Travel Further: Use These Apps To Plan Your Next Vacation

With the new year on the horizon, you might well be thinking about how you’re next going to jet off and see the world anew. While the thought of hopping on a plane and going wherever the wind might carry you can seem appealing, the reality can be a whole lot different, taking a big chunk out of your energy reserves. If you find the process of getting a flight, arranging a hotel and making all the last minute details stressful, you need to turn to technology in order to help you out. There are a whole load of travel apps on the market designed to make your vacation a lot easier, reducing the worry factor remarkably. These apps are the cream of the crop, making picking a flight and jetting off a much closer reality.

Hopper

Juggling multiple websites to ensure that you’re getting the best deal for your flight? There’s an app for that. If you’re finding searching on competitor websites time consuming and exhausting, you can try using Hopper to streamline your travel search. A mobile app, Hopper compares all of the deals on flights for the dates that you have chosen, locating the best deal out there for you. All you need to do is select your route, punch in the dates and the app will tell you what to do and when to do it. Better yet, you can also set alerts to tell you when flight prices drop, helping you get your hands on a ticket sooner than ever. With savings of up to 40% to be had, the app will seriously change the way that you travel.

Hitlist

If you’re the type of person who has an ever growing travel wishlist, you can turn to apps in order to make your adventuring dreams a reality. Hitlist is a mobile app that allows you to enter all of your dream travel destinations into its servers, in turn sending you alerts when flights to these places are at their lowest. If you’re not sure what city it is that you’re looking to go to, you can define your search according to region or country, helping you to see parts of the world that you might otherwise have overlooked. The app lets you stockpile all sorts of trips and travel variants, giving you the chance to jet off whenever your fancy takes it!

TripAdvisor Hotel Flights

Keeping tabs on different hotels can be a tricky business, particularly when you’re using different vacation websites to get the job done. If your computer screen is a sea of open tabs, you need to turn your attention towards an app that’s going to streamline everything into one easy place. Enter TripAdvisor Hotel Flights. An offshoot from the comparison website, the mobile app makes it easier for you to scour pages of hotel reviews wherever you might be, and keep tabs on the ones that are really taking your fancy. As well as giving you an insight into the best of the best, the app will help you find the best deal for you on hotels and travel, making it easier for you to enjoy your vacation in style.

Tripit

In this day and age, who uses paper anymore? Rather than getting all of your affairs in order in a paper document, you can make the task a whole lot easier by turning things digital and putting them on your phone. If you prefer to have everything in the palm of your hand, Tripit is the travel app for you. Putting your tickets, reservations and itineraries into one easy-to-access place, the app cuts down on document loss for good, making getting on top of things a walk in the park. You can also share your vacation details with family and friends, giving them a chance to get on top of your itinerary and store their information along with yours. Travel has never been so easy.

Gate Guru

Do you find that you’re forever running through the airport in a desperate bid to find your gate? Gate Guru will make things a whole lot more easy for you. Rather than running from one area of the airport to another in order to find what you want, the app can help you to make the most of what’s located near your gate, meaning you never have to wander too far off. The vacation app also comes equipped with airport alerts, telling you before the crowds if there have been any changes to your gate number or departure time.

Staycation: How To See More When You’re Staying At Home

Vacations are a great way to see the world, get out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons. What happens, then, when you’re staying at home? With everyone jetting off at all times of the year, it can begin to feel like you’re getting left behind. It turns out, however, that adventure could be waiting for you. Your hometown is bursting with opportunity and even if you’re staying at home for your holidays this year, you can still have a great time. It’s all about adjusting your perspective. Once you take off your resident hat, you can see your town through the eyes of a tourist. There is a whole world out there to be discovered and it starts with where you live!

Throw Your Routine Away

Your vacation time is your chance to kick back, relax and forget about who you are for a little bit. If you’re going to make the most of traveling where you live, you need to throw your normal routine to the wind and explore your local area in a different way. Forget about the places that you normally go to and look to a different part of town. To make your task a little easier, you can try renting an Airbnb or hotel room in a different part of town. Treat yourself to the things you normally would if you were on holiday. Get up late, take a long bath and make yourself a special breakfast. Give yourself a cultural task to do for the day and try that bakery on the other side of town. The aim is to explore further, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.

Turn Off Your Emails

Just because you’re still at home, it doesn’t mean that you should make yourself available to work emails at every moment. While staying at home might make you feel like you have to keep checking in with work, you should try and take a break from your usual schedule in order to kick back. Turn off your email alerts and put your out of office on your phone. Give any pressing information to your colleagues and tell them to phone you only in the case of an emergency. This is your time to relax, so you should make the most out of it.

Eat Out, Often

It is so often the food that makes our holidays memorable. If you’re used to eating in when you’re at home, try treating yourself to a few great meals out when you’re on your staycation. Make a list of all the places you’ve been meaning to try and make a few reservations. Try choosing somewhere a little more expensive than normal, or stopping in for a coffee and a pastry on your way home. Making each meal an event of sorts is a great way to really kick back and feel like you’re having the vacation of your dreams.

Make A Local Bucket List

We all have a number of places in our local towns that we’ve been meaning to try but simply have never got around to. Your staycation is the perfect opportunity in order to get more done. Before your holiday comes into effect, try making a list of all the places that you’ve been meaning to try. Experiencing your hometown through the eyes of a tourist can help to up your appreciation of where you live. Add as much as you like to the list and get exploring!

Keep Your Camera With You

A staycation isn’t really a staycation unless you capture a few of your memories along the way. Reaching for your camera when you’re on holiday might be second nature but when you’re in your hometown, you might struggle to find an opportunity to take a snap or two. To create a memorable experience, try taking a camera with you wherever you go. The chances are that if you do, you will begin to look at places in greater detail and spot areas that you had never seen before. Taking the time to document small details will help to boost each experience and help you to capture the essence of your staycation!

Treat Yourself

One of the joys about going on holiday is the opportunity to splurge a little now and then. While you don’t need to drop huge amounts in order to have fun, you can allow yourself a little extra spending here and there in order to make the most out of your time off. Try going for a nice meal, treating yourself to a new clothing item or seeing every museum in the local area. You’ve already saved a huge deal on flights and hotels, so don’t be afraid to go the extra mile for yourself.

Think Fast: How To Plan A Last Minute Getaway

Jetting off into the sunset is the thing of dreams and yet, with a busy working life and social commitments, you might have let this year’s vacation fall by the wayside. How can you get your share of sun? Never fear; it’s not too late to plan a summer trip and even if you want to go over the next few weeks, there are a ton of ways to make your vacation happen.

If the stress of life is getting too much a last minute getaway could be the very thing that you need and by following these simple steps, you can really make the most of your summer break.

Stop Being Picky

Ok, ok, so you really want to spend 2 weeks in an Italian villa, but unless you have a wad of cash saved up, it’s unlikely that you’re going to make it last minute this year. Luckily, however, there are a whole range of things available at your fingertips and by casting your search net out a little further, you can stumble across something truly great. The trick is to refine your options and go from there. Do you want a city break, or a beach holiday? Are you looking for somewhere really hot or do you prefer a cooler stay? Once you have refined what you’re looking for, you can head over to websites like Skyscanner to compare flights to numerous airports. Make sure you do your research before you go; your dream holiday is out there but it’s up to you to find it.

Tap Into Flight Alerts

Want to keep up with all the latest travel news? It’s time to tap into flight alerts. There are a number of different travel websites out there that each offer up to date news on your customized flight alerts, helping you to stay on top of any deal that might suddenly pop up. Websites like Airefarewatchdog and Kayak are amongst some of the best, making it easier for you to keep your nose to the ground while doing other things, too. Don’t be afraid of looking for something last minute; there are a load of deals to be had if you remember to look in the right place.

Call Up Your Friends

Do you have a long list of buddies living around the world? Now could be the moment in which to give them a call. Using your trip as an opportunity to catch up with an old friend or family member can help to you recharge your batteries and save the cash on a hotel room. If your loved one doesn’t have any spare room at their place, consider asking if you could crash with one of their friends nearby. Having friends across the world can be a gateway to a whole range of new cultures; it’s up to you to tap into them.

Think About House Swapping

If you’re really short of cash then jetting off into the sunset hardly feels like the responsible thing to do but incredibly, there is always a way to find your dream vacation. House swapping is a great way in which to get away, save money and experience a new place like a local. Places like Home Exchange and Home Link can provide you with everything that you need in order to get set up and make the most out of your trip. Even vacation rentals through sites like Airbnb can be cheaper than a hotel room and will help you to feel more settled in the new place.

Be Prepared For The Unprepared

Last minute travel can be one of the most exhilarating experiences out there and as long as you’re prepared to make things up as you go along, it can be incredibly successful. While not having a plan can feel like the scariest way to find yourself in a new country, it can also teach you things you never knew about yourself and help you to become stronger on your own. Your trip is a chance to see a new part of the world, interact with a foreign culture and potentially meet new people. Embrace whatever comes your way and never forget what you learn!

Essential A List Travel Tips For A Dream Vacation

Jetting off into the sunset is something that many of us fantasize about doing and yet, the realities of modern travel can wreak havoc with our best laid plans, transforming our effortless stay in the airport lounge into something that more closely resembles a nightmare. Travel can often be stressful for reasons that are out of our control and yet, if we simply changed our approach and took our time about the whole ordeal, we could make it into something much more enjoyable. It’s time we took a cue from the people who really know what they’re talking about.

Celebrities might have access to some of the best travel in the world but even that doesn’t stop them from having to deal with the same kinds of checks and processes and we have to. Given their time in the air, however, many of the A listers that we love so dearly have picked up a whole range of tips and cheats, helping to make their travel experiences as comfortable as they could be and now, it’s time for you to take influence from those who know it best. Are you ready to travel like a star? Come fly with us.

Have A Facial On The Plane – Chrissy Teigen

While whipping out all of your cosmetic products while you’re mid flight can seem a little much, you can try streamlining your carry on makeup bag to include the essentials for your trip. Air travel is notoriously harsh on the skin and when you’re going to be making long trips, you might want to take something along to keep your face glowing for your arrival. Facial spray and sheet masks are a great way of keeping your skin moisturized and fresh, without any of the extra mess. Try using the products half an hour before you land; that way, you will arrive looking rested and fresh, no matter how tired you might actually feel.

Drink Your Weight In Water – Jennifer Aniston

While actually drinking your weight in fluids might leave you in a mad dash to the bathroom, you should make sure to hydrate sufficiently throughout your trip. Keeping your body’s fluid levels is a great way of staying hydrated, feeling alert when you’re struggling with jetlag and flushing out any toxins that might have built up along the way. Try sipping on a large bottle throughout your flight; that way, you will land feeling and looking at your very best!

Top Up Your Immune System – Jessica Alba

When you travel, you expose your body to a whole set of germs and bacteria and often, you can pick up a bug or two on your flight. In order to give yourself a fighting chance against infection, make like Jessica Alba and take a few vitamin C tablets before you fly. During the flight, you can also fight against germs. By keeping a hand sanitizer in your bag, you can keep your hands fresh and clean, warding off anything that might come in your path.

Travel With Weights – Karlie Kloss

Staying in shape can be hard when you’re on the go and even though you might be on vacation to relax, you can still keep your body looking and feeling at its best. To avoid finding a local gym when you arrive, try traveling with a few small weights and resistance bands in your hold luggage. You can quickly work out in your room when you arrive and keep your fitness levels ticking over.

Stretch Out With Yoga – Alessandra Ambrosio

When you travel for long stretches of time, you can end up feeling all the worse for it when you land and even if you make sure to keep moving mid flight, your muscles can really pay the price on the other side. To avoid any strains and keep yourself feeling limber, try stretching out from your flight with a little yoga when you get to your hotel. You can strengthen your muscles, iron out any knots that might have built up and effectively destress before your holiday really begins.

Travel is something that many of us go through but by simply thinking through our routine before we step on board the plane, we can end up feeling and looking a million times better when we land. We might not have the cash to go for a private jet but armed with these A list travel tips, we’re guaranteed the trip of a lifetime.

Mamma Mia!: Travel Off The Italian Beaten Path

As far as the movies, travel guides and personal blogs tell us, Italy is one of the most beautiful places in the world and getting there should be something towards which we aim at least once in our lives. With any number of ancient sites to choose from, however, knowing where to start in the Mediterranean country can be the biggest challenge of all and with so many well documented guides already out there, it can be hard to feel like you’re seeing anything for the first time.

It turns out, however, there might be another side to the country that we simply haven’t seen before and by traveling off the beaten path, it’s possible to experience a much more authentic, less captured side of the historical country. But where should you start? These spots might not be exhaustive but, use any one of them as your starting point and you’re guaranteed to have a trip to remember.

Orvieto

Located a short 90 minute trip outside of Rome, Orvieto is a great way to glimpse the Italian countryside if you’re taking a longer trip in the country’s capital. Located on a picturesque hillside, the winding town offers spectacular views of the local area and surrounding countryside, showing off the wonders of the Umbrian landscape. Inside the city walls, it’s much the same story and with many of the city’s older buildings still well preserved, it’s very easy to get a glimpse of what life was like hundreds of years ago. While there are any number of picturesque spots to see, the local cathedral really takes the cake, filled with intricate mosaic tiles and stained glass windows like you might have never seen before.

Rimini

Want to cool off at the beach? Rimini is the spot for you. A local favorite, Rimini is a great seaside resort off the beaten track, offering you all the benefits of Italian culture will the possibility of cooling off at the end of the day with a quick seaside dip. With a whopping 9 miles of seafront, the beach options in the town go on for days and you might be hard pressed to choose a beach that you prefer the most. It’s not just all about the water either; you can stroll the city’s promenade and sample any number of local dishes, stopping into bars and cafes as you please.

Parma

The city that gave its name to the celebrated ham, Parma is about so much more than great food. While most tourists do flock to the place for its celebrated cuisine and local delicacies, there is a great deal to see within the town. There are many walking tours on offer which give you a glimpse into Parma’s long and winding past, giving you the backstory on any number of buildings and monuments. If your tummy’s rumbling, there’s plenty for you, too; one of the most popular walking tours takes a look inside a number of cheese making shops, letting you sample the local delicacies before you settle on a choice.

Puglia

If you’re looking for a quieter, calmer version of the Amalfi coast then Puglia has you well covered. Renowned for its unique cone shaped huts, the town has a rich and vibrant culture and many of its older buildings still stand today. As well as the picturesque local views and noteworthy architectural feats, the town is renowned for its great selection of local foods and produce and whether cheese, olives or bread is your thing, there’s bound to be something out there to suit your tastes.

Portofino

One of the most colorful places in the country, Portofino is a real photographer’s dream. Dotted with pastel colored houses, sparkling turquoise swimming spots and any number of sailing yachts, the seaside towns is one of the prettiest places in Italy and one of the best places to unwind after a long day. While most travelers head to Portofino to kick back and relax, there are a number of great walks to be had in the town, offering great view over the local area and coastline. Try heading up Castello Brown Fortress for the best view of the region; located high up on the hillside, it takes in the place in one sweeping view.

Adventurous Aspirations: How To Travel On A Budget

Broadening your horizons, introducing you to new cultures and inspiring you to see the world anew, travel is one of the best ways in which you can spend your time and money. With increased air fares and rising rental prices, however, actually getting your hands on that trip can feel all but impossible and unless you’ve managed to squirrel away a rainy day find, then you might believe that the adventure of your dreams is forever out of reach.

Think again. One of the most enriching and rewarding experiences out there, travel can be easily within reach, even if you’re on a shoestring budget. By simply planning ahead of time, changing up your schedule and committing to some easy tricks, you can go on the trip of a lifetime, all while staying within budget. Ready to see the world? Now, you can.

Set A Budget

While it might seem like the most obvious of steps, setting a budget is something that relatively few people do before jetting off into the sunset. Although you might have a vague idea of how much you want to spend, by spending a little more time working out a specific budget for each step of the journey, you can save yourself a great deal of time and worry down the line. When putting a list together, budget how much you want to spend on food, accommodation, supplementary travel and activities, always leaving a little extra over for emergencies. If you’re going away for a longer period of time, you can consider putting away extra funds in an online savings account, which you can dip into later down the line. At the end of the day, you can also list down how much you have spent on activities and food. By staying on top of your budget, you do away with any financial worries that might hit along the way

Travel To Nearby Countries

If you want to plan a bigger trip, traveling within the same region can save you a great deal of money down the line. Although your initial flight out might be costly, further travel from that point onwards can be a great deal more affordable, giving you the chance to see diverse areas of the same region. If you’re traveling within Europe, for example, you can find a number of affordable connecting flights or trains for much cheaper than visiting the place on a one-off trip. Similarly, if you’ve bought an expensive flight to another part of the world, you can make the most of it by traveling more within the country or region when you arrive. Local transport tends to be a great deal cheaper and more accessible and can help to open up your eyes to the rest of the world.

Stay At A Rental Apartment

When it comes to travel, we all want to do so in style but as costs mount up, choosing expensive accommodation can be an unnecessary luxury. While you travel, consider following options like AirBnb or VRBO for your stay. Not only will they save you a great deal of money but also, can give you the chance to live like a local during your trip.

Travel Off The Beaten Path

While we all have a list of travel spots that we want to visit, popular tourist destinations can sometimes be costly and often, it’s better for your budget and experience to travel off the beaten path. While capital cities like Rome and Paris are definitely worth a visit, there are a great deal of less renowned but equally beautiful cities nearby that will help you to keep your budget in check. If you want to get a glimpse of Europe, try heading east where the prices are dramatically lower. Cities like Tallinn, Budapest and Kraków have some of the richest cultures in the world and might just open up your eyes to a completely different way of life.

Pack Light

Keeping your suitcase small and packing light for a shorter trip can help you to save on baggage costs while you travel and make moving onwards much more simple. Many forms of transport limit the amount of luggage that passengers can take and if you go over weight requirements, you might find yourself forking up the extra money to cover your baggage. Knowing exactly the amount of clothes you need during your trip can help you to keep suitcase costs low and make moving around the different places much less of a hassle. The less you take with you, the freer you will be to follow your next adventure!

By taking the time to really think about your trip, you can cut costs dramatically and be free to enjoy more places along the way. Your next adventure is out there for the taking; it’s up to you to grab it with both hands.

Go East: Where To Travel In Eastern Europe

When it comes to travel, we’ve all got our dream cities. Whether it’s Paris, Tokyo or New York calling you from across the water, each place is renowned for its cultural sights and local flavors and, thanks to years’ worth of collective experience, you know that a trip to any one of the world’s travel centers is guaranteed to be unforgettable. There are other places across the globe, however, which have been going overlooked for years now, falling short of the vacation radar. Perhaps less well known or explored than other places, these cities have just as much to offer as their more popular counterparts, arguably showing a more authentic side of local life. If you want to tap into the very best of these adventure-rich cities, then you might do well in turning your attention to eastern Europe.

For so long the underdog of the European cultural scene, the region’s eastern nations have been making a name for themselves in recent years, building up a cultural and artistic following. As well as having some of the most beautiful and ancient cities around the world, these smaller cities work well as “go-between” towns, linking to neighboring regions and countries in all things art, food and leisure. While there are a huge number of smaller cities to be explored, these eastern cities really top the tally and whether it’s history, cuisine or nature that you’re on the hunt for, you’re bound to stumble across something worth exploring.

Kraków

Once Poland’s capital city, Kraków is bursting to the seams with cultural activity and foodie spots and now, it is fast becoming a travel destination for adventurers across the world. Intertwined with the events of WWII and the Cold War, Kraków is a city as founded on its recent past as its near future and across the city, it’s possible to stumble from one time zone to another. Despite the difficult events that rocked their country, Polish people are as proud a nation as they come, showcasing their rich culture in a number of diverse museum experiences. While taking a trip to the nearby Auschwitz camp and museum might seem like a long journey from the center, doing so is an essential part of really experiencing Kraków and understanding how it has reformed itself. Elsewhere in the city, you can try popping into a Milk Bar for an authentic dining experience, strolling around the cobbled streets of the Jewish quarter and exploring its old town, which even has its own Medieval moat.

Dubrovnik

It’s not hard to see why Dubrovnik is more commonly known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. Located on Croatia’s glittering coast, the ancient city is the crown jewel of the country, highlighting all of the region’s proudest cultural and architectural feats. While there are plenty of stunning vistas to feast your eyes on, few areas of the city are quite as beautiful as the old town, which is fit to bursting with winding cobbled streets and medieval architecture. If you really want to take it all in, you can take a stroll atop the old city wall, which boasts some of the best panoramic sights of the place. Once you’ve finished walking, try resting your feet on a local cable car, which takes in sights of the entire town from the top of the nearby Mt. Srd.

Ljubljana

Walk into Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana, and you might believe that you have stumbled into a fairytale. Balancing bustling riverside streets, quaint pedestrian bridges and a even hilltop castle, the tiny city is a real treasure trove of hidden sights. In the summer months, the streets come alive with local performances and free events which last well into the night. If you want to get your bearings, you can try heading to Presernov Trg, a square in the city center in which motor traffic is heavily restricted. While you can try strolling along the winding paths, you would be equally well suited in hiring a bike and exploring Ljubljana’s riverway. Daytrippers from the city often set their sights on the nearby Lake Bled which, surrounded by mountains and fir trees, is one of the most beautiful spots in the world.

Eastern Europe is filled with hidden gems and cultural delights that are just waiting to be found. While a number of cities are starting to gain international attention, many of them still draw in local crowds only. If you’re looking for your next adventure, head east.

The Girl’s City Guide To Barcelona

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So often, getting the perfect balance between great culture, even better food and a killer hotel can be all but impossible and somewhere along the line, you have to compromise on one essential feature to make the rest worthwhile. There are some places in the world, however, which magically deliver on all fronts, serving you up all of the essential ingredients for a perfect trip.

A city practically created by the vacation gods, Barcelona in Spain really does have it all. Balancing a healthy dose of Catalan culture, an incredible local dining scene and some of the best nightlife spots in the world, the city is a great place in which to get away from it all and catch up on some much needed r&r. Located on the Spanish coast, the city is large enough so you won’t easily run out of options and compact enough to make hopping from one spot to the next a real breeze. Easy.

Where to stay

First things first, getting a great hotel spot should be at the top of your agenda and luckily for you, the city more than delivers on the sleep front. No matter your budget, there is something unique on offer, which will blow all of your others stays out of the water. If you’re looking to save on the hotel, but still want somewhere with great interior design, then you need to set your sights on the Hotel Praktik. Located right next to a number of public transport options, the hotel is in easy distance of all of the best hotspots and restaurants. Each room is kitted out in its own unique artwork, while the outdoor terrace offers a little calm away from the buzzing city.

If you want a little more independence in your stay, however, you should set your sights on the city’s huge number of apartment rental schemes. While Airbnb is of course big news in the city, you might want to source a new type of stay and if this is the case, you can’t get much better than Chic and Basic. Sprawling across the city, the company has a number of different properties to choose from, each with a different interior design. Every rental also comes equipped with its own bicycles, making getting around the city a real breeze.

What to do

When it comes to activities in Barcelona, you’re incredibly well covered and no matter what you’re searching for, there is something that will really take you by surprise. While making a beeline for Gaudi’s various architectural feats is all part and parcel of the city experience, there are plenty of other things to get excited about, too. The city is full of artistic references and over the years, was home to many of history’s most enduring creatives. You can follow the Picasso trail by walking down the streets and neighborhoods which influenced the artist’s singular style, all before taking a stroll around the Museu Picasso, in which many of his most famous works are located.

If the arts aren’t your thing, however, you can try hiking up the Montjuïc mountain – a place that is rarely on the tourist trail. While it does take some effort to get to the top, by the time you get there, you won’t regret a thing. Looking out on the city, the park offers one of the best urban vistas anywhere in the area and offers a rural respite to the rest of the urban sprawl.

Where to eat

A coastal town, Barcelona has a huge number of great eating spots, all stuffed with the finest local fare and fresh seafood. If you’re on the hunt for a real showpiece of a meal, then you should head directly to the hugely popular Alkimia. Approaching classic Catalan cooking with a theatrical flair, the restaurant is renowned for its deconstructed dishes and experimental style of serving. It’s not just all appearances, either; the food, although in strange guises, utilizes all of the best ingredients from Spanish cooking, leaving diners feeling more than satisfied.

If you want to try your hand at the local tapas scene, however, you can try the incredibly popular Tickets. While actually securing a table at the sought after restaurant can be a little tricky, once you’re in, you are privy to some of the most incredible cooking you will ever taste. The restaurant follows traditional tapas menus but, by including seasonal produce and one off ingredients across a number of the dishes, adds a little something extra to the tasting experience. You might have to book some months in advance but if you manage to get in, make sure you haven’t eaten before.

Home to great culture, food and drink, Barcelona is one of the most vibrant places in Europe and it’s hardly surprising that so many people choose to make it their vacation destination. Ever changing and expanding, the city never stays the same so even if you’re visiting for a second or third time, you’re guaranteed something spectacular.

The Insider’s Guide to Paris

Across the world, it seems like everyone has their own opinion about the city of lights. Whether it is the capital of love, great food or influential art, it doesn’t matter; Paris is a city that has it all, constantly evolving to meet the tastes of its diverse locals. If you’re planning a visit to the French capital any time soon then you’re in for a treat; thanks to a blossoming local business and arts scene, there are more new places to try than ever in the city. All it takes is a little investigation.

Do you want to experience the city like a local and discover its hidden gems? You’ve come to the right place. Hold on tight; we’re about to journey to the other side of the city of lights.

Gravity

Over the past few years, the food and drinks scene in Paris has exploded and where native dining used to be about lashings of butter, cream and cheese, now, the food is as experimental as it comes. Across the city, there are a huge number of cocktail and food bars which are growing in popularity by showcasing some of the best of France’s diverse local produce. If you’re looking for some of the most incredible out there, then you need to head to Gravity. Having opened towards the end of 2015, the bar is still relatively new on the scene, but that hasn’t stopped locals flooding there in their dozens. Home to an impeccable cocktail menu, the most delicious small plates you will ever taste and a sweeping, curved ceiling, Gravity is a nightlife experience unlike anywhere else in the city.

Le Bal

While Paris is known for its rich cultural and arts scene, it is doing a great many things for the contemporary scene, too. Although you might be tempted to head to some of the city’s major museums and galleries – which are certainly worth a visit – you can also try sourcing out a few lesser known spots, too. Gallery Le Bal sits just inside the 18th arrondissement close to Place de Clichy and is a real cultural find. Showcasing the most cutting edge artists and filmmakers, the tiny gallery always has something worth viewing that might just change your perspective on the world. The famous cafe also serves up a killer brunch that is worth hanging around for.

Halle Pajol

Located far in the north of Paris is a place that is completely changing its surrounding environment. The Halle Pajol is situated right next to the city’s train line and is a project that hopes to change how locals live in and use the space. Constructed out of wood and steel, the open plan building boasts and blooming botanical garden on one side, in which you are likely to find locals reading, chatting and enjoying the sun. Enter from the street side and you will be met with a entire set of new restaurants, cafes, shops and a youth hostel. It might be far from the city’s center, but Halle Pajol is transforming what Paris means to many people.

Louxor Cinema

A building that is as renowned for its interior architecture as its impressive film list, the Louxor cinema is worth visiting at least once in your life. Decked out in Egyptian-inspired art-deco design, the building itself is a sight for sore eyes and is unlike any other place in the city. While you can expect to find a number of new releases at the cinema, it is also renowned for its screenings of movie classics, which draw in the crowds from across the city.

Holybelly

If you’re in Paris on a Sunday, then you do brunch. Partaking in the meal is not even a point of question for most locals and if you want a real Parisian experience, then you too will take part in the feasting. Searching for the best brunch in the city might be a challenge but for many locals, there’s no question that Holybelly tops the list. Located next to the city’s trendy Canal St. Martin, the cafe serves up a whole range of brunch and lunch foods that are guaranteed to get your tummy rumbling. The menu often changes each weekend and the specials are always worth paying attention to, so make sure you ask before you order.

Experiencing Paris like a local can really show you an entirely new side to the city and completely change your presumptions about the French capital. Away from the cultural center, there are a great deal of new and underground things going on; all it takes is a little extra searching and Paris can be yours for the taking.

Festivals Worth Traveling The World For

When it comes to travel, it’s about much more than just getting away and these days, there are a ton of good reasons to jet across the world. If you’re on the hunt for something truly unforgettable, then you might want to consider making a festival part and parcel of your international experience. Bringing together tourists, locals and global cultures, world festivals are some of the best way to experience the liberalism that travel can bring. Showing you a side of local culture that you’ve never seen, these local festivals might just change your opinion of their hometowns and bring a whole new meaning to travel in the future.

Holi, Nepal
Known as one of the friendliest nations in the world, it’s little surprise that the Nepalese host one of the most upbeat festivals in the world. While the Holi festival is celebrated throughout India and across the world, it is the event in Nepal which really makes the headlines. Known as the festival of colors, Holi is a Hindu celebration (although all are welcome) to celebrate the triumph of good over evil as spring makes its way into the world. Locals take to the streets and, over the course of a few hours, throw brightly colored dyes in every direction. If you don’t like getting messy, this celebration isn’t for you; those who do take part end up leaving an entirely different color!

Beyond, Morocco
If you’re on the hunt for something a little more adrenaline-filled, then you might want to set your sights on Beyond festival. An adventure-travel festiva based in Moroccol, Beyond sets up its 250 visitors in a series of high octane activities, including sand boarding, camel convoys and desert runs. As if that wasn’t enough for you, there are also a series of masterclasses on offer, including the art of traditional Moroccan cooking. Topping things off, the festival provides adventurers with their very own four poster bed to collapse in after the activities; who said festivals were all about camping out under the stars?

La Tomatina
Perhaps the messiest festival in the world, La Tomatina draws in hordes of people from over the world when it opens its floodgates each August. Known as the biggest food fight in the world, La Tomatina involves – you guessed it – a whole lot of tomatoes. Over the course of the festival, locals and tourists throw more than 100,000 pounds of tomatoes in the streets of Spain’s Buñol. If food fights aren’t your bag, there are also plenty of other activities to keep you occupied during the day, including live music, dancing and traditional cooking contests.

Snowbombing, Austria
Ski bunnies and snow lovers set their sights on the Austrian mountain resort of Mayrhofen each April as the Snowbombing festival descends on its slopes. Including a lineup of some of the world’s top musicians and recording artists, the festival is one of the most unique in the world, taking place entirely in the snow. If you’re prepared to get seriously cold, you can even attend the Arctic Disco which takes place in a huge igloo nightclub. Searching for the night of your life? Snowbombing might just have you covered.

Art Basel, Switzerland
Culture lovers can’t get enough of the contemporary art on show at Art Basel, one of the world’s most important cultural festivals. Taking place in the Swiss town of Basel each June, the event brings together an eclectic mix of artists, collectors and buyers, all vying for the next big thing in art. If Switzerland is too far away for you to travel, never fear; the art show recently opened outposts in Miami and Hong Kong, conquering all outlets of the contemporary art world.

If you’re on the hunt for a great international festival, then there’s more out there than the well worn musical events. Across the world, there are a huge amount of artistic, foodie and athletic events taking over their local cities and in the process, putting a new pin on the world map. Showing you new cultures and traditions, traveling the world by festival can be one of the most memorable ways to take a trip. The events are out there for the taking; it’s up to you where you go next.