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Guide Before Traveling Abroad For First Time

These days it seems like everybody else is traveling the world, and we’re stuck watching them through the screens of our smartphones and laptops. It seems so out of reach for most people. But this isn’t far out of reach at all; in fact, it is within your grasp. It is within a click!

Tip 1. Book the plane ticket first! Now some may disagree on this being the first step. There are planners who would prefer everything to be planned out, organized, date-by-date, on where to go first, second, and last. The problem with this for most people? Plan all you want, but that isn’t going to get you anywhere! Once the plane ticket is booked, there are no other options but to start planning.

One of the most important questions: what country/region do I want to start in? Certain countries are much cheaper to fly into than others, and public transportation is a pretty reasonable price. Don’t just go on an airline website and book the first ticket you find! Look at a map, browse all the different types of airlines and pricing. Third party websites and foreign airlines could split your ticket in half!

Tip 2. Planning! Sit down and make a list of what sites you want to see and what regions you’d like to visit. Pull out a map, and mark what route would be the most sensible. Don’t assume the first route you make is going to the route you stick with. Figure out how long you want to stay in what city. Give yourself a week or so to finalize your route. This should be a fun step, don’t stress too much.

A tip to planning: always account for travel time. Three days in a big city may seem like enough time to see every landmark on your list, but it may be an hour commute to every landmark! It’s also very exhausting to travel, so keep in mind you’ll want enough sleep to give yourself energy to walk around 30,000 steps a day.

Tip 3. Train tickets/long-trip bus tickets/lodging. Hostels and Airbnb’s are a great option for traveling on a budget. This can give you a bed for $18 dollar a night. It may be a turn off to sleep in a bunk bed with 9 other strangers in the same room, but most of those strangers are doing the same exact thing as you. Lock up your valuables in the safes or cages the hostel provides. It may cost money to rent safes, so make sure you do your research before booking. Also, bring your own lock/luggage lock. The hostel typically will charge you for renting theirs.

Make sure to figure out how far the lodging is from the destinations you want to see. It may be an hour and a half outside the city, but it also may be three times cheaper than the hostel located in the middle of the city. Decide what your priorities are: is it cheaper to buy a subway ticket rather than spend an extra $50 on a closer location, or do you want to spend the extra $50 and sleep in a little longer/not worry about long commutes? Also, Mega Bus and Flex Bus are both very cheap reliable bus services.

Step 4. Buy the right luggage. The most convenient type of luggage for an abroad trip is a travel backpack. These can range from $100-300$ on average. Make sure to do research before buying! There are several blogs and articles out there which explain the different types of hiking/traveling backpacks. Not all are made the same.

These are of course only a few tips to consider when traveling abroad, the key is to plan just the right amount. Don’t overdo the planning, but make sure you have a place to stay every night! Remember, just buy the ticket!

Behind The Reasons You Should Take a Daycation

A daycation is simply a day vacation. It’s a close cousin of the “staycation,” with the advantage that at just one day it requires very little planning. Is it sounding appealing yet?

But before you get too carried away, it’s worth pointing out the ironic twist in taking a daycation: in our fast-paced, whirlwind lives the thought of taking a day off can sometimes make us feel anxious.

But wait! That’s not what vacation is supposed to do!

Maybe we feel like there are too many people counting on us or that we may compromise our responsibilities. Maybe we feel guilty about taking a day off when everyone else has to show up for work.

If we can get past that, the appeal of a daycation is self-evident:

  • Small commitment
  • Minimal planning
  • Affordable or free

So let’s be honest: The only thing stopping us from taking a daycation is… you got it: US.

When you think about what might be stopping you from taking a day off, really think about what you feel you would jeopardize. Start by taking a little time to think about any feelings of guilt, fear or anxiety. You can even write them down to look at them objectively. Then ask yourself: “Realistically, will things really fall apart if I take a day off?”

And just in case you’re still not convinced, here are ten good reasons why you should consider taking a daycation before too long:

  1. Disruption fosters creativity. Shake up the routine!
  2. Taking a daycation means you are taking a stand for yourself.
  3. Creating space can invite clarity into a life situation.
  4. Determining how you will spend a full day puts you back in the driver’s seat of your life.
  5. If you are feeling over-extended, reclaiming a day for yourself is a generous act of self-kindness.
  6. Especially with hectic schedules, having a full day to spend as you see fit is like taking a big deep breath for 24 hours.
  7. You are almost sure to see/hear/experience you wouldn’t have in a “normal” day.
  8. Inviting someone you love to share a daycation with you can create a very special memory.
  9. You can absolutely “play hookie” from your life for a day and remain a responsible adult.
  10. There will never, ever be a day exactly like this again.

Do some reasons resonate more than others? In today’s culture of always wanting to do more, you shouldn’t be surprised if more than one of these reasons rings true for you.

So… what are you doing tomorrow?

Staycation is the new vacation

With gas $4.09 here in our small town we will most likely not go anywhere on husband’s vacation. Which, gas will probably even more at that time anyway. So we are trying to come up with some Staycation ideas. These ideas are some that we have come up for ourselves to do this summer. You can come up with your own on things that you know your town has to offer.

Go “Camping” in your backyard. Set up the tent and have fun. Little kids really like this.

Go to a local pond and feed the ducks. Fish if you can. We have a local pond that is about 3 miles from our house and you can also fish there.

Take kids to the park – our park is within walking distance, so that could be something that we could do and the ice cream truck will be driving by there too soon.

Find out what the library will be doing for the kids this summer. Ours has reading programs for prizes and in the summer they have a movie night every Friday night after they close. Pretty fun and free.

There is a local Church in our town that also has movie nights in the summer. They always show great kid’s movies. and it is free.

Take kids to the local farmer’s market. Let them pick out the veggies they want to munch on.

County fairs are always fun. Check to see if there are any local flea markets too.

Go to a local pool.

Go play basketball or tennis at the local park.

Teach your kids how to sew, bake, cook, wood working, and more.

Have a family board game night.

Have a video game night. We love playing Wii bowling and that is something that the whole family loves to do.

This summer we are wanting to take one day and go to the local Apple Orchard. It is about 10 miles round trip from us, so not too bad. They have strawberry picking, hay rides, petting zoo, a park for the kids, and a restaurant.

Have a yard sale.

Fly a kite. Our house is on a hill and always seems windy enough to fly a kite. Maybe let little one make his own kite and then fly it.

You get the idea. When you start thinking of local things to do for a family staycation you will be surprised at how many things you can up with. Save money and stay close to home.

How To Packing Correctly

You’ve prepared for money problems, health problems, and any other life problems you can think of, but now you’re sitting in the middle of your new living room surrounded by boxes and you don’t know where to start. Relocating can be stressful, and when all is said and done, you don’t want to have to worry about finding an outfit to wear the next day because you don’t know where anything is. I provide you with some good tips and advice to give you a boost!

First, it is important to decide what you need to bring. Moving is an opportunity to sort through some f the clutter you have accumulated. I recommend a three-pronged approach: Give, Throw, Pack. Sort your items based on what you can/should give away, throw away, and pack up for you new life. Not everything has to be saved and you can often capture the memories of the item without having to keep it by taking a picture of it. Photos, especially digital, take up a lot less room than your favorite sweater from college that you will never wear again; there may be someone out there who could really use that sweater and by giving it away, you are giving it new life. If you have kids, try to work with them on this same process. They may not need every toy they have and not every adorable outfit that they’ve ever worn to be kept.

Now that everything is sorted, manage your time well so that you don’t end up packing half of your stuff in random boxes just to get it done; a box labeled miscellaneous never helped anyone. Give yourself a time limit for packing a box then double it. Set aside a certain amount of time each day for packing and make it your priority. Don’t check your email, phone, and delegate to ensure no other distractions pop up. Figure out how many boxes you can pack in that allocated amount of time, then plan the number of days it will take to accomplish packing all your belongings. Also, make a list of the things you cannot live without during this process and make sure to pack those items last; do the same for any other family members that may be a part of the move.

If your relocation is not permanent and you won’t be taking all of your belongs with you or you know you won’t have access to all of your belongings until a few days or weeks into the move, it is important to know what to pack so you don’t end up having to buy everything you need, wasting time and money. Recently, I spoke with an attendant on a private jet about what she brings with her for each short-term relocation. This information is valuable to anyone travelling by plane and can be applied to numerous relocation scenarios. Bring only three bags, your Carry-on, your personal luggage, and your checked item.

The carry-on should contain all the things necessary to your day-to-day life: three to seven days’ worth of medication, valuables, important documents, one clean out fit (or at the very least, clean socks and underwear), two to four meals worth of non-perishable food items, any electronic devices, and chargers and universal adapters needed for your electronics. If you carry a purse, try to pack it into your carry-on or reorganize your purse so it can be your carry-on.

Your personal luggage should include the important yet non critical items that will last you for a couple weeks such as your clothes, toiletries, shoes, grooming appliances, concentrated laundry detergent, a traveler’s laundry line and ten pegs (you may not have access to a washer and dryer), an any other item that will fit within the size limit you deem necessary.

The final bag is not mandatory (especially if you don’t want to pay to check something), but it can make the difference between the type of experience you have those first few days in the new location. The checked bag should include items that will help you feel more at home in your new place. You can pack a set of linens, your favorite cereal bowl, or some books and games, anything that will help you feel like you are not too far from your home.

If you pack wisely you will be able to enjoy getting settled into your new place and won’t have to deal with the unwanted stress of putting your home together. So pack smart and enjoy the rewards!