How do we select hotels? What type of room is the most convenient for you?

 As pleasant though it may be, preparing a trip is also a little stressful when it comes to booking a room in a hotel. Something which is very important for the progress and the success of the trip. What is that one should know well in order to limit the possible misunderstandings or unpleasant surprises?

How do you evaluate the hotels?

What does it mean when we say that a hotel is a “five-star hotel”? Who decides what will be the class of the hotel we visit? What’s the difference between a “five-star” hotel and a four one? The answer is more complicated than you might think.

The truth is that there is no international standard classification of hotels, at least not yet. With stars, diamonds, or keys, that means that each country uses its own system so we cannot be sure what ever each category matches with. Can, for example, a 3-star hotel in one country be better than a four in another?

The attempt to harmonize rules in recent years, led to the creation of a common European system of assessment, the Hotelstars Unionpoy, that came into force in 2010 in some countries and later in more (Greece (2013)

The “Hotelstars” system of the European Union is based on a classification system with five stars and a Superior sign for an extra flag. Instead of a minimum size room and shower facilities (e.g. a bathtub into a four-star hotel), there is a list of criteria with 21 skills, including 270 items, where some are mandatory in order to get a star and others optional. The rating is the following:

  • 100 % of the rooms with shower/WC or bath tub/WC
  • Daily room cleaning (with opt-out possibility)
  • 100 % of the rooms with TV service and with remote function
  • WIFI internet access in the public areas and in the rooms
  • Table and chair
  • Soap or body wash
  • Offer of sanitary products on demand (e.g. toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving kit)
  • Bath towels
  • Reception service
  • Cashless payment
  • Extended breakfast
  • Beverage offer in the hotel
  • Deposit possibility
  • Breakfast buffet
  • Reading light next to the bed
  • Body wash or shower gel
  • Linen shelves
  • Bath and hand towels
  • Bilingual staff
  • Sewing kit and shoe polish utensils on demand
  • 10 hours staffed reception service, available via digital communication or telephone 24 hours
  • Lounge suite at the reception area, luggage service on demand
  • Beverage offer in the room
  • Device for internal and external communication on demand
  • Audio or multimedia entertainment
  • Hair-dryer, cleansing tissue
  • Dressing mirror, adequate place or rack to put the luggage/suitcase
  • Laundry and ironing service
  • Additional pillow and additional blanket on demand
  • Systematic complaint management system
  • Bilingual, hotelown website
  • 16 hours staffed reception service, physically available via digital communication or telephone 24 hours
  • Lobby with seats and beverage service, hotelbar or lounge area
  • Breakfast buffet with service or equivalent breakfast menu card
  • Minibar or maxibar or 16 hours beverages via room service
  • Comfortable seating (upholstered armchair/couch) with side table/shelf
  • Bath robe and slippers on demand
  • Cosmetic products (e.g. shower cap, nail file, cotton swabs), vanity mirror, large storage surface in the bathroom
  • International TV channels
  • 24 hours staffed reception service, physically available via digital communication or telephone 24 hours
  • Valet parking service
  • Concierge
  • Shuttle or limousine service
  • Luggage service
  • Personalized greeting for each guest with flowers or a present in the room
  • Minibar and food and beverage offer via room service during 24 hours
  • Internetdevice in the room on demand
  • Safe in the room
  • Ironing service (return within 1 h), shoe polish and sewing service
  • Turndown service in the evening
  • Breakfast menu card via room service

For an indicative list of criteria look here: (

In fact, what you need to know is this: In each case the hotels are evaluated based on the comforts and the services they offer, but also the quality of these. Before you travel be sure to check if the hotel you selected offers services that you consider necessary. Moreover, the problem is not to be in need of something. The surprises of extras that weren’t expected are always welcome!!! And something else … … A hotel with a star doesn’t mean that it will be dirty or neglected. It may just mean that it’s a small or medium building with minimum staff e.g. a family business.

Make sure well before you make the booking that the rooms are clean. How? By reading as many customer reviews of the hotel as possible emphasizing on the latest. Do the same with the other amenities: breakfast, etc.

As for the types of rooms there are differentiations.

There are 2 kinds of categorization of rooms you might encounter in a hotel or accommodation. One is the kind of room (e.g. standard, studio, deluxe etc) and the second the number of people that can be accommodated per case: (single (single), double (double), triple (triple), quads (quadruple).

The STANDARD rooms of a hotel usually represent the basic room type a hotel is offering, including the basic amenities.

The SUPERIOR rooms (some hotels use the term executive) are defined as better (superior) from the standard and usually outweigh the standards in size, quality furnishings and service. A further differentiation that is quite common among superior and standard rooms is the provided view from the room.

The DELUXE rooms are the third and the superior category of rooms you can find in a hotel which usually excel in size, furnishings, services etc. from all rooms.

Apart from the rooms, several hotels provide suites (suites). The suites are divided into JUNIOR SUITES and SUITES. The Junior Suite is usually a larger room with separate living room where in some cases the bedroom is separated by a door and others with some separator which separates the two spaces completely. The suite (SUITE) which is usually a fairly large room which has 2 separate rooms (1 bedroom and 1 living room) which are separated by a door. Many hotels define as suite any room that has a sofa or a sofa bed so you need to take this into consideration while selecting.

The Studios are rooms which are similar in layout to other Junior Suites, with much simpler rooms though and a kitchen/kitchenette along with cooking equipment. This type of room is mostly encountered often in lower class hotels, rooms and beachfront accommodation.

The Apartments are similar rooms with Studios and feature 1 or 2 bedrooms, whose number is usually stated in the room description (e.g. 1 bedroom apartment, 2 bedroom apartment) and a living room.

It is important to note that the above descriptions apply generally but in many cases the interpretation of the above terms depends on the hotel, its category and location. So, for example, a standard room at a five-star hotel might offer a better service than a superior 3 -star hotel.

Regarding to the second categorization in (single, double, triple, quads (quadruple), to add that there is also differentiation between double room (double room with a double bed) and twin room (twin room with two single beds). If the hotel cannot guarantee you that the double room will have specific types of beds, then in the room type description it will be indicated by the term “double/twin”. You may indicate your preference but the service depends on the availability of the date you make the check in.

In a double room you might encounter some variations such as: a double room for single use which in fact is a double room which is offered at a lower price (intermediary usually between standard single and standard double room) for exclusive use by 1 person.

My opinion is that the stars do not guarantee the atmosphere, charm or other subjective criteria that make you remember for a long time afterwards how much you enjoyed your stay at a hotel. That’s why, whenever possible, consult friends whose judgment you trust, and they have stayed in a hotel at the place you plan to visit. It is safer! And then tell US , please! That’s why we’re here! To spread the word …!

The documents you need when traveling abroad

The documents you need when traveling abroad

If you are an EU national, you do not need to show your national ID card or passport when you are travelling from one border-free Schengen EU country to another.

Even if you don’t need a passport for border checks within the Schengen area, it is still always highly recommended to take a passport or ID card with you, so you can prove your identity if needed (if stopped by police, boarding a plane, etc.). Schengen EU countries have the possibility of adopting national rules obliging you to hold or carry papers and documents when you are present on their territory.

Driving licences, post, bank or tax cards are not accepted as valid travel documents or proof of identity.

Under Schengen rules, in extenuating circumstances, where a threat to public policy or national security has been identified Member States are permitted to reintroduce temporary border controls.

Ensure that you have either your ID or passport in your possession when travelling to these countries.  Also bear in mind that even under normal circumstances you may be required to produce one of these documents.

The border-free Schengen area includes: Non-Schengen area includes:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, United Kingdom.

 In addition to the Vatican, San Marino (Italy) and Monaco (in France) that are not EU members but have no border controls and valid for entry into those that apply to members of the Schengen area.

 When travelling to or from a non-Schengen country you must show a valid ID or passport. Before travelling, check what documents you must have to travel outside your home country and to enter the non-Schengen country you plan to visit.

If you are a non-EU national wishing to visit or travel within the EU, you will need a passport:

  • valid for at least 3 months after the date you intend to leave the EU country you are visiting,
  • which was issued within the previous 10 years,

and possibly a visa. You should apply for a visa from the consulate or embassy of the country you are visiting. If your visa is from a Schengen area country, it automatically allows you to travel to the other Schengen countries as well. If you have a valid residence permit from one of those Schengen countries, it is equivalent to a visa. You may need a national visa to visit non-Schengen countries.

Border officials in EU countries may ask for other supporting documents such as an invitation letter, proof of lodging, return or round-trip ticket. For the precise requirements contact the local consular services of the EU country in question.

There are a number of countries whose nationals do not need a visa to visit the EU for three months or less. The list of countries whose nationals require visas to travel to the United Kingdom or Ireland differs slightly from other EU countries.

Travel documents for minors

In addition to their own valid passport or ID card, all children travelling:

  • alone; or
  • with adults who are not their legal guardian; or
  • with only one parent

may need an extra (official) document signed by their parents, second parent or legal guardian(s) authorising them to travel.

There are no EU rules on this matter, each EU country decides whether or not it requires such documents. Check, before the child travels, the requirements of the country you are travelling both from and to:

Bear in mind that, even where a country does not require minors to carry such an authorisation to leave or enter its territory, other countries they transit through may still ask them to show one.

When travelling by air it is highly recommended that you check with the airlines beforehand as many require such authorisations and have their own specific forms for this purpose.

Driving licence recognition and validity

If your driving licence is issued by an EU country, it’s recognised throughout the EU. 

So if you move to another EU country, you won’t usually have to exchange your licence. You can drive in your new country on your current licence as long as:

  • it is valid
  • you are old enough to drive a vehicle of the equivalent category
  • it is not suspended or restricted and has not been revoked in the issuing country.

The categories AM, A1, A2, A, B, BE, B1, C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE are also recognised in other EU countries.

Check the rules and exceptions on driving licence renewal and exchange when moving to another EU country.

Standard format

Since 2013, all driving licences issued in the EU have a standard format – a plastic, credit card-sized photocard, with better security features.

You can still use your old-style licence, but you will be issued with the new format when you renew your existing licence and in any case at the latest by 2033.

Check the EU site about what travel documents you’ll need to cross the border into another EU country

Baggage in aircraft

Baggage in aircraft

Before you travel see that your luggage complies with the regulations.  Check with your airline the rules for how many bags you may check in, the carry-on baggage allowance and for possible related charges depending on the ticket type.

Carry-on luggage

As a general guide, carry-on luggage should have a maximum weight of 8 kg and dimensions of 55 cm length X up to 40cm height X up to 25cm width. These dimensions include wheels, handles, side pockets, etc. You can have 2 pieces of hand luggage (1 carry-on bag and 1  backpack), the second of which is usually free.

Important Remark:

Due to the limited baggage store you may be prompted for the following:

To deliver your carry-on baggage for carriage in the hold of the aircraft, even if it is within the allowable limits, when necessary. This process will be done when you board the aircraft, you will be given a receipt, there will be no transfer fee and you will receive it from the baggage belt at the airport of your destination. In this case, you should take care to remove from your baggage items unsuitable for transportation in the hold (e.g. laptop, cameras etc.) before you hand it in.

To place your hand luggage or laptop bag or your own bag or bags with purchases from airport shops, underneath the front seat you.

If your carry-on is judged oversized when placed in the special context of measurement (baggage sizers) available at all outlets of departure, you will be asked to hand it for transportation in the hold of the aircraft. In this case, you will be given a receipt and you will have to collect it from the baggage belt at the airport of your destination but there will be a corresponding charge in addition to free transport, depending on your ticket. You should take care to remove from your baggage items unsuitable for transportation in the hold (e.g. laptop, cameras etc.) before you deliver.

CAUTION!!!!! It is prohibited to transport objects in carry-ons that can cause injury or bodily harm. In this category belong:

Weapons and generally every object that is, or appears to be capable of firing missile or to injure such as: components of firearms and imitation firearms replicas as air guns games and all kinds of guns and weapons with pellet guns, launchers of each kind, spear guns and stun device, and electric shocks.

Sharp objects of any kind and material, which is able to injure, as: pocketknives, daggers, knives, axes, arrows, scalpels, scissors, and generally any professional or home tool, knitting needles, manicure sets, etc..

Any non-sharp object that is capable of injuring, such as: sports clubs, rods, sticks and all kinds of rackets, paddles, billiard cues, fishing rods, martial arts equipment.

If we carry such objects, they will be withheld from the airport and the company does not bear responsibility for their delivery to the passengers, nor is there a question of compensation in case of loss. The transport of such objects is only allowed in checked baggage.

Transport of liquids in hand luggage of passengers

In accordance with the new European regulation, the quantities of products in liquid form that passengers are allowed to carry in the cabin of the aircraft is limited (e.g. water, drinks and beverages, jellies, creams, ointments, paste, lotions, perfumes, shampoos, hair lacquers, mascara, lip-gloss, toothpaste, shaving foam, spray, wet contact lenses, oil and other objects of similar texture). The rule does not apply to checked in baggage.

Below you will find useful information and guidance for better and faster service to airports which apply this regulation.

What is allowed to transfer in your hand luggage:

Liquids in containers with a capacity of up to 100 ml per container. These packages should fit in one transparent re-sealable plastic bag, maximum capacity 1 litre. Only one such bag is allowed per passenger, which should be closed and will be delivered separately to control hand luggage for examination.

Liquid medicines and food items that you need during your trip may be transported in hand luggage. But you may be asked to prove that they are necessary for the journey.

Items purchased from airport shops (Duty-free). These items should be placed in a special sealed bag, which will be available from these stores and which should not be opened before you checking in your baggage, otherwise the contents may be confiscated at the checkpoint. If you are going to make transit to another EU airport, as well as in Norway, Switzerland and Iceland do not open the bag before the checkpoint at the airport of transit or in the final airport, if you pass more than one transit station. All these liquids are additional to the quantities tendered for in resealable plastic bag.

Some travelers take extra precautions with checked bags–some expensive:

  • To quickly locate their bags at luggage claim, they may fasten flashers/beepers to the outside that they can trigger by a device they carry.
  • Others may place GPS tracking devices inside their luggage that indicate its location–helpful if lost or misrouted.

If your baggage is not delivered at baggage claim, it is important to file a report to the airline or to the relevant airport services before leaving the airport.

For more accurate and up to date information you are kindly requested to visit the official sites of the the relevant airlines.

The European health insurance card

The European health insurance card

 The European health insurance card makes it easier for people from the 27 Member States of the European Union as well as from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have access to healthcare during temporary visits abroad.

 Therefore, if you are going to leave for vacation, business trip or short break or you intend to study abroad, make sure you acquire a card. Doing so will save you time, hassle and money if you fall ill or suffer an injury while abroad.

The card ensures that you will have the same access to public sector health care (e.g. a doctor, a pharmacy, a hospital or a health care centre) as nationals of the country you are visiting. If you need to receive medical attention in a country that imposes charges for healthcare, you will be reimbursed either immediately or after your return to your country. The idea is to offer you the care you need so that you can continue your stay.

However, it is important to remember that the card does not cover your health care expenses while you’re abroad if traveling for the purpose of treatment for illness or trauma that you had before you travel. Also, the card does not cover you for health care providers in the private sector.

Remember that the card is available free from your local health authority.

apps for travellers

apps for travellers

Από τη στιγμή που το κινητό μας έχει γίνει αναπόσπαστο μέρος της καθημερινότητας μας, σίγουρα δεν θα το εγκαταλείψουμε και στα ταξίδια μας. Ειδικά τώρα που μπορεί, όχι μόνο να μας βοηθήσει αλλά και να μας σώσει από δύσκολες καταστάσεις στη διάρκεια των ταξιδιών μας, αποφασίσαμε να σας παρουσιάσουμε 8 δωρεάν εφαρμογές που μπορούν να εγκατασταθούν σε κάθε smartphone ό,τι λειτουργικό και να έχουν (ios, windows, android). Είμαστε σίγουροι ότι και εσείς θα έχετε βρει αντίστοιχες εφαρμογές εφάμιλλες αλλά και καλύτερες. Θα μπορούσατε λοιπόν μας τις υποδείξετε σε ένα σχόλιο σας.

Παρακάτω μπορείτε να δείτε τις εφαρμογές που εμείς επιλέξαμε και δοκιμάσαμε και πιστεύουμε ότι θα σας χρειαστούν στα ταξίδια σας:

Πρόκειται για μια πολύ καλή εφαρμογή που θα σας βοηθήσει να βρείτε ξενοδοχεία σε Ελλάδα και εξωτερικό, με κριτικές από κάθε επισκέπτη που πέρασε από εκεί, αλλά και εξίσου καλές πληροφορίες για εστιατόρια, καφέ, bar, αξιοθέατα και οτιδήποτε έχουν ανακαλύψει ταξιδιώτες πριν από σένα. Η εφαρμογή διαθέτει παραπάνω από 40 εκατομμύρια κριτικές χρηστών, δυνατότητα αναζήτησης πτήσεων και χρεώσεων αεροπορικών εταιρειών, λειτουργία Near Me Now για άμεσο εντοπισμό των ξενοδοχείων, εστιατορίων ή τουριστικών αξιοθέατων που βρίσκονται σε κοντινή απόσταση, καθώς και φωτογραφίες από ξενοδοχεία, εστιατόρια, αξιοθέατα και προορισμούς.

Είναι μια παραπλήσια εφαρμογή με το TripAdvisor. Το είναι διαθέσιμο σε περισσότερες από 40 γλώσσες και προσφέρει πάνω από 2 εκατομμύρια καταλύματα (περιλαμβανομένων παραθεριστικών κατοικιών) σε όλες τις χώρες. Μπορείτε να κάνετε κρατήσεις δωματίων ακόμα και χωρίς χρέωση. Μπορείτε να σχολιάσετε για το ξενοδοχείο ή το κατάλυμα και να βοηθήσετε και άλλους συνταξιδιώτες να διαλέξουν ή να αποφύγουν κακοτοπιές.

Η ονομασία Airbnb είναι ακρωνύμιο του αρχικού ονόματος Airbedandbreakfast. Η αρχική ιδέα γεννήθηκε, όταν τον Οκτώβριο του 2007 έλαβε χώρα στο  Σαν Φρανσίσκο ένα διεθνές συνέδριο σχεδιαστών. Οι τότε συγκάτοικοι Gebbia και Chesky, καθώς δεν μπορούσαν να πληρώσουν το ενοίκιο του διαμερίσματός τους, αποφάσισαν να μετατρέψουν το σαλόνι τους σε ξενώνα bed and breakfast, προσφέροντας σε τρεις συμμετέχοντες του συνεδρίου στέγη, φουσκωτά στρώματα (αέρα) και σπιτικό πρωινό έναντι πληρωμής.

Πρόκειται ουσιαστικά για μια ηλεκτρονική πλατφόρμα, που φέρνει σε επικοινωνία τον οικοδεσπότη με τον πελάτη, ενώ είναι ταυτόχρονα υπεύθυνη για την διεκπεραίωση της διαδικασίας της κράτησης. Η συναλλαγή, κατά την οποία ο επισκέπτης πληρώνει το εκάστοτε ποσό με πιστωτική ή άλλη κάρτα, γίνεται μέσω της πλατφόρμας. Ο οικοδεσπότης παραλαμβάνει το ποσό μόλις 24 ώρες μετά την άφιξη του φιλοξενούμενού του, έτσι ώστε να είναι σίγουρο ότι ο τελευταίος παρέλαβε το κατάλυμα, όπως συμφωνήθηκε. Τα έσοδα της εταιρίας προέρχονται από το ποσοστό που κρατάει εκείνη από κάθε κράτηση που γίνεται.


Μπορείτε να παρακολουθήσετε τις κινήσεις των πτήσεων και να δείτε διάφορες πληροφορίες για την πτήση όπως, το χρόνο αναμονής, καθυστερήσεις. Η  εφαρμογή σας επιτρέπει να παρακολουθείτε ζωντανά την εναέρια κυκλοφορία σε όλο τον κόσμο από την κινητή σας συσκευή σε πραγματικό χρόνο.

Αποτελεί μια metasearch μηχανή αναζήτησης  και ταυτόχρονα μια πολύ αξιόλογη ταξιδιωτική πλατφόρμα, όπου μπορείτε να αναζητήσετε τις φτηνότερες και τις πιο συμφέρουσες για εσάς πτήσεις. Μπορείτε να εξοικονομήσετε χρόνο και χρήμα συνδυάζοντας, εκτός από τις προσφορές των πτήσεων, την κράτηση για το ξενοδοχείο σας ή και την ενοικίαση αυτοκινήτου για οποιονδήποτε προορισμό στον κόσμο, από το κινητό σας. 

XE Currency

Όσο ταξιδεύετε σε χώρες της Ευρωζώνης παντού θα έχετε ευρώ. Αν όμως βρεθείτε σε χώρες εκτός της ζώνης σίγουρα αυτό που θα χρειαστείτε είναι ένας μετατροπέας συναλλάγματος που να περιέχει τα νομίσματα πολλών χωρών και την ισοτιμία τους με το ευρώ την συγκεκριμένη στιγμή.

Το Moovit είναι μια εφαρμογή με την οποία μπορείτε να δείτε σε πραγματικό χρόνο δρομολόγια, αφίξεις και ειδοποιήσεις διαδρομών, των μέσων μαζικής μεταφοράς σε περισσότερες από 1500 πόλεις σε όλο τον κόσμο. Σας βοηθάει να συνδυάσετε διαφορετικά μέσα μεταφοράς για να ταξιδέψετε όχι μόνο μέσα σε πόλεις αλλά και μεταξύ πόλεων. Σας επιτρέπει να δείτε χάρτες διαδρομών, ακόμη και αν επιλέξετε να μετακινηθείτε με τα πόδια, ενώ σας παρέχει τις πληροφορίες και offline σε περίπτωση που δεν έχετε σύνδεση σε δίκτυο. οι χρήστες μπορούν να μοιράζονται τις πληροφορίες μεταξύ τους ώστε πάντα να έχετε όσο το δυνατόν πιο επικυρωμένες πληροφορίες. Η εφαρμογή σας ενημερώνει σε πραγματικό χρόνο τόσο για τις καθυστερήσεις όσο και για τα δρομολόγια, τις αφίξεις αλλά και για διάφορες ειδοποιήσεις διαδρομών, ενώ ταξιδεύετε.

City Maps 2Go

Λεπτομερείς offline χάρτες για πάνω από 250 πόλεις στον κόσμο που περιέχουν και πολλά σημεία ενδιαφέροντος όπως εστιατόρια ,αξιοθέατα, θέατρα κ.ά.