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Category Archives: Travel

Joy of Backpacking

Backpacking requires a lot of research. Backpackers do not depend on packaged tours from travel agents because they make their own itineraries. They look out for cheap but suitable hostels. They also research a lot about the local food fare and where to find them. Make a list of tourist spots to see and find a way to navigate from one point to another. Most importantly, it is advisable to calculate your budget for the trip in advance.

Most of the backpackers seek inspiration and ideas from travel websites and travel blogs. They often pattern their itineraries with other traveller’s journey or they make their own route.

Some people often wonder why some travellers love backpacking, instead of the conventional packaged tours that are usually more convenient. The answer is that backpacking has numerous benefits including the following:

1. Acquiring New Wisdom

One important thing about this humble way of travelling is that you get to learn something new along the way. You can also learn a lot about people, culture and ideas from your firsthand experiences. It’s also a good opportunity to learn something new about yourself.

2. The Sights

The sights are the main reasons why tourists visit a place and backpackers often see tourist spots in a different light. It is quite different with packaged tours where you are brought to a certain place and only allowed to visit certain sights with limited amount of time.

3. Your Personal Time to Reflect

Backpackers enjoy their personal time and they happen to experience that during their travel time – those long hours of bus rides going to a tourist spot, or their idle time on the hostel. Those are great times to marvel on the beauty of the scenery or even have enough time for personal reflection.

4. Get to Know the Person Travelling with you

Travelling strengthens bonds and relationships between companions, and a backpacker’s itinerary often entails a lot of teamwork and rapport. Problems and troubles will most likely arise along the journey and your response and attitude towards the situation will eventually surface. Based on such situations, you will learn something about one another and will also ascertain your compatibility with each other.

5. Meeting New People

Backpacking creates opportunities to meet other travellers and locals alike. It is a good way to socialize and share travel stories, and find new friends and future travel buddies.

Backpack With a Toddler

First of all, you have to make sure that your kid doesn’t get hungry along the way. A hungry baby is an unhappy baby and they can easily ruin the mood if they’re not properly fed. Keep enough snacks to keep them entertained along the way. Food is comfort, and you’ll be able to buy a few moments of silence if you keep some of your kids’ favorite snacks in your back pocket. But try to keep it healthy and not too sugary if you don’t want to have a severe case of the jitters on your hands. Go for things like nuts, dried fruit or cereal bars, kids absolutely love them and they will keep them full and happy.

Second, remember that you’re traveling with a baby, so you’ll have to lower your expectations. Try to find a way to get as close to your camping grounds as possible if you’re going camping. Try to go for flatter terrain if you’re trekking with little ones and go for trails with plenty of amenities along the way. Also, you should avoid hikes longer than 3 to 4 miles since you’ll be carrying extra load. And it’s not just the baby, but the extra food, supplies and equipment; so plan accordingly.

Speaking of equipment, make sure you get your hands on a good child carrying backpack. A good backpack should have sun and rain protection, be able to stand on its own to facilitate loading and unloading and have sufficient space for supplies. It should also be adjustable in case you want to switch with your partner.

If your kids are old enough, you can give them some leeway and let them walk along the way with you. It will save you energy and keep your children entertained. Kids like to move, allowing them to roam will keep them happy and they’ll be less susceptible to act up later on down the road.

Book a Flight Online and Save Money

There are many things to consider when booking a flight: departure city, departure date, arrival city, arrival date, whether or not you want a round trip, number of nights you’ll be at your destination, whether or not you want to book a car rental and/or hotel along with the flight, and so forth. Luckily, all of this is made easy with the use of online search and comparison tools. You can experiment with the dates and times as well as the destinations to get an idea of the price range. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to get a cheaper price.

Age is an important factor as well – especially if you’ll be traveling with children or the elderly. Ticket prices are different for adults and children 17 and under. For older adults, senior discounts may be available. While credit / debit cards are the primary methods of payment preferred by the airline industry, there are a few airlines who accept PayPal and unused travel funds. You might also have flyer points or gift cards that you can redeem.

Price Alerts Will Help You Book a Flight

Be sure to sign up for price alerts before you book a flight. Tickets can fluctuate considerably – even on a daily basis. Even a small decrease can result in large savings if you have to buy tickets for relatives or associates. Some online sites and tools even allow you to set your own budget, and will notify you when a ticket becomes available within your budget range.

Determine whether or not it would be cheaper to book a long haul flight yourself. If you are flying a long distance, consider that it might be cheaper to book two or three legs of the trip separately by adding another destination or two to the trip. For example, if you need to fly from Europe to Alaska, it might be cheaper to first book a trip to Atlanta, then book a trip from Atlanta to Chicago, then fly from Chicago to Seattle, and then finally onto Alaska by taking budget airlines who offer smaller trips.

The best thing to do is to use a travel shopping comparison site that will allow you to compare all of the prices from all of the airlines on the dates you enter at once. Choose the option that best suits your needs and book a flight as well as hotel room and car rental if you need to.

Tips for Hiking in the Heat

1. Check Weather

Don’t just assume that you’d be fine on the trail. Hot weather comes with a lot of risks. It is important to check the weather forecast before planning a trip.

Humidity can be a sign of rainfall. Be prepared in advance.

Thunderstorms are also much more likely to occur when it’s hot. Keep yourself safe in all situations. So, check the weather before going out.

2. Start Early or Finish Late

Another good way to avoid heat is to start your trip early in the morning or in the late afternoon or evening. Skip the midday heat, don’t hike between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hike during the coolest time of day. Be an Early Bird or a Night Owl.

3. Choose Your Trail Wisely

Hiking in a shady forest is different from on an uncovered mountain pass. So, it’s important to choose your trail wisely. Your trail should include shady sections where you can rest for few minutes.

Try to find a trail that runs along running water/river.

You can get drinking water easily
You’ll be able to refresh yourself and cool down.
A trail at a lower height is preferred if the weather is going to be hot because a higher trail offers a lower amount of oxygen and stronger UV rays.

4. Light Apparel

In hot weather hiking, try to wear synthetic clothes as you’ll definitely sweat a lot and moisture-wicking clothes can prevent irritation.

It is better that you wear long sleeve shirts, hiking pants, and fine quality boots. The more of your body you can shield from the sun, the happier you’ll be.

Your boots should be made up of breathable fabric so wet feet won’t represent a problem during your hike. Your clothes should be in loose-fitting as it will allow for better airflow, which keeps you cooler.

5. Keep Yourself Hydrated

Staying hydrated is the key to every successful outdoor adventure. This is particularly essential when you’re hiking in hot weather.

Your body loses about one liter of water per hour on a regular hike. A challenging outing in hot weather can double that amount. Make sure you replenish, otherwise you’ll get dehydrated during a hike in hot weather.

Cheap Flights to Austin Overview

Austin-Bergstrom International, or ABIA, is the main airport in the area. It offers nonstop flights to and from multiple locations in North and South America, as well as a few overseas cities like London, Stockholm, and Frankfurt. There should be an airport near you that offers a nonstop flight. Even if there isn’t, you can sometimes find deals on connected flights.

The airport is located 5 miles SE from downtown, and handles around nine million passengers every year. All of the major airlines fly to ABIA, and it’s easy to get around via shuttle buses and the Airport Flyer bus. Currently, there are 54 airlines operating out of this one airport alone.

If you have a preferred airline, check and see if they are offering cheap flights to Austin. If you are flexible, you will have a higher chance of getting a good deal. Sometimes you can find discounts on airfare + hotel packages; all you have to do is book them both at the same time. The two closest hotels to ABIA are the Hilton Austin Airport and Hyatt Place. There are many other hotels and inns located throughout the city, some of which are very close to the airport and some in the downtown area.

New cheap flights to Austin are now available at the South Terminal, which has recently been remodeled. It’s separate from the main airport and can be accessed via Burleson Road (take 183). Airlines such as Allegiant, Via Air, and Sun Country now offer flights to and from this terminal.

You might be able to get a better deal if you fly in the middle of the week. Consider flights that depart on a Wednesday or Thursday, and return on a Tuesday or Wednesday. If you are looking for cheap flights to Austin from outside the US, international deals are typically available when departing Monday – Thursday.

Hiking versus Trekking

The term ‘hiking’ is often used to refer to day walks in natural surroundings, on clearly marked paths. It is undertaken for leisure, recreation and the purpose of exercise. A small day pack is used to carry water, light weight fleece and snacks. In places such as Canada and New Zealand, the term is often used interchangeably with rambling, hill walking or tramping.

‘Trekking’, by contrast is considered to be more strenuous, covers greater distances across varying terrains, and requires camping over night and carrying heavy packs with food, sleeping bags and gear. The term is actually derived from the Afrikaans work, trek, which comes from the Dutch word, trecken, referring to a lengthy and arduous journey over vast distances and often, unchartered ground. It is often associated with the migration of people across land from one area to another.

Does this mean then that if a day hike is difficult, over rough ground and through thick forest with no paths, that it is a trek? In Australia, they would call this bushwhacking, and in other places they call it stamping. When you visit the Mountain Gorilla in Rwanda or Uganda, it is a one day hike, but through dense forest, over very uneven and difficult terrain. No wonder there is so much confusion.

But let us not end the confusion there. Anyone who has tried to take out travel insurance to cover their ‘trekking’ or ‘hiking’ trip, will have discovered that these activities are often listed as ‘hazardous pursuits’. In fact, some insurance companies even lump terms like hiking and mountaineering together as through they can be used interchangeably or are synonymous The there are other companies who classify any hikes over an altitude of 2000m as mountaineering. Sorry Scotland, but it means that your famous peak, Ben Nevis (1352m), is not a mountain after all but simply a trekking peak?

Make Long Holiday Fun With Wall Hikes

Escaping crowds

If you want to enjoy Great wall hiking all alone in the company of friends and family then there are trek agencies that do not make you hike through the busy sections. Since the Badaling section stays touristy all the year round, they make it certain that you embark upon an original, remote and wild journey. It shall also be safe segment besides being less visited. One gets the opportunity to be walking on the cultural heritage of the World, learn daily lives of locals, enjoy mystical sceneries, communication with farmers and try the local food that shall be homemade. The balance between safety and experience shall be maintained.

Professional teams for hikes

The teams that shall take you to the Wall are well paid, well trained and shall be carefully selected. Thus, you are bound to enjoy a genuine and friendly relationship with the guides. Some of them even supply unlimited water during the entire trek and thus you shall never have to fret over getting re-supplies. One will be able to make the most of the trip by being lost in the magnificence that the Wall has to offer. With the best of guides water, snacks to munch upon and delicious meals, this journey will carve a piece of your heart.

Travel time

To make the most of the hikes it is always advisable that one must make a trip during the spring or autumn time. This is because summers are too hot for trekking and winters, too cold. Temperatures dip to less than zero and the path is snow covered. It can get too challenging. Hence, invest your time and energy to make this hike, a hike of a lifetime.

Kids Can Enjoy the Beach

1. Treasure Hunt

This is one of the most loved games for kids. When you have sand all around you, hiding things will become even more interesting. This game can be modified in a number of ways. One of them could be where parents can hide things under the sand and place an identifier on top of it. They can then ask the kids to guess what is there under each identifier. For example, if they have put a Kids Jewellery Box under the sand they can put a bangle over it. The article at the top will be a hint to what is under the sand.

2. Beach Bowling

Creating the bowling pins out of the sand will be the first exciting part of this game, followed by playing a game of bowling with your gang. The re-creation of pins every time will make them even more involved in the game. They can play this game in groups as well, where they can keep rotating the roles of bowling, creating pins etc.

3. Beach Funny Faces

The best way to play with the sand is to show your creativity. You can draw numerous funny faces on the beach. While creating these faces, kids can also play a game where they will talk to each other by making only faces and not speaking. This will encourage them to understand different kinds of human emotions. Who knows? We may get back a totally new set of emoticons invented by these little geniuses.

4. Sun-Dial

This is one of the easiest and simplest activities you can enjoy on a beach. You only need a stick and few pebbles, which you can get easily. Place the stick in the centre in an upright position and place the pebbles around it equidistant from each other in a circle. While chilling out and playing, kids will observe and learn how the motion of the sun is associated with our time system.

5. Sponge-Animal

Let the children understand how a certain object can absorb so much of water and become heavy. First, they can make the sponge-animals absorb water from the sea and then they can play various throwing and catching games with these sponges. When someone catches the sponge, they will be splashed with water.

Save Money For Long Term Rentals

There are many ways to save money for a long-term rental experience, most of which can be utilized before you even leave home. One common money saving tip is to budget your monthly expenses, and take that money out of the bank in cash. Paying cash makes it easier for you to track how much money you spend every day as you are physically handing over bills and coins. When you get home, transfer the loose change you have from the day into a jar. Although it may not seem like much, all this can add up!

Creating a budget in the months leading up to your long-term vacation can also help you decide where you can cut back on your spending. Drinking one less fancy coffee or eating out a few times less can save you more than a few dollars in the long run. Always keep in mind your goal of your long-term vacation and the amazing things you’re planning on doing there- this will keep you excited to save and on track with your budget!

By planning your long-term vacation early you can cash in on the best vacation rental properties for the best prices. Giving yourself enough time to plan also gives you enough time to research the options you have regarding your long-term vacation; compare and contrast different deals, dates and travel plans to get the most affordable price. Depending on how long you are planning to go on vacation you might also be able to get a long-term vacation rental price that reflects the longevity and consistency of your stay.

One of the benefits of a long-term vacation is that you have the chance to make this new location a home away from home. You can eat meals in and dine out, go on tours or simply walk around your new neighborhood. While you should definitely make efforts to enjoy your vacation to the fullest you can use all the above methods to save some money while you are away. Additionally you can consider working as a freelancer (if your job supports that) or picking up and odd job to make some money on the side. Whatever it is that you’d like to try, go for it! It’s your vacation, after all.

Manage Vacation Rental

Start a journal to record all inquiries for your property. Write down their name, address, phone number and email address, the number of people in their party and dates that they are interested in renting. Keep this information regardless of whether they end up renting or not. It will be useful later when you have cancellations or available rental periods.

In the second half of your journal, record all bookings for your property. Keep a calendar to record which weeks are booked, adding the name and dates for each party. This will show availability and the weeks that are taken at a glance. Bring this along with you whenever you can. You never know when you will meet someone who is interested in your property. Add your housekeeper’s schedule to the bottom of this calendar or add it to your journal. It’s important to give a copy of this to your housekeeper each time changes are made so you are always in sync.

Start two email lists and record each inquiry to the first list and each renter to the second list. Send out specials, cancellations or available weeks to the emails on each appropriate list. Use this to inform your renters of upcoming events in the area.

Keep good, accurate records of your rental income, security deposits and refunds, and all of your house expenses. For income, record the dates received, who it’s from and rental dates. Record security deposits separately. Create a spreadsheet or record in the second journal notebook, all income and expenses with totals for each month. Identify each transaction with as much information as possible. Use a box or file folder to keep all pertinent receipts for tax purposes. Keep everything you need for your rental business in one place. This will make it easier for you at year-end.