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Solo Travel can Save Your Life

Solo Travel  Traveling alone is a wonderful thing that everyone should experience at least once in his or her lives. It allows you to connect with your inner self and the environment around you. Far too often, we become so involved with outside forces that we neglect our intimate self. Traveling solo breaks you from […]

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Solo Travel

Traveling alone is a wonderful thing that everyone should experience at least once in his or her lives. It allows you to connect with your inner self and the environment around you. Far too often, we become so involved with outside forces that we neglect our intimate self. Traveling solo breaks you from many of the bonds that tie us down and frees your mind to be alone. Connecting with nature and distant cultures opens up one’s self to an interesting perspective on life. I enjoy quiet time as it is so rare nowadays, that is why I wrote this blog.

Solo travel was my key to finding my true self and opening up my mind to new, exciting experiences.

These are my solo travel tips that can help you survive being alone when on our modern world, no one it really alone.

Off Season

Who likes busy, overcrowded resorts and vacation spots? Not me, or anyone traveling solo. The whole idea of traveling solo is to get away and have some peace and quiet, that’s why traveling during off seasons is preferred. This is effective for multiple reasons, first it’s cheaper and second it’s less populated. I love saving money and I love being alone, win-win. I also advise traveling to the opposite season from your own. Meaning, during summer in the Northern Hemisphere, travel south into the Southern Hemisphere, for their winter.   This will help you isolate yourself from the crowds and high prices.

Single room/ticket deals

Many hotels and resorts have vacancies that they need to fill last minute and these are always great deals. Check ahead so you aren’t left homeless, and keep an open mind, some last minute vacancies are less desirable.

Along these same lines, many attractions and shows will have single tickets available for a huge discount. Theatres and concerts often have single tickets and groups tend to not want to be split up, so another deal for the solo traveler. I find this especially true in places like Las Vegas, Branson and Macau, where there are just so many shows.

Exchange rates

Let the world markets decide where you travel, if you want to maximize your money. Exchange rates can swing up and down and depending on where you are traveling to, and where you are coming from the savings can be huge. It benefits you and your wallet to check these exchange rates before you book your travel. Currently the US dollar to Euro favors the American dollar, so it’s cheaper to travel to Europe from the US instead of vice versa. Save yourself the trouble and do a little due diligence before you pack your bags.

Split rides

New city new adventure: grab an Uber or Taxi and split the fair with someone. This is a great way to save money and maybe make a new friend. The less we are shut off from people the more we will internalize everything, so on occasion, a new friend helps.

Free Museums

Museums and Zoos can be expensive attractions to visit, so look out for cities that offer free admissions. Last time I was in New York City, my wife and I went to the Guggenheim, a wonderful museum that cost us $30 per ticket. That may not seem like a small fee but these little expenses really add up. Check out Washington DC or London, both cities offer free museums and zoos and both are world class. Check out the world-renowned Smithsonian Museum collection in Washington, DC or the British Museum in London.

Solo Travel Organizations

Check out solo travel organization like TravBuddy or TravelChum, which link up solo travelers who want an accomplice to adventure with. These services find potential roommates or travel buddies for you to go on excursions with or just save money on accommodations.

Hostels

Don’t overlook hostels and their guests’ general way of life. Backpackers from all over the world have been utilizing hostels for decades as cheap accommodations but more than that, they represent a way of life. Hostels are home to free spirits, vagabonds and nomads from all walks of life. You are guaranteed to make new lifelong friends staying at hostels and you will really open up your mind to the way other people think and live.

Enjoy your solo travel adventures and I hope you find whatever you are looking for, all your answers are out there, and you just have to find them. When travelling alone, try to use the time to self reflect, meditate and focus on your own spiritual growth.

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Things You Should Never Say To A Flight Attendant

Traveling can be a troublesome experience so we need to do everything we can to help make the trip more pleasant and comfortable for ourselves. On a long plane trip the Flight Attendant can be your ally in this endeavor. Flight Attendants are generally helpful and pleasant but if treated with disrespect may be disinclined to […]

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Traveling can be a troublesome experience so we need to do everything we can to help make the trip more pleasant and comfortable for ourselves. On a long plane trip the Flight Attendant can be your ally in this endeavor. Flight Attendants are generally helpful and pleasant but if treated with disrespect may be disinclined to help. 

The job of a Flight Attendant is to keep you safe and comfortable and can be stressful on the best of days, but unruly and rude passengers just make the job so much harder.  From rude statements to questions that they have no way of knowing the answer to, here are some things that you never want to say to a Flight Attendant.

“I need to use the toilet before we take off.” This is against regulations, once the seatbelt light is on you must stay put. 

“Can you lift my bag for me?” This is not the Flight Attendant’s job, when packing you should make sure your bag is not too heavy for you to lift. 

“I’ll put my phone on airplane mode in a minute.” This is a requirement and Flight Attendants must ask you to do this. Be nice and comply

“They let me the last time I flew.” Whether or not this is true your Flight Attendant won’t appreciate this ploy. Their job is to enforce the rules, and most do.

“Can you watch my kids for me?” Flight Attendants are not babysitters and you shouldn’t expect them to be. 

“Why are we delayed?” “Will I make my connection?” These are the types of questions that the Flight Attendant has no way of having the answer to. If you have a cell phone you can find those answers yourself with a handy app.

A few more handy tips on the proper treatment of your Flight Attendant. Don’t treat her like a waitress because she isn’t. Her job is to keep you safe, not to cater to your needs. And don’t call your Flight Attendant a “Stewardess”, this term is outdated and sexist. And don’t hit on her, you aren’t in a bar.

 

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Ecotourism is NOT Environmentally Friendly

There is a trend in travel that has picked up a lot of steam over the last few years. That trend is called Eco-Tourism. As the environment has become more important to people over the last decade – and especially so in the last couple…

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Ecotourism is a new term; something created in the last 10 years, so what does it really mean? Eco-tourism is basically capitalism’s answer to the environment and people’s growing concerns. Companies are cashing in and its becoming big business. Although the initial intent was probably good-natured, the results are usually less than favorable. The costs don’t always outweigh the means, so is ecotourism actually a good thing? Let’s find out.

Time to investigate what companies are actually trying to accomplish with their eco-tourism. The term greenwashing keeps coming up in my research and it’s a pretty interesting phenomenon. Apparently, greenwashing is an attempt to appear as being eco friendly. Seems like a pretty lame thing to be involved with, but you’d be surprised at how many large corporations actually are involved in greenwashing.

Many if not all of the major hotel chains are now putting placards in their rooms that inform guests that they respect mother nature and because of this they don’t wash the linens every night. This comes off as a great thing that a large corporation is doing. But in reality they are greenwashing us all by using the environment to service their own needs. It’s obvious to me that these companies are only doing this because it saves them an enormous amount of money and they look good in the process.

Cultures are destroyed by tourism and they can’t even profit because the major corporations suck all the money from them. Tourism only feeds off the stereotypes of a culture and the actual culture suffers and often slowly disappears. What’s left is a washed out shell of the culture and the true spirit is lost forever.  

Eco-tours are usually an environmental nightmare, by bringing in people by the busload or boatload; these eco-tours are actually harming the local surroundings.   These tourists don’t come alone, they eat, drink and consume anything in their way and what’s left is the garbage and used up Mother Nature.

Eco-tours profit from large disasters, allowing the general public to feel like they helped, when in reality all they do is scratch the surface. The tourists come to a disaster for a few days, pick up some garbage, help with some injured and then go home feeling like they made a difference. The problem is that if they really wanted to help, they would’ve just sent aid in the form of money, food or medicine,

If a company truly wanted to be involved in eco tourism responsibly, they would do these things.

Only using local products would actually benefit the environment and would help the community profit.   If ecotourism companies cared, they would limit the number of visitors to limit the impact on the environment. Educating tourists on their impact on the environment would help the cause. Allowing the local culture to be in charge and to protect their interests is the best way to help the environment.

 

Hopefully by educating people about ecotourism eventually leads to more conscious travelers and compassionate people in general.

 

Enjoy the full article at NomadicMatt

Photos courtesy of HoiAnEcoTour and GetYourGuide

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Best Travel Laptops

How to Choose a Travel Laptop When traveling with technology, my rule of thumb is simple: pack light. I understand that you want the best functionality with your travel laptop but sometimes it pays to go with the minimal option. I always look at multiple choices when I’m contemplating buying technology and laptops are no […]

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How to Choose a Travel Laptop

When traveling with technology, my rule of thumb is simple: pack light. I understand that you want the best functionality with your travel laptop but sometimes it pays to go with the minimal option. I always look at multiple choices when I’m contemplating buying technology and laptops are no different.   I look at cost, battery life, storage, functionality and portability.

 

It’s smart to weigh your options and figure out what exactly you plan on using the laptop.

Do you want to watch movies?

Are you trying to surf the web?

What programs will you need to run?

Will you need internet accessibility?

How much are you trying to spend?

Just how portable do you need your travel laptop to be?

 

These questions and many more may arise in your decision process and I’m here to help.

There are 3 main types of lightweight travel laptops: 2-n-1s, ultra books and Chromebooks.

 

2-n-1s

These are versatile laptops and tablets in one, hence the catchy and practical name. These are very functional and convenient for travel since they have multi-functionality. They convert from a laptop to tablet easily and extremely portable. Sometimes you just want to watch a movie and other times you need the capability to access Microsoft office, so a 2-n-1 may be for you.

Microsoft really owns this market with their functional Surface Pro 2-n-1. The highlight is obviously their transformative properties and touch screen capabilities.

You will enjoy how easily they change from full laptop to e-reader or tablet.

The Surface Pro starts at around $800 USD and can be upgraded easily. The baseline model weighs less than 2 pounds and the battery lasts on average for 9 hours. That’s plenty of time for a long flight and layover.

Surfaces can be used with or without a keyboard, which adds to its portability.

 

Chromebooks

Chromebooks are your budget friendly option but are cheap for a reason. These computers don’t run a full operating system like Apple OX or Windows; instead they run off a basic OS that uses the Chrome browser. Now that the name makes sense, lets discuss these laptops.

Chromebooks are hampered by their weak operating system, which doesn’t allow Adobe products or Microsoft. Their simple functionality allows users to browse the internet, watch movies or back up files like your travel photos. If all you need are these basic functions, then a Chromebook may be for you. Without internet connection however, you may not be able to perform basic word processing.

Check out the Acer Chromebook for only $225 USD, which is really cheap for all that it does. With an 11-inch screen and extreme portability these guys are great picks.

 

Ultra books

These bad boys are your traditional laptops but made smaller and lighter for your travel needs. They blend high performance speed and functional portability to create the high-end travel technology you may need. These are best for people who actually have to get work done while traveling. They can do all the normal functions of a laptop but with less weight and bulk. 

The Apple Macbook Air is my clear pick; especially since I’m an Apple man myself. These slick powerhouses pack all the frill with half the weight. They start at around $850 USD and pack the same processor as their bigger brothers the Macbook.

Do your own research and figure out what your digital needs may be, and purchase your travel laptop.

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