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EATING AROUND GIBRALTAR | A SHORT REVIEW OF EVERY RESTAURANT.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

So the other night I was round my friend Beccy's house drinking wine and talking about the blog post she had just written on her trip to Las Iguanas and suddenly I thought, omg why don't we make a blog list with all the places we go to eat at in Gibraltar with a little review on each one? We both love to eat, and I love making lists, so why not! For those of you who don't know, I was born and raised in Gibraltar but had spent the last 4 years studying in the UK so for the sake of this post I'm going to wipe the slate clean and pretend this is the first time I am visiting any of these restaurants. It also gives us an excuse to give our food a photoshoot when eating out. So here it is, a review of every restaurant we have eaten/will be eating in this year.


eating around gibraltar

1. Frangos 


Where: Chatham Counterguard Strip
Cuisine: Portuguese

Our experience: From the moment we sat down the staff were attentive, friendly and unlike some other places in Chatham Counterguard, didn't take half an hour to ask for/bring our order. The location is very convenient, so it's a great place to meet for lunch or for dinner if you're looking to carry the night on. I love that I don't have to feel guilty coming here because it's easy to eat healthy - and I get to hit my protein macros! Although I would 100% recommend the chocolate pudding for dessert. My favourite from the night had to be the platter with clams, fish and prawns, the sauce was delicious and I ended up dipping bread in it after all the seafood was gone. Even though this place is Portuguese it's not quite Nando's - I must say I do miss my mango & herb sauce and sweet potato mash so if they would add that to the menu I would be here weekly.

What to order: sweet potato fries, butterfly chicken, Guia mini bun, Rosada a la Portugesa, chocolate pudding. 


frangos gibraltar
frangos gibraltar

































If any restaurants, cafes or bars in Gibraltar would like to collaborate please drop me and Rebecca a line on gianaspiteri@gmail.com & rebeccakiernan1@gmail.com.

G









WHY HOTELS SHOULD BE WORKING WITH BLOGGERS (AND HOW TO PITCH TO THEM).

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

When I first started blogging in 2015 I never thought I'd have the opportunity to experience half of the things I have because of my blog when it comes to travelling. Last year I got to go on a trip of a lifetime to India and stayed across an array of luxury hotels and beautiful accommodations in Kerala, I got to treat my mum to a lovely stay in Copenhagen and gave my friends a nice surprise with the lovely apartment we were hosted in whilst in Oslo. I remember a while back there was some backlash over a Youtuber who had reached out to a hotel asking for a complimentary stay in exchange for exposure to her 500,000 followers or so, and to be honest I didn't really see the problem with what she did. At the end of the day it was a business proposal in the same way magazines, web mags and such do it to. I often get asked how do you get 'free' hotels? and how do they benefit from it? so I'm here to break it down a bit more.


kong arthur


I want to start by saying nothing is ever really free is it? Whenever I receive something complimentary when travelling it usually means writing up a review, creating content for Instagram, tweeting about it and starting a conversation on Facebook. Another point is that the collaboration should be mutually beneficial - so if you only have 100 followers on social media you may want to wait until you build a bit more of a following/community before pitching to brands. This doesn't mean that you need to be in the 10K-20K bracket as often good engagement is worth more than tons of fake followers that don't interact with you. 

SO WHY SHOULD HOTELS BE WORKING WITH BLOGGERS? 


1. Bloggers are trusted by their followers. 


How many times have you seen a review in a magazine and thought eh, they've just been paid to say that. The great thing about blogging is you get to see the person behind the article and what they're like and what their interests are. Chances are they're going to keep it real with their audience and let you know when a bed is harder than Fred Flintstones bed or if they slept like they were laying on a soft, white marshmallow. When I write my travel guides I write like I'm giving recommendations to my friends and family, I don't mention places I wouldn't go to or stay at again. 

2. It allows you to tap into a different type of demographic/market. 


Let's say you're a new hippie up and coming hostel in Amsterdam but don't have much exposure yet. Sure you could rely on word of mouth and putting up ads in your local newspaper but how are you going to get young travellers from the rest of Europe or America to find out about your lovely place? Bloggers! By putting out a search for writers from specific areas in the world you're increasing the likelihood that their readers from their area and other countries will check out your website and consider staying there if the person has recommended it and genuinely enjoyed their stay there. 

3. Brand visibility. 


Then comes the business side of things. Exposure means there is a higher chance of people clicking on your website and the more people you have linking to your website/hotel page the better you will rank on search engines like Google, otherwise known as your domain authority. Another great way to help this is by having a blog section on your website to include relevant articles about your hotel or travel in general. There are services that can take care of all of your content marketing, such as Handshake Links and this will help readers feel like they can interact and engage with you and are more likely to spend more time on your site. 

4. We'll probably save you more money in your marketing budget. 


I can't speak for everyone but a lot of the time bloggers may ask for a complimentary or discounted two night stay and then will give you an agreed amount of content in return. I know other outlets probably get paid on top of that for their time away from work. At the end of the day blogging is seen as a job for a lot of people and will work just as hard on a campaign or collaboration. 

5. They will create content and photography that is specific for you. 


You can help tell the narrative. With other types of media they're going to write things in a very editorial manner and probably include two stock photos from your website and call it a day. Bloggers, Youtubers and Influencers are constantly going the extra mile when it comes to creativity. I have some friends who have created amazing videography when collaboration with travel agencies and photos that are out of this world, and most of the time they'll be happy to let you use them for the brands website too (with credit of course!).


forenom

HOW TO PITCH TO HOTELS AS A BLOGGER. 


Now that I've gone through the why hotels should be working with bloggers, let's move on to how to approach hotels as a blogger. Gosh I feel like I'm writing a university essay. 

You want to start by making a list of a couple of hotels you want to work with that fit your blog niche - if you're a broke student staying at hostels then you're not really going to want to work the The Ritz because your followers will be like eh. Find out the email address of the person in the marketing department. When writing your email I would set it out as follows. 

1. Start by introducing yourself, who you are, what your blog is about and why you're getting in contact. 

2. Tell them about your idea for a collaboration and what you can offer them - are you writing a guide on the city? talking about the quirkiest hotels in the area and thought they would be a good fit? 

3. Talk about your USP (unique selling point). Do you have a large following? Are you one of the only bloggers in your area? Do you have a loyal devoted following that even have a shrine built for you in the room? This is your chance to sell yourself (not literally). 

4. If you've worked with hotels or other travel companies before, show them examples of your work. 

5. Finish off with something lovely and maybe attach your media kit if you have one! 

That's all folks, 9/10 times you may not even get a response but it will be a great feeling when you get that one that says yes.


pitching to hotels



Do you have any tips for working with hotels or brands? Or if you work in a hotel yourself, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic! 

G

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* THIS POST WAS WRITTEN IN COLLABORATION WITH HANDSHAKE LINKS BUT ALL WORDS AND OPINIONS ARE MY OWN *





MY TIPS FOR PLANNING AN AFFORDABLE FAMILY HOLIDAY (THAT'S NOT DISNEY).

Monday, 6 August 2018

Ever since I turned 21 I've branched out from my family holidays and gone on a lot more trips with my friends. Not because I don't enjoy family holidays, but because I'm sure my mum wouldn't have the same enthusiasm as me for pub crawling in Prague or going to underground clubs in Berlin. That being said, I still enjoy going on the occassional family holiday as it's a chance you actually get to bond and spend quality time together - and not just at the dinner table. I recently spent a week in Albufeira, Portugal with my family and something me and my sister were discussing was 'I don't want to have many kids because then our holidays are going to cost a bomb'. Turns out there are a couple of ways in which you could keep costs lower and still have a whale of a time. Seeing as I'm always the designated travel planner when going away in groups, I took on this role for our family holiday too and these are some of the ways in which I budgeted for this holiday.


family holiday 1

1. Ditch the travel agent.


9/10 times the holiday you're planning doesn't need a middle man. Unless you're planning a very unique itinerary and going to need lots of transfers and offers, everything you need to plan your trip is one Google search away. Pinterest is a great way to find advice and itineraries from people who have been there and GetYourGuide is great for finding tours and activities in your destination.

2. Book in advance (for mostly everything!)


I'm a fan of spontaneous holidays, but if you're planning on going to Malta and try and book one month before for the summer then you're going to be paying big dollah for an average hotel. Skyscanner also lets you set up price alerts for when flight prices change so this is always handy to keep an eye on in advance too. A lot of water parks, theme parks and attractions also offer discounted tickets when you purchase them online. 

3. Consider staying in an AirBnB.


If you've got a large family then renting an apartment or somebody's house can be a lot more economic than booking a couple of double rooms. It means you get a kitchen to cook in if you want to, and a lot of the time you can find really quirky and cool places for half of the price of a hotel. 

4. Have 1 meal out each day. 


This was something my family did when we were in Portugal and it meant three things - there was more pool time, I didn't feel disgustingly full when it got to dinner and of course, you save a lot of money this way. If you're staying in a sunny place and you're mainly there to relax, chances are most of your lunches will be quick and easy anyway. A simple Google search of 'cheap eats in _____' will find you some good recommendations too. 

5. Travel off-peak.


This might be obvious, but mid-term and half-term are where the prices sky-rocket for family holidays. If you can afford to go a bit earlier or have your summer hol in June, then you'll get a better deal on your trip. With Malta, it was actually a good thing because it was still hot and from the looks of it July-August would have had us melted on the ground.


albufeira


6. Consider other locations. 


When you think of family holiday what are the first places that come to mind? Mediterranean cruise? Disney World? Benidorm? Sure those places are great but there are so many other beautiful places to consider when it comes to the road less travelled. Krakow is probably one of the best places I visited this year and it had everything - history, beauty and good cheap food. 

7. Look out for deals and family packages. 


The beauty of the internet is that there are always good offers and discounts and sales landing in your inbox or advertised to you on social media (just not the kind that offer you £1,000,000 and a all expenses paid trip to Bahamas if you share this post). When we want a little staycation my family always goes to a town in Spain for a weekend and if you're coming from abroad then visiting Spain with Holiday Gems might be a good choice as they have some great offers and specialise in sunny destinations.

family holiday 2


What's been your favourite family holiday? Or are you guys going anywhere fun soon? 


A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRAINING WITH E-FIT GIBRALTAR.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018


When I first thought of E-Fit, I thought it meant I was either going to be strapped up like 50 Cent in his In Da Club video or that I was going to be receiving little electric shocks all over my body through a machine - luckily my experience was neither of those things and a lot more pleasant. If you're a frequent reader of my blog then you know that I'm a fan of trying new fitness and nutrition things and when I was invited along to try the new E-Fit Studio here in Gibraltar introduced by JMB Transformations, I was very intrigued and curious. I got to try first hand their cardio machine, their full body machine and also had an exclusive try of their back pain heated treatment, which came in very handy as I'd hurt my lower back doing single leg deadlifts the day before, oops. Here's the low down on what exactly E-Fit is, as well as my experience with it.


e-fit gibraltar

What is E-Fit? 


E-Fit uses a machine with electrodes to make you feel like you've done a week worth of workouts in one. You're given a set of leggings and a long sleeved shirt to wear and then depending on what machine you're using, get given a suit with pads on it that will transfer the electrodes into your muscles. If you've ever wanted to feel like Black Widow then now is your chance because you look like you're there to kick ass in this suit. Before we get any further, it doesn't hurt.  The machine allows you to adjust the impulse depth, frequency and intensity depending on your personal needs and your body type, age, gender and level of fitness. Unlike your regular workouts, this machine gives you over 36,000 muscle contractions during your workout so you know you're going to feel the after effects and that you're going to maximise your results. 

The good thing about this is that each workout is tailored to you specifically, it's not a one size fits all kind of thing. Your trainer will ask you what your goals are and then will modify the workout depending on what they are. Whether you're looking to burn fat, build muscle, tone up, get abs or even target cellulite these electro-fitness machines can do that.


e-fit gibraltar


My experience at the E-Fit studio. 


I go to the gym 4-5 times a week so I'd say I am relatively fit, I mean I probably can't run a marathon yet but we're getting there. Even though the E-Fit sessions are a lot shorter than my usual workouts, I was sweating just as much or if not more than I would be at the gym. On my first session I went for the full body workout (Whole Body EMS Medical Device), which comprises of a 5 minute warm up, 15 minute workout (this part can be tailored to your needs depending on what areas you want to work on - for me it's always about growing the booty so she incorporated more squats and glute exercises), followed by an ab circuit and then finally you get to lay down on the mat for a nice relaxing massage using the machine. Once you're connected, your E-Fit trainer will go turning up the impulse until you're comfortable and then go raising the impulse on individual areas - it definitely wasn't easy throwing punches whilst my arms were 'vibrating' so I knew double the amount of work was going in. 

The cardio session was somewhat easier in that you control the machine yourself, and you obviously decide how fast you want to go on the cross-trainer/bicycle. The machine will do the work for you, but obviously if you put in the effort to you're going to see even better results. Out of both I think I preferred the full body device as it's more versatile and you really feel it where you want to feel it. I woke up two days later feeling like I'd been hit by a bus (in a good way). 

The great thing about the E-Fit studio here is that you don't need to fuss about with a gym bag or anything and can have your session done in your lunch hour. It's conveniently placed in the middle of Main Street, they have a shower and provide you with towels and even a protein shake if you don't have time to grab your lunch before heading back to work.


e-fit gibraltar


Try it for yourself. 


If you follow me on Instagram, you may have spotted some of my photos/videos from my session on my story. I had a couple of people slide into my DMs asking what E-Fit was and I told them, watch this space for my post! The studio currently has an August offer where you can buy a bundle of 8 cardio sessions for £109. If you'd rather test it out first, then there are no contracts so you could go per session and pay £25. Or if you'd just like to pop in for a trial they are offering this for £9.99. More information on their prices and offers can be found on their Facebook page. 

Of course, since this is a collaboration and I don't write about anything that I wouldn't use myself, we've got a deal on for you guys were you can get 10% off their membership saver package which usually retails at £50. This includes membership, training kit and a loyalty card, simply quote 'EFITWITHGI' or just say you're here because of Giana's blog if you'd rather not quote a random word to them!  



Have you ever tried or heard of E-Fit before? Do you prefer going to a gym or have you tried other unconventional styles of training? 

G


* I WAS INVITED BY E-FIT TO TRY THEIR SERVICES BUT ALL VIEWS AND OPINIONS ARE MY OWN *

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