Belfast City hall, a collection of images

On our recent visit to Belfast we decided to make the most of the mild summer weather and take a walk around looking at the sights of Belfast.

Belfast City Hall
Belfast City Hall

We were staying close to the Belfast City Hall and decided to book into the Tour of the City Hall and it was well worth it.

The building is amazing construction started in 1898, and took 8 years to complete. Opening in August 1906. The time effort and skill level of this building was amazing. They just don’t make buildings like this anymore. At the time it cost £360,000 (equivalant to £128,000,000.00)

The marble, the stone work and the pure volume of Stained glass windows is inspiring and we only saw such a small amount of it.

So come along with me with a collection of my favourite images from Belfast City Hall.

Belfast

Best Streaming Services in Australia

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Australian Streaming Services
Australian Streaming Services

Since the launch of Netflix and Stan in Australia in 2015. Streaming services have really taken off.

There is now a huge selection of shows available at the touch of a button.

Streaming even with Australia’s sub standard internet speeds is the best way to watch Tv in Australia. All the main free to air channels have even got in the action and have on demand catch up tv available.

Here we look at the Paid Streaming services available in Australia.

Apple TV

On demand streaming at $7.99 a month

You can download shows to watch later

6 simultaneous screens.

All Apple shows are Apple originals, notable shows, The morning show with Jennifer Aniston, Reece Witherspoon, See (Jason Moama), Dickinson (Hailee Steinfield), Oprah’s book club.

10 all access

On demand streaming at $9.99 a month

No 4K / No Ultra High Definition

Needs internet – no offline viewing

3 simultaneous screens

You can sign up for a free 30 day trial

Notable Shows – Survivor, NCIS, late show with James Corden, Bachelorette, The Good fight, Hawaii Five-O, Neighbours.

10 All access
10 All access

Prime Video

On demand streaming at $6.99 a month

4K / Ultra High Definition available

Select titles can be viewed offline

3 simultaneous screens

You can sign up for a free 30 day trial

Notable Shows – Bosch, Grand Tour, Goliath, Fleabag, Jack Ryan, Jonas Brothers Chasing happiness, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, The listener,

Disney Plus

On demand streaming at $8.99 a month

4K / Ultra High Definition available

Select titles can be viewed offline

4 simultaneous screens

You can sign up for a free 7 day trial

Notable Shows – Disney, Star Wars, The Mandalorian, High school musical the musical, Pixar films, Disney movies.

Disney plus
Disney plus

Hayu

Hayu is the place to go to stream reality tv.

On demand streaming for $6.99 a month

HD viewing available

Offline viewing is available

Only able to watch on one screen at a time.

You can sign up for a 1 month trial

Notable shows – Revenge body with Khloe Kadashian, The simple life, Vanderpump rules, The real housewives franchise, Top chef, Keeping up with the Kardashians.

Netflix

Netflix has three levels of subscription

Basic, Standard and Premium. Whilst the content is the same the Video quality, simultaneous streams are different.

Basic at $9.99, is as the name suggests basic. Max video quality is SD, you can only stream one show at a time.

Standard at $13.99 allows HD video quality and you can watch on 2 seperate accounts at once.

Premium at $19.99 allows 4K/UHD viewing and also allows 4 people to be watching at once.

Netflix has a one month free trial

Notable shows, Orange is the new black, You, Jessica Jones, The defenders, The Witcher, Stranger things.

netflix
Netflix

Stan

Stan has three levels of subscription

Basic, Standard and Premium. Whilst the content is the same the Video quality, simultaneous streams are different.

Basic at $10, is as the name suggests basic. Max video quality is SD, you can only stream one show at a time.

Standard at $14 allows HD video quality and you can watch on 3 seperate accounts at once.

Premium at $17 allows 4K/UHD viewing and also allows 4 people to be watching at once.

Stan has a one month free trial

Notable shows, Before the release of Disney, Stan was the place to stream Disney shows, but even without Disney there are plenty of shows to keep you amused.

Pop culture shows like, Buffy, Dr Who, Scrubs, to shows like Family guy, Greys anatomy, Nashville, I am the night, The handmaids tale.

Stan
Stan

Free to air catch up tv for free.

You can either watch it on Freeview or the individual apps.

ABC Iview,

SBS on demand

7 Plus

9 now

10 play

Red Bull TV

Let me know in the comments, your favorite way to watch TV.

Australian Streaming Services
Australian Streaming Services

5 things I learned when visiting Ireland and Northern Ireland.

We recently got back from a trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland and it was only with my researching into Ireland that I found out that they are two very different countries.

I would like to think that I am a fairly well traveled person, and although in Australia we have heard of Ireland’s struggle for independence I didn’t realise that in the end they ended up two very distinct countries.

Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

Ireland is a country of its own located in Europe that has managed to gain it’s independence from England with a very long battle for freedom and independence. With familiar towns like Dublin, Galway, Sligo, Cork.

Ireland is a Republic, with a President, A population of about 4.9 Million. Ireland ranks among the top ten wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, it is a member of the European Union.

Whereas Northern Ireland is a member of the UK and commonwealth. It has a population of about 1.8 MiIllion, and most notable towns are it’s capital Belfast and Derry.

Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom, has the queen as their monarch.

Northern Ireland still has a real political divide, between unionists, who wish to see Northern Ireland continue as part of the United Kingdom, and nationalists, who wish to see Northern Ireland become part of the Republic of Ireland, independent from the United Kingdom. This is something that is evident even as a tourist in their beautiful city.

Northern Ireland capital is Belfast, and recently has been getting even more media coverage due to the huge HBO hit Game of thrones choosing many of the iconic landscapes and castles of Northern Ireland as film locations, as well as many of their main sets being filmed in Titanic studios in Belfast.

Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Belfast Town Hall
Belfast Town Hall

5 things I learned when visiting Ireland and Northern Ireland.

1 – They have different currency.

As Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, they utilise Pounds and English Currency.

Ireland is a part of the Europe and use Euros for their currency

Many people in our group actually got caught unaware on this one with many people rushing to the currency exchange at Dublin airport to swap their currency over.

2- The mailboxes are different colours

In Ireland the postboxes are green and I found that really fascinating, when I wandered over the ‘border’ to Northern Ireland the post boxes went back to the traditional red postboxes that we are used to, as a member of the commonwealth.

Green Mail boxes – Ireland

3- There is no real border crossing

Whilst Ireland and Northern Ireland are two distinct countries, you can easily travel between the countries without needing to show your passport and go through immigration.

However the towns on the border definitely have a different feel to them.

In the Town of  Derry buildings were full of amazing and poignant street art showcasing the fight for independence as well as memorials to lives lost in the independence.

Derry, Northern Ireland
Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
Derry, Northern Ireland

4- The political undercurrent is still there

What surprised me the most is how current the tension is still in the air in towns like Belfast. Whilst we were in Belfast there was a huge amount of people waving the English flag and others firmly against it.

As you walk around the streets daily we saw anti riot police trucks in the area.

Derry, Northern Ireland
Derry, Northern Ireland

Belfast, Ireland
Belfast, Ireland

5- The Architecture is very different

Dublin is a much older city, and so is the architecture, the buildings range from 14th century onwards. It had a real relaxed feel. Cobblestone paths, old bridges, and you can really imagine the city hundreds of years earlier.

Towns like Galway have done a fantastic job of keeping the history of the area with many new buildings having to keep the old structures as well.

Belfast is much younger and for those who have travelled to Melbourne and seen buildings like royal exhibition buildings, flinders street station it is very reminiscent of that. whilst the buildings are still a couple of hundred years old, there are also a lot more modern buildings, shops scattered around.

Belfast, Northern Ireland
Belfast, Northern Ireland

Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

5. Pubs are everywhere.

The one thing that stood out in both Ireland and Northern Ireland was that they both love a good pub.

In Both Dublin, Galway and Belfast the main place to have a meal would have to be a pub.

Traditional restaurants were few and far between and instead every second or third store front was a pub.

Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

Kings Head, Galway, Ireland
Kings Head, Galway, Ireland

Have you visited Ireland and Northern Ireland?

What did you learn on your visits?

What was your favorite place to visit.

Ireland

Northern Ireland

5 things I learned when visiting Ireland and Northern Ireland. 5 things I learned when visiting Ireland and Northern Ireland. 5 things I learned when visiting Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Glass of thrones

As we walked through the streets of Belfast we happened across an amazing art installation called the Glass of Thrones.

Glass of thrones was created by Tourism Ireland to celebrate ten years of filming of the iconic show in Northern Ireland.

Glass of Thrones
Glass of Thrones

Starting with Jon snow and the Starks in the centre of Belfast, just near the Belfast town Hall, there are 6 stained glasses located through the city and ending with the Iron throne at the Titanic studios were many of the scenes were filmed.

The 6 stained glass of thrones windows showcase pivotal scenes of the series and each one focuses on a family, villain or legacy of the series.

Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, Targaryens, White Walkers and finally the Iron Throne.

Glass Of Thrones

Stained Glass of Thrones – House Stark

Location – Outside Belfast Town Hall

It was only fitting that the first window showcases the heroes of the show. The Stark family.

The stained glass window is overlooking Belfast City Hall, which also has an amazing collection of Stained Glasses Inside.

The focal point of the Stark window is Jon Snow, the King of the North at the iconic battle scene from the Battle of the bastards, however all the other Starks also get a mention.

Some of the great details are Arya about to stab Little finger, The heartbreaking red wedding, Sansai about to get her revenge on Ramsey, Hound and Brienne fighting over Ayra and of course what started it all, The Patriach of the family Ned about to lose his head.

For true fans of the show there are other subtle references to the Starks and their storyline’s with Direwolves, the Three Eyed Raven, and the weeping Weirwood tree also on there.

We were staying nearby so I was able to walk past this window multiple times and I spent ages looking at the glass window as the detail was amazing.

Glass of thrones
House Stark

Glass of thrones
House Stark

Stained Glass of Thrones – House Lannister

Location – Located beside ICC Belfast

Featuring so many iconic scenes that make up the storyline’s of some of the villains of the show, from the wildfire explosion, to Jamie’s charging on horse back towards Daenerys during the Battle of the Goldroad.

The real focal point though is Mountain carrying Cersei after her walk of shame.

I was also pleased to see some of Tyrion Lannister’s storyline on display. With his revengeful murder of his scheming father Tywin.

House Lannister

Glass of Thrones
House Lannister

Glass of Thrones
House Lannister

Stained Glass of Thrones – House Baratheon

Location – Beside Lagan Weir

I found this one the most interesting window whilst it is called House Baratheon its focal point really is Melisandre.

I guess it is quiet fitting as those who watch the show, understand wherever Stannis went, she was there pulling the strings.

The window also highlights Hound and Beric’s fight, Briennes revenge, Gendry and his Hammer, not to mention two kings dying. King Robert and King Joffrey.

But my favourite part of the window, probably because he was one of my favourite characters is Ser Davos and his boat.

House Baratheon
House Baratheon

House Baratheon
House Baratheon

House Baratheon
House Baratheon

House Baratheon
House Baratheon

Stained Glass of Thrones – House Targaryen

Location – Outside Odyssey

This window could really be called Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen,First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea,Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons, as the Window really is a huge tribute to her.

The focal point is Drogon as he breathes a twister of fire that runs all the way down the length of the window, with Danny riding atop him.

Other notible scenes include the birth of the dragons, Drogon rescuing Daenerys from the fighting pits of Meereen. Ser Barristan Selmy and Greyworms fighting the Sons of Harpy. Not to mention when her brother was crowned with Gold.

House Targaryen
House Targaryen

House Targaryen
House Targaryen

House Targaryen
House Targaryen

Stained Glass of Thrones – White Walkers

Location – Alongside SS nomadic

Hodor holding the door is the real focal point of this window, taking up centre position. Another large part of the window is the Ice King destroying a large section of the Wall on top of his Ice dragon.

There are lots of other parts to the window as well, Jon, Jorah, the Hound, Beric and Tormund stranded in the middle of the ice lake.

The making of the Ice King.

White Walkers
White Walkers

White Walker
White Walker

White Walker
White Walker

White Walkers
White Walkers

Stained Glass of Thrones – Iron Throne

Location – Overlooking the Titanic studios in the grounds of Belfast titanic experience, at the Titanic Slipway

This window is definitely trying to portray A song of Ice and Fire, with fiery Orange up top and icy blue below.

At first look it looks like it is just a beautiful window of the iron throne with a chair on it to sit so you to can Sit on the iron Throne, but at closer look you see that it also contains house sigils, cogs and gears like the opening scene.

The other great thing about this is the interactive nature of this window with people able to sit on the Iron throne for a picture.

Iron Throne - Glass of Thrones
Iron Throne

Iron Throne - Glass of Thrones
Iron Throne

Iron Throne - Glass of Thrones
Iron Throne

Iron Throne - Glass of Thrones
Iron Throne

The other awesome thing we worked out afterwards is that each of them have a very funny warning on the side. We only took a photo of a couple of them.

If you Fall, no one will bring you back, Climb at your own risk. White walkers

Climb at your own risk, For the step is steep and full of terror.
Climb at your own risk, For the step is steep and full of terror.

Glass of thrones
Remember Bran Stark, Climb at your own risk.

What is your favourite window?

Where you team Stark or Team Lannister?

Let me know in the comments below.

Visiting Giants causeway

I have dreamed of visiting Giants Causeway for a very long time, and on our way to Belfast from Dublin, we dropped in with only a small amount of time to wander down and take some photos.

With my camera in hand ready to take some iconic images of the 40,000 interlocking basalt rocks we arrived at The Nook and disembarked our bus, ready to wander down the path to the famous area, made from ancient volcanic fissure eruption, that I have seen so many times on Instagram.

As we wandered down the path the scenery was spectacular, rolling green hills, old rock walls.

Giant Causeway - Northern Ireland Giant Causeway - Northern Ireland Giant Causeway - Northern Ireland

But as we got closer something else became apparent there would be no Instagram photos with empty rock foundations, because as we got closer the crowds begun to appear.

Every year over 1 million people visit giants causeway. With the success of Game of Thrones and the huge increase in tourism due to the great marketing of Northern Ireland’s tourism department highlighting all the film locations around the areas, these numbers are just increasing every year. The fact we also arrived in mid-afternoon and only had thirty minutes to look around also added to the rush.

Giants causeway Northern Ireland Giants causeway Northern Ireland

Giants causeway Northern Ireland

People scurrying everywhere trying to get a shot, It really was a case of what you expect to see and what you actually do.

I had to adapt and change my expectation, and take the time to find an empty patch but it was well worth it.

Giants causeway Northern Ireland Giants causeway Northern Ireland

If you keep wandering past the Basalt rocks you come to large columns that are amazing, they give you an opportunity to see what the structure would look like underground.

Giants causeway Northern Ireland

Just past the towering rocks is where the path meets up with the Giant Causeway Walking trails, and if we had more time (when we go back :-)) we will definitely wander these paths. The view from the ground of the Amphitheater was inspiring. These trails follow the cliff-top and will give a totally different perspective on the giant causeway.

Giants causeway Northern Ireland
Giant Causeway Walking trails

Giants causeway Northern Ireland
Giant Causeway Walking trails

With our time nearly up we turned back to walk up the path to our awaiting bus at the visitor centre. There is a shuttle bus that runs up and down the hill during business hours, however, the walk back up is only about 15-20 minutes and is not strenuous, so we wandered back up with a memory card full of inspiring pictures, ready to head into Belfast.

Path back to visitor centre

But before we hopped on the bus I had to take one more picture, a picture to me that was what I was expecting Northern Ireland to be like.

Northern Ireland

Have you been to Northern Ireland before?

Or arrived somewhere and realised your expectations were very different from reality?

Tell me below in the comments.

I have dreamed of visiting Giants Causeway for a very long time, and on our way to Belfast from Dublin, we dropped in with only a small amount of time to wander down and take some photos.But as we got closer something else became apparent there would be no Instagram photos with empty rock foundations, because as we got closer the crowds begun to appear.  Every year over 1 million people visit giants causeway. With the success of Game of Thrones and the huge increase in tourism due to the great marketing of Northern Ireland's tourism department highlighting all the film locations around the areas, these numbers are just increasing every year. The fact we also arrived in mid-afternoon and only had thirty minutes to look around also added to the rush.But as we got closer something else became apparent there would be no Instagram photos with empty rock foundations, because as we got closer the crowds begun to appear.  Every year over 1 million people visit giants causeway. With the success of Game of Thrones and the huge increase in tourism due to the great marketing of Northern Ireland's tourism department highlighting all the film locations around the areas, these numbers are just increasing every year. The fact we also arrived in mid-afternoon and only had thirty minutes to look around also added to the rush.

 

Visiting Winterfell – Game of thrones.

Experience Westeros with a visit to Winterfell, located only 40 minutes out of Belfast, Northern Ireland in County Down.

Winterfell - Old Castle Ward
Winterfell – Old Castle Ward

Immerse yourself in the world of Game of Thrones with a visit to Old Castle Ward, the film set of the iconic Winterfell. Castle Ward is the location of Winterfell, the whispering woods and many more iconic scenes. Now that the series is wrapped up, you can live the Game of throne experience, dressing up in Character and walking where the cast walked.

Earlier this year we took a trip to Ireland, and then headed north to Northern Ireland. To visit some of the iconic Game of Thrones locations, and visiting Winterfell was a priority.

Winterfell or Old Castle Ward has gone from a small tourist castle to one of Northern Ireland premier Visitor attractions.

8 things I learned about the Winterfell tour

Winterfell really is an immersive experience, and before I went I didn’t realise how much.

1. Get Involved

There is nothing like dressing up in costume with your own cloak to really immerse yourself in the experience. Wandering down the site of many iconic scenes dressed up as a stark, in your black cloak really puts helps you really feel a part of it.

Winterfell - Costumes

2. Book into the Banquet

If you get a chance to book into the Medieval Banquet night, you won’t be disappointed.

On arrival, guests are greeted by the Grand Maester and escorted to the courtyard to receive their costumes and then the immersive experience begins. Live Band entertainment, amazing food, and Winterfell Ale. The Banquet table is set up with candle lights flickering, bench seats draped with fur skins and Winterfell ale to drink.

Winter ale

3. Try some new sports

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at Axe Throwing, Archery or Sword fighting? Then Winterfell is the place for you.

Axe Throwing

Stand in the spot that Bran, Robb Stark, and the King of the North Jon Snow stood. The Archery range film set is in the same spot it was used for filming. Practice your aim and fire straight.

4 – Old Castle Ward is more than just Winterfell.

A visit to Old Castle Ward is not just about Winterfell, there are so many more amazing places. Stand at the base of the tower that started it all, where Bran fell. Hire a bike and cycle down to the spot that Jamie Lannister was held captive in Robb’s camp. See the tree that Robb secretly marries Talissa at and so many more.

Winterfell Castle tower
Winterfell Castle tower

5 – It might come with unexpected guests

Whether it is an actor from the acclaimed show, many of the staff at Old Castle Ward, were extras in the film, as well as some involved in training the actors in fight scenes. Or a White walker staring you down as you walk around the paths.

6 –  Iron throne

When we went we had the privilege of sitting on the Iron Throne, located in a dark room, with only a small window and candlelight to illuminate us, dressed up in our cloak, you can imagine what it would feel like to be fighting over the throne.

 iron throne

7- Expect to use your imagination

The one thing that surprised me the most was the pure volume of creativity from the film team, so much of what we see as Winterfell is actually CGI. Our guides were amazing who showed us pictures that showed the before and after and it was amazing.

CGI at work

CGI at work

8 – More than just castles, it’s a photographer’s dream.

We only had one day at Old castle Ward, but I will definitely come back and next time I will take advantage of the overnight accommodation, so I can take some photos at night. Old Castle Ward is a photographers delight with so many amazing places to photograph.

Where you a Game of Thrones fan.

Have you ever visited Game of Thrones?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

8 Things I learnt when visiting Winterfell in Northern IrelandExperience Westeros with a visit to Winterfell, located only 40 minutes out of Belfast, Northern Ireland in County Down. Immerse yourself in the world of Game of Thrones with a visit to Old Castle Ward, the film set of the iconic Winterfell. Castle Ward is the location of Winterfell, the whispering woods and many more iconic scenes. Now that the series is wrapped up, you can live the Game of throne experience, dressing up in Character and walking where the cast walked.Experience Westeros with a visit to Winterfell, located only 40 minutes out of Belfast, Northern Ireland in County Down. Immerse yourself in the world of Game of Thrones with a visit to Old Castle Ward, the film set of the iconic Winterfell. Castle Ward is the location of Winterfell, the whispering woods and many more iconic scenes. Now that the series is wrapped up, you can live the Game of throne experience, dressing up in Character and walking where the cast walked.

My Travel Wish list

“Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets”

Dubai UAE
Dubai UAE

Yesterday I was talking to soletmeexplore about her bucket list, 101 places that are on her bucket list. Many of them that she has already been too and it inspired me to start writing down my own travel wish list, places I want to visit.

For those already a regular on our Facebook page and blog would have heard of our “Travel dream board” that we created with our children, full of places they want to travel, and yes, Disney is a focal point. But there are many places I want to visit that I haven’t added to the board.

As a traveller, and a Photographer some of the places on my travel wish list I have been to in the past, well before I had my DSLR camera, with my Olympus 3MB camera in hand, some I have been to and managed to take photos.

Together with my children, we have created a Travel Wish List, a list of places we want to visit or revisit.

Places around Australia

There is something magical about Australia, it really is a unique place. Australia is the world’s largest island, covering 7.692 million km. It is home to many different climates from the mild temperatures of Tasmania, to the tropical heat of the Daintree. It really is an amazing place to visit. We have been to the most northern tip of Australia’s mainland, Cape York. Travelled the Nullarbor, with the longest straight stretch of road in the country 146.6km without a bend or turn. But there are still so many places left on my list to visit

  • The Kimberleys
  • Theme parks
  • Uluru (Ayers Rock) – ✓
  • Noosa – ✓
  • Swim with turtles at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
  • Sydney Opera House – ✓

Places around the United States of America

  • Roadtrip to visit nearly all of U.S National Parks
  • Epic American Roadtrip
  • New York – ✓
  • Alaskan Cruise
  • Las Vegas – ✓
  • Grand Canyon – ✓
  • Hawaii – ✓
  • Big Sur, California
  • Hearst Castle – ✓
  • Washington DC – ✓
  • Broadway
  • Universal Orlando
  • Mount Rushmore

Canada

    • Rocky Mountaineer
    • Banff – ✓
    • Stay at Lake Louise – ✓
    • Maid of the Mist boat – Niagara Falls
    • Niagara Falls – ✓

Epic Disney

New Zealand

  • Milford Sound
  • Hobbiton
  • Ferry from North to South Island

Europe

  • Ireland – ✓
  • Northern Ireland – ✓
  • Visit the set of Game of thrones – ✓
  • Capture the Northern Lights on camera
  • Eiffel Tower
  • London
  • Rome
  • Venice
  • See the Colosseum
  • See the Mona Lisa in the Louvre
  • Tower of Pisa
  • West End
  • Santorini, Greece

  • Visit Antarctica
  • Great Wall of China
  • Dubai – ✓
  • African safari
  • Bora Bora
  • Maldives
  • Japan

This list is only a snapshot of the places we have been to (Bold and Italics) and the places we want to go to.

What are some places you think we should add on our list?

Let me know in the comments below.

As a traveller, and a Photographer some of the places on my list I have been to in the past, well before I had my DSLR camera, with my Olympus 3MB camera in hand, some I have been to and managed to take photos. Together with my children we have created a Travel Wish List, a list of places we want to visit, or revisit. As a traveller, and a Photographer some of the places on my list I have been to in the past, well before I had my DSLR camera, with my Olympus 3MB camera in hand, some I have been to and managed to take photos. Together with my children we have created a Travel Wish List, a list of places we want to visit, or revisit.  My Must-See Travel Destinations. As a traveller, and a Photographer some of the places on my list I have been to in the past, well before I had my DSLR camera, with my Olympus 3MB camera in hand, some I have been to and managed to take photos. Together with my children we have created a Travel Wish List, a list of places we want to visit, or revisit. As a traveller, and a Photographer some of the places on my list I have been to in the past, well before I had my DSLR camera, with my Olympus 3MB camera in hand, some I have been to and managed to take photos. Together with my children we have created a Travel Wish List, a list of places we want to visit, or revisit. 

5 Things you need for your next Disney trip.

So you have decided to go to Disneyland or Disneyworld for the first time and you are thinking to yourself, what should I bring. We have compiled our list of the must-haves to bring with you on your next Disney trip.

Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom

We have been multiple times now both on our own (Pre children) and with all our four children. It is a lot of fun but also can take a little bit of organising. With each trip, we have always come up with something we wished we would have packed and have compiled a short list of the essentials, you might not think of but that will come in handy.

  • Portable charger.

    • This is our number one item whenever we are packing for our Disney trip. In my house, I am known as the Paparazzi and even with the Photo pass my phone gets a workout, add to that Disney play app and the Max pass and my phone loses charge rapidly. The best solution is to carry a portable charger with you.
  • Waterproof case for your phone

    • California and Florida can both get hot in the summer and the best solution is to hit some of the awesome ‘water’ rides at the parks. From Splash Mountain (A favorite of mine) to the Kili river rapids or Grizzly bear falls. The only problem with these rides is where to store your phone whilst you are on them as you will get Wet. One solution is to grab a waterproof case for your phone and take the stress out of it.
  • Autograph book and Pen

    • After the rides, Our children’s favorite thing to do at any Disney Park, cruise line or resort is to line up and get an autograph with the characters. It doesn’t matter if we have already got their autograph on previous trips, they get so excited, lining up and talking to them. Don’t worry if you do forget one as they are readily available, however, it is nice to bring your own so you have something different to the other dozens of people lined up in the queue.

Autograph book and Pen

  • Disney themed clothes for the kids.

    • Our children love to dress up for Disney but don’t want to be wearing costumes every day, instead, our daughter has a huge selection of Disney inspired dresses. Some days she will dress up as a princess, other days she is a space ranger.

These gorgeous cotton dresses from Scout Mackenzie come with free shipping Australia wide.

Disney themed clothes Disney themed clothes

Sunscreen

  • There is nothing worse on holidays than getting sunburnt a couple of days into your trip and spending the next few days feeling sad and sorry for yourself. If you are traveling from another country as we do, we find it easier to bring some with us, so we now that it works for our skin.\
  • Pin Trading Bag

    • Our children love trading pins at Disney and whilst you might see people walk around Disney with them on Lanyards, it is very easy for the pins to be knocked off the lanyard. To save that from happening we purchased each of our children their own Pin trading bag. This way once they have finished trading we can zip it up and keep the pins safe.

Disney Pin trading bag

What are some of your essentials for your next Disney trip?

Tell us in the comments below.

5 ideas to pack for your next Disney trip 5 ideas to pack for your next Disney trip 5 ideas to pack for your next Disney trip

Tailwind for Pinterest

Take your Pinterest to the next level with Tailwind.

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One of the best ways to get traffic to your blog is via Pinterest.

Pinterest is a huge search engine that instead of words like Google, uses great images and descriptions that people pin to their own boards or group boards. Once you start on Pinterest you can get lost manually pinning individual pins from your blog to your own boards or collaborative group boards.

That was before tailwind, Tailwind makes scheduling apps across multiple boards easy. With Pinterest when you pin your pins they are uploaded then. Which means to get the most out of Pinterest you need to be logged in and pinning on a daily basis to get the most.

However, with Tailwind, you don’t have to post daily instead you can schedule your pins. I sit down and schedule my pins 3-4 weeks in advance at times that are the best for engagement.

Tailwind for Pinterest

  • Schedule your post at the best time for engagement
  • Schedule your post whenever you want
  • Repeat your content whenever you want
    • Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly
  • Post content from other blogs that relate to your own blog on Pinterest
  • Analytics – track what’s happening with your pins
  • Become a part of a community with Tailwind Tribes.

Tailwind Tribes

Tailwind Tribes amplifies your own reach by being able to join a tribe. Tailwind tribes are groups of pinners/bloggers in different niches that allow you to have your pins repinned by others in your tribe, and also repin interesting pins to your boards.

What people sometimes don’t appreciate with Pinterest is it’s important to have an exciting feed to keep your followers engaged. By sharing other pins it makes your feed interesting for others.

Why Tailwind Tribes?

  • Find new content – search
  • See what’s popular
  • Find your tribe
  • Search insights
    • I can see that I have reached 9 million people since joining Tribes with my posts.
  • You can create your own tribes, I have three feel free to join them.

If you are interested in joining tailwind, use this link for a month free

Tailwind for Instagram.

Tailwind can also be used for Instagram. This is a handy way to upload photos to your Instagram account from your computer.

 

Have you used Tailwind?

Do you have a Tailwind tribe?

How to take your Pinterest account to the next level. How to take your Pinterest account to the next level. How to take your Pinterest account to the next level.

 

Tube Buddy, A must have to grow your youtube channel.

Tube Buddy.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Thanks again for your support!

Recently I have started growing a youtube channel for this page. It’s fun to show videos and snapshots of all the fun places we have been. Previously I have grown another youtube channel in the children’s educational field and that grow quickly with little real thought about SEO. However, travel is a more competitive field and I found my videos initially slower to gain followers and views.

That was until I learned about a youtube certified extension, and add on to my youtube channel. Tube buddy it can also be downloaded as an extension on Safari and chrome and is packed full of features to get the most out of your videos.

The best thing is these features are easily navigated to within the usual youtube interface.

Tube buddy allows you to optimise your videos easily, without having to log out of the normal youtube screen.

Now there are four different subscriptions that you can choose from, a free subscription that allows you to do a limited amount of things. Followed by three other levels.

There are substantial discounts if you pay on a yearly basis for Star and Pro memberships.

After testing the waters initially, I upgraded to their paid membership pretty quickly because as they say “Time is money” and it saves me hours especially when it comes to tags. Youtube’s own SEO.

What do I use TubeBuddy for?

Now you can see below that Tubebuddy has heaps of great features, but when I looked at the inclusions at first I wasn’t sure what I would actually use. I have compiled a list of all the things I use tubebuddy for.

  • Easy menu inside youtube which allows you to access a variety of things.
  • Thumbnail generator – Allows you to make custom thumbnails using still frames and custom texts from your videos.
  • Analytics
    • including reach viewers that tells you where your views are coming from, handy to see where your traffic is sourced, ie. suggested videos.
    • Build an audience, that tells you whether your videos are viewed from subscribed, unsubscribed viewers
    • Interest viewers, FInd out what are your top videos, top playlists?
    • Revenue. Find out what videos create the most revenue.
  • Tag Explorer
    • This by far is my favourite add on and saves me the most time. Building on your Tags on Youtube is important for SEO. Tag Explorer helps you create tag lists for your channel. It allows you to look into individual tags and see how often they are searched and if they are a good fit for your channel. You can search either by relevance or by score. I like to add half and half.
  • Health report
    • Tells you your Views, subscribers, uploads, Performance, traffic source, Engagement and Audience.
  • Usage stats
    • Tells you how you have used Tube buddy and how much time you have saved.
  • Competitors
    • You can set up competitors and see what tags they use, how their videos rank against yours.
  • Keyword Ranking report.
    • You can choose particular keywords (Star membership = 5,  Legend = 50 Enterprise = Unlimited) then track them against your competitors.
  • Launchpad
    • you can check any of your videos, and see what you need to do to bring it to the next level. I have found when I look over old videos I have about 5 things to work on each of them. But for newer videos, it normally only has one thing to do. “Cards” Obviously something I need to actually start doing.

There are so many great things in TubeBuddy, so head across and take a look.

Find out how we got more views in less time on Youtube. Find out how we got more views in less time on Youtube. Giving us more time to create quality content. Find out how we got more views in less time on Youtube. Giving us more time to create quality content.

Tube buddy - must have for your youtube account

Tube buddy - must have for your youtube account
Tube buddy - must have for your youtube account

Paid Tube buddy subscriptions also come with other Member perks, including royalty free music tracks. Tube buddy - must have for your youtube account

 

 

Tube buddy - must have for your youtube account