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9 Things To Make Travelling That Little Bit Easier

9 Things To Make Travelling That Little Bit Easier

Going on a long trip around the world or InterRailing through Europe can be daunting for the novice traveller as there can be plenty of things that can go wrong, whether that be luxuries from everyday life that you have to give up or inconveniences along the way.

Here, we’ll look at 9 things you can do to make travelling that little bit easier, more comfortable, and much more enjoyable. All of these tips simply require a little bit of preparation before you leave!

Roll your clothes instead of folding them

Isn’t it annoying spending lots of time neatly folding your clothes before you travel, putting them in your bag, and finding them all creased up when you arrive at the hotel? Surely everything should stay neat and tidy once folded inside your case! It sounds counterintuitive, but you should actually avoid folding your clothes. Instead, roll them up. The benefit of rolling is you’re not adding any folds to your clothes which can turn into creases during transit, so they’ll come out the other end looking neat and tidy. Plus, rolling saves a lot of space too!

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rolled clothes

    Try rolling your clothes around something large in the centre, such as a wash bag, a pair of shoes or flip flops, or a bundle of underwear, with all your garments that must not be creased wrapped around the outside.

    Drop a pin on your map app to mark important locations

    Are you travelling abroad to a place where you won’t get a cellphone signal? Unfortunately, in many places, roaming with your smartphone can get very expensive, particularly on data charges. This is why many tourists resort to turning off their data allowance when out of their home country. However, this can make navigation difficult in an unfamiliar city. While Google Maps now allows you to download offline maps to your device, it is still not possible to get navigation instructions while offline. Furthermore, landmarks such as your hotel, local shops, and restaurants don’t get saved on your offline map by default, so while you can now see where you are, it’s still difficult to know exactly where you’re going. This is where dropped pins come in.

    Google maps dropped pin

      Make navigation in a foreign country that little bit easier by dropping a pin on important locations that you need to navigate to. For example, when you leave your hotel for the first time on your trip, drop a pin on its location to make it easier to find again. Or if you’re driving and you’ve just parked your car, drop a pin on its location so you can get back to it easily.

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      Bring a portable power pack

      On the topic of smartphones, chances are that the device in your pocket is an integral part of your life that you just couldn’t do without. It can be daunting to go without a source of power for 12 hours or more, particularly for those who want to use their devices regularly throughout the day. That’s why it’s always a great idea to bring a portable power pack along to keep your devices charged up. Skip the smaller ones that only give you one charge of your device. Instead, opt for a larger one with a 6000 mAH battery that’s usually good for four charges of your iPhone, or even a 10,000 mAH one or larger if you want to charge larger devices like a tablet or watch videos while you travel. Look for ones with two USB ports so you can charge two devices at a time!

      portable power pack

        A power pack is essential on both long-haul flights as well as train trips, particularly if you’re looking to travel across Europe, where many of the trains don’t have power plugs at each seat.

        Bring moisturiser for long-haul flights

        Long-haul flights can really take their toll on your body, particularly as the air inside an aircraft tends to be much drier than it is back down on terra ferma. The air can really dry out your skin, making you feel that little bit worse when you arrive jet lagged at your destination. That’s why it’s a good idea to pack a quick-action moisturiser for you to use prior to the flight and again once you’ve arrived. Look out for smaller ones that fit in the 100 ml hand luggage allowance, as well as in-shower moisturiser sprays, which help you moisturise much quicker than standard ones where you need to wait for the cream to soak in!

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        Moisturiser
          Image credit: Dr Do Good

          Take an empty bottle with you

          We’re all aware of the limits on taking liquids through security on flights, which is a real pain as many people must resort to overpriced bottled water at the airport. However, there’s no restriction on taking empty bottles through security. Next time you travel, bring an empty bottle, and once you’re through security, either find a water fountain to fill it up or ask for tap water at one of the bars. Over several trips, the savings can really add up!

          Put underwear in your shoes to save space

          Got a lot to fit into your bag? It’s important to make best use of all the space you have, and that includes the space inside your shoes. This space is perfect for storing smaller pieces of clothing, particularly underwear, which can be crumpled up to fit in tight spaces. Not only that, but filling your shoes with items of clothing helps them to keep their shape in your bag. There’s nothing worse than arriving with badly deformed shoes due to packing your bag tightly — if done regularly, this can damage them.

          shoes stuffed with underwear

            Keep shirt collars looking smart using a belt

            When people think of backpackers, the word “scruffy” tends to come to mind. What about those who want to travel but also dress smart, for example to fit a strict nightclub dress code? Dress shirts can be hard to keep looking smart if they’re to be stowed in a backpack. We’ve already looked at how to keep them uncreased by rolling instead of folding, but what about the collar, which could get crushed? This is where your belt can come in handy. Simply roll up your belt and place it inside the collar area of your shirt before you wrap it around other pieces of clothing. Your collar will look nice and neat when you arrive!

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            Keep your collar tidy with a belt

              Bring travel detergent

              Are you heading away from the city or don’t have the time (or money) to go to a laundrette during your travels? Bring a tube of travel detergent with you. These travel detergents usually come in 100 ml packs so they’ll fit in your hand luggage and allow you wash your clothes anywhere — all you need is water and a bucket. It even works with sea water! The only other thing you might want to bring is a washing line that you could hang in your bathroom to dry.

              Put a soap bar in your dirty laundry

              Do you ever take the free soap bars that are usually left in your hotel bathroom? These can be great for keeping your dirty clothes from stinking up your case. Simply bung the soap bar in with your dirty clothes and the aroma will help keep your clothes smelling fresh, even if you’ve worn them several times without a wash.

              Featured photo credit: Ashim D’Silva via unsplash.com

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              Last Updated on September 16, 2019

              How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

              How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

              You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

              We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

              The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

              Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

              1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

              Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

              For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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              • (1) Research
              • (2) Deciding the topic
              • (3) Creating the outline
              • (4) Drafting the content
              • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
              • (6) Revision
              • (7) etc.

              Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

              2. Change Your Environment

              Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

              One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

              3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

              Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

              Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

              My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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              Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

              4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

              If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

              Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

              I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

              5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

              I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

              Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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              As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

              6. Get a Buddy

              Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

              I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

              7. Tell Others About Your Goals

              This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

              For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

              8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

              What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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              9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

              If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

              Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

              10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

              Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

              Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

              11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

              At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

              Reality check:

              I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

              More About Procrastination

              Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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