Backpacking with Children » 5 Reasons To Do It

Do you know what backpacking means? If you type the word into Google you will find about 235.00 results. According to Google, ‘backpacking’ means a lower-cost independent travel, often with a backpack that can be easily carried as the backpacker moves from location to location. Backpacking means freedom, adventure, fun (and sometimes less fun) people, new experiences and little or nothing to fall back on. In short, a journey of discovery! So when you have children, does this all change? As a mother of two, people often me and my partner how we ‘do it’ and they wonder if backpacking with children is even possible. I wasn’t always this flexible about travelling with my children so I understand where this question is coming from. It sounds exciting and adventurous but maybe it’s a bit too much? Here are 5 reasons why backpacking with children is always a good idea.

1. Create Forever Lasting Memories!
The great advantage of backpacking is that you get to travel and therefore you experience more. For children, it is often an impressive experience. They experience new things they have never seen before. We make the lives of our children richer by showing them the world. And best of all, you and your  family will create memories that will never be forgotten.

create-memories
Cheryl’s family Backpacking through Asia

I loved traveling when I was single. I love traveling with my wife. But I love it more now that I have kids. - Santorini Dave 

2. Freedom and Adventure
Backpacking means travelling around from location to location. You don’t need a fixed plan. The whole idea of backpacking is to be flexible. Arrived some place and want to stay longer? Then do! Our advice for backpacking with children is to prepare your trip. For us this means we select a view accommodations at each location (so when we arrive we can make fast decisions). Flights we book in advance, any other transport we arrange at the destination. Choose train & bus above the plane (unless your kids are very young, then travel less locations or lower the distance). Any other preparation is not necessary, you’ll handle it!

3. It’s good for your budget
Feel like exploring the world with your children but you don’t have a large budget? Backpacking is low budget travel. Sometimes you’ll find a hidden gem, sometimes you end up in a little less more pleasant environment. Don’t focus to much on what the accommodation looks like, as long as it’s clean it will be fine (and the kids will be ok). Try to select your next stay with the children. Keep their wishes in mind!

Taking care of their own backpack makes them more independent

4. They learn to be a little bit independent
It starts even before you head off on your little adventure.Give older children in your family some responsibility during traveling. It makes them grow in their self esteem because they contribute to family interests. Taking care of their own backpack makes them more independent and last year our daughter Jessie (then 11 years old) purchased and carried her own backpack. Of course you need to decide as a parent if your child is physically able to handle this. Not every eleven-year-old is the same. Our daughter liked to have her own backpack. Because she’d have to carry her own stuff she packed less! responsible!

5. You realise anything is possible
If you decide to take your children on an adventure, you are taking a leap of faith and yes, it can be scary. But how cool is it when you’ve actually done it! Backpacking is all about surprises and backpacking with children is the 3.0 version of that. A lot of people regret things in life, just because they didn’t do something. Break the rules and be different. Be that person that has no regrets. And look back at it with pride, no matter how the experience was. A fact is, that you did it and that itself, is pretty damn awesome.

Backpacking with children
Traveling by boat, Cheryl has done it all

Tip! Lower your expectations
If you are a hardcore adventurer and backpacker, you might want to lower your expectations a little bit. The truth is, backpacking with children will be a bit different from doing it by yourself. You have more responsibilities and it starts with the items you pack. This time, bring the first aid kit that you would normally leave at home, research the area you’re traveling to and the list goes on. Once you are prepared, your backpacking adventure will be a lot more relaxing.

Tip! The less you bring, the better!
A suitcase with 30 kg of clothes, shoes (and more) sounds interesting until you have to travel from one location to another (and you have to carry that large heavy thing everywhere). From my own experience: this will make you cry. The suitcase is a NO-GO, buy or borrow a backpack.

Tip! Take care of yourself and invest in a backpack!
Find an outdoor shop and try a number of different backpacks. You will see (and experience) that there’s a real difference in types. I can’t advise about which backpack you should buy. Find a store on and try several (including weights!).

Love,

Cheryl

*Cheryl is a mother of 2, with a love for travel. Having 2 kids didn’t stop her from traveling the world and she has become somewhat of an expert when it comes to traveling with children. She will write for Wander-Lust once a month where she will provide you with the best traveling tips for and with children! Find out more on her blog: travellingwithkids.extrememedia.nl

Wander-Lust now has a TRAVELING WITH KIDS section, check it out!

7 tips to make traveling with your kids as relaxed as possible

How to make the most out of your business trip

Sarah and I have both traveled a lot for business and we are not talking about our Wander-Lust press trips. We are talking about the many business trips we’ve made before we started our travel platform. One week we would land in Berlin, the other week in Paris, Hong Kong or even Los Angeles. Endless meetings that can go on for hours, staring at a whiteboard? Maybe, but a business trip has a lot of perks you can take advantages of, if you play it right. How to make the most out of a business trip? Read on!

1. Stick with the same airline
Why? Well, for the simple reason that you will save loads of miles and with those miles you can get discounts, you can use on all your travels. Frequent flyer programs are awesome if you fly very often. Before you know it, you have thousands of points that can buy you a free ticket to your favorite holiday destination.

2. Use your credit card wisely
If you use any card during business trips, it should definitely be your credit card. This way you save points and get loads of advantages, If you pick the right one of course. The American Express Card for example, you are saving points with all your expenditures. These points can be exchanged for all sorts of things such as discount at concerts, hotels and gifts. The card also gives you standard extra’s at selected top restaurants (such as complementary aperitifs or a bottle of wine). Cards like these can provide you with a richer life without having to do much because you are using your card anyway. 

business trip tips

3. Ditch the taxi and walk
If you can, walk. In a city like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin and even London, you can easily walk from one place to another if you are situated in the city center. You will find that your office is often located around this area plus your hotel is never far away. By walking you will see the city, enjoy the smell of another country and get your body working. Something you won’t experience by sitting in a taxi.


How to make the most out of your business trip
You might as well walk..

Try to convince your business partners to eat somewhere else

4. Extent your stay
We’ve done this many times. It’s perfect if a business trip starts on a Wednesday and ends of Friday. If you ask nicely, you can even let your boss pay for the flight back if it would cost the same as returning on a workday.

5. Have dinner somewhere you haven’t been before
Business trips go hand in hand with dinners. Too often, you will eat at the same places. Try to convince your business partners to eat somewhere else and surprise their taste buds! Get inspired on Instagram or food blogs. Did you know that when you own an American Express Card, you can enjoy free bottles of wine or aperitifs at 600 restaurants worldwide? That’s worth looking into!

How to make the most out of a business trip
When we get the chance, we always stay in a boutique hotel

6. Try to stay in a boutique hotel
Hotels are such an important part of a business trip. Is the bed good? Is it located in a nice area? Our advice is to go for a boutique hotel instead of a large corporate hotel. You will find, that the service will be more personal, plus it will feel less of a business trip and can even feel like home.

7. Get up early (even if you are not a morning person)
A difficult task, we know. But if you are there, you might as well get up early, and go outside to explore a little bit. Maybe have a croissant at a Parisian bakery or a traditional espresso in Italy. It’s always better than the standard hotel breakfast right?

There you have it, 7 tips to make the most out of a business trip. When is your next one due?

Love,

Elke

The real reason why every traveler needs to own a credit card? Click below!

credit card for travel advantages




A Quick Guide To Marrakech

The heat embraces me. I feel the sun burning on my skin and a small sweat drop sneaks away between my shoulder blades. The smell of fresh herbs, oils and food are seducing me to keep on walking towards the centre of the square. I stop, look around, and try to take it all in. Millions of colours, voices and people are surrounding me and stealing my attention. I’m standing in the heart of Marrakech, the structured chaos of Djemaa el Fna.

Marrakech

Marrakech can be overwhelming, breathtaking and confusing. It’s a city with many different faces and possibilities. I’m going to take you on a small (camel) ride to help you choose and plan your travels. These are my must-see tips for a short trip to Marrakech:

Shopping in the souks
I know, not the most original advice, but there’s no way you can miss out on this. The most famous souk of Marrakech is Djemaa el Fna and for a good reason, it’s huge! I got lost a million times even though I was only there for a few days. Not that it’s a bad thing. I found a really nice bag made of an old carpet and got some delicious Moroccan food while finding my way out.Djemaa el Fna is the biggest Souk but also the most touristic. For a more traditional experience I would recommend Marché el Mellah. But be warned if you’re an animal lover, you’re going to see a lot of animals (especially chickens)., and unfortunately, they’re not there for the cosiness.

The blues of Marrakech

Tip » Whilst Marrakech isn’t as conservative as many Arab countries, it is still a Muslim country and you should respect the culture. Leave your mini skirt and tank tops at home or just wear it in the Riad/hotel. Keep it cool on the streets in floaty clothing, it saves you a lot of sunscreen as well.

Jumping back in history at the ruins of El Badi Palace
There is not much left of El Badi Palace but the peace and space it gives you is unique in the centre of Marrakech. The palace took twenty-five year to build and was an excessive display of the best craftsmanship of the Saadian period. You can still see some of the expensive materials they used. Next to the beauty of the ruins, it’s a good place to catch your breath in the middle of the overly crowded city.

Tip » Don’t have enough time to travel to the Sahara? Dry your tears because I got a solution. Within a 20-minute car ride and with a spark of imagination it will feel like you’re in the Sahara while being just outside the city centre of Marrakech. Oke, you’re going to need a lot of imagination and a camel as well. But, when it’s all there you will feel like a true nomad. Note: a camel ride is a lot of fun and great holiday activity but please be aware that you book your trip at certified tour operations. We don’t want the camels to suffer for someone else’s enjoyment.

kameel

Looking for that perfect Instagram spot? Bahia Palace is it.

Feeling like a princess at the Bahia Palace
Looking for that perfect Instagram spot? Think of mosaic floors, enchanting lighting and fairy-tale gardens. Bahia Palace is probably one of the most charming places in Marrakech. I do hope you’re more of a morning person then I am. You’ll have to get up early if you don’t want hundred of tourists taking photos of your own selfie.

bahia-palace_1

Tip » Getting hungry? Le Jardin in the centre of Marrakech is your solution. They serve amazing food, it’s stunningly decorated and, the best part, there are tiny tortoises just walking around. Too cute to be true.

Hippie side of live in Essaouira
If you’re looking for some fresh (sea) air, Essaouira is one of the nearby beaches. It only takes 3 hours by bus, which will cost you about 8 euros. Don’t expect a luxurious, seaside resort. They call it the hippy city of Morocco and that reflects in the low-key way of living in this city. Surfing all day and listening to live reggae music all night is the normal routine.

small-street Marrakech

Tip » You can make some great horse riding trips in Essaouria if you rather wouldn’t jump in the sea. Enjoy the sea, dunes and weather while getting your adrenaline pumped up by the speed of the horse.  Book your trip at Equi Evasion, they treat the horses very well. Howdy ho, cowboy!

riding horses at Essaouira

Marrakech was everything I imagined and nothing like it at the same time. Start your trip open minded. Savour the smell of spices, follow the colours and dive into little alleys and see where it takes you. A lot of Marrakech’s true beauty is hidden behind walls and crowded streets.

And before you go… don’t forget to practice your bargain skills! Prices are more then doubled and shop owners are ready for a tough negotiation.

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.

 

Amsterdam Event Calendar for November 2017

Baby, it’s cold outside and Amsterdam is hosting many events indoors from this month onwards. Which one will you check out? Enjoy our Amsterdam Event Calendar for November!

International Documentary Festival (IDFA)
When? 15th – 26th of November, various locations

What? Documentary festival
It’s the 30st edition of the IDFA. They are celebrating and saying farewell to long time festival director Ally Derks. For the full program and all the documentaries, check IDFA.nl

The Maker Market x ETSY
When? 25 & 26th of November, De Hallen
What? Etsy sellers collaborate with The Maker Store
The Maker Market is an offline place where freelance artists and makers from and around Amsterdam come together and sell their creations. Some brands are focussed on sustainability, others on art or innovation. What to expect from this first edition? Plaids to keep you warm, gardens in a bottle, fairtrade fashion and jewellery and much more. More info on Facebook. Entrance is free!

The maker market

Amsterdam Light Festival
When? 20th of November until 

What? The canals of Amsterdam light up
Stunning objects float, hang or stand in and around the canals of Amsterdam. Things really start to get interesting when it get’s dark and the art objects light up. Visitors from all over the world come to this special festival. You can walk the route or experience a boat tour. amsterdamlightfestival.com

amsterdam-light-festival
Amsterdam Light Festival

Barts Sample Sale
When? 24 – 26 November, Archangelkade 30
What? Hats, beenies, gloves and scarfs all in sample sale!
If you’re looking for a warm and stylish look for this winter, you should check out this amazing sample sale. They also have baby wear available. You need to get tickets to get in and you can get them for free at the Facebook Event page.

barts-sample-sale

Movember RunPure Market
When? 26th of November, Park Frankendael
What? A food and goods market in a park
This month, the Pure Market is planned at the end of November. It’s great to bring your kids too! For all editions check this link.

When? 26th of November, Vondelpark
What? Run 5km for prostate cancer awereness
It is said that this is the funniest run of the year and everybody can join! It’s a 5KM run through the famous Vondelpark. You can walk, run or beat the track record. The important thing is that you raise awareness. Do you have a moustache? Great! (real or fake are both accepted) Or get dressed up as a pirate or anything you like really. Join the run at Movemberrun.nl

 

Amsterdam Wine Yoga
When? 29th of November, House of Watt
What? Yoga with a glas of wine (no joke!)
Wine Yoga is a new rage that is already popular in the USA an is now making it’s way to Europe. Girls Who Drink decided to bring it to Amsterdam and organise this rather special yoga event. If you are thinking you’re going to get drunk while doing the downward facing dog pose, you got it wrong. The wine served is actually alcohol free. This way, balancing a wine glass on your head will be a lot easier. Pregnant women are welcome to join! Curious? Our guest editor Sharmaine is also going to take part in next weeks class and there are still 9 tickets available! Get them here for just €7,50,-

wine yoga

Expats Professional Networking Event 
When?
 3oth of November, from 7pm at Keizersgracht 335

What? A cool way to get to know expats and professionals in Amsterdam
Join Expat Republic (check their website for more events!) an evening of professional networking, social networking and fun. This event is for those looking to expand their professional as well as personal network. This event is about connecting you with folks who can be of assistance and vice versa. Need a sounding board for something? Come by. The event is free but you need to buy your own drinks at the bar. Entrance is free but we’ll need you to register so the venue can plan accordingly.

Enjoy this month’s events calendar and remember to check it every weekend as we will add new events throughout the month!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Cheating on Bali with the Nusa’s

Dear Bali,

I love you, and I always will. But… you’ve changed. Just a bit. You grew up and saw more and more people liking you, wanting to see you. Who can blame them, you are amazing. But, it felt as if we had too little ‘just you and me time’. So, I cheated on you with the Nusa’s. Sorry, not sorry.

So what are the Nusa’s?
The Nusa’s are 3 islands just south of Bali. Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan have been on the tourist roadmap for quite some time, but still feel like tropical bounty islands with not too much western interference. Nusa Penida is the biggest island and was only opened up to tourists two years ago. All of them are pure heaven and have their own personalities. All worth exploring for some days, some weeks or forever (I can dream, right?).

Getting there
Most boats sail from Sanur, Bali to Jungut Batu on Nusa Lembongan. But it is also possible to grab a boat to Mushroom Bay (where all the fancier hotels are) or directly to Nusa Penida. Going to Nusa Penida is also possible from Padangbai. The cheapest option is going to the harbour in Sanur and negotiate about the price. If you like to book in advance, don’t worry, there are lots of little tour agencies on Bali that sell tickets as well. We paid 500.000 IDR for a return ticket with the fast boat, including pick up in Canggu and drop off in Ubud. A pretty comfortable deal! Going to Nusa Penida from Lembongan is easy to arrange. Head over to the iconic yellow bridge. Here are a ton of people wanting to bring you. Around 50.000 IDR is a normal price, be sure to haggle if they are aiming high.

Nusa's

surfers won’t be disappointed here

Lembongan and Ceningan chillings
Two small beauties, connected by a picture perfect yellow hanging bridge, dotted with bumpy roads, deep blue waters and sky-high waves. With surfbreaks named ‘playgrounds’ and ‘shipwreck’ surfers won’t be disappointed here. Happier under the surface? Gear up in your wetsuit to spend some time with the massive manta-rays that cruise the shores of nearby Nusa Penida. Sounds scary, swimming with creatures that are much bigger than you? It’s not! They are so gracious and elegant. Oh and they only eat plankton. Don’t underestimate the currents here though. Dive trips are easily arranged with one of the many dive shops on Lembongan. French Kiss Divers recently opened a shop here and is full of brand new gear and offers very reasonable prices. As they say ‘the more depth, the more pleasure’. ;-)

Diving in Nusa
Diving with rays is a highlight!

If all of the above sounds like too much work, don’t worry for a second. Lounging on a massive Fatboy while sipping a healthy smoothie, gazing at the ocean, is just as easy. The best place to do so is definitely Ginger & Jamu on Jungut Batu beach. Caring about the environment, they don’t do plastic. Paper straws, cotton napkins and glass water bottles. Oh right and amazing smoothies, sandwiches, smoothie-bowls and salads. Combined with the yoga school above the cafe this place oozes the ultimate zen and friendly vibe. I admit, I’ve spend days full of relaxing, drinking, eating and plunging in to the sea for some refreshment at Ginger & Jamu.

Another amazing spot is Sea breeze Ceningan. Their catchy latino tunes, hammocks and perfect vanilla ice coffees cannot do anything else but make you happy. Overlooking the azure seaweed-farms with your toes in the sand, beach life as it should be. Also, their wifi is really good, thus digital nomad proof!

For dinner the choices are endless.

Sea breeze Ceningan
Sea breeze Ceningan 

For dinner the choices are endless. There are a ton of nice warungs for local dishes. Not so local are the nanchos and burritos at Ginger Moon (whats in a name), but they cannot be missed! Getting around Lembongan and Ceningan is best done by motorbike. The roads are generally okay and even the bumpy ones are do-able. Nice places to scooter to include dream beach, devil’s tears, mahana point and the blue lagoon.

Island friendly prices
Now, are these two islands going to break your wallet? Hell no! There are tons of affordable homestays. Your own little bungalow -some even with a swimming pool and breakfast- usually comes with a price tag of between 13 and 20 euro a night. Although more luxurious places are also widely available. I highly recommend Jiva Bungalows: basic but clean bungalows, super sweet people and a nice breakfast included!

Adventurous Penida
Now if you are up for a little less relaxing and a bit more adventure, Nusa Penida is the perfect pick. It’s possible to do day trips from Lembongan, but staying on the island for a few days is definitely better. Penida is much more quiet, less developed and wilder then little sisters Lembongan and Ceningan. That’s great for adventure, but also a bit more dangerous. They are working on the roads, but a lot of them are still treacherous. Going for a daytrip? Then seriously consider hiring a car with a driver as the highlights are further apart and driving hastily really isn’t a good idea. Still rather have a scooter to drive around yourself? Then make sure to check it before renting. Good brakes are a must on the steep and rocky roads that are home to Penida! As this island isn’t open to tourists for that long, it’s not filled with restaurants and bars yet. But every village has a couple of gems. Whatever you do, don’t miss breakfast/brunch/lunch at Penida Espresso. The smells from their kitchen are heaven and the rock butter smoothie bowl is to die for.

Penida Espresso
Penida Espresso

Penida, Nusa. Broken Beach
Broken Beach, Penida

Penida beauties
The island has an amazing coastline, high cliffs, hidden beaches and views that go on forever. Take a day to drive the beautiful road to Atuh beach, take the steep stairs down and chill on one of the loungers to watch the change of the tide.

Nusa's, Indonesia

Another great place is broken beach. The name is a bit confusing as there is absolutely no beach but it’s a sight to behold. Next to broken beach is Angels Billabong. It seems as if the pictures you find online are massively photoshopped and don’t depict the real thing. I dare to say Angels Billabong was the disappointment of my trip through Asia so far. But hey, go see for yourself! The ultimate highlight of Nusa Penida has got to be Kelingking beach. A massive cliff looking down onto the purest of beaches with the bluest of waters. It’s impossible to describe this beauty in words. There is a way down to that perfect beach, but it is quite dangerous so be careful!

Crystal clear
Of course you can also relax at Nusa Penida. Crystal Bay is your bae! Although it has some real steep hills, the road to Crystal is perfect and very Instagram worthy, lined with picture perfect palm trees. You can rent two sun-beds and an umbrella to protect you from the sun for just 50.000 IDR a day. The little warung at the western end of the beach makes you a great mie goreng! Don’t forget your snorkeling gear, the underwater life really is crystal clear and includes many curious, colorful fishes and even the occasional turtle. Do check the current as it can be strong here! End your day with a cocktail or a beer at Penida Colada while looking at the Agung volcano, just across the sea on Bali. Life is pretty damn perfect here.

Crystel Bay Beach, nusa's
The tropical Cystel Bay Beach

Now, don’t skip Bali just yet. But consider spending some time with the Nusa’s to fill up one some peace, quiet and happiness. Maybe I see you there as I might never leave again.

Life is better at the beach,

Jill

*Our guest editor Jill is currently traveling through Asia and will monthly update us about her Asian adventures. 

These are the Travel Trends for 2018

Trends. You either love them or you couldn’t care less about them. One thing is for sure, you are going to hear about these “trends” sooner or later. The same applies to the travel industry. Every year, we see a shift and it has a lot to do with our changing behaviour. The way we travel is important for travel agencies and brands, so that they can play into this and give the “consumer” want he or she wants. Booking.com recently researched 19.000 people on their platform to find out what the travel needs and trends are for the coming year. We had a look and picked the travel trends for 2018, that stood out in the report.

1. Experiences are more important
Booking.com found out that 45% of their travelers are planning to travel to a destination that is written on their bucket list. The majority of these, (82%) want to cross one or more destinations from their list in the coming year. People attach more value to experiences rather than material matters, giving them more opportunity to make unforgettable trips in 2018.

travel trends of 2018

2. Going back to the past
In addition to new experiences, 2018 also marks the past. People want to experience their most precious childhood memories and return to destinations that have always remained in the heart. A third of all travelers (34%) are considering returning to a place where they went as a kid in order to see the destination from a new perspective. The popularity of these nostalgic vacations comes from the sense of happiness that calls on these places. Travelers enjoy beautiful and precious memories of these family vacations. Funny enough, the millennials are the most sentimental. For example, 44% of 18- to 34-year-olds want to return to a favorite family destination from their childhood. 

3. Travel with friends
2018 will become THE year of traveling with friends. To the question; of what kind of traveler would you like to travel in 2018, 25% answered “with a group of friends”. In 2018, it’s no longer just about the destination, but also about the people we create beautiful memories with. A vacation with friends is the ultimate opportunity to spend more time with them! A holiday with friends also has financial benefits: four out of ten participants (42%) indicate that they can stay in a lodging with friends, something they could not afford alone during a holiday.

Travel trends of 2018

4. Wellness & healthy travel
This is not a new trend but it’s a trend that will continue thoughout 2018. Compared to 2017, almost twice as many people plan to travel for health and wellness (one in ten in 2017 vs. almost one in five in 2018!). 

5. Travel like a local
We have been traveling like this since we can remember but more people are now loving this way of traveling. If you learn from a local, you see a destination in the purest form. Instead of staying in a large hotel, people also try to stay at a guesthouse where they are in close contact with their host. A quarter of travelers say it’s important to find a host that has local knowledge and can share tips about nice restaurants and spots. At the same time, a host should be available, but not in a way that feels too invading (30%). 

locals-only

What do we think?
If we look at our own opinion when it comes to the travel trends for 2018, we think that 2 others should be added to the list. Sustainable Travel and Traveling for a Cause. Over the the last couple of years we’ve seen many travel brands evolving and growing because they focus on sustainability, local produce or good causes. Travelers love collection good karma points and want to come back home with a satisfactory feeling. The same applies to us. It’s not just about those Instagram photo’s by the pool. Traveling is also about learning gaining a greater understanding of what is going on in the world and making it a better place.

Do you think something else deserves a mention in the travel trends list of 2018? Comment below!

Love,

Elke

More travel tips? Check them all in our Travel Tips segment!

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

Make the most out of your business trip by following these tips!

Make the most out of your business trip

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