Posts Tagged With: Travel Tips

Hunting for Shark Teeth!

The weather has been beautiful this month – 80 degrees, sunny – and is perfect for outdoor adventures  and explorations. One of our New Year’s resolutions was to have more adventures and an item on our adventure to-do list was to hunt for shark teeth. Yesterday, September and I jumped in the car and road-tripped down to Venice, Florida to get our hunt on. Just 50 minutes south of St. Petersburg is Caspersen Beach, located in Venice – Shark Tooth Capital of the World!


I had done some research online and Caspersen was said to be the best beach for finding loads of prehistoric fossilized shark teeth. Forgetting that this is Florida’s “snow bird” season, we were not the only ones on the prowl for buried treasure. The beach was full of grannies and grandpas hunting in the water and in the sand for teeth. Not even kidding, we were probably the only people there who were under 65! While I had read that the best way to find teeth is to use a “Florida Shovel” aka a wire basket on a stick on it (retailing for nearly $30!), September thought we could do just fine with our dollar store pasta strainer.

September looking for shark teeth with our strainer. Ha!

September looking for shark teeth with our strainer. Ha!

I was very reluctant at first and afraid of looking like a rookie but the more crowded the beach was, the more makeshift devices we saw! While I had read that the teeth are usually found along the water’s edge, Sep overheard a man explaining that the teeth are everywhere – in the water AND in the sand. Once you realize what you’re looking for, the teeth can be found in the sand right under your beach chair!

Sep dug around in the sand like an archeologist on a mission!

Sep dug around in the sand like an archeologist on a mission!

Apparently, the teeth on the beach are fossils some thousands (millions, maybe?) years old. They range in size and while we only found small teeth, we spoke to a woman who combed the water and found one tooth that was nearly 2 inches!

Our loot

Our loot

Next time, we’ll come prepared with a heavy duty sifter and search the water for larger teeth. Hopefully the water won’t be as cold for September!

September doesn't like to go in the water until it's in the 80's (at least!).

September doesn’t like to go in the water until it’s in the 80’s (at least!).

Growing up in Michigan, I used to swim in the Lake when it was in the 60’s – so the cooler Gulf temperatures don’t really bother me. I climbed the rocks and waded in the water collecting and sifting through sand.

A rock covered in soft, fluffy seaweed. It felt like carpet!

A rock covered in soft, fluffy seaweed. It felt like carpet!

You can’t beat a warm January in Florida and we thing winter is a great time to be a tourist in our own state. We’re excited to go back to Caspersen Beach and find more shark teeth. Who knows? Maybe they’ll make their way onto some Top Knotch Gear paracord survival bracelets!




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Travel Tip Tuesday!

Today’s travel tip: Use a water bottle as a snack container – saves space, stays fresh, and is great when you have dirty hands!

Most of us outdoor junkies have more than one water bottle, so just use one for snacks on your next adventure!

Most of us outdoor junkies have more than one water bottle, so just use one for snacks on your next adventure!

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Travel Tip Tuesday

Tip 1: Don’t want to carry your purse when you go out? Use a binder clip as a key ring/money holder. You can clip it directly to your money belt for safekeeping and not have to worry about toting around your purse or bag while you explore.

Tip 2: Use a plastic soap container as a camera case! Most containers are waterproof (or water resistant at the very least) and are just the right size for a digital camera.

Tip 3: One of the best parts of traveling is eating. If you go out to eat or hang out at a bar that has cardboard coasters, consider snagging a few – they make very original, super crafty gift tags… especially for beer drinkers!

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10 Places to See Before They’re Gone

I found this infographic on Pinterest yesterday – 10 places to see before they’re gone. Most of the natural sites are either sinking or being destroyed by human activity but other places, like the Taj Mahal, may be soon closed to the public in an effort to save the architecture. Will you get to see any of these places before they’re gone??


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Travel Tip Tuesday




Happy camping tips, courtesy of REI.

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Travel Tip Tuesday

Today’s travel tip: How to make postcard travel art!

I love postcards. September might even say that I am obsessed with postcards. I love sending postcards, receiving postcards, and collecting postcards that catch my eye. I was at a store about 6 months after we moved to Florida and purchased 15+ postcards to send to my family. The cashier looked at me like I was slightly insane and asked where I was from (she thought I was a tourist because I was snatching up so many of the colorful cards.) While I was too embarrassed to tell her that I had been living in the area for half a year, I fibbed and said I had just moved a few days ago….. then I B-lined out of the store.

So it was no surprise that while on our recent road trip, September found me at the gift shops at the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park, eyeing the racks of….POSTCARDS!  This time, though, we had a new approach. We decided to get a stack of touristy cards for our friends and family (which we still have yet to send to them) and for us, we picked 3 vintage cards to use as wall art!

Use postcards as wall art!

Post cards are inexpensive, small (so they’re easy to pack) and a great way to commemorate a trip. We already had the frame – it was just sitting vacant collecting dust. Now, we have a fun piece of art that will always remind us of our road trip through the southwest. This whole project cost less than $1!

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Travel Tip Tuesday!


Need some inspiration for your next adventure? Try following this Hollywood hunk’s footsteps from South America to the Middle East and visit some of the sites from the films! Check out what Gadling writes about these adventure-packed destinations: Peru, Nepal, Egypt, China, India, and Jordan. Don’t forget your passport!

Categories: Adventure, Africa, Around the World, Asia, Backpacking, Celebrities, Europe, Hiking, Nature, Nepal, Outdoors, RTW, South America, Top Knotch Gear, Travel, Travel Tips, World Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Tip Tuesday!

We’re back! After a brief hiatus to handle a family emergency, we’re back in Florida.

This week’s Travel Tip Tuesday is all about how to save money WHILE TRAVELING. So you’ve already hit the road, you’re on an adventure and you want to be sure you stay within your budget. The tips below will help effectively budget your money and not go broke while traveling.

How to save money while traveling:

Forego fancy restaurants – Utilize the local markets and vendors to make your own food or eat the street food (which is MUCH cheaper than restaurants, usually). That being said, you’ll want to navigate street foods carefully and have anti-diarrhea pills handy.

Save the souvenirs – My first trip to China, I bought 3 tea sets (I’m an impulse buyer) without factoring in that China was only the first stop on my itinerary. The lesson: Buy souvenirs and ship them home or stick to smaller items that you can easily put it your pack and carry with you (jewelry, magnets, etc.)

Tipping – An easy way to save money while you’re traveling is researching local customs to see if tipping is necessary. In the U.S., we tip for everything but in some cities in China, it’s rude to tip. Do the research and you may be able to save a chunk of change.

Taxi Troubles – If you can get around without using a taxi, do it. If you can’t, try to negotiate the fare before getting in. (If you’re a woman, fight hard. There are many countries that will try to take advantage of you if you’re a foreign woman).

Exchanging Money – Exchange money for the currency you want BEFORE you get to that country. Don’t exchange at the airport and if you use a kiosk, don’t forget there are fees. I like to use ATM’s… but watch out… there are international and bank fees that apply to ATM’s, too.

Tours and Tickets – This is my weakness. It’s so tempting to book every boat charter, snorkeling trip, zip line and caving tour out there but these activities will drain your bank. Set a budget and stick to it. Or investigate what the tours do (where they go, how they get there, what’s included) and do some of the same activities on your own.

For more tips and tricks to saving money while overseas, check out AirTreks Travel Blog.

Categories: Adventure, Alcohol, Around the World, Asia, Asian Food, Australia, Backpacking, Bracelet, Camping, Caving, China, Circumnavigation, Climbing, Europe, Explore, Extreme Vacation/Adventures, Food, Fresh Food, Gear, Globetrotting, Hiking, Jewelry, Nature, Packing, Planning vacation, RTW, Seafood, South America, Top Knotch Gear, Tourist Site, Trails, Transportation, Travel, Travel Tips, Trek, Trip planning, Vegetarian, World Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Tip Tuesday

It’s Travel Tip Tuesday again! This week: DIY Travel Medical Kit

Super easy to make yourself!

Whether you’re traveling around the states (or your home country) or around the world, it’s a good idea to pack a medical kit. You can buy them pre-made from travel or outdoor stores but they’re also very easy to make yourself. (Hence the DIY part.) Here’s what we recommend including in your kit:

  • Advil/Ibuprofen – for pain, inflammation, and fever
  • Pseudoephedrine – nasal decongestant for sinus issues, ear popping or runny nose
  • Pepto Bismol tablets – for upset stomach and indigestion
  • Imodium tablets – for travelers diarrhea (A MUST-HAVE or you will regret it. Big time.)
  • Bug spray wipes with DEET (definitely want these if you’re in an area with malaria)
  • Antiseptic wipes – because soap and clean water aren’t always available when you need them
  • Antibiotic ointment – see above
  • Blister treatment – You can substitute Band-Aids but you might want actual Moleskin, especially if you’re doing a lot of hiking or walking
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Electrolyte packets (or something to replenish nutrients due to vomiting/diarrhea)

Optional additions:

  • Band-Aids – you can usually find these in any sort of convenient store abroad
  • Gauze & waterproof tape – more difficult to find abroad but they can take up space in your kit
  • Tweezers – for splinters; I’ve never needed them but some travel sites recommend having them in your kit
  • Thermometer – there are pretty obvious signs of fever but if you prefer to read the numbers, then pack this
  • Icy Hot – a topical cream used to relieve muscle aches – you can substitute a hot shower or jacuzzi if available
  • Safety pins – for repairing torn clothes or making a sling

Depending on who you talk to or what you read, the list with vary. Do your research before you travel to see what the health risks are in the country you’re visiting and plan accordingly. See what you can buy at your destination so you can save space in your pack. And most importantly, make sure your medicine kit is in a WATERPROOF BAG. 

Happy packing!

Categories: Adventure, Backpacking, DIY, Gear, Packing, Top Knotch Gear, Travel Tips, Trip planning | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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