Travel Further: Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Traveling further can open up your eyes to all sorts of cultures that you never knew existed. Getting beyond the everyday might just help you to see the world anew, find a new purpose, or discover where it is you’re meant to be in your life. Taking that one big trip, however, can be a very big deal and unless you’re born with a self-assured sense of confidence, you might find it hard to really put yourself out there. Getting out of your comfort zone and going further with your next big trip can seem like a very scary prospect but once you finally do it, you can reap all kind of benefits. Getting up the courage to get out there starts from the inside out and as soon as you start to adjust your perspective, you can go further than you ever dreamed.

Pick Up A New Language

Want to feel more assured once you hit the ground? Try picking up the local language. If you’re journeying to a place in which the locals speak a different language from your own, then you might feel concerned about getting around and finding the essentials. While there will always be somebody there who can help you with what you need, learning a new language can help you to feel more at ease and more aware. Knowing that you can cover your back in a crisis is a great sense of relief and simply being able to communicate with the locals will make your experience all the more sweet. If you pick up enough of the foreign language, you can even try forging friendships with people who live abroad. The bigger your circles of friends around the world, the smaller the place will feel.

Venture Out On Your Own

If you really want to experience what’s out there in the world, heading out on a solo trip is a great way to go about it. While traveling alone should be done only after you’ve weighed up all of the pros and cons, doing so can completely transform your trip. When you travel alone, you are forced to put yourself out in the world and communicate with the people around you. With only yourself to rely on, your sense of confidence is likely to shoot through the roof and before long, you will be able to take on anything the world throws your way. Going it alone will be scary at first but before long, you will feel right at home in the world.

Talk To The People Around You

Want to know the best way to really get to know a new place? Talk to the people around you. Whether it’s with locals or other travelers, talking to the people that you meet can introduce you to a whole range of different places you might never have found otherwise. If you’re staying in a hostel, try to get to know the other people that you meet along the way. It’s more than likely that you will meet individuals from all sorts of different cultures, which will give you an insight into another way of life. Traveling can open up your eyes but it is the people you meet who will really surprise you.

Make Up Your Own Mind

Not sure whose advice to listen to when it comes to picking a country? Try going with your heart. While getting to grips with a place before you leave can give you a greater understanding of how it works, don’t take other people’s’ opinions too seriously. A travel review is just that; a review of another person’s experience, dependent upon a whole range of different circumstances. Make sure you’re safe before you travel, of course, but try and leave your judgment at home before you venture off.

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Scared

While the whole “do one thing a day that scares you” thing might be a little on the clichéd side, it can be a great way of approaching your trip away. Before you go, try thinking about what it really is that scares you (within reason) and aiming to tackle it head on when you’re away. If you’re unsure about foreign food, make it your mission to try a different local dish every night. If speaking in a new language makes you feel uncomfortable, try to find one local person to speak to at least once a day. Putting yourself out there can feel hard at first but eventually, your fears will melt away into new habits.

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.

Festivals Worth Traveling The World For

When it comes to travel, it’s about much more than just getting away and these days, there are a ton of good reasons to jet across the world. If you’re on the hunt for something truly unforgettable, then you might want to consider making a festival part and parcel of your international experience. Bringing together tourists, locals and global cultures, world festivals are some of the best way to experience the liberalism that travel can bring. Showing you a side of local culture that you’ve never seen, these local festivals might just change your opinion of their hometowns and bring a whole new meaning to travel in the future.

Holi, Nepal
Known as one of the friendliest nations in the world, it’s little surprise that the Nepalese host one of the most upbeat festivals in the world. While the Holi festival is celebrated throughout India and across the world, it is the event in Nepal which really makes the headlines. Known as the festival of colors, Holi is a Hindu celebration (although all are welcome) to celebrate the triumph of good over evil as spring makes its way into the world. Locals take to the streets and, over the course of a few hours, throw brightly colored dyes in every direction. If you don’t like getting messy, this celebration isn’t for you; those who do take part end up leaving an entirely different color!

Beyond, Morocco
If you’re on the hunt for something a little more adrenaline-filled, then you might want to set your sights on Beyond festival. An adventure-travel festiva based in Moroccol, Beyond sets up its 250 visitors in a series of high octane activities, including sand boarding, camel convoys and desert runs. As if that wasn’t enough for you, there are also a series of masterclasses on offer, including the art of traditional Moroccan cooking. Topping things off, the festival provides adventurers with their very own four poster bed to collapse in after the activities; who said festivals were all about camping out under the stars?

La Tomatina
Perhaps the messiest festival in the world, La Tomatina draws in hordes of people from over the world when it opens its floodgates each August. Known as the biggest food fight in the world, La Tomatina involves – you guessed it – a whole lot of tomatoes. Over the course of the festival, locals and tourists throw more than 100,000 pounds of tomatoes in the streets of Spain’s Buñol. If food fights aren’t your bag, there are also plenty of other activities to keep you occupied during the day, including live music, dancing and traditional cooking contests.

Snowbombing, Austria
Ski bunnies and snow lovers set their sights on the Austrian mountain resort of Mayrhofen each April as the Snowbombing festival descends on its slopes. Including a lineup of some of the world’s top musicians and recording artists, the festival is one of the most unique in the world, taking place entirely in the snow. If you’re prepared to get seriously cold, you can even attend the Arctic Disco which takes place in a huge igloo nightclub. Searching for the night of your life? Snowbombing might just have you covered.

Art Basel, Switzerland
Culture lovers can’t get enough of the contemporary art on show at Art Basel, one of the world’s most important cultural festivals. Taking place in the Swiss town of Basel each June, the event brings together an eclectic mix of artists, collectors and buyers, all vying for the next big thing in art. If Switzerland is too far away for you to travel, never fear; the art show recently opened outposts in Miami and Hong Kong, conquering all outlets of the contemporary art world.

If you’re on the hunt for a great international festival, then there’s more out there than the well worn musical events. Across the world, there are a huge amount of artistic, foodie and athletic events taking over their local cities and in the process, putting a new pin on the world map. Showing you new cultures and traditions, traveling the world by festival can be one of the most memorable ways to take a trip. The events are out there for the taking; it’s up to you where you go next.

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.

The Travel Accessory Guide For Any Season

If there’s one thing that you need when you’re traveling then it’s a good accessory. Travel “must-haves” might come and go, but when it comes to the essentials, it’s all in the smaller details. Arming yourself up with a pile of handy travel extras before you jet off could just be the difference in making your trip good and great. And if they just happen to be gorgeous too? That’s just an extra added bonus.

With precious luggage space coming at a premium, it’s more than likely that you’re going to try and pack more than ever into your carry-on and if that’s the case, space is key. Saving you on weight, time and luggage room, these travel accessories will see you through any kind of trip, at any time of the year. Buckle up, we’re about to take off.

Roll Up Travel Charger 

Touching down in a new country only to discover the black, lifeless screen of your phone is not exactly the best way to start your trip. Using your phone or portable device on long haul flights could mean draining its battery even faster than usual, resulting in a whole lack of communication when you finally do land. Luckily, however, there is a travel accessory for that. The Roll Up Travel Charger comes equipped with four USB ports for plugging in your chargers. Simply load up the battery before you go, bring along your cables and charge away to your heart’s content.

Liquid Carry On Bag

If you get away multiple times throughout the year, it might be worth investing in a carry-on bag for all of your miniature liquids. While clear bags do the trick, they’re much more inclined to break or split during turbulence, leaving you with a big mess to deal with on the other side. The Flight 001 Aeronaught Liquid Carry On Bag could be the answer to your minimalist dreams. Clear and neatly packaged, it’s the perfect size for throwing in all of your bottled liquids. Better yet, it’s TSA approved, so won’t cost you extra time at boarding.

Fold Up Ballet Flats

Great for both your travel case and your day bag, these fold up ballet flats will see you through pretty much any situation. Emergency footwear can come in use at any point during your trip, so arming yourself with something practical and fashionable might be worth the investment. The Yosi Samra fold up ballet flats are some of the best on the market, and come in pretty much every color and design under the sun. Simply roll up these flats, store them in your case and whip them out wherever you might need them. Easy!

Travel Journal

While everyone else might be documenting their travels through Instagram snaps and travel apps, there is something to be said about keeping it old school. Investing in a travel journal is a great way to document everything that happened to you on your trip, and keep the memories truly alive for years down the line. If you’re in line for a truly unique travel journal, then you should look no further than the Bon Voyage journal by Rifle Paper Co. Complete with cute illustrations, gold edging and space for all your thoughts and feels, the journal might give you a case of serious wanderlust.

Headphones 

While a pair of headphones might be something that you have on you all of the time, arming yourself with a really great pair when you’re traveling can make all of the difference. Jetting off with a pair of Friends Taylor Headphones clipped over your ears will make your journey all the sweeter. Finished in metallic gold and complete with memory foam ear cushions, the headphones might just become your staple listening equipment.

Waterproof Phone Case 

As dramatic as it might sound, losing the use of your phone can feel very much like losing someone very close and important to you. Cut off from your nearest and dearest, at least temporarily, it’s easy to feel a little isolated in the middle of the world, and unsure of what to do next. To avoid any technological mishaps, then, it’s worth investing in an accessory that will protect your phone, whatever might happen. This FRiEK waterproof phone case is guaranteed to keep all manner of liquids away from your device, while still enabling you to use it. Best of all, it allows you to take underwater pictures, too!
What travel accessories do you need to take with you? Comment below and tell us what you think!

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.