Four years and 17 days ago we drove away from Jim’s parent’s house in Salem, Oregon heading south. The plan was to spend a couple of years driving the PanAmerican Highway, working on my writing, and explore in-depth a new-to-us continent. As the sun sets on one decade it is clear that having such a plan rarely works out exactly as we expect. Today I write this from a campground in Coos Bay, Oregon somewhere we never thought we’d end up having not yet made it to South America. As the saying goes…the best-laid plans.
There may come a time where we come into money, or experience an upturn in our business, or gain a large bonus, or wish to celebrate something truly amazing. It’s in these moments that we can feel somewhat excited to spend on something we may not have otherwise. Of course, as a seasoned traveler, or someone who simply wishes to craft the best memories with those they care about, luxury travel in style can seem like the best option.
Less determined and experienced hikers might look at the temperature drop, the snow-covered roads, or the frosty windows and believe it’s the time of year to hang up their hiking boots for now. But, adventurers such as yourself know there’s no such thing as an off-season, and with a change in weather comes brand new places to explore.
If you are preparing for your next great adventure, going at it blind isn’t always the best option. Sometimes taking the time to do a little forward planning can help you get so much more from your trip.
While planning can sometimes seem a little boring, it can keep you safe, keep costs down, and allow you to enjoy your trip far more. Today we are going to be looking at five tips you could put into action before you head out to discover new wonders.
Image Credit – Pexels – CC0 Licence
Meeting people when you are out traveling alone doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, it is way easier than you think!
Give Everyone a Chance
It’s so important that you keep an open mind when you are traveling. At the end of the day, you are going to meet people from all corners of the world. They may be older than you, have different interests or even do things that you personally wouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t strike up an unlikely friendship.
Niagara Falls is one of those incredible sights that everybody should see at least once in their lives. We’re all familiar with it and you’ve probably seen it on TV plenty of times, but that doesn’t do it justice at all. When you see it up close, it’s a totally different experience and it’s definitely worth taking the trip. If you’ve never been, you should plan a trip of your own. But if you want to get the best experience, you need to make sure that you plan it properly. Here are a few tips to help you plan your first trip to Niagara Falls.
Those words, from one of my favorite songs, is an apt description of much of our life and wanderings. A season ending in Baja transforms into a season beginning at camp. Now, as the leaves begin a color kaleidoscope transformation all their own, our seasons will soon recycle and renew as well.
Whether you are a nomadic traveler, living a life on the road commuting from state to state to visit the landmarks, monuments, and attractions of the US, or flying to a European destination for that holiday of a lifetime, the risk of theft of your valuables is very real. Wherever there are large numbers of people, from a crowded beach to a music concert, there will be those who want to relieve you of your prized possessions – and they’re very good at it. So how do you minimise the chance of becoming another statistic?
It’s surprising how many travelers, especially the younger set, don’t bother to buy any form of travel insurance, and live to regret it. Hopefully, everyone’s holiday will go smoothly without any mishap, medical emergency or criminal activity, but unfortunately, annual figures tell us otherwise. Travel insurance can be tailored to suit your requirements. If you have a number of expensive digital products, paying a little extra and buying insurance to cover replacement of same is well worth considering.
Hotel security has improved enormously in the hotspots and big cities of Europe. Most rooms will have a safe, but if they don’t, the hotel usually has a secure safe in the reception area. Nonetheless, don’t just walk into the reception with a handful of valuables and cash. Put it all in a bag, tape it up and put your name and room number on the package.
Don’t leave valuable items lying around in your hotel room. Even if you’re taking a shower, put mobile phone, tablet or cash in drawers or under cushions. Out of sight out of mind minimises the risk of opportunist theft by anyone who has the authority to enter the room.
Holiday Apartment Complexes:
If you’re staying in an apartment complex, security may not be as high as that in hotels, although apartment security is improving. Apartment theft makes up a large proportion of insurance claims, yet the majority of these could so easily be avoided. In most of Europe’s hotspots, with daytime temperatures often in the mid/the high 30s, and nighttime temperatures in the upper 20s, travelers walk into their rooms and throw open every window and door they can find.
Unfortunately, they often choose to leave patio doors and windows open to cool the apartment when they go to the pool or out for a meal. The fact your apartment is on the fifth floor is no guarantee you won’t get a visit from our light-fingered friends if you leave them an open invitation. The same applies when you retire for the night. Having enjoyed a gourmet meal with a few glasses of wine you’re sure of a good night’s sleep. Your unwanted visitors rely on that. As you sleep, they creep in through the open patio doors and tip-toe around the apartment relieving you of everything of value. Lock your apartment as you would lock up at home.
Round the Pool or on the Beach:
If you intend to spend a day around the pool or beach take with you the minimum you’ll need. Okay, so the mobile phone and Kindle are a must, and enough cash to get a baguette and drink. If you are holidaying with friends or family make sure someone stays with the valuables while the others go for a swim. Don’t heap everything together and throw a towel over them. Hidden eyes will be watching for you to do just that. By the time you come out of the water and manage to find your sunbeds, they will be minus your valuables. The same with bags and rucksacks; never leave them unattended.
Out and About:
Whether doing a little sightseeing, or out on a bar crawl, don’t wear the family jewels. Nothing attracts your friendly local bag snatcher than all that bling sparkling in the sunshine.
It’s difficult for the ladies to go out without a bag. If you can’t make do with a money belt or bumbag, choose a shoulder bag, and put the strap over the head. Never leave it unattended; anywhere. For men, leave the wallet and cards hidden in the apartment, they’re a pickpocket’s favorite item. Spread the cash about, fifty each in two or three pockets and maybe fifty in a sock.
It all sounds very melodramatic, but really it’s just common sense and being a little streetwise. A little forethought will ensure you’re not the ones spending precious holiday time arranging replacement funds to get home.