Outdoor Fall Activities

Outdoor Fall Activities: 10 Bucket list ideas for your outings this autumn

As the summer is ending, we all try to readjust ourselves to a new schedule. Kids go back to school, the daylight hours are getting shorter and the weather goes unstable each day. If all these facts become your excuses to stay indoors, then it’s better you start making a bucket list for your outdoor fall activities. There are always options for short breaks either you are going on solo or seeking a family outing. Autumn flies by in a flash, so take advantage of the fresh, crisp air and beautiful foliage with our offers hereby for your outdoor fall activities bucket list.

1) Go harvesting!

Some local farms organize harvesting festivals to wrap up the season, which lets you have an inside look into the care, craft, and history of farming and agriculture. You not only taste the season’s fresh produces, but also can attend some great events like apple cider pressing, hayrides, farm tours and more. Check your city/town/county websites, facebook groups, and local newspapers to find a harvest festival near you.

2) Go leaf-peeping!

As the colorful foliage season begins with the first significant signs of spectacular fall colors appearing outdoors, you should start planning for your day-trips, weekend escapes or longer family excursions.  It’s no longer hot as hell, so it is the perfect traveling time for everybody! You can take a relaxing fall foliage train trip, rent a cabin in the mountains or take a hot-air balloon ride to enjoy the beautiful scenes of nature. Endless options, limited time ahead.

3) Attend the State and National Park Events

State Parks and National Parks are generally staging very cool events at fall season, most of which are free to attend. You can browse the National Parks Event Calendar and select a particular park or state to see what’s coming up in your area this fall.

4) Go hiking!

As the fall season offers a scenic display of colors, you can enjoy hiking in the trails for a few more dry weeks before mother nature brings us the rain showers. The rich autumn backdrop will enhance your trip photos and you will get lots of likes from your social media followers. Just make sure you have the perfect layering in terms of clothing and enough snacks to maintain your level of energy.

5) Run a race

There are plenty of themed 5K and 10K races during the fall season. Runners of all ages and fitness levels are welcome to sign up, and generally, the proceeds go for a good cause. All you need to do is to browse the Running in the USA website to find a race coming up in your area.

6) Tour a winery

Wineries host special events to wrap up the harvesting season.  It becomes the perfect time to enjoy the scenic vistas of the breathtaking vineyards, plus the chance to taste varieties from the cellar.  For those who would like to go beyond the bottle, you can experience and enjoy the grape stomping as well.

7) Get in the Halloween spirit

Get ready for Halloween with a local haunted house tour or if you are brave enough, a spooky graveyard tour.  There are numerous guided tours covering America’s spookiest burial grounds and the most haunted places. It’s a great way to get the blood pumping and your adrenaline up!

8) Get lost in a corn maze!

If you haven’t visited a corn maze, it can be more fun than you might think. The more challenging the course, the better! Don’t underestimate the value of teamwork, when families are working together, they get more out of the maze.

9) Pick out the largest pumpkin at the Pumpkin Patch

Sure you can grab one from the local farmers’ market or the grocery store,  but for a more immersive experience, head to the country to pick your own pumpkin this fall.  Keep in mind, many of the farms set out pumpkins in a field for kids to “pick,” so the fruit has already been cut from the vine. If you are seeking a more hands-on experience, call the farm ahead to confirm if it’s done so. Don’t forget to ask the availability and opening hours as well,  otherwise, you may find out that the crop has gone already. Pick it, carve it, paint it, or decorate it, and then proudly display it on your porch.

10) Remember what you’re thankful for

Thanksgiving makes sense when you share your table with family and friends. If you have a backyard,  it will give you the perfect atmosphere for a classic, rustic, fall-themed backyard Thanksgiving dinner, that your guests will love. You can either make it an unforgettable Thanksgiving bonfire or make it a potluck, to reduce the stress of preparing holiday meals. A decorative and cosy backyard party will make it a memorable night for everybody!


What should a traveller pack? The complete packing list

The packing list for every traveler varies according to the duration, destination, and purpose of travel but I will simply consolidate and clarify them under one single scenario.

This list will work really well for one week of travel and longer journeys. Short business travels and a family trip to a newly registered university is not our subject here. As a professional adventure tour guide who has traveled half of the world, I can guarantee that this packing list will be simple and dedicated to the essentials for a real travel experience.

It doesn’t matter how long your journey is, but you should try to travel as light as possible forever. Packing lightly will allow you get back home with some local handicrafts and authentic goods that will keep your memories alive, as well as with gifts collected along the way.

So let’s start with the bags and luggage, the home of your belongings!

How to carry belongings?

The best luggage combination contains a good travel wallet, backpack and duffel bag with the travel wallet or document file being at the heart of your trip. If you don’t have the necessary papers inside, you may not be able to travel to your destination/s.

I would suggest that all travelers have a backpack as a carry-on bag and a duffle bag as their main bag, especially when we have great design options for all of these items and you can easily change your regular choices. 20 years ago it was really hard to find a backpack or duffel bag that suited your style but nowadays so many things have changed and there is a range of options available.

Why is this luggage combination essential?

Let’s start with the travel wallet.

1) Travel wallet/document file

You need to get organized! A durable document file or a good travel wallet that will keep all your documents safe and organized is essential. You can read how to get organized and enhance your experience via travel safety tips here.
There are many times during your trip where you may need to hurry, for example when the attendant behind the counter asks for your documents you should be able to deliver your passport, flight/train/bus tickets, priority card, visa/customs papers or a voucher in a reasonable and timely manner. The pressure of impatient travelers waiting in the queue behind you will only add to your need to hurry, so it is crucial that all your travel documents should be kept safe, together and as accessible as possible.

2) A good backpack as your carry-on

Your backpack should contain a smaller version of your main luggage so that you are able to survive with only that should the need arise. You should always place your least used items in the bottom of the bag. Since most backpacks now have a lower zip pocket for easy access to the bottom compartment this shouldn’t be a problem, especially for those who need space for a sleeping bag. If you aren’t camping you could use this section for your raincoat which you may need for those uncertain weather conditions in your destination, especially during spring and autumn.
Your backpack should preferably hold 45 liters (an additional 15-liter extension shell would be advantageous) which will allow you to take care of yourself even if you lose your main bag. This is something that should be taken into consideration since the average global statistics show that there are 7 bags lost for every 1000 passengers!
A 45-liter backpack is still cabin size and will fit easily in untidy spaces available in the overhead lockers thanks to its flexibility.
Compared to other carry-on bags, a backpack has many pockets both inside and outside facing which will provide you with easy access to your belongings whilst keeping them safe and secure. You can keep your book, sunglasses, magazine or pen in the outer pockets whilst your valuable items can be stored in the inner pockets for extra security. There has also been an increase in theft aboard aircrafts, check out some news here.

3) Duffle bag as your main luggage

A durable, water repellant, nice looking duffle bag should be your number one choice for carrying your main luggage and there are some very clear reasons for this choice:
They are lighter than hardshell suitcases and help you save weight. Frequent travelers hate carrying and paying for excess luggage at the airport and this can sometimes come as a nasty surprise.

Thanks to their vivid colors they are rarely out of sight and cannot be easily missed. This is important for any traveler, especially when you are traveling outdoors and have to keep an eye on your luggage.

They are very flexible and so rarely break. You can not hand over your hard case luggage to a porter or a Yak (during a lifetime experience like Everest Basecamp Trek) because if you do, sometimes the porters will tie them so tight that you won’t get it back unbroken. Most of the porters also won’t be able to carry it due to their traditional technique and so a duffle bag would be a better choice.

A good duffle bag can also be converted into a huge backpack which will keep you mobile during harder times of your trip. I remember carrying my 45-liter backpack on my chest and a 120-liter duffle bag on my back during the street protest in Nepal in 2007 whilst trying to reach the airport after no taxis showed up, I was thankful for my convertible duffle bag!

The complete packing list

What to pack for your upcoming trip
Here I have compiled the ultimate packing list for a safe and rewarding travel experience.

In your Travel Wallet:
All travel documents! Photocopies of the documents should be available in your duffel bag while scanned versions should be uploaded to the cloud or emailed to yourself

  • Passport
  • Flight/bus/train/ferry tickets – online check-in should also be done if possible
  • Vouchers for hotels and attractions
  • Identity card
  • Frequent flyer and other priority cards
  • Health/insurance/vaccination cards – you cannot enter some European countries without a vaccination card after visiting countries with an infectious disease threat
  • Credit card – a maximum of two cards will make it easy to protect your finances
  • Business cards – new contacts are always welcome
  • Small and thin notebooks – A7 is a suitable size
  • A pen and pencil – pencils write everywhere, even in space like the Russians proposed as a cheap alternative during the Cold War
  • Cash – learn exchange rates and trading habits of locals in advance so that you can save money where possible
  • Small maps – do not carry a map of the whole country, a specific map of your route will be fine
  • Small survival items such as a compass, whistle, fire-starter, and multi-tool – if you can’t fit all of these, purchase another small bag that you can carry with you. However, be careful as most mini tools are not allowed on flights
  • Zip pocket for coins

See the new design Travel Wallet here.

In your backpack and duffle bag:
Clothing (S: Summer – W: Winter )
Sandals/light shoes – S
Trekking boots with ankle support – W
Warm socks – S/W
Warm thermal underwear, top and bottom S/W (substitute for pajamas/sleepwear)
Pants and/or shorts – S/W
Swimwear – S
Warm pile/fleece trousers – W
Rain Goretex trousers -W (any other waterproof membrane is ok)
Tshirts (3-4 pieces) S/W
Jacket and shirt (a pair will be good for casual dress code invitations)
Fleece jacket – S/W
Rain Goretex hooded jacket – W (any other waterproof membrane is ok)
Down jacket – W

Belt/cartridge belt S/W
Warm mitts and gloves – W (polar, Windstopper or equivalent)
Warm hat/balaclava – W
Sun hat with neck flap/cotton headscarf/bandana – S (Iran-Saudi Arabia travel requirement)
Sunglasses (very important – full UV protection)
Head torch, with batteries and lamps
Minimum of 2-liter water bottles/1 bottle and 1 Thermos

Technology devices
Mobile device and charger
Travel power adapter
Camera or extra memory card for your mobile (nowadays mobiles can do really well)

Sanitary & first aid
N.B. Travel sizes will help you save weight
Small towel – S/W
Wet wipes
Sun cream
Lip balm
Nail clippers
Hairbrush or comb
Toothpaste and toothbrush
Razor & shaving cream
Feminine hygiene products
Sewing kit

Personal medical kit to include:
Blister repair kit
Water purification tablets (optional)
Allergy treatment pills & creams
Diarrhea/laxative medicines
Painkillers (ibuprofen is great)
Medicines and vaccinations specific to the region/activity
Insect repellent (non-chemical version)

*Please note that packing list for every traveler will vary according to the type of travel. Changes in duration, destination, and purpose, as well as unexpected extreme weather conditions, may require some modifications in your travel packing list.

**I strongly advise you to read other articles about “TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS”

*** Here is the downloadable PDF version of the article.


Enhancing experience via travel safety tips

Travel safety tips

Big 1) You need to get packed right

This includes the right equipment, right stuff and locating them right for your travel safety! This will allow you to act quickly and feel better when all procedures pass by flawlessly.
Your luggage is your home to your journey!

You can read what to use and how to pack in detail here.

Big 2) Organize Travel documents

A) Official Ones

  • Check visa procedure
  • Check vaccination regulations, especially for Africa and Europe. Some countries may ask for your vaccination card if you have recently visited a disease threatened country
  • Keep custom declaration and entry forms in a safe place
  • For some destinations all travelers should fill in a customs declaration form during the flight (e.g. USA) In some countries, you will fill in an entry form at the passport gate and have it back stamped from the officer who will surely recheck on the way back out of the country. It is vital that you keep it safe.
  • Always keep photocopies of your documents in another bag other than the travel wallet you keep your originals. If you forget to take photocopies do not worry, proceed with taking photos of them to store on your camera/phone

B) Other documents

  • Where are your flight/ticket details? Forget mobile boarding passes and QR codes. Frequent overseas travelers know that anything can happen including your battery shutting off, or even your mobile being stolen etc.
  • You should take a printed copy of your hotel voucher/confirmation with you, even in Brussels I could not check into the hotel that I had paid for weeks before because I did not print the voucher
  • Pre-downloaded city location map – I prefer to print my own on A3 paper. One side should be in detail and smaller in diameter close to your hotel, and the other side should be about the city in which you are visiting showing transportation options
  • Do you have a priority card? Don’t forget to take it with you since you may need extra luggage as well as lounge usage in case you need to wait long hours due to delays and security issues

Big 3) Travel safety tips

*Some of the tips below are for extreme situations. Never consider that our planet is fully unsafe!

  • Note the address and the phone number of the embassy/consulate of your country in the visited destination. Check all travel warnings about your destination and consult bloggers in the region
  • Learn the emergency numbers equivalent to your emergency services (911) to include police, ambulance etc
  • Having good relationships with locals is safe but does not give you 100% guaranteed security. You need to choose the right person to share your details with. If they are asking you too many personal questions about where your next stop is, your income or other questions that they shouldn’t be, stay vigilant and be careful
  • If you feel stuck and surrounded by unfriendly people during your travel in an insecure region, make sure they know that “your local friend” will arrive soon
  • Keep an eye on the official buildings or an organization that has security forces, they could become of use should you need to take refuge. Banks, post offices, and government buildings are perfect locations if you can not find the police
  • Divide your money into three pieces and never carry it all on your person. Take a small amount of money and one credit card in your travel wallet and the rest of your money and credit cards in your backpack and duffel bag. You can hide your valuable items and money in your underwear and socks located in the lower compartments of your bags, thieves will rarely dig that deep
  • You should always choose the right transfer options for your trip, choose either public transport that local families use or private transfer services such as official taxis. Never choose something in between, especially a car with two people already seated trying to “do you a favor”
  • Insecure people can become a target, don’t make it obvious that you are alone, weak and novice. Walking faster than regular looks as if you know the destination well enough and people will be less likely to bother you.
  • If you feel unsafe, act as if you are talking with a local on the phone, starting with a “Hi” to a well known local male name will help you more. When you find your target person or address, if you still don’t feel safe proceed to your next destination for your travel safety
  • Beware of the local culture, religion and respect others by reading about them before you travel to your destination. While touching the head of a Thai child would be a rude action there, this would show your friendship in a Middle Eastern country. Women should not enter a mosque without covering their hair with a scarf and males should not stay in a room with a local woman alone in the same region. These are just a few of many local rules that you may come across
  • Always inform your family members about your location when you proceed to the next stop and tell them when you will leave for the next stop
  • Never argue with local people for your travel safety, especially with officials. Police or other officers will always keep their right to obey the laws and local procedures, I have been treated quite friendly and experienced that some officials ruled out the existing procedures just to make it easier for me.


RFID Dangers – How to Protect Yourself

Did you know that your personal information can easily be stolen by anyone within 10 feet closer to you?  They simply do this with the help of a reader which is being sold everywhere on the internet. The RFID reader sends a radio signal to ping your RFID chips, and voila, your personal information is harvested.

Oh, did you just say: “I don’t have an RFID chip”? Think again.

RFID is the abbreviation for Radio Frequency Identification, and it is being used in credit cards, debit cards, passports, employer/government ID cards, highway toll passcards, and subway passes.  The RFID chips mounted in these cards store your personal information.  The antenna located inside the RFID chip receives electromagnetic energy from an RFID reader and uses a radio frequency to transmit the information back to the reader.

So, we can hear you say “What’s the point of RFID technology?”  It creates fast and efficient transaction process as compared to the traditional machines required to swipe and read magnetic strips.  An RFID chip requires only a reader at the check-out point. Today, nearly 100 million credit cards are using this technology and in the next 2-3 years, RFID technology will be embedded into all the credit and debit cards in the system. And in the very near future, the RFID chips will be embedded in our vehicles, utilities, airline passengers, Alzheimer’s patients and pets, in short, everywhere. This artificial intelligence technology will become a big part of our lives.  That is, if we’re even aware of all the parts.

Would you entrust your personal information to an RFID chip?  Credit card companies are aware of the security problem and started to encrypt the data inside the chips, but there are additional steps you can take to protect your financial information.

Be aware of this technology and make choices accordingly.  Cancel credit cards that you do not need or request one without RFID.  Purchase an RFID blocking wallet or passport holder, which contain a metal shield to block radio frequencies.  Also, monitor your credit card and bank statements regularly for errors or odd charges.  Identity theft and fraud can occur without you even knowing that it happened.

Kitmana wallet helps you protect your personal information inside your credit cards, ids, and passport. Choose your favorite color and add to basket now!