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Welcome to Khublai Travel Guru Blog!

Whether you’re a backpacker heading to Europe, a digital nomad living in Thailand, or planning your tropical honeymoon, you will find all the tips, tricks, hacks and guides you need here. From country-specific guides to packing tips, we’ve got all your travel bases covered.

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Easy workouts while abroad

Working out and keeping fit while traveling abroad is always a challenge. Deciding whether or not to carry gym equipment, weights, running shoes, and ropes can be exhausting. Almost everyone has to travel at some point or another. Whether it is for holiday, vacation, to study, or to work, exercising to keep fit can be quite harsh. While traveling abroad might be a break from routine and daily stress, it is not an excuse to give up on maintaining your fitness and good health.

It is effortless to give up on your body and eat indiscriminately without watching what food you are opting for. Not just the diet, but sleep habits, drinking habits, partying, meetings, and stress also take a toll on the physical and mental wellbeing of the body.

 

Let us look at some natural workouts, trips, and tricks to maintain your health while abroad.

 

Easy workouts:

Working out at your leisure should never be a stressful activity. Working out is physical and should come instinctively. Use bodyweight to start your workouts. Push-ups, squats, leg raises, and floor exercises do not need expensive gym equipment. Most of these exercises can be done without any fancy stuff. You might need a yoga mat, but if you don’t have one, just cover the floor with a used thin towel or bedsheet.

Instead of a sit-up bench, do sit-ups against a table or a chair that is propped firmly against a wall. You can do pushups with the help of a chair or at the edge of a coffee table, sofa, or chair.

If you are unsure about any parks, gyms, or walking tracks around your hotel or homestay, you could do on-the-spot jogging, jumping jacks, high knee jumps, burpees, squat jumps, 30 and 40-second planks, and kicks in the comfort of your bedroom. Cardio helps in ensuring your body gets heated up, and blood flows quicker and freely to burn calories and increase stamina.

Any of these exercises can help with your daily cardio workouts. The trick to doing cardio, floor exercises, squats and crunches while abroad is to do them in circuits with short intervals.

Yoga:

Yoga is a great way to keep your mind, body, and mental health fit. Yoga classes while traveling are a boon for travelers, visitors, and students. Yoga exercises help keep the stress down, improve digestion while eating ethnic cuisine, and are a fun way to meet like-minded people on your travels.

Yoga exercises concentrate on breathing, concentration, and improving overall health to remain fit. Yoga poses or asanas like Lotus pose help in maintaining a cheerful outlook while improving concentration and blood flow to the brain.

The Chair pose in a squat position with the knees pressed together and arms stretched forward helps in increasing back strength, stamina, leg strength, improving glute muscles, core, and arms.

Another fantastic pose is the Uttanasana or forward bend pose. Bend over to place your fingertips on your toes with your knees straight. This pose stimulates the blood flow to the brain, stretches the lower back and hamstrings, and straightens out the spine to maintain a healthy and erect posture. It also helps relieve cramps in the back from sitting in uncomfortable positions or meetings.

The best part about yoga is that it requires absolutely no expensive equipment or time. If you have some free time between meetings or in the morning, you can successfully perform these yoga poses for optimum health and fitness.

 

Other ways to work out:

Apart from confining yourself to your bedroom or the nearest park, you can also get out of your hotel or homestay and explore the place you are visiting. Opt for cycling, walking, or hiking as against using regular modes of transport. While you take in the new sights of the city, you can also keep up your physical fitness. Explore nooks and crannies, new shopping alleys, and minor mom and pop stores as you walk around the city. If you are at a beachside, go for a walk along the beach to view the sunset.

Another way to get a swift workout before heading out to sightsee is to climb the stairs of whichever place you are staying at. 20 to 30 minutes on the stairs, while you do walking lunges, squats, and climbers, is a great way to get the blood pumping.

 

Keep track of your daily calories consumed and exercised. Doing this will help you maintain your fitness and health even while you are traveling abroad. A morning run, jog, or walk will help keep you fit. Ensure you do exercises and workouts that you enjoy so you can enjoy your visit abroad to the best of your capabilities.

 

Travel Gear

Travel Essentials

Almost everyone needs to be prepared to travel at some point or another. Most travelers tend to be very organized about things to carry, essentials they require, and methods to pack. Infrequent travelers need to think carefully about which essentials they need to take depending on the location or the geography of the place they visit. Most families prefer going to resorts, holiday destinations, vacation spots, and children-friendly places. Even though these places might be relatively comfortable as against hiking, trekking, and camping, travel essentials and things to carry are still a necessity.

It is imperative to be prepared with knowledge of localities, travel documents, passports, nearest hospitals, medical aid available and insurance before moving out of your town. Whether domestic or international, most people like being safe when going on a holiday or business trip.  Booking necessary transportation, ensuring the health and sanitary conditions of the place you’re visiting, and availability of drinking water are absolute must-haves. Let us look at some of the things that experienced travelers always carry on them.

Toiletries: Most people traveling to resorts and holiday homes tend to believe that the hotel, resort, or holiday home would have all the toiletries they require. This is not always true. Many products available are of general qualities that don’t meet the daily skin and hair requirements that are needed in specific climatic conditions. Ensure to pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, personal hygiene items, sunscreen, combs, deodorants, moisturizers, and lip balm. Many times, the products available are not of exceptional quality and might end up damaging your skin and hair.

Medicines: Any experienced traveler will stress the importance of carrying your medications. Ensure that you bring your prescriptions while traveling so that drugs can be refilled in case of emergencies. Carry medicines that are useful on a daily basis for ailments like stomach ache, flu, body pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and cold. One of the medicines to keep with you at all times is Dihydrocodeine. It is an analgesic used to alleviate the pain of medium to severe sciatica, joint pain, bone pain, arthritis (for cold conditions), and nerve pain. While Dihydrocodeine might not be used regularly, it is a beneficial medicine to keep at all times.

First Aid Kit: First aid kits are part of the few travel essentials apart from warm or summery clothing that you should always keep with you. Carry Band-Aids, hand wash, antiseptic liquid, cotton balls, medical grade gauze, pain relaxant, muscle relaxant, and flu medicine. Ensure that all the products are within the expiry period so that you do not have to face any adverse reactions. To the first aid kit, add some heat packs, motion sickness pills, thermometers, insect repellant, mosquito repellant, eye drops, and any prescription medicines specific to your condition.

Travel Documents: Experienced and infrequent travelers must keep their travel documents prepared well in advance. If traveling internationally, carry your original passport plus color photocopies, visas with photocopies, medical insurance papers, and travel insurance papers. If you are planning to go sightseeing in crowded places, it is advisable to keep photocopies of all your essential identity documents instead of the originals in case of theft. Also, do not carry your laptop when traveling to crowded places. Keep your original documents and laptop in your hotel room or with your travel desk for safe keeping. In case of emergencies, the photocopies should suffice for identification.

Carry-on Bags: Carry-on bags like backpacks, haversacks, and containers should have small first aid kits and medicines. A small bottle or packet each of sunscreen, perfume, toothpaste, toothbrush, and moisturizer should be able to fit in your carry-on bag. If not traveling to a crowded place for sightseeing, your carry-on kit should comfortably store your laptop, notebooks, camera, headphones, universal adapters, e-readers, and mobile phones. Use small to medium sized zip pouches to store any liquids. Always carry mineral water with a few sachets of mineral salts to avoid severe dehydration.

Clothing: When it comes to clothing, always pack as light as possible. Clothes, shoes, scarfs, bags, socks, and innerwear take up space. Travel with as many multi-utility garments as possible. Carry fewer pants and more t-shirts and tops so that you save on space while traveling. Ensure you check the weather conditions of the location you are visiting, and plan your clothing according to the prevailing weather condition.

Should You Stay in a Hostel or Airbnb?

When traveling on a budget, your options in most countries are to stay in a hostel or an Airbnb. Hotels are usually more expensive than either option. So, what’s the difference? Is one better than the other? They both have pros and cons we’ve compiled some to share with you:

  1. Airbnb’s can offer privacy (if you rent one bedroom in a flat, for example). In a hostel, you’re usually sharing a room with 6-8 other people sleeping above or beside you on bunk beds. If you’re looking for privacy, go for an Airbnb.
  2. There are more chances to make friends in a hostel. If you’re traveling solo, hostels are your biggest asset because you’re rooming with a bunch of people in a similar situation. You’ll quickly find yourself going out for dinner and on adventures with the people you meet.
  3. If you’re looking for a “local experience” in the place you’re staying, both a hostel and Airbnb can offer that. Hostels are staffed by people living in that city, and Airbnb’s are owned by locals. You can get great recommendations at both.

What do you think of staying in a hostel vs. Airbnb? Let us know!

What’s in Your Carry-on?

Choosing what to take in your carry-on and what to store in your luggage is crucial knowledge to any traveler. Not only are there airport restrictions, there’s the fact that when on a long flight, you’ll want certain things available on-hand.

We recommend selecting a medium-large size bag for carry-on, that fits within the airport size guidelines. Even if you don’t fill it up, you might need the space on the way home. Plus, with the amount of stored luggage that goes missing or gets lost on route, it can be handy to have extra space in your carry-on for backup necessities. We always pack a spare outfit in our carry-on; underwear, socks, pants, and a top. If your luggage never shows up in your destination, you’ll be happy you carried a spare.

We also always pack in-flight essentials for entertainment and purpose. A journal, a book, pens, and headphones for entertainment. Headphones, and possibly a tablet or laptop to get work done on the plane. Then, of course, lotion because airplane air dries out your skin, and a snack.

What are your must-haves in your carry-on?

How to Pick Your Honeymoon Destination

Honeymoons are the awesome conclusion to your wedding processions where you get to travel somewhere with your love. When it comes to choosing your honeymoon destination, there are a few things you must consider before settling on a location.

  1. Are you two beach bums? Or snow bunnies? Think about the weather and climate you feel most relaxed and happy in. People have honeymoons all over the world, and different climates offer different activities and adventures. What kind do you want to have?
  2. Length of Time. How long are you planning to be away? For some who have kids, pets, or job commitments, the length of honeymoon might only be a few days. For others, they can spend a week or more exploring and relaxing. You must consider how long you’re able to be away, and how many of those days you want to spend traveling on a long plane ride. This could influence if you travel far away or stay closer to home.
  3. There is a range of honeymoon destinations across all budgets. For honeymooners seeking a tropical beach getaway, you can’t go wrong in Central America. Where Costa Rica can get somewhat pricey, Honduras is notably cheaper and just as tropical. If you’re looking for a winter wonderland for your honeymoon, Colorado has some gorgeous ski-hill resorts perfect for two lovebirds. On the other hand, Alberta, Canada, has some amazing ski-hill resorts for half the price.
  4. Some people are happy to lounge on a beach at an all-inclusive resort with no stress or concerns. Those are beautiful honeymoons where all you do is enjoy each others company. However, some people want adventure and adrenaline on their honeymoon because that’s what they enjoy as a couple. Embrace the kind of couple you are and don’t try to be something you’re not just for the picture memories. If you like trekking, hiking, and being outdoors- then choose a honeymoon with lots of outdoors activities. It’s all about making this trip ideal for who you both are.

Your honeymoon is another celebration of your love and partnership. It should reflect who you are as a couple, and how you like to spend your vacation time. Some people are happy to spend a weekend away in a nearby city; others want to travel a whole country on a month-long spree. Regardless of the climate, budget, length of time, and activities, enjoying your time togetheris the most important thing to factor in. Where are you going on your honeymoon?

5 Must-See Things in Toronto, Canada

Toronto is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. It also has a wide array of walks of life; young families, university students, elderly, upper and lower class, etc. With so many cultures, backgrounds, and walks of life coming together, you can expect a plethora of interesting things to do. Here are 5 things you must check out when in Toronto:

  1. The CN Tower. Simply for a gorgeous view of the city skyline and the lake. You can explore the Ripley’s Aquarium at the base or do the adrenaline-sparking Edgewalk on the top of the tower. Then, have an exquisite steak and potatoes dinner at the 360 Restaurant Grill and Bar.
  2. Caribana Toronto. Every year, Toronto kicks off the end of summer with the Caribbean Carnival. From a massive parade with elaborate Caribbean outfits to nightclub events and concerts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the festival. If you’ll be in Toronto in August, you can’t miss it.
  3. Toronto’s Chinatown is one of the best in the world. You have a giant array of dining options; not limited to Chinese food. There are vendors selling East Asian cuisine, South Asian, and cuisine from different regions of China. It’s also the best place for affordable shopping. You can get everyday necessities and high-end fashion for a cheap price.
  4. Skating at Nathan Philip Square. If you’re lucky enough to be in Toronto in the winter, then you’ll know it gets cold here. So cold, that the city builds a few different outdoor skating rinks. NPS is the best rink because it’s located in the center of downtown and lit up by the lights of surrounding skyscrapers and buildings. You can rent skates for cheap at the rink and have a legendary hotdog from a street-meat vendor. What more could you ask for?
  5. Jazz Music at the Rex. The Rex is Toronto’s oldest and more beloved jazz club. While it might not look like anything more than a pub, it has hosted hundreds of popular jazz musicians. Eat some delicious pub fare and watch the show or sit on their outdoor patio and enjoy the breeze.

Toronto has so many fun and interesting things to do. We listed our top 5, but there are hundreds of other awesome places to see and cool things to do in Toronto. What do you recommend people check out in Toronto?

5 Tips for Packing Luggage

When planning a vacation or trip abroad, the last thing you want to do is forget something crucial to your stay. What you pack, how you organize things in the luggage, and how you unpack are all factors that can make or break how your things get used and treated on the trip. Follow our 3 tips to effectively packing your luggage.

  1. To fold or roll? Some people insist on rolling their clothes to save space, we prefer to fold flat and place in packing cubes. Packing cubes separate all your items by category so when it comes time to unpack, you know where everything is. When folding your clothing it becomes flat and you can fit more layers on top of them than if there were rolled into a bulky chunk.
  2. Heaviest Items at the Bottom. Assuming you have a luggage on wheels, it’s more efficient space-wise and health-wise for your back to be dragging a luggage that’s weight is centered at the bottom. It will make pulling the bag much easier, and your items above it won’t get too crushed. Now, once the luggage is on the plane it can get flipped upside down and all over. But if you can keep the heavier items (boots, books, etc.) in a packing cube in one section, your other things are less likely to be disturbed.
  3. Plastic Wrap Liquids. There are lots of packing-cube options for toiletries that tend to leak. Use a packing cube that is sealed and can’t be unbuttoned or unsnapped open. Then, place each liquid bottle inside a plastic bag. Even though the plastic wrap is protecting your other items from being spilled on, it’s still a pain to have to clean the packing cube after a leak. So, place items in a plastic bag that you can just throw out when dirty and replace.

For people traveling with a backpack or duffle bag, the tips are similar. However, with a backpack, it could be more efficient to roll clothing to save space based on the shape of the backpack. You should also try to disperse the weight evenly across your back so that it isn’t putting too much pressure on one spot.  And as always, wrap your liquids so they don’t spill on your stuff.

We’d love to hear all the other tips out there that we missed. What are your tips for packing luggage?