As much as you can, plan ahead. If you are able to plan out an itinerary, it will keep you on track and push you to try out new things. Traveling alone gives you the freedom to do everything you want on your own schedule. Planning around that allows you to have a jam packed trip
Check-in at Home
Solo travel can be nerve racking for your family members. Ease their mind by checking in every now and again. This will ensure that you’re okay, but also tip them off in the event of an emergency. Plus, it will be nice to talk to loved ones if you get homesick. A call home can be just what you need to get refreshed if you are feeling lonely.
Do What You Want to Do
Often times when traveling, you are at the mercy of the entire group. Traveling by yourself ensures that you get to do exactly what you want when you want. Your travel mates do not normally want to see museums or look at architecture? When you travel by yourself you can do whatever you want the entire trip if you like! Use a solo traveling experience as a getaway to do anything and everything you have ever wanted to do. Which leads me to my next point.
Enjoy the Time With Yourself
Solo trips are, by design, an extremely personal experience. They are for you and you alone. Enjoy the time by yourself, take adventures you’ve always wanted to take, and refresh in solitude. Solo travel is one of the most refreshing experience, but one of the hardest to take the initial plunge. There are a lot of unknowns in solo travel. Are you going to like it? Will it be fun? Will I get lonely? These are all normal questions to ask, but you’ll never truly know the answer unless you take that step. No matter what, you’ll come back with a different perspective.
Carry Hotel Business Cards
When you check in, be sure to swipe a couple of hotel cards and keep them on your person. You’ll be doing a lot of exploring and may get a little lost. Having the address on hand can help you find your way back. Additionally, if you’re in a foreign location, it may be easiest to hand a cab driver a card rather than attempting to break a language barrier.
Live Like a Local
When you are traveling solo, you can live like a local! Talk to locals and find out the best things to do, the best sights to see, and what they do for fun. It will be easy to do by yourself and will be extremely rewarding. Living like a local gives you an extremely personal and cultural enriching trip. Have fun, talk to people around you, and make new friends!
This is a no brainer. You are going to need a reliable (and comfortable) pack to hold all your gear. It’s got to have additional pockets for easy access to frequently used items. The pack also needs to secure all your belongings so you are not worried about things falling out. Depending what type of backpacking you are doing will dictate what is the most appropriate bag to bring. If you are solely hiking outdoors, you will need a different backpack than traveling across different countries. Do yourself a favor and grab a high-quality pack that will last you years to come and is appropriate for the trips you take most often.
No matter what type of backpacking you are doing, there are essentials that you will need no matter what. Below highlights some of the best gear, gadgets, and clothing to keep in mind when packing a single bag and hitting the road.
You are going to absolutely need to pack clothing! Without sensible clothing, you can end up unprepared and uncomfortable. Be sure to pack weather-appropriate clothing. If it’s going to be cold, you’ll be happy you brought gloves, scarves, hats, long johns, and a coat! Conversely, if it’s going to be hot, you’ll want shorts and lightweight shirts to keep you cool. With that being said, It’s easy to overpack clothing. Think sensibly about what you bring and also within reason of what your bag can hold.
This may be more relevant for someone backpacking across Europe rather than a weekend escape to the woods, but nonetheless, here’s some tips. Electronics can get heavy and weigh down your pack. If you don’t need a laptop for anything other than funny youtube videos and Netflix, it may not be necessary. You will want to bring your smartphone for directions, to stay in contact with friends & family, and to look up local hotspots for food. Bringing a camera along is also a great idea. You’ll be able to capture all the great memories without worrying about taking up room on your phone.
Beware, electronics are easily lost or target to theft because they often cost quite a bit in the first place. Be cognizant of this and make sure your items are secured at all times.
Things that fall into the travel necessities categories are items you’ll need to make traveling easier and more comfortable. You will want to have all appropriate chargers and a universal plug adapter if you are traveling abroad. Additionally, you may want earplugs and an eye mask for those hostels that are extra loud and bright. Sleeping well is essential to the success of your trip, so bring a blanket with you in case you need extra warmth at night. Things like sunglasses, grooming equipment, and hygiene products are also vital to the comfortability of any trip. Finally, include a small “repair kit” that has duct tape, a small sewing kit, and anything else that you think is appropriate to fix items if they get damaged along the way.
Have a first aid kit with you. In the event you need it, a first aid kit will help you keep minor injuries from becoming worse. Additionally, having pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medication, and any additional medication you may take will provide a better travel experience for you.
The admin section covers a wide variety of items you’ll need to do most anything. Have your debit/credit cards, a small amount of cash, passport, and proper form of identification. Finding yourself without these items will make travel extremely difficult. These items are also extremely important, so keep them on your person at all times in a secure location where they won’t get lost or stolen.
Now that your bag is packed, remember to have fun! Backpacking is an exciting experience! You’ve taken the time to pack everything you could ever need and are prepared for anything your trip will throw at you. Enjoy your trip, experience new things, meet interesting people, and take pictures to document your adventure!
Ireland is one of the most beautiful travel destinations in Europe, possibly even the world. There are various vibrant cities you can visit, a stunning countryside with tiny villages, and awe-inspiring cliffs along the western side of the island. Ireland has various UNESCO recognized World Heritage sites that contain thousands of years of history, along with the history of the divide between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Skellig Michael, County Kerry
While this destination is lesser known and a bit more difficult to travel to than the others on this list, it’s certainly worth it. This island is labeled a UNESCO World Heritage site and only a few hundred visitors are allowed each day. Regular tours aren’t offered year round, but during the summer months you can hire a local fisherman to take you out to the island. Hundreds of stone steps twist up toward the top of the windswept rock, where a cluster of stone huts remain, the past homes of Christian monks in the sixth century, who braved the harsh conditions to live in solitude. A more modern fact is that the ending of the most recent Star Wars movie was filmed on this site.
Dublin contains a nearly endless amount of amazing sights and rich cultural history. You can head to Trinity College to examine the beautiful architecture and learn about the place where famous authors and artists were educated. You can also take the time to see the Book of Kells and Trinity Library. Or, you can tour the Guinness factory, go on a literary pub crawl, and stop by Christ Church Cathedral. Walk the same streets as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett and soak up the history.
This Abbey was once a castle, but was converted into an abbey for nuns who fled Belgium during WWI. The castle was initially a gift from Mitchel Henry to his young wife, who unfortunately died at a young age. He never remarried. Once the castle became an abbey, the nuns ran a successful girls’ boarding school on the premises for years. The architecture is stunning and worth the visit, especially because you get to travel through the Irish countryside as well.
This place is the only UNESCO World Heritage site in Northern Ireland. This site is made of around 40,000 polygonal basalt rock columns that was formed almost 60 million years ago by ancient volcanic activity. The Causeway stretches along the Northern Irish coastline, giving tourists a unique chance to tread on a stunning feat of nature. A local legend exists that the Causeway is a result of a fight between two giants.
Cliffs of Moher
These cliffs are likely Ireland’s most popular natural attraction and with good reason. They soar above the ocean on the western side of Ireland and offer a stunning view, whether it’s of the Aran Islands from the top of the cliffs, or on a boat riding the waves toward the base of the cliffs. On a clear day, you can see for miles and appreciate the lush green of the countryside and the deep blue of the water surrounding you
Vacationers are always talking about the “best” times to visit particular destinations, but most often they are referring to a time that a lot of other people have in mind. Although there is nothing wrong with traveling in peak seasons, there is an exciting charm about traveling in the offseason when you can explore new surroundings without the crowds. The list below highlights some famous destinations with an offseason travel recommendation.
New Orleans, Louisiana
When people generally think of traveling to New Orleans, Mardi Gras is what they plan their visit around. The streets are flooded with tourists who want to take part in the biggest party in the United States. If you ask any of the locals about the best time to visit, they will most certainly tell you to avoid Mardi Gras and come for Halloween.
The month of July is a tourist hotspot. The weather is pleasant and you’ll be received more warmly. The locals at any travel destination often become tired of the crowds and tourists. Plan your trip to Thailand in June for a better overall experience. The rain season is just about over and has cooled the area down. There are also less crowds and more hotel availability. June is the perfect time to experience Thailand for less money and less headache!
Most tourists make their way to Boston for the summer. There’s plenty going on, the weather is warm, and the city is hopping. Don’t get me wrong, the summer months are a great time for a Boston vacation, but it’s not the only time you should visit. For a truly unique experience, visit Boston in October or November. The air will be a little brisk, but experiencing the fall foliage will be worth the extra layer. Boston is a town full of history, culture, and art, so there is something there for everyone – no matter what time of year.
Paris is another destination to take advantage of in the fall. The weather is cooling down and the summer vacation crowd has died down. You will feel as though you have the city to yourself. Top attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre will have significantly smaller lines, thus allowing you to spend some quality time with Mona Lisa.
Hawaii sees a ton of tourist traffic twice a year. During the summer Hawaii sees the vacation crowd and in the winter the see travelers from all over coming to escape the cold. The truth with Hawaii is that there is never a bad time to be there. The weather remains pretty consistent and it’s beautiful year round. If you are looking for a unique experience, planning your trip for April or May is the way to go. Doing so will get you to Hawaii for less money, in the “dry” season before hurricane season, and at a time where the beaches aren’t flooded with other tourists.
Preparing for your long term travel plans can be a very stressful activity. There’s a lot to do! If you have a plan in place, it will be much easier. The list below highlights some of the most important things to do before leaving for a long term trip.
Forward your Mail
If you can, get as many of your bills “paperless” as to avoid a trash bag of mail upon your return. For everything else, have a trusted relative or friend receive your mail for the time you will be away. This will save you the headache of lost mail or having an overflowing mailbox.
You will want to avoid as many fees as possible while traveling – you’ll need the money! If you are traveling abroad, get a card that does not accrue international transaction fees. Even if you are traveling within your country, try to get a card that does not charge ATM fees either. It may not seem like a big deal, but those fees add up quickly.
Budget/Look for Work
You will want to set up a budget and do your best to stick to it. If you are planning on being a little more liberal with your money, do your best to set up odd jobs in the places you are staying. If you have the skills, set up some digital freelancing before you leave so you can work remotely!
Set Up Travel Insurance
Check with your insurance provider and be sure to acquire travel insurance. Accidents happen and you do not want a trip to the hospital to suck up your entire travel budget. Do yourself a favor and make a call to your insurance provider and make sure you’ll be covered no matter where you end up.
Pack as Light as Possible
This especially goes for you backpackers! The more things you bring with you the more lugging you will have to do on hikes, between flights, and getting in and out of busses/cabs. Do your best to bring only the necessities. Bring a week or two worth of clothing and do laundry often. It will save space in your bag and be less weight you have to carry! Plan and pack ahead so you have time to get rid of excess or gather extra materials.
Have a Farewell Party!
Set up a get together for all your friends and family as a pleasant farewell. This will help ease the pain of homesickness, but also gives your family and friends the opportunity to wish you off all at once. It will be much harder trying to run around or see everyone before you’re off. Plus, why not kick off your travels with a party.
If you are traveling for the first time and are nervous about the experience – that’s okay! It’s going to be your first time in an unknown area away from the support system you have built. Have no fear – the list below outlines some of the most important things to keep in mind for your first trip.
You’re going to want to overpack, but resist the urge. You want to pack light for a few reasons. The first is that you don’t want to run the risk of having your luggage overweight if you are getting on a plane. The second reason you will want to pack light is for souvenirs! If you are at capacity, there will be no room to bring home any neat things you find along the way. Finally, you won’t need it all. If you overpack you are bound to not wear articles of clothing and lugging around all that extra stuff will wear you out.
Send yourself copies of pertinent documents
No matter whether you are traveling abroad or within your country, electronically send yourself copies of your passport, visa, ID, and debit/credit cards. They will be a lifesaver in the event that your luggage is lost or your wallet is stolen.
Get to the airport early
This may go without saying, but you want to get to the airport ahead of time. The lines at security can be unpredictable. You don’t want to end up sprinting to the gate or missing your flight. The less stress at the beginning of your trip – the better!
This goes especially for those traveling alone. Try to make friends with locals and other tourists! It will make your trip more enjoyable and the locals may even share a few secrets off the beaten path. You may even make lasting friendships and new travel buddies on your trip.
Break out of your comfort zone
Traveling is all about gaining experiences and perspective. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone to try new things. Be open to new food, unexpected adventure, and the different cultures you will run into. Keeping an open mind will enhance your trip and possibly leave you with a new favorite dish!
Most importantly, remember to have fun. Traveling is meant to be an escape from what you are used to. Get out there and immerse yourself in the culture, see the sights, and be a tourist. The more you can soak up the better. Plus, you’ll want to come home with stories for all your friends and family.
If you are a travel junkie looking to stock up on great gear to get you through the airports, flights, and hotel rooms – look no further. This list goes through some of the quintessential travel items that will make your trip a breeze. Next time you find yourself packing for vacation or a business trip, make sure these items end up going with you.
Electronic Luggage Scale
Because there is nothing worse than arriving to the airport late only to check your bag – and it’s over weight. This little gadget will make sure you’re underweight before you even leave. Plus, most are compact enough to throw in your bag for the return trip home. We both know you’re not going to be able to resist a souvenir or two.
Portable Bluetooth Speaker
There are a number of great little speakers out there and they pack a punch! Bring one of these along for your hotel room, on the beach, or while relaxing by the pool. Whatever speaker you decide on will be compact enough to tuck away in your suitcase, but loud enough to get any party started!
Before your next trip, grab yourself a waterproof bag. You never know when you’ll be caught in a rainstorm or making a spontaneous beach trip. Having a waterproof bag on you will give you the peace of mind that all your personal belongings will remain dry. It’s also not a bad idea to keep a full change of clothes in one of these bags so you are ready for anything!
Whether you are traveling for work or vacation, you may not always have access to an outlet to charge your devices. Plus, it always seems that our devices are on the verge of dying right when we need them. Keeping a portable power pack charged and on your person can save you in a bind.
Refillable Liquid Travel Containers
These bad boys will save you a ton of money and effort. They are TSA approved and easy to use. Fill them up with your favorite shampoos, conditioners, and other liquid bathroom products. This makes your weekender with only a carry-on much less of a headache. They also save you money from having to buy the travel size bottles! Just fill with the products that are already in your shower at home and you are good to go!
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Planes can get noisy and you’ll want to be prepared. Do yourself a favor and grab some noise cancelling headphones before your next trip. You’ll be able to listen to your favorite tunes without having to crank the volume to drown everything else out. If turnin’ the tunes up to 11 is your thing, these types of headphones have you covered. The cancel noise without sacrificing sound.
Going on a large trip can be a daunting project, but if you plan accordingly there will be no surprise costs. A common mistake most people make is not thinking about the budget after the plane tickets, hotels, and admission fees (if attending amusement parks) have been purchased. The day to day expenses are often times where people find themselves unprepared.
There are a few simple things to keep in mind to set an appropriate travel budget so you can enjoy your vacation and know exactly how much money you will need once you arrive at your destination.
While on vacation, you are going to spend a large chunk of money on food. You’ll have to eat, but more importantly, you’ll want to try new things! Eating out can get expensive quickly. Make sure to include tips for sit down restaurants in your budget. Also include additional money in your budget for higher priced food. Tourist attractions are notorious for gouging the price on food. If you are going to be doing a lot of foot travel, also include the price of snacks. You’ll work up an appetite much faster than you think.
Vacations are a time to try all kinds of new things. You may already have planned a trip to an amusement park or a national museum, but have you budgeted for unexpected experiences you won’t want to say no to? Most people do not account for the local entertainment because it wasn’t included in the travel information they originally looked at. You ultimately will not know all your destination has to offer until you are there, so plan accordingly!
Souvenirs are the easiest thing to cut out of a budget, but also the most unexpected expense. You may tell yourself you do not need to spend money on souvenirs or gifts, but you will never truly know until you are tempted with an item you can’t refuse. Allocating a little extra money for souvenirs can be the icing on the cake. If you use the money, you will have some great souvenirs and be happy you bought them. If you resist the urge, you come home with more money that you expected.
Avoid ATM Fees
ATM fees will add up quickly, especially if you find yourself in a “cash only” situation. Rather than running to the ATM and racking up expensive fees every time, set aside a decent amount of cash to bring with you. If you do not want to carry large amounts of cash on you at all times, most hotels include a safe for you to keep excess money in.
No matter how well you plan, there will be expenses that you did not originally account for. Someone in your party could end up sick and need medicine immediately, you may run out of sunscreen faster than you anticipated, or even need to replace lost or stolen items. You don’t want to find yourself in a predicament and be out of money.
The city of Montreal is located in the middle of the St. Lawrence river in southwest Quebec and is Canada’s second largest city. Montreal has a French soul, in fact, it has the largest population of French speakers outside of Paris. The city enchants visitors with an old-world charm and an unpretentious love of good food and festivals.The first Europeans to arrive here were from France and while the British later claimed ownership, an elegant sophistication lingers on. Some of the buildings here date back to the 17th century, making it one of the oldest urban areas in North America.
While traveling to Montreal, discover the city’s famous food scene. Try Poutine – or, follow your nose to one of the city’s many wood fired ovens and try a real Montreal bagel.
Montreal is also thoroughly hip. The city hosts more than 100 festivals throughout the year but even if you happen to be here between events, there is always something cool going on.
And of course, you can’t leave town without a trip to La Ronde, the city’s beloved amusement park.
As the sun sets on your adventures, head back downtown and discover Montreal after dark. Enjoy cool jazz, smoky blues or wind down with something a little more quirky.
The city of Boston is an exciting and history city. Situated on Massachusetts Bay, the city has a fine natural harbor and a compact center filled with reminders of the city’s role in the American Revolution.
Boston is nicknamed ‘the walking city’ and the best way to see it is by following the Freedom Trail. It officially starts at Boston Common, America’s oldest city park, and takes you throughout the city to 16 important sites. The highlights of the walk include The State House, with its gleaming gold dome, the Bunker Hill Monument and the Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place of Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. Another popular stop is the USS Constitution, the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel.
Behind the historic Faneuil Hall you will find Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall Market, two of the city’s most popular places to eat and hang out. Don’t leave Boston without sampling the seafood chowder or freshly-caught fish here or at one of the many restaurants by Boston Harbor.