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Travel Hacks

Here are some things I’ve learned over the years (some, the hard way). Forgetting these travel hacks may not BREAK your trip, but will definitely make things run a lot more smoothly.

airplane
in Travel, Travel Hacks

5 Tips to Make Your Long Haul Flight More Bearable

Traveling to a new far off land for vacation (or for work) is always exciting, until you get to the airport. The lines, the cramped airplane seat, and the long flight can make for quite a miserable time! But I’ve put together a few tips to hopefully make your trip (and accompanying long haul flight) a little better.

Book an early flight

Not only are early morning flights less likely to be delayed, but they also tend to be quieter, as most people haven’t quite woken up yet. And if you’re like me, who doesn’t tend to get much sleep the night before a flight (missed flight anxiety is real), you’ll start your flight off with some much needed sleep. That’s 2-3 hours of your flight passed, right there!

Eat Before Your Flight

Although most long haul flights do serve meals, there generally is a delay and depending on the size of your plane and where you’re seated, it could potentially be a while before you get to eat. Bring snacks or order some food to eat at the gate before you board, and you won’t have to start your long day off hangry and waiting on airplane food.


Sleep!

Listen. Its all fine and good if you’re the type of person who is actually productive on flights. If you have school work, or work work to do, then by all means, get it done! But with that said, Sleep is always one of the best ways to pass the time. Invest in a good travel pillow, one that isn’t too rigid and can be manipulated to fit whichever seat you’re crammed into.

Get Up!

Not only is remaining seated for your whole flight super boring, but it can be detrimental to your health. Sitting still for extended periods of time can affect your blood circulation, which can lead to blood clots. You should get up to stretch or at least move around a little bit to boost circulation and prevent stiff muscles.

Watch Movies/Read a Book

Of course this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the in-flight entertainment that most airlines provide. Lots of airlines provide an extensive selection of movies, TV shows, games and music for you to enjoy during your flight. I don’t know about you, but I often end up catching up on movies and shows that I’ve been meaning to watch forever.

in Travel, Travel Hacks

Traveling Alone: Tips For Solo Travel

Solo travel, while gaining popularity, is still a mode of travel that a lot of people are not comfortable with.  Most people worry about feeling lonely or unsafe.  But those who do it regularly know that traveling alone can be the ultimate experience to be able to enjoy a new (or repeat) destination without dealing with the tastes, schedules or budget of other people.  You get to indulge as much or as little as you’d like.  And your mistakes are all your own; you don’t have to worry about disappointing your travel companion if one of your ideas does not go as planned.  With that said, there are some things that solo travelers should keep in mind before and during their trip.

Let Someone Know Where You’re Going

My husband after a solo trek to the top of Mt. Fuji

I know it can be super exciting to just pick up and go, but its always a good idea to let at least one person know where you’re going and how to contact you before you leave.  This should be someone you speak to regularly, and would notice right away if they haven’t heard from you since you were supposed to be back home.  If you purchased travel insurance, make sure you forward this person a copy of your policy, and send them your travel itinerary if one is available.

Make Friends With A Local

There are tons of websites out there with lists of must-dos, but you’ll almost always get the most authentic experience when you’re actually hanging out with a person that lives in the area.  This is where your gut instincts will come in.  I’m not suggesting you go out an announce that you’re looking for new friends.  In fact, I recommend that you keep the fact that you’re traveling alone to yourself until you meet someone that doesn’t set off your spidey sense, and who you actually think you’d enjoy hanging with.

I’ve made friends that are still my friends to this day, just by being open to meeting new people.  Sit at the bar when you go out to eat, instead of getting a table for one.  You’re much more likely to be approached by other people who may be alone at the bar, or even the bartender and service staff.  Hotel and restaurant staff are often the most friendly and resourceful people you’ll meet.  If you go on any excursions, use this shared adventure as an opportunity to spark conversation with others.  You never know where it’ll go!

Leave Breadcrumbs

If and when you do decide to hang out with someone new, let someone know where you’re going and who you’re going with.  Take a selfie with your new friend and send it to someone at home.  Mention to the front desk staff at your hotel that you’re going out for drinks with a new friend.  And always carry some form of identification on you, even if its just your drivers license.

Try Avoiding Single Supplements

One downside to traveling solo is that many hotels, cruises and tour operators will charge you extra to make up for the fact that they are not profiting off an extra person in the room with you.  One way around this is by booking with a tour operator that caters to single travelers and will match you with a roommate, such as G Adventures and Intrepid Travel. By matching you with a roommate, they maximize their own profit off each room and save you the single supplement. The catch is, of course, that you’ll have to share a room with a stranger.

I also recommend staying in an Airbnb, which for the most part will just charge you per room, instead of per person.  Others have recommended staying in a hostel.  I’ve heard it is a great option, but it is not something I’ve actually done myself, so I won’t push that too hard.

Do any of you like to travel alone?  Where are some of your favorite destinations to go on a solo trip?  Post it in the comments!

Related Posts:

Here’s Why You Should Consider Solo Travel

5 Reasons You Should Purchase Travel Insurance

5 Things You Should Know When Using Airbnb

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Cruisin’: Prepping for your Carnival Cruise

Cruises are a fun and convenient way to book a quick getaway or group trip.  There are tons of options, from a long luxury cruise, to a cheap weekend getaway.  Food is generally included, and there are tons of options for entertainment, so there will never be a dull moment!  I’m gearing up to go on a Carnival Cruise to celebrate my friend’s birthday soon, and the process for booking and boarding a cruise is a lot different from booking a flight and hotel; here are a few things to keep in mind when booking your cruise.

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airbnb
in Travel, Travel Hacks, Traveling on a Budget

5 Things You Should Know When Using Airbnb

I love Airbnb.  It has something for everyone’s travel style and budget.  You can book a luxury villa for a group of friends, a studio apartment for you and your significant other, or a room in someone’s house.  You’re essentially renting from another person instead of a business or hotel chain, so there are a lot of other factors you have to consider that may keep people who are on the fence from taking the plunge.  Airbnb has policies in place to protect both hosts and guests, but here are a few things you may not know that can make your search (and your stay) a little easier.

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Keep Travel Budget Low
in Accruing Miles, Travel, Travel Hacks, Traveling on a Budget

5 Ways To Travel On A Budget

Of all the reasons people have given me for why they feel like they can’t travel, cost is almost always the top reason.  Yes, travel costs can indeed be super expensive — if you don’t put in the effort up front.  However, if you implement some good spending habits and do some research ahead of time, you can definitely cut a significant amount off of your total travel costs, and stay within your budget.

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