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10 Practical Tips To Comfortably Travel The World In Style

10 Practical Tips To Comfortably Travel The World In Style

Everyone enjoys a bit of traveling now and then – it’s good for the soul they say. For me personally it is about leaving my “normal life” behind and focusing on exploring and rediscovering myself, as much as it is about learning about different cultures and history, meeting new and interesting people, trying out great food and partying. I am sure that a lot of people out there want a bit more than to just snap a few pictures and prance around in cargo pants, following a tour guide all day long.

We want to get as close to the movie star travel experience while staying within our means – we want to travel in style and be as comfortable as possible. If this sounds like something you could get on board with, then keep on reading, as you are in for a treat.

1. Go online to find the best accommodations in your price range

Hotel Sign

    Most people have had experience with both bad and good hotels, and are aware of the fact that looking for a bit of luxury can get quite expensive. While the 17-25 year old crowd can make the most of a backpacking holiday, and spend their nights in dirt cheap hostels, more mature travelers will be looking for a nice comfortable place that makes them feel like a stylish globetrotter.

    You can make good use of modern technology and find excellent short-term rentals, which provide you with a good deal of luxury at reasonable rates. Websites like WorldEscape.com should be your go to source when planning an exciting holiday and wanting more than just your basic tourist experience.

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    2. Prioritize your needs and pack your bags efficiently

    The most important questions to ask yourself are:

    • Why you are traveling: business or pleasure?
    • What will you be doing?
    • What will you need to make the most out of the experience?

    Once you answer these questions you can start packing the right clothes and various other items that you will need. It is always a good idea to have a small first aid kit handy, clothes options for different weather, casual and fancy dress options. You can focus on mixing and matching a few items to create several unique outfits, so you can have plenty of options with a limited wardrobe. Rolling up your clothes, packing socks into shoes and leaving out non-essential items will help you utilize the available luggage space more efficiently.

    3. Bring along gadgets that will make the journey more fun

    Travel gadgets

      What you need will depend on the nature of your travels and your personality. For example, businessmen need plenty of electronics, while someone who is more of an outdoors type in search of adventure will be better served packing a GPS, a strong flashlight and a capable multitool, than a portable keyboard. There are some items, however, that will benefit everyone. You’ll need something to keep yourself entertained during the flight or ride to your destination, so an e-book reader or an mp3 player and good headphones are a smart choice. You want to make sure that your trip is as smooth and comfortable as possible – traveling in style is all about the little details.

      4. Choose simple clothes that are elegant and comfortable

      First of all, a stylish traveler wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a cliché tourist outfit – cargo pants, shorts, brightly-colored shirts, baseball hats and fanny packs are out of the question. However, a three piece suit or a complex outfit, tons of accessories and high heels, are not going to be very comfortable on a long flight, and will make you spend a lot of time going past the metal detector. What you are looking for is something along the lines of business casual or some simple clothes that you might wear when getting some coffee with friends on a lazy Saturday.

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      5. Girl tip – Pack a small hygiene/make up kit in your carry-on

      Travel makeup kit

        How do those classy ladies manage to stay fresh and look stunning after long exhausting trips where you get all sore and don’t get nearly enough sleep? Well, they come prepared. You’ll need a few basic hygiene items like wet wipes, a small antiperspirant stick, breath mints, nail file and a brush. To ensure that you look as gorgeous as ever, be sure to also pack a mini makeup kit that includes a small amount of moisturizing cream, liquid foundation, concealer, mascara, and a small eye shadow kit.

        6. Guy tip – Get shaving soap in a bar

        Since you can’t bring a whole lot of liquid onboard, it pays to find good alternatives. A bar of shaving soap goes a long way, and the whole experience of using a brush and an old school safety razor makes you feel like more of a refined gentleman. You can take advantage of all the extra liquid you will be allowed by packing a nice after shave balm, blackhead cream and moisturizer.

        7. Have a few emergency items and spare clothes in your carry-on

        Packing carry on luggage

          There is always a risk of your luggage getting misplaced, or you may not have the energy to dig through your tightly packed bag upon arriving to your room in order to find something to wear to the restaurant you’ll be going to in a couple of hours. This is why you should have some extra clothes ready to go in your carry on. Accidents can also happen on the plane, and it’s good to have a clean shirt at hand. A few essential items like a flashlight, multitool, lighter and a small first-aid kit are enough to help you handle smaller emergencies.

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          8. Buy some accessories and clothing items at local stores when you land

          You’ll be able to travel more comfortably if you pack somewhat light and get some cool new accessories at local stores. More importantly, you want to fit in with the locals as best as you can, so that you don’t seem out of place. Go on a shopping spree on your first day there and try to find out what the local fashion is like, then get some great little items that you can combine with the clothes that you’ve brought with you. You’ll avoid looking like a wide-eyed tourist and pull of a cultured look that everyone you encounter will appreciate.

          9. Research the best cafés, restaurants and clubs before you even set foot on the plane

          Google maps

            There is precious little time to delve deep into the local culture, visit all the historical sites and experience some great winning and dining. As soon as you have made the reservations, go online, open Google maps and get to know the lay of the land. Websites like Yelp.com provide plenty of useful information on the local restaurants, bars and cafes, so you can make a list of places to visit and mark the most efficient routes from your accommodations to different areas in the city.

            You can take screenshots of the maps and save them to your phone, so that you can access the information even if there is no Wi-Fi around, and you definitely want to avoid data roaming. Plus, pulling out your phone to have a quick look is inconspicuous, while leering over a big old map makes you seem like a pesky tourist to the locals, and an easy target to the criminal element.

            10. Learn to speak the local language and behave according to the accepted etiquette

            One of the best ways to ensure that you have a pleasant stay and that you are welcomed with open hands by the locals, is to learn as much of the language as you can. Focus on the most common phrases, slang words, proper pronunciation and the basic grammar rules – no one cares much about finding the post office or using stilted formal phrases. Oh, and find out as much as you can about proper etiquette, starting from how close locals stand to each other without perceiving a breach of personal space and how they greet each other, all the way to table manners, how to behave when coming into someone’s home and social norms related to dating and partying.

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            Knowing enough about a particular culture can help save you a lot of trouble – e.g. you don’t ever want to try to outdrink a Russian and people in the south of Italy can get really touchy feely and in your face, and use a lot of hand gestures as they talk to you. Also, be sure to gain some understanding of the basic body language cues and hand gestures, so you avoid accidentally offending someone.

            There are different ways you can travel, but if you don’t want to be seen as just another annoying goofy tourist, you’ll do well to follow these tips. With a little work you will be able to spend your vacation in great comfort, look cultured and elegant, and exude confidence.

            Featured photo credit: Nick Harris via flickr.com

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            Published on November 14, 2018

            Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

            Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

            With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

            For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

            In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

            Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

            Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

            It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

            For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

            Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

            Symptoms of Fatigue

            Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

            • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
            • mental blocks
            • lack of motivation
            • headache
            • dizziness
            • muscle weakness
            • slowed reflexes and responses
            • impaired decision-making and judgement
            • moodiness, such as irritability
            • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
            • reduced immune system function
            • blurry vision
            • short-term memory problems
            • poor concentration
            • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

            Causes of Fatigue

            The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

            • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
            • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
            • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
            • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

            Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

            Medical Causes of Fatigue

            If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

            Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

            Anemia

            Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

            Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

            There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

            Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

            Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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            This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

            Diabetes

            Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

            Sleep Apnea

            Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

            Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

            Thyroid disease

            An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

            Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

            • Lack of sleep
            • Too much sleep 
            • Alcohol and drugs 
            • Sleep disturbances 
            • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
            • Poor diet 

            Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

            • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
            • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
            • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
            • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

            Psychological Causes of Fatigue

            Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

            • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
            • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
            • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

            How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

            Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

            1. Tell The Truth

            Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

            To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

            Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

            The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

            One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

            • How you feel
            • What time of day it is
            • What may have contributed to your fatigue
            • How your mind and body reacts

            This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

            2. Reduce Your Commitments

            When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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            If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

            When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

            Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

            3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

            If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

            Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

            If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

            Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

            Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

            4. Express More Gratitude

            Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

            It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

            Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

            5. Focus On Yourself

            Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

            There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

            But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

            We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

            6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

            Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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            Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

            The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

            Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

            7. Take a Power Nap

            When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

            Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

            This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

            8. Take More Exercise

            The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

            Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

            The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

            You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

            9. Get More Quality Sleep

            To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

            Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

            My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

            10. Improve Your Diet

            Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

            Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

            On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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            To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

            Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

            Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

            11. Manage Your Stress Levels

            Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

            When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

            Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

            My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

            12. Get Hydrated

            Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

            Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

            If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

            The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

            The Bottom Line

            These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

            If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

            Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
            [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
            [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
            [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
            [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
            [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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