Travel Packing Tips: Smartly Choose Items To Bring & Leave Behind

Travel Packing Tips: Smartly Choose Items To Bring & Leave Behind

Smart packing is a huge factor to be able to travel wisely and conveniently. You want to pack enough essentials to still feel like home even while on the road. On the other hand, you cannot possibly bring your whole house with you. With limited space for things you can bring,  it all comes down to making wise choices. The following tips can help you determine the things to bring and the ones to leave behind.  

Things You Should Bring

Spare yourself some worries by squeezing in some space out out of your luggage for these must-haves:

Just enough clothing and footwear.

Stash enough tops and bottoms, depending on the length of your stay. It is advisable to bring lightweight clothes for easy packing. You also want to choose pieces that you can mix and match with other clothes so you do not end up with travel photos where you are seen wearing the same outfit. As for the footwear, the number of pairs to bring and the style will depend on the activities you plan to do. 

Medicines, supplements, basic toiletries.

Traveling requires stamina so do not forget to pack any supplements you are taking. Likewise, you do not want to be clamoring for medicines in case you need it. Thus, it is wise to include medicines for common illnesses or if you have conditions that need special medications. You also want to bring other items for comfort and protection such as an eye mask, sunscreen, and basic toiletries.

Smartphones and chargers.

Smartphones are a very useful device nowadays. You can use it to constantly communicate back home and document your journey. Technology can also serve as a guide as you explore an unfamiliar place. To keep your gadgets on full power, you cannot afford to miss bringing a reliable charger or a powerbank. Your charger back home may not be compatible with the power outlet in your destination so a universal adaptor will be helpful. 

Things You Can Leave Behind

These are the things that are not really worth that extra space in your luggage:

Extra outfits and whole make-up kit.  

Unless you have an event to attend that will require frequent outfit changes, you do not really have to bring too many clothes or shoes. Their bulk of these items can even prove to be a nuisance. Besides, the place you will stay will likely have a laundry area you can use to have fresh clothes to wear for each day of your trip. Likewise, you do not need to bring your big make-up bag with you. A few small items such as powder, lipstick, and eyeliner can keep you looking fresh and presentable during your travels, 

Books and magazines.

Even certified bookworms may need to say goodbye to their beloved  hardcovers for a while. Insisting on tagging them along may feel like a burden later on because of the weight and extra space they will occupy. So it is recommended to save your reading sessions back home. Anyway, you can still spend your free time reading by downloading ebooks. Many hotels also provide newspapers and magazines. 

Valuable jewelry. 

You are hopping from place to place so the chances of finding items you will lose along the way are quite slim. Thus, do not risk the chance of misplacing or forgetting anything that is too valuable to lose by not bring them at all on your trip. Besides keeping jewelry and other expensive items in a safe place at home can help you avoid unnecessary worries while traveling, 

Knowing how to pack properly is one of the skills frequent travelers should strive to master. The ability to sort the essential from the non-essential ones is one of the keys to a great vacation.

Travel Packing Tips: Smartly Choose Items To Bring & Leave Behind
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Traveling On A Budget? Hacks To Enjoy First-Class Luxuries

Traveling On A Budget? Hacks To Enjoy First-Class Luxuries

Travel is a leisure associated with wealth that not everyone can afford it. However, despite the high cost, traveling is a worthwhile activity to pursue because the experience gives immense benefits. It is no wonder that there are ingenious tips and creative advice abound for people who are passionate about exploring other places but have to do so on a limited budget. To stretch your dollars while visiting a new place, you must be willing to forego some luxuries and comforts.

Business-class flights and five-star accommodations become out of the question. However, smart travelers plan ahead and discover easy hacks that allow them to enjoy luxuries without spending a fortune. How these savvy tourists manage to do it is no secret. Check out some of the travel hacks below to travel on a budget for your next getaway.

Choose to book directly.

For convenience, booking a room or flight can be done through travel agencies or online merchants. This comfort comes with an extra charge but if you book directly with the hotel or airline, you can manage to save a few bucks.  Aside from eliminating the convenience charge, you can also score great deals or promotions. Since you are directly dealing with the establishments, it may also be easier and faster to cancel or modify a reservation.

Inquire about upgrade during check-ins.

Seasoned travelers know that under the right circumstances, hotels and airlines are willing to offer an upgrade. So if you want to enhance your flight seat and hotel room, you can subtly request or suggest an upgrade. Who knows? Your efforts may just pay off. Just remember that certain factors can increase your chance of flying first-class or enjoying upscale accomodations.

For example, you have a great chance to get upgrades at a much lower rate when you ask for it right before checking-in. During the time of booking, you can naturally expect airlines and hotels to charge higher rates for first-class accommodations and business class seats. This is because they are still waiting for other travelers to book rooms or seats. This is no longer possible during check-in time, so companies are happy to offer vacant  rooms or seats at a much lower price than leave it unoccupied.

Take advantage of off-season rates.

Even the most sought after hotels may have empty rooms during off-season months and during this time, they usually come up with promos and offers to entice travelers. You can get the grandest room or best package at the lowest possible rate. The same room or package can cost thrice as much during peak season, so you can probably lounge in the hotel happily thinking of how much you have saved. You can even take full advantage of the hotel amenities during off-season months. With fewer guests, you do not have to line up or wait for your turn to use amenities. It may even feel like you have the hotel all to yourself.

Sign up for loyalty programs.

Airline companies and hotels usually have loyalty programs that rewards frequent guests and clients. So if you are a frequent flyer to an airline or have a favorite hotel, you may be missing out on great deals by not signing up for their loyalty programs. Especially because some loyalty programs do not even require a membership fee. By simply being a loyal customer, you get reward points that you can use to book a flight or a hotel room for your next trip.

As a member of their loyalty circle, you may also be the first to know about their deals and promos. To get the latest updates about their offerings, it is a great idea to sign up for their e-newsletters. You can also follow their social media pages to get updates.

Most people get excited with the idea of travel. In fact, to travel the world is one of the most common items you will see on someone’s wishlist. Still, money matters can make this wish a not so easy dream to fulfill. But the most resourceful travelers do not allow money to curb their wanderlust. With simple and wise strategies, they continue to make memories and collect experiences without breaking the bank.

 

Traveling On A Budget? Hacks To Enjoy First-Class Luxuries
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3 Stunning Natural Wonders of the United States

3 Stunning Natural Wonders of the United States

North America offers plenty of destinations that fulfill every traveler’s dreams. There are a few locations that are on nearly everyone’s must-see lists: Los Angeles, New York City, and Las Vegas. But, for every tourist area in the city, there is an equally worthy adventure waiting in nature. Below are 3 natural wonders of the United States that are guaranteed to make you eager to book your next excursion.

Havasupai Falls (Native American Reservation)

Located in Arizona, within the Grand Canyon, Havasupai falls is a nature-lovers dream. The land is home to the Supai people, who are traditionally known as the guardians of the Grand Canyon. In 1919, when the canyon was officially declared a national park, about 500 acres of land were set aside for the Tribe. Although the Supai were originally restricted to a very small portion of their former land, nearly 188,000 acres of land have been returned to the native people. Within their reservation lays one of the most gorgeous blue-green waterfalls in America: Havasupai Falls. The 10-mile hike to the falls is said to be worth every step of the strenuous climb that it takes to get there. The travertine dams and limestone cliffs, combined with the 90-feet waterfalls, provide a striking backdrop for the natural turquoise pools. (Yes, you can swim in them!)  

Papakōlea Beach (Mahana Beach)

Located on the Big Island of Hawai’i, Papakōlea, is 1 of only 4 green sand beaches in the world. This particular green beach was formed when Mauna Loa’s lava made its way toward the ocean, after a volcanic eruption. Because olivine crystals are the densest of the volcanic remains, they are less likely to wash away with the tide (especially in a bay as narrow as Papaloea). This natural phenomenon left us with the beautiful, Hawaiian green sand beach we have today. The rare sand of Mahana Beach is accessible after either a windy 3-mile hike, or an inexpensive truck ride from a local. Once you arrive, you’ll be surrounded by a shoreline that is uniquely olive green in color. To see the land sparkle, make sure to go on a sunny day when the olivine crystals are most likely to shine. Visitors have even reported spotting spinner dolphins from the shore, while relaxing on the secluded beach.

Mendenhall Glacier Caves

Located a little more than 10 miles away from downtown Juneau, Alaska, the stunning Mendenhall Glacier lies within the valley. After a kayak trip and an ice hike, you’ll reach the breathtaking views of the ice caves. Unfortunately, with current water temperatures rising, the glaciers are quickly melting and may not be accessible in the future. But, the good news is, you still have time to visit! You will need at least eight hours, the proper gear, and a healthy dose of patience in order to safely conquer the ice, but the tough work will be worth the effort. Upon entering the cave, strikingly blue walls and ceilings will enclose you. The electric blue hue is vivid, due the ice that absorbs every other color of the spectrum, leaving blue to shine on its own. You will definitely be glad you visited after experiencing the most awe-inspiring and photo-worthy scenery you could imagine.

The United States has a wonderfully diverse array of climates, biomes, and geographical features. It’s home to some of the world’s best hikes and climbs, as well as globally acclaimed lakes and marinas. Whether you venture up the west coast or travel across the east; you won’t be disappointed by the natural wonders that greet you. America, the beautiful, is a land full of nature just waiting to be marveled.

3 Stunning Natural Wonders of the United States
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4 Great Places To Travel On The Fourth

4 Great Places To Travel On The Fourth

Since the Fourth of July this year falls in the middle of the week, chances are you have a couple days off to celebrate. If you want to take advantage of the long weekend and use it to explore a new city and experience some different scenery while still exhibiting your patriotism, there are a lot of great places to go. There are so many interesting places within the US to travel to that are known for their all-out Fourth of July celebrations.

If you have a particularly strong case of wanderlust this July, check out these 4 great places to travel on the Fourth.

Washington D.C.

As the nation’s capital, you can expect full-blown patriotic celebrations during the Fourth of July in Washington D.C. From visiting the historic national monuments to perusing the Museum of Natural History, there’s no shortage of fun and historic activities to partake in at the capital. Start the day off by watching National Independence Day Parade or by catching the Washington Nationals’ ball game. Wrap up the day’s patriotic festivities by enjoying a spectacular free fireworks show covering the D.C sky.

Boston, Massachusetts

It’s no secret why historic Boston is a top place to visit on the Fourth of July. As one of the oldest cities in the U.S. and for its key role in the American Revolution, Boston is an incredible place to fully take in and appreciate America’s history. The Fourth of July is all about commemorating the independence that we achieved as our own nation, and what better way to that than visiting the hotspot of colonial rebellion during the American Revolution? While in Boston, you can also catch an all-American game of baseball one of America’s most famous baseball stadiums, Fenway Park.

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco is known for its famous crimson bridge and cable cars, but did you know it’s also known for its patriotic festivities on the Fourth of July? As a previous buzzing port for early American immigrants, San Francisco is rich with a culture that epitomizes the American dream and melting pot. Head down to Pier 39 to catch some live music and a glimpse of the wild sea lions off the pier, or peruse the unique shops and eateries lining the streets. Be sure to bring a lawn chair or picnic table for the firework show over the bay at dark.

Charleston, SC

If you’re wanting to celebrate our great country all the while being close to the beach, take a trip to the oldest and largest city in South Carolina. Walk the historic cobblestone streets and take in the beautiful, yet eerie sight of the Spanish moss-covered oak trees before partaking in busy activities of the day. Convene at Riverfront Park in North Charleston for North Charleston’s big 4th of July festival with live music, food, vendors, and fun activities. You can also stay close to the beach and enjoy Patriots Point 4th of July Blast aboard the historic USS Yorktown’s Flight Deck.

 

4 Great Places To Travel On The Fourth
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Travel Essentials You Won’t Want to Leave Home Without

Travel Essentials You Won’t Want to Leave Home Without

Wherever your destination is, whatever you plan on doing once you arrive, there are just some things you won’t want to leave home without. And it might not be the things you’re imagining. Sure, you’ll need your passport, your wallet (with the appropriate currency), your camera, and weather-appropriate clothes. But more than that, you’ll need a sense of adventure, an open mind, and a full heart. Traveling the world takes more than material preparation; it takes getting in tune with who you are; it takes having an understanding of other cultures and an acceptance of the way other people live their lives. It takes joy and willingness to explore. And in the end, bringing all of those things along with you will enrich you more than you know.

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these travel essentials you won’t want to leave home without:

A Keen Sense of Adventure

Exploring a new country can be fraught with anxiety and uncertainty. Especially when you don’t speak the native language, it can be daunting to figure out how to navigate the streets and find your way.

Don’t let that fear stop you from having an incredible time. Harness it. Use that heightened sense of awareness to drink in your surroundings. Tap into your keenest sense of adventure and let it lead you to places you might never have found otherwise.

An Open Mind for New Experiences

Once you get to those places that your sense of adventure led you to find, it’s important to unpack your open mind for new experiences. It’s easy to be comfortable and seek out the familiar.

You know that you enjoy lounging on the beach, but what if parasailing is your true calling? You won’t know until you let yourself try. Open up to those new experiences, and you will be unbelievably rewarded in kind.

A Full Heart, Ready to Give

As much as travel should reward you, you should also give back through your experiences. This is not a tacit endorsement of service trips, which are, of course, wonderful and worthy. Having a full heart that’s ready to give means so much more than planning a service trip, a volunteer trip, or even a mission trip. It means being prepared to give of yourself to others, no matter when or where the opportunity arises.

Once you bring your full heart along on a trip, you’ll never want to leave home without it.

Travel Essentials You Won’t Want to Leave Home Without
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Top Three Things Every First-Time Traveler Needs to Know About Europe

Top Three Things Every First-Time Traveler Needs to Know About Europe

Traveling to Europe is a magical experience. The Eiffel Tower at night glitters like you would not believe, and, yes, you should absolutely try to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa with your hands. That joke never gets old.

If you’re planning your first trip, here are three of the top things every first-time traveler needs to know about Europe.  

The Traveling Clichés are Clichés for a Reason

As mentioned earlier, taking that quintessential “I’m holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa” picture is a part of the grand European travel experience. Everyone who has ever gone before you has reveled in that right of passage.

Just because it’s a cliché to kiss your sweetheart in front of the Eiffel Tower or toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth doing. People travel from all over the world to participate in just those very things. These traditions are clichés for a reason—they’re fun, light-hearted, and spectacular. Who wouldn’t want to take part in that?  

Cash is King Pretty Much Everywhere You’ll Go

Credit card companies will always try to sell you the line that they’re accepted “everywhere.” Sadly, that’s not universally true.

If you want to have a headache-free trip to Europe, then you should bring along as much cash as you can reasonably manage. Also, be sure to have a plan for keeping your cash safe from theft. When you’re out and about, don’t carry around more than you would be somewhat okay with losing.

Your European Trip is Exactly What You Make it

You can read all of the advice blogs in the world about what to do as a first-time traveler to Europe. The best piece of guidance you can get, though? Your European trip is exactly what you make it.

No trip is exactly the same as another. This experience is one that you’ll likely look back on fondly forever. Make sure you enjoy it for all the right reasons, and, of course, take more pictures than you think you’ll look at later. You’ll be glad you have some proof of the memories.

Top Three Things Every First-Time Traveler Needs to Know About Europe
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Top North American Resorts for Learning How to Ski

Top North American Resorts for Learning How to Ski

Skiing doesn’t come naturally to human beings. It’s not like walking or running—and it’s not even as intuitive as swimming. You don’t have to know how to ski to survive; it’s not a necessary part of life. That said, skiing is definitely a way of life for a lot of people, especially out west. Because everyone starts out as a beginner, it’s important to find the perfect place to get your ski-legs, so to speak.

If you’re interested in learning, check out one of these three top North American resorts for learning how to ski:

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

Aspen is obviously one of the biggest names in the alpine sports world. It’s one of the first skiing resorts that comes to mind whenever anyone thinks of snow skiing or snowboarding. Even though Aspen itself is a behemoth, Snowmass is actually a fantastic place for beginners to learn how to ski.

Snowmass features much gentler slopes than the rest of Aspen, and they’re ideal for novice skiers. Not to mention, the fact that all of the ski instructors are extremely knowledgeable and are happy to help newbie skiers at every turn.

Okemo, Vermont

On the other side of the country, Okemo in Vermont serves as a great hub for skiers on the East Coast of all abilities. Whether you’re just starting out in the alpine sports, or you’re a seasoned snow-pro, you’ll be able to find a run that fits your speed.

One of the biggest draws for this particular skiing spot is the access to unique, heated chairlifts to transport newbie skiers up the mountain in comfort.

Big Sky Resort, Montana

With over 800 acres of beginner skiing, Big Sky Resort in Montana is a spectacular fit for first-time skiers. In addition to dozens of rolling hills that beckon beginners to conquer them, Big Sky also offers lessons with some of the best professional skiing instructors in the business.
There are, of course, dozens of great ski lodges around the country, but these three are particularly conducive to getting beginners on their feet—and on their skis!

Top North American Resorts for Learning How to Ski
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