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Best Eastern Europe Festivals in August 2019

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.

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

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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!

 

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Written by Anna Auza, April 2019

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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.

 

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Budget European Surfing Destinations

In winter, it may be tricky to maintain the physical strength and stamina until the summer season. When on vacation with your surfing friends, you do not always have to splurge on expensive airplane tickets to catch the wave. Here we suggest 4 best destinations for your surf craving this spring – and for cheap.

Image Source: Red Bull, The Big Wave Tour

Surfing Paradise Nazare, Portugal

One of the least expensive, guess what, budget, destinations for your early spring surfing getaway are to be found in Portugal. From ones craving the extreme (and we warn you, this requires a super-skill) experiences, Nazare Canyon is one of the most exciting. Yet, it may be one of the most dangerous and extreme places to get on the wave.

Some of the world ’s records are from here, amongst which was the Rodrigo Koxa. He broke the world’s record wave in 2017 on an 80-foot wave in off the coast in Praia do Norte. The record was close to death, but definitely worth it, bringing him. If you are on a safer side, we suggest opting out for Algarve for a nice swim, supporting the adrenaline junkies watching the documentary The Endless Summer portraying adventures of the surfing team.

Source: Skyticket

Surfing in Biarritz, France

Another great pick to go on Europe surfing weekend in Biarritz in France. You can find accommodation easily if start looking early on, and the best time to go being June and July. If you are not a complete beginner, then go from April up till late October. That’s the season for seasoned surfers, and Biarritz is then a good surfing destination. Do not expect to break world records here, though, as it is located in the inner side of the Bay of Biscay.

Source: Isles of Sicily Travel

Cornwall, Ireland

Are France and Portugal not your cup of tea? Ireland off Continental Europe has a good offering as well. The climate in Northern Ireland is rather mild. Also, waves are consistent, making it an excellent choice for those just starting out. But beware the summer crowds, as here it is a thing. The best places to visit are Chapel Porth, Godrevy and Gwenvor. The latter one has the longest surfing area of all.

Source: Conde Nast Traveller

Algarve Surfing

We cannot help it, Portugal is one of the best spots for surfing. But if you are the one traveling in a company of s surfer, we advise you to plan going to Algarve instead of Nazare. You will love the white sandy beaches. Don’t forget taking a swimsuit with you, no matter the season you are in!

 

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Brunch en Barcelona #LQQCQ

¿Sabéis lo que es un Brunch? Primero de todo, nos gustaría explicaros el concepto. La palabra Brunch es una mezcla de Breakfast (desayuno) y Lunch (comida) y consiste en una comida que se da generalmente luego del desayuno y antes del almuerzo, aunque también entre el almuerzo y la merienda. Es decir, una comida entre comidas en la que casi todo está permitido.

Es por eso que este sábado mandamos a Jennifer Garcia (nuestra embajadora en Barcelona), a uno de los cafés más emblemáticos de la ciudad condal: Alsur Café. Este café con diferentes locales en la ciudad está poniendo de moda otro concepto: #LQQCQ, es decir, lo que quieras cuando quieras. Porqué, ¿quién no ha soñado con unos churronuts para comer?


¿Y que son los churronuts? Pues como su nombre indica, una mezcla entre donuts y churros, y es que en Alsur Café no dejan de innovar. Con su propio obrador en la ciudad y con un reputado equipo de cocina, estos maestros del brunch no descansan para encontrar la mezcla ideal capaz de deleitar a sus comensales diariamente. Y es que no es fácil ser una de las tendencias en una ciudad como Barcelona. Por eso mandamos a nuestra embajadora CuddlyNest para que experimentara en primera persona el concepto #LQQCQ y os hiciera llegar a todos ese sabor único de los platos preparados con amor.

Por eso, si estáis en Barcelona disfrutando de una de nuestra #CuddlyStay hacerla aún más memorable (si se puede), con una experiencia gastronómica apta para todos los bolsillos y los paladares más exquisitos del mundo. Porque en Cuddlynest intentamos que todo el mundo se sienta como en casa en cualquier lugar, porque queremos que vuestras estancias sean únicas y a medida. Porque lo importante es saber que estés dónde estés hay alguien que se preocupa por tu bienestar.

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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 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 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 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 savory 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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Free Budapest Activities, Tours and Excursions

While looking for budget destinations in Europe, you cannot go wrong with Hungary. While some of us plan Christmas Holidays well in advance, some in a distinctively human way postpone every single decision, among them – where to go this Christmas Holiday. Eastern and Central Europe have an emerging travel scene and some of its destinations shine brighter with every year. Prague, Budapest, Vienna, and others are true gems. What’ s the best? They are not overly expensive, as the tourism industry is still emerging. Here CuddlyNest had a look at what activities Budapest has to offer for budget travelers.

Taste Hungary Wandering Around the Great Market Hall

If there is something every single traveler loves about the Eastern and central Europe, it is surely the food. Hungarian cuisine is well known for its real and unimaginably tasty food. Cheese croissants selling in the Hungarian pékség are fresh and full of cheese, and Hungarian specialty lángos is made on the spot as ordered. Have your stomach grumbling already? When visiting Great Market Hall, do not forget to buy a couple of paprika spice satchels selling on the Hungarian street and climb up on the second floor to have a free tour on Hungarian national handicrafts, which are selling at bargain prices.

Wander the Streets with Eyes in the Sky

Budapest has a lot to offer beyond museums. In fact, the best museum to visit is the streets of Budapest. Conserved the history of ages of different ruling powers and cultures present,  the architecture tells its own story. From the Budapest Parliament building to Szent István (St. Stephens’s) Basilica to Castle, you will see architecture from Medieval and Baroque to Neoclassicist, preserved throughout centuries. And if you have a chance to stay in one of the Neocclaccisist buildings while sharing the apartment or renting out the whole place for your family trip, you will see how spacious are the buildings.

Budapest Free Tours in English, German and Spanish

Budapest winter weather may not always be as welcoming as in Medditarean climate, but the guides of Budapest free tours will make you feel better instantly. Tours are offered in Chinese, English, Spanish, German and even Russian, and are generally very informative and interesting. One thing you should keep in mind though is the fact that you must be registered before. Not required but welcomed also are some donations for the guides. Keep in mind that tours range from 1 to 3 hours and start from the Jewish Quarter – you better be there on time!

Ruin Pubs for the Contemporary Budapest Experience

If you wish to save whilst on the road, yet experience not only the historical architecture but meet people and have fun in one of the Budapest’ s signature places, you must go to its ruin pubs. From the super touristic Szimpla Kert to Csendes Bar, Budapest will exceed your expectations and amaze you with its diversity. If you love cultural experiences, go to Szimpla on Mondays and join the Hungarian dances. If your thing is brunch, then Farmers’ Market and Breakfast will be just right for you. Other hotspots of alternative, yet free cultural experiences are Golya, Aurora and Kék Ló (Blue Horse).

Free Days on Budapest Museums are Worth It

Budapest art scene may not be regarded as particularly avant-garde, although you may find many inspiring and innovative approaches present in its many local galleries, especially when taking a stroll around the District II. However, Budapest offers a lot to art lovers, and if you are lucky, you may get into museums completely for free. Every month on the third Saturday you may visit Hungarian National Gallery (Castle District) and Fine Arts Museum ( near Hősök Tere – Heroe’s Square) for free given that you are a European passport holder under the age of 26. For modern and contemporary art lovers Ludwig Museum will be the best fit, free to attend on the last Sunday every month. Hungarian National Museum in the centre of the city and Skanzen of Szentendre on the outskirts of Budapest are good places to go as well.

Overall, while Budapest weather definitely takes a toll on the possible things to do in December and January, it is never short on events and places to go. Budapest is therefore just the perfect getaway for anyone looking for a great place to go for a couple getaway for Christmas or New Year holidays.

 

How to Budget for Your Next Travel so You Can Splurge for Real

If you have ever wondered how your colleagues, cousins or Instagram-famous students get to travel the world without breaking the bank, here is the answer. They do not starve themselves, they do not always go for Couchsurfing, and in most cases, they also do not hitchhike around. They travel just like anyone would, and they splurge a little.

But where is the secret, you would ask? Just like with most things we do, it is hidden behind the scenes. No miracles, no large parent funding, just simple calculations, and modest saving before going on your longed-for holiday getaway.

Here we are sharing the best tips on how to save without a pain, not compromising on tickets to Louvre or Italian handstitched bag on your Europe trip. A little consideration, strategy, and planning can go great lengths when it comes to saving. So here you go, our experienced travelers’ best tips traveling on a little more that shoestring budget. Going for the lowest expense may not be what you want on your few weeks out of the office.

To Save Money For the Trip, Know Your Expenses

Travel budget calculator, app or even ready-made template may be tempting to start with, but to truly save, you must first identify your expenses. It may sound like a citation from an old finance textbook, but for a good reason. According to Forbes finance expert Rob Berger, to start out, you must first evaluate your net worth. How much do you spend on travel? How much do you save for retirement? All those metrics come into play when budgeting and saving for your next trip.  The better you assess the cost distribution, the easier it will be to identify and cut down on those areas. So, get your paper, an old-school calculator and put it all down there for a scrutinization.

Now, Get your Budget together

When you have a clear picture where does your money go, you are all set to see how much you can save on a yearly basis. By how much you are likely to cut your spendings? Starting from this, set your new budget for every area of your current spending. If you are running out of ideas, we are here to help – just read further and save for the next upcoming trip.

Pay Yourself First

If you are like us, then you always have a million things in your head and even more on your to-do list.  As in many cases, you are unlikely to make effort on monthly basis to pay yourself first and set part of your salary aside – it simply will be forgotten, postponed or ignored till another time. To save money without any additional effort, just go to your online bank and set up a savings fund to automatically transfer from your checking account. For one, it will save your time. For two, you will save much more when automating your financial operations.

Necessities versus Social Spending

You know that some spending is a necessity. Generally speaking, one must pay the rent, buy some groceries and in some cases, also cover necessary transportation expenses. You can still find ways to spend less on all those necessary items or services, but for most of us, the actual black sheep is the social occasions. Those drinks add up, as well as those dinners out with your friends every Friday. There are some expenses you would still like to account for,  such as friends’ birthday gifts and other social spending, but much of that you can limit by mindful spending or cost-cutting with fun home parties, potluck dinners or free events.

Waste zero – travel more


Newspapers, magazines, and the trendy zines are killing trees, and you know it. Even more, they are considerably slashing your vacation budget. If you still want to be updated on the industry trends, or gain some intellectual stimuli, consider going digital. Put aside an hour and research the most interesting online blogs, writers or online magazines to subscribe to. If you do miss the content you are accustomed to, check for your beloved magazines’ digital versions. A great publishing platform is Issu – here you can find a magazine, zines, and other stuff for free. And do not forget the oh-so-well-known Kindle store with low prices. However, if all the options are lacking the real, analog grip of the book, the touch of the paper and the repetitive motion of turning pages – if you too are missing those, along the smell of freshly printed magazines, make a trip to your local library or spend your lazy Sunday afternoons in a cafe that is known for its updated newspaper and zine supply.

Make every coffee count

Make less garbage and save more for your travels by adopting small changes in your daily routines.  For starters, buy a thermos and quit your coffees for good. The same goes for packed store-bought lunches, snacks, prepared vegetables, smoothies, you name it. Do it yourself, pack your lunches and enjoy the financial freedom on your travels!  

 

If you already do all those things, yet the budget is not sufficient for your next travel, switch your mindset!  

 

As you have probably heard already, you can live below your means, but you can also expand your means. The choice is yours.

You may not have enough financial resources, but maybe you are not short on time. Chances are, your current income can be increased if you take up a freelancer role, set up an online business or get cash flowing into your bank account in another way. Look at those options – some of them even allows you to travel full time and make your home base in Bali or other exotic digital nomad locations!

cuddlynest thailand booking vietnam book a villa private villa with pool versus thailand what to do

Vietnam or Thailand, Where Should I Go?

When it comes to choosing between two Vietnam vs Thailand travel destinations, it is not easy. There are several factors to consider. What kind of vacation are we looking for? What is the budget? How much time do you have? Who are you going with? These are just some questions we suggest you to answer. Then, you can go on packing the luggage for sustainable travel to Asia.

If you have to choose between two exotic and budget-friendly destinations: Thailand and Vietnam, what then? Both countries are part of Southeast Asia. What’s more, both are famous as backpacker paradise and loved by authentic travelers, offering authentic experiences, such as Ha Long Bay Tour – we definitely recommend experiencing the wholeness of South East Asia with budget travel tips!

Vietnam vs Thailand: What to Expect

Thailand: the most Fun Country in the World

Cozy and festive, exotic and tropical, cultured and historic, Thailand versus Vietnam offers a thousand attractions. From striking temples and tropical beaches to the always comforting smile of its people, it is a destination to have fun.

If it is the first time you travel to Asia, it is the ideal destination. Many of its inhabitants speak English, so communication is easier. Bangkok Thailand is a developed city. While it retains the charms of Asia, the culture sock may not be as great, in comparison with neighbouring countries in South Asia.

If you are looking for a destination with dream beaches, Krabi, Southern Thailand is just perfect. Do you remember the famous movie “The Beach” starring Leonardo Di Caprio? It was shot here on the Maya Beach, Thailand. There are thousands of similar beaches throughout the country (in fact, the Thai government has decided to close Maya Beach to the public between the months of June to October to avoid further deterioration of its natural heritage).

Surely you have also heard about the famous Full Moon Party. It is said that Thailand is the most fun country in the world. It is celebrated on the island of Koh Phangan once a month and is the high point of chaos and fun. Maybe that kind of parties are not to everyone’s liking, but if you’re there by the date indicated, it’s worth seeing for yourself at least once in a lifetime.

If you are keen on diving, a must-visit is the Similan Islands. They may not be as popular as Koh Tao. But this is only because the nature reserve is not open all year round. It must be said that there is also a substantial difference in the price. Koh Tao is the best place if you are an inexperienced diver and your goal is to get a license. Many head to Koh Tao to obtain one, as courses are one of the cheapest you can possibly find. 

On the other hand, we have the North of Thailand, the most cultural part of the country. Here, people are calmer and more receptive. In the North of Thailand, you will find that image of Southeast Asia. It is full of the typical mountains and valleys, rivers and waterfalls, temples and history. Places like Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai or Pai are a gateway to Asian ancestral culture.

Vietnam: History, Beauty, and Culture

Its attractions are almost endless: a cultural diversity that combines centuries of local history.  Both Chinese and French had a large influence over Vietnam throughout the centuries.  Eternal rice fields, paradisiacal beaches, and natural landscapes are among the most beautiful in the world. Definitely visit Ha Long Bay, for shopping and for the fresh food that is common in Vietnamese cuisine!

Looking for an adventure? Vietnam, a little more shocking than Thailand but not as extreme as exotic India, is the middle ground.

While films like Apocalypse Now or Platoon are recent classics of the history of cinema, many relate Vietnam history to war. Picturing the Cu Chi tunnels is something common, yet make the country special.

Vietnam is your destiny if you want to have a deeper experience and you are open to new points of view. Local dynasties, Chinese occupation, the Hindu kingdom Champa, the French colonization, the union of Indochina, the occupation of Japan during the Second World War, the division and horrors of the Vietnam War, the consolidation of the communist regime, the opening towards Capitalism … The intense history of Vietnam cannot stop beating you behind every corner of the country.

One of the most magical things about Vietnam is its gastronomic culture. Go out to the street and share a table with the locals in a den where you would probably never enter. Open your mind and try new things, soak up their culture and their customs and above all, observe. Sometimes communicating with locals is tricky.  Since a large part of the population doesn’t speak English, prepare yourself to use body language throughout the trip.

Of course, Ha-Long Bay is a place you can not miss. Get lost in the rice fields of Sapa, if you are good at riding a motorcycle – do not hesitate to rent one! Go on exploration as authentic adventurers. Go canyoning around Da Lat and take some time in Hoi An (read: What to do in Hoi An)to visit the best tailors in the world.

 

Thailand or Vietnam?

As a summary, we will say that both countries are a great option. It does not matter if you are a backpacker, or a solo traveler. Or, if you go on family vacation with kids. Budget-wise, the choice is irrelevant, as in both countries prices are quite similar. 

So, for the first trip to Asia, Thailand is an enviable country. It is full of contrasts, yet local sympathy flows over every corner. Vietnam, on the contrary, is more authentic and surprising.  Thus, it may be that the surprise is not to everyone’s liking. If you want to combine culture and beaches, the right choice is Thailand. Do you are want to explore the history and experience a cultural shock? Then Vietnam is surely your target destination. But before you head to Ha Long bay in Vietnam, read our top things to do on a budget in Hoi An, the Lantern City in Vietnam, or what to do on a budget in Hanoi, Vietnam.