America’s highways are flanked by food establishments that have offerings that are marketed to practically every possible type of traveler on the road. But if one is taking the roads less traveled or is traveling abroad, those conveniences may not be readily available. If you’re taking a quick trip, “hanger” (the specific type of angry that comes from being hungry) isn’t a problem. But for longer trips, hanger can really hurt the experience. Here are some tips on making sure you don’t Hulk out because of hunger:
Prepare snacks with long shelf-life
The last thing you want when you’re hungry is to pull out the snack you prepared only to find out it’s gone bad. I usually have a trail mix of dried fruits, nuts, and cereal. They keep long, and unlike dried meats or candy bars, they don’t make me really thirsty. Drink too much, and well, that’s a whole different problem.
Avoid foods you know your tummy may not agree with
This should go without saying. If you know that cheese is going to send you to the bathroom after 30-40 minutes, avoid packing some for the trip. Yes, even if you know there will be pit stops along the way. You can never be sure about how clean the comfort rooms there are, so avoiding it altogether can help you avoid unpleasant situations.
Avoid anything that’s potentially messy
I love chocolate and am often sorely tempted to mix in some dark chocolate bits into my travel trail mix, I never do. Even if you’re super careful and mindful of what you’re doing, sooner or later, you are bound to get chocolate on something, be it your clothes, camera, or phone. If it melts or can spill you may want to think twice before packing it.
Always bring extra
Even if you’re traveling alone, packing extra is still a good idea. Delays happen; whether you’re stuck at an airport or traffic is bad, the chance of your trip taking longer than expected is a reality. Having extra snacks with you means you can fight off your hunger without worrying about running low later.
Do you have any favorite travel snacks? What’s your favorite travel mix recipe?
While there are a ton of apps and websites to help us plan our trips and find amazing deals, we unfortunately still don’t have anything to pack our bags for us. Thus, packing for a trip remains to be one of the more daunting parts of travel. While the bag you’re packing will change depending on your trip, there are some universal travel hacks you can use to make packing for any trip a lot simpler
Higher frequency needs more accessibility
Before packing, sort things by the frequency of use: the more you’re sure to use something on your trip, the more accessible it should be. For me, this usually means keeping my toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and first aid kit near the top, followed by situational use items like jackets or scarves so they’re easy to grab when needed.
Ziplock bags are your friend
Regardless of the trip I’m taking, I’ve found that it’s always a good idea to bring re-sealable plastic baggies of different sizes. One bag usually contains my bathroom stuff while another one or two contain snacks. I also usually keep one or two larger ones in the case in case my socks get wet and hanging them up to dry isn’t an option. When you know that there’s a possibility of bad weather, bringing plastic or waterproof bags you can use to separate your wet clothes from the rest of your baggage is always a good idea. This goes double for traveling abroad, as there may not be any laundromats available for a quick spin in the dryer.
When in doubt, check YouTube
While websites like WikiHow can provide steps for a lot of different packing methods and techniques, sometimes seeing how it’s done is a lot more helpful than reading each step. YouTube offers a veritable treasure trove of videos that show you how to fold, roll up, or package your clothes for any type of bag.
Do you have any packing techniques you’ve mastered over the years that you’d like to share? Be sure to check out our contact page for details on how to let us know?
While traveling alone can be fun, I personally love to travel with friends and family from time to time as well. The problem with traveling with a group is that most of the time, planning falls to just one person. It’s important that somebody take charge because if nobody does, the trip is almost guaranteed to fall apart. If you’re reading this, then this task is probably often delegated to you.
While planning for a group can seem daunting, it can be made easy by keeping a few things in mind and laying some ground rules for the group. Here are my two main steps:
Establish the organization of the group
When out with your friends hanging out at the local Starbucks or having dinner out, a purely democratic approach is the best way to go. When traveling, however, especially for trips that will take the group out of familiar settings, having a clearly designated leader is a must. This responsibility usually falls to the most experienced traveler of the group (who is also usually the one planning the trip).
Coming to an understanding of this before the trip even begins is important as it will prevent arguments given there’s an agreed leader to have the last say on decisions.
Remember that you can’t please everybody
Trying to come up with an itinerary that will make everyone completely happy is virtually impossible. On one hand, the reason you’re traveling as a group is for shared experiences. On the other hand, there may be some activities not everybody may be up for. Not everyone wants to travel miles and miles just to go to a museum or a park.
The key here is to find balance. What I often do is present a list of the possible areas of interest at each destination we’ll be visiting and see how many people want to visit each. The ones that have the interest of the majority get tagged as group visits, while I also allocate “individual time” for members of the group to split up. Just remember to make it clear that people have to meet back up by a certain time!
What are your ground rules for your travel groups?