Chasing Waterfalls: Unreal Helicopter Ride Over Na Pali Coast, Hawaii (+Video!)

Hawaii is more than coconuts and pineapples, surfers and hula girls. Although these are aspects are all pretty lovely,  and tasty, these luscious islands have so much more to show and preserve. The area has a longstanding tradition of living off of the land through fishing and hunting wild hogs. People respect mother nature and rejoice in her gifts nearly every day. The ocean is a perfect example, filled with little heads bobbing up and down, getting smaller and smaller out to the endless sea.

I had been to Hawaii in 2012 and absolutely fell in love. The speed limits were 35, macadamia nut pancakes were everywhere, and the people were lovely. Heaven on earth is Kauai, and more specifically, the Na Pali Coast. Maybe you’ve seen, and lusted over, scenery in Lilo and Stitch? Oh yeah, that’s what the movie was designed after.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

The headphones are multipurpose- first and foremost, for aesthetic pleasure. We look pretty badass decked out in our ‘copter gear, yeah? Realistically, we had them on because the helicopter gets QUITE loud. Notice the little headset as well? Press a button and the rest of the crew can hear your, “Ooos” and “Aaahs.”


The rain started to trickle, then proceeded to come down in rapid ping-ping-pings. Generally, weather issues tend to rattle my senses in flight, but it was so gorgeous I didn’t even care.Okay, maybe I was a little nervous. The massive waterfalls between ethereal clouds was a prime distraction though.


Any guesses on how large that waterfall is?

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

The canyon was a magnificent pumpkin orange with flecks of brass, that went on for miles. Allegedly, Mark Twain called it the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” but it truly is stunning enough in it’s own terms. Could you imagine having a little home tucked away in these crevices? With all the canyons and waterfalls I almost forgot what we had came for- the Na Pali Coast.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

Y’all remember the Care Bears? Every time I fly through clouds, my heart is filled with mixed feelings. On one hand, I feel bad for cutting through the homes of such lovely little imaginary creatures. The other part of me can’t believe how fun it is! There’s something thrilling about not really being able to see where you’re going.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

The ridges in the cliffs were so striking!


Emerald green leading into turquoise blue. We could see thousands of trees scattered throughout the island, but the best part was the moment we saw the big ole blue ocean.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

There was one thought that kept rolling through my mind. Our planet is so beautiful and we (okay, fine, I) have to take better care of it. Hate to admit that out of all the consciously proactive behaviors to have, environmentalism is not my strong point. The state I live in now, California, makes very easy while out in about, but honestly my home life is lacking.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

The flight continued further down the Na Pali coast, and we could see people on boats and cars driving below. Crazy to think how isolated of a place Hawaii is. The flight was over 6 hours from San Diego. The closest country to the west is Japan and even that’s at least a nine hour flight. The helicopter wouldn’t even be able to transport us that far!

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

Even crazier to me, Hawaii has only been a state of the U.S. since 1959. Even visiting briefly, you can see that Hawaii doesn’t really adhere to the culture of the mainland. People pluck fruit on the side of the road for breakfast, fish for lunch, and hunt pesky hogs for dinner. Unfortunately, there has been an influx of recent transplants to the area who attempt to illegally block off public beach access. In plenty of countries, it is illegal to block beach/ocean access for food and navigation reasons. Our cab driver, who we spent quite some time with, was stressing how difficult it was becoming to continue their traditional lifestyle of living off the land. To them, it’s disrespectful to mother nature to ignore her gifts.


After the helicopter ride, my brothers and I went met up our buddy/taxi driver who had invited us out earlier and given us a bomb breakfast spot, called Tip Top. Definitely make a stop and order their macadamia nut pancakes- the tastiest I’ve had thus far!


Hawaii is one of those places where almost everyone is named XYZ, and our buddy Jon, was not there when we arrived. My family is great, but they go pretty hard. By day 8, I had sworn off hard liquor. But, y’all know I’m weak so long story short, after a dozen or so shots, losing a pool game, and some tears, my night got turned around.

The bar began to close down, kicking the ten or so patrons out into the pouring rain. Plot twist- I like rain when it’s warm outside. It’s like a spa treatment from mother nature. Additionally, we picked up a friend along the way. The best kind of friend. The friend that has a…


Needless to say, I was a happy girl.

But back to the Na Pali Coast…

Traveling to beautiful places, natural or man-made, always makes me appreciate what I never noticed prior to leaving. Na Pali Coast is a must visit for ANYONE. You know what they say, you only conserve what you love, and you only love what you know.

Have you ever visit Kauai? Did you love Lilo & Stitch?

Sharing is Caring: How I Always Plan The (Almost) Perfect Trip

Planning The Perfect Trip #explore #travel

Plotting short-term, last-minute trips can seem unattainable for some budgets, but I swear to you, it can be done.


Plenty of bloggers focus on the budget aspect, but this post will be about the tools I personally use to save money without adding stress.


If you haven’t signed up for reward miles on at least three airlines you use frequently, you’re basically throwing away free vacations! Southwest Airlines is one of my favorite rewards programs, and I’ve used miles for roundtrip from Florida to Colorado and Florida to Hawaii. Alaska Airlines is another generous rewards program. Programs that are popular internationally are American Airlines, British Airways, and Delta. Why not sign up for each airline when you purchase a ticket?


No idea where to begin? Meet The Points Guy. This site has all the rewards points resources you could ever need. Complete beginners can begin here and sign up for every major loyalty program. Perfect site for finding info about free flights!


Picking A Destination


Unless it’s for an academic paper, Pinterest is the first resource I use for pretty much everything. Planning a trip usually involves searches like “colorful” +”beach” under the travel category. Once I find a destination,  Don’t forget to actually click on the pins to get the most info! This is also the perfect way to find new travel blogs (remember those experts I mentioned?) to follow.

Pinterest Burano Travel Planning Arsenal #travel

Visit Expert Pages

Y’all know those blogs where you know exactly what the blogger knows well? Let them lead the way! A few of my favorite expert bloggers are:

Heart My Backpack Sylvia has an excellent collection of information on what she now claims as her home country, Norway.

Alex In Wanderland Alex has multiple intensive posts on the land of smiles (and elephants) Thailand.

Travel Alphas Maddie and Mauricio seem to get all around the world, but I never skip visiting their site before planning anything Europe-related. 

Travel Planning Arsenal Visit Expert Pages #traveltips


Getting There

Before you leave…Male sure to get some form of travel insurance. It can be quite cheap if you already have health insurance. Kayak, and other booking companies often offer the option of insurance which includes everything from health issues to emergency evacuation. 


Everytime I visit a country, I like to see what my day trip options are. Ideally, visiting more than one country on a trip. For example, I’ll be spending 9 days in Belize, and am planning on trying to stop by Guatemala. This is how my love and I got from Italy to Croatia, one of our favorite destinations. Instead of flying, we took a train from Naples to Bari. Then we hopped on an overnight ferry and sailed away. The ferry is massive, and some people brought cars! We lucked out and got a room to ourselves and a shared bathroom, which I saw not one soul during our overnight trip. Highly recommend bringing snacks if you’re a picky eater, I vaguely remember eating a burger and french fries. It was one of the most unique travel experiences I’ve had thus far.

Rome2Rio Travel Planning Arsenal #travel #explore

Google Flights

Unlike 3rd party sites, Google Flights gives you real-time ticket prices. It never hurts to clear your cookies, but google flights has yet to price-gouged me. Not only does Google Flights help you out financially, other useful options include ‘exploring’ multiple destinations, ‘discovering’ destinations, and receiving alerts for pre-planned flights.

Travel Planning Arsenal Google Flights #travel


Seat Guru

Have you ever received the only no-view window seat in the plane? Or chosen emergency aisle only to discover the seats do not recline ? I have, and it sucks. Flights longer than 2 hours must be checked on Seatguru. Don’t be afraid! A few considerations are proximity to restrooms and galleys, exit rows, and leg room size. For example, on long flights, I love to chat with the flight attendants in the galley. Always have a hilarious story or two.



Travel Planning Arsenal Seat Guru #traveltips



I absolutely adore a nice hotel, but nothing beats an amazing apartment at city center. Europe has a particular abundance of flats for rent, many with balconies and private outdoor space. If you are absolutely not going to clean on your trip, you might want to consider a private room in a hostel or boutique hotel.

Travel Planning Arsenal Airbnb #traveltips #explore


HostelWorld’s filter features are quite brilliant. My favorite one being the “Private Room” options. Particularly in Europe and parts of South America, private rooms in hostels are a much cheaper (and often nicer) option. If you have any issues like wanting A/C or a specific neighborhood, you can figure it all out before you book on HostelWorld.

Travel Planning Arsenal Hostelworld #travel #explore


If nothing sticks out to me, I’ll venture over to Kayak to scope out the best hotels. Don’t forget to clear your history/cookies if you do more than one or two searches. One of my favorite features of Kayak is the map view. If I’m traveling to a new city, I’ll do a little neighborhood research to see which one has late night dining, pharmacy, public transport, and any other aspect I find necessary to happiness. Then, I visit Kayak to see if any accommodation is near my goal neighborhood.

How To Plan The Perfect Trip #explore #travel




This website is interesting because it connects you with locals in designated cities to have adventures. You select where you plan on going, and find an itinerary. A few interesting ones are a 3-hour graffiti tour in San Francisco and visiting a Paris flea market. Personally think it’s amazing because it supports local economies at the most basic level.

How To Plan The Perfect Trip #explore #travel


Is the perfect website for any stage in your travel planning. Simply put in your tentative dates and location, and you have a list of all the upcoming music shows. Type A personality? Look up any potential venues on Instagram and judge away.

Travel Planning Arsenal Bandsintown #travel #explore

Road Trippers

Is a surprisingly helpful site when planning trips in the USA! Unfortunately, the site seems to only feature North America. Luckily, North America is HUGE and contains plenty of interesting stops. The site has excellent quirky stops and city guides. We’re talking everything from Seattle grunge to “ghost-tours” quirky. My favorite? The Michigan Fall Leaves guide. So pretty! You can also choose a beginning and final destination and select points of interest, like shown below.


Travel Planning Arsenal Roadtrippers #travel #explore



And that’s how we do it! Are there any other secret travel websites I should know about? Has anyone used a travel agent for planning a trip?

11 Things I Wish I Had Known Before My First Trip To Ghana

11 Things I Wish I had Known Before Visiting Ghana || #explore #ghana #africa

After 18 days in Ghana, I can happily say I’d love to make a trip back! The weather was heavenly, the people were beyond kind, and it was so affordable. BUT it would have gone a lot smoother if I had known these now-obvious tips. Every single issue I had was 100% preventable and now you can be sure the avoid the same mistakes I made. Overall, Ghana is way easier than the majority of places I have traveled to.


1. You must get your yellow fever vaccination at least 10 days prior to travel.

Get Your Yellowfever Shot- 11 Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting Ghana #africa #explore

As I mentioned previously, I was unaware of this until after I had waited too long to get my vaccination. Luckily, the CDC or WHO states that the vaccination will be effective seven days prior to departure. So I went ahead to Ghana with a premature vaccination and got stopped at border patrol. I’ll go into detail a little later on the post, but just know that Ghana is quite known for “corruption” in the form of bribery. Unfortunately, I only had a $20 bill on me when I probably could have given a $5 bill and been completely safe.

2. Bribing happens everywhere.

Bribes Everywhere in Ghana - 11 Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting Ghana #africa #explore

Ah yes. My first encounter with Ghana was literally bribing to get through the vaccination check. Police will try to get a bribe from cab drivers who do not keep their inspection stickers present. Even the president has been accused of (and struggles to deny) bribery during power. The only benefit to this applies to the airport, even though it’s probably wrong. The line for the ticketing counter was atrocious, but plenty of people popped over to the side with 10 or so cedis and skipped the whole line. To each his own.

3. There is no WIFI at the airport.

No Wifi in Airport - 11 Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting Ghana #africa #explore

Make all of your accommodation plans ahead of time! When my ride got my flight time and local address wrong (oh yeah, it was reallll bad- after about 26 hours of traveling from California to Africa my ride showed almost two hours late!) I was held by border patrol until she showed up… An hour and a half after my flight had landed. There wasn’t wifi for me to simply look up hotel to provide another address to write down.

4. … Or really anywhere.

There isn't much wifi in Ghana #travel

Unlike Europe and other tourist friendly areas, Ghana has very limited public wifi. From my understanding, data is a little costly and most people use those little personal wifi boxes. After nearly three weeks I was ecstatic and baffled upon finding a café that provided free wifi. Of course, it didn’t actually work. Consider bringing an unlocked smart phone (check with your provider as to not break any contracts), buy a cheap smart phone upon arrival, or download one of these amazing map apps that work without service.

5. Expect to get told the “Obroni Rate” or as I call it, “Tourist Tax.”

Pay The Tourist Tax- 11 Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting Ghana #africa #explore

Obroni, sounds like “oh-bro-knee”, is the word for foreigner and in particular, white person. Ah yes, the ole haggle with the cabbie task. There are a million and one taxis in Ghana, and Accra specifically. Of these, 9/10 will offer you an outrageous price on the first try. Before this can happen, ask a friend (or anyone standing near you, people are SO helpful) how much the price of the cab should be from point A to point B. No clue? Simply offer half of what the taxi offers and gage their reaction. Even if it’s a fair price, some will still pressure you to pay more. Just step back, say no thank you, and wait for another cab. If they drive away, you know you offered too little. If they wave you over, you now know your pricing. Note: Not to tell you what to do buuuut, consider what an extra 5 cedis is to compared to a taxi driver in Ghana. Let them know it’s not cool to price gauge, but throw in a tip.



6. Food is available 24/7 on nearly every road. 

People hawk for the majority of the day, everything from towels to USBs to puppies. After two weeks of crepes and eggs I got pretty invested in the street hawkers. Have to mention that some of them are children, and usually are hawking until they get enough to pay for their school fees. Call me a sinner but I’ll usually just through them a cedi or two and not take what they are selling. Generally I’ve been warned a million times to not give to child beggars and have heard horror stories of people “renting” babies and children to illicit sympathy only to keep the majority of the money for themselves and pennies for the parent (who may or may not use that to the child’s benefit). The best bet for that is to keep a pack of grapes, plantain chips, or other semi-healthy snack to give to the children.



7. The people are extremely friendly.

It took me a minute to understand that when someone gives me directions, they don’t want a tip. Generally while traveling, I have to constantly swipe away handsy men who think they will get some cash if they carry my suitcase a few blocks. The only time we had a situation like that was in Cape Coast where a guy basically just tried to ride around the cab with us giving us “advice” even though we knew where we were going. And we tried to tell him that. He didn’t even really ask for anything but I could tell he was hoping for it. Besides strangers, all our neighbors were chatty and one lovely lady would pop by the house to visit with us.

8. Using your left hand is considered rude. 

Use Your Right Hand In Ghana- 11 Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting Ghana #africa #exploreEven though this applies to a large portion of the world, I still forgot until I messed up and someone corrected me. When greeting, there is this little handshake thing that involves snapping your fingers. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do it with your left! You’ll most likely get a tt-tt-tt noise and a disapproving headshake. This also includes when you’re exchanging money for goods. Sort of a pain in the ass, but when in Rome…



9. The food is spicy and CHEAP.

As someone who enjoys rice for breakfast and spices, I was in heaven for a few weeks. Usually a road-side stand would give me pork or chicken and yam chips (fries) for around 8-12 cedis or $2-$6. Expect grilled tilapia, chunks or pork, and seasoned grilled chicken. My favorite dish was the Goat Lite soup, which was sooo salty and usually a little spicy. No matter how much I loved watching the little goats jump around town, I didn’t think twice about ordering goat lite soup. Sorry kids 😉 (get it? Baby goats are called…)

10. Public transportation is extremely affordable (tro-tro!) but cramped and slow.

For under 1 cedi you can pretty much get anywhere in Accra. The photo was taken on one of my many tro-tro rides- notice the bagged water? You can get it pretty much anywhere. Circle is the rightfully named circular area where you can catch tro-tros around the city. Honestly don’t think there is an actual schedule or a way to figure out your path. Ask anyone in your path, and you can be certain you are headed in the right direction. It can be a little overwhelming for some people, so if you don’t want to be touched or talked to, just walk around with bitch-face and no one will mess with you.



10. Accra is a happenin’ town.

Like many capital cities, Accra has plenty to do. Being there less than a month still provided me with a huge book fair, arts + music festival, and the Homowu Festival. There is SO much to do! One of my favorite spots that I stumbled upon pretty briefly was the +233 Jazz Bar. When I popped by, a beautiful woman was singing so beautifully I almost teared up. And people were dancing everywhere! My kinda place 😉 We also made it out to Tea Bar, a really  hip little spot with phenomenal food. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had the BEST salad in the city. Best part? They have TIPSY tea. Oh yeah. Get the peach + rum.



11. You have to exchange to another currency if you have more than 500 Cedi upon departure. (That’s about $130.00)

As briefly mentioned, corruption is rampant in Ghana. The only thing that will happen to you is getting your money confiscated. Since it is a small amount of cash in the grand scheme of things, it can be easy to show up at the airport with too many cedis only to have them snatched. Don’t let it ruin your trip at the very end!

Have you ever been to Ghana? What’s the most surprising thing that’s happened to you on a trip?

Laughing to Keep From Crying: Kakum National Park in Ghana

Visiting Kakum National Park #travel #explore #africa


Okay, I’m being slightly hyperbolic here. I was totally fine swinging 100 feet up in the air. Not to mention, we were slipping all over the place thanks to the rain that had been steadily drizzling for a few hours. I peaked down to the distant land below and gulped. Kakum National Park was a first-time thrill for me. The bridge starts swaying. I clutched my go-pro arm and attempted to twist my head just enough to see the group behind me.  But there was no turning back… How did I get myself into this predicament?


Visiting Kakum National Park in Ghana #travel #explore #africa

We arrived at Kakum National Park by hopping on a tro-tro in Accra, and driving a little under two hours to Cape Coast! Then, we hopped on another tro-tro and headed straight for Kakum National Park. The streets were lined with goats of all sizes, as we quickly turned from semi-paved roads to full on swerving-left-and-right-and-more-left to avoid the massive potholes in the roads. Nevermind, our driver chuckled, and picked the speed up to 100 km/hr. As the person sitting next to the massive open window, I had to laugh to keep from thinking of popping out of the window and rolling down the hills. But don’t worry. I’m typing you today, so clearly, I’ve survived.

We came screeching along with a couple other dozen, maybe fifty people trickled up the entrance. Be warned, foreigners have a little bigger of a fee. Personally, I think that’s how it should be in every country- your right to your own national parks. But I did overhear other visitors complaining, so you’ve been forewarned. The park itself cost a mere 2 cedis to enter, but what you want is the canopy walk! It’s only an additional 50 cedis (little over 10 USD) for an exhilarating adventure.

Visiting Kakum National Park in Ghana #travel #explore #africa

Most of us hadn’t eaten all day, other than some amazing road-side plantains, and by the time we arrived it was nearing 3:00 in the afternoon. At the same time, it was starting to drizzle. Probably not safe to do the canopy walk while it’s wet and on an empty stomach. Simply unsafe, to me. *Rubs empty belly* Just to our luck, there was a perfect little open-air restaurant INSIDE of the national park. And they sold CLUB BEER. I sat my happy little ass down and order my favorite Ghanian dish- Goat Lite Soup and rice. Disclaimer- do not order the pizza! All my pals tried to get pizza and it was quite similar to the elementary public school plastic excuse for dining. Save yourself and order something local!

If you can manage, you should try to get there early to avoid the last minute rush. To make it easier, I let the pushers push up ahead, and our group hung out by the back. That way, we didn’t have to feel rushed. Once you get going, you can’t really turn back. This proved to be a little intense for some people, children and grown-ass men included. There were tears. Prayers. Cries and whimpers.

Visiting Kakum National Park in Ghana #travel #explore #africa

But it was absolutely beautiful!

The air was refreshing, the trees were a million shades of emerald and green. Birds fluttered about, singing to each other. Did you know there are over 250 species of bird in Kakum? I didn’t either until I visited. Honestly, the rain made it a little more surreal. The canopy was just long enough to enjoy it, without feeling like you need to do it again.


Visiting Kakum National Park in Ghana #travel #explore #africa


After the canopy, you can walk through the park and explore the different species. Most animals will be hiding by noon, so get in early if you want to see any elephants!

There is even an option to SPEND THE NIGHT on the canopy walk! Bring a mosquito net and proper shoes though, you have to be there early for this option.

Visiting Kakum National Park in Ghana #travel #explore #africa

Overall, Kakum National Park was a great day trip and I highly recommend it. Nothing is better than fresh air and friends! Have you ever heard of the park or been on a canopy walk?

18 Ways To Stay Safe While Traveling (And Still Have a Kick-Ass Time!)

How To Stay Safe While Traveling and Still Have a Kick-Ass Time #travel #explore #wanderlust

“Aren’t you scared?”

How many times have you been asked that same question about your travels? I know some people get annoyed when their parents or loved ones try to deter them from exploring out of fear. Maybe they aren’t worried. The truth is, I can get quite scared when I travel, which is one of the reasons I do it. One way I avoid soul-crushing anxiety is by keeping myself prepared for the worst and being (slightly) vigilant. I’ve written briefly about the time these tour guides were trying to separate my friend and I in Thailand. Not saying I’m perfect, but I’ve definitely picked up a thing or two. As we say at my Alma Mater, “It ain’t my first rodeo.” Okay, they might say that elsewhere, but I can only speak to what I know.

The point is…

Over 98% of my travels have been perfectly safe, and plenty of explorers never have a bad experience. 

But there are some tips and tricks to the trade! This isn’t going a post regarding potential scams around the world, but rather specific concepts that come in handy when you’re alone or in an unfamiliar area. Having a wild trip doesn’t mean you have to get hurt or in trouble. Don’t get anything stolen, don’t end up in a hospital, and don’t get arrested. 

In Ghana, a group of us (five North Americans under 30) were hanging out in Cape Coast a little late at night. It was the night before President Mahama was to speak in the city, and the drumming ban was lifted. Down the street, people were partying like crazy and we wanted to join! Before we even got within 50 feet of the festivities, multiple children told us we should leave before we get robbed. Having lived in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, I knew better than to be hanging around in an area after I’m told not to. My best buddy on the trip, K, has also lived outside of D.C., and gave me the look. So, after collecting the valuables from one of our group mates, we started walking back to the hotel.

The difference between 7 p.m. in Cape Coast and 10:30 p.m. is vastly differently. People were smoking the ganja everywhere and believe me, I would’ve gladly joined if I hadn’t already been warned that pretty much only the legitimate gangstas smoke weed in parts of Ghana. Gun-toting, people snatching gangstas. And college kids at the University of Ghana.  And as soon as we pass the group, for the first time in my travels, someone grabbed my arm hard. I ripped my arm away and screamed, “NO TOUCHING! ANY OF YOU!” like a crazy lady. And continued to walk down the middle of the road. Because that’s how you keep people from f’king with you when y’all don’t have cash for a cab and have a mile until the hotel.

Within 15 minutes of us getting to the hotel, our group came back. They had been robbed.

Before You Arrive

Map Out the Embassy

Even if you aren’t visiting a capital city, you should consider finding the address of the embassy as well as the phone number. If your passport gets stolen and you don’t speak the local language, having the embassy number will be a major time-saver.

How To Safe While Traveling = Map Out Embassy

Read The News

With the internet giving us everything we need to know at the touch of a fingertip, it’s easy to stay up to date on local politics. Some things to be wary of are: protests, elections, important speakers, royalty’s birthdays, national holidays. You can still enjoy these aspects of travel, but from a well-informed distance.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Read The News #wanderlust #explore #tips

Get the Recommended Medicines

Getting yellowfever is no joke, not to mention they usually won’t even let you inside certain countries without the vaccine. Malaria medication is recommended to start prior to a trip and waiting to contract the disease will really give you something to bitch about.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Get Vaccinations

International Health Insurance

Just do it. My last policy was about $16.00 for a month of travel. Especially if you’re heading to a part of the world you’ve never been before, health insurance is a necessity. Something as simple as brushing your teeth with tainted water can put you in a hospital. Going somewhere with limited healthcare? Be sure to sign up for a contract that allows air-evacuation.

Sorry First Class, The Safest Seats Are In The Back

The chances of your plane going down are slim to none, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take extra precaution for that slim chance! Luckily, most airlines let you choose your seat before you arrive at the airport. Check out seat guru to ensure your seat isn’t too far from an exit window.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Sit In The Back #explore #tips

During Your Travels

Sit By a Window On Public Transport

Not only will you be able to take in the views, you’ll be more mobile than if you were squished in-between people. Being able to remove yourself from a tro-tro/tuk-tuk accident is a matter of life or death. Not having any luck finding one? Feign like you have motion sickness that will only be cured by watching out the window (LOL- I hate myself a little for this advice, but sheet we all gotta do what we all gotta do) and surely someone will remove themselves for you.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Sit By A Window On Public Transportation #tips

Keep Important Info Available

Your phone WILL eventually die. Even with those little battery packs, I’ve gotten stuck for 6-12 hours without my phone + notes +emails + maps. Write down on paper, yes REAL authentic paper, the address of your hotel and the number to get directions.

Stay Safe While Traveling - Write Important Info Down

Let Your People Know Exactly Where You Are

This is a pain in the ass, I know. But sending updates, multiple times a day, will be essentially to getting you safe if anything bad happens. And with all the options we have- call, Facetime, email, whatsapp, etc., there’s no excuse! Not only major destinations, but any national parks or day trips. Be sure to give clear, specific details and names of any person that joins you during your travels.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Keep In Touch #traveltips

Take Photos of Your Cab Drivers Info

Unfortunately, there have been incidents of fake taxis kidnapping or assaulting innocent passengers. Let ’em know you aren’t playing games by snapping a photo of what they are legally required to display. Anytime someone gets flustered, get a new ride. There are always plenty around.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Taxi Rules #explore #tips

Don’t Split Up!

LADIES- we all have urges that might feel uncontrollable, especially while on a grand adventure, but don’t leave your friends for the D! Showing up at an unknown location for a temporary romp is not only a serious safety hazard, but you could get lost trying to get back. If he/she wants you that bad, they can find a nice private hostel room near by (sorry mum).

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Stay Together

Listen to the Locals

If you are told that you are probably going to get robbed, you should leave. If you “have a feeling” you aren’t welcome there, you should leave. Your life is not worth a few Instagram pics to prove you did something wild!

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Listen to The Locals #explore #tips

“Lock” Your Door With A Door Stop Or A Chair

fF you aren’t expecting anyone during the night, take a little extra precaution and pack a door stop. Already traveling? Grab a chair (usually will have one in your hotel room and if in hostel, check the lobby) and nuzzle it under the door handle.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Lock Your Door

Walk Where You Will Be Seen By Most At Night

Realistically, if someone is planning on doing something sketchy, they will have seen you WAY before you see them. Hiding on the side-walk right next to alleyways is just silly. Walk in the middle of the road (until a car comes!) and assert your dominance.

how to stay safe while traveling - walk where you will be seen #travel #explore

Stagger-Walk in Groups

If it’s you and two friends walking down a dark street at night, consider staggering a few feet away from each other. No one needs to know who is on your side and who isn’t. Avoid huddling up and appearing small. When worse comes to worst, at least one of you will be able to scramble away to get help or swoop in to save the day.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Stagger Walk In Groups #travel #tips

If It’s About To Go Down…

Consider Your Defenses

Unless you’ve been trained to specifically defend yourself, chances are a man twice your size will probably be able to over-take you. Nail scissors are small but helpful in bus situations. My favorite weapon? My Go-Pro stick with Go-Pro attached. I’ll whack a mofo if I have to.
How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Consider Your Defenses #traveltips #explore

Act Batshit Crazy

No joke. Just start screaming and thrashing about. Not many people feel like dealing with a mentally unstable person, let alone one who seems to be expressing their illness. Throw in a little spittle at the mouth, just in case. I’ve used this while walking home alone in major U.S. cities and I have (yet) to be messed with.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Act Crazy #travel #explore

Play Possum

Okay just to verify, playing dead with bears only works in certain situations, like a mother protecting her young. I’m referring to dealing with an active shooter situation. Not a fan of sensationalizing tragedies so I won’t point to any specific events, but playing dead in a violent situation like a mass shooting isn’t a bad idea. While the first movement is ideally physically removing yourself, it’s always necessary to have a back-up plan in you get trapped.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Play Possum #traveltips #explore

Trust Your Instincts

There’s a good chance if you’re a traveler and you’re in a violent situation, you won’t be speaking the language of the perpetrator(s). Any time a group starts to gather, be aware of the aura of attitude. Just because you don’t understand what’s being said doesn’t mean you can’t figure out what’s going on. That physically draining gnawing at the gut you get? Listen to it.

How To Stay Safe While Traveling - Trust Your Instincts #travel #explore

Overall, use that lovely little brain you have and enjoy yourself. Hope this helps!