Packing for an Alaskan Cruise

Travel doesn’t become an adventure until you leave yourself behind!

Taken 15 years ago – and I was 7 1/2 months pregnant 🙂

I may be a fan of sunshine, but I am also a big fan of travel, especially with friends when FUN is involved. So, Brandon and I are embarking on a cruise (no kids) and we are looking forward to amazing adventures.

So what do you do on an Alaskan Cruise?

How do you pack for the weather and know what to wear?

Well, we actually did a cruise similar to this almost 15 years ago when I was pregnant with my 3rd son, Jack. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t my favorite and I got a little sick (I am hoping that it was because I was almost 8 months pregnant at the time), but it obviously didn’t put me off too much because we’re doing it again 🙂

It helps that we are traveling with a large group of friends and will be entertained most the time, but just in case, we are packing the acupressure sea sickness bands. I have used these on Caribbean cruises I have been on and a Greek Island cruise I have been on and whether they work or it’s a placebo, all I can tell you is that I didn’t get sick AT ALL…
If you’ve never tried them and you have a cruise coming up, I would highly recommend. You can shop them by clicking here (because these ones are super cool and gold and let’s be honest, it’s important to look good too) or find them at any pharmacy!

Planning and packing for a cruise is hard enough, let alone one where you never really know what the weather will be like…so here are some of my top packing items, and for everything else, I will be packing layers, a raincoat, workout clothes (I definitely like to exercise with all the food I know I’ll be eating), and some casual capsule pieces that I can mix and match with.

Of course, this is only a fraction of what I will be traveling with, but I do like to have a few new pieces whenever I go on vacation, paired with things I already own.

Like I mentioned, layers are a must and a raincoat – especially on the days when we go on excursions including Whale Watching, a train ride to a nature reserve and of course when we explore the city of Victoria, BC. Our cruise is Royal Caribbean – you can see what Alaskan cruise options they have by clicking here. If you’re interested in other places to cruise, we have also cruise the Caribbean with them and it was amazing. We found it was so much more fun for the kids (we hardly saw them at all) with all the on board activities.

I have always believed in looking good no matter what you’re doing so I always plan my outfits ahead of time (even if I don’t pack until the night before). I will admit that the hardest thing for me is restricting the number of shoes I take – because I like to have plenty of choices. With my clothes, I am able to pack pieces that can be worn in different ways to create entirely new looks, and I have linked some of my favorite, versatile pieces below, along with some layers and raincoats that I am taking 🙂

Just click the pictures below to shop – or click the links above to check out my packing list

Life is an Adventure

She was powerful, not because she wasn’t scared, but because she went on strongly despite the fear!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while or you know me personally you’ll know that I am not what you might call a “shrinking violet”. I am not someone that accepts things as they are, I am always questioning, always looking to improve and always making amazing new connections.

To me this life is to be filled with amazing memories, amazing people and fear…the kind that forces you to push your way through it to become a stronger, more confident and happy individual.

You may or may not know that I am deathly afraid of heights, but I also LOVE zip lining. I know, I know, it’s a contradiction…so what do I do? Well, what I have realized is that in order for me to do what I love, I have to push through a fear that has been with me for my whole life. It is a fear that is deep rooted, and I am not sure I can even tell you where it came from or when I first started feeling that way. All I know is that when I am up high, I start to feel clammy, my breathing changes and I freak out if my kids go too near the edge.

I first tried zip lining 10 years ago, and fell in love with it then. I’m not sure if I even thought about what I was going to have to do, all I know is that once I was up there, flying down the line with the breeze hitting my face, it was too late to turn back.

So why am I telling you this…well, the point really is this: We all have fears, we all have things that hold us back in life, but we don’t have to let those fears take hold. I set aside my fear of heights so I could do something that meant more to me than the fear that might cause me to not do it could.

Here’s where I think breaking through that fear worked for me…I wanted to try something new, I had a bunch of people with me that were doing it (including little kids), and here’s the clincher, I didn’t let my brain tell me not to do it. Have you ever noticed that when you want to do something that might be scary or dangerous, you get thoughts about all the crazy things that MIGHT happen if you do it? You get thoughts of how everything could go wrong – in fact you can even start to visualize it all. Here’s the think – our brain (or mind as some think of it) is trying to protect us – to keep us safe and cozy in our comfort zone. Our comfort zone is the thing that completely stops us from growing and being who we are destined to be.

It’s not that I think by zip lining I am now going to be this amazing adventure athlete, but what it represented to me was that I can control what my mind thinks. I can decide if I do or do not do something. ME – I am the one in control…

It actually fuels my fire. It drives me to want to be better. To do something every day that scares me…so that when the big things come along, they don’t actually feel that big.

What do you say? Are you with me?

How Travel Revives my Soul

The best journeys answer the questions that in the beginning you didn’t even think to ask…

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved to travel…my favorite memories from my childhood are from the times we would travel as a family. I certainly don’t remember what I got for Christmas when I was 12 or 13, but I do remember the places we traveled that year, the things we did and how it made me feel. My brothers and I didn’t always get along, in fact we fought quite often, but the memories and times we spent together were still amazing. That I one thing I will always feel grateful to my parents for – they knew it was important to travel together! As a kid my absolute favorite place that we went to was Majorca (one of the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain) – my Dad’s company owned a Villa there and we would go and spend 3 weeks the summer there!

When our kids were very young Brandon and I decided that we wanted to create similar amazing memories for our kids, so we always made sure that we took at least one memorable trip each year with the kids. We have traveled many places with them, including road trips, long flights and of course we had to do the Theme parks both in Florida and California. The face that I have all boys meant that of all the theme parks, they loved Universal in Florida which also has Islands of Adventure.

Now they are a little older, we find things on the agenda such as: cliff jumping, kayaking, river rafting, snorkeling & swimming with Manta Rays, hiking down to sea caves filled with sleeping turtles (the hiking part is a little more for Brandon and I but they go along with it), zip lining, trying new cuisines, boogie boarding, surfing, paddle boarding, and many, many more things. The thing that I love about traveling with my boys is that they will pretty much be open to any new adventure and give it a try. It makes the trip so much more fun when new things are tried and places seen!

For spring break this year we booked our trip to Hawaii and decided to explore 2 islands: Kauai first then the Big Island. If you don’t know anything about the islands, Kauai is filled with Roosters that crow at dawn every morning…it may take a couple of days to get used to it, but it’s worth it! Brandon and I have been to Kauai a couple of times but always stayed on the dry side (Poipou), the kids have never been here. This time we are staying up on the wet side, Princeville. It is beautiful and tropical, and of course rains almost every day (at least for a little while). I have this love/hate relationship with rain but I can honestly say that I don’t hate it here…how could anything ruin the fact that we’re in paradise?!

It is also really important to Brandon and I to take time and travel without the kids to make sure we are nurturing our relationship, because there would be nothing worse than waking up one day when the kids are older and realizing that we have nothing in common. We take at least one trip (aside from our business trips) a year to somewhere new and exciting and explore together, here are some places we have been without the kids: Greek island cruise, Rome, Milan & Venice, Costa Rica, Norway & Scotland, Kauai, Maui, Playa Del Carmen, we are taking an Alaskan Cruise in June and next year we have a European trip planned with some friends – including a Danube River Cruise.

I will definitely admit that if I don’t travel I start to feel a little twitchy, even if it means we take a road trip down to California or North to Seattle area… Travel is something that makes me feel whole, it fulfills the part of me that always needs to experience something new, the part of me that is a little bit of a nomad.

Do you have a favorite place to travel? I would love to know, because I’m always looking for new places to go…

Snow – a Love Hate Relationship

When it snows you have two choices…shovel or make snow angels!

The beauty is all around us, the serenity, the wonder, the bleakness. Sitting in a cabin looking out over a gorgeous valley of rolling hills, mountains and farms and watching my kids sled and ski down the hill. It is a beauty that I can’t deny but for me that’s much easier to say when I am sitting inside the cabin by a cozy fire rather than being outside.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with snow – I can’t deny the fact that there is true beauty but I am also not a fan of how cold it can be.

When I came over and went to the U.S. I had never skied before, so for one of my classes I took skiing at Grand Targhee ski resort. My roommate and I were actually featured in the local newspaper and they named us the “snow angels” because on a snow/powder day we went up there and they captured our pictures with snowflakes in our hair and on our eyelashes…I guess they thought we looked cute.

I did actually love the experience of skiing but as the years have progressed, as I’ve been unable to ski due to being pregnant or having young kids, the fun just seems to have gone away. That’s not to say I won’t ever get it back, but for now the feeling that I don’t want to pay to be cold is kind of where I’m at. I love being with my family, and I have promised the boys that I will go at least once this year, but that’s probably all I can muster.

Many, many years from my college days, but not too many miles away from Grand Targhee resort we are in Star Valley, hibernating in the cold and enjoying family time playing games.

I did spend a little time outside today, but only a little. I sledded with my youngest, Reiken, and actually had fun. I found that I liked sledding in the inner tube kind of sled much more because those kind of sleds don’t hurt when you go over bumps…am I really turning into the fun sponge my kids say I am? I think not – at one time a few years ago I would have been content not going outside at all…

As I think about these winter months stretched ahead of I’m not going to deny that a lot of the time I will be wishing for warmer days, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find some fun in the winter as well. My winter goals for this year are about finding things to do with my family that don’t have to involve just being inside, but that also involve some outdoor and chilly activities. Let’s see how this goes…

Live Life and Explore

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams!”

If you know anything about me, you will know that I love to travel, explore and spend time with those I love.

I am writing today’s blog post from a hotel in the Sognesfjord in Norway after spending 2 days in Bergen and a short time in London.  I planned a surprise birthday trip for Brandon to visit the Fjords, explore Viking country and then bounce over to the Highlands of Scotland.  He has always been so romantic and always planned amazing surprises for me throughout our almost 18 years of marriage, so I figured it was time for me to do something for him!  He has always been fascinated with Norway, the beautiful landscapes, the weather and of course the fjords.  I can honestly tell you that to this point there is not one thing that has disappointed us.

 

After landing in London and rushing into the city to spend a hot and sunny day eating fish and chips, walking through some shopping areas (including Harrods of course), and Carnaby street.   It has been around 14 years since I have been to London so I really enjoyed speaking a little more English than usual 😉

 

 

We then took an evening flight to Bergen to explore that city.  We visited a Viking Castle, took a funicular to the top of the mountain and enjoyed amazing views after walking through some lovely lush forest.  The Bryggen along the dock, which are the brightly painted buildings that Bergen is famous for, were the perfect backdrop for a couple of the pictures I have already posted.

 

 

Then it was a 4 hour cruise up the Sognesfjord to a little town (I guess you could call it a town, although there was very little to do) called Leikanger.  We spent time riding bikes, visited a church and graveyard, and then on to a Viking obelisk monument.   Of course what do you do when you are in a fjord and you are with your husband, you take a picture of him jumping into the freezing cold glacier water.  I guess he’ll have no regrets about saying he actually swam in a fjord – as for me, I think I’m better as a photographer – teehee!

We will set sail again tomorrow to a town called Flam that is a little more populated, and we will stay another night there. So many more adventures and pictures to come…stay tuned!!

 

 

Recharge and Have Fun

“I have found that if you love life, life will love you right back!”

I honestly thought that when my kids were little was so challenging, but as they grow older, what i’m finding is that I spend so much more energy now running kids all over the place, worrying about what they’re doing – because I just seem to have so much less control.

Working full time, writing a blog, managing my family relationships, client relationships and friendships all require energy as well, and while I wouldn’t change any of it…I do sometimes need to recharge.  My idea of recharging may not be the same as yours – I kind of like spending a weekend just shopping, walking, exploring and eating – to me, that’s how I recharge.  In the picture above we are having ourselves a little treat of a cookie shot filled with Tahitian vanilla milk – ridiculously amazing!

Spending time with friends for me gives me energy too…having that time to laugh, talk things through, seek advice and just share stories really makes me feel like I can make it – in the midst of mini catastrophes (if you’re a mum you know what I mean)!

 

I spent this last weekend in L.A. doing just that.  We found some amazing restaurants on Yelp! and a couple in particular stood out:  Broken Mouth (Hawaiian Homestyle cooking) which is close to the Fashion District downtown and Faith & Flower, again downtown.  It’s a good thing we did plenty of walking because we certainly ate plenty because the food was so good.

It can be hard to find time to take a trip away like I did, so here are some other ideas to help you recharge and renew:

  1. Dinner of coffee with a great friend…laughter really can be the best medicine, but even just the company of someone that knows you and what you’re going through is huge.
  2. Soaking in a hot bath – at the end of every day this is my ritual.  It almost helps me to wash away the day and forget about whatever has been ailing me.
  3. Read a good book – it’s easy to over-think things that are happening in your life so distracting yourself with something that causes you to concentrate on something else is good.  That’s why books tend to be so much more relaxing that watching TV which requires little or no imagination at all.
  4. Get a massage or facial – I have found that one of the only times I actually meditate is when my eyes are forced to be closed when I’m having a massage or facial.  It helps me to really “zone out” and not think.
  5. A hug – sounds corny, but some days I force my boys (including Brandon) to hug me (for a minimum of 20 seconds) and I can feel the energy flowing right back into me.  It really does work like a charm.

Whenever I return from a trip I am always ready to plan my next one…so stay tuned for what we’re going to be doing over spring break 😉

 

Planning for your Vacation

“Fill your life with adventures, not things.  Have stories to tell, not stuff to show!”

This time of year definitely has me wishing I was on a beach, relaxing and soaking up the sun.  Thank goodness I have a trip planned and I leave in exactly 2 weeks for Hawaii.  This time, we are going to the big island because I haven’t been there before.  February is the month of my birthday and it’s become a tradition that we go somewhere for my birthday but also so that I can replenish my Vitamin D so I can make it through the rest of the winter (although this winter so far has been really, really mild!)

Sunshine, beach and warm weather just seem to make me feel like smiling more 🙂

Now when I talk about relaxation, bear in mind that while I will relax, this time we are taking our kids, so the relaxing may take on a different perspective than when it’s just Brandon and I.  We have some really fun excursions planned:  Whale watching, snorkeling at night with Manta Rays, hiking to the volcano, and I really want to do some sea kayaking and paddle boarding.  I have a rule that I like to have a beach day after an activity day, just so I can read my book and just generally sit down and decompress.  I may be the only one in my family that likes to do that so I have to make sure we are keeping everyone happy (quite a task with 6 very different personalities).

 

 

So when I’m planning my trips, I have always been a little more “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of girl, but Brandon likes to have an idea of what we’re doing.  So, here’s the compromise, we plan around 4 activities that we know we’ll all want to do, leave a few days open for whatever, and then set aside my beach days.  That way, we are not scrambling with the Concierge trying to book things and end up missing out on some good stuff, and also I don’t feel like I am rushed and scheduled to the hilt (which is pretty much like work to me).

The most important things I consider when I am planning my trips and what I am going to take are:

  1. Packing list – before I travel I always write down the “essentials” that I know I don’t want to forget.  Have you ever arrived at the airport or your destination and almost broken out in a cold sweat about something you need but forgot.  I remember once when we were packing for the kids and turned up with extra pairs of shorts for the boys but only 1 T-shirt each.  Not the end of the world, but if money is tight or even if you don’t want the hassle of shopping, a packing list could have prevented this.  Or, even worse, if you’re traveling abroad, have you ever arrived without the necessary visas or your passport?  Talk about ruining a trip!
  2. The weather – not that any of us can control this (trust me I have fought with the weather before because I would get frustrated and upset when it wasn’t what I wanted it to be – I realize that is the craziest thing ever).  It’s better to be prepared than frustrated…I always take some things such as raincoat, sweaters and other layers just in case.
  3. Suitcase size – over the past few years I have organized my travel in such a way that I am able to take just a carry on suitcase and so has everyone else in my family.  The reason why I love this – because there’s no waiting when you get off the plane, everyone is responsible for their own stuff (I would say we started this when Reiken was 8, so kids can handle it too!)
  4. Toiletries – I use different beauty regimens and they don’t all come in the 3oz containers that you need to bring if you are not checking a bag (according to TSA guidelines).  So, I always make sure for essentials like my masks, toners, etc, I buy some of the bottles that they sell at Target and other stores where I can put in my own toiletries just for travel purposes.  That way I don’t have to risk taking something that is too large and having it confiscated.
  5. Planned activities – if we are going hiking (which is something I love to do anywhere I go), I always make sure that I have sneakers and I’m not just taking flip flops or sandals.  I hate to limit myself and my activities by not being prepared.
  6. Plans to eat out? – I have always been someone that likes to dress up when I go out to eat…so if we are planning on eating dinners out, I like to have something to change into that’s a little more dressy than a swimsuit and coverall.
  7. The right shoes – and we are not just talking sneakers here.  I have certain outfits that look best with certain shoes, so I like to make sure I have a variety of shoes to choose from.  I hate having a dress to wear or a great jumpsuit without the RIGHT pair of shoes.  I’m not looking for perfection but I do feel better when I feel good about my outfit and my shoes are major piece in that puzzle.
  8. Workout time? – I always have to squeeze in some workout time when I’m on vacation.  Not that I am running any marathons, but just a short run, long walk, gym time or even yoga are something I like to fit into the trip so I don’t have to feel guilty about eating all the amazing foods there are available.
  9. Beach/Pool time – I don’t like to wear the same swimsuit every day (even if I have a condo with a washing machine).  Swimsuits don’t take up much room, so it’s really easy to fit in quite a few to add some variety.
  10. Use a Tote – I think all airlines allow you to have 2 carry on items, and one of those items is your purse or bag.  I used to just take a smaller handbag but couldn’t quite fit everything I needed in it. Now, I pack a tote with my Nook, snacks, iPad, headphones,  a lightweight jacket in case I get cold, a pillow, etc. and leave a little extra room for my bag/purse so that if I get called out on having too many things as carry on, I can just slip the bag/purse into my tote.

Whether you have a trip already coming up on your horizon, all of these tips will prove useful, no matter where you’re going or what you’re doing.  I realize that not everyone goes on planes, and very often there are amazing road trips that create the best memories.  Our family road trips have been amazing (although I will admit they were probably easier when the kids were younger), put on a movie, give the kids some treats and they’re happy. As they grow to be teens, there are many more opinions, arguments and disagreements, but that journey and life’s journey is truly what we make it.   I no longer have expectations that everything will go smoothly…that the boys will always get a long – so I have found that if I don’t hold onto those expectations, I don’t have to feel frustrated when it doesn’t workout like I think it should (because you know it won’t 😉

Happy travels in 2018 and I hope you find my tips and tricks useful!

 


Back to Reality

 

 

“One small crack does not mean that you are broken.  It means you were put to the test and did not fall apart!”

I had the most amazing Thanksgiving with my family up in Midway, so much so that when we came back down to our house and started getting ready to go back to work and school today, it seemed almost depressing.  When I woke my 2 younger boys up this morning, one said he had stomach ache and the other said he had so much fun with us this last week that he didn’t want to go to school but would rather hang out with us.  I have to admit that when my alarm went off I had similar thoughts and even went to a place of thinking what could I do to rearrange some things so I could just stay home.

 

Needless to say, I got up, got dressed in a great power outfit, and went to work anyway.  It makes our family time so much more precious when I realize that my boys loved it as much as I did, and that even though part of their stomach issues and sadness this morning was more about not wanting to go to school, I’ll take it 🙂

 

So how do we beat the blues when we have to come back to reality after a vacation, the holidays or even sometimes just a weekend.  I have found that the only way that works for me is to think about the things that I do love about what I’m doing and what I am doing them for.  For example, while I do love sales and having great relationships with my clients, I go to work so that I can buy the things I want, live in a nice home, travel a lot and not have to worry about whether I can buy something that I like.  I also focus on meeting with my clients (who are also my friends) and let that drive me more than the monotony that I have to go through with paperwork, etc.

 

It is hard to explain this kind of thinking to younger kids, but I do believe that my boys are starting to get it at least a little bit and realize that by going to school it means that they can get a good education, which will translate into a good job and great pay (obviously with work to get them there).  I definitely have to remind them quite often, especially since they can hardly remember to brush their teeth sometimes, but it’s worth it, and only the best habits are formed by repetition and determination.

 

We enjoyed the most amazing temperatures and weather this past weekend, but last night the winds came in and now the rain is here, which I know is soon going to turn to snow.  We truly will be in our Winter Wonderland here in Utah in no time…which is perfect for Christmas and the Holidays (see, I am being positive 😉 ).

 

 

As you probably have already heard me say before, rain is my least favorite weather so I have to work really hard at not letting it get me down.  The prospect of a lovely warm fire, hot chocolate, and snuggling under a blanket with the boys is what gets me through.  I am a firm believer in energy…I believe that there is always a transfer of energy between people, and if you surround yourself with negativity or positivity that will eventually rub off on you.  A trick that helps me when I have had a bad day is to hug my husband or kids for a minimum of 20 seconds, until I feel that transfer of energy and love which will erase most bad feelings from the day.  Admittedly I sometimes have to hold them there for that long (20 seconds seems like eternity for a 10 year old), but they are mostly accommodating to their crazy mum!

 

What tricks do you have to help you through days when you just don’t want to be doing what you have to, or those days when things just seem to go all wrong?  I would willingly try anything new to help me, and maybe some of mine will work for you!

 

Disclosure:  Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.


Don’t Ruin Your Travels With These Mistakes

“Traveling in the company of those we love, is HOME in motion!”

Not that this topic is ever far from my mind, but certainly as the weather starts to become colder I look for ways to get myself and my family into a warmer climate and plan some trips.  As I start planning there are always some things I make sure I have considered, so here are some tips to help make any traveling you choose to do be less stressful and more fun!

 

Traveling should always be fun, it gives you the chance to explore the world, or at least your own country. There are so many different places to see and cultures to learn about, whether you’re going on a road trip or taking a cruise. While things don’t always go entirely to plan, you should still return from your trip having enjoyed yourself. You should be careful, though, or silly mistakes could ruin your travels. If you don’t pay attention when you’re planning your trip, things might not go well. Some mistakes might even mean you don’t get to go on your trip at all. So watch out for these big mistakes if you want to have a good time.

 

Not Getting Your Travel Documents in Order

One of the worst things that could happen is that you go abroad and you’re not even allowed into the country. Or you end up starting your trip with a big fine because you didn’t pay attention to the customs rules. The first thing you need to do is sort out your passport, which you’ll need to make sure is valid. If you need a new passport for the first time or you need to replace a lost or stolen one, you will need to meet with a passport acceptance agent. You can find out more about that here. For some countries, your passport might need to be valid for at least six months when you travel. You might also need a visa or visa waiver, and you will often need to fill out a customs card, which you are often given during travel. Make sure you tell the truth on all documents.

 

 

Neglecting to Research How to Stay Safe

Staying safe when you’re traveling is an interesting thing to consider. No one can ever be 100% sure of their safety, but there are still ways to try to stay safe and be aware of the most likely dangers. For example, women and minorities might check what sort of attitudes they might come across. Everyone should check information about common crimes, especially violent crime, as well as the political situation in any of their destinations. A safe trip is a more enjoyable one.

 

Being Unaware of Cultural Differences and Local Laws

Every country is different, and even various regions within a country have their differences. That’s why it’s important to understand some of the most important customs and laws when you visit a country. Is it unacceptable to show too much skin? How do people greet each other? What are the laws about bringing in fruits and vegetables, carrying drugs and medication, or even showing affection to other people in public?

 

 

Racking Up Hidden Expenses

Make sure you don’t have to cut your trip short because your money is running out. Some hidden costs can give you a nasty surprise if you’re not careful. You could end up paying huge data roaming charges on your phone if you don’t turn roaming off. You might incur large fees from your credit card, so check how much they charge for using it in a foreign country. Check your bank balance and other finances to make sure you’re not spending too much.

 

Don’t let silly mistakes ruin your trip. Be prepared, and you’ll have a much better time, no matter where you go.


 

Simple Tricks To Take The Hassle Out Of Traveling

 

“And then I realized adventure was the best way to learn!”

 

Going on vacation can be the highlight of the year for most people. Getting away from the stresses of modern life and spending the week

relaxing in luxury somewhere is the perfect way to recharge your batteries. If only it wasn’t such a pain to get there in the first place. Getting to the airport, checking all of your luggage, and getting through airport security is an absolute nightmare. When you get to the other end, you’ll have to do the whole thing again. It’s almost enough to put you off traveling altogether, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Just try these simple tricks to make the whole process a lot smoother.

 

Ship Luggage

 

 

I must admit this has never been something I’ve tried, but I have heard that if you want to take a little more with you when you’re traveling, it’s a great way to save you time and hassle…

Checking in your bags and then waiting for them at the other end takes ages but you can skip all of that if you just ship the bulk of your luggage ahead of time and pick it up when you get to the hotel. Just take one small piece of luggage on the plane with you that has all of the essentials and send the rest separately. You can also cut down the time you spend getting your bag checked if you learn how to use a packing cube to separate all of your toiletries and anything else that needs to be examined. That’ll make it far easier for security to check through your bag and you can get onto the plane a lot quicker.

 

Book Ahead

Sorting everything out well ahead of time will take the last minute stress out of your trip and it can save you money as well. Experts advise that you book flights at least 6 weeks before you plan to go. It’s also advisable to book any other transport links you’ll need when you get there. Landing in a country that you’ve never been to and trying to find a taxi to take you to the hotel can be a struggle. Most airport transfers have a website where you can book so it’s all sorted as soon as you arrive.

 

Download Travel Apps

There are so many great travel apps available for download that can take a lot of stresses out of your traveling experience. Citymapper is a great one that can help you to navigate the public transport systems when you’re abroad. It’s likely that it’ll be a completely different system and this great app can help you get to grips with it. Gate Guru is a similar app for navigating airports which is always difficult if you’ve never been there before.

 

Once you’re there and you’re looking for somewhere great to eat, download The Fork. It lists over 30,000 restaurants with reviews so you should be able to find something on there to suit your tastes.

 

If you’re looking for a more authentic, local experience when you’re abroad try looking at Spotted By Locals. As the name suggests, it’s a travel guide that’s based on advice from locals that live in the city. They charge a small fee for each guide but it’s definitely worth the money to get good tips from local writers and photographers, updated regularly.

 

Traveling doesn’t have to be hard if you follow these simple tips to the hassle out of the whole experience.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely live to travel, so anything that can save me time AND stress, I’m all over it!  I hope you found this post useful…remember “not all who travel are lost!”