Cruising your way to profit

Cruising your way to profit

 Hello fellow travelers, it’s time for your weekly dose of tips to profit with your travel.  

Today we are discussing another great way for you to make extra revenue with your trip. And have you ever thought about using hand2hand while on board a beautiful cruise ship? 

 

 

Cruises are actually another great way to either answer to product requests from our members or to put products up for sale. 

Picture this, while on board a cruise ship you typically are going from port to port, where there are many products that you can actually only find locally. On a week, you can go to as many as 5 or 6 different ports, allowing you to make quite a collection of products that you can sell when you get back home. 

 The Best way to use hand2hand on a cruise ship 

 Well the best way for you to use hand2hand on a cruise ship is of course to plan ahead. 

When you first arrive on your ship, grab the plan for the whole trip and check hand2hand if there are any requests for specific products from those locations. 

 

 

Quick note, if you haven’t download hand2hand you can do it  HERE.

If there are requests for products of those locations you should start by bidding ahead on the price and time for the delivery. This way you can make sure another member accepted your bid and when you arrive to the port you already know what should look for. 

Another great tip is to ask the cruise staff for what typically are the products you can find on all the ports you are visiting.  

Cruise staff spend a lot of their time hoping from port to port and are the ones that have the best knowledge of the best stores to get the best prices and also what are the must have products of that said port. 

This allows you to also plan ahead what are the products you should definitely be looking for when you arrive at a Port, and also raising your possibilities of selling that product. 

 

 

Do have in to account that time at the ports is limited and you should know beforehand what is the time your cruise leaves, after all you don’t want to be left behind. 

From our experience cruising, we recommend you either ask the staff at the cruise or the guides (if you are going on an excursion), on which are the closest stores to make the most of your time. 

Also check with the cruise staff what are the allowed quantities of each type of product you can bring back with you. We do know the quantities of each product are higher that the one’s you can carry with you on a plane, however you should just check with them just to make sure. 

 How to earn the extra profit  

If you remember a while back we did an entire blog entry about haggling which you can read HERE.

Check if in the port area you are travelling to, it is customary to haggle.  

This allows you to run an extra profit if you are bringing requested products or allows you to sell a product much lower than it would normally be, increasing the chances of someone back home actually wanting it. 

Another great way to maximize your profit is if the port is a free tax zone, such as the Canary Islands, this allows to buy products with no taxes attached to it and also flip a pretty profit. 

Another great way to maximize your profit is if you happen to travel to a distant port. There are some exclusive products in these locations that you can’t find anywhere else in the world, not even online! 

 

 

So, the more exclusive and distant that item is from anyone, the better it is for you and also the more profit you can flip to your side. 

 The Day at Sea 

From our experience, there is always one day at sea you spend aboard your cruise ship per week, beside relaxing and contemplating the open ocean, you can also use this day to check your app and see if any other requests came up. 

Also, the extra time will allow you to make further research in to what are the next must have products available at the ports you are visiting next, and of course increasing your chances of actually selling them. 

What to do after your cruise 

Ok so you sold a few products, and also won the bid for a couple of product requests. What now? 

Well that’s simple, each time someone buys a product from you or accepts your bid for a product request, you type a date and place to make the delivery. Also, a chat pops up, allowing you to reschedule with the person you are dealing with in case you got delayed on your way back home or something came up. 

Well I hope you enjoyed our tips about cruising and using hand2hand. As you just saw cruising is actually a great way to profit with your travel. 

Being for the different locations with exotic local products you are travelling to, tax free zones or where haggle is a must. 

We hope you have fun cruising your way to profit. 

Stay awesome! 

 

The hand2hand Team  

Roaming the hostel world with Hand2Hand

Roaming the hostel world with Hand2Hand

Nowadays, we are living in a golden age for travelling. Never was it so easy for a traveler to cover the whole world on a shoestring budget. Actually, you CAN travel for free but, granted, you’ll often feel deprived. If you’re not in the mood to be always wondering where your next meal or ride will come from then this is not for you. Let’s focus then on some solutions that allow you to cover your expenses while travelling.

Have a go at hostels

Hostels are a generally very informal, budget-friendly lodging place, where guests are invited to share resources. Usually offer both dormitory style as well as private rooms. Being accessible options, they cater especially to young people but not exclusively.

 

 

Depending on the location, they might offer different events and social activities to their guests, organized by hostels themselves or local partners.

Hostels have become spread around the world as travelling becomes more and more accessible for the average individual in many countries. They offer a down-to-earth option for lodging seeked by a lot of people.

Hostels usually keep it low cost by cutting in services usually done by personnel in hotels. Frequently, the owner can be the only hostel staff and other seasonal needs are covered by temporary workers.

Usually, hostel job availability is related to weather and the season. Your chances will increase if you get there just before peak season, before everyone else.

Hostels trade work for accommodation and free or discounted meals (and drinks). One can earn some extra cash through commissions from promoting tours, excursions or other events at local bars, restaurants and shops.
One should not expect to get a wage though it is possible. It is for someone looking to extend their stay somewhere and looking for a minimal cost of living while abroad, since you eliminate most of the expenses of travelling.

Also, you get to know people from all over the world and will get to practice your language skills.

Be social

You may get along really well with the hostel staff and manage to nab yourself a job but don’t always count on that as a given.

Create a CV

Though the option above definitely happens often, if you plan to cover a lot of the hostel circuit, it might be a better option to invest some effort into creating a especially crafted CV than to approach the hostel manager directly and expecting a click to eventually happen, all of a sudden. It will be way more effective as it will allow you to apply for jobs in advance.
In this regard, Travel Weekly have shared their ten tips to set up a CV fit for the travel industry. Are you unsure whether too much travelling (is that even a problem?) will make a dent on your CV? In this article, you can figure out how to make travel look good on your CV.

Things to Consider Before Applying

Eligibility to work abroad

Confirm you are eligible to work in a given country you intend to visit. To be able to work in Europe, for instance, will require either a European passport or a working visa. Not having either will put you in a tougher position and you might very well have a hard time applying online.
However, that might not be too much of an obstacle and you may very well land an informal, cash-in-hand job or as a volunteer.

What type of person are you?

Are you a 24-hour party animal or a more introspect kind of person? Maybe you’d prefer to do a bit of soul-searching at a surf hostel instead of leading drinking games amongst guests. Be sure to give a thought about this before applying and feeling out of place afterwards.

How good are your language skills?

Having a good command of English is most definitely a must-have in many countries when the moment of hiring people comes in. However, having at least some conversational skills in the local language may well be required in some places.

What other skills do you have to trade?

For sure, the most important skills you can feature, applying for a job at a hostel are being flexible, open-minded and, of course, hospitable. However, you can boost the chances of landing a job if you happen to have other skills useful to the hostel in the long run. If you have worked in hospitality, restaurants/bars, or customer service, you most likely are able to interact with other people with a friendly attitude.

 

 

Make sure to mention if you have had experience with reception, cash handling, cleaning or other directly related experience. Also, social media management, filmmaking or photography will make you a great asset to have on board. You can bet you’ll play very different roles during your worktime:

  • Reception (checking users in and out and providing information and local directions);
  • Socializing with Guests;
  • Cleaning;
  • Bartending/Serving;
  • Promoting/Planning Events.

Search for Jobs Online

If instead of wandering around, applying to random jobs as they pop up, you want to live for a while in a given place, you’ll need a more pro-active attitude.

A good place to start your job hunt is HostelWorld. You can filter the hostels by city and go through ratings and descriptions to find hostels you’d like to work in. You’ll get the contact info, directions and links to their respective websites, where you can reach them. If they don’t a website, maybe you can trade a brand-new one for accommodation? Send a short, concise email with your CV and ask them if there are any vacancies available.

Other good options for people looking for paid jobs are:

For people looking for work-exchange instead:

Some Facebook groups also bring together people looking for jobs and hostel managers/staff. Some examples are:

Don’t forget: to have success finding work you need to network and get yourself out there!

If you follow the route described above, be sure to try out Hand2Hand!

Hand2Hand offers yet a new way for travelers to earn extra money with little effort.
All one needs is a smartphone, some time and bargaining skills. Found some interesting local item? Do you have access to expensive, in high-demand, items? Look no further: take some photos and post some offers on Hand2Hand, to be delivered on your next destination.

You can also pick the most relaxed approach and just have a look at which products people on your next destinations are requesting. Bid on as many products as you wish on price and date of delivery. After being notified about the buyer having paid the price you set up, pick the item and you’ll get the funds transferred to you, after meeting the buyer and delivering the items.

Without much effort, you can easily get enough pocket money to extend your stay at your next destinations. What are you waiting for? Download Hand2Hand here and give it a spin!

Till next time,
the Hand2Hand team

Top 10 visited cities in the world

Top 10 visited cities in the world

Today, we’re getting round the 10 most visited cities in the world, in 2016.

 

10. Barcelona

 

The city of Modernism is the major hub in the Mediterranean and many cruise lines start their itineraries from this city. Many are inclusively headquartered in Barcelona.

Every year, about 2.7 million visitors come to start their cruise travel here.  Considered one of the best cities to live worldwide, it is a reference in terms of architecture and urban planning. Also, it holds some of most important and influential art collections in the world (from artists such as Miró, Tapies, Picasso, Dalí). The Sagrada Familia (still in construction) is one of the most impressive constructions in the world and the most known gem of Gaudí genious, whose work is present everywhere in this city (Casa Milà, Casa Battlò, Park Guell).

 

9. Hong Kong

 

British colony until 1996, Hong Kong is the rebel child of China. A lot of its inhabitants manage to successfully mix Western civilization with Chinese millennial traditions. It holds the headquarters of many financial institutions and works as a bridge between East and West. It is one of the safest cities in the world. Also one of the most expensive. However, being a hub between mainland China and the rest of SE Asia makes it a go-to area for great businesses.

 

8. Kuala Lumpur

 

Home to the Petronas towers, Kuala Lumpur is close to Singapore. In fact, it’s not unusual for inhabitants of both countries to have round-trips to their neighbour to shop around for some cheaper products. The city is an important business hub.

 

7. Singapore

 

The city-state of Singapore actually is made of 63 islands, with paradise landscape and endless sandy beaches. Singapore is a hodge-podge of influences, which is manifested in the 4 official languages – English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. This results in a rich gastronomy. Singapore is a major hub of logistics in SE Asia and a financial centre.

 

6. The pearl of the Bosphorus

 

On the crossroad between East and West, Istanbul has seen, through ages, empires grow and collapse. Previously known as Constantinople and, later, as Bizantium, it was the capital of the Eastern Roman and Ottoman Empires. It’s a place of confluence of religions, philosophies, warriors and traders. Despite the recent political instability, Istanbul continues to draw millions of visitors every year. Some of its landmarks are Saint Sophia Church, the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace.

 

5. The city that never sleeps

 

New York City was visited by 12.75 million people in 2016. The archetype of the modern skyscraper city is, indeed, a melting-pot of numerous communities, each contributing with products from Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East or Asia.

 

4. Built to impress

 

Dubai comes next in our list, which might sound a bit odd. How can one city, build amid the desert, where until 30 years nothing existed, become a beacon of modernity in the Middle East and one of the most visited cities in the world? Well, everything in Dubai is, indeed, built to dazzle. The home of Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world, with 829.8 meters high) attracts a growing number of visitors, especially amongst business travelers. Also, it features an enormous community of expats, as the country lacks qualified resources and needs to import most of its workforce. Dubai is definitely synonymous with ostensive luxury and you’ll find there pretty much you can imagine. Also, the souks (traditional markets) offer a wealth of products from across the Persian Gulf (spices, jewellery).
In 2016, Dubai was visited by 15.27 million visitors.

 

 3. “We’ll always have Paris”

 

The famous line from the film Casablanca lives on. More than 18.03 million visited the City of Lights last year. From the gridlocks with promises of eternal love on Pont Neuf to the accordion player near the Louvre playing Edith Piaf, everything in this city evoques romance. Known worldwide as a symbol of glamour and sophistication but also the birthplace of many revolutions, Paris definitely holds a place of its own in the minds of everyone.

In Paris, you can find all the excellence and sophistication of French products – haute-couture, the cheese, the wines…

 

2. The Crown Jewel

 

Next in the list is London. Last year, roughly 19.88 million people visited this vibrant city. It’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of events and things this city has to offer. Despite being one the most expensive cities in the world, you can bump into numerous bargains and all sorts of exclusive products. Also, the city boasts an impressive number of free museums, ranked amongst the best in the world, such as the British Museum. So, even a traveler on a short budget (well, sort of) can have a great taste of London.

 

1. Bangkok

 

The first rank in the list is Bangkok, featuring an exotic culture, with 21.47 million visitors last year. Also, it boasts an intense nightlife, namely on Khaosan Road and Patpong. You can visit the Buddhist temples of Wat Ardun and Wat Pho, built in the 17th century.

Another highlight of the city are the floating markets such as Damnoen Saduak or Amphawa, where, side-by-side with luscious food products, you can also find a large collection of handcrafted products (which we’ll definitely talk about in a next article). 

Oh and don’t forget to start profiting with your travels all you have to do is download our iPhone App here!

Stay Amazing,

The Hand2Hand Team.

 

Paris on a Budget

Paris on a Budget

Paris on a Budget

One of the things that propelled me to create this business is that I love travelling. Travelling really works a balm for the mind and makes you more appreciative.
A few years ago, me and my girlfriend went on a trip to France. We recall it fondly as it was my first trip abroad without my family. I was really excited and didn’t quite know what to expect. We filled our backpacks and one giant bag with stuff we were certain we’d need at some point.

The plan

The plan was to take a flight to Basel and, from there, a train to Strasbourg (about 120 km). We’d meet there a friend of ours, who was doing her Erasmus exchange. The trip took forever and arrived at Strasbourg at night.
Strasbourg has been through a lot and you can see that the city (and the whole Alsace region) has been pushed back and forth between France and Germany. Street names mix French and German, architecture style (though mostly Gothic) have small nuances between periods.
We had a great time at Strasbourg thanks to our friend and visited lots of very cool places, taking advantage of her tips. Also, we ate almost always at student cafeterias, so that saved us a LOT of money.
On the day of our departure to Paris, it had snowed during the night. That was my first time seeing snow in my life and I felt delighted, looking outside from our window at the student dorm. Previously, we had bought discounted TGV tickets (on SNCF’s website) to Paris.
Roughly two hours later, we arrived at Gare du Nord, in Paris. I remember the moment the train opened – after a long period of silence and darkness approaching the station – and we were sensorially overwhelmed with all the noise, the people, the pigeons flying randomly around inside the station.

Where to stay

We went straight for a hostel recommended by one of our newly-made acquaintances but soon realized it was not so great. We stayed there for another day but looked up for an alternative at an Internet café. Had some phone calls, checked prices and availabilities and we were off. The new hotel was very small but very cosy and just opposite the Hôtel de Ville (the city hall) – Hôtel Rivoli (on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/9MB8Nt). You couldn’t get any more central than that. And for that price, it was a bargain.

How to move around

To move around, we used the Métro, which has stations literally in every street. You can get a pass here, for a whole week, which will give you access to the full RATP network. Also, we walked a LOT. We also used the bicycle sharing system, which requires a credit card or a valid RATP network card. In the beginning, there was a shortage of docking stations but nowadays it’s just fine. Riding a bike along the Seine is just a wonderful experience – even more now, since some streets became pedestrian-only. You won’t regret it!

Go on a free tour

We decided to go on a Sandeman’s free tour and it was a very well spent hour and a half. We went through a lot of historical sites and got to know the context binding them all while, at the same time, got invaluable tips to avoid most tourist traps. All in all, afterwards you get to see the rest of the city with new eyes and keep connecting the dots wherever you are. Highly recommended and we’ve kept going on free tours ever since (Sofia, London, Barcelona…).

What to see

The Louvre is a must-see. A warning, though: it is ENOURMOUS. You’ll probably get more out of it if you just select some areas to visit in detail and skip the rest. There’s just TOO MUCH to see.
We learned that if go to the Louvre between 6 PM – 8 PM, on Wednesdays, you can get in for a fraction of the price. This might give you an extra chance to get a better look at some part of the collection.

We went to the Musée d’Orsay and were amazed to witness the number of masterpieces present there. It was funny to be in front of such an iconic piece as the Mona Lisa (or rather behind a huge crowd of Asians armed with cameras) and contrast its tiny size but incredible appeal with a gigantic painting in the opposite wall going totally unnoticed!

Standing below the Eiffel Tower was nothing short than impressive. To have that massive mesh of metal above your head and to think it was made by man is such a humbling thought. The climb, though, is not for the faint of heart. The elevator doors open and you get a glacial wind pushing you around. The view, however, is unforgettable.

If you just want unlimited access to over 50 museums and monuments in Paris, without waiting in line, you can buy a pass here.

We strolled around Montmartre and loved how it felt like a small village within the city. Lots of small, inviting cafés and little markets sprawling in some streets. Some artists exposed their work, from paintings to small sculptures. Some amateurs, other utterly brilliant. If you manage, have a look around and select beautiful artwork, snap pictures of it on your phone and post it on Hand2Hand’s app (available here). You never thought selling art could be this casual!

Anyway, forget guides. Ask local people and you shall find the best places and the best bargains. And don’t forget to take Hand2Hand with you wherever you go! You’ll be amazed at how easy has just become travelling and making business!

Digital Nomad Lifestyle meets Hand2Hand

Digital Nomad Lifestyle meets Hand2Hand

Digital Nomads & Hand2Hand

What’s this “Digital Nomad” thing?

For many, the Internet is an opportunity to combine work and travelling the world. Though there are lots of different types, a common trait of digital nomads is that they spend at least a few months of the year abroad, changing destinations frequently (from every few weeks to up to 6 months) and earning a living while working remotely.

Often used interchangeably, “digital nomad” and “location independent” are, however, not one and the same thing. Truth is, not every digital nomad is able to afford living and working anywhere in the world.

Made popular by authors such as Tim Ferriss (“The 4-hour work week”) and others, it has been trending in the last few years, with an ecosystems starting to flourish around it – from work hubs to startup retreats, not to mention the numerous communities born so far (such as nomadlist.io).

What skills do I need to have?

At first, you might think you have no chance of joining this group of professionals working remotely, as your line of work isn’t exactly fit for the digital nomad. Then you might need to refocus/retrain on another field but if you work in engineering, legal sector, marketing – among others –  it’s pretty easy to go remote/distributed. In the end, it’s up to you to decide if this trade-off is worth it, when deciding to become a digital nomad.

Is it for everyone?

Probably not. Working remotely fits best with people with a more pro-active profile and quite autonomous.

Coordinating yourself with a client thousands of kilometers away is not trivial, even more so if native languages and cultures are different.

Communication is key, so if you are a hermit you can forget about it. You need to assert yourself to keep track of time and requirements, so you don’t end up burning out.

Working as a freelancer, you also need to take care of everything by yourself, from marketing to accounting. It’s may get exhausting, hence it’s best if you manage to build a reputation first and get people to come to you for projects, instead of the other way round.

Pros

  1. Escape the Winter

This point will definitely resonate with Northern Europeans. Long, cold winters with scarce sunlight and depressing moods can be avoided altogether by just moving to the other hemisphere throughout the winter months. You can, for sure, never get to see a chilling day ever again in your life and get almost 365 days a year of sunny weather. Granted, this will have a huge influence in your mood.

Save money

When you no longer have to worry about affording a rent, paying for utilities or commuting, suddenly a large chunk of your income can now be saved. Taking advantage from living in a country with a lower cost of life, you can leverage that difference and get more bang for your buck – from meals to lodging and other services. Why spend money on a washing machine if you only use it once a week, right? That also gets to stay in your pocket.

From many nomads’ experience, in many countries (namely, SE Asia), $1000 will get you a long way.

Do things you love

Why wait until you retire to do the things you’d like to do when you were younger. Being a digital nomad allows you to better manage your free time and just take a chance to do things you’d hardly do in your home town.

Embrace minimalism

A consequence of adopting this nomad lifestyle is reducing your luggage over time. You start realizing what is indeed useful and what is a burden on your shoulders (literally). Eventually, you reduce all your belongings to a backpack (and, possibly, a few boxes archived at someone’s storage, at home). It’s not really about not owning stuff, but rather about not becoming attached to it. You appreciate things for what they are.

Boost your creativity

Sometimes, changing your work environment can do wonders to get those creative juices flowing, just by stimulating your senses with colours, sounds and textures. Also, seeing first-hand how people in other countries cope with various situations will inspire you with new business ideas.

Make new friends

Introverts might struggle with this but, at some point, you’ll flick a switch and find out that you’ll need to mingle with others who you meet during your travels. No one’s an island and the sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be.

Discover new cultures

Trying to learn a new language at home will only take that far. Trying to learn it from locals, driven by need, will take you much farther. Seeing how people in other countries appreciate all facets of life will carve a dent on you, for sure. You’ll likely re-evaluate many things you considered a given.

Work less/smarter

The 9-5 paradigm is often a drain on the body and mind and a bad fit for many jobs. According to many studies, after 6 hours of work, your productivity drops sharply. So, you find yourself clicking through browser tabs and drifting away, for example. When you have the power to define your work methods, you might find that working less hours is not only possible but also more effective.

A trend also rising recently (and explained in Tim Ferriss’s book mentioned above) is outsourcing a lot of work to so-called virtual assistants. Even you don’t go this route, you can indeed delegate tasks to other people and focus on selling a product. Platforms such as freelancer.com and Upwork provide a way to reach out to freelancers worldwide – for a whole range of skills –  and build up a team.

Cons

You’ll want to settle down

Though you might think you could go on traveling for the rest of your days, it’s likely that a day will come where you’ll need to set up a home base, either on your country of origin or elsewhere. If you don’t get the machine rolling (either by establishing yourself as a reputed professional or by getting your own online business), you might get a hard time re-adapting. But then again, this too shall pass.

If your goal is just to travel, don’t go all-in

Working and traveling at the same time might be great if it fits your profile, otherwise it may be a somewhat stressful experience. If your main reason to want to become a digital nomad is to travel, maybe you’d be better off just taking your backpack and traveling for a year, living off savings or odd-jobs here and there than to dive straight into the digital nomad ecosystem.

How can I start?

  1. Organize your “exit strategy”. Plan how you intend to cover your expenses while traveling and make sure you have somewhat of a emergency fund.
  2. Get in touch with fellow nomads and show up at events! Network! In order to be successful, you really need to market yourself in an appropriate way! Don’t underestimate the human factor. Meetup is great for this.
  3. Create an online presence (Twitter, Linkedin, your own website) and, if applicable, a portfolio (Dribbble, if you’re into design; GitHub, if you’re into software development).
  4. Get a blog and share tidbits of your knowledge with other people. Build a reputation.
  5. Sign up on platforms such as freelancer.com, Upwork and many others.
  6. If possible, create a co-op with other fellow nomads who might complement each other’s skills. Divide weaknesses, multiply strengths.
  7. Above all, take action.

Think you got no skills? Don’t worry – try Hand2Hand!

Hand2Hand brings another way for digital nomads to set up shop and get another easy revenue source. One can take advantage of local products and gauge demand for them in Hand2Hand’s marketplace by submitting a sale offer. Then, use the immense power of haggling (Haggle your way to profit) to increase your margin. Or one can just take the lazy approach and bid for a specific product requested on one of your destinations.

Just pick it up somewhere and bring it with you. But first make sure you can cross the border with it!

Download the app (Hand2Hand) and spruce up your profile. Next, insert your next travels. Now, you’ll be able to check requests for your next destinations. What are you waiting for? It was never this easy to travel and profit at the same time!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and send us your comments / suggestions!

 

Haggle your way to profit

Haggle your way to profit

Ok, so by now should at least have a feel for what the Hand2Hand App is all about.

For the ones that still have not had the chance to check it out do go here: Hand2Hand. Download our App today and get yourself onboard the Global Hand2Hand Borderless Marketplace!

Ok so the question that should be rising on your mind is:  why are we discussing haggling today?

Well hand2hand allows you not only to request products from around the world, it also allows you to snap a picture of any product you find on your travels and put it for sale instantly.

So, the principle is you are in this foreign market and you can simply take a picture, input a short description, designate a date where it will be possible for you to make the delivery. And Voilá you are set.

We do recommend doing this in the first days of your trip/vacation so you can have time to go back to that special place and get that one of a kind product you can only find locally.

A couple of days and someone should be interested in buying your product. They confirm the payment and will be upholded until you meet the person and complete the delivery yourself.

And this is where haggle comes in!

As soon as someone click the buy button you know the payment is coming through. Time to get those haggling skills out of your pocket and start making a bigger profit of your product sale.

The origins of Haggling:

 Haggling has been present in most commercial transactions since the dawn ot time.

From the time where good where exchanged directly for other products, for salt or even latter with the coin system being implemented. Haggling was always present!

Actually, haggling is still today considered an essential part of the culture of several countries around the world.

Asian Countries like Thailand and Indonesia, Latin American countries like the Dominican Republic, African countries and Arab countries expect that you haggle for the marked or asked price of a product.

It is expected that you have in to account that the initial price is much higher than the price you are supposed to pay in the end.

In some countries like Thailand not haggling is even considered and offence to the local merchant as it is part of the sale process.

Normally you go to a shop either ask you see the marked price of a product swipe your card on take out a few bills, and get the product.

Well haggling is not that straightforward and it actually is a much more selling experience.

The thrill of getting a product for a 1/10 of the initial asked price get your blood pumping and makes you feel good about yourself.

Also, the seller is completely fine with this procedure and of course you should investigate if its customary to haggle prices in the country you are travelling to.

But let me shed a few tips on the whole haggling procedure.

The Haggling procedure:

Haggling is not a science, it has no strict rules but should be guided by some common sense.

It is customary for the Haggling to start by asking the price of a product.

You should then wave your head in discordance with the price and wait a little for the seller to either give you a lower asking price or simply, or expect him to ask you for how much would you buy the product for.

From my previous experiences the goal is always to offer less than half the initial asked price. This will allow you to enter the haggling process and start bidding and hearing counter biddings until you both come to an agreement and kind of meet in the middle.

The different tactics of Haggling:

Ok so haggling is not a science but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a few hackings to make you stretch your profit. Let me share a few with you.

The “I’m not interested approach”:

This technique is really simple. You just walk to the person ask the price, and as soon as they tell you the price you simply say “I’m not interested” and slowly walk away in the direction of another shop.

The seller knows he hasn’t much time until you fall on the claws of another seller that will try to sell whatever he has there. So he will most likely talk about a price 1/3 of the initial asked price, or let you lower the price yourself.

The “He is the man he knows”:

Ok I know this may seem like a macho approach, but actually is quite effective if you are traveling with your partner.

In several countries the man is still seen as the one that has the obligation to take care of negotiations, and haggling is one of those negotiations.

So the key here is to have your female partner to go ahead as look at the product you both want. She lets the seller do the initial conversation, give her a price and even let him give her a counter offer. That’s when you step in and she starts speaking with you in your own language. You make a sign that it’s too expensive and that she already bought a similar item for example. What we are making here is the seller to feel that he either lowers the price so that the man can make the woman happy or the sale is gone.

The “I bought that in my country much cheaper”

Last but not least this is a classic. By referring that you can actually get a for example a Buddha price for a much lower price back in your country will allow you to take the seller off guard and allow for you the reach a better price for that statue.

So, as you see if you plan out the products you want to sell in the begging of your vacation or travel, and work on your Haggle, that you can flip a profit that will allow you to make some good extra cash for when you get back home!

I hope this guide in to haggling was useful to you.

Hand2Hand is available now on iOS do download our app here: Hand2Hand

Stay Awesome,

The Hand2Hand Team

 

The Hand2Hand Global Marketplace

The Hand2Hand Global Marketplace

Hello from Hand2Hand, you awesome you!

Today marks the culmination of many months of hard work.

From the time, we met on a coffee shop here in Lisbon with an idea in a scratched paper to the launch of our App. It’s hard to believe only 8 months have passed since we embarked on this epic journey, and that we made Hand2Hand a reality.

And yes, we did it! We are truly excited to share with you the #hand2hand Global Borderless Marketplace available to download now on the App Store: Hand2Hand

But let me tell you all about the wonderful things that Hand2Hand enables you to do as both a traveler and as a consumer.

Requesting a product through Hand2Hand

Hand2hand lets you request any product that you might possibly want, from all the corners of the earth.Is it a cool gadget, fine cigars, perfumes, clothing, fashion accessories, traditional masks, smartphones, you name it!

You just have to upload a picture of your desired travel goods, input a short description, time for the delivery and base price.

After that travelers from all around the world can start bidding on your base price for both dollars and time of the delivery.

You as a consumer can choose whatever suits you best. It might make sense to pay 100$ for that amazing bottle of Wine if I get in 2 days in time of my Saturday dinner. But, again I might not mind the time and pay 70$ to get it here next week.

After you have chosen the traveler that meets your needs, you make a secure payment via PayPal. The total amount will be upholded, until you meet the traveler and make sure the product is in good condition.

You can then unlock the payment to the traveler and be on your both ways with another successful transaction executed.

Oh, and do leave each other a review, it will be important for future sales 😉

We do advise both travelers and consumers to meet in public places in normal hours.

Selling a product through Hand2Hand

 

Ah but let’s say I’m a traveler and I stumble on my trip, on that awesome product that I would like to sell?

Easy one, Hand2Hand allows you to take out your phone, snap a picture of that lovely Buddha statue and put it up for sale instantly to the place you are flying back to.

So, when I arrive home I can meet the buyer, let him have a look at the condition of the product and unlock the payment on the spot.

One quick tip, when traveling to some countries it is possible to Haggle prices. We do recommend you check the country traditions and if it is possible to Haggle price there.

All you have to do is snap a picture of a product you think it could sell in the beginning of your trip. After a couple of days, you should have an offer, then it’s up to you to put on your best smile and haggle your way to great profit!

We will cover this topic on a future blog post in the coming weeks.

 The Global Borderless Marketplace

 

Hand2hand is the marketplace that allows you to:

  • Request any product in the world;
  • Receive bids of price and time of delivery;
  • Make a secure payment;
  • Secure payment only unlocked when you confirm the delivery from the traveler;
  • Allows travelers to snap a picture of any product they find on their travelers and put it up for sale instantly;
  • With Chats you can always be in touch with your traveler.

If you have the need to change your delivery or have any doubt about a product just drop a message to the other user with our Chats feature. So, will you be a specialized traveler with a category or top product that you know you can flip for a great revenue stream?

Or are you perhaps seeking that one of a kind product, bargain, innovative solution, or local product you simply can’t get where you live

Or are you simply stressing for having to wait a month for a product that could be here in a week or less!

The double-sided marketplace approach of Hand2Hand allows consumer to buy securely, travelers to sell freely, and all with the necessary security that enables both parties to be and feel safe.

In all cases, don’t forget to download our iOS App if you haven’t already: Hand2Hand

We promise we are working hard to bring Hand2Hand to Android and we can just say 2018 is going to be a great early year!

Do keep following our Blog, and very soon we will be launching our Newsletter which you will have access If you register in our App, and we promise it will be loaded with cool content!

And last but not least, we want to say to all the people that have been helping us turn our dream in to reality we thank you deeply and know the future ahead is bright!

Anyway, if you manage to go through all the text, we do have to thank you for your interest. We do promise that there will be regular updates rolling the next weeks and months.

Stay awesome and have a blast profiting with your travels, or buying the world to you!

The Hand2Hand team

 

Masks of the World – Masks of the Balinese Gods

Masks of the World – Masks of the Balinese Gods

Hello everyone, at Hand2Hand we are on the right track to unleash our App to the world this September! We are very excited and in the near future will be sharing a lot more information.

In the mean time we continue our Masks of the World blog series with our second entry – The Masks of the Balinese Gods.

We hope you enjoy it and that it inspires you to use bring to me to get that one of a kind art from all around the globe.

 

The Origin of the Balinese Mask

Masks have been used in Topèng, a type of performance know as a mask drama that is an important genre in Bali.

Originating in the beginning of the 15th Century, Topèng have been used for both religious and traditional performances since the creation of the Balinese mask drama. According to history records, the Balinese mask drama tradition expanded from tribe to tribe, fueled by the tribal dances in Indonesia.

These tribal dances were meant to honor the Gods and ancestors. Dancers wore these masks to play the part of messengers of the gods. Balinese tradition states that each mask is a sacred object that demands it´s bearer the deepest respect and caution while wearing it.

Each Balinese village has its own mask, or Barong, that acts as a symbolic guardian.

Barong the Guardian

 

 

Barong is a lion like creature and character in the Balinese mythology. He is the king of spirits, leader of the legions of good, and enemy of the Rangda, the demon queen and mother of all spirit guarders.

The battle between Barong and Rangda is pictured in the Barong dance to represent the eternal battle between good and evil.

The term barong derives from the local term bahruang, which nowadays corresponds to the Indonesian word beruang which means bear. It refers to a good spirit, that took the form of an animal as the guardian of the forest.

In Balinese mythology, the good spirit is known as Banas Pati Raja. He is the fourth brother or spirit child that accompanies a child throughout their life like a guardian angel.

Banas Pati Raja is the spirit that animates the Barong . A protector spirit that is often represented as a lion that is accompanied by two monkeys.

The Barong is portrayed as a lion with read head, covered in white thick fur, and wearing jewelry adorned with pieces of mirros.

The origins of the Barong have been lost trough time. It’s origins could be from animisworship, before Hinduism appeared, at the time villagers still believed in the supernatural protective power of animals.

 

Calon Arang

 

 

On the opposite Rangda is Barong’s evil counterpart. While Barong represents good, Rangda is the encarnation of evil.

Rangda is known as a demon queen, the incarnation of Calon Arang, the legendary Witch that wreaked havoc in ancient Java during the reign of Airlangga in the 10th century. It is said that Calon Arang was a widow, powerful in the arts of black magic, who often destroyed farmer’s crops and spreaded diseases. She had a daughter called Ratna Manggali, who, though beautiful, could not get a husband because all the people were terrified of her mother. Calon arang became angry with the difficulties of her daughter finding a husband and took reveng by kidnapping a young girl. The girl was brought to a temple to be sacrificed to the goodess Durga. The following day, a great flood engulfed the village and many people died.

King Airlangga, who heard what happened, asked his advisor, Empu Bharada, to deal with the offense. Empu Bharada sent his disciple, Empu Bahula, to be married to Ratna. Both were married with a huge feast that lasted seven days and seven nights, and all returned to normal.

The witch Calon Arang had a book containing magic incantations. One day this book was found by Empu Bahula who turned it over to it´s master Empu Bharada.

As soon as Calon found out the book was stolen, she became angry and deciced to fight Empu Bharada. Without the help of Durga, Calon was defeted.

Since her defeat, the village was protected from her evil black magic.

Rangda

 

 There is also another version of events that holds Ranga linked with the queen Mahendradatta or Gunapriyadharmapatni, a Javanese princess sister of Dharmawangsa of East Javanese Isyana Dynasty of late Medang Kingdom period.

Mahendradatta was the queen consort of the Balinese king Udayana and Airlannga’s own mother.

She is known for her devotion to the worship of Durga in Bali.

History records tell us that Mahendradatta mother of Airlangga was condemned by Airlanggas’s father because she was a fan of the black magical arts.

After she became a widow, humiliated and enraged with her ex-husband’s court and whole of his kingdom. She summoned all the evil spirit from the jungle. The leyaks and the demons that caused plague and death were spread upon the kingdom. Airlangga faced his own mother to save the kingdom. Airlannga was overpowered by her legion of evil black magic hosts. Airlannga had to ask for the help of the spirit king, the Barong in order to defeat her.

Barong came in Airlangga’s aid, and helped defeat the evil Rangda.

They battled for days, casting incantation after incantations, but in the end good surpassed evil and the Rangda defeated and ashamed of herself ran away.

Barong Dance

 

 

 Performers of this dance were masks that cover their face and use typical long garments to portrait the fur of the animal they are representing.

The lion is the most popular one, as it comes from the Gianyar region, where Ubud is located.

Within the calon arang, the dance drama in which the Barong appears, the barong respond’s to Rangda’s use of magic to control and kill her to restore balance.

In traditional Barong dance, performances, represent this epic fight between the forces of good and evil.

Another popular dance is one where two monkeys appear alongside the barong in a peaceful environment and tease him in a harmful way.

 

 

The most dark one, is a dance that depicts the Rangda bewitching soldiers to kill them selves with their own swords, and the Barong coming in their aid and making them invincible to the blades touch.

Well we hope you enjoyed our blog entry in the Masks of the World – The Masks of the Balinese Gods.

We are looking forward to see you using our app this June to buy this beautiful authentically Balinese masks.

 

Masks of the world  – Masks of the Venetian  Carnival

Masks of the world – Masks of the Venetian Carnival

Masks of the world  – Masks of the Venetian  Carnival

 

At Hand2Hand, we are fascinated with the stories and myths that surround many ethnical, cultural and local products from around the world. We will be digging in to symbolisms and origins of some of the best-known world masks in our blog series – “Masks of the World.

In our first blog entry, we are exploring the masks of the beautiful, lust and secretive Venetian Carnival.

The history of the Venetian Carnival

It is said that the Venetian carnival was first held in the year of 1162 short after a victory from the “Serenissima Repubblica” against the Patriarch of Aquileia – Ulrico di Treven. In honor of this victory the city folk gathered in the San Marco Square and started to dance and celebrate. This festival got quite popular in the 18th Century, where it encouraged lust and pleasure. However, in 1797 under the ruling of the King of Austria the festival and the use of the said masks was completely forbidden.

The Carnival would then reappear in the 19th century but only in private and secretive parties, held by the rich and powerful of Venice. An ode to the pleasures of the flesh and devoted to the lust and sin that would not be accepted in the daylight.

Finally, after centuries of absence, the Italian government decided to bring back the Venetian Carnival in 1979 and make it an official event, held every year.

Since then about 3 million visitors go to Venice to take part on the beautiful carnival. One of the most important events held during the Carnival is the “la maschera più bella” (the most beautiful mask) which is judged by a panel of costume and fashion designers.

The origin of the Masks

Masks have always been an important part of the Venetian Carnival. People were allowed to use them from the festival of Santo Stefano and the start of Carnival at midnight of Shrove day.

Venetian masks can be made of wood, porcelain, leather or using the original glass technique. The original masks were very simple in design and had a symbolic and practical function. Most Italian masks nowadays are made of gesso and gold leaf and are hand painted using natural feathers and gems around the eyes and mouth of the mask.

This makes the masks rather expensive when compared to the wide spread and much cheaper masks made by American factories.

However, you do want to go for the real deal, as nothing compares to those beautiful and mysterious looking masks.

History has forgotten the motive for the wearing of the earliest masks in Venice. Some scholars agree that covering one face’s in public was done to fight the most rigid hierarchy in European history.

But alas with masks came laws. One law dated back to 1339 forbade Venetians from wearing vulgar masks when visiting convents. This law also forbade painting one’s face or wearing a false beard or wig.

Near the end of the republic the use of masks in daily life was severely restricted.

The different masks of the Carnival

Several types of masks are used nowadays in the Venice Carnival.

The first one is the Bauta. This mask is often heavily gilded tough originally simple stark white, which is designed to cover one’s entire face in a very comfortable way. This traditional grotesque piece of art was characterized by the inclusion of a long nose. The mask beak like chin was designed to enable the wearer to eat, drink and talk.

 

The Colombiana also known as Columbine or Colombino is a half-mask that only covers the wearer’s eyes, nose and upper cheeks. It is often decorated with gold, silver, crystals and feathers.

 

The Medico della peste or the Plague Doctor as the name implies was based on the masks that the doctors who tended for the patients infected with the black plague whore. This mask has a typical long beak that resembles a bird’s beak covering the entire face and even the eyes. It was originally conceived to help stop the spreading of diseases.

 

The Moretta or the dark one was a small strapless black velvet mask with wide eyeholes and no lips or mouth worn by patrician women. It derived from the visard mask invented in France in the 16th century.

 

The Volvo or larva is the iconic modern Venetian mask, it is often white and also frequently gilded and decorated and is commonly used with a tricorn hat and large jacket.

 

The Pantalone is another classic from the Italian stage is represented as a sad old man with an oversized nose.

 

The Arlecchino or the Harlequin is a character of the Commedia. He is meant to be a kindred rebel noble lacking any reason and full of emotion. He is also portrayed as a peasant, a servant and even a slave. His originally wooden black half-mask depicts him as having a short, blunt, ape-like nose, a rounded beard, and always a “bump” upon his forehead meant to signify a devil’s horn.

 

And finally, the Zanni, another stage classic. His mask is a half mask in leather with very long nose with reverse curve towards the end. It is said that the longer the nose the stupid this person is.

 

Hope you liked our blog entry about the beautiful venetian masks. And don’t forget even if you can’t attend the Venice carnival you can buy one of these masks starting this June through the bring to me app.

 

7 must pack items for your travels

7 must pack items for your travels

We have been asking around what are the 7 essential items that  you should always take with you on your travels.

And here they are:

1- Smartphone

This one is kinda obvious. We all take our smartphones with us everywhere we go nowadays. You can use your phone to find about the best restaurants around you, book an hotel on the go, take some photos to remember your vacations. Oh and let´s not forget that very soon you will even be able to snap a photo of a product you come about and sell it right away. Also you will be able to receive notification from consumers back home that want you to bring them some products. That´s right we consider bring to me will be an essential app to be installed on your iOS your Android device when you go on your travels and want to profit with them.

2- Power Bank

The good old power bank. Yup we know it´s a must for all the Pokemon Go players out there. It´s also good if you go on a photo spree or you are using Google Maps to find your way on a big city. There are models that also double as flashlight, excellent to pack with you on a mountain escapade or if you want to camp in the big outdoors.

3- Camera

We know we know. You have a nice flagship smartphone that can take some kick ass photos. But come on lets admit it, nothing tops a true camera. Imagine you made to the top of a mountain, or you are in this deserted beach and the perfect moment for that amazing one shot arises. Do you really want to land that one of a kind photo with anything else than one of these babies?

4- Laptop

For many of you taking a laptop on your travels is not needed, after all we have smartphones and tablets to do all the basic stuff and tell the ones back at home that we are still alive. But for the rest of the digital nomads, frequent business flyers or entrepreneurs, a laptop is a must have. We are in not any way endorsing Mac computers. But our on the house community manager simply loves to take with him is Macbook Air, every time he travels.

5- Notepad

Yes there are loads of apps out there that are excellent notepads. Take Evernote for example. However for the travelling artist this is a must have. You are on the margins o Siena in Paris or in the Fontana di Treva in Rome, and you simply want to take that Moleskin out, and start taking notes or filling your white canvas with lush paintings of the world around you! It´s also good to take some notes about the local culture that you can later remember.

6 – Sunglasses

Not much to say about this one. It´s a must have, whether you are going to a big city, the beach or snow. It´s always good to protect your pretty little eyes from those aggressive sun rays out there!

7- Travel Guide

Call me a purist but i personally believe this is an item that all of us that travel the world have to carry around with us. It never runs out of battery, has some amazing spots you must definitely check out. Oh and there are even some guides that give you the best places out of the tourists beaten track! Take one with you. You are definitely going to thank me when you are killing time in an airplane or on a train!

Do you agree with us?

Leave us a comment and tell us what are your 7 must pack items for your travels!

The Hand2Hand team