Taking photos as a solo traveller

Who doesn’t love a good holiday photo album and sharing your favourite photo pic with your friends and family?

When you are a solo traveller being able to grab a photo isn’t always that straightforward.

Here are my favourite ways to take a photo as a solo traveller.

Ask someone

The old classic of simply saying to local or other tourists can you take a picture for me, you will normally find someone who will take the photo for you.

Top Tip: Have the camera set up already and explain the frame to them as well, but above all check the photo after! Make sure it is something you like and if not ask them to take it again and explain what it is you are after.

Use a Tripod

There are so many options now for lightweight travel tripods that fit into a bag easily taking up hardly any space, allowing you to snap pictures to your heart’s content.

I do recommend having a Bluetooth remote option as it can be easier than using a timer.

Making friends

When travelling solo you are bound to make other friends on the road so asking them to take a photo and doing the same for them is one of the simplest ways to get travel photos and the one I probably use the most.

Makeshift tripod

Use objects around you as a tripod

If you don’t own a tripod or don’t have room for one in your bag, place your camera against a wall, on some rocks or books anything to make your makeshift tripod is another great option when wanting to take a photo with no one around, plus you aren’t always going to have your tripod on you.


Comment below for favourite solo photo top tips and follow me on Instagram for more travel-related content.


Enjoy navigating the globe
Faye

Google map top tips for travellers

Google maps is defiantly one of my favourite travel maps and the one I have used the longest!

With access on most devices in some form, it is super handy when needing to get around in a foreign country and making sure that the local taxi service doesn’t take advantage of you as a tourist when getting from A to B.

Save places

My most likely favourite feature of this app is the fact that you can save places in different categories and add notes to them as well.

If I load up my google maps there are yellow star pins all over the world of places that have been recommended or I just want to go, with accommodation recommendation and companies for certain activities that people have used and suggest I use if decide to do the same activity too.

The great thing about saving places is that you will always have a list of suggestion for a certain place if you ever feel stuck and don’t know what to do on a certain day during your travels or ready for when you move on.

Take notes

I have already touched on this but being able to write down notes is handier than you think.

Example notes I have put are ‘Party hostel’ ‘Eat here on Tuesdays they have a good deal’ ‘Take the side path to get to this place, it is hidden away’.

Anything useful to you just write it down, you never know that handy bit of information that may come about when you are on the road.

Download maps offline

Imagine you arrive somewhere new in the evening it is dark you don’t have a SIM card for the country so no service and you can’t get one till the morning and want to know how to get to your hostel and how long it should take.

Well, this is where downloading your maps comes in, before you leave for any trip simply download the map for the area you will be staying in then no matter where you are you can view a map and know how to get around without any data.

Eco-routes

The newest feature of maps is one of my favourites and that is eco-routes.

This feature simply offers drivers the lowest carbon footprint route to take, meaning that you know you are taking the most sustainable way to get to where you want helping you be more of a sustainable traveller.


Comment below your favourite google map features for travel and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more travel-related content.


Enjoy navigating the globe
Faye

Tips for packing carry-on

Carry on! Either a travellers joy or nightmare.

The idea of packing light and fitting everything for a month or more long travels into one bag small bag can seem like a dorting task.

Here are a few tips to help you pack all you need for your next adventure into a carry-on only bag.

Packing Cubes

Most travellers will mention these at some point and most live by them and there is a reason for that.

Packing cubes stop you from over packing, making things easier to organised and pack into your bag.

Lay things out

It sounds simple but writing down a list of all the thing you will need for that trip and then laying out all the clothes you want, then simply compare the lists.

Laying things out also mean that you can see what items of clothes go together and don’t, stopping you from bringing clothes that can’t be worn in multiple outfits.

Mix ‘n’ Match

This brings us on to the next tip and that is having tops and bottoms that can be paired with multiple items in your bag to create multiple outfits from fewer items.

This will mean you could bring more possibly but also cut out on the unimportant things that you are possibly taking.

Shoes!!

This is one of the bulkier items and so easy to overpack, depending on where you are going and what you will be doing will depend on the shoe type.

Most likely if you are going to a sunnier location will need a part of comfy sandals and a pair of closed-toed shoes that can be worn when hiking and for more adventurous activities possibly,

For colder weather, possibly bring a walking boot/trainer and a pair of more casual trainers that can be worn for multiple occasions.

Some people may decide to bring a pair of flip flops that are small and don’t take up room for showering so as not to go barefoot but this is very much a personal choice.

Toiletries!

When travelling hand luggage only you will have a limit on the volume of liquids, so rather than packing mini bottles of everything to then buy more when travelling, just buy larger bottles when you arrive at your destination, this will also help cut down the number of plastic bottles you use.

Another option and the one I use personally is to use bars, they last for months don’t use plastic, I have no liquid limits to worry about or spillages!

You can get shampoo, conditioner and body bars! This will save you space when packing but also money on buying several toilets.


Hopefully, these tips will help you when packing carry on for your next trip.

Comment below your carry on pack tips and follow on Instagram for more travel-related content.


Enjoy navigating the globe
Faye

What camera to get for travel?

With so many cameras out there is can be confusing to know what type to get and understand all the jargon that goes along with it.  

Now I may not be a professional photographer or a camera buying expert, however here are a few things that I look out for when buying a camera to go travelling with.  

For some context, I use the Canon M50 and below I will list the things I was looking for in a camera which brought me to my decision.  

But please remember to do your research and fact-checking when buying your own, because what you need in a camera could be very different to me.  

1. Camera Type  

I knew that I didn’t want a compact point and shot camera and that I didn’t want to use my phone camera either.  

For me, a DSLR was the right choice as I was able to change the lens to suit what I needed the camera for and that I also wanted to take my photography to the next level.  

2. Size

I didn’t want a camera that was too bulky as it would need to fit in my backpack and be compact.  

This narrowed down the look of the camera quite a lot but also brought me to mirrorless cameras which I had never heard of before, this required me to do a lot of research which I recommend you do the same as well.  

3. Camera make

For some people, this is important for others it isn’t. 

I chose canon but only because I know others that use them and I had used canon in the past so went with them.  

4. Price tag

This played a large part in the camera I chose I knew that a DSLR would be expensive but I also knew that the prices within this group can vary massively and is an important point to think about 

5. Lens Choices  

For me knowing that there was a range of lens available for if and when I decide to buy more. 

The mirrorless cameras for canon at the time didn’t have a lot of choices but they did have an adapter for the mirrorless to use the regular DSLR camera lens, I am sure other makes have done this also but knowing that for the camera I wanted this was an option is something that helped confirm my choice.  


Hope this has given me some things to think about when looking for a camera, but remember always do your research.  

Comment below what camera you use for travel and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more travel-related content.  


Enjoy navigating the globe  

Faye  

Day hiking essentials

Off on a days hike somewhere and want to avoid packing everything but the kitchen sink with no idea where to start? Well, I am here to help with my top 7 things that always go with me when I am off on a day hike.  

1. Backpack   

This may be seen obvious to some but taking a backpack is something I have seen many people do because they didn’t want to carry a bag with them but then brought none of the other essentials that they needed, so have a strong comfortable backpack that will easily fit everything that you need in is a must.  

2. Walking boots and socks!

I have put these 2 items together as they go hand in hand with each other both need it fit and be conformable for you no one else, yes go off peoples recommendations but it is not one fits all.  

Having a pair of strong, worn walking boots is important this can stop ankle based or more serious injuries as well as stop your feet from getting wet too if it rains or the ground is still wet.  

If you have just brought need walking boots then I suggest wearing them about your local area and going for a walk near your house a few time a week before your big hike, the last thing you want is your boots rubbing your feet and giving you blisters. 

Having the wrong socks can also give you blisters if they don’t fit and your foot slides about in them or they are too thick or too thin can also cause this problem.  

3. Layers

I will always have a second layer or maybe more when hiking.  

For me, my second layer is normally my jumper which is thick and comfy, but sometimes if I decide to wear a vest when walking will take a thermal or long sleeve top which I can wear over the top if it is still too warm for a jumper but too cold to just wear a vest.  

4. Camera  

Going on a hike without some form of camera is a waste of time to me, I love getting photos of the landscape and views when I am out and about so having this in my bag is a must, however, it isn’t essential and something. that you may decide that you don’t need to bring.  

5. Water and snacks

If I know I am out all day the last thing I want to be doing is having to worry where the food stop will be so having a litre water bottle and food with me is a must, you will also possibly be burning quite a few calories so make sure that you are having plenty to eat and drink is important for your health.  

Bring your own watero bottle also lowers the need for a single use plastic one and be sure to put any rubbbish from food in a bin or put it in your bag to take it home later!

6. First aid kit

It may sound silly but having a small first aid kit with some plasters in will come in surprisingly handy, there has been more than one occasion where I have cut my hand on a bramble or something else and having a mini first aid has been useful.  

7. Sun Cream  

Especially if you are out hiking all day in the sun then this is needed but also in the winter months at times as the sun can still be quite strong.  

Having sun cream to stop yourself from getting burnt and project your skin is something I will always look to bring with me.  


Hope this list has helped in getting you ready for your next day-long hiking adventure.  

Comment below your hiking must have and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more travel-related content.  


Enjoy navigating the globe  

Faye 

How to be a sustainable traveller

With expensive eco-huts in the rainforest and sustainable travel awareness on the rise with eco options popping up everywhere, it can be difficult to know which is the most environmentally beneficial answer, but also how can you travel in an eco-sustainable way without it costing a tonne!  

Now I am not here to tell you that everything you do has to be sustainable and sustainable travel is the only way to travel because it isn’t and it can be hard to travel this way the time, I by no means am perfect and don’t get it right all the time but I do try where I can which is what I ask of all of you.  

So how do we travel more sustainably?  

Using public transport

If you can getting on a bus or train instead of a taxi, using a boat to get somewhere instead of flying can all help lower carbon emissions as well as costing less money at times too! If you are going on a road trip with friends try and cut down the number of vehicles that you all take can be another way to lower the amount of CO2 produced.  

You could also look to offset your flights but this can cost more money for a ready expensive flight, but if this is something you chose to do I would suggest looking into how the flights are offset and who is it benefiting in the long run.  

Reusable items  

Taking your water bottle with help the number of single-use plastics and the cost of buying bottled water all the time you can even buy filtering water bottles so you know that you can use the tap water wherever you are.  

Taking a cotton reusable bag for when you go shopping as well as metal straw and reusable cutlery that way you don’t need the single-use version but if you go somewhere that doesn’t offer it you have your own and no need to worry.  

Slow travel

This one isn’t always available to people as it does depend on how long you can spend in an area, but taking your time when travelling not only gives you chance to explore more of an area and the culture but will help lower the amount of carbon of your trip overall as well as helping the local economy  

Spend locally  

Going to the local restaurants and hotels compared to the chains that you see across the world makes your travels sustainable as you are supporting the local economy compared to the big chain back in the US or UK.  

This local economic growth for the people will go a long way in helping a country to develop more and be less dependent on tourism for most of the countries income, things such as COVID have brought this to life with some countries which desperately need tourism to open again.  

Travel in the low season 

This option has so many benefits, not only is travelling in the off/low season quieter and cheaper it helps out the locals!  

While there are masses of tourism in the summer months and people makes lots of money the locals and the countries economy overall struggle more in the winter months as there is less of an income so travelling in the low season gives the local area a boost.  

Plus with prices being cheaper and fewer people around you can explore the culture and local area a lot more, you quite possibly get more of a personalised experience depending on how many people are around and with lower prices travel for longer!  


Hopefully, this post has provided you with more of an idea on how you can travel a little more sustainably in the future, but remember no one is perfect and while you may not be able to do all of these things listed having a go at even one or two of them will be a great way to help support the little blue planet we live on.  

Comment below your favourite sustainable travel tip and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more travel-related content.  


Enjoy navigating the globe   

Faye  

Narrow down your next trip location

So you decided that you want to get on a plane and fly off to another adventure, however, you have too many choices and options with no idea which to choose, how to narrow them down and leaving you overwhelmed before you even had a chance to start planning.  

This happens to everyone at one point or another.  

When I need to decide which location to travel to next, following these top 5 tips to pick always helps narrow it down making the task 5 times easier! 

Budget

Number 1 will always be looking at the budget I have available to me.  

Taking each location completing basic background research on the cost, a few things I look at and always pick the most expensive price for to create a worst-case cost is:  

Accomodation

Looking at a range of prices in each area you plan to stay during your trip will help give you a good overall range for the country 

Flights/transport

Looking at return flight costs and any bus or train costs that you may encounter while travelling around the country 

Activities

Of course, you won’t know every activity you which to do while there but if there is something specific you know you want to do while there finding out the cost is worthwhile, there is not much point going somewhere if you can’t do the main activity you wanted to do.  

Insurance/Visas

If you need a visa knowing the cost and requirements is a must as well as how much your insurance will be, if you can’t afford this cost then this destination will have to be taken off the list.  

Looking at these 4 costs give me a basic idea of the kind of prices I will face when in this country and are the 4 main costs for most trips, you, of course, can change these categories based on your travel needs.  

Time of year

What time of year are you planning your trip?  

Did you want to travel to a country in a certain season? 

Knowing if it is the off-season somewhere or not may affect your choice but also what the weather and temperatures will be at that time. 

Timescale  

How long do you have for your trip?

If you wanted to travel somewhere for say 3 months and you only have a month you will be able to take this location off your list helping to narrow it down some more. 

Coming up with a realistic timescale and itinerary will help with narrowing down your choices more than you realise.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Solo or Group 

Are you a solo or group traveller?  

If you like to solo travel then booking the trip whenever you want and working to your schedule defiantly makes this easier. 

If you are in a group knowing when everyone can travel and the timescale, all you, when need to do, is apply the pervious points once you have this info.  

Style 

Are you a backpacker, flashpacker or just like in travel in luxury?  

Knowing the type of traveller you are will help you when booking flights, looking at accommodation and even the location!  


Hope these top tips helped you in narrowing down your next destination.  

Comment below your favourite tip and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more travel-related content.  


Enjoy navigating the globe  

Faye  

What to pack in a day bag for travel

What do I carry with me on a day to day bases when on the road travelling around the world? What to carry in your day bag may be something you don’t think about much at all but paying attention to what you bring can have hidden advantages you may not have thought about.  

Here are my top 5 things I always make sure to carry with me in my day bag when I am out exploring.  

1. Jacket

Having some form of jacket or cover I put over my shoulders when it is cold or to protect myself from the sun or if I am visiting a religious temple that requires me to cover my shoulders.  

Having some form of a jacket in my bag has defiantly come in handy more than you realise when out all day even in the warmest countries it can drop super cold at night.  

2. Camera

This one may seem a little obvious when you are travelling around the world to have your camera on you ready to snap some shots of the amazing sites that you will see.  

However making sure that you have a battery and enough space in your camera card is something people often forget, I always just use my phone as a backup encase this does ever happen but if you are the person to use a separate camera to your phone, making sure that you always have it with you and that it is ready for action is important.  

3. Portable Charger

Even though you may start your day with all electronics fully charged their batteries of course will fade when you are out using them all day.  

Having a portable charger with me is a must knowing that I can charge my phone whenever needed also gives me that added safety factor as I will always be able to access maps or taxi services through my phone as well. 

I like to use a solar-powered charger so that I don’t have to worry about charging the charger and even if I go off-grid have a way to charge my devices.  

4. Money/ID

While most of us will carry a bank card around with us having some cash just in case your card didn’t work or somewhere only takes cash this handy but also makes sure you are covered for any situation.  

Having a form of ID is handy, for example, if you want to buy alcohol or if you want to rent a vehicle having your driving licence as your ID will serve as a 2 in 1 

5. Water/Food

Being the sustainable traveller that I am having a reusable water bottle is a must for me, I like to use a filtering water bottle so I can drink the tap water of whichever country I am in, but this also will save you a lot of money then having to buy plastic bottles all the time.  

If I know I will be out all day or need to save a bit of money on my trip to get back on a budget having either a small snack or may some sandwiches if I am going off on a hike all day or know that I won’t be able to get something.  

Hopefully, this top 5 list of what I keep in my day bag has given you some ideas and added to your day bag essentials. 


Comment below what you always have to travel within your day bag and don’t forget o follow me on Instagram for some more travel-related content.  


Enjoy navigating the globe  

Faye 

Why avoid tourist traps

So why should you avoid travelling to touristy areas? Some might say that it is safer or it is easier to travel this way as there will be easy access to everything. Others will say you’re guaranteed to see the highlights of this country, however what about the highlights off the touristy trail and beaten path, the hidden gems waiting to be discovered.   

Now are you will still probably go to some touristy areas because that’s how you most likely choose to visit this country in the first place. Whether it was by a google search on the best places to visit or recommendation. There is still an upside to chatting with the locals and finding those hidden gems to explore.  

Here are my top five reasons why you shouldn’t travel to touristy areas for your next trip!  

Cheaper!

Now the locals know that this is where the tourist will be and that we are likely to have money, else how else would we afford to be there, leaving locals ready to sell us various souvenirs and increase prices to the attraction which we will happily pay as most of us will only be there once, allowing them to increase the cost.   

How to solve this problem and make your trip cheaper?   

Head away from that touristy spot and discover something new along the way!  

Unusual sites

Most tourists will likely have the same story of a certain monument somewhere in the world and had the experience as the person sat right next to them, however, do you want to come back from holiday with a different story to tell?   

Then ask a local!

Ask them for their recommendation that aren’t the typical tourist thing to do or see, somewhere the locals like to visit instead. So if you want to be in with the chance to witness something unusual and a bit more local then not following the touristy guide map is a reason for you.  

Experience the culture

One of the best parts of being able to travel is to experience new cultures and seeing what other parts of the world have to offer.   

Head out to a classic tourist restaurant you possibly see western dishes as well as the local ones.   

But head a few streets over and you like to find it to be a more local environment for both the dishes and the service done to suit the local population and cater from them. You will also find the prices to suit the locals too! Not only saving you money but also offering a more unique and local experience.   

You might find a local bakery which is a family one business that makes fresh bread every day or one that makes cakes that taste completely amazing!   

Off the busy tourist street, you can find tours that aren’t as busy offering a more personalised and unique experience, to see the culture and sights.   

Walking through a christmas tree farm! Locals go here every year to pick a tree

Crowds

The number one reason for most people to avoid touristy areas is to avoid the queues of tourists line down the street to paying extra fees to see a site or trying to get that photo amazing shot with a dozen people walking around in the background.   

While going very early morning or late evening or even lunchtime can resolve this problem it can’t be completely avoided. Finding the place the crowds don’t go will not only save you money but also offer you something new.   

Protect the environment

The tourism impact on the environment is very known with large numbers of tourists flighting all over the world not only increase CO2, but some also leave rubbish lying about the place and with the sheer volume of tourists at some locations causing high amounts of erosion at historic sites.   

Locals are often aware of the environmental impact however still need tourists to support the local economy.   

By heading off the beaten track not only are you witnessing some of natures untouched treasures but also help tourism across the country compared to concentrated areas. Allowing you to travel the world and save the planet at the same time, with even the smallest chance of having a larger impact.   


Comment below why you prefer to travel to the non-touristy areas or your favourite spot off the beaten track and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram from your travel-related content  


Enjoy navigating the globe  

Faye

Backpacker accommodation guide

Whether you are travelling in a group or solo the biggest cost for any traveller is accommodation!

Now while some countries are indeed cheaper to travelling than other accommodation still takes a large part of the budget. It is important to remember when you are travelling, of course, accommodation prices will fluctuate, but the type of accommodation plays a big role.

For example, hostels can be cheaper compared to hotels, however, even the price of the same type of accommodation can vary massively in prices depending on what luxuries you would like.

So let’s delve into the different types of accommodation available to you when you are travelling.

Hotels

Hotels are likely the most expensive type of accommodation on this list, rooms in hotels will be private which increases the price, but also know when for their high-quality service which of course comes with a high price tag.

Most backpackers tend to stay away from this type of accommodation as it isn’t always the most sociable which is something that most backpackers typically look for.

Hostels

Hostel prices can vary massively but most offer the same quality as a hotel can at a cheaper cost! As well as a mix of private and dorm rooms allowing you to meet other travellers it is no wonder many backpackers chose to stay in them.

Another great thing about hostels is that there are many options on what is offered at them, from tours (some of them can be free) to Wi-Fi, bars, food options as well as launderettes. With many digital nomads and backpackers found here, it is a great way to make friends and meet other people you can read more about it here and here.

Air BnB

If you are looking to stay somewhere for an extended period on your travels then I would recommend an Air BnB. Offering a cost-effective way for staying in a location for a month or more when you are travelling or even if you want a private space that isn’t a hostel this is a good option for you and something I would recommend.

Couch surfing

This is one that defiantly holds mixed reviews however is very popular among the backpacking community.

If you don’t know what couch surfing is then is pretty much what it says on the tin, you can stay at a local person’s house and sleep on the couch some may even offer you a room.

This something I have never tried myself however is a low-cost accommodation option and a good way for anyone who wishes to live with the local people while they are travelling and experience more of the local culture.

Homestay

There are many things which can fall under this definition you might decide to house sit for a while when the owners are on holiday or even look after their pets or some form of an exchange, for example, if you are studying aboard you may be offered a homestay.

Homestays can also include volunteering options, in exchange for potentially working on a local farm or working for these people you can stay there for free in return for your help.

Want to know more about volunteering and travel then check out this blog post for a more in-depth guide.

As I said homestay comes in various options and is something done by backpackers but may not always be the most popular choice for some is still a good way to possibly cut costs.

Stay with friends and family

The cheapest form of accommodation has to be staying friends and family that you know in that particular area now some might say you have to pay a small amount while staying to cover food costs, while others may not.

Either way, it is a great way to catch up with old friends and get to stay a few nights without costing you anything making it a two in one.

Camping

When I think of this form of travel it is is more than the old school style of backpacking! Where you walk or hitchhike from one place to another and pitch a tent wherever you end up that night, going across a country.

You still get people who do this in the countryside and wild areas of a country!

If you plan on wild camping and following and leave no trace policy (it is very important to follow this policy if you do plan on wild camping). This type of accommodation can be completely free as you don’t need to pay for anything, however, make sure you check the wild camping rules where you are travelling as this is something that cant be done in every country.

If you’re someone who doesn’t mind roughing it this could be an option you however if you do prefer a few more luxuries such as a shower then paying for a campsite is also another option. The cost can vary but be probably typically around the same price as a hostel which is why most backpackers tend to stay in hostels as opposed to camping, however, if you want to be more with nature this may be a good choice for you.

Van life

This has grown in popularity over the years and something that I would like to try in the future!

While van life can initially have very high costs to start it will pay back over time. This way of travel has freedom with it, allowing you to easily change location without having to wait around for flights or buses.

Saving you money on accommodation as well as transport costs with only fuel being the item you need to budget for.


Comment below your favourite type of accommodation and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram more travel-related content


Enjoy navigating the globe

Faye

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