5 Tips For Taking Great Photos On Your Travels

When you’re on vacation, you don’t want to spend the whole time snapping photos, but you do want to take some great shots so that you and the people you were with can have some great memories, and the people left at home can see what you did while you were away. So if you’re going to take fewer photos, you’ll need to also take better photos – here are some tips on how to do it. 

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1. Tell The Story 

Rather than a lot of photos that don’t really have any context, it’s a good idea to take pictures that tell the story of your vacation instead. So take ‘establishing shots’ of the places you go and where you are staying. You really only need one image of the front of your hotel, perhaps a shot of each room if you are staying in an Ocean Florida villa, one of the pool, and just one of the beach or the city where you are spending a lot of time. Once you have those shots, you can concentrate on filling in the gaps by taking photos of the people you’re with and the things you’re doing. Try to stick to just one photo of each activity or restaurant and so on; that should be enough. 

2. Start Early 

In order to really set the scene, you should start taking your photos before you arrive at your destination. Get images of people packing or the trip to the airport (or the journey in the car if you’re not going on a plane). If you are on a plane, get a photo of the view out of the window or the crew member who serves you drinks (just make sure you get permission to do so – this is the same for every person you take a photo of). This is really the start of your vacation, so it makes sense to include these moments in your memories too. The same is true at the end of the vacation. Take a great final photo of everyone when they arrive back home, having had a wonderful time away, and it will be one of the photos you remember the most. 

3. Know Your Camera

Arthurs Point, Queenstown
Taking a photo of the view in Queenstown!

When it comes to travel photography advice, it is important to familiarize yourself with your camera’s settings and features. Take the time to read the manual, play about with all the buttons and camera settings, and spend hours with the camera in your hands so that it becomes a part of you. Prepare yourself by learning how to use the menu so that you don’t waste time scrolling through it when you need to make quick adjustments to the camera in the field.

Also, be sure to familiarise yourself with the limits of your camera. The camera’s performance in low-light conditions is critical. Wide open, is it crisp, or do you need to stop down for the greatest detail? Is there any kind of built-in stabilization? With your camera in hand, you want to be confident and know precisely what you’re doing. Then you’ll be able to take better photos more quickly and easily.

4. Don’t Rush

Of course, there will be occasions when a quick photo is necessary (a wave crashing over the beach, or a seagull stealing an ice cream, or anything spontaneous), but a lot of the time, you will have the chance to really think about your shot and compose it well. That could mean thinking about the shadows and the angles, where you’re standing to snap the photo, and who is in the shot (if anyone). Making sure these photographs are just right will reassure you that you only need to take one, as long as you do it right. 

5. Backup

Finally, no matter where you have been, what you have done, or how many photos you took in the end, you’ll need to back them up. Imagine the disappointment if you found that you no longer had these wonderful images because of a corrupted file or lost USB. You can back these images up onto an external hard drive, or onto a cloud-based system – both have their pros and cons so you should read up on each and ensure that you are happy with your choice. 

Ultimately, you want to spend most of your time doing, rather than spectating through a camera lens when you’re traveling (unless you happen to be a travel photographer, of course), so the more you understand how to get the best shots, the better; you’ll be quick, and you can get on with the rest of your trip with some amazing photos to enjoy as memories when you get home.

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The World Is Your Oyster: Tips To Plan Your Next Trip

There may still be restrictions in place, but it’s getting much easier to travel again. The world is your oyster, so where will you go next? If you’re looking forward to getting away in 2022, here are some top tips to help you plan your next trip. 

Research destinations

Some people celebrated the start of a brand new year knowing exactly where they want to go in the months ahead, but for many people, there’s a host of options still on the table. If you haven’t decided where to visit next, the first step in the planning process is to research destinations. When putting together a list of contenders, think about how far you want to travel, what you want to do while you’re on holiday, how much you want to spend and how long you’re going to be away. If you want to jump on a plane and arrive at your destination in a couple of hours, for example, or you’re only going away for a long weekend, you may wish to eliminate far-flung destinations. Read blogs and travel magazines, ask friends and family for recommendations and use the Internet to get ideas. Once you have a list of locations that are of interest, you can find out more and start getting prices and finding options for your itinerary. 

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Find inspiration based on your interests and preferences

Travelling covers a wide range of different types of trips. One person’s idea of a dream holiday may be another’s nightmare. The beauty of planning trips in advance is that you can narrow down options and find inspiration based on your individual interests, requirements and preferences. Use social media to get ideas and find the best trip planning site to create a moodboard or a list of destinations that reflect your travel goals and budget. You can filter results according to the type of break you want to book, the distance from home, the cost and the kinds of activities or excursions you want to enjoy. 

Take advantage of online booking and comparison sites

Booking online is more convenient than going into a travel agency and it can also provide access to preferential rates and savings. When you have decided where you want to go, or you have a shortlist, use comparison sites and visit tour operator websites to compare prices, get quotes and find out more. From flights, travel insurance, attraction tickets and accommodation to car hire, excursions, transfers, parking and package holidays, there are opportunities to save at the click of a button. It is worth noting that you can usually save a substantial amount of money by being flexible when choosing your travel dates. 

Package holidays usually offer better value for money if you plan to take luggage, you’ll need a transfer, you’re travelling to popular tourist destinations or you are visiting a single destination. If you are moving around, it’s worth comparing prices on hotels, flights and bus, coach and train tickets and looking at round-the-world, multi-stop flights if you’re backpacking or you want to visit several different countries. These tickets are often significantly cheaper than buying single tickets between destinations and many offer flexibility. 

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Read reviews

More than 90% of us now read reviews before buying products or contacting businesses. When you’re planning a holiday, a weekend away or a globetrotting adventure, it’s a fantastic idea to read reviews. Reviews can help you find and choose accommodation options, gather suggestions for trips and activities, locate great restaurants and get information that will make planning your trip easier. Always use reputable websites and look for verified reviews. 

Check requirements

Restrictions are easing, but there are still requirements and measures in place that affect travel. Before you choose a destination or start looking at flights or booking hotels, check the entry requirements. You may need to make sure that you have a certain period of time left on your passport or ID document, you may need to apply for a visa and you may need to satisfy requirements related to Covid-19. It’s always wise to check in advance. You will also need to make sure that you have the relevant insurance cover for your trip. 

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Travel is back on, and many of us are counting down the days until we can jet off and enjoy a holiday. If you plan to get away, and you’re hoping to take the stress out of planning your next trip, take these tips on board. Research destinations, get ideas and inspiration based on your personal preferences and interests, take advantage of online booking and apps and websites that make planning easy, read reviews and check requirements before you book.

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How to have adventures on a budget

If you want to be a little more adventurous when you travel to different places, there are a few changes you might want to take. We all have routines when we travel and we tend to get stuck in the same way of doing things. But having a true adventure can be an experience you won’t forget, and it’s possible to do it on a budget. So if that’s what you’re looking for from your next trip, here’s what you need to know.

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Embrace the Wonders of Nature

First of all, you should focus on doing natural things and make the most of what the natural world has to offer. Not only are natural wonders more breathtaking than anything man can make, but they’re also usually free. You can explore so many beautiful mountains and parks and other natural wonders without spending much money at all beyond your travel costs.

Be Flexible with When You Travel

If you want to save money when you travel, you need to be as flexible as possible. When you’re more flexible, you can spend less because you can focus on getting things done that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. When you’re more flexible and you’re focused on getting the best deals, you’ll be surprised by just how much money you can save on flights and accommodation.

Get Advice from the Locals

If you want to find the best places to eat and the best things to do, don’t listen to travel guides and things like that. They’ll probably tell you what the tourists do; instead, you want to eat and live as the locals do. They always know where the best bargains are found and they wouldn’t dream of spending money in the tourist traps in their locations.

Invest in a Motorhome

If you want the opportunity to be mobile and travel where you like without necessarily having to plan it all out beforehand, you might want to invest in a motorhome. You’ll save money on accommodation costs over the long-term if you travel a lot and you’ll never be tied down to one place. Look at the offers available at various motorhome dealers and see if you can find one that works for you.

Look for Destinations Where the Cost of Living is Low

The cost of living is not just something to look into if you’re moving to a new place. You should also think about it from a travel perspective. You’re going to be paying for all kinds of things and buying food, so if you choose a destination with a low cost of living, your travel expenditure in that place will be pretty low too.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to set yourself up for a real adventure the next time you travel somewhere new. That’s certainly what you should be looking for if you want a positive travel experience that you’re going to remember for a long time to come, so make the most of the ideas above.

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What To Have In Your Emergency Kit When Renting a House

Whether you are going skiing for the weekend, or whether you are traveling for the summer, if you are renting a house, you must have an emergency kit. A lot of landlords rent homes with the bare minimum inside of them in order to keep rent down and to put a lot of the responsibility on you. Landlords will tend to the landscaping and any repairs that need to be made, but when it comes to everything else, that is on you. 

If you are going to be renting a house, whether it’s for the weekend, or whether it’s for the entire summer or year, you are going to need to make sure you have some emergency items on hand to help in the event that something goes drastically wrong. Power outages happen, blizzards come through, and major storms wash out roads, and sometimes, entire towns.

Here is what you need to have in your emergency kit if you are renting a house. 

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Flashlight

If you go into the house and there is no flashlight while you are looking through all the things and cabinets in your search, then go to the store and get a flashlight. Every kind of storm can cause the power to go out, and if that happens and you are left in the dark, you are not going to be able to see. 

Flashlights also come in handy when you are searching around the grounds at night. A nice light will keep you safe. High grade flashlights like tactical flashlights will last you a lifetime and they are a great investment. Make sure you have back up 18650 tactical flashlight batteries for that flashlight so you can always light it up.  

Back-up Batteries

Speaking of batteries, as soon as you move in, make sure there are batteries of every kind that you may need. Not only is this good for switching out the batteries in the remote control or other devices, but if there is an emergency and there is no power, how are you going to turn on the flashlight? 

Batteries are always needed for something, and if you are super into making sure that everything is going okay, you may want to also bring a battery powered lamp with you. This way, you can save the batteries in the flashlight and use a battery-powered lamp instead to keep the room illuminated so everyone can see. 

Cordless Phone Charger

Cordless phone chargers are easy to find and come in handy in the event of an emergency. If you do not have power and your phone is dying, if you have a fully charged cordless charger, you can juice up your phone for at least a day or two before the power is restored. Having your cell phone fully working means that you can reach out for help and keep your phone on to receive important phone calls and alerts. 

They are not that expensive to buy and if you keep them charged at all times, you will never have to worry about being disconnected from the world. 

Bottles of Water

When you are stocking up for the week at the grocery store, buy a few gallons of water or a few cases of bottled water. In colder climates, the pipes can freeze and you will be left without water. In high risk flood areas, the water supply can get contaminated with mud or debris from rising flood waters. 

If that is the case you won’t be able to hydrate yourself unless you have fresh bottled water to cook, brush your teeth, bathe, and drink. Water is not that expensive, and in the end, if you don’t need it, just drink it and nothing will go to waste. 

Purification Tablets

While we are talking about water, if you are near a river and your water supply is cut off, you can fill up buckets or jugs with water and add water purification tablets to your supply and your water will be purified and ready for drinking. 

When you have these tablets, you are never without drinkable water, so make sure you have these tablets on hand when you are traveling. 

Non-Perishable Foods

As with every disaster kit, make sure you have non-perishable foods. When you are making that grocery list to go to the store when you arrive at your vacation location, put canned goods, powdered milk, crackers, oatmeal, cereals, and cereal bars on the list. 

There is an entire list of foods that never need to be refrigerated that you can buy so that you don’t get hungry while waiting for the power to come back or for roads to re-open. Just about every fruit can also be left unrefrigerated for a day or two, so make sure you have plenty of fruits and vegetables to keep your vitamin intake intact. 

Gasoline

If you are going to be staying at a rental home for a long period of time, it is best to have a can or two of gasoline for the car. In the event that a road is out or that gas cannot be delivered to the station, you will have enough to get around and keep your car gas tank full. This will help you in the event that you can get out of where you are and to a safer place. 

A full tank will also get you out of harm’s way if you have enough time to relocate to get out of the way of a storm. 

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As you are preparing, make a list of all the possible scenarios that can occur while you are away. Statistically speaking, you are going to have the best and safest trip. It never hurts, however, to be prepared just in case. Some people feel that preparation wards off any potential disaster.

If that is the case, get your emergency kit together as you pack your bags, and you will have the dream vacation you have been planning all along. Safe travels!

P.S I’ve also written a very detailed blog post on the best things to do in Seattle and 10 of the cutest towns near San Francisco I’d love if you could check them out!

How To Choose The Best Hotel For You – Tips From A Traveler

Choosing the best hotel for you can be a daunting task. There are so many different factors to consider, and it’s hard to know where to start or what information is essential. This article will share some tips on choosing the best hotel for you. If there is one thing experienced travellers know, it’s that not all hotels are created equal. Some offer great value for your money, while others can be pretty overpriced. So, how do you choose the best hotel for you? Here are a few tips to help get you started:

Research The Area You’re Going To

If it is a popular destination, there will be many reviews on different hotels and their locations. Figure out how much your budget can afford for each night of your stay and multiply that by however many nights you plan to spend at the hotel (if all nights are not consecutive, then divide that number by the total nights). Then compare that to other hotels in the area. If it’s a less popular place, review numerous travel blogs and forums for tips on where people like to stay or find out what your hostel offers in terms of amenities (such as wifi) and try going from there.

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Location, Location, Location

When it comes to choosing a hotel, location is vital. You want to find a place close to the attractions you want to see and the activities you plan on doing while still being comfortable and quiet. If you’re spending most of your time out and about, you don’t want to waste your time travelling back and forth from your hotel. If you’re planning on being out until late at night, then a location that isn’t the safest is probably not ideal. Do they have a shuttle bus to and from the nearest train station, airport, or city centre? It saves time and effort if you don’t need to use public transport or taxis everywhere. Generally, it is better for your budget because using taxis can be expensive!

If you plan on spending a lot of time at your hotel, amenities and facilities are important. Make sure the hotel has a lovely swimming pool, for example.

Amenities

Amenities are important when choosing a hotel, but the most crucial factor is always your comfort. When travelling, make sure you find a hotel with hotal quality bed linen. This means high thread count sheets and comfortable pillows. You’ll thank yourself for it later! When booking a hotel, another important amenity to look for is air conditioning; it’s difficult to relax or sleep if you’re not comfortable in your room!

If some specific amenities or facilities make travelling easier for you (like wifi or a hairdryer), then be sure to let the staff at the front desk know when you’re checking in. Then, they may be able to put you in a room that is more tailored to your needs.

Price

Price is always a factor when travelling, but don’t let it be the only one. Just because a hotel is expensive doesn’t mean it will be good. Make sure you compare prices and read reviews before making your final decision.

Facilities

Some hotels have better facilities than others. So if you’re looking for a swimming pool, spa, gym, etc., make sure the hotel you choose has these facilities.

When it comes time to book your hotel, keep the tips from this article post in mind. You’re sure to find a place that’s perfect for you and your travel needs!

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We have loads of other content on the blog including best things to do in Alicante Spain; 5 unique things to do in Cinque Terre Italy Istanbul Travel Guide and much more!