Discover the World From Home

Who said travel is on hold?! There may be a pandemic, and we may not be allowed outside our houses, but that won’t stop us – travel fanatics with wanderlust running through our veins, infected by the travel bug – from discovering new places. Treat yourself to a virtual staycation this spring, right from your comfy couch. No need for waiting in line, walking all day or even a trip itinerary: with these tools, you’ll be able to discover the world from your comfy couch.

Whether you still want to experience that trip to Paris you’ve had to cancel, or you’re as curious as I am and you’re open to exploring new destinations, I will guide you through some steps to recreate that cultural treasure hunt right at your home. We’ve already figured out how to keep your travel spirit alive during this time, and I’m sure you’ve become a master of self-care with these tips and how to grow during this time of self isolation. And now, it’s time to let our wanderlust take over again.

Step Into the Virtual Realm of Travel

Today’s technology has evolved to a point where you can bring every destination into your home by experiencing virtual tours. Here are some of the musea, parks and cities who provide these online tours. No need to wait in line, no need to buy your ticket. Just head over to their website and enjoy the scene!

Virtual Museum Tours

Frida Kahlo: Frida Kahlo’s Blue House museum, located in Mexico, Coyoacán, opened their virtual doors to the public during this pandemic – and it’s an excellent way to enrich your knowledge of Mexican art history.

The Louvre Museum in Paris, France displays several virtual tours – from The Petite Galerie to Egyptian Antiquities, indulge yourself in the richness of the art collection that’s now fully available to you in just one click.

Google Arts & Culture gives you access to virtual tours from over 2500 museums spread accross all corners of the earth. No matter your artsy preferences, you’ll find anything here – from catching penguins in the Natural History Museum in London to exploring Keith Haring’s work.

Virtual City Tours

#stayhome Is not only a trend, but a necessity these days. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t go for a walk in your favourite city – virtually, of course. Again, Google Arts & Culture and Google Maps Street View allows us to travel across all countries with not only virtual museum tours but also tours of the biggest landmarks world-wide – imagine Christ the Redeemer or the pyramids of Giza from as you close as you’d like – nothing is too big.

YouVisit’s Machu Pichu’s 360° overview is a great way of catching a glimpse of the Machu Pichu’s breathtaking sights.

AirPano shows 360° videos and photos from their VR collection of impressing spectacles from all over the world – taking you from underwater realms in Indonesia to paradisiac views of the lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, this is your source of virtual eye treats.

Release Your Inner Chef

Pop that bottle of French wine open, open up the wonderful source to all recipes – the Internet – and get cooking! By trying out foreign dishes, you get to know the culture better and you get to taste it. If you’re not into cooking, then this is the best time to support your local businesses – whether there’s a Greek restaurant nearby who still delivers, or that Hawaiian Poké place – those dishes will take you right to the country of origin. And, at the same time, you’re supporting business who are going through difficult times at the moment. It’s a great way to taste your friend’s favourite dishes and restaurants nearby is on Twisper, as you will only find true and real opinions of people without any ads or ratings.

Dust Off Those Travel Guides On Your Book Shelf

Now you’re sitting there, in your kitchen, with a virtual tour of Rome playing on the background, you popped open some fine Italian red wine and your hot pizza order just arrived. Let’s level this up: grab those old travel books or magazines where you got your inspiration from and start reading a bit about your dream location – the history of the Vatican in this case, is quite the collection. Really get into the mood by learning more about the culture, as if you were to visit it. If you’re more into online travel guides, to my opinion Lonely Planet has made the best ones available on their app Guides – insider tips, background stories and amazing visuals included.

Pick Up Some Foreign Expressions

Another great way to learn more about a culture is learning the language. Imagine if you were on your trip to Rome. You would learn some Italian, si? Refresh your multilingual skills by learning some key expressions and practice these at home. Maybe you can take it a level higher and chat with a native – Tandem offers you great ways to learn foreign languages with native speakers, face-to-face, and so are Mondly and Fluentu.

Get that Party Started

Music can change our moods in huge ways: in can motivate us, calm us, or teach us. Accompany your little Italy escape with some traditional Italian background music and change the mood to some that’s amore. On YouTube, Spotify or any music source, you will find countless playlists to spice up the mood!

Apps With View For Days

So, now you’re sitting there in your sofa, with a pizza slice in one hand and a glass of red wine in the other, some background music playing, enjoying Rome by night on your TV screen while attempting to become native in Italian. You’re probably wondering: is that it? You’ve had your magical Italian dinner, you’re learning some Italian phrases, and now what? Don’t fear, as there are some great apps to keep your wanderlust level on a normal balance.

AirPano Travel Book and AirPano City Book are apps from AirPano who take you around the world: Travel Book presents to you the world’ most gorgeous aerial panoramas while CityBook takes you on virtual travel experiences.

Keep up with your travel and memories by updating your bucket list in Photo Map – indicate where you’ve been and add pictures to your collection.

Been is for the ones who aspire to see as much as they can – this app tells you how much percentage of all countries you have already seen and it’s dangerously addicting and competitive. Not that you can improve your score now, however, so that makes it the perfect time to install it.

This one is for all the travel journalists amongst us: if you’re keen on sharing your travel tips, guides and experiences, Lonely Planet has offered this opportunity to all of us with Trips app. Simply start creating your Trip – it is really easy to add pictures, maps, and edit your travel article accordingly – offer unique insights about your country few know about, inspire others and don’t forget to let yourself be inspired too.

Blink Travel is another great source of travel guides, allowing you to learn about countless travel destinations.

And voila, you’re all ready & set to go! I sincerely hope your travel spirit has been pleased with these tips, tricks and tools to travel from your comfy couch. If you have any suggestions or you’d like to have more insights about this topic, feel free to contact me via this website or on social media. I’m here for you, salty soul!

Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post of any kind. I am simply giving my honest opinions about services, apps and websites as tips for you.

#Stayhome & Treat Yourself to Self-Care

Take care of YOU

Give yourself what you need and don’t feel guilty: in fact, be proud of it. By giving yourself what you need, you let yourself enjoy things. You take off the stress and pressure. And in ever-changing and challenging times, isn’t that what we all need?

Put one some fun music, buy some pencils or paint and a notebook and start to draw or colour or paint, begin writing a travel journal to really get into those beautiful memories you created. Stay in touch with your friends and family by sending a frequent text or video chatting with them. Organise guys/girls nights virtually and have fun on a responsible way.

Take care of your MIND

As I’ve explained before, meditations are a great way to take a break and calm down. Not only does it reduce stress levels, it also improves focus. By tuning into a guided meditation, you can focus on several subjects.

A gratitude meditation a day keeps the doctor away.

One of the best ways to instantly change your mood and switch your focus from being negative to being positive, is a gratitude meditation. The beauty of it? You remind yourself of all the things you have in your life. You remind yourself of why you love all these persons. How happy you are with your pet. You remind yourself of how good you actually have it. How #blessed you are. And we all need to be reminded of that from time to time, don’t we?

You can also use mediation to put yourself in a better mood and visualise your dream trip, for example. You can find more information about that right here.

Take care of your BODY

As much as it’s important to stay sane in your head, we must not forget the body. As comfy that sofa is, it’s goot to come out of it once in a while and get that body moving.

Whether it’s some workout session that you came up with or you’re a fan of guided lessons: the Internet is an inexhaustible source of training videos tips and guides. If you’re not into fitness, try doing some yoga or Pilates, or just some simple stretches. Your body will thank you later.

Otherwise, you can always go the old-school way and go for a run, hike or a walk around the neighbourhood- if you’re still allowed to do that. It’s always refreshing and who knows, you might run into some neighbours (from a safe distance, of course).

Not only is it important to keep that body moving, the fuel it gets is also very important. Number one is hydration: keep a bottle of water close to you and stay hydrated. But how do you stay away from those snacks? Try replacing them by healthier snacks. Plan your groceries, make a list (or, during these days, order them) and don’t buy the unhealthy snacks at all. Fear not: you can still get your daily dose of chocolate, but from pure chocolate (75% or more). Snacks snacks during movies? Sure, why not: try making healthy snacks (carrots with hummus will do!) or vegetable chips (yes, you know I’m talking about that bag of sweet potato chips. Go get it.). There are plenty of hacks to turn your favourite snack into a healthier version.

Another important factor is skin-and haircare. Treat yourself to some facial masks, hair masks or organise a spa-at-home-day. Give yourself a nice pedicure, manicure, or make some masks yourself – it’s easier than it looks like. There are plenty of stuff in your pantry and fridge you can use to make you skin and hair glow: Greek yoghurt does wonders for your skin ( and honey as well!), whereas avocado does great as a hair mask, and so on.

Take care of your SPACE

One of the key elements to feel good in quarantine is to feel good in your little (or big) space. It’s time for some re-decoration: buy some nice plants, candles, maybe some art. It will brighten up your space in no-time. As I’ve mentioned in my post about growing during your self-quarantine time, it’s time to release your inner Maria Kondo and start de-cluttering your closet spaces. Or enhance your mood instantly by installing a diffuser or a scented candle and putting on some relaxing background music.

Get those green thumbs out! If you have some space left in your garden or balcony, start planting some new fruits, vegetables, flowers or any kind of plants, as it’s the perfect timing to do so. And seeing your little babies grow and grow will be the most fulfilling and rewarding thing.

If you’re working from home nowadays, remember to set some boundaries for yourself. Change out of your pyjamas into comfy homewear, take time for breaks by walking away from a project every two hours. It’s important to check-in with yourself throughout the day and take it easy. Remember it’s no use to be productive when you’re super tired; then, the “productive thing” to do for you would be to re-energise. Read more about reframing productivity here.

I hope these tips will enhance your daily quarantine-life as it did for me and many others. Remember

How to Grow Through Your Quarantine

Here we all are. Separated from each other, but somehow united in a special way: in quarantine. All under lockdown. A pandemic has taken 2020 under its control and, as Beyoncé said: world stop. The only travel I am doing recently is from my fridge to my bed. It makes you realise how fragile this world is and how fragile we are: even when we think we can have control over everything, we never really can. Nature is a great force that kindly said to us all: stop traveling. Stop rushing. Stop running. Stop producing. Stop polluting. Stop for a while and take some time. Take time to appreciate me. Take time for yourself, your close and loved ones, your health and most of all, time for others. But, until Beyoncé’s pause is disrupted by the legendary words carry on, we are safely trapped in our homes with an endless amount of time in our hands.

So let’s dive in and see how we can use this giant pool of time to grow. To be calm, creative and caring. So that when this is all over, you can look back and be proud for giving yourself what you needed.

Whether it’s giving yourself that Netflix bingewatching session, trying a yoga session or trying new healthy cooking recipes: try to figure out what you really need in this time and don’t be afraid to give it to yourself.

Find your inner balance

The first thing you can to do is to listen to your body. What does your body tell you? Are you tired? Are you having pain or stress that gives you a headache, for example? It’s quite difficult to just analyse your body without stopping for a moment. To do that, give your body a time-out. I recommend trying a bodyscan meditation. By doing this, you can tune into your body and come to a relaxation. Just by being aware of your whole body and the process of a bodyscan, you are able to unwind and let go for a while.

Now that you’ve relaxed your body and released all tension, let’s focus on the mind. It’s much more difficult to make decisions, especially important ones, when you’re not thinking clear. Another thing you can do is a meditation practice on clearing your mind and practice being present in this moment.

Meditation has proven to reduce stress and anxiety, increase your focus, improve your creativity and ability to make decisions, and much more. And since we want to figure out ways on how to use this amount of time to our best, it can surely help us in doing that.

Reframe what productivity means to you

Now that you’re more focused, let’s get to work. Let’s start filling in your days with productive things that you love to do. Productive is the key word here.

Let’s reframe “productive”: it doesn’t mean being busy. It doesn’t mean getting as much things done as possible. It doesn’t mean any of those things. Your goal is to be productive in a way that you give yourself everything you need at that moment and you use things for your greater good. Whether it’s am afternoon of reading a book, taking a hot bath, bingewatching your favourite show, cleaning or de-cluttering your home, or working on a creative project: you can define what productivity means to you. That’s the goal of being productive: so that you, by the end of the day, can say: I’ve done exactly what I needed to do today and I feel good.

With that reframe of “productivity”, let’s see what you can learn during this quarantine time. Write down the following sentences on a piece of paper and try to complete them:

After this quarantine, I am able to …

After this quarantine, I have mastered the skill of …

After this quarantine, I know more about …

After this quarantine, I have gotten familiar with …

This can be anything. It can be learning a new language, reading more about mythology (yup, right here!), becoming familiar with yoga or meditation, etc. Don’t overthink it, just fill in the first thing that pops up in your head.

Write down a plan to make it happen

Now that you have written down your goals, how big or small they might be, you need steps to get there. As we don’t know how long the current situation might last, and with some who are working and other who are free, let’s say the time limit is one you can setup. Is it indefinite? A month? Two weeks? This is completely up to you, but make it realistic. Don’t put yourself up with learning a new language in a week.

Then, write down l the reason why you want to do this. Write a “because” after each goal. I want to learn Spanish because I want to be able to speak with my international friends.

By writing your “because” behind every goal, you remind yourself of the reason why you want to achieve this. It boosts your motivation.

Next up is creating a step-by-step plan, for example: your goal is: becoming familiar with meditation. Let’s say at the end, becoming familiar with is something you would define as doing a meditation of 10 min everyday. Let’s build up to that. Some steps would be: download a mediation app, read a book about it, try out your first meditation, put daily reminders, do first daily meditation of 1 min. Next day, 2 min., third day, 3 min., etc. Create small steps along the way that will help you get there.

Re-ignite your inner fire of wanderlust

This wouldn’t be a travel blog if this wasn’t an important message to you all: keep that travel spirit alive! Keep dreaming. Keep planning. Keep looking forward to discovering more of this beautiful planet, diverse cultures and magnificent people making it all come true. Don’t lose your passion of discovery. In fact, use this time to be well prepared for future travels. Save money. Make travel bucket lists. Go through old souvenirs. Find these and many more tips in my previous blog post on how to keep your travel spirit alive at home.

What is also a great thing to do is to dig up old photo albums, whether it be on-or offline, and relive those beautiful moments captured.

Make a list of movies and series you want to watch

Let’s not deny it: we are all facing a lot of screen time the following period. Netflix, Disney, whatever it is that you’re glued to these days, enjoy it. I’m not here to tell you it’s “unproductive”, it does’t serve you, or anything. In fact, I urge you to make a list of movies or documentaries you really want to watch (again) so you can look forward to doing so. You will remind yourself of how fun these movies were, how they made you laugh or cry, and it will give you some inspo for the next time you’re scrolling endlessly through Netflix.

Make a list of books you would love to read (but never had the time for)

Let’s feed our brains. Besides movies and documentaries, another way to absorb information or stories are books. I have to admit I’ve been weak: late in the evening, my ever-lasting interest in mythology suddenly sparked and I felt the urge to order a mythology book because I wanted to know everything about it and (apparently, 6 years of studying Latin still wasn’t enough), I ordered myself a 400-paged mythology book. So go on, treat yourself and fill up that Kindle or bookshelf with your favourite genres or writers. Note: don’t give into the temptation of late night book cravings like I did.

To all my travel lovers, and especially the females ones who travel solo (shout out to my ladies!), there’s an exciting new book coming out by Dame Traveler, which you probably know by now from her amazing travel photography Instagram account. She’s releasing a book filled with gorgeous travel inspo from #Dametravelers all around the world.

To all my spiritual beings: Jay Shetty, a former monk and motivational speaker, is releasing his book as well upcoming month. It’s about how to think like a monk. And for anyone who already knows him, you all know it’s going to be probably one of the best books to ever exist.

De-clutter and clean your home environment

It’s time to release your inner Maria Kondo and give your space a little make-over. Nothing big, in contrary: less is more. Throw out anything that you no longer need or you have a bad vibe with: sweater from an ex-boyfriend, clothes you never wear, beauty stuff you never use anymore. Be honest with yourself and get rid of anything that you no longer need. You will feel so much better afterwards and your closets will too! And of course, keep things tidy and clean. It will give you a nice feeling of begin in your room or apartment or wherever you may be living. You can even do some decoration if you have some stuff you wanted to put up in your room. You can support local business and buy online: plants, home decoration, bedroom amenities etc. By supporting them, you’re doing something in return for your community and sustaining your local economy.

Plan your next grocery shopping based on healthy food

As much as fun bingewatching, meditating or writing is: don’t forget to take care of your body. Especially during a pandemic, it’s important to get your vitamins and food that your body will thank you for. What works best is to make a grocery list – a lot of lists going on here, sorry about that – and hit your local supermarket. Get your fruits, get your veggies. If you’re not sure about the whole healthy lifestyle thing, look up some yummy recipes you would like to try out and start with that. I’m not saying you have to go full Nigella Lawson in one week, but try to make small steps to nurture your body with healthy foods & drinks.

If you don’t trust yourself in the kitchen, you can also order healthy dishes from local restaurants that offer delivery or take-out.

Remember: if possible, support your local stores and pay them a visit when you’re in need of essential products. It’s your way of giving back to your community and supporting them.

Wherever you might be, whatever you might be going through: I am there for you. We are all here for you. By giving yourself what you need, whether that’s learning something new, eating healthy or having a day of total Netflix-stalking: give it to yourself. You owe it to yourself. These are difficult times. It’s hard enough nobody can travel now, so let’s be gentle with ourselves. Continue dreaming about your trips and never leave that sense of wanderlust inside you unguarded. Dream big, salty soul!

Keep Your Travel Spirit Alive at Home

You just said bye-bye to your travel plans for the upcoming weeks, months even. You threw away that Lonely Planet guide to Colombia, because that’s for the bin now too. But even if hotels are closed, flight companies suspend their flights and you have to stay inside, you can always keep on dreaming. Don’t lose that fire inside you!

I’ve listed 7 ways on how to spend time at home and keep your travel spirit alive. Just because there are hard times outside, doesn’t mean we have to make it hard for us inside.

Cherish your previous travels

This is not a time of being sad and nostalgic: this is a time to be grateful and appreciative. Leaf through your travel journal, grabble through old tickets, scroll through your camera roll and relive your past trips. It will bring you immense joy and make you realize how lucky you are to have seen those beautiful places, conquered those courageous adventures and met those wonderful people. So smile, and be proud of yourself for how much you’ve seen and how much you’ve traveled.

Go through your souvenirs

Another way to relive those past moments and give yourself a pat on the shoulder is to open that big box of souvenirs. Whether it’s your fridge’s magnets, postcards, pictures or just random souvenirs: now is the time to look at them. This is that moment that you had in your head when you bought them. This is the time to reflect and let those memories flow. So sit down, grab your big box of souvenirs and think about the moment when you bought them. What were you doing that day? What were the highlights of that trip? What did you really enjoy?

Make photo albums for fun

These days, it’s hard not to take pictures when you’re on a trip. Whether you’re a professional photographer or a rookie who takes pictures just for fun, we all do it. Gather all your photos, on- or offline, and start making a photo album of every trip you made. You can do it by country, by city, how ever you like to order it.

Now is a great time to be creative, so let yourself really enjoy this. Go with the flow and make a fun photo book, or release your digital design skills and make one online, on MyAlbum, SnapFish, PhotoBox, etc. If you’d rather let someone else make it for you, support (local and) small artists who offer to make your projects online. During these times, it can be hard for small or local entrepreneurs to keep their businesses running. If they still offer online services such as a web-shop or on-demand orders and you want to make a contribution, you can do so in this way.

Write down your ultimate travel bucket-list

Let’s start dreaming! Now that you’ve relived your past travels, you actually gained something out of this: you got to know yourself better. Ask yourself: where do I really want to go next? What did I like about my past trips, and why did I enjoy that? Where can I find more of that? For example, I really liked my trip to Iguaçu Waterfalls in Argentina. because I love being into nature because it calms me and makes me appreciate our planet. So I know this know and I can start looking for more waterfalls or natural parks to go ti.

If you’re into diving, and you’ve had a great time in Curaçao while diving, good news: there are so much more beautiful diving sites! Think about what places you dream of visiting one day and write them down into a bucket list. It can be as long as you want it to be: the world is big enough.

Plan out your next trip to the detail

Now let’s shorten that list. Pick one destination out of your travel bucket list. Now start planning that trip. From activities to accommodation, try to look up all that you need for your next adventure. Don’t be afraid to feel pressured, you cannot really book anything now due to the current situation. Just pretend as if you’re planning this trip and think about the activities, tours, and adventures you want to go on while you’re there. Design your perfect voyage.

Discuss travel plans with your friends

We’ve all done a trip with a friend, family member or lover. And if you’re a core-hard solo traveler, I’m sure yo have met people along the way. Contact them, catch up with them, and let them know you were thinking about those great memories. Maybe you’re still active in a travel chat, Facebook group or other online community. Say hi to your (ex) travel companions, and who knows what nice conversations might follow. Maybe there’s even talks about future travels together.

Try meditation and visualisations to manifest your next trip

Let’s try something new: meditation. During these times, when many of us are at home, are great to relax, to be at peace, to return inward. Whether you’re already familiar with meditation or you’re totally new to it, I encourage you to try out a visualization meditation to manifest your upcoming trip. It works like this:

Picture your next dream trip. Really imagine what it feels like to be laying on that pearly-white beach. Feel the sun burning on your skin while sipping your cocktail on the beach. How does that cocktail tastes? How does the sand feel like? What do you see?

By imagining everything about this trip, you will feel like you are already there. It’s an amazing feeling, who doesn’t want that? By doing this frequently, the feeling of being on that trip will get closer and closer and your brain is a huge fan of visual stimuli. You will familiarize yourself with the picture and tricking your brain into believing you are already there. Until one day, you are. Visualization (meditation) has proven to boost your confidence, your immunity, to decrease levels of stress, anxiety and depression, and much more.

If you’re unsure about how to start this, then don’t worry: there are a lot of free meditations online. Whether on apps such as Insight Timer, Headspace, Calm, YouTube, or other websites; you’ll be sure to find a visualization exercise.

There are many ways to keep your travel spirit alive: whether you share it with others or keep your solo adventures cherished in your own heart, take this time to not only look back on past travels, but dream about future travels. Because this too will pass. It’s a time to take a break and just be – wherever you are.

Triple Travel Guide: Barcelona

Welcome to another triple travel guide, dear salty souls. In this guide, I list the top three recommendations to visit, taste and to stay at. This time, it’s the turn of Barcelona. You might have already read my insider’s guide to Barcelona. After living in Barcelona for a while and discovering all the amazing things about this world famous city, I decided to share my tips with you so you can make the most out of a visit to Catalunya’s capital.

This guide is a shorter version and is a perfect pocket guide if you’re planning to travel to Catalunya’s capital.

What to visit

La Sagrada Familia €€

This iconic masterpiece of Gaudí earns its worldwide fame to its unique architectural style, however the inside of the cathedral is often not visited by the majority of tourists – but its interior beauty exceeds, like the previous works, the exterior beauty. So make sure you buy your tickets early in advance and save time and money.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €22.60

Montjuïc

Montjuïc is a magical place an sich. Hike uphill towards the magical fountain that lights up occasionally for a spectacular light show, and continue your road with stunning view of the iconic castle of Montjuïc. Walk further and run into the stretched, green park, accompanied by the Olympic stadium and further lays the botanical garden. What is a better way to enjoy a city then to come to rest in its nature, right in the city centre?

Parque Guëll & Museu Gaudí

Parque Guëll is often described as “Gaudi’s playground”, the place where he let all his fantasy run wild and create the most unique and gorgeous works. There is a free area as well, however to access the famous mosaic bench and Gaudi’s house, you must enter the paying area, which has a price of €10.

What to taste

Bar Jaica

If you’re craving delicious, traditional tapas, then Bar Jaica is the place to be. Located in the Barceloneta area, close to the beach and port of Barcelona, this spot is ideal for a lunch break during your day. Every dish is prepared with love, especially combined with the iconic beer Estrella (or try a local type of beer named Clara). Salada russa, berenjenas con miel, tortilla are some of the most typical dishes your belly will thank you for.

La Barca del Salamanca €€

In this huge restaurant located near the casino of Barcelona, you’ll find all kinds of fresh seafood dishes such as paella, grilled fish, pasta, etc. However, what makes la Barca del Salamanca so special, is their service and atmosphere. You’ll be guaranteed to receive a welcome drink, free entrees, dessert and liquor on the house, as well as musical entertainment and photography services. Visiting this restaurant is an experience I have introduced to every guest in Barcelona.

La pepita €€€

A balanced combination between traditional tapas and high-end, creative cuisine is the perfect remedy for your appetite while in Barcelona. Try some of the iconic tapas with an extra touch of la Pepita’s style and taste. Their entire menu cart consists out of unique and imaginative Spanish “pepitas”.

Where to stay at

Urbany Hostel BCN GO & Urbany Hostel Barcelona

At the Urbany Hostels, you will be welcomed warmly by the friendly staff who will do anything in their power to make your stay a memorable adventure. With hostel activities, free entries to the biggest nightclubs in Barcelona and a cozy bar open every day, you will not be bored one second of your stay and by meeting people from all over the world you will experience the true feeling of traveling: connecting with others.

Ayre Hotel Caspe €€

Ayre Hotel Caspe is a modern, luxurious hotel with a perfect location. Their friendly staff will happily help you with all your requests. Each one of their rooms are spacious, beautiful and comfortable. The price range differs from season to season, but in general you receive a good price-quality for what you get.

W Hotel €€€

The iconic W Hotel is a must-visit if your budget can handle it. One of the trademarks of Barcelona is this five star hotel which guarantees you to experience an elite and enriching stay at la Barceloneta, the most famous beach of Catalunya’s capital. Bear in mind the exclusive rooftop parties this hotel hosts, as non-guests can enter as well. If you’re craving a luxurious stay in Barcelona, and are looking for the top notch when it comes to stunning rooftop parties, this is your place to be.

10 Undeniable Facts About Being an Expat

Living abroad as an expat is a thrilling adventure paired with its ups and downs and something in between that. See, you miss your home, but you’re so happy with your new home. You’re not quite a local, but you’ve also passed the stage of being a tourist. You’re adapting to a new culture and country and you’re learning how to balance your old ways with your new life. And because this lifestyle is somehow in between everything and not always as glamorous or vibrant as it appears, I’ve listed 12 honest and non-spoken facts about being an expat.

Whether you are an expat or you are thinking about living abroad, we simply can’t deny these brutally honest and sometimes funny truths.

1. You don’t feel like a tourist… but you don’t feel like a local either 

When you first set foot on your new, hot destination, you’re overwhelmed with the joy and sense of adventure you’re experiencing. You feel at the top of a mountain, the beginning of a fresh start. You still feel like a tourist somehow, until you’ve discovered most things on your bucket list and you’ve been accustomed to the daily life in your new life.

After the newness wears off, the feeling of being a tourist gets replaced by the feeling of being a local. But you’re not. That’s made pretty clear by the locals who either don’t like the way you’re trying to speak the language with the heaviest accent someone could ever have, or by the fact that you still dress and talk like the unique mix of cultures that you are, and not like the locals. But hey, you feel like a local. You feel good and accepted. At that counts, doesn’t it?

2. You have the weirdest food cravings from home

One thing that surprised me the most about living abroad is that I used to describe the cuisine of my country as boring and not so tasty or special. (In case you didn’t know yet, I’m from Belgium). However, I found myself having cravings of Belgian sandwiches, chocolate (less surprisingly) and even random, greasy fried snacks I never thought I would ever miss, or even like.

At work, me and my Dutch colleagues could talk for hours, days, even weeks about food at our home countries. Yes, it really was our main topic. And it hurt so much that’s it’s so far away. And we’ve all been there: late night cravings of food that’s thousands of miles away. One of the most hurtful things, isn’t it?

3. You’re totally on a holiday mood… until your alarm goes off 

Living abroad, you’re living a good life. Sun is shining, you know you made a right choice doing this, you have a fun job – your pay check might be half of what you used to earn back home, but the quality of your life has easily been doubled, and you feel good.

That’s until you really get into the work life and routine and you realise you actually don’t have as much free time as you’d wish to have. So after that weekend or road tripping through the south coast and visiting beautiful exotic beaches, it can be depressing to have your alarm set for Monday morning at 6 am.

But I believe that you can make the best out of every day and fill your life with fun hobbies, after work activities and networking events. And little by little, that Monday morning feeling gets better and better. Not as good as a permanent vacation, but hey, you’re as close to that as it can get.

4. You start mixing up languages and create your own mix in your head

When learning a new language, it feels like your brain is making place for this and has to delete some old data – for me, using up to 6 different languages a day, it feels like I made up this new, unique, one-of-a-kind language, a mix of everything in my head.

However, you might experience this even by frequently using two or three languages simultaneously: you might stop in the middle of a sentence because you forgot how to say one meaningless futility or a special word you just can’t put your finger on.

But hey, keep rocking that multilingual life and keep learning that new language. Tell your brain to space up because this is happening alright!

5. FaceTime and WhatsApp become your best friends 

As you obviously won’t be able to see your close friends and family so often, you replace real-life contact with virtual contact: phone calls, text messages, video calls: you’ll find yourself talking to your mobile device for a lot of time.

Remember it’s really important to keep these relationships you have at home, but to also find a healthy balance between building up new relationships in the country you’re living in.

Don’t forget to go out and be social or spend time with your friends! Remember why you moved abroad and what was your motivation to discover a new country.

6. You miss the weirdest and smallest things from your country

Besides from random snacks cravings, you will find yourself missing on random habits, traits or events from your country. Special fairs or celebrations, gatherings you used to go to with friends or family or even transportation systems: nothing is too crazy. You got used to certain things and right now, they’re no longer in your life.

And that’s okay: it only makes you appreciate what you had back then and it makes you creative to look for others ways to “replace” that right now. For example, transportation systems: I never took a metro in Belgium and now it’s my main source of transportation. I miss having a car so so much, but I realise it’s not a good match: living in a vibrant capital doesn’t leave much practicality for having your own car.

It’s important to realise not everything is suitable for every destination or culture, and it’s perfectly normal to have these mixed feelings.

7. Visits and travels are what you live for 

Honestly, fellow expats, let’s all say it together: I love travel. I love being a guide to my friends and family and all my visitors.

Who has a fully detailed, scheduled itinerary of a citytrip to your city? We all do, let’s face it. We’ve all had several visitors and we’ve all given them the same tours over and over again. But we love it, because we are so proud of where we live, which city we chose, and how much we know this city now.

And, on another level, there’s the love for travel and adventure. And even though we have as much as free time as any working adult, we make time to travel and we find ways to have small adventures in your daily life. Small trips is what we look forward to the most, since that was our main goal of living abroad: discovering new grounds. 

8. You’re always dreaming about future destinations 

You can be as satisfied as you wish with your current destination, but we’ve all had thoughts about where to go next or how long we should still stay at one place.

“Oh well, a year has passed. But I’m not done yet. It’s okay to stay somewhat longer.”

“Oh look at the time, already two years have gone by. But I still haven’t went to that place…”

You know the feeling. We’re all dreamers who want to discover the world in all its facets. And as there as so many destinations and so many great cities to live in, it’s unstoppable to have these thoughts and dreams. It’s even necessary. Because if you would have never chased your dreams, you would never be where you are right now.

9. You start to realise home really is a feeling and not a place 

This might sound super cliché, but as you’re missing your home with your family, you also realise that you actually created your own, new home.

A friend of mine once told me: “The moment I have to change apartment, I will move to another city. No way I will be able to feel like home in another place than this one.” When I asked him why, he replied: “Because the moment I sit on my toilet in my bathroom, that moment is the only one that I truly feel like I’m home. I will never feel that sentiment anywhere else in this city.”

Everyone has their own way of turning a place into a home and creating that sense of home that you can’t find anywhere else. But you should never fear that you won’t have it anywhere else, since that sentiment came from you. You can take it anywhere. You can move it do different parts of the world, different countries, cities and apartments. It’s your feeling of home, and it’s there because of you.

10. You don’t really know what you’re doing, but you’re making the best out of it

Let’s be honest: do you really have a fixed plan? A 3-year schedule or your life? Or a shorter or even longer plan?

Me neither. Being an expat, you are very organised on one level, and totally loose and going with the flow on another level. It’s admirable, really. It’s finding a balance between I don’t know what I’m doing and somehow being connected to a goal or a purpose.

I think that’s what keeps us expats going: striving towards a life filled with new adventures, meaningful connections and beautiful memories. Discovering new lands and cultures and seeing a lot of this amazing world. And maybe we don’t have a detailed plan or a plan at all. But maybe thats exactly what we don’t need. 

Six Small Steps to Get Into Solo Travel

Lately, solo travel is hot. Fierce, independent and courageous women and men have been all over social media sharing their solo voyages. It makes you wonder: is solo travel something I should try? We are all different interests, experiences and priorities. It might seem difficult to make that jump into solo travel. There are lots of benefits of solo travel, and you deserve those too.

Although there are many advantages about heading out there all by yourself, to clear things up, I’ve listed some easy ways to get into solo traveling. I think everyone should have the opportunity to travel around and try out solo traveling. But it’s easier said than done. In this post, you will find six small steps towards solo travel to help you become more comfortable with being out all by yourself!

1. Go to the Movies By Yourself

« The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. » – Lao Tzu

And yours is a trip to the movies. It’s a perfect way to get out there and do a solo activity in a comfortable environment (read: snacks, sofa’s and your favorite actor included), so why not give it a try?

2. Go to a Restaurant/ Bar By Yourself

This second step is a bit more challenging. When I first started solo traveling, heading out to eat in a restaurant solo was a bit weird- not for me, but for other people. Apparently, asking for a table for one isn’t something they hear everyday, but why should that stop you from doing it?

Eating out by yourself is great because you can treat yourself to a nice dinner so you’re instantly rewarding yourself for gathering all that courage! Plus, you can enjoy a dinner in peace by yourself and fully focus on the delicious food – extra advantage: you don’t have to share side dishes and that break basket? All yours!

Pick out a nice table, maybe close to others who are also out solo. Or you could go to a cool bar and sit at the bar! You can start a chat with the bar tender and everyone who passes. This is a great way to get to know people yet be remained at your own cool spot.

3. Travel in Your Own City

Now let’s go on a real trip. A lot of people don’t see their domestic cities as fun or cool or vibrant. Often, this exciting feeling of going out in your own city gets lost after living there for a while. Try to open your eyes: what are some cool places you haven’t visited yet? What attracts foreigners to your city? An exposition, a museum, a park? Try to find attractions in your city that match your interests and this time, skip asking a friend to join you and head out solo.

4. Travel in Your Own Country

Let’s move to a bigger scale! Now that you’ve been exposed to being outdoors by 2 and you might have been on a little trip (depending on how big your city is), try to think about your home country.

It’s the perfect time to wander around a place without a plan and to just get lost in a destination. I find that one of the many advantages of solo trips: you have the freedom and peace to discover things on your own and wander around on your pace.

I’m positive that all countries have their specialties and uniqueness to offer. So think about what makes your country so special or what is a cool place you haven’t been to yet. Often, the capital is full of life and cultural sights, so why not go for that one? Or, if you’re more into peaceful vibes, head out to the coast side of your country, or ( if there is none), the mountains or any other natural sight!

If you’re not sure what you’d like to do or see, make a bucket list. You can answer questions like: What do I love to do in my free time? What makes me smile? What gives me excitement when I think about it? What is my dream destination? Why?

5. Go on A Solo Trip

Now let’s take it to another level! If you’re feeling confident enough to head out solo on a trip, go for it! Choose a country that matches your bucket list and get to know your perfect destination. This is a hard one, because we all have so many. So the next best things to do is to book your trip on the right timing. Get those offers and best prices and make that jump!

It’s important to think about what destination suits you. For more tips on how to do that and make that big decision, check out my previous article with tips on how to choose your perfect destination. Further on, another thing you might struggle with is finding time to travel and actually go on a trip. Again, finding time is all about making priorities: read this on how to make time to travel.

6. Go on A Group Trip

If you’re not so confident about traveling solo yet, you can opt for a group holiday. That way, you don’t have to worry too much about arranging everything about your trip and you get to know so many new people instantly! Remember you are a part of a group, a team, and you’re all there to make unforgettable memories and to discover amazing destinations.

If you’re in between a group trip and a solo trip, check out special formulas companies like the variety of Contiki offers: you have the freedom to head out yourself yet you are a part of the group whenever you want to.

There are many ways to start travelling solo, close or far away from home. We’re all different and the fun part of solo travel is that you can do it completely on your own way. No obligations, no rules. Only pure freedom and adventure! So if you’re still doubting if solo travel is your thing: start with small steps and begin your journey of a thousand steps.

Travel Cheap & Maximise Your Time

Travel? I would love to! But I don’t have the money… Going somewhere during the upcoming holiday? Sounds great, but I don’t have the time…

Unfortunately, we often lose the motivation of going on a trip because it looks like such a big deal, like an enourmous monster is ahead of us and we can only travel by plane, stay in an all-in hotel and go on a spend-it-all-vacay mood. There are other alternatives, too. Short trips make you get the best out of a destination while maximizing your time and not digging too deep into your wallet. Whether you’re strugglng with finding time to travel or travelling on a budget, this article features five tested ways to travel cheap and maximize your time.

After applying these tips, you will be able to travel cheap, gain more out of a destination and utilise your time to the maximum.

Hop on a overnight bus

In Europe, it has gotten quite easy and cheap to travel around. Crossing borders with major bus companies such as Flixbus, Busbud or Rede Expressos have more advantages than you think. Reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy less stricter luggage rules by choosing a bus or coach for your next trip. Also, there are almost always free Wi-Fi, plugs, aircon and a bathroom available.

A trip on a overnight bus is the easiest, since you sleep all night and arrive at your destination in the morning. I took a bus from Lisbon to Porto (and saved more than €100), Lisbon to the North and South of Portugal for €9 one-way and I even went from Lisbon to Malaga twice for a price of €60 return in high season (august).

Opt for a green train ride

Trains are great, eco-friendly options for long-distance travels. If you plan to visit a further destination, you can even get a private cabin to catch a good night’s rest. Trains often offer dining carts, free Wi-Fi and it’s a fast and reliable method of travel. From Lisbon, there is an overnight train to Madrid. From Brussels, you can get easily to Amsterdam, Paris or London, etc. Omio gives you the best option for bus, train or plane rides.

If you’re really low on time and budget, opt for a trip inside your country. Trust me, you’d be surprised where a train trip might take you! Often, we focus too much on big destinations or big cities. Remember how unique and beautiful unknown destinations can be. Don’t be afraid to let yourself wander off the beaten path. I’ve often travelled by train, especially in Belgium.

Don’t ditch the plane, step up your game

Airplane tickets can be expensive, but they can also be ridicously cheap. You have to know when to look for them and how to look for them. Last year, I went to Seville for €9.99, from Seville to Barcelona for €30 and two year ago, I went from Barcelona to Mallorca for just €5.99 one- way, makin a total of €11.98 return tickets. There are crazy deals ot there, you just have to look for them.

Start by looking for plane tickets on incognito mode (private mode) on your mobile phone or laptop. Aso, look for flights on calm hours: don’t look for them on a Friday night, but start your search on a Tuesday or Wednesday, or during unpopular hours such as in the middle of the night.

However, planning a trip by airplane all depends on what you already know. There are many websites who offer you good prices, but on some flights you’rebette off with one supplier than the other. So, to explore the best options, you need the best search engines. I’ve listed them right here, depending on your situation.

  • If you don’t know the date or destination
    • Skyscanner lists the cheapest flight for all dates per destination from your preferred airport
    • Google Flights has a tool to look up flights for a weekend, one week or two weeks. Underneath the search bar, scroll down and enter the world map. Move your mouse onto where in the world you would like to go and zoom in to explore more options!
  • If you know your available dates, but you don’t know where to go
    • Fly Me Anywhere: just enter your location and the dates and this website will give you the cheapest flights to any place.
    • Google Flights: enter the dates or the length of your trip and your leaving point, hit search and explore your options. Handy tool: you can add the option of hand luggage an it calculates the extra cost for you.
    • Skyscanner: again, enter your location and preferred travel data and Skyscanner will give you the cheapest options.
  • If you know the destination, but you don’t know the date
    • Google Flights: click on the world map and look for the cheapest flight to a certain destination in the next 6 months. You can adjust the length of the trip and decide on which month you would like to go (but it’s not necessary). Another option is to go to the search bar, choose a day span on a random date and then scroll further to see the prices of the other months.

There are so many websites that offer you great deals, but it’s easier and less time consuming if you use the biggest search engines who lead you to the best deals.

Choose your accomodation wisely

Holiday time = treat yourself. I agree 100%. But it doesn’t neccesarily mean that you have to book a fancy hotel room or all-in resort. Why not book an Airbnb room or apartment or even better, a hostel. This a great way to socialize, keep your budget low and do new experiences.

If you do want to stay in a hotel, you can find the best prices directly in their webite. Yes, I said it. Booking.com or Expedia only have better deals in case they “buy” a hotel room on advance at a lower rate or in case of exclusive member rates. But in most cases, the hotel offers the best price, also for their members, and even some extras such as romantic packages etc.

When I went to Porto by bus, I stayed in the most gorgeous hostel – a gallery – where I had a comfortable bed with everythin I needed: plugs, sockets, light, a locker to keep my stuff secure, a modern and big bathroom and breakfast included for not even €20 a night.

Even during my trips to Cape Town and Buenos Aires, I stayed in hostels. It saved me so much money and allowed me to meet so many interesting people from all over the world.

Seas the day!

Traveling by ferry or boat is a great way to start your next adventure. In Argentina, I took a ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonia, Uruguay. It wasn’t only better for the environment, it was also a fun experience and qute easy and fast.

When I was a kid, my family vacation used to be a roadtrip to Italy and from Italy we took the boat to Greece. It was a small adventure. And it was fast and easy to do, we could even take our car with us and we had our own cabin. If you want to make your whole trip an adventure and you love being on the sea, opt for a ferry trip or a boat ride!

Even in Malta, you can take a ferry to the nearest isand. The same is for Corfu, Croatia, Venice and many more destinations. Often, these ferries cost only a few euros. Think about it: where would you head out if you took the nearest ferry or boat?

No matter where you live, there are always great alternative and cheap ways to travel around. If you have weekend off and you feel that wanderlust coming up, look what your best options are.

Comment voyager à prix bas et de maximiser votre temps

Patir en voyage? J’aimerais bien! Mais je n’ai pas d’argent … Tu vas quelque part pendant les prochaines vacances? Ça a l’air génial, mais je n’ai pas le temps …

Malheureusement, nous perdons souvent la motivation de partir en voyage car cela ressemble à un gros problème, comme un monstre énorme est devant nous et nous ne pouvons voyager qu’en avion et en restant dans un hôtel magnifique. Il existe également d’autres alternative: des voyages pas loin de maison vous permettent de profiter le meilleur d’une destination tout en maximisant votre temps et de ne pas vous enfoncer trop profondément dans votre portefeuille. Que vous ayez du mal à trouver du temps pour voyager ou voyager avec un budget, cet article présente une réponse à comment vous pouvez voyager à bas prix et maximiser votre temps.

Prenez un bus de nuit

En Europe, il est devenu assez facile et bon marché de voyager. Réduisez votre empreinte carbone et profitez de règles de bagages moins strictes en choisissant un bus ou un autocar pour votre prochain voyage avec Flixbus , Busbud ou Rede Expressos. En outre, il y a presque toujours une connexion Wi-Fi gratuite, des prises, la climatisation et une salle de bain disponible.

Un voyage en bus de nuit est le plus simple, car vous dormez toute la nuit et arrivez à destination le matin. J’ai pris un bus de Lisbonne à Porto (et économisé plus de 100 €), de Lisbonne au Nord et Sud du Portugal pour 9€ et je suis même allé de Lisbonne à Malaga deux fois pour un prix de 60€ aller-retour en haute saison (août).

Optez pour un trajet en train

Les trains sont d’excellentes options écologiques pour les voyages longue distance. Les trains proposent souvent des chariots à manger, une connexion Wi-Fi gratuite et c’est un moyen de transport rapide et fiable. De Lisbonne, il y a un train de nuit pour Madrid. De Bruxelles, vous pouvez facilement vous rendre à Amsterdam, Paris ou Londres, etc. Omio vous offre la meilleure option pour voyager en bus, le train ou avion.

Si vous manquez vraiment de temps et de budget, optez pour un voyage domestique. Croyez-moi, vous seriez surpris de savoir où un voyage en train pourrait vous mener! Souvent, nous nous concentrons trop sur les grandes destinations et les grandes villes. N’oubliez pas que les destinations inconnues peuvent être uniques et magnifiques. N’ayez pas peur de vous laisser sortir des sentiers battus.

Ne laissez pas tomber l’avion, intensifiez votre jeu

Les billets d’avion peuvent être chers, mais ils peuvent aussi être ridiculement bon marché. Vous devez savoir quand les chercher et comment les rechercher. L’année dernière, je suis allé à Séville à 9,99 € et il y a deux ans, je suis allée de Barcelona à Mallorca à 5,99 € aller, soit un total de 11,98 € aller-retour. Il y a des offres folles parfois, mais il faut les chercher bien.

Commencez par rechercher des billets d’avion en mode navigation privée (mode privé) sur votre téléphone portable ou votre ordinateur portable. Aussi, recherchez les vols aux heures calmes: ne les recherchez pas pendant un vendredi soir, mais commencez votre recherche sur un mardi ou un mercredi, ou pendant des heures impopulaires comme au milieu de la nuit.

Savoir comment planifier un voyage en avion dépend de ce que vous savez déjà. Il existe de nombreux sites web qui vous proposent de bons prix. Pour explorer les meilleures options, vous avez besoin des meilleurs moteurs de recherche. Je les ai listés ici, dépendant de votre situation.

  • Si vous ne connaissez pas la date ou la destination
    • Skyscanner vous donne le vol le moins cher pour toutes les dates par destination depuis votre aéroport préféré.
    • Google Flights a un outil pour rechercher des vols pour un week-end, une semaine ou deux semaines. Sous la barre de recherche, entrez dans la carte du monde. Déplacez votre souris sur l’endroit où vous souhaitez aller dans le monde et zoomez pour explorer plus d’options!
  • Si vous connaissez vos dates disponibles, mais vous ne savez pas où aller
    • Fly Me Anywhere: entrez simplement les dates et FMA vous donnera les vols les moins chers vers n’importe quel endroit.
    • Google Flights: entrez les dates (et, si possible, la durée de votre voyage) et votre point de départ, appuyez sur Rechercher et explorez vos options. Outil pratique: vous pouvez ajouter l’option de bagage à main et il calcule le coût supplémentaire pour vous.
    • Skyscanner: encore une fois, entrez vos dates de voyage préférées et Skyscanner vous donnera les options les moins chères.
  • Si vous connaissez la destination, mais vous ne connaissez pas la date
    • Google Flights: cliquez sur la carte du monde et recherchez le vol le moins cher vers une certaine destination au cours des 6 prochains mois. Vous pouvez ajuster la durée du voyage et décider du mois où vous souhaitez partir (mais ce n’est pas nécessaire). Une autre option consiste à accéder à la barre de recherche, à choisir une plage horaire à une date aléatoire, puis à faire défiler davantage pour voir les prix des autres mois.

Choisissez votre logement judicieusement

Temps de vacances = profitez bien. Je suis d’accord 100%. Mais cela ne signifie pas nécessairement que vous devez réserver une chambre d’hôtel de luxe ou un complexe tout compris. Pourquoi ne pas réserver une chambre ou un appartement Airbnb ou encore mieux, une auberge. C’est un excellent moyen de socialiser, de garder votre budget bas et de faire de nouvelles expériences.

Si vous souhaitez séjourner dans un hôtel, vous pouvez trouver les meilleurs prix directement sur leur site Web. Oui, je l’ai dit. Booking.com ou Expedia n’ont de meilleures offres que s’ils “achètent” une chambre d’hôtel à l’avance à un tarif inférieur ou s’il y a des promotions pour des membres. Mais dans la plupart des cas, l’hôtel offre le meilleur prix, aussi pour leurs membres, et même certains extras tels que des forfaits romantiques, etc. Par example: IHG (Holiday Inn, ect.) a un programme de fidelité pour ses membres, totallement gratuit.

Quand je suis allé à Porto en bus, je suis resté dans la plus belle auberge – une galerie – où j’avais un lit confortable avec tout ce dont j’avais besoin: privacy, des prises, de la lumière, un casier pour garder mes affaires en sécurité, une grande et moderne salle de bains et petit déjeuner inclus pour même pas 20 € la nuit.

Même pendant mes voyages au Cap et à Buenos Aires, je suis resté dans des auberges. Cela m’a fait économiser tellement d’argent et m’a permis de rencontrer tant de gens intéressants du monde entier.

Seas The Day!

Voyager en ferry ou en bateau est un excellent moyen de commencer votre prochaine aventure. En Argentine, j’ai pris un ferry de Buenos Aires à Colonia, en Uruguay. C’est pas seulement mieux pour l’environnement, c’était aussi une expérience amusante et rapide.

Quand j’étais petite, mes vacances en famille étaient un voyage vers l’Italie et depuis l’Italie nous avons pris le bateau pour la Grèce. Ce fut une petite aventure. C’était rapide et facile à faire, nous pouvions même prendre notre voiture avec nous et nous avions notre propre cabine. Si vous voulez faire de votre voyage une aventure et que vous aimez être sur la mer, optez pour un voyage en ferry ou une promenade en bateau!

Même à Malte, vous pouvez prendre un ferry pour l’isand le plus proche. Il en va de même pour Corfou, Croatie et Venise et bien d’autres destinations. Souvent, ces ferries ne coûtent que quelques euros. Pensez-y: où iriez-vous si vous preniez le ferry ou le bateau le plus proche?

Peu importe où vous vivez, il existe toujours d’excellentes façons alternatives et bon marché de voyager. Si vous avez un week-end libre et vous sentez cette wanderlust, regardez quelles sont vos meilleures options et vas-y!

Gebruik je tijd wijs én reis goedkoop: 5 geteste manieren

Reizen? Graag! Maar ik heb het geld niet … Ga je ergens heen de komende vakantie? Klinkt geweldig, maar ik heb geen tijd …

Helaas verliezen we vaak de motivatie om op reis te gaan omdat het zo’n groot probleem lijkt, er een enorm monster voor ons te liggen. We denken alleen met het vliegtuig te kunnen reizen en in een all-in hotel te verblijven. Er zijn ook andere alternatieven. Korte reizen zorgen ervoor dat je het beste haalt uit een bestemming, terwijl je je tijd maximaliseert en niet te diep in je portemonnee graaft . Of je nu worstelt met tijd maken om te reizen of om te reizen met een budget, dit artikel helpt je om goedkoop te reizen en alels uti je tijd te halen.

Spring op een nachtbus

In Europa is het vrij eenvoudig en goedkoop om rond te reizen. Verminder je ecologische voetafdruk en geniet van minder strengere bagageregels door een bus of touringcar zoals Flixbus , Busbud of Rede Expressos te kiezen voor je volgende reis. Ook is er bijna altijd gratis wifi, stekkers, airco en een toilet beschikbaar.

Een reis met een nachtbus is het gemakkelijkst, omdat je de hele nacht slaapt en ‘s ochtends op je bestemming aankomt. Ik nam een ​​bus van Lissabon naar Porto (en bespaarde meer dan €100), van Lissabon naar het Noorden en Zuiden van Portugal voor €9 enkele reis en ik ging zelfs twee keer van Lissabon naar Malaga voor een prijs van €60 retour in het hoogseizoen (augustus). Bussen zijn goedkoop en gemakkelijk, geef ze een kans!

Kies voor een groene treinrit

Treinen zijn geweldige, milieuvriendelijke opties voor lange afstanden. Treinen bieden vaak maaltijden en gratis wifi aan én het is een snelle en betrouwbare manier van reizen. Vanuit Lissabon rijdt er een nachttrein naar Madrid, vanuit Brussel kunt u gemakkelijk naar Amsterdam, Parijs of Londen gaan, enzovoort. Omio biedt je de beste opties voor bussen, treinen of vliegtuigen aan.

Als je echt weinig tijd en budget hebt, kies dan voor een reis in eigen land. Geloof me, je zou verrast zijn waar een treinreis je zou kunnen brengen! Vaak richten we ons te veel op grote bestemmingen of grote steden. Onthoud hoe uniek en mooi onbekende bestemmingen kunnen zijn.

Vergeet het vliegtuig niet, maar step up your game!

Vliegtickets kunnen duur zijn, maar ze kunnen ook belachelijk goedkoop zijn. Je moet weten wanneer je naar ze moet zoeken en hoe je ernaar moet zoeken. Vorig jaar ging ik naar Sevilla voor € 9,99 en twee jaar geleden ging ik van Barcelona naar Mallorca voor slechts € 5,99 enkele reis, dus totaal van € 11,98 voor retourtickets. Er zijn soms ongelooflijke deals, je moet er gewoon op de juiste manier naar zoeken.

Begin met het zoeken naar vliegtickets in de incognitomodus (privémodus) op je telefoon of laptop. Zoek ook vluchten op rustige uren : zoek ze niet op een vrijdagavond, maar start je zoektocht op een dinsdag of woensdag, of tijdens onpopulaire uren zoals in de vroege uurtjes.

Het plannen van een reis per vliegtuig hangt allemaal af van wat je al weet. Om de beste opties te verkennen, heb je de beste zoekmachines nodig.

  • Als je de datum en bestemming niet weet
    • Skyscanner geeft de goedkoopste vluchten weer voor alle datums per bestemming vanaf de luchthaven van je keuze
    • Google Flights heeft een hulpmiddel om vluchten op te zoeken voor een weekend, een week of twee weken. Scroll onder de zoekbalk naar beneden en klik op de wereldkaart. Beweeg je muis naar waar in de wereld je wilt gaan en zoom in om meer opties te verkennen!
  • Als je je beschikbare datums weet, maar je weet het niet waar naartoe
    • Fly Me Anywhere : voer je locatie en de datums in en deze website zal je de goedkoopste vluchten naar elke plaats geven
    • Google Flights : voer de data of de lengte van je reis in samen met je vertrekpunt, druk op zoeken en verken je opties. Handig hulpmiddel: je kunt de optie handbagage toevoegen zodat je de extra kosten ook kan zien.
    • Skyscanner : voer je locatie en gewenste reisgegevens in en Skyscanner geeft je de goedkoopste opties.
  • Als je de bestemming kent, maar je weet de datum niet
    • Google Flights : klik op de wereldkaart en zoek de goedkoopste vlucht naar een bepaalde bestemming in de komende 6 maanden. Je kunt de lengte van de reis aanpassen en beslissen in welke maand je wilt gaan (maar dat is niet nodig). Een andere optie is om naar de zoekbalk te gaan, een dagperiode op een willekeurige datum te kiezen en dan verder te scrollen om de prijzen van de andere maanden te bekijken.

Er zijn zoveel websites die je geweldige deals bieden, maar het is eenvoudiger en minder tijdrovend als je de grootste zoekmachines gebruikt die je naar de beste deals leiden.

Kies je accommodatie verstandig

Vakantietijd = jezelf trakteren. Ik ben het er 100% mee eens. Maar het betekent niet noodzakelijk dat je een chique hotelkamer of all-in resort moet boeken. Waarom boek je geen Airbnb kamer of appartement, of nog beter, een hostel. Dit is een geweldige manier om te nieuwe mensen te leren kennen, je budget laag te houden en nieuwe ervaringen op te doen.

Als je wel echt in een hotel wilt verblijven, kun je de beste prijzen rechtstreeks op hun websites vinden. Ja, ik heb het gezegd. Booking.com of Expedia kunnen enkel betere deals hebben als ze vooraf een hotelkamer “kopen” tegen een lager tarief of wanneer ze exclusieve ledenkortingen aanbieden. Maar in de meeste gevallen biedt het hotel de beste prijs, ook voor hun leden, en zelfs enkele extra’s zoals romantische arrangementen enzovoort.

Toen ik met de bus naar Porto ging, verbleef ik in het mooiste hostel – een galerij – waar ik een comfortabel bed had met alles wat ik nodig had: stopcontacten, licht, een kluisje om mijn spullen veilig te houden, een moderne en grote badkamer en ontbijt inbegrepen voor niet eens € 20 per nacht.

Zelfs tijdens mijn reizen naar Kaapstad en Buenos Aires verbleef ik in hostels. Het heeft me zoveel geld bespaard en me de kans gegeven om zo veel interessante mensen van over de hele wereld leren kennen.

Seas The Day!

Reizen per ferry of boot is een geweldige manier om je volgende avontuur te beginnen. In Argentinië nam ik een veerboot vanaf Buenos Aires naar Colonia, Uruguay . Het was niet alleen beter voor het milieu, het was ook een leuke ervaring en redelijk gemakkelijk en snel.

Mijn familie nam mij altijd mee op een roadtrip naar Italië en van Italië namen we de boot naar Griekenland. Enkel de bootreis op zich was een klein avontuur. En het was snel en gemakkelijk te doen, we konden zelfs onze auto meenemen en we hadden onze eigen cabine. Als je van je hele reis een avontuur wilt maken en je houdt van op zee te zijn, kies dan voor een boottocht!

Het is ook overal mogelijk. In Malta kun je makkelijk veerboot nemen naar de dichtstbijzijnde eilanden. Hetzelfde geldt voor Corfu, Venetië, Kroatië en nog veel meer bestemmingen. Vaak kosten deze veerboten slechts een paar euro. Denk er eens over na: waar zou je heen gaan als je de dichtstbijzijnde veerboot of boot zou nemen?

Waar je ook woont, er zijn altijd alternatieve en goedkope manieren om rond te reizen. Als je een weekend vrij hebt en je voelt die wanderlust opkomen, kijk dan wat je beste opties zijn en ga ervoor.


Top 5 Geheime romantische bestemmingen in Europa

Reizen is altijd het avontuur waard, of je nu alleen bent, met vrienden, je familie of je geliefde. Die laatste optie is misschien nog beter nu Valentijnsdag eraan komt. Als je iets te vieren hebt of niet; het trakteren van je geliefde op een gedeeld avontuur in het buitenland is de beste manier om samen te genieten van je welverdiende romantische vakantie.

Om je te helpen kiezen wat te doen deze Valentijn, heb ik een top 5 opgesteld van de meest geheime romantische bestemmingen in Europa – leuke en nieuwe alternatieven voor de bekende romantische steden Parijs of Venetië. Deze blog is beschikbaar in drie talen: Engels, Nederlands en Frans.

5. Sevilla, Spanje

Sevilla, de geboorteplaats van flamenco, heeft met zijn charmante stadscentrum, de gastvrije bevolking en de heerlijke Spaanse keuken al heel wat harten veroverd. Maar vaak bezoekt men deze stad tijdens de lente of zomer. Wist je dat Sevilla ook enorm romantisch kan zijn en een perfecte keuze voor jouw Valentijn dit jaar?

Maak een gezellige avondwandeling door het plein Plaza de Espana, met op de achtergrond sprankelende stadslichten en geniet daarna van zelfgemaakte paella of Spaanse tapas in één van de lokale restaurantjes van deze zuiderse stad.

Leer Sevilla beter kennen met mijn reisartikel over de belangrijkste bezienswaardigheden van deze Zuid-Spaanse stad. Je kan ook mijn reisgids als hulpmiddel gebruiken om je volgende romantische uitje naar Sevilla te plannen. Hierin vind je de beste aanbevelingen voor de lokale keuken, accommodatie en attracties.

4. Bruges, Belgium

Er zijn veel romantische plekjes in België, maar het UNESCO Werelderfgoed benoemde Brugge steekt er met kop en schouders bovenuit. De combinatie van het middeleeuwse centrum, de geplaveide pleinen en de interessante lokale geschiedenis maakt van Brugge de meest romantische Belgische stad. Vier je Valentijn in één van de 50 kastelen in Brugge of verblijf in één van de heel speciale Airbnb’s of hotels. Maak een leuke stadswandeling langs de zwanen, stop voor leuke foto’s bij de vele bruggen en kanalen, en vergeet niet om bij een lokale café het beste bier ter wereld te proeven, vergezeld van een waardig dessert – Belgische chocolade natuurlijk!

Om meer te weten te komen over Brugge, kun je kijken naar wat Brugge te bieden heeft als een van de veiligste steden om naar te reizen.

3. Crikvenica, Croatia

Kroatië is een opkomende toeristische bestemming die de laatste jaren meer erkenning heeft gekregen van vele toeristen wereldwijd. Ook in België en Nederland vertrekken we volop naar Kroatië, vooral tijdens de zomer dan.

Een minder bekende bestemming van deze parel aan de Middellandse Zee is een waardige kandidaat voor jouw Valentijn dit jaar. Met zijn lagune-blauwe wateren, een prachtig landschap van berglandschappen en heerlijke lokale gerechten is het kleine stadje Crikvenica, gelegen aan de oostkust van Kroatië, een leuk alternatief om je Valentijn te vieren in 2020. Verras je partner met een leuke boottocht vanuit de haven van Crikvenica en breng je avond door aan één van de beachbars met een adembenemend uitzicht over de riviera met zonsondergang. Mooi meegenomen: in Crikvenica is de cuisine mediterraans en best low cost, rekening houdend met de lokale munteenheid (kuna).

Heb je zin gekregen om Kroatië te ontdekken in 2020? Lees dan mijn reisblog over Kroatië, met Crikvenica als centrale bestemming.

2. Valletta, Malta

Er zijn goede redenen waarom Valletta, de hoofdstad van Malta, is benoemd tot de culturele hoofdstad van Europa in 2018 en UNESCO werelderfgoed. De sporen die vele kolonisten en immigranten hebben achtergelaten sinds 5900 voor Christus hebben bijgedragen tot het ontstaan van de culturele hotspot die we de dag van vandaag kennen als Malta.

Wat Valletta jouw perfecte Valentijns bestemming maakt voor dit jaar is de combinatie tussen de Maltese barok stijl doorheen de stad en de heerlijke, moderne restaurants met uitzicht op de oceaan en de haven. Het design van de stad is een ongekende mix tussen oude Romeinse architectuur en Britse invloeden, met als kers op de taart een vleugje Arabische indrukken (die je ook terugvindt in o.a. steden namen). De vriendelijke inwoners verwelkomen je graag in het Engels, Italiaans of Malti.

Ga gerust eens door mijn reisblog over Malta voor meer informatie over deze opkomende Europese bestemming.

1. Guimaraes, Portugal

Helemaal bovenaan de lijst van Europa’s meest romantische, geheime bestemmingen staant Guimaraes. Deze iconische Portugese stad heeft zijn middeleeuwse architectuur en gebouwen zo goed bewaard dat het hen een UNESCO Werelderfgoed titel heeft opgeleverd. De verrijkte geschiedenis van Guimaraes gaat terug tot de stichting als eerste hoofdstad van Portugal en een bezoekje aan deze stad voelt als een reis door de tijd: terug naar de 10e eeuw. Blaas je 2020 wat avontuur in en maak een baanbrekende reis naar de eerste hoofdstad van Portugal met je partner.

Leuk weetje: wat Guimaraes nog extra romantisch maakt, is dat de kerstlichten het hele jaar door het gezellige gotische stadscentrum verlichten. Ja, dat betekent heel het jaar door gezelligheid geblazen!

Bekijk hier mijn reisgids naar Guimarães, een mooi alternatief voor een rustig weekendje weg naar de meest romantische stad van Portugal.

Les destinations les plus sécrètes et romantiques en Europe

Voyager est toujours une bonne idée, que vous soyez seul, entre amis, en famille ou avec votre amoureux. Cette dernière option pourrait être encore meilleure puisque la Saint-Valentin n’est pas loin. Si vous avez quelque chose à célébrer ou non, offrir à votre proche une aventure à l’étranger est le meilleur moyen de prendre soin de votre relation et de profiter au maximum de votre temps ensemble.

J’ai créé une liste des destinations les plus secrètes et romantiques en Europe – les anti-stéréotypes, les destinations que vous n’avez pas encore découvert. Ce blog est disponible en trois langues: anglais, néerlandais et français. Cliquez sur la langue que vous souhaitez lire et vous serez redirigé vers le blog.

5. Sevilla, Spain

Il y a une bonne raison pour que Séville, berceau du flamenco, soit la capitale de l’Andalousie: son charmant centre-ville, ses habitants accueillants et sa délicieuse cuisine rendront votre séjour romantique encore meilleur. Détendez-vous pendant une promenade en soirée sur la Plaza de Espana accompagnée des lumières scintillantes de la ville et dégustez de la paella fraîche ou des tapas espagnoles au cœur de cette ville séduisante.

Apprenez à connaître Séville avec mon article de voyage couvrant les attractions principales de cette ville, localisée en sud de l’Espagne. Utilisez mon guide de voyage comme un outil pour planifier votre prochaine escapade romantique à Séville en utilisant les meilleures recommandations sur la cuisine, l’hébergement et les attractions.

4. Bruges, Belgium

Il y a plusieurs endroits romantiques en Belgique, mais la combinaison du centre de style médiéval, des pavées partout et des lumières de la ville reflétant sur les eaux de Bruges fait de cette ville un sommet. Avec ses innombrables châteaux médiévaux (50 au total), choisissez de séjourner dans l’un des nombreux sites spéciaux de ce site classé au patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO.

Promenez-vous dans la ville et capturez les cygnes nageant dans les canaux et les nombreux ponts et arrêtez-vous dans un bar à bière local pour déguster certaines des meilleures bières du monde, accompagnées d’un dessert digne – du chocolat belge bien sûr.

Pour en savoir plus sur Bruges, vous pouvez consulter mon article ici qui explique pourquoi Bruges est une des villes les plus sécures pour voyager.

3. Crikvenica, Croatia

La Croatie est une des nombreuses perles de la mer Méditerranée et elle a conquis de nombreux cœurs ces dernières années avec ses eaux bleues lagunaires, ses paysages magnifiques et sa délicieuse cuisine locale. Cependant, si vous avez envie de choisir un lieu hors des sentiers battus pour la Saint-Valentin, optez pour un séjour à Crikvenica, un petit village situé sur la côte orientale de la Croatie.

Ce joyau côtier inconnu vous enchante par ses vues sur le port au coucher du soleil et les impressionnantes montagnes en arrière-plan font que ce paysage mérite une visite. Montez à bord d’un bateau pour passer la nuit de la Saint-Valentin romantique parfaite avec votre amoureux. Ensuite, profitez d’un repas méditerranéen bon marché et savoureux dans l’un des nombreux restaurants du centre-ville pittoresque. La devise est le kuna, ce qui équivaut à 0,13 €.

Pour découvrir la Croatie au maximum, consultez mon guide complet sur la Croatie, avec Crikvenica comme destination centrale.

2. Valletta, Malta

La capitale de Malte La Valette a été désignée comme la capitale européenne de la culture en 2018, la même année où j’ai découvert cette île. La marque de nombreux colons et immigrants étrangers laissés dans ce pays depuis 5900 avant JC, a façonné l’une des îles et des pays les plus diversifiés du continent européen.

Ce qui rend La Valette en particulier si romantique et un choix parfait pour une visite pendant la Saint-Valentin, c’est la construction vallonnée de la ville, qui vous laisse tomber sur de beaux décors et des restaurants élégants avec vue sur la mer. Le style de la ville est un mélange de l’architecture romaine antique et des influences britanniques, accompagné de traces architecturales (et linguistiques) arabes. Les habitants sympathiques vous accueilleront en anglais, italien ou malti.

Rendez-vous sur mon blog de voyage sur Malte pour en savoir plus sur cette prochaine destination européenne

1. Guimaraes, Portugal

Au sommet de notre liste des destinations les plus secrètes et romantiques d’Europe est Guimaraes. Cette petite ville médiévale portugaise vous ramène dans le temps avec son architecture emblématique du Xe siècle bien préservée. Guimaraes était la première capitale du Portugal, et à ce titre, certains sites du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO sont à découvrir lors de votre visite dans cette charmante ville. Ce qui rend Guimaraes si romantique, sont les lumières de Noël qui illuminent le centre-ville gothique toute l’année.

Consultez mon guide de voyage à Guimaraes, un guide parfait pour un week-end romantique dans la ville la plus romantique du Portugal.