Where to stay during Amsterdam Dance Event

Amsterdam is famous for a lot of things but when it comes to dance music, it’s ADE. Amsterdam Dance Event. More than 300.000 people visited Amsterdam last October to dance their butts of to the biggest names in the dance and techno scene. A large amount of  people need a place to stay so the hotel and Airbnb business is booming during this time. So where to stay? Well, these are some contenders that might come in handy during the best nights of your life;

The Student Hotel (East & West)
Young professionals, globetrotters and students love staying at this hotel. Prices are very reasonable and they now have 2 locations in Amsterdam. Enjoy events, meet ups, and work dates. If you want to stay a bit longer, there is a community kitchen available and you can get a bicycle to explore the city. Double rooms are around €100 per night. www.thestudenthotel.com

City Hub Amsterdam (West)
This is a great self service accommodation if you’re out all night and busy exploring Amsterdam all day. Instead of dorms or hotel rooms, you sleep in a private cabin. These fit up to 2 people. Each Hub has a giant, double bed, wifi, app-controlled lighting and a personal audio streaming system. Pretty cool. There are a total of 50 cabins and you share the toilets and showers. expect to pay a little more around Amsterdam Dance Event but rooms normally go for about 60 euro per night. www.cityhub.com

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The cubicles of City Hub

Conscious Hotels (Vondelpark)
Right behind the Vondelpark and access to the lunch/dinner district of Amsterdam’s De Overtoom, you have a perfect location with trams stopping near the hotel. This hotel is extra special because they are one of the most sustainable hotels in Amsterdam. Enjoy a organic breakfast to get you back on your feet after a wild night. Rooms go for €130 per night at the moment. www.conscioushotels.com

Generator Hostel (East)
I’ve actually stayed in this brand new poshtel when it first opened. I really loved it because although it’s a hostel, you feel really at easy and it doesn’t get any cleaner and hip than at Generator. Each room features air conditioning, bed linen and a private bathroom with shower. You can share rooms or choose a premium room for 2. The hostel is situated right next to the Oosterpark and you will be in vibrant area “De Pijp” in no time. Prices do go up during Amsterdam Dance Event so get your friends together and start sharing! Gernerator/Amsterdam

Generator poshtel Amsterdam
Generator Hostel

Teleport Hotel (New West)
This hotel used to be an office and has been open since this summer. It’s used by party seekers all over the world as the Sloterdijk train Station is just around the corner and even though you’re not in the city center, it’s pretty easy to get to. They organize free tours through Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport is only 2 train stops away. They are planning an event in November where they invite several graffiti artist to pimp the rooms as they still look a bit boring due to the office look. www.teleporthotel.nl

Volkshotel (East)
Love, love, love this hotel. It’s a place where people come together and clever visual references to the building’s history as a newspaper office occur throughout (newsprint wallpaper, archive photographs of Amsterdam’s rebellious counterculture). Double rooms could go for as little at €69,- and you’re in the city center before you know it. Book it here

Hotel Not Hotel (Old West)
If you’re looking for something special, you will find it here. The name already gives a slight hint because it’s a hotel, but not really.. The concept is pretty cool. No room is the same and they are designed by different artist. Some rooms are hidden behind bookshelves, others look like a Mexican house or you can sleep in an old tram. Some rooms literally only have a bed in them but the beds and mattresses are luxurious and will have you sleep like a baby. The hotel is in west Amsterdam and parallel to the up and coming Kinkerstraat. Local Club “Het Sieraad” will host a few good parties during the Amsterdam Dance Event. There are only a few rooms so be quick if you want to be lucky. Hotel Not Hotel

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Not just a book shelve..

YAYS Apartments
If you wanna feel right at home, you should try YAYS. These are apartments with style and class in local area’s throughout Amsterdam. The people who work behind the front desk are always locals so they know exactly where you should go. You have many options of which you can choose from and all apartments have a kitchen and private bathrooms. There are 3 locations of which one is near the Central Station. Check it out! www.yays.com

Yays
Yays is great for getting the local experience

Take your pick and whichever hotel you choose, dance your butts off at Amsterdam Dance Event! ADE is held from the 19th – 23rd of October.
Use our discount code from Booking.com and get €25,- cash back after your stay! (Disclaimer: this is in collaboration with Booking.com)

Love,

Elke

Curious about the most sustainable hotels in Amsterdam? Click to read!

Sustainable hotels in Amsterdam

6 reasons why Madrid should be on your City Trip list

So you are looking for a weekend getaway, or maybe a sangria kinda holiday? You want to taste the tapas, enjoy culture, sunshine and wander around picturesque streets. Barcelona comes? Think again; Madrid has it all! I’m going to give you 6 reasons to choose Madrid (and if you don’t believe me, just visit both)

Food is everywhere
If you’re in the mood for Spanish food, Madrid, also known as tapas heaven, is the right destination to go to. Food is literally everywhere. Go on a stroll in the traditional Spanish neighbourhood ‘Santa Ana’ or the multicultural hipster hotspot Lavapiés.  On every corner you will find something to eat. If you really can’t choose I’ll help you out; Lateral in Santa Ana is one of my all-time favourites. Which has  created the perfect match between traditional recipes and modern creations.

Madrid

If you want to try a diversity of Spanish dishes, try Mercado San Miguel. Order a drink and choose on of the many appetizers they offer at the market, ranging from Spanish ham to ice-cream. 

Tip: Craving something sweet after a night of salsa dancing? You can find the best chorros at Chocolatería San Ginés,  open 24 hours a day!

You can rent a private yacht for €6,-
Alright, it’s not a yacht and you’ll have to do the rowing all by yourself, but sailing in the middle of Parque del Buen Retiro is something you can’t miss out on. It offers you an amazing view on the parc, provides peace in the middle of the vibrant city and a free rowing workout.

Madrid

You can shop 13 hours a day
Do I need to say more? And in case you’re not convinced: all stores have air-conditioning. That’s something you sure going to need in the summer of Madrid. So, where to go? You’ll find most of the big chain stores around the main square, Puerta del Sol and on Gran Via. Make sure you’re not in a hurry ‘cause most of the stores, especially on Gran Via, are huge. You can easily spend a whole day shopping just visiting 2 or 3 of those stores. A small walk further will lead you to the shopping street Calle Fuencarral, where small businesses and large retail stores alternate. Madrid is also a great city for vintage shopping. Go get lost in the pitoresque streets of the  neighbourhood Malasaña while searching for unique, second hand treasure. 

Tip: Tired of shopping and the buzz of the city? Take a ride on the Teleférico (cable car) in Casa de Campo and  view Madrid from high above. Enjoy the peace, the view and the greenery that Casa de Campo has to offer. Unless you’re afraid of heights of course…

Perfect starting point for day-trips

If you’re staying in Madrid for a little bit longer I strongly recommend to go on a day trip to one of the many beautiful surrounding Spanish villages. For example Toledo, a city with a rich history and culture. And therefore even won a spot on the World Heritage list of UNESCO. But also the cities Segovia and Salamanca are truly something you shouldn’t miss out on.

Dance every day (from salsa to techno)
Madrid is the best place when it comes to going out. From Monday to Sunday, the city never sleeps. The party starts at midnight and continues until sunrise. One of the largest disco’s of Madrid is Teatro Kapital. This dance paradise contains 7 floors, each floor has a different music genre; from salsa to house. If you’re not in the mood for a club, Madrid offers a wide variety of bars as well. Each neighbourhood brings you a different vibe. For example the bohemian Malasaña, where you will find the most bars per square meter in Madrid.

Tip: Did you know Madrid has a lively gay community? The district of Chueca is known as the gay district of Madrid, filled with modern cafes and gay bars.

Hola Madrid

Explore by foot
Madrid is huge and full of history. Therefor it can be quite challenging to choose where to go and what to visit. It’s easy getting around by metro, busses or Uber but Madrid is actually also a great city to explore by foot. Put on some comfy shoes and wander around or search for one of the many walking routes offered online. You probably not going to walk around the whole city but will manage to visit all the well known attractions if your hotel is in the main area.

I could go on for centuries with convincing you to visit Madrid. Cause whether you seeking for a party weekend, a romantic get-a-way or cultural adventure, Madrid has it all. Let yourself be carried away by the Spanish culture, getting los was never before a better idea.

Love,

Eva

*Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heels 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.

Need accommodation in Madrid? Use our booking.com code and get €25,- back on your booking!

How to see Rome in 2 days

This city has been on my European bucketlist forever. Somehow I never got the chance to visit Rome but when I planned my Greek Island hopping tour a few months back, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to fly via Rome. With only 2 days to discover this Italian capital, I needed to plan a little ahead to make the most of it. After all, 2 days may seem too short for a city with so many things to see but it can be done! How?

Here’s my guide on how to make the most of  your visit to Rome in 2 days:

1. Book yourself an Airbnb and stay in an area just outside the centre.
You’ll proberly stay in an authentic italian house with a local host. This way you get real inside tips and information.
I stayed at Mario’s Place which was located at Trastevere. Great walking distance to most must see attractions and next to the tram 8 which takes you to the centre in just a few minutes. Breakfast contains of fresh cakes and pastry’s and is including within the price. (Just make sure you get the directions right as Mario will send you a full and clear description at the time of your booking. I booked a few months ahead so I already forgot about them and ended up calling him a few times as I couldn’t find his front door.)

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My flowery Airbnb accommodation in Rome

2. Bring comfy shoes.
Rome is very accessible on foot and every area is near to eachother.  
But Rome wasn’t build in a day so expect to walk a few extra miles! I didn’t use the tram a lot so I walked an average of 7km(!) a day and in this case you might end up with blisters if you bring those: they-only-look-good-shoes.

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Caught in an exhausted “moment”

3. Pre-Buy your tickets 
Especially for the main attractions like the Colosseum.This way you can skip the que. During summertime it can be craaaazy busy!

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Both impressive: The Colosseum and the 2000 year old Pantheon.

4. Eat where the locals eat.
This is my biggest tip for all destinations. Don’t eat near the tourist attractions as the food will be overpriced and you won’t taste real authentic food. I had my first pizza at Mirrors pizzaria. Pizza’s cost 6 euro’s and were crunchy and delicious! I had a lovely dinner at Baylon Café where they serve homemade pasta with a twist. I was the only “tourist” in the restaurant (i see myself more as a traveller) and I enjoyed watching the beautiful people of Rome eating and drinking wine. Perfect night.


Enjoying the Italian cuisine at Baylon Cafe in Trastevere.

5. Save cash by using the free tab water.
Rome is hot, and in summer it’s boiling. Thank god for the free and very drinkable tap water that you will find throughout the city in little fountains. I filled about 4 bottles a day and I saved money at the same time!
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One of the many life savers in Rome!

6. Keep it real Italian
Go to a little bakery/delicatesse shop like Giselda Forno and taste the fine italian cuisine and even better, take it with you while you wander round. Sit in the shade and enjoy!
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Help, too many to choose from at Giselda Forno!

7. Check the Rome events calendar for special celebrations or nights.
When I was there, I enjoyed a special art cinema night by the river with music and films.
I found this great website here you can easily see what’s on and when.

8. Walk alongside the Tiber river at night
Have a cocktail at one of many cute bars alongside the water. Make deals with the temperamental market sales men and listen to the occasional karaoke.

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One of the many outdoor bars you will find on one side of the riverbanks

9. Visit one of Rome’s many markets.
From vegetables, herbs and fresh fruit to wine, kitchenware and art.
The most famous markets are Piazza Testaccio and Il Traittore. The less crowded but also great are San Teodoro – Circo Massimo and Ponte Milvio.

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Colorful vegetables and pasta’s at the Piazza Testaccio market.

10. Last but not least; if you can, do not visit Rome during summer.
Why not? Well, because it’s just so bloody hot! 
30 degrees is a high temperature if you have to walk around in Rome. It was a sticky experience sometimes and it’s not the dry heat you will find in Greece for example. Lucky for me, I like the heat (perhaps it’s because I have Indonesian blood?). If you must go during this period, then you should be aware of this and dress accordingly.

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They still exist! 
 
I hope you can use these tips for your next visit to Rome!

Ciao Ciao wanderlusties!

Love,

Elke

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