Belinda @Wunderfullylost’s top 5 travel hotspots of 2018.
With so many must-see attractions around the world, it can be hard to break it down to just 5.
Insta-jetsetter Belinda aka @thewanderfullylost tells us her 5 favourite travel hotspots and how she gets there with the help of the HSBC Everyday Global Account.
Firstly, let me just say that when travelling around the world it can get very confusing and difficult with different currencies; carrying cash, doing conversions and the like. Many people opt to get a travel card that they can pre-load money onto and I get questions all the time about how I handle my money when travelling so much and if this is how I go about it. The truth is: I don’t carry around wads of cash and I don’t use ‘pre-paid’ travel cards. I actually have a HSBC Everyday Global Visa Debit Card that is an everyday bank account when I’m home with no monthly account fee, but also functions as a travel card when I am overseas. I can choose to pre-load up to 10 different currencies to access directly or I can convert straight from my Aussie dollars into any currency. Not only does this mean that I can withdraw money or pay for purchases in person or online in any currency, but I can also use any HSBC ATM worldwide (and they are literally everywhere!) and get charged no transaction fees.
If you’re planning a trip soon or are just after some inspo, the following are my top 5 highlights that can all be enjoyed with your HSBC Everyday Global Account.
1. Visiting Ancient Ruins, Athens
Believe it or not, I was an Ancient History Major at University with a particular interest in Greece so seeing all the ruins of the grand places I’ve read about in books was an absolute dream come true. Greece is full of so much history and you see it everywhere that you go, even on the remotest of islands. I’ve been lucky enough to visit many ruins, but I would have to say that the Acropolis complex in Athens is my favourite, in particular the Parthenon, Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike at the top of the rocky outcrop in the centre of the city. Many people get confused and think that the Parthenon is “the Acropolis” when in actual fact the Acropolis is the whole area of the ancient citadel and the famous building at the top is called the Parthenon. The Temple of Zeus is also another great option in Athens should you not want to wake up at the crack of dawn to beat the insane crowds clambering up the hill to the Parthenon. It’s only about 5 minutes away by taxi and relatively quiet in comparison. Cost of entry to the Acropolis complex €20 and the Temple of Zeus €6.
Pictured above: Parthenon
Pictured above: Erechtheion
Pictured above: Temple of Athena Nike
Pictured above: Temple of Zeus
2. La Tour Eiffel, Paris
You cannot visit the city of love and not take a trip up to the top of the Eiffel Tower, right!? It’s a pretty spectacular view from up there, however the tower itself viewed from the ground is also something magical to see when roaming the charming Parisian streets. It is especially stunning at twilight – it’s a popular activity to picnic in front of it on the grass as the sun goes down, so make sure to arrive early if you plan on doing this. We went to a local supermarket and bought ourselves a selection of wine, cheese, fruit and bread to snack on whilst waiting for the sparkling light show to begin, and we were not disappointed by the beautiful twinkling lights nor the famous Parisian food and wine! Eiffel tower to the top via lift €25, picnic snacks & wine €30. Tip: Make sure you book your Eiffel Tower ticket well in advance. You can easily buy them online before you fly with your HSBC Everyday Global Account and pay in the local currency with no transaction fees!
2. La Sagrada Família, Barcelona
If I could pick only one church to visit in the whole world, and I’ve been to the Vatican, it would definitely be the La Sagrada Família Basilica in Barcelona. The architecture is unlike anything else you will ever see, in its true unique Gaudí style, and is mesmerizing to those from all walks of life. We just got the Basic entry ticket for €15, but regretted not getting the ticket to go up the top for €29. Be aware, that like the Eiffel Tower these book out in advance so don’t leave it until you’re there or else you may miss out.
4. Living the luxe life, Santorini
Although all of the Greek islands are beautiful, many of them can feel the same after a while. Santorini has to be one of the most popular islands and it is not hard to see why with the classic white-washed cycladic style buildings that cascade down the edge of the steep cliffs framing the caldera. This is a view that you will not find on any of the other islands! Not to mention, Santorini also boasts some of the most luxurious accommodation you will ever see, which makes it perfect for honeymooning or just for treating yourself! We stayed in one of Azzurro suites’ rooms with a gorgeous infinity jetted tub and caldera view and it was worth every penny for those once-in-a-lifetime views. But don’t fret – even if you don’t have the budget to splurge as much on your accommodation Santorini is well worth a visit, even if just for the day when island hopping on the ferries, as the views from pretty much anywhere on the island are nothing short of breathtaking. Azzurro Suites infinity jetted tub and caldera view €450/night.
5. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
A massive nature park at the center of bustling Singapore, Gardens by the Bay encompasses over 250 acres near the main Marina and is not an unexpected sight given the city’s reputation as the greenest in the world. The two conservatory domes on the east side of the bay are an example of energy efficient/sustainable building technologies and consist of the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome, neither of which are to be missed. The Cloud forest houses the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at 35m, and the Flower Dome is the world’s largest greenhouse at 3 acres. There’s also the Supertree Grove and the Marina Bay Sands which have a light show every night, which you can watch for free. Entry to both conservatories $28 SGD.
Please note that even though this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.
If you’re a keen traveller like Belinda and are sick of moving money from your bank account to different travel cards, apply now for the award winning HSBC Everyday Global Account and enjoy a safe and easy way to pay overseas with no hidden fees.