Where to stay in Pai, Thailand

Ok, so you’ve arrived into Pai. (If you want to know how, check this article about getting to Pai) After hours on a motorcycle or sitting in a van, it’s time to look for a bed to rest your head. Pai is not very big but there is lot’s of accommodation that you can choose from.

Sure it’s hostel galore here but there are also some pretty amazing luxury resorts around. Most resorts are a little further out of town but the the nice walk is worth it.

pai-city
The map of Pai city

Where I stayed

When I was traveling to Pai, I travelled alone so I was happy that I received a recommendation from a friend as I wouldn’t know where to start searching! I ended up staying at Jan’s GuesthouseIt’s a fairly simple budget hostel but the bungalows are equipped with a bathroom,tv and I had my own porch. It’s tucked away in a quiet side street so its perfect for relaxing but it’s also very close to the main district of Pai. (3 min walk)
You can sit in the nice garden where, if you are lucky, you can find the signal for free wifi. (whoopwhoop!) It will cost you about 250 bath per night which is about 7 euro’s. (I know right?!) Make sure that you are packing something warm, because Pai can get very cold at night. (I was freezing!)

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Panoramic view over the Pai river, where you can find many budget hostels

Other options in Pai

Walking around Pai, you come across many hostels and resorts. All top recommended resorts include Montis Resort, Phu Pai Art Resort and Pai Hotspring Resort and Spa. My favourite resort has to be the Oia Resort & Spa. I discovered this place when I was on a stroll towards the white Buddha. I simply walked in and ordered a glass of water and I just sat there for an hour staring at the beauty of this place.. Overlooking the mountains, the resort is fairly new and cost about 100 euro’s per night if you go for the room with the best view. It’s expensive if you’re a backpacker, but ey, you can always walk in and ask for a glass of water like I did 😉

Where to stay in Pai, Thailand
The amazing Oia resort in Pai

For best value for money accommodation, check these out:

» Baan Pai Riverside Sleep in cute bamboo huts on the Pai river bank where you are bound to relax. 600-800 bath.
» Rim Pai Cottage Great for couples! Clean, comfy rooms and breakfast is included from Oct. until Feb. Available from 400 bath.
» Darling view point resort Gorgeous views overlooking the river & mountains with a restaurant, swimming pool, and hot showers. 400-500 bath.
» Spicypai Backpackers This place is well known for the great atmosfeer rather than the comfy beds but nothing beats making new friends! 150 bath for a dorm.

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The infamous Spicypai Backpackers Hostel in Pai

So wherever you might stay when getting to Pai, it’s bound to be fun, relaxing and special. Let me know if you’re heading up there!

Looking for an island that looks like paradise? Check out our free Koh Lipe Guide 2020!

Love,

Elke

The USA Roadtrip | This is all you need to know

It’s probably everyones dream; a USA Road trip West Coast! In 2015 I finally made the dream a reality. I rented an RV and hit the road in what would become a 1600-mile journey from LA to San Francisco via Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Death Valley & High Way 1.

A few years ago, my roomie exchanged Amsterdam for LA and last year two other dear friends moved to the US. Together with my close friends we decided to visit and it became one of the best trips ever. Here you will find the preparations for the ultimate USA roadtrip.

Transport

Many people travel from San Francisco via High Way One to Los Angeles, but we did it the other way around by RV. The reason why we’ve chosen an RV is that your home goes with you, you can cook, you have transportation, no need to rent a car, no packing and unpacking every day. And more importantly, it was so much fun to do it with my dear friends that I’ve known for over 10 years..

Road trips are one of the best ways to really get to know a country!

USA roadtrip VA

The USA roadtrip checklist:

1. Check which period is the best to travel around
2. Check which period in the cheapest/most convenient for you
3. Write down which states you don’t want to miss
4. Set your route » From San Fran to LA or the other way around
5. Check which stops you want to visit in between
6. Check how to get from A-B
7. See how you would like to travel
8. Determine Motel – Hotel – RV
9. See if you need extra transport
10.Download Hotel Tonight AppHand-selected hotels at great prices on your mobile device. Rent unique accommodations from local hosts for great prices

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Our Route

Together with my two friends we flew from Amsterdam to Los Angeles. My lovely friend from Pittsburgh – that we didn’t see for a few months – traveled with us. We rented a car and stayed for two days where we did some great things together with my Dutch friend that lives in LA. After two lovely days, we picked up our RV – that we’ve booked online – and drove to Las Vegas. After 2 nights of gambling and partying we went via route66 & Death Valley to Salines & San Jose – High Way 1. From there we went up to San Francisco. We dropped off the RV in San Francisco and rented an apartment via Air BNB. After 4 unforgettable days we flew to Pittsburgh where we dropped off my friend and stayed for a few days. Ended our trip for 5 days in the best of the best; New York – where we visited my last Dutch friend.

What do you need?

» Car Rental in LA & San Francisco
» Tom Tom for the RV
» Camper Rental – Tip! Take the one of 6 persons and listen carefully to the instructions.
» Campsite availability »  www.recreation.gov
» (I phone) string for your play list
» USB cable for mobile phone > also acts as charger
» Apartment in LA, San Francisco, Pittsburgh & New York – Tip! Air BNB

The costs:

Budgeting goes hand-in-hand with planning, as the budget is probably the most important part of any road trip. Do plan to spend more than you budgeted. Hereby what I’ve spent: (keep in mind that we shared RV, Hotels etc with 4 persons)

» 1100 euro tickets
» 360 euro RV
» 300 euro Apartments
» 900 euro Food
» 300 euro Drinks
» 200 euro Car Rental
» 200 euro Other (festivals, places of interest)
Total cost: 3369 euro’s for 3 weeks

Can you do it for less? sure! You can always spent less, depending on how much you want to spend on food, drinks & shopping.

Love,

Sarah

Read all our articles about the USA!

This is how you score the cheapest flights!

We all want it; score the cheapest flights. Did you know that there are several tricks you can use in order to do so? Here are 6 tips on how you do it.

1. Identify the cheapest day to fly

Yes, flying on Saturday can be way more expensive than flying on a Monday for example. This also varies per destination, so do your research and you’ll save money on flights!

Are you looking for the most affordable countries to travel in?  

32% of individuals prefers to spend their money on travel

2. Frequent Flyer Miles

You may not even realize that you have saved aviator points on your flights. I fly with KLM a lot, so I tend to look for flights with them for far distance flights. Every time you fly, you save up points and you can use them to reduce cost or to upgrade yourself into business class. Also check which airlines your credit card company is connected to before you make your decision. If you live in The States, your airline preference will be a lot different than if you live in Europe. One rule always applies; the higher your ticket price, the more miles you save. 

hand infront of window seat plane

DISCOVER 8 TRAVEL TRENDS FOR 2020!

3. Do the Math

Sometimes is cheaper to buy 2 one-way tickets instead of one return. This is rarely the case, but it does happen sometimes. I did this for my trip to Australia once. I arrived in November and departed early February so I left just after the high season, which made it a better deal.

4. Consider a different airport

Amsterdam Schiphol isn’t the only airport in The Netherlands right? You have Rotterdam and Eindhoven, plus you can take a peek at the neighbours in Düsseldorf. A different airport can save you a lot of money. However, you need to travel there first, so check how much extra time and cash it will cost you, so that it’s worth the fuss.


You in a couple of months?

5. Set a fare alert

We understand you can’t be on your laptop forever trying to look for the cheapest flight. Therefore you can set a fare alert which will notify you when there is a good deal for your favourite destination. You get the alert right into your mailbox, super easy!

But now the biggest tip of them all:

6. Use a travel metasearch website

There are websites that researches all the above mentioned points so you don’t have to do the work. Our favourite website to do so is called momondo. Based on billions of data from searches at momondo, it tells you how to find the best flight tickets from Amsterdam to Europe and the rest of the world. It compares all the different airlines, so that you don’t have to. What is more:

1. Their flight forecast in flight search results tells you how many days in advance to book for specific destination, which day of the week is the cheapest to fly and what time of a day is your best bet.

2. In the end this will save you some cash to spend more on cocktails! 😉

3. They also offer hotels and car hire, always handy!

And best of all, using this website is completely free of charge. Their prices won’t go up because of the saved cookies on your desktop (that you see with different airline websites) so it’s always a Win-Win! Check here to find the cheapest flights on momondo.

Did you know that January, February, March are the best months to book your European summer holiday? What are you waiting for, get booking for the cheapest flights!

Love,

Elke

More travel tips?

8 x Travel Trends for 2020

What’s happening in the world of travel this coming year? A lot, if we believe the experts. They are predicting 8 travel trends for 2020 and we’ve lined them up for you. 

Are these travel trends for 2020 are here to stay? You decide!

1. Sustainable Travel

Needless to say, that the biggest travel trend of 2020 is sustainable travel. This is a big subject that can be divided into separate subjects like; fighting the plastic problem, flight shame, compensating and awareness. Millennials and Gen Z search for sustainability in their destination; looking for opportunities to use less plastic and to travel more sustainable by taking the train or sleep in eco hotels for example. Travel bloggers like @chelseakauai and environmental activist Greta Thunberg, raise awareness which inspires young travellers to think different. 

Chealsea Instagram

Tip: Find out how to actually compensate your CO2 emissions!

2. Space Travel

When it comes to traveling, we continue to push our boundaries and that includes space tourism. As a result, the travel industry and other companies will invest in tests with space travel on earth to make space travel possible. They meet the growing demand of consumers who want to take the big leap. 40% of travellers confirm that they think the prospect of space travel is fantastic, and would also consider this experience themselves (38%). Until space travel becomes reality, 60% of travellers opt for adventure below sea level. 

3. Under Tourism

It’s the opposite of Mass or Over-Tourism. People are more into discovering less visited places, where, consequently, you’ll find less tourists. Mass tourism is also taking it’s toll on nature, that resulted in popular beaches like Maya Bay being closed to the public. By finding alternatives, you’ll gain a more local experience and you have more unique tales to tell. Firstly, two-thirds of travellers (60%) value experiences more than equipment. That is why ‘Doing’ when traveling becomes just as important as ‘going’, and perhaps even more important. There is no less pressure on life, and therefore experiences can help to strive for a less stressful existence. Find out more than 150 less known places in the world in our new book Off the Beaten Track which is available from May 12th!

Off the beaten track by wander-lust

4. Travel to learn

For travellers, making meaningful trips is becoming increasingly important. More than half (56%) of travellers say that traveling has taught them new skills and insights. 68% of respondents want to participate in a cultural exchange and learn new skills, 54% indicate that they want to volunteer and 53% opt for international work placements. For instance, we can totally relate and traveled to Bolivia 3 years ago to report about women rights. It was incredible, tough and we learned so much.

5. As easy as possible

In 2020, convenience will become the standard when it comes to technological innovations in the field of travel. The innovations that, according to travellers, will strike the most, are those who offer practical solutions for traveling with artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and speech recognition. Think of opening your hotel room with your smartphone or a robotic concierge who speaks the language of the guests. Crazy? Well, 57% of travellers are interested in solutions such as an app for real-time baggage tracking or one app that has everything for planning and booking their trip. In addition, 31% are interested in the idea of ​​a ‘virtual travel agency’ in their living room, with for example virtual assistants with speech recognition who answer travel questions. 

travel trends 2019

In 2020, a lot is going to happen in the travel world

6. The more personal, the better

The generic travel guides are history and make way for shorter but personally relevant content. One third of travellers (34%) want “something” or someone to take the difficult work off their hands and provide them with travel recommendations: 41% would like companies in the travel industry to use technologies such as AI to provide travel suggestions based on on previous travel experiences. By the same token, personal is becoming increasingly important; individual recommendations are increasingly giving direction to each journey.

travel trends 2019
Be the travel trend

7. Awareness Travel

In 2020, the social, political and environmental problems of a possible travel destination will be examined before travellers actually book: 48% of travellers think that social problems in a travel destination are taken into account when deciding on a visit. In addition, travellers are increasingly looking for new and authentic adventures, and want to be sure that they can travel safely – regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. Platforms such as Destination Pride provide destinations with a score that allows travellers to see how LGBT + are friendly. 19% of travellers plan to visit a Pride festival in 2020, of which almost a third (30%) is between 18 and 34 years old.

8. Small is good

More than half of the travellers worldwide (53%) say they plan to make more weekend trips in 2020. These small trips are characterised by the fact that more activities are planned in shorter times. ‘Less is more’ is the motto, and consumers swear by custom on these trips. Think of weekend trips, city trips or road trips. This also results in more train travel, which is better for the environment of course.


Take a city trip to Budapest!

Happy traveling in the year 2020!

Wander-Lust

Best destinations for 2020

According to Travel & Leisure, these destinations are the place to be in the new year.

We’ve compiled the top 10 to let you know why these destinations are hot and happening in 2020. Where are you going to be next year?

1. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Maybe you haven’t heard of this destination, but it’s the capital of Ethiopia. The reason it tops the list, is because of the expansion of the airport, the newly opened Zoma Museum, many galleries and the Addis Foto fest, held in December.

Addis Ethiopia

2. Arequipa, Peru

It seems like this Peruvian destination is finally getting some recognition. 

3. Asheville, North Carolina

The place that is well renowned for it’s musicians, artists and the vibrant food & wine culture. The region has many festivals, new bars and restaurants and a few quirky hotels to look forward to in the new year.

4. Austria

Obviously, we have heard of Austria, especially during wintertime. But what many forget, is that Austria is amazing during summer time! 

5. Baja Sur’s East Cape, Mexico

After years of development, Baja Sur’s East Cape is finally home to 1000 new luxury accommodations, new hotels and docks for expensive yachts. Yes, this one is for the jetsetters amongst us!

6. Barbados

In reality, Barbados became on the radar due to one famous resident, Rihanna. The carnival is the highlight of the year, but the beaches are worth something to travel for! In 2020 Barbados will host a year long festival, starting this January named ‘We Gatherin.

7. Beijing, China

Last year, the largest airport in the world opened in Beijing, designed by star architect Zaha Hadid. Next to that the “Forbidden City”, a wonderful palace-like complex in central Beijing, will open in 2020.

8. Big Island, Hawaii

On the contrary, Hawaii is totally different from Beijing, and focusses on nature in the year 2020. But also new development plans are well on their way with stunning hotels to keep an eye on.

Big Island Hawai

9. Botswana

Adventure seekers can be accommodated in the most fantastic safari lodges in 2020 when new eco-friendly places are opening in 2019/2020. The time to visit is now.

10. Boston

Notwithstanding New York, Boston is a great contender of being the new hotel capital of the USA in 2020. 5 new hotels (Four Seasons, Langham, Juliet, The Withney and Mirror Infinity Rooms) will open.


Our personal top five destinations for 2020 are:

1. Kazakstan

This underrated country is becoming more and more popular and we think you should visit it before it getting too busy. Most airlines fly to Almaty and from there you can travel to the Kolsai Lake Park where you’ll also find Lake Kaindy and the Sunken Forest.

2. Touradant, Morocco

Sarah just came back from this less known destination in Morocco. Find out why it’s worth a visit and where you can find the true culture of Morocco.

Taroudant region Morocco

3. Georgia

By far one of our favourite trips from 2019. Georgia has so much to offer, from mountains to green hills, amazing cuisine and even a buzzy nightlife! Read about the 12 must sees in Georgia of you only have a few days to explore!

4. Kirigzstan

Unfortunately, we haven’t been yet, but hopefully this will chance in the future. In our upcoming book Off the Beaten Track, we will talk about this amazing destination that will make you feel like you’re in 4 different countries at the same time. 

5. Doha

This luxury capital is located in Qatar and really surprised us in 2019. It is also home to the most amazing museum we’ve ever seen and the restaurants and hotels are amazing. Mind you, Doha isn’t cheap, but it’s a great option for a stopover!

NMOQ in Doha

5. Switzerland

We can’t praise Switzerland enough! Comparatively with Austria, it has lush mountains and nature, but Switzerland takes the award for being the most divers. We felt like being in Canada, and yet it’s so close to home. Are you thinking about driving to Switzerland in 2020, take a look at our full Swiss Guide.

Our best travel moments of 2019

As the year comes to an end, it’s time for one of those lists that reminds us, that we are blessed to do this thing we call our job.

We travelled far and wide, met new people along the way, and left with a suitcase full of new memories. Here are our best travel moments of 2019.

Georgia

Individual press trip, February 2019
This is by far Elke’s most memorable press trip of 2019. We wanted to travel to Georgia for a while now, but with the release of our upcoming book Off the Beaten Track, we wanted to visit the countries less visited places. Unfortunately, Elke only had 4 days in total to explore, while there was so much more to see. Nevertheless, it was unforgettable! Read our article about Georgia.

Gergeti Church, Georgia

Sri Lanka

Holiday Sarah, Januari 2019
Sarah travelled to Sri Lanka with her boyfriend and was pleasantly surprised by the people, culture and amazing food. She felt safe and can highly recommend a trip here. If you are looking for a safari, read this first. Plus you can find detailed info in our 2,5 weeks Sri Lanka itinerary

Train ride Sri Lanka


Northern Iceland

National press trip, June 2019
To be honest, Iceland was always on our bucketlist, but became less urgent to visit due to the immens popularity (we always prefer to visit less mass tourism destinations). But fortunately, we received an invite for Northern Iceland which was absolutely amazing. Best of all, we hardly saw other tourists on the road! Our favourite spot? Check it in our article about Northern Iceland that is totally Off the Beaten Track.

Aldeyjarfoss, North Iceland

Oman

National press trip, March 2019
In like manner, this was also a destination we wanted to visit dearly. You can imagine Elke’s joy when Wander-Lust was invited by Visit Oman to explore the unknown country Oman. It was a week filled with adventure, dune bashing, culture, and we even saw sea turtles! It may not be your usual holiday destination, it’s more than worth it to explore! Read all about Elke’s adventure and tips for Oman.

Oman Desert
Wahabi Sands, Oman

Madeira Island, Portugal

National press trip, June 2019
We won’t blame you if you need to look up where Madeira is located on the world map. It belongs to Portugal and is located in the middle of the sea. Some people call it Europe’s Hawaï and we totally get why. Don’t come here for the beaches, but for the amazing nature, natural pools, dolphins, walking trails and their infamous Poncha drink. Read more on Madeira.

Madeira Guide

Thailand & Malaysia 2018/2019

Holiday Elke, Januari 2019
Elke’s first far away destination with her son, who was 1,5 years old at the time. It was the perfect destination to travel around and she made tons of new memories. Starting in Kuala Lumpur, they then traveled to Thailand’s Koh Lipe (pictured), Koh Adang and celebrated new years eve in Penang.

Koh Lipe Island Guide

Doha

Press trip, November 2019
Equally, the city of Doha really surprised us. Elke was invited by Qatar Airways (where she flew in the best business class ever!) to explore the capital of Qatar. It was 4 days filled with luxury, great food, loads of free time and wonderful people. Additionally, the Museum of Qatar is truly the most amazing museum we’ve seen.

NMOQ Doha
The amazing Museum of Qatar in Doha

Essaouira & Taroudant Morocco

Individual press trip, November 2019
Recently, Sarah travelled to a part of Morocco we weren’t familiar with, yet. For our book, we wanted to travel to places that weren’t overrun by mass tourism, like for example, Marrakech. Especially Taroudant surprised us. It was a truly local experience that we would highly recommend to anyone that wants to steer away from the usual travel experiences. The photo below was taken in hotel Jardin des Douars near Essaouira, one of the best hotels we’ve stayed in.

Hotel Jardin des Douars in Essaouira, Morocco

How about that for some of our best travel moments of 2019! And we are not finished yet.. 

Happy 2020!

Wander-Lust

A WINTER CITY TRIP TO ZURICH

Do you know a heavenly feeling? I had that sensation when I got the sympathetic invitation from airline SWISS to discover Zurich.

OK to be honest, I’ve seen a lot of our beautiful world, but I ‘used’ Switzerland only as a handy transit country. Why did I never go there for a holiday? Maybe because of my prejudices: ‘Oh boy, it’s far too expensive, too quiet for me and perhaps more fun for the elderly.’ I grabbed the opportunity to uncover if those ideas were real and flew to Switzerland for a city trip to Zurich (and if the chocolate is that yummy!)

Zurich in a nutshell

Where Amsterdam is full of hipsters, clumsy tourists on bikes and busy city sounds, Zurich is a bit of the opposite. It’s as big as our intimate Utrecht. When I arrived in the afternoon I was surprised by the calmness in the picturesque downtown streets. But when it became dusky and when the festive Christmas lights went on, Zurich seemed to awaken. One moment I thought I stepped into a scene, loved it! Not even to mention the cute Christmas stalls with the mulled wine and raclette smells throughout the city. Add the majestic buildings to that and you’ll get a very nice winter holiday feeling.

The town of Zurich
The cutest streets

Where to sleep?

After an active day full of impressions there’s nothing as good as ‘coming home’ in a nice boutique hotel room. My amazing, stylish room in the Marktgasse hotel did it for a 100 procent. I don’t know what it is, but I’m in love with boutique hotels and this great, tad upscale place from the 15th century has captured my heart. Nice to know: try the handsome cocktail bar on the ground floor. Tell the cocktail shaker what you prefer and he’ll blow you away with a custom made mix, just do it! www.marktgassehotel.ch/en

eten-drinken-en-slapen-in-zurich-6

What to do

So just so you know, I had less then 24 hours discovery time, but I can tell you that Zurich is very suitable for short city trips. Recommended is to do the traditional culinary Gourmet Tour or learn more about the interesting stories of the old city with the Old Town Tour, like I did. For sure they also have a lot of cool shops, like grocery shop Schwarzenback or taste the best sausages of Zurich at Sternen Grill.

Where to eat

I know it’s not my best kept secret that I’m a food lover, sweet tooth and gourmet to the max. Not so surprisingly I was so excited to discover if the Swiss had a good flavor…no doubt they have! I had my lunch break at Baltho Restaurant & Bar – it’s part of the Marktgasse hotel. My gosh, it was a food walhalla to share that opened in front of me: falafel with homemade baba ganoush, juicy Boeuf Bourguinon, bang-bang chicken and so on. You name it, we had it. Mouth watering, right?

Food at the Marktgasse Hotel
Typical Swiss food at the Marktgasse Hotel

Another food tip:

HILTL. According to the Guinness Book of World Records they are the first registered vegetarian restaurant in the world and nowadays they’re even the supplier of the vegetarian meals on SWISS flights, how cool. HILTL started more than one century ago with this very trendy and successful concept. In addition to their à la carte, they also have a buffet. Although ‘buffets’ often haven’t the best associations for Dutchies, I gave it a try. Wow, I’ve never seen something like that before – fresh, veggie food all over. Funny fact: they let you weight your food on a large scale as you know it from the supermarket. You pay a certain amount per 100 grams, as they want to avoid food waste. Good thinking!

Breakfast tip

Delish is the other restaurant of Marktgasse Hotel. The crew is so enormously hospitable – Amsterdam can learn a lot of this welcoming, pure people – plus my poached eggs with avocado where very tasty. Give it definitely a spot on your food bucket list!

delish-salad-selection_print
Salads at Delish

My Verdict

So this was exploring a city trip to Zurich through the eyes of a 26-year-old ‘wanderlust’ enthusiast. It’s a city that I would visit once in about five years again. For this it’s perfect. Big pluses were the fresh food and the hospitality in every shop, restaurant and bar. But one side note for your wallet: please be aware of the enormously high prices. I paid almost 11 euros for a healthy, takeaway shake at Juicery21 << hotspot alert >> So my prejudice about it’s far too expensive became a harsh reality, but the yummy Swiss chocolate made me forget it for a sec.

Juicery 21 Zurich
Juicery 21

wander-lust-friends-in-zurich
The blogger crew in Zurich (Sharmaine 3rd from left)

Love,

Sharmaine

*Sharmaine is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands with a sweet tooth. The sweeter, the better! She’s no kitchen princess but always in search for the best hotspots in Amsterdam! You can expect an article from her once a month! Check her out on @sharriefromsandmountains!

Sharmaine flew to Zurich in style! Check her review here:
Swiss in the sky

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 and take you around the world.

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 resources 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 Instructor

Australia, Thailand, The Bahamas, they all need diving instructors! Get you Padi licence 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 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!

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. To many, backpacking means freedom, adventure, fun, meeting new people, and having 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. Find a store on and try several (including weights!), but we love this backpack for kids.

Love,

Cheryl

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

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

THE BEST OF DOHA, QATAR

Doha is considered the pearl of the middle east that set itself on the map after being elected for the 2022 World Cup. Time to find out why it’s good to travel to Doha now, before it’s becoming the next Dubai.

The city of Doha has many amazing sky scrapers, entertainment, shopping, glitch and glamour, yet it still offers an authentic culture and history. We were invited by Qatar Airways to see the best of Doha.

HOW TO GET THERE

Given that Qatar Airways is officially the best airline in the world, I was happy to fly with them for the first time. Luckily, I was upgraded into their QSuite (O Em Gee), which has been voted as the best business class by the Yearly World Airlines Awards, the oscars of aviation. For someone with a fear of flying, this was the most relaxing flight I had ever experienced. A direct flight to Doha takes about 6 hours, so that’s pretty reasonable. Qatar Airways for that matter, is offering Doha as a stopover, which you can add to your booking. As a matter of fact, if you fly with QR, you can get a discount on hotel prices. 4-star hotels are available for as little as 23USD! Nice to know: Qatar Airways offers all passengers 1 hour free wifi!


Business Class Qatar Airways
Enjoying the QSuite

THE STORY ABOUT QATAR & DOHA

First thing to remember is that Qatar is a reasonably small country which makes it fairly easy to travel around if you want to. You can actually drive from North to South Qatar in approximately 3 hours. As you may have heard, Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world due to their gas & oil, but it wasn’t always like this. For centuries, pearl harvesting used to be the main source of income for Qatari people. But due to the great depression and competition, pearls lost their value and the country needed to find other ways to earn a living. The pearl however, remains an important symbol of Qatar until this day.

Baskets at Souq Waqif

Doha on the other hand, is only 40 years old, which explains the modern vibe and ongoing construction. People often compare it to Dubai, but the people who live here, find Doha to be very different. For one, Dubai is all about entertainment, luxury and shopping. While Doha is certainly up there when it comes to luxury hotels, restaurants and bars, but also offers culture, sports and traditions.

GOOD TO KNOW

The best time to visit Doha is from October until the end of April. It must be remembered that the weather is undoubtedly less hot during those months with temperatures between 25 and 35 degrees. While this still seems quite warm, during summer period it can get up to 50ºC! It also has to be considered that Qatar is a muslim country, so dress accordingly. This means long dresses or trousers and try to cover your upper arms. On the contrary, you can wear pretty much whatever you want in most hotels. Alcohol is not served in public spaces, but only inside some restaurants and bars. That being said, I never heard a police siren while I was there, something I haven’t experienced in a city before.

Skyline

WHERE TO STAY

In general, there is enough choice when it comes to accommodation in Doha. For the most part, there are many big hotels, but the city also offers boutique style hotels and homestays. The best place to stay in Doha is in the West Bay area. Here you are near the airport, museums, and Souq Waqif. During my three-day trip I stayed in the following hotels.

  • Mandarin Oriental

    Brand new in Doha so modern and stylish. The rooms are truly exquisite and spacious. The hotel has an outdoor pool, 3 restaurants and a spa. Their latest gastronomic addition is Mosaic, an international kitchen with an Arabic twist. The location of the hotel is recently build, so taxi drivers may not find it that easily. On the positive side, Mandarin Oriental is located at walking distance of Souq Waqif!

Hotel pool

  • Marsa Malaz Kempinski

    In contrast to the Mandarin Oriental, Kempinski is more classical and larger. The entrance is quite impressive and the hotel offers a large pool area and a beach. They have a very cool must visit rooftop bar named Secret Garden and club that is only accessible via the parking lot. Bare in mind that the dresscode is smart/casual and visitors must bring their passports. Ask the reception for all the details.

Hotel bed

Kempinski Hotel Doha

The above mentioned hotels are both amazing but understandably not for every budget, so you are best to compare the best rated hotels online.

WHERE TO EAT

Luckily, Doha offers a wide range of cuisines and flavours. Even vegetarians have plenty of options! Here is a list of some must try restaurants.

  • Al Mourjan Restaurant offers some of the best Lebanese food in Doha. From the outside terrace you have an amazing view. Try the lemon/mint juice, amazing!
  • Nobu Doha is famous for sushi, but the same goes for their good service. The Japanese chefs welcome every new customer with a traditional greeting while working their magic behind the counter. Upstairs you can enjoy a drink at the bar, which overlooks part of Doha’s skyline. Nobu is part of the Four Seasons Hotel, due to open in early 2020.

Mezza in Doha

  • Apparently, Spicemarket is the best rated Asian restaurant in Doha. The restaurant which is located in the W-hotel, takes you on a journey across South East Asia and brings the authentic flavours to the table.
  • If you are a brunch person, go to Arc Brunch Eatery! Apparently they serve a killer coconut latte.
  • As previously mentioned, Mosaic is the newest restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental hotel. They offer a variety of Arabic food with a twist!
  • Spots like Soul Bowl and Evergreen Organics are made for those that crave something healthy and vegan. Plus both locations look cute!

Mosiac

Nice to know: Little did I know, but coffee is a thing in Doha! You’ll find many trendy coffee bars around the city and our favourites café’s are Flat White, Cue Café, Fleurs at Café, 20 Grams Coffee Bar, MIA Café and Tea Garden.

Coffee bar Doha
Cue café, in the Pearl (source)

CULTURE & TRADITIONS

You may not expect it, but Doha is full of culture and traditions. For example, the falcon, Qatars symbol and bird, is still as important as centuries ago. Some falcons even travel first class with their owners! At Souq Waqif you can find a falcon market where the birds are sold and traded. There is even a falcon hospital to keep them in good shape. The traditional Souq itself is also worth a visit. During the evening it gets more crowded but if you come between 7:30 – 12:00, you can take photo’s without hardly any people. They sell everything from handmade baskets, colourful carpets, spices, sweets and tools. The souq is also the best place for traditionally Arabic food, but you can also find Indian, Lebanese and Iranian food here.

Souq Waqif
Souq Waqif during the day

Doha Falcon

Museums

I never expected to find the best museum I have ever visited in Doha, but I did. The National Museum of Qatar is truly impressive. The design – inspired by a desert rose, is incredible. But once inside, NMOQ is curated beautifully. It takes you through the ancient times, including the amazing displays of  different species that live in Qatar. How pearls came and went, war and traditions. Not to mention that kids will love the interactive and playful set ups, while adults enjoy the beautiful indoor architecture and information.

NMOQ in Doha
The stunning National Museum of Qatar

But this is not the only museum Doha has on offer. MIA (Museum of Islamic Art) is also one of the city’s pride and joy. The building portraits a Qatari woman wearing a bourqa. From here you have a stunning view of Doha’s skyline. If you like modern art, check out Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art. With new exhibitions each month, Doha also has many galleries. Find out more here.

MIA Museum in Doha
MIA Museum

THINGS TO DO IN DOHA

Equally important are the activities Doha has on offer. A unique selling point has to be the desert with one of the world’s natural wonders; the inland sea. Next to Namibia, Qatar is the only place on earth where the sea reaches the desert. You can book several tours that will take you dune bashing. If you come in the beginning or end of the month, the sea will reach the sand dunes completely, otherwise the sight of it may be a bit disappointing.

Desert Qatar
Me, in the desert. Photo by Roel van der Krabben

Desert and sea
Camels standing at the inland sea

Visit Banana Island

Besides the thrilling desert of Qatar, you can also spend an afternoon at the luxurious Banana Island Resort. From Doha City you can take a ferry in just 35 minutes that will take you to the man-build island. There are a few restaurants, pools and beach area for visitors to enjoy the day. If you want to stay the night, you need to bring your credit card, because it ain’t cheap! Even so, it’s perfect for honeymooners or to escape the city.

Banana Island entrace
The entrance of Banana Island Resort

Katara Cultural Village

What’s more, a whole village was build to bring different cultures together through art and creativity. There are shops, restaurants, theatre, exhibition area’s and festive events. Doha is full of expats and they love to come here to listen to familiar sounds and meet friends. There is also a stunning mosque which was designed by a woman, which is quite special.

Mosque
The Mosque at Cultural Village

MY VERDICT

Having experienced Doha for a few days, and can say that it’s the perfect city for a stopover before heading home or continuing your trip. With this intention you can truly enjoy the best of Doha. In short, the capital of Qatar can be quite expensive indeed, but if you if you want, you can go all out here and treat yourself to great food, sunshine, glitch and glamour. Hop from hotel bar to beautiful restaurants or experience rich culture the sand dunes and meet some of the nicest people as a bonus, both expats and locals.

And remember that Dubai once started out as Doha. Quietly and full ambition. I think it’s time to visit this relatively unknown destination and enjoy it before it becomes a place where you’ll become just another tourist.

Love,

Elke