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Blog

News, Interviews and recommendations from High Spirit Bags.

 

Filtering by Tag: solo travel

12 Backpacking Tips Everyone Should Know

Josh okungbaiye

12 Backpacking Tips

As packing for any trip can be stressful, below are 12 tips to make preparing for your next backpacking trip a little easier.

 

(1)     Pack Only The Essentials

 

Carrying everything on your back can quickly get very tiring. The answer to this is to use minimal space in the most efficient way possible. One of the ways is to avoid packing anything you may not find necessary or think you can find at your next destination. It may seem hard at first to decide what to pack for your backpacking trip, but with more experience you will know what is worth packing and what isn’t. Make sure to create a list of must have items to give you some direction on what to pack and what not to pack. Overall, packing light will help in you having a much more enjoyable trip.

 

(2) Use Other Forms of Transport

 

It may seem more comfortable, but don’t let the fancy airlines fool you. Travelling by train will get you to your destination much faster as you will avoid long flight time and waiting hours. Travelling by train also means you get to stop at other destinations on your way if it’s a long distance journey. I personally enjoy train rides much due to the more relaxed pace. In addition, travelling by train gives you the opportunity to have a unique perspective and to explore your destination through the eyes of the locals.

 

(3) Check The Weather

 

Although weather in many destinations is unpredictable. Remember to check the average temperature at the destinations you are travelling to. This will enable you to prepare the necessary clothing for the weather. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

 

(4) Always Carry Water

 

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things to remember when travelling long distances. Don’t worry about buying water in advance. Purchasing a water bottle or reusing your plastic bottle will enable you to avoid the extra weight while staying hydrated. Remember that not all tap water is drinkable, do your research on the water restrictions before refilling from any tap.

 

(5) Plan Ahead

 

Although you don’t have to plan every destination, accommodation and form of transport. It is advised to plan your next destination in order to avoid stress and any disappointment upon arrival. Planning may seem boring and time consuming at first, but when it comes to travelling to the next destination, it will definitely be worth it. It will allow your trip to run more smoothly.

 

(6) Basic Navigation Skills

 

Yes, everyone has some form of maps on their phone, but what if your phone battery dies and you have no way of getting around? Carrying around a physical map and knowing how to use it will come in very handy at ties like that. This is especially helpful if you happen to lose phone signal while on your trail. Carrying a compass with you is also a practical way of finding your bearings when figuring out which way to head.

 

(7) Lock Your Belongings

 

Many people will be in the same boat as you when backpacking and it’s easy to trust those around you. But just in case anyone decides to be sneaky, lock your belongings in order to avoid anything being stolen. You are already low on necessities, you don’t need to have even less or have to spend money on replacing them!

 

(8) Communicate

 

When travelling with company, it is easy to get into arguments about things such as what to eat, where to go etc. The best thing to do in these situations is to continually communicate each others ideas and needs, you can avoid any arguments which could potentially ruin the trip.

 

(9) Portable Chargers

 

As we now use our phone for everything from photos to maps, it is essential to pack a portable charger just in case you cannot find a place to charge your phone. I can guarantee, it is a major life saver.

 

(10) Pick Your Destination Wisely

 

Research. Research. Research. Make sure you are 100% confident with the destinations you are going to choose in order to avoid disappointment upon arrival. It is a mistake many have made in the past. You may have seen one pretty picture of a place within that one destination but the rest is the total opposite, so make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

 

(11) Take a Book with You

 

Backpacking is the perfect chance to catch up on some reading especially during long distance travels. In order to avoid weight add ons, travelling with a Kindle will allow for a variety of books within one simple piece of equipment (and no this is not sponsored but Kindle if you’re reading this, you know what to do). Also if you’re wondering what to read when travelling, be sure to check out the Top 5 Must Have Reads when on Holiday!

 

12. Take Cash Out Before

 

Last but not least, remember that wherever you are travelling, make a note of their currencies. In order to avoid any extra bank charges, take out all the money you think you may need in advance and change it before setting off. This way you can plan your daily money usage as well as save on any extra unwanted charges.

 

Safe travels everyone!

 

Written by Nicole Fernandez Medina

How to Avoid Pickpockets in Bali

Josh okungbaiye

Considered one of the most Instagramable places in the world, Bali has become one of the top tourist destinations. However, in order to successfully post those jaw dropping photographs; taking precaution for pickpocketing when sightseeing is a must. Here are a few ways to avoid pickpocketing in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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1)    Although most of us have the notion that pickpockets strike at night, in busy tourist spots or on any form of transport, the reality of it is that they can be found anywhere. One place you must take special care with is when visiting places where money is being retrieved or exchanged such as banks, currency exchange booths. Of course, popular pickpocket zones also include plazas, festivals and places where there are large crowds. In order to avoid pickpocketing, keep your money close to you, avoid keeping it all in one place such as your bag or wallet; and always, always close your bag properly.

2)     Avoid conversation. The majority of the time, pickpockets will create distractions to catch tourists off guard. Although you may think all pickpockets are of older age, the reality is that they may be disguised as children. Don’t be fooled into their cuteness; while they are luring you in, one may be slipping their tiny hands into your pocket or bag. If a group of children or adults seem to be approaching you, avoid eye contact and move away as quickly as possible.

3)    Whatever you do, do NOT keep your phone or wallet in a vulnerable place such as your back pockets, jacket pockets and especially not in the front pockets of your backpack. If you must keep your wallet or purse in your trouser pockets, keep them in the front as they are harder to access. Another tip is to attach a chain or rubber band to them in order to minimize retrieval.

4)    Yes, it’s hard not to show off that new luxury jewellery you just purchased, but in order to avoid it being stolen, store it in a secure place such as a safe provided by the hotel. It’s best not to flash your status in order to avoid calling attention to yourself.

5)    Lastly, avoid carrying any unnecessary baggage. By packing only the essentials, you avoid pickpockets attempting to steal form the large quantity of bags you are travelling with. If you must carry a backpack, ensure it is an Anti-Theft backpack with no outer compartments for the pickpocket to target. Alternatively, you can carry a small cross body bag for easy storage and access of your smaller valuables.

So overall, be smart, follow this guidance, think practical and have a most of all, have a fantastic time on your holiday!

Nicole Fernandez Medina

Top 5 Must-Reads On Holiday

Josh okungbaiye

Holiday’s are the perfect time to get your literature knowledge growing, weather it’s airport waiting, beach chilling or mountain escaping, here are the top 5 must reads which I think very necessary.

 

1.     Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

 

The 80s were a time of radical changes, especially when it came to love between two men. This carefree yet passionate story defies the idea of a forbidden love in a time where this was not yet considered the norm. Taking advantage of every moment spent together, readers are encouraged to do the same with their travel days

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2.     Just Kids by Patti Smith

 

A beautiful memoir written by singer/songwriter Patti Smith, beautifully documenting the passionate, complicated relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Set in a 60s New York, a time of rebellion, this intimate story injects you with a sense of creative fascination with the surrounding world, especially with those living in a city as magical as New York.

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3.     A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

 

This truly inspirational story successfully places you into the complicated lives women lead in Afghanistan. While educating you on their country and behaviours, this book has a way of enhancing your outlook your surroundings and the beauty of life itself.

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4. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann

 

The urge to travel is very present through this novel and thus inspires the reader to delve further into their travels themselves. The combination of unplanned events, unexpected lovers and in detail descriptions, allows for this novel to be a definite influential must read.

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5. On The Road by Jack Kerouac

 

As if travelling through the eyes of the narrator himself, Jack Kerouac transports you into the unexpected, exciting world of hitch hiking, encountering jazz, poetry and drugs along the way. His series of documented trips will no doubt increase your thirst for exploring the world.

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And there you have it, read carefully, responsibly and remember not to delve yourself too deep into the story or you might find yourself missing that holiday flight!

 

Written by Nicole Fernandez Medina