Best Gifts Ideas For Couples

Finding the perfect gift for your favorite couple is a daunting task. Since in most cases each person in the relationship usually has different personalities and enjoys different things, which makes it difficult to find the perfect gift ideas for couples.

Anniversaries, weddings, parties or even a thank you is a perfect time to give a gift to a couple to show your gratitude. Each situation is different, which mean there are many different gifts for different occasions.

This list of couples gift was created to showcase some of the gifts that we’ve found on the internet, that might ease your search for that perfect present and hopefully, they’ll both love it and won’t want to return it…

Unique Gifts For Couples


Anniversary Gifts For Couples


Gifts For Married Couples


Engagement Gifts For Couples


Wedding Gifts For Couples


Gifts For Young Couples


Gifts For Older Couples


Personalized Gifts For Couples


Funny Gifts For Couples


Christmas Gifts For Couples


House Warming Gifts For Couples


Adult Gifts For Couples (Things They Won’t Admit They Want)

If none of these gift ideas for couples are what you’re looking for and don’t think that the couple you’re buying for won’t like them, then check out our shop, where there are tons of different gift ideas that could satisfy all those important people in your life.

Remember though… money is always a great option, everyone can use money and no one ever wanted to return cold hard cash.

The more languages we know, the more doors around the globe are opened for us. Learning a language can never be a negative thing because by knowing a foreign language you basically get to know a new universe – the culture, the people, the places, the food. The list is endless. The question is, where, how and which language to learn? Well, you can try to learn as many as you physically and mentally can, but the best way to do so is to go to some of these places in order to get the best linguistic experience possible.

4 of the Best Countries to Learn Another Language

Quebec City, Canada learning french

Study French In Canada

When you travel to a different country, you certainly don’t want to be “lost in translation”. As you get to learn a new language, you get to learn the people and their traditions and customs. Being in Canada, one of the multicultural countries, is the most thrilling way to learn even two languages. French is the mother tongue of more than six million people, but English is the official language as well. If you happen to be an English speaker or you know English better and want to learn French, then choosing any of the schools in Quebec might be the win-win option. People might be speaking French in slightly different intonation than in France, but you will be able to learn all the grammatical and linguistic terms and characteristics.

Study Spanish in Costa Rica

The Spanish language is one of the most spoken languages in the world, next to English, French, and German. Due to its popularity, and the ability for the learners to acquire it more easily, people opt to learn it because they will also have an opportunity to go to sunny places. People are misled when they think that you have to go to Spain to learn Spanish. To get the best experience abroad, low-cost but effective schooling and beautiful weather you should go to Costa Rica. As one of the many countries where Spanish is spoken, Costa Rica is not so over-crowded with tourists. There are many language experts that can transfer knowledge equally professionally as if you were in Spain, but for less money and a more hands-on approach. You will not have much comfort in speaking English, so you will only succumb to speaking Spanish thus, learning it is inevitable. Sydney, Australia learning English

Study English in Australia

London is too jam-packed with tourists and people around the globe who go there to find work. You will actually get the best experience possible by studying English in Sydney, Australia. Known for beautiful weather, dazzling beaches, friendly people, and bustling architect, Sydney is undoubtedly the best place there is. By enrolling in Sydney College of English, to study this number one world language, you will have the opportunity to become more fluent, meet people from all around the globe, get an official certificate and even learn about their culture, history, and pick up the Aussie slang. The enchanting blue sea hasn’t left any visitor disappointed so, after the lessons, you can head out to the beach for a quick surf with the locals and immerse yourself into learning the language even more.

Study German in Switzerland

A country where there are more official languages, four in this case, Switzerland is perfectly tucked in central Europe, making it ideal to learn more that one language. You can even learn to speak French or Italian, but learning to speak German might be the most effective. Zürich is the ideal place to explore everything. You can easily hop in on a train and explore the whole central Europe and that way enhances your ability to acquire the German language. Many schools in Zürich allow you to practice German as you do other fun activities that locals do like skiing in the Alps, visiting various museums, participating in the walking tours around the old town, and so on. The interesting thing is that you will have a chance to take in a lot of things connected to the German language in this small but perfectly formed country. The best way to learn a foreign language is to pick it up on the go. Whether you are rock climbing, surfing or mingling with the locals while you are preparing a delicious dish, language is definitely best learned when you don’t have the choice to speak your mother tongue.


About The Author

Leila Dorari is an entrepreneur and freelance writer from Sydney. She is passionate about exploring different places across the globe and believes that first you need to get lost before you can get found. In her free time you can usually find her hiking with her furry four-legged friend.

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Best Countries to learn a second language

By Kacey Mya of The Drifter Collective

Maintaining a healthy diet while traveling challenges the most avid adventurers. You must graze upon what’s readily available, and if you’re between flights or own a plane, the challenge makes you feel like you’re on an episode of “Survivor.” For those with dietary restrictions, it can risk your life.

Suddenly, a bag of baked chips costs the price of a fancy latte. You order a “dollar” menu burger for breakfast — sure, it’ll do, and you tell yourself you’ll make up for it by eating healthier later. Don’t wait for whenever that’ll be and prepare in advance with these airplane snacks and packing tips for every eater.

Fig and Fruit Bars

Bring fig and fruit bars along with you on the plane. What’s not love about a part-cookie, part-cake snack? There’s fruit in there, so it’s healthy.

You can find the prepacked fig and fruit bars in the granola bar area of the grocery store. You can also make your own and seal them in sandwich bags.

String Cheese

Want something the whole family will eat? Try string cheese as a simple peel-and-eat treat without any fuss or mess. You and your child can enjoy peeling apart each string, and this motion benefits developing motor skills in youngsters.

Purchase them individually-sealed to maintain optimal freshness, or vacuum seal each individually. If on a long flight, choose a hardier cheese to endure the hours. Keep this dairy item fresh in an insulating and cooling travel snack bag with other fruits and cold items.

Dried Fruits and Vegetable Slices

Dried fruit and vegetable chips satisfy cravings for crunchy snacks. Fruit and vegetables turn brown when plant tissue is exposed to oxygen —  enzymes inside the chloroplasts quickly oxidize compounds in the fruit tissues. Dry fruits and vegetables slowly in a dehydrator or the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit until crisp.

Purchase small containers with airtight lids perfect for dipping sauces. Pack peanut butter, honey or whatever else you like.

vegetable tray an airplane snack ideas

Sliced Vegetable Straws for Dipping

Prefer dipping “fries” over chips? Instead of dehydrating chips, simply slice up hardy vegetables into straws perfect for dipping, such as carrots, celery, broccoli and cauliflower. Don’t forget the sauces.

Go Nuts with Trail Mix

Choose nuts for their simplicity and protein count to tide your appetite over until the plane lands. Many campers and hikers use dried fruits and nuts to make their trail mix because these ingredients travel well and satiate various cravings while meeting nutritional needs. You can mix bananas, raisins and other nuts for an energy boost, or if you want big flavor, opt for Cajun spices the mix. Add dark chocolate nibs for sweetness.

Purchase ready-made trail mix at the store or online or make your own trail mix. A compostable bag with a zip lock makes this snack eco-friendly and fuss-free.

Squeezable Applesauce + Other Ideas

Squeezable applesauce is fantastic for traveling toddlers and families, but they’re also great for the professional with a strong inner child. You know what they say — an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
It’s all in the perspective you take. You’re less likely to get your business suit messy when you squeeze an applesauce pouch as versus eating out of a plastic cup with a spoon.

With trial and error, make your own homemade and refillable pouches for applesauce and other ingredients, such as guacamole to squeeze on your chips. You can also seal peanut butter and other items this way. Open your airplane snack options with squeezable pouches, even if you feel a bit like a childish mad genius.

Jerky

Jerky is a protein-rich, travel-friendly classic for meat lovers. It’s not only for the trail — jerky is a nutritional snack on the plane, too. From smoky to spicy, it comes in many flavors and endures in individual packaging or together in its original packaging.

Tips For Packing Your Airplane Snacks

From fruit bars to jerky, these simple snacks will fit in a food-friendly, temperature-controlled bag that you can easily slip underneath your chair for a treat as you get hungry. You can satisfy your cravings and meet your dietary needs.

Place heavier items at the bottom of the bag and lighter, squeezable items on the top. It doesn’t take much to fill you up when you pack the right mix of healthy fats, sweets, carbs and protein. Bon voyage!

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Porch.com, Tripping.com and more!

Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!


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Airplane snacks and packing tips


While this article was sponsored in partnership with ChromaDex, all opinions are, as always, our own. Remember to always consult a physician before making drastic changes to diet or exercise or before taking any new supplement or vitamin.

While we travel a lot and try to keep up with 20-somethings, we know our bodies aren’t what they used to be—getting older affects the way we think, feel and look. That’s mostly because we put a lot of strain on our bodies when we travel. We change diets, lose sleep, and are regularly exposed to the sun and other pollutants around us.

Even if our lifestyle wasn’t full of frequent changes and unpredictable schedules, we’d still be subjected to the day-to-day stressors that add up and take a toll on our energy and overall health.

That’s why we’re always looking for innovative, scientifically-proven ways of staying healthy. We don’t really do fads, so we wanted to find something that was preventative and worked on a cellular level, not just on the surface. Our research got us interested in some new and extensive studies surrounding a molecule called NAD+.

What is NAD+ & Why Do We Need It?

NAD+ is actually found in every living cell in our bodies. But its levels decline as we age or expose ourselves to stressors like:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Poor diet and overeating
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor sleep and changes to your body’s natural rhythms and cycles
  • Sun exposure

Which means, the lower our NAD+ levels are, the harder it is for our cells to break down food and turn it into energy. The higher our NAD+ levels are, the easier our cells can perform their crucial functions and processes.

Right now, studies are being designed to show that higher NAD+ levels may be connected to everything from energy levels, sleep quality, mental clarity and skin health.

Ways to Boost Levels of NAD+

Since we’re travelling so much and lead a busy lifestyle, it’s not easy to avoid these stressors. We want to be less fatigued and have more energy. We want to have a better quality of sleep and a better sense of well-being. Even if we have a healthy lifestyle, our NAD+ levels will inevitably decline either from aging or just making other choices that stress our cells out… but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it.

So we researched and found a clinically-proven way to increase NAD+ levels.

This NAD+ Booster is Backed by Science

We love our active lifestyle and want to keep up this pace for as long as we can, even as we age. So as soon as we heard the buzz about increasing NAD+ levels, we decided we wanted to add TRU NIAGEN™ to our morning routine.

The key ingredient in TRU NIAGEN™ is an incredibly effective form of vitamin B3 known as nicotinamide riboside that is clinically proven to increase NAD+ levels. And because NAD+ levels are essential to our cells staying strong and healthy, this kind of research has the potential to improve every organ in our bodies.

We may not be able to reverse the aging process, but we can redefine the way we age—and increasing NAD+ levels may be one of the best ways to do it.

Join us on our TRU NIAGEN™ journey today!       (Canadians click here)

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staying healthy whie travelling

Cuba has long been a popular destination for vacations, especially for people looking for all-inclusive vacations and resorts that offer beautiful beaches and all the mojitos you want. Unlike many other destinations however, Cuba has been nested in a socio-political atmosphere unlike any other destination of its kind. It’s because of this that travellers often want to know more about the ins and outs of travel to the country and what to expect, and do, even when staying at all-inclusive resorts on the island.

We’ve been to Cuba several times and have visited quite a few resorts and with each experience we took home a tip or two about staying at one of their resorts. It seems like each time we learn something new and our last trip to Cayo Santa Maria, thanks to tripcentral.ca, was a wonderful experience that gave us even more insight.

No matter where you book your resort, what star it is or how long you plan to stay, we’ve put together 5 of our top travel tips for resorts in Cuba that you’ll want to consider before you go!

Bring Things To Give Away

This was a controversial subject on our last visit to the Cuba. For years, it was a given. When you travel to Cuba, you bring a bunch of things to give away to those working at the resort. This time, we found thread after thread online discussing why bringing things is not welcomed by the people of Cuba and is no longer a good idea. People repeatedly said it was an insult to the Cubans to receive goods in lieu of cash tips, that handing them toiletries, clothes or toys at any time was suggesting they It seems that ss the country’s political climate has been changing, so has the country’s entire socio-economic structure and that has given to changes in the way others around the world view the country and their behaviour towards it.

We decided to do a little research of our own while we were there and talk to those working on the resorts we were visiting. What we found was that there

Book Your A La Carte Right Away & Think of Sunsets

Something we try and do right away when we get to an all-inclusive resort is get our a la carte restaurant reservations booked. Though what restaurants and how many a la carte dinners are included with your stay differs depending on what resort you go to, the one thing that stays consistent is the demand for them.

Especially in high-season, reservations can book up fast, so it’s good practice to get yours booked as soon as possible. This guarantees you get the restaurant(s) you want as well as the day and time that suits you best. One huge factor that always plays into the timing of our reservations is sunsets. Depending on where you are staying in Cuba, you may have the opportunity to witness some beautiful sunsets and if you’re hoping to catch as many as you can, you’ll want to make sure you’ve booked your a la cartes around sunset hours.

Of course, since we can never predict what the skies have in store, we like to keep sunset hours free on all the days to make sure we’ll catch at least one or two beautiful sunsets!

 cayo santa maria cuba resorts

Know Your Drinks

Whether you drink alcoholic beverages or not, your all-inclusive package is going to include unlimited drinks of any variety. Between a limited availability of products (though these limitations seem to be less and less with each passing year), translations and the like, you may be surprised to find your favourite beverage doesn’t taste exactly as you expected… but that doesn’t mean it can’t.

We’ve had so many people mention the taste of their drinks to us while at resorts. The coffee was an espresso rather than a regular coffee, the rye and ginger didn’t taste right, the list goes on. The problem may lay more at your feet than at the bartenders’ or resorts’.

Instead of just asking for your cocktail or mixed beverage, ask for them to be made with specific liquors (that you may already know you like) when you order. While it’s true that not all resorts will include all the alcohol options (some may charge more for top-shelf liquors), you’ll still be better off finding the best ones for the drinks you like.

A tip for rum drinkers? If you can, Havana Club 7 year is found at most resorts and will up the quality of any of your rum beverages from the basic bottled rums they may use. For non-drinkers, ask if there’s a special virgin cocktail that the bartender makes (you’ll be surprised at the tasty concoctions you can find at resorts that come without booze) and be specific when ordering your coffee beverages – some of the names may be the same but the composition of your brew may not!

Bring What Cash You Need

This is something we get reminded of time and time again, AFTER we’re already in Cuba. We always think we’ve brought enough cash with us and figure we’ll be fine. We always wind up down to our last dollar (or should we say peso) and have some minor stresses about what will happen if we need some cash at customs or at the airport.

As of this article, Cuba still does not accept American credit cards or any credit card affiliated with American companies (which is a vast majority of them around the world). Since ATMs aren’t widespread, you’ll need to bring the cash you need so you can convert it once you are in Cuba.

It’s hard to know exactly how much you’ll need especially since, if you’re at an all-inclusive, you’ve already pre-paid for everything. What you’ll need to think of is souvenirs, excursions, any transportation for sightseeing, wifi cards, emergency money (e.g. medicine at the resort) and tips. You don’t have to convert all of it unless you need it but it helps to have extra on hand. If there’s a safe at your resort it also won’t make it a hardship to have as you can lock it up and forget it unless you need it.

A tip about tips? Leave them! It is greatly appreciated and a few dollars here and there for those who do a great job does make a difference.

Prep Your Apps and Downloads Before You Go

This is another lesson learned too late: make sure you have any apps and downloads completed before you leave for your trip. While you can get wifi (there are 1.50 CUC per hour cards that can be purchased at resorts) it is unpredictable and you probably won’t be able to get through larger downloads.

If you’ve prepped ahead you’ll be able to upload photos to social media, send emails and even Skype/Facetime. You’ll also want to make sure your audio library is stocked and any e-books are ready to go as well!

 

 

By Kacey Mya of Drifter Collective

Going on a trip means that you’re going to have to pay for a place to stay, and there are so many options to choose from nowadays that it can be difficult figuring out what to do. Do you book a rental from your phone, or reserve a hotel room online? When you’re traveling, staying in a place where quality is guaranteed can make the whole trip worth it, which is why luxury hotels are the best places to stay at on vacation.

If you’re going to spend more money than usual on your room, you have to know what to look for. Not only should you keep your eyes out for any deals on your room package and any extra amenities your hotel may include (think restaurants and bars), you should also look for the small things. Not all five star hotels have the perks you’re used to, and they could make all the difference.

Free Wifi

More affordable hotels almost always offer free wifi as part of your room deal. It makes for a great advertising opportunity to draw travelers in who just want to relax and surf the web after a long day on the road. Not all luxury hotels will include this though. Pay close attention to the details listed under your chosen room option to see if wifi is free or not, and prepare to work it into your budget if it’s an extra charge.

Sometimes free wifi makes the difference between staying at a particular hotel or not, depending on your budget and how long you plan to stay there. It’s easy to forget that it’s not freely offered at every venue, so don’t forget to check before you click that reserve button!

Complimentary Breakfast

tea and towels hotel amenities

Free breakfast is another amenity that many hotel guests take for granted. It can save you a good chunk of money in your meal budget, especially if you plan on staying somewhere long term. Some luxury hotels include this feature in the room price and some don’t, even though complimentary breakfasts were recently discovered to be one of the top three hotel room amenities.

If having a free breakfast or not is what makes you choose to stay somewhere, you’re not alone. Make sure that when you pay top dollar to stay at a luxury hotel, you’ll also get some food included in what you pay so you can grab a snack for the road before you head out on an early vacation adventure.

Free Parking

Depending on where you live, the idea of not having free parking at a hotel could seem crazy. Most regularly priced hotels don’t make you worry about parking, but it really depends on the location that you’re staying at. Because luxury hotels are often where people visit the most, you may end up forking over money just to leave your car in the lot.

This is another feature that many guests consider a deal breaker. Free parking is actually one of the most important features a hotel offers, according to a survey taken by frequent travelers. That’s because the price of parking can really add up, and the cost isn’t exactly predictable if you don’t know how much you’ll be going in and out of the lot on your trip.

lowes hotel vogue montreal

Blackout Curtains

Not everyone thinks about curtains when they’re trying to find an available hotel room, but curtains can be the one thing that turns a good hotel experience into a bad one. Don’t just assume that your luxury hotel has these in each room. Call ahead of time and ask if the curtains in your room will blackout lights or not. These kinds of curtains are one of the things that should always be in hotels, so if your luxury hotel doesn’t have them, you’ll know to spend your money somewhere else.

 

Just because you’re planning on spending money on a luxury hotel doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to have a great time just because of the price tag. Hotel experiences come down to the little things, like the amenities that you’ll be using. Do all the research you can on the luxury hotels you’re looking at to make sure these basic needs are included in your room payment, because they can make a great trip quickly turn into a terrible experience.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!


By Taylor Schear of SOFLOFOODFINDS

We all know that traveling is fun, but let’s be honest… it’s not easy. I always go through the dilemma of what to pack, what to wear, and most importantly how to make it all fit in the suitcase! My biggest dilemma is what to stick in my carry on for flights. I fly into a new city and within the first hour have to be in a meeting. There is no time to spare, and I surely can’t go digging through my suitcase.

5 Things You Shouldn’t Travel Without

After much trial and error I have put together a list of my tried and true travel essentials.

Essential #1: Mable Toothbrush

Mable Toothbrush ranks at the top of my list due to the amount of times it comes in handy. Something about gum just doesn’t cut it for me. I always feel like I need to brush my teeth at the airport before heading out to a business meeting. The best part about Mable is the fact that it helps save the planet. Rather than the plastic toothbrushes everyone is used to, Mable is made of biodegradable bamboo and vegetable based coloring. The toothbrush stands on its own, which is a lifesaver for those airport and hotel bathrooms!

Essential #2: Monkey Mat

Alright so this may seem far-fetched at first glance, but adding a Monkey Mat to my carry on has probably been one of the best choices I have made when it comes to traveling. For those not familiar with the product, Monkey Mat is a 5’ x 5’ mat that stuffs into a pouch the size of a softball. The mat is water resistant and has weighted corners. Honestly, it’s great as a replacement for a beach towel or picnic blanket. However it has a complete different purpose for my travels. The mat is great for layovers at airports. Every time I have a long layover, everyone has already taken the seats at the terminal, and the last thing I want to do is sit on the dirty floor. Well, I use the Monkey Mat as my portable clean floor, and it works like a charm!

Essential #3: Bobble

essentials for carry ons

Bobble is one of the best products ever created. Purchasing water at airports is like buying a beer at a baseball game… expensive. I toss my Bobble in my backpack empty (makes it past security) and then fill it up at one of the water fountains once inside the gate. The filter takes all of the unwanted items out and leaves you with water comparable or even better than the $8 bottles the little kiosk tries selling you.

Essential #4: Healthy Snacks

You knew this was coming… no one can make it through a flight without eating. I am all about staying full for as long as possible. The problem with having meetings right after a flight is it leaves you no time to grab an actual meal, and I’m sorry but typically airplane food won’t cut it. I have three snacks that I carry with me at all times: Super Yummys, Goodness Knows, and Kind Bars. Super Yummys comes in handy when I have a sweet tooth. The coconut snacks have less than 80 calories each and give me just enough sweetness where I’m not craving more. Goodness Knows is a go to since the bar is separated into 4 larger bites. I like this due to the fact, I can eat half and then save the rest for after the flight easily. Lastly, Kind Bars are just plain amazing. The amount of protein and minimal sugar makes me feel all good inside.

Essential #5: TOMS Backpack

This is what holds all the pieces in place. Can’t pack a good carry on without the proper bag. TOMS is known for their iconic shoes, but what people don’t know is that they make amazing backpacks. I refuse to use any other bag besides theirs for a carry on. The backpack is larger than the typical which allows me to carry more. Additionally, it has a padded laptop holder, side pockets, and loops for clip ons. Not only that, but I love the philanthropic side of the business. For every backpack purchased, TOMS helps assist a safe birth for a mother in need.

 

 


Taylor Shear ProfileABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hey guys… it’s Taylor Schear! Thanks for reading! I always love being able to share my passion for food and adventure with others! If you have enjoyed joining me on my food quest throughout the South, then make sure to continue to follow me! I am @soflofoodfinds on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. For more food travel guides then check out soflofoodfinds.com!

 

 

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Eco-friendly tourism, sustainable tourism, green travel, the list of buzz phrases we’ve developed to describe a more responsible, more attentive way of experiencing the world is pretty lengthy. All of these have become hugely popular and hotly debated. The impact that travel has on the environment, cultures and wildlife are issues that have come to the forefront of people’s’ minds as they choose how and where to travel. There are also often differing views on what these buzz words mean, how they should be implemented and what it really means to ‘travel responsibly’. It can be expensive, time-consuming, confusing and frustrating to sort through and choose an option that feels right and many times people just avoid it altogether.

simple ways to make a difference when you travel pin 2

6 Things Every Traveller Can Do To Make A Difference

While we don’t have all the answers and certainly muddle our own way through our efforts to travel with the most positive impact possible, we’ve come up with a few things that every traveller can do to make a difference while they travel. These six ideas can be easily incorporated, are inexpensive and only really require a little extra effort and some thought.

 

 

 

Just Say No To Straws

straws

This is something we’ve been trying to incorporate into our everyday experience when we dine out. When we found out that in the US alone, approximately 500 million straws are used per day, we were astonished. Add to that the fact that:

  • they aren’t always recycled,
  • contain BPA,
  • contribute to the 8 million tonnes of plastic that enter the ocean every year,
  • are harmful to animals,
  • and are one of the top ten items found as litter on beaches

The list could go on but it’s pretty clear that straws are really cylindrical tubes of destruction when it comes to the environment.

What would happen if we all just did away with straws? Next time you go to a restaurant while travelling, or at home, make sure to ask for your water or drinks without a straw. For us, this is the hardest thing to remember as that initial interaction tends to happen fast or, if we do remember, we are inevitably brought one already opened anyway.

If you stop at a fast food restaurant, take your drink without a lid and drink from the cup. Wherever you find a straw imposed upon you, find a way to prevent it from happening the next time. And if you really need to use a straw? Get an alternative like a compostable, stainless steel or glass straw to take with you when you leave the house!

Something like the SipWell Stainless Steel Drinking Straws or Green Heart Stainless Steel BPA Free Reusable Straws are great alternatives to the disposable plastic ones we see everyday!

Waste Not, Want Not!

At this point, you may be asking, “So, I’ve gotten rid of the straws, but what do I do with the disposable cups and lids I’m always holding?”. There’s a simple answer but this time it requires more than just thought and effort, it requires a little cash.

If you’re inclined to fork over a bit of dough to help the cause, buying and bringing a tumbler or water bottle whenever you travel can make a huge impact. In certain countries where clean water is hard to find, this may get a bit tricky. Our advice is to find out how the locals source clean water. For example, in Thailand, there are larger bottles that are refilled regularly with drinkable water. We used these extensively while there and it cut down not only on waste, but also cost of water.

If you’re travelling light, or are concerned about the weight and size of a bottle, you can always go with the collapsible kind – like these Collapsible Silicone Water Bottles – which work great even when you’re at home and going out for the day.

You may find you can’t, or won’t, use one in all scenarios and destinations but by incorporating it as much as possible, you’re still reducing your footprint and eliminating a significant amount of plastic waste.

Want A Clean Beach? Help Clean It Yourself!

beach cleanup

We all love going to a beautiful beach so seeing trash along the shoreline or in the sand is not only an eyesore, but also frustrating. We’ll trudge our way through the sand, carrying our towels, chairs and coolers and grumble under our breaths about how inconsiderate people are as we nudge discarded pieces of trash to the side.

Not only are these items blights on a beautiful sandy landscape, they are also incredible harmful for wildlife. Garbage can be mistaken for food and can be especially harmful to sea turtles who nest on beaches and their offspring who are born there.

A brilliant way to do your part? Bring a bag with you when you go to a beach (or a park or other outdoor destination where litter is often seen). All you need to do is pick up the garbage from your car (or drop off point) to where you choose to sit and back again.  If everyone were to do that, think of how garbage-free and wildlife-friendly beaches and other outdoor areas would be. Of course, spreading the word and recommending this to others increases the amount of garbage pick-up that will go on, the number of beautiful outdoor spaces that are clean and the amount of wildlife saved!`

Leave The Paper Trail & Take Photos

We recently saw a brilliant concept at the Brevard Zoo in Florida where the focus on conservation and education was evident in almost every aspect of the property as was their dedication to the environment. What we thought was especially inspired was their lack of paper maps. Instead, visitors are encouraged to take a photo of the main map (’cause who doesn’t have their phone or camera with them?) and use it to navigate. At the start of each of the larger exhibit entrances, another map specific to that area is displayed to look at or snap a photograph.

While this would be an amazing thing at many of the attractions around the world, it realistically won’t be happening overnight. So why not play your part and take a photo of the large maps most sites have displayed at the entrance and skip grabbing one of the handheld paper ones? Encouraging those in your group to do the same could even start something down the line.

If Your Body Says Yes, Walk Or Cycle

bicycle riding in europe

This may not be for everyone depending on their physical abilities but it’s something to consider if you’re able. We often forego taxis, driving or other forms of transportation while we explore a destination and opt to use our own two feet. Whether we’re walking (which is the majority of the time for us) or cycling, we find we can really get a better feel for local life and even spot some hidden gems we otherwise would have missed.

Not only does this allow you a different perspective, it also keeps your heart healthy and saves you from using more environmentally harmful transportation methods.

Though the saying “it’s like riding a bike” is popular, we’re not sure how easy it is to hop on a bike after an extended period of time without riding and navigate the streets of some of the crazier cities, but walking at least some of the way is a good way to cut down on your footprint.

End The Shame. Pee In The Shower

It’s something that few people talk about. It’s a closeted practice that few admit to and yet it could save gallons of water every time you do it. Yep, that’s right. Peeing in the shower is one of the most environmentally friendly things you can do and it’s even got benefits for you too!

While there doesn’t seem to be any sanitary risks (urine should be basically sterile in healthy individuals) there could be potential health benefits with respect to cleanliness. In fact there are a whole host of potential benefits of peeing in the shower!

But we’re talking about the environment right? Not only will you reduce toilet paper consumption but you’ll also be saving up to several gallons of water per flush you avoid by letting the shower water do the job. There has been criticism that doing this prolongs shower time thus reducing the benefit, but calculations have shown it’s a small reduction and the water-saving benefits of peeing in the shower are still huge.

Imagine how much you could save on a daily basis, not just when you travel? But in countries where water processing is not as developed, where water is hard to come by or where water usage is conserved, going number one while you are showering can be considered doing your part to helping the environment and cutting down on your footprint!

All The Small Things

Really, we believe it’s about the small things. It’s about changing the way you think about the environment and your role in it. Small things add up and can add up large. Once we eliminate the detachment most people feel to the environment and start changing the apathy people have when it comes to their own pollution and creating waste, we’ll find that the destinations we travel to will be kept cleaner and safer for longer.

It’s a group effort and it takes time. It doesn’t have to be a trip dedicated to environmental cleanup. It doesn’t have to be a volunteer opportunity that you sign up for. It’s about making a point to contribute in ways that you can, wherever you go and as often as possible.

 

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By Natalie Wilson of Musical Advisors

Music is a universal art form, which makes the nomadic lifestyle a great fit for musicians of all types. Traveling and sharing music can be one of the most enjoyable ways to see the world. However, many musicians struggle to find ways to keep their instruments in good shape as they move from place to place. Often, moving instruments around, checking them as baggage on planes, and bringing them to environments with extreme temperatures can result in bangs, scratches, and cracked wood. However, traveling with an instrument can be a positive experience if you plan ahead to reduce the likelihood of any damage.

How To Go Travelling With Instruments

Here are some helpful tips for taking instruments while you travel:

Choose Travel-Friendly Instruments

mandolin and banjo

Some instruments are just made to be traveling with. These travel-friendly instruments will be lightweight and compact. For example, a ukulele is an excellent instrument to travel with because it’s so light that it won’t add much weight to your total luggage, but it will add countless sing-alongs. A tuba, on the other hand, might be a little more difficult to travel with.

You might find that large, heavy instruments are too burdensome to carry around and they might put a damper on your trip. Here are some other travel-friendly instruments that will add some extra enjoyment to your next trip:

  • Guitar
  • Mandolin
  • Banjo
  • Harmonica
  • Violin
  • Fiddle
  • Flute
  • Clarinet

Extra Padding

This is one of the most important tips because it will reduce the likelihood of your instrument getting banged up or scratched as it moves from place to place. When you place your instrument in its case, try laying down some towels or cloths to wrap your instrument in a protective layer. This extra padding will reduce the amount of room your instrument has to move around in its case, which will help to prevent the instrument from getting damaged.

Buy Your Instrument a Seat

If you’re planning on flying and you have a high-quality instrument, you might want to consider purchasing your instrument a seat on the plane. Many airlines now offer this as an option because of too many complaints about instruments getting damaged when they’re checked as regular baggage. If you’re instrument is expensive, it’s highly recommended you consider this option to prevent the instrument from breaking in the baggage compartment.

Additionally, if your instrument is made of wood, it might crack when exposed to very cold environments. By buying an extra seat, you’ll be able to ensure that your instrument is kept in an area with a mild temperature. Although buying an extra seat is expensive, replacing a high-end instrument will likely be much more.

Purchase a Lower Quality Instrument

old violin

If you have a high-end instrument that you’re worried about damaging on a trip, you might want to consider leaving it in a safe place, such as at home or at a friend’s house and purchasing a low-end travel instrument. When you purchase a cheap instrument specifically for the purpose of traveling, you’ll be much less upset if it becomes scratched or dented along the way.

When we’re traveling, we usually don’t have as much control over the environments our instruments will be exposed to. Not only is your instrument more likely to get damaged on a trip, in rare cases, some musicians have reported their instruments as having been stolen. Purchasing an instrument that won’t break the bank will prevent all of these worries from interfering with you enjoying your trip.

Buy a Humidifier

This tip also applies to instruments that are made of wood. If you plan on traveling in a cold and dry environment, you might want to invest in a small humidifier for your case. If you have a guitar, for example, you can buy a small humidifier that will sit between the strings of your instrument and maintain a humidified environment. This will prevent the wood from cracking.

Create a Strategic Pedalboard

If you play electric guitar and plan on traveling with technology, such as effect pedals, you’ll want to be strategic about the devices you bring with you. While at home you might be able to incorporate three boost pedals on a pedalboard, it might be more useful to only bring one when you’re trying to travel lightly. Consider what the absolute essential pedals are, and try to leave some of the not-so-necessary pedals at home. In fact, it can be easy if you know how to set up a pedalboard.

Ready To Take Your Instrument On The Road?

musician guitar

Hopefully, you found these tips on how to travel with an instrument useful. Traveling and playing music can be highly rewarding. Music is universal, and you’ll, therefore, be likely to make many new friends and acquaintances along the way by playing songs everyone can enjoy on your instrument.

When you’re trying to determine which instrument you should bring on your travels, search for one that will be lightweight and won’t take up a lot of room. In terms of technological musical devices, ask yourself what is absolutely necessary to bring, and leave the rest at home to make your luggage lighter. Additionally, remember to reduce the likelihood of your instrument getting damaged by providing extra padding, buying it a seat on an airplane, or buying a humidifier.


natalie musical advisors profile pictureABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hi there! My name’s Natalie Wilson and I’ve been playing guitar since the young age of five. As a performer, I’ve traveled extensively with my instruments and love to share tips about what I’ve learned throughout my career on my music blog.
On my blog, you’ll find reviews, tutorials, tips for musicians, and more.
Contact me: natalie.musicaladvisors@gmail.com.


You know not to leave home without travel insurance. But your basic coverage may be missing some important travel protection. While your travel insurance will get you through some of the more common mishaps and misfortunes, it often won’t help in the most severe, devastating, or expensive situations.

What’s Missing From Basic Travel Insurance?

Your basic travel insurance generally includes coverage for medical or dental emergencies. It typically covers procedures, tests, hospital stays, and prescriptions, as well as trip cancellation or interruption, lost luggage, and accidents. You’ll usually purchase travel insurance on a trip-by-trip basis or find long-term coverage for longer stays abroad. The credit card you use to book the trip or your employer-sponsored coverage may even provide basic travel insurance.

There are, however, some significant areas of additional protection that your basic travel insurance doesn’t cover, such as medical evacuation or repatriation, travel security, and crisis assistance. Luckily, membership programs like MedjetHorizon offer essential travel protection options. Ensuring that you’re covered for these areas is important, and it means making yourself aware of what your travel insurance plan covers and whether you need additional protection.

Medical Evacuation and Repatriation

medical evacuation travel protectionImage via Flickr by bert knottenbeld

Imagine yourself in an unfamiliar destination, requiring hospitalization for an illness or injury. While your medical expenses may be covered, you’re in a strange place, away from friends, family, and the comforts of being in your hometown. Even insurance plans that cover evacuation include only air transport to a hospital that the provider deems suitable. Having additional protection for medical evacuation and repatriation means arrangements will be made for you to be transported to the hospital of your choice, anywhere, regardless of the medical necessity.

This is huge, especially for longer hospital stays, as you’ll be able to spend your time healing close to home and with the support and medical treatment you know and trust. Without this, the expense to travel home via medical transport would be ridiculously high and not feasible for the majority of people. In fact, the cost of an air ambulance will most likely be no less than $10,000, and that’s not taking into account international distances or additional variables that can increase costs.

Travel Security and Crisis Assistance

Though serious incidents are few and far between, knowing you’ll be protected should an emergency or crisis arise while you’re abroad offers peace of mind above and beyond what basic travel insurance provides.

Acts of terrorism, political threat, or wrongful detention are some of the security issues that additional travel protection providers, such as MedjetHorizon, can help with. Crisis response networks are also available to help with other major issues such as medical and legal aid as well as global evacuation and rescue.

The worst part of being involved in a crisis abroad is not having the network and support you’d normally have while at home and having to search for the information and help yourself. By tapping into security and crisis assistance, you’ll be able to cover yourself in many unforeseen situations.

Illness and injury, political unrest and crime: it’s during unpredictable circumstances like these that having additional travel protection can make all the difference. So no matter where you’re going, take a look at your options and make sure you’re covered when it counts the most!