Travel Tip: Day tours

Whenever I move to a foreign city for a longer period of time, I make sure to get to know the country and culture by exploring it – like any traveler would. One of the ways in which I do this is by going on day tours. These can be arranged by professionels with a guide or by myself. Key is to explore the culture.

Day tours

Of course, there are trains, however, they can be a bit expensinve. Alternatively, there are also many bus companies that drive to certain destinations very cheaply. I’m a big fan of these! A day tour can quickly turn into a weekend tour with enough time to explore the, for me, most noteable places. For me, these day tours offer a cheap way in which to get around the country in which I’m living.

Do you have experiences with day tours/weekend tours? Any great tips I need to know about?

xo P!

Travel Tip: Keep a travel box

When I go traveling, I tend to write my explorations and experiences down – that way, I can recall my most treasured travel memories at all times: New friends met, funny/scary/sad situations experienced, beautiful and cool places and attractions explored as well as nice restaurants etc. However, sometimes I simply don’t have the time to write down everything. As such, I recently decided to keep a travel box on the side. In here, I put handwritten notes, post cards, tickets, bills etc. with travel memories that I don’t want to forget about in the future.

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I thought I wanted to share this idea in case of you also have difficulties writing everything down in the middle of/at the end of an adventure abroad.

xo P!

 

Travel Tip: Keep a travel journey

For the last five years, I have been keeping a travel journey. The reasons for this are many, however, it’s mainly because I wish to remember the details and my observations made when abroad. Furthermore, I want to remember the people and their stories. To me, a travel journey represents the perfect way to capture all the significant memories from travels. When having a travel journey, you can namely always take it out and explore again what you’ve already explored: Remember where you’re perspectives comes from and reflect on it.

Travel book

Exploring foreign cultures and acquire insight into these and perspective on foreign and own culture can be a somewhat comprehensive and daunting experience – wonderful and exciting, of course, but daunting indeed. So much happens when you travel to explore foreign cultures. Because I personally tend to forget the details in happenings and the funny stories, I decided to keep a travel journey in which all my adventures along with the experiences made have been written down. For me, this is the perfect way to remember all the small, significant details that makes my memories complete. Of course, I don’t write everything down – only the, to me, important stuff. Along with photos, I that way have a detailed overview of my travels. Sometimes, it’s interesting to go back and refresh your memory: Remembering the people foreign norms and customs and the funny stories from travels.

xo P!

 

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Social Media: Keeping in touch with friends and family as an expat

When you live abroad, it can be challenging keeping in touch with friends and family back home. However, thankfully we live in the 21st century in which technology plays an increasingly part of our daily lives. As such, the Internet opens a world of opportunities to stay connected as an expat.

Social Media

Personally, I use Skype and Facebook Messenger for texting and calling friends and family from. They are two easy and reliable programmes to use, which allow direct contact. I know some of my expat friends also use WhatsApp, however, I haven’t really tried that yet as I don’t really need anything but Skype and Facebook to keep in touch.
In this sense, though, social media is priceless to me. It allows me to keep in touch with my beloved ones without actually talking to them. Right now, where I’ve just moved to Amsterdam, started a new job and trying to acquire insight into the culture and build up a social circle, I don’t have much spare time. Therefore, social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat allow me to receive updates from friends and family while at the same time allowing me to send updates as well – without direct interaction. Sometimes, this is the perfect way to keep updated as the time is not always there.

Do you, as an expat, have any other ways to keep updated with friends and family? Any apps or programmes I should try out?

xo P!

 

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Travel Tip: Get lost

It’s, of course, important to plan and organise a trip in order to know what exactly there is to explore and experience, when to do so and if there are certain areas to definitely explore or avoid. However, when all the touristee things are explored, I find it extremely important to just get lost. …Get lost in the streets. …Walk around, meet people, eat at random cafes and/or restaurant. Simply, get involved in the culture and its people.

Get lost

…It’s nice to have a map, however, it’s also nice to make time to get lost too. …Forget about the map for a time and just allow yourself to wander around. You end up experiencing such amazing places and meet interesting people along the way.
Some of my personal all time best abroad adventures has started with me just wandering around different nabourhoods, exploring. Talking to strangers asking where and what to explore. I’ve met interesting people and even, as a result, been on a few innocent dates with local guys. For me, it’s truly the best way to acquire insight into the current culture of a country, maybe even learn a bit of the country’s history from a local with ancestors in the country. …You can always do the touristee stuff – maybe just set aside one day to getting lost…

xo P!

 

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Christmas Present Guide: What every traveler ’needs’

Presents for traveler

Except for an actual trip, there are certain things you always ’need’ (or want, really) as a traveler. For me, some ideal presents would be:

  1. Travel guide books for upcoming travel adventures. For example this book which I was given last Christmas from a dear friend
  1. Biographies and/or travel books written by well-known travelers
  1. Travel notebooks to write travel experiences in. This could be a notebook with plane white pages or a book similar to this one that I was given last month at my birthday from a treasured friend
  1. Travel planner including budgeting, transportation times, hostels etc.
  1. Travel wallet for passport, tickets, travel documents and local currency similar to this one
  1. Passport holder
  1. Luggage
  1. Luggage tag
  1. Lugage scale
  1. Travel tech organiser with room for all the essential gadgets similar to this one
  1. Small bottles of hand soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion as well as small tubes of toothpaste
  1. Good walking shoes
  1. iPhone clip on lense
  1. Noise cancelling headphones
  1. iTunes gift card
  1. Portable power
  1. Globe or other cute travel decorations for home. Right now I, for example, have my heart set on this one
  1. Gift cards to have travel photos printed

Of course, there a various types of travelers out there who might need different things depending on their way of traveling and interests. If you’re a traveler, what would you deem an ideal present for Christmas?

xo P!

 

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Travel Tip: Dig into the foreign culture

As I’ve touched upon in previous posts, I find it highly important to be open-minded and acquire insight into and understanding for foreign cultures in general and, especially, on travels. For my own sakes, I find it important to get involved in the foreign culture on my travels in order to, simply, acquire perspective on the foreign culture in question as well as my native culture.

Culture

Some ways in which I make sure to get involved in the foreign culture is to not only meet people from the culture, however, also by exploring its history and culture. As such, I quite enjoy the typical tourist attractions such visiting museums and attractions. However, also just walking around the different neighbourhoods trying various food, exploring street art and talking to people in the streets of these areas are great ways to acquire some insight into a foreign culture. If I spend a couple of days in a city, I always make sure to do a day tour or two to areas around the city. Often, when you travel, you end up visiting a big city, which can be somewhat of a tourist trap. Hence, it’s nice to undertake a day tour and visit rural areas far from characterised by a touristee feeling. Finally, another way I dig into a foreign culture is to go to comedy gigs and concerts. In this sense, the app Meet Up is great to get in touch with other foreigners visiting the culture as well as people living in the culture. Here, you can follow certain groups and attend meet-ups they arrange. You can actually also make an event yourself. In my experience, meeting up with like-minded strangers who want to socialise is such a great way to meet new friends as well.

There are so many great ways to dig into a foreign culture. Please share(!), how do you make sure to acquire insight into and understanding for a foreign culture on your travels?

xo P!

 

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Travel Tip: Essentials for day trips

l’ll admit it: I organise and plan almost everything. I love it – and I do mean love it! Although dating back to over a century ago on my father’s side, it must adhere to my German roots: Ordnung muss sein, ’ne!?

Day Trip

One thing, I know too well by now is to pack for a day trip. There are just certain items you need during such an adventure that you can’t go without. As such, the following presents you with my list of must haves travel items for a day trip:

  1. Travel bag
  2. Good walking shoes
  3. Sunglasses, sunscreen and an umbrella
  4. Cardigan and/or jacket, scarf and gloves depending on the weather – just in case
  5. Wallet, (passport) and keys
  6. Hand Sanitiser and travel tissues
  7. Headphones for bus or train ride – just in case
  8. Magazine and/or (travel) book for bus or train ride – just in case
  9. Camera(!) (and charger)
  10. Water bottle
  11. Snacks
  12. Patches/band-aids – just in case

What do you have in your travel bag? Advise is always well-received! …Sharing is caring, right!?

xo P!

 

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Travel Tip: Pack list

Recently, I came across this amazing travel pack list for vacation that I just need to share with you, dear readers! I mean, when going on a vacation, it takes time to make your own list every time, so maybe this general list can helpful to you – it will definitely help me. The best thing: You can always add your own stuff onto it, however, it presents a general travel pack list, which is just brilliant – nothing less.

Here you go (click on it to enhance the picture):

Pack List

Sharing is caring, right!?

xo P!

 

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