Take a look at the following checklist of packing essentials.
We hope it will come in handy to you while planning for your next trip.
When you leave for a trip, you need to keep your ID and money always close.
It’s uncomfortable to carry such essentials in a large bag.
Additionally, while searching for everything in your luggage you risk to lose something important.
In order to avoid this, you’d better put your personal ID, driver’s license, money, credit cards, and other essentials into a crossbody purse.
It’s very comfortable, lightweight, and keeps all your essentials always handy during your vacation.
Global SIM Card
No matter what destination you are heading, it’s essential to never lose connection with your family, friends, colleagues, etc. Roaming charges are too expensive.
Your balance can run low all of a sudden and leave you helpless in a foreign country.
Using free WiFi hotspots in the airport or hotels can be insecure and set your device at the risk of being hacked.
In order to keep your data protected and never go offline on a trip, it’s recommended to take care of connectivity in advance and install a Global SIM card in your smartphone or tablet.
With its help, you’ll be provided with high-speed 4G connectivity in 120+ countries worldwide, delivered by 200+ local carriers.
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If you do not travel alone and need to share Internet access with your family and friends, then you need to carry a portable WiFi hotspot with you.
With its help, you can easily create a secure WiFi network of your own and connect up to 16 devices to it.
A portable WiFi hotspot delivers fully protected connectivity without any unexpected roaming charges or hidden fees.
It provides you with global coverage in 110 most traveled countries, delivering flexible refill and auto-refill options.
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Our Round The World Packing List – There comes a time when you need to take a look at your current travel gear, throw away the stuff you don’t need or use anymore, and swap it for something new and fresh.
Now that we are on our way to travel around South East Asia again (we will be in THAILAND) we feel it’s a good time to remix our gear list and upgrade everything.
We have spent the last year traveling around Europe – so now it’s time to ditch the warm jackets, jeans and thick shirts.
Also from now on we’re traveling a little differently:
We will be taking with us more high-tech gear like the Canon 550D DSLR Camera, a Tripod, Wireless Microphones and a Macbook Pro laptop.
All to be used for our up-coming online weekly Travel (TV) Show, as we travel around exploring Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia for the next 4 months.
We will still be using 40 Liter backpacks, although we threw out the old ones and got ourselves two matching new backpacks.
Checkout our Round The World Travel Guide and you can buy it here
Sofia’s Packing List
– 2 t-shirts – 3 Sleeveless tops – 2 Bikinis and 3 Bras – 2 Pairs of socks – 3 Pairs of panties – 1 Button up shirt – 1 Dress – 1 Pair of leggings – 1 Skirt – 1 Pair of shorts – 1 Pair of Loose Workout Pants – 1 PolyPro top
– 13.3″ Macbook Pro with case – Mono Tripod – 11.6″ Asus Eee Pc laptop – Zoom H2 Microphone – 2 Audio-Technica Omnidirectional Lavalier Mics – iPod Shuffle – iPod Touch – 2000GB External Memory – Canon D-SLR 550D – Kodak Zi8 Video Camera – Travel Power Adaptor
Personally I think it seems like a lot of stuff once you add it all up, but believe it or not, it all fits into our 40 liter carry-on backpacks, and that’s all we ask for.
Hope this gear list is helpful for you guys as well, remember you don’t need all that extra stuff – keep it simple, keep it light and it will make life so much easier!
Extra Stuff I Can’t Travel Without
For me, one of the toughest things when backpacking around the world is having to resist the temptation of buying every pretty and new thing I see.
There have been so many things I have wanted to buy, but since I don’t have much space for it in my 40L backpack and honestly the PAIN from having to carry it around outweighs the PLEASURE.
I simply promise that I will return one day and buy it.
When you settle down for a while, you really get used to having an abundance of choice to wear ANY clothes, and as much make up and jewelry as you want.
But when out traveling you are really forced to learn how to live with only a few important things.
I’ve done pretty well I think, but there are still a few things that I simply won’t travel without:
I always, ALWAYS have a few of these on my wrist, because even if I don’t need one now, I know that at some point during the day it will come in handy.
The worst thing I know is having your hair sticking to your sweaty back…. yuck!
Hair ties are also useful for so many other things, it’s amazing how many things you can tie together to save space and when organizing stuff.
I know I don’t need them, but wearing long dangling colorful earrings is my way of making myself feel extra pretty on those ‘bad’ days.
Also they seem to just make any boring old travel outfit that much nicer!
Using concealer is pretty much the only make up I wear or take when traveling.
It is great to touch up a few random spots etc.
Gift From Home
For me this is about having that little bit of certainty.
I like having something from home, a letter from a close friend, a special photo, or something I bring with me which I can look at and feel that warmth and safety, remember that there is always a place I can go back to where people miss me, and feels like home.
Good Face Wash Product
Yes, another face product.
But for me the skin is really important, and when traveling you often travel under pressure, stress and in so many different climates.
All of this can cause bad skin, so using a good face wash/soap is a must for me.
It’s better to prevent than treat.
Tester Sized Perfume
I don’t use perfume very often when traveling, but I like to have it there in case.
Have you ever sniffed that ugly smell only to realize it’s your own shirt that smells?
That’s what this is for – a quick spray and the shirt is like new again…! 😉
This round the world gear list will see you through for months.
Depending on the climate, you can find in-season clothing and gear at secondhand shops once at your destination.
Wireless earbuds and/or small speakers can be a necessity for lounging around on the ship.
Additionally, a wireless keyboard would be necessary if you hope to write anything but do not want to bring your computer.
A Bluetooth headset may be helpful if you plan on being on the phone a lot.
The one thing to remember with all of these: buy water resistant if possible.
We can get so caught up in purchasing and packing all of the cool, new gadgets that may come in handy that we forget about some basic, simple necessities.
If you are planning to bring multiple items which need to be plugged in– which you probably are– a power strip can be absolutely critical for a successful cruise.
Even though the cabins rarely provide enough outlets, some cruise lines do not allow power strips; in this case, a small two- or three- outlet strip with USB outlets should do the trick.
Going back to the idea of protection, at least one or two waterproof pouches will be definite necessities aboard a cruise ship.
In addition to protection for any digital gear you may bring along, these can also be useful for your cash, passport, wallet and other important items.
Some come with lanyards, giving them the additional benefit of being easy carrying cases.
Although they can be annoying in the real world, a selfie stick can be an invaluable tool on a cruise.
You certainly want to take plenty of photos of yourself with your significant other and/or children enjoying the fun and the sun, so bring one of these to avoid repeatedly asking strangers for help.
Essential Gear For Your Adventure Ski Holiday
As many of you probably know we are currently in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany enjoying a ski season.
Now that spring is approaching, we’ve had some amazing days of sunny warm weather lately, but this also affects the snow and makes it more dangerous if you go skiing off-piste.
Many people who go for ski holidays think it sounds cool to ski off-piste, not realizing the precautions they have to take, and end up getting trapped in avalanches.
If you’ve planned to do some off-piste skiing this spring, take a look at this gear guide to make sure you have everything you need for your trip to the mountains.
We’re going to assume that you’ve already figured out that you need a ski jacket and pants, gloves and base layers, and consider some of the less obvious items that can come in handy while you’re away.
And don’t forget, as the season draws on a lot of the gear you need will be available at a discount, so look out for a good ski sale before you buy.
This is an awesome tool which lets you charge your phone, ipod or other 5V device without having to find a plug socket.
Which can be tricky on a mountain.
The latest version is solar charged, so you can top it up when you stop for a rest.
This will make your fellow skiers or boarders really jealous.
A battery heated insole for your boots – not recommended for late season sun, but if you’re on the mountain in early January they’re worth their weight in gold.
Toko Hot Wax
Ideally, your board or skis need to be serviced after every trip away.
So rather than paying for someone else to do it, buy some Toko hot wax and a file and do it yourself.
It’s easy (as long as you haven’t been hitting too many stones) and has the added advantage of letting you give your kit a quick once over half way through the trip.
This is one for the snowboarders; a pocket tool lets you adjust your bindings, or more importantly tighten them up if they get loose.
This can happen with surprising ease if your set up is new.
And if you’re set up for freestyle and hit a huge downhill, then you can change the angle of dangle in a couple of minutes.
Two Way Radios
A phone signal can be hard to find in more remote parts of the mountain, so a couple of radios are the ideal solution.
There are a lot on the market, so take your time and read some reviews before you decide which set to buy.
A lot of good ski and board jackets have an avalanche transmitter built in these days, but if your friends haven’t got a transceiver they won’t find you.
Essential for deep off piste conditions high up the mountain.
Avalanche Probe is essentially a lightweight stick that collapses to fit in your pack.
It has one invaluable purpose – finding someone when they’re buried, and can literally make the difference if one of your party gets caught under the snow.
Does what it says on the tin, and once you’ve used the transceiver and probe to locate the buried person, it will help you get them out a lot faster.
The fact that it can also be used to build small kickers is an added bonus.
If you’ve got the transceiver, probe and shovel in your pack, then statistics say it should take no more than 16 minutes to find the avalanche victim.
Without them, it will take over an hour – so choose your mountain equipment carefully.
What gear would you recommend bringing on a ski trip?
How to Pack
Humans used to be a nomadic race, going from one place to another in search of better food and water.
There are still some communities in the world, which retain their nomadic beginnings.
We can just imagine the very first humans, who inexplicably bring up an image of the Flintstones, deciding to take their first journey.
That is when they would have come face to face with the most difficult of things:
How to pack correctly?
Like everything with traveling, it is best to prepare for your holidays in advance.
We can understand the urge to take along everything, but unless you live in a big RV Bus, it is quite impossible.
If you do live in a huge RV, even then taking everything along on your trip to overseas would be impossible.
So, now having established the need for packing, let us finally move towards the methods the can be employed.
PACK SMART NOT HEAVY
Just as you should work smart and not work harder, so is the case with packing. P
acking smart is only possible if you have a proper system in place.
You can take the following steps to ensure that you pack smart for your next trip.
SELECTING THE RIGHT BAG
You start your packing by selecting the right bag.
If you are packing for a hiking trip then a bag form North Face would be more appropriate than your regular duffel bag.
On the other hand, an overseas trip would warrant an upright trolley suitcase, which is easier to carry around.
Being organized is the key to packing everything you need for the trip.
We suggest that you should start by making a checklist of all the things that you will need.
If you are traveling overseas, then it would be better to have all the things in separate sections.
The documents need to be present in a very accessible place, so that they can be taken out at a moment’s notice.
On the other hand, if you are packing for a stay at a hotel, there is no need to pack every little accessory.
PERSONAL COMFORT IS IMPORTANT
Your handbag should ideally contain things which you need to keep yourself comfortable during the actual travel.
If you’re traveling by air then this could include your neck pillow, a sleeping mask, your favorite pair of headphones, etc.
It should also have your travel documents, just in case you need to show them.
Perhaps, it would be better to make the checklist before you start anything else.
Start with making a list of all the things that you may need on the trip.
This should include your clothing, shoes, laptop, toiletries, etc.
After you have made this first draft, it is highly advisable to revise it removing anything which has been included purely because you are attached to it.
The main thing to understand here is that when packing, space is at a premium.
For example, you don’t really need those three pair of shoes for just a weekend.
THE ACTUAL PACKING
Packing a suitcase properly is an art.
However it can only be done after you decided what you’re going to carry with you.
So, traditionally this step would come after you have made the checklist and revised it to leave out any unnecessary things.
To pack efficiently, please use the following tips.
Tips for packing
When packing a suitcase, especially a vertical one, it is better to put the heavier things at the bottom.
This will prevent it from twisting and falling at every turn that you make with it.
Pack all your toiletries in a small plastic bag and make sure that even if something untoward happens, the bag won’t leak and ruin all your beautiful clothes.
If you’re going to carry jackets then it would pay off to buy reusable compressor bags.
They can save up to 75% of the space originally taken by outerwear apparel.
For your regular clothes, the best way to pack them is to use the time-tested roll method.
To do this, simply fold the items using the regular method and then roll them into a tight bundle.
Contrary to popular perception, it will actually help in reducing the number of wrinkles on your clothes.
Also, using this, items can be stacked one over the other without taking much space.
It is highly un-advisable to pack any sharp objects for an airplane ride.
Just go over the list of common items which are not allowed, to be sure that you do not have to deal with the hassle of parting with your favorite knife.
More packing tips
It would be better to carry any valuables on your person rather than in the luggage.
You never know what is going to happen to it and the insurance will not cover the cost in case your items are misplaced.
Using wheeled upright bags can save you a lot of trouble, especially if you are traveling alone.
Sometimes, it is better to skip common accessories like shampoos and other toiletries which can be easily bought for nominal amounts from the place you are traveling to.
This is it. These are our tips for packing smart instead of having to lug around all the heavy stuff.
How to Travel with a Laptop and Keep It Working
Having a laptop while traveling can be such a great asset – you can connect with your friends, upload pictures, save money by booking flights and hostels online etc.
But when traveling around the world, by nature you are forced to put your laptop through so many challenges that it can be really hard to keep it in a good working condition, especially if you don’t know the best ways to look after it.
On my first big trip, I took a small laptop which broke down halfway through and I was forced to purchase a new one – I had no idea how much pressure I put on my little 8 inch laptop, and that cost me a big portion of my travel budget.
Here are some lessons I learned
Use a good protective laptop case:
This is probably the most important issue when traveling.
You move around a lot, and it will get bumped into things no matter how hard you try to avoid it.
If you have it in a big backpack/suitcase it can get hit when someone throws your luggage in the bag storage on the bus, or handles it badly.
Never leave your laptop in a cold environment
If you do, and then bring it into a warm environment, condensation on the circuitry will build up and cause the laptop to short itself out.
Never keep your paperwork between the screen and keypad
Paper is pretty sharp and will eventually cut into the screen or scratch it.
Use good virus software
When traveling you never know how safe the internet connection you’re using is, so always make sure to keep your laptop safe with a good firewall.
And make sure you update it and clean your data every few weeks.
Avoid placing your laptop on soft surfaces
This will block the air vents and overheat your system.
Doing this too often isn’t good for the laptop.
Don’t pick the laptop up by the screen
I did this way too many times, and eventually the screen cracked…
I followed none of this advice, and as you can imagine every single consequence mentioned – happened…
One Last Tip
Even if you follow these rules there is still a risk that your computer will break.
If this happens, you can lose everything on it.
Make sure that you have saved your photos (and other important documents) somewhere else too, like on a USB memory or an external hard drive.
If you have an iPod with a lot of memory which you don’t use, you can even save them there.
Since both laptops and hard drives run high risks of breaking, I recommend you to store your photos online as well.
This way you have at least three places for your photos.
I’ve learned this from past experiences.
Our hard drive was full, and we hadn’t uploaded our photos from parts of our trip online.
Of course the laptop broke and the photos were gone.
Learn about studying a language while traveling and tips for e-learning success.
How to plan a round-the-world trip?
Tips for Smart Travelers
Whether you’re traveling for work or play, or whether you’re a newbie traveler or a seasoned pro, everyone could use a few travel tips.
Sometimes we pack too much.
Other times we don’t pack correctly for the weather.
Maybe you forgot your phone charger or didn’t pack enough reading material for times off-line.
Stream content from your phone and watch it on the TV in the hotel room.
You can watch your favorite shows or movies without paying the high rate that most hotels would charge.
Just make sure to pack an HDMI cord that attaches to both your phone and a regular HDMI port, which most TVs have.
If you have an unlocked phone, pick up a SIM card at your international destination.
It’ll be much more cost effective than paying for roaming charges on your regular account.
You can use the data to call home, upload photos to Instagram, check Google Maps, and whatever else you would normally use your phone for.
For a few weeks before your trip, chat with travel vendors on social media.
When you connect with hotels, tour operators and restaurant owners, you may be able to snag some perks before you even leave home.
You’ll also learn more about traveling to Rome or whatever destination you have your heart set on.
A lot of vendors are happy to offer a freebie because it means you may help spread the word on social media.
Some diet experts suggest fasting for 16 hours before getting to your destination.
Then, you should eat as soon as you arrive, or as soon as possible after arrival.
This will help reset your circadian rhythms so you can get on track with the local time at your destination.
Since you won’t be expending any energy during the flight, you may be just fine without eating.
You should, however, drink plenty of water.
Since the air in an airplane can dry out your skin, consider applying a hydrating overnight mask and wear it during your flight.
You can find masks that are clear so you don’t have to be self-conscious about the mask.
Never pack the following items in your suitcase: jewelry, ID cards, credit cards, cash, travel documents or keys.
These items can be stolen or lost, which will leave you practically stranded when your flight lands.
Always keep these items in your carry-on bag.
As soon as you get to your hotel, unpack your bags.
Ten minutes now will save you loads of time later, when you’d otherwise be digging through your belongings to find your mascara, earrings or socks.
After a long flight, your eyes may look extra puffy.
Roll on an eye gel, which will work quicker than a cream gel, and put in eye drops to reduce redness.
If you wear contacts, take them out during the flight and wear your glasses instead.
If you fall asleep, you won’t wake up to dry, uncomfortable eyes.
Don’t let your trip be a drag on your diet, budget or mood.
By planning in advance, you can have a seriously memorable trip, whether you are traveling for pleasure or for work.
Use these tips for smart travelers, and you’ll find traveling easier and more relaxing.
Easily Forgotten Travel Preparations
Easily Forgotten Travel Preparations – With any trip, there comes a number of things that need to be sorted and organized before you go away.
But if you’re travelling abroad for an extended period of time, there are some really important things that you must not forget to sort before jetting off on your travels – and yet it’s these obvious little details we so often forget to do!
Here, to help any of you venturing off to new and exotic locations, is a checklist of things not to forget when you’re preparing to leave.
Confirm your passport expiration Date
I actually made this mistake myself when I was 15 and was going to travel abroad without my parents for the first time.
Two days before the bus left to Bosnia I realized my passport had expired – not a fun situation to be in!
There are last-minute solutions like an Expedited Passport but they are expensive and are only valid for a short period of time.
Make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your planned return date.
Some airlines and immigration controls require this and it will also give you room to extend your stay should you wish.
Get your visas sorted well in advance
Forgetting to sort out a visa is another can’t-do mistake that many of us make.
Visa application processes can take up to several months to be approved and granted so make sure you research well in advance whether you need a visa and if so, which visa you should apply for.
Then apply accordingly as soon as possible.
For more information on visa requirements, check with the country’s embassy or have a look on visa application service websites link this one here.
Refill your prescriptions
This is yet another mistake I’ve made, realizing that a prescription I had was running out in the middle of my trip.
Many prescriptions can be found world-wide but it’s such a hassle and time-consuming to find the right place to go and book an appointment when you should be out enjoying yourself.
Clean the fridge and empty the garbage
The last thing you want is to return to a stinky home with angry neighbors.
It’s always best to turn the fridge off completely when you’re away, so clean it out!
Taking a big trip abroad without getting travel insurance really isn’t worth the risk.
You never know what’s going to happen when you’re away in an unfamiliar country.
You certainly don’t want to find yourself paying for medical bills abroad should you fall ill, replacing valuables if they are lost or stolen, or paying for legal fees incurred by someone suing your for injuring them or damaging their property.
Taking out insurance will save from having to pay such unanticipated and excessive expenses.
Check here for more information on travel insurance cover.
Best Apps For Travelers To Europe – In a world practically ruled by technology, it’s only right that we utilize it as much as possible.
Gone are the days of battling with oversize tourist maps or jumping on a train and hoping we get off at the right stop while traveling to Europe.
Best Apps For Travelers To Europe
There’s not even a need to fill in a paper e111 card renewal anymore, with the internet making it easier than ever to apply.
There are countless apps available on Android and iPhone that can make our travels easier than ever, and we’re here to introduce you to some of the biggest and best to make your holiday just that little more stress-free.
While most of the apps on our list can be used while you are travelling, FlyEurope is ideal for before you even book your holiday.
In fact, this app will search airlines and compare the prices to find you the best and most reasonably priced flights for you!
You can save time, money and patience by using this app, and trust us – all three of those are valuable to keep!
Fly to any of the major European destinations with the cheapest flights and if you have a little more flexibility to go with it?
You never know just how little you could spend on your air fare!
For those of us who are seasoned travelers or have been abroad at least once and experienced the horror of not having a hire car, you’ll already know how difficult it can be to understand public transport when you’re travelling.
Luckily, GoEuro is here to make catching a bus, train or flight so much easier!
With easy booking on over 450 travel companies and the best prices, traveling your destination doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.
You have all the times, fares and booking you need, right from one little app on your phone!
The foodies among you – or, you know, anyone that needs to eat! – will love TheFork.
This app helps you find, book and gather special offers for a whole array of different restaurants in Europe.
This app is completely free and simple to use, and you could even get up to 50% off of your meal!
Look for the right deals on the food that you love using this app and not only will you satisfy your stomach, but your bank account too – after all, saving a little extra cash on food gives you more spending money for those cheesy souvenirs!
One Fine Stay
OneFineStay is an app for those of you who like the finer things in life.
If you’re looking for a unique way of staying in the countries you love, this app will help you find the ideal luxury accommodation (usually an apartment or home!) and will even help you settle in.
You can browse their selection of homes, check the booked dates, set the address to make it easier to get back there while you’re exploring, and you’ll even have access to plenty of other information like location restaurants and sights to see!
Trip Lingo – Apps for Travelers
TripLingo is everything you could want in an apps for travelers.
As the name suggests, it can help you out with the ‘lingo’ of the country you’re visiting with the voice translator feature, and there’s a phrasebook too for those need-to-know features – but the uses don’t stop there!
There’s a WiFi dial to let you make international calls when connected to WiFi, a tip calculator so you don’t have the awkward ‘too much or too little’ fiasco, and there’s plenty of culture notes, learning tools, safety advice and so much more to make getting around your destination easier than ever!
TripLingo really does have a bit of everything!
Oh, and did we mention it was free?
Alternative Digital Substitutes To Heavy Travel Guide Books
For us, as for many other travelers, taking a travel guide book with us on trips is a thing of the past.
We haven’t traveled with a proper guide book for years, the first reason is that they’re often really heavy, bulky and take up a lot of space in your bag.
Secondly, guide books give you so much information about each place, but for us MOST of that really isn’t needed.
I don’t want to know EVERYTHING about a place I’m visiting before I’ve even arrived – doesn’t that take away from the excitement?
Where is the fun in knowing everything before even arriving?!
Guidebooks are great tools to keep yourself updated about the places you’re visiting, and of course you want to know a little bit about the places and what attractions and sites you’ll find.
To get all that, you still don’t really need a proper paperback guide book.
There are so many alternatives to these that will both save you money and back pain.
Here are a few ways to be able to travel without the guide book but still keep yourself updated with the right info:
Downloadable eBook Guides
These days traveling with a laptop is pretty much common place, and although it might seem like it adds on a lot more weight than a guide book does, you know you can store 500 of them and still keep the same weight (among all those other things you would use a laptop for).
When traveling, you won’t always have access to the internet to browse online, so guides you can download to your desktop and read whenever you want, are great.
You can get a whole guide for only a few bucks, and even the bigger guide book companies are starting to sell their guides in PDF format.
The Hostel and Local Tourist Center
Alternative Digital Substitutes To Heavy Travel Guide Books
Normally the owners at a hostel know everything there is to know about the city for a tourist, and can tell you what there is to see around the place, all from good eats to temples to clubs.
You can also take a visit to the information office, where they’ll be able to help you with all planning and information you need to know about the city – usually you’ll also get a free map which is very useful 😉
I don’t actually have a smartphone myself, but I have an iPod Touch and that works great.
What’s great about these apps is that you can bring them with you onto the street, and many of them don’t even need an internet connection to work.
Just search for guides or the places you’ll be going and see what you can find.
Many country tourism authorities have created great free apps for cities and places, this is becoming more and more common place.
Just a click away, the internet is probably the easiest way to find out what you need about the city you’re visiting.
Websites like Travel fish are great for finding things to do, restaurants and places to stay – and finding out the truth about them by people who have actually been there.
There are also tons of travel blogs that have heaps of great guides and information about places.
Random Walks – Find Out Yourself
Some days, it’s better to just take a look yourself on what there is to do and see around you.
Take a walk down the street and you’ll most likely end up somewhere you haven’t been before, and see something new that you haven’t seen before, whether it’s a market, some shops, a river or a temple.
Sometimes the best attractions aren’t those mentioned in the guide books, but those experienced by a random moment on a random street in a random city – somewhere around the world.
How do you get around new cities?
If you have any tips on places to get some good guides and information, we’d love to hear about it!
What Lonely Planet Guide Books And The Bible Have In Common
I’m not a religious person, in fact, I quit the automatic-at-birth church membership they sign you up for in Sweden last year.
However, I’ve always enjoyed visiting churches, I feel that there is something special about them, something very comforting.
I feel safe and calm when I’m sitting in a church.
For me it is the same as with guide books – they’re comforting and it makes me feel slightly safer with one in my hand, but I never really read them.
It’s not the guidebooks themselves that are the problem for me, but the way some people read them – as if they were the bible.
Now I kind of like the bible as well, it shares some really amazing stuff for living a happy life, but just as with the Lonely Planet guides (and other guides), many people misread and/or read too far into it.
What The Bible and Lonely Planet Have in Common – both are guide books
They’re there to share with you some guidelines to help you on your way, not for you to follow strictly from point A to point B.
We see people all around the world, sitting in cafes, walking down the street with their heads stuck so deep inside a Lonely Planet guide book, that they seem to forget to simply just look around at where they are and enjoy.
Guide books are there to give you hints, but it’s your task to make up your own way of doing it – there are no ‘must do’s’, or ‘must-see’s’.
I especially remember this one man who counted with his fingers all the things he had managed to tick off the ‘must do in New-Zealand-list’ in less than 3 weeks:
“I did the dolphins, I’ve done the bungy jumping, I did the skydiving, I saw the glow worms, I saw the wales, I went to the Glacier etc etc…”
He never once mentioned HIS personal experience, and when I asked him he didn’t really have anything to say about it – for him it was all about the list.
Now just to make things clear, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with having bucket lists, in fact I love them!
If it’s a list of things you really want to do, rather than a list of things you feel that you must do because everyone says so, then go and enjoy yourself while ticking off your personal bucket list.
But if you’re running around stressing to see everything, I don’t think you’ll get the most out of your stay, even if you saw more things than me.
What’s the point of living a life if it’s already decided by somebody else how you should live it?
Same goes with guide books and travel
What’s the point of exploring if someone else halve already told you all about it and what to expect?
What adventure is worth doing when you already know what’s going to happen?
It’s like opening a Christmas present you knew you would get.
It’s still fun and nice, but not very exciting…
What I love about online travel guides and guides written by fellow bloggers is that they’re brief, straight to the point and only write about the most necessary information.
They give some examples of things to do, places to eat and stay, but only enough for you to go and explore a little yourself…
So, let yourself go, trust and have a little faith in YOURSELF, not in the book – who knows maybe you will have fun!
I love the way Paulo Coelho talks about this in his book ‘Warrior of the Light’:
”One can often ruin a good pilgrimage by reading all the leaflets, books, guidelines on the internet, friends’ comments, and arrive at the place knowing everything one ought to be discovering for oneself, not allowing room for the most important element of any journey – the unexpected.”
Things I Learned From Happiest People In The World
You learn a lot when you go traveling, especially from the people you meet along the way.
Out of all the places I’ve been, there is no place where I’ve learned so much about human beings as when we were in Vanuatu.
Despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, these people have been rated the happiest in the world.
You shouldn’t believe everything people say about rankings, so we went there to check the out and have to admit that these people really do have something that most of Western society seems to have lost.
The way they lived reminded me of many things I already knew but so rarely actually saw, or did in real life, so for that I am so very grateful.
Travel Photo – Vanuatu Wall Of Graffiti
We came across this wall in the middle of nowhere, while explore an island in Vanuatu – I think it really sums up the mindset of the Vanuatu People.
Happiest People In The World Vanuatu
Things I Learned Trust
These people will trust anyone and everyone for no apparent reason.
For example when we were going to buy some bananas from a market lady, she was lying under the table on a mattress fast asleep.
We had to wake her up, show her that we wanted to buy the bananas, but even then she just waved her hands towards the table and told us to put the money somewhere on her table, and fell back to sleep.
That kind of thing would never happen in a Western country, where the focus seems to be more on let’s make more money and trust nobody until they prove it.
Smiling And Saying Hi To Everyone All The Time
My mouth was literally aching after spending a few days in Vanuatu.
When you walked down the street at night, everyone would walk past saying ‘Goodnight, Sweet Dreams!’
This wasn’t just because we were tourist either, they also acted the same to each other.
They were polite and friendly without wanting something back.
Here in Europe, people often are only polite if they get something out of it, and they get very confused and at first a little suspicious if you’re friendly and talkative to them for no ‘reason’.
There it was more strange if you DIDN’T talk to the person sitting next to you in the bus van.
Take The Time To Enjoy Moments
In the Western society I often feel like people judge you if you’re not always doing something, or always busy.
The first thing people always ask me is what I’ve done lately and what my plans are for the future.
The vibe in Vanuatu was so chill.
It really felt like time stood still, and you could find people just sitting under palm trees, laughing or sleeping by their food stalls in the middle of the day – enjoying life.
Take Your Time To Help A Stranger
Taking the time to help a stranger is something that is so valued there, and I’ve never seen people putting in such a big effort to help you without asking for something back in return (like some tip).
In many other places you will find people are simply way too busy with their own lives to stop and care for someone else’s.
Being Curious Of You As A Person
Coming from Sweden, we ‘need’ a very large ‘personal space bubble’.
Often we feel uncomfortable even when someone sits in the seat next to us on a bus.
Unless the bus is full, you will rarely see two strangers sitting next to each other when there are other free seats.
I did it once to test, and the person next to me was very uncomfortable, and moved away.
Here in Vanuatu people sit right down in the seat right next to you in an empty bus, look at you with a big smile of their faces and starts a conversation right away.
They are honestly curious about you, and really care to get to know you as a human being.
Good quality Ziploc bags are great for keeping your toiletries from spilling all over your bag and keeping small items separately.
Always carry only the most essential toiletry items in your carry on.
The airlines have strict policies when it comes to liquids and you will be able to buy most of your requirements on arrival.
A small tube of toothpaste (under 100 ml), some face wash (50 ml) and a disposable toothbrush also come in handy.
Pack a comb instead of a hairbrush.
Other essentials include sanitizing hand wipes, a small medical kit containing painkillers, plasters and burn medication, and a compact sewing kit.
You’ll be surprised how much space you save by following our carry on checklist.
Now all you have to worry about is how to beat the jet lag.
Your Travel Checklist: What to do Before You Leave
When preparing yourself for a forthcoming holiday, there are a number of things to think about in the weeks leading up to you leaving.
In order to assist you with your preparations whilst also ensuring you don’t miss anything important ahead of your departure, read on for a checklist that you can follow which starts three weeks before you go.
Space Saving Packing Methods
Your Travel Checklist
3 Weeks Ahead of Traveling
Do some research to discover whether or not you or anyone you are travelling with requires a visa to enter the country you are going to as you will encounter problems if the relevant visa is not in place when you arrive.
Arrange how you are getting to and from the airport from your house; calling a local taxi firm with your flight details or discussing the time you need to be picked up with a friend or family member if they have offered to take and pick you up, or checking the time table for local transport.
If you are travelling within Europe, make sure everyone on the holiday has a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) and that the details on each are correct.
Ensure you have the necessary travel insurance in place to ensure you are fully protected whilst on your holiday.
2 Weeks Ahead of Traveling
If you don’t have a credit card that offers free transactions from ATM machines abroad (which we highly recommend you arrange for next time you travel), it’s best to exchange some money before you leave.
Head to the shops and stock up on the holiday clothing appropriate to your holiday location; for instance, shorts and t-shirts for somewhere hot or thick jumpers and coats for a skiing break!
Whilst you are shopping around, find a bookshop and pick up a guide for your holiday destination so you can read up on the area before you travel and have a good idea of some of the things you’d like to do before you arrive.
1 Week Ahead of Traveling
With just seven days to go before you depart, this is the time at which you should ensure you have received all of the necessary travel documentation from your travel agent or airline, checking that the details are correct for each member of the travelling party.
Check how much luggage you are allowed to take with the airline you are flying.
If your bags are too heavy when you check-in, you could find that you face an extra charge for your bag to be loaded onto the plane, so check beforehand to avoid any unwanted surprises.
Once you know the weight allowance, create a list of the items you wish to pack as this will make the packing process far less time consuming and will help to keep track of exactly what you are taking with you.
3 Days Ahead of Traveling
With just three days before you head off on your holiday, now is the time to use your packing checklist and add everything you want to take with you to your suitcase.
It is always advisable to check the weight of your suitcase once packed too, ensuring the weight doesn’t exceed your allowance.
Arrange with a friend or family member to regularly check on your property whilst you are away; giving them a spare key and the details of where you are staying whilst on holiday so they can get in touch in the event of an emergency.
1 Day Ahead of Traveling
The day before you travel is often the best time to pack your hand luggage, ensuring anything you want with you on the plane is in there along with your passports, tickets, insurance details and hotel information so you have the important documents with you at all times.
Go online and check on the airline or airport website that your flight times haven’t been changed.
If you are travelling to the airport by taxi, call the company to confirm the time they will be picking you up the following day and how much it will cost.
On the Day you Travel
Check online again that there haven’t been any alterations to your flight
Make sure all the important documents have been packed in your hand luggage
Ensure all windows and doors are locked before you leave and that any electrical appliances have been turned off and unplugged.
After following this checklist, starting three weeks before you leave, you should have everything in order so all that will be left is to have a fantastic holiday wherever you are travelling to!
Summer Holiday Checklist the world is your oyster
With spring in full bloom, it’s time to look ahead to the warmest months of the year.
Ironically enough, these are the months where most of us choose to escape the United Kingdom for even warmer climes.
From the French Riviera to the Red Sea the world is your oyster.
But, be sure that you don’t forget your preparation!
Use this list as your checklist.
Summer Holiday Checklist
The most obvious of them all but they have to be kept up-to-date.
Overlooked more than you think, an out of date passport can be a nightmare – even if you notice it before departure day!
A one week or one day rush can set you back £130!
Being British we are fortunate to be able to get to a lot of places without a visa.
But, if you are going to Africa, Australia or America (even on connecting flights!) you will need to register for a visa.
Tickets & online check-in
When going on holiday, keeping documents close by is a great idea.
You can usually check-in online and this will give you the option of printing boarding cards so that you avoid the airport queues.
Arguably, the most important part of any holiday, Summer Holiday Checklist.
Everything from luggage to extreme sports can be added to your policy and it gives you the piece of mind that you won’t be stung if an accident does happen.
Probably the last thing on your mind when you think of your much-needed holiday but it could literally save you thousands of pounds.
Transfers and/or parking should be arranged well in advance while at the other end you should know where you’re going from the airport – be that in a car or a taxi to your hotel.
Money – Always take a bit of cash in your pocket to start with to help with small purchases like foo and drink.
Never change currency at the airport and see whether you can get debit cards that aren’t charged overseas to stop additional fees from hitting your account.
Sunscreen is hugely important.
Readily available across the globe, you should be able to find good deals before jetting off. Get a good factor and be cautious in the sun.
Paracetamol, diarrhea tablets and painkillers are also commonly found in luggage.
Exotic foods can sometimes upset the stomach while too much celebrating on holiday may well bring on morning hangovers!
Always try to take hair products, soaps, gels, toothbrushes, toothpaste and razors.
While you can find them wherever you go if you can be prepared then you won’t have to waste time finding them!
Swimwear and you’re ready right?
Well, not quite.
Remember your staples of a t-shirt a day, consider if you need socks or will be wearing flip-flops.
Don’t take too many clothes but try to have sensible footwear, a hat and sunglasses.
Even if you’re going somewhere warm, a pair of jeans and a jumper are always good additions.
Now you are all set for a great Summer Holiday Checklist!
If you’re spending a lot of time poolside, don’t forget to take some good books.
One last thing, make sure you’re camera’s in full working order!
Today, we’re taking a closer look at some of the affordable luggage selections that make it easy.
Ready to learn more?
Let’s get started!
5 Affordable Luggage Sets You Should Travel With
American Tourister Fieldbrook II Set
American Tourister is a brand synonymous with high-class, low-cost luggage, and this four-piece set doesn’t disappoint.
American Tourister Fieldbrook II Set is Featuring a 25-inch upright, 21-inch upright, duffel bag (with wheels!), and boarding bag, this package starts at around $50 on Amazon, adjustable according to your color preference.
Whether you’re packing for a short road trip or are planning a long-distance flight, there’s a piece for every occasion.
Made with 100% polyester and featuring reinforced corners, they wipe down with ease and stand up to even the most frequent traveler’s wear and tear.
Each piece also comes equipped with exterior and interior pockets to keep your items neat and organized.
Other features, such as inline skate wheels and retractable, mono-tube handles, enhance mobility and durability.
Whether you’re looking for affordable luggage for your whole family, or simply want a few, differently sized options to pick from as you travel solo, purchasing a set is a wise investment — and at this price, it’s one you can feel good about.
Travelpro Maxlite 4 Expandable Rollaboard
Looking for a lightweight, no-fuss carry-on?
The Travelpro Maxlite 4 Expandable Rollaboard expandable 22-inch beauty will quickly become your favorite piece of affordable luggage for a short business trip or family vacation.
Designed with the brand’s signature “Rollaboard” functionality, this luggage features recessed, ball-bearing inline wheels and four-point stability.
This allows travelers to navigate even the most uneven terrain (think cobblestone sidewalks) with ease.
Coming in at just over eight pounds with a telescoping handle, it’s a truly lightweight and user-friendly option.
It even features crash guard housings on the wheels and a skid guard, ensuring that even if you do put it through harsh conditions, it’ll stand up to the test.
Thinking about picking up a few souvenirs while you’re away?
The Maxlite 4 offers two inches of expansion, allowing for flexible packing, so shop away!
Starting at around $83 on Amazon, you’ll be able to afford a few more mementos to stow.
Samsonite Winfield 2 Fashion Spinner
Prefer the aesthetic and durability of a hard-shelled exterior?
If so, the Samsonite Winfield 2 Fashion Spinner lightweight fashion spinner is a budget-friendly favorite.
Constructed of polycarbonate, this suitcase is designed to flex if impacted.
Then, it will bounce right back to its original shape, making it ideal for years of use.
Yet, this affordable luggage isn’t just sturdy — it’s also sleek.
Its brushed charcoal design works perfectly to hide any scratches or scuff marks you may pick up on your travels.
A side-mounted TSA lock and conveniently compartmentalized interior keep your items secure, while four, multi-directional “spinner” wheels keep you moving through the airport with ease.
Even its over-sized zippers are designed for usability, helping you access your pockets quickly.
Starting at around $106 on Amazon, this luggage is an easy investment that will last for years into the future.
Rockland Rio 2-Piece Set
Traveling with kids who would love to stroll their own luggage alongside the grown-ups?
Weighing just under eight pounds and standing 20-inches tall, this roller suitcase and matching tote are a perfect starter set.
Starting at around $35 on Amazon, this is one piece of affordable luggage that scores in both the price point and convenience categories.
Featuring some of the same design touches as other similar sets, including inline wheels, a retractable handle, and stability bars to prevent tipping, you can’t go wrong with this option.
Want to Travel? Pack Your Affordable Luggage and Go!
Are you interested in learning more about how to travel effectively, which spots to visit, and how to save money as you see the world?
If so, you’ve come to the right spot.
We’re travel experts dedicated to sharing our knowledge on how to smartly navigate your journey on a dime.
We’ve even organized some of our best tips into a handy pre-travel guide that helps you set off on the right foot, no matter where you’re starting from — or going to.
Contact us to learn more, and start planning your next adventure today!
Travel Gear for a Europe
Travel Gear for a European Vacation – When you travel to Europe, you want to maximize every second of your time in this incredible continent, soaking up all of the culture and history.
You certainly don’t want to spend valuable hours searching shops for that one irreplaceable item that you left sitting on your kitchen table back home!
Make the best of your vacation by carefully planning the packing all of your essential travel gear, so you won’t be left stranded.
Here is a list of ten critical items of travel gear you need to bring to have the best possible holiday in Europe.
European travelers often visit several countries in one trip, and take advantage of the continent’s excellent public transportation system.
You may be hopping trains and even ferries in your adventures.
You certainly do not want to be laden down with a bunch of heavy bags.
If you have to invest in one essential piece of travel gear, buy a suitcase that is lightweight, rolls easily over cobbled streets, and can be lifted into overhead compartments with no problem.
For extra convenience, you can find hi-tech luggage sets options which allow you to track your bags once they are checked, charge your phone, or even convert into a scooter!
International Power Adapter
You will not be able to charge your American electronic devices like your phone, Kindle or tablet in a European outlet.
You are going to need an adapter.
Countries in Europe do not all use the same kind of electrical outlet (England and Ireland use different plugs than the rest of Europe), so purchasing a universal power adapter is your best bet.
Remember that voltage capacities are different as well.
In America, the standard is 110 volts, while in Europe it is 220.
High-end electronics like phones are built to operate on either voltage, but lower end items like hair dryers or razors may fry if you plug an American version into a European outlet!
Pouch for Your Valuables
Europeans may giggle at Americans with their “fanny packs,” but the prevalence of pickpockets in highly traveled tourist spots makes this travel gear important.
You need to find a bag that keeps your passport and cash close to your body.
If you don’t want to strap something around your waist, consider a flat passport pouch which can be hung around your neck and placed under your clothes.
When you are struggling with jet lag or a map, thieves can take advantage of your disorientation and snatch your bag in a second.
Make sure your valuables are secured to your person at all times in order to prevent your holiday from becoming a nightmare.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Another key piece of travel gear you should bring with you to Europe is a set of noise canceling headphones.
You will use them to listen to music as you are exploring the sights.
You will also rely on them when you can’t sleep because of the thin walls in your hotel, or when the companions in your train compartment want to chatter the night away.
Because you want to make the most of every day of your European travels, you will probably be out of the hotel for hours at a time.
Bring a day pack!
You will want to carry a snack and a water bottle, plus a map.
You may want to stash your sweater if the weather changes over the course of the day.
You may pick up a few souvenirs.
Choose a lightweight backpack that can double as your carry on for your flights.
Personalized Medical Kit
Make sure you pack enough medication to last your entire trip, with extra in case you lose something or extend your stay.
It may be difficult to fill your American prescriptions in a foreign country…travelers medical kit.
If you are prone to headaches or allergies, make sure you pack some of the over-the-counter medications that you prefer.
You may not be able to find your favorite brands in other countries, and it may be difficult to convey your needs to a non-English speaking pharmacist.
Band-aids, aspirin and muscle ointment may also be important if you plan on doing a lot of walking or other vigorous activities.
Although it depends on the time of year you travel, it is likely that at some point during your European vacation you will have need of an umbrella.
Pack a small collapsible umbrella so you are prepared.
You will be able to buy one anywhere if necessary, but umbrellas sold at tourist attractions during a rain storm are likely to be significantly marked up in price.
Save yourself a few dollars/euros by packing one of your own.
Kindle or Nook
There’s nothing like sitting at a Parisian cafe with a book, or diving into your favorite Dickens novel as you travel the British countryside.
However, lugging large bound volumes of literature around on your holiday may prove burdensome.
The invention of these convenient electronic devices to store books has revolutionized the idea of reading while traveling, where before Americans would have to search out English language bookstores in foreign cities.
But with a Kindle or a Nook you can access and find the information you need when you need it.
Upload as many books as you can before you take off.
Not only is it easier on your body, it will save you the money of trying to purchase reading material on the road.
Travel Toilet Paper
Americans are sometimes surprised that the amenities they take for granted at home are not always the same abroad.
Toilet paper varies from country to country in softness and pliability.
If comfort in the bathroom is high on your list of priorities, you should include toilet paper as an essential bit of travel gear to include your packing.
Alcohol in many European countries is highly taxed; you may be taken aback at the cost for a bottle of beer in Scandinavia, for example.
You also may not always be able to get a drink when you need it: in your hotel room at 2 in the morning when you are suffering from jet lag, for example.
A small hip flask can give you easy access to a shot of schnapps or whatever local liquor you prefer.
You can transform a soda into an adult beverage at half the price!
Smart Travel Gear Makes for Smart Travels
These ten tips for essential travel gear will help take the stress out of your journey and allow you to enjoy every moment.
For more tips on how to make the most of your European adventure, check out these luggage sets.
To me the advantages of light weight travel and using free phone cards out-weigh the ‘normal’ way of traveling, but there are some problems that come with it, and here is how I solved them:
How To Fit It All In?
You will need to bring less to fit it all in, obviously, and your packing itinerary needs to be more thought through.
When you have a big backpack you tend to pack it until it’s full, and then ending up with a lot of things you’re not sure why you even brought (the answer for me was: because I could).
When you have a smaller backpack there is less space for ‘mistakes’, and you can’t bring a bunch of things just because you think they look nice.
Try to make as many items have a multi-purpose.
Bring light weight clothing and clothes that take up less space.
By rolling your clothes you will also be able to fit more in, they take up less space that way.
What To Do With Liquid Stuff?
Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, make up, perfumes – the list goes on.
All this liquid stuff you want and need to bring with you.
I never understood how you could possibly bring a carry- on with all that when you’re only allowed 100ml (3.4 ounces)?
I recently realized that you actually can find all of these things in solid forms – a solid shampoo bar the size of a yo-yo and weighs close to nothing lasts you 3 months, as long as 3 normal sized shampoo bottles!
Many girls might get suspicious when I mention using solid soap for face and body, but forget about that cheap dehydrating stuff – there are some great choices out there now, so natural you can almost eat them!
Lush is a company which has great soaps, perfumes, conditioners and shampoos in solid form, and I love them.
By avoiding liquid stuff you won’t only be able to bring it in your carry-on pack but also won’t have to worry about breaking the bottles or having them leaking in your bag – believe me with liquid stuff it’s doomed to happen…
How To Get The Good Support?
There are more and more smaller backpacks that offer really good support – so this isn’t really a problem but many cheaper models don’t.
They count on you not making it very heavy since you can’t stuff much in it, but wearing a backpack for a long time will still make your back hurt even if it’s not too heavy.
Pack your backpack the same way you would with a large backpack.
Keep the heavy items close to your back in the hip area, putting the weight on your hips and easing the weight on the shoulders.
A problem I’ve found with smaller backpacks is that there weren’t many compartments, but you sort of had to stuff it all into one main compartment.
This made it difficult to have some organization in your bag.
I solved it by putting it all into smaller ‘bags’.
It could be everything from bags I sew myself to professional pack bags, but something to separate the camera cords from dirty socks.
Here we have reviewed the latest and best travel gear for your next adventure.
These are some of our staff’s favorite pieces, depending on where you are going and what you will be doing.
You should also checkout our Gift Ideas for the Traveler and Adventurer in Your Life
Best travel gear tote for weekends
Travel bags, totes, backpacks and suitcases.
We love traveling and are always looking for practical, lightweight and multi-functional pieces.
Best all-around duffel bag
The Dodger Duffel from Kelty has been my family’s go-to bag.
It’s a practical duffel bag to take on road trips, camping, to the beach, on weekend adventures, and on even longer vacations.
Kelty Dodger Duffel
Before trying this bag, I assumed duffel bags were all the same.
What I like most about this Kelty bag is the zippered top.
Most duffel bags have a horizontal zipper.
The Dodger Duffel has two connecting zippers in sort of a U shape which enables you to lift the top of the bag to see more of what’s inside.
This design makes the bag all-around easier to use than traditional duffel bags.
My clothes and everything I pack in the duffel stays more organized as I don’t need to unearth everything to find what I need.
The entire bag has a light padding.
This feature makes the bag stay somewhat upright while you pack it.
So while typical duffel bags collapse, the Kelty remains somewhat “lifted” even though you can pack it down easily if you want to.
Easy ways to carry it
We love that there are many easy and convenient ways to carry it.
You can carry it from the long adjustable, padded strap.
Simply put it over your shoulder like with other duffel bags you may be familiar with.
There are also handles on both ends which are easy to use.
Another option, which makes this even more practical, is there is a handle on the side in the middle.
Because of this, you also have the option to carry it like you would a suitcase.
What’s great about all of these handles is you can carry it any which way without having to flip the bag around looking for a strap to carry it.
We like this a lot!
Compact and lightweight
The bag is lightweight and quite comfortable to carry.
It fits easily in the overhead compartment on an airplane.
Depending on how much you fill it, it can also fit under the seat.
You can fit a lot in this bag. It holds 40 liters. It measures 11.5″ x 21.5″ x 11.5″.
Kelty Duffel opens nicely from the top.
There is light padding all around the bag. It’s made of sturdy material.
Another feature is the hidden pockets.
We found three of them.
There are two interior pockets which you can easily access but they are hidden inside.
One would easily hold a smartphone and the other is a tad larger and could hold your passport, wallet, keys and money, etc.
The third pocket we just found after using the Kelty Duffel bag three times.
It’s hidden on the side and is ideal for cash.
Separate zippered compartment
The bonus for us is the side zippered compartment.
It’s the perfect spot to separate out clothes you’ve worn or things you want easy access to, like an iPad, book, water bottle, etc.
It’s quite roomy, and we were surprised to find we use this part of the bag a lot.
We put my kids’ flip flops, snacks, and swim gear, swim suits, googles, sunscreen, microfiber towels, and rash guards in this section because we were going to the ocean before being able to check into our hotel.
They were able to find and grab everything they needed.
The Dodger Duffel comes two- and three-toned attractive colors.
There’s a camo pattern with their canyon color (brown) as well as nice gray tones with black, canyon or turquoise.
The combinations are neutral yet stunning and unique.
on its side
It’s an all-around smart-looking bag that has proven to a better grab-and-go option instead of the suitcase we’ve favored over the years.
So far we’ve used it three times.
My two kids shared it on a three-night trip (to the beach) in which they packed clothing, toiletries, two books, and beach gear.
I used it for a six-night trip and was able to put it easily in the overhead compartment on the airplane.
The third time, I used it locally to carry brochures and miscellaneous items to help set up an event in my area.
Using the Kelty Duffel plus a box, I was able to bring what I needed in just one carry from my car to the event.
With the airlines charging so much for baggage, I know we will have my kids share this bag on future trips.
It’s easy for them to fit their belongings inside and eliminates the need to carry a much heavier suitcase.
This duffel is sturdy and fits a lot. I also like that it’s not a standard solid color and that it doesn’t have the brand name largely splashed across the side like many sports-type duffel bags do.
While this hasn’t been a concern for us, some might not like there isn’t a way to remove the shoulder strap.
The good news is you can shorten the strap considerably to use this duffel as more of a messenger-type bag.
This makes the bag very versatile and practical to use.
The Kelty Duffel is our favorite duffel bag.
Best travel bag for work
We love the Classic Weekender Bag from Moleskine for work trips.
It’s professional-looking and light. It holds a lot.
best travel gear Moleskine Classic Weekender Bag
Moleskine’s Classic Weekender Bag
Going on a short trip for 1 – 4 overnights?
The weekender bag is a lightweight, versatile tote that will fit your belongings and easily transition with you from your business meetings to the airport.
In timeless black, it is neutral in styling and color.
Moleskine’s Classic Weekender Bag is one of the newest additions in the Classic Bag Collection and designed to match this line.
I carried this bag several times for 2-3 nights away and each time was able to fit everything I wanted to bring.
It was the only bag I carried when I was gone 5 days/4 nights when I traveled from Boston to Phoenix for a 2-day conference.
I was able to bring several changes of clothes and packed two additional pairs of shoes with accessories with a bit of room to spare, even after packing toiletries and reading materials.
What’s good about this bag
I love that the bag extended vertically for when I needed more space, like for my 5-day trip.
While I didn’t use it for my laptop, it easily fit my tablet. (It fits laptops with screens to 15 inches.)
It’s great that you can use this bag for an overnight or two or expand it to pack for a few more days.
The bag doesn’t look like a suitcase yet fits easily in the overhead compartment as a carry-on when flying.
Before being packed, its cabin size is 15.75″ x 16.5″ x 6.25.”
The base itself is 6.25″ but it expands to much wider.
Some of the other standouts include the large pocket on the exterior of the bag that opens to a space that can hold stuff you need easy access to.
It has a place for a smart phone, IDs and credit cards and pens.
I really like that I was able to have that zippered side facing me so that it was protected.
What is helpful also is that Moleskin’s large compartment bag opens wide and has a secure spot for your laptop or tablet on one side.
On the other side, there are two zippered mesh-type/easy-to-see-through pockets for other important items.
The rest is open space to fill as needed.
There is a sturdy base at the bottom that surprisingly enables me to place the bag on the ground, and it remains upright.
Versatile travel bag
What I love MOST about the Classic Weekender Bag is the versatility I had while carrying it around.
The handles are long enough so that I was able to loop the handles over my shoulder.
I was also able to carry it lower (like I might carry a bag of groceries to give you an idea).
There are straps on the back of it that enabled me to carry it as a backpack as well.
Surprisingly, and even better, I could un-clip that “backpack strap” and clip it to the anchors on the side of the bag for a longer strap (to sling it over my shoulder or back).
Having so many options for carrying this bag, especially when walking and traveling long distances, is one of the best things about this bag.
And because the bag is lightweight, depending on the weight of your items inside, it is easy to tote around.
The straps are comfortable.
I used it as a backpack when the bag was fully extended and also when it was smaller, and it worked well each time.
From a distance, this bag appears to be leather but is actually made from water-resistant polyurethane.
I can carry this no matter the weather and not worry about it getting ruined.
When traveling, it is so important to not be bogged down with multiple bags, totes, and luggage.
Not only does it keep you on high alert trying to keep track of everything, it also physically wears you down by having to carry it all, and it takes a greater toll on the environment.
Best travel gear for camping and hiking
There are many must-haves to bring while camping and hiking.
Water is one of the most important things.
Sometimes you just can’t physically carry or tote enough water with you.
Many portable water filtration systems are impractical.
This one is easy to use.
Here’s what we love about the Potable Aqua Pure Electrolytic Water Purifier and how it revolutionizes and simplifies the water filtration process.
Potable Aqua Pure Electrolytic Water Purifier
Potable Aqua Pure Electrolytic Water Purifier
Wow! They really got this right.
A direct quote from my husband after he tried this:
“What a great idea! Why didn’t I think of this? Making my own virtually unlimited water treatment solution on the go!”
My husband loves hiking and camping.
Now that we have children, our hikes are shorter, but living in the southwest US, it is hot many months of the year.
We can only carry so much water, especially for those all-day day hikes we want to do but are restricted by the amount of water we can carry.
What would we do if there was an emergency?
No matter where we hike now — a long or short hike, for minutes, hours, all day, or overnight — we bring this Potable Aqua Pure Electrolytic Water Purifier with us.
It is so small that it easily fits in our day pack.
Weighing 4 ounces, it fits easily in your palm.
It is affordable. It is revolutionary.
And it can really help you or even save you when you really need it.
Best travel water purifier
This little water purifier exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Guide Standard and Protocol for Testing Microbiological Purifiers.
It is very easy to use and only requires a small amount of water and salt (self-made brine solution) that the device will then purify for you into a mixed oxidant disinfectant that you add to your water to purify your water.
It’s scalable, so you can treat from one – 20 liters of water per disinfected brine cycle, but you can purify larger amounts of water by simply using multiple disinfected brine solution cycles.
It kills bacteria, viruses, Protozao, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia so that you can safely drink the water.
This disinfection process will help protect water that you store for later use.
It’s scalable to any reasonable amount of water
No batteries to replace – USB charging or built-in solar charger.
It will treat 150+ liters when fully charged.
Weighs 4 ounces; this is lighter than most.
No pre-filter or pre-treated water necessary
Sustainable – No replacement parts or filters.
It is solar rechargeable (also includes a plug-in charger).
We love the convenience and its “earth-friendliness.”
Cost effective – Buy the device and you only need regular table salt.
It simply requires salt to operate, nothing else to buy or replace.
Also, it comes with pH strips so you can use to confirm the disinfected brine solution before you add it to the water you are purifying.
My husband has used other water purification systems before.
They all had tubes, were cumbersome and not compact, and required pumping; this one does not.
My husband would rather carry 15-20 pounds of water, than a traditional water filter.
Best water purifier
This is a great product for those traveling to other parts of the world where clean drinking water isn’t a given.
It is also ideal for those who enjoy hiking and/or camping for extended periods of time as you can only bring in and carry a limited amount of safe water.
This is also great to include with your survival packs and disaster preparedness kits.
It barely takes up any space and comes with a small tote to keep everything together.
It even has a built-in flashlight.
The Potable Aqua Pure Electrolytic Water Purifier can purify and treat up to 60,000 liters of water without having to clean, change or buy a new filter or other replacement parts.
We think it is just remarkable.
Best travel gear for gifts or yourself
Travel smarter with the best travel gear for your particular journey or adventure whether you are going for a day hike, a road trip for the weekend, or camping for a week or more.
You know how important it is be smart about what you pack when you travel.
We are always looking for the latest in travel products.
We heard of this company, Lewis N Clark, and found they have a wide variety of travel items that we liked.
We had our staff review their website for items they wanted to try, sounded interesting, and would be something they would use on a trip.
Below are Lewis N Clark product reviews from our staff of seasoned travelers.
How did we choose the Lewis N Clark products?
Our team enjoys camping, hiking, taking cruises, road trips, RV-ing, flying, tours, river rafting, and all out adventuring anywhere.
We love travel products that serve dual purposes, are light, compact, easy-to-carry, and are practical.
We like to travel light wherever we go, so we are prudent about what we recommend.
Lewis N Clark product reviews Roll-Top Duffel Bag
Roll-Top Duffel Bag – 60 Liters
This is what I’ve been waiting for! I have wanted a lightweight, WATERPROOF bag to take on our river rafting trips.
It is awesome for other outdoor adventures as well, even in the dry season.
I’ve used this Roll-Top Duffel bag several times, mostly for camping.
My fourth grader took it for his three-night Cub Scout camping trip.
The only piece of “luggage” he owned was his school backpack, and I realized that he probably shouldn’t bring one of my suitcases on his camping trip.
This Duffle Bag from Lewis N Clark fit all his belongings well.
The only downside is that there isn’t a separate compartment to keep smaller things organized and easy to find, especially things like money and a flashlight.
It POURED for one entire day, and while this bag was in his tent, it stayed completely dry, even with the winds and rain coming inside.
This rugged waterproof bag measures approximately 24” wide and 21.5” in height when fully extended.
It folds down to about 12” in height. The easy roll-top closure ensures the contents stay dry.
There is a removable shoulder strap.
It’s made from durable 600D mesh PVC that is dual-coated.
I will continue to take this for my outside overnight adventures (my husband has already tried to take it for his own use), and even on day trips on my friend’s boat.
It’s lightweight (their website says it weighs just 38 ounces) and folds easily for storage.
This duffel comes with a 1 yr warranty, but I love that their other duffel bags come with a lifetime guarantee.
Comfort Neck Pillow
Comfort Neck Pillow
I have wanted one of these travel neck pillows for years. Even though they aren’t terribly expensive, I never bought one.
I’ve considered them many times, and I’ve walked past them at stores in airports.
Once on my flight, I always regretted not buying them.
I saw this item on the Lewis N Clark website, and thought, “It’s now or never.”
I soon realized that I have been missing out.
Not only could have I been using this on the many flights I’ve taken, I could have been using this while as a passenger for long car rides.
My kids always want a turn using it as well.
This Comfort Neck Pillow is comfortable and props my head in a good position so that I can sleep while upright.
While there are many brands available, I like the pillow from from Lewis N Clark because it offers ergonomic support for my head and neck.
It has loop if you want to hang it when not using it.
There’s also a Velcro strap so that you can attach it to your bag or luggage when in transit.
The only downside is that it doesn’t have a removable cover.
I really wish it did.
However, the fleece (offered in four different colors) is hand washable.
Best of all and surprisingly, it actually enables me to get some sleep while in transit… something I haven’t been able to do in years.
Update: My teenager brought this neck pillow on an overnight bus ride on a trip for school.
Teachers told the students to bring a pillow.
He brought a pillow for the first trip but for the second one, months later, he wanted to bring the neck pillow.
He was happy he did.
It was a lot easier to deal with.
He said he was able to easily position it how he wanted to.
RFID Clip Stash
RFID Clip Stash
It is bad enough we have to worry about actually having our wallet stolen, and now we have to worry about electronic pick-pocking too?
High on our list when traveling is feeling safe and secure; we want that in our daily outings too, whether traveling or not.
This little case is meant to block the RFID (radio frequency identification) signals that enable thieves to steal your credit card information.
It is large enough to hold a driver’s license and several credit, debit and insurance cards.
There is room to spare for money, but that would be the most it could carry as it is just 3.5” x 4.5”.
It clips to clothing and comes in black or a tan-ish gray.
RFID Luxe Neck Stash
RFID Luxe Neck Stash
I love products that help me protect and keep track of my valuables and essentials, like my IDs, credit cards and money.
I have tried money belts and clothes with hidden zippers and like them.
When I saw this Neck Stash advertised, I wanted to try it for my trip to Mexico.
Another great Lewis N Clark product, I like that this Neck Stash is lightweight, weighing only 5.5 ounces.
It is in a neutral, unobtrusive color, olive, with black on the backside. (It is also available in tan.)
I wore this often, sandwiching it between by tee shirt and sweater.
It was hidden yet easily accessible when I needed it.
I love that it wasn’t as visible as a purse or backpack.
My husband wasn’t worried about his wallet getting pick-pocketed because everything he and I needed fit in the RFID Luxe Neck Stash.
There are two zippered pockets and two pockets that open.
There is a clear area (without a closure) to put an ID in though I didn’t use this feature.
The strap adjusts which is great because it is comfortable for whatever your height.
The Neck Stash was larger than I expected it to be, almost 8 inches in height and 5.5 inches in width.
At first I thought it would be too big but it worked out that it fit everything we needed.
I even put my smart phone in it for most of the time.
What makes this neck protective case different from many is that it blocks up to 13.56 Mhz frequencies making it difficult for someone to scan your credit cards or passport.
Orange Flat Cloth Tape
Flat Cloth Tape
Here is something that is so handy but you never really think about buying it until you need it.
This Flat Cloth Tape is something to tuck inside your backpack or first aid kit.
It will be waiting for you when you need it to repair a leaking canteen or a rip in your tent.
I first used it when my daughter went to overnight camp, and I needed to label her belongings, including her clothing.
I used a Sharpie on the tape as well as a regular pen and was happy with both.
I’ve since used this Flat Cloth Tape from Lewis N Clark several times for various things.
It comes in different colors – including camo — which is fun and also helpful if you are trying to label different people’s belongings.
We asked our staff to pick a few items they would be interested in trying and that they would want to use while traveling.
These Lewis N Clark product reviews include some products that are more unique than others.
Some are items we always wanted to own, just never bought them.
Others are travel products we might already have but Lewis N Clark has found a way to improve upon them.
We always love reviewing the latest in travel products.
Gobi Gear HOBOROLL
As you know, we travel a lot.
If we are not away trekking or experiencing new cities on long trips we are spending weekends away or visiting friends and family.
We are always on the lookout for new and exciting products to see what works best for the kinds of activities we enjoy.
We received the Gobi Gear HOBOROLL and were excited to try it on our trip to Tucson, Arizona.
In the past, if we were going on a plane, coach or train and not planning to hike from place to place, we would take a suitcase.
If we went hiking or camping, a backpack would be the answer.
Today, regardless of where we are going, we normally opt for a travel roll.
It is the new generation of luggage, that is slowly but surely replacing the rest.
Our current favorite is the Gobi Gear HOBOROLL.
Gobi Gear HOBOROLL with Strap
The HOBOROLL is made from lightweight and seemingly durable nylon-type material.
It measures 10″ in diameter and 15″ in length.
These packs expand as you need them to and can be opened and secured from both ends.
There are five separate compartments which separate your items.
Also, there is a hidden zippered pocket which can hold your wallet, phone, etc.
As of now, the HOBOROLL comes in three colors: Mineral Blue, Midnight Lava, and Pinyon Pine.
There is a separate adjustable strap that is sold separately.
This is a unique piece in that — unlike other roll luggage — you do not lie it flat.
You sort of stuff the compartments then secure the drawstring end closures.
What we like about the Gobi Gear HOBOROLL
This compression sack is really a multi-purpose bag.
It works well for going to the beach or pool and even would make a fantastic diaper bag.
It seems like it would be easy to attach it to a backpack as well.
Empty, it seems small, so I was surprised by everything I was able to fit in it.
It folds up to a tiny square and weighs only 3.5 ounces.
Therefore, it is not going to take up much wardrobe space should you pack it to use once on your trip.
The Gobi Gear HOBOROLL will easily fit your belongings.
The first day I used it, I was able to fit my water bottle, a pair of flip flops, sunscreen, bug repellent, a first aid kit, a hat, and a tee shirt.
There was room to spare.
I liked that I was able to keep like items together like the sunscreen, repellent and the first aid kit.
During my trip, I used the Gobi Gear HOBOROLL mainly for easy day hikes but found it useful even for short walks with my family.
I put three water bottles — one in each compartment — along with a sweatshirt in the HOBOROLL when walking at night with my kids.
My kids were happy to not have to carry their water bottles for once!
It was nice the water bottles weren’t clanging against each other.
They fit well with room to spare.
There is a versatile and adjustable shoulder strap available.
This is an extra but a useful one.
It easily clips to the bag.
The padded shoulder piece was very helpful when I carried heavier items, like the water bottles, in the HoboRoll.
I like that you can chose whether or not to buy this item separately.
For my purposes and habits, it was essential, so I’m glad I have it.
Gobi Gear HOBOROLL
I also liked that I could open the sack from either side.
While I didn’t have it stuffed with clothing like I would for a trip or bigger excursion, if I did, it would be very handy to be able to open the sack from one end or the other without having to empty the contents of the bag for something I had packed at the bottom.
The clips are made from anodized aluminum which we learned makes them very strong but lightweight… no plastic here!
The Gobi Gear HOBOROLL is exceptionally well made.
It is a stylish and functional stuff sack.
What we don’t like about the Gobi Gear HOBOROLL
We like pretty much everything about this innovative bag.
The only thing was that it would be nice if there was a way of turning this into a pack that you can carry like a backpack.
This would make it more versatile, and then you really wouldn’t need the strap.
Packing tips for your Gobi Gear HOBOROLL
There is definitely a knack to packing the Gobi Gear HOBOROLL if you want to get the most out of it.
Start by stuffing the secret pocket with sensitive items like your keys, wallet, and other important items you may need access to.
HOBOROLL hidden pocket
Depending on where we were and what we were doing, we most often would tend not to put our phone or passport in there.
We normally carry those items on us somewhere we can quickly find them and regularly check that they are still there.
Now you just need to fill each compartment.
Shoes will take up an entire compartment or even two, depending on the size and type of shoe.
It is best to fill the compartments with socks, underwear or small toiletry items to maximize the space you have available.
Slot them into a compartment and fill in any gaps with more socks or other small items.
We enjoy using our Gobi Gear HOBOROLL and look forward to using it on a longer trip.
In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy it, especially as I continue my trip through in Arizona in the summer, where I am always either carrying or using my water bottle, sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen.
You will be happy with how much you can fit into the innovative Gobi Gear HOBOROLL.
What Items Are a Must for Traveling
Last week we received a great travel question asking: What items are a ‘must’ for packing into a backpack, & what really doesn’t need to come with you?
Well, I can start out by saying that the first time I left for a big trip I thought I needed to bring my whole house with me to be able to survive.
Among a lot of other stuff, I brought not only one but two pairs of high heels (romantic!).
Obviously, you don’t need that.
Among other things only a few weeks into our trip, and I carried on with my backpack a little lighter than before.
However, the longer we traveled the more we realized how little we actually needed.
The Never Bring Stuff
Something you really don’t need to bring that I know many people do is 7-days worth of underwear.
Unless you will be out of water for a week (which you won’t be), you only need to bring 2 or 3 at the most.
Everyday you wash one in the shower and let it dry over night or day, wear one pair and have a spare one in case.
You can also buy light-weight tramping quick-dry underwear, and also underwear you don’t need to wash for a few weeks… not personal experience, but saw them in the shop!
Here is a quick list of a few more things which you don’t really need:
– more than one pair of walking shoes, a massive makeup bag, hair dyer, hair straighter, etc… more than 1 pair of jeans (if any; wear them so you don’t have to pack them), a 15 inch+ laptop (instead get a cheap 10-11 inch one – for size, weight and cheap in-case it breaks), a camera tripod, more than one real book at a time – use ebooks instead, because books add so much extra weight to your pack.
Also a common thing you will see around the world is when you stay at hostels you will see a bunch of second-hand books sitting around.
They normally let you trade your book for one of those which are left.
So at every place you stay, you can just pick up a *new* book, and leave your old one for someone else to enjoy.
The #1 Must Bring Item
This is something that before I left, I had no idea I would need so badly, or use so much – a good pair of walking shoes!
The only reason I bought them was because they were on 70% off in a camping store.
I fell in love with my Teva Dozer Sandals, who walked me through everything, and never let me down.
Without a good pair of walking shoes there are so many things I wouldn’t have done.
I wasn’t used to do much walking, so I never knew how important it was to have a good pair of shoes.
If I would have had to worry about having sore feet or blisters I would never have walked where I did, so I’m glad I had my Tevas.
If anyone has read the book “Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It” by Geoff Dyer you know that I’m not the only one who is obsessed and praise their Teva’s like a god.
Nathan loved them too, but so did some crazy big animal with sharp teeth.
One morning we woke up and discovered that Nathan’s shoes were gone.
We found them later totally ripped apart and full of teeth marks right through the sandal.
Someone had eaten half the shoe…
No matter where you are or where you’re heading, all shoes you bring have to be comfortable, because you never know how long you’ll have to walk in them.
Even the flip flops should be nice to walk in, I strongly recommend the Havaianas Sandals.
They’re made of a special material that is really good for your feet and doesn’t rub down the inside of the heel like many others.
I like the ones with a strap going across your ankle, you’ll never risk dropping them!
Now let’s ask our readers – what are some of your travel items which are a MUST BRING and what are some things which you would never take again on your travels?
Packing Essentials For Your Summer Road Trip
Packing Essentials – Thelma and Louise is one of my all-time favorite road trip movies, and every time I watch a clip from the movie I want to take to the road on a new adventure.
There is something about the freedom of being able to turn off on a new unknown road or stop over for a break whenever you feel like it that makes road trips so appealing – all the opportunities for spur of the moment trips.
But if you’re going for a long trip that will last at least a couple of days, you will need a little more planning.
Other than the usual packing list with clothes and toiletries, here is a list of the essentials when packing for a road trip…our Pro Travel Tips
Rags, Wipes and Tissues
You would be surprised to find just how grateful you will be that you brought that rag along in the last moment, or that you remembered to bring the wet wipes and a toilet paper roll.
The only thing you can be sure will happen is that at some point of your road trip you will spill something, you will need to wash your hands and you will need to find a toilet – and the last one will not be the most hygienic..!
Crucial Contact Numbers
Be sure to have contact numbers for your insurance agency for auto and homeowners, in case something happens and you need to reach them.
Also have other numbers handy such as a family member, police and emergency numbers.
Don’t rely on your phone but jot the numbers down in a notebook – if you need insurance, look at WorldNomads, and if you’re road tripping with a caravan take a look at the Caravan Club website as items in your caravan may not be covered by regular insurance.
The Travel Outfit
I always marvel at how classy the women in old 50’s movies look when they step out of their convertible cars in high heels and wrinkle free skirts.
It’s yet a mystery how they manage to pull that off, and I don’t suggest anyone taking on the challenge.
Instead, dress comfortably, and wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off.
If you are lucky to have a convertible, however, there is one thing you could learn from the classy 50’s women: the head scarf.
Without it your hair will be a mess and surprisingly greasy already after a few hours. Trust me I made that mistake once myself.
Many Small Snack Packs
Bringing snacks on a road trip is as obvious as bringing car keys for the trip to actually work.
But there is a risk that you will run out of snacks before you even hit the highway.
To avoid this, repack all your snacks into smaller bags so that you can store some away for later during the day.
Picnic Bag Essentials
The best part about road trips is that as lunch time approaches, you can stop over by a lake or other resting area along the way and have a picnic.
Don’t bother bringing real plates and cutlery, but stick with paper plates and plastic cups and cutlery instead.
Do bring a proper knife and cutting board though, and a bottle opener.
GPS and a Map
Whether it’s an app on your iphone/blackberry, or an actual GPS device in your car, knowing exactly where you are and which roads you should be on is one of the best ways to make sure that you stay on track.
Even if you do decide to take a different road than the one your GPS has chosen for you, it will be easy to get back on the right track later on.
However, DO NOT use Apple’s own map, we’ve all heard of how dangerously wrong it can be (read: Apple Map Fails).
We use an app called “Pocket Earth” which has been incredibly useful!
Bring along a normal map of the areas you will be driving through as a backup, since you can never trust technology to 100%.
Road Trip Music
The number one essential is of course to have some good road trip songs, preferably tracks you can sing along with.
One of my favorite ways of finding good road trip music is via ipod, where others put together and share their playlists.
Simply search for “road trip” playlists and you will find some great music for the road!
App it Up
After enough sing-along road trip songs you will want to entertain yourself with something different, and for that there is no better and more travel-friendly thing than apps.
But aside from games, also download some other useful apps like the weather so you know what to prepare for down the road.
Electricity Power Inverter
To prevent running out of battery with your phone, laptop and everything else you bring along, invest in an electricity power inverter.
These devices turn the charge from your car’s battery into electricity to power most small electronic devices like laptops and phones.
Just plug it into your cigarette lighter and it converts in the direct current (DC) from the battery to the alternating current (AC).
An alternative is to bring a portable charger that you have charged up before hand, and recharge it again when you stop for the night at a caravan camping station.
Finally, unless you haven’t already thought of it, make sure you have an emergency toolkit in your car with an orange flag and flares in case you need help, a spare tire and a flashlight.
Luggage Locks – Why You Need Them and Where to Find Them
Your bag is your entire life when you travel.
Everything familiar and essential for your trip has been packed into what you can carry (or afford to have the airline carry).
One of the simplest ways you can protect your belongings is with luggage locks.
While luggage locks aren’t a fail safe, they are invaluable to the vigilant traveler.
Today, we’re breaking down a few reasons why you can’t afford to travel without these handy accessories.
Ready to learn more? Let’s go!
Before we begin our discussion on the advantages of traveling with luggage locks, it’s important to note that while you’re in the airport and flying to your destination, you’ll be required to comply with local authorities on their usage.
In the United States, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has broad power to examine your luggage to ensure maximum security.
“TSA is careful to not damage any personal belongings, however, we are not liable for damage caused to locked bags that must be opened for security purposes,” reads a TSA blog post addressing baggage locks.
Many luggage locks have TSA-compliant key holes to allow TSA agents to open the lock without destroying it.
To save your wallet and your luggage, it pays to have a lock the TSA can get into without breaking your lock or your bag.
Luggage locks have also been known to snag on conveyor belts.
Combined with TSA search inquiries, these issues have caused most major airlines to adopt policies discouraging travelers from locking their bags when they go through the airports.
The guise of security is important because it sends a clear message that criminalizing your property would be difficult.
It’s a lot harder to bypass a lock on a bag than to simply unzip it when someone is not paying attention.
Further, a good lock is going to take a fair bit of time or effort to cause to fail.
This is obvious and it gives you, bystanders or the authorities to act appropriately.
Which Luggage Locks Are for Me?
There are a lot of luggage locks out there.
While a bit overwhelming, this does give you the ability to chose the lock that is perfect for you.
Basic shopping rules apply.
Only buy from known and trusted vendors.
Here are a few other things to consider.
These are possibly the most simple, but effective, types of locks.
The combo lock limits the number of openings that can be compromised by crooks.
Without a keyhole, the only other opening would be the TSA-approved access port.
There is a range of number combo options.
Most combo locks are three numbers.
Some go up to five, significantly increasing the number combinations that would need to be tried to open your lock by chance.
Some locks are now able to use the 26-character Latin alphabet rather than the 10-character numeral system.
This also increases the number of possible combos for added security.
Just remember to really mix up the keys.
There is no point to having the lock if anyone can simply open the lock because you didn’t reset the combo keys.
These locks are often the most robust.
With only one true moving piece (the key hole and tumblers) there isn’t a lot to try to compromise.
Their simplicity allows for really solid design, with some opting for brass and steel.
This craftsmanship also prevents criminals who simply try to cause the lock to fail from brute force.
Cable locks use a flexible steel cable rather than a solid piece of metal to close the lock.
This allows you added convenience and creativity.
If you are able to loop the cable through the zipper heads and a handle, you give another anchor and, thus, strength for your lock.
Sometimes these locks have two cables.
They also come with either key or combo locks.
Some more high-tech locks are able to communicate with your cell phone or a company server (thanks, internet of things!).
If you know that your bag has been open and when it was opened, you can rest assured knowing that you have a starting point for officials if your bag’s contents are violated by a criminal.
Now You Know, It’s Time to Go
Traveling is an incredible experience and one that shouldn’t be wrought with fear.
You can add a great deal of security and peace of mind to your trip by simply adding luggage locks and luggage tags to your travel repertoire.
Now that you know the power of these little tools, you can go confidently in the direction of your wildest dreams — a fabulous vacation to Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia … anywhere!
Travel Gear and Gifts For Christmas to consider
Christmas is getting closer and people are preparing for doing some Christmas shopping – hoping not to get as stressed out and in-the-last-minute as the year before.
To save yourself much of the hassle of running in and out of crowded shops in the city having to deal with long lines and irritated people, you can get so many presents in the comfort of your own home via the internet.
In this materialized world, giving an experience is very appreciated – and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
Hotel Gift Card
Travel Gifts For Christmas Hotel Gift Card
Why not give two nights accommodation at a nice hotel for two?
If they haven’t booked a trip anywhere, you can give them a gift card to a hotel chain which can be found all over the world, so that they can use it whenever they will be traveling.
Marriott, Four Seasons Hotel and Best Western are two international famous hotel chains which offer travel gift cards.
If you want to make the options even broader, you can buy gift vouchers and instant e-vouchers from specialized hotel gift websites, offering choices all over the world on city hotels, spa and country hotels.
If they like taking cruises you can give them a cruise gift card to use when they buy their cruise tickets.
If you know they have already planned a trip with a specific cruise, you can buy them gift card on the actual cruise trip like a massage treatment, a dinner.
An Experience on Their Trip
If you know they have a already planed a trip and bought the tickets and bought their accommodation, give them a fun experience that they wouldn’t have thought of themselves.
A city pass is an excellent idea, which gives them free entrance to a long list of attractions in the city they visit, and most large cities have one.
If you know they like playing golf, give them golf vouchers to a great golf resort nearby.
There are many great golf gift ideas out there, from shoes to gear to clothes, but a golf trip is definitely something more fun for golf lovers who like traveling.
Plane Ticket for a Future Flight
Plane ticket Travel Gift For Christmas
Buying an actual plane ticket can be a great idea and a huge success, but it can also go terribly wrong.
Save yourself the awkwardness of giving a flight to a place the person doesn’t want to go or at a time when they can’t, and make things more flexible.
Buy a gift card at an airline instead, most of the major airlines provide gift cards where you can put everything from ten to a thousand dollars on the card, and then you can let them choose the destination instead.
Avoiding the Obvious Price
The bad thing about giving gift vouchers and cards is that the receiver knows exactly how much you spent on the gift.
If you feel a bit uncomfortable about that, another option would be to give away your spare airline miles.
Airline miles can be transferred to someone else, and it’s harder to say exactly how much 10,000 airline miles are worth.
If you don’t have any airline miles, try to find vouchers and gift cards that are more specific and don’t offer any of their services for X amount of money.
For instance, the voucher will say that you have a free 60 minute back massage at the spa on the cruise or hotel.
Picking the best travel gear
No matter where you travel and how you plan to get there, you will have a better experience with the right travel gear.
What’s the best travel gear for you depends on what you have already and what you want to upgrade.
With so many bags, devices and items available, be sure to pick the ones you will imagine yourself using often — for more than travel. In this way, you will have less to store and know you are investing in quality items to serve you for years.
If you are shopping for a sleeping bag liner, you will get some tips and advice in this article.
If you’re getting ready for a trip to the great outdoors, you must know that preparation is half the battle.
And just because you’ll be far from the warmth and comfort of your own bed, this doesn’t mean you can’t be as comfortable as you possibly can, especially when you have the right kind of sleeping bag liners with you.
Whether it’s a mountaineering trip or a few days of camping, having the right sleeping bag liner can save you money and bring you the comfort that you need.
If you get it right, you don’t have to buy an entirely new sleeping bag, or worry about not being warm enough.
You don’t have to bring an extra blanket or added padding.
A good sleeping bag liner is all that you need.
Sleeping Bag Liner A Must Have Travel luxury Item
When it comes to travel, you can never allow yourself to be too unprepared.
There is beauty in spontaneity and just going with the flow, but when you’re heading to unfamiliar territory or climbing some mountains, you wouldn’t want to find yourself empty-handed.
Any seasoned traveler can tell you that when you decide to travel, you never know what to expect.
You don’t know where to buy certain items and how much each item will cost.
This is why it’s best to come prepared, with tried and tested items you have chosen beforehand and purchased at a bargain.
A sleeping bag liner is one of those must have travel luxury items that most people should really come with.
Granted, depending on what’s important to them, people prioritize different aspects of travel.
For instance, some don’t care where they sleep as long as they’re near all the tourist attractions and the best places to eat.
Some people on the other hand can go on days without eating proper meals as long as they have a comfortable bed to sleep on.
When it’s a backpacking or camping type of travel, some would rather invest in good sleeping items (like a bigger tent or more comfortable sleeping bag) even if it means having to forego something else, like a cooler.
No matter what kind of travel you’re doing, sleep is usually a luxury.
When you’re in a new place, the surroundings are always begging to be explored and so many activities are waiting to be done.
You don’t just go to a place to stare at the scenery, because you have to experience everything.
At the end of each day, you will need a good place to rest your tired muscles, and this is why a sleeping bag liner is a must have.
It’s a ‘luxury’ item because it’s something you add to your sleeping bag, which you already have.
Sleeping bags however come in all varieties, and not all of them can guarantee you comfort.
Adding a sleeping bag liner can guarantee you a good night’s sleep even if you’re in a tent.
So it truly is a must have if sleeping through the night is something that you value, no matter where you’re headed.
What’s A Sleeping Bag Liner Good For?
How does a sleeping bag liner work, exactly?
Most travelers are more than familiar with sleeping bags and how they are used, but hearing ‘sleeping bag liner’ might raise some questions.
Sleeping Bag Liner Provides Added warmth
A basic sleeping bag is okay when you’re traveling in the heat of summer, but when you’re heading to the outdoors without being entirely sure about how cold the nights are going to be, then you shouldn’t leave without a sleeping bag liner.
Some sleeping bag liners are created with extra thermal protection, such as this fleece sleeping bag liner from Coleman.
I chose these for my two sons.
They mostly use them without their sleeping bags when we are summer camping and for sleepovers with their buddies.
I also sew on the Cub/Boy Scout patches on them as well.
The liner adds about 12 degrees of warmth, and this means that even in unforgivingly cold temperatures you can sleep comfortably through the night.
Sleeping Bag Provides Added protection
When you’re outdoors, you’re basically exposed to nature and all the elements that come with it.
A perennial problem that campers have is that there’s no stopping the dirt or sand from getting into their sleeping bags, and it’s always a challenge to clean it up when it does.
Having to clean or wash the inside of your sleeping bag is always a pain because there are some that you can’t just toss into the washing machine.
A sleeping bag liner gives you (and your sleeping bag) added protection from the dirt, and it’s way easier to clean.
Some sleeping bags are also made to have added protection from insects and bugs, like this Sea to Summit Coolmax Adaptor Liner with Insect Shield.
This special sleeping bag liner is treated with an insect shield that’s effective in repelling all the mosquitoes, flies, fleas, ticks, and all kinds of bugs that you will definitely encounter as you explore the outdoors.
These bugs are part of the great outdoor adventure, but you can definitely find ways and means to protect yourself from them.
When you find the right kind of sleeping bag liner that gives you enough protection, this also means you don’t have to bring added items like a mosquito net.
Liner Provides Added comfort
While some people can sleep comfortably on top of a thin sleeping bag, there are those who after doing so will get plagued by aches and pains everywhere in their body, because it was simply not comfortable enough.
You wouldn’t want to lug a thick mattress with you while camping, so a sleeping bag liner is actually the perfect way to give yourself added comfort without having to bring so much added weight.
Most bag liners are designed to be very lightweight, so it’s almost like you’re not bringing anything extra.
You’ll hardly notice the extra weight, but your back will definitely thank you for the extra comfort.
Liner Provides Adaptability
Another thing a sleeping bag liner gives you is adaptability.
While you can generally predict the weather when you go out for a trip, there are days when the forecast just doesn’t match with reality.
Having a sleeping bag liner handy can give you added warmth for those extra cold days, but when it gets too hot all you have to do is simply use it like a top sheet.
How a bag liner will save you money
Budget is a very important aspect of planning trips, because you’d want to stretch your resources as much as possible, to get the most out of traveling.
The good news is that whether you’re traveling in cold weather or hot weather, having a sleeping bag liner handy can save you a lot of money.
First, instead of purchasing a new expensive sleeping bag, this means you can work with whatever sleeping bag you currently have and just buy a liner that can give you added warmth and comfort when needed.
Making sure that you have the adequate warmth, protection, and comfort that you need when traveling is also extra insurance against wear and tear, aches and pains, getting sick, and having to go through the hassle of looking for something similar to a liner (and maybe even paying double for it) in the middle of nowhere.
The added protection to the sleeping bag itself will also keep it from wearing out too much and too fast, extending the life of your sleeping essentials for even more camping trips in the future.
Don’t be mistaken that sleeping bags are only good for camping trips, either.
When you’re in an unfamiliar country and don’t want to blow your budget with a hotel, you can book a night at a cheap hostel or inn, even one that doesn’t come with bedding.
Your sleeping bag liner will save you because it can double as a bed sheet, so even if your room doesn’t come with free linen, you’ll be fine.
It could also protect you from pesky bed bugs.
Lastly, your sleeping bag liner doesn’t have to be hidden at the very back of your closet, only to be retrieved during trips.
This Bundle Monster sleeping liner for instance can double as a blanket at home, so even if you’re not out camping, you’re getting your money’s worth.
It’s always important to ask yourself whether or not you can use a travel essential not just during travels but also during your normal day-to-day routines.
By having your liner double as a blanket, you’re saving money because that means you don’t even have to buy an extra blanket to use at home.
Sleeping bag liners come in all sizes and varieties, and some can cost you close to nothing while some will have added features that will make you pay a bit more.
No matter what kind of bag liner you end up getting however, it’s clear that at the end of the day, it will really help you save money while giving you the warmth, comfort and protection that you need for any kind of trip you’re planning.
Sleeping Bag Liner – A Must Have Travel luxury Item
Something I bought as a little extra luxury item on my travels turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever bought.
Both me and Nathan bought one each a few years ago, and since then they have saved our nights more than once.
So, What’s A Sleeping Liner Good For?
Well, first off, if you travel with a sleeping bag you know how bad they start to smell, and it doesn’t take very long until you have to choose between either throwing it out and buy a new one, or even worse – washing it.
There is nothing more difficult to wash than a sleeping bag, and you’ll to have to sleep without it for the next few nights since they never dry!
If you sleep with a sleeping bag liner inside the sleeping bag, all you have to do is to wash the bag liner, which dries within an hour.
Even if you’re traveling without a sleeping bag, this will be your best friend.
I’ve used my liner everywhere – from the snowy alps in Europe to the tropical rain forests in the Pacific.
What the liner does is warm you up when it’s cold, and cool you down when it’s hot – and it really does a good job.
There are so many hostels in Europe trying to squeeze as much cash out of poor backpackers as possible, and after having payed for an overpriced dorm they want to charge you another 5 Euro for sheets.
Only sheets and pillows are allowed (no sleeping bags), which of course no backpackers carry around.
But a sleeping bag liner perfectly fits in between these two.
A sleeping bag liner is very much like bed sheets, but designed like a sleeping bag.
So for me, I count my sleeping bag liner as my sheets 😉 I’ve also had great use for my bag liner at dirty hostels.
Sometimes I’ve ended up at some really nasty rooms, and to avoid bed bugs and whatever could be in those sheets, the sleeping bag liner was a blessing.
My sleeping bag liner is truly the one travel item that I’ll never be without.
I love everything that can wrap up to tiny little balls, and this is my favorite.
A sleeping bag liner takes up no space at all in your bag, and you use it every day.