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Embrace these travel tips to stay fit and healthy on the road this holiday

All rules go out the door when we’re on vacation; every meal is a cheat meal, and exercise routines are put on pause. Experiencing local food is a key part of travelling, and who has time to hit the gym when there’s barely enough time to explore? Some healthy food boundaries and a bit of exercise during the trip can help you feel less guilty about indulging when it’s time to ease back into your daily life.

Here, we look at a few tips on how to stay healthy during your holiday.

Plan your itinerary around different activities

Let’s be honest; who has time to hit the gym when you’ve got a full day of delicious food and island hopping ahead of you? If you’re going on multi-day trips, plan to split up the more strenuous activities like hiking and sightseeing over several days instead of cramming them all into one day. This way, you won’t wear yourself out with full days of walking around while spending some days just lounging around on a beach. Getting visiting local markets or even exploring shopping malls is a great way to get your steps in.

Stay hydrated

Even if you’re just spending a day by the pool, staying hydrated is important, especially when you’re out in the sun all day. We often mistake our thirst for hunger; you might find that drinking a glass of water can and having some fruits and light snacks be enough to tie you over between meals.

Go easy on the alcohol

Try not to drink more than you usually would at home. It’s a major cause of dehydration, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, keeping to two drinks per day, with plenty of water in between, is ideal.

Eat everything, but not too much

Moderation is key when it comes to cheat meals. Embrace trying foods you might not be reaching for at home. A great way to balance an indulgent local feast is to start a meal with a salad or vegetables, which should be available at most restaurants and eateries. This is an excellent way to avoid overeating too quickly.

Stay away from the mini-bar

It might be tempting to reach for those tiny bottles of wine or the min bags of chips, but why waste your appetite on snacks when you should be out enjoying local cuisine? Instead, make sure you have plenty of water stocked and if you’re really craving a snack, opt for some local fruit instead.

Walk whenever possible

With limited time in a city, we often hurry from one site to another and opt for the quickest mode of transportation. But if your destination is within 20 minutes of walking distance, try getting there on foot instead. On these walks that are less travelled by tourists, we often get a glimpse of local life; you’ll find exploring alleyways and residential areas give you a more accurate snapshot of a city.

Prepare for a good night’s sleep

We’re creatures of habit and may have problems falling asleep when not in our own beds. Why not bring a little bit of that with you? If luggage space allows, pack your pillow to make that hotel bed more inviting. Otherwise, bring a pillowcase from home.

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Travel Photography: 8 Tips For Taking The Best Pictures

Documenting the beauty of your travels is a great way to remember the experiences. In today’s age of social media, posting pictures and sharing memories with your friends and family is important. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to get excellent shots.

We wanted to share with you our tips on how to get the best travel photos. Following these tips will start improving your photography game to best capture special moments.

8 Tips For Getting The Best Travel Photos

1. Choose Photogenic Destinations

One of the most important things for getting amazing travel photos while traveling is picking photogenic destinations. While popular destinations like Thailand, Mexico, and Hawaii have ample places to get some insane shots, finding up-and-coming destinations also come with fewer crowds.

These intriguing locations are less photographed and less overdone. Namibia is hands down one of the best places to photograph in the world.

2. Get Good Gear

With the quality of cameras in the new iPhones and Android phones, you don’t need a DSLR camera to get great shots. However, having a DSLR camera has some incredible advantages. Having the ability to manipulate travel photos with different settings is imperative to any aspiring photographer.

Image sharpness, focus points, bokeh, long exposure, and so many other components come into play with DSLR cameras. It makes it easier to get a beautiful shot. Camera equipment is not cheap these days. We suggest starting out with second-hand equipment. We have done it for years and saved thousands of dollars on high-end gear.

Curious about my gear? I use a Canon 5D MIV camera and depending on the setting, switch between these lenses: Canon 16-35mm F/2.8, Canon 24-70mm F/2.8, and Canon 70-200mm F/2.8. For aerial photography, I use a Mavic Pro drone. However, keep in mind no matter how much your gear costs it doesn’t always mean better photos.

3. Experiment With New Techniques

There’s no harm in being experimental with your photography. In fact, most professional photographers use trial and error to get new and innovative shots. So, how do you do that? A great way to learn is to go to a location near your home and find ways to get creative in capturing ordinary objects and scenery.

For example, trees, flowers, rocks, windows, cars, or people can all be used as subjects. Instead of taking regular pictures try to think outside the box. Take pictures fully zoomed in, find ways to create geometric shapes, or consider taking long exposure shots. This will enable you to think differently when taking a photo.

Get creative and don’t stop experimenting.

4. Shoot in RAW Format

Shooting in RAW format allows for manipulation of the photo in extraordinary ways. The difference between taking photos in JPEG format and RAW, is in JPEG the camera will snap a picture in RAW, and then process and compress the image automatically for you.

While in RAW mode, the camera stores all the information about the picture, allowing you to take control during post-processing (i.e. Lightroom/Photoshop). This allows more ability to correct the picture, whether is for overexposed shots or to edit out hoards of people from the photo.

Even if you don’t currently use software to post-process photos today, one day you might want to, so it is still worth holding on to RAW formatted travel photos. Also, technology is always changing and it will be possible to re-edit old photos to create better images.

5. Capture Unique Moments

While traveling, it is great to take unique and interesting pictures. Immerse yourself in a place to get shots of local people and cultures. Be sure to talk to them and ask if you can take a photo, in many instances, people are more than willing to pose for a shot. You might even be pleasantly surprised with an invitation to drink local wine or eat a home-cooked meal.

In many places, we have visited the people who help tell a country’s story. Wildlife photography can also capture impressive raw moments. Whether it is bird watching, your best friend’s dog chasing a ball, underwater photography of marine life, or cheetah killing prey in the Etosha National Park, each moment cannot be replicated and can make your photography stand out.

6. Spend The Time

When we first started traveling, we would create excel spreadsheets with dozens of places to visit while on holiday. Ten days in Italy would be packed with stops at Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Florence, Venice, and Tuscany. Sure, it’s possible to pack it all in and visit as many places as possible, but I can guarantee you that your photos will suffer.

Photography takes time. Recently, we visited Tukad Cepung waterfall in Bali, Indonesia. This is one of our favorite waterfalls in Bali. It also is a tight space and with a group of only 10 people, it could feel crowded. Getting the right shot takes time. Most people show up, spend 15 minutes and leave for their next destination. We were there for nearly two hours. Waiting for people to not be in the shot, the right lighting, and playing with different angles takes time.

Sure, you might have to cut out places to visit on your holiday, but your picture game will get stronger!

7. Photograph in Manual Mode

If there is one thing you take home from this article it would be this. Learning how to shoot in manual gives full control over the camera. There are times when the lighting is perfect, and auto mode might get it right, but most of the time, that is not the case.

To properly adjust for lighting, especially in unideal situations, understanding how to shoot in manual can be the difference from getting no shot to getting THE shot. It is virtually impossible to get good shots of astrophotography without using manual settings. Also, some of my favorite shots have been while using long exposure settings to create a dreamy look.

8. Wake Up Early

This is no secret for photographers. The best travel photos usually are captured at sunrise or just after the first light. With perfect soft lighting, sometimes you will have famous places all to yourself. Traveling with tours can be difficult to get this done, but for independent travelers, this is one of the best ways to immediately boost your photography.

Visiting bucket list destinations, such as exotic islands in the Philippines are getting more and more popular with tourists. Showing up before all the crowds arrive allows you to capture intimate moments with the best lighting of the day.

It’s time to go out and practice. The more time you spend focusing on these details and learning how to take better travel photos, the better the outcome will be. If there are other suggestions you think worked for you, we would love to hear about them.

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The One Suitcase Hack That Will Keep Your Clothes Wrinkle-free, According to a Professional Packer

Lydia Mansel of Just Packed shares a packing trick that ensures your clothes stay smooth wherever you go.

Delayed planes, lost luggage, misplaced passports, long security lines, wrinkled clothing. These are the not-so-glamorous parts of travel that rarely end up on your Instagram feed. While it’s hard to circumvent most of these unfortunate instances, there is a secret to at least avoid one of these inconveniences: wrinkled outfits.

Let’s face it. No one wants to be stuck ironing on vacation. Sure, you could make a case for bringing a travel steamer along for the ride, but that just takes up precious suitcase space. Don’t worry. You don’t need either. It all comes down to the proper way to pack your bags. And we promise it’s one of the simplest hacks to follow.

You know the large plastic bags you come home with from the dry cleaner? Instead of stuffing them in your trash or recycling can, save them. When packing for your next adventure, put your more delicate items inside the dry cleaning bags, including your cotton and linen pieces. Don’t worry about fabrics like silk, wool, denim, and cashmere, as they are less likely to wrinkle.

You’ll fold each piece of clothing as usual and place it inside a separate bag before placing it in your suitcase or duffel bag. This tactic works because the bags will slide against each other, meaning your cotton t-shirts and breezy linen pants won’t get stuck and inevitably cause deep creases and messy wrinkles while in transit.

No dry cleaning bags? No sweat. Trash bags or liners work too — just make sure they aren’t scented. You want to avoid a suitcase that smells like fresh pine or lemon zest.

Unfortunately, this travel secret isn’t fool-proof (a few wrinkles may pop up), but it will reduce the number and severity of creases.

What if you don’t have any plastic to spare? Layering your clothes with tissue paper can be helpful, too. Loosely rolling your delicate clothes is also preferable to folding; just place them on the top or outer portions of your bag, where there will be less pressure.

One final anti-wrinkle packing tip for those travelers who tend to procrastinate: Unpack as soon as you arrive. Yes, it’s tempting to drop your suitcase off and head straight to the hotel pool, but you’ll spend more time getting rid of those wrinkles later on. Take five minutes, hang up your most delicate clothes, and then enjoy a wrinkle-free vacation.

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5 travel photography tips for swoon-worthy clicks

There is no denying that picture perfect postcards on Facebook and Instagram make for much travel inspirations. For the ones bitten by wanderlust, a mere image of a serene beach in a faraway island is compelling enough to start flight searching. It is then about time that when you get there, you get that perfect swoon-worthy shot of you own so that you can spread the love on your account. How? By simply befriending the camera.

As with everything, you have to start and end with the basics. Just remember these 5 simple rules when taking a picture and your clicks will be immeasurably better.

Light Up

Light is the most important ingredient for great photography — and soft, warm, morning light creates amazing images.

Photographers swear by good lighting. The right exposure can make or break a picture, they say. And when you travel you best bet is natural light. For the best pictures, wake up early and make the most of the early sun’s rays. But don’t render sunsets useless just as yet. The hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset are nicknamed “golden hours” because of their soft, warm tones and eye-pleasing shadows.

Tip: Adding a simple little flash speedlight can make a world of difference in taking amazing pictures in difficult lighting conditions such as when travelling to places with dark winters or for specific spots like the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam, the Catacombs in Paris etc.

Compose the shot

Take a minute or more to frame your shot. Before you click, decide what you want to see and from where. Start with a wide shot, then a mid-range version, and finally, get up-close and personal to get a variety of perspectives.

A different angle is all it takes for your photograph to stand out. Every picture can look different depending on where and how it is shot. Don’t shy away from standing up straight, lying on the ground for a low angle or even to climb up something nearby and shoot from a higher angle. Along with different angles, try shooting from different distances too. Include powerful foreground, mid-ground, and background elements too to give your image more depth.

Tip: For moments when you want to capture everything you see in front of you such as vast landscapes, consider carrying a Wide Angle lens with you. Your stock DSLR lens probably starts at 18 mm (the 18-55mm zoom lens being the most popular). The wide angle lens start at 10mm or even lower, enabling you to capture a much wider image. Wide angle lenses are a must for capturing those amazing starry nights.

Pack a travel tripod

A lightweight travel tripod gives you the ability to leisurely compose your shots. They also let you shoot much slower shutter speeds (waterfalls, low-light, stars, etc) without worrying about hand-held camera shake. So many of the amazing images you see on Instagram by professionals would have been impossible without a tripod of some sort. Professionals recommend it especially for sharp landscapes, those starry nights, self-portraits, flowing water shots, and sunsets/sunrises.

If you find tripods a bit too bulky and daunting, fret not – you can consider monopods/ gorilla pods that are super compact and extremely versatile. You’ll have greater creative control and comfort over your camera’s manual settings when you use these accessories.

Make a connection

Actions speak louder than words and capturing human subjects gives any picture that understated edge. Say hello, introduce yourself break the ice with locals before you ask for a portrait.

Portraits or close shots of human life in any place score more points than even the most stunning landscape. Travel after all is about exchanging thoughts and cultures and a camera is your safest gate pass. You might just earn you a local friend and get access to better viewing spots and secret locations, in the bargain.

Tip: The best portraits are achieved by using a prime lens such as the 50mm f1.4. The depth of field that this lens can provide will literally make your subject jump out of the frame.

Tell a tale

Add depth to your picture by telling your story through it. How you got there, what you loved about it or simply how you felt. That is what will strike a chord with the person viewing it.

Your audience does not have the advantage of experiencing the scenery in all its beauty as you did and thus as a photographer it is more so important you communicate not just the view but also the journey and your experience to them. It is your job to bring the two-dimensional image to life. Use emotion, find and freeze moments, and incorporate the human element so your shots resonate with viewers.

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