Travel Tips For Enjoying The Great Outdoors

Great OutdoorsIf hiking and camping are what your family love to do, then consider planning a vacation based on these activities. This article will help you plan a fun and safe vacation in the wilderness or campground of your choice. Read on for more information to ensure you have all the bases covered before you travel to your destination.

The great outdoors is truly a wonderful playground for the whole family to explore. However, you want to be safe, especially if children are involved, so the first step is to chose a family friendly spot for your trip. One of the best ways to find a good location for camping and hiking is by asking your friends about the places they have enjoyed on their family vacations. Find out if they used a particular travel agency to help plan their excursion, where they stayed and what worked out and what did not. Don’t be afraid to tap your friends knowledge and experience, because often this is the best possible source of useful travel information.

Once you have some ideas of the area or region you want to visit, hit the internet and research the area for interesting trails or campgrounds. Find out if ranger guided excursions are available and accommodate children. These guide tours can be very educational and fun for every member of the family. Often, the guides will share historical or geographical information along the trail making for a more interesting hike.

Research geological formations near your destination. A side trip to visit a cave, river or unusual outcropping can be a fun break from your campground home base. Make sure you are prepared for anything, so bring swim wear, rain gear and warm underwear and outerwear. The weather can be very unpredictable so keep this in mind.

Purchase maps of all parks or wildlife preserves you plan to hike so you will not end up lost. Always call home and let someone know where you are going and check in each night. That way, if you don’t check in, you will have someone who knows how to find you.

Make sure your gear is in good shape before you leave home. Assemble your tent and look for problems like leaks or tears that will need to be repaired. Fire up your cook stove to make sure it works. You don’t want to find out at the campsite that your equipment is broken.

When you embark on a hiking excursion that will last more than an hour it is best to bring some water and food along. All members of the hiking party should carry two liters of water. It may be heavy but this way, if any delays or problems occur, you will have enough water to fend off dehydration. Trail mix, protein bars and jerky are great trail foods that do not weigh very much and offer a lot of sustenance.

A little planning up front can make your trip go smoother. By using these tips you should be able to plan a safe and fun outdoor vacation your whole family will enjoy. So, start your research now and put together a plan to enjoy the beauty of nature alone, or with your family.

5 Travel Tips For Exploring A Destination

Travel Tip One – FoursquareExploring A Destination

Foursquare for those that don’t know is a location-based social network where people tag themselves at locations while leaving tips to gain badges and score the most points against their friends. What started out as more of a game than anything else has now turned into a vast resource of tips and suggestions as users leave feedback on where they’ve been from all around the world.

I like to think of it as a better version of TripAdvisor crossed with speaking to a local as the content is curated from both locals and travellers. It’s my number one go to app when looking for a place to eat and has served me well many times over. My best find so far would have to have been a burger joint discovered down a little Paris street. It’s the last thing you’d think to go to in Paris but that’s the joy of travel, finding the unique in all destinations.

Travel Tip Two – Twitter/Facebook

This might be better suited to the social butterflies of the world but both Facebook and Twitter play a big role in helping me to find great travel tips on new places. While I’m lucky that I’ve got an army of followers to help answer questions the same tips can be used by anybody else. Asking questions on either social network while using hashtags for the specific area will normally result in helpful answers from complete strangers.

Combine that with joining specific groups on Facebook on a destination or asking influential individuals/bloggers via comments on their Facebook page or sending a tweet normally unearths a wealth of tips. Many are more than happy to help answer questions and will often pose the question to their followers for you.

Even Instagram can be the perfect tool to finding places to visit. I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at Tourism Australia’s account and noted down places I MUST see next time I’m home.

Travel Tip Three – Free Walking Tours

I’ve written about this recently but Free Walking Tours are run all over the world now and are a unique way to explore a city. Most run for 3-4 hours with tour guides directing you to many well know and a few lesser visited tourist attractions around a city.

Not only will you get to explore a new city but you’ll get to do so with a bunch of strangers who are all full of amazing travel knowledge as well. Word of mouth travel tips can be just as good as chatting to a local in my opinion. It was by chance that I learnt about a hostel along the Amalfi Coast from others taking part in a free walking tour. To this day it’s still the best hotel/hostel I’ve ever stayed in and one of my favourite parts of the world as well.

Travel Tip Four – Travel Blogs

I guess it would be remiss of me not to mention researching destinations via a travel blog, especially since I own one. While not all travel blogs are equal many are filled with helpful first hand knowledge of a destination. Travel bloggers are passionate about travel and often go to great lengths to research a topic and share the knowledge they learn with the world.

Travel Tip Five – Ask A Local

And lastly I bring you perhaps the oldest trick in the book but asking locals about the best places in their town will always trump a guide book’s suggestion. This is where it pays to learn a little of the local language. It shows a willingness to learn about the area and I’ve always been greeted with a smile and help even if I’ve butchered their language trying to get my point across. It’s all about the effort, the more you put in the more you get in return.

Be it the owner of the place your staying, the cleaner, the guy at the bus stop or a friendly shop owner. All have much more knowledge on their town than you ever will and taking 10 minutes to talk to them could well find you a hidden gem that’s well off the beaten path in the middle of even the biggest cities like London or Rome.

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