Tropical Travel Essentials: Natural & Organic Products

There’s something undeniably exciting about getting ready for a holiday.  It’s an opportunity to explore new products and brands, have a good old preen and get ready to pamper yourself.  I searched high and low for cruelty free and eco-friendly products to take with me on holiday this year.  Determined from the outset, I’ve managed to find products I’m excited to use, and feel luxurious.  After all, an ethical/cruelty free/chemical free/guilt-free purchase doesn’t have to be boring… Oh no!  Since I eventually found a couple of amazing products that are now my go-to tropical travel essentials I had to share them!

After a few online research sessions, I decided to try the Neal’s Yard Suncare & Travel range. I went into the gorgeous Covent Garden store (first opened in 1981!) and got some great advice from the experts there who talked me through the products.  I bought on the Sun Lotion and Bug Spray – the essentials for a tropical holiday!

The Vegan Edit - Tropical Travel Essentials - NYR

Citronella Formula – Bug Spray

Having spent 3 months in the outback, I know the importance of a good bug spray cannot be underestimated.  Whilst I stayed at a beautiful farm,  it was right on a river so the midgies were savage – You soon learn what works and what doesn’t! I learnt the hard way and it wasn’t pretty!

Mother Nature knows what she’s doing.  The natural herbal products that use citronella or rosemary are far more effective and pleasant to use than the chemical deet sprays that plague the pharmacy shelves.  The Citronella Formula bug spray is toxin free, cruelty free, certified organic and vegan – as are all NYR products. To be honest it’s a gorgeous product to use, and has such a relaxing scent which is really luxurious. It contains lavender oil, thyme oil and eucalyptus oil to name a few – who knew there was such a thing as luxury bug spray?? This one’s a winner – Happy Days!

The Vegan Edit - Tropical Travel Essentials Natural Organic Luxury

Lemongrass Sun Lotion

Now as a fair-skinned ‘English rose’, the sun and I have a somewhat strained relationship. I’m careful to protect myself from burning as it’s so easily done with pale skin.  So for me, finding a good sun cream is a really important part of pre-holiday prep!

Even though I’ve tried out natural products before, I was still a bit dubious about whether chemical free lotion would work. This one does the trick, and doesn’t need reapplying that often unless you go for a swim. As with all NYR products, the Lemongrass Sun Lotion has an amazing smell. There are no parabens or synthetic fragrances added – which is a great bonus for those with sensitive skin. I bought spf 30 but you can also get spf 15 or spf 50.

So there you have it, two fantastic ethical products that are now firmly on my list of tropical travel essentials.

Happy Holidays!

Ruth x

I’ve recently noticed that Neal’s Yard Organic’s have just released a Travel Kit of miniature sized products too – perfect!

Gilly T Bali: Kaleydo Villas and Pituq Vegan Cafe

Tropical Islands are what dreams are made of, especially when it’s one of the famous Gilly Islands.  The Gilly Islands are made up of three small idyllic islands off the coast of Lombok, and an hours ferry trip from mainland Bali, Indonesia. I spent a few days exploring Gilly T, the slightly larger and livelier island of the three. Here’s my take on the beautiful Kaleydo Villas and the delicious local vegan hangout Pituq Cafe…

This part of the Bali adventure was dedicated to Birthday celebrations for my best friend. We stayed at the suitably luxurious Kaleydo Villas, a hidden gem consisting of a small set of villas just off the main strip with the most friendly and helpful staff.  The pool is so inviting, as soon as you arrive you can’t help but leap in!

Kaleydo Villas Pool View

I took a million photos of this place, because I didn’t want to miss anything.  I had to keep pinching myself at how gorgeous and tranquil it was. Absolute Heaven! There really isn’t a leaf or petal out of place. I’m not even sure these photos fully do it justice, every little detail is perfect.

Kaleydo Villas Private Pool


Kaleydo Villas Breakfast

Our bathroom was gorgeous, with carved stone sinks, a rain shower and soft cozy towels. A welcoming luxury after a hot sticky day exploring island – the villa is your own private spa. It’s an amazing space to unwind and let stress melt away. Face masks at the ready!

Kaleydo Villas Luxury Bathroom

As Kaleydo Villas are just a couple of minutes ride from the main strip, the cycle down to morning Yoga is a breeze. There’s nothing quite like starting the day with some heart-opening Yoga in a tropical garden to get you feeling fabulous!

On Gilli T everyone explores the island by bike, as there are no cars, only horse and carts.  Theoretically, you cancycle around the island in half an hour. However, there are so many tempting views to photograph, juices to drink and massages to stop off for along the way that it easily becomes a chilled half day of exploring.

Gilly T Snorkelling


We cycled up to the North of the island in search of the best sites for snorkeling.  The coral, fish and ocean wildlife are mesmerizing. You can hire a snorkel and flippers from the local dive school for a very reasonable price.  Don’t forget to go mad on the suncream though…Bali sun is seriously fierce!


Pituq Cafe: Gilly’s best Vegan cuisine

As food obsessed travellers, we had done our research and knew exactly where we wanted to fuel up.  Our favourite place to fill up with amazing Vegan grub was Pituq Café, where the food, smoothies and juices were seriously delicious.  It is pretty difficult to find, but so worth the persistence.

Below is a photo of a delicious butternut squash, salad and tempeh wrap… plus an incredible dragon fruit smoothie in the background… foodie heaven!

Lunch at Pituq

We ate here at every opportunity and even got takeaway for our ferry journey back to the mainland, determined to try everything on the menu!

Lunch at Pituq day 2


As it happens Pituq Café is right around the corner from Kaleydo Villas, a match made in heaven.  We wound down after our action packed day by cooling off in the pool.  In the evenings, the stars are mesmerizing, a star gazer’s dream!

If Gilly T is on your bucket list, I’d recommend adding Pituq Cafe and Kaleydo Villas too.  I can safely say that I have never slept anywhere more relaxing, or been met with a more charming, hospitable welcome!

I honestly had the time of my life at this place!

For more Bali travel reviews keep an eye out , I’ll be posting some more soon…

Ruth x

Find out more about Kaleydo Villas here


Flax & Kale – Barcelona’s Best Healthy Restaurant by Theresa Carles

Who says healthy can’t be scrumptious? Flax & Kale is Barcelona’s best healthy restaurant for nutritious juices, healthy dishes and beautiful design!

F&K Rainbow Juice


Eat better, Be happier, Live longer – is the motto of Flax & Kale. A motto well worth remembering in everyday life to motivate you to reach your health & fitness goals. Opened by Theresa Carles, a sustainable veggie restaurant pioneer in Spain, Flax & Kale attracts models and artists as well as locals and tourists. It’s a beautifully designed space inspired by Soho restaurants in New York.  Bright, spacious and a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy!

Theresa calls Flax & Kale a ‘flexitarian’ restaurant, no red-meat is served, but there’s a giant menu of vegetarian and fish dishes. 80% of the menu is plant based, and everything is clearly labelled as raw/gluten free/vegan.  It’s one of the most incredible healthy menu’s I’ve seen, gave me the ‘eye’s bigger than belly’ syndrome big time!

In their words ‘We feel passionate about feeding you better thus you can be happier and live longer with an optimal health’ – Amen to that!! The range of options on offer is huge – there’s raw starters, fresh salads, tacos, gluten-free pasta, not to mention the most incredible selection of smoothies, nut milks and cold-pressed juices. I’m deadly serious when I say that the hardest part of the day was deciding what to order!

F&K Breakfast

Eventually I decided on an Acai Bowl with banana, blueberries, chestnut crumble, agave syrup, hemp seeds and goji berries + a Green Love Juice of apple, spinach, cucumber, celery, ginger and lemon.

Flax & Kale Barcelona F&K Breakfast Acai Bowl

The juices, milks and smoothies need a special mention as they are all made with nutritious organic ingredients. To maximise and preserve all the nutrients, Teresa and her team use a huge cold-press machine imported from the U.S. There is a Juicery and a whole room dedicated to making the perfect beverages – serious dedication!  Obviously I couldn’t resist a second visit to this gem, the second time reserving a spot in the outside area they have in the edgy Raval square. There’s also a gorgeous rooftop garden that is quieter and perfect for enjoying a laze in the afternoon sun.

This has to be the best health food hang out in Barcelona. Theresa’s Juicery alone is enough to make a health nut like me giddy at the knees! I highly recommend a visit… or two! I had to make one last drop-in to pick up a piece of Teresa’s Rainbow Cake & an ‘Antiox’ Juice for the trip to the airport, leaving me with a healthy and happy glow!

If you’re off to Barcelona for a long weekend this Summer, make sure you check out this awesome restaurant.

Some of the amazing items on the menu….

Quinoa and Blueberry Muffin
Acai Smoothie Bowl with Hemp Seeds + Goji Beries
Chia Flax Bagel
Kale Salad w Sprouts + Nori Seaweed
Raw Vegan Lasagne
Coco Masala Chai Nut Milk

Flax & Kale, Carrer dels Tallers, 74, Barcelona

F&K Theresa's Juicery

When you visit this gem, let me know what you think 🙂

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