How To Host Travel Bloggers

Our dear friend Aafke, whom we met in Bolivia over two years ago, hosted us at her flat in Amsterdam for one week. Sweet deal for us – not only did she give us a place to sleep, feed us, and play tour guide, she also offered to write a guest post about how to host travel bloggers after her experience hosting us!  We gladly accepted, even after seeing that she included tips on “how to get rid of us”.  


Some of our other traveling friends had better take note and step-it-up – the bar has been raised!


How to Host Travel Bloggers

Dalene as a sandwich

It was Monday afternoon and I was on my way home from work, rapidly picked up a few groceries to make sure my fridge and cupboards were stocked with typical Dutch food. At 6pm, when I was just about to open my front door, I turned and saw two “sandwiches” entering my street. It was kind of surreal to see these tourists – both carrying one bag at the back and one at the front – not walking around in the city centre or red light district, but just on an ordinary street in Amsterdam. What made it even more strange is that these two “sandwiches” are my friends who I met 2 years ago in a hostel in Bolivia and several times thereafter in South and Central America. We know each other quite well but we didn’t yet know each others friends, family, nor home. This was about to change drastically in the coming week.

The first evening I made a typical Dutch meal and of course we had to do a lot of catching up as we had not seen each other for more than half a year. I enjoyed having them around very much and at the same time was still a bit worried if they were okay – if they had enough drinks and if my house (of the size of a post stamp) was too small, etc. This changed very rapidly as within a day I felt that they were more flatmates than visitors. They made breakfast while I was showering, prepared dinner when I came back from work and Pete even did some plumbing!

However, if you – fellow Hecktic fans – are thinking of giving these vagabonds a roof over their heads for one or more days, be prepared and study a bit before hand, because…

Aafke the tour guide

Aafke as a tour guide

They will constantly ask you questions about facts and figures:

  • How many people live in Amsterdam?
  • How big is your country from north to south and east to west?
  • How many canals does Amsterdam “the Venice of the north” have?
  • Interesting that you told us there are more bicycles than cars in Amsterdam, but how many bikes exactly do you have here?

And when they figured out I got quite frustrated from not knowing the answers and having to check Wikipedia a couple of times a day, they started to ask the most irrelevant questions ever:

  • How many cars are being pushed in the canal every year?
  • How many pigeons are there in Amsterdam?
  • For how many years have the prostitutes been using red lights?

They are also very interested in the law:

  • Would it be illegal to drink while cycling?
  • Do hookers need a permit to do their job?
  • How much can hookers ask for their services?
  • How many marijuana plants can you have? Could you sell your harvest to the coffee shops?

After having read this, are you still surprised that funny Google searches such as “naked snow shovelers” and “smelling dirty underwear” lead you to their blog?


If you had a pleasant time with them but come to a point where you think it is about time for the Hecktics to go back on the road, I also have the following tips:

  • Switch off the wifi or just change the password!  Every free second they get themselves an iPod, Mac or netbook and go onto the web to make sure they don’t miss out on something. I think they should change one of their slogans into: “home is wherever our backpacks devices rest”.
  • Be clear that you will never adopt them nor marry both of them so that they can get a visa to your country. After they did something nice or said something that made me laugh, they immediately asked me with a pleading tone in their voice: “Are you now ready to adopt us both?

Dinner with friends

Despite the above, 😉 we had a great week and we have created a lot of new shared memories together. We ended our reunion on Sunday evening with a visit to my sister who celebrated her birthday. They met my whole family who all shared their own stories about the history and customs of the Netherlands. I think they got a bit more insight into where my roots are and maybe understand a bit of the (sometimes strange) habits of this Dutch girl.

Hope to be able to enjoy their company a lot of times in various locations – perhaps somewhere near the “Hecktic roots” – in the future!  Nos vemos pronto!

Super heroes

If you aren’t our Facebook fan yet, you are missing out on fun pictures and stories from the road! Head on over (Aafke), sign up for Facebook (Aafke), and “Like” our fan page (Aafke!)

43 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • October 31 2011

    This is so funny! I can totally relate as I’ve hosted a lot of people (some bloggers, some volunteers) and I’m always amazed at the questions these people ask! I feel like I have to be a walking encyclopedia sometimes! 🙂 Of course, it’s always great fun to have them around.
    Rain recently posted..Grave Matters: 5 Cemeteries Worth a Visit in the Philippines

    • November 1 2011

      And the worst thing is that I never think to look these things up myself, I just expect everyone to know for me…haha… 🙂

  • October 31 2011

    I love the photo of Dalene turtling so cute.
    ayngelina recently posted..Jordan is the Canada of the Middle East

    • November 1 2011

      Haha, thanks! I don’t mind the turtle/sandwich look as it hides my beer belly. 🙂

  • October 31 2011

    This is hilarious. Scott and I usually ask tons of questions like that as well. If someone asked me a bunch of questions about where I live I would probably have no idea either.
    Christy @ Ordinary Traveler recently posted..Video: Out of this World Phosphorescent Waves

    • November 1 2011

      I know, right? Aafke was awesome, she had even bought an English book about Amsterdam for us to look at. Except that it ended up being a children’s picture book! 🙂

  • October 31 2011

    So cute!! I always ask to be adopted, too!! One day!!
    dtravelsround recently posted..The Thailand Foodgasm: The ultimate Thai buffet

    • November 1 2011

      One day…as long as it’s someone European, we’d be happy!

  • Aafke
    October 31 2011

    Yes yes sorry guys, I think I am still not ready to give up my “Miss no Facebook” status, one day I’ll sign up, push all the required like buttons and become a real fan. Until then I hope it’s okay to express it in other ways 😉

    • November 1 2011

      I suppose that will do. Another guest post for next week? 🙂

  • October 31 2011

    Cute post 🙂 It’s so cool when you meet people while traveling that you would consider visiting again…..and then actually do!
    Claire recently posted..Philadelphia, I Love You

    • November 1 2011

      Oh yes, well we seem to be stalking each other with Aafke. She came to see us in Honduras, we came and found her in Netherlands. It’s fun to guess where we might meet up next!

  • Mom
    October 31 2011

    Got a real chuckle from this blog !!!!!

    • November 1 2011

      Well, you know what it’s like to host these wandering bums too…although I guess we don’t ask many questions about Lethbridge! 🙂

  • November 1 2011

    Haha, what a fun post! It’s always fun to get the “other” side of the guest-host equation. Looks and sounds like you all had fun, though!
    Amanda recently posted..Spooky Travel Tales From Around the World

    • November 1 2011

      We had a great time! We always do with Aafke…now, if she’d just adopt us already…

  • Hilarious post! I also asked a host to adopt me once, she was letting us stay and work at her vineyard to extend our visa in Australia. Unfortunately she refused! (I know, right, who wouldn’t want to adopt me?!) telling me at 25 I was too old to be adopted.


    Great post guys!
    Beverley | Pack Your Passport recently posted..Travelling in Australia: What Not To Pack

    • November 1 2011

      Hmmm…I think we may have to start looking into countries that allow for “elderly” adoption!

  • November 1 2011

    I love this! What a great idea for a post. I love that she calls you guys “sandwiches” 🙂
    Emily Sims recently posted..The most beautiful place in America: Part 1

    • November 2 2011

      Yes, sweet term for us, hey? 🙂

  • I love that she called you “sandwiches.” I look like that too when I’m traveling!
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Buenos Aires Odd Jobs: The Recycling Program

    • November 2 2011

      Ah, yes, a very endearing nickname for us! Ah well, she could call us worse things – ha!

  • November 1 2011

    We always joke that the reason we don’t want to get married is because we’re keeping our options open to get us some European visas. 😉 We recently met a French (unmarried) couple and came THISCLOSE to making an arrangement with them! Totally on the up and up…. right?

    • November 2 2011

      SO SMART! We’ve been cursing our marriage for that reason! 🙂

  • November 2 2011

    hahaha turning off the wifi/changing the password is such a great tip!
    Hopefully our paths will cross this weekend! 🙂
    Cailin recently posted..Scary Travel

    • November 2 2011

      Yeah, she was pretty quick to threaten that when we stayed there…although I really don’t think we are THAT BAD! 🙂

  • Abby
    November 1 2011

    That’s so funny! Tourists ask the darndest things. I get the funniest questions here in Vegas!

    • November 2 2011

      Oh, I can imagine that “anything goes” as far as questions are concerned about Vegas! 🙂

  • November 2 2011

    They are valid questions! Seriously! I’m curious about things like that too.

    Although, it was funny to hear some questions from our Japanese host family about peanut butter and bath robes.
    Erica recently posted..The Wilds of Costa Rica: A Break from the Tourism

    • Pete
      November 3 2011

      haha, i can imagine. I’m usually the one that comes up with the ridiculous questions. Dalene can vouch for that 🙂

  • November 3 2011

    OMG. Still laughing (out loud). And now seriously: how many cars are being pushed in the canal every year? Really wanna know this…
    Yvonne recently posted..5 Travelous Winter City Trips

    • Pete
      November 3 2011

      Thanks Yvonne, and i’m wondering too. I’m still waiting for the statistic. Aafke? 😉

  • November 3 2011

    Haha awesome. Scoring a free week AND a tour guide in a great city is definitely a treat for any traveller. Neat idea for the post as well from her point of view.
    Cole @ FourJandals recently posted..Hump Day – Where in The World?

    • Pete
      November 3 2011

      We actually have met Aafke 7 different times in our travels now and she is already planning our New Years. She has agreed to take on the position as our publicist 🙂 She was the best tour guide ever and it was wonderful to able to spend a week with her. I’m so glad she agreed to write this post for us 🙂

  • November 3 2011

    Cute! I know I ask a ton of dumb questions… for some reason I think we ask ones that we wouldn’t even be able to answer about our own hometowns.I field quite a few here in Myrtle Beach… great advice for would be hosts 🙂

    • November 4 2011

      Oh, I definitely wouldn’t be able to answer many of those. And to be honest, I don’t know what I’d do with that information even if Aafke was able to tell me how many pigeons are in Amsterdam! 🙂

  • November 4 2011

    This totally brings to mind my own time living in Holland when I Couchsurfed my way around Europe. I miss those days–and the randomness such experiences brought my way!
    Camels & Chocolate recently posted..Photo Friday: Cape Town, South Africa

  • November 5 2011

    Cute! I love reuniting with travel friends.
    Rease recently posted..10 Phrases You Won’t Learn in Italian Class

  • November 7 2011

    What a unique idea for a guest post! I love it!

  • November 17 2011

    hahaha very funny! I can totally understand the need to be online pretty much ALL THE TIME! Its the curse of the travel blogger!
    Jade Johnston recently posted..Midweek Snapshot – New Zealand – December 2010

    • November 17 2011

      We just had two days kinda offline and I kinda loved it. What does that say?? Uh oh…

  • NLM
    November 18 2011

    Funny–maybe temporary adoption is the answer–“foster bloggers?”
    NLM recently posted..I’ve Heard of Pink Elephants

    • Pete
      November 20 2011

      We’re going to keep trying 🙂

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