My travel guilty pleasures – behind the scenes on my city breaks

My travel guilty pleasures – behind the scenes on my city breaks

I never like using the phrase ‘guilty pleasures’ as it implies you’ve something to be ashamed of, when really you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about something you find enjoyable. But when it comes to travel, I’ve definitely got a few ‘pleasures’ that always get conveniently missed off the blog posts! Read on for a behind the scenes look at what really goes on on a This City Life city break.

travel guilty pleasures starbucks | this city life

I’ll sniff out a Starbucks

It doesn’t matter where we are, we’ll always stop at a Starbucks for a drink and some sort of snack. In Aruba we ate panini after panini, in Barcelona I must have eaten a mozzarella cold pasta salad every day for lunch and in Berlin I had the tastiest cheese and ham croissant toastie. My other half has to have his coffee fix too, so if the hotel doesn’t have a Nespresso machine we’ll find ourselves in a Starbucks queue in no time.

Hotel tea and coffee

Talking about refreshments, I really really really love it when hotels have in-room tea and coffee facilities – so much so, I wrote a blog post about it! Finding a kettle and a teabag in my room is one of my favourite things because it makes me feel at ease. I know that any sign of anxiety, I can retreat into my room with a cuppa and everything will be ok. When you see a photo of my hotel room on Instagram, rest assured I’ll be boiling the kettle as I post it!

travel guilty pleasures napping | this city life

Pure napping

Who doesn’t love a good nap on holiday? I’m usually pretty insistent that we make use of every single hour we have, not wanting to pass up any opportunity to soak up culture. But every now and then I find it’s really good to just relax and scrap the itinerary. I’m slowly learning to choose breaks based on my needs – opting for sunshine and pools if I need to give my head a rest or fast-paced city breaks if I need a creativity boost. Remember, it’s not really a holiday if you don’t lie in or spend a couple of days drooling over a book spine by the pool!

Tacky tourist shops

You just can’t miss these – they’re everywhere! My Instagram and Twitter will give the impression I’m browsing the coolest vintage shops or scoffing macarons in a galleria gilded with gold, but in reality I’m choosing which gaudy plastic ashtray will go with my new shot glass necklace. I’m just kidding – I don’t really buy anything from shops like those but I do love a good wander! I bring back a bauble for my mum’s Christmas tree wherever we go, and sometimes you can find some really nice ones in touristy shops, but most of the time it’s the same plasticy stuff you see all over the place. Oh tack, I just can’t quit you!

travel guilty pleasures tacky | this city life

What are your travel ‘guilty pleasures’? Tell me in the comments!

images via Flickr and jay mantri.

please note: some header images are from


  1. 1st April 2015 / 10:58 am

    Yeah to tat!!!

  2. 1st April 2015 / 1:45 pm

    I always sniff out the starbucks too, luckily my other half is game and is often the instigator in said hunts. Who doesn’t love a bit of tacky tourist nick nacks though? Just to look and see what crazy stuff they sell.

  3. 2nd April 2015 / 12:00 pm

    I ADORE cheesy tacky touristy knickknacks – when we found out there was a tourist giftshop in the shape of a giant Orange in Florida we made an immediate beeline for it – when I say beeline I mean I drove 15minutes out of the way just to go there & giggle…!

  4. 2nd April 2015 / 5:45 pm

    I do love a good tourist shop too, you never know what you’ll find in there!

  5. 2nd April 2015 / 7:26 pm

    I landed on napping too! But the tea – oh my goodness, I go to the states so often and their tea is rubbish and I always forget to take my own… Tea is always the answer!

  6. 5th April 2015 / 8:45 pm

    You can’t beat a cup of tea and a snooze on holiday! I won’t let my other half attack the tea and coffee supplies until i have taken a million photos of it for the blog haha I love checking out the tacky tourist shops…it makes what you find in other quirky little shops so much more precious x

  7. Kara
    7th April 2015 / 8:11 pm

    My former boss was so upset that Copenhagen hotels didn’t seem to understand the concept of in-room tea and coffee. I think it really must be a UK/US/NZ/AU thing.
    I have to give credit to Christchurch, NZ for having the most comprehensive selection of teas – herbal, green, white, everything under the sun.