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Get Lost In Ireland: Summer Road Trip Inspiration and Tips

 

Ireland is arguably one of the most picture-perfect summer road trip destinations. Come to Ireland to see breathtaking scenery, come for the friendly people, come if you want to slow down and get lost in the beauty of the simpler things in life: a cup of morning tea with fresh milk, a stroll through the market stalls, a self guided tour of abandoned castles, a laugh with friends over a pint at the local pub… the list goes on.

Ireland Road Trip Routes

You could easily spend an entire week in Dublin alone. But what’s the fun in staying in one city when you can rent a car and explore some back roads? Best of all, it’s possible to drive across the entire midsection of Ireland from the East coast to the West coast in about 2 hours.

Fun fact: Ireland is slightly larger than the state of West Virginia. Although the country is small in size, there is plenty to see.

When deciding the best route for your Ireland road trip it is going to be a tough call! Northern Ireland is known for its epic landscapes: dramatic cliffs, picturesque blue sea, and mythical rock formations. No wonder Game Of Thrones shoots scenes there! The capital, Belfast, is trendy with loads of history. It’s also home to the Harland and Wolff shipyard, the construction site of the Titanic.

However, if you are traveling from Dublin up to Northern Ireland things can get complicated. Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom and you will need to pass through border patrol, pay in Pounds instead of Euros, and spend extra on rental car fees.

My advice for first-time visitors would be to start in Dublin, head down South, and make your way to the West coast. You will be able to see a number of world-famous sights, get a taste of traditional Irish cities, and discover your own hidden gems along the way.

Ireland Road Trip Itinerary

For your road trip, I recommend that you give yourself a minimum of 7 days to complete the itinerary that I’ve put together. If you’re tight on time, then adjust your route as needed because let’s be real… any number of days in Ireland will be well worth it!

Day 1 – Dublin

Explore the shops of the Temple Bar neighborhood, watch live music at Dublin’s oldest pub – Brazen Head, or take a brewery tour at the Guinness Factory.

Day 2 – Kilkenny

Visit the grounds of the Kilkenny Castle, wander down the Medieval Mile, and grab a pint at Smithwick’s brewery.

Day 3 – Cork

Follow in the footsteps of Winston Churchill and kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, sample lots of delicious foods at the English Market, and admire the local architecture.

Day 4 – Cork with day trip to Kinsale

Check out the abandoned castles and abbeys along the winding country roads, stroll along the Kinsale harbor, and sit down for some Fish & Chips at Dino’s Family Restaurant…Yum!

Day 5 – Cliffs of Moher

Depart early to beat the crowds that flock to the Cliffs of Moher to admire the stunning landscapes that make it Irelan’ds top natural tourist attraction.

Day 6 – Galway

Navigate the buzzing side streets, check out the local artist markets, and listen to the many street performers.

Day 7 – Dublin

Eat a traditional Irish breakfast, stop by Trinity college, and people watch as you walk down the River Liffey.

How to Rent A Car In Ireland

In Ireland and all of the U.K. you sit on the opposite side of the car AND drive on the opposite side of the road. That took me a few days to wrap my head around.

I can still hear my family reciting “Hard left! Wide right!” every time I turned at an intersection. Although nerve-racking at first, I guarantee you’ll feel an indescribable sense of accomplishment when you master driving in a foreign country.

To rent a car in Ireland you will need to provide a valid driver’s license, passport, and credit or debit card. Our total transportation costs were around $500 or $83 per day including the cost of gas and a 6-day car rental. After a quick comparison of rental car companies, we decided to go with Europcar because of its proximity to our hotel and low prices. Overall we received great customer service and a good-as-new rental.

Two tips that could save you big money when renting a car in Ireland is the type of vehicle you choose and whether you purchase rental insurance. In Ireland and most countries in Europe, rental cars are almost exclusively manual. Learning to drive stick shift will save a lot of money. The associate helping with our rental told us that an automatic car would have cost us 2x the daily price of a manual one. It’s also common to pay an extra daily charge for adding drivers to the contract.

Rental insurance is another added expense that you may not need. A little-known fact is that many U.S. credit card companies already provide rental car protection free of charge.

I suggest researching online or calling your credit company to see if your card includes rental car insurance benefits. I personally use the Venture from Capital One because of its many international travel perks and low annual fee. 

When To Go On A Road Trip in Ireland

The high season for Ireland runs from June until September. The sun was shining for the majority of our trip in July but we still wore layers because of the unpredictable weather. It was noticeably more difficult to find accommodations during the peak season and for the budget traveler, there may be some initial sticker shock when looking at hotel prices.

Although prices will be high when you get to Ireland, you can find super cheap $300 round trip flights to Dublin by searching Norwegian or WOW airlines.

Truth be told, I hate planning in advance. Two months before our trip, I struggled to secure accommodations because nearly everything had already been booked. With a lot of searching, I still managed to find some last minute steals for around $120 a night for 3 people staying in either an Airbnb or Bed and Breakfast.

Don’t wait until the last minute like I did. Plan your accommodations several months in advance and you will have a much easier time finding affordable lodging!

The most budget-friendly accommodation in Ireland is either a hostel, Airbnb, or Bed and Breakfast. Dublin was by far the most expensive city on our trip. For Dublin, I recommend trying to book a place near downtown so you can be within walking distance of the many city attractions.

If you are traveling during the summer months and are looking for a unique budget-friendly experience, stay at Trinity College. You will be in the heart of Dublin, the campus is iconic, and the prices are fair.

As expected, it is much easier to find reasonable lodging prices in Cork and Galway. Don’t be afraid to stay a bit further out of the main downtown areas and book a place in the countryside. It’s generally a better value and more spacious – plus you’ll have easy parking access and get to experience the local way of life.

What to Expect On Your Ireland Road Trip

On your journey around this magical country, you’ll see why Ireland is a bucket list destination! If you are doing your road trip right, you’ll get a little lost along the way. You don’t need to plan every detail of your trip. Our best days were the ones we didn’t plan. Other than accommodations and flights, make the trip an adventure and see where it takes you.

Don’t be shy! Make sure to ask for tips from your hosts or other local acquaintances that cross your path.

Irish people are friendly and like to have a good time. Strike up conversations with the locals and if they suggest you visit a hidden gem or restaurant in the neighborhood then there’s a 100% chance you should go check it out.

Side note: when you do go out to eat, you can choose to tip servers 10% at a nice restaurant and it is not necessary to tip bartenders or taxi drivers.

Except for the occasional nasty bits of weather that Ireland is infamous for, there isn’t much to complain about. Pack a raincoat and some extra warm layers or just drink lots of Guinness.

The Complete Iceland Packing List

Iceland Packing List | Ultimate Iceland Packing List | Total Packing List For Iceland | Weather In Iceland | Backpacking Iceland | Packing for Iceland |

Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, and to figuring out the best time to go and what to pack for Iceland can be difficult. One thing you can be sure of for most trips to Iceland is that it’s going to be chilly and wet. During our last trip to Iceland, it lightly rained the whole time. Our list below covers all the basics from required items like a waterproof jacket to the nice to have things like rain pants.

If you are looking for a specific summer Iceland packing list or winter Iceland packing list, look no further. This list is designed to be comprehensive, and we even detailed the weather patterns based on temperature and hours of sunlight so you can make the most informed packing decisions.

Weather In Iceland

Let’s briefly review the weather. The average is around freezing (32 Fahrenheit, 0 Celcius), with the highs in summer approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit(27 Celcius) and lows in winter at 28 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celcius). What you need to be more worried about is the number of hours of daylight. We created an infographic that has a good summary of the weather below.

Weather In Iceland | Life Nomading | Best time to travel to Iceland | Summer weather in Iceland | Winter Weather in Iceland | What to pack for Iceland | Iceland Packing ListWinter

Winters are surprisingly mellow with the normal January temperature in Reykjavik (- 0.5°C/31°F) like New York City or Hamburg. It isn’t surprising to see snow in October or April, yet it rarely remains on the ground for more than a couple of days.

Summer

The average July temperature in the southern part of the island is 50–56 °F. Some summer days can go up to 68–77 °F. Summers in Iceland can be delightfully warm in addition to the unique Midnight Sun which gives 24 hours of light and the fervor of midnight golf, or early morning club escapades.

Quick Tips

Pack light! Having a checked bag lost can ruin a trip to Iceland as most trips are short and buying stuff on an island is expensive! Try to fit all your stuff in a carry on if possible – it will make your life easier and prevent any lost luggage events eating into your vacation time! If you are having packing space issues here are five tips to help!

Think water resistant! If there were a theme that could be applied to anything you pack this would be it! From boots to jackets – water resistance is key for a pleasant, warm, and comfortable trip to Iceland!

Required Items

Let’s take a deeper look into why we deemed some of these key items as required. Technically all of these items may not be “required,” but they are if the plan is to see the best of what Iceland has to offer: Hot springs, amazing outdoor landscapes, and ice caves.

Waterproof Boots

Hiking the amazing landscapes and ice caves in Iceland are must-do activities. Pick up some waterproof hiking boots to do it all with dry feet. Almost any brand of boot made of Gore-Tex Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. works well, as it is more breathable than a rubber boot but also waterproof.

Vasque Men's Sundowner Gore-Tex Backpacking Boot Price: $219.94 Vasque Men's Sundowner Gore-Tex Backpacking Boot Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Waterproof Coat

We recommend layering up with a thick rain jacket or getting a waterproof winter coat. While it can be snowy, having enough layer can prevent needing a full-blown arctic hiking coat – unless you plan to hike in Vatnajokull. We previously detailed the best rain jackets for men, if you are a guy looking to grab one for an Icelandic trip. All in all, after talking with our fellow avid outdoorswoman and outdoorsmen we found that Marmot coats Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. we’re consistently mentioned as a highwater proof coat.

Marmot Minimalist Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket Price: $189.00 Marmot Minimalist Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Universal Outlet Adapter

Iceland uses to Europlug, so any adapter that has a European outlet adapter should work. A universal adapter Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. can be picked up online for less than twenty dollars. The outlet in Iceland is two round plugs and typically slightly indented into the wall.

Universal Travel Adapter, All-in-one International Power Adapter 2.4A Dual USB, Wall Charger UK, EU, AU, Asia Price: $16.95 Universal Travel Adapter, All-in-one International Power Adapter 2.4A Dual USB, Wall Charger UK, EU, AU, Asia Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Swimming Suit

Blue Lagoon | Packing Lit for Iceland | Packing list | Swimsuit for IcelandIceland is famous for hot springs, which means you need to bring a bathing suit. There are tons of hot springs. If you want the most comprehensive list of hot springs, hot pot Iceland has the only exhaustive list of locations with GPS coordinates. Aside from natural hot springs, the public baths is a more local off the beaten path option. The public baths are also much cheaper than the blue lagoon.

 

Water Resistant Backpack

Grabbing a water-resistant backpack or a waterproof backpack cover is a great idea. Transportation in Iceland is costly so carrying your daily essentials to reduce trips is ideal. On our last trip there it rained the entire time. Having a waterproof backpack will make any Iceland trip much more comfortable.

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Recommended Items

Let’s review why some of these key suggested items can be so helpful, even though they may not be vital for an Iceland trip.

Gloves

Depending on when you go – it could be snowing. If you plan to go up north into the highlands, you will undoubtedly encounter snow. Grabbing a pair of light gloves is ideal, and if the plan is to hike in the highlands or go ice caving, then snow gloves are recommended. Pick up a pair of touchscreen gloves so the touchscreen on the phone will still work.

Windproof Warm Touchscreen Gloves Men/Women Price: Windproof Warm Touchscreen Gloves Men/Women Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

External Battery Charger

Stay on the go and don’t worry about having to find a plug by bringing an external charger. Having an external charger in Iceland is important because most trips are short and transportation is expensive. Bringing an external charger will prevent trips home to charge and derailments of plans due to dead phones.

Compact 13000mAh 2-Port Ultra-Portable Phone Charger Price: $37.99 Compact 13000mAh 2-Port Ultra-Portable Phone Charger Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Winter Hat

A winter hat is another useful clothing item for an Iceland trip. Think of it as another layer that is easier to take on and off. With all the outdoor activities and different weather depending on location (highlands vs the black sand beach), It is nice to have a piece of clothing to warm up that is easy to store and put on.

Winter Socks

A good pair of socks will come in handy. The padding in the socks protects from blisters when hiking and keeps your feet warm. Smartwool socks or any other merino wool socks make the best winter socks hands down.

SmartWool Popcorn Cable Lifestyle Socks Price: $22.95 SmartWool Popcorn Cable Lifestyle Socks Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Nice to Have Items

Melatonin

Taking melatonin can keep sleep cycles intact. Most trips to iceland from the USA are redeyes, but even from other places a time change is likely. melatonin is a natural sleep aid that can be used to help sleep on the pain or at night if jet lag is keeping you from falling asleep.

Nature Made Melatonin 3mg Tablets, 240 Ct Price: $8.67 Nature Made Melatonin 3mg Tablets, 240 Ct Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Scarf

A good scarf is great for any adventure through Iceland. The Arctic wind is the last thing anyone wants blowing up their neck. Having a good scarf is also fashionable, and quite popular in Europe.

To review, here’s the full list or Required and Recommended items:

  • Waterproof boots
  • Universal Travel Adapter (Europlug)
  • Thermal clothing
  • Waterproof/winter jacket
  • Swimsuit
  • Waterproof backpack
  • Rain pants
  • Trash Bags
  • External charger
  • Winter hat
  • Gloves
  • Toiletries
  • Towel

If you want to go to an Iceland adventure with us, check out our Iceland Trips!

 

Best Gifts for Adventure Travelers

It’s time to buy that awesome gift for your globetrotting friend – or yourself :). We have tested and tried tons of products over the last year, and this list is a culmination of that. When you are looking for the best gifts for adventure travelers, it’s important to keep a few key things in mind: durability, size, portability, and utility. The best gift is rugged enough to brave the outdoors but also useful and convenient.

Maxracy International Travel Power Adapter

I have been using the  Macracy international power adapter Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. for a good time now and have really enjoyed it. I put away my USB adapter and use this exclusively. It is super convenient for traveling to other countries – or just around the house. You can plug in two USB devices and a laptop all through one plug. It is super handy for travel or at home.

Maxracy International Travel Power Adapter with 2.4A Dual USB Charger and Built-in Spare Fuse Universal AC Wall Outlet Plugs All-in-One for UK, US, AU, Europe & Asia (Green) Price: $14.99 Maxracy International Travel Power Adapter with 2.4A Dual USB Charger and Built-in Spare Fuse Universal AC Wall Outlet Plugs All-in-One for UK, US, AU, Europe & Asia (Green) Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Lamzac Inflatable Lounge Chair

This inflatable lounge chair rolls up into a small portable bag. The lounge chair does not require a pump and is easy to inflate. It is great for trips, and it even floats. I took mine with me hiking, and it was amazing after a 4-hour hike to be able to lounge at the top and get some rest.

Fatboy Lamzac The Original Version 1 Inflatable Lounger with Carry Bag, Inflatable Couch for Indoor or Outdoor Hangout or Inflatable Lounge Air Chair - Aqua Blue Price: $39.93 Fatboy Lamzac The Original Version 1 Inflatable Lounger with Carry Bag, Inflatable Couch for Indoor or Outdoor Hangout or Inflatable Lounge Air Chair - Aqua Blue Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Slack Line – BYA Slackline with Carrying Bag

Slacklining is fun, portable, and good for your health. Find a nice park or a beach with some coconut trees and you are set for hours. A slackline doesn’t take up too much space in a bag and is pretty light. The BYA slackline is a good beginner slack line.

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Tribit Sound GO

The Tribit XSound Go portable outdoor Bluetooth wireless speaker is an awesome buy for any adventure traveler. This is a speaker, that you can easily take with you. For how small it is, it packs a punch and it lasts for 24 hours of playtime on one charge! Also, if you weren’t sure by the look of it – it’s super rugged! I have been testing it in the shower, and even submerged it in the bath, and it still works great a few weeks later.

Tribit XSound Go Bluetooth Speakers - 12W Portable Speaker Loud Stereo Sound, Rich Bass, IPX7 Waterproof, 24 Hour Playtime, 66 ft Bluetooth Range & Built-in Mic Outdoor Party Wireless Speaker Price: $32.99 Tribit XSound Go Bluetooth Speakers - 12W Portable Speaker Loud Stereo Sound, Rich Bass, IPX7 Waterproof, 24 Hour Playtime, 66 ft Bluetooth Range & Built-in Mic Outdoor Party Wireless Speaker Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

The “Travelers Drone” – DJI Mavic Pro

The DJI Mavic pro is just small enough that it rarely sets off any issues at customs (Drones are a hot issue in foreign countries) with no performance sacrifices. It’s a top drone, and what we use for our videos. If you are want something similar, but cheaper see the spark Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. .

DJI Mavic Pro Fly More Combo Price: $980.00 DJI Mavic Pro Fly More Combo Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

The Long Way Round

Most people don’t know Ewen McGregor wrote two awesome books detailing his motorcycle adventures around the world with his friend Charley Boorman. Aside from tracking an epic journey on a motorcycle from the UK to New York, it also explores life lessons and what they learned on the road.

Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World Price: $6.91 Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Nomad Charging Cable

It’s rugged and ensures you always have a reliable cable standing by at all times. The cord has a kevlar core and can endure the certain wear and tear that results from traveling.

Nomad iPhone Charger Lightning Cable(1.5 Meter)-Ballistic Nylon Core- Apple MFi Certified- Compatible with iPhone X/8/8Plus/ 7/7Plus/ 6s/6Plus/6/5/5s /iPad Price: $29.95 Nomad iPhone Charger Lightning Cable(1.5 Meter)-Ballistic Nylon Core- Apple MFi Certified- Compatible with iPhone X/8/8Plus/ 7/7Plus/ 6s/6Plus/6/5/5s /iPad Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Floating Bluetooth Speaker – UE Wonderboom

A waterproof Bluetooth speaker that floats? What more can you ask for? Perfect for pool parties, and a few brews in the lake with your buds. Start a party anywhere, even underwater. IPX7 waterproof rating, shockproof, dustproof, and can play up to 10 hours of continuous music on one charge.

WONDERBOOM Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker - Phantom Black Price: $66.99 WONDERBOOM Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker - Phantom Black Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Vagabonding

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolph Potts is an awesome book. It explores the alternative lifestyle of a vagabond and details his lessons learned and stories on the road though. The book also includes budgeting tips and tricks to finance your 6-week to 2-year journey Vagabonding around the world.

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel Price: $10.87 Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

12-in-1 Tough Headwear Microfiber Adjustable Bandana

While traveling the world you almost always encounter dust, bad smells, and sweaty situations. Having microfiber bandanas is an awesome tool to help with all these problems. It can be used as a headband, dust shield, sweatband, helmet liner, and many more things.

12-in-1 Headband [Tactical] - Versatile Lightweight Sports & Casual Headwear - Bandana Constructed with High Performance Price: $7.99 12-in-1 Headband [Tactical] - Versatile Lightweight Sports & Casual Headwear - Bandana Constructed with High Performance Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag

A waterproof dry bag is a must-have for any beachgoer or boater. I used mine for the last year and it has saved my expensive electronics countless times, while on the road. Another bonus is that they float. This package also comes with a bonus phone bag!

Earth Pak -Waterproof Dry Bag Price: $20.99 Earth Pak -Waterproof Dry Bag Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Sunland Microfiber Travel Towel

The Sunland microfiber travel tower takes up little to no space in your bag and has huge value. It comes in handy after a surprise rain, or when staying at a cheap hotel that doesn’t include towels. It drys very fast, and is super absorbent and is a great gift for travelers!

SUNLAND Microfiber Travel Towel Price: $11.39 SUNLAND Microfiber Travel Towel Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Smart Wool Socks

Smart wool socks use a special technology that helps prevent them from holding odors. They are breathable, can be worn a few times, and helps keep your luggage from smelling bad. They have multiple levels of thickness from winter socks to athletic socks. These are great gifts for hikers!

Smartwool Women's Hiking Medium Crew Price: $18.95 Smartwool Women's Hiking Medium Crew Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Woolx Merino Wool T-shirt

Merino Wool T-shirts make great gifts for adventure travelers. The material promises that it reduces odors, and can be re-worn several times without a wash. They have short sleeves, long sleeves, and shirts for both men and women. 

Woolx Men's Merino Wool T-Shirt Price: Woolx Men's Merino Wool T-Shirt Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Outdoor Waterproof Hiking Pants

Waterproof hiking pants area great gift for any outdoor enthusiast. They are thick enough to provide some basic protection from water, brush, and small tree branches but breathable enough to be comfortable. I have a pair of these that have come in handy on numerous motorcycle rides and hikes. Let’s be honest, sitting in soaking wet clothes is awful.

Hiking Breathable Quick Drying Outdoor Sports Pants Price: $35.99 Hiking Breathable Quick Drying Outdoor Sports Pants Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Rite in the Rain Waterproof Notebook

A waterproof notebook is great for travelers. It can be used to take notes without the worry of water ruining all your hard work. It is important to note, that you will need a space pen Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. to write on the paper underwater and in the rain.

Rite in the Rain Weatherproof Hard Cover Notebook Price: $17.86 Rite in the Rain Weatherproof Hard Cover Notebook Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Audible Audio Books Membership

Audible is an amazing gift for travelers. It gives you access to thousands of books on audio for a low monthly cost. This is perfect for downtime or those moments when you are stuck waiting in line at the airport. While you are at it, you might as well give yourself the gift of a 14-day free trial. Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Audible Membership Price: $0.00 Audible Membership Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

DJI Spark Drone

The Spark is all you could one from a drone packed into a small package. It includes all the things DJI is known: Amazing controls, high-quality camera, brand recognition, and a great battery. While it doesn’t have the battery life or performance of the Mavic Pro, it’s a smaller and cheaper alternative.

DJI Spark, Fly More Combo, Alpine White Price: $537.99 DJI Spark, Fly More Combo, Alpine White Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Biolite Campstove and USB Charger

A camp stove that charges your USB devices. This is quite possibly one of the most useful camping tools anyone could ever have. I am currently saving up to take one on my next adventure. This little thing can keep you warm, help you cook food, work as a fire starter, and charge your devices all at the same time.

BioLite CampStove 2 Wood Burning and USB Charging Camping Stove Price: $129.95 BioLite CampStove 2 Wood Burning and USB Charging Camping Stove Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Still not finding the best gifts for adventure travelers in your family or friend group? How about gifting the best gift of all… an invitation to join you on an exciting trip of a life time.

Review: Bella Vista Cloud Forest Reserve

Somewhere up in the mountains not too far from the small town of Mindo, Ecuador is an amazing cloud forest. We stumbled upon it during our motorcycle tour just a few weeks ago. It was a worthy stop, and the proprietor was excellent. The video below is narrated by the owner himself – he is the David Attenborough of Ecuador.

What is a Cloud Forest?

A cloud forest is a moist subtropical climate that has persistent cloud cover. Think rain forest, but with less rain and more clouds. Aside from an epic cinematic feeling while walking through it, minimal pesky insects. Due to the elevation, there are typically no mosquitos, this is the case at the Bella Vista Cloud Forest Reserve.

How to Get There

If you have your own transport and are coming from Quito- you are likely going along the highway to Mitad del Mundo / Calacali / Mindo / Los Bancos on the route which is called Colectora Quito-La Independencia. Quito-La Independencia is one of the highways in Ecuador, and it it will be represented on google maps with the number 28 (E28). You can also take a bus route. Several tourism companies also provide transport if you want to make things easy.

You can also take a bus route and several tourism companies provide transport if you want to make things easy.

Self-Driving Highway route:

Bellavista Nature Reserve

If you type in Tandayapa on google maps and route yourself there, it will get you 80% there. The rest of the route is literally off the maps.

  1. Head towards La Indepencia / Mitad del Mundo / Calacali / Mindo on Quito La Indepencia.
  2. At km 52, there is a turn to the left just after the bridge. Follow this road past “El Paraiso del Pescador” and straight through the village of Tandayapa. Climb uphill to Bellavista. Total distance from the main road 12 km.
  3. At km 62, there is a turn up to the left, which takes you along the ridge 12 km to Bellavista. Follow the signs all the way.

Public Transport / Bus Route:

  1. Take any bus to Nanegalito from Terminal Microregional de La Ofelia in north Quito. Any bus heading for Mindo, Los Bancos or Puerto Quito passes through Nanegalito.
  2. In Nanegalito, ask any pickup truck for a ride up to Bellavista. It costs about $15 price for the ride, not per person. *See the bus schedule – for a bus to Nanegalito.

Activities

There are a ton of activities nearby the nature preserve, and there to keep you busy. From epic views to serene nature – it’s all there.

Humming Birds

Humming Bird at Bellavista Nature Preserve

For a small fee, you can watch the hummingbirds at Bella Vista. I imagine if you spent money on other things this fee could be waived, that happened to be the case when we were there. We purchased a tour hike and he allowed us to take photos of the hummingbirds for free.

Hiking

Bella Vista Cloud Forest | Life Nomading | Adventure Travel

A plant we learned about on the hike – It’s called a poor mans umbrella.

You can go for a hike at the cloud forest reserve on your own or with a guide. The guide is just a little extra – which was well worth it as the experience is much better that way. The guide told us about all the plants, wildlife, and the history of the cloud forest – quite the story!

Bird Watching

Yep, bird watching. You may not be 50 years old, and your 401k might not be stacked. However, you still have time for a little bird watching. When you find a rare bird – you get some weird sense of accomplishment. Binoculars can be rented on site.

Tandayapa Bird Lodge

Very nearby is the Tandayapa Bird Lodge, it should just be a 20 minute drive. Here you can do bird tours. Ecuador is a big bird place apparently. For $165 (Summer 2017) you can also stay at the lodge. This includes 3 meals.

Accommodations

When it comes to accommodations you can stay at the Bellavista Reserve itself or about 30 minutes away in Mindo. The reserve itself has destination worthy accommodations.

Staying at the Bella Vista Cloud Forest Reserve Hotel

Bellavista-cloud-forest-reserve

When it Waking up on top of a mountain with insane views of a cloud forest is a special thing. That does come at a higher price – around 135 dollars for a nicer room. While 135 dollars is not a lot for a hotel, it’s more than a hotel in Mindo. It does include meals, however. The hotels in Mindo can run as little as $35 a night, but this will limit you to a day trip to the cloud forest. You can also talk to them about their budget accomodations – they have shared rooms at much lower rates.

Hotels in Mindo

  1. Dragonfly Inn BnB – for just $49 (Spring 2017) a night, and it was an excellent place. They provided secure/gated parking for our motorcycle and the manager even woke up at 5 am to give us our complimentary breakfast. This place has impeccably clean rooms and there is a calming stream that flows out back. You can hear it in the morning as you wake up, and late at night as you are drifting asleep.
    Dragonfly inn BnB | Mindo | Group Adventure Travel
  2. Mindo Lago – for $73 (Summer 2017) a night you can stay in the scenic eco-lodge. They even have a little paddle platform which you can have dinner on in their restaurant.
  3. El Abrazo del Arbol – This hotel is another boutique hotel. It has an awesome water feature. Yep, I just said water feature.
    el abrazo del arbol farm | Ecuador | Eco-lodge | Lifenomading | Adventure Travel

Our Overview

The Dome where you can stay at the Bella Vista Cloud Forest Reserve.

When it’s all said and done – the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve gets an A+ from us. It is a very reasonably priced activity that is tons of fun. The hikes through the cloud forest are beautiful and refreshing (little to no mosquitos). The proprietor is on-site often and has a wealth of knowledge he will share with you. Also, the dome rooms at Bella Vista are some of the coolest we have ever seen. We highly recommend the Bella Vista Cloud Forest Reserve!

Review: Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental – Self Guided Chocolate & Cloud Forest Tour

Bike-stop-quito-ecuador

Memorial day 2017 for most people meant burgers and brews in a close friends backyard. Memorial day for us was 8,000 miles away on the back of a motorcycle surrounded by clouds on top of a mountain. We heard that purring through the mountains of Ecuador on a bike was a bucket list item people take months or years to commit to – we signed up just a month before we left.

Minimize the Risk. Maximize the Adventure

Many people thought we were insane when we told them we were spending Memorial day on a motorcycle driving through the clouds atop a mountain in Ecuador. In the end, they were crazy for not coming with us!

We did the Self-Guided Chocolate & Cloud Forest tour, and it was life changing! It sounded insane and dangerous, but it didn’t feel like it. That’s because Freedom Bike Rental provided us with all the tools, and resources we needed to have a fantastic trip. No trip like this is without risk, but Freedom minimized all the known risks to make us feel as safe as possible.

Ian-Ecuador

The route is excellent, and all the stops are pre-populated into the GPS they provide you. The scenery is beautiful, and there are a ton of great stop off points. The roads are so much fun to drive on; around every winding turn and each beautiful overlook are backdrops any car commercial producer would die to get a shot of.

The Gear

Quito, Ecuador

As part of the self-guided tour, you get almost all the equipment you could need. From clothes to tech it’s all there. Below is a gear list.

Provided Gear:

  1. GPS – A nifty Zumo + Garmin GPS that charges while driving via the motorcycle. It comes preloaded with all the points of interest.
  2. Pants – Standard motorcycle pants to protect you from the pavement and the elements
  3. Gloves – Standard motorcycle gloves.
  4. Helmet – Many helmet options that were are all high quality, and DOT approved. Several helmets also included GoPro mounts.
  5. Motorcycle Jacket – Great multi-layer motorcycle jacket. A jacket with multiple layers ensures you can match the elements without losing the protection from the body armor.
  6. Emergency Equipment – This included a replacement tube, air compressor, and a first aid kit. They have a 24-hour support line and a mobile mechanic, but they provide you the tools to do it yourself if desired.
  7. Lockable Cargo Boxes – Depending on the bike model, multiple removable and lockable cargo boxes.
  8. Bungee Cords – heavy duty bungee cords to tie down additional load.

Optional Gear:

  1. Video Camera – You can rent a GoPro or a  Garmin VIRB HD camera for only $10/day.
  2. Tank Bag – A bag that mounts on the motorcycle tank $5/day
  3. Communication Headsets – A Uclear communication headset to communicate with other riders for $5/day.

For a full list of the optional add-ons and exact models check out their website. All in all, each add-on was very cheap for the value provided. For example, a GoPro costs hundred of dollars so having access to one for a few days at less than $50 is a bargain.

The equipment is great, but the tour itself is excellent. In 24-hours we saw and experienced what the average person does in a few weeks.

The Tour Stops

We obviously won’t cover every single one of the 17 stops that make up this tour. However, we picked out our favorites to provide a sufficient overview and story.

Virgin Del Camino Overlook

The overlook is one of the first stops along the tour. Whether you are religious or not, it’s recommended to pray for a good ride here. When we found ourselves looking hundreds of feet down over a daunting ledge from a motorcycle, we became religious REAL QUICK. Anyways, the Virgin Del Camino Overlook is one of the best parts throughout the tour to grab photos, so have your camera ready.

Guagrapamba Waterfall

Guagrapamba Waterfall

The waterfall hides in a scenic valley. The hike to get there is pleasant and eye catching. It’s no Victoria Falls, but it’s on the route and easy enough to get to which makes it worth your time. The waterfall is great, but the hike there rivals the beauty of the waterfall itself.

The Bellavista Cloud Forest Preserve

Humming Bird at Bellavista Nature Preserve

The Cloud Forest where the Bellavista Nature Reserve sits is breathtaking. Driving into the fog on a dirt road in the mountains has a strong cinematic feeling. I half expected a bunch of orcs to come storming through the fog at any moment. At the Reserve, you can hike, learn a ton about the forest, and stay in one of their rooms that has a breathtaking view of the mountains.

Bellavista-cloud-forest-reserve

The Bellavista Cloud Forest Preserve has an incredibly knowledgeable owner and the operator by the name of Richard Parsons. He is an Englishman who is referred to by some as a walking BBC documentary. If he is around while you are there pick his brain as much as possible, as he is extremely knowledgeable about the cloud forest and travel in general. He built the Cloud Forest from the ground up.

While we traversed through the cloud forest, we stumbled upon some spectacular views and this beautiful swing that went right over a massive drop down into a valley. It was a surreal experience, but it is not for the faint of heart. Taking a spill off the swing could have put a monkey wrench in our vacation experience. As they say though, no risk no reward.

The Small Town of Mindo

Mindo-Ecuador

Mindo is a small town north of Quito, Ecuador that has a population of just a few thousand people. While the tour is self-guided and we could choose our pace, following Freedom Ecuador’s advice and staying a night in Mindo is the right move.

For $15 we had an excellent steak with a Club Cerveza. If you want a night out, there is a small Karaoke bar called late night bar. They have drink specials and seem to be relatively accustomed to foreigners.

We stayed at the Dragonfly Inn BnB for just $49 (Spring 2017) a night, and it was an excellent place. They provided secure/gated parking for our motorcycle and the manager even woke up at 5 am to give us our complimentary breakfast.

The Butterfly Garden

The Mariposas de Mindo Butterfly Garden in Mindo is a rare experience. It is a small café and garden where you can enter a netted area filled with over 1200 butterflies and moths. There is also a small restaurant and hotel here. If you are lucky, a butterfly might just land on your hand!

The Chocolate and Coffee Tour

The El Quetzal Restaurant and Chocolate Factory is delicious and informative. We didn’t make it in time to see their detailed tour that shows the age-old process of making chocolate from bean to bar, but we enjoyed a delicious mocha coffee. The tours run all day 10am-5pm every day on the hour. The coffee and chocolate are incredible, as promised.

The Pululahua Crater

Pululahua-Crater-Ecuador

The Pululahua Crater is a dormant volcano that sits north of Quito. The Caldera is 5km wide and filled with beautiful greenery. If you have free time, you can even stop and do horseback riding in the bottom of the crater.

The Crater was the best or second best part of the trip. We parked our motorcycle for free just in front of the small, unassuming entrance. Just around the corner is a beautiful lush green crater that has a small town right in the middle of it. A fantastic view seemingly tucked away like this is quintessential Ecuador. At every turn, you are surprised with a view so spectacular it seems to rival the one you saw just moments ago.

Conclusion: Ecuador Freedom’s Cloud Forest Tour is Daring and Beautiful

The Freedom Bike Rental Self-guided Chocolate & Cloud Forest Tour is a once in a lifetime experience. The Freedom Bike Rental company is well organized and kind. The whole process exceeded our expectations! It was risky, but in the end, the only time we almost laid the bike down was when a few tiny dogs chased us – they felt bigger in the moment :).

If you are on the edge of taking up a daring adventure – just go! Walking around Los Angeles at night or driving through rush hour traffic can be more dangerous than a motorcycle tour through Ecuador. We can’t wait to go back to Ecuador and rip through the mountains, but this time we want to make it all the way to the beach! If you are unsure take a peek at the video below that pushed me over the edge and convinced me that I absolutely had to go!

Note: All views expressed are our own and we were NOT compensated by Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental.

Image Sources:
All Images are taken by Life Nomading unless otherwise stated.
Cloudforest – Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve, Dragonfly Bnb – Bed and Breakfasts Europe, Chocolate Tour – Rodrigo Buendia., Mariposas De Mindo – Tripadvisor

Comments questions or concerns tweet us @lifenomading.

Best Inflatable Paddle Boards 2017

Top Inflatable Paddle boards 2017

Paddle boarding is more than just something you rent on vacation. It is one of the most thrilling water sports of all time! Which is why we reviewed the top inflatable paddle boards of 2017.

When you merge surfing with kayaking, it gives birth to paddle boarding! Let’s first learn a bit about its history. In the 1940s, Hawaiian surfers used paddles to tweak their wave catching. However, it took the form of a leisure activity, about 10 years ago, in California.

Paddle Boarding in Hawaii. Image: Aditya Siva

Paddle boarding has been exploding because it offers several health benefits, including a full body workout, which aids in improving your cardio fitness and flexibility; all these benefits and more, whilst playing with water and enjoying nature. Worth it, isn’t it?

Thanks to the ever-growing technology and advancements, we now have the option of inflatable paddleboards, making it extremely convenient for paddle-boarders to carry them around.

Here we have compiled the best inflatable paddleboards for your convenience.

Comparison Chart of Best Inflatable Paddle Boards 2017

ProductKey FeaturesPriceBuy Now
Tower Paddle Boards
Adventurer SUP
Tower_paddle_adventure_SUP
• Made of Military-grade PVC material, which makes it highly durable
• Includes a 3-piece adjustable fiberglass paddle.
• Easy to carry, as it is 9’10"

$$$Buy Now!
Sportstuff 1030 Adventure
Stand-Up Paddle Board
Sportstuff_Stand-Up_Paddle_Board
• Comes with large anti-skid Eva pads for secure footing
• Package includes all the important accessories
• Certified frustration-free
$Buy Now!
Vilano Journey Inflatable
Stand-Up Paddle Board
Vilano_Journey_Inflatable _Stand-up_paddle_board
• Made using PVC material with Korean drop-stitch construction
• Comes with a removable carry strap and backpack
• Has Comfortable diamond groove traction for grip and Stainless D-rings
$$Buy Now!
Bestway Hydro-Force
Stand-Up Paddleboard
Bestway_Hydro-Force_Stand-up_Paddleboard
• Has one removable middle fin to improve directional stability
• Suitable for beginners and intermediate paddlers
• Has a built-in carry handle, making it easier to transport
$Buy Now!
Aqua Marina Vapor Inflatable
Stand-up Paddle Board
Aqua_Marina_Vapor_Inflatable_Stand_up_Paddle_board
• Includes a honey groove EVA anti-slip footpad
• Has a stainless steel D-rings on the tail for safety leash, and extra ones to attach a Kayak seat
• Designed specifically for beginners
$$Buy Now!

Product Summary of the Top Inflatable Paddle Boards 2017

Now that you have a good comparison of the key features, lets dig into the details of the top inflatable paddle boards. Below we take a closer look at the pros and cons of the inflatable paddle boards up for review.


Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer

Tower Paddle Boards AdventurerThis Paddleboard is one of the most expensive but highly reviewed paddleboards available in the market. They are not only highly durable, but also extremely rigid, with a weight limit of up to 350 lbs. Also, it comes with a 2-year warranty, which means that it is going to last you a long time – making it worth the price!
Current Pricing and Details


Sportstuff 1030 Adventure Paddle board

Sportstuff 1030 Adventure PaddleboardIt has large anti-skid EVA pads that secure the paddler’s foot, providing optimum protection. They have a maximum capacity of about 250 lbs., and are super convenient! Also, it comes with a Mesh backpack, allowing you to keep all your accessories together. In our opinion, it is a great all-rounder paddleboard!
Current Pricing and Details


The Vilano Journey Inflatable Paddle board

Vilano-Journey-Inflatable-Stand-PaddleThis is made using a high grade PVC material, which makes it highly durable. It provides excellent grip and has an anti-slip deck pad that makes it comfortable for paddling all day long. More so, it has a bungee on the front deck for storage needs. What more could one ask for?
Current Pricing and Details 


The Bestway Hydro-Force Paddle board

HydroForce-WaveEdge-Inflatable-Stand-PaddleboardIt is the cheapest option you will find in the market, whilst also being highly reviewed. It is extremely easy to use, which makes it the best inflatable paddleboard for beginners. If you are looking for a cheap option but don’t want to compromise on the quality, this is the paddleboard to go for!
Current Pricing and Details


Aqua Marina Vapor Paddle board

Aqua-Marina-Inflatable-Stand-up-PaddleThis is neither too expensive, nor too cheap. It comes with a magic backpack to keep your supplies in one place and allow you to carry it conveniently. Also, the inflated drop stitch chamber on the paddleboard offers comfort and stability, and is ideal for newbies.
Current Pricing and Details


Review of the Top Inflatable Paddle boards on the Market

After having reviewed all the best inflatable paddleboards, you can now easily make your decision regarding which paddleboard is the most suitable for you.

If you ADORE paddle boarding, and find that it is more than just a hobby for you, invest in the best and go for the Tower Padle Boards Adventurer SUP. However, if you are short on your budget but still want to experience the thrill, we would recommend you to go for the Bestway Hydro-Force Paddleboard. Paddle boarding, if done right, can provide you with the most thrilling experience of your life! So dance with the waves, enjoying nature in its purest form!

How to Solo Female Travel Like A Boss

Traveling alone is an amazing experience, especially as a solo female. So pack your bags ladies – your dreams await.
While traveling alone may make you nervous, it’s totally worth it! The first step may be the hardest, but it is also the one that will spur you to make deep connections, experience the true ‘you’, and (I believe) become a better woman.

Why You Should Try Traveling Alone

Want to raise some eyebrows? Tell someone you want to travel alone as a female. Expect to immediately hear concerns about your safety.

Society doesn’t like a deviation from the status quo.

You know what I’m talking about: the traditional path of a college degree, marriage certificate, and birth certificates. For some of us, for you, for me; we want a little more. It’s not that those things don’t have merit or that they don’t provide happiness. For those of us whom the allure of travel is undeniable, the idea of settling down runs counter to our dreams.

Kayaking in Pai, ThailandKayaking in Pai, Thailand

Are you still not sure if this sounds like you? Let me tell you the three biggest reasons that traveling alone appealed specifically to me: freedom, self-exploration, and energy. When you travel alone, you don’t have to answer to anyone or explain your actions.

This results in control over doing the things that you truly enjoy (like spa days). This self-reliance, coincidentally, forces you to test the waters – sometimes literally. Once you start to focus on yourself, you find a certain energy. If you are naturally empathetic like me, stress or worry about others’ lives slowly drips away. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes.

One question you should expect to get more than any other as a solo female traveler: “Don’t you get lonely?”  And, my answer is a resounding “Absolutely not!”  Traveling solo is one of the best ways to meet people. Reflecting back on my experiences, I find I was more open and more approachable because I didn’t have my social safety net to find comfort in.

I was constantly meeting interesting people either from my hostel, tours or locally. I can truthfully say I never felt alone. If my newfound travel friends were getting a bit needy, and I needed some ‘me’ time, there was nothing obligating me to hang around anyone I didn’t momentarily want to.

If you’ve got to this point, I think this female solo travel thing is for you. Here are my top ten tips for how to solo female travel successfully as a young woman…

Do Your Research

Knowing what to expect when you step off the plane and feeling prepared will put you at ease before a solo trip.

From the weather, the local currency to safety tips, there’s an abundance of information out there make your trip better.  For international travel, start by entering your destination in the U.S international Travel page to find passport/visa requirements, safety information, local laws/regulations, and required vaccines.

It’s also a good idea to sift through blogs, forums, and social media because you can find a ton of great information from travelers who’ve been there. They can provide you with the positives and negatives and overall advice on almost anything you need about the destination. One resource that is extremely helpful is TripAdvisor forums. Travelers are constantly reviewing and answering forum questions to give the most up to date information.

When you have a specific activity in mind, be it sightseeing, scuba diving, or just bumming it on the beach, it’s a good idea to research your options beforehand that way you’re not spending precious vacation time trying to figure things out!

Additional information that is valuable to know prior is reliable and safe transportation modes, areas in the city to avoid and most importantly, the cultural etiquette of the respective country.

solo female travelImage: Unsplash Annie Spratt

Blend In

As a solo female traveler, it’s necessary that you avoid attracting too much attention to yourself.

It is crucial to know the social etiquette especially when it comes to what to wear. If the country you are visiting has women that dress conservatively, do the same, as this will help you to avoid being singled out as a potentially vulnerable target. The last thing you want to do is draw any unwanted attention to yourself or come off as offensive to the local culture. This also includes avoiding outfits that scream “TOURIST!” Warding off the pickpocketers and scammers is the goal.

You can keep your fanny packs at home!

No matter where you are or how confused you might be it’s important to always walk with confidence.

Even when you’re completely lost try not to appear as confused as you are. As a woman traveling alone appearing confused can attract the wrong kind of attention and put a target on your back.  Nobody starts out as a wonderfully confident solo traveler. As you become more comfortable finding your way by yourself and making your own choices, your confidence will grow. Don’t confuse cockiness with confidence; if you are in danger ask for help.

Cruising down the coast of Vietnam.Cruising down the coast of Vietnam

Be Aware

Being aware of your actions and surroundings at all times can save you from some major mishaps.

Be mindful of what information you give to strangers. Avoid saying you’re alone or exactly where you’re staying. You don’t have to be paranoid that everyone’s out to get you just use your best judgment and exercise common sense.

When traveling internationally, read up on topics of conversation to stay clear of in particular countries. You don’t want to offend anyone or put yourself in a dangerous situation because of something that you said.

Scuba Diving in ThailandScuba diving in Thailand!

Keep Your Valuables Hidden

Pickpocketing is a huge problem in a lot of countries.

To not fall victim to this crime avoid flashing your valuables in public. Be mindful of the attention you are attaching to yourself when pulling out your phone on the streets or carrying your camera around your neck. It is also smart to keep these possessions in your reach at all times, along with key documents such as your passport, visa, and wallet.

When you are traveling solo, you lack an extra pair of eyes on your belongings. Crossbody bags that zip or latch-up are recommended. And always keep it in front of you!

Ask For Help

There’s no way to be fully prepared, especially if you’re in a new country. Anytime you’re traveling, especially solo-traveling, you can expect something to go awry.

That’s why it’s important to have a plan B. Unfortunately that doesn’t always work out either. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Whether it be other travelers (which have surely gone through their own struggles) or the locals, someone will be bound to help you.

Book in Advance

You finally arrive at your destination… and now what? Even if you don’t have a strict travel itinerary and time frame, it’s always best to book your first couple nights beforehand.

You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you can’t find a place to sleep before you get the lay of the land. Go into your trip confident and stress-free knowing that you have somewhere safe to stay upon arrival. In addition to peace of mind, booking your accommodations, flights, and tours beforehand is typically cheaper and again, won’t waste precious travel time on research and planning while you are there.

To avoid any mishaps, keep a copy of your booking confirmation numbers just in case something goes wrong. Consider consolidating all your information into the TripIt app. TripIt syncs with your emails and instantly creates a master itinerary for your trip that includes your flight info, confirmation information, emails, locations, and contact information. Among other awesome features, you will automatically get mobile notifications if a flight is delayed or canceled.

Be Prepared

No matter how much you research and plan, eventually you are bound to experience a few unforeseen complications. When you’re traveling alone you don’t have the luxury of having someone to fall back on when disaster strikes. It’s important to have a backup plan for your backup plan. No trip is perfect (unless of course, you’re Beyoncé) so come ready.

As a female solo traveler, travel insurance is one of the most important things that you can purchase for an international trip. Travel insurance can cover everything from doctor visits, lost/stolen baggage, to cancellations or trip delays.  World Nomads Insurance is one of the most reliable travel insurance companies and covers all of your basic needs.

Along with having a copy of all your information somewhere online, also carry around a hard copy of your passport and travel insurance information in case of emergencies.

Natural infinity pools in Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Download Essential Apps that can help your trip go a little smoother. Maps.me is one of the most useful map apps because you can use it without having Wi-Fi. Whatever map app you use, be sure to download offline versions before departure. It’s also always good to have an app like Airbnb or Booking.com to book accommodation on the fly if need be.
  • Learn a few phrases in the local language for basic needs, like directions and how to ask for help. Not only will it help you during everyday activities, but it can also help you to avoid being ripped off. Many locals show more respect to visitors who make the effort to learn some of their native languages. For on the fly translations download the Google Translate app. It has a database of over 103 languages, can translate images, and work offline.
  • When it comes to your money, prepare a plan A, B, and C. What if you get pickpocketed or the ATM eats your debit card? The last situation you want is to be alone with no money or access to it. Unless you can breakdance or play the accordion on the side of the street, keep some emergency cash and an extra debit/credit card hidden. Also, don’t forget to make your bank aware of the countries you are traveling to beforehand to prevent them from freezing your accounts!

Let People Know Where You Are

While you’re off adventuring don’t forget to check in with your loved ones back home. Post pictures and send updates leaving a trail of where you are.

If constantly checking in isn’t your thing use the Find My Friends app so your friends can…..well…find you.

If you prefer to be in constant communication with home, purchase a SIM card so that you have internet access. This allows you to call and text your loved ones with either iMessage, WhatsApp or Viber! Be sure to unlock your phone before you leave, as this can take a few days to process and is more difficult once out of the country.

It’s also always a good idea to let the staff at your hotel/hostel know that you are traveling alone. Give them a quick update on when you intend to come back from a day of exploring.

In the case of an emergency, it’s always a good idea to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment program. It’s a free service that allows U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad to enroll with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The embassy will contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.

beach solo travel

Post on social media so people know where you are – Instagram your way to safety!

Be Mindful Of Where You are At Night

This is common sense, but as a rule of thumb, wherever you are you should be cautious about walking around alone at night.

Research what the safest and most reliable form of transportation is and spend the extra couple bucks on it to get yourself back home safely. Especially if you’ve been drinking!!

Don’t be Scared

It’s important not to let fear get the better of you and prevent you from exploring everything this world has to offer. This time in your life is about you – and you will be a much stronger, more independent person because of it.

The ways in which travel betters you as a person greatly outweigh any of the difficulties you might face.

Travel is a life-changing experience and one that anyone who wants to experience absolutely SHOULD. I hope these tips make learning how to solo female travel easier. And helped you make your decision a little bit more certain if you are still in that stage, or if you’ve already decided and are soon to be on your way, a little bit safer and a little bit easier.

Hanging on a ledge at the Horseshoe bend in Arizona.

 

Do you have any questions or comments? please comment below or message me on my Facebook. Like the article? Find more at my personal travel blog Catchmeifyoucam.

How to Teach English Overseas

How I started Teaching English

I was 23, fresh out of university sporting a degree that seemed more than ever like a glorified letter of recommendation to assure possible employers that I was of average intelligence.  The realization that I had finally entered the “adult world” hit me like I had plunged into the icy pool of water. I had been in freefall over for the past four-and-a-half years.

I was spending over half of all my waking hours mindlessly creating Excel spreadsheets, vouching invoices and wondering if Diane knew she had a mustache…

I had been plummeting towards it my entire life, but had always told myself that there must be something beneath the surface, invisible to those above, that kept people ticking, that justified getting out of bed on Monday morning to trudge into their office where they would repeat last week’s tasks in slightly nuanced ways.

I quickly realized there was nothing waiting for me under the surface and began to question the sanity of everyone around me.  Was the carrot-on-a-stick simply a week-long vacation at the end of the year?

I was spending over half of all my waking hours mindlessly creating Excel spreadsheets, vouching invoices and wondering if Diane knew she had a mustache, and if she did, why the hell didn’t she shave it?  Maybe some people are content to live this way, but I was not.

I was young, restless and I wanted to travel.  I wanted to meet new people, see things I didn’t understand and not know what was going to happen next week.

A series of fortunate events led me to learn about the innumerable opportunities to teach English abroad.

Without a second thought I sold my car, TV, bicycle and everything else of considerable bulk, condensing the remainder of my belongings inside two old suitcases.  I kissed my heartbroken mother goodbye and fled to Vietnam to teach English.

Teaching (Harrison) an English class in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

So now, I will lend you my expertise so you can make an adventure of your own, start a new career, and learn how to teach english overseas.

Requirements of an English (ESL) Teacher

Regardless of which country a person chooses there are a few basic requirements that all share.  You must hold a bachelor’s degree.  

Teaching Certificate

While a teaching or English degree would obviously be preferable, it is not mandatory.  You must also have a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate.  This can be obtained so easily it’s a bit scary, and it’s often the case that the only real obstacle to acquire one is the fee, which can be as little as $100 or as much as $2500.  This can be done online or in person at a TEFL center.  Here are a couple important tips for choosing the correct TEFL course for you.

Ignore “guaranteed” job placements.  Nine out of ten times the school will be some shithole in the outskirts of China whose only requirements are to not be Chinese.

Ignore “guaranteed” job placements.

Nine out of ten times the school will be some shithole in the outskirts of China whose only requirements are to not be Chinese.

Purchasing a TEFL or CELTA Course

You get what you pay for.  While everyone would be tempted to choose the cheapest course you can find, you must remember that it may not be high quality.

Beware discounts. Many websites, like Teflen.com, will offer an outrageous discount of anywhere from 50% to 80% off, claiming you only have a few days before the sale ends.  This is just a marketing tactic and blatant lie.  Teflen.com has advertised a 70% off “sale” for the past two-and-a-half years, trying to scare you into enrolling by saying you have a limited time left before the “deal” ends.

A TEFL is for a job; a CELTA is for a career. If you want to make real career out of teaching English you should consider getting a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults).

A CELTA is backed by an accredit university, however, it does require much more time and money to obtain compared to a TEFL certificate. Go overseas has a whole article dedicated to the intricacies of teaching certificates if you are looking for more details.

Image Source: www.gooverseas.com

Choose your location before you choose your TEFL.

Do some research on the different schools and their requirements for your given country.  Some schools, like many in Southeast Asia, are not very strict when it comes to TEFL certificates and treat it more as a formality required by the government than an actual testament to your ability.

It was not until a year later that I finally coughed up the money for a legitimate, albeit cheap, TEFL certificate in order to be considered for a job at one of the more renowned English centers.  Teachers who take their TEFL course in person claim it to be very helpful, especially in the area of classroom management.

While you may find a job without a TEFL, I would not recommend it. It is a short, easy course to complete, and will prove beneficial for not only you, but your students as well.  It’s important to remember that the students you are are teaching pay good money for the classes and deserve a good teacher!

Teach English in Rio De Janeiro

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Image: Agustin Diaz

Choosing a Country

Choosing a single country from the voluminous collection is a daunting task.  Each country is very different and has its own benefits and shortcomings.

South Korea is a very popular choice with its high demand for English teachers and common benefits such as health insurance and a paid 2-4 week vacation, though the students are infamously difficult to deal with and the hours are long.

Downtown Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. Image Source: Unsplash – Peter Nguyen

Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam are all great choices with high pay, low living-costs and generally affable people, but the weather is always scorching hot and the monsoon season can be annoying to say the least.

There was a time where you could make a killing in Japan teaching English, but sadly that time has come to an end.  While there are still many opportunities to teach English there, the pay has dropped and the cost of living will eat up a significant portion of your salary, especially if you have your eyes set on Tokyo.

If you don’t want to travel quite as far as Asia, there are many choices in South America and Europe including Spain, Poland, Brazil, Colombia and Nicaragua.

Finding a Job

When it comes to finding a job, there are many online resources at your disposal.  It can be effective to drive directly to a school with your CV to try to meet someone in person, but I have had much more success using the internet.  Here are some sites to help you in your job search.

English Teaching Jobs in Vietnam

www.vietnamworks.com
www.jobstreet.com

English Teaching Jobs Cambodia

www.everjobs.com

English Teaching Jobs in China

www.teachabroadchina.com
www.eslcafe.com
www.teachaway.com
www.eslteachersboard.com
www.tefl.com

English Teaching Jobs in South Korea

www.eslcafe.com/Garamond
www.gone2korea.com
www.weteachkorea.com

English Teaching Jobs in Thailand

www.ajarn.com
www.teachingthailand.com

English Teaching Jobs in Brazil/Latin America

www.eslcafe.com/Latin America

Reasons to be an English teacher

While it isn’t the most glamorous job, the benefits of being an ESL teacher are numerous.

Salary

For the work you do, the pay is generally quite high, assuming you’ve chosen one of the many countries with high demand.  I am currently teaching English only twenty hours a week and still making enough to save around $400 a month.  When I was working 35-40 hours a week I was saving about $1000

Flexibility

Most schools, especially English centers, are very lenient when it comes to taking time off.  As long as you let them know a month or so in advance, you are golden.  Even better, if you are in Asia, airfare is astoundingly cheap!  I can fly to almost any country in Southeast Asia for $100 round-trip.  In the U.S. I couldn’t fly one-way to the state adjacent to me for that price!

This is a job that can take you almost anywhere in the world.  Tired of life in Nicaragua?  Book a one-way ticket to Myanmar and don’t look back.  Myanmar losing its luster?  Pack your shit and throw it in the back of a bus heading down to Thailand.  Sick of Thai food?  Move on!  This is one of the few jobs where you can pack up and move at a moment’s notice with few repercussions.

Giving Back

While you may not be a couple steps away from being the next Jesus, it feels really good to know the work you are doing is helping someone. Not only that, but you actually get to watch your students progress over time.  In a country like Vietnam, learning English is the key to creating a better life for many people and their families. Not only does it widen the scope of job opportunities, but it significantly increases their potential salary.

Respect

In many countries outside of the USA, teachers are revered.  In Vietnam the word “teacher”, or “thầy” in Vietnamese, is actually a title, much like the way we address doctors. While becoming an English teacher probably won’t make you feel like a superhero, it’s nice to know that people value and respect what you do.

Personal Growth

I know what you’re thinking – you get down towards the end of the list and read “personal growth” and think to yourself, “Wow, this guy is really starting to grasp at straws…”, but it’s true!  Think about it. Moving on your own to a foreign country on the opposite side of the Earth is a great opportunity for self-discovery and growth.

It will test your resolve and character, and you will learn much about yourself and your role in the world itself.  To quote Roman Payne, “Wandering is the activity of the child, the passion of the genius; it is the discovery of the self, the discovery of the outside world, and the learning of how the self is both “at one with” and “separate from” the outside world. These discoveries are as fundamental to the soul as “learning to survive” is fundamental to the body. These discoveries are essential to realizing what it means to be human. To wander is to be alive.”

Tips for your journey

Children as Clientele

Unless you land a job at a university, you will mostly be working with people under the age of 18. In Vietnam and many other countries that we sometimes refer to as “third world countries”, over half of the population is under the age of 30.

Most adults have already started a career path of some kind and don’t want to spend their time or money learning a language that will be of little or no aid to their career at this point in their lives.  For these reasons, children are the most abundant form of client in many countries.

Teaching English in Thailand. Image: National Geographic

Strange Schedules

If you are teaching at a public school or university this will not be the case, but if you are teaching at a language center the classes will be scheduled for nights and weekends, because during the weekdays people must either go to school or work.

Beware of Expat-focused Housing

Housing that is marketed specifically towards expats almost always has an extorted price, because they know that you are inhibited from dealing with locals by the language-barrier.  Not only that, but your housemates will be constantly changing every few months, as many of the expat-housing company’s customers are college students studying abroad or doing an internship.

The rooms nearly never have separate electricity meters, meaning the electric bill is split evenly, and there is usually one scumbag who likes to leave their air conditioning on all day so their room is cool when they get home, screwing everyone for the sake of their own comfort.

So if you have a friend or someone that can help you find housing, take advantage of it!  It will save you quite a bit of money and hassle

Most foreigners here share the attitude that it’s a waste of their time and energy, and confine their movements to….places where people speak English.  As a result, they are only getting a fraction of what the country has to offer them.

Learn the Language!

I cannot begin to tell you how empowering it is to speak the local language in a country where very few people speak English.  Not only that, but it is fun as well!

In school I hated learning Spanish because I never had any opportunities where it could prove useful, but here I can learn something and use it the very same day!  Most foreigners here share the attitude that it’s a waste of their time and energy, and confine their movements to places that are designed for foreigners and people that they know speak English.  As a result, they are only getting a fraction of what the country has to offer them.

Not only that, but the people here love seeing a foreigner speak their language, even if you are butchering it like a sick pig.

Research Transportation

It’s important to know how you are going to get around before you move to your new country.  In most countries you will probably end up riding some kind of scooter or motorcycle, but do you need a motorcycle license?  Will an American license suffice in your chosen country?

Xe Om

Find Temporary Housing

I would argue that it is better to wait until you are in the country to find housing, maybe even until you find a job.  Make sure that you like the area and it has good proximity to your place of work and any other places you think you will be frequenting.  In the meantime you can stay at a hostel or hotel.  Most will give you a deal if you book a room for an entire month, so don’t hesitate to negotiate the price.  It would be wise to book this before you get there.

Conclusion

If I had a general piece of advice for anyone, it would be not to settle. We don’t live long enough to waste our waking-hours slogging through an endless procession of papers and numbers that mean nothing to us. Don’t do it because it’s what your parents did. Don’t fool yourself into thinking your paycheck is a reflection of your personal success. If you are not happy with your work you are failing to seek your true ambitions and realize your true potential.

The Best Carry-on Luggage for International Travel

best carry on luggage for international travel

I showed up in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with nothing because all of my stuff was in a checked bag sitting in Taiwan. That’s when I learned to only bring a carry-on bag and get very creative with how I pack it. After starting my consulting job I knew I needed to get better carry-on luggage. With destinations in several different countries on the horizon – I started looking for the best carry-on luggage for international travel.

I needed something that met various countries’ carry-on luggage rules. Below is a list of rules by the airline, but the size standard issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is 21.5 in. x 13.5 in. x 7.5 inches.

International Carry-on Rules: Size and Weight Chart By Airline

Internation Carry-on luggage sizesImage Source: Kaehler Travel Goods

The international carry-on spinner luggage is the best for most of our needs. It has the ease of use and maneuverability that makes getting through airport swift and effortless. Beyond that, there are tons of features like smart luggage you can track with your phone, hard-sided, soft-sided, all-sided, and my favorite – luggage you can ride like a scooter.

The easiest way to look like a douche bag at the airport!

The easiest way to keep your virginity for life!

The bottom line is that there are tons of options out there.

Identify what is most important for your type of travel because everyone has different need’s. Maybe you absolutely have-to-have scooter luggage Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. . It’s okay, we accept you.

If the scooter game isn’t your play, below is our breakdown of the key features for the best international carry-on luggage out there. Below we break down each of the top suitcases with a description of each and a table for comparison.

Delsey Helium Spinner

Delsey Luggage Helium Aero, Carry On Luggage, Hard Case Spinner Suitcase, Titanium Price: $99.27 Delsey Luggage Helium Aero, Carry On Luggage, Hard Case Spinner Suitcase, Titanium Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

The Delsey Helium is one of the best value suitcases on the market. It touts many of the features of the most expensive brands and is made of the same materials as well. Although it is made of the same material it lacks the lifetime warranty that most of the household brands have. It meets international carry-on rules and has an external compartment for a laptop.

 

Travelpro Maxilite 4

Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 5 22" Lightweight Expandable Carry-on Rollaboard Suitcase, Black Price: $99.99 Travelpro Luggage Maxlite 5 22 Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Have you ever noticed that almost every flight attendant or pilot has that little Eiffel tower on their bag? That’s the signature of the travel pro brand. Obviously, they make good luggage if the people who work on planes prefer it. The Travelpro Maxlite 4 is a reliable soft side bag that comes with a limited lifetime warranty. The lifetime warranty is not as strong as Briggs and Riley’s, but overall it’s a great suitcase.
“The Travelpro® warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship but does not cover wear or damage caused by abuse, mishandling, accidental damage, inappropriate selection, or carelessness caused by an airline or other common carriers.”

 

Brigg’s and Riley Torq International Carry-on

Briggs & Riley Torq International Carry-On Spinner QU121SP (One Size, Cobalt) Price: Briggs & Riley Torq International Carry-On Spinner QU121SP (One Size, Cobalt) Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

This is one of the best hard side bags, but also one of the most expensive. It comes with the strongest lifetime warranty available, and could actually last you a lifetime. The warranty covers damage done by the airline to the bag if it results in a loss of function. It also features a locking external compartment for a laptop. This is our choice for the best international carry-on suitcase. It also happens to be the one I own. Sorry for the bias :).
“If your Briggs & Riley bag is ever broken or damaged, even if the damage was caused by an airline, we will repair it free of charge – Simple as that®.”

 

Chester Carry-On 22″

CHESTER Carry-On Luggage Hardshell Spinner Suitcase Price: $195.00 CHESTER Carry-On Luggage Hardshell Spinner Suitcase Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

The Chester carry-on luggage is a great hardshell choice for those who are looking to climb into a higher quality hard shells but doesn’t quite have the money for a Briggs & Riley for example. This carry-on glides is light and durable enough to get plenty of years of wear out of. With it’s simple, modern design it is definitely a good looking travel piece to boot.

 

International Carry-on Suitcase Comparison Chart

ProductHighlightsPricePurchase
Delsey Luggage Helium Titanium
International 19” Carry-on
Expandable Spinner Trolley
-Hardside
-Expandable
-Laptop compartment
-Low Price
$Buy Now!
Travelpro Maxlite 4
International Carry-On Spinner Suitcase
-Limited lifetime warranty
-Industry user standard
-Expandable
-Softside (Fabric)
$$Buy Now!
Chester Modern Carry-on Luggage-Hardside
-Modern Design
-Lightweight
-Small
$$ Buy Now! Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Briggs & Riley Torq
Luggage International Carry-On Spinner
-Functional Lifetime warranty
-Hardside
-Locking Laptop Compartment
$$$Buy Now!

Our Take on The Best Carry-on Luggage for International Travel

These are the best carry-on luggage for international travel that is easily available for you to purchase online. The choices above range from less than $100 to upwards of $500. Between these bags, you should be able to find the right luggage for your next trip out of the country!

Do you have any questions, or comments? Please comment below!

How to Pack a Carry on and Fit More in Your Bag

Two hours after landing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam I realized my checked bag wasn’t showing up with me. Oh crap! My bag was in Taiwan sitting in the belly of the airplane. In my case, I was fortunate enough to eventually receive my bag. But for many, the odds of your bag getting back to you once lost aren’t al the best. This is why we always recommend you to try your best to use a carry-on vs. checked bags as often as possible. Learn some of our Life Nomading tricks and tips for how to pack a carry on and fit more in your suitcase for your next great adventure, where it may lead you.

As if we haven’t already convinced you to carry-on, it’s worth noting that airlines don’t always have our back when it comes to lost luggage. They will reimburse up to a certain dollar amount – for example, its only 3,500 dollars on American Airlines.

To avoid the inconvenience of replacing your stuff or coming out in the red it is in your best interest to pack as much as possible in your carry -on bag.

Let’s Get Started Packing Your Bag

First thing’s first, there are restricted items and limitations on what you can and can’t bring in your carry-on bag.

Be sure to read your airline’s policies and check other TSA restrictions on what you can or cannot take in your carry-on. This helpful checklist breaks down what you can or cannot take in your carry-on versus your checked bags. Lame, we know!

It’s also important to note that there are different rules that vary from one country to the next for what is considered a carry-on bag. Some countries let gigantic backpacks slide, while others seem to barely let purses count.

This list comprehensively covers weight and size regulations for carry-on luggage around the world. I had a lot of trouble finding the perfect bag, so I researched and developed an article outlining the best international carry-on bags.

Now that you know what you can pack, its time to figure out how much of it you can possibly fit in your suitcase. The more you can fit in a carry on bag the better (most airlines do not weigh your carry-on).

Here are some of our tried and true tips on how to pack a carry on to optimize space:

Plastic Bags, Vacuum Bags, and  Compression Bags

Compression_Packers-e1454636616670

Compression bags Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. make more room to load up a bag with all your favorite clothes. They leave extra space for more items, and some even claim to reduce wrinkles! There are two main types of space saver bags, vacuum and manual rolled.

With vacuum bags, the downside is that a vacuum or hose is needed, and a puncture renders it useless. I personally prefer the Travis Travel Gear Space Saver Bags Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. myself. These work just like the vacuum bags only you push the air out manually. If you have delicate clothes that wrinkle easily these bags may leave a mark but you can spray the clothes with wrinkle releaser Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. once you arrive at your hotel.

If you’d prefer to use vacuum bags, be sure to read our article: Best Vacuum Storage Bags For Travel

Travis Travel Gear Space Saver Bags. No Vacuum Rolling Compression, Pack of 8 Price: $17.97 Travis Travel Gear Space Saver Bags. No Vacuum Rolling Compression, Pack of 8 Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Roll Your Clothes by Hand

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Rolling your clothes by hand may take a little time, but it is worth extra work! By rolling your clothes, it gives you more room in an otherwise small area in your suitcase.

An added benefit of rolling your clothes is that you can put the clothing around the sides of the luggage, and this will help protect the items placed in the middle.

Packing Cubes for Travel

Packing cubes are great for making space, but also for the organization. It is very handy and makes packing quicker by allowing you to organize items into separate cubes based on category. In the past, I would sort through all my clothes to find my underwear which I foolishly packed below my shirts. As a result, all the rest of my clothes get jostled about and unorganized. Now I pack them into cubes, and it makes it easier to organize my items. I have a set of eBags Packing cubes Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. that are perfect for this type of thing. They are easy to use and there are enough different sizes to fit any packing job.

eBags Large Packing Cubes for Travel Price: $36.99 eBags Large Packing Cubes for Travel Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 05/01/2019

 

Downsize your toiletry items.

You need to downsize your toiletry items.

Spray cans and glass containers of any kind are not allowed in your luggage. Get small squirt bottles or a set of small plastic containers. Also, buy travel size toothpaste Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. , plastic toothbrushes, and plastic razors Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. . Roll on deodorant also comes in travel sizes. If you run out of anything – most hotels or hostels have places to purchase the core items you need at the front desk.

Lermende Portable Soft Silicone Travel Bottles Containers Set Price: $15.99 Lermende Portable Soft Silicone Travel Bottles Containers Set Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 05/01/2019

 

Use every open space possible.

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When you begin packing, start with all the heavy flat objects first. Spread the weight out evenly across the bottom of your luggage.

Next, place your rolled clothes against the outer walls. This leaves the middle part open for your more fragile items. When all your large items are in, fill the empty spaces with leftover clothes, space saver containers, and anything else you need like a stuffed animal… we won’t judge.

Hopefully, our tips help you on your next trip. Now you won’t get stuck in another country waiting on your checked-bag ever again. Instead, pack it all in the carry-on and maximize your travel! Pack more, spend less, and do more traveling!

Do you have any questions or comments? Please comment below!