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7 Tools to Optimize Your Next Long-Term Traveling Experience

7 Tools to Optimize Your Next Long-Term Traveling Experience

We all dream about being able to take an extended, long-term vacation. But, as wonderful as this may sound, there are a lot of logistics to work out prior to traveling. Otherwise, the experience is not going to be nearly as awesome as one may think. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have an awesome time on an extended vacation. You just need to think in the long term when you are planning and make sure that there are no hitches in your travel plans. You can use these tools to help you plan your long-term travel experience so you can make the absolute most of it.

1. Safestore

    If you are planning to be away for more than a couple of weeks, you may want to protect your valuables. Don’t just leave them in your home. Rent a storage locker so you know that everything is safe. Self-storage is definitely the way to go when you want to make sure your stuff is safe for extended periods of time. There are self-storage options all over the world, including in the USA, UK and parts of Europe, so do your research to find the perfect company and location for you.

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    2. TripIt

      How would you like to have your entire itinerary planned for you in advance? All you have to do is provide TripIt with your confirmation emails for flights, hotels, etc., and they will take care of creating a master itinerary that you can access from anywhere, even if you are not online. Use it to share travel plans, find alternate flights, get notifications about better seats, etc. This is going to make your trip planning a lot easier and your travel a lot smoother and more relaxed.

      3. City Mapper

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        Wherever you plan to be while traveling, you need to know how to get around. This site is the tool you need to find out where everything is, no matter where you are. Get directions to shopping, restaurants, accommodations, subways, and more for most major cities around the world. You’ll never get lost, no matter where you are, when you are using this handy little tool.

        4. XE Currency Converter

          If you are going to be in areas where the currency is different from your own, it is a good idea to have access to a currency converter. That way, you will always be able to figure out what things cost, no matter what currency is being used. Receive the most accurate data and daily rates to help you plan your spending accordingly and make sure that you are getting the best rates.

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          5. Foodspotting

            Do you want to know where the best restaurants in the world are located (including those out of the way places that the world doesn’t know about yet)? This is the tool that will tell you. You will find the best restaurants, the best dishes, and more, no matter what type of food you are looking for. You will even find some awesome ice cream stands where you can enjoy frosty treats.

            6. Expat Explorer

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              This is your complete guide to living the expat life. You will find expat country guides, country comparisons, tips for planning your vacation finances, and much more. Learn about how living abroad can affect your banking, the challenges you may face as an expat, and a whole lot more. You can even call and speak to a real person if you have any questions regarding your upcoming expat experience.

              7. Spotted by Locals

                Tourists don’t always get to enjoy the best of what many places have to offer, because only locals know about these things. You need to start thinking like a local and find out what they love about their home towns. Use this tool to find out what the locals really love, and find out for yourself why they love it.

                Featured photo credit: Paula Borowska via unsplash.com

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                Jane Hurst

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                Last Updated on October 17, 2019

                How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

                How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

                You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.

                But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.

                Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!

                What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.

                Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.[1]

                So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.

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                1. Recognize the Signs

                If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.

                Some telltale signs include:

                • You’re always on your phones.
                • You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
                • You aren’t together during important events.
                • You are arguing more often or lack connection.
                • You don’t make plans or date nights.
                • You’re not happy.

                If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.

                2. Try New Things Together

                Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?

                Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?

                Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.

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                Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.[2]

                3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time

                Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?

                Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.[3]

                Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.

                4. Hit the Gym as a Couple

                One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together.[4] Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.[5]

                Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.

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                5. Cook Meals Together

                Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!

                One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.[6]

                Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.

                If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.

                6. Have a Regular Date Night

                Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together.[7] One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.

                The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom.[8] It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.

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                Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:

                • Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
                • Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
                • Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
                • Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
                • Dinner and a movie – A classic!
                • Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
                • Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.[9]

                Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

                Final Thoughts

                The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:

                • Improves emotional and physical intimacy
                • Lowers divorce rates
                • Improves communication
                • Reduces marital boredom
                • Bonds couples closer
                • Improves friendship
                • Boosts health
                • Reduces stress

                These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.

                It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.

                These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.

                Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com

                Reference

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