We hail from all countries and all areas of expertise; analysts, marketeers, brand strategists, developers, designers and writers. We draw from a wide pool of talent and there is certainly no set type at 80 DAYS.
Many of us come directly from the hotel and travel industry while all of us are truly, madly, passionate about travel and hospitality. Collectively, we are a formidable team.
Discover some of our favourite travel stories below.
Having a sundowner with friends and family whilst in Laikipia, Kenya. As the sun set near a watering hole, over 100 elephants came out of the trees to drink and play in the water. The best natural high you could ever experience. Amazing.
One of my favourite places to return to is the courtyard at the Louvre Museum. During the day it is impressive, but at night-time (when the crowds have gone) it becomes simply magical.
If it wasn’t for the occasional distraction from lights of the Eiffel Tower and the Tuileries Gardens, I would stare at the illuminated Pyramide du Louvre for hours.
You can’t walk away without looking over your shoulder to take one-more-final-look (or the occasional photo!).
Back in 2012 when we were expecting our first child, I surprised my wife with a ‘Babymoon’ holiday to Bordeaux and San Sebastián (pictured).
Every menu in every restaurant in both cities was an eclectic range of red wines, soft cheeses, cured meats and fresh seafood … most of which poor Mrs McG couldn’t eat! To top it all off, it rained almost the entire time we were in France & Spain... whilst back home in Scotland everyone was enjoying an unexpected heatwave.
It’s the one and only holiday where I’ve tried to book an earlier flight home. We were miserable at the time, but can laugh about it now.
An unforgettable and epic four week tour of Brazil, travelling 1,500 miles down the coast from the island paradise of Boipeba in the northern state of Bahia, to the southern city of Florianópolis – stopping en-route in Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Ilha Grande and Celso Ramos. Along with incredible India, Brazil is a country that just pulls me back again and again.
I was sitting in a café bar in Banos, (below the Tungurahua volcano), Ecuador and asked the Jamaican gentleman playing the guitar to the customers if I could have a go. I took the guitar from him, cranked up the amplifier and hit my first power chord – simultaneously the whole town’s electricity supply went down and we were plunged in to complete darkness!
Out for a romantic dinner with my wife in Italy, and she decides to order our meal as she speaks a little Italian. It sounded really good to me, but the waiter responded (in English): “Sorry, we don’t have cannabis toppings on our pizzas”.
One of my most memorable holidays was to Thailand. It’s postcard perfect islands, friendly locals and breath-taking scenery were difficult to beat. We spent several hours searching the night-market stalls in Bangkok for some trinkets to take home but a white-knuckle ride in a motorised (and highly-dangerous) tuk-tuk ended badly as we screeched to halt in front of luxury hotel and our bag of souvenirs flew out and were discarded across the road.
After I left school, I went to work and travel abroad for a year. Part of my travels took me to India, where I took a motorbike over the Rohtang pass, through mountains with views comparable to those in Switzerland!
The road itself is infamous for being one of the ‘most dangerous in the world’ and living up to its name there were some daunting moments as we weaved in and out of locals and their cows whilst trying not to fall over the edge of the cliff.
However, this ride still proved to be one of the most exciting and beautiful experiences of my life and I came back with wonderful memories and quite a bit of sunburn!
My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Italy, touring the North, from Venice to Milan.
During our time in Venice, we were enjoying a romantic sunset on the small island of San Giorgio Maggiore when a small film crew approached us and asked if we'd mind if they photographed us for a shampoo advert.
We were game for a laugh so said yes, but the irony that I might appear in a shampoo advert given that I'm follicly challenged was not lost.
One of my favourite travel memories is visiting Spreepark – an abandoned theme park in Berlin. It was quite an eerie experience, especially when the Ferris wheel started spinning slowly and creaking in the breeze.
December 31st 2010 I was in Sydney, Australia. We woke up early and travelled to Bondi Beach where I met a friend who took us to a remote spot at the wilderness reserve there and we spent the day surfing the most incredible waves. In the evening we returned to the city to watch the fireworks over the harbour and the famous Sydney opera house. That was a good day!
Having moved to Dubai in 2016, I quickly became amazed with how multi-cultural the city is; making friends with people from all over the world and learning about so many different cultures. I no longer have an amazing view of Edinburgh Castle, but the year-round sun makes up for this tragic loss in my life.
In October 2018 my wife and I travelled to Japan for our honeymoon. Whilst in Kyoto, we took part in a traditional tea ceremony which involved wearing the traditional garment (in my case a kimono). A Japanese tea master then took us through the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha (green tea). The tea was delicious and certainly packed a punch which after a busy day of sightseeing gave us the energy we needed to enjoy the Kyoto nightlife!
This year I was lucky enough to go away on Honeymoon to Mauritius with my wife, Aisling. We spent one of our days visiting just about every major tourist site on the Island, including the 7 Coloured Geopark (pictured), the Black River Gorges National park, the Sacred Lake of Grand Bassin and most importantly the Chamarel Rum distillery, where we sampled around a dozen types of incredible Rum. Sadly, our honeymoon ended on a sour note as I managed to get a serious bout of food poisoning 30 minutes before our 11.5 hour flight. I now actively avoid all fast food restaurants in airports - lesson learned!
While working and travelling in Latin America, a friend and I rented bikes to explore Death Valley near San Pedro the Atacama, a town set in the Atacama desert in Chile, the world's driest desert. We set off for a quick cycle on slightly questionable looking bikes and, of course, firstly got lost in another valley. Then halfway through the Death Valley (when we finally found it) my bike pedal decided it no longer wanted to stay attached to the bike. Repair attempts involving chewing gum failed. Going forward, the involuntary mode of transport was either pushing the bike up sand dunes or legs-up-in-the-air/one pedal cycling downhill. We (in contrast to the bike) made it back in one piece after 7 hours, just a bit dusty and dehydrated. The amazing scenery I witnessed in the desert (and the adventurous tale to tell) will stay with me forever.
From re-visiting old holiday spots or stomping new territory, I always find a way to appreciate the city and destinations through different eyes every time - never tired of London, New York, or even home grounds in Edinburgh.
In fact, I fell in love with Amalfi Coast so much that I had to return the same year. From scooting along long windy coastal routes on classic red Vespas, the beautiful views while hiking along the Path of the Gods, floating between mountains and clouds, the incredible dining, and not to forget limoncello under lemon trees - a little paradise on earth.
Oh, and no matter where you find me on my travels - I'll stick to my Dutch roots riding a bike and can ALWAYS be spotted coffee in hand.
Whilst living in Hong Kong, I was really fortunate to be able to travel all over Asia very easily (and cheaply!). During the Chinese New Year holiday in 2017, I travelled to Myanmar for a once in a lifetime trip. It was truly the most beautiful place I have ever seen! One morning we decided to get up to see the sunrise over the temples in Bagan as it had been highly recommended by our guide who led us up onto the top of one of the ancient temples. Every day at that time, hundreds of hot air balloons take to the skies in Bagan and the resulting view is unbelievable. I’m definitely craving another big trip like this post-Covid!
From a very young age I have always had such a passion for travel and discovering new cultures. The most memorable being when I decided on a complete whim to travel to the NE of Thailand to a town called Krasang (much to my parents delight) to gain my TEFL certification, teaching English as a foreign language. I was then offered a job to help others gain their TEFL as part of Camp Thailand. This was short lived as soon after I managed to contract Typhoid after being dropped headfirst into Krasang’s largest ‘monster fishing lake’ on a day trip.. Its fair to say I will never be setting foot in a fishing park ever again!
Coming from the city of Glasgow where the underground goes round in a circle – the subway system in Tokyo coupled with my terrible sense of direction was very challenging…and for some reason basic Japanese spoken in a lovely Weegie accent results in much laughter from anyone you try to ask for help!
What’s the perfect way to end a month of travelling around Bali? To climb Mount Batur, an active volcano.
After getting collected in the middle of the night, at around 4am we were equipped with head torches before heading to the base of the volcano – it’s a strange feeling starting to climb in the pitch black.
Two hours later we reached the top of Mount Batur to catch the most amazing sunrise. Quite an achievement before 6am.
However, at a staggering 5 ft 1, I’m not blessed with the longest legs in the world, so the hike was definitely not what I would call easy.
To top it all off, I lost my breakfast to some overly excitable monkeys on reaching the peak.
The 2.30am start, aching legs and no breakfast? Still absolutely worth it!
One of my bucket list travel destinations has always been Thailand so imagine my excitement when that dream was about to become reality. I spent the upcoming months bursting with excitement thinking about all the adventures I was about to embark upon. Flash forward to my very first night at our first hostel, exhausted from a long journey I decided to take a quick nap to rejuvenate myself and when I woke up, I felt revived and raring to go. So much so that when I climbed down the ladder of my top bunk bed I slipped and came crashing to the ground. In my instinctive attempt to break my fall I had broken my wrist! I spent the next three weeks bandaged up abroad.
I did my undergraduate degree in Paris so I had many a long haul flights from San Francisco to Paris and I almost always connected in London. Through the years on these flights I perfected comfortable travel hacks, some of which include no makeup, lose clothing, the best neck pillows money can buy and a very messy bun. On one of my more particularly comfortable trips from London to Paris I ended up sitting in the row behind Margot Robbie… She’s a bit more put together when she travels.
Before we were married, my wife and I spent four amazing weeks touring Chile. One of the greatest experiences of the trip combined our love of travel and the great outdoors – a five day circular trek of the Torres Del Paine National Park. It combined all the elements we were looking for, incredible scenery, challenging terrain and the peace and tranquillity of the wilderness.
The moment that will stay with me forever came as we conquered Paso John Gardner – a mountain pass and at 1,200m the highest point of the trek. Having negotiated the scree and patches of snow which made up the ascent, we stopped to take in the view of Glacier Grey beneath us and mountains of Patagonia that seemed to go on forever. After a good rest, we reluctantly began our descent. As we did, a magnificent giant Condor flew in to view, his huge wings outstretched, effortlessly gliding above the white glacier beneath us. It was a beautiful combination of location and nature which we will never forget.
Back in 2012 when I was a film student, I had the chance to enjoy a short trip to Paris. On my last night in the city, I was determined to visit a cinema and watch something – anything – to have an authentic French film experience. I stumbled into a quaint little art cinema in Montmartre where the last screening of the evening was about to start. I asked the guy in the box office if there were English subtitles. He enthusiastically waved me in, despite my broken protestations – ‘Mais… je ne comprends pas le Francais!’
As I settled into my seat and the lights went down, I knew my high school French would be far too rusty to fathom what on earth was going on. But I needn’t have worried. The film was The Artist, a modern film styled on silent cinema. The best part? It’s entirely without spoken dialogue! It was a dream happenstance, and a travel memory I’ll always cherish.
After 3 months of working at a kid’s summer camp in Pennsylvania, some friends and I headed to the West Coast, where we found ourselves on Hollywood Boulevard in a run-down hostel dorm with no air conditioning (in mid August!)
As I was walking into the hostel the next day, I was approached by two “TV producers” who told me they worked for the Jimmy Kimmel show in the studios next door. They asked if I’d take part in a game show to win an upgrade to a 5 Star hotel at the end of the road. I was convinced it was some sort of Hollywood scam and showed no interest, but it soon became clear they were serious. Next thing I knew I was mic’ed up, speaking to Jimmy Kimmel and had bagged myself the luxury suite (Woo!)
Unfortunately, my time as an A-lister was shortlived and we had to head back to the Hostel after our 1 night of luxury, but my YouTube legacy lives on.
Learning to surf in Noosa, Australia. All was going swimmingly until I caught a massive 1 foot wave, fell over and twisted my ankle. I haven’t graced the waves since.
My friends and I joined my parents in the Drakensburg mountains for a week. On a warm (yes, warm) South African winter’s day. We left my parents at the holiday house to go on a “short” hike. We were told about the trail but struggled to find it. Boys being boys, we decided to come up with our own pathway. It wasn’t long before it got steep. Holding onto long grass and pulling ourselves up. Eventually, we made it to a steady gradient but soon encountered a rather big fence that we somehow managed to climb over.
Feeling quite confident after making it to the top, we took some pictures and made our way down, this time, sticking to the pathway. Once again, we were greeted by the same fence. We made our way over and continued to follow the path that soon disappeared. We followed the river downstream, resulting in most of us falling in the river while my friend attempted to Tweet Bear Grylls asking for survival tips as he thought this was the end of us. 6 hours later we were back at the holiday house (no thanks to Bear Grylls) where my parents were in an absolute panic because they couldn’t get a hold of us. We were just happy to have made it back in one piece. Needless to say, this was the first and last time we decided to stray off the path.
I always wanted to live abroad and, after graduating from University in Italy, I decided to enrol for a Masters in the UK. Firstly, I needed to earn my IELTs so I randomly chose Edinburgh to study English. In the first two weeks of being in Edinburgh, I will admit that I barely understood the Scottish accent, but I fell in love with Scotland, the people and (of course) the haggis! So much so that seven years later I am still here!
While travelling with my wife Louise on honeymoon our first stop on the trip was Bali followed by Dubai. This photo is deep in the Arabian desert of Dubai, after a bumpy journey of some “dune bashing” we stopped to take in the sights. Then a local Arabian desert man approached us to see if I would like to hold his pet Falcon. I gladly obliged to hold said Falcon in my hand before I was offered to put it on my head. I thought when else would I get this opportunity, so Arabian desert man set the Falcon on my head and said you might feel a light prick, which I certainly did.
After graduating, I travelled around Southeast Asia for a few weeks with friends from school. One of my highlights was staying in a beautiful nature lodge on the Kinabatangan River in Borneo. As well as midnight jungle tours (leech alert - very stressful), we enjoyed sunrise and sunset boat rides, during which we saw crocodiles, snakes, orangutans, gibbons, water monitors and more. We were told that if we were really lucky we might see an elephant. On our last sunset boat trip we heard there had been a sighting. Our amazing driver sped along the river in the hope we would catch a glimpse.
Much to everyone’s dismay, we ran out of petrol in the middle of the river. Whilst everyone was stressing about the petrol, my friends and I snuck in a quick photoshoot. We gathered our money together and bought some petrol from a boat passing by. The elephant chase continued! Finally, we neared the riverbank at a spot where the jungle cleared. As we approached the gap in the trees, I heard the elephants before I saw them ... we got there just in time to see the cutest baby elephant trot after their mum. What a very special moment.
In 2021, after one of the many lockdowns we went through, I decided that a change in my work-from-home scenery would do me good. That is when I decided to spend a month working remotely from Spain. I split my time in between Alicante, Altea and Valencia, and whenever I wasn't working, you would find me at the beach either eating some sea food paella or grilled octopus (my favourite food).
When arriving in Valencia, I noticed that the city was very busy and with many tourists despite some COVID restrictions still being in place. As I walked along the streets, I spotted huge, colourful statues made of papier-mache around the city. I asked locals and they said I was lucky to be there for Las Fallas, a traditional festival held annually in commemoration of Saint Joseph with fireworks and parades. I joined the celebration and made friends along the way!
When I was studying in Malaysia, I went to Borneo for the weekend and visited a turtle sanctuary on Turtle Island. The overnight trip involved seeing the mother turtles come onto the beach to lay there eggs and release the baby turtles to the sea. But my friends and I hit the jackjot! We were chilling on the protected beach during the day when the beach security man called us over to see three baby turtles hatch which had been missed when the rangers collected the eggs when they were laid. We helped them to the sea; I will never forget that moment or how lucky we were!
After I left school, three friends and I went interrailing around Europe for 3 weeks. We started off in Amsterdam, made our way to Berlin and then to Prague. When we arrived in Budapest, the ticket office noticed I’d somehow managed to purchase my interrailing pass for the month prior to our trip, meaning it was now expired. No one, including the train conductors had noticed! Luckily, I was able to purchase a new ticket at a much cheaper price due to the exchange rate in Hungary.
We then carried on the rest of our adventure and visited Ljubljana, Pula, Venice, Geneva and Paris. Despite the slight ticket disaster, it was one of the best holidays I’ve ever been on.
As a Spaniard passionate about mountains, I’ve always wanted to hike the highest summit in Spain: Mount Teide, elevation of 3,715 m. That dream came true during my last trip to Tenerife. But it was not easy. The natural park is protected so you need to request a permit to climb to the peak. I could not find any available dates. I didn’t give up and looked for other ways.
I’ve always wanted to watch the sunrise up there, but the shelter where mountaineers spent the night had been closed. The alternative? Walk all the way up during the night. I asked around and someone recommended a local mountain guide, as they usually have their own permits. He found another two people willing to do it. I landed in Tenerife, and I saw it from the coastal town where I stayed, it was massive.
6th November, midnight, we started walking under the stars. 7 hours later, I was sitting at the top, close to the crater, waiting for the sun when this picture was taken. Pink and blue pastel colours, bright orange too. The sun said hi, slowly, a bit shy. Then we saw it: the shadow of Teide projected on the sea, rising to the sky.
Whilst living in Oman when I was younger, every month was spent visiting amazing places such as the desert, oasis’ and fresh water springs (Wadi’s) with my family.
With only a couple months left until we were due to move back to Scotland, we drove for 2 days to get to one of the most remote and renowned Wadi’s in Oman. After a long drive and numerous detours, we finally made it, and with impeccable timing, we were greeted by people sprinting away from the Wadi due to incoming thunder, lightning and a flash flood!
I was 20 on the final leg of my European summer road trip. Taking a break from my family, I was reading Game of Thrones by the blue waters of Italy’s Lake Garda when an unfamiliar stinging started to creep up my arms, face, and legs.
We don’t get sunburnt in my family, so I figured the feeling must have been from my earlier swim. Ten chapters later, I was a few shades off from lobster and slapping the Aloe Vera on with a shovel.
Lesson learned. Memories still made. Sunscreen always a must.
Whilst backpacking Southeast Asia, I spent 4 days riding a motorbike around the Ha Giang Loop, spanning a total of 350km in the north of Vietnam. I took the ‘easy rider’ option (basically means getting someone else to ride the bike for you while you sit on the back as a passenger princess). I loved every moment of it and the views were incredible. Each night I stayed in a Homestay where we had a ‘family dinner’ with the local people. Before family dinner started, we had to shot what they called ‘happy water’. I can’t even begin to describe what it tastes like but it definitely made everyone happy!
I love heights and hilly regions which has led me to several mountains. On one such trip, I was enjoying the sunset in the mountains of Yercaud, in India, when a monkey came out of nowhere, scratched my ankle and pulled away my backpack filled with food, water and my Ray Bans.
So, there I was, with a beautiful sunset in front of me but frazzled by this monkey attack. Had to go back to the resort and visit the medical room to cater to my ankle scratches. But I am sure that monkey enjoyed my sandwiches and looked very cool wearing shades somewhere in the middle of the mountains
Nevertheless, I had a great time during my stay there but I am definitely keeping away from all monkeys for the rest of my life. I don’t know what they call “monkey – phobia”
In May 2021, I graduated from Le Moyne, Syracuse, New York on a tennis scholarship. Studying in America whilst playing competitive tennis had always been a goal of mine growing up. During my final semester, our team had a very successful semester. We won the Conference Title and reached the Regional Finals, doing so earned us a National Ranking, a first in programme history. #PhinsUp
I went to Morocco about 4 years ago and wanted to go to the famous Ouzound waterfall. I asked the tour-guide/ taxi driver who was taking us if it was possible to go there from Marrakesh. He recommended going to another place where we could in fact see 7 waterfalls and have a more cultural trip in the Atlas Mountains and it is a lot shorter car ride. We thought yes sure, that sounds great! Once we get there we start walking to the first waterfall that ends up being a bit of a climb, the next minute we’re on the edge of a cliff with no easy way down, me in a short dress flashing everyone near and around, my friend in a tight dress with restricted leg movement, realizing we were now climbing up the edge of a mountain in the worst hiking gear possible and no other option other than to carry on. The waterfalls…all 7, were more of a trickle of rainwater than a waterfall but it was still an amazing experience…and a good workout!
My first trip with friends after arriving in the UK was a memorable one, as we ventured to the historic Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, Scotland. The ruined medieval fortress is located on a rocky headland on the north-eastern coast of Scotland, and it was a wonderful walk from Stonehaven town to the Castle. Despite the freezing cold weather, the journey was worth it as we got to explore the ancient ruins and learn about its rich history. The castle has a long history dating back to the 14th century and has served as a royal residence, a prison, and a stronghold during wars. People are currently experiencing some paranormal activity too!
In La Thuile, Italy, I went on my first skiing holiday. I found myself at the top of a dauntingly steep slope, its surface was covered with ice. To make it worse I had caught myself in a blizzard, reducing visibility and making it harder to get down. Not long into my descent, my skis slipped away from off my feet and went tumbling down the mountain. Suddenly, I was left on the slope without them. The only choice was to sit and slide down the remainder of the mountain on my backside. Despite the biting cold and stinging snow, I managed to get down the slope without any injuries.
After university I spent a year backpacking in Australia and on the way home stopped in Thailand for a week. I saw the sights of Bangkok, did a Thai cookery course in Chaing Mai, rode an elephant and did white water rafting.
When it was time to fly back to the UK it was so hot I boarded the plane in shorts and landed back in Edinburgh to snow!
I had a misspent youth travelling around, playing in a band – most of which I can no longer remember, have blocked from my memory, or dare not to repeat in polite company!
I went solo backpacking from the far east to the west. I started with a day trek in the Philippines' Mt. Daraitan, a natural paradise with pristine rivers and waterfalls, dark hollowed caves of century-old formations of stalagmite and stalactite rocks to the picturesque view of Sierra Madre range. I flew to Boracay and fearlessly went parasailing and helmet diving. I was brave enough to go snorkelling and adventurously tasted exotic street food including cricket, spider and scorpion in Thailand.
As soon as I disembarked from the plane in India, I had to run really fast with my 7kg backpack just to make it to my connecting flight - I was the last passenger to board. Whilst I was in Dubai, I was fortunate enough to have reached the 125th level of Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest skyscraper with the world's fastest double deck lift. I spent the rest of my holidays exploring the UK.
If you were ever wondering if anyone ever wins these crazy holiday competitions – turns out they do! After doing some retail therapy I opted into the retailer’s newsletter at checkout, unknowingly entering myself into a 10-day Thailand trip competition. I remember getting the call to say I’d won late one night in supermarket car park, naturally thinking it was a scam I laughed it off… until I heard direct from the holiday provider(!) 6 months later I was jetting off to Bangkok!
A trip to my favourite city (Paris) was made all the better by the surprise puppy waiting for me at home when I landed back in Scotland! I never thought anything could top Paris, but hey...
I spent the summer in the Applecross peninsulain the Scottish Highlands, off-roading in my Land Rover over the ancient mountainous Bealach na Bà (Gaelic for Pass of the Cattle). The scenery was stunning, but the most awe-inspiring sight was watching a family of wild pine martens tucking in to a jar of jam.
On a dream holiday to Disney World I experienced an unusual form of transport delay when I got stuck in a Haunted Mansion ‘Doom Buggy’ during a technical glitch. Thankfully I was entertained by the dancing skeletons and animatronic bats who carried on regardless until the problem was resolved and I was returned to the mortal world.
Whilst fishing on a boat off the coast of Tenerife I caught an 85Kg sting ray, then as I was leaning over the side to get the photo and release it, lost my sunglasses to the Atlantic. Ally 1 – Sting Ray 1.
One memory that springs to mind was when I decided to climb a couple of Munros. Beinn a’ Chochuill and Beinn Eunaich were the target for the day which seemed like quite a big trip to us. However, as we stopped for a break on a particularly steep section, we watched another walker cover the ground we’d walked over the last hour in a matter of minutes. He then proceeded to tell us he’d done the other two Munro’s to the west as well as the ones we were doing. He then promptly disappeared into the distance never to be seen again. It took us several hours to complete the remaining hill.
No one does food like the Italians and I was lucky enough to sample some of their finest here in a Milanese restaurant under the autumn sunset. Thankfully, the Italians managed to solve the problem of feeling too hungry before dinner, by inventing a whole new mealtime to come before it: the aperitivo, something we Brits could learn from.
It’s too difficult to pick one travel story as the best part is experiencing different things. I love the memories of many weeks camping and diving on a remote coral cay on the Great Barrier reef as much as hours sitting on tiny plastic chairs eating the worlds best street food in Saigon!