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News, Interviews and recommendations from High Spirit Bags.

 

Filtering by Tag: travel girl

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

Top 5 Places to Travel in 2019

Josh okungbaiye

With the new year, comes new and exciting places to visit. Wether it was due to lack of time or you simply weren’t sure about some destinations; 2019 is the year to travel. 

Here are the top 5 places to visit in 2019:

 

1.     Mexico City, Mexico 

WHY: Experience colourful flavours and culture 

Lets face it, everyone loves Mexican food; and who wouldn’t want to have a traditional homemade taco? Although in the past it may have had a criminal reputation, it is definitely an up and coming city, filled with cultural history, homemade food as well as lively parties. What else could you possibly ask for!

mexico

2. Dordogne, France

WHY: A fairytale dream 

This pastoral Southwestern region lies within the richness of the cherished french culture we all admire. 2019 is an especially appropriate time to visit as it makes 100 years since the inauguration of the Félibrée; an annual celebration of all things Occitan. This includes food, music as well as activities such as renting kayaks on the Dordogne River.

France

3. Montenegro  

WHY: Breathtaking scenery and heritage

montenegro

This Southern European country should be on everyone’s travel list for 2019. For years, this beautiful country filled with undiscovered beaches used to be considered a mere stopover that travellers combined with its popular neighbouring country Croatia. However, this underrated paradise has recently experienced development boom with its pink sand beaches, shopping spots as well as spas.  

4. Reykjavik, Iceland 

WHY:  A place to reach your inner Zen 

From natural springs and waterfalls to whale-watching, Iceland is surreal experience waiting to inspire you. One of the main reasons to visit is the night-time spectacle of the Northern Lights, which are more common in Iceland than any other Northern country. The perfect destination for a full body detox.

reykjavik iceland


5.  The Azores, Portugal 

WHY: Natural adventure zone

Although Portugal has been a major touristic attraction, new to the scene are beautiful islands of The Azores. Filled with thermal springs, vineyards, volcanic lakes, these spots are all accompanied by outdoor activities such as surfing, diving and kayaking. These amazing islands have something for everyone.

the azores portugal

Wishing you a year of spectacular travels.

Top 10 Tips for Travelling as a Vegan/Vegetarian

Josh okungbaiye

(1) Learn Useful Phrases

This tip is very important when you are travelling to countries where English is not the national language. You will have to learn some phrases such as ‘I do not eat meat, fish or cheese.’ 

Saying that you are vegan or vegetarian in the local language is not enough. In some cultures veganism and vegetarianism is still a new concept, so you will have to be extremely clear on your dietary requirements. Keep in mind that in some cultures, refusing to eat someone’s food can be seen as offensive. When requesting a vegan or vegetarian meal in the local language please be apologetic and polite and they will be happy to help you.

explore the city

(2) Find Local Vegans

Before travelling to your destination, do your research on the Vegan and Vegetarian community in the country or city you are visiting. See if there are any events happening where you can meet other vegans that can further help you enjoy the local cuisine in the vegan/vegetarian way.

(3) Pack Your Emergency Food Stash

While you are out exploring, vegan and vegetarian snack options will not always be readily available. In response to this, we would suggest for you to carry around granola, dried fruits, or energy bars. So when you randomly get hungry you can quickly grab one of your snacks. In addition, always ensure you pack up a larger stash of vegan/vegetarian snacks in your luggage as back up.

Bonus Tip -

Pack a snack or two for the flight. Don’t rely on plane food, as they most likely will not have vegetarian or vegan options in their menu.

(4) Research Vegan Restaurants at Your Destination

Look up the vegetarian restaurants and cafés in your destination. There are apps/websites such as Happy Cow or Vegan Passport. These apps/websites give you a full comprehensive list of vegan restaurants in your destination.  In addition, the online platforms also have honest reviews, so this will give you a clearer idea of which restaurants to visit during your trip.

travel the world

(5) Check Vegan/Vegetarian Options with Hotel

When booking accommodation remember to check to see if they provide any vegan/vegetarian options in their menu.

(6) Book Accommodation with a Kitchen

If you want to have more control over your vegan/vegetarian options. You can book apartments or hotels with kitchens. You can book this type of accommodation through AirBnB.

This will give you the opportunity to shop for your favourite ingredients and it will enable you to have more control over what you are eating. You can also pack some food for when you are going out.

Bonus Tip:- If you are going to be cooking often during your trip, you may want to book accommodation near a supermarket.

vegan food

(7) Book a Vegan Friendly Hotel

Alternatively you can find vegan friendly accommodation if you want the full vegan/experience. In the hotel it is very likely that the guests will also be vegan so you will have a greater chance of meeting new people that will share advice, recommendations and tips during your trip.

(8) Be Clear and Ask for what you want

When you visit a restaurant. Please be aware that you do not have to order what is on the menu. The chef can create a vegan/vegetarian dish for you according to your request.  Please ensure that you are nice, respectful and polite and they will be happy to help you out.

vegan snack

(9) Eat Little Amounts Throughout the Day

Get used to eating small amounts throughout the day. Fruits, nuts, vegetables always take food with you. This will keep the hunger away and keep you satisfied.

(10) Get Involved In the Culture

Before booking your trip ensure that you research the all the national local vegan/vegetrarian dishes and make sure you try them all. See it as one big adventure and remember to fully enjoy the moment.

travel fun travel girl