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Monthly Archives: October 2016

3 Easy Ways To Get From Budapest To Zagreb

Budapest and Zagreb are roughly only 345 km apart, but although the distance is insignificant, the difference in architecture and culture couldn’t be further apart.Budapest is a massive lively capital with enormous buildings and an age old splendour that reminds you of forgotten imperial times. Zagreb on the other hand is a small city that doesn’t breathe the pretentious air that most capitals do.

For these reasons alone, skipping a trip between Budapest and Zagreb is a really bad choice. So… read on and let me help you choose the perfect means of transportation:

By Train

There is a daily direct route between Budapest and Zagreb. Tickets can be booked online on the website of the Hungarian Railways, but they must be collected in the train station. A ticket will set you back about 29 euro.

Looking at the timetable there are two direct trains:

Departure time Departure station Travel time Arrival time
06:05 Budapest-Déli 6:42 12:47
14:45 Budapest-Keleti 5:59 20:44

Attention: The 14:45 train that leaves from Budapest-keleti requires you to changetrains due construction work. You will have to get off in Dombóvár. A bus will be waiting to transfer you to Kiskorpád where another train will be ready to resume the trip to Zagreb. It is unclear how long these roadworks will last.

3-easy-ways-to-get-from-budapest-to-zagreb

By Bus

As far as I know there is only one bus company that drives directly from Budapest to Zagreb and that is Orangeways. During the summer months a bus leaves every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. All the other months it’s only Friday and Sunday. The bus always leaves at 6:00, so get up early! It takes approximately 5:30m and you will arrive around 11:30 in Zagreb. Tickets cost 18 euro and can be booked online at the Orangeways website.

By Private Shuttle

This may seem a little over the top, but this kind of service isn’t necessarily a bad option. Primarily focussed on people travelling in group, booking a private shuttle can be a cheap and fast (travel time is between 3 – 4 hours) option.

There a numerous companies that offer shuttle services some more shady than the other. Here is a shortlist of two reliable companies:

  • Transfer Budapest Hungary – One of the rides that they offer is a van that sits 8 people for 450 euro one way. That’s only 56,25 euro per person.
  • Premium At – They offer amongst other options a private taxi that sits 3 people for 279 euro or 93 euro per person.

Let me know in the comments if you used any of these services or discovered new companies that operate a route between Budapest and Zagreb.

How To Use Airbnb On A Budget

I’ll start by saying that I’m a big fan of Airbnb. It’s my go-to site when I’m looking for accommodation. In recent years I even preferred it over classic hotels. I discovered Airbnb a couple of years ago while I was browsing the web, read: I was procrastinating.

It immediately won me over because of its beautiful design. As a designer I have a weak spot for well executed interactive web-design. It’s a welcome breath of fresh air if you compare it to the often sluggish hotel booking platforms used by other websites.

Airbnb is often regarded as a discount option compared to a normal hotel. I’ve read reports that it’s about 20% cheaper if you book a private apartment and 50% cheaper when you’re staying with someone in a private room. I’m not really sure about it being cheaper, but one thing is certain: you get more bang for your buck.

Most of the time besides a bed and a bathroom you also have access to a kitchen and a washing machine (important if you’re on a long trip!). Not to mention that most of the time the interior design is more pleasing to the eye than the standard hotel room with fitted carpet and a musty smell.

How Much Do You Want To Spend?

Before figuring out how to use Airbnb on a budget you have to know what you are willing to spend of course! I’m aware that this differs from one person to another, but I will use myself as an example throughout this blog post.

From my experience a standard hotel room in a three star hotel usually ranges from 50 to 150 euro depending in which city you’re staying. A private hostel room goes between 30 and 50 euro again depending on where you’re staying.

These are estimates but I found them to be more or less correct. Taking that into account I made the total illogical decision to not spend more than 60 euro per night on an Airbnb apartment. That’s 30 euro each if you’re travelling with a friend or a significant other.

I know it makes no sense, but it gives me a restriction to work with and it’s good for my bank account. Now do your own math and come up with a budget. It can be any number, but don’t expect to find a lot of places for 20 euro per night.

First Things First

The first thing you should do to book with Airbnb on a budget is altering the price range slider. Put the maximum on the budget you came up with earlier. Do it with conviction and do it fast, before you know it you’re scrolling through beautiful penthouses and lofts (dream on hobo). After that I filter the results so that only private apartments show up. If you’re on a city trip don’t forget to zoom in to the city center. Some places can look cheap until you realise they’re 10 km from the center.

The places that catch your attention will again differ from one person to another. For me it’s places in historical buildings, apartments with beautiful pictures and ditto interiors or if I’m visiting a country with a warm climate: a terrace or a garden.

If I can’t find anything within my budget that fit these criteria then I include private rooms in my search query. This happened to me in Barcelona. I couldn’t find a private apartment that fit my budget and I ended up booking a room in Xavier’s apartment. It was in the middle of the Borne district. Literally two steps away from the Picasso museum and to top it off he had access to a private rooftop terrace. Priceless. Normally I shouldn’t be able to afford a place like this. You can check his place out here.

Hidden Costs

Did that budget of 60 euro seem rather low to you? Think again! Want to know why I think Airbnb isn’t necessary cheaper than a hotel? Read on! There are a few extra costs that will be included in the final price.

Airbnb Handling Fee

This is the most obvious extra cost. Because Airbnb has to cover expenses and needs to save up for the CEO’s seaside villa, they charge you for every booking through their system. After all Airbnb is a company and its goal is to make money. The amount that they charge depends on the overall price of your reservation. The higher the price of the accomodation the less they charge and visa versa. You can expect to pay between 6% – 12%.

Cleaning Fee

Some properties charge a cleaning fee. The first thing you should do is analyse it. How much are they charging? Is this amount fair in relation to the size of the apartment? Do they expect you to clean up certain things regardless of the fee? Sometimes home owners try to use this fee as a sneaky way to overcharge you ‘while still coming up in search results of low-end priced apartments.

Also be extra courteous if your host doesn’t charge you a cleaning fee! Make sure you wash the dishes, make the bed and look to it that the bathroom and toilet are clean.

Country Or City Specific Taxes

Some countries or cities charge their guests a tourist accommodation tax. If this is the case then the home owner will tell you about this somewhere in the apartment’s description. This fee isn’t collected by Airbnb, therefore it’s not included in the total amount that you have to pay. This tax is usually paid on arrival in cash. So make sure you got some local currency with you.

To give an example: The city of Rome charges 3.5 euro per night per person. At first sight that amount seems peanuts, but if you stay 3 nights then that will cost you 21 euro extra! Unfortunately small numbers add up quickly.

Breakfast

Most home owners won’t include breakfast. This means that you have to make your own. While if you stayed at a hotel it would probably be included in the price. How much you will spend on this will depend. Some of you will go out to get breakfast, which is more expensive, and others will make use of the kitchen to prepare it. Pro budget tip: if you’re making breakfast why not make a lunchbox for noon?

Conclusion

Keep these tips and hidden costs in mind. A budget of 60 euro may seem low, but it easily adds up. Usually when I’m in the last stage of booking that 60 euro room suddenly costs 70 – 80 euros per night. Imagine what the room would have cost if you didn’t set a budget! (I can hear my piggy bank scream already).

One last thing. Most of my friends don’t know what Airbnb is. So when I introduce them to the website I give them a personal link. This link will credit me 24 euro if they book a room and in return they get a 24 euro discount on their first booking. If you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours, right?

Anyway, don’t feel obligated in any way to use my personal link! It’s just a suggestion. I wish you guys happy travels with Airbnb!

Best Coleman Sundome Tent – How To Buy A Camping Tent

Best Coleman Sundome Tent reviews suggest BEST CAMPING TENTS FOR SALE 2017 by high quality, cheap, 8 person sizes, brands, convenience & weather resistant.

Whether you like to go hiking, trekking, offloading or maybe just trying to reconnect with nature, the Coleman Sundome Tent is your perfect outdoor companion. From the company leading in quality lanterns, tents, cooler, stoves, sleeping bags and other essentials for your adventure, Coleman Sundome Tent is very ideal especially for group adventures, easily fitting 6 or 8 persons in one single outdoor tent.

Coleman Sundome Tent Review

The Coleman Sundome tent offers great comfort to shelter you and your family or friends while you immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, away from the hassles of the metro. The amazing features of this tent will surely impress your discriminating taste in outdoor equipments as the tent boasts of its durability, ease of use and large capacity.

It will surely protect you from the potential dangers of unknown territory away from home as well as excellent protection against harsh weather conditions. The Tent is also very easy to carry around, and takes very little time to set up.

Extra features also ensure great ventilation provided by screened in upper walls, option for privacy with side flaps and extra inside pockets that make for great storage. The Coleman Sundome Tent also features Weather Tec System that protects you from extreme rain while camping.

How To Setup Coleman Sundome Tent

Setting the Coleman Sundome Tent up is very easy and takes only about 10 minutes to finish. Even first time camping tent setters does not have any problem with the set up and took only very little time.

The tent uses continuous Insta Clip Poles that makes it very easy to assemble the cross pole. Once the cross pole is set in place, the very durable TC fabric can be lifted up into a real usable tent shape.

The tent includes 10 metal stakes to help you mount down the tent to it’s secure place. You can choose to zip or unzip the side flap and rain fly system. The material is very lightweight and makes for very easy tent set up.

The durable TC fabric with the Weather Tec system keeps the rain out of your tent and helps you stay warm and dirty inside even through harsh weather conditions.

Entry and Size Coleman Sundome Tent

The Coleman Sundome tent can easily fit two queen sized bed to comfortably accommodate six people at once. Even a six foot tall person can still comfortably fit with 5 other adults inside and still have extra leg room so it does not feel very tight and stuffed.

The tent also has side pockets to store important items like wallets, cameras and the like. It has excellent ventilation inside and keeps away the bugs and insects lying around with the screened in upper wall design.

  • Dimensions: 26.7 x 8.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Width: 10ft Length: 10 ft
  • Height: 6ft
  • Shipping weight: 9.6 pounds (can be shipped within the USA)

Ventilation

  • Screened in upper wall design allows great air circulation and keeps the bugs and insects out.
  • Side flaps and rain fly flaps with Weather Tec System keeps too much air from getting inside plus keeps the rain away.

Final Verdict

With the reviews of many customers, it has shown that Coleman Sundome Tent is very spacious and can comfortably accommodate up to 6 people at once. Its durable TC fabric with the waterproof Weather Tec system keeps you from the rain while the screened in walls provide adequate ventilation inside, preventing any interior condensation while keeping the bugs out.

It proves very handy and easy to set up and pack up as well. The durable fabric ensures that the tent can last for years.

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Tips For Traveling Thailand

Thailand is one of those unquestioned destinations for backpackers. It’s been that way for decades. The combination of climate, affordable cost of living, and the variety of sights and attractions all make for an ideal destination for budget travelers. In this post, we will offer some general tips for visiting the land of smiles.

​Avoid The Hordes

Tourists and backpackers flock to certain areas and overwhelm them. Phuket may be beautiful, but know that you won’t be the only one enjoying it. In fact, there will be a veritable united nations style representation of the world soaking up the rays there.

But there are many nearby spots like Ko Lanta that don’t see as many visitors. On the opposite side of Thailand, islands like Ko Tao are generally more quiet and less touristed than places like Ko Samui.

Eat Like The Locals

Thailand is a land of delicious street food. On every corner and every roadside, you will see carts piled high with fruits and juices, noodles and fried delicacies, and everything in between.

You can eat whole meals for a dollar or two and you will come away satisfied with both the quantity and the quality. Try to avoid tourist restaurants and instead follow the locals to the popular food carts around town. You will not be disappointed.

Stay In Guesthouses

Many budget travelers will opt for hostels, because that’s where most backpackers congregate, but guesthouses offer great value and often a cultural experience as well. Typically, guesthouses are smaller and family run, and you may have an opportunity to interact with the family on a regular basis.

This could also mean that you could profit from home cooked meals. Alternatively, take a look at our post on finding free accommodation over here.

Don’t Ride The Elephants

Riding on an elephant is a popular tourist activity in Thailand, but the abuses of these large animals are well documented. You don’t need to ride an elephant to enjoy your time in northern Thailand.

Instead, research responsibly run tour outfits that will let you go on an excursion that does not involve elephants. Or, visit elephants at a sanctuary where you can see them up close, but cannot ride on them.

Smile and Laugh, it Goes a Long Way

Thai culture is averse to public displays of emotion and anger. Often, people will smile even if they are not necessarily overtly happy. This has to do with deep rooted elements of the culture, some of which relate directly to Buddhism, which is widely practiced here.

If you take things lightly and focus on composing yourself and taking a breath before reacting to every little thing, you may find that you are smiling and laughing a lot more than you thought you would. This is one of the best valuable lessons a visitor to Thailand can learn.

Feel free to share your own tips on traveling to Thailand in the comments below.