Side Street Style

Side Street Style

Side Street Style

Family travel and lifestyle blog

22/07/2021

3 eco-friendly period products you should try

period products

*AD I was kindly given these products to review without payment and these are 100% my own views

We all know we need to do more, leave less of a trace, reduce plastic and our own carbon footprint where we can and luckily there are more sustainable and reusable options than ever and that includes period products. 

So I decided to put three very different options to the test with the main criteria being reliability, sustainability, portability, ease of use and budget, with the last one being very important as I believe that sustainable options should be more accessible for those, like me, on a tight budget. 


Hey Girls


1. Hey Girls Menstrual Cup £8

This reusable menstrual cup is one of the most budget-friendly on the market as well as having a social conscious as with every purchase they donate to help someone in the UK in need. The actual cups are non-toxic, hypoallergenic and made from medical-grade silicone (latex, phthalate, BPA free) and can be used over and over again. 

I've tried a few cups before and Hey Girls are right up there with all the well-known brands (and it's won two awards to back that up)  with being easy to use and a great travel-friendly option although it can leak if you have a particularly heavy flow which I do right at the start of my period so I tend to not use these out and about on the first and second day but that's just my personal preference.  I would recommend definitely recommend these. 


Bloom and Nora


2. Bloom and Nora reusable pads

I have been trying these out for a while now and love them, I have the Bloomers trail kit which consists of 4 different size pads and works really well alongside my menstrual cup - I find these particularly comfortable to wear at night and at the start of my period for heavy flow or at the end when I don't need much protection and use a smaller pad. Firstly it's fantastic to see these pads are made in the UK with Oeko-Tex-certified fabrics and they make the waterproof layer from recycled plastic bottles, diverting them from landfills. 

They are also more absorbent than disposable pads and I can vouch for that as well as being very soft and comfortable to wear. You may not think that reusable pads are great for traveling but pairing these up with their Out & About Bag which can hold 4 to 6 pads in separate waterproof compartments with one side for fresh and one for use which is perfect for a weekend away.  

Single pads start from £4.75 and packs of three pads from £13.25 and can be rewashed and reused time and time again. 


period pants



3. WUKA period pants

These period pants are super easy to use, you literally use them like normal underwear except they fully absorb your period, meaning no need for disposable pads and tampons. They are organic certified, vegan and carbon neutral and they also use plastic-free packaging as part of their commitment to being as sustainable as possible. Despite these being the easiest to use it actually took me the longest to get used to them as I founded them a little thick but after using them a few times I really like them especially if I'm wearing jeans or close-fitting clothing.

They are currently selling packs of 2 pants for £20 - again these are completely reusable   


ethical periods

30/06/2021

Staycations and Safer Travel - 5 perfect UK weekender breaks

St Davids Cathedral


In collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views are my own

Like everyone else right now all I want to do is pack my bags and head off on a European road trip or book a flight to a far-flung destination! The past 18months have felt incredibly long, with ongoing restriction which has affected all of our lives in one way or another, periods of being unable to work or see family members, most of all doing our part to help keep ourselves and others safe and while things definitely feel like they are moving in the right direction, we still live with the possibility of sudden changes to travel windows which make booking a break overseas more complicated than ever before.  

I have seen people on the news get stranded in countries that have suddenly gone into lockdown or have put the UK (or visa versa) on to the amber or red list meaning more tests and quarantining before being able to head home. While these additional risks may be worth it for some, for others who cannot take more time off work or have children who have already missed a lot of school, this is not an ideal option. 

This is why 2021 is turning out to be the year of the Staycation, which is not only a positive for our own homegrown travel industry but it's also easier to monitor the current health risk as well as UK attractions and destinations having to follow Covid Safe Protocols. Also please remember that it's great to support local tourism but keep washing your hands, wearing a mask indoors and being sensible and on that note here are 5 destinations perfect for an adventure-filled staycation. 


Lake Windermere


1. Lake Windermere, Lake District

Lake Windermere is one of the most beautiful areas of the Lake District and is perfect for outdoor lovers as it's surrounded by nature, mountain hikes and quaint villages to explore. The area offers something for the whole family with plenty of space to run free (and socially distance), watersports and museums to take in along with plenty of breathtaking views. 

2. Isles of Scilly, Cornwall

The Isles of Scilly has got to be my favourite place in the UK and a place that feels truly exotic and away from the maddening crowd. Getting there can be quite tricky and expensive if you opt to take the Helicopter from mainland Cornwall, but I can promise you it's worth it as you will be rewarded with white sands and crystal clear uncrowded beaches. You can also take the Ferry or Fly from Lands End - we did a mixture of both when we visited the Isles in 2016


Isles of Scilly


3.  St Davids, West Wales

St Davids may be Britains smallest city but it offers plenty to see and do and is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Wales, with rugged coastlines a plenty, countryside walks and historical buildings to explore is a great place to get away from it all. Whether you are religious or not I do recommend visiting the imposing 12th-century Cathedral as well as the gothic ruins of The Bishops Palace and if you are feeling particularly adventurous then I recommend taking a boat to one of the wild offshore islands of Ramsey, Grassholm, Skomer or Skokholm.

4. Bristol, England

While Bristol City is a busier option than the other destinations on this list, it's perfect for those who are craving a creative cultural break without heading into London. We love Bristol as it offers plenty to do for all ages from kids to couples or solo travellers. Here are a few recommendations of free things to do in the city - Visit Spike Island art gallery and the MShed museum, take a stroll along the harbour alongside houseboat, street art and hip cafes, walk across Clifton Bridge for some incredible views or get a hit of the countryside at Ashton court and spot some wild deer at the same time. I have also written a post of 6 things to do with kids in Bristol so do check it out. 


Street Art Bristol
Enjoying the Street Art in Bristol


5. Isle of Wight, England

The Isle of Wight has been on our bucket list for a while now and is a great option when you feel the need to really want to get away as you need to take a 45minute ferry to get to the island but don't have the additional risk of quarantining that you may face if you opted for a European destination instead. The Isle of Wight is also perfect for those who love the outdoors and is also popular with stargazers. 

Over the past year, the UK Tourism board has introduced the "Good to go" scheme which has seen businesses including attractions, activity providers and accommodation to change the way they operate to make it safer for customers and staff by adhering to Government guidance on cleanliness and social distancing. Of course, there will always be a risk but a variety of steps have been put in to build confidence and reassurance during these times with health and safety at the forefront. 

Have you planned any getaways for this summer? 

27/06/2021

How to stay connected while travelling


hiking

*This post contains affiliate links 


Staying connected while travelling around, whether that’s in the UK or further afield, has never been more important. Just because we’re away from home, it doesn’t mean we want to switch off entirely and we may need our mobiles on hand to keep in touch with those back home.


Roaming with our mobiles has become easier over the years, with networks now forced to make their roaming policies clear and stick to certain rules. So, let’s take a look at the roaming rules while travelling in certain locations and what you need to be aware of before you set off.

UK

Travelling in the UK if you’re with a UK mobile network should be relatively straightforward. Whichever of the four nations you’re in, you’re fine to use your mobile as you would in your own garden.

However, if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in remote areas, it’s worth checking whether your network has good reception around there. If not – and if your handset is unlocked as many are these days – it might be worth buying a pay as you go (PAYG) SIM card from another network to ensure you can keep in touch.

 
London bridge


Europe


So far, Brexit hasn’t made mobile roaming more complicated and all four major mobile networks (O2, EE, Vodafone and Three) have kept their European roaming policies the same.

This means customers can use their mobiles while in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway without worrying about paying more than at home. It’s worth noting that mobile networks could change their minds about this arrangement, but it’s likely to be headline news if they do, so the best thing to do is just check before travelling.

Of course, Europe is far more than just the EU, so customers travelling to destinations outside the Union (or straying close to its edges) will want to see if those destinations are covered in their network’s inclusive roaming plans – or whether there is a roaming add-on that includes them.

All four major mobile networks (plus some smaller ones) have roaming plans. Perhaps the most well-known is Three’s Go Roam which covers 71 destinations.

Vodafone cover up to 81 destinations, EE has a roaming plan covering up to 53 destinations, while O2 customers can access up to 75 destinations on some plans. However, it’s important to check which destinations are available to which customers - PAYG mobile customers don’t always get the same perks, for example, or roaming may be a paid extra.


Phone europe



USA


Travelling to the USA as a customer of one of the major mobile networks can mean that roaming is included - but it depends on the plan you’re on. As an example, Vodafone customers on their Unlimited Max plans get inclusive USA roaming, but basic pay monthly mobile customers don’t. At the time of writing, the USA is included in Three’s Go Roam, EE’s Roam Further pass and the O2 Roaming Bolt-On.


South Africa

South Africa is a country rarely included in UK mobile roaming plans. The exception is roaming as a Vodafone Unlimited Max customer, but that’s their most expensive plan and may not be right for everyone.

It’s still possible to use your UK mobile in South Africa, but extra charges will be added to your bill. For example, an EE customer will pay £1.88 per minute to make a call while Three mobile customers will pay £1.40.

There are better options for travellers to South Africa as long as your phone is unlocked – a local PAYG SIM (either bought on arrival or a prepaid one) or a prepaid global SIM card. As the name suggests, a global SIM card can be used in multiple countries, so for frequent travellers, it’ll be worth the extra costs.


Cape Town



Australia

Australia is a Go Roam destination with Three, and it’s included in EE’s Roam Further, the extra O2 Roaming Bolt-On and also available to Vodafone Unlimited Max customers. Beyond that, travellers can also get local SIMs and global SIMs that work in Australia and will work with unlocked phones.


Final thoughts

Travelling and getting online on our mobiles is a lot easier than it used to be, but we still need to remain vigilant about potential charges and changes in policies. The UK Government has legislated to ensure customers roaming abroad will find their extra bills capped at £45 per month, although this feature may be disabled if a customer buys a roaming bolt-on.


Our three top tips before travelling:


1. Check if the destination is included in your network’s roaming or a network that does include it
If it isn’t, consider a local SIM or a global SIM rather than international rates (you’ll need an unlocked phone)

2. Switch off any settings that may use data in the background

3. Finally, enjoy the freedom that 21st-century mobile roaming can bring!


Travelling


22/06/2021

Gifts to keep that wanderlust going

The Garth mountain

* Disclosure - This Post is unpaid & 100% my personal views. I was sent PR samples from Sussex Candles, Junior Reader and Gibsons 

While we are on the right track and things are slowly opening back up, with many of us in the UK venturing out on staycations and exploring this amazing island we live on, for many overseas travel is still tricky and comes with possible quarantines, restrictions, extra paperwork and extra cost so for now many are still staying put, which can be hard when you are a avid traveller. 

So I thought I would put together a few fun things that are helping to inspire that wanderlust feeling for both adults and children, while we still navigate this new normal. 

Wild Swimming Guide

Wild swimming has seen a massive boom in the past 18months, everyone is trying it out, which is fantastic! I was given this beautifully illustrated Wild Swimming guide from a friend for Christmas and while it's not very big it has all the essential information you need to get started safely and your purchase also supports an independent creative artists. 


wild swimming


Sussex Special Candles

I love how Sussex Special Candles have paired together the emotive senses that special places hold to us with scent from the beauty and nature of Sussex County. The idea behind the Sussex Special collection is to capture the spirit of this wonderful English county through capturing the essence of dewy morning meadows, forest walks, salty coastal towns and vibrant modern cities. The candles are all handmade in England using 100% Soy and their scents include Hurst Meadows, Borde Hill Gardens, Ashdown Forest and Brighton Essence. 


Sussex Special Candles

The Junior Travelling Reader 

The Junior Travelling reader is a fantastic subscription (or one-off) box that inspired both a love of travel and reading for children age 9-12yrs old. We have recently had the chance to review their "Wales" box which not only had the fantastic paperback copy of The Valley of Lost Secrets by Lesley Parr but also a few other goodies such as a letter from the author, bookmarks, poster, postcards, local travel information and delicious Wickedly Welsh chocolate and pin badge. Together we are currently making our way through the book (it's a great on-going bedtime story) and my youngest has already asked if we can buy the Edinburgh inspired box.


Junior travelling reader


Stylish Travel Prints by The Travel Edit

One photo can capture thousands of memories and who doesn't love a very stylish print to hang in their home? I love the simple but stunning prints The Travel Edit has put together and they are going on my personal "birthday list" for my home and best of all is each purchase supports a small UK business. 


Rome


Ethical Summer Flip Flops by Ocean Refresh

Nothing screams beach and summer travels than flip flops! While many of us won't be jetting off to far-flung seaside locations this year it doesn't mean we can't enjoy the many beautiful beaches in the UK while also supporting an ethical and sustainable brand. Ocean Refresh are created from plastic waste removed from our oceans and coastlines with each pair of flip flops being made from up to 24 plastic bottles, are 100% vegan, 100% recyclable, as well as being anti bacterial and anti abrasive while being super lightweight and comfy all at the same time. 


Ocean Refresh


London Underground Inspired boardgames by Gibsons

One of things I have really missed over the past 18 months is my monthly trips to London, this has been the longest time in over a decade that I've not visited the Capital City. So I was really excited to see that Gibsons has a whole range of fun board games and puzzles inspired by The London Underground from card games to Family board games and varying levels of jigsaw puzzles means that there is something for everyone and these also make the perfect birthday gift. 


Ride the rails


Lodestars Anthology

I love Lodestars anthologies which is a sort of magazine meets travel coffee table book for those who seek offbeat hidden gems and personal accounts of different countries, packed with stunning photography, personal essays and insightful articles. Each edition focuses on one country at a time, I have the Swedish and Australian edition and the Wales one is on my list. Its produced in Bristol by a small independent press and it's honestly one of the best travel journals around which makes for a perfect gift for a friend or yourself. 



Lodestars Anthology


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