Sustainability

How to Make Your Traveling More Sustainable

I love traveling and that’s obviously not a secret. But I also want my children and grandchildren to be able to travel the world like me. So I’ve become more interested in sustainable traveling. In 2018 there was a new word introduced in the Swedish language called “Klimatångest” and can directly be translated to climate anxiety. It was also documented that every third woman, between the age of 16-29, in Sweden is suffering from this anxiety. Including myself. I spend a lot of time thinking about our climate and the fact that it is changing. But at the same time I want to explore the world. Do you see the problem here? This is why I’m trying to aim towards more sustainable traveling!

Sustainable traveling? Is that possible?

Yes, of course! It’s 2019! Sustainability is becoming more important and I now see influencers daily talking about it on their social media channels. Which I didn’t a year ago, so that’s a huge improvement according to me. We need to talk more about traveling and the impact is has on our climate.

Did you know?
  • Tourism is responsible for nearly one tenth of the world’s carbon emissions (Source).
  • Since the 1950s, around 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide. And only 9% has been recycled (Source).
  • 73% of beach litter worldwide is plastic (Source).
  • Inhaling air pollution takes away at least 1-2 years of a typical human life (Source).
  • More than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are already floating in our oceans (Source).

Chocking right? These are just parts of the reason myself and many others suffer from climate anxiety. The travel industry is a big industry and won’t change over a night. But there are several thing we can do to help slowly change it. Doesn’t this make you want to embrace more sustainable traveling?

READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Solo Traveling

So how can I travel more sustainable?

I thought you would never ask! There are plenty of things that you can to that makes you a more sustainable traveller. Here are 10 tips that makes you a more sustainable traveller (and gives you a more sustainable lifestyle).

1. Say goodbye to plastic

Seriously, you don’t need it. Take a look around you, how many plastic things can you see right now? 5? 10? 20? That’s too much. Easy ways to do this is include to bring your own grocery bag to the store, switch out your plastic toothbrush to a wooden one and say no to straws! These tips are so easy there’s no reason not to do them.

2. Use reef safe sunscreen

Sunscreen has been proven to kill coral reefs. In 2015, it was estimated that around 14,000 tons of sunscreen are ending up in the world’s coral reefs. You don’t want to kill coral reef do you? Let Nemo live! Next time you’re traveling to the sun, make sure your sunscreen is safe to use.

3. Cut back on flying

This is a hard one, I admit. I’m a travel blogger, am I really the right person to bring this up? But if we want our grandchildren to be able to travel as well we need to reduce our carbon footprint. I’ve challenged myself to not fly domestic anymore and take the train whenever it is possible. My thought is that by taking the train instead of flying the journey become an adventure in itself.

4. Reduce your waste

Have you ever tried the zero waste method? It’s hard! But if you can implement some of it on your travels you instantly become more environmentally friendly. Easy tips include to eat everything on your plate (if it’s a buffé take a little food each time) and don’t buy things with packaging (ex. fruit!). But most importantly if you end up with waste: recycle it! And if you find others waste along your travels, make it a habit to recycle that too.

5. Shower responsibly

Most of us like to take a shower after being on the go all day, especially in warmer more humid climates. I get it. But in places like South Africa the extended amount of water usage led to them almost running completely dry. That’s not what we are aiming for. Take short showers and reuse your towel!

6. Support the locals

A lot of local people at the popular tourist destinations are dependent on tourists to make a living. By eating at a local restaurant and staying at a smaller hotel (example a boutique hotel or family owned hotel) are both great and easy tips for supporting the locals. It’s also so nice to meet the locals instead of staying at a big resort and never leaving the grounds. Sustainable traveling is not only about the environment!

7. Go paperless

Todays technology makes it totally doable to go paperless! No need to print your travel documents anymore. Boarding passes, hotel documents and other documents are most of the time available as PDF-files or other online files. Save the trees!

8. Compensate for your travels beforehand

One thing that is especially popular when it comes to sustainable traveling is carbon offsetting! Most airlines, but also some bus companies, now offers the possibility of paying an extra, small fee to compensate for the carbon emission of your travels. This is so easy and it’s not expensive at all. Other things you can do beforehand is leave your car at home more, eat more plant based and use less plastic in your day-to-day life!

9. Use public transport

I think this is a no brainer. Take the train or the bus to work instead of driving. But also, when you are abroad, use the local public transport instead of renting a car or taking a taxi. It’s not only usually cheaper but also an easy tip for sustainable traveling!

Taking the train from Gdansk, Poland to Sopot, Poland!
10. Travel longer and experience more!

I’m aware that this isn’t an option for everyone. We need to stop flying as much as we do. One way to do that is to stop going on weekends or “mini breaks” and instead travel for a longer period of time. Travel for 2-4 weeks or more if you can! This way you get more out of your vacation and you make the flight “worth it”. And during this time, if you live like you do at home or even more sustainable, you won’t make a bigger impact on the environment than usual!

READ MORE: Things To Know Before You Visit Sweden

Those were all my tips for sustainable traveling! I hope you learned something and will implement some of these steps in your everyday life and on your travels. I feel like we are going to see more of this during this year since this subject is becoming more and more important. I already see big profiles on Instagram talking about plastic pollution and the environment and that is such a positive change! I hope this year we as travelers really can make a change on the travel industry.

How to make your traveling more sustainable ten tips to get started
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Travel Tips

Everything you need to know about solo traveling

As I’m writing this I’m alone at a hostel in Cologne, Germany. I know that a lot of people wouldn’t even consider solo traveling but I’ve gotten to the point where I want to travel more than my friends and family. I’m working my ass off to be honest and in my free time I want to travel. And I don’t have time to wait around for others haha. Therefor I decided to try solo traveling. In this post I’m going to share some tips and tricks with you so that you hopefully feel that you can do it too. 

Eating out alone

This was my biggest concern before going. What would people think if I went to breakfast/lunch/dinner alone? Eating breakfast and lunch I’m completely fine with but I’m still struggling with dinner for some reason. What I have discovered so far is that people absolutely does not give a damn about if you’re alone or not. They’re only interested in their own food and company. What I found out works best if you believe that people are looking at you is to look back at them and smile. There are two possible scenarios that could follow: 1. You get a smile back or 2. You creep them out. So far the second one has never happened to me. What I’ve done with dinner so far it to get take out if I’m alone. Then I eat in in my room/dorm or in the public areas of the hostel/hotel.

Todays breakfast at Café Buur. 

Hostels are a solo travelers best friend!

It can be fairly expensive to rent a room at a hotel by yourself. That’s why you should stay at a hostel when you’re solo traveling. Right now I’m staying in a 4 bed dorm room at a hostel here in Cologne and it’s great. Besides it being budget friendly you get to meet new people and all of a sudden you’re not alone anymore. Hostels with dorms usually offer some type of locker so that you can lock up your stuff if you’re leaving the room. 

A piece of my dorm here in Cologne.

Blending in with the locals

When I do solo traveling I try to blend in with the locals as much as possible. Don’t have a huge map out at all times, don’t hang your camera around your neck and don’t look confused. The last one might be a tough one but I have some tips to help you. Try to look confident even if you’re not. If you don’t know where you are going; don’t stop to check the map. Instead continue to walk and look at a map on your phone. You can always turn around later or walk around a building if you’re going the wrong way. By looking at your phone most people will probably not even look at you or just think that you are reading a text. 

I also try to use public transport; because that’s what the locals do. Look up your route beforehand and it shouldn’t be a problem. The only thing I’ve found tricky so far is to find my way out of the subway/train stations but I just follow the crowd of people since most of them are leaving the station anyway. I also try to wear muted clothes so I don’t stand out too much and pay attention to everything that is happening around me. Shopping at the local supermarket and learning to say “hello” in the local language also gets you a long way. 

Read more: How to get cheap flights

Be safe!

Besides trying to blend in with the locals there are some other things to consider for having a safe trip. Some tips include learning how to say “no”, don’t stay out too late and trust your gut! If something feels a bit off or if you don’t want to talk to someone; walk away!

Something I’ve found out by traveling in European countries where people don’t speak a lot of English is that most people get nervous around me and leave me alone when I tell them I don’t understand what they are saying. That has been both a blessing and a curse. It has helped me not to talk to random people that talk to me on the street but it has also been quite the problem when I try to order food etc haha. I also try to stay out of the big crowds, but that is also a personal preference since I’m not comfortable with big crowds. 

Taking a step back from the huge crowd at a Christmas market here in Cologne / Wearing headphones also help with blending in with the locals, you don’t even have to listen to anything. 

Traveling alone is fun!

Many blog posts and articles talk about the dangers about solo traveling and yes, as I have previously talked there are some things to keep in mind. But it’s not dangerous. It’s nerve wracking and exciting! By traveling alone you get to do exactly what you want on your trip, you meet loads of new people and you will create a bunch of new memories. Traveling alone is fun! You just have to try it out. And no, it might not be everyones cup of tea but at least you tried it! I will definitely do more solo traveling in the future even though it’s nice to have a friend with you. 

Have you tried traveling solo? Where did you go?

Sweden

Things To Know Before You Visit Sweden

IKEA, Abba, Spotify and northern lights are usually things that come to mind when you’re thinking about Sweden. But it is so much more than that and traveling to this beautiful country should be on your bucket list by now! Sweden has a population of about 10 million inhabitants and is a very long, skinny country, this is very important to remember for later. Sweden offers beautiful nature, interesting history and a variety of foods but there are some things you should know before visiting this interesting Scandinavian country.

At one of my favorite places down south; Kullaberg.

Getting around in Sweden

Whilst visiting getting around is easy. Sweden has a great railway-system that connects almost every major city in the country. The down side of traveling by train can be that it’s very expensive if you don’t book beforehand and it also takes quite a long time. SJ is the biggest railway company and where you can find tickets from all stations in Sweden. Taking the train from Malmö in the south to Kiruna in the north takes about 20hrs and you have to change trains a couple of time. But if you’re going from Gothenburg to Stockholm the train is definitely the way to go!

As I said earlier, Sweden is tall and skinny. Traveling from west to east is not a big deal, but north to south takes several hours. Another way to get around is by plane, this is what I recommend if you’re traveling from the south to the north or the other way around. BRA is the domestic flight operator in Sweden and is where you should look if you’re interested in flying domestic. Other ways of getting around are FlixBus or Nettbuss.

 

Accommodation

Sweden offers a wide variety of hotels, hostels, AirBnB’s and campgrounds. For finding hotels I recommend Sweden Hotels or Hotels.com. Hotels start from about 600 SEK a night for one adult. For finding hostels the best way is to look at the Swedish Tourist Association they own the majority of the hostels, mountain cabins and mountain stations in Sweden. Also SVIF offers a good amount of hostels. Hostelworld and hostels.com also work in Sweden. Hostels costs from about 200 SEK a night.

If you’re looking to camp in; you’re in luck! Sweden has a law called Allemansrätten, which basically means that you are allowed to camp almost everywhere in the forests. With exception of where there is a sign that says otherwise. But this should be taken with a grain of salt. Don’t camp next to someones house or ruin someones ground. Be respectful. If you want to camp in a camping with your RV or van the easiest way to find campsites are via Camping.

Another favorite; Söderåsen National Park

Eating & drinking

I’m going to be 100% honest with you here. It’s an expensive place to visit. If you’re staying for a longer period of time I recommend buying groceries and doing some cooking yourself if you can! Meats and cheese are especially expensive so eating a more plant based diet will benefit you. Different studies show that about 10% of the population are either vegetarian or vegan and a contributing factor can definitely be the expensive food. Eating out can be fun and the big cities offer a big variety of cuisine. What ever you what, Sweden probably has it!

Tipping in Sweden is not as common as it is abroad and most Swedes only tip once in a while and never when they’re eating lunch. But if you do want to tip between 5-10% is a good amount. If you are looking for a fun night out you should come prepared. Sweden adds a 25% tax to all alcoholic drinks so don’t be surprised if you end up paying 150-200 SEK for a long drink or 60-100 SEK for a glass of wine. Getting in to clubs also usually costs between 120-250 SEK per person. Beer is the cheapest drink to drink and if you like beer there are many exciting ones to try! On TripAdvisor you can find many good restaurants in Sweden.

 

Things to do

Sweden has many things to do no matter what season you visit. It is an amazing summer destination as well as a winter destination. In the summer there are several events that take place such as Medeltidsveckan (The Medieval Week) in Visby, the music festival Sweden Rock (amongst many other) and Midsummer! Other things to do in the summer are biking the Kattegatt-trail or learning more about the Swedish history by visiting a museum (many museums has free entry!). Another beautiful place worth visiting is the island of Öland. It’s an idyllic summer paradise, perfect for celebrating midsummer!

If you are brave enough you should visit in the winter time! Yes, it will be cold but you will have the time of your life. This country is literally a winter paradise. You can spot northern lights, ride a dog sled and hang out with reindeers. Remember earlier when I told you about Sweden being tall and skinny? If you want to experience these things you need to get up far north! Swedish Lapland offers all of the things mentioned above so if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience you should visit Lapland. If you’re feeling really brave you can even stay at the Ice Hotel while you’re at it. The north also offers som great skiing if you like an active vacation!

Last year I traveled north to the small village Lakavattnet

Hopefully this post helped you with your plans to visit this wonderful destination! If you have any other questions about Sweden I’m happy to answer them, just post them in the comments below. If you want more Sweden-related content head over to my Instagram where I regularly post pictures of things to do, places to visit and other Sweden content!

Travel Tips

Five Ways to be a Tourist in your Hometown

I grew up in several places but the small town of Landskrona in south of Sweden with approximately 30,000 inhabitants is what I call my hometown. You might have grown up in a similar town and still live there or like me; moved away. I realised after I moved that I really don’t know that much about my actual hometown. So everytime I go home to visit my parents I try to explore a bit. Right now I’m home for a couple of days before I head off to Greece so I decided to make the most of it and explore something new whilst I’m here. I can’t be the only one that sucks at exploring my hometown, are you the same? So to boost your interest in your hometown here are five ways to be a tourist in your hometown.

#1 Visit the local museum 

Almost every town has some sort of a museum with history of the said town. I have visited the local museum in my hometown several times and it has really given me more understanding of the history of my hometown. It also made me feel closer to my relatives and ancestors since I can now understand what it was like for them to grow up in the same town as me. Many local museums also have free entry!

#2 Go on a city tour

As I wrote in my GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN; I recommend everybody to go on a city tour. You might think that it sounds boring and that you already know everything about your city. But I bet you don’t. Last summer me and my parents did a tour around the castle in Kalmar (where I live now) and even though I lived in Kalmar for quite some time now, I learned a lot! Next time I come home to visit I hope to have some more time to do a tour around my hometown.

#3 Stay at a local hotel

Have you ever stayed at a hotel in your hometown? Probably not. Get the whole tourist experience by acting like a tourist. Get a room or rent a local AirBnB even if it’s just for a night!

#4 Get outdoors!

If you really want to be a tourist in your hometown you can’t stay indoors. Get outdoors and do things that your hometown offers. Does your city have mountains or amazing nature? Go on a hike or rent a MTB and explore the surrondings for a day. It doesn’t have to be expensive or in the city centre.

#5 Take photos

You can’t be a real tourist in your hometown if you don’t take cheesy tourist photos in front of tourist spots. Bring a friend and visit all of the tourist spots in your city. Don’t miss out on them just because you happen to live in that city.
I hope this inspired you to get out and experience your hometown as a tourist! I know I’m definitely going to make a better effort to experience my hometown and my surroundings. I realised whilst looking on my harddrive for photos of Landskrona that I don’t have a lot, I need to get out and shoot my hometown more often! It would be fun if you would like to share ways that you explore your hometown in the comments! Now I’m going to move on to packing my last things for Greece, can’t wait to go. Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

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Greece

What I’m Packing for a Week on a Greek…

This post contains adlinks, which means that I earn a small amount if you click on/buy something from these links.
I did an Instagram-poll the other day (@STROKEOFADVENTURE) and you seemed interested in knowing what I’m packing for my week on Kos, Greece. Can’t believe it’s almost time to go. But anyways let’s get in to my suitcase. My suitcase is from Epic and my model is called CRATE EX WILDBLOSSOM. I have the medium size and I really like it. It has a hard shell and fits everything I need. I haven’t used it in a while though since I’ve only been on weekend trips the last year haha. It’s nice to finally use it again. I couldn’t get a picture of it for this post though since it’s still at my relatives’ house and I’m picking it up on Wednesday.
SWIMWEAR

 

Let’s be honest. You can’t go to a greek island and not bring swimwear. So that’s what I’m going to talk about first. I bought two new pieces of swimwear for this trip. The first one is a bikini top from STADIUM and I think it’s so pretty. I didn’t buy the bikini bottoms because I didn’t like the way they looked so I decided to pair them with a high waisted bottoms from H&M that I bought like two years ago…
The other piece of swimwear that I bought is this long sleeved swim suit from BOOHOO. I rarely get a tan and I almost always burn in the sun so I thought that a long sleeved option would be nice to have when you’re in the sun all day. Also I thought it looked awesome. It was very hard to show on camera since I forgot my tripod at my parents house 3 hours away from here. But check it out on the website for a better look!
Other than these two new pieces I’m bringing my high waisted black bottoms from H&M (similar HERE) and a plain back bikini set also from H&M several years ago. I’m also bringing cyclops and a snorkel which can be found HERE and a pair of flippers that can be found HERE.
CAMERA GEAR
Woho, my favourite part! I’m of course bringing way too much camera gear since that’s just who I am haha. Besides my main camera, a Canon 6D, I’m bringing my GoPro Hero 5 Black that I haven’t really had the chance to test out yet! I’m also bringing way too many accessories for the GoPro like a selfie stick, a floaty selfie stick, AN ARM STRAP etc. For my main camera I’m only bringing my 50mm f/1,4 since I’m too lazy to carry around my heavy wide angle lens haha. I’m also bringing my laptop and my external hard drive.
OTHER STUFF

This means clothing, skin care and other things that I really don’t care about haha. For clothing I’m only bringing t-shirts, shorts and a beach dress haha. I don’t really care about fashion that much and this is not a fashion blog. Skin care and make up I’m more interested in and this is what I’m bringing.
1. FOREO LUNA PLAY PLUS – This I what I use to clean my face together with number 2. Your face feels so clean after using it and you can literally see all the dirt on the Foreo after scrubbing your face with it so it must be good!
2. LUMENE DAILY CLEANSING GEL CLEANER – As you can see I’ve almost used all of this. I love Lumene and have been using their products for several years. It removes all dirt and makeup in just one wash so I’m impressed.
3. ACO SUN SPRAY – Sun screen!!! So important and since I burn very easily this is a must for me. This one is SPF 30.
4. SMASHBOX PHOTO FINISH PRIMER – I love to use this both with and without foundation. When I’m just going to work or school I put a tiny bit of this on my nose and chin and my pores are gone with the wind. When I use it with foundation it makes the skin look so smooth!
5. NEUTROGENA NOURISHING BODY LOTION – After being in the sun all day I like to moisturize and this is my all time favourite lotion.
6. SUPERDRUG NATURALLY RADIANT CREAM – I ran out of face cream when I was in Edinburgh and I ran to Superdrug to buy the cheapest thing I could find. This was it. It’s okay and it does what it supposed to do but it’s nothing special.
7. COLLECTION LASTING PERFECTION CONCEALER – I have been using this stuff for YEARS and I love it! It’s SO cheap but still the best concealer I’ve ever used. I always buy several when I’m in the UK since you can’t get them in Sweden haha.
8. ISADORA GRAND VOLUME LASH STYLER – A mascara right up my alley. It seperates the lashes beautifully and gives lots of volume. I’m happy with it.
9. ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS DIP BROW POMADE – Really like this. It’s pricey but I’ve tried cheaper versions but never been satisfied with any of them. This is the best one I’ve tried so far!

But that is everything I’m bringing. I have a lot of extra space in my suit case and that’s usually the case when I’m travelling. I always travel super light but that’s just the way I like it! And I never pack my camera gear in my check-in bag. I always bring it in my hand luggage since I don’t want to loose it if my bag is lost.
I hope you liked this post as it was really fun to write! Now I have to get back to studying for my finals so I can go to Greece with a good feeling.

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Europe

10 (9) cities in Europe to visit this spring

It’s almost spring and for many that means some time off work (with all the holidays it brings)! It’s probably been a while since you’ve had some time off so a weekend getaway this spring might be perfect for you. Therefor I made a list of 10 cities in Europe you should visit this spring. Spring can be an amazing time of year, summer is just around the corner and the weather is getting warmer all over Europe, it’s the perfect time to explore a new city and a new country! This spring I’m going to Gdansk, Poland so that’ll have to be my spring-vacation. Let’s get into the list!
LIVERPOOL
One of my absolute favorite cities ever! I had never even thought of visiting Liverpool before 2015, when my relative moved there. I thought Liverpool was only for soccer fans and I had no interest in that at all. But when I came to visit I fell in love with the city, I even loved it so much that I moved there in 2016. Liverpool for me has it all, it’s a big city but it doesn’t feel like a big city, which I really like. There’s a beautiful walk to take by the Mersey, fantastic shopping and the locals are lovely. I would love to go back soon!
A beautiful spring day in Liverpool in March 2017.
MARRAKECH
I never thought about Marrakech before but recently it has been all over my Instagram-feed! And I’m obsessed! It looks absolutely beautiful with all the colors and patterns. I talked with my mother about Morocco a while ago and she told me she’s been there in her 20’s and I was so jealous. I had to dig our her photo albums and look at the pictures and even back then it looked amazing. I need to go soon! I wrote this blog post in the middle of the night and I just realised that Marrakech is not in Europe haha. But oh well, it made the list anyway!
GOTHENBURG
I of course had to include my favourite city in Sweden, Gothenburg. Gothenburg during springtime is amazing with its open-air cafees, trams and just the over all happy feeling. I love Gothenburg because much like Liverpool it’s a big city but it feels small. I haven’t been there since the summer 2016 so it is really time to go again soon, hopefully this summer!
At the famous amusement park Liseberg in Gothenburg in June 2014!
VIENNA
Another city that my mother made me jealous about. She went there a couple of years ago and came back with amazing stories and it looked beautiful in her pictures. I’ve been to Austria several times before but only to skii so I really want to experience another part of the country. I think Easter and springtime is a perfect time to visit Vienna since it can be quite warm during the summer in the middle of a big city.
BRUSSELS
I had planned to go to Brussels this March but unfortunately it had to be postponed. But from what I’ve seen and heard it’s amazing. Can’t imagine anything better than strolling around Brussel eating both some Belgian chocolate AND a Belgian waffle haha. I’m ready to pack my bags for a long weekend in Brussels.
MUNICH
Germany! A country I’ve been to many times but never really seen a lot of. When you live in the south of Sweden you often drive to Germany for one single reason: to buy cheap alcohol. So I’ve been many times but I have never gotten the chance to explore it as much as I want to. Munich is on top of my list of cities to visit in Germany. Munich is famous for Oktoberfest (a huge beer-drinking party) that lasts for two weeks every year. But Munich is not all about beer but it’s also a city with lots of culture!
Picture of Munich by: THE CULTURE TRIP
KAUNAS
Kaunas and I crossed paths when I was searching for trips for my mothers birthday (we finally decided on Gdansk, Poland and we’re leaving on Thursday!!). Kaunas is located in Lithuania and the first city in Central and Eastern Europe as a UNESCO City of Design. In 2022, Kaunas will be the European Capital of Culture, so needless to say it’s a city to visit for those who are interested in culture and cultural heritage. Also, I’ve heard, that Lithuania is a great country to visit if you’re interested in visiting a spa.
HELSINKI
Ever since the fellow travel blogger AMANDA wrote about her visit to HELSINKI I really want to go! I have friends from Finland but it has never crossed my mind to actually go there. It’s very close to Sweden so for me it’s a perfect weekend trip. Helsinki is also filled with beautiful architechture and culture. As you might have noticed in this blog post that is something I really value when deciding on a destination haha. If you want to know more about Helsinki I recommend that you head over to Amandas blog and read her post about the city.
Picture of Helsinki by: THE MASCULINE TRAVELER
TALLINN
The old town of Tallinn was in 1997 placed on the UNESCOs World Heritage Site, so here we have another cultural city that I would like to explore! It’s the capital of Estonia and a city with loads of activities such as biking, spas, markets and gardens etc. So it’s a perfect city for a weekend this spring!
SOFIA
A super cultural city! With history all the way back to the antiquity! Can you tell I’m excited haha?! LONELY PLANETwrites “Sofia is no grand metropolis, but it’s a largely modern, youthful city, with a scattering of onion-domed churches, Ottoman mosques and stubborn Red Army monuments that lend an eclectic, exotic feel.” Does it not sound amazing? If you are looking for a trip filled with culture; Sofia is the city for you!

So, are you now excited to visit some cities in Europe this spring? I am for sure! I’m super excited to visit Poland this weekend since I’ve never been before! Hopefully, it will be great. I will of course update you on my trip when I get back. But if you want to follow along in real time; don’t forget to follow me over on my instagram @STROKEOFADVENTURE. Hope to see you over there!


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Travel Tips

Trying out the Youtube-thing

I’ve been thinking about it for a while. I’ve filmed some videos and then deleted them. But here it is now, a proper try to try out YouTube. My main focus will still be the blog but I will throw in a video here and there. This video is a video about how to save money for traveling, which is a subject I’ve already written a blog post about. Some like video and some like written text better so my YouTube-channel will mostly act as an extension of my blog for those of you that doesn’t like to read blogs! Hope you’re as excited about this as I am. And I hope you liked the video. Lots of love.
Travel Tips

How to get cheap flights

All of us want to travel for free but that’s not really possible. So the next best alternative is to find flights as cheap as possible. But how do you do it? I’m a budget traveller and can’t afford expensive flights all around the world and the tips I will share with you now are tips that I use myself and has helped me during my travels. So let’s get started.

 

JUMP INTO INCOGNITO-MODE
Before you start searching for flights, open a new window in your browser and make it incognito or “private”. This way the websites you visit won’t be able to save your searches and remember what you’ve searched for. Because if a website notice that you search for the same route several times, they will up the price. It can also be a good idea to clear you cache and cookies.

 

USE A SEARCH ENGINE
And by this I don’t mean Google or Bing (who even uses Bing??). I mean Skyscanner or Momondo. Skyscanner is my favourite and I even signed up for their newsletter which means that I get an email a couple of times a week with the lowest air fares. Momondo is also great and I’ve found that sometimes it shows some budget airlines that Skyscanner doesn’t. Besides Skyscanner and Momondo I sometimes use Google Flights, I don’t really like it and feel like they have a lot to work on but it’s great for checking the availability of flights. Google Flights almost never presents the cheapest fare so I wouldn’t trust it with that.

 

READ MORE: HOW TO TRAVEL ON A BUDGET

 

FLY OFF SEASON
If you fly off season you will not only get a cheaper flight but you will also avoid all the tourists. It’s a win-win situation if you ask me. Flights are usually the most expensive during summer when everyone has time off and wants to go on summer holiday with the fam. Christmas and New Years are also very expensive.

 

BOOK FAR AHEAD
Book your flight as early as possible as prices tend to increase the closer to departure you get. A good rule of thumb is to book 1-3 months ahead. When I recently booked tickets to Poland I booked in January and I’m not traveling until April. My ticket was also extremely cheap because of this. You can also do the opposite and wait until the very last minute to book but that’s a risk I personally wouldn’t take. There might not be any seats left and in worst case senario they’re not even that cheap. Bonus tip: Book on a Monday. Most people discuss their travel plans and book tickets during the weekends which makes the tickets more expensive.

 

BE FLEXIBLE
Both with destiantion and dates. In other words don’t focus on the destination, focus on the price. Take a look at your budget and think to yourself “where can I go with this money?”. It’s not realistic that you have $100 to spend on flights and you want to go from Europe to the Caribbean, unless you’re extremely lucky. Your budget might take you some other place in Europe. You should also be as flexible as possible with travel dates. If you travel mid-week tickets are usually less expensive since most people travel during the weekends.

 

 

 

SIGN UP TO LOYALTY PROGRAMMES
Most airlines have a loyaly programme where you can either collects points or get bonuses in other ways. These bonuses can later be used as payment for flights, upgrades or discounts. I have a EuroBonus card from SAS/Star Alliance which means that I collect points everytime I fly with them. With my EuroBonus-card I also get discounted tickes since I’m under the age of 26.

 

DO NOT HESITATE
If you find a great deal, book it! You can’t search forever so if you find a great deal, don’t be a fool and “wait a couple of days”, your great deal might be gone and you will regret now booking in the first place.

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Travel Tips

AIRPORT MISTAKES & HOW TO AVOID THEM

Airports! A place you either love or hate. Personally, I really like airports, mostly because I really like to sit and watch people. That sounded really creepy but there’s something facinating about watching people getting trough their day. When I’m at an airport I like to sit and watch people and try to guess where they’re going; business trip or a sunny holiday? I might never know but I really like it! For others airports is just conected to stress. But to help you relieve that stress I present to you common airport mistakes and how to avoid them!

BEING TOO LATE

I know that sometimes unplanned things happen that makes you late but try as hard as you can not to be late to the airport! You don’t want to miss a flight and have to reschedule just beacuse you were too lazy in the morning. Rescheduling can be expensive and totally unnecessary if you were on time in the first place.

BEING TOO EARLY

The exact opposite of being too late. Being several hours early is just no fun. Yes, it does take some time to get trough security, passport controls and finding your gate but it doesn’t take 5 hours. Arrive with a good amount of time to spare, bring a book to read whilst waiting or go grab yourself a meal. You have plenty of time, but you don’t have to spend the entire day at the airport.

NOT PREPARING FOR SECURITY

Before I started to travel more regulary going trough security was the biggest thing causing me stress (and it didn’t help when they checked my bag for drugs on my first ever solo trip to Paris only 17 years old!). Remove your belt, empty your water bottle and pack your liquids in a plastic bag before getting in the security line. I usually travel with a lot of camera gear and electronics such as my laptop and chargers so I try to gather all electronics in the same bag so when it’s time for security it’s easy to unpack and re-pack afterwards.

NOT CHECKING IN ONLINE

Always check in online before arriving at the airport! By doing this you don’t have to stand in line to a check-in desk or maschine and will therefor save a great amount of time. By checking in online you usually can choose your seat before all the best seats are taken. Bonus tip: If you are two people flying together, book the window seat and the aisle seat chances are that no one wants to sit in between you and you will have to entire row to yourselves!

NOT WEIGHING YOUR BAG AT HOME

Overweight baggage can be extremely expensive, make sure you haven’t packed too much. Enough said.
Me traveling to Madrid alone back in 2016! I’m glad I’ve updated my photography skills since then haha!

NOT TAGGING YOUR LUGGAGE

This goes for both checked luggage and carry-on. If you or the airline accidently lose a bag it’s very difficult to get it back if there’s no name and/or phone number on it. It’s better to be safe than sorry in this case. Also, take a quick photo of your luggage before checking it in, in case the airline lose it, this will help them identify it and get it back to you faster!

NOT BRINGING A PORTABLE CHARGER

The outlets at the airports are usually already taken so bring your own charger, that way you don’t have to rely on the ones at the airport.

NOT TAKING PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO THE AIRPORT

Parking your car at the airport is expensive but some airports even charge to get in to the drop-off zone. Save yourself the money by taking public transport to the airport. It’s also great because you don’t have to remember where you parked your car haha, which is always a struggle for me!

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Travel Tips

Why you should hike more + 5 easy tips…

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Hiking is a favorite of mine and I do it a lot. And now I’m going to try to get you interested as well haha! I love hiking just because of the simplicity, you can hike almost anywhere, you get to be out in nature and it’s just very simple! It also just happens to be the only kind of exercise/cardio that I don’t hate, so that’s very helpful.

So why should you hike more?

Well, it’s not only a great form of exercise but every hike is a new adventure. On every hike you discover something new and that’s something I really like. I always hike without headphones or any other distraction which is just so much nicer than listening to some boring pop-song and not listening to the wonderful sounds of nature. Wow, writing that I realised what a nerd I am haha.
Hiking is also super cheap and more than often FREE! A free adventure?! Who would say no to that?! So while you are saving up for those other amazing adventures you can still explore and discover via hiking. Also, you don’t really need anything but a good pair of boots and clothes to fit the weather and you’re good to go!
When I was younger I didn’t really understand the point of hiking but the older I got I realised that it’s very relaxing and as a student I can really benefit from that. Between stressing over exams and going to lectures I try to squeeze a hike in to get my mind off things and you should too!
To help you get started with hiking I hereby present to you 5 easy tips to start hiking!
1. Invest in a good pair of boots! Although hiking isn’t about the gear, you will benefit from a good pair of boots and they will probably last you a long time if you take good care of them. I use the HANWAG TATRA LADY GTX and I’m very satisfied since they are not only warm but also water proof.
2. Bring a friend! It’s easier to get started if you bring a friend also if you plan to hike together it’s harder to bail on eachother since no one wants to be that friend.
3. Dress for success! I learned this the hard way, look at the weather forecast BEFORE going on your hike or you might end up very cold or even worse in my opinion very hot. Also bring a rain jacket no matter the forecast, because you never know.
4. Bring water and snacks! Hiking can be tougher than you think so bring water and snacks to be able to make it all the way. Hiking is no fun if you have low blood sugar, let’s just leave it at that.
5. Let other people know your hiking! If you are hiking in a remote area please inform a friend or family member three things; where you plan to hike, who you are with and how long you are planning to hike for (if it’s a hike during several days). It’s better to be safe than sorry in case of an emergency!
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