The Wanderlust of.. Travel Couple Sebatical!

This next travel couple first caught our eye a couple of months ago when they appeared on our Instagram timeline. Besides their incredible good looks (yes, they both work as models), they took some time off to chase the adventure of a lifetime. Their amazing content and positive spirit, is something we love to share with you, so we asked them for an interview. This is the Wanderlust of.. Travel Couple SebBatical!

Tell our readers who you are and what do you guys do?
Hi Guys, we’re Sebastien and Marloes, together for 5 years, and currently on a sabbatical year around the world. We have been traveling for 11 months now and are already down to the last one. Furthermore, we are insane coffee lovers! Having coffee together somewhere beautiful is the best moment every day. Luckily, we’re in Australia now; coffee heaven. Oh, and we are incredibly fond of the ocean! We’re both kite-surfers, so that’s no big surprise. During this trip, we came to realise that the ocean makes us feel at home and we like to stay close to it. We are big road trip fanatics!!Our favorite way to explore the world would be by campervan.  We’re both very sporty and just love being outdoors.

Sebatical

We’re not typical backpackers; although we travel on a budget, we do like some comfort every now and then.

Where have you been so far, and what has been your favorite destination on this trip?
We started our trip in South East Asia where we traveled for two months. Just before our departure to Asia we were really exhausted. The final weeks felt like madness, filled with work obligations and last minute travel preps. We had been looking forward to our departure for as long as we had been planning the trip (2,5 years), but we just couldn’t get into the travel mode, not when we arrived in Kuala Lumpur and later on the Krabi coast of Thailand. We totally lost our balance there. While we were in need of some peace and quietness we went into tourist mode and rushed our way through the first couple of weeks. Funny how that happens to more people! We spend 6 weeks in Indonesia, visited Lombok and Bali, and finally calmed down a bit. Our favorite spot were definitely the Nusa Islands, next to Bali. Most travellers only spend a day or two here, but we stayed on Nusa Penida for three weeks! People say it is the Bali of 20 years ago. To us it was perfect: little tourists, away from the crowd, unpaved roads, untamed nature, super friendly and welcoming locals, Balinese culture to the max.


The Devils Tears, Bali

Sebatical

After two months in Asia we flew to our second destination: Cape Town – South Africa. Our happy place! We had been longing to go back there ever since we got there for the first time five years ago. Number 1 on our bucket list ever since: living in Cape Town for a while. That’s why we stayed for five months, and combined it with modeling jobs. We fell in love with the place all over again; the people, the nature, the climate, table mountain, the surfer lifestyle, the great kitesurfing wind, the ocean.. the food and wine!! After those months we made a huge life changing decision: we were going to extend our sabbatical year. Marloes quit her job in the Netherlands, meaning that we would both go freelance.

NZ Sebatical

From Capetown we flew to Melbourne, which was the last flight that we pre-booked in our ‘around the world ticket’. We arrived in Australia totally unprepared for the next couple of months, which led to some bumps on the road but also great adventure: the ultimate feeling of freedom. We flew to the South Island of New Zealand a few days later where we did a road trip for two months. Such an amazing country with beautiful nature. Untouched, pure, and very photogenic surroundings. Not much later we flew back to Melbourne, caught a flight to Cairns a week later and picked up our campervan. Now, we’ve been driving down the east coast for a month already. We want to stay longer at every place we pass by, and are already making plans to return to Australia in the future.

Marloes, you recently quit your job completely to continue traveling with Sebastien. What advice do you have for people that aren’t sure about taking the leap and doing the same?
Well, I still have to get used to the ‘recently completely quit your job to continue traveling’, part;) In my opinion, most people make it seem easier then it actually is. It’s nice to meet travelers who made the same choice, because although everybody has different backgrounds, they all have an interesting story to tell. I found out that the difficulty of it depends mostly on your mindset. To give you an example: I’m one of those who can make it very hard on myself. I have a tendency to overthink and see bumps on the road. It led me through lots of bumps and in the end to a state in which I just wasn’t afraid to fail anymore. This made me feel much more at ease. I changed my mindset and started looking for opportunities instead of failures. 

Marloes

I also changed my situation by taking a sabbatical year from work. Although my mind told me that I was far from ready for such a big adventure, I went anyway. That’s when things started coming my way. The successes I experienced during this year were a big motivator to keep going. They gave me courage to quit my job completely. And really guys, new doors will open when you take the leap. Don’t look back, commit to your choice. It probably sounds very cliché but it’s so true: what you believe, you attract. So believe in the road, embrace the uncertainty and trust on the magic of new beginnings. Things will come your way for sure. Oh, and in case you think that I got this all under control now, I have not. Still learning 😉

We need good vibes and natural beauty around us, something we’ve learnt during this year of traveling.

Sebatical couple

Have you guys always been so adventurous or did you start seeking more adventure when you two got together?
That’s a good one! Marloes; I’ve always had the dream to travel the world, but started working full time instead and never dared to really do it. Sebastien did the opposite, he had been traveling and working as a kitesurf instructor ever since he finished his studies. He even planned to emigrate to Australia before we started dating. After being apart for a few months, he changed his mind and decided to stay in the Netherlands for a little longer. We learnt a lot from each other since then: Sebastien learnt to commit and I learnt to let go. The adventure lust has always been there, we just implemented it differently. When combining it, the outcome is pretty amazing though:) Because besides the big worldtrip adventure that we started planning years ago, we like to put little adventures in every day. We don’t mind driving all the way to the coast for a quick sunset kitesurf session, or to wake up early on a busy day to have coffee together. We make sure to always have something to look forward to! Weekends are for road trips and small getaways, sunny days are for the beach and those moments in between are for coffee and adventure planning.

Start putting money aside, you can fill in all the details later

Something all of us are curious about, how do you guys fund your travels?
We get that question a lot! Well, we definitely don’t travel for free. We’ve been doing a lot of collaborations lately, we take photos and edit videos in return for a complimentary stay or tour. A great way to fund some extras. But regarding our world trip, we saved up money like normal human beings;) We had been planning this trip for 2,5 years before departure. One day we decided to take this dream to the next level and made a plan. We opened a saving account and started putting money aside monthly. The amount was based on how much we could miss and how much we would need for a whole year of traveling. We found tons of information on the web that made those calculations a lot easier. That information let to a to do list that was spread over the next 2,5 years. The list included monthly goals, like narrowing down the bucket list and brainstorming about our jobs and appartement. We also set a date: august 2017. We didn’t really get into details until months before departure. In the meantime we watched our savings grow and bought our around the world ticket. That was just amazing. The account was ‘holy’ to us, so we couldn’t mess with our world trip money even though it would mean that we had to watch our expenses. The best advice we can give to people who would like to do the same: just start!! 

Jumping

Traveling with a partner can be the best thing ever, but we can imagine that there are some off days? How do you cope with that?
It really is the best thing ever!! Looking back at this year, we’ve grown so much!! Individually and as a couple. Off course there are tons of struggles, but those moments are 100 percent worth it because you will come out so much better. When you both are lucky enough to find yourself while traveling, you will find each other after that. And as a bonus, you get to create some incredible memories together, memories that you won’t be able to share with anyone else. Saying all this doesn’t mean that we are perfectly happy all the time. The biggest challenge are indeed those off days, when being exhausted from moving around, feeling sick, dirty or just having an off day for no reason. It takes a lot of energy to like each other all the time, so hating each other is definitely part of the journey;) For us, a lot comes down to communication. No matter where you are in the world or what you’re doing, there is always a way to implement some alone-time in your travel life.


5 years and going strong..

You recently teamed up with Kilroy Travel (that’s how we found you!), are you planning to do more collaborations like that?
We absolutely love to work with Kilroy as they are travel enthusiasts themselves and know what they are talking about. We chose to book our around-the-world-ticket with Kilroy as it perfectly fitted our needs: providing the comfort of planning ahead, leaving enough flexibility for spontaneous adventures. With just a phone call away, they helped us out with some very stressful situations that we got ourselves into. As for the collaboration, we took over their Instagram twice now. We showed their followers what a road trip through New Zealand and Australia can be like. We got lots of interaction and exposure out of it. Last week they arranged a 5 day Fraser Island tour for us. We took pictures, shot a little video and had such a good time. We are doing more collabs lately and are planning to do more in the future. The ultimate dream of course would be to make a living out of photo- and videography. To be able to work from anywhere in the world, with just a laptop, camera and – kitesurf gear. Goals!!

We can tell you are pretty good with a camera and drone equipment, what’s the story there?
Sebastien; photography always had my interest. Once you are hooked you start seeing beautiful shots everywhere. Having a feeling for both sides of the camera helped me a lot during modeling jobs. A few months before departing on our trip, I jumped. I quit my job, sold my old gear and bought some new including a drone. Having a drone with you while traveling really is a big plus! There is a lot to consider though, as you need to check the local rules and regulations everywhere you go. You need full control of the drone, in every situation, so practice is a must! I hope to turn this passion for photo and videography into a paid hobby one day.

And finally, where are you two heading next and what is the plan? (if you have one)
Haha, we are happy to tell you that we have a plan indeed. At least for the next couple of months. We’re flying back home to the Netherlands halfway July, to see our friends and family again and to get our work going as well. Save up, and head back to Cape Town during winter for another modeling season. We would love to start a little business together, so we will be getting more into that while being on the road. After Cape Town.. not sure yet. We stil have a bucket list full of travel adventures and destinations. So, when everything turns out the way we believe it will, we definitely won’t get bored. As we said before, believe in the road.

Follow Marloes and Sebastien on Instagram @Seb_Batical or visit their YouTube Channel.

Love,

Wander-Lust

 

 

Shop all your favorite (travel) bags here!

We all know, that any traveler is in need of a travel bag, suitcases or just something pretty to walk around with and put all your stuff in. There are plenty of options and brands, but wouldn’t it be great if you could find everything into one place?

Duifhuizen Tassen & Koffers is a store and webshop from The Netherlands where you can find the best brands when it comes to bags and suitcases. The company was founded back in 1953 and has 26 locations around the country. Not having experienced the online platform before, it was time to purchase our first “online” suitcase.

Duifhuizentassen en koffers
Whatever your pick.. Duifhuizen has it!

We love the pastel colours and 50’s retro feel of SUITSUIT, and because Sarah was traveling to Coachella, we decided to purchase one of their suitcases. Mind you, there is plenty of choice, so don’t limit yourself! From Fjälraven, Eastpak and The North Face, to Samsonite or Delsey. They have it all! Ordering was easy peasy, and there were no shipping costs involved. Sarah’s suitcase was delivered the next day, which was awesome because it was a last minute thing. (Last-Minute-Girl is Sarah’s nickname). They can even deliver your purchase in the evening slot for free! Want to send it as a gift? Wrapping it, is also free. Ok! This saves you a lot of hassle, let me tell you.

SuitSuit by Duifhuizen tassen en koffers
Sarah in LA with her SUITSUIT suitcase

Not traveling and still in need of a quirky handbag of some sort? What about this must have festival pouch! The good thing about buying your travel essentials here, is because you know the quality is solid and you always have a great return policy. Shopping online for travel bags has never been so easy!


The musthave for this festival season! (source: Duifhuizen)

We’re curious if you have ever shopped online for your travel purchases, what was your experience?

Happy travels!

Elke

Duifhuizen Koffers & Tassen
Website / Facebook

*This article was written in collaboration with Duifhuizen. We only collaborate with brands and organisations that we believe in and offer a good product, so we can tip it to you, our readers in an honest way.

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

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

Travel Without Having a Care in the World

Is it possible? Traveling without having a care in the world? I mean, there is so much you need to think of when you’re on the go. We do know, you can make things a little easier if you plan a little bit ahead. Here are some useful tips:

  • Get the right (travel) insurance
    We’ve added this one above all the other tips because once you have this sorted, you know you are covered. You’ll be surprised how many people forget to get the right insurance.
  • Create a realistic travel plan
    Even if you don’t like planning, it really helps if you have some sort of travel plan set up in your head. This way you get set your limits.
  • Bring a credit card and extra debit card
    A credit card is great for discounts and rewards on flights and hotels. With every purchase, you earn points and these can run up quite fast! An extra debit card is just a plan B, for if you lose the first one.

  • Be flexibel
    Things will not always go the way you have planned it. You boat might be canceled due to stormy weather or your favorite hostel/hotel might fully booked. It will happen. Having a flexible approach will help you get through it.

Traveling without having a care in the world
Just sit down and..relax

  • Pack light and smart
    Save you the backache. Seriously, ladies leave your heals at home if you are planning to travel around. Just buy them on the spot.

  • Be openminded
    If you are traveling to different countries, you’re going to see different cultures, taste different food, meet new people and see things you have never seen before. This can be overwhelming sometimes, so an open mind helps to take it all in.
  • Be smart with your spendings
    Never go traveling with an empty bank account. Keep an eye out on the latest travel deals like flights and hotels. Do you want to know the best money saving tips while you travel? Check this article.
  • Leave something behind
    Leave your next of kin (parents, friend) a document with important information such as your first accommodation details.

But most important is, to just go with the flow and always trust your instinct. If you do this, everything will be just fine.

Happy travels,

Wander-Lust

*This article was written in collaboration with HEMA. For more Insurance with HEMA check here. We choose our collaborations honest and carefully. We always aim to give our readers the best possible tips, experiences and reviews. 

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

Are you a true world traveler?

You may have crossed oceans, seen the desert, rainforest and the inside of every hostel in Australia, but can you call yourself a true world traveler? Women.com have put together a fun test where you need to pick the right country by checking just one single image with a choice of three options. Do you think you can score a 100{8b669be72a7f340f9ef2d6d852585cd40ddf0e79ccf763f3ea93c1234c3d888b}, we did! (okok, one image was wrong, but that was a difficult one!)

Only a world traveler can name every single country by only one image..

Do the test here!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Looking for travel tips? Find all our tips here!