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Learning to Backpack the World as a Travel Writer

If you are starting out as a travel writer, you will notice that you may have to change your style of traveling. Learning to backpack the world as a travel writer is a distinct thing. It is different than backpacking the world as a backpacker. As a writer, you are traveling to find article by-lines. This will lead you to abnormal places and to places you may not really want to go.

When you take travel writing courses they will tell you how important it is to have an interesting take on a subject. No one will buy your writing if it is boring and has been covered before. Travel writing is all about finding new and exciting places to cover. I don’t mean you have to literally go somewhere no one has gone before. But it does mean you will have to go off the beaten track. If you are going to cover something that is better known, you will have to come up with a new twist on it. There has to be something interesting that will make people want to read your work.

You will also quickly learn that where you go may not be totally up to you. Unless you choose to write strictly as a freelance writer, submitting articles to publications after you travel, you may have to go where you are told. This is because your editors will be deciding which places they want stories written for. This isn’t all bad though. This way you may end up discovering great places that you never would have seen otherwise.
The most important thing to remember is that when you travel as a writer, you are essentially traveling for work. This means that while other backpackers are out having a beer at night, you will be furiously working on your notes.

Go Camping in a 3 Man Tunnel Tent

A three man tunnel tent can be the answer to finding camping comfort. Small groups will choose this tent for cycling excursions, family camping trips, or backpackers may choose a lightweight model to ensure a secure night’s sleep at the end of the day.

The low profile is ideal for any environment with strong winds, the tent material fastened to hoops that are arranged in parallel to form a tunnel. Multiple entrances and a porch are incorporated into some designs. The sleeping areas can be at either end with a central living area, or sleeping areas may be arranged at the opposite end from the porch. Anchoring with pegs and guy wires is almost always necessary to ensure stability of the tent.

The hoop supports may be formed from aluminum, alloys, solid or tubular fiberglass, or carbon fiber. Less common is the airbeam style, in which the fabric hoops are inflated to varying degrees of pressure. When the manufacturer color codes the poles, it can make setting up the tent, or pitching it, a simpler task. You can find 3 man tunnel tent models with internal LED lighting, making night time maneuvering easier as well. A couple will find that a 3 man tunnel tent gives plenty of room for sleep, storage, and maybe the family dog as well.

Sturdy and reliable tunnel tents afford additional protection with double layer fabric, providing waterproofing and insulation. Look for a flysheet or rainfly that you can stake out to cover extra gear that doesn’t fit inside. Additional living aids available that you may want to put on your shopping list include inner compartment pockets, groundsheet for the entire tent or the porch only, zip access for electric cable, brightly colored guylines for safety, ventilation features, taped reinforced seams, and pre-attached guylines for faster setup.

Let others complain about the ardors of camping. You can pitch and strike your 3 man tunnel tent with ease, away from the crowds and clamor of city living.

Dealing With Delayed Flights

A delayed flight can be a problem.  The airlines get bad publicity because so many flights do not depart and arrive on time.  In the U.S., the Department of Transportation keeps statistics and publishes them regularly.  In Europe, there are strict new rules for compensation.  This is making the problem better.

The vast majority of the time you won’t experience flight problems.  For all of the publicity that airlines get, most of their flights get you where you want to go with very little delay.  But problems can occur.  You should be prepared and have a good idea what to expect when something does happen.

It won’t win you any sympathy with a frazzled airline agent if you yell and scream for compensation that is not due to you.  On the other hand, you can and should be persistent in getting what you do deserve.  Remember that those airlines agents really are trying to do their best to help you and everyone else who is in line with you.  Let’s go over a few scenarios.

What will the airlines do for you if you have a delayed flight?  It really depends on why it is delayed.  If the flight problem is because of air-traffic delays due to congestion, most airlines won’t do much for you because they aren’t responsible for air traffic control delays (ATC delays).

If the delayed flight is because of weather… well, you’re all pretty much at the mercy of the weather including the airline.  These situations are out of their control.  They will try to get you on your way as best they can, but you won’t be compensated for these types of delays.

If your delayed flight is due to a problem that is in their control, the airline may be more accommodating.  For instance, is there is a mechanical problem, or crew rest problems, or computer problems with check-in?

Mechanical problems are a safety issue, so you are in a grey area there.  It pays to find out what your airline says it will do.  Read its “contract of carriage” before you travel.  This lists your rights for when you encounter a delayed flight.

The airline may get you on your way with only an hour or so delay, but what if you have a connecting flight… and you can’t make your connection?  If you might miss your connections because of a delay at your initial airport, alert the gate agent.  If there are a lot of passengers missing a connection, the airline may briefly hold a connecting flight for you…. but don’t count on this.

With airlines getting dinged for flight delays, they’d often rather leave a few passengers behind than report a late flight.  If they can’t hold the connecting flight, ask the agent to rebook you for a new connecting flight.  You can call the reservations number for your airline, and you may get rebooked faster than you can at the airport with all those other passengers waiting for help.

If your flight problem was a delay of the initial flight, and if the weather isn’t the issue, ask whether you can go on another flight or through a different hub.  Should none of that work, and you miss the plane, alert an agent.

If a delayed flight made you miss your connection, the airline must put you on another flight, but it could be a while.

Are Group Tours For You?

Are tour groups for you?  You’re moving ahead with your trip planning.  You’ve decided where you want to go.  Now you need to come to grips with how you’re going to get your hotels, get around, see the sights.  So I guess the next decision in your trip planning is… do you want to join a tour group or be an independent traveler.

Both options have pros and cons.  If you choose to take a group tour, your hotels will be taken care of, as will your transportation during the tour.  Depending on the package, most meals will probably be taken care of too, so you won’t be looking for a restaurant.  Air fare to and from your destination may or may not be included.

All of this can make it easy on you for trip planning; you don’t need to worry about making reservations or finding hotels and restaurants on the road.  You don’t need to worry about that foreign language, though that is truthfully not usually a problem.

You will be traveling with a group of people.  If group size is important to you, be sure to check on that.  Again depending on the operator and package it can range from 10 or 12 people all the way up to a bus full of about 45 to 50 people.  That can make it fun, or it can slow things down as you’re waiting for everyone to get up in the morning and get on the bus.  You’ll probably see all the highlights, but you won’t be able to get into small venues that can’t accommodate big groups.

You won’t be lonely… you’ll have your group to interact with.  That can insulate you some from interacting with locals, but some group tours introduce you to locals or even get you into ceremonies or places that independent travelers don’t have access to.  And hopefully you’ll have knowledgeable tour guides who can teach you about the area… something that independent travelers might miss.

Tours can be an economical way to travel.  Tour operators get good prices on hotels and transportation.  But if you want to sleep in and the tour is moving on… you’ll just have to get up and get going.  You might learn things you wouldn’t have learned otherwise…. and if you’re a first time traveler, one of the things you might learn is that you don’t need a group tour.

Sometimes that first tour group experience is more than worth it… it can give you the confidence to travel independently.  And if you learn that you like the company you’re traveling with, and you like group travel… you’ve come up with a great shortcut for your trip planning in the future…. just find more of their tours that you like and you’ll soon be traveling the world.

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