A sense of real-life adventure, the great outdoors, and the fresh air are all the things you can expect from a walking holiday. Indeed, one main reason that a walking holiday is so rewarding is that it’s challenging, therefore, you get a sense of having really achieved something.
Of course, to make the challenging aspect of a walking holiday enjoyable as opposed to uncomfortable, you’ll need to pack adequately.
You’re really excited about your South Downs Way walking holiday; a well-deserved break rumbling through the serene countryside, exploring the local villages, and taking in the beautiful woodlands. But, you’ll first have to pack. This checklist will ensure that you’ve got everything you need for that perfect walking holiday.
A small medical kit which can fit in your rucksack might be very useful if you or anyone you’re with encounters minor health issues which can be easily addressed especially when you’re far away from the nearest pharmacy. For instance, you can pack painkillers for strained muscles and headaches, wet wipes, diarrhea treatment, and plasters for blisters. If you suffer from altitude sickness, you can request your doctor to prescribe some medication.
The foundation for a perfectly enjoyable and unforgettable walking holiday is comfortable boots. Your legs and feet take a lot of strain from walking, and getting the right boots will significantly reduce the chances of blisters and sore feet. The best walking boots have great ankle support to cope with uneven or slippery paths. Where the route is less arduous, trail shoes or lower cut boots would be a good choice, particularly if your feet get really hot during summer.
The ideal boots are lightweight, solid, waterproof, and have a breathable membrane to keep your feet comfortable and dry. Planning on buying new boots for your trip? Try on several pairs before settling on one. And then, before you go on holiday, wear them as often as you can to avoid getting blisters. Also, buy socks that are specially designed for hiking. The socks usually have extra cushioned soles to protect your feet.
Quick-Dry Shorts or Trousers
Heavy cotton and jeans trousers or shorts are okay for wearing at the hotel, but not a great choice for your day’s walk. They’ll fast get soggy in case it pours. You should pack at least a pair of walking shorts or trousers made from lightweight and quick-drying material. Or, instead of carrying shorts and trousers, you can find trousers that double up as shorts. Alternatively, you can use sports shorts or tracksuit bottoms which are also made from quick-drying and lightweight fabric.
Shorts or trousers with plenty of pockets are very useful for keeping your items, including phone and maps, safely.
Summer in the UK is characterized by occasional cooler mornings or showers. You’ll need a waterproof jacket for these types of weather changes. Get a jacket that’s substantial enough to keep you warm in the morning or evening yet small enough to fit in your rucksack.
Consider buying a jacket with the following: adequate pockets to put all your small items, a breathable membrane to ensure you don’t sweat excessively, and zips for your under-arm ventilation.
Choose a variety of lightweight T-shirts, and a few vest tops. Vest-tops are great if you want to get a tan, but you should alternate them with sleeved T-shirts. This will help avoid the discomfort and irritation of sunburned shoulders. T-shirts that are made from treated merino wool or technical fabric are designed for walking, and they’ll keep you cool as well as wick away excess sweat.
A Bandana or Hat
Summers can get extremely hot, and a sunhat will definitely come in handy. You don’t want to risk getting unsightly sunburns or worse, sunstroke. A cotton bandana will help keep hair away from your face. It can also prevent your neck from getting sunburns and be used to wipe off sweat as well.
Pack a fleece in case you encounter chilly moments in the evening or even in the early morning. Your T-shirt, when layered with a mid-weight fleece, should give you adequate warmth. If you can get a waterproof fleece, the better.
Since most walking holidays entail walks from your hotel, you’ll only need a sizeable rucksack to carry what you need for the day. A sack of about 20 to 30 liters with mesh pockets for holding your water bottles, lots of zipped compartments, and loops should be ideal.
It’s also advisable to carry a few plastic bags to store items such as your phone, clothes, maps, and anything else that can get wet in case of a sudden downpour.
For gentle and flat walking routes, you’ll not need a walking pole. However, for arduous routes or paths that have steep climbs, you might require a walking pole. If you’re walking on a mountainous terrain, a walking pole will help ease the strain off your legs and knees. The walking pole will give you some much-needed support on steep, slippery, and uneven paths.
Foldable or telescopic poles are recommended since they are easy to pack and carry in your rucksack.
A Reusable Water Bottle
The most important part of your walk is to always stay hydrated. When you’re taking a walk in the rural areas, you’ll need plenty of fresh water supply. To avoid wastage as well as conserve the environment, get a refillable bottle to carry your water.
Supportive and comfortable underwear is definitely a must for walking. Pack only a few lightweight and wicking underwear including sports bras. You can wash them as you travel.
At the end of a long and adventurous day of walking, and after a shower, you’ll want to put on an outfit that’s suitable for relaxing or dining out. Lightweight clothes, shoes, flip-flops, or trainers will fit the bill perfectly for your post-hiking wear.
Pack all the necessary toiletries and keep in mind how long they’ll last. Some hotels provide small containers of shampoo, soap, and lotion. However, it’s best to bring your own, as well.
Remember to carry sun cream or sunscreen, sunglasses, camera phone or camera, insect repellent, universal plug, washing detergent, antiseptic gel, and camera and phone charger.
Many lodges or B&Bs will pack a small lunch for you. You can also stock up on heavy snacks such as trail mix, protein bars, cheese, bread, or crackers. You’ll need plenty of protein on your walk. And don’t forget to carry candy. You’ll relish a sweet treat while you’re burning those calories.
Ultimately, the right equipment and packing right will make your walk trouble free, relaxed, and more enjoyable.
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12 indulgent experiences to enjoy onboard a cruise ship
Everyone should take at least one cruise in their lifetime. Want to visit multiple places on one trip? Experience different cultures while living in luxury and trying something new every day? A cruise offers this and more.
Cruise lines are becoming increasingly creative in the activities and experiences they put on for their passengers – here are 12 of the most indulgent waiting for you onboard.
1. Pamper yourself in a spa
Cruises are renowned for their relaxing atmospheres, and this is reflected in the high quality of their spas. There are a mind-boggling number of treatments on offer, from hot-stone massages to facials, massages and even seaweed body wraps. Spoil yourself by booking a spa package and enjoying a day of your favourite treatments.
2. Indulge in afternoon tea
Afternoon teas are a staple of the cruise experience. The best cruise ships for afternoon tea present their customers with mouthwatering pastries, dainty sandwiches and the best scones on the high seas. Debate continues to rage about which comes first – the cream or the jam– but whichever way you take yours, your taste buds are in for a sumptuous treat.
3. Champagne tasting
What could be more romantic than sipping Champagne in the luxury of a lounge bar with your better half? Try various Champagnes from the best houses, learning more about the styles vary, or if you’re cruising with friends, why not try a bottomless brunch where the bubbles flow non-stop while you nibble on delicious food prepared by top chefs.
4. Win big in a casino
If Vegas is your thing, a visit to the casino is a must. Pop on your tuxedo or little black dress and try your luck on the slot machines. Or test out your poker face in a card tournament while drinking a Martini – shaken, not stirred…
5. Watch a show
Take your pick from live music (remember Jane McDonald?), a Broadway show or a comedy performance. Some cruises even have aqua or ice shows. Take your seat and enjoy exhilarating performances you’ll never forget.
6. Take a dance class
Fancy yourself as the next Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers? Take a dance class and master the skill of not standing on your partner’s toes with a professional dance instructor. From ballroom dancing to salsa, you’re bound to find something that suits your dance style.
7. Watch a movie under the stars
If you’re after a quieter night, snuggle up under a blanket on deck and watch the latest Hollywood has to offer on the big screen.
8. Go skydiving
Even the impossible is possible on a cruise – on some cruises you can find out what it’s like to skydive. Pull on a jumpsuit, launch yourself into a specially made air machine and feel the adrenaline rush and the wind in your face.
9. Book on a culinary class
Want to learn how to make sushi? Or maybe create the ultimate dinner-party menu for your family and friends? Then take a culinary class and learn the top tips in the trade from an experienced professional chef.
10. Attend a formal night event
The pinnacle of any cruise has to be attending a formal or gala night. Experience fabulous food, excellent entertainment and the height of cruise-ship fashion during these exceptional evenings. If you’re going to go, go big. Dust off that tux or ballgown and show your fellow travellers what you’re made of.
11. Get married
What could be more glamorous than getting married onboard a magnificent cruise ship? Appoint a wedding organiser to take the stress out of the planning and say ‘I do’ in idyllic surroundings with your friends and family. Weddings aboard cruise ships have become more popular, and all aspects of your wedding, from the cake to the photographer, will be catered for.
12. Dine at the Captain’s Table
If you want to get yourself seen, an invite to dine at the Captain’s Table is the way to go. You may have to do a bit of schmoozing with the ship’s social team to secure an invitation but once you’ve got one, put on your glad rags and enjoy a fun-filled evening with free drinks and entertaining tales from the Captain or a senior crew member.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover For You?
Many people in India underestimate travel insurance for no reason in particular. They are of the mindset that travel insurance is an unnecessary investment and can be avoided easily. If you also believe the same, then you are completely wrong!
Travel insurance is as important as health or any other kind of insurance. Travelling is a part of human life. There are hardly any people who do not travel to new places either for work purposes or for vacations. And when you travel, you obviously need safety, right? And safety comes from buying a travel insurance policy.
There are many insurance companies in the market that are providing with different kinds of travel insurance policies. You need to choose the best amongst them as per your priorities and budget. Try to strike a balance between these two aspects (affordability and requirements) as it will help you benefit more. Compromising on your needs or going way beyond the range of your budget will lead you in trouble at a later stage.
Travel Insurance policy provides you a sense of security whenever you are not at home. Apart from you, it also keeps your family members satisfied whenever you are not with them. In this way, you can enjoy your trip in a better manner with complete safety, be it financially or physically.
But before buying the policy, you should be aware with what it covers for you, right? Below mentioned are few points that will guide you regarding the same. Just have a look at them!
Travel insurance provides coverage against the following.
A much awaited trip is what a person waits for to explore, relax and it provides a break from the hectic life, which is quite common these days. The major sadness strikes when the travel plans gets cancelled. Few reasons for the cancellation may be:
- You may fall sick or face illness before the travel date.
- You may face injury which restricts you from travelling.
- Weather conditions are not good for travelling.
- A terrorist attack may strike at your destination.
- An emergency work or situation may rise which makes you cancel your travel plans.
Travelling requires a lot of preparation and planning in advance before you leave towards your destination. It involves pre-booking of hotels, flight, trains etc. and a fair amount of money is always spent on these things which can be non-refundable. If a situation arises in which a person has to cancel his or her trip with the money already paid as advance, then there is quite a chance that he or she will have to face these expenses without any reason.
To save you from facing such financial loss travel insurance comes into play.
Travel insurance cover provides reimbursement to these non-refundable costs incurred by you prior to your travel.
In order to purchase the trip cancellation cover one must insure some or all of your trip expenses.
In addition to the trip cancellation policy one gets a benefit named as trip interruption cover.
A situation may arise when you are required to travel back home in between your trip. But it is obvious that you must have made the arrangements in advance for the whole trip.
Trip interruption plays the role of refunding you the amount of all the unused expenses. These unutilized expenses can be the amount paid for hotel bookings, travel etc.
Trip interruption protects a person from facing unnecessary expense.
No one is immune to health problems and diseases and they can strike you anytime and anywhere without any notice. You don’t want them to ruin your travel plans but it is not in your hand.
In the situation of these medical emergencies the patient requires proper treatment on time. Treatment in many countries can be a costly affair and no one will want to think and worry about the costs at this situation.
People believe that domestic health coverages will work in abroad too. But this is completely wrong as one needs to purchase a separate health insurance cover while travelling abroad.
Travel insurance cover will reimburse you with all the expenses incurred by the insured for the complete treatment. These expenses may include the consultancy charges, ambulance charges, treatment cost and so on.
Medical evacuation isalso known as medevac cover and it goes along with the medical emergency cover.
In case medical emergency strikes at the time of travel this cover provides you with ambulance facility to the nearest hospital and can bring you home if hospital determines that it is necessary in your situation.
You may also choose the hospital which suits you. Along with Sthis the cover provides you with on vehicle medical assistance till the time you reach the hospital.
Lost baggage or passport cover:
Travel insurance cover also deals with lost baggage or important documents like Visa or Passport.
This type of cover is helpful in securing your belongings at the time of travel. One may face a situation like theft or damage which may lead to loss of any important possession. In this situation, this insurance cover will pay you for the loss of your belongings.
You must be aware of the fact that passport is one of the most important document a person requires to travel as no country will allow you to enter without it. If a person loses the passport due to any reason then the travel insurance company will make arrangements for a temporary passport so that the insured does not face any problem and stays tension free.
In case there is baggage delay the insurance company pays you for the basic amenities like clothes and toiletry kit. This is done so that you have required things till the delayed baggage arrives.
Flights only take off when the situations are suitable. With situations we mean weather conditions or mechanical welfare.
Under unsuitable conditions the flights can be delayed or even cancelled.
Delays and cancellations are common in air travel as good conditions required to take off are not in the hand of people. For example: there is a fault in airplanes turbine or stormy weather.
This delay or cancellation may lead to financial loss to the travelers as they might have made pre-bookings at their destination and have paid them already.
Along with paying for the medical expenses or loss of luggage they also provide reimbursement for the loss incurred by the insured person due to delay or cancellation of flight.
It is often heard that he or she missed the flight as he or she didn’t arrive at the airport on time. There can be many reasons behind this like traffic, weather conditions etc. Whatever the reason is, the airline company will not return your money in such a case, which will eventually lead to your loss.
For this purpose missed connection benefit comes as a savior for travelers who are delayed, and incur additional costs to catch up to their trip.
The actual reason for the delay should be mentioned in your policy in order to receive the benefits from this cover.
Everyone thinks of having a good time while they are travelling. But one should know that uncertainties may arise at any moment without any notice.
Situations like natural calamity, serious health problem or a terrorist attack may be the reasons for emergency evacuations. No person will want to be stuck in such a situation in order to be safe and sound.
If you get stuck in this situation in order to reach a safe place or hospital you will have to pay a large amount of money in transportation. Benefits of purchasing this coverage is that it will pay for all the evacuation expenses like airlift, transportation cost to reach hospital.
Worldwide phone assistance:
This cover can be really very beneficial for you at the time of medical emergency, loss of luggage or passport or cancelled flights. It provides you with worldwide coverage and phone assistance so that you can make a call if you face these types of situations.
Along with this they also offer you 24/7 travel assistance service. This cover will provide you with both medical and non-medical benefits like:
- Provide transportation to the hospital.
- Provides proper treatment.
- Free choice to choose your hospital.
- Assistance in case of lost passport or documents.
- Help in locating lost luggage.
Travelling without purchasing a good travel insurance cover in not an option one should prefer. Looking at the possibilities of facing any major or minor uncertainty one must surely purchase a travel insurance cover before travelling abroad as no one knows when it may come to use.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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