Packing isn't my favourite part of preparing for a trip. I want to have everything I need, but also really dislike to overpack and get stuck carrying around excess stuff. To make matters more complicated, I often visit multiple countries in one trip, or need quite a bit of practical equipment for my adventures. Last month, for example, I went to Morocco to ride horses on an epic camping trip, plus had astopover in Dubai to go camel trekking, and also a total of 6 days of transit to travel to and from a tiny Thai island to a small town in Morocco. I needed my riding gear, camping equipment, photography stuff, plus clothes and toiletries for this two week trip. I definitely wanted to travel light, and knew I'd be unpacking and repacking daily as we moved campsites from one bit of Moroccan wilderness to another.
Fortunately, I think my packing list was just right! I had everything I needed for each aspect of the trip, and my checked bag weighed in at under 12kg! While I realize this trip is pretty specialized, the packing list applies to other travels, too. I'll be bringing almost the exact same things for my upcoming journey back to Africa, where I'll be spending a month trekking, camping, and on a horseback safari(!!). Check it out to see what I packed, and find details on some of my favourite travel and outdoor gear!
Let's talk about money. Finances can be hugely discouraging for people who dream about travelling the world, but feel like they'll never have the cash to do so. I'm here to tell you that you don't need rich parents, a sugar daddy/momma, or a massive Instagram following that will reward you with comped trips to lush destinations, in order to travel the world. Yes, saving up enough money to travel can be challenging, but it's totally possible. My trips are fully self-funded, and have been since I left Canada over 10 years ago. Now, I'd like to share some creative tips that have helped me, and can help you, afford to travel.
I think travel planning is an acquired taste… one that is usually acquired after lots of practice. I used to feel totally overwhelmed when planning trips, but these days, it's one of my favourite forms of stress-relief. Still, there's so much to think about… where to go, when, what to do, and not least of all, how to get there. Over the years I’ve realized that there is an art to travel planning; especially if you, like I often do, want to visit multiple destinations on a single journey.
I’m currently planning a trip to the Nordic countries for summer 2018, so I thought I’d use it as an example as I talk (type?) you through my step-by-step process for planning a multi-country extravaganza. First things first: organization is absolutely necessary when compiling the info you need to make a smart travel plan. I like to keep it old school with paper and pens so I can jot down notes without needing to switch between even more web browser windows than I usually have when planning a trip. So, grab a notebook, and let's get started.
I started traveling before internet was really a thing, back when travel agents and Lonely Planet guidebooks were the only real tools at a wanderer's disposal. Obviously, things are very different now (case in point: this blog). Personally I'm grateful for the technological advances that now help me at every stage of my travels. I like to travel light, so I rarely travel with my laptop, but never leave home without my iPhone. I've rounded up a list of apps that have become game-changers in my quest to turn my life into one big worldwide adventure.
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