Santorini, a beautiful Greek island, lost some of its shine when we stumbled upon its immense landfill. Bottles aren’t recycled and the trash accumulates quickly on this very popular tourist destination. The landfill reminded us of each small bar of soap, the paper on that soap, the little plastic container of shampoo, the paper, plastic or styrofoam cups (also wrapped in plastic) used by everyone who stays in a hotel each year. The numbers quickly become overwhelming, not to mention a little depressing. For instance, Global Soap, a non-profit organization that recycles hotel soaps globally to improve health in impoverished nations, estimates that U.S. hotel visitors throw away over 2.6 million bars of soap – every day. So here are eleven easy to follow tips for eco-friendly travel that we try to follow and use for business trips, short holidays or a year long career break.
Archives for March 2015
Get Off the Beaten Track on a Minsk Motorbike Tour
We try to see countries from a different perspective if possible whether it is going to a local fruit and vegetable market away from the busyness of the tourist centre, taking a bike ride into the country or hiking on little known trails. We tend to shy away from the larger tour crowds when we can just due to the fact that we don’t like the jostling of crowds and vending opportunities that many tourist sites have to offer. Of course if you want to see a sight like the Louvre, the Grand Canyon or any well-known attraction it is almost unavoidable to show up and see six tour buses getting off to join you. Fortunately, there are still some amazing attractions and things to do that offer an adventure off the beaten path but close enough to your accommodation to get back in time for dinner.
Or in the case of Hoi An Motorbike Adventures, on and off very beaten and historic tracks on a an old Minsk motorcycle.
Tour Operator: Hoi An Motorbike Adventures
Location: Our tour was out of Hoi An Vietnam with additional riding opportunities offered in Sri Lanka and Laos. The tour included side streets in quiet neighborhoods, a short ride through Danang, up a steep climb along jungle and the sea as well as historic sites.
Price as of March 2015: $95 each or $140 in total for two if your partner rides pillion, check website for latest pricing
Tour style: Easy riding, some technical riding involved if you choose to drive vs ride on back
Length of tour: 1 day although many other options available for multi-day trips, also in Laos and Sri Lanka
The booking office is just outside of the Hoi An ancient town and provides anything from day trips to overnight or multi-day trips for anyone who wants to get a taste of Vietnam in a new perspective.
About The Minsk
If you happen to be a motorcycle enthusiast [Read more…]
This is a bare-bones version of my packing list in the ‘Tips for Packing: How and What to Pack for Long-term Travel‘ post. If you want more detail, helpful tips and also a list of things I missed when packing, check out that post! If you just want a simple packing list for her, then keep on reading.
Her packing list – for long-term travel
- 1 pair of thongs (i.e. flip-flops)
- 1 pair of black Nike training shoes
- 1 pair Merrell Walking sandals
- 1 pair black leather ballet flats
- 1 pair Salomon hiking boots.
Tops: [Read more…]
nHow and what to pack for a gap year or long-term travel? What a dilemma! In this post I give some tips for packing and a detailed account of how and what I packed for our career break traveling through Europe, North America, Central America and South East Asia. I hope my packing tips and steps will get you started and organised, and also give you some idea about what (not) to pack.
You would think that it would be kind of fun, packing, as you’re all excited about getting ready for your trip, but really – most of the time it’s a pain. Just as every person is unique, every trip is unique as are the contents of your suitcase/backpack/wheeled luggage. There is no ‘one packing list fits all’ solution. Steve and I read some great travel blog posts and watched many a Youtube packing tip video before starting to pack for our trip. Even with all those great [Read more…]
Testing out the Afar backpack on the road
I thought I’d share with you how the Eagle Creek Afar backpack has been working for me on our trip. In the below video I review the backpack which I use as my carry-on bag, occasional day pack and ‘weekender’. I go through some of the backpack’s features, and also show you how much it fits and how it looks.
The Afar has a spacious main compartment which has a laptop/ipad section, a secondary compartment which also includes pocket organisers for your phone or camera, pens, and other smaller items, and a zippered mesh pocket. The bag also has two mesh side pockets for a drink bottle and other items, and a front mesh pocket which is handy for for example stowing away your jacket. There are dual lockable zippers on the two main compartments so you can lock the bag for added security. There is also a separate compartment for your laptop (in addition to the laptop pocket inside the main compartment), which is really easy to access and also very secure as the entry sits underneath the backpack straps. I find the laptop compartment particularly useful when going through airport security.
My favorite feature is the weight of the backpack – it is super light at 0.76kg (1 lb 11 oz). Yet it is pretty spacious as its capacity is 33.5 Litres (2050 cu in) so it’s big enough for any ‘side trips’ that we may take. I also like the amount of pockets, compartments and general level of organisation the bag provides. Overall I find the Afar a really great backpack that is ultra light, yet spacious.
I hope the video will provide some tips on what kind of carry-on bag to select if you’re going on a trip, or generally looking for a good backpack that’s lightweight and spacious. Thanks for watching!
If you’d like to see more gear reviews and travel videos, please check out our Coconut Compass Youtube channel!