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October 15, 2017

10 reasons why camping with your dog is good for your soul

Camping with your dog

If you love the outdoors and love spending time with your dog why not combine the two? Your pup will thank you for taking him/her along with you! If you are considering on taking your dog on your next camping adventure here are some reasons why you should:
1.You won’t be lonely.
Allow your dog to lift your spirits and take you for an unforgettable camping experience.


2. Your dog will keep you fit.
Ever get bored in the woods?Not when your dog is by your side giving you the puppy eyed look to play fetch!


3. Have more fun.
Watch your dog truly enjoy being outdoors with you, maybe you will even catch him/her smiling if you are lucky!


4. Find new places to take your dog with you.
Not every camping location is dog friendly which will encourage you to try out new camping spots.

5. Get out of your home.
We spend enough time at work and at our homes, it’s time to get out and do something different.


6. Boosts your mood and relieves your stress.
Spending time with your dog has been proven that your body releases endorphins (oxytocin) that have a calming effect.

7. Provides comfort.
The night will be less cold with your dog cuddling against your side.

8. 24 hour Protection.
In any situation, your best friend will be by your side to keep you safe from wild animals and even from other people. Dogs are wonderful at keeping us safe when we need it most.

9. Reminds you about the important things in life.
Spending time outdoors and being totally immersed in nature with your dog is a great feeling. It’s the little things in life that make us truly happy.

10. You are forced to plan ahead.
Planning for your camping experience is important and taking your dog along with you requires you to organize and plan ahead to make sure you have everything that you need for yourself and for your furry friend!

Gear: Robens tent

Robens tents’ Green Castle is our go to tent for camping with our dog Merci the husky. The flooring is not attached on the bottom and makes for a great environment for her to be in if she does not want to be in our section of the tent.

The flooring can be easily washed from her dirty feet which is a difficult feature to find when looking for a tent. We love that the Green Castle tent can be manipulated into different sections to separate our gear from our sleeping area. The setup is easy just slide the 4 rods into the tent and hammer the stakes into the ground! This tent is 100% Merci the husky approved!

Gear: Robens tent

March 31, 2017

A Picturesque-Worthy Travel Guide to Basel

Before we went on our Viking Cruise, we decided to stay in Basel for two days to explore the city a little. As passionate photographers and travel extraordinaires we are always after exciting and exclusive adventures. The challenge this time was to find some picturesque and unique spots of the city within 2 days. You won’t believe what we discovered during our stay.


Here are our top recommendations and unique captures from our 48 hours stay.


1. Get lost in the old city of Basel – Exlore the old city of Basel “Altstadt Grossbasel” and the area around.  You will find cute little alleys and unique spots. The architecture and the colors are so pretty. We recommend to go early in the morning to take an advantage of the lighting conditions and to avoid the crowd.

(@meanwhileabroad  – Instagram )

(@meanwhileabroad  – Instagram )


2. Flower Power –  Buy a bunch of flowers from the flower shop “Fleurs de Rois” and find unique spots to capture the city & flowers.  Flowers look always great everywhere and at any time. It is also a great gift for your soultmate. Time to treat your partner.

(@meanwhileabroad  – Instagram )


3. Treat Yourself! –  Find the restaurant Consum Basel. Buy a platter of Cheese & your favorite wine. The atmosphere, the customer service and the variety of food & wine will blow your mind.

(@meanwhileabroad  – Instagram )


4. Magical morning hours – Wake up early in the morning before the sun rises and enjoy the view above the rhine river from one of the bridges. Just a few minutes before the sun actually rises, you will see rhine river in a way you have never seen it before. Alternatively, explore the old city of Basel. This is the perfect time, especially during the week to find the city totally empty and idyllic.

(@meanwhileabroad  – Instagram )


5. Sunset – Enjoy the sunset along the Rhine River somewhere. This picture was taken right next to the cathedral “Basler Münster”. In the background you can see the valleys of germany.

(@meanwhileabroad  – Instagram )


6. Get to know the city – Learn the history of Basel with a local expert

Basel Switzerland

Before we arrived in Basel, we had no idea how culture-rich and how much history behind this city is. A local tourist guide comes quite handy whilst exploring the city. Your guide will showcase the most exclusive parts of the city and  answer every single question you have. We loved our guide. She brought us to the most exclusive places in Basel. Tripadvisor is great. Locals are better! Give it a try!

7. Our favorite spot–  Check out Spalenberg and the old city area, early in the morning and during sunset is the best time to explore this area.

8. TIme to Socialize – We contacted local Instagrammers to socialize in the city. It is the best way fully experience life in Basel and also a great way to network with like-minded people.



1. Get a mobility Ticket – The Mobility Ticket enables guests to use public transport in the city of Basel and its surroundings free of charge (zones 10, 11, 13 and 15, including EuroAirport) for the duration of their stay (max. 30 days). If you are staying in the canton of Basel Land, you can also take advantage of a similar ticket, but this is valid for the regional public transport network. The tram system in Basel is perhaps one of the best we have experienced so far. You are going to love it!

You can get the  mobility ticket >>here<<

2. Use Uber – We got stuck once and we didn’t know if we are going to make it to our cruise ship on time. So we switched over to the Uber App and signed up with our facebook account and ordered a cab for a 15 min ride from. The sign up process took approxiamtely 30 seconds and the total time to get a cab for us was around 5 min. The total cost was 15 CHF, which is quite reasonable compared to the regular cab rates. Just give it a go!






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December 30, 2016

How much to charge for sponsored Instagram posts

What does CPM mean?
CPM means the cost to reach one thousand people. An average CPM for a sponsored post starts from $5-10 on Instagram, depending on the Industry, budget of the advertiser and the engagement rate of the Social Media Influencer.


How to apply it properly: 
From our experience, a Social Media Influencer with a high engagement may ask for a higher CPM, whereas a Social Media Influencer with a smaller engagement rate or in case you work with smaller brands you are better off starting with a smaller CPM. By explaining brands that the fee for reaching 1,000 people costs $5 will help you to get more sponsored posts. It is a win win for everyone. It is all a matter of how you present your package and how a company benefits from your work and services.

( @bookedpackedabroad 43.3 k Followers, paid ad campaign )

This equation will help you to determine how much to charge for a single Instagram post. 

(FOLLOWERS / 1,000 ) x multiply that by $5, $7, $10.

 The following three examples will explain it more detailed:



$25 per post at $5/CPM
$35 per post at $7/CPM
$50 per post at $10/CPM


$50 per post at a $5/CPM
$70 per post at $7/CPM
$100 per post at $10/CPM


$100 per post at a $5/CPM
$140 per post at $7/CPM
$200 per post at $10/CPM


Don’t be shy sending your offer to brands. Always remember how much time and effort you invested in your Social Media life. However, don’t advertise brands just because they offer you a $10CPM. The key is to stay authentic and to be yourself! In order to maintain your engagement rate and to keep your audience entertained with your posts, make sure the brands you work with fit to your account theme and your audience is potentially interested in purchasing the advertisers products


( @bookedpackedabroad 43.3 k Followers, paid ad campaign )


We customized our calculator for you.

Fee free to use this tool to determine how much your posts are worth!




December 17, 2016

My Monk Sak Yant Tattoo in Thailand

I was planning this trip to this temple for almost 2 years and I was very determined to get my traditional Thai tattoo done in Bangkok. During the procedure more than +50 people had the pleasure watch me as this monk inked me. When the monk started with the procedure I could feel a hot searing pain in my back. It almost felt like someone is cutting off my back with a knife. But the results are priceless.

 Location & Story behind

Wat Bang Phra is a big temple around 50 kms (31 miles) outside the city of Bangkok in Thailand. The temple is very well known, especially for the Sak Yant tattoo.  The Sak Yant (“Sak Yan” /  or “Yantra”) tattoos are hand-etched onto the skin using ancient geometric designs mixed with Buddhist prayers. This type of tattoo is a sacred one known to hold different meanings depending on which tattoo.

Meaning & Power of the Tattoos

I heard about this temple from some monks I met whilst traveling in the south of Thailand after I asked them what their tattoos symbolized. They explained it very well and I was inquisitive about it. A few weeks later, I arrived in Bangkok and I was eager to go to the temple. I took the train to Nakhon Chai Si and from there a taxi to the temple. When I arrived there I knew I wanted to get a tattoo from a monk. I was a little bit scared, because it was my first tattoo and the rule was that you can’t choose what tattoo you get and where you will get. The monk will choose it for you, and they read you to decided which tattoo will fit the best to your life. Our local Thai friend explained us that the Thai people believe that the Sak Yant Tattoos gives you a special power associated with healing effects, luck, strength, and protection against evil.

Each Tattoo has a different meaning, the only problem is that the monks can’t speak english so you won’t know the meaning immediately.

Rules to consider after the tattoo

I found out that there were some rules to follow, and that if I didn’t the tattoo would lose it’s power.

The three most important rules are:

1. Do not murder someone.
2. Do not steal.
3. Do not lie to hurt other people.

Some general rules to consider:

1. Do not eat Star fruit, Pumpkin, or any other ‘Gourd’ type Vegetable.

2.I can’t have a lover who’s already married.

3. It’s absolutely forbidden for me to slander anybody’s mother.

4. Do not eat food from a Wedding, or Funeral banquet.

5. Do not Eat left-Overs. ( doable but how I will explain this my girlfriend?

6. Do not Duck under a Washing Line, or an overhanging building.

7. Do not Duck under a Banana Tree of the type Thaanii

8. Do not cross a single head bridge; Large or Small bridges are not Forbidden ( challenging hm)

9. Do not sit on a Ceramic Urn (Common in Thailand).Especially a Cracked, or Broken one.

10. Do not let a Woman Lie on Top of You, or Sit on Top either.

11. Do not permit a Man to be Brushed by the blouse or skirt of a Woman, or crossed in Front of; Especially during the Menstruative Period

As you can see there are so many rules to consider and at one point in your life this might be very challenging! There are more rules to consider depending on what tattoo you are going to get.

How to get to Wat Bang Phra?

There are many different ways to get there.
1. Taking a taxi, for the lazy and rich people. It costs around 2000-2500 baht (60 USD)
2. Taking a minivan from victory monument for around 60-80 baht (3 USD)
3. Taking the train to Nakhon Chai Si. it will costs 11 baht (less than 1 USD)
4. Hitch-hike (Free)

Try to hitchhike! Don’t be afraid of the locals! The thai people are nicest people on earth.  I hitchhiked on the way back and met so many cool and funny thai people on my way to the city.

Cost & Time – Procedure

  • It’s for FREE incl. gift(s) for the monk to show respect and gratitude.

The tattoo is for free but you should buy some gifts for the monk(s), for instance flowers or any type of offerings, it is very very important to show respect to the monks and their religion. Don’t get the tattoo if you just think it looks cool! I bought some flowers and cigarettes (because I was told that is what they liked best) for the monk. When I met him he accepted the gifts and said I should take off my shirt and sit down. He had a very long metal needle in his hand and a small bottle of ink. One other guy held my back and then the monk started with the tattoo. The pain was intense from the strong jabbing but he was also very fast. After only 15 minutes the tattoo was finished. When he finished it, he said a chant to activate the tattoo and told me that I should pray during this time as well.

Safety Considerations & Recommendation:

Before you get inked:

Even tough you are far away from home always remember Safety FIRST!
Ask for well disinfected or on brand new needles and even then make sure they disinfect the new needles in disinfectant as well, before starting the procedure.

Check the type of the Ink first:

Before you head to this place you may want to make sure you have a basic fundamental knowledge about getting inked and about the different types of inks so you understand what is going to happen when you arrive at the temple. Before the procedure you may want to ask the monk what type of ink he is using. You might want to bring a local with you for translation purposes to avoid communication barriers. Sometimes the local inks contain natural henna which can cause a severe allergic reaction or even lead to long-term health problems.I am not an expert in this field for more details about types of inks you may want to go to a local ink shop in your country and inform yourself well about safety & procedure etc.

To prevent yourself from getting serious health problems, I highly recommend everyone to bring your own tattoo ink from your home country packed and sealed. Consider that some monks might not accept it and consider this action as disrespectful, but if you have health concerns you may ask politely to use your ink and offer in return to keep one package of ink for free to show some respect. Certainly it adds to the total cost but consider that you are investing in your health and well-being. Always remember Safety First!

Note that I do not want disrespect the Thai culture or the monks by pinpointing my safety concerns. But if you decide to get a tattoo be at least aware of the side effects and the options to prevent yourself from serious long-term health problems. I personally never heard that there was ever a health issue with the Sak Yant tattoos.

After you got inked:

Do not apply soap on your tattoo for at least three days. It if gets itchy, apply some olive oil or Vaseline. This will help instantly. Also, stay away from the sun for at least 3 days and shelter from strong winds


Even if you don’t want a tattoo, this temple is still worth visiting to see a couple of beautiful buildings located next to the river and you can even talk to the monks. Please remember, this tattoo is not just a souvenir or a random tattoo you are used to from back home. It is something special and unique you are going to carry your entire life on your body and it also has a deep spiritual meaning and rules you have to consider. Ask yourself if you really want this tattoo and if you are able to follow and keep up with the rules. Good luck & enjoy your travels in Thailand. You picked one of the most beautiful destinations in South East Asia. Congrats 🙂