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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 July 10, 2020

              How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

              How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

              We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

              We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

              So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

              Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

              What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

              Boundaries are limits

              —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

              Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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              Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

              Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

              Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

              How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

              Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

              1. Self-Awareness Comes First

              Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

              You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

              To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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              You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

              • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
              • When do you feel disrespected?
              • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
              • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
              • When do you want to be alone?
              • How much space do you need?

              You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

              2. Clear Communication Is Essential

              Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

              Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

              3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

              Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

              That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

              Sample language:

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              • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
              • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
              • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
              • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
              • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
              • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
              • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

              Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

              4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

              Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

              Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

              Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

              We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

              It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

              It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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              Final Thoughts

              Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

              Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

              Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

              The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

              Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

              Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

              They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

              Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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