Philippinesoutriggerboat
Philippines

Must-See Tourist Hotspots and Fun Activities in the Philippines

Widely known for its powder-like white sand beaches, cheap & delicious food, and friendly locals, the Philippines is quickly becoming one of the top destinations for travelers looking for a sun-soaked tropical vacation.

But there’s a lot more you can do in this archipelagic country than just downing cocktails at a beach resort.

With a staggering 7,600+ islands, visitors to the Philippines never run out of interesting places to see or thrilling adventures to experience. From colorful flower festivals in Baguio City, to scuba diving in Tubbataha Reef National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site), to visiting quaint colonial sites, there’s certainly a lot to choose from.

While it’s impossible to discuss everything you can see/do, we’ve made a list of the best tourist hotspots and activities in the Philippines that every traveler should check out.

Sinulog Festival Philippines

Joining in on one of the many festivals in the Philippines is something you shouldn’t pass up. The colorful parades, the delicious Filipino cuisine, even just the mere ecstatic celebration of the friendly locals can leave you with very fond memories.

Sinulog Festival in Cebu City

Held annually on the third Sunday of January, the Sinulog festival in Cebu is a religious celebration held in honor of the Santo Niño, the Child Jesus. Apart from the religious aspect, the Sinulog festival is also about the exciting street parades, day-long parties, and street dancers wearing colorful costumes.

The festival also features one of the best Filipino dishes the country has to offer, lechon. Lechon is a whole roasted pig slowly cooked over charcoal for hours. When the late celebrity chef, writer, and traveler Anthony Bourdain visited Cebu, he quickly fell in love with the dish and called it “the best pig, ever”.

Panagbenga Festival Philippines

Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City

The Panagbenga festival is an annual celebration that pays tribute to the flowers blooming in the Cordillera Region in the northern part of the country. The term “Panagbenga” is a Kankanaey word which translates to “blooming season”. The festival takes place in Baguio City and lasts for the entire month of February.

Flower-covered floats are paraded throughout the streets of Baguio. The parades also have street dancers wearing costumes decorated with, and you guessed it, flowers! The festival includes landscaping competitions and beauty pageants as well.

Visiting Old Manila

Intramuros Philippines

Intramuros, also known as “The Walled City”, is a historical center and the oldest district in Manila. The three-mile-long stone wall that surrounds Intramuros was built by the Spanish back in 1571 and wasn’t completed until 200 years later. Intramuros was built to be the center of commerce, religion, and government, and to house wealthy families and government officials.

The major attractions in Intramuros are the San Agustin Church, the Manila Cathedral, and Fort Santiago. You can visit these sites either by walking or riding a horse-drawn carriage locally termed a “callesa”.

Going to the Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano Bicol Philippines

The Mayon Volcano is famous worldwide for its perfectly conical shape. Located in the province of Albay in the southern Luzon region of Bicol, travelers can choose from a plethora of activities offered here such as camping, hiking, photography, and birdwatching. One popular choice is riding an ATV to visit the Cagsawa ruins located near the volcano.

The Cagsawa ruins are the remains of a 16th-century church destroyed by the eruption of the volcano back in 1814. The most recent eruption of Mayon was in February of 2018. The eruption has affected over 90,000 people and the tourism of the province. But as of today, Albay is back on its feet and so is its tourism!

Swimming Alongside Whale Sharks in Donsol

Whaleshark

Sorsogon, another province in the Bicol region, is famous for spectacular waterfalls, unspoiled beaches, and spelunking activities in beautiful caves. But what most tourists really come here for is the whale sharks that are found near the fishing village of Donsol.

These gentle giants are accustomed to people and won’t mind if you swim near them. However, it is advised not to touch the animals because it may harm them. After a memorable snorkeling experience with the whale sharks, visitors can hire a boat to cruise along the Donsol River.

Visitors can watch millions of fireflies light up the mangrove trees at the river during the nighttime.

The Chocolate Hills of Bohol

Chocolate Hills Bohol Philippines

The Chocolate Hills are a natural geographic formation consisting of more than 1,700 hills that dot the island of Bohol. The size of these mounds range from 90 to 100 feet (30 to 50 meters) and are covered in grass. This grass turns brown during the dry season, giving the hills a chocolate color, hence the name.

Once in Bohol, visitors can also check out the Tarsier Sanctuary. These cute nocturnal creatures are among the smallest primates in the world. The particular species of tarsier found in Bohol is endemic to the region.

Scuba Diving in Tubbataha Reef

Sea Turtle Diving

Situated in the middle of the Sulu Sea, the Tubbataha Reef spans almost 100,000 hectares and contains some of the richest marine biodiversity in the world. Given that the location is 14 hours away from land, only live-aboard boats can reach the reef. Dive excursions are also limited, running only from March to June when the sea conditions are safe enough for sailing.

El Nido, Palawan

El Nido Palawan Philippines

Limestone rock formations, white powder-like beaches, and clear turquoise water make El Nido worthy to be considered one of the best island destinations in the world. The “50 shades of blue” of El Nido’s water and its lush green trees make the place so picturesque that you may pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming. Some travelers even call it “an out of this world paradise”.

The tour plans offered in El Nido bring tourists to the several islands scattered around the area, and it will also take you to lagoons, caves, and coves.

Since we’re talking about Palawan, the Puerto Princesa Underground River is also worth mentioning. Located just 200km away from El Nido, this underground river is one of the longest in the world. Using paddle boats, visitors can venture down the river to marvel at the rock formations inside the cave.

The destinations and activities listed here are only the most popular things awaiting visitors to the Philippines. With several thousand islands, there are many more hidden gems in the Philippines waiting to be explored.

Now make your plans and go!

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!

 

Sandiegobay
San Diego

8 Things That Make San Diego So Awesome (It’s Not Just the Weather)

San Diego, California is a city that checks all the boxes for many folks. With balmy temperatures year-round, attractive job opportunities, a variety of events and things to do, and a highly developed food and arts scene, it’s hard not to see why.

The city, which sees over 30 million visitors annually, is among the best places to live in America – and for good reason. What are some of the things that make San Diego such a fantastic city?

The Warm Weather

San Diego boasts a very moderate climate with few extremes, ranging from the upper 50s in the winter to the low to mid 70s in the summer. The city sees over 300 sunny days annually, far above the national average. It’s no surprise, then, that San Diego is often listed among cities with the best climate in the world, usually taking the top spot.

The Active Lifestyle

San Diego is one of the nation’s most active cities, being a hotspot for professional sports (their biggest major professional team is the San Diego Padres of MLB) and high-energy activities.

Most San Diegans love being outdoorsy, with several areas available for hiking, cycling, mountain biking and, since the city’s along the coast, plenty of water activities as well – like surfing, swimming, kayaking, jet skiing, or scuba diving.

Jobs and Innovation

San Diego offers many lucrative job opportunities in advanced sectors like aerospace, military defense, engineering, and biotech/life sciences. The city is also one of the leaders of technology, being ranked as one of the best cities for high-tech jobs and the home to several high-tech corporations, the largest of these being Qualcomm.

Endless Events and Activities

Whether you’re visiting on a short trip or are a legitimate San Diegan, there are enough activities and events all throughout the city to keep you occupied the whole time. The city is known for its arts and cultural festivals, as well as the world-class San Diego Zoo where you can see over 3,700 animals in several exhibits and attractions. Visit the Old Town to get a glimpse into the city’s history, or enjoy a free organ concert every Sunday at 2 pm at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

If you’re more into the water, the city offers beaches galore and numerous sailing and catamaran tours. Even for adrenaline seekers, San Diego still has plenty of options, including skydiving, paragliding, rock climbing, swimming with sharks, or ziplining above a tree canopy and river in the La Jolla Indian reservation.

Comic-Con

In line with the point above, San Diego is also home to the world’s largest annual convention, Comic-Con. SDCC (San Diego Comic-Con) started back in 1970, when four San Diegans came together to showcase comic books and science fiction-related material, but has since grown to include pop culture in nearly all genres through media like anima, card games, fiction novels, video games, and webcomics.

The event draws in a staggering average of 130,000 visitors a year, and was recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest annual comic and pop culture festival in the world.

World-Class Dining

Much like other major U.S. cities, San Diego is a melting pot of cultures and people, which brings a unique food scene to the city. For one, San Diego is popular among those who love Mexican food; its nearness to the Mexican border means it offers a delicious fusion that combines fresh California cuisine with traditional Mexican cooking.

Dining options – from food trucks to high-class establishments – often feature food inspired from American, Asian, and European cuisines. And did I mention seafood?

The Beach

What’s the Golden State without a little sand and surf?

California’s beaches stretch along Pacific coastline and are among some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. A prime example is San Diego’s Coronado Beach, home to 4 distinct beaches known for the mica in their sand that makes it glitter golden in the sun.

Whether you’re down for surfing, scuba diving, sunbathing, or sunsets, San Diego County has enough coastline – around 70 miles (110 km) – to keep you hanging around all day.

The Craft Beer

Beer lovers rejoice; we saved the best for last. San Diego is home to over 100 breweries and known internationally for its craft beer scene. Make it out during San Diego’s Beer Week events to get to know the city’s brewing culture and see what we’re talking about. Local favorites lean towards hoppy and crisp brews.

It’s a combination of environment, culture, and lifestyle that makes San Diego rank so highly on living indexes. Over 1.4 million people call this city their home, but even if you aren’t planning to move to San Diego, it doesn’t take too long to realize why it’s worth living – or even just visiting – there.

Campingatnight
Budget Travel

6 Different Ways Travelers Can Get 100% Free Accommodation

We all know that traveling to different parts of the globe can be quite challenging budget-wise, since you have to take into consideration the cost of airfare, a budget for food, and the price of activities at your destination, not to mention the accommodation for the duration of your stay.

Fortunately, with a little creative thinking, accommodation expenses can be easy to slash completely. Here are some great ways to help you find a place to stay without even touching your wallet:


Couchsurfing

Did you know that there are over 200+ Couchsurfing destinations all over the world?

Couchsurfing is a platform where travelers connect with homeowners who open up their homes for free. It is a social network and hospitality service combined. Hosts don’t get anything out of it, only the pleasure of meeting new people every single time.

As a guest, you don’t have to pay for anything. Couchsurfing hosts not only help with providing a roof over your head, but also often offer food and sometimes include a guided tour as well.

The beauty of platforms like Couchsurfing is that you get to connect with different people from all over the world and make lasting memories and friendships.

Friendstalking


Home Exchanges

If you’re a homeowner, this kind of arrangement allows for you and another party to swap houses for an agreed period. So, you both get the benefit of staying in each other’s place and get a run of the place (much like in the movie “The Holiday” where Cameron Diaz travels to England to stay in Kate Winslet’s very cozy home while Kate travels to sunny California and lives in Cameron’s posh home).

The actual type of home being exchanged can vary, from apartments to holiday cottages, luxurious homes, or even RVs and boats. Houses can be exchanged either simultaneously or at different times and may last a week, a month, or something even longer-term!

Houseexchange


Camping

This is one of the more traditional types of accommodation, especially perfect for those who love roughing it out in the great outdoors. All you need is a good location to pitch your tent and an arrangement for food for the duration of your stay, and you’re set! Bonus: Camping is also one of the most scenic and beautiful ways to save on accommodation.

Actual camping accommodation also varies, from a humble tent to a motorhome or caravan. It can be close to the beach or way up in the mountains, and off the beaten path or at a camping ground/campsite (which, fair warning, does occasionally cost money, but it’s still cheap).

Campingatnight


Work Exchange/Volunteering

This living arrangement allows you to work, usually for up to around four hours per day, in exchange for free room and board. In your downtime, you will still be able to explore the locale and see the sights.

The kind of work offered in these cases usually involves farming; other arrangements can give you the chance to work at a hostel or even in private homes.

The important thing to remember if you want to take this route is to make sure that both host and guest (you) agree to the kind of work that will be done. This makes for a harmonious and memorable stay. Not only that, you also get to be part of the local community and immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle of the place that you are visiting.

Hosteldormwork


Housesitting

Housesitting is like babysitting, but the difference is that you are taking care of a home instead of a baby or child. In a housesitting arrangement, the homeowners leave the care of their home in the traveler’s (your) hands. This involves taking care of their home, which may include basic maintenance or taking care of their plants (or even their pets), depending on the homeowner’s needs.

Housesitting stints can last for a week, a month or, in other cases, even six months to a year.

There are actually a number of sites available where you can browse for housesitting gigs. You should be quick to respond to the ads so that you can get the best deal. There are literally thousands of homeowners all over the world who are looking for house sitters. So if you travel more slowly and think this type of accommodation will suit your needs for an upcoming trip, start looking!

Housesittingliterally


Living & Working on Boats

This is another mode of accommodation that is quite unique since you get to live on a boat! Yacht owners often offer free accommodation (and food!) on their boats in exchange for paid onboard work.

Some tasks that may be required of you include deckhand/maintenance work or accommodating passengers by entertaining or serving them. You might be surprised at the number of things that need to be done on a boat or yacht. That means that captains will always need help from people with different skillsets.

So if you’re looking to travel by sea and get free accommodation while you’re at it, this might just be the thing you’re looking for. You not only get to enjoy the beauty and expanse of the open ocean, you also get to connect with other people and build a network of friends from all over the world.

Boatsonthesea


Now that we’ve given the lowdown on different types of free accommodation available to you when you travel, make sure to start planning your next trip now, ahead of time, by exploring the different hospitality, house sitting, home exchange, and work exchange/volunteering options out there. Your next [dirt cheap] adventure awaits!

 

Hikinggearandbackpack
Products

How to Make Your Travel Packing More Efficient and Never Overpack Again

The core of your travel experience is not just about what you see and do, it also involves what you bring along – how you prepare for the journey.

But it’s easy to bring too many things or even bring the wrong things.

How can you make sure you’re packing as effectively as possible?

Reduce Your Load as Much as Possible

Our first order of business comes down to the size of the bag you will carry and the actual volume of your packing list. Try and go with a smaller bag, especially just a carry-on-sized bag – this will encourage you to examine each of your packing list items more carefully and only pack what’s absolutely essential.


A good rule of thumb is to lay out everything you plan to take, then cut it down by half. Why? Most people tend to overestimate just how much they’ll need for a trip, with many of their items going unused.

Better to underpack than to carry excess; if you ever find you’re missing something at your destination, you can almost always buy/rent/borrow things locally.

Usually, the bulk of this packing involves clothing.

There are many articles that condemn the common habit of overpacking clothes and instead present a compelling case for minimizing the quantity and maximizing the functionality of the clothing items you do bring.

We’ll dive into that next:

Optimize Your Wardrobe

There are two main things to consider with clothing you’re interested in packing:

  1. its functionality/versatility
  2. its size and weight.

If you’re sticking exclusively to warmer climates, all you really need is a few changes of clothes – a minimum of 3-5 shirts and maybe 2 pairs of shorts.

That may not sound like much, but you’re not packing a year’s worth of clothes, you’re packing ideally no more than a week’s worth and doing laundry (which becomes a necessity if you’re on the road a long time). The more frequently you’re willing to wash your clothing, the less clothing you can get away with.

If you’ll be spending time in colder weather as well, there’s a bit more to consider.

The best packing strategy for cold weather is layering: picking lightweight pieces that insulate well and can be added or removed as the weather dictates.

This means that everything you wear as a layer in the cold can still be worn, individually, in warm weather, when a thick jacket would likely be overkill.

A note on fabrics: traditional materials like cotton and polyester may be fine for everyday life, but issues like odor and lack of moisture wicking after prolonged use can be a deal breaker for travelers.

Many travel experts tout merino wool as the ideal travel clothing material, as it wicks moisture effectively, insulates in the winter and breathes in the summer, packs down compactly, and is essentially inhospitable for bacteria (meaning you can wear it for months on end with no odor).

What about shoes?

3 pairs should be the absolute most, but 1 or 2 pairs is ideal.

These could include flip-flops, walking shoes, or hiking shoes that can also be stylish enough to wear for the occasional special event.

Finally, if you’re bringing two or three pairs, wear the biggest ones on the plane.

Keep Things Efficient and Organized

Another important facet of effective packing is not only what you choose to pack, but also how you pack said items.

What’s the most space-saving way to actually pack your items into your bag?

There are conflicting opinions out there, but many travel experts and veterans recommend rolling your clothes to maximize space and reduce wrinkles.

Some use rubber bands to tie up clothes and reduce space even further, and there are other travelers who fold all their garments into a big pile using the bundle method.

This should go without saying, but arrange your bag’s items by how frequently you use them; keep items you use every day within easy reach and the more special-occasion items towards the bottom.

Finally, packing organizers are a fairly recent development, having only really picked up steam within the past few years, but using them to organize your clothing and other items in your bag can reduce headache and make packing and unpacking so much easier.


Packing cubes often come in small, medium, and large sizes, so you can pack large clothing items like shirts or shorts/pants into a large cube and smaller pieces like socks or underwear in a medium-sized cube, while using smaller cubes to organize things like cables or fashion accessories.

Keep Some Other Minor, but Helpful Packing Tips in Mind

Look for ways to further pack down.

For example, you can reduce the number of toiletries you pack by using versatile multi-use items like Dr. Bronner’s soap, and don’t forget that many accommodations offer complimentary toiletries like body wash or shampoo.

If any of your electronics have the same charging connectors, don’t bring cords for each one; just take maybe 1-2 charging cables and power blocks.

If you’re traveling, especially long-term, look for a decent travel backpack, which is better for traveling and long-term adventures than suitcases or wheeled luggage. They’re easier to haul around and are less likely to make you stand out as a tourist/foreigner.


Use technology to your advantage. Life in the 21st century has given us gear and other electronics that get smaller and lighter each year. Instead of physical books, load a tablet or e-reader with ebooks. If you have a cell phone that takes great-quality pictures, simply use that instead of taking a bulky DSLR.

Lastly, one of the keys to packing efficiently is being able to discern between the most useful must-have items and the nice-to-haves. You want to pack things that will suit you well 95% of the time.

Bringing items that are only good for that remaining 5% aren’t worth the trouble and don’t constitute efficient packing.

Do you know of any other tips or tricks to pack more efficiently?