Many people think the best place to stay in Barcelona is on Las Ramblas, the famous boulevard in the centre of the city. Sure, you’ll be close to the tourist sights here, but it’s also crowded, noisy, and full of overpriced restaurants and pickpockets. We decided we wanted to experience the city a different way and stay in a neighbourhood with more locals than tourists. When Waytstay offered us an apartment in the Gracia neighbourhood, it seemed the ideal place to see an alternative side of the city.
Beth and her husband Dan first caught the travel bug whilst planning a mega road trip in the States a few years ago, and in 2015 they moved to Malaysia for their jobs in higher education. They take advantage of Malaysia’s generous number of national holidays to explore the country and beyond. Beth blogs sporadically at wbethanieltravel.blogspot.com.
For the past two months we’ve been housesitting a beautiful rural home a few miles outside a small village in Andalucia, Spain. We’re surrounded by rocky hills covered in cacti, olive, and almond trees. The only sounds are the chirps and hoots of birds, the occasional chainsaw buzz of cicadas, and in the evenings, the tinkle of the bells from the goat herd wandering down the dry river bed below our house. Our nearest neighbours are 1km away and the nearest shops are in the village, a 30-minute hike over the hills. We often go days without seeing anyone and we love it!
The Maldives aren’t just for honeymooners and the rich anymore. In 2009, the island nation opened up for independent travel, and you can now visit the Maldives on a budget by staying in affordable guesthouses on local islands, rather than having to splash the cash on a resort.
The Maldives used to be the preserve of honeymooners and the rich who could afford to pay thousands of dollars to stay at a luxurious resort. This changed in 2009 when restrictions on foreigners were lifted—locals could build guesthouses and visitors were allowed to visit inhabited islands (not just resort islands). While the Maldives is not as cheap as India or SE Asia, it is possible to enjoy some of the best beaches in the world on an affordable budget.