9 Things you need to know about Amsterdam before visiting

Having lived in Amsterdam for over 15 years now, we can say we are well-established locals. There are some misconceptions about Amsterdam, and we would like to clear things up. They might come in handy for first time visitors.

1. Amsterdam is not just about parties and prostitutes

Amsterdam is a popular destination for bachelor parties. There are plenty of clubs and the Dutch capital has the red light district. Truth is that most locals won’t ever set foot in the red light district unless they need to pass it on their way. Firstly, the women behind the windows are mostly foreign and secondly, the shops and café’s are mainly here for tourists purposes. It will probably disappoint. If you visit Amsterdam for the first time, we advise you to skip this tourist trap and go for the more local experience. Yes, there is so much more to Amsterdam than the tourist district.

2. Cannabis isn’t officially legal in The Netherlands

Now, the drugs. Did you know that cannabis isn’t officially legal in The Netherlands? (shocking right?) Weed in the Netherlands is actually decriminalised (‘toleration policy’). This basically means that it’s tolerated. When it comes to growing your own, this is another story. Locals can grow up to five cannabis plants, but if you start growing on a larger scale or decide to sell the weed, this is a major no go. Very confusing, we know. As a result coffeeshops in Amsterdam hire people to get the soft drugs and bring it for them. So can you officially smoke weed on the streets of Amsterdam? technically no, but if you have less than 5 grams on you and you are not causing a public disturbance, you are fine.

weed in Amsterdam

3. Bicycles rule the streets of Amsterdam

This is an unwritten rule. No matter if you ride a Harley or monster truck, people on bicycles are relentless. Cyclist ignore stop signs and find their way through the most narrow streets, plus they always seem to be in a hurry. As a pedestrian, you need to watch yourself. Before crossing the streets of Amsterdam, make sure you look to every direction possible, twice. Just obey by this rule and you will be fine.

Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth, it is a city of freedom.

4. Rent a bicycle

On the other hand, this may seem a bit in contrast to our previous tip, but renting a bicycle is a must do if you visit Amsterdam. This is the best way to see the city and enjoy it. On a bicycle you can get to places you wouldn’t get to if you go by foot or public transport. You will discover little alleys and the prettiest canals. Renting a bike is possible almost anywhere in the city center. Make sure you bring your ID and wear a helmet if you don’t feel too confident.

Bicycle in Amsterdam

5. Be prepared for all weather conditions

This basically means you need to pack you raincoat, umbrella, sunglasses and sunscreen. The Dutch weather can play tricks on you so come prepared! If you want to be certain, check this website which tells you exactly if the rain is coming and for how long it will last. Subsequently, when there is a ray of sunlight, the Dutch run outside and sit outside on any terrace in the city they can find.

6. Get yourself a OV Chipcard

A what?? Basically an OV Chipcard is the same as the English equivalent of an Oystercard. If you’re likely to visit Amsterdam again, this card is very useful and will save you money on public transport. It is also convenient because you can quickly add new credit. You can do this at most train stations or supermarkets. Since of last year, it’s only possible to pay by bank card in the tram and busses. No cash!

7. Get out of the city centre and explore

Did you know that just outside Amsterdam, you have a huge forest called Het Amsterdamse Bos or Oeverlanden? This is a must visit if you have kids because there is a goat farm, a large lake, beautiful walking paths and an outdoor theater. But there is more, find out how to escape the hustle and buzz.

Nature in Amsterdam
Yes, this is in Amsterdam

8. Download the Via Van app

To clarify, once you’ve downloaded Via Van, it works the same as Uber, the only difference is, that you might have to share your ride with another passenger along the way. Therefore it’s much cheaper than any other taxi. You need a credit card to connect the app and there is no need to pay the driver in cash.

9. These are the parties you do not want to miss

There are a few dates in Amsterdam that you should mark into your diary. Firstly, it’s Kingsday on the 27th of April. Secondly, the Dutch also celebrate freedom on May 5th. And if you’re up for it, check out the Amsterdam Gay Pride on the 27th of July until the 4th of August. Just look at the header photo and you’ll understand. 

Do you want to know where to eat and what to do in the Dutch capital? Find the best local tips in our Amsterdam Guide below!

7 hotels with the 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. Feast your eyes on these hotels 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.

big-ben
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?

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?!  

ritz-carton-singapore
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

SRPRS.me | Brings Spontaneity Back Into Travel

Are you the adventurous type, or do you like to plan everything ahead? Whatever you prefer, we think you should try SRPRS.me at least once. A few months ago Wander-Lust took the plunge. We booked ourselves a trip without knowing where we would end up. Find out where we went!

What is SRPRS.me?

Travel organisation srprs.me, founded in 2014, is a travel organization where you can book yourself a mystery holiday or city break. Only to find out  at the airport where you are going. You can book your surprise trip in several themes like: Summer Holiday, Solo Together, City Tripping, Honeymoon & Luxury, In Control (where you are able to eliminate 15 destinations), Road Tripping,  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 and your destination will be revealed. Pretty cool right?

Love in the plane

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.

Not Scary, But Exiting!

We understand that booking a surprise trip can be a little daunting, because you don’t want to end up somewhere you’re not going to like. Luckily, SRPRS.me has many options, so that you can select your own needs. For example; if you are looking for that ultimate holiday feeling and you want to soak up the sun, go for the Summer Holiday package where a beach and comfortable hotel is guaranteed. If you are the type that likes to explore and loves to shop and discover tasty hotspots, pick a city trip. You can also set your budget and see the cost in the calendar. A trip with sprps.me always includes the flight and accommodation.

Nice Russian Cathedral
You never know where you will end up

At Wander-Lust we also believe that the most beautiful things will happen if you have no expectations. 

The Destination

Sarah and I actually booked one of their surprise trips 2 years ago and ended up in sunny Valencia! It was awesome to say the least. This time around I decided to take my man, so I was hoping for a destination where the food would be great and the sun would shine. A week in advance we received our destination’s weather forecast and things were looking good, 21º degrees with sunshine! This resulted in packing light and bringing our sunglasses. 

Valencia
Valencia

We needed to arrive at the airport at 12pm and this was also our cue to scratch the srprs.me code and reveal our destination. 3, 2, 1..we were flying to Nice, France! I was very exited because it was a destination I was hoping to visit in the next coming years. Upon arrival everything was well arranged. The airport was just 15 minutes by bus or taxi, and we stayed in a charming boutique hotel which included breakfast. 

The Jay Hotel, Nice

Check our Valencia video and see how surprised we were!

Are you ready for the unexpected? Book your tailor-made srprs.me trip and take a leap of faith. You won’t regret it.

Love,

Elke

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 camping roadtrip with an old Volkswagen Van would be one of them. 2 years 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 Basically 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. Take a look on their website and select the camper you want, for how long and for which date. As a result you get several options and all you need to do is to pick your favorite and send the owner a message. Finally you will see which camper is available and if they’ll 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 a beautiful Volkswagen T2. 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 was worried about the cold,  would the rain drip inside? What if the van breaks down?! 

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. 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.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

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 much more. Definitely check out this spot if you’re heading to the Ardennes. 

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. The Van had to be brought back to its 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. Ok, 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 felt like a true nomad and 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? Visit Camptoo’s website, Facebook & Instagram for inspiration!

Check out my video to get a good impression!

Love,

Elke

Best countries to visit for when you’re on a budget

If you have the wanderlust virus , you know you feel need to travel as much as possible. However, your bank account doesn’t always agree. If you still want to enjoy the beauty of a long stretched beaches, feel the sun glowing on your skin and discover new cultures, we are happy to tell you that you can do this on a small budget. These are 8 countries you should visit if you don’t want to break the bank.

1. Cambodia, Asia

Daily budget: 15 euro or less

Cambodia is a very cheap destination, even by Southeast Asian standards. If you’re really on a budget and you keep your daily spending to a minimum, you can live on an amount of 10 to 15 euro’s per day. Firstly, accommodation can be found for as little as 4-5 euro’s per night (for a simple hut or hostel) and even the alcohol is cheap here. Secondly, if you eat the local food, you won’t spend more than 4 euros on a 2 course meal. Flights cost about 500 euro’s if you book ahead of time.

Angkor Wat. travel on a budget
One of the cheapest countries for travel

2. Thailand, Asia

Daily budget: 20 euro or less

If you’ve been to Thailand, you know you can live there as a King or a Queen. When I was there I had a massage almost every day and it only cost me about 5 to 10 euro’s. Thailand has one of the finest cuisines in the world but you can dine here for about 5-10 euro’s per person. (this includes your drinks!) It’s the ultimate backpacking country with a lot of cheap accommodation available. Thailand also has many options, you can make it as expensive as you want.

Koh Lipe. best countries to visit when you're on a budget
It’s never boring in Thailand

3. Georgia

Daily Budget: 27 euro

This destination is high on demand and made it on many top destination lists for 2019. Why? Adventure seekers have discovered the stunning nature of this country, plus it’s very affordable! Because Georgia isn’t rampaged by tourists, prices remain low, also for accommodations. If you decide to go backpacking for 14 days, you can do it with a budget of 400 euro per person. This is unheard of in western European countries. Time to out Georgia on your bucketlist? 

georgia
Stunning Georgia

4. Albania

Daily Budget: 28 euro

Never though of Albania? Well, time to change that! Albania is an underrated country with many mountains, canyons and the Ionian coastline. Albania isn’t full of tourists and therefore prices are very good! Be the first to discover hidden beaches and coves, or walk around in the Albanian Alpes. 

Albania, countries to visit when you are on a budget

5. Nicaragua

Daily Budget: 28 euro

We do not understand why we haven’t been here yet, because this place has it all. Untouched beaches, cute towns, rough nature, volcano’s and it’s extremely cheap to trek around. Above all, the country is relatively tourist free, which is also a big plus for many amongst us. Hotel rooms are an average of 15 euro per night. On average, a couple can live comfortably in Nicaragua for 1200 euro per month, not bad!

beer in Nicaragua
Have another beer in Nicaragua!

6. Greece, Europe

Daily budget: 30 euro or less

I’m speaking out of experience because as you might know because I have been to Greece many times. Firstly, food is one of the cheapest in Europe. For instance, you can feast on a large main course for only 6-9 euro’s. A beer will cost you about 2 euro’s. You will pay double the price in places like Mykonos and Santorini but if you visit the main land or Islands like : Folegandros, Lefkas or Naxos, you can definitely add Greece to your budget destination list.

Greece is great if you're on a budget
Lefkas (Lefkada) is great for budget travel

7. Philippines, Asia

Daily budget: 25 euro or less

It’s not the cheapest of the Asian countries we’ve mentioned but it certainly deserves a place in our top 8 and the reason it’s at number 7 is because of the long flight. The flight is by far the most expensive part of your trip but if you’re lucky you can get a cheap flight at around 600 euro’s per person. On the other hand, the Philippines are pretty untouched by mass tourism (unlike Thailand for example), as a result it can be more difficult to get around sometimes. That’s way you tend to spent more on boats, domestic flights etc. Read more about The Philippines.

Philippines Bohol
Relaxing in the Philippines

8. Bolivia, South America

Daily budget: 25 euro or less

Bolivia is a very popular destination for backpackers, simply because it’s very affordable to travel. There is something for every budget. Even the good hotels offer reasonable prices. (a 4 star hotel is available for as little as 80 USD) 

9E975C5901
Chill.. cuz your money isn’t going anywhere

In short, budget travel is possible, it just depends on the country you want to visit. And let’s be honest, the above options aren’t so bad right?

Love,

Wander-Lust

More tips?

The World’s Best Music Festivals 2019

It’s that time of the year again, Festival Season! Some oldies have returned, some have gone and there are plenty of new ones to check out! We’ve included festivals around the world that are worth mentioning this year. Here are the World’s Best Music Festivals 2019!

DGTL Festival Amsterdam
When? Easter Weekend 19/20/21 April
Where? Amsterdam NSDM Werf
DGTL Festival is one of the first festivals of the season, and if we can, we go. Why? Because this is more than just about music. DGTL has recently won the “Outstanding Award” at the Greener Festival Awards and a “Green Operations Award” at the European Festival Awards. DGTL is now officially one of the most sustainable festivals in the world. But let’s talk about music. DGTL creates a line-up with big techno names, but also highlights the underground scene, often DJ’s that make it big the following year. We can’t wait for Easter Weekend. www.dgtl.nl

dgtl festival amsterdam

Lost & Found Festival
When? 2/3/4/5 May
Where? Malta
This electronic music festival was founded by Annie Mac 5 years ago and has been a success ever since. The location is perfect because you get to explore the small island while you’re there. Music wise you can dance to Black Coffee, The Black Madonna, Chase and Status and many more. There are beach parties, castles raves and boat parties. Get your tickets now! 

Bottlerock Festival
When? 24/25/26 May
Where? Napa Valley, USA
Wine and music is a great combination and that must have been the exact thoughts of the organisers of Bottlerock Festival. Napa Valley is a beautiful wine region but next to wine there will be food, silent disco, spa time and even art. Headliners are Imagine Dragons, One Republic and Sylvan Esso, to name just a few. The festival is almost sold out, but maybe it’s something to add into your diary for next year? www.bottlerocknapavalley.com

wanderlust festival guide 2018
Bottlerock

We are FSTVL, UK
When? 25/26/27 May
Where? Upminster Greater London
It’s a huge festival with a lot of big names is dance and techno music. With 6 stages, this is one of the biggest festivals in London. Expect 50.000 people in London’s best festival. 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 2018, France
When? 1/2 June
Where? Paris, France
This festival focuses on sustainability and uses solar power to generate energy. With We Love Green can show you that sustainable festivals will be something of the future and that it can be done. It will celebrate it’s 8th year and headliners include Erykah Badu, Laurent Garnier, Future and many more. www.welovegreen.fr

Komm Schön Alter
When? 22nd of June
Where? Tuinen van West, Amsterdam
This festival is one of Elke’s favorites. It’s small, intimate festival and welcomes a crowd from 24 years old and over, only. By doing so, the festival has a wonderful family feel to it, with no (too) drunken teenagers running around. This year, the line-up includes EINMUSIC, Oxia, Miss Melera, Arjuna Schiks and more. www.kommschonalter.de

wanderlust festival guide 2018
Sunshine at Komm Schön Alter Festival

Meadows in the Mountains, Bulgaria
When? 6/7/8/9 June
Where? In the mountains of 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. www.meadowsinthemountains.com

Meadows
Photo by @aronkleinphotography

Secret Solstice
When? 21/22/23 June
Where? Reykjavik, Iceland
Are you ready to dance in the light? This festival takes place on the longest day of the year where it’s just dark for about 3 hours. Secret Solstice is for festival goers with a passion for the natural beauty of the great outdoors. Each year the festival welcomes an eclectic lineup to the naturally breathtaking country for main stage sets, glacier raves, lava tunnel shindigs, midnight sun boat parties and secret lagoon blowouts. Enjoy this surreal phenomenon and feel at-one with nature during the festival which showcases the international artist alongside the best homegrown talent. www.secretsolstice.is

Awakenings Festival
When? 29/30 June

Where? Spaarnwoude, Netherlands
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
Awakenings Festival

Neversea Festival
When? 4/5/6/7 of Juli
Where? Constanta, Romania
After the success of the first edition in 2017, Neversea will be back for their second edition in 2018. It’s the biggest beach festival in Romania and will take place in Constanţa. Dance, HipHop and Electronical music will have the center stage. www.neversea.com

wanderlust festival guide 2018
Neversea Festival

Firefly Music Festival
When? 21/22/23 June
Where? The Woodlands, Dover, USA
It seems like all the artists that are looking for a comeback, are performing here. Post Malone, Travis Scott, DJ Snake, Panic at the disco are all on stage at Firefly Music Festival this June. It’s in the woods, so this gives the festival a cool vibe and we wish we could be there as the festival celebrates it’s seven year anniversary. Weekend tickets are still available but be quick! fireflyfestival.com

wanderlust festival guide 2018
Source

EXIT Festival
When? 4th – 7th of July
Where? Novi Sad Serbia
EXIT Festival has been around for a while but they managed to win the European Festival Award for “Best Major Festival”. In total, you can enjoy 20 different stages that vary in music styles. 

wanderlust festival guide 2018
Dancing at EXIT

Woodstock 50
When? 16/17/18 August
Where? Watkins Glen, NY
The mother of all festivals had to be Woodstock back in the early 70’s. This festival attracted over half a million people at the time, seeking peace, love and unity. Woodstock 50 wants to keep this spirit going and with headliners like The Killers, Jay Z and Miley Cyrus, they are definitely on the right track. If you are in New York in August, be sure to get hold of a ticket. www.woodstock.com

Sea You Festival, Germany
When? 13/14 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

Sea you festival Germany
Source: Sea You Festival

Sonar Festival
When? 18/19/20 July
Where? Barcelona, Spain
We’re not going this year but elke went twice before. A M A Z I N G! Buy a ticket and experience the real Sonar but also check out all the parties around the beach and clubs. What we love: The free beach parties, the tapas and the good vibes! www.sonar.es

Wildeburg Festival
When? 12/13/14 July
Where? Kraggeburg, Netherlands
This festival is getting more popular every year. With so many commercial and massive festivals, Wildeburg is something refreshing. It’s going to be the third edition with 150 acts that haven’t been announced yet. Although the weekend tickets have been sold out, last minute Sunday tickets will be made available so keep an eye on their website and social media! www.wildeburg.nl

wanderlust festival guide 2018
Wildeburg

Lowlands Festival 2019
When? 18/19 August

Where? Biddinghuizen, The Netherlands
Set in a remote location in The Netherlands just over an hours drive from Amsterdam, Lowlands allows attendees to disconnect from the real world in a
township with thousands of inhabitants that arises in the middle of the country for three days in August. Lowlands is a festival for everybody that loves music. It doesn’t matter what festival you’re into, because you can find it all. HipHop, Techno, Rock, Jazz, Pop and Indy. There are about twelve stages (going by the names of Alpha, Bravo, Heineken, Lima, Juliet, X-Ray, Echo). Offering a unique selection of film, stand-up comedy, visual arts, literature, and street theatre. This year’s lineup includes appearances from the likes of Frans Ferdinant, Paul Kalkbrenner, ASAP Rocky, and many more. Wow. lowlands.nl


Source

LolaPallooza Berlin
When? 7/8 September
Where? Berlin, Germany
This intimate festival is striking down in Berlin for the 4rd time and with succes! Names like Kings of Leon, Swedish House Mafia and 21 Pilots will be on stage. Book yourself a comfy hotel in Berlin and explore the city! www.lollapaloozade.com

OASIS Festival
When? 13/15/15 September
Where? Marrakech, Morocco
Just imagine a place where you can see lush gardens, vibrant colours, palmtrees, sand and swimming pools all into one place. Sounds like an Oasis maybe? Oasis festival takes place in the luxurious Fellah Hotel in Marrakech and attracts an international crowd. There will be multiple music stages, daily yoga and reflexology, delicious street food and pop-up restaurants, a champagne bar, craft cocktails, henna, hookah and its very own secret souk. Sounds good? Weekenders are on sale now and cost around €180,-. www.theoasisfest.com

Wanderlust Festival Guide 2018
Oasis Festival

Into The Woods
When? 13/14 September

Where? Amersfoort, Netherlands
This festival set in the woods of Amersfoort, is something magical. The setting is intimate, yet big enough to walk around the festival and discover a new area or secret corners. The art installations are incredible, we can only imagine how much work goes into this. Tickets are always sold out within 20 minutes and go on sale soon. Enter your email address to be notified. www.intothewoodsfestival.nl
 into the woods

May
23th – 27th May: Virgo Festival, UK
30th May: Primavera Sound, Spain

June
29th May – 2nd June: Distortion Festival, Denmark
26st -30th June: Glastonbury, UK

July
11th – 13th July: NOS Festival, Portugal
11th of July: Bilbao Live, Spain
17th – 20th July: Gurten Festival, Switzerland

25th – 28st July: Kendal Calling, UK

August
1st – 4th August: Untold Festival, Croatia
15th – 18th August: Green Man Festival, Wales
22nd – 25th August: Shambala Festival, UK

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. 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 or book a flight that immediately compensates your CO2 emissions. 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.

Visiting Bali for the first time? Here is all you need to know

Oh hello sunshine, nature, palmtrees and fresh coconuts! Are you planning (like most people we know) to visit the island of the gods, Bali? Here are some tips if you’re heading there for the first time. 

Before you leave home

Visa and passport: in addition to a valid passport (which must be valid for at least 6 months) you also need a visa. You will receive this visa free of charge on arrival at the following international airports; Jakarta, Bali, Medan and Surabaya. You can stay in Bali for up to 30 days. Please note: arrival and departure days are counted and this free visa can not be extended. So if you want to stay longer than 30 days (and believe us, this happens), then you must arrange the visa before departure and make sure you have a return ticket, because that is mandatory.

Money: the currency on Bali is the Rupiah. Since banks are not everywhere and the exchange rate can fluctuate heavily, it is useful to exchange your money at the airport. Make sure you have enough money with you when traveling to a remote area.

Vaccinations: against Hepatitis A and DTP are recommended when you go to Indonesia on vacation. Fortunately, you do not have to take malaria pills in many areas; Bali and East and West Java are mostly malaria free. Check the map of malaria areas. And then you still have those annoying mosquitos. You do not hear them, but you do feel them! So it is handy to bring an anti-mosquito that contains DEET.

Kids
Bali is a great place for those traveling with kids. Find out what you can do and what kids activities there are with young children.

Bali with Kids

Suitcase or Backpack?
Do you travel around for a long time and do you travel from place to place? Then we advise you to bring a backpack. There is often heavy-handed handling of your stuff and we have already experienced a few cases that go wrong. The disadvantage is of course that you can take less, but on the other hand you often take too much clothing, which is not necessary on Bali. Will it be a beach holiday and will you stay in a resort? Then a backpack is not necessary and a suitcase is very nice.

Packing tips
In Bali you enjoy a tropical climate and the humidity can be high in some places. Some handy packing tips:
1. Pack as many light and cotton clothing as possible.
2. Bring along a long skirt and Sarong for when you visit one of the many temples.
3. Bring that hat! The sun is lovely, but nobody wants a sunstroke.
4. A one-suit is useful if you want to surf, it keeps your belly from getting scraped on the board.
5. If you are planning to go to Bali from December, then a thin rain jacket is useful.

Bali surfbabe
Ready to surf? 

Go check out
» Dreamland Beach – the name says it all
» Ubud – Rice Terraces, Healthy hotspots like Sari Organic and the Ubud Hanging Gardens resort (must see)
» Canggu – Crate Café, Canggu-Desa Seni Yoga, The Chillhouse
» Uluwatu – Rock Bar & Single Fin
» Tanah Lot (just to take that one beautiful picture)
» Nusa Lembongan, 30 min by boat – top for surfing

Dreamland beach bali
Dreamland Beach Source

Bali best hangouts 2019

Better to avoid
» Water from the tap. Buy your water in bottles and check if the cap is unopened. Drinking water safely? Then this thing is a godsend. Be careful with salads and peel the fruit well. Otherwise you might be more in the toilet than on the beach.
» Petting dogs, especially when Although they look cute, their have been reports of rabies and Sarah got bitten last year and needed several injections.
» Kuta. If you do not like mass tourism, avoid busy Kuta. Prices are higher, the food is not very tasty and the beach is a bit disappointing, mostly covered in plastic. However, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but we know that there are better places on Bali than Kuta.

shopping in Bali
Make a good deal whilst shopping for goodies

In Bali it’s normal to..
» Have your own ‘driver‘. This is a tip that you can certainly save money if you want to see the whole island. Learn a few words Balinese and make a clear arrangement with your taxi driver. If you do it right, he will drive you around for a fixed price. Use your good old intuition, but pay attention that he does not take you to all kinds of shops or tourist places where they might receive commission from.
» Make some deals. It is a game between tourist and salesman, especially in the market you can play with the price.
» Give tips. The friendly people in Bali are not very broad. Do they wear your suitcase or are you well helped? Give a nice tip.
» Rent a scooter and explore the island. Make sure you always wear a helmet!

Bali on a scooter

Ready? So pack your bags and fly to paradise!

Wander-Lust

5 Beautiful Destinations for Safe Female Solo Travel

As a woman, it’s important to feel save when you travel abroad. In some countries is better than others, but with my personal experience and lot’s of stories from fellow female travelers, we found that these 5 countries deserve to be mentioned when it comes to Safe Female Solo Travel.

Canada

A beautiful destination which, funny enough, is yet to be discovered by backpackers. Because of this fact, it’s not packed with tourists and even more reason to visit! The roads are well maintained so perfect for renting a van and cruise through the beautiful nature. There are many campings in the middle of nature and near cities that are very secured. Canada is perfect for women that love a little adventure; from kayaking with orca’s and watching humpback whales, to stunning hikes, it’s all possible and easily arranged. The only resident you should be wary off, is the grizzly bear! But if that’s all?

Australia
Perhaps is no surprise but Australia is really one of the best places to start as a solo traveler. Everything is well arranged for the backpacker. I speak from experience, because I did it for 4 months and had the best time! Public transport, travel cards, discounts for backpackers, it’s all available in Australia. Downsider: Australia can be quite expensive so my TIP is to eat as much vegetarian food in order to save some cash, and stay away from the booze. For more money saving tips, check our 6 tips to travel for free.

Thailand

South East Asia is pretty safe to travel around but Thailand is taking the lead. 4 years ago I traveled to Thailand on my own and I was a little worried that I would feel alone. The worry was for no reason, because I met some lovely people in no-time that I am still in contact with! TIP: The hygiene in Asia is not always of the highest standard so always bring some disinfectant wipes, diarrhoea pills and antihistamine for allergies. Thinking about traveling to Thailand? Check out our Thailand section for all the best tips!

Iceland
This country is topping the charts of the Global Peace Index for years. There is relatively little crime and the country is doing pretty well economically. Because of this, the infrastructure is well arranged. Start your trip in Reykjavik and visit the picture perfect Blue Lagoon or the Northern light. Bring your camera girls, instagram is going to love it where you are! Guest editor Jolien took a trip and has some inside tips on where to go!


Guest editor Jolien in Iceland

Portugal

Sun, sea, delicious food and friendly people. Portugal has it all! From vibrant cities to the cliffs of the Algarve, you can go anywhere. Life isn’t too expensive and there are a lot of amazing eco-lodges, campings and resorts where you can totally relax. Inside Tip: Visit Eco Resort Into The Wild Algarve, where you can sleep in a tipi or a luxurious treehouse! 


Sleep in a bohemian tipi in Portugal

But to sum it up, I think the most important weapon a woman has, is her intuition. Does it feel off? Don’t go with it but just enjoy your trip of a lifetime!

Love,

Elke

7 ways to save money whilst traveling

Traveling is great, but it’s even better when you can save money whilst doing it! So what are the best ways to save some cash? We’ve got 7 tips and tricks lined up for you!

1. Find a job overseas 
The possibilities are endless! Find yourself a job abroad and work for a few weeks or months. For example; if you work in Australia as a landscaper for 3 months, 6 days a week, you can earn about 25.000 dollars! That’s more then enough to last you a full year of travel in south east Asia!
These are some jobs that you could look into:

  • Au pair (I worked as an Au-Pair in London)
  • Bartender
  • Hostel worker
  • Landscaper/farmworker
  • Waitress/Waiter
  • Farm worker (Very popular in Australia and New Zealand)
  • Dive instructor (Some certification required)
  • Tour guide
  • Cruise ship worker
  • Casino worker
  • Seasonal worker at ski resorts (if you got a talent, use it!)
  • Yacht Worker

Extra tip » You can also start wwoofing. Meaning, you will work on a farm and get a bed and food. This is great if your passing through.

Saving money while sleeping
Saving money while you sleep.. (pic by David Stegenga)

2. Couchsurfing
It’s free and you meet new people! If you’re a little hesitant about sleeping on someones couch, here’s a success story; I know this couple that did this in Perth, Australia and they ended up in a huge house, had a private room and the owner took them to the most amazing places! The best thing was, that they didn’t need a pay a thing for their stay. (just their food) Check www.couchsurfing.com

Always keep an eye out for those travel deals. This will save you a lot of Money

3. Always look out for those travel deals (because they are there)
Flight deals, Boat deals, Hotel deals. It doesn’t really matter what kind of deal it is, just keep an eye out. Check airline websites and sign yourself up for their loyalty program. Flying to Australia once can give you up to 70.000 miles which you can use to buy other flights!

4. Prepare your own meals
This is something I learned whilst backpacking through Australia. Food can be expensive and if you’re going to sleep in hostels, the’re always kitchens you can use. When I stayed in Sydney, I met a group of backpackers and we always use to cook together. I was lucky to have a chef in the group that prepared the most amazing dishes which cost us about 4 Australian dollars per person. You can also buy a bag of rice which last you for at least 2 weeks and skip the meat and fish for a few days. Veggies aren’t so expensive and you can buy them cheaper on the markets. In Australia you will see BBQ’s alongside the beaches and parks where you can prepare your meals. Just make sure you clean up after yourself. Extra tip » Cut down on the alcohol. Yes, alcohol can cost you more money than food will and let’s be honest, a headache isn’t so nice either.

lunch box
Preparing your own meals is healthy and saves you money!

5. Hitchhike
Now don’t get me wrong, this is not something I advise you to do in all countries or as a solo female traveler. BUT, I’ve done it in European countries and it has taken me the extra mile to the village or town I needed to go. Besides that, I’ve listened to the most amazing life stories in the car of strangers and always got to my destination safely. Just use your common sense and get in a car with a couple, families or older people.

Hitchhiking
Always trust your intuition when you go hitchhiking

6. Get a discount card
If you’re a student a teacher or under 26 years old? Use it! It’s the best status you can have when you travel. It gives you a lot of discounts on food, activities and more. The same applies for a tourist card. Like you, I don’t really like the “tourist” term but if it opens doors, it’s always a good thing right?
Tourist cards especially help if you are visiting a city. It gives you discounts on museums and big attractions and for public transport. Check the nearest tourist office for more information on how to get one.

HWijjF7RwOPGEJ1nb4Zb_IMG_3773
Cities like New York offer great discounts!

7. Housesit
This is probably the best tip if you know you’re going to stay in one place for a while. If you can’t afford a hotel, this is a very good option to look into. It’s simple; just watch someones house while they’re on vacation. You’ll be surprised about how many people do this as it makes their house unattractive for burglars. Check these sites for more info about house sitting:

» House Carers
» Mind My House
» 
The Caretaker Gazette

They say that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer… I guess it can be true..literally! Have fun saving money!

Love,

Elke

More travel tips here: