Michael 84

Travel Blog - Holiday Advice & Inspiration

Welcome to my travel blog! :) Read all about my adventures from the UK to the world! With stories, reviews, inspiration and more from a travel blogger. Check out the palces I've been to below.

Short Break To Madrid – Day 1 – The Sights

Tuesday, 7th June, 2016

Michael 84 in Madrid - Amazing Views

I am back from Madrid! I have wanted to go to Madrid for a long time, but have always been put off because you can’t fly direct from Newcastle. I decided to finally bite the bullet and go, and flew from Edinburgh, and of course had to make sure that I could make the flight and all my travel matched up.

I left at around 6AM for my long journey, got the train up to Edinburgh and then my flight to Madrid, everything went smoothly which is always good. I got into Madrid Airport at around 4PM, and made my way to my hotel which I got to at about 5PM. I don’t want to write too much about my hotel because I’m going to write a post about it, but it was amazing! One of the best hotels I have stayed in, right on Gran Via, in a large room with King size bed, and views of Plaza De España! If you follow me on Twitter/Instagram you’ll have already seen it 😉

By the time I got unpacked and settled in I went out sightseeing around the centre of Madrid. It was after 6PM but since it’s the summer Madrid doesn’t actually get dark till nearly 10PM, so plenty of time to see a lot of things.

If you don’t know or have never been to Madrid, Gran Via is basically the main shopping street in the centre of Madrid, think of Oxford Street in London. There’s lots of high street shops, but also a huge number of restaurants, eateries, bars, theatre and everything you need. To the South of that is Puerto Del Sol, which is a big square, which is connected to Gran Via by lots of streets with yet more shopping experiences.

I went into Primark, check out the photo below and you’ll see why! This is the 2nd biggest in the World, but it definitely looks the most impressive by far!

So to get acclimatised with my surroundings, I went all the way up Gran Via when it turns into Calle de Alcalá and to Cibeles, which is the big palace and has a fountain on the roundabout. From there I walked down to the Prado Museum which had a massive queue, but it’s not my cup of tea anyway so I wasn’t planning on going in. On the way back I went around Plaza Puerto Del Sol and checked out the square and surroundings, then headed back to near my hotel to Plaza De España and chilled there for a little bit.

Check out all the pics below…

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What To Pack For A Weekend Away – For Guys

Friday, 20th May, 2016

Tips And Advice On What To Pack For A Holiday For Guys

I’ve now had myself a fair few weekends away, from staycations in London to long weekends in Barcelona, Reykjavik and super fast weekend getaways to places like Copenhagen. Packing for these short journeys can sometimes be a bit of a head scratching issue…What do you take, and in terms of clothing, what do you pack? It comes down to a couple of things, where and when you’re going, your general lifestyle and your budget.

Hand Luggage Only

If you’re only going away for a weekend or even three days, you may be able to get away with hand luggage only. The key here is to use the biggest possible case which is counted towards hand luggage, and packing smartly, effectively and as light as possible, only taking the bare essentials. Different airlines allow different size hand luggage, so it’s always best to check with your airline provider, but the general sizing is: 56x45x25cm Skyscanner actually have a really good guide for the airlines which you can see here, but if in doubt, check on the official airline website or contact them direct.

Using only hand luggage may mean losing out on taking some luxury items such as electronics. I am a gadget geek,  (not to mention a blogger!) so I can’t be without mine, I always take my big DSLR camera and maybe an extra lens, iPad, compact camera and a few other bits and bobs, so I have never gone for only hand luggage, but if you’re only taking clothing, it’s definitely possible.

Take A Small Suitcase

I would recommend taking a small suitcase. The biggest downfall of this is the cost. Airlines charge for everything these days, that usually includes the cost of a bag stored in the hold. The good news is that you usually get more allowance than you’d actually need, so you’ll have plenty room, and if you really want to save money, share a case with a mate. Taking a one with wheels is a given these days for obvious reasons, you’ll have to carry it around with you.

Know The Climate – Check The Weather

The weather forecast is never right, but it could give you at least a bit of a hint. If it says it’s going to be sunny for a week, it’s unlikely to rain, and vice versa. You should also know the climate of where you’re going, and pack accordingly. Going to Scandinavia in December and going to the South of France in August is going to be completely different and you’ll obviously be packing different things.

Consider What You’ll Be Doing & Activities

If you’re going hiking, or even just a lot of walking, you’ll want a good pair of footwear such as trainers for walking around. What if you’re going out somewhere posh or nicer on an evening such as a restaurant? You’ll want some smarter footwear. If there’s a beach which you plan on going to, then you’ll need to get some flip flops and swim shorts, and don’t forget a towel.

The Bare Essentials

What should you be taking with you no matter where you go? Here are the bare essentials you should be taking with you.

Underwear & Socks – Very easily forgotten, but should never be. Underwear and socks are quite obviously the most bare essential you could think of, and something you should be putting in your bag. My advice would be taking a pair for days and a pair for nights, as well as one spare. This is especially true if you’re going somewhere where you’ll be hot and sweaty. That means 7 pairs of socks and 7 pairs of underwear for a 3 day weekend. Remember even if you’re going sockless for summer you should be wearing invisible or trainer socks.

Grooming & Hygiene – You’ll need deodorant, toothpaste & toothbrush, razor and shaving products, your favourite aftershave and shower gel. You can get travel size products to save yourself some space, and if you’re staying in a nice hotel there’s usually products provided for you.

Documents, Money, ID, Passport – Don’t forget these essentials! You’ll not get very far without your passport, money or travel documents. Also remember to take out adequate travel insurance, and have your EU health card if you’re travelling within the EU.

Travel Packing Ideas – The City Break In The Summer

Going away for a city break in the summer is such a great experience. You can stroll around a city in the day time, taking in all the sights and everything which the city has to offer. By night you can check out the nightlife, maybe go to a restaurant, bar, or go clubbing. If you go somewhere coastal there’s always the possibility of heading to a beach too. Here’s my recommendations for what you should be taking for a summer break in the city.

An Extra Pair Of Jeans Or Chinos – You’ll probably be travelling in a pair of jeans or chinos, so you can take an extra pair if you need to. You can mix this up, so if you’re travelling in jeans, take a pair of chinos in a different colour, or you can do things the other way round.

Chino Shorts – Chino shorts are smart, and will not look out of place strolling around the city, as well as keeping you relatively cool you’ll get your legs tanned too.

Smart T Shirts – Smart plain T-shirts are great because they work through the day strolling around in a casual setting, and will be smart enough to wear out during the night, depending on where you’re heading to of course. You can smarten the look up a bit more by wearing a polo top instead, or if it’s a cooler night, pack a smart jacket and wear it with the tee. I would advise taking 3 or 4 T-shirts of various colours, possibly packing a nautical tee which look really good in the summer.

Shirts – Unless you’re going to be doing something for business or super formal, I think packing shirts should be done sparingly. If you’re having a big Saturday night out then you might want to pack one smart shirt, you can also add in a casual shirt to give yourself an option for a casual day or evening.

A Jacket – To Take Or Not To Take – It’s always the conundrum, do you bother packing a jacket when you’re heading for a warmer climate for only a couple of days? I think it will depend on what you plan on doing and exactly where you’re going. If you are going to be doing more formal things or attending dressy occasions, then taking a blazer or smart jacket could be required. If you’re not, then you might decide to leave it at home.

The Footwear – Shoes – I would imagine you’ll be travelling in a pair of trainers, they are far more comfortable to wear for travel, which is what you’ll want. If you’re heading out on an evening, then a pair of shoes may be preferable, so take a pair.

Sunglasses – How can you forget a pair of sunglasses? You can’t and shouldn’t. My personal preference is always Ray Ban, and it’s usually a case of deciding whether you prefer wayfarers or aviators. They’re both classic and timeless and will look the part for this getaway and many more in the future.

The Beach Holiday

If you’re heading for a few days in the sun to relax and chill in the daytime, and party the night away, there’s a couple of things you’ll need to remember to take. These types of holidays to places like Ibiza are usually a much more casual affair, and it’s about chilling out and relaxing during the day, and going to bars or clubs on a night.

Swim Shorts – They can double up as shorts through the day, but they’re made for chilling by the pool and going in when you need a dip, or going to the beach and in the sea. A few pair of swim shorts should be taken, they’re small and light, so it’s not going to eat into your suitcase space.

Graphic Tees – There’s no need to be super smart when relaxing by the pool, you’ll probably not be wearing your tee for very long anyway if you’re sunbathing or you’re in the pool or sea. Still, you’ll want to keep it reasonably tidy, but there’s no need for formalities.

Smarter Tees & Shirt For Going Out – If you’re off out to bars or clubbing  on an evening dress how you would do back in the UK in Summer. It could be a going out shirt or smart tee, you’ll want to make sure you look good, but not over doing it. Smart-casual for summer is the best way for describing it, and remember the higher end clubs abroad may have a dress code just like the UK ones do.

The Winter Getaway

If you fancy a skiing holiday or just a getaway in the Winter and prefer the cold cool countries to a hot humid city, you’ll definitely want to take a suitcase, because there’s a lot more to take.

Winter Coat – You’ll need to take a winter coat, and I would suggest wearing this for travelling to save space in your luggage.

Hat, Scarf And Gloves – Depending on how cold it is and how warm you want to keep, you might want to make sure you’ve got a few winter essentials which you probably would have in the UK.

Sweatshirt & Knits – You’ll want to replace most of the T-shirts from the Summer ideas with sweatshirts or knits. The key with Winter clothing is layering, so you’ll not want to abandon T-shirts altogether, but they’ll be used more as an undershirt rather than be on show, depending on the temperature and weather of course.

Verdict

Going away for the weekend, especially abroad is brilliant, so I hope these tips for what to pack on your epic weekend away takes the stress out of packing, remember to have fun, make memories and pack smart, because you don’t want to be looking back at your holiday snaps thinking, “what the hell was I wearing!”. 😉 For more tips and advice, check out the men’s travel blog right here on Michael 84.


Hard Rock Café Copenhagen

Monday, 25th January, 2016

hard-rock-cafe-copenhagen-3

Having some Hard Rock merchandise has been a bit of a tradition of mine, it all started several years back when I got one of the tees as a present from the Edinburgh one, and since then I have been to a couple of Hard Rock Cafes in different cities, and I have always bought a T-shirt. When I was in Copenhagen I had to go and check out their Hard Rock, and it’s a really cool place. I got myself a tee as normal, but since it’s Winter and a cold country, I had to grab myself a hoodie too.

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The Square Copenhagen Hotel Review

Sunday, 10th January, 2016

the-square-hotel-copenhagen-review

As you know I visited the beautiful city of Copenhagen just before Christmas for a short break, and loved the city. I stayed in The Square hotel, which is a 4 star hotel located very central, in Rådhuspladsen. I was looking around for a couple of week’s to find a hotel, and I found this one pretty fast. I did search for other hotels, but after contemplating a few things which I will go into below, I settled for The Square, and I am fairly happy I did 🙂

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Copenhagen – Advice And Tips For Travellers

Sunday, 20th December, 2015

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Copenhagen was amazing, it really is such a great city with so much to offer, even more than I imagined before I went. If you’re looking to see what I got up to you can check out my Copenhagen page here, as well as checking out my posts on Copenhagen Day 1, Copenhagen Night, Nyhavn Day & Night, and Tivoli. Here’s what I found out about Denmark’s capital, my tips and advice and what I’ve learned from when I got there.

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Copenhagen – A Tivoli Christmas

Thursday, 17th December, 2015

copenhagen-tivoli-16

I went to Tivoli when I was in Copenhagen….Actually I went twice! :mrgreen: On my first night I went, and after an hour or so it started to rain, my camera battery actually died because I was taking photos all day, I do have a spare but did not take it out with me since I’ve never ran a battery out in only one day! 😛 Anyway I went back the next night because it’s such a great place.

At Christmas it truly is a Winter Wonderland, and it’s definitely a good way to spend an evening or two (or more!). There’s so much to do; If you just want to walk around and take it all in you can, there’s plenty to see and lots of places to eat and drink.

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Copenhagen – Nyhavn Day And Night

Wednesday, 16th December, 2015

I spent a bit of time in Nyhavn, it’s a really nice part of Copenhagen. If you’ve ever seen Copenhagen in pictures, on TV or online, then you’ll have probably seen the buildings with the colourful fronts which look so cool! It’s a harbour with plenty of restaurants and bars, and is a must see place. At one end of the canal there’s a bridge where people have put love locks on, not as many as other bridges but it looks nice 😛

Here’s some of my pics 🙂

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Copenhagen City – By Night

Wednesday, 16th December, 2015

copenhagen-night-7

Copenhagen is a cool city in the day time, but at night it always looked beautiful. Since it’s Christmas there’s plenty of Christmas trees around, all lit up, which look nice and festive. One of the Christmas markets had a big wheel which really stood out on the evening and was all lit up. The building near my hotel has the entire outside lit up too, in really cool LED lights which change colour and also create patterns like heart shapes. It looks amazing in real life, I think the pictures do it justice 🙂

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