Author: Murray L

7 Air Travel Tips to Have an Enjoyable Flight

There is no denying that air travel can be stressful.

Between delays, cancellations, and crowds it’s easy to become overwhelmed at the airport. Don’t let long TSA lines, lost luggage, or extra security checks cramp your travel style.

These 7 air travel tips to have an enjoyable flight will help you in both the airport and once you are on the plane.

1. Check In Early

Checking in online will assist in avoiding long check in lines at the ticketing counter. It will also help you to save time if you hit traffic on the way to the airport. If you are checking a bag you will still need to check in upon arrival, but most airports have separate, much shorter, lines for those who have checked in online before arrival.

2. Pack A Carry On

For minimalist travelers this is easy, but for everyone else, this may be the most difficult of these air travel tips. Packing a carry-on will make your trip more enjoyable, not only do you get to skip the lines at check-in, but you also don’t have to lug gigantic bags around the airport. Another positive of traveling light is that you won’t have to worry about lost luggage or waiting at baggage claim once you reach your destination.

3. Make Security A Breeze

To make going through security easier consider enrolling in TSA-Precheck, you’ll want to do this long before your travel plans because it’s a lengthy process. However, it’s worth it and most beneficial for those who fly 3 or more times per year. To make security a breeze, have all of your items that will need to be shown in a separate clear plastic bag. Make sure that your electronic devices like a laptop, tablet, or kindle are easily accessible because you will need to take them out of your carry-on. Wear slip-on shoes and clean socks, and don’t wear belts or a lot of jewelry. Also, have your I.D. out and ready to go!

4. Have Entertainment Options

Downloading e-books, movies, t.v. shows, and music for the flight will keep you entertained for hours. WiFi on board, if it’s offered, is typically unreliable and often expensive and slow. You can never count on the plane’s entertainment system to be working. This is also a great way to pass time at the airport before your flight.

5. Pack Snacks

Bringing snacks with you will help in both the airport and on the plane. Airlines have cut down on giving passengers food and drinks on board, so it’s always a good idea to bring a few snacks of your own. It also helps you to avoid splurging on airport food, which is often overpriced and unhealthy.

6. Bring A Reusable Water Bottle

A reusable water bottle can be taken through security, as long as it’s empty. Most airports have water fill stations making it easy to refill your bottle post-security. This is the most eco-friendly of the air travel tips, as you will help reduce waste by bringing your own refillable bottle. It’s important to stay hydrated while traveling and buying water bottles at the airport is both expensive and not environmentally friendly.

7. Dress In Layers

In terms of comfort, this is the most important of the air travel tips. Plane temperatures can range from freezing to sweltering, and everywhere in between. Dressing in layers will keep you comfortable no matter the temperature. Your best bet in most climates is a t-shirt as your base layer, with a sweater or light jacket to keep you warm.

These 7 air travel tips to have a more enjoyable flight will facilitate a more carefree air travel experience.

5 Fantastic GPS Navigation Apps for Overseas Travel

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or traveling for the first time, having GPS navigation apps on your phone is essential. These apps can help you find your way around unfamiliar streets and landmarks, and they can also give you helpful tips and advice.

Gone are the days of carrying flimsy paper maps around! Here are five of the best GPS navigation apps for overseas travel.

1: Google Maps

Google Maps is easily the king of GPS navigation apps. It has incredible voice navigation that guides you to your destination using simple instructions. It has an easy-to-use interface and provides clear and accurate directions.

Google Maps also has a vast database of places to see and restaurants to try. It works for every country. You can even download local maps for offline use.

2: Waze

Waze is an app that relies on crowd-sourced data to give alerts and updates on what’s happening on the roads. Users alert Waze about traffic jams, accidents, and blockades, which get relayed to you.

Waze also uses the power of social networking to help you find gas prices at different filling stations. Waze is free, but you need a Facebook account to use it.

3: Sygic

Sygic is an offline GPS navigation app that uses TomTom maps. The app has voice-guided turn-by-turn directions, and its 3D mode makes it easy to drive on unfamiliar roads. 

Sygic has a speed limit warning system that lets you know if you’re over the limit, and it also gives estimated journey times for your route.

4: Maps.me

Maps.me is a GPS navigation app that works offline. The app includes offline maps, searches, and directions. Its navigation mode shows your GPS location on the map and provides voice-guided turn-by-turn directions.

Maps.me even lets you download your location for offline access. It is free to download and use.

5: Mapquest

Mapquest is a reliable GPS navigation app and is among the pioneers of commercial navigation. Whether you’re walking, driving, or looking for a specific place, Mapquest has got you covered.

In the USA, you can also use Mapquest’s gas price comparison tool. It also has some paid options such as traffic updates and voice-guided navigation.

Conclusion

GPS navigation apps are a must-have when you’re traveling overseas, but with the fantastic GPS navigation apps we’ve mentioned above, you have nothing to worry about. Whether you’re driving through busy streets or hiking through unfamiliar terrain, these apps have your back.

7 Helpful Tips for Staying Safe at a Backpacker Hostel

Although hostels have security guards and surveillance systems to thwart the anomalies, no place is risk-free in this world of surprises. Hotels are generally considered safe, and numerous people reside there to meet their friends or dwell during holidays to minimize travel expenses. 

Staying at a hostel with strangers often comes with plenty of risks, especially when you will share a bunk bed with an unknown traveler. There is no point in losing valuable things when miles away from home. In that regard, here are a few top tips for the safety of your stuff in a hostel. 

1: Do your research

We recommend you kick-start your safety measures by choosing the right hostel for a short-term stay.

Take some time to do research using hostel booking platforms. You can also check travel sites and forums that share user experiences. It’s in these conversations and posts that reveal what the hostel is truly like.

Do not forget to lend some help from Google to learn about the reputation of a particular place or city. After a comprehensive analysis, you will decide on a better place for your upcoming trip. 

2: Don’t leave your stuff around

Travelers are birds who never settle in one place.

It is wise to take valuable things with you if you leave temporary residence for a while to explore the town. You can put these items in a money belt bag to stay unharmed. 

Original documents including ID, passport, credit or debit cards, and cash cannot be left in an empty room. Keep these items in your bag all the time. Use a waterproof bag if you visit a beach or water park. 

3: Be cautious about hostel strangers

We have seen many movies where a person tries to open the door claiming that his key isn’t unlocking. After being caught, he smiles and says he thought this was his room. Such actors exist in the real world too. Do not let anyone trick you into seizing an opportunity to loot you in the daylight. 

If a legit person requests you to open your room for him because he has left the key inside, open it only if you know them. Otherwise, ask them to get a key from reception. 

There’s going to be a lot of people coming in and out of a hostel. Most times its just people that know those staying someone there. But, you never know. Being vigilant around randoms coming through isn’t just for your safety but for everyone else you share the room with, too.

4: Lock it down

You may face some inconvenience after finding a hostel for a temporary stay.

Lockers are congested in some establishments, and backpacks do not fit in those lockers. But you cannot afford to leave laptops, chargers, tablets, and cameras outside without any safety measures.

 Always travel with padlocks or find these from a hostel reception. Use small locks on your suitcase to keep it near your bed. Put valuables in the locker and put a lock on your backpack to keep everything safe. 

5: Keep money in a few different places

Traveling without money sounds terrifying, especially when you have a limited amount.

Travelers carry some cash credit and debit cards to meet traveling expenses down the road. Anyone can pick your pocket, or you can lose your luggage at the hostel. 

Try to keep a minimum amount of cash and one card at a time in your pocket or belt bag. You could also keep a few bucks in your sock or tucked into a small stash area in a hat.

Keep the rest of the money and cards in your locker or a safe place. If someone steals your money and cards, contact the local police and embassy to file a complaint immediately. 

The point is to make it so if you do lose money (or get robbed) that you don’t lose it all at once. You’ll have enough to get back on your feet if things go wrong.

6: Put your wallet and passport inside your pillow.

Thieves prefer to steal in the darkness when travelers are tired and sleeping in their dorms. You can guard your possessions during the daytime, but what about the night when you are taking a rest? Stash your passport and wallet into your pillowcase and keep the opening of the pillow towards the wall. This trick will at least protect your money and documents from prowlers. 

7: Keep your guard up

There will be plenty of people that come up to you with a smiling faces.

Some of these people are bad actors.

They know you’re enamored with the travel experience. Your guard is down. You’re open to new experiences and they’ll exploit that. Whether it’s leading you to shops that overcharge or outright putting you in dangerous situations, you need to keep your guard up when things feel “off”.

That’s not to say you should avoid any interaction but think twice when someone out of the blue is overly nice and super enthusiastic about “helping” you around.

Conclusion

Hostels are affordable, where one can get easy access to all the in-house provisions at meager rates. However, these establishments have a lot going for them. Many travelers feel that a secure hostel is a comfortable one. However, you can use the above-stated hacks to ensure the safety of your belongings and yourself in shared accommodation. 

6 Tips for Selecting a Cheap Accommodation While Traveling

Travelers need to stop somewhere every night while exploring their desired places. To make a tour unforgettable, they constantly pursue economical, enjoyable, and cheap accommodation.

Accommodation can be a massive drain on your budget. Numerous agencies and online booking websites will help you plan a tour to manage your expenses. 

Certain factors like location, level of comfort, reviews are needed to be considered before choosing cheap accommodation for your temporary stay. To cut down your traveling expenses, you should make a list of services you are looking for in the desired accommodation at minimal pricing.

If you want to rent affordable accommodation, this article will help you find a perfect place to dwell. Consider our pro tips based on personal experiences to stay in a fantasy place at lower rates. 

What Are the Deciding Factors?

Choosing an accommodation depends upon various factors like: 

  • Budget for the tour
  • Mode of traveling
  • Number of travelers 
  • Place you want to visit
  • Your interests and comfort level

Remember…

…your next adventure doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, there’s a lot to experience when you strive for budget-friendly travel because you have to think outside of the box. You have to get out of your comfort zone — and that’s where the real experiences are at!

Pro Tips To Find Cheap Accommodation

Now, let’s get into some of the various ways you can score a great room for little money.

Find a shared accommodation

Renting a shared apartment on your tour will help you save money.

If you are going to travel with other family members and friends, make sure to select a large, spacious room equipped with all in-house provisions to live in harmony.

Dwelling in a shared apartment or ensuite room with other companions will not drain extra money from your pocket, and rents will be divided between more tenants. 

Rent a hostel room

Hostels are inexpensive as compared to hotels.

Hostels provide classified rooms for couples, families, students, and professionals at minimum pricing. Accommodations in hostels come with free services, including complimentary wireless Internet, kitchen access, laundry, etc. You can live with other tenants in a large room to share the rent. 

Dwell slightly outside the city

Renting temporary accommodation downtown can be a bit costly; however, living out of the town center means you have to pay more for transportation to access the city’s main attractions.

You should find accommodation slightly outside the city center to minimize your accommodation rents. Going too far can cost you a lot in transportation expenses. 

Read the Reviews

Various lodgings offer superior accommodations through online platforms.

Clients often leave their feedback after taking services from these agencies. Client reviews will help you decide whether that accommodation is budget-friendly or not. Companies post fancy ads to attract potential customers, but reviews tell you the reality. Every review has an experience behind it. 

Reviews are integral and why we make sure to mention them when it comes to travel tips and tricks. The extra bit of research goes a long, long way with saving money!

Compare online

The Internet has made our lives easy to a large extent. We can access every corner of this world through this cutting-edge advancement.

Real estate agencies often post pictures and short videos to thoroughly understand their rooms and services. You can visit websites to watch, compare and pick the most suitable accommodation under your budget.

Online booking comes in handy because you can filter the results according to your price range. 

Win reward points

Nothing could be better than finding free accommodation on your tour.

Many hotels arrange various programs for potential clients, and after reaching an ascertained level, you can trade these points with free accommodation for your upcoming tour. You can gain bonus points by using a credit card for payments. Every payment will provide you with some bonus points. 

Conclusion

Renting inexpensive accommodation will let you save some money from the total cost of your trip. Hostels are considered the most economical form of accommodation among all the options. Go online, read reviews and find a shared place for a temporary stay while traveling. 

Master the art of finding cheap accommodations and you’re bound to have great adventures!

Traveling During the Holidays: 5 Helpful Holiday Travel Tips and Tricks

‘Tis the season!

We are right in the middle of the busy holiday season.

That means it’s time to make all of your holiday travel plans.

This can be a stressful time of year to travel but whether you’re off on a tropical getaway, checking out a magical winter wonderland, or simply visiting family, there are ways to keep your sanity.

Here are the top holiday travel tips and tricks to help you to enjoy holiday travel.

1. Avoid Popular Travel Days

The general rule of thumb for holiday travel is to hit the road or the skies on unpopular days.

The days surrounding Christmas will be insanely busy, consider extending your stay or arriving at your destination early. However, December 25 is one of the best days to travel as most people have already reached their destinations, and airports and roads are considerably less crowded.

2. Pack Smart And Light

If you are flying this holiday season avoid checking bags.

Holiday travel means crowded airports, which leads to more room for error when it comes to baggage. Also, you won’t have to wait for luggage at your destination. If you have to check a bag make sure to pack a change of clothes in your carry-on, just in case.

3. Don’t Fly With Gifts

It’s not a great idea to bring gifts on your flight, not only due to extra costs but also because they can be lost in your checked bags.

TSA recommends not flying with wrapped gifts because they may need to be unwrapped for inspections. Instead, ship the gifts to your destination weeks in advance to make sure they arrive on time.

4. Prepare For The Unexpected

The most essential of holiday travel tips are easier said than done but having a backup plan can save your trip. It’s a crazy time of year, unexpected things are sure to happen, and it’s smart to be prepared for anything.

If you are flying, leave extra time before flights and between connections. If you are hitting the road, be prepared for inclement weather and traffic. Make sure to pack snacks, bring backup chargers for electronics, map your road trip route, and confirm reservations.

5. Mentally Prepare Yourself – Inhale And Exhale

Take a deep breath in, and exhale! Holiday travel often means long lines, traffic, and cancellations, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the ride.

Be kind and treat people respectfully, particularly those who are working diligently to help you travel. Patience and flexibility will help in combating holiday travel stress and avoiding a Frosty-sized meltdown.

A Few More Holiday Travel Tips:

  • Travel early or late in the day
  • Check ahead for airline delays 
  • Pay attention to the weather on driving routes
  • Make sure your cellphone is fully charged
  • Verify your passport is updated some countries require a 6 month validation rule when traveling and have a valid signature on your passport.

Don’t let the crowds during the holiday season stop you from traveling. Although holiday travel is known to be difficult, using these holiday travel tips will ensure a relaxing and stress-free experience.

A Note About Pandemic Protocols

One more thing…

Research pandemic protocols at your destinations.

Be aware that you must wear a mask at all times in airports and on planes. It’s also a good idea to add hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to your packing list. 

The Armchair Adventurer: The Best Virtual Travel Tours and Experiences

Taking a virtual tour is a great way to satisfy your wanderlust during these stay-at-home times. 

There’s been an influx of virtual traveling videos and interactive experiences lately. We’re seeing great travel streams, VR adventures, 4K drone flights, and more! Add in a lot of travel discussion on social media and platforms and getting through the lockdown won’t be too hard for those that live for travel.

Here are our top picks for must-see virtual travel tours and experiences if you’re feeling up for an adventure while doing your part in keeping everyone safe during these tough times.

4K Urban Life’s Showcase of Big Cities & Metropolises

4K Urban Life’s YouTube channel is a stunning collection of 4K ultra HD, long-form video tours of cities from all over the world. The videos are absolutely perfect for those who love people watching and taking in big city sights and sounds. There are also many, many 4K drone videos showcasing urban sprawls and big city life.

The Louvre’s Virtual Tours and Exhibitions

The Louvre is one quite a few bucket lists which is why we’re adding it to our list! Since travel is tough right now and going to the Louvre doubly so, we recommend taking a virtual tour of some of its best exhibitions. From its ‘The Body of Movement’ exhibition to ‘Egyptian Antiquities’ and more, this is an experience you could totally check off on your travel list (go on, we won’t tell anyone it was all done online!).

ActionKid’s NYC Walks & Tours

The ActionKid’s YouTube channel sees videos uploaded daily of his experiences traversing New York City. Kenneth Chin, our star, has an incredible knowledge of the city and gives us a great overview of every nook and cranny while presenting it in 4K60FPS!

Preparing to Travel (Once Things Open Up Again)

Taking a guess — some of you reading have never traveled. Some may have created some plans but the whole pandemic thing disrupted things big time!

If you haven’t yet:

Now’s a good time to start the U.S. passport application process.

Government agencies are backed up because of everything that’s going on. Eventually, travel will open up to everyone again. Don’t wait until then because there will be a huge backlog!

And if you’ve got a passport and it’s going to expire? Get the passport renewal process going for these same reasons. It’s best to be ready for adventure when we return to normal than put it off for a couple of months longer, right?

Okay, now back to the virtual travel list…

Geographics’ History Lessons & Adventures

Geographics is a channel that’s quickly becoming one of our favorites because of it’s informative content and fun adventures. In a little over 20-ish minutes, you’ll experience a great adventure and learn something amazing about it, too. If you enjoy this history-travel type content then you’ll love the other channel, Biographics, presented by their team, too!

Google Maps’ Grand Canyon, USA ‘Hike’

Google Maps sometimes creates experiences using their ‘Stree View Trekker’ system which is basically the photo apparatus mounted to a person. This creates all kinds of amazing opportunities to show off the world. In this case, the Google Maps team took to the Grand Canyon for an extensive hike! All of it is presented in 360 panoramic images.

https://www.google.com/maps/about/behind-the-scenes/streetview/treks/grand-canyon/

BookingHunterTV’s Breathtaking Worldly Tours

BookingHunterTV’s YouTube channel is chock full of amazing, long-form travel videos from all over the world. From Rome, Italy, and Vienna, Austria to Pisa, Italy, and more, the channel is a fantastic way to explore some of the most popular destinations around the world. Set it on a second screen while doing some work and the day will fly right by!

Virtual Japan’s Lush, Lo-Fi Japanese Adventures

Virtual Japan, as you could guess, offers virtual experiences of Japan. Presented in glorious 4K resolution, you’ll get to wander through the streets, visit parks, attend events, shops, and so much more. The channel also features a 24/7 stream of the videos set to lo-fi music.

Discover the World One Experience at a Time

There’s no replacement for real-life adventure but virtual tours are a nice alternative until things return to normal! In some ways, this downtime is perfect for figuring out your next itinerary.

Use this downtime to discover the world and make those big travel goals!

We also might suggest having a look at a travel blog for write-ups about various destinations, experiences, and cultures. Or, join a language program where you can learn a new language AND make friends with locals! 

The possibilities are endless when you start to adventure what’s available through the Web!