Inside the Travel Lab

Abi started her career as a doctor, before turning her hand to writing. Her blog, Inside the Travel Lab is the UK's top independent luxury travel blog, and we love it! Her travel guides are essential pre-trip reading.

Inside the Travel Lab

Blog posts

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23rd April 2021 by Inside the Travel Lab

Fascinating cultural facts about Japan for curious travellers

Allow these cultural facts about Japan to introduce you to her many traditions and customs. After all, these interesting facts about japan will help you feel more comfortable about your trip. Let our guest writer get you up to speed with some great fun facts about Japan. Enjoy! While someone may take pity on you and hand you a fork, in many places in Japan, it's chopsticks or nothing. Japanese people use chopsticks for dishes like noodles and sushi and it's a skill that every Japanese child has...

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14th April 2021 by Inside the Travel Lab

Amazing things to do in Umbria, Tuscany’s overlooked little sister

What a difference a C makes...Cumbria is a wild, wet and wellie-wearing region in the north of England, whose damp hedgerows and fields of daffodils fired the literary imagination of Wordsworth several times over. Umbria, on the other hand, is a fragrant, olive-soaked region in central Italy, whose soft pink stone apparently fired the literary imagination of C.S.Lewis and introduced the rest of the world to Narnia (via the real world town of Narni.)...

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13th April 2021 by Inside the Travel Lab

The best southern Spain road trip itinerary through fiery Andalucia

Al Andalus. I think about those words right now amid another sea of change. Al Andalus refers to the part of southern Spain previously ruled by the Moors, a rough approximation of modern day Andalucia. Coins from 716 bear the name in both Latin and Arabic and the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Granada reveals its history through its name: Alhambra. The red one....

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13th April 2021 by Inside the Travel Lab

Holy Week in Seville

Holy Week in Seville (Semana Santa) marks one of the most important events in the year in this part of Andalusia. What began as a religious festival has grown to encompass the whole city, with even the schools and metro systems adjusting accordingly. Witnessing what happens during Holy Week in Seville will remain with you long after locals swap the incense and swishing robes for polka dot dresses and dancing in the following festival Feria de Abril....

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26th March 2021 by Inside the Travel Lab

The best Wales road trip itinerary

The best Wales road trip itinerary starts in the south by sweeping through the capital city of Cardiff and the Brecon Beacons. It travels along past Swansea and the Gower and then north through Pembrokeshire to university town Aberystwyth and into the north proper. The northern part of the loop takes in Anglesey, Snowdonia and Llandudno, before sweeping east via the UNESCO World Heritage Site Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. After that, it's back into England's rolling pastures or international airports...

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24th March 2021 by Inside the Travel Lab

How to spend a perfect week in Spain

When it comes to spending a week in Spain, you'll find many ways to slice and dice an itinerary. Spain's a fascinating country with different languages, landscapes and loves. Here's our inside itinerary for one week in Spain for first-timers. Plus, some suggestions for secret spots and the next places to visit. First of all, you need to make your peace with the fact that you cannot hope to see it all. Spain is a big place, with culture and atmosphere crammed into every last rocky cove, grand...

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17th March 2021 by Inside the Travel Lab

How to spend 3 days in Hanoi: Your perfect Hanoi itinerary

Around a 3-hour drive from the city of San Diego, it’s technically possible to visit Joshua Tree for a day but I’d definitely recommend longer. The whole area is incredible to explore, especially with the iconic trails, rock formations and, of course, all those yuccas! Most visitors stay in either the French Quarter or the Old Quarter and it’s perfectly reasonable to walk around and between the two if you’re in good health. Streets in the Old Quarter are particularly narrow and it makes...

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25th February 2021 by Inside the Travel Lab

How to get off the beaten path in Japan

Ah, the highlights of Japan. The glistening snowy silhouette of Mount Fuji framed by cherry blossom. The bright lights and big city vibe of Tokyo. The quiet cobbled geisha lanes and temples in Kyoto. There are so many amazing things to do in Japan and must-see places for your itinerary. But if you're a thoughtful and curious traveller (which you probably are if you hang around here) then perhaps you'd like to go further than the standard tourist spots in Japan. To travel deeper. ...

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11th February 2021 by Inside the Travel Lab

The best areas to stay in Lisbon

Terracotta tiles cascading down steep hillsides, pastel-washed buildings, grand neo-classical architecture, cafes, restaurants and bars spilling customers out onto sun-kissed sidewalks. Lisbon, one of Europe’s most famous old capitals, is renowned equally for its beauty, its culture and its laid-back ambience....

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9th February 2021 by Inside the Travel Lab

How to find the Salamanca Frog, Spain’s mysterious promise

For centuries, the university town of Salamanca has entertained students, children and visitors with a game of "spot the frog." As the oldest university in Spain and third oldest in the world, Salamanca knows how to spin a good tale. Ours starts at the entrance to the Universidad Civil, an immense sandstone carving that rises towards the sky. There, amid the carved stonework above the Puerta de Salamanca facade, lives the all important Salamanca frog....

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3rd February 2021 by Inside the Travel Lab

The best day trips from Tokyo

With enough energy and an early start, you can climb Mt Fuji in a day. This exhilarating but tough hike remains one of my favourite memories of Japan. Not only is Mt Fuji the highest volcano in Japan but she's an iconic landmark in her own right. On a clear day, from a skyscraper, you can see her outline from Tokyo....

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31st January 2021 by Inside the Travel Lab

What to do in Triana Seville: More than famous ceramics

When I used to live in Seville, Triana was my favourite neighbourhood. Perhaps because it used to be "the wrong side of the tracks." Perhaps because of the spirit of exploration, the former home to the sailors who set off to find the so-called New World. Triana scorches like a spotlight when it comes to local tradition. You'll find cafes and bars, religious processions, ceramic workshops and, well the Inquisition....