Travel resources

THE BEST TRAVEL RESOURCES TO PLAN A TRIP

Here you can find the best travel resources to plan your next adventures. From the specific travel articles to the places where you can find the cheapest flights, the best accommodation, great experiences and many ways of travelling on a budget. I use them all myself and they helped me to travel more and visit 60+ countries independently and so can you!

FOR BEST TRAVEL GEAR – click here

Table of content:

  1. FLIGHTS 
  2. HOTELS
  3. LAND TRAVEL
  4. TRAVEL EXPERIENCES
  5. TRAVEL INSURANCE 
  6. BUDGET TRAVEL
  7. BLOGGING 
  8. TRAVEL TIPS

WHERE AND HOW TO BOOK CHEAP FLIGHTS

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Booking the best and the cheapest flight very often depends on where and when you book it. The price differences between airline websites and flight portals can sometimes be huge. Below you can find a list of my favourite flight comparison tools. Go and find that amazing flight yourself!

Few simple tips to book cheap flights:

      1. Compare the flight prices on several websites. You can find super-useful links below.
      2. Be flexible with dates. The tools below have useful features for finding the cheapest flights in the year or comparing the prices throughout the whole month.
      3. Be flexible with the airports. Sometimes the nearby airports have much better deals and help you to avoid several expensive flight changes just in exchange for a short bus or car trip to the next city.
      4. Clear your cookies/use a different browser. Prices might go up the more you look at them, so make sure you clean your cookies before booking.
      5. Use the best website for comparing the flight prices. My favourite websites for booking the cheapest flights are below:

Skyscanner.netImage result for skyscanner compares the prices in a matter of seconds, giving you the best price indications for the cheapest flights, my must-go-to for the cheap flights. Check latest deals.


Kiwi.comImage result for kiwi.com has a great functionality of looking for flights based on the radius around the location and showing prices on the map. It’s so useful, especially when you don’t have a set plan and you want to find the cheapest flight in a specific area. Check the latest deals.


MomondoImage result for momondo is a good flight comparison website, that also checks small flight operators and makes sure you find the lowest airfare. I always check it! I’ve used it for my 300 EUR flight to Madagascar. Check latest deals.


Expedia is one of the largest online travel companies. It can help you to find those flight + hotel deal combos. I use it quite often to compare the prices and make sure I found the cheapest. Check latest deals.


Kayak is another must-go-to website for flight checking and prices comparison. Check latest deals.


lastminute.com is pretty sweet for those last-minute travel deals! Check latest deals.


HOTELS & ACCOMMODATION

Find the best accommodation and the cheapest hotels using the links below:

Booking.com is one of my favourite accommodation booking websites, they have a wide selection of rooms for all budgets, including cheap hostels, and allow FREE cancellation if your plans change – Check latest deals.


VRBO (also known as Homeaway)- vacation rental portal, similar to Airbnb, but it has been longer on the market. It is gaining more popularity in Europe and USA and offers great deals on apartments in many countries around the world. Check the deals here. 


AgodaImage result for agoda – one of the best online booking sites for accommodation, hotels and cheap travel deals. Especially useful in Asia! Check latest deals.


Hotels.com is great for people, who travel often and want to save some money – you can get your 10th hotel night, that you book through Hotels.com, entirely for free! Check latest deals.


Hotelscombined has a good variety of hotels & hostels with great deals. Check latest deals.


TRAVEL BY LAND

Rentalcars – road trips are one of the best ways of discovering a new destination. Rentalcars is a car rental search engine, that will let you find the best car rental deals around the world. Check for the best car rentals here.


Eurail Image result for eurail(for non-European citizens) – helps you to travel across Europe by train with ease. You can get various train passes, whether it’s one or multiple countries at once – easy peasy!


Image result for interrailInterrail (for European citizens) – helps you to travel across Europe by train with ease. You can get various train passes, whether it’s one or multiple countries at once – easy peasy!

HAVE THE BEST TRAVEL EXPERIENCES

Viator (a TripAdvisor company) – fancy trying experiences with local people and organized tours? Viator will help you with that! From traditional tours to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, they have something for everyone.


Get your Guide – a great tour company, that can organize everything from short city excursions to longer adventurous trips in many different countries.

TRAVEL PAYMENTS

Wise – electronic money account, useful for transferring money abroad with good rates and using the Wise card abroad on travel without high bank fees. Sign up and get a fee-free transfer here. 


TRAVEL INSURANCE

I never go travelling without travel insurance, and you shouldn’t either. I currently have a Polish one, but a very good alternative for other nationalities. You can also buy it when you are already on the road!


TRAVEL ON A BUDGET

Trusted Housesitters – the world’s first house and pet sitting website, which is connecting home and pet owners with trustworthy sitters who care for pets for free in exchange for accommodation. I haven’t tried it yet, but the idea sounds great. If you are a pet lover, you can take care of pets and travel!


Image result for house sit matchHouseSit Match – water the plants, feed the cat and stay in the house for free.


CouchsurfingImage result for couchsurfing – portal, that allows exchanging free accommodation between travellers. Great way to meet locals, make new friends and find out more about the culture. I’ve been using it since 2010, and although I’ve heard it changed its policies recently, I think it’s still a good platform to use.


Image result for home exchangeHome exchange – travel anywhere, live like a local, swap your house with someone else and stay for free.


WWOOF– Get food and accommodation in exchange for voluntary work in organic farms.


Blablacar – share the ride with others, save on petrol or travel cheaper with this great carpooling option.

TRAVEL BLOGGING

SiteGroundImage result for siteground – want to get your own blog? The hosting provider is an important first step. SiteGround, recommended by so many bloggers from the blogging community, has plans starting from just £2.75/month (so a price of a cup of coffee). I use them too! Check prices.

USEFUL TRAVEL TIPS

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Travel Deals 2023 & 2024
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Travel Deals 2023 & 2024Are you looking to find some great Black Friday travel deals this year? I prepared an up-to-date list with some of the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday travel deals. Have a look! This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.More details here. Part of the secret of how I afford to travel that much is that I always look out for good travel deals. And Black Friday is a perfect time for scoring big discounts for travel services and products. From well-known retailers like Amazon or Lonely Planet to booking services like Booking.com, Skyscanner, Get your Guide, and Viator, there is something for everyone out there. Even though, the last years haven’t been particularly good for travel (they were awful, actually). Here’s me hoping that the next one is going to be better. As a bonus, most travel companies now offer more flexibility and longer validity of their deals. And, of course, more focus on safety, which is very important, especially now. ****IMPORTANT: Several of the companies run offers only for one day during Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday. If you can’t see the deal yet, bookmark this post and check back the links on the day!**** Psst… Looking for more gift guides? Here are some more: Eco-friendly travel gifts 60+ best gifts for outdoor and nature lovers and hikers  Best Norwegian gifts and souvenirs for Norway lovers Best Norway winter clothing – what to pack for Norway in winter Essential camping equipment Scotland packing list BLACK FRIDAY TRAVEL DEALS FOR 2023 and 2024 Most Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are only active for a short time period, so you need to be quick and act within the specified dates. There are some of them that last for a bit longer.  Below, I describe each deal and the time it is valid, as well as where you can find it. Do you know more deals, that I haven’t included below? Let me know in the comments! BLACK FRIDAY TRAVEL PRODUCTS DEALS Black Friday is a perfect time to shop for Christmas gifts for your loved ones and for all the travel products that you wanted for yourself for a cheaper price!  Not sure what to get yet? Here is some inspiration: Eco-friendly travel gifts, travel gifts for outdoor lovers, Norway gifts, Norway in the winter packing list, Kenya safari packing list, and a Scotland packing list.  Amazon Travel and products deals Amazon always has the best deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sales start on 18th November! The choice of available products is crazy. They have hundreds of products for sale! You can find the best deals here. Browse through all the  best Amazon deals here Photography Prints (and more!) Sale Society6 site, where I have some of my photographs, has a sale up to 50% Off Cyber Deals. Check some of my prints here: Society6 (and if you are interested in any other photo, that is not there, let me know – I can add it there. I will be adding more prints for sale soon!). If you want to buy my photo prints from Darkroom you can do so here. Buy photography prints here Cabin Zero travel bag I get many questions on how I travel light, and a lot of it goes down to the correct luggage choice. Which, for me, are the Cabin Zero bags – measured perfectly to the airline baggage regulations (especially these strange European budget airlines ones. I have a 44l one for the bigger hand luggage and a 28L that fits perfectly in the new budget airline regulations for smaller hand luggage. Cabin Zero last year had a sale of up to 50% off on everything with new deals added daily, so check it out. Check Cabin Zero deals here Tropic Feel Tropicfeel last year also had a Black Friday Sale with 25% off storewide. You can find high-performance, low-impact gear such as versatile sneakers, backpacks, apparel, accessories, and much more! Made ethically with sustainable materials. I have Tropic Feel Jungle travel shoes that are made from 7 recycled plastic bottles and recycled EVA. They are water friendly, so you can swim in them, versatile for any terrain, super lightweight, and packable. Thanks to that they also allow you to reduce the number of different types of shoes you take with you for holidays, travel light, and save money. Check them out here.  Check Tropicfeel deals here BLACK FRIDAY HOTEL AND ACCOMMODATION DEALS Booking.com I often use Booking.com to book my travel accommodation. The option of free cancellation in case of a change of plans is very handy. They have daily deals and offers, that change frequently, so keep an eye on the links below. It’s probably one of the most used platforms on the internet, and the deals you can score with them are really good! Black Friday Booking sale – it is coming so check here on Black Friday: Check the deals here. Check for Booking deals here Hostelworld With 300+ hostels offering savings of up to 50% there are plenty of bargains to be excited about. These special offers are live now!  To have a discount you need to book before 04 Dec and travel between 14 Nov and 30 Apr 2023. Find the deals here Check for Black Friday deals here Expedia What? Last year Expedia offered 30% off for Expedia members on the Expedia website. Check it on Black Friday! Check Expedia deals here Lastminute.com Lastminute.com last year had a Pink Friday sale going on! You could get up to 300 GBP off from chosen travel deals. There might be another one this year, so check it out here. Check out Black Friday deals here Kiwi.com Kiwi.com has a deal page, with multiple different deals per region. Check out Kiwi.com deals here Melia Hotels Melia Hotels are resort-style hotels, with a cool vibe and affordable prices. They are in around 40 countries worldwide. Last year they were running a 50% off deal on many hotels, with free cancellation. Check the deal again on Black Friday! Treat yourself to a nice stay and check out their deals here What? Up to 50% off the hotels, free cancellation included. Check Melia hotels deals here BLACK FRIDAY FLIGHT DEALS There are many airlines that join Black Friday/Cyber Monday. It is quite time-consuming to check each one of them individually and compare the prices. That’s why I normally use flight comparison tools to check for the best flight prices. The flight aggregators that I use and that also have their own Black Friday deals are Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, and Momondo. Skyscanner Skyscanner.net is my go-to page for finding cheap flights. This year they are dedicated to finding you the best money-saving Black Friday flight deals from different destinations. Check how to find the best Black Friday Flight deals here Check out flight deals here Kiwi.com Kiwi.com, a search engine for cheap flights also usually has tons of Black Friday offers. Check their deals here Get Kiwi.com deals here Wizzair Wizzair is planning to have a sale off on 300 routes. Ryanair Ryanair also has a Cyber week sale with different deals every day. BLACK FRIDAY DEALS ON TOURS AND ACTIVITIES Do you have a holiday planned this or next year? Book your activities now for the best offers.  G-Adventures Deals G-Adventures, a world-leading group travel company, that is organizing trips around the world, last year they run massive sales with up to 30% off their tours. They go to amazing places like Kenya, Ecuador or Jordan, and more. If you’re planning a trip next year, now it’s time to get it cheaper!  Check their deals here! Find deals for G-Adventures here Get Your Guide tour deals Get your Guide, a well-known and respected travel company for booking tours and activities around the world offers really solid discounts for their tours, including some of their top sellers. What? Last year they had up to 50% off the price of tours and activities. They also have a 100% money-back guarantee.  Find Get Your Guide deals here Viator tours deals Viator is a Tripadvisor tour company with a big range of tours around the world. has a big selection of discounts this year. What? It used to have all types of deals and discounts on tours and activities. Find Viator deals here Contiki tours deals Contiki, an international and well-known travel company last year had up to 25% off for travel tours. Find discounts for Contiki trips here BLACK FRIDAY CAR RENTAL DEALS Several car rental companies offer discounts and deals for car rentals on Black Friday. To find the best prices for the dates that interest you, I recommend using a comparison tool, like Rentalcars. Find car rental deals here   BLACK FRIDAY DEALS ON TRAVEL BLOGGING If you were thinking about starting a travel blog, now might be a perfect time. There are tons of deals offered for bloggers for Black Friday. Below are some of my favorites. Siteground SiteGround hosting service, which I’ve used for several years. They usually have crazy good Black Friday deals – up to 69% off the hosting plans. The cheapest one is for less than the cost of coffee. Get 69% off hosting plans here. Get the the hosting deal here PAST DEALS YOU MIGHT WANT TO WATCH OUT FOR Here are some of the past deals that have not been announced yet this year, but they were running previously, so you might want to watch out for them. I will update this post as soon as something new is announced.  Lonely Planet, the world’s favorite travel guidebook company had a massive sale, starting from Thursday until Monday. What? 40% off everything in Lonely Planet’s online shop. Trusted Housesitters is a house and pet-sitting website, that allows you to travel the world on a budget.  You can stay in a beautiful house in exchange for taking care of the property or/and animals.  Check out Trusted Housesitters here Qatar Airlines offered 30% off airfare purchases. Expedia offered up to 50% off hotel stays and an extra 12% off during its Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale JetBlue offered up to $400 off vacation packages and additional perks. Osprey probably has the best backpacks out there. Be it for travel or hiking, these bags are of high quality that will last you for years! Previously you could get them up to 40% cheaper on Black Friday Osprey Sale. Check Osprey deals here.  British Airways had a selection of deals on Black Friday, even up to 20% off flights. You could get 40% off Priority Pass so you can get access to lounges while traveling Virgin Atlantic Virgin Atlantic Airlines – their offer seems to not be up yet! They used to offer up to 135$ off flights from the US. They also have other, worldwide deals. Check their deals here – (not active yet, come back later) Find more gift inspirations here: Eco-friendly travel gifts 60+ best gifts for outdoor and nature lovers and hikers  Best Norwegian gifts and souvenirs for Norway lovers Best Norway winter clothing – what to pack for Norway in winter Essential camping equipment Scotland packing list Updated: November 2022 What are your favorite Black Friday deals? Do you know any more? Let me know in the comments! And happy shopping! Like it? Pin it!     Related posts: The Best Christmas Markets in Oslo To Visit In 2023 How I afford to travel and how you can too – 19 tips to travel more for less Norway On A Budget -Locals’ Secret Tips For Cheap Travel in Norway How to travel more with a full-time job and limited time – the ultimate guide [...] Read more...
Best Norway Winter Clothing – What To Pack For Norway In Winter
Best Norway Winter Clothing – What To Pack For Norway In WinterWondering what to pack for Norway in winter with the best Norway winter clothing to survive the Scandinavian cold? Like, what do you actually wear so you don’t freeze to death and still be able to walk and not roll on the snow overloaded with clothes? Below I share with you my winter packing list for Norway based on my living in Norway, traveling, and surviving four long (the fith one is coming) winters in the country of the frozen land. Packing for Norway in winter might be hard at the beginning, but it will be fun once you’ve done it! The type of Norway winter clothing you choose to pack for Norway in winter will depend on the type of activities and places you visit. With proper winter clothes, you can go through even the very cold weather and enjoy this beautiful time of year in the Nordics. Winter in Norway is a fun season. By now you should know that I love Norway in winter. It’s a perfect time for a little Norway winter travel, with tons of activities around the country. You can find plenty of things to do in Oslo in winter, as well as outside of the capital, like during the tour Norway in the Nutshell in winter. In Svalbard, you can look for polar bears on the snowmobile arctic adventure, chase the Northern Lights in Northern Norway and activities like dog sledding or skiing are a lot of fun. Even the Norwegian west coast offers a lot to do with plenty of choices in Bergen in winter. Yet, many people are a bit skeptical about visiting Norway in winter. Yes, it is cold, and you need to dress for the weather, which, many struggle with. In Norway, we have a saying – “there is never bad weather – it’s only bad clothes”. And it’s, most of the time, true! Norway winter clothing – What to pack for Norway in winter – Table of content What to wear in Norway in winter   #1 Norway clothes in winter    #2 Layers    #3 Wool    #4 How to dress for varying Norway weather    #5 Regions of Norway    #6 The best boots for Norway winter   #7 How to stay safe in Norway in winterWhat to pack for Norway in winter   #Norway clothing  #Norway outdoor gear   # Winter boots   #AccessoriesWhat to pack for Oslo in winter (and other cities in Norway) This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More details here. Find the best Norway winter clothing for the snowy weather, just don’t go out with just a jumper, like me 😉 NORWAY WINTER CLOTHING – TIPS ON WHAT TO WEAR IN NORWAY IN WINTER Before I share with you my winter packing list for Norway, I want to give you a few tips on what to wear in Scandinavia in winter. With proper clothing, you can be sure to enjoy even the cold frosty weather in Norway. Winter in Norway lasts from November to March/April. The winter packing list can help you to find what to wear in Norway in February as well as in December. It can also help you to pack for winter in Scandinavia in general. The weather in winter in Finland or Sweden is not that much different, and there are fun things to do, too like winter in Helsinki. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t just blindly look at the Norway weather forecast for the whole country (it varies greatly from place to place), just focus on the region you plan to go to and decide based on that. If you want to do any organized outdoor activities, it is highly probable that your guide will provide you with proper arctic clothing. It is advisable to inquire in advance. What to pack for winter in Norway is especially important when you want to travel light and not carry too heavy luggage. Even with limited clothes, you can still make a pretty cute Norway outfit! Read more: Norway on a budget – Local tips for cheap Norway travel Norwegian sheep have the best Norway clothing in winter! #1 Norway clothes in winter = Practicality over fashion When deciding on what to pack for winter in Norway put practicality over fashion. Of course, you can very often combine the two but always think about comfort and warmth first. Norway’s clothing style is simple and often based on sports clothes. The locals in Norway prefer to wear sports clothes all year round and usually flat shoes in winter. A popular choice for Norway winter jackets is a parka jacket or sport down jacket – you will see them all over the streets in Oslo in winter. By following that rule, you can easily blend in with casual clothes. Parka jacket for her: Find a parka jacket for her on Amazon here. Parka jacket for him: Find parka jacket for him on Amazon here. A popular choice for Norway winter jackets – sport down jackets. #2 Layers are the secret to Norwegian winter Layers (or “onion wear” in Polish) are the ultimate answer to all your questions regarding how to dress in Norway in winter. The deal is, that the pockets of air captured in between layers of clothes keep the warmth around the body. It’s the same technology they use in jackets or sleeping bags filled with the dawn. Another advantage of layering up is the ability to take some stuff off when you get too warm. I often struggle with this when entering the cafes bustling with fireplaces from the freezing air outside. It works great in hiking and other outdoor activities and then when you come inside the toasty Norwegian cabin, you don’t want to sweat in this one piece of woolen sweater you took with nothing underneath. How to dress in Norway: Base Layer – the warm, moisture-absorbing base layer. This is where your thermal underwear goes. I recommend a merino wool top and merino wool bottoms. Mid-layer – fleece or wool sweater. Outer layer – waterproof and windproof outer layers. For the top, I always recommend a Goretex jacket, and for the bottom, waterproof pants for hiking, or ski pants for skiing. If the weather is cold and dry, in winter it’s good to have a down winter coat. The thick ones are great for less active days, or to put on top after the hike. The thinner ones can even be used as a mid-layer. Base layer: Find it on Amazon hereMid-layer: Find it on Amazon hereOuter layer: Find it on Amazon here It was a dry and cold day, so I am wearing my down jacket for a gentle stroll down the road. For a more active day or snow/rain, I would wear different mid-layer and a Goretex jacket on top. Read more: 16 Undeniable Reasons Why You Should Visit Norway In The Winter #3 Wool is the answer on what to wear in Norway in winter Wool is the ultimate answer to all your questions regarding what to wear in Norway in winter. Did I say that about layering before? Well, the wool is up there, too. It should be the main part of your clothes for Norway. Wool is the favorite material for winter clothing in Norway, and there is a reason for that.  Do you know the famous Norwegian sweaters, like the one below? Yes, they are all made from wool. And yes, all the locals wear them all the time. Norwegian wool is like wearing nature, ha. Dale of Norway is the best-known Norwegian brand producing Norwegian sweaters of very high quality. Although they can be a bit expensive, they are durable, warm, cozy, and will last you for years. Norwegian sweater for her – 100% wool, quality material, and traditional Norwegian design from Dale of Norway. Check the design and prices. Norwegian sweater for him from Dale of Norway, 100% wool, great quality. Check the design and prices. Note: You can buy a woolen sweater as a Norwegian gift, but they are quite pricey. So unless you plan to bring one back home as a souvenir, you might want to buy it before your trip. Merino wool is an even better answer for winter activities in Norway For sports activities, and if you have sensitive skin and don’t like itching, you can do even better and choose merino wool. Norwegians are crazy about it and I decided to try it for myself when I moved to Norway. You can find merino wool sportswear in every shop or find some good deals online, like here. The base layers of merino wool are a must. I can recommend getting a merino wool top and merino wool bottoms.  If you are concerned about the well-being of the animals used for wool, make sure you choose the brands that care for the animals. Ethical shaving is possible. You can find clothes made from ethically sourced merino wool by Smartwool. The ethically sourced merino wool base layer Find it on Amazon here Norwegian sweaters are the best for cold winter in Norway. Read more: Fun & Unique Things to do in Oslo in winter #4 Waterproof and windproof for varying weather forecast It would be perfect if the winter in Norway meant only frost and clear blue skies. Unfortunately, Norway’s weather is changeable and this is not always the case. It can get windy and snowy and even rainy on the west coast. Wind can make you feel like it is much colder than the thermometer shows. You can choose the reliable membrane of Goretex or other membranes made by outdoor companies like Marmot Precip, North Face (they have a great choice of colors), or Columbia. They are all good brands to go for. I’ve been using Marmot for years. Good waterproof and windproof  jacket Find it on Amazon here The waterproof jacket should be on everyone’s Norway packing list! #5 Regions of Norway have different weather It’s true that the temperatures in Norway in winter can go down to -25°C or even -40°C in Svalbard or higher in the mountains. However, it’s not like this everywhere. On the west coast, for example in Stavanger or Bergen in winter, the temperatures often stay around zero. That’s thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, which brings milder weather to that part of Norway. Therefore, if you travel to several different regions in Norway, be prepared for warmer days, rain as well as frost, ice, and snow. The weather can also quickly change with the blue skies in the morning and the blizzards in the afternoon. Norway’s weather can be unpredictable – snow one moment, sun the other. #6 Catch the grip – the best boots for Norway winter Winter in Norway is a slippery time. Even in the capital, the pavements can quickly become a skating rink and you’d need good balance skills to not fall on the ice without proper shoes. The Norwegian way of dealing with ice and snow is to cover it with a lot of gravel. Sometimes it helps a bit, sometimes, the gravel moves to one part of the pavement, and sometimes, it gets covered with a new sheet of snow and ice, which just makes things worse. The solutions are two – good winter boots with grippy soles or walking crampons. Not all Norwegian winter boots have soles good for winter walking, but Sorel winter boots go up the standards. Any sturdy shoe with a grippy sole will work. I often use my hiking shoes in winter with warm socks. The walking crampons (snow spikes, stabilizers) are very popular in the cities and they definitely help with balancing on slippery surfaces. You can find the ones that cover just part of a shoe (usually enough), or the whole one. If you decide to wear some, make sure they are easy to put on and off, as you would need to remove them when going indoors.  The walking crampons/ snow spikes for Norwegian winter Find them on Amazon here And if you have sharper crampons, you can even climb frozen waterfalls in them! #7 Stay safe During the winter months in Norway, the night is longer than the day. The darkness falls quickly and the sun doesn’t rise until the late morning hours. To safely walk in the dark, many Norwegians wear reflective bands, that they place on the bags, arms, legs, or shoes. Safety first, so get one yourself and feel like a Norwegian in the wintertime. Reflective bands for your backpack, arms, legs Find them on Amazon here Norwegians wear traditional Norwegian clothing in winter, and always with skis. What to pack for Norway in winter – a full packing list Based on the above tips about what to pack for winter in Norway, here you can find the example of the packing list for a Norway winter trip. Those are the items, that I always take with me when I travel around Norway in winter. #Norway clothing The basic Norwegian clothing and travel essentials for Norway in winter:   The base layer – thermal underwear like merino wool top and merino wool bottoms. Mid-layer – fleece or woolen sweater, Norwegian sweaters are the best!Top layer – try top Norwegian winter jackets like Parka jackets or Windproof and waterproof outer shell jackets.Warm hat covering ears –  a woolen hat or a hat with fleece lining is the best for the weather in the Nordics in winter.A scarfGloves – I usually have thin thermal glove liners that I put underneath the bigger woolen mittens. I love the ones with Norwegian designs on them, like those.  Wool socks – I prefer merino wool, so they are not itchy, keep me warm or cool me down when needed. Here are similar ones to the ones I have. Read more: Best Norwegian gifts and souvenirs to bring back from your trip And when you know what to wear in Norway in winter, you can sit back and enjoy the views of the snow-covered mountains and fjords. #Norway outdoor gear If you planning to go hiking in winter, skiing, dog sledding, see Northern Lights, or doing any other fun winter activities, consider packing the items below. Especially trips to see the Northern Lights are one of the main reasons that people travel to Northern Norway in winter, so you want to be prepared (don’t forget a good tripod and a camera). Down jacketSnow pants – if you have ski pants from your skiing gear, those would work as well.Trekking poles – very helpful in the ice and snow.Head torch – I use a Petzl head torchHiking crampons I also have Petzl ones.Ice axe for more serious hiking or ice-climbing.Snowshoes for hiking #Boots for Norway in winter Warm and waterproof boots, with solid soles with a grip, that will not be slippery on the ice. Make sure they have a good sole even for cities! You can look into the Soler winter boots. Or, instead of buying winter boots specifically for Norway, you can go around with hiking shoes with woolen socks.Walking crampons #Accessories Reflective bandsAdditional batteries + chargers – in the cold the batteries lose power much more quickerPower bankHand warmers/ feet warmers – if you get really cold or go skiing for hours. They are not normally needed in the city.Good backpack – carrying a rolling trolley on paths full of ice and snow is not much fun. And remember to leave plenty of space for Norwegian gifts!Travel adapter – I have this worldwide all-in-one travel adapter, that I can take everywhereToiletries & MedicinesWater bottle – Tap water in Norway is free and tasty, so help the environment and save some money – bring your own water bottle instead of buying. Remember to choose a BPA-free bottle.Flask to carry around warm tea or coffee – Norway is expensive. The budget trick is to make coffee/tea in your hostel and take it with you to always have something warm around. You can find tons of colors of flasks here.Sunglasses – during sunny days, the snow reflects the sun’s rays and can even result in serious eye injury. Especially recommended if you are planning to go skiing.An oily face cream/oil for frost and a UV filter for skiing/hikingTravel Insurance Not sure what to wear in Norway in winter? Choose something cozy and comfortable, so you can focus on the views. What to pack for Oslo in winter (and other cities in Norway) Ok, maybe you don’t need five layers of wool and insulated trouser when you only plan to stay in Oslo and jump from the flat to a tram to the train and to museums without much walking. If you are wondering what to wear in Tromso in December, the above will also apply, but when you plan to chase the Northern Lights, make sure to pack warmer layers. The casual wear, that I described above would go almost anywhere in Norway, so with a good set of sports clothes, you will be fine in almost any place. However, if you are planning to attend fancy dinners or parties, then maybe bring a nicer piece or two. Winterland in Oslo in winter Thanks for reading and if you like my content you can: Read more about Norway: Best Norwegian gifts and souvenirs to bring back from your tripNorway on a budget – Local tips for cheap Norway travel13+ Best things to do in SvalbardSvalbard snowmobile tour to the East CoastNorway in a Nutshell in winterDog sledding in Norway The best things to do in Oslo in winterThe most interesting things to do in Bergen in winter (indoors and outdoors) Do you know what to pack for Norway in winter? Would you add anything to the winter Norway packing list? Let me know in the comments! Like it? Pin it! Related posts: Norway In Autumn – Weather, Activities, Clothing, Events + More Norway Winter Travel Itinerary – Magical (and Unique!) Winter Road Trip 16 Undeniable Reasons Why You Should Visit Norway In The Winter Discover Magical Norway in a Nutshell in winter & on your own [...] Read more...
Northern Lights in Norway and beyond – 7 Tips to Help You Finally See Aurora
Northern Lights in Norway and beyond – 7 Tips to Help You Finally See AuroraIs finding Aurora on your bucket list? Do you dream about watching Northern Lights in Norway dancing in the sky? I have you covered! Check the tips that I used to increase my chances to see Aurora several times in different locations, which will help you to see the Northern Lights in Norway and other locations! For a long time, I had a dream to see the Northern Lights.  It’s an unforgettable experience. Now, I managed to see it multiple times with little effort. I’ve watched Northern Lights in Norway, Iceland, and Scotland. For my first sightings, I didn’t even live in the location where Northern Lights are very common. I didn’t know that it was possible to see Northern Lights in Scotland before I experienced it myself. I received many questions on how I managed to see it so many times, so I decided to share some of my tips with you, that can help you increase your chances of spotting Aurora. This post might contain affiliate links. More details here. Northern Lights in Norway and where to see them Most of the Northern Lights appear in the “auroral zone”, which is 3° to 6° width and between 10° and 20° from geomagnetic poles. It means – the closer to the pole you are, the higher the chance of seeing the aurora. However, with particularly strong activity, they are occasionally seen even more south (for example Poland and France last year, and in Oslo in winter). Good places for watching the Northern Lights are north parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. For more tips on how to see Northern Lights in Iceland check here. Svalbard is a great location for the Northern Lights as in the winter months there is 24-hour darkness. Psst, are you looking for the best Northern Lights tours in Norway? Check out these best-sellers:   Where is the best place to see Northern Lights in Norway? Of course, the best place to see Northern Lights in Norway is in the north. But this doesn’t mean that you cannot see them in the south too. Northern Lights in Oslo, Bergen, or Stavanger are rare, but with particularly strong activity, they do happen. More tips for searching for Northern lights are below. Here are the best locations for northern lights watching in Norway: Tromsø is the capital of the Arctic, Tromsø in winter is also the place for the northern lights in Norway. That’s where most people go to see the aurora in Norway. The small and charming town of Tromsø is surrounded by mountains and it’s not hard to easily get out of the city light to watch aurora borealis dancing in the sky. You can even see it from the top of the cable car that runs from the city to the mountains. I’ve seen a glimpse of Aurora from there. Apart from that, there are a lot of companies organizing Tromso northern lights tours. Northern Lights in Tromso in Norway Alta – a small town located even more north than Tromsø is also a great place for watching the northern lights in Norway. Apart from aurora tours, you can find reindeer sledding, dog sledding, and husky farms, as well as an ice hotel. Lofoten islands – the famous Norwegian archipelago makes for a great backdrop for the Northern Lights. Unfortunately, the sky there is often cloudy in winter, so it might be harder to spot aurora. But if you are lucky and the weather is nice, you are in for a treat! Svalbard – the out-of-this-world island close to the north pole is a very special place to watch northern lights from. An aurora-watching trip to Svalbard, home to more polar bears than people, will be one to remember. The North Cape (Nordkapp) – the furthest point in the mainland of Norway where you can get by car allows you to watch the northern lights above your head.  Northern Lights in Alta in Norway What are the “Northern Lights” or “Aurora”? Aurora (called Aurora Borealis and Northern Lights in northern latitudes or Southern lights and Aurora Australis as their southern counterpart) is a natural light phenomenon. It originates millions of miles away on the surface of the Sun during the electromagnetic explosion, which creates a stream of solar particles, known as Solar Wind. When the wind goes in Earth’s direction  – this is when we can see Aurora, usually three or four nights later. Solar particles interact with the Earth’s magnetic field and some of them escape into the atmosphere, around the magnetic poles (hence aurora is visible mostly at high latitudes). The collision of those solar particles with air molecules in the atmosphere generates energy, which is then transferred into the light. When the emission happens on a big scale – this is when we can see strong lights in the night sky. You can read more here. They usually have different forms – they might appear as a glow of light or create “curtains” or “arcs”. They might be quiet, or evolve and move through the sky – this is when we call them “dancing lights”. You can see Aurora in different colors – depending on the types of atoms involved in the collision, which varies with height. Below 60 miles (100 km) there are blue lights, purple occurs at 60 miles and above, bright green between 60‑150 miles (100‑240 km), and red appears above 150 miles (240 km). Me looking at the Northern Lights in Alta in Norway What are the best Northern Lights tours in Norway? The best place to see the northern lights is out of the city. For that you either need to have a car – you can rent it through Rentalcars, or join a tour. Sometimes, especially in the new area, the tour is a good option, as the guides know the place very well and they can drive you to specific locations where seeing northern lights will be more possible. I know that many Northern lights tours in Tromso take their clients even to the border with Finland, if the weather in Tromso is cloudy, they can still see the northern lights.  Tromso Northern Lights tours Take this small group Tromso Northern Lights tour for a chance to see the northern lights and have a great memory of the experience. Book here. Free cancellation and covid precautions.   Perfect cabin to watch the Northern Lights When is the best time to see Northern Lights in Norway (and other places)? Because it’s a natural phenomenon,  highly dependent on solar activity, it is extremely hard to accurately predict the exact time to see Northern Lights. However, based on the existing data and monitoring of solar activity some assumptions and “forecasts” can be made (more about it later on). Winter months (November to March in the northern hemisphere), when the nights are longer and it’s getting dark earlier, are the most popular time of the year for Aurora hunting. However, it’s also possible to see it at different times of the year – we managed to see Northern Lights three nights in a row in Iceland at the beginning of September. Are September – October months a good time to see Northern Lights in Norway? They are! In fact, it’s my favorite time to watch the night sky and northern lights in Norway. Very often sun has high activity then, it’s still relatively warm, there is a higher chance for clear skies and generally, Norway in autumn is worth visiting. But there are fewer dark hours than during the winter and no snow on the ground for this perfect photo. Is November to February a good time to see Northern Lights in Norway? Yes! That’s when it’s dark (very dark, the north gets only a few hours of daylight to none). However, the weather gets worse and it can get cloudy. You typically have a lot of snow for dreamy northern light photos. And, of course, there are so many reasons to visit Norway in winter. Is March a good time to see Northern Lights in Norway? Yes! The days are longer, but it’s still dark enough to see Northern Lights, and the solar activity increases. It gets a little bit warmer, too.  Northern Lights in April in Norway What is the best time of the day to see Aurora? It is not uncommon, that the predicted highest Aurora activity is in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, this is not very useful, because for the Northern Lights to be visible – the sky needs to be dark. The optimal times during the night would be from around 9 pm – 2-3 am, but as long as it’s dark, you might still be able to see them. What to wear for your Northern Lights tour in Norway? The most important thing to remember when dressing for the search of the northern lights is to be warm. The weather in Norway can change quite rapidly and can also get very cold, rainy, and windy. That’s why it’s important to dress properly, so you can enjoy the experience and not just dream of coming back inside already. if you travel to Norway in winter, you can check out my Norway winter clothing post, which explains it in more detail. Some of the basic things to take for your Northern Lights tour in Norway include: The base layer – thermal underwear like merino wool top and merino wool bottoms.  Mid-layer – fleece or woolen sweater, Norwegian sweaters are the best! Top layer – try top Norwegian winter jackets like parka jackets or Goretex jacket Warm hat covering ears –  a woolen hat or a hat with fleece lining is the best for the weather in the Nordics in winter. A scarf Gloves – I usually have thin thermal glove liners that I put underneath the bigger woolen mittens. I love the ones with Norwegian designs on them, like those.   Wool socks – I prefer merino wool, so they are not itchy, keep me warm or cool me down when needed. Here are similar ones to the ones I have. Down jacket Snow pants good tripod and a camera Additional batteries + chargers – in the cold the batteries lose power much quicker Power bank Hand warmers Flask to carry around warm tea or coffee. You can find tons of colors of flasks here. Warm and waterproof boots, with solid soles with a grip, that will not be slippery on the ice. You can look into the Soler winter boots. Or, instead of buying winter boots specifically for Norway, you can go around with hiking shoes with woolen socks. Sometimes, if it’s very slippery, Walking crampons might be helpful Northern Lights in October Where to stay when watching Northern Lights in Norway? Sometimes, you don’t feel like leaving your cozy accommodation and going out in the cold, but you would still like to see the northern lights. Luckily, there is plenty of accommodation options that allow you to watch the show from the comfort of your bed or hot tub in the garden. Here are some of my picks. Lofoten During my Lofoten trip,  I stayed in a really nice hotel in Reine – Catogården – Boutique Home & Activity Centre. The interior was really cozy, each room had an amazing view, there was a yoga room with a gym, a terrace, free tea and coffee, a cute kitchen, and a homely feeling. I can highly recommend a stay there. Check the best prices and availability here. Another popular type of hytte in Norway, especially in Lofoten, are fisherman’s cabins, – the red houses you can see all around the islands. They are called Rorbuer in Lofoten. If you want to stay there, choose for example this authentic Rorbu in the fishing village Stamsund – in the middle of Lofoten. Check the best prices and availability here. Want to watch the Northern Lights from a hot tub? 7 tips to increase your chance to see the Northern Lights: 1. Monitor Aurora forecast: There are several pages and apps, that try to estimate the possibility of Aurora happenings at specific times. Bear in mind, however, that it’s only the assumptions, and currently the most correct forecast can be done only around 2 hours in advance. You can get your bearings around though and plan a bit, even if it doesn’t work out this time. During our first night in Iceland, in Reykjavik, we managed to have a clear sky. After having dinner at the campsite’s tables outside I checked my phone app for the aurora activity and it showed KP4 (explanation for KPs below). It would normally be too small for Scotland, but not for Iceland. On our way to town, I was looking intensely in the north direction and I saw it! Green lights hanging over the horizon. We immediately turned the car, changing our plans from a night out in the city center to aurora hunting, drove out of the city and we had the opportunity to see the most amazing Northern Lights spectacle, that I’ve ever seen! Here are the websites and apps that I use: Websites: Aurora Service – I usually rely on this one, as it’s most of the time accurate. There are also: Aurora Watch UK, Aurora Hunters UK Facebook pages: Aurora Watch UK, Aurora Forecast, Aurora Service-Europe, Stavanger Aurora Chasers, Aurora Research Scotland  apps: AuroraWatch, Aurora Forecast, My Aurora Forecast & Alerts, Hello aurora for checking if anyone has seen them around you. When you go to the Aurora Service website, you will see the KP index map. What is the KP index? It’s a number that determines your chance of seeing aurora in the place where you are. It’s a numeric system of geomagnetic activity. KP zero means very weak or no existing activity, and KP 9  is very strong, which may even cause aurora to be visible from the southern parts of Europe like Poland or France. It’s not exact, so if you are in the place where the map says KP 6, you can still try to go out and hunt aurora when the app says KP 5, as you might be lucky. It’s just the guide, so don’t treat it as definite information – Aurora is very hard to predict. An even better indicator for Aurora than the KP index are magnetometers. However, it might be a bit complicated and difficult to monitor the data coming from them. If you are interested in more details, you can find the up-to-date magnetometers here. 2. Check cloud coverage In order to be able to see Aurora, the sky needs to be clear. If there are some clouds, you might still spot a little glow,  but if the whole sky is covered – you’re not going to see much. A good website or app to use for cloud coverage is Windy. 3. Check social media (Instagram and Facebook groups) There are many people all over the world constantly trying to hunt for Aurora (called Aurora hunters). You can find many groups on Facebook, where people share tips for seeing the Northern Lights, the best places in the local area, and, most importantly, last-minute pictures from their recent viewings.  If you type “Aurora” in your Facebook search and your location, you will find many others. On Instagram look for #aurora and #northernlights hashtags and your location. The app Hello aurora is useful for checking if anyone has seen the Northern Lights in your proximity. Also, follow worlderingaround on Facebook and Instagram – I post there the current high aurora activities alerts. 4. Find a good spot – dark, north, and elevated Once you confirm, that you have a chance to see the northern lights tonight, you need to find a good place for watching it. You want it to be very dark. Get as far from the city lights as possible. Find a spot with minimum light pollution and a view with a not obscured open horizon to the north (unless you are very far north, then you can see Northern Lights also above your head). Climbing a hill may be a good idea, as it gives you an open view of the horizon. Check the light pollution map to see where is the best place near you. 5. Adjust your eyes to the darkness. It happens, especially when the Northern Lights are weak and you are not used to finding them, that you might have difficulties seeing anything. That’s why it’s important, that your eyes get used to the darkness – don’t look at any bright spots or car lights, adjust your phone brightness to the minimum and try to look into the darkness. 6. Know what to look for. Aurora is not always bright green and purple. The first time when I saw it, at the beginning it was rather grey until it gained more colors. Sometimes you want to see Aurora so badly, that you can take any source of bright light for the Northern Lights. Especially close to the cities, you can see the light reflecting in the sky, which can look very similar to Aurora. Here are a few questions, that you can ask yourself to check if what you saw was really an Aurora. After knowing that I am in a dark place, far away from light pollution, with a clear sky, overlooking the north, I usually check with my camera (next point), look for a green color (it’s the most common here) and look at the shape of the possible Aurora lights  (many times it’s just a glow over the horizon, but I recognized it several times thanks to its moving arches). After you see it a couple of times, it will be easier for you to distinguish it. When we were in Iceland and we saw it 3 nights in a row, I was able to spot a very faint one through the window, even with the house lights around, when nobody else couldn’t see anything. 7. Use your camera wisely – Northern Lights on the camera and phone Especially with weak Northern Lights, it might be challenging to see them in a proper color with a bare eye, and might be much better with a camera. This is because we can’t adjust the amount of light that’s coming into our eyes, however, you can do it with the camera (which has a function for setting the exposure times and aperture settings). The longer the exposure, the more light is coming into the camera, and when used correctly it will catch Aurora with beautiful strong vivid colors. The camera, that I use for all my photos is Fuji X-E1. It provides great quality pictures and a big range of settings, with interchangeable lenses, while still being light and small – just perfect for travel. When you use a long exposure, it’s important to keep the camera still and avoid all the micro-movements. In that case, the tripod is essential. I use the Manfrotto Compact Light – the lightest tripod in their range. With the latest phone camera technologies, you should also be able to capture them, but the image is not going to be of as good quality as the camera. Northern lights I hope that information and tips will help you to finally see polar lights. Happy Aurora hunting! Have you managed to see the Northern or Southern Lights before? Let me know in the comments and if you find this article helpful, please share it! Like it? Pin it on Pinterest! Related posts: Norway On A Budget -Locals’ Secret Tips For Cheap Travel in Norway Northern Norway Itinerary – 10+ days in Nordland: Helgeland, Lofoten & Salten Galdhøpiggen – Climbing The Highest Mountain In Norway, Scandinavia & Northern Europe Best Norway Winter Clothing – What To Pack For Norway In Winter [...] Read more...
60+ Best Outdoor Gifts for Hikers & Nature Lovers in 2022
60+ Best Outdoor Gifts for Hikers & Nature Lovers in 2022Are you looking for camping gifts for him, outdoor gifts for her or adventure gifts for both of you? Find the best gifts for hikers and mountain lovers – your friends, loved ones or maybe yourself! Some people have a natural way of finding perfect gifts for others. Some… not every time 😉 Don’t be the second type. Find some nice gifts for your friends and family, especially if they love the outdoors, hiking or camping. And yes, let’s be honest – you will want all that cool stuff for yourself, too. So now you can send that list to other people and make sure that they know what to give you for your next birthday or holiday (sounds like a plan?)! Psst… Looking for more gift guides? Here are some more: Best Norwegian gifts and souvenirs for Norway lovers Best Norway winter clothing – what to pack for Norway in winter Essential camping equipment Scotland packing list Useful items for packing light in a carry on This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More details here. Buying gifts for outdoor lovers Buying gifts for hikers and outdoor lovers might not be as easy as it seems. Trekking enthusiasts and camping lovers normally have some of the outdoor gear already, at least the basic boots or the backpack and a tent. So what else do they even need? What they really going to use? If you don’t spend that much time outdoors yourself, you can easily get lost in the amount of available outdoor items to buy. As a nature lover and hiker myself, I know how much joy it gives when someone understands your passion and surprises you with an outdoorsy gift. There is always something that can make camping or hiking easier/safer/better or just remind those good times out in nature during the busy work week. The gear wears out and needs to be replaced. Sometimes, what we already have is heavy and bulky and should be changed for a newer, lighter model. And then, there are all those mountain themed items, that we’d love to have with us all the time. If outdoorsy people can’t be outdoors, they want to bring outdoors with them back to their homes or the office (hello cute mountain coffee mug!). Hopefully, this list of outdoor gift ideas will give you some inspiration for very cool adventure gifts! I updated the list with the latest outdoor gift suggestions for 2021 and 2022. I have some of these items already, and I am planning to get a few more  – it turns out, the more outdoor activities you do, the more fear you need, oops! (like for my new interest in Via Ferratas). That being said, I strive to be a responsible traveller, also in my buying habits. So below, you will find items that are useful and will bring joy to another outdoor enthusiast. Don’t forget to let me know what you chose in the comments below. Outdoor gifts for every budget In the below suggestions for the outdoor gifts, you can usually find three options: the cheapest one, with one dollar sign ($) – these are a good starter gift if your budget is limited moderately priced with two dollar signs ($$) – these are better quality gifts the most expensive with three dollar signs ($$$) – these items are considered the best within the range, they have high quality, high durability and use the best materials OUTDOOR GIFTS FOR HIKERS AND NATURE LOVERS FOR EVERY BUDGET HIKING GEAR # Collapsible walking poles for hiking The collapsible walking poles are a perfect gift for any hiker, be it an occasional stroller or a more advanced adventurer. They are very useful for hiking, especially at long distances. They take the pressure off your spine and knees, which is a massive help with steep ascents. I’ve had my walking poles for many years now and I take them with me for every trip. Find the best hiking poles deals: $ The FitLife Trekking poles  $$ Montem Ultra Strong Walking poles $$$ Foxeli Lightweight shock-absorbing Trekking Poles # Travel backpack Every outdoor lover needs a good backpack. How else can they go on those awesome trips into the wild? A comfortable pack with lots of pockets is one of the best outdoor gifts that you can give. Find the one with the zip pockets and various straps, that are very useful for attaching sleeping mats, hiking gear and anything that is needed for a camping trip, climbing adventure or just a short hike. Find the best travel backpack deals: $ Teton Sports Oasis 1100 2 Liter Hydration Backpack $$ Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack 20l $$$ Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack # Hydration bladder Back in the day, when you go hiking you would just take the general water bottles. On the long, fast-paced hikes, taking them out of the backpack to drink can be a bit difficult and slows the whole group down. With a hydration bladder, you don’t need to stop to drink some water. You don’t even need to use your hands, which are usually busy with hiking poles and a camera. The hydration bladder keeps you hydrated all the time (which is so important) and allows you to drink from the straw coming from your backpack into your mouth. Such a great invention! Find the best hydration bladder deals: Hydration bladder, 2L, BPA free, non-leaking  # Snacks Hiking is an energy-intensive sport and, you bet, it makes you hungry. Instead of carrying 5 loaves of bread in the backpack, there are small and tasty energy bars, healthy snacks, or super-food smoothies ideal for all the hiking trips. Every hiker will appreciate gifts like that. Find the best hiking snacks: Energy bars Healthy snacks Super-food smoothies #Reusable Silicone bags for snacks Have you ever struggled with packing snacks for hiking? Plastic bags, plastic containers, ripping the foil. These are not very long-lasting and are not eco-friendly solutions. Instead, pack your snacks into reusable silicone bags. Free from harmful chemicals, light, dishwasher safe and good for the environment. Find the best reusable silicone bags here: 22 pack reusable storage bags 12 Pack BPA free Reusable STANDUP Storage Bags # Compass It’s easy to think, that in the current cyber age we don’t really need things like compass anymore. We have phones and multiple GPS apps, right? Well, yes, but what if the phone suddenly loses the range (you’re in the middle of the mountains after all) or battery? Compass is a crucial part of hiking gear and can be a great hiking gift for under $25! Find the best compass deals: Eyeskey Multifunctional Aluminum Alloy Compass  Eyeskey Waterproof Multifunctional Military Aluminum Alloy Compass WINTER HIKING GEAR # Hiking crampons I’m a big fan of winter hiking – fewer people, snow everywhere and the majestic mountains like winter Tatras in Poland. However, in the winter, during snowy and icy conditions you need crampons. They provide safety and stability, so you make sure you don’t slip from the steep ridge. It’s a great gift for hiking and winter mountaineering season. I have Petzl hiking crampons and love them, but there are also options for other budgets. Find the best deals for crampons: $ Camp Stalker Universal crampons $$ Petzl IRVIS HYBRID hiking crampons  $$$ Black Diamond Serac Strap crampon # Warm beanie for the winter hikes The fuzzy earflap beanie will keep the head warm in the cold weather and also make you look trendy. Did you know that around 40-45% of body heat is lost through the head and the neck? Want to be warm, wear the hat on! Perfect gift for your loved ones. Find the best winter hats: North Face beanie for her  NEFF Daily Heather Beanie for him # Hand warmers When the temperatures go low, the hands get cold very quickly. Those little hand warmers will quickly bring back heat to your hands and smile to all the faces of winter adventurers. It’s a must to every trip to Norway in winter, Svalbard, Iceland, or even Scotland. Trust me on that ;-). Find the best hand warmers: HotHands hand warmers #Merino wool socks Merino wool is the best hiking material, that I’ve recently discovered. It’s soft, not itchy like other types of wool. It keeps warmth when it’s cold and cools when it’s hot. I bought several items from merino wool, but socks are usually the easiest outdoor gift, and there are never enough of them. Find the best merino wool socks: Merino wool socks for her Merino wool socks for him Read more: If you are looking for proper winter gear have a look at best Norway winter clothing. OUTDOOR BOOKS # Bestseller SAS Survival Handbook This “Ultimate guide to surviving anywhere” is a perfect gift for all adventure lovers. Do you want to know how to spend a night in the forest, how to make a perfect fire, where to find drinking water? Learn new tips and tricks from this worldwide bestseller. Check the latest price here. # Ultimate hiker’s gear guide from National GeographicA great book from National Geographic will teach everyone how to find the best gear with tools and techniques to safely hit the hiking trails. Perfect gift for hikers! Check the latest price here. CAMPING GEAR # Professional water filtration system Going for long hikes? Travelling abroad to the place where water contamination is a problem? Or planning camping? The Sawyer water filtration system will come in handy in any of those situations. No need to carry 10 litres of water for a hike anymore, you can just use the filter and have drinking water everywhere you go. Now, tell me about a better camping gift idea? Find the best water filtration system: $ Sawyer mini water filtration system $ LifeStraw personal water filter $$ SteriPEN Adventurer Opti # Head Torch For a hiker, camping lover, cave explorer, and adventurer. It’s very handy and much safer for all the adventure activities hands-free and with a powerful light on your head. The iPhone torch in the mountains or on adventures is a big NO, so don’t even try. Get a little and powerful head torch instead. If you care about the safety of yourself or your loved ones – head torch it is! Find the best torch: $ LE Headlamp LED $$ Ms Force rechargeable headlamp $$$ Petzl Actik headtorch – that’s the one I have had for 8 years already and love # Insulated Hydro Flask or water bottle A good water bottle is essential for long hikes in order to stay hydrated. In the hot summer, if you want to keep your drinks extra cold, the insulated hydro flask is the answer. It keeps liquids cold for up to 24 h! No more warm beer and drinks without ice 😉 Find the best water bottle: $ Nalgene Tritan Narrow Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle $$ Simple Modern Summit water bottle $$$ Hydro Flask 32 oz stainless steel vacuum isolated #Pocket knife A pocket knife is the best camping gift and the top useful item for all camping trips. Perfect for cutting food when you cook on the fire, to open the bottle, to cut a piece of rope or even to do your nails if you accidentally break one 😉 Find the best pocket knife: $ classic SD small Swiss army pocket knife $$ Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool, Tinker Pocket Knife #Camping Stove The full camping stove set is perfect for any camping trip. There’s nothing better than hot tea or coffee after a cold night in the campsite or a steaming dinner under the stars. Find the best camping stove: The 12/17 pieces non-stick camping stove set #Camping Hammock A camping Hammock is a great gift for any nature lover and traveller. You can set it up on your hiking trip or during a travelling to enjoy the surrounding area in peace and comfort. Or just put it up on your patio and pretend that you are in the forest, works as well 😉 The camping hammocks are typically lightweight and pack very small, so they’re great for taking on trips of any kind. Find the best hammock deals: Lightweight Winner Outfitters Double Camping Hammock Bear Butt Hammock #Scrubba Portable Wash Bag Scrubba, a portable laundry bag is perfect for a camping trip and for any other type of trip, too. It’s light, small, and eco-friendly, and allows you to wash things quickly with very little water and effort. Between washes, it can be used as a dry bag or a dirty laundry bag. Get your favorite color here. #Compression packing cubes Never struggle with space and have all your hiking gear neatly organized inside. Have you ever needed to throw everything out from your backpack to find this one pair of socks that you really needed? Try to do it while camping, in the total darkness when you are sharing a tent with somebody else. These compression packing cubes solve the problem – they organize your items, so you know where everything is and also compress your clothes, so they take less space. One of these sets is also waterproof. Score! Find the best compression packing cubes: Gonex Waterproof Compression Packing Cubes Set, 4pcs Set of 6 Compression Packing Cubes, Gonex Extensible Storage Mesh Bags  # Inflatable Sleeping mat A good quality sleeping mat was another one of the best outdoor gifts that I received, and I can comfortably tell you – any camper would appreciate one. It brings camping to another level, increasing sleeping comfort and insulation, as well as making the storage easier, and decreasing the weight of the backpack.  Find the best inflatable sleeping mats for camping here: $ POWERLIX Sleeping Pad – Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Mat $$ Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus Ultralight Self-Inflating Pad  – Therm-a-rest is a holy grail of the sleeping mats. I own this one and it’s one of my favourite pieces of camping equipment for sure. OUTDOOR CLOTHES # Multifunctional Headband The versatile headband is very handy both in the summer and winter. Multifunctional, can be worn on your head, neck or arm. I use it frequently on my hiking trips and on outdoor workouts. It can even be used as a hairband! 😉 Find the best headband: $ cheaper Kingree headband  $$ famous Buff Headband  # Waterproof jacket  I love my Marmot Goretex jacket, but any Goretex jacket would be a great choice. All of them have a Goretex membrane which assures the waterproof qualities of the material and enough breathability. Check the price here. Find the best waterproof jacket: Marmot Goretex jacket for her Popular Columbia Women’s Arcadia II Jacket for her Bestseller Wantdo Men’s Mountain Waterproof Ski Jacket Windproof Rain Jacket for him Bestseller Columbia Men’s Watertight II Front-Zip Hooded Rain Jacket # Outdoor trousers Waterproof trousers are one of the best outdoors gifts. They are especially needed in unpredictable Scottish and Norwegian weather. I have Marmot waterproof pants for many years now and use them every time I go hiking. Find the best outdoor trousers: $ Nonwe Women’s Outdoor Water-Resistant Quick Drying Lightweight Cargo Pants for her $$ Columbia Women’s Anytime Outdoor Boot Cut Pant Rocking my Goretex jacket in Norway PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEO GEAR # Action camera A good action camera is a must for all adventure lovers. Take it snorkelling or diving, on that crazy snowboarding trip or hiking in the mountains. Amazing footage guaranteed! Find the best outdoor camera: $ AKASO Wifi Sports action camera – That’s a cheaper alternative for Go-Pro, but not much worse in quality. I used one of those on my last trip to Asia and it was pretty neat. Waterproof and with Wifi survived my extensive snorkelling with turtles in Gili islands or hiking around the active volcanoes. $$ DJI Osmo Pocket – this little handheld 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer with an integrated camera is a breakthrough in video-making, especially during hiking or walking. It’s so small and light, and it provides amazing quality footage with smooth footage thanks to its gimbal.  $$$ GoPro Hero 8 (Black) Action Camera  – a classic of the action cameras, the highest quality of footage and various options. #Gorrila pod Gorilla pod is light and sturdy, perfect for taking to hiking trips and outdoor travels when you want to document your adventures.  $ JOBY Gorillapod for Compact Mirrorless Cameras or Devices Up to 1K (2.2Lbs)  $$ JOBY GorillaPod for devices up to 3K (6.6lbs) #Drone We are in the times when drones went down in price and everyone can easily own one and use one. What is better than having an areal view of the mountain landscape you just climbed? For outdoor lovers and hikers, the lighter drones might be a good option, since they don’t weigh that much. DJI Mavic Mini Combo – Drone FlyCam Quadcopter UAV with 2.7K Camera 3-Axis Gimbal GPS 30min Flight Time, less than 0.55lbs MOUNTAIN-THEMED HOME GIFTS # Silver mountain necklaceThis one falls under the “outdoorsy gifts for her” category, bringing mountains and cute jewellery together. Which outdoors-loving girl wouldn’t like to have the mountains all the time around her? I would! Check the best prices here. # Cute pillow for  the mountain lovers We all know, that the best life would involve living in the mountains or be able to go hiking every day. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Luckily, you can now bring mountain memories home for yourself and all your loved ones with the cosy mountain pillow. If you are looking for camping gifts, you can even take it with you on camping (or rather glamping :)) Check the best price here. # Mountain landscape  Start dreaming about mountains from your own house with the dreamy wall art of the outdoors. Show me one mountain-lover who wouldn’t like to have more mountains in their house? Here you can find a range of my own photos (including the outdoor ones), that you can order as wall art or other items. Check it out here on Society6  and here on FineArtAmerica. If you like any other of my outdoor landscape photographs, that you can find on the blog – let me know, and I’ll be happy to upload them there for you.  # Mug with a nice picture Coffee and the mountain views can’t be a better combination. Having a cup of hot drink in a nice outdoor mug after the hiking day is what every hiker looks forward to. There are a lot of suggestions below, but all those mugs are just so pretty, that you can easily have more than one (I would). Find the best mugs: Let the adventure begin with an adventure camping mug The mountains are calling and I must go mug I love you to the mountains and back Camper mug off the grid. Updated: December 2022 What gift for hiker would you choose? Do you have any other ideas for the perfect gift for the outdoor lover? Let me know in the comments! Find more gift inspirations here: Best Norwegian gifts and souvenirs for Norway lovers Best Norway winter clothing – what to pack for Norway in winter Essential camping equipment Scotland packing list Useful items for packing light in a carry-on Like it? Pin it! Related posts: 25 Sustainable Gifts for Travelers – Eco-Friendly Gifts Guide 18 Ideas for Best Norwegian Gifts and Souvenirs Yearly Travel Review Of 2022 Lovund, Norway – Puffin Island, Fish-feeding Golf, Nature Reserve & Unusual Hotel [...] Read more...
25 Sustainable Gifts for Travelers – Eco-Friendly Gifts Guide
25 Sustainable Gifts for Travelers – Eco-Friendly Gifts GuideDo you or your friends and family love traveling as much as they love the world we live in? Well, luckily, no need to choose. In this post, I show you examples of easy and useful eco-friendly gifts that will make your friends and the Earth equally happy. Let’s have happiness overload with sustainable gifts this festive season! Check out the awesome, cool, and trendy list of eco-friendly travel products for every budget.  SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL GIFTS This year, I’ve decided to limit the number of unnecessary things, not only given by me but also received. As a part of sustainable travel and becoming a more responsible traveler, I strive to generate less waste and also own fewer things, reducing the ones that I don’t need. I started making a list of eco-friendly travel products, that I would like to receive and give to others. Then, I thought I could also share the list with you, so you can make your loved ones, as well as the Earth, happier 😉 I added a few items, which I already use and love, in case you don’t have them yet.  This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.More details here. TOP ECO-FRIENDLY GIFTS AND SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL PRODUCTS  Luckily, it is not very difficult to find sustainably made eco-friendly travel products nowadays. It does require some effort, though. Since you are here, you have it easier, as I did all the research for you. Dive into the list and find some fun eco-friendly gifts for your loved ones (or yourself – I’m getting some of these for sure ;-)). Psst… Looking for more gift guides? Here are some more: Best Norwegian gifts and souvenirs for Norway lovers Best Norway winter clothing – what to pack for Norway in winter Essential camping equipment Scotland packing list Useful items for packing light in a carry on # TRAVEL WALL ART AND PRINTS Wall art with some beautiful travel landscapes is a perfect gift for every travel lover. It’s not your typical product from the eco-friendly gift list, but it falls under the category. Made only with paper, print paint, wood, and glass, it is as sustainable as it can be. There’s nothing better than looking at inspiring travel photos hanging on your wall and planning the next trips. If you like any of my travel photos (check my portfolio here), now you can buy them as prints, wall art (and more) on Society6 and FineArtAmerica. It is still a work in progress, as I have a lot of photos, but if you like any particular one from my blog and would like to order it as a print, wall art, or others, let me know and I’ll upload it there, just for you. Find some of my affordable travel photography prints, art, and more here:  Society6 FineArtAmerica # TRAVEL SHOES MADE OUT OF RECYCLED PLASTIC Yes, you’ve heard that right. Why create more waste when buying new shoes, if you can have the ones made out of recycled plastic? Tropic Feel Jungle travel shoes that I have (and love!) are made from 7 recycled plastic bottles and recycled EVA. They are water friendly, so you can swim in them, versatile for any terrain, super lightweight, and packable. Thanks to that they also allow you to reduce the number of different types of shoes you take with you for holidays, travel light and save money. Check them out here.  # REUSABLE SILICONE PACKING CONTAINERS When traveling, there is always something that needs additional wrapping. Either food from a market or some snacks for the long bus trip. Putting them in single-use plastic bags is annoying, as they tear and need replacement. It is also not a very eco-friendly solution. Instead, you can use reusable silicone bags. Free from harmful chemicals, light, dishwasher safe, and good for the environment. Sturdy and light, they will withstand all the wear and tear from traveling. And I can assure you, everyone will find them useful. Buy reusable silicone bags here. Shop for silicone packing containers here   # COLLAPSIBLE CUP Perfect for traveling to reduce the amount of single-use cups you might need on the way. Think of coffee to go or even water or wine on the plane. This collapsible travel cup is light and packs small, BPA-free has a leak-proof lid and a straw. It is safe and sustainable. The cup is made from food-grade silicone and recyclable materials. Win for you and win for the environment. I’ve bought one cup for myself and more for my friends because they keep asking where mine is from. Buy yours here. Shop for a collapsible cup here: Stojo Collapsible Coffee Cup | Reusable To Go Pocket Size Travel Cup With Straw – Buy here   # REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE The reusable water bottle became such a normal thing for me, that I don’t even remember how I could live without it. I have a few water bottles for different purposes and places. I prefer the stainless steel ones, as they keep the drink cold or warm for longer.  Find the best water bottle: $ Nalgene Tritan Narrow Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle $$ Simple Modern Summit water bottle $$$ Hydro Flask 32 oz stainless steel vacuum isolated # ECO-FRIENDLY TRAVEL TOTE BAGS Reusable tote bags are perfect for shopping, carrying additional items when traveling, or pretty much anything, really. I prefer the ones with fun designs, like these ones. Shop for eco-friendly travel tote bags: EcoRight Cotton Tote Bag Plain – Reusable 100% Eco Friendly – they have the cutest prints on them! Reusable Grocery Shopping & Produce Tote Bags Pack of 5 Gift Box – beautifully and sustainably wrapped in the paper box, a set of 5 reusable tote bags # COMPRESSION PACKING CUBES Have you ever needed to throw everything out from your backpack to find this one pair of socks? These compression packing cubes solve the problem – they organize your items, so you know where everything is and also compress your clothes, so they take less space. One of these sets is also waterproof. Score! Find the best compression packing cubes: Gonex Waterproof Compression Packing Cubes Set, 4pcs Set of 6 Compression Packing Cubes, Gonex Extensible Storage Mesh Bags  # REUSABLE CUTLERY SET / SPORK Reduce the amount of single-use plastic cutlery and use this cute reusable one. It is made with 100% untreated bamboo, it’s completely recyclable and BPA-free. And if you have limited space – take Spork instead. Shop reusable cutlery here: Bamboo Utensils Cutlery Set –  Reusable Cutlery Travel Set – Buy here Titanium Spork for Outdoors – Buy here # SHAMPOO BAR   Instead of using plastic bottles of shampoo, I recommend using the shampoo bar. It’s perfect for traveling, as it weighs less, lasts for long and you don’t need to worry about the 100 ml limit for the liquids at the airports. Buy shampoo bar here: Ethique Eco-Friendly Shampoo Bar – Sustainable Shampoo with Grapefruit & Vanilla, Plastic Free, Soap Free, Vegan, Plant Based, 100% Compostable, and Zero Waste – Buy here   # A SOAP SET Similar to the shampoo, one of the best and easiest eco-friendly travel products is a soap set. It replaces the plastic bottles of shower gel, lasts for longer, and doesn’t need to follow limits for liquids at the airports. Buy natural soap here: Bali Soap – Natural Soap Bar Gift Set – Buy here   # ZERO-WASTE TOOTHPASTE IN THE JAR / TOOTHY TABS Using traditional toothpaste in plastic tubes contributes to plastic waste in the environment. And the chemicals that are inside that toothpaste are not always necessarily good for you. Instead, have a look at the natural toothpaste in the jar or toothy tabs. They are made from natural ingredients, eco-friendly and healthier alternatives to traditional toothpaste. Buy it here. Find the eco-friendly travel toothpaste here: Chewtab Gentle Whitening Toothpaste Tablets Zero Waste Refillable – Buy here Pack of 4 Viva Doria Fluoride Free Natural Toothpaste – Buy here  # BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH A perfect replacement for the plastic toothbrush, a bamboo toothbrush is naturally antibacterial and even looks better. Buy yours here. Biodegradable Eco-friendly Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrushes – pack of 4         # ECO-FRIENDLY TRAVEL PRODUCT MAKE UP REMOVER PADS Replace single-use makeup remover pads and chemicals. These reusable pads remove makeup just with water. They take less space and weight, too! Buy them here: 20 Reusable Makeup Remover Pads with laundry bag and box for storage – Buy here     # REFILLABLE TOILETRY BOTTLES   For the times when you need to travel with liquids, you can take refillable toiletry bottles with you. They are eco-friendly travel products that will be useful every time when a traveler is going through security at the airport. TSA approved and leakproof, BPA free, and made from silicone, not plastic. Get them here: Travel Bottles TSA Approved Leak Proof, FORTGESCHE BPA Free 3 OZ Silicone Squeeze Refillable Leakproof Travel Size Cosmetic Toiletries, Containers Accessories for Shampoo Lotion Liquids(6 Pack)     # LAUNDRY SOAP BERRIES Organic and natural “berries” that are a laundry soap perfect to use for the laundry. Ideal for traveling. Buy them here: NaturOli Soap Nuts/Soap Berries. 1-Lb USDA Organic (240 Loads)          # BEE WAX WRAPS Bee wax wraps are a great alternative to plastic foil and single-use wrapping packaging, especially for food. They are sustainable and reusable, using natural jojoba oil, without any synthetics or chemicals. They look so cute, too! Get them here: Bee’s Wrap – Assorted Set of 3        # FILTER WATER BOTTLE / FILTRATION DEVICE Every traveler knows that, unfortunately, the quality of water is not the same everywhere around the world. It’s good to be prepared for it. Instead of keep buying bottled water and generating more and more plastic waste, the solution is to use a filter water bottle or a filter device. It’s also a perfect gift for hikers and outdoor lovers, so they don’t have to carry a heavy water supplies with them to the wilderness.  Find the best water filtration system: $ Sawyer mini water filtration system $ LifeStraw personal water filter $$ SteriPEN Adventurer Opti # ECO-FRIENDLY TRAVEL EXPERIENCES Another option is to forget about things and give experiences instead. That way, you can be sure to make your loved ones, who love traveling, happy. Nobody will say no, to the new adventure. You can check a list of tours on Get your Guide and Viator. You can also check Tinggly experiences. When choosing experiences, remember to be a responsible traveler and only choose the ones that don’t harm animals or the environment.    How to be more ECO when buying Eco-friendly travel gifts? Buy in bulk If you decide to order something online, buy in bulk. It will save on unnecessary packaging for the parcels and shipping. Quality over quantity Think twice if the gift you want to give will be useful for someone else. Sometimes it’s better to buy less but more meaningful gifts that will last for longer. Wrap your gifts sustainability  Wrapping gifts is fun and it can be done in a sustainable way. Think recycled paper or old paper bags decorated in a fun way. Some people also wrap their gifts in the newspapers. Use your imagination! Buy items without plastic packaging  Focus on creating less waste with the packaging of the products you buy. Look for recycled or recyclable materials, preferably the ones that biodegrade fast (hint: not plastic). Buy sustainable gifts without harmful ingredients Look for eco-friendly travel products with no parabens, no BPA, and no toxins. Don’t buy things at all Replace store-bought things with experiences or hand-made items. Get your loved ones a trip of a lifetime, a plane ticket, a hotel stay, or some cool activities instead. This is the favorite way of gift-giving and receiving for me and Alex – we always give each other experiences or trips to nice places, which we can both enjoy! Buy locally If you can, buy locally and support local businesses. What eco-friendly travel gifts do you have on your list? Let me know in the comments! Find more gift inspirations here: 60+ Outdoor gifts for hikers and nature lovers Best Norwegian gifts and souvenirs for Norway lovers Essential camping equipment Useful items for packing light in a carry-on Like it? Pin it! Related posts: 12 Simple Tips To Become A More Responsible Traveller  Tips for traveling light – ultimate packing guide (+ carry-on packing list!) 60+ Best Outdoor Gifts for Hikers & Nature Lovers in 2022 How to pack easier? [...] Read more...
How I afford to travel and how you can too – 19 tips to travel more for less
How I afford to travel and how you can too – 19 tips to travel more for lessIn this post, I spill the beans on how I afford to travel so much. I share the tips that allow me to travel for less and visit the world without breaking the bank. Interested? Dig in! Probably the most common question I hear from the readers of my travel blog, as well as friends is “How do you manage to travel so much?!“. Partially, it is connected to the fact that I travel more with a full-time job, but also how I afford to travel so much in general. I managed to travel to 14 countries in one year and I have already been to over 60 countries. Like how on earth I have money for this?!  In some cultures, it is considered rude to ask those types of questions, but I guess it’s normal that you might wonder how do people afford to travel. Funnily enough, it turns out that it can be not so difficult nor that expensive to make it happen. HOW I AFFORD TO TRAVEL – My Story I do not like talking about personal stuff and never brag about my life or how awesome (or miserable) it is. The only reason I share personal stories is to help somebody achieve their dreams or fight their fears. I want to show you that if I could do something, there is a high probability that you can do it, too. This is why a few weeks ago I shared my story in how I visited 60 countries before turning 30. Have a read of it, as I also share a few tips and insights on the privilege of traveling and the work it takes (yes,  it’s not a magic spell, there is work involved). I do not come from a wealthy family. We didn’t take any big trips abroad with my parents when I was a kid. Instead, I focused on the Polish countryside, like the Tatra mountains. Even if I badly wanted to go abroad, I simply couldn’t afford it at the time. I remember thinking “I want to travel but I have no money, what do I do?”. When I moved to Krakow for my university at the age of 19, this is where I started traveling abroad by myself. My money situation didn’t change much. In fact, it was probably even worse as I needed to pay for my accommodation, food and all the materials needed for university.  And yet, in those years without a stable income, busy studying for countless exams and tests, I traveled all around Europe. After graduating and getting a job at the age of 24, I started to travel further and longer, exploring Asia, Africa, South America and far away places like Svalbard, Madagascar, Galapagos Islands, Indonesia, Central Asia and more. Most of the time I still focus on budget travel, so I can travel more for less. HOW TO AFFORD TRAVEL & TIPS TO TRAVEL FOR LESS Below you can find information on how to afford to travel and my travel tips for traveling on a budget. I split them up for my university days and for the time of the full-time job, as realistically I can spend more on flight tickets now since I have a stable income.  This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More details here. HOW TO AFFORD TRAVEL – when you work full time Obviously, when you have a full-time job, you can spend a bit more money on traveling. At the same time, because you have a job, you typically have less time. When you travel, you want to make sure that you use your time and money wisely. This is when it is important to set priorities. How to travel more with a full-time job? Make it happen. Set priorities and goals If you really want to travel, set it as your top priority. I mean it. Remember about it day and night, especially every time when you want to use your money for something else. Think about how many nights you can spend in a new place in Asia for the cost of the fancy handbag. Understand what is more important for you – physical possessions or travel experiences and choose accordingly. Set your goals for the specific trips you want to make and calculate the needed budget. Save, save, save Then – save. Start small, and save a small amount of money every day. When you get a paycheck put aside a set amount of money and stick to it. Reduce the number of times you go out to eat or drink, cook inside instead. Don’t buy takeaway coffee every day, make it at home and take it with you in a reusable cup (bonus points for being a responsible traveler). Set a monthly goal for saving money for your travel fund and follow it. It is also useful to track your general spending, in order to identify where your money goes. Maybe you have some old subscription that you don’t use anymore. Or, you pay a lot for an expensive hairdresser, which you could swap for a cheaper place. Think out of the box and find out the ways to save for travel. There are many apps that help you to track your expenses – just search for them in the App store. Travel light By traveling light you save on luggage costs, which can add up, especially on low-cost airlines. Have a look for tips on how to travel light here. In recent years many airlines such as Ryanair or Wizzair, have introduced even stricter hand luggage guidelines. You need to pay extra for a bigger cabin size bag, and only a small one is included in the ticket. Depending on your destinations and how long you travel it’s worth learning how to travel light, and have luggage that allows you to make the most of the limited space you have. I can highly recommend Cabin Zero bags for that. They are designed to perfectly fit into the sizes of budget airlines and allow you to travel more for less. I am currently testing my new 28l Cabin Zero that fits into the smaller size of hand luggage option – which is perfect for a short weekend away in the summer, even with my laptop. Check it out here and get 15% off your order for everything in the Cabin Zero shop. Find cheap accommodation Budget accommodation doesn’t have to always mean dirty bunk beds in the noisy hostel room. Nowadays, if you think a little bit outside the box and choose small independent hotels or apartments, you can get great deals for little money. My favorite places to look for hotel deals are Booking.com. And if you like camping, try wild camping for the adventure of it (and awesome views). I share more of my favorite hotel booking websites here. Find good flight deals There is a ton of advice on how to look for cheap flights and if you follow it you can save a few hundred dollars on a single ticket. Here are some of my favorite cheap flight tips. Travel offseason It’s not a surprise that travel offseason is much cheaper. It is usually also more enjoyable, especially if you don’t like crowds and queues. If you are worried about the weather, try shoulder season, this is when the temperatures are still pleasant, but there are fewer tourists. Find some of the less-traveled destinations for your next holiday here. Travel off the beaten path Highly popular places usually come with a steep price tag. Think Paris, New York, Sydney. When you have a limited budget, try to get off the beaten path and discover new, exciting destinations for a fraction of the price. Find some examples of the off-the-beaten-path places here. Do your research Research always takes me quite a while before every trip. I make sure I know the typical prices in the place where I’m going to and common scams to avoid losing money. I also check which areas are cheaper/more expensive for accommodation, what means of transport is the best to use, where to find cheap and good local food places etc. Thorough planning can save you a lot of money! Look for the destination you are interested in, on my blog, and check the posts. I share there my ways of traveling on a budget and a lot of tips that will help you in planning a cost-effective trip. Use a travel credit card and collect air miles What is better than getting free air miles or travel points for the purchases you make anyway? Get one of the travel credit cards and earn points to use towards your travels. I use Amex with British Airways and collect miles with major other airlines that I fly with. Eat local street food & eat-in If you try to save money while traveling, find local places to eat, instead of the typical touristy ones. Very often you pay more for a nice view or a convenient location. Instead, follow the locals and check where they eat – you can be sure that the prices there will be lower and the food quality still very good. Street food is also a good choice for budget meals on a trip. Alternatively, if you stay in accommodation that has a kitchen, you can cook your own meals. That works in a place that has generally higher places like Helsinki and Oslo, together with the whole of Norway. Extend a business trip I talk about it in my post on how to travel more with a full-time job, but it is also applicable here. Are you being sent somewhere for business? Arrive a few days earlier or stay longer and explore the area. That way you don’t need to pay for transport and you can see more. Use home exchange If you own a house or a flat, it opens the door to a whole other world of cheap travel. You can use portals like a Home exchange and stay in someone else’s house for free, while they can stay at yours. Like in the movie The Holiday. HOW TO AFFORD TO TRAVEL– when you are in college, university, or school Education time can be hard in terms of money, but it’s also a perfect time for traveling and exploring the world. In Poland, students have 3 months of holidays, and this gives you a lot of time for longer trips. This is when you are young, curious, and healthy, so you can sacrifice a little bit of comfort for the ability to travel the world. You can use some of the best ways to travel cheaply from above, and also find a few more ideas below to afford travel when you are at school. Remember to study hard as it will help you to have more time to travel after! Find a cheap way of transport  When you are young, adventurous and have more time (but less money), you can use alternative ways of transport. When I was at university I hitch-hiked through the whole of Europe and this allowed me to see a lot of places on a budget. Another option is to use car-pooling, like Blablacar, which lets you share the ride in the car with others and save some money. Instead of buying expensive flight tickets, opt-in for the bus or train rides instead. Find cheap accommodation If you want to travel cheap and still have a roof over your head, try Couchsurfing. I’ve used this portal for 10 years now and I met some amazing people through it. Couchsurfing gives you an opportunity to get to know the place better with a local. You can also stay with them, which significantly reduces the cost of travel. Don’t treat it as a free hotel though – it is all about human connection and if you follow that rule, you will find great friends in different corners of the globe. Find cheap food Traveling for cheap is not always (or mostly isn’t) glamorous. To save on the cost of food, I would often bring with me packed food from home, so I can save on spending on meals when abroad. Or I would buy the cheapest food possible in the supermarkets – I especially remember cold baby sausages from the Italian supermarkets that we ate with some biscuits. Even in a country like Norway or Iceland, you can find cheaper food and cook it yourself to save some money. Work/ volunteer on the road When you have more time during your trip, you can find some seasonal work and get more money for your next travels. You can also volunteer and for a few hours of work per day get free board and accommodation. Through WWOOF you can find places that offer food and accommodation in exchange for work on organic farms. House sit/pet sit You can take care of someone’s house and pets while they are away and stay there for free. It sounds like a dream to me, an animal lover. I am still yet to try it, but let me know if you did! You can find places for house or pet sitting on the websites HouseSit Match, and Trusted housesitters. Join an international student organization If your university or school has any international student organizations – join them! When I was at university, I joined BEST – Board of European Students of Technology, which allowed me to constantly travel to different places in Europe. It was an amazing organization for fun and networking, where I could learn and develop new skills while exploring new cities and cultures. Go on a student exchange program Another way to travel when you study is to go on a student exchange program. One of the most famous ones in Europe is Erasmus. You can go and study abroad for one or more semesters. It gives you time to be exposed to different cultures, places, and people, to travel and explore and then come back home and graduate from your chosen university. What tips do you have to afford to travel? Do you use any of the ones above? Let me know in the comments! Like it? Pin it for later! Related posts: Norway On A Budget -Locals’ Secret Tips For Cheap Travel in Norway How to plan a perfect trip to Asia – tips for your first Asia vacation & how to choose the best travel itinerary Hytte in Norway – 10 Cute Cabins In Norway You Can Actually Afford 12 Simple Tips To Become A More Responsible Traveller  [...] Read more...
Tips for traveling light – ultimate packing guide (+ carry-on packing list!)
Tips for traveling light – ultimate packing guide (+ carry-on packing list!)Save time and money with tips for traveling light and the carry-on packing list for your next travel! I love traveling just with a carry-on. I went to the west coast of the USA just with a laptop bag and traveled through Asia with hand luggage. And last year’s 19 days trip to Asia, including a wedding in India, a stopover in Singapore, and holidays in Indonesia with activities like snorkeling or climbing volcanoes, had me putting all I needed into one 30-liter backpack. But it wasn’t always that way. I remember times when I was dragging my huge 60-liter backpack around because I needed to have things “just in case”. Time wasted waiting for the luggage to arrive at the airport, lost suitcases, and the additional payments for the check-in bags. No, thank you. So with a carry-on packing list and several tips and tricks, I started traveling light. And so can you! But first… This post might contain affiliate links – if you buy something through them I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. More details here. Why just carry on luggage? #1 It’s faster You don’t need to go to the airport super early to make sure to come on time for check-in. No need to wait for the bags to come out of the plane after arrival. Catch that earlier airport bus and start exploring when everyone else is still behind. #2 It’s cheaper Most budget airlines don’t include the hold luggage in the price of the ticket. Even premium ones started doing this too. With just hand luggage, you can save yourself that hard-earned cash and spend it on something more meaningful (like another flight ;)). And recently, even the bigger hand luggage requires a ticket upgrade. So, if you want to fly for the cheapest price possible, small hand luggage like the one offered by Cabin Zero is the way to go. #3 It’s more comfortable No dragging of the heavy suitcases around, no problems when there’s no lift in the building or nobody to help you. Be it bumpy pavement in Asia or winter roads in Norway, sometimes even the wheeled suitcase can be a pain to carry around. And if you have a stopover in another city, you don’t have to worry about leaving your things, you can just go for short sightseeing with your well-packed and light bag – as I did in Bangalore. Tips for traveling light – the carry-on packing guide #1 Take the best bag Depending on the type of your trip, you might opt for a suitcase or a backpack. I’m usually for the backpacks, as they are more versatile. If needed, you can squeeze them and shape them in a way for them to fit in different places – an airline measures checking boxes at the airport or in a flight compartment. Backpacks are also lighter, which matters when your hand luggage has weight limits. The type of backpack also depends on what type of trip you’re going to. For shorter trips or a weekend away, I can highly recommend the bag from Cabin Zero – click here for 15% off your order. I took it for a trip to Helsinki and loved it! Cabin Zero is an adventure-proof, cabin-sized backpack, that will actually survive even a longer trip. It comes in 5 sizes from 28 liters to 44. You can get it in different colors and choose from several types of designs – from urban to adventure. The backpack comes with features like a built-in lost and found system, lockable zippers, and 10 years guarantee. The material is water-resistant and it feels very durable. I really loved the horizontal opening of the bag which allowed me to fit many things in. I was really surprised by the capacity of the bag. In a bigger-sized bag of 44L, I could easily fit all my warm clothes, cosmetics, camera equipment, and additional shoes and I still had a lot of space left. A smaller version of 28L fits perfectly in the new budget airline regulations for smaller hand luggage and is perfect for weekend trips in the summer. I was quite proud of myself when all my summer clothes, laptop, and accessories fit into this backpack when I was traveling to Poland for 5 days. Another time, I took only Cabin Zero 28L and Cabin Zero 44L as hand luggage for a 10-day trip to Albania, and the 44L bag has my and my boyfriend’s clothes in it! I am sure CabinZero will come with me on many more trips. Click here to get 15% off your order for everything in the Cabin Zero shop. For longer trips, that include a lot of hiking you can use a backpack with additional hip support. This adds to the volume of the bag, but it’s very useful for hiking. You can find alternative backpacks for the outdoors here.  #2 Limit your clothes and shoes – choose neutral colors and multi-purpose shoes No, you don’t need another pair of jeans just “in case”. If you don’t wear it when you are at home, you’re probably not going to wear it on your holidays either. Take less, but better quality. Choose lightweight items with neutral colors that match each other. My biggest issue when traveling light – is to limit the number of pairs of shoes I want to take. There are shoes for hiking, the ones for walking in the city, shoes that go well with a dress, and sometimes water shoes if I’m going to some rocky beaches. However, after I discovered Tropic Feel Jungle travel shoes,  this became much easier! I use them for all purposes, and they look pretty, so I can even wear them with dresses. They are water friendly, so you can swim in them, versatile for any terrain, super lightweight, and packable. Thanks to that they also allow you to reduce the number of different types of shoes you take with you for holidays, travel light and save money. Check them out here.  For everyone who wants to travel light, be comfortable, but also feel fashionable there is a great solution – Kameleon Rose. One dress but 20 outfits. When I heard about the Kameleon Rose dress I knew it would be a game-changer for my travels. Limiting the number of clothes always worked for me, but then I had one problem. I ended up having pictures wearing the same things over and over again. With the Kameleon dress, you’re not only limiting the number of items even more, but it also helps you to make your outfits more interesting with just one piece. It’s functional, yet stylish, made from quick-drying comfortable fabric and it converts into a dress, skirt, pants, or top very easily. The dresses are also made in my beloved Madagascar, so it’s another reason to support this great invention. Have a look at the Kameleon Rose website for more outfit inspirations! #3 Wash it There is nothing wrong with taking fewer clothes and washing them yourself. In most places in the world, they have running water and you can carry a bit of soap with you to do the washing yourself. I’ve even done it in rivers when hiking in nature. In that case, make sure the soap is biodegradable. For washing, as well as for the body, try Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile bar soap, it’s biodegradable, organic, and even vegan. In Asia, there are also very cheap laundry places that charge a small fee for washing. #4 Pack it well Space is a key, so you need to make sure you pack all your things properly so that everything fits. There are different techniques for packing your clothes. First, make sure you follow a good carry-on packing list (more about it below). You can roll your clothes, fold them neatly or stuff things into each other. I’ve tested so many different options and I can tell you what works the best for me. Hopefully, it will also help you! -Use compression bags Compression bags have been a true game-changer for my packing. To use them, just simply put your clothes in, seal the bags and squeeze the air out. You will be surprised how much space you can save. You can easily find them on Amazon – check the best compression bags here.  For smaller things, you can also use plastic zip-lock food bags. – Roll and stuff For things that you don’t normally put into compression bags, like socks or underwear, you can roll them together. I normally put all the socks together and put the underpants inside, making small “balls” out of them. Afterward, I just put them inside the shoes or stuff in between things in my backpack. Works like a charm. -Wrap-around Another way is to wrap your clothes around the central object. This will protect the object and make sure the clothes don’t get creased. You can also use a rubber band to keep things together and prevent them from falling apart. -Use packing cubes They don’t necessarily save you space but are great for organizing your luggage. I also love different types of small sacks, which are great for sorting and protecting things like electronics. It really helps when you don’t have to go through your whole backpack just to find this one charger tangled at the bottom of it. You can find some great packing cubes here. -Wear the bulkiest and heaviest things on you  For bulky items, that might not fit into your bag – wear them on yourself instead. Put the jumper on your waist, wear your hiking shoes on, and keep a book in hand. #5 Organize your toiletries When I travel, especially to hot countries, I usually leave most of my make-up products behind, to keep it simple. But for things that I do take with me, I try to find smaller and lighter replacements. The good toiletry bag helps too! Remember the 100 ml rule To even be able to go through security at the airport, you need to make sure that any liquid that you have with you is under 100 ml and that they all fit into one plastic bag of 1 liter. Many places sell empty plastic 100 ml bottles, that are great to use for pouring some of your cosmetics in. I also like to use the hotel samples, especially for shorter trips, as they are smaller. Another option is to minimize the number of liquids that you’re taking and at the same time make your luggage much lighter: -Replace shower gel with a soap The shower gel is just a soap diluted with water. If you take soap instead, you’ll save on space and on weight too. The most important thing here is to take a good quality soap, that will moisturize your skin and that you can also use for your face. I usually go for natural soaps with as few ingredients as possible. If you are planning to use it outdoors, make sure that the soap is biodegradable. I really like Marseille soap, 100% biodegradable and natural, or Dr. Bronner’s soap, which is organic, biodegradable, and also vegan. -Replace shampoo with a shampoo bar Initially, I was a bit skeptical about this idea until I tried it myself. On my last trip to Asia, I took a shampoo bar instead of the normal one and loved it. It lasts for very long and leaves my hair clean and soft. One shampoo bar can be the equivalent of 3 bottles of normal shampoo. More space and weight saved! Check out this eco-friendly natural shampoo bar. #6 Cut on weight While deciding what to take for a trip with you, think about the weight of each item. One pair of jeans might not weigh too much, but when you add them with other clothes, you will definitely feel the difference. Choose lightweight items and go for layers rather than thick and heavy clothes. Replace paper books with electronic copies, send them to your phone, or take a few photocopies, that you can later dispose of one by one. A carry-on packing list This carry-on packing list works the best for a trip to warmer places, like Asia. From any trip of 1 week or longer. It includes items that can be used for hiking trips, colder evenings in the mountains, and active holidays, as well as going for a wedding or just chilling at the beach. Of course, every person and every place has its own needs, so you can adjust the list as needed. It’s here to give you an idea of what to put into your carry-on. I traveled with a small backpack containing only the items below for 19 days in Asia, attending a wedding in India, enjoying the city life in Singapore, swimming with turtles in Bali and Gili islands, or climbing volcanoes in Indonesia. In my case, most of the space was probably taken by the camera equipment, as I take a lot of photos. If you don’t, you’d have more space for other things. Essentials: Passport/ID Tickets/visas Cash/credit cards Insurance documents Copy of passports and documents Emergency contacts Credit card contact Guidebook Clothes: 3 pairs of thin long pants 1 pair of shorts One pair of material pants and leggings to put underneath– for colder evenings/mornings/hiking 3 ankle socks + one trekking socks 4 pairs of underwear 2 bras (light and dark) 2 swimsuits One nicer dress One beach dress 4 tops 2 thin long sleeve blouses A jumper with a hoodie Thin Parka Jacket Light scarf A hat Shoes: flip flops sandals hiking shoes/sneakers Basic medicines (add more for specific countries/conditions): Ibuprofen Paracetamol Aspirin Lemsip Antiseptic cream Imodium Throat lozenges Wound cleaning wipes Elastic bandage Gaza pads Plasters Small scissors Pore tape Needle Hand sanitizer Toiletries: Sunscreen 30+ and 50+ – I can recommend La Roche Posay sunscreens, they are the best and you can use them for your body and face. They contain thermal spring water that will keep your face fresh for the whole day. Mosquito Repellent 50 – for exotic destinations I use the strong mosquito repellent, I’ve tested Lifesystems mosquito repellent in malaria-infected countries and it worked great. Moisturizer Body balm/after sun cream Foldable travel toothbrush Toothpaste Shampoo bar – I like LUSH shampoo bars or the Ethique eco bars Hair silk Natural soap – try Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile bar soap Natural deodorant – I love PitROK Berry Burst Face powder Perfume Mist Comb or brush – the foldable brush with a mirror is a great one Small nail file – the tiny paper nail files are the best for no security problems Shaver Electronics: Camera + lenses + batteries + charger + memory cards (2x 32GB) Padded camera bag insert Tripod Action camera + waterproof case + selfie stick + batteries + charger + memory card micro32GB + SD card converter iPhone SD cart converter iPhone charger World travel adapter iPhone Headphones Power bank Other: Crossbody bag for camera and other equipment (preferably not made for cameras, it’s better to not to show what’s inside) Bum bag for documents and small money Small pouch for money Cotton bag for city walks and shopping Headtorch (for outdoor adventures or power cuts) Earplugs Eye mask Water filter – Sawyer or Lifestraw Dryer sheets to make your clothes smell nice Print out the carry-on packing list so you make sure not to forget anything! The printable version is below: Read more packing guides: What to pack for the African safari What to pack for Scotland – 4 seasons Scotland packing list What is your carry-on packing list? Do you have any more tips for traveling light? Let me know in the comments! Like it? Pin it! Related posts: How to pack easier? What To Pack For Scotland – 4 Seasons Packing List for Scotland (+ FREE checklist) 25 Sustainable Gifts for Travelers – Eco-Friendly Gifts Guide How to travel more with a full-time job and limited time – the ultimate guide [...] Read more...
The best camping equipment and essential wild camping tips
The best camping equipment and essential wild camping tipsTo wake up to the mountain view and the sound of the flowing stream. No need to pay for your stay, which helps with your budget traveling style. What else do you need? With the correct camping and wild camping equipment and following a few simple tips, camping in the wild can be very rewarding. Check my top wild camping tips and the list of wild camping essentials to have a great first camping experience in the wild! Let’s be honest. Wild camping and camping in general, require some effort. You need to get yourself out there with all the equipment and prepare everything yourself. You need to know what wild camping equipment is worth being taken and what is not needed, where to pitch your tent, how to keep yourself warm, what to eat and where to find water. It’s not that easy. Or is it? Wild camping Every week many people set off to go into the wilderness and wild camp. There are travelers who love camping and can swear by it as their favorite accommodation. Do they know any special tricks? How do they like it so much? Well, I am one of those people. And I know the secret 😉 Let me show you those tips and wild camping essentials for your next camping adventure to be the best one! This post might contain affiliate links. More details here. Wild camping tips There are some wild camping tips that can help you have a great experience outdoors. Tip#1 – Get your wild camping equipment right – The best camping gear for beginners That’s probably the most important of all the camping and wild camping tips. 80% of your experience will depend on the camping equipment that you have. It doesn’t have to be pricey, but it needs to be well chosen. What is the essential equipment for wild camping and camping in general? Wild camping on the beach in Scotland Tent – your home for the night A tent is your new home. That’s where you are going to sleep and spend most of the time at night (unless you like lying outside and watching the stars – I do! But, well, not with the weather in Scotland). So you want to make sure that is good enough. What type of tent to choose? There are a few key characteristics that a tent needs to have: be waterproof, strong, light, spacious, and quick to pitch. Of course, it all depends on what you need to use your tent for. The size will be different when you want to sleep in a tent alone or with a group of friends. If you plan to take it hiking, you would want it to be as light as possible. If you are just going to keep it in the car and pitch on the camping spot, you can focus more on the comfort and space inside. In both cases, it needs to be waterproof and strong enough to hold in place in case of wind or rain. Examples of the best tents for wild camping to look for: What I used to have – check the price  After searching for a while I got a 2-man Gelert Rocky tent. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available, however, Gelert has some other good value tents still on offer. I’ve been using this tent for 3-4 years quite often and it works great. I have it with me all around Scotland,  Iceland, Georgia, Norway, and Poland. What I have now – check the price Lightweight and affordable tent Naturehike Cloud 2 – it’s a tent for two people, that only weighs 1,5 kg! They also have a 1-person version, which is even lighter, and a 3-person tent, if you need more space. I used it a few times and so far so good. I’m very impressed with its small size and lightweight (and also, the price!) – Check the price here.  Light tent for backpacking and hiking – check price A good choice for a lightweight tent is the one that I just purchased Naturehike Cloud 2. For another option for a 1-person tent, you can look at this ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-person tent – check the price here.  Easy and quick to pitch tent –Check price here. If you value the easiness and how quickly the tent can be pitched, you can look at the instant pop-up tents. I’ve used the Quechua tent before and it literally can be set up in 2 seconds. No hassle, just ready to use. Those tents are great if you go camping close to your car, but might be a bit awkward if you need to carry it on a trail. This Coleman 2-Person Pop-Up Tent has great reviews. Check the price here. Read more: Outdoor gift ideas for mountain lovers Sleeping bag The sleeping bag is another part of the essential camping gear. It adds so much to your comfort while wild camping and protects you from cold. For my camping trips, I use an AEGISMAX ultralight goose-down sleeping bag. It’s very cozy and warm, light and compactable at the same time. It can be compressed to the size of a bottle of water. You can find different sizes and types of the goose-down fill of that sleeping bag type here. If you are a couple and are looking for a sleeping bag that you can use together, I can highly recommend the Night Owl Sleeping bag single or 3-in-1 double. It can be used as a double sleeping bag that fits two people in it – perfect for the nights when you stay in a tent with your partner. But it can also be split into two separate single sleeping bags, in case you want to have your own duvet when camping, or if you decide to move to a hammock instead. The fabric finish of the Night Owl Sleeping bag makes it feel more like a quality duvet with features of a sleeping bag, so I can feel like sleeping in bed, while still being surrounded by nature in my tent! You can check out more details about the Night Owl Sleeping bag here Sleeping mat There are several types of sleeping mats. For years I had a classic type of sleeping mat, as it’s the cheapest, durable, and relatively light. Unfortunately, it’s very bulky and not very comfortable to travel with it. I recently upgraded it to the inflatable sleeping pad from Therm-a-Rest. It’s a ProLite type, which means it’s the lightest self-inflating mattress available – it weighs only 480 grams! It’s also highly packable, which now allows me to put all my stuff in the tiny backpack and fit the hand baggage restrictions of all airlines. It also added +100 to the comfort of my camping experience, as it’s very warm and cozy to sleep on. I can highly recommend checking all the Therm-a-rest self-inflating mats. It’s so worth the investment! Check prices for Therm-a-Rest mats here. Wild camping in the Highlands, Scotland Camping Stove Do you like warm tea in the evening or fresh coffee in the morning? I am a total coffee addict, so for me, a camping stove or a fire is a must in order to have my coffee ready (I can get grumpy otherwise ;)). You can also use it to cook your food and even make traditional Scottish breakfast. When you wild camp, you will be out in nature, far away from civilization, so if you want a warm meal you need to have a way of preparing it yourself. Good idea is to buy the camping cooking set, with pans, stove and lightweight utensils, since it includes everything you need. Another alternative is to make a camping fire. It gives you light and warmth and it’s great to sit around with your friends in the evening. And yes, you can also brew coffee on it (see picture below – that was a challenge though! ;)) and cook food. Unfortunately, starting the fire is not always as easy as it seems (especially in Scotland, when the wood is most of the time wet). As a little help, you can use the solid fuel tablets, that will burn by themselves, and can also be used as an emergency heat source, or those eco-friendly fire starters. Coffee is a must, even in the wild camp! Other useful camping gear items head torch – a must-have, there is no light in the wilderness. Head torch leaves your hands free, so it’s better than the normal torch. I use Petzl headtorch, already for more than 8 years. Check the price here.first aid kit – always have it with youinsect repellent – very useful in the summer seasonpocket knife – if you plan to prepare food, better take itmatches/lighter (better take both) – for the camping stove or fireface and hand wipes – in case there is no stream nearbyhand sanitizer – always good to have, especially if there is no access to waterwaterproof jacket & socks the in the case of rain and to keep you warmduck tape, a piece of rope, safety pins – good to have in case something happens with the tent (saved my life many times)power bank – to keep your phone charged if you need toinflatable pillow – it weighs almost nothing and is smaller than a can of coke, but it can increase your camping comfort so much! You can also try to stuff your sleeping bag cover with some clothes (my neck doesn’t like it anymore, though)ear plugs – believe me, if you are unlucky and there is strong rain and the wind during the night, you won’t be able to sleep much – we had that issue recently (thanks Scotland for your great summer ;)), so earplugs can helpbottle of wine – hell yeah 😉 Enjoying wine while wild camping in Isle of Bute, Scotland Tip# 2 – Choose your wild camping location wisely A common question is “Where can I wild camp?”. And I would also add – what type of place you should look for when wild camping? That’s the important point and it can ruin your whole stay, if not chosen wisely. First, you need to make sure that it’s legal to wild camp in the country, where you are in. There might be specific rules to the area, as well. For example, wild camping is legal in Scotland, but not in England or Wales, although they all are part of the UK. In Norway, wild camping is a part of the culture. The right to roam, also called a right of access (or “Allemannsretten” in Norwegian), provides everyone in Norway with access to nature, even in large private areas. This, of course, comes with some obligations – for example, you can wild camp on uncultivated land providing that you keep at least 150 meters from the nearest inhabited house or cabin. Then, find a perfect camping spot. The best would be a flat and dry area. If it’s windy or looks like it’s going to rain, make sure that the spot is sheltered and located on relatively soft ground, so you can put the pegs deep in the ground. You don’t want to find yourself among hard rocks, where you can’t stick a thing, or in boggy surroundings. If you are in the hot country in the summer, don’t put your tent in the sunniest spot. It will quickly get too hot for you to stay in it and the sun will wake you up way too early in the morning. And, of course, look for the most stunning view that you can find! Tip#3 – Be prepared Make a list Before going camping, make a list of things that you need for wild camping and stick to it. Small items make a big difference and you don’t want to find yourself in the situation when you are longing for hot tea, but you realize that you forgot to take matches. If you bring the wine, check if it has a cork or a cap, and remember a corkscrew with you. Otherwise, you’d need to use your creativity to open the bottle in another way (been there, done that, too). Test your gear Try to pitch your tent first time at home or in the garden, check how to inflate the mattress, and make sure that the sleeping bag zips correctly. You don’t want to suddenly realize in the middle of your camping trip, that you don’t know how to do it or that some of those things don’t work properly. Check the rules Depending on where you are going – always check the rules and abide by them. In Scotland, you can wild camp on most the unenclosed land, however, the area around Loch Lomond has a different law. This might happen in any place, so make sure that you know what is allowed and recommended. There are also specific wild camping rules, that you need to follow. For Scotland check them here. Stay safe Let someone else know where exactly you are going and when you plan to be back.  Check local emergency numbers and have them handy. Keep your phone charged and seek an alternative in case of no phone signal in the area. Better be safe than sorry! Camping in the mountains in Georgia Tip#4 – Take enough food and water Chances are that there won’t be any supermarkets or pubs around. Really? just kidding 😉 Make sure you have enough food and water for your camping trip. In some places, it is possible to drink water from the stream, but if you are not experienced in that, better don’t try without the proper water filter. On the longer hikes and if you don’t have access to the shop, the water filter (Sawyer Mini Water Filtration Systems are very good) or the clear water tablets would be the best choice for you. Best camping food is easy to prepare (remember, you won’t have all of your kitchen utensils at hand), nutritious (so it gives you energy) and of course tasty! We always take some cheese and crackers, hummus with carrots, some dried meat or sausages when we have a fire or a BBQ, plus some snacks such as nuts or energy bars (I love Nakd bars with only natural ingredients and no sugar). Breakfast on our wild camping site Tip # 5 – Check the weather and always be prepared for rain Check the weather forecast in advance, and pack accordingly. And if you are in Scotland – be prepared for the rain regardless. Tip# 6 – Start early Always pitch your tent when it’s still bright. You want to make sure that the area is clear and the spot good enough. You will also not have any unpleasant surprises in the morning (like finding yourself in the middle of the sheep farm – don’t ask). Tip# 7 – Properly manage the fire If you decide to make a campsite fire (if it’s allowed), only do it when you know how to manage it properly. The damaged vegetation can take a decade to recover, which creates a risk of erosion in the meantime. Protect the fireplace from the surrounding area – place it on rocks and far from the ground, so the flames don’t catch the grass. When you’re done, pour water over it and make sure there is nothing left, that can be spread by the wind. Tip#8 – Leave no trace Take good care of the environment, take all the rubbish with you, clean the space and leave only footprints. Tip#9 – Don’t forget There are also numerous very nice campsites dotted all around with proper facilities and nice views. Not forgetting the stylish cottages, that are a must-try. So if you don’t feel like wild camping this time, you can always start with them and then try wild camping when the right time comes!The only thing that I can assure you of is – you won’t regret it. What is your experience with wild camping? Have you done it before? What is your essential camping gear? Let me know in the comments! Like it? Pin it! Related posts: Jordan Wadi Rum Camping Guide & Best Bedouin Camps On The Desert Tips for traveling light – ultimate packing guide (+ carry-on packing list!) 12 Simple Tips To Become A More Responsible Traveller  How I afford to travel and how you can too – 19 tips to travel more for less [...] Read more...
What To Pack For Scotland –  4 Seasons Packing List for Scotland (+ FREE checklist)
What To Pack For Scotland – 4 Seasons Packing List for Scotland (+ FREE checklist)What to pack for Scotland and what to wear during your trip? Check my ultimate 4 seasons packing list for Scotland with all the necessities you need for different conditions and activities. I threw in some useful information about the Scotland seasons, the weather, climate, and the landscape, too! I’ve been receiving questions from my confused family, friends, and other people, coming to Scotland for the first time, asking what to pack for their Scotland trip. It seemed like nobody really knew what to wear in Scotland with the changing Scottish weather. So I decided to make it easier for everyone and after 4,5 years of living and travelling in the country, I wrote this post with all the insider info you need when you prepare for your Scotland trip. This post might contain affiliate links. More details here. Table of content General info – diverse Scotland What is the weather in Scotland like? Scotland seasons explained Spring Summer Autumn Winter What to pack for Scotland? Full four seasons Scotland packing list Clothes & shoes Accessories & others What to take to the city – Glasgow & Edinburgh packing list To remember #1 General info – diverse Scotland Before we dig deeper into the weather information for Scotland and talk more about what to pack for the Scotland trip, let’s understand the country’s geographical location, landscape, and possible activities. All of that will have an effect on the things that you should pack for your travels. Roughly speaking, Scotland is divided into the Highlands (mountains in the center, north, and west of the country), Lowlands, and Islands. It’s a coastal country (well, it’s an island) and a geographically diverse region. There are mountains, beaches, cliffs, a lot of grassy areas, bog, mud, cobbled streets, castles, ruins, lochs, rivers, waterfalls – mostly surfaces, that are quite hard to walk on (so no heels!). With the beautiful landscape, greenery, and wild mountains, the best activities in Scotland are centered around the outdoors and nature. Expect a lot of walking and spending time outside. Even visiting the castles and historic ruins would normally include a stroll in the gardens, which can get wet and soggy. Scotland is all about admiring the beautiful scenery, rich wildlife, and wonderful landscapes. However, shopping & partying is also possible in bigger cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen. You can also find a local pub, even in a small village, where you can wait sipping the local Ale until the terrible weather passes by. Read more: 10 amazing places in Scotland, that you wouldn’t believe exist #2 What is the weather in Scotland like? If I was to describe the Scottish weather in one word, I would use “changeable”. The weather in Scotland can change dramatically, literally in a matter of minutes. You need to be well prepared and expect rain and the sun on the same day. I don’t want to disappoint you, but Scotland is quite often cold and wet. There are, of course, some nice, dry, and sunny days, however, there is no real summer. The maximum temperature goes up to 20°C but mostly stays around 15°C (depending on where). A very popular joke in Scotland is, that this year the summer was on Wednesday. Well, one day of summer is quite common 😉 Edinburgh and Glasgow have a milder climate, Highlands and islands are usually colder. It is also windy. Winter is milder, with temperatures around 0°C and above, however, it can still snow, especially in the mountains. Dundee is supposed to be the sunniest city in Scotland, but this title also sometimes goes to Aberdeen, so come and visit! Read more: Visit Scottish islands – explore Inner Hebrides – Isle of Mull, Iona, Staffa #3 When is the best time to visit Scotland – Scotland seasons explained I would risk saying, that Scotland has only two seasons – autumny-winter and springy-summer. They blend into each other so closely and the weather is all mixed up, that sometimes it’s hard to divide one from another. Based on my experience of living in Scotland for almost 5 years, and visiting multiple times beyond that time, I recommend spring and summer as the best time to visit Scotland. However, other seasons have their advantages, too.  #3.1 Scotland in Spring Spring is one of the best times to visit Scotland. Everything is in bloom, days are longer and the earth is getting more sun. Temperatures start to go up, reaching 15°C and above. However, it still can rain a lot. It’s a perfect time to visit the islands and the west coast before the summer holidays start and everything gets booked too quickly. In the early spring, midges are not awake yet, so you can enjoy sunny days without those tiny biting insects flying around. #3.2 Summer in Scotland As I mentioned above, summer in Scotland is more like a transition period between Spring and Autumn, that just happens to fall around June and July. That being said, it’s still a nice time to come to Scotland, as you have more chances for the sun and dry, warmer days. Temperatures range from 15°C-20°C. Days can be sunny, but also rainy and windy. If you go hiking in the Highlands you might even need a hat or gloves. Summer is also the top feeding time for midges – annoying wee insects, so be prepared for them with the insect repellent handy. Read more: Planning camping? Check essential camping equipment guide here #3.3 Autumn in Scotland The weather in Scotland in Autumn starts getting worse. It rains more, there are more cloudy days, light hours are getting shorter and it’s getting darker. You can still get some nice and clear days, but the risk of showers is higher. Temperatures range from 5°C-15°C. Luckily, the midges are now gone and the earth wears beautiful warm colors of red and orange. #3.4 Scotland in Winter Scottish winter is a gloomy season. The days are short (it gets dark at 3 pm), temperatures range around 0°C-5°C, sometimes dropping below 0°C, especially in the mountains. There’s often snow in Highlands and sometimes also in the cities. Most of the time it rains a lot. That’s the best time to do some shopping, stroll around towns, that are lit up with Christmas decorations and fairy lights, try whiskies in the pub, and stay in, rather than spend time outdoors. However, if the day is nice, hiking in the snow is also a lot of fun! Looking for tours in Scotland? Check out the best deals here! #4 What to pack for Scotland? Full 4 seasons Scotland packing list When deciding on what to pack for Scotland, put practicality over fashion and you will be much happier on your trip. You can thank me later. All the locals and tourists also dress in a practical way, so it will be easy for you to blend in. I remember my surprise seeing my colleagues coming to the office in waterproof jackets thrown over their smart shirts. After getting to know the Scottish weather, I started doing the same. If you already own some outdoorsy clothes, good news, you don’t have to entirely change your travel wardrobe for Scotland. There might be some adjustments needed, though. #4.1 Clothes & shoes to pack for Scotland Layers and waterproofs are the way to go. Make sure that the clothes and shoes you wear in Scotland are warm, waterproof, and comfortable. That’s all you need! Essentials to pack for the Scotland trip: Waterproof jacket – that’s your must-have. Go for Gore-tex ones – Check price and model here  Waterproof shoes – another must-have. The best are trekking/hiking shoes if you plan to go anywhere outdoors (which is basically everywhere in Scotland) – Check price and model here Waterproof trousers – So useful when hiking in a rain (or hiking in the sun and getting caught up in the rain, yay Scotland) – Check price and model here Leggings/lighter trousers for the nicer days or to put under trousers in winter – Check price and model here Warm hoodie– I recommend a fleece – Check price and model here T-shirts and blouses One nicer dress/outfit for going out + shoes, if you plan to stop in the cities for a party or go for a nice dinner Read more: Check my best travel gear and budget travel booking resources here What to pack for Scotland in the summer (or spring)  To the list above add: Lighter scarf/buff  – Buff is multifunctional and very useful when hiking or doing sports. Check price and model here Lighter shoes like sneakers for nicer days. Flip-flops or sandals are not really needed unless you want to use them in the hotels for the shower. I usually wear mine once a year or not at all. What to pack for Scotland in the winter (or autumn)  To the list above, add: Warm hat – it’s important, that it tightly covers your ears, otherwise the wind will make them feel very cold – Check price and model here Warm scarf Gloves – the best are the ones that you can have on and still use your phone/electronics – Check price and model here Winter waterproof boots – if you take trekking shoes with you, they can replace the winter boots if you add warm socks Warm socks – I love the woolen ones – Check price here Additional warm jumper/sweater – Check price and model here Winter jacket or more layers and general waterproof jacket – Rab ones are great, warm, light, and compactable – Check price and model here Thermal underwear – you can save money by buying top & bottom together – Check price and model here My waterproof jacket on one of the hikes in Torridon in July: https://www.instagram.com/p/BWfWxgLHmcu/?taken-by=worlderingaroundtravel #4.2 Accessories & others Umbrella – always! Although sometimes it might be too windy to use it, or there is no point of taking it hiking – then have your waterproof jacket with you Backpack – it’s usually better than a suitcase as you can take it with you hiking and it’s easier to carry on the cobbled streets in towns – Check price and model here Travel adapter – for the British plugs with three rectangular pins, a good investment is to buy a versatile one, that you can use around the world – Check price here Camera – or capturing those great landscape photos. I always recommend mirrorless Fuji cameras for their great quality of pictures, compatibility, and lightness – Check models and prices here Travel guide – I love Lonely Planet guides – Check recent offers here Binoculars – very handy to watch the wildlife – Check price and model here Toiletries & medicines – bring the ones you use, however, if you forget anything they are widely available in shops and pharmacies in Scotland Water bottle – in Scotland water can be safely drunk straight from the tap, so save some money and help the environment by bringing your own water bottle and re-filling it on the way – Check price here What to pack for Scotland in spring/summer To the above add: Sunglasses – for those sunny days Insect repellent for midges – a must if you’re going anywhere in Highlands or Lochs in summer – Check price here Packing for Scotland in autumn/winter To the above add: Hand warmers – cool things to have when it’s freezing outside, also helpful as an emergency source of heat when hiking – Check price here #4.3 What to wear in Scotland in the cities – Edinburgh/Glasgow packing list The above packing lists are great if you do a range of activities in Scotland. However, what you need to pack for Edinburgh or Glasgow or any other city might slightly vary. If you come to Scotland just for a short time and you are not planning to go outside of the city (re-consider it though!), still bring your waterproof clothes, especially the jacket. You could replace the trekking shoes with a nicer pair of wellies, waterproof sneakers, or nicer leather boots. You don’t really need waterproof trousers, and you can use quickly drying leggings instead. Jeans can also be worn, but expect them to be soaked if you get caught up in the rain. There are also no midges in the city, so you don’t have to worry about that. In winter, take your winter jacket, a couple of long sleeve shirts, and a woolen jumper. Don’t forget the umbrella! #5 What to remember while packing for Scotland: Use layers, they provide heat and it’s easy enough to take something off or put something on if the weather suddenly changes Always take waterproofs and/or an umbrella with you. Even if the weather is sunny at the moment it might be pouring in an hour! Don’t get discouraged by the grey Scottish weather. Scotland is a beautiful country! To make your days more cheerful, you can wear colourful clothes and accessories. Frequently asked questions about packing for Scotland What to wear in Scotland in January, February, November, and December?  What to pack in Scotland for winter is based on warm inside layers and waterproof outer layers. Take a hat, gloves, scarf, good sturdy shoes and jacket that will protect you from the wind. What to wear in Scotland in March, April, and October? What to pack for Scotland in Fall and Spring is similar to winter, but minus a thick coat. Instead of a thick jacket, take a thinner one but add more layers. That way, you can be warm when it’s cold, but not too hot when the weather gets better. What to wear in Scotland in May, June, July, and August? Packing for Scotland in the summer should be the easiest, as this is when the weather is at its best. However, this might be misleading. There still can be rainy and cold days, so don’t leave your jacket behind. Take waterproof and windproof jackets with you along with thinner layers. The temperature in old Scottish stone buildings inside might be lower, so remember cozy PJs. I’d recommend sneakers and comfortable shoes versus flip-flops, the weather rarely allows for them.  Published: 2017 Updated: 2020 What are your tips on what to pack for Scotland and what to wear? Do you have any questions? Did I miss anything from my list? Let me know in the comments! Like it? Pin it on Pinterest! Related posts: Tips for traveling light – ultimate packing guide (+ carry-on packing list!) Autumn in Scotland – 10 Reasons To Visit Scotland In Autumn [+ PHOTOS] Unique Scotland – 10 amazing places to visit in Scotland, you wouldn’t believe exist 5 Things About Scotland You Need To Know Before You Visit [...] Read more...
12 Simple Tips To Become A More Responsible Traveller 
12 Simple Tips To Become A More Responsible Traveller As travellers, we want the Earth to stay beautiful, pristine and clean. How to make sure we take part in responsible tourism and practice eco-travel? Below you will find a few simple tips, that will help to become a more responsible traveller. Travel is amazing. It broadens your mind, opens you to the new horizons, allows you to witness the astonishing beauty of the world. In my 29 years old life, I’ve visited some breathtaking destinations. I have hiked in the Himalayas, seen some of the seven world wonders, solo travelled in several places around the world, backpacked in Central Asia, looked for polar bears in Svalbard and much more. Travelling has taught me a lot. I still think that it’s one of the best things I was able to do. But sometimes it might turn into the worst.  Places struggling with over-tourism, extensive CO2 production making the Earth warm up 20 times faster and affecting the wildlife, exploited animals and destruction of the natural environment are only some of the bad effects of tourism in the world. Add to it the enormous amount of plastic produced every year (381 million tons of plastic produced in 2017 with only 9% recycled), the chemicals from sunscreen killing the coral reefs, and all the other changes happening to the environment, and you will get a scary mix. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More details here. Is the accessibility of travel ruining it? Nowadays, travel is more accessible. With cheap flights and affordable hotels, travel is not a luxury anymore, but something that “everyone does”. It is estimated that by 2036 the number of air passengers will nearly double to 7.8 Billion. Tourism is one of the worlds largest industries and it keeps growing. The economic boost is good, but there are bad effects on the inhabitants of the places popular with tourists, and the environment. Travel takes a huge part in destroying places that we love to visit. While we travel, is it extremely important, especially now, to take a moment and reflect on the way you travel. Think of how you can become a more responsible traveller, so we can all enjoy the beauty of this planet for longer. It is not always easy. You don’t have to spend every second of your days trying to make sure you do everything right. I often fail. We are all just humans. However, every little helps. The mean of transport you choose, where you decide to stay, where you eat, what you buy and even the time of the year when you visit a place all can have an impact on the local population, businesses and the environment. I urge you to take a step towards sustainable travel and try to implement those tips in your travels and everyday life. RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL, ECO TRAVEL, SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL? You hear those names all-around – responsible travel, sustainable travel, ethical travel, ecotourist. But what does it all mean? What is responsible tourism  Responsible travel means to be socially, culturally and environmentally aware when you travel. This also includes understanding the impact you, as a traveller, have on the places you visit and to try to make it a positive one. This involves ways of being more eco-friendly and working towards zero-waste travel, as well as supporting sustainability in the local communities and respecting places and people. What can we do Does it mean we need to stop travelling altogether? Not necessarily. There are still things you can do to help minimize the negative effects of travelling and ways how you can travel in the more mindful and responsible way. I’ve been trying to incorporate the below practices in my life and travel for a long time. To be honest with you, it’s not always possible to do it all. And that’s fine, too. I truly believe that if we all care enough, even one step at the time can make a difference. So what can you do to minimize the negative effects of travelling? STEPS TO BECOME MORE RESPONSIBLE TRAVELLER Here are some basic steps that you can take today to become a more responsible traveller. RESPECT LOCAL COMMUNITY #1 Learn and respect   Learn about the country before you get there. Know what the local customs, beliefs, history, and culture are. As a responsible traveller keep an open head, be tolerant and respect diversity. Remember, that you are a guest in someone’s else home. Sometimes it’s easy for us, visitors, to think that we know better. If there is one thing that travelling has taught me – is tolerance. Even if I don’t agree with something, I try to remind myself, that I am in no position to throw my point of view onto another person. There are other, better ways to help – through education and projects run by local organizations that know the reality. #2 Connect with locals As travellers, we visit stunning places. Hot springs in Iceland, beaches in Bali, beautiful landscapes of Jordan. In every place we go to, people live. Take some time to get to know them. The mutual connection can benefit both of you. And you might learn things that you would not expect to. #3 Be nice – not everyone is trying to rip you off Some destinations have a label of places where for sure everyone tries to scam you and steal from you. Especially, when you experience that once or a couple of times, it’s hard to not to feel offended or hurt. In reality, people are nice. Not everyone tries to take advantage. So put a smile on your face and be nice – people will be nice to you too. (This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful or cautious when travelling- follow your gut and use common sense!). #4 Stay, eat and buy locally Support local businesses and stay with local people, buy locally produced food and local souvenirs. #5 Choose organized tours well If you decide to take an organized tour, try to take a local one. Support local businesses and local guides – they need your money more than huge multinational organizations. Do the check – how are employees treated, if they care about the environment, if they do not include any tours exploiting animals, where do the profits go. For example, before doing dog sledding tour in Norway, I thoroughly checked what I was dealing with. #6 Give back If you can – give back. Support local non-profits, volunteer. Remember to do it in a responsible and sustainable way. Usually, local organizations have a better understanding of what the community needs, so you can contact them for the guidance rather than trying to do something yourself. Go for places that focus on sustainable support. Instead of just giving money, they invest in education, giving the tools for development. As an example, here you can see how you can support the educations of kids in Africa. #7 Ethical photography Everyone wants to have pretty photos from the holidays. Images of local people make the pictures more interesting. But is it fine to just snap a quick photo of someone and walk away? Not really. When it comes to ethical photography think about how you would feel. Put yourself in another’s person shoes. Good idea is to engage with a person before taking a photo. Talk to them, smile, buy something from a stall or just nicely ask if it’s fine to take a photo. #8 Become an explorer Instead of travelling to places struggling with over-tourism try to go to lesser-known areas instead. You will be surprised by how many wonderful places you can discover! For some suggestions have a look at this list of non-touristy holiday destinations you can visit instead. Also, Central Asia is still an off the beaten path destination, full of wonderful experiences! #9 Travel offseason If you really cannot live without seeing those famous tourist locations, try to go there offseason. You will avoid the crowds, prices would normally be lower and it will be easier for the local environment to deal with the amount of tourists at once. #10 Practise slow travel It’s not easy, especially when you have limited time in the place, short holidays with your 9-5 and you want to see a lot. But sometimes it’s worth to slow down, appreciate the place, connect with locals and do not change hotels every night. #11 Combine the trips If your work sends you abroad for business trips – combine business with pleasure. I often travel more because I extend my work trips and travel around the area where I already am. This also saves me taking additional longs flights on my own, which is better for the environment and… my pocket. ECO TRAVELLING If we do not take care of the environment when we travel (and when we don’t), soon there won’t be much left. The world is changing and to stop the negative effects we all need to take part. Here are some of the things you can do while travelling to help the environment. #1 Use public transport Instead of taking the trains or driving with your own car, try to use public transport. It might be slower, but in many cases, it brings you closer to people and can make for great memories. I will never forget the long trip through the Himalayas in the public bus in India, taking taxi Busse (small minibusses) everywhere in Madagascar, Philippines or Indonesia, hitchhiking across Europe or solo travelling with public transport in Central Asia. #2 Walk or cycle Going somewhere in a short distance? Walk! You will be surprised how much you can see just walking to places. Especially when you pass through the parts of the town where just locals live. It gives you an opportunity to really see another face of the country or a city. Using bikes is also a great idea. #3 Offset your carbon emissions If you take a plane, and in many cases it’s inevitable, you can still try to offset some of the produced carbon emissions. Many airlines, like for example Air France, offer to offset some of the emissions for a small fee. They invest in environmental projects, planting trees or helping in another way. I like the organization Trees for the Future. They are not only planting trees but also changing the lives of local people. On their website, you will find a calculator for the emissions and you can donate to their projects. #4 Reduce meat intake For those of you who’ve seen the movie Cowspiracy, you know that animal farming is responsible for a big part of the gas emissions. Reducing the amount of meat you eat, can make a difference. I decided to entirely eliminate beef from my menu for environmental reasons. #5 Save water – especially in countries where they struggle with it When you come from Europe or a place that has an abundance of water (like Norway) and you never struggled with water to drink, to wash or to bathe in, it might be hard to remember that water can be scarce. Do not keep the tap open when you brush your teeth, take shorter showers, use less water for washing. #6 Use sustainable accommodation In some places, you have a chance to use sustainable accommodation or get closer to nature by camping. I highly recommend wild camping – it’s free and provides amazing views. Just make sure you do it in the places where it is allowed, follow all the rules and do not leave anything behind. #7 Leave no trace Whether it’s camping or not, if you like outdoor adventures, make sure you leave no trace. Take your rubbish with you, do not walk off the trail, make sure you do not disturb the wildlife or destroy plants. #8 Respect wildlife Don’t support animal tourism – this also goes with taking any tours involving wild animals. The suffering of animals due to animal tourism is horrendous, do not contribute to that. If you want to see wildlife – do it in the wild! It is truly a magical feeling to be close to the wild animals. I could see it for myself in the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya. Even on the sustainable wildlife tours, you need to make sure to follow the rules and keep the distance. Some animals are vulnerable to human born diseases. #9 Reduce waste Stop using disposable items,  be conscious of what you buy. Do you really need that next key chain that you will never use? Do you need to buy items wrapped in several sheets of plastic?  Will your drink taste so much worse without a plastic straw? Try to look around you and reduce the amount of trash you create, as well as the amount of plastic you use. Going entirely waste-free is not possible and it’s also not easy, but one step at the time, you can make a change. #10 Say no to plastic – use eco-friendly travel products instead Do you love your take-away coffee? Take a reusable cup with you! There are tons of eco-friendly, reusable products, that you can use instead of creating more waste with disposable ones. Simple steps include swapping the plastic bottles for the reusable ones, using the reusable bags for shopping instead of the plastic ones, choosing products not wrapped in plastic. Some of my favorite eco-friendly travel products include:  –   Reusable water bottle  –   Reusable straws – they are bamboo, paper or metal, I love the bamboo ones –   Reusable cutlery – I am a fan of metal sporks –   Bamboo toothbrush –  Shampoo bar and a bar of soap instead of shower gels and shampoos in plastic containers #11 Do not litter This should be an obvious thing but unfortunately, it is not. In developing countries, there might be a smaller number of bins on the streets. It doesn’t mean that you can just leave your rubbish and go. Take it with you and bin in the next possible place. Preferably where you can recycle it, too! #12 Take only memories Have you collected any shells from the seashore? One small shell taken from the beach might not seem like it has a massive impact, however, in popular places, where many tourists do the same thing – it can even ruin the local ecosystem. Sardinia introduced fines up to €3000 for anyone taking sand, pebbles or shells from the beaches. The famous Maya Bay beach in Thailand got closed after the rise in visitors has severely damaged the environment. Many countries now put fine on tourists who try to take shells or other natural products across the borders. There are, of course, cases when this doesn’t apply to, but if you don’t have enough knowledge about the ecosystem and the area, take a picture and leave the rest behind. Is responsible tourism easy? Before the whole world changes its practises and we, consumers, will have easier access to environmental-friendly products and services, practicing responsible tourism would require some effort. In some situations it simply won’t be possible. But being conscious about your choices and remembering that they have an impact on our planet and all those beautiful places we visit, is a good start. After all, we all love to travel. Let’s make the travel possible by being more responsible while doing it. Do you have any other responsible travel tips? Are you trying to be a more responsible traveller? Let me know in the comments! Like it? Pin it! Related posts: 25 Sustainable Gifts for Travelers – Eco-Friendly Gifts Guide How I afford to travel and how you can too – 19 tips to travel more for less Norway On A Budget -Locals’ Secret Tips For Cheap Travel in Norway Tips for traveling light – ultimate packing guide (+ carry-on packing list!) [...] Read more...

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