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There is something rather extraordinary about falling in love with a city you would have sold a kidney to leave at one point in your life, but that is exactly what Indianapolis has thrust upon me.

Indianapolis – affectionately known as Indy – was my wanderlusting teenage self’s home and once felt small enough to warrant a transatlantic escape. Getting to know the city after almost ten years using London as a home base to travel the world has been a trip in every sense of the word.

Indy, in its current form, is electric. And well worth the extensive city guide, below. Enjoy!

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parks and rec
Because there’s very little better than traipsing around town and indulging in a cheese-heavy picnic with your best friend.

What I Wore:
Rose gold signature name necklace & rose gold Hamsa Hand/Hand of Fatima necklace (both of which are on crazy sale right now – don’t miss out!)
Striped romper from BCBG (similar here)
Black strappy heels (similar here)
Sun hat (similar here)

parks and rec 2
parks and rec

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kings island
I had some very interesting experiences at Kings Island as a tiny
Throughout high school, Kings Island was “the thing you do” after Prom. Why? I have no idea (a day likely to welcome many of our first hangovers doesn’t really require rollercoasters), but it secured the 364-acre fun mecca as the best theme park in the Midwest in my eyes.

This trip’s return to Indiana happened to coincide with the 10-year anniversary of my last Kings Island escapade and thus inevitably called for a micro road trip with a few of my favourite women.

Even without Fast Passes, we managed to squeeze in all the greats; the world’s longest steel inverted roller coaster (Banshee), one of the top-ranked & scarily steep steel roller coasters in the world (Diamondback), the only face-to-face inverted roller coaster in the Midwest (Invertigo), the ever-nauseous spiral swing (Delirium), and then some. With Starbucks stops (recommended as it is one of the only non-price inflated retailers in the park), a Festhaus lunch break (where we caught their Back to the ’90s show over some overpriced chicken tenders), dance breaks, photo shoots, et al.

For the atmosphere, variety of attractions and ease of getting around, it doesn’t get much better.

(It is also worth noting that their “Gold Season Pass” is on a pretty crazy deal right now for anyone imagining they’d go twice (or more) during the year. It pays for itself in under two trips and includes parking, unlimited admissions – including Halloween Haunt and WinterFest – and even early entry to Soak City Waterpark.)

Thank you times infinity to my beloved Leanne Meurer for taking our footage and turning it into this glorious keepsake of a Kings Island video tour, below!

kings island
kings island

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carry on packing list

What Travel Bloggers Really Pack (and how they get rewards for it!)

The Equipment
First and foremost, I pack my life partner (my 11-inch MacBook Air – shop) and my new Canon EOS M3 (shop) which doubles up as a pretty stellar still photography and vlog camera. Though both are in their respective cases, I also cushion them in the centre of everything else I pack to ensure they don’t move during turbulence or transit in general.

The Clothes
As ladies and gents that find ourselves in front of the camera as much as we’re behind it, clothing tends to take up the majority of carry-on space. These days, a gargantuan and Instagram-friendly hat (like an adorable straw “Vacay” hat – shop) is as imperative as lightweight dresses I can accessorize for five days straight. Bonus points for crazy prints, reversibles, and things you can wear back to front for an entirely new look (you won’t believe the number of reversible V neck dresses I have in my closet – shop). It is infinitely easier to throw wraps or scarves (like Very’s embroidered gem, aboveshop) over basics to dress them up or down and – generally being lighter than clothing – gives you many more space-efficient style options.

As I can rarely be bothered to wear makeup when travelling, I also highly endorse a pair of face-distracting sunglasses (the Wildfox Ivy Deluxe cat-eyes are my current obsession – shop) to do all the face-beautifying you need in seconds.

The Beauty
As a rule of thumb, I do not go near make-up or liquids in my carry on (see: sunglasses, above) but still like to look after my skin. The vitamin-rich Lancer make-up wipes (shop) cleanse and nourish unlike anything I’ve used before and Shiseido’s UV compact works as an intensely moisturising – yet dry – SPF for both face and body (shop). Rather than any sort of “real” fragrance or liquid, I also pack double-duty Tom Ford Neroli deodorant (shop) which smells like the Italian Riviera and keeps you fresh all the live long blogger’s day.

If the trip is adventure and/or fitness-heavy, I’ll sometimes even pack a Suquu face stretch mask (shop) to wear on the return flight to luxuriate in travel vibes as long as possible.

The Unexpected
Though I can make a good carry-on pack last seven days, most airlines will allow women a handbag plus a carry-on so I tend to pack my everyday bag inside a larger handbag for longer trips. By doing so, I can fit any extra clothes around my day bag and get about 30% more packed than I would with my carry-on alone. Each airline has their own dimensions for what qualifies as a “handbag” so do check it before you go, but bags of Michael Kors’ “JetSet” size (shop) tend to work without raising a single eyebrow.

This is also where I keep my Groupon (shop) vouchers so I don’t lose them in my inevitable carry-on chaos. Before going anywhere, I always check the site to see if any unique experiences or restaurants have deals available during my stay and have saved £100s in my adult travel life by doing so.

How do I get rewards from packing?!
Through the Avios eStore, you can spend the travel rewards currency (aka your Avios) gained from everything you already buy – including everything I’ve linked above – on flights, hotels, car hire, experiences and more! Avios has over 1,000 retail partners including ASOS, M&S, John Lewis, Booking.com, Apple and many others who allow members to earn Avios as they shop simply by accessing their sites through their portal. You pay nothing more and than you would otherwise and can quadruple your travel experiences by doing so!

Even better, this week (Thursday 25 May to Wednesday 31 May) launches the Avios eStore triple week where you will earn triple Avios on all purchases made via the eStore from selected retailers (including John Lewis, Currys, Argos, ASOS, Screwfix, Debenhams, and Apple). We’re talking a click or two away from return flights to Paris, guys – don’t miss out!

disney world 3
Almost twenty-five years since my first visit, I took advantage of my month-long Floridian adventures and returned to Walt Disney World.

With a terminally busy schedule, I was only able to commit one day to Disney and everyone I shared my excitement with responded with a troubling instinct – “can you do Disney in a day?“.

I had no idea. But it was all the time I had and, silver lining style, I knew I’d be able to at least let you guys know if it wasn’t…

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A dream is a wish your heart makes. 💫

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