camp, hike

Night Hikes: 5 Fun Activities to Try

This is an article I wrote that was recently published in Camp Business magazine that has gained popularity there. Although written for camp professionals, any adventurer can try these fun activities!

Night hikes are pretty common for stargazing, but what if it’s a cloudy night? Don’t worry—there’s plenty to do in any kind of weather—as long as it’s dark!

Photo: © Can Stock Photo / Aitormmfoto

First, here are some night-hike rules:

  1. No flashlights or lights of any source are to be used. While a light helps to see the small area that it illuminates, allowing our eyes to adjust to the minimal lighting in our surroundings actually allows us to see more of what’s around us. (If needed, the hike leader can bring a small red light.)
  2. Keep quiet. Night-hike leaders can decide how “quiet” they want campers to be, but the quieter they are, the more they will hear in nature.
  3. Listen carefully. Not only will hearing instructions help to stay safe on the trail, but those who are not listening may miss out on some cool information and activities!
  4. Stay on the trails. Of course you’ll choose a trail that’s not near a cliff for safety’s sake. A fairly flat trail with minimal holes or rocks works best. For hikers with concerns about running into predators, reassure them that if you stay on the trail and all together, these things won’t want to bother the group.

Deer Ears

Materials: everyone needs their own set of hands and ears

Talk about all of the nocturnal creatures and crepuscular creatures (that means animals that are most active at twilight) the group can think of. Whether bats, coyotes, deer, or rabbits, many of these animals have something in common: their ears! Their ears are big so they can hear better, which compensates for their reduced ability to see at night. Their ears also often can move independently. That means they can focus their ears the same way to hear better in that direction, or they can point them in opposite directions to hear more of their entire surroundings.

Create your own “deer ears” by shaping your hands around your human ears. Test the hike participants’ hearing by walking around them while saying nursery rhymes and see if they can tell what you’re saying. Change one or two of the words and see if they notice.

Colorblind Test

Materials: small squares of colored paper

Many people are surprised at the realization that they are colorblind in the dark. This is a good opportunity to talk about two of the photoreceptors in our eyes: rods and cones. Rods help us see in low-light situations, making them important for night hikes. And cones help us see color. This experiment will help hikers tell if their cones are being used at all during the night hike.

Give each hiker a small piece of colored paper. Ask them to guess what color they think it is, and then put it in a pocket or safe place so that they don’t litter on the trail. When they return to camp, they can take their paper out in the light and see if they guessed the color correctly.

Photo: © Can Stock Photo / IgorKovalchuk

Eyepatch Story

Materials: lighter, optional candle

Another experiment to show how night vision can be affected starts off with acting like pirates—no “aargs” or “ahoys” necessary! Have every hiker make an “eyepatch” with one of their hands covering the eye of their choice. With their uncovered eye, they will look at the small flame while you tell a story like this:

“Long ago, when pirates ruled the seven seas, there was one pirate captain who liked to pillage and loot just as much as the rest of them. But he noticed a problem. The crew on his ship liked to do their raids at night, because the townsfolk were often asleep and it was easier to get away. Even when they fought enemy pirates, they preferred nighttime because they had developed a strong sense of night vision … at least until the cannons went off. Whenever a cannonball was launched, a bright light from the cannon flashed and temporarily blinded every pirate who saw the light. While they waited for their eyes to readjust to the darkness, they were susceptible to enemy takeover. But this was a smart pirate captain; he probably went to (insert your camp/outdoor education program name here) when he was a kid, where he learned a few things about night vision. So even though he had two perfectly-working eyes, he decided to wear an eyepatch over one of his eyes, night and day. That eye under the eyepatch became well-adjusted to the darkness. Whenever he saw a cannon flash during a night raid, instead of being blinded, he simply switched his eyepatch over to his other eye. Then the eye that was still adjusted to the darkness could still see well, and he could overtake his enemies. Now, wait until I extinguish this flame, but when I do, you’re going to move your eyepatch to your other eye and look around. You can keep switching from eye to eye to see what a difference this small flame made on your night vision.”


Materials: Wintergreen Lifesavers

If you’re in a location and season where you can observe fireflies or glow worms, enjoy this bioluminescent part of a night hike. Even if you can’t experience naturally occurring bioluminescence, you can always have fun with triboluminescence!

Using Wintergreen Lifesavers, instruct hikers to get in groups of two or three and have everyone take turns crunching one of the mints with their mouth open. (If anyone has braces or other concerns about their teeth, they can get in a larger group of people and still suck on the mint if appropriate.) Hikers should see sparks coming from their partners’ mouths. While not fully understood by scientists, this triboluminescence experiment will nevertheless be the highlight of the hikers’ night!

Reflection Time

Materials: None

If you are blessed with a clear night sky, it’s nice to take a moment to look at the stars. Ideally, instructors should be able to point out one or two constellations, or at least explain what phase the moon is in. Yet nothing beats enjoying this special moment, even if it involves looking at a cloudy sky or off into the distant city lights.

Find a hill or clearing where hikers can spread out. Ask them to not talk to anyone else for at least two minutes, so that they can listen to and absorb the nature around them and reflect on their time at camp. For Christian camps, this can be a sacred time of prayer.


Jessica Lippe is the program manager at Pine Valley Bible Camp and the author of The Ultimate Survival Guide to Working at Camp. Visit her website at

travel tips

First Thrills at The Emperor: SeaWorld San Diego’s Brand-New Coaster

I am a thrill ride junkie. The week I turned eight, my family went on our first trip to Walt Disney World. In the Tower of Terror picture that you can see as you exit through the gift shop, everyone else in the elevator (all significantly older than me) looked terrified. My dad and I were the only ones laughing. The week of my thirteenth birthday, I rode it thirteen times. This trend continued when I celebrated my most recent birthday last May with a trip to Disney’s California Adventure. I rode their version of Tower of Terror, now retrofitted to be Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout, three times to celebrate my three decades of living.

But the birthday celebrations didn’t end there. I gave myself a really cool birthday gift: an annual pass to SeaWorld. I live less than an hour up the road from SeaWorld, so I was excited to use this pass to the max for unlimited entries. SeaWorld San Diego has several thrill rides, plus all the rescued animal exhibits that they’re famous for. The annual pass is a great deal even for budget travelers because it pays for itself on the second or third visit. I chose to buy the Silver Pass, which includes extra perks such as free parking, monthly freebie gifts, and in-park discounts.

Because I’ve used my pass dozens of times, I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth from it. But it got even better.

This past week, I was invited to the opening reception of SeaWorld’s newest roller coaster. The Emperor, named after the penguin, was amazing! It started out by loading in the large, roomy coaster car. Then the floor dropped out beneath us and we steadily glided up a big incline. That was a great opportunity for fantastic views of San Diego. When we got to the top, we could tell we were about to go down an incredibly steep incline. But just as we started to drop, we stopped. The hang was only for a few seconds, but it was the perfect amount to build anticipation while viewing the layout of SeaWorld, Mission Bay, and the Pacific off in the distance. Then it was time for the thrills!

This is the second coaster at SeaWorld San Diego that goes upside-down. The other, Electric Eel, had definitely been my favorite ride up to this point, but there’s a good chance that Emperor will take over! I didn’t count how many loop-de-loops we made, because we were going at such high speeds, there wasn’t much of a chance to think.

Pretty soon it was over. I grabbed a churro and from the nearby food cart was ready to ride again! (No, I’ve never gotten sick from roller coasters.)

While being one of the first to ride Emperor was fun, I did more during my time at SeaWorld. I also rode Electric Eel a couple times that day. I often ride Manta, Journey to Atlantis, and the Bayside Skyride. And I love seeing the shows! The daily shows include Dolphin Days, Sea Lions Live, and their educational Orca Encounter. But one of my favorite encounters, which is also the most popular due to being situated right at the entrance, is the cleaner fish touch pool, where cleaner fish always come swarming to my hands and remove the dead skin cells!

What’s YOUR opinion on roller coasters? Do you have a favorite theme park ride? Tell me about it in the comments!

Bucket List, destinations, Travel Life

My “Sweet Sixteen” Countries

Over the course of my life, I’ve visited sixteen countries. I had the goal of visiting 30 countries before my 30th birthday, but with the onset of pandemic travel restrictions, I switched gears to visit 30 states before my 30th, which I’m happy to have accomplished! Maybe one day I’ll share the list of states I’ve visited, but today, I’d like to tell you about my sixteen countries. Who knows? I hope in ten years’ time, I can tell you the 40 countries I visited before my 40th birthday!

  1. United States- I was born and raised and have lived here all my life. I’ve lived in Oregon, California, Nebraska, Ohio, Colorado, and Missouri, and most recently have returned to the state of my toddler years, California. As for states I’ve visited, well… as I just mentioned, I’ve been to over 30 of them (33 to date), so we’ll save that for another time!
  2. Mexico- For many Americans, their first time out of the country was a trip to Mexico. That was true for me: when I was 14, my family went on a cruise with stops in Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas. I’ve been to Mexico many times since, including a couple of mission trips. I currently live 30 miles from the Tecate border, so sometimes I go for a few hours just to enjoy the food! My most recent trip was similar to the first: a cruise with my coworkers to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.
  3. Peru- I took two mission trips to Peru with my church youth group. We partnered with Posada de Amor Children’s Home and Eliel Christian School in Cieneguilla. On both trips, we also spent a day in the capital city, Lima.
  4. Canada- Despite being the world’s second largest country in size and one that’s fairly easy for Americans to access, I’ve only visited a small piece of this country. While on a trip to Niagara Falls, I crossed the border a couple of times and even spent a night there.
  5. France- My first European nation! I started off my first overseas backpacking trip in Paris. After a detour into Spain, I returned to see the southern part of this country in Nice. 
  6. Spain- I started off in Madrid, headed over to La Alberca to volunteer with an English immersion program, returned to Madrid for a few more days, then headed onward to Barcelona.
  7. Monaco- My main reason for going to Nice wasn’t to see France, but to see the world’s second-smallest country. There are no hostels or any sort of affordable accommodation in this country, so I settled on a day trip. As it turns out, a day is all you need to see pretty much everything in this nation.
  8. Italy- I’ve spent more time in Italy than any other European country. For nearly a month, I explored cities such as Venice, Verona, Florence, Pisa, and Rome. And I saw just about everything there was to see in each of these places! But I still have a list of more places I want to go to and see if I ever get the chance to return.
  9. Vatican- No trip to Rome is complete without venturing into the world’s smallest nation. I border-hopped several times, and saw the Pope on two occasions!
  10. Greece- From Italy, I took a big, long ferry to Greece, then rode buses and trains around, so I saw a lot of the countryside. But I spent most of my time in Athens and Thessaloniki.
  11. Turkey- Although I only visited Istanbul, this city allowed me to be in both Europe and Asia! In fact, to date, it’s the only part of Asia I’ve been to. (For those of you counting, that’s a grand total of four continents.)
  12. Ireland- Several years after my first European trek with no international trips, I was itching to get back to Europe. I spent a week headquartered in Dublin, but took side trips throughout this beautiful island country.
  13. United Kingdom- My first time setting foot in this nation was on one of my Ireland side trips, where I went to Northern Ireland for places like Giant’s Causeway and Belfast. But a couple days later, I flew to England to stay in London with trips to Bath, Stonehenge, and Greenwich.
  14. The Bahamas- Before my trip to the British Isles, I was doing savings challenges to get enough money for that trip. While doing so, I stumbled onto a great deal for a Carnival Cruise. I chose to go to The Bahamas, with an itinerary that included Princess Cays (Eleuthera), Nassau (New Providence), and Freeport (Grand Bahama).
  15. Germany- I started off my third European adventure in Munich. From there, I explored Bavaria in places like Fussen (home of Neuschwanstein Castle) and a national park resort where I volunteered in an English immersion program. I had planned to do more around the country, but ultimately, the only other place I ended up visiting was Frankfurt. I’ll explain why with the next country…
  16. Austria- The first time I set foot in Austria was when I was on foot from Germany. I was in Fussen and decided to walk across the border through the beautiful German-Austrian Alps. A couple of weeks later, I got to visit Austria “for real” by going into Salzburg. However, even that was short-lived as coronavirus was quickly shutting everything down; I had to cut my trip short after barely escaping Salzburg!

It’s been a sweet life traveling to a sweet sixteen countries. What will be number seventeen? I’m looking into a few options for my next overseas trip that will include visiting a different country. I hope to update you on that soon. I only have nine years to check off 24 more countries if I want to reach 40 before 40!

How many countries have YOU been to? Even if it’s only one, share in the comments, and let me know which country you’d like to visit next!

travel tips

Travelers Guide To Buying Souvenirs

Souvenirs are a great way to commemorate your travels. They may come in ceramics, paintings, postcards, or any other type of memorabilia. But with so many souvenir shops lining the streets and markets of tourist destinations, how do you know which items are worth buying? If you’re looking for some guidance on what to buy as a souvenir from your next trip abroad, read on!

Photo by Sanketh Rao from Pexels

1) Match The Souvenir To Your Interests

The best way to buy a souvenir is to find something related to your interests. If you’re interested in gardening, for example, try and find pieces to match your garden rocks at home. If you love history, pick up some postcards or magnets depicting important landmarks or historical events from the area you visited. Not only will you have a unique item that nobody else will likely have, but it’ll also be something that you’ll enjoy looking at and remembering your trip by.

2) Consider The Cost Of Your Souvenir

When buying a souvenir, it’s always important to consider how much you’re paying for something. After all, there are many cheap and expensive stores within markets that sell similar items; try not to overspend on things like magnets or keychains just because they are pretty. Souvenirs should be unique and meaningful to help commemorate your favorite places from your trip abroad; if you can’t afford anything special, then don’t buy any at all!

3) Be Wary Of Local Sellers

While souvenir shopping, it’s important that you’re aware of your surroundings. Some merchants may try to scam you into buying something or even steal from you! Be especially careful in crowded areas like markets; pickpockets can easily take advantage of a busy tourist with their guards down to rob them blind. If there are any issues while trying to buy souvenirs abroad, make sure they resolve the problem before leaving so as not to have an unpleasant end to your trip.

4) Get A Local’s Opinion

If you’re really struggling to find something that you want as a souvenir, consider asking a local for some help. They’ll likely know of the best places to buy things like paintings or handicrafts and can steer you away from tourist traps selling overpriced and low-quality items. Not only will this save you time and money, but it’ll also allow you to learn more about the culture and history of the destination you’re visiting.

5) Go For The Unique

When buying a souvenir, it’s always best to opt for something unique rather than something common. This way, you’ll be sure that nobody else will have the same item as you, and it’ll make for a great conversation starter when showing off your new purchase. If you’re having trouble finding something unique, try looking in independent stores or markets as opposed to large chains – these tend to sell more localized items that won’t be found elsewhere.

With these tips in mind, buying souvenirs from your next trip abroad should be a breeze! Be sure to take your time and enjoy browsing through all of the different options available; after all, this is part of the fun of travel.

travel tips

5 Helpful Tips To Plan Your Next Family Holiday

Image Credit

Family holidays are excellent opportunities to get away for some time and build deeper bonds with your loved ones. According to data from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), families with children aged at least five years old took about 5.6 holidays both in the UK and overseas in 2019. Planning family holidays is typically stressful for many, but you can simplify the task by following some helpful tips. Here are some valuable insights worth knowing to make your next family holiday planning a breeze.

  1. Have a budget

Budgeting is essential to planning any family holiday since you don’t want to decide on anything far beyond your means. You need enough money to book flights and accommodations, pay for transport, buy food, and handle any other costs you may incur after arriving at your destination. Consequently, figure out how much cash you have available for your dream holiday and how much you may need to save to make it happen. If you want your family to enjoy regular travel, it would be best to leverage a dedicated savings app so you can set money aside towards this goal all year round. However, remember that there are numerous family getaways you can plan for without breaking the bank. Therefore, you can explore ideas like camping in the nearest national park if your budget doesn’t allow for costs like plane tickets and lodging.

  1. Brainstorm activities

Your family will definitely not want to sit around all day while on holiday. Instead, everyone would want to get out, explore, and have enough adventures that they can look back on as fond memories. Consequently, brainstorm the activities your family will engage in at your destination ahead of time. You can look into great must-see places in your destination and check for fun things to do as well. 

For instance, a trip to the museum is a great addition to your itinerary if your destination has one. Similarly, activities like hiking and camping are worth considering if your destination has campsites, national parks, or wilderness areas. However, remember everyone should have an activity they love for it to be the perfect family vacation. As such, it would be best to find the right blend of activities that adults and children would enjoy, so nobody is left feeling grouchy.

  1. Research accommodations

You will undoubtedly need a place to reside on your next family holiday. This place must be affordable, nice enough, and preferably close to areas you will be visiting. Consequently, do your homework by researching accommodation options in your preferred destination to discover what is available before booking. SiteMinder’s research reveals that two out of three global travellers read travel review websites before booking. Therefore, it would help to also read reviews of your resort, hotel, or campground from other travellers to learn about their experiences and ensure that you make the right final choice. However, you can also stay with relatives or rent a house if possible, so keep these options in mind when planning your accommodation.

  1. Pick a destination

Your destination can make or break the family holiday experience. Therefore, it is vital to select the perfect destination to ensure that the holiday is memorable for everyone. Everyone would undoubtedly have a long list of places to visit, so it is critical to narrow your options down and select one place. The best way to accomplish this is to ask each family member what they expect from your trip. This way, you can use the similarities in everyone’s answers to pick a compromise destination that everyone would be satisfied with.

  1. Think about transportation

Your transportation is heavily dependent on where you plan to take your holiday. Flying is perhaps your only option if you plan to go outside the country. As such, it is best to book your tickets in advance to save money if you will be flying to your destination. For this, check all major booking sites for discounts offered based on the time of the year or day of the week. Then, make your reservation immediately after selecting your dates. 

On the other hand, you can travel by car, but you will have to determine whether it is worth it before making this decision. For instance, you may be better off taking a flight if the total gas money for the trip is close to or more than the cost of a plane ticket. Also, you will need to consider whether you want to spend days on the road when travelling long distances, potentially increasing your accommodation costs.

travel tips

Home Buying Is Becoming More And More Accessible


One of the most common things that you will hear in the modern era is that it is becoming harder and harder to buy a house. Now, there is a certain degree to which this is somewhat true. After all, our parents’ generation were able to get mortgages with no deposit and house prices were a whole lot lower. However, the modern world is always changing and while there are still challenges to trying to buy a home, there are also things that are making it simpler and easier. With that in mind, here are some of the ways that home buying is becoming more accessible and how you can take advantage of it.

Understand what you can afford

If you’re thinking of buying a home then one of the most important things that you need to do is to know what kind of budget you’re working with. If you don’t know what you can afford, you’re basically falling at the first hurdle. Luckily, there are plenty of resources online to help you do just that. Getting mortgage quotes online is a fantastic way to give yourself the best possible idea of what kind of financial ballpark you’re in. That way, you can manage your expectations of the kinds of homes that you should be looking for.

Start managing your money

There’s no doubt that buying a home in the modern era is not going to be especially cheap. Even if you’re able to take out a mortgage, there’s still the matter of affording a deposit to consider as well as all of the fees involved. Because of that, you need to start ensuring that you have some money set aside. Being able to take care of your money and save as much as possible isn’t always easy but it’s one of the most important parts of giving yourself the ability to afford a home of your own.

Plan for your future  

When a lot of people talk about not being able to afford a home, what they actually mean is that they couldn’t put the money for a home down right now. If you’re thinking of buying a home, one of the most important things you can learn is patience. You may not have the money for a home right now but that doesn’t mean you can’t save that money. The housing market might not be on your side right now but that’s going to be the case forever. Being able to plan ahead is essential and there are so many tools available to help you do just that.

The key to finding the right home and being able to buy it is to understand the process. If you’re not fully keyed into the way that home buying works then you’re never going to be able to take steps to make that happen. The modern world has made it easier than ever to understand everything about buying a home so that you’re in the best possible position to make informed decisions every step of the way.

travel tips

What Makes The Perfect Family Vacation?

Source (CC0 License)

Family vacations can go one of two ways: 

They can be extremely memorable, creating memories that you cherish forever. 


They can be an absolute disaster, with arguments happening the whole time and memories created that you want to forget about and bury deep down never to revisit them again. 

Naturally, you want your family vacation to fall into that first category, right? How do you make sure that happens? Well, it’s all about learning what makes the perfect family holiday. Once you know this, you can ensure that everything is booked and your family is ready for the perfect experience abroad.

Today, we’ll explore some of the key things every family holiday needs to be special!

Things the whole family can enjoy

Finding things to do on a family holiday can be what makes or breaks it. If you only focus on things that adults will like, you’ll end up with some grouchy kids that make their feelings known. Places like The Family Vacation Guide often have loads of lists of things to do in various locations around the world, all of which are perfect for families. It’s about including a combination of things adults and kids will like, as well as finding activities that both demographics will enjoy at the same time. This way, everyone is happy!

Good weather

Is there anything worse than a family holiday that’s filled with rain and storms? You’re stuck inside for the entire trip, making it one you don’t want to remember. While you can’t control the weather, you can plan your vacation a lot better to lower the chances of bad weather appearing. This means looking to travel during seasons where the weather is most likely to be appealing – and picking locations with trustworthy weather. For instance, if you want to experience hot weather, travel during the summer months to places that are renowned for hot weather. If you want a snowy holiday, pick a location that gets a lot of snow in the winter. 

A great place to stay

Thirdly, great family vacations rely on great places to stay. What we mean is that your accommodation needs to be nice and suitable for a family. Are you going to have a great family holiday if you put your family up in a hostel with a shared dorm? Absolutely not. Instead, you need to look for hotels or Airbnbs that give you a comfortable and spacious place to stay. It ensures that everyone feels comfy when you’re not out and about – and that you can all sleep well. Hotels are possibly the best choice as you get breakfast included in most places, so your kids will enjoy the novelty of that. Regardless, you have to do research to find the most suitable place for a family of your size. Take the location into account as well – you don’t want to spend hours every day traveling to find something to do!

If your family location includes plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy, a chance of great weather, and a wonderful place to stay, it will be perfect. You’ll have less chance of it being a horror show, and more chance of it being a holiday you remember forever. 

travel tips

Tips on Planning the Perfect Camping Trip With Friends

The summer is a great time to go camping with friends. However, many details need to be considered before you start packing your bags and pitching your tent. This blog post will provide tips on how to plan the perfect trip. We’ll cover topics such as where to camp, what gear you will need, food ideas for camping trips, and more!

Photo by Jeremy Bishop from Pexels

1 Find the perfect camping spot 

You want to find a close enough place for everyone in your group to drive but far away from civilization. This way you avoid any unnecessary noise and traffic as well as guarantee the safety of your campsite. You should also look into local laws about where it’s legal or not to pitch a tent, so you don’t break any rules! Camping spots can be found on many different websites such as,, In addition, there are state parks all across America that often provide access to water activities like kayaking and fishing! Many people choose camping over hotels because they offer more privacy than staying at an inn with strangers nearby.

2 Notify everyone ahead of time 

Once you’ve picked a spot, send out an email to everyone in your group with the location of where you will be camping. Include any other important information, such as directions on how to get there and what time all of you should arrive (usually about one day ahead). This way nobody is left behind and no one gets lost trying to find each other! You can also include some fun activities for people who may not know each other yet, like trivia games or campfire songs. You can also set up a Facebook group where everyone can communicate and share their excitement for the camping trip.

3 Remember all your camping gear  

Everyone should bring their tent, sleeping bag, water bottles, flashlights with batteries, and anything else they might need to make the trip comfortable. So ensure you visit EcoGear FX to stock up on all the essential camping gear. It is also common for people to share tents so you can always ask your friends if anyone needs an extra one! Food wise: think about what kinds of food everyone eats (vegetarians and gluten-free diets) and account for enough servings in total (meals per person). Make sure you plan out where each item will be stored, too, like which bags hold trash or towels.

4 Remember the bugs 

There are many bugs and insects in the woods, like mosquitoes, spiders, and ticks. Ensure everyone brings bug spray (DEET-based) to keep them away from your campsite, especially while cooking or eating outside! It would be best to think about bringing extra towels along since they will get dirty after a day out on the trails. It’s good to have some lanterns for reading at night, too, instead of using flashlights all the time.

A camp trip can be an excellent experience for everyone involved as long as you plan it out well. Planning the perfect camping trip with friends will ensure that your group has fun and nobody gets lost or left behind!

travel tips

Top 7 Simple Ways to Feel at Home While Traveling

If you’re a digital nomad or planning on being one soon, it’s easy to feel homesick when you’re on the road. You miss your food, family, pets, and friends, all of which are familiar elements that have been around for years.

Pixabay – CCO License

However, there’s a surprising number of things that you can start doing right this moment to help you feel at home while traveling.

Here are seven simple steps you can take to do just that:

Make a Home-like Environment 

One of the essential parts of a home is the environment. Wherever you go, make sure you have a comfortable, relaxing place to sleep and a comfy chair for reading or watching TV. It will help create an environment where you feel at home and lessens your urge to run off when the hostel does not have Wi-Fi.

Try New Habits 

Many travelers find that they start missing their habits when they’re traveling long term. Try to make some new ones, or at least maintain some old ones. One example is trying to make it a habit to use the same toothpaste and deodorant in each place you visit.

Make a Habit of Buying Local

A lot of travelers find that they become homesick when they stop buying their favorite products from home. For example, if you’re a wine drinker, try drinking local wine while traveling. Or try cooking your favorite meal a few times a week while you’re away.

Create a Backup Plan

It would help if you had a backup plan for your trip. Make sure you have a couple of different options if things start to get difficult somewhere along the line. If you’re going on a long journey, you will undoubtedly experience some homesickness at some point. Having a backup plan will help your mental well-being and help you continue with your adventure.

Keep in Touch with Loved Ones

A big part of feeling homesick is simply missing friends and family. Try to keep in touch with them as much as possible, either through phone calls, email, blog posts, or whatever else you can think of. It will help tremendously to talk to loved ones who understand where you are and what you’re going through.

Do Something for Someone Else

Mentally, it’s essential to help someone else when you’re feeling homesick. It will make you feel fulfilled and help out a local person while boosting your mood. If you can’t do anything charitable, try going out to dinner with a friend or taking a day trip somewhere fun.

Bring with you Pictures of your Family

Bring pictures of your family or friends with you on your travels. Keep them in your wallet, your passport, and elsewhere so you can look at them when you’re homesick. This is a great way to help fight homesickness.

Summing Up

Traveling is one of the most rewarding parts of life. If you’re struggling with homesickness, it will help immensely to do one of these simple things. They won’t take up much time, but they can make your time more fulfilling

travel tips

How To Get Yourself Prepared For Wilderness Hiking

When it comes to hiking out in the wild it is essential that you are prepared, especially should it be a multi-day hike you are doing. By preparing you can make sure that everything can go smoothly and should something arise you are ready for it. However it can be tough to know how to prepare when it comes to hiking out in the wilderness so hopefully, this guide can help you to get some ideas of how to prepare for your hiking experience.

Source: Pexels

Pick a trail you are going to hike

Most hiking areas no matter where you are going to travel will have trails that you can pick to hike on, each trail will usually vary in difficulty, length and elevation. It is important to research these aspects and pick the trail that best suits you, if you are a beginner then make sure you do not go for the toughest one etc. 

Try to get in shape for your hike

If you are doing a multi-day hike that is a big one, or maybe you are going abroad for it and doing it with friends, then getting in shape for it is a good idea. At the end of the day you want to enjoy your time out on the hike and if you are struggling to keep up or you are waking up stiff each day it can make it less enjoyable so try and give yourself time to get in shape for your hike.

Make sure to get the hiking essentials

When preparing for your hike you need to pack up the essentials that you will need, for example, if you are doing a multi-day trek then you will need an easy to carry tent, spare clothes, and food etc. if you’re just going for the day then you will only need the essentials like a drink, some snacks and a first aid kit. Essential for hiking is also the outfit too, you need some great walking shoes or boots to help make sure your feet stay comfy and you do not get blisters, you need great clothing for the season you are hiking in like North Michigan Clothes, having the right clothing will make sure you do not get cold and you stay well protected based on your environment.

Try to have a checklist for packing

You are likely to have a big hiking bag or a bag of some sort for hiking so having a checklist to make sure that you do not forget anything is important for your preparation. When it comes to preparing your list make sure you have one for the essentials you will need for every hike no matter length or difficulty. Then have a different list adapted to the different hikes you are doing as some things you need may vary, like staying overnight camping or the weather etc. This makes sure you can prepare no matter what hike you are looking to do.

If you are looking to take up wilderness hiking but you are unsure of the best way to prepare and plan for your hiking then these few tips should help you to understand how you can prepare your hiking experience and make sure things can go to plan and not get forgotten.