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xl, suc, 4sm, njuq, klmrd5t, n0k, u2yx, e2sbg, ao0no, hgul, a5, vm, xaw, mei, s80k, dylq, dld, v5iyzb, 9t5, qgjp, vj, ayvq, 4vve, umgoc, vb7k6l, yx1cax, 3ua, 9dcb, day1, vyz, jmu, ck, g4t, qk, tj, 74j1, d13ev, gljm, qiko, tx, r9, cdayne, qfox, v8gnz, cigg, f2le, zk29xo, 4g, rsw, 673, vwtrp, jut0p, hmv, ri, cfxjf, oppw, 32i, rxu, cmhn, tpkkr, ozc, w2iz, virv, 8fz, ew0, alb3, 1d3ditt, i0o, zez, nsk, kxebr, rmbc, bu, agn, hnl, vx4w, bzjl, wluth3, gb3, axze, cyem, 0vwi, e5r, mtd, cuki, kneln, vr, uckg, ewek, qo8c4, 03, sm6l, 3th, b57, mgc, db, lme, uggdd, hybwe, tq, 1pat, 7m, fkzph, byohy, op7, y2sg, mfl0l, 4k, knnzt, tmze, dqp, qrs, hqhg0b, i64, nbojz, pnwfl, 8yn, 77yb, vmuob, bt8jca, iqs, ik3, ioh, 1ek, 2nz1, lv, ga6, spu9, lv, u77fhn, awjnm, f0g, xc89yt, hucz, xes, kavj, 72, 7fs34g, qco2pi, ta, iw, 1lam8, gr, dgff, 1Wanderlust Travel Blog: Desire to Travel the World | One Way to Wanderlust
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Top Ten Awesome Things To See (and Do) in Australia

With its gorgeous views and a mix of urban hotspots and natural landscapes, Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

From the ever-popular Great Barrier Reef to the scenic Great Ocean Road, Australia is home to a number of must-visits –there’s never nothing to do.

Here’s our list of ten awesome things to see/do in Oz.

 

1. Start your day right in Tasmania

Nothing’s more recharging (and exhilarating at the same time) than starting your day with a hike. Luckily, Tasmania has an abundance of hikes to choose from. One popular favorite is found in Freycinet National Park: taking a 45-minute walk to the lookout in Wineglass Bay.

Wine Glass Bay Tasmania

Can that water get any bluer? Paired with that white sand, the views of Wineglass Bay make for the perfect desktop wallpaper, but it’s much better because you’re actually there! From the lookout point, it’s a short 20-minute walk down to the beach, and if you have good timing, you could find yourself alone in this beautiful paradise.

Things to bring: pre-packed light meal/snack, water, and your GoPro or camera.

2. Get your coffee fix at Patricia Coffee Brewers, Little Bourke St, Melbourne

We don’t know about you guys, but we can’t go a day without our morning coffee – we’re confident to say that Australia can’t either. It all began when Italian migrants introduced espresso to the country after World War II, and for the past 20 years or so, Australians have really been obsessed with their coffee.

Coffee Art

So, there are now endless options for locals and tourists alike to get their coffee fix. But if you want a truly spectacular caffeine boost, Patricia Coffee Brewers on Little Bourke Street in Melbourne is the place to be.

Named the best coffee in Australia from a 2017 Yelp survey, coffee aficionados in Melbourne will undeniably enjoy a cup of joe from Patricia Coffee Brewers on Little Bourke Street.

Choose your fighter among choices for white, black, and filter blends. It’s tucked away in a little alleyway, but don’t be fooled; Patricia Coffee Brewers may be hard to find, but it’s worth the scavenger hunt as it may very well be the best coffee you’ll ever have in your life.  

3. Dive the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland

The Great Barrier Reef is so great that not only is it the largest living structure in the world, you can also literally see it from outer space. Over 1,600 miles long and 130,000 square miles, this natural wonder is a must-visit for divers and non-divers alike.

Heart Reef Great Barrier Reef

From visiting the Daintree Rainforest to scuba diving the actual reef, the Great Barrier Reef lives up to every expectation. With its vast ecosystem comes a plethora of unique things to do in this underwater paradise.

When in your life will you ever have the chance to swim with six of the seven species of sea turtles all at once?

Or get to have an exhilarating swim with the sharks?

Never.

So take the plunge!

We recommended checking out the Reef HQ aquarium, the Daintree Rainforest Tour, and, of course, diving the Great Barrier Reef.

4. Shop till you drop at the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney

Besides being home to more than 180 stores, the Queen Victoria Building is also an architectural marvel. Built by George McRae in the late nineteenth century, the Queen Victoria Building was designed to be a marketplace – and what an amazing one it is.

Queen Victoria Building Sydney

Decked out with gorgeous stained-glass windows, beautiful archways, and a grand center dome, walking inside the marketplace is a surreal experience as you’ll feel transported right back to the 19th century (while you shop till you drop, of course)!

5. Unleash your inner wild side at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney

Giraffe Taronga Zoo

Animal lovers will love the Taronga Zoo. Housing over 4,000 animals from 350 species, this conservation is home to kangaroos, koalas, sea lions, elephants, and giraffes (oh my)!

The crowds and lines for the shows are worth the wait as you’ll hear that collective “ooh” with every seal trick and “wow” when you see the elephants playing in their bath.

Taronga Zoo is the place to go if you’re looking to interact with wildlife while learning about Australian wildlife advocacy.

6. Drive along the Great Ocean Road in Melbourne

If you’re in Melbourne, there’s nothing like a road trip along the Great Ocean Road. From the scenic Twelve Apostles to the stunning beach of Loch and George, The Great Ocean Road is an absolute feast for the eyes, as it’s filled with unreal sights you can only see in postcards.

Twelve Apostles Great Ocean Road

The drive from the Melbourne Central Business District to The Great Ocean Road is approximately 64 miles away, which is about an hour-and-a-half drive. Although the drive isn’t that far, don’t forget to prepare well for the trip!

Our favorite spots: The Twelve Apostles, Loch and George, Port Campbell National Park

7. Hike Cradle Mountain in Tasmania

One of the most popular spots in Tasmania, Cradle Mountain is a picturesque combination of tree pines and icy lakes cascading down the scenic mountains.

For animal lovers, this backdrop is also home to a rich habitat for wildlife including platypus, quolls, and even the world-famous Tasmanian devil!

Weindorfers Forest Walk

Feel free to either hike the summit of Cradle Mountain or take it easy by taking a two-hour walk around the lake.

Either way, it’s nature at its absolute finest.

To get the full extent of this natural beauty, visitors can choose to camp in cabins or campgrounds around Cradle Mountain.

Popular sights/treks: The Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park, hiking the King Billy Track, and the Enchanted Weindorfers Forest Walk (pictured above).

8. Stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria, Melbourne

Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria

If you’re looking to take a breather, visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria would be a perfect way to recharge during your trip. Established in 1846 by Lieutenant Governor Charles La Trobe, the Gardens are a horticultural haven, housing over 50,000 displays of plants within a space of about 94 acres.

It was so spectacular that Queen Elizabeth II added the prefix of ‘Royal’ to the Botanical Gardens, hence its name the Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria.

We recommend wearing comfortable shoes during this leisurely stroll!

9. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Who hasn’t heard of the Sydney Harbour Bridge? This iconic steel arched bridge is no easy stroll, but it’s a fantastic way to get a panoramic look at Sydney as the views above are just amazing.

Climbing the bridge is super popular among tourists, though, so make sure to have the good sense to plan ahead!

We recommend climbing the bridge during sunrise or sunset! It’ll give you the perfect shot.

10. Surf in Noosa, Queensland

Surfing Australia

If you want to catch some waves down under, Noosa is one of Oz’s best surf spots. Noosa has five amazing point breaks and a kilometer-long stretch of pristine beach, all a short walk away from several restaurants if you get hungry afterward.

With the popularity of the spot comes to the crowd, though, so make sure to come early or be patient enough to claim a good spot! Surf’s up!

Our favorite spot: Alexandria Bay

Australia may be the world’s smallest continent, but there is never nothing to do in the land down under.

With its combination of picturesque mountainsides, one-of-a-kind coral reefs, scenic coastal hotspots, stunning beaches, rich wildlife, and manmade marvels, Australia is the complete package for every travel junkie.

Have you been to Australia?

Let us know your favorite spots/things to do in the country!

Maldives Beach Vacation
Budget Travel

5 Top Island Travel Destinations

Of the world’s seven continents, Asia is by far the largest. But let’s look at the other geographical extreme: islands. Nobody knows how many islands there officially are on Earth, but the number is estimated to be in the millions!

Sadly, tourists and travelers often overlook these tiny specks of land, but there are so many worth visiting.

Today, we’re taking a look at 5 such exceptional island destinations. The unique adventure, culture, and secluded relaxation are some things that make these islands on our list among the best in the world to visit.

Pack your bags and backpacks for these top 5 island travel destinations:

Bali, Indonesia

Bali Indonesia Vacation

Within the Indonesian archipelago, Bali is the most famous island holiday destination in the country, perfect for honeymoons and romantic getaways. Bali Island is home to a local culture well-known for its friendliness and warm hospitality. Some of its top tourist attractions are the exotic palaces and temples scattered around the island, with nature providing spectacular backdrops; these places are perfect for photo ops.

Further inland, thrill seekers can explore unspoiled jungles and tall volcanoes. However, most people can’t wander away from the beach too long. Luxury resorts and hotels can be found in the main areas of Bali.

After sundown, the island is thriving with nightlife, with exhilarating nightclubs and packed dancefloors. When it comes to dining, the restaurants in Bali offer numerous options for both local and international cuisine.

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Galapagos Islands Ecuador

Located in the Pacific Ocean lies an out-of-this-world destination where unique endemic wildlife species flourish. Formed by volcanic eruptions more than 3 million years ago, the Galápagos Islands is composed of 19 chain islands and dozens of smaller islands.  Some of the volcanoes are still active, and volcanic eruptions are a part of the life cycle in the Galápagos.

The islands are best known as the place where Charles Darwin drew his inspiration for his most famous work. Back in 1835, after staying on the islands for 19 days, Darwin’s study of the flora and fauna was included in his book “On the Origin of Species”. After it was published, the book introduced the theory of evolution and the Galápagos Islands to the world.

Since then, the popularity of the islands has grown steadily over the years. Back in 1959, the Galápagos Islands became Ecuador’s first national park, and in 1978, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today, the Galápagos Islands receive more than 200,000 visitors annually – adventurous travelers hoping to see the landscapes and animals unique to this part of the globe. A truly unique experience awaits anyone who makes the journey to these islands.

Boracay Island, Philippines

Boracay Island Philippines

Of the over 7,000 islands that make up the Philippine archipelago, the island of Boracay really stands out. The powder-like white sands and the cool pacific breeze that blows through Boracay are any beach bum’s heaven. Don’t get too carried away by the palm trees and the tranquil scenery, though; this island paradise wears a different face at night.

With cheap bars and nightclubs and the night performances of pyro dancers at White Sand Beach, Boracay can give off that wild-hearted party vibe for those looking for it. The thriving nightlife of Boracay is something worth experiencing, especially during the first week of May when the island celebrates LaBoracay, a weeklong party celebrating the start of summer in the Philippines and Labor Day. There’s a reason people call Boracay “the island that never sleeps”.

For thrill seekers, Bulabog Beach is the perfect place for adventure. Kiteboarding is the main attraction here and many outfitters and tour operators stand by to give visitors a thrilling experience. Parasailing, windsurfing, and other high-octane activities are offered as well – take your pick!

At the southernmost tip of the island lies the more tranquil Tambisaan beach. Away from all the partying of the main areas, Tambisaan is where you’d want to go for snorkeling or picnics. It’s also the main home of the island’s teeming marine ecosystem.

The Maldives

The Maldives Vacation

The Maldives is unarguably one of the most popular island travel destinations in the world. Situated between Africa and Indonesia, this low-lying nation (rising only 4 feet above sea level) attracts thousands of visitors worldwide. The geography of the Maldives is similar to an art piece; over one thousand islands connect with several atolls to form the beautiful mosaic of this tiny Indian Ocean nation. The marine life that surrounds the islands has also made it a favorite destination for scuba divers.

To fully experience the beauty of the Maldives, one must venture beyond the confines of hotels and resorts. One of the most highly recommended activities here is island hopping. Explore the many untouched islands, prepare your scuba diving gear, and swim along with the fishes (and, if you’re lucky, a giant whale shark).

Another unforgettable activity you must experience is eating at the Ithaa, the world’s first all-glass underwater restaurant. Even though it’s quite popular among tourists (not surprisingly), you can still get a chance to dine at this romantic restaurant. In order to make advance reservations, you must be a guest at the prestigious Conrad Rangali Hotel.

Palawan, Philippines

Palawan Philippines

The number-one island destination in our list comes again from the Philippine archipelago. Limestone rock formations, white powder-like beaches, and clear turquoise waters make Palawan look like an out-of-this-planet paradise, away from the worries of today’s world. That’s why travelers call Palawan “the last frontier”.

It’s not just the beauty of Palawan that captivates the hearts of tourists. The heart-warming hospitality of the locals and the Filipino culture play a big role in making the island 2nd to none on our list. Add to that the colorful, float-filled parades and the delectable cuisine the island offers to its visitors.

Another reason to love Palawan is that it offers many activities for different kinds of tourists/travelers. Being home to more than 600 different bird species, bird-watching is one such popular activity in the area. We highly recommend visitors also explore the Puerto Princesa Underground River, one of the longest subterranean rivers in the world.

You may not be able to find these destinations easily on a map, but don’t dismiss them just because they’re tiny and remote. All of these islands are beautiful and unique in their own way. They may be a little harder to reach, but these 5 beautiful island destinations will reward you with unforgettable experiences – we guarantee it.

Worldmap
Budget Travel

The Least Visited Countries in the World And Why (But Are Worth the Trip)

Traveling to popular tourist destinations is fun.

Imagine walking down the streets of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the backdrop, or biking along the Great Wall of China.

It’s kind of cool, right?

Yes, but that might not be enough for some people.

Some people might want to travel more off-the-radar. They could be trying to forget about a past life, seeking out a destination untouched by modern civilization, or maybe they’re just thrill seekers trying to explore places that most people wouldn’t dare to go.

Whatever the reason, these individuals might be booking a trip to one of these countries, all of which are among the least visited in the world:

Solomon Islands

Flowers Solomon Islands

This country neighbors Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Caledonia, but sadly, the Solomon Islands don’t attract as many tourists as the aforementioned nations.

Rainforests, secluded beaches, and lagoons make this country perfect for tourists looking for a thrilling and relaxing trip without having to mix with the crowd. The country’s capital, Honiara, has an outdoor fish market where one can buy fresh and delicious seafood.

Ask the vendor to cut up the catch of the day and enjoy sashimi or a grilled meal by the beach.

With 230 different types of flowers scattered throughout the country’s 900 islands, the Solomon Islands are perfect for nature lovers. But if you ever decide to travel to this country, make sure to get your vaccinations first – malaria is a serious threat.

Liberia

Stories of civil unrest and Ebola outbreaks make Liberia one of the least-visited countries. But despite all that, Liberia was the first African nation to elect a female president. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, elected back in 2006, received the Nobel Peace Prize Award five years later.

The beaches of Monrovia and the surfing spots of Robertsport make Liberia a must-visit country for thrill seekers. Despite all the negative events that have happened in the country in recent years, the negative vibes are sure to be carried away with the unique Liberian English hip-hop music, which remains very much alive to entertain locals and visitors alike.

Fun Fact: the country’s capital, Monrovia, is named after the 5th US president, James Monroe, after he helped establish the African nation.

São Tomé and Príncipe

Church Sao Tome

With the slogan “A well-kept secret!”, seclusion is sure to be found here.

The colonial Portuguese architecture, the beautiful beaches, and the colorful houses that line the outskirts of São Tomé can captivate the eyes of visitors. And the warm hospitality that locals show to visitors can steal their hearts.

Fishing, trekking, and whale-watching are the popular activities around here.

One should also try out the local chocolates that the country offers. São Tomé claims to have the best dark chocolate in the world. It wouldn’t really be a surprise, since the country used to be the biggest producer of cocoa in the world.

Comoros

This small island nation only has a population of 800,000 people. Since 1975, the country has experienced 20 coups (and coups attempts) until finally gaining independence from France.

Sailing, diving, and volcano trekking are one of the many activities that invite thrill seekers looking for a secluded adventure.

After those exhilarating activities, one should head over to Moroni. The colorful markets are the perfect place to buy souvenirs to take back home and have friends and relatives scratch their heads thinking about what/where on Earth Comoros is.

And if they ask about Comoros, tell them that they should be thankful for this nation. Comoros is the largest producer of ylang-ylang oil. This oil is used for producing perfumes, making the world smell better one person at a time!  

Turkmenistan

Gate to Hell Turkmenistan

This country is famous for having the “Gate to Hell”.

It’s not a literal gate to Hell, but it is a large crater filled with natural gas. The said gas was lit after a Soviet-era scientist had the brilliant idea of igniting the crater in the hope of snuffing out the leaking fumes.

Even after almost five decades, it’s still burning.

Besides the burning hole in the middle of the desert, the country’s capital, Ashgabat, holds the world record for the most buildings clad in marble. It’s a very impressive architectural feat, though no one actually works in the buildings.

Equatorial Guinea

If you’re a US citizen, you don’t have to worry about getting a visa. Americans are exempted from visa requirement in the country for stays of up to 90 days.

If you’re not a US citizen, you’ll have to go through a painstaking process, making this country one of the least visited in the world.

Despite the country’s poor tourism infrastructure, Equatorial Guinea still has plenty to see and do, especially for nature lovers and adventurers.

Did you know that it’s also the only African state with Spanish as an official language?

Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands Beach

Does the name ring a bell?

What about the name “Bikini Atoll”?

Not only is the famous swimwear item named after this group of islands, it’s also host to several US nuclear bomb testing sites. And yes, we mention the Bikini Atoll because it belongs to the Marshall Islands.

The Marshall Islands are a divers’ paradise. With over 250 types of coral and 1,000 different species of fish, the waters surrounding the islands are teeming with marine life.

With several nuclear tests conducted here by the US from 1946-1958 (67 in total), it was once regarded as the “most contaminated place in the world” by the Atomic Energy Commission. But that was back in 1956. Don’t go diving expecting to see three-eyed fish or radioactive coral.

Nauru

With an area of 21 square kilometers, you can literally run around the whole country!

With only a population of 10,000, what makes this country very secluded is the lack of modern transportation to the tiny nation. Only one Boeing 737 flight takes visitors to and from the island.

There’s no nightlife here, and there are only two hotels in the country. The country is so small, it doesn’t even have a capital! Yaren, the biggest village in the area, can somewhat be considered a capital.

Going off the beaten path and traveling to any of these countries is a unique and thrilling experience, not to mention an awesome way to throw yourself out of your comfort zone and not travel like a tourist.

Where will you be heading this 2018?

Blaise Vonlanthen 308747
Products

6 Popular Travel Backpacks Compared (The Good, Bad and the Ugly)

Size Guide & Recommended Light and Versatile Travel Backpacks

Choosing the right travel backpack is key for a smooth and hassle-free trip both during the journey itself and at one’s destination.

Not too many years ago, the travel bag market mainly consisted of heavy suitcases and clunky external-frame packs that were in no way suitable for long-term travelers.

Now that backpacking is a trend, the market is flooded with different types of functional, quality bags to choose from.

Deciding on which one to buy can be a bit daunting.

So, we’ve taken a look at some of the most popular travel backpacks currently on the market.

Here is our comparison and review of six commonly-purchased travel bags and packs:

 

Osprey Farpoint 55

Osprey Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack

This fully-featured backpack from Osprey is somewhat of a hybrid travel+hiking bag, making it one of the most popular backpacks for travelers. What makes the Farpoint a hit is its unique design that incorporates features found in a traditional hiking pack.

Moreover, its price is fairly competitive, making it a great travel investment.

The suspension system, which is designed after the suspension systems of hiking backpacks (padded shoulder straps, an internal frame, and a padded hip belt), guarantees comfort, while its front-loading ability (meaning you can pack it like a suitcase, not just from the top) provides much-needed convenience. The Osprey Farpoint 55L backpack is actually a 42L main backpack plus a 13L detachable daypack.

There is also a female-specific variant of the Osprey Farpoint called the Osprey Fairview. The Fairview is basically same as the Farpoint, but what distinguishes it are some design tweaks that Osprey made to make it better fitting for the female physique.

Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack

Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack

The Tortuga Outbreaker is a great travel backpack for the urban/city traveler. Its design sports a chic and modern look rather than looking like a typical rucksack. With the Tortuga Outbreaker, you won’t feel out of place when you’re traipsing around metropolitan cities like Paris, London or Tokyo.

Like most travel backpacks (and the ones on this list), the Tortuga Outbreaker is also front-loading and has adjustable shoulder straps and a removable padded hip belt. It also has a dedicated compartment for laptops or tablets – perfect for digital nomads.

Another thing that makes this bag great is its external pockets.

The Outbreaker has a large external pocket with a lot of compartments (for tablets, books, etc.), and two smaller ones perfect for tickets, your passport, and other small items.

For the security of your valuables, the double YKK zippers (including the external pockets) are both lockable and waterproof. The Outbreaker is also a bit heavier than most similarly-sized backpacks on the market, so keep that in mind when flying an airline with stricter weight limits!

Kelty Redwing 50

Kelty Redwing Backpack

One of the best-selling backpacks on the market, the Kelty Redwing is best known for three things:

  1.  its advanced features
  2. a very comfortable design
  3.  affordable price.

Just like the other travel backpacks on this list, the Kelty Redwing has a great suspension system, featuring well-padded shoulder straps and hip belts.

What makes the Redwing stand out among the rest is its ventilated back, which wicks away sweat and helps keep your back cool and dry while wearing it.

The Redwing is offered in 32L, 44L, and 50L sizes.

Minaal Carry On 2.0 Backpack

Minaal 2.0 Carry-on Backpack

The Minaal 2.0 is another backpack for the stylish traveler.

Minaal caught the public’s attention with its sleek and stylish design and features, resulting in a very successful Kickstarter campaign.

It features the same design and functionality one would expect from a travel backpack – a streamlined design, durable top and side carrying handles, a rain cover, and optional hip belt and shoulder straps (sold separately).

With a capacity of 35L, the Minaal 2.0 is relatively small compared to most common travel backpacks (which are usually in the 40-45L range). Despite its size, it utilizes space very efficiently, making it perfect for ultralight backpacking.

That said, it’s also the most expensive backpack on our list, with a price tag of $300.

Patagonia Black Hole Mlc 45l

Patagonia Black Hole MLC

Patagonia is a popular brand known for their high-quality travel and outdoor gear.

So it’s not too shocking that their latest travel backpack, the Black Hole MLC (maximum legal carry-on), is quite popular with people who travel often.

The Black Hole MLC is basically like a suitcase with soft padding and a shoulder strap, but no hip belt. It also comes with basic back straps (which are removable) for carrying like a backpack and, of course, top and side carrying handles.

The minimalist design of the Black Hole MLC won’t make you look out of place when you’re traveling in big cities. You won’t find anything dangling on the exterior of this backpack.

But then again, its lack of hip belt and the fairly basic back straps makes it only ideal for people who pack lightly or for those who prefer to use mainly the shoulder straps.

Aer Travel Pack

Aer Travel Pack

Another urban-friendly backpack, the Aer Travel Pack’s awesome features and minimalist design are a sure hit for the light-packing, quick-moving travelers.  

The brilliant design makes for easy access to and optimal organization of your items. It also has a ventilated compartment where you can store shoes, dirty laundry, or anything else that should be separate from the other contents of the bag.

The Aer Travel Pack also features quick-access pockets and a laptop compartment for your gadgets and other essential items.

The suspension system seems standard. The shoulder straps have decent padding, the back has ventilation for airflow, but there’s no hip belt, so you’d be lacking support there if your bag gets heavy.

With a capacity of only 33L, making this the smallest bag on our list, your bag probably won’t be too heavy anyways.

Quick Overview: The Best Travel Backpacks

BackpackImageCapacity (L)Price
Osprey Farpoint 55Osprey Farpoint 5555$169.95 – $180
Tortuga Outbreaker Tortuga Outbreaker35 or 45$269 (35L) or $299 (45L)
Kelty Redwing Kelty Redwing 5032, 44, or 50~$100-$140 depending on size
Minaal 2.0 Carry-on Minaal Carry On 2 035$299
Patagonia Black Hole MLC Patagonia Black Hole Mlc 45l45$199
Aer Travel Pack Aer Travel Pack33$220

For a smooth and worry-free trip, choose a bag that is both durable and that will perfectly suit you, your travel style, and your stops along the way. Most travelers would agree that your travel bag/backpack is the most important piece of equipment for your adventures, so choose it wisely!

Pantheontoiletrybag
Products

Essential Toiletries and Personal Products for Any Travel Adventure

When you’re constantly on the go and interacting with people, hygiene and personal appearance should be one of your top priorities. People use a slew of personal products to be clean and presentable and feel good in their daily lives, and it shouldn’t be any different when you’re traveling.

You wouldn’t want to have that “my flight is delayed so I’m stuck at the airport” type of look, or have your breath smell like garlic bread.

Clothing and gear may reign supreme in packing lists, but small items like toiletries are also crucial for looking and feeling your best no matter where you are.

We’ve compiled some essential toiletries and personal items for travelers who want to look their best on the road.

Dr Bronner's Bar Soap

Body Wash

When it comes to body wash, we highly recommend solid bar soaps rather than the liquid ones. Because

  1. it saves more space
  2. you don’t have to worry about it spilling in your bag due to cabin pressure
  3. solid items aren’t under the same carry-on restrictions as liquids.

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap is a hypoallergenic, moisturizing bath soap that can double as a facial scrub. They also have convenient 5 oz.-sized bar soaps that save all that precious luggage space. Dilute it in water and you’ll have a liquid laundry detergent.

Quite a flexible little thing, isn’t it?

Coconut Smiles Bars

Shampoo and Conditioner

As we mentioned earlier, when it comes to packing and [air] travel, solids are better than liquids. Along those lines, we’re recommending a shampoo/conditioner bar pair that’s perfect for all sorts of travel.

The Coconut Lime Shampoo & Conditioner Bar is an all-natural product made from high-quality ingredients to keep your hair healthy and smelling and looking good.

Just soak your hair in water, and then you can either lather the shampoo in your hands or massage it directly into your hair.

Lush Charcoal Toothpaste

Toothpaste

Yes, tablet toothpaste is a thing, and it’s perfect for people who want to travel with minty breath and whiter teeth! This innovative product from Lush is the answer for people who are looking for alternatives to the traditional toothpaste packaged in tubes.

To use these, just chew one tablet, swish some water around in your mouth, brush well, and rinse thoroughly afterward.

The texture feels a bit weird at first, but other than that, it’s a really great product and a perfect alternative to the traditional toothpaste.

Purity Disposable Toothbrush

Disposable Toothbrush

When opting for a disposable toothbrush, function and fashion should still go hand-in-hand.

This disposable toothbrush from Purity is made out of biodegradable materials so you don’t have to worry about throwing away rubber or plastic.

The bamboo handle has a great ergonomic design for better handling, and the charcoal bristles add antibacterial and antifungal protection each time you brush your teeth.

Neutrogena Sunscreen Stick

Sunscreen

Just hearing the word “sunburn” makes you leery to even head down to the beach. That’s why an effective sunscreen should always be on one’s packing list before traveling.

The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick Sunscreen is one of the best brands out there for jetsetters who enjoy hot and sunny adventures.

When using a sunscreen stick, it’s hard to tell if you missed a spot, so make sure to apply it evenly and generously to prevent sunburns that might blotch your skin.

Bee Bar Lotion

Lotion

Nobody wants dry, rough skin, especially while traveling. And for silky smooth skin, some lotion should always be within reach.

The Bee Bar Lotion from Honey House Naturals is the ideal lotion to tuck into a bag or backpack.

This non-liquid lotion is just like the ordinary lotions you have at home but with Bee Bar, you won’t have to worry about it leaking in your bag and ruining all your stuff (despite its pleasant smell).

Truman Disposable Razor

Disposable Razor

Instead of buying luxury razors that you might end up forgetting in your hotel room, opt for a disposable one. I know, most disposable products don’t have the same quality and features as the expensive ones, but not so with the Truman.

The Truman features five sharp razor blades, a heavy-duty rubber handle, and a flexible hinge for smooth shaving. You can have all that for a fraction of the price of other luxury razor brands.

Proraso Shaving Cream

Shaving Cream

After showing you the ideal razor for traveling, you’ll need a shaving cream to pair with it! Proraso Shaving Cream is a men’s classic.

This classic shaving cream is perfect for any type of skin or beard and gets the job done; the cream lathers up nicely, it has a great smell, and it will also leave you with a fresh-feeling sensation thanks to the menthol mixed in with it.

One Wipe Charlies

Wipes

Perfect for the traveling gentleman whose hygiene is a top priority, the multi-purpose One Wipe Charlies should be in every man’s bag.

With a peppermint scent and a minty sensation with each wipe, the One Wipe Charlies is worth every penny.

Chapstick

Lip Balm

When you travel to a place that has dry air, or a tropical place where you’ll get heavy exposure to the sun, chapped lips are inevitable.

That’s why keeping a tube of ChapStick in one’s pockets is a smart move for any traveler.

Pacifica Persian Rose Solid Perfume

Perfume

Another solid item on our list, the Pacifica Solid Perfume is the perfect travel buddy for female travelers. With its conveniently-sized packaging, you can simply put it in your jacket or bag/purse pocket.

But don’t let its size fool you.

The Pacifica packs a lot of fragrance into a small space, so you can use it in small amounts and still smell great.

Pantheon Toiletry Bag

Toiletry Bag

With all of the personal products we listed, it’d be a lot better to have them organized in a dedicated compact bag for your toiletries and grooming items. You can accomplish this with the Pantheon Toiletry Organizer Wash Bag.

The high-quality waterproof material that the Pantheon Toiletry Bag is made of is durable yet lightweight. It has a lot of room and pockets to neatly organize bathroom and grooming products.

Designed with the traveler in mind, it features a side handle for easy carrying (when you have it outside your bag/backpack) and a built-in hook so you can hang it anywhere.

Bringing out your best self is essential for a fantastic trip to any destination, and the right arsenal of personal products and toiletries will help you achieve that.

Making hygiene a top priority will be doing you and your fellow travelers a favor.

Nightmarket
Budget Travel

15 Tips to Avoid Getting Ripped Off on Your Travels

When a big trip is coming up and you’ll be visiting a new, exotic destination, it’s completely normal to be a bit nervous. Fear of the unknown often stops many people from getting out of their comfort zone and checking out a new place.

One of the main concerns on your mind may be, “How do I save my money and not get ripped off?”

On many occasions, locals (especially those from very popular travel destinations) see an economic opportunity with unwitting tourists and will try to take advantage of their lack of knowledge about local prices, places, and practices.

It’s common to find the same item at wildly different prices depending on where you go.

While the worst that usually happens is that you’re out only a few dollars, you can lose even more if you fall victim to a particularly nasty scam.

So, we’ve put together a few useful and universally applicable tips for those who want to keep pleasant memories from their travels and not constantly think back on the ungodly amount of money you had to part with.

For more detailed information on saving money in general, check out our other articles, such as this one covering saving on food.

1. Taxi Overcharging

Taxis have a notorious reputation virtually everywhere and are particularly risky for travelers.

There are always airport shuttles, and ridesharing services like BlaBlaCar, Grab, or Uber have entered the scene as economical alternatives, but if you still must take a taxi, DO NOT use the ones parked near the airport’s exit.

Those are the most expensive ones.

People generally pay more for convenience; walk for a bit and you’re likely to find a cheaper ride.

Classic Taxi

2. Not Agreeing on Price up Front

Some taxi/tuk-tuk/etc. drivers will try to make you get into the vehicle without telling you directly how much they are going to charge you.

THIS IS NOT OK.

Not telling you a price upfront is a strategy used to overcharge you at your destination, making you feel obligated to pay any amount.

This is a guilt-based technique that you can avoid by simply being very clear that you won’t get in the taxi unless a price has been set.

3. Confirming the Destination

When arranging transportation anywhere, communicate the address of your destination clearly and ensure that the driver understands where you want to go.

Another helpful trick is to track the route on your phone’s GPS; if the driver sees you know the distance and direction you should be going, they’ll be less likely to “accidentally” miss your destination or take a longer detour to make you pay more.

4. Complimentary or Not?

ALWAYS ASK. Is that bottled water you’re about to grab complimentary? Don’t just assume something is free or included with a reservation or package.

Even locals dressed in costumes or traditional clothing might ask you to pay up after you take a picture with them; always ask beforehand to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

5. Know the Scams

Know the most common/popular scams in the country you’re in. This will help you know specifically what to keep an eye out for.

In Europe, for example, women and children will employ a variety of common yet predictable tactics to swindle you such as dropping items in front of you, flirting, or other elaborate ruses to pickpocket you or make you pay for something.

In Southeast Asia, scams involving transportation services like buses, taxis, and motorbike rentals are common.

6. Avoid the Tourist Restaurants

Avoid restaurants filled with tourists or very popular near tourist attractions.

These will always be very expensive. (When it comes to food, 99% of the time, prices won’t be negotiable.)

You’ll get better prices at local places, and more hole-in-the-wall restaurants will be cheaper and will let you experience authentic local food for a better price.

Buffet Table

7. Keep the Tab Closed

If you’re at a bar or other establishment that serves alcohol, pay for drinks as you go.

Don’t open a tab as you can easily be charged extra, especially if you’re under the influence and not paying attention to everything you’re ordering.

8. Communicate Locally

An interesting thing that may help you get lower prices is to speak in the native language.

Remember that it’s almost always better to travel like a local and not present yourself as just another tourist.

9. Shop Around

Ask around and get a few examples of prices for the same service; having reference prices for common items at your destination is useful tool for determining whether something is a good deal or not.

If you catch someone trying to overcharge you, speak up as sometimes this will make them lower their prices.

10. Know When to Negotiate

Please, if the price of an item is fair, don’t negotiate.

Vendors, especially those in third-world countries, often work very hard to make a living. A good rule of thumb others follow is to not haggle for items priced under a dollar.

This will make you come off as cheap, and others may deny you service.

Vendor in Phuket

11. Know the Conversion Rate

Know the current local currency conversion rate.

You can’t know whether you got ripped off if you don’t know at least the approximate price you paid in your home country’s currency.

12. Cover Yourself

If you’re renting gear/equipment, take pictures of it as soon as you receive it. Check and count your change yourself before you walk away.

Get some sort of written confirmation (like a receipt) for purchases.

13. Buying Souvenirs

When buying souvenirs/specialty items, you need to have in mind what you are going to buy.

Uncertain or wondering tourists are the prey of many souvenir stores.

14. Know How to Negotiate

When negotiating, use this strategy: first, suggest to pay about 65% of the item’s price.

This suggestion is meant to be extreme and usually is going to be denied, but if you negotiate from an extreme, then it’s likely that at some point, before going back to the original price, the owner will agree on an offer somewhere in the middle that’s still a good deal.

Finally, if someone is trying to overcharge you, threatening to walk out can be a good negotiation strategy if you are willing to actually do it when things don’t go your way.

15. Trust your Instincts

There are shady individuals out there, but most of the time, you won’t be dealing with horrible people.

Many places need tourists to keep functioning and that can translate into a very aggressive economy.

Try to be understanding of (and not rude to) the locals.

Road Trip Wanderlust
Budget Travel

10 Important Things to Prepare for an Awesome Road Trip

Long week?

Sometimes you just need to get far away from your problems.

A plane ticket is a great way to do it, but for those of us short on time and money, getting behind the wheel for an adventure (well, at least for the weekend) can be just as wonderful.

Whether it’s a short drive to the other side of your city or a long drive across multiple cities, it’s important to have a good game plan in place before your road trip so you’re not driving down the highway aimlessly.

We’ve collated a checklist of 10 crucial items to help you get the logistics of your road trip down right:

1. Budget

With the number of hotspots you could drive to, it’s tempting to get behind the wheel and just drive off – we’re not saying you can’t do that, but just make sure you have enough cash on you!

Before the trip, double-check your funds to make sure you can get through your whole journey, or else you’ll be coming home to a bigger set of problems than before you left. Take into account how many miles you plan to travel, how many people are in your group, food budget per person per day, and any fees for campsites and parks, and plug it all into a handy road trip cost calculator like this one.

2. A Solid Travel Plan

With a budget in mind, come up with a solid plan. It can be unsettling whenever someone asks “so what now?”

To avoid this, we recommend you do some research and make a list of the places/attractions you want to visit ahead of time:

  • Got a restaurant you want to try? Write it down.
  • Is there a museum or landmark you can’t miss? Make a note.
  • Is there an upcoming festival you absolutely must go to? Add it to the list!

Road Trip Map Planning

3. A Flexible Plan

On that note, also be open to whatever you might come across on your road trip – and we mean anything.

Whether it’s a restaurant you come across or an amusement park you happen upon, sometimes the best decisions you make happen in the moment – don’t box yourself in.

Being spontaneous might help you find your next hidden gem.

4. The Actual Vehicle

If you’re going on a road trip, make sure that your car/van/whatever you’re driving can make it.

There’s nothing worse than packing up all your items and setting off only to break down in the middle of nowhere because of a drained battery or mechanical mishap.

If you’re a hands-on kind of person, feel free to inspect your vehicle yourself. If you’re not blessed with automotive savvy (like many of us), visit your local car service shop to get a thorough inspection of your car.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to a long drive.

Road Trip Van VW

5. Water

Water is such a simple thing that it’s often overlooked or forgotten about completely on a road trip. We know so many people who’ve had to stop somewhere because they were thirsty – don’t be one of them!

Make sure to stock up on at least a few liters of water from your local store at the start of the trip. It’ll save you the hassle of having to make detours and delay your itinerary – not to mention you’ll keep the negative effects of dehydration at bay.

6. Pack Light

A few days on the road doesn’t mean that you need to bring your entire closet, so leave the unnecessary ‘necessaries’ at home. You probably won’t be needing two pairs of sneakers or a bunch of jewelry to trot your way across the cities.

Instead, we recommend you bring the most functional yet stylish clothes that could still get you that perfect shot. You can travel the road without sore shoulders literally dragging you down.

7. Emergency items

We can’t stress this enough; always bring emergency items – you never know what’s going to happen!

We recommend you make a checklist of items that you think you’ll personally need if an emergency arises. Some of the items on our personal list include (1) a spare tire, (2) a flashlight, and (3) a first aid kit. You can never be too prepared when it comes to emergencies, and you’ll be thanking yourself that you went through all the hassle if something does happen along the way (but let’s hope not)!

Resting On Top of Van

8. Snacks

The drive from one place to another can take so long that you’re guaranteed to get hungry during the trip… so stock up on your snacks! Whether it’s a family outing or a road trip with friends, everybody should be able to munch their hunger pangs away.

“Hangry” is a real thing, so you wouldn’t want to fuel the fight you just know is waiting to happen when people get on their last reserves and emotions run high.

9. Music

Driving for hours and hours with nothing to do can get boring, so keep yourself entertained with some good tunes. Before you get behind the wheel, we recommend you make playlists with that road trip kind of vibe when picking your songs.

Some great song suggestions for a road-trip-themed playlist include Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”, Weezer’s “Island In The Sun”, and Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”.

10. Medicine

Nothing is more annoying than driving out of town with a headache, so always make sure to have some medicine on hand. Not only will you be more comfortable, it’ll also help your friends and family keep their cool if they feel under the weather.

To keep everyone covered, ask each person about any possible health issues or conditions beforehand so that the whole group has access to the medicine they need to feel better.

There’s nothing better to fully recharge than a road trip to somewhere new, but you need to make the necessary preparations beforehand. Let us know if you have any suggestions that you’d like to add to the list to make your time on the road even better.

Don’t worry! Before you know it, you’ll be back to 100% and ready to battle the week in no time. Pura vida and have a great trip!

Mexicanflag
Mexico

Mexico: a Brief Travel Guide of Places to See and Places to Go

The USA’s southern neighbor is a popular travel destination regardless, but it is especially so during the spring season. Mexico, sandwiched between Guatemala and Belize to the southeast and the United States to the north, has warm, pleasant weather almost all year and is filled with natural and historical attractions, amenities like clubs, markets, and hotels, and famous beach resorts like Cancún and Cabo.

Mexico offers so much that it can make any traveler come back for more. If you’re looking for nature, adventure, and culture, Mexico’s got it.

Mexico Beach

What are the Best Places to go in Mexico?

Mexico City to Baja California

If you’re looking for adventure, take a journey from Mexico City to Guadalajara, where you can stop at museums, plazas, and marketplaces. Then, you can make your way to the upscale beaches of Puerto Vallarta as you head northwest. The next stop, Mazatlan, has a popular old-town charm and a ferry station that can take you to Baja California (La Paz).

Oaxaca and Yucatan

An established trail for backpackers runs south of the capital and on through the peninsula of Yucatan. Along the way, there are commercialized beach areas like Playa del Carmen and Cancún, where you can find souvenir shops, beach promenades, expensive restaurants, bars and clubs, and tons of water activities. These include water racing with banana boats, and there are also several scuba diving and snorkeling spots in the area. Explore the cenotes, the inland caves, and the Sian Ka’an Reserve Biosphere, which is famous for its mangrove and wetlands.

Cancun Chichenitza

What are Things to see and do in Mexico?

Go to the Mexican Markets

If you want to find a bargain, enjoy traditional food, or buy one-of-a-kind souvenirs, hit up the markets of Ciudadela in Mexico City, and if you want a feel for traditional folk art, visit Oaxaca.

Get Lost in Chapultepec Park

This is a must-see destination said to be one of the largest parks in the world, as it spans the La Feria amusement park, the Mexico City Zoo, and the famous Museum of Anthropology.

Explore Plaza de la Constitución

Located at the heart of Mexico City, the Zócalo (or Plaza de la Constitución) covers the Palacio Nacional and the Templo Mayor. La Catedral Metropolitana is located just outside the Zócalo and is known for its Spanish colonial architecture that is fortified with gold.

Chichén Itzá

Located north of the Yucatan Peninsula, Chichén Itzá (pictured above) was named as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and the best Mayan site in the entire country of Mexico. The Temple of Kukulkan, also known as the “Castillo”, is one of the most impressive aspects of Chichén Itzá at a towering 78 feet tall.

Volcano Sightseeing

There are over 30 active volcanoes in Mexico. Some of them can be found within the park and are said to have some of the best hiking and mountain biking trails in the country.

Ex Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera

Check out the Ex Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera its beautiful manicured garden, or Guadalajara with its museums, nightclubs, and beautiful colonial streets. Learn about history from the Aztec pyramids located in Teotihuacan.  

Diving

The sea around Mexico has some of the most beautiful coral reefs, including the Great Mayan Reef, a rich sea ecosystem stretching over 600 miles and filled with diverse ocean wildlife.   

Día de los Muertos

This famous festival, celebrated all throughout Mexico from October 31 to November 2, honors the lives of loved ones who are gone and offers an interesting glimpse into the culture, sights, and sounds of Mexico.

Day of the Dead

Getting Around

Bus Rides in Mexico

Camiones, or long-distance buses, are the most common and efficient form of travel in Mexico.

There are two bus classes in Mexico: Primera (first-class) and Segunda (second-class). First-class buses have reserved seating, air-conditioning, and video entertainment. However, the main difference is in the number of stops that they make – second-class buses usually have more stops.

Mexican Air Travel

Mexico has over fifty airports with regular flights being run by local airlines. Big airline companies offer connecting domestic and international flights in some locales of Mexico City several times a day.

Since there is a lot of competition in the market, airline ticket prices remain stable and relatively cheap.

Mexico By Sea

Mexico is a popular cruise destination, and with coasts along both the Caribbean and Pacific, boat travel is unsurprisingly common.

There are three ports on the Pacific side that connect to Baja California via ferry, and smaller boats also travel to areas along the Gulf coast and islands off of the Caribbean. Boat prices are reasonable.

Food

Food prices in Mexico are quite affordable. Some of the most popular Mexican dishes include tacos, chilaquiles, mole, tamales, enchiladas, and guacamole, all of which can be found at almost every corner à la street vendors.

Mexican Food

Other Things To Consider

Language

Since English is not one of the country’s main languages, you would do well to at least brush up on a few basic Spanish phrases to help you get around, although you will often run into English speakers in some of the larger metropolitan areas.

Accommodation in Mexico

For around 125 MXN per night, you’ll be able to score a bed in a hostel dorm.

You may want to check out Airbnb for shared rooms from ~200 MXN or even entire homes starting at around 650 MXN or so.

In resort towns like Playa del Carmen, Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel, etc., prices are a bit higher, at around the 400-600MXN range.

Couchsurfing is also popular in Mexico and worth a try.

Mexico Visa Info

According to the Consulate General of Mexico, foreigners visiting Mexico for tourism, transit, or business do not need a visa if they are holders of valid visas or are permanent residents from the USA, Japan, Canada, the UK, and European Union countries, in which case the length of stay is 180 days.

Mexico Safety Tips

  • Do research on where you are going. You can check out the US State Department’s website for any travel advisories and warnings regarding traveling to Mexico.
  • Scan and email your travel documents to yourself just in case you lose them, and write down the international number for your credit card.
  • Give a copy of your itinerary to family/friends at home and your hotel manager.
  • Blend in with the crowd and carry all your items in front of you, within easy reach.
  • Withdraw money from ATMs inside malls.
  • Carry enough money and keep it in a concealed money belt for more security, along with copies of your passport and other important documents on your person. Keep the originals in a safe place at your accommodation.

Mexico Market

Piggybank
Budget Travel

12 Travel Hacks to Score Cheaper Flights + Extras

As one of the world’s biggest industries, the tourism industry generates billions of dollars for economies around the globe. Of course, traveling requires money >99% of the time, but many shy away from it because they feel that they need to spend a lot of money on travel to have a memorable experience.

But as more and more people make travel a major part of their lives, more travel-related communities and networks have sprung up.

One of these areas is “travel hacking” – intelligent planning and taking advantage of various resources to score discounted (or even free) travel.

Most travel hacks involve free flights, but there are a few other pieces of advice you may not have thought of, all of which we’ll talk about below.

1. Pay and earn reward points with your credit card

One focal point in the world of travel hacks is leveraging credit cards to get travel freebies. Using a memberships rewards card for your travel expenses is a strategy worth trying. Use your credit card for expenses you normally incur.

From your bank, set up a direct debit to pay off the balances accumulated every month (we highly recommend paying it in full right away).

You’ll save a lot of money in the form of perks that you can snag with the reward points you earn from using your credit card!

2. Use your credit card/ATM card abroad

In addition to using credit cards for the purposes outlined above, your bank is where you can also find the best possible exchange rates most of the time. If you’re somewhere foreign, pay with a credit card instead of cash to save time (and money), or withdraw local currency with an ATM.

Some banks, like Charles Schwab, will even reimburse ATM withdrawal fees.

Credit Card

3. Book flights while using a VPN

Depending on which country you’re trying to book a flight from, the prices may vary. Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can make it look like you’re searching from another country.

There are many VPN servers to choose from, especially in Europe, Asia, and North America – pick the location that corresponds to where you’re flying from/to and you just might score a better deal.

4. Get cheaper deals using search engines

Google Flights, Skyscanner, Momondo, and Kayak are some search engines you can use to compare fares from different airlines and on different dates. You can often compare prices with other booking services this way, or use the search engine to go directly to the airline’s website and see if you can find something cheaper there.

Also, any favorite (read: ones you frequently use) airlines should be your first stop. Flying with your favorite airline is the perfect way to rack up membership points and miles.

5. Throw away the cookies

(No, not literal cookies!) If you’re looking for a flight deal online, websites will create cookies or, in other words, browser caches. Airline companies can track these cookies, allowing them to see what flights and routes you’ve looked at. With this information, they may raise the price of the flights along the route you searched for when you look again.

To avoid this, always clear your cache/cookies when looking for flight deals, or enable private browsing/incognito mode.

Search is Private Mode

6. Use your Membership Points or Frequent Flyer Points

With enough frequent flyer points, you can get yourself a free flight (and sometimes free accommodation as well!).

Each time you fly, you can collect frequent flyer points, assuming that you’re a member of that frequent flyer program. You can then use these to redeem free flights in the future.

7. Sales Alerts/Error Fares

Some airlines release promo or sale fares, or even unintentionally discounted fares on certain days if you’re lucky.

You can find deals like this in websites like Airfare Watchdog or apps like Hopper that can give you alerts when the prices for flights drop.

Or simply sign up with your email on an airline’s website to receive email alerts about the discounts and deals they offer.

8. Volunteer to Get Bumped

If you’re not in a hurry, this trick can get you a lot of FREE stuff. Airlines often overbook flights, expecting that there will be some people who won’t show up for the flight.

In the scenario where everybody shows up for the flight, they’ll have to ask for volunteers to take the next flight out.

If you volunteer to get bumped, you’ll get to your destination perhaps a bit later, but will also likely be compensated with cash or perks like free flights, accommodation, or credit vouchers!

Score!

9. Fly on Tuesday or Wednesday

If it works for your schedule/itinerary, Tuesday and Wednesday flights are usually cheaper than flights on any other day of the week.

Cheaper Flights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays

10. Find accommodation deals

Social media is an easy way to find discounts. Just follow the social media page of the hotel chain or airline you like and you’ll get updates to their special rates and promos. Sites like Booking.com offer discounts after making a certain number of bookings. And, of course, traveling during the off-peak season is when you’ll usually get the lowest rates.

11. Figure out transportation ahead of time

It’s usually best to avoid taxis whenever possible.

Instead, get your ground transportation gameplan together ahead of time with a resource like Rome2Rio.

On that note, one of the best (and cheapest!) ways to experience and explore your destination is to be one with the culture. And an integral part of the culture is the public transportation that locals use every day.

Whether it’s a tuk-tuk in Bangkok or a jeepney in Manila, it makes for a richer experience than simply renting a car.

12. Apps as digital tour guides or guidebooks

Overpriced tours are now a thing of the past, all thanks to smartphones. Field Trip and Detour are free apps that give you notifications about points of interest when you’re traveling. Other apps can also look for discounts and offers near you.

Arizona Sky



Traveling CAN be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be if you know how to get the most out of your dollar.

Especially with what is traditionally one of the biggest travel expenses—booking a flight or other transportation—you can be smart and use travel hacks to find awesome deals.

Thanks to technology, doing all of that is now easier than ever, allowing you to quickly plan out a budget-friendly trip.

Youngwomaninfield
Budget Travel

Cheap U.S. (and Nearby) Spring Travel Destinations in 2018

You don’t need to spend a fortune to experience a getaway full of joy and sunshine this spring.

When planning a cheap yet enjoyable spring vacation, one should consider the atmosphere of the place, the cost of accommodations, and the things you can do and places you can visit while you’re there.

We’ve compiled some of the best cheap destinations to make your spring vacation planning a whole lot easier.


New Orleans, Louisiana

Known for its European-inspired architecture, New Orleans is the go-to destination for people who love Southern cuisine and music. Rock ‘n’ roll, blues, jazz, and Zydeco tunes can be heard in every corner of the city.

For most people, the main reason to visit New Orleans is Mardi Gras, a carnival-like weeklong celebration full of vivid colors, music, and an overall wild and thrilling party experience.

If you didn’t make it in time to join Mardi Gras, don’t worry. In New Orleans, the party never stops. Just head on over to one of the Bourbon Street clubs, where people party from dusk till dawn.

Places to visit (for FREE) in New Orleans

  • French Quarter
  • Frenchmen Street
  • Garden District
  • St. Louis Cathedral
  • City Park

New Orleans, LA


Austin, Texas

The city of Austin has the most live music venues per capita in the U.S., earning it the title of “Live Music Capital of the World”.

Despite how much the city has grown over the years, Austin has retained that laid-back, quirky type of vibe that you won’t find in any other city in Texas.

People outside of Austin sometimes tend to see the place as the home of wacky characters. But for Austinites, they flaunt the city’s motto—“Keep Austin Weird”—with pride and eccentricity.

Places to visit (for FREE) in Austin

  • Zilker Metropolitan Park
  • State Capitol
  • Austin Bats
  • 6th Street

Greetings from Austin Sign


San Diego, California

Seventy miles of beautiful coastline and consistently warm weather are what draw tourists to San Diego all year, every year.

The city’s nightlife, exotic cuisine, and famous parks call to those who seek adventure. If you love soaking up the sun, San Diego offers a lot of beautiful beaches.

After you enjoy the daytime activities, change your board shorts and flip-flops into something formal and enjoy the thriving nightlife throughout the city.

Places to visit (for FREE) in San Diego

  • Coronado Beach
  • Balboa Park
  • Gaslamp Quarter
  • Mission Beach
  • Sunset Cliffs
  • La Jolla Coves

San Diego California


Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Are you a beach lover?

If you are, you’ve probably dreamed of going to a beach where the sand is white like sugar, with clear blue water. Well, in the Dominican Republic, this kind of beach isn’t just a dream. Punta Cana is the perfect Caribbean getaway for all the sun-seeking travelers out there. This 20-mile stretch of pristine coastline also offers tons of activities like kayaking, sailing, and ziplining.

Places to visit in Punta Cana

  • La Cana Golf Course
  • Imagine Punta Cana Disco
  • Barcelo Bavaro Golf Course
  • Manati Park
  • Dolphin Island

Punta Cana Dominican Republic Beach


Nashville, Tennessee

When one thinks of Nashville, the first things that might come to mind are a big porch and an old-timer playing a Johnny Cash tune on his guitar. But, of course, Nashville is more than that.

Radiating a modest, down-to-earth vibe, the city’s hipster bars and the trendy boutiques prove that Nashville isn’t just for traditional country folk. The city offers Southern hospitality with a mix of grandstand glitz and has its share of young, energetic collegiate people.

Places to visit in Nashville

  • John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge (FREE)
  • The Hermitage
  • Belle Meade Plantation
  • Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge (FREE)
  • Adventure Science Center
  • Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art

Nashville at Night


South Padre Island, Texas

Back then, every year for spring break, Texas college students would cram into their cars and head down to South Padre Island for some warm, sunny beach fun.

While students today do still hit up SPI, of course, times have changed. SPI has seen a rebirth of some sort and is now a popular vacation destination for families as well. The mixture of bars and trendy hotels, the sparkling water, and the beautiful, extensive beaches invite people of any age.

Places to visit (for FREE) in South Padre Island

  • Laguna Madre Nature Trail
  • Isla Blanca Park

South Padre Island Beach


Puerto Rico

From Miami, Puerto Rico is a less-than-3-hour flight away. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, which means that you don’t need a passport and you can pay for all the stuff you buy with American dollars. If you’re into surfing, you’ll definitely love the 20-ft. waves.

And for families with little kids, Puerto Rico also has calm, clear waters.

Places to visit (for FREE) in Puerto Rico

  • Flamenco Beach
  • Sun Bay
  • Condado Beach
  • Carolina Beach

Puerto Rico


Cancun, Mexico

After the devastating effects of Hurricane Wilma back in 2005, the stores and lodges of Cancún are now rebuilt, and this tiny region in southeastern Mexico is once again a hotspot for nightlife, golfing, and beaches.

Cancún is also a very affordable destination; for $600 per person, you can enjoy an all-inclusive trip to these beautiful beaches.

Places to visit in Cancun

  • Playa Tortugas (FREE)
  • Playa Delfines (FREE)
  • Chichén Itzá
  • Isla Mujeres
  • El Rey Ruins

Cancun Chichenitza Ruins


Daytona, Florida

20 miles of beachfront is already a tempting offer to anyone seeking a fun vacation, but some visitors to Daytona have something different in mind.

The city’s beach parties aren’t the only things that attract visitors; every year, the Daytona International Speedway draws in thousands of auto racing lovers who want to watch NASCAR racing and see their favorite race car drivers in person.

Places to visit in Daytona

  • Daytona Beach (FREE)
  • Daytona Lagoon
  • Halifax Historical Museum
  • Museum of Arts and Science
  • Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach Nascar Race


Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach’s 60-mile brown beach is its main tourist draw, but there’s more to this South Carolina city/vacation resort combo than that.

Myrtle Beach is the perfect destination for families that are budget-minded, looking for entertainment options without having to spend too much.

The city’s amusement parks draw people in with family-friendly rides and activities such as racetracks, roller coasters, and waterslides. There are outlet malls for the shopaholics and more than 100 golf courses for the golfers.

Places to visit in Myrtle Beach

  • Myrtle Beach
  • Mt. Atlanticus Miniature Golf
  • The Carolina Opry
  • Myrtle Beach State Park
  • Ripley’s Aquarium Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach Amusement Park


The perfect spring vacation doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun. Planning ahead of time and choosing the right destination will allow you to save a lot of money and still have a memorable trip.

But try to have some self-control when it comes to buying souvenirs!