The Clever Travel Companion Updates
5 Things Every Traveler Should Consider! August 29 2016, 0 Comments
Photocopy your Passport
Yes, photocopying your passport is great on so many levels. In some countries a copy of your passport, ensures that you have identification for anything from entrance to tourist attractions to renting a motorcycle. Lots of tourist attractions won’t let you enter unless they can see your passport or a copy of it before entering.
You may say, why don’t I just use my passport as normal. Carrying your passport is risky. There is the chance it could be stolen or misplaced and that could cause a lots of problems. So, using this advice copying your passport makes a lot more sense and adds to you protecting your identity. Furthermore, keep your passport in a safe in the hotel and you should not have any problems, having photo copies is key, because it will speed up the process of getting a replacement, if one is needed.
Don’t Over Pack
Be frugal. Doing this you will ensure that you only take what you need. Roll everything up, this provides more space in your suitcase. Therefore, when you are on holiday, not only do you have all you need but you have room to buy plenty of souvenirs and plenty of room in your suitcase. Key point no extra charge for my luggage on return. Let’s say you are going to a destination where you know things are typically cheaper than your home country. So in this situation I would pack a minimal quantity of clothes. Therefore, this provides me with the opportunity to purchase items at a greatly reduced rate and now I have more than adequate space in my suitcase.
Don’t Pre-Book Everything
If you pre-book you are limiting your flexibility and freedom. Furthermore, usually pre-booking does not save you a lot of money, in fact travel agents often inflate the cost than if you were to buy locally. What I mean by this is - let’s say you are going for a 2-week vacation and you have booked an experience where on everyday something is planned for you to do. While I feel something like that may seem more convenient for the traveler who doesn’t want any hassle, though in reality you are really limiting yourself.
When you do this it makes your vacation a lot more restricted. You are somewhat stuck doing what has been planned even if you don’t feel in the mood that day, you will feel entitled to do it because you have already paid for it. While I don’t think pre booking some activates and special events before you arrive is a bad thing, I wouldn’t recommend not over doing it. If you leave more time free it will truly allow you more flexibility to do things you see and learn about when you arrive at your destination that you may not have even known about beforehand. Having the flexibility and freedom to do what you want at any time stops you being restricted when you shouldn’t be. This freedom allows you do go with the flow and really maximize your experience to the utmost potential.
Don’t Always Stay at Hotels
While staying at hotels may always seem the most practical and comfortable option. There are a lot of options available. If you were to rent a condo for example, this gets you in and around local life and you really get to experience what it’s like to live there. Other options are, you could stay at a hostel or ever use a site like couch surf where you stay at residents home free of charge. All of these options allow you to experience the country you are in and most importantly the people and the culture and for me that’s something amazing that you don’t want to miss out on.
Try a Location that’s off The Radar
Whilst it’s nice to go to popular locations, maybe you should consider trying something off the radar. Visiting a location like that is going to give you a more local vibe that sometimes you just won’t experience in the popular tourist locations. By that I mean trying somewhere unusual, somewhere unpredictable, somewhere that is out of the ordinary. Maybe just maybe this will turn out to be your dream location.
This article entry has been submitted by guest poster David Gray from Best Tent For You
11 Awesome Ways to Keep Your Energy up When You Travel June 07 2016, 0 Comments
Whether you’re a frequent globetrotter or someone who travels occasionally, you will definitely admit that travelling and fatigue are inseparable. But you know what? They actually aren’t.
Check out these 11 easy ways to learn how you can stay fresh and energetic on your trip. Nope, no caffeine required!
1. TALK TO YOUR NEIGHBOR
Engaging in a short conversation with a fellow traveler is one of the easiest ways to stay alert while travelling on the road (or air). Talking stimulates the mind and helps you to stay fresh and energetic. Who knows, if your neighbor is a talkative girl (or a brilliant guy), you might have some fun conversations and hours will pass like minutes. However, just see how your neighbor responds when you talk. Some people do not like to be disturbed, so in that case you will have to find other ways to keep yourself engaged.
2. JUST BREATHE
Deep breathing has been the number one exercise to break stress for centuries. When your mind is thinking about a 100 problems at a time, it gets stressed out. The best way to counter stress while on the move is to practice deep breathing. Inhale until about 80% of your lungs are filled and exhale slowly. This will not only calm your nerves but also boost the oxygen supply to your brain.
3. ACUPUNCTURE AND ESSENTIAL OILS
Here’s another magic formula you can use to bring down your stress levels to zero: acupuncture. Nope, you don’t need to attend acupuncture classes. It takes some simple techniques like massaging your temple, pinching the muscle between your thumb and index finger, and gently pressing the center point of your wrist. Carry natural essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon, basil, or peppermint. A quick inhale of your favorite flavor will awaken you and cool down your mind. A combination of soothing massage and pleasant scent is the equivalent of visiting one of the top party beaches in the world.
4. EAT RIGHT
Whether you are travelling for a couple of days or an entire week, your eating habit changes. You are on junk foods high in fat and cholesterol and low in vitamins and proteins. Make sure, at any point, your travel isn’t an excuse to deplete your body of the essential nutrients that it needs to generate energy.
5. MINI MASSAGES IN YOUR SEAT
Whether you’re travelling in a cab, bus, train or flight, one of the most frustrating things for you would be sitting on for hours without being able to stretch a muscle. In turn, this causes body pain and makes you feel tired when you land in your hotel room. However, you can overcome this problem by following simple techniques like rotating your shoulders, pulling your knees, rolling your neck clockwise, lifting your heels, and moving your ankle in circular motion. By doing these, you’re giving your tired body a mini massage and preventing body pain while travelling.
6. YOGA TO ENERGIZE YOUR BODY AND MIND
Once you are back in your hotel room, you can follow simple yoga exercises to stretch your muscles and pump some fresh oxygen to your brain. Half Dog, Standard Hip Opener, Standing Big Toe Pose, Forward Bend, Extended Side Angle, and Virabhadrasana II are particularly helpful for travelers. Do look up the web for detailed explanation on how to execute these simple yoga workouts.
The best thing about these exercises is that, they help rejuvenate your upper and lower body and relax your mind in less than 10 minutes. When you sit in uneasy postures, your spine is the first part of the body that suffers. But fortunately for you, yoga helps you to practice the right pose and helps to strengthen your backbone and neck bone.
Additionally if you wish, you can even try other home exercises like sit ups and pushups to burn some extra calories that you accumulated in that can of coke on the way.
We already discussed deep breathing earlier in the post. Now, let’s go a step further. Practice meditation. It’s an age-old exercise to burst stress and anxiety. Ultimately, it saves you from getting burnt out while travelling. If you haven’t tried meditation before, never worry. Use your phone and just look up the web for simple self-help mediation videos demonstrated by experts. If you are in the train or bus, then watching a couple of videos will keep you engaged and ultimately save you from getting bored. The biggest challenge for any human is to control the thousand thoughts that pop up in the mind. However, meditation can help clear your mind from unwanted thoughts and infuse positivity.
8. STAY HYDRATED
Eight glasses of water is the bare minimum any individual should drink in a day. But when you are on the road (or air), it’s more likely that you forget to take your required quota of water. Don’t think that 2 liters of coke will quench your thirst. It’s recommended that you avoid taking beverages while travelling. They are full of bad calories that could easily make you feel lazy. Instead, take cold water or warm water according to the climate. The more you stay hydrated, the more oxygen your brain gets and the more energetic you will feel.
9. TAKE CARE OF YOUR EYES AND SKIN
Taking care of your beauty might go deep into your skin, but the benefits of maintaining good hygiene while travelling go much deeper. Your skill is exposed to dirt, mud, and dust while travelling. Make sure to take a clean bath in cold water to get rid of the dirt from your skin. This will not only make cool your body but also make you feel fresh.
If it’s a daylong journey that you’re on and if you’re unable to get to the hotel room while travelling, then just splash some cold water on your face and wear a bit of makeup to feel fresh. Moisturizers are always great for the skin, particularly for dry skin.
Another area that needs attention is your eyes. Your internal temperature goes up when you sit for hours, and it’s your eyes that show early symptoms of tiredness. Red eye and puffiness are not so uncommon among travellers. You can carry eye drops or cucumber to cool your eyes. If not, you can simply wet your towel and place it on your eyes and relax for some time.
10. ENTERTAIN WISELY
Travelling is not just about enjoying some scenic sights, but it’s also a great time for entertainment. Listen to music, explore entertainment-friendly gadgets, writing about your experience in a book, read magazines, watch movies on a portable DVD player, play games on your phone, do crosswords and puzzles, or check out social media updates. Can you think of better entertainment options while travelling to beat boredom?
Last but not the least, sleep. During a long journey, it’s important that you switch off your mind for a few good minutes to get some inner peace. Gift yourself a 20-minute nap while you’re on the move. You must have an idea of how long your journey is going to be. Plan accordingly and take a quick nap an hour before you reach your destination. This will help you to land down with a clear, rested mind.
*This great and informative guest post is brought to you by Cathy D'Souza of www.togetherweek.com*
Cathy is the writer and social media strategist at togetherweek.com, a site that brings you the very best of information about party locations from around the world. She loves exploring new places, meeting new people and learning new things from them .
7 Africa Travel Safety Tips (That work for the rest of the world too!) April 25 2016, 1 Comment
A few years ago I spent 7 months backpacking Africa, by myself, using only public transportation. Out of all the places I've traveled in the world, Africa has become my favorite. It's not too dangerous or unsafe either. By following the backpacking tips below, I navigated the entire continent as a solo girl without any problems.
- Keep Your Money/Valuables Hidden on You. I was never robbed, thankfully, but even if I was, the thief wouldn't have gotten much since my valuables were all hidden inside my Clever Travel Companion blank tank top (You can read more about how this kept me safe + tips on which size to buy, etc on my backpacking Africa travel blog). I met a backpacker in Tanzania, however, whose taxi driver drove him out of town, stole his wallet, then left him on the side of the road. Luckily, the driver was nice enough to reach back into my friend's wallet and give him enough change for a bus ride back to town (a very thoughtful thief!). But if this would have happened to me, the driver would have only gotten about $20 because the rest of my money, credit cards, and passport were concealed in my tank top.
- Watch Out for Thieves at Hostels. Unfortunately, some of the worst thieves are other backpackers or the cleaners at your backpacker lodge. To prevent this from happening to you, I recommend packing a lock and using it to secure the lockers that most hostels provide in the rooms. During my trip when this wasn't an option, I put all my important essentials in my Clever Travel tank, and folded it up nicely with the rest of my clothes. If someone did go through my stuff, they wouldn't steal a plain old item like that, and they also wouldn't suspect it was hiding my passport and money.
- Don't lose your Sh*T! I think it's normal to want to go a little crazy on vacation, especially the first few days or weeks. But that's when the most trouble happens. For me it meant I spent exorbitant amounts of money in the beginning when I was in South Africa and then had to do some serious damage control on my budget for the rest of the trip. I saw a lot of good people though doing drugs, breaking country laws knowingly, or hanging out at shady bars in shady areas which are all things they admitted to never doing at home.Then they got mad when they were arrested for smoking weed or held up after drinking in a ghetto. Granted, as a traveler you're not going to know all the laws and most places in Africa do look a little questionable, but my advice is to keep yourself together and make sure you're making smart choices even in the beginning.
- Ask Locals for Advice. The best way I stayed safe while backpacking Africa was by asking locals safety advice then following it. For example, an American expat in Rwanda told me I could walk down a dark alley in Kigali at 2am with all my valuables out in the open, and nothing bad would happen. And although I didn't quite test it out, I did feel very safe. But in Nairobi, a local told me that as soon as it gets dark, I needed to quit walking and take a taxi even if I was only going a few blocks away. So that's what I did, and what I credit to a fun (and safe) experience in the town whose bad reputation earned it the name “Nairobbery.”
- Use Common Sense. Looking back, most my travel mistakes happened because I just didn't use common sense. The same was true for other travelers. Like when my backpacking friend, Oron, got malaria because he forgot to take his anti-malaria medicine for three weeks. Or when I recently heard of a traveler getting gored by a rhino because he got too close to it during a photo-op. Usually the unfortunate happens in travel because we just quit thinking.
- Leave the Situation-Fast! No matter, how careful you are, you can still easily wind up in a bad situation accidentally. My advice-run! That's what I did when I ended up in a really sketchy hostel in Durban, South Africa that looked more like a crack den. I found some Canadian backpackers who felt the same as me, and we shared a taxi and got out of there quick! I met some British girls who told me in Malawi that they went out clubbing with a local guy, but started to feel uncomfortable with how he was acting and where he was taking them. They nicely came up with an excuse and left. Even if everything seems fine, but you just have a bad feeling, I'd listen to it because it's literally better to be safe than sorry.
- Don't Tempt a Thief. While no situation justifies robbing or harming someone, there's no reason to make it easy. I always cringed when I saw someone walking around with a money belt. In my opinion, that just screams, “Rob me!” Their cash could be just as easily reached, however, in the pocket of a Clever Travel Companion pair of underwear, only with the added advantage of being secure. Same thing goes for a Chinese backpacker I met who was walking around Mozambique with her computer in a laptop case. I felt really bad when someone stole it from her when she was walking back from an internet cafe, but at the same time, locals never looked twice at me when I was carrying my computer because I was storing it in my dusty backpack.
I hope you see that backpacking Africa can be easily (and safely) traveled. Because even though I had visited over 20 countries before my trip—including European, Asian, and Latino, I found African countries to be the best for so many reasons!
Check out my blog Backpacking Africa for Beginners www.backpackingafricaforbeginners.com for more ideas on which countries to visit and how to do it, plus get a free 15% off coupon to Clever Travel Companion by downloading the complete edition of my free African travel E-book and check out this blog to see what other neat stuff Clever Travel gear can do!
About the Author: Val Bowden backpacked from Cape Town to Cairo, going through 13 African countries, all by herself. After her trip, she moved back to the continent and has been living in Addis Ababa ever since. You can download her E-book, Backpacking Africa for Beginners http://backpackingafricaforbeginners.com/book/or her guides on Ethiopia, Kilimanjaro, & scoring cheap flights for free (although any contribution goes towards a social impact business she's starting in Ethiopia).