13 Tips For Solo Female Travel In Europe 2020

13 Tips For Solo Female Travel In Europe 2020

 

solo female travel tips

You have decided to make adventure your priority and finally scratch some of those legendary places in Europe off your list. You probably can’t wait to visit the iconic historical sites as well as marvel at the natural wonders the continent has to offer.

Whether you are taking a gap year after college or just taking off after some years of working and saving, this is the time you will spend learning and growing on your own terms.

More and more women decide to travel alone which has brought up many questions on how we can be safe and where the dangers are. As far as traveling to Europe goes, there has been a lot of bad press regarding the current and even past situations from terrorism to immigration politics. We all know that the media will deliver on bad news far more quickly than good news.

Unfortunately, this has painted a rather sinister picture of Europe which is largely underserved. Not to say bad things don’t happen, but they don’t necessarily do more than elsewhere.

I have recently traveled through some places in Latin America and Asia on my own but am originally from Belgium. I haven’t only grown up in Europe, but have also visited quite a lot of it. I can honestly say that I have never felt unsafe while traveling on my own through Europe and have never met a woman who did either. That isn’t to say that precautions shouldn’t be taken!

In this article, I will be providing you with an overview of some tips on how to travel safely and travel fun, as well as some beautiful locations to visit. Perhaps some of these were never even on your list!

1. Be Open-Minded

This is the first piece of advice I would offer anyone traveling to a new place. It is, of course, wise to be aware and careful wherever you go, but you should never let it stray into paranoia. Be open and allow the environment as well as the people to leave their mark and change you. You are, in part, traveling to learn and to grow after all.

2. Inform Yourself

One of the first things I research before visiting a new place is not only what gems are hiding further removed from the more touristy paths, but also whether there are unusual or unique traditions a country possesses. Europe has several of these and if you time your trip right, you will be able to experience some of them first hand.

When recalling some of the things we enjoyed doing as a kid, one of them is certainly creating a mess — especially one we never had to clean up ourselves! It just so happens that Spain can help you relive these moments.

Every last Wednesday of August, the town of Buñol organizes the world’s biggest tomato fight, aptly named The Tomatina Festival. Tradition tells the story of a parade gone wrong near a market with vegetable stands in the summer of 1945, ending with a bunch of people pelting each other with tomatoes.

Some boys are said to have reenacted this event the following year and so an odd tradition was born. The number of tourists increases annually due to this festival but make sure to also stop by to visit the enchanting town itself. 

Informing yourself also means reading up on what is safe and what is not. Different countries will report on different locations best avoided by travelers and locals both. Make sure you are aware of these. Most people wandering into a bad situation, do so because they do not possess this information

3. Simplicity in Dress and Gear

This I have found to be a key aspect of all of my travels. It is easier for yourself to travel light and simple and it also provides you with a feeling of safety when you choose your clothes in the same way. Dress simply and modestly, not with the intention to stand out but with the intention to make your travels safe and comfortable. In a lot of ways, safety also means not to stand out too much.

4. Common Sense is Your Friend… and a Fake Wallet!

It is, of course, possible to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when something happens, but most problems can be avoided by just using common sense. When traveling, don’t do what you wouldn’t do in some places back home either. Simple things like not wandering around the cities alone when intoxicated or walking home with strangers.

In other ways, it is nice to have a few tips on how to overcome a bad situation when it does happen to you. Take mugging, for instance. When you put yourself in the position of a mugger, you will realize some things. For one, they are afraid of staying in one place too long for fear of being caught. They will want the whole process to pass quickly.

During my travels, I always keep a “fake wallet” on me. This is a simple canvas Quicksilver wallet and it is actually empty of valuables, sometimes thickened with some paper or even a couple of dollars. But I keep it close to me so that should this situation arise, I can quickly give them this wallet and they would run off with it.

Read my tips on keeping your wallet safe when traveling here.

Another good tip can be to not keep all your valuables in one place and if you do, keep them in a money belt you wear under your clothes.

Here is a great money belt. But when you don’t have to, simply don’t carry certain items with you. I would, for instance, rarely take my actual passport and keep it safely inside a safe or locker at my hostel and instead carry a photocopy with me.

Common sense is your friend! Make sure you always keep this travel partner close to you. 

SOME HIGHLIGHTED LOCATIONS

5. English-Speaking Countries

Almost everywhere in Europe, you will find people can speak English, but the threshold might feel a little lower for you when you start your travels in the countries with English as a native language. In this, I would highly recommend Ireland and Scotland. Friendly, beautiful and definitely safe. The rolling hills and ancient castles will charm you as well as the local spirits and people themselves.

Even though you can also visit England, offering stunning countryside and history of its own, Ireland and Scotland are far cheaper to visit and even the larger cities will be less overrun by tourists by comparison.

6. Iceland and Scandinavia

Hypermodern, otherworldly charm, fantastical creatures, and repulsive culinary traditions. These are the things that immediately come to mind when I think about Iceland and Scandinavia. I simply can’t get away from my sheer fascination for these places.

Known to be some of the safest countries in the world and blissfully void of any terror alerts, these countries can top the list for anyone wanting to combine safety with a fascinating history and unparalleled natural beauty.

When I was a child, these places spoke to me because in their legends they were home to creatures like trolls and elves. Now, admittedly, they still speak to me for that reason, but with the added thrill of knowledge and adventure.

They are a bit more expensive than your average European country but if you can budget for them, visit them. You will not be disappointed.

7. History and Nature in Typical, Tucked-Away Places

Yes. Europe is the right place for any history buff. With a history full of war and violence but also enlightenment and stunning works of art, you can pick and choose to visit whatever interests you or look to make an exciting combination of everything.

For me, Florence will always have a special place in my heart. I will never forget the first time I arrived in this city. It was late, it was raining, and the magnificent Renaissance buildings were all lit up, turning my mood from tired and grumpy to utterly captivated.

Florence is, of course, part of those rather typical Europe destinations anyone has on their list. But if you feel confident to try something new, don’t hesitate to visit the still largely ignored Central and Southeast Europe. From Transylvanian castles in idyllic landscapes to the tragic histories from recent memory in countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, a similar diversity can be found here. Suitable for those on a much smaller budget, rich history and beautiful nature can be found in abundance.

Be sure to visit the Czech Republic, home to some eerily beautiful national parks and the inspiring city of Prague. Expand your travels further towards the east and south, if you wish it. Pass through the countries of Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, and definitely make a stop in Croatia as well. Visit the distinctive Old Town in Dubrovnik, the coastal city known Split, draped over 4th-century Roman ruins and terraced lakes joined together by waterfalls, …

The best way to discover these countries, known for their rather expansive natural beauty and towns and castles tucked far away, would definitely be by car. You will be able to reach those more remote places you would otherwise find no access to and get the most out of your trip.

HOW TO TRAVEL

8. Couchsurf!

If you are looking for a great way to combine safety with an authentic experience, consider couchsurfing. You will be received by people who are passionate about their country or city and willing to show you their culture through a local’s eyes. This will be extremely valuable for obtaining some cultural wisdom a well as giving your wallet a bit of a break.

9. Hostels

If you are looking to forge your own little community while traveling, stay at hostels. Here you are far more likely to find like-minded people who also stay there just to find fellow travelers to share some moments with. This can also add greatly to your own safety and perhaps you can decide to visit more remote places with a group of new friends you met while staying here. 

You will likely have your choice between rooms with men and women and just women. Choose the rooms exclusively for women. I have a friend that gave me that tips after she chose the mixed gender rooms a few times and kept having unfortunate things happen. Just pick the all women room for that extra piece of mind.

10. What to Pack

I pointed out briefly before that embracing simplicity is the best way to go for any traveler. I have always been a light traveler and only take what I need for some basic comfort. Remember that as long as you have the necessities, you are perfectly fine as anything else you feel you are missing can always be picked up during your travels.

If you are a wise shopper, you can even do this in a way to help local communities instead of contributing further to mass production.

A budget traveler in heart and soul, I would cheap out on many things but never when it comes to hiking equipment or backpacks. I have had trips where everything broke but my hiking boots and backpack because they are the only two things of high quality that I own. They will be expensive, but they are investments worth making.

For those of you looking for tips in this, my backpack is a Deuter Aircontact (it is so comfortable, it literally feels like it is part of your body!) and my hiking boots are a waterproof Timberland ankle boot for women. Click the links to check them out!

11. Study Abroad

Many students take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or a year. If you can, don’t hesitate. If you are studying Spanish, study in Spain for a while. From here you can visit some other countries in your time off as well and experience the pleasure of making new friends on the other side of the world.

Studying abroad will contribute hugely to your education as well as personal development. You will have been exposed to diversity and an international environment at a young age, which will only benefit you in the future.

12. Work Programs

If you definitely want to travel but want to immerse yourself in the local culture as well, look into work programs available in Europe. Many women opt for the job of Au Pair. A wonderful job and the children will certainly teach you a lot, but perhaps rather restricted if you are looking to be introduced to different classes and different types of people.

If would like to work in your own field or even pursue a passion, you should definitely try to find something in that. When I was younger, I was obsessed with horses. This obsession was passed on to me by my aunt. I remember her telling me stories about her travels and these around Europe were funded by her working on different farms and stables across the continent. I always found this very inspiring and have pursued some projects around the world based on my passion as well. 

If you find this sort of thing a little risky and would like something a bit more organized, look into internship options or maybe even seasonal work in tourism or fruit picking. Think about what you would most like to do and explore your options from there.

One site that offers such programs is Workaway.info

  

13. Just Have Fun

The most important part? Just enjoy yourself. Take the required precautions and always stay aware, but don’t let it keep you from getting the full experience you desire. Whether it is history, wilderness, a cultural immersion or all of the above, this is your trip and you should definitely make the most of it!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Buying a Sim Card in Europe

Lightest Carry-On Luggage

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Lightweight Carry On Board Air Travel Stroller Guide for 2020

Lightweight Carry On Board Air Travel Stroller Guide for 2020

how to travel with a carry on stroller

 

Are you planning a lovely family trip and taking the youngest with you? Perhaps you are traveling with your child for the first time. Or maybe you recall the last time you brought them along and how, logistically, you felt rather unprepared or overwhelmed. Traveling with children can be stressful enough without having to concern yourself with impractical equipment.

Whether you are traveling with a baby or a curious toddler, both will offer their own unique challenges. A baby is likely to get fussy after a while and will make the many procedures you have to go through before even getting on the plane almost impossible when you have to hold them.

Especially when now and then, your arms could also use a rest. A toddler is only just starting to discover the world and will happily wander away from you to touch and taste the colorful and excitingly new things they see all around them. A good investment in a suitable travel stroller is starting to sound more and more appealing.

There are plenty of strollers on the market and many will suit the needs of a casual stroll through parks and cities just fine. But when hopping on a plane with one, it is advisable to put in just a little more research to make the flight easier for you as well as your child.

Allow us to provide you with some tips and information on how to make that trip to and on the plane all the more relaxing. We will also be introducing one product to you specifically as the wisest choice for air travel to guide you in this search.

 

The Besrey Airplane Stroller: time to check in!

Great news, you have your new carry-on stroller!

You are looking forward to a fun trip with your family. The first thing we always do is familiarize ourselves with our new purchase.

When in use, you will experience the Besrey Airplane Stroller as an easy and comfortable to use stroller with its one-hand pushing and steering system. But even when not making use of it, you will find this travel stroller has many benefits compared to others.

The name itself says it all, this stroller is designed for practical use on the airplane. Most conventional strollers will be checked in at the gate and returned to you once you landed because they don’t easily fold or collapse.

The Besrey Airplane Stroller is designed to fold to a very small size and even comes in a little bag so it can easily be transported throughout your trip. In a simple, two-step folding design, the stroller folds down to 22” x 12”x 11″ and only weighs around 10.8 lbs! So no need to check this stroller in as luggage. It is coming with you on the plane.

Oh, and speaking of lightweight travel gear, here is a great post for you to read as well!

 

On your way to the gate

 

how to travel with a carry on stroller

 

Security lines are stressful for everyone, especially in this day and age. Everything needs to be scanned separately and your stroller is no different. (extra tip: be vigilant! Some airlines provide family lines so you can follow the procedure with ease without being rushed by others).

There is no need to worry about possible damages done to your stroller throughout this process as the Besrey Airplane Stroller is equipped with high quality, durable materials and you will not easily run the risk of breakage or damage. Its lightweight partly due to the strong, aluminum frame, will make the process of placing the stroller on and taking it off the belt easier and more efficient.

 

Welcome on board!

 

how to travel with a carry on strollerYour status as a traveling mother gives you the opportunity to check in at the gate as a priority boarder. This way you can take your time as you stow away the stroller in the overhead compartment without bothering any other travelers and you can quietly seat yourself as well as your child. The small design and simple folding procedure of your new stroller has already ensured a stress-free boarding experience. 

Extra tip! Would you like some extra space and are you traveling with a baby? Contact your airlines and request a bassinet seat. Make this request as soon as possible since these seats are popular and often limited! If you are traveling with a toddler, purchase the window and center seat up front for you and your child.

This way you have privacy and ease when other passengers arrive. If you didn’t have the time to secure your seats before your flight, ask the staff if the flight is fully booked. If not, bingo! If you are traveling alone with your child, you can ask the crew if you and your child can have a row of seats and spread out.

 

You arrived! Time to explore your travel destination

Arriving here you have avoided a lot of stress. With the carry-on stroller, you don’t have to face the hassle of connecting flights or baggage claim and you never run the risk of losing this essential item. Now that you are here and you want to explore the town, here too you will enjoy the freedom the Besrey Airplane Stroller gifts you.

Do you want to hold your child while walking for a while? Or does your child want to run around and stretch their legs after the flight? Then the stroller can be folded in its tiny bag and carried along just like your handbag. You won’t be one of those people moodily pushing forward an empty stroller while still trying to keep track of their child.

When your child could use a rest but you still want to walk some more, safely secure them with the five-point safety belt that can be fitted according to their size. Is it very sunny or raining a little? The overhead canopy can be spread out and protect your child nicely.

You have everything you need to make your trip easier and with your new and user-friendly stroller, you can now focus more on your family. So relax and enjoy your holiday! You deserve it!

 

Besrey Airplane Stroller Overview 

    • Stows away easily in any plane or train overhead bin or car
    • High quality, durable materials, capacity to hold a child from 6 months up to 36 months
    • The stroller fits your child! Equipped with a secure five-point safety belt and protective comfort pads that can be set at a different height and fastened or loosened
    • Easy, one-hand pushing and steering
    • Lightweight yet sturdy aluminum frame
    • Pedal brake
    • Overhead canopy
    • Folds down to 22” x 12”x 11″ and only weighs around 10.8 lbs

You can read actual customer reviews and check the current price of the Besrey Airplane Stroller on Amazon here.

 

Thanks for reading!

Traveling With A Smartphone- Is Your Phone Ready?

Traveling With A Smartphone- Is Your Phone Ready?

Traveling with a smartphone

 

Camera, personal assistant, music player, movie theater, eBook reader, phone,… Our smartphones are an essential part of the modern age and we can build our whole life around them. This is no different for our travels. But even though they can help our trip run more smoothly, they are a more delicate travel partner and do demand some specific preparations and care on the road. Read our tips on how to make full use of your phone during your travels as well how to best protect it from the usual threats.

 

General tips for traveling with your smartphone – Is your phone ready for travel?

 

 

Buy a local SIM card

Especially when staying somewhere for a longer time, this is the first thing you should do. You can benefit from local rates as well as the data usage so you won’t have to rely on Wi-Fi all the time. Make sure to inquire after the cheapest as well as the better providers to suit your needs. I, for instance, benefit best from a provider that offers good connection in more remote areas so this is one of my priorities. If you will remain in densely populated areas, this is less important for you and you can focus on other matters, for instance, the price per MB. I have a detailed post on buying a sim card and where to get the best deals here

 

traveling with a smartphone

 

Your planner and research partner

With the data usage enabled by your local SIM, you can always use your phone to research places to go. But there are also loads of travel and planner apps out there. If you enjoy keeping an overview, you can use apps like Tripit, TripCase, and Roadtrippers. I can’t go into detail here since I have never used them myself but I have heard from fellow travelers that these have helped them a lot.

As for me, I tend to just wing it on my travels and the only apps I use are Hostelworld and Booking.com. I would use them when visiting cities (since they offer good deals and I am really bad at price negotiation!) and in more remote places I would just wait until I get there and try to get the cheaper or more interesting option by looking for homestays or hostels that don’t have Wi-Fi. You will find that when a very remote place offers Wi-Fi, it will reflect greatly in the price!

 

Content protection

I am sure we have all had a mini freak-out over some sensitive content on our phones when we lost or briefly misplaced it. A simple suggestion would be to enable the lock screen at least to save yourself some time. The pattern locks are generally the easiest to break so perhaps it is better to avoid using this one. But there are more effective ways to find or protect a lost phone.

For Android, you can use the Android Device Manager to either locate or call your phone or even to lock and erase all content remotely. The latter is the better option when your phone gets stolen while traveling.  For IOS you can use iCloud and for Windows, you can go to windowsphone.com to explore your options further.

 

International sockets

This is a no-brainer! Research the plug and socket type for the country you are visiting. If you travel a lot and to many different places, consider purchasing a set. I recommend this travel adapter

If traveling within your own country, buying a USB wall charger is a good tip for convenience in use and travel. If you do, also consider purchasing shorter wires than the ones provided with your phone. This way you avoid a tangled mess and also take up less room in your bags. You can also use a travel organizer bag for your wires. 

 

Always be alert

You will read this and think “well yes, obviously” but it is very easy to get careless especially when you reach a level of comfort in a specific place. It is important not to leave your phone unattended, not even right next to you on the table. It only takes one second of not paying attention for someone to grab it and run.

During my travels, I spoke with a girl who had had her phone stolen twice by the time I met her and one time here phone was simply snatched out of her hands while she was texting. A lot of tips in this article relate to your phone being a planner or navigator and you will sometimes need to use it while walking. But here too it is important to choose where you check your phone and to keep it close otherwise. When using it as a navigator, enable the vibrate mode so that you feel the notification when you need to make a turn and know when to check it (no need for the earphones, they only draw more attention and make you less attentive to everything around you), consult the map now and then when you feel it is safe to do so, but otherwise keep it close and outside of view or easy access from others. Read more tips on theft and keeping your valuables safe here.

 

Local emergency numbers

These days we tend to forget our phone can also function as a phone. Make sure that when you travel internationally, you put the local emergency numbers on speed dial. They can, of course, be Googled, but in emergencies, swift action is always desired.

Heading out of town

These tips apply to general use as well but are of particular use when traveling outside of cities and into more remote and natural areas.

 

Waterproof bag

However far we may try to hide our phone in our bag, a big storm can still create some problems. Always keep a waterproof bag handy for these situations. It is a small investment but could potentially prevent a lot of issues. Here is a fantastic one on Amazon.

 

Shockproof phone case

If I still had the before and after pictures of my previous smartphone after I returned from my travels, you would laugh. Or maybe cry. I had to make certain choices regarding what I invested in and what not and as expenses added up, I decided not to get a phone case for extra protection. In retrospect, this was a mistake. I should have known since I can be very clumsy and by the end of my travels I had dropped my phone so many times, usually in places where dropping it could be fatal, that big parts of my screen were missing. In the end, it is a lot more expensive to invest in a new phone! This is a great shockproof and waterproof case for iPhone users. 

 

Maps.me – offline maps

I swear by this app as ‘the’ navigator to use. I first installed maps.me in Bolivia when wanting to walk to the canyons outside of Tupiza without a guide and have used it ever since. As it includes an offline function, you can consult these maps in more remote areas as well. All you need to do is download the map for whatever country/area you are visiting. In my experience, this app is more user-friendly than others out there and offersd more routes into remote areas.

 

Google translate app – offline mode

The times of phrase books and dictionaries are over. Especially now that you can get the Google Translate app in offline mode for convenient use in remote places. Don’t let this stop you from trying to get by in the local language, though. Learning a new language is good for your mental agility as well as gaining a richer, cultural experience. Google translate should be a last resort, even after using your most expressive body language and making a complete fool of yourself, and not your constant go-to. There is nothing more annoying and unnatural than trying to have a conversation with someone who keeps typing and staring at their phone.

 

Portable power bank

The portable power bank is your smartphone’s best friend when wandering away from sockets and electricity, especially when you also use your phone as a camera or even as a flashlight. When heading off the grid for a longer period of time, consider a power bank equipped with a solar panel.

Other than a good way to keep charged when on the road, the power bank can also be used to prevent your phone from being stolen. When you have to leave your phone unattended when on the charger (don’t, though) and you feel unsafe doing so, charge your power bank instead so you can then use that to charge your phone and keep it on you. Perhaps it is possible for the power bank to get stolen, but these are easier to replace than a phone. This is my recommended power bank. It’s not the cheapest one on the market but it’s worth the few extra dollars for the quality and features it has.

 

Here is a great video showing some other smartphone travel tips. 

 

 

 

Summary

Even though important in our lives, a smartphone can be frustratingly fragile and this reaches new levels while we travel. But in following these simple tips and practicing some caution otherwise, you can make full use of your phone and still get it back in one piece. So don’t stress and remember your phone can make your travels easier, not harder!

If you enjoyed our tips and guides for traveling with a smartphone, have a look at all our travel gear guides here:

 

Hopefully, you found these guides helpful. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send us a message anytime via our contact form.

Thanks for reading!

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links at zero cost to you. I will only sell and recommend products that I have either used personally or believe will be helpful for you. You will only see proven and trusted gear, and I will help guide you away from the products that simply don’t work!

 

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buying a sim card in europe

Buying a SIM card in Europe

Top 10 Noise Canceling Headphones For Travel

Top 10 Noise Canceling Headphones For Travel

noise canceling headphones for travel

 

 Some trips aren’t complete without a good soundtrack. And the way to make it through some flights is to drown everyone else and the sound of the plane out.

Whether it is for the purpose of distraction or a desire to speak with your loved ones, finding the perfect traveling headphones is essential. Finding them can be a challenge, however, since the choices seem endless and every price class seems to have at least a dozen highly rated products to offer.

We’ve done our homework. Now allow us to provide you with our top 10 noise-canceling headphones. This list is organized according to the type of traveler you are. You will find a mix of the cheaper and the more expensive products so you can find just the ones you’re looking for.

The long road: Best over-ear noise canceling headphones

These sets are perfect for the traveler who mainly uses their headphones while traveling on buses, airplanes or even at hotels or anyone looking for the quietest most comfortable experience.

Higher Price 

  1. 1. Bose QuietComfort 35

Where some headphones give you a certain percentage of noise cancellation, the Bose QuietComfort allows you to regulate how much background noise you allow through. This customizable gem offers some of the best sound quality on the market and has a wireless battery life for up to 20 hours!

Pros:

  • High level of comfort for long use
  • Customizable and best noise cancellation on the market: three levels of world-class noise cancellation
  • Excellent sounds quality
  • Voice control enabled

Cons:

  • Battery isn’t replaceable
  • DSP somewhat impacts the sound signature

   

2. Sony Noise Canceling Headphones

These sleekly designed Sony headphones won’t adjust the noise balances with a click of the bottom, but rather senses it itself. The smart listening feature automatically adapts to your own preferences and changes as it registers its environment. These headphones have been built to respond to touch and you can manipulate the sound and activities by using the touch control feature. Additionally, the wireless battery life is an impressive 30 hours!

Pros:

  • Highly impressive noise canceling performance
  • 30-hour battery life
  • Very comfortable

Cons:

  • Rather fragile hinges
  • Touch control has been known to lag

 

Best budget noise-canceling headphones

1. COWIN E7

The COWIN E7 is just about the best budget option out there. With a noise cancellation function that significantly reduces background noise, you can drift away peacefully for up to 30 hours. The 40mm large-aperture drivers ably deliver a crisp sound quality and the built-in microphone with NFC technology allows you to take hand free calls from your mobile phone.

Pros:

  • 30 hours of battery life
  • Effective noise cancellation of every day conversations and engines
  • Great sound quality

Cons:

  • Some high pitched noise can filter through
  • Small sound distortion when used close to maximum volume

   

2. WEILIGU Wireless Headphones

These are the kind of headphones you won’t believe come so cheaply. The WEILIGU boasts a premium stereo feature and up to 12 hours of use. The Bluetooth pairing option offers clear, high quality sounds even when 10 meters away from your device. The low price tag and surprisingly resistant design makes these headphones a perfect present for your kids before going on a trip.

Pros:

  • High-quality sound and effective noise cancellation
  • Surprisingly robust frame: great present for kids!

Cons:

  • Earmuffs may get a little uncomfortable after extended use compared to more expensive brands
  • Only available in one color

 

The active traveler: Best in-ear noise canceling headphones

If you are moving about quite a bit but would still like to keep your headphone close, you might benefit more from an in-ear set!

Higher Price Range

  1. 1. Bose QuietComfort 20

These comfortable in-ear headphones with the highest rated noise cancellation, Bose QuietComfort 20 comes out on top! Most notable for the Aware Mode, you can reconnect with your surroundings with a click of the button. This is an extra useful feature since we can never forget that noise can sometimes have a function, especially when moving about!

Pros:

  • Great sound quality
  • Impressive noise cancellation
  • Aware mode for safety

Cons:

  • Best compatibility with Apple but also some Android devices

 

Best budget in-ear noise canceling headphones

1. Bluephonic true wireless earbuds

These little blue pearls come highly recommended for convenience of use as well as quality of sound. With nothing but the buds to fiddle with, you won’t be cursing at tangled wires.  While other true wireless headphones use one flat sounding speaker, these earbuds boast with dual speakers. If you intend to get some exercise in during your travels, you will be happy to learn that the Bluephonic earbuds are also sweat proof!

Pros:

  • Comfortable fit
  • 18-hour battery life
  • Sweat proof

Cons:

  • Minor connectivity problems
  • Only available in one color

   

2. Diginex Bluetooth Magnetic Earbuds

The hanging design of the Diginex earbuds means it can be used separately from devices and hung conveniently around your neck. When not in use, the magnets attached to the earbud can be attached and worn as a necklace. This makes it rather perfect for the traveler wanting to keep his headphones close but also moving around quite a bit. With the built-in HD Mic with noise canceling and CVC 6.0 technology, you are guaranteed a superior sound and conversation quality. Additionally, this headset is waterproof meaning you can work up quite a sweat without damaging them.

Pros:

  • Super handy design that promotes movement
  • Comfortable fit around the neck
  • Waterproof  – will even survive accidental drops in the water

Cons:

  • Only available in one color

 

The night traveler: Best Sleeping headphones

 

Best budget sleeping headphones

 

1. MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs

If you are bothered by snoring fellow travelers or are generally a pretty light sleeper, you will love the MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs. These earplugs with highly comfortable silicon design will feel like you have nothing in your ears at all and even stay in place if you are a side sleeper. The patented 5mm speaker provides clear and crisp audio and a good performance without distortion.

Pros:

  • High comfort level
  • Stay in place easily
  • Effective noise cancellation

Cons:

  • Not wireless so will need to be attached to a nearby device
  • Little lack of base

   

2. Bluetooth Sleeping Eye Mask

For those who can be distracted by lights and shadows as well as sound, will be happy to know they can combine noise-canceling earphones with a sleeping mask! Contrary to the previous product, this mask offers a wireless Bluetooth connection. You will be able to listen to whatever relaxes you at night and don’t worry about tossing and turning in your seat. The mask takes only about 2-2.5 hours to charge and provides more than 9 hours of playing time. This should cover your nightly rest pretty effectively!

Pros:

  • Very comfortable and breathable material that is also washable
  • Good sound quality
  • Wireless Bluetooth connection

Cons:

  • Given the position of the controls, perhaps best for back-sleepers
  • Only available in one color

 

The all-round traveler: Best all-purpose headphones

 

Best budget all-purpose headphones

  1. 1. CozyPhones Sleep Headphones and Travel Bag

Really, don’t we all prefer a product that delivers it all? Don’t let the name deceive you. These headphones are suited for so much more than just sleep. Sleep is of course an option. But so is physical activity given the headband is ideal for collecting sweat. Air travel will be made equally easy when all you have to put on is a headband rather than a headset. It also makes it so much easier to pack! These headphones are made with a flexible and durable 1.5-meter braided cord and sturdy a 3.5 mm stereo plug. Additionally, it is compatible with practically all devices!

Pros:

  • Delightfully multifunctional
  • Very comfortable fit
  • Good sound quality and effective noise cancellation

Cons:

  • The headband comes in one size only so it is best to inquire after specifics before possibly being disappointed by the fit

Conclusion

With the overwhelming amount of options out there, the best place to start looking is to ask yourself what your main activities while using your headphones will be. When traveling long hours and possibly also sleeping, you will want headphones that are mainly comfortable with top notch noise cancellation.

If you are looking for headphones accommodating more active travels, it is not a bad idea to look into those specifically designed for sports. The better ones will be sweat or even water proof and they will also be designed to stay in place during brisk movements. With the latter one should also keep in mind that noise cancellation can be a blessing in some situations, but should never compromise your safety. That’s why features such as the Alert function should definitely be considered based on your activities. Once your priorities are sorted, our top 10 will hopefully guide you to the best choice for you.

Happy travels!

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Top 10 Noise Canceling headphones for travel

 

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How To Travel Internationally With A Drone

How To Travel Internationally With A Drone

drone hovering at dusk

How to travel internationally with a drone

 

The way we enjoy our travels has always been subject to great change and with the rise of technology for personal and recreational use, we can now add some new and exciting gadgets to our travel essentials.

The drone is a perfect example of how technology originally designed for military purposes, quickly found its way to the commercial and scientific sectors, but also for recreational use. Whether it is to take stunning aerial photos and videos, receiving a quick overview of the area around you, race against other drone users or just for the pure fun of flying it, recreational drones are becoming more and more popular and as a result, laws, and regulations are now starting to take effect.

Read further for our tips on how to best prepare yourself for a trip with your drone and which regulations to follow onboard a plane as well as in the countries you plan on visiting.

 

image of man flying a drone

How To Travel Internationally With A Drone

 

TSA policy for drones

 

Traveling with sensitive equipment can always be a bit of a challenge especially when most rules and policies almost seem to be designed to give you a hard time. But like with everything, familiarizing yourself with the process in advance will make everything go a whole lot easier.

There are no specific rules prohibiting drones at the airport and they are allowed through the checkpoint. But as for the further procedures, whether you can pack them in your carry-on bags or checked bags, the Transport Security Administration (TSA) advise you to always check with the airlines specifically. Of course, it would be best to keep your drone with you at all times if only to have your own responsibility for it and avoid the possibility of loss or damage along with your checked bags.

Make sure you don’t only research the regulations for the drone itself but also anything else you will bring along with it like spare batteries. Rechargeable lithium batteries, as used for most drones, are generally permitted in your carry-on bags when under 100-watt-hours. For batteries of this size, you can take an unlimited amount with you on the plane.

For the larger ones, you may encounter some restrictions and should consult your airlines. When in doubt, don’t forget to consult the FAA list of hazardous materials for information on which materials are considered safe and which will be prevented from being taken onboard.

When keeping these tips in mind, there is really no reason to expect any difficulties when boarding the plane with your drone.


How to pack a drone for your travels

The Drone

For air travel as well as for the road, it is essential to invest in high quality, protective traveling gear for your drone. Not only will you protect it against damage, but when handling your equipment professionally you are also far less likely to encounter problems at the airport.

If you want a great example, check out the Powerextra Waterproof Carrying Bag. The lightweight, as well as the small size, makes this bag ideal as a carry-on item and the waterproof material makes it suitable for outdoor use as well.

This is, of course, a fully functional backpack but if you are only looking to pack your drone in a suitcase and don’t want a separate backpack, consider investing in a protective case. The Khanka Hard Case is an example specifically for the Holy Stone F181 RC Quadcopter Drone but the concept is ideal for those who want to keep their drone in their luggage. Look out for similar qualities like the sturdy outer material and soft interior with Sponge and Mesh Pocket.

 

 

The batteries

 

Drone battery

Drone battery

 

 

Lithium-ion batteries do carry some level of danger in terms of short-circuiting and causing subsequent damage. Even though safety mechanics are built in and you can avoid this by taking some care yourself, it is not a bad idea to further assure the airlines of its safety in your choice of luggage.

Next, to the precautions you can take in selecting specialized bags, you can also purchase a small Lipo Battery Fireproof Bag for under 6USD or some bigger ones if you wish it, all at a low price. For some of you, it might seem like an investment not worth making, but anything to make procedures run more smoothly and avoid unlikely but possibly dramatic damages should be welcomed.


Drone friendly countries and/or areas

 

no drone flying sign

No drone flying sign

 

In your more recent travels it is likely you have come across signs that forbid the use of drones in certain areas. I saw such a sign when I was visiting Teotihuacan in Mexico earlier this month. However, while climbing Piramide del Sol, I saw two drones flying by.

According to the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), you won’t break any droning laws as such but since a drone is seen as specialized photography equipment, you will be required to request a permit before you can take photos or videos to be requested through the website at least 10 days in advance.

The current rate for this stands at 10,227 pesos (about US $507) if you want to shoot a video or 5,113 pesos ($253) if you only want to take photographs. Next, to that, you will only be able to use your drone during visiting hours.

I came across this article while researching the exact regulations after seeing those drones. A photographer had taken some breathtaking early morning photos of the pyramid at Chichén Itzá where, as it is an archeological site and so subject to federal laws, the same rules apply. Not only did he neglect to get a permit but the fact that he took the photo before opening hours, meant that he was technically trespassing and his actions were therefore considered illegal.

I share this story with you in order to make you aware of how specific droning laws can be in certain areas. You can’t simply google which country allows them or not and then fly them all over the place taking photos as you please. Especially since some countries, even some that are highly visited by tourists, don’t allow them at all.

So how can you best keep up with the latest news in what is permitted and what not? Especially since these laws are always subject to change with the increase of awareness about drones and drone technology.

One way is to install DroneMate, the app designed by Anil Polat, blogger and computer security engineer at foXnoMad. Available for both Android and iOS, this app is regularly updated according to official sources and lists the droning laws and restrictions for every country in the world. Including offline features, you can remain updated at any time and avoid the hassle and also the expense of, perhaps sometimes unintentionally, breaking the droning laws.


Flying drones in Europe

 

painted hands showing the world

 

If you are thinking of traveling to Europe with your drone, we would still advise the use of the above-mentioned app. But Europe also has a website specifically aimed at recreational drone users. Dronerules.eu explains that most European countries allow the recreational use of a drone, in the context of races or private photography, but also mentions that this freedom of use does not mean there are no restrictions.

The video on the homepage shares some general rules and regulations focusing on three main points that apply to every country regarding the respect for privacy, flying according to safety rules and always making sure you are insured. These may seem very simple and straightforward but make sure you respect these rules as breaking them might be perceived as a criminal offense. And as always, check the details of the countries and areas you are visiting so that you are never unpleasantly surprised.

Are you curious about all the amazing places you can visit with your drone? Here are some great options specifically for European drone travelers to give you some inspiration;

 

Iceland and Scandinavia

 

Iceland Rock Formation

Iceland Rock Formation

 

I have mentioned Iceland and Scandinavia before as places of unparalleled charm. Since they are that even when only on foot, just imagine what otherworldly beauty you can capture from the air. From Northern Lights to glaciers, fjords and piercing blue lakes surrounded by icy peaks, you are guaranteed to capture poetry in motion.

 

Spain – Barcelona

 

Tibidabo Barcelona Catalonia

Tibidabo Barcelona Catalonia

 

Barcelona is the city of Gaudi. In his ingenious use of shapes, colors, and patterns, his architecture can offer a unique beauty as seen from below as well as above. In his great attention to detail, even the rooftops are artworks on their own. In this make sure to include places like Casa Mila and of course Sagrada Familia in your little flight across the city.

 

Greece – Meteora

 

Oia Santorini Village Greece

Oia Santorini Village Greece

 

The moment I saw Greece’s sky monasteries, I was both utterly moved and slightly saddened. When you see such hauntingly stunning landscapes, you almost instantly wish you could fly and fully immerse yourself in it. With your drone, you might not be able to fly yourself, but you can certainly capture the desire to do so.

 

Belgium – Gent, and Bruges

 

Ghent Belgium river

Ghent Belgium river

 

In my completely unbiased opinion as a Belgian, I add the cities of Bruges and Gent to the list. The open-air museum that is Bruges offers urban as well as religious architecture dating back to the early middle ages. Gent, in turn, must seem stunning when approached from the air and especially when Gravensteen, the great 12th-century castle adorning the very heart of the city, becomes the focal point of your visual journey.

 

Some final tips

  • Just before you start flying your drone, always recalibrate it. It takes very little time to do and could prevent some problems.
  • Always carry at least one fully charged battery as a backup when out and about using the drone.
  • Make sure you use a cleared SD cards before takeoff.

 

Conclusion

Apart from making the necessary preparations in terms of traveling gear and the understanding of TSA regulations as well as the FAA list of hazardous materials, the main thing to remember is that you have to be completely aware of the laws in the countries you plan on visiting with your drone.

Make sure to constantly keep updated as these laws are relatively new and still prone to change. Install the DroneMate app and check governmental websites at all times. It would be a real shame if you were to lose your drone or pay a hefty fine over some misunderstanding of the rules.

Some countries will make flying your drone more difficult than others but the idea of droning technology entering the recreational realm hasn’t fully been accepted by every country yet. We remain positive that acceptance will follow in almost all countries and perhaps one day will be so liberal in its laws, that only the safety and privacy rules will apply and other bureaucratic procedures abandoned. But for now, we have to take it as it is.

So take good care of your drone, inform yourself, visit some gorgeous places and enjoy the flight!

If you enjoyed our how to travel internationally with a drone guide, have a look at all our travel gear guides here:

 

Hopefully, you found these guides helpful. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send us a message anytime via our contact form.

Thanks for reading!

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links at zero cost to you. I will only sell and recommend products that I have either used personally or believe will be helpful for you. You will only see proven and trusted gear, and I will help guide you away from the products that simply don’t work!

 

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