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In August of 2019 my friends and I decided to take an epic 30th birthday trip to Madrid and Ibiza. This was my first-time visiting Spain and man, let me tell you, it was a fantastic trip! From the tapas, to the street festivals, to the gorgeous beaches of Ibiza. Spain is a must see! One of the first things we did when we landed in Madrid was to go on a tapas and wine tasting evening walking tour.  This tour was perfect because it was intimate, so we could really listen to the tour guide and bond with the group we were on tour with. The places that we were shown were amazing. One of the destinations was a bar that sold fresh shrimp. The restaurant cooked the  shrimp right in front of you, in garlic and oil sizzled to perfection.  Lastly and my personal favorite, was that we were able to drink a huge glass of wine at each taverna and the food got better and better with each stop. I highly recommend starting off with this tour early on your trip.

Below please find a few more highlights:

Las Fiestas de La Paloma

This one was not planned at all, but luckily, we landed in Madrid during Las Fiestas de La Paloma. Right around the corner from our Airbnb there was food, great music, sangria being sold in huge jugs, (did I mention the sangria was being sold in huge jugs? ).

Games, dancing and so much more rounded up the festival. There we were in the thick of it, dancing, singing along to songs, hanging with the locals. It was really an amazing and euphoric experience. If you are able to check it out, I highly recommend it.

During my time in Madrid I also attended an authentic bull fighting event. We went to the arena grabbed our drinks and watched the matadors do their thing! This was a unique experience and it felt incredible to know that I was experiencing something that has taken place for hundreds of years. At the time I didn’t know how bull fighting shows ended, so I was in for a rude awakening. Regardless, I am glad I had the experience and I would recommend checking it out, if this is something on your list.

The Royal Palace of Madrid is simply stunning. Usually on vacation I am one to try to avoid tours I think might be cliché. When we went to the palace, I thought I would be underwhelmed, but boy was I wrong. The palace is just as grand as you can imagine. I may not be an official princess, but if they allowed me, I would get married right there in that grand courtyard. A girl can dream!

The last thing that I must highlight from my trip was our time at the Hammam Al Andalus! This is the only Arab Baths in Madrid. The bathhouse is located in the historic center of the city, close to Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol. This was one of the best massages I have ever had in my entire life! It was definitely the best bath house I have ever been too! The service was superb, every person there was super welcoming. The tea which was served in the waiting area was incredible, (trust me I am usually not a tea drinker). Finally, my 40 min massage was to die for. When it was over, I almost handed over my credit card and told them to take it all, just so it would not have to end. I highly recommend booking an appointment here. Great for a group visit with your girls or a romantic date night.

Ibiza

After Madrid we caught a short plane ride to Ibiza where all the fun continued. Yes, Ibiza is as crazy, wild and fun as you would think! We stayed at an amazing Airbnb with a rooftop cabana and hot tub which was a little bit away from Playa d’en Bossa. Playa d’en Bossa has an amazing night life. This way we were close to all the fun but could still get a good night’s sleep.

Before we went to our Airbnb, we decided to take a quick detour to the island of Formentera! I am so glad we did. There we went to Playa Illetes which has been nominated as one of the top 10 beaches in the world! The water was clear and calm we were able to swim out and sit and enjoy the sunshine. There was a lovely restaurant nearby where we could go and grab drinks and enjoy them on the beach. It was the perfect day trip. If you do decide to go, trust me and take the fast ferry from Ibiza to Formentera. It’s a bit more money but worth it! We took the other ferry option and by the time we got to Formentera everyone was a tad nauseous .

Another highlight of our trip was O Beach Ibiza! This was an extremely fun day club. We put on our best bikini day outfits and partied until the sun went down! We had our own section where we could order bottle service and food. We went into the pool and we listened to all the different DJ’s come on. If you are celebrating something on your trip this is the place to go to have fun and be seen. To say it was a vibe is an understatement!

Fun fact! In college I participated in the study abroad program in Greece. Six weeks spent
exploring Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete and Delhi in the most magical country. I got the
opportunity to go back this past April with my sister to the island of Santorini and it was just as
majestic as I remembered it to be.
We stayed at the Isotria hotel which is located in the beautiful beach town of Perivolos. This
hotel is home to the largest outdoor swimming pool in Santorini and it is situated on the black
sand beach, so you have the best of both worlds. With only 12 suites on the property this intimate
oasis was the best place to escape and relax. We were greeted with a refreshing welcome drink
and then we proceeded to the restaurant for a fresh breakfast. The Istoria hotel is stunning and
the staff is beyond accommodating and attentive. My favorite part of the stay were the delicious
cocktails created by the bartenders at the pool they were incredibly strong and fresh, just the way
we all like them.
Friday night we decided to go to Fira to check out the night life. We couldn’t make it to the club
due to jet lag, but we wanted to at least hit up a lounge. We ended up at PK rooftop. PK is named
one of the best bars in Santorini, overlooking Fira you get one of the best views of the city. The
passion fruit drink I ordered added to the amazing ambience. I highly recommend visiting.
I then made about 4 trips to Oia in the day and at night. Oia is voted one of the most beautiful
cities in the world, I believe it is actually third on the list and it totally lives up to the name. One
of the most special moments in Oia was a dinner for two we had at Canaves hotel in their
restaurant Petra. Here we had an eight course meal and wine pairing on the rooftop at sunset
surrounded by the twinkling light of the skyline. Each course was better than the next and the
experience was worth every penny.
On our next visit to Oia we went in the day and did a little sightseeing. On this day we walked
300 steps from the top of Oia down to the beautiful Amoudi Bay. We had the most amazing meal
sitting close to the water, (we practically felt like we were in the water). There I had the best
grilled feta wrapped in phyllo dough of my life and a most amazing vegetarian pasta. (Amoudi
Bay restaurant is a seafood restaurant and I didn’t want to risk having an allergic reaction.).
While there we watched the sunset,the location was perfect and watched the boats sail away.
Also while in Greece we learned that it was Greek Easter. They really take the holiday seriously
there. One of the best things I witness was the village of Prygos lit up on Good Friday with
lanterns. They light the lanterns at night and they burn all through to the next morning which
causes a beautiful glow throughout the night sky.
If you are looking to get away, relax, rejuvenate , eat the most amazing fresh foods in the most beautiful place then Greece is the next trip for you.

We have all been there. Work is sending you for one night to a great location, but you are alone and think what a waste, right? Wrong! In my life as an events specialist, I have to travel for work often and I have learned how to make the most out of those trips. As a travel blogger, please find my top 3 tips for getting the most out of your work travel.

Try to leave the Saturday/ Sunday night before the trip
Now this one can be tricky depending on the day you need to travel for work. However, if you need to travel for work on a Monday, go ahead and leave a couple of nights earlier. Find a cute Airbnb, or hotel and make a weekend out of it. Explore the new city, grab brunch, and check out a museum, or google the best lounge they have to grab a drink. Give yourself the chance to get to know your new location, before you have to head to that client meeting, or new office. You will feel way more relaxed come Monday morning for work and you will have found some cool places in a city you otherwise may not have visited

Connect with old friends
Work travel is always a great excuse to connect with friends you may not have seen in a while. Reach out to them ahead of time, grab drinks, or go to brunch. This is the perfect time to connect and have someone you know show you around. Have them tell you where the best place is to stay in town and what activities you should definitely try to make time for while you are there.

Spa
Work trips tend to be very quick and they are jam packed with meetings. The next thing you know, you are back on the plane headed home, extremely tried for the short trip. If you are staying at a nice hotel and do not have a friend in the city to hang out with, go ahead and treat yourself to some pampering. Book a massage, facial, maybe a mani and pedi and treat yourself to a little get away pleasure. Get a glass of wine, relax and treat the trip like the getaway you deserve.

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