Author: Kimberly Anderberg

Kimberly Anderberg

Making New Friends Around the World While Traveling

Traveling is one of the most exciting things a person can do in life. Whether taking a gap year from college or putting a career on hold for a while, jetting off to exciting new places is a way to broaden the mind and have unforgettable, and even life-changing, experiences.

Kimberly Anderberg says that more often than the destination, it’s the people met along the way who can make traveling even more fun and exciting. Friendships formed at the other end of the world can last forever. It’s not difficult to get started, and below are some tips that could help:

Be Open-Minded

Probably the most important thing to remember about traveling is that it’s going to be a completely different experience from everyday occurrences back home.

Traveling is all about seeing new things, so there’s no need to do it with the same kinds of people. Don’t be quick to seek out the same types of friends that are back home.

Put prejudices aside and strike up conversations with new characters, those with different opinions, and those who maybe seemed unusual at first glance.

Befriending those who speak a different primary language can be challenging, yet beneficial to those looking to expand their knowledge in the foreign tongue.

These different conversations can be surprisingly rewarding.

Be Approachable

Be aware of the vibe you project. Many of us don’t realize how unapproachable we look on a daily basis. Step out of the norm and put on a brave new face.

To look more approachable, simple actions like removing earphones, looking up from cell phones, making eye contact when interacting, smiling, or saying hello to passersby, and looking as though we might be receptive to further interaction can all help spark up a chat.

If nothing else – be the one to provoke conversation with others.

Stay in the Right Places

Traveling can be an expensive hobby, so choosing where to sleep is often as much about budget as it is comfort.

One way to both save money and meet new people is to sleep in hotels, hostels, or dorms. There are plenty of places that charge just a few bucks a night to share a room with a group of others, some of whom will also be traveling alone.

Buddying up, seeing the sights together, having meals locally and especially looking out for one another is a great way to make new friends as well.

Kimberly Anderberg

Use Local Apps

There are some apps that are created especially for visitors who are traveling alone or in groups. SoloTraveler, Flip the Trip and even Tinder and ways to seek out other nearby travelers and find great company, as well as arranging to travel together to cut down on costs like fuel and tickets.

Be Safe

The most important thing, though, is to remember to stay safe. Meet new connections in public places for the first time, don’t be quick to get in a car with someone new and let someone else know if there’s a plan to move to another destination.

When traveling alone, some good advice is to let the hotel, hostel or dorm room lobby know when you expect to be back, informing them that you are traveling alone, yet meeting a new group of locals. This can make all the difference in personal safety.

Sharing your location with someone back home is also another great tip. Let others know where you intend to be, and for how long – and share the exact destination with them. Though half a world away, this person can keep in touch with you along the way, and can reach out to local authorities if you cannot.

Above All, Be Curious

Trying not to be so regimented about the travel schedule and simply allowing things to move naturally and ‘go with the flow’ will help to ensure new friends will pop up in all kinds of places.

Whether they’re local to the area or on their own traveling adventure, there are friends to be made all over the world, so go and look for them!

Traveling: The Ultimate Self-Investmentv

For many people, especially the younger generation, the humdrum, week-after-week routine can feel comforting yet suffocating. Typically, individuals feel as though they’re missing out on everything the big wide world has to offer them. And they’re right. But by traveling, Kimberly Anderberg says that people can explore what it means to feel alive.

Travel is the ultimate self-investment, providing people with new experiences, new tastes, new languages, new cultures, new friends, and so much more. Yes, it’s a lot of “new.” And with a lot of new comes a lot of learning.

Unfamiliar Places and People Prove Imperative for Younger Generations

Anecdotal evidence shows that those who surround themselves with unfamiliar places, scenarios, and people offer essential life skills, especially for college students.

While many educational establishments throughout the United States have diverse populations, traveling in an extra-curricular capacity opens doors to numerous different characters.

Traveling in groups or staying in hotels in the US or hostels in the UK are two of the best ways for individuals to indulge in distinct cultures, spark brand-new conversations, develop communication skills, and learn about backgrounds dissimilar from their own.

Those who have traveled while they’re young often find getting to know people in the workplace and other establishments easier, proving that traveling impacts entire lives, not just moments.

The Gap Year Hype Is Real

While some people seek to “find themselves” in various capacities, traveling alone can do exactly that. It offers time individuals wouldn’t normally otherwise have to focus on their present emotions, be in the moment, and learn new things about themselves.

But traveling with others is just as beneficial, giving groups of people ample opportunities to build deeper connections with their friends, family, or strangers.

Stepping outside of someone’s comfort zone reveals people’s true colors. It’s the perfect chance for others to decide whether they’re genuinely invested in those around them. And if not, discover how they can find better relationship connections.

Kimberly Anderberg

Figuring Out the Future While Exploring

Aside from all interesting new sights, those who invest in themselves through travel tend to figure out their future, paving the way for their in-college choices back home.

There are numerous stories where people have found jobs abroad while traveling and never looked back. In addition, individuals are often surprised by the opportunities they stumbled across during their travels to foreign places.

And if no such chances arise, travelers will often ponder the thought of living in their chosen destination full-time. The thought alone can be enough to spark brand-new ideas and prospects of futures otherwise left unthought about.

But What About Money

Realistically, traveling isn’t something everyone can do. As much as people may not want it to, money comes into play, and traveling can be expensive.

However, traveling doesn’t have to mean a four-week stint in Europe or heading off to a luxurious resort on the other side of the planet. Even heading ten miles down the road to a new place counts as traveling.

In the US – cross state lines and see what neighboring cities have to offer.

It doesn’t matter where you go; it matters that it breaks the monotony of life and offers the benefits discussed above. It’s deemed an “investment in oneself” for a reason.

How to Handle Being Stranded at the Airport

This festive season saw flight numbers skyrocket to almost pre-pandemic levels. The American Automobile Association said close to 113 million Americans were set to travel at least 50 miles from home during this period, pushing overwhelmed airports to the edge.

Kimberly Anderberg says coupling that with a huge winter storm that gave airports no choice but to delay or cancel thousands of flights, it’s unsurprising that so many travelers were left stranded. In fact, FlightAware, a company providing real-time air travel information, showed that over 3,000 flights were canceled on December 27, 2022, with many more delayed.

Kimberly Anderberg

For those who’ve never experienced flight cancellations or delays before, it can be an extremely stressful experience. After all, there appears to be next to no recourse for travelers looking to get compensation for additional costs.

That said, all hope is not lost. Flyers (frequent or otherwise) should learn the necessary steps to deal with this precarious position.

Canceled Flights: Here’s What Happens

Generally speaking, the majority of airlines rebook passengers onto their next available flight to the desired destination for free following cancellations. Of course, this is under the proviso that the flight has spare seats.

If none are available, then it’s time to do some courteous negotiations. As per the U.S. Department of Transportation’s suggestions, travelers should ask to have their tickets transferred to a different airline. There’s no telling whether this will be successful, but it’s worth a try.

Luckily, there is a potential ray of light at the end of the tunnel — travelers who decide to scrap their trip altogether after a flight cancellation are entitled to a full refund. Yes, even if the tickets were initially “non-refundable.”

According to the Department of Transportation, everything from bag fees to extras to seat assignments are available for refunds in this circumstance.

In many cases, airlines try to award vouchers as compensation rather than monetary refunds when they’ve been forced to cancel due to weather. However, frequent flyers know to insist on getting their money back as vouchers can carry restrictions, expiry dates, blackout dates, seat number limitations, and advanced booking necessitations.

Kimberly Anderberg

Overbooked Flight Cancellations

Otherwise known as “involuntary bumps,” they occur when airlines overbook flights and have to cancel some tickets.

While they rarely occur, the DOT says passengers who can’t reach their destination close to their original arrival time are entitled to $1,550 or 400% of their one-way ticket cost.

Delayed Flights and Compensation

Delayed flights are a slightly different ball game.

Federal laws don’t require airlines to issue any compensation following delays (even significant ones). Although some airlines offer to fund meal or accommodation costs during long delays, it’s entirely up to the company’s discretion.

The DOT is yet to define “significant delays,” meaning the department considers whether travelers are eligible for refunds on a case-by-case basis.

The Bottom Line

Typically, travelers are simply booked onto the next available flight after a cancellation. But when that doesn’t happen, it’s up to them to either request an airline transfer or compensation.

Advice for Traveling with Children

Traveling opens a child’s eyes to the new, the different, and the unforgettable.

It can make children not just see the world but see themselves in a different light. There are new cultures to take in, food to try, and sounds to hear. Traveling is always an adventure for children. It can also be challenging for the adults along for the ride.

Kimberly Anderberg provides some ways to approach traveling with children to ensure everyone on the trip has the best time possible.

Start Planning Early

It’s not groundbreaking to suggest planning a trip early, but it’s essential when children are involved. Choosing an engaging destination is key to a successful and enriching trip for children.

Talk as a family about ideas of where to go and why. Where will both children and adults have fun? Is the goal to relax or have as many unique experiences as possible? Is it better to stay at a hotel or find a home to rent that may be a better fit for a larger group?

Arriving at a decision together makes sure that everyone traveling will be on the same page regarding expectations.

Consider All Ages

What appeals to a 3-year-old may not appeal to a 6-year-old, and what appeals to a 6-year-old will pretty much never appeal to a 12-year-old.

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to travel destinations for children. Sure, all ages love the beach, but not all will love theme parks, museums, or historical sites.

This may take a bit of homework, but one goal may be finding one particular destination where there are multiple attractions to accommodate all ages in your travel party.

Be Flexible

There can certainly be expectations for a trip, but one needs to be expecting the unexpected. Nothing ever goes completely right on a vacation, especially if children are involved. Reservations are missed, attractions may close early, and the weather can make children antsy.

Having backup plans in mind will make things go smoothly even when facing travel obstacles.

Kimberly Anderberg

Don’t Focus on the Familiar

Children may crave consistency, but trips should be heavy on new experiences for children. Do something out of the ordinary when discovering a new place. Try something as simple as trying a new meal, or ethnic food.

Why spend a lot of time in tourist souvenir shops when a hike in a national park is calling?

Don’t Push It

Since traveling is so exciting (and hard for some adults to take the time off to do), it’s easy to want to do as much as possible on a vacation. That’s why it’s important to be realistic and not push the entire family.

If children are tired, take a break. The family will have a much better time at a certain attraction once everyone is rested and engaged.

If children say they don’t want to do something, ask them first what they would like to do otherwise, pulling from a list of places the family talked about checking out before hitting the road.

Remember that the overall goal is for travel to be a learning experience for children. But most of all it should be fun.

Best Headphones for Traveling

Kimberly Anderberg

Traveling abroad isn’t supposed to be stressful. But factoring in plane engine noise, overly chatty travel companions, cross-country train sounds, crying babies, and the obnoxiously loud guy talking on his phone three seats ahead, and that trip of a lifetime can quickly become a nightmare journey.

Enter travel headphones.

Kimberly Anderberg explains that the best headphones for traveling will cancel out the surrounding chaos and allow travelers to create a sanctuary of good tunes, engaging podcasts, and a bingefest of Netflix goodness.

Heads up, though: Not all travel headphones are created equal.

So here are 3 of the best headphones for traveling in 2022 (plus an extra set that’s perfect for your smallest travel companion).

A Quick Buying Guide for Travel Headphones

There are variations in build quality, sound quality, and features at every price point in the headphones market. Here are some considerations that every traveler should keep in mind:

  • Noise cancellation. Passive noise cancellation relies on the build of the headphones, whereas active noise cancellation (ANC) uses technology to produce soundwaves that neutralize the noise around you. Every set of headphones that makes this list uses ANC technology.
  • Battery life. Even the best headphones in the world couldn’t make this list if they couldn’t deliver a solid 20-30 hours of listening pleasure. A lower battery life is fine for the daily commute, but for travelers catching a long-haul flight or two, strong battery performance is key.
  • Durability. Quality ANC headphones with a solid battery life don’t come cheap—so they need to be built to last. Dropped in the airport, bumped in carry-on luggage, caught out in the elements—rugged build and quality materials matter.
  • Comfort. Travel headphones are going to be worn for hours, so they need to be comfortable. Soft ear cups, quality in-ear molds, and lightweight headpieces will all make long-trek listening a pleasure.
Kimberly Anderberg

The Best Travel Headphones to Buy Right Now

Bose QuietComfort 45

In a nutshell

Arguably the best headphones on the market in any category, the Bose QuietComfort series has been a top performer for years. Durable, rugged, lightweight, and with pristine sound quality, these over-the-ear headphones are a musical purist’s dream.

Top features…

  • Users can switch between Quiet mode—great for raucous flights and rowdy train trips—or Aware mode for quick commutes and footing it across town.
  • 24-hour high performance battery.
  • Quick charge feature that squeezes an extra 3 hours of use out of 15 minutes down-time.
  • Hard-shell case

Skullcandy Indy ANC Headphones

In a nutshell…

This offering from Skullcandy delivers the lightweight comfort of wireless earbuds and all the functionality of active noise cancellation.

Top features…

  • Wireless charging case and a whopping 30+ hours of battery life.
  • A built-in microphone for taking calls or communicating with Alexa and Siri on the go.
  • Superior comfort and ear-friendly bud design.
  • Tile app syncing makes it easy to hunt down a missing earbud fast.

Sony WH1000XM4

In a nutshell…

Sony’s WH100XM3s were an impressive feat in headphone engineering and sound quality, but the latest offering in over-ear performance blows them out of the water. Ultra-comfortable on even the longest flight, and 40mm drivers for superior sound in every application.

Top features…

  • A comfortable headpiece and plush, cushioned earcups
  • Sony’s proprietary Digital Sound Enhancement Engine for improved sound quality
  • Industry-leading Dual Noise Sensor tech filters in ambient noise via four microphones, runs it through a processor, and kills it dead in any environment.

Puro Sound Labs BT2200—One for the kids!

In a nutshell…

Excellent build quality, super-soft earcups, and a bunch of colors to choose from…and those aren’t even the Puro BT2200’s biggest selling points.

Top features…

  • Filters out up to 82% of ambient noise
  • Quality sound for music and children’s videos, while parents can rest easy knowing the BT2200s deliver only the World Health Organization’s volume range recommendation for kids (if curious minds want to know, that recommendation is up to 85db of sound).
  • 20 hours of battery life