5 Confusing Gestures From Around The World

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Confusing Gestures – Watching your own body language – the way you say things and how you act can be difficult when traveling in foreign cultures, but that’s nothing compared to trying to understand gestures from other cultures!

Here is a list of confusing gestures around the world that I’ve found rather confusing…

Confusing Gestures

Confusing Gestures
Confusing Gestures

The Indian Yes-No-Maybe shake

If you ask for a yes or no question, expect to get more confused than before you asked.

You’ll barely ever get a straight answer, just the typical loose shake with the head that says “yes and no” at the same time.

I found this so confusing!

“Ne” in Greece Means Yes

In Greece, I often found that even when they spoke English to you, they always said ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in Greek.

This wouldn’t be much of a problem, if it wasn’t that “ne” actually means yes…

Most countries in Europe have similar words for no: No, Nein, Nej, Nei, etc. so this was definitely confusing.

Tongue Click in Balkan
Tongue Click in Balkan

Head Toss and Tongue Click in Balkan

The Tongue Click was an annoying and confusing gestures that I experienced often while in Bosnia and Croatia.

It’s common in Balkan, Turkey and to some extent Greece, and can be difficult to understand at first.

This short arrogant tongee click simply means no, and is often by westerners seen as a lazy and arrogant gesture.

Another common gesture is the head toss, which often comes together with the Tongue Click.

They toss their heads back and click their tongues, as a way of saying “no” or “no we don’t have it”.

It really looks arrogant and lazy, but I’ve had friends from Croatia, and they acted the same to each other all the time, to them it’s just the way they say no.

Some countries, like Turkey, exaggerate even more by raising their eyebrows.

Where in europe is “yes” gestured by dipping the head and “no” by raising up the head and eyebrows?
Where in europe is “yes” gestured by dipping the head and “no” by raising up the head and eyebrows?

Bent Finger in Hungary

When asking for directions in Hungary, instead of a straight hand and then pointing to the left, they do it all in one gesture with one finger.

If they mean straight and then turn left, they put out their index finger bent toward the left.

Not very confusing, but I thought it was pretty funny.

Where in europe is “yes” gestured by dipping the head and “no” by raising up the head and eyebrows?

Bulgarian Head Nod

For some reason, in Bulgaria, they have done the same thing but opposite. 

The head nod up and down means “no”, and the head nod from side to side means “yes”.

This gets pretty bizarre sometimes when the other person can’t speak English very well and explain.

Tourists Who Don’t Speak English Annoy Me

Yesterday, I was – again, approached by a girl asking me something – what she was asking was impossible for me to know, since she was speaking French.

I said that I spoke English, but she didn’t want to understand, and continued speaking French.

When I smiled helplessly and said again that I didn’t understand, she looked at me as though I was a complete idiot, and walked off in a huff.

Maybe she thought I was a psychic, medium, or someone who just granted a free psychic reading, but I just could not make myself be understood by her!

Tourists Who Don't Speak English
Tourists Who Don’t Speak English

This is the fourth time in four weeks that I’ve met people from European countries traveling through Malaysia without being able to understand or speak one word of English.

This is something which fascinates (and I admit, annoys) me.

I don’t expect them to speak fluent Malay – I can’t do that myself, since it’s not something you learn when you plan to only stay for a few weeks.

But I do expect them to speak a little bit of English.

I have understood that this for some is a touchy subject: why should we expect other people to speak English just because we do?

I can answer to that, perhaps from another perspective.

I’m Swedish – English is not my mother language, and I do not think that people should understand my own language just because I speak it.

For me it’s not even about that, it’s about finding an easy way for two individuals from complete different countries and cultures to communicate and get along.

I have found English to be the most widely spoken language to get by with while traveling, and have been able to make many friends from all parts of the world thanks to being able to speak English.

I understand that they wouldn’t speak to me in English while I was in France or Germany, I would be in their country after all.

But it does confuse me when someone from another country than the one I’m in expects me to speak in their language when we are both in a complete different part of the world.

I am surprised to see so many Europeans traveling the world without understanding one word of another language than their own.

I’m amazed that they dare, and that they seem to get away with it, but I can’t help but feeling a bit annoyed, and wonder how they would react if I started replying to them in Swedish?

Seeing a man standing at the airport screaming and demeaning a young Balinese man in Russian – a few years back – really got on my nerves.

The Russian man was unhappy with something to do with the luggage that he was taking on one of the many great discounted airlines, and was complaining to the Balinese man.

Only that he did all of this in Russian, getting more and more angry with the guy for not understanding.

The Balinese man was trying to explain in English, but without any success.

Of course, people can travel without wanting to understand anyone apart from other travelers from their own country, if they want, but when they expect you to speak their language, and get annoyed when you don’t – it’s really NOT ok.

I would love to know what you think – both native English speakers and those who speak other languages. 10 Cute Carry On Luggage You’ll Want for Your Next Trip

What Country Fits Your Manners?

The world is getting smaller: flights are cheaper and quicker, perpetual travel more accessible to a generation of digital nomads, and the internet and Skype have made the ‘videophone’ dreams that science-fictions dreamed about for years a banal, international reality.

What Country Fits Your Manners, Immigration for economic, romantic or political reasons keeps societies fresh, inspired and culturally rich.

And perhaps what’s most romantic about this tightening of the human fabric is that we’re all from the same place originally.

Fifty thousand years ago, our ancestors began to spread out from Africa and colonize the world, and now – to be deliriously Utopian about it – we’re all reconnecting again on the internet.

As fear-mongering politicians attempt to stir up racial hatred and intolerance in the name of defending their petty domains, it seems like an important opportunity to take a look at how our international cousins have developed in those five hundred centuries that have since passed.

To identify what we have in common and to celebrate our differences…even all of the confusing gestures.

We’ve been discovering, invading, converting and repopulating our way around the world a long time now which makes for some interesting overlaps in culture between geographically disparate places.

Take England and Australia, for example: the latter’s history as a penal colony for the former remains a sensitive issue, but what has proven beautiful about the relationship in the long run is how the new world descendants have developed a way of life that retains aspects of British propriety while evolving its own unmistakable flavor.

In the nearly 250 years since Captain James Cook ‘claimed’ Australia for the Brits, waves of immigration from Europe and Asia have melded with generations-old Australian families and a troubled history of indigenous integration.

So now, although you will see little difference between the amount of personal space desired by Australians and English people, both nationalities greet with a handshake and consider prompt arrival at parties to be the done thing, you will probably be familiar with the idea that English people consider their Australian cousins to be a little too laid back and informal while Australians will accuse the English of being uptight.

It is an affectionate relationship that does not preclude the shared celebration of the nations’ respective music and TV cultures, and of course a shared queen.

Britain has, of course, a colorful and controversial past of colonizing or otherwise exploiting foreign lands, which makes the UK’s recent indication of departure from the European Union all the more ironic.

The Brits colonized Singapore, for example, in the nineteenth century, where its location as a transport hub made it an appealing prospect to tightly-mustached aristocrats with pound signs in their eyes.

Although Singapore has been independent again for over half a century now, English remains the main language for use in business and work.

European influence on American culture

Interestingly, despite early European influence on American culture through colonization and immigration, shared approaches to tipping in restaurants and hotels have not so much been handed down from the original settlers as picked up by American-born tourists in the nineteenth century.

Following the civil war, wealthy Americans made their way to Europe for vacation and – it has been suggested – brought the custom back with them to impress those back home with their newly cultivated European aristocratic sensibilities.

If many believed the culture of tipping to be inherently undemocratic, automatic tipping remains prevalent in the States today, a trait it shares with other European-tinged New World nations such as Argentina and Colombia.

While tipping rarely happens in Asian countries such as Japan or South Korea, perhaps the continued culture of tipping in Singapore (at least for very good service) is another hand-me-down from 144 years of British rule.

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So where do you fit into all of this?

Well, many of these and other national traits are general rules which may be subverted or ignored by individuals and micro-cultures.

While it can be respectful and sometimes safer to be aware of these customs and confusing gestures before travelling it is also important to remain open-minded and historically aware when enjoying the company of far-flung relatives from whom our ancestry may have splintered many decades or centuries ago.

Of course, cultures develop collectively so many such generalizations can be good indications of what to expect.

Which may be useful if you are one such individual who does not conform to the expectations of the land where you were born.

Maybe you’re interested in finding somewhere that better suits your desired way of life?

If so, or even if you’re just interested in looking further into our shared, contrasting customs and confusing gestures, you’ll enjoy checking out this new infographic that breaks some of our daily behaviors into national tendencies, so you can see just what countries share with others.

It’s a fine way to recognize the things that make us unique while honoring our long and tempestuous family relationship as a fifty-millennia diaspora from the continent of Africa

What country fits your manners?
What Country Fits Your Manners

(photo credit: 1)

4 Types Of People You Don’t Want To Travel Around The World With

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People You Don’t Want To Travel – I’ve traveled with quite a few different types of people, both friends, family and boyfriends. Some have been awesome, and some have been really terrible.

Although I had an overall good time with them, I’ve often returned home promising myself never to do it again.

It’s nobody’s fault, but for some reason we just didn’t get along well together, especially not when traveling.

It’s also something I realize now afterward that I should have known before we went traveling together.

There are some traits that make traveling together really difficult, so before you go, make sure your travel buddy isn’t any of these…

Insecure

People You Don’t Want To Travel
People You Don’t Want To Travel

This is the most important trait to watch out for. If your travel buddy seems a little insecure at home, that effect will more than double when you travel.

This is often the reason to most arguments, and can result in all sorts of ways.

If you’re both of the same sex, he/she can get jealous of how you’re treated by others, especially those of the opposite sex.

It can also result in the other person trying to get attention all the time by making a fool out of himself, or drinking way too much.

Often, controlling behavior and manipulation comes down to insecurity.

Opposite To Yourself

Opposite To Yourself
Opposite To Yourself

Two different personalities can complement each other, but they can’t be too different.

Make sure you know what the other person wants out of the trip.

If you want to drink and party all night long, and the other wants to get up early and lay by the beach the whole day, or going for some treks and exploring – you’re going to get sick of each other the first day!

Always make sure you’re on the same path, and are expecting the same things.

Another typical example is spender vs saver.

If you want to stay with a strict budget and your friend wants to splurge out on money, you’ll spend most your time arguing.

Short Tempered & Arrogant

Short Tempered & Arrogant
Short Tempered & Arrogant

There is nothing more embarrassing than traveling with someone who shows no respect to people, both locals and other travelers.

Sometimes, it’s hard to notice this trait before you travel together.

Traveling with a person who is arrogant is also very unpredictable.

If she/he gets angry or upset, they might all the sudden just walk off and be gone for a whole day.

Traveling with someone who is short tempered is exhausting.

You don’t want to tip toe your way around the world worrying if the other person all the sudden will have an out burst.

Naive

different personalities for Travel
different personalities for Travel

We can all be a little naive at times at a new place, but too much of it will get you into constant trouble.

You don’t want to be a full time baby sitter, making sure your friend doesn’t get “free drinks” from a dodgy stranger or think that a kiss on the lips after a toast is an “Irish tradition”…

You want the person you travel with to be a little experienced, if he/she is not only inexperienced but also naive, you’ll end up with all responsibility and pull all the weight alone.

This can get very tiring and frustrating, and you’ll wish you just did it alone.

Have you ever traveled with people like this?

How did it go?

What are some types you wouldn’t want to travel with?

6 Types Of People You Don’t Want To Sit Next To On A Flight

Many people hold the belief that they will be able to rest during a long flight and think that they will feel totally refreshed when landing in their destination – they will soon realize that they couldn’t be more wrong …

Types Of People You Don't Want To Sit Next To On A Flight
Types Of People You Don’t Want To Sit Next To On A Flight

Flying (at least economy class), is not normally comfortable, you’re placed among a large bunch of strangers for many long hours, whether you like it or not – and you can’t get away from them.

Here are some typical types of passengers that you will want to do everything to AVOID sitting next to:

The Chair Kicker

For me, this is by far the worst one. I cannot stand bored kids yelling, whining and constantly kicking the back of my seat on a 12hr flight.

People You Don't Want To Sit Next To On A Flight
People You Don’t Want To Sit Next To On A Flight

It’s not really the kids fault, what bothers me is that the parents don’t tell them to stop kicking…

The Farty Pants

Pray to god that the person next to you hasn’t eaten an egg sandwich, spicy cheese balls or…cabbage… before boarding the flight.

The Chatty Friends

Trying to get some shut eye at 2 am with two chatty girl friends next to you – is simply impossible.

The Alcoholic

I’ve found these people being most frequent on charter flights.

They start partying already half an hour in the air, and the more drinks they order the louder they talk.

Whether they’re trying to calm their nerves or just can’t wait to get started spending all the saved up money for the holiday drinks, it’s not the most enjoyable people to sit next to.

The Arm Rest Rival

The constant and everlasting war over the ONE arm rest, and then you end up squashed between two seats with no arm rest to rest on – again!

Once you finally get a piece of it, you can’t take your arm OFF in fear of losing it again.

The Nervous Wreck

Nervous Wreck
Nervous Wreck

Flying is a little nerve-wrecking for many of us, but fingers crossed that you don’t have to sit next to the fingernail biting, knee shaking passenger who keeps asking the flight attendants questions every time they walk by.

How about you?

What are some types of people you can’t stand flying next to?

(photo credit: Soon. – Andres Rueda – Maanskyn – isforinsectsShandi-leegogoloopie – squacco)

How To Plan Your First Adventure Trip

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Plan Your First Adventure Trip – Do you want to go backpacking across Europe, road tripping down America’s Route 66 or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

How To Plan Your First Adventure Trip
How To Plan Your First Adventure Trip

The list of destinations and things to do for adventurous holidaymakers is endless, and planning such an adventure is something which can seem like an impossible task.

Plan Your First Adventure Trip

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Where do you even start?

It may sound obvious, but not everyone does it – start from the beginning.

A good holiday requires a certain amount of planning to sustain it, and often the things you should consider early, but put off normally turn into something stressful that you have to fix just before leaving.

Such as booking travel arrangements and organizing adequate travel insurance from providers such as Direct Travel.

For all of you who are thinking of taking some time off to travel for the first time, here is a good start to plan your adventure:

Decide On A Destination

This decision is often based on two factors: the amount of time available for your travels, and your budget.

climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

At this stage of your planning feel free to let your imagination run wild.

If climbing Mount Kilimanjaro tops your bucket list, scout the web to find out how much this trip would cost and what would be involved in it.

You can always keep the information you gather for use at a later date.

If you just want to get away and go somewhere cheap, South East Asia and many countries in South America are great to visit on a shoe string budget – in SEA you can easily get by on $1000 a month, and with a bit of effort $500.

Plan An Itinerary

Once you have found a destination that meets your requirements and can realistically fit within your holiday time and budget, it is a good idea to plan an itinerary your trip.

travel plans
travel plans

Just remember to leave space for spontaneity, you might fall in love with a place (or person) and want to change your direction or just stay a little longer.

However, a plan and an itinerary is good idea to have to fall back on.

An itinerary can also help you fit as much as you can into your limited time, allowing you to make the most of your holiday.

If you have a limited time and no plans, chances are that you will run around places never making the most out of your trip, spending too much time planning the trip you’re already on.

I’d say, the less time you have the more you need to plan, and if you have all the time in the world, you can fit more spontaneity into your travel plans.

Using sites to make an itinerary plan, is a great idea – which gives you a good overview of your trip.

Prepare For Your Travels

RTW ticket
RTW ticket

Once your itinerary is in place you can make the necessary travel arrangements around it, like booking flights and accommodation.

Usually you choose between either buying a whole RTW ticket to all places you’ve planned to visit, or just book flights as you go.

Which one suits you best depends on how much time and freedom you have and want.

If you have limited time and budget, buying a pre-paid RTW ticket to all countries on your itinerary might be a good idea.

The flights are usually cheaper than if you buy them one by one. If you want more freedom to change plans, then booking flights as you go is a better option.

Scuba Diving Travel
Scuba Diving Travel

Sign up for e-letters from budget airlines to get the good deals, check up on their websites every so often and try using different types of transport when getting around.

If your holiday includes any potentially hazardous activities, such as bungee jumping or white water rafting, also make sure that your travel insurance cover protects you against any unforeseen incidents that may occur while taking part in these activities.

The advantage of planning your holiday ahead of time is that it allows you to make all the necessary arrangements prior to your departure, allowing you more time for pure enjoyment and relaxation while away.

Hope this tips help, and you have a wonderful adventure!

Unique Tours From Around The World

Tour traveling has gotten a bad rep by many people, which I think is very unfair.

Of course there are some really bad tours out there that are either total rip-offs or don’t give you an authentic experience, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same.

There are some tours that really go out of their way to show you a different world from what you know, and to give you opportunities that would be close to impossible to get on your own.

Here are some dream tours that I would LOVE to experience…

Burma By Bike

Nathan used to dream of biking across Europe, and while a whole continent might be a bit much for me, biking through a country is something I would be more than willing to try – so when I read about this biking tour in Burma it sounded absolutely perfect.

Biking is a way of life in Burma, and it’s one of the best ways to truly get to experience and appreciate the country’s nature on the countryside and meet the people.

I can only imagine how cool it would be to bike through this country which is full of hillside temples and rural ancient villages, meeting locals working with traditional crafting and silk weaving along the way.

Butterfield & Robinson – ”Myanmar Biking” Tour Company

Price: 9 days $7,495

Bush Camping And Voodoo In Ghana

Bush Camping And Voodoo In Ghana
Bush Camping And Voodoo In Ghana

Africa is such a fascinating continent, and when we started looking into going there we didn’t know where to begin, there are just so many awesome places to visit.

Bush Camping And Voodoo In GhanaWhile looking around I found this cool tour in Ghana which takes you to remote regions of the country where you get to visit a witchcraft oracle, meet the Lobi people and do some bush camping.

It seems like a great fun tour where you get to experience a completely different culture – plus, it’s pretty good value 😉

GAdventures, ”Ghana Untouched” Tour Company

Price:13 days $3,094

Trekking In Georgia’s Mountains Of Poetry

Both Nathan and I are incredibly curious about the republic of Georgia, as it seems so unique and beautiful.

So when I found this tour, where you hike through the country’s mountain regions, I was sold: you stay with locals, walk through small alpine villages, diverse nature and UNESCO heritage sites.

It seems like a lovely and intimate tour where you get to meet the people and tribes of the country and get to see a great deal of the beautiful nature.

Explorers’ Corner Tour Company

Price:13 days $3,690

Wild Paradise In Papua New Guinea

Wild Paradise In Papua New Guinea
Wild Paradise In Papua New Guinea

I can’t think of any better adventure than traveling to the islands of Papua New Guinea, a country which is a world away from ours, a country which has remained largely untouched, a place where over 860 different languages are spoken.

On this tour you not only get to walk through through the Tari rain forest full of exotic birds, but you get to meet the traditional Huli people, a tribe which was unknown to the outside world until 1935, a people who today are known for their rather strange-looking wigs.

You’ll need to find a good coupon code for this tour though, because it’s not cheap!

Natural Habitat Adventures,”Wild Papua New Guinea” Tour Company

Price: 11 days $9,495

Mongolia In The Footsteps Of The Nomad

Mongolia In The Footsteps Of The Nomad
Mongolia In The Footsteps Of The Nomad

Mongolia is a country I’m longing to visit, and I would love to take this tour where you go trekking among remote Khotont and Kazakh nomads in the Harhiraa and Tsaast Uul mountains of western Mongolia.

There would be no better way to see the ”Wild West” of Mongolia with its gorges and glacier peaks than this.

Natural Habitat Adventures,”Wild Papua New Guinea” Tour Company

Price: 18 days, $4,269

I think these tours would be an experience of a lifetime, but as you can see most of them come at a pretty high price – you can find tours4fun coupon codes here to get a cheaper deal.

So what is your dream tour?

Have you already been on the tour of your dreams?

Tell us all about it!

(photo credits: ubaba– 3 – 2 – 4 – TRAILSOURCE – GuideGunnarTravelling Runesgreg.robson – Christian Haugen)

Drink Your Way Around The World

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Drink Your Way Around The World – One thing is for sure, food is an important part of travel – we’re planning a trip to India in a few months mainly because we’re longing for the amazing curries you get there!

However, drinks have just as much of a cultural tradition and heritage around the world – here we will explore the different drinks from around the world.

Drink Your Way Around The World

Kava – Western Pacific

Drink Your Way Around The World - Kava
Kava – Western Pacific

Kava is a drink derived from the roots of a plant grown in the western Pacific.

Vanuatu is known for making the strongest Kava, and it’s a drink which holds mild tranquilizing properties.

It’s common throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia (including Hawaii), Vanuatu, Melanesia and some parts of Micronesia.

Kava is meant to relax you without disrupting mental clarity, and is not drunken as a substitute for alcohol.

The grey watery drink is simple, it’s ground root/bark mixed with a little bit of water.

There are special Kava bars where you can visit and try the drink, and you may be served processed Kava which isn’t as strong.

They also have Kava Cola, an anti-energy- soft drink.

So typical Vanuatu!!

Vanuatu is known for having the strongest Kava of all islands, and there you usually drink it before a meal, and unlike other islands, they don’t add any extra flavor.

It’s not the tastiest drink, and your tongue gets numb immediately, but it’s an experience for sure!

Mint Tea – Morocco

When you’re in Morocco you will end up drinking more mint tea in one week than you have drunken in your whole life.

Mint tea is everywhere, and in every shop you enter they will bring you a tray with mint tea within less than a minute.

It’s likely that you will end up spending most of your time drinking tea in shops than anything else, even shopping, as it’s impolite to refuse.

However, the mint tea deserves some credit, it’s simply the best mint tea in the world (my own opinion).

The Moroccan tea is green tea with mint leaves, it occupies a very important place in Moroccan culture and is considered an art form.

Morocco is one of the biggest tea importers of the world.

It’s a tea of hospitality, and whether you’re in a Moroccan family’s home or shop, they will bring you their hospitality drink before you blink.

Unlike Moroccan food, cooked by women, this tea is traditionally a man’s affair: prepared by the head of the family.

Glögg – Scandinavia

Glögg is from the beginning not a Scandinavian drink, the Romans used to heat their wine and spice it up to make it drinkable.

Different spices, but still the same concept.

The Scandinavian Glögg is a mulled wine, only served during the Christmas period.

The Scandinavian Glögg is a spiced dark red wine, hot, sweet and bitter at the same time, and often consumed with almonds and raisins, together with some gingerbread.

It’s so tasty that you think you can drink a whole bottle, but already after two shots it will be too much.

If you’re in Scandinavia over Christmas, do not miss this drink, Christmas mood is guaranteed!

Lassi – India

Similar to smoothies, but better, in my opinion.

It’s a healthy drink that cools you down in the hot weather.

Unlike many other drinks, the Salt Lassi is great for the digestion (something you want in the land of spicy curries).

Lassi is made from buttermilk, which makes the whole drink taste completely different.

It’s a healthier option than milk, containing tons of good bacteria that strengthens the immune system.

Health benefits aside, I could drink Lassi all day long..!

I’m not much of a coffee drinker, and I never drink coffee without adding milk and sugar – with one exception: Lao coffee.

This is hands down the best coffee I’ve had, and the fact that I could actually drink it without adding one spoon of sugar – says a lot…

Lao coffee
Lao coffee

Greek Frappe – Greece

If you can only drink one Frappe in your life, let it be in Greece!

Frappe is a foam-covered iced coffee drink made from instant coffee.

Once invented from an experiment by a guy who couldn’t find any hot water, and blended his coffee with cold water in a shaker, this drink has become an important part of Greek coffee culture.

You can choose between three different degrees of sweetness, and are usually served a glass of water with the coffee. It’s the ultimate cooling drink on a hot day.

Don’t confuse this drink with the Starbucks’ Frappuccino, they’re simply not at all the same!

Sangria – Spain

Sangria is one of my favorite drinks. It’s fruity, sweet and chilled, served in 1 Litre containers with thinly sliced fruit.

It’s very much of a “social-drink” that you share, like punch, on parties, but also served in pubs shared with a group.

From what I’ve been told by my very patriotic Catalan uncle, the “real” way of drinking Sangria is by this special wine container with a long pipe, which I found pretty fascinating.

You use it very much like a watering can, but put the wine out really fast so it creates a bow in the air, and then catch the line of wine.

Be warned, it can get really messy.

They must practice with water or something until they learn, because it’s pretty much an art form..!

Pálinka – Hungary

At 8 o clock in the morning we were greeted by the guest house owner who immediately poured up a glass of Pálinka each.

Fruit brandy with 60% alcohol volume (it gets up to 86%) for breakfast is no biggie in Hungary.

In fact, a traditional Hungarian greeting is “Pálinkás jó reggelt!” which means “Good morning with pálinka!”.

Pálinka has an important role in traditional celebrations and social occasions, and has a history dating back to the fourteenth century.

You can buy Pálinka everywhere, but it’s very common to make your own as well.

How Wine Paid For My First Trip To Europe

Back in 2004 I wanted nothing else but to leave New Zealand …

I HATED my life there, and felt like I wanted to leave everything behind and go as far away as I could, but before I could do so, I needed to get enough money to buy a plane ticket out of there.

So I got a job at a vineyard working 12 hour night-shifts every day for 8 weeks, making 12 dollars an hour.

It’s not the best place to work if you want to save money for a round the world trip, since it’s a pretty crazy job BUT if you like wine – you will love working there…

Working in a vineyard you learn so much about wine, and realize that wine is not just a drink, but something more.

How Wine Paid For My First Trip To Europe

The progress from picking the grapes to the finished product is a long, dangerous journey – and you truly get a whole new perspective on how wine is made, finding out many things you really don’t want to know.

I never thought that wine could be such a scientific process, and yes, I screwed up more than just a couple of times…

One night at 3am I had to go on top of a 15 meter high wine vat and pour over 20 kg of sugar inside to help the fermentation process.

At the time, I was sh*t scared of heights, but I was the new guy so I had to get up there and do it.

I poured the huge bucket of sugar in as fast as I could so I could get down faster.

Little did I know that if you pour it slightly too fast, the sugar will react with the wine and can explode – spraying wine everywhere!

I turned around, and suddenly heard a loud rumbling noise from inside the vat – the whole thing exploded over my head, drenched me in wine and covered the guys 15 meters below – I had wasted 50+ liters of wine all over the ground in under 2 minutes… :S

Working there I drank more wine than water, not while working, but whenever we had finished we could basically drink as much wine as we wanted from all over the world.

A few of my favorite international wines were Chateau La Lagune from France and the Innocent Bysander wines from Australia.

We joined the official wine tours and got to taste and compare different wines, all from the cheapest wine to one of the world’s most expensive (which for the record tasted like sh*t, all the money was spent on the gold label).

We learned that good wine doesn’t have to be expensive, and that expensive wine doesn’t have to be good.

When the season was over, we were all given 12 big bottles of wine, which we by that time had learned how to finish pretty fast.

I left with not only enough money to buy my ticket to Europe, but with a new interest for wine, something which I had never paid much attention to before.

Wine tasting and wine tours are often something of a luxury event, but in New Zealand and Australia it’s actually really affordable, and many vineyards (although not the dodgy one I worked at) let you see the whole process of how wine is made.

So if you want to do something slightly different on your next trip to Australia or New Zealand, visit a vineyard – it really is a great experience!

(photo credits: 1 – heardsy)

How Old Is Too Old To Backpack?

Updated:

How Old Is Too Old To Backpack – There is a guy I know, who spent years dreaming about everything he wanted to do – most of all he wanted to travel the world and do some crazy adventures.

But life never seemed to work that way for him, and he never seemed to have any time to do all that he dreamed.

How Old Is Too Old To Backpack?
How Old Is Too Old To Backpack?

How Old Is Too Old To Backpack?

Today, he is in his 50’s and has all the time in the world – but now he instead talks about all the things he would have liked to do, and then finishes off by saying: “but it’s too late now…”

I think it’s sad that he feels that way, because it’s SO far from the truth.

I personally think you are  never too old to backpack around the world.

You’re only too old to travel if you THINK you are – I truly believe that the possibilities you have are no less than what you think you have.

Yes, society tries its hardest too have control over people and make up silly unwritten rules such as when you’re too old to travel, when you should get married, when you should get a real job etc…

Too Old To Backpack
Too Old To Backpack

The only one who should have a say in what you do with your life and how you live it – is you!

Don’t listen to others, often they’re simply jealous that you’re brave enough to do something they would also like to do.

Many people can’t handle other people stepping out of the norm, and into the uncertainty of a new life.

I don’t think it is about the age, but about the mindset you have, which decides whether you’re too old to backpack or not.

If you’re 25 and need the comfort and certainty, chances are that you’re ALREADY too old to backpack.

If you start to make things over-complicated and worry about everything, not wanting anything to be left to destiny, backpacking isn’t something for you.

Old Backpack
Old Backpack

If you, however, are open for new adventures with an “open ending”, aren’t too fuzzy about the comforts and are unafraid to talk to make your way around by yourself rather than following a tour guide with his flag in the air, it doesn’t matter how old you are, backpacking will be fun for you.

During our travels we have met seasoned backpackers who are well into their 70’s, still sleeping in rooms with squat toilets, and exploring the world.

It might be hard to find other senior travelers, but just like with solo travelers, there are many forums where you can go and connect with other older travelers – and isn’t age really just a number?

What do you think about this?

Is there a certain age when you’re too old to travel?

Here are 5 safety tips for first time backpackers …

Whether you’re spending your summer holidays inter-railing around Europe, your gap year volunteering in South East Asia or you’ve taken a year off work for a round-the-world trip, it’s important to stay safe whilst travelling For First Time Backpackers.

5 safety tips for first time backpackers Don’t Flash Your Cash.
5 safety tips for first time backpackers Don’t Flash Your Cash.

Although most places are tourist-friendly, you’re likely going to stick out like a sore thumb; if you take these steps you can avoid attracting attention for the wrong reasons.

Spread your money out and store them in different places; Keep some money in your wallet, some in your backpack and some in a day bag, and the same goes for your credit and debit cards.

That way if one of these items is stolen or lost, it’s not the end of the world.

Set up at least two accounts on your bank, one which can be used at ATM’s to take out money, and one savings account which can only be accessed from online.

This way you can transfer smaller amounts of money every month to your ATM card so that if things go sideways, thieves can only take out as much money as you have on the ATM card.

If it gets stolen, you won’t lose all your savings.

Unless absolutely necessary, don’t take out too much money from the ATM at once, it’s better to take out a little money at a time.

And make sure to get a card from a bank that offers free withdrawals in foreign countries or you will lose a lot of money down the drain!

Do not store your money in a fanny pack, first off it looks silly, but you’re also basically telling everyone where you have all your most valuable things stored.

Insect Repellent & Mosquito Net

Mozzies are nasty little insects that can carry many different diseases.

Depending on which country you’re in, mosquito bites can spread malaria, dengue fever or other dangerous conditions, which result in a fever and require immediate medical attention.

Whilst there are anti-malarial tablets available to prevent the disease, they can have nasty side effects and the most effective way to avoid contracting it is not to get bitten in the first place.

So, invest in a strong mosquito repellent, and consider buying a mosquito net for use in particularly hazardous areas.

First Time Backpackers Get Your Shots Before You Go
First Time Backpackers Get Your Shots Before You Go

Get Your Shots Before You Go

It might seem like one more chore on the list of pre-travel planning, but getting your vaccinations before you go is vital for your health.

You don’t want to end up having to spend your precious travelling time in hospital, or risk your long-term health for something you could have prevented beforehand.

And make sure you know the deal with each vaccination, if you need to return again for a top-up and if so when – and don’t miss the date or things will get very problematic (we learned this from our own mistakes).

If you’re really tight with your budget, you could look into getting your vaccinations abroad.

We had a few done in Bangkok at the Red Cross Clinic which was great – everything was clean and safe and much cheaper than in Europe – but always do your research beforehand!

Always Book With Reputable Companies.

Bungee jumping off a waterfall, flying over the Nazca lines and cycling down the world’s most dangerous road may all be on the list of must-do activities.

I know it’s tempting to go for the cheapest possible option, but it’s really not worth the risk.

Make sure to book through a reputable and certified company, rather than trying to do it on a budget.

Always assess the risks before you sign up, and be aware of any scams or copycat companies that operate in the area.

This applies to bus and taxi companies as well.

Make Sure You Have Travel Insurance
Make Sure You Have Travel Insurance

Make Sure You Have Travel Insurance

Travel insurance may seem like it’s blowing a big hole in your budget, but if you were to have an accident or incident while travelling, this safety net will ensure that you are not landed with a hefty hospital or legal bill, as well as being covered for any lost items if you’re mugged.

We were so happy that our travel insurance covered everything when we were mugged in Malaysia last year, and one reason why it all went so easy and smoothly was because we were prepared and had read the terms carefully before buying it.

Carry your policy number and emergency phone number with you and also leave it with someone back home, so that you are prepared for every eventuality.

Whether you have insurance or not it is always worth checking with an expert law firm like Irwin Mitchell.

Although backpacking is liberating, a bit of careful planning before you set of will help you avoid the setbacks that could blight your once-in-a-lifetime trip, and make it a memorable experience for all the right reason.

What are your best tips for first time backpackers?

Tips for e-Learning Success ~ Education in a Backpack

With e-Learning, you can choose what to study while you learn at your own pace.

It’s great you can also choose the best time to learn and where you want to do it.

Studying and learning are no longer linked to rigid classroom schedules in costly institutions with boring lecturers.

In fact, you don’t even have to stay in one place; the whole world is a classroom.

You can fit your education into your backpack and learn wherever and whenever it suits you.

As a student, you no longer have to contend with bio rhythms out of sync with your optimum learning time or place.

Tips for e-Learning Success
Tips for e-Learning Success

There are a few things to consider.

Follow these 5 tips to help you on the road to e-Learning success:

Study for Travel

Learn a foreign language. Many subjects make sense for a traveler, including learning the language of the country you are travelling to.

One way to learn a language online is to employ a personal tutor who will give you lessons live via Skype.

Preply is one source for experienced tutors.

Should you be travelling to Russia, for example, you can find a selection of Russian teachers from preply.com.

You may even wish to continue to study and practice when you are in the country.

Whether you want to try learning a language abroad or learn at home, you will have a richer experience when traveling.

Study for Free or Reduced Fees

You could enroll in a Massive Open Online Course (Mooc), which are readily available online in various languages.

Many of these are offered by reputable universities from many countries, including Stanford, Duke, Edinburgh, Melbourne, plus hundreds of others.

Sometimes there is an option to pay extra for a signed qualification if required for a course you are doing.

These costs are considerably less than you would have to pay to attend on campus when you consider living costs, etc.

Also, the fixed schedules may interfere with your work or other commitments.

You can also join a “Self Paced” course where the material is pre-recorded.

Here, you can work your way through the course contents in your own time and pace.

Invest in Reliable Equipment

You will need some reliable equipment to be able work with and to connect to the Internet.

The usual method is via a laptop. However, in some instances, a smartphone or tablet would be sufficient for watching recorded lectures.

A word of caution though, when travelling with electronic devices, take extra care to ensure they don’t sustain damage and ruin your planned studies.

There are tips about how to travel with a laptop and keep it working. Learn how to travel and keep your laptop safe.

Tips on How to Pack Your Education into Your Backpack
Tips on How to Pack Your Education into Your Backpack

Plan for Connection

There are a number of ways to connect to the Internet, including hard wired DSL, dial-up, cellular signal and Wi-Fi.

The latter two are the most useful for staying connected while travelling.

If it is difficult or too expensive to consider having your own personal Internet connection, you may have to find a public place where you can connect.

Many restaurants and businesses offer free Wi-Fi connections so you can often find a quiet corner to continue your classes.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services mean you can make calls device to device without having access phone connections, thereby avoiding hefty telephone company charges.

There are a number of providers, including Skype. However, not all countries allow access for international connection.

Don’t take connection ability for granted.

Check before travel if your course requires Skype calls.

It’s also important to learn how to use your cell phone while traveling to Europe or other destinations.

Schedule Work and Play

Take some time to schedule Skype lessons when it suits both you and the tutor.

If you have scheduled lessons, you will need to be sure in advance that you can connect on time.

Tutors are usually paid by their time so don’t waste their time or your holiday.

Otherwise, watch lectures, research, write essays and complete tests at times most favorable to you.

The Internet really has made education and e-Learning easy and accessible.

People in most countries can take advantage of it.

Wherever you are in the world, or wherever you plan to be, with e-Learning you can continue to study and develop your career or hobbies.

Go online and search for a course and begin enjoying e-Learning success.

Beautiful Treks Around The World

Something which we’ve always wanted to do but never really had the right gear for, is trekking – we’ve gone for day hikes in many of the best hiking spots around the world, from Austria and Switzerland to New Zealand, but never had enough equipment to actually be gone for several days.

Next year, however, we just might take some action and take a few trekking holidays, below are just a few of the most amazing hikes in the world that we would like to try out:

New Zealand – Routeburn Track
New Zealand – Routeburn Track

Chomolhari Trek – Bhutan

Bhutan is only just opening up as a trekking destination, and the more I read about this country the more interested I get in spending a few months there.

There are a few very popular hikes, where the scenery seems so beautiful and I also like that there are many temples and villages along the way so you can also meet many of the local people.

I personally think only seeing nature for weeks at a time might get a bit boring after a while.

Beautiful Treks Around The World
Beautiful Treks Around The World

New Zealand – Routeburn Track

New Zealand has some of the most amazing scenery I’ve ever encountered, and naturally hiking has become one of the most popular things to do, especially for locals.

The dramatic landscape along the Routeburn track with fjords, valleys, peaks and meadows and the special native forest and flora, seems like a great way to explore the country.

The only major drawback I see is that you never know what the weather will be like.

We walked a bit of the track to check it out, and meeting the hikers finishing the trail we found out that while the trek started out in warm sunny weather, it started raining and even snowing for two whole days.

Mount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania

Kilimanjaro is often called the world’s tallest walkable mountain, because while it stands at nearly 20,000 feet, no technical climbing skills or equipment are needed for the kilimanjaro trek.

This definitely sounds like something for us who don’t gladly spend thousands of dollars on trekking gear and equipment, and who are far from hiking pros.

It does seem pretty challenging to be hiking through all the different climates, from the equator and hot grasslands to glacial valleys.

Annapurna Circuit – Nepal

Nepal has always fascinated both of us both in religion, culture and tradition as well as the nature itself.

We’ve planned to visit this to us mysterious country later next year, and I would love to hike this trail.

I’m not that interested in hiking to Mount Everest base camp, but think this trail seems more interesting and diverse, with scenery of lush subtropic nature to the highest mountain in the world, passing Bhuddist temples and tea houses.

Inka Trail – Peru

It would almost be a crime not to include this on the list, the Inca Trail is one of the most famous hikes in the world, and rightly so.

Looking at photos of my aunt hiking the trail in the mid 80’s, this was one of the places that inspired me to travel in the first place.

I have yet to make it there, and I have no idea if it will be what I expect it to be, but I would like to see the ruins with my own eyes, surrounded by Andean cloud forest.

Have you done many treks before?

If so, which were your favorite and what gear for a long distance hike?

(photo credits: 1 – 2 – 1 – 2 – mcgrathssukanto_debnathmcviewty)

Do We Travel to Escape Reality?

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Do we travel to escape reality? My grandmother has a very specific view of people who travel a lot, especially older people.

Travel to Escape Reality
Travel to Escape Reality

She can’t understand how they can’t just be happy with staying at home, why their souls are so restless and unhappy with their current situation.

I hear and read this a lot:

If you travel all the time, you’re running away from something.

Is that true?

Are we running away from something…if so, then what are we running from?

How Travel Can Help With Depression

Do We Travel To Escape Reality

I believe that nearly all of us are running, but for two different reasons:

Some have restless souls trying to find happiness in external things like adventure and experiences, in other words, they’re trying to escape from who they are right now – hoping to change.

Some are dreamers running away from society hoping to find an escape somewhere else or to find an answer telling them that life doesn’t have to be the way people force it to be.

Running Away From Yourself

Do We Travel To Escape Reality
Do We Travel To Escape Reality

I both know and have met people in this situation:

They are sick of traveling, tired of always being on the road, talking nothing but negative about travels but they still have that nervous restless look in their eyes, which makes them continue.

Some left home because they hated their life there, hoping it would be better somewhere else, only to find they brought their problems with them.

The only problem is that they don’t realize it, but continue to the next destination thinking and hoping that it will be better there, and then the next, and the next…

Instead of dealing with their problems – they try to find a way to escape them, which is impossible.

When traveling it is easier to block out your personal problems because of all the new, exciting, external things going on, but you will never escape them.

Running Away From Reality

Be brave while traveling
Be brave while traveling

If we’re running away from (leaving) a current reality or situation, and I believe this is true for many of us, then I can’t see why that would be such a bad thing?

Why should we accept life the way it is?

Why can’t we look for something better?

Why can’t we widen our perspectives?

I say we can, and we should!

We don’t have to follow the rules of society like a bunch of numb robots, doing everything society tells us to do even though we haven’t seen much good coming out of it.

In fact, I think this is an awesome reason to travel.

Running away in this aspect, searching for something else in life is necessary for you to evolve, to develop and not get stuck in a current situation.

In a way I believe that you have to be looking for something to find something – although not necessarily knowing what you look for.

What do you think about all this?

Why do you travel?

Are you trying to escape from reality?

Why Travel Today Is Better Than Ever Before

Have you ever found yourself surrounded by people complaining about how everything was so much better back in the good ol’ days?

I can’t count on my fingers how many times this has happened while traveling.

I’m tired of hearing from old travelers about how traveling was so much better back when they were young.

For some reason, people often seem to forget the not so good things and remember everything as if it was a perfect paradise.

To be honest, I don’t believe that everything about traveling is better today, but there are definitely many things today which are a lot better than the good ol’ days – so today let’s focus on the good stuff!

It’s Cheaper

Seriously, whenever before has there been flight tickets for 5 dollars?

Or a time when you could get a 100 EURO 12hr flight from Malaysia to Europe?

This is an amazing thing, and it means that today it’s not only the rich people who can afford to travel around the world – now nearly everyone can.

Not only are budget airlines offering cheap fares, but the higher valued airlines as well.

There are more companies and the competition is higher, which often results in a price war where the ticket fares go really cheap – get online and there are so many ways to find the cheap deals.

Years ago, backpacking around Europe was mainly done with a EUrail pass, today there are many alternatives, making it easier to find the cheapest and most suitable option for you.

It’s Easy, Faster and More Freedom

In 1994, it took 42 hours for us to get to Bali and 7 stopovers.

Today it takes less than half that time, with only one stopover.

Traveling long distances is so much easier today, and the good deals to get there are right around the corner.

One big breakthrough over the last few years is the growth of people who can work wherever they want, who don’t have to go to an office and work the 9/5 job – resulting in the ability to be locational free.

Not long ago this was unthinkable, but today it’s a very common reality.

Also these days it’s SO much easier to be prepared and organized – everything is at the push of a button:

book your flight, find the best place to stay, know where you always are, etc.

Do you think that takes away the excitement and adventure of travel?

What is best about this I think is that it gives us CHOICE – sometimes we all need that break from complicity, stress and uncertainty.

Then it’s nice to be able to get that so easy when you’re still abroad.

It’s More Accepted

More and more people are accepting the traveling lifestyle.

There are people who intentionally travel alone as well.

It really is going in the right direction, but still there are many people are still stuck in the old mindset of how you only allowed one gap year to travel and then you must come home and get a ‘real’ job and a ‘real’ life.

Today we’re much more open to open-ended traveling, freedom long-term travel, solo travel, and you can even find more parents are taking their kids out of school to go traveling – which I think is a great idea!

What do YOU think is better about traveling today?

horse riding trip in Portugal
Iceland’s Golden Circle past waterfalls

When Travel Becomes About More – Travel To Escape Reality

Every year millions of people pack their bags and head towards wherever the sun is shining – Swedish people are among the most devoted sun worshipers of all.

When Travel Becomes About More
When Travel Becomes About More

Because the sun doesn’t shine very often in Sweden, people here want to make the most of it when they have the chance, and often that means leaving Sweden to find the sun somewhere else.

Many people travel abroad for 4 simple reasons; To swim in warm water, relax, party and then arrive back home with a great tan…and to Travel To Escape Reality.

But often people reach a point where the purpose for traveling changes – often that happens when we finally open our eyes and really see the country we are visiting.

We’re introduced to new fascinating cultures, traditions, new food and smells around us, and once we’ve had a taste of this kind of travel, chasing the sun & partying becomes far less important.

For one of my closest friends Sanna, the spark for travel and getting to know other cultures came when she decided to travel to Africa and volunteer for a year.

It’s a pretty big step for someone who has never really traveled before, but volunteering in Africa changed her life.

She was away for a year in Rwanda, experiencing some incredible culture clashes and situations.

When I met her again after she had returned, something in her had changed.

She had a different understanding of people and valued different things.

It was a very obvious change for everyone around her.

Some things which used to take up a lot of time, like shopping, wasn’t something she valued at all anymore.

When she had lived with people who were amazed that she had her very own refrigerator in the kitchen, she found a whole new perspective on material things, and how little of it you actually need.

By leaving the certainty of home, volunteering abroad and travel to a country to embrace everything with open arms, she found her purpose.

She wanted to help people in some way, make their future brighter, and help them grow.

Today, a year later, she’s studying to become a teacher.

Some of us don’t find our purpose the first time we travel, but I believe that by traveling and being open to learn from these new cultures, you’re one step closer.

Especially when you consider reasons to travel alone.

Some people say that you can never return from traveling as the same person you were before you left.

I say it depends on how you travel, and what you learn on the way.

Some people never change, they also never learn.

There is a big difference between travel and travel …

Making Friends Abroad

The hardest step is making the risky move of trying out another country.

I’ll assume you’ve already done that, why else would you be reading this?

The good news is that it only gets easier from here.

Making Friends Abroad
Making Friends Abroad

It’s time to put your social anxiety aside and start making friends.

The thought might be exciting for some but frightening for others.

Hopefully though, you’re old enough to not overthink social interactions like you did back in your high school days.

So whether this is a study abroad programme or you’re just moving countries, here are a few tips that will help you make friends abroad.

Rule #1 – Just talk!

Your conversation skills improve with age.

Depending on how old you are, striking up a random conversation may be easy for you.

This may be tougher if you’ve hung out with the same friends your life, though.

It’s really easier than most think.

What do you have to lose?

You’re a foreigner in a new country; there’s a good chance that the stranger is as interested as you are.

Whether you’re trying to pick up a girl, make a friend, or just get comfortable with locals, the easiest start is your name.

Yes, it’s as simple as “Hi, my name’s ____”.

The conversation should flow from there.

From my experience, they’ll ask you where you’re from because of your accent.

It’s smart to have an answer prepared.

Trust me when I say that you will get bored of this question, but that’s a part of it all.

Hostels and dorms

This should be in the bag for you study abroad folk.

People in dorms and hostels are in the exact same situation as you.

They may be travelling solo or on a study course from another country.

The younger crowd is usually more friendly and open to conversation, too, so just go for it!

Read Rule #1 for more information.

Making Friends While Traveling
Making Friends While Traveling

If you’re on a holiday, then staying in hostels is a full-proof method.

When I went to Toscana last year with a couple friends, we were on a tight budget and decided to stay in a hostel.

We immediately made friends with a young couple visiting from Germany right next to us and practically spent the whole trip with them.

Remember: they are as open to friendships as you are.

There is no need to be afraid.

Social networking – Facebook, Twitter, and Meetups

There are groups dedicated to expat and travelers just like you.

Twitter and Facebook communities have sprung up to make the change easier for foreigners delving into an unrecognized country.

There’s nothing wrong with building online friendships to get a head start.

You may also get early opinions about what you’re getting yourself into!

Start following people on Twitter and be open and friendly.

A lot of people stay away from Meetup.com claiming that it isn’t natural to meet people online.

But in today’s day everyone spends a lot of time on their handhelds and computers.

Besides the generic ‘expat’ or ‘new in town’ Meetups, you could find one about hobbies.

Reading, working out, movies are all common hobbies amongst people, no matter where you’re from.

Ask people with similar interests to join you for a drink on Saturday night.

If it’s a local, ask them to show you around.

Don’t let your work control you

Take a break every now and then.

If you’re being sent abroad from a company, make use of the weekends and days off.

Get to know your co-workers and go out for drinks after work.

The worst thing you can do is keep your work and personal lives separate—you’ll end up diving into depression.

There just aren’t enough hours in a day for everything.

Make friends from day one.

Talk to clients and get to know them.

You may even get bonus assignments that will help your work.

It’s a win-win situation, really.

When the working day is over, don’t run home.

Travel To Escape Reality

Presentations and work-related events aren’t as bad as they sound.

You get to meet people from the industry just like yourself.

So as you see, making friends abroad isn’t rocket science.

It will start to flow naturally after a few conversations.

Reading this should just be a guide.

The worst thing you can do is overthink the situation.

Rule #1 should be all that you need—just talk!

(photo credits: vincepalstevendepoloaarmono)

Fear of Flying? Overcome your fear of Flying in 3 Simple Hacks

Updated:

People can love traveling, but have a deep fear of flying, Overcome your fear of flying.

Some dislike it more than others, but I’m sure that we all have that thought crossing our minds that an accident could happen.

For some people, the thought just passes quickly through the mind, while for others the thought won’t leave them until they have landed safely.

The fear of flying is actually more common than people think, and can be a real pain.

Overcome your fear of Flying
Overcome your fear of Flying

Overcome your fear of Flying Hacks

Here are 3 simple steps that can help you overcome the fear of flying, and make that nervousness disappear…

Overcome your fear of Flying Step 1 – Prepare

Other than preparing mentally yourself, you also have to prepare those around you.

If you’re very scared of flying, let the attendants know about it.

They will be more than understanding, and they will do everything they can to make your journey as comfortable as possible and try to make you feel that you’re in safe hands.

Before the flight, you can also politely ask if you can meet your pilot.

The pilot can tell you what to expect on your particular flight.

Knowing who is flying you might make you feel safer as well, and make it easier to trust him/her.

Another side note that can make you feel any safer knowing is that pilots are known to be the biggest control freaks of all!

Step 2 of Overcome your fear – Breathe

A smart, quick and effective way to calm your nerves on a plane to eliminate fear of flying is to do some deep breathing.

There are many ways to do this, but the importance is that you breathe deeply and relax.

Here is a routine we find effective in similar situations:

Close your eyes.

Put your tongue on the roof of the mouth, inhale through the nose as deep as you can (10 seconds).

Hold for 2 seconds. Exhale slowly while drawing the number 3 three times in your mind.

Do this again, but imagine drawing number 2 three times – finally do this a third time, imagining drawing number 1 three times.

Overcome your fear Step 3 – Remind Yourself Of The Four False Facts

We’ve all experienced our minds getting swept away and blowing things out of proportion, starting to picture accidents in the head.

When your mind starts to mess with you and you get these uncomfortable thoughts that makes you nervous.

Below are some typical and common things people worry about (including myself), and after some research I found that there is no need to worry:

What if there is something broken on the plane?

There are aircraft mechanics making detailed inspections between every flight, and they repair broken parts as needed.

The mechanics never settle for a “quick fix”, but make sure to always do a very careful job, anything else is forbidden by strict laws – and nobody would want to stand for having done a bad job.

What if the plane crashes?

Flying is safer than driving, and is actually quite safe compared to most forms of travel in general.

The statistics of accidents are very low, and keep in mind that almost 30,000 people are up in the air at this very minute.

Every single flight is planned in such a way that if an engine was to fail, the plane must still have enough performance to fly safely.

Pilots are trained to handle engine failures in every phase of flight.

What if the plane engines stop in an air pocket?

A very common thing that worries people and is the reason to many people’s fear of flying is “air pockets”.

Have you ever felt as though the plane fell into a pocket?

I’ve heard rumors that the plane engines can stop spinning if the air pocket is too big, or if there are too many of them.

This, however, I have now understood to be a myth.

There are no such things as air pockets, they are a complete myth.

There is always air for support.

Have you ever walked down the street and all the sudden found yourself in an air pocket where you can’t breath?

What if the plane all the sudden just stops working and falls off the sky?

Planes simply cannot do this.

There is always several backup systems, and even if none of them work (which is very unlikely), the plane can still glide for up to 100 miles from cruise altitude of 30,000 feet.

In fact, it’s actually pretty common that they don’t use the engines at all at times and let the plane glide to save fuel.

Learn To Let Go & Trust

There isn’t much more you can do now than to just relax your mind and body.

Holding tightly to the armrests does nothing to stabilize the plane.

The plane is already designed to fly steady.

When you find yourself tensing up, let go.

Do you have fear of flying, or do you have any tips to those who do?

Electronic Ways To Keep Yourself Entertained On Long Flight

There have been all manner of lists over the years telling you exactly what you should take on a plane to make it a more enjoyable flight…

Keep Yourself Entertained On Long Flight
Keep Yourself Entertained On Long Flight

However this was before the influx of portable technology that allows you to enjoy the flight a lot more than you used to!

You’ve shopped around, found a great deal and booked your holiday on a site.

All that stands between you and a beautiful sandy beach is a 15 hour flight.

Sure there will be some in-flight TV channels and maybe a couple of radio stations, but after a while these can get quite repetitive so you will need to make sure you have your own entertainment at the ready as well!

Electronic Ways To Keep Yourself Entertained On Long Flight
Electronic Ways To Keep Yourself Entertained On Long Flight

Magazines/Newspapers In Digital Format

Reading a big magazine about music, sport or gossip or reading about the latest news in a few newspapers can while away a few hours, especially if you take a few with you and space them out throughout the flight!

Of course, it becomes even easier if you have an iPad or other type of tablet as you can purchase as many magazines on there as you want and have them to read in electronic format, without the extra weight of carrying them!

Books On e-Book Readers

In much the same way as magazines, you can while away a lot of time with a book or two and if you have an e-book reader or a tablet then you can bring those on board with you with the books already loaded on – which is a definite space saver especially with a big book!

Music Players

music To Keep Yourself Entertained On Long Flight
music To Keep Yourself Entertained On Long Flight

Music can always help you through bored times, and music players such as an iPod is a great way of spending some time or just shutting out the surroundings.

You can sit there with some relaxing songs on when you want a break from the screens, or just want to doze for a little while.

Some iPods now have games as well, so there is even more entertainment value for your trip!

Gaming Consoles

With portable gaming becoming more fashionable with adults, consoles such as the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP can lead to hours of fun on your flight.

Games like brain training can keep you alert, adventure games like Mario or Sonic are addictive and time flies when playing those!

Videos

With the tablets like iPads and laptops much lighter and more affordable, it is possible to bring your own DVDs to watch so that you don’t have to be bound by whatever films are on the in-flight TVs!

I hope these 5 help you plan and enjoy your next long distance flight!

What are a few fun items you bring with you on long flights to keep yourself entertained?

(photo credits: irishflyguytrafterycdharrison)

Traveling With Kids Without Electronics!

Most travel lovers started traveling early with the family, from road trips to visiting new and different countries.

Back in the old days, we had no iPads or fancy electronics other than a Walkman and a couple of old tapes.

Entertainment came in the form of cards, Boggle, Battleship and tic-tac-toe.

Many kids today have it much easier.

It’s so easy to sit them on a plane with a fully charged iPad or a compact DVD with tons of movies, but that really takes away the whole idea of quality family travel, right?

Here’s some travel ideas and tips that can help you keep the kids away from electronics, yet still have a fun trip:

Traveling With Kids Without Electronics!
Traveling With Kids Without Electronics!

Ask kids to help

Involving the kids in the planning process will give them a clear idea of what they’re in for.

Make them a part of your planning, show them maps, explain plane seating charts, and share photos of the places you can visit.

Comfort is key
Comfort is key

Get their feedback on destinations, hotels, distances, landmarks, what museums to visit, activities, etc.

This will help them understand the entire trip in a more comprehensive way.

It’s also a great opportunity to show them that it’s about the journey and not the destination!

Comfort is key

When traveling with kids, make sure they have everything they need at hand, from travel pillows to blankets to special items or anything that will keep them from bugging you constantly.

Regular breaks are a big part of this too. Don’t force the kids to stay put for 3 or 4 hours – walk around with them so that they can stretch their legs.

Water and food are extremely important (lay off the candy!), nothing worse than a hyper or bored hungry kid right?

Give them tools to stay busy

There’s so much they can do to stay entertained.

For example, give them a map and let them highlight the trip as you’re going along.

Provide a personal backpack – if you have more than one kido, this will avoid fights over possessions.

Give them tools to stay busy
Give them tools to stay busy

Fill their backpacks with paper, pens, reading material, crossword puzzles, coloring books, games and educational toys.

This is also a great opportunity to get the older kids writing!

Inspire them to write a travel journal and buy them a little, cheap digital camera so they can take pics along the way of landmarks or any other spots they might find interesting.

You can also have them send post cards along the way or write short letters to the family and friends.

This will get the kids creativity going and they’ll have a great time recording memories.

I spy with my little eye…

What would family trip be without traditional games? “I Spy” is always a favorite!

Other fun games you can play are “Trivia”, the ever popular “Rock, paper, scissors” as well as “Spelling Bee” and “Who am I?/20 questions”.

Big reminder, never forget to set out the rules before you start playing, this will avoid fights or arguments along the way!

I spy with my little eye…
I spy with my little eye…

Taking the kids with you will give you a unique opportunity to connect with them, so take advantage of it!

Be the example and disconnect yourself from electronics.

Travel is an incredible learning experience for children – make sure both you and them make the most of it!

(Photos 1, 2, 3, 4)

Why I Travel Instead Of Study

Updated:

Why I Travel Instead Of Study – I felt the pressure already a few months after graduating high school.

You know that pressure, the pressure everyone gives you ‘to do something with your life’.

Better Education & Finding My Purpose
Better Education & Finding My Purpose

It didn’t really bother me back then, I just wanted to travel and enjoy life like everyone else.

Now, a few years later – 21 years old, I suddenly find myself being the only person I know who hasn’t gone back to study, or like they say themselves:

“to do something with their lives”.

That’s just fine with me, but since I don’t do and feel the same as those around me, it really seems to bother them.

They simply can’t understand why I don’t follow their path.

Why I Travel Instead Of Study

For me, there are 3 reasons WHY I travel instead of study…

I Want The Dream As My Reality

I Want The Dream As My Reality
I Want The Dream As My Reality

For me, there is no bigger regret than to regret what I never did.

Living without knowing what could have happened if I wouldn’t have chickened out.

If I would have taken the safe way and studied to become something I didn’t ultimately want – would really kill me!

When we’re kids, we all have these big dreams of becoming pop stars and pilots, so why do we have to let ourselves be persuaded that we can’t do that?

And all this happens before we have even tried?

From someone who never tried either?!

I don’t know what I want to be yet.

I refuse to start studying for any other reason than because I absolutely love the education and that it leads to something that I’m 100% passionate about, in other words, that it leads to my dream job.

Before that, why waste time jumping between educations when I can travel, explore and learn something real?

Choosing My Own Path

Choosing My Own Path
Choosing My Own Path

I believe that everyone has to create their own path in life, and as much as other people and society might disagree, you have to do what feels right to you.

And for me, travel is my call.

I don’t trust other people telling me what to do with my life and how to live it.

I think that by following other people’s advice when it comes to jobs and education.

You will more often end up fulfilling someone else’s dream, not your own.

I believe that the best way to find an education or profession that you love is by developing your hobby into one.

Better Education & Finding My Purpose

Why I Travel Instead Of Study
Why I Travel Instead Of Study

When you travel a whole new world opens up.

You see so many new opportunities, you get a chance to look around and see what is possible, new doors open up and you realize that the way they live life at home isn’t the only way.

I find that I’ve finally got some perspective on things, thanks to the past two years of full-time traveling.

I really think that traveling is the best way to find out what you want to do and how you want to live your life.

My grandmother thinks that people travel because they’re restless, that they can’t be happy with life just as it is, that they’re unhappy.

If only she knew how much you learn by traveling, how many life skills you learn that nobody ever teaches you at school or at home.

Everyone I know who has traveled says that they learned more in one year of traveling than they ever did in 4 years of studying.

Most importantly, they learn what LIFE really means – and it was never about “having an education”…

Study Exchange Program Why You Should Consider Participating

Every student is probably familiar with at least one type of a study exchange program.

There are also more and more students deciding each year to enrich their study experience by participating in such program and spend a semester or even a whole academic year somewhere abroad.

Reasons for participating in a study exchange program vary from each participant; however, most of them agree it is an amazing and one-of-a-kind experience.

If you are still hesitating about whether or not you should take part in one, we have prepared a list of reasons why you should definitely consider going for it.

Being part of a study exchange program is the best opportunity for you to see the world and travel as much as possible.

You will have to focus on finishing your courses, but you will surely still have enough free time to visit all the cool places you always wanted to see.

Not only you will get to discover the country where you will be studying, you will also have an opportunity to see the nearby countries.

Experience a different type of education

By participating in a student exchange program, you will get a chance to experience a different style of education than you have been used to. Each country has different ways of teaching.

By spending a semester or an entire year at a different university, you might get a whole new perspective on your study program.

You will probably also enrich your knowledge of the things you already know and definitely learn a lot of new things as well.

study exchange program
A study abroad program will be an enriching experience

Improve your CV

Spending some time at a university abroad is also a very good thing to include in your CV.

When you will be searching for a job or an internship in the future, you will have something that will stand out and distinguish you from the other applicants…like academic writing

Employers are more and more demanding; having international experience is definitely something they will appreciate.

The fact that you lived and studied abroad also lets the employer know that you can easily adapt to changes and are familiar with an international environment.

Meet new people

Taking part in a study exchange program is a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world.

Nowadays, almost every country in the world is participating in some kind of an exchange program.

This means that wherever you decide to go, you will meet many new people.

Good thing about getting to know people from various countries is that you will also learn a lot about their culture, customs and manners.

As you will all be far from home and in the similar situation, making friendships will also be easier.

You will always have someone to hang out with in your free time.

Get to know new culture

There is no better way to get to know one country’s culture than living in that country and experiencing it first hand.

No matter where you will go, the culture there will probably be different from your own.

Although this might seem a bit intimidating at first, it is actually a great way for you to learn new things and get more familiar with new traditions.

You also have to make sure to try the traditional food and drinks and participate in at least one typical event.

Discover new interests

While living abroad, you will experience a different way of living than you knew.

You will be able to engage in many new activities and perhaps even develop new interests.

Maybe you have a talent for a specific sport or activity you did not even know of before.

This is a great opportunity for you to discover your hidden talents and interests.

Learn a new foreign language

You should consider taking part in a language course while living abroad.

This will really make your everyday life easier.

It will also get you closer to the culture and the locals.

Although you will probably not be able to speak fluently after only a few months, it will probably still be enough to understand the basics.

This will be good to  include in your CV as well.

Remember, employers also always appreciate candidates that speak at least one foreign language.

Personal growth

Living abroad as a part of a study exchange program is an excellent way to get to know yourself better.

You will surely become more independent.

You will not have your family members around you which means you will learn how to deal with issues on your own.

Additionally, this is also a great opportunity for you to discover what you really want to do in life and in general grow as a person.

Experience for a lifetime

The best time to go abroad and gain international experience is when you are young.

It is when you can adapt to changes the easiest and are also able to learn quickly.

Study exchange programs will give you so many new experiences and bring people to your life you will never forget.

If you have an option to take part in such program, you should definitely consider it as you will cherish this experience forever.

Planning for your study exchange program

Although the overall experience of studying abroad will be unforgettable, planning it could get quite stressful.

You will need to obtain all the necessary paperwork in order to study at the university abroad.

You will also need to be sure your courses will be approved at your home university.

Additionally, for some countries you might also need a Visa.

You should consider health insurance.

Perhaps the most tricky part will be finding a place to stay abroad.

You can consider staying in a student dormitory, but if you want a bit more “local” experience, you should consider renting a room in a shared apartment.

There are different options of where you can do that, one of them is HousingAnywhere.com, an online housing platform for international students and young professionals.

The whole process from searching to booking a room on their platform is easy, fun and safe.

What are you still waiting for?

Put all your worries and doubts aside. Learn about the most suitable study exchange program for you.

We promise it will be worth it!

My Secret Travel Habits And Superstitions

Superstitions is something we laugh about when it’s brought up.

Until you realize that most of us practice them in all kinds of ways.

I’ve never seen myself as a superstitious type, but when my friend Jenny started talking about it a few days ago I realized that superstitions and habits had been there in the background all my life – especially when I travel …

It started with my lucky toy, a one-eared teddy-rabbit.

I brought it with me everywhere, literally:

I took photos of him by the ancient ruins in Greece, on the beach in Spain and by a temple in Bali – if I traveled, he had to come with me.

My Secret Travel Habits And Superstitions
My Secret Travel Habits And Superstitions

One time I left him on the airport, and once I realized that it was gone my mum had to make the pilot stop the plane and wait for us to run back and grab it.

And who knows what would have happened without it being with me on the plane?

Today my toy is replaced with other habits, like the “appreciation prayer”, hand hold and kiss Nathan every time before/during take-off.

It’s not really a prayer, but every time before take-off I like to think about and appreciate my life, the people in it, of the amazing moments I’ve experienced lately, and yes, in some way – that I’m alive.

I’m not afraid of flying, but I like to know that just in case something actually would happen, I had appreciated my life.

When the plane starts going down the runway, accelerating speed, me and Nathan hold each others hands, and as the plane takes off, we kiss.

It’s a small thing, but it has become one of our habits, and together with the excitement of going to a new country I always get the butterflies.

My friend was telling me about her little travel superstition, which happens when she visits parking lots.

She taps the dashboard of her car whenever she pulls into an airport parking lot, with the hopes of suddenly being gifted with the most brilliant parking spot ever! :p

Most of the time it doesn’t work that well, something which doesn’t really need to be explained.

But when it does, it boosts her belief in superstitions and she continues doing it.

Isn’t that funny how we give things chance after chance even though it continues to prove us wrong, but then last time when she tried at the Heathrow Airport parking lot and it (for once) worked.

She was so certain that it was all because of the tapping.

In all the years that she has tried this insane ritual, this is the only time that it has actually worked, but who am I to tell her wrong, I have superstitions too.

I’ve told her next time she flies from Stansted, to go and stay the night before if getting a good parking spot is so important, but I think she secretly likes the challenge and the stress of having to make it in time for the flight.

To be honest, I think many of us like the idea of having something that we believe brings us luck, it makes us feel safer when we travel, and in some way we build a connection between us and that silly “lucky item”, whether it’s a lucky coin, a necklace, or even lucky panties.

What travel superstitions do you have?

Please share! 😉

What Is The Future of Traveling?

The volcanic eruption and the ash cloud over Europe sure put us all to the test last month, and has had many of us wondering what the world would be like without planes.

Think about that for a second:

What would the world be like without the ability to fly?

My sister was one of all the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the ash cloud.

She and her baby were stuck in Rome for a week.

This made me so aware of how much we really need the ability to fly between countries today for our daily lives to function properly.

I believe that many good things came out of this volcanic eruption.

We got a little taste of what the world would be like without planes, and soon, because of the ending supply of oil, flying will be completely different.

Some people claim we will run out of oil in ten years, others claim it will take way longer than that.

However, most sources agree that eventually one day we will have run out of oil. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

Personally I’m kind of torn between when I hope for it to happen.

In a way I wish it would happen sooner so that we will have ruined slightly less of our environment, but then there is my ego which knows that when it happens I would probably be tearing my hair off watching the prices go sky high on flights.

Flying has never in history been this easy, cheap, and more people than ever have the opportunity and economy to fly.

How long will this last? Is this about to change again?

Will traveling and backpacking become something only rich people can do?

I have many questions, but have found few answers.

The Problem With Traveling By Train

The obvious answer would be to go back to travel by train again.

A few decades ago flying was something only a few could afford.

Everyone else traveled by train.

The most common way to backpack was by train.

Will we go back to the good old trains?

Well, it’s a good option, but there is a problem:

Traveling by train is no longer cheap.

So what will happen when flying is expensive, will traveling by train become cheaper?

I doubt it.

That’s not how the business works.

Reading at the national railway site for Sweden, they explain the pricing system like this:

“When there are few who want to travel by train, all the prices are lower.

If the competition for seats is fierce, however, the fare goes up.”

This means that the already over priced tickets will become even more expensive, because people will be forced to travel by train and therefore there will be more “competition”.

The Rise of The Electric Bike?

A few years back the electric bike was on the uprise, but it was pricey and seemed kind of lame.

Today, with good health and environment being the hottest topics, the electric bike has finally had a true breakthrough.

How do I know? Because even my dad is considering buying one! 😉

I also have a feeling that things are about to change radically when it comes to the way we look at traveling.

We don’t want things to go fast anymore, we value quality more than the time it takes.

‘Slow travel’ is on many people’s tongues.

We want the whole experience, not just to see the “must sees” and do the “must do’s”.

Will this lead to more biking?

To more people exploring the world on a bike?

You get to smell, see and feel the surroundings, yet, in an uphill, you can just sit back and relax and the electric bike will carry you the whole way up.

People are starting to understand the importance of good health, but aren’t quite as willing to make that big effort.

With the electric bicycle you can do a little bit of biking, and if you get tired it’s not a problem since it can run by itself.

Parking will be free.

Fuel will be free.

Really, when I think about it.

How come so many people still drive to work?

To be honest with you, I’m a big fan of biking.

I bike everyday.

People don’t believe me when I say that it’s actually faster biking into town than catching the tram – it really is!

What type of transport do you think we will use in the future?

How will we travel?

Do you believe in the electric bike?

(photo credits: 1 : scubasteveoangelapennywilhelmja – jepoirrier)

Can You Travel And Still Be Sexy?

Updated:

Travel And Be Sexy – Muddy hiking boots, cargo pants, dirty week-old clothes, and a back drenched in sweat from the warm backpack you’ve been carrying for the last few hours… it doesn’t really sound like the sexiest look ever, does it?

Can You Travel And Still Be Sexy?

Can You Travel And Still Be Sexy?
Can You Travel And Still Be Sexy?

Backpacking is far from the romantic idyllic pictures you see in travel advertisements where everyone always wear white perfectly ironed linen pants in the middle of the jungle.

No, the reality looks a lot different.

But does this mean that we all just have to put our need to look good aside for the moment?

Or, is it possible to travel and still be sexy – do we have to choose between comfort and looks?

When I look for travel clothing online and in shops it sure seems that way, and I’m still amazed that the designers in the travel clothing industry don’t try harder.

They know that the majority of backpackers and adventurers usually are under 45 years old, so why not design something for us too?!

One dress that I find works great for travelers is the Le Sac dress by American Apparel, which can be worn in several different ways to create different styles.

I also found a (lightweight) dress from GoLite that can be worn inside out and offers a different color, so you basically have two dresses.

I’m curious to know what you do to make yourself feel sexier when traveling, maybe the most comfortable bra from Knix.

Do you avoid the cargo pants altogether, or do you make them work and actually look good? Travel Underwear ~ The Sexy Pair

What effort do you put into making yourself look good?

For me, the details make all the difference.

I think that you can definitely wear some shaggy clothes and still manage to pull it off, if you put some effort into details.

Ok, maybe not the whole kit, but you can get away with quite a bit.

I make sure to always bring long dangling earrings, and a bit of make up, which can help make the outfit look more complete.

I also try to pack clothes that can work for as many occasions as possible.

I want them to work for a dressed up look, as well as a casual outfit.

11 Sexy Suitcase Essentials for Every Trip

It’s no secret, every woman wants to look sexy but when it comes to travel, most women pack with only two questions in mind:

Is it comfortable?

Do I really want to bring my favorite shoes that cause severe pain after five minutes?

Is that new wool sweater going to itch and make me sweat?

Are those extra tight skinny jeans going to cut off circulation to my feet during the flight?

Is it practical?

Do I really need to bring a separate luggage for my toiletries?

Are 10 pairs of shoes too much?

Is jewelry appropriate in a third world country?

Sexy Suitcase Essentials for Every Trip
Sexy Suitcase Essentials for Every Trip

The one question that NEVER gets asked is…

Is this going to make me look jaw-dropping SEXY?

As an avid traveler, I’ve learned that women don’t have to compromise comfort and practicality for sexiness.

Here are my 11 sexy suitcase essentials for every trip…

A scarf (or sarong) is sexy, functional, and a must-have in every suitcase.

These chic pieces of  fabric can warm you up, cool you down (if dampened), block the sun, be used as a towel, and worn as several outfits.

Sexy Essentials for Every Trip
Sexy Essentials for Every Trip

I never leave home without it.

A little black jersey dress is perfect for day or night and is stretchy, comfortable, and wrinkle free.

For day, wear neutral make up with sandals and a scarf.

For night, wear darker makeup, jewelry and heels.

Leather sandals with arch and ankle support.

Swap those rubber flip-flops for a cute and comfortable pair of leather sandals to wear day or night.

Leather sandals
Leather sandals

Arch and ankle support is necessary for sight-seeing and long walks, yet the leather gives your feet a splash of chic.

Lingerie makes every woman feel sexy whether she’s traveling solo or not.

It’ll give you an extra spark of confidence to explore a new city or strike up a conversation.

And the best part, a sexy matching bra and panties are lightweight, compact, and fits easily in a suitcase.

A pair of large sunglasses to reduce sun and wind exposure and the effects of premature aging.

Plus, you can “people-watch” without anyone knowing.

large sunglasses
large sunglasses

A bottle of wine.

While most people bring wine home from their travels, why not pack one to enjoy in your hotel room.

Travel is stressful and a glass of wine will calm your nerves and to help you sleep, preventing further jet-lag.

So laugh at those ridiculous minibar prices and pack your own.

Panama hats were literally designed for travel and packing into a suitcase.

Simply push the top of the hat into a dome, fold it in half, and roll.

It’s that easy.

Not only do they block the sun, they’re ideal for travel days when you don’t have time to do your hair.

Panama hats
Panama hats

Fun Fact: Despite the name, Panama hats were originally made in Ecuador and then shipped through Panama to various destinations.

People thought they were made in Panama because of the “Panama” stamps on the shipping crates.

Tank tops are perfect for layering, adding a pop of color to an outfit and can be worn day or night.

Spaghetti strap tanks tend to reveal more skin, while tee-tanks show a flirty side.

Either one is chic, sexy and fun.

Whether you’re headed to the beach or city, give your skin a healthy glow with sunless tanning lotion to avoid looking tired and pasty.

A little goes a long way so pick a color that’s only slightly warmer than your natural skin tone.

For a more natural look, blend the tanning lotion with regular lotion.

A sexy swimsuit is essential for any vacation, even if you’re not going to the beach.

Hotel pools, spas, and saunas are a great way to show off your sexiness and relax on your trip.

sexy swimsuit
sexy swimsuit

Be prepared with a swimsuit that fits your body and is age appropriate.

An over the shoulder and oversized bag for all your sexy goodies.

An over the shoulder strap will keep your items close to you at all times and allow you the flexibility to use both hands to snap photos or walk comfortably.

An oversized bag gives you room for all your goodies like a scarf, sunglasses, and Panama hat.

That wraps up my 11 sexy suitcase essentials.

Remember, you don’t have to compromise comfort and practicality for sexiness.

Sexy and Useful Travel Hairstyles

Clothes get scruffy and lose shape quickly when you’re on the road, and given the small space in your bag you don’t have a whole lot of outfits to play with.

All I have are two t-shirts, a pair of shorts and two dresses, in other words I only have a handful of “looks” when it comes to outfits.

A better, easier and cheaper way to change your looks when traveling is to rather than buying lots of clothes, pull off some fun, sexy and easy holiday hairstyles.

Here are a couple of holiday hairstyles that can easily be done without the need for hair-blowers or a thousand hair products …

Buns

If you can’t stand the sweaty summer heat, or simply haven’t taken a shower for a few days, a great way to hide sticky and greasy hair is to put it up into a bun – not only are buns the perfect holiday hairstyles, but they seem to be a big trend this year in general.

Sock-bun

Ever wondered how some girls manage to get those huge perfectly shaped hair buns? I always thought you needed really thick long hair to pull it off, but it all turned out to be just a quick trick with the help of a sock …

All you need:

– A Clean Sock (preferably matching the color of your hair)
– Scissors (I used my nail scissors)
– 2 Hair ties
– Hair pins (optional)

In 5 Steps

Cut the toe off of the sock to create a tube and roll your tube into a donut shape.

Make a ponytail in your hair where you want the bun.

Pull your ponytail through the hole of the sock donut and spread your hair around the sock.

You can either roll the sock down the length of your ponytail (towards your head) and wrap your hair around it as you go (covering the sock as you go), or pull the donut straight down to the head, wrap your hair around it to cover it and fasten with a hair tie, and then wrap the remaining hair around the bun.

When you’ve reached the base of your ponytail, tuck in any remaining ends and make sure the sock is covered with hair.

Braids

Braids are among the most diverse holiday hairstyles ever, with loads of varieties, styles and twists, and you can easily incorporate other details and accessories within a classic braid to make it stand out, like feathers and hair bands.

Lauren Conrad Braid

If you want to keep your hair out put still away from your face, the Lauren Conrad braids are perfect holiday hairstyles, especially if you have bangs that have grown too long while you traveled. It takes a little bit of practice, but once you’ve got it you can literally make one in two minutes.

All You Need are Hair pins or clear elastics

In 4 Steps

Part hair slightly off-center. On the heavier side, grab a section at the hairline and split it into three.

Start braiding like you would a regular French braid.

Add in a piece of hair from the top.

Skip the part where you’d grab a new piece from the bottom (like you would in a French braid) and continue braiding instead.

Take another piece from the top and add it in.

Continue this pattern until you have 5 to 7 sections added in.

Once you’re just past the ear, stop adding in new hair and continue to braid normally (or finish there and fasten with a pin).

Tie if off with a clear elastic, and you’re done!

Side Fishtail Braid

A messy fishtail braid on the side looks stunning and still does the job of keeping your hair together and framing the face.

They look complicated but are super easy to make, and putting it to the side makes it look more relaxed and spontaneous.

The reason why it’s one of my favorite holiday hairstyles is that it works everywhere, and by simply tightening or make it looser, you create a different look, from chic to bohemian.

All you need are 2 Hair ties

Watch the 3rd video below to see a great tutorial on how to create this hairstyle.

Travel Hairstyles Video Tutorials

No matter how easy these holiday hairstyles are to make it’s always easier to watch someone showing you exactly how it’s done.

The first video shows you how to make the sock bun holiday hairstyle, but personally I prefer to make it higher up on the head, and to use pins around the sock to make it look more messy and fluffy.

The second video shows you how to make a Lauren Conrad, or Dutch headband braid, don’t worry about the curling iron and all that extra stuff that comes later on in the video.

The third video shows you how to make a side fishtail braid, easy peasy!

What are a few of your favorite travel hairstyles?

Share below in the comments!

(Photo 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Cheapest Days To Fly – How To Find Them

Updated:

Cheapest days to fly – so you want to learn which the cheapest days to fly are? For those who are new this, I’ll just clarify, yes, the price of your ticket has a lot to do with which day you fly.

People complain about how expensive traveling has become and how the airfare prices are always so outrageous – but to be honest I couldn’t disagree more.

I can, however, understand why it comes across that way for many people trying to book a cheap flight.

cheapest days to fly
Cheapest Days to Fly and Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets before you leave

The truth is that the airfares have never been as cheap as they are these days, but they have also never been this expensive either.

Cheapest Days To Fly

Unfortunately many people only see the second truth, if only they knew where and more importantly WHEN you look – they would be able to find so many great deals on the cheapest days to fly.

One of these factors is simply WHEN you book your flights.

People are often tricked into buying expensive tickets, thinking that there are no other options – while cheap holiday deals sit right around the corner.

To get those cheap deal there is one main rule to follow: Flexibility.

The truth is that airfares to the same destination can vary hundreds of dollars in price, all depending on when you travel.

It’s simply cheaper to fly on some days than others.

Unfortunately, the cheapest days to fly is when most people can’t do it. Lowering the prices is a way for the airlines to fill their seats on these days.

Holidays are especially expensive times for you to travel, as that’s the time when everyone wants to travel, but as soon as the holidays are over the prices drop again.

We all know that it’s far cheaper to travel on off seasons, but the prices also vary week by week and even day by day.

Cheapest Days To Fly

The cheapest days to fly are weekdays, preferably on odd times. According to studies, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the cheapest days of the week to travel.

For domestic travels Wednesday is especially cheap.

More people tend to fly on a Friday and Sunday (weekend trips) thinking these are the Cheapest Days To Fly, which therefore tend not to be the cheapest days to fly.

Everyone wants to come home on a Sunday, and to get anything out of their trip at all they fly on a Friday.

Most people going away for weekend trips go from Thursday or Friday to Sunday. Both those days are also not the cheapest days to fly.

If you want a weekend trip somewhere, try to travel Saturday to Monday or Tuesday. This can save you a considerable amount of money.

The cheapest time to travel is usually the first flight in the morning, around 6 am, and also in the evening (except for on weekends).

Not only traveling on certain days of the week control the prices, but also which days you book your trip.

Tuesday is the best day to look for a great bargain online.

If you look for a cheap flight in the end of the week (Thursday to Sunday) they’re usually more expensive, so keep your head cool and wait until next Tuesday before buying any tickets.

So there you go, now you know which are the cheapest days to fly, happy travels!

How To Get The Best Airfare Deals

At a first glance it might look as if buying flight tickets is like a big lottery;

A few lucky bastards get lucky and pay nothing for the seat next to yours, while you seem to always pay overprice.

How To Get The Best Airfare Deals
How To Get The Best Airfare Deals

‘Ah well, next time it might be me who is the lucky one’, you think.

These ‘lucky bastards’ aren’t lucky at all, they just know how to play their cards right.

Finding cheap air fare deals is almost an art, but quite easy to learn.

The best way to get a great price on airfare is to know where the deals are.

But it’s not all up to the airline companies, there are many things you can change that will make it a lot easier to find good cheap flight deals.

I found that by changing these things in my life I got many great travel deals – like the 100EURO 12hr flight from Malaysia to Amsterdam we got last year!

Here are some changes in your lifestyle which you can adapt to help you find the good deals:

How To Get The Best Airfare Deals Be Flexible

cheap flights
cheap flights

– If you can keep your head cold and wait until they release the last minute tickets, you can save a lot of money.

– If there aren’t any cheap flights to the destination you’ve planned to visit, be flexible and go somewhere else, or check if there are any cheap flights to a destination close-by and go from there.

For example if you want to go to Milan in Italy, there are usually cheaper deals to the airport in Bergamo, a city about an hour away from Milan.

– Sometimes you can actually save money on going to the neighbor country and take a bus from there.

If there aren’t any cheap deals going to Thailand, why not see if there are any to Malaysia and go from there?

– Be flexible to be able to change the dates of your trip, one day here or there can save you hundreds of dollars.

Choose the “wrong” time to travel

There are high and low seasons for pretty much every destination, and people in general tend to have their holidays at the same time.

Most people work Monday – Friday from 9-5 = Travel when these people can’t.

For example, a weekend trip is a lot cheaper if you go from Friday to Monday rather than Thursday to Sunday, not to even mention how cheap it is when going in the middle of the week!

For North America and Europe, the seasonal calendar is quite similar.

typical vacation spots
typical vacation spots

Summer is high season

This is usually the nicest and warmest part of the year and all the kids are out of school.

This means that between mid June to late August you will have to fight for a sun chair at the beach in typical vacation spots like Greece.

High season brings the highest prices on basically everything (air fares, room rates, taxi etc) But keep in mind that the high season isn’t always the best time to travel, it can get brutally hot in some places and just ruin the whole vacation.

Winter is low season

The exception of ski resorts as well as Christmas and new year when many places (particularly cities) are crowded.

This is the opposite from high season; Less crowded, lower prices, colder and also a bit unsteady weather.

Some places are completely closed during the low season, like the east coast of Malaysia shuts down completely during low season (rainy season).

Spring and fall are shoulder seasons

Meaning that they are between the high and low seasons.

This is when you can get some great deals and still get the weather you want, but with a slight risk taking.

If you go to Greece in the end of May beginning of June you can get some great deals and have the same (if not better) weather as in the high season.

This is often the most pleasant time to travel, I think.

Yeah, all the clubs might not be opened yet, and if you want to party big there might not be many people to party with, but it’s great for all those backpackers who want to stay away from the fanny-pack tourists and try to get the attractions to themselves.

  • Jan 7- March 31: Low Season
  • April 1 – June 14: Shoulder Season
  • June 15 – Aug 31: High Season
  • Sep 1 – Oct 31:  Shoulder Season
  • Nov 1 – Dec 14: Low Season
  • Dec 15 – Jan 6: High Season

by traveling in low- and shoulder seasons the chances are bigger that you’ll get the whole beach to yourself 😉

Choose the “wrong” destinations

Obviously, beach destinations are dead in winter, and ski-resorts empty in summertime.

These destinations are sometimes incredible to visit off-season as well.

For example, the ski-resorts might have great hiking or mountain biking in summertime, with a great view over the alps, and swimming, windsurfing in the lakes – i.e Austria.

Well in advance Or Last Minute

The airline companies will release a few tickets really cheap to see if they sell and can fill the plane, then if there is interest they raise the prices.

By being well in advance you can get some really cheap deals.

When flying with national airlines it’s nearly always cheaper the earlier you book.

Buying last minute tickets are another way of finding cheap deals.

However, last minute deals are never quite ‘last minute’.

In fact, if you wait for too long they most likely raise the price again as they know someone will always be willing to pay a higher price.

You can actually find last minute tickets more than two weeks before the trip, so start looking earlier.

Hope there are some great tips for you here, we will be expanding on this among heaps of other great travel tips in an up-coming ebook – stay tuned 😉

How do you find cheap flight deals?

What works for you?

Leave a comment below and share your secrets!

How To Find The Best Airline Deals

Best Airline Deals: Getting cheap airline tickets may seem just like one big lottery where you either get lucky or not, but there are many ways to beat the system – if you know how…

best airline deals
Best Airline Deals

For the airline companies this is far from a lottery – it’s all extremely well calculated down to the smallest details, and while the price of a ticket changing several times in the same day may seem random to you, the airlines know exactly what they’re doing.

It’s a constant battle trying to find a cheap airline ticket when the companies try their hardest to maximize revenue, but the more you understand how they work, the more you can make their system work for you.

Here are some things to consider when looking for cheap tickets, whether it’s flight, bus, train or cruise tickets – they all work practically the same way.

Advance Purchase

best airline dealsPurchasing your tickets well in advance will usually give you a cheaper deal, however during peak season (holidays) the lowest fares that you can usually find are ”blocked” or “blacked out”, no matter how far in advance you book.

For example, if you look for a flight in February for next Christmas, the lowest fares still won’t be there as the airlines know this time will be busy.

Also, booking too far much in advance in general can bring the prices up.

Usually the standard low fares can’t be found until about a month or two before your departure.

So the key here is to book well in advance, say 1-3 months ahead, not extremely early.

Last Minute Deals

When we talk about last minute flights, we don’t literally mean ‘last minute’.

If you look for a flight leaving the same day you want to travel, the ticket will be much more expensive than it was two weeks earlier.

It will be much harder trying to find sam day flight deals than looking a few days before.

same day flight dealsThe best time to look for last minute deals, and this goes for last minute cruises as well, is around two weeks in advance.

This is because the airlines know that someone wanting to go somewhere the same day they look for a flight, is usually happy to pay a higher price because he really needs to go, and therefor make the same day flight deals more expensive.

The last minute deals can be found around 2 weeks in advance. So by looking for a ticket one or two weeks before departure, you can get a few great deals.

The Price Breaks

There is a price break at 21, 14, 7 and 3 days before your flight date – this doesn’t mean that the flight 3 days before departure will be cheaper than two weeks ago, just cheaper than the day before, or even the next day.

Departure and Return Days

The day you choose to travel will make a big difference in the price you pay – the cheapest days to travel are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The Time Of Day You Travel

same day flight deals

If you travel at an inconvenient time of the day your ticket will be much cheaper.

The first flight in the morning (5 – 7 am) and late evening flights (from 10 pm) are always cheaper than the others.

Just make sure that there are buses going to the airport at that time of the day, as paying for a taxi might just balance the difference between two flights so that a more expensive one leaving earlier would have been cheaper.

Lay-Over Deal

When it comes to flights, buses and trains, the more stops on the way, the cheaper the ticket will be.

Direct flights will almost always be more expensive than one with a stop over for a few hours.

Slow buses and trains with more stops on the way will be much cheaper than express ones.

In the end it’s up to you how much of a hassle you want to make for yourself – if you choose the 10 hour bus rather than 5 hour bus – will you end up spending that ”saved” money on food for the long journey instead?

Tips for saving on Airfare

Seasoned travelers know that airfare is typically the most expensive component of any trip.

However, there are plenty of tips for saving on airfare. With a little persistence and some insider’s knowledge, anyone can start spending less on flying.

Tips for saving on airfare
Tips for saving on airfare

When it comes to tips for saving on airfare, perhaps the most important one is to be flexible.

This flexibility comes in the form of the dates you choose.

If you don’t have precise dates in mind, then you can choose to fly during whichever season offers the best savings.

Flexibility can also mean not being too choosy about your destination.

Airlines and other travel websites frequently offer special fares, you can also use Vueling discount code, to certain locations.

This way, you can choose an unexpected adventure instead of traveling to the same destination as in previous years.

When you book can also make a huge difference in how much you’ll pay.

Generally, the earlier you buy your tickets, the better the deal you’ll receive.

Airlines post their schedules about nine to 10 months in advance, so if you’re doing some long range planning, don’t put off booking a flight.

On the other hand, last minute travel can also save you a bundle.

About one to two weeks before departure, airlines look at how many seats are available on a given flight.

If there are too many, they may start offering big time discounts.

Travelers who are flexible enough to drop everything and go at a moment’s notice sometimes get the most affordable deals of all.

Tips for saving on Airfare at home
Tips for saving on Airfare at home

One of the best of these tips for saving on airfare is to sign up for alerts from your favorite airlines or the airfare search engines of your choice.

These alerts provide you with up to date information on price fluctuations for the itinerary of your choice.

Alerts may be sent to your email inbox or as a text message to your phone.

Either way, you’ll be among the first to know when prices change.Loyalty programs can be a traveler’s best friend.

Best Last Minute Holidays
Best Last Minute Holidays

If you have a favorite airline that you tend to choose time and again, be sure to sign up for their frequent flyer program.

Log enough miles, and you’ll be set up to get free and reduced airfare.

Even better, apply for the airline’s credit card to get even more reward points that can translate into cheaper tickets.

You may also find savings by browsing alternative airports at your destination.

For instance, the Los Angeles area has not only LAX to choose from, but also airports at Orange County and Long Beach.

It’s possible to save serious money by choosing a smaller airport.

Use these tips for saving on airfare the next time you’re traveling on a budget.

Best Last Minute Holidays

With the cold weather carrying on for much longer than expected in countries around the world this year, particularly in the UK, holidaymakers have been booking holidays at last minute to grab some sun while their friends and family suffer through the snow back home.

If this is something you’re considering too, you’ll probably want to know some of the best places to grab a late holiday to this year.

For many late holiday deals it’s a good idea to have a few places in mind already when you start looking, but make sure that you’re flexible too, because the places you’ve thought of may not be available.

Ensure that you are flexible with dates too, and are able to take time off with only a few weeks’ notice.

Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt is one of the most popular resorts to choose at last minute.

You are practically guaranteed excellent weather in this top resort which has an amazing culture and plenty of history.

Last minute holidays are not just about sun, sea and sand remember!

The Canary Islands are another destination of choice when looking for somewhere to visit at last minute when the weather isn’t so great at home.

There is a huge range of choice with Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria being some of the favorites.

Again, the weather in these destinations is near perfect for sun seekers, and the islands also offer a variety of beautiful beaches and water sports.

Florida is a surprising destination at last minute for many, mainly because people think of it as being very far away and therefore expensive. But there are generally a lot of last minute holiday deals going for it around 6 to 10 weeks before departure.

It is the perfect destination if you have kids because they’ll enjoy all the different theme parks as well as traveling to a country that they may never have seen before.

And don’t forget the fact that they speak the same language, so there’s no need to spend the little time you have left before your holiday brushing up on the basics of a new language.

Many holiday companies will offer up to half off on these deals, and Turkey is one of the major ones that has its prices slashed as the time until departure nears.

Turkey is a destination that has risen in popularity hugely lately, meaning there are plenty of activities to keep tourists busy alongside its unique character being set on the border of Europe and Asia.

(photo credit: 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 13)