Travel Tips

Five Mother's Day Gifts to inspire your mum to travel!

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Let's clarify one thing first. Mother's day in the UK is on the second Sunday of March. This year it's the 11th of March. The American Mother's day however is in May. The Arab one is a little confused and sometimes I see people celebrating in March and sometimes May. Since I moved to the UK, I just followed the UK celebrations. Since March is starting tomorrow, I thought this guide might be helpful. Although with the snow this week in London it's hard to think of Marche's Spring vibe. Regardless, you have about 11 days to get your mum a present she deserve! 

If you yourself is a traveller, then you know how life changing travel is from exploring neighbourhoods, eating new food to hearing other languages in the background. Your mother however might not fully grasp this and is always worrying about you going abroad. The best way to change her perspective is to encourage her to travel. Some people just need a little push! 

This gift guide is for the unsure mother, who always dreams of travel, but needs a little more inspiration and maybe a little bit of an extra push!

Ps. This is the second guide for getting the right gift for your mother. If your mother is already a travel lover then refer to the the other post. 

Five Gifts for the Mother Who Needs Travel Inspiration

Travel Books

If your mother is a reader, she will appreciate this gift especially if it gives her a travel set to imagine and motivate her to book a trip. The first three books are written by female travellers! 

Travel Accessories

Maybe giving her a travel journal, a new passport case and map will awaken her wanderlust. Sometimes having the right accessory is all that someone needs. 

Worldwide Foods

This might spark your mum's interest especially if she is into cooking. Maybe give her a cooking class about a type of food she likes, but she does not cook at home. I did a Moroccan cooking class when I visited Fez and really loved it!  You can also gift her with international cooking related books and items! Tell her the food is even better in that original country. I travel for good food so she might do as well!  

Cooking Class

Local tours

You don't always have to go far for adventure. You can go to the next town and go on a fun local tour. You can even do it in your own town! It's amazing how many people don't know much about the big cities they live in. I have some friends who were born and raised in North West London who never even ventured to South East (Greenwich area) and have no idea what's happening here. Maybe this will be a good starter for your mum to build her courage. Tours can be city tours, food tours of a specific neighbourhood or city or even photography tour if she is into.  

There are so many websites you can book tours from. You can even find experiences on Airbnb now or meet up! I use Get Your Guide if I am getting a tour and here are a few I found if you are within reach to the big cities in the UK. If you are somewhere else the website caters for so many cities worldwide.   

Give her a little local getaway

As I mentioned above in the suggested tours. She doesn't have to go far for it to count as travelling. I think local travels are a great way to get to know yourself and your travel needs. Focus on booking a nice hotel with a good view and maybe a spa to pamper her?
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Ps. This is not a sponsored post, but some of the links included are affiliate, which will give me a small commission if you purchase directly from them. 

Over to you: Which of these travel gift would your mum like the most? 

Comfortable Shoes for Travel and Walking During Travels

Let's talk shoes today. Walking during travel is given and some days you will walk until you don't feel your feet anymore. The most amount of steps I take are taken during my travels. I track my steps through the health app on my Iphone btw! In this post, I have a few recommendations for shoes during travel. I break them based on the seasons: Fall/Autumn shoes, Winter shoes, Spring Shoes and Summer shoes. These are all very comfortable shoes that I wear on my travels. I actually don't have that many shoes, but I have enough to switch it up. I only buy new shoes every three years and only when we is completely worn out and I love that. I prefer to invest in a pair that would last than a cute, cheap one that would hurt my feet or get worn out after wearing it twice. 

Comfortable travel shoes for mild weather (Fall/Autumn shoes!)

I am a loyal customer of clarks shoes for years now. Each pair of shoes from there usually stays with me four years and I usually wear the same two the whole season. My shoes colours are safe so they go with everything I own even the very bright outfits I have. I wear these with trousers and dresses.  

Shop The Shoes

Clarks still do the same exact brogues. The ankle boots are slightly different. Here are the closest two I found online. Keep in mind I had mine for three years now that's why the exact boots are not avilable. I LOVE them though!

By the way, do yourself a favour and buy yourself some shoe horns. I actually pack the short one with me when I travel because these shoes can be a pain to put on and take off. I have the long one in my flat. It's one of the gifts of life that makes putting shoes on or taking them off SO EASY! My friends always like how I offer it to them when they visit! 

Comfortable travel shoes for cold weather (Winter shoes!)

When I went to Romania last January, I knew I would spend a huge amount of time outdoors walking and exploring. I didn't want my feet freeze off in that VERY cold winter, so I just took one pair of shoes with me that I wore. It was my leather Ugg boots! The style I have is not the usual cuddly ones that Uggs are known for. I have the ones that are leather on the outside and fluff on the inside. I live in London and it rains most days, I don't buy any shoes that are not good for rain! 

The only downside of these boots is that they are very outdoorsy, so going to restaurants in these always feels weird, so I got another pair of Ugg leather boots since the first ones were very comfortable. I got them two years later, but still! They are more stylish and have a little comfortable heels, but also SO warm. I wear them with dresses and when I know I am spending time indoors. Though they get a little too warm for indoors in some places that blast on the heating. 

Travelling with boots is tricky, so if you are taking one make sure it's the only one you are taking! Take another ankle boots or a walking shoes in case if you want to change it up.   

Shop The Shoes

Here are a few leather Uggs that are very similar to the two I use. The Jane Uggs are the brown stylish ones I have. 

Comfortable travel shoes for mild weather (Spring shoes!)

The shoes I wear the most are my clarks walking shoes and the brogues I mentioned in the Fall shoes. They are basic, comfortable and cute! I can wear them for HOURS without getting sore feet thankfully. 

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Shop The Shoes

The Clarks brogues are the exact ones I have. The other sporty/walking pair isn't there anymore so I found you the closest possible ones! 

Comfortable travel shoes for warm weather (Summer/Beach shoes!)

The summer in the UK gets surprisingly hot for leather some days, so I was obsessed with my colourful pair of Toms! I know they aren't suitable for rain and heat, but they were perfect for all the none rainy summer destinations I went to in the summer such as Greece, Italy, Portugal and Malta. They were so comfortable and perfect for the million hours I walk. I also loved my sea salt sandals, especially that you can wear them in the beach while swimming! It really freaks me out walking on the ocean floor for some reason and having those sandals on was just perfect!  

Note: Please don't sacrifice your own comfort for fashion. Your poor feet are the only thing that should matter to you!  

Comfortable, Cute Shoes for travel and walking during travels

Ps. I didn't even realise I had those many photos of my shoes and floors! hehe. They came very useful for this post! 

More Posts that you might enjoy: 

- Modest Dresses For Travel and Gorgeous Holiday Photos

- Practical and Reliable Duffle and Tote Travel bags for your solo travels

- The Vlogging Camera I swear by (Review for Canon G 7X)

- Eight reasons every Muslim woman should travel solo at least once

Note: if you are considering buying any of these comfortable, cute shoes for your travels, please consider getting them through the links provided in on this page. That will give us a little commission with no extra cost to you. These little commissions help this blog grow and continue. Thank you for your support.  

Over to you: What are your favourite comfortable stylish shoes during travel or at home? 

Modest Dresses For Travels and Gorgeous Holiday Photos

Today's post is a fashionable one. Since I have been following some gorgeous fashionistas on Instagram, I really wanted to look amazing with maxi flowing dresses on my holiday, so last summer I went on a little bit of a shopping spree and got a few things from various brands and this post is about the pros and cons of the brands I got dresses from. This is not a sponsored post, but the links on here will give me a commission if you decide to buy something using them, which will be great for both of us! :D

First Modest Dresses Brand: Inayah

Let's start with the most obvious modest dresses brand Inayah. I have only got one dress from them. I got a modest white lacy dress for my friend's all white hen do dinner in Santorini.

Pros: It was a pretty and a good fit. 

Cons: It had a little slip in the back, which I had to sew to close, but it was a very quick fix. It was also a little see through, which I thought was pointless, especially that the whole point of their brand is modesty, so I wore something underneath it. In this case it was ok because the weather was a little cold. I would have struggled if it was proper Summer in Greece

Modest White Dress

Shop the look


Second Modest Dresses Brand: Touché Privé

Touché Privé is a Turkish brand and I ordered from them based on my friend's very positive encounter with them.

Pros: Their shipping from Turkey to the UK was great and I was really happy how quickly they shipped it and how quickly it arrived. My issue started with the DHL in the UK, who messed up big times with rescheduling the delivery and it was just weird drama. I had to wait two weeks to get it. All was DHL's fault though. The dresses that I ordered were very stylish and I always get complimented on them. The clothes are reasonably priced and good quality. The fabric is great for Fall and Winter. 

Cons: I mostly liked the clothes I ordered except for two tops. The fabric was just weird and the design looked so bad on me. I got in touch to return them or exchange them, but the brand wouldn't respond to any of my calls or emails, so I just kept them and donated them. Them going MIA on me made it a little sad because I would have bought from them again. I would only recommend them if you are sure you aren't returning anything and keeping whatever you are buying. I wouldn't buy white from them though because just like with Inayah their white dress is see-through and that's not great for a hot Italian summer. Their fabric is not amazing for Summer. 


Shop This Look: 

Third Modest Dresses Brand: SheIn

SheIn is an online brand that kept popping in on my Facebook, so I caved in! It was also my first time buying from them. I told you I went all in with my shopping spree. All I could think of was Instagram photos with flowing dresses. 

Pros: The thing I liked about them is that they had long sleeves maxi dresses that were not see-through or had cuts and slips. They actually delivered on modesty and style. I just wanted to wear one piece without layering. Portugal was going to be hot in July and I didn't want to melt. The dresses looked really pretty and people always want to know where I got the dresses from. In the photo,  I was in Portugal and I was stopped by another tourist, who complimented me. Such a good feeling! Please compliment your girl friends! 

Cons: Their shipping took much longer than promised. It took over three weeks for the dresses to arrive. I almost missed taking with them to holiday because they took so long to arrive. The brand apologised, but it was still not my favourite. The quality is as you expect for a very cheap price. The zippers are really poor quality. Usually when dresses are that cheap, that's what you get. 


Shop the look:


Fourth Modest Dresses Brand: Asos

I then saw a sale on Asos and just kept buying. I think it was the most amount of clothes I ever got in my life. I am on clothes probation now though. I haven't bought any clothes since the summer, so you should be proud of me.

Pros: The thing I like about Asos is that they are reliable and sell a few brands in one place. Not to mention the next day shipping is just great!

Cons: The only issue is that most of their maxi dresses need "hijabifying", which just means adding extra layers to make them Islamically modest like wearing a long sleeves top underneath the sleeveless maxi dress or leggings for the maxi dresses with slips, which I made work.  


Shop This Look: 

Modest Dresses For Travels. Muslim Travel Fashion

More Posts you might like: 

- Practical and Reliable Duffle and Tote Travel bags for your solo travels

- The Vlogging Camera I swear by (Review for Canon G 7X)

- Eight reasons every Muslim woman should travel solo at least once

Note: if you are considering buying any of these modest dresses for your holidays, please consider getting them through the links provided in on this page. That will give us a little commission with no extra cost to you. These little commissions help this blog grow and continue. Thank you for your support.  

Over to you: What brands would you recommend to get modest dresses that would be gorgeous on camera and feels great? I would especially love to hear about ethical fashion brands. 

Practical and Reliable Duffle and Tote Travel bags for your solo travels

If you have seen my travel essentials section on the homepage then you would know which travel bags I use and have been using since I started travelling more frequently. I decided to do a special post to tell you more about two practical and reliable travel bags in depth that are also cabin size! 

First let me tell you that all my Europe travels have been with hand luggage only and it's all been with this specific bag from Kipling

Why I love the Kipling Duffle bag for my travels? 

Practical and Reliable Duffle and Tote Travel bags for your solo travels
  • First of all I love the size! It's a cabin size and I have used it for all budget airlines such as Easy Jet and Ryan Air and it is the correct size for all of them. That was one of my concerns when buying a bag and thankfully this one works for all the cheap flights that I love! 
  • I love the different colours, which makes this bag easy to spot. I have the purple one with little dots. Never get a black, grey or brown bag because there are a million ones and everyone always gets confused. Years ago I had a basic black suitcase from Primark and someone else took it home!! I was in panic for hours until the other person realised they took the wrong back home and returned it to the airport. So get a bright, unusual colour and personalise it especially if you will leave it in the hold. 
  • The fabric is durable and waterproof. A lot of Europe is rainy and I love how this little bag handles the bad weather when I am walking around from one place to the other. Although, I wouldn't let it soak! 
  • It's light, so the weight of the bag does not add too much especially for trips that have weight restriction of 7kg. 
  • It fits EIGHT outfits. The most I packed for this bag was on my trip to Italy and I was spending two weeks with eight outfits, pjs, underwear and two types of shoes. One of them was a pair of heels and everything fitted perfectly. I would advice that you plan your outfits before a trip to make packing a much easier task! 

Things that I don't love about the Kipling Duffle bag?     

  • The thing I don't love about this bag is that it only has two wheels. I sometimes feel that the four wheel bags are easier to push in airports. If I change the bag, that is the thing I would look out for. 
  • It's a soft bag, so I wouldn't put any electronics or things that easily break in there because if its not going to protect them like a hard case bag.

Extra travel bag for shopping emergencies: Kipling Travel Tote


Some places in the world have amazing crafts such as Morocco and before going I knew that I would come back with an extra bag full of goodies. I hate buying bags abroad because they always break and it's so frustrating finding one last minute as well. So, I usually pack my Kipling travel tote with me.

Why I love my Kipling Travel Tote?

  • I think the reason behind trusting Kipling is that I used it when I was in school and the bags would always last for YEARS! 
  • I also love that the fabric of this one is waterproof.
  • The bag can be resized smaller with the side zipper, which is helpful! You have to be careful with this one though some airlines considered it as a women's handbag (WIN!) and other would consider it as a second bag (fail!) so account for that!
  • I fold it super tightly and put it in my bag above wherever I go. I end up using it on day trips as well. My only regret is that I got this one in black rather than a bright colour because I originally got it for the gym! 
  • It has one small pocket inside, so your phone and keys don't get lost! and an additional pocket in the front and a zipped one. Though I only use the front ones for napkins, snacks or an external charger.  
  • It is good for travels and for time at home. It can be a good gym bag! 

Things that I don't love about the Kipling Travel Tote? 

  • It has only one shoulder strap, so it will kill you for long hours. It's ok for a trip to the airport or for a trip to the gym, but if you fully pack it and it's heavy, your shoulder will kill if you keep it on you for a whole day!    


Ps. NOT sponsored by  Kipling

Note: if you are considering buying any of these practical and reliable travel bags, please consider getting them through the links provided in on this page. That will give us a little commission with no extra cost to you. These little commissions help this blog grow and continue. Thank you for your support.  

More Posts that you might enjoy: 

- The Vlogging Camera I swear by (Review for Canon G 7X)

- Eight reasons every Muslim woman should travel solo at least once

- How to take pictures of yourself when travelling solo

Over to you: Have you tried any of these travel bags before? What are your other favourite travel bags? 

10 Muslim Female Travellers to Follow (Bloggers & Vloggers)

10 Muslim Female Travellers to Follow

As I go on in my own travel blogging journey, I always like to look around to see who else is creating engaging travel content from the same bracket as me. I came up with ten travelling Muslim women that either blog or vlog about their travels. It wasn't an easy task to put this list together. There are many Muslim women on social media, but the ones who are dedicated to the travel content can be counted on two hands!

If you are a Muslim female traveller then please join our growing group of Muslimahs Who Travel on Facebook.

Bonus: Esra Alhamal Arabian Wanderess

Yours truly! I think you know by now that I am a vagabond and love to see the world. If I haven't to a country, then it's 100% on my list! Basically the world is my list and I can't wait to see it all. I love to focus on cultural experience and escaping to nature, so you get a mix of relaxing and adventurous with me.

If you are looking for a Muslim travel content creator to work with, then please contact me and we can work together!

10 Muslim Female Travellers to Follow (Bloggers & Vloggers)

Rasha Yousif

Rasha is a Bahraini documentary photographer and travel blogger with a love for graceful and cultural experiences. She also just climbed Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. 

Passport and Plates

Sally is a travel blogger with a love for culture and food! Her posts make me either hungry or in awe of the places she has been. She is an expert when it comes to Egypt and Sudan, so make sure you visit her blog if you are planning a trip! 

Hijabi Globetrotter

Kareemah is an American language teacher who spent two years in Spain. I always pretend to read her Spanish captions! She has a fresh perspective that she shares on her blog and YouTube. 

Black Muslim and Travelling

As the name suggests, Ayah brings you her adventures with her own perspective as a black Muslim woman travelling the world and exploring one country at a time. She also speaks on mental health!

Muslim Travel Girls

Elena is one of the first Muslim female travel bloggers. She is all about giving other Muslim women options to have hijab free holidays. 

Nada Al Nahdi

Nada is unstoppable and thirsty for adventures even with all the hurdles that embassies worldwide give her because of her Yemeni passport. She is persistent and she has been to many destinations around Africa, Asia and Europe. 

Hello 965 

Fatima is an adventurous soul and she has been to wonderful destinations in Asia, Africa and South America. Basically all the places that are on my list. Her presence is strongest on Instagram with three accounts: travel, hotels and food! She also has a blog and YouTube. 

Maroc Mama

Amanda has turned her life in Morocco into a successful blog. She shares the gorgeous patterns and delicious dishes of Morocco. She also travels in the US and Europe. She should be your first point of research if you are looking at anything related to Morocco. 

A post shared by Amanda Mouttaki (@marocmama) on

Her Adventures with Him

Maliha's travel account is with her husband as the name suggests, but she has been travelling solo way before she met him. Their adventures are adorable and the pictures will really make you want to book that flight.

Fly with Haifa

Haifa is a force of positive energy in all the colours of the spectrum. Love her personality and how she likes to involve locals in her travel videos. Some of the places she has visited give me serious wanderlust. 

Another bonus: Sukaina Rajab Ali

Sukina has the BEST photos. She is a professional photographer and she can capture a destination magically. She also does food and it always looks so yummy!

If you would like to read more about Muslim women who travel, then make sure you checkout Muslimahs Who Travel instagram page.

10 Muslim Female Travellers to Follow (Bloggers & Vloggers)

Over to you: Who are your favourite muslim female travellers that you always follow for inspiration?

More Posts on the blog:

Travel Blogging is harder than you think and here's why

Travel Blogging is harder than you think and here's why

What does it really take to become a successful travel blogger generating an income? By Income I mean enough money for the basic living expenses: rent, bills, food on the table and more travel. Some people actually do that, which makes it even more tempting to make it as a successful blogger. The longer I am in the travel blogging field, the more I realise how difficult it really is. I have been a travel blogger seriously since 2015 and I am still not living off my blog. I did however get very rewarding opportunities that I wouldn't have if it wasn't for travel blogging, such as, the collaboration with Skyscanner and Philadelphia Arabia (yup the cheese company). I also got to work with small, local business in the countries I travelled to. These perks are very encouraging and keep me going. However, it is still really difficult to make a consistent income to fully support myself. Travel blogging in general is very difficult and have many sides to it that are not apparent to most people who are not blogging themselves.   

In this post, I want to tell you about the reality of travel blogging. 

There are two parts to this: the visible part that you can see on this blog and the invisible part that you probably don't know much about unless you blog professionally yourself. Don't get me wrong, this post is not a rant about travel blogging, it's about the reality of travel blogging that people might not fully be aware of. In fact, I myself as a travel blogger was not aware of all these points and considerations until I made the decision that I want my blog to generate an income! I thought it was just a matter of going on a trip and writing about it, but it's much bigger than that. 

Part One: Visible Blogging Work

The visible side of travel blogging is what we get envied for. People see this side: a blogger on a trip, laughing in their photos, exploring gorgeous destinations and having lots of fun. This is true. This happens. This is the whole point of this new field that emerged in the past ten years. There are three main visible parts in a blogger's life: their fun trip, the blog post they have written and all the social media sharing.

Going on a Trip

The best part about being a travel blogger is going on a trip! After going on a few international trips and living abroad for years, I decided to blog about my travels to share stories, advice and inspire. Exploring the world is truly magical and my only regret is not travelling enough previously and not taking all travel chances I had. Being away "on holiday" is what people notice the most and that's the most visible. 

Writing a Post

This is what people expect from you as a travel blogger and rightly so. This is also what people get to see. This written documentation is the evidence. The spoken writing style of my blog make people think that it is very easily done. 

Promoting on Social Media

It feels like this is the only thing people see from travel bloggers. The pretty photos we post on Facebook and Instagram. Some bloggers actually make their income by being visual ambassadors for companies, but that's only a very small percentage of travel bloggers. 

Part Two: Invisible Blogging Work

This is the part that most people are not aware of. The part that really exhusts me. This is why I am busy all the time and why I stay home when I am not travelling. When I tell people that I have a lot of work to do, they are always puzzled and I get comments like: "what do you mean? Didn't you just write about your last trip?"

Take a look at my humble Travel Blogging Posts Checklist to see what I mean by all the invisable blogging work. All the details are below the photo! 

Travel Blogging Checklist

Emailing Companies

Emailing companies is the first thing I do while I am planning a trip. As a full time student and a part time blogger/vlogger, the finances are usually very limited. So, I contact companies, accommodations and tour operators in the destination I intend to visit to provide them with services and marketing options. This takes a lot of prior planning and can be soul sucking! I don't do it as much now because it requires a huge amount of work and sometimes all of that work is not appreciated. It also turns the holiday into a work venture because you will be required to record everything, promote it on social media instantly and later on and photograph everything. It gets really intense and I end up with only a little time for myself. This is also dependent on the company. Sometimes they are such a joy to work with, but other times they get too much.  

Documenting The Trip

This could be part of the visible part of blogging because people see some of the documentation on social media. For example, I usually post one or two photos on instagram daily during my trip with some highlights and a location. Off the social, I document everything there is to know about that location and place because when I write about it later I want to have every possible info to help my readers. This is basically travel journalism and since this was not what I studied in university (I studied/studying design hence the Designer Esra name), I have to really prove myself even more. 

How to Be A Travel Writer (Lonely Planet)
By Lonely Planet, Don George

Editing Photos  

Photos are a huge part of blogging. They are just more enticing. Imagine a post with photos verses one without. Personally I am put off by websites that hardly have any pictures. I like to see the place I am going to! I use the photos I take in the cover for the post, in the content and on social media. 

I usually take lots of photos to edit after every trip! Let me give you an example, on my two-week trip to Iran, I took over five thousand photos! I am not even exaggerating. Editing all of them was not an easy task. I ended up reducing that number to 100 because my blog would have exploded if I uploaded all of the photos I took. That 100 was divided on various travel posts though. 

Ps. I use Adobe Lightroom CC to edit all my video. Check out their packages.

Editing Videos

I also do vlogs, which means double the work! I don't make it easy for myself now do I? Editing video can be a lot of fun, but it is the longest process ever especially that I am teaching myself as I go along! I can easily spend 16hours on a 4minute video. Shocking, but 100% true! I use Adobe Premier Pro, which is really helpful. I love Adobe products because I use them all the time for my design work, so trying the Premier Pro was an good transition. I watch a lot of Youtube videos to help me figure out the settings and edits. I feel like I am improving slowly. I think even if you go to film school, you will take a while to get the hang of it and develop your style. 

Ps1. I use Adobe Premiere Pro CC to edit all my video. Check out their packages.

Ps2. If you are interested in becoming a travel vlogger, you might find the how to become a travel vlogger online course useful. It is run by two of my favourite travel Youtuber: Hey Nadine and Kristin Sarah. I would only recommend the course for beginners. If you have previous video experience and you have done so much research then you would have most likely already come across most of the content.

Read: The Vlogging Camera I swear by (Review for Canon G 7X)

Creating Social Media Content

With every blog I write, I have to have at least one pin-able photo (like the one at the start of this post), which means creating something like a poster that has an attractive photo related to the subject plus a written title for Pinterest, which is considered a really good visual search engine. I use Canva for that. It's a free website that requires signing up. It's really good because they have the exact sizes for everything and it's super easy to use. Alternatively you can use Photoshop or Illustrator. 

There are also the other social media outlets like twitter, instagram and Facebook. Each is slightly different, which means creating something for each is not the same. Not to mention all the engagement you have to do with others to notice you as well!    

Blog post Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) 

Now that I have followed the list above and prepared everything: the information, the photos, the poster and the video in some cases, I am ready to write the post. For years I have been writing useful travel advice posts with high quality photos, but I have only realised recently that my website traffic is so low! I thought that was because I was still new to the game, but it turns out, my blog lacked good keywords that optimise search engines! I even did a little test for a post I wrote about clothing in Iran. The previous title was "Outfits I wore in Iran" and had zero search. Literally, no one looked up that term. So, I spent three hours revamping that post using the suggested and searched terms. I changed it to "Iran Women's Clothing + What to wear when visiting Iran" and that is preforming much better. I find the SEO to be the hardest thing about blogging. SEO is crucial for travel blogs and anything written online. This is basically what makes strangers on the internet find you! Otherwise your blog will only be visited by family and friends forever. 

The tool I currently use to help me find searched-for keywords is called Key Search and I pay for it monthly. It is kind of easy compared to other tools, but learning it is still hard and needs lots of focus! Here's a very useful blog post from Digital Nomad Wannabe that tell you about everything you need to know when it comes to Keywords.

Adding Affiliate links

One of the way to make an income from blogging is to share affiliate links meaning links to products or services that you endorse resulting in a very small percentage. For example, I am an affiliate to a number of companies like Amazon, Adobe, ShopStyle and a few others. Although, I want people to use my links so I make that tiny percentage, I am always aware of what I am telling people. I am very honest in my reviews and opinions. When I usually hate something I don't even mention it on my website unless I am warning people against it. So, after I write my post or during writing, I find ways to add these links in a "natural way".    

Read: How to Monetise Your Travel Blog?

An extra step must be considered if adding affiliate links: the nofollow link. Again something I only recently learnt about and it's causing me a lot of pain to go back to all my previous posts to fix. There are many tips about this subject, so a quick search online will tell you all you need to know. This is very important otherwise Google gets annoyed with me and my site gets blocked.

Ps1. If you want add a nofollow link on SquareSpace (the platform I use for this website), then use the markdown block and this: <a href="the affiliate link" rel="nofollow">Name/Sponsor/title </a>

Ps2. To avoid adding nofollow links on SquareSpace, use the Amazon block instead, but make sure you enter your Amazon ID in the external links in the settings, so you can get the rewards.  

I also add Google AdSense inside the posts and other types of affiliates in the side bar and within posts in the hopes of generating an income. The money I made so far using every possible affiliate is below $25 -before you start thinking I am making a crazy amount of cash-.

Working really hard and getting such a little financial return is not too fun and sometimes very discouraging. I have to remind myself that I am blogging to share my tips and routes rather than to make money. Although, some money is always nice because we need it to stay alive! 

Blogtacular 2015 Official Photos by Piers MacDonald. Thanks Mollie Makes

Blogtacular 2015 Official Photos by Piers MacDonald. Thanks Mollie Makes

Sharing on the web

After following all the checklist above, you now have some content. As Sharon says (the lady behind Digital Nomad Wannabe) says: Content is king, but market is queen. So, marketing the post is a MUST! It's not as simple as tweeting a link or posting it on Facebook and Instagram, but this also means finding Facebook groups and communities that care about your content or want to exchange shares. For example, I am part of Blogtacular and everyone shares a new blog post every Monday. I am also part of Female Travel Bloggers and participate in their #BlogPostSaturday. These are the two specific FB groups designed for bloggers that I use. I am also part of three other female travel groups -that are not for bloggers- for any female traveller. I frequently check them and respond to other members who are looking for advice and posts about certain destinations such as Muslimahs Who Travel, Girls vs Globe and Girls Love Travel

Why am I still a travel blogger even with all of these difficulties? 

The short answer is I really enjoy all the aspects of travel blogging and the travel blogging community and TRAVELLING! 

Yes some parts can be tedious and difficult, but I don't mind doing them as long as I see the result and impact of that. Every time I get a positive comment from a fellow female traveller who was inspired, I get a kick of happiness and a sense of purpose. I love it more when people use my practical tips and find them really helpful! I find travel blogging rewarding and enjoyable. 

Blogtacular 2015 Official Photos by Piers MacDonald. Thanks Mollie Makes  Spot the green scarf that's me!!

Blogtacular 2015 Official Photos by Piers MacDonald. Thanks Mollie Makes
Spot the green scarf that's me!!

Useful resources to make your blogging journey easier: 

  • Digital Nomad Wannabe
    This website and Facebook group have been really helpful
  • Video Influencers
    I have learnt so much from this Youtube channel. Their advice and useful tip are wonderful not to mention FREE!
  • Blogtacular
    They really helped me and started me on the right path of blogging. 

Another amazing resource is other bloggers. Make sure you go to blogging events and make blogging friends. I learnt so much from my friends plus they make blogging an even more fun field to work in!

Over to you: Are you a travel blogger? What are the hardest things you face while blogging? Do you have any tips to make the process easier? Even if you aren't a travel blogger, feel free to leave some feedback in the comments below!  

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to make posts like this. Thank you for the support! 

How to find cheap flights on Skyscanner?

How to find cheap flights on Skyscanner

Travelling is my favourite thing to do. I managed to visit 27 countries so far and lived in three different part of the world long term. I like to travel fast and I like to travel slow. Travel is the one thing I am very happy to spend my money on. However, I prefer to spend my money on the local experiences of the destinations I travel to rather than getting there. So, I try to get the cheapest plane tickets I find. The price range I love is anything under £50 for a return ticket! Most of my trips were on budget airlines, which might not be the best option for some people. Think of planes as a way of transportation. Some of my tickets on budget airlines were much cheaper than national train tickets within the U.K. In fact they were even cheaper than a meal in London! For example, I went to Romania for £12, Athens for £30, Italy for £40 and so on.

I find most of my flights on Skyscanner and in this post I want to tell you about four features I use to search for cheap airfare: Everywhere Search, Multi-city Search, Weekend Feature and Price Alert. I added a few bonus tips at the end of the post as well!

Watch the video: 

Everywhere Search on Skyscanner

The Everywhere Search is actually my absolute favourite feature and it helped me find destinations that I did not even consider.

I am happy to travel to most places as long as they are safe. My only travel requirement sometimes is a specific time of the year or weather. With this feature, you get to see destinations from the cheapest to the most expensive and it’s all very well organised by country and city names. That is how I picket my November destination. My friend and I have a free week at the end of November and all we wanted is to get away from London to some nice weather. One of the everywhere search options that popped up was Madeira Island in Portugal and that’s exactly where we are heading. Keep an eye on Instagram to see the upcoming updates.

Everywhere Search on Skyscanner

Multi-city Search on Skyscanner

I usually use the multi city search when I am going to more than one place in a country, where the trip starts somewhere and ends at another. I also use it to find better flight possibilities. For example, when I wanted to go to Greece in April, the flight from London to Santorini was a joke it was £175 return ticket. That was way more than I was willing to spend. So, I looked up a flight from London to Athens then from Athens to Santorini with a return from there to London. Surprisingly that route plus two hotel nights in Athens were still cheaper than the first direct flight I found. London to Athens was £40 then two nights at hotel in Athens were £60. After that, I flew to Santorini and the national flight was SIXTEEN pounds only.

This search feature also worked on Italy. I booked from London to Rome then Milan to London. I travelled by train from the bottom of Italy to the top. That made my trip so convenient. I just love all the possibilities that the multi city search feature bring! If you haven’t tried it you really should!

Multi city feature on skyscanner
Photo in Santorini&nbsp;

Photo in Santorini 

Weekend Feature on Skyscanner

Weekends away are the best! When anyone wants me to suggest a gift for his/her friend or spouse, my first idea always involves a holiday. I don’t think people realise how doable weekend travel is. It’s not the cheapest time to travel to popular destinations, but sometimes there are really surprising deals! This feature shows you the upcoming weekends with their prices. It doesn’t get easier than this to plan a weekend getaway.

Price Alert on Skyscanner

Sometimes even when you try really hard, the ticket price is still not right, setting a price alert might be the best option. That way you can get a notification when the ticket prices are going down.

Price Alert on Skyscanner

Bonus tips to book a cheaper flight:

Using the features I just mentioned above should save you a little bit, but if you want even more money saving tips on plane tickets then keep on reading because I have three extra for you!

How to find cheap flights on Skyscanner

Book a ticket before payday

Check tickets the week before payday. This is not scientifically proven, but it's just what I have noticed. Every time, I got a ticket a week before the end of the month, which is payday for most people in the UK, the price is much lower!

Book a ticket after a major holiday

Book plane tickets after major holidays. Again this is just through observation. For instance, after Christmas, I booked a holiday for the last week January to Romania for £12! The return ticket could also have been £12, but I picked the most convenient time for £30. The total was still under £50 and I thought it was amazing! I think it’s just that most people are broke at that time after spending so much money on Christmas presents.

Follow the most obvious tip

Just going to point out the obvious here. Go to unpopular destinations and choose the off-season time to go. Seriously going during peak times is not as fun as you might think. I went to Portugal in July, which is considered peak season then and it was just too hot and too crowded. I am planning another trip for the off-season now because I want to experience it when there is space for me on the pavement!

Planning a trip on Skyscanner

Download Skyscanner from the app store:

Over to you: What are your favourite Skyscanner features that usually help you save on plane tickets? And do you have any extra tips to save even more?

Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Skyscanner. This post includes affiliate links that will give me a commission if they are used with no extra cost to you.