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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 January 17, 2019

              8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

              8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

              In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

              Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

              Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

              Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

              Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

              The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

              There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

              How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

              According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

              Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

              Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

              The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

              Listen carefully:

              We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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              The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

              Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

              8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

              There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

              Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

              1. Pray Daily

              You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

              When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

              Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

              Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

              2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

              A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

              By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

              Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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              If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

              This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

              How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

              3. Smile Often

              Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

              Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

              Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

              The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

              4. Organize Your Working Desk

              A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

              When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

              Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

              Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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              5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

              I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

              Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

              What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

              6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

              God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

              I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

              I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

              7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

              You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

              How do you do that? This is my formula:

              First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

              If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

              If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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              If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

              Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

              8. Go Exercise

              Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

              The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

              You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

              12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

              The Bottom Line

              It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

              It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

              Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

              More Resources About Mindfulness

              Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

              Reference

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