Why You Should Travel With Your Friends

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Before you can even start the process of planning your next trip, you must first make one vital decision: will you be traveling solo or with your friends?

This is a question that, to the surprise of some, has become very controversial. Solo travelers would argue that to truly experience a trip, it should be experienced alone. It is more intimidating traveling on your own, especially if you don’t travel frequently, but these individuals would proclaim that, because it is more challenging and frightening, it is better for you. Travelers who prefer adventuring with others would argue that sharing your experiences allows you to experience your trip in a more well-rounded way. To them, traveling with more people is challenging because you are attempting to engage in a variety of activities while trying to make the majority happy.

While there is a lot that can be said for both sides of the argument – and perhaps you should strive to have a balance of both throughout your lifetime – traveling with your friends has its undeniable perks.

Planning the trip is more exciting.

If you travel with your friends, you do not have to shoulder the responsibility of planning out every single activity on your own. There is a lot of research that goes into the planning phase; you would be surprised at how lengthy and complex the planning process can get if you do it alone. If you involve your friends, everyone will want to bring ideas to the table. In the midst of this excitement, the most difficult part will be picking and choosing what activities to include on your itinerary – and you may get to experience something you may have never found on your own.

Splitting costs helps save everyone money.

Whether you plan to stay at hotels or crash at places you have rented through Airbnb, it is going to be much cheaper splitting the costs between more people. Because you have a larger group, you may end up staying at more beautiful, spacious places. And, instead of ending every day in silence, you will have people to process your adventures with.

The more people in your group, the more safe you are.

One drawback to traveling alone is that it can be quite nerve-racking. You are in an unfamiliar setting and, even with navigation apps, it is frightening trying to maneuver around foreign places. With friends, you are less likely to find yourself in a compromising situation. And you don’t have to worry about your belongings when you need to take a quick bathroom break.

You will always have these memories.

Traveling will provide you with long-lasting memories that you will remember for the rest of your life. Traveling with your friends may not only give you more experiences throughout your trip, but your friends will always have these memories to share with you. Other people may love hearing your stories, but your friends were actually there to experience them with you.

Originally published on Emmanuel Ventouris’ website.

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Airbnb Etiquette: Before, During, And After

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Staying at an Airbnb is like staying at a home away from home. Depending on your budget or what is available in the surrounding areas during your trip, you can rent out spaces that range from an entire home to a spare bedroom in someone’s house. What makes staying at an Airbnb even better than a hotel – aside from the comparatively more affordable prices – is that you will treated to a more personalized experience.

A superior Airbnb host will dedicate their time and energy into generating the most pleasurable experience for their guests. And because they are locals, it may be more advantageous to consult your host to help fill your itinerary rather than Google since they should be more familiar with the local hot spots around the area. Are you new to the concept of Airbnb? Here are some basic etiquette techniques to practice before, during, and after your stay:

Before

Read The Reviews

Because you are dealing with individual people, every host will run their Airbnb differently. Use the reviews of previous guests as a way to judge the temperament of the host to determine whether or not it would be a good fit for you. These reviews can also be used as guidebook for how to conduct yourself during your stay.

Send An Introductory Message

This is not a requirement, but it is a nice pleasantry. You are not dealing with a customer service representative from a hotel, so reach out and introduce yourself to the person whose house you will be staying in. Building a good relationship at the onset may improve your trustworthiness in the eyes of the host.

During

Be Punctual

Respect the arrival and departure times that the host has set in place. Situations arise that often cause us to run late, but try to prepare for the unexpected in advance so that you can be as punctual as possible. If something does come up, don’t leave your host in the dark – contact them as soon as possible.

Abide By The House Rules

There may be some house rules that you aren’t accustomed to as part of your daily routine but, by agreeing to rent a certain space, you are also agreeing to a host’s policies. Keep your surroundings as clean as possible, keep your volume at a reasonable level, and be considerate of any curfews.

After

Paying

This is simple: pay the allotted amount and never ask to pay in cash.

Leave A Review

Some people use Airbnb as an additional source of income. If you enjoyed your stay, vocalize it online, being as detailed as possible. Your review could be the reason someone decides to rent the same space in the future.

Really, Airbnb etiquette is simply treating the space you rented how you would want a guest to treat your own home.

Originally published on Emmanuel Ventouris’ website.

The Rainy Day Guidebook For Vacationing In Athens

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What do planning a vacation and planning a wedding have in common? The planner is adamantly opposed to rain ruining their agenda.

It’s impossible to make plans around the weather. It is unpredictable and subject to change at a moment’s notice, even if the forecast foretells a different story. Greece is renowned for its sunshine but, like any travel destination, there is a chance you could be visiting during a dreary time where rain (or snow) forces you to adjust your plans for a day, or even a few days.

Don’t let a little rain in Athens ruin your vacation. Sitting in your room and waiting for the rain to subside is wasted time that could be spent exploring the big city. Use the rain as a time to explore some amazing spaces that might not have made your final “Things To Do In Athens” list.

Grab a cup of coffee and watch the rain fall.

The Greeks take their coffee drinking very seriously. These coffee breaks can last quite a long time, averaging around 1.5 hours, and are meant to encourage people to unwind in silence with their favorite book or spend time catching up with a friend. Grab your umbrella and find a local spot near you and enjoy a warm beverage or tasty treat while watching the rain fall. For the avid coffee drinkers, consider trying a traditional Greek coffee. It is brewed in a small pot called a briki and served black with the grounds on the bottom and a unique foam on top.

Visit a museum and immerse yourself in Greek culture.

No matter your interests, there is a museum for you. In order to truly absorb the culture, you could dedicate an entire day just to walking through these museums. The Acropolis Museum, perhaps one of Athen’s most notable and popular museums, was built to exhibit the Parthenon Sculptures. From here, you also have a breathtaking view of the Acropolis. Other museums of note include: the Benaki Museum, the Lalaounis Jewelry Museum, and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.

Take a break and go shopping.

A little shopping never hurt anyone, especially if the weather is not optimal for exploring the outside beauty of Greece. If the rain is on the lighter side, take your umbrella and walk down Ermou street, which is one of the main shopping attractions in Athens. Also, if you love bargaining for a great deal, you can explore Monastiraki square where you can peruse around the flea market and pick up some mementos from your trip to bring back home.

Catch dinner and a movie.

End your evening with dinner and a movie. Make a reservation at a local restaurant near where you’re staying, enjoy the local cuisine, and then catch a movie at a cinema nearby. Movies are actually played in their original languages, most of which are English, with Greek subtitles so that you can understand them.

Even on a perfect day, these activities would help stamp your trip to Athens, Greece in your mind forever. On days with nicer weather, make sure that you take advantage of as much sightseeing as possible. But be sure to put these plans on your itinerary and save them for when bad weather strikes or for the end of your vacation.

Originally published on Emmanuel Ventouris’ website.