Travel highlights from 2014 on The Travel Hack


I usually feel sadly nostalgic at the end of the year. It’s another year gone and, even if it’s been an incredible year, there’s something sad about time passing and the years ticking by.

This year I’m trying to be more positive and optimistic, which isn’t hard because I’m so flipping excited about 2015. A new baby, a new house and an empty calendar waiting to be filled with travel adventures!

I like writing a yearly summary post because it reminds me how many awesome things you can squeeze into just one year. It’s so easy to forget what happened in January so I enjoyed searching through my old blog posts to find the highlights.

If you’d like to read more about any of these trips, click on the red text and it will take you to the blog post.


A body MOT and healthy weekend in Cheltenam

I started the year on a healthy foot by attending a bootcamp weekend in Cheltenam Spa. I loved the fact this weekend was about learning to look after yourself in the long term as well as about healthy fixes in the short term.

If you’re into fitness, I’d definitely recommend a yearly bootcamp to keep you on track with your fitness goals. I’m kind of gutted I can’t do one this year due to being 7 months pregnant!

Getting healthy for 2014 with a Body MOT Weekend


I visited Oslo for a weekend to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday. I loved the city and we enjoyed a snowy weekend exploring the food and bar scene.

A new puppy

Janaury was also a very special month because we got a puppy! This is Little Louie the French Bulldog who is now much bigger and snoring like a pig by my side.

Lazy Louie The Frenchie


A wintery trip to Copenhagen

I cannot even explain how much I LOVED Copenhagen. I expected to like it but I seriously loved it. It’s so chic and stylish and pretty. It was still freezing when I visited in February but that didn’t ruin the trip at all, if anything it made it better because I could snap photos like this…

Ice Copenhagen

Lake Vyrnwy

I took a short trip to Lake Vyrnwy in North Wales for a weekend of relaxation, long walks and lots of food. This was actually the view I woke up to from my bed. No, really, it was!

View from Lake Vyrnwy Hotel

Port Merion

I was spoiled rotten on Valentine’s weekend as Sam whisked me off to Port Merion in Wales for a surprise trip. I barely knew anything about this unique little village before visiting and it’s such a surprising and strange little place.

Portmerion village


Snowboarding in Catalonia

You didn’t know you could ski and snowboard in Spain? No, neither did I. It turns out Spain is a great place for skiing, especially if you’re a newbie or a scardy cat like me.

The Travel Hack snowboarding


This is where things got really good

4 days in Miami

Luxury hotel + great weather + gorgeous destination + loads to see and do = An amazing holiday.

Wynwood Art District Miami

Trek America – my favourite trip of the year

Miami was followed by a two-week road tripping adventure with Trek America. We began in LA then went to San Diego, Lake Havasu, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Yosemite, San Franscico, Big Sur, Santa Barbara and then back to LA. Needless to say, it was epic.

Trek America group hiking


Phew, this was a busy month…

Barbados and St Kitts

What’s better than a trip to a Caribbean island? A trip to TWO Caribbean islands! I travelled to Barbados and St Kitts with a project for TimeOut magazine and British Airways.

blue seas in barbados

A weekend in Wales

I stayed at the luxurious Penmaenuchaf Hall Hotel (no, I can’t pronounce it either) for a weekend filled with fine dining and afternoon teas.Penmaenuchaf Hall Hotel


We popped to Bruges for a fun, beer-fueled weekend in this beautiful city. It quickly became one of my favourite city break destinations.

Sunset in Bruges - main



At the end of May I had my second favourite trip of the year…a week in Dominica. This little known Caribbean island is the ultimate destination for adventure lovers. It’s an island filled with mountains where you can go hiking up to hot pools or snorkeling in champagne pools. It’s amazing and I had an incredible time.

Rosalie Beach Dominica




After a very busy month I loved my relaxing wellbeing trip to Cyprus. It was a week of yoga and massages, long lazy meals and plenty of sunshine.

Cyprus Sunset


I had prepared myself for a quiet summer but I had a last minute call asking if I’d like to go to Slovenia for a week. Well of course I would!

I was blown away by this beautiful country and loved spending time exploring the capital city of Ljubljana.

Ljubljana 5


July + August

July and August were quiet months as far as travelling goes. I’d planned to spend the summer at home after such a busy first half of the year. It turned out to be a very good idea because I was actually in the early stages of pregnancy. I wasn’t sick during the early stages but I was amazingly tired so I enjoyed this relaxing time at home.



Cruising with Celebrity

Things got busy again in September when I took I took a weeklong European cruise. I travelled around Venice, Dubrovnik, Mykonos and Istanbull with Celebrity Cruises. This was a real foodie week and I loved every minute of it.

Venice 4

A week in Egypt

This was a week of sun, sand and relaxation. A-mazing.

Mahmaya Island Egypt


10 days in Europe

In September I had an epic 10-day trip with Citadines which took me to Paris, Lille and Berlin. It was a fantastic trip with Paris being the highlight.

Paris | The Travel Hack

My tree house adventure

The highlight of my October was staying in a tree house in Wales. Every childhood fantasy suddenly came true and it was a magical, back-to-basics weekend.

Tree House in Wales



November was my best month yet as a freelancer. Have I finally cracked it? I hope so! There was no travel this month, it was just all work, work, work.




This month I travelled to Gothenburg in Sweden for a fabulously festive weekend visiting the Christmas markets. It’s such a pretty city so get it on your wish list for next year!

Liseberg in Gothenburg at Christmas


Wow, what a busy year!

Do you have a travel highlight from your year?

  1. Angie Silver 7 years ago

    It was lovely to meet you this year and I hope next year brings you every happiness!
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      It was great to meet you too Angie and I hope you have a great Christmas and I get to see you again in the new year!

  2. Kat 7 years ago

    Wow, you’ve had such an incredible year! Loved reading through your highlights. That tree house experience would have been so cool! Looking forward to what’s coming your way next year x

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      Thanks Kat, I hope it’s just as good as this year 🙂
      And the tree house was amazing – I’d definitely recommend it.

  3. What a wonderful year! All the best for the next one, and for the baby!!! 🙂

  4. Polly 7 years ago

    Sounds like you’ve had a packed year, Monica! Slovenia and Denmark are both high on my wish list and it was great to read your take on them. Hope you have a fun 2015!

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      Thanks Polly, you too! And I hope my Slovenia and Denmark posts helped!

  5. Sounds like you had a great year! Congrats on November being your best month as a freelancer yet 🙂

  6. Jessica 7 years ago

    Sounds like a wonderful year! I loved reading this since I started reading your blog halfway through the year, so it was a great recap of what I’d missed! Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures in 2015, especially with the new addition to your family 🙂

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      Thanks Jessica, I’m so pleased you’ve been enjoying the blog 🙂

  7. Laura 7 years ago

    Wow! Fantastic trips. Portmerion has been on my wishlist for quite a long time but I have never made it, it looks like such a chocolate-box pretty place!

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      It really is. It’s a strange place because it’s so unexpected but it’s definitely worth a visit.

  8. V 7 years ago

    Wow! That’s a lot of traveling in one year! What a cute dog. :o)

    My favorite memories from this year were during our 9 day trip in the American Southwest. We visited Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Vegas and Page, Arizona. It was amazing (loads of photos here).

    From photographing one of the darkest skies in the world, to sitting at the edge of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was breathtaking.


    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      Wow, it sounds like you’ve had an incredible year. I’ve just been checking out your photos and they’re beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing.
      *Scurries off to look at more…

  9. Natalie Roberts 7 years ago

    What a great year. I really need to travel more.
    My travel highlight for 2014 was visiting Poland. We went to Auchwitz and Birkenau and they are life changing. Although they still haunt me now. We also went to the salt mine which was incredible. I highly recommend Poland.

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      I’ve never been to Poland and I’d love to go. I’ve heard the winter is a really pretty time too. My boyfriend has been wanting to go to Auchwitz for years so I’m sure we’ll go soon.

  10. Charles McCool 7 years ago

    That tree house is gorgeous, well, along with all your other 2014 adventures. Best regards!

  11. Becki Enright 7 years ago

    What a super fabulous and adventurous year – always good to be busy and on the move! Can’t wait to see where you take the little one in 2015.

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      We already have a few little trips planned for The Baby Travel Hack! He’s going to be a very well travelled little baba.

  12. Phew! What a busy and exciting year you’ve had. Can’t wait to see what you get up to in 2015 with the new baby in tow.

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      It has been exciting. I have a feeling 2015 will be very different but equally exciting 🙂

  13. Holy smokes, you’ve seen a lot this year!! Incredible. The treehouse looks especially fun, such a different experience! Hope your 2015 is just as exciting, with baby on the way I have no doubt it will be! Also, I want your dog.

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      The tree house was one of my favourite things I did all year and it was less than an hour from my house. Just shows you don’t need to travel across the world for an amazing holiday.
      And Louie is a little cutie 🙂

  14. Wow, and I thought I had a busy travel year! Yours was amazing! and to be able to do (some of that) whilst pregnant too! I am curious though, were most of your trips personal or due to / covered by work?

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      It’s a massive mixture. Because I blog full time there’s always a blurry line between what’s work and what’s personal. Even if it’s a personal trip I still blog about it and often end up writing about it for a freelance client (sometimes even 6 months later) so it’s all a mixture. You probably know this already but, as a travel blogger, there’s no such thing as a holiday!

  15. Diana 7 years ago

    You had an epic travel year!!! OMG that treehouse in Wales…

  16. Kiara Gallop 7 years ago

    Wow, how much travel did you manage to fit into a year?!? and such a diverse range of places and experiences. I’m probably one of the few people who did realise you can ski in Spain – my boyfriend and I have skied and snowboarded the Sierra Nevadas (near Granada) for some years now. It’s great because outside the weekends (the Spanish flock in from Friday through to Monday) the resort is so wonderfully quiet 🙂

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      That sounds perfect. I love skiing but I’m not very good so I loved how quiet it was.

  17. Stephen Schreck 7 years ago

    Great year of travel! Looks like you had a blast….looking forward to next years travels.

  18. Clare 7 years ago

    A fabulous year! And it was lovely to see you way back when at Traverse in Newcastle. I’d love to catch up with you again in 2015 – a baby bloggers meet up maybe! I’m looking forward to getting out and about with my little one! Have a lovely Christmas x

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      It was great to meet you too! And a baby bloggers meet-up would be amazing. A whole day talking about babies and travel! I hope you have a fabulous Christmas and you enjoy the first one with your little one 🙂 xxx

  19. Angelica Wilk 7 years ago

    So great to hear how much you squeezed in! 365 days is a lot of time to get stuff done and travel a bunch. Excited to see your next years’ travels! And posts about the baby of course…

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      Thanks Angelica. When you think of it like that, 365 days is a lot! So many possibilities for next year.
      Merry Christmas!

  20. Louie is so cute! I loved Port Merion when I went as a child, must go there again. Looks like you had an amazing year of adventures!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  21. Globe Drifters 7 years ago

    I just moved to San Francisco from Miami and you got the best of both worlds! Glad you enjoyed! 🙂 I still haven’t been out to Big Sur yet but excited to go!

  22. Rani 7 years ago

    my best visit of 2014 is still to going to visit Goa for new year….

  23. Arianwen 7 years ago

    Blimey! What an exciting year you’ve had!

  24. Cherie City 7 years ago

    Little Louie has to be the highlight of the year. Port Merion looks so pretty.
    Hope you have a great 2015!

  25. Dani @ Two Peas in a Pack 7 years ago

    That picture of Copenhagen just slayed me.
    How interestingly beautiful. What an excellent year you’ve had. I just love Paris.

    Some people hate it and say it’s dirty and too touristy but it will always be magic to me. I just wrote about our visit in December and I think I like it in the winter more than the summer. Very unusual for me.

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      I was so surprised that so many people hate Paris. How can you hate Paris! It’s interesting about you liking it more in the winter. It must be gorgeous just before Christmas so maybe I need to get a pre-Christmas Paris trip on the wish list!

  26. Anand Shah 7 years ago

    Wow, 2014 was quite busy and adventures year to you. The way you summarized your journey in this blog is really beautiful.

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