cusslynest blog travel blog croatia vacation beaches holidays in europe spain florida naples dubrovnik granada alicante valencia san sebastian zaragoza madrid barcelona travel guides

Guide to Stunning Solo Travel Portraits

No, we do not mean that your travel photography needs to be limited to selfies. Although you just captured the moment before diving into a large bowl of pho. And that photo with you sipping port wine, or showing off the blue lagoons in Greek islands? It seems like the best memories frozen in the frame. Yet, there is another way to capture your travel moments, even if you travel on your own.

Gear Up

We mean it. How many times have you been on the edge to drop your phone down in the river while catching the best angle for the waterfall selfie? To take photos of yourself without your selfie-stick showing, take a camera tripod with you. This will make your long-exposure portraits perfect. To save your space, choose the variety which does not compromise with your travel luggage size, and get yourself a tripod with legs you can wrap around any object imaginable to take the portrait anywhere. Well, except the desert, perhaps.

As for flashlight, you can easily skip those. Flash most of times does not make your photography better, and even more so, portraits. Substitute for phone flashlights, if you must!

If your travel bag allows for some space, we advise you to pack the expandable reflector. This can seriously level up your photography game, as shadows are lightened up and allow for easier processing afterward, naturally bringing out colors and details in otherwise shadowed areas.

If you are going to rural areas and especially love hiking and discovering nature, consider getting a drone. All that cliff photography? The blue lagoon showing you chilling on the coast? Guess where does it come from!

Tech is Everything

You already book a place to stay online, and you most certainly use an app to figure out the best places for your shootings. But what about using an app to actually see what your camera does while shooting? You can now virtually be behind the lens, seeing the end result and clicking the button on the right moment, right pose.

And yes, there is a pre-condition there, as well. When you are looking for a camera, making sure it is Wifi-compatible and will be able to sync with your phone real-time. The cheapest, lightweight and tiny cameras out there do not lack most of what you are looking for in travel photography. We recommend such options as Samsung NX Mini, Panasonic GX80 and Olympus PEN E-PL9.

Spot the Photographer-looking person

Because you know exactly how good do the photos turn out when you hand the camera to a normal passerby.

For one, you may not get it back if you find yourself in a city where tourists are frequent targets of pickpocketers. Second, you cannot but ignore the fact that most of the time, people simply do not care or do not know how to take good photos. Hence, you end up having shots without your head, with the front scene blackened out in contrast to the bright and structured city scene, and the horizon to shift as one would expect from a trip to Amsterdam.

We do not advise you to give your camera away, but if there is no other option, please judge your heart out. Spot the photographer-looking person out there and hope for the best.

Here you have it.

To put simply, make sure your tech is up to date.  While shooting analog is awesome, there is no way you can hand down your camera to another person and expect stunning photos. With digital cameras, if you are opting out of phone-taken selfies, your best bet will be getting a wrap-leg tripod, have a camera syncing with your phone to adjust exposure, and if nothing else works, a good intuition on people’s photography skills.

Have fun while capturing your stay!

Are you on Pinterest, too?

Share your travel destination inspiration with others! Pin this:

cusslynest blog travel blog croatia vacation beaches holidays in europe spain florida naples dubrovnik granada alicante valencia san sebastian zaragoza madrid barcelona travel guides

Digital Nomad Travel Tech List

Digital nomad travel tools – how hard can it be?

Both Europeans and non-Europeans are heavily using mobile devices when traveling. Today, travelers recognize the smartphone to be the single most indispensable item they carry with them.

But apps we use whilst on the trip are not always exceeding our social media “stack”. And here, we face one of the largest inefficiencies. Tech allows you to discover the best deals. They uncover the best opportunities and tackle the most urgent problems.  In short, the smartphone is indispensable in every way, as it is our arms and hands whenever we go.

And it is up to us, how to equip our tech with the best software or apps.

brown truss towers during daytime

International Roaming

For Europeans, it is no longer a problem to travel around Europe without incurring additional roaming charges. However, the problem may be very true for all travelers coming from countries around EU.

What you may do is to use the Ajura mobile app allowing for international roaming and calls with your own country number, not the share the new number every time one travels. How does it work? Whenever you are connected to the internet, your phone can receive calls via the app, no matter what country find yourself in. This way, there is no need to get a  new number for the country number you are traveling to every new destination.

Image result for revolut

Cash and Cards – What to Get

For Europeans, it is easy again. European banks are largely connected in networks which are charging lower and lower fees for foreign withdrawals with every year. However, if you are a foreigner, things can become tricky.

But let’s start with the easy stuff. The simplest account is one in a mobile bank. Currently, the European leaders are N26 and Revolut, of which both offer pretty awesome deals for frequent travelers, freelancers and other people who often find themselves in different countries.

Revolut

Revolut is one of the leading, and most talked-about opportunities if one is concerned with. Moreover, the bank is also licensed as from December 2018. Revolut is innovating and soon to provide IBAN codes to all its customers (Update July 2019: Revolut launched IBAN codes for its non-UK customers), no matter inside or outside of the United Kingdom. You can order your Revolut prepaid card for free. Then, you can withdraw money for free up until  €5,000.

The pre-paid card is then available for card payment and money withdrawals. Anywhere in Europe, it is free for the first €200 per month.

N26

N26, on the other hand, is a totally free German bank (an important aspect with Brexit coming soon!), charging no fees for the initial card ordering, but having a 1.7%  fee on non-euro ATM charges, while no fees on spending. Opposite to Revolut, N26 also is integrated with both Apple Pay and Google Pay, while Revolut supports Google Pay exclusively.

If you come from countries outside the European Union, then Uber Visa may be another good international credit card coming at zero annual fees. The card offers you 4% cashback in restaurants, takeout and bars, while you can earn 2% back on distinct online purchases including Uber, and 1% back on all other purchases. Additionally,  there is no other annual fee, as well as no foreign transaction fees. Could not sound better, right?

person holding black smartphone

Offline Maps in Your Pocket

There are several leaders, with Google Maps probably ruling others out at the popularity. Google Maps allows you to save places and load different types of navigation. The rrendering speeds of maps are much higher while using Maps.me –

You will have a much quicker feeling app, at the same cost-less rate!

Apartment, Carpet, Chair, Living Room, Contemporary

The right travel apps for booking experience, and accommodation

Booking your accommodation the last minute? It can rain deals! Booking.com, CuddlyNest.com and other booking apps are worth checking out. These websites are only one part of the possible opportunities when looking for a last-minute booking opportunity.

Airbnb, for example, is not particularly well used for the last-minute bookings, as the app is not linking hotel rooms.  Therefore, you may have better luck booking accommodation at some of the all-in-one e-travel websites.

man riding on black underbone motorcycle

Get There Fast, Get There Cheap

If there is something distinct about traveling Europe, it is the one-of-a-kind roadway linkages all across the continent. The network allows you to get from any place, anywhere.

The most used app across both sides of the ocean is undoubtedly Uber, and for a good reason. Not only Uber allows to get from one point to another in large cities like Berlin and Paris. It also allows to spend significantly less when traveling in a pair or in a  small group of friends.

As for other types of alternative taxis, the taxify, recently re-branded to Bolt to offer services likewise to the Asian Grab, and deliver food on both bikes and cars, the Bolt is not widely available all around Europe, either.  

You may also want to know that Oszkar is the variety of carpooling services offered in Hungary, in case you visit Budapest, but limited to passengers. No food here!

As for Southern European countries, the carpooling services are offered by BlaBlaCar, a hugely popular service in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. This carpooling will also get you further than from the city one side to another one.

white train with the distance of mountain during daytime

Flight Bookings and Beyond

Although carpooling is a wonderful opportunity to save some cash for people traveling alone, like backpackers or adventure travelers, the last minute flight offers may provide you with uncovered opportunities for the next destination. Especially if you are around the hubs of large airline companies, such as Ryanair or Wizzair.

One option to make sure you travel with the right mode of transport is Rome2Rio.com. Compromising not only data about European transportation service providers but also Asia, South America and North America among other destinations, the aggregator website lists prices and modes of transportation, leading you to the website directory to make the purchase.

If you are looking for specifically European service, then Omio (previously GoEuro) may be the way to go. The service is particularly adapted to European databases, composing trains, buses,

As for Skyscanner, the plane can take you anywhere, and for cheap! Especially looking at short flights or flight at least 3 weeks ahead, you can spot the best deals here. Skyscanner allows you to browse per date, per the cheapest destination, or per the time of the year when to travel.

Skyscanner, however, will not be the best choice if you are looking for the last-minute deals for European flights. We advise you to go to the airline websites and look directly – the two most popular and widely covered airlines are Ryanair and Wizzair, among others, with the first based in Ireland, while the other one in Hungary, thus covering both ends of Europe.

brown and white structure between trees

Go Places You Have Never Been Before

If you want to step out of the ordinary tourist-book guided and well-beaten path, we advise you to look no further than peer-reviews and well-curated stories and travel atlases, such as Guides by Lonely Planet, Atlas Obscura, and the well-known Trip Advisor. The last one, however, will do exactly what is best avoided, hence, guide you to places the most advised for mainstream tourists.

As for Guides by Lonely Planet, the simple bookmarking tool, just on your phone. You can save and curate your own city guides, adding from the TRips app from Lonely Planet for the best experience.

Atlas Obscura, however, will leave you with a little more guidebook-like experience, recommending places as a travel guide, curated by the fellow travelers and locals, or, as the site suggests, the world’ s hidden wonders.

men and woman standing and sitting on rock

Meet People and Connect 

As for meeting locals, there are two ways to go. Either you explicitly state your intentions on Tinder, or you go with Couchsurfing. Both options may end up well, and much depend on your preferences.

As for the differences, Tinder largely does not support large, or group meetings, while Couchsurfing community meet-ups or hang-outs are just that. While you will see more activity to be biased towards the profile pictures of the initiator, the apps allow you to connect with the locals, or other travelers, as per your preferences.

And, who would have thought? Meeting locals may enhance your travel experience like no activity, tour or museum visit could!

Restaurant, People, Eating, Socializing, Socialize

Stay True to Values While Eating Out

If you are among that 72 % of people who are “labeled” as the “connected travelers,” you may also find to look for restaurants and booking dining places whilst out.

You may find it to be a daunting task to come up with the right choice every day. Your satisfaction may drop in a moment in case you cannot find anything suitable.

While the task may come to be hard for the carnivores, it may at times be almost impossible to find restaurants in your area serving vegan and vegetarian or gluten-free foods. Here, you can turn to the Happy Cow app. It provides local knowledge about vegan menus in the travel destination, prices and serving sizes. You can also try the luck on your own, download the app with cards claiming what foods you can not eat, such as V Cards: Vegan Abroad. Reminder: in Western countries, vanilla bean staple marking is not used to mark vegan dishes.

Recognized your beloved travel app? Comment below!

Wish to share your travel adventures with your fellow travelers? Book a room in a shared apartment, house or condo via CuddlyNest here

Enjoy reading on Medium? Click here and add our curated stories to your Medium reader!

Are you on Pinterest, too?

Share your travel destination inspiration with others! Pin this:

cusslynest blog travel blog croatia vacation beaches holidays in europe spain florida naples dubrovnik granada alicante valencia san sebastian zaragoza madrid barcelona travel guides

Countless Ways to Spot a Backpacker

Ever wondered why are backpackers so different kind of travelers? Why on Earth someone would refuse the comforts of piles of towels in hotel rooms and instead book a hostel to meet fellow travelers, or why would anyone prefer to carry luggage on their backs all day long? Well, we too.. And yet, we love the way luggage-free travel gives freedom to you and allows to enjoy your travel experiences to the fullest, taking away struggles as lines for check-ins in airports and additional charges for large-sized lockers in train stations.

Keep tuned and know how to spot a backpacker to immerse yourself in a totally new travel experience stories!

Living off their Phones

Having a Couchsurfing meetup? Getting a taxi? Booking a CuddlyNest apartment last-minute? Finding the nearest peer-recommended market to get the traditional dish? Connecting with fellow visitors or nomads in the city? Any way, backpackers are living off their phones, and for a reason. It is a gold mine if you are looking for free information, tour guides, and free drink promotions in nearby bars. I mean, all that you need, right?  

You are Stuck in the Train between Two Backpacks

Found yourself stuck between two backpacks in a train or metro, with no way out? Well, chances are, you are stuck between two backpackers.

Wearing Climbing Shoes… In Restaurant

Please, be considerate. When you travel with a backpack, there is no room for several pairs of shoes, especially ones that are not functional. Functionality comes first, especially for full-time travelers, and most importantly, those who are about to chuck everything they own in their 80-liter backpack and continue to another country every couple of weeks.

Mastering Off-Beat Places

If you have ever heard about the off-the-beaten-track gems found in guide books, good for you. Backpackers take a different approach. They go for a beer in a local bar, spend the whole night talking to locals, and then… Well, then they know everything, the ins and outs of local customs, must-tries and must-see local spots.

Connecting with Locals

As you get to know the locals, the whole new world opens to you. Local experience saturates your trip, and guidebooks become unnecessary. If only one could get over the barrier of tourism and share their space with travelers, the world would become more connected… This is the backpackers’ dream, in short.

Street Food for Life

Are you ever seeing backpackers in high-class restaurants? Not really. This folk is all about getting the essence of local culture, whether it means music, traditional dances, or local street food. And yes, it may even mean you taking up the challenge and playing with your gut health.

Picking up the Language in One Night

Goes back to the point where you meet people. Yes, that simple, as to get to know people, and pick up some of the common words to use in the market, at the bar, or… yes, when your Google Maps are not delivering the best results. Backpackers have mastered short foreign phrases. After all, it is all about connecting with locals, right?

Cords and Chargers are their Restaurant Mates

So, it is noon and they are having lunch in the restaurant… for a change. But wait, they are all just tapered to walls and electricity cords… Waiting for the hostel check-in hour while getting some freelance work done. So easy to spot.

No Heels for Ladies, Please

And who would think about carrying around pairs of heels when your whole life is packed in your backpack? No extra (unneeded) stuff. Not even for the sake of elegance.

Living off Trail Mix and Cheap Local Fruit

Markets are full of backpackers. MAgically, they know how to communicate with locals selling guavas in Vietnam and persimmons in Portugal, and can get the price on the spot from French cheese sellers. Awesome, we would love to get that skilled, too!

Wearing Clothes just Washed in the Hotel Sink

Keeping clean is a must, and keeping clean is much harder when you are always on the go. Is that guy wearing this wrinkled, yet not-supposed-o-be wrinkled shirt slightly damp? And do you notice your fellow worker at the cafe having his jeans just washed, and totally faded out from the color-ignorant laundry soap? Bingo, that’s a backpacker!

Getting Resourceful

It is only your imagination holding you back from using navigation as a spoon. Backpacking light comes with a creative mind.

Recognized yourself? Comment below!

Wish to share your travel experiences with your fellow backpackers? Book a room in a shared apartment, house or condo via CuddlyNest here and now – as seamless as it could be!

 

Enjoy reading on Medium? Click here and add our curated stories to your Medium reader!

Written by Anna Auza, April 2019

cuddlynest startup partners startup condos rental property vacation hhomes from owner rental management software rental marketplace cuddlynest cuddly nest florida vacation villas in florida fl croatia

CUDDLYNEST STARTUP NOW PARTNERS WITH NEXTPAX FOR INTEGRATED RENTAL INVENTORY DISTRIBUTION INCLUDING MULTI-UNITS

Cuddlynest startup, one of the top rental websites to watch in 2019, is integrated with NextPax to distribute rental inventory including multi-units

  • Cuddlynest startup now has a two-way integration with NextPax channel manager
  • The global online rental marketplace startup automates bookings, payments, content distribution and availability updates
  • The channel integration allows any rental type distribution on CuddlyNest website

Berlin, April 2019 – CuddlyNest startup, a fast-growing online rental marketplace startup, is excited to announce the integration with NextPax. “By integrating to NextPax, CuddlyNest now has access to a potential additional inventory of 600,000 vacation rentals and more than 10,000 hotels”, says Erik Engel, CEO & Founder of NextPax. “NextPax provides direct technical integration of any inventory type onto the channel for property managers that are connected to our platform”.

CuddlyNest, the online rental marketplace with the lowest aggregate fees and total price in the market has grown ever since 2016, disrupting the cost-leadership rental platform oligopoly. Integrated with several large channel managers in both Europe and North America rental markets and listed among “ones to watch” in 2019, CuddlyNest is one of the uprising industry rivals to integrate with in order to drive bookings for any kind of rental property type managers.

The distribution channel is integrated in a two-way flow with NextPax, allowing for real-time booking retrieval, synchronization of content (images, descriptions, and facilities), property availability updates and price updates. CuddlyNest takes care of payments and has a fully integrated content distribution, making the onboarding seamless for any property managers. The CuddlyNest platform is currently listing over a million properties around 100 countries worldwide, providing any type of accommodation, from long-term serviced apartment rentals to hostels and shared rooms.

The key to success and growth of CuddlyNest lies in its cost leadership. CuddlyNest’s innovative booking fee sharing model to list properties at the lowest price online. The cost advantage of the lowest aggregated commissions translates into cost advantage and higher booking rates for any property listed on CuddlyNest.

“Travel accommodation booking has become increasingly expensive, with online travel agencies charging vast commission fees. We are building a platform to democratize the market and bring power back to travelers, charging the lowest aggregate commission fee in the market, and therefore the lowest price in the market”, says Ritesh Raj, the Partner & COO of the start-up.

CuddlyNest is not stopping at its current success. The company is releasing an app for easier instant bookings for travelers on the go this summer, and major online platform experience upgrades are in the pipeline for this summer as well.

About CuddlyNest

Chicago based start-up was founded in 2016 and has grown ever since,  today offering safe bookings of over million properties all around the world. CuddlyNest innovative booking fee sharing model has been the key to the company’s success. The lowest aggregate commission fee in the market allows property managers to be in charge of their earnings while providing guests with the lowest booking price in the market. CuddlyNest is integrated with major channel managers NextPax, Ciirus, Escapia and is preferred partner of Avantio.

About NextPax

Founded in 2006, NextPax is a tech company specialized in providing complex API – connectivity solutions that enable seamless two-way connections between property management systems and distribution channels worldwide. The extensive network of NextPax consists of 600,000+ properties and is continuously growing by connecting new professional property managers, hotels and channels to the network. The cutting edge and highly automated distribution technology provided by NextPax, allows properties to be distributed via all major distribution channels and numerous niche channels. Connectivity includes availability, rates, inventory, bookings and content updates.

For more information, visit www.cuddlynest.com

 

Contact details:

COO Ritesh raj

Phone:+49 174 3726 462

Email:  [email protected]

Holiday Memories, Well Captured

There are very few things more likely to ruin your last days of the trip than a realization that you are expected to come back with a handful of souvenirs. For your friends, it is about “sharing is caring,” while for you yourself it may be as a form of capturing memories, feelings and associating great experiences with… things.

We at CuddlyNest propose a couple of better options on how to show your loved ones you care about them, in a more thoughtful and sustainable way than getting a new magnet for their fridge.

City sketching

There is nothing like waking up in the early morning, getting a cup of coffee in your hotel and walking the old stone streets and watching the city waking up. If you want to tune in, we recommend to take your coffee and morning croissant (or burek) with you and enjoy your breakfast while fully in the mood of the city. Carrying the notebook, or sketchbook, and a pencil with you at all times is not necessarily, yet rewarding. Be it a short note, city sketch, or a pressed flower in your notebook, you can freeze the moment and save the vibe.  Capture everything in an authentic way, and bring the scene full of emotions back home. It will feel much more special 10 years from now than that magnet, we bet for it!

garage sale

Postcards

If you are on a family holiday and time on your own is not an option, then getting a postcard may be just what you are looking for. Sharing moments from your trip with friends and family at home can be one of the best ways to keep your loved ones up to date. Moreover, it costs almost nothing to send a postcard back home. Sharing best Europe trip experiences, or exciting your stay-at-home gang about the amazing Thailand beaches is just awesome!

Another option for the same postcards is analogue images. Now, this is not to say that you won’t get any postcards from your trip. But you can take your camera anywhere you go, and the small film rolls take no space in your bag. What’s better, you choose to capture the moments of your own trip, instead of sending over anonymous scenery with Paris sights.

assorted seashell lot

Collect, but Think First

If you are into material memories, but travel long term,  it may be advisable to get your travel memories in the form of useful and daily pieces. We prefer to get a beautiful, light and small but meaningful and practically usable things, like handmade cutlery from the villages of Croatia, or a small piece of jewelry from your Orlando trip. Used daily, it will stay with you forever… or, until it breaks.

If something useful is not crucial, collecting coins from every country you visit is another option. Get your middle-punched Danish crones, Vietnamese dongs, Turkish lyrics, and French euro coins to stay with you long after you have visited the country. The best thing about coins? Get the one issued the year you are traveling to the country – it will be living documentation then.  

Whichever way you choose to bring the experiences back home and share with your loved ones, forget not the importance of the experience itself. It is not about the souvenirs; instead, think about the ways to enhance and enclose the moment.

 

cusslynest blog travel blog croatia vacation beaches holidays in europe spain florida naples dubrovnik granada alicante valencia san sebastian zaragoza madrid barcelona travel guides

Best European Nature Festivals 2019

Looking for Europe Music Festivals August 2019? We too! Here is our guide.

Is the sun is shining out of the window leading you to restlessness waiting for the lunch break to escape the doomedness of sitting in front of your blue-lighted screen all day long? Even if the break is yet to come, you can freshen your mind already now, by taking a look at the amazing and diverse festivals in Europe this summer!

Image result for kolorado festival

Kolorado

Where? Hungary

When? June 19 -22

What? Music and arts

Kolorádó is a good mix of arts and music for the ones tired of the popular music offered in the most popular Hungarian summer festival Sziget. Kolorádó allows to escape the crowds of the city and rest for a couple of days in the nearby Sztrilich Scout Park. the festival is quite new, being hosted for the fourth time in 2019. You can stay in Budapest, but we encourage you to dive deep into the festival aura and stay in a hammock in the forest, or a special mini house built exclusively for the festival. Drawing, painting and other visual arts are on the plan, so be ready for self-expression!

Image result for ultra

Ultra Europe

Where? Croatia

When? July 12 – 14

What? Music

Ultra is a  multi-venue outdoor electronic music festival that is a part, happening in one of the most beautiful beach locations in Europe, in Split. Ultra Music Festival’s worldwide expansion is a guarantee for good music and unforgettable electronic music dance experience in Croatia this summer. Be sure you do attend at least one Ultra in your life in one of its twenty host countries.

Image result for la linea festival

La Linea

Where? England

When? April 25 – May 5

What? Music

If you are into Southern rhythms, this one is for you. Best Latin music performances in the heart of London is precisely what La Linea Festival London offers to its attendees. Every year showcasing new artists, the festival invites singer-songwriters with futuristic sounds to the mecca of European culture every spring. If you are looking for fusion styles in music, this one is just for you. Check out where to stay in London – we have both shared rooms, apartments, or hotel rooms for the best rest after a long day of pleasing musical experiences.

Showcasing new artists and singer-songwriters with futuristic sounds and fusion styles, you can expect lots of class and fun.

Positivus

Where? Latvia

When? July 26 – 27

What? Music

Positivus is another gem for the ones looking for an immersive nature and music experience. Hosted in the idyllic location just by the sea, the festival has seen major growth since 2007. It will be a great choice for those looking for an alternative European destination, as it is the heart of Eastern Northern Europe, allowing you to visit Nordic countries and the Baltics on your way.

Image result for feel festival

Feel Festival

Where? Germany

When? July 11 – 15

What? Music and Dance

Feel festival is, just as described, for the ones who enjoy immersive experiences, feeling all aspects of a festival. Here you can camp almost directly on the beach, and visit Berlin before or after the festival, which is located by the Bergheider See 127km south of Berlin.

Image result for boom festival

Boom 

Where? Portugal

When? July 28 – August 4

What? Visual arts and music

Boom Festival is for the environmentally conscious ones enjoying the green forests and the wilderness of Portuguese nature. It is hosted every second year and won the Outstanding Greener Festival Award – the highest accolade of the four categories to be awarded, as a recognition for its environment and social program once again. Hosted according to periods of the Moon, and is one of the closest nature-immersive experiences you can possibly get while enjoying music and arts.

So now, when your coffee break is over, go and hit the productivity list. And, make sure to plan something amazing for your European summer adventure with CuddlyNest.

 

Pin this to save it for summer: