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How to Pack for A Walking Holiday in the UK

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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.

Packing 

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.

Medical Kit

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.

Comfortable Boots

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.

Waterproof Jacket

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.

Walking T-Shirts

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.

A Fleece

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.

Day Sack

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.

Walking Pole

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.

Underwear

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.

Evening Wear

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.

Toiletries

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.

Extra Essentials

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.

Food

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.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Travel Tips

4 Essentials for Travelling in Comfort

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If you’ve ever read our blog before, you know that we prioritize comfort above all else when we’re preparing to visit a new city, country, or continent. Of course, we’ve got our jandals with us, but there are a number of other travel essentials we’re sure to bring along on all of our adventures.

Looking for ways to maximize your comfort while you’re exploring the globe? Read on to learn all about our 4 essentials for travelling in comfort.

1) Practical luggage

Your luggage is essentially the star of the show when we’re talking about travelling in comfort. After all, you’ll be lugging it around from the train station to the airport and everywhere in between. Needless to say, you’ll want to have something that’s easy to transport, practical, and light so that you’re not struggling to make departure times or barely managing to get your bag up a flight of stairs.

There are a few different options to consider when choosing the right luggage set for your preferences. Let’s take a look.

  • Backpacking packs: If you tend to pack light and travel for long periods of time, a backpacking pack could be the most practical option for you. They’re generally pretty lightweight, can be used as carry-ons if they’re small enough, and they’re easy to haul around with you as you move onto your next destination.
  • Rolling suitcases: If you’re not so keen on holding the weight of all your belongings on your back, a rolling suitcase might make the most sense for you. Plus, they’re available in plenty of sizes so whether you pack heavy or on the lighter side, you’ll surely be able to find a suitcase that suits your needs.

2) Comfortable shoe options

In addition to your travel jandals, you’ll probably want to pack a few other options so that you can fit in with the culture of your destination and be able to do all of the activities that you travelled for in the first place. A pair of dress shoes would be useful if you fancy going out for nice meals or enjoy spending your evenings out on the town. And if you need a pair of comfortable tennis shoes to get you from point A to point B, a pair of stylish athletic shoes like Nikes or Inov 8 shoes would be perfect for exploring the city on foot while also fitting in with the local fashion.

3) Clean clothes

Travelling isn’t always as glamorous as social media makes it out to be. Sometimes, you’ll be feeling tired, disheveled, and in desperate need of a place to call home, if only for a few days. Which is why we’re recommending that you make an effort to have clean clothes always at the ready. Trust us, it’ll make a massive difference! No washer or dryer? No problem, just handwash your clothes with some all-purpose castile soap and you’ll feel fresh, clean, and ready to take on your next adventure!

4) In-flight care package

While it’s exciting to be en route to your next travel destination, taking a long flight is anything but comfortable. But just because you’re not in first-class doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the luxury on the other side of the divide. Building yourself an in-flight care package is a great way to get the comfort of luxury travel while staying in the range of your budget.

Here are a few items to include in your care package:

  • Snacks
  • A reusable water bottle
  • A neck pillow and blanket
  • A book or magazine
  • Headphones
  • Hand sanitizer
  • A change of clothes
  • Facial wipes

Wrapping up

Travelling might be all about stepping outside of your comfort zone, but that doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable while you’re doing it. In order to travel in comfort, simply make an effort to:

  • Buy practical luggage
  • Find comfortable shoe options
  • Clean your clothes
  • Pack yourself an in-flight care package

If you use these four tips, you’ll be able to hop from adventures in Sydney, Australia to relaxing vibes in Austin, Texas totally at ease. Have any travel tips of your own? Be sure to share them with us in the comment section below.

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Travel Tips

Planning A Family Trip To The Canadian Niagara Falls

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If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that we are big fans of the Niagara Falls. Over the years, we have written about visiting this fantastic tourist destination several times. But, the other day we realized that we have never put together one that is designed for families to use. So, here is our short guide to visiting the Canadian side of Niagara Falls as a family unit.

Spend at least one night in a Fallsview Hotel

As you can see from this website there are some fantastic hotels in the area. There are several five-star hotels that offer family rooms with a view of the waterfalls. Everyone is sure to remember staying in a room like that, especially if you are there to see the light show and fireworks display that takes place at various times during the year.

Take the Hornblower cruise

Getting a panoramic view of the waterfalls from your room is one thing, but to truly experience them you really do need to get closer. The Hornblower cruise is one of the best ways to do this. During the tour, you are taken very close to the base of the waterfalls. The noise is phenomenal and you end up really appreciating just how powerful all of that gushing water is. Just make sure that everyone wears the waterproof poncho that is provided. There is a lot of spray and even during the summer months, the water is very cold.

Journey Behind the Falls

If, for some reason, you don’t fancy getting on a boat take the Journey Behind the Falls tour instead. You start your tour by getting into an elevator that takes you deep into the earth so that you are level with the base of the waterfalls. After a short walk through some caves, you emerge onto a walkway that is located just a few meters from the base of the waterfalls. This tour provides you with some great photo opportunities.

Enjoy the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory

The self-guided tour at the butterfly conservatory only takes between 10 and 30 minutes to complete. So, this is an attraction you can easily fit into your itinerary. 

Enjoy the Botanical Gardens

If you have enough time, explore the Botanical Gardens. The Butterfly Conservatory is located in the gardens.

Visit the Great Canadian Midway

This is a 70,000 sq foot arcade that features hundreds of games. You could be in there for days and still not get around them all. It is a great way to let the kids relax.

Enjoy a trek with your kids

If you enjoy hiking with your kids you are in luck. The area has plenty of family-friendly trails for you to enjoy. There is something for everyone from beginner to advanced hikers. You can find out more about what is available from this website.

Be sure to plan ahead

Regardless of what you decide to do, our advice is to plan carefully and consider booking tickets in advance. Some of the attractions we mentioned above get very busy. If you already have your entrance tickets you can skip the queues.

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Travel Tips

Top 3 Trekking Destinations in Nepal

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Nepal is a country of diverse topography, having destinations for splendid trekking adventures. A combination of scenic pleasures and warm hospitality wherever you travel is what trekking in Nepal offers.

The diversity of land formations facilitates to trek in Nepal at any time of the year. Here are the top 3 trekking destinations in Nepal to choose from the list for your next adventure.

1. The Everest Region

Trekking to the lap of Mt. Everest stands as one of the most exciting treks you can do in Nepal. You have a wide range of options for trekking in the Everest region, including Everest Base Camp, Three Passes, Everest-Gokyo, and Everest Panorama.

From walking through the foothills of the world’s highest mountain to glacial lakes and high passes, the Everest region has all the essentials for a great trekking adventure.

The most popular trek in this region is the Everest Base Camp Trek which takes you to the base camp of Mt. Everest. The trekking trail takes you through subtropical forests to 5,545 meters at Kala Patthar. You get the best views of Mt. Everest and the surrounding mountain peaks from Kala Patthar.

The main highlight of trekking in the Everest Region is the mesmerizing mountain views of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Changtse, Pumori, and Nuptse. You can find comfortable teahouses and lodges en-route the trekking trails of the Everest Region. These offer services like twin beds, local food, hot showers, and squat toilets.

However, if you prefer a more comfortable trek, you can choose the Everest Base Camp Luxury Lodge Trek. The luxury trek adds up features like comfortable beds with luxury mattresses, WiFi services, full-body massages, varieties of food choices, and a scenic helicopter ride back to Kathmandu from Kala Patthar.

Best Time for Trekking to the Everest Region

Autumn is the best time for trekking to Everest Region. In this season, the skies remain clear as there is little chance of rain. The temperature ranges from 15 degrees Celsius at night to 24 degrees Celsius in the day.

Dashain and Tihar, two of the most significant festivals of Nepal, also fall in this season. However, you have to make an advance booking if you choose the world-famous Everest Base Camp Trek in Autumn.

Likewise, spring is a good season for trekking in this region. The temperatures are slightly higher than during autumn but still favorable for trekking. A few rain showers may take place but nothing too heavy to disturb the trek.

En-route the trekking trails, the forests are lush green and filled with blossoming flowers. Teahouses are less crowded and quieter as compared to autumn.

2. The Annapurna Region

Adored by trekking enthusiasts from all around the world, the Annapurna Region is another popular trekking destination in Nepal. The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a world-famous trek. Along with it, Jomsom-Muktinath, Poon Hill, and Mardi Himal are other best trekking destinations in the Annapurna Region.

The Annapurna Region is a perfect blend of subtropical forests, high valleys, high passes, traditional villages, and breathtaking views of the high Himalayas. The main highlight of trekking in this region is the majestic mountain views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Hiunchuli, Lamjung, and Nilgiri.

The Annapurna Conservation Area is home to 1,226 species of flowering plants, 105 mammals, 518 birds, 40 reptiles and 23 amphibians. The rich flora and fauna diversity of the Annapurna Sanctuary is a highlight of its own.

The Annapurna Region is also great for backpacking Nepal alone. Since signposts and accommodation facilities are well marked along the trekking trails, you won’t need to worry about getting yourself lost in the woods.

Best Time for Trekking to the Annapurna Region

Spring is the best time for trekking to the Annapurna Region. In this season, the temperature ranges from 16 degrees Celsius at night to 25 degrees Celsius in the day. The forests of the Annapurna Sanctuary are fresh green and filled with colorful blossoms.

Autumn is also a suitable season for trekking to the Annapurna Region. Lively teahouses amidst falling leaves decorate the entire trekking routes.

However, due to the popularity of the trekking trails, autumn can be a little overcrowded. You may struggle to find excellent accommodation and timely flights. On top of it, the crowded trails may end up decreasing the overall adventure of the trek.

You may have to pre-book if you choose the world-renowned Annapurna Circuit Trek in Autumn.

3. Restricted Region

Nepal has several restricted areas that you can trek to have adventure experiences. Some of the best trekking destinations are Manaslu, Upper Mustang, and Tsum Valley. All of these trekking destinations lie in Rainshadow areas, so these regions are trekkable throughout the year.

The trekking routes in the Everest and Annapurna regions are wet, slippery, and unfavorable for trekking in the Summer season. However, restricted areas are where the rain shadow regions shine. The backdrop of the mountains is free from the rainy clouds with little chance of rainfall throughout the year.

The main highlights of trekking in the Restricted Region are the mountain views of Manaslu, Ganesh, Himchuli, Sringi, Boudha, and Nilgiri.

The secluded and serene trails are best for vloggers pursuing unexplored landscapes. Also, the restricted regions of Nepal offer some of the best footages for beginners trying to start a vlog to show the world. For instance, the Forbidden Kingdom of Lo and the rustic trans-Himalayan terrain of Mustang are a few to name the highlights of trekking to the restricted regions.

Best Time for Trekking to the Restricted Region

The restricted region is an excellent choice for trekking in Nepal during the Monsoon. Most of the restricted areas like Manaslu and Upper Mustang are rain shadow regions.

Even in the rainiest months of the year, these regions are sunny and dry. The temperatures range from 22 degrees Celsius at night to 27 degrees Celsius in the day. However, the temperatures may fluctuate at elevations higher than 4,000 meters.

Don’t get me wrong though; the restricted regions are trekkable during the autumn and spring as well. The temperatures are favorable, and there are accommodations available throughout the trekking trail.

Final Say

There are lots of trekking destinations to explore during your visit to Nepal. Choosing any region from the above list of top 3 trekking destinations in Nepal offers its peculiarities for you to enjoy during your journey.

Some of the regions may be favorable for one season while some are for other seasons. Nevertheless, Nepal boasts various locations for trekking in every season.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe 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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