When NOT to Visit Barcelona

by Amy Knauff

I’ve written before about why I love Barcelona in the off-season, but over the years I’ve become adamant that Barcelona should really be avoided during the major events and conferences that are held there annually. This is not a matter of your classic peak season crowds and prices: this is when accommodation owners raise their rates by, like, a zillion euros.

These events sometimes take place during classic “low-season” periods (so really, Barcelona, is hopping throughout the year), but not to worry – they don’t last more than a few days each.

Unfortunately, the price-raising frenzy doesn’t just go for hotels but also for B&Bs and private apartments with normally very reasonable prices – including the ones on Cross-pollinate. Much love to Barcelona, one of my absolute favorite cities, but do yourself a favor and avoid coming during these events if you can:

Formula Uno (F1) – The Formula One Spanish Grand Prix held close to Barcelona each May. https://www.circuitcat.com/en/

Primavera Sound Festival – A huge rock festival that usually takes place in the early summer. https://www.primaverasound.com/

Sonar Festival – A world-famous electronic music festival in mid/late June. https://sonar.es/en/2016/

Mobile World Congress (3GSM) –A conference and the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry, held in February. https://www.mobileworldcongress.com/

There are plenty of other events and local festivals that take place in Barcelona, but these are the biggies. Pick another city if you’ll be traveling during these dates – we have plenty to choose from!

Left Luggage Florence – Where to Store Bags in Florence

We’ve just discovered a service in Florence that stores luggage for you – the only one in the historic center of the city! Just drop your bags off at their location a couple blocks from the Duomo and they’ll securely store the luggage for you and even drop it off for you at your accommodation — or you can pick it up at the same place, if you’re on your way out of the city. It’s open daily and costs €1/hour or €6/day.

Left Luggage Florence
Via de’ Boni 5R
Tel: +39 334 700 7714

 

What to do with leftover foreign coins

It always bugged me that you could only exchange paper money (for a steep fee) after a trip, and got stuck with the coins.

TravelersBox are placing these orange machines in departure gates at airports around the world, which offer a solution for leftover change at the end of your trip. An easy way to deposit foreign coins and bills directly into online products, like PayPal, Skype, iTunes – or you can simply donate it.

Just before you get on the plane back home, hit the TravelersBox machine near the gate, choose where you want the money to go, and the deposit is done.

So far, the machines are available in Turkey (Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara), Milan Italy, and Tbilisi Georgia, with big plans to get them in many more airports.

Sure beats a full jar of mixed coins!

Where to leave bags for the day in Rome

When you rent a vacation rental it can often be a problem what to do with your bags before you can check in (usually around 3pm) and after you check out (normally around 11am) when you’re leaving the city later in the day.  I just discovered this service, near Termini station, that will not only store your bags for a small fee, but they’ll come and collect them at any point in Rome (station, B&B, apartment, etc) and will deliver them to you where you need them next.

Bags Free
Via del Castro Pretorio, 32
email:  info@bags-free.com
(+39) 366 26 76 760 (office hours are 8:00am to 8:00pm every day, holidays included)

The Food Police – Special Unit (episode 1)

Bad food is a crime! The new head of the Food Police has reports of tourists in Rome are getting ripped off. Watch the MB trio go undercover to collect evidence and show you what to look out for to avoid falling into a tourist trap.

Food Police – Special Unit (episode 1) from Cross-Pollinate Travel on Vimeo.