Camping tips

Camp like a pro: tips for happy and successful camping

Treasure a glorious sunset surrounded by nature and loved ones while relaxed around a camp fire or recharge the soul with the change in pace. At the centre of any great camping trip is the initial planning and preparation phase – the gel that holds the key to a successful and happy camping trip. Allow the magic of camping to bring the family together.

There are plenty of good reasons to go camping. At the top of the list are the wonderful family traditions and memories that can be made while camping that can last a lifetime and be brought alive at many times over at the dinner table. Camping definitely brings the family together; there are few ways to bond better than by tackling tasks with teamwork. On a camp your children can learn many valuable life and survival skills.

Before setting up camp, make sure your designated area is free from clutter and litter. Stones and sticks should be removed to prevent tripping over. Pay heed to any restrictions posed by the campsite especially with regard to campfires.

A must of on any camping trip and highly recommended by seasoned campers is the use of durable high quality camping equipment like sleeping bags and the tent. These do not necessarily need to be expensive as long as they are of high quality. Durable equipment is sure to protect you against all weather conditions.

Unless you have a wand or spell that can put up a tent in seconds like those in the Harry Potter movies, you may need to put in the time practising in your obliging back garden or living room. This will prevent any embarrassment when putting up the tent at the campsite, particularly with more experienced onlookers watching. The size of the tent should correspond to the number of campers it will house.
Decide on a meal menu beforehand so that you can stock up on items not easily available at the camp site. Have lots of snacks on hand to keep children happy. The fresh air and plenty of exercise outdoors result in hungry kids.

Gas tanks should be checked for any leaks and be filled up before you leave. Essential gear consists of a folding table, camping chairs, enough lighting equipment, toys for children and you cannot go amiss with enough wet wipes. Aluminium or enamel cutlery and crockery is ideal as they are unbreakable and are more eco friendly than paper cups and plates.

A first aid kit is an essential item to pack when going camping as well as any medication that is required. Check the expiry date on all the items. Replace any expired items. Sunscreen and insect repellent come in handy so be sure to pack them in.

Camping is definitely a more fun and a cheaper alternative than more conventional holidays. Children can explore their artistic and creative skills and be inspired by the ultimate of creators – Mother Nature herself.

travel tips

20 top travel tips from seasoned travellers

Every traveller knows the pitfalls of an unplanned trip. While travelling on holiday to an exotic location may be an explosion of excitement, being forearmed with travel tips from the well-travelled lessens the sting of stress. Here are 20 top travel tips to consider:

1. Have a check list before you pack of all the ESSENTIAL items you will require whilst travelling.
2. Take out travel insurance. Secure yourself and your valuables against unforeseen misfortunes.
3. Valuables including jewellery, expensive digital equipment and money, traveller’s cheques, etc should ALWAYS be kept out of sight no matter which destination you head off to.
4. Have a good night’s sleep and hydrate by drinking lots of water the night before you are due to fly out.
5. The quickest way to endear yourself to the locals is to use their language. It helps in transforming an apathetic attitude into a congenial one. Equipped in common phrases such as ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘sorry’ in the local language will promote you in getting better service or assistance.
6. The best time to pack for travel is after doing the laundry. This helps in giving you maximum choice in choosing what to pack.
7. Clothes that don’t require ironing is preferable.
8. The key word when it comes to packing clothing for travel is COMFORTABLE.
9. The moment you think of something you need to pack, the travel-size sewing kit for example, pack it or add it to your things to pack list immediately.
10. Take pre-packed snacks such as nuts, dried fruit or cereal bars along. They will always come in handy no matter where you are, be it trekking across the Sahara or squatting on the uncomfortable airport chair during a long stop over.
11. Be an eco traveller. Use a refillable water bottle for your drinking water needs.
12. As a cautionary measure, make photocopies or scan and email copies to yourself and family or friends of passports (front and back) and other important documents as well as credit cards before embarking on your travel.
13. Window seats on an airplane may be handy for laying your head against, but aisle seats are more convenient for those without big bladders and their nearest neighbours.
14. For those that suffer from motion sickness, a combination drink of half ginger ale and half club soda is helpful in overcoming nausea.
15. Have a handy pack of travel tissues; toilet paper may not be available in certain places around the world.
16. Be sure to stand stretch aching muscles from time to time using the aisle during long-haul flights.
17. Turn your mobile phone into a multifunction gadget. The camera function can be used to ‘take notes’ of nametags, destination signs or restaurant names. Taking a photo of your luggage is a good idea should you have the misfortune of it going missing. A picture is worth more than words can describe.
18. Carry-on luggage should include a change of lightweight clothes.
19. Work your way out of jetlag and sleepless travel by exercising. Cardiovascular exercise works well.
20. Alert your credit card company of your travel intentions. Note down customer care and helpline numbers.

Long stopover

A traveller’s survival guide to long stopovers

Surviving a long stopover begins with a change in perception. Glass half full or half empty? Airport stopovers are becoming more of a traveller’s reality as airlines, in their efforts to lower operating costs, are decreasing the more expensive direct flight option. A traveller’s survival guide to long stopovers begins with a positive frame of mind, forethought and planning.

Research the airport’s facilities

Seeing that an airport may be where you will be spending a good few hours, it is well worth taking a look a closer look at the airport’s facilities. Information is vital. Most of the larger busier airports have extensive facilities to soothe away the stress and strains of air travel.

The airport’s website is ideally your first go-to-point for information. Are there pay-to-enter lounges, restaurants, shops, shower facilities, spa treatment facilities, gym, children entertainment areas, internet facilities or any other facilities of interest to you? However unlikely it may be, should the airport you’re researching not have found its digital voice, ask your travel agent or family and friends who have been to the airport before for more ideas on how to make the most of your stopover time there.

You may not want to carry around unnecessary baggage that weighs you down. Investigate whether there is baggage deposit services available to store baggage that you will not need while you make the most of the airport’s stopover facilities.

Long stopover activities for travellers

• Take in a short sight-seeing tour
A long stopover, of more than five hours between flights, is an ideal opportunity to take in the city’s local tourist attractions that are in close proximity to the airport. Making use of the direct trains or bus services is a wiser option than expensive taxi fares and safer should the city suffer heavy congested traffic.

• Exercise
After being seated for hours during a long-haul flight, aching muscles and joints will be in need of a good stretch. A good long walk around the airport will be good for keeping the circulation in your body going and will give you the opportunity to become familiar with the layout of the airport. You could also use the exercise to find the next flight’s departure gate and not waste unnecessary time in trying to find it just before your flight takes off.

• Pamper and refresh weary body
A great idea would be to treat you to a massage or an indulgent facial should the airport offer Spa treatment facilities. A rejuvenated body goes a long way to making a weary traveller feel loads better.

• Window shopping whiles away the time quite easily
Window shopping can be as fun as regular shopping but without adding to the weight of your luggage with unnecessary items.

Travelling with children

12 Essential items needed when travelling with small children

Travelling with small children may not be as difficult as you might imagine. A little time spent preparing, planning and organizing and you can enjoy a successful holiday with the happy and comfortable kids. Being unprepared spells stressed out parents and equally stressed out children.

1. Food to snack on
Snacks keep children nourished as well as entertained. Choose your child’s favourite snacks, the healthier the guilt free and better. Ideally these the kids can munch on themselves without too much of a mess. Dried fruit, raisons, pretzels, stick cheeses and cereal bars. On international travel, there may be laws governing bringing in of food items in some countries.

2. Nappies/diapers/pull-ups
These can be bought practically everywhere in the world. It is important, however, to carry enough for the first day or two of your journey. This is helpful in reducing luggage space.

3. Small first-aid kit
First-aid kits should comprise of pain reliever, bandages, antibacterial ointment, a thermometer, antihistamines, cough medicine, antiseptic cream, bug repellent and relief, tweezers, paracetamol, anti-diarrohea tablets and sunscreen.

4. A change of clothing
When travelling with small children a change of clothing is essential. In the event of any mishap ending in messed clothes which is a likely event, you are safe in the knowledge that you have spare until you reach your destination.

5. Wet wipes
Wet wipes are a mother’s best friend and come in handy to refresh faces or clean hands and when changing nappies.

6. Activity bag of favourite things
Included in here could be favourite music or story cd’s. Colouring and reading books, board games and finger puppets keep kids well entertained as well. Another idea suggests experts, is to introduce a few new toys too, they add to the novelty of the journey.

7. Ziplock bags
These are amazing essential versatile items useful in most non-life threatening emergencies and one can never have enough of them. They can double up as storage bags for food, small toys, and toiletries as well as for many other objects. Light weight and hardly take up any space at all, ziplock bags earn their place on the list of essential travel items.

8. Travel adaptors
On carrying electrical items on international travel, travel adaptors

9. An umbrella

Even if you’re travelling to a sunny and hot destination, an umbrella is useful in keeping your children out of the harmful rays of the sun and prevents sunburn. Sunglassess and a hat are a good idea too.

10. Comfortable weather-proof shoes
Be prepared for walking by taking along comfortable shoes. Sometimes you may experience unexpected downpours.

11. Disinfecting hand gel
These are great when no water is available and clean hands are a prerequisite against the spreading of germs.

12. Collapsible stroller

Strollers come in very handy when having to walk long distances with mall, tired children. The collapsible variety is a space-saver and can easily be checked in or stored away in the overhead compartment.

How to pack your suitcase [VIDEO]

We have all been there. Packing to go away on holiday or coming back from holiday and you can’t seem to get your suitcase closed. Watch this video and follow these simple steps to pack it all in.

Travel Information You Can Use To Make It Simple

Here are some of my best travel tips.

Travel is a lot more than just hoping on a plane to a new place. Travel can prove to be an exciting experience. There many things to see and do on a trip, so plan appropriately. Are you ready to get started? To help you sort out the options, check out the tips given here.

TIP! Before getting into the car with your dogs, take a few minutes to thoroughly brush their coats. This helps to cut down on how much hair will blow around the car.

When traveling by air, wear lightweight, comfortable shoes that can be easily slipped on and off. Understand that your shoes must be removed during security checks. Comfort over style is paramount when traveling. Traveling by plane results in a lot of sitting and very little walking, so heavy- duty footwear is not needed or recommended. Wearing sandals like flip flops or Crocs is a great way to stay comfortable on your flight.

TIP! Consider your food allergies, if you have them, when you are traveling to foreign countries. Especially if your allergies are severe, you should learn the names of the foods in whatever language is necessary.

Make sure you’re not prone to seasickness before you book a cruise. Waiting until you’re already on the cruise can be terrible. Seasickness can ruin your trip by keeping you bedridden for most of it. Knowing that you are prone to seasickness means that you can prepare yourself by bringing medication.

TIP! Beware of emails concerning travel deals. Unless you’ve opted into an email list about travel, just mark as spam and delete any such emails you receive.

When embarking on a cruise, find a hotel nearby that has free parking, and spend the night before the departure. Always ask the hotel staff for the policies and pricing on parking at the hotel and whether deals are available.

TIP! A desert contains lots of interesting places to look at as well as animals most people never get to see in their lives. For many people, the first sight of a desert is like nothing else.

Your children should always have some form of identification on them. Make sure they also have plenty of change on them; they can use this at a pay phone in the event of an emergency. A current photo of each child should be carried with you at all times in case they get lost and the police need to know what they look like.

TIP! A park pass from the National Parks services will benefit you if you are planning on visiting often. For fifty dollars, you can visit all the parks all year long.

As you can see, your trip is not only about getting to your destination, but about the whole planning and journeying process. By taking the time to plan, you will ensure that you have a great time. The previous tips should have provided you with helpful advice.

TIP! Tip the staff at the hotel appropriately when you are staying at a hotel. Standard tipping rates are a dollar per bag carried, and around $2-5 per day to the maid.