Why do you need to go boating outside of Amsterdam! Boat trip in Vinkeveen

Amsterdam is stunning and one of the most vibrant cities I have ever visited (and lived in) and its scenery canals make it very attractive for boat trips. However, if you are not visiting it for first time, and you do not want to do that the touristic way, think twice before wasting a sunny, warm weekend on a boat in Amsterdam AGAIN.

Our tip: rent a boat in Vinkeveen 😉

Where is Vinkeveen?

Vinkeveen is only half an hour away of Amsterdam, 25 km distance.

Why Vinkeveen?

Here is why you will have great experience there:

1. A boat trip in the nature

As much as I love Amsterdam, there is nothing like a relaxing boat ride in the nature. You will not hear crowd talking around you, and your eyes will be relaxed of the city view when instead you will be seeing lakes, a lot of water, peaceful beach houses, listening your own music (which you bring with you).

2. Prices in Amsterdam vs outside of Amsterdam

We all know that Amsterdam can be a bit pricey. The prices for a boat are not an exception. If you decide to rent a boat in Amsterdam, the prices are between 40 and 60 EUR per hour (deposit of 150 Eur as well) and the prices we found in Vinkeveen 18 Eur per hour for a boat suitable for 6 people, but we rented it for 4.

3. Busy water roads

You definitely need to be careful in Amsterdam! It is busy all year around, but when it comes to a sunny day… oh guys! Do not look right, left, up, or down. Look only straight and focus on avoiding crashes in another boat.

In Vinkeveen, you have lakes like a labyrinth, and you have plenty of space not to crash in anything 😉 At the beginning of the ride, they will give you a map with all the lakes, so you can choose the road you like. And trust me there is enough space for everyone.

4. Picnic in the nature

When we went in Vinkeveen, we could stop on every small green island, and pull out the picnic blankets.

5. Much more privacy

If it is a sunny and warm day, then you would probably want to try to get some tan. And if you try boating in Amsterdam, you probably know that between you in the boat and the people sitting in cafeterias and restaurant, or simply walking around the city, there are just few meters distance. You would not feel that comfortable when putting your sun cream and laying in bikini, while nearly everyone around you is eating and drinking on the canals, fully dressed up.

Well in Vinkeveen, the whole vibe is as of a beach place, everyone around you is doing the same or (windsurfing). And you simply feel like you are on a beach vacation.

It is entirely different type of experience than in Amsterdam. You can ride in much more peaceful, green, full of islands and lakes place, surrounded by beach houses. You choose your music, uninterrupted of the music of the boats near you, celebrating bachelorette parties. You can lay down, get your white wine and food, make picnic on the boat or on the islands.

For everyone who would love to have fully relaxing day, and everyone who already tried boating in Amsterdam, and does not want to do it the touristic way, go to Vinkeveen, you can book it via: Jachthaven Motel Borger (this is not sponsored post) spend half day there and let me know if you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Thanks for visiting,

xxx

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11 proven tips for booking the cheapest flight

What is next? One month after New Year, we are back to work and I think it is time to start planing our next holiday, or the holiday agenda for the whole year. We already know how to book our accommodation on budget, so let`s find out how to book the cheapest flights!

If you want to take the most of your holidays and enjoy it on budget, you have to start planning in advance and that is why I would like to share with you, how I manage to book the cheapest flights for my holiday.

1. Fake location
The location does make difference when it comes to flights. Especially if you are booking domestic flights. If you manage to trick the website to think you are actually in the States, when booking a flight from NY to LA, may b you will get a cheaper flight. More information you can find here.

2. Best day to fly
Check what are the cheapest prices in the whole month. Just click flexible dates and check the cheapest option of the month.

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3. Google it
Just google form were to where you are travelling, and Google may surprise you with a new route, because a plane is not always the best option.

4. Sky scanner
My ultimate favorite search engine for cheap flights! Why? Because you can choose the dates and leave the destination to “everywhere”. This way it will show you the cheapest flights for these days.

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5. Compare low cost companies
The low cost companies such as Wizz Air, Ryanair, even Transavia should be checked separately. The first two are not included in Sky Scanner so you definitely need to check them.

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6. Follow them on social media
Why? Because they can have many promotions, if you share a post or like something and then receive a reward. And yes, that can really work!

7. Check the extra fees
Most of the low cost companies has extra fees that appears only at the 2nd or 3rd page. Try to book the flight before actually paying for it so you can see all the fees and the total amount.

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8. Think about different combinations
Check the airport you are landing at(what`s the distance to the city. It might happen that you have to pay higher amount for the bus from the airport to the city you are visiting, than the actual flight.

9. Search in incognito
One of my favorite tips! Search in incognito can really make a difference. I am now booking a holiday for my birthday in March and have 1 screen open using normal Chrome, and one screen in Incognito. You guys… there is a huge difference I am telling you. You can go incognito by holding Ctrl + Shift + N

10. Sign up for the newsletters of the low coast companies
This way when Wizz Air has a discount, then you can be among the first one to know.

11. Book around a month before your trip
Skyscanner says the best time is 3 weeks in advance. In my experience I always choose between 4 and 3 weeks in advance for a cheap flight.

Extra tip for a cheap flight: I read a lot about people checking kayak.com. I do not use it but I see a lot of positive reviews, so give it a try.

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Thank you for visiting,
please share your thoughts and like my post if you like my content
See you next time
XXX

12 tips from Booking.com employee to book your holiday as a pro

We all know that sometimes organizing a holiday can be a lot of pain and can cost fights and arguments within the family or friendship. I am constantly using the website and also saw many cases in which the process went wrong. As a pro in the Booking process, I made a list with tips which will help you book your dream property easily using Booking.com.

1. Refer a friend
With Booking.com you are able to earn money when referring a friend to book. You will receive a unique link which you need to share with your friend, and after their stay, you will get your reward. All you need to do is to save your credit card on your account, and the reward will be sent directly on the card.

There are some rules in order to receive the reward. For example, you can not refer yourself. Read more about it here: Refer a friend

2. Genius Booker discount

As a Genius Booker or in other words – loyal guest, you will receive 10% discount in the price of selected rooms in thousands of properties worldwide. My tip here is to use 1 account only while booking with Booking.com, because they count the number of bookings, and after the 5th one, you will become a Genius Booker automatically.

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3. Use the filters
When you are searching for property on a specific location, dates, number of people etc. use the filters to sort the list with properties according to what else you would like to have in your booking. In case you want breakfast, parking, spa, apartment and many other things, just tick it and the website will show you only the properties that has it. It will save you so much time and make your life much easier. Since we are always trying to make the trip on a budget, you can hit “the lowest price first”.

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4. Book according a specific landmark
Type a landmark you would like to be staying around and the website will show you the properties near by. If you like to be around Dam square (the main square in Amsterdam) you will see all the properties near by.

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5. Using the map
If you click on the location of the property you will be able to see where it is located on the map. That option is very helpful in order to plan your stay and see where exactly the property is in the city and what you can visit around it.

6. Booking.com Customer Service number
Sometimes is hard to find the customer service numbers on different websites for a specific language, especially when you are in hurry and in difficult situation. Please understand that Customer Service is not able to override the conditions of the reservations and they are simply a mediator between you and the property. There are strict procedures for every single case you can think of, and when you call they know how to help the best way possible. Click the customer service help on the bottom of the page and then choose why you need to reach them. That will lead you to the list with languages of customer service.

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7. Check the pictures of the room (not only the accommodation)
Many people check only the main pictures of the accommodation, but what is very important for you is to see how the room you are booking looks like. Simply click on the name of the room.

8. Check the fine print
Very important! In the fine print you will find the conditions that apply on property level – meaning for all the different rooms. There you can find security deposit information, payment required via bank transfer, and many other stuff.

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9. Check the included/excluded taxes
Besides the amount that you see displayed in the table with different room types and policies, please check whether all taxes are included. MANY properties leave their taxes excluded for more attractive appearance, or country regulations or other things… so do not be surprised.

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10. Difference between cancellation and deposit policy of the booking
The cancellation policy is quite different than the deposit policy. That is mostly important when you book a free cancellation reservation, but on the other hand a pre-payment is required. Do not worry, you will get your money back if you decide to cancel within the cancellation policy.

11. Make sure you arrive withing the check-in time
Do not assume that if you send a request to the property for arrival outside the check-in time, that is enough and they are aware. You need their conformation. They are allowed to cancel the booking, if you do not show up by the end of the check-in time.

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12. Reviews
Of course, that is the biggest advantage of using Booking.com – you get to see what hundreds and thousands of people think about those properties and decide based trustworthy and transparent reviews.

Let me know if that helps you!
Thank you for visiting
till the next time
XXX

Extensive guide: 3 full steps how to fall asleep on a plane

The people who travel very frequent know that it is quite a challenge to fall asleep during your flight. There is no problem if it is a short one – 1-2 hours, but in case it is longer, I am literally going crazy! I am running out of activities (and battery), there is no internet, (obviously we are going for a budget trip, so we are using the low cost flights) and I just want to relax for some time. Trying to fall asleep, but not managing can really create a headache. The buzzing sound of the machine, low space, baby crying somewhere, bad food and coffee, no internet and dimmed light making it painful to read a book… on top of that some turbulence that keeps our stress levels up and swallow feet due to decompression. I certainly prefer to fall asleep if I can. So I decided to research what can help me, speak with flight stuff and share what I found.

1. Before the flight

First get ready with proper clothes. I remember when I traveled to Thailand I decided for a first time to buy clothes specifically for the flight (since it was like 16 hrs. all together). Then I saw how much more comfortable I feel when I put my special fighting clothes. I have a black skinny shirt, and high waist very wide pants. They are both looking cool together and very comfy. We all know how our body swelling from the decompression, which means that we need comfy socks and shoes as well.

Second, get ready with a flight tool kit. Prepare a kit for your trips which will save you headache.

My kit includes:

Thirdly, make sure that you choose the seat next to the window. Not only that gives you nice view, but also it is the best place while trying to relax during flight. You all know all this budget friendly flights are very low on space, so this seat is the only one that can give you a little bit more comfortability.

2. During flight

Let’s try to make yourself feel like home, without bothering any other person.

I would recommend eating a snack. It is better to prefer it yourself or to buy it from somewhere before the flight. I find the food on the plane really terrible, dissatisfying and will certainty make u feel even more hungry.

We can take out our shoes, just make sure that does not bother anyone 🙂 even better suggestion: have a extra pack of socks with you for the flight. The last thing we want is to receive a complaint about a bad smell in from of at least 4-10 people.

Put the glasses on. 😀 This way you do not look chatty. At least this is how I avoid continuous conversations. There are many chatty passengers around, which is alright but not when we are trying to relax. The dark glasses will relax your eyes, and get you ready to fall asleep like you are at home with curtains down.

Get your spray out and without bothering the passenger around you, keep your face hydrated and clean. I get pimples when I travel with a plane, and the spray truly helped me.

3. Falling asleep.

As the flying stuff say, up in the clouds: “put your seat belt, sit back and relax”.
Do not worry if you get just few minutes of sleep, sometimes this is all we need. Do not push your eyes and whole body to fall asleep again, that leads only to headache. Make sure you have downloaded Netflix TV shows or Game of thrones, and if you run out of battery, that is the time to open the book. After a short nap, you brain is refreshed and you will enjoy it more + that is another reason to sit next to the window;)

I wish I could provide more pictures of me falling asleep, but they were always looking weird so you get the idea.

People think that travelling with a plane is just a regular way to move from one place to another, but I think it is related with a lot of stress, and it is much more uncomfortable comparing to other vehicles. It is the fastest though, but I think in order to enjoy it more we definitely need some good preparation.

Let me know if you like my guide or you have more ideas.

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Till the next time XXX

9 tricks to spend less during holiday

Since I give my tips for travelling on a budget but comfortable, you will not find any recommendation for hostels, couch surfing, hitch-hiking, etc. Today I will share my ideas how to minimize the costs via small and simple tricks that we usually do not focus on.

1. Good preparation

Preparation for the trip is the key to a good budget. People ask me how I manage to travel so often, and now I will share my simple secret.

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I arrange my free days first. I plan when the next holidays is much in advance, which allows me to check the cheapest destinations ever. For example, I know most of my holidays until the end of December 2018! That leads to the next step…

Check the fly tickets for this days to everywhere. What I do is to compare the tickets for these days to`everywhere` through scyscanner.net and choose the cheapest ones. I got most of my deals for around 100 EUR, (many of them 15, 30 and 50 EUR and few of them 100, 130). I do not spend more than that on flight tickets.

Check the accommodation costs in the area before you book anything. Before you buy the flight tickets, check the accommodation via Booking.com. You do not want to book a 30 EUR flight to Switzerland and to end up paying a fortune for a hotel.

Calculate the sigh-seeing costs roughly. The last step is to calculate the sightseeing that you want to visit and then you are left with the calculation for shopping and going out. Voila!

I know it sounds a lot of work, but all that is done within 15 min., once you have the free dates 😉

2. Ask the locals

I always ask my colleagues for tips and recommendations, however if you do not have such a diverse team and colleagues, you can find a friend, friend of a friend BEFORE you go there. And of course, it does not hurt to ask around when you arrive there. But DO ASK the locals. Few days are enough to make you spend a fortune if you go to the wrong places.

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3. Make a budget plan (and stick to it)

I am (most of the time) very strict with my budget plan but if you are not like that when you make your plan, put some extra 50-80 EUR for something that can come up and you want to buy. Just be strict with yourself, you are already spoiled enough with the trip 😉

4. Avoid breakfast outside

That is my favourite meal of the day, and it is extremely nice to go out and enjoy the nice view. But hey, you can still do it over a cup of coffee, avoiding 25 EUR for breakfast! If I want to go really on a budget, I avoid it and have some groceries to prepare a sandwich. I prefer to go out for lunch and dinner and enjoy music and maybe a party, then having the breakfast.

5. Travel with hand luggage
I know many people who use the low-cost companies but then add the luggage. I mean… it is needless! What you need to do is to prepare your clothes properly, arrange it and take as less as possible. It is all about the good preparation. How many of us took lots of clothes on a holiday and did not wear half of it? Save your money for unused clothes.

6. Do not spend money on clothes before the trip so you can enjoy shopping there

Small tip to save up money. I know it is tempting to spend money on clothes thinking how you will wear it on your holiday, but push away those feelings and save it for the trip. I bought my favourite clothes from different cities around the world.

7. Avoid drinking (fancy) cocktails

The alcohol is what makes us spent a fortune going out in the evenings. I am always tempted to experience some nice cocktails on the beach, and I am also a fan of strawberry mojito, but if you want to go on a budget you can minimize it and have wine instead.

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8. Check for discount cards or sightseeing cards that include many of them

Make a good research for the sightseeing cards and deals, museum cards, and possible options to see as much as you can for less. There are many combo tickets that you would not know about without asking locals or making one good research. I used 3 museums for the price of 1 in Nice!

9. Take a bottle of water in your bag
A bottle of water in Amsterdam starts from 2,69 EUR to 3 and 4 EUR. I mean we can save this money when we travel and it is so simple. Just make sure you have an empty bottle. Stay hydrated 😉

I hope my tips help you and I am sure we all know them but the point is that we do not focus that much and we end up loosing at least 100 EUR extra, because of that.

Thank you for visiting,
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till the next time

6 reasons why I choose to spend my money on traveling, not on things

We all have so many bills to pay: rent, phone, health insurance, gym, and the list goes on. After you pay all of these bills, where do you invest the rest of your money? Would you choose expensive clothes or jewelry than a long weekend in France?

The excitement of buying new things is there only at first. After a very short time, it`s gone and you consider those things old already and you want to buy more. The shopping therapy will not be enough to keep you excited, relaxed or to make your self-esteem levels higher for the whole month unless you are buying all the time.

Here is why I choose to invest my money in traveling, not in buying stuff:

Relax. Vacations are not always relaxing as most of us are familiar. The saying “I need a vacation from this vacation” is totally applicable for many of my holidays. However, what I mean here is that your mind relaxes from the routine. You can`t reach this feeling with buying new stuff (not for a long time). Beautiful views, nature and new cities clear your mind of all the pressure, it takes you out of the rut.

Keep your self-esteem up. It is quite important for us to feel good and confident about ourselves. Usually, our self-esteem is built on positive experience with ourselves. Traveling to new places, learning new facts about new cultures, meeting new people will broaden our horizon. This whole new experience will boost your self-esteem as you learn new things that enrich your mind and because you gain a positive experience with yourselve.

Gets you excited. I like to say that my favorite emails are flight confirmations. When I make a reservation for an accommodation, I feel like a little kid going to Disneyland! I can’t help it, I just get this amazing high when I get on a plane (I know that can sound a little weird, but it is true). I need something to look for and hold on to while dealing with annoying daily problems. Honestly, how often would you say: it so difficult now, I feel so overwhelmed, have so many tasks at work, but it would be all good… once I buy this sweater at the end of the month 🙂

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On the other hand, traveling brings you to meet a lot of people. Most of them are tourists like you that are coming to enjoy, laugh, have fun and just relax. You know those people that are just happy? You can meet many of them traveling. Be around to those people, hung out with them, exchange your contacts. Interacting with happy people on high energy levels, bring your energy levels up as well.
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These memories last lifetime. It is undeniable fact! We do make memories that brighten our lives in a difficult moment, that can cheer us up and when we grow old, we would not sit and wonder: what if. We are truly rich with what we have in our minds and no one can steal from us those experiences.

While I was in the States, I was trying to save up some money during the summer, but one part was always spent by default for my trips. I probably spent like ½ or ⅓ on that, and while I saw some people working all the summer and going home straight after they finish, I felt proud that I spent this money on travelling, especially now that I can hardly remember how much I earn, what I spent and what I did with the rest…

You see, at this moment, years later – memories is all that matters.

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Makes you an interesting person (turns you into a storyteller. How much of a boring story will be, if we do not travel and we speak only about the things we buy? Your trips can always be an opening topic or an interesting point you want to add.

You can try different cuisine. Some people will say that it is easy to try different cuisines even in your own country. However, you know… when the products are not local when it is not done exactly the correct way when the spices are even slightly different – it is just not the same! Let`s face it – you have to try the local thai food, the local spanish food, french, bulgarian – then you can truly enjoy it and say what your impression is.

For me traveling is very important part of my life. I believe we have to practice the hobbies that we love. My two favourite hobbies, that makes me happy are: traveling and writing. Not practicing them will make me lose my spirit and fall down. I believe that practicing what we love, brings our vibration high, makes us happy and full of love, put a smile on our faces. Be one of those people, who walks on the streets with a silly smile, consumed of the plans for their next trip. And I am pretty sure this smile won’t be there because of the plans to buy a new sweater.

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Thank you for visiting,
Till the next time