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Stop Checking Your Bags And Start Living Free

Don’t Check your Luggage Airlines and airports are modern marvels which I’m amazed run as well as they do, but even well-oiled machines have their problems. Hundreds of airplanes, thousands of people traveling in different directions and each with bags of personal belongings, mistakes are bound to be made. There are too many moving parts […]

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Don’t Check your Luggage

Airlines and airports are modern marvels which I’m amazed run as well as they do, but even well-oiled machines have their problems. Hundreds of airplanes, thousands of people traveling in different directions and each with bags of personal belongings, mistakes are bound to be made. There are too many moving parts to trust a machine that big, that’s why I never check my luggage.

 

I hate checking my luggage when I fly and you should too. Checking a bag just complicates things and is essentially a waste of my precious time. I’ve logged hundreds of thousands of airline miles and the one thing I can definitively say is that checking luggage is bad news.  

I’m a professional traveler, one who lives out of a suitcase for weeks at a time and I never check my bag with the airlines. Checking luggage is another cost that these airlines tack on to an already hefty price tag. Checking bags cost extra money that I’d rather spend on my trip. Some airlines do offer free checked bags but restrictions usually apply, so its best practices to figure out your carrier’s baggage rules ahead of time.

 

Not only do most airlines charge you to check luggage, they regularly go lost and sometimes are even ransacked by airport employees. My mother had her digital camera stolen from a checked bag, granted she shouldn’t have checked her digital camera in the first place.  Theft and damaged bags is a serious problem that airlines and airports don’t seem to take seriously.

It’s no secret that airlines lose luggage and never give you a good excuse as to why. Many times they are just delayed because they missed a connecting flight, but any delay in not having your personal belongings can really ruin a trip.

 

Is there anything worse on a trip than the airline losing your luggage? How about checking your suitcase and when you get to your destination, something of value has gone missing? These scenarios can ruin a perfectly good vacation, so why put your fun in the hands of others? I’ve been burned by the airlines enough to learn my lesson and hopefully you can learn from my experiences too.

If you learn how to pack your carry on bag correctly and only bring the bare essentials, anyone can forgo checking of bags altogether. Now I understand that not every trip allows you to go checked bag free but to ease your travels I suggest you make an effort. Packing smart and planning ahead are your two keys to victory and a hassle-free experience.

 

I always tell people that if you can’t wear something multiple times during a trip then you probably don’t need to bring it. Of course, circumstances arise where you need to bring something special, in these cases you can make sacrifices to make it all fit. I tend to pack one less of everything I think I need. If I’m packing two pairs of jeans, I’ll toss one last second and go with my gut.

Always remember that hotels have laundry and it’s easy to do a quick load or two mid-trip to essentially double your wardrobe. Resorts and higher-end hotels will even offer a laundry service so you don’t even have to break a sweat. I love staying at AirBnb’s where you can choose laundry as one of your search criteria, so you know you’ll have in-house laundry.

For some people packing light is a terrifying ordeal and you can’t imagine not having choices. Sounds like my wife, but once she planned ahead and packed smart, she was amazed at how convenient packing light truly is. Save yourself the hassle of having a bulky bag when you get to your destination and enjoy the freedom of packing light.

Time is the most valuable asset we all have and you only get so much, so save as much as possible by not checking a bag. Arriving at the airport hours in advance and waiting at the gate for an hour or so is a real drag and is seriously cutting into your pina colada time. Save yourself an hour on each end of your flight and get your vacation on.

 

Tips to Pack Smart

Russian Doll

Everything has a home when you are packing smart, so learn from the Russian Dolls that your grandmother probably had. Russian dolls perfectly fit inside each other to save space, think about this principle with packing. Socks balled up can fit inside your shoes; extra purses should be packed with underwear or other small garments. If you pack like this then you will be amazed at how little space you actually need.

Plastic Bags

Pack each individual article of clothing in a plastic bag that has a zip top enclosure and vacuum seal each bag by sucking excess air out.  This packing trick is an excellent way to make extra room in your luggage and also helps you organize your bag.

Make a List

I’m a list maker and a double checker, but these practices actually help with packing smart. I try and plan out my outfits by checking what the weather will be like and packing accordingly.

Layers

Layers are your best friend when packing light. Believe me when I say that three shirts and a windbreaker pack much easier than a bulky winter jacket. Each layer can be worn separately to create varied looks.

Pack smart, pack light and never check your luggage again.


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Destinations

The Best Tourist Destinations…Period

Checkout our favorite tourist destinations in the entire world that are worth standing in lines all day for.

 

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The world is full of extraordinary tourist destinations but which ones are truly worth the hassle? Some tourist attractions are incredibly busy so what makes them worth the trouble? Sometimes you experience something so amazing that it is worth whatever you had to go through to enjoy it. These top tourist attractions are so special they are worth long lines, expensive fees and headaches. Checkout our favorite tourist destinations in the entire world that are worth standing in lines all day for.

 

Great Wall of China

The sheer size of the wall can’t be experienced through photographs; you must see it in person. Spanning over 13,000 miles, this man-made structure is such a memorable experience. When you see the wall in person you are taken back and in total awe. It’s an inspiring piece of architecture with interesting twists and turns and uneven steps. The wall was built to keep out ravaging hordes of Mongols but now boasts over 10 million visitors yearly. Tourist are everywhere, the lines are long but it’s all worth it. You won’t be disappointed with this destination and you may return one day.

 

Petra

The ancient city of Petra is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and truly a special place. The city dates back to 312 B.C. and is preserved immaculately. Take a donkey ride around the ancient city to see more than you could on two feet. The vibrant colors of the surrounding rocks and the incredible details of the 2,000+-year-old city are remarkable.

 

Blue Lagoon

The Icelandic hot spring has long been a popular tourist destination, but is it worth all the hassles involved? This magical geothermic pool has healing powers because of its high levels of sulfur and silica. Long lines and high entrance fees scare some tourists off but this place is worth the hassle. The one of a kind spa features the incredible milky blue waters and is known to cure people of multiple ailments.

 

Niagara Falls

One of the busiest tourist attractions in America, Niagara Falls is worth your trouble. The majesty of these falls is best-viewed from the Canadian side, where lines are shorter and the vibe is less touristy. Take the Maid of the Mist boat tour for the best views and most memorable experience.

 

Machu Picchu

The ancient Incan citadel high in the Andes Mountains is a pain in the butt to get to but worth all the trouble once you reach it.   Incredible views mixed with some very cool relics, Machu Picchu is a special place that should be experienced.

 

Acropolis

The Acropolis is crazy during the peak summer months but even then it’s well worth any trouble. The views alone from its perch above Athens make this attraction so cool. The massive size of the Acropolis and the stunning remains make it a must visit.

 

Banff National Park

This wonderful example of nature at its most wild is a must see even if it’s near the top of the world. Take in Canada’s oldest National Park and see what the great white North is all about. See glaciers, intricate cave systems and some awesome wildlife.

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Destinations

Incredible Vacation Ideas

We compiled the best travel experiences you could ever imagine, so take one of these adventures. Let’s cross some things off our bucket list with these incredible vacation ideas.

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Summer vacation is almost here and you are probably mulling over your trip options. Are you tired of the normal vacation destinations and want something more out of your holiday? If so, you are in luck. We compiled the best travel experiences you could ever imagine, so take one of these adventures. Let’s cross some things off our bucket list with these incredible vacation ideas.

 

Tree Houses Hotel Costa Rica

Who didn’t want an awesome tree house when they were younger? I know I did. Now you can stay in one in this incredibly unique hotel experience in Costa Rica. This seven-room eco resort has high-end style accommodations mixed with rustic jungle designs. Stay in the trees with your new neighbors, a group of howler monkeys and banana trees. This super remote destination is only a 40-minute drive from tourist hub La Fortuna. You won’t find A/C or TVs in your rooms; instead expect bird feeders filled with fruit to entice the humming birds and monkeys to come to your porch.

 

 

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Bahamas

Take a yoga adventure at the world renowned Sivananda Yoga Ashram. Don’t expect a high-end resort with yoga mixed in; instead expect yoga on all menus with resort life sprinkled in. Serious yogis only should attend this resort. Take advantage of some of the world’s best yogis and enjoy two two-hour classes each day. Each guest also gets two vegetarian meals a day after their class.

 

Witch’s Rock Surf camp, Costa Rica

Maybe surfing is more your cup of tea, so check out Costa Rica’s premier surf camp. Witch’s Rock Surf Camp sits on the pristine Tamarindo Beach and is the world’s surfing Mecca. The 18-room resort is more of a camp than hotel, with a bare bones approach to resort life. Guests will enjoy basic rooms with no frills but the best surfing the planet has to offer. You don’t come here to stay in a 5-star hotel; you come to learn to surf in the best waves around.

 

Elephant Safari & Lodge, Bali

Hang with some elephants at this 25-room safari park. This is a one-of-a-kind resort where the elephants are just as much of a guest as you are. This animal refuge has over 30 Sumatran elephants, a botanical garden and beautiful Balinese-style rooms. Each room has it’s own elephant pick up platform so your elephant chauffeur can take you around without you ever touching the ground. Yes, I said elephant chauffeur, need I say more?

 

Hidden Beach Resort, Riviera Maya (Nude Hotel)

Take a vacation from your clothes at this all-nude resort in Mexico. Obviously this is an adult only resort, can you imagine children running around with all the trouser snakes swinging to and fro. Warning most guests are over 50, which is odd but hey, don’t hate the player, hate the game.

 

Okavango Delta Camp, Botswana

Forget your normal resort, and come for the once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Okavango Delta Camp in Botswana. This safari lodge is an all-inclusive resort that will blow you away. Game drives, bush walks and river cruises are all included in the price and are so amazing you won’t want to leave. Located on an island in the Okavango Delta, guests can get close and personal with lions, hippos and giraffes. No hunting is allowed on this animal refuge so you won’t have to worry about being roasted on social media for pictures of you with bug game. This is truly a unique vacation experience.

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Travel

Best Apps for Learning a New Language

Check out these incredible applications that can help you master a language or at least learn enough to enjoy a vacation in a foreign land.

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Traveling to foreign countries used to be daunting because of the language barriers but not anymore. We used to have to take classes and read textbooks to learn a new language, but boy have times changed. Now with new technology, you can learn a language in no time, all on your smartphone.

Check out these incredible applications that can help you master a language or at least learn enough to enjoy a vacation in a foreign land.

 

Rosetta Stone

The industry leader in language technology, Rosetta Stone has cornered the market for over a decade. They debuted with CD-rom technology but have evolved to a fully functional app that is easy to use and simple to master.   They use technology to immerse you in the language instead of the old way of memorizing terminology and translations.  

Now you can learn 24 languages all on your smartphone with ease. They even included a recording feature that allows you to see if you are saying thing s properly by running it through a proprietary TruAccent technology.

 

Babbel

An old steadfast option is Babbel, which has been around for years. They offer short 15 minute sessions that help you master the language before you know it.   They offer speech recognition and is designed for people who come from different mother tongues. This makes it universally accepted all over the world.

 

Mondly

Mondly has perfected the immersion technique that was first popularized by Rosetta Stone. The app replicates conversational scenarios that would happen in the real world so you can prepare for a trip like no other application on the market. With 33 languages included and fun games and visual tools, this is one of the most popular language apps out there.

 

Duolingo

Free should be the optimum word associated with Duolingo. The free app has plenty to offer including fun games that make learning easier than most. Check this app out solely for the price; oh did I mention it’s FREE!

 

Pimsleur Unlimited

The Pimsleur method is nothing new; it’s most likely the style you were taught in school. It’s been around for over 50 years and Simon & Schuster have published this version. For a nominal price you can learn the same way your Spanish teacher taught you.

Lesson plans for everyday usage so the knowledge stays fresh. Broken down into simple 30-minute lesson plans, this application really makes it easy. Included are flash cards, matching games and fun role-playing conversation tools that make learning an experience like going to a class form the comfort of your smart phone.

 

 

HiNative

This app works on a shared economy backbone where users from around the globe help each other learn each other’s language. This tool connects people from different countries and allows you to connect on many levels. This app helps you pronounce things the way locals do so you fit in easier and can hold conversations better since you aren’t learning from a book.

 

Stop language barriers form holding you back from incredible vacations and adventures. The world is your oyster, so get out there and find some pearls.

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