Travel is a luxury, a passion and a way of life. It is eye opening, life changing and creates experiences that you’ll remember for years and decades to come. However, some aspects of travel, such as lengthy airport security lines and long flights, can be arduous, difficult and often extremely discouraging. But with the right gear, and the right attitude, every journey can become less stressful and more enjoyable.
The key to smart packing is strategy and preparation. There are an endless number of articles and videos that offer valuable tips for packing light, such as mixing and matching clothes, rolling T-shirts and underwear instead of folding them; wearing (rather than packing) your heaviest or bulkiest shoes – and more. And you can take it one step further by choosing packable apparel designed especially for travel.
Real cultures, people and places are what our friends at Matador Network are always wanting to discover. So who better to talk to about the highlights of Buenos Aires than these talented travel journalists who have either lived, or are living, in Argentina’s iconic city…
Tom Gates, Matador Nights:
Arguably the best Japanese food in Buenos Aires is at Comedor Nikkai, which is, not surprisingly, located in the Japanese Cultural Center (Av. Independencia 732, San Telmo).
With a history of human habitation that dates back over 400,000 years, Istanbul is the type of city where you could spend a lifetime uncovering its highlights and hidden charms. But what if you’ve only got one day, where would you start to explore this melting-pot of cultures and civilisations?…
8.30am – Dolmabahce Palace
After a quick breakfast head for the Dolmabahce to admire the sheer opulence while wandering through its gold and jewel-adorned rooms.
We recently asked Intrepid Express readers to tell us their best tips for being a Responsible Traveller – how they travel in a way that’s respectful of local people, the environment and local economies. The response was a deluge of ideas demonstrating that Intrepid travellers care and want to do the right thing when they travel. Here are the top 12 tip topics (try saying that quickly!) and some of our travellers’ suggestions:
1. Water, water everywhere – pack a stainless steel or sturdy plastic BPA-free water bottle and a purifying method suited to your destination – purifying tablets such as Micropur, or a purifying device such as a SteriPEN. Avoid buying wasteful bottled water.
Who doesn’t love the chance to simply sit back and see the world go by, especially if you can throw a little people-watching into the mix. Rebecca Jacobs takes time out to tell us some favourite Intrepid places to get a feel for a community and observe the locals in action…
“People-watching is one thing you just don’t do enough at home. Your days always end up being rushed and fumbled through – catching trains, sitting in traffic, grabbing a coffee to go before sitting down for work. But people watching is one of life’s simplest and most rewarding pleasures and when you travel, the opportunity presents itself everyday and offers insight into the vibe of the city and your own place within it.
Being stranded at an airport is like being stuck on a city’s front doorstep. A doorstep that’s normally full of uninspiring fast food, uncomfortable chairs and awkward body searches. But before you curl up on the welcome mat and wait it out, Intrepid’s Adam Slater has come up with some handy tips for surviving the ultimate travel purgatory – the airport layover…
Tip 1 – Repack your bags
OK, this suggestion might seem rather hellish at first, but hear us out. We’re not saying you need to scatter your dirty underwear all over the boarding gate lounge, but a quick repack can make the next leg of your journey just a little bit more manageable. Heading for a change in climate? Time to take out that warm jacket for when you arrive. Where are your headphones? Could you find them in a dark aircraft cabin when the baby in front of you starts screaming? What about your passport? You’re going to need to be able to find that when, after said baby has kept you up all night, you suddenly find yourself in a foreign passport control. We might sound like your mother here, but an efficient packing strategy can stop you being ‘that guy’ who accidently threw his boarding pass in the bin with his packet of corn-chips.
You know how it is, a destination takes your fancy and you really want to go there – like now! – but there’s no one to go with. Your friends would rather spend their money on going out or buying clothes, or they give you a vague “maybe” for a date well into the future. So what do you do? Do you wait on the off chance that someone will eventually say yes to travelling with you, or do you just go ahead and plan to go by yourself?
It’s not always an easy answer, especially if you find the thought of travelling alone daunting or you haven’t travelled before. But if you wait, then you may always be waiting, and fortune favours the brave after all. Intrepid’s Jacqueline Donaldson has taken off on her own more than once, and lived to tell the tale, so here’s her tips on travelling solo…
Where to next? The one thing all real Intrepid travellers know, is that the more places you visit, the more exciting new destinations you want to explore. So how do you narrow down your options and decide your next adventure? Intrepid’s Ella Benjamin has 6 great tips for making your own travel wish list…
“With airfares getting cheaper and destinations that were once considered obscure becoming increasingly accessible, I find that my travel must-do list is forever being added to. While this allows for enjoyable travel daydreaming, it means that setting out your travel priorities is becoming more difficult. You know life is hard when your biggest problem is working out what is higher on your travel agenda – scuba diving in Indonesia or trekking in Nepal?
While travel gives you the freedom to explore new horizons with gay abandon, adhering to a few simple rules along the way can help keep you safe and happy. Comedian Adam Rozenbachs has thought long and hard about his travel precepts and at this point we want to warn you that these ideas, no matter how clever, do not necessarily reflect Intrepid’s travel philosophies…
“Having travelled quite extensively [most recently with my father] I thought it time to release my Ten Commandments of Travel. The following are certainly not set in stone [as it'd cost a fortune in extra baggage fees to bring them back], but are guidelines to help make your next trip more comfortable and less stressful.