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Tigrest Travel Blog

This is a blog about destinations, food and travel tips

Tag: travel

Eastern Europe Travel Itinerary

Eastern Europe Travel Itinerary for one week

Eastern Europe Travel Itinerary

Summer holiday period is just a few weeks from now. If you are looking at Eastern Europe Travel Itinerary as a possible destination but with no particular preference in terms of the country to visit, this itinerary is for you! It makes a lot of sense to come to Eastern Europe for at least a week. There is so much to do and see, so why limit yourself with just one country.

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20 Life lessons learned from traveling

Traveling several times per year leaves you with a lot of emotions. But what happens, when the initial excitement fades and there are only good memories left (and cool photos). Perhaps it’s time to analyze what you have seen, and most importantly – learned – during your trip. Visiting new places leaves a trace in your life. You are not the same person. You should not be. Getting out of your everyday life transform you, gives you a new perspective of life, allows you to see how life is beyond your own horizons.



I’ve had numerous conversations with my friends and family about the experiences I gained during those trips. Finally, I’m ready to write them down. Here is my own personal 20 Life lessons, that I learned from traveling.

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People

    • People are different. Some people are generally nice and friendly, others only appear to be so. It’s important to understand the difference.
    • You can get help, if you simply ask. Simple, yet somehow a barrier for a lot of people. In the rise of social media people don’t communicate with each other anymore. Asking a stranger seems impossible, yet so crucial sometimes.
    • Not everything shining is gold. You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s covers. Online photos can be easily misinterpreted. That’s why I never expect too much.
    • Sometimes, keeping your mouth shut can save you from a lot of trouble. With so many different cultures out there, you can’t expect to be understood the same way everywhere you go.
    • Traveling is probably the best way to test someone. Whether it’s your friend or potential life partner – there is no better way than go on a trip together. Especially if things start to go wrong, you can then see the person for who they really are.




  • Consider the whole story before judging someone. We are all born the same. What makes us different are various life decisions we make. Sometimes life is hard on us. If a person is poorly dressed, it doesn’t mean they are lazy or have drinking problems.
  • Smiling is the key to the hearts. Being polite, nice to people, will make them friendly towards you in any country, even if you don’t speak the language.
  • You can meet amazing people in unexpected places. During my stay at a resort near Barcelona last year, we met a really nice girl (waitress) from a neighboring country. We ended up coming there every night and would sit together and talk the evenings away. (there were no other visitors as it was end of season)

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Places

  • Not every museum is worth a visit. Wasting your day in the long line is just not worth it, if all you have is a few days. Consider a smaller, but less crowded museum instead.
  • Sometimes you need to see once, rather than hear 100 times. Some World sights are worth experiencing for yourself, rather than enjoying the photos.
  • No need to be scared of the unknown. Most people are, and that’s partly why they will never see better future, never fulfill their dreams.


  • Walking is probably the best way to explore. It’s hard and exhausting. But that’s actually the best way to see a place. When you are driving, taking a tour, even riding a bike – you pass places far too quickly. To truly experience the life around you – take a walk. Take your time, stop, listen, smell. Inhale the life around you!
  • Food can tell you a lot about culture. Always try to eat local food. Don’t go into places with waiters inviting you in – these are tourist traps. Instead, go online and find some valuable recommendations from the locals.

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  • Less can be MORE. If your time is limited, try to visit just a few spots. Pick the most exciting ones. Getting to know a few cool places, rather than rushing through most of them, will leave you with much better memories.
  • Planning is everything. Plan carefully before each trip. Which bus to take, where is the nearby store, how to get to the correct airport terminal. All those little details will save you a lot of time and money.
  • It’s okay to take your time. Sitting down by a river, having a coffee in the old town. Simply observing the town square and the people. Those little moments will form great memories and help you relax at the times of stress.
  • Hot climate is overrated. People get crazy about Southern countries, especially if they live in the North and have to face long, cold and sunless months. The truth is, staying in the sun wears you down. You get tired easily, you need water and the radiation is bad for your skin. My absolute favorite times for visiting Mediterranean Coast are Spring and early Fall.

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Developing yourself

    • It’s OK to FAIL! Whether it’s a wrong hotel booked or wrong tickets or any other event in your life – we need to learn getting used to failing. Failing is good! The more you fail, the better you are, once you recover. The experience is priceless. Failing often in a young age can lead to being a successful individual as an adult.
    • Small changes in life lead to big improvements. Traveling can make you feel thoughtful about your life. The routine of everyday tasks will seem boring. I’ve seen people change their life completely after few weeks of being away. If moving away is not an option, there are other tricks, how to make you everyday habits more enjoyable. Reading good books can be almost as pleasant as traveling itself, because your imagination will take you places that don’t even exist.
  • You should never stop being curious. Life can get boring and make you sad. Lack of sunshine and coldness can cause a lot of stress and depression. For me, the best way to get through those times is to plan my next trip. Even if it’s months away. I always try to have some plans for the next holiday. And there need to be small trips in between. Sometimes people are wondering, how I can afford so much travel. It’s pretty easy – I can afford it because I avoid unnecessary costs. There are things in life you can’t live without (obviously) – food, gas, rent. But other things are easily avoidable – such as parties, alcohol, entertainment etc.
  • The world is exactly the way you want it to be. All you need to do is to wish for it. I know this because I found a way to balance my work-life with my travels and other hobbies. If your goals are too big at the moment, you need to make them small and start achieving them. Don’t wait for tomorrow – start today. And I promise, you will see how everything will be better very soon!

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virtual reality

Virtual reality and tourism

virtual realityVirtual reality devices are becoming a central topic as technology keeps getting more advanced. Today we are mostly talking about gaming industry. However, it’s not the only possible area where VR devices could be used. Researchers are looking at ways to implement virtual reality technology in a wide range of fields. The future will show how we will end up using VR headsets. For now let’s look at some trends and early predictions.



Mountain trails in virtual reality

Lately introduced experience called Trailscape by Merrell is a fascinating, overwhelming new way of exploring one of the most dangerous mountain trails through virtual reality. The feedback was highly positive – everyone loved it so far. To have a possibility to walk in the Dolomites without leaving your house is truly amazing.

virtual reality Mountain trails from the safety of your home

Hotel experience

Imagine having a chance to visit a destination in virtual reality before you book your next flight. What about a hotel room? Marriott has introduced holiday’s booths called “teleporters” – 4D experience with Oculus Rift devices that can take you to a destination, show you around and offer a hotel room that you can see for yourself. The booths may be particularly popular with newlyweds as an incentive to choose a perfect honeymoon destination. The future of travel looks optimistic, as the new generation prefers mobility and will travel a lot in the next decades.


Hotel booths - teleporters

Skydiving

For people who are afraid of skydiving because their parachute might not open -there is a solution now. Developed by Dan Borenstein, the idea is to have someone hanging in the air while wearing VR headset. This way, a genuine falling-like experience can be created. Combined with awesome graphics this may be a thrilling experience for anyone to try, and it is safe!

Theme parks

VR technology might finally make it possible for some people to visit a theme park they have never been before. Disney is thinking of implementing VR technology to introduce their theme parks and give a real feel of what it is like to see the attractions there. Of course it won’t ever substitute the real experience, but for many people this will be a chance to get a taste of it.


GoPro and VR

GoPro, a famous producer of action cameras available to larger audience has acquired Kolor – a French company specialized in producing 360 degree videos. It should therefore come as no surprise that soon everyone will be able to shoot VR quality videos and share them online.

Fitness and sports

Sports, particularly biking is an interesting area and Italian start-up Widerun has created a virtual world for cycling work out. Different sceneries are available, ranging from ride in the park to Alpine roads. The set reacts to bikers speed and it is possible to see 360 degrees. Widerun could be immensely popular as soon as VR devices are up to speed and no lags occur, causing nausea.

Widerun

Runtastic has developed a fitness app with short sessions of exercises with various backgrounds. The aim is to provide a unique, personalized training experience at the comfort of your home. An imaginary mentor will show the exercises and the user can repeat them. At the end of the session a feedback is given to the participant.

Runtastic

Filmmaking

Filmmakers have shown interest in VR devices since the start of the development. Some experimental films have already been made and there are more to come. Lately, a film studio Jaunt Studios has been established in LA specifically to help create films with VR technology. The possibilities are quite impressive – we can only imagine what the future movies may look like, when we can see a 360 degrees picture, have a look around and be “in the movie”. Imagine visiting a concert and being on the stage with your favorite band, having a chance to see both them and the fans. This is going to be a whole new level of entertainment.

Sir Paul McCartney concert through VR goggles
Sir Paul McCartney concert through VR goggles

Embedded advertisement

We are all sick and tired of annoying banner ads. They are everywhere – on the apps we download, on the games, even on YouTube. Luckily, there is hope for better – MediaSpike, a company specializing in product-placement ads is looking at creating embedded ads for virtual reality platforms. This kind of advertisement will look real and be part of the world you are in. For example, imagine driving around in a car and passing a huge billboard with some ads on it. That would be just like in real life. No more awkward, ugly looking square banners popping up randomly on the screen. The potential for this kind of advertisement is huge and much more efficient. Both for the user and for the marketers.

No more ugly banners - instead beautiful, in-game ads

Final thoughts

We are facing a revolution of how we view and share the media. Although the development is at the moment rather slow and costly, the first prototypes are arriving at the market already this year. There are some alternatives already available, like Google cardboard, but these are just temporary solutions requiring expensive gear like smartphones or tablets. The race is for a high resolution, synchronized and affordable, also user friendly device. Potential winners in this game are Oculus Rift, Playstation VR and Samsung Gear VR. Moreover, many independent developers are working on new exciting ways of implementing VR in our everyday lives. The future looks bright and more exciting opportunities are opening up every day.

travel jobs

Best Traveling jobs with no degree or experience

travel jobsIt seems to be the plague of the modern world – people are stuck in their 9-5 office jobs and unable to get out. Some have never even left their own country! They would create thousands of reasons why they can’t leave – family, house, mortgage. Sound familiar? There are no written rules how you should live your own life. If doing what everyone else does isn’t for you, it might be a first sign that it’s time for a change and look at travel jobs. Have you ever considered leaving everything behind and just taking off, chasing your dreams? Maybe it’s not too late! There are companies out there that will pay you for traveling. Let’s look at some possibilities – Best Traveling jobs with no degree or experience.





travel agent

Travel agent

Been there, done that. You can read my story of being a travel agent here. It’s actually a normal office job, BUT you get to travel for work. It’s difficult to say how much travel you’ll get, as it depends a lot on you experience, position in the company and other small things like relationship with you manager etc. But generally speaking – yes, travel agents travel for free and get to stay at nice places. They are also taken on guided tours, nice restaurants, exciting experiences and shows. Good life, you could say.





Well, that’s certainly not all there is to it. Being a travel agent means being a good customer service agent. And customer service may be both rewarding and stressful, so a certain skill set is needed to be a good travel agent. Moreover, you need to be open minded, respectful, good at sales and geography as well as culture and history. If that sounds like you, wait no more and apply for a travel agent position. Please note though, that the golden age of travel agencies is almost over and most of travels nowadays are booked via internet. If consulting about tours and destination is your thing, consider specializing in a niche area (like extreme sports holidays, scuba diving holidays, honeymoon trips etc).

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Flight attendant

Now this a job that never gets old. Even though this is formally more of a logistics/service type of work and doesn’t have much to do with destinations, it’s still a chance to travel the world for free (and get paid for it). What are the downsides? Obviously, you don’t have a life, home, family is hard to maintain. You are away most of the year and spend you free time sleeping at hotel rooms. Your workmates are your only close friends, as you get to share your life with them. On the bright side – you get to see the world! Even if it’s just for some hours, it’s a new country every day. You can easily visit sightseeing’s, go to the beach, experience things that others have to pay for. Plus you get to fly for free (or almost for free) during your own holidays. If you feel like it. Most people do, as traveling is highly addictive. What you need for the job? You need to be fluent in languages (English!), have decent looks (not a must, but some airlines may be picky), highly stress-tolerant, not have a life (family, kids). Having a family back home will make it really hard.





tour guide

Tour guide

If flight attendants might actually balance work and family life, tour guides probably couldn’t. Being a tour guide at a holiday destination is a full-time job at the destination. You can’t just leave for the weekend. You work 24/7. What are the benefits? The payment may be nice, you might also get a cheap (or free) accommodation. You have other options to increase you pay (tips, commission in the souvenir shops). Some might say it’s a dream job – most tourists leave the destination after a week or two, but you get to stay there for the whole season. So where is the catch?

Well, apart from it being work and not holiday (you still have to take care of the guests, making sure they won’t run into trouble), it could be very different experience for you. Being a tour guide means working closely with the locals. Depending on your communication skills it may be easy or hard. Some locals may be genuinely nice and friendly while others are only friendly as long as there is a gain for them. You as a guide need to distinguish between the two possibilities. Moreover, hot climate may be nice if you spend your day on the beach, but working in these conditions may be a challenge. Requirements for becoming a tour guide are not too strict – need to know the local language (at least some of it), be friendly and open minded, good communicator and be interested in history/culture.

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English teacher

Teaching English is probably the easiest thing any native English speaker could do in a foreign country. There will always be a demand for English speakers and people are willing to pay for this. You can teach both groups and individuals. This is a good way to make your living as you are not required to work full time. Before taking off consider getting a certificate though, as you may be required to present one. Find your nearest exam center here.

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Travel Blog

This is by far my most favorite way of making a career of traveling. Writing a travel blog is easier than it looks! The hardest part is to start writing. Surely there is something exciting you have seen or experienced in your neighborhood, hometown or during your latest trip. Believe me, there are people who would like to read about it.  If you are not sure about the technical part, the easiest way is to start with WordPress free blog. Once you feel confident, you can move on to self-hosted website (I recommend Bluehost). The move is super easy, I will make a post it in the future. The hardest part is actually to keep posting, as the beginning may be slow – there is hardly traffic coming in. Setting up a Facebook fan page, promoting your posts at travel forums and among your friends will help. Once you are up and running, there is nothing to stop you from getting out there are posting on the go. The key is finding your niche and providing value for your readers. For me, travel blogging is the best travel job out there.

Here is a great post for beginner travel blogger – How to Start a travel Blog by The Pink Backpack

farm

WWOOFer

If farming is your thing, consider joining the WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) . They will require 4-6 hours of work in exchange for food, accommodation and insight into local life. Outdoor work can be quite rewarding – you get to be outdoors, meet new people, do something good for the world, lead a healthy life and travel for almost no money at the same time. The hosts are located all over the world – you can search for opportunities at WWOOF website.

remote work

Work remotely for IT company

Some companies (mostly IT) may offer remote working possibilities to talented employees. Nowadays, many tasks can be done remotely. These are software developers, writers, even customer service. Why do companies do that? Well, it’s obvious – for the same reason there are so many online stores – they save on office rent! Also, remote work increases employee effectiveness (finish work faster to have more free time). Employees are paid based on their input rather than on hours spent at the office. This approach allows people to enjoy their lives and travel (working is possible as long as there is internet connection). How does a winter in Bali sound? Well, for some remote employees it’s not just a beautiful dream – it’s a reality! By the way – cost of living is low enough that you can save for future travels, early retirement or that cool new car you always wanted.

So, what is your dream travel job? Are you already doing it? Share your story and experience in the comments!

best travel gadgets

Best travel accessories and gadgets in 2016

Being a frequent traveler I often realize I’m missing best travel accessories and gadgets that could make my life easier. During long flights I wish I had a nice pillow, or during a long road trip, when I miss a tool. Or at the airport, when I try to sleep, but it’s just so noisy. Wish I had a list of the must-have’s that will always go into my luggage. Sounds familiar?

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travel money

How to save money for international travel

travel moneyTravel budget (or travel money) is often hard to build, especially if you are planning on going somewhere further than neighboring village. Flight tickets, hotels, food and local transport, not to mention museum passes and other entrance fees. No wonder most people can’t afford to travel every year – you still want to live and be normal, meaning going out with your friends once in a while or getting that new piece of furniture you have been planning to get for a while now.



But back to travel money – what is the best way? How to save money for international travel? Let’s look at some options.

How to save money for international travel

  1. Stock some cash and have it ready to grab special deal tickets. More about how to get those tickets, when to book and what you can expect is described in detail here: 20 Ways how to save on airline tickets Exactly how to stock the cash will be discussed in more details later in the article.
  2. Monitor hotel prices daily. Choose few options and keep an eye on the price fluctuation – hotel prices change often, so it’s wise and leads to good results (cheaper rooms). For more information on how to get the best hotel rate, read this blog post: How to save on hotels during travels  Consider booking with Booking.com – they have a huge choice of hotels and offer some kind of protection if hotel turns their back on you. This situation recently happened to me – here is a blog post about that case – How Booking.com saved my trip
  3. Make your homework and explore the destination beforehand, using Google Maps, travel forums and reviews. There are hardly any places on Earth, where nobody has been before and you could certainly use their advice!

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blogging-336376_960_720 (1)Now back to travel budget – how to generate one? Well, obviously, the easiest way would be generating some additional cash. There are many different ways, how to earn some extra $$$, and it all comes to someone’s special skills, knowledge and interest. For example, if you are good languages, you may consider giving language courses or doing some translation works. If you know your hometown well – you may try to become a guide (awesome way to meet new people!) and generate some travel money. If you own a house with spare bedroom – why not rent it out on Airbnb. If you enjoy driving – Uber could fill your pockets with some coins. Some people (like myself) like writing and generating content could bring in some extra dollars. Same goes for starting a blog – nowadays it is super easy with WordPress templates. By the way, this blog uses one of those plus a super easy and cheap hosting by Bluehost. If you are ready to hit the road, take a look at the travel jobs list.


Now all these options look good and attractive, but what if you can’t sacrifice you free time for extra work? Maybe you have some family commitment or just want to relax (assuming you are working full time already). Well, I have some good news – you may actually increase your savings without investing extra hours. It’s not a “Get rich overnight” type of advice though, more of a “Pull you sh*t together”. But it certainly works (tested!). The solution is simple – just DON’T SPEND! Easy as that!

So how exactly do you do that? That’s the hard part. Learning to be minimalist takes time and effort, and a lot of self discipline! But here is how you start:

  • Create an excel sheet and write down all your expenses in one monthchecklist-911841_960_720
  • Look critically at the list and try to imagine, which spending you could avoid
  • calculate how much money you would realistically need for 1 week
  • Starting next month, give yourself pocket money once per week (e.g. 50$). The rest is not to touch, unless it’s an emergency
  • By the end of the month see how you managed and all unused cash deposit on a savings account.


I know that some expenses are unavoidable – food (obviously), gas, bills and rent. But even with these you could probably save some travel money. Here is an example: you are paying your internet provider 20$ per month. There are others, but you just like this one and been with them for ages. Here is what you do – go check on other offers, ask them for a better deal, then tell them you agree. As soon as your provider hears about you leaving them, they will make sure to make you a better offer! Best part – you won’t have to change anything. Your bills, however, may drop as much as 50%! That’s a 10$/month free money, right there!

Now let’s talk about take out coffee – many people love that and spend hundreds on those plastic cups. But think about it for a second – do you really need it right there or can you wait to get home? Most offices offer coffee for free anyway. It has become some kind of a trend, but being part of it is entirely your own choice. Brands like Starbucks are getting richer while you can’t afford those nice Thailand tickets..

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While eating out is certainly pleasant and often necessary evil, it’s still damn expensive. Instead, try to cook yourself – it’s much healthier too, plus leaves you extra 100$+ for your future travels. On top of that, cooking is very relaxing activity and helps you build better relationships with your family and friends. You can a cool cook book or find some of those on the internet.

One more huge way to save is to stop going out and generally drinking any alcohol. Not only it is unhealthy and damaging, but it also costs a fortune. I could never understand people, who go to bars on the first weekend after salary. Not only do they end up with hangover (weekend is lost), but also with holes in their pockets. Going out is truly something for people with no dreams. Alternatively,  if you need to go out, stick to non-alcoholic drinks or water (tab water is mostly free).

I could probably go on with the list of different expense areas, but I’m afraid it will get too personal. Everyone knows better, where their spending are hidden. But one thing is for sure – most people just don’t realize where the salary goes. Keeping an eye on all expenses is the first step in the direction towards your next awesome adventure! If you need some more advice on how to cut your expenses, these books are very helpful!

How do you manage to build a travel budget? Share your ideas and experience!

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