2018 has seen a shift in the way people travel. Movements towards responsible and ethical travel experiences are revolutionizing the travel industry, and right there with it is a trend to seek out more meaningful experiences, and focus on local travel.
And by local travel I don’t mean exploring your own backyard (though there’s a case to be made for that too!), I mean delving deeper into a country or city, and escaping the typical tourist circuit and main landmarks.
Really being able to experience a city … and here’s the buzz word … like a local!
We’re not all fortunate enough to have friends based in every city, but in terms of having access to someone who can show you the real side of their city, there’s definitely something to be said for paying a local to show you around.
This is especially true for a well trodden destination like Paris; private tours in Paris, led by locals, are a great way to experience a city from a more authentic point of view.
Paris. Every superlative in the world has been used to describe Paris, and whether they’ve personally traveled or not, I would wager that every person on earth could reel off an impressive list of things to do.
Photographs of Paris are instantly recognizable, and if you’re traveling to snap a photo of the wrought iron Eiffel Tower, or gargoyled Notre Dame cathedral, let’s be honest, that’s not exactly new.
Paris is, after-all, the most visited city in Europe, and many, many, people have walked the lamplit bridges of the Seine before you.
But despite being one of the most travelled cities in the world, Paris manages to keep a few secrets. Beyond the grandoise palaces and boulevards, and behind the museums and historic facades, are cobbled backstreets with many lesser-known things to do.
Whether you’re planning on staying in Paris for a few days, a few weeks or a few months, staying in an apartment is the best way to get a taste of life as a local, among locals. Hotels are still popular, of course, but if you’ve ever dreamed of living the Paris lifestyle, it’s now very easy and affordable for travelers to pick up the keys to a proper home!
With more space, a kitchen, and a washing machine, more travelers are choosing to stay in apartments over hotels (especially in Paris), and it’s become quite a popular trend. So much so that rental agencies like Paris Attitude, who cater to travelers, have gone from a portfolio of 20 properties 10 years ago, to 7,000 today!
And why not?! You get to spread out in some of the city’s most famous residential buildings for often a fraction of the normal nightly hotel price. And you have far more choice when it comes to location, with apartments on every street corner, with views of your favorite monument / attraction.
There is a definite shift away from hotels in favor of apartment rentals, so we’ve covered some of the best apartment rentals in Paris for travelers.
Paris is one of the world’s most iconic destinations, inspiring travel fantasies and capturing hearts and imaginations all over the world. But with so many highlights it can be a challenge to experience the city like a local would. And with 20 million odd travelers who visit the city every year, I wanted a more authentic experience than your average tourist would.
Short of moving to France (tempting), Cobblestone Paris offers that authentic experience even if you’re just visiting for a weekend; they rent impeccably furnished and conveniently located apartments which allow travelers to experience Paris the way a Parisian would.
Entering into a restaurant in Paris can be a formidable experience for uninitiated travelers. Not only do they have to contend with trying to make their wishes understood by a waiter who may or may not speak their language, but they must learn quickly how to adapt to local dining customs.
The Paris dining scene can be bewildering for those first time travelers who have no idea where to start, though if you’re confused about the difference between a bistrot and a brasserie, or if you feel intimidated by the prospect of going into any French restaurant and ordering a meal, then you’ve come to the right place!
Paris is a European shopping mecca, and the buzz and hype that surrounds the shopping experience here is like no other. Beautiful neighborhoods are bursting at the seams with designer fashion stores, and stylish people strutting the streets. It’s safe to say that Paris is a shopper’s dream.
Set up with over five major department stores and 17,500 + shops, the shops in Paris don’t sell clothes. They sell lifestyles. Though for those who can’t afford to shop at flagship stores, the city is still packed with an amazing range of discount and outlet stores.
In the lead up to Paris fashion week, the following is a guide for Paris fashion you can afford. For those fond of fashion who don’t want to spend a fortune, these are the best discount stores and factory outlets. You’ll find top international designer brands at prices discounted from 30 to 80%!
2020 is the age of the socially conscious traveler – increased awareness around responsible travel has seen us become more conscious of our environmental and social footprint, and many travelers now acknowledge the importance of traveling with awareness and thought.
And that’s exactly what it means to be a socially conscious traveler – to make ethical decisions where you’re mindful of the impact you have on both the environment and the local community you are visiting abroad.
Ultimately, don’t destroy what you came to enjoy.
The basics of responsible travel apply where-ever you travel – simple things like not littering, leaving places the way you found them, and respecting nature and wildlife. However each destination may have additional specifics to consider.
Whether it’s macroons from Paris, or Harem Pants from Bali, there are just some products that are widely unavailable or wildly expensive in your home country. And as a frequent traveler, I’ve been well positioned to pick up goods in other countries.
Yes, it was out of love that I shopped for my sisters in London, would buy my brother the latest American drones, and pick up a Japanese sumo loincloth for my cousin (I don’t ask questions!!). But what if you could connect with people who were willing to pay you for the service?!
Grabr is exactly that; a peer-to-peer marketplace that has exploded since 2016, connecting travelers to shoppers as a way of monetizing the extra space in your luggage!
There are many tricks out there for booking the cheapest flight, and a lot has been written about hacking your way to paying less.
In 2016 the advice was to book exactly 56 days before departure. In 2017 we went nuts about mistake fares. In 2018 email subscriptions took off, where you could sign up for alerts of cheap prices, and in 2019, companies started offering everyday travelers access to wholesale airfares.
Over the past 4 years, I’ve written about each and every one of these trends. And each and every year I think: This is it, travel can’t get ANY cheaper. This is the biggest game changer yet.
Because you can only hack your way so far before reaching the bottom. Surely, at some point, there’s no more room for any less. But I’m proven wrong year after year – travel does continue to get cheaper. And a new company called FlyLine has just defined 2020’s cheap flight trend.
By offering virtually interlined flights (I’ll explain that in plain English in a sec), while giving you access to wholesale prices, FlyLine is beating out companies like Skyscanner and Kayak for the cheapest flights, and is the newest way to book flights for less.
Europe is an incredible holiday destination; from stealing a kiss under the Eiffel Tower, to eating your body weight in Spanish tapas, and running scenes from Gladiator in Rome, there’s no continent on earth quite like it.
Whether you stick to the classics like Paris, Rome and Barcelona, or spice it up with some East-meets-West in Istanbul or Russia, there’s literally no end to your options when planning a trip to Europe. So we don’t blame you for not knowing where to start.
Europe is a vast continent, and the logistics involved with planning a trip can feel overwhelming – from hotels to activities, transport, and train tickets; if only there was one site to manage it all.
Spoiler alert: planning a trip to Europe is very easy if you bookmark Klook.com! (worth noting that Klook is for travel all over the world, not just Europe).
If you’re struggling to plan, or wondering about how to start, the following is a step by step guide that covers exactly how to plan a trip to Europe, from setting your budget, to choosing your destinations, planning out your itinerary, and the great news is that you can research, compare, and book everything on ONE website.
While France may be among the most popular tourist destinations in the world, what with the lure of Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre, many travellers sadly don’t venture beyond the nation’s capital.
While it may be easy to fall in love with Paris, France is full of plenty of other worthy destinations; smaller cities and rural towns that are bursting with authentic French culture and intriguing history.
One such city is Metz.
Known as the “Ville d’Art et d’Histoire” (City of Art and History), and named as one of France’s ‘Top French Cities‘ for 2020, Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region in north-eastern France, set along the beautiful Moselle River.
Just three hours by car from Paris, or half that by train, Metz elegantly blends a rich past and priceless monuments with modern innovation, and is especially well suited for pedestrians and bikes. Its lively atmosphere and perfect size makes it ideal for short breaks, though you could easily find more than enough to keep you entertained for weeks.
No idea where to start? Here’s a list of things to do; a full run down of churches, parks, museums, festivals, and food!
Let’s face it – everyday life can be stressful. So much so that one of the biggest trending issues of the 21st century has been to raise awareness and shine a spotlight on issues surrounding mental health.
One in four people suffer from mental health issues at some point in their lives, whether that’s feeling stuck in life, or battling more severe issues like anxiety and depression. And while traveling may sound at first like you’re running from your problems, the truth can be quite the opposite.
It’s important to have reliable transport when traveling, and those who value their freedom tend to opt for the hire car option.
Renting a car offers one of the most reliable ways to explore a city and its surrounds without having to deal with the tediousness of public transport or the money-draining nature of taxis and day tours. However, many people shy away from overseas car rental, thinking it’s too complicated.
Spoiler alert: it’s not!
Renting a car can be an overwhelming process if you’ve never done it before, so to that end, we’ve put some tips and tricks for renting a car like a pro.
It’s easier than it looks, and the perks are amazing!
Known as the roulette capitol of the world, France is considered to be among the leading casino destinations on earth. There are a massive 186 legal gaming places in France, spread across 175 towns, and they truly are spread out; in fact, you’ll only find one casino in the capitol of Paris!
You obviously won’t have time to visit all 186 properties, so we’ve put together a list of the best in the country.
Most couples love to be romantic and spend quality time with one another. But sadly, due to the pressures of daily life, it isn’t always easy to find the time for romance.
Modern couples these days have to cope with long work hours, raising a family, financial strain from the cost of living, and all of this leaves very little time for romance.
It’s easy to let routine and stress take over your lives, but it’s important to break away and really invest time in strengthening your relationship. One of the best ways to seek romance is by planning a romantic vacation.
There are plenty of romantic destinations around the world, but there are some destinations that just scream romance; always have, and always will!
So we’ve rounded up the classics; timeless destinations that have become known as cities of romance, and are still strong choices for couples breaks in 2020.
Few destinations have undergone quite the transformation that the United Arab Emirates has in the past couple of decades. And Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, more so than the rest.
As an emirate, Abu Dhabi is far more quiet and conservative than Dubai, and offers visitors a more authentic glimpse of the regions’s culture. While tourism is drawn towards the fast-paced cosmopolitan of Dubai, Abu Dhabi has become an attractive hub for expats.
In fact, data from the UN has revealed that 88 per cent of the UAE’s total residents have come from abroad. That’s massive!
So, just what is it about this Emirate which is attracting so many expats?
As you gear up to travel over the holidays, or book your next big adventure, you might be hit with a sense of dread. Long-haul flights, and those hours you spend overcoming boredom and discomfort, can instill anxiety in even the most seasoned traveler.
It almost seems like they’re specifically engineered for maximum annoyance. Not only is there the question of how to stay occupied for a long stretch sitting in one place, but the ensuing jet lag can be the ugly cherry on top.
Not this time!
We’ve written posts on how to stay comfortable on a long distance flight, and even how to survive them, but what if you could learn how to actually enjoy your time in the sky?!
Rather than suffer through the in-flight entertainment on that painfully small screen; rather than twist and turn on the rock-hard headrest; rather than touch down at your destination feeling like death warmed over, follow these simple tips for enjoying a long-haul flight.
Choosing the right accommodation on a ski holiday can be equally memorable as your time spent whizzing down the powdery slopes. The tough part however, is how to find the best place to stay from the thousands available online.
For the picture perfect ski holiday, you can’t beat a great in-house atmosphere, something which your friends and family will all enjoy. Though when you opt to reserve a few hotel rooms, it doesn’t really have that cohesive community feel.
Catered ski chalets are a favorite among groups and families, as they not only offer total privacy, but are also highly cost effective when you’re sharing between a couple of people – somewhere between the price of a hotel and a self-catered apartment.
Essentially, a ski chalet is booking your own private house – sometimes it’s even staffed for you with chefs, butlers, and housekeepers! (Chalet is the Swiss term for a wooden house with overhanging eaves, typically found in the Alps).
Thinking about a staying in a ski chalet for your next winter holiday? Here are a couple of things you should know about.
It’s meant to be the holiday of a lifetime, the trip that starts your marriage off with a bang. However, it’s these sorts of expectations that can wreak havoc on your honeymoon planning.
People often place far too much pressure on their honeymoon planning, which often means the trip will fail before it even begins. Yes, your honeymoon is important, but in reality it’s just another long holiday.
With this in mind, we’ve put together some tips for making your honeymoon a success before you fly off into the sunset, with advice for detaching yourself from huge expectations that may ruin the trip.
According to a study done in 2018, the average cost per person was just over $1,000 when planning vacations. This may be fine if you’re traveling solo, or as a couple, but can become quite expensive for the whole family or a group of people.
Taking family vacations, or traveling with a group, can be a great way to break up your daily routine, and these types of trips have invaluable benefits when it comes to bonding.
But many people hold back because of the money.
So, whether you’re a couple with three kids, dreaming of a Eurotrip with your 5 best girlfriends, or planning a full scale family reunion, the following are our best tips for planning a budget friendly group vacation.
There are many reasons people love to travel, and the answer to this common question is typically something to do with personal development; to challenge yourself, to learn, to appreciate life, to expand your perspectives.
Of course, there are also many who travel for the pure enjoyment of adventure, or for the relaxation and rejuvenation that escaping the stresses of everyday life can bring.
There are many motivations for traveling the world, and being that travel is such a personal journey, there will always be an endless list. However some fascinating travel trends have recently emerged that have seen motivations for travel converge into three main categories.
Wondering why people travel this year? Here are three of the biggest reasons! Let us know in the comments why you personally travel, and whether you find the following travel trends surprising.
Traveling is a fun and exhilarating activity, however if you’re not prepared for the weather, you might find that you’ve effectively ruined your trip.
The weather is the single factor most likely to positively or negatively affect your travels, though it’s also one of the things most travelers take for granted, and people quite often find themselves caught off guard.
Checking the weather forecast for your destination before you leave is essential to ensuring you are packing appropriate clothes, and you shouldn’t make assumptions as to what you believe the weather is going to be.
I mean it’s always going to be warm in Australia right?
If you’re traveling during winter, or to destinations that experience extremely cold weather conditions, make sure you have the following items of clothing with you.
It’s better to be safer than sorry. Yes, this is an overused cliché, though safety is something which should be taken seriously when traveling, especially when traveling solo.
The world isn’t actually dangerous or unsafe, and most foreign countries welcome solo travelers quite warmly. Solo travel is a fantastic opportunity to see the world on your own terms, to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and make friends out of strangers.
There are many myths when it comes to traveling solo, most of them around safety. But largely, the biggest secret to staying safe abroad as a solo traveler is using common sense, and being aware of your surroundings
It’s true that some countries will make solo travelers more vulnerable to danger than others, so it’s always important to check up to date advice for your specific country, but by and large, the following common sense tips will ensure your safety.