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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.

 

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Travel

Don’t Ever go on a Road Trip Without Packing These 10 Items

Road trip season is almost here and you have to be prepared. The weather is going to clear up soon; spring break is on the horizon and your need for travel will be growing. It’s an American tradition to pack up the car and head…

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Road trip season is almost here and you have to be prepared. The weather is going to clear up soon; spring break is on the horizon and your need for travel will be growing. It’s an American tradition to pack up the car and head out into the great beyond, navigating your way through the beautiful country. I know once the first signs of spring begin to appear, its road trip time!

 

Let’s look at what essentials you should bring to make your road trip epic and unforgettable.

 

Sunglasses

You can’t leave home without your shades dudes. I live in California so I wouldn’t even think about starting a road trip with out my favorite pair of sunglasses and I might even bring a backup, because you never know. Driving down the highway with the sun glaring back at you can be dangerous, so the shades aren’t just for looking cool, although they certainly help.   Make sure your sunglasses protect against UV rays and you should be safe.

 

Water Bottle

Water is the basis of all life and we need it to survive and thrive, so make sure you pack a quality water bottle. I enjoy one that keeps my water cold for longer, like a Contigo. We should be drinking 4-16 ounce glasses of water a day at minimum to keep you hydrated, so a good water bottle is key. Plastic water bottles are environmental nightmares, so steer clear of these bad boys and get yourself a refillable bottle.

 

GPS Navigation

Most smartphones come with map apps already installed but I prefer an aftermarket one. Try WAZE, it’s a navigation app that adds in the functionality of social media to increase its effectiveness. This app tells you where traffic is and redirects you to minimize your travel time. I honestly don’t drive on the highway without first checking WAZE to see what the traffic is like.  Getting lost can be a fun adventure, but getting found is much better.

 

Tunes

What’s a road trip without some great tunes to guide your way? I always make a road trip specific mix so that my trip soundtrack reflects the drive.   If your car has an auxiliary port, make sure you bring that aux cable so you can hook up your mp3 player, or just burn some sweet mix CDs.

 

First Aid

You never know when you may need a first aid kit and if you are on a road trip, who knows where the closest help could be? You may just need a bandage or some aspirin, but a properly stocked first aid kit will always come in handy.

 

Emergency Kit

Going along with the first aid kit, a roadside emergency kit is very helpful to have in the trunk. A good roadside emergency kit should contain jumper cables, road flares or reflective triangles, a shovel, rope and a battery jumper. I have a great battery jumper in mine and it’s saved the day multiple times. Believe me, accidents happen and it always is good to be prepared. I knew being a Boy Scout would come in handy.

 

Camera

You need a good camera for your road trip or did it even happen? I pack my GoPro when I travel because you never know when adventure will happen and you need to document it. On a good road trip, you will see some sites that you’ve never seen before and you better record it. A simple point and shoot digital camera works great for this purpose, just toss it in the glove compartment and make sure your battery is charged.

 

Snacks

How can you go on a road trip without the proper snacks? I advise a good mix of sweet, salty and sour. Candy and chips are the standard with some beef jerky tossed in for sustenance. I always like to drive with emergency food, just in case you get stranded somewhere.

 

Sunscreen

Believe me, you will notice a driver side arm tan after a few days on the road. I always pack sunscreen or sunblock for road trips.   Make it an SPF of 30 or higher for the proper protection and you won’t have to keep reapplying throughout the day.

 

Cell Phone Mount

A good cell phone mount is key, especially since distracted driving is fast becoming a cause of many fatal car accidents. I use a vent clip phone holder, while many will chose the suction cup version that sticks to your windshield.   Either way, this will keep your hands free to drive and your attention on the road.

 

Hopefully these items make your road trip one to remember. Drive safe and follow all posted signs, its an epic adventure out there, just waiting for you to take it.

 

Photos Courtesy of Trend Hunter, ignant, sunglasswarehouse, travelsupermarket 

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Travel

Choosing the Best Airplane Seat

The great debate… window or aisle and which airplane seat is best? It’s a question that has been asked multiple times and the discussion keeps raging on.   Is there a scientific answer or is it more about personal preference? I’m here to get to the…

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The great debate… window or aisle and which airplane seat is best? It’s a question that has been asked multiple times and the discussion keeps raging on.   Is there a scientific answer or is it more about personal preference? I’m here to get to the bottom of this question and maybe finally find out, which seat on an airplane is truly the best.

It’s no surprise that the airlines continue to move the seats closer and closer, slowly eroding our legroom and lowering our comfort levels. Have you ever sat on an airplane and have the windows not line up with your seat?   That’s because the seats have been moved to make room for more rows and more passengers per flight.

Of course this debate doesn’t include first class, because there is no bad seat in first. If you can afford first class or get upgraded, thank your lucky stars that you don’t have to make this Sofie’s choice. Enjoy that free champagne up there; us peasants will be fighting over the armrest like a bunch of wild animals.  I’m not sure that people that fly first class have any idea what its like choosing and airplane seat.

The only real truth that has been answered is that the middle seat is by far the worst and should be your last choice. Only a real savage would decide to sit in the middle seat if others were available. This choice has too many variables to make it an acceptable choice.

Window or Aisle?

Statistically, the aisle seat is the most sought out when booking, and the window is a safe second choice. Most frequent travelers prefer the aisle for access to the restroom and the fact that they don’t have to climb over someone. Safety from blood clots is another reason aisle people love their seats. It allows you to get up and stretch your legs multiple times and at your own convenience.  These reasons are why the aisle is statistically the number one airplane seat picked.

Window enthusiasts will advocate for their choice by saying you can sleep easier and are bothered less. They also boast about having control of the window shade, which is a power move for sure.   Overnight flights make people chose the window first, because it allows them to lean on the side of the plane as a headrest, which makes sleeping much easier.

 

Worst seats on Airplane

Its no secret that the middle seat is the redheaded stepchild of airplane seats. Nobody wants it and only chose them when they have no other choice. Last resort middle seats are your punishment for booking your travel late.   You don’t get your own anything in the middle except of coarse tray table.

Sitting in the middle makes you continuously jockey for the armrests and legroom with your row mates.  Why chose this airplane seat?  I can only think that you wish to sit with your loved one, but I always have my wife sit on the aisle as I sit in the window.  Only if someone tries to sit in between us does my wife move to the middle.

I never want to sit in the first or last rows, always a bad choice. The last row almost never reclines and the first row never allows you to keep your personal belongings with you.   Airlines tend to jam the last row in there so it may also have slightly less legroom, and on airplanes, every centimeter counts. The first row or bulkhead is a red herring; it looks like first class but is actually not convenient at all. The flight attendant will make you keep all your stuff in the overhead compartment instead of next to you, where you need it.

The seats in front of the emergency rows also doesn’t recline, so steer clear of those awful seats.

Exit door seats are also way over-rated, they boast that they have extra legroom, but they also don’t recline. In my experience, reclining is way more important than a little extra legroom. If you are extra tall however, these seats are your best bet.

For the love of all that is holy, stay away from the bathroom. You may think that these are good seats because they have easy access. WRONG! You will smell everything that comes out of people and there is no escaping some stinky poop. Beware of false conveniences.

 

Night or Day

If you are flying at night, the overwhelming majority of people prefer the window. This is obviously for sleeping purposes and not being bothered by your row mates.

During daytime flights, the aisle is the preferred seat. These allow people to have better access to the restroom and have more room overall to adjust during the flight.

  

Which seat is best for you is totally a personal opinion. I know that I almost exclusively sit in the window seat, but that’s my opinion. I can tell you that sitting in the middle seat is a fate I don’t wish upon anyone. They should just get rid of all middle seats and the world may actually be a better place to live. Imagine how much happier we would be if the middle seat never existed in the first place.

 

 

Photos Courtesy of thedailybeast, mrandmrsromance, dailymail, youtube

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Travel

Traveling Creates Personal Growth

I often get asked why I want to leave home and travel. Won’t I miss everyone and everything? Won’t I get lonely? What am I running away from? We all have our reasons for traveling – wanderlust, the love of a new culture, a desire…

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Why do I travel, is something that gets asked of me often and for a while I didn’t have an answer.  It actually took some solo travel for me to have the time to ponder that great question.  I reflected on what I was doing and why was I there.  The answer is different for everyone, so my reasons will certainly be different from yours and so on.  The simple answer to why we travel is for personal growth, but what does that mean?

Every person has their reason to travel… exploration, freeing your soul, personal growth, trying to forget something, searching for answers, boredom or do you just want to see the world.  I’ve always believed that travel is particular to each person.   For some travel can be backpacking around the world, while travel for others can be driving 100 miles to the next major city, all that matters is your personal growth.  

The cool thing is that travel means different things to different people and my definition has no bearing on yours.  The key is that you find your own reasons to travel and just do it like nike.

No travel book is written for you unless you are the author.  I can’t live your life for you, but I can give you some useful advice and if you follow it that is on you.  I hope you do travel and I hope you figure out why you travel, because I have and its changed my life.

Travel is a collection of moving parts that you hope gel together to create a memorable and favorable experience. That collection of moving parts is how you will experience a trip and hopefully help you become a better person.  Is this improving your personal growth?

 

The world moves so fast nowadays and with modern conveniences we lose sight of many of the important aspects, like personal connections and understanding how other people think. 

Life moves fast and it helps to slow down on occasion and appreciate how amazing everything is.  The synergy of our planet is pretty cool and if you don’t spend time to check it out, after awhile it will be too late.

I’ve been moving pretty fast recently, married, new job, and the one constant in my life is my need for wanderlust.  A constant need to better myself, my situation and my happiness.  i’ve learned that life won’t slow down for you, if you want change, you have to actively work on it.

Is there personal growth?

Now is the time that you must decide why you travel or if you don’t, why should I.  I’m tired of hearing the same excuses for why people constantly put off traveling and these excuses never stop.  If you want to experience life and not just get by, travel and see the world.  This will hopefully open up your eyes to how other people think and live, by doing so, you will be a better person.   This is your homework assignment: seriously try and think about why you travel or should travel.  Try and think about the last trip you took and how it affected your life, your mind and your world view.  Hopefully you were positively affected by your trip and you found soe inner peace along the way, cause I know I did. 

 

Check out the full article on NomadicMatt

Photo courtesy of 1elemental and Lifehacker

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