Bali With Kids » 5 Activities to do with your Family

Last month our guest editor Cheryl flew to Bali with her family & friends. Two years ago, her group of 38 friends (that also have kids) decided to get together at a destination outside Europe. The destination was quickly picked decision: Bali. Back in Holland, with a bag full of tips Cheryl will share her best tips on what to do in Bali with kids.

Go Surfing
If you’re kids are older and love the ocean: go surfing. Ok, I must admit, this was actually a dream come true for myself (and I persuaded my daughter of twelve, to come along). I always wanted to learn how to ride the waves. In the South of Bali there are many surf schools to choose from. I found my surf teacher, as cheeky as it sounds, on TripAdvisor. For a two-hour private lesson, you’ll pay around 450K IRP(which is about €27,-) per person.  In these two hours, I’ve learned to stand on the board while surfing. (worth a shoulder brush right?)

Bali with kids

Chasing Waterfalls
Kids love visiting waterfalls during holiday’s. I’ve did some research before we left and decided to go for 2 waterfalls:

  • The Sekumpul waterfall is the most breathtaking waterfall I’ve ever seen. Mind you, this waterfall is not suitable for little children (babies or toddlers) because of the difficult hike to get there. But my O my, what a view! Be prepared for this trail. Make sure you have good shoes and enough water for the kids! Costs: 20.000 IRP p/p.
  • At the Aling-Aling waterfalls are some thrilling activities for adults and older children (+8). Cliff jumping (5 and 10 meters) and there are also natural water slides. After I tried the 12-meter-high waterslide, my little daredevil also took her chance for this once in a life time experience! For this waterfall we had to pay 125K IRP p/p because there are many guides who help with the activities and watch the children.


The impressive Sekumpul waterfall with the kids

Waterbom Park
Personally, I’m not a waterpark kind of girl. But this one you have to try if you go to Bali with kids. This Waterbom Park happens to be number one in Asia and number three in the world! It had 22 rides and attractions and you can even relax, eat or just go crazy on all the rides. For the adrenaline junkies; go to the Climax. Stand in a small chamber before the trap door opens, and you plummet 16 meters down a near vertical drop. Fly through the rest of the ride at 70kph, and don’t forget to breathe again when you get to the end. For more info and video’s check www.facebook.com/Waterbom


WaterBom park (source)

Visit Menjangan Island
Even though you have some coral bleaching here too, it is still a fantastic place to dive or snorkel! The ridges and slopes are super dramatic, and the fish are beautiful! You can also spot the occasional reef shark or sea turtle if you’re lucky, so all in one: a great and exiting place for kids. Also, you can actually find Nemo. Snorkling here will cost around 15,- per person.

Bali with kids
Hey there little buddy!

Spot Some MANTA’s (or not)
We traveled to Nusa Lembongan to spot some manta’s. Most of time they are easy to spot (they said). Unfortunately, not always. It’s difficult to predict their presence but in July, August and September is the best time to spot some manta’s. If you book a day-boat and can’t spot the manta’s: don’t be sad: there are also lots of nice snorkling places with nice coral around the area. Don’t miss out the spot where the Giant Trevally Fish swim. It might be bit scary at first, because these fish can become 1.7 meters long! I was assured that they are not dangerous so took a dive with my little daredevils! 200K IRP (per person).

Bali with Kids
Bali with kids and friends? A vacation not to forget!

Don’t forget to love, enjoy and treasure every moment with your loved ones. After all, LIFE IS A PARTY, also when you have kids!

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.nl

Panama » the perfect exotic holiday destination

Panama has it all, for me, it’s the perfect exotic holiday destination! It’s small in size but it offers a big variety which is easy to reach; exotic tropical rainforests, beautiful beaches, more than a 1000 islands, best surf spots, an incredible nightlife, breathtaking views, Spanish colonial architecture, jungle, rafting and kayaking. Panama really surprised me and here are my personal tips!

Panama


Panama City

Downtown of Panama
When you enter Panama you will immediately see a very impressive skyline on the right side that is surrounded by tropical rainforest and on the left sight you see the beautiful ocean where people are surfing. In Panama city you will find the business district on one side, with lots of hotels and restaurants with the best shopping opportunities, and on the other side you will find Casco Viejo district, historical center built in the 17th centuryThere’s a lot to discover and activities like jungle trips, a visit to Panama canal are just a few hours away from the city.

Panama still struggles with crime and poverty. In some areas you’re not allowed to enter, which you will know when the police will tell when you try to enter a street.  Panama is definitely tourist friendly, you feel save during the day and night, but people recommend you to take a taxi in the evening.

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The skyline of Panama is so impressive!


Casco Viejo

The Old Town
We stayed in the historic district of Panama City, Casco Viejo – which means old quarter in Spanish, and is only 10 min. away from the business district by taxi. Casco Viejo is small, but you can wander around for days, since this cozy neighborhood has a lot to offer: numerous bars, various restaurants where they service top notch food, great nightlife with some very nice bars where you can order delicious local beers and fresh cocktails, street art, castles, museums etc.

We only had two days to explore Casco Viejo, before heading to the islands, which was too short and therefore we came back again on the end of our trip! You feel at home right away; the locals are very friendly and the area is so incredibly beautiful. Take a walk along the beach where you will have the impressive ocean view, wander through the streets and admire the Spanish architecture with beautiful pastel colored buildings, have a coffee at one of the quality coffee shops, stroll at Plaza de La Independencia Market where I bought this handmade Wayuu Mochila bag, check out the Panama Canal, wander and end your evening with a very nice dinner and have some fresh cocktails at the oceanfront art bar.

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Catedral Metropolitana  & Market at Plaza de La Independencia


Bocas Del Toro

Bocas Town
A propeller plane took us from Panama City to Bocas Del Toro. After one hour you see the Caribbean Sea, the archipelago’s nine islands, surrounded by hundreds of tiny uninhabited islets and the mainland, Bocas Town.

It takes a 10 min.walk to enter Bocas. Bocas is a hotspot amongst travelers all over the world where most lodging and restaurants are. Water taxi’s depart from this mainland to the different islands. During the day you can wander the streets for shopping, drinks and food and in the night Bocas is known for their famous party’s.
Are you looking for a more quit holiday, then you should definitely stay at one of the island like we did. Each island has its own unique vibe and offers travelers diversity.

We skipped the mainland and went directly to Isla Bastimentos by boat, that takes 2 min. We’ve found this tropical romantic Caribbean beach front villa where we relaxed for almost one week. We stayed longer than planned since we really enjoyed the vibe and the surrounded islands with lots of activities.
We swam in crystal clear water, enjoyed beautiful sunsets while drinking delicious cocktails and ate fresh fish which the local fisherman caught. We slept in a very nice cabin where you hear the sounds of lapping waves, parrots and monkeys.
In the night we took a boat to the mainland for dinner and drinks.

Panama - Bocas
Taxi’s will bring you to different breathtaking islands where you can snorkel, surf, tan and relax.

Red Frog Beach
We often took the boat to some other islands. One of them is Red Frog Beach which is 10  min. from the mainland.

We found this very cozy place, Palmer Tent lodge, where we met some very nice people, one of them was the owner. Unfortunately it was fully booked, we really wanted to stay for a few days. This Eco-friendly beach front place offers lots of activities like; surfing, hiking, zip line riding, yoga and most important you can really just relax in a hammock. They have a small but yummy affordable menu.
I really enjoyed surfing, the teacher was so friendly and patient that I got the change the learn it even better.

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Red Frog Beach, chilling and surfing at Palmer Tent lodge

Tips

» Bring Sunscreen SPF30, you can get burned very easily in Panama, my favorite is Lancaster
» Make sure to bring dollars or exchange your money into their local currency balboa
» Book your domestic flights upfront to save money, Air Panama
» Try to combine Panama with another country when planning a few weeks, like Costa Rica
» Book your stay at Bocas upfront, since it’s a very popular destination and fully booked very easily, check here

Costs

» Tickets cost around 800 euro
» Cabins at the beach start from 35 dollar
» We spent around 50 euro a day per person

We didn’t managed to go to the San Blas islands because unfortunately illness struck me for a few days. It’s suppose to be heaven so hopefully we will get the chance to travel there again!

Love,

Sarah

Why you should live abroad at least once in your lifetime

When I just turned seventeen years old, I moved to London. Why? Simply because I wanted to see what it was like. My plan was to live there for one year, and then explore the rest of the world. I ended up staying for 7 years.. I also lived in Los Angeles on and off for about 2 years. It was a great experience. It taught me so many life lessons. I came to London young and pretty naive when I look back at it but living abroad has made me into the women that I am today.

So, do you have any plans to live abroad? And is it for you? If so, these few lessons and tips may prepare you for one of the best decisions of your life. 

1. Stand on your own 2 feet
It’s about letting go of the save harbor and sailing away to a new experience. Yes, it might seem scary but taking that first step and just GO feels great.
You’ll be surprised how quickly you will become that independent person.

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Living abroad made me stand on my own 2 feet and gain my independence.

2. Learn a new language and culture
Ok, I probably picked one of the easiest countries to live in because in The Netherlands we all speak a fair bit of English. 
But I must say, every city speaks it’s own language and with it, it’s own culture. I learned to speak “the London way” and even understood it when people told me they were “Lee Marvin”. (which means Starvin’  in cockney English.) If you learn about different cultures and habits you will also become more open minded, which I think is a good thing. If you don’t know the language at all, take a course. It will make everything 10 times easier.

3. Meet new people (from all over the world)
If you’re going to move to a big city, you’re probably going to meet new friends with different nationalities. I’m still in contact with people from Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, England, Australia and the States. Some of these contacts have visited me back home and the other way around. This way you broaden your network.


Meet new friends for life.

4. You will get to know yourself (really really well)
There’s no better way of getting to know yourself whilst traveling or living abroad. Learn from your mistakes and get back up. Always listen to your intuition if you’re unsure.

5. Make a plan before you go
So, what will you do when you get there? Don’t go there with empty pockets. Save enough money to last you a few months or even better, find a job or course before you go. 
Depending on which country you may fly to, you may need to arrange a visa and working permits. When I moved over to London, I worked as an Au-Pair. This meant that I needed to look after the kids, clean the house and cook dinner. Is a good starting job when you are young and you want to integrate quickly. For this you need some experience and it’s always a good idea to get some sort of a diploma. 
For more information on how to start to work as an Au-Pair, check this website.

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Make a plan before you decide to leave your mark 

Let it happen and enjoy it

6. Fall in love
Whether it’s with a person or a city, you’re probably going to fall in love. Let it happen and enjoy it. It happened to me twice (I dated an English man for 5 years and a guy in LA for about 2,5 years) and although it didn’t work out, it helped me grow and taught me the life lessons we all need to know. Falling in love with a country, city or small town is a beautiful thing. Because you can always return and you will never forget the experience!

Falling in love abroad
Don’t be afraid to fall in love abroad..

7. You can make a new start
You may have fucked up a few times in your life. Or you may have done really good. It doesn’t matter because when you move to another country, you can start all over again! This is great. New friends, new habits, new food, new adventures. 

8. You will appreciate your home country
Homesickness. If you are a frequent traveler, you may have experienced this feeling before. Yes, I have called my mum up a few times, crying my eyes out because I didn’t like my job, didn’t have a lot of friends in the beginning or felt lonely. But I never gave up. At the end, you know you can always return. Nowadays we have so many channels that help us to get in touch with the home front that it is almost impossible to miss home! Living abroad makes you appreciate where you came from. Maybe you shouldn’t complain about the rain so much (sunshine everyday of the year can also get a bit boring believe it or not!) or you may appreciate your mothers home cooked dinners a lot more.

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When I stayed in sunny LA, I loved it when it rained now and then.

So whether you want to move to England, Miami or Australia. Prepare yourself for the best ride of your life and always stay true to yourself.
You’ll be fine!

Love,

Elke

3 x new Sustainable Hotels in Amsterdam you want to check out

Sustainability is becoming more and more important and you can also see this shift in the travel industry. Right now, we are anticipating the opening of 3 sustainable hotels in Amsterdam. Let us introduce..

QO
Amstel Kwartier

The QO Amsterdam reaches 22 floors and is partly build with the old concrete from the Shell tower, now known as the ADAM Tower. The hotel will have 288 rooms with stunning views over the city. QO wants to show people that sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand. The outside of the building is extremely innovative and very special to say the least. It’s provided with revolutionary climate control through the innovative moving panels is making savings on heating, cooling and ventilation possible. The moving panels on the outside of the windows respond to time and climate. I had a look at one of the finished hotel rooms and it looked amazing and super cozy, with warm colors, designed by Conran & Partners from London. The interior of the open spaces and restaurants are designed by award winning agency TANK. Also keep an eye out for the highly anticipated restaurant Persijn which is opening within the next month! The opening was due in December but like most building sights, it’s postponed until early spring. To read more about QO, go to this article.

QO, sustainable hotels in Amsterdam
One of the suites at QO

QO Amsterdam
QO from the outside

There will be an indoor garden with plants and trees from Asia

Jakarta Hotel Amsterdam
Java Eiland

Located on Java Eiland in Amsterdam, this hotel is set to be the most sustainable hotel in the Netherlands. The name comes from the location, where ships used to leave for Jakarta, Indonesia. Hotel Jakarta offers 200 luxurious rooms with a Indonesian influenced style. All the materials used to build, are recyclable and even the staff will wear sustainably made company clothing, designed by fashion label By Rockland | HACKED by. There are panoramic views over the Amsterdam IJ and most rooms have a balcony. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served at Café Jakarta and you will be able to get your drinks at Malabar. Besides this, there will be a wellness and swimming pool! In collaboration with Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus, there will be an indoor garden with plants and trees from Asia. www.hoteljakarta.amsterdam

Hotel Jakarta, sustainable hotels in Amsterdam
Relaxing in the spa

Boot&Co
Houthavens

Another hotel that is being build right now is Boot&Co. The hotel is expected to be finished in 2019 and we can’t wait! Boot&Co is designed for the traveler that wants to feel at home, and perhaps would like to extent his days. Instead of the usual hotel room, this place will be equipped with 84 hotel apartments to give you the feeling of being at home. So what makes it sustainable? First of all, the hotel will be located in a fully climate neutral neighbourhood. Secondly, they will try to save and re-use water, isolation will be of the highest standard and Boot&Co will get it’s heating from factories around the area. They will of course work with PV panels and you can even charge your electrical car in the car park. 

With a EPC of 0,041 and a BREEAM ambition for Excellent, Boot&Co will be extremely sustainable


Boot&Co, sustainable hotels in Amsterdam
The building will have the look of a school (source)

We’re happy that these 3 hotels are setting the bar for the “green” travel industry. Hopefully there will be more to follow.

Love,

Wander-Lust

Brides-Les-Bains » Wellness and Ski

Wellness combined with an active lifestyle. That’s how I can describe Brides-Les-Bains, a town in the middle of the French Alps. I was invited to explore the area so you can make the decision whether this town is the best option for you.

While Méribel is more high end and can be quite expensive, Brides-Les-Bains is more affordable

Brides-Les-Bains is the first town you will find when you visit the Three Valleys ski domain and consists of several towns; Courchevel, Val Thorens, Méribel, Les Menuires, Saint-Martin-de Belleville, La Tania, Orelle and Brides-Les-Bains. While Méribel is more high end and can be quite expensive, Brides-Les-Bains is more affordable and also very suitable for families and couples. The town’s name was named after the many thermal baths in the area, hence the name “Les Bains”. Back in the day, the town was mainly used by people that wanted to get their bodies back into shape but the Olympic Games back in 1992, gave Brides-Les-Bains a big boost and people from all over the world started to show interest in both wellness and skiing.

Brides Les Bains, France
Stunning views in the Valley

How to get there
Always a good way to start an article because if you can’t find it..;-) Brides-Les-Bains is about a 2 hour drive from Genève airport, which is only a 1 hour flight from Amsterdam. I prefer flying to a skiing destination because it saves you so much time! (I remember the days when I sat in the car for 13 hours, feeling pretty exhausted and having no energy left to go skiing the next morning). Flights cost around 180 euro’s return and if you book early, you might get a better deal!

Accommodation
Staying in Brides-Les-Bains is for those who are clever enough to spend less money but still enjoy the same slopes and activities as the people that like to stay closer to the mountain top. The “Olympe” cable car will take you right on top of the mountain and makes 2 stops which takes around 20 minutes in total. If you want to stay in Brides-Les-Bains, you have many options but one of the nicest hotels in town is the Mercure Grand Hotel Les Thermes. Why? Well, it has a spa for one (including a sauna and steam room!) and offers spa treatments such as facials and massages. There is a large restaurant that offers typical French food with a healthy twist, and the rooms are spacious and clean. Oh, and the bed sleeps magnificent! (I know because I slept like a baby) A double room will cost around 150 euro’s but if you book well in advance you..well, you catch my drift.

Relaxing the the spa


Lunch on the piste is healthy and nutritious! 

To Do’s
Ok, there will be skiing involved, (I promise you), but hear me out. Brides-Les-Bains actually has a lot more to offer than meets the eye. I tried a couple of different activities and I really loved them all. Whether it’s winter, or summertime, the area is a healthy destination 365 days a year. Let’s take a look:

» Skiing & Snowboarding. During the winter you can discover about 600 km of slopes. Insane! It’s suitable for beginners or pro’s and you can even take the chairlift to ski in Val Thorens.
» Après Ski. La Folie Douce is the place to be if you’re looking for a great party on the pistes. With a panoramic view of the mountains, you can have a lavish lunch here (expect high end prices), and enjoy a show of dance, singing and fireworks. People end up dancing on the tables and champagne is flowing in the VIP. Don’t forget that you still need to make it down in one piece! 😉

Brides Les Bains

» Biathlon. You know the winter Olympics, where they cross-country ski in between the trees and then take out a big gun and manage to shoot at a tiny bullseye? Well, I did just that, minus the 20km cross country skiing. Laying down on the snow, I hit all the targets, but standing up was soooo difficult. Imagine doing that after an intensive ski course. I really gained respect for this sport, that was originally used as a military exercise!
» Snowshoeing. Yep, this is an activity that might seem a bit dull at first, but it’s basically hiking through the snow and enjoying some of the best views in the valley! I personally love that kind of stuff because we walked through the trees and discovered an igloo, animal tracks and a restaurant where they served freshly made gluhwein!

Biathlon shooting

Gluhwein
The perfect stop after some snowshoeing

»Paragliding, for the daredevils, this is a wonderful activity. For me? Not so much.
» Helicopter Rides. There is a tiny airport at Méribel that is mainly used for hobbyist that own their own (small) planes but you can also book helicopter rides, with magnificent views over the valley.

Heli ride in maribel
Trying to look cool next to the Helicopter


Snowshoeing. Photo by Chris Konig

During the summer you can go hiking or mountain biking and most travelers come here to combine their active lifestyle with a chance to completely relax in the thermal baths.

Wellness
This topic needs a separate section because Brides-Les-Bains is really known for its spa life. Most decent hotels will have one and if they don’t you MUST visit the thermal baths just around the corner. It’s used all year round and the town is especially welcoming to those trying to lose a few pounds. Thermal baths are known for helping people with their weight loss because of the warm and cold water which helps circulate the blood. Weight loss treatments are actually covered by the French health insurance and doctors send overweight people to the spa’s in Brides-Les-Bains to get them back into a healthy shape. Most hotels within the area also offer low fat meals such as the Mercure Grand Hotel Les Thermes.

To find out more about Brides-Les-Bains, visit their website
For more info about the French Alpes check here.
 
Love,
 
Elke

12 x Jobs that will take you around the World

If you love to travel, you’re probably keen to find a job that will take you around the world. You’ll be surprised how many jobs are out there, that may just be the perfect fit for you, and your travel ambitions. We’ve lined up 12 cool jobs that will feed your wanderlust.

Flight Attendant
No surprise here right? This job literally takes you around the world. Sometimes you will fly to 6 different countries in one month! Do you want to know about the misconceptions of a flight attendant, check out this article where our guest editor Amber explains what it’s like!


Guest editor Amber is a flight attendant

PR/Marketing manager for an International brand
Sarah can tell you all about it. She works for a large fashion brand and flies around the world for PR events and meetings. If you work for an international company or brand, you are likely to fly to the head or sister office, once or twice a year. I used to work for a company that had offices in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, London and Sao Paolo. I saw a new destination every 2-3 months. Even though you are there to do your job, you always have some time to explore.

Au-Pair / Nanny 
It’s the perfect way to start a new life abroad because Au-Pairs live at someones house, plus you earn money and get to know the language. I did it when I was seventeen and started my nanny adventure in London. I ended up staying for seven years (!), and even though I quit my job as an Au-Pair, I learned a great deal and was ready to take on the world. Tip: Make sure you earn to the minimum standard. I got paid 50 pounds per week while most Au-pairs got 80 or 100 pounds. I didn’t know any better so check your resourches before making the decision.

Cruiseline Worker
If you can sing, dance, entertain, serve drinks or clean, you are perfect for a cruise liner! It’s a great job right after your studies and it can pay quite well. You stop at some of the most amazing destinations like the Caribbean or Miami. Downside is that you won’t see your family for while and you might get bored with the ship after a few months. Still though, it’s a great option to see the world!


Cruise your way around the world

Tour Guide
Are you good in telling stories? Well, this might be the job for you! Bus tours, bicycle tours, hiking tours, boat tours, and the list can go on and on. Work for a company or start your own tour guide business! We met a great Dutch guy in Prague who set up his own bicycle tour guide company, which we booked a tour with.

Teacher
Preferably an English teacher. But teachers are wanted. Period. In Hawaii, they were so short on teachers, that they were offering housing and free flights! 

Snowboard / Ski Instructor
My boyfriend is a great example. After his studies he learned how to snowboard and left for Austria where he did taught people how to board off the snowy mountains. Once you finish the intensive instructor course, you can teach anywhere in the world as long as there is snow. Tip: know your languages! English, German and French are a big plus!


Jobs that will take you around the world? Snowboarding!

Who wouldn’t want to live in a tropical climate?

Diving Instructior
Australia, Thailand, The Bahamas, they all need diving instructors! Get you pady lisence and teach tourist and travelers how to dive. You can move from place to place but many instructors stay in the same place for a few months. I can’t blame them, who wouldn’t want to live in a tropical climate with sunshine and beautiful marina!

Aid Worker (international)
Do something great for the world and start to work for a good cause. Downside is that you won’t get paid a lot of money. Sometimes is even completely voluntary. However, you get a place to stay, food & drinks, plus you are part of something amazing.

This job takes me around the world, and I get paid to do it!

Truck Driver
This may not seem like the job you had in mind, but if you can drive trucks or you like driving in general, this job is for grabs. No need to speak a certain language fluently, no need for a bachelor degree. Just great driving skills!

Photographer
Now, this one is a little more difficult because there are so many good photographers out there. If you really want to start earning money with it, you need the skills, the contact and some luck. Start to work for local newspapers and work your way up to the travel magazines. Sent your best pictures to worldwide competitions and make a name for yourself. Nature and culture photographers travel the world and see the most unique places.

Travel Writer/Journalist
That’s me! I never had the ambition to become a travel writer but it happened and boy, did I made a good choice. This job takes me around the world, and I get paid to do it! It’s hard work but after a little investment in time, you can do it too! To find out how I did it, check www.wander-lust.nl/how-i-became-a-full-time-travel-blogger/


My job takes me around the world

Do you have a job that takes you around the world? Tell us!

Love,

Elke

More travel tips here!

 

 

 

According to Google, these Destinations will be hot in 2018

Good old Google. They know everything about us, well almost. They monitor our behaviour, and know exactly what we clicked on, for how long and where they loose us. Whatever you may think of it, our behaviour can also predict the way we are traveling and will travel in the near future. Every year Google releases a Year In Search data report and when it comes to travel related searches, you can see which destinations are growing popularity.

While this year, destinations like Morocco, Iceland, and Bali took the lead, we have some new contenders for 2018!

1. Taiwan
Why the hell not actually! Taiwan hasn’t really come to mind immediately but thinking about it, this destination is totally stunning. The small island on the South East coast of China has national parks, cute teahouses and skyscrapers. Perfect for a couple of days exploring. Will this be the new Hong Kong for 2018?

2. Barcelona
Still one of the best cities in the world (we always go back there once a year!). There is a beach, the food is seriously addictive and it’s always warm. Even though there was a terrorist attack, it doesn’t stop people from going here. Next year, it will be populair once again.


One of Europe’s most popular city

3. Hawaï
More and more people are looking for paradise and Europeans are looking into Hawaï like crazy. We don’t blame them. Tropical forests, wonderful people and stunning beaches and reason enough to book your ticket.

4. Las Vegas
Vegas Baby! Maybe it’s hard to believe but people are actually looking to explore a little outside Las Vegas too. Did you know that there are some of the most amazing canyon’s out there? You can combine a few days of craziness with a couple of days roadtrippin’ and hiking.


Dreaming of Hawaii? Photo by @travelinhershoes

5. Hong Kong
People go here for the nightlife, food and impressive culture. Sarah is visiting Hong Kong this January and I have been there a few years back. 

6. Oman
We’ve seen Morocco, we’ve seen Dubai. People are ready for another beauty and next year it might be Oman.

7. Maldives
For all the couples out there, this is heaven. The economy is growing again (at least in some countries), and people want to treat themselves. The Maldives is the perfect place to do that.

8. South Korea
In early 2018, the Winter Olympics will be held here. Tourism will pick up and it’s no wonder that Google has tracked these numbers. But besides that, South Korea is diverse and the airport is close to town. The food is super innovative and goes from high end to briljant street food.


The food in South Korea is something special

9. Myrtle Beach
Sat whaat? This is a coastal town in South Carolina and popular with families. Why? Along its beachfront boardwalk are arcades, souvenir stands and restaurants and an amusement park by the sea that includes the larges ferris wheel of the country. This search was extremely popular for the States.

10. Hamburg
We’ve heard it many times last year; Hamburg is the new Berlin. With the new Elbphilharmonie building, this harbour city made a comeback and is here to stay in 2018.


Industrial and cool, hamburg will gain popularity in 2018

Destinations we think are going to be hot in 2018?
Well, a little bit different than what Google says but here’s what we think:

1. Mexico
This is because we’ve seen soooo many influencers going there the past year. They have planted the seed and have inspired many around the world to go here.

2. Malta
This tiny little island is located at the end of Italy’s boot and is perfect for a quick getaway. Mind you, Malta doesn’t have a lot of beaches but it certainly has a lot of culture to make up for it. To read more about Malta, check out this quick guide.

3. The Nusa’s
Our guest editor said it; she cheated on Bali with the Nusa’s and we think you are going to do the same. Get away from the tourist overload on Bali and check out these pretty islands. For pictures and tips check her article.


Cheating on Bali with the Nusa’s?

4. Georgia
We haven’t been but heard so many great stories about this hidden gem. It’s the kind of destination where you say; “wow, I didn’t realize it was this beautiful!” Mark our words.

5. Hawaï
Yes, we agree with this one! Like Google, we think this destination will be explored more than previous years.

So where are you heading in 2018?

Love,

Elke

The Antwerp City Guide by Wander-Lust

If you live in the Netherlands, Antwerp is the perfect place to escape to for a city break, especially during the wintertime! We’ve been there many times and checked out some of the best spots for you to enjoy food, drinks and more. Here’s our Antwerp City Guide!

How to get there
Well, you have 2 options and they are both as easy. You can take the train or you can go by car. Both options take around the same time (2 hours) but we prefer the train because you can chill, look out of the window and you will arrive at one of the most beautiful and impressive trains stations in Europe. A  return train ticket from Amsterdam to Antwerp will cost around 30 -40 euro. If you go by car, you might arrive earlier but if you are unlucky, you will get caught in slow traffic and your trip might take up to 3 hours plus you will have to pay for parking.

“This Antwerp City Guide is for wanderers who love food, shops and exploring”

Antwerp City Guide

Where To Eat?
The most important question of course! Well, in Antwerp you won’t be short of food choices. Especially lunch! There are so many hotspots around that we can’t mention them all, but these are our favorites!
» Tinsel, some say that you can get the best breakfast in town here. Tinsel is located near the water where you will find tons of other restaurants. www.tinsel.be
» Native Bio Bistro, This hidden pearl is by far our favorite lunch spot in Antwerp. This bistro serves fresh, original, and good quality food. It’s organic, locally produced with sustainable ingredients, this is Native! Vegan and organic food lovers will love this place! During the summer they open a very nice terrace. www.native.bio
» Bubble Waffle, located in the Mercado foodcourt, this tasty waffle stand awesome! Go here if you feel like something sweet. www.bubblewaffle.be
» Divers, a smoothie-bowl bar for your healthy cravings. Great for some Instagram worthy pics, if that’s what your after. They are located in the Volkstraat 9.
»De Broers van Julienne, when we need to grab a quick and healthy bite, we go here. In a side street of the Kammenstraat – with lots of boutiques – you will find this small cute little restaurant. You can take away the best quiches, soups,  salads and other warm healthy dishes. Besides that, they sell oil, wine, coffee, juices and other delicatessen. They  also offer catering and cook workshops.
» Raw Salad Company, unfortunately they’ve closed their doors in Antwerp but they promised to be back soon with a new location. The name gives it away. Raw salads galore. The salads are extremely tasty and fill you up enough to get on with your day. They also sell juices, wraps, cakes and other healthy snacks. We will keep you updated if they open a shop.
» Umami
, fine dining Japanese style. They restyled not long ago and you can eat amazing Dim Sum here. www.umami-antwerp.be

» Il Famosi, this is by far the best Italian restaurant in Antwerp. Go here for a romantic dinner and if you want more than just pizza.

food-antwerp
From left till right: Raw, Umamian and Il Famosi

Antwerp City Guide where-to-eat-in-antwerp
Bubble Waffle from Mecado (source) and Divers (photo’s by David Plas)

Where To Drink Coffee?
» Mirlo’s, the coffee is great and the location is cute. They also serve breakfast and lunch and it’s all homemade. www.mirlos.be
» Buchbar, surrounded by literature and stories, this coffee bar is different than others. Owned by actress Kim Hertogs, you can feel the passion for books, women empowerment and people. Find more info about this special spot on their website.
» Butchers Coffee, located in a former butcher, this trendy coffee bar takes the coffee business serious and are planning to create their own coffee blend. If the sun is out, you can sit outside on the benches. You can find it on the Kasteelstraat 57.
» Caffenation, self blended coffee and probably the oldest one in Belgium as they started more than 13 years ago. Besides the coffee it’s also a shop and a great place to hang out. www.caffenation.be
» Texas Coffee, for pink latte’s and coffee served in an ice-cream cone! 

Antwerp City Guide -mirlos
Coffee and brunch at Mirlo’s

texas-coffee-antwerp
Pink latte at Texas Coffee

Antwerp City Guide. The Buchbar
The Buchbar

Where to Shop & Stroll?
You have many options in Antwerp when it comes to shopping. No matter what type of person you are, there will be a shopping district that will suit your needs. We have selected 3 area’s that we love.
» Kammenstraat & Kloosterstraat, these 2 streets in South Antwerp offer vintage, exclusive boutiques, living and alternative shops. While most shops are closed on Sunday, the kloosterstraat is one of the only streets open from around 12pm.
» Het Eilandje, this is especially great during summer because you can find a lot of outside patio’s here. Worth mentioning is the MAS Museum where they have many exhibitions on display. The museum is set next to the little harbor and owns a large rooftop which has free entrance.
» De Volkstraat, go here for boutiques, concept stores, perfume and coffee.

» The Meir, this is Antwerp’s highstreet. Although it’s not our favorite place to shop, we need to mention it because here you will find all the shops you need. From Zara, Mango, Levi’s, it’s all here. The street is beautiful but always busy. Watch your purse and don’t stay too long!

MAS Antwerp
The MAS Museum at “Het Eilandje”. Source

Where To Sleep?
Somehow we always end up in the same hotels. Never change a winning team! These are our 3 favorite places to stay.

» Hotel Franq, is a new kid on the block and super cool! Just recently opened in October, the building used to be a bank and you can still find the big safe intact which is now being converted into a gym. When you enter the impressive foyer, you almost forget you set foot in a hotel. The rooms are stylish and have a large bathroom with rain showers. When it’s nice weather, you can sit outside in the garden overlooking an old victorian house. www.hotelfranq.com

hotel-franq
Hotel Franq

» Hotel Les Nuits, we love boutique hotels and this hotel is one of the cutest ones out there! All 21 rooms are designed a bit different but have the same style and feature impressive en-suites. They have recently changed their reception area and removed their suites rooms which is a shame because I really loved those but this way the hotel is more compact and fits better together. Breakfast is great and the location is great! Book a room here!

Antwerp City Guide. Elke in Hotel Les Nuits
Breakfast in bed at Hotel Les Nuits

» Banks, another great hotel at a very central location. It’s modern and a great place to meet people downstairs. Oh, and they also have a rooftop terrace so this is a great option during the summer. Then again, you will be out exploring Antwerp..;-) Book your stay here.

So are you planning your next tip to Antwerp yet? 😉 

Love,

Wander-Lust

More City Guides? ↓

Wanderlust Barcelona Guide

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