12 Trips in 12 Months – A look back on Paul and Carole’s Year of Travel 2016

12 trips 12 months

12 Trips 12 Months – 2016 has been a really interesting year for Paul and Carole Loves to Travel, and hitting the big 50!

We both work full time but have still managed to go on 12 trips. Here is our reflection of our adventures in 2016.

Trip 1 of our 12 trips 12 months

We started off with our biggest trip of the year. In January we flew to Singapore for a one night stay before joining a cruise around South East Asia. It was my 50th Birthday year so we started off this four week trip with a special treat – a stay at the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel. It was the most we have ever paid for one nights accommodation but we are so glad we did, this is a night that we will never forget!

12 trips 12 months

Marina Bay Sands Hotel

12 trips 12 months

The largest infinity pool in the world at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel

The following day we joined the Mariner of the Seas Cruise Ship for a 7 night cruise to Thailand and Malaysia. We hadn’t loved Kuala Lumpur on a previous visit, the reason we choose this itinerary was so that we could explore more of Malaysia. We visited Penang, Langkawi, Port Klang all in Malaysia and Phuket in Thailand. We had a great week and enjoyed our visits, however, our hearts still lie in Thailand.

12 trips 12 months

Sapphire Princess also docked and tendering in Langkawi

Following the cruise we flew to Koh Samui, in Thailand, where we have stayed before and is actually one of our favourite places to visit in the world. This time we spent 3 weeks staying around the island and catching up with friends we had made on previous visits. Our first stop was at the Secret Garden Beach Resort. We had only booked a 3 night stay here and loved it so much we wished we had booked longer, but unfortunately they were fully booked so had to move on.

12 trips 12 months

Beach at the Secret Garden

We wanted to remain on the north shore of the island, and Bangrak was an ideal base. Our favorite Sports Bar, The New Office Sports Bar is also in Bangrak and run by the loveliest Kiwi you could meet Steve, so our next stop was literally up the road at the Bangrak Beach Club. We stayed in the adjoining Dome Lay Bungalows and used all their facilities.

Our next stop was in Lamai, which is a lively resort on the east coast of Koh Samui but not as mad as neighbouring Chaweng. We chose the Weekender Resort because of it’s central location and we were not disappointed. One end of the resort was on the beach and the other onto the main road where there were plenty of lively bars and shopping opportunities.

12 trips in 12 months

The infinity Pool at the Weekender Resort, Lamai

Our last stop in Koh Samui, was to one of favourite places Baan Sijan Villa Resort. It is on the quieter west coast of the island near to the capital Nathon. We love this place and the hosts Janya and Anny were superb, they really do make your stay special, and we thoroughly recommend a stay here.

12 trips 12 months

Family Suite at Baan Sijan Villa Resort

12 trips 12 months

Wonderful food at my birthday party

It certainly was a fantastic start to the year and to my 50th birthday celebrations.

Trip 2 of our 12 trips 12 months

Early May, Paul headed off to Madrid in Spain to help celebrate his friend Matthew Clow’s Stag Weekend. It was a weekend filled with alcohol, good laughs and I imagine a few madrid escorts too! It sounded like Matthew had a brilliant time and last night of freedom. A good weekend was had by all, with the highlight being a trip out on the Beer Bike. 16 grown men drinking and peddling around Madrid was a sight in itself!

12 trips 12 months

Beer Bike in Madrid

Trip 3 of our 12 trips 12 months

Towards the end of May we jumped into our campervan and visited Cardiff, the capital of Wales. The Cardiff Caravan and Camping Park had been recommended to us by friends, so we chose to stay there. The park was excellent, in a central location and we had a great 2 days away.

12 trips 12 months

Walking to the city centre of Cardiff

Trip 4 of our 12 trips 12 months

In June I headed off to Torremolinos, Spain with the girls to continue the celebrations for my 50th birthday and also to celebrate my friend Kate’s Hen Weekend. We stayed at the Riu Costa Lago Hotel for 5 nights. We had fabulous weather and some great fun, plans are already in place for another girly getaway in 2017!

12 trips 12 months

Carousel Fun in Torremolinos

Trip 5 of our 12 trips 12 months

My 50th birthday celebrations continued in June (I know how to drag these things out!) and 29 of us took the train to Cardiff for the weekend and partied hard. I feel so lucky to have wonderful girl friends who are such great fun, we certainly had a ball!

12 trips 12 months

Carole’s 50th Birthday Celebrations

Trip 6 of our 12 trips 12 months

This year we were lucky enough to get tickets to Glastonbury. This was our 3rd Glastonbury experience, and again the weather was mixed but we still had a brilliant time with our friends Dick and Sal.

12 trips 12 months

Paul and Carole at the Pyramid Stage

Special memories of seeing ELO perform Mr Blue Sky, the fantastic Adele, Coldplay were also superb with the added bonus of Barry Gibb. Despite the mud we had a fun and memorable experience.

12 trips in 12 months

Coldplay on the Pyramid Stage

Trip 7 of our 12 trips 12 months

Paul returned to Cardiff for another weekend to celebrate a very good friend of ours 80th birthday, Bamps. Now there is a man who can still party! As you have probably guessed Cardiff is one of our favourite cities and a great place to party. It is so accessible from our home town of Gloucester too, only 1 hour on the train or by car.

Trip 8 of our 12 trips 12 months

I was unsure of where I actually wanted to spend my actual 50th birthday in July and our friend Tim who unfortunately is no longer with us recommended that we take a Thomson Cruise. We are so glad we listened to him as we had the most fantastic cruise sailing around the Adriatic Coast. The ports of call where excellent and the small Thomson Celebration Cruise Ship was a great ship to sail on. It was a fantastic way to spend my birthday.

12 trips 12 months

Thomson Celebration docked in Koper, Slovenia

Trip 9 of our 12 trips 12 months

On the August bank holiday weekend, we attended the Sunshine Festival, a music festival held in Upton on Severn in Worcestershire, England. It was a fun weekend with friends, with some great old school entertainment including Leo Sayer, Bad Manners, and the Bay City Rollers. This is a great festival, we were here before in 2015 too, and have already booked for 2017!

12 trips 12 months

Fun at the Sunshine Festival

Trip 10 of our 12 trips 12 months

Every year we have been lucky enough to take our two Dad’s on a cruise. We have visited a variety of destinations, and one of our favourites has been Norway. This time we decided to head south and cruised to the Canary Islands, visiting ports including Tenerife and Gran Canaria. We were back on the Independence of the Seas and had a wonderful time. If you are interested in cruising do visit our YouTube channel and see all of our cruising videos.

12 trips 12 months

Cruising with our Dads wearing our hats won in the Queen Quiz

Trip 11 of our 12 trips 12 months

Due to using all our annual leave for holidays, we unfortunately haven’t been able to house sit as much as we would like to. However, in November we went back to look after two of our favourite dogs in Cardiff. We first met Lip and Shadow in 2013 and have been returning twice a year to look after them. The property is located between the city centre and Cardiff Bay, both within walking distance and Lip and Shadow are a joy to look after. We really enjoy housesitting and belong to the Trusted Housesitter Community, you can read our profile here and if you would like us to house sit for you then please do get in touch via our contacts page.

12 trips 12 months

Lip and Shadow

Trip 12 of our 12 trips 12 months

Our last trip of the year was with our friends to Bath. We stayed in our campervan for the weekend at the Bath Marina and Caravan Park. A great weekend was had by all, it was a fun time and a great campsite.

12 trips 12 months

The Girls!

We have had a fantastic year of travel and it has been great looking back. We hope you have enjoyed our 12 trips in 12 months, we know we did! We hope we have inspired you to travel and look forward to sharing our travels with you all in 2017!

Thanks for reading!

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12 trips 12 months

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About paulandcarole

Sharing our love of travel and cruising, hoping to inspire you along the way!
This entry was posted in Albania, Camping, Croatia, Cruising, England, Festivals, Gran Canaria, Hotels, Housesitting, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Wales and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to 12 Trips in 12 Months – A look back on Paul and Carole’s Year of Travel 2016

  1. What a great year of travels! I think I am most envious of the cruise to Malaysia/Thailand and the time around Cardiff as Wales is high on my list of places I’d like to see soon 😉
    Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats recently posted…One Week Sri Lanka Itinerary for Couples: Luxury, Wildlife, & TeaMy Profile

  2. Midori says:

    I definitely going to check your post about Glastonbury! I’m a total music festival freak! 🙂

  3. Garth says:

    Wow you two got upto loads last year! love the Madrid beer bike, I’ve seen those in Budapest, and you went to Glastonbury! Me and Phil used to go every year, LOVE it, always a unique experience! Here’s to happy and safe travelling in 2017! Have you decided where you’re going yet? So far we’ve booked Mexico and a weekend in Amsterdam!
    Garth recently posted…12 Best countries to visit in 2017My Profile

    • Glastonbury is amazing and so unique we do love it! This year so far we are off to Thailand in 5 weeks visiting Bangkok, Chang Mai and Khao Lak for a 3 week trip, then we have 5 days in London in April, and just booked a cruise to Cuba and the caribbean for November, so not bad. Have been checking out your Havana video and posts that are full of excellent information so thanks for that! Here’s to happy travels in 2017 to you both too!

  4. We love your idea of doing 1 trip a month. It’s our aim too! The cruise along the Adriatic sounds like an awesome way to spend a 50th birthday. Hope you have an equally amazing 2017. 🙂

  5. Simona Barbu says:

    It looks like a great year! I was very close to see Koh Samui in the beginning of January but the bad weather made us change our plans. It is still a place that I would love to visit, and is on the list for the next trip on Thailand! Hope your 2017 will be as fun and as full of travels as 2016!
    Simona Barbu recently posted…A secluded beach to celebrate NYE as a coupleMy Profile

    • Thanks for your comment! It was a fabulous year. We are back in Thailand in February and can’t wait as it is one of our favourite places to visit. Happy travels to you too in 2017!

  6. Your 50th birthday celebration sounds awesome!! I’ll be spending my birthday abroad this year too – in your favorite country, Thailand! I’m planning to spend the day at an elephant sanctuary near Chiang Mai 🙂 It’ll be my first time in SEA and I cannot be more excited! How did you like Penang? And did you like KL better the second time around?

    • It was a great way to spend my 50th birthday. Thailand is our favourite too we are back there in 5 weeks time so really excited about that. Penang was ok enjoyed the street art but our hearts definitely lie in Thailand!

  7. A great year of travel – your post about your stay at the Marina Bay Sands pushed it straight to the top of my ”I am 50 this year and I have to do this!!!!” list!
    Happy travelling in 2017 look forward to reading about your travels!
    Tracy McConnachie Collins recently posted…A trip on the Orient Express Bangkok to SingaporeMy Profile

  8. Oana says:

    This looks like a great travel year for you guys. Glastonbury looks so cool, I will check the post. Keep travelling and keep writing about it.

  9. Shona says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you guys get up to this year, Paul & Carole.
    Shona recently posted…Oslo: Mathallen!My Profile

  10. Sarah says:

    Looks like you’ve had an epic year guys!! Might catch you at one of this summers festivals! I’m another festival lover 🙂

  11. SamH Travels says:

    This has been a great year for you both and it looks like you made the best of your 50th birthday celebrations!! 🙂 I have enjoyed reading your posts and I look forward to what 2017 will bring 🙂

  12. David says:

    What a year! You went to plenty amazing places, I’m most jealous of the Canary Islands but also Glastonbury, I’d love to go one day. Never been on a cruise but I imagine the Canaries and the Adriatic would be fantastic spots for it. Hope you have an equally awesome 2017!

  13. What a wonderful year of travel and way to really celebrate a milestone birthday. As a fellow fulltime worker, I appreciate how much traveling you did with your limited holidays. I am quite jealous you got to stay at Marina Sands 🙂 I never really thought of doing a cruise through Thailand and Malaysia and it sounds wonderful. Here’s hoping 2017 brings you even more travels.

    • It was a great year, every little bit of leave is used for our trips, would love to reduce hours but then less money for travel so catch 22! Thanks for your comment and happy travels for 2017! 😀

  14. Wow, what a year! I enjoyed reading about your travels. Such a variety of locations and experiences! I can’t wait to see what you get up to in 2017!
    Trippin’ Turpins recently posted…Unlikely Heroes get Tough with Trash in Paradise!My Profile

  15. Lisa says:

    What a fabulous year you had. Lot of amazing places you visited. I hope to do the same one year. Looking forward to reading your future adventures!

  16. What a great year you’ve had! I love that you kept the birthday celebrations going as much as possible!
    ThriftyTrails recently posted…Everything You Need To Know About Chinese New YearMy Profile

  17. Jenn | By Land and Sea says:

    Wow guys, this is great! You’ve had so many great adventures. I keep seeing Marina Bay Sands and feel that we must go there! The beer bikes look so fun too – I see them around sometimes and really want to try them. I’m so glad you’ve had such a great year and am sure 2017 will be even better!

    • Thanks Jenn. If you get the chance we would highly recommend Marina Bay Sands, it is a lot of money but a night to remember and we still talk about regularly. Here’s to us all having a great 2017! #feeetdotravel

  18. Wow – that’s a busy year! I love your scheme to stretch out the birthday celebrations. We should all do that!! The cruise through Southeast Asia seems fun – something we’ve thought about, too. Thanks for sharing! #weekendwanderlust
    Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) recently posted…Monday Travel Motivation: Travel Formed MeMy Profile

    • It was a great year thanks! Managed to stretch the birthday to 6 months so was chuffed with that! We are huge fans of cruising and this was a great itinerary. Thanks for your comment.

  19. Travel Lexx says:

    You guys have had a super busy 12 months! Here is to another year full of travel fun!

  20. Kreete says:

    This sure sounds like a fantastic year! I really enjoyed reading about your stay in Marina Bay Sands and about the Thompsn Cruise too. I swear you two must have been on almost every cruise ship! Have you ever been on The Harmony Of The Seas? I want to go on that one so bad ha! And boy you do know how to celebrate your birthday ha! I must take note!
    Kreete recently posted…Diving in Shelly Beach, ManlyMy Profile

    • Hi Kreete unfortunately we have not been on the Harmony of the Seas but would love too! Managing to stretch the birthday celebrations was great but I guess your only 50 once!

  21. Great going, you rocked in 2016. Here is wishing you all the best for 2017, may you travel to the farthest frontiers and continue to savour the best travel experiences.

  22. You’ve come away with some AMAZING photos to commemorate your amazing year. The carousel pic from the Hens Weekend is so adorable! And as someone who also celebrates my birthday for an extended period, well done! #theweeklypostcard

  23. Anisa says:

    Wow what a year you guys had. I really want to Koh Samui in Thailand, I remember reading some of your other blog posts! How are you going to top all that travel this year? Looking forward to following along. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  24. Anna says:

    Wow, what a great year! And so many awesome cruises (which i’d love to do sometime!). I love that you guys are still partying on and traveling so much even with full time jobs. You really know how to celebrate a birthday! And someday, I’d also love to do a splurge night at Marina Bay Sands! I had thought about it when I was in singapore before, but felt too poor! Hehe.

    • Thanks for your comment Anna. It’s easy to feel poor in Singapore we normally do too! Cruising is a great way to travel, we have just booked one to Cuba and the Caribbean for later in the year so looking forward to that!

  25. hilary says:

    Wow! That’s quite a year! You managed to pack in quite a bit of fun!! We watched the Glastonbury festival on TV while visiting Scotland! It’s definitely on my bucket list of things to do! #theweeklypostcard
    hilary recently posted…Notre Dame de ParisMy Profile

  26. Anna says:

    What a fantastic year for you, 12 trips in 12 months (while also working full-time) this is so inspiring! Also proves that if we really want/enjoy something – everything is possible, and there are no valid excuses for the real travel lovers and adventure seekers!
    Anna recently posted…7 Lessons I Learned in Iceland: A Photographic Journey to the Land of Ice and FireMy Profile

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