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News, Interviews and recommendations from High Spirit Bags.

 

Filtering by Tag: travel safely

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

10 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Flying

Josh okungbaiye

Many of us enjoy the idea of travelling in order to experience new cultures. However, there’s one part of travel that isn’t so fun for a lot of people: that is flying. For some, flying is simply a hassle due to high fares, potential flight delays, as well as lost luggage. For others, flying is simply terrifying.

It is important to know the reason for your fear of flying. In addition, there are certain steps you can take to help alleviate your fears. For those of you who are determined not to let this fear stop you from seeing the World, below are a few tips to help you overcome your fear of flying.


1. Familiarise yourself with the plane

Getting to know what your plane looks like can make it seem a little less scary. Research what type of aircraft it is. Is it an Airbus or a Boeing plane? Research how many passengers it carries, as well as the on-board benefits such as a café for those travelling on long flights.

2. Choose an aisle seat

Most airlines and booking engines allow you to request a seat assignment when you book your flight. Request an aisle seat, particularly if you’re prone to claustrophobia as you’ll feel less surrounded by other people. You will also be able to get up and move around the cabin more easily allowing you to avoid looking out the window if those sky-high views make you nervous.

Check out Seat Guru. This site enables you to view the position of your seat so you can make an informed decision on booking your seat online.

3. Avoid watching or reading anything plane/flight related

Avoid airplane disaster movies, news coverage of plane crashes, or other scary media images. Remember that the vast majority of flights arrive safely, but only the problem flights make the news. Don’t let that make you have a negative outlook on flying.

4. Don’t rush at the airport

Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the airport before your flight is scheduled to depart. Racing to the gate and worrying about missing your plane will only add to your fear and anxiety. Make sure to have everything prepared the night before including your passport and your boarding pass; so that it will be smooth sailing on the actual day.

5. Stay Entertained

Make sure your phone or tablet is stocked with relaxing music to help get you into a peaceful frame of mind. Remember to pack a magazine or a good book to take your mind off what is happening. Select a comedy on your plane’s in-flight entertainment system, or pre-load a few of your favourite movies and documentaries onto your laptop.

6. Avoid caffeine

This and other stimulants can make you even more jittery, adding to your anxiety. Opt for water as it contains no sugar, which could tamper with your nerves.

7. Breathe

Breathing is by far the best way to calm yourself down if you feel yourself starting to panic or become anxious on a flight. There are various techniques you can use, but the main goal is to slow your breathing down and focus on the exhale rather than inhale, because as you panic, your breathing gets shallow and fast, making the state of panic even worse. One trick is to breathe out fully first before inhaling. Then breathe in deeply, hold it for a couple of seconds and breathe out completely. Keep doing this until the panic passes.

8. Use earplugs and eye masks

Some nervous fliers find overnight flights very daunting, but if you can try to get some rest it’s the best way to make the time fly by. Bring an eye mask and a pair of earplugs with you to help you sleep. The earplugs are especially useful as they block out the loud noise of the plane. The eye mask will also signal to the flight attendants not to disturb you while you nap.

9. Tell a flight attendant

Flight attendants deal with nervous fliers on a daily basis. Next time you’re boarding a plane, tell your nearest steward that you’re feeling anxious. There is no need to be embarrassed; their job is to help you and make you feel comfortable. They can check in that you’re doing okay. They also might have some tips to share with you from their experience.

10. Take a Fear of Flying course

If your fear of flying is preventing you from traveling or making you so anxious it’s impacting your health or enjoyment of your time away, consider seeking professional help. Some airlines, including British Airways, Virgin and EasyJet, as well as some airports, offer fear of flying courses. These courses are led by pilots, crew, and psychologists with intent to address all aspects of flying fears and how to overcome them. Trained professionals will answer all your questions and give you pointers for addressing your fears.

Nicole Fernandez Medina

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10 Travel Scams to Avoid

Josh okungbaiye

Although travelling can be an exciting time, there are always some who take advantage of our vulnerability when on holiday. Here are a few scams to look out for.

vienna travel

 

1.     Taxi overcharge

 

This is considered one of the most common travel scams out there. Either the driver will tell you there is no meter or that it’s broken and attempt to charge you a huge rate. in order to avoid this scam, you must know how much the ride should be. This can be found out by asking the accommodation you are staying at. Furthermore, never get inside an unlicensed cab as they tend to attempt to negotiate the rate at high prices.

 

2. Games

 

If you see people on the streets playing games including cards or hiding a ball under a cap, do NOT attempt to play as you will never win. Those people are professional scammers who will always attempt to take your money at any opportunity.

 

3. Free Bracelets

 

Most common in Europe, this scam involves a friendly person approaching you for a chat then wrapping a bracelet around your wrist. They will claim that it’s free and sometimes even let you off to do your thing before reproaching you to attempt to charge you for it. Keep insisting you are not interested, don’t let them even place the bracelet on you, its a trap.

 

4. Closed Accommodation

 

Although it may seem silly to fall for such a scam, when travelling to a new country you are often more guidable than not. This scam involves cab drivers insisting the accommodation you have booked is no longer open and instead they will take you to another place for the right price. Don’t believe a word they say and keep insisting on your destination.

 

5. The Fake Petition

 

Usually, while visiting a tourist attraction, you will come across a woman and a child pretending to be a student, asking you to sign a petition. They will not tell you what its for, and if they do they will make up some donation excuse and request money. In order to avoid this scam, the best thing to do is avoid them or insist you have no money to give, they will give up and move on to someone else.

 

6. Flirtatious Male or Female

 

Many times, especially if you are a male, you will be approached by an overly flirtatious woman or man looking for you to spend you money on her or take you out. There have instances where men and women have fallen or this scam; the woman or man disappears and you are left with a couple bucks in your pocket.

 

7. Spill On Your Clothes

 

Although accidents are common, when a ransomer spills something on you, more often than not you need to be on your guard. This scam involves pickpocketing when you are least paying attention to your surroundings.

 

8. Found Ring

 

Someone will approach you on the street asking if you dropped a ring. They will then later point out that it’s real gold and attempt to sell it to you for a “good” price. Although easy to fall for,

don’t. It’s too good to be true!

 

9. Wrong Change

 

When travelling to countries with different currencies, some people may take advantage of tourists who are unaware of the correct amount go change they are due as they trust those handing them the money. To avoid being scammed, count your change carefully every time you make a purchase.

 

10. Unofficial Tour Guides

 

There will often be random people nearby your accommodation or touristic attractions who will claim to be official tour guides. Although easily mistaken for, you need to have specific training and licenses to be able to give official tours. Unfortunately, there are some people willing to create false identities in order to convince you of their authenticity and take your money. Make sure to ask your accommodation staff where you can find official tour guides for your destination.