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• Best Hotel Review Platform, Travel & Tourism Awards 2024—LUXLife Magazine winner 
• AITO Travel Blogger of the Year 2022—shortlisted

Hi! I'm Lydia, a solo travel and luxury hotel expert, and founder of Lydia Travels. Having explored parts of 58 countries, many on a restrictive budget, (including living on just $25/£20 a day for a year), I am skilled at discovering inspiring places to visit, incredible local restaurants, and small luxury hotels across the globe.

Lydia Swinscoe on a swing overlooking the countryside of the Dominican Republic
That's me hanging out on a swing in the Dominican Republic

I prefer slow travel to really immerse myself into the soul of a place and will always take a bus or train journey over a short flight when possible, even if that means taking a 25-hour bus journey across the center of Brazil.

As a teenager, I spent my holidays working in a Latin-American handcraft store filled with nodding animals bought back from Peru, silver jewelry sourced in Brazil, and Day of the Dead papier-mâché skeletons from Mexico. Being surrounded by these items sparked my interest in travel, so after saving hard I took my first solo trip, at 19, to Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico. Since then I seem to have developed an obsession with countries ending in 'a'—Bolivia, Cambodia, India, and Guatemala are just a few of my favorites.

I graduated with a degree in Journalism from the London College of Communication, and started my career working for magazines at the BBC before quitting office life for a year of travel—of the 15 countries I visited, most were explored overland. Some highlights from the trip include attending a teaching by the Dalai Lama in the foothills of the Himalayas, exploring the world's largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, and being completely overwhelmed by the magnificent power of Iguazu Falls on the Argentina/Brazil border.

montage of solo travel expert Lydia Swinscoe showing imahes taken in Yerevan, Armenia, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Menorca, the Peak District and London, UK

Since returning, I've taken many more trips, thankfully swapping budget hostels for artfully designed luxury hotels,
and have written about some of my adventures for The Guardian,, Harper's Bazaar UK, BBC Good Food,, ELLE UK, Oh magazine, woman&home and Town & Country. Before its closure, some of my photography was featured in Lonely Planet Traveller.

Solo travel is my specialty and I'm happiest when hunting out delightful local food while wearing flip-flops, preferably somewhere hot.

I've slept at every hotel and eaten at every restaurant recommended by Lydia Travels. If you take action (eg. book a hotel, flight or service) after clicking on one of the affiliate links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend places or services that I really love and want to share with fellow foodie travelers.


  1. Lydia u r s modern dream dooer.
    It's possible that ur bio would be made into a movie, dear Lady

  2. That would be lovely! Thank you Gerry



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