travel tips

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!

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.

Travel Journal Tips: Easy Ways to Get Started

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

One Line Per Day

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

Get Creative

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

Fill Down Time

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

Make Lists

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

Gratitude

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

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


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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Must Do's in Marfa

Marfa, Texas - The middle of nowhere or the center of the universe? 

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Marfa is a mythical, art town in remote west Texas. We love it for its raw simplicity mixed with modern art and design, but can’t help get a kick out of the genuine quirkiness of the tiny desert town. When you finally arrive you’ll realize exactly how remote and small Marfa really is (wait, this is it?!). After all, that’s what drew the late American artist Donald Judd to the area in the first place. Judd put this place on the map when he purchased an old army base in the 70’s and literally filled it with art. The installations are still operated by the Chinati Foundation and are part of the inescapable art scene in Marfa. 

Chinati Foundation

Chinati Foundation

Some other Must Do's in Marfa:

Prada Marfa - This art installation, which is actually in Valentine, about 30 minutes outside of town, is definitely something to be seen. With no direct relation to the Prada fashion house, making it all the more bizarre, the installation is a tiny Prada store with windows where you can see a small sample of Prada's 2005 fall/winter collection inside, provided by Miuccia Prada herself.

Lunch at Food Shark - Quite possibly the most famous eatery in Marfa is the food truck Food Shark. The truck serves up some seriously delicious Mediterranean treats. One of our favorites - for it's name and the taste - is the "Marfalafel". 

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Stay at El Cosmico - The coolest trailer park on planet earth! You are able to stay in a teepee, a tent, a yurt or one of many remodeled trailers. Make a stop in at the gift shop to find an excellent selection of souvenirs. 

Marfa Mystery Lights - At night, head over to the designated Marfa Lights Viewing Site to witness mysterious "ghost" lights in the distance. The lights may seem mysterious but we're pretty sure they're just automobile lights passing by in the distance. Either way, it is a fun experience and worth the trip if you're with a good group.

Coffee at Do Your Thing - This well hidden coffee shop has a great selection of coffee and tea, as well as an assortment of toasts with sweet or savory toppings. A terrific spot for breakfast, or a snack.

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Dinner at Capri - This is a bold statement but Capri gives off sort of a Pujol (in Mexico City) vibe, and is a Marfa must in our book. With impeccable style throughout, a beautiful garden complete with a lit bonfire, and delicious and well presented food and drink, Capri really stands out. Did we mention that their menu changes every night?

 

Star Party - McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis (45 min. drive) hosts nighttime constellation tours and views of celestial objects through telescopes every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. These tours have gained popularity recently so we suggest making reservations.

Pool at Hotel Saint George - The newest hotel edition to Marfa, Hotel Saint George has excellent rooms, a cocktail lounge with great happy hour, and a fine dining restaurant. But we especially love the pool area with a full service bar ($10 entry for non-guests). 


GET AN ADVENTURE ASSIST TRAVEL NOTEBOOK TO HELP PLAN & ORGANIZE YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE - HEAD ON OVER TO OUR SHOP PAGE. 

Tips to Travel Like a Local

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What better way to connect with your destination than by pretending you really lived there? Here are our tips on how to travel like a local!

Stay with a local

 AirBnB, HomeAway, Couch Surfing, Home Stays - One of the best ways to travel like a local is to stay with one. Not only will this get you out of the tourist zones and into a neighborhood, but your host will usually have tons of information on their favorite places to eat, drink and hang out. They will often even take you themselves.

Travel to places where you know someone

Travel to places where you have a connection that will show you around or give you some tips. Meeting new people while traveling is a great way to gain friends from all over the world. Take advantage of those connections, to find the local hotspots!

Public transportation

If you want to travel like a local, you must actually travel like the locals. Use the bus system or take the subway!

Don't rely on tours

Tours can be a great way to experience a new site, learn about your destination and meet new people, but if you want a truly authentic experience you may want to look elsewhere. This is where trip planning can come in handy - sometimes it's better to create your own tour. 

Learn local customs and at least some phrases

Do yourself a favor and research the local culture and customs before you arrive at your travel destination. Also, try to pick up a few simple phrases that will likely come in handy on your trip. You will be less likely to look like the lost tourist and the locals will be appreciative. 

Eat local

Ask locals for their favorite restaurant recommendations or head into the packed lunch spot with no tourists. This is a great way to get a taste for living like a local.

Don't hang out with tourists

Obviously it's great to make friends and you can meet some very interesting travelers, but if you want to travel like a local, try to befriend some locals. 

Dress the part

Be aware of the local dress and act accordingly. This could mean getting a sense for the local customs, or just style. 

Get lost

Take some detours, go the long way back to your hotel, go for a run through town. Always be safe and aware of your surroundings, but don't be afraid to get off the beaten path when you feel like it.

Travel with Purpose

Want to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? Travel to Brazil and train with the pros. Want to learn everything about wine? Book a stay in the Tuscan countryside of Italy. Want to learn to speak Spanish? Enroll in Spanish classes in Costa Rica. There are a million ways to travel with a purpose and it is one of the best ways to make an authentic connection with locals.


Want to better connect to your destination? Get an Adventure Assist Travel Notebook over on our SHOP page today!

Travel Hacking for Beginners

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First off, what is travel hacking? Travel hacking entails utilizing incentives and other simple "hacks" to save money on traveling.  Leveraging existing rules of airlines, credit card companies and hotel chains, make earning free or cheap flights, lodging, and upgrades possible. A big part of travel hacking is earning frequent flier miles, reward points, and statuses, but there are additional ways to save money while traveling as well.

Since you're aren't living under a rock, you know that you should start your hunt for cheap airfare with a site that searches for multiple fares. Some of our favorites are Kayak, Skyscanner and Momondo. Being flexible has its perks too. If you can leave a day earlier, or avoid peak travel times, you can definitely save big.

But here are some things that you may not know: 

SIGN UP FOR REWARDS PROGRAMS

A good way to go about this is to pick an airline you like, that you tend to fly frequently, and sign up for their rewards program. You should fly this airline whenever possible, even if the ticket price is slightly higher than its competitors. If you need to fly another airline at any point due to price or availability, you should sign up for their rewards program as well. The same should be done with major hotel chains. This is the slow way of earning cheaper travel, but it works and is an important first step.

SIGN UP FOR CREDIT CARDS

Airline credit cards, and generic travel reward credit cards through a bank, are great for accelerating the rate at which you collect rewards points. When used properly, credit cards can be a powerful tool. Be aware that there is always a minimum spending requirement to reach the bonuses, so this requires a bit of research and smart spending. Make sure you're able to pay off your airline credit card each month, because these cards tend to have higher interest rates.

CHECK AIRLINE AVAILABILITY AS IF YOU WERE IN THAT COUNTRY

If you're flying an airline based in a foreign country, check availability as if you were there. For example, if you are going to be traveling to Colombia and want to fly domestically from one city to another after your arrival, you should update the landing page to "Colombia - English" instead of "United States - English". If you can wait until you are in that country to purchase the tickets, this sometimes works even better. This hack is best for domestic flights within your destination country. 

CHECK YOUR DESTINATION AIRPORT TO SEE WHAT OTHER AIRLINES FLY THERE

You can often get an international flight, with a domestic leg purchased separately, for considerably cheaper than an international flight, with a layover. The trick is to search the lower budget, local airlines for cheaper domestic flights.

These basic travel hacking tips will go a long way to help save you money while traveling!

GET an ADVENTURE ASSIST TRAVEL NOTEBOOK To help Plan & ORGANIZE YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE - HEAD ON OVER TO OUR SHOP PAGE. 

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. 

 

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