Life on Malta – Romanna’s Trip to Malta (Part 2)

This is a series of blog entries from SkySurf.Travel’s first travel hiree, Romanna.

Life on Malta

A tiny island in the Mediterranean annually attracts thousands of tourists. Some come to sunbathe on the beaches with the crystal-clear water, some study the English language, and some choose this direction for full and sleepless weekends.

Let’s figure out what makes Malta so attractive.

Valletta, Malta
Valletta, Malta

Valletta

The city from which it all begins. The capital of the island is noisy and touristic, but this does not make it less attractive. Valetta is the only city entirely planned before construction. You will understand everything as soon as you cross the bridge.

the main entrance to Valetta city, Malta
the main entrance to Valetta city, Malta

Despite the hot weather, in Valetta, it is always cool. The layout of the narrow streets allows you to be in the shadow of buildings, which can be very pleasant during the hot days.

The main Republic street is pedestrian, and it leads from the main entrance right to the city’s seafront. Do not be afraid to step aside. It’s just impossible to get lost here – most of the streets are entirely straight, and it seems as if you are immediately looking from one end of the city to the other.

straight streets of Valetta city, Malta
straight streets of Valetta city, Malta
straight streets of Valetta city, Malta
straight streets of Valetta city, Malta

At the first crossroads, turn right; you will get to the Upper Barrakka Gardens. There is a cool shade from the trees, fountains, and thousands of flowers. It seems as if you will fall into an oasis!

Upper Barrakka Gardens, Malta
Upper Barrakka Gardens, Malta

Here you can sit on the bench and relax, have a cup of coffee, and eat the most delicious ice cream. Come farther and take a look at a panoramic view of the Grand Harbour!  Immediately you can see 11 cannons, which in the past, defended Valetta from enemy attacks. At the time of Queen Victoria, the fortifications of the city were built by the Knights of St. John. Now, the weapon performs a decorative role, and only one cannon still works. Of course, for entertainment – you can hear a cannon shot every day at noon and 4 pm!

panoramic view of the Grand Harbour, Malta
panoramic view of the Grand Harbour, Malta

Are you hungry?
Do not rush to take a table on one of the main streets; these places are created specifically for tourists. If you move a bit away from the center, you can find more cozy streets that are less crowded with people. Here you can also find local street food – Pastitserii.

Pastitserii - local street food place, Malta
Pastitserii – local street food place, Malta

The most prominent national food is pastizzi — Puff pastry pies with various fillings. The most popular ones are with cheese and peas, but also cooked with spinach, meat and even chocolate! Of course, this is quite a fatty food, but very tasty and cheap – the average price is 0.4-0.8 € for one piece.

traditional Maltese pastry, Malta
traditional Maltese pastry, Malta

Other pies such as kassatats are sold here, and are several times larger in size and can easily replace your full meal!

Coming to the outskirts of the city you can see a lot of horses that ride tourists in carriages along the outer streets – they are forbidden to go inside the city.

Horse carriage in Valetta, Malta
Horse carriage in Valetta, Malta

Horse carriage in Valetta, Malta
Horse carriage in Valetta, Malta

Having walked enough, I advise you to go down to the embankment and find a small boat resembling a Venetian gondola.

Boat ride from Valetta to Birgu, Malta
Boat ride from Valetta to Birgu, Malta

Boat ride from Valetta to Birgu, Malta
Boat ride from Valetta to Birgu, Malta

In just 10 minutes, you will arrive in another city. During this time, you will see Valletta from a completely different angle, and enjoy the views of the harbor. The fare is 2 €.

You will land in a place called three cities – this is where you can see Birgu, Bormla, and Isla at the same time. I recommend going to Birgu immediately. Even on the weekends, this city is nearly deserted. What is surprising, because it is so beautiful and cozy, the natural yellow color of buildings is perceived uniquely. It adds some feeling of warmth to the old capital.

Birgu streets, Malta
Birgu streets, Malta

Tiny streets, colorful, well-groomed balconies, linen, that hang right above your head. Here, the tradition of morning purchases are preserved right from the terrace – local farmers bring fresh produce in the morning, and residents pull down the bag on a rope with money. Offline shopping without leaving home!

Speaking of deserted cities, I want to advise you to come to the ancient city of Mdina. It is also called the city of silence. It looks uninhabited but well maintained. Oddly enough, about 300 people still live here. In Mdina, it’s impossible to get lost, and you don’t need a map here – just a few streets and alleys that can be walked around in an hour or two.

Mdina street, Malta
Mdina street, Malta

It is enough to cross the road, and you will end up in Rabat — a residential city in which you can observe the standard measured life of the Maltese.
Do not miss the opportunity to try local sweets. On the main street, there is a small pastry shop just two blocks away. You can find traditional cannoli, honey rings, and fig rolls. Show a slight interest, and the seller already offers you to try something from freshly baked pastries.

Maltese baked sweets
Maltese baked sweets

If you want to eat something more substantial, pay attention to the people who sit in the place of interest. Do not go where it is full of tourists – choose a place where locals eat. Speaking of traditional Maltese food, they usually offer the rabbit. There are many farms on the island that grow rabbits specifically for cooking. Considering that Malta was a British colony, and not a French one, it is difficult to understand where the locals got a love for snails. Nevertheless, they cook them incredibly tasty!

Another dish that will surprise you is horse meat. Suddenly soft meat that does not have a specific taste, and if this is your first time, you can easily confuse it with beef. Pay attention to the portion!

Eat like a local - try rabbit ravioli, snails, and horse meat - Malta
Eat like a local – try rabbit ravioli, snails, and horse meat – Malta

Eat like a local - try rabbit ravioli, snails, and horse meat - Malta
Eat like a local – try rabbit ravioli, snails, and horse meat – Malta

Do you want seafood?
Go to the Marsaxlokk! For a visit, choose a Sunday — it is this day that the fishing village comes to life, and local fishermen sell their catch in the market. Here, in the bay, you can see hundreds of brightly painted boats – Luzzu. These fishing boats have one feature – the eyes of Osiris. The tradition to draw eyes on a boat came from the Phoenicians. They believed that this would save the boat from danger in the open sea. Interestingly, the boats in the bay have eyes covered with a piece of cloth.

Luzzu boats in a Marsaxlokk bay, Malta
Luzzu boats in a Marsaxlokk bay, Malta

Walk through the bustling market on the waterfront. Here, you can catch mussels, squids, octopuses, shrimps, lampuka, and tuna in the Mediterranean. On the market, there are often more tourists with cameras than buyers. In addition to fish and seafood, you can buy spices, national drinks, snacks, and sweets.

fish market - Malta
fish market – Malta

If you want ready meals – there are dozens of restaurants along the promenade, where chefs prepare fish from the market.

Fun time!
Go to Mellieha – the Maltese Disneyland. Forty years ago a musical about a legendary sailor and spinach lover – Popeye, was filmed on this spot. As for scenery, they built a whole village with bright houses. In the summer you can combine a visit to the village with a dip and water attractions. It will be especially attractive to children. Animators work in the park, every corner is a photo zone, and there are some performances every hour.
Entrance fee is 14 €.

Popeye Village, Malta
Popeye Village, Malta

But if you are not particularly interested in walking through the sham village, just come to see it and take a few shots against the background of the bay. So, just before the entrance, turn left and walk along the cliff. It offers an incredible view of the village and the bay itself.

If you are interested in more active nightlife, you should head to St. Julians. Here, life boils without stopping and a break to sleep. The central place of the city is Paceville. Streets of this district come alive in the evenings, and it becomes especially loud there every Friday and Saturday.

Party time in Paceville, Malta
Party time in Paceville, Malta

People come here not only from all over the island but also from other countries. Dozens of clubs for every taste – pop, techno, Latin; everyone will find here a lovely place to enjoy dancing until the morning.
Do not forget to take your ID with you – at the entrance to the bar or club, you may be asked to confirm your age.

Here it is – life in Malta!

Romanna’s trip to eight cities (five islands) in Europe cost a total of $815 (flights only).  To build your own cheap multicity itinerary, visit SkySurf.Travel.

View more photos of Romanna’s European SkySurf.Travel adventure on Instagram

To read more of Romanna’s SkySurf.Travel adventure blogs, click here.

Welcome to Malta! – Romanna’s first SkySurf.Travel blog entry

This is a series of blog entries from SkySurf.Travel’s first travel hiree, Romanna.

Malta
Malta

Welcome to Malta!

If you think Malta is just one island – you’re in for a surprise! It’s an archipelago. The main island is very small, about 30 km long and 15 km wide. In just a week, you can easily see the most interesting places without a personal car. There are two additional islands worth visiting – Comino island with its popular Blue Lagoon and Gozo island.

Traveling around Malta is very easy – the island has a well-developed transportation system of buses that ride according to a schedule to all cities and attractions. All routes of the island are closely intertwined in Valletta – the heart of Malta. Near the main entrance to the city is a huge Triton fountain – you can not miss it.

Malta - Triton fountain
Malta – Triton fountain

Nearby is the main bus station on the island. From this spot, you may go everywhere! All bus stops are equipped with special schedules and routed maps. Moreover, buses have free Wi-Fi, which makes it very convenient if you do not want to buy a local SIM card. Despite the fact that it’s hot in the streets, I always advise you to take warm clothes with you – often the air conditioner works at full capacity inside buses and there is a significant temperature drop.

There is no other transportation on the island – only taxis, rental cars or scooters. There are also small boats that run along the harbor and ferries for longer journey cruises.

Maltese boats
Maltese boats

* Budget tip – the cost of a bus ticket is 2 euros, night bus costs 3 euros. The ticket is valid for two hours, which allows you to make a transfer if necessary without having to pay extra. If you are not going to spend all your time at the apartment, or hotel – buy a travel card for a week. The cost of the card is 21 euros and it allows you to travel unlimited for 7 days on the day and night buses, and can be used for buses on the Gozo island! You can buy a travel card at the airport, or you can find one of the many points of sale on the site https://www.publictransport.com.mt/en/timetables
You can also see all the routes and schedules visiting the above link.

Malta
Malta

It’s especially good to come to Malta during the spring or autumn – when it’s not so hot, and not the high season, which means fewer tourists. The winter on the island is rather mild and rainy – on average 10-15 ° C, and the summer is dry and insanely hot. In August, the temperature rises to 35 °C, which is not very comfortable if you like active rest. In addition, it affects prices. The cost of hotels and apartments is much lower in the low season, and you have a better chance of finding a pleasant place for a reasonable amount of money.

* Budget tip – use Couchsurfing to find a place to live. This is a great way to get to know the country in which you are going to travel. It allows you to get deeper into the culture and find new friends! Plus, housing is usually the biggest expense while traveling, so it allows you to save some money.

I found a wonderful host. He is a professional handball player from Ukraine who moved to Malta 7 years ago to play for the national team. This was my first Couchsurfing experience. To be honest, I was worried. In advance, I created a profile, filled out information about myself and began to explore the possibilities of the community. It is important to familiarize yourself with the basic rules and carefully study the page and reviews of the person. Reviews are the key to trust.
You can see who else was hosted by the host, read the impressions of people, and see if you will be comfortable with this person. Couchsurfing is not free accommodation. It is a way to make friends with people from all over the world, learn their customs, and have fun. This is a special kind of relationship based on trust, because a person opens the door of his or her house for you, although that person sees you for the first time. The main goal of the platform is to unite people of all nationalities while traveling. From the first day, I realized that this was the best decision. While I was there, the host took another traveler from the US. We quickly found a common ground and the next day we went to study Maltese together. This made the trip unforgettable because it is much more interesting to discover a new country in the company of a new friend!

Malta
Malta

A special feature of Malta is bilingualism. This is one of the few countries where English has practically supplanted the local language. It is important to say that Malta used to be a British colony. And even after it became independent in 1964, British people still often choose this area for their holiday.

The English language, a comfortable climate, and relatively low prices in comparison with most European countries contributed to the creation of dozens of English language schools. This is a paradise for students – every year thousands of young people come to study language in Malta from all around the world.

Malta nightlife
Malta nightlife

At the same time, you can hear on the streets Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Ukrainian and other languages ​​- some people come only for a few weeks, and some people spend more than a year here. This multiculturalism fills the island with life. Malta has its own mode – a time for study and work, a time for rest, and a time for loud parties.

Maltese sandstone building
Maltese sandstone building

While walking around Malta you quickly get used to the yellow color – all houses on the island are built of sandstone – the most affordable building material.
However, everyone wants to be different and makes his or her home special. Here are some fun facts about the Maltese houses:

  1. Multi-colored balconies. Red, blue, white, green – it seems you can collect all the colors of the rainbow here! Interestingly, even if the balcony is quite old, it still has a special charm. You will not see such balconies anywhere else!
  2. Each house has its own name, which hangs next to the entrance door. In Malta, numbering is rarely used; most often they just name their home! Columbus, Jupiter, Julian – what a fantasy!
  3. Original doors. On the whole island, you will not find two identical doors – do not even try it! There are different shapes, colors, and most importantly, door handles! There are so many kinds of them – some are ordinary and some are in the form of faces, hands, fish, angels, or national symbols. It is simply impossible to pass by and not be able to stare at every door.

Malta
Malta

Malta door handles
Malta door handles

Maltese house
Maltese house

Each house has a distinctive feature – its own balcony, its own name, and its own special doors. So every walk around the city stretches for a long time because you want to see everything!

In the next article, I will talk about the main cities of Malta – where to go, what to pay attention to, and what not to miss while traveling around the island.

See you soon!
Romanna

Romanna’s trip to eight cities (five islands) in Europe cost a total of $815 (flights only).  To build your own cheap multicity itinerary, visit SkySurf.Travel.

View more photos of Romanna’s European SkySurf.Travel adventure on Instagram

To read more of Romanna’s SkySurf.Travel adventure blogs, click here.

Romanna’s Upcoming Eight Destinations in Europe for only $815

In about a week from today, Romanna, who was hired by SkySurf.Travel to travel to eight cities around the world will soon be traveling around Europe and posting her travel stories with photos and videos at this SkySurf.Travel blog and on social media. Make sure to follow SkySurf.Travel on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest news and updates. For now, let’s learn more about her upcoming trip destinations:

Romanna’s journey starts May 21, 2019, from her hometown Kiev, Ukraine. She will spend about a week in each city to document her entire 2-month trip, and then return to her hometown on July 19th. All flights to 9 cities in Europe costed a total of $815, including baggage fees, using the SkySurf.Travel tool. Her first destination is:

1. Malta. Malta is an archipelago, one of the smallest countries in Europe, in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast. It has beautiful beaches, like Comino’s Blue Lagoon where people can take a swim in the aquamarine colored sea. Malta also has an equally beautiful island called Gozo, where people from Malta can ferry ride to. There’s much to do, such as visit the panoramic view at Upper Barrakka Gardens, take a sightseeing boat ride to Three Cities of Cottonera, and play at Popeye Village, which was the film set of the 1980 musical “Popeye,” just to name a few.

Romanna arrives in Malta May 21st and departs on the 28th. The total cost for this flight with baggage from Kiev is $131.

Malta
Malta

2. Catania, Sicily, Italy. Sicily is the largest Mediterranean island, just off the “toe” of Italy’s “boot.” It’s known for its delicious fresh fish and seafood; Europe’s most active volcano, Mount Etna; and where Homer’s Odyssey was set. Sicily has endless stretches of beautiful wild beaches with crystal-clear waters, baroque palaces, and breathtaking views on top of hills and cliff-top villages.

Departure: June 5
Price for flight: $41 total

Catania, Sicily, Italy
Catania, Sicily, Italy

3. Lisbon, Portugal. Lisbon, Portugal’s hilly coastal capital city, is one of the oldest cities in Western Europe. It was built on seven hills so there will be lots of uphill walking, but well worth it, as the top viewpoints, called “miradouros”, have incredible panoramic views, such as to the castle, the dramatic Portuguese coastline, and to most of the city skyline. Lisbon is a stunning and charismatic city well worth the visit.

Departure: June 12
Price for flight: $94 total (indirect flight)

Lisbon Portugal
Lisbon Portugal

4. Ponta Delgada, Portugal. Ponta Delgada, on São Miguel, is the regional capital of the Azores archipelago, a string of nine islands in the Atlantic Ocean about 1,300 kilometers west of Portugal’s mainland and about a two-hour flight from Lisbon. One of the great natural wonders of the Azores archipelago is the spectacular volcanic caldera (crater) lake of Lagoa das Sete Cidades. A stunning panorama can be viewed from Vista do Rei, named from King Carlos’s visit in 1901, where the lake, consisting of two lagoons: The Green Lagoon and the Blue Lagoon, can be admired.

Departure: June 17
Price for flight: $83 total

Ponta Delgada, Portugal
Ponta Delgada, Portugal

5. Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal. Funchal, the vibrant capital of Madeira, is a sub-tropical island in the Atlantic Ocean around 960 kilometers southwest of Lisbon. There are plenty of things to do in Funchal, such as strolling along the gorgeous waterfront, smelling flowers and tasting fruits at Funchal market, and marveling at the views from Monte cable car. Funchal is a wondrous island city filled with tropical gardens, phenomenal views, and captivating street art.

Departure: June 25
Price for flight: $81 total

Madeira Island, Portugal
Madeira Island, Portugal

6. Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is well-known for its art and architecture. The fantastical Sagrada Familia church and other modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudi marks the city. Barcelona will make you feel like you’re living in a Dr. Seuss book. It’s home to Futbol Club Barcelona and was home to artists Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. Barcelona is well worth the visit and you’ll be very glad you did!

Departure: July 4
Price for flight: $109 total (indirect flight)

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain

7. Santorini, Greece. Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. The whitewashed, cubiform houses of its 2 principal towns, Fira and Oia, cling to cliffs above an underwater caldera (crater). They overlook the sea, small islands to the west and beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles. Some exciting things to do in Santorini are visiting the unique beaches in the Greek Isles, and Kamari, formed by Santorini’s volcanic history; exploring ancient ruins buried in ash (Ancient Akrotiri); and touring famous wine destinations. Santorini is considered a premier wine destination in Europe because the soil in which the wine grows in, which is partially composed of volcanic sediment, creates an interesting flavor difficult to find elsewhere.

Departure: July 12
Price for flight: $43 total

Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece

8. Athens, Greece

And last but not least, Athens, which was the heart of Ancient Greece. About 400km north is where the Olympian gods resided at Mount Olympus, which can be clearly described in the classic epic Homer’s Iliad. The first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to Olympia in 776 B.C. Some must-see sites in Athens are The Parthenon, The Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, and Herod Atticus Odeon. Athens has many monuments, memorials, and museums to visit with ancient artifacts and Greek art.

Departure: July 19 (Back to Kiev, Ukraine)
Price for flight: $120 total

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Athens, Greece
Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Athens, Greece

This amazing trip around Europe to eight cities (five islands) costed a total of $815 (including baggage fees). You too can build an incredible and super-cheap multi-city trip from anywhere around the world using the SkySurf.Travel tool.

Check back really soon for stories about Romanna’s upcoming excellent adventure around Europe.

Bon, voyage! Safe travels!

SkySurf.Travel
https://skysurf.travel/

SkySurf.Travel Job Hiree, Romanna from Ukraine, Has Booked All Her Flights to Travel Europe!

Romanna from Ukraine
Romanna from Ukraine

We at SkySurf.Travel are excited for Romanna and her upcoming trip to eight cities around Europe! Romanna was the selected candidate for SkySurf.Travel’s first travel job for the purpose to show it doesn’t cost much to travel around the world; in her case, only $815 for nine flights around Europe. You too can build an amazing trip like this from your home airport to any destination around the world using the SkySurf.Travel tool. Romanna will be staying a week in each city and documenting about her trip via this blog and social media. Be sure to also follow SkySurf.Travel’s Instagram account for more photos and videos of Romanna’s upcoming European trip with SkySurf.Travel!

In case you don’t know, the SkySurf.Travel travel job was looking for someone to travel to eight cities around the world with a budget of $2,000, spending a week in each city, and documenting about their travel trip through blogging and social media.

Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece

Using the SkySurf.Travel tool, Romanna was able to book all her upcoming European flights for the price of $749 (base cost). Since she will be traveling with a larger carry-on (55x40x23), she also paid for a baggage upgrade; only an extra $66 for three out of the nine total flights. The other six flights include a free carry-on with the airfare cost. That’s a grand total of $815 to eight different cities (nine total flights) around Europe from Kiev, Ukraine and back. Of those eight cities, five are beautiful islands. Below are the details of Romanna’s upcoming multi-city European adventure:

Starting Point: Kiev, Ukraine
1. Malta (May 21, 2019) $109 (+$22 for carry-on) $131 total
2. Catania, Sicily, Italy (May 28, 2019) $41 total
3. Lisbon, Portugal (June 5, 2019) $82 (+$12 for carry-on) $94 total [indirect]
4. Ponta Delgade, Portugal (June 12, 2019) $83 total
5. Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal (June 17, 2019) $81 total
6. Barcelona, Spain (June 25, 2019) $77 (+$32 for carry-on) $109 total [indirect]
7. Santorini, Greece (July 4, 2019) $113 total
8. Athens, Greece (July 12, 2019) $43 total
8. Return to Kiev, Ukraine (July 19, 2019) $120 total

That’s a grand total of $815 for nine flights (seven which are direct), including baggage fees and taxes. Below are screenshots of the BookIt List (multi-city itinerary shopping cart) that was built by Romanna at SkySurf.Travel, as well as a map to all her travel destinations. She will mostly be staying with locals by Couchsurfing and possibly staying at a few hostels/hotels/B&B’s. Here is a blog entry on how to travel the world for really cheap in two months for under $2,000. May 21st is when the fun starts! Check back then to start reading stories with photos and videos from Romanna about her SkySurf.Travel adventure, and check back shortly as we will post a blog with more details about Romanna’s upcoming European travel destinations!

Romanna's SkySurf.Travel BookIt List European Itinerary
Romanna’s SkySurf.Travel BookIt List European Itinerary

 

Romanna's SkySurf.Travel European Travel Route
Romanna’s SkySurf.Travel European Travel Route

Safe Travels!
SkySurf.Travel team
https://skysurf.travel/

Congratulations to Romanna from Ukraine for Being Selected for the First SkySurf.Travel Travel Job!

The deadline has passed for SkySurf.Travel’s first travel job and we have chosen a candidate. Congratulations to Romanna from Ukraine! She will receive $2,000 for traveling to eight or more cities around the world and documenting her adventure right here at this SkySurf.Travel blog, as well as her personal and SkySurf.Travel’s social media accounts. Romanna is now preparing her final multi-city itinerary using the SkySurf.Travel tool. Once she is done and all her flights are booked, we will post her travel route at this blog. Keep on the lookout. Her departure date will be some time before May 24, 2019. We at SkySurf.Travel would like to thank everyone for applying and considering this travel job at SkySurf.Travel. Our team was impressed and awed with the applications we have received. We may be posting a few more travel jobs like this one in the near future, so make sure to sign up to the SkySurf.Travel newsletter from the homepage to receive travel job updates to your e-mail inbox.

About Romanna 😊

Romanna from Ukraine
Romanna from Ukraine

“Hello! My name is Romanna and I am a travel blogger from Ukraine. I’m 23 and a year ago I decided to change my life. Being a child I surfed the internet for hours, looking at pictures from all over the world. Traveling and taking photos – that’s what I wanted to do and made it a reality. Initially, I just wanted to see the world, and then I realized that I could be useful to others. So many people do not leave their country and even their city. Some are afraid, some people complain about the lack of time, money and other obstacles. I want to change the attitude to traveling – this is what energizes me and makes me move forward. I am in love with nature, quiet and peaceful places. Usually, I prefer to avoid noisy cities and crowded streets. I’m sure, that with me you will change your mind about our planet!”

Romanna’s travel Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/romashka_skrypka/

SkySurf.Travel’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skysurftravel/

Be sure to follow both Romanna’s and SkySurf.Travel’s Instagram profiles, as well as this blog to view photos, watch videos, and read about Romanna’s epic adventure around the world, using SkySurf.Travel!

Safe travels! Bon Voyage!

https://skysurf.travel/

5 European Destinations Everyone Should Travel To Solo

Europe is, perhaps, one of the best places in the world to embark on a solo travel adventure. Full of friendly people, great food and oozing with culture, it’s certainly short of very little. Traveling around Europe is relatively inexpensive and the traveling distance isn’t too wide. Most of Europe is very safe for solo travelers, but some cities are more ideal than others when it comes to accommodation and prices.

Some destinations in and around Europe are easier to travel to when on your own thanks to the public transport links, political infrastructure and simply because the cost of living is lower in some countries. When it comes to looking for travel destination inspiration, there is often no one place which suits everyone. Whether you’re looking for parties and fun or easy transport links and beautiful surroundings, here are 5 destinations which everyone should add on to their bucket list.

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is often thought of as a “party” location. With a surplus of bars and pubs and a huge selection of live music venues, Dublin is as well known for its “craic” as it is for its history. But, the Irish are well known for making their towns and cities easy to find and access, especially if you are on your own.

Whilst, Dublin does have a reputation of being a prime party and drinking destination, that isn’t necessarily how the Irish do it. It is a fairly easy city to access by foot, but public transport is also straightforward and reliable. There are many free walking tours across the city or visit one of the many tourist destinations dotted in and around the centre.

Seville, Spain

Seville is the perfect destination for solo travelers who are on the search for a sunnier destination which is also mixed with culture and activities. Seville is a city full of history, particularly surrounding the bullring and bullfighting, which was popular here from the 18th century. There is also Seville’s Gothic Cathedral, which was believed to have begun building work in 1407, and is one of the largest in the world.

After a day exploring the sights, be sure to head to a local restaurant for a few dishes of tapas and a glass or two of local wine and then head up to Las Setas, where you can watch the sunset fade over the city. Seville is a fascinating place and is perfect for solo travelers thanks to the friendly locals and ease of getting around.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland is a wonderfully stunning country and is the ultimate destination when it comes to solo travel. There are so many elements that make Iceland a popular destination, from natural hot springs, wild horses and waterfalls, but one thing which makes it hugely appealing to solo tourists is the ease of which you can travel around and take part in activities. Like any travel destination, it is the people who make the place and Icelandic people are more than happy to great you with a smile and give you directions or travel advice.

With a tight-knit community, solo-traveling here doesn’t feel as overwhelming as it does in a larger city. There are plenty of hostels and bars and restaurants in Reykjavik that are just within minutes of each other, making it easy for you to socialize and meet other travelers and is the perfect base location to go and explore the national parks or natural locations.

Manchester, England

Known for being one of the friendliest cities in the UK, if you’re a solo traveler then you’re sure to love a visit to Manchester. Everyone knows the humor that comes with English weather, and Manchester can be particularly rainy due to its location in the middle of the Peak District, but there is plenty to see and do which doesn’t involve getting caught in the rain.

With plenty of free museums, libraries, walking tours and transport, Manchester is a budget-friendly location for those watching the pennies, yet still provides travelers with great memories and the opportunity to meet other like-minded explorers. Whilst a table for one isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, there are plenty of places to eat in Manchester which are more than happy to cater to traveling diners. Be sure to check out the Northern Quarter or Oxford Road for affordable eats and bustling restaurants.

Budapest, Hungary

Eastern Europe is relatively cheaper to travel to and around than Western Europe and is full of exciting new destinations. If you are traveling on a shoestring budget, then Budapest is sure to be a great location for you to visit.

Many of Budapest’s landmarks are easy to get to by foot and aren’t located far from one another. Whilst there are guide buses and tour guides, it is also fun to just pick up a map and head out on your own. You’re much more likely to run into other solo travelers or find quirky and fun places to eat or grab a drink as you make your way between the landmarks. Whether you’re into the party scene (which is huge in Budapest, but only if you know where to go), or prefer making your way from landmark to landmark, there is plenty in Budapest to keep you occupied.

If any of these destinations have sparked an interest, then be sure to check out our travel deals on all of the locations mentioned above. Whether you want to do a single trip, or head to a few countries at once, we’re sure to have something to suit your travel needs.

The article has been contributed by our guest writer, Natalie.

Traveling Through Europe: Everything You Need to Know

Before you can experience authentic Spanish tapas, delicious Roman pizza and cold beers in Prague, your European travels require some serious planning. Although the logistics involved in planning a trip through Europe may seem overwhelming, the more prepared you are, the greater your chances of a successful trip. The following guide should prepare you with everything you need to know for your trip through Europe.

Valid Passport

Understandably, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning your trip to Europe, that you can often forget necessities. Be sure to check if your passport is valid prior to your trip. If your passport is still intact, the other thing you will need to check for is how long your passport is valid for once you have begun your travels.

Some European countries require a three-month timeframe whilst others require up to six months so be sure to check its expiration date. If your passport falls short of these requirements, it is likely that you will not be allowed to enter the country.

Check Visa Requirements

It is fundamental that you take responsibility for knowing the visa requirements for anywhere to which you are traveling to. If you are unsure or unable to find the information you need then don’t hesitate to contact a specialist immigration solicitors or visa team prior to your trip. When traveling through Europe, you can literally stumble across a whole new country border so its best to have the correct travel documents at the ready.

Packing (oh the joys)

Be sure to pack light as not only will this save you from arm ache and a sore back, it will also save you from the cost of checking in luggage.

If you’re planning on doing lots of shopping during your European trip, or you’re just a sucker for souvenirs, then pack a spare lightweight bag so you can check it in on your return if you have to.

European Food Guide

Recently, traveling has become way more about having a food experience. Travelers now plan their trip with their bellies in mind and local cuisines have become the forefront of tourist attractions. With this being said, there are many reasons to visit Europe, not least of which is the opportunity to sample some true delights of European homelands.

Indulge in Adventure

Whilst on your travels, avoid eating at the big chains that you will come across in all the big cities. It is important that you resist the urge to stick to what you’re familiar with in order to gain the most out of your traveling experience.

Trying local cuisines is the perfect way to immerse yourself in local culture as well as discovering foods that you may never have tried before. Europe is home to some of the best chefs in the world thanks to its fresh quality and local produce. For those adventurous foodies that desire a traveling experience of high-end European cuisines, visit one of the many Michelin star restaurants.

Street Food

Amsterdam Canal
Amsterdam Canal

European street food is fundamental when it comes to your travels. It is about so much more than just saving a bit of money. You can get a real feel for a city by its street food as well as it being cheap, quick and readily available on-the-go.

Spain is renowned for its unique tapas culture of bar hopping combined with delicious miniature dishes which has become one of the most popular forms of dining, not just in Spain, but all over the world.

Be sure to indulge beyond the pizzas of Rome and try some good old Suppli which is regarded as one of Rome’s best and most traditional street foods. It also makes a nice change for pasta and gelato.

Transport

European Train Station
European Train Station

Transportation through Europe is fairly straightforward. Traveling by train is one of the most popular modes of transport throughout Europe asides from catching cheap flights. It is also an enjoyable mode of transport (if it’s not too busy to bag yourself a window seat).

In western Europe, you can travel to nearly every single destination by train thanks to extensive network rails. Investing in a rail pass is a great way to travel to multiple destinations in one trip whilst keeping the cost minimal.

 

The article has been contributed by our guest writer, Poppy.

“Healthy Holidays” And Other Travel Trends For 2019

Have you already got a holiday planned on the horizon, or are you more of a last-minute travel planner? Whether you want a food-focused escape or a “healthy holiday” away from life’s little stresses, then 2019’s travel trends are sure to have you tempted to book a holiday today.

Healthy Holidays Are Becoming The Norm

Wellness Tourism
Wellness Tourism

Last October, it was widely reported that 18-30 Club Holidays were no more after 50 long years. The Mediterranean resorts which have spent decades cleaning up the carnage caused by numerous drinking challenges and cheap takeaways are sure to be happy that they have lost their appeal. We have now entered a time where healthy holidays are driven by young people who want to be awake and sober whilst they explore the local sights.

The huge rise in wellness tourism, which is now worth $639bn globally, is growing twice as fast as general tourism and this is just down to young people. Wellness retreats and resorts are now welcoming people of all ages with holiday packages for every life stage, from stag dos to mumcations. Yoga, meditation, and wellness are all huge focuses, with some resorts including healthy eating options and juice cleanses alongside them. It’s time to pack your yoga mat and high waisted gym leggings!

Solo Travel

Airport Timetable
Airport Timetable

Solo holidays are now a huge focus for travel companies. The idea of heading to a location on your own and travelling alongside a group of other like-minded travellers has a lot of appeal to those who just want to get out and see the world and, thanks to the “#MeToo” movement, more solo women are getting the confidence to book their own travel adventures.

Some of the most popular trips for solo travellers tend to be walking and adventure trips. Walking and hiking amongst unseen parts of your destination makes the experience all that more special and is perfect when taking part with a group, especially when you have met other people that you want to explore with.

Asia is one of the most popular destinations for solo travellers. It’s a great way to explore and try out new experiences and cultures without having to worry about much internal travel or constant border crossings and hostel hunting.

Weekend Trips

With more people working longer and being unable to take the time they want off work, weekend trips are set to be huge in 2019. Over 53% of travellers have said in a recent survey that they plan to make more regular weekend excursions this year, with many wanting to spend time exploring new places. European cities and hotspots are set to see an increase in tourist numbers, with many taking advantage of more readily available flight routes and cheaper accommodation.

Unique Experiences

Experience is now being chosen over material possessions and overdone tourist destinations according to new statistics. Over 60% of travellers are said to favour new and authentic experiences over the typical tourist attractions. This means that in 2019, travellers will be actively seeking out a vast variety of activities, from outdoor sleeping arrangements and authentic cooking classes, and looking for things which focus on happiness and comfort.

Lemur
Lemur

Wildlife excursions are on the rise in Madagascar, thanks to the beautiful landscape and wildlife. There are currently 86 different species of lemur living in Madagascar and fauna and flora species which are over tens of millions of years old.  Peru is also becoming a huge draw for tourists, who want to want the hike their way into Machu Picchu. Set up high in the Andes Mountains, the Incan citadel was built in the 15th century and today offers a fierce challenge for those willing, and able, to trek there.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

If you want to take part in these experiences but are limited to a budget, don’t let that stop you from pursuing your travelling dreams. Whether you want to visit some more cities on your weekends or plan a month-long trip, Skysurf.Travel is here to help you find cheap flights to get you to where you want to go. Explore the best deals and start planning your trip today.

The article has been contributed by our guest writer, Natalie.

How to Travel the World for Really Cheap in Two Months for under $2,000

SkySurf.Travel is currently seeking someone to travel the world to eight different cities.  The selected applicant will receive $2,000, which will go towards his or her trip, for an adventure of a lifetime.  Here are some tips on how you can travel the world for only $2,000!

  1. Use SkySurf.Travel to build your round-the-world multi-city itinerary. I was able to build an itinerary from New York City to eight European cities and back for under $600.  That leaves me with a little over $1,400 for spending.  Remember to pack light! Some airlines charge a fee for carry-ons.  Be sure to read the baggage policy for each airline before booking.
  2. Try Couchsurfing. You can stay with locals for free and it’s a great way of meeting new people. If you can’t find a host or you aren’t comfortable using it, you can try hostels or private rooms on Airbnb for cheap accommodation. If it’s warm outside, you can even try camping. Ask your hosts or hostel staff for cheap and free local things to do.
  3. Go grocery shopping and cook at your hosts living space. It’s a good idea to cook and then wash the dishes for your hosts as a token of appreciation. Taking the Host out, bringing a small gift or some other gesture are also good ideas.  This can cost you about $70/week, and even a lot cheaper, depending on which country you are visiting.  That’s about $500 for two months of grocery shopping.  That leaves you with $900.
  4. Use public transportation, trusted carpooling services such as BlaBlaCar, or hitchhike. Here’s the guide to hitchhiking the world, and here’s a price list of public transportation in 80 cities around the world.  For example, a day pass in Prague costs 5 euros, while in Paris a 1-day pass costs around 11 euros.  Let’s say I set aside a budget of $75/week for transportation.  That’s a total of $600 for two months, which leaves me with $300! You can try a service like Rome2Rio for searching the cheapest public transportation to any destination.  Stay away from taxis if you can.  Public transportation is the best way, IMHO, to explore any city. Also, try renting out a bicycle if you can; it’s cheap or can be free, a great and fast way to see and explore any city, and it’s good exercise!
  5. Use free Wi-Fi and apps like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Viber, Skype, etc. to make calls anywhere abroad for free.
  6. Transacting money directly from the debit card in the local currency is a better way than exchanging money to the local currency.
  7. Try out some free city tours, for example with a service like Freetour.com
  8. If you are a student, make sure to bring your student ID with you. Many museums and such have student rates and the savings can add up quite a bit.
  9. Some cities may offer tourist cards. These can be big money savers.  Pay a small price for free museums, discounted public transportation, attraction discounts, and more.  Do some research to see if the city you will be traveling to has tourist cards.
  10. Be vigilant at all times. A great way to save money is not to lose it! So be aware of pickpockets, especially in big cities.
  11. You can pick up some freelance work while you travel to earn some extra money, such as with Upwork, a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely.
  12. Explore nature. Hike a mountain or go swimming in the ocean. Take a ton of photos. Catch a tan on the beach and relax to the sound of the waves, while doing a yoga class.  There are plenty of activities you can do in the great outdoors, and many are free.
  13. Pub crawls can be free or cheap and a great way to meet people and to check out the local nightlife party scene. Sometimes a free beer or shots are included.  It’s not required to drink when you pub crawl and you can always grab a soda or juice.
  14. Research the internet for free local events, museums, parks, things to do, etc. Also download some free travel apps, such as:
    1. Google Trips. This app automatically maps out a half day or a full day with suggestions for things to see and do.
    2. Rome2Rio. Use this app to discover how to get anywhere by plane, train, bus, ferry & car
    3. Meetup. Meetup provides a way to connect with individuals with similar hobbies and interests. Join in on a local soccer game, learn a new language, or even learn local cuisine by taking a cooking class.
    4. Party With. Use this app to link up with locals and fellow travelers for local nightlife.  Keep in mind that alcohol can be expensive at bars and restaurants, so try to set a small budget aside for it, or don’t drink it at all.
    5. All Events. An easy way to find activities to explore. Search for local concerts, sporting events, and local food.
    6. Geosure may be one of the best travel apps for safety information. It provides comprehensive street-level scores using crime and safety information from government organizations, local authorities, and crowd generated responses to assess a neighbor’s risk level.
    7. CityMapper. Travelers in search of easy transportation will see that CityMapper makes finding the best route simple. Whether your car sharing or taking local subways the app saves time and money in route.
    8. Like a Local. Like a Local is meant to help travelers find fun spots to hang out in a place, just as a local would do, from restaurants and bars to art galleries and holiday parks. The app works completely offline and features cities like Munich, Brussels, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Vienna.
    9. Hostelworld. Use this app to find and book cheap hostels around the world.
    10. Sygic. Sygic Maps is a free, great app for getting around a city by walking or driving when you have no internet access.  Make sure to download the maps of the countries before visiting.

These are just a few free travel apps I recommend.  There are many travel apps out there, so it’s a good idea to research a few, as well as any local travel apps, before your trip. With all these apps nowadays to meet new people and find things to do, you should have an eventful and fun experience.  You can even try dating apps.  Who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love with a special man or woman in a foreign country (that’s if you’re single, of course 😊 ).  The possibilities are endless of what one can do without having to spend a lot of money, or any at all.  Traveling on a budget can be a more fulfilling experience.  It’s really about the experience and the people you meet, and not just what you see and how much you spend.

Once a SkySurf.Travel travel job applicant is selected and starts his or her journey, we’ll provide handy travel tips and advice along the way so that the trip can be as smooth as possible.  If you haven’t already and are interested in traveling the world and getting paid for it, please read more details here.  If you’re not interested, but know someone who may be, please share this post.  This can be a great opportunity; for example, for art or history students, photographers, travel writers, or anyone who just wants to explore the world.  If you have any questions, please contact us from the footer of the SkySurf.Travel homepage; and if you have any comments or tips you’d like to add, please post below.

Safe travels!

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