Our tips and tricks to see the Northern Lights and bring back beautiful pictures to impress your mother-in-law ;)
All our tips and practical info for travelers and backpackers
Welcome on the category page of all travel tips on our blog! At the end of this page you will find all our blog posts that cover "practical" informations. To be classified in this category are the preparations for a round the world trip, our tips to travel cheaper, some advice about hiking / camera gear, etc.... If you only want to see information about the preparations for a round the world trip, we recommend you to take a look at our special category about this topic.
The map of our best travel tips
This category is a little special because not all our "practical" articles are necessarily directly related to a specific place (for example our article on how to sleep at the airport). But in short, all those who can be geographically classified are therefore present on the map below... To see all the blog posts, you can directly go at the end of the page.
Here is the map with all our "travel tips" blog posts:
Travel gear : our packing list
The question about our travel gear comes up VERY often! So I'm not going to make you a list of our equipment here because for that you can go directly on the concerned blog posts (depending on the type of trip)
- Our equipment when we left on a round the world trip
- Our gear for the Via Alpina hike (crossing Switzerland through the Alps in summer... so bivouac and trekking gear)
- Our gear for the Kungsleden hike in Lapland (autumn trek with "fresh" temperatures)
More generally we have evolved a lot in the material we have and for this post, rather than talking about what we have (you can see it in the articles above) we will rather talk to you about why we purchase what:
- Decathlon is simply the best (or almost): let's tell it right away: we don't work with Decathlon at all and all our equipment has been bought from them. But if you've been following us for a while, you'll probably have noticed that "Quechua" is never far away. ;) The reason for this is quite simple; we are totally convinced by their price-quality ratio for a large part of our equipment! T-shirt, hiking pants, fleece, K-way, socks, our big backpacks and down jackets: everything comes from decathlon.
- There are exceptions! :) Haha it would have been too easy otherwise, wouldn't it? No, in reality we find that Decathlon is just the best for the "basic" accessories. But typically for our tent we did not find what we needed with them. Why? Why? Decathlon's are not "technical" enough to our taste (at least for some part of our equipment). In short, for our big hiking boots, our sleeping bags or even the tent, we preferred to turn to more expensive but technical brands (for the tent it allows us to have a 3-seater tent that weighs less than 2kg, or sleeping bags that go down in negative temperature and weigh less than a kilo!)
When to buy Decathlon and when to invest some more money: our calculation
In short, you will have understood that we will only rarely advise you to buy the latest high-performance technological gear, but rather the practical and not too expensive compromise.... Afterwards, if like us, you decide to start trekking more seriously, then some more expensive items may be useful.
Our trekking base for sleeping which consists of a 3 places tent, 2 ultra insulating mattresses and 2 sleeping bags (-5°C) currently weighs 5kg (for a total budget of about 1500€ (1700$)).
If we tried to use the equivalent equipment in terms of size and warmth at Decathlon we would end up with a budget of about 600€ but also a total weight of about 7.5kg.
I will grant you, 2.5kg is not a lot on a 2-3 day hike, but if you go hiking for 20 days... 2.5kg is several days of extra food!
Travel Photography: Tips and Gear
The second question we probably get the most is "what's your camera gear?"
So in terms of photo equipment we have evolved a lot in the last few years and all the photos in our blog are not taken with the same camera, but overall all our most recent photos (since late 2016 roughly speaking) are made with the Sony alpha 7ii
It's also clear that the camera does not everything! There is the camera on the one hand, but also the lens, the photographer's eye but also the post processing factor! If you want to know more about the best cameras of the moment I let you take a look at the super guide that Benoit wrote on this matter (and that he updates very regularly). How to choose a good camera for traveling
You can also check out his comparison tables of the best cameras in each category
And if you are more looking for travel tips about how to take cool night shots of the northern lights, check out this post
The minute "geek" - do you need a VPN to travel?
The last question we receive quite regularly concerns VPNs. Often travelers come across our article because they plan a trip to China and want to be sure they can access their favorite social medias. ;)
So yes, a VPN is THE solution to go on facebook in China, but not only that!
We installed our first VPN before our round-the-world trip, and yet, even if we are no longer in China, we still continue to pay for our annual ExpressVPN subscription today.
Why do we use express VPN for our travels
In fact, we got used to the VPN very quickly and could honestly not do without it anymore today (or at least not easily).
Here are several reasons why we use it:
- Secure our banking transactions when we are on public wifi
- Access blocked content in certain regions of the world (facebook, youtube, google in China for example)
- To be able to browse "as if we were in Switzerland" for example.... This allows us to watch replay shows when we are abroad (it obviously also works for other countries) ;)
- Browsing "anonymously"... So no we're not going to promote non legal stuff like downloading torrents (oops), but more generally a VPN will prevent search engines from remembering you and drowning you in ads for stuff you just googled (that's called retargeting in technical terms)
If you want to know more about ExpressVPn you can take a look at our article
Do you want to know more avout our way of traveling?Feel free to take a look at our book "Destination Tour du Monde" published by Helvetiq. This book, which was published in the spring of 2018, is a concentration of practical tips and anecdotes to help you prepare for your trip around the world.... This dream project was born after a solid year of work and we are very proud to be able to provide a book in paper format to future travellers! It also talks about travel budget ;)
The book is available in french and german but will soon be translated in english
Do you want to see what happens next? Take a look at all our travel tips blog posts below!