How to find the best experiences on your travels.

Nowadays, a modern traveler is a complex creature, who looks for different experiences at a time. When we visit new places and cultures, we no longer want to simply lay by a pool, beach and sunbathe – we want to experience the world at its finest. We want to return home with exciting stories and experiences that mean something and stay with us. And why not, to share the best on all the socials, as it is so cool nowadays.

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Seeking out the best experiences on your travels isn’t always easy but there are some effective techniques – tried and tested ones – that will make finding those interesting, blood-pressure rising, original activities, easier…

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1. Ask for an advice. The best place to start is simply to ask someone who already been in the place you want to visit. I am sure, they will be so happy to share their experience, their best moments, and worse moments. It is a great way to begin from something.

2. Get some expert insight. Previously we didn’t do that. But know, many times if we don´t find any useful information, we contact tourism board of the destination. They reply almost within 24-48h, and they really help. As they share the most useful information that feets to you as a traveler. In our case, they help us to identify activities that are for kids at the destination.

3. Speak to local people. Check your facebook friend list and make sure if you have friends at the destination you plan to travel.There’s no better way to get a genuine insight into the best local experiences, or to discover things off the beaten track, than simply to ask the people who live there.try asking shopkeepers, servers in cafes and bars, or staff at your accommodation if they have anything in particular they’d recommend seeing

4. Google a lot. (Wikitravel) both can help to find a lot of very useful things to do at your chosen destination. As well, I will mention blogs. Bloggers use to explain in details all the particularities of their travels. Due to the fact that they are travel ambassadors, and lot of companies contract them for writing about the destination, they do their job well.

5. Travel apps. There are now apps that make almost any aspect of travel easier than ever before. With everything from checking flights to live-translating conversations with local people, apps provide a wealth of ways to make your travel experiences better – and they’re a fantastic way to find the best experiences. Even though, a lot of our friends use these, we don´t use any.

6. Social media. Here to mention Instagram, the most searched social media for planning future travels. Same as with blogs, social influencers try to keep their account interesting enough, and keep captivating their followers. So they are a great inspiration about the places to see and do.Simply searching for the place you’re staying on a platform like Instagram can throw up hundreds of images of things people have experienced there, and can be a great font of inspiration. Posting a query on Twitter, Facebook, or even any number of forums can also yield some great results – and you’ll often pick up a few insider tips along with suggestions for things to do.

7. Guidebook. Personally, I think that guidebooks are old-fashioned, even though I agree that it remains one of the most reliable way to pick up some tips for almost any destination.

8. Contract a local expert. What we have done on our latest travels were directly contacting a tour expert, and be relaxed during the travel. I think it is the best way to spend your holiday wisely, as you see all the main attractions and don’t bother about what next. I admit, that such an experience will cost you a little bit more than if you will plan all yourself.

9. Check out for inspirations on viator.com, getyourguide.com. Both sites are specialized in experiences, and it is a great way to inspire about a new activity to do in the city you plan to visit. Later will show you examples how to check for experience on these sites.

10. Decide whether you will have a contracted guided tour, you will make use of public transport or if you will need to hire a car. How will you enjoy all the experiences at the destination. It is important to know previously, as to make an early booking of what you need, will save you money later. Later I will explain where to check for cars and how to find a perfect car for your stay.

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More and more travelers are demanding an “authentic” travel experience, a trend that experts say plays into the hands of experienced, high-touch travel agents who can help consumers sift through the vast array of opportunities the world offers.Agents can capitalize on this trend, because most travelers, even Millennials used to searching the Internet for everything, look to “travel agents, travel providers, and expert opinion websites” for advice. You just have to be prepared to catch up for the best deal ever.

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Checking out for an inspiration. Examples.

1. Getyourguide.com

They are an online platform for booking tours, attractions and activities. There you can find the best experience possible for travelers to enjoy the fun part of the trip.

They have on their database a plenty of local professionals who can help you during your stay. And they have the best price guarantee, what i think it is just great.

getyourguide

2. Viator.com

They are more than 17 years in this field, and they have a great portfolio of experiences. From Paris to Phuket to Perth, from traditional tours to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, they have something for every kind of traveler.

viator

Even if both operates globally, getyourguide is mostly known in Europe, and viator is well known in USA. My advice is to check both sites and decide if you really need some of their experiences.

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Happy enough to proceed with another very practical information, about how to save on booking your accommodation while traveling. All the tips mentioned below are very well studied, and applied. And not only because we travel a lot, but also we work in hospitality field and work with hoteliers.

As you may already know, there are plenty of website resources these days to find a safe, practical and cheap enough accommodation while traveling.

If we were looking always for the cheapest accommodation ever, while we were traveling as a couple, now our priorities changed. Now, we are not only searching to find the cheapest deals, but also to get the BEST VALUE for our money. As we all need not only to sleep at night but also to get the best accommodation deal as possible.

Our priorities on selecting accommodation while traveling with kids are those:

At the end we want to save money on accommodation and get the price we want, at the place we all are happy with.

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10 best tips to save on accommodations

Traveling as a family, we always prefer to stay in apartments. These offer several benefits:

  • We can have access to a full kitchen and we save money on not eating out every night. As well it is great if we need to prepare a bottle by night and we don’t have to go to the bar to ask for hot water and so on.
  • There is always an option for laundry. It is really helpful if you go for more than 3 days to travel.
  • If we are traveling with other family members we can book a 3 or 4 bedroom apartment and split the costs, and get cheaper price.
  • We can feel like home away from home. Kids enjoy changing homes so often. 🙂

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Many times we book hotels, and it has it’s advantages as well:

  • There is a daily service of housekeeping. I think that this is a great advantage while traveling with kids, and they like to have all their things on the display :D.
  • There is 24h front desk service, and if your flight is early in the morning or late by night, you know that there is always somebody to make a checkin for you.
  • One can leave luggage at the luggage room if the flight later than the check out time.
  • And if it is an all inclusive hotel, then it is really great option to relax as a family.

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10 BEST TIPS TO SAVE ON ACCOMMODATIONS

1. Choose the best location.

There is no reason to find a really cheap accommodation if you have to spend a lot of money on getting to the top places to visit in a city. Choose to stay in a central area close to public transport, airports, local attractions and the ability to get out and walk to most things. This will help you save extra money during your trip and time.

Even though, I admit to choose a good price accommodation if you travel to an island or to a place where you will hire a car. And your main goal is to keep going places, and discover the island with a car. In such situation, I think it really doesn’t matter where your accommodation is.

2. If you plan to stay in a hotel, try to look for the price for more nights.

Many hotels offer their best deals when you stay more than one night. From 2 nights stay, hotels begin with 10-15% discounts. And if you choose to stay more that 4 nights, a lot of hotels make offers like 4 nights, pay for 3. Especially in the off-season.

3. Stay over Sunday or mid-week. Avoid stay on Fridays and Saturdays.

Many touristy places receive tourists on Fridays and Saturdays, and hotels on these days are expensive. So, to avoid the really high prices, check the deals from Sunday (when others go back home) till any day during the week. Of course, in case of London, or Madrid, that are cities with a high business demand during the week, weekends prices on hotels go down, comparing with week days.

4. Travel in the low-season. Or when the high season just is on it’s end.

Be ready that the difference on prices can be triple higher on high-season than low-season.

If you don’t like to travel on low season, just choose the period between the peak and off-peak season. The price for accommodation is cheaper, and the weather is still favorable. As well, you will avoid the large crowds which make your travel with kids much more pleasant.

5. Choose an apartment if you travel with kids.

This is one of our best travel tips on how to save money – especially for families or small groups. Apartments and rental homes like on Airbnb are a great way to cut costs. They are usually cheaper and more practical than a hotel. If you’re traveling with other family members or another couple why not get an apartment big enough and share the cost.


It is also a great option, if you need a fully-equipped kitchen facilities, laundry and facilities of staying like at home.

6. Check for facilities that has your accommodation.

  • Does it have a free WiFi?
  • The price includes a free breakfast
  • Free cable tv
  • Laundry facilities
  • Swimming pool
  • Coffee machine or any other facilities like microwave, fridge, minibar and so on
  • 24h reception

All these features add up when you’re trying to save money!

7. Check for family deals.

Many times, it is better to book a triple room than a familiar room, if your accommodation provides you cot for your baby. So it will be cheaper and it will save you money.

As well, check if hotels has any special price for families travelling with kids. Many times hotels accept kids up to 12 years free, if they are sleeping on the existing beds. We love to sleep all together, so we always check for this freebies 🙂

8. Reward programs.

A lot of big chains are giving special prices if you are theirs subscriber or you have stayed at least one time in their chain’s hotel. Keep an eye on this, as you can grab a really good price while staying in a stunning hotel.

To maximize your earnings in any rewards program, charging your hotel costs to a credit card tied to the rewards program is essential. All cards will give you bonus points for spending, and the best cards will also give you instant elite status in the hotel program, which means more bonus points.

9. Subscribe to newsletter deals on different flash-deal sites.

Subscribe via email to your favorite booking sites. They often distribute deals and special coupons only to their email subscribers and members.

10. Check the hotel’s webpage for a deal.

After having a decision on your trip accommodation, before booking it, check out the hotel’s webpage. Many times, hotels to incentive the buying on their site, offer from 5% to 15% exclusive discount on their webpage. As well, they are keen to offer a free upgrade or late check-out for no costs.

SEARCHING ACCOMMODATION DEALS


I am working as a travel agent for more than 6 years now, and believe me there are a lot of ways to find a great accommodation for your trip.

To be clear, neither one of travel websites mentioned below, pays us any commission or money on displaying them below. It is just my advice as a hotel expert, on how to get a good deal while booking your accommodation.

BEST HOTEL BOOKING SITES

If you read our previous post about how to find a cheap flight, you would already know that I love a lot metasearch engines. And I can’t get enough on using those. I think these are the best ever sites to grab a great price for a great accommodation.

I will mention you several metasearch engines that you can use for finding a hotel, but will proceed with an example on only one. Just to show you how it looks like, because all of the engines have the same result at the end, to display the best offer.

Hotels search engines: trivago.com, hotelscombined.com, tripadvisor.com, skyscanner.com, kayak.com

1. Trivago.com

For the last year this hotel search engine is the most displayed on TV commercials and online ads. This company invested a lot of money to get known.

Here is how it works:

The difference between a hotel search engine and flight search engine. Be ready no to find the best deals always. As metasearch engines display only the online travel agencies or hotels’ websites that pay commission to them or pay per click, depends on the models they work on B2B. And sometimes you can skip some great deals, as the hotelier or online travel agency prefer to save money and not to be displayed on it.

2. lastminute.com

It is an online travel agency. The first one in the history of online traveling and it is worth to be mentioned here.

It is working as a metasearch engine, but in this case it displays only the prices of the hotels, and of course with the hotels that it has contracts.

Apart of searching directly your destination and your flight dates. Look up for the offers  they offer on the first page. Many times they have a special space where all the best deals are shown.

And last but not least, if you care less about a specific hotel brand and more about wanting to save money, consider shopping top secret deals. You won’t know which hotel you’re staying at until it’s booked. These are the deals for a 4 and 5 star hotels that have at least 10%-15% discount from their cheapest price, and usually have a great location.

3. Booking.com or Priceline.com – both are the same company, the only difference is the location. Booking.com is well known in Europe, and priceline is known in USA.


It is easy to navigate through the site. It has a lot of filters that you can apply while checking for the deals. And another advantage is that only here you can find a variety of low-cost independently owned hotels that can be difficult to find elsewhere.

They also have special deals for people who booked with them at least once. Even though not always they display this deals. Many times you can find a better deal on others website. Just keep your eye on it.

4. Airbnb – apartment rentals.


As mentioned, apartments are a great way to save money on accommodation and often work out cheaper than a hotel room, particularly when you factor in the savings of cooking your own meals and sharing with other couples or friends.
You can book entire apartments or just spare bedrooms, allowing you the choice between having the place all to yourself or staying with and getting to know the owner. Even if you never meet your host, you’ll get to feel more like a local.
As well, another apartment rentals worth mentioning is homeaway, I like it as well as it has a really high quality apartments.

5. Consider booking directly on the hotel website.

From my experience, I have seen a looot of not user friendly hotel sites. And I am always amazed how they get to sell anything on their websites. Even though, it doesn’t mean thbat there is no special deal for their customer.

Booking on hotel’s website, the hoteliers do not pay any commission to the third parties. That is why they are very open to give a discount for customers who buys directly on their website. Just give them a try.

 

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Lanzarote – Paradise on the Earth, our Lanzarote Experience Tours review.

Just back from one week in Paradise, or better told Lanzarote. A warm place, with 25 C degrees all year around. Once you go there you are guaranteed with great weather, volcanic landscapes, beautiful beaches, washed-white villages, and great treasures to see thanks to Cesar Manrique.

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How to get to Lanzarote?

We flew from Barcelona. As Lanzarote is a Spanish island, there are a plenty of flights everyday to get there and back. This flight was a super deal from Ryanair. The flight with seats costed us 150eur for 4pax return tickets. More about how we get super cheap flights read our previous article.

Where to stay in Lanzarote?

As mostly of the times, we chose to stay in an apartment. We chose apartment for several benefits:

  • We can have access to a full kitchen and save money on not eating every night.
  • There is always an option for laundry.
  • You can feel like home away from home. Kids enjoy changing homes so often.

On our next article I will share with you about how we find deals on hotels and apartments.

What to do in Lanzarote?

Our flight was late at night on last Saturday, and the only thing we really enjoyed on our first day was the super warm weather, that we haven’t seen in November during the whole our life.

Lanzarote isn’t a very big island. From one tip to the other it takes you about 1,5 hours of (comfortable) driving. It was our first time when we went on the island and didn’t take a car. We thought that the best way to enjoy the island would be a tour within the island, and the rest of the days to lay at the beach. Not bad at all. Our tour was kindly organized by Cristina from Lanzarote Experience Tours, and we are really thankful them for our experience.

First day with Lanzarote Experience Tours

Our guide Cristina was very keen to show us so many beautiful places within the island that we had to wake up early in the morning. We woke up almost at 7am to be ready to go out at 8am. Our first stop was Timanfaya National Park. Timanfaya National Park is a very touristy place, and there are a lot of queue every time. Thanks to Cristina we were first visitors of Timanfaya National Park. How cool is that?

National Park of Timanfaya. Timanfaya is an active volcano, which erupted almost 200 years ago. There is not growing vegetation, and animals do not live there as well. It can be visited only by bus, and there is no access for walking. All the way long by bus is spectacular. There you seem to be on Marte or any other planet. Very different landscape to what we are used to see in Barcelona. After a great bus tour through Timanfaya, workers at Timanfaya show you some experiments. Experiments consist of a display of the heat and power of the (still active) volcano. The guides at El Diablo set a ball of straw on fire, by simply pushing it down a hole in the ground. And then there’s pipes in the ground, that evaporate water into a fountain of steam within a second. It’s quite impressive to get a sense of the power of the heat underground, but nothing more than a 3 minute show. There is also restaurant where you can eat food prepared only due to the hot air of volcano. Amazing.

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Camels. Just after exciting experience with Lanzarote Experience Tours at Timanfaya, we went to the park of dunes. We had a camel ride for only 12EUR per camel. Even though, both our kids were crying when the camel waked up, during our ride, both kids were screaming of happiness. I was always amazed by such radical changes of emotions that have kids sometimes.

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Charco de los Clicos. This was our next stop after Timanfaya and Camels.  It is also well known as ‘charco verde’. This place is formed as part of the old volcanic crater. The water is from the sea, but due to algas that are there it has green color. Apart of the amazing place with water, you can take just gorgeous shots of the ocean and the nearest village.

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Cata de los vinos. This had to be our last stop on our first day. But our kids were overwhelmed and we decided to head up to the apartment and to have some rest after the flight and sooo many emotions during our first day trip. Cristina told us a lot of amazing things about Lanzarote. And here to mention, that Lanzarote is well known for their wines. Especially white ones.

Here our first day experience went to an end, and we had some rest at the apartment.

Second day with Lanzarote Experience Tours

Our second day, was a special one. We learned about projects of Cesar Manrique. He was the man who made Lanzarote a touristy paradise not only because of beaches and warm weather, but also for beautiful places created by nature.

Our first stop was the volcanic cave – Cuevas de los Verdes. Here we were first visitors too. Love it. It was amazing to visit the cave that was created during eruptions of Volcan de la Corona. Interesting fact about this cave is that it can be seen as it was created. The only thing made by human was the floor and illumination. There is almost 6km as known to be created by lava, but only 1,5km are open to public. If you are lucky enough and you has the opportunity to buy a concert ticket, it is really recommended to enjoy a concert at Cuevas de los Verdes. The exquisite acoustics of this volcanic tunnel are unlike no other on earth.

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Jameos del Agua. It was our next stop. Amazing place as well. This was another cave created on the eruption of volcano de la Corona, and the name is due to the interior lake that has a very special geological formation. Inside the lake you could clearly see very tiny crabs, that are as much as 5mm and are luminescent. Other things, like restaurants, cinema and the pool were created by human. lanzarote experience tours (41)lanzarote experience tours (42) lanzarote experience tours (43) lanzarote experience tours (44)

Both caves impressed us so much, that we couldn’t even express our feelings. So many beautiful things we have learnt in only one day.

The Jardin de Cactus, is one of stops that must be on your lists. And not only because there are a lot of cacti of different sizes, but also for spectacular views over the nearest village. The “Jardín de Cactus” features hundreds of different cacti species and you will be tempted to touch them all.

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Before Jardin de Cactus we have asked Cristina, our guide, for a nice restaurant where we can enjoy some typical food, and enjoy the breath of the ocean. It took her few seconds to reserve the place and we went right there after our visit to Jardin de Cactus. Imagine, there is no village around, only roads and specific Lanzarote landscape, the ocean, and this restaurant. Soo impressive. We have had our table outside and enjoyed typical fish with papas and canary mojo. Great food, amazing people.

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Our last stop for the day was a great surprise. It is a must-see place while in Lanzarote. El Mirador del Rio. The Northern part of Lanzarote is part of the Unesco Biosphere Park and protected for it’s landscape and wildlife. Most visitors of Lanzarote come to the North for the “Mirador Del Rio” – the famous lookout platform and restaurant built by César Manrique. It has the best panoramic view of the island, and you just have in front of you La Graciosa, another Canary Island.

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Many thanks to our guide Cristina and to Lanzarote Experience Tours, for amazing 2 days trips through the island. Without you our visit to Lanzarote wouldn’t be as great as it was thanks to you.

Third day in Lanzarote.

Third day on the island, but our first day at the beach. As we didn’t rent a car, we choose public transport for getting out from our apartment. We went to Playa Blanca, and the specific beach Playa Dorada. Clear water, clean beaches and both our kid enjoyed it a lot.

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Fourth day was dedicated to Playa Chica.

This beach is just very close to Puerto del Carmen. It has spectacular views, volcanic beach and clean water. At playa chica, Damian fed fishes and swimmed a lot.

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After laying out at the beach we decided to have a walk through the bay, and it was lovely. We went till the Puerto del Carmen, a great place to visit while you come to Playa Chica.

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Fifth day – Arrecife.

Arrecife is the capital of the island. Even though, we have had our apartment here, we left this place to discover for our last day, and just before our flight back home. This decision we took for a simple reason, logistics. Arrecife is only 5-7 km away from the airport and it is well connected with the airport. And with the simple walk you can get easily to the main places to see in the city.

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About Lanzarote Experience Tours:

It is a young company, but with guides who have a great background in travel industry. Their goal is to show and share with tourists the beauty of Lanzarote in a very personal way. Lanzarote Experience Tours has the main objective small groups, families, as in such way they share a better experience. Even though, they are open to work with big groups as well. Just contact them and they will organize your tour in a best way.

All the tours they make you can find here. We have made tour in the south and the north, in 2 different days.  What I liked the most about them, was that our experiences were organized very personal for our family with 2 little kids, and we were picked up directly at the apartment. It is a great way to enjoy Lanzarote if you do not rent a car.

Below you can see their tours and pricing:

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As well, they have the best rating on tripadvisor, as one of the best company to offer guided experiences through the island. And I am proud to share this information, as Cristina is an expert of her work. Apart of the fact that she has Master Degree in Tourism and is professional of her job, she really loves the island and share with tourists the best of what you can see and feel about Lanzarote.

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As on a final note, we would recommend you that you do not waste your time on reading top things to see and do while in Lanzarote. Let this work to do professional people for you. Enjoy your holiday as you deserve it.

 

Lanzarote made us one more time to approve that Canary Islands are worth to be visited. For more about our adventures, see about Tenerife.

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