If you’re in Porto, visit the Grahams Port Lodge. It’s a fairly uphill walk but the views are beautiful. It’s fascinating to learn about the history of port and taste the different vintages.

Claire - Original Traveller

Claire Bodie

Original Travel Expert

I have extensive travel experience throughout Portugal, France, Mexico, Italy and Greece.

My travels


Travel Things I Want To Do Before I Die

  • Go to Costa Rica and volunteer at an animal sanctuary (one which cares for sloths - essential)
  • See the blossom in Kyoto, Japan
  • Visit the Dead Sea in Jordan, it looks beautiful and I've never been able to float in water, so if it's possible anywhere it's here
  • I am a huge animal lover, so I really want to go on a safari in Kenya, and see the animals in their natural habitat.
Cenote, Mexico

Best Moments

  • Snorkelling with turtles and exploring cenotes in Mexico. Even just snorkelling near the coast I saw so much wildlife, including sting ray, squid and lots of enormous colourful fish
  • Eating dinner under the stars in the desert in Dubai, accompanied by some hilariously grumpy camels
  • Horse riding at sunset with friends through vineyards in Tuscany, followed by some wine tasting (naturally)
  • Crossing over a frozen lake in Lapland, in a sledge pulled by reindeer. And yes, I went at Christmas time
Dune bashing, Dubai

Toughest Travel Moment

  • When I went 'dune bashing' in Dubai the 4X4 crashed nose first, and I was sat in the front seat. I'd chosen the cheapest tour operator - the motto is you get what you pay for

Weirdest Travel Moment

  • There are some pretty eye-opening museums in Amsterdam!

Explore my blog posts

architecture lecce

Alternative European City Breaks

With most European countries just a stone's throw away, it can feel like us Brits already know our neighbours like the back of our hand. Well, we are here to tell you otherwise. If you're in the mood to shake up your travel plans, read on for a round up of our alternative European city…

Camping Under Northern Lights

How To Be More Nordic - The Original Travel Guide

Did you know there are 22 IKEA stores in the UK, but only 20 in Sweden? An embarrassment of riches, you could say and a sure sign of how much we Brits want to be like our Nordic cousins. Stereotypically progressive, blonde haired happy people who hike mountains and eat fish they (probably)…

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Read On! Where You Should Travel Based On Your Favourite Book

Who, on Wednesday night, found themselves desperately gluing everything from cardboard boxes to colanders to their sprogs (or grandsprogs) in preparation for dressing up on World Book Day? While we're undeniably jealous that it's only the kids that get to dress up as their favourite…


Woman Up - Our Best Destinations for Female Solo Travel

When it comes to travel, flying solo can be an incredibly liberating experience. With no travelling companions to cater to, you're free to craft the holiday you've always dreamt of whether you're after a slick city getaway, an adventurous escape or an idyllic island-hopping trip. Travelling…

2020s Most Immersive Filming Locations You Need to Visit

Are you sitting comfortably, with your mobile phone turned off and popcorn in hand? Good, because now we want you to throw all of those things out the proverbial window and grab your hiking boots/oar/moustache comb (all will become clear). 2020 is set to be a blockbuster year in terms of…

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Romantically Unromantic - Our Favourite Unusual Getaways for Couples

We love any excuse to celebrate, but as our name 'Original' Travel suggests, we aren't much into clichés - especially when it comes to Valentine's Day. Over the years, we've compiled a list of our favourite unusual experiences that are perfect for couples who want a romantic getaway with a…

Our Top Christmas Destinations for 2020

You're down to the final slice of Turkey and fighting over the last mince pie but instead of feeling sad that Christmas is over, why not book yourself an epic holiday for Christmas 2020? It may seem a long way off, but trust us when we say that places start getting booked up fast. So seize…

Dry Jan... Literally! Our Top Desert Destinations for 2020

Dry January sounds a little… well, dry. But if the lack of 'moonshine' is already getting you down, we're here to show you that dry doesn't have to be dull. Let us wet your appetite with some of our favourite holiday destinations which also happen to be some of the driest places on Earth…

Bring Out Your Inner Columbus - Our Favourite Americas Adventure Cruises

The word 'cruise' may conjure images of tourists crammed onto vast ships, spilling out into the ports of seemingly unsuspecting Mediterranean towns in a manner similar to that of the Great Wildebeest Migration, but we'll let you in on a little secret… we love a cruise. Well, when we say…

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Our Top 2020 Sabbatical Destinations

There's a big old world out there (we would know) and if you've decided to take the plunge and go on a sabbatical, deciding on where you want to visit with your precious (and well deserved) time off can be daunting. Our advice: decide what you want to achieve and let that drive the…

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Oh-Man! Why You Should Spend Christmas in Oman

Dashing through the sand, on a one-humped camel train, through the wadis you go, laughing all the way… about the fact you've managed to escape the Great British Christmas rush. If you'd rather swap Brussels sprouts for beach scenes, Oman fits the 'Chirstmas getaway' bill perfectly with its…

Europe? Safari? Why Not! Check Out Our 'European Big Five'

Who's just tuned into the Beeb's and David Attenborough's latest wildlife wünder-watch, Seven Worlds, One Planet? An amazing reminder that you don't need to travel to the other side of the planet to see spectacular beasties when there are so many on our doorstep in Europe. Safari and Europe…

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Where You Should Go Skiing, Based On Which Friends Character You Are

Remember that episode of Friends where Rachel wants to take everyone skiing, but the car breaks down and they never arrive? If she had booked a ski trip through Original Travel, we guarantee she'd have arrived on time, glass of Prosecco in hand, ready to hit the slopes the next morning.…


'Hot 'N' Cold' - Last Minute Winter Breaks

Words rarely fail us here at Original Travel. However, sometimes the best descriptions come from the great lyricists of our time - namely, Diana Ross, ABBA and…err…OutKast? Whether you want to chill out or turn up the heat, here are some of our favourite destinations for a winter break, and…

Take Note! Our Favourite Places to Hear Live Music

Shakespeare famously wrote 'if music be the food of love, play on'. This particular phrase opens 'Twelfth Night', with Orsino musing that an excess of music might cure his love obsession in the same way eating too much food cures one's hunger. Well, Shakespeare might have been on to…

If You've Got it, Haunt it - Our Must-Sees for a Fang-tastic Halloween...

As respectable adults, we are (sadly) considered too old by society to dress up as vampires and go door to door demanding Haribo. While this is desperately disappointing, the rise of 'dark tourism' means we can take your Halloween to the next level. So save the face paint for the kids and…

Roll Out The Red Carpet, The A List Are In Town

Here at Original Travel, we pride ourselves on having some of the most experienced and knowledgeable travel experts in the industry. They have hands-on experience travelling in their destinations and know them inside out, so are ready with insider tips, tricks and insights to help you plan…

What Lies Beneath the Surface...

Underground (noun): a group or movement organised secretly to work against an existing regime, who consider themselves different from the mainstream of society and culture. Or, simply finding yourself in a subterranean situation... And we Brits are good at doing things underground - whether…

Collective Nouns and Where to Find Them

'I' definitely does not always come before 'E' except after 'C' (just go to Iceland and see some 'glaciers') and you may want to 'warn' people about your 'worn' jeans (you may even shed a tear over the tear). The English language is full of quirks - words that sound the same but can be…

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Oh Me, Oh My, Oman: Top 5 Things To Do In Oman

Oman has long been an Original Travel favourite, with its heady combination of desert, mountain and coastal scenery, fascinating Arabic culture and beautiful luxury hotels. In case you need any more convincing (surely not), here are our top five Oman experiences…

Don't Be An Insta-Sheep...

Social media can cause almost anything to become famous overnight (anyone else remember the blue/gold dress saga of 2015?). Home to the weird, the wacky (goat yoga?!) and the wonderful, social media plays a huge part in the trends that creep into our everyday lives. The down side of this is…

canadian rockies film location

The Most Scenic Film & TV Locations in the World

We love a good binge. There, we said it. Whether it's an overload of baklava brought back from beautiful Greece, or a night of non-stop Netflix, once you start indulging it can be hard to know when to put the breaks on. While a movie marathon may be wonderfully tempting on a wet day, we're…

Could You Be Suffering From 'Nomophobia'?

Nomophobia (noun); the irrational fear of being without or being unable to use one's mobile phone. If you find yourself constantly smartphone scrolling, or you panic every time your battery level drops below 20%, you might be in need of a digital detox. There are two possible solutions. One,…

secret glamping camp

The Best Secret Glamping Locations in the World

A very fussy princess could once feel a pea at the bottom of several huge mattresses and 20 feather beds placed beneath her. Now, we aren't saying we would necessarily be able feel a minute garden pea (no matter how many corgis we buy, we are sadly still not 'HRH' status), but when it comes…

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