Thursday, 24 September 2015

Traveling & Travel Life Hacks!

Hello everyone! Today's post is going to be about traveling essentials and life hacks for a fun trip, no matter if you're going by plane or car! I've recently come back from Belgium myself, so I figured this might be a good time to post another travel update. Keep in mind that everything is just a suggestion and you can add or change whatever you like. 

Disclaimer: All text and opinions are my own but none of the photos are mine.

Traveling Basics 
1.  Roll your clothes instead of packing.
You'll make the most out of the space you have and be able to fit in other necessities. Plus, it's great for when you return with new things that you might have bought. 

2. . Make sure you have what you need. 
Nothing more, nothing less. Do your research about the weather, check that you have important
documents such as a passport/visa and travel letters if you're a minor. Double check before you leave for your journey - you don't want to get to your destination and realize you've forgotten something important. 

3.  Make copies of important documents
Scan passports, IDs and your itinerary. This will be very useful in case you lose them or 
in case of theft.  Backups are important, even during the times when you don't think so.

4. Don't spend all of your money on an expensive place
This is a great tip to learn as soon as possible. While expensive places are great to stay at, wouldn't it be much nicer spending your money on gifts, souvenirs and experiences than living in a five star hotel but not having enough money to truly experience the location you're staying at?
Websites like AirBnB  provide homes and locations to stay at which you can rent out. 
Speaking from experience, they're more affordable and usually nicer than hotels.

5. Call your credit card/debit card company before you leave
Let them know the places where you'll be staying at so that they don't suspect suspicious activity in a foreign location. 

Follow the local's lead
They usually know the best places to go. Remember that what is advertised in the place you're going to is done so by people who are experts in tourism. Think of the saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans" and you'll find yourself saving money, seeing beautiful things that weren't in brochures and eating amazing foods that don't burn your wallet and yet still fill up your plate.

Skincare Essentials
1. Eye cream. 
If you aren't using an eye cream, now may be a good time to start. Eye creams prevent under eye circles  and premature wrinkles. Normal body cream isn't enough as eye cream is specially formulated for the thin skin around your eyes. Just a little extra TLC.
My recommendation: Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream

2. Water
To stay hydrated of course! I can't stress this enough as you're constantly moving and using energy. 
My recommendation: This gorgeous water bottle is this one from Nike which tells you how much water you have left to drink for the day. This is the one that I have, but they are available in other colours!

3. Body Lotion/Body Butter
To keep your body moisturized. Extra points if your lotion contains coconut oil, aloe vera or shea butter! 
My recommendation: The Vaseline Cocoa Body Butter.

It doesn't matter where you're going or what you're doing, you better have sun screen with you at all times to protect your skin from harsh uv  rays. 
My recommendation: Nivea Moisturizing Sun Screen

Life Hacks for Traveling by Plane
Mark your luggage as 'fragile' if you're traveling by plane.
This ensures that all of your things are handled carefully and that when you open your luggage, everything will still be in one piece.

Bring your own water bottle
It's super important to stay hydrated during flights and when you're traveling in general. Sometimes airlines make you pay for water but often you get free bottles during your flight. Take your water bottle and fill it up each time so you always have enough water with you. 

Bring a pen with you
This will be useful when filling in custom's forms as flight attendants often don't have them.

Go to the bathroom twenty minutes before the plane is expected to land.
It'll save you from having to wait in long lines in the airport.

Use ATMs to get the local currency
The cash converters often come with their own fees and often take more of your money than what is necessary. You pay more for the money that you want by giving up most of the money that you have.

Locate a shopping mall / local grocery store when you arrive
This is great because you can stock up on basics like water, bread and snacks asap. Buying local is often a lot cheaper. 

Life Hacks for Traveling by Car/Road Trips

Make a playlist 
Got to have some killer tunes to jam to in between naps, traffic and the sound of your family or friends getting annoyed at your song choices. 

Bring food with you 
I'm talking snacks. If you can, bring a car cooler with you to keep items such as drinks or fruit. You will get hungry and you will be tempted to stop along the way, but that can only make your journey longer. However, it's always good to stop for a quick coffee break!

Take breaks, but make sure they're not too long.
Ten minutes max. Make sure to get what you need, like water, coffee or so. Take a bathroom break and stretch your legs to get your blood circulating.

Bring earphones, a book and a portable phone charger.
If you have a charging phone case, even better. You will get bored and when the playlist starts to repeat itself, at least you can occupy yourself. If you're one of those people who can't read in a car, perhaps get a motion sickness bracelet. I know places like Walmart and Amazon sell them.

Bring a large plastic bag with you for rubbish
So you avoid having to clean the whole car when you arrive.

Pack pillows and blankets
Depending on how long your journey is, you may wanna get comfortable!
Small blankets or comforters are always a good idea because you may get cold throughout the drive. 

Take a screenshot of directions from your Google Maps (if you don't have a GPS) while you still have wifi connection.
This will definitely come in handy.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Until next time, 

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