Top Travel Tips For A First Time Traveller

Getting out and seeing the world is nothing short of amazing. It can shift perspectives, inspire you to greater things or simply give you a wider appreciation of what’s going on in the world. There are a few pitfalls, however. Some of these are small, while others can be quite damaging. They vary, of course, depending on where you are going or who you are going with. They also differ because people carry themselves in different ways. Advice that might be obvious to one person might be like a light bulb turning on for someone else. There’s a huge amount of excitement involved in travelling and visiting new places, however you need to temper this so that you get all of the preparations right and leave yourself able to enjoy the best of trips. Here are some top tips to get you started. Don’t forget to apply them to your own situation to ensure you get the absolute best out of them and research further to ensure you’re totally covered.

Agency or Not?

A lot of people take pride in booking everything themselves. Plane tickets, tickets for attractions, itineraries, etc. However, others might like this to be done for them. For example, if you’re on your own you might look into singles travel tours so that you can travel with someone else. At the same time, you might just want to book it and save some money. Some agencies are brilliant and have stellar reviews while others should be avoided at all costs. This is why it’s important to do your research and know. Check the reviews, talk to friends who have used them before. Also, if your trip isn’t exactly a complex one you might consider just booking it yourself. Have a look and price it all up, then see how much more an agency would be. Always worth doing the work to get the best price because that way you have more money to spend on the actual travelling.

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Be Battery Ready

When you’re travelling it’s so easy for your device battery to deplete fast. This is especially the case if you’re travelling by train or bus for a long distance when you haven’t got a power source to plug into. It can also occur if you’re going into the sticks camping off the beaten track. You need to plan your charges wisely. Make sure that you get the charge you need so you have battery for emergency calls. A power bank can be a wise move. Or a smartphone battery case which can extend the battery life of your phone. A power bank can be used to charge a laptop and other devices too like a GPS. They vary in power offerings so be careful what you buy. Also, banks themselves need to be properly charged and can take quite a while to absorb all the charge they have so factor that into your travelling. A good tip is to charge everything whenever you have the chance to do so or you may end up rueing it later on. 

Research The Area

Not just the country, the area you’re staying in. There are good and bad places in every city and district. Be aware of them and try to steer clear of them. You also want to research the common scams. Tourists are often clear targets for scammers looking to make a quick buck, this can be at an ATM or by trying to get you to buy something. Be careful and be informed and you should be able to steer clear. The same applies to taxi rides. Pre book for a fair fee if you can and don’t grab a taxi right from the airport. If you’ve done some research into the area then it’ll be a lot safer for you. Knowledge is power.

Going off track? Prepare

A lot of travellers like to go off track so that they can see more of the country. Yet each year a lot of people get into trouble, some even end up losing their lives because they’re not prepared. To get around this, you need to do a lot of research. See if you can get a local guide who knows their business. They also need to be great at what they do and have reviews. Perhaps they’re attached to a good travel company. Once you’ve got the guide you need the gear. If you’re hedging somewhere cold, don’t just buy an ordinary sleeping bag. You’ll need something a lot heavier to ensure you get a good night’s sleep and don’t fall into danger. You could end up in the hospital, or worse. Somewhere hot? You need water and lots of it. You might also need things like sun resistant clothing, a hat, sunglasses, mosquito spray or nets. A good tent which isn’t too hard to put up and take down. You need the right gear for the right environments. 

Be Currency Safe

Take a bit of everything. Don’t just take cash because if it gets stolen you’ll be in trouble and without money. Take some of your home currency if needed, the dollar usually goes far anywhere in the world as does pounds. Then take some cash for smaller purchases and then take a credit card (one which doesn’t charge a fortune for use abroad) and maybe a prepaid card or something similar. Research each place you’re going to and check on what’s widely accepted. To cut down on the amount of cash or currency you have to carry, pre book all you can before you leave. This usually includes flights, excursions or long distance train fairs. Most importantly accommodation. Sometimes you’ll play it by ear and find accommodation wherever it turns up. But if you can book beforehand there will be less of a need to carry large sums of money with you.You’ll only need money for food and other essentials making you less of a target, or if you are a target there will be less of a fallout.

Simple Ways To Make Your Home Eco-Friendly

Simple Ways To Make Your Home Eco-Friendly

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Thanks to more education and access to more resources, the globe is doing everything it can to reduce the environmental damages we cause. There are new initiatives to cut down on single-use plastics and to reduce carbon emissions. People are understanding that in order for the plan to work, everyone has to do their part.

If you are looking for ways that you or your household can contribute to the ongoing efforts to heal our planet, check out these simple ways to make your home more eco-friendly. We understand that not everyone can afford to have a solar installation company put in solar panels. These tips are perfect for any budget.

Use Cold Water When Washing Clothes

If you use cold water when you wash your clothes, you could be saving a ton on energy as 90 percent of the energy used by a washing machine is because of the process it takes to heat up the water. Using cold water is better for the planet and your clothes anyway. Overtime hot water can damage the fabrics used in your clothes. Your colors will become less vibrant and they will deteriorate with continued use.

Hang Dry Your Clothes

Letting your clothes air dry is another simple step you can take to make your home more eco-friendly. This is especially a good idea during the hot and sunny months or if you live in a place with warm weather for most of the year. Your clothes and bedding will also last longer if you line dry. Do not have a line to dry? No worries! Use a drying rack outside instead. If you do not have space in your backyard, or you do not have a backyard at all, put a drying rack on your balcony.

Use LED Lights For Traditional Lights

LED lights are more energy-efficient. You will use less electricity while also making your home more eco-friendly. LED light bulbs also last way longer than the traditional lightbulbs. There is no amount of convincing that should ever persuade you that traditional lights are the better option because they are not.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

This is the quickest way to implement eco-friendly habits into your household. Get a recycling bin and make sure you do the proper research on how to properly recycle. In addition to getting a recycling bin, you could also get a compost bin. This could help you get rid of the leftovers that you do not want to put into the kitchen sink while also providing free fertilizer to your plants.

Start Your Own Herb Garden

Planting your own herb garden will not only save your money, but it could also help improve the environment. You do not have to waste money picking up fresh herbs at the grocery stores. You also do not have to worry about recycling the plastic containers they are typically sold in. Starting your own herb garden is easy. You do not need a lot of space.

Incredible Mountain Retreats To Enjoy This Winter

With the winter on the way, many of us are thinking about where we’d like to go on our holiday breaks. For many of us, the season is synonymous with traveling to the mountains, seeing their snow-capped peaks, and spending some time by the fire.

Mountain retreats, however, can be a little inaccessible or sparsely served by the regular hospitality industry. For that reason. Halterman’s RV recommends changing the way you travel, using an RV instead of going to an overcrowded resort. In general, this is a good idea because it gives you more freedom to explore new areas a little off the beaten track, instead of just following tourists in the crowd.

Whistler, BC

Whistler is one of the most famous mountain biking and skiing destinations in the world. It features some of the most stunning scenery you’ll find anywhere in British Columbia too. But in addition to these sports, you’ll also find opportunities for zip-lining, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, climbing, wildlife tours, and geocaching. In short, this destination is for people who want to spend the winter outside, having as much fun as possible. Just remember to wrap up warm. Things can get pretty cold here over the winter season.

Banff, Alberta

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Banff is the chosen location for all sorts of international conferences, including for physicists, probing the deepest levels of reality. It’s not surprising they chose the spot. This area presents one of nature’s finest natural environments, with beautiful lagoons, stunning mountains, and plenty of wilderness to explore.

Banff is the quintessential Canadian retreat, offering an instantly recognizable combination of pine forests, serene lakes, and craggy rocks. Trails stretch out all over the region, allowing you to test your hiking skills. There are also multiple caravanning sites where you can hook up your RV and travel from there as a base.

Telluride, Colorado

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Heading south, you’ll find the beautiful region of Telluride in Colorado. Please note that this isn’t the most accessible destination in the world. In the winter, you may struggle to reach it. But if you manage to get there okay, you have all sorts of opportunities to explore this exciting and unique environment.,

The region around Telluride is perfect backcountry for those looking to get out and enjoy the genuine wilderness. But it is also suitable for pampered city types who want to experience luxury destinations and all the amenities that come with them. Unlike Aspen or Vail, Telluride retains much of its local rustic charm. It’s not just a giant processing plant for tourists, getting as many people up and down the mountain as possible. Commercialization isn’t in full swing here – which can be a nice thing sometimes.

Stowe, Vermont

Head over to the east coast, and you’ll eventually stumble upon Stowe, the famous Vermont region that offers a host of winter sports for your enjoyment between November and March.

Here you try your hand at things like ice skating, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and skiing. There are also plenty of opportunities to visit museums and art galleries. Plus, you can visit the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory just down the road.

7 Steps To A Perfectly Packed Suitcase

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Are you planning an exotic break away? You might be worried about what you’ll need to pack, and even when you’ll find the time to do it all. 

Packing needn’t be something that you spend so long stressing over. If you know what you are doing when you pack your case- it’s a doddle. 

To help you along, here are seven handy tips to help you pack your suitcase. 

1. Pick the Right Suitcase for the Journey 

First, you will need to make sure that you have the right case for the trip that you are taking. Think about the length of your break and the type of clothes that you’ll want to wear. Once you know this, you should find the smallest bag that you can. This is because you don’t want to be carrying a half-empty suitcase.

What method of transport are you taking? If you’re going to need to get your case around an airport, you’ll want one on wheels. For other forms of transport, wheels might be less important.  

2. Make a Packing List 

Before anything goes into a suitcase, you will need to make a list of what to pack. Do this a few days before you’re due to leave. That way, you’ll have a chance to add things if you remember them. 

Check out this website for a list of items that you need to remember in your hand luggage. 

3. Gather Your Items Together

Once you’ve made your list, gather up all of the items. Don’t put them in your case yet!

4. Tweak Your Item List 

Once you’ve got everything side-by-side you’ll be able to see what you might be taking. 

This is your chance to cut things from the case. Start to edit down the stack of clothes so that you only take what you really need. 

5. Pack Your Shoes First 

Your shoes should go in your case first. They’re your bulkiest items, so they need to be at the bottom of your case. 

6. Use Dividers 

A great way of dividing up your case is by using packing cubes. Put your gadgets in one, your toiletries in another, and your clothes in the biggest. Compressing your clothes in cubes will help you get more in.

7.Roll Your Clothes

Instead of folding your clothes, why not try rolling them? You’ll find it easier to get more into your case. Make sure that they’re rolled as tight as possible to save extra space. 

Don’t Forget…

Finally, before you take your case with you to the airport, don’t forget to weigh it at home. When you check-in for your flight, they’ll weigh it at the desk. If it’s too heavy, you’ll have to pay extra for the privilege. Checking the weight before you go will ensure you don’t get a nasty surprise at the check-in desk. 

Following these simple instructions will help you get the best from your packing. But don’t forget your passport

Gardening For A Greener Future

We all know that’s taking care of the environment is going to help us create a better future for not only ourselves but for future generations, making sure that we aren’t damaging our environment too much through our actions is all of our responsibilities, and taking care of it on a ground level by starting at home is always a good idea. There are many studies that show if everybody was to take some action, to help reduce their carbon footprint, energy use, or general use of resources then we would see a significant improvement in the environment as a whole. So here are some ideas that can help you grow a beautiful garden, without worrying too much about the impact on the environment at the same time.

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Photo by Emiel Molenaar on Unsplash

Water
Making sure that we aren’t water in our gardens with direct water lines, that can be detrimental to the way in which we consume water, and thinking of unique ways in which we can keep our plants well-fed, without using too much of the water filtering systems, Which overall costs not only money but time and effort as well as energy. There are many ways in which we can store water, from small water butts to 5000 liter water tank, and be able to manage your water usage effectively is essential. Many people have come up with unique ideas on how to keep a garden watered, and avoiding using sprinkler systems too much. Not only is collecting rainwater a great idea, which helps reduce the amount of water we are taking from reservoirs etc, but it can help the wildlife thrive at the same time if you are clever about it.

Homegrown
The carbon footprint of the food that we eat can sometimes be quite shocking, we don’t always turn to think about where our food comes from, or how much energy I have taken to get to that point, but we can start to grow our own food at home, and many people even go on to have whole allotments where they grow a lot of the fruit and veg themselves. Depending on the resources that you have, and the amount of time that you are able to commit to growing fruit and vegetables, will depend on your harvest, but it can be quite surprising in how much you can grow just in your back garden, and it can be educational for the children as well!

Recycle
Making your garden look wonderful doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a fortune either, you can always recycle barrels, and create flower beds with old decking that you may have lying around. Many people are turning to recycle all sorts of pieces of wood into garden furniture, more recently a popular idea is to turn pallets into seating, so there is plenty of opportunities to recycle items that you no longer need or use, and turn them into wonderful garden accessories or even furniture as well.

5 Great Reasons To Visit Fort Pierce In Florida

If you are planning a trip to Florida, you may be looking at places like Orlando or Miami, but there are so many other places to discover. Fort Pierce is one of the most underrated places in Florida, which is a real shame because it has so much to offer and it caters for people of all interests. These are just some of the amazing things that you can do on a trip to Fort Pierce.

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Boat Trips

Florida is the boating capital of the world, and Fort Pierce is one of the best boating destinations in the state. You can charter a boat from some great companies like Carefree Boat Club Fort Pierce who will make the process so easy. You don’t need to worry about any dock fees or insurance and if you are a complete beginner, there will be expert staff on hand to help you get to grips with the boat. There are some great intercoastal waterways to explore, and it’s one of the best fishing destinations in the world.

Diving

Fort Pierce is also a great location for diving and exploring the seabed. There are some amazing coastal reefs that you can explore, and even some shipwrecks where you can search for treasure. Even if you are a complete beginner, there are some great instructional classes that you can take. However, it is important that you interact with wildlife responsibly when you dive because coastal reefs are under threat.

Beaches

Fort Pierce is also home to some of the best beaches in the country. There are over 21 mile of unspoiled beaches, and they are much quieter than any of the spots that you are used to visiting around Florida. Pepper Park Beach is a great destination for families as it has facilities like a children’s play area, tennis courts, and a nice picnic area. You will also find some great surfing schools on most of the beaches if you want to try your hand at some water sports.

Golf

If you want to take a relaxing trip and play some golf, Fort Pierce is the ideal place to go. Gator Trace Golf and Country Club has a great 18-hole course that is not too challenging, so it’s better suited to beginners and casual players than a lot of the other courses in the area. Just remember that there are gators in the water, so if you lose a ball, it’s best to leave it.

Farmers Markets

Visiting a farmers market is a great way to get to know a new place. You can discover all of the culinary delights that the area is famous for, and meet plenty of the locals as well. The Downtown Fort Pierce farmers market on the scenic waterfront area has over 70 local vendors selling a range of amazing seasonal fruit and vegetables, prepared food items, and handmade arts and crafts. If you are looking for some cheap, delicious foods, make sure to hit up the food trucks at the market.

Next time you are planning a trip to Florida, don’t overlook Fort Pierce because it’s such an amazing destination.

3 Ways To Be Kinder To Your Country

If you want to show your patriotism or simply be a better citizen, finding ways to be kinder to your country is a surefire way to help you to do that. Below, we have 3 ways you can be kinder to your country – take a look and see what you can do today. 

  1. Buy From Small and Local Business

Make sure you buy from small and local business rather than chains owned by corporate giants. Small and local businesses are better because you’re putting money back into the economy, as well as directly contributing to somebody’s livelihood. You should also make sure that your purchases support your values. If you want to reduce plastic usage, don’t buy items with a lot of plastic packaging. Make sure your purchases reflect what you believe in. You ‘vote’ with your money, so make sure you’re voting for the important things, like less plastic, organic food, and cosmetics that are cruelty free. You do have more power than you think when it comes to spending your money.

2. Don’t Litter 

Littering is something you should never do. You should wait until you find a bin, even if it means putting the litter in your bag or car somewhere. Make sure you use the correct bins to dispose of litter so that the right materials go to recycling, too. 

3. Get Involved In Important Causes 

Spread the word about various causes in the community and get involved. You could even volunteer at a local polling station. 

Many people wonder if there’s anything they can do about the country’s infrastructure – the infographic below can help.



credit to Norwich University

WAMA – Sustainable underwear

IMGP6056.JPGSustainable fashion

The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, which has an enormous impact on the environment. A huge impact is felt within the Earths water supply through water pollution, mass water consumption and microfibers entering our oceans. Waste accumulation is another factor, causing chemical waste to penetrate soil systems and air networks. The production of fast fashion has also enhanced greenhouse gas emissions and contributed to rainforest destruction.

As we become more aware of the fashion industries impact on the Earth, more and more companies are making the move towards sustainable alternatives. Sourcing materials locally, employing local people, using less water in the production line and limiting the supply chain. Overall reducing the impact on the Earth. The clothing is also made to be more durable and long lasting. Buying sustainable clothing is another step in the right direction in reducing our carbon footprint. Every step counts, big or small.

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WAMA Underwear

I am always on the lookout for sustainable clothing brands and was so happy to learn about WAMA underwear  a company whose missions is to

 pioneer the hemp underwear industry by making the best hemp undies in the world and constantly improving the fit, function and design.

leading the way to the future of sustainable hemp underwear for both men and women. Not only does WAMA use the worlds most sustainable fabric, they also work with small family run organic farms and ensure that each of their employees is provided with fair wages and good quality working conditions.

WAMA has been approved by PETA- People for the ethical treatment of animals and also by Green America – meeting high standards for social and environmental impacts. This is definitely a company that I can back and support.

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Benefits of Hemp

Hemp is the worlds most sustainable fabric.  Hemp is very gentle on the Earth, it requires little water for growth and relatively little land for it to cultivate.  Hemp plants don’t require the use of pesticides, herbicides or fungicides.  The process of the plant being transformed into a material can be done organically without the use of chemicals. Hemp material is extremely breathable and durable and is also anti-bacterial! Hemp can kill off any bacteria fungus or molds. Hemp underwear is a great addition to any sustainable wardrobe.

I have been extremely happy with my underwear from WAMA. The material is soft and breathable. To view the styles and colours from WAMA please click here 🙂

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How Humans And Wildlife Can Interact Sustainably

In all honesty, nobody wants to be known as a ‘city slicker’. Someone who isn’t in touch with nature, respect the wildlife and really feels at home in the great outdoors. Those that have grown up in the city, usually love the countryside once they get a bit older. However, so many of us have lost that unique touch with wildlife. We don’t pay attention to what we’re doing to our own countryside and indeed the wider country. Human and animal interactions don’t have to be so one-sided. We can live among wildlife without changing it. The trick is to always keep in mind the sustainability of our interactions. Nature must not be altered as we move through it, and animals should be respected even while you’re hunting.

 

 

A respectful hunter

 

In North America, some animals have to be hunted to keep the numbers down. Keeping deer numbers in check is vital for farmers because they would lose their crops and harvest due to the rampant grazing. However, hunters of all people know that in order to be a sustainable presence in the forest, they must not change the landscape. It may sound odd to some but even snapping twigs and brushing against branches is highly frowned upon. It’s not just about not alerting the prey animal, but not disturbing the nature you’re walking through either. Don’t step on flowers, mushrooms or even moss if you can help it. In order to have our great landscapes remain the same as they are now, hunters must move through the forest as if they were a ghost. Be respectful of the forest and try to leave it in the same way as you entered it.

 

Maintain population

 

If you own a lake and you’re unable to fish regularly, then, unfortunately, you’re not managing it correctly. You should have plenty of fish since there is no real way to escape besides underground channels. Call a lake management company that is able to come and see what the problem is for you. It might be due to the water quality, perhaps you’re overfishing, or it could just be that there is a predator nearby that have eaten most of the fish. The company will see if they can repopulate your lake with the correct fish types that were previously swimming around. They have stocked up ponds and lakes with indigenous fish to maintain the population and maintain the same ecosystem.

 

 

Avoiding meeting each other

 

Sometimes the best thing humans and animals can do for each other is just to stay out of each other’s ways. Grizzly bears are brilliant creatures but they are a threat to humans. Human beings must be aware that not seeing or going looking for a bear is a good thing. The fewer interactions brown bears and humans have the better for each other’s survival. That’s why you should follow bear tracks or ghost them to go bear watching.

 

Humans and animals need to find ways to interact with each other in sustainable ways. Hunters should respect the forest as they walk through it and anglers should not fish their lakes to emptiness.

4 Reasons Ecuador Should Be Next On Your Bucket List

galapagos-2451090_1280.jpgGalapagos Islands, Ecuador (Source

I think the hardest thing about traveling is figuring out where to go. We’re blessed with so many incredible travel destinations, yet some places often slip under the radar. For me, Ecuador is one of the most under-appreciated countries in South America – and the whole world. It’s such an exciting and beautiful place to visit, and everyone should add it to their bucket list. 

Not convinced? You will be after seeing these reasons to visit Ecuador:

The Galapagos Islands

Ecuador is home to one of the most incredible places on earth; the Galapagos Islands. Here, you will see some unique wildlife enjoying an untouched natural habitat. There are giant turtles, iguanas, seals, and even sharks. If you travel alone, it’s a joyous place to trek around as you take in all the beauty of your surroundings. For groups, there are Galapagos vacations for families that allow you to see all the amazing animals while being led around by a tour guide. You can’t really compare the Galapagos Islands to anything else because it’s utterly unique. It offers an experience like no other; it’s something you should see at least once before you die. 


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Banos

Banos is a little town that’s full of wondrous things for tourists to do. It’s not your typical travel destination; you get a real authentic taste of Ecuadorian culture here as it’s not overly commercialized. The beauty of this place is that it provides natural thrills for you to enjoy. There are mountains to climb, flowing waterfalls to jump from, white water rafting, long rope bridges, and even a swing that sends you out over the edge of a mountain. So, if you’re a bit of an adventure traveler that’s looking to get an adrenaline spike on your next holiday, then Banos is the perfect place for you. 

Excellent Food

The food in Ecuador is similar to most other areas of South America. As a result, it’s pretty damn delicious! You’ve got a host of sweet and savory treats to try, and plenty of small street food stalls or restaurants that serve the most authentic stuff. If you like fish, then try the ceviche in Ecuador as it’s really incredible. It’s also well worth trying cornbread as this is kind of a specialty in South America due to the diversity – you can have it with fillings for lunch, breakfast, or dinner. 

Incredible Weather

Finally, the weather in Ecuador is a good enough reason to pack your bags and head out there. The country is unique in that it sits on the equator. As such, you tend to get a pretty consistent climate all year round. It’s permanently hot and sunny, and you can take advantage of this by heading to some of the stunning beaches dotted around the coast. Speaking of which, you have hundreds of miles of coast to enjoy, and plenty of beautiful places to go swimming, sunbathe or have a little snorkel underwater. 

You see, Ecuador throw up lots of intriguing delights that make it a must-visit country. As a bonus, if you live in North America, then you’ll benefit from Ecuador using US dollars as its currency. So, there’s no need to worry about conversion rates when you set off!