Travel

I have travelled extensively across Europe, South America, Asia and New Zealand, and I write regular travel articles for Skyscanner. I was involved with the Skyscanner ‘100 Cities’ project, for which I contributed guides to London, Buenos Aires, Prague, Tokyo and Havana, among others, and optimised many subcontracted articles for publication.

I currently write the weekly ‘cheap flights’ article for Skyscanner, as well as optimising and updating legacy content and contributing original pitches.


6 cheap summer holiday flights from £36 (Skyscanner)

You deserve a summer holiday. OK, so you’ve left it a bit late to book this year, but hey, you’ve been busy! Don’t worry – even though we’re entering the peak holiday season, there’s no reason to pay a premium for flights, you just need to follow a couple of rules.

First, aim for cities rather than beach destinations: flights to Spanish resorts might be spendy, but flights to places like Dublin or Copenhagen are a snip. And second, check out business hubs: tonnes of flights go to Cologne and Amsterdam, meaning it’s easy to get a bargain. Business doesn’t have to equal boring – here’s our alternative take on some bargain summer destinations… (read more)


Cheap summer sun: 8 budget flights from £63 (Skyscanner)

Britain in the sunshine is a wonderful place. Yet the British summer is a capricious, somewhat mischievous beast. It teases you out of the house with golden sun in the morning, but as soon as you arrive at the beach it will happily spray you down with drizzle all afternoon. The naughty minx.

For more reliable sunshine, the Mediterranean is a far better bet – and thankfully there are plenty of ways to get there on a shoestring budget. Here’s our guide to grabbing some cheap summer sun, from Nice in the west to Dubrovnik in the east. And if you’re feeling more adventurous, the souks of Marrakech are ripe for exploration… (read more)


4795350591_9d24b550cf_o6 bargain flights for less than £111 (Skyscanner)

What are you planning to get your dad for Father’s Day? No doubt he’s expecting the usual – a belated card bought from the local garage accompanied with a hurriedly purchased online gift voucher. But this year why not surprise him with a gift he’ll actually remember?

Picture the scene. You arrive unexpectedly at your parents’ house. Your father is slumped on the sofa in a tea-induced stupor while half-heartedly watching the Formula 1 qualifying rounds. Biscuit crumbs litter his chest. You advance… (read more)

Photo: Sir Jayko, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


IMG_0934Top 10 things to do in Japan (Skyscanner)

There are thousands of islands in the Japanese archipelalago, which extends for over 3,000 kilometres from icy Hokkaido all the way down to the idyllic tropical islands off the coast of Taiwan.

So, depending on the time of year and the particular island you stop off at, you might be stomping through metres of snow or sweltering in 35-degree heat, and the range of activities on offer is just as varied as the climate. Geeks are well catered for in the otaku heaven that is Tokyo, while Kyoto appeals to the more spiritual with its dozens of serene temples, and the love hotels of Osaka showcase Japan’s quirkier side… (read more)


Top 8 things to do in Nice (Skyscanner)

Nice provides pretty much everything you’d expect of the Cote d’Azur: sun, beaches, beautiful people and massive yachts.

But as a big city (the fifth biggest in France), not just a seaside resort, there’s much more to do in Nice than sunbathe, notably a clutch of world-class art museums. And Nice has a distinct identity of its own, too: it didn’t become part of France until 1860, it has its own language, Niçard (although today it’s rarely spoken), and it has its own distinctive food in the shape of socca (a delicious local pancake)… (read more)

Photo: Stephen Hinde, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


14099714253_2bb95e1a0d_oTop 9 things to do in Auckland (Skyscanner)

With a population of over 1.3 million, Auckland is by far New Zealand’s biggest city, with more than six times the number of people in the capital, Wellington.

As such, it offers all of the things you’d expect in a big city, from fancy restaurants to superb art galleries. But as this is New Zealand, you’re also just a stone’s throw away from nature at all times – a trip over the bay reveals a sanctuary for birds, and you might just meet a few dolphins on the way… (read more)

Photo: Siyamalan, CC BY 2.0


090Top 9 things to do in Washington DC (Skyscanner)

Sightseeing is easy in Washington DC – almost all of the major attractions, from the US Capitol building to the Lincoln Memorial, are laid out along a park running through the centre of the city. There’s even a spaceship a few hundred metres from the White House.

But really getting to know the city means striking off the beaten path to find some local hangouts, whether that’s sampling some craft beer or tracking down the best burrito in town. Here’s our guide to getting the most out of the US capital… (read more)


8200850965_2081ca2f62_kTop 9 things to do in Florence (Skyscanner)

Florence is packed full of Rennaissance treasures wherever you look, from its unparalleled cathedral to the medieval bridge, which still plays host to a parade of shops, Middle Ages-style.

But for all its grandeur, it has an undeniable quirkiness – as shown by the secret passage running across the aforementioned bridge (so the ruling Medicis wouldn’t be seen by the public). And let’s not forget the bronze boar with the lucky mouth… (read more)

Photo: Stuart Caie, CC BY 2.0


IMG_3304Top 9 things to do in Buenos Aires (Skyscanner)

It’s become a cliché to call Buenos Aires the ‘Paris of the south’, but the city has an undeniably European feel. However, look past the Art Nouveau architecture and the café culture and you’ll find a throbbing Latin underbelly fired by football and all-night tango sessions.

It’s also a country with a troubled but fascinating history, and where better to investigate the ghosts of the past than the startlingly ornate graves of Recoleta Cemetery, final resting place of the celebrated Eva Perón. But on the outskirts of town, there’s a rather more famous personage who rises from the grave every hour… (read more)


IMG_1310Top 9 things to do in Helsinki (Skyscanner)

Helsinki may very well be the most pleasant city in Europe. With a population of just half a million people and some stunning Art Nouveau architecture, it’s a pleasure to just wander the uncrowded streets of Finland’s capital.

But perhaps the real reason to visit this city is the food – it boasts some amazing traditional dishes and fantastic food markets, as well as an innovative pop-up restaurant scene. Oh, and it’s also got a sea fortress. More on that in a minute… (read more)


IMG_0554Top 9 things to do in Marrakech (Skyscanner)

Plane lands at Marrakech Menara. Taxi queue(!) a free for all. Ride through traffic reminiscent of theme park ride without safety barriers. Route to hotel blocked by snake charmer.

But once inside… aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. After a mint tea, a steam room wallow and a mineral scrub down, you’re ready to face the chaos once again. Such is life in Marrakech (or is it Marrakesh?) – frantic, pulse-racing jaunts into the unknown punctuated by lazy, care-free indulgence. It all comes down to choosing when to let loose and when to kick back. Let us be your guide… (read more)


IMG_0816Top 9 things to do in Tokyo (Skyscanner)

Tokyo is a city where the hyper-new sits comfortably alongside the incredibly ancient, seemingly without conflict. Even the new 18-metre-tall robot on Odaiba Island originally comes from a 1979 animation.

It’s a city where you can see the second tallest structure in the world on the same day as visiting a 1,400 year-old temple. Or eat sushi delivered by robot train for lunch and chow down in a traditional wood-framed okonomiyaki restaurant for dinner. But the biggest problem is probably choosing what do see and do in this seemingly endless urban sprawl.

Well, it’s a good thing we’re here with this article then, isn’t it? (read more)


Museum-of-CommunismTop 7 things to do in Prague (Skyscanner)

Thanks to its reputation as the home of absinthe, riotous clubs and cheap (but very good) beer, Prague has earned a name as a party town and stag do destination.

But first and foremost it’s a medieval city of fairytale castles and narrow streets that has miraculously survived intact into the 21st century. And the city’s more recent history, from its central role in the overthrow of Communism to the way it shaped the books of Franz Kafka, proves just as fascinating as its ancient roots. Oh, and it’s also home to mechanical urinating statues and levitating babies. Read on and all will be revealed as we guide you through the top things to do in this magical city… (read more)


8304368512_4a6845c0be_kThe Six Nations 48-hour pub crawl challenge (Skyscanner)

How do you best celebrate the finale of the Six Nations rugby championship? By using Skyscanner to organise a pub crawl that takes in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and France… in just 48 hours, that’s how!

Dare you take the challenge? Yes? Well, first a few ground rules. The aim is to have at least one drink in the capital city of each of the countries taking part in the Six Nations tournament. Airport pubs are cheating – you need to travel to a bar near each city’s Six Nations rugby stadium, or at least, to truly claim you’ve done the challenge, somewhere in the city centre where you can drape your flag while you down a lemonade. You also need to get back to your starting city within 48 hours. We’ve picked London as our start point, on Thursday 19th March, with the aim of getting to Twickenham Stadium in time for the final Six Nations match (England v. France) at 5pm on Saturday 21st March. Think of it like Around the World in 80 Days, only with booze and rugby instead of Michael Palin and a lion in a top hat. OK, here we go… (read more)

Photo: Francesco Falciani, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


6056503672_ff6e653265_bTop 10 things to do in London (Skyscanner)

The list of things to do in the UK’s capital city is almost endless. Obvious choices include the Tower of London, Harrods and Buckingham Palace, but there are also hundreds of amazing experiences to be had away from these well-trodden tourist routes.

Here we present the top ten things to do according to a born and bred Londoner, including a few that may come as a surprise… (read more)

Photo: Jose M. Vazquez, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


havana-woman-with-cigarTop 10 things to do in Havana (Skyscanner)

Whether you’re on the trail of Che Guevara or you just want to kick back and relax to some scintillating Cuban music, Havana has plenty to offer. We’ve picked out the top 10 essential things to do in the most captivating city in the Caribbean. Viva Habana!

1. Drink a mojito. You can’t say you’ve truly tried a mojito until you’ve drunk one in Cuba. Pretty much every bar and restaurant offers them, and for a fraction of the price you’re used to back home. And damn do they taste good. Most places will pour in obscenely generous measures of rum, topped with lashings and lashings of brown sugar, resulting in an intensely sweet, alcoholic drink that will have you dancing on the tables in no time… (read more)


Praia_da_Marinha_(2012-09-27),_by_Klugschnacker_in_Wikipedia_(1)10 best beaches in Portugal: in pictures (Skyscanner)

The mega resorts of the Algarve are famous for their white sands, but there are some even more amazing beaches hidden away from the packed tourist hubs.

From rugged surfing coves to idyllic hidden gems, here are the top 10 beaches in Portugal, in glorious pictures… (read more)

Photo: Klugschnacker, CC BY-SA 3.0


46493562_59622a96a8_b10 of the world’s weirdest animals (and where to see them) (Skyscanner)

If you think you’ve seen it all after a trip to the zoo, think again. There are some seriously strange animals out there. Lewis Packwood tracks down the 10 weirdest creatures in creation.

1. Shoebill. You may not actually want to track this one down – this a seriously mean bird. That enormous beak is a ferocious killing weapon that allows the shoebill to decapitate its prey. An adult’s bill can grow up to 24 centimetres long, and it will eat anything from fish to lizards to snakes – and even other birds. Thankfully they tend to be fairly nervous of humans, since judging by that death stare we wouldn’t last long if they ever turned against us. Shoebills can be found in central Africa – Lake Albert in Uganda is probably the best place to track one down… (read more)

Photo: belgianchocolate, CC BY 2.0