Posts

If you’ve got a fun hike coming up, it’s easy to feel like a kid on Christmas morning. The excitement and anticipation are unmatched for those who love hitting the trails, and that’s never a bad thing. The more passionate you are about hiking, the better! But, that passion and excitement can also cause you to overlook certain things as you prepare for your trek, leading to common hiking injuries.

You might forget to pack the right essentials, or you might hit the trail with gusto and go at a pace that could be damaging to your body, especially if you’re new to the world of hiking.

The health benefits of backpacking – both mental and physical – are incredible. The last thing you want is to turn them upside down and injure yourself or feel stressed out on the trail because you’re not taking your time or practicing preparedness.

So, what can you do to prevent common hiking injuries? Furthermore, how can you deal with aches and pains that still might occur, despite your best efforts?

Practice Proper Preparation

Avoiding discomfort and injury starts before your hike actually begins. You might be excited to get on your favorite trail, but taking the time to prepare and center yourself is important.

That starts with making sure you’re properly packed. Your backpack should include:

  • Navigation tools
  • Adequate water
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Rain protection
  • Safety items (fire starter, flashlight, whistle)
  • First aid kit
  • Sun protection

That might sound like a lot, but they are very basic items that won’t weigh you down too much and will help to keep you safe and comfortable.

It’s also important to have the right gear on your body. Don’t bust out your brand new hiking boots the day you plan on hitting a long trail. You don’t know how they’ll fit, and if they’re new, they could cause blistering and discomfort.

Instead, wear something you know you can walk in for miles. Wear clothing that breathes and doesn’t irritate you. And, make sure you’re carrying extra socks if your feet get wet or sweaty.

How to Avoid Common Hiking Injuries

If you’re a seasoned hiker, you might know about some common hiking injuries and how to avoid them. But, it’s always good to remind yourself of the potential risks out there. If you’re a novice, learning more about these injuries will help you be more aware when you’re on your trek.

First, it’s important to take stock of how you feel before you head out on your hike. Medical conditions don’t have to stop you from heading out. In fact, regular exercise is a great way to manage the symptoms of many conditions, like GERD.

But, listen to your body. If you’re in pain or not feeling well before you start, it might be better to reschedule your hike. No one wants to experience GERD symptoms during a hike.

If you’re feeling good and already out on the trail, keep your eyes open. Some of the most common injuries are easy to avoid as long as you’re paying attention, including:

  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Insect bites/stings
  • Poisonous plants
  • Dehydration

It’s not only important to pay attention to your surroundings, but yourself, too. Periodically “check-in” with yourself. Think about how you’re feeling. Are you tired? Take a break. Thirstier than you realized? Drink some water. When was the last time you applied sunscreen? Put on another layer.

By paying attention to yourself and the things around you, you’re less likely to get injured or experience discomfort right away or when you get home.

Recover the Right Way

Speaking of getting home, preventing discomfort doesn’t stop when you’re off the trail.

Hiking is an intense workout, especially if you do it all day in the blistering sun. Taking the time to properly recover is hugely important.

To make sure you’re doing that, start by staying as hydrated as possible. Keep drinking water frequently throughout the next day to restore your energy levels and make sure your muscles are hydrated.

Additionally, eat the right things. Working out impacts your muscles, and stretching afterward might help them feel less tight, but they are depleted after a hike. Proper nutrition is the best way to restore them.

There are no hard and fast rules about exactly which foods to consume. But, you’ll want to include plenty of healthy protein, fats, and carbs. That can be found in everything from tuna to avocados. Eat what you enjoy, but make sure it’s benefiting your body, rather than depleting it further.

If you’re dealing with a common hiking injury and trying to recover, rest is best. If you get back on the trails too quickly, you could risk injuring yourself further.

When you’re ready, though, hiking can be a great way to ease back into a workout regiment after an injury or condition. For example, it’s a wonderful way to manage the effects of varicose veins without putting extra strain on your body.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much to keep yourself safe and comfortable and avoid common hiking injuries. Staying prepared, knowledgeable, and smart about your recovery will allow you to keep that “kid on Christmas morning” mentality, so you can continue to hit the trails as often as possible.

After the year we’ve had, it’s clear that the world is changing. As companies are starting to realize that remote work is a real possibility, more and more people are looking to become digital nomads. If you’re thinking about embracing life on the road, take a look through the essential gear for digital nomads to get you started.

Universal all in one power adapter


A universal power adapter is a must-have travel gadget for anyone who travels regularly. Unless you have a way to charge them, it makes no difference how many phones, tablets, or laptops you own.

The power outlets in different countries vary in shape and size, so making sure you can use your favorite travel gadgets has to be one of your top priorities. A multi-country adapter is a game-changer and removes the worry of having your electronics, run out of battery, no matter where you are in the world.

Universal Sim Card for portable Wi-Fi

The struggle of having to use the poor Wi-Fi at a budget hostel is well known to anyone who has traveled abroad. Make sure to always stay connected wherever you are by bringing along a universal Sim Card that will serve as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot.

It’s high on the list of essential gear for digital nomads or anyone who spends time away from the beaten track.

Google Fi is one of the best options for digital nomads, plans start at just $16 a month. This powerful device connects to networks in more than 200 countries with up to 22GB of data a month.

Rather than buying a new SIM card in every country, you can use this universal SIM card. You can then use your phone as a hotspot for other devices like your computer or WiFi-connected camera.

Moment Photo Lenses

Transform your smartphone photos into DSLR quality with one of the many snap-on lenses from Moment. With Smartphone cameras getting more and more advanced, it’s no longer necessary to lug around bulky photography equipment as a digital nomad.

You can capture amazing shots with their wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, and more. And since they’re so small, it’s easy to carry them around even when you’re a constant traveler, making it essential gear for digital nomads.

Noise Cancelling Ear Buds

You’ll be happy to have a set of noise-cancellling earbuds if you get stuck behind a crying baby, or need to take a loud and rattly mode of transport. And the compact size is practical for digital nomads on the go.

A Digital Luggage Scale

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve wanted to weigh my luggage on the road. Knowing exactly how heavy my bags were before reaching the airport could have saved stressful packing, repacking, as well as some unavoidable baggage fees.

Since you can’t always be sure to find a scale when you’re on the road, bring along a compact digital luggage scale so that you will never be surprised.

Smartphone Gimbal

If you’re looking to document your travels as a digital nomad, you can take your videos to the next level with a sophisticated travel gimbal. Gimbals are used to stabilize and remove shake from moving or shifting footage.

Whether you’re cruising along in a Tuk Tuk in Thailand or zipping through Hai Van pass in Vietnam, the gimbal can help avoid a shaky and choppy video. Many gimbals come with zoom capabilities, slow motion, and time lapse functions.

Digital nomads who use a smartphone as their primary video content source should definitely consider gimbals since they are small, portable, and are a must-have gadget for traveling.

Phone and wallet waterproof case

A waterproof case for your valuables is a simple, but essential gear for digital nomads, particularly for those heading to a beach location. Keep your phone with you even when taking a dip, and have it on hand to capture amazing shots from the water.

An inexpensive waterproof case you can wear around your neck will eliminate all your worries. It’s a lifesaver, and it holds your phone, wallet, keys, etc.

Travel drone

Use a drone to capture amazing photos of your travels as a digital nomad

Use a drone to capture amazing photos of your travels

Travel drones have gotten a lot more affordable in the past few years, and their cool factor is hard to match. With everyone taking the same photos on social media these days, it’s amazing to be able to capture shots and footage that not many others can.

With drone photography, your video will have an amazing cinematic effect that will impress your viewers. Due to technological advances, drones have become cheaper and foldable, making them easier to travel with. A drone is a great tool for anyone who plans to travel, whether for work or for leisure.

Lightweight Laptop

A Macbook Air is the laptop of choice for digital nomads

A Macbook Air is the laptop of choice for digital nomads

When every ounce counts, you want a durable, lightweight laptop to accompany you on your travels. The most popular laptop on a digital nomad packing list is the MacBook Air. It’s got great processing power, that will allow you to edit photos and videos while being compact enough to slip inside your backpack or suitcase.

Power Bank

Unlike the travelers of yesteryear, today’s essential gear for digital nomads involves electronic devices to navigate. Therefore, it becomes even more crucial to make sure you always have a backup power source.

In cases of power outages, hours on the road, bring along a power bank so that your compass, map, lifeline (i.e., your smartphone!) are always charged and ready.

Conclusion

Picking the right travel accessories can be a challenge with so many options available. Start with some practical gadgets like a waterproof phone case and universal power adapter, and then move on to more fun stuff like drones and gimbals.

Planning for a trip can be a daunting task, especially if you are a beginner. You can easily get overwhelmed when you have no clue where to start and even the more minor details that might hurt your experience. Luckily, there’s plenty of information out there nowadays. All you need to do is do your research and figure out some travel tips for beginners. Social media, guidebooks, and blogs have never been more plentiful. Just pick what suits your ideas best.

Hopefully, this travel planning guide for beginners will put you on the right path just as you desire and help you travel frequently and more efficiently.

Decide When to Travel

Timing is one of the critical travel factors to consider. One of the best travel tips for beginners is to travel during the off-season as compared to travelling during peak season.

Being flexible with your travel dates saves you a good chunk of money on both accommodation and transportation. Additionally, you get to enjoy popular tourist attractions when it’s less crowded and shorter wait periods.

Pick a Destination

Travel tips for beginners

Step 1 when planning a trip: pick your destination

One of the most exciting parts of planning a trip is researching and choosing a travel destination. The whole world is your oyster at this point, and you can go anywhere and do anything.

However, it’s essential to have an excellent strategy to narrow down your options.  You may opt to pick a destination from your bucket list that you had created, the most economical to fly to, or one that you got inspired to travel to through travel magazines or travel bloggers. Go ahead and get detailed and specific with your plans.

Every little detail would count, such as luggage storage places in Seattle, or bike rentals in London. The idea is to be as explicitly detailed about your destination as possible.

Research Flights and Dates

Research a few dates to find the best time to travel

Research a few dates to find the best time to travel

Hotel or activity prices are not as volatile as airline prices and availability are. In that, there’s still a good chance you can find another place to stay that will still fall within your budget and meet your needs if the hotel room you had booked is no longer available. 

On the other hand, consider if you had booked a hotel, but the flight you were looking at is no longer available or has doubled in price? Therefore, you must take your time researching flight routes and dates. Book your flight early enough to get your desired flight and also for the best deals.

One of our best travel tips for beginners is to use apps such as Skyscanner, Momondo, and Google Flights to help you find cheap air tickets. 

Remember to find a good parking spot for your car. You can also try to save more on the parking spots you pick. For example, you can save more if you park your car near the airport you intend to use.

For example, you can book parking at the Embassy Suites RDU Airport if you use the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. You can then use a free shuttle service to and from the airport. It will save you a lot. Remember to pick a spot that can guarantee you security for your car for the time you will be away. 

Decide on the Duration of Your Stay

The length of your trip will highly depend on your monetary budget since the longer your trip, the more you spend. On top of that, vacation time is another factor to consider. How much time do you have at your disposal?  How much of it do you want to commit to this trip?

Also, think about the time needed to explore and enjoy your destination and the travel time to the destination. One of the hardest parts about planning your first trip is figuring out the balance between taking your time, and trying to see it all.

One of our travel tips for beginners is to spend at least 2 days in each city in order to really immerse yourself. For large destinations like Paris or Rome, you should plan to spend even more time.  

Set Your Budget

Setting a travel budget is one of our essential travel tips for beginners

Setting a travel budget is an important part of planning your trip

Go the extra mile and research your total costs with your preferred travel style. Would you rather stay in hotels, or do you want to backpack to the destination? What’s the cost of restaurants, hotels, and attraction sites?

These questions will guide you in coming up with a rough estimate of your total costs. If working with a limited budget, look for destinations that fit into your range and rule out unaffordable destinations. If you are flexible, figure out how much you are comfortable spending and squeeze your expenses into that budget.

Wrap up

It’s always important to have almost as much of your trip planned out in advance as possible to avoid getting into sticky situations on your travel. We hope the simple travel tips for beginners will help you organize better and prepare for your trip.

Whether you’re packing for a week, a month or a year, deciding what to take can be challenging. If you’re like most people, you always overpack, thinking you want to make sure you have absolutely everything you could need.

Even so, you land at your destination, only to discover you’ve forgotten something important.

Believe it or not, there is little difference in how much and what you pack for a short trip versus a long one. The trick is to create a list of the essentials and stick to it when you pack, eliminating what you don’t need for your current destination but taking care not to add much, if anything, not on your list. This complete packing list for female travelers saves you a lot of hassle trying to figure out what to take along on your next trip.

Choosing the Right Luggage

The Complete Packing List for Female Travelers

Assemble the right packing list so you can really enjoy your trip

Your first consideration is what to pack all of your gear in. There are two primary options: a suitcase or a backpack. For short trips to a single destination, a suitcase works great.

Make sure you get one that has wheels and an adjustable handle. A four-wheeled suitcase is easier to manage and better for your body. It’s designed so that you can move it along next to you rather than dragging it behind you.

For longer journeys, especially if you expect to move from place to place or take public transport through towns, a backpack is the better way to go. It is much easier to get around when you can carry your stuff on your back.

If you get one that fits right and pack well, the weight is distributed across your shoulders, back and hips evenly, which is better for your body. Look for a backpack designed for women and ask a salesperson to fit it for you. If you’re looking for a carry-on sized backpacking the Osprey Fairview 40L is a favorite. If you’re taking a longer trip, go with the Osprey Ariel 65 Liter backpack.

Make sure you have a daypack as well. This is handy for carrying what you need with you on the plane, but it is also invaluable when you’re out exploring. It’s better than carrying a purse, and you can safely store everything from a jacket to a pair of prescription safety glasses.

Clothing Packing List for Female Travelers

Deciding on what clothing to take can be tricky, depending on where you’re going. It’s easy to start stuffing everything you own in your bag to make sure you’re prepared for every occasion. Far better, however, to take a versatile wardrobe, with plenty of mix-and-match options.

If you pack extra of anything, make it your underwear. Take enough for a week and a day. If your trip is more than a week, then having eight pairs will save you from handwashing or laundering your underwear as often. They’re small enough that you can splurge on taking more. The remaining clothing you pack will depend on the climate you’re visiting.

Warm Weather Clothing

The Complete Packing List for Female Travelers

Packing light is easy when you’re packing for warm weather

If you’re heading somewhere warm, you can pack really light. Avoid all cotton clothing, as it soaks up sweat and takes forever to dry. If you stick with mostly solids, you’ll find it easier to mix and match. Here’s an idea of what you should take for hot environments:

  • Five quick-dry tank tops or T-shirts
  • Three pairs of quick-dry shorts
  • Two dresses or skirts
  • One or two leggings or lightweight, long pants
  • One or two things you can sleep in
  • A swimsuit, if you plan to be near water
  • Two sports bras and two bras
  • A pair of hiking shoes
  • Sandals
  • Two to four pairs of socks
  • A hat with a brim to shield your face from the sun
  • A sarong or light jacket for unexpectedly cool evenings

With this list, you’ll have plenty of options for outfits for just about any activity.

Temperate Weather Clothing

When you’re headed to a place that has more variable weather, you need to adapt your clothing to suit the environment. Layering is great in these areas and saves you extra packing. You can simply add and shed layers as you need them.

Keep the number of tank tops or T-shirts the same and add three long-sleeve shirts you can wear over them. Reduce your shorts to two and add in three pairs of pants. Leggings go great under dresses, so feel free to include one or two of both.

You may also want to include a pair of boots or closed-toed shoes. Make sure you take a water-resistant jacket.

Cold Weather Clothing

If you’re heading for colder climates, you’ll want to ditch the T-shirts and shorts, replacing them with long-sleeved shirts. Take along a couple of thermal shirts or sweaters, a sweater dress, three pairs of lined leggings and a pair of pants or two.

Make sure you have a week’s worth of warm socks and comfortable boots for walking and hiking. You’ll also need a warm coat — down works great because it compresses — a warm hat, scarf and gloves. Don’t forget to include prescription safety glasses if you’ll be engaging in outdoor activities where you need eye protection.

What Toiletries To Pack

Packing toiletries can take a lot of space up in your pack and add a surprising amount of weight. Unless you want to purchase everything at your destination (not advisable), you have to figure out what to take. Opt for trial sizes on shorter trips. A basic toiletry travel list includes:

  • A toiletry bag that you can hang
  • A razor with extra blades
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Facial cleanser and moisturizer
  • Body wash or bar soap
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Tweezers and nail clippers
  • Tampons
  • Travel first aid kit

If you wear makeup, take the bare minimum you can live with. If you run out of anything, it generally isn’t difficult to find what you need wherever you travel.

What Extras To Bring

The Complete Packing List for Female Travelers

Don’t forget a few crucial extras to add to your packing list

The biggest considerations for extras are personal safety items and downtime activities. Consider taking a personal safety alarm, a lock you can use on lockers and a wire-mesh bag protector.

You may want to bring along a paperback book, your journal, a tablet, and headphones for downtime. Don’t forget your phone charger! If you’re traveling abroad, you’ll need to make sure you have an adaptor for your electronics.

Are you planning your first European backpacking travel adventure? Packing for a trip can be exciting but stressful, especially if you don’t know what to bring. Whether you’re going for a week or for an entire summer, there are a few backpacking Europe essentials for your packing list. To help you get started, take a look at our backpacking Europe checklist, which will ensure you have everything you need for your trip. 

1. Backpack

The right backpacking can make or break your trip. A backpack that’s too big can make traveling uncomfortable, while a backpack that’s too small won’t allow you to fit all your belongings in it. 

When backpacking Europe, you won’t want to bring a large, rolling suitcase. European cities were built before the age of elevators, which means that you’ll be walking lots of stairs. When navigating the metro, the old buildings, and the hotels, you’ll be happy to be able to take the stairs instead of lugging around an unwieldy backpack.

When it comes to essentials for your backpacking Europe packing list, it’s best to bring a carry-on sized backpack to avoid baggage fees on budget airlines.

Backpacking backpacks come in sizes based on the liter volume that they can carry. A 30-40 liter bag is comparable to a carry-on size suitcase, while a bag that’s 50-65 liters will be too big to take with you as a carry on.

Make sure you choose a bag that fits comfortably on your body. If you’re visiting a store, the employees will be more than happy to help you select a few bags that are suited to your body size. 

If you’re looking for the best backpack for backpacking Europe, the Osprey brand has some great all-rounder backpacks. Osprey is the go-to essential Europe backpacking option and fits most people comfortably. 

2. Day bag

When you’re taking a day trip or going on a hike, you won’t want to bring your huge backpack with you. Leave most of your items locked safely at your accommodation and take along a day bag. Your best bet would be to purchase a foldable daypack that can fit into your bigger backpack.

It will need to fit essentials such as money, a snack, water, and maybe a change of clothes, so it shouldn’t be too big or bulky.

3. Padlocks

Padlocks are a quick, convenient, and inexpensive way to secure your bags and hostel lockers. When assembling your backpacking Europe essentials for your packing list, a small item like this can be a lifesaver! You can also use your luggage lock on your backpack during travel days, ensuring all your belongings are safe, including your passport.

4. Universal travel adapter

Your Europe backpacking packing list should include a universal travel adapter, which will work for your phone charger or any other electronic devices. 

The outlets in continental Europe use the same 2-pronged plug, but if you’re traveling in the UK and Ireland, you’ll need a different 3-pronged system. Rather than taking multiple chargers with you, a multifunctional adapter will do. 

5. Camera

The best travel camera for backpacking europe

Your phone camera is sufficient for everyday life, but backpacking around the world is an incredible experience that you will never want to forget!

Your travel photos will prove invaluable once you return from your epic journey, so be sure to capture all the incredible things you encounter along the way. Bring a camera that not only takes great pictures but also fits easily into your backpack.

These days, the majority of cameras are equipped with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities, so they can be transmitted easily to your laptop or phone to post them online.

You may wish to bring a high-tech DSLR camera to take stunning photographs. For some, a more compact point-and-shoot camera will suffice, and will fit in a day pack without taking up much space.

If you want to take your backpacking adventures to the next level, then consider bringing along a GoPro, which will accompany you everywhere from underwater adventures to skydiving during your European backpacking adventures.

6. Travel towel

Your essential backpacking Europe packing list should include a quick-drying travel towel, since you will be moving from hostel to hostel as you backpack between cities. My favorite travel towel is a Turkish towel which is quick to dry and easy to fit in your backpack. You can also use the towel as a privacy screen if you secure a bottom bunk in a hostel.

7. Power Bank

A power bank is one of the essentials on my backpacking Europe packing list, for multiple reasons. While traveling, you’ll be using your phone much more than normal – for navigation, taking photos, videos, or researching travel tips. On days like this, you’ll want to have a backup battery for your phone. 

I’ve also relied on my power bank during long travel journeys when I use my phone and want to make sure I have enough juice to find my way to the next destination.

8. Change purse

Reliance on physical money is surprisingly still pretty high throughout Europe. Plus, having lots of €1 and €2 Euro coins is a good idea if you want to leave behind tips or donate to street musicians that you’ll see on your trip. 

9. The right shoes

For your backpacking Europe packing list, don’t forget to throw in a pair of rubber sandals for the hostel showers. You should also bring a pair of comfortable but stylish walking shoes. Some nightlife spots will require a certain dress code, but you can get away with leather-style sneakers. And women can get away with stylish looking flats that are secretly super comfortable.

10. Hostel survival kit

If you’ll be staying in hostels, don’t forget these 4 backpacking Europe essentials. We call it the hostel survival kit:

11. The Best Apps for Backpacking Europe

The Best Apps for Backpacking Europe

And lastly, before heading off for your European backpacking adventure, you should load up your phone with a few essential apps that will make backpacking Europe a breeze.

Apps to book transportation from place to place

Given the relatively compact size of Europe, you can travel between major cities by train or bus. There are a few useful apps for European transportation that can help make sure you find the best deal while sticking to your schedule.

  • Omio – compare trains, buses, and flight options in Europe and travel using mobile tickets
  • Trainline – a popular app in the UK to find train and bus tickets 
  • Flixbus – a long-distance bus company that is a favorite mode of travel for budget backpackers
  • Kiwi – a flight search comparison site that helps you find the lowest prices
  • Skyscanner – another classic flight search website that has powerful flexible search options

Apps for Finding Accommodation in Europe

Apps to book discounted activities and Skip the Line tickets

Apps to stay in touch with friends and family back home

If you don’t want to change to an international mobile plan, you can use these apps over free public WiFi to stay in touch with people back home.