Hacks & Tips 3 MINS READ

Guide to Stunning Solo Travel Portraits

Guide to Stunning Solo Travel Portraits

Hacks & Tips 3 MINS READ

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

Gear Up

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

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

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

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

Tech is Everything

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

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

Spot the Photographer-looking person

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

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

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

Here you have it.

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

Have fun while capturing your stay!

Hacks & Tips 7 MINS READ

Digital Nomad Travel Tech List

Digital Nomad Travel Tech List

Hacks & Tips 7 MINS READ

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

Press Release 3 MINS READ

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

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

Press Release 3 MINS READ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About CuddlyNest

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

About NextPax

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

For more information, visit www.cuddlynest.com

Contact details:

 Ritesh Raj, COO & Co-Founder of Cuddly Nest

Phone:+49 174 3726 462

Email:  [email protected]

Press Release 2 MINS READ

ITB Berlin 2019

ITB Berlin 2019

Press Release 2 MINS READ

The Innovative Travel Industry Startup CuddlyNest to Attend the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show ITB Berlin 2019

CuddlyNest Europe team is going to attend ITB Berlin from March 6th to 10th.

– The Tourism Trade Show entails wellness travel, business travel, and other booming travel sector verticals.

Chicago, February 26—The fast-growing accommodation rental agency CuddlyNest is delighted to announce its attendance of ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show from March 6 to 10 held in Berlin to explore new business partnerships and learn about the latest trends within wellness and adventure travel, amongst other travel segments.

The trade show is going to take place in Messe Berlin and will gather more than 10 000 exhibitors from more than 180 countries across 5 continents. The trade show allows private and trade visitors to follow the latest trends across all industries, including such niche markets as responsible tourism, culture tourism, youth travel, and LGBT travel. The trade show includes webinars about industry segments, workshops, and other events to facilitate knowledge exchange and allow visiting companies to become more competitive in the travel technology market.

This year attending ITB Berlin, Cuddlynest is strongly determined to gain a deeper understanding of the travel trends in 2019 and beyond in order to deliver its partners and potential customers mold-breaking services. Ritesh Raj, COO & Co-Founder of CuddlyNest, disclosed that “ITB Berlin is an event CuddlyNest looks forward not only to gain additional knowledge and reconnect with its established partners but also to put a finger on the pulse of the travel world to see what tomorrow brings.”

CuddlyNest is an innovative online travel accommodation marketplace offering any kind of accommodation for all budgets to every type of traveler globally at the best rate. The company’s innovative booking fee-sharing model with the lowest aggregate commissions in the market allows property managers to be in charge of their earnings while guests can book their accommodation for the lowest price possible.

Contact:  COO & Co-Founder Ritesh Raj

Phone:+49 174 3726 462

Email:  [email protected]

Website: www.cuddlynest.com

Press Release 2 MINS READ

VRMA International to improve the experience of CuddlyNest’ s clientele

VRMA International to improve the experience of CuddlyNest’ s clientele

Press Release 2 MINS READ
  • VRMA International conference takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 27-30

  • Startup OTA “CuddlyNest” attends VRMA International  to learn about the fast-growing industry

  • CuddlyNest to partner with channel manager Avantio

From October 27th to 30th, Cuddynest took part in the international VRMA conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, to develop knowledge about the VR industry, explore new travel tech solutions and close meaningful partnerships.

The VRMA International conference was a three-day event by the trade organization Vacation Rental Manager Association and gathered more than 100 vendors with cutting edge innovations and solutions, and more than 60 sessions brought by industry’s leading professionals. The industry-leading PMS, OTAs, and ancillary tech producers were attending to share and compare the insights on the previous year’s growth and the expectations in the future.

The conference once again proved the importance of startup OTA to be in the hotspot of industry leaders and practitioners, as well as general management professionals. From Terry Jones’ talk on safety and security to Amber Mayer’s warning about the safety concerns with the tech solutions like VR, CuddlyNest had a lot to take away to embed into our new OTA solution.

About CuddlyNest

CuddlyNest is a global online travel accommodation marketplace catering to all traveler types willing to book any type of accommodation from over  200 countries with the lowest service/traveler fee. Our innovative booking fee-sharing model allows our guests to book for a reduced guest fee, host to earn more. The fast growth of the company’s inventory and partnerships promise a market-leading position in the travel ecosystem.

For partnerships, discussions, or interviews, please contact:

Ritesh Raj
COO & Co-Founder of CuddlyNest

[email protected]m

Press Release 2 MINS READ

CuddlyNest at VRWS 2018

CuddlyNest at VRWS 2018

Press Release 2 MINS READ


CuddlyNest attends Vacation rental World Summit 2018 in Como, Italy and Closes Partnerships with Local Property Managers

  • Startup OTA “CuddlyNest” attends Vacation Rental World Summit (VRWS) in Como, Italy
  • VRWS is the largest independent vacation rental (VR) industry conference in the world
  • “CuddlyNest” to close partnerships with many local businesses and learn about industry innovation and future prospects

Global travel online travel agency startup “CuddlyNest” attended one of the main hospitality industry events VRWS on October 6-7 in Lake Como, Italy. During the two day conference, the startup has closed many valuable partnerships with local property managers and participated in the discussion on the future of the travel industry, hospitality, and growth of vacation rental industry.

The conference gathered more than 100 vacation industry professionals from all around the world and gave a stage to leading industry experts from Booking.com, Airbnb, TripAdvisor, hospitality industry regulatory institutions and other marketing and VR tech professionals.  The main topics discussed in the conference verged from the analysis of the state of the VR industry, the risks and opportunities related to state regulations and growing travel accommodation convergence between vacation rentals and hotels, as well as innovation and development. The spotlight of the innovation and development was given to blockchain technology, virtual assistant deployment at homes, and professional management software. More and more importance was given to discussion of the effectiveness of current distribution systems, and the clash between decentralized marketplaces and OTAs versus self-promoted highly local business marketing.

Industry professionals like Simon Lehmann, Andy McNulty, and Tammi Sims shared their insights and opinions of the future opportunities and threats of the VR industry. According to  Lehmann, the property managers are about to become the cleaners and receptionists of the industry if not taking the matter in their own hands and optimizing distribution channels. Another insight of Tammi Sims was, that the hospitality industry is highly local and bound to comply quality over the scale. Therefore, the future expansion and scaling of the vacation rental industry, as well as hotel chain acquisitions of VR are doubted to be successful in the long-term.

About CuddlyNest

CuddlyNest is a global online travel accommodation marketplace catering to any type of traveler willing to book any type of accommodation in more than 200 countries with lowest service/traveler fee. Our innovative booking fee sharing model allows our guests to book for a reduced guest fee,  and the fast growth of the company’s inventory and partnerships promise a market-leading position in the travel ecosystem.

For partnerships, discussions, or interviews, please contact:

Ritesh Raj

COO & Co-Founder of CuddlyNest

[email protected]