The World First Wander: the best of this week's travel blogs
Welcome to another World First Wander, our weekly look at what’s hot in the world of travel blogging and writing. As always it’s compiled by Tristan Rothwell, the man who scours the internet for the very best travel related stuff so you don’t have to.
It’s been another busy week in the travel blogosphere. So let’s get straight to it. This week we kick off with some great tips for travelling with little ones in tow. Or perhaps that should be: travelling with little ones in transit. Because our first article is about jetting off during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Those first twelve weeks of pregnancy can be a tough time for expectant mums-to-be. Not least because of the dreaded morning sickness. So what’s it like to travel during the early stages of pregnancy? Is there anything you can do to make the experience easier? And how should you prepare for bumbling about with your bump? For the lowdown we toddle over to Twenty Something Travel: What it’s like to travel in your first trimester.
Once baby has arrived – what’s it like to travel?
The idea of travelling with a baby might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. And A Bavarian Sojourn has the proof, having gallivanted around Venice with their new gelato-loving family member. With its beautiful network of waterways and bridges, Venice isn’t exactly pushchair-friendly. Just one of many challenges to overcome when exploring Venice with a baby.
Children and jetlag
Jetlag. It’s the scourge of long-haul travel, capable of doing a number on even the hardiest traveller. But when you add young children to the mix? Well, that can be a recipe for disaster, so you’d better have the patience of a saint. The bad news is that children can be particularly susceptible to the effects of jetlag. And when Mini Travellers set off for Florida, they soon realised that their strategy of tackling jetlag with a G&T and two glasses of wine couldn’t really be extended to their five year old and two four year olds. So how do you help young’uns deal with the side-effects of hopping across timezones? Find out here: How my kids coped with an 8 hour flight and jetlag.
The perfect shot...
Travel and photography go together like cheese and wine. And in the digital age, the opportunity to capture and publish your travel photographs is easier than ever before. You can take amazing photographs with your smartphone and share them with your friends almost instantly. But no matter how far technology can take you, it’s still worth brushing up on the timeless basic principles of photography. As with so many things in life, you have to know the rules before you can break them. So how do you take the perfect travel snaps? Let The World And Then Some be your mentor: A guide to taking great travel photos.
Looking for some bonus points for extra homework? Life As A Nomad have some fine photography tips of their own: 5 simple tips to take better pictures with any camera. Especially important is the advice about not over-editing your snaps. If you are spending 30 minutes tampering with every photograph, you should probably work on your technique. And besides, think of all the great photo opportunities you’re missing while you’re tweaking.
Living the dream…on Instagram
So you’ve got the perfect travel snap? It could move planets with its corporeal beauty. But where are you going to share it? Well, the travel photographer’s platform of choice is Instagram: fast, free and oodles of fun. But Instagram is more than a great place to publish your paps. It’s fabulous for finding new inspiration for your travel photography. Just take a look at our next post from the New York Times, which takes a peek at the Instagram account of Evan Geiselman - one man who is living the dream by combining travel, photography and surfing: On Instagram, a Surfer's Safari.
Travel tips and holiday hacks
One of the best things about writing the World First Wander each week is that we get to soak up some of the finest travel tips the travel blogosphere has to offer. Week in, week out we learn something we definitely didn’t know before we started. This week is no different as we take in My top 20 travel tips ever from The Travel Hack. We loved number fourteen. What’s your favourite?
Of course, travelling in confidence means being prepared for the unexpected. But that doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds. Just ask Awesome Wave, who have scribed a list of Simple travel hacks to always be prepared for the worst. Tip number four - always buy travel insurance - gets a special shout out. We are biased, of course. But a good policy that you can trust can be a godsend. You simply never know when you may need a safety net to fall back on.
Speaking of needing a little support, that’s us when it comes to packing. Next time we jet off we will definitely be coming back to The Little Backpacker’s Tips for travelling with hand luggage only. The pearl of wisdom about using an airport shopping bag to carry extra bits and pieces is pure genius. We will be pinching that one for our next hand-luggage-only sojourn.
From short-haul to long-haul. Thailand, to be precise. Given her map-reading skills, we wouldn’t recommend following in the footsteps of Kim, our customer service whiz, who is currently sunning herself on the stunning beaches of Thailand. But if you’d like to experience this mesmerising country for yourself, you could do far-worse than filing this next post under must-read. It’s a comprehensive list of everything you will need during your Thai adventure: Backpackers Guide: What to pack for Thailand.
Travel and self development
Travel is about more than taking a break and recharging the batteries. In our opinion it’s one of the greatest learning tools there is. And there’s no doubt that travel can teach you an awful lot about yourself: your resourcefulness, your strength, your determination, your confidence, your independence. Travel seems to have a keen ability to dish up a life lesson or two. And we straight up love reading articles about how travel has changed people’s outlook on life. What better travel souvenir could there possibly be?
With that in mind, here’s a fantastic article from USA Today. On the off chance you needed extra inspiration to broaden your travel horizons, you certainly won’t do after reading this. It features tall tales from top travel bloggers such as Matt Long, Paul and Karen Farrugia and Janice Waugh, all of whom have appeared here in the Weekly Wander recently. From swimming nose-to-snout with sea lions to taming the Annapurna trek, these are all life-changing stories: Bloggers share their magical moments.
What happens when it all goes wrong?
The unpredictable nature of travel is part of what makes it so fun and exciting. But sometimes fate takes a turn for the worse. That’s why it pays to have a little knowledge on how to handle whatever woes that travel can throw at you. And learning from experienced travellers who have emerged unscathed from their dalliance with adversity is a great way to teach yourself how to cope when it feels like everything is going wrong. For that you can turn to Fevered Mutterings - and their wonderful piece Cancelled! How to fix broken travel plans without losing your mind.
Of course, sometimes you simply have to embrace adversity. You know what they say. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And if there’s any truth in that then the writer of our final article this week may just be the world’s strongest blogger. Behold a gripping tale of travel disaster. Just don’t have nightmares: Storytime: Travel terrors & holiday horrors.
Until next week!