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How to Prepare For a Backpacking Trip

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A backpacking trip is a great adventure that mainly entails camping and hiking. Going on such adventures allows you to expand your horizons as well as enjoy the cleaner and fresh natural outdoor environment. Unlike daily hikes, a backpacking trip requires you to carry a few travel essentials in the backpack. Check out the following guidelines for help on how to prepare for a backpacking trip. 

Select an Easy Destination 

The destination of your trip will no doubt have a significant impact on the overall experience. The adventure could easily become disappointing if you choose a destination that is too hard to hike. To allow you ample time for exploring and enjoying the experience, you should choose a destination with well-traveled trails and camps and, also close to home. You can also consult with experienced backpackers for trip recommendations. The ideal destination should also have a water source and more elevation than your daily hiking spots. 

Prepare a Checklist for Backpacking Gear and Clothing 

While there are various kinds of backpacking gear and clothing that you can carry on the trip, it is always advisable to stick to the essentials. Since the items should fit into your backpack, you do not need a long list. Nevertheless, the key backpacking items that you should carry include; 

  • Tent 
  • Backpack
  • Sleeping bag and pad
  • Water treatment 
  • Kitchen essentials 

With regards to clothing, you should carry hiking boots, socks, sandals, long underwear, hiking pants and shorts, a t-shirt, long sleeve shirt or sweater, an insulated jacket, gloves, and rain jackets. You should also pack sunscreen, bug juice, sunglasses, and lip balm. It is also important to think about your backpacking food based on the duration of the trip. 

As you get closer to the departure for your backpacking trip, it is recommended that you take steps to ensure physical, mental, and logistical readiness. Small workouts could help to set up your body in motion for the adventure. Assess your mental state and make sure that all the logistics of the trip are in place ahead of time.  

Traveling Solo Without Feeling Guilty

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Many people want to travel solo but they feel guilty whenever they think about leaving their partners behind. So, how do you travel alone without feeling like you’re being selfish? Shedding this travel guilt and making you the priority is not easy. You need the right mindset to plan a solo trip guilty-free. Here are some of the thoughts to consider. 

Travel Alone to Make Your Partner Guilty-Free 

Maybe your spouse is not interested in traveling. If you think about it that way, you will be freeing them of the guilt of keeping you from traveling when you take off solo. Thus, you could be feeling guilty about the idea of wanting to travel alone when you could be doing them a favor. 

Travel Solo for the Sake of Your Happiness 

You deserve to be happy. And, your partner will be happy on realizing that you’re doing what makes you happy. A smile can be contagious. Therefore, travel solo to come back as a happy person and spread this happiness to them. 

Travel Solo for Rejuvenation Purposes 

You may be responsible for caring for your children, parents, and friends. In that case, traveling alone provides a chance to take some time off the duties. It’s an opportunity to make you a priority. This rejuvenates your body, mind, and soul, thereby enabling you to take care of the others better. 

Travel Solo Without Frustrating Others 

Traveling with a partner or a friend involves giving and taking. However, a trip with a partner or a group might not provide what you want. In that case, avoid dragging other people and go solo. 

Travel Solo can be a Gift 

Engaging in a selfish activity like solo travel can be a gift to another person. For instance, you may have been generous with your talents and time. In returning your generosity, the recipient may want you to take time to yourself and travel alone. 

Essentially, you don’t have a reason to feel guilty for traveling alone. If that’s what makes you happy, consider going on a solo trip. 

Traveling with an Expired Passport

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Whenever you think of taking a vacation somewhere international, the first thing to come to mind should be to check your passport. Ensure you know the expiry date and confirm it even if you recently used the document. There are many problems to face if your passport expires and you need to travel.

You can get caught up in planning for vacation and plane ticket booking and forget to check whether the passport is still valid. You need to know the following.

International Trips

It is impossible to travel internationally with an expired passport. There is a six- month rule that ensures you cannot travel if your passport is expiring in the next six months. If by some means you still make it to the plane, then it will be hard to come back and might get stuck in foreign places. But you will not make it to border control if your passport expiry date is approaching.

Passport Renewal for an Upcoming Trip

If you just noticed that your passport is expired or about to, it can be renewed before you fly. There is a special provision [expedited service] to issue passports before the standard processing time of about 6 weeks or more.

There are certain instances when you need to expedite your passport renewal. For instance, you can have an emergency that requires you to travel immediately. In this case, you can renew the passport within 72 hours. However, you must present proof of travel to speed up the renewal process. There is an expedite fee of $60 to your normal renewal fee.

If you are already abroad and your passport requires to be renewed, just visit the local U.S Consulate to get assisted.

Traveling Locally

If you’re flying domestic, it is possible to do so even when your passport is expired. This is as long as you have another valid form of United States identification such as a driver’s license.

It’s possible to travel with an expiry passport. However, not all trips are possible to make without renewing your passport. So, to be on the safe side be up-to-date with the expiry date of your passport to avoid unnecessary trouble.

What’s the Importance of a Tour Guide?

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With the endless attractions sites and interesting things to do around the world, travelling is one of those hobbies that you can hardly get off. But, experiencing new cultures can sometimes be scary, especially if you do not know much about the destination. To get through the experience without so much trouble, most travelers opt to hire tour guides. Here’s why it is important to consider hiring a tour guide on your next trip.

Makes the Trip Educative

One of the aims of travelling is to learn about new cultures and, the best ways to achieving that dream is through the help of a tour guide. Tour guides are often locals who have a better knowledge of the history of the destination and, unique interests of visitors. As a result, having a tour guide by your side enables you to learn more and experience new cultures on a one-on-one basis. A travel guide could inspire you to go further into your adventure, making the trip fun and enjoyable.

Instills a Sense of Confidence and Safety

When visiting a new destination on your own, there is usually a strong feeling of uncertainty that could badly affect the experience. Having someone from the local area to accompany you to attraction sites will create a sense of confidence that makes you feel safe during the entire excursion.

Saves you Time

From bookings to researching about attraction sites and things to do on the trip, putting together a successful trip entails a lot of preparations. While all the processes are crucial to the experience, you could save quite a lot more time with the help of a tour guide. Due to their proper knowledge of the local areas and the trade, a tour guide can recommend the best attractions and activities that would have taken you hours or days to discover. Some can even help with advance bookings for park visits and other attractions so you do not spend hours in queues.

Apart from making your trip more educative, saving you time and creating a sense of safety, a tour guide can still be a great travel companion and friend to cherish. But, you must know how to choose the best tour guide.

 

Things to Stop Doing When You Want to Start Traveling

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Traveling usually comes with a lot of anticipation that could easily distract you from the goal of the trip, and end up spoiling the adventure if you do not know how to handle it. Although traveling gives you the freedom to indulge as you wish, it also requires some discipline to keep things on track and make the experience enjoyable. The following are some of the key things that you should stop doing when starting to travel so as to get the most out of the adventure.

Shopping for Non-essentials

Whenever you want to start traveling, try as much to avoid shopping for items that you do not need. Overspending will only cut short your budget and make it hard to save for travel. It is often tempting to buy just one more shirt, blouse, pair of sneakers, or pant when you have money. However, try to limit yourself to the basics at least until after the trip. Go easy on partying and find other ways to cut your spending.

Comparing Your Experience to that of Other Travelers

If you have decided to start traveling, comparing your adventure to that of other travelers will only impact doubts and insecurity. Instead, set precise goals for your trip and look towards the positive side. Sometimes, listening to people only creates unrealistic standards that will prevent you from achieving the full potential of your adventure.

Thinking About How the Trip Might Turn Out

It is okay to visualize your trip and get a better view of what to expect in advance but, dwelling much on it could easily impact fear and even demoralize you from going on the adventure. Just like other hobbies in life, traveling has its perks and risks, all of which play an important role in making the experience memorable. You can only find out about the experience if you take the trip, so, put yourself together and let things flow naturally.

There are many things to avoid when you want to start traveling. However, most of them are basically common sense that every purposeful traveler should uphold. Nevertheless, just make sure your actions do not override the plans for traveling.

How to Travel When You Have a Dog

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Whether you are going on a business trip or vacation, you might want your dog too to come in tow. And, there is nothing strange about travelling with your dog. But, unlike humans, traveling with pets requires certain precautions.  In case you may want to go on a trip with your dog, the following are some tips to keep in mind.

Train Your Dog on How to Travel in a Crate

Although some people usually fear the idea of boarding flights with dogs, it is quite safe. However, they do not share the same cabin with people. In planes, animals are transported in crates in the undercarriage. The crates vary in sizes so you can always choose the most comfortable one for your dog. However, it is important that you start crate training the dog before the trip so they do not feel discomfort when traveling.

Get a Pet Passport and All the Required Paperwork

Before setting out on a trip with your dog, find out what the customs laws of your travel destination says about traveling with dogs. While there are some countries that do not allow dogs from other countries, most allow it but, with certain restrictions. Many countries require that people traveling with pets like dog acquire a pet passport. Besides, there is other additional paper work that you may be required to fill out. So, make sure that you know all the requirements and have them ready before the trip.

Let Your Airline Know You Will Be Traveling With A Dog

After crate training your pet and preparing all the necessary paper work, it is also important to notify the airline that you will be using that you intend to come along with a dog. This will enable them make the necessary preparations so you do not have problems at the time of traveling.

Find a Pet Friendly Accommodation

Not all hotels and resorts allow clients to stay with pets. So, make sure you book accommodation at a place that is pet friendly.

Overall, travelling with a dog can be a thrilling adventure. Besides the tips given above, you should also be vigilant and always try to keep the dog in sight for safety.

 

How to Travel When Sick

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Travelling when you are sick can be very challenging. However, a travel pal of mine that thanks to his success with his brand Auto Masters Collision Center, says that it does not mean that you should instantly cancel your trip in case you start feeling unwell along the way. Generally, there are certain serious health conditions that could bar you from traveling. But, it is still possible to enjoy traveling when sick. Below are guidelines on how to survive travelling when sick.

Carry Medications for Common Infections

Most travelers usually fall sick as a result of exposure to varying climatic conditions that result into colds and other minor infections. Quite a number of these conditions can be treated safely with oral medications found in pharmacies. However, you should always carry medications for common infections just to be safe.  If you start feeling sick before the trip, make sure you see a doctor for check up and advise in advance.

Avoid Strenuous Activities

Regardless of your condition, it is advisable not to engage in activities that are too demanding. Strenuous activities may only weaken your body further, making the condition more serious. Thus, try to go slow on the activities and have plenty of rest along the way. After the activities, make sure you also freshen up with a warm bath or shower.

Watch Your Eating Habits

Eating foods that your stomach is not used to can also cause illnesses. Although you may want to try out unique cuisines when traveling, it would be much safer if you to stick to foods that are gentle on the stomach. Besides, it is also advisable to drink lots of clean water and fluids so the body is not dehydrated.

Seek Help

If after all the above, you still feel like the symptoms are getting worse, it is time to get medical help. Depending on the travel insurance plan that you have, it is important to contact the provider and notify them of your situation. They will make the necessary arrangements to deliver the required medical assistance. In dire cases, you may have to cancel or interrupt the trip.

Traveling is fun but, your health and safety should always come first. So, if you are feeling too sick to travel, simply put the itinerary on hold until you feel better.

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