NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT THESE ESSENTIALS

Packing correctly is a science. Under-packing or over-packing can both lead to an unpleasant trip. What you want is to be able to find that sweet spot where everything is just right and you have all that you need. So, to make packing less of a headache and more of a fun activity, we have put together a list of travel essentials. These essentials are meant to make every part of your trip better. From going through security at the airport, while in the air, and while exploring your destination, these essentials will come in handy. This list will go over some staples like the travel pillows, blankets, and whatnot, but we will also highlight some unique items that will make your trip a little bit less stressful. Here is a list of travel essentials.

  1. Collapsible/Reusable water bottle.
  2. Travel Towel.
  3. Travel Pillow.
  4. Travel Wallet.
  5. Travel Packing Cubes.
  6. Travel Laundry bags.
  7. Travel Toiletry Bag.
  8. Fanny pack.
  9. Portable Charger.
  10. Universal Travel Adapter.
  11. Noise-canceling headphones.
  12. A proper Carry-on bag.
  13. Travel luggage locks.
  14. Flashlight/Headlamp.
  15. Camera.
  16. First aid kit.
  17. Hand sanitizer.
  18. Sunscreen.
  19. Protective face mask.
  20. Lip Balm.
  21. Blanket.
  22. A scarf with hidden pockets.
  23. Compression bags.
  24. A menstrual cup.
  25. Luggage tracker.
  26. A multi-tool.

COLLAPSIBLE/REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE

Most people typically travel in the summer, a time of the year when the sun is out a lot. A water bottle will keep you hydrated while you explore. Even better, a collapsible water bottle will take up less space in your bag when you travel.

TRAVEL TOWEL

You need a towel that takes up a little space in your bag and dries pretty quickly. We recommend a microfiber towel. Leave your chunky towels at home.

TRAVEL PILLOW

This is an item you will only need on the plane, so, going for an inflatable travel pillow will be your best bet.

TRAVEL WALLET

Compared to your regular wallet, travel wallets have more compartments for your cards (hotel key cards, ID cards) and extra cash. They help you stay organized throughout your trip.

TRAVEL PACKING CUBES

If for some reason, you don’t want to use a compression bag, packing cubes are a solid alternative. They will help keep your clothes protected and organized.

TRAVEL LAUNDRY BAGS

The last thing you want is your dirty clothes mixing up with your clean clothes. The laundry bag keeps the dirty clothes separate from the other clothes. It also keeps the smell away.

TRAVEL TOILETRY BAG

A waterproof toiletry bag is the way to go. It will prevent any of your toiletries from leaking out into your other stuff.

FANNY PACK

Granted, these make look ‘old skool’, but they help keep your valuables close by while freeing up your hands to do other stuff like take that great photo.

PORTABLE CHARGER

This is a must must-have, yes two musts. Not all airlines provide USB slots for charging your devices. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination with a low battery after binging an entire season of Bridgerton on the plane. Also, if you are traveling to a remote location where electricity is in short supply, your portable charger can literally be a lifesaver.

UNIVERSAL TRAVEL ADAPTER

Wall outlets are different around the world. Best to stay prepared should in case you come across a strange wall outlet.

NOISE-CANCELING HEADPHONES

This helps you tune out the noise, especially on the plane or when in transit. A Bluetooth option will let you move around more freely, but you will have to worry about charging it. So, that’s why we recommend wired headphones.

A CARRY-ON BAG

Ensure to get a quality carry-on bag. One that is rugged and durable.

TRAVEL LUGGAGE LOCKS

These will give you a little more peace of mind on your trips. Just be sure to go with one that is TSA approved.

FLASHLIGHT

This can come in handy especially if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors.

CAMERA

The camera on your smartphone is good enough. However, if you want to get more detailed photos, a dedicated camera is key.

FIRST AID KIT

This is a must-have for hikers, climbers, campers, and anyone who loves the outdoors. Hopefully, you won’t have to use it during your trip. Stay safe.

HAND SANITIZER

This is pretty much a given in a post-pandemic world. Go for an eco-friendly option.

SUNSCREEN

For those that like traveling during the summer months, never leave home without your sunscreen. There is nothing fun about getting sunburned on your holiday.

PROTECTIVE FACE MASK

This is another essential item in today’s world. Go for the one you can wear for a long period.

BLANKET

A pocket-size blanket is fine. Depending on your itinerary, an extra blanket can come in handy.

A SCARF WITH HIDDEN POCKETS

This is a great way to keep your valuable close by but hidden in plain sight. Pretty cool piece of clothing.

COMPRESSION BAGS

Compression bags rock! They can help reduce the space your clothes take up by up to 50%! That is a very significant space-saving. Try them out, you will love them.

MENSTRUAL CUP

This is a must for women. They are especially useful because you can leave them in for up to 12 hours. This is helpful if you are on a long flight or road trip.

LUGGAGE TRACKER

Hopefully, you won’t need them. However, they can be a life-saver in the event that your bag goes missing.

A MULTI-TOOL

This is a nice-to-have. Again, go for one that is TSA compliant.

There you have it guys, that is our list of travel essentials. Next time you are planning a trip, you can always refer back to this post. Hope you found the items on the list helpful? So, what do you think about the items on the list? Did we miss something? Feel free to share in the comments below. Cheers!

BEST TRAVEL APPS

Travel apps are amazing. They help with most of the heavy lifting associated with traveling. One can only wonder how people survived before the rise of mobile technology. However, there are a plethora of travel apps available, some are gold while others are a waste of time. How then can you tell the difference? Well, you won’t have to do anything aside from reading this article. We have curated a list of the travel apps that are worth your time. Take a look at the best travel apps available today.

  1. Hopper.
  2. TripIt.
  3. Airbnb.
  4. TimeShifter.
  5. GasBuddy.
  6. HotelTonight.
  7. LoungeBuddy.
  8. SkyScanner.
  9. MeetUp.
  10. PackPoint.
  11. Google Translate.
  12. App In the Air.
  13. TripAdvisor.
  14. RoadTrippers.
  15. HostelWorld.
  16. LonelyPlanet.
  17. XE Currency.
  18. Waze.
  19. Globe Tips.

HOPPER

Hopper is a great example of how intelligent apps have become today. With the help of predictive algorithms, Hopper can predict when prices to your preferred destination are likely to be the lowest. You can then go ahead to use the data the app provides in making your travel decisions.

TRIPIT

TripIt is your travel itinerary in one place. All you need do is connect TripIt to your email account and it will go in to find relevant trip documents like reservation confirmations, flight tickets, rental car reservations, and more. Using the information gathered, TripIt builds you an organized itinerary.

AIRBNB

Airbnb is your one-stop shop for finding accommodations while you travel in over 200 countries. Airbnb is quite unique because it allows you to stay in some really interesting places, places you would have otherwise not discovered. From family-run B&Bs to small apartments and ancient castles.

TIMESHIFTER

If you are traveling to a country in a different time zone, then give TimeShifter a shot. The app creates a personalized plan to help you overcome jet lag. The app tells you when to sleep or stay awake, when to avoid light, and so on.

GASBUDDY

If a road trip is on your itinerary, then GasBuddy is a must-have. The app helps users track down the cheapest gas prices in their area. GasBuddy also has a reward program for users who report a station’s current gas price.

HOTELTONIGHT

HotelTonight is the app you want to use for those last-minute bookings. Stuck in a city and in need of accommodation to lay your head for the night? HotelTonight has got your back. You get to pick from a selection of rooms categorized as either Basic, Hip, Luxe, Charming or High Roller.

LOUNGEBUDDY

Long layovers suck especially when you aren’t traveling business class and don’t have any lounge memberships. LoungeBuddy aims to make those long layovers less “sucky”. The app provides you with a list of lounges you can access at your airport. It also gives you the opportunity of purchasing a daily pass for lounges that have that option. Pretty neat.

SKYSCANNER

SkyScanner is great for finding cheap flights. The app searches over a thousand sources to help you find the best available options. The app can also send you updates when the prices are reduced.

MEETUP

Meetup is meant to help you connect with the locals. With the help of the app, you can find locals who have the same interests and share the same hobbies as you. You can also find and join groups of like-minded individuals. The app also provides updates on group events.

PACKPOINT

What if there was a way to figure out all you need to pack for that upcoming trip? Wouldn’t it be nice? This is where PackPoint comes in. All you need do is input your travel destination, length of stay, and reason for traveling. The app will then prepare a packing and luggage checklist for you.

GOOGLE TRANSLATE

This is a great tool to have in your arsenal especially when you are traveling to a country that speaks a language you know little or nothing about. Google Translate can provide translations for over 100 languages.

APP IN THE AIR

This app for the most part works as a personal assistant whose sole purpose is to help you have a smooth boarding experience. The app keeps track of itineraries, boarding and landing times, and also reminds you of your gate, your check-in requirements, and much more.

TRIPADVISOR

TripAdvisor helps you see the reviews of other travelers. It gives you an idea of what to expect from establishments you come across in your travels. Not sure about that restaurant or hotel? Just jump on TripAdvisor to see what other people are saying.

ROADTRIPPERS

Want to go on a road trip? Roadtrippers plans out your route and also helps you find interesting attractions along your route. The app also lets you book hotels and activities along the way.

HOSTELWORLD

Imagine Airbnb but for hostels, that is HostelWorld in a nutshell. If you are looking to save some money on your trip then staying in hostels rather than in hotels can be a great way to do just that. Hostel World helps you find the best hostels in the country of your choice.

LONELYPLANET

The Lonely Planet app is your very own tour guide in the palm of your hands. Just select any activity (Eat, See, Sleep, Shop, Drink or Play) and the app provides you with expertly curated options to choose from. Go on and explore.

XE CURRENCY

This app lets you keep an eye on the exchange rate of your currency relative to the currency of the country you are traveling in. The app can also be used for global money transfers.

WAZE

Waze gets you real-time traffic information so you can always find the quickest route to your destination. The last thing you want on a vacation is to get stuck in traffic.

GLOBE TIPS

Wondering how much to tip the waiter? Globe tips can help you figure it out. The app tells you the appropriate tip amount in over 200 countries.

There you have it guys, these are some of the best travel apps out there. Of course, there other great apps that we didn’t cover but the apps on this are all you will likely need. Did we leave out your favorite app? Let us know in the comments below. Cheers.

TOP TRAVEL DESTINATION FOR COUPLES

Love transcends all borders, or so they said. Well, you are going to need more than love to be able to visit these top destinations for couples. Exploring new locations on your own is cool and all, but doing it as a couple is an entirely different experience. Those views and experiences hit different when you have your significant other by your side.

Maybe you guys just got married or maybe it’s Valentine and you guys want to get away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday lives, then these locations are sure to blow your mind. Here are the top 10 travel destinations for couples.

  1. Venice, Italy.
  2. Paris, France.
  3. The Maldives.
  4. Amalfi Coast, Italy.
  5. Santorini, Greece.
  6. Bali, Indonesia.
  7. Hawaii.
  8. Palm Springs, California.
  9. New York, USA.
  10. Kyoto, Japan.
  11. Bora Bora, French Polynesia.

Let’s dive in.

VENICE, ITALY

Venice is a timeless city. Its gondola-filled canals and bridges, sitting on a backdrop of epic European architecture is something to behold. It’s no wonder lovers make it a point of duty to come to Venice. Venice is nothing short of magical. If you find yourself in Venice with your partner, be sure to go for a gondola ride, you won’t forget it in a hurry.

PARIS, FRANCE

Ya, you probably expected it. There was no way we were going to put together a list of romantic destinations without including Paris; the city of love. Love is a beautiful thing, and so is the city of Paris, and it’s no wonder that they both go together. When in Paris, do check out the Pont des Arts to profess your eternal love to your partner like so many others have done. Of course, you must go check out the Eiffel tower, there are few structures so elegant that they become the symbol of love.

THE MALDIVES

The Maldives is a lovers’ retreat. The Maldives is what people think about when they picture the perfect honeymoon. To experience the crystal blue waters and overwater bungalows of the Maldives is at the top of every couple’s bucket list and for good reason. It is a paradise on the Indian Ocean. If you don’t just want to only enjoy the beautiful scenery, there are a plethora of activities to enjoy.

AMALFI COAST, ITALY

If you are reading this article, chances are that you may have come across some really gorgeous photos of people having fun on the Amalfi Coast. Well, pictures don’t do this place any justice, you need to see it for yourself. Here, you and your partner can be for a swim in the picturesque waters or explore some of the finest pieces of medieval architecture you will ever see.

SANTORINI, GREECE

Another obvious entry on this list. The white structures here seem otherworldly. The perfectly blue water enveloping the island adds even more points to the already heavenly scenery. When in Santorini, take your lover to go see the sunset. It is best viewed from Oia, a small town. Even at night, Santorini doesn’t stop glowing, the white walls come alive and you are left in awe. You and your partner will love it here.

BALI, INDONESIA

Bali is a religious experience, both literally and figuratively. Its temples, lush greenery, pristine beaches, and amazing cuisine all come together to make this place the dream destination for couples. If you have got deep pockets, the Hanging Gardens Hotel is where you want to be. The views from its Panoramic deluxe Pool Villa are out of this world.

HAWAII

Hawaii needs no introduction. it is surely one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth. Kauai; Hawaii’s “garden island” is nothing short of stunning. Waterfalls, remote beaches, and green as far as the eye can see are all here in this paradise. What better way to spend time with your loved one than to be enveloped in nature? Honolulu and the other islands of Hawaii each have something unique to offer. Give Hawaii a shot.

PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA

Palm Springs is where couples go to get a taste of what it feels like to be a movie star. In palm springs, you can find everything. Mountains, palm trees, the desert, and even lush vegetation all co-exist in harmony in Palm Springs. If you and your significant other don’t want to fly out of the United States to get the honeymoon experience, then Palm Springs is your best bet.

NEW YORK, USA

New York probably doesn’t come to mind when you think of getaway destinations for couples. However, the Big Apple is every bit as romantic as any other honeymoon destination you can think of. New York City never sleeps and there is so much exploration to do. In New York, museums, fancy restaurants, and luxurious hotels are all yours for the taking. If you are in the US, why not go visit New York for your honeymoon, you never can tell what stories await you.

KYOTO, JAPAN

Kyoto is great to visit as a couple in any season but if you want to see the spectacular cherry blossoms then you will have to visit in the spring (late March and early April). The Kyoto Botanical Gardens are a joy to behold. What could be more romantic than working hand in hand with your partner in one of the most beautiful places on earth? When in Kyoto with your partner, do well to visit the Philosopher’s Path, Nijo Castle, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, and the Golden Pavilion.

BORA BORA, FRENCH POLYNESIA

Visiting Bora Bora is a true escape to paradise. The water and aquatic life here are second to none. Just like in the Maldives, you also get to experience overwater bungalows in Bora Bora. The beaches here are perfect in every sense of the word. You and your partner are going to have a swell time here.

There you have it guys, those are some of our favorite travel destinations for couples. Feel free to explore these locations with the love of your life. So, what do you think of these locations? Did we leave out your favorite location? Let us know in the comments section below. Cheers.

HOW TO TRAVEL ON A BUDGET

For most people, money is the number one reason why they are not traveling. If your vision of travel involves you staying in five-star hotels and eating at the most expensive restaurants, then you really need a lot of money. On the other hand, if you enjoy traveling more for the experience of seeing new places and experiencing new cultures, then you can do a lot on a small budget.

If you are willing to skip some creature comforts in favor of more travel time, then this post will show you how to travel on a budget. Here are the tips that will help you spend less when you travel.

  1. Book in advance.
  2. Become savvy at booking flights.
  3. Choose your destination wisely.
  4. Travel off-season.
  5. Travel light.
  6. Work while you travel.
  7. Cook your own meals.
  8. Use public transport.
  9. Ditch hotels in favor of hostels.
  10. Get recommendations from locals.
  11. Get a local SIM.
  12. Be disciplined.

Let’s get started

BOOK IN ADVANCE

These days, it is possible to book flights up to a year in advance. What does that get you? Cheaper prices of course. Depending on how early you book, it’s not uncommon to pay just half the price compared to the prices a week to your departure date. As the flight dates get closer, they are bound to increase in price.

BECOME SAVVY AT BOOKING FLIGHTS

From using incognito mode on your browser to using a VPN, shopping for flight deals can be a science! You will have to get good at finding the best deals on flights if you want to travel on a budget. Compare deals across various sites like Google Flights, Skyscanner, and others. It’s no news that airlines offer different prices based on where the customer lives. Developing countries usually get better prices when compared to prices offered to US travelers. This is where your VPN comes in.

CHOOSE YOUR DESTINATION WISELY

I know that you probably want to spend the summer in Monaco, go shopping in Rome and feast at the best restaurants in Paris. News flash, you don’t have to do all those things to have a great time traveling. The hot destinations are always expensive. Try other locations that may not be as glamorous but are sure to offer an amazing experience. Some options include Eastern Europe, South East Asia, South America, India, and Central Asia.

TRAVEL OFF-SEASON

Traveling during the holidays when everyone else wants to travel won’t be fair on your wallet. Travel companies and airlines typically hike up their prices during these festive periods because of the increased demand. If you want to travel on a budget, then you are better off traveling when most of the world is busy at work. Although the weather may not be the best during these off-season periods, you won’t have to deal with crowds of tourists.

TRAVEL LIGHT

Traveling light is cheaper across the board and creates fewer headaches. You won’t have to pay extra for your extra bags or spend your time worrying about the safety of your belongings.

WORK WHILE YOU TRAVEL

If you are willing to do some hard work while you travel, you could even come back from your trip richer than when you left. There are a plethora of options when it comes to finding work overseas. You could work as a waiter/waitress, you could work on a farm, you could teach English, you can do some babysitting or housesitting, or you could even work remotely as you travel. Granted, you are not going to get a flashy job, but anything that can supplement your travel expenses should be welcomed.

COOK YOUR OWN MEALS

Cooking your own meals is a great way to save cost on food. It is not a bad idea to eat out, but it should be the exception rather than the norm. Depending on where you are staying, you may have access to a kitchen. Make use of it. Drinking water during meals is not only healthier for your body but for your wallet as well.

USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Renting a car, or the services of a driver for the duration of your trip will be supremely convenient and comfortable but it’s going to hurt your wallet. Always use public transport whenever you can, it’s the cheapest way to get around when you travel. You get to see the place from a perspective most tourists don’t get to experience.

DITCH HOTELS IN FAVOR OF HOSTELS

Dorm rooms in hostels offer cheaper accommodation compared to staying in hotels. Although you may not have a room all to yourself, what you lose in privacy, you make up for in cost and meeting like-minded people. Hostels also come with shared kitchen spaces, so you can cook your favorite dishes.

GET RECOMMENDATIONS FROM LOCALS

Recommendations from locals are your best bet when it comes to finding the cheapest ways to do things when you travel. They will tell where to find the cheapest meals without compromising on quality, the cheapest means of transport and the cheapest accommodations available, and where to shop.

GET A LOCAL SIM

Instead of paying exorbitant roaming charges, why not get a local SIM and enjoy local deals for calls and data. Depending on the country, you are in, getting a sim will be smooth and stress-free.

BE DISCIPLINED        

Plan a budget and stick to it. Avoid impulse purchases or outings as much as you can, you don’t want to be stuck in a foreign country because you just couldn’t stop buying souvenirs. Follow your budget as strictly as possible, and avoid getting “caught up in the moment”.

Now you no longer have the excuse of “no money”. If you are able to utilize these tips to the max, you are sure to reduce your traveling cost by a lot. Do you have any experience traveling on a budget? How was the experience? Feel free to share your favorite tips with us. Go see the world, after all these travel photos aren’t going to take themselves. Cheers.

TOP 10 TRAVEL DESTINATIONS FOR A CLIMBER

Climbing has been a popular sport for years, but now people actually want a bit of the action by experiencing it themselves. Climbing is an absolutely thrilling activity. A lot of people now frequent climbing gyms, but I personally don’t think you can get the full experience by doing just that. Don’t get me wrong, climbing indoors is fun but it doesn’t compare to the thrill and the amazing views of climbing real rocks in the great outdoors. Here are the top 10 climbing spots.

  1. Kalymnos, Greece.
  2. Zermatt, Switzerland.
  3. Rocklands, South Africa.
  4. Tonsai and Railay Thailand.
  5. New Zealand.
  6. The Dolomites, Italy.
  7. France.
  8. Mallorca, Spain.
  9. Patagonia (Chile and Argentina).
  10. China.

KALYMNOS GREECE

Kalymnos is an amazing place to start, whether you are a beginner or an experienced climber, this Mediterranean destination is the place for all kinds of climbers. Kalymnos is known for its limestone and its amazing views, weather, and food which makes it a perfect vacation spot for climbers. You have accessibility to most of the routes by foot all year round because of the amazing weather, this can’t be said for some of the other locations on this list, so this is definitely a place you should check out.

ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND

Zermatt has a unique alpine environment, so if you love high mountains this is the place to consider, with access to 38 peaks of over 13000ft in height all within close range. The scenery is amazing which is enough to justify your visit but if you are not into climbing. There is also a fine bouldering climbing to indulge in.

ROCKLAND, SOUTH AFRICA

Rockland is a well-known destination for bouldering, so you may need a bit of experience to be able to enjoy this place. It has a stunning desert landscape with hundreds of boulders to climb, with shorter routes that are closer to the ground. This place is always getting developed more and more each year, professionals from all over the world go there to develop more climbing routes which make this an even special location. You will also find some local African wildlife like Baboons and Springbok.

TONSAI AND RAILAY, THAILAND

Tonsai and Railay are the best in offering a blend of sun, beach, limestone walls, and amazing views. This is a bit laid back as it is perfect for a relaxing vacation. The climbing routes vary in their level of difficulty and you also have the option of taking a guided tour, or if you are more like me, traveling solo. After a day of climbing, you can enjoy a relaxing stroll on the beach, locally made Thai food, and good company. There is also the option of deep-water solo climbing over the ocean with no ropes needed while climbing up limestones facing above the ocean and then dropping into the water. It is a very affordable and fun vacation for climbers.

NEW ZEALAND

Castle hill and flock hill in New Zealand is known for their sports climbing and bouldering on limestone rocks.

New Zealand is a very beautiful and exotic land with unique and interesting locations. I personally think it is hard to top New Zealand when it comes to breathtaking landscapes and adventures. Fiordland national park on the south of the island has hundreds of routes to choose from for different levels of skills. Other locations like Wharepapa, Secret Valley, Smith rock, and Froggatt edge also have different at awesome routes that are easy to access and all packed with adventures you will remember for a lifetime.

THE DOLOMITES, ITALY

Dolomite, Italy has one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world. It gives you a very interesting alpine climbing experience with long hikes to different climbing routes, varying temperatures, and green fields full of colorful flowers.

If you love the Yosemite National Park in the U.S then Dolomite is definitely a location you should check out. In my opinion, this is such a great place for climbers, not only for its large number of routes but also for the different options that are available to climbers.

FRANCE

France is a definite destination for climbers with amazing places like Verdon Gorge, Chamonix, and Fontainebleau. The climbing routes in Verdon Gorge may not be suitable for beginners as it requires both skill and athleticism. Verdon Gorge has been a popular spot since the 1970s with breathtaking scenery and epic rock climbing. Chamonix has an all-year-round activity that involves skiing in the winter, to rock climbing in the summer. It is a very accessible, because of the gondola system which makes climbing this alpine mountain more fun.

Fontainebleau is home to sandstone boulders. It is family-friendly, easy to access, and has amazing scenery. So, if you are looking for a vacation that involves bouldering and family time, this is a place to check out.

SPAIN

Mallorca has amazing climbing opportunities with warm weather, lovely beaches, and limestone cliffs which are perfect for all types of climbers at different levels. Deep water soloing is also common here, where you climb up rock cliffs and towers without ropes and safety equipment so when you fall you land safely in the water below. To me, that is pretty awesome.

Costa Daurada in Spain is known for its single pitch climbing. Places like Rodellar, Margalef, and Siurana are all very accessible.

PATAGONIA

Patagonia is home to one of South America’s best climbing routes. Stretching from the southern part of Chile and Argentina, Patagonia is an alpine paradise for climbers. Although the weather in Patagonia is maybe a bit challenging, you have to wait for the perfect opportunity to climb. But I promise you it’s completely worth it. There are plenty of routes that you can use to test out your skills. You can also consider bouldering, as Patagonia is such a large space.

CHINA

Liming is a small village located in the South-Western part of China. If you’re looking to escape the crowds of popular destinations and experience amazing sports climbing and amazing food and scenery in China, then you should check this place out.

China is also home to a small town near Guilin called YANGSHUO. They are famous for their Karst mountains with hundreds of climbing routes.

When it comes to climbing destinations, there are a lot of amazing options to consider, but it’s very important to take into consideration your skill level, and the safety of routes when picking your destinations. Now that you have this list, why not take that vacation you have been putting off for years?

THE MOST UNDERRATED TRAVEL DESTINATION

Truth be told, there is beauty in every corner of the planet. There is not one place on the face of the earth that doesn’t radiate some form of beauty. Why certain locations become tourist hotspots probably has more to do with the deliberate effort of its government and its people to brand them as such.

Places like Paris and Maldives are usually at the top of most travel bucket lists. However, there are a lot of other cool locations that are worth a look at. Today, we shine the spotlight on those destinations that don’t get as much love in pop culture. Here are some of the most underrated travel destinations.

  1. Oman
  2. Laos
  3. Cape Verde
  4. Georgia
  5. Seville
  6. Big Island Hawaii
  7. Wyoming
  8. Belize
  9. Mexico
  10. Nicaragua
  11. Slovenia

OMAN

Oman is a marvel, period! Sadly, most travelers don’t even consider it, although that has begun to change in recent years. If you love sand and that desert aesthetic, then Oman is a must-see. From endless sand dunes to clear blue waters, Oman has got it all. The people of Oman are very peaceful and friendly. The country is also very safe to drive around. This place is truly amazing.

LAOS

Most tourists who want to explore Southeast Asia usually gravitate towards countries like Thailand or Malaysia. Luckily for you and me, they pass up on a rare gem like Laos. Laos may not offer a thriving urban metropolis, but what it lacks in urbanization, it makes up for in other ways. Lush rainforests, ancient temples, and amazing cuisine are some of Laos’ charms.

CAPE VERDE

Cape Verde is a group of islands off the African coast. Most people haven’t heard of it, let alone know where it is. Hidden in Cape Verde are nature’s masterpieces. Trust me, this country will leave you speechless. You get to experience volcanic landscapes, world-class hiking trails, and best of all, a multicultural populace. Cape Verde should definitely be on your travel bucket list.

GEORGIA

Georgia is a good example of how things can change for a country when a conscious effort is made to make things better. Georgia is now transformed into a European paradise. In Georgia, you will find people in high spirits (maybe the ‘ChaCha’ moonshine has something to do with that), and a large chunk of ancient history in the form of breathtaking architecture. Also, let’s not forget Georgia’s spectacular hiking trails.

SEVILLE

If you want to see Spain from a slightly different perspective, then Seville is the way to go. Not only is Seville cheaper to explore compared to its rivals Barcelona and Madrid. Seville is exceedingly rich in the departments of culture and history. If European architecture floats your boat, then you are definitely going to want to see Seville.

BIG ISLAND HAWAII

Big Island is rarely ever in the spotlight. The other Hawaiian Islands of Oahu, Maui, and Kauai are usually the most visited. For those that want to escape the crowds of tourists commonly found on the other Hawaiian Islands, Big Island will definitely surpass your expectations. If you want to see expansive lava fields, live volcanos, and of course, one of the world’s only green sand beaches, then, Big Island awaits.

WYOMING

Wyoming is for those looking for that authentic American outback experience. Wyoming is home to a slew of Parks and resorts like the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. These parks alone make Wyoming worth a visit. However, Wyoming has so much more to offer.

In Wyoming, you will find invaluable pieces of American history; old-world towns. Let’s not forget the free-roaming wildlife that graces the expansive landscapes. Your travel photo album is not complete if you don’t have a shot from Wyoming.

BELIZE

Belize is just like Mexico but with one major advantage; fewer crowds. Belize is a tropical paradise with sunshine to die for, lush greenery, and enjoyment for any budget. Want to live it up and experience world-class luxury or do you want a budget-friendly backpacking experience? Belize has got you covered. It truly is surprising that most of the world hasn’t discovered the marvel that is Belize. Now you know, go explore.

MEXICO

This isn’t a typo, Mexico is indeed a popular tourist destination, but some parts of Mexico are for the most part underrated or undiscovered. One of such destinations is Loreto in Baja California. Imagine Cabo but less crowded, cheaper, and with better beaches. That is Loreto in a nutshell.

Another location is La Paz, still in Baja California. La Paz is a few hours from Cabo and is well known for its unique cafes and exquisite food. Also, you are going to want to check out Cozumel in Mexico. Cozumel is a neighbor to Cancun but is a much quieter and laidback version of that city. Cozumel’s most notable feature is its waters. They are blue as can be and are a joy to swim in.

NICARAGUA

Nicaragua is a central American heaven. It is an inexpensive place to visit, so much so that some people call it the Poor man’s Costa Rica. Nicaragua’s cities like Leon and Guacalito De La Isla are fast becoming renowned tourist destinations. In Nicaragua, you get to experience beaches in their purest form.

SLOVENIA

There are a lot of people that haven’t heard of the country Slovenia. How that’s even possible is crazy. Slovenia is straight from a fairy tale novel. No cap. The architecture and scenery are next to none. It’s a small country and you can travel around it in a few days.

So, next time you are planning a vacation, instead of running off to those destinations that are filled with tourists, why not take a look at a place on this list. Sure, these locations may not be as glamourous as some of the best destinations out there, but maybe, just maybe, they can offer you something more, something invaluable.

Let us know what you think of our list of the most underrated travel destinations. Did we leave out your favorite destinations? Let us know in the comments below. Cheers.

A GUIDE TO TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY

So, you are ready to embark on an adventure. You have waited all year, or even all your life for this very moment. You get to travel to that dream destination. Congratulations on making it all come together, you deserve it.

However, there is one minor hiccup; you know next to nothing about how to get memorable pictures of your adventure. You want to be able to take “Instagram-worthy” travel photos. Well, if you are reading this guide to travel photography, then you are definitely doing something right. Here, we will give you some tips on how to greatly improve your ability to take amazing travel photographs.

Travel photography is interesting as it is daunting. It encompasses a wide range of different genres of photography. Landscape photography, food photography, street photography, wildlife photography and even portrait photography all come together in travel photography. No worries though, at the end of this travel photography guide, you will be ready to capture those magical moments.

Here’s a list of the tips we will be going over in this guide

  1. Know your camera.
  2. Plan your shots.
  3. Try a different perspective.
  4. Get a tripod.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask people for permission.
  6. Be Patient.
  7. Get in your shots.
  8. Safety tips.
  9. Back up your photos.
  10. Learn to edit your photos.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Know Your Camera

You have most likely heard the saying, “The best camera is the one you have on you”. If you have a proper DSLR camera, Great! But if your budget doesn’t allow for it and all you have is your mobile phone, that’s plenty! You don’t need the best camera to get amazing shots. Today’s phones are pretty damn good. So, don’t feel intimidated when you see other photographers lug around their chunky rigs.

Whatever camera you have, be it a DSLR or a mobile phone, you have to understand how it works. You have to know how to operate it to get the most out of it. Before you start taking any pictures, spend time studying your camera. Dive into the menus, and become comfortable changing your settings as the occasion demands.

Learn about the exposure triangle (ISO, Aperture, and shutter). Learn about framing and composition. Above all, don’t forget to practice! Before your trip, go out and take some pictures with your camera. Getting comfortable with your gear is important if you want to get those great shots.

Plan Your Shots

This is very key if you want to catch those epic sunlit shots. You ought to plan your shots around the rising and setting of the sun. This will help you know the best time of the day to get the shot you want. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a weather expert to figure out the movement of the sun wherever you are. Running a simple Google search is all the expertise you need.

You can look to the work of other photographers for inspiration, but don’t forget to put your own unique spin on those photos. That brings us to the next point…..

Try a Different Perspective

Recreating the photos of others is cool, but how about taking a picture that is uniquely yours? Here’s a tip to help you take common pictures in a new and fresh way; try a different perspective. A different perspective may simply be trying new angles, laying on the ground, or even climbing a tree (be careful).

Get a Tripod

Tripods are criminally underrated when it comes to travel photography. Yes, I know that you want to travel light and would rather not carry a tripod around. No worries, you can get a very light tripod that will take up very little space.

How else are you to get that clean shot of yourself when there is literally no one else around to help you? A tripod.

Don’t be afraid to ask people for permission

If you see a local doing something interesting and you want to get a picture of them, all you have to do is ask. More often than not, the locals are warm and welcoming to tourists. Even if they say no, at least you tried. That’s way better than not trying at all and missing out on an opportunity to get an awesome shot.

Be Patient

Sometimes all you need to do to get that perfect shot is patience. An area may be too crowded, or the sun may not be in the right position just yet. Just wait a few minutes and voila!

Get in your shots

Getting a picture of a beautiful landscape is great but what if you were in the picture, imagine how much more personal and memorable that picture will be.

Safety Tips

Nothing screams “I am a tourist” like someone walking around with a camera in hand and a backpack in tow. Be careful, if possible, move around with a guide, preferably a local. You can also use a discrete camera bag to avoid attracting the wrong crowd. Remember, you are in someone else’s country. Be mindful of how things are done and you will be safe.

Getting insurance for your camera gear is also a great idea. This way, should anything happen to your equipment, you will be covered.

Backup your Photos

At the end of every day, make it a point of duty to back up your photos. You can always replace a stolen or missing camera but your memories in the form of images can’t be replaced. Travel with sufficient storage for the images you want to take. You can also try cloud storage.

Learn to Edit your Photos

Sorry to burst your bubble but most of the great pictures you see online have been edited at least a little bit. You will have to learn how to use photo editing software like Lightroom and Photoshop to help make your pictures more visually interesting.

There you have it guys, those tips are sure to get you from a novice to at least a decent, if not a great travel photographer. Before you go on your way, there is one more thing I will like to tell you guys.

And that is……don’t forget to put down the camera. Yes, you want to get awesome pictures to share with others, but don’t forget why you traveled in the first place. Except you are being paid to take pictures, experiencing the moments for yourself should be your priority. Don’t be so focused on trying to get the perfect shot that you forget to actually enjoy the moment. Cheers.

HOW TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD

Just walk out the door, walk up to a random person and ask them if they have ever dreamt of traveling the world. Chances are that they are most likely going to respond in the affirmative. Walk up to some other people and ask the same question. After some time, you will conclude that we have all wanted to travel the world at some point in our lives. However, only a few people actually go out there and travel the world.

To those reading this article, we surely hope that you become one of the lucky few who actually get to see Mother Earth in all her glory. In this article, we will be going over the core tenets of a trip around the world. We will intimate you with some tips to help you start planning and hopefully help you complete your round-the-world trip.

Here is a list of what we will be going over in this article.

  1. Transportation.
  2. Money.
  3. Accommodation.
  4. Food.
  5. Gear.
  6. Documents.

TRANSPORTATION

Asides, from money and accommodation, transport is usually a major concern when one thinks about traveling the world. Well, transportation is pretty much a non-issue in most parts of the world. For transport, you get to choose between air, train, bus and even boats. Let’s take a much closer look at these options.

Air

Most people are going to prefer the air option because it is more convenient and faster, although it may be the most expensive of the bunch. If you want to travel the world by air, you have two options. First, you can buy flights from country to country as you go along. Secondly, you can go for a “round-the-world ticket (this is the cheaper option).

To get a Round-the-world (RTW) ticket, airline alliances are your best bet. The biggest airline alliances are Star Alliance, OneWorld, and Skyteam. Going for an RTW ticket lets you pay for all your trips at once. The cost of an RTW ticket depends on your route, class of fare, mileage, and the number of stops. Prices can range from anywhere between $1500 and $15000.

RTW tickets are great for those who are willing to fly on a set schedule or are buying tickets for a large group. If you do not have a set plan and want to take your time in exploring the different parts of the world then an RTW ticket may not be for you.

Train

Trains are another mode of transport to consider. They may not be as far as planes but they let you enjoy the scenery as you travel. For travel in the EU, you can get passes for either the Eurail or Interrail. For travel in Asia, go for the Trans-Siberian railway.

Bus

In the US, you can use the Greyhound line. For European travel, Eurolines is the way to go.

Boat Cruise

World cruises are neither the fastest nor cheapest buy they offer a very unique experience. Prices can range from between $20,000 up to $100,000 per person. So, if you got extra cash lying around and time (sometimes up to 6 months), a world cruise will be an awesome experience.

MONEY

If you are a millionaire then money is no object and you can probably do whatever you want. But if you are like the rest of us, you will have to pay close attention to your finances, if you want to successfully travel around the world.

Money management for your trip all starts with a budget. First, figure out where you are going to visit and plan your budget around that. Plan for your accommodation, transportation, food, gear, travel insurance, calls, internet, vaccines, visas, and bank fees. How much you end up spending will depend on how much luxury or lack thereof you are willing to endure.

Check out this article where a budget of $35,000 was enough for two backpackers traveling the world over a period of 18 months.

ACCOMMODATION

There are a plethora of options to choose from as far as accommodation is concerned. Again, if you have all the money in the world then you can afford 5-star accommodation wherever you go. But if you are on a budget, you have a lot of options.

Hostels and guesthouses are going to be your go-to for most of the trip. In some countries, you may have to book ahead, while you don’t have to in others. Couchsurfing is another idea. If you don’t mind spending time in someone’s house and sharing meals with them and their family, then you can give CouchSurfing a shot.

Another alternative is to offer your services in exchange for accommodation. Other options include sleeping on the night bus, sleeping at airports, or even in tents (on campgrounds).

FOOD

Part of the pleasure of traveling the world is the joy of experiencing new cuisine. Hopefully, you don’t have a weak stomach, so you can enjoy a variety of dishes wherever you go.

Be sure to do the bare minimum of washing your hands and eating from places where other people (locals) are eating. If you come across a restaurant where there are lots of people, that is a good sign because people typically flock to places where the food is good.

Above all, remain open-minded, and give new dishes a shot. Who knows, you may come across your new favorite dish.

GEAR

The first decision you will make when it comes to gear is deciding between a backpack or a suitcase. For most people, you can’t beat the flexibility of a backpack. Depending on the type of trip you are having, you may not need to carry a lot with you.

For those who are affluent, just packing your clothes and camera gear is usually enough. For backpackers and people on a budget, you will have to lug around more stuff. These include cooking equipment, sleeping equipment, and a host of other things.

DOCUMENTS

Your passport is the key that unlocks doors. However, some countries will require a stronger key (visas). For a lot of countries, you can get a visa on the spot. For others. It can be more complicated. Just do your research.

There you have it guys. So, what did you think about our travel around the world guide? Did we cover all the important points? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Cheers.

TOP 10 TRAVEL DESTINATIONS FOR A FOODIE

Food has always been one of the most important things in life. When it comes to having a bucket list, traveling the world is usually at the top of that list. However, for us foodies, we follow the food while we travel. Not to say that traveling the world isn’t exciting enough, but trying different food makes it so much more fun.

There are many destinations around the world known for their culinary masterpieces, but we are going to talk about the top 10 destinations for foodies to visit. Here they are;

  1. Italy.
  2. Mexico.
  3. Tokyo, Japan.
  4. Thailand.
  5. France.
  6. Hong Kong.
  7. Morocco.
  8. Spain.
  9. Copenhagen, Denmark.
  10. Mumbai, India.

Let’s dive in.

ITALY

Italy is well known for its food all around the world. From its mouthwatering pasta, pizza, and rich tomato sauces in Tuscany to its 12-layer lasagna in Le Marche which is all prepared using local ingredients. It is definitely a place worth visiting. Not to mention the classical collection of wine tasting in Tuscany and Bologna. Italy also offers cooking classes through which you can learn to cook these amazing dishes on your own at home. Pretty cool right?

MEXICO

Mexican food is made all over the world by a lot of people, but a trip to Mexico City will expose you to traditionally made Mexican foods. I can promise you if you are a true foodie like me, then Mexico City is the place for you. From the different flavors and textures of tacos, tamales, burritos, carnitas, and guacamole to the amazing local drinks, Mexico begs to be explored. Feel free to take a food tour, try the different flavors and take a cooking class if that’s your thing.

TOKYO, JAPAN

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Japanese food is sushi and ramen. Tokyo offers a variety of uniquely made dishes and you can sample the whole lot as you travel through Japan’s beautiful countryside. Mastery is an important theme in Japan and this carries over to its food. Every chef knows their stuff to an expert level.

In Japan, you can find uniquely themed restaurants. Feel free to explore. The most common food in Japan is sushi, ramen, Izakaya, and Yakitori. Osaka is known for signature dishes like okonomiyaki, gyoza, yakisoba, Takoyaki, and sukiyaki.

THAILAND

Bangkok in Thailand is known for its street food. Getting the opportunity to eat traditionally made Thai food is a dream come true for many foodies. No matter where you stay on your visit to Thailand, there will be a food vendor nearby. Some of the best food markets to try are Bangkok’s Chinatown market, Wang Lang Market, and Chatuchak weekend market.

FRANCE

Paris is a vacation hotspot for tourists, although lots of people forget that it is also a food paradise. Your vacation in Paris cannot be complete until you try some of the traditional dishes like Les Huitres, Foie gras, frog legs, escargot, and steak tartare. You can enjoy Paris in various ways, from the street food market to the local crepe stand, it is sure to be a delight.

HONG KONG

Hong Kong is home to a large number of restaurants. There are foods made by different cultures you pretty much may never have heard about. In Hong Kong, you will find a mixture of Chinese cuisines, Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian foods. There are so many options in Hong Kong that it gets confusing sometimes. So, I will recommend a food tour to properly experience what Hong Kong has to offer. Some major dishes common in Hong Kong are Dim Sum, Roast Goose, dumplings, egg tarts, and Hong Kong-style egg-milk tea.

MOROCCO

Morocco is a place of different cultures and traditions. There is so much culinary variety from the different cultures in Morocco. However, they have something in common and that is the spice. Marrakesh is a western city in Morocco where Arabic, Mediterranean, Andalusian and European cuisine all come together to make the city a Foodie’s heaven.

Morocco is well known for its seasonings such as the ras el hanout which consists of 27 spices and the saffron which gives Moroccan dishes a unique flavor and texture. Some of the food you can try in Morocco include Tagine, Fish Chermoula, Harira, and Couscous. Tagine is considered a main dish in Morocco and I will suggest you try it.

SPAIN

San Sebastian, Spain is one of the best food destinations in the world. Michelin-star restaurants are abundant here. it is home to some of the best seafood and food markets. San Sebastian also has its own style of tapas known as the Pintxos, which are made with ingredients like bread, Spanish ham, prawns, anchovies, cheese, and wild mushroom croquettes. Another common feature in San Sebastian is “Pintxos bars” where gourmet-style bites are served on sticks accompanied by other drinks.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

Copenhagen is another must-visit for all traveling foodies, Copenhagen gives a very unique definition to Scandinavian foods. They are also known for growing their own fresh ingredients locally. Copenhagen is home to Noma, one of the world’s best restaurants. Noma is a very expensive and exclusive restaurant such that only a handful of people can get reservations. There are also other restaurants like Amas and Sanchez that equally offer mouthwatering dishes. To get a more local feel of Copenhagen, the food trucks and stalls are your best bet.

MUMBAI, INDIA

Mumbai is a city that brings together people from all works of life and different cultures. There are so many different delicacies in Mumbai. So much so that you can barely scratch the surface of what Mumbai has to offer in one visit.

One of the most common dishes in Mumbai is the Bombay Duck Fry and Vada pav. The latter is particularly common amongst workers. It consists of deep-fried potato dumplings dipped in spicy sauce and crammed in a bun. A place like the Bombay Canteen is a good place to find Indian food at a good price.

There you have it guys, those are our top 10 destinations for foodies. The opportunity to travel the world to these amazing locations is a dream come true for every foodie. So, tell us what you thought about our list. Did we leave out your favorite cities? Do tell us in the comments below. Cheers.

HOW TO TRAVEL WITH KIDS

On a regular day, managing kids as a parent is no easy feat. So, you wouldn’t be wrong if you assumed that traveling with kids can be a nightmare, that is if you do not plan properly. How then does one prepare and plan when traveling with kids?  This article aims to show you how to travel with kids such that your trip leans more towards a fun experience than a nightmare. Here are the tips we will go over in this article.

  1. Book way ahead of time.
  2. Prepare mentally.
  3. Involve your kids in the planning process.
  4. Avoid rushing.
  5. Travel as light as possible.
  6. Carry healthy snacks.
  7. Keep devices charged and loaded with kid-friendly content.
  8. Be ready to clean up any mess.
  9. Explore the outdoors.
  10. Give the kids adequate playtime.
  11. Make the trip fun for everyone.
  12. Go for accommodation with a kitchen.
  13. Limit the buying.
  14. Don’t stray too far from your home routine.
  15. Do a practice run.

Let’s dive in

  • BOOK WAY AHEAD OF TIME

Waiting two weeks or a week to your trip before booking flights and accommodation isn’t a great idea. This is especially true if you plan to travel during the holidays; at the same time as everyone else. Make your bookings as early as possible so you can get amazing deals on flights and top-notch family accommodation.

  • PREPARE MENTALLY

If this is your first time traveling with kids, brace yourself! It will be very different from your other trips. Don’t expect things to be the same. Do your best to stay as clear-headed as possible. If peradventure you were to fall into a funk of negative emotions, it will definitely rub off on your kids. Stay calm and cheerful irrespective of the disappointments and hurdles you face along your journey.

  • INVOLVE YOUR KIDS IN THE PLANNING PROCESS

This is a great way to get your kids excited about the trip. Ask them where they want to go, and what they plan to do when they get there. This will encourage them to do their own research and hopefully get the most out of the trip.

  • AVOID RUSHING

Do whatever you can to avoid rushing. Leave your home early for your flight. Avoid typical airport rush hours. An idea is to book a flight for late morning or early afternoon when there is little or no traffic at the airport. The last thing you want is to be late for a flight with a kid in tow who is also throwing a tantrum.

  • TRAVEL AS LIGHT AS POSSIBLE

You don’t have to carry the kitchen sink when you travel. Always travel light, pack the bare minimum. You can always buy stuff, should you need anything when you get to your destination. Remember you are going to keep an eye on your kids throughout the trip. More luggage is just more things to worry about.

  • CARRY HEALTHY SNACKS

This will especially come in handy during those long road trips or flights. Be sure to avoid snacks that can induce any form of allergic reactions in not just your kids but other kids that may cross your path.

  • KEEP DEVICES CHARGED AND LOADED WITH KID-FRIENDLY CONTENT

This is also a great way to keep your kids occupied during those long trips. The more time they get watching their favorite cartoon, the less time they have to cry at the top of their lungs for absolutely no reason.

  • BE READY TO CLEAN UP ANY MESS

If your kids are still pretty young, then an unexpected vomit fest is possible. Be sure to bring along paper towels, plastic bags, and any other bit of kit you may need to clean up the mess. Don’t forget to pack a change of clothes for you and your kid.

  • EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS

If your kids love the outdoors, give them all the room they need to explore. Go for a swim in a lake with your kids, let them play with the animals. These activities are sure to engage their minds.

  • GIVE THE KIDS ADEQUATE PLAYTIME

Yes, you are on a trip in an exotic location and your child just wants to play games on your mobile phone. Indulge them. Give them time to do what they would normally do back home for play.

  • MAKE THE TRIP FUN FOR EVERYONE

I know that left to yourself, you would probably spend the entire trip visiting museums and visiting religious sites. Kids on the other hand quickly get bored by history lessons. Be sure to include activities that your kids will enjoy. Something like cooking or art classes can be a fun experience for you and your kids.

  • GO FOR ACCOMODATION WITH A KITCHEN

Your kids may or may not like the local food during the trip. In the event that they don’t, having a kitchen where you can quickly put together a meal will be a blessing.

  • LIMIT THE BUYING

Your kids are going to want you to buy any and everything for them, don’t fall for it. Keep the buying of souvenirs to a minimum as they can take up precious luggage real estate.

  • DON’T STRAY TOO FAR FROM YOUR HOME ROUTINE

A form of routine like going to bed at a particular time and having meals at specific times similar to what you do back at home will help your kids feel relaxed.

  • DO A PRACTICE RUN

Before you go all out to that far away exotic location, why not go for a weekend getaway at someplace local. This will help you familiarize yourself with the process of traveling with kids.

There you have it, be sure to employ these tips in making that family trip one to remember. Family trips can be a great opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime. Be sure to enjoy every moment of it, come what may. So, what do you think about these tips? Do you have other tips of yours that you will like to share? We will love to hear from you. Cheers.