Overhyped and Underappreciated European Destinations PT1

When planning a vacation trip, most travelers fancy putting Europe on the list and no wonder, as the continent has everything on the menu, from sandy beaches in the Mediterranean, breathtaking scenery and landscapes in the Alps and historical and cultural sites scattered all across Europe. Europe also tops the charts with being home to more than 400 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, for those keen on indulging and tapping into the culture and history of the destinations they visit. So, we are well aware by now that Europe host a high number of “must see” places, but in reality some of those “must see” places are a bit overhyped, whiles some don’t get nearly as much attention, as they should and without further ado here are some of the most overrated and underappreciated destinations in Europe.

Paris, France – Overrated

Paris is widely renowned as the most romantic city in the world, with a hefty amount of class, culture and history behind it. So I’m sure that has you wondering why this city is overrated with such prestige backing up its name. Well Paris tends to get flooded with tourist, especially during peak season, resulting in visitors wasting their time spending in line. The summer months in Paris can also be excruciating, as the city is overpopulated and there is not enough greeneries to counter the hot sun and heavy humidity.

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Overrated

Amsterdam is one of the most unique cities in the whole of Europe, having diverse culture, mix of architecture and being considered as the ultimate urban metropolis. For that reason alone Amsterdam tends to attract a certain type of visitors, who preferably spend their time in the Red Light District and the progressive cafes, giving the city a somewhat unappealing reputation, adding to the unpredictable weather and long lines at every major attraction in the city.

Ljubljana, Slovenia – Underrated

Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia, it recent years it earned the prestige of being Europe’s greenest city and today many see Ljubljana as the prettiest Eastern European capital to travel to. Ljubljana has a rich culture and tradition, featuring some of the most beautiful architecture and is also a home to a number of medieval ruins for visitors to explore. Ljubljana is a heavily overlooked European metropolis, with traffic in the center of the city restricted, making it even more pleasant for tourists to get around and enjoy the city and everything it has to offer.

Tallinn, Estonia – Underrated

Estonia is a tremendously overlooked European destinations and its capital Tallinn is one of Europe’s best kept secrets. Tallinn is a fairly unknown destination for most people due to poor marketing, but on the upside, Estonia along with Latvia and Lithuania recently started remerging in the tourist circles again. The architecture in the city is diverse, with the old traditional buildings pleasantly blending in with the modern skyscrapers, the city is also located on the Baltic coast, being home to a number of beaches, making the city a wonderful year around destination for tourists to visit.




What Every Woman Needs To Know About Solo Travel

We all know that solo travel can sound like a pretty scary thing, right? This is especially the case with those who are just starting out as world travelers. While any type of travel can seem pretty scary for beginners, there is just something special about solo travel – something that really makes it stand out. It is pretty much safe to say that one of the main reasons why solo travel can be such a scary thing sometimes is because you are in charge of just about everything – from planning and preparation to the actual trip. But there is a small difference between traveling the world as a man and traveling the world as a woman. While it is true that everyone needs to be very careful when traveling the world, it is women who need to pay some extra attention to their safety. But this doesn’t mean that women are afraid to travel alone. In fact, solo female travel has grown so much in the past few years, that it is not nearly as uncommon as it was before.

Today, the world is filled with ladies who love the idea of traveling the world alone, and they don’t do solo travel trips because they can’t find someone willing to go with them – they do it because they love it. With this in mind, solo travel provides you with a great opportunity to meet other like-minded ladies who have the same travel goals that you do. Pretty much the only thing that you need to have right now is the courage to take the leap into the exciting world of solo female travel. Also, did you know that nearly two thirds of today’s travelers are actually not men, but women? That’s right – that’s how much solo female travel has grown over the past few years!

Good Communication Is the Key
When it comes to traveling the world alone, good communication is the key to success. What this means is that you should try to meet as many new people as you possibly can. The more people you are familiar with, the better.

Be Open-Minded
One of the most important things that you need to do while traveling the world alone is keep your mind open. Try getting out of your comfort zone a bit more often. Don’t be afraid to communicate with people you don’t know.

Understand the Culture
You need to understand the basic rules of the place that you are going to be visiting. Try to act as mature as possible. Respect the locals and everything should be okay.

Thessaloniki – Athens little sister

Thessaloniki, or Slonica, may feel like Athens little sister but should definitely not be underestimated.

Greece’s second largest city and capital of the state of Macedonia is located almost 500 km from Athens in a bay at the Thermatic Gulf. Named after Alexander the Greats’ sister, the cities history began in 316 BC and led its inhabitants through the Roman period, the Byzantine era and the Ottoman period to its independence in 1912. Today, Thessaloniki and its people beam with hospitality and kindness. This is one of the reason friends of mine who own Zone Garage Calgary decided to make this the first stop on their recent trip to Greece.

It is very easy to navigate the city and it only takes a good 30 minute walk from the waterfront at the lower end to the hilly higher end. As the different historic periods left their marks, there is quite a lot to discover and it is easy to forget time when you walk through Ano Poli, the upper town, and it´s steep, labyrinth streets and stop at its hidden cafes and impressive ruins. The Jewish community influenced areas in the lower town settling in Thessaloniki in the 15th and 16th century. This contributes to its diversity until today with an awe-inspiring synagogue, remarkable mansions and moving exhibitions at the Jewish Museum.

Modiano Market
When you feel like recharging your batteries, do not forget about Modiano Market. Local vendors offer fresh fruits and vegetables, delicious Greek olives, tempting sweets and traditional drinks, you simply cannot resist!

The rather easy-going Greek lifestyle invites visitors to get an iced Frappe Coffee and take a rest at one of the squares, watching the hustle and bustle of the city or stroll past the White Tower and enjoy the stunning view over the sea.

Those looking for indoor activities will not be disappointed by the cities countless museums and churches or find themselves drawn into one of the many shops selling local arts and craft work.

You can end your day in one of the modern bars or traditional tavernas with some finger licking dishes, sweet indulgences like revani (a syrupy semolina cake), ouzo or raki and a mesmerizing sunset.

It is all too easy to spend day after day, strolling around the city, discovering yet another hidden treasure in the streets of Thessaloniki, getting carried away by imagining what life must have been like in the ancient times.

If you think these reasons aren´t good enough to check for the next flight to Thessaloniki right away, there is more!

Just a short ride from the city the popular peninsular Halkidiki enchants its visitors with dazzling beaches and lovely towns. And if you drive down the opposite side of the coastline, Mount Olympus challenges you to a hike and rewards you with a stunning landscape and a unique view over the sea.

So if you want to get away and enjoy a relaxing holiday on your own, with your partner or a group of friends, while having every option to explore a vibrant city, UNESCO monuments, culinary delights and a pulsating nightlife as well a inviting cafés, blue flag winner beaches and picturesque landscapes for wandering and hiking, Thessaloniki should be top of your list!

Three Things That We Would Tell a New Traveler

Is it hope or fear? Or maybe it is just excitement? There is absolutely no doubt that traveling for the first time can really provide you with all sorts of emotions. The reason for this is because when you leave your home to travel the world for the first time ever, you just don’t know what to expect. You don’t have any travel experience under your belt and you are as green as you can possibly be. Has anyone you know ever done this kind of stuff? This will probably be one of the first questions that you will have once you hit the road. And since you are so young and inexperienced when it comes to traveling, making some rookie mistakes shouldn’t throw you off your game too much. After all, you will probably have no idea what you are doing anyway, right? That being said, here are three things that we would tell a new traveler. We really hope you find all of these things useful!

Don’t Be Scared
When it comes to traveling, fear can be a very powerful deterrent. Although taking the leap into the unknown can ba a pretty scary thing to do, you need to know that you are far from being the first person to travel the world. Just remember that you are going to meet a lot of nice people along the way, and many of them will be more than willing to help you get to your next destination. If millions of people can do this kind of stuff each and every single year, what makes you think that you are not going to be able to do it? You may be scared now, but you will love every minute you spend on the road once you get used to being away from home.

Don’t Rush
It can be very tempting to try to see it all at once. But keep in mind that rushing through 10 different cities in 10 days just wouldn’t leave enough room for exploration. So, just take it easy. Try to take it all in – the scenery, the tourist attractions, and everything else.

You Don’t Need a Lot of Travel Gear
When it comes to covering a long distance, less is more. What this means is that you don’t need to bring a whole lot of travel gear with you. We strongly recommend you to buy a smaller travel backpack, because that way, you will not be tempted to pack everything that you can get your hands on.

How To Cut Your Expenses and Save More Money For Travel

We want to start this thing off with a little exercise that we have prepared just for you. So, are you ready to test yourself? Okay, great – here’s what you need to do! Take a piece of paper out of your notebook and write down all of your expenses that you can think of. This includes things like your mortgage, health insurance, car payments, cable bill, school payments, mobile phone, and just about every other expense that you can think of. Once you have done that, calculate how much money you spend each month on all of these things in total. The next thing that we want you to do is take another piece of paper out of your notebook and write down all of your luxury expenses. What we mean by this is that we want you to calculate how much money you spend on things like food, drinks, shopping, and movie nights, as well as that coffee that you drink with your friend every single day.

And just in case you can’t really calculate all this stuff right now, we want you to track your expenses for a period of 14 days and then come back to us with the results. Once you are done with all this math, tell us what you got. But wait just a second, we are pretty sure that we already know the result! The result is a large amount of money, isn’t it? But does this have anything to do with travel? Of course it does! You see, one of the main reasons why so many people out there don’t travel very often is because they think that they don’t have enough money to do it. While most of us have expenses that we just can’t cut, we all definitely have some expenses that we can get rid of pretty easily – only if we had the will to do it. That being said, here are some things that you should stop spending money on every single day!

Cut the Coffee
Do you love to drink coffee with your friend every single day? Well, that coffee loves to drink your money, you know? Having an occasional coffee night with your friend is completely okay, but doing it every single night is a bit too much.

Get Rid of Cable Television
We are all aware of the fact that we are living in the age of the Internet, right? That being said, there are many different online streaming services that allow you to watch your favorite TV shows for a relatively small price. So, do you really need to spend all that money on cable television?

Use a New Credit Card
A good credit card can give you not just free money, but free rooms and free flights as well. Who wouldn’t want to have something like that, right? So, get a travel-related credit card and start earning points as soon as possible.