This week’s guest post comes from Hannah, travel blogger behind – PairofPassports.com. She explains ‘Pairofpassports is run by me, one half of a couple from the UK who love to travel. We want to see the world. We’re happiest when we are exploring or planning our next visit to a new place – whether it’s walking miles around a new city, or sipping beers on on a picture perfect Mexican beach. We have been to some amazing places together, and one day, maybe we will find a way to travel full time, moving around the world and working at our own pace. Until then, we will visit as many places as we can whilst based in Peterborough, UK. Pairofpassports.com is the place where we record our travel experiences and tips as we explore the world.’
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
I’m Hannah and I run PairofPassports.com which documents the travels of me and my husband Rob – we’re a couple from Peterborough in the UK.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
We’re part time travelers, and squeeze in short and medium size trips during the year to fit in with my full time job as a Marketing Manager. Unfortunately, like most people I only have a certain amount of paid holiday days each year so I have to use them wisely! Rob is a self employed musician so is a bit more flexible, but summer months are his busiest time, and our travel slows down a bit between June and August. We usually stay in Airbnbs when we travel unless we can find a great hotel deal, but we’re not fussy when it comes to accommodation and don’t need 5* hotels. We prefer to use Airbnb or smaller independent hotels as we’ve met some friendly people over the years that have given us some great tips on the local areas that we’ve been staying in. We find you tend to escape the tourist traps with Airbnbs as are they are often just outside the main tourist areas and you can discover some truly ‘local’ bars and restaurants that you otherwise would miss.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
We both work full time and save up throughout the year to fund our trips. We look for good deals on flights and accommodation and tend to travel quite light so we don’t have to pay for extra baggage. One day, I’d like to make enough money from PairofPassports.com to help fund our travel – that’s a big goal of mine and one of the reasons why I set the blog up in the first place. That would definitely be my preferred way to fund our travel!
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
We first visited Mission Beach, San Diego about 20 months ago, and have been back twice since. It’s hard to describe but the place just feels like home to us – it fits us well and we fit it. We really miss it when we’re not there.
It’s a popular beachside town that has a real laid back vibe with a beautiful beach and bayside. There’s lots of surfers and cool coastal bars and restaurants, with great weather all year round. The more central part of San Diego is close by too so you can get a city fix easily if you want. I love the ocean though and am happiest when I’m close to a beach, Mission Beach in particular.
As far as city breaks go, Berlin is our top choice so far. We’re planning our fourth trip there this year so have got to know the city quite well. We have our favorite places to go, eat and drink now and I think we could very easily live there. There is so much history in the city that’s mingled in with a young, modern feel, which is a nice mix. Kreuzberg is our favourite part of the city, its a really bohemian area that has some great things to see and do, and some fantastic bars.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
I hope I’m not jinxing it, but we’ve always been reasonably lucky when it comes to travelling.
Our first slightly negative Airbnb experience happened a couple of months ago when we stayed for one night in Downtown LA on the ‘wrong side of the freeway’. It was a bit of a dodgy area and not quite the Downtown location we were expecting. It didn’t help that we couldn’t park outside the apartment for 3 hours after arriving too (American street sweeping rules!) when all we wanted to do was park up and get some lunch and a beer. This was all after spending a long couple of hours traveling from San Diego in nightmare traffic.
One of our first long haul trips together was to New York – a very cold New York! Our hotel room had an issue with its window, in that it wouldn’t close properly and an artic gale blew into our room for 15 minutes before someone came to take a look. The fix? They put some duct tape over the gap to we wouldn’t die in our sleep from hyperthermia. It actually worked really well and we lived to tell the tale.
We still love New York and LA though so these experiences haven’t put us off. The good times we’ve had there definitely make up for these blips.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
We want to see as much of the world as possible, so anywhere new is on the list, as well as getting to know some old favourites a little bit more.
We love it so much, we’re hoping to spend an extended period of time in San Diego in the near future – something a bit more than a holiday perhaps. So that’s something we would like to tick off sooner rather than later!
Something we’ve also always wanted to do is see the Northern Lights and stay in one of those glass roofed igloos so you can watch the stars as you lay in bed.
Costa Rica is also high up on the list. I’m really fascinated by this little island with it’s jungles, beaches and wildlife. It would be a really different experience for us, we’ve never stayed anywhere like it!
There’s Hong Kong too, and Sri Lanka, New Orleans…the list will never end.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
We both always travel with headphones and a book. Both of these things help pass the time waiting around at airports and make flights seem shorter. We like to have some down time every now and again on our trips, so settling in to a cosy bar or coffee shop for a an hour with a book is one of our favourite things to do.
We rack up the miles when we travel, and walk a lot as we explore new areas – sometimes 12+ miles each day. Comfy shoes for walking are therefore a must, and something we couldn’t do without.
I also take a small notepad and pen to jot down blog ideas if I have them.
8. What makes you happy and why?
We are happiest when we’re exploring new places or planning our next trip. In the lead up to a trip, we spend time finding the right accommodation for us, in the right area and making a list of things we want to do and see. The planning part is fun and gets us excited about where we’re going next. Having said that, while we are travelling we don’t have structured itineraries. We wander around, with a vague idea of where we’re heading, but we love finding unexpected things along the way so don’t have days that are too structured. We’re each our own ideal travel partners which helps too and sharing our travel experiences and making memories with each other is very special, and I feel very lucky to be able to do it.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I used to work for an SEO/digital marketing agency so was aware of blogging communities and the potential blogs have to reach large amounts of people and earn bloggers money – perhaps even a living. As we travel a lot, I already had a handful of blogs that I regularly went to for travel tips and it was in early 2016 that I put the two together and thought would give creating something similar of my own a go too. I’ve had the blog running for just over a year now, but I decided to make a real go of it in January this year. Before then, I was a bit lazy with it and neglected it for months on end. I’m now committed to posting regularly, and I’m always trying to improve the site and engage with other bloggers and readers. Hopefully within the next 12 months, I’ll get to the point where the blog earns us a bit of money. Until then, I’m enjoying meeting other bloggers online and writing up posts about our trips. I find writing about our travels quite cathartic and it’s also nice to go back and read about our past trips again a few months later – its good to reminisce!
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
In a nutshell, Pairofpassports.com is a blog centered around couples part time travel, which in itself isn’t unique, but I hope that as time goes on, the blog develops a clear identity and strong ‘voice’ that people enjoy engaging with. I try to make our posts as helpful as possible so that people visiting the locations we’ve been get a inside track and some helpful tips that they wouldn’t have known about otherwise. We want to share the things we’ve discovered and enjoyed with other people – whether that’s other travel bloggers or regular people visiting a new place for the first time. We want other people to enjoy the places we’ve been to as much as us. I hope the blog does that, and maybe inspires people to travel more, to new places too.
From ESLT – thank you Hannah for taking the time to answer our questions. Safe Travels 🙂