Where the experts holiday: Kirsty Marrins, travel blogger

Travel, food and lifestyle blogger, Kirsty Marrins, shares her travel highs and lows with Just About Travel readers

What do you like to do on holiday?
Eat! Honestly, if you really want to experience a culture eat local cuisine and find out where the locals eat. If we get a taxi from the airport, we always ask the taxi driver where they eat and which restaurants they recommend. We’ve found some absolute gems this way, including the fabulous Lido Azzurro right on the marina. It was delicious food and the best view.

Where did you last go?
We spent five nights in Boston, Massachusetts for New Year. It was our first time in Boston – or even New England for that matter – and definitely not our last! Despite it being absolutely freezing – it was the coldest weather they’d had in about 100 years – we just loved everything about this beautiful city. We tried to see and do as much as we could but there were a few things we didn’t get to see which we’re saving for the next time.

Do you know where you’re going this year?
We’ve been quite proactive this year and already have several breaks planned. We’re off to York for a weekend break in a couple of weeks’ time and then Rome for the Easter weekend, which I’m excited about as we’ve not been to Rome for a few years. We’ve already booked our July holiday where we are going to Ischia, a gorgeous island off Naples, for four nights and then getting the ferry to Positano and staying there for four nights. We’re also looking into a short break in June where we’d like to go back to Taormina in Sicily, which we’ve been to three times before and adore. We always take a two-week holiday towards the end of the year and we’re hoping to go to Cape Town and Kruger National Park.

Of all the places you’ve been to, which was your favourite and why?
I honestly couldn’t choose just one favourite! I’ve seen so much of Italy and I consider it my second home, so I’ll go with Italy. If you want specific places then: Ischia, Positano, Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, the Aeolian Islands, Bologna, Florence and Verona.

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
Machu Picchu in Peru has been on my must-see list for years. We came close to booking it a few years back but then opted for Brazil and Argentina instead. There’s just something about it that keeps drawing me to it… I just need to book it now!

In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
I’d tell people to go see the Tower of London then walk across the road for lunch at St Katherine Docks. Afterwards, walk off your meal by walking along the Thames towards Wapping, where you’ll see an amazing view of Tower Bridge as well as old warehouses that are now apartments. If you’re feeling energetic, continue walking all the way to the Southbank.

How do you plan your holiday?
We use a combination of things depending on where we’re going. We tend to use travel agents if the trip has a few stopovers or if it’s difficult to organise independently. Usually we book ourselves and I research using blogs or Facebook travel groups that I belong to. If we know someone from that country, we’ll ask them for their recommendations. I love to buy travel guides for each place we go – they also look great on our bookshelf!

How often do you go away?
Let’s just say we use up ALL our annual leave. We probably go away around five times a year.

Who do you travel with?
My husband, who is Italian – hence all our trips to Italy!

Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years?
I’m going to go with South Africa (my home country) for this question and say that tourism will be booming in 10 years’ time. I feel that more people will realise that it is safe to visit and that it’s an attractive destination because it’s so affordable to people living in the US and the UK. Combine that with great weather, fabulous food and wine, a diverse landscape, wildlife, sea, mountains and vineyards and you have quite simply, a winning destination.

Kirsty Marrins is the author of What Kirsty Did Next
Follow Kirsty’s travels via TwitterInstagram, and Facebook

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