Travel Further: Use These Apps To Plan Your Next Vacation

With the new year on the horizon, you might well be thinking about how you’re next going to jet off and see the world anew. While the thought of hopping on a plane and going wherever the wind might carry you can seem appealing, the reality can be a whole lot different, taking a big chunk out of your energy reserves. If you find the process of getting a flight, arranging a hotel and making all the last minute details stressful, you need to turn to technology in order to help you out. There are a whole load of travel apps on the market designed to make your vacation a lot easier, reducing the worry factor remarkably. These apps are the cream of the crop, making picking a flight and jetting off a much closer reality.

Hopper

Juggling multiple websites to ensure that you’re getting the best deal for your flight? There’s an app for that. If you’re finding searching on competitor websites time consuming and exhausting, you can try using Hopper to streamline your travel search. A mobile app, Hopper compares all of the deals on flights for the dates that you have chosen, locating the best deal out there for you. All you need to do is select your route, punch in the dates and the app will tell you what to do and when to do it. Better yet, you can also set alerts to tell you when flight prices drop, helping you get your hands on a ticket sooner than ever. With savings of up to 40% to be had, the app will seriously change the way that you travel.

Hitlist

If you’re the type of person who has an ever growing travel wishlist, you can turn to apps in order to make your adventuring dreams a reality. Hitlist is a mobile app that allows you to enter all of your dream travel destinations into its servers, in turn sending you alerts when flights to these places are at their lowest. If you’re not sure what city it is that you’re looking to go to, you can define your search according to region or country, helping you to see parts of the world that you might otherwise have overlooked. The app lets you stockpile all sorts of trips and travel variants, giving you the chance to jet off whenever your fancy takes it!

TripAdvisor Hotel Flights

Keeping tabs on different hotels can be a tricky business, particularly when you’re using different vacation websites to get the job done. If your computer screen is a sea of open tabs, you need to turn your attention towards an app that’s going to streamline everything into one easy place. Enter TripAdvisor Hotel Flights. An offshoot from the comparison website, the mobile app makes it easier for you to scour pages of hotel reviews wherever you might be, and keep tabs on the ones that are really taking your fancy. As well as giving you an insight into the best of the best, the app will help you find the best deal for you on hotels and travel, making it easier for you to enjoy your vacation in style.

Tripit

In this day and age, who uses paper anymore? Rather than getting all of your affairs in order in a paper document, you can make the task a whole lot easier by turning things digital and putting them on your phone. If you prefer to have everything in the palm of your hand, Tripit is the travel app for you. Putting your tickets, reservations and itineraries into one easy-to-access place, the app cuts down on document loss for good, making getting on top of things a walk in the park. You can also share your vacation details with family and friends, giving them a chance to get on top of your itinerary and store their information along with yours. Travel has never been so easy.

Gate Guru

Do you find that you’re forever running through the airport in a desperate bid to find your gate? Gate Guru will make things a whole lot more easy for you. Rather than running from one area of the airport to another in order to find what you want, the app can help you to make the most of what’s located near your gate, meaning you never have to wander too far off. The vacation app also comes equipped with airport alerts, telling you before the crowds if there have been any changes to your gate number or departure time.

Staycation: How To See More When You’re Staying At Home

Vacations are a great way to see the world, get out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons. What happens, then, when you’re staying at home? With everyone jetting off at all times of the year, it can begin to feel like you’re getting left behind. It turns out, however, that adventure could be waiting for you. Your hometown is bursting with opportunity and even if you’re staying at home for your holidays this year, you can still have a great time. It’s all about adjusting your perspective. Once you take off your resident hat, you can see your town through the eyes of a tourist. There is a whole world out there to be discovered and it starts with where you live!

Throw Your Routine Away

Your vacation time is your chance to kick back, relax and forget about who you are for a little bit. If you’re going to make the most of traveling where you live, you need to throw your normal routine to the wind and explore your local area in a different way. Forget about the places that you normally go to and look to a different part of town. To make your task a little easier, you can try renting an Airbnb or hotel room in a different part of town. Treat yourself to the things you normally would if you were on holiday. Get up late, take a long bath and make yourself a special breakfast. Give yourself a cultural task to do for the day and try that bakery on the other side of town. The aim is to explore further, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.

Turn Off Your Emails

Just because you’re still at home, it doesn’t mean that you should make yourself available to work emails at every moment. While staying at home might make you feel like you have to keep checking in with work, you should try and take a break from your usual schedule in order to kick back. Turn off your email alerts and put your out of office on your phone. Give any pressing information to your colleagues and tell them to phone you only in the case of an emergency. This is your time to relax, so you should make the most out of it.

Eat Out, Often

It is so often the food that makes our holidays memorable. If you’re used to eating in when you’re at home, try treating yourself to a few great meals out when you’re on your staycation. Make a list of all the places you’ve been meaning to try and make a few reservations. Try choosing somewhere a little more expensive than normal, or stopping in for a coffee and a pastry on your way home. Making each meal an event of sorts is a great way to really kick back and feel like you’re having the vacation of your dreams.

Make A Local Bucket List

We all have a number of places in our local towns that we’ve been meaning to try but simply have never got around to. Your staycation is the perfect opportunity in order to get more done. Before your holiday comes into effect, try making a list of all the places that you’ve been meaning to try. Experiencing your hometown through the eyes of a tourist can help to up your appreciation of where you live. Add as much as you like to the list and get exploring!

Keep Your Camera With You

A staycation isn’t really a staycation unless you capture a few of your memories along the way. Reaching for your camera when you’re on holiday might be second nature but when you’re in your hometown, you might struggle to find an opportunity to take a snap or two. To create a memorable experience, try taking a camera with you wherever you go. The chances are that if you do, you will begin to look at places in greater detail and spot areas that you had never seen before. Taking the time to document small details will help to boost each experience and help you to capture the essence of your staycation!

Treat Yourself

One of the joys about going on holiday is the opportunity to splurge a little now and then. While you don’t need to drop huge amounts in order to have fun, you can allow yourself a little extra spending here and there in order to make the most out of your time off. Try going for a nice meal, treating yourself to a new clothing item or seeing every museum in the local area. You’ve already saved a huge deal on flights and hotels, so don’t be afraid to go the extra mile for yourself.

Think Fast: How To Plan A Last Minute Getaway

Jetting off into the sunset is the thing of dreams and yet, with a busy working life and social commitments, you might have let this year’s vacation fall by the wayside. How can you get your share of sun? Never fear; it’s not too late to plan a summer trip and even if you want to go over the next few weeks, there are a ton of ways to make your vacation happen.

If the stress of life is getting too much a last minute getaway could be the very thing that you need and by following these simple steps, you can really make the most of your summer break.

Stop Being Picky

Ok, ok, so you really want to spend 2 weeks in an Italian villa, but unless you have a wad of cash saved up, it’s unlikely that you’re going to make it last minute this year. Luckily, however, there are a whole range of things available at your fingertips and by casting your search net out a little further, you can stumble across something truly great. The trick is to refine your options and go from there. Do you want a city break, or a beach holiday? Are you looking for somewhere really hot or do you prefer a cooler stay? Once you have refined what you’re looking for, you can head over to websites like Skyscanner to compare flights to numerous airports. Make sure you do your research before you go; your dream holiday is out there but it’s up to you to find it.

Tap Into Flight Alerts

Want to keep up with all the latest travel news? It’s time to tap into flight alerts. There are a number of different travel websites out there that each offer up to date news on your customized flight alerts, helping you to stay on top of any deal that might suddenly pop up. Websites like Airefarewatchdog and Kayak are amongst some of the best, making it easier for you to keep your nose to the ground while doing other things, too. Don’t be afraid of looking for something last minute; there are a load of deals to be had if you remember to look in the right place.

Call Up Your Friends

Do you have a long list of buddies living around the world? Now could be the moment in which to give them a call. Using your trip as an opportunity to catch up with an old friend or family member can help to you recharge your batteries and save the cash on a hotel room. If your loved one doesn’t have any spare room at their place, consider asking if you could crash with one of their friends nearby. Having friends across the world can be a gateway to a whole range of new cultures; it’s up to you to tap into them.

Think About House Swapping

If you’re really short of cash then jetting off into the sunset hardly feels like the responsible thing to do but incredibly, there is always a way to find your dream vacation. House swapping is a great way in which to get away, save money and experience a new place like a local. Places like Home Exchange and Home Link can provide you with everything that you need in order to get set up and make the most out of your trip. Even vacation rentals through sites like Airbnb can be cheaper than a hotel room and will help you to feel more settled in the new place.

Be Prepared For The Unprepared

Last minute travel can be one of the most exhilarating experiences out there and as long as you’re prepared to make things up as you go along, it can be incredibly successful. While not having a plan can feel like the scariest way to find yourself in a new country, it can also teach you things you never knew about yourself and help you to become stronger on your own. Your trip is a chance to see a new part of the world, interact with a foreign culture and potentially meet new people. Embrace whatever comes your way and never forget what you learn!

Essential A List Travel Tips For A Dream Vacation

Jetting off into the sunset is something that many of us fantasize about doing and yet, the realities of modern travel can wreak havoc with our best laid plans, transforming our effortless stay in the airport lounge into something that more closely resembles a nightmare. Travel can often be stressful for reasons that are out of our control and yet, if we simply changed our approach and took our time about the whole ordeal, we could make it into something much more enjoyable. It’s time we took a cue from the people who really know what they’re talking about.

Celebrities might have access to some of the best travel in the world but even that doesn’t stop them from having to deal with the same kinds of checks and processes and we have to. Given their time in the air, however, many of the A listers that we love so dearly have picked up a whole range of tips and cheats, helping to make their travel experiences as comfortable as they could be and now, it’s time for you to take influence from those who know it best. Are you ready to travel like a star? Come fly with us.

Have A Facial On The Plane – Chrissy Teigen

While whipping out all of your cosmetic products while you’re mid flight can seem a little much, you can try streamlining your carry on makeup bag to include the essentials for your trip. Air travel is notoriously harsh on the skin and when you’re going to be making long trips, you might want to take something along to keep your face glowing for your arrival. Facial spray and sheet masks are a great way of keeping your skin moisturized and fresh, without any of the extra mess. Try using the products half an hour before you land; that way, you will arrive looking rested and fresh, no matter how tired you might actually feel.

Drink Your Weight In Water – Jennifer Aniston

While actually drinking your weight in fluids might leave you in a mad dash to the bathroom, you should make sure to hydrate sufficiently throughout your trip. Keeping your body’s fluid levels is a great way of staying hydrated, feeling alert when you’re struggling with jetlag and flushing out any toxins that might have built up along the way. Try sipping on a large bottle throughout your flight; that way, you will land feeling and looking at your very best!

Top Up Your Immune System – Jessica Alba

When you travel, you expose your body to a whole set of germs and bacteria and often, you can pick up a bug or two on your flight. In order to give yourself a fighting chance against infection, make like Jessica Alba and take a few vitamin C tablets before you fly. During the flight, you can also fight against germs. By keeping a hand sanitizer in your bag, you can keep your hands fresh and clean, warding off anything that might come in your path.

Travel With Weights – Karlie Kloss

Staying in shape can be hard when you’re on the go and even though you might be on vacation to relax, you can still keep your body looking and feeling at its best. To avoid finding a local gym when you arrive, try traveling with a few small weights and resistance bands in your hold luggage. You can quickly work out in your room when you arrive and keep your fitness levels ticking over.

Stretch Out With Yoga – Alessandra Ambrosio

When you travel for long stretches of time, you can end up feeling all the worse for it when you land and even if you make sure to keep moving mid flight, your muscles can really pay the price on the other side. To avoid any strains and keep yourself feeling limber, try stretching out from your flight with a little yoga when you get to your hotel. You can strengthen your muscles, iron out any knots that might have built up and effectively destress before your holiday really begins.

Travel is something that many of us go through but by simply thinking through our routine before we step on board the plane, we can end up feeling and looking a million times better when we land. We might not have the cash to go for a private jet but armed with these A list travel tips, we’re guaranteed the trip of a lifetime.

Adventurous Aspirations: How To Travel On A Budget

Broadening your horizons, introducing you to new cultures and inspiring you to see the world anew, travel is one of the best ways in which you can spend your time and money. With increased air fares and rising rental prices, however, actually getting your hands on that trip can feel all but impossible and unless you’ve managed to squirrel away a rainy day find, then you might believe that the adventure of your dreams is forever out of reach.

Think again. One of the most enriching and rewarding experiences out there, travel can be easily within reach, even if you’re on a shoestring budget. By simply planning ahead of time, changing up your schedule and committing to some easy tricks, you can go on the trip of a lifetime, all while staying within budget. Ready to see the world? Now, you can.

Set A Budget

While it might seem like the most obvious of steps, setting a budget is something that relatively few people do before jetting off into the sunset. Although you might have a vague idea of how much you want to spend, by spending a little more time working out a specific budget for each step of the journey, you can save yourself a great deal of time and worry down the line. When putting a list together, budget how much you want to spend on food, accommodation, supplementary travel and activities, always leaving a little extra over for emergencies. If you’re going away for a longer period of time, you can consider putting away extra funds in an online savings account, which you can dip into later down the line. At the end of the day, you can also list down how much you have spent on activities and food. By staying on top of your budget, you do away with any financial worries that might hit along the way

Travel To Nearby Countries

If you want to plan a bigger trip, traveling within the same region can save you a great deal of money down the line. Although your initial flight out might be costly, further travel from that point onwards can be a great deal more affordable, giving you the chance to see diverse areas of the same region. If you’re traveling within Europe, for example, you can find a number of affordable connecting flights or trains for much cheaper than visiting the place on a one-off trip. Similarly, if you’ve bought an expensive flight to another part of the world, you can make the most of it by traveling more within the country or region when you arrive. Local transport tends to be a great deal cheaper and more accessible and can help to open up your eyes to the rest of the world.

Stay At A Rental Apartment

When it comes to travel, we all want to do so in style but as costs mount up, choosing expensive accommodation can be an unnecessary luxury. While you travel, consider following options like AirBnb or VRBO for your stay. Not only will they save you a great deal of money but also, can give you the chance to live like a local during your trip.

Travel Off The Beaten Path

While we all have a list of travel spots that we want to visit, popular tourist destinations can sometimes be costly and often, it’s better for your budget and experience to travel off the beaten path. While capital cities like Rome and Paris are definitely worth a visit, there are a great deal of less renowned but equally beautiful cities nearby that will help you to keep your budget in check. If you want to get a glimpse of Europe, try heading east where the prices are dramatically lower. Cities like Tallinn, Budapest and Kraków have some of the richest cultures in the world and might just open up your eyes to a completely different way of life.

Pack Light

Keeping your suitcase small and packing light for a shorter trip can help you to save on baggage costs while you travel and make moving onwards much more simple. Many forms of transport limit the amount of luggage that passengers can take and if you go over weight requirements, you might find yourself forking up the extra money to cover your baggage. Knowing exactly the amount of clothes you need during your trip can help you to keep suitcase costs low and make moving around the different places much less of a hassle. The less you take with you, the freer you will be to follow your next adventure!

By taking the time to really think about your trip, you can cut costs dramatically and be free to enjoy more places along the way. Your next adventure is out there for the taking; it’s up to you to grab it with both hands.

Around The World In 5 Bites: The Foodie’s Guide To Travel

Thanks to the rise of social media, what we are eating has never been more diverse. Sharing pictures from around the world, food lovers have opened up the international floodgates and now more than other, it’s very difficult to pinpoint one “local” cuisine. What we eat says so much more about us than where we come from and what we do for a living and now, it doesn’t matter if it’s Asian, Italian, Moroccan or a fusion of the three; if it looks good and tastes even better, then we’re probably eating it.

The way that we eat has intertwined with our thirst for travel so much so that now, many people are taking tripes based solely on the kinds of food that they will find along the way. With so many experimental chefs and popups bubbling up across the world, there has been no better time in which to be a foodie traveler but with so much choice,  it can be hard to know where to focus your attention. For food lovers, these cities are the bread and butter of great international cuisine and, once you’ve tried a dish from any one of them, you might never go back to “normal” food again.

Copenhagen, Denmark

As well as having some of the most stylishly dressed locals, Copenhagen is renowned around the world for its firm grasp on the foodie market. While the city is very much in the international thick of it, it is its more traditional establishments which are really making a case for the Danish dining experience. Most famously, of course, is the game-changing Noma, a restaurant so innovative and creative that its influence can be tasted all around the world. While one of the pricier places in the city, it certainly packs a foodie punch and if you dine there, you can rest assured that it will be unlike anything you have ever tasted.

Away from the likes of Noma, however, Copenhagen is still doing its bit for the foodie scene. Places like Höst, Geranium and Radio all serve up variations of the new Nordic dining style at a fraction of the cost. Fitted out with traditional interiors, they also boast some of the most chic designs you will see this side of anywhere. There’s just no stopping the Danish style machine.

Paris, France

While, a few years ago, you would have been hard pressed to find a good place to eat in the city of lights that didn’t cost you your entire life’s savings, now, things are very much on the up. Thanks to a foodie explosion within the city, finding a good eating place is as easy as finding a picturesque vista beside which to have your picture taken. The vibrant Canal St. Martin and Marais districts are home to some of the best places around, mixing small plates, modern French and fusion cooking. While the likes of Frenchie and Septime are virtually impossible to land a table at, many smaller, cheaper versions of the originals are proving so delicious that now, eating at Septime La Cave or Frenchie To Go is just as good as the real thing.

Melbourne, Australia

There’s something of a food and drinks revolution bubbling down under and no matter where you go, you are virtually guaranteed a plate of something special. Making impressive waves on the foodie scene is Melbourne, a city that has changed the way that the rest of the world takes their coffee. The food scene isn’t bad either; graced by some of the most internationally diverse restaurants, the city is presenting its inhabitants with some of the finest dishes from around the world. While Chinatown’s Flower Drum is renowned for some of the best Asian cooking anywhere in the world, Abla is making waves in the Lebanese dining scene, turning head around the city.

Budapest, Hungary

Although the food scene in Hungary’s capital might be a bit of a mystery to many people, it looks like things might change soon. Nestled in the middle of Europe, the country has been influenced by a number of conflicting cultural styles and the final foodie result is really garnering attention around the world. While the city’s cafe culture has been going strong since the 16th century, its dining scene has undergone many changes over the centuries and what you are served up now might be quite different to what you tasted just a few years ago. Dishes like strudels and local pastries are rife across the city but if you really want a taste of the local scene, you should source a great bowl of goulash. Rich with beef, paprika and fluffy potatoes, the stew is an intrinsic part of the local culture and any Hungarian meal.

Kyoto, Japan

If you’re searching for a really authentic taste of Asian cooking, then Kyoto is the only place you should set your sights on. While the city is packed full of authentic noodle joints and ramen restaurants, it is its desserts which really make it stand out from the crowd. The green tea parfait is a very real part of the dining experience in the city and while you will find them dotted across Kyoto, those served at Gion Tsujiri are some of the best around. If you’re looking for something a little older, though, the city’s Buddhist temples have brought vegan and vegetarian cuisine to the forefront, highlighting how delicious healthy food should really be.

While travel is about more than what you eat, international food can tell you so many things about foreign culture. Dating back hundreds of years, or brought to popularity over the course of a few months, global cooking is one of the most vibrant industries in the world and if you’re traveling abroad, you might want to make a menu before you go.

No Baggage: The Essential Carry-On Packing Guide

Getting away for the weekend is something that we all covet in our lives. Extended working hours, after-hours emails and big projects can make kicking back and relaxing a near impossibility, so when we finally get the chance to put our feet up and forget about the 9-5, it’s essential that we get it right. While getting your work-life balance measured to a T might not be on the horizon any time soon, there’s no reason that you can’t fly away from it all and live the life of leisure, for two days at least. With flights departing to practically every place in the world, you can hop off on a whim, going wherever the wind might take you.

The vision of freedom, at least for a weekend, is all well and good, but when it comes to mini-breaks, you probably want to be prepared. Images of fleeing the rat race with nothing more than your purse and a few spare pennies in hand might seem romantic, but when you arrive at your rainy holiday destination with nothing more than a spare pair of socks to your name, you might begrudge your earlier flippant attitude. Who wants to be that girl?

How many times have you sat down in your plane seat and realized, with horror, that you’ve forgotten your phone? Or your charger? We’ve all been there, and despite promises to never forget anything again, we’ve probably all been back there for a second time. Or a third. Hey, who’s counting? It turns out, though, that there is another way. All it takes is a little extra planning, some nifty packing and, hey-presto, you’ve got the carry-on of your dreams. Listening up? Let’s get going.

Make a list

 

Making a list is possibly the most important part of getting your carry-on right and making sure that nothing slips by your last minute checks. Noting the essentials a few days before will give you the time to cover all of your bases and add any extra forgotten items to the roster. While you might like to travel with a few personal extras, carrying these items will set you right:

Passport/I.D.

Flight Documents

Wallet

Phone

Chargers

Headphones

Laptop/Tablet

Valuables (any expensive jewelry pieces)

Wrap or Pashmina

Hand Sanitizer

Small Toiletries

Change of Clothes

If you’re traveling for longer and won’t be checking in extra baggage, add in a few extra changes of clothes, your camera and any extra reading or travel material that you might need. When you land, you can whip up your bag, head for the exit and follow your next adventure, no sweat.

Organize into pouches

We’ve all been that girl on the plane who, desperately searching for something at the bottom of her bag, empties out all of its contents, spills a bottle of moisturizer or two and generally causes mass havoc on the plane, only to discover that she had left said item at home all along. In light of putting embarrassing moments such as these to bed, getting your hands on a couple of different sized pouches will serve you well into the future.

Each type of item in your carry-on canl be assigned a different pouch, so before you get packing, organize items into categories like technology, toiletries, make-up and in flight essentials. Using pouches in different patterns and colors will make locating each small bag a breeze and let’s face it, who doesn’t like color-coded accessories?

Pack your pouches in order

When it comes to putting your pouches into your carry-on, it pays to be a little strategic about the whole thing. Place the items that you won’t need during your flight at the bottom of your bag, and make sure all of your essentials are close to the top. Extra clothes and shoes should be packed first into your carry-on, with items like your phone, passport, headphones and ticket put in last so they’re at the very top. At this point, making use of your bag’s own pockets and zips is really useful and can be a great way of storing last minute items and small essentials that won’t fit into any of your pouches.

Enjoying the holiday season or any time off is all about relaxing, enjoying the company of loved ones and discovering new places. The next time that you’re squeezed into a crowded seasonal flight, you can reach into your carry-on and know exactly where everything is placed, without that familiar pang of panic.