Category: Travel and Vacations

5 Camping Essentials You Shouldn’t Leave Home Without

Did you know that around 40 million Americans go camping at least once a year?

If you’re hoping to join in on the camping craze, you’re probably wondering what you could possibly need beyond a backpack and boots.

Luckily, it’s pretty simple to put together a quick camping essentials checklist!

Keep reading below for a list of five essentials every new camper needs! 

1. Shelter Must-Haves

Perhaps the most important camping essentials are shelter supplies. Typically this refers to tents.

Along with a tent, you’ll want to bring a tarp. Tarps are useful (and cheap) for laying beneath tents if the ground is wet or uneven. They’re also ideal if your tent doesn’t have a built-in rain cover.

A sturdy sleeping bag is also essential for any serious camper. The right sleeping bag will keep you warm, as well as protect you from bugs. 

2. First-Aid Kit 

A few bumps and bruises are inevitable during a camping trip. However, you’ll want a first-aid kit just in case anything more severe takes place.

A well-stocked first-aid kit should include bandaids and gauze, topical ointment and antiseptic, and over-the-counter pain and allergy medicine.

3. Cookware Camping Essentials

Whether you’re planning a short or long-term trip, you’ll need to pack some cookware to get you through the journey.

If you want to save on space, check out an all-in-one cooking kit. For example, take a look at this scout kit—it combines a portable stove, a pot, and a dishware set.

You’ll need to either bring a self-starting fire source or a lighter to start a fire with. Matches are less ideal since they can be difficult to start if it’s wet outside.

You’ll also want to bring a water purifier. Ideally, you’ll bring along enough drinkable water to last your trip. However, it’s wise to have a purifier on hand in the off chance you run out of bottled water.

4. Additional Clothing

While you want to keep your camping gear as lightweight as possible, an extra set of clothes is essential for any camping trip.

Since the weather can change in the blink of an eye, you don’t want to be left stranded with wet clothes. Even if you’re camping during the summer, temperatures will drop significantly overnight, and you don’t want to get sick at the hand of soaked clothes.  

5. Local Maps

It never hurts to have some paper maps of your campsite. Additionally, a phone with GPS capabilities is a great addition to any trip.

Many phones lose service in more secluded campsites. However, there are plenty of free apps you can use to download maps offline. These are wise to have especially if you plan on doing any hiking or exploring—the last thing you want is to be lost in the woods with no shelter or food.

Starting Your Journey

Packing for camping can be overwhelming if it’s your first excursion into the wilderness. But with the camping essentials above, you’ll have no trouble handling whatever mother nature throws your way!

For more articles on thrifty living and travel, check out the rest of our website!

How to Pack for a Trip: 4 Leisure Travel Tips

Are you planning a golf trip or other leisurely vacation? If so, good on you. It’s been a long year, everyone could benefit from getting away for a while. 

However, if you’re going on a golf vacation, odds are you’ll want to bring your personal clubs with you. After all, a golfer’s clubs are basically an extension of themselves. The only question is, how to pack for a trip with bulky items like golf clubs?

We’re here to help. Keep reading for our top four tips on how to pack for a golf trip.

1. Check the Airline’s Policies

One of the most important steps for getting ready to pack for a trip is making sure you know the rules and regulations of the airline you’re traveling with. This is especially important if you’re going on a golf vacation. Your golf clubs will be bulky and may incur extra luggage fees. 

Find the airline’s policies online to find out what you need to know. They may also have specific packing guidelines you need to follow for golf clubs or other sports equipment like snowboards, skis, etc.

2. Create a Checklist

Whether you’re flying or driving to your destination, you need to create a packing list to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. You don’t want to accidentally leave anything behind. 

Think about what you’ll need based on where you’re going and what you’ll be doing. For example, do you need to pack warm clothes? What other activities are you planning on participating in while on vacation?

3. Custom Packing 

Learning how to pack for a golf trip is a little different than packing for other leisure vacations. For example, there are a few extra steps to take to make sure your golf clubs get there unharmed. 

  • Get a travel golf bag (soft or hard-cased)
  • Remove the club heads from adjustable clubs
  • Get a stiff-arm to protect the clubs in the event the bag is dropped 
  • Wrap the golf heads (attached and unattached) in their protectors
  • Use clothing or towels to make sure the clubs aren’t banging around off one another
  • Take pictures of everything for proof of their condition before the flight

Custome packing jobs are essential for protecting your clubs and other premium golf accessories during transit. Airlines typically only cover damages done to clubs inside hard-cased travel bags. 

4. Perfect Your Carry-On Bag

Finally, remember that accidents happen all the time. It’s possible that the airlines will temporarily lose your bags. This often happens if a plane is delayed or there’s a short window to get to your connecting flight. 

That’s why it’s essential to carry everything you need for a day or two in your carry-on bag. You keep two day’s worth of clothes, your personal hygiene products, money, and your passport on your person at all times.

Getting Ready to Pack for a Trip?

There’s nothing better than the anticipation of going on your next leisure trip. Whether you’re flying overseas or going on a long road trip, you’re sure to have a great time. Just make sure you know how to pack for a trip to ensure none of your possessions are damaged in-route. 

And if you’re looking for more tips and tricks, we can help. Check out some of our other articles for more information on travel, lifestyle, and more. 

What to Pack for a Cruise: A Simple Guide

Over 25 million people go on cruises each year, and if you’re considering a cruise for your next vacation then keep reading!

We’ve got your guide on what to pack for a cruise so you have an enjoyable and memorable trip.  

 Here are a few of the absolute essentials.

Under-Clothing Document Holder or Wallet

Whether you’re just hanging out on the ship or you’re on the shore exploring and playing, you need a secure and inconspicuous way to carry your passport and money.

Under-clothing document holders usually sit on the inside of your belt or pant waistband. And they can be used to store the documentation that you wouldn’t ever want to be without.

Not only does this leave your hands free, but it also is a far more difficult place for a thief to reach without being detected.

Sunscreen and Aloe 

Cruise lines will sell these items at a huge markup because they know that travelers usually don’t pack enough. Save yourself the money and bring your own sunscreen and aloe after-sun gel. 

You have a wider variety when shopping at your grocery store than you will aboard a cruise ship. So pack a travel size, an aerosol, and a lotion style so that you’re never without what you need. 

Good Walking Shoes

People often make the mistake of just bringing pool shoes on a cruise without considering the fact that they may go on excursions that require good hiking or walking shoes. 

If you haven’t already booked your excursions, consider what you’d like to do and bring a pair of shoes appropriate for each activity.

A Few Normal Outfits

Cruises are more than just pool days and business casual dinners. You’ll be glad you brought a few normal outfits for the times when you aren’t in the hot tub or at dinner. 

Motion Sickness Treatment

Whether you prefer a pill or a pressure bracelet, consider bringing something to treat motion sickness. Whether you’re prone to it or not, you don’t want to be caught unprepared. 

Nothing ruins a cruise like feeling constantly nauseous. 

What Not to Bring: Weapons

We know many travelers feel safer when carrying a weapon with them. But most cruise lines have strict rules that prohibit weapons of any kind.

All luggage is inspected prior to boarding and passed through detectors. Guns, knives, and other weapons will be immediately confiscated and not allowed on board.

If you don’t want to have to go through an incredibly tedious and time-consuming process to get these items back, then just leave them at home. 

Trust me, you will NOT be able to sneak a weapon on board. 

Now That You Know What to Pack for a Cruise, Let’s Set Sail!

Now that you know what to pack for a cruise, you can be one of the millions of people who enjoy this unforgettable way to travel.

Which location is on your cruise bucket list? Let me know in the comments below.

Ahoy! 9 Cruise Accessories You Need for Your Next Excursion at Sea

Going away on a fantastic cruise and want to know which travel accessories you’ll need? 

With the excitement you’re feeling, you might not know the appropriate cruise accessories that you should pack. There are useful items that you can bring along to optimize the enjoyment of your trip.

Take a look at these nine travel accessories that are ideal for your fun in the sun. 

1. Snorkel Masks

Do you love snorkeling? If you plan on diving or swimming in the ocean, you will need your full-face snorkel masks. 

These are fun accessories you can’t do without when you’re traveling to your destination. These masks make it easier for you to breathe when you’re underwater and helps to enhance your experience.

So, be sure to bring along snorkel masks to feel happy and confident when you’re participating in different water activities.

2. Tower Speakers

Take your outdoor entertainment to the next level with tower speakers. You might need to optimize your listening experience with boat tower speakers.

If you’re traveling with groups of people or throwing a party on a boat, these are essential items that you need.

Tower speakers can help you to get the party going and to make your social gathering more relaxing and entertaining. You might also need them to give your boat a cool, sophisticated look.

You can shop for the best speakers that are designed for your specific needs. They are easy to set up and the ideal outdoor solution for your outdoor adventure.

3. Portable Safes

How will you keep your belongings secure when you’re swimming? You will need a portable safe for your next cruise.

When you and your family are taking a dip in the water, you should not have to worry about keeping your stuff safe. You can easily attach your travel safe to your chair on the beach.

This is a good accessory that you can use for extra protection. You can store your cell phones, shoes, purse, and other items in a travel safe.

Travel safes have a portable design, they have multiple combinations, they’re weatherproof and very durable. They’re also easy to open when you want to retrieve your stuff. These are important accessories that you can’t do without.

They provide convenience and an excellent choice for your cruise. If you’re going on a cruise with multiple people, you can consider using more than one travel safe to secure your stuff.

4. Beach Towel Clips

Beach towel clips are must-haves for your cruise. Colorful beach towel clips are extremely beneficial for keeping your towels in place. 

These accessories will keep your mind stress-free when you’re outdoors. You can use beach towel clips to prevent your towels from blowing away or falling to the ground. 

They are also versatile. You can attach beach towel clips to any chair that you’re using when you’re on the beach. So, if you want a simple way to keep your towels in one place, you will need beach towel clips.

These are exceptional accessories that can make your life so much easier when you’re having fun on your cruise.

5. Magnetic Hooks

You can keep your cabin organized with magnetic hooks. Your cruise cabin might be too small to hang all your items.

You don’t want the hassles of searching through piles of clutter to get the items you need. An easier way to maintain your sanity is with the use of magnetic hooks.

Magnetic hooks provide a great solution to your tiny space problems. You can use them to hang your hat, shirts, bathing suits, shoes, and other stuff. These are great items to prevent you from having a messy cabin. 

6. Luggage Tags

You need luggage tags for your cruise. This gives you the confidence that all your bags will arrive safely at your cruise cabin.

You can indicate your name, ship name, the status of your cruise, stateroom, and other important information on your luggage tags. You can use custom or handmade luggage tags to attach to any luggage you’re bringing along for your cruise.

7. Travel Tote Bags

Travel totes are a necessity for your cruise. You might need these bags to store your sunglasses, wallet, snacks, and other cool items you’ll need when you’re cruising.

When you’re on the deck, you can easily fit your travel tote to your chair. Keep in mind that the best travel tote bags are lightweight, durable, and suitable for your budget.

These cute bags are functional and help you to travel in style.

8. Toilet Spray

You might have concerns about leaving unpleasant odors in a cruise ship bathroom. That is why you will need a natural toilet spray.

There are a variety of toilet sprays that you might need to control the odors in the bathroom. Each time you use the bathroom, you can use these sprays with confidence.

So, choose your favorite sprays that you will need for your cruise.

9. Laundry Basket

Where will you put your unclean clothes when you’re on your cruise? A pop-up laundry basket is an accessory you need if you want to wash your clothes.

These baskets can easily fit in your luggage and won’t take up much room in your luggage. Pop-up foldable laundry hampers are made from durable materials and a perfect accessory that you’ll need for the next time you set sail.

Choose the Most Convenient Cruise Accessories

These are handy cruise accessories that you should add to your list for your adventure. Bringing these items along will make you feel more organized and ready for your excursions on the sea.

Packing these items ahead of time makes it easier for you to have peace of mind that you have everything you’ll need for your trip.

Need to read more travel and vacation tips? Check out our website to read content that you might find useful.

The Pros and Cons of Using Public Transportation While Traveling

Are you going to be traveling to a part of the country that you’ve never been to before? Or better yet, are you going to be traveling to a different part of the world to see what it’s all about?

Either way, you should consider using public transportation throughout the course of your travels as opposed to renting a vehicle. It could very well turn into the most effective mode of travel transport for you when you’re trying to get around to different places.

Before you commit to using public transport, though, you should find out about the pros and cons of doing it to ensure you’re up for the challenge. Utilizing public transport when traveling is a great idea for a lot of people, but it’s not for everyone.

Here are the pros and cons of using public transportation while traveling.

Pro: Public Transportation Is Usually Your Most Cost-Effective Option

You are going to have to pay at least some money to use public transportation in most cities throughout the country and world. But that money will often be nothing compared to what you would have to pay to rent a vehicle.

If you’re on a relatively tight budget while traveling, the last thing you want to do is waste a bunch of money on a car rental when public transportation is an option. You’re better off using public transport to your advantage and saving your money so that you can spend it on more worthwhile experiences.

Con: It Can Be a Little Confusing Using Some Public Transportation Systems

If you live in a place where you use public transportation all the time, you probably know your specific public transport system like the back of your hand. But that doesn’t mean that you’re going to pick up on another system right away.

Using public transportation systems in some cities can be a very confusing experience. From figuring out where to catch a subway to finding out where a bus route travels to, it’s going to require a decent amount of research on your part.

You might end up spending more time trying to make sense of a public transport system than you do using it. That’s time that could be better spent on exploring everything in a new place.

Pro: Public Transportation Allows You to Experience Everything a City Has to Offer

When you use public transportation in a place that you’ve never been to before, it’ll allow you to rub elbows with all the locals. They’ll all be using the public transport system, too, in most cases, which will give you a unique look at how a city operates.

You’re going to miss out on this experience when you choose to rent a car. You’re not going to cross paths with locals as often as you would otherwise.

If your ultimate goal is to immerse yourself in a new place and soak up everything it has to offer, taking public transportation is the best way to do it. You’ll feel like you were really a part of a place for a few days.

Con: It Might Prevent You From Making Your Way to Certain Places

One of the biggest drawbacks of using public transportation is that it’s going to limit you somewhat as far as where you can travel to in a city. There are no doubt going to be places that you’ll want to see off the beaten path that you won’t be able to get to easily by using the local public transport system.

You might be able to get to them by getting off public transportation at a certain stop and walking a great distance. But that might not prove to be worth all the time and effort you’ll have to put into it.

Pro: Public Transportation Is Great for the Environment

Anytime you visit a new city, you should go to great lengths to ensure that you don’t do anything to leave a mess behind. That means not littering in the city and, if possible, using public transportation as opposed to renting a car.

A car is going to put out emissions that will pollute the environment that you’re visiting. Public transportation will also pollute it to some degree, but it’ll limit the carbon footprint that you leave in a city while visiting it.

You should be especially mindful of not polluting the environment when you’re visiting a city for an extended period of time. You shouldn’t spend days, weeks, or even months driving around in a rental car if you don’t have to.

Con: It May Stop You From Traveling Around at Different Times of the Day or Night

There are some public transportation systems around the country and world that operate on a 24/7/365 schedule. But there are others that shut down at certain times of the day and night.

If you happen to try and use one of these systems while traveling, you could find yourself in a position where you can’t use it at different times. This could limit your ability to see everything that you want to see in a city.

This could be particularly problematic if you need to find a way to get to the airport. You’ll want to think about using an airport transportation company instead of public transportation to guarantee you don’t miss a flight.

Is Using Public Transportation While Traveling Right for You?

There are so many great benefits that you’ll get to enjoy when you use public transportation while traveling. But as we’ve mentioned a few times here, it’s also not an option that’s right for everyone.

Consider whether or not you want to use a public transport system while visiting a new place. It could make or break the experience that you have there.

Would you like to get your hands on more great travel tips prior to taking a trip? Check out the articles on our blog to find some.

Ocean Cay: Top 5 Things to Know During Your Family Vacation

As far as cruise experiences go, there are few that are more exclusive and over-the-top as Ocean Cay.

Situated just 65 miles east of Miami, Ocean Cay is a sprawling and idyllic private island that is exclusively for the use of MSC cruise ship passengers.

It is one of the most popular family vacation destinations in the region, owing to the huge amount of activities on offer.

Ocean Cay offers something for everyone, from those seeking family travel packages to those looking for a festive party weekend. If you’re considering traveling to Ocean Cay, here is what you need to know before you go. 

1. MSC Passengers Experience Ocean Cay for Free

Of all of the world travel family destinations in the Caribbean, Ocean Cay arguably represents some of the best value.

If you are stopping by on an MSC cruise, access and all activities on Ocean Cay are free of charge.

As this guide on things to know about Ocean Cay explains, entertainment, food, experiences, and activities are free. This means that you can enjoy all the island has to offer without spending a penny. 

2. Ocean Cay Is a Sustainable Island Destination

For many travelers in 2020, sustainability is a top priority when choosing where to go. If you’re looking for places to travel with family that have strong environmental credentials, Ocean Cay is the place for you.

The island was once an industrial waste site before a team of ecologists and scientists were brought together to transform it into an eco-sanctuary.

Today it is a licensed marine reserve featuring hundreds of protected coral reefs and more than 75,000 imported trees and shrubs. 

3. Several MSC Ships Will Be Stopping at Ocean Cay

If you’re wondering why MSC ships are scheduled to make a stop-off at Ocean Cay in 2020, we’re here to help.

As of this writing, the MSC MeravigliaMSC SeasideMSC Divina and MSC Armonia will all be making a scheduled stop at Ocean Cay during the remainder of this year.

If you’re planning on staying aboard one of these exquisite vessels, make sure to plan for your trip to Ocean Cay. 

4. Ocean Cay is an Ideal Family Vacation Spot

Although some might think that Ocean Cay is more of a tropical party paradise, it is also one of the best family travel destinations around, with something for everyone.

There is the family lagoon, which is perfect for exploring the waves and wildlife with the little ones. There are family-oriented entertainment shows across the island, as well as a dedicated Activity Pavilion designed just for the kids.

No matter what age, the evening lighthouse light show is something that simply cannot be missed.

5. You Should Pre-Plan Your Itinerary for Ocean Cay 

Finally, it is worth noting that Ocean Cay is very big and spread out, and there is an awful lot to do.

While Ocean Cay is one of the best places to travel with family, the sheer size of the island and the range of activities means you should plan everything before you arrive.

Consult a map of the island and plan a logical route to explore. Try and time your itinerary to coincide with the shows and activities you wish to partake in.

If you plan carefully, you can get the most out of your trip. 

Plan for the Perfect Family Vacation in 2020

Now that you have the inspiration and knowledge needed for a flawless family vacation at Ocean Cay, it’s time to start planning.

In our Travel section, you will find expert guides on how you can plan a vacation that is safe and fun for the whole family in 2020. 

 

7 Luggage Packing Tips That Will Save Your Trip

Are you all set for your next trip?

Whether its work or pleasure, getting away for a while is always something to look forward to. But properly packing your luggage is essential for a successful trip.

Make sure you’re ready for your vacation with these luggage packing tips.

1. Make a Packing List

You should start packing days (or even weeks) ahead of when you’re set to leave. Put together a complete list in writing, because you’ll likely have extra bits you need to buy. An itemized packing list ensures you never leave anything important behind.

2. Set Bag Limits

Buy a hard-sided suitcase, suited for your length of stay. For example, if it’s a long weekend or a week, use one that’s 22 inches tall so it counts as a carry-on. The structured shell is an automatic bag limit, and you can’t keep squeezing in those extras you don’t need.

3. Use Vacuum Bags

There are several times of travel compression bags on the market. Some need a vacuum, others take the air out of bulky items by rolling them up. They compress your items down and save space (or let you use a smaller suitcase). You can also use them to put your dirty clothes inside throughout the trip to keep everything separate.

You should note that they can leave thin fabrics wrinkled. And because they save so much space, it can be tempting to pack too much. This could leave you with an overweight bag (and extra charges if you don’t spot it early).

4. Pick a Travel Palette

To cut down the number of clothes you’re packing, pick a struck color palette. Have a base of neutrals (black, gray, beige) and then one accent color. The accent can be any color; red, plum, yellow, or even a pastel shade.

From a few basic items, you’ll be able to set out a week’s worth of outfits. Then pack a few pairs of shoes that will work with each of them.

5. Use All The Space

When you’re packing, make use of all the space inside the suitcase. Fold socks into each other and put them inside shoes and roll up small items like underwear and tops. Make your items as small as possible and fill up every inch possible.

6. Keep it Clean

To keep those mystery travel stains at bay, pack toiletries in a secure bag. For light clothing, fold them and pack them inside out to protect them. And those disposable shower caps in your last hotel? Keep them to protect your clothes from the bottoms of your shoes.

7. Store Your luggage

Nothing ruins a trip around a new city like dragging your heavy luggage everywhere you go. Even if you bring only the bare necessities, a large bag (or two) will get in the way of your enjoyment. Use a luggage storage app to find a secure place to store your luggage so you can enjoy your trip and give you arms a rest!

Luggage Packing Tips Made Easy 

The two key rules of packing are to limit yourself and to maximize the amount you can pack. Following these luggage packing tips will let you pack everything you need, without weighing you down.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out our other blog posts.