A blizzard and a busted battery left us in a bad situation that was rapidly getting worse. We learned (almost) the hard way just how dangerous winter road trip travel can be.
Winter driving is a fact of life for those living in cold weather locations, like us here in Ottawa. We mark the start of the season by installing new snow tires and celebrate its end by driving around in flip flops as soon as the temperature climbs above the freezing mark. Every winter is a delicate dance between a deep seated desire to leave the house and a prosaic prudence that warns caution and urges us to stay home.
Fortunately, we've had mostly good luck on our winter road trips - and so far this year we're having a wonderfully mild season - but one bad past experience proved to be a timely reminder on the importance of relying on preparation, and not just good fortune.
Do GoToobs deserve a spot in your toiletry bag? Read our honest review of GoToob products by humangear, find out about what GoToob sizes are available, and learn about the travel pros and cons I've noticed over the years.
Cute travel gear? Yep, I find it just about irresistible - and I have an entire dresser drawer filled with my impulse purchases over the years. I'd rather a new suitcase than new shoes and I'd always pick shopping for packing cubes over clothing! That dresser drawer tells the tale of a hundred trips and a million ideas. Yet only half a dozen or so products make my list of essential gear.
Things that seemed like a great idea in the airport never live up to their claims and the hyped up products in the travel supply catalog are rarely worth their weight and suitcase space. And I find that the more I travel, the pickier I get. I've been traveling with GoToob refillable toiletry containers now for nearly a year and I'm still finalizing my opinion on them. Are they essential gear or just pretty impostors? Here's what I've discovered after a few thousand miles.
It's time to shine a little light onto your travels.
With all the grace and stealth of a bull in a china shop, I made my way out the tiny doorway of our tree house and across the even tinier landing to our outdoor washroom. The steps were slick with rain, the walls were full of shadows, and the air was thick with the grating call of the coqui frog. But I noticed none of this as my eyes nervously darted back and forth, sweeping the area for the rumored wild pig who called the property home. We were warned to make sure he didn't get into the kitchen hut (HOW??!?!) and I was convinced that a pig smart enough to infiltrate the kitchen could easily secure a foothold in the outhouse to plan an ambush.
I had traveled for years without a headlamp, and then traveled years more with one that stayed in the bottom of my pack. And then, over the course of 72 hours in Hawaii, it more than earned its keep. Here's what you need to know when you buy one - and why I'll never go without mine again.
Imagine a suitcase that gets lighter every day. No, it's not QUITE the same thing as disposable clothing for travel. But it's close. I've got a packing method you'll love!
I think I look pretty cute here, chasing pigeons outside Athens' Archaeological Museum. It's all thanks to my jaunty outfit - a beaded, embroidered tunic top and wrinkle resistant, slim fit trousers. It was the perfect outfit for traveling in Greece's warm autumn weather. I was comfortable and everything fit well. So why did I throw it away at the end of the day? No, I wasn't traveling with specialty disposable clothing for travel and, no, I didn't have a disastrous spill. Well, at least not this day! So what's going on?
Welcome to the world of throw away packing. Your carry on kit is about to get a lot lighter!
Updated in 2022! Is Vargo's Hexagon wood stove, the lightest backpacking stove we've ever tried, up to the job?
In case you haven't heard, I have a bit of an obsession with ultralight packing. The lighter, the smaller, the better! And one of my biggest pet peeves is when travel items described as "lightweight" are anything but. So when I had the chance to test Vargo's ultralight titanium backpacking hexagon wood stove, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical that a stove could even remotely be described as 'light'. Turns out, it's the lightest backpacking stove we've ever tried.
Tieks: A Perfect Pretty, Packable, Polished Shoe.
I can't claim to be the most stylish person to ever hit the road. There was that first summer of backpacking in Europe, when I brought along just one pair of trousers. There was also a sarong and clogs combo that I wore to an Easter church service in Birmingham. And the two - count em, TWO - bright orange cotton T-shirts I brought along to Malawi that I am convinced played a role in attracting a higher than normal level of mosquitoes. But I'm slowly growing up and my travels are evolving to include more business and formal occasions -but I still love my bare bones, carry on luggage. So exactly what am I wearing on my feet for special occasions?
Is it time to throw in the towel on travel towels? Not quite! Here's what you need to know about quick dry towels for travel. Plus: Do hostels have towels? We'll give you the scoop!
At first glance, it may sound a bit silly to take a towel with you when you travel. After all, what kind of hotel wouldn't provide towels?! It turns out that there's actually a wide range of accommodations for whom towels are a luxury, not a standard amenity. People often ask me "Do hostels have towels?" and the answer is: Maybe. Many do. Those that don't usually offer rentals. But I still like having my own. It's not just hostels where the question of towels come up. Campgrounds usually require you to bring your own towel, along with some cottage rentals, university dorm accommodations, couch surfing, and even convent stays.
Even if you are staying in quality hotels with guaranteed clean towels, you still might want something with you to freshen up on overnight trains, buses, and flights. Lightweight travel towels are also helpful for drying your hand-washed laundry. So what's the best solution that balances comfort with practicality?
In the digital age, are old fashioned luggage tags still necessary on airlines? And do you need luggage tags for carry on bags? Here are all the rules you need to know about travel, airlines, and luggage tags.
Not once, not twice, but FOUR times this month readers have asked me about luggage tags. Do you really need to use them? What kind of luggage tags should you get? Where should you put them? And who, exactly, cares about this stuff? Um, that would be me - and you!
Let's pause for a minute and say a very special hello to all the folks reading TurnipseedTravel for the first time. This is one of our most popular posts for new readers and we're thrilled that you've found us and started here! Please stick around and tell us what you thought of this post at the end.
So why do luggage tags matter? I believe that it's often the little things that can make a big difference in travel. And while I wouldn't go so far to say that good luggage tags can make or break a trip, having reliable gear that makes your journey easier goes a long way in guaranteeing a great vacation.
As always, I'm happy to do my very best and try to get to the bottom of things. Any info that makes your air travel smoother is good in my books! So let's dig deep into luggage tag rules, what to do about luggage tags at the airport, and more.
Packing should be a pleasure, not a pain! Here are our best tips to help you pack and prepare for tricky situations.
Playing around with the contents of my backpack is a well known favourite hobby of mine. Show me a 3-1-1 kit that needs reorganizing and I'll show you a rockin' Friday night! But not everyone feels the same way - in fact, most people hate packing! While I'd like to say they don't know how much fun they're missing, the truth is that there are a lot of seriously un-fun things about packing. Strict rules, tight restrictions, so many packing "gadgets" that don't actually work, and so many challenging destinations - no wonder people hate packing!
Travel bloggers are no exception to packing frustrations, but fortunately their pain and past experience is your gain! I asked 8 travel bloggers to share their best packing tips, accumulated over years of experience. So if you are driving from London to Mongolia, packing a carry on bag for Antarctica, smuggling a bicycle half way around the world, trying to look fancy on a cruise or backpacking bar, or just trying to keep organized, their stories are sure to help.
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