4 Ways to enhance your backpacking experience

Backpacking is one of the most liberating holiday experiences that you could get involved with. It’s something that allows you to see a country in all of its glory without the veil of tourism to blind you from what’s really beautiful about your holiday destination. However, for beginners, it can be fairly daunting for newcomers and without much experience, it’s difficult to get your foot into the door with backpacking. New backpackers usually make some critical mistakes that often lead to a bad experience, and it puts them off this holiday choice in the future. So to prepare you for the future, here is a couple of ways to help you improve your backpacking experience.

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Don’t be afraid of the food

One of the things you have to have for backpacking is an iron stomach. Food is a fantastic way to get into the culture and tradition of a country, but you need to be able to eat all kinds of foods because, let’s face it, you don’t want to upset or anger the locals for spitting out their local delicacy. Train yourself by sampling lots of different foods. When offered something from the locals or from a friend, make sure you at least try it and give an honest opinion. Being open to more foods means you also don’t have to fuss around for fast food and it gives you more opportunities to go and have a meal with people.

Travel the road less travelled

Backpacking isn’t just a cheaper way to experience some of the world’s most beautiful cities. Backpacking is a way to see the lesser-known attractions that countries have to offer. You’ll get to sample the best street foods, the cheaper restaurants and the cultural destinations that won’t cost you a fortune yet are far more fulfilling.

Learn the language

When you learn the language of a country, you’ll find it a lot more comfortable to communicate with the locals and to get around town. However, you don’t have to learn the language before you travel! In fact, it’s sometimes better to learn the language once you arrive at your destination because it shows that you have a genuine interest in the country. There are plenty of schools listed on the internet to help you look for a location too. For instance, you could take Italian classes in Italy to help you learn the language. The classes don’t take very long, and it also gives you the same language qualifications you would need to actually move into the country in the future, should you decide to migrate at some point.

Engage with locals

Travelling is all about the experiences you can encounter, and many of those experiences will be aided by the locals. They’ll be able to teach you all the best places to visit, they’ll help you get started with your backpacking adventure, and they can aid you with translations, maps and so on. The friends you meet will become a huge part of what makes the backpacking experience so fulfilling, so make sure you’re not trying to avoid communicating with them.

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Think you can’t afford to travel? Think again!

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Travel isn’t exactly cheap, but it may be easier for you to afford than you may think. If you’re not exactly flush with cash right now, it doesn’t mean you can’t travel. Here are the things you have to consider!

Cheap locations and cheap flights

When people say they want to “travel”, they’re usually being much vaguer than they need to be. The problem is that a lot of people who say this don’t want to travel as widely as they seem to; they just have one or two places on their ‘to visit’ list! But if you’re more open-minded about where you want to spend your time off, then it’s much easier to find less expensive locations as well as cheap flights. Of course, doing the right amount of preparation can land you reasonably-priced flights to pretty much anywhere you want to go, but you’re much more likely to be able to travel for cheap if you’re willing to spend a weekend in, say, Prague than a weekend in New York City!

Alternative accommodation options

Don’t jump immediately to the idea of getting a hotel room, because those things can be darn expensive. While it’s usually so much easier (and often more comfortable) to book a hotel, try to be open-minded about your accommodation options. While vacation rentals are often portrayed as the more expensive option, the opposite is actually true much of the time. These places also come with kitchens, so you can prepare you own meals instead of going out to a restaurant! But you shouldn’t dismiss the idea of staying in a hostel, which can provide you with very cheap accommodation if you’re willing to sacrifice some privacy!

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Off the beaten track

Most popular destinations make an awful lot of money off of tourism – and they do so by charging very high fees for pretty much everything in their most popular tourist spots! When planning a trip, a lot of people seem to forget about the budgeting required to pay for the attractions at their destination. This doesn’t just include theme parks, museums, and the like; it also includes restaurants! If you’re willing to spend less time at the ‘obvious’ tourist spots and step off the beaten track, you’ll not only find some more unique places that aren’t so flooded with tourists; you’re also likely to save a bunch of money!

Traveling on credit

If you really want to get away somewhere that you don’t really have the money immediately to hand to pay for, then there’s always the option of paying for a vacation using a credit card. Many would say that this a very reasonable way of getting out there and seeing the world while you’re young. However, the idea of using credit doesn’t always make the aspiring traveler very comfortable. It’s a form of debt, after all! So you have to be confident that you’ll be able to pay all that money back within a reasonable timeframe. What you should consider doing is saving up most of the upfront costs before using a credit card. This ensures that you have the bulk of the payment ready to start paying back gradually, making it much more likely that you’ll be able to pay back the total amount in time.

Posted in 2017, budget, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ka-Ching: Simple ways to steal killer travel deals this summer

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You can often find yourself wishing you could escape away on vacation, but feel as if you can’t afford it right now. It can be the worst. Not only do you know what you need a break, the knowledge that you may not be able to do it can make you feel even more stressed out. But, that doesn’t have to be the case. Even if you’re struggling to make your savings add up, there are a range of ways that you can save money and bag a bargain vacation this summer. And if you want to know how to do it, these ideas should help.

Shop Around

Any frugal pro will already know this, but if you want to get the best deal you possibly can on vacation, you’re going to want to make sure that you shop around. Don’t just settle for the first costs you see. Look at all kinds of tour operators and websites to dig out the best deals. You can also often find that if you book last minute, you can get a super cheap deal too.

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Be Flexible

And the key to doing that? Be flexible. If you have a set date or location, you’re often going to have to pay the set prices. But, if you want to pay as little as possible for an incredible holiday, you need to be open to a range of different locations, dates, and durations. When you can be flexible, you can often choose your vacation based on the best price, rather than feel restricted by the price ranges you’re given.

Look Out For Promos

Another way to make sure you’re getting a good deal and can often realize that a vacation is in your budget this year, it to keep an eye out for deals that are being promoted. Whether you spot TV cruise deals or flight offers in your morning paper, you’re going to want to keep your eyes peeled so as not to miss the best deals. Sometimes, you will find them in the strangest places, so if you’re really determined to get away, be sure to be alert at all times.

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Book Direct

Another way to squeeze the cost down is to book directly with the hotel, or flight operator, or whatever kind of travel you’re looking at. Although travel companies do often get a discount so that they can make packages cheaper for you, some hotels and transport companies will give you a lower price if you go direct. Sometimes, you can even tell them that you can get it cheaper as a package and they will reduce the cost for you to go direct.

Use Your Coupons

And finally, just like you use coupons for your groceries, you might want to think about using them to bag a bargain vacation too. Because yes, travel coupons do exist. You can also often get great cash back on vacations and travel products too. That way, you can bring down the overall cost and be sure to avoid the vacation you were hoping for this year.

 

Posted in 2017, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

How to make flying as comfortable as possible

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Vacations are meant to be about resting, relaxing and enjoying oneself, but too often, if you are flying to your holiday resort, much of your trip can end up being stressful and uncomfortable. A bad flight can almost completely ruin the vacation experience and leave you feeling tenser than you did before you jetted off. It really shouldn’t be like this, and actually, it doesn’t have to.

Here are some simple things you can do to make flying as comfortable as the resort you’re staying in:

Charter a Jet

If you’re fed up of being treated like cattle at6 the airport, and if you want to ensure that you have more space to relax and actually enjoy the experience of flying, take a look at Jettly and see if you can charter a private jet to your chosen destination. By doing this, you’re sure to start your trip right, and despite what a lot of people think, chartering a jet isn’t all that expensive, in fact, in some cases it can be cheaper than flying on a commercial airline!

Invest in a Good Travel Pillow

If you’ve ever seen someone sleeping soundly on a flight, chances are they’ve been able to do so because they’re using a travel pillow. Travel pillows made specifically for air travel, like the SkyRest travel pillow are extremely comfortable and convenient because they inflate in the space between you and your tray table, giving you a safe and comfy cushion to tap a nap on.

Don’t Forget Your Earplugs

Even if you’ve chartered a private jet, you’re going to have to put up with the noise of the engines, even if there are no crying babies or loud drunk onboard, which means that bringing along a good set of earplugs is vital to your comfort. If possible, try to invest in a set of ear plugs that have been created specifically for air travel, because many of these will not only block out annoying sounds, but they will also help to regulate ear pressure, so that you don’t feel the discomfort of changes in air pressure like you usually would.

Defend Your Knees

If you’re on a commercial plane with very little space, one of the worst things that can happen is the person directly in front of you deciding that it would be a great idea to totally recline their seat, thus invading your space and leaving you squashed up in an uncomfortable position. Luckily, you can thwart them if you take the sensible step of carrying a knee defender onboard with you.

The knee defender is a genius device, which when deployed, will make it impossible for the person in front of you to recline their seat, allowing you the breathing space you deserve.

Sleeping Aids

Of course, the best way to ensure a comfortable, care-free flight is to sleep right through it. So, if you usually find it impossible to sleep on a flight, you might want to consider a visit to the local drugstore where you can pick up any number of over-the-counter sleeping pills or herbal remedies to help you drift off and actually have a pleasant journey.

How do you ensure your comfort on plane journeys?

 

Posted in 2017, travel | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Australia’s top destinations for food and drink

A lot of people choose somewhere to travel to on the basis of the food and drink served in the area. After all, we want to endeavor some delicious cuisine while we are on holiday. And drink to our heart’s content while we are on our travels. And one place which often gets chosen due to their cuisine is Australia. In fact, people love the sound of their pies, burgers, and cakes, so it makes a foodie’s bucket list. But people are left puzzled deciding where to visit in Australia. After all, certain areas offer a better food and drink experience than others. Therefore, here are some of the top destinations in Australia for food and drink.

South Bank in Melbourne

Melbourne is one of the best cities to visit when traveling to Australia. In fact, it’s not surprising thousands of people head there on their travels. It’s one of the best places to enjoy the best local grub and drink that Australia has to offer. In fact, if you head down near the Yarra River, you will find the popular South Bank area which has a ton of restaurants and bars which will appease your taste buds. In fact, lots of people tend to visit here to enjoy great food while enjoying the river views. And it’s perfect to visit at night. You will find a wealth of street performers, and you can see the lights of the city skyline while you tuck into a delicious dish or two. You can also have a great river walk before finishing the evening with a drink in one of the bars which serve beers and wines of Australia.

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Hunter Valley near Sydney

While Sydney has a wealth of restaurants and bars you can enjoy, it’s worth traveling slightly out of the city to get a whole different tasting experience. In fact, less than two hours from Sydney is the beautiful Hunter Valley. It has over 100 wineries where you can enjoy a tipple or two. In fact, you could even book to go on a wine tour like Hunter Valley wine tours from Hunter Valley which will ensure you get to try the best wine in the area. And you could even enjoy some live music at the same time. Also, the area has a ton of restaurants where you can tuck into great dishes. Or for something lighter, it’s worth trying the local cheeses which are divine.

Elizabeth Quay in Perth

The beautiful city of Perth is also a great place to visit if you are looking for delicious grub. And in particular, you might want to visit Elizabeth Quay in the city. There are some fantastic restaurants including The Apple Daily which serves some delightful grub. There is also markets which are fantastic for trying some food which is a little different. In fact, you might find a meal which you adore after trying the street food. And it’s also home to the Night Noodle Markets which occurs every year. You will love the wealth of noodle dishes which you can enjoy late into the evening.

Don’t forget to read reviews online before you go on your travels to Aussie land. That way, you can ensure you get to consume the best food and drink when you get there.

Posted in 2017, cuisine, culture, tourism, travel, travel ideas, wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Planning a trip to Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania is fast becoming a more popular retreat amongst holidaymakers in the US. Here are just some of the activities worth pursuing on your trip to The Keystone State.

Seeing the sights

PA has a lot of history for those looking for a cultural getaway. Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia is home to the Liberty Bell and is also the location where George Washington signed the Declaration of Independence (you can still see the chair that he sat in). Gettysburg is also well worth a visit. There are many cemeteries and memorials in the area dedicated to those that died in the civil war battle there, and you can take a tour of the battlefield. The final landmark worth visiting meanwhile is Harrisburg’s mighty Pennsylvania State Capitol. Built in 1906, you’d be forgiven for thinking from a photo that this was a European palace from the 1700s.

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Absorbing the art

Fans of art should visit Pennsylvania’s multiple galleries. These include the Andy Warhol Museum, which contains some of the Pop artist’s most famous pieces, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (the iconic staircase was used in the Rocky movies and attracts many visitors simply for this reason!).

Staying active outdoors

A large part of PA’s appeal is its outdoor activities. If you’re on a family holiday and are looking for a fun group activity, this state has all kinds of options from zipwiring to archery. Those that enjoy hiking can journey to the Appalachian mountains and take on the celebrated Appalachian trail. There are also many rivers in the region where you can go kayaking and white water rafting.

Go to jail

Eastern State Penitentiary has housed many iconic criminals of the past including Willie Sutton and Al Capone. It remains derelict today, closed in 1971. The prison attracts many visitors and is popular amongst photographers looking to capture a few eerie snaps. Many stories and legends surround the historic prison which you can learn by taking a tour of the inside.

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Have fun at Hershey Park

You may know the town of Hershey as the home a certain chocolate company. It’s now home to Hershey Park, an amusement park that was built in 1906 as a recreational zone for workers at the chocolate factory. It’s since become open to the public and has expanded to house a multitude of rides for all ages. You can also visit the Chocolate World attraction and get to see how Hershey’s chocolate is made – just try not to eat too many sweets before going on the rides!

Try the Amish Experience

The Amish people are known worldwide for their traditional Christian values and frugal way of living. You can visit many Amish towns in the region using a shuttle bus service known as The Amish Experience. There are Amish shops and guided tours and buggy rides. Another popular attraction in Amish county is the Strasburg Railroad for those wanting an authentic steam train ride.

Posted in 2017, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips, USA | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

24 Hours In Canada’s Capital

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When you’re planning a trip, you want to make sure you squeeze every last drop of experience out of it, which can be a challenge. After all, unless you are visiting somewhere like Burnham Market in Norfolk, England, most places pose the challenge of being jam packed full of things you want to see. This is definitely the case with Canada’s capital city. It just has so much to offer, which is exactly why planning what you want to do and see – the must-do and must-see thing – is the only way to go about it.

The thing is, we all have eyes bigger than our bellies when it comes to seeing a place, which is why we have got into the habit of entitling our lists, 24 Hours In So And So. Sometimes we even go as far as, literally, breaking it down hour by hour. It just helps us prioritize.

So, with just one day In Ottawa, what does one make sure they do?

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Parliament Hill

There is a reason why this is the most visited attraction in Ottawa, it is staggering, not just as a building, but as a living and breathing thing. The reason why we put this at the top of our list is because it needs to be seen first thing in the morning when they have the changing of the guard ceremony. Amazing. Although, the sound and light show in the evenings is equally amazing.

The Two Cultural Places To See

There are tons of cultural places to explore in Ottawa, but the two you absolutely must fit into your stay are the absolutely breathtaking National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian War Museum. These are world class exhibitions, no doubt about it.

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Day or Night Hit The Market

If you are to ask any local about the one place you should see (other than parliament Hill) they are going to say, ByWard Market. It’s one of the most historical farmer’s markets and shopping districts, but only by day. By night it is THE place to go.

Relax For An Hour

Okay, with a busy morning rushing about all over the place, you deserve to relax for an hour. You know, grab some food, check out some spas in Ottawa in the city, grab a drink. In our opinion, hit up the Back Lane Cafe. It ‘s just so relaxed, and they prepare most of the food on wood-fired hearths.

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The Canal

It doesn’t matter if it is winter or summer you are visiting, you have to see the Rideau Canal. It’s a historic waterway that is either filled with boats or frozen over to make the world’s largest natural skating rink.

Adventure Is Out There

If there is one thing Ottawa has it is an adventure. It is one for life enthusiasts. White water rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping, cycling, whatever you fancy. You have to. It’s right on the doorstep.

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Anything You May Have Missed

We are all for city tours when we see a place, but we like doing them early evening, before dinner, when the place we are is bustling and the sky turns color. This suits Ottawa perfectly. In terms of tours, we suggest Lady Dive, because it takes you on both land and water, and what better way to see a place is there than that.

Posted in 2017, photography, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments