Travel blogging on a budget with Solo Female Traveler Amber Holyoake

Solo female travel blogger Amber Holyoake packs a mighty punch with the limited time and money she has for following her heart. A heart that leads her to travel destinations around the world. We chose her as one of our foundation female creators for her bright spirit, open heart, kick ass travel videos and awe inspiring drone snaps.

Her travel blog is delightfully down to earth and friendly. She is candid about her failings and joyful about her achievements. Amber’s raw spirit gives us the confidence to pick up our misgivings and insecurities and globe trot solo like a bad ass.

While on her latest adventure to the must see travel blog and photography destination Iceland Amber took some time out to chat with us about her travel blogging journey, challenges and budget crunching travel tips.

The Journey to Being a Travel Blogger

So Amber, tell us about the path that lead to travel blogging?
I’ve always had a passion for writing and creating content so I’ve been blogging for years, it just took me a while to find the right topic. I had a few duds along the way but once you start writing about something you love, it’s so much more natural. I started The Lost Girls a couple of years ago and since then it’s been a struggle to travel abroad as much as I want to and to have consistent content, so I’ve done a lot of posts about my own beautiful country, New Zealand.

How has travel changed you?
I’ve always wanted to travel, but since I decided to actively do something about it rather than just talk and dream about it, I have more focus in my life. When you have your head in the clouds like I do, it’s easy to just have these wonderful fantasies of what the travel life could be, but now I’m focused on making it a reality. And also, the obvious one, travel makes me really happy!

What is the most challenging part of being a travel blogger?
Having the time and money to travel. It’s easy when you have plenty of content for your blog, but when you work a desk job 5 days a week, there’s not a lot of travel to write about. I also have a love/hate relationship with social media but that’s a whole other kettle of fish!

Where to travel, plans and favourite destinations

How do you choose where to go?
A lot depends on my situation, for example, right now I’m doing a dream trip and travelling through Europe so I’m able to go to a lot of my bucket list destinations like Iceland and Santorini. But in the last couple of years I’ve been saving for this trip so had to try and limit my small trips during the year. To be honest though, the whole world is on my bucket list so I won’t ever run out of new and exciting places to visit!

The whole world is on my bucket list so I won’t ever run out of new and exciting places to visit!Click To Tweet

What is your favourite travel destination and why?
This is such a hard one! I always try to travel somewhere new, so there isn’t one in particular that I keep going back to, but there are definitely places that I fell in love with! Hawaii is one; when you ditch the hotels and shopping malls of Waikiki there is so much to see and do. Each island is unique and has its own charm. I also try and pitch the Philippines to anyone who will listen, it’s one of the most stunning places on earth and isn’t quite as popular with tourists as its more sought out neighbours like Thailand and Bali.

What are your top 3 destinations for the next 12 months?
For the next few months I have Croatia, Portugal and Gibraltar lined up, and I’m not sure where I’ll head after that. Once I’m done in Europe it’ll probably be another 12 months before I can afford to travel again!

Gulfoss Waterfall Iceland
Photo Credit: The Lost Girls

Top Travel Tips for Packing & Budgeting

I never leave home without my….
iPhone Yup. I’m a terrible millennial. On my trip it’s been everything from my camera to my currency converter to my compass. I don’t know what I would do without it!

travel tips : packing for Europe
Check out Amber’s blog post on tips for packing for Europe

Essential travel gear?
I’m not really the best person to answer this question because I’m constantly thinking of things I should’ve brought along with me! But definitely a comfy pair of shoes, hand sanitiser and a good power bank so your phone doesn’t die when you’re halfway through a Netflix episode and you have 4 more hours of a bus journey to get through.

What are your top tips for staying on a budget?
Buy as much food from supermarkets or stalls as you can because it’s surprising how quickly you can blow all your money on food. Even just having your own snacks in your bag will stop you from buying expensive stuff as you go, and touristy places always bump up the price of treats. Also, use public transport where possible, especially when heading to and from airports.


On Being a Female Solo Traveler

What advice would you give to other women starting out?
Ignore the warnings you got as a kid about not talking to strangers on the internet! There are so many wonderful people in the world and now you can connect with ones who shares your interests and goals. I have a wonderful group of internet friends (including Cat and Kylie) who I love chatting to and find inspiration from, and they’re always so helpful and knowledgeable. Whether you find a mentor, the love of your life or just a couch to crash on when you travel to a new country, the internet is such a great way to connect with people.

Safety tips for  solo female travellers?
Always be alert and be weary about mentioning that you’re alone. I haven’t had any troubles so far, I think mostly because I’ve been travelling in countries that are pretty safe, but I’m always vigilant and make sure to be careful about how much I tell people.

Who are your favourite travel bloggers and why?
I love @hownottotravellikeabasicbitch, not only is she funny af and unapologetically blunt, she’s also got some really interesting articles like how to respect native people and culture when travelling, how to spot a potential human trafficking victim and a bunch more that cover really important topics. She also collaborates with heaps of other inspiring bloggers who have really genuine, unique and refreshing content.

Dam Square Amsterdam
Dam Square, Amsterdam. Photo credit: @lostgirlsnz

And finally  tell us your most memorable travel moment?

There have been so many pinch-me moments on my Europe trip so far, but the first morning is one that I think I’ll remember for a long time. After close to 30 hours of travelling I arrived in Amsterdam just after sunrise and the sky was incredible. As I was walking through the airport I stopped to take a photo of the pink sky and I had the biggest, stupidest grin on my face because I had made it! I was completely exhausted after only sleeping a few hours but I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

Amber’s Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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