So is it worth going to ITB Berlin? Yes! It most certainly is!

ITB Berlin – Indonesia – ©2017 Messe Berlin

Sadly, it’s over!

What’s that?

Ah! Come on now. Where have you been the last week? And have you seen my Twitter and Facebook feeds?

The ITB Berlin 2017 is oooooover!

For now!

Waaaah!

Back to the question above though. So is it worth going to ITB Berlin?

SO IS IT WORTH GOING TO ITB BERLIN?

Berlin on top of the world from the 24th floor & the fastest elevator in Europe, at the Panorama Punkt Berlin!

Let’s see!

Before I became the awesome travel blogger that I am today, I used to attend the ITB Berlin as an ordinary member of the public. It was one of the highlights of my year!

I was so shy!

Because the first time that I went to the ITB Berlin, I had never ever met a blogger before in real life. Not ever!

My blog was so new at the time, that I wasn’t even accredited! However, the  ITB Berlin Press Team were so nice and supportive, and gave me a VIP ticket so that I could attend!

And it really turned my life around ‘cos not only did I cover the Berlin Music Video Awards as a validated member of the press just two (2) months later, but it was at this very same ITB Berlin, that I made a contact with a lady from France who then invited me for my first press /FAM trip!

In fact, not only was I the only British person, I was also the only blogger!

It didn’t take long before I was on German TV, acting as a side-kick moderator on a live German evening show, in the German press, and having a documentary made about my life as a British blogger living in this wonderful city of Berlin!

I know!

Drinking a very important cup of tea!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

If you’re reading about the ITB for the first time, here’s what I previously wrote:

But it doesn’t hurt to reiterate the facts:

WHAT IS THE ITB?

ITB Berlin - The Leading Travel Industry Think Tank!
ITB Berlin – The Leading Travel Industry Think Tank!

The ITB Berlin stands for the Internationale Tourismus-Börse or in English, the international tourism trade fair.

The ITB represents B2B, hotels, tourists boards, tour operators and providers, airlines, transport operators, responsible travel organisers, information technology experts, social media bloggers, and anybody else interested in travel and tourism.

It’s also the world’s leading travel industry think tank, in which the convention trade fair establishes itself as the industry’s main knowledge platform, with top-notch presentations on global trends, travel innovations and path-breaking events for the entire tourism industry!

Phew!

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT THEN?

ITB Berlin – ©2017 Messe Berlin

Well, the ITB Berlin is the foremost business platform for the global tourism business. We’re talking:

  • 5 continents
  • 26 halls
  • 187 Countries
  • 200 trendsetting events
  • 400 speakers
  • 1,000 Qualified Top Buyers
  • 1,092 stands
  • 10,000 Exhibitors
  • 26,000 Convention Visitors and Participants attending lectures, discussions, and workshops
  • 60,000 Private Visitors
  • 120,000 Trade Visitors
  • 160,000 Square meters
  • Bloggers from 25 countries all over the world
  • Over 5 days within 8th March – 12th March, 2017
  • Bringing in a €7 billion turnover to Germany!
A khudu in Botswana!

Omigosh!

If you’re at the ITB, you’re in good company.

The ITB Berlin is a huge deal and the partner country for 2017 is Botswana with the motto: – #ilovebotswana.

Wow!

SAFETY IN TRAVEL!

I’m a big advocate for smart travel and that includes safety and security.

I’m a big advocate for smart travel and that includes safety and security.

Sadly, it’s many a reason that certain destinations are low in tourism numbers and not likely to increase any time soon.

Even my beloved Berlin had issues brought upon, not by a lack of security, but by strike action at the airport!

Having said that, where better to “be stranded” than in trendy hipster Berlin!

The Hamburg stand at ITBBerlin was very busy & here's why - An artificially intelligent tourism robot!
The Hamburg stand at ITBBerlin was very busy & here’s why – An artificially intelligent tourism robot!

Nevertheless, the mainstay of this years’ convention leaned heavily on the increasing concern for safety whilst travelling abroad, geopolitical challenges on whether destinations are able to secure confidence for holidaymakers, artificial intelligence, medical tourism, and sustainable tourism.

Safety and security was such an issue, that there was a huge level of media attention and political interest!

Safety and security was such an issue, that there was a huge level of media attention and political interest!

In fact, ITB Berlin this year played host to:

  • 11 State Secretaries
  • 45 Ambassadors
  • 72 Government Ministers
  • 110 Foreign Delegations
  • 450 bloggers from 34 countries
  • And over 5,000 accredited journalists from 76 countries around the world!

How cool is that?

Book your hotel here!

ITB BERLIN IS TRENDING!

Keep Calm and go to ITB Berlin! ©2017 Messe Berlin

The name ITB Berlin stands for a unique success story and things that are made in Berlin.

What began in 1966, as a small overseas import trade show, has developed into a true global success.

What originally, was only an event of five (5) participating countries and regions, has grown to over 180 with an exhibition space expanding from 580 m² to 160,000 m² today!

In more than five (5) decades, so many societal and political changes have taken place. 

As far as the tourism industry is concerned, Germany has developed into one of the world’s most important economic factors!

Around the world with Heidi Hetzer &amp; her Old-Timer car!<br /> ITB Berlin ©2017 Messe Berlin
Around the world with Heidi Hetzer & her Old-Timer car!
ITB Berlin ©2017 Messe Berlin

Today, the ITB Berlin is the leading trade show of the travel industry and, at the same time, the biggest travel show for the German public!

 2017 IS LOOKING GREAT!

Accor Hotels – #myjourneybegins. It most certainly does!

This has been the most successful ITB travel trade conference for me yet, because:

  • It’s in my expat home-town of Berlin so I don’t have to pay for anything, and I know where everything is!
  • It’s free of charge for bloggers and the press!
  • I made so many professional contacts
  • I had so many appointments which had me going from floor to floor that even though I used the press shuttle bus, my feet swelled up ‘cos I was wearing ankle boots, and I tend to walk like a man!
  • My Blogger Speed Dating appointment sheet was filled to the brim with Destinations & Marketing people wanting to meet me face-to-face
  • I have official invitations to come visit many of the chosen destinations of this year
  • I caught up with other international bloggers
  • I was invited to so many After-Hours parties, it became over-whelming…
  • Exciting news! A writer asked for one of my old Scotland photographs to be added to their book for a film tour, so the next time you go to the Scottish Highlands, you could be looking at one of my photographs!
Don’t risk collapse at the ITB Berlin. Fill your belly!
  • Most endearing of all, as I was browsing through the Poland section, looking for destination information, one of the girls started staring. I gave her my card to give to her boss, and she just started screaming!

She recognised my name and was thrilled and excited to finally meet and see the writer of THAT post! She told her neighbours and they all began rushing to take photographs & giggling! I mean, that post now has over forty-five thousand (45,000) views!

Apparently. In Poland, I’m a bit of a notorious star!

And the title of said piece: Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go!

Apparently, in Poland I’m a bit of a notorious star!

See you next week!

SO IS IT WORTH GOING TO ITB BERLIN? YES! IT MOST CERTAINLY IS!

Bloggers having fun via Vienna House at ITB Berlin!

This article is isn’t sponsored and the awesome time that had at the ITB Berlin, is my very own!

In March and April, I’ll be on the road again to Austria & Croatia!

On 15.03.17, I’ll be at the Spring Reception for the British Community at the British Embassy in Berlin.

From 07.03.17 – 09.03.17, our friends – the British musical and comedy duo – Carrington Brown – will be performing Germany’s premiere of Carrington-Brown feat. The Swonderful Orchestra: Comedy meets Classics at Tipi!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in March, I haven’t a clue where you would rather be!

Watch this space!

So is it worth going to ITB Berlin? Yes! It most certainly is!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

So is it worth going to ITB Berlin? Yes! It most certainly is!

Do you think Berlin is worth it? Have you ever been to the ITB Berlin?Share & let me know below! 

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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A first time beginners guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you not to lose your mind!

ITB Berlin - Ruanda - © 2017 Messe Berlin
ITB Berlin – Ruanda – © 2017 Messe Berlin

OMG!

I’m enormously excited!

And why?

The ITB travel trade fair is going to be in town.

Yeeeeeeeees!

ITB Berlin - South Pacific Tourism Organisation - ©2017 Messe Berlin
ITB Berlin – South Pacific Tourism Organisation – ©2017 Messe Berlin

Before I became the awesome travel blogger that I am today, I used to attend the ITB as an ordinary member of the public. It was one of the highlights of my year!

And let me tell you, it still is!

I mean, thousands of international travel organisations and travel destinations are going to be in the city, looking to present the best parts of their country, or industry.

And yours truly will be among them.

Last year, was pretty tight, so I had to see all my contacts in just 24 hours!

And why was that?

I'm an MA graduate from the University of Chester. Whoopee!
I’m an MA graduate from the University of Chester.
Whoopee!

Because I needed to fly back to England for the dignified graduation ceremony of my MA – Masters of Art Degree, which I had obtained from the University of Chester!

In fact, I had to cancel the Bloggers Speed Dating networking event that I had originally booked months before.

I had to cancel the personal appointments that I had with Marketing & Tourism officials.

I had to forgo all the Berlin parties that were set to burn each night on fire!

Mind you, I didn’t do too badly in 2016 regardless..!

I'm looking gorgeous in the Philippines! ©Scott Herder - BoboandChiChi.com
I’m looking gorgeous in the Philippines!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

This year, I’m here, and I’m all ready and organised.

Now that I’m a professional blogger don’t you know, I get to have internal access to all that the travel industry has to offer.

If you’re reading about the ITB for the first time, here’s what I previously wrote:

But it doesn’t hurt to reiterate the facts:

WHAT IS THE ITB?

ITB Berlin Convention 2017
ITB Berlin Convention 2017

The ITB Berlin stands for the Internationale Tourismus-Börse or in English, the international tourism trade fair.

The ITB represents B2B, hotels, tourists boards, tour operators and providers, airlines, transport operators, responsible travel organisers, information technology experts, social media bloggers, and anybody else interested in travel and tourism.

It’s also the world’s leading travel industry think tank, in which the convention trade fair establishes itself as the industry’s main knowledge platform, with top-notch presentations on global trends, travel innovations and path-breaking events for the entire tourism industry!

Phew!

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT THEN?

ITB Berlin - ©2017 Messe Berlin
ITB Berlin – ©2017 Messe Berlin

Well, the ITB Berlin is the foremost business platform for the global tourism business. We’re talking:

  • 5 continents
  • 187 Countries
  • 200 trendsetting events
  • 400 speakers
  • 1,000 Qualified Top Buyers
  • 10,000 Exhibitors
  • 26,000 Convention Visitors and Participants attending lectures, discussions, and workshops
  • 60,000 Private Visitors
  • 120,000 Trade Visitors
  • 160,000 Square meters
  • Bloggers from 25 countries all over the world
  • Over 5 days within 8th March – 12th March, 2017
  • Bringing in a €7 billion turnover to Germany!
A mandril baboon in Botswana!
A mandril baboon in Botswana!

Omigosh!

If you’re at the ITB, you’re in good company.

The ITB Berlin is a huge deal and the partner country for 2017 is Botswana with the motto: – #ilovebotswana.

Wow!

ITB BERLIN IS 51 YEARS OLD!

The beautiful French Quarter - Gendarmenmarkt - in Berlin
The beautiful French Quarter – Gendarmenmarkt – in Berlin

The name ITB Berlin stands for a unique success story and things that are made in Berlin.

What began in 1966, as a small overseas import trade show, has developed into a true global success.

What originally, was only an event of five (5) participating countries and regions, has grown to over 180 with an exhibition space expanding from 580 m² to 160,000 m² today!

In more than five (5) decades, so many societal and political changes have taken place.  As far as the tourism industry is concerned, Germany has developed into one of the world’s most important economic factors!

Book your hotel here!

Happy Birthday ITB Berlin!
Happy Birthday ITB Berlin!

Today, the ITB Berlin is the leading trade show of the travel industry and, at the same time, the biggest travel show for the German public!

However, it’s a huge venue and there have been incidents of people wandering around and not actually getting to where they wanted to go! Not naming names or anything, so here’s a few tips on how to navigate your way around!

WHEN CAN YOU VISIT?

Visitors are welcome at the ITB Berlin!
Visitors are welcome at the ITB Berlin!

OPENING HOURS.

Trade visitors: 8th – 12th March, 2017. 09:30 – 18:00
The general public: 11th – 12th March, 2017. 10:00 – 18:00
Journalists and bloggers: 8th – 12th March, 2017. 08:30 – 18:00

ADMISSION.

ITB BERLIN – The world in one place!
ITB BERLIN – The world in one place!

You can buy tickets at the Exhibition Grounds – or save time and money and buy them in advance at the Online Ticket Shop. Entrance for Trade Visitors / Press to the ITB Berlin Convention is included in the price of your trade fair ticket.

Trade Fair Visitors:

  • One Day ticket: Online in advance – €35.00. On the day – €52.00
  • A Five Day ticket: Online in advance – €50.00. On the day – €75.00
  • Accredited press / bloggers: Free of charge, in advance. If not accredited, as above
The general public are welcome at the weekend of the ITB Berlin! ©2017 Messe Berlin
The general public are welcome at the weekend of the ITB Berlin!
©2017 Messe Berlin

The General Public.

  • One Day ticket: Online in advance – €12.00. On the day – €15.00
  • Reduced priced tickets – students / retired /unemployed etc. On the day – €8.00
  • Last Minute tickets (only valid on March 12th, from 14:00) – On the day – €8.00
  • All children under the age of fourteen (14) if accompanied by an adult, are totally free of charge!

p.s. You should also be able to buy a €12.00 ticket from any BVG/Sbahn ticket machine. And if you live in Berlin, watch out for the free voucher that sometimes comes, via a free delivery of the weekend edition of the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper!

HOW CAN I GET TO THE ITB?

Use the ITB shuttle service to get around. It's free!
Use the ITB shuttle service to get around. It’s free!

If you’re a trade visitor or a member of the press, then there is a free ITB shuttle service that will take you from the airport, from selected hotels and from various stops around the city to the ITB Exhibition Ground. If you’re using the city shuttle line service, please note that the stops are not marked as ITB Berlin stops, but are selected buses at the regular bus stops of the Berlin Public Transport System, otherwise known as the BVG!

Using Berlin's public transport is perfectly safe & very cheap!
Using Berlin’s public transport is perfectly safe & very cheap!

You can find bus stops at:

Line A

  • Bus-Stop 1: Unter den Linden / Friedrichstraße
  • Bus-Stop 2: Train Station Potsdamer Platz (on Leipziger Platz)

Line B

  • Bus-Stop 1: Underground Station U Wittenbergplatz
  • Bus-Stop 2: Underground Station U Kurfürstendamm (Kranzlereck)
  • Bus-Stop 3: Olivaer Platz (Kurfürstendamm 61)
  • Bus-Stop 4: Underground Station U Adenauerplatz
  • Bus-Stop 5: Sbahn Train Station S Halensee

HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR WAY AROUND THE ITB VENUE.

Navigate your way around the ITB Berlin - ©2017 Messe Berlin
Navigate your way around the ITB Berlin – ©2017 Messe Berlin

There are seven (7) entrances, but to give you a better insight you can download a map of the exhibition ground:

  • Entrance South / Halls 1/2 (Jafféstrasse)
  • Hall 7.2a (opposite to CityCubeBerlin)
  • Hall 9 (Messedamm)
  • Entrance East (Hall 14.1, opposite the ICC Berlin)
  • Entrance North (Hall 19, Hammarskjöldplatz)
  • Hall 25
  • City Cube Berlin

The ITB venue is pretty huge so within the exhibition ground itself, you can use the free ITB fairground shuttles that will transport you from hall to hall!

Take the Ring Train S41 or S42 to the ITB Berlin!
Take the Ring Train S41 or S42 to the ITB Berlin!

If you’re not using any of the above, or you’re a member of the general public, then you need to get yourself to the following public transport stations. Don’t forget to get a ticket! 

There’s no need to panic though, as the city of Berlin provides an extensive public transport network, but make sure you read this post as to how to buy a daily ticket, as Berlin doesn’t have any barriers, and you don’t want to get caught out without a ticket now, do you? The stations that you need to get to are:

  • Messe Süd – Sbahn Train S5
  • Messe Nord /ICC  – Ring Train S41 or S42
  • Kaiserdamm – Underground Station U2
  • Westkreuz  – Sbahn Train S75, S7, S5, Ring Train S41 or S42. You ought to change to Messe Süd (one stop), or go for a little stroll instead, but it’s a bit of a walk!

A FIRST TIME BEGINNERS GUIDE TO THE ITB BERLIN: 10 TIPS TO HELP YOU NOT TO LOSE YOUR MIND!

 

A first time beginners guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you not to lose your mind!
A first time beginners guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you not to lose your mind!
  1. Book: Are you flying, taking the train, hustling in the coach-bus or car-sharing? Book your hotel here!
  2. Focus: Define what you want to accomplish and whom you want to contact
  3. Plan: Set up meetings and appointments
  4. Do research: Get information about the industry’s latest trends and use the Virtual Market Place® catalogue to find out who’s there!
  5. Learn: Go to presentations, workshops, conferences and talks. I learnt all about Twitter for the first time at ITB and then the next day, I went live and never looked back!
  6. Save: Buy your Visitor Ticket in advance at the Online Ticket Shop
  7. Navigate: Use the Map of the Exhibition Grounds for your personal orientation
  8. Download: The  ITB App with maps, lists, and services for free. Available for iOS and Android systems too
  9. Network: The ITB Berlin offers networking events of a special kind – ITB Blogger Speed Dating and the ITB Speed Networking event. However, it doesn’t matter if you’ve not made an appointment previously, although it helps if you do. Nevertheless, you’re at the largest travel trade fair in the world, so go and explore!
  10. Enjoy: You’re in one of the finest cities in the world. Have fun!

DON’T FORGET!

Hair & Make Up - Check! Exude confidence - Check! ITB Berlin - Iran - ©2017 Messe Berlin
Hair & Make Up – Check! Exude confidence – Check!
ITB Berlin – Iran – ©2017 Messe Berlin
  • Business Cards – Check!
  • Business Card Folder or File, so that you don’t lose the ones that you’ve collected – Check!
  • Map – Check!
  • ITB Berlin App Guide – Check!
  • Mobile or Cell Phone, plus charger – Check!
  • Bottle of Water – Check!
  • Smart clothing – Check!
  • Exude confidence – Check!
  • Smile – Check!

See you at the ITB!

ITB Berlin- Iceland - ©2017 Messe Berlin
ITB Berlin- Iceland – ©2017 Messe Berlin

This article is isn’t sponsored and the marvellous time that I’m going to have at the ITB Berlin, is my very own!

In March and April, I’ll be on the road again to Austria & Croatia!

On 07.03.17, I’ll be at the Travel Massive ITB 2017 Opening Party! It’s always a lot of fun, so if you’re in town, come and join us!

On 08.03.17, I’ll be participating in the iambassador – Traveldudes – ITB Travel Tweet-Up event.

And of course, on 08.03.17 – 12.03.17, the world’s leading travel trade show – the ITB will be in action, and everyone who is anyone in the travel industry, will be here!

On 15.03.17, I’ll be at the Spring Reception for the British Community at the British Embassy in Berlin.

From 07.03.17 – 09.03.17, our friends – the British musical and comedy duo – Carrington Brown – will be performing Germany’s premiere of Carrington-Brown feat. The Swonderful Orchestra: Comedy meets Classics at Tipi!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in March, I can’t even!

Happy bloggers at ITB Berlin - ©Natalie Deduck - Loveandroad.com
Happy bloggers at ITB Berlin – ©Natalie Deduck – Loveandroad.com

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

A first time beginners guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you not to lose your mind!
A first time beginners guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you not to lose your mind!

Is there a travel trade fair event where you live? Have you ever been to the ITB Berlin? Has a large venue ever confused you? Let me know below! 

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!

10 Christmas gifts that don't cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!
10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!

I do so love winter!

It’s that time of year.

Christmas!

I love the crispness of the air, the early evenings, the freshness of the cold, and the darkness  when the lights come out.

I love it so, because December is my most favourite month ever, and also the month of my birth!

It was my birthday a few days ago.

Yay!

img_2803-2

Just look at my delightful yummy birthday cake. It’s cherries and cream, but it sure does look like cherry tomatoes.

But that would be weird…!

The horror of Christmas shopping!
The horror of Christmas shopping!

And even if you’re not into the horror of Christmas shopping, you are still liable to the festive season.

At least in Europe you are!

However of late, Christmas has been high-jacked by activities contrary to what this season is all about. Everywhere you look there’s some disaster or another, and then in a few weeks, merriment galore, then huge bills!

Yikes!

So let’s make a deal. Instead of wasting a huge amount of money on things you either don’t need, or probably already have, making the issue of #firstworldproblems completely and utterly true. Let’s figure out a way to make Christmas time as pain-free as possible.

So come with me as I feature 10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing if you’re broke, and don’t have a penny to your name. And 10 gifts that do, for those who have the dosh, and really want to spend it!

Here we go!

10 CHRISTMAS GIFTS THAT DON’T COST A SINGLE THING, AND 10 GIFTS THAT DO!!

  • MAKE A PERSONALISED MIXED TAPE
A personalised mixed tape doesn't cost a single thing!
A personalised mixed tape doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

Ha! Ha! Not a real tape. I mean tape!? Tape?!&%!!

When was the last time that you actually saw a good ‘ol cassette player?

Like never!

Nevertheless, the sentiment remains the same. Why not make a customised mixed playlist from your huge collection on iTunes or Spotify, and make a CD! You can even sing on it….!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

On the other hand, if you don’t want to embarrass yourself or your family, perhaps getting an actual musical CD is the way to go!

I recommend the highly successful soulful talented Scottish singer/songwriter – Emeli Sandé. Get your hipster friends Emeli Sandé: Long Live The Angels. If you can find it…! If you’re in Britain buy it via Amazon UK. If you’re in the US buy this CD via Amazon.com. If you’re in Germany, buy this CD via Amazon.de.

  •  MAKE A PHOTOGRAPHY ALBUM
Photographs don't cost a single thing!
Photographs don’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

In todays’ world, pretty much everyone and his mother has a mobile phone. In many cases a smart phone too. It doesn’t take a genius to take a photograph or two of yourself, your friends, and family, or even your hobby using stuff like postcards, ticket stubs, old T-shirts, money, etc, making your photography more than just a bunch of photos, but a scrapbook of your life. And theirs!

Then all you have to do is upload the photographs, edit as appropriate, then send off to your loved ones by Email.

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

fujifilm-instax-mini-8
It does. It’s Christmas!!

Buy your loved ones a fun retro camera via Amazon UK. If you’re in the US, buy this camera via Amazon.com. If you’re in Germany, buy this camera via Amazon.de.

  • MAKE YOUR OWN COOKBOOK
I'm a terrible cook, but I do like writing about food! How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!
I’m a terrible cook, but I do like writing about food!
How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

I’m not the best of cooks. In fact, although I love eating wonderful food and I have a whole bookshelf of cookery books. I CAN’T COOK! But if you can, why not make your very own cook and recipe book for your friends and family. Add personalised notes and extra information about why you chose that particular recipe, ‘cos who doesn’t like something delicious. Or even the secret to making a good cup of tea!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

If you fear that you might kill people, leave it to the experts and buy your loved ones a cookery book so that they can make it like mummy used to, properly! Why not try one of the best food books of 2016 – Salt is Essential by Shaun Hill. And if you’re really quick, you can have an extra book – Rib Ticklers & Choux-Ins: 110 sensational recipes, from steaks & bakes to cheesecakes by Glynn Purnell, bundled in at no extra cost too. But hurry, there’s only nine (9) left!

If you’re in Britain buy them via Amazon UK. If you’re in the US buy these books via Amazon.com here and here. If you’re in Germany, buy these books via Amazon.de.

  • GO ON A WALKING TOUR
Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending 16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!
Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending
16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

You’re broke and you can’t afford to travel the world. Not to worry. Let the world travel to you! Join a walking tour in a major city near you. Completely and utterly free (except for the tips of course. We said save money, not steal it!).

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment! ©Scott Herder - BoboandChiChi.com
Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

On the other hand, you’ve got holiday time due to you, or you want to surprise a loved one, then don’t be shy take the next train, or flight, and book a hotel to anywhere in the world. Go on. You deserve it!

If you’re in Britain, book a hotel room via Booking.com. If you’re in the US, book a hotel room via Booking.com. If you’re in Germany, book a hotel room via Booking.com auf Deutsch.

  • MAKE JAM or CHUTNEY
Plum jam doesn't cost a single thing!
Plum jam doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

We all eat far too much! Using the fruit and vegetables from your garden, your terrace, or even your window sill, can give you jams and chutney galore. Instead of throwing out your excess fruit, make jam and give them to your friends and family.

We have a plum-tree, a blackberry tree, and hundreds of tomatoes. Fresh produce doesn’t do itself justice, bearing in mind that there are no added chemicals. In fact, no added anything! Just put in a little sunshine, a bit of water, some basic pruning from time-to-time, a couple of old teabags, and you’ve got yourself a vegetable patch, and freshness to last you through the winter!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

If you’re as bad a cook as I am, get yourself a cookery book and learn how to to find fruit and vegetables all around us. Buy your loved ones a book that has never been out of print called appropriately: Food for Free by Richard Mabey! If you’re in Britain buy it via Amazon UK. If you’re in the US buy this book via Amazon.com. If you’re in Germany, buy this book via Amazon.de.

MAKE A HOME-MADE MOVIE

A home-made film doesn't cost a single thing!
A home-made film doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

If you have a smart phone, a camera, or a selfie stick, you can start making your very own-home movie, starring YOU. Produced by you, and directed and scripted, completely and utterly by you. Boy, but what a thrill!

I’m not going to show you any of my own home-movies. I’m not mad you know! But if you want to see some of my professional ones, click here!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

If you’re serious about movies and films, and want to take making a movie to the next level, why not go to film festivals for inspiration, then enrol at a film school nearby. I’m constantly being asked to make some sort of film production, made and produced by myself.

Er. Nope!

I love watching films. I love being in films, but I’m not skilled enough to actually make the film! And nor do I want to. I love being in front of the camera, rather than behind it!

I was even asked by the BBC to take part in an creative art make your own digital film project, but I turned it down. The BBC. I know!! Having said that, I love learning stuff which is why I’m always at one workshop or another, and there’s nothing wrong with adding to the skills that one already has. So I might book one of the MET practical filmmaking world renowned weekend courses after all. And certainly, if you’re serious about this stuff, you should do the same, or get one of your grannies to pay for it!

  • READ A BOOK
Reading a book doesn't cost a single thing!
Reading a book doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

If you’re clever, getting a book for free is as easy as getting a slice of bread, all you had to do is search for a classic book online, or go to your local library, and the book is yours. Certainly the Berlin Central and Regional Library (ZLB), yearly library membership cost between just €5.00 – €10.00 a year and include being able to borrow DVDs, Videos, Music CDs, Booklets, Audio books, Art related items, and up to 60 books at a time! On top of that, you have access to every other public library in the city. All pretty much free of charge.

Gosh!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

Why waste time. Buy your loved ones a kindle, and they can have a book for life!

Kindles are on special offer right now and they’re much cheaper than an iPad! I have Kindle on my iPad, and my phone, and a few years ago we bought “The Tall Young Gentleman” a Kindle Fire Tablet, and he’s still using it! For children, teenagers and millennials, Kindle Fire is your man!

If you’re in Britain, buy Kindle Fire via Amazon.uk. If you’re in the US, buy Kindle Fire via Amazon.com. If you’re in Germany, buy Kindle Fire via Amazon. de.

If you’re a dedicated reader, then a Kindle Paperwhite is more useful! If you’re in Britain, buy Kindle Paperwhite via Amazon.uk. If you’re in the US, buy Kindle Paperwhite via Amazon.com. If you’re in Germany, buy Kindle Paperwhite via Amazon. de.

Whatever. Buy a kindle!

ps. Fire Kindle does Snapchat too, if you download Google play store…

  • CHARITABLE GIFTS THAT YOU CAN SEE!
Donating an old toy, doesn't cost a single thing!
Donating an old toy, doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

I personally like to donate clothes, books and toys. I’ve also donated my time by teaching for free, or offering some other service. At one point, I was a Charitable Director of a Woman’s Shelter in London, and a civilian sergeant in the Engineering Unit of the Territorial Army!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

Most people by their very nature are charitable and want to help others, but sometimes there’s a nagging feeling if you’re really doing what you can? Is your money going to the people who need it most, or some administrative office in Switzerland?

Some organizations offer more tangible ways to do this. I’ve donated to UNESCO for children and natural disasters. I’ve also given money to start-up organisations in Berlin, as I like to support up and coming talent in various ways!

I was first introduced to a company called Kiva.org via my previous company who made a donation of $25 on my behalf, promising to double whatever I donated myself.  It’s a non-profit organisation that allows people to lend money via the internet to low-income entrepreneurs “to alleviate poverty.”

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

I donated another $25 and got to choose who I would give this loan to. I chose the owner of a small corner shop in South America. She paid me $2.00 every month and paid back the loan. But not to worry, I didn’t take the money. It’s put into your account where you can loan it out again!

Well-known charities like Oxfam, allow you to donate a specific animal – a goat or llama – or other basic items needed by the village.  You can also “adopt” endangered animals through animal conservation organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

  • FAMILY HISTORY 
Researching your family history doesn't cost a single thing!
Researching your family history doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

Research your family history  and ask your grandparents about your ancestry, your roots, and your family history. You can also go to the local library, local burial grounds, church, place of worship, the town hall or failing that, get online and do some digging via  Ancestry.com! You’ll be surprised at what you find!

Via an old newspaper article, I found out that my dad was the first engineer of colour, in his Northern England unit! He’s in his 70’s now, so you can imagine what an achievement that was at the time!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

You can hire an expert historian who will do the digging for you and make your genealogical tree, or you can get your family tested for DNA. After all how do you think I know that I’m descended from royalty. I always tell people that I’m related to the other Queen Victoria. I’m not. It’s different royalty. But I might be!

Failing that why not go to Europe and find out. Many of you are descended from people in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia. Don’t you think it’s time you took a plane and found out!

  • WRITE YOUR OWN BOOK or START YOUR OWN BLOG
How to write & publish a book! I prefer paper or hard back!
How to write & publish a book!
I prefer paper or hard back!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

Get yourself a glass of wine, grab some plain  white paper or your laptop, and get writing!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

The Bee Hive by Simon Adepetun.
The Bee Hive by Simon Adepetun.

Buy the book of someone else. An ordinary person. Just like you.

Someone like my very own  brother, who wrote a children’s book called THE BEEHIVE, in just three (3) months!

If you’re in Britain buy it via Amazon UK. If you’re in the US buy this book via Amazon.com. If you’re in Germany, buy this book via Amazon.de.

Also, if you want to be like me when you grow up – a well-respected smart British – German blogger, all you have to do is to get yourself a website host such as Blue Host, and open up the website of wordpress.com.

It’s really easy and can be done in all of 10 minutes! If you really want to know how to set up a WordPress website in any language, let me know, and I’ll set up a post about it in January! Speaking of languages, have you seen my language tab at the top of the page? Now you can switch my post to any language you desire! Nifty!

I'm a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin - © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin –
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

So what are you waiting for, Xmas is just around the corner, get to work!

And good luck!

10 Christmas gifts that don't cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!
10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and amazing gifts, are my very own!

In January, I’ll be going to Holland.

The British Shorts Film Festival will take place from 12th – 18th January, 2017

Berlin Fashion Week will take place from 17th –  20th January, 2017.

At the end of January, I’ll be skiing in the Czech Republic.

Save the Date!

December is going to be bouncing!

Watch this space!

Please also note that there are three affiliate link companies (for the very first time), connected to this Christmas gift time post! Every time one of those services are used,  booked, and paid for via my link, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself! A win-win for all!

10 Christmas gifts that don't cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!
10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do!!

Which of these gifts would you use?  Do you prefer to buy, or give away? Let me know!

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com