#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.

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.

Europe’s Top 5 Secret & Romantic Destinations

Travel is forever worthwhile the journey and adventure, whether you’re alone, with friends, family or your lover. That last option may be even better since Valentine’s Day coming up. If you have something to celebrate or not, treating your loved one to a shared adventure abroad is the best way to bond and enjoy your time together to the max.

I’ve listed a countdown of Europe’s secret & most romantic destinations – the anti-stereotypes, the destinations you have yet to discover. This blog is available in three languages: English, Dutch and French. Simply click on the language you wish to read in and you will be redirected to the blog.

5. Sevilla, Spain

There’s a good reason Sevilla, the birthplace of flamenco, is the capital of Andalusia: its charming city centre, welcoming locals and delightful cuisine will make your romantic stay a great one. Come to relaxation during an evening stroll through plaza de Espana accompanied by the sparkling city lights and enjoy homemade paella or Spanish tapas in the heart of this seductive city.

Get to know Sevilla inside and out with my travel article covering the main attractions of this southern Spanish city. Use my triple travel guide as a tool to plan your next romantic getaway to Seville, including the best recommendations on cuisine, accomodation and attractions.

4. Bruges, Belgium

There are a few romantic spots in Belgium, but the combination of the medieval styled centre, the cobblestoned squares and the city lights reflecting this view on the calm waters of Bruges makes this town top them all. With its endless amount of medieval castles (50 in total), opt for a night in one of the many special Airbnb’s or hotels in this UNESCO World Heritage sight. Stroll through the city and capture the swans swimming in the canals, the many bridges and waterlanes, and stop at a local beer pub to taste some of the best beer in the world, accompanied by a worthy dessert – Belgian chocolate of course!

To learn more about Bruges, you can check out my post here which features Bruges as one of the safest cities to travel to.

3. Crikvenica, Croatia

Croatia is one of the many pearls at the Mediterranean Sea and it conquered many hearts these last few years with its lagoon blue waters, stunning scenery of mountain landscapes and delicious local cuisine. However, if you feel like choosing an off the beaten path this Valentine’s Day, opt for a stay in Crikvenica, a small village located at the Eastern coast of Croatia.

This undiscovered coastal gem enchants you with its sunset views over the harbour and the impressive mountains in the background make this scenery worth a visit. Hop on a boat tour to spend be the perfect romantic Valentine’s night together with your lover. Afterwards, treat yourselves on a budget friendly and tasty Mediterranean meal at one of the many restaurants in the picturesque town hub. The currency is kuna, which equals to €0.13.

To discover Croatia to the fullest, check out my full guide on Croatia, featuring Crikvenica as central destination.

2. Valletta, Malta

Malta’s capital Valletta has been marked as Europe’s capital of culture of 2018, the same year I first set foot on this island. The marks many colonists and foreigner immigrants left in this country since 5900 BC, shaped it to be one of the most diverse islands and countries in the European continent.

What makes Valletta in particular so romantic and a perfect choice for a Valentine’s Day visit is the hilly construction of the city, which leaves you to bump into beautiful decors and stylish restaurants with a harbor seaview. The style of the city is a mixture between ancient roman architecture and British influences, topped of with a hint of Arabic architectural (and linguistic) traces. The friendly inhabitants will welcome you in English, Italian or Malti.

Head out to my travel blog about Malta to learn more about this upcoming European destination.

1. Guimaraes, Portugal

At the very top of our list of Europe’s most romantic secret destinations, we have Guimaraes. This lowkey Portuguese medieval town takes you back in time with its well preserved, iconic X-th century architecture. The enriched history goes back to the foundation of Portugal’s first capital, and as such, some UNESCO World Heritage sites are to be discovered on your visit to this charming city. What makes Guimaraes so romantic is the all-year-round christmas lights brighten up the cozy and historic Gothic city centre.

Check out my triple travel guide to Guimaraes, perfect for a romantic weekend getaway to Portugal’s most romantic city.

An Insider’s Guide to Barcelona

The vivid capital of Catalunya is known for its mouthwatering tapas, extraordinary art collections and one-of-a-kind architecture. With Gaudí’s spirit present in every barceloní and barcelonina, it’s not hard to understand why many tourists come to admire the many attractions of the global city in all its defined glory. And for that, it might be confusing to know where to start – not only has Gaudí left outstanding artworks in the city, the football club Barcelona also has many fanatics from all over the world and keeps the fire burning in the modern, spicy cosmopolitan.

If you’ve been reading my blog, then you know I lived in Barcelona for a while. After exploring the city with locals and visiting the best spots, I came to the conclusion that Barcelona has it all: mountains, beaches, parks, malls, castles, viewpoints; whatever it is that you are looking for in a city. To guide you during your next trip to Barcelona, I created an insider’s guide so you can fully immerse yourself in the Catalonian spirit and, like a local, devour delicious tapas, visit gorgeous architectural wonders and come to a relaxation at the most stunning and highest viewpoints.

Your Arrival

Aerobus

The Aerobus is the most convenient way to transport yourself from the airport to the city. It has several stops throughout the city center, free wifi and luggage storage space.

Cost: €5.90

Golden Gaudí

Parque Guëll

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.

Casa Battló

Entering casa Battló is like immersing yourself in the deep, enchanting blue ocean. With a decor that takes you to your wildest fantasies, a visit to this house is often one skipped by many tourists, however very much worth a visit. Its location on Passeig de Gracia, in the middle of high-end fashion boutiques, represents the spirit of Barcelona very well, mixing the modern shopping street with an authentic showpiece, brought to you by the famous Gaudí.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €25

Casa Milá

Casa Milá is the next Gaudí-made piece of art on Passeig de Gracia, however its themes are distinctively different. Casa Milá serves many as a natural wonder, a place for exhibitions and at the same time a foundation for disabled people. Go all the way up to this casa to enjoy the beautifully shaped chimneys, ventilation towers and stairwells.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €22

Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens was Gaudí’s first gem in Barcelona, built between 1883 and 1885, served as a summer house for the Vicens family. Gaudí started his series of masterpieces with a contrasting styled, extremely detailed and in every way mesmerizing jewel.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €16

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

The Hidden Gems

Bunkers del Carmel

Higher above Park Guëll, there is a non-touristic part of the city that, in my experience, gives you the most breathtaking view in town: Bunkers del Carmel. Many locals, mostly youngsters, join on this secret spot to enjoy the passing of sunset. Bring some snacks, a good camera and nice company and prepare yourself for sweeping sunset views.

Botanical Garden

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. When you walk further, you run into a 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?

Horta Labyrinth

This park makes you feel like you’re in that Harry Potter movie – the one with the deadly labyrinth and the goblet of fire. Just one thing: this maze is not deadly. And smaller. But nevertheless worth the visit and the getting lost-part (especially while losing from toddlers that find the exit sooner than you). The ancient architectural gems and gigantic park surrounding the laybrinth make up for the €2.23 entrance fee.

Taste Catalunya

La Boqueria

It is hard to miss this food market in the middle of the Rambla, the most visited street in Barcelona. From fresh fruits to southern seafood, nothing lacks this tasteful food heaven. You’ll walk out of it satisfied, with in one hand holding a cup filled with watermelon and in the other one some candy – yes, there’s candy as well.

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”.

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).

Dazzling Disco

La Taverna de Barcelona

La Taverna de Barcelona takes you to a place where music is only played live and acoustically, while its wooden interior decorated with international flags focuses on welcoming people from all corners of the world. While bringing forth this international spirit, the pub breathes in life from the authentic Catalan fuego, making it very hard for you to sit still during an evening spent here.

Jamboree Jazz

Somewhere in the middle of La Rambla, you find Placa Reial, an exotic square filled with restaurants and bars, connecting the most popular street in Barcelona with the old neighbourhood: the Gothic Quarter. In the corner of Placa Reial, you find Jamboree. However, don’t enter the first level of the club, but descend until you find yourself in a Rnb/Jazz/Hip Hop heaven, with the finest selection of DJ’s playing your favourite and most soulful tracks from the 80’s until now. Pay attention to their Facebook page, as they often give away tickets or offer a possibility to put you and your friends on the guestlist in advance.

Pacha Club Barcelona

The world-wide famous Pacha Club has a franchise in Barcelona as well. The all-white themed luxurious night club offers various theme parties with a variety of music genres, such as: techno, hip hop, rnb, disco, etc. Be sure to buy your tickets online in advance to avoid lines, waiting times and more expensive tickets.

Reflections on Expat Life: What I’ve Learned So Far & Tips

The loneliness of the expat is of an odd and complicated kind, for it is inseparable from the feeling of being free, of having escaped.

This quote captures the feeling of being an expat perfectly . You are free. You have taken distance from your life at your birth town. Yet you are alone, on a quest. A quest to a life full of adventures, discovering new cultures, traveling, meeting new people, learning, falling and getting up. It is not that different from a normal life based in the same village as your family and friends. It’s just that you have come to the realization that life will end one day, and you want to make the best out of each and every day and life your true purpose.

Phew, that was kind of heavy. Let’s discuss in a more lighter way how the life on an expat is made up. It has been since February 2018 since I last spent an official night as resident at my parents home. After that, I lived in Barcelona and Lisbon. I took a chance, started a new life. Twice. And what I have learned from this, in this relatively short time of period, is beyond what I could have imagined.

You Get To Know Yourself More

Being an expat, living on yourself in a new environment in a new country, you automatically get to know yourself more. You know what you can handle and what you can’t. You discover new interests, new hobbies, new habits, etc. I myself became more strong and spiritual while living in Lisbon. I never liked doing any kind of sports, but here I love devoting my time to yoga. Everybody’s experience is different, of course. But you get to know your habits, your addictions and your needs.

You Blossom Up & Find Your True Purpose

Because you have no outer distractions or influences or other people around you – whether it be family, friends or a lover – you can do completely what you want to do. It’s like solo traveling – you get to do what you want thus you take your chances to try out new things. While trying these new things, you meet new people, you experience what you like and what you don’t like and you can move on with that knowledge.

“Stepping out of that comfort zone is scary. Challenging. Frightening. And the best thing that can happen to you.”

You Gain Independence

Living on yourself or sharing a house with (an)other person(s) causes you to be more independent. You clean, clean up, do groceries, manage your life and household; you know how to take care of yourself and build up your own life. This is important knowledge everybody needs in their lives. To be able to take care of yourself on your own is the most important thing you can learn.

Loneliness & Homesickness Is Inevitable

Even if you build up your own life in a new country, surrounded by glorious self-love, friends, maybe a lover, an amazing job, there will always be missing that one part: family. You will be homesick and you will miss your family and friends at home. That’s natural; how can you not miss the most important people in your life? But that is what makes the visit to home that much better and fulfilling. And the moments when you cherish these people and memories, will give you a feeling of gratitude because you realize you have these amazing people to miss.

Being An Expat Opens Up Your Mind & the World

Let’s continue with the most wonderful advantage, and maybe the reason why you became or want to become an expat: discover the world. Explore new cultures. Not as a tourist, but as an expat. By living somewhere, and truly mixing in that culture, you will gain experience about how that culture truly is like. It opens up your mind: you are open to new experiences, like learning that new language, getting to know all about the local food, music, traditions, and so on. And hereby comes the realization of how big the world is (and that you should explore as much as you can).

You Are Open To New Experiences

Imagine living at your parents’ village your entire life. Would you try new things? Things that scare you? Would you eat new kinds of food that you never heard about before? Would you learn a new language, not by an online course but by really speaking and hearing it? Your answer is probably no. In your comfort zone, you are safe. You are comforted. Stepping out of that comfort zone is scary. Challenging. Frightening. And the best thing that can happen to you.

When you are living abroad, you don’t mind trying new things. And that is healthy – us humans have to be open to new things, it’s good for us. That’s how you learn things in life. I wrote a list of all the things I learned during my time as an expat, and I probably didn’t write it all, but the list is long. And it is only getting longer. Not just language or culture-wise, but also personally. If you are an expat, I suggest you to do the same. It is mind-opening to see how much you’ve learned during a period.

So don’t be afraid. Go after your dreams. Step out of your comfort zone. Whatever your dream or aspiration in life is: go for it. Because the world is big and there is a lot to discover. I hope you have a clearer image about the life of an expat and what my experiences are.

How To Travel Solo With Confidence

Solo traveling has become a huge trend amongst us youngsters in the last few years. After the phenomenon of backpacking, a lot of people decided to rewrite the travel rules and go on an adventure on their own. Solo travel, in others words. Whether its a luxury trip, a backpacking trip, or a citytrip: exploring new destinations on your own is inevitably a trend in tourism as we speak.
A big and important part of solo traveling is having confidence. And, in order to have confidence, you must be well prepared and comfortable with your decisions. Confidence starts within. In order to reach this point of confidence and secureness within, let’s discuss the most common questions regarding fears, worries and doubts about solo traveling.

Why should I solo travel? I am perfectly happy with going on trips with friends and family.

If you are wondering why you even should start with solo traveling in the first place, then I kindly redirect you to firstly read this post.

Welcome back. Now you know why you should make that jump, you feel more challenged, right? Are you ready to go on an adventure? Are you ready to connect with yourself more?

Solo traveling can be an eye-opener for a lot of people. Some find peace and calmth, some find adventure and challenge, some find a deeper meaning of life. It is personal and that is what makes it so special. While solo traveling, you can make your own choices. You are free. Free to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Do you want to socialize? Or live as a monk for three weeks and leave behind your social life for a while? It’s all up to you.


I feel really unsafe and insecure about solo traveling.

First of all, you wouldn’t be the first one. The concept of solo traveling is all about taking a jump into the unknown, broadening your horizons and taking a leap of faith. In other words: it’s a just-go-for-it experience. It’s about fueling your courage, empowering the adventurous you and giving no power to your fears and doubts.

Confidence start within, but it continues on the outside. For me, having the biggest part of my trip planned means that I am confident about my trip and the external factors of it. I am sure of my accomodation, flights and my travel itinerary. When you exclude the external factors that could give you any worries or stress, you immediately feel more secure about your trip and the adventure you’re going on. Or, you could also book a trip with a travel company in a group. Then, you’re also solo traveling, while being on a guided trip where everything is taken care of for you.


“I don’t know where to go, all on my own.”

The most important thing is to start with yourself. Think back. What are the places you really want to visit? The things you really want to do? Write down a bucket list of the things you want to achieve and do in your life. Are they linked to certain destinations? More tips about where to go on a solo trip you can find here.

If you are looking for a safe travel destination (especially for solo female travelers), then check out my top five of safest solo female travel destinations here.


“Is traveling alone boring?

The only one who can give you the answer to this question is you. What you get out of your vacation is whatever that you put into it. Happiness and fulfillment come from within.

To make the best out of a solo trip, you can write down the following list and answer it honestly. The answers to your questions already came from you.

  1. What makes me happy?
  2. What do I love to do in my free time?
  3. What makes me feel good?
  4. How does a perfect day look like to me?
  5. What do I want to do in my life? (Bucketlist)
  6. What do I want to see in my life? (Bucketlist)
After writing this list, check off as much as you can during your trip. Do things that make you smile, that give you fulfillment, or that scare you but that you always wanted to try.
Whatever you decided about solo traveling, I hope that you are happy with your choice and that you look forward to your (solo) trip. Because it is, after all, a vacation and you should enjoy it to the maximum.

How to Know Which Destination Is Perfect For You

Traveling is a wonderful treat you can give to yourself and others. Going on an adventure or discovering a new destination never gets old. In many cases, you may already know which destination to go to. We all have that “dream destination” in our minds. But maybe you don’t. And then what? How do you know which destination is perfect for you to travel to? How do you know which destination suits you best?

Let me provide you with some tips that help you choosing your perfect travel destination, so you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest. We’ll figure your perfect destination out, together, using the W-W-W-W-H method (Who-What-When-Where-How). If you specify these points, you’ll get a lot closer to pinning down that place on the map.

Who would you like to bring on this trip? (Who)

In order to find your perfect travel destination, you have to make a decision about who is traveling with you. Is it nobody? Perfect, less hassle, more independence for you. Are you traveling with friends? Sit with each other and discuss the others needs, wants and availability. Are you traveling with family? Idem.

Communication is really important in the process of planning a vacation, and it is uttermost important that you discuss important factors with your fellow travelers. Even small details, like a preferred airline or accomodation type, can change your entire getaway. If you’re having difficulties finding time to travel in a group or even with yourself, then check out my tips on how to make time to travel.

What do you want to get out of this vacation? (What)

What is your main reason for traveling? Maybe you want to discover a new culture, city or language. Or you’re more the adventurous type that likes to go into nature, pack your backpack and go hiking for a bit. Maybe you want to relax and lay at the beach all day. or maybe, you’re the type that likes to get both out of a vacation: go to an interesting place and relax. Yin and yang, as they say.

If you decided this for yourself, than you’re making your quest for the perfect travel destination a whole lot easier. Do some research about the best beaches, for example, or the best hiking trails or cultural cities. Write them all down.

Which climate do you feel most comfortable in? (Where)

After you made this list, you can specify more by selecting the proper climate. This is a really important one and it requires some research. Because no matter when you go to a certain country or city, their climate can be a whole lot different than yours.

Do you want a sunny location? If yes, what is the maximum temperature that you could handle? If you’re going hiking in the mountains, what is the minimum temperature that you’d like to find yourself in?

Always prepared about any changes that this climate can bring, such as diseases or insects that can harm you.

After deciding on which climate you would like to find yourself in – cold, tropical, moderate,etc. – remove the destinations from your list that do not meet this requirement.

Which period would be best suitable for you to travel in? (When)

This is a really important filter. The date. You should check with different parties to have the perfect period to travel in. Is anybody traveling with you? When are their days off? Or are you traveling solo, and are you looking to find time to travel? Another helpful source is my previous blog make time to travel, where you find tips and tricks to pin down that travel date.

After checking off possible date(s), see which destination would be suitable to visit during this period. For example, if you want to go hiking on a trail or go to a beach that is closed during that time, you might want to find another destination. Cross out the destinations that are not suitable for your availability.

How would you like to travel? (How)

Last but not least: transport. How do you like to travel? Catching flights is my favorite. Get comfy in an airplane, put on that airplane mode, have some me-time, get served food and drinks, and fly with your favorite airline. There’s nothing better than a nice flight to start your trip with.

But maybe you don’t like flying, or the flights are overpriced, or the people you are traveling with are afraid of flying.

Whatever the reason may be, there are so many transport options these days. Bus, train, car, boat, you name it. If you want to do some island hopping but you don’t want to fly in and out or take the ferry all the time, you can consider a cruise.

If you’re planning on doing the yin and yang vacation (beach and city), a car may be a good idea, so you can drive to places you would like to visit and you have the freedom to visit any beach in your surroundings. If you’re traveling solo and you want to do a full city trip, public transport is your go-to!

Take your list of destinations with you and investigate on how to get there. If it’s overseas and you’re afraid of flying, check out alternates like cruises or an overnight boat. There are so many ways to travel nowadays. Find your way and make the best out of it!

The most important thing is to follow your heart. If you have a dream destination in mind, go for it. If not, the world is so big, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect travel destination for you after applying the W-W-W-W-H method. Save travels, adventurer!

Make Time to Travel

Traveling. Getting on that airplane. Catching flights. Breathing in a new culture and country. That fulfilling feeling of adventure and jumping into the unknown.

Many of us love to travel. Especially if you’re reading this. I see you! The difficult things about going on a holiday? Budget and time. If you’re struggling with planning a vacation within a budget, read my tips here. If you’re struggling with finding time to travel, keep on reading then!

Make Yourself A Priority

Start at the beginning. Who wants to travel? You? Or your friend(s)? Or a spouse or family member?

If it’s just you and you are waiting on somebody to make time to join you on your trip, then leave that. Just plan your trip, since you want to travel so badly. Take a look at your budget, the flight tickets and availability of your desired accommodation. Next, compare it to your vacation days. When can you take a weekend/week/month off? The same goes for when you are the plus one. If you notice your friend really wants to go to a place and you don’t have the time/money/motivation to go with them, let them know. For the sake of all travelers out there, don’t keep us waiting.

The more, the merrier

If you are planning on going on a trip with somebody or a group, but you are struggling to plan dates, here’s what to do next. Firstly, ask around when everybody can take off to go on holiday, if somebody already used all their vacation days or they have a busy job and they have a strict schedule, ask them to request days off in advance and plan your trip later. If you really want the person to come with you, first make sure you’re all on the same line and with the same availability. Next, discuss a budget, and put it all together in one account.

Side note: I recommend to use Revolut. It’s an online bank where you can create a credit card in a second and opt to use a vault. Everybody can put money the credit card and put it in the vault or on the current account. Then, when you are traveling, pay all the common expenses with this card so it’s fairly divided.

It comes in extremely handy when you are traveling because it gives you the best currency rate possible. Plus, they offer a travel insurance that was better than my original one! I used Revolut for all my trips and I am a happy customer. And no, they didn’t ask me to write this.  

If you’re more of the “we’ll see what happens”, you can opt for an app that divides everything you spent. But you will divide it later on, so somebody will have to take the big bill into account first.

Maximize Your Vacation Days

As I already mentioned, vacation days are an important factor if you are looking for time to travel. Maybe you don’t have time in the weekend to go on a trip. I get that. But play it smart then. Plan you vacation days in advance and get everything out of it.

Take a look at the upcoming bank holidays. If there’s a holiday on a Friday, plan the Thursday. Like this, you put one vacation days and you win four days. Hello, city trip!

If there’s a holiday on a Thursday, same rules applies. Get that Friday and enjoy your 4 days off. Or put the Wednesday and Friday and enjoy 5 days off while only losing two days. It’s all about being smart!

Plan Beforehand 

If you are wanting to go on a big trip of a month or two weeks and you are struggling with finding time, don’t panic. It’s all about planning. A big trip like this has to be planned in advance.

Firstly, make sure you have flights available on those dates and you have enough budget for it. If you really want to go to a certain Airbnb, hotel, hostel, etc.: also check that availability. Because since it’s for a longer period of time, it’s less evident to guarantee an availability for the whole period.

Secondly, request a holiday for that period. Since you’re planning it way in advance, it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, you get the flight tickets at a normal rate and not at a higher rate close to the departure date.

And finally, don’t forget the important details about your trip. Vaccinations, a visa, a credit card, travel gadgets; you will thank your future self for planning in advance and being prepared. You can read all about preparations and gadgets that will help you here.

And there you go, off to your next destination. I’m so proud of you. Fly, discover, live, enjoy.

6 Small Things You Can Do to Be a Perfect Passenger

Catching flights. To me, it is my passion, my hobby. The moment you walk in to an airplane, you make yourself comfortable at your seat and a few moments later, you feel the plane taking off and the ground disappears more and more with every mile you’re ascending.

While others are looking less forward to being inside an airplane, we can all make a difference and make the flight as comfortable as possible. It all starts with you. Think about what made your flight uncomfortable in the past. Was it an annoying passenger? Was it miscommunication with your flight attendant? Was it the fact that you forgot something?

Whatever it was, you can make sure it won’t happen again. Or, at least, you can learn how to be a perfect passenger and make a wonderful start on a stress-free flight. 

Be prepared

It’s all about preparation. Before going on board, make sure you got everything you need.

If you are taking carry-on luggage, be sure to check the sized that are allowed at your airline to avoid trouble inside the aircraft or having to pay extra for putting it in the hold.

Take with you a bottle of water, some snacks, and a pull for when it would get cold in the airplane. You never know how the food is like or when you get thirsty during landing or take-off, thus have to wait approximately 10 to 30 minutes before asking your flight attendant for some water. Just bring your own.

Not all airlines request boarding passengers to show their boarding pass, but it can never do any harm. So be sure to not put your boarding pass away until you are sitting on your seat. I’ve had lots of delays because passengers cannot find their boarding pass anymore while boarding and thus hold up an entire line of passengers behind them.

Be polite

Treat the flight attendants and passengers with respect. We are all in one space, one aircraft, for a certain amount of hours. Don’t make a hassle for nothing, don’t get drunk or high, just stay decent, polite and show manners to everybody.

Your flight attendants are trained to be polite to you. So greet them back, say thank you and please like they do to you. It is just one word, but it means so much more. Just your smile can make someone’s day. And don’t be afraid to start a conversation with them, it’s a pleasure to talk to passengers and it makes time pass quicker, too.

Be realistic

Schedule changes, delays or cancellations can happen. It is not always due to logistical or organizational reasons. Nature happens, too. Unfavorable wind, a rainstorm, snow, a tropical storm, you name it: natural changes can happen and they can affect your flight. Be reasonable and don’t blame it on your crew, airline or fellow passengers. It is natural and it will pass. Be patient and accept whatever solution your airline gives you – vouchers for another flight, hotel coupons, etc.

The same things is applicable for overbookings. Often, it is hard for passengers to understand the concept of overbooking. Airlines always overbook their seats. Depending on the airline, a certain percentage of all seats is overbooked, just in case people cancel, get sick, or just don’t show up ur check in.

“But why do they sometimes call a name of a passengers who didn’t arrive yet? If the seats are overbooked, shouldn’t you call for everybody who didn’t show up and not only one person?”

When we call for a certain passenger, it means they checked in themselves and their luggage, but didn’t board the plane yet. An overbooked seat that somebody purchased, but never checked in for, will not be given anymore attention to, since that person obviously was no longer interested in the flight, got sick, etc.

Be on time

Do the check-in and boarding on time, so there will be no delay because of this. If everybody is on time, the flight can depart at the scheduled time of departure and there will be no unpleasant surprises.

Be clean

Keep your seat, table and area in the airplane clean. Do not leave behind a mess during or after the flight. The planes are cleaned after every flight, but show some respect for the next passengers and your crew and just keep it clean. Flight attendants pass by often with waste bins so you can easily pass is to them. Also, there are waste bins in the galley (kitchen) of the stewards, so you can always go to them and give it personally. We always appreciate that!

After paying a visit to the toilet, don’t leave it like a kid’s pool at the beginning of summer. Clean up, wash your hands, and if there is a problem, there is a flight attendant call button inside the toilets as well.

Be calm

Stay calm and relaxed. There is no need to stress. The world is far below our feet now so it has no use to get caught up in delay stress. If you are scared of flying, talk to the flight attendant, they will help you. There are a lot of things we can do to help you cope with that fear.

When a passenger in front of you is making too much noise or if there is a problem, don’t freak out immediately. Talk to us so we can help you.

If you see, hear or smell something that concerns you: again, communicate with us. Let us know. Why do you think the window blinds have to be opened during take-off and landing? It is so you, our passengers, can let us know if there is a problem. So everybody can keep the situation in control.

Hopefully you take these tips into account next time you hop on a flight. And remember, flight attendants are here to keep you safe and comfortable. It’s our job to do so.