My name’s Bo, I’m one of the cofounders of SeaBookings, and I need to share something with you: visit the Algarve. Now. I’d like to share why, for good and bad reasons. Let’s start with the bad.
I went to Lagos for a few days last weekend and I had the best time ever. I usually stay at my parents’ in the countryside, so at first, I did not notice much changed now during the “new normal”. But when I drove into the city of Lagos and found the main avenue empty with no cars parked along it, I felt my heart squeeze. I literally had tears in my eyes. I mean, at SeaBookings, of course, we noticed a tremendous decrease in demand, but I could never imagine Lagos so empty. I could never imagine the Algarve so empty. Or even Portugal as a whole.
Tourism is huge here and we need you. We need you on our boats, but also in our restaurants, our hotels, AirBnBs and shops, of course. In Lagos, maybe one-third of the cute little local shops and cafés are still closed because there’s simply not enough demand to stay open. This needs to change urgently. So, please, please come and visit the Algarve!
At the same time, you may ask why I had the best time ever. Well, simple. It hurts to say but the Algarve with no tourists is a true paradise. If with tourists the Algarve is stunning, now imagine the beaches and roads just for yourself!
And we enjoyed the sea, of course, on a kayak tour in Lagos! I had visited the famous Ponta da Piedade by sea before, by kayak, SUP and boat, but this time was far the best ever! Besides the fact that the sea was very calm and the light perfect, not having many other boats or paddlers around gave us a very special experience. So calm and relaxing.
So, you better visit the Algarve soon before the other tourists, to have the sea for “yourself”. And also the beaches, the restaurants, the shops, what not! Now is the time to enjoy the beauty of the Algarve peacefully.
And last but not least, I’d like to share my concern about the negative news out there about the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Portugal. Please note that these cases all very much concentrated in the suburbs of Lisbon. And yes, special measures are being applied, but I promise, for now, as a tourist, and even in Lisbon, you won’t even notice them. And about these cases, I truly believe that, if we would consider these cases proportional to the number of tests done, the number would be rather low when compared to other countries. In fact, Portugal is one of the countries of the WORLD with the most tests done per 1000 inhabitants.
So, what are you waiting for? Come and visit the Algarve!
As the COVID-19 pandemic takes its course around the globe, we find ourselves staying at home as part of a lockdown designed to keep the disease at bay. While we are glad that we can limit the spread, we are also limited on fun things to do. But like all uncertain times, this too shall pass. When it does, it will be time to celebrate.
Why not let loose with a fun seaside getaway? While most of us are stuck at home, we are presented with the perfect chance to plan our next big vacation. Don’t let the opportunity go to waste. Use this time to choose the ideal destination, save your money, and plan your itinerary, so you and your family can enjoy the perfect post-coronavirus adventure.
Research Your Dream Location
Whether you are planning to visit the gorgeous landscapes of Madeira or take in the sites of Algarve, Portugal, this is the perfect time to research your destination and get your plans in order. Take the time to search online for popular seaside hotspots and choose which you would like to visit. In addition to picking the fun places to see, you also want to flesh out the logistics of your trip, like how you are going to get around once you are there, whether it be public transportation or your own vehicle.
There are other considerations to make, as well. If you are planning on going hiking or boating, will you need to rent specific equipment? If you are going to a different country, are you able to speak the language? If not, take this time to bone up on some popular phrases. Is there cell phone service where you are going? If not, then you may have to make alternate communication choices or stay at a hotel close to the attractions you want to see.
Dogs love to go on seaside adventures, too, because they can feel their ears flap in the wind as you cruise along in a rented speedboat. Use this time to think about the details of bringing a pet. If you are flying, make sure that the airline allows pets. Make a list of all the pet supplies you will need, including treats, a good leash, and a collapsible water bowl. You will also want to research your destination to see if your pet needs any special vaccinations and bring this paperwork on the trip.
Take the Time to Save Money
Whether you are planning to visit your local beach or the coast of another country, you will want to save money so you can have a fun and comfortable trip. One benefit of having social distance and stay at home orders is that you are now presented with a good time to save the funds that you need. Of course, the first step is to make an itinerary of the places you will want to visit and check out the cost of each, in addition to the price of your lodgings.
Once you have a number in mind, start saving. If you are the type of person who struggles with saving cash, then consider turning it into a game with a no-spend challenge. Essentially, this involves hiding your credit and debit cards, creating a budget for only the necessities (food, utilities, gas), and obtaining the support of your family as you attempt to go at least a month without spending unnecessary money. Put all of your extra cash in a “vacation fund” that cannot be touched until your trip.
Since just about everyone is currently banned from going to parks, movie theaters, and restaurants, this is the perfect time to be a cheapskate. Set a savings goal and take this time to research high-interest savings accounts, where you can gain even more extra cash off of interest. If you are currently working from home, you can also try a side hustle like online tutoring or taking surveys to save even more.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Even after the social distancing measures come to an end, it will still be prudent to stay away from large groups, and a road trip along the seaside will give you that independence while you enjoy the gorgeous sites. If you are taking your own car, this is the perfect time to get your vehicle checked out and road-ready. Luckily, mechanics are considered an essential business, so they are open and willing to help.
When it comes to getting your car road trip-ready, be sure to check your tires and get an oil change. Wherever you are going, create a vehicle emergency kit filled with essentials such as first aid supplies, granola bars, and necessary maps. Speaking of maps, this is also a great time to figure out your routes so you know when you have to leave and how long you’ll be traveling each day.
It is always smart to practice defensive driving, meaning that you must drive without distractions while anticipating issues on the road. So, if you are going to a new seaside destination that you haven’t visited before, check out images of the streets you will be driving on. If you are driving along the coast, you may encounter many winding roads, so use this time to take a drive on a similar road near your area so you can get some practice. If your destination is famous for rain, then read up on how to drive in these conditions.
As the coronavirus takes its toll, we are living in some not so fun times, but these dark days will one day be a thing of the past. Use the time to plan the dream seaside getaway and be ready to go when the time is right.
We had to share this exciting news! Even though we believe that the solution to keep the oceans clean is not only by cleaning up, but also by avoiding plastic, we’re big fans of the “Ocean Cleanup“.
The Ocean Cleanup is a Dutch non-profit organization developing advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastic. today they announced that its latest ocean cleanup prototype system – System 001/B – is successfully capturing and collecting plastic debris.
After one year of testing, the project has succeeded in developing a self-contained system in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that is using the natural forces of the ocean to passively catch and concentrate the plastic. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest accumulation zone of plastic in the world’s oceans. In addition to collecting plainly visible pieces of plastic debris, as well as much larger ghost nets associated with commercial fishing, the latest system has also successfully captured microplastics as small as 1mm.
The Mission Continues
With new learnings and experience derived from the successful deployment of System 001/B, The Ocean Cleanup will now begin to design its next ocean cleanup system, System 002; a full-scale cleanup system that is able to both endure and retain the collected plastic for long periods of time.
Once fully operational, The Ocean Cleanup will return plastic to land for recycling. Timing of that phase of the mission is contingent upon further testing and design iteration.
By Nathalie, content and translations at SeaBookings, who’d like to share some tips about the things you can do to help save the oceans.
At SeaBookings, we are all passionate lovers of the sea and of our blue planet. We are so thankful for the waters of the sea that gives us life and make a life on earth possible. However, we do also recognise our responsibility to take care of these waters and to protect them so that future generations will be able to enjoy the sea as much as we do! That’s why we think it is important we share 11 things you can do to help save the oceans with you!
We can all make a difference
1. Pick-up (at least) 5 pieces of plastic on every beach walk
The first thing you can do to help save the ocean is really easy and can be done literally anywhere and by anyone! Whenever you go to the beach, just pick up 5 pieces of plastic! At the beach, it’s especially important to help save the ocean, but even if you go for a walk in the city or wherever you live, make it your goal to always pick up at least 5 pieces of plastic! This is a minimal effort but if more people commit to it, it can make a huge difference!
There are some nice movements going on regarding picking up litter. We really like “LitterHero” based on two main ideas: Think Global & Act Local. What makes them different is that they are building a global alliance of local Litter Hero groups into a world-wide force to prevent and eliminate litter. They have several initiatives in Lagos, Portugal, and we’ll be there! You too?
Nathalie even likes to use her lunch breaks to clean up some litter on the beach.
2. Say NO to plastic straws
Luckily, this one on our list of 11 things you can do to help save the oceans has been becoming more and more of a topic and many restaurants and cafés are already aware of the problem of plastic straws. Did you know that the Marina de Lagos has launched a pioneering campaign in Portugal to abolish single-use plastic straws, as a way to contribute directly to the reduction of plastic in the oceans? Let’s hope many other Marinas and institutions follow soon!
However, there are still many places where they give you automatically a plastic straw with your drink, most of the times even wrapped in plastic as well. Just say “without straw, please” when you order a drink that’s likely to be served with a straw. Step by step this little gesture will help reducing the amount of plastic straws being used!
3. Bring your own bags to the supermarket
Unfortunately, most supermarkets still make clients use plastic bags for fruits and veggies out of convenience. But if you re-use those plastic bags every time you go shopping, you already help to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags! And there are even shopping bags you can buy that are made of see-through fabric and that you can re-use as many times you want, like these ones. This way you can completely get rid of using single-use plastic bags at the shops!
Be conscious of the choice of what you eat
4. Make sure you only consume sustainably-caught fish
If you are a seafood lover, one of the things you can do to help save the oceans is making sure you only buy and consume ethically caught fish! The overfishing and the way commercial fishing is done is very often harmful to not only the fish that are caught but also to many other species like dolphins and other sea life. That’s why making sure your fish has been caught in a less harmful way is very important! The app Seafood Watch, for example, can help you find “ocean-friendly” seafood!
5. Avoid plastic lids on takeaway cups and use your own refilable bottle or cup
When you are on the run and grab a coffee, smoothie or whatever kind of drink along the way, make sure you try to avoid taking a lid for your cup! These lids are also single-use plastic items that are simply not necessary and can be avoided simply by saying “No thank you!”. Even better – always carry around your own cup or thermos flask with you and just ask the people to pour the drink directly into your own flask or reusable cup!
Avoid single-use cups and, when not possible, don’t use the plastic lid
6. Bring your own takeaway containers
This one comes together with number 5 of the 11 things you can do to help save the oceans. Just like carrying your own flask for takeaway drinks, you can also plan ahead and bring your own takeaway container when you have to do a takeaway for food! There are affordable glass containers at every supermarket that you can buy, and if you carry one of them in your bag you’re always prepared for food emergencies, or if you can’t eat all the food at the restaurant! So much single-use plastic can be avoided by being one step ahead and having containers in your bag.
7. Avoid using cosmetics with micro-plastic
This one is not only for the health of the planet and the oceans but also for your own wellbeing! At some point, the cosmetic industry decided it was a good idea to use micro-plastic particles in cosmetics like deodorants, body scrubs and many other items. This is super harmful to both your health and means a lot more plastic pollution for the oceans as well! So next time you buy cosmetics, make sure you check out the list of ingredients and avoid buying those using plastic particles – for your and the oceans sake!
Luckily, recycling is a topic that has been covered broadly by many countries already. Recycling your rubbish is super easy and makes a huge impact on the environment. But also think about recycling on a bigger scale and think about reducing – do you really need to buy a new phone, or do you know someone who is selling one that is barely used? Same with laptops and other technical equipment. And of course cars – producing a new car has a huge environmental impact. So why not save money and buy a used car? Recycling is possible in so many ways, and one of the 11 things you can do to help save the ocean!
Some boats have solar panels to power the boat
9. Try a boat tour on a solar boat
At SeaBookings, we already have two solar boat tours available – one in the Algarve in Ria Formosa and one in Lisbon! We believe this sustainable form of enjoying a boat tour could be the future of boat tours, so we’re more than happy to already be part of this new movement. If you can, try to choose a tour on a solar boat and thus reducing your carbon footprint while still having a great experience!
Don’t abandon your inflatables. Think about where they’ll end up…
10. Don’t abandon your beach toys (inflatables and sand toy sets) on the beach
There are so many deserted plastic toys and inflatables roaming through the oceans of the world and being a huge threat to sea life. So next time you are at the beach, make sure to take all your belongings with you and try re-using them instead of throwing them away straight away. Also, if you see that somebody else has abandoned some of their beach toys, make sure to pick it up and placing it in a (recycling) bin! The fish will thank you immensely.
11. Use a portable ashtray on the beach
Surely there is nothing more unpleasant than laying down your towel in the sand just to see that all around you there are hundreds, thousands of cigarette buds. If you smoke, make sure to use a portable ashtray on the beach or anything else to take your cigarette buds with you and putting them in the bin. This way, the beaches will be cleaner and people can enjoy it more!
Portable ashtrays are a must for smokers
As you can see, all of the 11 things you can do to help save the oceans are super easy to implement in your daily life. And if everybody does their part, we can work together to help save the ocean! There are also campaigns like the Planet or Plastic Pledge by National Geographic that motivate and help people make a difference in their daily life! Let’s work together and help save the oceans and our planet!
SeaBookings will be at this year’s Lisbon Travel Market, BTL (Bolsa de Turismo de Lisboa) which is going to take place between March 13th and 17th, at FIL, Parque das Nações.
Promoted by Fundação AIP and realized by FIL – Feira Internacional de Lisboa since 1989, Lisbon Travel Market is recognized by the tourism sector as the most important Tourism Fair in Portugal and a hub for professionals. The Fair has also consistently enhanced its presence in the international trade fairs calendar. In 2018, BTL welcomed more than 1150 exhibiting companies from 40 international destinations and 77 000 visitors.
The BTL is considered the most important Tourism Fair in Portugal
This year, the Lisbon Travel Market invited travel startups to apply for a space in the BTL LAB powered by the recently launched Tourism Innovation Center. SeaBookings applied and is proud to announce to be part of the selected startups.
With the BTL Lab, the BTL reinforces its commitment to a platform for dissemination and content, during the fair, which launches and announces new projects, and establishes professional networking promoting the development and business of innovative products and services for tourism.
SeaBookings, an online marketplace for watersports and boat tours in Portugal founded by two Dutch sisters, is taking its first steps towards international expansion with the support of Turismo de Portugal. Turismo de Portugal is the central public authority responsible for the promotion, enhancement and sustainability of tourism activities. In September 2016, SeaBookings was in São Paulo at the ABAV tourism fair at the invitation of Turismo de Portugal. The first half of 2017 also promises, as we will participate in Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, again with Turismo de Portugal.
Turismo de Portugal has maintained the strong commitment to stimulate the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the tourism sector in Portugal. It is in this context that Turismo de Portugal has been launching competitions to select Portuguese startups to be invited to participate in a series of international tourism fairs where Turismo de Portugal participates with its own stand. This initiative aims to provide the startups with “market knowledge and international experience, preparing them to be able to present their projects with greater guarantee of success”.
SeaBookings at the ABAV ’16
In the second half of 2016, it was with great joy that SeaBookings received the news that it could participate in ABAV, the largest tourism fair in Brazil. Brazil has been part of SeaBookings’ strategic internationalization plan since its inception. Participating in this fair would be a concrete first step in that direction. In fact, SeaBookings, being focussed on the boat trips and watersports niche in Portugal, faces a strong seasonality. For this reason, among others, it makes sense for SeaBookings to expand to Brazil. By expanding to Brazil, we’ll be able to ensure a steady stream of revenue throughout the year. In addition, in terms of sea tourism, Brazil has enormous potential.
In fact, SeaBookings’ participation in the 44th ABAV proved to be very important for establishing contacts with potential partners in Brazil and other Latin American countries. At the fair itself, SeaBookings had the opportunity to establish contacts with hotels, travel agencies, media and other entities that will help to leverage the business in Brazil.
In addition to participating in the fair, SeaBookings’ team took advantage of the trip to Brazil to conduct a market study. We visited several bathing resorts between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to study the reality of maritime tourism in Brazil:
What are the most popular boat tours and watersports?
How do maritime operators work? What is their size?
How “digital” are the maritime operators? Do they have a website? Do they have a booking system? How do they manage their bookings?
Where do customers come from (which channels and nationality)?
The feedback from the Brazilian maritime operators regarding the activity of SeaBookings was very positive and it is a market with great potential. However, its “immaturity” has made us decide not to put Brazil on the expansion agenda yet and to bet firstly on the Mediterranean region.
SeaBookings at the Arabian Travel Market ’17
SeaBookings, being a marketplace, deals with both sides of the market. If on one hand we have the supply, with the maritime operators, on the other hand we have the demand, with the tourists. From the side of the tourists, we also work with travel agencies. Throughout the first years of the SeaBookings’ activity, we have found a great potential in the Arabian market, in terms of collaborations with agencies.
That is why SeaBookings applied to participate in the Arabian Travel Market taking place in April 2017. Once again, SeaBookings was able to show how important it would be to participate in this fair for its internationalization and was selected to participate. Thus, in April of this year, SeaBookings will go to Dubai with the aim of establishing contacts with travel agencies and other entities that can help boost the demand in SeaBookings by the Arabian market. In addition, we will always have an eye open to also meet maritime operators from the Middle East for a future expansion to this geography.
Our big “obrigado”!
We want to publicly thank Turismo de Portugal for their dedication and support to Portuguese startups in their internationalization. We believe that the participation of SeaBookings in these fairs makes it possible to give a boost in the visibility of maritime tourism in Portugal, attracting new tourists, and to prepare the internationalization of the SeaBookings offer. We are very grateful for having been selected twice in a row to participate in international fairs. We are very grateful for the trust Turismo de Portugal has in SeaBookings and we will do everything to make the most of our participation in the Arabian Travel Market.
SeaBookings Christmas gift certificates can be used to purchase any of the hundreds of things to do on www.seabookings.com in Portugal, Spain, Greece and Dubai. A surf lesson in Carcavelos? Sure. A Stand-up Paddle tour in Ibiza? Of course! A sunset sailing tour in Barcelona? You bet. Kayaking in the caves of Santorini? Why not. Simply choose the amount of your Christmas Gift Certificate and let us do the rest.
SeaBookings Christmas gift certificates are in Euros. Please let us know how the amount you want on your SeaBookings Christmas gift certificates in your currency and we’ll convert that to Euros.
SeaBookings will top your Christmas gift certificate with an additional 5%
Yes, as it’s Christmas, we will top your Christmas gift certificate with an additional 5% discount! Imagine you give a €100 SeaBookings Christmas gift certificate to your friend. You friend chooses a boat tour for her and her mum that’s worth €120. Then, she would only had to pay €14 (120-5%-100=14).
What do I get with a SeaBookings Christmas gift certificate?
SeaBookings Christmas gift certificates are 100% flexible. You can use the certificates to purchase hundreds of tours and activities on www.seabookings.com. Here are some of our favorite examples of the experiences where you can use your SeaBookings Christmas gift certificates:
You won’t ever forget you’re first time standing up!
During the Winter season, waves are best in Tenerife. Visiting this island soon? Join us for a surf class!
How to redeem my SeaBookings Christmas gift certificate?
A few weeks before intending to do your activity, visit www.seabookings.com and browse through our entire range of hundreds of boat tours and watersports in Portugal. You can search by location or type of activity.
At least one week before the intended date of your activity, when you’ve found what you want, send us an email ([email protected]) with the following details:
Link of your chosen activity;
Your full name;
How many people (children and adults);
What time and date;
Your Christmas gift certificate code.
If the value of the activities you book is greater than your Gift Certificate plus the 5% discount SeaBookings gives, you can pay the balance using an accepted payment method. If the value is less than your Gift Certificate, we’ll store the balance in our database for a next occasion.
Note that your SeaBookings Christmas gift certificate, including any unused balance, expires two years after the date of issue (so if you got your gift certificate in December 2016, it will expire in December 2018).
Our accepted payment methods include Paypal, a broad variety of credit cards and other methods like iDeal. Let us know which one you prefer.
SeaBookings Gift Certificates are redeemable against any product offered on www.seabookings.com.
Gift Certificates are not redeemable for cash.
SeaBookings reserves the right to cancel Gift Certificates obtained fraudulently.
SeaBookings is not responsible for lost or stolen Christmas Gift Certificates.
SeaBookings Christmas Gift Certificates are not refundable.
Do the SeaBookings Gift Certificates sound like the ideal present for under the Christmas tree this year? Email us at [email protected]!