Why You Should Travel Alone

It’s midnight and I’m walking through the rainy streets of Koh San Road, Thailand. I’m surrounded by fried scorpions and Thai neon signs I don’t understand. With a backpack filled with courage I try to connect with the already drunken tourists, but unfortunately without any success. The first time out of Europe, the first time backpacking. I walk alone, but I feel more powerful then ever. A sense of freedom, I can do what I want, whenever I want. There is nobody here to stop me. I kissed my fears goodbye and convinced my dad that backpacking through Asia would be a better fit for me than a road trip trough Belgium. (seriously dad?) It was time to discover the world on my own, and go on an adventure. It was the best decision I could have made. Here are 5 reasons why I think you should travel alone.

Why you should travel alone

Nobody can discover the world for you
We can get lost in the most beautiful travel documentaries, dream away with breath taking photos and listen with unbelief to the stories of others. But nothing can compare to the experience in real life. If you want to discover the world we live in, go. Cause nobody can discover it for you. Being on your own means you can decide where you want to go, which places inspire you and choose the adventures that most appeal to you. You are in charge of broadening your horizons.

Finding your own rhythm
I’m definitely not a morning person and it has always been a challenge to agree with the overenthusiastic waking-up time of my friends. It’s a great feeling waking up and start doing whatever you want. There is no boss waiting for you at the office or a friend that desperately wants to go to that trendy, hipster breakfast place four blocks away while you’re starving. You have the time and space to create your own rhythm and discover your own needs. This is a valuable lesson to learn, also regarding your daily routines back home.

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You are more in the moment when you travel alone

While traveling I realized that the differences between all of us are insignificant compared to what connects us.

Experiences will be more intense
The autopilot of the mind will be switched off when you’re confronted with new situations, which results in a higher level of focus. You’ll have to stay alert, take care of yourself and create your own path. Because of this you’ll feel more aware of your surroundings instead of looking at it passively or getting lost in a conversation with your partner. You will experience the world around you instead of only seeing it.

New perspectives
Not being with friends or a partner means you have to go out of your comfort zone to meet new people or talk to locals. You’ll meet travelers from different cultures, backgrounds, social environments and also different characters. While traveling I realized that the differences between all of us are insignificant compared to what connects us. Traveling alone will teach you to be flexible, open minded and less judgmental.

Trust your intuition
Being on your own in an unknown country will give you a major confidence boost. Not only will your self-esteem grow (cause it’s really awesome to travel alone), the trust in your own intuition will increase as well. I can be quite the control freak so I tried to avoid making too many plans for my backpacking trip. It made me really nervous in the beginning as I was constantly questioning myself if it would workout. And to be honest, not everything did work out like it was suppose to. There was one day I didn’t have any money, food or a place to sleep cause my creditcard got blocked. Or this time that I jokingly challenged a Muay Thai boxer (what was I thinking) and broke my toe. But in the end, everything will be fine, one-way or another. There is no need to stress or worry cause if you trust on your intuition it will always work out.

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Eva in Chiang May, 2015

In my opinion, to travel alone is not only a ‘cool’ thing to do but it really helps you to extend your boarders and develop yourself. You will gain new insights of the places you go, the people you meet and the cultures you will learn about. Beside that it will also deepen the perspective on your own social environment and needs.

Traveling alone is the greatest gift you can give yourself. So, where are you going next?

Love,

Eva

*Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heals at home when wearing a backpack. Living by the urge to be where she’s not, to explore, experience, fall and get up. You can follow her on Instagram.

More travel tips? Check them here!

 

 

Camptoo, the Airbnb for Campers!

As a traveler, you always have a few things on your bucketlist that NEED to be done. These could be destinations, but also experiences. Most people would agree if I said that taking a roadtrip with an old Volkswagen Van would be one of them. I certainly had it on my list and 2 weeks ago I was so lucky to cross it off my bucketlist! Camptoo, the Airbnb for campers and mobile homes, asked me to take an oldtimer Volkswagen T2 for a little roadtrip.

What is Camptoo?
It’s too easy to compare Camptoo with Airbnb but it’s really the best comparison to make. It basicely works like this; most mobile-home owners only use their ride half the time so it just sits there, in front of their garage. Camptoo makes it possible for those owners, to rent out their camper. Just look on their website and select the camper you want, for how long and which date. You get several options and all you need to do is to pick your favorite and send the owner a message. You will see if it’s available and if they accept your request.

After a quick check up, we were handed over the keys and headed on our little adventure.

Once accepted you will receive a confirmation email plus a text message. I picked the beautiful (and in a very good state!) Volkswagen T2 Van owned by Nicole from Limburg. Not really knowing what to expect, me and my family drove down to her house where Nicole explained everything we needed to know about her precious ride. Camptoo makes sure that you are all-risk insured and you pay a deposit to cover yourself for any damages along the way. Just make sure to have your travel insurance sorted. After a quick check up on damages and details, we were handed over the keys and headed on our little adventure.

On an adventure with Camptoo

I have a baby of 3,5 months old so I was a little nervous about sleeping in a van of course. What about the cold? Would the rain come inside? What if the van breaks down? All the motherly instincts you would expect, but as a true traveler, I needed to let some of these insecurities go and enjoy the ride. Literally.

Volkswagen dreams. Camptoo

The Route
The first thing I noticed is that driving a car like this get’s a lot of attention. A lot. People waving, throwing up peace signs or giving you a thumbs up out of respect. Pretty cool. We decided to drive to The Ardennes, an area with hills and greenery and lot’s of adventurous roads. From Limburg we had about 2 more hours to go and we found this amazing camping online called Les Cabanes De Rensiwez. Here you can camp but also rent the most amazing lodges such as treehouses, Norwegian style cabins and hobbit-like-houses. Our campervan included a little kitchen with a stove so we could prepare dinner and make some tea. Very handy if you need to warm up! No camping adventure is complete without a little thunder storm and boy did we have one on the first night! It rained and rumbled for about 3 hours but it just made the whole experience even more special and cozy. TIP: Bring your own pillows for comfort and a (extra) warm sleeping bag as it get’s very cold at night even during summer. Many camper owners have blankets available but they can be too thin for your liking.

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Bohemian dream
Yep, this is soo me!

Breakfast at the camping
A breakfast basket brought to our camper

The next we drove down to a special place called the Jan Foppen Forest. This is a small forest on top of a hill where you can do crazy survival stuff like abseiling, climbing, paragliding, horse riding and more. My boyfriend and his parents used to come here and group of friends book a weekend here to spend quality time. We just came to say hello and show off our amazing campervan of course ;-). It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re heading to the Ardennes. Check here for more info.

Camptoo at The Foppen Bos
Our VolkswagenT2 at the Foppen Forest

On our last and final day we really got to drive through small towns where we stopped if we saw something nice such as a little Sunday market or a beautiful viewing point. We had to deliver the Van back to it’s owner in the early afternoon so we decided to sleep at a camping in Limburg, near the Belgian border. This camping was very modern and even had a swimming pool, restaurant and beautiful forest nearby to walk in.

La Roche
We stopped at La Roche, a town visited by many cyclist 

My Verdict
A dream come true. honestly. Okok, I didn’t have a lot of sleep like I would have in a 5 star hotel but that’s not what camping is about. Camping and especially, camping in an oldtimer, is about the magic of it. The adventure without knowing where you will sleep the next day and to follow your own path. I’m so glad I did this as a family so I can tell my son about our little adventure when he’s older. I felt like a true nomad and how amazing that he was a part of it. Besides that, the whole thing was so well organized from beginning to the end.

Me and the VolkswagenT2, Camptoo

Do you want to go on the same adventure? You can find the Volkswagen Van that I traveled in, here: camper/2553. Thinking about renting out your mobile home? Visit Camptoo’s website and check their Facebook & Instagram for inspiration!

Check out my video to get a good impression!

Love,

Elke

7 accommodations with a picture perfect view

We’ve stayed in many hotel rooms and some are better than others. There are several factors that make a stay memorable and one of those important factors has got to be the view from our hotel room. Hotel website Booking.com has recently published 7  accommodations with a stunning view which will make your travel photo’s stand out. Feast your eyes on the accommodations with a picture perfect view!

Overlooking the Big Ben, London
Stay at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel if you want to have the best view of the Parliament House and Big Ben. It offers stylish rooms, studios and apartments plus the award-winning Brasserie Joel features classic French bistro dishes with a twist. The modern hotel is an excellent choice if you want to stay in the heart of London and take a picture of this historic monument from your bedroom window.

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Park Plaza Westminster Bridge

Looking at the historic Acropolis, Athens
Across the Acropolis, you will find the stylish AthensWas Hotel offers a phenomenal view of the Parthenon. The Modern Rooftop Restaurant is located on the 7th floor of the hotel and is the perfect spot to enjoy modern cuisine with a refreshing cocktail. The evening illuminates acropolis which makes it the picture opportunity.

athenswas-hotel
Credit: AthensWas Hotel

The Empire State Building, New York
The iconic American building, across from your bedroom? Yes, The Langham Place in New York makes it happen. Located in midtown on Fifth Avenue, features modern rooms and a Michelin Star restaurant. Because the hotel is just 300 meters away from the Empire State Building, you can easily visit the famous skyscraper in the late hours and avoid the long queues.

the-langham-place, accommodations with an amazing view
Credit: The Langham Place

Get up close with the Eiffel Tower, Paris
Résidence Charles Floquet is located in a renovated historic building just 50 meters from the Eiffel Tower. It offers spacious accommodations with private cooking facilities and views of the Eiffel Tower, which after sunset gives a brilliant light show. Sounds ‘formidable’ right?


residence-charles-floquet, accommodations with an amazing view
Résidence Charles Floquet

Dreaming of the Taj Mahal, India
Just 600 meters from the Taj Mahal, you will find The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra. This accommodation has luxurious rooms, a wonderful spa, beautiful gardens, an outdoor pool, four restaurants and a great view of the Taj Mahal. Guests can enjoy delicious traditional Indian specialties in the restaurant or enjoy a good glass of wine overlooking the imposing Taj Mahal.


Credit: The Oberoi Amarvilas

Overlooking the Duomo, Florence
People visit Florence because of the many Musea and beautiful architecture. Hotel Firenze Rentals Corso 12 is located in central Florence and a 5-minute walk from the architectural sight they call the Piazza del Duomo. This beautiful property features self-catering apartments and the balcony overlooks the famous Duomo.

Florance
Credit: Firenze Rentals Corso 12

Skyline & Marina Bay, Singapore
Wow, this must be the ultimate skyline view from a bedroom in the Ritz-Carton, Millenia. Okok, we’re talking about the Ritz here of course and there is always a price tag attached. But hey, we can dream of staying here one day, can’t we?!  

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Credit: Ritz-Carlton Singapore

All there is left to say now is; we are looking forward to see your stunning bedroom shots soon! If you have any tips on accommodations with a picture perfect view, let us know and we might add it to the list!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Ever wondered what the most sustainable hotels in Amsterdam are? Check them here:

how to decrease your ecological footprint

World Festival Guide 2017

The festival season has began! Time to put up our new World Festival Guide 2017! We’ve picked our favorite festivals from around the world. Some you might know, others you don’t. But one thing is for sure; book your tickets and dance!

World Festival guide 2017

We are FSTVL, UK
When? 27th – 28th of May
Where? Upminster Greater London
It’s a huge festival with a lot of big names is dance and techno music and guess what, Graig David is even performing! Expect 50.000 people in London’s bankholiday weekend. Tickets are about £60 and almost sold out so if you’re heading over to London you might as well check this festival out. www.wearefstvl.com

We Love Green 2017, France
When? 10th – 11th of June
Where? Paris, France
This festival focuses on sustainability and uses solar power to generate enegrie. It will celebrate it’s 6th year and eadliners include Solange, A Tribe Names Quest, Flying Lotus and Maceo Plex. www.welovegreen.fr

Word Festival Guide 2017
Dance all summer!

Meadows in the Mountains, Bulgaria
When? 9th -11th of June
Where? Bulgaria
If you want something different and special you should check this festival out. Right near the Greek border, this is a festival hidden away in the mountains where you will see day turn into night and the morning fog fall over the trees. A truly encompassing and unique music and arts festival that brings to life the possibility of real adventure embraced by guaranteed sun and friendly faces. Unlike UK festivals our accommodation, food and drinks prices are affordable also because  Bulgaria is yet to convert to the Euro. www.meadowsinthemountains.com

mountain festival

Awakenings Festival, Netherlands
When? 24th – 25th of June

Where? Spaarnwoude, near Amsterdam
The best names in the Techno, minimal and deephouse gather each year to make this festival a huge succes. stages are huge and the sound is spot on. A must visit if you love Techno music! www.awakeningsfestival.nl

Awakenings Festival
The sunset at Awakenings Festival

North Sea Jazz Festival, Netherlands
When? 7th – 9th of Juli
Where? Rotterdam, Netherlands
Our Dutch city Rotterdam does a briljant job in hosting one of the best Jazz festivals in the world. With names like Erykah Badu, The Roots, Gladys Knight, Norah Jones and Usher, it’s hosting more than 1000 artists from the worlds of jazz, hip-hop, and pop music. www.northseajazz.com

north-sea-jazz
Source: North Sea Jazz

Love International Festival, Croatia
When? 29th of June – 6th of July
Where? Tisno, Croatia
Love International was born after Croatia’s legendary electric garden festival ended 2 summers ago. Some of the world’s best DJs provide the soundtrack to open-air clubs, boat parties, beach parties, stages, and even secret island parties. Previously a small funny train is took you from the amazing camping site to the festival so we are expecting more of this and… you’ll make friends for life! www.loveinternationalfestival.com

The Garden Festival
Croatia’s most famous festival (source: Love International)

Sea You Festival, Germany
When? 15th – 16th of Juli
Where? Freiburg, Germany
Just around the corner of the black forest, lays a lake where summer will be celebrated to the max. It’s an intimate festival with 2 stages but the biggest names in dance/techno music. It’s about 6-7 hours drive from The Netherlands so a nice roadtrip that’s well worth it. You can also wakeboard if you’re up for it and cool down in the big lake. www.seayou-festival.de

SeaYouFestival2016_V11
Source: Sea You Festival

Wilderness Festival, UK
When? 3rd – 6th of August
Where? Oxfordshire, England
Here you will find barefoot, flower-garland-toting bohemians dancing about the woods and skinny-dip in the lake at Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire.Grace Jones and Two Door Cinema Club will headline the festival this year but music is not all you can experience here. There is theatre, debate, arts, workshops, food and more. www.wildernessfestival.com

Festival guide wilderness
Is it real? (Source Wilderness Festival)

DGTL Festival, Spain
When? 11th – 12th of August
Where? Parc del Forum, Barcelona
Elke was there when they hosted their first edition and it was amazing. Strangely enough, it rained a lot but that didn’t even matter. Everybody was having a good time. Besides the festival, it’s a great opportunity to eat tapas and check out the capital’s beach. We say: book your flight and go! http://bcn.dgtl.com

DGTL Barcelona

Lost Village Festival, UK
When? 24th – 27th of August

Where? Lincolnshire, England
We had never heard of this one before until this year but wow, this looks cool! Tucked away in a woodland of the Lincolnshire countryside is a world where the best DJ’s and acts come together and make you dance until your feet hurt. Sleep in basecamp where the fun never stops and shop and eat at the village market. Names like Dixon, Jackmaster, The Black Madonna, Ben UFO will be present in this intimate setting. They open the gateway once a year so you better be there to experience the fun.. Check out the cool website for more info!

lost village festival

LolaPalooza, Germany
When? 9th – 10th September
Where? Berlin, Germany
This intimate festival is striking down in Berlin for the 3rd time and with succes! Names like The Foofighters, The XX and Hardwell will be on stage. Book yourself a comfy hotel in Berlin and explore the city! www.lollapaloozade.com

Other cool festivals worth mentioning this spring/summer:

May
20th May: 22Fest, Netherlands
26th – 28th May: Masked Ball Festival, UK

June
31st May – 4th June: Distortion Festival, Denmark
9th – 10th June: Wildlife Festival, UK

10th of June: Komm Schon Alter, NL
15th – 17th June: Sonar Festival, Spain
21st -25th June: Glastonbury, UK
24th of June: Boardlife Festival, NL

July
4th – 9th July: Nowhere Festival, Spain
6th – 8th July: NOS Festival, Portugal
12th – 15th July: Gurten Festival, Switzerland

27th – 30st July: Kendal Calling, UK
27th -31st July: Soundwave Festival, Croatia

August
19th – 20th August: Summer Sonic, Japan
17th – 20st August: Green Man Festival, Wales
24th – 27th August: Shambala Festival, UK

We hope you enjoy our world festival guide 2017!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Book a surprise backpacking trip without a return ticket

Travel organisation srprs.me, founded in 2014, is a travel organization where you can book yourself a mystery holiday or city break. You find out where you are going, at the airport or on the road. Totally on trend, srprs.me believes it’s time to bring some spontaneity back into travel, make your own memories and no longer google your way into a vacation. At Wander-Lust we also believe that the most beautiful things will happen if you have no expectations. You can book blind trips in several themes like Adventure, Broke, City Tripping, Honeymoon & Luxury, Multi City, Road Tripping, Solo Together, Sunsation and the ever changing theme of the Month. A week in advance, you will discover what the temperature is at your mystery destination and what time you should be at the airport or at your car checkpoint. Here you enter a scratch-code into your smartphone. Pretty cool right?

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Are you ready for adventure?

Book a surprise backpacking trip and start the adventure!

Well they’ve just added a whole new dimension to adventure because from this coming Monday you can book a surprise backpacking trip to a surprise destination. With their new travel theme Backpacking, you will be dropped to a destination unknown from which your backpack adventure unfolds. The renewed theme allows you to leave an end date and return ticket out of the package. From your surprise destination, you can then create your own route and choose how long your trip will take.. Are you ready for backpacking 2.0?

Sarah and I actually took one of their surprise trips last year and ended up in sunny Valencia! It was awesome to say the least. Check the moment we found out where we were going:

Love,

Elke

5 x New Travel Trends for 2017

Travel is so diverse nowadays and it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends. Some, however, do stand out and we thought you should know about these 5 travel trends for 2017.

Glamping & Camping
Remember those times when you went camping with your parents? Waking up by birds singing, feeling the morning sun burning and the sound of your tent unzipping. This was camping back then and let’s be honest, you loved it right? Well, camping is totally making a comeback and it comes with all the luxuries you missed back in the days. Why not go glamping with your friends or take a roadtrip in an old skool Volkswagen Van. More and more companies are giving us the chance to experience camping in a whole new way. With Camptoo (only in The Netherlands), you can hire a camper in any shape or size ala Airbnb-style. You can go festival glamping this summer, sleep in a wine barrel in Germany or go back to basic on Terschelling. It’s all possible in 2017!

Into the Wild Algarve Tent
Glamping is one of the travel trends for 2017

Sustainable Travel
As travelers, we care more about our planet because we know more about her than ever. Unfortunately, traveling can take it’s toll on mother earth so we need to find new ways to accommodate. Start by compensating your ecological footprint by paying for your CO2. Calculate how much you use via this website. Book your vacation via Better Places and sleep in Eco-Lodges instead of a large hotel. You can do a lot yourself by re-using the same towel for a few days or refilling your water bottle. Check www.conservationvolunteers.com.au if you want to proactively help promote ecotourism or check out this website if you want to help save endangered sea turtles.

Wellness & Spiritual Travel (digital Detox)
This is probably one of the fastest growing travel trends of 2017. With our busy lives, it’s hard to totally switch off for a moment. Even on holiday, people are still checking emails and scroll down the pointless Facebook newsfeed. Therefore you see a growth in Wellness and Spiritual Travel where you can have yourself a digital detox. Meaning; no phone, no laptop. Just your thoughts, good conversations or perhaps a good book. The most popular trend being the yoga retreat. If you’re interested in booking one we have 3 suggestions; a vegan yoga retreat or a bliss yoga retreat, both on Bali or check out Eco-resort Into The Wild Algarve in Portugal. Visit www.itstimetologoff.com for a total digital detox vacation.

Yoga at Into the Wild Algarve
Putting our phones down and totally relax at Into The Wild Algarve Eco-resort.

Travel With A Cause
This is a trend we are very happy about! We love traveling and enjoy amazing press or personal trips but sometimes it’s good to stay grounded and see what’s going on in the world. At Wander-Lust we decided that at least once a year, we want to travel with and for a good cause. No luxury hotels, no Instagram photo’s by the pool. Nope, we want to visit communities and give something back. We traveled to Bolivia in March to report about violence against women. Organisations like Mensen Met Een Missie make this trip possible. You can also decide to teach in Uganda, help as a volunteer in India or bring new clothes to Bolivia. For a unique chance to live and work in another country, you should check out www.peacecorps.gov.

Travel trends for 2017, Bolivia
Sarah with children in Bolivia

Family Travel
Times have changed and worlds are getting smaller so traveling to a far destination with your entire family is totally happening in 2017. You know families love the all inclusive holidays but there is a small shift happening. People tend to go for private villa’s and homes where they can totally relax and do their own thing. Now that one of us has a baby (Elke), we are looking for different locations and accommodations where this is possible without losing the adventurous side. Want to see if a luxury All Inclusive is for you? Check Elke’s video where she experienced Club Med.

So which travel trend are you picking up this year?

Love,

Wander-Lust

Top 5 European Destinations For This Summer

Still debating about where to go on your summer holiday? We’ve selected 5 destinations for this summer that we believe will make your decision a little easier! 

Greece
The country that used to be one of the most visited holiday destinations in Europe, but since the economical and refugees crisis, tourists have decided to stay away. A big mistake if you ask us. Greece is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Forget about the usual suspects like Rhodos, Kos and Mykonos and opt for islands like Lefkas, Kefalonia or Folegandros. Need more reasons why it’s on our list? Well, what about the food (wow wow wow), it’s very affordable, you will the bluest sea and the weather is damn good! Not sure which island to choose? Check out our Greece section for all the inside tips!

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Sweden
Do something different this year and book a trip to Sweden! We traveled to Stockholm and Swedish Lapland last summer and we absolutely loved it! Stockholm is situated next to a large river with plenty of things to do and discover. From museums to cool restaurants, bars, vintage and concept stores to boat trips. Did you know Stockholm has a lot of little islands where you can swim and sunbath? Check out our Stockholm and Lapland tips!

Shopping in Stockholm
Summer is great in Sweden!

Switzerland
It’s one of the places in Europe with the cleanest air due to all the nature. When spring arrives, the snow melts and makes way for green hills and a landscape that will take you straight into a Heidi scenery. We explored Switzerland last May and visited Bern, Lucerne and mount Rigi. For more info about this route and what you can see & do, check our Switzerland report.

Switzerland

Portugal
Surprisingly, Portugal landed on the least-visited-destinations-list last year published at the holiday fair. We love the golden beaches and rock formations and the Portuguese cuisine is to die for. Book yourself a stay at an Eco-resort like Into The wild Algarve where we stayed last year and enjoyed yoga, vegan cooking, supping and more. Hire a car and explore the Algarve and all the amazing beaches. Check our report about this adventurous (plus relaxing) trip here.

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Golden rocks and beaches in Portugal

Into the Wild Algarve Tent
Eco-Resort Into The Wild Algarve

Malta
Hidden between Italy and Africa, Malta is easily overlooked. A shame, since those pristine beaches, ancient cities, spectacular cliffs, amazing architecture and so much more, is worth every bit of your attention. The Daily Telegraph evens tips it as one of the hottest destinations for this summer. We’ve been there and yes, it’s all true. Read the Guide To Malta from our guest blogger Jill for more info.

Have a great summer y’all!

Love,

Wander-Lust

How To Decrease Your Ecological Footprint While You Travel

Nowadays, there is so much written about the negative environmental impact of traveling that it almost seems impossible to buy a plane ticket without experiencing any form of guilt. The current growth and way of traveling is simply not long lasting and we’re facing a conflict between wanting to travel but not wanting to harm the planet. Yet -being a traveler by heart- I’ll be the last person on this (still) beautiful planet to discourage you to jump on that plane towards your next new adventure. In fact, I’m telling you exactly what you do want to hear. Go explore the planet, travel the globe and visit the places of your dreams, but we’ll have to make some changes. Cause while we’re all focusing on that perfect world on our Instagram feed, the real world is slowly drowning in our love for her beauty.

sustainable travel

Sustainable travel
One of those changes is putting sustainability on your holiday checklist. It’s the new IT-word that everybody talks about, but what exactly does it mean? I’ll teach you: Sustainability / Noun / [suh-stey-nuh-bil-i-tee] – the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance. Well, that’s what the dictionary says. To me, sustainable travel is being mindful to the economic, environmental, and cultural impact of travel. So it doesn’t necessarily mean we all have to stop traveling around the globe. By not traveling we will actually create far more severe complications. Many countries depend on tourism as a main source of income. Closing the borders will delay the spread of knowledge, economic opportunities and of course… shutting down the money flow.

It’s about making some smarter decisions that will allow earth to slowly recover to their original ecosystem. So let’s put the money where the mouth is: hereby I provide you with an easy to use guidebook to decrease your own ecological footprint.

Traveling
Choose your way of travel consciously. There are thousands of articles on how to travel cheap and comfortable, but (please) put sustainability on your check-list as well.
Paradise might be closer than you think. We go on 15 hours flights to discover the world while we haven’t even discovered our own country. Find a balance between traveling far and staying closer to home. There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist in your own country. In fact, I promise you it will be more fun than you think.
Calculate the Carbon Footprint of your Flight. Living in the Netherlands, I can understand that it’s sometimes unavoidable to travel further away. Although I love our small, flat, cow-country, it would be pretty difficult to climb mountains here… not to mention getting a tan. But if you can’t stop the urge to fly, you ca compensate by paying for your CO2. Calculate how much you use via this website. Also make sure you book your flights with an airline that recycles waste from food, beverages and paper.

At your destination
Support the community you’re visiting by purchasing products from local suppliers. It’s better for the environment, supports the economy and it’s a great way to meet locals.
Combine sightseeing with a workout: rent a bike or walk instead of hiring a car. The advantages are that you can stop whenever you want to take photo’s of the beautiful surroundings (or just a selfie cause the light is great). But moreover, you’ll work on your own health and the health of the globe.
Go for an Eco accommodation. You can choose your hotel that gives you the chance to offset your carbon footprint when you make a booking. By choosing an Eco Resort, you also contribute to the local community. Organisations like Better Places make this possible. By the way, did you know trees can be planted with your donated money for example? 
Mi casa es tu casa. Treat your hotel room like it’s your own house: turn the lights and air conditioning off while leave your room.
Eat vegetarian or vegan foods. Yes this is extremely sustainable. The production of meat and dairy causes more pollution than factories, flights and all traffic combined together. Eating vegetarian is also cheaper most of the time so it’s a win win situation!

how to decrease your ecological footprint

Just as you explore the world, explore which of these guidelines work for you. They are all small steps, but small steps in de good direction. Combine them with your own ideas on how to decrease your ecological footprint and be mindful of your journey. Cause in the end we all want the same thing: make a contribution to a better world.

Love,

Eva

*Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heals at home when wearing a backpack. Living by the urge to be where she’s not, to explore, experience, fall and get up. You can follow her on Instagram.

How to avoid the crowds at Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is undoubtedly Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction. And this is no surprise since Angkor Wat is the biggest religious monument in the world which dates back to the early twelfth century. These days almost 5 million tourists yearly make their way over to Cambodia to wander around the temples of Angkor themselves, making it a very popular but very busy place to visit. You better think again if you ever dream of having these temples all to yourself, but there are a few tricks to avoid the big crowds and wander around in peace…

1. Watch the sunrise and leave a little early
Watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat is a definite must-do when you’re visiting these temples. Not only is it a truly magical experience when a new day presents itself by rising up against the temples, but it is also a great way to arrive at the temples early. If you want to have a good spot without hundreds of iPad and Selfiestick waving Chinese tourists in front of you, walk right instead of going straight ahead at the famous ‘sunrise temple spot’. You won’t be right in front of the temples, but you will share the view with just a dozen of other tourists. When the sun is up and you captured enough Instagram-worthy shots, head back to your Tuk Tuk driver before everybody else does. Doing this you’ll arrive at the other temples as one of the first, having the temples (almost) all to yourself :)

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

2. The further away, the better!
Ask your Tuk Tuk driver to bring you to the popular temples that are further away first. Many Tuk Tuk’s and tour buses follow a certain route, creating the perfect opportunity for you to do the exact opposite thing :) Also, if you see tons of big tour buses standing outside of a temple, ask your Tuk Tuk driver to take you to another temple which appears to be less crowded first.

no crowds at ankor-wat

3. Go back at the end of the day
Wandering around the temples of Angkor is extremely beautiful, but also extremely tiring and HOT! If you decided to watch the sunrise you will probably feel very tired around 12pm, making you want to go home and take a nap during the hottest hours of the day. If you buy a one-day-pass this pass is valid for a whole day, so you can come back to the temples in the late afternoon, when most of the crowds already have disappeared. Make sure you don’t go too late as Angkor Wat closes at 6pm.

Angkor Wat takes you back in time

I hope the three tips above will help you explore this ancient Kingdom in peace and quiet. Enjoy :)

Love,

Evelien

*Evelien is one of our guest bloggers who currently travels and lives in Australia. Follow her on Instagram (@eefexplores) or check out her website!

Did you know Cambodia is one of the world’s cheapest countries to live in? Check which countries made it to the top 5!

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Turbulence explained in less then 2 minutes

If you are a little worried about flying or if you’re a lot worried about flying (like me), this video might calm your nerves a bit.

The video, posted by Travel & Leisure, explains what turbulence is an why you shouldn’t be worried at all. There are a few things you should remember when you’re experiencing turbulence.

  • It’s completely normal
  • The pilots are ready for it
  • The plane is designed to handle it

turbulence

Get ready for another fact that will make you want to watch this video a few times; As the planet heats up due to global warming, some scientists believe that turbulence will become more common and stronger. They recon up to 40% to 170% worse as it currently is. Yeah, just watch the video:

Another tip someone gave me is, that turbulence is like a car driving on a bumpy sandy road. When you’re in a car, that road doesn’t make you wanna get out either. Kinda makes sense right? So next time you step in a plane, you might sit a bit more comfortable and who knew, it’s like gelatine!

Love,

Wander-Lust