iLoveRVlife Summer RV Travel Season Has Begun

iLoveRVlife Summer RV Travel Season Has Begun


iLoveRVlife Summer RV Travel Season Has Begun

by Jerry Neal | Jul 18, 2024

Our iLoveRVlife summer RV travel season has begun. We took a little time off for business demands and some family time. It was good to take a break, and great to be back traveling to some of our favorite places. This is a short video with a few highlights of travel with the family. We were fortunate to have time with all the “J’s”. Along with Me (Jerry) and Joan, we were able to spend time with our son Joel, our daughter Julie and her husband Josh, and our grandkids, Jake, Jaymi Kate, and Jilli Beth.

We’ll have much more to share over the coming days and weeks. I hope you’ll enjoying this short video with what we J’s do in the background that rarely makes the final cut.

Helpful Links:

You’ll see that we grill often in our RV travels. With over 10 years of RV travel, we’ve tried and wore out many portable grills. The Monument G22 Portable Gas Grill has become our favorite. Quality construction. Stainless steel. Even heat and hot enough to sear a steak. And most important, we can purchase parts if needed as a very reasonable price. Below are links for the two high quality portable gas grills we use.

G22 | Stainless Tabletop Gas Grill (As seen in the video)

13742 | Stainless Tabletop Gas Grill

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

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Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

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Source: iLoveRVlife Summer RV Travel Season Has Begun

Essential Apps for Financial Side Hustles While Traveling

Essential Apps for Financial Side Hustles While Traveling

Being a young adult in 2024 can often seem overwhelming. We have seen inflation spiral out of control which has made it nearly impossible to make significant headway in terms of saving up for a house or paying off debt. Wages definitely aren’t increasing as rapidly as costs are, and our world seems more and more like it is designed to frustrate young people.

With all this stress, it’s no wonder young adults are looking for an escape and one way to do that is to travel the world, possibly in search of living a lifestyle where the cost of living is more bearable on a day-to-day basis.

There has been an online and social media-driven resurgence over the past decade for the desire to travel long-term. If you’re considering jumping on the bandwagon and wish to travel the world in search of happiness or to de-stress, let’s look at some financial side hustles you can do to earn a living and keep costs down during your travels.

Essential Apps for Financial Side Hustles While Traveling

Sell Your Digital Skills on Upwork

Despite the many difficulties that currently exist, one of the greatest improvements in today’s world is that you do not need to be physically present in a set location to earn an income. Long gone are the days where workers must check in to an office 5 days a week if they wish to get a paycheck.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed the world that value can be created and shared virtually from every corner of the world. If you have an in-demand skill, you can earn a living from any corner of the globe. Let’s say you’re an Excel Whiz. Register on freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer.com, or others to list your skills and certifications so you can quickly start earning an income online.

You might be surprised by how highly sought-after your skills are. You don’t need a specific skill set to earn a living from a single company. If your fluent in Spanish speaker for example, you can find a virtual job in customer service for a Spanish speaking company in the Americas.

Other ways to tap into the online freelancing world include working with businesses remotely to create brand logos, help build websites or apps, or create essential marketing materials. Many businesses also regularly seek virtual assistants where you may be able to perform various administrative tasks via a computer from wherever you’re traveling.

Online Forex Trading with Tradingview

 

Foreign exchange trading has created thousands (and possibly millions) of millionaires in the last few years. People from privileged backgrounds and those from the lower classes of “Third World” countries have nearly equal opportunities to make a meaningful future for themselves and their families.

Before you venture into the world of forex trading, you must conduct adequate research and know precisely what you’re getting into. Top-rated services like the TradingView app have helped many online retail forex traders achieve great things while making meaningful changes in their local communities.

Due diligence is the name of the game. The recent success of forex trading has attracted scammers who try to take advantage of the naivety and (sometimes desperation) of both new and seasoned forex traders. Online forex trading can do wonders in your life, but you must be willing to learn, unlearn, and relearn while using a reliable service such as the TradingView app.

Use Etsy to Create Physical Products

Arts and crafts are valued globally, and the clever things you can create in your apartment or hotel room can help you earn a living and finance your trips.

Let’s take the story of a young man from Oklahoma City who lived with locals in the Peruvian mountains for months. As a trained quilter, he learned how the locals make textiles and combined his newly acquired knowledge with his existing expertise to make unique products that were highly sought after.

Now, he’s backpacking through Southeast Asia, making products he can list and sell on websites like Etsy. He also has a website and advertises on social media. If you’re handy and know how to market to the right audiences, you can make a reasonable living by selling your creations. Once you start making money consistently, you’re halfway to achieving your financial and travel goals.

Content Creation Using YouTube, IG & TikTok

Travel content is a hit on most social media platforms. It’ll be hard to go a whole day without coming across someone backpacking through Europe, hiking across Africa, or traveling from North Africa to Japan by road and rail.

Travel content creation is a goldmine that many people have successfully tapped into, because you only need a phone with a decent camera and microphone and an internet connection to upload to your social media accounts.

A good storyline and a positive, likable personality will help you attract a large audience to your channels. If you’re feeling up to it as a traveler, you can add content creation to your other side hustles without much effort.

Naturally, if you plan to take content creation more seriously, you’ll need to invest more in gear over time such as a quality laptop and DSLR, and dedicate more time to editing and producing content to continue growing your following.

You can easily make money via a blog, whether it’s travel-related or some other niche, by monetizing your website with ads, sponsored posts, or affiliate marketing. If you happen to be really talented at travel photography, you may also find success selling your photos via your own website or on platforms like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock. There is also the option to write and sell eBooks or travel guides.  

Earth Hero for Local Tasks

If you’re interested in fully immersing yourself in the local culture, you should consider taking on odd jobs and offering value to your local and host communities. You can teach local kids English or other languages in return for room and board. Picking up jobs to supplement your income can also go a long way in helping you earn some much-needed local currency.

Alternatively, you can offer your skills to your host communities for free. It’s easy to travel across countries of the world without making much of an impact. Respectful travelers understand the importance of giving back to communities and that every effort they take to improve people’s lives in their host communities goes a long way to ensuring those communities improve or continue to thrive.

Depending on what country you’re traveling in, you can find apps like Earth Hero, Kindly, and Justserve that connect travelers to local jobs and volunteering opportunities. Some examples of local employment opportunities that are regularly available may include becoming a tour guide yourself, hospitality work such as bartending or serving in a local restaurant, or even doing a bit of busking on the street if you have a hidden talent you’ve been longing to showcase in public.

Passive Income Ideas

There are many ways to set up passive income streams before you plan to extensively travel, and this will ensure you have future income coming in without needing to do much work if any.

You can start investing money and earn dividends or interest from investments. If you do happen to own an apartment or home, you can choose to rent it out while you travel the world.

There are also lending platforms, where if you actually do already have a bit of savings you won’t be needing, you can then put that money to work earning you more. Lend money to individuals or small businesses through platforms like LendingClub or Prosper, earning interest on repayments.

If you’re artistic, you may be able to earn royalties from creative works like music, books, or art. You could also create and sell courses on platforms like Udemy or Teachable. We have already talked about passive income potential through affiliate marketing where you promote products or services and earn a commission on sales through a blog or social media.

There are also automated online stores like Amazon FBA where Amazon handles storage, packing, and shipping of items you sell. There really are endless opportunities to earn passive income in today’s digital world.

Lifelong Explorations as a Digital Nomad

As a constant traveler, combining multiple income streams will be in your best interest. For example, you can trade through the TradingView app while making TikTok content about your travel experiences.

By tapping into online freelancing, remote work, content creation, and local gigs, you can sustain your travels while exploring new cultures and landscapes. Whether you’re teaching English, selling handmade crafts, or blogging about your experiences, there’s a side hustle out there that fits your skills and interests.

Embrace the flexibility and creativity that comes with earning money on the go, and you’ll find that the world truly becomes very freeing. So, pack your bags, open your laptop, and start your journey towards a life of endless possibilities and unforgettable moments.

 

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

Source: Essential Apps for Financial Side Hustles While Traveling

NFL Stadiums Road Map: Best Football Stadiums to Visit on a US Road Trip

NFL Stadiums Road Map: Best Football Stadiums to Visit on a US Road Trip

Embarking on a road trip across the US is a quintessential American adventure, but for die-hard sports fans, it takes on an entirely new dimension when the itinerary includes some of the best NFL stadiums in the country.

From coast to coast, these iconic American football venues are not just places to watch a game; they are places where some of history’s greatest players have provided us with endless unforgettable moments in football.

Whether you’re simply a lover of the sport or a diehard fan of certain teams, this journey through the NFL’s most legendary stadiums promises an experience that is as exhilarating as a last-second Hail Mary touchdown.

NFL Stadiums Road Map: Best Football Stadiums to Visit on a US Road Trip

Empower Field at Mile High, Denver

Empower Field is more than just a venue for football games; it’s a place where the rich history of the Denver Broncos and the passion of their fans come together. It also regularly hosts big ticket concerts and was even chosen as the venue for the 2008 Democratic National Convention where Barack Obama was named the Democratic candidate

Empower Field replaced old Mile High Stadium which was demolished back in 2002. It did, however, manage to hold on to its predecessor’s title as a nickname due to Denver’s elevation famously being a mile above sea level.

The stadium’s elevation and its thin air can affect players, fans, and even the ball itself. Fans are often treated to longer field goal kicks and passes, which only adds to the dynamic to the game.

And then there’s the scenery. From the stadium seats, fans can enjoy breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains to the west and the Denver skyline to the east. It’s thanks to the open-bowl design of the stadium that ensures these impressive views are unobstructed.

The stadium is equipped with cutting-edge technology, including high-definition video boards and an advanced sound system. It also sports a vibrant tailgating scene, where “Broncos Country” fans gather before kickoff to socialize, grill up a pregame feast, and maybe down a few of the great craft beers Denver is famous for.

Empower Field has seen the Broncos enjoy a few especially impressive seasons which saw them go onto winning a Super Bowl since the stadium took over as the team’s new home.

Lumen Field, Seattle

If you thought Broncos fans were a little too loud for your taste, then you’d better pack some earplugs in your road trip luggage. Not once, but twice, have the Seahawks’ fans made it into the famous Guinness Book of Records for the loudest crowd roar. It peaked at 137.6 decibels which is comparable to a jet aircraft taking off 50 feet away from your face.

Lumen Field is specifically designed to enhance crowd noise. Its roof covers 70% of the seats, reflecting and amplifying the sound, which has allowed it to become one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL, actually registering on seismographs during big games, and giving its fans the nickname “The 12th Man

The stadium features a sleek, modern design with a distinctive roof supported by trusses that give it a unique look. The north end of the stadium opens up to provide stunning views of downtown Seattle and Mount Rainier.

Also unique is the stadium’s various interactive areas for fans, such as the Toyota Fan Deck and the Delta Sky360° Club, offering premium experiences with excellent views and amenities. They also offer guided tours for those visiting on non-game days, which include behind-the-scenes access to locker rooms, the field, and exclusive club areas.

The stadium’s central location means you’re just a short walk away from some of Seattle’s top attractions, such as Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, and the waterfront. And no need to settle for mere hot dogs in the seats, as you can sample delicious Dungeness crab sandwiches at games.

Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas

One of the newest NFL stadiums on our list, Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas is one of the most modern and technologically advanced stadiums in the world. Vegas is no stranger to going all out with some impressive architecture; just look at the many luxury hotels along the Vegas Strip. Allegiant Stadium follows the city’s expensive taste theme, costing $1.9 billion to build which makes it one of the most expensive stadiums ever built.

Allegiant Stadium boasts a sleek, futuristic design with a domed roof and a distinctive black exterior that reflects the Raiders’ iconic team colors. The Raiders have a storied history in the NFL, and their recent relocation to Las Vegas from California has only heightened their appeal.

A spotlight was put on the stadium when it recently hosted Super Bowl LVIII in 2024. Fans were treated to a massive 360-degree video board with high-definition replays, statistics, and entertainment. The stadium boasts impressive Wi-Fi capabilities which means you’ll never miss placing a sporting bet on your smartphone.

It’s almost obligatory in Vegas, the country’s gambling capital, that you place bets while attending a game. Whether you choose to bet on the Raiders is your own choice, but maybe take a look at the NFL standings to see if your money wouldn’t be put to better use backing the opposition as opposed to simply listening to the fervent local fans.

Other notable features of the stadium include a retractable natural grass field and a giant 93-foot-tall memorial torch said to be the world’s largest 3D-printed object. It honors of Al Davis, the legendary owner of the Raiders.

Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara

This state-of-the-art facility serves as the home of the San Francisco 49ers. It offers up a sleek, modern design that incorporates open concourses, extensive use of glass, and a distinct red and gold color scheme that reflects the 49ers’ famous team colors.

This stadium also really knows how to go green, boasting an actual “Green Roof” located on top of the suite tower with its 27,000-square-foot garden. Its commitment to environmental sustainability goes a step further by being the NFL’s first stadium to receive LEED Gold certification.

Levi’s Stadium features over 2,000 high-definition video displays throughout the venue, including two massive video boards at each end zone, ensuring you won’t miss any of the action.

Be sure to pay a visit to the 49ers Museum housed within the stadium, as it’s loaded with interactive exhibits, memorabilia, and a Hall of Fame. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Levi’s Stadium is easily accessible and offers plenty of attractions nearby

Levi’s Stadium hosted Super Bowl 50 in 2016 and is actually located near the location of the first ever professional football game played in California, held back in 1946.

SoFi Stadium, Inglewood

Thank You (21 Millions+) views, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Staying in California on our NFL stadium road trip, we now head south to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood to find a stadium that’s home to not one, but two NFL teams. SoFi’s home to both the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers.

SoFi Stadium features a translucent ETFE canopy roof that covers the entire structure, including the adjacent open-air plaza and performance venue. Fans are also graced with the presence of Oculus, the world’s largest 4K HDR video board.

The stadium is easily accessible from major highways and is located just a few miles from LAX Airport, making it convenient if you must opt for a visit by plane instead of road trip.

Despite its very young age, the stadium has already hosted a Super Bowl and will be the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the upcoming 2028 Summer Olympics which will be held in Los Angeles.

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

And now onto a stadium that’s after my own heart since I am a diehard fan of the New England Patriots. How can you not love a football team which is tied for most Super Bowl victories of any team and had arguably one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.   

Gillette Stadium features an open-air design with a seating capacity over 65,000. It was comprehensively renovated with a $225 million project that included installing the largest video board in the country which is a jaw-dropping 22,000 square feet in surface area.

A 218-foot, 10-story lighthouse was also added to the stadium, a symbol of New England’s maritime history and offering a 360-degree view of the stadium below. Adjacent to Gillette Stadium is Patriot Place, a massive shopping, dining, and entertainment complex. It features a range of restaurants, shops, a movie theater, and the Patriots Hall of Fame which honors the legacy of one of the NFL’s most successful franchises.

Although Gillette Stadium can say it once hosted Taylor Swift singing to her Swifties, it surprisingly has never hosted a Super Bowl. I personally think this needs to change, despite the fact it would likely make for a frigid championship game.

Soldier Field, Chicago

There’s been many famous battles fought in the Chicago Bears’ iconic home stadium in the 100 years that they’ve played there, and what better time to pay the stadium a visit than in its centenary year in 2024?

Soldier Field is one of the most historic and iconic sports venues in the US. Despite being the smallest in the NFL, it’s also the oldest and held with a deep respect by football fans nationwide. But be sure to catch the Bears here before they end up moving to a new stadium that’s due to be built near Arlington Park racetrack.

As its name suggests, Soldier Field was originally built as a memorial to American soldiers who died in wars, which is reflected in its name and architectural elements like the colonnades. Since then, the stadium has seen major renovations which modernized the interior but still thankfully preserves the iconic neoclassical columns.

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Soldier Field offers stunning views of the lake and the Chicago skyline. Some of the best seats in the house include the luxury suites, the United Club, and the Cadillac Club.

Not only has the stadium seen a hundred years of NFL games, but it’s also hosted legendary heavyweight boxing matches and heard words spoken by Martin Luther King Jr. who made speeches here.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

 

 

 

 

 

Source: NFL Stadiums Road Map: Best Football Stadiums to Visit on a US Road Trip

Establishing Your Local Presence While Living a Nomadic Entrepreneur Lifestyle

Establishing Your Local Presence While Living a Nomadic Entrepreneur Lifestyle

In today’s interconnected world, the traditional office is becoming a relic of the past, replaced by a dynamic, mobile workforce of digital nomads that thrives on flexibility and innovation. For self-employed business travelers, living a nomadic lifestyle offers unparalleled freedom and the opportunity to explore international markets, allowing them to create successful enterprises that can run without needing to be tied down to a single location.

This freedom sadly comes with its own set of challenges, particularly when it comes to establishing a local presence in the communities you temporarily call home. Building a robust local presence is essential for fostering trust, creating lasting business relationships, and tapping into new opportunities.

Let’s explore effective strategies that nomadic entrepreneurs can use to integrate themselves into local markets, cultivate a loyal customer base, and create a recognizable brand, no matter where they are in the world.

Establishing Your Local Presence While Living a Nomadic Entrepreneur Lifestyle

Take Advantage of Technology 

Digital Mailing Services 

One of the primary concerns for nomadic business owners is securing an efficient mailing address, making digital mailing services such as VirtualPostMail and Earth Class Mail an invaluable asset in terms of meeting business correspondence requirements from anywhere in the world.

Companies like these provide you with physical addresses for all business correspondence while simultaneously scanning and emailing the contents allowing you to handle essential administrative tasks remotely.

VoIP and Virtual Phone Numbers

Communication is of utmost importance when running an online business, and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology has been an indispensable asset to digital nomads. Virtual phone number services enable users to make and receive calls via the internet, drastically decreasing the need for traditional telephone lines.

Virtual numbers enhance credibility by giving your business local area codes and phone numbers regardless of its true physical location. VoIP not only facilitates easy client and customer contact but also builds trust and reliability between you and them. Many providers provide additional features like voicemail, call forwarding and CRM system integration so that no important call or message goes missed.

By harnessing these technologies, you can maintain seamless communications with clients, partners, and a team if you have one no matter where your adventures take you.

Establish and Maintain an Online Presence

Local SEO

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is essential to making sure your business can appear in search results for customers in specific geographical areas, even if it means being physically absent.

Begin by claiming your business on Google My Business and other local directories like Yelp and Bing Places. Doing this not only increases its online visibility but also allows customers to leave reviews that could have an enormous impact on your local search rankings.

Develop location-specific content on your website using keywords your target audience is likely to search for, structured data markup can assist search engines in understanding more fully your location and services offered, while local SEO will allow more targeted traffic to your website, connect with an extended audience in various locations, and help strengthen local presence all while taking advantage of flexible lifestyle.

Online Advertising

Photo Credit: Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Pix4free

Online advertising can help digital nomads attract potential clients and customers, so this strategy should not be discounted as essential to success. Targeted advertising solutions offered by platforms like Google Ads and social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn provide targeted solutions that allow advertisers to target specific demographics or markets with ease.

Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns offer a cost-effective method of driving traffic to your website or landing pages, only costing when someone clicks your ad. Retargeted ads provide another great opportunity to connect with those who have shown an interest in your services but didn’t convert, increasing the odds that these visitors become faithful clients.

To maximize the effectiveness of your online ads, regularly monitor their performance, adjust keyword usage and experiment with various ad copy and visuals to refine campaigns for maximum return on investment (ROI). By strategically using online advertising you can boost brand recognition while drawing in new prospects regardless of physical location.

Engage with Local Communities

Networking Events

Attending networking events can significantly bolster your presence and connections within local communities. Events of all kinds, industry conferences, business mixers or casual meet-ups, provide invaluable opportunities to connect with potential clients, collaborators and like-minded professionals.

Engaging in meaningful dialogue and exchanging business cards at networking events can open the doors to invaluable partnerships and referrals. Plus, networking events often feature speakers who specialize in their fields to share insights and knowledge that can keep you current with industry trends.

By actively participating at such gatherings, you can develop an extensive professional network, enhance your reputation, and open doors to business opportunities that align with your nomadic lifestyle.

Co-Working Spaces

Finding an excellent co-working space can be transformative for remote professionals and digital nomads, who rely on remote working arrangements for productivity and motivation. Co-working spaces go beyond providing desks and Wi-Fi, they create a sense of community while offering professional environments which boost both.

Co-working spaces often host events, workshops, and networking opportunities that can be invaluable in building connections and expanding your professional network. Additionally, co-working spaces often offer amenities such as conference rooms, tech support and wellness programs to make them an all-in-one solution for your work needs.

By joining a co-working space, you gain access to a supportive community as well as numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Cultural Awareness and Adaptability

Understanding Local Customs and Traditions

Breaking into a new market takes more than an excellent product or service. Understanding and respecting local customs, traditions, and business etiquette can go a long way towards endearing yourself to locals.

Take the time to research each new location where you set up shop before adapting your practices accordingly. Not only will this earn respect, but it will create an authentic local presence which increases effectiveness as well.

Language Skills

 

Mastery of local languages can be invaluable when operating in new markets. While fluency may not always be practical, possessing basic knowledge of key phrases and business terminology can significantly enhance communication while showing respect for local cultures.

Spending time learning a foreign language can help build rapport between clients, vendors, and team members, creating stronger personal and professional relationships in turn. Additionally, many regions provide language courses and resources specifically tailored for business professionals, making acquiring necessary language skills simpler.

A multilingual approach also opens more opportunities for customer engagement, marketing strategies and overall business expansion without language being an impediment to success.

Establishing a local presence for your business while living a nomadic lifestyle can be frustrating but know that it’s very much achievable using the appropriate strategies.

By harnessing technology, focusing on local SEO, engaging with communities locally and understanding cultural nuances, you can combine the best of both worlds: a flourishing business with freedom to roam. Remember, it’s all about finding balance. Build your local presence while exploring the globe and watch your business flourish like never before.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

Source: Establishing Your Local Presence While Living a Nomadic Entrepreneur Lifestyle

How Digital Nomads Can Manage Finances on the Road

How Digital Nomads Can Manage Finances on the Road

A digital nomad lifestyle is one which offers unparalleled freedom, allowing you to work remote and enjoy a flexible schedule. However, it does require you to be quite self-reliant, especially when it comes to managing your finances.

Financial stability is the cornerstone of sustaining a digital nomad existence, as it allows you to focus on your work and travels without the constant worry of running out of funds. Staying on top of finances is a silent challenge for the wandering professional who often needs to juggle different currencies, research potential cost-of-living differences, and try to manage finances across varying economies.

From setting budgets to understanding exchange rates and utilizing digital banking tools, let my digital nomad financial management guide equip you with the knowledge to make informed financial decisions that will help support your traveling lifestyle.

How Digital Nomads Can Manage Finances on the Road

Harnessing Budget Tracking Apps

Taming the financial beast while living a nomadic lifestyle starts with having a solid grip on your budget. Thankfully, there are budget tracking apps which are particularly useful for digital nomads due to their features that cater to the unique financial needs of those constantly on the move.

These very useful budget tracking apps act as a digital nomad’s sidekick for real-time monitoring of expenses and are pivotal in scripting your financial story. They will alert you of overspending and helping you adjust your financial course when necessary.

You can arm yourself with an app that syncs transactions across different devices and currencies, offering a dashboard view of your economic health. It isn’t just about avoiding unpleasant surprises; rather it’s about fostering sustainable travel practices through vigilant financial stewardship.

These apps can help keep the focus on saving and reducing debt, which can be particularly helpful for digital nomads who need to manage irregular income. Combine all your financial accounts in one place for a comprehensive view of your finances, automatically have expenses categorized, track your spending habits, and get bill reminders.

Proof of Income Fast Lane with FormPros

Blogging Sydney Blog Computer Laptop

Securing accommodations or satisfying visa requirements often hinges on proving your financial viability. As a digital nomad, traditional pay slips or paycheck stubs might be as elusive as a quiet spot at a popular cafe.

This is where something like FormPros can become an essential tool in your financial management arsenal, offering swift proof of the income you generate. With just a few clicks, FormPros enables the creation of professional check stubs that can streamline the process whenever such income proof is needed while traveling.  

Whether you’re negotiating a lease for a month-long stay or navigating through visa protocols, having accessible proof of income ensures you’re prepared to set up shop wherever your travels take you.

Keep in mind that some countries offer specific visas for digital nomads or require proof of steady income to be eligible for long-term visas. Being able to show proof of income will show you can support yourself without having to seek local employment which may be prohibited under your specific visa restrictions.

Other instances where you may need to prove income is when setting up a local bank account, as it may be required to comply with the bank’s regulations and anti-money laundering laws.

Proof of income may be a factor as well with things like purchasing international health insurance, and hospitals in some countries might require proof of income or personal funds that show your ability to pay for medical treatment should you require it, especially if you don’t have travel insurance.

Online Banking Savvy for the Roaming Entrepreneur

Online banking offers the flexibility and accessibility needed to manage finances from anywhere in the world. Fluidity in finances is a pillar of the digital nomad’s lifestyle, and online banking stands as the cornerstone of this principle. Having immediate access to funds regardless of time zones or geography is crucial when you’re always on the move.

Opt for a bank that speaks ‘nomad’ fluently, offering robust security features, minimal fees on foreign transactions, and stellar 24/7 customer service. Such online banking solutions are not merely convenient; they’re your lifeline to economic comfort across continents.

Online banking and the use of handy mobile apps allows you to manage finances on the go, including checking balances, transferring money, and paying bills. You may even be able to hold and manage multiple currencies, avoiding frequent conversion fees and taking advantage of favorable exchange rates.

Note that online banks also often come with the added benefit of reduced ATM fees, lower transfer fees, and possibly no monthly account maintenance fees. Online banking also makes it easy to integrate your bank accounts with PayPal, TransferWise, and other digital payment services.

Crafting an Emergency Fund Without Borders

 

The unexpected is a given for those who make the world their office. An emergency fund is your buffer against the unpredictable, a sort of financial buoy that keeps you afloat during storms of misfortune.

Begin by earmarking a portion of your income specifically for this safety net. This isn’t about hoarding wealth but about smartly allocating resources to uphold your freedom and mobile lifestyle. A well-fed emergency fund can turn potential calamities into mere inconveniences, from replacing stolen gear to booking last-minute flights home. 

An emergency fund can be used to navigate flight cancellations, medical emergencies, or unexpected accommodation costs that can arise without warning. An emergency fund becomes even more critical if you choose to forego comprehensive travel insurance or somehow aren’t eligible for comprehensive insurance based on personal factors or the destinations you are travelling to.

Laptops, phones, and other essential tech and gear are essential to a digital nomad, so having the necessary funds to replace them immediately is crucial should they get damaged, lost, or stolen while traveling.

Having a healthy savings also allows freelancers or remote workers who may regularly experience periods with lower-than-expected income, delayed payments, or lost clients the ability to weather these financial droughts where money may not be coming in.

Smart Currency Exchange Practices

Mastering the art of currency exchange is akin to scoring the best prices on flights and hotels, as both can significantly help save money while traveling. As a digital nomad, your life’s rhythm is often set by the local economy, making it paramount to get the most out of every transaction.

Invest time in understanding when and where to convert your money to take advantage of favorable rates. Use apps designed for travelers to track fluctuations in real-time. By being strategic and avoiding currency conversion at hotels or airport kiosks with inflated rates, you can stretch your budget further, ensuring that each dollar is as impactful as the experiences you’re chasing after.

When using your credit cards abroad, always opt to pay in the local currency rather than your home currency. DCC or Dynamic Currency Conversion often comes with hidden fees and poor exchange rates.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

 

Source: How Digital Nomads Can Manage Finances on the Road

New Pup in your RV | Advanced RV | Collapsible RV Steps and more on RVing Today TV 2024-13

New Pup in your RV | Advanced RV | Collapsible RV Steps and more on RVing Today TV 2024-13

SHOW 2024-13

FEATURED SEGMENTS

On this week’s show we introduce you to Scott and Vanessa Russell, their daughter Cora, and Oliver, a full-time RVing family known as The Adventure Detour. This week, we learned what happens when you decide to include a new puppy into your RV lifestyle. MORE

I’m Mike with Advanced RV, we’ve been 12 years in business now. Recently, I read a book called “Subtract,” and it resonated because that’s the way we have approached the Class B motorhome innovation process. MORE

Thanks to TorkLift, there is a much better solution for getting in and out of a camper these days. Scissor type entry steps for campers and other RVs have been around for quite a few years, but the new GlowStep from TorkLift really steps that up! MORE

Today’s quick stop is a Wisconsin gem. Don’t let the name put you off. The Broughton Marsh Park and Campground is a darned nice place to stay in your RV. Its location adjacent to 13,000 acres Sheboygan Lake and Marsh Wildlife Area MORE

Copyright © 2024 RVing Today

Source: New Pup in your RV | Advanced RV | Collapsible RV Steps and more on RVing Today TV 2024-13

Mark Polk of RV Education 101 Offers RV Tire Tips on Show Segment 2024-14

Mark Polk of RV Education 101 Offers RV Tire Tips on Show Segment 2024-14

Hi I’m Mark Polk of RV Education 101. Today, we’re gonna discuss one of the most important and possibly the most neglected components on your RV: your RV tires. The tires and the air that’s in the tires are what supports the entire load when you’re traveling. That’s why it’s important you inspect the tires and check the tire pressure before you leave on a trip. Here’s how you do it. Before we dig into all the tire inspection details, I want to offer some useful tips about RV tires and tire pressure.

Tip number one: tires lose air pressure when they sit in storage. Tires can lose up to 2 pounds of air pressure per month. If you don’t check your tires for three or four months, they could be seriously underinflated. Tip number two: you only check tire pressure when the tires are cold before traveling more than one mile. Hot air expands and gives you a false reading. If the tires are already hot from traveling, wait several hours before checking and adjusting the inflation pressure.

Tip number three: tires are designed and built to be used. The rubber used in tires ages faster when they are not used, so more use results in longer tire life. When tires are manufactured, compounds are added to help protect the rubber from weather cracking and sun damage, but the tire needs to be rolling down the road, heating up and flexing for these compounds to work their way to the surface of the tire and protect the rubber from damage. Okay, let’s start by talking about tire inflation pressure. This is a confusing topic, so my goal is to keep it as simple as possible. Let’s talk tire pressure. What air pressure do I run in trailer tires? The first thing you need to understand is all tires have load ratings, but a load rating for a tire is only accurate if the tire is properly inflated. 

It’s easier if you have a travel trailer because Goodyear says, “Unless you are trying to resolve poor ride quality problems with an RV trailer, it is recommended that the trailer tires be inflated to the pressure indicated on the sidewall of the tire. Trailer tires experience significant lateral, side-to-side loads due to vehicle sway from  uneven roads, turning, or passing vehicles. Using the inflation pressure engraved on the sidewall will provide optimum load-carrying capacity and minimize heat buildup.” With that said, you can look right here to locate the inflation pressure on the tire sidewall and simply inflate all the trailer tires to that pressure. 

Tire manufacturers also have what is referred to as load and inflation tables for the tires they manufacture. A more technical method for determining proper inflation pressure is to have the RV weighed, preferably by individual wheel position, and use the load and inflation table to determine the correct inflation pressure for the load. For example, let’s say the front axle weighs 4,000 pounds. If you divide that by two, each tire would need to be capable of supporting 2,000 pounds. Go to the tire manufacturer load and inflation tables, which for these tires is  the Maxxis ST tire load and inflation table. In this example, if I inflate the tires to 45 psi  they can support 2,020 pounds each. 

So there you have it, a couple of different ways to inflate the tires and handle the load that’s on the tires. Remember, always check the inflation pressure when the tires are cold for accurate readings. Something else that’s extremely important is to use a quality tire pressure gauge for accurate air pressure readings. You can invest in a $15 to $20 gauge like this one that works well, or you can purchase a portable air compressor with a quality inflation gauge. 

Now let’s talk about inspecting your tires. Visual inspection of tires. I mentioned earlier, when tires are manufactured, compounds are added to help protect the rubber from weather cracking and sun damage, but the tire needs to be rolling down the road, heating up and flexing for these compounds to work their way to the surface of the tire= and protect the rubber from damage. When tires sit in storage, they start to dry out, causing the tire to age faster. Weather checking or cracking happens when tires are exposed to heat, sunlight, and non-use. This is especially true of the tire sidewall. Inspect your tires or any weather checking or cracks in the sidewalls before each trip. If you notice damage to the tires and you are not sure what to do, have the tires inspected by a tire professional. The next thing you want to do is inspect the tires for signs of uneven wear patterns. On an automobile, wear patterns on both front tires can be an early indication of alignment problems. If only one tire shows signs of wear faster than the other, it might be a signal of something other than normal tire wear. Have these conditions inspected by a tire professional. Do not operate the RV with tires that show any signs of damage. Check the tread depth. Tires have what is referred to as tread wear indicators molded into the tread of the tire. When the tread gets down to the tread wear indicator bar right here, it’s time to start shopping for new tires. To check tread depth, you can use a penny or a tire tread depth gauge. Place a penny into the groove of the tire with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread depth is below an acceptable margin, and the tires should be replaced. Inspect the tires for other damage like foreign objects, cuts, or bulging. Have any damaged areas inspected immediately. 

Well, that’s a good start to your RV tire education. Remember, the only thing between the trailer weight and the road is the tires and the air that’s in the tires, so tires are at the top of your list of things to check
prior to an RV trip. For more information on using and maintaining your RV, visit RVonlinetraining.com. Thanks for watching, and happy camping 

Source: Mark Polk of RV Education 101 Offers RV Tire Tips on Show Segment 2024-14

Vintage Trailers | RV Tire Tips | CA Campground Review | Sausage Recipe on RVing Today TV 2024-14

Vintage Trailers | RV Tire Tips | CA Campground Review | Sausage Recipe on RVing Today TV 2024-14

SHOW 2024-14

FEATURED SEGMENTS

Some years ago, we paid a visit to Flyte Camp, a company in Bend, Oregon, that specializes in repair and restorations of vintage trailers.  We caught up with Justin Scribner at the Rally on the River, in Brownsville, Oregon.
MORE

We catch up with Jeff Johnston as he heads to Nevada City, California and visits the Inn Town Campground. Located in Downtown Nevada City, Northern California, with 70 different campsites onsite, on 15 acres. MORE

While camping, Jeff whips up his famous bean sausage and potato dish. This wouldn’t be complete without his famious  campfire beer-batter bread.
MORE

Mark Polk: Today,
we’re gonna discuss one of the most important
and possibly the most neglected components on your RV: your RV tires.
The tires and the air that’s in the tires are what supports the entire
load when you’re traveling.
MORE

Copyright © 2024 RVing Today

Source: Vintage Trailers | RV Tire Tips | CA Campground Review | Sausage Recipe on RVing Today TV 2024-14

Tranquility Lakes: A Luxurious New RV Resort in Cape Coral, Florida

Tranquility Lakes: A Luxurious New RV Resort in Cape Coral, Florida

Special Monthly offers for Good Sam Members!

Cape Coral, Florida, is now home to the new Tranquility Lakes RV Resort, a luxurious destination for RV enthusiasts. This 200-acre development, set on two picturesque lakes, features 500 full hookup RV sites, with more than 180 sites offering stunning water views.

Each RV site is designed with convenience and comfort in mind, featuring concrete pads equipped with 50-amp Marine Grade pedestals and individual concrete picnic areas. The resort’s comprehensive amenities ensure a memorable and enjoyable stay for all guests.

aerial view of campground showing pickleball cours

Photo: Encore Tranquility Lakes

At the heart of Tranquility Lakes is a state-of-the-art, 10,000-square-foot clubhouse. This impressive facility includes a fitness center with lake views, a billiards room, a card room, a kitchen, and over 2,000 square feet of covered outdoor space for dining and relaxation. Guests can also enjoy a spacious gathering area that overlooks the resort’s inviting pool.

Beyond the clubhouse, Tranquility Lakes in Cape Coral offers a variety of recreational activities. Guests can take a dip in the swimming pool, swim laps in the lap pool, or unwind in the hot tub. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate the bocce ball courts and the 10 pickleball courts, catering to one of the fastest-growing sports in the country.

Rectangular pools with tiki hut in background.

Photo: Encore Tranquility Lakes

For guests traveling with pets, the Florida resort features a dedicated dog park, ensuring that four-legged family members are well taken care of.

As a special offer for Good Sam members, Tranquility Lakes in Cape Coral is offering discounts on one-month, two-month, and three-month stays! This exclusive discount makes it even more enticing to experience the luxury and comfort of this premier RV resort.

  • $150 Off One Month, Promo Code TLGS150
  • $300 Off Two Months, Promo Code TLGS300
  • $500 Off Three Months, Promo Code TLGS500

Exercise equipment in a roomy space with exercise balls.

Photo: Encore Tranquility Lakes

Tranquility Lakes RV Resort combines luxury, comfort, and a wealth of activities to create a premier destination for RV travelers in Cape Coral. Whether you’re looking to relax by the lake, stay active with recreational sports, or simply enjoy the high-end amenities, Tranquility Lakes has something for everyone.

Call or Click today to book!

877-797-4033

Disclaimer: Ask how you can camp all year long with our Thousand Trails Camping Pass!

Our Thousand Trails Camping Pass is offered by MHC Thousand Trails Limited Partnership, Two North Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606.  This document has been filed with the Department of Licensing, State of Washington as required by Washington Law. Value, quality, or conditions stated, and performance on promises are the responsibility of the operator, not the Department. The filing does not mean the Department has approved the merits or qualifications of any registration, advertising, or any gift or item of value as part of any promotional plan.
One Month Stay: Use Promo Code TLGS150. $150 off valid on all RV Sites at Tranquility Lakes. Offer valid on new reservations only. Reservation of 28 nights minimum and 31 nights maximum required. Book by September 20, 2024. Stay must be completed by March 31, 2025.
Two Month Stay: Use Promo Code TLGS300. $300 off valid on all RV Sites at Tranquility Lakes. Offer valid on new reservations only. Reservation of 59 nights minimum and 62 nights maximum required. Book by September 20, 2024. Stay must be completed by March 31, 2025.
Three Month Stay: Use Promo Code TLGS500. $500 off valid on all RV Sites at Tranquility Lakes.  Offer valid on new reservations only. Reservation of 90 nights minimum and 92 nights maximum required. Book by September 20, 2024. Stay must be completed by March 31, 2025.
Offers valid for Good Sam Members only, and proof of membership is required at check-in. Subject to availability. Reservations required. Rates do not include taxes and fees. Electric not included for stays of 30 days or longer. Amenities vary by resort. Employees of MHC Property Management, L.P. and its affiliates are excluded from this promotion. Not available during holidays or special events. Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotions. Please contact the property manager for details.

Source: Tranquility Lakes: A Luxurious New RV Resort in Cape Coral, Florida

Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in the Great Smoky Mountains: Adventure for All Ages

Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in the Great Smoky Mountains: Adventure for All Ages

Nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park draws millions of visitors each year, many of which are travelling families. Hikers of all ages and skill levels come to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with nature through countless hikes that allow you to take in pristine natural landscapes that are home to an abundance of wildlife.

Offering over 800 miles of well-maintained trails, the park offers many family-friendly trail options. Whether you’re introducing your young child to their first ever national park hike or simply encouraging your teens to reduce their screentime and embrace outdoor exploration, the Smoky Mountains promise memorable family adventures for everyone.

Here are some of our top recommendations for family-friendly hiking trails to get you started with planning your next outdoor adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in the Great Smoky Mountains: Adventure for All Ages

Laurel Falls Trail: A Stunning Waterfall and Paved Path

Laurel Falls Trail offers a perfect introduction to the Great Smoky Mountains NP. This round-trip trail is both paved and under 3 miles in length, making it short enough for beginner hikers or families with young children.

The trail is named for the colorful laurel shrubs that bloom each spring and for the impressive 80-foot double-tiered waterfall you’ll encounter along the trail. There’s also the chance to spot deer and black bears along the trail.

As an added bonus, Laurel Falls Trail is open year-round unlike many other trails in the park, allowing you to see the natural scenery change throughout the four seasons.

Grotto Falls Trail: Walking Behind a Waterfall Near Smoky Mountain Cabins

This is another short trail offering a lovely waterfall is the Grotto Falls Trail, except this trail provides a unique opportunity to walk behind the falls which the trail Is named after. This trail is actually a segment of the longer Trillium Gap Trail which was once used by early loggers, allowing you the ability to extend shorter hikes on Grotto Falls Trail to continue your hiking along the Trillium Gap Trail which will lead you to one of the park’s highest points which is the summit of Mount LeConte.

Like our previously mentioned trail, this round-trip hike comes in under 3 miles as well, making it a distance for families with children.  The well-marked and maintained trail is also conveniently located near Gatlinburg and the region’s lovely Smoky Mountain cabins that provide the perfect base for families to relax each night before venturing out each day to explore trails like the Grotto Fall hike along with the many of the park’s most popular natural landmarks.

Clingmans Dome Observation Tower: Views from the Highest Peak

Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offers a short, yet steep hike to its observation tower. The round-trip paved trail may be just over a mile in length, but it can be a bit more challenging for little ones due to the steep incline. However, the reward is 360-degree views, where on clear days, you can see up to 100 miles across seven states from the observation tower.

Bring layers, as temperatures can be much cooler at this elevation since you’ll be at over 6,600 feet. Despite the climb, it’s an excellent trail for families wanting to experience the Smokies from a breathtaking vantage point.

The observation tower offers an accessible spiraling ramp as opposed to stairs which makes it convenient for those in wheelchairs, families with strollers, or people who have difficulty managing a lot of stairs.

Cades Cove Loop and Abrams Falls Trail: A Blend of Scenery and History

Cades Cove is a historic valley known for its scenic beauty and wildlife. The 11-mile loop road allows families to explore old churches and barns, old log cabins, and even a working grist mill. Families may want to choose to visit the Cades Cove Loop during the summer months where on certain days of the week the road is closed to vehicles which makes hiking or biking along the loop safer.

For a more adventurous hike suitable for older children, head to Abrams Falls Trail. This 5-mile round-trip trail leads to a picturesque waterfall cascading into a deep pool. While the hike requires some stamina, older kids will love the chance to spot deer, coyotes, or wild turkeys along the trail.

The waterfall provides a refreshing reward after the hike, though swimming is discouraged due to strong currents. Cades Cove combines natural beauty and historical exploration in one family-friendly package.

Elkmont Nature Trail: An Educational and Scenic Loop

Elkmont Nature Trail is a hidden gem offering a short, educational hike suitable for all ages. This one-mile loop trail takes families through the Elkmont Historic District, a former logging and vacation community.

Interpretive signs along the way explain the history of the area and its rich biodiversity. The gentle path meanders through the forest and past remains of old cabins and structures, giving families a glimpse into the past.

Kids will love learning about the history of Elkmont and the natural wonders surrounding them. The trail’s manageable length makes it ideal for young hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Kephart Prong Trail: Exploring the Forest with Four Stream Crossings

Kephart Prong Trail offers families a unique combination of history, nature, and gentle adventure. You’ll navigate your way through forests and along several log bridges that span sparkling streams. The trail is 4 miles round trip and follows the remnants of an old Civilian Conservation Corps camp.

Along the way, families can discover relics of the past, like stone chimneys and fish hatchery foundations. The gradual incline and stream crossings make it an exciting yet manageable adventure for kids. Encourage children to look for salamanders and wildflowers along the trail, as the forest is teeming with biodiversity.

Andrews Bald Trail: A Moderate Hike to a Scenic Meadow

For families seeking a slightly longer hike with rewarding views, Andrews Bald Trail is a fantastic option. This 3.6-mile round-trip trail begins at the Clingmans Dome parking area and leads to a picturesque meadow known as Andrews Bald.

The meadow provides stunning panoramic views and a perfect spot for a family picnic. While the trail includes some rocky and root-filled sections, older children will find it engaging and not too difficult. The scenic meadow is especially beautiful in spring and summer when wildflowers are in bloom. It’s a moderate hike that combines the beauty of the forest with sweeping vistas.

Alum Cave Trail to Arch Rock: Unique Geological Formations

Alum Cave Trail to Arch Rock is a 2.3-mile round-trip hike showcasing some of the Smokies’ most intriguing geological features. The trail leads through the forest and past Inspiration Point, providing stunning views of the mountains.

Hiking along Alum Cave Trail will literally have you walking in the footsteps of early Cherokee Indians and early Civil War Era American settlers who came to the area to mine alum, hence the name of the trail.

Arch Rock, a large natural arch, is a unique highlight where families can climb through using stone steps and a handrail. Beyond Arch Rock, the trail continues to Alum Cave Bluff, a massive overhang offering a cool respite.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park stands out as a premier hiking destination, offering an unparalleled blend of natural beauty, historical richness, and wide variety of trails that are suitable for traveling families.

Explore trials that pass through scenic valleys, along majestic peaks, venture deep into lush woodlands, and will have you encountering impressive waterfalls.

Whether your family is seeking a gentle park stroll or a more involved trek that leads to a breathtaking viewpoint, the Smokies promise memorable moments for adventurers of all ages, solidifying its reputation as a must-visit destination for nature loving families.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

 

Source: Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in the Great Smoky Mountains: Adventure for All Ages

How to Prepare for a Multi-Day Hiking Trip: Expert Tips

How to Prepare for a Multi-Day Hiking Trip: Expert Tips

Planning a multi-day hiking trip is more than just a simple walk in a city park. Long-distance trekking offers the opportunity for true adventure, an undertaking that requires physical, mental, and emotional strength.

Immersive experiences in nature, such as multi-day treks, allow you to disconnect from the digital world and often provides a unique opportunity for self-reflection and mental restoration.

From selecting the right gear and researching trails to ensuring proper nutrition and physical readiness, every bit of preparation is key when planning an epic trek. If you’re ready to turn your true hiking dream into reality and want to ensure you’ll savour every step instead of dreading the next one, check out this comprehensive guide on how to prepare for an unforgettable multi-day trek.

How to Prepare for a Multi-Day Hiking Trip: Expert Tips

Packing Essentials

Knowing what to pack for your multi-day adventure often takes a bit of trial and error, since different locations will often require different gear or different amounts of gear. Properly packing everything you’ll require to ensure you won’t be without essential items that are crucial to your safety, comfort, and potentially survival is equally as important as knowing what not to pack to reduce the amount of nonessential dead weight you will be forced to carry that will only aid to drain your energy.

The first step to packing is acquiring an adequate backpack which may be a bit larger than you’re normally used to using on shorter day hikes. Backpacks with a capacity of 50-70 litres are typically ideal for multi-day hikes. You want to ensure they offer weather protection such as water-resistance and offer adjustable shoulder straps, hip belts, and a chest strap for even weight distribution.

When it comes to clothing, you want to adhere to the layering system. These layers should include moisture-wicking base layers, insulating layers, and outer layers that offer both waterproof and windproof protection. Your hiking boots should be purchased well in advance to ensure they are well broken-in before you set off on a long-distance trek.

Any tent or shelter you plan to pack should be as lightweight and durable as possible, while also ensuring it can stand up to the elements you’ll face and provide you with adequate shelter in regards to the temperatures and any potential inclement weather you may face. Likewise, your sleeping bag will need to be rated for the lowest temperature that is forecasted or is possible during your planned trek.

When it comes to staying well fed, pack smart foods rather than comfort foods. This means seeking out meals and snacks that are lightweight and non-perishable, which also offer an abundance of calories which you will require. Pack a lightweight backpacking stove with enough fuel or any items necessary to start a fire and cook over it.  

Some sort of water filter or purifying device will likely be needed to ensure you stay adequately hydrated with safe drinking water throughout your trek. Pack a first-aid kit that includes things like bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, personal medications, and tools that can assist with minor injuries or ailments.

Some other essential items to pack include a headlamp to be able to perform essential tasks during the evenings, navigation tools like a compass or GPS, multi-tool, possibly insect repellent depending on the season, eco-friendly biodegradable toiletries, and essential items to properly dispose of any waste.  

Physical Preparation

An advanced hiking trail, like the GR20 in Corsica, is extremely demanding and will test both your physical and mental fortitude. Even if you’re not tackling a trek such as the GR20, you still must make sure your body is fit enough to handle the hiking conditions you will face.

Preparation means building the strength, endurance, and resilience needed to tackle a multi-day trek safely. Such preparation needs to be done well in advance to give yourself plenty of time to reach the fitness level that will be required.

Training for long treks means starting with smaller walks and gradually increasing both distance and elevation gain in the weeks or months before your planned big trek. In addition to this, hit the gym and focus on exercises like squats, lunges, and step-ups to strengthen your quads, hamstrings, and calves.

You also want to strengthen your core to ensure good balance, and this can be done with exercises like planks, leg raises, and Russian twists. Round out things with staples like push-ups, pull-ups, and dumbbells.

Make sure you don’t overdue your training, as the last thing you want is to endure an injury before your planned adventure. This means planning rest days to allow your body’s muscles and joints the chance to recover, and making sure you maintain proper sleep patterns and nutrition during your training in the leadup to your trip.

Mental Preparation

Tough trails will test your mental grit as much as your physical endurance. To make sure your mind doesn’t fail you before your legs do, you may want to learn and incorporate visualization techniques to your hiking. Such techniques will prove beneficial when you need to stay positive or motivated during especially challenging sections of a hike.

Mental preparation begins with being realistic with your limits and planning hiking routes accordingly. It also means breaking up your multi-day hikes into daily distances you know you will be able to accomplish. Then in the leadup to your hike, begin visualising yourself successfully completing the trek and its daily sections with their known challenges.

Whether you’ve decided to hike for personal growth, adventure, or physical fitness, remind yourself of your motivation and use this to combat pain, discomfort, and tiredness. Practicing mindfulness is also quite useful and this means staying present in the moment, focusing on proper breathing techniques, listening to your body, and utilising all your senses to react to nature around you.

Gradually increasing the length and difficulty of your training hikes not only builds physical strength and endurance, but also mental strength and endurance as well. Long treks in nature also require staying flexible both in body and mind, being ready to adapt to everchanging conditions that is common in unpredictable natural settings.

Another great way to keep your mental strength up during multi-day hikes is to hike with companions whether they be family or friends. Having others beside you can come to your rescue with support if and when challenging conditions have you feeling overwhelmed or scared.

Alternatively, carry a phone you may be able to use to call others for support if you have cell coverage, or resort to keeping a diary which will allow you to get out your thoughts on paper instead of holding them within.  

Other Key Considerations 

A well-prepared hiker goes beyond packing and physical readiness. They’re also knowledgeable about the weather, terrain, plants, wildlife, and potential dangers they may face

Checking the weather forecasts ahead of time helps you make sure you pack accordingly. Research the terrain you’ll be tackling, looking at trail maps, reading fellow hiker reviews on platforms like AllTrails, and reading online blogs from others that have travelled the same trail you plan to undertake.

Lastly, make sure you respect nature by minimising your impact as much as possible. Stick to established trails, pack out all trash, and avoid disturbing wildlife or negatively impacting the environment. These small actions preserve the purity of nature for future hikers.

Hikes to Try for Your Level of Experience

There’s a trail out there for every hiker, no matter what your skill level may be. Whether you’re planning your first ever hike or are already a well-seasoned trekker seeking an epic expedition, here are a few of our recommendations for multi-day hikes to help inspire you to plan your own long-distance trek.

To make sure you’ll enjoy your hiking experience to its fullest, we again emphasise selecting trails that match your fitness and skill level.

Beginner Trails:

  • Appalachian Trail – Maryland Section: A gentle introduction with well-marked paths and stunning vistas.
  • Eagle Rock Loop – Arkansas: Scenic views and manageable terrain make it perfect for newcomers.
  • Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail – Short Sections: Sample this legendary hike with shorter segments offering diverse landscapes.

Intermediate/Advanced Trails:

  • GR20 – Corsica: Known as Europe’s toughest trail; rugged, beautiful, and rewarding.
  • John Muir Trail – California: Spanning 211 miles through the Sierra Nevada mountains, expect elevation gains and breathtaking views.
  • Torres del Paine O Circuit – Chilean Patagonia: Remote, wild, and demanding—ideal for experienced adventurers craving solitude.

Zion National Park Hiking Hikers RF

So now that we’ve equipped you with loads of helpful multi-day hiking tips, all that is left to do is lace up those hiking boots, start training, and then getting out there to hit that trail leading deep into the wilderness.

With proper preparation, you can tackle any multi-day hike like a pro. From smart packing and physical training to mental readiness and respecting nature, these tips will hopefully set you up for success. 

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

Source: How to Prepare for a Multi-Day Hiking Trip: Expert Tips

How to Buy a Used RV With Confidence

How to Buy a Used RV With Confidence

In our opinion, learning how to buy a used RV, so you can skip buying a brand new rig is a smart choice. It allows you to avoid the huge amount of depreciation that happens as soon as you drive a new RV off the lot. We also find that the biggest issues have almost always been addressed in used RVs.

Of course, there are some things you should know about how to buy a used RV if you’ve never done so before. Here are our top tips for making such a purchase.

This article may contain compensated links, please read our disclaimer for more information.

Avoid Scams

First and foremost, when learning how to buy a used RV, you’ll want to learn to avoid scams. Fortunately this is easy enough to do, but it’s still good to go over safe practices.

Never Buy Sight-Unseen

Never ever purchase an RV you have not seen in person. It’s very easy for a person to hide water damage and other issues in photos and videos. On top of that, there are some scams out there that involve asking the buyer to send a deposit upfront before they come to see or pick up the RV. This is never a good idea and you should run away from such requests.

Follow Safe Showing Practices

When you do go to see an RV, make sure you do so safely. Set up a meeting time during the day when the sun is still out. Take a friend with you and let somebody know where you are going and who you’re meeting. If you can, ask for the RV to be brought to a public place for the showing.

Pay Safely

The best way to pay for a used RV is by bank-to-bank wire transfer. If you aren’t comfortable with that, pay with a cashier’s check or certified check. Never give a seller your bank information or credit card information.

Get Bill of Sale and Title When Paying

You should receive a bill of sale and the title for the RV at the time of payment. If the seller does not have these things in hand, walk away without giving them a dime, and don’t hand over any money until you see they have both papers and are ready to hand them over.

Trust Your Gut

A lot of the time, when something is off, we can feel it. Trust those feelings. If anything ever feels off during a transaction, you can and should stop right there.

Inspect the RV Thoroughly

The next thing to know when learning how to buy a used RV? How to inspect an RV. Inspecting the RV carefully will allow you to make sure it’s free of major problems that could cause you headaches down the line.

Watch for Mold

First, check the whole rig for mold. When you walk in the door, smell the air. A musty or mildew smell is a good sign that there is water and/or mold somewhere. Even if you don’t smell anything, look in cabinets (especially in the corners), in the corners of the RV, along where the wall meets the floor, the walls around slides, and behind and under furniture (including under mattresses and all beds) for signs of mold.

Inspect the Walls and Ceiling

Check the walls for signs for water damage. Feel for mushy spots and look for discoloration. Start at the bottom of each wall and inspect all the way up. Pay particular attention to any walls beneath windows.

Don’t forget to check inside cabinets and along the ceiling as well (especially around potential water entry points like the A/C unit). Brown spots, wet spots, mushy spots, and saggy areas are all signs of water intrusion.

Go Over the Floors

The floors will also need to be looked over. You’ll want to check for weak or soft spots, especially near doors, in corners, and near toilets, showers, and sinks. Don’t forget to look under beds and in closets as well. Any spot that feels less than sturdy is likely to be damaged and could also be harboring mold.

Crawl Underneath

Our next tip for how to buy a used RV? Head outside and crawl underneath the RV to look for signs of damage. Leaks from the bottom of the RV are a bad sign. An open or sagging underbelly could also be a problem. You’ll also be able to see any damage caused by tire blowouts while under the RV.

Walk the Roof

While you’re outside, get up on the roof to check for water damage. If the RV includes a built-in ladder, the roof is likely walkable, meaning you can get up there and feel for soft spots. If there is no built-in ladder, you might want to feel around from the safety of a ladder—moving the ladder as you go—so you can test the whole roof.

In addition to soft spots, you should also be looking for damage to the rubber membrane, cracked or peeling sealant, and damage to the vents, skylights, or A/C shroud.

Open Storage Bays

Open every single storage bay on the RV. Stick your head inside and smell for moisture, mold, or mildew. Look for soft spots on the walls and floor, and check for discoloration that could signal water damage. You’ll also want to look around each bay door, checking for signs that water might be leaking in.

Check the Tires

RV tires are expensive. Therefore, it’s good to know if you might need to budget for them right off the bat. Check the tires before buying a used RV. Look for damage, worn treads, and check the expiration date. If it seems like you might need to buy new ones, ask for a reduced sale price on the RV to help cover that purchase.

Test Electricity

Next, you’ll want to test the electrical system in the RV. Start by running the lights, fans, and fridge off of battery power to ensure the system is working properly. Next, plug into shore power and test each electric appliance to make sure it is in working order.

These include:

  • TVs
  • Microwave
  • Air conditioner
  • Electric fridge
  • Electric water heater

Note: The fridge and water heater are hard to test in a a short amount of time. You may want to ask for these to be turned on in advance so you can see that they are working when you arrive. If the fridge was emptied prior to this request, ask the owners to place a water bottle inside when they turn it on, along with an ice pack or tray in the freezer.

Check the Propane

The propane system will also need to be tested. Ensure the propane is open and then turn on each propane appliance to make sure it is working. This is another super critical step when it comes to how to buy a used RV.

These include:

  • Stove
  • Oven
  • Fridge
  • Water heater
  • Furnace

Note: If the RV has been sitting for a while, the propane appliances may not light immediately. Try purging the system by holding a stove knob in the “light” position for several seconds before attempting to light it.

Use the Water System

Obviously, you’ll also want to test the water system. First, put some water in the fresh tank and turn on the onboard water pump. Allow the system to come to pressure and then listen for a few minutes to see if the pump runs when no tap has been turned on. If it does, this signals a leak in the system. After listening, run each tap using the onboard water pump.

When you’re sure the pump is working, move on to the city water connection. Use a fresh water hose to connect the RV to a potable water spigot and test all of the faucets while on city water. While the system is pressurized, check under the RV and under the sinks and toilet for leaks.

Run the Generator

Another tip for how to buy used RV is to check for an onboard generator. If there is one, turn it on to make sure it starts up easily and continues running. Plug in to the generator and make sure it runs the appliances and sends power to the outlets as it should.

Go for a Test Drive

Of course, if you’re buying a drivable RV, you’ll also want to go for a test drive. Listen, look, feel, and smell for anything that seems off. Make sure you can get going, stop, and turn without issue. Drive on a bumpy road to feel how it handles.

Pop the Hood

If all seems well during the test drive, pop the hood to take a look in the engine bay. Look for obvious leaks and smell for odd smells. Leave the engine running with the hood up and listen for unusual noises.

Hire an Inspector

If your personal inspection doesn’t turn up anything wrong, there is one more step you should take: Hire a professional inspector. This does cost a little bit, but it is so, so worth it to know you aren’t buying a used RV with issues. Have an RV inspector look over everything they can, and if you’re buying a motorhome, have a trusted mechanic look over the engine, transmission, etc.

Know the RV’s Value

The last step when learning how to buy a used RV? You’ll want to make sure you know the value of the RV you are purchasing to ensure you don’t overpay. Some options include looking at the NADA guide, using National Vehicle’s RV valuation tool, and checking RV Trader and other RV sales websites to see what similar rigs are going for.

Buying a used RV can feel a little bit scary. That said, as long as you know how to buy a used RV carefully, you can be fairly confident that you will walk out of the sale with an awesome little home-on-wheels that will take you on a number of amazing adventures!

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Source: How to Buy a Used RV With Confidence

Advanced RV and Why ‘Subtract’ and ‘Less’ Might Make Sense in your next Class B RV

Advanced RV and Why ‘Subtract’ and ‘Less’ Might Make Sense in your next Class B RV

Good morning, I’m Mike with Advanced RV, we’ve been 12 years in business now, and it’s kind of a time for reflection and reaffirming our vision. Recently, I read a book called “Subtract,” and it resonated because I think that that’s the way we have approached the Class B motorhome innovation process that we’ve started 12 years ago. And the book starts with the author playing Legos with his son, and they build two towers, and they need to span the towers, but they’re different heights. So, his son takes blocks off the tall tower so that they’re even and he puts a spanner in, the father adds blocks to the shorter tower to span. Same result, but a different approach, and the research cited in the book talks about how our inclination is to add things, when we design, when we come up with a problem, we add, we add. And I realized reading the book that that’s not what we do at ARV.

We tend to subtract, we go back to first principles, we go back to the core objectives that our clients have, and from those core objectives we create a new design, and usually that design involves subtracting. You know, a good example is when we started, every RV Class B and bigger had a generator and it had gel batteries, the better ones, or lead-acid batteries. And we started looking at that and we decided, “You know, it would be really good if we could subtract propane from the design, so you wouldn’t have the hassle of filling propane, the hassle of carrying it.” So we started looking at eliminating the generator, and we came up with our first lithium batteries, and we’ve been installing lithium batteries, larger and larger, lighter and lighter, and better placed and safer, for the last 12 years.

Another simple example of subtraction is that, many clients, when they bought a Class B motorhome, one of their first trips was to Target or somewhere to buy a bed topper, because of the way the beds were designed and configured, so they had to figure out a place to store it, they had to deploy it at night and put it away in the morning. And we just decided, “Well, let’s subtract the need for a bed cover,” so we’ve been building beds in our facility here and offering clients custom upholstery on those beds ever since we started.

Other examples are automatic leveling system, which subtracts the need to carry blocks and mess with blocks. Also, I’ve used the levelers to get unstuck before, and so that eliminates the need to carry a shovel, although shovels look cool when they’re hanging on the outside, and manual jacks, to jack up if you’re off-road and get stuck. So, again, subtraction.

We subtracted the noise in air conditioners. Very early on, measured the effectiveness of the air conditioners, different brands that were available, and the sound levels, and we found an Australian-designed air conditioner that greatly lowered the sound and the noise of the air conditioner when operating.

Same thing with the heating system, the heating system that we designed is more effective and quieter, so we took away noise. We also took away handling issues by installing our huge tanks, fresh, gray, and black, under chassis. We also did the same with our battery systems, with the maximum ground clearance. So we subtracted issues hanging down from the van, and we also improved safety and handling thinking about every aspect of lowering our center of gravity in our builds. Our dump-and-fill, we don’t have a 3-inch hose, we have a inch-and-a-half diameter hose that actually stores in a compartment, it’s continuously hooked up, so it takes about four minutes to empty gray and black tanks. So all these things subtract care, subtract thinking, and subtract the hassles that used to be involved with Class B motor-homing.

Another thing that comes to mind is our process, our process not only is through subtraction for hard designed things, but of conversation, learning the client’s needs has been developed over the last 12 years. We don’t have a menu, because there’s no limit to what clients can do, so that they can visualize a different use pattern where things are easier and where they don’t have to fuss with the van year over year,  ou just add to the things that you want to add to and you never question the things from past years that maybe aren’t appropriate anymore. So part of our process is to do zero-based thinking about how we communicate with clients and how we listen to clients. The other thing we’ve subtracted, and this was a concept from the beginning, but it was pretty radical at the time to have a custom production like we are, a motorhome company and manufacturing service without dealers. We have nothing against dealers, I’ve purchased in the past years from dealers, but we wanted to subtract the insulation, the communication hassles for our clients of going through dealers and then back to us. When they have a service question or a service problem, they get a technical person any day of the week and any time of the day. So we have subtracted a lot of communication, potential hassles for our clients, and potential opportunities for miscommunication, and that’s been a lot of fun.

The other thing we’ve done here together at ARV, we started with a trial about, well, two years ago, we subtracted a day of work, and we did that by mindfully looking at how we work, how we have meetings, how we do everything we do, and everybody has and continues to subtract things that are not productive from their work days. We’ve done this without subtracting satisfaction and without adding stress, and so we’re almost two years now into our four-day week, and enabled everybody to have a three-day weekend.

Thanks for helping us get to where we are, we really are having fun with this process, and we’re continuing to subtract.

Source: Advanced RV and Why ‘Subtract’ and ‘Less’ Might Make Sense in your next Class B RV

Jeff Installs the new TorkLift GlowStep Stair Unit

Jeff Installs the new TorkLift GlowStep Stair Unit

Hi, I’m Jeff Johnston. When we first ordered our Palomino camper, we knew we’d need some way to get into the camper from the ground, so we purchased this generic two-step steel unit. It fits into the receiver very nicely, it’s strong, it’ll support my weight, and it does the job exactly as it’s supposed to. Combine it with a little portable, foldable step here, and you can climb right in. The one thing that we failed to think about, or I failed to think about, my mistake, is the steps are mounted in the center of the truck, in the receiver. The door is offset to the side considerably, so the steps come up right about here. That’s why we have this orange safety tape on here, because climbing in and out is a little bit of a chore.

Fortunately, thanks to TorkLift, there is a much better solution for getting in and out of a camper these days. Jeff: Scissor type entry steps for campers and other RVs have been around for quite a few years, but the new GlowStep from TorkLift really steps that up, so to speak. It’s heavier, stronger, and is able to support my weight, which is saying something. This one is rated at approximately 275-pounds capacity, and other models are rated up to about 300 pounds.

They’re easy to install, fairly easy to move, and they provide a safe, solid, secure way to climb up to the level of a camper. We’ll show you how it’s installed.

We know there’s a solid aluminum frame member behind the skin, here under the door, so we start by marking a centerline here, about 13 inches, and with the centerline mark on the bracket, just kind of eyeball it for level, side to side, and mark all six holes. And start drilling. Insert the screws, continue with the other four screws, snug them all down, make sure they’re tight, ‘insert the spring pins here, clips, and the safety clip, and of course, the safety clip. With the retaining pin suitably installed, you can stretch this guy out, looks like a comfortable spot, and we’ll see how it feels.

Much better, much better, feels nice and solid underfoot. For my bulk, that’s pretty good. And another
little interesting feature about the GlowStep is these little glow pads that are on here, these little tabs absorb light, and then, after dark, they glow for several hours, which makes for a somewhat safer access up and down the steps.

Then, when you’re ready to break camp, you come up, take out the safety clips, that’s always a good idea, pull the pins, collapse this guy, and in our case, toss it inside the rig. We’ve got a rubber pad here to keep it from sliding around. Now, people do leave it, you know, collapse it and leave it collapsed with a hook on it, but then it kind of swings back and forth, people come up with different solutions for keeping it from banging into the bumper and whatnot. But we’re just gonna store it inside, gets it out of the way, makes a nice clean job
out of it, it appears.

So, the GlowStep from TorkLift, it’s a terrific solution to climbing in and out of something like a camper, highly recommended.

Source: Jeff Installs the new TorkLift GlowStep Stair Unit

10 Interesting Facts about the UK

10 Interesting Facts about the UK

The UK has long been a magnet for travellers, consistently securing its place in the World Tourism Ranking’s Top 10. Nearly 40 million international tourists visit the UK every year, coming to see its grand palaces and castles, as well as world-class museums like those found in London and rugged natural beauty which can be found in places like the Scottish Highlands.

But despite its popularity, how much do travellers really know about the United Kingdom? We thought we’d dive beneath the surface of this well-trodden tourist destination to uncover a few lesser-known facts.

Let’s take an academic journey across the UK, uncovering 10 little-known facts that may surprise, intrigue, and possibly even inspire you to explore the UK with fresh eyes.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply a bit curious, these intriguing tidbits will only enhance your appreciation of this remarkable nation, or at the very least give you a better chance at being victorious at a local pub trivia night during your planned upcoming September holidays UK.

10 Interesting Facts about the UK

Oxford Dictionary Beginnings

The Oxford English Dictionary is one of the most recognised English language dictionaries, but how much of its history do you actually know? It took around 70 years for the dictionary’s first edition to be completed, work having begun in 1857 and its first volume being published in 1884.

Much of the work on the first edition was done by unpaid volunteers, but surprisingly one of its most prolific contributors was an American Civil War vet who performed work on the dictionary while he was a patient in a British insane asylum.

The dictionary is constantly being updated as new words come into use such as some of its newest entries like “wokery” and “safe word”. And in case you were wondering what the first word to be placed in the dictionary was, it was “A” which isn’t all that exciting but definitely “a” word we all use daily.

Longest Place Name in UK

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch by Steve Daniels, CC BY-SA 2.0  via Wikimedia Commons

Pronouncing foreign city or town names can often prove difficult for tourists, but Wales takes things to a whole other level. The longest place name in the UK is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, a small village with a big name on the island of Anglesey in Wales. 

Trying to correctly say the village’s name is often used as a linguistic curiosity and a test of one’s Welsh language skills, but thankfully for travellers, locals often go by its abbreviated name Llanfairpwll. If you want to attempt to learn the full title, there’s a handy guide on how to pronounce it correctly.

The village is a popular stopover for tourists you can make their way to the local railway station sign that proudly displays its full name, and a spot which has become one of the most photographed landmarks in Wales.

The Cornish Pasty

When it comes to British cuisine, the Cornish pasty is definitely iconic. Made famous in Cornwall, the Cornish pasty was originally a quick and easy-to-eat meal for local tin miners. The baked pastry is filled with beef, potatoes, turnips, and onions.

Cornish Pasties actually have protected status now by the European Union, whereby it’s supposedly illegal to advertise true “Cornish Pasties” outside of Cornwall. There’s even a Cornish Pasty Museum and International Pasty Festival, but oddly both are found in Mexico, far from Cornwall.

Magic of Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland combines natural wonder, mythology, and cultural significance to make it a popular tourist destination. According to Irish legend, the Giant’s Causeway and its 40,000 interlocking basalt columns was built by the giant Finn McCool as a pathway to Scotland to confront his Scottish giant rival named Benandonner.

The Causeway is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with popular features to check out including the Wishing Chair, Giant’s Harp, and Old Granny’s Face. There’s even a visitor centre now which offers interactive exhibits and information about the site’s geology, legends, and rich marine and seabird life.

Little Known Stonehenge Facts

It goes without saying that Stonehenge is one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments. You simply need to head to Wiltshire in England to check out the mystery and intrigue of the standing stones for yourself.

Stonehenge was actually built over a period of 1,500 years, its earliest beginnings dating back to around 3000 BC. The smaller 4-tone stones are said to have been transported from the Preseli Hills in Wales, whiles the larger 25-tone stones were sourced from nearby Marlborough Downs.

It’s said that Stonehenge was thought to possess healing powers, with evidence of many buried skeletons near the site showing signs of disease or injury. While the stones have become synonymous with Druids, there’s no proof to them playing any role in the circle’s construction.

Nearby is a site you may not have heard of called Woodhenge, a circle which instead of being made up of stones was created using timber. Although far less famous, Woodhenge is believed to have been constructed around the same time as Stonehenge.

Get to Know Shakespeare

We all know William Shakespeare as one of history’s greatest English playwrights, but it seems neither any of us nor even himself could agree on how to spell his name. Over the years, his name has been spelled as Shakspere, Shakspeare, and Shakespear. Even the playwright himself spelled his name differently on different documents using various signatures over the years.

And did you know that we have Shakespeare to thank for coining or popularising words such as “gossip”, “fashionable”, and “swagger”? Some conspiracy theorists even believe that Shakespeare had a hand in translating the King James Bible.

The Full English Breakfast

Enjoying a delicious and filling Full English Breakfast was once a meal only reserved for the ultra-wealthy, an argument that could in fact extend to today given the current rapid inflation that has seen food costs soar.

The Full English Breakfast is said to date back to the 13th century and since that time it has evolved into a range of different variations throughout the UK. While the traditional Full English breakfast commonly consists of bacon, sausages, eggs, tomatoes, black pudding, mushrooms, and toast, you may find the Scottish version adding haggis and tattie scones, while the Northern Ireland counterpart may incorporate white pudding and soda bread.

The Full English Breakfast is often criticised for being unhealthy due to its high fat and calorie content, but we say eat-up and enjoy every last bite while you’re on holiday.

Mind the Gap

“Mind the Gap” was supposed to simply act as a cautionary phrase to warn passengers riding the London Underground about the gap between the train doors and the platform edge. It of course has since evolved into a cultural and global phenomenon.

The famous slogan can now be found in tourist shops on everything from T-shirts to mugs, and regularly makes appearances in literature, music, and popular movies. There’s now even a “Mind the Gap Day”, celebrated each April 2nd. And of course anyone on social media will notice the slogan has been adapted and shared widely in memes and hashtags.

The Truth about Big Ben

If you thought that the Palace of Westminster’s famous clock tower was named Big Ben, you’d be wrong. In fact, “Big Ben” does not refer to the tower or even the clock, rather the Great Bell that’s housed within the tower. The bell was named for Sir Benjamin Hall, the Chief Commissioner of Works at the time of its installation.

If you wish to know the actual name of the clock tower which houses the Big Ben bell, that would be Elizabeth Tower, a title which only came into being in 2012.  And as for Big Ben, he weighs over 13 tons and is now pushing 170 years old.

Lovers of Baked Beans

Think of popular UK dishes and bangers and mash, fish and chips, or shepherd’s pie likely come to mind. However, it’s baked beans that may reign supreme in the UK, as the British consume more baked beans than any other nation.

It’s said that over 1.5 million cans of baked beans are consumed daily in the UK., rather surprising when you consider baked beans were actually an American creation. So popular have baked beans become in the UK, that they have now become an added standard component to a Full English Breakfast.

Baked Beans on toast symbolises comfort food and is considered to be a quick, easy, and affordable meal that can be prepared at home. As a bonus, baked beans are a wonderful source of protein and fibre, while also being low in fat and cholesterol-free. This makes baked bean snacks a great way to counteract your overindulgence in eating a Full English Breakfast.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

Source: 10 Interesting Facts about the UK

You Can Teach an Old Girl New Tricks

You Can Teach an Old Girl New Tricks

I have meandered from hobby to hobby throughout my lifetime. From scrapbooking, baking, card making, gel printing, decoupaging, etc.; name it, I’ve given it a try. I’m a late bloomer, and I’ve finally found something that literally consumes my dreams, thoughts, and days–in my 60s.

I’ve discovered painting. Because of the assumption I lacked natural talent, art classes weren’t a priority in school. I’m still not talented, but learning techniques from other artists gives me the confidence to at least try. I went to a sip and paint class a couple of years ago, but I didn’t enjoy the group setting. A couple months ago, I ran across a mail-order paint and sip site, Painting to Gogh. Select a painting, and they send all the supplies and a link to a tutorial. The price was reasonable, so why not give it a try? The first painting I did was a lighthouse. It was so easy to follow the directions. When I was done, it actually LOOKED like a lighthouse, albeit a kindergarten-style, beginning-painter lighthouse.

I was hooked. Next was a mother/daughter silhouette painting. Afterwards, an angel and a painting of the famous bean for my daughter who was moving to Chicago. I’ve since done flowers, a bird’s nest, a winter barn scene, a desert landscape, an office shelf, etc. They are all absolutely imperfect, perspective-challenged, and look nothing like the original artist’s rendition. They are quirky and off-kilter, just like ME!

I love doing these tutorials and take a tidbit of knowledge from each and every one. I start in the morning and work on it all day. The time passes and I hardly notice. My mind is so relaxed and calm and concentrated on the beautiful colors while learning how to mix them together to make something pretty. It feels awesome when someone says they want the painting when I’m done, too–even if it’s only people who love me.

After doing the Painting to Gogh tutorials and learning enough to make my paintings slightly different with a touch of my own creativity, I’ve fallen down the YouTube rabbit hole in painting tips, tricks, and tutorials. I ran across Michelle the Painter, and have done a couple of her in-depth and slightly advanced tutorials. She’s extremely talented and does beautiful work. When I’m done with one of hers, some of them look like something and others not so much. I certainly learn with each and every one. If they don’t turn out, I simply paint over the canvas and start over. It’s so satisfying.

As I learn new things, my own original ideas for paintings run through my head all the time. I’ve experimented with a few and will keep trying to find my own creative voice and style. Meanwhile, I love learning from the many talented artists out there.

Have you found something so consuming in a good way? A hobby or activity you never dreamed you would do?

This old girl is enjoying learning new tricks!

Source: You Can Teach an Old Girl New Tricks

New Pup in your RV | Advanced RV | Collapsible RV Steps and more on RVing Today TV 2024-12

New Pup in your RV | Advanced RV | Collapsible RV Steps and more on RVing Today TV 2024-12

SHOW 2024-13

FEATURED SEGMENTS

With RV maintenance, repairs, and warranty coverage being such a hot subject these days, we thought it would be a perfect time to look back and update a story we did with Jack Shelton, the founder of Wholesale Warranties and see why his company is so highly rated by RV-ers everywhere. MORE

With RV maintenance, repairs, and warranty coverage being such a hot subject these days, we thought it would be a perfect time to look back and update a story we did with Jack Shelton, the founder of Wholesale Warranties and see why his company is so highly rated by RV-ers everywhere. MORE

With RV maintenance, repairs, and warranty coverage being such a hot subject these days, we thought it would be a perfect time to look back and update a story we did with Jack Shelton, the founder of Wholesale Warranties and see why his company is so highly rated by RV-ers everywhere. MORE

We join Chris Dougherty, the RV PhD, as he shows us a couple of great, practical products from Hatchlift that you should consider getting. First a brand new item called the Stake Hand, which makes getting into your pickup bed a whole lot easier AND, second,  installing Hatchlifts!
MO

Copyright © 2024 RVing Today

Source: New Pup in your RV | Advanced RV | Collapsible RV Steps and more on RVing Today TV 2024-12

Nomad eSIM Review (2024): Never Lose Data While Traveling

Nomad eSIM Review (2024): Never Lose Data While Traveling

We take a lot of things for granted in life, and one of those is connectivity. 

Data has become the most essential travel tool, and eSIMs are now the norm for taking the hassle out of traveling and staying connected. 

I’ve written a lot about how we couldn’t cope overseas without a mobile data plan, but I realized on my recent trip to Europe, that this is not something I had actually tested. 

What would happen if I did in fact land, not buy an eSIM, and try and cope in a new country? 

Well, I tried it last week, and after precisely 2 hours of not being able to update my family once I had landed, not being able to use my apple wallet to pay for an airport cab, and not being able to use Google maps to find my hotel, I realized that this was a stupid experiment, and I promptly bought a Nomad eSIM. 

I’ve tested a number of eSIM providers in the past year since this has become the easiest way to access mobile data, so here is my review of the experience using Nomad (a global eSIM marketplace operating in 170+ countries).

Spoiler alert – I’m very happy with them. Use this link <—— and the referral code MEGAEYEENQ for 25% off.

Nomad eSIM Review (2024): Never Lose Data While Traveling

The ‘e’ in eSIM

Meg Jerrard Girona Spain Phone (1)

An eSIM is a digital SIM card that is permanently embedded in your phone (the ‘e’ stands for embedded), that can run alongside your physical SIM card from home.

Because it’s digital, you can buy and use it without having to swap and change a physical SIM; it’s an electronic chip which lets you switch carriers and plans digitally, and access mobile data plans abroad.

Companies like Nomad offer mobile data plans in 170 + countries which work through your eSIM, which means you can buy a prepaid data plan at local rates while traveling, and stay connected while your primary home sim stays physically inside your phone. 

Most phones these days allow you to use two ‘lines’, and when you’re traveling this means that your home number can stay in use for texts, calls, and things like Facetime and Whatsapp, while your secondary line can be your eSIM, and be used for your phone data.

The set up consists of scanning a QR code, changing a few settings, and you’re online in another country and ready to go!

You can buy it before you leave, activate it on your day of travel, and have data on your phone once you land, before the pilot has turned the seatbelt sign off!

FAQ on eSIM Use

Plane passport phone

Why not use your home sim for data? Using mobile data overseas through your home SIM means is expensive because you’re asking your home company to provide you with data from a third party international carrier. 

Buying an eSIM through Nomad means you can access plans from as little as $1 depending on where in the world you’re going.

Why not use a physical local simcard? This will always be the cheapest option for mobile data, but does mean you need to find somewhere to buy it once you land, and will often need to remove your home SIM from your phone which means you can’t use it while you travel. 

I often land in the late evening when airport simcard stands are closed, and I also don’t want to take my home SIM out of my iPhone, so I can still recieve text messages, and use Whatsapp and FaceTime. 

Will all phones take an eSIM? You should check first that your phone is eSIM compatible. Most phones these days are, though some older phones may not have the function. Check this list before you buy one.

Is it easy? Yes! You literally scan a QR code, change a few settings, and you’re online in another country and ready to go!

Installing and Activating a Nomad Plan

Nomad is a global eSIM marketplace, so the process of buying and setting up an eSIM is extremely simple:

  • Go to www.getnomad.app
  • Choose from a single country or a regional eSIM option
  • Create an account with your name and email
  • Purchase the eSIM you want
  • You get an email with a QR code to scan, which installs the eSIM for you
  • Download the Nomad app on App store and Google Play 

While they have an installation guide here with proper instructions on how to install, the installation was literally as simple as scanning the QR code sent to my email with the camera app on my phone.

The installation process prompts you to choose your settings, like picking which simcard you would like to use for data, and which you would like to keep for apps like Facetime, and it’s all done in under 5 minutes. 

When you open the mobile settings on your phone, you’ll then see two SIMs listed, one primary with your home number, and a second which is your eSIM.

You want to make sure ‘data roaming’ is switched OFF on your primary home sim, but switched ON on your eSIM. and you want to make sure that ‘data switching’ is turned off, so that your phone doesn’t jump back to your home SIM for data roaming.

What Makes Nomad Different

Nomad eSIM review Meg Jerrard

Nomad is the fourth eSIM provider I’ve tested this past year, and I’ve been impressed with their product and service.

Their plans are incredibly priced, as their whole mission is to elimiate the high cost of data roaming charges. They not only have one of the widest selections of countries available for eSIM use (170 countries), but their range of regional plans gives even more affordable options for country hopping. 

Before choosing a plan, it’s worthwhile checking the offers on their homepage with deals on various country data plans.

If you’re only visiting one country, you can find it from the list, and then customize a mobile plan based on how many days and how much data you’d like while you’re traveling. 

This means that you’re not paying for a huge amount of data if you only need emails, but you have the option to top up if you’re using a lot of data heavy apps. Topping-up is much more efficient than buying a new eSIM entirely, and you don’t need to install the eSIM again.

If you’re visiting multiple countries in a region, like Europe, or Asia, you can instead choose a regional plan where you’ll stay connected when moving through multiple countries.  

They also have a referral program you can use, where you recieve a 25% discount reward promo for each successful friend you refer.

To find the Referral Code, open the Nomad app, click on Profile->Invite friends, get 25% off->where you can find your Referral Code. You can share your referral code up to 5 times. Mine is MEGAEYEENQ

Experience Using Nomad eSIM

Greece Europe phone Review Meg Jerrard

The whole experience of using Nomad eSIM was fasntastic, and their speed and reliability of data connection was equal to that of a local SIM. 

While in Greece, I spent the first week traveling soley with a portable WiFi hotspot, and the second week directly comparing the experience to that of a Nomad eSIM.

The eSIM won hands down, for both speed and reliability of the connection, but also for battery life – using a portable hotspot meant I was constantly disconnected during the day as the device had a short battery life and needed to be constantly charged. 

An eSIM on the other hand, worked as long as my phone was charged (which has a much longer battery life than the portable hotspot). 

Using Nomad for data while my home sim remained in my phone, meant I was still able to recieve text messages to my primary number, which is extremely useful now that so many online logins and accounts require phone codes.

Download the App & Get Started

Download the iOS or Android app, or visit www.getnomad.app

You can tell very quickly from clicking through to the app store, that it has a high trust rating from the thousands of downloads and reviews. 

Use this link <—— and the referral code MEGAEYEENQ for 25% off.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

 

 

Source: Nomad eSIM Review (2024): Never Lose Data While Traveling

What is Agritourism and Why Should You Try It?

What is Agritourism and Why Should You Try It?

This article may contain compensated links, please read our disclaimer for more information.

Looking for ways to make your family travels more fun and educational at the same time? You might want to look into agritourism. If you’ve never heard this term, you’ve come to the right place! Here we will discuss what agritourism is, how to incorporate it into your travels, and the benefits of doing so.

What is Agritourism?

First and foremost, we need to answer the question, “What is agritourism?” Essentially, agritourism involves visiting farms, ranches, wineries, and other such places during your travels. Sometimes this might mean picking fruits or veggies; other times it might involve a tour.

In all cases, agritourism is an excellent way to connect with nature, learn something new, and meet and support the locals.

Ways to Incorporate Agritourism into Your Travels

If you think agritourism sounds like a fun addition to your RV travels, you might be wondering how you can go about adding some agritourism stops to your travel itinerary. Fortunately, there are tons of different ways to experience agritourism.

Make Use of Harvest Hosts

Our absolute favorite way to enjoy agritourism while traveling in an RV? Harvest Hosts. This awesome membership gives RVers access to dry camping sites at farms, wineries, and more all across the US. The hosts are always welcoming and often invite guests to join in farm activities.

Best of all, once you pay your yearly membership fee, you will not pay to camp at these amazing campsites!

Attend Farm Tours

Another option is to attend farm tours. These happen all over the country, but our absolute favorite is the Braum’s farm tour in Tuttle, Oklahoma. This tour allows you to see how dairy products are made from start to finish. It’s an excellent roadschool lesson on where food comes from, and it ends with a complimentary ice cream. Just be sure to reserve this one in advance!

Go Produce Picking

U-pick farms are found in pretty much every state, and there is almost always some sort of produce in season. This means you should be able to enjoy this activity almost all year long, especially if you follow warm weather.

Our family has enjoyed picking blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, apples, and more over the years. It’s always a blast and we always love leaving with a stash of delicious produce to enjoy.

Step Back in Time

Living history farms are another fantastic example of agritourism. These are real working farms that are run using methods and technologies from the past. We especially loved Living History Farms in Iowa, as it featured farms from several different time periods and offered guests a chance to see how farming has evolved over the years.

Check Out a Pumpkin Patch

Visiting a pumpkin patch is a fall tradition for many families. These fun family attractions tend to pop up in October and often offer kids a chance to pet farm animals, play in dry corn, ride ponies, get lost in a corn maze (and see the plants that corn grows on) and even pick their very own pumpkin(s) to decorate for Halloween.

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

Another seasonal agritourism activity that is a must-do for many families? Cutting a Christmas tree. This can be done at Christmas tree farms in nearly every part of the country. It’s an excellent way to kick off the holiday season and is a fun way to bond as a family. On top of that, your kids might get some practice using tools!

Benefits of Agritourism

There are several ways agritourism can enhance your travels as a full time RVing family. Below are some of the reasons you might want to wrap farms and other similar destinations into your travels.

Learn Where Food Comes From

One of the biggest benefits of agritourism is the fact that it gives kids a chance to learn where food comes from. While visiting farms, they can get up close and personal with the various plants and animals that provide us with nutrition. Often, this helps foster a new sense of appreciation for food.

Meet the Locals

In my opinion, meeting local people and getting to know them is one of the most amazing things about full time travel. It allows you to really connect with each place you visit.

When you get to know the people in a region, you get to know about region-specific foods, traditions, and more. It also means you are always growing your friend base, something that really can’t be a bad thing.

Try New Foods

If you have picky kids, taking them to pick their own produce might open them up to the idea of trying new fruits and vegetables. On top of that, visiting local farms and farmers’ markets can give you access to foods you never knew existed. Because of this, wrapping agritourism into your travels is an excellent way to expand your palate.

Fill Your Home with Farm-Fresh Foods

We all know there are few things better than food fresh from the farm. When you make agritourism a regular part of your travel schedule, you will always have a nice supply of locally grown, farm-fresh foods. Not only is this a delicious benefit, it’s also super healthy!

Have Fun Outdoors

Getting out in the sunshine and breathing fresh air is good for the body and the soul, and reconnecting a family works best when in the great outdoors. Obviously this can be done in national parks and on epic hikes, and we absolutely recommend adding those things to your travels as well. That said, agritourism can be just as good for refreshing yourself in the outdoors.

As you can see, agritourism is a really neat thing that can enhance your travels and your roadschooling experience, allowing you to get even more out of your RV travels. Why not add a stop at a farm to your itinerary today so you can give it a try?

Join Fulltime Families

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Fulltime Families is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Source: What is Agritourism and Why Should You Try It?

Social Media Challenge

Social Media Challenge

Are you up for a challenge that could change your life? One that could potentially improve your overall mood and increase productivity in areas you enjoy? A personal sacrifice that could improve and deepen interactions in the relationships around you?

The timer would begin on July 1, 2024, and end on December 31, 2024. Beware, it’s a doozy.

The challenge consists of a 30-minute limit per day on social media. This would include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, etc….you get the idea.

The rules are simple. Set a timer for the scrolling process. Once 30 minutes it up, you’re done for the day.

During this time, be conscious of what you post. Are your words or shared memes valuable to others? Does it stir the pot, seem passive/aggressive, or meant to cause a little drama? Is it uplifting, positive, or humorous? Your post is about YOU. Your time is limited, so make it count.

Limit replies. If you love someone else’s post and want to leave words of encouragement, do so. If you don’t agree with a post, there’s an important choice–ignore and scroll or post your argument. Is your opinion respectful and well-thought out, or does encourage friction? Sometimes silence speaks louder than disagreement. In the scheme of things, will your reply make a difference? Again, your comments are about YOU, make them count. You only have 30 minutes.

Turn off notifications. Do you need them? Is it imperative to know someone ‘liked’ your post? If your post isn’t getting feedback, do you attach those reactions (or lack thereof) as a personal reflection on you? It may require some introspection.

It’s an election year, so the majority of posts will be inflammatory, exaggerated, and (gasp!) not entirely true. The challenge may prevent us from getting sucked into the negativity and exacerbate the divisive problem. What if we refuse to engage? What if we simply exercise our right to vote without getting enmeshed in a mob mentality and alienating the ‘other side?’

Many people rely on social media for their livelihood, so timing on-line may need to be adjusted accordingly. Instructional videos from social media sites may need to be utilized for daily life. All of that is adjustable in this challenge. It’s a personal choice and nobody will be the time police but you. Is it a necessity, or an excuse? Only you know the answer.

What if we all, as a whole, limit our intake of negativity, anger, and resentment. What if we restrict the amount of advertisements thrown our way? What if we clear our minds of the overload of information flooding us in every direction as we unconsciously scroll through nonsense? We will never, ever get back the wasted time.

What do we have to lose in doing this little experiment? Even if it’s just for a week? Or a month? Or the whole six months?

My goal is to take my time back and step away from letting the opinions of others affect my mood and mental outlook. I want to be more productive in pursuing my hobbies and exploring life around me. I want to shut out the chaotic noise and take in things that bring me peace.

Are you up for the challenge in whatever time frame fits you? Do you think life will get bigger if social media gets smaller? Do you think it’s possible to find a healthy balance with real life and social media? What are your thoughts?

Source: Social Media Challenge

Top 5 Campervan Destinations to Visit Near Christchurch

Top 5 Campervan Destinations to Visit Near Christchurch

Christchurch is known as the gateway to New Zealand’s stunning South Island, where unforgettable road trips through vast stretches of wilderness begin. From the rolling vineyards of Waipara to the geothermal wonders of Hanmer Springs, a campervan gives you the freedom to explore the South Island at your own pace.

Hiring low-cost campervans in Christchurch is easy and will allow you to take in numerous nearby sites sandwiched between the majestic Southern Alps and the mighty Pacific Ocean.

Let’s look at just a few of the top destinations near Christchurch you can experience by hiring a  campervan. We’ll also offer up a few important things to consider when renting a campervan in New Zealand.

Top 5 Campervan Destinations to Visit Near Christchurch

Awaroa/Godley Head Campsite

Simply a 45-minute drive from Christchurch sits the Awaroa/Godley Head Campsite, a peaceful natural retreat near the entrance of Lyttelton Harbour on the Banks Peninsula.

This scenic campsite is part of the Godley Head Recreation Reserve, providing plenty of great views of the Pacific and its rugged coastline, along with the beauty of Lyttelton Harbour of course.

This region played in role in WW2 and remnants of the period can still be observed through such relics like gun emplacements, bunkers, and observation posts. Then there are the many hiking and biking tracks, such as the Godley Head Loop Track, which offer the chance to spot local wildlife both on sea and land.

The campsite is equipped with basic amenities, including toilets and water, so no issues in terms of enjoying comfortable camping in what is still rather pristine nature.  

Papanui

Offering over 12 acres of land, there’s more than enough space at Papanui to accommodate you and your campervan. Regarded as one of the top 10 holiday parks in Christchurch, Papanui offers plenty of facilities including bathrooms, laundry facilities, dump stations, TVs, and dining areas. There’s also an inviting indoor heated pool, private spa, and gaming room.

Papanui is a bustling suburb just minutes northwest of Christchurch’s city centre, offering up a harmonious blend of urban conveniences and suburban charm. You can visit the Northlands Shopping Centre, one of Christchurch’s largest malls, as well as enjoy a healthy selection of cafes and restaurants along the main road.

Enjoy green spaces like St. James Park or Edgar MacIntosh Park which offer walking trails, playgrounds, sporting fields, and ideal picnic spots. You’ll also notice the presence of 19th century architecture from its European colonial days such as St. Paul’s Anglican Church.

Papanui’s proximity to the city centre makes Papanui an excellent base for exploring Christchurch without having to actually stay in the busy city centre, before you take your campervan to venture further afield on the South Island to uncover more remote natural treasures.

You can simply park your campervan for the day while touring the city centre and make use of the easy access to public transportation to visit the many Christchurch attractions like Hagley Park, Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and the Canterbury Museum.

Spencer Beach Kiwi Holiday Park

 

Michal Klajban, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Everyone from tourists to local families loves Spencer Park, thanks to the bounty of attractions and the welcoming accommodation. Spencer Beach Kiwi Holiday Park offers the perfect blend of coastal beauty, family-friendly amenities, and convenient access to Christchurch, being that it’s just 20km north of the city.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore nature trails, or enjoy quality time with family and friends, this holiday park has something for everyone. Plan your visit to Spencer Beach Kiwi Holiday Park for an unforgettable experience just a stone’s throw from Christchurch.

The park sits within a coastal reserve, allowing you to take advantage of quiet walks along beautiful Spencer Beach. There are several trails in the area including those found at Bottle Lake Forest Park which is located directly next to the park.

You’ll find both powered and non-powered sites for tents and caravans, as well as self-contained cabins. Onsite bonuses also include playgrounds, a mini-golf course, barbecues, and a swimming pool. They even often host outdoor cinema nights to take in a movie under the stars.

Avalanche Peak

While Avalanche Peak may be a much longer drive outside Christchurch, it will genuinely prove rewarding as it offers one of the most exhilarating hiking experiences in New Zealand and will leave you with a true sense of achievement.

The trek to the mighty peak starts from Arthur’s Pass village within Arthur’s Pass National Park. The trailhead is roughly 150km west of Christchurch which should take you about a 2-hour drive.

The hike up to Avalanche Peak which rises to a height of over 1,800m will definitely be a bit of a challenge for many, so don’t underestimate the trek and make sure you are fit enough to tackle the challenge. The main routes to the summit include Avalanche Peak Track and Scotts Track, both of which will see you navigating steep and rugged alpine terrain.

Despite proving to be a formidable challenge, the hike to the summit and back down can still be completed in under 8 hours for fit hikers. Add this fact to the rather straightforward 2-hour drive and this experience can logistically be done as an adventurous campervan daytrip from Christchurch

Maruia Hot Springs

The furthest destination recommendation to plan a campervan daytrip to, Maruia Hot Springs offers a natural hot spring resort where pure relaxation and wellness is the focus. Found within Lewis Pass National Reserve, the drive to the hot springs is just over 200km to the northwest of Christchurch.

You can expect to see natural geothermal pools which are rich in minerals and renowned for their therapeutic properties. In addition to the relaxing pools, you can take advantage of yoga classes, spa treatments, and wellness programs which all combine to create a place that will allow you to unwind and de-stress.

As a nice bonus, the resort is eco-friendly and sustainable, relying on natural and renewable energy sources to heat their pools and maintain its facilities. The scenic drive through the Lewis Pass is an adventure in itself, offering stunning views of the Southern Alps and the famous wilderness the South Island is known for.

Note that staying over at the campsite will give you 48 hours of access to the facilities even after you have vacated the premises, and the site offers a perfect spot for a night-time swim.

Costs To Consider When Hiring A Campervan In Christchurch

Campervan Hire Rates

Campervan hire rates in Christchurch are relatively inexpensive. But they do depend on a few factors, including the dates you’re looking to book your holiday and the type of campervan you’re booking. You can of course expect the rates to be higher during peak season (December to March), and the bigger the van, the higher the price it will cost you.

It’s also important to take note that many campervan rental companies have a daily mileage limits on their vehicles. You’ll need to ensure you’re staying within these limits or else you will likely need to pay excess.

As a rough guide, prices for basic campervans may start at around $50 NZD per day and can reach upwards of $200-$400 per day for more luxurious vans. Extras that will send the costs up include things like onboard kitchens, fridges, toilets, showers, etc.

Fuel Costs

You of course then have to factor in fuel costs. Thankfully, there are a number of attractions that are a rather close drive away from Christchurch which will help to keep costs down, but those further destinations like Avalanche Peak or Maruia Hot Springs will require a fair bit of fuel.

Most smaller campervans will use petrol, whereas larger campervans often use diesel for better fuel efficiency. As a rough guide, you can expect to pay anywhere from around $25-$50 per 100km for fuel depending on your campervan’s fuel consumption.

Parking and Campsite Costs

 

When you’re hiring a campervan, you’ll need to plan a few stopovers where you can park your rental and lay your head down for the night. You’ll likely come across many stunning sites to park your campervan for the night and while some may be free of charge, many sites will charge a nightly fee that would include use of their facilities.

You can seek out freedom camping (parking or camping on public property that is not designated for camping), but while this practice is mostly welcomed and free, it’s not free of responsibility. There are strict guidelines you need to follow to avoid potential fines.

Hiring a campervan gives you the freedom to roam New Zealand’s South Island out of Christchurch on your own schedule with great flexibility. Campervans enable you to explore more remote and less-touristy spots that are often inaccessible by public transport, and you’ll get to travel at your own pace without the constraints of check-in and check-out hotel times.

Traveling by campervan will see you visiting smaller towns and rural areas where you can experience more authentic local culture and hospitality. And staying in campgrounds and holiday parks will allow you to meet fellow travellers and possibly locals that can offer helpful travel suggestions or at least entertaining stories that can only add to your memorable New Zealand road trip.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

 

 

Source: Top 5 Campervan Destinations to Visit Near Christchurch

6 Important Tips for Camping With a Dog in Summer

6 Important Tips for Camping With a Dog in Summer

This article may contain compensated links, please read our disclaimer for more information.

Now that the warm weather is here, it’s important that we all keep summer safety in mind. This means keeping our kids safe, of course, but it also means keeping our dogs safe as we travel. If this is your first summer on the road with your pup, be sure to keep these tips in mind while camping with a dog in hot weather.

Safety Tips for Camping with a Dog in Hot Weather

The hot weather tips below are exactly what you need to go camping with a dog in the summertime. That said, some of these tips can also work well for a cat or another pet, so even if you don’t have a dog, they might be worth a read.

Traveling with Your Dog

First, let’s talk about traveling with your dog. After all, you will want to make sure your pup is safe and comfortable as you travel down the road.

  • Never let pets ride in a moving trailer. Trailers bounce a lot more than you might imagine, and this combined with the extreme heat that will build up in the trailer is a recipe for disaster.
  • Make water available. Ensure your pet has enough water throughout the drive. If you are unable to make a water dish available while in motion, make frequent stops and offer water each time.

Ensuring a Comfortable Temperature in Your RV

Hoping to leave your dog in the RV while you go out exploring? That should be okay, but it is important to have a way to control and monitor the temperature while you’re away. This is because, like cars, RVs can become extremely hot inside very quickly in the summertime and this can be dangerous for pets.

Controlling the Temperature in Your RV

If boondocking, choose a place that does not get above 75 degrees (°F) during the day. Leave windows open and a vent fan on. Make sure your pup can’t get out through the open windows.

If you’re in an RV park with shore power, leave the air conditioner running.

Monitoring the Temperature in Your RV

Either way, invest in a temperature monitor for your RV. This will alert you should the temperature of your home-on-wheels get too high.

We recommend a cellular pet temperature monitor if you’re staying in a park with hookups. This will continue working even if the power and Wi-Fi go out.

When boondocking, it’s better to use a Wi-Fi pet temperature monitor connected to Starlink, which can be run off of a pure sine wave inverter connected to your RV’s batteries. Just be sure you have enough battery power to last until you get back.

Taking Your Dog on Outings

Hopefully you plan to take your pup on some outings as well. Of course, you will want to do so safely. Here’s how:

  • Carry a portable water bowl and offer water regularly.
  • Take breaks in the shade or indoors where your pet can cool off.
  • Pick up some dog shoes for walking on hot pavement and sand.
  • Consider locations where your dog can play in water to cool off and have fun.

Keeping Safety in Mind

Lastly, it is always important that you prepare for potential emergencies by carrying your pet’s medical records and making yourself aware of where the nearest emergency veterinarian is. This will ensure you can get help quickly if anything does go wrong while camping with a dog.

Pup playing in water, the perfect activity when camping with a dog in summer

Where to Go Camping with a Dog in Hot Weather

Wondering where to go camping with a dog in summer? We recommend choosing a place that doesn’t see extreme heat for the comfort and safety of all involved. We also like to choose destinations where Fido is welcome to be out and about.

Acadia National Park

One of the best places to be during the summer months, Acadia is an absolutely gorgeous place that is home to over 100 miles of dog-friendly trails and 45 miles of dog-friendly carriage roads. It also sees super mild summers, with temperatures that rarely exceed 75 degrees. We really can’t imagine a better spot to go camping with a dog.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Acadia is home to a beach, but unfortunately dogs aren’t allowed there. If you’re looking for a beach vacation for your furry friend, we recommend Cannon Beach. This iconic beach allows dogs to run, splash, and play as much as they like. Meanwhile, the nearby Ecola State Park allows leashed pups to hike their trails.

Shenandoah National Park

Another fantastic pet-friendly national park, Shenandoah features nearly 500 miles of pup-friendly hiking trails. On top of that, all in-park campgrounds allow dogs to stay. Clearly, this is an amazing place to enjoy some beautiful scenery and fresh air with your doggo this summer.

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Provincetown also deserves a place on this list. This awesome town allows dogs to play on all of their beaches from 6:00am–9:00am and from 6:00pm–9:00pm throughout the summer. It also plays host to a variety of restaurants, galleries, and tours that welcome dogs with open arms, meaning your pet can enjoy your entire vacation with you.

Indiana Dunes National Park

Do you have a dog who loves to swim? Indiana Dunes National Park might be for them. This park features sandy beaches on the lovely Lake Michigan, and some of them welcome dogs to play alongside their human companions. Just be sure to ask a park ranger to learn which beaches are open to pups during your visit!

New River Gorge National Park

New River Gorge National Park may be the newest of the officially designated national parks, but it is just as spectacular. On top of some amazing scenery, this park also holds a special place in our hearts because it is so pet-friendly. Dogs are allowed on all in-park trails, including the fabulous Endless Wall Trail, which offer some incredible views.

Now that you’ve gathered some safety tips and learned about some amazing dog-friendly destinations, it’s time to go camping with a dog in summer. Grab your gear and get ready for a fantastic summertime adventure with your favorite furry friend!

Join Fulltime Families

Fulltime Families Members get access to the best resources, community and discounts.

Fulltime Families is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Source: 6 Important Tips for Camping With a Dog in Summer

Toronto’s Hidden Gems: Discovering Secluded Spots on a Yacht Charter

Toronto’s Hidden Gems: Discovering Secluded Spots on a Yacht Charter

Toronto is often celebrated for its towering skyline, offering up the iconic CN Tower with its famous EdgeWalk experience and revolving 360 Restaurant.  The city is also home to impressive museums and art galleries, delicious restaurants, and even a castle known as Casa Loma.

Toronto is also surrounded by some lovely natural attractions, such as Niagara Falls which is just a daytrip away, and the lovely Toronto Islands closer to home on its doorstep. In fact, beyond Toronto’s bustling downtown and its iconic landmarks exists a vibrant yachting community with several yacht clubs and marinas located along the shores of Lake Ontario.

Toronto’s yachting culture draws in not only locals but also international visitors who wish to see the  city and its natural surrounds in a unique way. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a curious newcomer, setting sail in Toronto unveils a side of the city that few get the chance to experience.

Toronto’s Hidden Gems: Discovering Secluded Spots on a Yacht Charter

The Allure of Toronto’s Waterfront

There are many popular yacht routes in Toronto that allow you to really immerse yourself in the city’s natural wonders. Toronto’s extensive waterfront is a playground for yachting enthusiasts. The city’s location on the northern shore of Lake Ontario provides calm waters and large open expanses for sailors of all skill levels.

Toronto’s yachting scene is made up of prestigious yacht clubs and well-equipped marinas. The Royal Canadian Yacht Club is one of Canada’s oldest, offering world-class facilities and a rich history dating back nearly 200 years. Situated on the Toronto Islands, the RCYC combines exclusivity with breathtaking natural landscapes, making it a favorite among sailors.

The Beauty of the Toronto Islands

A short sail from the mainland, the Toronto Islands offer a relaxing escape from the CBD. This collection of small islands is a favorite destination for yachters, providing sheltered anchorages, sandy beaches, and lush parklands.

Explore the tranquil lagoons and Centreville Amusement Park of Centre Island, enjoy a seaside meal at one of the cafes along the boardwalk of Ward’s Island, or get a bit scandalous on Hanlan’s Point where you’ll find one of Canada’s few clothing-optional beaches.

While the summer months may be the most optimal time to enjoy many of the available outdoor activities, the islands are beautiful year-round. Be sure to take in the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse and keep an eye out for wildlife like raccoons, beavers, and over 200 species of birds.

Then there are Scarborough Bluffs which stretch for nearly 10 miles along Lake Ontario’s shoreline, offering up several parks with numerous hiking trails. The Bluffs reach up to 300 feet tall in places and were formed over thousands of years through the action of wind and water erosion on the soft clay and sedimentary rock deposited by glaciers during the last Ice Age. The dramatic cliffs are especially magical during sunrise and sunset, offering exceptional photography.

Secluded Beaches and Natural Havens

Further east, beyond the Bluffs, lies one of Toronto’s best-kept secrets which is Rouge National Urban Park. Bridging the gap between urban life and natural beauty, Rouge National is one of the largest urban parks in North America and home to several ecosystems,

Yachting through the Rouge River offers plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife and visit secluded beaches that are only reachable by boat. Tommy Thompson Park, known locally as the Leslie Street Spit, is also worth a visit. The park is very popular with bird watchers who are eager to seek out various raptors and wading birds, as well as colorful warblers during spring and fall migration.

And whether you’re looking to sunbathe or swim, the Toronto Islands have many beaches to lure you in. Centre Island Beach is one of the most popular and easily accessible from the ferry docks, and as mentioned earlier, Hanlan’s Point Beach on the western end of the Toronto Islands is one of the few legal nude beaches in Canada.

Ward’s Island Beach offers a more peaceful escape away from the crowds, offering up beautiful views of the Toronto skyline. Gibraltar Point Beach is another quiet beach and is located near the historic Gibraltar Point Lighthouse.

Hidden Coves and Scenic Views

Then there are the hidden coves of the Toronto Islands tucked secretly away from the busier beaches. These rather hidden natural gems offer a chance to really connect with nature. You can start with Snake Island Cove on the southwest tip of the Toronto Islands, south of Centre Island.

Other options include Harewood Beach Cove along the eastern shoreline of Centre Island, as well as Fox Point Beach on the western side of Ward’s Island. Many of the coves are accessible by boat or by hiking along the trails that crisscross the Toronto Islands.

Many small bays characterize the West Coast, and if you are a proud yacht owner or renter, this would be the perfect place to anchor and spend some time in the water. Also worth a  mention is Humber Bay Park which is a large waterfront park that spans both sides of the Humber River mouth on the western edge of the city.

Easily Accessible Yachting

One of the greatest advantages of yachting in Toronto is its accessibility. The city’s marinas are conveniently located and well-connected to public transportation. And if you don’t have your own yacht, you’ll be glad to know there are numerous charter companies providing options ranging from small sailboats to luxurious yachts.

Toronto’s annual yachting calendar is packed with special events as well. Throughout the summer months, the city’s waters come alive with regattas and sailing festivals such as the annual Lake Ontario 300 Challenge. Known as the “Great Race,” it’s a thrilling offshore race that attracts sailors from across North America.

Meanwhile, the Toronto International Boat Show is another big event which is held each January, showcasing the latest in boating technology and luxury yachts.

Yachting in Toronto offers a fresh perspective on this dynamic city, the city’s iconic landmarks, such as CN Tower and Rogers Centre taking on a new unique view when observed from the deck of a yacht.

While chartering a yacht in Toronto means getting a taste of the high life, it’s also an opportunity to explore another side of the city that most people fail to notice. From the picturesque and serene Toronto Islands to monumental Scarborough Bluffs, these natural secrets of Toronto show a side of the city reserved for those with an truly adventurous spirit.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

Source: Toronto’s Hidden Gems: Discovering Secluded Spots on a Yacht Charter

How to Stay Entertained When on a Long Flight

How to Stay Entertained When on a Long Flight

You’ve finally made it to your plane seat after navigating the airport security lines, locating your gate, and waiting for boarding. Sadly, now the challenge begins on how to keep yourself entertained for hours upon hours of your long-haul flight.

Unless you’re lucky enough to score a First-Class seat with a comfortable bed where you can easily sleep away the flight, enduring long-haul flights crammed into a confined coach seat can be challenging.

Thankfully, mastering the art of in-flight entertainment can turn the skies into a playground of possibilities or a productive office whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time flyer. From immersive books and captivating movies, to possibly even learning a new skill, the opportunities to stay engaged and entertained are endless.

So, fasten your seatbelt and get ready to explore the best ways to make the most of your time above the clouds on your next long-haul flight.

How to Stay Entertained When on a Long Flight

Listen to Some Music

One of the best ways for you to not only stay entertained during a long flight but also relaxed is to listen to some music. Listening to music can soothe nerves and possibly even help you to get some sleep.

The key is to create several playlists for different moods such as relaxation, sleep, upbeat tunes for when you’re trying to stay awake for the meal service, or music that will allow you to stay focused if you plan on catching up on some work.

Ensure your playlists are downloaded for offline listening to avoid issues with connectivity unless your flight offers free onboard Wi-Fi. Noise-cancelling headphones are a must to block out engine noise and chatter from other passengers. Just make sure they are comfortable headphones since you may be wearing them for extended periods of time.

While you may be inclined to listening to your favorite artists or genres, a long-haul flight may be a perfect time to explore different styles of music that you might not typically listen to, whether that’s classical, jazz, or alternative music.

Ensure your device is fully charged before boarding the plane and bring a portable charger to keep your device powered throughout the flight. Some airlines offer a selection of music through their in-flight entertainment systems if you happen to forget to bring your device or download music to it.

Take Time to Read

Long-haul flights are also the perfect opportunity to do some reading, you know that thing we used to do before smartphones and social media. I’m not talking about scrolling through your socials reading posts or a few short news stories, rather instead diving into an intriguing novel or educational historical nonfiction bestseller.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to pack a mix of reading materials such as books, magazines, and newspapers in your carry-on. If you’re lucky enough to have lounge access, many airport lounges provide a wide variety of magazines and newspapers free of charge and most all airports have shops selling books. Consider using an e-reader like a Kindle, which can hold countless books and takes up far less space and weight than traditional books would.

It always pays to be comfortable while reading, so choose a window seat where you can lean against the wall or an aisle seat if you prefer more legroom. Use a travel pillow to support your neck and maintain good posture to avoid neck and back strain.

Make use of the overhead reading light provided by the airline or consider packing your own portable light that will allow you to read easier and prevent eye strain. When using an e-reader, adjust the backlight to a comfortable level to also avoid eye strain.

Make sure to pack your reading glasses if you require them and if you aren’t eager to read, consider downloading audio books to your phone. Don’t be afraid to alternate between different types of books or magazines to keep things fresh throughout the flight.

Catch an In-Flight Movie

Long-haul flights offer the perfect excuse to binge that favorite Netflix series or take in a complete movie franchise. Movies or shows with engaging plots can make hours seem like minutes and provide a great way to unwind and relax during the flight.

Watching a screen requires less effort than reading or working, making it an easier option to enjoy when you’re tired. Download your favorite movies and TV shows to your device before the flight to ensure you have entertainment without relying on in-flight Wi-Fi, or hopefully make use of personal in-flight entertainment screens often provided by airlines on long-haul flights. International flights often feature a good selection of recently released movies.

If you prefer a larger screen than your phone, a laptop can be a great option so long as it’s charged or you have the ability to keep it charged during the flight. If seated by a window, lower the shade to minimize glare on your screen and don’t forget to adjust the brightness of your screen for optimal viewing.

Choose a mix of genres to match your mood. Opt for a comedy to get you to smile If stressed or a thriller if wanting to stay awake. Pack your favorite snacks for added comfort and to give yourself that cinema-like experience.

Play Games

Not only can games keep you entertained and engaged on long-haul flights, but they can also be mentally stimulating where you may actually learn a few things or sharpen your brain. There are endless games you can enjoy on your smartphone these days, ranging from sudoku and crossword puzzles to trivia and solitaire.  

Games require active participation, making time pass more quickly which is the goal on a long flight, and mobile devices and portable gaming consoles make it easy to pack your favorite games along during flights.

Download games or game apps that can be played offline to avoid issues with in-flight connectivity. Portable gaming devices like the Nintendo Switch or Valve Steam Deck are ideal for more immersive gaming experiences.

Some games are easy to play and don’t require a lot of concentration, whereas others are designed to keep your mind engaged. There are games to match nearly any interest whether you’re into sports, adventure, fantasy, multiplayer, or strategy games.

Get Writing

Writing allows you to make the most of your time, turning idle hours into productive ones or ones that can showcase your creativity. Writing not only keeps your brain active, but also can give you the opportunity to actually process your thoughts and ideas. Some find it even quite therapeutic.

You can go old-school and pack a journal and pens or make use of writing apps like Google Docs, Evernote, or Scrivener. Create a list of writing ideas or topics before the flight. Do you want to start writing a novel or autobiography, journal about your travels, think about and jot down future goals, or write a letter to a friend or family member to catch up?

You don’t need to be a travel blogger to document your journeys, experiences, and thoughts. And you don’t have to write a 400-page book, rather it can simply be a short story or poem. Alternatively, you could simply take time to work on various to-do lists.

Meditate

You don’t necessarily need silence, a yoga mat, and burning incense or candles to meditate, Many people often find that their travels create a lot of stress, especially during the transportation part of it such as when flying on planes.

Meditation should in theory help to reduce stress, increase relaxation, and improve mental clarity to make for a more pleasant flight. Meditation promotes relaxation, making it easier to rest and potentially sleep during the flight as well.

Meditation really doesn’t require any special equipment, just a comfortable seat and some quiet time. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs to block out cabin noise and there are incredible meditation and mindfulness apps such as Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer that allow you to listen to guided meditations or things like yoga nidra designed for flights.

Meditation can be done in short sessions, making it easy to fit into various periods of a long flight. It may be more effective during quieter times, such as after meals when the cabin lights are dimmed.

Practice deep breathing exercises to calm your mind and body, try to focus on being present and aware of your surroundings, or visualize a calm and peaceful place to help you relax.

Get Some Work Done

While travelling is supposed to be about taking time off and enjoying a much-deserved holiday, long-haul flights can be a perfect opportunity to get caught up on work. Then there are of course those that are traveling for business, so a flight can offer time to prepare for an international meeting or business proposal with clients.   

Long-haul flights generally offer extended uninterrupted time so long as you aren’t unlucky enough to be seated next to a stranger wanting to share their entire life story, which means it’s usually an opportunity where you can actually get work done.

The confined space and limited activities can create a focused environment for deep work. Limited or no internet access can further minimize distractions from emails and social media, helping you concentrate on work tasks.

Create a list of tasks you want to accomplish during the flight and ensure all necessary documents and files you may need are downloaded and accessible offline. Use productivity apps like Trello, Evernote, or Microsoft OneNote to keep track of tasks and notes.

Use this time to jot down business ideas, outlines, and important points, or to read and review documents, reports, and articles. Just remember to take breaks to avoid burnout, so maybe interrupt your work with some of our other options throughout the flight such as watching an in-flight movie, playing games, reading a book, or listening to some music.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

 

 

 

Source: How to Stay Entertained When on a Long Flight

Man sets fire to RV in attempt to evade Windsor police

Man sets fire to RV in attempt to evade Windsor police

Published Jun 17, 2024  •  1 minute read

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Windsor Police Service insignia. Windsor Star

A 41-year-old man has been charged with setting fire to a recreational vehicle in an attempt to evade police.

Officers with the problem-oriented policing unit arrived in the 700 block of Bridge Avenue just after 11:30 p.m. Sunday to arrest a suspect wanted on multiple outstanding warrants.

Police said the man refused to exit a parked RV. They obtained a warrant and attempted to enter the trailer.

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But the suspect allegedly lit a fire that quickly engulfed the inside of the vehicle and spread to hydro lines above the trailer.

As officers dealt with the fire, the suspect escaped through a small opening in the floor of the recreational vehicle and fled the scene.

A search of they neighbourhood ended when officers found the suspect hiding in a residence in the same block.

The suspect was arrested on outstanding warrants for charges of break and enter and theft of a motor vehicle and three counts of driving while prohibited.

He also faces a charge of arson with disregard for human life and arson causing property damage.

Anyone with further information is asked to call the Windsor Police Service target base unit at 519-255-6700, ext. 4350 or contact Windsor & Essex County Crime Stoppers anonymously at 519-258-8477 (TIPS) or online at catchcrooks.com

If you or someone you know is an affected person in need of support, call Victim Services Windsor Essex County at 519-723-2711 or the victim assistance unit at Windsor Police at 519-255-6700, ext. 4879.

jkotsis@postmedia.com

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Source: Man sets fire to RV in attempt to evade Windsor police

8 Essential Financial Tips for Solo Female Travelers

8 Essential Financial Tips for Solo Female Travelers

I can say from experience that traveling solo as a female is an empowering and enriching experience. It has offered me a great deal of personal growth in addition to a sense of adventure. With that said, traveling solo does come with unique financial considerations.

Balancing safety, comfort, and a travel budget can be tricky at times, but with strategic planning and smart money management, solo travel can be both affordable and rewarding.  

Let us look at some essential financial tips tailored specifically for solo female travelers, which will hopefully provide you with the insights and strategies needed to explore the world without depleting your saving or putting you into considerable debt.

8 Essential Financial Tips for Solo Female Travelers

Select the Right Payment Methods

Choosing the most economical payment methods becomes even more crucial for managing your finances effectively when traveling solo as there is nobody to split costs with. Thankfully, there are numerous payment options available today, with each method offering its own advantages and potential pitfalls.

Credit Cards

Credit cards have long been a convenient and secure payment method for solo travelers, and many cards come with travel perks such as free annual hotel nights or the ability to earn points that can be redeemed for travel. Some cards even offer free travel insurance.

Just make sure to choose a credit card with no foreign transaction fees, which can otherwise add on an additional 3% to purchases made abroad. Also be mindful of any annual fee that may be charged for certain cards that offer big travel rewards.

Debit & Prepaid Travel Cards

While debit cards provide direct access to your funds, it’s essential to use them strategically. Choose a bank that reimburses international ATM fees or use ATMs within your bank’s network to avoid hefty withdrawal charges. Be aware of currency conversion rates offered by ATMs, as some often offer better rates than others.

Prepaid travel cards offer a controlled way to manage your travel budget and give you the ability to load up a card with foreign currency before you travel to lock in favorable exchange rates and avoid any surprises.

Cash & Mobile Payment Apps

Carrying some cash is always a good idea, especially for small purchases or in places where cards are not accepted. You’ll find many countries where vendors such as taxis, restaurants, or markets will only accept cash and it allows you to give tips when it’s customary to do so.

Mobile payment apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or country-specific options provide a modern and secure way to pay. Mobile payments are often more secure than traditional cards due to encryption and tokenization.

Running an Online Business While Traveling

If you are a digital nomad running an online business while travelling as I do, you’ll want to research reliable payment processing options. Having an effective online payment solution is vital, one where you can easily accept payments online with low operating costs, collect necessary taxes, and still give your customers or clients the payment options they want.

Use apps like Mint, YNAB, or QuickBooks to track your spending and ensure you stay within your business operating and travel budget. If possible, don’t rely on a single source of income for your online business, rather explore multiple revenue streams such as affiliate marketing, online courses, freelancing, and selling products or services.

Be sure to send out invoices immediately after work is completed to ensure timely payments. As a traveler, you may also need to research the tax obligations for both your home country and any countries you stay in for extended periods.

Another area of potential concern when working abroad is needing to research visa requirements and work permits for the countries you plan to visit. Ensure you are legally allowed to conduct business or if no such special permits are needed.

Don’t forget to create a healthy work-life balance if you plan to work while traveling, since continuous or long periods of travel can be exhausting. You don’t want to burn yourself out and actually want to allow yourself to fully experience the travel destinations you are visiting.

Come Up with a Realistic Budget

Setting a realistic travel budget as a solo female traveler involves thorough research, careful planning, and mindful spending. Women traveling solo often require a bit higher budget simply to prioritize safety, which may require booking safer accommodation in nicer areas as well as using safer transportation methods.

Budgeting for any trip is essential, considering the many expenses involved with travel such as accommodation, transportation, food, activities, and souvenirs. Websites such as Numbeo as well as travel blogs such as this one can give you an idea of the daily expenses you can expect in different countries.

Use budgeting apps or maintain a journal to monitor your travel expenses and stick to your budget, making sure to plan for potential emergency costs like trip changes or needing to replace essential items you’re traveling with if they are lost, damaged, or stolen.

Choose Affordable Accommodation

I’ve covered budgeting for accommodation and the tendency for solo female travelers to allocate a higher portion of their budget to secure safe hotels or other lodging in good neighborhoods. Safety first is the hard-and-fast rule for any solo female traveler.

Always check accommodation reviews and prioritize places with a very high safety rating. Booking a private room in a safe location will give you priceless peace of mind.

If you need to stay in hostels or share accommodation due to budget constraints, seek out hostels that offer female-only dorms which provide an added layer of security and comfort. Choose hostels in central, well-lit areas close to public transportation, which reduces the need for expensive and potentially unsafe late-night travel.

While couchsurfing can be a budget-friendly option, you will need to prioritize hosts with positive reviews and verified profiles for safety.

Use Public Transportation

While it may be tempting to want to rent a vehicle, using public transportation can significantly save costs for solo female travelers while also providing much safer travel in destinations where road rules seem to be less structured or enforced, or where you may be forced to drive on the opposite side of the road than you are used to driving.

Public transportation, such as buses, trains, trams, and subways, typically costs much less than taxis or rideshares as well. You’ll find many cities offer daily, weekly, or monthly travel passes that provide unlimited travel on public transport for a fixed fee, often at a discounted rate compared to single tickets.

Not only does using public transportation eliminate having to pay for fuel or insurance, it also means you won’t have to worry about finding and paying for expensive city parking which equates to a more relaxed experience.

As an added bonus, not only is public transportation cheaper and safer for solo travel, it’s also more environmentally friendly compared to taxis or rental cars.

Travel During Off-Season & Seek Free Attractions

Keep in mind that travel costs can vary depending on the season as well, so research the best time to visit to avoid peak season prices. Book accommodations in advance, as the best rates are usually obtained this way. You may also consider booking accommodation with kitchen facilities that will allow you to prepare your own meals to reduce costs.

Many destinations offer plenty of free attractions such as parks, museums, and walking tours, so check these out and don’t feel you have to splurge on big-ticket attractions. Many popular tourist destinations also offer city passes or discount cards that offer reduced entry fees to multiple attractions.

Get Travel Insurance

Regardless of the nature of your trip or whether you are planning to be adventurous or daring, purchasing travel insurance should never be overlooked. Travel is often unpredictable, and ensuring you will not be hit with unexpected expenses that may result from trip cancelations/delays or requiring overseas medical treatment will give you much needed peace of mind.

Things you want your travel insurance policy to include are things like unlimited overseas medical expenses and reimbursement of non-refundable trip costs if you need to cancel or cut short your trip due to unforeseen circumstances like illness, family emergencies, or travel restrictions.

A comprehensive policy should also cover loss, theft, or damage to your personal belongings, including luggage and travel documents. Be sure to inquire what activities your policy covers or what restrictions there may be on certain activities. Some activities like skydiving may not be covered, while others such as skiing may require adding additional coverage as part of a winter sports package for instance.

Finally, carefully read the fine print of the product disclosure statement to understand what exactly is and is not covered by the policy. Common exclusions may include pre-existing medical conditions, certain high-risk activities like I mentioned, or travel to regions with government travel advisories in place.

Never compromise on essential insurance coverage, as spending a bit more can provide significantly better protection. Consider the deductible amount you would need to pay out-of-pocket before the insurance kicks in, keeping in mind that lower deductibles often mean higher premiums.

Use Safe Online Banking Practices

It’s essential to ensure the security of your finances and other critical information while traveling. While using online banking while traveling can be convenient, it also comes with its risks. You should begin with installing antivirus software on all your devices to protect against malware and other threats.

Consider activating two-factor authentication on your banking accounts when traveling if not already in place. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a text message code or an authentication app.

Avoid logging into online bank accounts when using public Wi-Fi, as this is less secure and more susceptible to hacking. If you do wish to access sensitive information while using public Wi-Fi, use a VPN to encrypt your internet connection and protect your data.

Regularly check your bank statements and account activity to spot any unauthorized transactions early. You can enable account alerts to receive notifications for transactions, login attempts, and other account activities. This helps you quickly detect and respond to suspicious activity.

Just remember to alert you bank and credit card providers that you will be traveling so they won’t flag your valid international purchases as suspicious and put a hold on your accounts.

Always log out of your online banking session after you are done, especially if you are using a shared or public device, but even when using your own device in case it’s lost or stolen.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

Source: 8 Essential Financial Tips for Solo Female Travelers

How Travel Improves Mental Health for Solo Adventurers

How Travel Improves Mental Health for Solo Adventurers

There has been a substantial increase in solo travel in recent years. Travel agencies and online booking platforms have reported a significant rise in solo travel bookings, some revealing that upwards of 40% of global travelers are now planning solo trips each year.

Advances in technology, such as smartphones, travel apps, and social media, have made solo travel more accessible and less intimidating. And solo travel is no longer limited to a specific age group or gender. While it has traditionally been popular among young backpackers, it is increasingly embraced now by older adults and women.

Women in particular are leading the surge in solo travel, with many seeking empowerment alongside adventure. Solo travel for both men and women offers an opportunity for introspection, personal growth, and the freedom to explore one’s interests without compromise. Let us also look at how going solo on your next trip can improve your overall mental health as well.  

How Travel Improves Mental Health for Solo Adventurers

Boosts Your Self-Confidence

Most people dealing with issues like relationship problems or various mental health challenges such as depression or severe anxiety will be eager to seek professional therapy. Thanks to the internet, you can now easily head online and search for a “psychologist near me”.

Psychologists can help boost your self-confidence through various therapeutic techniques like practicing self-esteem exercises, going through social skills training, and undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy which can help you recognize and challenge your negative thoughts and beliefs that may undermine self-confidence.

Solo travel can also provide opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery, which collectively contribute to increased self-confidence. By being forced to navigate challenges alone, make independent decisions, and expand your social skills, solo travel can see you returning home with a heightened sense of self-assurance and a deeper understanding of your true capabilities.

When traveling alone, every decision is yours alone to make, whether it’s planning an itinerary or navigating your way through foreign city streets. This sense of control over your entire journey builds confidence in your ability to make wise decisions.

Then there is the potential need to handle unexpected situations, such as missed flights, language barriers, and finding accommodation. All of these things require quick thinking and problem-solving. Successfully navigating these challenges will undoubtedly boost confidence in yourself.

Promotes Mindfulness and Presence

Traveling alone can help nurture mindfulness by heightening your awareness of your surroundings and making each moment of your travels more meaningful and memorable. Traveling solo reduces distractions and offers a special kind of freedom from the usual chaos of daily life back home.  

Traveling alone gives you the freedom to set your own pace and immerse yourself in the moment, whether it’s savoring the taste of meal at a seaside café or gazing at a painting in an art museum.

It is the need to rely on oneself and make decisions independently that sharpens focus and concentration, enhancing our ability to live in the present moment and appreciate the here and now. You of course also maximize travel experiences as a solo traveler by ridding yourself of having to engage in regular conversations with travel companions or potentially having to navigate arguments that can often arise when couples, friends, or family travel together.

Encourages Personal Growth

Solo travel definitely pushes you out of your comfort zone which can accelerate personal growth. In fact, solo travel is a catalyst for personal growth, offering countless opportunities to develop independence, self-awareness, cultural competence, and adaptability.

By stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring the world on your own terms, you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you. This transformative experience will give you the confidence and skills needed to navigate many of life’s challenges and to also pursue your goals with greater clarity and determination.

The confidence gained from successfully managing the often many tricky logistics of travel by yourself can spill over into other areas of life, reinforcing your belief in your capabilities. Being alone during your travels allows for significant introspection, helping you understand your preferences, strengths, and areas you may wish to see improvement in.

Many solo travelers including myself might find themselves reflecting on their values and life goals during quiet moments such as during flights, walking through a city park, or simply eating a meal alone at a restaurant. This heightened self-awareness can lead to great personal growth, as you learn what truly matters to you and how you wish to live your life.

Reduces Stress Through Freedom

Solo travel is not only an escape from where you physically live but also a much-needed escape from common social pressures and obligations. Many of us often juggle multiple roles and responsibilities in life, whether it be as a spouse or a parent. Performing these many roles can prove to be a significant source of stress.

Traveling alone provides an opportunity to step away from these demands and focus solely on yourself. This break from social expectations allows you to reconnect with your inner self, explore your interests, and recharge emotionally. The peace and quiet found in solo travel can be deeply therapeutic, offering a sense of calm and clarity that is hard to achieve in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Traveling solo offers many a feeling of unparalleled freedom, liberating yourself from the shackles of needing to accommodate other’s needs or desires or adhering to a schedule that is pleasing to others but maybe not yourself. Such freedom evokes a sense of emotional liberation and self-empowerment, which can naturally reduce stress.

Being able to take full control of your itinerary often sees travel anxiety substantially decreased. You can easily move at your own pace, indulge in more spontaneous adventures, or simply relax on a comfortable hotel bed whenever you wish to. It’s this personal pace that helps you avoid those stressful rushed or forced experiences we find ourselves trapped in during normal life or when traveling with others.

Enhances Emotional Resilience

Confronting solitude can be quite daunting, especially if there’s really no one you can lean on for support. However, it’s also an opportunity to build emotional resilience. Facing loneliness can see you finding joy in your own company rather than experiencing a sense of loss or feeling you are unloved or unworthy of the company of others.

Whether it’s dining alone, approaching strangers for directions, or dealing with the uncertainty of a new environment, facing such situations helps diminish the fear or stigma associated with them.

Over time, such exposure builds your tolerance for discomfort and uncertainty, key elements in developing emotional resilience. By learning to thrive in unfamiliar settings and cope with the inevitable ups and downs of travel, you can develop a more resilient mindset that can be applied to challenges in everyday life.

Boosts Creative Thinking

Travel itself boosts creative thinking by exposing you to new environments and experiences, but solo travel goes a step further by encouraging greater risk-taking and experimentation, providing the potential for reflection or experiencing unique social interactions.

By stepping out of your routine and embracing the challenges and opportunities of solo travel, you stimulate your mind, foster new ideas, and enhance your overall creative potential. This creativity can also then spill over into the professional or artistic aspects of your life.

Increased creativity will often depend on your willingness to take risks and try new things as a solo traveler. Many find the autonomy of solo travel allows them to explore their interests more freely or potentially discover new hobbies and desires they never knew they had.

Another way solo travel boosts creative thinking is by providing ample time for reflection and introspection. Without the distractions of familiar routines or the company of others, you have more mental space to think deeply and daydream. Many great thinkers and artists have credited both solitude and travel as significant sources of inspiration for their work, so combining the two can prove to be quite powerful.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

Source: How Travel Improves Mental Health for Solo Adventurers

Camino Portugues: Highlights You’ll Find From Porto

Camino Portugues: Highlights You’ll Find From Porto

Each year millions of pilgrims, hikers, and tourists embark on an incredible journey to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Several ancient trails lead to this stunning city in Galicia, and the most popular is Camino Frances, but what most people ignore is Camino Portuguese, which is an incredible alternative to the popular route.

One of the main reasons to choose this one over Camino Frances is the distance, the Camino Portugues will take you 25 days while the Camino Frances takes over 35 days or more.

Camino Portugues: Highlights You’ll Find From Porto

Camino Portugues Overview

Porto Portugal

This Camino de Santiago has two main starting points, from Porto which is shorter (230 kilometers and 12 days), and Lisbon which is a lot longer (620 kilometers and 25 days).

Nowadays you can even start from Tui, which is a picturesque town in Spain and is 111 km away from Santiago de Compostela.

Along the way, you’ll find several places to stay and other amenities, as well as the iconic blue and yellow signs and the yellow shells. The trail offers unique views of the coast or the central landscapes of Portugal, as well as several villages.

From Portugal to Spain, here are some of the best highlights:

Porto

Begin your journey in Porto, Portugal’s vibrant city known for its historic architecture, port wine cellars, and the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge.

Make sure to explore the Ribeira district before setting foot on the trail.

Ponte de Lima

Ponte de Lima RF

Cross the Roman bridge in Ponte de Lima, a charming town nestled along the Lima River, and enjoy the local cuisine, don’t forget to soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

Tui

As you cross the Minho River, you’ll enter Spain and arrive in Tui. Explore the medieval streets, visit the Tui Cathedral, and take in the views from the Mirador de San Telmo.

Don’t forget to try the local Galician cuisine, including hearty stews and freshly caught seafood.

Redondela

Redondela, nestled along the Vigo estuary, offers a mix of coastal beauty and historical landmarks. Visit the Church of Santiago and enjoy a stroll along the waterfront promenade.

Pontevedra

Pontevedra RF

Pontevedra boasts a well-preserved old town, where narrow alleys lead to charming squares. Admire the Basilica of Santa María and explore the Museum of Pontevedra.

The city comes alive during festivals, so check the calendar for local celebrations.

Caldas de Reis

Relax your weary muscles in the thermal baths of Caldas de Reis.

The healing waters have been soothing pilgrims for centuries. Take time to explore the town’s gardens and historic buildings.

Padrón

Padrón is steeped in legend, claiming to be the place where the boat carrying Saint James’ body arrived.

Visit the Iglesia de Santiago and savor the famous Padrón peppers—small green peppers with a delightful kick.

Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela RF

Finally, after days of walking, you’ll reach the majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Attend the Pilgrim’s Mass, hug the Botafumeiro (the giant incense burner), and receive your Compostela certificate.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

Source: Camino Portugues: Highlights You’ll Find From Porto

How Adventure Travel Strengthens Deep Bonds Between Companions

How Adventure Travel Strengthens Deep Bonds Between Companions

While I am a huge advocate for solo travel, there is something to be said about traveling with a companion whether it be a partner, close friend, family member, or colleague. Not only can traveling with someone else provide you with more confidence and safety, but it also provides emotional support during both the highs and lows of travel.

Then there is of course being able to split expenses such as accommodation, transportation, and meals which can make travel more affordable and allow you to experience more travel on a budget.

But one of the greatest benefits of traveling with a companion is that it often can strengthen your relationship. Adventure travel in particular offers a unique opportunity to deepen relationships in ways that everyday life or traditional travel rarely permits.

How Adventure Travel Strengthens Deep Bonds Between Companions

The Nature of Adventure Travel

Whether its summiting a mountain or participating in extreme sports, adventure travel often pushes you out of your comfort zones, leading to moments of vulnerability. Sharing these raw, authentic moments with someone else only deepens the emotional impact and creates a stronger personal or intimate experience with another.

Adventure travel offers a unique blend of challenges and emotions that traditional travel often lacks. By pushing boundaries, fostering teamwork, and creating unforgettable memories, adventure travel has a profound impact on the relationships of those who plan adventure travel together.

Elements of Adventure Travel that Enhance Bonding

Overcoming Challenges Together

Adventure travel often involves overcoming physical and mental challenges, and working through these challenges together often builds mutual respect, trust, resilience, and a sense of accomplishment.

Overcoming unforeseen challenges together which adventure travel often creates, such as dealing with sudden weather changes or navigating through remote areas, strengthens problem-solving skills and fosters a sense of partnership.

A trusted travel companion can motivate you to push you out of your comfort zone and past your limits, providing you with encouragement and support during what could prove very difficult moments as a solo traveler. This mutual encouragement reinforces trust and solidarity.

Shared Adrenaline and Excitement

Adrenaline-inducing activities that are often part of adventure travel are known to create strong bonds between friends, partners, family, and even colleagues, and there’s compelling scientific evidence to explain why.

For starters, adrenaline increases heart rate, blood flow, and energy levels, making you more alert and ready for action, aka the fight-or-flight response. When companions share these heightened states of arousal, it can enhance their sense of connection and mutual understanding.

In adrenaline-inducing situations, oxytocin, or the “love/bonding hormone” is released. Oxytocin plays a key role in forming social bonds and promoting feelings of trust and attachment. The simultaneous release of adrenaline and oxytocin can amplify bonding experiences, creating a potent mix of excitement and affection that can strengthen a relationship.

Collaborative Planning and Decision-Making

Planning an adventure trip with another requires you to discuss your preferences, goals, and expectations together. This open dialogue improves overall communication and helps companions understand each other better.

Dividing planning tasks such as researching destinations, booking accommodations, and organizing adventure tours or activities demonstrates trust and reliability in one another. Each partner’s ability to depend on the other can help build confidence in the relationship.

Overcoming planning obstacles, such as adjusting itineraries or handling unexpected changes, reinforces the idea that you can rely on someone else in challenging situations.

Adventure Travel with a Soulmate  

 

Traveling with someone you are already deeply connected to offers the chance to take your already close relationship to potential soulmate status. You may be wondering whether soulmates are real, and there is compelling evidence rooted in psychological and spiritual ideas suggesting that soulmates do indeed exist.

Soulmates can make exceptional traveling companions due to their deep emotional connection, shared interests, effective communication, mutual trust, and complementary skills. Their ability to support and encourage each other enhances adventure travel.

Soulmates typically have a profound understanding of each other’s emotions, needs, and desires. This deep empathy can make travel smoother, as they can anticipate each other’s reactions and provide support during challenging moments.

The strong emotional bond means that soulmates can offer genuine comfort and reassurance, making it easier to handle stress and unexpected issues that may arise during travel.

And because soulmates often have similar interests and passions, it should in theory make it easier to agree on travel destinations, adventure activities, and itineraries. This alignment minimizes conflicts and enhances the enjoyment of shared experiences.

Trust is of course a cornerstone of soulmate relationships, and experiencing adventure travel together which we have already discussed promotes the building of trust. The ability of adventure travel to put that trust to the test in often extreme situations can help solidify that already strong trust you and your soulmate have to make it immortal.

Psychological & Emotional Impacts of Adventure Travel with a Companion

The psychological and emotional impacts of adventure travel with a companion are deeply rooted in science. The combination of hormonal changes, stress reduction, cognitive stimulation, and emotional support creates a powerful environment for personal growth and strengthened relationships.

By facing challenges together, communicating effectively, and sharing moments of vulnerability and triumph, you can build a deeper, more resilient bond with another. These shared experiences not only enhance individual well-being but also foster a lasting connection that extends beyond the adventure itself.

Reduction in Stress and Anxiety

We’ve already talked about the link between oxytocin and adventure travel, and how it can help strength bonds. Adventure travel also often involves spending time in nature, which has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, aka stress, and decrease anxiety.

Having a companion provides emotional support, which can help quell stress responses that may be brought on by adventurous activities in nature. They can provide a sense of security and calmness in challenging situations.

Enhanced Mood and Well-being

Adventure travel often equates to physical activities which can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators. Shared physical exertion can lead to feelings of euphoria and well-being.

Experiencing new and exciting activities with another promotes positive emotions such as joy, excitement, and happiness, which can strengthen the emotional connection between two people.

Increased Resilience and Coping Skills

Overcoming challenges together, such as navigating difficult terrain or dealing with unexpected situations, builds resilience and adaptability. The shared experience of managing stress and challenges can enhance individual coping mechanisms and improve the ability to handle future stressors.

Deepened Emotional Connection

Booking thrilling travel adventures involves planning activities that often require vulnerability, such as confronting fears or dealing with physical exhaustion. Sharing these vulnerable moments with a companion can deepen emotional intimacy.

Witnessing each other’s strengths and weaknesses in challenging situations fosters empathy and a deeper understanding of each other’s emotional world. And the increase in empathy for a travel partner can lead to having greater empathy in general towards people you meet in everyday life which may help you build stronger connections and deep friendships with people that would otherwise simply remain strangers.

Adventure travel presents a unique and powerful opportunity to strengthen relationships when undertaken with a companion whether it be a loving spouse or long-time friend. The combination of shared challenges, emotional highs and lows, and the need for effective communication fosters deep emotional bonds and mutual trust.

Whether it’s scaling mountains, cage diving to witness great white sharks up close, or skydiving over the Himalayas, adventure travel not only enriches the soul but also cements the ties that bind relationships. Ultimately, the transformative power of adventure travel comes about not merely from chosen travel destinations and adventurous activities you plan, rather in the enduring connections forged along the way.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

Source: How Adventure Travel Strengthens Deep Bonds Between Companions

3 Tips for Solo Hiking in 2024

3 Tips for Solo Hiking in 2024

If you’re into your fitness and adventure and looking to go away this summer as a solo traveller, then you may be interested in a hiking experience. 

Each year, many solo travellers venture out on a solo hiking trip as it’s a way to have a break from their everyday life, whilst also getting to see new destinations. 

You can put your laptop down on a Friday after work, go away for a couple of days before returning fresh, to tackle a new week again – it’s the perfect way to decompress! And at the same time, active travel benefits your mental health.

So what advice would we suggest to someone looking to go on a solo hike?

It’s important to wear the right clothing, it’s important that you spend some time learning the route and it’s important to know your limits – the last thing you want is to push yourself too hard. More below. 

3 Tips for Solo Hiking in 2024

Wear the Right Clothing 

Female hiker RF

You wouldn’t turn up to a tennis match wearing jeans and a shirt, so why would you do the same when hiking?

When on a hike, ensure you have the correct clothing before setting off.

Hiking shoes are very important as they have the correct support for your ankles as well as grip. Be sure to properly wear them in if you have purchased new shoes, before heading out on your actual trip.

A hiking top is extremely useful as it won’t rub, and will absorb your sweat. Hiking socks reduce blisters and swelling.

Spend Time Learning the Route

Rainbow Mountain Hike Peru RF

Know what you are going to be getting yourself into before setting off. Spend time learning the route you are going to take on, which will also allow you to prepare yourself for any inclines and any drastic changes in terrain.

Be prepared for the weather conditions and make sure the distance you plan to travel isn’t too far for you, in other words, know your limits which leads us to the next point. 

Know Your Limits 

Hawaii hiker RF

Know your limits! This is so important because if you don’t, this could put you in potential danger.

You don’t want to take on more than you can chew, as this could lead to you injuring yourself or requiring help near the end of your hike.

As a beginner, take on a beginner walking holiday as these are designed for people who are new to the sport. Once you have experience in hiking solo, this is when you can start to increase the difficulties of your adventures.

Before setting off on your trip, read any user reviews as this can help give you some real-life insight into the challenge you are about to take on. 

What tips would you recommend to someone who is planning on going on a solo hike? Which of the above tips did you find most useful? Are there any tips that you think we should add to our guide? Is there anything you would like to share that will help our readers? Let us know in the comment box below, we would love to hear from you. 

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

Source: 3 Tips for Solo Hiking in 2024

VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam – Small Size With Great Video

VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam – Small Size With Great Video


VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam – Small Size With Great Video

by Jerry Neal | Jun 8, 2024

VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam

Joan and I have covered thousands of miles in our RV travels. Now on the second 5th wheel, we’ve learned much about towing and traveling in heavy traffic. Towing a 42 foot 5th wheel with a F350 dually, we’re long, we’re heavy, and it takes some distance to stop. Something that hasn’t changed are those aggressive drivers when we’re towing through a busy city. We have to maintain that every important long gap to ensure we have ample room to stop. Our concern has always been that of an aggressive driver that will jump in front of us when we’re trying to stop. We’ll bump their rear bummer (or worse), and it will be their word against ours that were were following too close. Hence, the need for a good quality dash cam that is always on while traveling with high quality recording of all the events in front of our truck. We’re using the VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam and found it’s a perfect companion for our RV travels.

VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam

We like the size of the VIOFO VS1 Mini, as the name implies, measuring only 3 inches tall and 1.3 inches wide. We installed the dash cam on our windshield next to our rear view mirror and liked that it had no screens or excessive lights to distract us will driving.

As you will see in the video, the VS1 dash cam records front road scenes in 2K resolution with a 140° wide angle and uses the Sony STARVIS 2 sensor providing distortion-free images that easily captures licenses plates and road signs.

VIOFO VS1 Mini Dash Cam

Installing Dash Cam

Installation was very simple, mounting securely to our windshield in seconds using the attached sticky pad. If using the supplied car accessory power plug, it’s just stick the dash cam to the windshield, plug in power, and in minutes your able to record your travels. We chose the optional HK5 hardwired kit to make the camera turn on and off with the ignition key. Simple install taking a little over an hour to run the wires.

Using the Dash Cam

As shown in the video clips, the integrated GPS displays the precise location to record our driving route, speed, exact time and date. The built-in WiFi allows us to wirelessly connect the car dash camera to our smartphone for video clip playback and transfers without having to remove the memory card.

Our thanks to VIOFO for providing the VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam. This will be an excellent addition for our RV travels.

We have provided a link below the video for more information about the VS1 and a discount code for our iLoveRVlife viewers.

Helpful Links:

VIOFO VS1 Mini Dash Cam, 1440P/2K HDR Dashcam, STARVIS 2 Sensor, Free 32GB SD Card, 5GHz Wi-Fi Voice Control Car Dash Camera with GPS, Night Vision 2.0

VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam

VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam with HK5 Hardwire Kit (As seen in the video)

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: VIOFO VS1 Mini 2K Dash Cam – Small Size With Great Video

How to Capture Perfect Wildlife Shots on Solo Adventures

How to Capture Perfect Wildlife Shots on Solo Adventures

Wildlife photography is growing both as a hobby and as a profession due to increasing interest in nature and the environment, along with advancements in technology. The availability of affordable, high-quality cameras and lenses as well as simply smartphones that can now take exceptional professional photos has made wildlife photography accessible to nearly everyone.

Wildlife photographers often travel solo, as this allows them to be more flexible with their schedules and gives them the ability to more easily adapt to changing weather and lighting conditions as well as being able to accommodate an animal’s schedule. Being solo also reduces the risk of disturbing wildlife, which is often vital for capturing natural behaviors and ensuring the safety of both the photographer and the animals.

The drawback of being a solo traveling wildlife photographer is that you are on your own to master the technical, physical, and environmental challenges that come with photographing the natural world. Thankfully, we thought we’d offer some of our top practical tips to help you master your skills and capture more professional-quality wildlife shots on your next solo adventure.

How to Capture Perfect Wildlife Shots on Solo Adventures

Get Familiar with an Area

Researching and getting familiar with a travel destination and local wildlife habitats is equally as important for wildlife photography as knowing the technical aspects of photography. Such preparation increases the chances of capturing high-quality images and allows you to anticipate what you may realistically be able to photograph.

While you may see images of animals like jaguars taken in the Amazon or tigers in India, the reality is that it likely took a great deal of time and effort knowing where and when to seek out such species. Photographing animals in the wild is not like visiting a zoo where animal sightings are guaranteed; rather it takes research and getting familiar with a natural area.

You’ll need to learn the best times of day, seasons, and specific weather conditions when animals are most active, and understand aspects such as the terrain, local vegetation, and water sources which will help you better anticipate animal movements.

Identifying key locations within a habitat where animals are likely to be found helps in planning your photography sessions, while understanding feeding, mating, nesting, and migratory behaviors helps in anticipating where and when animals will be present. Keep in mind that animals also often have daily routines which can vary from area to area.

Research helps in understanding how to approach animals without causing stress or altering their natural behaviors. It allows you to learn about and adhere to local guidelines and regulations that may be in place to ensure ethical practices that protect wildlife and their habitats

Research Animal Behavior

Knowing animal behavior is another crucial aspect of capturing captivating wildlife photos. Understanding whether certain animals are more apt to be diurnal or nocturnal, as well as learning their possible migration or seasonal patterns will allow you a better chance to plan your trips at the proper time of year and schedule your photography outing at the right periods of the day.

Recognizing signs of stress or agitation in an animal can prevent you from triggering an attack or a retreat. Following key guidelines by Audubon will help you learn how to be a more ethical wildlife photographer on your future trips. They include things like keeping your distance to avoid causing stress, not feeding wild animals, not disrupting natural behaviors, using silent camera shooting modes to minimize disturbances, and sticking to designated paths to protect habitats.

Some of the best ways to learn animal behavior is by studying travel guides, watching documentaries, attending workshops, consulting with local experts or park guides, and of course personally observing animals in the field on your trips. Collectively, these steps will help you gain a deeper understanding of wildlife behavior to hopefully ensure more successful and responsible photography.

Use Natural Light Effectively

Wildlife you'll see on an Antarctic Expedition

Whether you’re taking photos using your camera phone or DSLR, you’ll quickly learn just how important proper lighting is for producing quality wildlife images. Because wildlife photography doesn’t take place in a studio, you have the added challenge of being at the mercy of nature when it comes to achieving ideal lighting conditions.

Mother Nature forces us to continuously adapt to changing conditions and plan photo sessions accordingly to better ensure we will have quality light to work with such as shooting during early morning or that special hour before sunset.

Whether you’re capturing a scenic landscape on your travels or a bird in flight, proper lighting can dramatically improve your shots by producing rich colors, ensuring crisp shots with sharp details, or creating special artistic effects.

Set Up Your Camera for Motion

Wildlife rarely stays still for long, so using the proper camera and configuring it properly to be able to capture motion is often quite important. The camera settings you’ll choose such as ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and focal distance will all affect how motion is captured.

You can set a high shutter speed to freeze action and prevent motion blur, adjust the ISO settings and aperture accordingly to compensate for the high shutter speed, use continuous shooting mode to capture multiple frames per second, and benefit from autofocus for fast-moving subjects.

Enhance Backgrounds with Editing Tools

The background in your wildlife photography is almost just as important as your main animal subjects. It often plays a crucial role in terms of a photo’s overall composition, aesthetic appeal, and the story an image tells.

A busy background can obstruct or distract viewers from seeing the beaty of your animal subjects, while a pleasing background can accentuate an image with color and natural elements that showcase an animal’s natural habitat.

Because of the sad reality that nature often doesn’t always cooperative when we want it to and because incredible wildlife moments are often fleeting, photographers often have little control or time to select or manage backgrounds in wildlife shots while out in the field.

This is where editing tools can come to the rescue, as they allow you to adjust or change your background easily to ensure your animal subjects remain the main focus of an image and are only complemented by background elements. Such editing tools can be used to remove unwanted elements, add lush landscapes, adjust brightness and contrast, play around with color and tint, and enhance overall composition.

When out in the field, you can use a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field which helps to blur the background and make subjects stand out. Shooting from a lower angle can place the subject against a more neutral and less cluttered background, such as the sky or distant brush.

Take time to plan where you set up your tripod or wildlife photo hide if you plan to wait for animals and use elements like branches, leaves, or rocks to frame your subject and add depth while keeping the background less distracting. Likewise, ensure that the background color contrasts well with the subject to make the subject pop.

Spend time observing the environment to understand how the background changes with light, weather, and the animal’s movements. If you already have experience with wildlife photography, you know it requires patience and often requires waiting for an animal to move to a more favorable spot to ensure a pleasing background.

Be Ready To Be Patient

And while we’re on the subject of patience, you will quickly learn that it is more than a virtue in wildlife photography; rather it’s a necessity. Animals move to their own rhythm, and waiting for the right moment is often time-consuming. Successful shots often result from hours if not days or weeks of waiting quietly and observing.

The most successful photographers understand that perfect shots don’t come easily or quickly. Many of the most compelling wildlife photographs capture rare behaviors or interactions which are rare to see unless you are willing to spend a great deal of time with a subject,

Spending considerable time in habitats can make animals more accustomed to your presence, allowing you to get closer and capture more natural behaviors. Observing animals over time helps in understanding their routines and patterns, making it easier to anticipate and photograph key actions or behaviors.

As we already mentioned previously, natural light can change rapidly which means it often requires patience to wait for the best lighting conditions. And respecting the natural behavior and habitat of animals often means waiting for them to act on their own terms rather than forcing interactions.

Learn to appreciate the time spent in nature, even if you don’t capture the perfect shot. These moments can offer an escape from the stresses and chaos of daily life. Don’t simply sit around and wait for wildlife shots, rather use this time to take in nature using all your senses to make the “waiting game” a pleasant and sensory experience that will hopefully only add to the story behind each image you take.

Utilize Silent Shooting Modes

Icelandic Puffin

Icelandic Puffin

Silent shooting modes are invaluable in wildlife photography. Loud camera noises can startle animals, interrupting natural behaviors and ruining photo opportunities. Most modern cameras have a silent or quiet mode, which minimizes shutter noise.

Using this feature ensures you capture candid moments without disturbing your subjects. It’s especially beneficial when photographing shy or skittish animals, at nighttime, or during close encounters. Practice using this mode beforehand, so you can switch it on effortlessly when in the field.

Get Close While Still Ensuring Safety

Getting closer to wildlife allows for more detailed and impactful photos. However, maintaining your safety and ensuring the animals’ well-being is more important than getting quality shots. This is where telephoto lenses come into play, as they allow you to get close to the action without physically having to encroach upon an animal’s space.

The whole goal is to capture intimate shots of animals displaying natural behavior and often the only way to do this is from a distance with telephoto capabilities. You’ll often find that by giving wildlife distance they may actually be inclined to move closer towards you on their own which may not have been achieved if you were the one who chose to advance towards them.

Abide by any national park or reserve regulations that may dictate how close you should approach various animals learn to recognize signs that an animal may be in distress by your presence. You never want to put an animal’s life in jeopardy or become a target for a predator yourself.

Learning wildlife photography can be challenging, but it is equally rewarding. Spending time observing animals in their natural habitats allows you to gain a deeper appreciation for wildlife and the environment. Your work can also raise awareness about conservation issues and inspire others to protect nature, in addition to giving you many memorable moments and stories to tell.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

 

Source: How to Capture Perfect Wildlife Shots on Solo Adventures

E-bike Around Daytona Beach Parks on HOVSCO 27 Inch Cruiser

E-bike Around Daytona Beach Parks on HOVSCO 27 Inch Cruiser


E-bike Around Daytona Beach Parks on HOVSCO 27 Inch Cruiser

by Jerry Neal | Jun 5, 2024

E-bike along Daytona Beach Parks
on a HOVSCO 27 Inch Cruiser

We travel to the Daytona Beach area to visit family throughout the year. We love the beaches, food, and wide variety of activities offered. But one of the areas that is often overlooked are the numerous parks throughout Daytona Beach, South Daytona, and Port Orange. These parks are bike and walker friendly with paved and unpaved trails, and many have small lakes, great places for picnics, some have a variety of activities for the kids, and they are pet friendly. As I do often, I ride around the area on my ebike to take in the sites and in this blog and video I show three parks close to our campground that has many of the amenities mentioned.

Daytona Beach Is Very Bike Friendly

The largest percentage of the roads in Daytona Beach and the surrounding area are bike friendly with well marked bike lanes or wide sidewalks. Several times a week I’m on our e-bike riding to the beach or a short shopping trip. Many times we’re traveling 25 to 30 miles and using an ebike makes these excursions much more enjoyable.

E-bike To 3 Nearby Parks

On this day, I traveled to three parks that are a very short distance from campground:

  • Reed Canal Park – 2871 S. Nova Road, South Daytona, FL has a 30 acres and a lake featuring shell hiking trails in the nature portion, a Disc golf course, a multipurpose play field, playground, dog park, pavilion and picnic facilities, and paved paths around the park’s developed sections.
  • Riverwalk Park – 3459 S Ridgewood Avenue, Port Orange, FL is split into two sections bordering the Riverside Pavilion on the Halifax River. The south section of includes a splash pad, playground, restroom facility, picnic pavilions, and a trail around the park. The north section of the park includes a kayak/canoe/paddle board launch, boardwalk, fishing piers, a trail, and restroom facility.
  • Port Orange Causeway Park – 93 Dunlawton Avenue, Port Orange, FL is located on the Halifax River at the Port Orange Bridge. The park has a wide roadside along the river with fishing piers, boat ramps, covered pavilions, and picnic tables and grills.

The HOVSCO 27” HovRanger Ebike

The HOVSCO HovRanger ebike is adult sized supporting riders in weight not exceeding 300lbs. The HovRanger is loaded with features including:

  • Single-Butted Aluminum Alloy with Internal Battery
  • Weight 55lbs with battery installed
  • 970W (Peak) 500W (Sustained), 48V Brushless Rear Hub Motor
  • Removable Internal Lithium-ion 48V, 15Ah (720Wh)
  • LCD Smart Easy Read Display with Back-light screen with app
  • 7 Speed – rear derailleur
  • Hydraulic Disc Brakes with 180mm Rotors
  • Max speed of 28 mph
  • Average range of 40-60 miles per charge depending on terrain and riding style

What really makes the HovRanger 27” Ebike and all of the other HOVSCO ebikes standout is their Torque Sensor. The ebike has 5 peddle assist modes. While peddling, the HOVSCO Torque Sensor feature automatically senses the need to assist, providing power to the rear wheel. A fun bike to tour the site or augment your RV campground local travels.

Visiting the many parks in the area is a great way to relax and spend a few hours enjoying the sites and sounds of the Daytona Beach area. And riding the HovRanger 27” Ebike is not only fun, but take the physical stress our of the ride.

Our thanks to HOVSCO providing the HovRanger 27” Ebike for our review. See the links below the video for more information about the entire line of HOVSCO Ebikes.

Helpful Links:

Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel?

RV AccessoriesCheck out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

Receive the latest updates from I Love RV Life!

Sign up to receive an email notification as we post new RV travels, RV tips and information about RV life in general. It’s simple. Just enter your name and email address on the Subscribe to our newsletter form located at the bottom of this page and click subscribe.

Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).

SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF BLOG TITLES


Source: E-bike Around Daytona Beach Parks on HOVSCO 27 Inch Cruiser

The Fulltime Families Summer Bucket List

The Fulltime Families Summer Bucket List

This article may contain compensated links, please read our disclaimer for more information.

Summer is here! While RVing is definitely fun all year round, the summertime might just be the very best time to be an RVer. During the summer season, more RV parks are open, fun family activities are taking place all over the country, and the weather is great for outdoor adventures.

Ready to tackle summer and make the most of this amazing season? Here is a summer bucket list for full time RVing families. See if you can do everything on this list before the fall rolls around!

Visit a National Park

Our national parks are easily the most spectacular spots in the USA, and they are absolutely perfect destinations for RVers. Make sure you visit at least one national park this summer so you can take in the beauty of our amazing country!

Related: The Best National Parks to Visit with Kids

Hit the Beach

There’s nothing quite like a summer day on the beach. Fortunately, when you have the whole country at your fingertips, an amazing beach is totally reachable. Heck, you could even camp right on the beach!

Whether you choose to head to the ocean beaches of Florida, the lake beaches of Michigan, or somewhere else entirely, your family is sure to love making memories in the sand and water.

Head to a Theme Park

Theme parks are another wonderful thing to check out during the summer months, and we’re betting you’ll park your RV near one at some point this summer season. Some of our favorite amusement parks include Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Orlando, Hershey Park, LEGOLAND, and Dollywood, but you’re sure to have an amazing time no matter which park you choose.

Related: Disney World on a Budget: Inexpensive Camping Near Disney World

Zoom Down a Water Slide

No summer is complete without at least one water slide experience. Whether you choose a campground with a water slide (Jellystone Parks are amazing for this!) or head to a water park, we highly recommend slipping and sliding as much as you can before the weather cools down.

Hike to a Waterfall

Whether you do it in a national park or in another natural area, hiking to a waterfall is a magical adventure that every hiker deserves to experience and the perfect summer bucket list item. There are amazing waterfall hikes scattered all across the US. We recommend using AllTrails to find one.

Try Locally Made Ice Cream

Honestly, any ice cream is good during the summer. That said, locally made ice cream is the best of the best, and it definitely deserves a place on your summer bucket list. Make a point of finding local ice cream in every town you visit for an extra fun addition to your summer travels.

Picking produce: an excellent summer bucket list activity

Image source: Unsplash

Go Produce Picking

Summer is also a great time to go produce-picking. From blackberries to peaches, you’re found to find some amazing fruits to pick no matter where you plan to spend the summer. We love this idea because it 1) helps kids understand where their food comes from, 2) provides a healthy treat for the family, and 3) helps you get to know the locals.

Tube Down a River

If you’re looking to cool off, you may want to head to the local river, plop a tube in the water, and go for a ride. We appreciate that this is an inexpensive way to get outside and enjoy nature in comfort, even when it’s blazing hot outside.

Explore a Cave

Yet another way to stay cool, exploring a cave is a wonderful addition to any summer bucket list. We are particularly fond of the tours of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, as well as the self-guided tours of the Ape Cave lava tube in Washington State. That said, any cave you choose is sure to be amazing!

Catch a Fish

For a relaxing activity that allows you to really take in the view, consider going fishing. We love that fishing can be done pretty much anywhere in the country, and carrying the gear in your RV is relatively easy, making it a perfect hobby for an RVer.

Check Out a Science Museum

Our country is chock-full of incredible museums, including some of the best science museums in the world. Why not grab an ASTC reciprocal membership and head to a few science museums this summer to enhance your roadschool experience?

Wander a Zoo

Another awesome type of attraction there is no shortage of in the US? Zoos. We have dozens of excellent zoos across the country, and many of them can be accessed at a deep discount if you have an AZA reciprocal membership. Add zoos to your summer bucket list!

Hit the Skating Rink

Of course, we mustn’t forget the old-school activities that made summer amazing when we were kids. Skating is definitely one of those, and we love that it is made affordable by the Kids Skate Free program. Find a rink near where you plan to spend a good chunk of time and take your kids to enjoy some fast-paced fun!

Ball rolling down bowling lane; bowling is a great summer bucket list activity

Image source: Unsplash

Add Bowling to Your Summer Bucket List

Another tried-and-true activity that the kids are sure to love? Bowling. Fortunately, the Kids Bowl Free program makes it possible to take them without spending a small fortune. Again, you will want to choose a location that is near where you’ll spend the bulk of your summer.

View Some Epic Sunsets

One of the great things about traveling in an RV is that it allows you to wander off the beaten path, and off the beaten path is where some of the best sunsets in the world are found. Whether you’re headed to the desert, the mountains, or the seaside, make sure to get outside and enjoy some epic sunsets as a family.

Enjoy a Movie Together

Once the sun goes down, set up a projector and enjoy a movie together under the stars. Don’t have a projector? An indoor movie could be just as fun. Just make sure to choose a movie the whole family can enjoy together.

Grill Out

Of course, you’ll want to grill as many meals outside as possible in order to fully enjoy the great outdoors. If you can, invite friends to grill out with you and make it a party. Just make sure you have a decent grill before you dive in!

Sit Around a Campfire

After you grill out, break out the marshmallows and set up a campfire. There’s nothing quite like ending a night of summer adventure sitting around a campfire swapping stories and singing with friends, so a campfire should absolutely be on your summer bucket list!

Make New Friends

Last but definitely not least, make an effort to make new friends this summer. RVing friends are some of the best friends in the world, and when you can share your summer bucket list experiences with your friends, they become even more incredible.

Not sure how to make RV friends? Head to a Fulltime Families event to get the ball rolling.

Join Fulltime Families

Fulltime Families Members get access to the best resources, community and discounts.

Fulltime Families is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Source: The Fulltime Families Summer Bucket List

A Look Inside a Typical RV Water Filter – Membrane Solutions

A Look Inside a Typical RV Water Filter – Membrane Solutions

Source: A Look Inside a Typical RV Water Filter – Membrane Solutions

How Digital Nomads Can Celebrate Father’s Day Abroad

How Digital Nomads Can Celebrate Father’s Day Abroad

Staying connected with family can prove quite challenging for digital nomads, especially during holidays. Maintaining family connections requires effort and planning, and it becomes even more important when it comes to celebrating special days like Father’s Day.

Thankfully, there are many ways you can still honor your father regardless of whether distance may separate you form each other. While digital nomads may have to often face significant time zone differences, unpredictable travel schedules, or a lack of internet connectivity, many digital nomads can still find creative ways to stay connected or show how much their dads mean to them.

Make use of today’s technology and the following ideas to celebrate Father’s Day and express your love for your father even when you find yourself traveling abroad.

How Digital Nomads Can Celebrate Father’s Day Abroad

Send a Thoughtful Father’s Day eCard

Digital nomads often rely on digital solutions, and sending a heartfelt eCard is an excellent way to show appreciation for Father’s Day. Websites like Punchbowl are a great way to send thoughtful Father’s Day eCards that you can easily customize to create a personal touch.

You can personalize cards with unique messages, inside jokes, attached memorable snapshots you’ve shared with your dad over the years, or even inserted video clips for an extra special touch.

This thoughtful gesture can make your dad feel loved and appreciated because it shows you’ve taken the time to select and personalize something just for him. An eCard also offers instant and seamless delivery where you don’t have to worry about mail delivery times and costs associated with sending physical cards or letters when you may be in far-off exotic locations. It’s also a perfect idea for last-minute planners.

Plan a Virtual Celebration

Today’s digitally connected world has made virtual celebrations a common practice. Platforms like Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime allow you to connect with your dad in real time, no matter where you are.

Organize a virtual get-together where you can possibly share a meal, have meaningful conversations, engage in shared activities like playing online games, watch a movie or sporting event together, or even participate in a virtual trivia night.

Remember to set up a specific time that accounts for time zone differences to ensure everyone can join without hassles. And while it may be your intention to make it a surprise, it may be wise to send out digital invitations with the date, time, and link to the virtual meeting well in advance, at least maybe to other family members if they are to join in on the virtual meetup.

You may even wish to think about recording the virtual celebration or taking some screen shots so your dad can relive the celebration anytime.

Creative Gift Ideas

Despite the distance, digital nomads can take advantage of the many readily available and creative Father’s Day gift options. For example, you can send a subscription box tailored to your dad’s interests, such as gourmet snacks, whisky, books, or hobby-related items.

With plenty of subscription service options offering global delivery, you can relax knowing that your gift will reach your dad even as you roam the globe. Other options that can easily be arranged online include enrolling him in an online class or workshop, such as an online cooking, photography, or music class. You can of course also easily purchase tickets online for events like concerts, sporting events, comedy shows, or theater performances he may like.

Alternatively, digital gifts like eBooks, audiobooks, or paid subscriptions like Netflix can be a great way to celebrate your dad and give him continuous entertainment and enjoyment that lasts throughout the year. Personal engraved items such as a watch, keychain, or phone case are another great idea.

Collaborate With Family on a Digital Scrapbook

A fun project like making a digital scrapbook lets you reminisce about good times and appreciate your unique relationship even more. Use Canva, Google Slides, and similar platforms to compile photos, memories, and messages.

Collaborate with siblings or other family members to allow you a better chance to gather a diverse collection of content that highlights special moments and milestones. This collaborative project will give your dad a beautiful keepsake and strengthen family bonds with everyone contributing their part and showing how much they care.

Plan a Future Adventure with Dad

One of the best gifts you can give your dad is the promise of quality time together. Plan a future adventure or trip that you can both look forward to. Create a detailed itinerary of activities and places you’d like to visit together. This could be a road trip, a hiking expedition, or a relaxing beach vacation.

The prospect of a future adventure can give your dad something to look forward to. Share your plans over a video call and invite him to add input or advice of his own to ensure you plan a trip that truly suits him.

Celebrating Father’s Day as a digital nomad may require a bit more effort and ingenuity, but taking the time to honor your dad will likely mean more than you’ll ever know. So, no matter where you are in the world this Father’s Day, remember to take the time and effort to celebrate and honor your dad in a special way that truly resonates with him.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

 

Source: How Digital Nomads Can Celebrate Father’s Day Abroad

Beach Vacation Tips

Beach Vacation Tips

There’s something undeniably appealing about enjoying a beach vacation. Beach getaways appeal to so many travelers whether they’re seeking some relaxation brought on by a combination of fine white sand, sun drenched skies, and the rhythm of crashing waves, or are in need of some adventure with various water sports, sailing, or deep-sea fishing charters.

While beach vacations may be universally appealing, that is not to say that successful beach holidays don’t require careful planning. From selecting the perfect beach spot to packing essentials to ensure your safety and comfort, there’s much to consider.

Thankfully, I’ve not only travelled to many beach destinations but have also lived in some of the top beach travel hot spots in the world and therefore got you covered with some of my best tips for enjoying your next beach vacation to its fullest.

Beach Vacation Tips

Beach Holiday Planning Essentials

Mar Pages Beach

Ensuring your beach vacation is not only enjoyable but also well-organized and hassle-free begins with doing your research in terms of choosing a location and time for your holiday. No two beach locations are the same of course and different beaches will appeal to different travelers, keeping in mind some beach destinations can present very different conditions in different seasons.

If you’re seeking windswept rugged beaches that offer hiking, wildlife, and adventure, you may want to look into Tasmania or the Faroe Islands. Beaches in the Greek Islands, Croatia, and along the Amalfi Coast offer up pebbly beaches, while the stunning coastline of places like Australia, Bora Bora, and the Seychelles are home to world famous sandy beaches.

Be sure to choose a location that offers the activities you hope to enjoy, whether it’s water sports, beachcombing for shells, nightlife, or cultural experiences. It’s then vital to research the best time to visit your chosen beach destination in terms of better ensuring you will experience the weather you find most pleasing and to possibly avoid the crowds of peak tourist seasons if you are after a more peaceful beach getaway.  

Then factor in your budget when selecting potential beach trips. Setting a budget will allow you to narrow down locations, accommodation options, and flight options.  Remember to budget for food and activities, and give thought to what proximity to beaches you wish for when it comes to choosing a resort, hotel, or beach house rental.  

Look for amenities like direct easy beach access, infinity pools overlooking the sea, on-site seaside dining, availability of scenic cruises, and family-friendly features if traveling with kids. Remember to pre-book popular activities like snorkeling, boat tours, or surfing lessons ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss out, especially in high season.

Keeping Comfortable at the Beach

Sumoii Sand Free Beach Towel Review Best Travel Beach Towel (1)

Ensuring comfort at the beach as a traveler involves careful planning when choosing seaside accommodation and in terms of packing. It starts with choosing a hotel that is within easy walking distance to the beach so as to maximize your time at the beach while on vacation and to save you the burden of a long walk trying to carry loads of beach gear.

Choosing accommodation with direct beach access will also allow you to easily return to your room for breaks from the sun and heat, as well as to grab meals use the bathroom, or freshen up. A private outdoor space with a sea view always enhances a beach experience as well, as does ensuring your room offers air conditioning if travelling to tropical climates.

Look for hotels that provide as much beach gear as possible like comfortable beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, and beach toys so you don’t have to pack such items yourself or be forced to rent such items which can prove costly when done on a daily basis.

Staying hydrated at the beach is always important, so be sure to pack insulated cooler bags or some type of portable collapsible cooler that is easy to travel with to ensure beverages stay cold.

Be sure to pack your handy reusable water bottle or opt your favorite custom plastic cups displaying your favorite quotes, family name, or possible your company logo if you own a business,  which could become a conversation starter while engaging with fellow travelers at resorts or hotels.

A cooler will also keep snacks and other refreshments  fresh and free of bugs or pests. Fruit always makes a great beach snack as it is healthy, hydrating, and refreshing. Think sweet pineapple or watermelon, or easy fruits like grapes and berries that don’t require peeling or disposal of waste.

When it comes to packing swimwear, quick drying swimsuits are always a wise choice and packing multiple sets of swimwear will ensure you always have a dry set available. Don’t forget to pack a cover-up for when it comes time to travel to and from the beach, or for simply roaming around resorts or seaside eateries and shops.  

Investing in a lightweight microfiber sand-free travel towel is also a wise choice as they really can add a great deal of comfort and offer less hassle when trying to keep clean and repack at the end of a trip. Ensure the protection of items like phones and other electronics by packing a water-proof bag you can seal them in.  

Planning Beach Activities

Snapper rocks is one of the best surf beaches in Australia. Come here to watch in awe as some of Queensland’s best surfers tackle phenomenal waves.

One of the best things about choosing a seaside destination is that they almost always offer a wide range of beach activities to keep you busy throughout your stay. Of course, exactly which activities are on offer will vary greatly and be dependent upon where you choose.

Snorkeling is always a favorite activity and can often be enjoyed straight from the beach you’re staying on. Snorkel equipment is most often easily obtained, and you need not have any qualifications as you do with scuba diving.

You also may have the opportunity to arrange surfing lessons, try a bit of stand-up paddleboarding, rent a jet ski, or attempt some windsurfing and kitesurfing. Then there’s beach volleyball, seaside yoga sessions which are often offered by resorts, and sometimes even beachside spa or massage services.

It’s not a bad idea to pack some binoculars which will allow you to do a bit of whale or dolphin watching if they are present and expected to be migrating in the case of whales. Be sure to check regulations regarding collecting seashells if you plan on doing some beachcombing for them.

Whichever activities you plan for your beach trip, be sure to research the typical wave and current conditions. Calm waters are ideal for swimming and snorkeling, while larger waves will of course be better suited for surfing. Know the daily tide schedules to avoid high tide, which can often reduce the size of beaches and may increase water hazards that could impact various beach activities.

Be aware of any potential dangers that may be present such as stinging jellyfish, sharks, crocodiles, or areas that may be prone to rip tides that you don’t want to get caught in while swimming,

Certain activities such as lighting bonfires, fishing, or beachside camping may be prohibited or may require you getting a special permit. Beaches also often have rules regarding things like alcohol consumption and allowance of pets.

Safety First

As relaxing and fun as the beach may be, there are often potential hazards to be aware of. Thankfully, most if not all these dangers can easily be avoided when you have adequate awareness and take necessary precautions.

Always swim in areas monitored by lifeguards when available and follow any posted signs and flags indicating water conditions. Sometimes beaches may be closed to ensure your safety which you should always abide by.

Avoid consuming alcohol before swimming or participating in water activities, as it can impair judgment and coordination. Instead. stick to hydrating yourself with water or fresh juices. Make yourself aware of and watch for signs of heat exhaustion which may include sweating, weakness, dizziness, and nausea.

Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply every two hours or after swimming. And while you may be eager to focus a lot of time working on a killer vacation tan, be sure to plan breaks from the sun, whether that means heading back to your accommodation at regular intervals or simply seeking cover under umbrellas, trees, or other sources of shade from time to time.

Wearing special water shoes or simply flip-flops will help to protect your feet from hot sand, sharp objects, and marine life like jellyfish. Most hotels and lifeguard stations will have a basic first aid kit available to treat minor injuries or marine animal stings. Be sure to pack wide-brimmed hats, quality sunglasses, and UV-protective clothing to shield your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays.

Educate your children about the dangers of the ocean and always keep an eye on smaller kids both when they are in the water and while playing on the beach. Establish a meeting point and plan in case anyone in your family gets separated while at the beach.

Avoid touching or disturbing marine animals and coral reefs. A great deal of marine life including live seashells, rays, fish, octopuses, and other creatures are poisonous or have dangerous spines. Also make sure to keep up to date with weather forecasts and be aware of any approaching storms or extreme weather conditions, always seeking shelter if you hear thunder or see lightning,

Always dispose of trash properly to not only protect the environment but also so trash and other manmade items don’t end up creating hazards or unpleasantness for other beachgoers. And simply avoid bringing any kind of single-use plastics to the beach.

Spain is the most popular destination for holidaymakers from Ireland and the UK, which means that those seeking sunshine and sand will have considered visiting the Canary Islands at some point.

While most of these tips may seem like common sense, sadly many beachgoers either forget or are simply unaware of various dangers or beach etiquette. As with any trip, taking time to thoroughly research the exact beach destination you are planning to visit will make you aware of potential dangers, offer you suggestions for activities, and let you know what you can expect out of your beach holiday.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

 

Source: Beach Vacation Tips

New Series Partners – The Adventure Detour

New Series Partners – The Adventure Detour

We are delighted to announce that Van and Scott Russell, better known as “The Adventure Detour”, will be joining RVing Today TV starting later in June.

This amazing couple along with their daughter, Kora, have been full-time RVers for the past 9 years and have worked and homeschooled on the road through 42 states so far. They make a living on the road as freelance writers for the RV industry, RV travel magazines and RV websites. You can find RVing tips, travel destinations, and more about the full-time RV lifestyle on their blog https://theadventuredetour.comThey are also RV content creators @theadventuredetour on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. Be sure to reach out to them and say hi!

We look forward to bringing their interesting, real life stories to our nationwide television audience and streaming media viewers.

On the first episode Van and Scott explain what happens when you decide to add a puppy to your family RV adventures. ‘Hint’ little puppies can grow quickl

Source: New Series Partners – The Adventure Detour

Transitioning to Remote Work: Tips for Aspiring Digital Nomads

Transitioning to Remote Work: Tips for Aspiring Digital Nomads

Thinking of swapping your conventional 9-5 workspace for the liberating experience of remote work as a digital nomad? Enjoying a career where you are not tied to an office offers the opportunity to travel the world and the versatility of self-managed time.

But becoming a digital nomad requires more than purchasing a laptop and strong desire, rather it’s a transition that involves strategic preparation and attention to detail. From establishing robust portable tech infrastructure to navigating client communications and learning to adapt to new cultures, there is much to navigate when transitioning to a digital nomad lifestyle.

Find out how you can create a more solid foundation to becoming a digital nomad so you can start embracing this freeing lifestyle with greater confidence and success.

Transitioning to Remote Work: Tips for Aspiring Digital Nomads

Laying the Digital Groundwork: Essential Tech for Nomads

Beach laptop island RF

Embarking on a nomadic lifestyle doesn’t just change your surroundings; it transforms how you work. First starters, tech infrastructure becomes your lifeline. Connectivity becomes non-negotiable, so investing in things like a reliable VPN and economical mobile data plans that keep you online no matter where you travel is crucial.

Keep in mind your workstation, aka laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc, is now as mobile as you are. This means you need to seek out durable and lightweight electronics that still offer enough power to handle your entire workload.

Don’t overlook the convenience of gadgets like a portable cordless mouse, noise-canceling headphones, and a portable ring light to always look professional for important video calls with clients, when streaming, for creating tutorials or product demos, or creation of social media posts.

With the proper tech always at your side, you can create an productive corner office no matter if it’s in a hotel room or a chaotic café. And always have backup devices such as chargers, external hard drives, or backup devices to ensure unexpected disruptions won’t threaten productivity. This groundwork paves the way for seamless operations no matter where your travels take you.

Email Etiquette: The Power of a Custom Domain

Business woman hotel accommodation laptop computer RF

In the realm of remote work, communication is king and always portraying professionalism through a screen is paramount. This is where email plays a pivotal role. Your choice of email address can either build confidence or raise eyebrows among clients. The solution is simple and it’s to get a custom email domain.

Securing a domain that aligns with your business name isn’t just clever branding, it also gives you credibility. Potential clients are more likely to trust an email coming from [yourname]@[yourbusiness].com rather than a generic free service like @gmail or @yahoo.  

This small step resonates with your commitment to your desire to look professional and underscores an understanding of modern business expectations, convincing clients you are reliable and trustworthy even if you’re typing from a hammock in Bali.

Cloud Control: Storing Your Life Online

Flyline Review Blogging Computer Laptop (1)

The switch to a nomadic lifestyle requires shedding the physical for the digital, particularly when it comes to storage. Cloud services become your virtual filing cabinet where you can safely store your important documents, photos, and projects.

The cloud offers a convenient and easy way to access your entire portfolio and essential work-related documents wherever you find an internet connection. It’s less about mere file-keeping and more of an art at keeping data in sync and simplifying collaboration.

Cloud storage means that up-to-date content is always ready for action, no matter who needs it. Selecting providers with ironclad security lets you work from any location confidently, allowing you to traverse the globe with peace of mind.

Connectivity Unleashed: Internet Solutions on the Go

Reliable internet is the backbone of remote work, and without it, a digital nomad’s career can falter. Embrace connectivity solutions that cater to a traveling lifestyle. A global Wi-Fi hotspot device is an investment in uninterrupted productivity, offering you access in most corners of the world.

Alternatively, local SIM cards paired with an unlocked phone can be cost-effective for longer stays. And let’s not underestimate co-working spaces; they’re hotspots for robust internet and networking alike.

Prioritize services with strong customer support as it provides you with the assurance that help is always at hand and adds a layer of security even when you’re miles from your home country. The right connection tools mean you’ll never miss a beat even as your office views may change between cityscapes, mountains, beaches, and beyond.

Streamlining Communication: Collaborative Tools for Teams

Laptop computer trello RF

As a digital nomad, your office is wherever you set up your laptop. But how do you maintain the flow of ideas within a team scattered across time zones? The answer lies in collaboration tools designed for real-time interaction and project management.

Platforms like Slack for conversation, Trello for task organization, or Asana for workflow management become vital. They keep everyone on the same page both literally and figuratively. These tools offer clarity, enabling teams to track progress and updates without cluttering inboxes.

When used effectively, they carve out virtual workspaces that are as structured and interactive as any physical office. With these collaborative resources at your disposal, leading or being part of a remote team transitions from daunting to effortless.

Embarking on Success: Your Nomad Blueprint

Pool computer laptop VPN RF

Embrace these strategies and you won’t be just a traveler, but a pioneer in the digital landscape. With the right tools and mindset, your remote work endeavor will be as limitless as the horizons you explore. The let world literally become your office as you transition to a career as a digital nomad.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

Source: Transitioning to Remote Work: Tips for Aspiring Digital Nomads

Best Practices for Applying and Maintaining Fixed Asset Labels

Best Practices for Applying and Maintaining Fixed Asset Labels

In today’s fast-moving business world, companies rely heavily on their fixed assets to function smoothly and efficiently. Whether it’s computer equipment, vehicles, or machinery, these assets are vital for operations. To streamline asset management processes and ensure precision, many businesses opt for fixed asset labels.

Many businesses and sole traders today have also become mobile. We have seen the rise of digital nomads, travel bloggers, and businesses with employees who regularly travel which has led to a growing need for efficient asset management. One practical solution that addresses this need is the use of asset labels or an asset tagging system.

Fixed asset tracking labels serve as a tool that can greatly assist with accurately tracking assets, whether you work for yourself as a travel blogger as I do, are a digital nomad, or run a business with employees that travel regularly. Learn how you can apply and maintain asset labels to enhance overall asset management.

Best Practices for Applying and Maintaining Fixed Asset Labels

What Are Asset Tracking Labels?

Asset tracking or tagging labels are labels or tags used to identify and keep track of physical assets within a business or one’s own personal assets in the case of a travel blogger. These assets can range from office equipment, electronics, and machinery to tools, furniture, and inventory items.

In the case of digital nomads and travel bloggers, assets can come in the form of luggage, backpacks, laptops, cameras, smartphones, photo equipment such as tripods or lighting equipment, and other travel gear. Asset tagging labels usually contain a unique identifier, such as a barcode, QR code, or alphanumeric code, that can be scanned or read for quick identification and tracking.

Each label has a unique code to distinguish one asset from another and should be made from durable materials to withstand wear and tear from regular travel. Many asset tags feature barcodes or QR codes that can be scanned with a scanner or smartphone for quick data retrieval. Labels can be customized with company logos, social media handles, asset descriptions, or other relevant information.

Common types of asset tagging labels include barcode labels, QR code labels, RFID tags, metal asset tags, or tamper-evident labels which are designed to break apart or show clear signs if someone tries to remove them.

Using asset tagging labels simplifies inventory management and tracking of assets, reduces chances of loss or theft by maintaining a clear record of where your assets are, and ensures accurate accounting of assets for financial reporting and audits which can make tax time less stressful.

Why Asset Tagging Matters

Travelers who regularly travel for business working for themselves or for a company can and do make use of asset tagging systems to keep track of their belongings, enhance security, and streamline their travel experience.

For digital nomads, travel bloggers, and business travelers, managing valuable equipment and personal items can be challenging. Losing important or expensive gear or misplacing vital documents can disrupt workflows, cause significant financial loss, and increase stress levels. Asset tagging helps mitigate these risks by providing a simple and effective way to keep track of belongings, ensuring they are easily identifiable and retrievable.

Asset Tagging for Digital Nomads

Digital nomads often travel light but carry high-value items that are crucial for their work, such as laptops, smartphones, cameras, and external hard drives. They can use durable, tamper-evident labels on laptops, tablets, smartphones, and cameras. You’ll want to include QR codes that link to contact information, your social media pages, or a website such as your blog.

Be sure to tag chargers, cables, power banks, and other essential accessories to avoid losing them. Likewise, tagging backpacks, suitcases, products you may be reviewing as an influencer, and even smaller items like jackets can help keep track of all these personal belongings as well.

Asset Tagging for Travel Bloggers

Travel bloggers rely on a range of equipment to create content and share their experiences. Asset tagging can help ensure that vital gear is always at hand and secure. Tag items like photo and video equipment to prevent loss and make identification easier if lost or left at airports or hotels.

Use labels on tripods, microphones, and lighting equipment to keep them organized and easily retrievable. Tag all luggage with durable labels containing contact information and scannable QR codes for easy identification and recovery, whether its checked baggage, carry-on, or day backpacks you plan to use when out and about at destinations.

Asset Tagging for Businesses with Traveling Employees

Companies with employees who frequently travel for work need to ensure that their staff’s equipment is secure and accounted for. Implementing an asset tagging system can offer numerous advantages.

Equip all company-issued laptops, tablets, and smartphones with asset tags to track and secure them. Tag portable office equipment such as projectors, presentation tools, and portable printers to manage and track their usage. Use asset tags on travel documents, business cards, and important files to ensure they are not lost or mixed-up during travel.

For businesses where employees travel with uniforms or specific gear, tagging these items can help in keeping them organized and accounted for. Ensure tags have clear contact details or QR codes linking to a recovery service or website. Customize labels with your company logo and specific information relevant to each item.

Choosing Your Fixed Asset Labels

The initial step in establishing a fixed asset labeling system is selecting the appropriate label for your assets. It’s important to consider materials that can withstand environmental conditions such as extreme temperatures, humidity, or exposure to chemicals.

Opt for labels that resist scratching and tearing to maintain readability over time. Select labels with strong, permanent adhesives to prevent peeling off during travel. This is particularly important for items that undergo frequent handling which is the case with items going through airports or train stations. Ensure the adhesive works well with different surfaces, such as plastic, metal, and fabric, to accommodate a wide variety of items.

Moreover, selecting a label size that aligns with your requirements is critical. While more prominent labels may be suitable for assets, they may not be practical for items like desktop computers or devices with limited surface area.

Customize labels with your company logo, colors, and specific information relevant to each item. This helps in easy identification and branding. While it’s important to choose high-quality labels, consider the cost per label and ensure it fits within your budget, especially if you need a large quantity. Look for suppliers that offer discounts on bulk purchases, which can save costs if you require extensive tagging needs.

Proper Placement of Fixed Asset Labels

 

Proper placement of fixed asset labels is crucial for ensuring they remain effective and durable during travel. For travelers and businesses with traveling employees, strategically placing these labels can help maintain organization, security, and ease of identification.

After determining the type of label, ensuring proper placement is vital for effective tracking. When deciding where to place labels on your travel gear assets, make sure to choose a spot that won’t get damaged easily from use or maintenance.

Avoid sticking labels on areas that are prone to wear and tear or frequently touched by hands or equipment. Keep in mind that visible labels may attract thieves, so think about this when selecting the location for your fixed asset label.

When it comes to luggage, place labels on a flat, clean surface such as the side or top of the suitcase. Ensure it is easily visible and not likely to be covered by luggage straps or tags. When it comes to laptops, projectors, printers, or other larger electronics, you can place the labels on the bottom near the edge, avoiding areas that might get hot or are heavily handled. Make sure labels don’t cover any vents or screws.

Ensure Consistency in Asset Label Information

Ensure that the information on your fixed asset labels follows a format. This consistency is critical for organizing your asset management system. Use a layout that includes details like individual ID numbers or barcodes along with descriptions and departmental connections.

By maintaining uniformity in the details on your fixed asset labels, you’ll make it easier to keep records and identify assets no matter who’s responsible for tracking them. Decide on a consistent set of information to include on all labels, such as asset ID, contact information, company logo, and a barcode or QR code. Use a standardized format for all labels. For example, always place the asset ID at the top, followed by the company logo, and then the contact details.

Label assets as soon as they are acquired and added to the inventory. This ensures that no asset is left unlabeled. Ensure that any changes or updates to asset information are reflected across all labels and the database. Schedule regular audits to check for label wear and accuracy, updating any necessary information in both the labels and the database.

Use Technology for Efficient Tracking

 

Utilizing technology in your fixed asset management can significantly enhance efficiency. Implementing barcode or QR code labels allows you to track assets quickly by scanning them with a smartphone or dedicated scanning device.

You can use RFID tags for high-value or frequently moved assets. RFID readers can scan multiple tags at once, even without direct line-of-sight. Connect RFID tags to an asset management system to automate tracking and logging of asset movements. RFID is particularly useful for tracking assets in real-time, improving inventory management, and reducing the risk of loss or theft.

Investing in a software system for tracking assets allows you to centralize all data related to each asset, making it easier to keep track of its lifecycle, assign tasks, and schedule maintenance when needed. This helps reduce work and lowers the risk of mistakes while providing real-time information for your assets.

Think about using cloud-based asset management software to centralize all asset information and make it accessible from anywhere. Cloud solutions provide flexibility, real-time updates, and enhanced collaboration among teams, regardless of their location. Look for software that offers features such as asset tracking, maintenance scheduling, usage logs, and reporting.

Consider mobile applications that allow you or your employees to scan asset labels, update asset status, and report issues using their smartphones. This enables real-time asset management on the go, increasing efficiency and reducing administrative burdens.

Establish Maintenance Procedures for Labels

To extend the life and effectiveness of fixed asset labels, create procedures for their upkeep. Regularly check the labels to ensure they are not damaged or coming off due to wear and tear or environmental factors.

Consider including checks on label readability and clarity during equipment audits. This ensures that your asset management system remains reliable over time. Conduct routine visual inspections of all asset tracking labels to ensure they are intact and legible. Verify that labels are securely adhered to assets and there are no signs of peeling or detachment. Look for signs of wear, fading, or damage to the labels caused by environmental factors or handling.

Promptly replace any labels that show signs of damage, such as fading, tearing, or illegibility. Be sure to remove any residue from old labels before applying new ones to ensure proper adhesion.

Educate Employees on Label Identification and Usage

Educating employees or yourself as a self-employed travel blogger on how to use an asset label system and the benefits of doing so is essential for maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of asset management.

Training employees if you have them is crucial for ensuring accurate tracking using fixed asset labels. Provide training to all staff on how to identify labeled assets and correctly use secure asset management tools.

Giving employees knowledge about labeling processes will help reduce errors and prevent any confusion about their roles within the asset management process. Teach yourself or employees how to scan asset labels using barcode scanners, smartphones, or other scanning devices. Instruct on inputting relevant information into the asset management system when scanning labels, such as asset location, status, and maintenance history.

Provide training on how to navigate and use asset management software or apps for tracking and managing assets. Set up user accounts and permissions within the software, ensuring that necessary employees have appropriate access levels based on their roles. Guide employees on how to enter and update asset information in the software accurately.

Implementing practices for applying and maintaining asset labels significantly enhances overall efficiency in managing valuable business assets. Ensuring you choose the tags consistently, positioning them correctly, keeping label data uniform, utilizing tracking systems, establishing maintenance procedures, and offering staff training are all crucial elements for effective fixed asset management.

By following these recommended methods, travel bloggers, digital nomads, and companies with travelling employees can improve accountability, track assets effortlessly during audits or checks, lower the chances of theft or loss, and keep better records of assets. Embrace these strategies and witness your business flourish with asset management practices.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

Source: Best Practices for Applying and Maintaining Fixed Asset Labels

Caring for Your RV Flooring

Caring for Your RV Flooring

This article may contain compensated links, please read our disclaimer for more information.

Your RV flooring is an important part of your home-on-wheels. It protects the plywood subfloor, provides a comfortable surface for walking, and has a huge impact on the overall look of your RV interior.

Unfortunately, RV flooring also sees a lot of abuse. Camping is messy business, and it isn’t uncommon for dirt, sand, mud, and a variety of other debris to make its way onto an RV floor. Not only that, but if you’re living in your RV full time, you’re walking on that floor all day every day, something not all RV flooring was made to stand up to.

The good news? There are things you can do to protect your RV flooring, and even when the original flooring is all worn out, you can always replace it entirely. Here’s everything you need to know about your RV flooring.

Protecting RV Flooring from Dirt and Debris

First, let’s talk about taking care of your RV floors. Obviously, you will want to sweep and vacuum from time to time, but there are a few things you can do beyond these basic cleanings that will keep everything in tip-top shape.

Use an Outdoor Rug

We highly recommend putting down an outdoor rug right outside of your RV door. This will catch a lot of the debris that would otherwise be tracked inside.

Keep a Shoe Bin by the Door

Putting a shoe storage bin right by the door is helpful. Remind everyone who comes into your RV to remove their shoes and put them in the bin in order to prevent mud and sand from entering your home.

Put Down Rugs

Rugs can help protect RV flooring. They also work great for adding splashes of color to your rig and even covering up old or damaged flooring. Pick out some rugs you love and throw them down for a totally new look and some added protection!

Mop Carefully

You will of course want to mop your non-carpeted RV floors. That said, it is important that you do so carefully. Too much water could potentially seep down into your subfloor and cause water damage, especially if you mop often. Something like a Swiffer Wet-Jet will help prevent this issue by limiting the amount of liquid used.

Cleaning the Carpets

At some point all RV flooring needs to be deep cleaned, and when it comes to carpet, cleaning is a bit trickier. Fortunately, it is totally possible to deep clean your RV carpets, and you might be surprised what a difference this can make.

Here’s how to deep clean your RV carpets:

  1. Vacuum well.
  2. Spot clean stains using a carpet stain remover.
  3. Mix one part distilled white vinegar with three parts cold water and spray onto carpet.
  4. Let the solution sit for five minutes.
  5. Using a microfiber cloth, blot the solution out of the carpet, rinsing the cloth as it becomes soiled.
  6. Allow to air dry. Open windows and doors to increase drying speed.

You can also purchase small steam cleaners that will do an excellent job of cleaning your RV carpet.

Replacing Your RV Flooring

Even if you do everything in your power to take good care of your RV flooring, you are likely to find yourself needing to replace it eventually. Sometimes this is because the stock flooring is outdated. Other times it’s because it’s become stained beyond cleaning. Either way, the process for replacing your RV flooring is the same.

Choosing Your Material

Typically, you’ll see four types of RV flooring:

  1. Sheet vinyl – This comes in a sheet. It’s nice because it’s waterproof and inexpensive, but because it’s in one piece, it can be difficult to put down.
  2. Carpet – Because RVing can be so messy, we don’t really recommend carpet. Yes, it is inexpensive and relatively easy to put down, but it’s just too hard to keep clean.
  3. Laminate flooring – Laminate is an okay choice, but in order to get waterproof laminate, you will need to purchase a thicker product, which is heavier and can cause issues with slideouts.
  4. Luxury vinyl planks – This is our favorite type of RV flooring. They are durable, easy to lay, and waterproof. For this article we will focus on laying vinyl planks.

Tools You’ll Need

To change your RV flooring using luxury vinyl planks, you will need the following items:

  • Razor blade
  • Speed square
  • Tape measure
  • Rubber mallet
  • Pencil
  • Tapping block
  • Miter saw (optional)

Measuring for Luxury Vinyl Planks

To determine how much flooring to buy, multiply your floor length by the width and add an extra 10% for start pieces, end pieces, mistakes, etc.

Remember that thinner planks will save on weight and work better with your RV slides!

Pulling Up the Old Floor

Obviously, you will need to pull up your old RV flooring before putting anything new down. Fortunately this is pretty easy to do. Start by removing any trim at floor level. If you’re dealing with vinyl sheet flooring, you may need to use a razor blade to cut as close to the wall as possible. Carpet should come up with a bit of pulling and a nail or staple remover.

Prep the Subfloor

Next, clean the subfloor. Pull all staples and nails. Sweep at least two times and follow the broom with a Shop-Vac to ensure you get all dirt and dust.

Laying Your RV Flooring

If you are working with a slide that has a lot of overhang, it’s generally best to start by laying the flooring under the slide. Otherwise, choose the longest straight section of wall in your RV and start there.

Leaving a quarter inch of space between your planks and the wall, click planks together end-to-end until you’ve spanned the entire length of the RV. This will likely require you to cut the final piece to the correct length using the speed square along with either a razor blade or a miter saw to fill all of the space.

With the first row done, now move on to the second row, using the other end of the plank you cut at the starter piece in order to create an off-set pattern as you line it up with the first row. Snap each plank into place as you go using the tapping block and mallet, and cut the last plank to fill all of the space, using the remainder of that plank to start the third row and repeat the process.

Continue in this way, cutting around cabinets, floor registers, and other obstacles until the entire floor is complete.

Add Trim

When your floor is complete, you will need to trim everything out. You can do this by adding shoe molding or quarter rounds that match the floor, or you can add a baseboard to the walls and match the trim to the baseboard.

A Word about Slideout Transition Strips

Depending on what kind of slide you’re working with, finding a trim or transition strip that works well can be tricky. The video below talks about some of the best options. It also offers a visual guide to replacing RV flooring that could be helpful.

There you go, everything you need to know about RV flooring! Hopefully this guide has helped you learn how to care for your RV floors, along with how to replace flooring that isn’t in the best shape so you can keep on camping without worrying about RV flooring that is falling apart.

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Source: Caring for Your RV Flooring

Mindfulness and More: Techniques to Help You Relax and Recharge

Mindfulness and More: Techniques to Help You Relax and Recharge

In our fast-paced world, taking time to relax and recharge isn’t just a luxury, rather it’s essential for maintaining mental and physical health.

Traveling often comes with its fair share of excitement but sadly often a lot of stress as well. Navigating through airports, adapting to new environments, and maintaining a packed itinerary can quickly drain your energy.

It’s essential to incorporate relaxation and recharging techniques into your travel routine, as they can not only help you manage the inevitable stresses of travel but also enhance your overall well-being, ensuring that you return home feeling rejuvenated rather than exhausted.

Thankfully, there are a variety of effective strategies designed to help you relax and recharge during your travels, such as mindfulness and other relaxation techniques that can significantly reduce stress, improve concentration, and enhance overall well-being, allowing you to fully embrace your travels and create lasting memories.

Mindfulness and More: Techniques to Help You Relax and Recharge

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a powerful practice that involves paying close attention to the present moment, typically focusing on breath or body sensations, without judgment. By practicing mindfulness, you can decrease anxiety, enhance emotional resilience, improve mental clarity, and lower cortisol levels which is the body’s primary stress hormone.

One of the best aspects of practicing mindfulness is that it requires no special equipment or extensive training, making it an ideal tool for travellers seeking to reduce stress, enhance emotional regulation, and improve overall well-being.

By dedicating even a few minutes to this practice, whether it’s in an airport or in your hotel room, you may be able to experience profound shifts in your perception, leading to a more balanced, peaceful, and fulfilling trip.

Many travellers choose alternatives like vaping because it can provide a sense of quicker immediate relief from stress and anxiety due to nicotine’s ability to trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and relaxation, which can create a temporary sense of calm and satisfaction.

For those who use vaping devices like a RELX Pod, incorporating mindfulness into your routine can be an opportunity to pause and reflect on the reasons behind your habits, potentially leading to more mindful vaping and greater overall self-awareness.

Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing is a simple yet effective technique to reduce stress and induce relaxation. Techniques like diaphragmatic breathing involve breathing deeply into the belly, promoting full oxygen exchange and slowing the heartbeat. This can quickly calm the mind and reduce tension in the body, making it a quick tool for travellers to experience stress relief anywhere and anytime.

Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps reduce the stress response, lowering heart rate and blood pressure. By bringing more oxygen to the brain, deep breathing can improve cognitive function, helping you stay alert and make better decisions which is crucial for travellers.

Because deep breathing increases oxygen supply to your body, it can also prevent fatigue associated with long flights and travel schedules.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a technique where you tense each muscle group in the body tightly, but not to the point of strain, and then slowly relax them. This practice helps identify areas of tension and encourages a deeper state of physical relaxation.

PMR is particularly effective before bedtime to combat insomnia and can also be beneficial in managing symptoms of anxiety. It also comes in handy while traveling since long periods of sitting in planes, trains, or vehicles can lead to muscle stiffness and discomfort. PMR helps release tension in these muscles, providing relief and comfort.

PMR also encourages you to focus on different parts of your body, increasing your awareness and helping you stay present in the moment. Therefore, this goes well with mindfulness meditation.

Be sure to find a quiet and comfortable environment where you won’t be disturbed, even if it’s just a quiet corner at the airport or your hotel room. Try to practice PMR regularly, even if just for a few minutes each day. Consistency will enhance its effectiveness.

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery involves focusing your imagination on calm, peaceful images or scenes, often guided by a recording or a therapist. This form of mental escapism can significantly lower stress levels and is commonly used to foster relaxation and enhance mood.

It’s especially useful in situations where physical relaxation exercises aren’t feasible, such as in an office setting or when riding through heavy traffic in a taxi or on a bus. Guided imagery can help travellers reduce stress by allowing them to escape mentally from the pressures and anxieties of travel, such as dealing with airport delays, being stuck in long waiting lines at attractions or events, or when dealing with large tourist crowds.

Guided imagery encourages travellers to focus on positive thoughts and emotions, which can counteract negative thinking patterns and reduce worry. Engaging in guided imagery can boost mood and increase feelings of happiness and contentment, even during challenging travel situations.

Choose a calming and soothing mental image or scenario to focus on. This could be a beach, rainforest, spa, or any other scene that personally brings you comfort and relaxation. Use all your senses to immerse yourself in the visualisation. Imagine the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and even tastes associated with your chosen scene.

If you are having difficulty, consider using guided imagery audio recordings or apps that provide guided visualisation. Some apps are even designed specifically for travellers.

Yoga and Tai Chi

Combining physical movement with breathing exercises, yoga and tai chi are holistic practices that promote relaxation and well-being. These exercises not only help stretch and tone the body but also focus the mind and create a sense of calm.

By integrating simple yoga poses and Tai Chi movements into your travel routine, you can effectively relax, reduce stress, and enhance your overall well-being while on the go. Whether you prefer practicing in the privacy of your hotel room, in an uncrowded corner of an airport terminal or lounge, or in an outdoor park, there are plenty of opportunities to reap the benefits of these ancient practices during your travels.

Regular practice of both can lead to improved flexibility, balance, and overall physical health, as well as mental wellness. Learn a few simple yoga poses that you can easily practice anywhere, or simply download yoga apps or videos to your phone to guide you through short yoga sessions.

Learn a few basic Tai Chi movements that are easy to remember and perform, or once again download video tutorials to your phone. Many cities also offer group Tai Chi sessions in parks or community centers, providing an opportunity to practice with locals and other travelers.

Incorporate Tai Chi principles of slow, mindful movement into everyday activities such as walking or standing in line. Focus on your breath and body awareness to cultivate a sense of calm and relaxation.

Digital Detox

In the digital age, constant connectivity can be a major source of stress. Periodically unplugging from digital devices can help reduce anxiety, improve your mood, and enhance your interpersonal relationships.

Even short periods of digital detox can make a significant difference in your ability to concentrate and relax. Sometimes travellers find themselves in destinations that lack Wi-Fi which makes it easy to enjoy a digital detox since it’s forced, but other times you will need to force yourself to take a break from screentime.

Constantly checking emails, social media notifications, and messages can detract from your ability to fully engage with your surroundings. By disconnecting from digital devices, you can immerse yourself more deeply in the sights, sounds, and experiences of travel destinations.

Excessive use of digital devices also prevents many travellers from having meaningful face-to-face interactions with fellow travellers and locals. By putting away your phone and engaging with those around you, you can foster deeper connections and create lasting memories.

Setting the Stage for Tranquillity

As you incorporate these techniques into your daily routine, remember that the environment can also play a crucial role in your ability to relax. Create a calming space in your hotel where you can practice these techniques without interruption.

Consider elements like soft lighting, comfortable seating, and the removal of distractions to enhance your relaxation experience. Opt for accommodation that prioritises tranquillity, such as boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, or vacation rentals in quieter neighbourhoods. Request a room away from noisy areas like elevators, stairwells, or busy streets to further minimise disruptions.

Think about packing items that help you relax, such as a comfortable travel pillow, lightweight blanket, noise-cancelling headphones, or an eye mask to block out light You may also consider packing essential oils or a travel-sized diffuser for creating a calming aroma in your room.

Embracing a Calmer Life

Stress is very dangerous, but a quality spa trip covers all the bases and will have you feeling calm and Zen in no time at all.

I hope these techniques will better equip you with ways to handle the stresses of travel more effectively. By taking time to incorporate some of these tips into your next travels, you will no doubt find your health may improve, your mind will be sharper, you’ll be well rested, and enjoy more peaceful holidays.   

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

 

Source: Mindfulness and More: Techniques to Help You Relax and Recharge

Air Lift Towtal View Camera System

Air Lift Towtal View Camera System

Air Lift Introduces New Backup Assist Camera – the Towtal View!

LANSING, MI — Air Lift Company has revolutionized the towing experience by introducing a rear vision camera system that works with your smartphone for ultimate convenience. With two versatile mounts, the Towtal View HD Camera provides a high-quality colour video feed via the free mobile app. In a matter of minutes, you can set up the system, and you will be able to see everything behind your trailer while you are towing, and back up fearlessly into tight parking spaces.

Air Lift Towtal View camera mounted on a pickup tailgate.
Air Lift Towtal View camera mounted on a pickup tailgate.

Whether you tow a boat, an RV or a utility trailer, you can now see what’s going on behind you, making it easy to back up, precisely guide your trailer into parking spots, or monitor your cargo or campsite with the camera – even when you’re away from the vehicle.

The Air Lift Towtal View camera system can monitor your site, day or night!
The Air Lift Towtal View camera system can monitor your site, day or night!

The camera’s infrared LED light allows for night vision, providing colour viewing rather than traditional black-and-white night vision. The free mobile app lets you view the camera’s live feed, record video, capture photos, add or remove backup-assist lines, mirror images, and rotate the image.

Air Lift Towtal View camera system - mounts and components for wired or wireless operation.
Air Lift Towtal View camera system – mounts and components for wired or wireless operation.

Towtal View HD Camera (PN # 25300) has two versatile mounts with quick connection, so no tools are needed when swapping between the included permanent hardwired and waterproof battery pack suction cup mounts. The mounts are multi-position adjustable for various viewing angles. The rechargeable battery pack holds a 5+ hour battery life.

Air Lift Towtal View camera mounted on a travel trailer.
Air Lift Towtal View camera mounted on a travel trailer.
Air Lift Towtal View camera system uses a FREE app to send the image to your smartphone or tablet.
Air Lift Towtal View camera system uses a FREE app to send the image to your smartphone or tablet.

Towtal View has over 100 feet of reliable range via a strong, secure Wi-Fi connection. The multi-coated lens reduces glare, resists fingerprints and scratches, and improves colour accuracy while providing an 80° vertical and 110° horizontal field of view. The app is also compatible with larger devices, like iPads and Android tablets.

For over 70 years, Air Lift has been the trusted leader in air suspension products, committed to delivering quality parts that stand the test of time. The Towtal View HD Camera is no exception. To ensure your peace of mind, the system comes with a two-year warranty and Air Lift’s renowned customer service and technical support, ready to assist you should you encounter any issues during the installation process.

About Air Lift

Air Lift Company, founded in 1949, is a third-generation, family-owned suspension specialty company based in Lansing, Michigan. Air Lift is committed to engineering, manufacturing, and selling the highest quality suspension products that fit, work, and last. Air Lift products are available at retailers across the country and internationally. For more information or additional product photos, find Air Lift Company online at http://www.airliftcompany.com/ or call (517) 999-2121.

Source: Air Lift Towtal View Camera System

Planning Your Luxurious Omani Escape

Planning Your Luxurious Omani Escape

Dreaming of an exotic getaway filled with opulence and cultural immersion? Look no further than Oman, the jewel of the Arabian Peninsula nestled between the Arabian Sea and the rugged peaks of the Al Hajar Mountains.

With its ancient forts, bustling souks, and dreamy desert landscapes, Oman offers travellers a glimpse into a world where tradition meets modern opulence. Whether you’re drawn to its rich history, vibrant culture, or pristine beaches, Oman promises an unforgettable journey filled with discovery and wonder.

The World Travel & Tourism Council is predicting a major tourism boom for Oman in the coming years, with the country heavily investing in its sustainable tourism industry. The time to visit Oman is now before its many secrets are discovered by the masses.

Planning Your Luxurious Omani Escape

Prepare in Advance with OMVisas

It’s crucial to research the visa requirements for Oman well in advance of your trip and ensure that you have the necessary documentation to enter the country legally. According to OMVisas, travellers must obtain the appropriate visa to enter the country. Whether you’re planning a short visit or an extended stay, OMVisas provides comprehensive assistance to facilitate your travel needs, ensuring a seamless entry into Oman.

Visa requirements will of course depend on your nationality, the length of your stay, and the purpose of your visit. You’ll find that Oman offers various types of visas, including tourist visas, business visas, and transit visas. Tourist visas are typically required for travellers visiting Oman and can generally range from 10 days to one month, with the option to extend in some cases.

Some travellers may be eligible for visa-on-arrival, while others may need to apply for a visa in advance. You simply need to check the specific visa requirements and application procedures based on your citizenship before traveling, and research the latest visa requirements as these can regularly change.

Discover Unique Accommodations

As with many tourism destinations, Oman offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit every traveller’s preferences and budget. There’s definitely no shortage of luxurious hotels and resorts, particularly in Muscat and along the coastline. This allows Oman to compete with Qatar and the UAE for the attention of travellers seeking luxury.

While Oman’s luxury hotels and resorts often feature world-class amenities, including spas, gourmet restaurants, and private beach access, opting for smaller boutique hotels can offer charm, character, and more culture.

Experience the magic of the Omani desert by staying in a traditional Bedouin-style camp. These desert camps offer the opportunity to sleep under the stars in comfortable tents, enjoy authentic Arabian cuisine, and participate in desert activities such as camel riding and dune bashing.

There are also beachside villas available for rent, as well as secluded mountain retreats in the Al Hajar Mountains if you’re seeking tranquility, stunning views, and outdoor activities such as hiking and rock climbing.

Along Oman’s coastline and in its scenic fjords, you’ll find unique floating hotels and luxury cruises offering unique stays that will allow you to explore the coast while enjoying the comfort and luxury of a hotel.

Luxury Resorts in Oman

Oman is home to some of the most luxurious and breathtaking resorts in the Middle East, each offering a unique blend of indulgence, comfort, and unparalleled service. Among these, the Six Senses Zighy Bay stands out as an iconic destination for those seeking an immersive experience.

Nestled between rugged mountains and the azure waters of the Gulf of Oman, this secluded resort offers guests the opportunity to unwind in lavish villas with private pools, indulge in holistic spa treatments inspired by traditional Omani rituals, and savour exquisite cuisine crafted from locally sourced ingredients.

Another standout option is the Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, renowned for its opulent surroundings and world-class amenities. Situated along a pristine stretch of coastline in Muscat, this palatial resort exudes grandeur and sophistication at every turn.

Guests can immerse themselves in luxury with spacious rooms and suites boasting stunning sea views, dine in style at award-winning restaurants showcasing the finest flavours of Oman and rejuvenate mind, body, and soul at the indulgent spa retreat.

Perched on the edge of a canyon in the Al Hajar Mountains, Alila Jabal Akhdar offers something a bit different. Enjoy breathtaking views and a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The resort features stylish suites and villas, a world-class spa, and adventurous guided hikes and exceptional star-gazing away from city lights.

Other recommendations include Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, and The Chedi Muscat which sits in the heart of the nation’s capital.

Private Villas in Oman

For those seeking a more intimate and secluded retreat, renting a private villa offers the perfect opportunity to escape the city and potential tourist hotspots and enjoy more of Oman’s natural beauty and authentic culture.

Whether nestled along the rugged coastline or tucked away amidst the tranquil desert dunes, these exclusive villas offer unparalleled privacy and most if not more comforts of home, allowing you to relax and unwind in your own secluded paradise.

Private villas often feature elegant furnishings, private plunge or infinity pools with outdoor showers, private terraces, and dedicated butler service.

Explore Incredible Landscapes and Culture

Oman’s unique landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality are helping to drive the country’s new tourism boom. Get lost in the magic of Wahiba Sand Dunes, hike through the dramatic canyons of the Al Hajar Mountains, or swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Arabian Sea.

Uncover Oman’s History

Oman’s rich history can be witnessed by visiting its numerous forts, castles, and archaeological sites that are scattered throughout the country. These ancient structures, including Nizwa Fort, Bahla Fort, and Jabrin Castle, offer a glimpse into Oman’s storied past and provide fascinating insights into its cultural heritage.

Discover the Wonders of Muscat

 

Visit the majestic Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, a symbol of Islamic architecture, and wander through the vibrant souks, where you can haggle for traditional handicrafts and souvenirs.

Oman’s bustling souks and markets are hubs of activity where travellers can get lost in the sights, sounds, and smells of Omani culture. From the aromatic spices of Muttrah Souk to the vibrant textiles of Nizwa Souk, these traditional markets offer a treasure trove of goods and a glimpse into everyday life in Oman.

There are also plenty of natural wonders to check out. You can start with the “Grand Canyon of Oman,” Jebel Shams is the highest mountain peak in the country, offering breathtaking views of rugged cliffs, deep gorges, and terraced valleys. The Balcony Walk trail provides an adventurous trek along the edge of the canyon, with no shortage of panoramic lookouts.

Oman is known for its lovely wadis, or dry riverbeds/valleys, and one of its most impressive is Wadi Shab which is renowned for its emerald-green pools, impressive waterfalls, and surprising splashes of lush greenery. There are opportunities for hiking, swimming in crystal-clear pools, and exploring hidden caves along the way.

Translating to “Green Mountain,” Jebel Akhdar is a mountain range known for its terraced orchards, rose gardens, and cool climate which offers relief from the summer heat. Explore picturesque villages, hike scenic trails, and be sure to sample the region’s renowned rosewater and pomegranate products.

Located near the coastal town of Dibba, the Bimmah Sinkhole is a natural limestone crater filled with turquoise-blue water. Take a dip in the refreshing pool, relax on the surrounding limestone rocks, or simply marvel at the sinkhole’s unique geological formations.

Journey into the Desert

Experience the magic of Oman’s vast deserts with a desert safari adventure. Traverse the towering sand dunes of the Wahiba Sands aboard a luxury 4×4 vehicle and witness the breathtaking beauty of the desert landscape as the sun sets over the horizon. You can also book quad bike and sandboarding adventures.

For the ultimate desert escape, spend a night under the starlit sky at a luxury desert camp, where you can indulge in traditional Omani cuisine and cultural performances. Embark on a traditional camel trek across the desert to take in the peaceful landscape at a slower pace.

Nothing beasts the breathtaking beauty of a desert sunset as the golden light bathes the sand dunes in a warm glow, creating a magical and unforgettable moment. The desert is also a dream for photographers who can capture the shifting colours of the undulating dunes and intricate patterns formed by wind-blown sand.

Dive into the Azure Waters

Oman is renowned for its pristine coastline and crystal-clear waters, making it an ideal destination for water enthusiasts. Embark on a luxury yacht cruise along the rugged coastline, where you can snorkel amidst vibrant coral reefs and swim with majestic marine life, including dolphins and sea turtles.

Unwind on the best beaches in Oman or explore the vibrant underwater world of the country’s coastline which is home to colourful coral reefs, rich marine life, and fascinating shipwrecks. Popular diving spots include Daymaniyat Islands Marine Reserve, Bandar Khayran, and Fahal Island.

Accessible by ferry from the mainland, Masirah Island is a hidden gem also known for its pristine beaches, as well as plentiful birdlife along its rocky shores and mangroves. Plan a bit of kite surfing or paddleboarding, turtle watching, and possibly camp overnight on the island’s secluded shores.

You can even organise a deep-sea fishing charter to try your luck at catching local species such as kingfish, tuna, and barracuda.

Experience Omani Hospitality

Omani hospitality, known as “Omaniya,” is legendary, and you can expect to be greeted with warmth and kindness nearly everywhere you go. Whether sharing a meal with locals in a traditional Omani home or chatting with shopkeepers in a bustling souk, you are likely to find that Omanis are eager to share their culture and traditions with visitors.

No trip to Oman is complete without experiencing the warmth and hospitality of its people, so be sure to engage with locals and become more than simply a tourist. Take part in a traditional Omani cooking class and learn the secrets of preparing authentic Omani dishes, or indulge in a private dining experience under the stars, where you can savour a gourmet meal inspired by local flavours and ingredients.

The country also hosts many cultural festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and dance to food and heritage. Highlights include the Muscat Festival, the Salalah Tourism Festival, and the Khareef Festival, which showcases the unique monsoon season in southern Oman.

It’s safe to say that planning a luxurious escape to Oman promises an unforgettable holiday filled with unparalleled beauty, indulgence, and cultural immersion. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on pristine beaches, adventure in the desert or mountains, or want to explore  ancient heritage sites, Oman has something to offer every traveller.

Pack your bags and prepare to be enchanted by the Jewel of the Arabian Peninsula.

 

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007.  Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.