One of the Most Popular Activities While Traveling:

One of the top ten activities while traveling is to take a cooking class in the country you are visiting.  What better way to really get to know the people and their culture than by learning to cook their national cuisine.  Not to say it would also be a great way to meet the locals and really get a more real feel of the community that you are amongst.  Perhaps even learning some great recipes that you can take with you to enjoy over and over again once you have returned home.  Each time you cook that dish it will remind you of the wonderful time you had at your cooking class during your holidays.  Memories of your trip will come flooding back al kicked in by the aroma of that special holiday dish!

Cooking Dishes from Around the World:

If traveling is something you do a great deal then you should consider taking a cooking class in the different countries that you visit. Perhaps you will be able to collect a vast array of recipes from around the world.  Each time you have a craving for exotic dishes you might be able to make them yourself if you take some cooking classes.  If you are someone who stays at establishments where you have access to a kitchen then you too could benefit greatly from taking a cooking class in the area you are visiting.  This will allow you to really experience the culture through learning how to prepare local food dishes.  As you travel you will probably notice differences in food preparation form area to area some perhaps more spicier than others.

Connecting through the Art of Cooking:

This is a wonderful way to bridge the culture gaps you may experience while traveling you can enjoy the common ground of 'food glorious food' anywhere you choose to travel in the world.  If you are someone like myself that enjoys writing perhaps you could write a cookbook based on all the cooking classes you took in various countries during your travels.  It could be a personal traveling cookbook of sorts.  It would share your cooking stories and adventures which would make good reading I am sure.  I know I myself enjoy hearing the stories of travelers experiences and I am sure many others would too.  Of course on the other hand you may be a traveler that has no interest in writing a cookbook but would be interested in taking some cooking classes during your travels. 

Bringing a Taste of Your Travels Home:

What a great way to share your travels with friends and family by cooking them a lovely meal that you learned how to prepare while on holiday.  They will be able to taste the flavor of the land that you traveled to while enjoying a dinner cooked by you accompanied with your tales of your travels.  Your loved ones will feast on the local fare from afar while delighting in your great stories from far away shores.  Somehow they won't seem so far when they are getting a connection to the lands you have traveled through your amazing foreign cooking!

Checking Out Cooking Classes:

If for example you are going to France for a holiday you should try and learn to cook some wonderful French cuisine while you are there.  Two great cooking schools in Paris that give cooking lessons to travelers are
1) Le Cordon Bleu Paris Cooking Class (also available in other cities) and
2) Cook'n with Class.
Happy travels and happy roaming cooking while you travel!

Insider tips
  • Prioritize the historical hotels when staying in Prague. In this city the phrase «a room is just a room» is absolutely not valid.
  • Try having your meals outside the main tourist trails. Staroceska Krcma in Dejvica or Restaurant Kabinet in Žižkov and U Kroka in Vyšehrad are different types of a more local authentic experience.
  • Want to meet the locals but still be a bit international? Try one of the student pubs in Prague. A typical Prague pub near the dormitory of the international students is the Restaurace Juve in Žižkov. You will not find much cheaper beer in Prague neither.
  • The nice shopping malls in Flora and Anděl often have lower prices than the centers/shops in and around the city center.
  • If you like themed walks, there are plenty of those in Prague. Ask your hotel for good deals.
  • The Czechs love their beer, and so should you. To try the great diversity of Czech beers, start out at Pivovarský Klub or Pivovarský dům.
  • Remember that the numbers attached to Czech beer do not refer to alcohol content but to a «degrees figure». This again represents the amount of malt being used in the brewing process, meaning a higher number usually means a fuller flavor.
  • In for a quiet night with a good movie? Pamper yourself in comfortable chairs at the brilliant Gold Class cinema in Anděl, where bar service and snacks are available throughout the movie.
  • The niche museums, Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments and Sex Machines Museum, will give you a (not always pleasant) insight in the human mind.
  • Feeling like an Olympian? Try the bobsleigh track in Prosek outside Prague.
  • Always remember to validate your transport ticket. There are many ticket controllers and they are not wearing uniforms, so you will not see them before they are standing before you.
  • Try visiting Prague in the shoulder seasons (April, September, and October) and get good deals and at the same time avoiding the main crowds.
  • Wondering what is on in Prague when visiting. Check out http://www.pragueeventscalendar.com/en-gb/.
If you haven't "plunged" into the city yet, we also have some impressions for your visit to get inspired ;-).
Trevi Fountain- photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk 

Rome, also known as the eternal city, is a dynamic metropolis filled with remarkable ancient sights, delicious restaurants, bustling café’s, camera carrying tourists and a wide variety of places to stay. With hostels, guesthouses, and hotels tucked in almost every corner of this beautiful city, where you decide to stay depends on what kind of traveler you are. What type are you?

Tight budget single traveler

While accommodation in the eternal city is not cheap, especially in the spring and summer months, hostels in Rome are the best option for a traveler on a small budget. The first thing you need to do is throw out the misconception that only 20 year olds can stay at hostels. It is true that some places like Dreaming Rome are youth party hostels, but there are plenty of options like Mr. Rome that cater to all ages. You can also browse all hostels and guest houses in Rome. There are also a few hostels that cater to your sexual identity like the Nika Hostel or that are for females only. Whatever your affiliation or age group, you’ll be happy to know that most hostels are centrally located near Rome’s main train station, Termini. Hostels offer different room sizes so depending on your budget, you can spend a few Euros a day and sleep in a 12-18 people dorm or shell out a bit more cash to have a twin or a private room, all for less than you would pay at a hotel.

The best part about staying at any hostel is the atmosphere—travelers meet, explore together, and become friends over the course of their stay. If you are traveling alone and like being social then hostels are the way to go. Even if you are traveling with a partner, meet new friends over breakfast, it’s usually included in the price of your stay!

* Extra tip—don’t fall victim to stories you hear about getting robbed in hostels. Just be smart and keep the important stuff (passports, credit cards) with you at all times. If you want added security, bring a lock for your luggage so your valuables can stay secure while you go out and explore with your new friends.

Romantic Lovebirds   

A stay at a bed and breakfast/guesthouse is perfect for couples seeking a relaxing hideaway in lively Rome. Guesthouses like Maison de Julie and Serendipity Hostel are great options because they are located near Termini and offer a genuine Roman experience. Unlike large hotel chains, guesthouses are more intimate, generally more budget friendly and usually include a traditional breakfast and a quiet terrace to enjoy the evening sun. Additionally, guesthouses are an upgrade from the usual hostel because each room includes a private bathroom, no need to wait in line for the shower!

Family vacationer

If you are traveling with your spouse and a few kids, party hostels are definitely not the best option. Guesthouses like Rose Santamaria located in quiet but central Santamaria Maggiore may work well, but hotels that include sofa beds, junior suites, or are apartment style may be even better options. Hotels like Albergo del Senato combine an amazing location near the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain, with great amenities for children at a reasonable price. If your budget allows for a bit more luxury, the Palazzo Manfredi showcases stunning views of the Colosseum and comfortably accommodates a family of four. Craving a spontaneous night out without the children? Don’t worry, the Palazzo even offers a babysitting service.

Luxury Jetsetter

For travelers with no budget constraints, Rome offers plenty of lavish hotel options. Here is a list of all luxury hotels. You can find spectacular properties like the Prime Hotel Principe Torlonia in elegant Villa Borghese and the St. George Hotel near Vatican City which has amenities that include a bubbling Turkish bath. For you, the sky is the limit. We also have some special picks for you if you visit Rome at Easter.


Knowing your budget and needs as a traveler is most important when deciding what type of accommodation is right for you. Once you figure that out, you’ll be able to use the tools above to find the best place where to stay in Rome, the eternal city.
Monti neighborhood- image courtesy of Italianfoodtours.com

I’m always the last one to wake up at the hostel. It’s a beautiful day and the first thing I do is open up the window in my dorm. I let the late morning breeze seep in as I gaze out at the usual bumper-to-bumper traffic in front of the Pope’s former residence, San di Giovanni in Laterno. I am at the Nika Hostel in the Cello neighborhood located in the centro storico, or the historic center of Rome.

After getting ready, I walk downstairs to the tiny Café di Giacomo and enjoy a fresh pastry and cappuccino with a hostel worker.  We sit outside enjoying the sun, before I head off to explore the sites and neighborhoods of Rome.

I take a short walk on Via di San Giovanni in Laterno, a residential street that leads you directly to the awe-inspiring Colosseum.  It is midday and with the tourist rush in full swing, I linger and people watch as I search for a bite to eat.  The restaurants in this part of Cello are pricey, so instead I hop on the Metro to the Cavour stop and check out Monti, one of the hippest neighborhoods in Rome.

Monti is filled with narrow winding streets, young people and great restaurants. Spots like LaCarbonara make great homemade pasta or if a drink is what you crave, try out La Barrique for wine. After lunch, I get lost in the cobblestone streets, end up on Via Cavour and before I know it I find myself in the famous RomanForum.

After hours spent wandering around the excavated archeological sites, I start to get hungry again. I make a tourist move and pull out my map, only to see that the Tiber, the main waterway in Rome, is nearby. Why not check it out?

Walking along the Tiber is beautiful. There are bridges that cross from the side I’m on to the next. My curiosity is peaked, so I cross over and end up in Trastevere, one of Rome’s oldest neighborhoods. Trastevere is home to expats and bohemians alike. While there, I find a family owned trattoria and in broken Italian, ask the server to recommend a dish. This can be a smart move as many of the tastiest options are known only by locals and are never printed on the menu.

Along with dinner, I order a glass of the house wine and begin to feel the tiredness of a full day take over. I leisurely enjoy my delicious meal. While the thought of dessert at the restaurant is tempting, I know that gelato sounds even better. On my way home I stop by the Gelateria del Teatro ai Coronari, which honestly makes the best gelato I’ve ever had. 

With belly full and feet tired, I make my way back to the Nika Hostel for the night, knowing that I’ll explore even more the next day.


You can find a lot of lovely places to stay for any budget in Rome.

If you are someone who does a lot of traveling where you are sitting for extended periods of time such as traveling by car you may be a good candidate for leg cramps.  These can be quite painful and certainly could put a damper on your holiday.  If you take the time to arm yourself with some simple home remedies on how to treat bothersome ailments you will be glad you did.  I am sure you would rather be out enjoying the sites than laid up in your hotel room due to a leg cramp for example.  Below are some various home remedies for an assortment of ailments that could occur during holidays.  If for example you are visiting the lovely area of Tuscany, Italy you certainly do not want to spend your time laid up in bed in your hotel room missing out on the wonderful sights to be seen!  Prevention is the best medicine but if you do find yourself feeling a bit under the weather then hopefully some of our home remedies can help you get back to seeing the sights and enjoying your holiday to the the fullest.

Leg Cramp:

One thing none of us wants to experience is a leg cramp especially when on holiday; here are a few measures that can be used to stop a leg cramp from spoiling your holiday.

-  if  you are going to be sitting for long periods while traveling perhaps by car make sure to stop along the way and take time to stretch your legs this could help prevent you from a painful leg cramp.  Even when in a plane get up when it is safe to do so just to give your legs a stretch

-  apparently putting a bar of soap down by your feet between the sheets of your bed is a way that can prevent leg cramps; one thing all hotel rooms will offer is a bar of soap

-  avoid eating Bergamot oranges they are grown in France and Italy for commercial use

-  try and stay away from Earl Grey tea as it has Bergamot orange in it's ingredients which has been connected to leg cramps

Losing a few Pounds for Your Holiday:

We all want to look our best when we go on holiday which may involve losing a few pounds to do so.
Here is a few home remedies to help you shed those excess pounds.  You should keep using the remedy of your choice during your holidays as we all tend to over indulge when vacationing

Drink a cup of water with one-forth teaspoon of powdered black pepper, a teaspoon of honey, and 3 teaspoons of lime juice for 3 months before going on holiday

Eat freshly cut onions and tomatoes and lemon juice

have a glass of warm water, honey, and lemon juice every morning

Eat 10 fresh curry leafs in the early morning for 3-4 months

Sore Throat on Vacation:

Sometimes we may find that we are talking and shouting more perhaps for cabs or in nightclubs during our holidays so we may have to give our throats a little home remedy treatment.

Drink hot milk with honey at bedtime for immediate relief from sore throat

A teaspoon of honey will provide relief for a sore throat

Gargle every  hour with salt water or vinegar water

Avoid Stress on Holidays:

Sometimes when we are having so much fun on our holiday we can get stressed out by all the excitement but to help with this here are a few home remedies to keep you going so you can enjoy your holiday stress free!

There is various seeds that are highly beneficial in the treatment of stress such as pumpkin, sunflower, and alfalfa seeds

Chewing tulsi leafs through out the day can help in treating stress

Summary:

Whether you are on vacation or not you should always try and look after you health; but if you are not  well during your holiday it can make the difference between a great vacation to one that was miserable.  The great thing is if you take some home remedies for ailments you won't have to worry about getting prescriptions when you are in foreign lands.  These remedies are all natural products most of which you will be able to find at a local market.  Like I have said before it is better to be safe than sorry.  May you have a safe trip with no aches and pains accompanying you but instead joy and total satisfaction.




 Photo supplied by: Pinterest                                                                



                                                                                                       

 

Hotel room capacities might be scarce or hotels quickly booked out during the current strike of Lufthansa's pilot union. We have put together some tips to find an accommodation no matter where you got stranded.


Germany Lufthansa Strike
Lufthansa on Strike, Source: Flickr, Jake VanderMolen

What’s the reason and the dimension of the strike?

Pilots are striking after negotiations about higher wages and improved retirement plans became stuck. In the consequence of the strike, about 3.800 flights have been cancelled. Beside Lufthansa, Germanwings as a subsidiary is impacted as well. The strike will last for three days starting April 2nd.


Travelers have been forewarned but not everyone has received the news. Especially if you are on an international flight or have a flight connection in Germany, you might have been impacted unexpectedly.

Lufthansa offers a list of all cancelled flights including further travel information on their website. The strike is actually lasting from the 2nd to the 4th of April 2014.

How to find a place to stay or a hotel room?

Camping beds and family areas for travelers are available inside the terminal at Frankfurt airport. It can be assumed that other airports in Germany also offer temporary accommodation facilities. But this cannot be a suitable 3-day-solution.


Our hotel search which you can find at the top might help you find a hotel room if you are looking for an accommodation. As the search includes all major booking platforms you still might find a hotel deal although a hotel is marked as booked out on another platform. You can also find hostels, apartments and b&bs.


Can I claim for strike compensation of my accommodation expenses?

Unfortunately the strike is due to “higher power” so that the passengers rights are limited.

Airlines are not obliged to pay compensation if they can prove that the cancellation is “caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken”. A strike is likely to be an extraordinary circumstance.

However, you should contact your airline via phone or at the airport desk before you make your travel arrangements or hotel bookings as they might provide you other travel options. You should ask if they are eager to compensate your alternate travel expenses.


Tips to find hotels wherever you got stranded

Here are some direct links at Lufthansa’s travel hubs to make the hotel search easier for you:



If you got stranded at another location, feel free to use our hotel search form on top. In case you are at the airport, just enter your city and the word “airport” into the form and you will find hotels which are next to where you are.


Hey, and don't be upset as you cannot change the impact of the strike. The best you can do is, just reschedule your travel plans, stay a bit longer, have a rest in a nice place and enjoy unexpectedly the additional time you have.


Let us know your travel experiences and how you found a solution by commenting below.

Where to stay as a visitor in Prague? We definitely recommend staying in Prague's city centre as you can easily walk around. A hotel in the centre of Prague allows you to discover all the famous spots on foot. The city centre is mainly divided into four areas which you should consider for your stay and which lie right next to each other making it easy to stroll around:

We give you an idea of the character of those districts below. All of them have their own history, charm and a unique atmosphere.


If you are thinking of going or if you decided already to stay in Prague the first time, our Golden Prague - A Fairy Tale story will give you some inspirations and further guidance.

If you like to visit Prague more than once, we recommend that you stay in a different part of the city every time as you will experience Prague in a new way depending on where you stay.


If you know the city centre already, maybe one of the newer areas around Anděl are interesting for you as well, especially if you are more into shopping and trendy bars/cafés although it is a 5-10 minute tram ride from downtown.

Here are the best areas to visit and look for an accommodation:

Hradčany and Lesser Town (around Prague's Castle)

Prague, Czech Republic
St. Vitus Cathedral, Source: Flickr "Nigel"

Maybe Prague’s biggest attraction (both in popularity and in size) is the Prague Castle, which along with many other attractions also consists of the St. Vitus Cathedral. A trip to the Prague Castle to see most sights and not at least to enjoy the beautiful views of the city should be obligatory on any visit. On your way back down the steep but nice streets, you will end up at the foot of the Charles Bridge, which takes you towards the Old Town. But before you cross the bridge you might also consider the Petřín funicular and the Petřín Lookout Tower a bit higher on the hill next to the castle as well as the baroque style Church of St. Nicholas. The latter is also a nice place to experience a great classical concert.

Old Town / Josefov

DSC_2412.JPG
Street in Josefov, Flickr "Valerio Pillar"

For many visitors often referred to as the heart of Prague, this is the area where you find a lot of the historical attractions, but also most of the tourist traps (prices for food and beverage can be as much as 10 times as expensive compared to the less touristy areas). In Josefov (also known as the Jewish quarter), you will among other attractions find Franz Kafka’s birthplace, the Jewish Town Hall and the Spanish Synagogue.

The Astronomical Clock
Clock Tower, "Zach Beauvais"

In the Old Town, you have to experience the Astronomical Clock at the top of every hour, but beware. When you are looking up, the pickpockets are looking at your pockets. Also, visit the Powder Tower and Municipal House. The Church of Our Lady before Týn is also beautiful, but maybe even more so during the night when looking at it makes you feel that you’re part of a Harry Potter movie (there's a legend that the church was Walt Disney’s inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty castle)

New Town

Wenceslas Square - Looking From the National Museum
Wenceslas Square, Flickr "Alistair Young"

The busiest place in the Nové město area is the Wenceslas Square. At the top of the square you will find the National Museum and on the actual square and around it many shopping opportunities. This area around the Wencelas Square also consists of many sport bars for those wanting to catch the game when on holiday.

The National Theatre and the Fred & Ginger building (known as the dancing house) is also worth a visit. A lot of the bigger clubs and discos can also be found in this part of town for those wanting a night out, but maybe not the ones most frequented by the locals



Vinohrady and Žižkov

Žižkov Television Tower
TV Tower, "Per Bolmstedt"

If you want to experience another great view of the city (maybe even better than the one you get from the Prague castle), try visiting the Žižkov Television Tower. At the top of the tower on a clear day, your eyes are your only restriction to how far you can look.

Let's try some Czech beer
Some Czech Beer, Flickr "Erwan Martin"
The tower itself with the sculptures of crawling babies is also a nice photo opportunity.


On your way back down from the tower visit one of the many beer gardens for a cold refreshment. The Roman Catholic Sacred Heart Church at George and the neo-Gothic Church of St.Ludmila are also attractions worth seeing.


Where to stay at the end?

When you click on the headline of each of the four areas above, you can easily find a hotel in your desired district. If you are unsure which district to choose or if you just look for a good hotel deal, you can also just browse all hotels in Prague's city centre and pick the one you like the most. Make sure to check the map for the location.

 
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