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The travel accessories you need when you’re backpacking!

Knowing what you need to pack and not pack while backpacking is a struggle for many people. You don’t want to forget anything, but you don’t want to bring useless stuff that will take up space in your bag. Having the right travel accessories is key to having a great trip!

Here is a list of things that I use over and over during my travels that I can vouch for.

Peripatetic Kat’s Ultimate Travel Accessories

A lock

You need a lock if you’re backpacking. Staying in hostels, you want to make sure your backpack is safe (just in case there is that one asshole who is going to steal your stuff). I’ve been lucky enough never to have had anything stolen even when leaving stuff around, but you never know. Most hostels have under bed storage space or lockers, but you have to provide your own lock so be prepared and buy one in advance!

A travel RFID Blocking Wallet

This wallet is GREAT. It fits all of my cards + my passport so I can keep it with me and not leave it at the hostel. I also love the colour, but they have multiple ones so you can choose whatever you like. I like that it’s big enough to fit Euro bills (I’ve had wallets that didn’t, and it was SUPER frustrating) since they can get pretty big.

Sunlight Bar Soap

I actually wrote a whole blog post on this magic stuff (which you can find here) because it’s so amazing. I take it everywhere I go now. You can cut it up as to not bring the whole bar which is a great space saver. But honestly, this stuff is GREAT for stains. I legit spilled red wine all over a couch once when I was in France with my mom, and we were able to get all the stain out with the soap; it’s a lifesaver.

Packing Cubes

I LOVE these cubes. They are great to stay organized while living out of a backpack. An added bonus is that this one has cute little laundry pouches too which is great. They all fit into one another when you aren’t travelling, so it takes up next to no room. And even better they have super cute colours (I have the watermelon, and it’s so friggin’ cute!).

A microfiber towel

Okay, guys, this was a revelation when I found these towels – legit one of my favourite travel accessories. They dry super quick and take like no room in your bag. Plus, they have different colours and sizes which is great. I got the 32″ x 60″,  and I love it; it’s big enough that I wrap around my body (no awkward openings when I am in the hostel = WIN!).

Reusable mini bottles

I used to buy the travel sized stuff at Walmart but eventually, it starts adding up, and you realize you’re not helping the environment (plus you can’t use your own products), so I switched to these reusable ones that I can just fill up with the stuff I use at home. They don’t leak, and they are the perfect size that they don’t take up too much room in my bag.

A travel pillow

If you’re taking lots of planes or trains, these are a life saver. They just make those long hours just a little more enjoyable. I like the ones that have a “necktie thingy” so that I can tie it to my bag and it stays on my neck better.

Ziplock bags

People often forget about these, but you never know when they can come in handy. I always bring a few along just in case. They are really great when you’re following my tip number 2 about saving money while backpacking (you can find that post here).

A universal adapter

This is a must have travel accessory. If you want to use any of your electronics while you’re abroad, you need a power adapter. Most electronics today have a broad range of voltage they can take so you don’t need a converter, but you should always check before you plug anything in so you don’t blow up your belongings. I usually bring two with me, so I am sure I won’t be stuck without being able to use and/or charge something.

I personally use each product that I’ve just recommended to you and continue to use them. These are my must have travel accessories that I don’t leave the country without. Keep this post bookmarked and check back often as I will update it as I go!

What is your favourite accessory? Let me know in the comments below.

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Europe Food Tip Series Tips Travel Uncategorized

Save Serious Money when Backpacking Europe (or anywhere else)

When you’re backpacking through Europe, you’re usually on a budget. You can’t spend too much money in one place because you know it means sacrificing something else at a later time. Well, I am here to give you the BEST way to save serious money when backpacking Europe (or anywhere else) on a budget. Implementing this trick will save you SO MUCH money and will allow you to do way more cool things.

It’s a really simple trick that I break down into two parts. Are you ready for it?

The BEST way to save serious money when backpacking Europe is….

Hostels with free breakfast.

Guys, if you’re not focusing your hostel search on the ones with breakfast included, you’re doing it wrong. As you know, I use Hostelworld for nearly all my hostel bookings. I love them because it’s super easy, gives me access to a ton of Hostels around the world, and I can specify criteria when I am searching for a hostel. I usually do a search for a hostel that has free wifi, free breakfast and a bar (but those are just my criteria).
Free breakfast means that you can avoid spending your hard earned cash on an extra meal. Most hostels that offer free breakfast have their prices set very similar to the ones that don’t so the difference is barely noticeable when you’re paying.However, the difference is very noticeable when you start having to pay for breakfast each morning.

Doing this alone will save serious money and ensure you can spend that saved money somewhere else. BUT, I have a way to make it even more worth while and I’m about to share it with you now.

Make yourself some lunch.

So you have free breakfast, and they have all these pieces of bread and cold cuts and spreads available in the morning… Why not make yourself a sandwich or two and save it for later? This is an awesome way to save on food spending. I would make some sandwiches in the morning, wrap them up in some napkins and bring them with me in my backpack for the day. Lunch can turn into an expensive ordeal if you’re not prepared so having some sandwiches on the go is a great way to save serious money. Plus, who doesn’t like a nice lunch on a park bench overlooking a fountain somewhere in Europe? I know I do!

Save serious money – go to a hostel with free breakfast!

It’s a super easy way to save money and put it into your travel experiences! Try it out (and I suggest you use Hostelworld since you can set your search criteria for included breakfast)… and as always let me know what you think in the comments below!

Want to save more money while traveling? Check out my blog post on things you should be doing to find cheap flights here.

 

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Cheap airfare Deals Tip Series Tips Travel

8 things you should be doing to find cheap flights

Eight things you should be doing to find cheap flights

Flights are expensive. Most of the time, your airfare is the most expensive part of your trip. It sucks when you realize your intended destination is $1500. But, there are several things you can do to find cheap flights and save some money. I touched on two of these things in previous posts: Part 1 and Part 2. There is actually a few more things you can do to find cheap flights and get the most out of your money, and I am about to share them with you.

8 things you should be doing to find cheap flightsClick To Tweet

1) Don’t fly direct

Flying direct can sometimes cost you way more money. For some added inconvenience (let’s be honest here layovers are never fun) you could be looking at hundreds of dollars in savings.

2) Be open minded about your destination

I covered this in my part 1 post about saving money when flying (which you can find here), but the takeaway is that if you keep an open mind about where you want to go instead of picking a particular location, you can select the cheapest option and save a lot of money.

3) Fly with a budget airline

More and more companies are going the budget route which gives you significant savings by removing some of the fancier comforts. When you’re looking for flights, don’t overlook these budget airlines as they can be serious money savers. If you can go without food on your flight and lose a bit of leg room but save $500 in the process – it’s worth it!

*For example, Ryanair and Easy Jet in Europe or WOW Air which has departures from US & Canada.

4) Don’t fall for the gimmicks of cheap flight searching

Don’t be fooled by the people who say that looking for flights on incognito mode will make it more affordable – there is zero proof of that. As a general rule, flights are not cheaper on Tuesdays so don’t bother waiting for that mythical cheap Tuesday to arrive. Airlines want to make money, so they will switch it up constantly.

5) Be open minded about your travel dates

I talked about this in a previous post, and it’s crucial. Before picking dates for your travels, look up different times to see where you can save a few dollars. If you’re not locked into specific vacation days, you should be looking at your options before deciding on when you’re going.

6) Use multiple tools to do your research

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT only look at one website to find your flights. Shop around, look at various websites, and find the best deals. My go to is Google Flights, but I also look at airline websites like Momondo, Flight Network, Sky Scanner, and sometimes more. You never know what you might find.

7) Use Ebates

This is a tool that I only starting using a few months ago, but it’s pretty impressive; I wish I had started earlier. Ebates is a website that gives you cashback on your online purchases! They are teamed up with so many companies who give them a percentage for sending them customers; Ebates splits that money with you as a thank you for using their service. I have the Google Chrome add-on so anytime I’m doing online shopping, and they have a deal with that retailer it lets me know! You can obviously use it for anything (not just travel-related), but the bigger purchases naturally yield a greater return. It’s not a TON of money so don’t go expecting $100 cheques every week, but it’s pretty much free money just for buying stuff, so it’s worth signing up. I put the money I get back from Ebates into my travel account, so it’s just a little extra help.

8) Get a credit card that offers travel points 

If you already have a credit card and you’re not getting travel points, you should change your card. If you’re making purchases with a debit card, you should think about switching to a credit card. Most cards worth getting have some kind of fee, but it’s totally worth it in the end. I got a last minute (like 3 or 4 days with no room for wiggle room) round trip ticket from Montreal to Honolulu in February, and it cost me a big fat $0. I had enough points (and then some) to not worry about the cost and just enjoy myself. I got these points simply by making my regular purchases on my credit card and reaping the benefits with no change in my habits.

Use these eight tips, and I guarantee you’ll find cheap flights!

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to download my FREE cheat sheet to remember all these eight tips when you want to find some cheap flights!

Don’t forget to leave a comment below!

PKat.

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Packing Tip Series Tips Travel

Tip Series: One packing essential for the clumsy traveller

Do you drop spaghetti sauce on your pants or shirt more often than you’d like to admit? Do you spill some red wine on your dress when you get a bit too animated?

I know I do! ALL. THE. TIME. It’s a curse, guys!

I have a great tip for you clumsy people that costs next to nothing and will save most of your clothes from finding their way to the curb. This trick is actually so good that you’ll probably use it at home too. Full disclosure, I have to give my mom a shout out for this tip because she’s the one who showed it to me on one of our trips together.

Are you ready for the simplest trick?

Sunlight bar soap.

You know that yellow bar that your grandma probably had in her soap holder in the laundry room? That’s the one!

(Click the picture to order some from Amazon)

You don’t even need to bring the entire bar; cut off a piece and stick it in a plastic bag. As soon as you realize you’ve stained your clothes, grab this magic eraser and rub it with some water. I spilled a glass of red wine all over a beige couch once, and we were able to remove all the evidence with the soap. This stuff is legit.

It takes up zero room in your bag, and it will save your ass. Especially when you’re backpacking, and you have little room to bring multiple outfits.

If you’re a clutz like me, give this trick a try and I promise you won’t regret it!

Don’t forget to leave a comment below!

If you haven’t already, go read my post about saving money when purchasing airline tickets – it could save you hundreds!

 

PKat

 

* This post may contain affiliate links which means that I could earn a small commission to help keep this blog up and running. Don’t worry, I only recommend products and service I personally use and trust!

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Cheap airfare Deals Tip Series Tips Travel

Tip Series: Another money saving tactic when flying!

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Hi, everyone!

MY EXAMS ARE DONE! I am finally free… until May 9th when I start two new courses at least, haha! Now I have some free time to work on the blog and plan my next trip!

So, I’ve decided to start a ‘tip series’ section of the blog. Each time I post tips or tricks with regards to travel, I will put tip series in the title. This will make it easy for you readers to see right away that there is some useful advice in the post and it will be an easier way to archive/look through old posts.

So, I posted a couple of weeks ago about being open-minded when planning a trip to find the best deals. This post if sort of a continuation of my previous one. If you combine both of these tricks together, I guarantee you can save a ton of money.

Living in Ottawa, I am suuuuper lucky because I have three major airports within relatively short driving distance. I have the Ottawa airport which is literally in my backyard, I have the Montreal airport less than 2 hours away, and I have the Toronto airport a bit further. For anyone in the same situation as me, that have multiple airports in close proximity: you’re sitting on a ton of savings!

How does having multiple airports access give you savings you ask?

It’s actually quite simple! You can look at the price differences between various airports and find the cheapest option. I’ve had flights leaving Ottawa and stopping in Montreal on a layover be cheaper than the flight leaving from Montreal. How does that make sense? IT DOESN’T! But it’s great news for you and your bank account (happy dance for extra savings!!!).

If you recall in my previous article, which you can find here, I mentioned using Google Flights as an excellent way to look for flights all over the world. Combine that with switching departure airports as well, and you’re laughing at all the savings you can be achieving. Look at the difference:

I did a search departing from Ottawa airport to a few cities in Europe. Here is the price breakdown:

London: $800
Amsterdam: $1280
Paris: $1135
Brussels: $1181

Then I did a new search, but I changed my departing airport to Montreal. I kept the same dates and location, and my price breakdown was as follows (look at all those savings!):

London: $803
Amsterdam: $1110
Paris: $884
Brussels: $1076

As you can see, London is the only one that varies slightly; everything else has pretty significant savings.

This is pure gold, people!

I can’t stress this enough. Imagine if every time you flew, you saved $100 or more on a flight. That’s some pretty significant money you can put elsewhere during your trip!

If you have the option of going to various airports, I would definitely use it. Sometimes, the cost of taking a bus or a train to another airport will still be much cheaper than going from your local airport. Especially if your airport isn’t as big of a hub as others that are a bit further. Now get out there and start saving some money!

Happy hunting.

Don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below!

PKat.

 

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