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The 5 Essential Things to Remember When Packing Souvenirs

If you’re an impulse buyer, the idea of buying souvenirs for everyone you know is probably tempting, probable, and going to happen. There’s nothing wrong with bringing something back from your trip, however, souvenirs can be the root of a variety of problems upon your return your home. These problems can include issues with clearance, lack of space, and the protection of fragile items. If you’re in need of some help, look no further. Here’s a list of the 5 essential things to remember and do when packing your souvenirs.

Familiarize yourself with customs.

Some items, such as food, are subject to customs and strict regulations upon entry into the United States (or any other country, for that matter!).  Countries like Australia and states like Hawaii are particularly strict when it comes to customs regulations. For example, you may be charged up to $10,000 USD for trying to bring your grandmother a block of French cheese or a bag of organic Russian mushrooms. To avoid having your items seized or having to pay a hefty fine, brush up on the customs of your country and make sure to declare the goods at the airport.

Mail excess souvenirs home.

If you’ve gone a bit wild with souvenirs, it’s not a problem. You could always pay for another bag at the airport, despite the fact that this can be expensive. Or, alternatively, you could pack your extra souvenirs in a secure box and mail them home through the post office. Typically, this will save you money, as you’re charged on the size of the box and the weight of your items, and not for the fact that you’re taking up precious room on the airplane.

Make a point to buy small, lightweight souvenirs.

A souvenir doesn’t have to be a grand gesture- anything from another country is bound to amaze your loved ones! Keep this in mind when you opt to buy small souvenirs that don’t tip the scales when it comes to weight. Souvenirs such as scarves, posters, postcards, jewelry, CD’s of local bands, and Christmas ornaments make great lightweight options.

Avoid bringing back coins and currency.

It’s perfectly acceptable to bring home a souvenir for yourself. However, it may not be the nest idea to bring home foreign currency for yourself. Sure, that shiny coin looks great at the bottom of your carry-on, but realistically, it’s probably going to get lost, forgotten about, and otherwise neglected unless you have a coin collection at home. Even if you know that you will return to a country, there’s really no need to bring money home with you, as you won’t use it and as mentioned above, it will most likely get lost.

Lighten your load before you leave.

To make room for the collection of souvenirs you’ve acquired, consider going through your bags and doing a sort of spring cleaning. This means getting rid of thing you no longer need. That travel toothbrush? Toss it. The rain poncho you wore on a river rafting ride? Donate it to a local charity in the area. Making space in your luggage will ensure that you avoid unnecessary checked baggage fees.

7 Volunteer Travel Experiences to Try in 2019

Let’s face it- traveling can be pricey. Often times, price point is the driving force behind a vacation- that is, how long the vacation is, where it is, and what activities are done during it. All travelers dream of a trip free of costly expenses and financial stress. Luckily, there are volunteer experiences that allow for travel. Here are 8 that you should consider in 2019 if you’re looking to go on a cheap trip.

Wildlife Research in South Africa

Volunteering in South Africa with the Wildlife Research in South Africa expedition volunteer program allows travelers to be hands on with an array of mammals such as lions, elephants, rhinos, and leopards. Travelers are housed at the Big Five game reserve and will learn to study animal behaviour, track them, and take care of them. The program duration can be up to 24 weeks long.

Heroes on Horseback in India

Offered by Relief Riders International, the Heroes on Horseback program provides relief to poverty stricken villages around Rajasthan, India. Volunteers travel on horseback into the villages where they help provide free eye surgery, free dentistry, pediatric care, HIV/AIDS awareness, donations and a plethora of other humanitarian resources.

English Lessons in Haiti

The non-profit organization, English in Mind Institute, offers this program to help Haitian adults learn to speak English. Volunteers spend their mornings at orphanages and their afternoons giving the adults of the Haitian community English lessons. The goal of the program is to better the adults and provide them with the English skills to secure a long-term job.

Sea Turtle Protection in Costa Rica

Be a marine conservation volunteer in Costa Rica next summer. Volunteers find themselves participating in night surveys, monitoring sea turtle nesting, relocating eggs to safe hatcheries, releasing baby turtles into the water, and assisting with local environmental education projects. Every year from July to January, volunteers can volunteer their time for 1-12 weeks.

Archaeology Volunteering in Romania

Any traveler with alove for old things will find great joy in the Archaeology in Romania opportunity offered by the Project Abroad Program. Volunteers registered in this program will work with archaeological groups to unearth and analyze new finds throughout different regions of the country.

Fitness Instructor Volunteering in Maldives

The Maldives is on many bucket lists. Little do most people know, however, is that travelers can volunteer in the tropical paradise. Volunteers can sign up as a fitness instructor or children’s soccer coach and spend their summer soaking in the sun, sand, and ocean air.

Husky Ranch in Canada

Volunteers who love dogs will find themselves at home with this volunteer experience at Canada’s national husky ranch. Participants are tasked with caring for, spending time with, and learning about the huskies that are housed at the ranch. They are also allowed to go on sledding trips with the huskies and train them for upcoming sledding expeditions. The program is offered year around and participants can stay for 4-12 weeks.

Single holidays, 13 things you can do to make your trip the most beautiful adventure of your life

1. You can flirt, of course. Paying attention to those in front of you when you have to go further: remember for your safety that you are on holiday alone .

2. You can freely decide when, where and how to go : you do not have to be accountable to anyone, compromise with anyone, or choose things that maybe do not just go to make someone happy. What a beautiful freedom!

3. You can organize the details as you like : do you want to stop more in one place? Do you want to eat lunch at 5 instead of at noon? Do you want to sleep under the stars instead of in your room? You can do it and nobody will tell you anything.

4. You can learn more about yourself : there are things on holiday that can push you beyond your limits. And then there are the moments in which you can dialogue so much with your inner self, in perfect solitude. Or you can free your mind from any thought and let yourself be invaded by all the wonderful sensations of a journey. Mindfulness is very useful in these cases.

5. You can take long crossings (on foot, by train, by bus, by plane) looking at unique places with the music you like best in your ears. You alone before the beauty of the universe. At the pace that you choose. It will be an unforgettable experience, of those that will mark your way of being forever.

6. You can make many new friends : not that in pairs or with friends you can not do, but when you are alone it is naturally easier. And surely you will find interesting people to exchange life experiences with.

7. You can take pictures that you like, when and how you want. Or do not do them for nothing , if you do not want to. Taste the moment and remember the places only inside you.

8. Pampered: indulge in some extra luxury during your holiday ( a spa , a luxury hotel, a massage, a haircut, a manicure); in the end you have to think only of yourself and you can therefore calibrate the economic resources accordingly. And the time available.

9. Do something you’ve never done before. So where you are you do not know anyone.

10. Make at least one excursion in total solitude. Even if you left with a group of the same tour operator.

11. Hang on social networks with your pretenders left at home . It’s always nice.

12. Keep a “logbook”. Help yourself with a travel app or take a notebook with you to write down thoughts and reflections, as well as visited places and known people.

13. Make all the experiences you have set yourself and even more : bite your life, do not waste even a moment. A single holiday might not get you back anymore 😉

7 ways to travel (almost) free in 2018

If among your New Year’s intentions is to “travel more”, but your budget has not increased (or rather decreased) after the holidays, do not despair. Because even though Instagram often makes us believe that millions are needed to make dream trips, there are so many ways to book flights and find accommodations for free or almost. Here are seven tips approved by travel insiders!

Request a credit card with which to accumulate points for travel

If you’re not accumulating points with a credit card that offers premium travel, you’re practically throwing away free flights. Even if you prefer to earn miles with your favorite airline, premium travel offers some credit cards give you more freedom, especially if you do not take the plane often enough to earn miles.

Ask for gift cards to travel

At your next birthday, graduation, name day (in short, every next good opportunity), ask friends and relatives gift card to travel instead of the usual gifts. most airlines and travel sites offer this possibility. In this way you will have less things to rearrange and more money to invest in the next holidays.

Drive someone else’s car

The road trip in the United States has always been your dream? Instead of renting a car and spending a fortune you can drive someone else’s car almost for free. In the US there are many sites to do it, but the main one is Auto Driveaway, which requires a valid driving license and 23 years of age. After paying $ 350 bail (which will be returned to you when you deliver the car), you will need to pay a negotiable amount with the owner.

From Italian repetitions

If you were thinking of moving abroad for a few months, you can consider the idea of ​​repaying your trip and stay by offering basic Italian lessons. Of course if you’re not a qualified teacher, you’ll have to lower your hourly rate a little, but it’s still a very simple way to scrape together a small nest egg to pay for your expenses.

Rediscover your roots

Young adult Jews can go to Israel through the association Birthright Israel since 1999. Today there are other organizations that offer opportunities similar to young people who have Greek, Macedonian, Hungarian, Armenian and Cuban roots and want to visit their country of origin for reconnect with their cultural heritage.

Volunteer with WWOOF

In exchange for your work on an organic farm, WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) offers you free accommodation and food and the opportunity to learn new skills and learn about the culture of the country you have chosen as your destination. However, even if the accommodation is free, please note that the costs of the trip are at your expense and that you also have to pay a small fee to join the association. If agricultural work is not for you, you can discover many other ways to travel by volunteering on sites like Workaway,