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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 20, 2018

              How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

              How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

              Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

              If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

              1. Breathe

              The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

              • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
              • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
              • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

              Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

              2. Loosen up

              After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

              Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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              3. Chew slowly

              Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

              Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

              Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

              4. Let go

              Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

              The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

              It’s not. Promise.

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              Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

              Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

              21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

              5. Enjoy the journey

              Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

              Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

              6. Look at the big picture

              The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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              Will this matter to me…

              • Next week?
              • Next month?
              • Next year?
              • In 10 years?

              Hint: No, it won’t.

              I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

              Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

              7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

              You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

              Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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              8. Practice patience every day

              Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

              • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
              • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
              • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

              Final thoughts

              Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

              Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

              Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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