packing tips

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.

Tips for the First Time Traveler

So, you're setting off to travel the world for the first time. Are you excited? Anxious? Nervous? Traveling for the first time can be a whirlwind of emotions. You don't know what to expect, heck, you don't even know anyone that knows what to expect. You'll probably make some rookie travel mistakes (we all have) but if we could sit down and give first time travelers some advice, this would be it.

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Pack Light

The way you pack can have a massive influence on your trip. That being said, there tend to be two types of travelers -- those that pack light and those that wish they had. Do your best to stick to one suitcase or backpack. Remember, if you forget something or realize that you need an item during your trip, you can buy basic necessities at virtually any travel destination.

Be Prepared

Do the research. Have a plan. This doesn't mean you need to have an detailed itinerary (we are all about flexibility) but you should research your destination, things you might like to do, any problems or difficulties you might encounter, and try to become familiar with basic customs and some simple phrases.

The Boring Stuff

Notify your bank that you will be traveling abroad and call your cell service provider to understand your restrictions and fees for using your phone abroad. Always have travel insurance. Lastly, make sure you have a cushion on your travel budget for expenses or emergencies you didn't account for.

Don't live & die by your guidebook

Guidebooks are great! We think they are a huge help when planning an epic adventure. They give you quick information around budgeting, must see sites, must do activities and way more. But if you're looking for truly unique and authentic travel experiences, don't live and die by your guidebook. Be open, take recommendations,  get off the beaten path, discover your destination for yourself.

Make an effort

Make an effort to learn a few words or phrases in the host language. Make an effort to pick up on the cultural norms. Make an effort to meet new people and be open minded. You will learn more and feel a stronger sense of connection to your destination.

Slow Down

Our instinct while traveling is to maximize our time. More destinations, more adventures, more hotels, more pictures. BUT, if you step back for a second, you may realize how much more you can get out of traveling by slowing down. Slow travel is all about taking more time in each travel destination, in order to experience a truer rhythm of life.

Go with the flow

It's easy to over-plan and get overwhelmed when traveling. Be flexible with your itinerary and take the stress out of your travels. Plan the most important parts of your trip, know your options on other things that you might like to do, and go with the flow.

Be Adventurous

Travel is all about new experiences. Even if you aren't really the adventurous type you will benefit by putting yourself out there a little bit while traveling. Go on that sunrise hike, eat all the street food, talk to the locals, challenge yourself. Practice feeling comfortable with being uncomfortable. It is a valuable skill to have outside of travel as well.

Don't be so shy

We get it, it takes courage to strike up conversation with strangers and its easier to just keep to yourself. Don't let that stop you from meeting a new friend or getting some good travel advice. Take the first step and say hello - sometimes, its as simple as that. You really don't have anything to lose.

You Can Go Home Any Time

If, for whatever reason, you are truly hating traveling and are not having a good time, stop and rest for a while - maybe in a big city or wherever feels most comfortable to you. If you are still hating it when you get back on the road, it is totally fine to head home early. There is no shame in admitting to yourself that travel, or that travel experience, wasn't for you.


Head over to our SHOP page to get your very own Adventure Assist travel notebook and plan out your DREAM trip.

Pro Packing Tips

Let's start with the basics.

Packing is a skill that you get better at the more you travel but there is no denying that the way you pack can have a massive impact on your trip (positively or negatively). That being said, there tend to be two types of travelers -- those that pack light and those that wish they had.

So, how do you pack for a whole trip in just your suitcase or backpack? You may not want to hear this but the answer is actually pretty simple: pack very little. 

Don't think in terms of what could come in handy, think in terms of necessity. When in doubt, leave it out. Remember, if you forget something or realize that you need an item during your trip, you can buy basic necessities at virtually any travel destination. Although it may seem counterintuitive, you shouldn't pack for the worst case scenario. Pack for the best case scenario and handle any issues as they come up.

Furthermore, plan on doing laundry regularly during your travels. We promise, it is the better alternative to carrying more stuff. Whether you are traveling for a few weeks or a few months, you should pack the exact same amount. 

Now that we've covered the basics, Here are our tips for packing like a pro:

1. One bag, that's it

The importance of packing light can't be overstated. Carrying a lot of luggage identifies you as a typical tourist, moving around becomes a large-scale undertaking and pick pockets are drawn to your helplessness. By restricting yourself to only one bag, however, you are back in control. 

Sure, you can bring along a day pack or tote bag, but only one suitcase or backpack should be allowed. While we're at it, make sure it's within carry-on restrictions for the most economical and hassle free travel experience.  

2. Do some research

If you want to be comfortable, maximize your travel wardrobe, and/or blend in to your new destination, doing some research before packing is a must. Plan ahead for specific activities, expected weather, as well as any cultural norms that you should be conscious of. Most activities that impose a dress code will make sure that the dress code is clear, predictable weather conditions can easily be found by a quick Google search, and virtually any guidebook has important information on cultural norms to keep in mind. 

3. Make a packing list (you can use ours!)

When it comes to packing, start the process at least a few days before your departure so that you have enough time to put together a complete packing list and purchase any items that you still might need for your trip. Creating a packing list is the easiest way to ensure you're bringing everything you need (and nothing more!), and provides some nice peace of mind.

4. Packing aids

Packing cubes help keep items separate in your bag and make accessing a specific item easier and more efficient. Compression bags are great for saving space but keep in mind that they can make quickly accessing a specific item slightly more of a challenge.

5. Pack dual purpose clothing

Bring versatile clothing that you can wear in several different outfits or styles. Remember, if a clothing item can be worn in multiple ways, that is less that you'll need to pack. Bringing earth tones that can be worn together is usually a safe move and you can add style with accessories such as scarves or hats.

Packing for dual purposes is especially important with shoes. As the heaviest and bulkiest items to pack (typically), make sure you are maximizing the use of each pair you decide to bring. Bonus pro tip: rethink bringing bulky hiking boots in favor of running or cross training shoes that you may bring anyway.

6. Layer

Packing clothes that can be easily layered, adds versatility to your travel wardrobe and reduces the need to bring larger, bulkier items. By layering, it's easy to modify your outfit to match the style and comfort level that is fitting for a particular moment.

Packing for colder weather can present an even bigger challenge, but if you pack clothes that can be layered you will save tons of space and be better prepared for unexpected temperature changes. This is especially important for extended trips where you'll encounter varying climates and temperatures.

7. Roll, don't fold

To save space and protect against wrinkling, roll your clothes. This actually results in quite a bit of extra space and your clothes will be less prone to getting wrinkles and fold creases.

8. Fill out empty spaces

Pack smaller items in your shoes, a packed purse, or an unused pocket in your backpack. Rolling your clothes helps in this area too because those tightly rolled clothes can often fit in places where they couldn't if they were folded. The most important takeaway is to utilize the spaces that are often overlooked. 

 

TO GET YOUR OWN ADVENTURE ASSIST TRAVEL NOTEBOOK, EQUIPPED WITH a Packing section, HEAD ON OVER TO OUR SHOP PAGE.