6 Things To Do On Long Train Journeys (1-Hour Plus) For Bloggers Without Wifi.

There’s nothing worse than planning an exciting trip, going somewhere new, or even traveling home (if you’re a student like me). I thought of doing this post when I was traveling to London last Saturday to go on a cruise and visit The Harry Potter Studio Tour (click here to view) and I was surprised at how quick the journey was considering it was almost 3 hours!

There are so many things that you can do on your journey, whether if you’re alone or have company. I would usually say, just do the things that make you happy and what you’re interested in. The things I am about to list are my top favorite, most efficient things to do that allows me to enjoy a journey, whilst getting stuff done.

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1. Prepare a Meal 

One of the things that I always do prior traveling is make up a lunch type of meal, even if I am traveling at night. I would usually make a sandwich or pasta with a piece of fruit, chocolate, crisps, and a bottle of water (or two). These are just my favorite types of food, especially when I need something quick, cheap, and efficient. I am definitely a bit of a snacker…I do love a snack, so I pack a lot. You could go to a local shop to grab a few things too, but I wouldn’t get food at the station or on the train as you’ll be paying triple the price.

2. Download Music or Podcasts

I absolutely love popping my headphones in to either listen to music or a podcast. I definitely recommend downloading Spotify as it is a reasonable monthly subscription that allows you to download playlists, or you can create your own, as well as download podcasts or some YouTube videos such as, Gibi ASMR which is my go-to. I always manage to find something new as they are updated regularly.

3. WRITE. WRITE. WRITE.

This is usually an opportunity for me to be the most productive. I always find that traveling allows my brain to think about what means the most to me, which is traveling and blogging. I normally switch off by not thinking about work or uni work and a majority of the time, I am thinking of ideas and begin to write future blog posts. For this, I normally take with me a little notebook or I write it on the app: One Note, but that depends on the battery on my phone. I like to keep organized, especially with all my notes in one place. I was sitting on the train, thinking of what else to do when I thought about doing this post.

4. Have a photo shoot 

Everyone loves a little photo shoot, well if you’re into blogging, social media, or just love a good photo. Of course, I was going to have a little photo shoot, primarily to take photos for this post, but also because I wanted to include a range of different photos onto my Instagram. I really enjoyed this train photo shoot, although I did have to be careful to not get anyone in the background.

Photo Credits: Kevin Turingan

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5. Editing 

Being a freelance photographer and travel blogger, I have a lot of editing to do. I usually have at least 2 photography shoots to edit a week, plus personal photographs that I want edited either for social media or my blog. I love using the time traveling to get the work done because then it means that I do not have to do it in my other spare time. I find this is the most efficient way to get it all done. To edit my photographs I use Lightroom CC on PC and on mobile.

6. Play a Game 

There are soooooo many PC and mobile games that you can play completely free of charge and without the need for Wifi. My favorite games are Candy Crush, Logos Quiz, and Words with Friends. You could download a range of games prior to your journey, and then you can play them for the first time which will keep you very busy. Alternatively, you could bring a deck of cards and play with the people around you. I love playing card games with my friends. It is a great way to make the journey and time fly by.

What is your favorite thing to do whilst on the train or long journey?

Harry Potter Studio Tour In London 2019 | **Gringotts Bank Exclusive & Spoilers**

**DO NOT SCROLL DOWN IF YOU DON’T WANT TO FIND OUT ANY SPOILERS**

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This post is going to give you all the information needed for you to enjoy a visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Lonon, or should I say: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. I will be filling you in with some useful tips on booking, how to get there, best time to go, and of course an album full of incredible shots taken from the sets of Harry Potter. But don’t worry, I can assure you there will still be plenty of surprises and things not mentioned here that you can see on your visit.

I am going to be honest, I was never a huge potter fan growing up, primarily because I never got the opportunity to watch the films, well not in the order anyway. For Christmas, I originally planned this trip for Kevin and our friend Charlie as they absolutely love Harry Potter and this just looked perfect. Fortunately for myself, Kevin actually decided to take me anyway, as we also had another activity to do in London, so we just thought it would be a good idea to do them both on the same day. Last month, I managed to watch all of the Harry Potters, so as you can imagine, I was ready for this day!

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On Saturday 30th March 2019, I had the wonderful experience of visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. I am now a potter head to say the least, and I found out that I am in Hufflepuff. I cannot say enough how mesmerising it was. I absolutely loved finding out how they designed the sets, created costumes, filmed the magic, and getting the chance to do it myself.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter 

ENTER THE GREAT HALL OF HOGWARTS 

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The Harry Potter Studio Tour begins with a short intrduction about the making of the studio itself and why they decided to open it to public, then the tour starts by the opening of The Great Hall. The two tables in the middle of the room were removed to create more space for the tour (sadly), but this is the exact set of where the scenes in The Great Hall were filmed everytime. The room looks pretty much the same as to what you would see on screen, obviously it’s not got all the students and candles in, but the representation is the same. Unfortunately, I did not see the sorting hat, either I just missed it or it was not there!

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Tip: To get a good photograph of The Great Hall, I definitely recommend either being the first one in or waiting until everyone leaves – to get a photograph of it empty. This is the only room of the tour where your time is limited.

THE CHOCOLATE FEAST 

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The Chocolate Feast from the Goblet of Fire comprised of many sweets and treats including, several edible deserts that were actually baked in the scene, so that the cast members could actually eat them.

THE MOVING STAIR CASE 

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GRYFFINDOR BOY’S DORMITORY 

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These beds were used for the duration of all the movies, in which the boys had to curl up in the later ones to avoid their legs and feet from hanging out the bottom of them.

THE GRYFFINDOR COMMON ROOM 

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THE MAGIC OF THE GREEN SCREEN

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Filmmakers often shoot visual effects scenes on a green screen, which allows them to replace the green colours with a completely different background or computer-generated set. Most of the scenes in Harry Potter were done using a green screen, even the ones in other countries.

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THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS DOOR

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Many fans assume that the Chamber of Secrets door was a computer-generated effect. In fact, this intricate device was hand built by the Special Effects Department.

THE FORBIDDEN FOREST 

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Towering Trees – the trees of the Forbidden Forest were built to a massive scale, reaching diameters of 12 to 14 feet (4.3 metres).

Painted Forests – the hand painted backdrops were up to 600 feet wide and among some of the largest ever created.

Giant Spiders – to bring Aragog to life, the Creature Effects Department built a huge, physical animatronic that spanned 18 feet across. Aragog was filmed creeping out of the tree roots, which hid the wiring, mechanics and support crew.

THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS

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Most of the scenes that take place on Platform 9 3/4 were actually shot on location at King’s Cross Station in London, however, during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, part of the station platform was recreated on a soundstage here at Leavesden complete with the track and the train.

PLATFORM 9 3/4

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It’s got to be done! If you ever get to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour, you need to get a photograph, especially with the Hogwarts Express 9 3/4 sign and trolley.

THE BACKLOT 

During production, the backlot was home to the exterier sets of the Harry Potter films – including Privet Drive and the Hogwarts Bridge.

Tip: Make sure to book a time slot during the day or an evening in the summer, especially if you want some good photos outside in the backlot. As you can see mine were fairly dark and I still used flash. I have seen some photographs online from during the day and it looks incredible.

Knight Bus – The 22-foot tall Knight Bus was created from pieces of three vintage London double-deckers. Two versions of the Knight Bus were build: one that was motorised and able to be driven and a ‘stunt’ version that spun around on a turntable.

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Privet Drive – Number Four, Privet Drive was the quiet, suburban home of the Dursleys, the relatives who raised Harry Potter after his parents’ unexpected deaths. The ‘Seven Harrys’ scene was filmed on the Leavesden Backlot.

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Hogwarts Bridge – Though it was never in the original novel or script, the now iconic Hogwarts Bridge was created for Harry Potter and the Prisioner of Azkaban. Only one section of the bridge was ever built; the Visual Effects Department created the remaining sections using computer-generated effects.

GRINGOTTS BANK 

In its labyrinth of underground vaults, goblin-run Gringotts is the safest place in the wizarding world to store anything valuable.

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DIAGON ALLEY 

The Diagon Alley set constantly changed throughout the film series. The original design of the street combined the rich details from the Harry Potter books with inspiration from the streets described in the works of Charles Dickens.

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HOGWARTS CASTLE MODEL 

This is a jewel in the crown of the ART Department: the intricately detailed model of Hogwarts castle. Built for the first film, the model’s every courtyard, tower and turret were filmed and enhanced with digital effects to create unfortgettably realistic views of the magical school. A team of 86 artists and crewmembers built the first version of Hogwarts castle for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone.

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TIPS FOR VISITING WARNER BROS. STUDIO TOUR LONDON – THE MAKING OF HARRY POTTER

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 GETTING TICKETS 

You have to purchase tickets in advanced. You can do that online here. I booked these tickets on 19th December 2018 and the next available weekend was 30th March 2019, so be sure to keep looking online to get the right day and time that you’re happy with. The tickets are timed entry, but you can stay for as little or as long as you like, although they do close at 10pm. You can either print off your booking confirmation and collect the tickets when you arrive or you can pay £3.95 for them to be sent to your home address when you book.

HOW TO GET THERE…

The answer to this will depend on how you are travelling to the studio, whether if that is by public transport or by car. You can obviously drive to the loaction as they have parking which would definitely be the easy option as it is located in Leavesden (20 miles outside central London). If you are getting the train, like me, then don’t worry as it’s pretty straight forward – just allow time for delays. Wherever you are travelling from, you need to make sure that you get to Watford Junction which is the closest train station. Outside of Watford Juction station there will be a shuttle bus available for you to get on which takes you to the location (Note: You will need £2.50 per person in cash for a return ticket). The shuttle bus run every 20 minutes. The time slot I had was 5:30pm-6pm and I arrived at Watford Juction at 5:05pm and there was a bus just turing up, so it was very convenient.

HOW LONG WILL THE TOUR TAKE? 

This will depend on what you want to do. There are many opportunities for you to experiences some of the things such as, flying with the green screen, taking a photo on the Hogwarts Express (green screen), and many more. These were very busy, so allow time to wait. You will have to pay for these videos and photos as you aren’t allowed to use your own camera. I was roughly inside the tour for around 2 and half hours, but I did not wait to do some of the extra things. I would personally allow around 4/5 hours, especially if you want to look and read everything, as well as stopping for food and butterbeer of course!

Harry Potter Studio Tour: Website

Address: Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, WD25 7LR

I hope you enjoyed reading this post all about my experience at The Harry Potter Studio Tour. I have not included everything as that would not have been fair to those of you who haven’t been, so these were my best bits. There is so so much more to see and I recommend that you go too, even if you’re not crazy about Harry Potter. I found it mesmerising how they created everything and what they went through to create all the movies.

5 Reasons Why I Love To Travel and You Might Too.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving”

img_0070As I am sure you are aware, I absolutely love travelling, exploring, and adventuring. I have a very busy lifetsyle, but always make sure I have time to do what I love most. I am an aspiring full-time traveller, who is determined to see the whole world. I have been to 6 countries and YES I am planning on travelling to a few more this year, and many more the following year. I want to be a traveller, not a tourist.

Here are the reasons of why I love to travel:

1. Meeting new people

Don’t be afraid to travel because of the unknown of meeting new people in places that you have never been to before. I absolutely love going to new places, primarily to meet new people. It is a great way to make new friends and to discuss about the place you have visited, perhaps for advice or even for help if you need it.

2. Trying new food

I am going to be completely honest, as I knew a few of you are probably thinking this, but considering I am fussy with food, as well as being a vegetarian, I love to try new foods in other countries. Whenever I go travelling, I aim to live my life how exactly the people in that culture would live their life on a daily basis. Obviously, I will not eat meat or eat the foods which I know I can’t have, but I will try my best to to live in that culture. When I go on holiday, I want it to be a whole new experience from start to finish.

3. Spontaneous Adventures

There is nothing I like better than taking a complete spontanous adventure. I like to just go with the flow and to see where I would end up. For me, being spontanous is doing something or going somewhere that is completely out of my comfort zone, or just something that I have not done before. If you haven’t figured out already, I love to just do things that are completely new to me. I don’t want to live my life doing the same thing every day, not that there is anything wrong with that, but I just want to do something different every day.

4. Transport

I didn’t actually think that this would be a reason, but it is. Every holiday that I have been on so far, there have been new types of ‘main’ public transport. By that, I mean they have transport that isn’t a car or train, like there is in the U.K. When I went to Amsterdam, the main type of public transport were bicycles. I kid you not there were more bicyles than people, which is probably why it’s named bike town. When I went to Budapest, the main type of public transport were trams or the metro as they called it. Most of them were above ground, although some of them were underground. I really enjoy trying out new public transport as I find it exciting and an adventure in itself.

5. Share your experiences

There is nothing better than travelling with friends, or someone you love. It is an incredible moment going travelling, trying something new, and having a great time. You can create some amazing memories and have probably one of the best times of your life. I usually create most of the best memories on holiday because anywhere you visit, it is so different to the U.K. which makes it inevitable.

Why do you love to travel?

 

 

 

My Travel Bucket List (2019).

I’ve seen many travel bloggers and influencers create a travel bucket list or a travel wish list which gave me a lot of inspiration, especially to create one myself. I want to be able to travel the world and to see things that I never thought I would get the chance to see.

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My love for travelling really started a few years ago when I was fortunate enough to visit Egypt and the Philippines. It was such an incredible experience that I will never forget. Last year, I went on a few little holidays which were Belfast, Amsterdam and Budapest. I have written posts for each of those, so go give them a read!

Where I Am/Want To Travel This Year?

Germany: Berlin 

I have made plans to go to Germany for a couple of days with Kevin to celebrate my birthday in April. This will technically be my first proper travel holiday of the year (outside the UK). I think we are looking into going to Berlin, although this is going to be a last minute booking considering my birthday is next month.

Paris: Disney Land 

I am so happy to be going back to Paris (Disney Land) with Kevin and his parents at Easter for a few days. I went to Disney Land Paris 5 years ago with Kevin for a college Maths trip. We didn’t stay there for very long and I can’t really remember much of it because it was a long time ago, although it was a lovely experience. I am so grateful for getting another opportunity to go there again. I think we are spending two days in the park and then we will be exploring some parts of Paris.

Northern Ireland: Belfast 

I go to Belfast at least once a year, sometimes twice a year to see my family and spend time exploring the beautiful city. I usually go to Belfast for 3 nights which is just perfect because it gives me enough time to see something new, as well as spend time with my family who I don’t get to see very often. I am aiming to travel there around May/June time as the weather is reasonable and plus the flights are incredibly cheap, especially if you fly with RyanAir.

Spain: Barcelona

I have been wanting to visit Barcelona for a couple of years now. I know a couple of people who have already been there and they said that it is beautiful, plus there are lots of things to do and sightsee. If you know me, you will know that I love to go places, especially cities as I just LOVE sightseeing. I think it is educational and I love to learn about cultures and other places in the world. I really want to go to PortAventura – the massive water and theme park – it looks INSANE! I have never actually been to Spain before, so I think I should go there just purely because of that.

Italy: Milan, Venice or Rome 

As you can see, I am yet to decide where in Italy I want to visit, and to be completely honest, I would love to visit them all. I think once I have done a little bit of research, I will be able to make a firm decision. I will hopefully be travelling to Italy with Kevin in the summer for a couple of days. I just think that Italy is beautiful and I always see photographs popping up on my Instagram and it just looks like a dream.

Balearic Islands: Ibiza 

You’re probably looking at this thinking “this is different” and yes it is…I couldn’t agree more! So, this year my friends and I have decided that we want to go to a party/sun-bathing/chilling by the pool kind of holiday. As much as we loved Budapest last year, it was a group vote that this year it would be nice to go for a holiday that is completely the opposite of Budapest. None of us has ever gone to Ibiza, so it was a pretty quick vote and we are all looking forward to it very much. It was agreed for us to go there at the beginning of August, due to booking it off work and once university is over. I think it is going to be such a fun holiday. I love spending time away with my friends as they give such a great company and it’s nice to actually see each other, especially as we live a few hours from one another.

United States: New York City 

A dream of mine…

Being able to go to New York City is a massive dream for me. I have always wanted to go to the States, more specifically, NEW YORK CITY! There are so many incredible things that I want to visit such as, the friends building, Times Square, Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden, and Broadway. I would love to visit New York around Christmas time or New Years, as I just love all the bright lights and celebrations and I think it would be great to spend it there. I really hope this is the year to make my dream come true!

As you can tell from a majority of the places on my travel bucket list, I just love going to places for a few days or a maximum of 5 days. This is primarily because I get homesick pretty quickly and that is just enough time for me to do everything that I want to do in the places that I visit.

If you are following me on my Instagram, then you will already know that I am focusing my posts directly about travel and the beautiful world in which we live in.

If you have recommendations of things for me to do in any of these places, PLEASE comment them below as I need some inspiration and I love having lots to do when I go travelling.

What’s on your 2019 Travel Bucket List?

Amsterdam VS. Budapest: Which Is Better?

Hmm, this is going to be difficult.

I have not done a post like this before, purely because I find them challenging. For someone who loves to travel and loves to take adventures, this is very difficult.

Let’s start with Amsterdam…

If you remember from May 2018, I went to Amsterdam for my sister’s hen party for 4 days. Here is the full post if you would like to give it a read.

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Amsterdam Tulip Museum

Amsterdam is definitely up there with one of my favourite places to visit in Europe, especially because when I was growing up there was such a big emphasis on it. I really enjoyed how much it felt like home. For me, I usually get home-sick pretty quickly, but considering I was there for a few days, it really did feel like home.

Amsterdam is, of course, a very beautiful place to visit. There are many many canals and lots of sights for its tourists. This is the one reason why I always wanted to go to Amsterdam. I had seen amazing photographs on social media, mainly Instagram, of travel bloggers posting these incredible shots of enormous buildings, pretty flowers and scenery; along with the canals in the background – and that’s what I have always wanted to see.

My favourite part about Amsterdam is definitely the friendliness of the people that live there, as well as the tourists. If I ever had any questions, problems or anything at all, everyone that I asked was happy to help and this meant a lot to me. I felt very safe being in Amsterdam, and it was an incredible experience that I will always remember.

And now it’s time for Budapest…

If you remember from August 2018, I went to Budapest with my friends for 4 days. Here is the full post if you would like to give it a read.

 

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Budapest Castle with my friends 

Budapest was absolutely incredible! It has been one of my favourite holidays so far. I kid you not, I will never forget the experience I had, especially spending it with some of my best friends.

I went to Budapest in early August, so as you can imagine it was sooooooo hot – I mean I loved it! Budapest in the day time is very pedestrian-friendly and is filled with lots of tourists, just like us. There are so many beautiful sights wherever you looked even whilst travelling on the trams.

Budapest’s nightlife is something quite interesting – it is absolutely breathtaking, especially when the city is all lit up and then you know it has begun. In my opinion, Budapest nightlife is better than Amsterdam or at least based on the experience’s I had. They are both very beautiful destinations and well-known places which are quite similar, yet completely different at the same time.

Personally, I think that for these two types of places, it definitely depends on who you go there with for you to be able to decide which one you prefer. I overall just had a better time in Budapest and I have always said that I will go back there in a couple years. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say that I would never go back to Amsterdam because of course, I would – I LOVE TO TRAVEL. But, what I mean is that I wouldn’t go out of choice. I would only go if I was invited or wanted to go with friends and/or family. I have so many other places on my bucket list that I would choose first.

I hope this post helps you in making your decisions, but definitely find out what activities you would like to do as this will determine which destination is best for you.

I have got lots of adventures planned for 2019, starting with Germany, Paris, Italy, Barcelona and Ibiza so I will be posting about those.

 

Where are you travelling for your next holiday?