Lisa Rivera

A former writer on the travel desk of the Daily Telegraph, Clare now writes for Suitcases and Sandcastles.

One of the UK's top ten family travel blogs (Vuelio), it's filled with ideas for making culture and travel fun for all the family, with city guides, travel tips and inspiration for travelling in the UK and abroad. Check out Clare’s IQPlanner profile here.

Clare Thomson

Why did you start travel blogging? How long have you been doing it?

I started travel blogging 2 years ago. I’ve always loved travelling and adored my job as a travel journalist.


After I had children, I struggled to find travel features and blog posts that showcased great family travel ideas that everyone in the family could enjoy, so I decided to research and write my own.

Name your top 3 most memorable places?

  • Machu Picchu at dawn
  • Sipping Bellinis on the harbour at Portofino in Italy


  • Snorkelling in the clear waters off the Gili Islands, Indonesia.

What’s the best thing about being a travel blogger?

Having the perfect excuse to explore as much of the world as possible, to unearth those hidden gems and the real joy of sharing that knowledge with thousands of others.

And the worst?! (if there is one)

It can be very difficult to switch off. As a travel blogger, you need to use social media to document, research and market your posts.


I particularly love using Instagram to showcase my travels but I’m also a big fan of a digital detox, so I struggle to find the right balance between work and just enjoying the moment.

Give your top tip to a blogger starting out

Get involved in the travel blogging community. It can a source of real support and inspiration. Read other blogs, comment and share on social media.


Hotel freebies: take ‘em’ or leave ‘em’?

I love bringing luxurious toiletries home. It’s so useful having mini bottles of hair and body products for weekends away with friends and family.

What’s at the top of your list for destinations this year?

I’d love to take my kids to India. I spent a year backpacking around the country after university and I’d really like to go on a trip to Kerala in southern India with my two boys.


They’d love eating curries off a banana leaf, taking a boat down the waterways and seeing elephants in temples.

Why should people subscribe to your page?

I’m always looking out for hidden gems and those special, more laid-back places around the world where you have great family experiences whether in a big city or on a tiny island.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten on your travels?

Roasted guinea pig on a picnic in Peru.

Guinea pig

Name a place, city, or country where you feel happiest?

A laid-back Greek island. I love the slow pace of life on the Greek islands, the beauty of the sea and the fishing harbours.

Greek island

I also have to mention the simple, delicious food you can eat in the local tavernas.

Where’s your next adventure?

We’re off to the tiny island of Gozo in the Maltese archipelago in a couple of weeks.

Follow Clare and her family's next adventures by clicking on the following links.

Website - • Facebook - @suitcasesandsandcastles • Twitter - @suitandsand • Instagram - suitcasesandsandcastles • Pinterest - Suitcases and Sandcastles

«Get involved in the travel blogging community. It can a source of real support and inspiration.»