Travel Tips: How to Decide On Where to Go Traveling

How to Decide On Where to Travel?

As one who makes traveling a priority, people often ask me how I decide where my next trip will be. Well, that is a loaded question! Answering it includes many factors. Among them: how much time do I have? What’s my budget? Are there currently good deals on a place I’m interested in? These and many more questions invade my mind when choosing where I’ll go next.

With the advent of social media, the world seems to have shrunk dramatically, but I assure you, it still has quite a bit of surface area to cover! If you have limited time to see the world, it pays to make your choices wisely. Destination fads come and go.

The current hot destination seems to be Iceland, and everyone is flocking there. But are YOU really interested in going to Iceland? If not, don’t bother just because your cool friend at the office went.

What I Look for in a Destination

What are your interests? Hobbies? Are you a history buff? Go to Washington D.C., Rome, or Petra to name a few. Are you a shopaholic? New York, Paris, and London are perfect for that. For the outdoor lover, the options are pretty much endless. Chances are you’ll find a place to go pretty easily if you do any daily news reading and have a healthy curiosity about the world.

As for myself, I love the outdoors – activities such as hiking, camping, spending time in the mountains and along the water. Where I live in the Pacific Northwest is great for that. So when I have limited time, I’ll steal away for the weekend to somewhere within 300 miles, which makes it easy to plan a quick trip. But when I want to branch out, I like to research my next destination based on the activity I’m interested in.

Pinterest is a great starting point for my travel planning. In recent months, travel bloggers and the industry, in general, have exploded on Pinterest, with tons of great ideas to get the adventure juices flowing. From there I can access a wide range of resources that will further help me in planning my next trip. I’ve found that simply Googling an interest or destination casts too wide of a net and I have to sift through a lot of unnecessary web hits.

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Best Lightweight Waterproof Jacket: Columbia Switchback Review

In this article, I review the Columbia Women’s Switchback II Jacket. There are a lot of rain jackets on the market, but I believe I’ve found the best lightweight waterproof jacket for women in terms of value, style and price point. 

Best Lightweight Waterproof Jacket

On a recent spring trip to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, I boarded a ferry to the city of Victoria from Port Angeles, Washington. Sunny skies suddenly turned to cloudy drizzle are caught me by surprise. I found myself wrapping my inadequate sweater jacket around myself. I really wanted to spend this ferry trip at the helm, marveling at the passing Olympic Peninsula waters, instead of hunkering down inside and drinking stale coffee.

Ferry to Vancouver Island

The temperatures were mild, but the incessant drizzle was soaking my jacket. I realized I had made a mistake: I did not bring along a suitable light rain jacket on this trip, something that was pointed out to me my by some locals as a rookie mistake to the Pacific North-West, as it randomly rains a lot.

But a little post-sailing shopping spree never hurt anyone, right?

Vancouver is a very trendy modern city, with a down to earth nature vibe to it. Home to such brands as Lululemon and RYU, the friendly people are active and tend to dress in layers often due to random rainy drizzles much like the one I found myself in.

If there is one thing a lady needs, it’s a high-quality, durable waterproof jacket. Whether I am walking the city streets, or going for a hike on a forest trail, having a light wind-breaking rain jacket is a must. I needed one that was waist-length for ease of movement, fashionable and functional. A warm-weather coat that spoke to my adventurous side when traveling, and to also be an everyday jacket.

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5 Must-Have Items To Include In Your Travel Outfits For Long Flights

Travel Outfits For Long Flights

In this article, Julie Buckingham gives away her favorite tips for building the best travel outfits for long flights. The key to surviving a long plane ride doesn’t involve an aisle seat or in-flight movie, it’s about staying comfortable.

Travel Outfits For Long Flights

Travel Outfits For Long FlightsI dread long flights. In fact, I try not to travel anywhere for a short period of time if the destination requires a long flight. I would much rather find a way to stay an extra week on my trip or vacation if it includes an eight-hour flight or longer. The reward of course, is an amazing adventure, sandy white beach or visiting a culture in a city you’ve never been to before. Despite our discomfort, it’s worth the time stuck in a seat in the sky.

However, your mood could easily change if you were uncomfortable. Travel outfits for long flights are not just fashionable, their practical and even essential for an extended period of time on a flight. The fabrics you wear, the shoes on your feet are all important decisions in making your long flight tolerable.

In this article, I talk about 5 items to include in your Travel Outfits For Long Flights along with some items of clothing that you should avoid.

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What To Wear In Thailand: Travel Advice For the Perfect Trip

What to Wear in Thailand

What to Wear in Thailand

Thailand, you hot, humid, glorious goddess. You are equal parts beautiful and messy, wild and prudish, sublime and exhausting.

I fell in love with Thailand from the first day, despite the intense embrace of humidity that greeted me like an old friend. From the beautiful chaos of Bangkok to the peaceful mountains to the incredible landscapes of the countryside, Thailand is a mix of old and new.

The city of Bangkok is a mish-mash of crazy shopping, delightful temples, and a welcoming culture. They love tourists as long as they respect their traditions! But I guess the same is true in just about any part of the world.

What to Wear in Thailand

Picture I took while Bangkok

Chang Mai seemed to be a bit more ‘Americanized’, where the younger locals are fashionable yet still modest in their dress. There is a large expat population here, and I found evidence of that throughout the city in the way of familiar retail stores and fast-food restaurants.

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Matein Backpack Review: The Perfect Travel Backpack

Matein Travel Backpack

I’ve needed a new backpack for a while now. After so many destinations and so many miles, my trusty pack is starting to look like Indiana Jones’ worst nightmare. It was never anything special to begin with, but it became my constant companion. I’ve been trying to ignore that widening rip on the side that I keep bandaging with safety pins. I keep ignoring the fading blue exterior that was once so vibrant in its infancy.

But I can’t have her for much longer. As much as I’ve grown attached to this hunk of fabric that has held my worldly possessions so lovingly for so long, I need to find another. And quick! Because I’m flying across the country to do a solo hike and my current backpack will simply not stand for another bout of abuse from the overstuffing and inclement weather.

My Old Backpack

Luckily, I’ve found the perfect replacement. After much research online and checking out disruptors, I’ve discovered and love the Matein Travel Backpack. This backpack is far more advanced than my current bag in every way. It’s a travel backpack, but it can be used for just about anything. After landing a new job in tourism management, my search preferences changed slightly. This new job will require me to carry a laptop from time to time, along with a camera. I wanted to find a backpack that had the security and durability as something you would need to take on the train every day to work, but also look and feel like a backpack that you could take on a hike.

My good friend good and contact who helped me land this new job recommended the Matein Backpack. She actually uses the Matein Slim Travel Laptop Backpack, but I tend to overpack, so I got the larger of the two. The larger Matein Travel Backpack also has more features, including one of my favorite design concepts with the built-in combination lock. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to bring or lost the lock for my old pack. This feature easily allows you to lock your back with a combination code.

Matein Backpack

This backpack has a sleek design and dark color making it a stylish piece for both men and women. It’s extremely light in my hand for its size and holds all of my stuff beautifully. The main compartment is roomier than it looks on the outside and holds all of the clothing needed for a long trip.

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5 Travel Tips to Australia – Written by an Australian

Travel Tips to Australia

Travel Tips to Australia

The land down under features highly on many people’s bucket lists, with its beautiful beaches, adorable animals and laidback lifestyle. Plus, Aussies are a friendly bunch who love meeting new people – especially if those people have come from across the seas to visit our island home. So, on behalf of my fellow Australians, let me share my top five tips to make sure you have the best possible time in Australia.

Do not underestimate how vast Australia is!

Australia is a truly massive country – so big, in fact, that it is also a continent. Australia is the 6th largest country on earth, and only about 25% smaller than all of Europe. This is why many Australians can’t help but chuckle when visitors make plans to “do” Australia in a fortnight or to do a day trip to Brisbane from Sydney (almost 1000km each way). It’s important to be realistic about what you want to do and see in Australia, and often spending more time in one or two places is the way to go, so you don’t lose too much time in travel.

One thing that often surprises visitors to Australia is that while the road-trip is a pretty popular past-time, expect to see an awful lot of nothing. Most of Australia’s population is scattered around the very outer edges of the country, and especially the East Coast. Therefore, elsewhere is pretty barren.

For example, if driving between Adelaide and its ‘neighbouring’ capital city Perth, you could expect to drive about 2,500km in total – with 1,675km being nothing but desert. To put that in perspective, that’s like driving from Barcelona to Berlin (via France) – or New York to Orlando, Florida  – and seeing nothing but red dirt, a few shrubs and maybe a camel, if you are lucky. Therefore, if you are going to drive, make sure you take proper precautions such as bringing plenty of water and telling people where you’re going and when you expect to arrive.

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What To Wear in Dubai – Helpful Travel Tips

What To Wear in Dubai

The first thing that hits you when you enter the city of Dubai is the buildings. So many of them, so gleaming, so tall. So…futuristic. In this relatively new city, its as if Dubai was racing to win some contest on who can build the most luxury in the shortest amount of time. Concrete jungle is putting is mildly. I lost count of the skyscrapers at about one hundred. As we sped down the multi-lane motorway to the hotel, they seemed never-ending.

Of course, with luxury comes decadence. Many people who live here are wealthy, yet hard-working expats. And when they’re done working? They want to play. They want to shop. And they want the very best of all of it.

You wouldn’t think this level of extravagance would reside smack dab in the Middle Eastern desert. Dubai is like Las Vegas, only much more humid. When you walk down the street, women are dressed conservatively. You will generally not see anyone showing their knees, shoulders, and certainly not a hint of cleavage.

On the surface, Dubai may feel like a cosmopolitan playground, but you are still in a Muslim country. Reminders to cover up are posted in many public areas. My first day in Dubai, I was wearing a sleeveless blouse, and I was at the receiving end of several disapproving stares. Very uncomfortable!

Later on, the hotel concierge told me that in other areas, such as the beach, a hotel pool, or in a nightclub, the conservative rule flies out the window. Women can show as much skin as they feel comfortable when clubbing. No need for traditional cover-ups (although many women still wear them while they are sunbathing!) And if you have to go through the hotel lobby to get to the pool, you will need an easy cover-up such as a kaftan.

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