The Best Log Cabins in the Lake District, UK

The Lake District is a National park and region in Cumbria, in the North West of England in the United Kingdom

It’s one of the best places to visit in England, as it is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its beautiful lakes, forests and mountains. 

You’ll find many cosy log cabins in the Lake District for the perfect holiday getaway, whether you want to hike or have a relaxing lakeside visit. It is also home to all of England’s lands that are higher than 3000 feet / 914m above sea level. 

Whether coming from afar or from another city in England, we’ll help you choose from the best log cabins in the Lake District for your next vacation. We’ve found a cabin for everyone – from pet-friendly cabins to romantic log cabins in the Lake District with hot tubs!

Pet friendly log cabins in the Lake District

If you’re looking for pet friendly log cabins in the Lake District, we’ve rounded up some of the best accommodation options for you.

Luxury Lodge in Bassenthwaite is located at the foot of Skiddaw mountain and boasts views overlooking Bassenthwaite Lake. This modern cabin provides luxurious amenities and finishes amidst the natural beauty of the region. It offers one double bed and two twin beds and is pet friendly for families or individuals with pets. 

Pet friendly cabin in the Lake District
Luxury Lodge in Bassenthwaite

Organic 5 Star Cedar Lodge in Hawkshead is one of the most luxurious family and pet friendly log cabins in the Lake District. It boasts three bedrooms that comfortably sleeps six and a massive family-style kitchen, a modern dining room, and modern bathrooms. It is pet friendly and features views of the Esthwaite Water lake. 

Pet friendly cabins in the Lake District
Organic 5 Star Cedar Lodge

If you are looking for a more adventurous experience, you may enjoy The Pig Pod, a luxury camping pod that offers a compact and comfortable, modern design. 

The Pig Pod is pet friendly and offers a double bed and two bunk beds, and an open plan dining room, kitchen and basic bathroom. Its unique design and amazing views of Underbarrow and Scout Scar make it one of the pet friendly log cabins in the Lake District to remember!

Cabins for trips with friends or family

Want to visit the Lake District with a sibling or friend, but need a bit of extra privacy? Starry Night Barn is perfect for two couples travelling together, as it contains two separate units in one. 

Each king-size bedroom has its kitchen and living room for a bit of private downtime. While it may not be one of the traditional log cabins in the Lake District, this renovated property offers modern living with jewel-toned decor and contemporary finishes. 

If you are looking for an authentic log cabin camping experience, you will enjoy the rustic Orchard Hideaways. This site offers 16 wooden pods based on the edge of the Lake District within an old apple orchard.

Orchard Hideaways is an excellent site for families, and some of the pods include sleeping arrangements for up to 4 people. While the amenities are more limited than other options, camping enthusiasts will enjoy bringing their sleeping bags and having a barbeque outdoors. There is a playground and picnic area on the premises for families to enjoy. 

log cabins in the lake district
Orchard Hideaways

The Lodge in the Vale is another fantastic option for families looking for a hotel-like experience. The lodge offers beautiful fell and mountain surroundings, with the modern finishes of a coffee shop, individual rooms and free Wifi for all guests. There is also a continental breakfast available, and the local attractions Keswick and Derwentwater Lake are only a 5-minute drive away. 

For those seeking a truly luxurious stay, visit Grassholme in Cumbria. This property is on the majestic Graythwaite estate, which spreads across 5000 acres. With modern finishes and a cost fireplace, this next-level family pad can sleep up to four people. 

Luxury log cabins in the Lake District, UK
The Grassholme

Budget log cabins in the Lake District 

We know that travelling can take a toll on your bank account. That’s why we wanted to share some budget-friendly log cabins in the Lake District for different travellers. 

YHA Borrowdale in Rosthwaite is a bed-and-breakfast lodge in the Lake District. It offers private or dormitory bedrooms with shared bathroom facilities. There are also laundry facilities on-site and a dedicated picnic site, shared kitchen and lounge, and library. It’s also near local attractions such as Scafell Pike and Derwentwater. 

Stybeck Farm Shephards Hut is a truly rustic lodging for a maximum of two people looking for a quaint abode. It’s close to Keswick and offers basic accommodation set on a farm. It’s recommended for those with busy city lifestyles looking for a relaxing countryside experience on a budget.

Buttermere in Ulverston is a holiday home that can comfortably sleep three people on the cheap. It’s one of the log cabins close to the Laurel and Hardy museum. Its discreet location offers a quiet abode in the woods and a large garden on the property. Bear in mind that it is a bit further out from the Lake District National Park, but nothing a short drive can’t fix.

Budget log cabins in the Lake District
Buttermere in Ulverston

Romantic log cabins in the lake district 

Want to have a honeymoon or couple’s retreat at the Lake District? There are some amazing lodges to choose from!

Rosie’s Barn in Penrith is a great choice, and it is perfect for a couple. The hosts include welcome gifts for travellers, and the open-plan bath is a pleasant surprise. Upon your visit, you’ll find a romantic log cabin in the lake district near Whinfell Forest and provides daily breakfasts for guests. 

Herdwick in Torver near Coniston is one of the log cabins in the Lake District with hot tubs. While it isn’t strictly made of wood, it boasts a cabin-like feel in this quaint apartment. It’s set beside the owner’s pub in Torver and offers everything you need when visiting romantic log cabins in the lake district.

Honey Bee Shepherd’s Hut in Ambleside is another one of the log cabins in the Lake District with hot tubs and offers a unique glamping experience to boot. It’s just a few minutes walk from Hawkshead Village and features a new king-sized bed for a comfy stay. The hut was recently renovated with modern finishes.

log cabins in the Lake District with hot tubs
Honey Bee Shepherd’s Hut

Log cabins with a waterfront view

Perhaps you are after the best view in the entire Lake District. Look no further than Lakefield House, which can sleep a stunning ten people in the house. This property is two spacious holiday homes in one. It features incredible views of the Esthwaite Waterfront in a cosy holiday home.  

Need something a bit smaller? Rydal Lodge is one of the log cabins in the Lake District with beautiful views of Bassenthwaite Lake. It features three bedrooms that can sleep six people. This log cabin is located within Bassenthwaite Lakeside Lodges, within the Lake District National Park.

If you want something a bit more private, you can find two-bedroom accommodation in Haverigg, near Millom. This beautiful waterside property consists of a ground-floor apartment with a large enclosed garden and everything you need for a comfortable stay while visiting the Lake District.

Lake District accommodation with a waterfront view
Lakefield Holiday House

Ready to visit a few Lake District log cabins?

When visiting log cabins in the Lake District, you will be spoilt for choice in terms of lodging. From Ambleside to Bassenthwaite,  and as far as Penrith, Keswick and Coniston, there are accommodation options all over the area that offer amazing access to the wonders of the Lake District. 

Whether you’re looking for pet-friendly stays, a romantic getaway or a large log cabin that is family-friendly, we assure you that you won’t regret your trip to the Lake District.

There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular tourist spots in England, after all!  


Best Things to Do on Texel, Netherlands (Including Where to Stay and What to Eat)

Looking for things to do on Texel Netherlands? I recently visited this island in the Netherlands and found many great things to do and eat on Texel!

The below post dives into how to get to Texel, how to get around Texel, things to do on Texel, restaurants in Texel and places to stay – it’s a pretty complete guide to Texel!

Here’s how my trip to Texel started:

I missed the ferry by 3 minutes!

If I had arrived 3 minutes earlier, I would have caught the ferry to Texel. And a journey to Texel is definitely a good choice! 

Missing the ferry was no problem, which gets us straight to the first useful info when you want to spend your vacation on Texel…

How to get to Texel

Texel is an island, two hours North of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. You can easily reach it by car or via train to Den Helder. When you arrive in Den Helder, there is a ferry crossing every 30 – 60 minutes. At the moment they expect more travelers, so they operate the short route with two ferries.

It’s easy to just drive there and see which ferry you’ll make, especially if you already bought your ferry ticket online. With your online ticket you don’t need to wait in line to buy one on arrival. You can even register the license plate, which opens the barriers quicker for you via a video identifying system. 

And the tickets bought are return tickets. So you only need to buy one.

Ferry ticket prices to Texel:

  • Passenger car: ~€25 (traveling to Texel on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday)
  • Passenger car: ~€37 (traveling to Texel on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday)
  • Motorcycle: ~€8.20 – €11
  • Pedestrians: ~€2.50 (3 years of age & younger travel for free)
  • Cyclists: ~€5

Find more info online at teso.nl.

If you should come by train, there is a bus shuttle from Den Helder train station to the ferry. And when leaving the ferry on Texel, there is also a nicely timed bus on arrival.

Getting around Texel

Texel is a relatively big island, compared to others in the region, which is good, as it provides lots of activities and variety. Still, it’s small enough that you can reach the different parts of the island easily and quickly by car, bicycle or public transport.

The island of Texel is 23.7 km long and 9.6 km wide and it’s flat, making cycling a great option. You might want to rent an e-bike though, as the winds can get strong. Texel provides great cycling infrastructure with cycling paths everywhere, and the hotels usually provide safe parking spaces, too.

Exploring Texel with your own car

If you want to be really flexible and free, you most probably will decide to arrive by car. You have your luggage problem solved and can travel any time you prefer. On the opposite, you have to expect to stand in line when leaving the island with the many other cars. Plus, you have to fuel up your car, find parking spaces and pay for those.

There is not a crazy amount of traffic in the shoulder season, so finding parking spaces won’t be an issue. But I could imagine that it looks different in high season and that’s where it might be smarter to come by train, or at least park your car for good while exploring the island. 

Texel provides their guests with a parking vignet. You get that one online and it costs €2.50 per hour, €10 per day, €20 per week (8 days valid) and €30 for the annual card. At some spots you are only allowed to park for two hours. There you need to add the parking disc.

You enter your number plate when purchasing the e-vignet and the rest is taken care of automatically. Your number plate becomes the parking permit.

Get your Texel parking vignet here texelevignet.com.

Electric cars are becoming more and more popular in Europe. If you arrive or rent an e-Car, then the VVV Google map with EV charging stations will be very helpful.

And you’ll get regular fuel here:

Exploring Texel by bicycle

There are around 145 km of cycling paths on Texel. So bring your own bike or rent one in one of the many bicycle renting shops, which you’ll find on arrival at the ferry or in the towns and villages. The VVV Texel provides a good overview list here. Friends chose the “van der Linde” store in Den Burg and were very happy with the quality of their e-bikes and service. There are also e-bike tours of the island.

Texel has a great cycling route network. There are 57 cycling junctions and each has easy to read and understandable signs, which lead you where you want to go. At each junction you can choose your direction and route, which you could also set up on your own before.

The VVV Texel also recommends four bike and 10 hiking trails, where you’ll see the highlights of Texel.

When planning your own route, simply add up the kilometers between junction points from the scanned map and make sure to end where you have started.

Or, you can also hire an e-scooter for the day!

Exploring Texel by public transport

Using public transport is another great way to explore the island, even for families!

There are two options:

  • The regular bus, which takes you without reservation from the ferry to Den Burg & to De Koog at fixed times.
  • The smaller Texelhopper bus goes pretty much everywhere else with 130 possible stops. Use their app (android / ios) or website to book & pay your route (minimum 30 minutes before you would like to depart). You could also pay in the bus or in a store.

They operate between 5am and 10pm.

Let’s get to the Texel public transport prices:

  • Single ride: €3
  • Day ticket: €7.50
  • Family ticket: €17.50 (2 adults, max. 3 children (4-11)) per day
  • Week ticket: €37.50

Pretty cool, right?

Good to know about transport in Texel

If you arrive by train in Den Elder, the bus journey to the ferry costs €3 and it includes the return journey back to the train station after your holiday.

Make sure to enter & leave the ferry always on the right side, so that you can catch the buses on time!

Things to do on Texel

There are many exciting things to do on Texel. You already know that it’s a very cycling-friendly island. So it makes sense to combine cycling with visiting the local sights.

I personally love to get lost and explore a destination with a bit of luck. Usually you’ll stumble upon many popular points of interest like that as well, but also find many others.

Cycling is a great way to do this, as you are closer to your surroundings and you hear, smell and find more little travel gems. Plus, it’s easier to stop or do a little detour (and, you’ll cover more ground than walking).

Lighthouse Texel

The Texel Lighthouse is a must-see… hey, it’s a lighthouse! And people love lighthouses.

If you do as well, then head to the far North of the Island and make sure to have enough time so that you can climb the 118 stairs to the top of the lighthouse. From the top you’ll get a great view towards the North Sea and Vlieland. In the South you’ll see the Wadden Sea. And with a bit of luck, you might even see the dozens of windmills in the South-East, which stand in the IJsselmeer.

But there is more to explore than ‘only’ the great panorama view. The lighthouse is full of history. It was under heavy fire in World War 2, even after it ended. To keep the lighthouse, they had to build a second outer wall. At one part you can walk between the two walls around the tower. There you’ll be able to spot several bullet holes in the wall.

Climbing the historical and riveted steel stairs to catch the wind at the top is worth it!

Entrance: €5
Location: Vuurtorenweg 184, 1795 LN De Cocksdorp, Netherlands
Plus code: 5VJ4+V5

Ecomare – Seal Sanctuary & Nature Museum – Seal Feeding

With a bit of luck, you might be able to spot seals when visiting Texel. But remember, you are on a North Sea Island.  😉  If you are not that lucky, then no worries, as you can visit Ecomar.

Ecomar is the oldest seal sanctuary in Europe and it lies beautifully hidden between the dunes.

They have several outdoor pools where you can see the seals. There are even two pools, where you watch the swimming skills of the seals from underneath the water. Pretty impressive!

Ecomare takes care of injured seals and they help the seals return to the wild when they’re ready. The smaller ones get fed in an extra area, which you can see through a window.

Apart from the seals, you can see birds, fish and other marine animals up close at Ecomare.

Outside is a bird care center, where sick, injured, weakened and oil-polluted birds can regain their strength, before they get released into nature again.

If it should rain in between, there is a Nature Museum inside, where you can discover everything about the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea, the North Sea and Texel.

And there are also several aquariums on the lower level, which contain different species of fish, shellfish, mussels and starfish. You can walk around those nicely and observe the different animals.

Make sure to be there at 11 am or 3 pm, as that’s when you can see how the seals get fed. This is definitely a highlight for kids and adults.

There is also a cool “ebb-and-flow” playground, where the kids can play with the tides. Or you can head into the dunes. You can decide between a fun and challenging children’s hike or a 1.5 km round hike.

Entrance: €14 adults; €10 children (4-13 years)
Location: Ruijslaan 92, 1796 AZ De Koog, Netherlands
Plus code: 3PHW+54

Schapenboerderij Texel

When did you last get to cuddle a lamb? 

I loved getting to spend time with these little guys at the Schapenboerderij Texel Sheep Farm in the Netherlands. The farm is home to more than 25 different breeds of sheep – before visiting I didn’t know that many existed!

Before going, my expectations were quite low. I mean, what can you expect when someone invites you to stroke lambs?

When I arrived, there were already a few cars in the parking space. At that moment I expected a pretty touristy attraction where you’ll find a few lambs behind fences and with a few chosen ones, which kids can touch a bit.

And I was so wrong!

A chicken welcomed us at the entrance, which hopped onto the front desk. Actually, there were several hens and roosters running around. And I thought it’s only about the sheep here.

When you walk further, you have to make sure not to stumble over sheep as well. There are quite a few running around freely. Others take it more relaxed in their stables, which you can go to. You can stroke the different sheep and lambs.

Outside you’ll also find 2-3 ponies, which the kids can ride on. There is also a pretty cool area for kids, where they can run around and play, even on a tractor and forklift. Another highlight are the demonstrations of herding the sheep with the Australian Kelpie Sheepdogs.

And maybe the best is the cafe, where you can sit down, drink a coffee and eat some cake – while the kids are having a fun time outside!

It’s a superb activity for kids and parents!

Entrance: €6 adults; kids: €5 (2-12 years)
Location: Schapenboerderij Texel, Pontweg 77, 1791 LA Den Burg
Plus code: 2QRW+G6

Shrimp boat tour

Who fancies a delicious shrimp cocktail? Have you ever made your own? It’s easier than you think, right? Unless you also have to catch your own shrimps.

Well, now you get an excellent opportunity to do this, or at least stand right next to the experts on the TX 10 Emmie or TX 20 Walrus (shrimp cutters).

Soon after leaving the harbor in Oudeschild, you’ll see how the crew cast the nets into the water to catch the shrimps.

The vessel is an original fishing vessel, so not a tourist attraction. Though they changed it slightly, so that there are enough seating areas to rest safely. 

The vessel slows down in the Wadden Sea and the two nets slowly roll over the ground. The bigger and quicker fish will flee away, but others will land in the net. Apart from the shrimps, you’ll be able to catch starfish, crabs, flatfish, gurnards, petrels and it could even happen that the crew catches a sand shark.

After a couple of minutes, the nets are pulled in and you’ll be able to see what the catch of the day is.

The whole catch gets sorted, while the crew explains a bit more about the different animals. The fish, crabs and starfish go back into the water alive and the kids can help the crew here. But the shrimps get boiled in hot water while you are on board. And after 10 minutes they are ready to be peeled and eaten by you. You can’t get them fresher than that!

And if you have caught enough, you can take some home. So you can create your own shrimp cocktail.

This activity is actually also a fun one when the weather isn’t bright and sunny. A proper fisherman doesn’t mind getting a little wet. So bring the right clothes and go for it no matter what the weather looks like!

Tickets: €20 adults; €15 children (3-12 years)
Times: 10:30 am and 2 pm; make sure to be there 15-20 minutes earlier; 2 hour boat ride;
Location: Haven 8, 1792 AE Oudeschild, Netherlands
Plus code: 2RQX+PW Oudeschild, Netherlands

National Park Dunes – De Slufter

The Dutch found their way to live with the sea. Huge parts of the Netherlands are beneath sea level and people can only live there because of a pumping and dam system, which pushes and keeps the water out.

It’s the same for Texel. There are seven pumps on the island which make the island ‘livable’.

There is one spot in the entire Netherlands coast, which has an open connection to the sea and that’s De Slufter.

Okay, there you will also find a dam behind it, but they have a relatively large open sea gate. When there are storms or spring floods, the creek system of De Slufter gets flooded, which happens regularly in the year.

The largest part is a breeding and resting area for birds. But there is also a big part, which is open for visitors and where you can freely stroll around. Just make sure that you don’t cross into the protected zones.

There is a lookout and several paths, even one which is wheelchair accessible.

Take a walk and see which plants and animals you can spot. Watch out for sea lavender, marsh samphire, saltmarsh, eider duck, shelduck, avocet and maybe even a seal near the gully.

Make sure to wear waterproof shoes, as it can get muddy and wet and maybe you also have binoculars.

One highlight is to see De Slufter in July and August, when the beach lilac and grass carnations are in bloom and turn the whole area purple-pink.

Also the Flora Beach Property Museum has a nice outdoor area. As there are quite a few buildings, I would place it in the list with…

Weather changes quickly at the coast and especially on islands. It’s no different on Texel. 

So it’s good to be well prepared with different activities. The sheep farm, Ecomare and the lighthouse are fun things to do on Texel which combine the inside and the outside areas.

And then there are still other points-of-interests, which I would recommend for rainy days. Here are a few things to do on Texel on rainy days.

Flora beach property museum

I can’t remember when I last jumped into an oil rig escape pod. That’s because I’ve never done that and I guess you haven’t either.

If you’re interested in what it looks like in one of those escape pods, then make sure to visit the Maritiem-en Juttersmuseum Flora

It’s only one of the highlights, as there is sooooo much more to explore!

I was stunned by all the different beach finds, which have been collected over the last 80+ years. Apart from a lot of “trash”, there are quite a few gems you’ll spot. 

I’m pretty sure that the owners Judith and André will be angry with me now, as I called some of their collected items “trash”. And I apologize right away, as it’s not really trash in the way we know it. Apart from the really interesting items, it’s just sad to see how much stuff gets washed ashore.

There is a “tree” with used rubber gloves and a complete wall decorated with working helmets for example.

The museum is like a different world, a world of beachcombers and ship strandings.

The rooms are filled from top to bottom with incredible and unbelievable items, like signs, dollies (even for sex), fenders, rescue rings, swimming fins, flip flops, flags, toboggans…  And yes, even an escape pod from an oil rig was found at the beach.

It’s a great place for young and old. The younger ones can do a scavenger hunt, play some games and there is a great playground outside.

And if you are hungry or thirsty, there is also a cafe inside.

Tickets: €6.50 adults; €5.25 children (4-11 years)
Location: Pontweg 141A, 1796 MA De Koog, Netherlands

Wezenspyk cheese farm

Love goes through the stomach, right? So make sure to visit the Wezenspyk Cheese Farm.

The Wezenspyk family has produced cheese for over 35 years now and you can choose from over 13 different varieties. Some examples would be cheese in combination with nettle, mustard, caraway, sambal, Jalapeno, salt aster and I chose to buy one with garlic. 

Their cheese is made with the milk from local cows, mostly their own, and sheep from other Texel farmers. And they also produce one cheese with mainland goat milk.

When you enter, you can watch how the experts produce the cheese in their dairy through a big window. In a room behind the dairy, the cheese is stored, before you can try and buy it in their little shop.

There are 2-3 different flavors you can taste right away or you simply buy several pieces and make your own cheese tasting at home. There are also smaller cheese versions, which are great as gifts.

If you have some extra time, make sure to visit their Cheese Cafe. I haven’t tried it, but friends recommended their cheese fondue. I chose a cheese biscuit kind of cake, which was really good as well.

But it’s not just about eating and trying out different cheese forms. You can also get smarter here, as they have their own little Sheep museum, which you’ll find after a short walk via their sheep-landscape-trail. If you walk the whole trail, it’s 3 km long and includes a fun rope ferry, so that you can cross the canal. 

That trail and museum is free and fun for small and big.

Location: Hoornderweg 29, 1791 PM Den Burg, Netherlands
Plus code: 2QMQ+84

“Texels” brewery

No matter where you’ll go, you’ll find Texel’s Special Beers. There are 12 different tastes to choose from, but not a single Pils, as that’s what enough other brew masters focus on.

If you visit Texel more than once, make sure to visit in the different seasons, as you’ll then be able to drink a different Texel beer each time. And if you’re lucky, you might be able to drink their “Secret” beer. That’s a completely new one then, which might find its way into bigger production. But this also depends a bit on you. You won’t find out the name or anything else, but your honest feedback is appreciated.

The most popular one is the Texels Skuumkoppe. That one is a top-fermented dark wheat beer. And of course it’s brewed from natural ingredients such as barley from Texel. The name ‘Skuumkoppe’ is from the white foam crowns on the waves… and yes, a proper beer needs a good cover of foam, which keeps the beer fresh and tasty.

Like I said, there are various ones to taste. One good way to taste a few different ones is by joining a brewery tour, which includes a tasting at the end. That way, you’ll find out more about the history of the brewery, which was actually a milk factory before. The tasting itself includes the pairing with a few different snacks in the tasting room. That’s obviously the highlight, but looking over the shoulders of the brew masters and finding out more about the history and background of Texel beer was also really interesting.

Fun fact: There isn’t enough freshwater on the island of Texel to brew so much beer. So the brewery has their own pipeline through the sea, which delivers them with fresh dune water from the mainland. 

The grain, which gets used to brew the beer, grows on several farms on Texel. In the brewing process, you’ll get the leftover treber. And that treber gets eaten by the Texel sheep again.

Brewery Tour Tickets: €12.50 per person (kids 5 years and younger are free of charge)
Location: Schilderweg 214 b, 1792 CK Oudeschild, Netherlands
Plus code: 2RVH+P3

Great restaurants on Texel

To be honest, the Dutch cuisine isn’t really popular. Well, I have experienced it differently now and it was really yummy. Not just that, it was a great experience and in great locations!

Let’s start with…

Drank- en Spijslokaal ‘t Schoutenhuys

The Schoutenhuys restaurant is centrally located in Den Burg and you won’t find a standard menu here. You’ll experience Texel tapas in Asian style. Yes, what a funky combination, right? But I think this explains the six courses best, unless you choose a smaller menu or a la carte. Each course includes a kind of “tapas”, which the chef prepares with local ingredients and which gets presented in an Asian style, which could then look like sushi rolls, Asian noodles or dumplings.

Pair these six different courses with five fitting wines. Oh… you think one wine is missing for the desert? No, just order the local Schnapps and you’ll have the perfect nightcap.

The owner is not just a wine expert, but he also loves beers. So instead of a wine pairing, you also have the option to go for a beer pairing. With each course you’ll be served a matching beer.

You will also love the interior of the restaurant, as you actually breathe in history here. The ‘t Schoutenuys dates back to the year 1652 and it’s the oldest stone house of Texel. The richly decorated entrance door stands out as well and is its own highlight.

You can’t choose wrong and you’ll receive an unforgettable culinary evening!

Location: Vismarkt 1, 1791 CD Den Burg, Netherlands
Plus code: 3Q3W+MR

Paal 17 Aan Zee

Texel is an island and islands are about beach life. And it won’t get better if you can pair a sunset at the beach with an amazing dinner experience.

You’ll find Paal 17 Aan Zee on the West Coast and right on the beach, which is 30 kilometer long. Strolling along the beach to get there could take some time and make you feel hungry.

There are several seating options. If the weather is good, go for a table outside. There is also a nice seating area inside, which includes big windows so that you can view the sea.

You’ll get a great sunset view on the first level, which is cozy and also has a small terrace.

The restaurant on the first level serves you a culinary multi-course dinner experience, paired with quality wines. You can choose between the four, five or six meal menu (or a la carte) and it’s a tough decision. The chefs are using mostly local ingredients from Texel, including local caught fish.

I really liked the tuna tartare (obviously not local, but still really good). The beef tenderloin, which followed, was also excellent.

Though all the restaurants we visited were outstanding, this one was my favorite.

Location: Ruijslaan 94, 1796 AZ De Koog, Netherlands
Plus code: 3PJP+8F

Gastropaviljoen XV – Paal 15

When you have had one lunch or dinner at the beach, you will want a second one!

The Gastropaviljoen XV – Paal 15 is another excellent choice, as it welcomes you with a very special atmosphere.

It reminded me a bit of a modern ski hut, as the interior has a lot of wood, clean design, cozy couches, a welcoming fireplace, but… huge windows to watch the waves. A great place to relax and enjoy a tasty meal, especially after a walk along the shore.

There is also a nice terrace to sit outside.

With the open kitchen you can see how the team prepares all those really tasty dishes, like shrimp cocktail or sous-vide venison steak. While I normally prefer starters more than desserts, my favorite dish was the cheesecake with mango, black sesame, lime sorbet and chili jam. What a combination of flavors! And so yummy!

If you want to enjoy some fine dining at the sea, this is another good choice.

Location: Westerslag 4, 1791 PP Den Burg, Netherlands
Plus code: 3P7F+VJ

Strandpavillon Paal 9

When you have had two lunches or dinners at the beach, you will want a third one!

And what a surprise, with Paal 9 I can recommend you another good beach location to satisfy your hunger. 

But let’s start with the arrival. You have to cycle or drive through the dunes to get here. Such a beautiful landscape. You might also see some Scottish Highlanders strolling around.

Paal 9 is a beach pavilion how you would expect it. Not especially chick, but with cozy elements and of course the beautiful seaview.

The staff is super friendly and to support them, you can order your drinks and meals via QR code.

I decided to go for the Hamburger, which is made with their own Black Angus beef and gets served with homemade pickles. The sandwiches also looked really good.

A nice extra touch is that they have taken extra care of the ecological footprint when they reopened their pavilion. Guess, for example, where they get their cheese from? If you have no idea, read the activities and things to do section further up in this post and lookout for the cheese.

Location: Hoornderslag 8, 1797 RT Den Hoorn Texel, Netherlands
Plus code: 2PC6+FF

Where to stay on Texel

There is a huge variety of different accommodation types on Texel.

We stayed at the…

Hotel De Lindeboom

The Hotel De Lindeboom is centrally located on the island and in the center of Den Burg. The old building is from 1891 and it’s also where you’ll find breakfast in the morning and where you can have lunch or dinner or simply drinks in the evening. Their second restaurant is the excellent Schoutenhuys. See the section further above.

They also have a nice sunny terrace.

I stayed in the newer building in one of their modern Deluxe Rooms. The bed was welcoming and soft, perfect after a day full of fun activities. The bath had a tub and a rainshower. The only thing I missed was a second choice of pillow, but I’m sure I could have gotten one if I asked.

They have a wide variety of different room types. There are even rooms where you have your own private sauna.

The breakfast had everything to offer what I was looking for. A good choice of bread, cereals, fruits, bread toppings and drinks.

The location makes it a good hub to explore Den Burg, as you just have to step outside and you are in the center of the town. You can wander through the alleys with all the different shops and cafes. 

And if you should arrive by car, let them know in advance, as they have a few parking places behind the hotel.

Den Burg is in the center of the island and it’s easy to reach, also from the ferry, which makes Hotel De Lindeboom a great choice to explore the whole island.

Location: Groeneplaats 14, 1791 CC Den Burg, Netherlands
Plus code: 3Q3W+MQ

Book your stay at Hotel De Lindeboom

For more Texel accommodation options, search below:

If you’re looking for more travel tips for the Netherlands, check out these posts:


Best Casino Resorts You Should Explore in Canada

Cities like Las Vegas in the US and Macau in China are known to be popular cities for players. People travel to those from all over the world.

But there are more exciting cities, if you like to play cards and you can combine them with visiting new exciting destinations.

Five best resort and casinos, one of them is in Canada, the second-largest country worldwide is known for many amazing things. From its amazing views to beautiful flora and fauna and stunning cities to many mountains, this country has a lot to offer. Additionally, Canada is known for its amazing resorts and casinos that offer players exquisite betting experiences.

They offer players a beautiful ambiance full of glamour, flashing lights, and luxury while also enjoying the rugged outdoors comfortably.

Difference Between Online and Land-Based Casinos

There are numerous distinct differences between land-based and online casinos. If you are looking for convenience, online casinos will offer you that since you can play casino games online from wherever at whatever time you wish.

On the other hand, land-based casinos offer you an amazing betting atmosphere. You get to experience the style and luxury of the world’s best casinos where you can socialize with other players and meet new people. You interact with real players and real dealers, which you cannot enjoy with online casinos.

So, with 89 full service casinos to choose from among the best casinos in Canada, which are the ones you should put at the top of your list?

River Cree Resort and Casino

The River Cree Resort and Casino is among the top betting destinations in the Greater Edmonton Area.

Situated just 20 minutes from the Edmonton International Airport, it is the perfect betting house for tourists.

It features over 1,300 slot games as well as 40 table games. What’s more, they have Embers, a designated smoking area that offers smokers a hotel-casino with 14 table games and over 400 slot machines. The resort’s poker room also offers players 12 tables to enjoy playing poker.

It also serves both traditional and modern cuisines with your favorite drink.

Casino De Montreal

If you are looking for a luxurious resort in Canada where you can also enjoy playing your favorite casino games, Casino De Montreal is a great option.

Apart from the casino games, this resort also offers players breathtaking views. Located on the IIe Notre-Dame bank, it is considered one of the biggest casinos worldwide.

The resort has sacrificed five floors for its gaming area where you will find over 3,000 slot machines as well as 100 betting tables. These tables are available throughout the day and they offer players all betting games, including baccarat, hi-lo, roulette, craps, and blackjack, among other table games. There is also an interactive electronic betting area called the Zone that offers a unique experience.

Poker players are well taken care of as there is an 18-table section that is dedicated to them. If you wish to dine, you can make reservations at the onsite restaurants or hotels.

River Rock Casino Resort

Located in Vancouver, River Rock Casino Resort is among the top betting destinations in Canada. It is also near the airport, making it an ideal destination for tourists looking for some exciting experience.

You will find thousands of casino games, a VIP room for the top players, and horse sports betting. The casino also offers players scenic views since it is near the Fraser River.

If you are worried about accommodation, don’t be as the casino has numerous luxury suites and rooms to accommodate its guests.

Parq Vancouver Resort and Casino

Situated in the downtown core of Vancouver with fabulous city and sea views, with so many things to do in Vancouver, Parq Vancouver Resort and Casino is among the top Canadian betting and dining facilities.

Its casino floor has over 600 slot machines including their Lun High Limit slots. You will also find an exclusive high roller poker room, making it a haven for experienced bettors.

The resort area includes two luxury hotels, the JW Marriot Parq Vancouver and the DOUGLAS boutique hotel. The Spa by JW offers a wide variety of experiences meant to Calm, Indulge, Inigorate or Renew and you can even schedule private yoga lessons.

Fallsview Casino Resort

Have you ever dreamt of rolling the dice in front of the breathtaking Niagara Falls? Then, you need to check out Fallsview Casino Resort.

The huge casino sits on more than 200,000 sq ft, where you can enjoy playing over 3,000 slot machines and more than 100 table games.

On their list of table games, you will find poker, blackjack, and roulette. Also, the casino offers other games such as keno and bingo. If you wish to stay in the resort, you have over 300 rooms to choose from. They are always ready to welcome and accommodate both domestic and international guests.

Apart from playing your favorite casino games, you can try out the other activities available or relax.

You will also love sampling the different cuisines available on the menus of the various restaurants available within the resort.

Conclusion

With so many amazing casinos at your disposal, Canada should definitely be your next betting destination. May the odds be in your favor!


How to Get to Boracay from Manila, Philippines

Our journey of getting to Boracay started off in Honolulu.

Our flight from Honolulu left at 12:30 on a bright sunny afternoon and as we circled west over the island we passed over Pearl Harbour where we could see the memorial to the crewmen of the Arizona below us in the bay.

Aloha Hawaii, we really enjoyed our short nine days in paradise. 

Next stop, the Philippines.

Surprisingly our flight to Manila was almost 11 hours long. Who knew Hawaii was so friggin’ far away – from everything. It’s way out in the middle of nowhere: 4650 miles (9 hours flying time) from Toronto to Hawaii and another 5,330 miles (10 hours 40 min flying time) from Hawaii to Manila. Manila to Bangkok, the next stop on our itinerary, is an additional1,374 miles (3 hours). So Hawaii to Bangkok is a whopping 6,704 miles.

Thank goodness we opted to stop over in the Philippines, a country we have never visited, to break up the trip.

See also Best Diving Spots in the Philippines.

Getting to Manila, Philippines
Philippine Navy’s dragon boats in Manila Bay, Philippines. Depositphotos.com

Arriving in Manila

As we gradually descended through the clouds into Manila we caught our first glimpses of small green islands surrounded by yellow beaches and the azure Pacific Ocean. Gradually large jagged mountains appeared covered with a shag carpet of lush green forest. Then, like a scene from a fairy tale, three dark green volcanic cones spiked through the wisps of cottony white clouds. The clouds reflected the golden rays of the sun and the dark silhouettes of the volcanoes jumped out against the bright blue background of the sky.

The effect was mesmerizing.

The islands showed almost no signs of habitation or development. Only the thin trails of smoke rising from a few fields of sugar cane gave any indication of life until we reached the outskirts of Manila where rice paddies and the rectangles of fish farms in the bay patterned our view.

Then we were engulfed by a shroud of smog as we dropped down towards Manila proper. But even here, colours still jumped out at us as brightly painted houses in shades of yellow, orange, blue and red dotted the ground like a Georges Serat pointillist painting.

Although for us it was now 10:30 p.m. Hawaii time, the sun was still shining because the local time in Manila was only 4:30 p.m. – but on the next day.

We had crossed the date line and lost a whole day!

So, in effect, it was the exact same time as back in Toronto, but 12 hours earlier. Confused? Join the club, so are we. It took us two days to adjust our internal clock to Hawaii time and now we have to start all over again. In fact, I’m writing this at 3 a.m., which is 9 a.m. Hawaii time, 3 p.m. Toronto time. Can’t sleep!

In the Manila airport terminal, we were immediately hit by several surprises. Everyone speaks English here and even the signs are all in English. They also speak Tagalog, influenced by Spanish from their colonial days, and they used to study Spanish in school. Now, however, they are taught English in the schools. The two major dailies in Manila are in English, but, interestingly, half of the comics are in Tagalog. They’re not quite as funny as the English ones – humour doesn’t translate well. :;

The second surprise was the presence of several separate customs lines for “Returning Overseas Workers.” Because of low pay and high unemployment in the Philippines, over a million Filipinos work overseas or on cruise ships to send money back home.

We noticed in Hawaii that almost all of the workers in the service industry (restaurants, hotels, bus drivers, shop clerks) were Filipino. Literally billions of pesos are sent back to the Philippines every month from OFW’s (Overseas Filipino workers). Without their influx of dollars the economy would sink.

Our initial impression is that Manila, while English speaking, is still exotic, with just a whiff of danger. Every store and restaurant has an armed security guard acting as a doorman, a Walmart greeter with a gun!

The streets are clogged with cars, trucks and small brightly coloured, gaudy buses called Jeepneys. You risk your life just crossing the street where four lanes of cars crowd into three lanes and cars dart through the red lights with impunity.

The sidewalks are uneven and broken forcing you out onto the street and into the path of motorbikes, pedicabs and handcarts all racing along and weaving in and out of lanes and even onto the sidewalk to get around the stalled traffic. You need to keep one eye on the sidewalk and one eye on the motorbikes.  

Young Filipinos push the handcarts along the street in flip flops. Each cart carries bamboo trays loaded with homemade rice cakes, food wrapped in banana leaves and Spam cooked in a variety of ways. Spam is a popular dish here and you see it in many restaurants.  As on many islands, Spam is a legacy of the US troops during WWII.

In sharp contrast to the handcarts, are the Starbucks on many street corners. The world is shrinking, and not necessarily in a good way.

Pollution is a big problem here. A lot of Filipinos wear cloths over their mouths and noses.

The smog is so thick in Manila that you can chew on it.

But unlike in China where they spit it out onto the sidewalk, here they just swallow it in chunks.

Breakfast was an adventure, but not too risky. Living in Toronto, we were quite familiar with Filipino dinner foods, like lechon (roast suckling pig), Adobo chicken, and sticky rice. The Philippino breakfast menu, however, was totally foreign to us. We ended up with two dishes that we shared, a hot rice noodle with a gloopy orange/brown sauce, shrimp and a slice of boiled egg on top, and a salty hot rice dish, like Chinese congee, called, appropriately enough, “Arroz caldo.” It came with another slice of boiled egg and some crispy fried garlic. Both actually tasted better than it sounds.

Initially we were concerned about coming to the Philippines because of the kidnappings in the past and a report that violence might break out over proposed changes to the current electoral rules. In fact, today a firefight broke out between a Muslim terrorist group and the military and 19 people were killed. But that is only in the far south island of Mindanao and we will be staying further north where the majority of the population is Catholic.

Then there are the monsoons and the typhoons.

We’re past Monsoon season, but just learned that three typhoons ripped through here in the last couple of weeks and they are expecting possibly one more soon. Hmmm!

All and all, the Philippines have already been a pleasant surprise. The people are exceedingly friendly, which one would expect given the fact that they export “service.” Everyone from airport security, people on the street and even the armed greeters at the stores has been polite, smiling and helpful. And one can easily accept the contrast between the verdant green hills we saw from the air and the reality on the streets of Manila, after all there is pollution in all big cities.

Manila skyline, Philippines
Makati Skyline at night. Makati is a city in the Philippines` Metro Manila region and the country`s financial hub. It`s known for the skyscrapers and shopping malls. Depositphotos.com

How to get to Boracay from Manila

But we didn’t come here for Manila and, in fact, we’re only staying here for one night. Now we’re off to Boracay Island where we hope the initial impressions of the lush, green Philippines we saw from the air will be confirmed.

Boracay is famed for its beaches and has the second best beach in the world according to TripAdvisor.  It ranks fourth of 25 on Travel + Leisure’s Top Ten island’s list.

Getting to Boracay is not easy however. As I said earlier, Manila is pretty far away from North America. Then you have to take a 72-seat puddle jumping turboprop from Manila to Caticlan with Cebu Pacific Airways.

At first glance, the flights look inexpensive, but once you arrive at the airport you’re suddenly hit with extra baggage fees of 150 pesos per kilo (approximately $3.75/kilo). They even weighed us and our handbags. Of course, traveling for seven months doesn’t afford us the luxury of traveling light, so it was expensive. Then there’s a terminal usage fee, which is surprising given that the new terminal has recently been voted the worst in the world.

Once you arrive at Caticlan on Panay Island you have to pay more access fees, then a fee to board a small outrigger boat that takes you across to Boracay itself. The rickety outriggers are called “Pumpboats.” I’m not sure what that means because they’re motor driven, but on the way over I saw a guy at the back constantly pumping a lever. Fortunately, the ocean was calm.

Then normally you hire a motor-tricycle to take you to your hotel. These things are amazing for how much weight they can carry without tipping over or hitting bottom. We saw one that was piled so high with boxes that it looked like a moving pyramid. Others had so many people crowded into then with their luggage that the passengers’ feet were almost dragging on the road.

The trip on the narrow lane up the island to our hotel was hair raising as the hotel vans and motor-tricycles barely squeezed by each other and somehow avoided hitting pedestrians with their mirrors. We haven’t yet dared venture out onto the lane on foot.

How to get to Boracay from Manila, Philippines
White beach, Boracay Island, Philippines. Depositphotos.com

But, getting to Boracay is well worth it

It is tiny, only seven kilometers by one kilometer wide, and is almost entirely surrounded by lovely white sand beach. We’re staying at Willy’s Boracay Hotel right on White Beach, the best beach with four kilometers of packed white sand and a shallow, calm ocean in front. There is no surf as in Hawaii so it’s very safe.  Local children make tips carving an intricate design into the beach along with your name. These little urchins are actually quite artistic.

Although the beach is full of strollers, the island itself doesn’t feel overdeveloped or crowded. We haven’t seen any high-rise hotels although there are some modern ones tucked away somewhere. And so far it seems that most of the people here are Filipinos with a few Koreans and Chinese thrown in, but very few Westerners, so prices a very reasonable.

The waters are warm and gentle and clear, perfect for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. Dotting the azure and turquoise waters of our bay are brightly coloured outriggers, dugout canoes and sailboats that Carolann has started calling butterflies because they all have bright blue sails and dart about like a Morpho butterfly. The best part about them, apart from the colours, is that they’re not noisy at all, unlike the roaring long-tail boats of the Thai islands that kept us awake at night and woke us up at sunrise.

Last night we witnessed a phenomenal sunset with rays of light flashing into the sky and lighting up the palm trees, the bright outriggers and the blue sails of the butterfly boats. What a sight! We’re hoping to take a sunset cruise one night on one of the sailboats.

See also Calauit Safari Tour in the Philippines: What to Expect

Dinner at Willy’s Boracay Hotel

Meals at Willy’s are served on an outdoor patio with tables set into the white sand.

Dinner was BBQ’d Marlin for me and a large tureen of Thai hot and sour Tom Yam soup done Filipino style with lots of fish, shrimp, prawns, squid and octopus. Each of these dishes could easily have served two or three people. Both were excellent and very reasonably priced and we now know to order just one dish for the two of us.

As we sat watching the sunset, the boats flitting by and the strollers on the beach, the sky behind the mountains was suddenly lit up by a tremendous lightning display. But it never rained, the storm stayed on the mountain as it apparently does every night. Very curious. The evening was still, the night air was warm and we sat listening to the gentle waves lapping at the sand. It was all very, very pleasant.

Boracay doesn’t have that private, undiscovered, romantic feeling of Koh Lipe that we loved in Thailand. But then we’ve learned that even that special place has now been ruined by overdevelopment and paved roads. When we visited in 2004, there weren’t any cars and you could pick your fish for dinner right from a tub of ice on the beach.

Some people might think I’m complaining about the island, but the truth is that when you have visited as many places as we have, you can’t help but compare. It’s like being a movie critic.

For seven years we’ve been wondering if we could ever go back to that idyllic paradise of Koh Lipe in Thailand. Would it be the same? Our quest to discover the perfect island retreat continues, but in the meantime Boracay is doing quite nicely, thank you.

Seriously, how could you not like a country that has different types of mango in season every month of the year. It’s Paradise 2.


What to do in 24 hours in Manila, Philippines

Manila in the Philippines is a sprawling city. It’s so separate and distinctive from one area to the next. And, just spending 24 hours in Manila is enough to still experience the diversity that the city holds.

The traffic is utterly crazy. Cars pull out in front of each other constantly and traffic lights are a suggestion. In this game of friendly on road co-operation – I didn’t see one accident – it can take 45 minutes to get from an adjacent suburb to the next.

No wonder there are hawkers weaving in and out of cars selling everything from bottled water to fishing rods.

Manila skyline, Philippines
Makati Skyline at night. Makati is a city in the Philippines` Metro Manila region and the country`s financial hub. It`s known for the skyscrapers and shopping malls. Depositphotos.com

How to spend 24 hours in Manila

If you only had 24 hours in Manila, I recommend doing the following three things:

1. Eat a buffet dinner

Filipinos love to “eat and talk” at the same time. Buffets let you socialise and, of course, eat as much as you want. At the Lola Maria Restaurant the buffet featured traditional Filipino foods like chicken adobo, deep-fried seaweed, barbecued seafood, smoked tuna belly and DIY halo-halo for dessert. I was intrigued by the seaweed with little “grapes” which were salty and burst in your mouth as you crunched through the leaves.

2. Shop in at least one mega mall

Pace yourself in Manila, shopaholics. There are a lot of shopping centres in Manila like Greenbelt, Rockwell and the infamous Mall of Asia – the biggest mall in the southern hemisphere. If you’re pressed for time and on a tight budget, I’d head over to the department store Landmark for its crazily cheap prices. I picked up a bikini for $15, a headband for $2 and socks for 50c AUD.

Metro Manila is known to host three out of the 10 biggest shopping malls in the world.

Shopping malls may not be an ideal destination for any travellers to the Philippines, but it doesn’t mean that you have to miss it. Aside from shopping of course, here are 5 things that you can do to make your trip to the Philippine mall more interesting.

Go on a gastronomic trip

Philippine shopping malls hosts a number of restaurants – with lots of food variants. You can sample Filipino, Brazilian, Chinese, Japanese, British, Spanish, Ethiopian, Jamaican, Thai, Indonesian, French food  (the list goes on…) from one shopping mall alone. Prices are quite cheap with food choice starting at 100 PHP (1,5€).  

Insider travel tip: If you want to sample some cheaper Filipino snacks, head down to the supermarket  and sample some cheap food that can go as low as 15PHP (0,25€). These stalls can be found usually on SM shopping malls.

Enjoy some local music

Head down to a mall’s activity centre or food court and there’s a good chance that you’ll catch a performance from a local (or sometimes foreign) music band. Watching the performances are free of charge.

Insider travel tip: Performances are usually done in the late afternoon from 4-6PM

Watch the famous Manila sunset

Head down to SM Mall of Asia (the largest mall in the Philippines spanning 4.2 million square feet) and get a table with the view of the coast. On a clear day, it’s one of the best place to catch the sunset and enjoy a good dinner as well.

Do your souvenir shopping

The malls’ department stores & some specialty shops offer great choices for souvenirs – from wardrobes, postcards, shirts, food & liquor. I admit the price can be a bit higher than a local seller but lower than airport sellers, but if you are ever on a rush – the malls are the most reliable place to get them (Malls open usually from 10h00 – 22h00 – Monday to Sundays).

People watching

I admit this is my favourite activity from the list. Going to malls is one of the favourite past-times of Filipinos (instead of going to parks for example). So, malls are a good place to people-watch as you can see facets of people’s everyday activities. Be mindful though that the malls gets very crowded in the afternoon to the night – especially during Fridays, the weekend, and on the 15th or 30th of the month. So if you want a more tranquil people watching, avoid these periods and go in the morning

24 Hours in Manila, Philippines - SM Mall of Asia
SM Mall of Asia – Depositphotos.com

3. Have a night out at The Fort

If your 24 hours in Manila falls over a Saturday night…you’re in a for fun party night!

A Saturday night must start, though not necessarily end, at the Fort in Bonifacio. A hub of nightlife, the area is buzzing with busy restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

Pier One is a themed bar set on the high seas. Wait staff are dressed in sailor outfits, signal them with an ahoy there if you dare and order cocktails. Bar foods like sisig (of the non-mystery meat variety) are a great accompaniment if on the off chance you’re still hungry after a buffet dinner!

Once you’re ready to hit the dance floor head to Encore. Chandeliers hang down over the stairwell as you strut upstairs into the main third floor party area. The DJ pumps out a heady mix of old school RnB and new hits whilst the dancefloor is shoulder-to-shoulder with the trendy 20-something set.

When you’re all danced out, jump into a cab back to your hotel. If the song playing on the radio is “It’s Time To Go Home Now” you know you’ve had a great night.

After spending your 24 hours in Manila, here’s what else to do during your time in the Philippines:


Paid Volunteer Work While Travelling Abroad

Travellers who are abroad for lengthy periods of time think only of how much they are going to spend. 

International volunteers, gap year individuals, career breaks, and students abroad all budget for the length of their stay. Paid volunteer work is available for those looking to earn money abroad.

They plan to spend as little as possible so that to make sure they don’t run out of money. Most of them forget that while they are volunteering abroad, they can also make money. There are various creative ways to make the most of your holiday by making money while at the same time. Although it can be more intimidating looking for a job while you are abroad, there are many creative solutions that are available for you to use.

These money making solutions won’t make you rich but they could help you extend your holiday and give you more opportunities.

Here are some ideas for paid volunteer work

Blogging

Starting a blog is free, and many websites offer you an opportunity to start a blog. There are WordPress blogsBlogger blogs and many others. Starting a blog is not hard, all you need is to blog about something you love. You can write about where you are volunteering, what you are doing and where you have been. The blogs can be just about anything and if they have good quality content and have a large following, you can make good money. 

You can popularize your blog by telling your friends and acquaintances to stop by and read it. You can make money on your blog through running Google Adwords; Infolinks, affiliate marketing and paid advertising. When you blog long enough and consistently (around 2 or 3 times a week), your blog will become more popular and you will have more readers.

With increased readers, it will lead you to get more money from the blog. There are people who earn hundreds of thousands of dollars because they have been doing it for years. As an individual doing it as a hobby, you could earn up to $ 2,000 to $ 3,000 per month. Start blogging now so by the time you are on your holiday you will be earning money while abroad.

Note that blogging takes time and patience.

Paid volunteer work
Blogging can be a good way to earn money abroad

Article writing

Writing articles is like blogging but a bit different. You could write articles about something you also love and know well about. When you have a topic to write about, go to Google or any other search engine and research about your topic. You article could be 500 to 700 words, well researched and presented. 

Writing a good article takes between 30 minutes to an hour. After writing an article you could sell your articles to publishers, and magazines. Publishers are constantly looking for new and fresh content on the net, and they are willing to pay money for the articles.

Most online publishers will pay $ 7 to $ 20 per article. If you are able to write an article per day or two per day during your free time and sell them in a month you will earn $ 500 to $ 1000. The tricky part is selling the articles to online publishers. Once you have a constant market you will make good money.  Writing articles is like blogging – you need patience and consistency to start making good money.

Pictures and videos

While you are abroad you experience and are exposed to new things. You can document your experiences through photos and videos. Many people would love to see your photos about a village in rural Kenya and videos of their homes. There are companies which will even pay you for your videos and photos like for example National Geographic. Apart from taking photos of common land marks and tourist sites, look for unique photos which could tell a story. Travel companies and other organization could pay you a large amount for what is in your camera.

Making money online

There are websites like Hubpages who pay you when you write lens or hubs on the website. The best part of these online ventures you can write about anything and you can start making good money after 6 – 12 months depending on the quality of your work. Once you have made a lens or a hub it will always make money for you until it stops being popular. Go to their website for more information.

Offline methods

You can get paid voluntary work with some volunteer jobs and paid volunteer work abroad. They give you just enough to pay for basic needs.

Some great volunteer organisations include The Volunteers For Prosperity, The Peace Corps and even becoming a UN volunteer. You are able to find paid volunteer work if you research any of these organisations.

You can also apply for white-collar jobs where you don’t need work experience or any qualifications or a work permit. Jobs like working at a book store, working at a mall, waitressing, and as an Aupair.

You can also work as a tour guide. Other good ideas are working on an organic farm (WOOF) whereby you are given a room and food to work on the farm. This kind of job is preferred by those on gap years and it’s also physically intensive.

Read more about how to travel for free (or next to nothing)


Road Trip to Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur Escapade in the Philippines

A road trip to Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur: Rich in Culture, Traditions and Lifestyle.

Our trip began at Quezon City, one of the cities that make up the Metro Manila.

We decided to travel on our own with our private vehicle and to use information about the places we were planning to visit through the web. We even used Google maps on how to reach our destination and it was actually accurate.

It’s not that hard getting to those provinces since we traveled on main highways, except for some dangerous curves on the mountain road.

Drive Safely!

Next Stop: The City of Vigan

Vigan is the capital of the Province of Ilocos Sur, a World Heritage Site since it is one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines. There are hotels and other accommodations in and around the area; contemporary and traditional restaurants. Of course, go for the traditional! 

So our plan was to look for a good accommodation since we were planning to stay the night in Vigan. The travel time took 8 hours including stops to have a rest and to eat our packed lunch. We left Quezon City at around 6:00 am and arrived to Vigan at around 2:00 pm.

We searched in advanced for good places to stay the night in Vigan and decided to stay in Villa Angela, since it had positive reviews and reasonable rates. Unfortunately it has very few rooms and there were no vacant rooms when we got there. Don’t worry you can make reservations! We just overlooked. 🙁

So we decided to look for other hotels and found Casa Rica Hotel, a boutique hotel not far from Villa Angela. A really good place! You could feel the traditional life style! Surprisingly we were the only guests to check in the hotel, no worries! Was actually fun because we felt like it was our rest house! 🙂 They were very accommodating, informative and included breakfast. Good service and located less than five minutes drive from the Heritage Village.

It is not hard to find the tourist spots in Vigan. Just around the Heritage Village (which is the main attraction) are plazas, old cathedrals, churches, and museums (donation fee: any amount, others costing only from 20 to 50 pesos).

You can walk or ride the kalesa, it will take you to 7 to 8 different places, but you can request not to go to some of them if you have visited already. Of course it will take you more than one hour to make the complete tour since during that time you’ll take pictures inside museums, climb up a bell tower and other stuff. So be ready! 🙂 

We ate at Cafe Leona for dinner, there’s a wide variety of local to modern dishes. Again, LOCAL! 🙂 In the menu are their must try local dishes. We ordered llocos longganisa, Pinakbet Pizza, Chopseuy, and Plain Rice. Good good good! Good service too! Then back to our hotel for a good night sleep. 🙂 

Then we took off to Laoag, Ilocos Norte at around 11:00 am

Vigan to Laoag will take 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Vigan is the capital of the Province of Ilocos Sur
The City of Vigan is a Unesco World Heritage Site in that it is one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines where its structures remained intact, and is well known for its cobblestone streets, and a unique architecture that fuses Philippine and Oriental building designs and construction, with colonial European architecture. Because of this, Vigan City was officially recognised as one of the New7 Wonders Cities of The World.

Laoag, Ilocos Norte

We arrived to Laoag at around 12:30 pm and headed to the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum (Open daily, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm) We waited for 30 mins for the registration. It’s a place to learn a lot about Ferdinand E. Marcos, president of the Philippines for 20 long years, his power, success, riches and…more riches…..and more riches….and more and more and more…. riches. His embalmed body in the mausoleum looked like a wax replica to us. 

From there we headed to Malacañang of the North and Paoay Lake which took us 30 minutes to arrive (Tuesday – Sunday 9:00 am to 11:30 am and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm). Also called the Malacanang ti Amianan, was the place where the former President Marcos resided with his whole family, had a golf course and the Paoay Lake at the back of the house where they played water sports. 

Wow! Lifestyle of rich and famous!

Since we were out of time, we decided not to go to La Paz Sand Dunes but we really recommend going check it out! We couldn’t make it to our planned lunch out since we were going to the Bangui Windmills and to the beaches in Pagudpud, where we didn’t know where we would stay the night. The original plan was to eat lunch at Saramsam YlocanoRestaurant or La Preciosa RestaurantTry them out! They are located in the city and are near each other. Very Convenient!

We headed off to Pagudpud, which took us another hour and 30 minutes.

Laoag, Ilocos Norte
Laoag, Ilocos Norte Jeepney is a most popular public transport on Philippines. – Depositphotos.com

Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte  

Before reaching Pagudpud, we went to the Bangui Windmills. You can go down those sharp curves of the mountain roads for a closer look. They are actually gigantic windmills that generate electricity.  It is not hard looking for a Beach Resort or any accommodation in Pagudpud, there are plenty of choices from hotels to lodges.

We decided to stay in Terra Rika Beach Hotel, which is an “okay” hotel. I suggest you try out Hannah’s Beach Resort, which has lot of activities. You will have to drive another 20 kilometers, which is why we decided not to go to since we were tired. 🙂  

ENJOY THE BEACH! Good food everywhere! Very nice people!

Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Aerial view of Windmills for electric power production on the coast. Bangui Windmills in Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Ecological landscape: Windmills, sea, mountains. Pagudpud


Diving Spots in the Philippines

The island of the Philippines has some of the best scuba diving sites in the world.

Located in Indo-Pacific’s Coral Triangle with over 7,000 islands, the Philippines is home to pristine coral reef, huge schools of fish and some pretty rare species.

With so many dive spots in the Philippines, it’s hard to choose which one to visit. Which is why we recommend visiting more than one…a Philippines diving holiday is the best way to explore the islands.

No matter which dive spots you choose, make sure to include the Anilao diving spot! Here’s why:

Philippines scuba diving
Philippines scuba diving – Depositphotos.com

The birthplace of Philippines scuba diving: Anilao 

Anilao in Mabini, Batangas is regarded as the birthplace of Philippines scuba diving. Just 2.5 hours drive south of Metro Manila via the smooth SLEX – South Luzon Express Way, it remains the most popular weekend getaway for Manila diving folks to get their fix for compressed air.

Anilao has one of the highest concentration of marine biodiversity in the planet so it has something for everyone. From the beginner divers who have their check-out dive in one of the many beautiful shallow reef, to the advance divers who enjoy drift dives on strong current, to those training to be technical divers, it has deep sites that goes down to 140ft (43m). 

Underwater photographers are a common lot in Anilao. It isn’t rare to find a group of divers each carrying his own transformer like uw camera setup. It is a haven for macro-photographers for wide range of nudibranch species and underwater critters. It will neither disappoint wide angle enthusiasts as Anilao water is teeming with pelagic and beautiful walls and gardens of corals, both hard or soft. 

Some of the most famous (reasonably priced) Anilao dive resorts are:

There are over 20, maybe 30, dive resorts situated beside each other to suit every type of budget. 

How to get to Aniloa

Hop on any bus bound for Batangas and ask to be drop off at Mabini or Bauan. Take a tricycle and be drop off at one of the 20-30 dive resorts scattered around the cliff.

Search for transport options to Batangas below:

Scuba diving in Batangas, Philippines
Scuba diving in Batangas, Philippines

Insider travel tip

For travelers, or new divers with no group yet, log into one of the many dive forums/scuba board online and join planned weekend divers. You can hitch a ride and contribute on gas, and share boat and DM costs.

Beware:

There is NO beach in Anilao. You have a cliff and a reef. You snorkel here or scuba dive. Or catch the spectacular sunset by the resort deck. 

More spots for Philippines scuba diving

Here are a few more great diving spots in the Philippines:

  • Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
  • Coron Bay, Palawan
  • Dauin, Dumaguete
  • Malapascua, Cebu
  • Moalboal, Cebu
  • Puerto Galera, Mindoro
  • Anda, Bohol

Not into scuba diving? Try helmet diving at Boracay

Boracay is an island of the Philippines located south of Manila and off the northwest tip of Panay Island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines.

It was orignally home to the Ati tribe and later a couple took over the ownership of the island around 1900 and cultivation and development of the island began.

Currently named the world’s second best beach after Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the award winning Boracay Island and its beaches is said to be the Maldives of Asia.

And if you do not have a diving license, you’ll definitely not miss the underwater scene at Boracay, Philippines.

For an average of about 600 to 700 pesos, you can opt for a leisure helmet dive instead and still get to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the underwater world. You can look forward to a casual walk amongst the fishes on the sea bed lead by experienced divers and even take a shot with the beautiful corals and fishes as memento to bring home with you.

Book a helmet diving experience here.

Helmet diving in Boracay, Philippines
Helmet diving in Boracay, Philippines

Aside from helmet diving, you can expect other water activities namely like para-sailing, banana boat, Discovery dives, island hopping and snorkeling trips. In my opinion, one should never miss a visit to Crystal Cove and enjoy an afternoon there.

For more things to do in the Philippines, check out the below posts:


Top Coolest Bars in Barcelona

Barcelona is home to some of the highest rated and coolest bars in the world.

We are talking secret doorways, desserts served with your cocktails, old fashioned unheard of locations, and bars made completely from ice

Whether it be a cocktail, some traditional sangria, a good old beer or purely the entertainment of a spectacular venue, read on to find the best bars in Barcelona.

See also Where to Get the Best Ice Cream in Barcelona and Cheap Tapas Bars in Barcelona

The top 9 coolest bars in Barcelona

Paradiso: ‘The pastrami bar which hides a secret’

Paradiso was ranked 19th in the world’s best 50 bars. The owner, Giacomo Giannotti, and his team spent the good part of a year designing this menu, and speaks for itself.

In Paradiso, you will walk into what appears to be a pastrami bar, in which you can walk through the cabaret entrance which is disguised as a refrigerator, into the incredible dark and mysterious bar. 

The cocktails in Paradiso are presented in the most theatrical way. Ensuring that the presentation is unbeatable, Paradiso is the place to go for an unforgettable experience

Address: Carrer de Rera Palau, 4, 08003 Barcelona

The Antic Theatre: The Palau de la Música’s fun neighbour!

The Antic Theatre can be found next to the Palau de la Música Catalana, it is filled with locals and serves very reasonably priced drinks, serving beers at 2€ and wine at 3€. Although a small and hidden bar in Barcelona, they have a garden area and inside terrace giving you an incredible view of the enormous courtyard.

The perfect location on a hot day, they provide everything from live music, to poetry and theatre

Address: Carrer de Verdaguer i Callís, 12

See also The Best Viewpoints in Barcelona

Creps al Born: Cocktails and a crepe?

Creps al Born provide you with the fascinating combination of the finest alcoholic beverages and cocktails served with delicious French crepes

Creps al Born is a local pick, located in the heart of El Born. They serve everything from classic cocktails to their own signature cocktails, created by professional mixologists, as well as both sweet and savoury pancakes and are renowned for their cheery and friendly staff, and unique and cosy atmosphere. 

Address: Passeig del Born, 12, 08003 Barcelona

Bobby’s Free: You can only enter with the secret password…

Bobby’s Free looks from the outside as your everyday barbershop, when you enter, you won’t see any drinks or bar stools. In Bobby’s Free, you have to provide the ‘barber’s’ secret passport to enter, which changes every month. Don’t worry, this can be found on their Instagram and Facebook

Once in their bar, you’ll see that it has a classic 1920s prohibition vibe, with an outrageous selection of gins and cocktails to try. They are in easy access for all you G&T lovers, you can find them close to both the Passeig de Gràcia and Plaça de Catalunya. 

Address: Carrer de Pau Claris, 85

Bar Mariatchi: The very first clandestine bar in the city!

Located in the backstreets of the Gothic Quarter, Bar Mariatchi was one of the first clandestine bars to open in the entire city. Squatters would occupy buildings which owners could no longer afford to run and transform them into underground drinking dens. 

Today, there’s no chance of finding yourself at the centre of a police raid like in the past! Its tagline is ‘bad parties, worse hangovers’, and it regularly hosts musicians for some live events alongside some tasty drinks.

It’s definitely one of the bars in Barcelona with the most street cred.

Address: Carrer dels Còdols, 14

El Bosc de les Fades: Fancy a fairytale?

El Bosc de les Fades is less of a bar and more of an enchanting forest, making you feel like you just fell into a fairytale. In fact, the name of the bar literally translates to ‘The Forest of the Fairies’. The place is surrounded by leafy trees and mythical creatures, and they serve everything from coffees to delicious mojitos. 

El Bosc de les Fades can be found just a short walk from La Rambla, in the Museu de Cera, Barcelona’s famous wax museum. For a unique and magical experience, el Bosc de las Fades is the place for you. 

Address: Passatge Banca 5, 08002 Barcelona 

See also The Most Unusual Museums in Barcelona

Manchester Bar: Bucket hats at the ready…

If you’ve ever visited Manchester then you can probably guess what this bar entails… bucket hats, parkas at the ready. This place is your go- to for the Mancunian music scene, located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. 

Manchester Bar is decorated with iconic black and yellow stripes of the Haçienda, an old Mancunian club from the 80s and 90s. 

In this bar, you can enjoy whatever beverage you like, whilst jamming to the likes of The Stone Roses, Joy Division and Happy Mondays. Both tourists and locals love this little hidden gem in Barcelona, and whether it be solely a cheap drink or some Mancunian culture education you’re after, this is the place for you. 

Address: Carrer de Milans 5, 08002 Barcelona

IceBarcelona: Subzero temperatures on the beach in Barcelona?

Barcelona is not the place you would imagine to experience subzero temperatures, but in the IceBarcelona, your surroundings will be maintaining -5ºC (20ºF). You may sit and relax with your cocktail, surrounded by ice sculptures and furniture made with ice. 

A ticket price to this bar includes a warm coat, gloves and a drink, meaning you don’t have to worry about ruining your party outfit. This place is a hit amongst both tourists and locals, and the most unusual part about this bar is that it is actually located on the beach… if you want your heart warming in subzero fun, this is the place for you. 

Address: Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 38 A, 08005 Barcelona

Futballárium: Football Fanatics prepare yourselves

Barcelona is nonetheless a football mad city, Futballárium is literally a bar which is entirely dedicated to the sport. They have memorabilia plastered on every wall, making them a football lover’s dream. 

Futballárium is a family- owned business and a relaxed venue in which you can enjoy both delicious food and a wide range of beers, whilst of course watching whatever live football is showing at the time. 

They are situated in Les Corts, just a couple of steps away from FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium (which we recommend visiting), this is not one you want to miss if you’re into football!

Address: Carrer de Benavent 7, 08028 Barcelona 

Futballarium in Barcelona, Spain.
Futballarium in Barcelona, Spain.

These are a just a few of the best bars in Barcelona to try out. The city is teeming with incredible things to do and places to visit, check out some of our other posts below for more places to explore:


A Guide to Teaching English Abroad

Wouldn’t it be nice to travel the world and get paid for it?

It may sound like a pipe dream, but this is the reality of a TEFL teacher’s life. Basically, you get paid for teaching English abroad.

With English being a global language, there is a demand for it in virtually every part of the world. And where there is demand, there are jobs.

English is a tool that will open doors for so many people, providing them with opportunities that they didn’t have access to before, and, as the English teacher, you’re the person facilitating and supporting that process.

Being a TEFL teacher is an exchange: the door to the world is open for you to set off and explore it, and in return you do the same for others by removing the barrier of the English language.

So, how do you get started? Keep on reading to find out!

Here are our tips on teaching English abroad

1.     Figure out a location

First and foremost, you have to narrow down your options. Having the whole world at your disposal can be overwhelming.

The sooner you can pinpoint a general part of the world you’d prefer to get started in, the sooner you can start figuring out what the process is to get set up as an English teacher.

For Europe-based teachers wanting to visit the rest of the continent, this is usually a far simpler process. You can put feelers out for English language assistant programs across Europe, such as with Meddeas, to get started, and then choose whichever you feel is the best fit for you.

Home will always be a short flight away, as will other European countries, giving you the perfect balance of travel and family time during the holidays. 

For those that have their hearts set on travelling further afield, platforms such as Teachaway are a lifeline for TEFL teachers, providing current listings of job openings, requirements, and application deadlines in various schools across the globe.

The process for arranging your work visa and organizing flights is usually done with the support of the schools, and many also offer travel stipends to cover the costs of their teacher’s flights. 

All that’s left for you to do is brush up on the culture to avoid making any cultural faux pas upon arrival.

2.     Do your research about what it takes to teach English abroad

Many schools require TEFL teachers to have a university degree, and teaching English abroad is often appealing to university graduates as an exciting opportunity to gain some life experience.

For that reason, your professors will no doubt know a couple of students either currently working in this field, or who worked in it for a period. Utilize this and ask them to get in touch with those people to see if they’d be willing to answer any of your nagging questions about what to expect.

In the case that you don’t know any TEFL teachers or have no connections to anyone that knows someone you could ask, LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to connect with people in the industry. In the click of a button, you can reach out to various teachers to request their input on your questions or concerns.

For those that aren’t feeling as extroverted, blogs like the ones you can find written by The TEFL Org should cover nearly every query you may have.

3.     Learn the local language of where you’re going to teach

The best way to really delve into another culture is to start learning the local language.

Often TEFL teachers can find themselves in an English-speaking bubble in the work environment. For those that want to broaden their social circles and really feel like a local when travelling, getting to grips with a basic level of the native language can lead to new friendships, as well as make everyday life run a little smoother.

There’s nothing like being able to order something in a restaurant in another language to give you that sense of independence and belonging, simultaneously. 

Not only will learning the language help you feel settled, but it will also give you a new insight into what your students experience and feel when learning English as a foreign language.

You’ll be able to empathize more with the anxiety they may feel when pronouncing, but also better understand the common mistakes your students make due to translating their language into yours when trying to speak. Understanding these errors means you’ll be able to draw comparisons between how certain things in English are expressed differently to their language, ultimately making you more knowledgeable as a TEFL teacher.

4.     Share your experiences of teaching English abroad

Once you’ve become a seasoned teacher, the best way to move on to new adventures in different parts of the world is to talk to other TEFL teachers about where they’ve been and taught.

Straight from the horse’s mouth is where you’ll get the most honest and useful information on the places you should absolutely check out, and more importantly, where not to go.

Your fellow TEFL teachers have no ulterior motives. They’re floating around on their own travels, and you’re helping them as much as they’re helping you to continue doing so in the best and most informed way possible. 

Thinking back to the beginning of your journey where you researched and read other teachers’ blogs, once you’ve gained some of your own experience, there’s no reason not to share your own tips and advice to inspire and help others by starting your own. The industry is constantly evolving, new resources are always being developed, but TEFL teaching has always remained a community of people willing to share ideas and help one another.

You can also share some articles about how to get an experience like volunteering. Go that one step further to keep the cycle of content TEFL teachers scattered across the globe in motion.

You all share the same passion: travelling. 

With the knowledge of these four main steps now under your belt, the last part of the process is to get qualified. Obtaining your TEFL Certification is your ticket to the first of many adventures you’ll have as a TEFL teacher.

The TEFL companies will support you with all the information and resources you need to join the industry, and then the rest is up to you.

Be that a 2-hour flight, or 16 hours, the beauty of teaching English abroad is that you get to decide where in the world it takes you.