Three Travel Tips to Take Better Pictures on Your Next Trip

We’ve all returned home from an amazing trip, looking forward to posting pictures on Facebook or Instagram, only to discover they aren’t “post-worthy.” No one wants to show off a dull sunset, scene-ruining photobombs, or wayward thumbs that accidentally find themselves in front of the camera’s lens. So how can you avoid these common mistakes? Here are three travel tips on how to take better pictures on your next vacation.

1. Maximize What You’ve Got

Most tourists travel light, bringing nothing more than their cell phones, and that’s perfectly fine. Many professional photographers are quick to admit that it’s not the camera, but technique that creates the best results. So if all you’ve got is your phone, don’t count yourself out.

  • Cell Phone Photography
    Start with the basics. We unintentionally smudge both the front and back lens through normal use of our phones. So before you take a picture, pause to wipe off your camera’s lens. Now that your lens in clean, it’s time to focus on your screen. Go into the camera app’s settings and turn on the grid feature to help you better frame your scene. Last, use the advanced features to your benefit. Modern smartphones are packed with photo features. Play around with your settings, or head over to YouTube for a tutorial on all your phone has to offer.  

2. Plan Ahead

The second way to become an enviable vacation photographer is to plan ahead. There are many factors that go into bringing your photos to life. Most can be controlled with a little planning. 

  • Time of Day
    First, consider your location of choice. Getting the perfect shot, in popular area, during peak visitation hours is extremely difficult. But if you show up early in the morning, or later at night, your chances of success increase exponentially. Also remember to be mindful of nature. Lighting is one of the biggest factors that play into how a photo turns out. If it’s too bright, the photo will be overexposed. If it’s too dark, you won’t be able to clearly see your subject. So before you plan your trip itinerary, make a list of the locations that you want to photograph and schedule your visits accordingly. 
  • Be Patient
    Even in the best of conditions, it may still come down to being patient (with yourself, your scenery and your camera). Sometimes you’ll need to take the same picture more than once, at different angles, in various light, after adjusting your camera settings multiple times. Don’t let the process deter you from getting your shot! Know that everyone has faced the same challenge and what matters most is the end result. If you get frustrated, take a deep breath, or pass your camera off to someone else for a while, but don’t give up! 

Upgrade

One of the most effective ways to take better vacation pictures is to make a few upgrades! 

  • Knowledge
    Upgrade your skills! Although things can get technical pretty quickly, investing a bit of time into mastering aperture, shutter speed and ISO can quickly improve your photography skills. Fortunately, there are many videos, articles and books that offer detailed explanations of each. Before your next trip, set aside time to study and practice so you’ll be ready to jump into action with no hesitation.
  • Equipment 
    The last, and most expensive step, is to upgrade your equipment. Cameras and lenses today are manufactured to conveniently accommodate the trickiest of conditions. Even the accompanying accessories can make all the difference in capturing impressive vacation pictures. If you are open to making a financial investment, it’s worth the effort to research tripods, DSLR and mirrorless cameras, lenses, and even editing software like Lightroom or Paintshop Pro

Pictures are a physical reminder of the memories we’ve created over the years. Having the ability to capture perfect photos with your loved ones is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Why not work on living up to your full vacation-photographer potential? Next time you are ready to plan some time away, remember these three photography tips to ensure you’ll return home with memories worth posting. 

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Travel Tips to Take Better Pictures on Your Next Trip
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Quick Tips To Effectively Work While Traveling

For some people, traveling does not really signal a time-off from the daily grind. Instead, the opportunity to visit new places comes with career related tasks and responsibilities. Juggling traveling and working is not unusual nowadays, as technology has made it possible to have remote jobs too. The idea of not being confined to a physical office in order to grow a career feels empowering. At the same time, knowing you don’t have the full liberty of just lazing around while in a new destination can be a burden. So how do you balance your schedule and personal time so you get the most out of your trip and still excel at your work? Keeping the following tips in mind can help you experience the best of both worlds:

Complete pending tasks.
One of the best things you can do to make your work trip as stress-free as possible is to finish all uncompleted tasks prior to your trip. Save yourself the burden of having pending work hanging over your head while traveling. To enjoy a lighter workload while out and about, you may want to devote extra effort to finish the work you can do in advance. Without pending tasks in the way, you can easily lay out an effective work plan and schedule.

Pack-up with necessary tools and gadgets.
If you are serious about getting jobs done while on the road, you have to be ready with tools that will help accomplish your tasks. Make a list of gadgets and devices you will need and be sure to pack them all in your bag. Some of the essentials are mobile phones, laptops and chargers. You may also want to bring extra headphones, portable keyboards and flash drives. It also pays to research if the gadgets and tools you will bring will work in your destination (or the configuration steps you may need to do for it to work).  Those who are concerned about security and privacy and do not want to connect to public Wi-Fi can set up a virtual private network (VPN). You can also prevent unexpected laptop troubles by deleting unnecessary files.

Have a contingency plan.
The perennial goal is to have a smooth, productive trip but you are out on an adventure where anything can happen. For your peace of mind, it pays to have a back-up plan in case something goes wrong. It can be as simple as saving your files in a hard drive in case your laptop refuses to boot up. A hard drive copy of the contact details of people at home or in the workplace may also come in handy, in case your cell phone starts acting up. You may also want to read up some information about the local emergency contact numbers in your current destination.

Study your destination.
Every traveler knows the importance of doing some research before a trip. Gaining valuable information about your local destination is doubly important when you have official work to do as well.  You do not want bad weather conditions to ruin your trip, so check out the best time of the year to visit a place. Most probably, you will need a Wi-Fi connection and a working space, so make sure to inquire whether the place you plan to stay offer those amenities. Moreover, reading about travel tips and recommendations will give insights about the best places to go to

Make good use of travel time.
Travel time can be long and direct flights are not always possible. Make good use of stop-overs and other free time while traveling, by finding a good spot where you can plug in your devices and do some quick work. You need sufficient rest to function at your best, so you may also want to steal some sleep while in transit. With proper rest, you will be more than ready to tackle work once you arrive at your destination.

Today, it is possible and easier to earn money while exploring amazing places. Though this great privilege continues to be just a dream for many. If you are one of the few who are lucky enough to get paid while traveling, savor the great chance to quench your wanderlust and advance your career at the same time!  

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Afraid Of Jet Lag? 4 Tips To Avoid This Travel Worry

Ever had to fly across multiple time zones? Traveling to a place that will require you to reset your clock calendar sounds exciting. But  for many people, it means having to deal with jet lag. Experienced travelers understand how uncomfortable it feels. Suddenly your body’s clock is not in sync with the local timezone. You either want to sleep when the sun is rising or are craving a full meal during ungodly hours of the night.

Jet lag, a momentary disruption of your body clock, is one of the not-so-pleasant side effects of traveling to a different time zone. It is commonly associated with long overseas flights but the phenomena is not exclusive to plane rides. Anyone who travels great distances, even if not by air, can experienced jet lag. Sometimes you don’t even have to cross time zones. A shift in weather or climate can also cause you to experience symptoms of jet lag. Don’t let jet lag discourage you from traveling or allow it to make your trip less enjoyable. Here are four tips that can help you avoid the downsides of jet lag.

Prepare early.

If you follow a strict routine, you may want to adjust your schedule for a few days before the trip. You can set your clock to the time zone of your destination and try to go over your day with this schedule in mind. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to do this drastically. Be sure to gradually adjust your sleeping and eating schedules closer to the timezone of the destination you are visiting. With this practice, your body will have an easier time coping with the changes in timezone.

Check your flight schedule.

Your flight schedule and estimated time of arrival are also factors to consider when booking plane tickets. Traveling to your destination during your usual bed time? Then it is a perfect time to catch up on some much-needed snooze during the flight. It will also be helpful if you choose a flight that will allow you to arrive at your destination during the day rather than at night. Arriving when the sun is out will allow you to take in the sights and inspire you to explore the place right away. The energy of the day will help you shake the jet lag blues out of your system faster.  

Adjust to the new schedule.

Sometimes, traveling means attending an important event that will require you to be at your best. Whether it is for business or a family event like a wedding, in order to make sure you won’t be suffering from jet lag, you may want to arrive a day or two earlier than your special event. This simple tweak in your schedule will give your body time to adjust. If you are not in a rush, it can also be a good idea to choose a flight that has a stop. Direct flights may allow you to reach your destination faster, but staying a few hours in an area where the time zone is the same or closer to where you are going will help get your body in tune with your new schedule. When you reach your destination, start matching your routines to the new time zone right away. This may mean holding off on naps or meal times.

Hop on the plane well-rested.

Most of the time, it all boils down to taking good care of yourself. Beating jet lag requires a sound mind and strong body. If you maintain good health and don’t exhaust yourself, your body is in a much better position to combat anything. Make sure you get enough rest the day before your trip. Traveling can be stressful on its own, so minimize it by making sure that everything is prepared and organized a few days before your flight. Your comfort should also be a top priority, so dress in appropriate travel attire. It is also important to stay hydrated throughout your trip. When you are on long flights, you’re bound to experience dehydration. Bringing a water bottle that you can refill at the airport or on the plane will be helpful.

People who love to travel should be ready to cope with all the quirks that come with it. Luckily most of them, like jet lag, can easily be avoided with a few tips and tricks! So don’t allow travel woes to dim your passion for visiting and exploring faraway places. Follow the above four tips to minimize the effects of jet lag while you travel.

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Three Ways to Travel Respectfully

Travel is a luxury that brings great joy. Setting foot on unexplored land can create unmatched feelings of wonder and excitement. Learning about new cultures, people and environments is a life changing experience for those who travel. But that exchange of knowledge is best accomplished when done respectfully. Local residents and native lands should be observed with the utmost care. Here are three ways to travel respectfully.

Do Your Research

Before the wheels of your plane ever touchdown on the runway, you should first learn all you can about your destination of choice. Study the people, the terrain and the cultural differences. If you are visiting a foreign country where most residents speak a language unfamiliar to you, study it. Learn common phrases to help you communicate greetings, directions, travel questions, and niceties. Check the weather and make adjustments to your packing list with climate in mind. The goal of researching and preparing in advance is to lighten the burden on your fellow travel companions, the residents of your destination and the environment. Asking questions will always be a great way to seek information. However, people are much more open to offering assistance to those who’ve put in at least a little effort to assimilate. Instead of expecting everyone to do the heavy lifting of keeping you informed and safe, take the initiative by coming prepared.

Follow the Rules

When researching your destination, you most likely will encounter a few do’s and don’ts. As tempting as it is to downgrade hard-and-fast rules to mere suggestions, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Many places around the world have both implied rules, as well as outline laws that prohibit certain actions. As a guest, it’s your job to adhere to both. If signs say to stay on the marked path, do so. If the local custom is to leave nature untouched, keep your hands to yourself. As simple as this sounds, many tourists still behave as if they are allowed to discard whichever rules don’t fit their desires. Don’t be that traveler. Lastly, remember to give the same level of courtesy you’d give at home. Ask for permission before taking pictures of strangers, don’t stand too closely to others and mind your p’s and q’s.  

Respect the Environment

Protecting the environment, the last tip of traveling respectfully, often goes overlooked. Understandably, some people struggle with this concept abroad because they struggle with it at home as well. As global citizens, it’s our job to honor and nurture the planet we call home. Each of us is responsible for taking care of our little corner of the globe. However, as travelers, that responsibility follows us wherever we go. Whether lounging on the beach, exploring the backroads, or hiking the peaks, we must be mindful. Be considerate about the amount of water, electricity and other raw and natural resources you consume. Tread lightly, limit your contribution to air, noise and water pollution and remember not to litter. Do your best to leave your destination in a better state than you found it – if that’s not possible, leave no footprint at all.

(For more information on environmental impacts, click here)

The rule of respectful travel is to be on your absolute best behavior. Be a worthy representative of your hometown and leave the locals feeling happy you visited. Think of the impression you leave as the determining factor of whether tourist like yourself should continue to be welcomed with open arms. Use the three travel tips above to exercise humility and gratitude. Set an example for other visitors by being the gold standard of respect.

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Ways to Travel Respectfully
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Love Traveling? Protect Your Health While Quenching Your Wanderlust

You travel to see new sights and experience unique things. Exploring unfamiliar places will enrich your mind and nourish your soul. This activity, though, will require you to be in the pinnacle of health. You need energy and stamina to be an adventurous and smart traveler. Ironically, traveling exposes you to situations that increases your chance of catching a disease. With viruses and germs everywhere it is easy to be paranoid about all sorts of sickness you can get.

Still, fear of getting sick should not stop you from satisfying your wanderlust. Instead of abandoning your travel plans altogether, you can observe some simple precautions to stay healthy while on the road. Check out some tips below to ensure you do not taint your travel memories and experiences with the unpleasant feeling of getting ill.

Stock up on liquids.

It is such a hassle to go thirsty while traveling. This is because your body needs an adequate amount of liquids to function at its best. So ensure that you are well hydrated while roaming around. You can avoid dehydration by packing a water bottle everywhere you go.

Protect your skin.

Outdoor time is good for your health as you can breathe in fresh air, soak in warm sunlight and feast on stunning sceneries. Just make sure you are not jeopardizing your health in the process. Harsh rays of the sun can cause skin cancer and damage, so always apply sunscreen before heading outdoors. Choose a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 and apply as needed.

Take supplements.

A strong immune system will give your body the power to fight off all kinds of diseases. Of course, you need proper diet, regular exercise and enough rest to make your body stronger and healthier. You can further boost your body’s defenses by taking vitamins. Because you need to be extra healthy while traveling, make sure to pack your supplements before traveling.

Pack necessary medicines.

Traveling is an adventure so it is better to be prepared for any unexpected situations that you may encounter. It is a wise practice to pack medicines for common travel woes such as nausea, headaches or fever. You should also have a first-aid kit in your bag. To ensure you are fit to travel, you may want to visit a doctor (especially if you are going somewhere very far and for a long period of time) for a physical checkup before your trip.

Keep germs at bay.

As you visit various places, you will likely get dirty as well. Since cleanliness is a prerequisite to good health, strive to stay clean even while traveling. It won’t be a huge challenge as you can conveniently bring hand sanitizer or wipes. Wash your hands before eating a meal, too.

Keep your healthy routines.

Even if travel means a break from your usual routines, it is worth it to maintain daily activities that keep you healthy. Your body will thank you if you allot time for exercise and eat in moderation, even if you are not in the comfort of your home. Likewise, you should ensure that you get enough sleep. It is also a great idea to engage in healthy activities while traveling such as walking, running or biking.

Travel allows you to have fun and relax, but you should not sacrifice your health for it. If you follow the suggestions above, you will come back from your travel escapades stronger and healthier than ever.

Brad and Julie DuncanLove Traveling? Protect Your Health While Quenching Your Wanderlust
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How to Plan a Bucket List Vacation During the New Year

So the holidays are over and the new year has begun. Getting back into the swing of things can be tough but time tends to pass more quickly when you have something to look forward to. Vacation provides a mental escape that helps many of us survive the year. Why not start planning now? Here’s how.

Find Inspiration

Seeking inspiration is the first step. At this stage, brainstorming is the mission. There are no right and wrong locations and budget is not of concern – yet. Use any and all resources to your advantage. Pinterest, friend’s vacation photos, articles, travel magazines, family anecdotes, travel groups/forums, movies or books – leave no stone unturned. Once you’ve combed through enough options, you should end up with a pretty decent list of dream vacations. Your vacation list should range from big to small, local to international and expensive to easily affordable. You want variety so that once the time comes, you can find a trip to meet your needs, no matter the scenario.

Budget

The next step is to consider budget. When planning a vacation, you’ll need to make financial accommodations for transportation, food, entertainment, souvenirs and housing. Because all of those factors vary based on location, you’ll need to start by figuring out how much money you’d like to allocate toward travel this year, then work backwards. Once you’ve established a budget, then you’ll be able to narrow your brainstormed vacation list to the ones that fit within your budget.

Details

Now let’s talk details. Vacations are composed of a million small decisions that come together to form one harmonious result. However, a few details are more important than others. Answer the following questions:

  • How much vacation time do you want to dedicate to travel this year?
  • Do you want to go alone or with someone else?
  • Are there any special events you are trying to attend?
  • What’s most important when deciding where to stay?
  • Do you need to rent a car or will public transportation work?

Research Regional Specifics

You have a budget, a location and you’ve covered the minor details. Now you need to look deeper into the destination you chose. Is there anything you should spend time working on to make your trip more enjoyable? If you are traveling to a foreign country, you may want to start learning conversational phrases that will help you get around. Do you need to apply for your passport? Do you need to learn about money conversion or stock up on universal outlets? Are there customary norms that you need to familiarize yourself with? Learn all that you can about your destination of choice and start preparing.

Save Money

The last step of making your vacation a reality is finding the funds to do so. Ideally, we would all have enough cash on hand to pay for our vacation without needing to do any extra work. But for larger vacations, that’s not always realistic. There are many ways to go about saving, but no matter the method, starting as early as possible makes a world of difference. Once you start, remember to be disciplined by refusing to remove money from the vacation fund. If you meet your goal early, keep saving and use the extra money for upgrades or for your next trip.

Traveling enhances both your world view and life enjoyment. The vacation of your dreams is just around the corner. Even “once in a lifetime” vacations are possible with proper planning. Follow the steps outlined above and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Brad and Julie DuncanHow to Plan a Bucket List Vacation During the New Year
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10 Reasons You Should Consider a Christmas Vacation

With the holiday season quickly approaching, you may be in the midst of planning your perfect Christmas day. If your plans to stay home feel like a repeat of Christmas past, it’s time to shake things up. Out-of-town getaways are becoming increasingly popular with many people choosing to skip the stress of the season. Here are ten reasons that you should consider a Christmas vacation.

 

  1. Shorter Lines
    If you choose to visit a popular tourist location like Disneyland, you’ll enjoy having more of the park to yourself. Many families spend Christmas at home, leaving beaches and amusement parks noticeably calmer than normal.
  2. Cheap Hotel Deals
    Unfortunately plane tickets can be expensive during the holiday season because so many people fly home to spend time with family. Thankfully, most of those travelers forgo hotels and stay with the people they are visiting. Consequently, it’s easier to catch price breaks on hotels.
  3. No Gifts
    While the holiday season is known for gift giving, buying presents can take a lot of time and money. Reduce your stress by replacing your gift budget with your vacation budget.
  4. Weather Change
    If you live in a state where heavy or extreme snow is common, escaping to warmer climates can provide some much needed relief. Conversely, if you reside in a snow-free state, choosing a vacation spot where you can play in the snow will be a delightful treat.
  5. Avoid Stress
    Maybe the thought of decorating or fellowshipping with a particular family member causes you anxiety. Why not sidestep the drama and leave your worries at home? A quick getaway to a distant locale is sure to keep your usual concerns at bay.
  6. Experience Christmas in a Different Culture
    With a little research, you can plan a trip to another country that is also celebrating the holiday. Experiencing Christmas from a different point of view will be a fun learning experience for even the most seasoned travelers.
  7. Something New
    If you’ve had a traditional holiday every year, doing something different for the first time can be an exciting change. While traditions hold a special place in the spirit of the holiday, throwing a little adventure into the mix never hurts.
  8. Company Vacation Time
    If you need to clear vacation time with your boss, carefully timing a trip can be difficult. However, vacationing over Christmas break can reduce the number of company vacation days that need to be approved since most businesses voluntarily give employees several days off around the holiday.
  9. Meet up with Family on Location
    Holiday family time doesn’t need to be limited to home. Get together with your extended family to plan a destination Christmas instead. Consider meeting up on location to celebrate the holiday in style.
  10. More Memorable
    Traveling somewhere new always creates countless memories. Doing so during Christmas doubles the impact. Ditching tradition is a bit taboo, but feeling like a rebel always gets the adrenaline flowing.

A trip to a faraway land is sure to provide the Christmas adventure of a lifetime. Sometimes providing a shared experience is more valuable than any material gift that you could give. So get the family together, pick a destination and enjoy your holiday.

Brad and Julie Duncan10 Reasons You Should Consider a Christmas Vacation
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How To Stay Adventurous & Cautious At The Same Time

To start an adventure is to embark into the unknown. Most of the time, it is impossible to decipher the outcome of your action. The risk and uncertainty involved may scare you but these are also the same  factors that make an adventure fun and exciting. If you are willing to go through something without knowing what lies ahead, you are taking a step towards discovering your life’s purpose.

Sometimes you just want to rely on your instinct and leave everything to fate. However, this does not mean that you have to plunge into every adventure that comes your way. An adventurous spirit may require bravery and ardor but no one said that you have to do it without carefully weighing the pros and cons. Here are three questions to ask yourself to wisely assess if an adventure is worth taking.

Are you truly prepared?

Every great adventure starts with thorough planning and preparation. Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Some adventures, such as moving to a new country or starting a business, can be life-changing. These ventures can be the way to fulfill your dreams, but will require you to work doubly hard or stretch your strength to the limit. So before taking a leap to an uncertain journey, take your time and and think if you are mentally, physically and emotionally prepared for it. Your financial status is likewise an important aspect to consider.

Are the benefits greater than the risks?

It is unlikely that you want to go on an adventure without a purpose. An adventure becomes a worthy pursuit because of it.The benefits that you believe you will gain from it can help you decide if you should entertain or abandon your plans. Setting your sights on the rewards that will come after a successful adventure can inspire and motivate you.

On the other hand, the possibility of failing remains no matter how much preparation you do. So your focus should not solely be on the rewards. Make sure that you are also aware of the things you can lose before deciding on an adventure. At the end of the day, seeing that an action offers benefits that far outweigh the risks can give you confidence to take a bold step towards an adventure.

Can you bear the possible consequences?

If you are aware of all the possible risks of a decision you will make, you also get to ponder if you are ready for it. Can you picture the worst case scenario and imagine its effect on you? A backup plan will be like a cushion that will soften the blow of failures. So you should also prepare a contingency plan in case an idea does not work. If just the thought of all the possible negative outcomes look unbearable, the adventure may not be a good idea after all. Consider your lifestyle and personality to determine the impact of being in particular situation.  

Adventures are like doors that lead to either a pleasant or terrifying destination. Opening either door can teach you invaluable life lessons. ut wouldn’t it be better if you managed to open the correct door with less tries? Taking some time for self-reflection can greatly minimize the risks and increase your chance to succeed. Always remember to seize every opportunity for adventures with a realistic mindset and wide-open eyes.

Brad and Julie DuncanHow To Stay Adventurous & Cautious At The Same Time
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Five Tips To Safekeep Your Belongings During Travels

Travel is a great option for people who want a break from life’s routines and to have a breath of fresh air. Seeing amazing sights and trying new activities sounds like a perfect way to unwind and have fun. However, to keep your vacation smooth and relaxing, there are just a few things you want to avoid. One of the biggest things you want to avoid  is losing your belongings.

You do not want to taint your vacation with a bad memory of losing an item, especially if it is a valuable one. But since you are out and about, the possibility of losing a thing or two is high. If you become careless, you might even lose your whole bag or luggage. But of course, you do not have to experience this travel nightmare. Safekeeping your things during travel is just a matter of being extra careful with your belongings. The following five tips to safekeep your belongings during travels can help:

Bring only the essentials.

Guarding your things starts with packing. Remember to pack light by bringing only the things you need. Keeping an eye on your things becomes more difficult with the more stuff you bring. So think twice and ask yourself if the item is really necessary before adding it to your bag. In the end, you free yourself from the burden of carrying heavy luggage and at the same time, lessen the risk of losing things on the road.

Keep highly important items with you at all times.

There are some things you cannot afford to lose while traveling such as a passport,other important travel documents or a gadget that is necessary for your work. To avoid the trouble of losing these highly-important items, it is advisable to keep it in a bag that you can conveniently carry on you at all times.

If you are traveling overseas, these items should always be in your carry on bag instead of the check-in luggage. You can take care of important items more closely if they are always with you. Likewise, you will easily notice the moment anything goes missing. One of the things you usually carry with you when traveling is a camera. Avoid the chance of losing it by adding a strap so you can conveniently wear it like a necklace.

Keep your cash and cards in different bags.

It is not a good idea to store money or credit cards in a single wallet because you do not want to end up penniless in case you lose the purse that contains all your cash and cards. To make sure you will not lose all your cash in one go, divide your money into different purses or bags. You can keep some money in your carry on bag then stash some bills in a secret purse in your other bags.

Label your bags and belongings.

One simple way to protect your phone, bag, camera or other important items is by labeling them. With information containing your name and contact details, you make it easy for your lost items to make their way back to you. It is also a good idea to add an identifying mark on your bags or items so you can easily identify it such as a ribbon or a sticker. Some bags or gadgets can look identical, so it is wise to add something that will make it easy for you to instantly identify or spot it from a distance.

Double-checking before leaving is a must.

Going back to a hotel or any accommodation you stayed in just to retrieve lost items can be such a hassle and the possibility of getting your things back can be grim. So make it a habit to thoroughly check the area before checking out. Do not rush and inspect every nook and cranny of the room, especially the areas where you can accidentally leave things such as drawers and closets. It would not hurt to also look for items under the bed.  

You deserve a great, hassle-free vacation, so spare yourself the burden of looking for your lost belongings. Save precious time and make the most of your leisure time by taking necessary precautions to take good care of your things.  

Brad and Julie DuncanFive Tips To Safekeep Your Belongings During Travels
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The Healing Benefits of Adventure Therapy

The word therapy can incite a vision of a counselor intently listening and taking notes while the client pours out emotions. You can describe the scenario as formal and professional, as the setting usually takes place in the organized office of the therapist. This setup can indeed be effective, but people who are not so eager to try the usual way of a counseling session have another option: adventure therapy.

What is adventure therapy?

This therapy program breaks free from the typical setting of a one-on-one counseling session. Instead of doing it in the confines of the counselor’s office, you take the therapy outside and immerse the client into different kinds of adventure.

History of adventure therapy

Adventure therapy sounds like a groundbreaking concept, but the program actually has a long history. Its earliest form was during the 1900’s with the introduction of tent therapy. One of the first institutions to try this program is the Manhattan State Hospital East in 1901, when they isolated the patients afflicted with tuberculosis. The main goal then was to prevent the communicable disease from spreading, but the tent therapy program was surprisingly beneficial to the patients. Exposure to nature brought significant health improvements to the TB patients.

Adventure therapy today

Today, adventure therapy is a great alternative program to help people suffering from problems such as substance abuse, juvenile delinquency or severe depression. The program is based on the philosophy of experiential education which states that people learn faster and easier with direct experience and interaction.

Adventure therapy is called by various names such as a wilderness therapy program or therapeutic excursions. The approaches and methods also vary as the activities can include the following: cooperative games, wilderness adventures (such as camping or hiking), outdoor adventures (like rock climbing or rappelling), problem solving initiatives and trust-building activities.

The type of adventure therapy may differ based on the problem that the program specifically wants to address. In spite of various ways of implementing adventure therapy programs, all methods involve interacting with others as participants embark on a new experience.

What are the healing benefits?

Organizations that offer adventure therapy programs claim that the opportunity to experience nature and try new things can effectively encourage positive behavioral changes. This claim is backed by research as the result of a study about the effect of wilderness adventure therapy, published by the International Journal of Human Science, revealed wilderness adventure effectively decreases delinquency problems in minors.

Apparently, activities that involve nature and group interaction are effective in boosting self esteem and enhancing social and communication skills. Individuals who participate in adventure therapy programs also develop leadership skills and become more independent.

These therapeutic activities can therefore help people overcome problems such as eating disorders, substance abuse, and juvenile delinquency. Adventure therapy can likewise aid in the healing process of people suffering from severe depression or traumatic stress.

For many people, adventure is synonymous to fun, relaxation and excitement. The activities may involve risks, but breaking free from the daily routine to do something different almost always leads us to learn new things. Everyone will agree that we all need a little adventure to keep our zest in life burning. All of us should therefore take advantage of the many benefits that adventure therapy can bring.

Brad and Julie DuncanThe Healing Benefits of Adventure Therapy
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