Traveling the World with A Lady in London
Many people dream of giving up the day job to follow a passion. Julie Falconer, creator of the award-winning travel blog, A Lady in London, has done just that.
Following a career in finance in San Francisco that included time at Goldman Sachs, Julie packed it in and moved to London with, as she puts it, “no plan and no job.” Back then she started her travel blog as a hobby. Today she works full time as a travel blogger, travel planner and social media advisor. Calling upon her vast travel experience – 95 countries and counting – we asked Julie to share with us some of her favorite destinations and travel planning tips.
Julie has so many favorite destinations that she likes to think in terms of the best destinations for different kinds of experiences. For example, for a beach holiday she recommends the Maldives because of the relaxed ambience and amazing sea life. For natural landscapes and beautiful scenery, she is a fan of Namibia with its world famous red sand dunes as well as Chile with deserts in the north and glaciers in the south. For food, she loves the town of San Sebastian in the Spanish Basque country because of the vast range of interesting food options and because you can eat well on almost any budget.
When asked about her favorite short break destinations out of London, Julie mentioned Edinburgh as a great city within the UK, Paris because it is easy to get to and has ‘world class everything’ and Rome because of the amazing history, art and food. For long haul from the UK she points out that southern Africa offers amazing experiences with no jet lag.
When planning trips, Julie’s top advice is to start early and spend the time to do your research thoroughly. A quick look at the top five hotels on Trip Advisor is probably not enough. And doing your homework can be financially rewarding. A 10-minute Google search for voucher codes for car hire can often result in a 20 to 30% savings. She also suggests getting local advice from friends and online via blogs, forums and message boards. And when you get to your destination, Julie likes using social media to ‘crowd source your own trip’. She also points to new travel apps such as Google’s Field Trip that alerts you when you are close to something interesting.
Whether you travel a little or a lot, this Lady in London’s enthusiastic approach and smart advice will have you reaching for your passport. Visit Julie’s website to read her latest blog or follow her on Twitter @Aladyinlondon for regular updates.