female travel

The Top Female Travel Spots

Embrace your inner wanderlust by visiting one of the top female travel spots around the world. Although this summer may have thrown a few curveballs in your trip plans, there is still time to pack your bags and set off on the adventure you crave. Whether solo or with your best gal pals, there are certain destinations that stand out among the rest when it comes to taking a female-centric getaway. But first, take a journey to learn more about the shift in female solo travel popularity and how this movement has become so powerful for women over the years.

top female travel spots

The Rise in Female Travel

2018 notably became the “year of the woman.” Between major political advances and powerful social movements, the travel industry saw an increase in female-driven travel. According to Travel Pulse and a global study conducted by British Airways, nearly 50% of the women surveyed had taken a solo trip, and nearly 75% said they planned to in the next few years. When focusing on the American women surveyed, half of the women were between 18-25 years old when they took their first solo trip.

While embracing their womanhood and taking cues from popular books and movies like Wild and Eat Pray Love, women across the globe began exploring the ends of the Earth…on their own or with groups of girlfriends who share a passion for exploration and female empowerment!

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Tips for Females Embarking on their First Solo Getaway

Since then the tourism and hospitality industries have worked very hard to not only create an environment that is extremely welcoming and hospitable but also safe and secure. So whether you are a full-time explorer, or planning on taking your first solo trip, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your getaway.

  1. Choosing the right locations. Whether the destination of interest has world monuments or five-star cooking classes, make sure to have your trip and location planned ahead of time.
  2. Pack light and only bring what you need. You never know where your travels may take you. Especially as a solo traveler, it is important to keep light in case you need to keep moving.
  3. Embrace sustainable travel. Not only will this help you save money during your trip, but by putting your eco-friendly foot forward you can also learn more about local culture, protect the planet, and make friends along the way.
  4. Keep your funds and documents safe. Especially, when traveling to a far and foreign area it is not only important to have copies of your documents including your identity cards and passports, but also have the contact information to the nearest embassy on hand. Be sure to check with your local embassy or consulate before traveling internationally to find the nearest location.
female travel

Best Female Travel Spots

Now that you have embraced your feminine power and are ready to explore, start with the best female travel spots. These locations offer safety, budget-friendly accommodations, and plenty of adventure. Check out the top female travel spots, and why they are the best according to some of the world’s leading female travelers.

female travel in new zealand

New Zealand

From the North Island beaches to the South Island mountain escapes, any woman would fall head over heels for New Zealand. Not only does New Zealand offer some of the best natural landscapes, but it is also famous for its honey farms, wine regions, and of course, kiwi fruit. It also is one of the best places in the world to road trip either solo or with your best gal pals.

Travel professional, Liz of the Young Adventuress says, “solo travel in New Zealand is easier than ever.” Why? Because getting around is super easy, there are many ex-pats throughout the country, and the locals are very welcoming. We’ll be adding New Zealand to our bucket lists this year. Starting with a stay at one of the hundreds of hotels and vacation rentals.

female travel in canada

Canada

From the peace and tranquility to the safety and security offered to female travelers, Canada is unbeatable for travel. Coast to coast, there is plenty to discover including Lake Banff, Toronto, Vancouver Island, and more. Go! Girls Guide says Canada is the perfect place for women to explore solo thanks to its “natural beauty, world-class cities, and because it is insanely safe.” According to the Global Peace Index, in 2017, Canada was named the 8th safest place in the world. You heard it here! Find over 1,000 hotels and homes in Canada, here.

female travel in switzerland

Switzerland

Did you know Disney’s famous roller coaster, the Matterhorn was modeled after the country’s iconic peak with the same name? Switzerland is filled with unique mountainous and lake villages that make the perfect sites for hiking, boat rides, and breathtaking landscapes. Female adventurists can skydive above Interlaken, see the famous fountain in Lake Geneva, and dine on raclette and fondu in cities like Zurich and Lucerne. There is something to love around every corner.

Award-winning female led travel blog, Girl about the Globe, ranked Switzerland 5 out of 5 stars for solo travel for women. She even insists that the biggest problem you would have in the European country is running into one too many cows, which sounds like a great problem to us! Check out the best hotels and vacation rentals in Switzerland, here.

female travel in japan

Japan

Japan offers one of the most unique and rich cultures in the entire world. From hustling fast-paced cities such as Tokyo and Yokohama to tranquil locations including Osaka and Kyoto, there is plenty for any woman to fill her bucket list. Take your adventures to the next level with a visit to Mount Fuji, and spend your evenings relaxing in one of Japan’s many natural hot springs.

Adventurous Kate says Japan makes for one of the best places for women to visit because it is “culturally fascinating” and the food is “universally excellent.” Those two reasons are enough to make us want to book a trip there immediately. Check out the many hotels and accommodations in Japan, here.

female travel in the united states

The United States

Whether beaches and coastal cities are your cup of tea, or you would rather spend your getaway in the mountains, the United States offers everything an empowered female would want on an unforgettable trip. While some places are more well-known than others, make your next trip to the U.S. one for the books by exploring the off the beaten path locations. The states offer some of the most unique variety of accommodation than anywhere else in the world.

Kristin of Be My Travel Muse listed a few of the CuddlyNest team’s favorite American outdoor locations in their female solo travel list. Including Page, Arizona, Moab, Utah, Big Sur, California, and more. Start your U.S. adventures with a trip to 10 of the first United States national parks.

Are you and your best friends ready for your trips together or solo? Let us know where your travels will take you this year, and we will help you find the perfect accommodation on CuddlyNest.

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best friend vacation in bali

7 Budget-Friendly Places to Visit with your BFF

Celebrate the International Day of Friendship by taking a best friend vacation to one of our top 5 budget-friendly places to visit. Not only do certain destinations across the globe make top travel lists due to their attractions, accommodations, and cuisine, but also because of their affordability. You and your BFF can explore, eat, and see the world without breaking the bank. Some of these popular locations on this list may even surprise you. But first, let’s take a look at the history of this special holiday.

International Day of Friendship

In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly announced that July 30th would be the official International Day of Friendship. The holiday was created to celebrate the friendship between countries, communities, and people, to inspire unified global peace efforts. Since then, every year global events, activities, and celebrations are held on the 30th of July to encourage respect for diversity and understanding in the global community. Another popular way to celebrate this beautiful international holiday? By planning a trip to spend quality time with your best friend.

The Best Budget-Friendly Places to Visit

Whether you and your forever friend are looking to lounge on one of the best beaches, or explore the world’s national parks, these destinations make for the best budget-friendly getaway locations. While certain countries instantly come to mind for affordable trips, there are specific places that make the perfect best friend vacation spot. If you live in one of these locations, then it’s time to plan your BFF staycation. Check them out here:

best friend vacation in vietnam

Vietnam

Over the last ten years, Southeast Asia has become increasingly popular to visit especially for millennials. This is both due to the incredible cultural experiences and the most affordable prices. With hundreds of hostels to stay at for less than $20 a night to street food that adds to the experience, one country stands out from the rest. Vietnam is one of the most unique countries to visit in SEA, as well as one of the cheapest.

The entire country’s architecture and design are influenced by both indigenous and foreign cultures. You and your best friend can spend your vacation sightseeing Hoi An’s popular attractions, taking a boat ride through Halong Bay, and indulging in a cooking course in Ho Chi Minh City. There is something for every pair or group of pals to enjoy in Vietnam at a budget-friendly price. Find the perfect hotel, hostel, or beachside villa for your trip.

best friend vacation in portugal

Portugal

Take a road trip from the Algarve to Porto when visiting Portugal with your best friends. The Iberian Peninsula’s sister country borders the Atlantic Ocean offering visitors a refreshing experience within Europe. With hostels along the country ranging from 5€ to 20€ a night, you can relax in luxury at a budget-friendly price in one of the world’s most beautiful verdant locations.

Attention digital nomads: Lisbon, is not only a culturally exquisite city, but it is also one of the best locations to work remotely in. With over 100 co-working spaces in the country, you and your pals can extend your European vacation by adding a couple of weeks of exploration and working abroad. The perfect combination of combing work from “home” with travel.

Turkey

If you and your best friends are craving a cultural experience unlike any other, then Turkey is the place for you. From coastal cities with beautiful beaches like Ephesus to Cappadocia’s unique fairy chimneys and hot air balloon rides to Istanbul’s rich art and religious influence, the country is full of bucket list adventures. And the best part is they are all incredibly affordable.

Turkey has one of the oldest civilizations in the world. The country alone has over eighteen UNESCO World Heritage sites including Göreme National Park, the Great Mosque, and Archeological Site of Troy. Visiting best friends can book a hotel or hostel room, or an entire vacation rental in Turkey for as little as $9/night on CuddlyNest.

best friend vacation in croatia

Croatia

Summertime calls for a trip with your BFFs to the Balkans. Croatia is not only one of the most beautiful places to explore in Europe, but it is also one of the cheapest. With meals for as low as 5€ a day and hotels and vacation rentals for as low as 10€ a night you and your pals can have your Mediterranean vacation for under 20€ a day. That sounds like an excellent plan for us. Book exciting excursions including hiking through Plitvice National Park or take a boat ride to the nearby Hvar and Montenegro islands. There is so much to do and discover on your Croatian getaway.

Pro tip: When in Croatia be sure to check out the hidden Game of Thrones film scenes to really discover parts of the country that will transport you and your friends to another period of time.

Colombia

Discover Colombia’s charming hotels in the heart of the jungle and cities throughout the South American country. If you have ever dreamed of exploring South America without breaking the bank, then Colombia is the best place to start. With hotels and hostels for as low as $12 a night, you and your best friend can save your travel funds to splurge on delicious meals, excursions, and backpacking adventures. Bogota’s museums will enchant you while the historic streets of Medellin and Cartegena take you to another world. After having a cup of fresh Colombian coffee in the morning, your group of BFFs will be ready to start the day. You can’t miss adding Colombia to your budget-friendly bucket list.

Indonesia

It’s no surprise that Indonesia makes it high on our list of incredible, budget-friendly places to visit for your best friend vacation. The entire country celebrates life, joy, and all wonders. You can spend the day exploring the stacks of rice fields, and afternoon taking a surf lesson all without spending your life savings. Might we suggest spending the night at a beachside bungalow or hostel near the Ubud Forest?

From the incredibly inexpensive meals of chicken skewers, mixed vegetables, and homegrown rice, to dancing on the beach with both old and new friends, the Indonesian country offers so much to fall in love with on each of its islands. You will have to visit to experience it all.

South Africa

For best friends who have a safari trip on their list of dream experiences, South Africa is the place for you. Cities including Johannesburg and Capetown are not only ex-pat hubs, but excellent cities to visit to learn about African lifestyle and culture. Hike to the top of Table Mountain to get a full view of the South African coast and visit one of the famous national reserves including Kruger Park to see the big five animals up close.

Although safari and other tourist experiences have a reputation of being pretty pricey, we are here to debunk that notion by sharing CuddlyNest’s most affordable South African accommodations. You can visit South Africa and experience it all while staying in a budget-friendly rental or hotel. A rooftop pool with a view of the beach sounds like heaven.

Now that you know the top budget-friendly places to visit with your BFFs, it’s time to plan your best friend vacation. Find the best-priced hotels and vacation rentals on CuddlyNest. You and your BFFs are just a few steps away from exploring the globe at an affordable price.

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CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels

view of big sur

6 Affordable Romantic Getaways in California

California offers some of the most romantic getaways, as well as affordable accommodations to stay at. Between the sandy beaches, gorgeous views of all types of landscapes, and relaxing ambiance, it’s no wonder why California is one of the most popular places to visit.

While the golden state often garners the reputation for its overpriced cities, we recommend going off the beaten path to experience its hidden gems. There is so much to discover beyond the big cities. If wine-tasting, dolphin and whale watching, and hiking in national parks are on your bucket list, then California is the place for you. Find your romantic getaway and the most affordable home or hotel to keep you comfortable your whole trip.

romantic getaway in san francisco

Explore Northern California

Take a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, experience the rolling hills of Napa Valley, and watch the stars from Yosemite. Northern California simply offers some of the most unique and one-of-a-kind experiences for couples to enjoy? If you and your partner are looking for romantic getaways to take during your road trip or honeymoon, then NorCal is the place to go. Here are three of the must-visit Northern California locations and the affordable accommodations that will offer you endless romance.

Napa Valley

When it comes to romantic California getaways, Napa Valley wins every time. Couples will love spending the day at any of the 400 wineries in the valley and indulging in the spectacular views. Spend the weekend at one of the incredible vineyard hotels to enjoy spa services and seclusion. The city is just a short 50-mile drive (80 kilometers) out of San Francisco. While Napa’s peak season is typically August to October, there really is no bad time to explore this area. If you and your partner are up for a little adventure, you can even bike around the vineyards through the calm streets connecting them together. All couples will simply fall in love with each other, the valley, and the amazing places to stay.

view of couple in napa valley

Yosemite

Couples looking to take their love to new heights will be enchanted by Yosemite National Park. Most famous for its giant Sequoia trees and natural landmarks including Half Dome, adventurous duos can explore the park by day, and relax at a nearby vacation rental at night. Hikers and visitors can wander through 110 trails in the park. From days by the lake and nights star-gazing from the Jacuzzi, if an outdoor getaway is what you are in need of, this is the best place to visit. You may even be lucky enough to see some California wildlife along your adventure.

Marin County

Cross the Golden Gate Bridge to visit San Francisco’s neighbor Marin County. Boasting beautiful views of the city and charming neighborhoods to explore, Marin offers the perfect romantic escape out of the big city. Spend the day biking around the harbors in Sausalito and indulge in shopping at Mill Valley’s boutiques. If you’re really looking to surprise your partner during your trip, plan a picnic at the top of Mount Tamalpais. Enjoy the unobstructed views as you both watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. There is something so special about this destination, that you’ll have to visit for yourself.

los angeles view

Discover Southern California

The best part about California is you can experience it all. You can spend a day in the mountains and arrive at the beach in the afternoon. It truly offers a once in a lifetime opportunity for couples you cannot get anywhere else. While Northern California is known for its coastal and mountainous regions, SoCal boasts chaparral, deserts, and beaches. As you make your way down the coast, Southern California has some of the most incredible destinations for couples to visit. Indulge in a beach outing, island escape, and desert exploration. Let’s discover California’s most romantic getaways for couples to enjoy.

Catalina Island

Right off the coast of Orange County and southern LA, is the enchanting Catalina Island. Just a short ferry boat away, couples will love exploring Catalina’s port town. You and your partner can enjoy a day of hiking to the top of the cliffs while enjoying a view of the coast. You also cannot be snorkeling in the bay to search for California’s state fish, the garibaldi. If a romantic getaway in California is what you are in search of, then there is no better place than Catalina. You can even combine a trip to Catalina Island for the day with a stay in Laguna Beach. It’s the best of both worlds.

view from catalina island

San Luis Obispo

Located almost equally between Los Angeles and San Francisco, SLO for short is one of the most charming counties in California. With its Spanish design and architecture, San Luis Obispo will give you the feeling that you’re in a completely different country, even though you are right in the heart of California. You can be at the beach, in the wine country, or in the mountains within 10 minutes. Embrace the small-town charm with incredible restaurants, boutiques, and of course, romantic getaways. This town is ideal if you are looking to embrace quality time with your significant other in a serene location.

La Jolla

Just 15 miles north of San Diego is the oceanfront community, La Jolla. Known for its upscale vibe and beach town ambiance, La Jolla is the perfect escape for couples looking for a relaxing coastal getaway. Indulge in the gourmet restaurants and take a walk through the Old Town. Couples will love taking a drive down to Cove Beach to walk through the crystal blue waters at sunset. It really is a one-of-a-kind spot for a romantic weekend with your partner. You can even add adventure to your trip by taking a surf or paddleboard lesson. Check out the amazing hotels and vacation rentals in the area.


Fall in love with endless romantic getaways in California. Incredible hotels and vacation rentals await couples looking for a one-of-a-kind getaway with their special someone. Already planning your trip? Check out CuddlyNest for accommodations in the area you wish to visit. We can’t wait to explore California with you, soon.

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Guide to Traditional German Must-Eats

Bist du hungrig? In German, this phrase means “are you hungry?” We want to know! If you have ever visited Germany, you came across delicious pretzel stands, pints of beer in traditional beer steins, bratwurst the size of your forearm, and much more. With so many different flavors and dishes to try it’s hard to narrow down the list of what not to miss out on. We are sharing our favorite traditional German food to try on your next getaway to Deutschland.

beer garden in Germany

Our favorite traditional German foods:

  1. Laugenbrezel
  2. Bratwurst
  3. Kartoffelpuffer
  4. Spaetzle
  5. Pork Schnitzel
  6. Knodel
  7. And last but not least, Apfelstrudel

Learn more about each of these dishes here:

laugenbrezl pretzel german food

Laugenbrezel – German Soft Pretzels

If you went to Germany and did not try a laugenbrezel, then you need to go back someday. Thick and soft with a browned exterior, German soft pretzels are simply irresistible. As well as quite famous not just in Germany, but around the world!

  • According to many popular legends, pretzels were first created by Christian monks.
  • Pretzels are considered a good luck symbol in Germany.
  • National Pretzel day is celebrated on April 26th in the U.S.
  • Pretzels were brought to the states in the 1800s by German immigrants.

While traditional German pretzels require a couple of special ingredients, you can make them like the pros, here


bratwurst dish

Bratwurst

Bratwurst (Brat – finely chopped meat, wurst – sausage) is one of the most typical street foods in Germany. While you can find them all over the country, this meal is most commonly found in stands all over Berlin. Here are some other fun facts:

  • The bratwurst sausage originated in Germany in 1313.
  • It is commonly served both on a stick and in a bun, which makes it the perfect on-the-go meal.
  • Bratwurst is made from pork, beef, and veal.

Learn how to make the perfect bratwurst, on a stick or in a bun, here.


potato pancake

Kartoffelpuffer – Potato Pancake

There isn’t a holiday or festival in Germany that doesn’t include Kartoffelpuffer, German potato pancakes. What’s not to love about a delicious treat?

  • Kartoffelpuffer is prepared differently than many other potato dishes as it is grated from raw potatoes, not boiled potatoes.
  • The most traditional way to eat these potato pancakes is with a side of applesauce, which adds sweetness to its savoriness.
  • In order regions of Germany, Katoffelpuffer is known as Reibekuchen and Kartoffelpfannkuchen.

Making this dish is simple and easy. Check out the recipe, here.


egg spaetzle dish

Spaetzle – Egg Noodles

While the photo above may look like yummy scrambled eggs, it’s actually another type of food in the egg family — noodles. Interested in learning more?

  • If you don’t have a spaetzle maker handy, you can use a colander or cheese grader to make spaetzle at home.
  • Spaetzle is one of the most popular traditional dishes in Germany, as well as in Austria, Switzerland, and Hungary.
  • The dish is prepared very similar to macaroni and cheese.
  • It can be topped with anything you like, and it serves well as a side or the main course.

Make spaetzle at home with these easy steps, here.


pork chops german food

Pork Schnitzel – Pork Chops

Who doesn’t love making pork schnitzel? This German-style pork chop is juicy, incredible, and so easy to make. Here are some things you may not know about pork schnitzel:

  • Schnitzel is not actually the type of food, but the name for how the pork is prepared.
  • Another name for schnitzel is schweineschnitzel.
  • Hammers are used to thin the pork before coating it in breadcrumbs to make a crispier crust.

Serve pork schnitzel at your next virtual dinner party, and learn the recipe here.


knodel german food

Knödel – Boiled Dumplings

Knödel is a staple side dish to many German meals. Making these dumplings is very easy! But did you know that they very different than any other dumpling? For starters, Germans make these dumplings by poaching or boiling them and then add egg and flour. Here are some more interesting facts:

  • Knödel does not require yeast, unlike many other doughy foods. This is what gives it its uniqueness.
  • The dumplings are traditionally quite large, and can even be as large as tennis balls.
  • Present-day, many Germans include plums and apricots in their dumplings for flavor.

Learn how to make the perfect knödel, here


apple pie german food

Apfelstrudel – German Apple Pie

This delicious dessert originated in the 18th century, during the Austro-Hungarian empire. However, Apfelstrudel is very much popular and traditional German food, today. Here are some other things you may not know about this apple dessert:

  • Traditionally Germany people eat Apfelstrudel warm as it contains a rich creamy apple filling. However, many people also eat this dessert cold. It all depends on your preference.
  • Apfelstrudel has its own English name which is apple strudel.
  • Apple strudel also has its own U.S. holiday on June 17th. Bakeries throughout the country love to celebrate this holiday with delicious pastries for everyone.
  • The term strudel is German for “whirl or swirl,” due to its form once baked.

Make the perfect apfelstrudel for dessert, here.


 Don’t forget to let us know what you are cooking up at home. Have you ever made any of these dishes? We can’t wait to experience them in Germany with you. Guten Apetit!

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CuddlyNest blog Balkan budget ski resorts

Best Dirt-Cheap Balkan Ski Resorts for Family Christmas Holidays You Can Ski below $20 a Day

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

Balkan ski resorts In Southern Eastern Europe packs the best value per buck, if you ask us. While there are many opportunities for Christmas holidays spent together with family or friends, Balkans can offer you one of the most fun and unforgettable ways on skis. You can choose from resorts totalling in 883 kilometres of slopes, served by 521 ski lifts. That said, skiing opportunities in Southern East Europe Balkan countries are virtually endless.

While skiing is for everyone, skiing in Alps in France or Switzerland can get expensive. To have more fun while spending less, we suggest skiing in Europe in Slovakian Tatry, or go to Balkans instead.
Not only it is much more enjoyable stay away from tourist-crowded ski destinations; you will also save quite a bit of money by going to the budget Balkan ski resorts. Offering world-class skiing opportunities for just a fraction you would spend in the US, Western Europe or even Scandinavian glaciers, CuddlyNest made a list featuring the best Balkan ski resorts that are also family-friendly.

After all, Christmas is all about being together with your loved ones, isn’t it?

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

Vitosha, Sofia – Bulgaria

Budget-friendly Resort for All, € 18

We already wrote about 15 good reasons to visit Balkans this holiday. But here comes another one. Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, hosts one of the least expensive, but well-rated ski resorts in Balkans. With more than 20 km of ski slopes available and 15 lifts in disposal of skiers, there is plenty of space to practice, learn and simply enjoy skiing for all technique levels.

 

The winter sports area is situated between 1340 and 2290 m, and while most of slopes are for those aiming at blue trails (easy level), approximately 30% of ski slopes is for intermediate skiers. If you are sure about your ski and want to go for extreme adrenaline trails, there is not that much to see in Vitosha. Only 2 km of total ski slope area is surviving advanced skiers.

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

Sofia, Balkan Ski Resort Prices

As for pricing, you will save quite a bit when skiing in Sofia. Day ticket for adults cost approximately €18 (BGN 35), while youth and children day passes come at approximately €14 and €11, respectively.

Night Skiing in Sofia, Bulgaria

The resort is opened from 9 am to 4 pm, but you can also ski at night. Night skiing is operating from 6.30 pm until 10pm, daily, so you can enjoy starry sky while going back to top on the escalator chair.

The resort is one of the best established in the whole region. Although there are no recently opened slopes, the very first slope with the 2-person fixed-grip Dragalezvi-Saslona chairlift was opened back in 1956. After that, the resort undergone 2 large upgrades, with each adding 5 slopes. The current slopes is the result of 1984 upgrade. However, there have not been any Olympic games hosted in Vitosha, so while you get a great value for the buck, do not expect the world-class training slopes, especially if looking for moguls.

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

Skiing Babin Do – Bjelašnica – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Want to ski on Olympic Games slopes? The winter Bjelašnica Olympic Mountain Ski Centre facilities are located on the eastern slope of Bjelašnica. Close to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is plenty to do both in winter and summertime. While it is one of the most marvellous places to go for a hike in summer (or winter, if you are into ski shoeing), do not get carried away with hiking trails.

Olympic Ski Resort in Balkans

Indeed, Bjelašnica is one of the top ski resorts, having more than 12.5 of slopes available. Good for both skiing and snowboarding, the resort lies around 27 km away from the capital city of Bosnia, making it an attractive destination for those who want to spend some time in the city where the World War I started. The capital boasts beautiful architecture, and affordable restaurant scene – you may want to check it now, and book Sarajevo hotel in advance.

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

Balkan Skiing Red Trails

Contrasting with other Balkan ski resorts, there is more to do for intermediates than those who are beginners. Located between elevations 1,270 and 2,067m over the sea level, skiing near the capital is also one of the most affordable, considered great Bjelašnica summit slopes. With day pass costing adults €18 (BGN 35), and €13 (BGN 25) for children, you can enjoy the slopes where Winter Olympics of 1984 were hosted. It is an experience of a lifetime to ski the same slope where Bill Johnson (US) won the alpine skiing downhill, and twins Phil and Steve Mahre (US) slalom.

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

Stara Planina – Babin Zub for Beginners – Serbia

Located in Southern and Eastern Serbia, Stara Planina offers one of the least costly options for beginners. The perks of choosing Stara Planina as your Balkan winter ski destination also include the fresh countryside air. The slopes practically end at the village Jabučko Ravnište, and you can go straight to your home after a long day on skis.

Serbia Ski Resorts

As for the offering, the Babin Zub is perfect for those families looking for a place to practice skiing safely. Out of 13 km of the resort’s slopes, more than half is for those trying to learn. When surpassed the blue slope skill level, you can either go for red or black slopes, both of which are equally abundant, compromising 3 km each.

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

Stara Planina Ticket Prices

Day tickets for adults and children are little bit more expensive but considering 5 lifts for just 13 km of ski slopes, you can be sure you will not freeze at the line waiting to go to top. Gondolas will take you to the top, and you can be sure the chairlifts are up to the latest standards, being constructed just back in 2006. Daily ticket for adults cost €19 (RSD 2250) and €15 (RSD 1760) for children.

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

Sljeme (Medvednica) – Zagreb – Croatia

While Croatia beaches and historical sites are appealing to those families seeking sun and summer in the midst of winter, there is a lot to do in Croatia for those willing to take up skiing, too.

Best Croatia Small-Scale Ski Resort

Sljeme ski resort near Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is small enough to feel cosy and always be sure about where your family members are. One of the best ski resorts for those with young children, Sljeme ski area is totalling in 4 km. Mostly serving those who go after blue and red tracks, the ski area is equipped with a 3-person chairlift to bring you 1030 m high into the mountainous area, and 2 J-bar lifts to bring you to the top of the slope again.

Croatia Ski Resort Near Zagreb

The day ticket is one of the least expensive, costing €13 (HRK 100) for adults and €7 (HRK 50) for children. Operating from 9 am to 4 pm, Medvednica is a good option for those looking for a wintertime activity close to Zagreb, Croatia. After visiting Zagreb SPAs, you can relax in tranquillity on skis!

Have you skied in Balkans? Let us know and share this with your Facebook friends, Instagram fellows and Pinterest audience!

CuddlyNest blog Balkan ski resorts

train tracks

The Most Incredible Train Trips to Take in Asia

When it comes to exploring many places in a short period of time, many travelers often choose to travel by plane. But have you considered train trips and rail journeys? Offering so much more than a means to get from one place to another, train travel is not only more economical and but also more sustainable. And, one of the best places to travel, see the world, and enjoy the ride is in Asia. From cross-country to international getaways, Asia offers some of the most unique and one-of-a-kind travel experiences. We have shared some of the best train trips in Asia here.

train travel in asia

Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Thailand Train Trips:

One of the most well-known train routes in Thailand is from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Taking the night train is its very own special experience, popular for both locals and tourists. These cities are located 422 miles (680 kilometers) away from each other, but you can get to each in no time by taking the train. The ride is about 13 hours long. This ride is one of the most beautiful and really allows you to see the country. So if you decide to take the overnight route, we recommend getting your sleep and waking up early to watch the sunrise over the hilly countryside of Northern Thailand. The trains from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Station run daily, which allows for flexibility in planning your ride. When purchasing your tickets you can choose from first, second, and third class.

Tickets:

To buy train tickets from Bangkok to Chiang Mai you can purchase them from any major train stations, through agents, and online. To be on the safe side, we recommend you book a trip at least a day in advance to secure the tickets you would like to purchase.

inside in the train

First-Class:

The first-class carriages come with two major differences. Air-conditioning and more space. If you are looking to travel on in a more luxurious way, then these carriages are for you. The sleeper rooms also can fit up to four passengers and come with locks. If you are a solo female traveler, there are carriages available solely for females and their young children. For those looking for accessibility, there are very few and selected trains that are wheelchair accessible. 

Second-Class:

The second-class is the next cheapest option, and your ticket will come with an assigned seat. Tickets typically cost around 500 THB (approximately $15 USD). This carriage even comes with fans. If you book a bunk in a sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, the second-class bunks cost around 800–1,000 THB (approximately $25–30 USD), but you have to pay a little more to get an air-conditioned carriage. The lower bunks are slightly more expensive, but at the same time have more space.

Third-Class:

This is definitely the cheapest option when booking your train travel. However, the third-class carriage is often crowded, so if you are looking for a more comfortable ride, we recommend choosing the first or second class options. If you are a backpacker looking to bond with the locals, strike up a conversation, and live your authentic life, then the third class is an excellent option. This is what makes train travel so flexible and a great choice for transportation during your adventures.

train travel in sri lanka

Kandy to Ella, Sri Lanka Train Trips:

If you wish to experience the beautiful views of Sri Lankan Hill Country with all its tea plantations, you should definitely opt for train travel. Getting from Kandy to Ella will take around seven hours, but it is worth the journey. This particular train was initially created by the British Colonial government in 1864 to transport tea and coffee. For years, crates of tea were the primary passengers on this route, until people started to travel in the 1960s. Today, taking a train in Sri Lanka is one of the cheapest ways to travel around, and it is a vital means of transportation for locals. 

First-Class:

The first-class tickets must be reserved in advance to guarantee a seat. You will get an air-conditioned room, but unfortunately, these rooms have no open doors or windows to hang out and see the magnificent views. The famous pictures you see of people hanging out on the side are in the other second and third-class cabins.

Second-Class:

The second class cabin is the perfect option for experiencing it all. There are options for unreserved and reserved seats. If you do not want a reserved seat then you can book on the day. If you do get a train ticket with a reserved seat, however, then the number of seats is constrained, and you would pay double the price of the unreserved one. A good rule of thumb is always to book just in case, especially during the popular holiday season. 

Third Class:

The third class is quite an experience. You will see everything you can imagine all around, from cats to dogs, to vegetables and chickens. It is a trip you will never forget and is beyond budget-friendly. 

southeast asia train trips

Train Tips and Buying Advice

Travel by day is the best way to take one of these train trips. For the ride from Kandy to Ella, sit on the right side of the train. This will allow you to capture that picture-perfect moment over Nine Arch Bridge. Make sure to charge your camera or phone beforehand. Be sure to also bring hand sanitizer, extra tissue, and a yummy snack.  

Are you eager to take one of these incredible train trips through Asia? Stay tuned for more epic adventures on our blog!

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Travel Europe After Brexit: What to Keep in Mind to Stop Losing Money Abroad & Travel Sustainably

Travel and Visit Europe After Brexit on 31 October

What else will change after October 31? With no-deal Brexit, visiting Europe after Brexit may become a bit more of a struggle. Read further to know what to expect and how to prepare in advance.

Visas to Europe

There will be no visas. The European Parliament has granted Britons right to travel to the European Union without a visa after Brexit, staying in Europe visa-free for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. It is, however, only granted if the UK implements similar measure for EU citizens.

Travel Europe after Brexit Eurail Interrail

Travel with Pets to Europe after Brexit

After October 31, there will be slight changes in pet travel to Europe. To prepare for travel with your pet, there are some simple steps you should follow.

If the United Kingdom becomes the third country once it leaves the EU, and automatically an unlisted country. However, it can apply to the European Commission to be listed (Part 1 listed or Part 2 listed), in which case pet travel becomes easier. If leaving with no-deal Brexit, then with conditions of the unlisted country, you should follow the following procedure to travel to Europe with your pet.

  1. You have to microchip and get your dog/cat/ferret vaccinated before you travel, and take a blood sample within 30 days of the last rabies vaccination.
  2. Your vet will send the blood sample to the EU-approved testing laboratory and wait for the blood test results.  When 3 months from the successful blood test sample have passed, you can now go to Europe to travel.
  3. Your vet will give you a copy of test results and enter the date of a sample taken into your pet’s health certificate.

If you are a frequent traveller to Eu, your pet will not need a repeat blood test if the previous one was successful and rabies vaccination history is up-to-date. However, you will need to get a new health certificate for each trip within 10 days before your trip.

Returning to the UK, you will need your EU pet passport, animal health certificate and UK pet health certificate. To learn more about pets travelling with UK nationals living in the EU or scenarios in which the UK becomes a listed third country, read more on UK government Animal and Plant Health Agency guide here.

Holidays to Europe after Brexit: How Not to Lose Money?

With the British pound tumbling long-term low ( lowest since 2012), it is a serious matter to manage your pounds before going on holiday to Spain, Italy or Croatia this autumn. To plan ahead and not to exchange pounds in Europe is a must; to be exact, it is much more of a better deal if you take cash with you – this way you will not lose 15% of your money on airport booths. Want to save even more? Buy your holiday currency now.

Spain Listeria Outbreak: Keep Safe from Bug

The food poison and listeria outbreak in Spain have been on news recently, with 200 Britons suffering. To keep safe, you should stay away from meat products and rather go for vegetarian and vegan Spain meals. To learn how to ask for a no-meat meal at a restaurant, read our advice  here.

Travel Europe after Brexit by train Interrail

Sustainable Travel and Responsible Transportation in Europe

If you think that sustainable travel is all about booking a green hotel, visiting countryside tulip farms, then you may as well be tricked into buying a refillable water bottle while waiting for a carbon-fuelled cheap airline flight from one city to another.

While crossing out the overcrowded destinations and cutting out plastic is indeed important, even more so is your transportation mode and dietary habits. While we already wrote about how to eat sustainably in Spain, what to pack for zero-waste travel and where to switch from overcrowded Europe destinations, the transport is oftentimes overlooked as neutral to sustainable travel when in fact, it is not. 

Train Travel in Europe after Brexit

There is only as far you can get walking, running or pedalling on your bike. While we strongly encourage you to go on a cycling tour in France, or all across Europe, it is almost inevitable to use a transport mode powered by other than man energy, unless you are up for riding a horse or sailing across Atlantic to attend a business meeting like Greta Thunberg.

There are a few simple ways to switch from unsustainable low-fare, high-emission short flights to green vehicles, like electric trains and electric buses to get to your holiday destination. For visiting Europe, one of the most convenient, no-fuss and also the most sustainable way to get around the continent is to get a Eurorail pass. Partnering with national train lines, routes include thousands of European towns and cities in 31 countries for Eurorail global pass. Alternatively, you can slash your expenses and choose one country pass. Easily accessible, customizable train passes may not be the cheapest, but definitely the most convenient way of getting around, allowing for days, weeks and even months of travel.

Buses

Unless you are going on family Europe holidays and your rental car is fully loaded, public buses come second best choice to tackle transport carbon emissions. European public inter-city and international bus lines are quite well developed, especially in less populated and developed regions, like Balkans and the Baltic States, or in between smaller towns. If you are up for a long-haul bus ride, though, be prepared to check reviews first, to avoid smelly toilets. Most buses in Europe these days come from with reclining seats, free WiFi, and silence, instead of the latest Eurovision song on repeat.

Hitchhiking

Not being an option if strive for convenience or try to juggle across Europe with a family or dog, but.. As long as you are (young?), wild and free, hitchhiking around Europe is the easiest way to travel with zero regrets about environmental track left behind you, as you are simply making the trip of somebody else to be more resource-effective. As for the budget, it is also a more budget-friendly option, while for safety you should always check Hitchwiki site for tips, tricks, best spots and even gatherings and hitch-races.  

Carpooling

An alternative to blind hitchhiking is other sharing transportation services, like carpooling. Hopping into Oskar in Hungary, BlaBlaCar in Southwestern Europe, or Carpool.be in Belgium and Netherlands, you can give a boost to shared services. These will work the best in mainstream hours following people who do daily or weekly commuting to work, university or countryside house.    

Eco-friendly Travel Transportation Apps

To choose between the modes of transport, we suggest always go for road transportation and if possible then sharing services, but if you are still puzzled what’ s the best for planet, here are some apps to guide you through travel ecology and help to plan you travel consciously.

Green Travel Choice

Green Travel Choice app allows you to track your CO2 emissions, no matter if you are driving a rental car, taking a  bus or riding a motorbike. The app logs your trips, travel distances, and your emissions over time, and you can travel and learn at the same time. Partnering with TIES, The International Tourism Society, developers have worked hard to provide accurate data in collaboration with one of the most influential ecotourism organizations.

To download the app, you will need to have $1.99 on your card and iPhone, iPod or iPad running at least iOS 3.0 

BlaBlaCar Travel After Brexit

BlaBlaCar is an app dedicated for people to share rides. You can look up rides several weeks In advance or create search reminders for either carpooling or bus taking you to the destination. You can decide between the cars based on who has booked a ride already – red their profile feedback before sharing a long-haul ride. The app is for free, available for both iOS and Android devices.

FlixBus

Need a last-minute bus from one city to another? There is no better (and almost no greener) way to get around Europe – just open the app, book your ride and hop on the bus to get to your desired destination.  according to the reviews, however, the FlixBus app does not always update the time schedules for buses, so beware the fact that there is a slight chance of you staying on the road.

Eurail vs Interrail – Carbon Neutral Travel Transport Options

Eurail and Interrail passes are probably the best option to anyone coming to Europe for sustainable holiday and visiting several cities at once. 

Eurail or Interrail – What’s the Difference and Which One Should You Get?

Both are referring to international or intercity train network passes for the European 31 country network. The difference here lies In the fact that all-in-all, while InterRail passes are for Europeans, Eurail passes are for non-Europeans, it can get a bit more tricky with residence area. You cannot buy a Eurail pass if you reside in Europe, as well as you cannot buy an InterRail pass if you don’t.

As a UK citizen, you are in luck, as InterRail is much cheaper (under 25 years of age one-month pass goes for €422 for InterRail and €568 for Eurail). While Eurail pass offers many more options for travellers to choose from: one-country pass, two-country and regional passes.

Just in case you wonder, there is a difference in train types included in each type of pass. InterRail Global Pass also covers Ecostar high-speed train connecting London, the United Kingdom with France and Belgium. You can reserve the train up to 3 months in advance. However, for many other high-speed trains like French TGV, night trains and scenic trains, reservation with an additional fee is required. 

InterRail – Is it Worth it? Budgeting for Sustainable Travel

Is Interrail worth it? To say the least, Interrail pass is quite a splurge. While flexibility and city-hopping may be worth it, we advise you to always check the trains available on your approximate travel route. More often than not, with good planning and booking bus and train tickets well in advance, single-ticket rides are much more budget-friendly, allowing you to save some money.

However, if you are with your backpack, open to spontaneity and rather horrified of catching free WiFi’s across the road trying to look up train schedules and understand the timetables in a foreign language, Interrail may be for you.

However, you should still remember to make reservations in advance – you can do it via Rail Planner app.

Travel for Free with UK youth pass to Europe after Brexit

If you are a student coming from the United Kingdom and wishing to travel for free, go for it! Even after Brexit, British teenagers will be able to apply for free EU rail passes awarded by European Union on its 20,000 free train passes within “DiscoverEU” project. No matter if UK exits EU on 31 October, British teens will be continued to be awarded EU train passes, to be “ambassadors” of Europe and share their travels on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you missed the deadline on 16 May, there is still a chance to apply for tickets in the second round in Autumn 2019. 

Once the UK leaves the EU, the British will not be able to take part in European programmes, like the Erasmus student exchange, so InterRail pass may be one of the last chances to milk Europe.

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10 Things to Do in Hanoi, Vietnam on Budget

If one goes for budget accommodations, yet wants to get the most value out of the money, enjoying all the perks of traveling and exploring new places, exotic locations, an abundance of fresh fruits, then South East Asia is the place to go. Even high-class places and luxury hotels here in Vietnam are priced very moderately. From hotels to cafes to even haircuts and foods are extremely budget-friendly. Here we list 10 experiences you should have when visiting Hanoi, Vietnam.

Why Vietnam?

Vietnam is one of the countries of South-East Asia that in the West is mostly known for its clothing and apparel industry, tea, coffee, and war. However, the history of Vietnam makes it much more alluring. If you for a Vietnam 10 day itinerary, you will definitely see it. From the early days of inhabitation, the rule of Chinese and European arrival and colonization, Vietnam has survived and blossomed throughout centuries and preserves the diversity of cultures, customs, and traditions. French architecture, Chinese temples, Vietnamese coffee, and traditional religion has been well preserved and not yet destroyed by globalization, tourism and catering to travelers.

Eat Out and Good

If you are a foodie, then Vietnam will be a paradise for you. We promise this. From healthy vegetarian Pho soups with tofu to crunchy spring rolls to green clean-eating vegan Morning Glory dishes, Vietnamese cuisine is simple, yet super delicious and good for your belly. And the best thing is, you can eat like a queen for just a couple of dollars a day. Even at the fanciest restaurants, your meals are unlikely to cost you more than 5 dollars. Make sure you try street food as well, like spice mango slices everyone gets crazy about!

Taste the Egg Coffee and Vietnamese Coffee

Food is food, but what desserts are a whole different level. What could be better than a freshly picked mango, dragon fruit or guava fruit for breakfast? These exotic fruits are deliciously sweet, ripe and well preserved. Look for the best prices at night markets, on the streets of Hanoi in the daytime or grab a snack of mango and spices on the street at night. The best market we recommend for you to visit is Cho Hom Market. Get some cash before though, as looking for an ATM that accepts your Western card in Hanoi can be a bit of a hassle.

If you are more into nuts, seeds, and other salty and savoury snacks, here is great news for you! Vietnam is the largest exporter in the world of blood cashew nuts. As an exporter country, Vietnam also offers the best prices for cashew nuts. So do not wait and dive straight in!

 

Shop for Silk Clothing for Cheap

Along with cotton fabrics and sports clothing manufactured for Nike, H&M, Zara and other consumer labels around the world, silk is one of the top export fabrics of Vietnam. If you happen to look for a new dress, shirt or some other clothing, then go and visit Hang Da Market in the Old Quarter which is open every day from 5 AM to 5 PM. You will find deals you would never imagine.

Go to Body Massage

 

If you wish to relax a bit, you should definitely go and try Vietnamese massage. You will find posters advertising cheap foot massages or full-body massages on every single street for one of the best prices in the world available, but in case you want to visit a trusted review, go and have a massage at  TRE Massage.

Ride a Bike

Are you more into action? Hanoi (and the whole Vietnam) is best enjoyed and discovered while riding a motorbike. If you live in the outskirts of the city, make sure you rent a bike. In case you are staying here for longer, it is even better to buy one and sell it further when you leave. Many go on a full-fledged adventure from South to North or the other way around, discovering Vietnam on a whole different level.

 

All in all, you can enjoy just about any experience in Vietnam on a budget. Be it a fancy restaurant, a street food market, tailoring services or even hairdressers, you can have it all, not wasting money and having the best travel experience and quality time. Not sure you want to go to Vietnam? Here is our guide on how to choose between Vietnam vs Thailand trip.

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Best Eastern Europe Festivals to Attend

You already attended at least some Europe festivals in the first months of summer? There is still August left to enjoy! Here we list the best music festivals in Eastern Europe in August 2019. While Eastern European events are generally more friendly to pocket, you can expect the line-ups being as diverse and interesting as their British isle and Western Europe counterparts. Let’s dive in!

Image source: Sziget

Sziget | Hungary

When? 7-13 August 2019

Music genres? Electronic dance music (EDM), indie, rock, pop, rap

Where? Budapest

 

Born out of the collapse of the Soviet Union and located on the island in the heart of Budapest, this festival features the best world-class musicians. Find your place to stay here or take a hammock with you to sleep between the concerts of your favourite artists!

Image source: Untold
UNTOLD Festival | Romania

When? 1-4 August 2019

Music genres? Various pop, rock and EDM

Where?  Cluj-Napoca

 

Romania is famous for its wine, warmhearted welcomeness to guests and rose plantations. But what’s more, Romania is expanding with every year in its music scene, and Untold festival is no different. Hosted in the central park of Cluj Napoca, this festival sees 300,000 visitors yearly, and hosts one of the best dance music DJ’s in the world.

Image source: Defected Croatia
Defected | Croatia 

When?  8-13 August 2019

Music genres? House

Where?  Tisno

 

Defected is a boutique festival which has found its venue on the shores of Adriatic. Get yourself a tent, or grab a hammock to go to the house music festival!

Image source: Sea Dance
Sea Dance | Montenegro

When? 30 August – 1 September 2019

Music genres? Electronic dance music (EDM), electronic, house techno

Where? Budva

 

Montenegro is famous for its yet undiscovered nature with mountains and beautiful coastal area. Dance and house will shake you up, and Buljarica Beach will treat you well.

Image source: Awake FestivalAwake | Romania

When? 15 – 18 August 2019

Music genres?  Drum’n’bass, hip-hop, indie, soul and punk

Where? Teleki

 

Awake is a boutique festival in Romania. The rural baroque castle Teleki Estate homes dancers and music lovers from all over Europe, and with a good reason. Not only the festival offers music, but also enhances the experience with interactive theatre and cinema, a forest library, talks from the “feed your mind” and wellness activities.

 

Image source: Uprising Festival | Europe Music Festivals 2019Uprising | Slovakia

When? 23-24 August 2019

Music genres? Reggae, dancehall, ska, latino, hip-hop, jungle and drum’n’bass

Extras: half-pipe, yoga, capoeira (Afro-Brazilian martial art), dance workshops, street art, Jamaican food

Where? Bratislava

 

Slovak festivals marking the anniversary of the second world war resistance movement, the Slovak National Uprising of 1944 is held in a laid-back atmosphere by the natural park with a lake. Take it slow and breathe in – the dance workshops, yoga and other activities will sum up your summer in a relaxing way.

 

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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.

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

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