30
May

The 4 Basic Essentials to Carry During an Outdoor Trip

images (6)Every time we venture out for an outdoor trip, we have a list of essentials to carry along with us that often comes to aid whenever there is an emergency or just for survival outdoors. Different people have different accessories or essentials that they feel would come to help and therefore one cannot often generalise and carry those specific things mentioned in the list and not take anything else that may come to use for them. Depending on the requirement of the trip whether it is an adventurous one with friends and family or with a group for simple sightseeing to an unknown land, the necessities differ.

While you look up the Internet, shuffle through the travel guide books or take help from the agents who make arrangements for your trip, all of them would come up with a few standard commodities that you can carry along while you to keep yourself safe and not get stranded midway. Here are a few that would come to use and to carry them wouldn’t take up much of space.

• Maps – This is something that you do not want to miss especially when you are moving to an unknown land. A map with all the necessary details on it would be your best friend when you would want to move about. It is something that is a great guide especially when there would be communication problems with the local people where they may not understand your language or vice-versa.

• First-aid kit – You may have a general illness for which you are under medication and thus it is essential for you to carry your medicines along whenever you move out. Apart from those, you should stock up on the necessary medicine for headaches, fever, bad stomach, pain killers, bandages, antiseptic creams, bandaid, cotton balls, needles, soap, etc. that may come to use anytime while on the trip. You should be left stranded looking out for medical help in the middle of nowhere.

• Food – Despite having facilities of restaurants or eateries at the places where you plan to visit, there may be times when you are stranded on the road or move out for an adventurous trip such as trekking. You wouldn’t get access to food there and therefore carry along dry and non-perishable food to munch on can save you from the horrific hunger pangs.

• Water – Water is an essential commodity that you may get access to almost any store that you come across when you are in a different city or country but there are times when you do not get access to it due to various reasons whatsoever. It isn’t necessary for you to carry bottles along with you in your baggage but stocking up once you reach your destination can save up for the times when it would be needed later.

 

20
May

Top Tips for Packing Your Hand Luggage or Holdall

images (5)Going away for a well earned break can be the highlight of the year for many people, whether your destination is somewhere exotic for an extended trip or just a weekend away in one of the world’s most vibrant and interesting cities. Wherever you go, packing well is essential to you enjoying your trip as much as possible and avoiding unnecessary hassle.

When it comes to fitting all of your essentials into a smaller bag such as a leather holdall bag or some other hand luggage, packing well becomes even more important. This is because it can be tricky to fit all you need into these smaller bags, even though you know that it will be well worth it if you do, saving money on baggage fees and having luggage that is easier to carry around.

With that in mind, there are several steps that you can take in order to fit more into your luggage. Here are several packing tips compiled especially for hand luggage or your leather hodall bag when you are short on space or want to take the smallest bag possible on your trip.

The first thing to remember is that you should absolutely know your weight and size limits according to the transport that you are going to be travelling on. If you are traveling by train or by car, chances are that you will not have many weight or size restrictions at all, but this can be very different for those travelling by plane.

It is also worth remembering that you should be aware of your own limits when you travel, as you may have to haul your bags around large airports and between different methods of transport including coaches, taxis, trains, buses and the metro. Heavy and bulky bags can be a real pain, so think about how much you can physically carry around.

After you have done this, the next thing to consider is how you can create a capsule wardrobe to take with you. This basically involves selecting an array of garments that will go together to create a number of different and appropriate outfits for your trip, whether it is a trip for business or for pleasure. One thing that you should also do is check the weather forecast in advance.

There is plenty of advice on creating a capsule wardrobe to take on holiday, and this can be easily found for free online. This will help you choose out a set of clothes that will be suitable for you to wear numerous ways during your trip, without taking far too many clothes.

You should be aware that choosing lightweight clothes is often the best idea when picking out a capsule wardrobe – and it is even better if these clothes are wrinkle free too. By choosing clothes that are light and transport well you will be setting yourself up for stress-free and easy travel with your hand luggage or leather holdall bag.

Another handy tip is to ensure that the heaviest of your items are at the bottom of your bag in order to help it stay upright. This is important as you may be transporting items such as liquids and creams which could spill if the luggage is knocked around too much. If you do keep heavy items in the bottom of your bag, make sure that any important items are still within easy reach.

Finally, make sure that you downsize all your toiletries and cosmetics wherever you can. This is not only about respecting the limits imposed by airlines, but also as this will lighten up your luggage a great deal. If you cannot downsize all your products, buy inexpensive travel size minis expressly for your trip – if you run out of product, you will likely be able to buy more at your destination.

14
May

10 Things to Prepare Before Taking a Long Trip

download (14)1. Make sure your household bills are up to date

This may sound obvious or even pedantic but you really need to think about something like this. Last year I went on a tour that was 3 weeks. It covered the last 2 weeks of one month and the first week of the next month. Once of my household bills from the first month hadn’t arrived before I left and was delivered whilst I was away. This meant I had no way of paying it for that month. When I got back I was greeted by final demands as this particular authority was known to be ruthless with non-payers.

2. Check your travel and medical Insurance

It is important when going on a long trip you have the correct travel and medical insurance. The last thing you want is to be stuck in another country and something happens you need to produce a credit card to save your life. This also relates to Number 5, if you haven’t told your bank you are going away and you don’t have proper cover you could be in serious trouble. Always travel with adequate travel and medical insurance. A lot of credit companies now offer travel insurance as standard.

3. Share your itinerary with someone

This is important if you are traveling alone. Your loved ones and friends need to know where you are, maybe not all the time, but at least where they can reach you. If something happens back home, you may need to return for an emergency, or there may be some important news they need to tell you. At least if they know your travel plans rather than exact details you will be easier to track down in an emergency situation.

4. Check the Visa and Passport requirements for your destinations or possible destinations

Don’t get to the airport and find they won’t even let you on the plane! This is the reality of what could happen if you don’t have the correct documents. Visa requirements are especially important to avoid unnecessary complications and delays at your destination. Make sure your passport is valid for at least the next 6 months, otherwise a lot of airlines won’t let you travel.

5. Tell your bank where you are going

Even if you are taking travelers checks or cash you should have a back up. The bank needs to know where you may be using your ATM or credit card. Due to cyber fraud nowadays a lot of banks will not allow you to use your cards abroad unless you tell them beforehand. It’s very easily done for most banks through their website. If you don’t tell them, you may end up having your ATM card swallowed by an overseas machine!

6. Organise your ID

What IDs will you need when you travel? Obviously your passport but what about the credit card you booked your flight with? some airlines insist on seeing it before travel. Other IDs could include a driving license if you plan on renting a car or motorbike while traveling. Don’t forget to print all your ticket information and hotel booking vouchers if you have pre-booked them.

7. Set up your phone

If you are planning on taking your phone abroad, beware of costly roaming charges. The best thing is to organize with your phone company beforehand, or better still, get a throwaway SIM card whilst you are there. Most countries have a SIM plan you can get at the larger international airports.

8. Learn a few phrases

Especially important if you are planning to travel a little off the beaten track. Not everywhere is fluent in English, even some larger cities in Asia and Africa you will find little English spoken. Learn a few choice phrases that will come in handy whilst you are there, it will save you a lot of time, money and hassle.

9. Have a Plan B

Expect the unexpected on your trip. If you planned to travel to a beach then suddenly find it closed, make sure you don’t arrive at midnight and you have nowhere to stay for the night. Give yourself some room for maneuver. I once got delayed on a flight and found myself in the middle of nowhere at 2am in the morning, the car rental I’d pre-booked had closed so I had no alternative but to find a hotel which wasn’t easy!. If you plan and prepare, try to think of what might happen, just in case.

10. Secure your home

Of course you are going to lock your doors and take the necessary precautions but what about the little things that could cause problems when you get back. Turn off the water and electricity is a good step if you are going away for a long period. Coming back to burst water pipes is not fun at all. I usually disconnect my car battery if I go on a trip longer than a few weeks, the last thing I need is a flat battery when I return.

 

10
May

Your Ultimate Guide to Checking Travel Bags

images (4)Let’s admit this; a lot of us think checking baggage is the ultimate travel solution. It’s not as straightforward as it looks. Anyone who has faced the misery of having reached their destination without their luggage knows exactly what a terrible experience this can possibly be.

On many days, it is simply sheer bad luck. However, on others it can be traced back to some mistakes on your part once you check-in your luggage. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are checking travel bags.

1. AIRLINE POLICIES

This is often taken for granted by many travelers. If one airline is generous with it, the other should be following their footprints. This is seldom the case. All airlines may have very different rules when it comes to checked baggage. There is mostly only one thing common among each of them; airlines are not very generous when it comes to luggage that you check-in.

To avoid putting yourself in any awkward situation, you must read the fine print about the airline policies towards the luggage. This should be done when you book your ticket with the airline. Little can be done once you arrive at the airport, oblivious of what the airline is going to charge you of.

2. PROTECT YOUR LUGGAGE

Under very rare cases are airlines going to accept the blame for lost luggage or misplaced items. You’re most likely to take responsibility of the mishap at the end. For this reason, it is very important to protect your luggage under all conditions.

There are several ways of getting this done. Firstly, you must avoid packing any valuables in your bags. Anything that you’d be sorry to lose should be kept near you in a carry-on. This is where it is likely to be the safest. Valuable items just as jewelry and cash must never be put in your luggage.

Even if there are no such items in your baggage, everything you have packed is important to you because you’d need it more often. For this reason, you must purchase a travel lock that is approved by TSA. Apart from being safer, these are also helpful when your luggage is being examined at the airport. Locks that can’t be opened through the standard ways are often broken and might damage your personal belongings.

3. MAKE YOUR LUGGAGE STAND OUT

While you’re waiting at the baggage carousel, anxiously waiting to get done, you often end up picking up bags that aren’t yours. Not your fault when most of them look just the same. The majority of travelers tend to pick black and blue luggage bags that look almost identical. This is one of the top reasons for your luggage getting misplaced.

 

26
Apr

Helpful Summer Tips To Plan Your Upcoming Vacation

images (3)With summers just around the corner, it is best to get the vacation plan sorted so that you don’t have to worry about it at the last minute. Summer traveling is a lot of fun. There is a lot to look forward to and even the packing seems so much interesting. However, it is not easy to organize a summer trip. One of the biggest reasons for that are the very high travel costs during summers.

You will hear a lot of travelers complain about it. If you are one of them, take a look at these helpful summer tips that would help you to plan a fantastic break in your budget!

1. Don’t Travel in the First Few Weeks

Since the start of the summer break from school means everyone is on the go, it is best to plan sensibly. This is the time when the hotels are likely to be overflowing with tourists and flights will be super expensive. A lot of people wish to leave as soon as the summer break commences, so it’s best if you don’t make such a mistake.

Opt for local fun in the first few weeks of the summer holidays. You can leave the real fun to the last weeks of the vacation when most of the people start heading back and the travel costs go low.

2. Compare

Never book a flight or any travel deal without doing a thorough research. This is an invaluable summer tip travel tip. This is because there are plenty of deals available on the internet. Even when you find something to be extremely attractive, it might not be the cheapest option.

For this reason, make use of comparison websites where you can see the benefits of the deals and compare them before booking.

3. Be Prompt

Last minute booking is not a wise option when it comes to summer time traveling. This is because it might end up ruining your entire travel plans because you are not guaranteed to find what you are looking for.
For this reason, it is best to become prompt when it comes to bookings. Get it out of the way the earliest possible so that it is easy to make further travel plans. It will give you a huge peace of mind and also help you to save on your trip.

4. Budget Airlines

Fares during the summertime can be sky high. You will experience that with most of the airlines. If you can’t find an attractive air travel deal, it is best to search for budget airlines. They are a cheaper alternative all year round with decent services. This way, you can save a lot of money for the real fun!

When you choose a budget airline, it is very important to ensure that you know of all the hidden costs related to your bookings.

24
Apr

Tips for Planning Holiday Travel and Flights

images (2)Flying for a holiday or for your vacation? Make sure that you’re planning your travel the right way. Not only do you need to shop around (and shop smart) for your plane tickets, but you need to make sure that you’re planning your travel within the area the right way. Yes, there’s a robust public transport system. Yes, you can also rent a car. However, it might be better to actually work with a taxi service. Of course, there are many other things that you’ll need to know, as well.

Know How to Pack

It seems like the airlines are constantly finding new ways to charge their customers. Once, pillows, blankets and even snacks were all part of the price you paid for your ticket. Today, they’re expensive extras. Many airlines have also started charging for extra bags. Pack smart. Bring only the necessities, and avoid checking extra bags to cut down on costs.

Avoid Heavy Travel Dates

A little known secret to air travel is that some dates are much more expensive to book your flight than are others. The closer to a peak travel holiday you book, the more you’re going to pay. Rather than flying out on Christmas Eve, consider booking your flight several days ahead. Rather than flying the day after Thanksgiving, stay with your family for a few extra days to save some cash. Apply that rule to all of your travel and always research flight prices to get the best possible deal.

Check Your Flight Status Religiously

Flights can be cancelled by almost anything. Snow and other adverse weather are just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t be caught unaware here. Check your flight status constantly. This is particularly important the day of your departure. Working with the right cab company can also help ensure that you’re on time for your flight, even if it’s delayed by weather or other events.

Plan Your Travel

It’s important that you plan your travel ahead of time. Working with the cheapest airport taxi service helps ensure that you get the professional travel assistance you need, without the headaches and hassles that come from trying to rent a car, or dealing with the public transportation system. Of course, finding the right taxi service can be daunting, so spend some time researching the different companies to find one that can offer affordable rates, professional drivers, and the right type of vehicle.

You’ll want to consider the rates being charged, as well as the capacity of the different types of cabs on offer. If you’re traveling alone, a smaller vehicle will work. However, if you’re traveling with a group, you can save money by reserving a van or bus rather than using two or three sedans to get you all to your destination.

 

22
Apr

5 Ways To Save Money In Any Family Vacation Destination

download (10)Ask anyone who currently has a family or was part of one, which is essentially everybody, and they will tell you some of their most memorable life moments took place while on family vacation. Vacations are the perfect time to reconnect with your family and step away from your busy life to relax, enjoy each other’s company, and recharge from the stressful realities of everyday living. Finding the perfect family vacation destination can be tricky and planning any trip can be costly. Don’t stress yourself out before going on vacation, follow these 5 ways to save money the next time you plan out your perfect family vacation.

1. Plan ahead.

Taking the time to plan out your vacation will allow you enough time to consider your options and go with choices that are not only fun, but fit your budget. For those who are resourceful and enjoy planning, the internet is full of travel companies and agencies fighting over your business. Peruse different options yourself using many travel sites on the internet devoted to budget conscious vacation planning, or visit a trusted travel agency to help you save money.

2. Choose the perfect destination.

While this may seem like a no brainer, the perception of your money being well spent depends on how much enjoyment you get from your vacation in the first place. Identify what style of vacation you are looking to have with your family. Do you have younger children, or are they older? Do you plan on having a quiet and peaceful time, or do you plan to be very active both during the day and at night? Often times, finding the perfect family vacation destination that suits your exact needs can be the most important choice you make.

3. Use user-review sites and travel forums.

Take advantage of the knowledge of those who have come before you and research your options on user-review sites and travel forums. These are great places to read what previous customers in your same shoes thought about their experiences. These sites can provide you with valuable information on what options are worth your money and which ones are not.

4. Read what bloggers and locals have to say.

Along with reading about previous vacationers’ experiences, try finding a local blog or reading a local online publication. These will be full of useful and honest information you can use to prioritize your activities, find the best lodging and restaurants, and most importantly, save money.

5. Use social media to your advantage.

In today’s tech savvy world, businesses may sometimes offer discounts for posting to your social media. You can sometimes take advantage of the discounts by, for example, snapping a few photos and uploading them, checking in at that restaurant for a 5-10% off discount, or simply tagging your friends throughout your vacation adventures.

 

11
Apr

How To Plan A Romantic Mountain Town Vacation In 7 Easy Steps

download (11)If you have been thinking about planning a romantic getaway lately, you likely have a good motivation. Perhaps you are planning to propose over a long weekend or are searching for that perfect honeymoon spot. Whatever the reason, it is reasonable to expect that you want to make sure everything goes well and turns out as great as possible. What better way to be romantic than in the natural beauty of the mountains. If you’ve been thinking of planning a romantic mountain town vacation but have no idea where to start, you are in luck. Here are 7 easy steps to help you plan the romantic vacation you have been daydreaming about.

Step 1. Plan ahead

Nothing is a mood killer more than stress. Take some time to think about what you want to get out of your romantic get-away and do a bit a research before hand. These days there are many travel forums and helpful blogs dedicated to helping customers find exactly what they are looking for.

Step 2. Pick a great mountain town location

Great locations will not only have beautiful naturalistic settings, but they will provide all the essential necessities to make your vacation especially romantic. Smaller quaint mountain towns are great for more relaxation and charming experiences.

Step 3. Skiing and snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to take in nature and see the sights while participating in a fun activity. Riding on the lifts can give you amazing panoramic views of the mountainous horizon as well. The best mountain town will have great ski resorts with access to private lessons and courses suitable for beginners and professionals alike.

Step 4. Reserve great lodging

Make sure the town you pick has great lodging options with luxurious amenities, a décor that matches the mountainous terrain, and easy access to natural escapes. Your condominium is where you will return to at the end of a perfect day or night, make sure it is the icing on the cake.

Step 5. Learn about your fine dining options

No romantic get away is complete without fine dining. Do some research on the types of restaurants available and make sure to plan ahead and reserve your table before hand.

Step 6. Escape to the mountains and camp

Nothing is more whimsical than escaping from it all. The perfect mountain town will have access to trails, hiking, and most of all camping. Plan a private romantic camping trip to bond with nature and each other.

Step 7. Meet the locals and join in on local events

Become one with the town! Make new friends and memories by meeting the locals and experiencing the life outside of the tourist paths. Join in on the local events and become one with your new mountainous home away from home.

With these 7 easy steps you are sure to have the groundwork for an amazing and wonderful vacation experience.

 

24
Mar

Easy Travel Tips to Save Time and Money for Tourists

images (1)People all over the world take an opportunity to go on vacations during summer. For them, it’s the best time to spend time with their families and enjoy themselves before the start of schooling season and return of cold weather. Taking a break doesn’t require too much money. In fact, there are a lot of ways where tourists can enjoy their vacations and save time and money at the same time.

• When going to the airport, fall in line behind business travellers and avoid falling in line behind families that carry a lot of stuff to put into the x-ray machine tray. This is because frequent travellers already know how to move quickly through that line than the others.

• When taking a flight, choose the type of plane to ride on. Not all airplanes are made equal so it’s recommended to check out the ones that offer nice seats and amenities. Some airlines have inline Wi-Fi onboard while some do not. Newer airlines have the comfort of nicer seats and more leg room. Furthermore, not all planes also have personal television screens for passengers either. Sometimes, trips also require airport transfers.

To ensure comfort and to avoid inconvenient trips and airport transfers, always check out the airlines’ quality and their amenities on various sites online.

• During room accommodations, deals processed last minute on sites such as Hotwire and Priceline can give tourists a discount of over 60% on the normal rates. They can also use the site Better Bidding to bid on their preferred rooms. Once the bid becomes successful, then it’s considered to be a steal if they will able to get a cheaper room rate during peak season. Looking at other people’s bids doesn’t require forum memberships; however, membership is required in order to place a bid.

• Ask for a hotel upgrade when checking in. Other than advance booking online, it’s also recommended to ask for free upgrades and goodies on the actual day of check in. Some hotels recommend free upgrade on certain rooms if there a lot of guests checking in to keep their customers happy. Guests should use that as an advantage especially when they came from long trips and airport transfers.

• When travelling with a group of people, getting suite rooms is much cheaper. Some king suite rooms have couches that can be folded out into beds. Ask friends to chip in to make the room rates more affordable and enjoy the comfort of staying in that place for a number of nights.

• When spending more than a week in the city, renting furnished apartments is much cheaper checking in hotels. Tourists can choose from a lot of good apartments on websites such as 9Flats, AirBnB, Home Away and Wimbu.

Apart from saving money on room rates, travellers can also save money on food expenses because apartments have kitchens where they can cook good food.

• Consider visiting sites like Hospitality Club and Couchsurfing to enjoy a free stay with the locals. These sites are perfect for finding inexpensive places to stay in the city and learn more about it while hanging out with the locals. These locals act more than guidebooks in providing information on what the tourists want to know.

In planning the next vacations, remember to keep these things in mind because travelling should not have to be an expensive and time consuming process. Instead, it should have to be convenient, affordable and fun.

24
Mar

Strategy 1 for Extraordinary Travel: Arrive and Be There

download (8)Traveling in the “Great Trip” style, you will arrive and be there instead of swooping through, then moving on. The swoop-in style of travel prohibits you from actually arriving anywhere, and it severely limits the depth of your experience.

Instead, you will have the time you need to learn the charms and significance of each place you visit. You will take the time to experience its lifestyle and hear its stories. By staying longer in each of your “home bases,” you also will have rich opportunities to venture out on day trips that will give you a broader sense of the cultural bounty of the region.

There is always an all-important trade-off between trying to take in more places and taking more time in each place. What you will gain from having more time in fewer places is that you will have the luxury of settling in and making yourself at home. You will experience more when you decrease the frantic flitting around and actually arrive. As with many things in life, less is more!

To arrive and be there, you will:

  1. Orient yourself and “make yourself at home.”
  2. “Live” there, however briefly.

Orient Yourself and “Make Yourself at Home”

On group trips, although you will have a guide, you likely will feel lost much of the time. As you play “follow the leader,” you will forego any opportunities to learn and find your own way. Sometimes you will barely know where you are, exactly, or where you are going. You may not even know where you’ve been after you’ve been there.

At the other extreme, making up your trip on your own, you again will often feel lost, because you will be lost. And you will have the sense that you may be missing the most important experiences, because, most likely, you are. By the end of your trip you will have a long list of what you would have and should have done if only you had known more before you set out.

Traveling the “great trip” way, you will never feel lost. And you will most certainly know where you have been after you’ve been there. In each new location, you will have a minimum of three days. And you will begin your time there with a walkabout to get oriented, using a great trip book to guide you, customized to your own particulars.

Starting with your immediate neighborhood, then branching out to surrounding areas, you will discover where “your” bakery is, as well as “your” delicatessen, wine shop, cheese shop, fresh market, pharmacy and ATM. You will know your best options for public transportation, and where “your” closest stops are located. If there is a river, lake or ocean, you will use them to establish your own sense of direction.

And you will identify an appealing spot to meet up with your travel companion(s) when you venture off to spend time independently. This meeting spot may be a café in the square or on a bench beside the fountain, or any such spot where waiting will be its own entertainment.

Once you are oriented, you will know where you are and where to go next. Then you will be able to expand on your knowledge, and begin to feel comfortable and confident moving about and exploring your new “home away from home.”

By using this approach to finding your way, you will surprise yourself at how quickly you will feel confident walking out to your bakery for fresh croissants in the morning, then stopping by “your market” to gather up items for your picnic in the park beside the river. And you will actually know where the river is!

“Live” There, However Briefly

When traveling with a group, you will, by necessity, be staying in larger hotels, often in areas that are thickly populated by tourists. And you will be limited to areas that can be reached by a huge bus. So, wherever you go, you will “hover” there, not “live” there.

In contrast, during your great independent trip, you will be free to book accommodations that make for their own memorable experiences, situated in prime locations. A room in a charmingly restored 17th-century manor house, with a French balcony from which you can watch sunsets over the Loire, and a connected turret room that looks out on the castle across the street… A restored abbey… The tower of a ruined castle perched high above the river… A small hotel near the Seine, across from Notre Dame.

For breakfast you will walk down the stairs of the 17th-century townhouse to the elegant dining room, or up the stairs to the rooftop terrace, with a view of the river. Or you will step out onto your little balcony to breakfast on the bread and cheese, salami and fruit you gathered yesterday at the Saturday Market.

And so the place you stay will become an essential part of the full experience of your trip. Your location will put you at the heart of what you have come to see and experience. You will walk out the door to old town, or to the river, or to the chateaux. In a word, when you walk out the door, you already will “be there.”