Travel Inspiration

How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip

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We love trip planning but are well aware that it can be overwhelming at times. Add in planning a route to drive, rest stops, and whether or not to visit sites nearby, and planning a road trip can be a whole new animal. But don’t worry, we’ll give you the full rundown of everything you’ll need to know before jumping in the car. Here’s everything you need to know to plan the perfect road trip:

Level Set

Setting expectations with your friends or family might be the most important step of any road trip. Is everyone okay with stopping frequently? Do you have enough time between destinations? How will you split up driving time? How will you split gas? Do you want to stop for meals or plan ahead? Have an open conversation and make sure everyone is on the same page before setting out. It will save you from any silly arguments and make the whole road trip much more enjoyable!

Get the Car & Tires Checked

Before heading out on any road trip, make sure you have the car and tires checked. Having a licensed mechanic give your car a once over before heading out is a great way to catch any issues before they come up and save you a headache.

Bring a Physical Map

Is it any surprise that we recommend bringing a paper map or atlas on any road trip? Even in the digital age it is still a good idea to have a backup map or atlas in case your phone’s battery runs out or your GPS accidentally leads you down the wrong path. Plus, a physical map can be a lot more exciting and kids love it!

Know Your Route

Trust us on this one - planning your road trip route before hand will actually give you more freedom to be spontaneous. It will save you time and allow you to do more research of the surrounding area. If there are nearby sites that you’d like to visit, you can work them into the route or just give yourself plenty of time in case things come up.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Along with knowing your route, this is key! On any good road trip, you want to give yourselves plenty of time for spontaneity or a detour. This way, if you pass something on the road worth stopping for, no one will feel bad about making the stop. Instead, it will be all about the journey and experiences along the way!

Make Playlists Ahead of Time

Don’t underestimate a good playlist. It will help keep up the energy in the car and make sure everyone is enjoying themselves. When we can, we like to create playlists based on the regions we are traveling to or through.

Bring Snacks

Road trip basics: bring snacks. You do not want anyone cramped up in a vehicle, getting hangry. Plus, bringing snacks will save you unnecessary stops as well as a few bucks along the way.


Are you planning the perfect road trip? Do yourself a favor and grab an Adventure Assist Travel Notebook to help you plan the trip and stay organized as you go!

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.

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 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!

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.

How to Plan a Group Trip (and Stay Sane)

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There is a lot to consider when planning a group trip and it can be extremely stressful. So, we put together some tips on how to plan a group trip (and stay sane). Follow these tips to take some pressure off next time you're planning an epic group trip.

Have a Leader

It is important to be democratic when planning a group trip so that everyone has input and shares their opinions but don't be afraid to take charge. The group needs a leader who is willing to make some decisions, including planning and booking the trip.

Who, Where, When

Decide who is going, the destination and when the best time to go would be. Consider which friends align best with your travel style and what everyone ultimately wants to get out of the trip. Keep in mind that the more travelers in the group, the more opinions, personalities and budgets you'll have to juggle. We suggest not to start planning until you get a commitment from everyone involved, including a definite location and timeframe that everyone is available.

Decide on a Budget & Payments

Before booking anything, it is extremely important to make sure that everyone is on the same page as far as budget. Agreeing on a maximum budget is a good way to eliminate any possible surprises that your group members might not be expecting. Additionally, it is important to decide how payments from group members should be handled. It is often easier for the leader to pay any deposits, etc., for the group and be reimbursed.

Book Transportation First

Book flights or other modes of transportation first to officially lock in the group and timeframe of the trip. Additionally, booking early typically gives you the best prices and will ensure that everyone in the group is able to travel together. Don't forget to ask about group rates.

Decide on Accommodations

When planning a group trip, the traditional hotels or hostels may not always make the most sense. It is often better to stay in a home or apartment through a service like Airbnb so that everyone can hang out without being crammed into a hotel room.

Plan Activities

Communication is key when planning activities for a group trip. It is important to get an idea of what the group members are interested in doing before booking anything ahead of time. Sometimes it may be better to have an idea of what you all might want to do but wait until arrival to book the activities so that the group can feel it all out together. We recommend to not be overly ambitious and to plan a lot of downtime on group trips because people will inevitably want some alone time throughout the day.

Go on Your Trip!

Your planning will pay off once you land in your dream destination. Relax and make the most out of a group trip with your friends!


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Planning a group trip? Keep track of all your travel details with the 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.

8 Things to do in Singapore

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A futuristic city that combines lush greenery with modern urban landscapes, Singapore is leading the charge into "green" cities around the world. But beyond the parks and gardens which have earned Singapore the nickname, the Garden City, there is still a lot to do and see. From shopping to street food, here 8 of our favorite things to do in Singapore.

Marina Bay Sands

An iconic feature of Singapore's skyline, Marina Bay Sands is a giant hotel complex that features a hotel, shopping center, several restaurants, and observation deck. The rooftop bar overlooks the Gardens by the Bay and provides an incredible view of the city. It's also the perfect place to catch a sunset while drinking a Singapore sling.

Gardens by the Bay

Perhaps the most well known attraction in the city, Gardens by the Bay, is a fascinating and futuristic ecosystem of botanical gardens that will help you understand why they call Singapore "The Garden City". Gardens by the Bay features enormous biodomes with exotic plants, man-made supertrees, and beautiful park areas all connected by various pathways and suspension bridges. Go at night to see the supertrees lit up and stick around for the light shows set to music.

Chinatown

Take a stroll around Chinatown and explore Singapore's Chinese heritage. Navigate the tacky souvenir stands and explore the colorful shophouses and delicious restaurants. Don't miss the Chinatown Heritage Centre for an in depth view into Chinatown's past.

Orchard Road

If you're a shopper in Singapore, chances are you will find your way to Orchard Road. If you're in Singapore but aren't much of a shopper, chances are you will still find your way to Orchard Road. Busy malls, upscale designer stores and surprisingly good restaurants make up this popular shopping street. You may be surprised to find that it is actually very much a place of interest for locals and tourists alike.

National Gallery Singapore

Located in the recently renovated Supreme Court building in downtown Singapore, the National Gallery Singapore features a large collection of modern art from in and around Singapore. The gallery aims to reflect Singapore's unique culture and heritage as well as it's relationship with other Asian countries and the world as a whole. If you like modern art, this is a must visit.

Haji Lane

Lined with shophouses, Haji Lane, has become the go to street for independent shops, boutique designers and hip bars. Take some pictures exploring the colorful streets, visit quirky vintage shops or stop for a beer and some people watching.

Little India

Featuring some extremely well preserved shophouses from the colonial era, Little India is one of the most vibrant areas of Singapore. Roam the incense infused streets, enjoy amazing Indian food and visit colorful Hindu temples. A great place to get lost for a few hours.

Hawker Stands

One of the best reasons to visit Singapore is the food. With an incredible mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian flavors, there is no shortage of good food in the city. But what really makes Singapore's food scene special are the hawker stands. Visit any of several hawker centers around town for incredible and affordable dining. We're talking food courts with Michelin-starred street food.


Planning a trip to Singapore? Make the most of your adventure with an Adventure Assist travel notebook!

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.

Why We Started Adventure Assist

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We get asked often about why we started Adventure Assist. Well, it actually came to be for a few reasons... A need for a product that didn't exist. A desire to connect with like minded travelers. A passion for helping people have more authentic and purposeful travel experiences...

We sell a product that helps travelers plan, organize and journal their latest adventures, but we hope to be so much more than that. It's really about creating new experiences and connecting with people all over the world. For us, travel has been life changing. It has opened our eyes and our minds, given us amazing stories and even better friendships, and encouraged us to chase our dream. Our mission is to pass on even a tiny portion of that through Adventure Assist.

We designed our travel notebooks to be as flexible as possible. We didn't want to include specific lists or information that most people will never use. We didn't want to limit travelers to specific destinations or length of trips. We wanted a minimal design that maximizes space and gives you the freedom to include the most important travel details. So, we created a space to store all of your travel information but not one that forces your hand. Get creative, be spontaneous. Your life should be an adventure, and we want to help.

For travelers, by travelers.

- April & Jake (Adventure Assist)


Travel Planning Tips: Choosing the Perfect Destination

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The first step in any travel planning process is choosing the perfect destination for your trip! There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a travel destination (and travel planning in general), so we're here to share some tips that we use to decide where we will be heading next.

What do you want to get out of your trip?

The very first thing to think about when choosing the perfect destination, is what you want to get out of your travel experience. We are big believers in giving your trip purpose because it will inspire you throughout the travel planning process (and while on your trip) and give you something incredible to look forward to. Do you want to discover a new culture? Do you want to become more knowledgeable on a specific subject (European history, wine, Kung Fu)? Or, do you just want to relax and reset? Giving your trip purpose by setting expectations or goals is a great way to get you in the mindset for your trip and help you narrow down destinations that make sense.

Since you now understand what you want to get out of your trip, you’ve probably narrowed your search down quite a bit. What’s next? How do you actually decide? 

Seasons & Weather

When planning your next travel destination, it is always important to consider the time of the year, seasons, and weather in any potential destinations. Is it the busy tourist season or slow season? Is it warm and sunny or does it rain most of the day? Are there any events or festivals that you should be aware of?

Must Do Activities

Another consideration while deciding on your next travel destination is any activities that you've always wanted to do! What are your bucket list items that you can check off on this trip? Do you have recommendations from friends and family? Are there any life changing activities that you can do?

Expenses

For most of us, the biggest factor in determining a travel destination is the cost. Does the expense match what you are expecting to pay for the trip? Often the biggest expense of a trip is the price of flights and other transportation. Remember to also take into account day to day expenses like the price of accommodations and food. Additionally, you'll want to account for any activities that you will want to do while in your destination.

Still stuck in your travel planning process? If you're still undecided on where your next travel destination should be, we recommend searching the internet for the best places to accomplish your travel goals, scouring travel blogs for the perfect spot, or checking out social media to see where might be a good fit.

 

Travel planning can be overwhelming. If you're planning a trip, simplify your travel planning process with the 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.

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.

Top 5 Small Towns in the U.S. for the Holidays

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Some towns in the U.S. go all out for the holidays, from ornately decorated town squares to Christmas carolers reveling in holiday cheer and much more. We searched for the best small towns to spend the holidays, coast to coast. Here are our top five picks.

Leavenworth, Washington

Always making the rankings of small towns with lots of Christmas spirit, Leavenworth   is a great place to spend the holidays. This cheerful Bavarian town offers an assortment of festivities including the Christmas Lighting Festival, a sledding hill and sleigh rides through the woods. Throw in majestic mountain views and you'll feel like your in your very own winter wonderland for the holidays.

Pacific Grove, California

This costal town in Northern California gets plenty of attention over the holidays. With an old-fashioned tree lighting ceremony and a parade of lights, the town sure looks the part. Add on the "Christmas at the Inns" event where several of the town's bed and breakfasts put out their best holiday adornments and open their doors with holiday music and treats. Finally, you won't want to miss the famous "Candy Cane Lane" for some of the best neighborhood Christmas decorations.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Named Bethlehem on Christmas Eve in 1741, this Pennsylvania town is also appropriately referred to as "Christmas City" and is the perfect holiday travel destination. Take a carriage ride around town or check out the ginger bread house competition and exhibit, or even go on walking tour of historic sites on the Christmas City Stroll. Lastly, don't miss the Christkindlmarkt, one of the top holiday markets in the U.S. featuring vendors offering fine art and other unique items.

Crested Butte, Colorado

There's no place to spend the holidays quite like Crested Butte. For one thing, you're sure to have a white christmas in this laid back ski resort town. After a day on the slopes, catch the lighting of the Christmas tree at Light Up Night and stick around to take pictures with Santa. On Christmas Eve, its tradition for Santa to ride down the mountain in a sleigh pulled by a snowcat at the Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Santa's sledding is followed by the famous torchlight parade performed by the Crested Butte Ski and Ride School. 

Fredericksburg, Texas

A special combination of German Christmas traditions and Texas hospitality, Fredericksburg is a fantastic choice for a holiday getaway. Explore the many boutiques, shops and art galleries on the festive Main Street, attend the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and be sure to catch the annual Christmas parade. But this year, instead of milk and cookies for Christmas, opt for wine and cheese on a tour of the many local wineries that make Fredericksburg a such a magical place to visit any time of the year.


Plan your holiday getaway with an Adventure Assist travel notebook! Get yours today over on our SHOP page.

Our Go-To Travel Planning Resources

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Travel planning can be hard work. We want to help out. So, we consolidated a list of our favorite travel resources to take some pressure off of your seemingly endless search for epic travel experiences. Here is our list of go-to travel planning resources:

Travel Blogs

There are tons of great travel blogs out there. A simple Google search generally does a good job of bringing up relevant blogs for your inquiry. Here are a few (out of many!) of our favorites to get you started: Nomadic MattThe Blonde AbroadLegal NomadsThe Points GuyExpert VagabondView from the Wing

Social Media

We use social media in all sorts of ways to help us plan travel and better connect to our destinations. Facebook has made staying in contact with friends, family, and fellow travelers incredibly simple. It is also a great way to get relevant news and inspiration from your favorite travel publications. Instagram is great for visuals, inspiration and to see where your favorite travel influencers are at the moment. Twitter is great for quick info and relevant media from travel publications as well. Join the adventure and follow along on our FacebookInstagram & Twitter.

Guidebooks

Guidebooks are great! We think they are a huge help when planning an epic adventure. They give you quick information about budgeting, must see sites, must do activities and much more. But keep in mind, if you're looking for truly unique and authentic travel experiences, don't live and die by your guidebook. There are a ton of options out there and it largely depends on your style but here are some to consider: Lonely PlanetMoonRough GuidesFrommer’sWallpaper City GuidesWildsam

Pro Tip: Always look at the release date to make sure you are getting the most up to date version of your guide book.

Transportation

There are a lot of places to get good transportation info for traveling to and around your destination. Here are some of our go-to travel resources to give you a head start.

Accommodations

There are a million websites to book your stay while traveling and again, sometimes a quick Google search is your best bet. Here are our favorite places to turn to when looking for accommodations while traveling:

To Do

Again, there are a lot of places to search for the best things to do while traveling. Here are some popular places to start your search:

  • Travel Blogs (see section above)
  • Viator (to book tours, group activities)
  • General: Google, Your favorite guidebook (see section above), Social Media

Take peer rated sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp with a grain of salt. For many reasons, they are generally not the best places to begin your search but may come in handy to reaffirm a hunch.


Planning a trip? SHOP our travel notebooks now to simplify the travel planning process. Plan, organize and document important travel details.