Why You Should Pick Bologna for Your Next Trip

The Italian flag

When it comes to planning a trip, picking the right location is vital. Your trip can quickly go downhill if you don’t do research beforehand. However, one location has mesmerized people from around the globe for years, and it’s always a great place to visit. And that is Italy. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who regrated visiting this wonderful country. But Italy is a big country that would take a long time to explore. So, we narrowed down our choice to one specific place, Bologna. When people visit Italy, they mainly focus on Rome and Florence and ignore so many other incredible parts of the country, which is a big shame. So we decided to share with you some good reasons to pick Bologna for your next trip.

A plate of pasta Bolognese
If you pick Bologna for your next trip, you will get to enjoy one of the best cuisines in the world

The food scene

When we talk about the best cuisines in the world, Italy is always on top of the list. And if you asked Italians what the area of Italy that is the center of the food scene is, they would all say the same. It is Bologna. Bologna is famous for its meat, cheese, soups, pastries, gelato, and pasta. And if you haven’t already guessed by its name, Bologna is also the birthplace of the world-famous Bolognese sauce. Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna area, famous for producing balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese. So it is no wonder Bologna is so widely renowned in the world of food. Some of the dishes everyone who visits Bologna should try are:

  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Tagliatelle al Ragù Bolognese
  • Lasagne Verde al Forno

And the best part is that it is all very affordable. There are high-end restaurants that are more expensive, and then there are those affordable ones that also serve incredibly delicious food.

Fontana di Trevi
Places like Fontana di Trevi are always annoyingly crowded, but that’s not the case in Bologna

There will be fewer crowds

As we said previously, when people visit Italy, they mostly visit Rome, Florence, or Venice. And these cities are usually filled with tourists. I m sure you have at least once seen a picture of the crowds at Fontana di Trevi. And Rome is so famous that it is crowded almost all the time. Big crowds like that can take the joy out of a trip and leave you frustrated. Well, you won’t have to worry about that in Bologna. It is not as famous as Rome or Venice, so you can peacefully walk around the city and enjoy the experience. You won’t have to run to get tickets to museums or make restaurant reservations, so some other tourists don’t take it before you. Also, the locals will be a bit more friendly and welcoming than in Rome, for example, because tourists are not crowding their city and making their traffic more difficult.

It’s cheaper than other European cities

Budget plays a significant role when planning a trip. You must carefully research how expensive a city is before you travel there; otherwise, you can end up in an awkward situation. Thankfully Bologna is a very affordable city compared to others in Europe like Paris, Madrid, or even Rome. Food is affordable, and so is housing. It’s also a very walkable city so you won’t need much money for transport. This makes Bologna a perfect destination for a longer trip. An average-income person can afford to stay here for a couple of weeks without it obliterating their budget. And because it is so cheap, you will have enough money to finance renting storage while traveling to keep your valuables safe. Don’t underestimate the importance of budgeting when planning a trip like this.

Pick Bologna for your next trip and explore its many museums

When you visit Bologna, you won’t only get to eat amazing world-class food but also have a great learning experience in Bologna’s many museums. It’s not a big city, but it has rich history and culture that is celebrated in these museums. Let’s start with Museo Della Storia di Bologna (Museum of the history of Bologna). This museum tells the story of Bologna that spans many years to the Etruscan era. In this museum, you will learn how Bologna changed and flourished over the years. And it will be easy as the exhibits in the museum are set up in chronological order. There will be classical museum exhibits and also some fun interactive ones. You will have a very helpful guide as well. Then there is Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna ( The National Art Gallery of Bologna), where passionate art lovers can see paintings from the 13th to 18th century period by famous artists.

It’s a beautiful place

Even if there wasn’t an incredible food scene and museums filled with amazing works of art, there would still be one reason good enough to visit Bologna. And that is the fact that it is an incredibly beautiful place. There is an interesting mix of rolling hills and beautiful gardens with impressive architectural sights that make Bologna a must-see destination. You can visit the Park of Villa Ghigi or Giardini Margherita, the largest city park in Bologna. On the other hand, you can see Teatro Anatomico, Fontano del Nettuno, and Basilica di San Petronio. This mix of nature and architecture gives Bologna a special kind of charm that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

Woman with a suitcase
Pick Bologna for your next trip and have the time of your life

In conclusion

These are just some of the reasons you should pick Bologna for your next trip. But there is so much more. Bologna is a good destination for a fun family holiday, a celebratory weekend with friends, a solo trip, or a romantic getaway for couples. You will enjoy amazing food, nature, culture, art, and impressive architecture. And the great thing is it will all be affordable. As you can see, there is something for everyone in Bologna, and you won’t regret visiting it. Now, all that is left to do is book those plane tickets and get ready for an Italian adventure!!

Home Swap: How You Can Experience Living Like a Local

Looking for a change of scenery? Are you tired of your same old four walls? If you’re interested in trying out a new location, why not do a home swap? Whether you’re renting an apartment in West Palm Beach, FL, or considering moving to Portland, OR, this type of arrangement can be a great way to experience a new place without having to commit to a long-term lease. However, you should keep a few things in mind if you’re thinking about committing to this type of housing exchange. 

To help you get a better understanding of how a home swap works, the benefits of this arrangement, and how to get started, we spoke with some of the top home exchange and travel experts in the country. Here’s what they had to say.

 

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

What is a home swap?

Simply put – a house exchange, also known as a “home swap” or “apartment swap,” is an agreement in which you stay in someone else’s home, and they stay in yours.

That said, there are actually a few different types of home exchanges that can occur. In a “simultaneous exchange,” you stay in your exchange partner’s home while they stay in yours. In a “non-simultaneous exchange,” you stay at a home swapper second home or vacation home. In a “hospitality exchange,” you stay as a guest in a swapper’s abode while they’re also in the house.

A home swap is a great way to experience living in a new city or country without moving permanently.

Choosing the right company for your house swap

There are many benefits to using an official home swap company for a house exchange. These companies are usually run by experienced staff who know how to facilitate a home swap properly. They also have well-established systems and procedures in place to make sure that the swap goes smoothly. Additionally, official websites often have a large pool of potential swap partners, which increases the chances of finding a good match.

Travel site, International Travelers, recommends working with a reputable and well-known home exchange company. “One of the most popular online networks for house swaps is Home Exchange which currently has a $175 annual fee for membership. This site allows you to list your home, view homes in other destinations worldwide, message homeowners, and arrange an “exchange agreement” to stay in each other’s homes.”

Expert tip for narrowing down your options: “There are almost 60 active home exchange networks, so it can be daunting to pick one to join. Some key features are the size of the network and exchange options. You want the network to have a selection of homes in the destinations you want to visit and have simultaneous or flexibility for non-simultaneous stay options,” says travel advice site Share Traveler. “To make it a bit easier, I’ve created a spreadsheet of all the networks and a guide to selecting the best one for you.”

“Home exchanges offer a more authentic, warm, and budget-friendly travel option compared to traditional hotels or rentals. There are options for luxury homes as well, like HomeExchange Collection, which offers an exclusive community for those with extraordinary homes.”

Things to consider when picking the location of your home exchange 

What kind of experience do you want to have?

There are a few things to consider when choosing a location for a home exchange. First, think about what type of experience you want to have. Are you looking to be in a big city or a smaller town? Are you considering international exchanges? Do you want to be near the beach or in the mountains? Once you know the type of experience you’re looking for, you can start narrowing down your options.

Pro-tip: Consider destinations off the beaten path 

Long-term travel advice site Fifty Plus Nomad shares, “You may want to look for exchange partners in more out-of-the-way places. For example, almost every exchange service has many listings in France. Instead of looking for a partner in or near Paris or on the Cote d’Azur, you may want to consider exchanges in places in or around Toulouse, Marseille, or Lyon. These are all amazing places with rich cultural attractions that will also allow you to experience more of typical French life.”

What size and type of home are you looking for?

Another thing to consider is what type of home you’re looking for. If you have a specific kind of home in mind, that will help to narrow down your options. For example, if you’re looking for a beachfront property, that will help limit your options to locations with waterfront homes.

What is your budget?

Finally, you’ll want to consider your budget. Home exchanges can be a great way to save money on your vacation, but you’ll still need to consider the cost of the exchange itself. Make sure to compare the cost of the exchange with the cost of staying in a hotel or other accommodations to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The benefits of home swapping, straight from the experts

Home exchanges offer a variety of unique benefits. Below, travel experts share some of their favorite aspects of home swapping.

You can save money traveling to your dream destinations

“Apartment swaps and home exchanges are a fantastic way to travel without spending a lot of money. Make sure you’re going through a trusted site and an owner with plenty of real and positive reviews,” recommends money-saving travel site Johnny Jet.

Home swaps can be great for traveling families 

“If you are traveling as a family, you’ve got a chance to handle young children and maintain a family routine more readily. At the same time, you’ve got a chance to take day trips and explore from your new home base. A home exchange makes perfect sense,” shares travel site Mark’s Travel Journal

The opportunity to experience living like a local 

“Doing a home swap gives you a unique opportunity to live like a local. You can experience life in a new place through the eyes of your exchange partner in a way that is even more authentic than renting an Airbnb. This “slow” style of travel is perfect for anyone who wants more than just traditional tourism. It’s also a great way to test the waters if you’re contemplating a move to a new location,” says Poppin Smoke.

Home swapping can be an all-around great experience

“Home swapping is an amazing, affordable way to travel and explore without leaving the comfort of a fully furnished home behind. You’ll experience the day-to-day life like a resident of the country you’ll be visiting, making your visit so much more immersive,” shares travel and adventure blog The Wildest Road. “The most rewarding part of home swapping is the friendships you’ll build over time, creating lasting connections worldwide.” 

Frequently asked questions about home swapping 

Do you have to own a home to participate in a house swap?

You don’t need to own a home to participate in a home exchange. Renters can do it, too, as long as you have the permission of the relevant parties. Check with your landlord and read your lease to see if you’re allowed to rent your place out to strangers. 

Can I swap cars too?

Most of the time, yes, car swapping is often part of the home swap arrangement.

How much do home exchanges cost?

Most home-exchange programs charge users a membership fee to list and search for homes and get in contact with members. Each company has various pricing structures and membership options, so spend a little time researching to find the one that fits you best.

How can I stand out from other applicants for a home exchange?

“As you might imagine, the best swaps, exchanges, and housesitting opportunities also have a lot of competition. If you want to stand out from other applicants, record a video introduction of yourself, showing off your personality, talking about your values and your unique approach to home swaps,” says travel community and advice site TravelFreak. “People want to know who they’re swapping with and feel safe and comfortable with that person, so make sure you let them know who you are.” 

Photo by Muffin Creatives on Pexels.com

Final thoughts on home swaps  

Before agreeing to a home swap, do your research on the other party and the home itself. This includes checking out reviews and speaking to the other party to get a sense of what they are like. You should also ensure that the home is in good condition and a safe place to live. Home exchanges can be very rewarding and offer the opportunity to travel to different places and learn about other cultures while meeting new people and making new friends.

Originally published by Redfin

Plan an unforgettable cross-country skiing experience

Whether you already love cross-country skiing or are just dipping a toe
into the popular winter sport, you’re in for a real treat if you have
not yet embarked on a hut-to-hut excursion. We might think of
cross-country skiing as a form of exercise, but in Scandinavia and
China, it’s one of the oldest means of travel. And today, there are all
kinds of hut systems that allow skiers to go on multi-day ski adventures
with the promise of a warm, cozy shelter each night.

In the United States, you can find several hut systems, like the Sun
Valley Linkup in Idaho, the Wallowa Alpine Huts in Oregon, the San Juan
Hut System in Colorado, and the Maine Hut and Trails System. Distances
between the huts range from three to 10 miles, and different systems are
better for different experience and fitness levels. Make sure to do
your research. Find more tips for booking the perfect hut-to-hut cross-country skiing adventure in this helpful infographic!

Cross Country skiing infographic