travel and is never without her yoga mat. 

6 Tips For Visiting Paris During a Strike

Paris views from Arch de Triumph

There are two certainties in life, my friend tells me. Death and strikes in France! If, like me, you find yourself in Paris during a strike or are due to travel to France, take note of the following advice to help reduce the stress on your trip. This guide looks at tips on how to enjoy your city break during a Paris strike.

Strike in Paris Travel Tips

1. Outbound Travel

If you are due to travel during the dates of the strike, contact your airline or rail company to discuss the best option for your circumstances. 

You cannot claim for compensation as strikes are deemed against an airline’s control. It is up to the company to find another option, provide overnight accommodation (if applicable) and food. 

It is up to you to check-in, arrive at the airport and keep evidence of any purchases. Offered an alternative type of travel? Get it in writing.

When you arrive, if there is a Paris metro strike like in December 2019, a taxi to your accommodation may be your only option. 

Avoid rush hour if possible. This is the same for leaving.

Taxis from the city to Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) can take up to two hours on a normal day and cost around 55 euros. 

Note: There is an extra security check before you get to the gate at CDG and security lines for the Eurostar are notoriously long getting out of France so leave with plenty of time.

Eurostar St Pancras London France Train

2. Transport in Paris During a Strike

While metro staff members striking in France is not as common as other types of professions it did happen during the December strike. 

When it reopened, some lines were operating but stations were closed so you couldn’t actually access them.

Download the RAPT app for the most up to date advice and use Twitter for specifics.

Bus lines were huge. My best advice is to avoid travelling during rush hour as this is when everyone is trying to work with limited options.

Uber is more expensive than taxis in Paris but I ended up having to pay for a car share as I had a meeting arranged at 08:30 at Jardins du Trocadero. 

I was 45 minutes late but luckily the person I was meeting struggled to find transport too.

E-scooters are available in Paris. 

They will be harder to find during rush hour but not impossible. You need to download the app and add credit card details before unlocking the scooter. Companies include Lime and Bird by Uber.

Some of the roads in Paris are bumpy and traffic is always a nightmare so consider this before hopping on an e-scooter, especially if this is your first time.

While the public buses are busy, if you can wait until after rush hour an open top hop/off bus is a good idea for harder to reach areas such as The Avenue des Champs-Élysées and Arch de Triumph.

Walk. This is what I did for the majority of my trip during the strike and what I’d do anyway. 

Naturally, this adds time to your journey so if you only have a few days, check out my time-saving tips in the Paris travel guides coming soon. 

La Refuge Paris and Metro

3. Building An Itinerary

Use My Maps and Google Maps to input the things you want to do in Paris and the restaurants you want to visit.

This will help you visualise what Paris attractions are close together and also work out timings on foot.

For example, you can easily visit Sacré-Cœur, streets of Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge together and save the Louvre, Les Deux Plateaux, Shakespeare and Company and Sainte-Chapelle for another day.

Accept that some things will have to be missed and saved for another trip and that you’ll make new discoveries as you wander the streets.

» Here are the best things to do in Paris this winter

4. Tours and Tickets

If you book your tours and tickets through a third party like GetYourGuide it is possible to cancel your booking 24 hours before the start date.

I did this for the Palace of Versailles as there was no way to get there without the metro. 

A cancellation confirmation was sent immediately via email and money was refunded the same day. 

Expect some attractions to be busier than others so make use of skip the line tickets where available.

The following Paris activities offer them:

These sell out and you can rarely get them on the day, so purchase as soon as you’ve decided you want to visit.

I got lucky at Sainte-Chapelle and managed to book a line skip when I was in line. I really hate waiting.

Arch de Triumph

5. Stay In The Loop

Keep up to date with progress by watching the news in your accommodation, reading news sites and following Twitter.

Most museums and attractions update their Twitter account with their plans for that day. 

For example, the Pompidou Centre closed early on the first day of the strike and publicised this on Twitter. Some exhibitions were closed too. The next day was back to normal.

I walked all the way to D’Orsay to find a note on the door saying that the museum was closed due to the strike. That’s when I decided to check the social media accounts before visiting anywhere.

Speak to locals. 

Honestly, everyone was super friendly and helpful. 

As soon as I arrived a local walked me halfway to my hotel and pointed the direction for the rest of the journey.

I booked a photo shoot and the photographer emailed to advise me of the strike as soon as it was announced.

Because of this information I made sure I was on a metro train from Disneyland to the city before 9pm as the metro strike was due to begin at 10pm.

Hotel staff helped me work out which metro station would be open for my trip to the airport and we also discussed the closest bus stops for the airport bus. I ended up paying €55 for a taxi just to be safe.

I was in a fortunate position to have my friend, Mhairi, who used to live in Paris on the other end of the phone. Her parents still live in Paris, their help was invaluable.

If you don’t have a Mhairi I recommend joining travel Facebook groups and asking for support and/or reading updates there.

Contact your hotel and tour companies for advice, it is likely they are locally based.

Eiffel Tower at Night

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6. Staying Safe

While I never saw any of the protests, I did see the police three times in Paris during the strike.

The first two times I was close to cité Berryer where there were barriers up at two roads shutting off the path so I decided it was wise to save a visit for another trip.

The third time was on Saturday night close to Rue Montorgueil. About 10 police vans with uniformed officers were parked up getting ready to move. I decided it was time to head back to the hotel and leave the evening to the locals who went about their normal lives.

I was advised by the photographer to avoid Champs-Elysées/Arc de Triomphe and République which I did during the official Black Tuesday strike.

Don’t ignore advice and you’ll have a great time unaware that a strike is happening in Paris!

Eiffel Tower Gemma standing windy

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Do you have any tips to share or questions?

Leave them below in the comments and I’ll get back to you. Thank you.

Where to stay in Branson Missouri

Where to stay in Branson Missouri hotels

The ‘show me’ state, Missouri is home to the vacation destination, Branson. This town is known as the ‘live music capitol of the world’ but has more to offer than just showbiz. Here’s where to stay in Branson Missouri. 

Affordable Branson Hotels

The Suites at Fall Creek by Diamond Resorts

Nature prevails at The Suites at Fall Creek by Diamond Resort, you’ll find this resort nestled among the Ozark Mountains and offers scenic views of the White River Basin.

The rooms differ, some offer mini kitchens, others have full kitchens which is great for guests looking to save money by cooking in. All rooms include free Wi-Fi and cable TV.

Hotel amenities include an indoor and outdoor pool, catering for all seasons. There is a spa tub for adults and a kid’s pool for children as well a playground and miniature golf. Tennis, volleyball, and basketball are also available for sports fans.

Grand Country Inn

There is no need to leave the resort when staying at the Grand Country Inn.

Located in the heart of Branson, along with Splash Country which is the interactive indoor and outdoor swimming pool. Guests have access to this world of fun. There are also three live daily shows at the resort, 36-hole mini-golf, and bumper cars!

Uniquely, rooms are soundproofed and have refrigerators. Free Wi-Fi is available.

1st Inn Branson

The homely 1st Inn Branson is attractive because of its modest price. Included in the price is free Wi-Fi and complimentary continental breakfast.

The rooms feature 32 inch flat-screen TVs which have cable, coffee makers, refrigerators, and for comfort, pillow-top mattresses by Simmons. The friendly and local staff can offer advice on the best shows to see and information on their ‘Best Value Package’.

The hotel is close to entertainment such as the Hollywood Wax Museum and King’s Castle Theater.

Savannah House Hotel

The breathtaking Savannah House Hotel is conveniently located close to the entertainment in Branson.

The 159 rooms of the hotel have lots to offer such as Wi-Fi, sitting areas, refrigerators, remote cable televisions with 58 channels, and hair dryers.

Complimentary breakfast as well as use of the fitness suite and two outdoor swimming pools! The hotel also provides free hot cobbler, ice cream and freshly baked cookies daily.

Wash that down with coffee from the 24-hour coffee shop in the lobby.  The popular tourist attraction, Dixie Stampede Dinner is close by.

Grand Oaks Hotel

The upscale yet affordable Grand Oaks Hotel sets up the day for guests with complimentary fresh pancakes, hot and cold cereals, fruit, bread, juice, coffee, hot tea, and milk. The tastefully decorated rooms have Serta Presidential Plush mattresses, 32″ LCD TVs with cable channels and free Wi-Fi access.

Guests can save money by preparing meals in the room with the microwave and refrigerator provided.

There is also an in-room coffee maker. There is a fitness suite for those who like to work out and an indoor and outdoor swimming pool. For guests looking to relax, jacuzzi suites!

Branson has lots to offer tourists, entertainment, shopping, golf – the big question: where to stay in Branson?!

Daytona Beach’s Top Boutique Hotels

Florida is not short of beaches but why vacation anywhere other than ‘The World’s Most Famous Beach’?! Daytona Beach’s top boutique hotels have something to offer every type of holiday-goer.

Acapulco Hotel & Resort

Acapulco Hotel & Resort stands on the sandy white beach and offers stunning views of the sea. Guests have access to the resort swimming pool as well as the beach. Many rooms offer a private balcony, as well as a television, small refrigerator, and coffee maker. Guests on an extended stay can make their own meals in their kitchenette. The southern location is quiet, perfect for a relaxing holiday. Guests have access to the 24 hour fitness suite

Ocean Walk Vacation Resort

The palm tree-lined, Ocean Walk Vacation Resort sits proudly on the beach and boasts of four swimming pools. For children there are water slides, and for adults a poolside bar. The spacious resort has a variety of rooms to meet guest needs, the one bedroom suite includes a mini – kitchen and balcony (in some rooms). The larger two to three bedroom suites also have a washing machine and drier, a fitted kitchen with full appliances, and many of the master bathrooms have a whirlpool tub.

Desert Inn Resort & Convention Center

All 220 rooms of the Desert Inn Resort & Convention Center feature balconies to soak in the Daytona Beach ocean views. The rooms have free Wi-Fi, climate control, desks, and hair dryers. There are an indoor and outdoor pools and a fitness suite on site. The resort is close to Daytona Beach Boardwalk Amusement and Pier areas. Guests are in driving distance to the Ocean Walk Village, Daytona Lagoon Waterpark, and Daytona Playhouse.

Daytona Beach Resort & Conference Center

The luxurious Daytona Beach Resort & Conference Center Daytona Beach Resort & Conference Center facilities include four swimming pools (three outdoor and one indoor), a sauna, fitness suite, two hot tubs! There are a variety of rooms on offer. Regardless of the type of room guests book they all have one thing in common – they are bright! For guests who want time off cooking, the Reflections Restaurant and Lounge serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as a full drinks menu. Revive, the café, stocks Starbucks coffee and snacks. The Reef Pool Bar menu has many cocktails for thirsty customers.

Boardwalk Inn and Suites

The newly renovated rooms of the Boardwalk Inn and Suites feature free Wi-Fi, a 32” flat panel television, microwaves, coffee makers, and refrigerators. The larger city view suites can host up to six people and offer the same amenities. Guests can enjoy a free buffet breakfast and use of the Olympic sized swimming pool. The Inn is only 4.4 miles from the famous Daytona International Speedway, an ideal location for those with a need for speed!

Whether visitors are in town to celebrate a festival (Daytona Beach is the festival capital of Florida after all) or a relaxed vacation, Florida’s answer to Las Vegas has lots to offer.

Daytona Beach's Top Boutique Hotels Via Flickr Ola Christian Gundelsby

Image via Flickr by Ola Christian Gundelsby CC 2.0 


Where have you stayed in Florida?


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