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 Guide To Berlin

When it comes to European cities, you can’t find a much cooler place than Berlin. Home to some of the most creative individuals this side of anywhere, the city is bursting with inspiration and one of a kind finds and if you venture there, you might just end up not coming back. While it is great to visit the city at any time of the year, it really comes alive during the summer months, the locals spilling into the many parks and public places after weeks of bitter cold. Thanks to longer days and warmer nights, there are also a ton of summer events taking place in the city when the sun comes out, giving you even more reasons to prolong your stay in Berlin. With outdoor spaces galore, independent galleries, food markets and music events, the city might just be the best European all-rounder out there.

First things first, you’re going to want to take a serious look at Berlin’s coffee scene. The number of independent, ethically sourced cafes that have sprung up in recent years is simply staggering and now, the locals are as up to date on their brews as some of the best baristas in the world. Starting your day at Kaffebar is always a safe bet and is sure to keep you going for a long day of activities. While the cafe is normally packed with freelancers and creatives, if you get there early enough you’re guaranteed a spot inside. The coffee is a must but if you really know what’s good for you, then you will will stock up with a full breakfast. Serving a variety of cakes, fruit plates and cooked breakfasts, the cafe serves some of the best food in the area and is a favorite amongst locals.

If you want to experience a lesser known side of city life, then you can try making a beeline for the Turkish market. Located in Kreuzberg, the market takes place every Tuesday and Friday and pulls in many of the local Turkish population. Taking place alongside the city’s canal, the market is a great place to take a stroll on a sunny day, offering a wide range of fruit, vegetables and items for the home. You’re bound to find a real treasure amongst the stands.

Those on the hunt for something a little more filling, however, should look to Markthall IX for inspiration. A covered market, the place sells a range of homegrown products put forth by a variety of local vendors; if you’re looking an authentic picture of Berlin’s creative scene, then this is it. If you’re in the area on a Thursday evening, you will find yourself in the midst of one of the biggest foodie events in the city, as a group of food vendors take over the stands. The produce on sale is from all across the world, letting you taste whatever you have in mind.

Of course, there is plenty of history and culture to be experienced in the city and taking a trip to Boros Bunker will show you a side of Berlin life you might not have ever seen. Once acting as a bunker for the city’s inhabitants following the Second World War, the building was later taken over by the Red Army, serving as as a working prison. Since the fall of the Berlin wall, the bunker was the site of a number of techno parties, giving way to the city’s famous party scene. Now, the place is home to one of the most varied contemporary art collections in the world, all presented in one of the most unique locations in the city.

If you’re lucky enough to enjoy Berlin during the summer months, then you can enjoy a late afternoon drink by Görlitzer Park, one of the most popular in the city. Drawing in crowds of people from across Berlin, it is one of the most thriving areas during the summer months and offers a great deal of space within which to relax and enjoy the sun. Many people flock to the area after work with a picnic in tow so don’t be afraid to make like a local and kick back.

Berlin truly is a city that offers something to everyone and in every corner of the place, there is something new to be discovered. A place as laid back as they come, it is up to you to decide how you enjoy your time in the city. You might just fit in like a local.The

To Market: The World’s Best Local Bazaars

Visiting a city these days is about so much more than hitting up the same old tourist traps. Those looking to discover what foreign places really have to offer might find themselves wandering off the beaten track and directly into the heart of the best spot any city has to offer: The market. While the contents of each city markets can vary hugely, you’re pretty much guaranteed a great flavor of local life in each one you attend, whether it be food, culture or clothing centered.

Around the world, there are some markets which blow the rest out of the water and if you’re on the hunt for something really special, then you might want to refine your search a little bit. While these markets are by no means exhaustive, they do offer up a version of international life that is unlike anything you’ve ever tried before. Hold on to your shopping bags; things are about to get really interesting.

Borough Market, London

Foodies from across the world flock to London’s Borough Market, and it’s really not hard to see why. Located in a booming industrial hall, the market specializes in almost every type of cuisine, and is a great place in which to try something new. While twists on classic British food are widespread, you can also expect to find great variations on exotic foods, seafood, baked goods and local produce. The full market is open all day from Wednesday to Saturday, and is a great place to sneak to if you’re fed up of all of the crowded tourist dining spots. While it is almost always busy, it is for good reason and as long as you’re willing to fight for your supper, you’re guaranteed a plate of something interesting.

Kashgar Bazaar

Nestled at the intersection between Central and Western Asia, Kashgar is a real mix of cultural influences and to journey there is to experience a place unlike any other. If you really want to understand what it’s all about, however, you will make a beeline for the city’s mammoth bazaar, which is packed full of every type of product imaginable. Bringing together local food, trinkets, handmade goods and cultural items under one roof, the Bazaar is the perfect place to fully understand the myriad of local cultures that influence the place. Locals make their way to the market on Sundays to stock up for the week, so while the day can be incredibly busy, it is also a great window into Kashgar life.

Chatuchuk Market, Bangkok

Thailand is a city renowned for its street food and local markets and while there are a huge number of incredible spots around the country’s islands, there’s no arguing that Chatuchuk in Bangkok is the best. One of the largest markets in the entire country, Chatuchuk is also one of the most diverse and whether you’re hunting for handmade clothes, local food or cultural trinkets, you’re bound to find something incredibly unique. With stalls winding every which way in the market, it’s easy to spend hours simply wandering through the labyrinth, taking in everything on show. It might sound overwhelming but don’t worry; the market is broken up into themed sections, making shopping there much less intimidating.

Pike Place Market, Seattle

Of course, there’s a lot of great stuff going on elsewhere in the world and in some cases, you don’t have to journey too far to experience something extraordinary. At nearly 100 years old, Pike Place Market in Seattle is one of the oldest in the world, and has clearly perfected the market formula over the years. While there are a few “tourist friendly” stalls set up, the majority of things on sale are bought by locals, so the market is a great place in which to slip into community life. Fresh food stands attract large crowds, especially at the weekends, so if you’re in line to buy, make sure you have your eyes on the prize. While the market isn’t the biggest of its kind, it is one of the most diverse and shoppers there are bound to come away with something truly unique.

Stanley Market, Hong Kong

Quite possibly the most popular market in the whole of Hong Kong, Stanley Market is worth visiting at least once in your life. While it is located a little way from the center of things, making a trip there is more than worth it. On arrival, you can expect to be greeted by hoards of clothes, paintings, silks and local foods, all dotted around the many restaurants and cafes inside.

The Girl’s City Guide To Barcelona

Want peace of mind on your vacation? Click on the Armed Forces Insurance link below for your free quote!

 

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.

Where To Travel In 2016

In today’s world, travel is the ultimate commodity. With scores of young workers forgoing buying their own property or car in favor of exploring the world, the hunger for international exploration has never been higher in recent years. The travel industry, thankfully, is hot on the trend and now, it is easier than ever to venture to any corner of the world and experience something truly incredible. When it comes to picking a travel destination, however, it can be easier said than done and with dozens of destinations vying for your attention, actually making a selection can be a long and difficult process.

Luckily for you, you don’t have to worry any more and whether you’re searching for a great city break, a tropical adventure or a beach holiday, these vacation spots will have you well covered.

Havana, Cuba

With international relations between the US and Cuba at their best in years, traveling to Cuba looks like it might actually be a whole lot easier this year. If you’re one of the lucky few that get to venture to the country in the coming months, then you should make a beeline for its capital, Havana. Since tourism in the city has been so low for so long, there are still dozens of untouched areas in Havana’s streets that are just waiting to be explored. While planning a trip to the city might take a little more legwork than other places, discovering something off the beaten track is truly worth it and if you want a little extra guidance, there are plenty of tour operators that can guide you in the right direction. 

Quebec City, Canada

While venturing north might not be something you’re willing to do during the winter months, there’s a lot on offer in Canada’s cities that make even the most freezing of temperatures bearable. Topping the country’s list this year is Quebec City, a town steeped in old European culture. Architectural styles in the city’s old town are a great way of stepping back in time and experiencing the place as it might have been a few hundred years ago. Complete with winding lanes, cobbled streets and brightly colored buildings, you might just think you’re in rural France.

Kotor, Montenegro

A city in a country that you might never have heard of, Kotor is making serious waves in the travel industry this year. Nestled in the heart of Montenegro – one of Europe’s smallest and most stunning countries – the city enjoys a backdrop of impressive mountain vistas and clear winding rivers. Blessed with the warm waters of the mediterranean, Kotor is one of the best places in which to pass the summer months and, thanks to its incognito status, there are relatively few tourists about either. Strike while the iron’s hot and everyone else realizes what a gem of a city it is.

George Town, Malaysia

Not to be confused with the other George Town with which you might be familiar, the Malaysian city balances high and low art on every street corner. Named as a Unesco World Heritage site, the city is blessed with one of the most impressive and ancient streetscapes in the world. On the other side of the city, however, is something much younger as local artists push the contemporary culture scene. Steeped in tradition and searching for something new, George Town is a real mix of worlds.

Nashville, Tennessee

One of the most exciting cities in the US right now, Nashville is doing a lot of things worth paying attention to. While the country scene is still very much alive and well, there is a a great deal of change underway in the city as new creatives workforces take over the place. While the gentrification is changing the look and feel of old Nashville, what’s taking over is equally worth seeing. Contemporary arts and cutting edge culture bubbles are popping up in pockets over the city and if you’re a fan of everything new, then you will want to take a look.

If you make 2016 about anything at all, then it should be exploration. Offering new perspectives on world culture, these cities are the places to be this year and if you want to beat the crowds, you’ll check them out while they’re still relatively under the radar.

Around The World In 5 Bites: The Foodie’s Guide To Travel

Thanks to the rise of social media, what we are eating has never been more diverse. Sharing pictures from around the world, food lovers have opened up the international floodgates and now more than other, it’s very difficult to pinpoint one “local” cuisine. What we eat says so much more about us than where we come from and what we do for a living and now, it doesn’t matter if it’s Asian, Italian, Moroccan or a fusion of the three; if it looks good and tastes even better, then we’re probably eating it.

The way that we eat has intertwined with our thirst for travel so much so that now, many people are taking tripes based solely on the kinds of food that they will find along the way. With so many experimental chefs and popups bubbling up across the world, there has been no better time in which to be a foodie traveler but with so much choice,  it can be hard to know where to focus your attention. For food lovers, these cities are the bread and butter of great international cuisine and, once you’ve tried a dish from any one of them, you might never go back to “normal” food again.

Copenhagen, Denmark

As well as having some of the most stylishly dressed locals, Copenhagen is renowned around the world for its firm grasp on the foodie market. While the city is very much in the international thick of it, it is its more traditional establishments which are really making a case for the Danish dining experience. Most famously, of course, is the game-changing Noma, a restaurant so innovative and creative that its influence can be tasted all around the world. While one of the pricier places in the city, it certainly packs a foodie punch and if you dine there, you can rest assured that it will be unlike anything you have ever tasted.

Away from the likes of Noma, however, Copenhagen is still doing its bit for the foodie scene. Places like Höst, Geranium and Radio all serve up variations of the new Nordic dining style at a fraction of the cost. Fitted out with traditional interiors, they also boast some of the most chic designs you will see this side of anywhere. There’s just no stopping the Danish style machine.

Paris, France

While, a few years ago, you would have been hard pressed to find a good place to eat in the city of lights that didn’t cost you your entire life’s savings, now, things are very much on the up. Thanks to a foodie explosion within the city, finding a good eating place is as easy as finding a picturesque vista beside which to have your picture taken. The vibrant Canal St. Martin and Marais districts are home to some of the best places around, mixing small plates, modern French and fusion cooking. While the likes of Frenchie and Septime are virtually impossible to land a table at, many smaller, cheaper versions of the originals are proving so delicious that now, eating at Septime La Cave or Frenchie To Go is just as good as the real thing.

Melbourne, Australia

There’s something of a food and drinks revolution bubbling down under and no matter where you go, you are virtually guaranteed a plate of something special. Making impressive waves on the foodie scene is Melbourne, a city that has changed the way that the rest of the world takes their coffee. The food scene isn’t bad either; graced by some of the most internationally diverse restaurants, the city is presenting its inhabitants with some of the finest dishes from around the world. While Chinatown’s Flower Drum is renowned for some of the best Asian cooking anywhere in the world, Abla is making waves in the Lebanese dining scene, turning head around the city.

Budapest, Hungary

Although the food scene in Hungary’s capital might be a bit of a mystery to many people, it looks like things might change soon. Nestled in the middle of Europe, the country has been influenced by a number of conflicting cultural styles and the final foodie result is really garnering attention around the world. While the city’s cafe culture has been going strong since the 16th century, its dining scene has undergone many changes over the centuries and what you are served up now might be quite different to what you tasted just a few years ago. Dishes like strudels and local pastries are rife across the city but if you really want a taste of the local scene, you should source a great bowl of goulash. Rich with beef, paprika and fluffy potatoes, the stew is an intrinsic part of the local culture and any Hungarian meal.

Kyoto, Japan

If you’re searching for a really authentic taste of Asian cooking, then Kyoto is the only place you should set your sights on. While the city is packed full of authentic noodle joints and ramen restaurants, it is its desserts which really make it stand out from the crowd. The green tea parfait is a very real part of the dining experience in the city and while you will find them dotted across Kyoto, those served at Gion Tsujiri are some of the best around. If you’re looking for something a little older, though, the city’s Buddhist temples have brought vegan and vegetarian cuisine to the forefront, highlighting how delicious healthy food should really be.

While travel is about more than what you eat, international food can tell you so many things about foreign culture. Dating back hundreds of years, or brought to popularity over the course of a few months, global cooking is one of the most vibrant industries in the world and if you’re traveling abroad, you might want to make a menu before you go.

10 Pocket Snacks For The Health Conscious Traveler

Eating on the road is one of the best parts of traveling long distances and when you’re away for a long period of time, compact snack packs are what it’s all about. Unless you plan ahead, however, staying healthy and exploring new places don’t exactly go hand in hand and, after a few too many late night chocolate attacks, you might be feeling more than a little sluggish. When you travel, you will want to feel at your very best and as a result, it pays to pack a few extra healthy snacks with you. These tasty treats might look naughty but rest assured that they’re very, very nice.

Kale Chip Popcorn

With all the crunch of your favorite movie time treat and none of the extra bad stuff, this kale chip popcorn will see you through any travel crisis. Best of all, the snack is completely vegan and won’t leave you feeling heavy afterwards. Cheesy snack, anyone?

Flaxseeds

A snack so simple that you don’t have to do anything in order to prepare it, flaxseeds are one of the best foods to take with you when you’re on the go. Packed full of essential nutrients and minerals, the little seeds pack a serious health punch and might just give you a healthy glow. They are also incredibly filling, so you can focus on exploring without your tummy rumbling!

Spicy Power Bars

When it comes to high energy healthy foods, you can’t do much better than a power bar. Mixing all sorts of good stuff including macadamia nuts, almonds, dates and dried cherries, these little bars are worth their weight in fuel power and will make a huge difference to your energy levels. With a roster of healthy ingredients to choose from, they are also incredibly good for you!

Almond Energy Balls

When it comes to snacking on the go, it’s all about the size and shape of your snack. These almond energy balls are so compact and cute that you might just have to eat them all in one go. Mixing almonds, cranberry, maple and vanilla, the snacks are high energy, vegan and completely delicious.

Squeezable Nut Butter

All hail the nut butter revolution. Over the last few years, we have been treated to a huge variety in the types of nut butter on sale and now, selecting peanut just seems like a cop out. To keep up with the trend, many manufacturers have begun selling pocket-sized nut butters, which are perfect for taking with you on the go. You can either sample them on their own, or spread them over a rice patty for a little extra crunch.

Homemade Banana Chips

When it comes to dried fruit, you can’t do much better than making your own. Sweet, salty and just a little bit naughty, these banana chips are the holy grail of dried fruit snacks, designed to be consumed on the go. Flavored with brown sugar, black pepper and sea salt, this treat has everything you would ever need and caters to all kinds of snackers.

Trail Mix

The snack specifically designed for travelers around the world, trail mix is still making a name for itself. Either picking up a bag at your local supermarket or making your own batch will serve you well on all of your traveling adventures. Better yet, it’s one of the sturdiest snacks out there, so keeping a bag in your pocket won’t end in disaster!

Spiced Apple Rings

Fighting its own corner in the dried fruit fight is the humble spiced apple ring. Perfectly chewy and sweet, the snack can easily be prepped at home before you leave on your trip. Sprinkled with the flavors of a chai latte, the snack is especially warming if you’re traveling throughout the winter season.

Roasted Chickpeas

There’s a whole range of snacking options out there for the savoury snacker and if you’re into things which pack a serious crunch, then you can’t do much better than a batch of homemade roasted chickpeas. Flavored with garlic powder, olive oil and smoked paprika, the snack has a real spicy kick, and is sure to leave a lasting impression after your first taste.

Fruit Leather

While picking up a few rolls of fruit leather is an easy option, you can also make your own at home. Simply by blending the fruit compote of your choice and drying it out in the oven over a long period of time is all it takes to make your own healthy snack. Nostalgia awaits!

The Travel Accessory Guide For Any Season

If there’s one thing that you need when you’re traveling then it’s a good accessory. Travel “must-haves” might come and go, but when it comes to the essentials, it’s all in the smaller details. Arming yourself up with a pile of handy travel extras before you jet off could just be the difference in making your trip good and great. And if they just happen to be gorgeous too? That’s just an extra added bonus.

With precious luggage space coming at a premium, it’s more than likely that you’re going to try and pack more than ever into your carry-on and if that’s the case, space is key. Saving you on weight, time and luggage room, these travel accessories will see you through any kind of trip, at any time of the year. Buckle up, we’re about to take off.

Roll Up Travel Charger 

Touching down in a new country only to discover the black, lifeless screen of your phone is not exactly the best way to start your trip. Using your phone or portable device on long haul flights could mean draining its battery even faster than usual, resulting in a whole lack of communication when you finally do land. Luckily, however, there is a travel accessory for that. The Roll Up Travel Charger comes equipped with four USB ports for plugging in your chargers. Simply load up the battery before you go, bring along your cables and charge away to your heart’s content.

Liquid Carry On Bag

If you get away multiple times throughout the year, it might be worth investing in a carry-on bag for all of your miniature liquids. While clear bags do the trick, they’re much more inclined to break or split during turbulence, leaving you with a big mess to deal with on the other side. The Flight 001 Aeronaught Liquid Carry On Bag could be the answer to your minimalist dreams. Clear and neatly packaged, it’s the perfect size for throwing in all of your bottled liquids. Better yet, it’s TSA approved, so won’t cost you extra time at boarding.

Fold Up Ballet Flats

Great for both your travel case and your day bag, these fold up ballet flats will see you through pretty much any situation. Emergency footwear can come in use at any point during your trip, so arming yourself with something practical and fashionable might be worth the investment. The Yosi Samra fold up ballet flats are some of the best on the market, and come in pretty much every color and design under the sun. Simply roll up these flats, store them in your case and whip them out wherever you might need them. Easy!

Travel Journal

While everyone else might be documenting their travels through Instagram snaps and travel apps, there is something to be said about keeping it old school. Investing in a travel journal is a great way to document everything that happened to you on your trip, and keep the memories truly alive for years down the line. If you’re in line for a truly unique travel journal, then you should look no further than the Bon Voyage journal by Rifle Paper Co. Complete with cute illustrations, gold edging and space for all your thoughts and feels, the journal might give you a case of serious wanderlust.

Headphones 

While a pair of headphones might be something that you have on you all of the time, arming yourself with a really great pair when you’re traveling can make all of the difference. Jetting off with a pair of Friends Taylor Headphones clipped over your ears will make your journey all the sweeter. Finished in metallic gold and complete with memory foam ear cushions, the headphones might just become your staple listening equipment.

Waterproof Phone Case 

As dramatic as it might sound, losing the use of your phone can feel very much like losing someone very close and important to you. Cut off from your nearest and dearest, at least temporarily, it’s easy to feel a little isolated in the middle of the world, and unsure of what to do next. To avoid any technological mishaps, then, it’s worth investing in an accessory that will protect your phone, whatever might happen. This FRiEK waterproof phone case is guaranteed to keep all manner of liquids away from your device, while still enabling you to use it. Best of all, it allows you to take underwater pictures, too!
What travel accessories do you need to take with you? Comment below and tell us what you think!