Top 5 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Perfect Accommodation Style

Today’s post was written by guest blogger Karen Stephenson. You can find her on Instagram at @wren_stephani

So you’ve picked where you want to go on your next trip. The next step is lining up your ideal accommodation. It is usually best to organize this before you book in all your activities. Otherwise, you may find yourself without shelter, or worse yet, blowing your budget on overpriced accommodation because you were already restricted on dates.

Before we get into the confusion of the best websites to use to book holiday accommodation, you should sit down and decide what type suits you best. This will depend on your personal travel style, as well as the location you have chosen. For a long time, we only had limited hotel options and hostels for gap year travelers. But in recent years, with the growth of companies like Airbnb, you can basically rent a converted shed at your destination.

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Airbnb: The Ultimate Guide

If you’re not using Airbnb yet, why not? Since I no longer travel for work and earn points with reckless abandon, I almost exclusively use Airbnb to find accommodation for my trips. Some of my best travel experiences have been a direct result of my Airbnb stays, including sailing at Lake Balaton in Hungary, drinking homemade liqueur at sunset on the steps of Old Town Dubrovnik, and meeting my boyfriend in the highlands of Scotland!

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Souvenirs: Bringing Them Home

If you’re like me, you love finding beautiful souvenirs abroad. I try to make sure I only pick up things I will actually put on display at home, but usually end up with so much extra that I make care packages for friends and family. But there’s a lot to keep in mind when you’re out searching for that perfect gift to bring back for your best friend. Below are some tips for planning your souvenir haul while keeping your baggage weight low and customs officials happy.

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Belgium: Country Spotlight

Once a month, I write a post highlighting a particular country. My choice for this month reflects my excitement for the upcoming holidays. Belgium has a wonderful Christmas market scene, as well as just being a beautiful county all-around.

Part of modern-day travel planning is reading blog posts about your destination. I’ve done the dirty work for you, looking through twenty pages of Google results and reading a lot about Belgium. Let’s get an itinerary put together, figure out what to pack, and hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Tis’ the Season for Christmas Markets

Brace yourselves, the holiday season is upon us. I recently visited the store to pick up a few things for Halloween, but I was too late. Christmas decor was already up, Halloween forgotten before it even started. All across Europe, people are starting to think of markets: the hot mulled wine, the expensive tree ornaments, the prune men. Here’s the lowdown on planning your perfect holiday tour of these magical markets.

Brace yourselves for the holiday season
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How to Travel Using Points

Fun fact: I traveled for work for over 4 years after college. For much of that time I practically lived in Charlotte, NC even though I was paying rent in another state. What does this have to do with travel planning? Well, I earned a lot of points in that time. Two flights, 4 nights in a hotel, and a 5-day car rental every week adds up. Not to mention all the comped meals that added to my points balance. Those points have paid for a lot of my vacations, and I have continued to earn even though I no longer travel for work. 

There is an entire subculture that exists to learn about travel hacking. I’m not that serious about it, I just enjoy the easy accrual of points and have figured out some simple ways to keep it going. If you’re interested in having your next flight covered, or being able to stay in downtown Amsterdam for free, read on.

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Itinerary Planning

Plane tickets are booked! Now, what are you going to do when you get there? You are starting with a blank itinerary, which is both exciting and daunting. Make it easier to figure out what to do next by going through my top tips for itinerary planning. I tend to open up a document on my computer to list everything out by day, but you can plan it out using the medium of your choice.

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Morocco: Country Spotlight

Welcome to the first monthly country spotlight! Part of modern-day travel planning is reading blog posts about your destination. I’ve done the dirty work for you, looking through twenty pages of Google results and reading a lot about Morocco. Let’s get an itinerary put together, figure out what to pack, and hear about some of the less-than-glamorous experiences these ladies had.

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Medication Abroad: What You Need To Know

Do you try think of every possible situation when you’re packing your bags? “Might have a headache”, in goes the Advil. “What if I eat something bad?”, throw in the Pepto Bismol. “Definitely could see myself getting blisters”, add a whole pack of Band-aids. Ok, so that last is one I still do, but that’s because I know I’m getting blisters, there is no ‘if’ about it! But do you really need to pack your entire medicine cabinet each time you leave the country?

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11 Books To Read On Your Next Trip

I’m a big reader. I resisted the Kindle for a few years, but it is now my constant companion. Even if I’m just going to grab coffee with a friend, it comes along in case I am early or they are late (or, usually, both). And when I am traveling, it always has at least three books loaded. I’ve put together a list of books that you might like to take on your next adventure. They are all travel related, and will hopefully inspire you ‘on the road’ (which did not make this list). 

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