How to use a Credit Card for travel advantages

Most travelers I know, own a credit card. Yes, I’m talking about those skinny plastic cards that can buy you anything. Great for shopping and booking flights right? That’s all that is to it. Wrong! Credit Cards have a lot more advantages than you might realize and are not just a way of payment but something to enrich your life with, literally. In this article I’m going to tell you exactly why it’s so handy to own one as a traveler. 

Why you should get a credit card in the first place
Choosing a credit card can be quite overwhelming with so many out there. But when you pick the right credit card, you can get tons of discounts and rewards on flights and hotels. With every purchase, you earn points and these can run up quite fast! Awesome right? But how does it work? Well, you start off by picking the right card for you. For this, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself; how often do I travel? Do I want to spend all my saved points and miles in one go, or do I want to save for gift cards or hotel privileges? Whatever your goal is, there is a card out there to suit your needs.

Credit cards will give you many travel advantages such as free breakfast, hotelroom upgrades and late checkouts

  • Bonuses & Rewards
    Standard debit cards are mainly used for grocery shopping and other small purchases. Handy, but they offer zero or very small rewards. Many credit cards, however, offer significant rewards when used responsibly. It also depends on which credit card you are eligible for of course. Are you a gold or even platinum member? Then you can bet on great bonuses and many rewards such as free breakfast, free hotelroom upgrades and late checkouts. But even the basic cards have advantages such as airport lounges. TIP: Always check if you get a nice (and high!) sign up reward bonus when you first sign up. Most credit card companies will offer this but it comes in different rates. A good one will start at 20.000 points. This way, you get a nice start ahead that will get you close to your first free flight for example!
  • Discounts
    If you sign up for the right credit card, you might get cash back on purchases or receive huge discounts. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you up to €350 discount. After the first year the card does get a bit more expensive, but it makes up for that with several discounts: free bottles of wine (yes please!) or aperitifs at 600 restaurants worldwide. Platinum is a bit too much for you? Other ​cards are completely free for the first year, for instance the Flying Blue Silver Card and the Green Card.

credit card for travel advantages
Saving airmiles, a way to use your credit card for travel advantages

  • Frequent Flyer Miles
    This is one of the main reasons why I love credit cards. Check which airlines your credit card company is connected to before you make your decision. If you live in The States, your airline preference will be a lot different then if you live in Europe. One rule always applies; the higher your ticket price, the more miles you save. The Flying Blue - American Express Platinum Card gives you a minimum of 1,5 Award Mile per euro spent and is a great card if you look at mileage and therefore a favorite travel partner!
  • Safety & Insurance
    Credit cards can save you from fraud. Simple as that. When a debit card is stolen or skimmed, the money immediately disappears from your account as suppose to a credit card, where you simply contact your credit card company and have them resolve the issue. You as the card holder do not have to pay these transactions. When it comes to insurance, I know that many people don’t realize that there are often insurances included within a credit card such as car and travel insurance. Super handy and another way to save money!
  • Global Credit Card Acceptance
    I got my first credit card when I was 24 years old. I left for my backpacking adventure in Australia and getting a credit card was a very good choice because I could use my card everywhere. Booking tours, flights and car rental companies and hotels usually ask for credit card details. When I was in the Philippines 2 years ago, most ATM machines didn’t accepted my debit card so I was lucky to have my credit card  on me.

So now you know. Time to start earning while you spend! Maybe you already own a credit card, but now you know what you should look at before choosing the right one. Have fun traveling!

Love,

Elke

City trip to Dublin

When you think of a new city trip destination, Dublin may not come to your mind. Which is a shame, because the city is amazing and very cosy. The capital of Ireland has an interesting and grim history, but the Irish people are very welcoming and lovely. The city is not that big, but there are lots of nice things to do in and around the city.

Walk and cycle through the city
First of all, since the city is not that big, everywhere you go is walkable. But if you want to cycle like Dutch people do best, then take a Dublin city bike to cross around the city. A ticket for three days is only 5 euros, so it’s very affordable. But mind you, the Irish drive on the left side of the road just like in Great-Britain!

the-river-liffey, Dublin
The river Liffey, Dublin

Look everywhere for nice places to eat
Dublin is an ideal place if you want have a bite or drink. At every corner you can find a nice place to sit and eat nice food for affordable prices. Brasserie Sisty6 is a really nice place if you want to taste one of the best truffle pasta’s in town for only 10 euros. I would also recommend the 100% Irish burger there. But you can find literally anything to eat in the city, just walk around and go to a place that speaks to you.

Food in Dublin

Visit a (free) museum
A really nice thing about Dublin is that many of their museums are for free. The Museum of Decorative Arts and History, the National Gallery and the National Museum of Modern Art are freely accessible and very interesting. When the weather is not that great you should definitely visit one of these three museum for some culture. Also check out the library of the Trinity college, stunning!

Library, Dublin
The library of the Trinity college

Even if you don’t like beer, this place is worth visiting!

Visit the Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is a very touristic place but definitely a must-visit in the city. You might not be familiar with the dark brown beer, but it is quite famous in Ireland and abroad. If you want to know how the process of making Guinness beer goes, this is the place where you can learn everything about it. The history behind the beer is also explained in various ways and the whole tour in the Storehouse is interactive with a cinema, iPads, television screens and more. You can join a tasting where you can drink a tiny beer and at the end of the tour you can drink a big pint of Guinness with a panorama view over the entire city. Even if you don’t like beer, this place is worth visiting!

Take a bus tour through the Irish nature
Ireland has a beautiful landscape that is worth discovering. Escape the busy city and go on a bus tour to either County Wicklow or the Cliffs of Moher. I’ve experienced the tour to County Wicklow and I loved it. You’ll go on a tour through the beautiful nature and you’ll visit the Guinness lake in the Wicklow Mountains National park. This lake is just as black as the Guinness beer, hence the name. You will also go to the graveyard in Glencree and you can take many Instagram worthy pictures and the famous PS I Love You bridge.

guinness-lake, Dublin
Guiness Lake, Dublin

The Cliffs of Moher tour is really cool because you will visit the cliffs at the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a breath-taking view. You will also visit the Medieval city Galway where Ed Sheeran filmed his whole videoclip for the song “Galway Girl.” There are many other tours to choose from, but these two are really amazing. The weather might not be great every day in Ireland, so make sure you pick the right day with (semi)-good weather.

Enough reason to visit Dublin and it’s surroundings!

Love,

Merel

*Merel is one of our guest editors from Utrecht who describes herself as a daydreaming student who has wanderlust ever since she travelled to Jamaica for three months. She can’t wait to travel the whole wide world after she finishes her bachelor. Check her out on Instagram

5 x Amazing Autumn Destinations

As the leaves start to fall from the trees, it reminds us that Autumn is really here and it’s time to trade those skirts and short trousers for warm coats. During this time, a lot of travelers seek some sunshine. Here are 5 Autumn Destinations that you want to book now.

Lake Placid, New York
As voted by Booking.com and it’s travelers, this region is stunning during the Autumn season. Apart from the beautiful lake, there is a forest with colorful leaves and wild animals. Enjoy the view whilst sipping on a cup of hot chocolate from one of the cabins that you can rent during this time. Check out the Mirror Lake Inn Resort to get the luxurious break from it all.

Autumn Destinations
Stunning views over the lake at the mirror lake inn resort

Montreal, Canada
A friend of mine recently sent me some photo’s of  his trip to Montreal and I couldn’t believe the amount of colors in just one picture. Just wow. Besides the colors, this city gives you the feeling that you’re in Europe. The architecture, street art and food choices make it feel like New York, Berlin and Buenos Aires are added into a blender and poured in your glass. Drink up and enjoy! Flights from Amsterdam are available from around €600.

montreal-as-autumn-destination
Sourcewww.mtlblog.com

Budapest, Hungary
This city is beautiful during the Fall but there’s also lot’s to do! There are several Autumn festivals going on like the Cafe Budapest Contemporary Art Festival which runs between 7th and 23rd of October. The summer crowds have disappeared so Budapest is a lot comfortable to explore during this time as it can be very busy during high season.  Outdoor temperatures remain mild but if you want to heat up, you should try one of the many bathhouses the city has to offer. When it comes to food, you can totally find your taste as they offer something for the carnivores but also have lot’s of veggie and vegan options available. Flights to Budapest go from as little as 200 euro if you book for this month.

Budapest in Autumn

Black Forest, Germany
Now, I have been here many times because my sister lives here and I can’t get enough of it. During summer, all you see is green and during Autumn is like a field of colors with snowy mountains in the background. My favorite city near the black forest has to be Freiburg. This is a cute student city near the border of Switzerland and France is packed with lot’s of cute German restaurants, shops and market squares. It was actually voted one of the best cities to live in Germany because of the fresh air, lack of danger and good schools. My boyfriend took his motorbike this summer and crossed through part of the forest so you can only imagine how it looks when the colors are there. You can fly to Baden-Baden or Basel with Easyjet for around €100 euro from Europe.

Black forest Germany
The black forest during summer

Prague, Czech Republic
This destination is great if you only have a little to spend but still want to get away. Sarah and I were there during spring time and we also noticed the nature that surrounded this city. Many visitors never set a foot out of old town and although that completely understandable, it’s a shame because just outside the city walls you will find something quiet beautiful. You can do a lot of hiking and enjoy stunning views. 60km outside Prague you will find the Kokořínsko Nature Reserve for example. If you still want to opt for the city itself, you won’t be disappointing. Food is super tasty and so cheap to other European standards! To read our Prague city guide, check here

Old town square Prague
Prague from above

Are you going to book any of these last minute Autumn destinations?

Love,

Elke

Road Trip Essentials

We’ve all been on holiday across Europe. Exploring beautiful destinations, enjoying the sunshine and simply enjoying life. But what better way to really discover the continent than by car? A road trip with your family or best friends is easily described as the journey of a lifetime. Visit stunning cities and historical heritage, climb the steepest mountain passes or just keep on driving on the coastal highways beside the glittering Mediterranean Sea. Are you ready to make unforgettable memories? We have lined up some road trip essentials you should check out before you hit the road!

Life is meant to be explored
Start with carefully mapping out your desired route. Do you want to visit the posh and sunny coastline of Marbella in the south of Spain or are you looking for a challenge by conquering the mighty Stelvio Pass in Northern Italy? How about a quick peak in Monaco before heading out to the picturesque landscapes under a perfect blue French sky? Online you can find loads of excellent examples of different road trips that will take you from the sunny shores of Portugal to the goldy beaches and ancient highways in Greece.

Road trip essentials

Road Trip Essentials
Before you hit the road there are some essentials you have to check and pack. First and foremost: make sure your car or van is in tiptop shape before you take off. Keep yourself and your family or friends safe on the road and let a specialist put your mind to rest. While a technician is doing the final check-up, you might as well get some shopping done. Always make sure that you have enough to drink during your trip, preferably cooled. Getting stuck in traffic under the scorning French sun is always a possibility, some extra water will make sure that you literally don’t have to worry. Stay hydrated and don’t forget to bring your favorite snacks and a good playlist!

When traveling, be ready for everything. Besides stocking your car with emergency supplies, don’t forget to bring an emergency kit. No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Ending a road trip because of a car breakdown, that’s just harsh. But there’s a simple yet indispensable solution. Your road trips are a lot safer with a suitable car insurance. To protect you, your passengers, your road trip and your car. Determine which conditions are important to you and choose from a wide range of optional extras, like breakdown cover, legal cover or a replacement vehicle no matter where you are in Europe to complete your insurance. All set with these road trip essentials? You are now ready to live life to the fullest and conquer the continent through your car window!

Best,

Wander-Lust

*We collaborated with HEMA for this article

Urban Campsite Amsterdam » Sleep in an art object!

The Amsterdam Science Park will be transformed into a paradise of art and technology up until September. It’s called the Urban Campsite. This outdoor exhibition will make you feel like you’ve landed on a different planet while you’re still standing below sea level on Amsterdam ground. Urban Campsite combines technology and innovation in order to let you experience art in a new and unique way. Leave the city buzz behind, wake up your mind and let yourself get carried away in new perspectives. It’s time to go camping, 2017 style!

Sleeping on a different planet
At this outdoor exhibition you will not find any red lines that you aren’t allowed to cross, compelling “do not touch” signs and outrageous amounts of security cameras. Urban Campsite managed to find a way to let you experience art while combining it with one of my favorite activities: sleeping. The twelve enriching artworks are not just treats for your eyes; you can even stay the night in them. The objects are different in size, comfort and style. They’re all equipped with a comfy bed and a romantic light. Even the art object Homeless, which is practically a garbage ban, offers you comfort. For your wake-up shower and beauty routines you’ll have to go to the shared sanitary facilities. After all, this is an Urban Campsite, not an Urban Hotel. To see all the different installations check here.  You can also book your reservation on Airbnb and treat yourself on a night you won’t easily forget.

Univers 9, Urban Campsite
Where I slept; Universe 9

Waking up at Urban Campsite
Waking up at Urban Campsite

UrbanCampsite shows us science and art isn’t only a possible match, it’s also a match made in heaven.

The Art of Tech-Living
Besides the fact that it is extremely cool to sleep in an art installation, there is a little more to it. The goal of UrbanCampsite is to create a sustainable mini-society where visitors can experience how technology can make our lives more sustainable, yet comfortable at the same time. Every artwork tells it’s own story in this year’s theme The Art of Tech-Living. One of my favorites, Waiting for Water, from Stefanie Rittler and Sascha Henken. This pretty pink object provides a humorous but serious view on climate change; the residential will float if the sea level will get too high and floods the country. Sudio Valkenier also started a discussion with their see-though room a few meters above the ground, called Gigabed. It implies our current need to be available online at all times and the need to share our lives on social media. The bed offers you a great view, but don’t expect much privacy.

Waiting for water, Urban Campsite
Waiting for water – Stefanie Rittler & Sacha Henken. 

Pablo Picasso once said the purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. Urban Campsite gives you the unique opportunity to do so in only one night. Inhabit works of arts by artists and designer and treat all your senses on something new. UrbanCampsite shows us science and art isn’t only a possible match, it’s also a match made in heaven.

Love,

Eva

Urban Campsite (UCA)
Sciencepark, Amsterdam
Website

Living out of a backpack, the essential tips before take off

I was having this itch, for years now already. Some days it faded away a bit, on others it was stronger then ever. It was necessary that i scratched. Now, before you start to think I’m telling you about some gross disease, don’t worry. Of course I’m talking about the travelbug! But this bug wasn’t going away with a citytrip or a 2 week holiday. This was a pretty bad one. So, I took the plunge, quit my job and booked a plane ticket to Asia. I figured it would take about 7 months of scratching before I returned back to normal. But, saying goodbye to my job and pay for the ticket was the easy part. How do you prepare for such a long trip? I wont bother telling you about the basics like arranging your visa and getting you shots (yes, get them, all!). But here are some (packing)tips and tricks that will make your backpacker life somewhat easier (don’t worry, you can use them on shorter trips as well).

Backpacking tips
Like planning your trip, you need to plan your packing

Leave half of your luggage at home
I’ve learned the hard way, carrying a heavy backpack or suitcase is not fun at all. Many people told me to leave half of the stuff I wanted to take at home. I did not listen. The result is a bag full of clothes I probably won’t wear, toiletries that weigh me down and other small somethings that were thrown in five seconds before leaving. There is much more fun in buying new clothes during your travels and having space for awesome souvenirs. And be honest, do you really need that nail polish remover?

Solid shampoo
In the process of making my bag lighter, I discovered something awesome. Shampoo and conditioner bars from Lush. They look like soap bars and weigh hardly anything. Major plus: the shampoo and conditioner are heavily concentrated so you don’t need much to lather up. Meaning, you can use these babies for a long time. Also very convenient when you are traveling with just a carry-on bag. Best thing, they smell amazing! Buy them here!

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Ziplock bags
Some say they are lifesavers. I tend to agree. About 50 ziplock bags cost about one euro at your local supermarket, but their value while traveling is priceless. It’s an easy way to categorize and keep you stuff together (remember those little somethings). Also, they protect your bag from (potentially) leaking liquids.

Bag-in-bag
We all know what our suitcases or backpacks look like after two days (or even less): a total mess! Clothes everywhere, you never seem to be able to locate that one awesome pair of shorts. Fear no more, the solution is here! Bag-in-bags give you the opportunity to organize your stuff and keep it neat for the remainder of your travels. There are several shops where you can buy these (some even in nice, bright colors), I got mine at Decathlon for a very backpacker-friendly price. Since i didn’t listen to the advise to dump half of my belongings, these bags help me stay sane.

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Skin so Soft
Nobody likes mosquito’s, period. But when you are traveling to a tropical country you have to be extra aware to not get bitten by those little buggers. Tropical diseases like Dengue, Malaria and Zika are easily transferred by mosquito’s. Many people use insect repellent with DEET in it, but here is the thing, DEET is really bad for your skin. It doesn’t really smell good either. I discovered a bottle of Skin so Soft from Avon. A dry oil spray that hydrates your skin, and even better, keeps the mosquito’s away! That’s what I call a win-win situation (not for the mozzies).

skin-so-soft
Lifesaver Source

Proof Of Onward Travel
Last but not least: if you are going on a multiple country trip, make sure to check if your airline requires Proof Of Onward Travel. Say what? Yes, proof that you are indeed leaving the country you are flying into. Otherwise, you risk being denied access to your flight. This is not a commonly known requirement, which is very odd if you ask me. Not all airlines ask for it, but ours (Qatar airways) sure did. Luckily I booked a cheap train ticket from Vietnam to Cambodia to proof that I was indeed ‘ traveling onward’. Another solution is ‘renting’ a ticket. You can do this at FlyOnward and it costs about 10 to 17 euro. www.flyonward.com

Now you are ready to conquer that itch yourself, in a comfortable way. If you have any essential tips, do tell!

Love from Vietnam,

Jill

*Jill is one of our guest bloggers living in Amsterdam (@jillgwendolyn) where she works as a content manager for a digital agency. She’s Crazy about traveling and has spend her studies in New Zealand . You can read a new article from Jill in every 3rd week of the month! Jill is currently traveling through south East Asia.

More Travel Tips? 

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.

toa-heftiba-205018
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.

why-you-should-travel-alone-eva
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!

 

 

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.