Interesting Facts about La Sagrada Familia Church

La Sagrada Familia Church or Cathedral in Barcelona Spain is such an amazing place to visit, and as I have been fortunate enough to do so, I would like to share some interesting facts about this World Heritage Site. I hope it inspires you to one day want to visit, La Sagrada Familia of Barcelona.

la Sagrada Familia Church
la Sagrada Familia Church

My visit to the Sagrada Familia was such an experience, that I was eager to learn about the magnificent structure. I have since discovered more about the history of the Cathedral including why it was built and what Gaudi was trying to achieve. The tireless dedication that Gaudi gave to the project would eventually lead to his unfortunate death, which is a sad story in itself.

I found out about the incredible skills that Gaudi had for the design and construction of the Cathedral. Now I am not usually so interested in architecture but in this case, I think you will be surprised and intrigued. I found out a little about how this Cathedral has been constructed over the course of three centuries. Are you curious about how Gaudi managed to design and build it as far as he did without the technology that we have at our disposal today.? There are some interesting techniques that he used that are so basic that it may surprise you.

The building of the Cathedral and use of interesting construction methods is one thing but seeing how Gaudi had managed to display the spirit and soul of La Sagrada Familia is astonishing. Gaudi has been able to incorporate so many features into the project and still keep the integrity and the purpose of the church, which is to display his love of nature and his love of God.

La Sagrada Familia History

The construction of the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia was started on 18 March 1982 by architect Francisco de Paula del Villar, but after only 1 year he resigned. Gaudi then took over and he was able to make the project his own. He continued to work not stop on the Roman Catholic Cathedral until his untimely death at aged 73 yrs in 1926. At this time, not even a quarter of the building had been completed. This demonstrates the generations of builders and architects that have been involved in bringing this Cathedral together, and it’s not over yet

la Sagrad Familia Church nativity facade
la Sagrada Familia Church nativity facade

The construction continues to this day with the aim of completing the project, by 2026, the 100-year anniversary of the death of Gaudi. Unfortunately during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 there was such unrest, that dissidents caused damage to the Cathedral and even worse, was the destruction of Gaudi’s plans and designs. The project was delayed until the 1950s when the designs were able to be re created and the project was restarted.

The funding was initially covered by donations alone which meant that the construction did not go smoothly, but now the funding comes from the constant stream of 4.5 million tourists who flow through the Basilica each year. This will also help to pay the outstanding amount of 41 million Euros that is owed to the City of Barcelona, for building permits that were never paid for during construction.

This money will also help the transport and roading systems around the Cathedral to be upgraded to carry the never ending throngs of people who come to see the Sagrada Familia. It is good to see that the tourists that flock to see the Sagrada Familia are not only enjoying the experience of seeing and learning about the cathedral but they are paying for the completion so it is the perfect arrangement.

La Sagrada Familia will consist of 18 spires when completed. There will be 12 dedicated to the Apostles, 4 to the Evangelists, one to the Virgin Mary and the highest center spire at 170 meters will be dedicated to Jesus.

On 7th November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the church and the alter of the Sagrada Familia.

If you would like to learn more about La Sagrada Familia then you can check it out here. 

La Sagrada Familia Facts

If you don’t want to wait until 2026 to see what the Sagrada Familia will look like when finished. you can watch this very clever computer visualization of the completion of the Sagrada Familia

 

 

You may wonder how Gaudi managed to create such an amazing designs and how he constructed the Cathedral without all the computer technology that we have today. Gaudi used basic concepts such as the strength of arches. Gaudi used string to get exact perpendicular lines, and also built the arches’ and curves by hanging string or ropes that he then turned the dimensions up side down. Gaudi was able to create perfect arches’ which are strong enough to hold the vast amounts of weight in the sand stone that is still used today, to complete the build.

la Sagrada Familia Interior roof
la Sagrada Familia Interior roof

Gaudi had a famous quote, that was, “If you want originality then you have to go back to the origin” Gaudi used his great vision to create pillars that resembled palm trees and rib cages. He used the perfect dimensions of nature in his architecture to not only create strength but unbelievable beauty in his designs.

Gaudi did not create very many plans fr his work but preferred to make 3D models and then building on them as things progressed. That is why it was such a tragedy when his models were smashed during the Spanish Civil War.

Antoni Gaudi Facts

Gaudi was born in 1852 and spent a lot of his time in the country side enjoying nature, and this is evident in his works. Gaudi did not enjoy good health and after seeking advice from his Doctor he became a strict vegetarian and followed fasting for long periods of time, sometimes to the detriment of his health.

When Gaudi finally finished his studies and was presented with his Certification as an Architect, he was told by the director of the Barcelona Architect school, ” We have given this academic title either to a fool or to a genius” As it

Park Guell Gaudi House
Park Guell Gaudi House

turned out, it was the latter.

While Gaudi was working on his early projects he was commissioned by a wealthy industrialist, Eusebi Guell, and completed various projects including, the Guell Wine Cellars, the Guell Pavilions, the church of the Colonia Guell, and the well-known and popular attraction Park Guell.

Park Guell was to be an upmarket subdivision for the rich and famous of Barcelona. It is set among park like grounds and has individually designed houses displaying the unique architecture that Gaudi is well-known for. Unfortunately this new subdivision within Barcelona failed to sell any more than one or two houses. The reason for this is that the wealthy families of Barcelona wanted to display their exorbitant wealth and the Park Guell was too far out of town for this ostentatious display to have the desired effect.

Gaudi was badly affected by the death of family members, friends and colleagues and Gaudi stated, “All my good friends are dead; I have no Family and no clients, no fortune, nor anything. Now I can dedicate myself entirely to the Church.”

Gaudi was intensely devoted to God and did not veer away from the project. He did not seem to worry that it would not be completed in his lifetime and when it was pointed out to him that the project would be ongoing for so long, he said, “My client is not in a hurry”

Gaudi was so dedicated to the design and build of the Cathedral that he eventually moved into the workshop a few months before his death in 1926. Gaudi was hit by a tram whilst crossing the road, and the story goes that he decided that the tram should give way to him but this was not to be the case. Because he had been working tirelessly on the cathedral his appearance was a bit disheveled and unkempt. Gaudi was not recognized at the time of the accident, so he was taken to the poor person’s hospital where he did not receive the full care that he might have if he had been recognized. He therefore did not survive the incident and passed away much to the distress of his beloved fans. Gaudi was honored with a large funeral service.

The buildings and creations that were designed and inspired by Gaudi are enjoyed by many visitors to Barcelona each year, including the amazing Sagrada Familia. I hope you can go and enjoy the experience of wandering around inside the Cathedral and seeing the brilliant creations on this iconic, World Heritage Building.

la Sagrada Familia Cathedral Church interior
la Sagrada Familia Church Cathedral

.

If you are interested in Barcelona, then you will almost certainly enjoy what San Sebastian has to offer. You can get there by taking an enjoyable train ride across to the West Coast of Spain into the Basque Country. You can go straight to my post about my visit here.

 

Solo Travel Tours Women over 50 Can Enjoy

As we get older our situations and therefore our options in life change. We may have more time and money whilst at the same time be held back by some physical limitations. Travel can broaden your horizons and  open up new opportunities to visit exciting places and meet interesting people.

If you like the idea if some adventure or just want to experience something different then you are at the right place, because I have some good ideas and advice for solo travel tours women over 50 can enjoy.

I will outline a few tips and ideas that will help in your planning some travel single senior women can enjoy.

I am also going to give you some ideas for travel packages seniors can go on.

I will also give you some specific ideas on Adventure travel, Solo travel groups women can join,  and ideas on solo traveling for senior women.

Planning solo travel for senior women.

Now being over 50 does not necessarily put you in the senior category and it has been said that 50 is the new 40, or is it that 50 is the new 30 and 60 is the new 40. Anyway that is just a subjective point of view and as long as the end result is that you can experience as much as you can in life because you only have one, and none of us are getting out of this life, alive.

Your age may just be a number and you perhaps you still feel as fit and agile as you did when you were younger. Maybe you are starting to get a bit creaky and slower moving and have to remind yourself to take care as you move around, especially when you are away from your normal environment and your home base.

I appreciate you taking the time reading this and I want to give you some travel ideas that will suit all of you as senior women traveling solo. Although I like the ideas of minimilistic travel ideas to reduce stress, you do need to do a certain amout of planning to make the best of your itinerary and travel activities. If you fail to plan then you plan to fail – so they say.

  How to plan for Travel as an Older Solo Women

When you are planning your travel this may reflect your everyday situation. You may just be traveling alone, but not necessarily be alone on a daily basis. Maybe you have someone supporting and helping you on a daily basis,  so the thought of traveling alone might be daunting. I have written about ways to help with this  If this is the case then you might be slightly out of your comfort zone but there is no reason to stress about this. Just methodically go through and plan your trip and your itinerary. Based on this you will then know where to start.

Do some research on where you are going and what the weather and season will be there. That will give you a basis on what to start packing. Even if your destination is a hot desert Island in the middle of summer I suggest that you pack a layered item or two. Even if you don’t need it at your destination you may need it on the plane as they can get very cold sometimes. You might like to check out my post on Tips for Woman’s Travel Clothing for some more ideas.

If you plan and pack your items in categories, such as, clothing and shoes, documents, electronics and phone, and then your money. Don’t forget your compression socks. Lastly plan any accessories and random items that you may need, such as healthy snacks and a water bottle. This may save you a lot of money and help you to avoid eating too much airport food.

Try and think about your usual routines and plan your packing around them. You will feel more comfortable eating your normal foods especially if you have a particular diet such as gluten free.

Medication is an important component of course but you also need to think about taking extra incase your trip is delayed. Another useful document to have is a letter from your doctor outlining your medication. This can be helpful at airline check in but also if you need it to double as a prescription which is what happened to me in Spain. I was surprised but I was able to buy medication over the counter at a pharmacy just by using my doctor’s letter.

Write out your list of items to pack based on the categories that I have mentioned. This will help you not to forget items

Senior Solo Travel Tours for you

Traveling as a solo women does not by any means being alone. There is a plethora of Solo Travel groups for solo women and even older solo women. You choices can be based on the type of travel that you choose to do. If you are fit and want to maybe climb Mount Kinabalu or hike Machu Picchu.   

If Machu Picchu is one of your bucket list for travel then you will need to do some extensive research before you go.The logistics of getting to Machu Picchu are quite callenging but not impossible. You will just need to allow adequate time and plan quite a long time ahead. Here are some things that you will need to consider

  • Book as far ahead as you can due to the popularity of the site and therefore the requirement to book ahead to avoid missing out.
  •  Take into account the time of the year. The rainy season is from October to April, although the weather can be unpredicable at any time.
  • The peak season is July to August so don’t expect to beat any crowds during this time.
  • Allow sufficient time to acclimatize to the altitude. This is not a trip that you can just arrive and visit and then leave again, especially if you want to get the most out of it.

You might like the idea of just traveling without too much of a set itinerary and then join short tours for the day or a couple of days. This is a good way to see local areas and get some insight and history from a local expert.

Some of the organised or guided tour options are:

  • Fully guided tour with tour guide and accommodation and meals organised and included in the whole deal.
  • Self Guided tours may include the transport and accommodation and are usually less structured and allow for more flexibility.
  • Adventure tours are usuall specific types of sports or activities such as cycling, motorcycling, skiing, or kayaking. They organise the activities and usually the transport and accommodation.
  • Walking tours can be anything from a guided tour of the el Camino de Santiago in Spain for days or weeks, to a 2 hour walking history tour in your favorite city
  • Bus tours can take you across countries and continents or across town on a hop on hop off bus tour.
  • Special interest such and cooking or art classes are a good way to meet new friends.

You will need to do your research for each type of tour that you want to participate in. Make sure you book well ahead because the orgaised tours are often booked out well ahead of time.This lead in time will also give you a chance to plan and save which will be helpful especially if you are on a tight budget.

Solo Travel Tours Women can Join

When you travel solo then you get the chance to make it all about you. How about you go on a retreat where you are taken care of and pampered a little bit. This doesnt have to be expensive and in fact there are some excellent retreat tours that you can join.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Wholelistic retreat in Mexico or India
  • Hire a Canal boat in the Uk or Europe.
  • Cycle tour in New Zealand
  • Hiking in New Zealand
  • Go trecking in Moroccco
  • Take a train tour through Italy and Switzerland

Once you focus on a theme based on your interests then it gives you a base to start planning you next travel adventure. Just go and enjoy. 

 

 

10 of the Best Travel Packing Cubes for 2020

Suitcases packed for travel

When you are planning a vacation you have to put some thought into how to pack your clothes for traveling. If you would like to get some travel tips, and in particular the best way to pack clothes for travel, using the best travel packing cubes and the best travel compression cubes for 2020, then I can help you with that.

Here you will find some of the best tips to help you with packing your clothes more compactly, with less creasing and in a more orderly fashion.

I will show you the best features and the pros and cons of packing cubes, compression cubes and the differences so you can choose the best travel accessories for a vacation or holiday.

What are Packing Cubes?

Packing cubes are a fabric pouch with a zipper, either part way around, or right around the pouch. They come in

Antique wooden steamer trunk on deck
Image by David Nisley from Pixabay

varying sizes to accommodate small items such as socks and underwear or you can use medium to larger sizes that will hold shirts and trousers and other clothing items.

Packing cubes can be partly mesh material, or different fabrics, some of which may allow for better airflow, and let your clothes breathe better. Some packing cubes are made of water resistant fabric which can be a useful feature.

You can choose the most suitable designs and fabric to suit your destination. Packing cubes are used for organizing and separating your clothing and other items in your travel backpack or bag to allow for better access and organization.

What are Compression Cubes?

Compression cubes are similar to packing cubes but they have two layers of zippers. The first zipper closes the pouch when it has been packed, and the second zipper pulls the pouch in tighter and more compact to double down the pouch. This compresses the contents to allow for your clothing to take up less space in your bag.

How to use Packing Cubes for Travel

Packing cubes will keep your travel bag organized and tidy and allow for your clothing to be easily accessible and you

Antique luggage on train platform with antique tram behind
Image by Ben Fleeson from Pixabay

can use the packing cubes for storing your clothes and other items,  when you arrive at your destination.

They are handy for similar items such as all your socks in one and underwear in another. Alternatively you can pack outfits and clothing items together that you might like to wear on separate days. When you arrive at your destination it is then easy to find what you need and keeps everything tidy and where you can find it. Some packing cube sets also have a clear pouch that is TSA friendly so you can pack your toiletries into it for airport screening

You can save space in your case and in the packing cubes if you roll your clothing as you pack it. This may also help to stop creasing the clothing during travel. Some people do like to lay the clothing flat and this is a personal choice although it may take up more room in your travel bag.

The use of travel cubes may also take more space in you case, than if you just packed the clothing directly into your bag. This again is a personal choice but the organizational benefits of the travel cubes can outweigh the small amount of extra space required.

Travel Packing Tips:

Here are a few good tips for packing your bags for travel. The variations of how you should pack are many, as travel

Clothing and accessories ready for packing
Image by LUM3N from Pixabay

can be anything from budget backpacking in the jungle, right up to high end luxury travel. I will try and cover what might be same general ideas and options.

  • Start by making a list
  • Include easy to dry fabrics
  • Wear your heaviest clothing if possible
  • Start filling your bags well before you go
  • Choose a lighter bag to save carry on weight
  • Pack travel friendly clothing like merino wool
  • Pack some extra zip lock bags and plastic bags
  • Know your bag weight restrictions before you fly
  • Think about layering clothing to cover different seasons.
  • Pack your bag like it is a tetras game and fill all the spaces
  • Don’t over pack – You will be surprised at how little you need
  • Pack clothes inside out to avoid them getting soiled during travel.
  • Roll your clothing for better space saving and less creasing than folding.
  • Identify you luggage with ribbons, stickers or labels  for easy identification

What are Best – Packing Cubes or Compression Cubes?

There are a lot of choices with both packing cubes and compression cubes and there are pros and cons with both. Here is a summary of what I have found from my experience and research.

Packing Cubes

 

Compression Cubes

The Best Packing Cubes for Travel

After researching into the pros and cons and different uses for both packing cubes and compression cubes, I

Affiliate Disclosure
Affiliate disclosure statement

recommend that you use packing cubes for travel. There are some advantages for using the compression cubes but in general the packing cubes will help with the organization of your bag without the extra fussing of the double zipper and having to take the air out of the compression cubes at the risk of creasing your clothing.

The other advantage with packing cubes is that they are more suitable for storing electronic items and accessories where you don’t need to try to compress the pouch. You could however choose to use a combination of both the packing cubes and compression cubes to get the best advantage of both. For instance the compression cubes could be useful to store your dirty clothes so they can be compacted and the crushing would not matter in this situation.

1.Yamiu – 7 Piece Set

Yamiu Packing Cubes - 7 piece set
Yamiu packing cubes

Product Features: 

  • Set consists of 4 cubes, 1 water Resistant Shoe Bag, and 2 clear toiletry bags.
  • Bags are 4″ thick, Shoe cube is 5″ thick and clear bags are 3.1″ and 2.3″
  • Shoe bag is waterproof so can also be used as a dirty laundry bag.
  • Cubes are lightweight with strong zippers.
  • Made from Water Resistant materials.
  • Good choice of colors

2. Bagail – 6 Piece Set

 

6 Bagail Packing cubes
Bagail Packing Cubes

 

Product Features:

  • Cube bags are 4″ deep.
  • Nylon fabric
  • Reinforced interior seams
  • Mesh top panel for ventilation and identifying contents
  • Good color choices

3. Shacke – 5 Piece Set

 

5 Travel packing cubes
Shacke Pak packing cubes

Product Features:

  • Water resistant fabric
  • Reinforced double stitching for strength
  • Cubes are 4″ deep
  • Good quality Zippers
  • Nice design and colors

4. Vagreez – 7 Piece Set

Pink packing cubes assorted sizes
Vagreez packing cubes

 

Product Features:

  • Bags are double zipped compression bags
  • Bags are 4.7″ deep
  • Mesh top for ventilation and identification of contents
  • Handle included
  • Heavy duty zippers
  • Buckle strap to secure.

5. Travelwise – 5 Piece Set

5 Grey Packing Cubes stacked on top of each other
Travelwise packing cubes

 

Product Features:

  • Good color assortment
  • Lightweight Nylon fabric
  • Breathable mesh top to help identify contents
  • 2 way zippers for easy fast closing

6. Gonex – 4 Bag Set

 

4 Teal colored compression bags
Gonex compression bags

Product Features:

  • Compression zips for choice of compression feature
  • Variety of colors
  • Soft nylon fabric
  • Carry handle
  • Water repellent

7. Dot & Dot – 4 Pack Set

 

4 Packing cubes red,yellow, green, blue stacked up
Dot & Dot packing cubes

Product Features:

  • Different colors in the set for differentiation
  • See through mesh tops
  • Designed to fit in standard carry on bags
  • Firmer designed cubes
  • Good quality zippers

8. Amazon Basics – 4 Piece Set

 

4 Grey Travel cubes
Amazon basics travel cubes

 

Product Features:

  • Color choices
  • Good quality fabric and zippers
  • Finished interior seams for durability
  • Double zippers for easy closing
  • Mesh top for ventilation and viewing contents
  • Handle

9. Eagle Creek – 3 Bag Pack

Set of three charcoal colored travel cubes
Eagle Creek travel cubes

Product Features:

  • 3 Colors available
  • Lightweight durable fabric
  • Mesh top for ventilation and identification of contents
  • Handle
  • Water Resistant
  • 2 Way Zipper

10. Idesort – 8 Bag Set

Stack of 4 blue travel cubes and 4 green travel cubes
Idesort Travel Cubes

 

Product Features:

  • 2 Colors in the set with 4 sizes
  • Durable honeycomb fabric
  • 2 Way zippers of good quality
  • Double stitched for strength
  • Color variations
  • Handle
  • Tag label to identify contents
  • Waterproof
  • Versatile for family of for a long vacation

The Best of Travel Packing Cubes

This review includes several options of cubes ranging from 3 bag sets to the final 8 bag set. This should give you options to choose the best travel packing cube to suit your needs.

Everyone has different agendas when they are traveling, from the time that you plan to be away and then the number of people traveling. All of these sets are of good quality and a good budget price. Although many people do not even know about the option of using these packing cubes for travel as it is a fairly new concept.

I see from the reviews that the travel packing cubes are becoming more popular, and in fact once people start to use them for their travel packing then they find that they are a basic requirement.

The best packing cubes for travel have been summarized and reviewed for your information and I hope that this saves you time doing your research so you can pack your bags and enjoy your travel experience, with less stress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 of the Best in Laptop Travel Backpacks for Women in 2020

brown-leather-backpack-on-a-grassfield-

2020 is here and with it brings excitement and anticipation for your travel plans. You may already be planning your next travel adventure and therefore you should be thinking about what you should pack and how to organize your gear in the best way.

There are endless choices available and this can be a bit confusing, so I have done some research based on my own traveling experience and that of other travelers. I hope that this might help you to make a better choice.

In this review I have found what I think are the best in laptop travel backpacks for women in 2020.

Here are some very good backpacks with various features. Some backpacks have a few of the main features that I have looked for but It is difficult to find a back pack with everything without compromising on something.

I think it is important to try to choose a gender specific travel backpack for women, for several reasons.

  • Firstly, if the bag is designed for the female form it will be a more comfortable fit.
  • The padded back and back straps will sit better in the small in your back to enable you to carry it for longer.
  • Lightweight travel backpacks for women will be slightly smaller for easier handling and for better compliance with airline regulations.
  • The best in travel backpacks for women may have been designed with backpack anti theft features to give you more peace of mind when traveling.
  • Travel backpacks with a USB port will give you more flexibility to charge your devices on the move.
  • Some travel backpacks will give you duel carrying options with detachable back straps to enable you to carry your bag like a tote bag.
  • The best travel backpacks for women can also be more stylish.

 

  • Photo by Marlon Schmeiski from Pexels

 

The reason that I have researched the Best Laptop Travel Backpacks for women is because it is so convenient to take your laptop when traveling. Many women are traveling for business or working on line and like to be mobile and combine work and travel.

This is especially relevant if you are blogging, as I have covered in my post: How to start a travel blog and get paid.

Affiliate disclosure

Let’s look at what Travel Laptop Backpacks for women are available:

1. Nomatic Travel Pack.

Product Features:

  • The dimensions are : 18.5″ X 6″ X 12″ Weight: 4 lb
  • This bag can hold 20 liters or will expand to hold 30 liters.
  • It is made of water resistant durable Kodra Tarpaulin
  • Waterproof Zippers ( Although some reviews challenge this statement)
  • RFID Pocket. – Radio Frequency Identification.
  • Mesh dividers in the bag and an extra purchase available of packing cubes specifically designed for the bag.
  • Charging cables pass through all the main pockets
  • TSA approved – Laptop compartment will zip right open to avoid having to remove your laptop when traveling by air.
  • Back panel to secure and hide back straps
  • Magnetic snap water bottle pocket to keep the pocket closed when not in use.
  • Retractable key leash for convenient and quick use.
  • Removable hard shell sun glass pocket.
  • Roller bag sleeve to drop over trolley handle of wheeled bag
  • Reflective patterns on the outside of the bag

 

                                                                               


My thoughts: I like the size and the look of this bag and the fact that it has Amazon’s choice badge is tempting but I think for most women it might be a bit big and maybe heavy. There are a lot of the anti theft and safety features built in so could be a good choice for larger and taller framed women.

The reviews say that it is comfortable and that it is big enough to carry a few days clothes so that it would be a good bag as a weekend or carry on bag with extra luggage checked in.

 

2. Osprey Women’s Fairview 46

Product Features:

  • The Dimensions are: 23″ X 15″ X 13″. Weight – 3.4 lb.
  • The bag will hold 46 liters of volume and has compression straps to tighten the bag to a smaller capacity.
  • There are also smaller 30 liters and larger 65 liter choices.
  • Nice fashionable color choices
  • Specifically designed for women
  • Excellent Guarantee from Osprey
  • Shoulder strap and rain cover – (extras)
  • Protected laptop sleeve
  • Carry on compliant for size.
  • Reviewed and rated highly by petite women
                                                                               

 

 

My thoughts: I really like the look of this bag, even though it looks more like a backpack than a carry on travel bag. The color choice is nice and it has great storage and organisational pockets. This also has the Amazon’s choice badge. This is the smaller of the options in this style so you can choose a larger option to suit your needs.

I like the way the compression straps pull the bag in tightly without back straps hanging loose. You get the versatility of a backpack for day use as well as the benefits of a carry on type bag that you can easily place under the seat when travelling.

3. Peak Design Travel Line 45 liter Backpack

Product Features:

  • The dimensions are: 22″ X 13″ X 11″ (at maximum) 4.52 lb
  • Capacity : 30 liters compressed, 35 Normal state and 45 expanded.
  • Carry on size at 35 liter normal state.
  • Lifetime Guarantee
  • Extra add-on cube bags- camera cube, tech pouch and wash kit

 

                                                                               

 

My thoughts: Even though this bag looks a little plain, it is quite versatile with the three different capacity sizes that you can convert it into. The smaller size can be a day pack and the larger size will hold 45 liters of items. The 35 liter size is carry on size for airline travel.

The bag will open from the front, back and sides with the back zipper opening right out flat for easy access. The bag is robust and will protect your electronic items well.  The extra cubes that are available for the bag allow for specific storage for more specialized items.

4. Swissgear 1900 Scansmart

Product features

  • Dimensions : 18.5″ X 13.5″ X 9″ 3.3 lb
  • Capacity 31 liters
  • Made with weather resistant Balistic Polyester
  • Contoured shoulder straps for comfort
  • Several organisation pockets
  • 2 side water bottle holders
  • Takes up to 17″ laptop
  • Reflective shoulder strap for night time safety

 

                                                                             

 

My thoughts: This bag looks smart and trendy with the SwissGear logo on it.  It can hold a larger 17″ laptop which is handy and has some good features, being weather resistant, and has reflective shoulder straps for safety at night.

The laptop sleeve is well padded and opens right out for easy scanning on airline travel. This may be an advantage although the TSA may have changed the rules around this. You can read more about it here for updates

5. Timbuk2 The Authority pack

Product features

  • Dimensions 11.4″ X 18.1″ X 5.9″ Weight -2.4 lb
  • Capacity 28 liters
  • Organising compartments for pens phones and small stuff.
  • Side pockets for drinks bottle and other stuff
  • Ventelated back panel
  • Sternum strap
  • Carry on size for most airlines.
  • Key fob pocket

 

             

My thoughts: This bag looks to be quite sturdy with plenty of padding for the 17″ laptop sleeve. I think the size is good for both a larger day pack or for carry on for airline travel. The weight of it is not too bad and it has plenty of compartments. I think the style would suit using it as a business bag as well as for travel.

6. Brinch Laptop Backpack

Product Features

  • Dimensions 11 X 7.8 X 15.7 2,07 lb
  • 22 litrs
  • USB charging port built in
  • Wide opening top of the bag
  • Water resistant durable nylon material
  • Takes a laptop up to 15.6″
  • IPad pocket for 10.5″ tablet.
  • Carry handles or backpack straps for seperate choices
  • Suitable for school, daytrip, weekend away or small carry for air travel.
  • Side pockets take 40 oz water bottle
  • Good sturdy zipper.

 

 

 

My thoughts: This bag is quite small so would be more suitable as an overnight bag or carry on for your laptop and a few items that you might need when traveling. The price point is very low which is good if you are on a budget but beware that you get what you pay for.

The good thing about it is that it is light but still has a few features including the charging port in the bag. The reviews do mention that the zippers are of good quality which sounds promising.

7. The North Face Recon

Product Features

  • Dimensions 19.25″ X 14″ X 9.5″ weight ; 0.93 lb
  • Capacity 28 liters
  • Padded laptop sleeve for 15″ laptop
  • Woman specific design with back straps designed for a woman’s frame
  • Ventilated back panel
  • Water resistant fabric and zippers
  • Water bottle side pockets
  • Reflective material
  • Front mesh pocket to secure items.

 

 

My thoughts: I like the look and style of this bag. It speaks of adventure and feels like you want to get out into nature. The laptop compartment is well padded and I like the padded pocket on the front of the bag, for sunglasses and items that you need more readily.

It is a light bag and would be good as a day bag and carry on bag for travel. It probably wouldn’t be the best bag as a travel bag for a few days so you would need a second bag in this scenario.

8. Eddie Bauer Voyager

Product Features

  • Dimensions 18″ X 11.5″ X10.5″ weight: 2lb 5oz
  • Capacity 30 liters
  • Padded laptop sleeve
  • Padded contoured shoulder straps
  • Comfortable ergonomice design
  • Adjustable waist belt
  • Interior mesh storage pockets
  • Expandable front pocket
  • Side pocket that will take water bottle
  • Trolley bag sleeve
                                                                             

 

My thoughts:  This bag is actually my favorite, but I a little biased because I own this bag.  You can see my full review and story about how this bag protected my laptop during a motorcycle crash.  This bag is perfect as a carry on and will hold enough for a weekend away or a short trip.

I found this bag to be light and well designed so I can carry a full load for quite some time. It may not have many reviews or be Amazon’s choice but this is my pick.

9. Hersche Little America Backpack

Product features

  • Dimensions: 19.25″ X 11.25″ X 7″ 1.5 lb
  • Capacity 25 liters
  • 15″ laptop sleeve with padding and lined with fleece
  • Classic adventure style polyester and nylon with leather look trim
  • Good reviews
  • Lifetime warranty from company
  • Draw cord closing and magnetic closing straps
  • Airplane carry on size
  • Unisex design for everyday, business and weekend trips.
  • Multi compartments and breathable mesh back
  • Smart phone pocket and anti theft hidden pocket
                                                                             

 

My thoughts: I do like the look of this bag. The faux leather straps make it look very sharp. The fact that it only takes a 15″ laptop might be an issue and the storage pockets could have been more thought out. The bag is lightweight and looks classy and could be suitable for professional use or just casual travel. The lifetime warranty gives peace of mind. Very good reviews.

10. Matein Business Travel Backpack

Product Features

  • Dimensions 20″ X 15″ X 7.8″ 1.95 lb
  • Capacity 40 liters
  • Holds 17 laptop
  • USB port and headphone holes
  • Lockable zipper
  • Water resistant polyester with breathable padded back
  • Trolley handle strap
  • Hidden pockets for anti theft
                                                                             

 

My thoughts: There seems to be a lot of bag for your money with this bag. The reviews seem to be good and there are lots of features included, like the large 40 liter capacity and the anti theft pockets. It is probably more suited for business use or travel but appear to be good value for money. It is Amazon’s choice.

11. Thule Subterra Backpack

Product Features

  • Dimensions: 20.5″ X 9.1″ X 12.2″ Weight 2 lb
  • Capacity 34 liters
  • Padded laptop compartment for 15″ laptop
  • Wide roll up expandable top with magnetic closure
  • Removable packing cube
  • Contoured comfort designed back
  • Internal power pocket with cord management holes
                                                                             

My thoughts: This is a stylish looking bag with a few color choices. The 34 liter capacity is a good handy size and the bag comes with a removable packing cube which is good because it is purpose built for the bag.

The bag is quite lightweight for the size and has an extendable roll up top that allows for easy packing. The price is a little higher than some but hopefully that reflects the quality. The reviews seem to support this theory.

 


12. Pacsafe Venturesafe G3

Product Features

  • Dimensions: 19.3″ X 11″ X 6.1″ 1.68 lb
  • Capacity 25 Liter
  • Fashionable color choices
  • Anti theft locking zippers
  • Anti theft cut resistant fabric
  • RFID Blocking packet for credit card security
  • Newly design adjustable shoulder straps
  • Ventilated padded back
  • Padded carry handle
  • Padded compartment for 15″ laptop
  • Hip strap and sternum strap to spread the weight
  • 2 side pockets for water bottles
  • Water resistant easy clean nylon polyester
  • Suitable for commuter, hiking and travel, carry on size for international travel.
  • 5 Year warranty
                                                                             

 

 My thoughts:  This bag has a high level of anti theft features with cut resistant fabric and lockable compartments. I like the look and the color choices but it could do with a bit more separate storage pockets. It is lightweight with good capacity although it only takes a 15″ laptop which my be restrictive for some.

13. Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack

Product features

  • Dimensions: 20.1″ X 13.4″ X 9.8″ 2.56 lb
  • Capacity 40 liters
  • Compression straps to adjust overall size.
  • Adjustable hideaway straps convert the pack to three carry styles. Backpack, duffel and carry bag
  • Padded laptop compartment for 15.6″ laptop.
  • Front pocket with multiple compartments
  • Side pocket for water bottle with securing loop strap
  • Adjustable sternum and waist straps the spread the weight
  • Many color variations
  • Fits into overhead and under seat for most flights

 

My thoughts:  This bag is a good size and has handy tuck away back straps to convert the bag from a backpack look to  a carry on bag. It is lightweight for the amount of capacity that it gives you, and has lots of storage pockets. The compression straps give the bag more versatility when it comes to size.

Although it will only take a 15.6″ laptop I think it would be a good bag for more than a weekend if you are good at packing light. There are lots of nice fashionable color choices too.

14. ebags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible

Product Features

  • Dimensions: 22″ X 14″ X 9″ weight 3lb 15oz
  • Capacity 64 liters
  • Padded laptop sleeve for 19″ laptop
  • 2 exterior pockets on outside
  • Water bottle zip side pocket
  • Compression straps
  • Bottom and side carry handles
  • Breathable back panel
  • Sternum straps
  • Good color choice
  • Carry on compliant size

 

 

                                                                               

 

My thoughts: I like the handy front opening pocket with separate compartments. There are a lot of color choices and it is a nice looking bag. I like the mesh zip compartment in the bag for shoes or just to divide items. The straps and padded ventilated backing looks comfortable and the padded laptop sleeve is substantial enough to protect your laptop properly.

15. High Sierra Elite Weekender

Product features

  • Dimensions: 3.4″ X 22.2″ X 15.5″ 3.7 lb
  • Converts into a backpack, a satchel and a duffel bag
  • 17″ laptop compartment
  • Fleece lined accessory pocket
  • Mulitiple front organiser pockets
  • Tablet sleeve
  • Water bottle side pocket
  • Comfortable padded back strap
  • Compression straps
  • Front accessories clip
                                                                             

 

My thoughts: This bag is very stylish and has heaps of compartments. I particularly like the front pocket with organizer multi pockets and a key fob, so you can put all your valuables, passport and cards in the pocket and not have to worry about a separate wallet or purse.

The padded and ventilated back looks comfy and the bag can convert into different carrying styles. The fact that it can also take a 17″ laptop is also a big bonus. I couldn’t really find any faults with this bag.

Woman with backpack
Photo by Gantas Vaičiulėnas from Pexels

Notes of interest: The TSA requirements for laptops is that they do need to be removed from the bags now. The bags that are labeled as TSA compliant will need to have the laptop removed from the bag as is clearly shown in the TSA security proceedures   

You may need to check this before you travel so you are not surprised with anything you are not expecting.

 

6 Tips for Women’s Travel Clothing

Travel clothing for women

Having the correct clothing is important for any situation, but making sure you are organized and have suitable clothing when traveling is even more crucial. That is why it is important to take a look at these tips on women’s travel clothing when you are planning your next vacation

You may find yourself in vulnerable situations and could be deprived of your personal items if your luggage is mislaid. You may not have all of your travel items with you all the time so wearing suitable clothing that will last a couple of days will be a good idea.

I have put together some information for you on guidelines and tips for women’s travel clothing, top to toe, for various scenarios that will help you get through your travel experience without too much stress.

Best Women Travel Shirts for Your Trip.

The best way to be prepared and comfortable when traveling is to

Read more6 Tips for Women’s Travel Clothing

How to Deal with Anxiety and Panic when Traveling

Traveling can be fun and exhilarating but can also be stressful and cause some anxious moments along the way. I have previously given you some ideas on Stress Free Travel in an earlier blog so now I will elaborate on some tricks and techniques to deal with situations in the moment, and hopefully this will give you some skills around how to deal with anxiety and panic when traveling.

As you probably would have been told many times before, if you cannot change the situation then you need to change how you deal with it, or view it.

What are Panic Attacks and Anxiety?

Maybe you are suffering from a form of panic attacks or anxiety and you do not know it. This condition is actually a mental health issue and if you are experiencing it for the first time or it is causing more than a minor disruption to your lifestyle then you should talk to your doctor. If this is caused by an imbalance in your brain then this is a physical symptom and may need treating with medication.

A panic attack can be caused by your perceived fear of an event or situation, rather than an actual danger. Of course this is as real to the person suffering this attack as if it was a happening or an imminent event is about to happen. There are several types of Panic attacks or anxiety and some of them are:

  • Generalized Aniety Disorder ( GAD) – This is when you can feel anxious most days about most things.
  • Social Anxiety – You can feel anxious in amongst people or crowds and can suffer from separation anxiety.
  • Specific Phobias – Such as, spiders, clowns, water, small spaces, open spaces, or anything that causes anxiety in a person. .
  • Panic Disorder – This is when a person gets a random panic attack which can cause, sweating, irregular heartbeat or palpitations, or a choking feeling
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – This is when the person has unwanted recurring thoughts with behaviors to manage or override the thoughts.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – This is a condition caused by a traumatic event and results in anxiety and flashbacks. It usually requires medical assistance.

Natural Treatment for Panic Attacks

There are things that you can do to minimize the effects of anxiety and panic attacks, and this can involve looking at your lifestyle and making a few small changes. Here are a few things that are recommended to look at to help this condition, and probably will help a few other lifestyle and health issues.

  • Avoid or reduce your caffeine intake.
  • Reduce or remove nicotine from your daily intakes.
  • Avoid alcohol – This is one that is suggested quite often for many situations.
  • Get regular sleep.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Take multi vitamins to generally feel better
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Meditation or Yoga are good examples of what you can do here.
  • Go and spend time in nature, walk on the beach, talk to the trees.
  • Discuss your issues with your doctor for further specific advice.

Now you may be reading this list and think that your lifestyle is going to be totally ruined if you give up all these vices at once. Maybe you need to make a schedule and plan how to change one thing at a time and slowly change your habits that are causing you a flow on effect of other symptoms.

It may not just be anxiety and stress that you are experiencing but by tweaking a few things slowly over time your overall health and lifestyle will improve immensely.

You will find that this is a good start for your treatment of panic attacks and anxiety. This is also one of the best ways to reduce your anxiety, by just changing things slowly but surely.

Here is a link for some mindfulness meditation that might help you

How to Deal with Anxiety About Flying

When you are planning your trip and you are starting to feel anxious about the thought of flying, or you have previously felt anxious when flying, then this is a good time to start addressing it.

If you can calm your fears before the fact and get your head around it then you will be more likely to look forward to your trip rather than dreading it.Maybe your anxiety about being anxious is actually worse than what you may feel in the moment.

There are a few things you can do that will help with this:

  • Look forward to your destination. – Carry a nice photo of the highlight of your trip and what you are looking forward to.
  • Cut back on caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. – Try to put yourself into a naturally calm state, without drink or drugs.
  • .Make yourself familiar with the airplane and the safety instructions – Tune into the safety briefing
  • Let the stewardess know your anxiety – If the airline staff are aware then they may be more empathetic to your fears.
  • Distract yourself – Bring something to do on the plane or be prepared to use the in flight entertainment. Movies, games, reading, and sleeping can all distract your thoughts from your nervousness.
  • Try to think logically – Remember that there are more people killed by donkeys that by airline crashes. ( I am actually not sure if that statistic is totally correct but I did hear it somewhere). Don’t let your fears override your situation

Think about how you can organize your valuables and items that you might need to take care of your mindset. Have a travel bag suitable to carry on you at all times, so if something happens, you know that you have your basic emergency kit right there with you.

Make sure you have a place for your passport and some cash in separate pockets. Have your electronic device and your phone secured in the bag and download some calming music and meditation to listen to on the plane.

Prepare to Enjoy Your Trip

Hopefully you now understand a bit more about what panic attacks are and what can trigger a panic attack or even anxiety. When you are preparing for your travel, think about how you will cope with some of the eventualities of travel, such as delays and holdups in your itinerary and how this may affect further connections that you have booked.

You will need to think about how you will cope with this so when the unforeseen event happens to you, then you are more prepared to deal with it. By running, it through your head then you can overcome your fear of the unknown, because when it happens your mind has already dealt with it to a certain extent and you won’t go into such a panic.

I really hope that this has helped you to overcome some of your fears around travel so you can go and enjoy your trip and hit the ground running to enjoy your destination.

 

Best Travel Insurance For Over 50s

Now you have planned where you want to go for your Vacation you will need to start thinking about your travel Insurance. It can be tempting to take the risk and travel without insurance cover, although I do not recommend it. I have paid for insurance cover on many trips without making a claim, and it is easy to feel that it is a waste of money.

None of us like giving our hard-earned money to the Insurance Company, but you need to weigh up the risks. I have done some research and also from personal experience, I can suggest the best Travel Insurance for over 50s, for you. Of course of you don’t quite qualify in that age bracket, then this could also apply to you. If you are still planning your trip you might find my previous post on some Vacation ideas, Unusual Vacation Ideas for Solo Women Travelers, useful.

Assessing the Risks

As I have previously said, there are substantial risks that you take if you travel without Travel Insurance. This

Travel Risks
Why get travel insurance

applies, especially if you travel abroad away from your usual county of residence. In many cases you will be leaving your health and medical insurance cover behind, as soon as you step onto a ship or a plane, or even drive across a border.

Your usual medical cover is now nonexistent and you open yourself up to the risk of both accident and illness. Usually the costs associated with medical care outside your own country can be substantial.

This eventuality must be considered because not only are you dealing with the illness or injury, but this could create a domino effect that also disrupts your travel plans and those of your travel companions, if you are not traveling alone.

If in fact you are traveling alone, then there are also the added risks that you may need to have someone come to you to assist you to get home, On the subject of traveling alone, which I highly recommend, by the way, you do have to consider having a back up and the insurance cover will give you this peace of mind.

What to Look For In Travel Insurance.

When you are considering which Travel Insurance Company to go with, you need to consider what your needs will be to suit your travel plans. You may be offered travel insurance from your travel agent if you book your trip through them.

Check that the Insurance Company is solid. By this I mean that they are a reputable company that can cover the cost of paying out on a claim. Some companies have limited cover and restrictions on the cover and payout that would render the policy not very effective for your purposes.

These policies are sometimes offered by tour operators and cruise lines so you may want to arrange your own more comprehensive cover in these circumstances. You can read more about this here, in a recent article in Forbes.

Once you have booked your trip and decided on your itinerary this is the best time to get your travel insurance. Don’t wait until the last minute because if there is a change in any situation, say global warnings about weather or terrorism and you need to change your plans then you will not be covered for this.

When you get your policy, read over your documents. I know that reading all that information can make your eyes glaze over but this is the time to make any adjustments or even cancel the policy if you need to. You should be able to get a full refund at this early stage unless your policy states otherwise.

Best Travel Insurance I have found

I have used Allianz Global Assistance, several times when I have traveled internationally. Luckily for me only had to make a claim the one time and that was for lost and stolen items so it was pretty minor. It was a fairly straightforward exercise and I was reimbursed, without any issues.

Allianz Travel Insurance gives good cover and can also include Rental Car Damage Protector which gives peace of mind for your rental car. It doesn’t take much for damage to occur to your rental car and can even happen when you leave it parked.

Any damage to the car can cause you to pay several hundred dollars in excess if you do not have the extra cover.

The overall cover that you receive, depends on what you choose for yourself for before your trip. Allianz also have a free app which can be an easy way to make contact and get instant information whilst you are traveling.

Allianz was also voted the best travel insurance company in the 2019 Elliot Readers Choice Awards which is a non-profit organization that provides consumers with free advice and advocacy services.

Be aware that you can pick and choose what cover suits you and whatever company you go with should have variations in cover that will suit your needs.

Other Top Recommendations for Travel Insurance

Some other Travel Insurance options that have appeared in top consumer ratings are, Travelex, Amex Insurance, Travel Guard and Seven Corners. Travelex looks to be a good second choice with reviews stating that it is easy, quick and inexpensive with good customer service.

Travelex, reviews are favorable and mention the ease of buying the policy on line and also being able to make claims on line. Your payment can be made to a PayPal account for convenience.

Choose your cover to suit your circumstances. Travel insurance is quite varied and includes cancellation or trip interruptions cover, emergency medical cover, lost or damaged baggage, annual multi trip cover and more.

Pull It All Together

By now you should have a bit of information to get you started on planning your Travel Insurance. This of course will depend on your travel plans and you should follow through accordingly.

Don’t try to skimp too much on your travel cover. I do understand that it feels like wasted money spending on insurance and not claiming, but the alternative of what you stand to lose very much outweighs this theory.

Make sure you have good documentation if you do need to make a claim. Read your policy carefully and understand what you are covered for. It is no point claiming for something that you hope you are covered for and then being disappointed when in reality you have got a basic cover, but expect premium deluxe service.

Good communication is key. Happy and safe travels to you.

Unusual Vacation Ideas for Solo Women Travelers

 

When you plan your vacation or holiday escape you want to make it memorable. You plan the time and budget the money according to what you can manage and what your needs are. To get the best from your time and money you should try to incorporate some destinations and activities that you remember. At the end of the day the best thing that you get from your vacations are the memories so make them memorable. That is why I have put together some unusual vacation ideas that you can experience, and you will never forget.

Are you an Elvis Fan?

Graceland is the go to place for hardened Elvis fans. You can take part in the tour to see Elvis’ home and where he spent his life from when he brought the house in March 1956, until his death in August 1977. Here are some unusual

facts about Elvis’ life, that you may or may not know:

Elvis In Jail House Rock

Elvis was born on January 8, 1935. He was an identical twin but tragically his twin was stillborn, effectively making Elvis an only child.

Elvis was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and was part of a close extended family. He was well-loved even though they lived in virtual poverty.

Elvis’ Father Vernon was sentenced to 3 years jail after he forged a cheque to put right a deal that he believed was unfair. Elvis was about 2 years old at the time. Vernon only served 10 months for good behavior.

Elvis had Cherokee and Jewish Ancestry.

Elvis was very close to his mother and promised to buy her a big house and cars, when he was only 4 yrs old. He had vision.

Elvis could not read music.

Elvis stars in 33 movies and has sold over 1 Billion records

Now, talking about Tupelo, that is actually what I want to tell you about. Elvis’ birthplace and this is where he started his music career. Tupelo is actually a memorable place to go to. Check out the local hardware store where Elvis went with his Mother to the store to buy a bicycle. He then wanted a gun but as a compromise his Mother brought him his first guitar for $7.90. You can also visit Johnny’s drive-in where Elvis used to hang out, and go on tours to see his statue and museum and places that he hung out.

Tupelo is not all about Elvis, you can explore the 444-mile-long Natchez Trace Parkway. Even drive along the Trace to get to Tupelo, for a real back to nature treat. Or you can hire a bike and ride some of the parkway.

Getting back to nature and experiencing things the way they were is something you do with a visit at the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo.

Go to the Blue Canoe for some live music or check out some of the 160 choices of restaurants that are available to you. You will find that the accommodation choices are very affordable. You can see some options on Booking.com.

Ole Miss – Oxford Mississippi

Just down the road about 50 miles, is a town with a positive attitude and welcoming people. Oxford also known as Ole Miss. It is named after Oxford in England which is a university town and in keeping with tradition, this Oxford is also a university town. This is quite an unusual vacation destination because it has built in some traditional English tourist icons that you might like to participate in without traveling to Europe.

Try these activities:

 

Traditional red double-decker bus

Take the William Faukner Tour to find out about this Nobel Prize winning author

Civil War Canon
Civil War Canon

Hang out in “The Square” to experience some small town American vibe

Hunt down where the next live music event is. You will find live music almost every night of the week.

Find out why it is the “Cultural mecca of the South” and visit some of the arts a literary arts locations

Check out the university and stay in the University hotel for an experience of Southern Architecture and History.

Dine at one of the many local restaurants that serve fresh locally grown food. I can recommend the Ajax Diner

I found it interesting wandering around the town learning about the local history and the role the the town played during the Civil War.

Jack Daniels Whiskey Tour – TennesseeJack Daniels Distillery Lynchburg

You don’t have to be a whiskey drinker to enjoy the interesting tour of the Jack Daniels Distillery. Just down the road from Nashville, so when you have finished with the Grand ol opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Painters Alley, and the Johhny Cash Museum, then make your way out to Lynchburg. You can take a guided tour with transport which includes lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s boarding House. I am sure there will be some information relayed to you about the history of the boarding house. The Jack Daniels Whiskey Tour is set in the historic grounds of the home of Jack Daniels himself.

Wander through the grounds with your guide and see the secret underground stream that delivers crisp clear water to make the Whiskey. This is the original stream that provided clear water Jack Daniels the secret streamfor the process from the beginning. See how the filtering process works and how the charcoal is made to filter the whiskey from.

Learn about the history and unusual facts that make up the life of Jack Daniels. How he left home at an early age and brought the distillery from a preacher, and how he lost his life as a result of kicking his money safe in a temper. Don’t think you can get a job there as it is by invite only and the privilege is usually reserved for locals and descendants of the original workers.

You can buy whiskey there although it is a dry state and they have a dispensation to allow it. You cannot however, but any souvenirs on the tour, as you have to go to the town of Lynchburg, which is walking distance from the Distillery. The town has been given sole rights to sell the souvenirs which feeds tourists into the town which hums along nicely. It is well worth the walk into town as it has a nice feel to it and there are quaint shops and history to discover.

Natchez Mississippi

Natchez is another small town that has a sad but interesting history. It also has the oldest bar on the Mississippi River and many antebellum mansions.and an historic Indian settlement. If you want to look further into the history of the slave trade you can visit the Forks of the Roads Slave Market for some poignant history and stories of the slave trade. Follow up with a visit to the Museum of African American History and Culture for further insight into the history of the town.

Live music
Music from the South

Finish off you day on a lighter note with a meal at the Magnolia Grill which can be found under the Hill. Ask the locals if you aren’t sure. Then go right next door for live music. You won’t be disappointed, I wasn’t on any of my three visits. The Under The Hill Saloon takes you back to the riverboat days, especially when you look at the ceiling and see hundreds of $1 bills pinned to the ceiling. This was the traditional banking system used by the riverboat men when they didn’t have time to take their pay check to the bank so they would “deposit” it on the ceiling awaiting their next visit. What is the bet that the money very seldom left the saloon.

Choose accommodation from budget to high end and stay in one of the mansions, such as Weymouth Hall. I haven’t been lucky enough to stay at any of the historic mansions but there are plenty to choose from. Let me know how you like it, if you have the privilege to stay at one.

Check out the tours, and the arts and crafts while you are there also, there is a lot of choice, and Natchez has so much unusual sights and visits

If you enjoy the thought of live music then check out my bog about a visit to New Orleans.

Find unusual Places and add Spice to your Vacation

I have just given you a few ideas for an unusual vacation but really if you just follow your nose and explore places near and far you will find some gems. It is easy to dismiss a place as you just pass through but it you take you time and stop you can find some great examples of unusual vacation ideas. Spend some time and you will find what you are looking for.

Tupelo Courthouse

How To Start a Travel Blog and Get Paid

Bora Bora Vacation

I have a dream lifestyle, that I want to share with you. Well, at the moment it is a lifestyle that I am building. When I travel it creates such a passion and excitement in me. The thought of seeing new places and meeting new people is inspiring, and I feel privileged to be able to do so. I hope that it will create a passion and the same feeling for you, as it has for me.

For some people a three-week vacation each year is enough of an adventure, and then they will return to the daily grind of work. That is perfectly fine and the thought of the short vacation may be enough for them to look forward to until the next time.

But not for me, and I hope I can convince you of the same. That is why I would like to help you with how to start a travel blog and get paid. You can actually blog about any niche topic and get paid.

How To Start A Business Online For Free

You may have seen advertisements and headlines similar to this as you have been surfing the internet, trying to find

Blogging

an alternative to your day job. You may have even looked into it further but backed of thinking that it sounds all too good to be true, and maybe it is. But what if it isn’t? What if you could work a bit extra while you were still in your day job, and build up your own business so that before too long you could tell your boss that you don’t need him anymore.

But, now that would be too scary to try to do that, what if…? Yes, well what if…? You might fail. You might just fail, but if that happens, what is the worst that can happen? You will still have all your skills, and probably more than when you started.

And do you know what? Failure is a step towards success. If you don’t fail at something then you are not trying.

That might sound harsh and it might feel scary to step outside your comfort zone, but take it from me, outside your comfort zone is where all the excitement and adventure happens. If you have read this far then maybe you need a little more encouragement to get you into the zone, the right head space and tuned into this way of thinking. Try reading some inspirational books or listen to an audio book.

The first one that I can recommend is the 4-hour work week by Tim Ferriss. Read this book and if you are not stirred to step out into something new….then just go back to your desk

So You Want To Know How To Start an Online Blog For Free?

That’s easy, right? All you have to do is write stories for people to read and get money for it. Wrong!. If it was that easy then everyone would be doing it. Having said that, it is not so difficult that it cannot be done, you just need to commit to it and if you have the right reasons then you will be able to work through the process.

Here is one of my travel blogs for you to have a look at

 

No man is an island and you cannot do this alone. When you learn how to start a business on the internet, the best

Blogging for your day job
Blogging for your day job

way is to follow those who have been before and use their knowledge and support to expedite your process. This is exactly what I have done.

What if you could find a training site that you could join and learn the basics and while you are doing the training, you can ask any, of the other million plus members, questions to solve your issues and learn from.

Then what if, you could watch live training videos with Q and A and also have access to the past video training…… Also, what if, you could use keyword search tools as part of the site, and have a live chat where experienced members could answer your questions on the spot, Oh and let’s throw in 24/7 technical site support to help with your websites. Oh and what about having access to buy domain names and to use word press to build you website.

Oh yeah, I have gone crazy if I think you can find that all for free. All too good to be true, right? Wrong! Sorry I might be confusing you. What I mean is that is all true. I have found such a place, and to top it off the people are so friendly and helpful it feels like you have walked into a room full of like-minded masterminds who are all your new friends.

How To Learn and Earn With Wealthy Affiliate

After spending time and money searching the internet to find some way to speed up my learning on how to start a travel blog, I tried a few other sites and wasted time and money.

The options were to sign up to a course on how to blog or one site that I joined which was quite cheap turned out to be a tower (as apposed to a pyramid) of add-ons that cost more and more just to get to a stage where you could make it work for you.

Then I found Wealthy Affiliate which offered an option to join for free to give limited access to enough training and services to get you up and running. There was now pressure to upgrade, but there were incentives to do so. Especially if you wanted to be serious about building your online blogging business.

Joining the community on the site was warm and welcoming and even as a free member you got personal messages, similar to a Facebook Social Community. There was now financial incentives for any members to reach out to you, but it was all a genuine desire to help someone else join their world and learn how to make a living with an on line business.

Follow Your Dreams
Follow Your Dreams

How To Set Up An Online Business For Free

As the saying goes, there is now such thing as a free lunch. In the case of Wealthy Affiliate you can dip your toes in the water and try the entree before you pay for the lunch, so to speak. (A couple of mixed cliches there) The initial training and the following basic training is delivered directly by one of the initial co founders of the site so it feels very down to earth and welcoming.

You are offered all the tools training and services that you need to get started. You also have access to have up to 50 websites hosted on the site, for free, which in itself will save a lot of money if you are familiar to website hosting fees from other sites.

The Risk?

In conclusion, I suggest that if you have a chance to try something that you are interested in for free, then the only risk is your time. If you use that time to learn then really it is not wasted. If you have any inclination to get into the blogging world then this is the perfect way to try it out for minimal risk.

The training does cover blogging, but if you decide that is not for you then you can actually learn how to build websites, by following the training. That in itself opens doors for you to start any online business or even one where you can offer skills to local businesses and start your own business, doing this.

You might like some ideas about how to use your time once you get your blogs up and running and earning a passive income. Take some time out and have a stress free vacation

You can find out more about Wealthy Affiliate Here: Learn to Blog

Eddie Bauer Voyager 2.0 30 Pack Review

Product review

Product Specification

Product: Eddie Bauer Unisex Adult Voyager 2.0 30 Pack – Black

Best Place to Buy : Amazon.com

Capacity: 30 liters

Size: 18″H X 11.5″ W X 10.5″D

Weight: 2lb 5b oz

Guarantee: 1 year refund warranty and Full Replacement Guarantee for failure of product.

My Rating: 9.8 out of 10

Product Features

After years of travel I have found that carrying around lots of heavy luggage is not the way to go. I have perfected the art of traveling light. The Eddie Bauer Unisex Adult Voyager 2.0 30 Pack is a perfect solution to this problem. I want to share my thoughts on this Eddie Bauer Backpack.

At 2lb 5 oz the pack starts off with the advantage of being very light. The backpack has a built in sleeve to drop over your trolley handle when traveling so it sits on top of your bag to push along carrying it through the airport. That in itself halves the number of bags that you are maneuvering through the airport and around the streets.

The padded laptop compartment is discretely zippered on the side, so you can slide in your laptop keeping it separate from the main compartment. I can vouch for the fact that this compartment will keep your laptop secure and safe, as I have a personal story to verify this.

I had the pack on my back, with the laptop in it, whilst riding my motorcycle, when the bike hit a diesel spill, on the road. I came off, and slid along the road about 100 yards before coming to a stop. Not only the backpack but also the laptop survived the incident with virtually no damage. (The bag strap just got a small road grazing to the side).

The straps and shape of the back, are extremely ergonomic and are so comfortable that you hardly know you are wearing it, even when loaded up.

The shaping in the back of the pack fits right into the small of your back. With the adjustable back strap and waist straps you can adjust the pack to fit your shape perfectly.

The side pockets are suitable for a water bottle if required and side zips give extra little storage compartments. The padded front pocket is perfect and safe to drop your cell phone into for easy access. A key clip inside the front pocket is a handy addition.

The full, U shaped zip, gives a wide opening which enables easy packing into the bag. Several pockets inside this main compartment gives more options for packing.

The front of the pack has an extendable pocket which can be used for larger items or shoes.

Here is a list of the items that I packed into the bag, comfortably,

Bag Capacity

  • Scarf
  • 5 x Tops
  • Full dress
  • Drink Bottle
  • 1 Tunic Dress
  • 2 X 2 Piece Tops
  • Laptop and Cord
  • 1 X 2 Piece Dress
  • Light Puffer Winter Jacket
  • Toothbrush (There was still room for a toiletry bag)

 

My Conclusion

As you may have guessed I am very impressed with this Eddie Bauer Voyager 20 30 Pack. I have been using it for

Eddie Bauer backpack review
Eddie Bauer travel backpack

several months of constant travel and found it to be quite sturdy and robust. The capacity is great for the overall size of the pack and the separate compartments and pockets make it easy to keep your items separate and easy to find.

I found that the laptop compartment was very secure and the padding keeps the laptop safe and well-supported.

The front padded pocket is excellent for cellphone, sunglasses and is easy access for items that might be needed more often. I also used it to keep my passport for easy access when I was in the airport.

I gave it a rating of 4.8 just because I thought that it might be better in different colors but having said that, black is good.

The best place to buy this Eddie Bauer Voyager 2.0 30 Pack is at Amazon.com