Travel Tips

Holiday Gift Guide: For Travelers, By Travelers

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It’s the time of the year when everyone is on the hunt for that perfect holiday gift for friends and family. If your loved ones are avid travelers, we’ve got the gift guide for you! Here are some of our favorites, from our home city of Austin, Texas, for the traveler in your life.


Suavs

The perfect travel shoe. These vegan friendly, sustainably knitted sneakers are made for people on the go. They are extremely breathable and have sweat-wicking technology to maximize comfort. Suavs are very lightweight and can be packed flat or even rolled up when you head out on your next travel adventure. You’ll never have to worry about packing bulking shoes again.

- The Zilker by Suavs, $95

Corey Carbo Studio

Designer and illustrator, Corey Carbo, recently released a line of funky, tropical themed merchandise, like this Sol Searchin’ Pool Tote. It’s perfect for the traveler in your life who is skipping the frigid holiday weather and heading to the beach instead. Any traveling “sol searcher” will love this one!

- Sol Searchin’ Pool Tote by Corey Carbo Studio, $27

Bearded Brothers

Bearded Brothers have created the ultimate energy bar to fuel your adventures. Their bars are 100% organic, vegan, gluten and soy free, and also delicious. Any traveler knows that snacks are important while on an adventure and a box of these energy bars underneath the Christmas tree will do the trick!

Bodacious Blueberry Vanilla Energy Bars by Bearded Brothers, $29.88

Mitscoots

Mitscoots makes gear with a mission. They employ the transitioning homeless and will give a quality product to a person in need every time you purchase. Their traveler canvas backpacks are made in the USA with heavy duty canvas and a waterproof liner. These backpacks are a great present for any traveler who cares about giving back.

- Army Green Traveler Backpack by Mitscoots, $79

Wildsam

WILDSAM American field guides are the ultimate USA travel guidebooks for creative travelers who want more. Maps, playlists, interviews - they really pack a lot into these tiny travel sized books. By focusing on local knowledge and storytelling, WILDSAM has truly reinvented the traditional travel guide for the better.

Austin Field Guide by WILDSAM, $20

Tiko

Tiko set out to create a durable, uncomplicated and affordable travel bag and they have accomplished just that. Their carry-on luggage includes a soft-sided frame for “more packing flexibility and better overhead cramability” and also has a clean design with an affordable price tag.

The Tiko Carry-On by Tiko, $195

Adventure Assist

What travel gift guide would be complete without our very own travel notebooks? Our travel notebooks are designed to efficiently assist the traveler in your life throughout their biggest adventures. They are the perfect travel gift for anyone who wants to get more out of their trips by better connecting to their travel destinations.

Travel Notebooks by Adventure Assist, $34.95

Holiday Travel Tips: How to Survive

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Traveling this holiday season? So is everyone else. That’s why we’ve put together some easy holiday travel tips to help you survive the madness. Check out our list on how to survive holiday travel below:

Stay Flexible

Between work and family schedules, we realize that it isn’t always possible to be flexible with your holiday travel. But, if you’re able to avoid the busiest travel days, like the day before Thanksgiving, you’ll save yourself a giant headache. If you’re able to travel early on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day instead, you will avoid some of the traffic from the day before

Leave Early

Whether driving or flying, we suggest leaving early in the day to avoid traffic and long lines. If your flight is delayed or canceled, you will still have plenty of time to catch the next flight and make it to your holiday travel destination on time.

Wait to Wrap

TSA advises to wait to wrap gifts until you arrive at your travel destination in case they need to unwrap your present in order to inspect it. We recommend shipping your presents ahead of time if possible.

Opt for the Mobile Boarding Pass

Make sure you checkin as soon as you’re able and opt for the mobile boarding pass when it is an option. This will save you from having to wait to print your boarding pass at the airport and give you a few minutes back to spend with your family over the holidays.

Carry On

Pass on the bag checkin process, ensure that the airlines don’t lose your luggage (or Christmas gifts) and skip waiting for your suitcase to come down the conveyer belt by avoiding checking a bag if at all possible.

Don’t Forget Headphones

Crying babies, the overly friendly lady sitting next to you, the guy who has had too many in-flight cocktails - escape them all by putting on your headphones and zone out of your stressful environment.

Pack Snacks

Don’t let hunger get to you! Pack snacks to keep you on top of your game and to avoid overspending at the airport.

Plan for the Unexpected

Make sure you plan ahead for unexpected circumstances. Arrive to the airport with plenty of time to pass through security and book extra time between your connections.

Breathe

Delayed flight? Lost luggage? Take a second and breathe. Before you know it you will be spending the holidays with your friends and family and your travel experience will make for a great story!


Need help planning your holiday travel? Get your Adventure Assist travel notebook today!

How to Overcome Jet Lag

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Frequent fliers and international travelers alike know the symptoms of jet lag all too well. Fatigue, interrupted sleep, difficulty focusing, and even stomach issues can all be a part of life after that long trip. Jet lag can occur after quickly traveling across two or more time zones. The more time zones that you cross, the more intense these symptoms are likely to be. Luckily we've got some tips to help you overcome jet lag.

Simulate your schedule before you leave

While not always easy to do, this can be one of the best tricks to ease the symptoms of jet lag. Advancing or delaying your body clock before your big trip can help to make the adjustment to your new time zone quicker and easier. Adjusting your eating and sleeping schedules before hand can go a long way.

Drink plenty of water

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after your flight.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine

The effects of alcohol and caffeine at altitude will cause dehydration and increase your tiredness. They will also add to your sluggish feeling once you're off your flight and jet lag sets in.

Arrive early in the Day

If at all possible, try to land in your travel destination early in the day allowing you to control your own light exposure in order to best adjust to your new time zone. 

Move around on the plane

Make sure to get up and walk around periodically, do some static exercises and stretch. This will help to keep your blood flow at normal levels throughout your flight.

Exercise when you arrive

A workout soon after you arrive may actually help reset your internal clock and ease the symptoms of jet lag.

Get outside

Sunlight can be especially helpful for resetting your body's external clock when you have jet lag.

Hot/Cold Therapy

A hot bath or sauna helps to ease sore muscles, increases blood circulation and can help you relax. To go the extra mile, try a hot/cold contrast by taking a cold shower or going for a cold swim after your session in the heat.


Heading on an epic trip across the world? Check out our travel notebooks to help you get the most out of your travels.

Backpack vs. Suitcase: How to Choose on Your Next Trip

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Travelers often have strong opinions in the backpack versus suitcase debate - you may even be thinking about your preference as you begin reading this blog post. But the truth is there are pros and cons to both backpacks and suitcases, and the best option often depends on the type of travel you are about to embark on. To help make the selection between a backpack or suitcase for your next trip, let's break it down.

Backpack

Pros

  • Extremely mobile

  • Fits just as much stuff if packed correctly

  • Lots of pockets!

  • Lighter weight compared to a suitcase

Cons

  • Can be heavy and/or uncomfortable

  • More difficult to organize

  • More difficult to lock a backpack

  • Finding the right size matters

When it's best

Backpacks are great to use on trips where you will be on the move a lot. The more destinations on your trip, the more reason to bring a backpack. If your travel destination features cobblestone roads, dirt paths, narrow hallways, or lots of stairs, you should probably consider a backpack. When mobility and practicality are more important than carrying your bag on your shoulders and the higher likelihood that your clothes will be wrinkled, choose a backpack!

Suitcase

Pros

  • Hard-shell suitcases can take a beating

  • Easier to pack and repack

  • Can be waterproof

  • Roll easily on flat surfaces

Cons

  • Difficult to carry up stairs

  • Difficult to use on uneven surfaces

  • Often take up more space

  • Not as mobile as backpacks

When it's Best

Suitcases with rolling wheels are a great choice when you have one or few travel destinations on your list. If you are on a slightly more luxurious trip where you might not be carrying your bag yourself, or if you aren't moving around much, you likely will not have to worry about most of the cons of carrying a suitcase making it an awesome choice. When ease of access, organization and style are more important than moving freely and flexibly, choose a suitcase!


Pick up one of our Travel Notebooks to go along with your backpack or suitcase for your next trip!

How to Travel as a Broke College Student

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A lot of college students talk about wanting to see the world, experience new cultures, and gain a broader understanding of the world at large. But not nearly as many take advantage of their opportunities to go out and see it. After all, what better time to travel than your college years when you have a summer break, less responsibilities and are eager for new experiences. Even if you're a broke college student, we're here to tell you that traveling doesn't have to exist only in your day dreams. Here's how:

Flight Deal Websites

There are several flight deal websites out there that make it more affordable to fly around the world - great news for broke college students! The key here is to be flexible with your travel destinations and timeline, so that you pounce on that great deal when you see it. Some of our favorite flight deal websites are The Flight DealHolidayPiratesSecret Flying and Scott’s Cheap Flights.

Travel During the Low Season

We mentioned that being flexible with your timeline can be important if you are looking for travel deals. Well, if you travel in the low or shoulder seasons, transportation and accommodations are often far more affordable! Take advantage of summer and holiday breaks while in college to seek out those low season travel destinations.

Don't Eat Out

Save major money while traveling by not eating out at a restaurant for every meal. Go to the market and shop for produce like a local to cook for yourself back at your hostel or Airbnb. Exploring markets is one of the best cultural experiences while traveling, plus anything is better than eating instant ramen noodles in your college dorm room.

Take Advantage of Free Tours & Museums

If there is one thing that broke college students are great at seeking out, it's free stuff, and if you're looking for it, there are plenty of free ways to explore a travel destination. Take a free walking tour, go to a free event or visit a free museum!

Use Public Transportation

One of the best ways to get around while traveling is to use public transportation. It's cheap, and you really get a feel for how the locals get around. So when you can't walk to where you want to go, make use of the subway or bus system so you can save some cash.

Couchsurf

As a broke college student, what could be better than not having to pay for a place to stay during your trip, all while meeting cool locals? That could be yours with couchsurfing! If you're unfamiliar with couchsurfing, it is a hospitality service that allows travelers to arrange homestays and meet locals or other travelers. 

Study Abroad

If you'd like to immerse yourself in a new culture for an extended period of time, what better way than by studying abroad? In many cases it costs the same as the tuition and housing that you would be paying anyway plus it is an amazing opportunity to learn more about the world. 

Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to see the world while you are making a difference in a powerful way! There are a lot of great opportunities to volunteer around the world, no matter what type of work you have in mind. Check with your college to see what volunteer opportunities may be available to you through your school. 


Are you a college student looking to travel the world!? Get your own Adventure Assist travel notebook to plan and organize your trip.

Tips for Staying Fit While Traveling

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Anyone out there get nervous about traveling because it will be difficult to maintain your fitness routine? You're not alone. It can be easy to forget about eating healthy and to ditch working out when we are trying to make the most of our time in a new place. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be hard to stay fit while traveling. We've put together some easy tips for staying fit while traveling that you can incorporate into your travel mindset.

Choose to Be Active

When you think of exercise, do you just think of sweating it out in a gym? When you're traveling, that is likely to be the least exciting thing you could be doing. Plus, depending on your accommodations, you may not even have access to a gym!

Try working an active lifestyle into your travel plans instead. Walking tours, biking, and hiking are all excellent ways to stay fit while exploring your travel destination! It's exercise that doesn't necessarily feel like exercise because your still making the most of your travel day.

Exercises you can do anywhere

Try mixing in a conscious fitness routine as well. Some of the best ways to stay fit while traveling tend to be exercises that you can do anywhere, like yoga, body weight exercises (push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, etc.), or going for a jog.

You may find that going for a jog as soon as you get settled into a new travel destination is a great way to get your bearings and gain a quick understanding of your new location.

Be Conscious of Your Diet

Diet plays a HUGE role in our health and fitness goals and it can be extremely difficult to stay on track with while on vacation. This can be terrifying for aspiring foodies (like us)! Food is such a big part of travel, and any cultural experience, that we would never deny ourselves the opportunity to taste some new flavors in the name of fitness. However, we try to be conscious of our decisions and use moderation with anything heavy in carbs or sugars. Do your best to eat lots of vegetables and don't forget the protein. 

Try going to the local market to grab some produce and cook a few meals for yourself while on your travels. Not only is it a great cultural experience, but you will eat healthy and even likely save some money.

Drink in Moderation

If you love to drink while on vacation, the liquid calories can add up fast! You probably already know that drinking alcohol isn't exactly healthy, but that doesn't mean that you can't maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle while drinking occasionally and in moderation.

Our advice? If you are going to choose to drink while on vacation- try and avoid too many sugary drinks, drink plenty of water and be smart. Wine and liquor without mixers (consumed slowly) tend to be the healthiest options.

Do what you can

You likely won't stick to your health and fitness routine 100%, but that's okay. You're on vacation after all! But, being more active and conscious of what you consume is not only great advice while traveling but in your everyday life. Remember, a healthy and fit lifestyle isn't all or nothing so every little bit helps!


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Heading out an a new adventure? We want to help! Get your Adventure Assist travel notebook to plan, organize and relive your travels.

Reasons Everyone Should Take a Summer Vacation

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We get it. You're busy. You work a lot, have hobbies, strive for a social life, spend time with family, etc. This doesn't always leave time for travel. But we're here to tell you that there is always time for travel if you commit to making it a priority. Furthermore, is there a better time to travel than a summer vacation? Summer is reminiscent of fun in the sun. Plus, students are out of school and professionals are halfway through their year (definitely in need of a few days off). Here are some reasons everyone should take a summer vacation:

Releive Stress

Everyone needs short breaks from our responsibilities at work or school. Summer is the perfect time of the year to take a relaxing vacation and reset your batteries. Whether you're eyeing a beach getaway or your favorite national park, a summer vacation is a great reason to read a good book, relax your mind, and take a well deserved break.

Boost Creativity

New settings and new experiences often lead to new perspectives. So, it's no surprise that we often come up with our best ideas away from the office. Summer vacations are the perfect way to inject some creative thinking in your life at a time when you may be feeling stretched thin.

Be More Productive

After resetting during your summer vacation, you are more likely to feel ready to tackle your work day. Short vacations often lead to increased productivity when you get back to school or your workplace because of lower stress levels, increased creativity, new perspectives, etc.

Spend Time with Family

Students are out of school, parents are ready for a break, the weather is begging you to spend time together outdoors - summer vacations are the perfect time for family bonding. Spending time with your friends and family is a huge reason why you should be taking a summer vacation.

Get Outdoors

Summer time is a time for fun in the sun. Whether you prefer relaxing on a beach, hiking in the wilderness, or any other outdoor activity, summer vacations are the perfect time of the year to enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer.

So take time out of your busy schedule and go on that summer vacation. You most certainly deserve it!


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Heading out on a summer vacation of your own? Plan it all out with your very own Adventure Assist travel notebook!

How to Save Money While Traveling

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We all like a little extra cash in our pockets but it's not always easy to balance a big trip while balancing your bank account. That's why we are offering up some of our best tips on how to save money while traveling.

 

 

Be Flexible with Flights

Unfortunately, we can't always be flexible with our travel plans.. But if you're able to have flexibility with your travel dates and times, you can set yourself up to find the best possible deal around the time you'd like to travel. Furthermore, it often pays to be flexible with your destination as well. Keep your eyes peeled for flight deals and error fares, and maximize the opportunity to save some money.

Book Using Points and Miles

This is travel hacking 101. Join rewards programs for airlines or hotels you frequent. Sign up for that credit card that gives you a ton of upfront points. We advise to do a little research on this one, and be careful to only use credit cards responsibly, but this is a way to save big with travel.

Travel in the Offseason or Shoulder Seasons

By traveling in the offseason or shoulder seasons means less demand and lower prices. This is true for travel expenses, accommodations, food, tours and more. Sometimes traveling in the offseason has disadvantages too but we like to target shoulder seasons to maximize the best of both worlds.

Get Creative with Accommodations

If you're trying to save money on your next trip, you may want to get creative with your accommodations. This could be as simple as staying at an Airbnb instead of a hotel or, to take it a step further, try couchsurfing or a house swap.

Book Accommodations in Convenient Locations

A common mistake travelers make is seeking out cheap accommodations that are far away from the attractions they are wanting to visit. There is know set rule but it helps to understand the price of general transportation in your travel destination and taking that into account when booking your accommodations.

Shop at Local Markets and Grocery Stores

An easy and fun way to save money while traveling is to shop at local markets and grocery stores. Not only will you save money, but you will get a cultural experience as well.

Cook for Yourself

After picking out your food at the local market, save some cash and cook it for yourself! Eating out for every meal adds up quickly, so even making just a few meals for yourself can really help you save some money while traveling.

Carry Snacks and Water

Next time your on a tour or even just exploring, plan ahead and bring your own snacks and water. If you don't, these expenses will add up, especially if your in a touristy location or on a tour.

Travel Where You Have Friends

Traveling where you have friends is always a great experience. Not only do you get the inside scoop on the travel destination but you also may be able to save money by staying with your friends and not getting stuck in tourist traps.

It's not always easy to save money while traveling but hopefully these tips will keep you one step ahead and put some extra money back in your pocket!


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Planning a trip!? Get an Adventure Assist travel notebook today and take some pressure off of the planning.

Weekend Getaway Tips

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Need a weekend getaway? If you're like most of us and swamped with life in general, sometimes a weekend getaway is all it takes to relax, reset and rejuvenate. A change of pace and a change of scenery can be an incredible break even if just for a short weekend. But taking off for a quick weekend getaway doesn't have to be overwhelming or poorly planned. Here are our tips for taking an easy but memorable weekend getaway.

Choose a destination close by

Choosing from a short drive or short flight for your weekend getaways serves a few purposes. Perhaps most importantly, you will spend less time actually traveling so that you can maximize the time you have in your travel destination. Additionally, traveling close to home can mean less packing, less planning, less expenses and zero jet lag.

Have a Focus

Pick something you want to focus on for the weekend. Do you want to relax on the beach, eat until you explode or hike a mountain? By having a central focus, it gives you exciting reason for your trip but allows for plenty of free time to explore during a short trip. 

Plan around holidays

Planning weekend getaways around holidays is a best practice for any corporate weekend warrior. Getting the extra vacation day for your trip is extremely valuable in the grand scheme of things.

Keep it simple

Maybe the biggest tip of all for a weekend getaway - keep it simple. Don't try to do too much. Have fun, memorable plans but leave yourself some room to breathe. After all this is your chance to relax and reset, right!? 

Stick to these tips and you'll be well on your way to having an amazing weekend getaway!


Are you a weekend getaway pro!? Keep track of your adventures with the Adventure Assist travel notebook. Plan your trips, stay organized on the journey and relive the adventure for years to come!

Travel Journal Tips: Easy Ways to Get Started

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Want to travel journal to remember an upcoming trip but are a little intimidated, or think it may require too much time or effort? We are here to help. Here are a few quick techniques to get the ball rolling. These don't take much time or skill but will help you hold on to your travel memories.

One Line Per Day

Start simple. Maybe for you that means, one line per day that embodies your experiences for that day. Some days you'll have much more to include but if you don't there is no pressure to write a long entry.

Get Creative

Just because you are keeping a travel journal doesn't mean you have to treat it like a diary. Maybe you can draw really well and would rather fill your journal with sketches. Or perhaps you want to include a local recipe, or song lyrics. You could even stick to pictures, ticket stubs or postcards.

Fill Down Time

Chances are you will have some down time while traveling and journaling is a productive way to fill some of that time. Take advantage of your layover or a long train ride to get some writing in and maybe you won't feel so much pressure to write at other points during your trip.

Make Lists

A straightforward way to travel journal is to include lists or bullet points. This could be as simple as listing the things you did that day, food that you've tried, or activities that you are most excited about. This typically requires less creativity and gets the writing process started.

Gratitude

At the end of every day, write something that you were grateful to experience on your trip. This is a great way connect with your travel destination, and afterward, allows you to remember exactly how you felt during your trip.

There are a lot of reasons to keep a travel journal, but hopefully these suggestions help if you aren't sure where to start. 


Need the perfect travel journal for your next trip? Get an Adventure Assist travel notebook to plan, organize and journal everything you want to remember in a beautiful keepsake.

Reasons to Study Abroad in College

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Are you thinking about studying abroad? If you need help convincing yourself that it is the right thing to do, you've come to the right place! Here are some of the best reasons why you should study abroad in college.

Learn a Foreign Language

Being immersed in a culture that speaks the language you would like to speak is by far the best way to learn it. Becoming fluent in a foreign language is a lot of work, but it is becoming more and more important with the globalization of the world. 

Personal Development

Studying abroad and travel in general are great ways to foster personal development. It teaches you to be more independent, self-reliant and to step out of your comfort zone. Being in a new country long term can be overwhelming at times but you will come out of it better prepared to handle life after college. 

Experience Different cultures

Being immersed in a new culture is a powerful experience. Studying abroad opens the door to your host culture's food, language, history and traditions. While some may be extremely foreign and others might be strangely familiar, they will all contribute to your experience abroad.

Make Lasting Memories

While studying abroad you'll have the opportunity to meet lifelong friends from different parts of the globe and likely share many new and exciting life experiences together. Your time studying abroad just might be your favorite part of college.

Impress Potential Employers

Improve your employment opportunities after you graduate by studying abroad in college. Companies are investing in the global market and want employees who are comfortable in a global setting. Not to mention the skills learned while studying abroad, like self-reliance, are highly sought after. 

It is Possible to Do Inexpensively

There are a lot of great places to study abroad where the living expenses are far less than they are in the United States, especially if you are interested in studying somewhere outside of Europe. Tuition may be less expensive as well.

See the World Differently

Your previously held beliefs about the outside world will undoubtedly change after your study abroad experience. You may even gain a new perspective of your own country! 

So go ahead, study abroad! Step out of your comfort zone a little bit and gain valuable life experiences, new skills and personal growth.


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Heading out on your own study abroad adventure!? Get the most out of your experience with an Adventure Assist travel notebook.

5 Reasons to Travel Solo

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Traveling with a group or a travel partner can be extremely rewarding. After all, you have someone to share all of the incredible moments with. But there is nothing quite like setting off alone on a solo travel experience. There are plenty of reasons that you should set off to travel solo, here are 5.

You Meet More People

It is often easier to meet locals or fellow travelers if you are traveling solo because we tend to put ourselves in situations to meet people more when we are alone. Additionally, when you travel solo, you forfeit sharing responsibilities with other travel partners. Even if you're shy, this forces you to interact more with people and opens up more opportunities to strike up conversations or meet people along your travels.

You Have Financial Control

Do you have an a strict budget of for your next trip? It will be much easier to stick to if you travel solo. This is because you don't have to balance your budget with the budgets of fellow travelers. One of the hardest parts about traveling with groups or other individuals is that you usually all have different budgets that you can spend on the trip. When you travel solo, you won't get talked into splurging on that super expensive meal or the tour group that you could have done by yourself. Vice-versa, if you'd like to pamper yourself at a nice hotel, you don't have to feel bad about it.

You Control the Plans

One of the best parts about traveling solo is that you have complete control over your plans. This allows you to be more spontaneous or just go with the flow. If you want to take the day off completely and just relax at your hostel, you can do that too. You don't have to make sacrifices and do something just because your travel partner would like to. This allows you to maximize your travel time doing exactly what you would like to do.

It Builds Confidence

Traveling solo is a great way to build self-confidence which will carry over into other areas of your life. Knowing that you can successfully navigate the world by yourself is a powerful understanding to have.

You Learn More about Yourself

When you travel alone, you will inevitably be faced with a number of challenges that you'll have to overcome. This could be coming to terms with what you care about, how to spend your time or even whether to face your fears. Traveling solo gives you time for indepth thought, it allows you to pursue what is important to you and you will learn a lot about how you will react with no one else to rely on.


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Getting ready to set off on a solo travel adventure? Get our travel notebook to plan, organize and journal the epic trip!

Tips for Traveling When You Don't Speak the Language

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Is not speaking the language keeping you from an incredible travel opportunity? We get it, travel is fun and exciting but for some people it also can be nerve-racking if you don't speak the language. That's why we've put together our tips for traveling when you don't speak the language.

Learn the Basics

You don't have to become fluent for your two week trip abroad, but, if you don't speak the language, put in the time to learn basic words and phrases that will be helpful during your trip. Knowing how to say "hello", "please", "thank you", "Do you speak English?", etc, will get you pretty far and likely make you feel more comfortable. Not only will it help you navigate your new environment, but it shows locals that you've made an effort.

Use Hand Gestures

If you're at a loss for how to explain what you're trying to say, hand gestures are often the solution. It is often said that hand gestures make up a higher percentage of language than spoken words so it isn't surprising that using them when you don't know the language is so helpful. When you're stuck, try miming or charades. One word of caution though, be sure to do some research to make sure specific gestures are not offensive in your host country.

Translation Apps

Another great solution, although not always the most practical, are the use of translation apps. They are usually far from perfect but if you're in a bind or simply want a guide for the basic words and phrases that you're trying to learn, they can be extremely helpful.

Point

There is power in pointing. For example, pointing to items on the menu as you butcher the pronunciation is usually a good way to make sure you're ordering what you actually want. Point at places on maps, point at your phone, point at the address you're looking for. It is a great way to get your "point" across (sorry, I couldn't help the pun).

Carry Around the Address Where You Are Staying

It is always advisable to carry around the address of where you are staying while wondering around your travel destination. Taking a business card from your hotel or having the address handy in your Adventure Assist travel notebook are easy ways to do this. This will ensure that you can always find your way back by showing your taxi driver the address or asking directions.

Be Nice

Possibly the most helpful thing to consider when traveling to a destination where you don't speak the language is to always be nice. It can be frustrating at times to not be able to communicate effectively, and let's face it you'll probably mess up at some point when you try (everyone does). When you are nice, people instinctively want to help you and they will often go out of their way to make sure that you have everything that you need.

Often travel is about putting ourselves out there and finding comfort in the uncomfortable. So, if not speaking the language is keeping you from an amazing travel experience, consider these tips to make sure that you don't let anything hold you back.


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Planning an amazing trip?! Get your very own Adventure Assist travel notebook to help you travel plan, stay organized and document your once in a lifetime journey.

What Not to Pack

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In our view, packing is a personal challenge to ourselves to not be miserable keeping track of and lugging around too much stuff. There are many tips to pack like a pro but what it ultimately comes down to is deciding what not to pack. Easier said than done, what not to pack is often some of our favorite things or even something that we think might come in handy during our trip. We all have various needs, so this is far from a concrete list of things not to pack, but if you're feeling a little overstuffed on your next trip consider leaving these things at home.

Don't Pack IMpractical Shoes

Packing too many shoes is the quickest way to fill up coveted luggage space. Packing impractical shoes is the best way to ruin your trip. Aim for one pair of comfortable walking or running shoes, and another pair of comfortable shoes that can be dressed up or down. Think twice about bringing boots, high heels or any other shoes that are not comfortable or you're unlikely to wear more than once or twice.

Don't Pack UNNECESSARY Gadgets or Devices

If you brought a portable DVD player on your last trip, we're looking at you. Bulky gadgets or just too many devices can be a pain to keep track of. Even over the ear headphones are a nuisance to pack. You're phone is probably the only device you really need except for those of you that might need a computer for work reasons. Likewise, there are rational reasons to bring a kindle or small portable speaker but definitely leave your book light, mini iron and toothbrush sanitizer at home.

Don't Pack your whole Beauty REGIMEN

Try restricting your toiletry bag to the basics (toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant) and any medication you may need on your trip. If you're opting to bring your makeup bag, the same principals apply - the basics will probably do just fine. Your accommodations will likely have soap and shampoo, and if they don't you can just as easily purchase them at your destination. Definitely think twice before packing your 8 step skin care routine or your elaborate regimen to tame your hair.

Don't Pack Valuables

Expensive jewelry, fancy electronics and designer clothes are probably best left at home. Bags are often lost in transport, tourists are more likely targets for theft, and it is easy to forget or misplace items at your hotel. As a general rule - If you wouldn't be okay with losing it, don't bring it.

Don't Pack Towels

Towels are bulky and take up a lot of space in a suitcase. They can also take a long time to dry and stuffing a wet towel into your bag is not fun. Your accommodations should have towels that you can use during your stay. An exception would be the light, quick-drying towels which are a solid all purpose solution for a beach towel, yoga mat or if your hostel is stingy.

Don't Pack Bulky Clothes

If you're traveling to a cold climate, it is a far better strategy to layer than to bring bulky items. You can probably get away with one heavier coat if you wear it while traveling but beyond that, stick to lighter items that you can layer together to stay warm.

Don't Pack Unique Outfits for Different Days

We all love options but the truth is you have to make some sacrifices. Instead of packing a full new outfit for each day of your trip, bring versatile clothing that can be mixed and matched to maximize your suitcase space. Wearing an item in various ways creates more room for you to pack other things. Earth tones are usually a safe bet because they can usually be worn together and you can always add some style with a unique scarf or hat.


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Packing for a big trip? Get an Adventure Assist travel notebook today to plan, organize and journal the most important details.

Traveling with a Purpose

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We often talk about traveling with a purpose... but what do we mean by that?

Consider this - could travel be leading you nowhere? A few "awesome" experiences under your belt, checking countries off your bucket list, wandering the world without really taking the time to get to know your destinations or yourself? As an outsider it may seem like this is the dream life, but we know from experience that constantly traveling in vacation mode, especially during extended trips, can be pretty damaging to your attitude and your wallet.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua (hi, this is Jake!) I saw this constantly. Travelers that set off on a life changing trip through Central America only to get caught in tourist traps, party all day and night, and spend the majority of their trip asleep in their hostel bed. After I left the Peace Corps I headed down through Central and South America and noticed much of the same. Travelers who were undoubtedly seeking something but appeared instead to be running away. And hey, I've been there, I'm not one to judge and I like a good time as much as anyone, but I decided somewhere along the way that I didn't want to travel like that. In fact, I made it a mission of sorts to travel with purpose and share that idea with others. It's a big reason why we started Adventure Assist. Our travel notebooks have become a way to give people intention while traveling and as we evolve it will continue to be our main focus.

So, how can you apply traveling with a purpose in your own life? Once you understand the concept, there are a million ways to do it. For example, I traveled to Cuba to run the Havana marathon, in Tuscany I set out to learn everything I could about wine, I went to Guatemala to study Spanish, in Singapore I was fascinated by the history and architecture of shophouses. Maybe you'd like to volunteer in India, learn to surf in Costa Rica, attend a baseball game in every stadium in the US, or head to the English countryside to write a book. Maybe you simply want to relax or to see an old friend or to learn about the history and culture of a new place.

We believe that if you plan on traveling for an extended period of time, having goals throughout your adventure is extremely important. We aren't saying that you should make an intense list of things to accomplish in every city you plan on visiting but that being conscious of what you want to get from your travels will likely lead to a more fulfilling experience. Traveling with a sense of purpose helps you learn and grow and it better connects you to your travel destination. Without a doubt, you will leave with new skills, knowledge, and likely some experiences you would not have had otherwise.


Traveling with a purpose? Get an Adventure Assist travel notebook to relive the adventure for years to come.

A Traveler's Guide to Cultural Immersion

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One of the most rewarding aspects of travel is experiencing new cultures. In our experience, this is one of the biggest areas for personal growth that traveling can bring. Experiencing new cultures not only gives you a practical understanding about the world and its history, it will even teach you some things about yourself.

When we say "cultural immersion", we mean the act of integrating oneself into an unfamiliar culture, interacting with people within that culture, and attempting to understand their way of life from that perspective. If you are seeking cultural immersion on your next trip, here are some of our tips.

Stay with a Host Family

One of the simplest ways to experience cultural immersion while traveling is to stay with a host family during your trip. Staying with a host family offers an intimate view of another culture that you just can't experience any other way. Engaging in normal activities together, such as eating dinner or playing a card game, can really make you feel like an extension of the family. Not to mention this is a great way to keep up with your foreign language skills.

Learn the Language

Learning a foreign language is hard work, but it can be especially fulfilling to use your language skills to navigate a new culture. Being able to speak a foreign language (or sometimes even just a few words and phrases) can offer a dramatically different travel experience. If you're looking for an authentic experience off of the tourist circuit, speaking the language is a huge advantage.

It's important to note that cultural immersion is also the easiest way to learn a foreign language. If you are surrounded by people speaking the language, you don't really have a choice except to learn and improve!

Take Public Transportation

Public transportation can be a great way to experience a new place. You learn to navigate your new surroundings from the perspective of the locals. It will help you to understand people's daily routines and maybe you will strike up a conversation or two. It's a big bonus that it's usually the cheapest mode of transportation.

Learn How to Make Local Cuisine

If you love to cook, a great path to cultural immersion is learning to make local cuisine! Most travel destinations have classes, taught by a local chef, that teach you how to make different types of local dishes. Additionally, if you are staying with a host family or if you've made local friends, you could always offer to help make dinner. This is not only an opportunity to learn about various cuisines around the world and how they are prepared, but also a chance to spend time with locals and develop friendships.

Participate in Sports or Group Activities

Participating in group activities, joining a club or playing sports are all amazing opportunities for cultural immersion. You will spend time with members of your host community, learn more about traditions and customs, and people will know a little bit more about you based on what activities you choose. If you're going to be somewhere for an extended trip, seek out some local activities to get involved with while you're there, and even if you'll be there for a shorter while you could always join that pickup soccer game!


Heading out on an extended vacation? Remember every last detail with an Adventure Assist travel notebook.

7 Ways to Become a More Responsible Traveler

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As travelers, we are so fortunate to experience everything that the world has to offer. Amazing landscapes, interesting cultures, delicious food and intricate histories all shape our experiences in any travel destination. It is our responsibility then, as travelers, to be conscious of how our actions might affect the environment, culture and economy of any travel destination. Not only does responsible travel improve the communities you travel to but it also makes for a more authentic and rewarding travel experience. For many people though, "responsible travel" is a new idea that they've never thought much about. With that in mind, here are some simple ways that you can become a more responsible traveler.

Shop Locally

Choosing where you spend your money while traveling can have a tremendous impact on the local community. By choosing local businesses instead of large brands or chains, you're supporting the people who have the most to benefit from your purchases. Next time you're deciding where to eat, where to stay, or even where to buy souvenirs, consider how your choice can positively impact the local economy.

Side Note: In many countries bargaining is part of the culture and you'll be expected to take part in it. Throughout the process however, keep in mind what $1 means to you versus what it might mean for the vendor.

Respect the Local Culture

As a responsible traveler, go out of your way to learn about the local culture. Pick up a few basic words of the host language and become familiar with the country's history. Learn what is appropriate in terms of behavior, dress and body language. These simple gestures will go a long way with how you are perceived as a traveler and they will also help to better connect you to your travel destination.

Educate Yourself Before Wildlife Activities

Wildlife tourism is a giant industry. Unfortunately, more often than not, these businesses care more about making money than the wellbeing of the animals. Make sure you do your research before taking part in any activities featuring wildlife. Any reputable business that interacts with wild animals should be happy to answer all of your questions to reassure you that the activities are safe and mutually beneficial to both tourists and the animals. If they are not, consider choosing a more responsible organization or forgoing the activity altogether.

Volunteer

A big opportunity for responsible travel is volunteering, and there are now more ways than ever to do so while traveling abroad. From environmental conservation, culture and community projects, to teaching English, volunteering can be a rewarding and inexpensive way to travel responsibly. Again, it is really important to do your research as, unfortunately, many volunteer organizations are known to do more harm than good. Make sure you are considering volunteering for the right reasons, and that you choose reputable organizations that are offering volunteer services that align directly with your skill set and morals.

Minimize waste

Waste management is an issue worldwide. This is especially so in developing countries where environmental education and waste management infrastructure might not be at the same level that you are used to back home. Keep in mind that your travel destination may not have a formal recycling program or even a proper waste management system in place. As a responsible traveler, you could bring a reusable water bottle to fill up instead of constantly buying new plastic water bottles. When making any purchases you could always decline a plastic bag and put the item in your backpack instead.

Choose Responsible Tour Operators

Often the most memorable activities of any trip are booked and operated by tour companies. Sometimes there are literally hundreds to choose from that all claim to offer the best services at the best rates. We recommend seeking out responsible and sustainable businesses that contribute directly to the local community. Ideally, these agencies would be locally owned and choose to help protect the local environment, to only hire local employees, or to donate money to local charities.

Lower Your Carbon Footprint

There are many ways to lower your carbon footprint while traveling. When planning your route, try to choose the most direct path to lessen your carbon emissions. Choose public transportation instead of taking a taxi. Or better yet, walk or ride a bike! The world and your bank account will thank you.

As traveling continues to become more accessible, it's more important than ever for us to be responsible travelers. Not only will these simple practices improve the wellbeing of the communities that you travel to but they also make for a more sustainable and rewarding travel experience.


Travel with a purpose and get an Adventure Assist travel notebook to help you plan, organize and document the most important details of your next trip.

11 Bad Travel Habits to Kick

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Even the most frequent of fliers fall victim to bad travel habits sometimes. Let's face it, its easy to get caught up in the excitement of travel. Sometimes it can even be overwhelming. Either way, do you really want to be that traveler? Don't let these bad travel habits get in the way of your travel experience.

Over Packing

Its not a stretch to say that packing too much for your trip is the cardinal sin of travel. Having a lot of luggage quickly identifies you as a tourist, transportation becomes a logistical nightmare, and your much more likely to be targeted by a pickpocket or scammer. Take our advice and ditch this bad travel habit forever - pack light and you're in control.

Over Booking

Traveling to Europe for two weeks and planning on visiting ten cities? Bad idea. We understand you want to get the most out of your epic trip but try narrowing your itinerary by focusing on what you most want to get out of your travels. You will be less stressed and have more time to get to know your travel destinations.

Not Having a Plan

There is something especially liberating about the idea of traveling on a whim and not having a plan at all. We advise against it. It's important to be spontaneous but you should, at the very least, do your research even if you don't want to book anything yet. You will know your options and overall have a stronger connection to your travel destination. 

Planning out every second

On the opposite end of this bad travel habit, don't be the itinerary police and have every second of your trip planned out. It is good to have direction but leave some room for spontaneity, gut impulses and chance encounters.

Not Having a Budget

You definitely don't want to finish your travels and be in a ton of debt. Sticking within your means is especially important during travel. Don't get caught up in this bad travel habit - make a budget and have a plan.

Being too Frugal

On the other hand, don't be so frugal that you miss out on the attractions and activities that you traveled across the world to see and do. Make sure your budget includes must do activities and leaves room for spontaneous decisions. Know what is important to you - if you care about eating at an expensive restaurant but are willing to stay in a cheaper hostel, that is great information to plan around. 

Falling into Tourist Traps

Unnecessarily expensive restaurants, overly aggressive hawkers, taxi drivers that triple the fare - We've all been there. But there are some things that you can do to avoid falling into tourist traps. We recommend to research possible scams and common tourist traps in your guidebook and on the internet, get off the beaten path (don't live or die by your guidebook's recommendations), and book activities in advance when it makes sense.

Complaining about the small stuff

You may be in a new place where things are different than you're used to, but that doesn't mean that you should complain about it. In fact, sweating the small stuff might be the worst of all bad travel habits. Travel delays, restaurant mishaps, not having the amenities that you're used to - while it can be frustrating, try to be positive and see it all from a new perspective. You (and your travel companions) will have a much better time.

Partying too hard

Traveling is all about having a great time, meeting new people and having once in a lifetime experiences. So, by all means, do some partying if you'd like - but keep a few things in mind. Spending most of your trip hungover in bed is probably not the best way to experience your travel destination. Having a good time should not come at the expense of your host countries cultural norms. Most importantly, make responsible decisions to ensure that you and your friends stay safe.

Being Unwilling to Try Something New

Maybe our favorite thing about travel is trying new things. New food, new experiences, learning something new, the list goes on. It opens our minds, helps us learn about our travel destinations, and makes for the best travel stories. We get it - you're a creature of habit - but trust us, you will get more out of your travel experience if you break this bad travel habit and are willing to try something new.

Not Respecting the Culture

The world is a fascinating and diverse place with many different languages, religions and cultural norms. While traveling, you will likely encounter some things that are new to you, or even things that you don't fully understand. In these situations, keep in mind that you are a guest in your travel destination and it is important to respect the local customs. There may be an opportunity for you to learn from the situation and take home a larger understanding.


Planning an epic trip? Head over to our SHOP page to get your Adventure Assist travel notebook to plan, organize and document your travels.

How to Achieve Your New Year's Travel Goals

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Goal setting is a huge part of the new year. We don't think that you should have to wait until the new year to make positive changes in your life, but it is such a great opportunity to start fresh and reassess your priorities. If you're anything like us, you've set some new year's travel goals that you're determined to accomplish in 2018. We're here to help you stay on track.

In order to achieve your new year's travel goals (like achieving any goal) you'll need a plan. We make plans so that we can break down one big goal into several smaller goals, effectively compartmentalizing in order to remove the stress, make clear progress and ultimately accomplish what we set out to. Achieving your travel goals this new year will be no different. Here is how you can take action to make sure you reach your dream destinations in 2018.

Determine Your Priorities

This is probably the most important step. If you really want to travel more, travel further or travel for longer in the new year, you must make travel a high priority in your life. If you fail to do this, you won't make it much further than your couch.

If there is anything holding you back, now is the time to confront those challenges. Don't think you have enough money? Have time restrictions? Not sure how to travel with kids? Unsure about traveling solo? Your situation probably isn't as dire as you think. In fact, there are tons of travelers out there in the exact same situation as you making it work. The difference is they place a high priority on travel.

Decide on a Destination & Timeline

You're determined to turn your day dreaming into concrete action! Well, the next step in accomplishing your new year's travel goals is deciding on a destination and timeline. Some things to consider while deciding - travel expenses, time of year, weather, accessibility, bucket list destinations and recommendations.

Set a Budget and Start Saving

Now that you've chosen a destination and timeline, you should have a general idea of how much the trip will cost. But it's now time to take a deeper dive. You'll want to take into account the price of transportation, accommodation, food and give yourself a buffer for entrance fees, tours and other experiences.

With your budget in mind, set a plan and save for your trip. This is where prioritizing travel really comes in handy because you will likely have to make some sacrifices in order to cut expenses and save for your trip. You'll be on your way to achieving your new year's travel goals in no time!

Travel Plan

Travel planning is clearly our favorite step towards achieving travel goals. You probably have an idea of what your travel destination has to offer but this is where you put it all together. Purchase flights and other transportation, look into accommodations and make reservations if necessary, and do research on all of the things you might like to do on your trip. How prepared you will want to be is mostly a personal preference but we highly recommend at least knowing your options. 

Stay Inspired

Want to know a travel hack to stay inspired leading up to a trip? Research! It's easy to accomplish your travel goals when you are constantly looking up the amazing things you can do on your trip. Find something you're excited about that your destination offers and buy a book or start listening to a podcast about it. Learn at least some general words and phrases if you don't speak the language. Research the political climate, history and anything else you might be interested in. This will serve you well as you lead up to your trip and better prepare you for your travel experience overall.

Set Off

Alright, the time has come! Pack your bags and get ready to achieve your new year's travel goals. You can finally relax on that beach, explore that city or climb that mountain that you've always dreamt of. And remember, have fun!  


Ready to achieve your new year's travel goals? Check out our travel notebooks over on our SHOP page to maximize your trip. Plan, organize and journal the most important travel details.

10 Easy Ways to Cut Expenses & Save for Travel

Want to start setting money aside to reach your travel goals?

The first thing you should do is make a list of your current expenses and start brainstorming ways that you can cut back. A lot of daily costs are in small purchases that definitely add up. These items are easy to cut or replace, which means savings will now add up instead!

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Here are some easy ways to take action today and start saving for an epic adventure:

No more coffee shop runs

Make coffee at home or cut it out altogether. Those cups of coffee add up quick!

Cook for yourself instead of going out

Bring your lunch into work, cook for yourself at home. Sure, sometimes its convenient to eat out but this is a great way to save some cash.

Cut your cable service

In the age of live streaming it's easier than ever to cut your cable service. Movies are always good, you can always live stream your favorite shows, or lose the TV altogether and pick up a good book you've got lying around.

Reduce your utilities

Wear a sweater or turn on a fan. Take shorter showers. Turn lights off in rooms you aren't in. It all adds up!

Compare prices when shopping

Compare prices of similar items when making purchases. Coupons are another good idea.

Quit the gym and workout at home

You can always run, hike, or exercise at home or outside!

Don't buy bottled water

Drink tap water or filtered water instead of buying plastic water bottles. Not only is it better for your wallet but it's also better for the environment.

Lose the car if you can

We spend a crazy amount of money on our cars. Gas and maintenance really add up. If you're able to become less reliant on your own vehicle, you'll be able to save a lot. Alternatives could be the subway, bus, biking or walking.

Ditch your landline

If you still pay for a landline, stop it. Now.

Stop drinking/smoking

For some people this will be the biggest opportunity for saving. Drinking and smoking are both bad for your health and cost a lot of money. If you cut back or stop entirely, you'll have a lot more money to spend on your upcoming epic adventure.

Saving money doesn't have to be overly difficult. Implement these ten ways to cut your expenses and you'll see the savings add up. You'll be on that epic adventure in no time.


Planning that epic adventure? Grab an Adventure Assist Travel Notebook over on our SHOP page and make your life easier.