We all know that travelling is an incredible experience and we’ve all heard about the benefits of hitting the road. From broadening our horizons to getting real-life education, exploring the globe provides plenty of opportunities to become better. But there’s nothing worse than booking flights, making accommodation reservations, shopping for that perfect swimsuit and finally going on your long-awaited adventure and not feeling your best because your body and mind are tired due to long flight or a lack of proper nutrition.
We have compiled some of the best ways you can stay healthy while travelling. Some of these are common sense, but a reminder always helps. You don’t need to miss out on the good times when you remember these 10 tips on how to stay healthy while travelling.
Get plenty of sleep
The most important thing you can do while traveling is sleep. Your body needs rest when you’re physically traveling, crossing time zones, carrying luggage to and from destinations, walking all day, and so forth. Don’t be exhausted. You can’t always do everything. Get lots of rest and sleep before your holiday.
Listen to your body and nap for an hour or two if you feel like it. Let your body to repair itself. Try to stick to a similar sleep routine to what you had at home. Of course, you are on holiday and don’t have to get up at 5.30 if that’s what you did during your working week, but stay relatively close to it.
A 2015 study showed how critical sleep is when it comes to staying healthy, especially if you’re crossing time zones, as a disruption to a person’s circadian rhythm can compromise their immune system.
Drinking enough water is extremely vital for your overall health and especially important if you are travelling during the summer month or heading for the higher altitude. During the hot and humid weather conditions, you lose more water by sweating.
Carry a water bottle with you at all times. Drink enough water even though it may not be convenient to find public restrooms on the road. It’s the foundation of your livelihood.
Importantly, be informed about the water situation in the country you are visiting. In some countries the tap water is undrinkable, so you will have to buy bottled water. In countries where you can’t drink the water, be careful of salads and fruits. Always wash them with bottled water or peel your fruit. And beware of adding ice to your drinks, as it is often tap water.
If you are staying in a hostel or Airbnb, cook your breakfast. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, get fresh bread from a local bakery, add eggs and fresh fruit; breakfast gives you the energy to start your day right.
If you are planning on sleeping in a hotel, make sure they serve a good breakfast. Some hotels offer complimentary breakfast, and sometimes you have to settle an additional bill. Either way, most hotels serve continental breakfast, and this gives you an opportunity to fillup on Whole grain toast with nut butter, a plain yoghurt with berries or oatmeal. These foods will provide much-needed energy burst and keep you full for hours all while letting you explore a new city with ease.
Don’t forget a first-aid kit
It’s helpful to pack some simple first-aid supplies while traveling, especially if you’re vacationing with kids. If you’re bringing personal medication, pack it in your carry-on rather than checked luggage, just in case your bags are lost in transit.
You may think that your ideal vacation should consist of lying on the beach all day, but you will actually feel better and eventually more rested if you incorporate physical activity into your day. Whether that means taking advantage of a hotel gym, exploring the local sights by walking or riding a bike instead of taking cabs, or even doing some pushups, jumping jacks, or yoga in your room, it’s easy to add regular cardio while you’re away.
This way, you can have heaps of fun learn new things and burn the extra calories you are consuming. Make sure you pack comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing you can be active in. If you are staying near the mountains, bring hiking shoes with good grip and if you are spending time near the ocean, bring your swimsuit.
Update your vaccinations
If traveling to areas that pose a risk of tropical diseases, be sure to visit a travel medicine expert well in advance of your trip to receive the appropriate vaccinations.
Protect your skin
Wearing sun protection with an SPF and replying it frequently to avoid over-exposure to too strong sunlight is significant while on holiday. Sunburns are painful, and sunstroke doesn’t feel nice at all; that’s why taking precautions and protecting yourself, and your family ( especially little ones) should be your second nature.
Cut Down on Drinking
Alcohol and non-alcoholic sweet drinks are packed with calories. Keep your calorie count and sugar intake lower by drinking water instead. Not to mention, alcohol also disrupts your sleep.
Yes, we know! You are on holiday and want to drink and party. Just drink in moderation and include a few alcohol-free days.
COVID-19 spreads primarily from person to person. Fighting this disease is our joint responsibility.
Protect yourself and others by making these simple precautions your new habits:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet away from others if you must go out in public.
- Wear a cloth face covering to cover your mouth and nose when around others and when you must go out in public. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Don’t place one on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, computers, phones, keyboards, sinks, toilets, faucets and countertops.
In line with this, more and more research is showing that the key to lifelong good health is what experts call “lifestyle medicine” — making simple changes in diet, exercise, and stress management. To help you turn that knowledge into results, we’ve put together this manageable list of health and wellness suggestions which is beneficial in today’s world.
1. THINK POSITIVE AND FOCUS ON GRATITUDE
Research shows a healthy positive attitude helps build a healthier immune system and boosts overall health. Your body believes what you think, so focus on the positive. Since gratitude allows you to see the world in a positive light, it decreases the probability of you focusing on things that negatively impact your life. This, in turn, will help you become mentally strong, confident, and have a higher self-esteem.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
2. GET REGULAR EXERCISE
The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. Exercise can help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colon cancer. It can help treat depression, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. People who exercise also get injured less often. Routine exercise can make you feel better and keep your weight under control. Try to be active for 30 to 60 minutes about 5 times a week. Remember, any amount of exercise is better than none.
Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any concerns about your fitness, haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis.
3. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
If you have trouble sleeping, try relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. Or eat a small bedtime snack of foods shown to help shift the body and mind into sleep mode: whole grain cereal with milk, oatmeal, cherries, or chamomile tea. Darken your room more and turn your clock away from you. Write down worries or stressful thoughts to get them out of your head and onto the page. This will help you put them into perspective so you can quit worrying about them.
4. DON’T SMOKE OR USE TOBACCO
Smoking and tobacco use are harmful habits. They can cause heart disease and mouth, throat, or lung cancer. They also are leading factors of emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The sooner you quit, the better.
Tobacco contains nicotine chemical that causes a tingly or pleasant feeling — but that feeling only lasts for a little while. Nicotine is also addictive. That means that if you start to use nicotine, your body and mind will become so used to it that you’ll need to have it just to feel OK. It also can make it more difficult for blood to move around in the body, so smokers may feel tired and cranky. The longer you smoke, the worse the damage becomes.
5. PROTECT YOUR SKIN
Since your skin plays such an important role in protecting your body, you should keep it as healthy as you can. This will help you keep from getting sick or having damage to your bones, muscles, and internal organs.
Sun exposure is linked to skin cancer. It’s best to limit your time spent in the sun. Be sure to wear protective clothing and hats when you are outside. Use sunscreen year-round on exposed skin, like your face and hands. It protects your skin and helps prevent skin cancer. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. It should be at least an SPF 15. Do not sunbathe or use tanning booths.
6. USE FOODS OVER SUPPLEMENTS
Supplements are not a substitute for a good diet. Although many health experts recommend taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement that provides 100 to 200 percent of your recommended daily value, each and every supplement should be carefully evaluated for purity and safety. Specific supplements have been associated with toxicity, reactions with medications, competition with other nutrients, and even increased risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
No matter where you live, we ask that you continue protecting yourself and others by practicing physical distancing and other preventative measures.
- World Health Organization: WHO website
There’s no shortage of travel apps cluttering up the Android and Apple marketplaces these days — and that’s a problem, as most of them are terrible. Sorting out useless ones from those worth installing is not the most fun you’ll ever have with your smartphone, but no one wants to pay for a worthless app.
From the time you start thinking about your next destination to the moment your feet hit the welcome mat back home, having the right Android and iPhone apps on hand can make the whole experience smoother and less stressful.
How Can Apps Make Your Trips Better?
Pack light, set a budget, make an itinerary, and make backup plans. What else is there to say about travel? Plenty. Some of the best travel apps inform you about your destination, with advice, insights, tips, and warnings for how to spend your time. Apps for driving and road trips let you know what to expect along your route, where to buy gas, and which exit to take to find a reliable ATM. Other apps keep your itinerary organized, alert you when you can get a deal on flights, or give you a way to explore your options for where to go next.
Airbnb lets you rent individual rooms, couches, or an entire apartment from locals. I love Airbnb, as it’s a happy medium between hostels and hotels. Plus, if you stay with local hosts, you’ll still get the social aspect of a hostel. The app does everything the website does but at the tip of your fingers. I find it a lot more effective way to communicate with your host.
The site now offers much more for travelers, including tours, classes, workshops, and restaurant reservations. Whether you use Airbnb to find a place to sleep or for inspiration about what to do on your next trip, you’re guaranteed to see big, beautiful photographs of it all.
When I’m booking hotels, I often like to use Booking.com – and apparently I’m not alone, as it is the top site for booking accommodation. And while I tend to do the initial research and booking with my laptop, with the app I can easily see my reservation information on the go.
Sometimes, people have to go to unexpected places that they didn’t choose, like for a wedding or a business trip. When I don’t know anything about my destination, I turn to TripAdvisor. It’s one of the most comprehensive online sources for travelers, with background information about different cities and regions, plus highlights of what to see and do. It has reviews of hotels, restaurants, and activities, written by members of the TripAdvisor community, as well as photos from their travels so you know what to expect before you arrive. TripAdvisor has relationships with various booking sites, too, which means once you finish researching hotels or restaurants, you can easily reserve them.
Google Translate allows you to do it all — translate into 103 languages by typing and access nearly 60 languages offline. You can use handwriting in 93 languages (where you draw text or characters instead of typing). It also offers camera translation in 37 languages, where you point your camera and snap for an instant translation. And two-way instant speech translation is available in 32 languages. Google Translate is simple to use too, with icons at the top you can click on to draw, take a photo, speak or type.
It even works offline if you download the dictionary in advance.
Never turn down a second opinion. Despite all the excellent travel search sites available these days, Google Flights is one to add to your list. Use it when you need a quick check on airfare for round-trip, one-way, or multicity flights. It also lets you explore destinations based on price and dates.
This app is essential when visiting a new city (or even for getting around your home). You can map locations, get directions (walking, driving, public transportation, ride-hailing services and more) and see how crowded your subway will be in select cities. You can make restaurant reservations, save your favorite spots and write reviews. You can also save your maps offline so that you won’t get lost even if you don’t have data on your phone.
WhatsApp is the preferred form of communication for a lot of people around the world. With a WiFi or data connection you can text message, voice message, do voice calls, and video calls. It works like most other messaging apps: You start by creating an account, then add your friends and family members to contact, and voila! You’re able to call, video chat, send messages, images, voice memos, gifs and files just as you would in, say, iMessage (but with Android users too). Plus, you can download WhatsApp on your Windows or Mac computer.
Uber operates around the world, and while the in-app options vary from place to place, the general concept is the same everywhere. There are a few reasons that ride-on-demand apps work so well for travelers. First, it eliminates the need to carry local currency. Second, you don’t have to speak the same language as your driver to get to where you need to go. Third, there’s no haggling. If you don’t want to give Uber your business for one reason or another, do a little research on what other riding hailing apps operate in your destination.
TripIt declutters your itineraries and documents by keeping them organized in one place. You can set your reservations to be automatically sent to TripIt, which will let you view travel confirmations, flight itineraries, tickets, hotel and Airbnb booking info, rental car reservations, ferry tickets and driving directions without ever leaving the app. TripIt also makes it simple to share your trip plans with whoever is picking you up from the airport or train station, or anyone else who may need to coordinate with you or know what your travel plans are.
We’ve all made mistakes when it comes to travelling, from misreading flight times to packing too much stuff and missing out on the best deals. Here we’ve rounded up some of the most common blunders and how to avoid them.
▪ OUTDATED PASSPORTS AND IDENTIFICATION
The number one mistake that people make is failing to look at the dates their passport is effective. You can’t get out of the airport without having a valid passport for international travel, and it can be expensive to pay for rush processing on your passport. Make sure you check on the valid dates for your passport several months before travel so that you can get the renewals processed if you need them. It’s also important to remember that your passport needs to be valid until the date you re-enter the country, not just the date you leave. That seems like obvious information, but again, even the obvious can slip up when you are dealing with complex travel plans.
▪ HAVING AN OVER-AMBITIOUS ITINERARY
Be flexible; don’t be afraid to change your plans due to weather or money shortage. Be aware of the time it takes to get from “A” to “B” (not by distance, but by travel method: car, bus, train, etc).
Factor additional time for possible delays as well as extra time to rest. Remember, you don’t need to see the whole country in one visit; planning to do so will make you feel unaccomplished.
▪ FORGETTING THE BUDGET AND RUNNING OUT OF MONEY
You should consider your budget as a way to experience the place more creatively and more authentically; not as a restriction. Create a realistic budget you can stick to and allow some breathing room for unexpected expenses.
If traveling long-term, schedule weekly transfers from your savings to your checking (like a paycheck), so you know exactly what you are allowed to spend.
▪ NOT DOUBLE-CHECKING YOUR DOCUMENTS AND BOOKINGS FOR ERRORS
One of the easiest ways to ensure a smooth journey is by checking your flight time, date and terminal, with enough time to correct mistakes. It’s no use finding out you mistook 18:00 for 8pm or Terminal A for Terminal B, after heading to the wrong place at the wrong time. Copy details down in your diary as soon as you’ve booked and be clear on when and where you’re heading from the start. Double-check your documents and reservations for everything from hotels, flights, trains, buses, etc. Always corroborate the time and location, and make sure they are scheduled correctly. Also, check that your name is correctly spelled on your flight reservation.
▪ FORGETTING TO BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE
It’s not the most exciting part of booking your holiday, but it’s still essential. Go away without insurance and you could face hefty medical bills if disaster strikes. Or you’ll end up out of pocket if a natural disaster gets in the way of travel plans.
Spending those extra few dollars will give you the benefit of feeling more secure in case something happens (lost baggage, trip delay or cancellation, medical emergency, etc.).
You might think that traveling is safe enough that you don’t need extra coverage because of existing insurance policies you have, but you need to check to make sure those policies cover travel related issues, and you will also want to see what kinds of additional travel riders you can add. Alternately, you can conveniently purchase travel insurance through a broker who specializes in it to make sure you have the coverage you need on your trip without having to adjust your entire insurance plan.
▪ FORGETTING TO NOTIFY YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANIES
Paying for currency exchange in country can be expensive, but when you use your credit cards, the exchange rate is calculated for you and charged properly in your home currency. If your card allows for cash advances, these can also be used as a way to sidestep the fees that come from exchanging your money. Many credit cards are wary of foreign activity on an account, though, and that can lead to automatic activity suspensions that complicate your travel. The best way to get around this is by letting your credit card providers know that you will be traveling and where you will be traveling. You might even find out that there are rewards and other perks for travelers that you didn’t know about! Some higher end cards have even been known to offer special pricing deals on travel insurance, too, so this step could be a major help to your planning process.
▪ NOT READING REVIEWS
Avoid arriving at a destination and not knowing what to do by at least doing a small Google search. Get information about possible things to do and interesting history of the place. The more research you do in advance and the more you know; the more chances you have to enjoy the place.
Read the reviews for valuable insight into which are the best (and worst) rooms, as well as handy pointers about things like pool temperature. After all, there’s no point in forking out for that turquoise infinity pool if it’s too chilly to swim in. Make sure you check out travellers’ photos too – the reality might look markedly different to the cleverly marketed website.
▪ DRINKING TOO MUCH
Avoid starting your holiday with a hangover by taking it easy and drinking plenty of water. Drink in moderation and find other ways to relieve stress and have fun! Drinking too much will not only suck all your money, but it will also put you at a higher risk of getting robbed or injured.
▪ PACKING TOO MUCH STUFF
When you know you will be far away from home for a long period of time, it’s easy to convince yourself that you need to travel heavy to make sure you are ready for any situation. Often, travelers bring clothes for any weather, including inclement weather, along with a number of other personal aides that they don’t absolutely need.
Next time, lighten your load by laying out your packing, then cutting the quantity in half. Be realistic about what footwear you really need and decant toiletries into smaller bottles.
▪ LIVING BY THE GUIDEBOOK
When it comes to getting an overview of your destination, guidebooks can be invaluable, but try not to rely on them entirely or you might find yourself missing out. For the most current information on what’s hot and what’s not, chat to locals and other travellers. The chances are a new café or attraction will have opened since your guide went to print.
Guidebooks are made to inform your travels, not to define them. Put the guidebook down and interact with other travelers and people at the destination. Allow yourself to explore and use on your own initiative; there is a lot more to a place than what is in any guidebook.
▪ BEING CULTURALLY INSENSITIVE
Try to understand the culture and the surrounding in which you are traveling. Having an open mind will help you blend better, enjoy and absorb the culture in a more interactive way, and avoid insulting them unintentionally.
To get the most out of your tours, you need to be proactive with your planning to make sure you have the right resources, and you need to be open to adding and improvising when you are in-country to make sure you grab the chance to try as much as possible while you are abroad. That way, you can make your trip into a memorable and personal experience that you treasure for years to come.
Our world is filled with the most unique structures that are both man-made and natural. Some of the man-made creations include churches, tombs, temples, monuments, mosques, buildings and even cities. These structures have withstood the test of time and they continue to leave many awestruck with their brilliance. There are many in the world, but only seven are selected, which are deemed to be the best.
📍 Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is known the world over for its beautiful architecture, history and the tale of love that led to its creation. Located in the Indian city of Agra, the Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a testament of his love for his departed wife Mumtaz Mahal.
It is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture. Its recognized architectonic beauty has a rhythmic combination of solids and voids, concave and convex and light shadow; such as arches and domes further increases the aesthetic aspect.
The most impressive in the Taj Mahal complex next to the tomb, is the main gate which stands majestically in the center of the southern wall of the forecourt. The gate is flanked on the north front by double arcade galleries. The garden in front of the galleries is subdivided into four quarters by two main walk-ways and each quarters in turn subdivided by the narrower cross-axial walkways, on the Timurid-Persian scheme of the walled in garden. The enclosure walls on the east and west have a pavilion at the center.
The Colosseum in Rome was built in the first century by order of the Emperor Vespasian. A feat of engineering, the amphitheater measures 620 by 513 feet (189 by 156 meters) and features a complex system of vaults. It was capable of holding 50,000 spectators, who watched a variety of events. Perhaps most notable were gladiator fights, though men battling animals was also common. In addition, water was sometimes pumped into the Colosseum for mock naval engagements. However, the belief that Christians were martyred there—namely, by being thrown to lions—is debated. According to some estimates, about 500,000 people died in the Colosseum. Additionally, so many animals were captured and then killed there that certain species reportedly became extinct.
The best way to skip the lines upon entering and to get to know the famous monument in detail, is to take a guided tour. This one, visits the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, skipping the lines and with an expert local guide.
In order to avoid endless lines that can cost you several hours, it is advisable either to arrive early in the morning or to buy an entrance ticket in the Palatine Hill, since there are usually fewer people there and the cost of entrance is combined.
Another way to avoid lines is to buy the Roma Pass, a discount card that offers free entrance to the Colosseum without having to wait in line.
📍 Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, an Incan city of sparkling granite precariously perched between 2 towering Andean peaks, is thought by scholars to have been a sacred archaeological center for the nearby Incan capital of Cusco. Built at the peak of the Incan Empire in the mid-1400s, this mountain citadel was later abandoned by the Incas. The site remained unknown except to locals until 1911, when it was rediscovered by archaeologist Hiram Bingham. The site can only be reached by foot, train or helicopter; most visitors visit by train from nearby Cusco.
The high level of preservation and the general layout of the ruin are remarkable. Its southern, eastern, and western portions are surrounded by dozens of stepped agricultural terraces formerly watered by an aqueduct system. Some of those terraces were still being used by local Indians when Bingham arrived in 1911. Walkways and thousands of steps, consisting of stone blocks as well as footholds carved into underlying rock, connect the plazas, the residential areas, the terraces, the cemetery, and the major buildings. The Main Plaza, partly divided by wide terraces, is at the north-central end of the site. At the southeastern end is the only formal entrance, which leads to the Inca Trail.
📍 Christ the Redeemer
Christ the Redeemer, a colossal statue of Jesus, stands atop Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro. Its origins date to just after World War I, when some Brazilians feared a “tide of godlessness.” They proposed a statue, which was ultimately designed by Heitor da Silva Costa, Carlos Oswald, and Paul Landowski. Construction began in 1926 and was completed five years later. The resulting monument stands 98 feet (30 meters) tall—not including its base, which is about 26 feet (8 meters) high—and its outstretched arms span 92 feet (28 meters). It is the largest Art Deco sculpture in the world. Christ the Redeemer is made of reinforced concrete and is covered in approximately six million tiles. Somewhat disconcertingly, the statue has often been struck by lightning, and in 2014 the tip of Jesus’s right thumb was damaged during a storm.
📍 Chichen Itza
Chichén Itzá, ruined ancient Maya city occupying an area of 4 square miles (10 square km) in south-central Yucatán state, Mexico. It is thought to have been a religious, military, political, and commercial center that at its peak would have been home to 35,000 people. The site first saw settlers in 550, probably drawn there because of the easy access to water in the region via caves and sinkholes in limestone formations, known as cenotes.
The genius and adaptability of Mayan culture can be seen in the splendid ruins of Chichen Itza. This powerful city, a trading center for cloth, slaves, honey and salt, flourished from approximately 800 to 1200, and acted as the political and economic hub of the Mayan civilization. The most familiar ruin at the site is El Caracol, a sophisticated astronomical observatory.
Declared a World Heritage Site in 1985, Petra was the capital of the Nabataean empire of King Aretas IV, and likely existed in its prime from 9 B.C. to A.D. 40. The members of this civilization proved to be early experts in manipulating water technology, constructing intricate tunnels and water chambers, which helped create an pseudo-oasis. A number of incredible structures carved into stone, a 4,000-seat amphitheater and the El-Deir monastery have also helped the site earn its fame.
The ancient city of Petra, Jordan, is located in a remote valley, nestled among sandstone mountains and cliffs. It was purported to be one of the places where Moses struck a rock and water gushed forth. Later the Nabataeans, an Arab tribe, made it their capital, and during this time it flourished, becoming an important trade center, especially for spices. Noted carvers, the Nabataeans chiseled dwellings, temples, and tombs into the sandstone, which changed color with the shifting sun. In addition, they constructed a water system that allowed for lush gardens and farming. At its height, Petra reportedly had a population of 30,000. The city began to decline, however, as trade routes shifted. A major earthquake in 363 CE caused more difficulty, and after another tremor hit in 551, Petra was gradually abandoned. Although rediscovered in 1912, it was largely ignored by archaeologists until the late 20th century, and many questions remain about the city.
📍 Great Wall of China
As the name suggests, it is located in China and the Great Wall is the collective name given to a series of fortification systems built across the borders of the country. The purpose of the Great Wall was to protect as well as mark the territories of the Chinese states and empires. Several of the walls were found to have been built as early as the 7th century BC, but the most well known sections were built by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). An archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measures out to be 21,196 km. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, and attracts many visitors every year.
Packing your travel bag can make or break your trip. You want to look cute but be comfortable and have access to the things you need. But you also don’t want to lug around your entire life and valuables. On this blog, we shared some packing tips for your next adventure!
First, the short answer to what you should pack: as little as possible. Packing light is a cliché, yet one that has a lot of truth to it. The more you travel, the more you will realize you don’t need a lot of stuff. Everything you need now fits into one backpack.
🧳 Place heavy items at the base
Keep weightier things like shoes and books by the wheeled end of your suitcase. This placement helps your bag stay stable when upright, and stops other items from getting smushed.
🧳 Use packing cubes
These blocks keep your suitcase organized and stack together easily — no more trying to fit in oddly shaped items like a puzzle. Plus, the durable cubes are lightweight and thin so you won’t lose any precious suitcase space.
🧳 Avoid over or under-packing
It’s important not to over-pack either (especially if you’re only bringing a carry-on), since that’s a surefire way to create crease marks and can make it extra tricky to repack when you’re going home — or heading off to another spot.
🧳 Bring two small laundry bags
Use one for lights and one for darks. If you forget, grab plastic bags from your hotel room’s closet. If you’re traveling as a family and think you’ll have a considerable amount of dirty laundry, a dirty clothes travel bag can be more efficient than Ziplocks. When you get home, throw the presorted loads in the wash.
🧳 Here’s a list of what we usually bring when we go on trips:
- 6 T-shirts
- 1 long-sleeved T-shirt
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 pair of shorts
- 6 pairs of underwear
- 1 bathing suit
- 1 pair of flip-flops
- 1 pair of sneakers
- 8 pairs of socks
- 1 toothbrush
- 1 tube of toothpaste
- 1 package of dental floss
- 1 small bottle of shampoo
- 1 small bottle of shower gel
- 1 towel
✔ SMALL MEDICAL KIT
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Antibacterial cream
- Eye drops
- Hand sanitizer
- Universal power adapter/converter
- A key or combination lock
- Ziplock bag
We highly recommend investing in some of the essential pieces and truly evaluating what you would and would not use on your trip—no need to carry excess luggage or items if you’re not actually going to use them!
Some people say, “I can’t afford to go travelling” or “I don’t earn enough to go on holiday”. Wrong! If you really want to get away from every day life for a few days, you can do it!
The best way to save money is by making a few simple changes to your life. Although you’re going to have to commit to your budget, it need not be as complicated as you imagine. It only requires planning, a bit of foresight and some motivation.
Buy less stuff
Try not to buy many things. Even when you see something you think you’d really love to own, try to think about the places you’ve been able to travel and the memories you have, and that should help you put ‘value’ into perspective.
Don’t travel on borrowed money
Coming home to a mound of debt after a life-changing travel experience is not what you want to face. Debt is stressful and if you can avoid it, you’ll live a happier life.
Commit to saving
First and foremost, you have to tell yourself that you are going to do this, then whole heartedly commit to it. By changing your mindset and the way you think is half the battle. Every time you want to buy something ask yourself, “do I really need this, or do I just want it?”. Once you are in the right head-space, you will naturally start to see what you is essential, and what you can cut back on.
Buy second-hand items
If you do need to buy new clothes or a book, don’t buy it new as this will cost more. A book is just as good second-hand from Amazon or eBay than brand new from Waterstones. Charity shops are a great place to buy a new outfit if you have to buy one; not only are you getting a bargain but you are helping a worthy cause.
Open a travel-friendly bank account
This may sound like an obvious tip ], but you would be surprised at the amount of people who don’t do it – money can easily get sucked into daily life if you don’t put it aside. If you set up a standing order or direct debit to transfer a set amount each month, you will quickly see your travelling fund grow!
You want one that’ll give you unlimited ATM withdrawals abroad and won’t charge you any transaction fees.
Sell your stuff
Get yourself up into the loft and have a look at what you are keeping “for a rainy day”. Root through the shed or the garage, open up your cupboards and drawers to see if you really need the latest “gadget” you bought 5 years ago but have never used. You will be surprised at how much money you will make this way.
“Love does not make the world go around – it simply makes the ride worthwhile”.
Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and it is an opportunity for us to truly reconnect with the real meaning of this day. It is about LOVE, sharing and giving. Love is the most amazing thing in our lives. It is what makes us human, what makes life worth living. Nothing else truly matters.
Whether you are spending the day with a special someone or getting together with friends, here are some most romantic thing and ways that you can do on a day that’s set aside for love.
Love Your Life and Create a Great Relationship with Yourself
Celebrate being hot and single, and enjoy some time to mingle. Who says that people need a companion for this one day of the year? Treat yourself to a spa or a long bubble bath. Take a long drive and enjoy the scenery. If it’s too snowy or iced down, stay in and watch sports games or that romantic movie on cable. Some people get lucky on this day.
A day for Friends
Valentine’s Day is traditionally a way to celebrate the romance in your life, but it’s also a good way to show friends how much you value them. There are as many ways to do this as there are friendships, and no way is right or wrong. With some friends, you might give a card to say “Happy Valentine’s Day,” while with others you might go all out with a big party.
Make a Romantic Date!
Sometimes the best Valentine’s Day gift you can give is the gift of uninterrupted time together. You don’t need to leave the house to make Valentine’s Day special. Think of how great it could be to spend the entire day in a bedroom together. Turn off your phones, don’t answer the door and enjoy each other.
Sweets for Your Sweet
Chocolate is to Valentine’s Day what Bruce Willis is to Die Hard — the star of the show. It’s a fact that chocolate has a batting average of about 1.000 when it comes as a present, so why not turn the entire day into one, long sweet gift? If you are getting something for a school classmate, get a small box of those sugary hearts with the little sayings on them. If you wish, you can make a chocolate recipe along with someone else on Valentine’s Day.
Spend Quality Time With Loved One
Make time for what’s important and spend quality time with your loved ones. The easiest way to spend quality time with loved ones is to involve them in your day. Go out to a nice restaurant or create a special dinner. Cuddle with your significant other on a couch and watch a movie. Try to avoid distractions, such as surfing the internet, chatting on the phone while around people, or deciding to do other things by yourself or with another group of people.
Make a Homemade Card for Someone
The card will have more meaning to it if it’s created by you instead of buying a card from a store. Use your own words to describe the person you’re giving it to. Create a poem or a note of appreciation. Add a little “copyrighted” symbol on the back of the card for fun.
Want to travel alone? You’re not the only one! It’s one of the most liberating things to do. Travelling by yourself means not being able to rely on anyone else to get the most out of your trips. It means you are left to navigate your place in the world, to embrace or shun the ever-changing call of the wild. No matter where you go and what you do, it will change you.
Here are some reasons why you should travel alone, at least once in your life:
It can improve your mental health
Travel is, without a doubt, the fastest way you can grow as a human being and turn your life into an inspired one.
You’ll become more creative
After time spent travelling abroad alone and soaking up the world around you, your creative spark will have a far deeper well to draw from when seeking inspiration!
You can be a dreamer
You’ll learn to live, to have courage, to not be afraid to listen to NO, to test yourself in a lot of respects, to challenge yourself, to learn to respect others and other cultures, to learn to listen people, to learn to be more patient, to give more value to little things, to collect moments and not things, to follow your dreams.
You’ll get to know who you really are
Solo travel is a life changing experience which makes you discover what kind of person you are. You get to know more about your own personality and what you enjoy. You learn how to get out of your comfort zone, do things on your own and sometimes you even get to surprise yourself.
You’ll learn to trust your gut
Whether it’s getting public transport or the more expensive luxury bus to go into the locals home you’ve been invited into for chai, and have no idea who they are – or not, or even as simple as to where to eat for dinner! No decision is right or wrong and will lead you to your next adventure.
You can go at your own pace
You get to meet new people and work on your own time table. The other important thing is to not worry about taking a chill day, you don’t need to be doing something every day if you’re tired or suddenly experience anxiety.
You’ll develop an eye for spotting killer deals
If you feel like going somewhere and you found a good deal, don’t wait for someone to book with you to travel, do it by yourself! I have done many times this and it is how I manage to travel a lot and for cheap deals.
Is it possible to travel without friends and family and enjoy it?
While there’s nothing quite like making memories around the world with those you love most, travelling by yourself can be just as memorable. It’s in fact, a completely different experience as a whole. Like many other single travelers will tell you, it’s like becoming part of a new family. It’s the perfect way to make new friends.
Look after yourself
As with any travelling, safety is always the first thing we think about. When you’re unfamiliar with a place, extra safety measures are usually wise. Travelling in a group means that you’ll be in a group for most of your holiday, led by your tour leader and a local guide in some destinations.
However, for those times when you would like to spend some free time exploring, be sure to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. As always, keep your valuables close, and try not to walk around with unnecessary valuable items or large amounts of money.
Speak to someone you’ve never met before
Going on holiday alone is the perfect excuse to come out of your shell. Even if you’re not usually a bubbly, people-person, solo travelling requires you to leave your comfort zone somewhat. We always say that people who travel have at least that in mind: A love for travel and exploring the world. Don’t be afraid to start up conversations, be chatty and welcome others into your conversations as well.
Do your homework
Before leaving, download local maps and buy a reputable travel guide for attractions and points of interest. Make a list of local authorities (including Canadian embassies or consulates), hospitals and clinics, together with their contact info.
Stay in touch
Share your full itinerary with a family member or friend, and check in every couple of days. For both safety and travel utility, don’t rely solely on Wi-Fi, even though it’s widely available. Roaming charges for your smartphone can really add up, so ask your provider for a roaming package. For longer trips, it’s often cheaper to unlock your phone, buy a local SIM card, and use a foreign carrier. Then simply replace your original SIM card when you return.
Another one of our golden solo travel trips is to buy travel insurance that will have you covered for any emergency. Since you won’t have anyone with you that is aware of any prior medical history, make sure you have travel insurance that covers you medically. Also consider trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. Because stuff happens!
Embrace the experience
While taking some precautions, be open to meeting people, sampling the language, foods and culture. To encourage encounters, eat at the bar, frequent local cafés and lunch spots in reputable neighborhoods. Remember to smile!
Common sense is your best defense. Research unsafe neighborhoods and check out comments on your lodgings before you book. Avoid trouble spots, drink responsibly and frequent well-lit public spaces. At a café, keep valuables like your phone off the table. Don’t label yourself a tourist: wear nondescript clothes similar to what locals wear, leave your expensive camera and jewelry at home and stride confidently!