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Travel-Related Resolutions to Achieve Before Planning Your Next Trip

Travel-Related Resolutions to Achieve Before Planning Your Next Trip

A majority of us want to get out and see more of the world, but very few take action to fulfill that. Travel has become one of the most perennial New Year’s resolutions, yet the hardest to execute.

There’s nothing wrong with placing travel at the top of your New Year’s resolution list, but it isn’t as simple as it seems. Studies report that only about nine percent of people feel they were successful in achieving their resolutions.

All resolutions are correlated to each other, and ever so rarely can we pursue to complete one without the other. “Exercising” for example, has to go hand in hand with “eating right.” Efforts will be partially thrown out the window if you continue consuming the same amount of calories despite your workouts. If this is the case, at least make sure your calisthenics are twice as intense.

There’s more to wanderlust than just packing your bags and leaving.

1. Make Sure Your Plans Are Measurable

Whether your carry-on baggage is an extension of your wardrobe, or your infant, be realistic in terms of money, distance and personal capabilities.

There is such a thing as a “comfort zone” when it comes to travelling. Get to know your own city, region or province first before stepping out onto faraway lands and uncharted waters – literally. Whoever said travel requires a passport or connecting flights never delighted in taking small trips.

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Mix it up; go outdoorsy and hike. Then, immerse yourself in culture and concrete jungles on your next voyage. No one’s stopping you from going somewhere totally far and new, but if you’re more worried than secure, that’s not usually a good sign.

Although there are plenty of budget friendly itineraries and places to visit, don’t be easily fooled by the offers and deals you see. Cold tolerance quite low? Hit up tropical destinations instead. Pick locations you know will nourish your body and soul, and won’t put your well-being in jeopardy.  Having a timeline of your plans for the whole year is beneficial if you have more than one trip planned.

2. Be Organized

Leaving everything behind (no matter how temporary) in exchange for an escapade will always have consequences. The last thing you want to think about while sunbathing and lounging in Bali is the unfinished research paper on your desk at home. Delays and failing to meet deadlines also have the ability to ruin, push back or affect your ready-made plans. Work first, before relaxing and focusing on the fun.

Always have a backup. More often than not, itineraries are never followed to the last detail. What if the bus or train system fails? No one has an extra copy of the itinerary. Your luggage never emerged from the conveyor belt. We’re not saying you should over-pack and bring things “just in case,” but it’s always a good idea to have a plan B in case of emergencies. This includes medical or car insurance, should anything unfortunate occur on the roads.

Don’t get too excited and use up all your vacation days in one trip. Spread it out instead. If planned well, your stops and destinations can all be visited and enjoyed at record times.

3. Learn How To Manage Finances Better

It may be true that some aspects of travel have become very affordable – some are even free – thanks to couch surfing, Airbnb, hostels and backpacking trends.

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If the dates can be easily rearranged, stay on the lookout for promotional air fares and discounted accommodations. Know that there is a risk to jumping into things too quickly. No matter how willing you are, always remember to check your wallet. Coming back home poorer than you were before the trip is “normal” – just as long as you’re not flat-out-broke.

Try investing in travel gear that can endure every rough handling from airports everywhere. Packing cubes save you more space to avoid overweight baggage at the airport’s scale. Racking up your frequent flyer miles will also benefit you when you spontaneously book a trip.

 4. Take Better Care Of Your Health

So many resolutions revolve around overall health. From losing weight, gaining muscles, toning up, and eating less processed foods, there is no doubt that all of us have one of these in mind.

Sightseeing while an oxygen tank trails behind you isn’t exactly the most convenient way to be a tourist. Traveling in tropical, oriental and Asian cities require a lot of walking. Weak knees and ankles will easily get sore and suffer.

On the other hand, if your plans include more outdoorsy activities like hiking up various mountains, prepare beforehand by building up your stamina.

Squeeze in a set of workout clothes in your luggage, try to wake up an hour earlier than usual, then go for a quick run. Travel is actually the perfect motivator when it comes to jogs or runs – you get to enjoy a new view daily, and surprises await you in every corner.

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5. Reconnect With Friends

Travel allows you to connect with people, whether or not you just met them minutes ago or have known each other for decades.

Out of the social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, one of them will gladly play detective with you and help you find your long lost elementary or high school bff. Before you know it, you’ll be making plans to reunite. If you offer, you might even be lucky enough to have all your accommodations covered. You just saved yourself a one hundred bucks or so, depending on the location.

6. Regulate Your Sleeping Schedule

Adjusting sleeping schedules accompanied by jetlag is one of the top struggles of travelers. Some of us are fond of booking round-trips that are on sale and red-eye flights, thinking it won’t seriously affect us.

Once you get the hang of putting yourself to sleep effortlessly, being in a different time zone and unfamiliar environments will no longer suck up your remaining battery. Refrain from relying on sleep medications and over the counter sleep aids. Ah, the advantages of being someone who can sleep anywhere.

If world leaders can travel between various time zones and still manage to run a country, getting your days back to normal shouldn’t be too difficult.

7. Learn A New Language

Although English is a universal language, not everyone you come across will be able to speak it. You don’t need to be fluent in the native language to survive in your temporary host country. Getting by with just basic phrases are more than enough. Striking up conversation with locals is the easiest way to unconsciously lessen the impact of culture shock.

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Learning a new language also builds self-confidence. You don’t even need to enroll in an actual academy to improve your bilingual skills.

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Work on small goals first. Once you remind yourself that your trip is a long-term goal being put to action, all the hassle and stress fades away.

We don’t always have to plan trips down to the last, little detail. Leave some room for spontaneity and surprises, too. We live in a digital world where “wifi” is an international commonly known term. As long as you can read, interact with people well, have common sense and a smartphone, you’ll never be totally lost.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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