Author page: Kate Downes

Exploring a New City (Scavenger Hunt Edition!)

Everyone has their own list of “things to do/see/eat” when exploring a new city. Sometimes these things will be very personal, other times they will be accumulated tips from friends, guidebooks, and the good ol’ internet. These lists will vary from city to city, of course. But what do you do when you reach the end of your list? Here are some places and experiences that you can search for in just about any new city to help you get to know it better. See if you can find them all!

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6 Habits to Leave Behind While Traveling

Traveling can be one of the most amazing privileges a person can experience. But it comes with its own challenges, too. You will be meeting new people, trying new things, immersing yourself in new cultures. Perhaps you have already decided to keep an open mind while you’re off on your adventures, but you may find your day-to-day habits catching you up and making things more difficult than they need to be. You can ease your way by preparing to leave some of these ingrained habits behind along with the instructions for your house-sitter.

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Which Gadgets Do You Actually Need for Traveling?

On the traveling side of the internet, reviews for new gadgets abound. Compression bags! Fold-able water bottles! Amazing pouches that hold everything from your passport to a portable phone battery pack, which you also absolutely need! A microfiber towel that folds into almost nothing! And a second one to make up for the fact the towel is only two square feet! An electronic tracker, in case you lose the towels! (…And then we pass out.) Okay, some of these gadgets can be pretty useful. But not all of them, and not all the time. Here’s an honest look at when you might actually need some of these weird and wonderful things.

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Dealing With Dietary Restrictions While Traveling

Culinary adventures can be the best part of a trip. From the things you eat to the way you eat them, anything can be a new experience, and everything can be fun – unless it isn’t. Upon arrival, you find out that no-one in the country you’re visiting has ever heard of your dietary restriction. Your vegan lifestyle is challenged when you learn that every single local dish appears to have meat in it. The ingredients in this soup could be life threatening… if only you could read the label! Here are some tips and tricks for dealing with dietary restrictions while traveling.

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Popular Destinations: Avoiding the Clichés

So you’ve only got a day/week/fortnight at your destination, and all the guide books have told you the same thing. You must go see this gallery! Your trip just isn’t complete without this boat ride! You can only really say you’ve arrived once you’ve been to this temple! It’s what everyone does, they assure you, and you shudder. There must be something else, some experience you can choose because you know you will like it, and not to check some kind of box. Well, you can – and here are a few suggestions on how to go about it.

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Packing For Extreme Weather

Your general rule when packing might be to take a few pieces for different weather possibilities. A light rain jacket, a scarf, a pair of sandals. But what will you pack for extreme weather, like  heat and humidity that’s going to make you sweat through anything you put on? How can you plan outfits well when everything’s going to be covered with a raincoat? How will you get all of your sweaters into your backpack for that winter hiking break? Let’s look at how you can approach your packing for extreme weather.

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How to Actually Enjoy a Long Layover

If you have ever travelled on a budget, you will know that the best flight deals are divided into multiple legs. The cheapest trips often include very long layovers in a country which – well, which you weren’t intending to visit in the first place. Hmm. Before you resign yourself to eight hours spent staring at a wall, take a moment and consider the opportunity you have here. How long have you got? What could you do in that time? With proper planning and the right attitude, you can turn your layover into an enjoyable part of your trip. So let’s get to how to enjoy a long layover.

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