Travel Blogger

12 Travel Books to Inspire Wanderlust

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We love books, especially travel books, and think they are the perfect compliment to any extended trip! So, we wanted to share some of our favorite travel books that will without a doubt inspire your wanderlust:

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The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

A modern classic and international best seller, The Alchemist is the story of a shepherd boy who longs for travel in search of riches but instead finds something much more valuable, himself. It is an extremely inspiring book about self-discovery that encourages you to follow your dreams.

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On the Road - Jack Kerouac

An American classic and travel novel, On the Road, was inspired by Jack Kerouac’s own adventures with Neal Cassady. It is the story of two friends on a cross-country journey in search of adventure in the 1940s. They definitely find adventure, as well as freedom, hope and raw experiences.


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Into Thin Air - John Krakauer

Into Thin Air recounts the true story of what can go wrong while summiting Mt. Everest. John Krakauer details the treacherous climb in 1996 when eight people died, describing both the heroism and mistakes involved. The national bestseller is a tragedy interlaced in adventure and puts into perspective why people put their lives at risk to summit the world’s highest mountain.

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Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia - Elizabeth Gilbert

The romanticized story of Elizabeth Gilbert setting off into the world after her divorce. She travels to Italy to eat, India to pray, and she falls in love in Indonesia. This is a great story for someone new to traveling that needs a little extra push to step out of their comfort zone.

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Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel - Rolf Potts

A must read for anyone with dreams of longterm travel. Vagabonding veteran, Rolf Potts, lays out the process of taking time out of your ordinary life to travel the world on your own terms. The book contains invaluable insights and practical information for longterm travel that has served as a source of travel inspiration since it’s original release in 2002. It is a deep dive into the philosophy of longterm travel to the extent that no other book compares.

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The Beach - Alex Garland

A better book than the movie, The Beach exposes travel through Thailand in the 1990s. The book features plenty of mystery, a hidden beach paradise, but also a thrilling dark side.


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Turn Right at Machu Picchu - Mark Adams

Turn Right at Machu Picchu details Mark Adam’s experience exploring Peru in search of ancient Inca cities. The book will teach you a lot about Peru and might even inspire you to visit some of the sites he encounters in the book.



Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert M. Pirsig

A moving examination of how we live our lives, and a meditation on how we can live better. It recalls a father-son journey by motorcycle from Minnesota to Northern California which is often interrupted by philosophical discussions. A worldwide bestseller about love, growth and acceptance.

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A Cook’s Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal - Anthony Bourdain

In A Cook’s Tour, Bourdain marries his love for cooking and travel in pursuit of the perfect meal. It recounts his experiences traveling the world and discovering exotic food. This one is sure to inspire the foodies and travelers alike.


Love with a Chance of Drowning - Torre DeRoche

A well written account by Torre Deroche about facing her fears of the ocean and setting sail with her boyfriend across the Pacific Ocean. It is a beautiful book about a deeply personal experience. It will make you want to follow in her footsteps and chase your dreams.

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The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon - David Grann

A blended recount of famed British explorer, Percy Fawcett’s disappearance while searching for an ancient lost city in the Amazon and author, David Grann’s own discoveries in the Amazon. The book will teach you a lot about the history of the region and what could have happened to Fawcett during his search for the fabled lost city.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail - Cheryl Strayed

A memoir of a young woman who thought she had lost everything after her mother’s death and destroyed marriage, and made the impulse decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. She had no training or prior experience yet wills herself to hike over 1,000 miles of the trail. It is the story of a young woman pressing on against the odds and the journey that brought her self-discovery.

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Inspired to start your own trip of a lifetime? Bring along an Adventure Assist travel notebook so that you can relive the story forever.

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!

10 Things to Do in Iceland

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Iceland is truly the land of fire and ice. It is a playground of volcanos, hot springs, glaciers and ice caps, but also so much more. You can find country farmhouses, fresh seafood, city nightlife and a never ending list of things to do. Here are some of our top things to do in Iceland:

Reykjavík

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Dotted with colorful houses, thriving cafes, seafood restaurants and laid back pubs, Iceland’s hip capital is a destination in itself. For such a small city, there is not a shortage of activities to do or things to see. If you enjoy a party scene, you’ll love the nightlife in Reykjavík. From walking around the old harbor, checking out settlement museums and eating the freshest seafood, it is worth devoting a few days to.

Tour Snæfellsnes Peninsula

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The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is like a mini sample of everything Iceland. Country views of old wooden churches, glacier topped mountains, underground lava caves, and beautiful black sand beaches - not to mention some of the most beautiful towns in Iceland. It is a hotspot for setting out on whale and puffin spotting tours as well as hiking through the Snæfellsjökull national park. We highly recommend spending a few days exploring.

Tectonic Plates at Þingvellir National Park

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In Þingvellir National Park there is an entire rift valley formed by the separation of the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasia tectonic plate. They are drifting apart at about 2 centimeters a year and it is quite an astonishing site. This is also an extremely important area of preserved land in relation to its historical importance to the settlement of Iceland.

Geothermal Pool Hopping

One of the hottest things to do in Iceland is to get out of cold temperatures and into the naturally occurring, heated, geothermal pools all around the country. One of the best known is the Blue Lagoon which is extremely close to both the international airport and the capital city of Reykjavík. There are so many though that you could make a trip just traveling around the country and enjoying the “hotspots”.

The Golden Circle

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A popular tourist track for good reason, the Golden Circle has a lot to offer. See Gullfoss, one of the craziest waterfalls in the world. Visit Geysir, the geyser of which all others get their name and it’s much more active companion Strokkur, which spouts 15 meters of water every 5-10 minutes. It is also where you will find the Þingvellir National Park which we previously mentioned.



See the Northern Lights

One of the biggest attractions in Iceland are the Northern Lights. From September to April you have the opportunity to spot the colorful lights of the Aurora Borealis dancing in the sky. The conditions have to be just right and it requires patience and darkness. It’s no guarantee that you’ll spot them but if you do, you won’t be disappointed.

Chasing Waterfalls

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With a never ending list of beautiful waterfalls, one of the best things to do in Iceland is to seek them out. We can assure you that you won’t be disappointed. Gullfoss and Skógafoss are two of the most popular.

Whale Watching

Iceland is a go to spot for whale watching and it’s easy to understand why. You can set off on whale watching tours from convenient locations all over the country - even Reykjavík. There are an incredible 23 different types of whales to see including humpback whales and minke whales. If you have never seen these incredible animals in person, you are in for a treat!

Black Sand Beaches

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Several black sand beaches dot Iceland’s coastline and are truly unique and special places. They occur in nature in areas around high volcanic and geothermal activity and are made up of volcanic minerals and lava fragments. The most famous one in Iceland is Reynisfjara on the South Coast near Vík.

Explore Lava Caves

Lava caves or lava tubes are sometimes formed during volcanic eruptions when lava hardens around free flowing lava streams which eventually drain the tubes leaving only the hardened shell. These are incredibly interesting and are actually all over Iceland. However, there are only a few that can be accessed and are open to explore with a guide. We recommend Vatnshellir Cave on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

Iceland is truly a special place with nothing like it anywhere else on our planet. If you have the chance to visit you should definitely take advantage and explore all there is to do, you won’t be disappointed.


Planning a trip to Iceland? Plan and remember every detail with the Adventure Assist Travel Notebook. Get yours 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.

The Best Way to Plan Your Summer Getaway

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It's summer time, and that means fun, sun and summer vacation! 

We started Adventure Assist to help people plan for, stay organized during, and relive their dream trips long after they have returned home. Everything we do is to better connect travelers to their destination - we designed a travel notebook, based on hundreds of our personal travel experiences, to efficiently assist you throughout your next adventure.

Make the Most of Your Summer Getaway:

  • Streamline your travel planning and lose your anxiety
  • Save time & effort accessing your travel info
  • Relive every travel detail with a beautiful keepsake
  • Lightweight, durable & travel-friendly so that you can take it anywhere
  • Flexible enough for any length of trip
  • 7 tabbed travel sections - Packing, To Do, Transportation, Accommodations, Calendar, Contacts, Journal
  • 100% money back guarantee

So, if you're anything like us and itching for an exciting summer getaway, we've got you covered!

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 Planning Tips: Research and Organization

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So you've picked your next travel destination and are about to dive into the exciting, but sometimes overwhelming, world of planning your trip. Don't worry, we're here for you. We've laid out our process of researching and organizing our travel information as well as some general things to consider as you go through the travel planning process. 

For reference as you go through this post, here is a link to our favorite travel resources.

To Do

Make a list of all of the things you would most like to do (or better yet, simply the things that you might like to do) in your travel destination. We like to break them down into three general sections - Activities, Attractions, Food/Drink.

Activities - Things to do, Tours, etc.

Attractions - Sights to see

Food/Drink - Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Bars & Nightlife

So, what’s the best balance between being completely spontaneous and having your trip planned out to the minute? We’ve found that you’re always better off knowing your options but the point at which you schedule activities is largely a personal decision based on how structured you would like your trip to be. Some people may prefer to decide the day of an activity, for some the night before, for others it could be weeks or months before your trip. Be aware that certain activities and attractions can require booking in advance.

Once you do have your schedule set, it is a great idea to add those items to a planner or calendar to help you connect your to do list with your schedule.

Transportation

The three biggest things to consider with transportation are - cost, comfort and time (in no particular order). Unless you are traveling to remote locations, you will typically have options for a range of the three factors. You will need to do some research to see what makes the most sense for your particular situation. For example, a budget backpacker, who places a high value on cost, may stick to cheaper bus routes that take longer to reach their destination while a midrange traveler may opt for a short flight instead.

Once booked, it is a good idea to write down your transportation details, such as booking numbers and departure times, so that you can reference them easily and efficiently.

Accommodations

For some travelers, finding the right accommodations can make or break a trip. Usually the three biggest factors when deciding on the right accommodations are - cost, location and value (in no particular order). Again, you will need to do some research to find the best place(s) to stay for your particular situation.

Once you’ve found your perfect home away from home, we recommend recording the address and all of the booking and contact information so that you will be able to easily access it while traveling.


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Let us help keep you organized as you plan your trip! Get your Adventure Assist travel notebook today and never lose track of your travel details again!

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.

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.

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.

Our Top Blog Posts of 2017

As 2017 comes to an end, we are taking a look back at our top blog posts from the year. We are so happy to have been a resource for so many of you, no matter what stage of travel planning you were in, and can't wait to assist you on more adventures in 2018. Here is a look back at our top blog posts of 2017:

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10 Reasons to Keep a Travel Journal

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Pro Packing Tips

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Travel Hacking for Beginners

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10 Easy Ways to Cut Expenses & Save for Travel

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Our Go-To Travel Planning Resources


Planning your 2018 travels? Check out our travel notebooks over on our SHOP page to help you make the most of your trips.

Eyes on Edinburgh: My Experience Using the Adventure Assist Travel Notebook

Circus Lane, an Instagram favorite in Edinburgh.

Circus Lane, an Instagram favorite in Edinburgh.

I love to write. I love to write in cursive on paper, in captions for Instagram, and in words for blogs. Therefore, when I found Adventure Assist on Instagram through the lovely Rachel of Rachel Lately, I was hooked. This would be the perfect accompaniment for my fall excursion to Edinburgh, Scotland, and Cambridge, England.

 
Ready to go!

Ready to go!

 

My typical trip planning includes research, serendipity, and reflection, and the Adventure Assist travel notebook encompasses the whole range of activities. From packing to processing, its design and functionality is unsurpassed. Whether you plan every minute or go with the flow, you can use the Adventure Assist travel notebook to your advantage. Here’s my journey to the U.K., divided into Before, During, and After.

 
Adventure Assist at     Edinburgh Castle

Adventure Assist at Edinburgh Castle

 

BEFORE: RESEARCH

Before I go on any trip, Instagram is my favorite tool for research. From local bloggers to restaurant openings to featured events, the aesthetic social media app has a whole host of possibilities. I studied abroad in Edinburgh for four months last year and also took a trip for spring break this year, so I love finding new and exciting people, places, and pop ups every time I go.

My favorite pen couldn’t write fast enough in the To-Do section of my Adventure Assist travel notebook. I even made two separate entries for Edinburgh and one for Cambridge, a new city I had yet to explore. I neatly noted my Transportation and Accommodations information in their respective locations also.

Here’s a sneak peek at my Edinburgh destination list. From Attractions to Activities to Food and Drink, I thoroughly enjoyed detailing this trip from the beginning steps.

 
Edinburgh in the To-Do section

Edinburgh in the To-Do section

 

DURING: SERENDIPITY

My blog, Strikes of Luck, is dedicated to the exploration of serendipity in everyday life. Expecting the unexpected is one of the most exciting parts of any travel experience, and my serendipity usually includes coffee shop creativity, photo shoots, and Instagram meet ups. This is where my Adventure Assist travel notebook entered the picture: I avidly noted my journeys in the Journal part of the planner. I used one page per day and listed my adventures to accompany my photos.

In order to record the serendipitous encounters, I carried my travel notebook everywhere I went with my phone and my camera. The pocket in the back cover was perfect for tickets, flyers, and other assorted memorabilia that I collected along the way.
 

 
The Balmoral    on Princes Street, Edinburgh

The Balmoral on Princes Street, Edinburgh

 

AFTER: REFLECTION

The two week trip flew by, and I was back home in Greenville, South Carolina, eager to tell my family and friends about my trip. Obviously, I turned to my Adventure Assist travel notebook for every tiny detail, from the South Carolina couple I met in my favorite coffee shop, to the Instagram dogs I interacted with, to The Cambridge Satchel Company store.

 
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As a traveler, blogger, and all-around lover of words, I appreciated my travel planner/journal for its ease of access, captivating design, and creations “for travelers, by travelers.” Head to my Instagram or blog, Strikes of Luck, to follow my creative community and smiling serendipity.

Guest post by Sarah Cooke


Head on over to our SHOP page and get your very own Adventure Assist travel notebook. Where will it take you?