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What We’ve Been Reading: January 2017

At icelolly.com we love reading about travel as much as we enjoy writing about it! We’ve decided to start sharing with you the best stuff we’ve read around the internet every month, whether it be breaking news, a clever money-saving trick or a destination guide that’s got us itching to jump on a plane. Here are the things that have caught our eye this month.

The Top 20 Worldwide Instagram Spots Of 2016

Instagram is one of our favourite places to post photos of our holidays, so we loved this BuzzFeed article on 2016’s most Instagrammed locations around the world. A lot of them - like Disney theme parks, Times Square and the Eiffel Tower - are to be expected, but there are also several surprise landmarks on the list like the VDNKh exhibition centre in Moscow and Bangkok’s Siam Paragon shopping mall. We were especially surprised to find LAX Airport on the list – must be all those sky + plane wing shots…

Royal Caribbean UK looking for Instagrammer to be the cruise line's summer intern

We all have a pretty good time in the icelolly.com office, but we were tempted to throw it all away for this intern position with Royal Caribbean. Applicants were asked to post their best travel photo on video on Instagram, and the lucky candidate will get £3000 in prize money, plus the ‘job’ of travelling around the world for three weeks documenting their cruise experience on Instagram. Now that’s living the dream!

 Eight Things That Happened at icelolly.com’s Blog at the Beach

Not to sound too full of ourselves, but we do throw some good parties. In December we invited 60 bloggers to our tropical Christmas-themed Blog at the Beach to network, meet our team, listen to talks and, of course, have a few festive drinks. Ashton wrote a lovely post about all the fun things we got up to during the day and we must admit, it made us blush a little bit. Doesn’t everyone secretly love reading about themselves?

2017 Travel Planner: Where to go on holiday and when

If you’re the kind of person who always likes to have a holiday to look forward to, this guide by the Guardian is your ultimate tool for planning ahead. Featuring month-by-month tips on where to go right now, what you should be booking when to get the best price and where to look for the biggest bargains, this really is a great calendar for choosing your 2017 adventures. 

Post Office Holiday Money Report 2017

Every year the Post Office runs a survey of prices for tourist essentials in a range of worldwide locations, to determine the cheapest places to go on holiday. In 2017 the Algarve has come out as the world’s best value destination, totalling just £33.86 for a list of essentials that includes things like a dinner for two, a bottle of water, a cup of coffee and sun cream. This year’s survey is good news for holidaymakers in Europe, with the top 12 list dominated by European destinations.

How I visited 11 countries in a year without quitting my job

We loved this article by Sophie from Sophie’s Suitcase, all about how she managed to travel to 11 countries in 2016 without quitting her job or, we assume, bankrupting herself. She took only 26 days of annual leave but travelled for 56 days, taking advantage of bank holidays and long weekends and focusing mainly on European breaks and UK staycations to maximise her time away. If you want to travel more often without breaking the bank, this is the article you need.

Amazing Features on New Cruise Ships for 2017

We’re always amazed by how many cool activities you can cram on a cruise ship, and this year there are plenty of new features for cruisers to look forward to. This Metro article rounds up all the most extravagant new cruise facilities you’ll want to know about, including a two-level race track from Norwegian, an outdoor waterpark from MSC and a snow grotto with falling snowflakes from Viking.

Breakfast at McGettigan’s, Madinat Jumeirah

Danielle’s blog post about one of Dubai’s most popular Irish bars, McGettigan’s, reminds us of just how much of a home-from-home Dubai can be. Irish bars in Ireland are fun enough, but when the temperature is in the 30s that has to be an extra plus. Danielle’s photos of her indulgent brunch got us drooling (maybe just before lunch wasn’t the best time to read it), and salted caramel pancakes? Yes please…

We hope you enjoyed our link round-up! Feel free to add your own favourite sites in the comments, and we'll see you next month...