Travelling With Kids, Seoul Searching, Equipment, Herbs and more!

TRAVELLING WITH KIDS

Travelling with small kids is a challenge. So test them and prepare yourself by taking the Mall Travel Challenge before you set out. Plan an outing to a nearby shopping mall with your kids and test their ability to: listen, wait and entertain themselves. Nothing simulates travel in airports and train stations like shopping—waiting in line, endless walking, detours and delays. Warning: this will test your resolve as well as your ability to contain and distract them. For added adventure, try this challenge over nap time.

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Photography Tips, Passports, Money and Pals

TRIP PHOTO RULE OF THIRDS

As an ex-professional photographer I have some tips for better travel photos. unless you are going specifically for wildlife, don’t take a long telephoto lens. For the few times you use it, the extra weight and bulk isn’t worth it. The only specialty lens I carry is a 20mm lens that gives incredible wide-angle scenery shots, dramatic for coming in close on your subject. If shooting film as opposed to digital, go with a general speed film such as ISo 400 film. Shoot more than you think you need. edit brutally...discard more than you keep. Watch your compositions. Keep your subject out of the centre. learn the rule of thirds. move your horizons to the bottom third or top third of the frame. If shooting on a bright day with lots of water or sky, use a polarizer filter. Spend as much as you can on this filter—there’s no sense in buying an expensive lens and a cheap filter.

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Essential Oils, Candles, Food, Travel Tummy, Carabiners, Sitting and Pick Pockets

LAVENDER FIELDS FOREVER

“Pack a small bottle each of lavender and tea tree essential oils. It’s like carrying a miniature first-aid kit. Both can be used directly on the skin without diluting. Lavender oil relieves burns, sunburns and insect/fish bites. Sprinkle 3 to 5 drops directly on bedding to repel bed bugs and ensure a restful sleep (lavender oil has sedative properties). Tea tree oil has more uses: a powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. Use for cuts and abrasions, mouth ulcers and sores (a couple of drops in half a glass of water will suffice), athlete’s foot, dandruff, ringworm and minor skin infections. Add a few drops to shampoo to repel lice. Lavender and tea tree oil can be used on pulse points to repel insects. Happy travels!”

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Dinghies, Photos, Heritage, Late Season and Beverages

A LITTLE DINGHY

When introducing our two boys to canoe-camping we, like most parents, started with one- to-three-night local trips. One item we found very useful was a cheap inflatable dinghy. More of a toy than a real craft, it served many purposes. When the boys were still in diapers, it would serve as a bathtub (a pot of warm water mixed in with cool). Covered with mosquito netting, it served as crib while we enjoyed a nightcap around the evening campfire. Once they were a bit older, the dinghy could be used to entertain them on rainy days under the rain tarp. We caught and kept aquatic insects, minnows, frogs and tadpoles for an hour or so in this makeshift pond. On nicer days, I would tie a hundred feet of rope to it and sit on the shore as they (wearing lifejackets of course) paddled around out front, jumping in/out of it.

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Guitars, Motion Sickness, Bike Bags, Hotels, Photos, Couples and Backpack Bags

GUITAR SLINGER

Waiting times, long train rides and a conversation with a Swedish guy inspired me to buy my fi rst guitar when I arrived in Madrid. From that moment my trip changed entirely—the guitar became an icebreaker, introducing me to other guitarists who all wanted to share a piece of themselves, and who all taught me a piece of music. From knowing five chords, I learned how to pick, strum, slap and clap my guitar to add depth; I learned chord progressions and simple theory; and best of all, I learned to let go.

Seriously consider bringing an instrument along on your trips, especially for those who “have always wanted to learn, but have never had the time.” There are some really convenient, excellent sounding travel guitars that you can find in most guitar shops. Beyond that there’s the harmonica, drumsticks, penny whistles and flutes—all fit easily into a daypack and can be played almost anywhere.

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