How To Make Your Dream Backpacking Trip Possible

Many of us would love to travel overseas.   It’s a great way to see the world, sample cultures, and have incredible experiences.  There’s just one slight problem – cost.

Airfare alone can sometimes prevent someone from realizing his or her travel dreams.  Throw in the price of food and lodging, and suddenly going abroad becomes more of a burden than an adventure.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  With a little ingenuity, you can rig up an affordable travel plan.  You just have to know where to find savings.

Here are a few methods of experiencing your desired destination on the cheap.

Free / cheap flights

It sounds too good to be true, but free airfare is not an urban legend.  You just have to do some digging among credit card offers.  The secret is rewards points.  Look for cards that will reimburse you with points that you can apply towards a plane ticket.

Many also offer sign-up bonuses, so when you officially acquire the card, your account will be credited with up to 30,000 points in some cases.  The rate of points to cash varies, but great deals do exist if you look for them.

Rent a home

Depending on the experience you’re seeking on vacation, hotels are perhaps the most egregious expense.  They know they can gouge you, no matter what kind of service they offer.

For a good alternative, try a home rental.  In recent years, more and more locals have rented out their houses to travelers who are looking for a more personal and affordable experience.  This is an especially great choice if you’re vacationing with a bigger group, as the price is typically fixed, like a cab ride.

You end up saving on food as well.  Kitchens allow you to prepare your meals.  All you have to do is buy some ingredients, and have a few appliances on hand. From a gourmet coffee maker to a 240 volts rice cooker, some units come furnished with everything you could possibly need in the kitchen.

Free walking tours

90% of the major cities in Europe offer free walking tours, as do many other nations’ metropolises.  That means you can take in your city’s scenery, architecture, and people – basically, many of the reasons that you wanted to travel in the first place – for nothing.  Depending on your guide, you’ll also get to hear histories and anecdotes about your surroundings.

Rail passes

If you’re interested in long-distance traveling from city to city or even country to country, definitely look into train tickets.  Knowing exactly where you want to go ahead of time can lead to savings as big as 50%.  But spontaneous trips by train are also cheaper than most other modes of transportation.

Work on a farm 

With a little research, it’s easy to find an organization that will place you internationally for free, as long as you’re willing to do a little work.  Farmers will provide food and board, while you help them raise crops.  It’s a great way to experience the outdoors, and you don’t need prior farm experience.

You May Be Flying To One of the Worst Airports in the U.S.

There are more than 350 primary airports in the United States, which means there are a myriad of possible routes for which you could fly from one destination to the next within the U.S. With that said, for all of the great airports, there are an equal number of awful one, and it doesn’t take more than a quick search online to find a host of horror stories that could scare anyone out of their next vacation.

From delays, to lost luggage, poor customer service, and even a simple lack of accommodations, Travel + Leisure recently evaluated which airports were America’s worst. For now, we’ve decided to take the three absolute worst airports in America (some of which are in major cities), and show you just how you can avoid them.

As a general rule, we always advise our customers who are planning to travel to research all of the local airports, as some smaller airports can be more convenient for time, and sometimes lesser-known airports can simply boast lower fares—and of course, if you’re traveling from outside the states, pack along something like a Simran voltage regulator to maintain use of all your important electronics. But even with the temptation of lower prices, we don’t think these are places you’ll soon want to fly into.

Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT) – Little Rock, AK

Even though it was named after a political power couple, this airport was T+L’s worst airport in 2013. It claims that there are delays above an hour, difficult check-in experiences, and a terrible selection of food. Clearly, if it got number one, it’s more than just an issue of McDonald’s versus Burger King.

Instead, try flying into Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) in Fayetteville. It’s still close to Little Rock, and flies to fourteen major cities daily.

LaGuardia Airport (LGA) – New York City

This one, while a very popular airport to fly into, is the second worst airport in the country—though in previous years it has taken number one as well. It ranks high in customer dissatisfaction, poor infrastructure, and a terrible check in experience.

Ditch LGA and go with a President everyone loved: JFK. John F. Kennedy International Airport is your best bet when flying into the Big Apple—though, if you’re looking for a week away in the suburbs, White Plains (HPN) is a smaller airport outside the city towards Connecticut, and is a very small airport that you can quickly check in or out of.

Billings Logan International Airport (BIL) – Billings, MT

The worst way to kick off a trip to one of the most beautiful nature preserves in the country would probably involve the journey there. Well, if you’re headed to Yellowstone that seems to be how it is flying into Billings Logan.

Our advice? There are several smaller airports all around the area, including Ryegate and Red Lodge. Do some research on where in the park you want to spend the most time: Yellowstone is massive, and there are plenty of other spots to fly into that might give you a much better overall experience.

Wherever you fly next, always remember to research the airport you’re flying into. We promise it will absolutely transform the way you view your whole travel experience. Happy travels!

The 3 Essential Backpacking Tips: Using Your Electronics

 Whether you’re planning to take a trip from the United States across Europe, Asia, or even a mountain range near home, you’re undoubtedly pretty deep into the planning process already. These trips, while inexpensive if you plan them right, are costly in your time and efforts to make them go smoothly.

If you have the “backpacking gene,” then surely there’s an adventurous spirit in you: taking risks is a part of the experience, and you’re excited to create fantastic stories to share with your friends upon your return home.

With that in mind, we’ve developed a few tips on the electronics side of things. We know that plenty of sites will be able to tell you all of the train routes, best hostels, and must-see sights, but few travel blogs will be able to give sound advice on how to maximize your use of electronics. So read on, share with your friends, and have the trip of a lifetime.

Consolidate: Tech Lite.

Now of course the goal is to pack light, but there’s much more to packing light than just packing lightweight gear—and surely you know that as well as we do. But you don’t have to sacrifice that extra pair of underwear for the sake of fitting your camera in your backpack.

We live in the age of smartphones, and just because you’re going off the grid doesn’t mean you have to leave your phone behind. With the prevalence of Wi-Fi, it would be silly to not bring your smartphone with you. Forget international minutes: turn your cellular data off, and use the phone as powerful camera, a map, travel agent, and distress beacon (hopefully you never need that last one).

Even internationally, most restaurants, train stations and sleeping quarters have Wi-Fi, so when you need it, you can tap in, and you’ll have all of the important tools right on one device. Space: saved.

Backup Plan: Storing Data and Saving Battery Life.

When you’re abroad with nothing but a phone, basic necessities, and the clothes on your back, the last thing you need is your one connection to the outside world to get cut off. It’s important that you have a backup plan when it comes to your data and your battery.

The one disadvantage to keeping everything on one device is that if you lose your phone, you lose all of your memories and important info from the trip. Be sure to sign up for cloud storage through Drop Box, Apple, or another resource, and routinely update at each new Wi-Fi spot.

Additionally, don’t use your phone unless you need it. There’s no need for browsing when the world unknown is just a step away. Bring a portable battery booster, and be sure to routinely quit your apps when they’re not in use.

Lost in Translation: Bring The Right Extensions.

Make sure that whatever country you’re traveling to, you not only pack the right adapters for when you’re at your hostel charging overnight, but also be sure to pack a step up transformer so that your phone, camera, or curling iron doesn’t fry or cause a short.

A step up transformer will take your 110V American electronics and step them up, so to speak, to the 220V level (approximately) that most European countries operate at. Be sure to look up the voltage before hand of each country you are traveling to, as in some areas they differ.

Above all, these tips are just to improve your experience. A part of the backpacking culture is sharing stories, saving your friends from making the same mistakes as you, and being able to laugh at the “what-ifs.” Take it from us, if you follow these tips you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache. Travel safe!

New redesigned 2013 ATVR model, come check it out!

110220Volts is excited to introduce the newest line of our best selling voltage
converter transformer, the Deluxe Automated Voltage Converter, our ATVR!!!

This Deluxe Automatic Voltage Regulators (ATVR) is now better than ever and selling quickly!

This is the number one quality Voltage Converter on the market and we are still offering them to you at an
incredibly affordable price with free UPS Ground shipping!.

With a sharper, more refined look and a few upgraded features this updated
model still provides the same high quality performance as our older line. While the look may have changed,
the power, durability and quiet sound that we stand by on our previous models are still ever present and strong.
This converter delivers the latest in Smart-Logic technology.
And The new ATVRs are still covered under five year warranty for parts and labor.


So you ask, what is so special about the NEW ATVR?
–>The main difference featured in the new line of ATVRs is the color.
Now with a sharp black finish, this new model has a sharper, edgy appearance as compared to the previous gray color.

–>Adding to the design, the new converter features rounded voltage meter as well as new rounded display buttons
giving an overall smoother look. These meters are designed with Super Technology Master Meter Readers delivering the
most precious voltage reading.

–>And unique to the newest released 1,000 Watt Deluxe Automatic Voltage Regulator
is a digital meter display for both the input and output!! This easier-than-ever to read digital display
really gives a modern look to these voltage converters!

DSC00068Another feature to the new line of Deluxe Automatic Voltage Regulators (ATVRs) is the addition of
the number of outlets for both the 110 and 220 volt outputs.

–>The 500, 1000, 1500, and 2000 Deluxe Automatic Voltage Regulators (ATVRs) now have a total of 4
outlets, two for the 110 volt output and two for the 220 volt output. This is twice as many compared
to the previous line. You can now double the amount of equipment for this converter. These new units still
have the fuse and voltage input switch located on the back bottom of the unit.

–>The 3000 and 5000 Watt Deluxe Automatic Voltage Regulators (ATVRs) still features 4 outlets as well, two for the 110 volt output and
two for the 220 volt output just like the previous make.

–>The 8000, 10000, and 15000 Watt ATVRs now feature a total of 6 outlets, three for the 110 volt output and three for the
220 volt output.

So if you are in the market for a voltage converter and are unsure of which
model to get, we highly recommend the new and improved ATVR to carry you into the new
wave of technology. Technology is changing everyday, you might as well invest in an updating
converter to meet these changes.

For a powerful, durable voltage converter, the top selling, better than ever Deluxe Automated Voltage Converter
is the way to go. Its durable, powerful and will last.


230 Watts Step Up and Down Converter Light Weight Compact Unit

The 230 Watts Step Up and Down Converter Light Weight Compact Unit supports universal input allowing for users anywhere in the world switch between both electricity input types based on the requirement of connecting appliances. It possesses an excellent build quality with a durable chassis and cord, in addition to its being well ventilated – an added advantage for continuous use. As a voltage converting device, there is a rear input switch where users can choose between the two input options 110v-120v and 220v-240v.

This device comes with thermal fuse protection, in simpler terms, meaning connected appliances are protected against sharp increases in electricity supply and there wouldn’t ever be a need for a replacement fuse. It operates at a frequency of 50 – 60 Hz and a dual voltage mode to support both electricity types, thus making it ideal for worldwide use. It also has a dedicated LED for indicating power source.

The 230 Watts Step Up and Down Converter Light Weight Compact Unit is categorized with similar devices under Light Weight Compact Unit – Step Up & Down Converter Transformers in event you’re searching for something similar with a lower or higher power rating.

Get a reasonable discount price on bulk purchases for the 230 Watts Step Up and Down Converter Light Weight Compact Unit device. Each single device is offered at retail price of $22.76. The shipping weight is 40 pounds while the actual device has a dimension of 3 x 4.5 x 4 inches. It comes with a US/Canada outlet cord although, users can choose product accessories such as the European Shucko Grounded Plug Adapter, UK Grounded Plug Adapter and New Zealand & Australia Plug Adapter each available at a price of $1.90, for wider support.

This device is CE Approved.