Friday, December 14, 2018

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How to Find a Travel Companion that’s Compatible with You

Hate going solo on your next travel? Why not consider sharing a trip with a travel companion? While some things are better done alone, traveling is definitely not one of them. Having a companion during your travel gives you the peace of mind that in case something bad happens, somebody will surely help you.

And of course, all pleasant and happy experience in a trip becomes all the more special if you share it with someone, that is, if you’re traveling with a good travel buddy.

On the other hand, traveling with a rather unpleasant companion will definitely spoil the fun and may even test your patience. This is why choosing a good companion is very important in a truly unforgettable travel. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting who will accompany your to your next trip.

1. Choose someone you know very well.

Make sure that you are quite familiar with any quirk that your companion may have. Why? If you don’t, you might end up sharing the hotel room with someone whose neurotic behavior will drive you nuts. You don’t want to deal with someone who spends three hours just for bathing and grooming or someone who is too repacking his or her things. Most especially, you don’t want who would rather argue with you all day about everything than enjoy the attraction you’re visiting.

2. Choose a companion who shares your interests.

It would be very difficult to travel with a person whose interests greatly differ from yours. You would be better off traveling on your own if that is the case. How can you enjoy hopping from one bar to another when your travel buddy is more interested in attending theater performances or concerts? It doesn’t mean, though, that you should be together all day. But it would help a lot for both of you if you have several common interests. You can, for example go separate ways during daytime and then meet for some drinks in a bar at night.

3. Put your potential companion to a road test.

This tip may prove to be useful if you are on the lookout for a long-term travel buddy. You can invite a friend or colleague over your home to a dinner or plan a weekend picnic in a great place within your area. Observe how comfortable you are with each other, particularly when you share a room or even bed. Also, take note of any habits that you could tolerate. If you can live with your companion’s smoking habit, then that should not be a problem when you go on a holiday trip together.

Traveling with a companion is a very good idea, especially if you are the type who easily feels lonely being alone and having no one to talk to throughout your trip. Finding the best travel companion is not difficult at all since you can choose anyone from your relatives, friends, and colleagues. If you think no one fits your criteria, then traveling solo might be better for you.

Are You A Backpack Traveler?

There are several ways to travel – travel light, travel fast, travel in style, or doing your travel backpack style. In this list, backpack traveling gets the most flak from people who knew very little what it means, especially about the people who do travel backpack style. One thing is for certain – backpack travelers pay the cheapest.

From the experienced backpackers themselves, backpack traveling is one great way to travel around the world on the cheap. You learn to be frugal and be able to exercise your creativity when faced with challenging situations, mostly in regards to your way of traveling.

Of course, this extreme budget traveling (as they call it) is not everyone’s cup of tea. Through the years, backpackers had earned some bad press and people kept that in their minds.

There seems to be a collective indifference from the backpackers themselves regarding these allegations. After all, they had been picked up from some insignificant incidents, unfairly magnified to no end, and finally came out totally different from real events or situations.

A backpacker myth or two

Some misconceptions about backpackers are downright crass and insulting. Here are a couple of printable ones.

One pervading fiction about backpackers is that they have no idea of personal hygiene (modern day hippies and hobos), are mostly rude to other people, and have no sense of being fair. They want to get their way around the locals, because after all, they are tourists.

From the backpackers themselves who are inviting others to travel like them, the emphasis is more of “blending in, and living like the people… [and] to develop a better understanding of the culture.”

They also do take a bath, brush their teeth and change clothes regularly like regular guys.

Backpacks – to carry or not?

Critics usually over-emphasize the backpacker’s oversized backpacks on their backs. They say it contradicts the backpackers’ claims of “blending in” with the locals.

They say local people do not usually move around with huge backpacks on their backs. The locals use standard, regular luggage: suitcases, duffel bags, rolling bags and other variations, but not a backpack.

What supposedly happens is that while riding buses and trains, backpackers usually earn the ire of people because they obstruct or hurt them when backpackers move around toting these oversized backpacks.

Being mobile

Backpackers retaliate by saying the only thing correct in the critics’ allegation is the presence of the backpack. What is wrong is that they do not carry humongous versions of the bag.

What is true is that backpackers are on the move most of the time. When they do, they actually pack light and simply live on what they find around.

A few changes of clothes, some personal items (toothbrush, nail cutters), and some essentials are all they bring out when going on a trip around their new place.

They usually veer away from familiar, beaten tracks. They are more into nature tripping especially if the views (beaches, forests, caves, mountains and streams) look totally different from those at home.

Another big reason is, again, the fact that these places are usually free for everyone to enjoy. Are you a backpack traveler?

Travel Q&A: The European Union

Question: “I live in America, and I’m going on holiday to Spain next summer. I’d also like to go to Italy, and I know I can drive there from Spain. My question is about my passport; will I need to show it when I cross the border from Spain to Italy and vice versa? I know they’re both in the European Union, so I’m not sure if normal border controls apply. If at all possible, I’d rather not carry my passport around with me.”

Answer:

While Spain and Italy are both in the European Union, you will still need your passport and the usual forms of ID – such as medical insurance documentation – to cross the border.

It’s an easy mistake to make. In the United Kingdom, for example, you do not need a passport to cross the border from England to Scotland or Wales to England – so there is a precedent for this thinking. However, the European Union is largely a political union – the countries within it remain separate, and regular border controls apply.

On another note, while it’s understandable that you don’t want to carry your passport with you, in some European countries you are required to do so by law. In Italy, for example, police have the right to stop and ask anyone, at any time, to produce documentation as to their identity. It is therefore worth investing in a money-belt or similar to keep your passport in, so if you do get stopped, you won’t have any problems.

Be Spontaneous With A Surprise Holiday

The concept of a ‘surprise’ holiday may be unpleasant to some; after all, isn’t half the fun of a vacation looking forward to going there? Maybe it is, but if you hanker for something a little spontaneous and fun, then a surprise holiday might just work for you.

The ‘surprise’ aspect of a surprise holiday does not come from a sudden decision to go on holiday, but rather where you go. You can still book the time off work, get a dog sitter in and get your documentation in order: just book a couple of weeks (or however long you have) off like you normally would, and then head to the airport on your first day off.

Here’s where the surprise element comes in; you go to the airport not knowing where you are going with a surprise holiday. Once you reach the airport, you ask at desks for ‘stand by’ seats and last minute deals. As airlines do not like to fly half-empty planes, they will often offer substantial discounts if you can fly that night on a flight that is not fully booked. It’s all about being cheeky and asking.

If all goes to plan, you will make a huge saving on the flight cost and will be presented with a destination. Once you arrive, it is up to you to find your hotel.

It’s a slightly crazy concept, but those who enjoy surprise holidaying swear that is the fun of it. Not knowing where you’re going, what you’re doing or even what type of clothes to pack makes the experience extremely exciting; so if you’ve got the courage, why not give a surprise holiday a go?

All You Need To Know About UK Travel

The United Kingdom – the union name for the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – is one of the most popular tourists destinations in the world, especially the capital of England, London and the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Traveling through the UK – as it is abbreviated to – is fairly simple given the size of the four countries. Three – England, Scotland and Wales – are connected by land. It is possible to travel from the Northernmost point of the UK – John O’Groats in Scotland – to the Southernmost point – Land’s End in England – in a day. Only Northern Ireland is not on the same island as the other three countries in the Union, but is reachable by a short ferry trip, most commonly from Scotland.

As the countries are small and interlinked, UK travel is a surprisingly easy aspect of a vacation there. It is possible to fly domestically, and rail and motorway networks serve the UK well. However, rail travel is very expensive, as was recently evidenced by the first issuing of a return rail ticket costing over £1,000 (around $1,400). There are discounts available, however, especially for foreign visitors on short-term stays.

Flying by air is much simpler, however, and usually cheaper, too. The UK has several major airports, both international and domestic, and flights between the countries are inexpensive and regular. You do not need to show a passport to travel across the country borders, though some form of ID is recommended for air travel.