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Oana Andreescu

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Group holidays can be really fun. Or mind-numbingly hard to plan and execute, especially if the travelers are worlds apart in terms of interests, with only but a few things in common.
After more than one holiday with 5 to 12 people involved, I am sketching a user’s guide for all friends out there planning a trip together. You might want to read this out loud when you get together with your friends and start planning a vacation together.

I had been planning a Malta getaway forever, it finally happened this year in July. My go-to advice: visit during the winter and don’t forget your phone charger!

Malta is a 316 sq km Instagram perfect archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies south of the island of Sicily, Italy, and has close ties with the United Kingdom, the French and, of course, Italy. It’s a must see for those who love beaches and clear blue waters, but also those who enjoy digging up history tidbits. But let’s start the trip at the airport.

France – Paris, Great Britain – London, Germany – Berlin. Ukraine – Kiev, Italy – Rome (fill in the blanks). Whenever we talk about visiting a country we associate it with its capital city. It’s easy, you probably can reach it by plane very fast and at low costs, it’s safe, it does not raise any major risks and is as comfortable as possible, with cosmopolitan capital cities hosting five-star hotels and international cuisine. And most of the times it’s very familiar. But is that what you came there for?

I live in Bucharest, Romania and I must admit that I did not really visit our neighbors. Shame on me, right? That’s why this year I wanted to begin paying courtesy visits. I started with a weekend getaway to Bulgaria during the last weekend of April (April 28th – May 1st) with Veliko and Nesebar. Hungary, Ukraine, Serbia, Moldova, you are next!

City-breaks are a gift from God or whatever deity you pray to during office hours. You should not waste them. Never, ever. And when you do hit the shut down button and pack your bags, please leave all worries behind. Just enjoy the time off and once in awhile let serendipity work its magic. That’s what I did for my 3 day trip to Prague. The plan was to wander around the streets and visit some of the lovely street cafes, have late brunches and taste the famous ale, maybe visit a castle in the sun and tread along Charles bridge. As it happens, I did some of that. But rain was dripping as wind and thick fog clouded any landscape and dampened us to the bone. So I could tell you about castles, brick cobble and twirling narrow streets, I could do listicles on where to go and what…