9 Tips For First-Time Youth Travelers

When planning a trip, it’s important to do your research and plan ahead as much as possible. This is especially true for first-time youth travelers who may not have experience with long-distance travel.

Photo by Leah Kelley

Here Are A Few Tips To Help Make Your Trip Go Smoothly:

Budget wisely

Traveling can be expensive, so it’s important to budget wisely. Decide how much money you’re willing to spend before you even start planning your trip. Once you know your budget, research costs for accommodation such as glamping in upstate New York, food, and transportation so you can plan accordingly. Keep in mind that you can often find ways to save money by doing things like Couchsurfing or taking local buses instead of flying.

Be flexible

The best-laid plans often go awry, so it’s important to be flexible when you’re traveling. Things will inevitably go wrong at some point during your trip, whether it’s a missed train or a closed museum. When these things happen, don’t get upset – just go with the flow and make the best of the situation.

Step out of your comfort zone

One of the best things about traveling is that it allows you to step out of your comfort zone and experience new things. So don’t be afraid to try something new, whether it’s a food you’ve never heard of or an activity that seems a little scary. You might just surprise yourself with how much you enjoy it.

Be respectful

When you’re traveling to a new place, it’s important to be respectful of the local culture and customs. This means dressing modestly, being aware of your body language, and not being too loud or disruptive. If you’re not sure what the etiquette is in a particular situation, just ask – locals will be more than happy to help you out.

Meet new people

One of the best parts of traveling is meeting new people. So don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone, whether it’s the person sitting next to you on the plane or the bartender at your hotel. You never know who you might meet – they could end up being a great friend or even a travel buddy.

Keep an open mind

When you’re traveling, it’s important to keep an open mind and be willing to try new things. After all, that’s what travel is all about – expanding your horizons and learning about different cultures. So don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore the world.

Be prepared for possible jet lag

If you’re traveling long distances, be prepared for jet lag. This can ruin your trip if you’re not careful. To avoid jet lag, make sure to get plenty of sleep before your flight and drink lots of water during your travels.

Stay in safe areas

When you’re exploring a new city, it’s important to stay in safe areas. Ask the locals for advice on where to go and where to avoid. If you’re unsure about an area, it’s best to steer clear.

HAVE FUN!

At the end of the day, remember that travel is supposed to be fun. So don’t stress about things like missed trains or bad weather – just go with the flow and enjoy your time exploring new places. After all, you’ll only get to do it once, so you might as well make the most of it.

How to Make the Most Out of Any Trip

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Many of us travel because we want to relax and really enjoy all the world has to offer. Often, we fall short of doing that because we don’t know how to really make the most out of the trips we take.

If that sounds familiar, here are a few ideas that may help you to squeeze every drop of enjoyment out of your future trips whether they be in North America, Europe, or elsewhere:

Learn to live in the moment

This might sound like a trite phrase trotted out by a certain kind of person, but actually, it is the best advice you will get for traveling and life in general. If you are too busy trying to get the perfect selfie or too preoccupied with all the work that is piling up at home, you will never truly enjoy that sunset in Tuscany or that stunning painting in the MoMA gallery.

How do you learn to live in the moment more? Meditation can really help with this, but basically, focus your attention on what you are doing at the time and only what you are doing.

Do the most meaningful things

Instead of hitting the tourist traps just because you think you should pick out the things to do in Greenwich, Connecticut that really speak to you or make a point of finding the one attraction that blows your mind and focus on those experiences. Yes, many of the tourist traps are tourist traps for a good reason – they are amazing – but if they don’t speak to you on a meaningful level. Skip them and do the things that do. There is no right way to travel.

Try new things

Whether it’s staying with a local host family instead of booking into a generic hotel or going rock climbing when you have previously shied away from anything that might seem risky, trying new things will mean you have lots of new experiences, and although you may not enjoy them all, you will learn lots of new things about who you are and what life and travel means for you. You’ll end up having bigger highs than you did when you were just playing it safe, staying in a resort and sipping cocktails day after day )although if that’s your bag, there’s nothing wrong with that.) Be brave, try new things and the world will really start to open up to you.

Be spontaneous

Yes, it can be a good idea to have a loose itinerary of what you want to do so that you can fit in as much of the good stuff as possible. However, it’s also a good idea to embrace spontaneity and be a bit flexible with your schedule, so you can spend more time at that amazing gallery you just discovered or have dinner with that interesting new person you just met and not feel so rushed.

Traveling should be fun, and with these ideas, you can truly embrace the fun part of traveling and make your trips even more amazing than they have been in the past.

10 Travel Tips For Every Traveler

If you’re looking for travel advice, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’re going to share the best travel tips for everyone who is planning a trip. Whether you’re just starting out or have been planning your trip for years, we’ve got you covered.

Photo By Pablo Fernandez/Flickr

 

1. Choose the right travel destination

Before you head to the airport, it’s important to choose the right travel destination. You don’t want to end up in a country that’s too dangerous or too expensive. Here are some tips to help you make the best decision:

-Check the safety of the destination before you leave. Do your research and find out how safe the destination is before planning your trip.

-Check the weather conditions before you go. Visiting a destination during an intense thunderstorm could be dangerous.

-Explain your plans to your family and friends first. They may not be interested in traveling to a dangerous place, but they may be curious about what you’re going to do there.

-Make sure that you have enough money saved up for your trip. It’s always a good idea to have at least $2,000 saved up so that you can cover any unexpected costs.

 

2. Make extra copies of your passport and important documents

If you’re planning a trip and want to make sure you have everything you need, make extra copies of your passport and important documents. Not only will this help avoid any problems in case of an emergency, but it also gives you a copy to keep if something happens to your original document. You can email a copy to yourself too. 

You can also photocopy your driver’s license, social security card, or other important documents. You never know when you might need to have some sort of documentation and you might not want to carry your original. Additionally if your passport gets stolen, having a copy will come in handy for your police report. This way, if something comes up and you don’t have your original document, you can still get by without any issues.

 

3. Get travel insurance

Without travel insurance, you could be in for a lot of trouble. Not only will you be at risk if something happens to you on your trip, but you could also get sued if something terrible happens on your trip and you’re not responsible. Examples of companies include World Nomads who have great customer service and in-depth coverage or Insure My Trip, the best for those over 70 years old. By getting travel insurance, you can have peace of mind that everything will be okay.

 

4. Always visit the local tourism office

The best way to get the most out of your trip is to always visit the local tourism office. This will give you information about the location, attractions, and events that are happening in that area, they can also point you to free activities and help you save money! They even offer discounts on attractions and transportation. It is their job to help you experience the destination better.

5. Pack Light

One of the best ways to reduce your travel costs is to pack light. Starpoint Resorts give invaluable advice on this subject advising you to pre-plan your outfits, not giving yourself a choice as to what to wear every day. When you’re packing for your trip, try and think about what you need and don’t need. Instead of having a lot of unnecessary items in your suitcase, pack only what’s necessary. This way, you won’t have to waste time trying to find something that you don’t need or that you won’t be able to use.

6. Visit under-the-radar places.

The world is full of amazing places to visit that are off the beaten path and under the radar. The best thing about these places is that they have a lot less tourists, meaning you’ll be able to get up close and personal with them in ways that you would never be able to do at more popular destinations. 

Ecuador in particular is one of the most under-appreciated countries in South America, home to one of the most incredible places on Earth, the Galapagos Islands. Some of these destinations are off the beaten path, meaning you’ll have to take a plane or train to get there. But it’s worth the trip! These type of destinations are under-the-radar for good reasons. For example, one place might be relatively unknown because it’s not in a popular travel destination, but it has natural beauty that is worth exploring. Others might be under-the-radar due to accessibility or safety issues.

7. Take an extra bank card and credit card with you

When you’re planning your trip, make sure to bring along a few extra cards and credit cards. This way, you won’t have to worry about being overcharged or having to pay back your debt. You also want to be prepared for emergencies. If something happens and you can’t get your money back, you won’t have a problem.

 

8. Find the best hotels in your destination

One of the most important things you can do when planning a trip is to find the best hotels in your destination. This will allow you to have a more comfortable stay and save money on your stay. You can use different search engines to find the best hotels in your destination, such as Tripadvisor. By checking these websites, you’ll get a comprehensive list of hotels with room rates that are lower than what you would find at other hotels in the same city or town. Additionally, many online travel review sites offer reviews of hotels that are specifically tailored to travelers who are looking for deals or special deals.

 

9. Don’t fly direct to your destination

This is often a common practice for most people because it saves time and money. Sometimes it is cheaper to fly into an airport close to your final destination, and then take a train or bus to where you need to go. Google Flights and Momondo are the best flight search engines out there for finding airlines that offer the best deals and their calendar view lets you see which days are cheapest to fly.

10. Enjoy your trip!

No one knows what the future holds, but if you’re planning a trip, make sure you enjoy your time in each place you visit. If you don’t, you won’t have a good time and you could end up regretting it. Let your days unfold naturally, as this will make it less stressful, letting the day just take you is one of the best ways to travel.

Staying Safe on Your Thrill-Seeking Adventures

Seeking out thrilling activities when you’re travelling is a sure way to make your trip memorable. You can look for high-octane things to do that will make your travels exciting and give you something to talk about when you get home. But high-adrenaline activities are also often riskier compared to spending your days sitting on the beach or visiting museums. It’s essential to weigh up the risks and rewards and decide how you’re going to keep yourself safe if you decide to do any of these things.

You don’t have to avoid doing any potentially dangerous activities, but you should make sure that the chance of anything going wrong is as low as possible. You can keep yourself safe by taking the right steps to plan any activities appropriately.

Only Use Reputable Companies

Whether you’re planning activities in advance or looking for something to do at the last minute, it’s essential to make sure that you’re using reputable service providers. You can easily get caught out by unapproved, unsafe companies that aren’t providing a safe experience. It’s easier to fall for a dodgy provider in some companies than others, but most places have some system for ensuring a provider is safe. You might want to check out their licensing, insurance, customer reviews and see if they’re approved by the local tourist board.

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Get Instruction

If you’re trying out a new activity, it’s always smart to get some lessons or instruction before you begin. This is true whether you’re doing a short, one-off activity or if you’re planning on going on a multi-day adventure. Get riding lessons before going on a motorbike or moped trip if you want to avoid the need for motorcycle accident lawyers when your trip is over. Have instruction in scuba diving, surfing, or any other water-based activity that you want to try. Whatever you’re interested in doing, look for a way to get adequate instruction and support to help you get started.

Use the Right Gear

The right equipment is vital for many extreme sports, outdoor activities, and other things you might want to do with a high risk of injuries or accidents. If you’re using a reputable company, they should provide you with the gear that you need to wear or use. Some might ask you to bring some of your own things, but they will generally make sure that you have the essential safety gear. If you’re choosing to plan an independent trip or activity, it’s your job to make sure you know what gear you need and to check that it’s appropriate.

Take Out Travel Insurance

Travel insurance isn’t going to prevent anything from happening, but it will help to protect you during your travels. If anything does happen, it’s reassuring to know that you have insurance to cover your costs. Travel insurance can help to pay for medical bills and it might be able to cover other costs that are incurred due to any accidents or illnesses you have. For example, it might help you to pay for accommodation or the cost of getting back home. It’s better to have insurance than to avoid getting medical attention when you need it. Some activity providers may also require you to have insurance.

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Don’t Go It Alone

Making sure you’re not alone is a good way to keep yourself safe when you’re travelling. It can be even more important to do if you’re doing more dangerous activities. You should plan to travel with friends, a guide, or even a group of other travellers with a touring company. Sometimes there might be occasions when you take a trip on your own, especially if you’re experienced and comfortable with doing so. However, you should still stay in contact with other people, letting friends and family know where you’re going and what you’re doing.

Listen to Locals

Some of the best assistance and information that you can get will come from local people. They know the local area and how to stay safe so they can give you good advice. You will often find that many of the companies offering activities and tours are staffed by local guides and instructors. Not only can they be the best people to show you the ropes and guide you in the local area, but you’re also supporting the local economy by choosing companies that employ local people.

You might be looking for excitement, but staying safe when you’re travelling is important too. Take care of yourself when you travel and don’t take any unnecessary risks.

Are You Doing Your Part To Keep Your Home Eco-Friendly?

You might be worried about your carbon footprint and the damage you are doing to the environment. There are lots of things you can do within your home to keep it green friendly. Take a look below to see if you are doing any of these things and get ideas for ways to be more eco-friendly

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Insulating The Home

You might be wondering how you can make your home more eco-friendly. You could be thinking your home is losing a lot of heat, especially during the winter months when this is more noticeable. You could insulate your home for a little cost to keep the heat in and prevent you from using more heat. You could keep your heating at a set temperature and your insulation will do its job at not causing your home to overheat but also preventing you from freezing. 

You might be thinking the only way to insulate your home is loft insulation. This really isn’t the case, another way is through the use of windows. Investing in better windows will allow you to better control the temperature of your home. You could kill two birds with one stone when investing in windows. If you live in a high-risk hurricane area you could get shutters for your windows. Hurricane shutters cost a fraction of the cost of new windows and will withstand strong winds and rains. 

Keeping The Electric Use Down

One way to save money while saving the planet is by turning the thermostat down and using less energy. This means rather than having your appliances on standby when they are not in use turn them off completely. Believe it or not, products left on standby could be costing you around $50 a year. This may not seem like a lot but it soon adds up, both to the environment, planet, and your wallet. 

Make Sure You Are Recycling

The simplest form of eco-friendly living is recycling all materials that can currently be recycled. Most materials these days can be recycled so you should find that your recycle bin is more full than your household waste bin. Most, if not all food packaging states whether a product can be recycled so if you are unsure then check the packaging. If in doubt and it doesn’t say stick it in your general waste bin. 

Solar Power

A great way to save the planet and money at the same time is to invest in solar panels for your roof. Of course, you can only do this if you own your house. Solar panels can save you up to $600 a year on your energy bills. So after the initial cost, you can save thousands during the lifespan of the panels. 

Better yet if you wanted to go one step further in your planet-saving mission and buy an electric car you could power it using the energy your solar panels give off. 

We hope this helps you understand the many ways you can be more eco-friendly within your home.

4 Things You Need To Know About Moving To New York City

Photo by Andreas Kruck on Unsplash

There is so much to moving to a different state or even a different country. And while it can be daunting, it is very exciting, especially if you’re moving to a big city like New York City. The first and foremost reason to move to the Big Apple is the energy and vibrancy of New York City. The city never sleeps, and it is always buzzing with activity. 

There is always something interesting happening, whether it is a show at Madison Square Garden, an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Arts, or a walk on the Brooklyn Bridge. The food scene in NYC has exploded in recent years, with people from all over the world flocking to try traditional dishes. There are endless possibilities for what they can see and do in New York City for those who love art and culture. 

The cultural diversity here also makes it an exciting place for students as they will be exposed to new cultures and ways of thinking unlike anywhere else in America. So, if you want to move to New York City, here are a few things you should know. 

It’s Expensive, But You Can Survive There

It is important for every person who wants to move to New York City to know the cost of living in this city.

Most people think that it is expensive to live when they hear about it. But the reality is that the cost of living in New York City has dropped by 4% compared with other cities in the US, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Boston.

The salaries are also high in this city, so if you are reasonable with your expectations, you can easily survive here. For example, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $3200, and monthly expenses like groceries and utilities will be around $1500-$1600 per month. And if you’re looking to buy a house in the New York suburb boroughs there are various mortgage lenders similar to Mortgage Quotes, that can help. 

Getting Around Will be Easy If You Use Public Transport 

For people who decide to move to New York City, public transportation is much easier than driving. This is because of the lack of parking spaces and the high traffic.

The first thing that attracts people to live in New York City is the culture. There are many different cultures that live in NYC. You can find anything you want on any street corner, whether it be food, clothing, or music. However, for people who don’t want to live in NYC, there are many suburbs surrounding it where they can find a safer environment and more affordable prices.

It Has Some Of The Best Restaurants 

New York City is one of the best foodie destinations in the world. The city has some of the best restaurants, and if you’re planning on moving to New York, here’s a list of all the foodie places you should visit.

The city offers an array of cuisines worldwide, such as Italian, French, Mexican, Vietnamese, and Ethiopian. If you’re looking for traditional American cuisine, there are plenty of joints too.

While it’s nice to think about living in popular boroughs like Manhattan or Brooklyn, you shouldn’t limit yourself to them, but explore boroughs like Queens or Staten Island, which are often underrated neighborhoods with affordable prices and opportunities for neighbors who don’t want to live under the speed of city life. There are 23 boroughs in New York City, and each has its own characteristics. You should research each one before deciding where to live.

Mysterious Middle-Eastern Adventure In Jordan

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Most of us are planning for some kind of jaunt after all of this is over and the pandemic is but a recent memory. Jetting off to somewhere hot, sunny and adventurous is just what many of us need after such a long time from being able to go on holiday. There are a number of hot countries to fly off to. You are spoiled when you have Greece, Egypt and Cyprus in the runnings to welcome back tourists first and foremost. Jordan is also working hard to open it’s doors and allow travelers to hike around, go camping and explore their cities. Jordan is also overlooked because it’s neighbor in the form of Egypt, often gets the cake when it comes to tourists who want a mysterious Middle Eastern adventure. But we are now going to make the case for Jordan.

Jordan’s climate

Jordan is a hot, sunny and sandy country, with a lot of desserts and mountains. Being so close to Egypt has meant that a lot of cultural boundaries have been crossed and mixed over the years. Jordan has a very long history of cultures and civilizations that have thrived in the desert. 

Wadi Rum is a great example of the Jordan climate. It’s yellow and orange sand goes on for miles and miles. If you didn’t have transport and access to food and water, you would be liable to panic. The Valley of the Moon as it’s called by locals, is known to have zero light pollution. So if you ever wanted to know what it would be like to camp out in the middle of a desert, underneath the stars, eating spicy and herby meats, you are not going to be disappointed here. They provide tours with camels and they can carry all of your baggage to where you want to go. The valley is surrounded by sandstone and if you look hard enough, you can find petroglyphs left behind by ancient civilizations. It is a protected area, so you cannot leave your rubbish lying around and you need to inform the local authorities of who you are and where you are going.

Carved into the rock

Al-Khazneh is an incredibly elaborate temple in Petra, which was a city of the Nabatean Kingdom as early as the 1st century. So the Treasury as it’s called, was built almost 2,000 years ago, right into the rock. The structure was carved right out of the sandstone rock face, which must have taken months to do. As you can see, there are early signs of scrolls and oak leaves in the columns that are holing up the structure. This is something that we see a lot in European designs, in the same period, but for it to be carved into the rock itself and not a column that has been carved from a block of rock, is very impressive. You can tell the then king, Aretas IV wanted something very specific to impress foreigners who come into his kingdom. 

It only became a treasury or known as the treasury in the 19th century. It has been abandoned for a long time but it became popular as the rise of travelers occured the more railway lines were placed in the country. 

Roman theater

In the city of Amman there is a Roman theater that can seat 6,000 people. It was built in the 2nd century and was obviously inspired by the theaters of the ancient Greeks. The vast open space in front of the stage allows for chariots and horses to race by. One can only imagine the kinds of theater stories that were told here and the kinds of props they must have used. The Romans stayed in Jordan for a long time, almost as long as Egypt. During their stay they must have captured and herded camels across the desert, to then be boarded onto their wooden ships and finally, showcased in triumphs and celebrations back in Rome.

You can experience this on good Jordan Tours which cover some of the best sites in 7-14 days. They take care of the travel arrangements and you see ancient sites one after the other, and enjoy good food. The theater is obviously very large, able to seat thousands of people. So one must imagine that it was not for any old stories. This is where they must have entertained kings, queens and emperors. 

Hot springs in the desert?

Yes, the Ma’in Hot Springs are a resort that is carved out of the hills in the western part of the country. This is because you have a lot of water flowing in from the Dead Sea and the hot springs are the perfect place to be when you are in the desert at night. It can be very chili at night, with temperatures easily dropping to below zero in some places. The hot springs, however, balance this out and bathing in them while looking up at the stars is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Here you will also find good food and company. Their Olive restaurant is lit up with candles and guests can wear the authentic clothing to dinner if they want. Here you will also be given a guinea Zarb dining experience. The chef will serve the meal communal style, which will be shared among everyone in a Bedouin tent. The guests are able to enter into the restaurant at 8 o’clock, at night and be given a welcome drink of Arak. This is a sweet spirit drink that kind of looks like lemonade. Because the dining is outside and in a tent, and the food is shared among everyone, the seating limit is going to be 24. So if you want to book a place, make sure you are quick to call and reserve your seats. You can also book group dinners so you have a portion of the restaurant to yourselves. 

Jordan is a great country to visit once all of this virus stuff is over. It’s a great place with a very mysterious past. If the Romans thought it was good enough to build theaters, halls, temples and more, then it’s good enough for us now.

Travel Essentials: What You’re Going to Need

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If you had any sort of trip or getaway planned between March 2020 and now, chances are, it was or has been cancelled. This is understandable. The past year and a half has been a tough time for the majority of the world in many aspects of their lives. The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has spread across the world, posing a major health threat and resulting in countless tragic deaths and illnesses. Travel hasn’t been the majority of people’s priority and, instead, many of us have been focusing on keeping ourselves to ourselves, staying home and staying away from others in an attempt to reduce our chances of catching the virus and to reduce our chances of spreading it to others. Luckily, thanks to the development of a vaccine and millions of people around the world getting it, many people can now turn their minds back to getting away and having a good time. Sure, things might not be one hundred percent back to normal, but we are getting there. If you’re considering a holiday – short term or long term – you may be wondering what you need to get to make sure that your trip is a success. Here are a few suggestions that can help to get you started out!

Passport

Let’s start with the absolute essential thing you’re going to need to leave your own country and enter another – your passport. Make sure to check the date on your passport. Chances are you haven’t used it in a while and you could find that it needs renewing or will need renewing by the time your getaway is underway. If you do need a new passport, make sure to apply for one sooner rather than later. This will help to ensure that you aren’t left worried or panicking as you wait for a passport close to the day of your trip.

Visas

Depending on where you’re traveling, you may need a visa too. A visa will allow you to get through border control in your country of choice. Again, this is something that you will need to apply for in advance to make sure that it is approved and provided in time. If you require any help with visa applications, there are usually relevant helplines that will see you get in touch with someone who can guide you through the process, whether that’s for a Schengen visa or etias applications.

Vaccine Passport

Some countries or specific destinations will require that you are vaccinated to enter the country or to engage with certain activities within the country. It’s important that you do this research first to determine whether you do need proof of vaccination to do what you want to do. This can impact your choice of destination if you aren’t vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, you will have to make sure you can access your vaccine passport, allowing you to provide proof of your medical status.

Suitcase

For a short term trip, the best piece of luggage – and most popular piece of luggage – tends to be a good quality suitcase. This is a simple and straightforward way to carry your belongings with you in the airport, for them to be boarded onto the aircraft and to use when you’re away. They’re protected, can have plenty of space and generally have wheels, allowing you to pull them along easily rather than bearing the weight of all of your belongings yourself. Suitcases tend to come in one of three sizes – large (for longer trips), medium (for shorter trips), and small (hand luggage appropriate). The best for you will depend entirely on the type of trip you’re planning. Make sure to check the sizes alongside your chosen airline’s rules and regulations to make sure your case isn’t too big. You can also get cases with tracking to give you peace of mind and let you know where your case is at all times.

Travel Bags

If you’re heading somewhere with rough terrain, or where you will have to carry your belongings with you a lot of the time, a suitcase might not be quite appropriate. Instead, large travel bags may better suit your needs. These are essentially oversized backpacks that have been specially designed for travel. You will carry them on your back but have plenty of space inside to fit belongings intended for a long period of time. When choosing one, it’s good to choose a lightweight option. If you’re already carrying all of your belongings on your back, you’re not going to want extra added weight from the bag itself. You should also try to buy something of quality. You don’t want your bag to break suddenly. Waterproof and hardy materials are preferable to protect its contents. You may also want to choose options with plenty of straps that can do things like strap a sleeping bag to the bottom to save space inside the bag itself.

Sun Lotion and Insect Repellant

If you’re heading somewhere cold, cloudy or without many biting insects, you may not need these items. But for many trips, you will need to pack some good quality sun lotion and some insect repellant too. This can help make your trip safer and more comfortable. Remember to apply these regularly throughout each day to benefit as best possible. If you’re struggling to figure out which is best for you, there are plenty of reviews online that will guide you through your options and make recommendations on which best suits the majority’s needs. Without these, you could experience issues such as sun burn (which can be dangerous and deeply uncomfortable) or multiple bites (which will itch and bother you).

As you can see, there is a lot to bear in mind when it comes to planning a getaway. But hopefully, some of the information above should help you to get your trip started out in the right direction.

How to relax on your holiday

When you are at work, you are supposed to work hard because that is life, right? When you are off on holiday, you are supposed to relax but that never seems to happen. For some reason, we have a hard time switching off and really relaxing. So, rather than allow you to waste your next vacation with stress, here is a quick guide to help you relax.

 Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Book somewhere quiet

There is this idea that your vacation has to be jam packed with activities, and there is nothing wrong with this. But, you need to give your body the opportunity to switch off by going somewhere that is quiet. Staying somewhere like the Venice Beach hotel means that you have the opportunity to relax, but are still close to places that have fun activities. You never know, you might enjoy the quiet time more than the stuff you have planned. Just remember not to overdo it with the activities when you are supposed to be chilling.

Book to do nothing

If you have real trouble switching off, you need to book yourself some time to do nothing. You need to block out some time on your calendar and let nothingness take over. Be bored. At a loose end. Nothing. This is a hard thing to do but it is important that you even book an hour to do nothing. No TV, no phone, nothing. If you can do this once a day while you are away, you might find yourself being able to relax a bit better. Embrace the feeling of nothingness and let your stress disappear into the void. 

Put down the phone

Our phones are addictive and we need to learn how to put them down. If you are sightseeing, you should take your phone with you so that you can snap some photos. But don’t put them on social media. There are plenty of places that will allow you to print your snaps and pop them in an album. They are your memories so give them some extra special treatment and have them ready in a photo book or album to show people instead of them being online. It will make an interesting point for when guests come over and you can get out the photo albums for a chat.

Get into water

It doesn’t matter if you can swim or not, you need to get into the water somehow. If you are in a landlocked area, you need to get into the bath and relax. If you know there is a stream running past, you need to dip your toes in. and, if you are near the beach, get your feet into the water, even if it is cold. Being around water is very soothing so don’t discount how much it can wipe away your stress and worries. If you can visit the local sealife centre. We know a lot of these places have a bad reputation but some of them are there to support the local wildlife and sea creatures.

Everything You Need To Know When Planning A Hiking Trip

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Hiking is a fantastic way to explore the great outdoors. It can also be a fun physical challenge. It essentially involves walking long distances – usually as a way of accessing scenic locations that can only be accessed by foot. 

There are lots of different forms of hiking from summit hiking (mountain climbing) to coastal walking. A hiking trip could last a few hours or a few days. It all depends on what type of challenge you’re looking for.

Whatever the case, it’s important to plan your trip thoroughly. Below are some tips on planning a hiking trip including choosing the right trail, training for your hike, choosing what to bring and staying safe on your hike.

Choosing the right trail

In order for your hiking trip to be a rewarding adventure, you need to choose the right trail. There are few questions to consider to help you find the perfect trail.

What’s your fitness level like?

First, consider your fitness level. If you don’t do a lot of exercise, you should start with a fairly basic day hike – aim to cover no more than a few miles over relatively easy terrain. Those with a higher level of general fitness may be willing to take on something more challenging. 

It’s worth researching trails online to see how fellow hikers rate their difficulty. This is particularly important with mountain climbs where overexerting yourself could be dangerous. 

Where in the world do you want to go?

You don’t have to travel far to go on a hiking trip. In fact, there could be many trails in your area that could be perfect for a day trip. 

Alternatively, you could try looking into trails further afield. There are many places across the US that are renowned for their scenic hikes. In the southern states you have Grand Canyon National Park, Big Bend National Park. In the midwest, you have the trails of Northern Michigan and Northern Minnesota. When it comes to the northern mountain states you have the likes of Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National park. Travelling for a hiking trip can be more expensive, but it could give you the chance to see greater sights than what may be on your doorstep.

Some people even go abroad for hiking expeditions. Popular hiking trails around the world include the Inca Trail in Peru, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal and the Torres Del Paine in Chile. Such trips are great for experienced hikers. Just make sure to consider all the extras of going abroad such as applying for a visa and bringing a passport. 

How long will your trek be?

You should consider your time frame when planning your hike. Some trails can be done in a few hours (although it depends on your fitness level). Others can take days or weeks. 

When it comes to longer multi-day treks you’ll need to plan out your stops. It could be worth going with a guide when planning longer and more challenging hikes in places you’re not familiar with. 

What time of the year are you planning your trip?

Some trails are best avoided in winter. In fact, some mountain trails may be inaccessible during these months due to the harsh weather. 

Summer is the safest time to book a long or challenging hiking trip. Just be wary that it is also the most popular season for planning a hiking expedition – even lesser known trails could get busy during these months, which can result in ‘traffic’. If you don’t want to be competing with crowds, plan to go hiking in spring or fall.

Training for your hiking trip

If you’re going on a short local day hike, there’s probably no reason to train for it. However, if you’ve decided to take on Kilimanjaro or the Appalachian trail, you’ll need to do some serious training. 

For big hiking trips, it’s worth practicing by going on short local walks. When training for mountain climbs, consider going for walks in hilly areas and practice walking uphill. Practice with all your gear on (if you’ve bought brand new hiking boots for your trip, it’s worth going on a few practice hikes to help wear these in).

Choosing what to wear/pack

There’s a long list of things to consider when going on a hiking trip. Below are some of the essentials worth bringing along:

  • Appropriate shoes (for long or challenging hikes you’ll want to buy some hiking boots)
  • Moisture-wicking socks
  • A backpack
  • Clothing for warm and cold weather (bring a variety of layers that you can easily put on/take off)
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Hiking poles
  • Lots of water
  • Food
  • A physical map and compass (don’t rely on GPS)
  • A first aid kit (just in case somewhere has an injury)

If you’re going on a multi-day trek, you may want to consider a few extras.

  • A tent
  • A sleeping bag
  • A sleeping mat
  • Toilet paper
  • Cooking utensils
  • Garbage bags
  • A flashlight
  • A flare/bear banger

Staying safe while hiking

Safety is of the utmost importance while hiking. The biggest thing you can do is to bring enough water so that you don’t get dehydrated – many ill-prepared hikers have ended up passing out because they don’t have enough water. Water is heavy, so you’ll need to find a way of stocking up on the way when going on a long hiking trip.

When taking on challenging hikes, it’s worth travelling with somebody else. This way if someone gets injured or in a tricky situation, the other person can help. If you do go hiking alone, make sure to tell someone exactly where you’re going.

Where possible, you should try to avoid venturing off the beaten path. Marked trails are safer because they are constantly travelled by people and are generally well maintained. If you try to make your own route you could get lost and there’s no guarantee anyone will find you, plus there may be hazards such as loose ground or dangerous wildlife. On mountains and near cliffs, you should always stick to the trail.