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Become A Travel Expert With These 40 Must-See Tips

Become A Travel Expert With These 40 Must-See Tips

Exploring the world can take a lot of work, but thankfully for us, there are many ways to make things easier and even lower costs. Here are a few dozen of my favorite travel tips, I would love to see your top tips in the comments below!

Planning:

1. Scan Your Documents To A Device Before You Travel In Case Something Happens To Them

Passport

    2. Get Rewards Cards To Rack Up Points For Free Stays And Flights

      3. Learn What Fees Your Airline Will Charge You

        4. Follow Travel Bloggers To See What Advice They Give

          5. Set A Cap For What You’re Willing To Spend Each Day

            6. Find An Awesome Travel Card Through CreditKarma.com Or Creditcards.com

              7. Don’t Overthink Your Trip, Pick A Place And Just Go

                8. Research The Countries Customs And Basic Phrases

                  9. Read Motivational Travel Articles To Keep Yourself Focused And Excited

                    10. Tell Your Card Companies You’re Traveling

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                      Booking:

                      11. Check Out Momondo.com Before You Book Your Flight

                        They are one of the best airline search engines and consistently come up with some of the best prices.

                        12. Use HostelWorld.com Or Hostels.com To Find Hostels With Reviews

                          13. Get Free Night Stays By Using Couchsurfing.com

                            14. Look For Last Minute Deals

                              15. Get Your Plan Ticket At The Right Time

                                Generally traveling in the morning or evenings of a Tuesday or Wednesday get you the best deals!

                                16. Don’t Book Too Far In Advance

                                  You’ll want to leave some wiggle room in case your plans change.

                                  17. Use Your Reward Points For Cheaper Or Free Flights And Stays

                                    18. Join Travel Forums To See What Other Deals Travelers Are Getting

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                                      19. E-Track Your Fares To See If They Change

                                        20. Follow Travel Reviews

                                          They can be the difference between a nightmare and the best vacation of your life.

                                          Packing:

                                          21. Use A Dryer Sheet At The Bottom Of Your Suitcase To Keep Things Fresh

                                            22. Roll Your Shirts Army Style To Save Tons Of Space

                                              23. Use A Pill Organizer To Easily Store Your Jewelry

                                                24. Separate Your Cords With Little Bags For Easy Access

                                                  It also helps to put them in a small pocket on the side of your travel pack.

                                                  25. Bring A Water Bottle To Save On Cash Overseas

                                                    Make sure to empty it before you go through TSA and then fill it up again before you board.

                                                    26. Don’t Over Pack

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                                                      If you aren’t positive if you’ll need something leave it at the house. You can always buy one overseas if you do need it.

                                                      27. Take A Nook Or Kindle

                                                        They are small and can store thousands of books for whenever you hit a layover or a long train ride.

                                                        28. Bring A Small Bag With You For Day Trips

                                                          29. Hotels Will Have Extra Toiletries For Free

                                                            So don’t feel like you should bring three different toothbrushes and soaps.

                                                            30. Start A List Of What You Need A Week Before You Leave

                                                              Traveling:

                                                              31. Use VirtualTourist As A Guide For Whever You Are

                                                                32. Get An App Like Yelp To Find Out Where The Best Eats Are

                                                                  33. Shop At The Local Grocery Stores To Save Cash

                                                                    You’ll also gain a more intimate cultural experience.

                                                                    34. Keep Small Locks In Your Bag To Stop Pickpockets

                                                                      35. Don’t Dress Fancy Or You Will Make Yourself Stand Out

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                                                                        In some countries pickpockets are a common thing so the more that you look like an everyday local, the safer your gear will be.

                                                                        36.  Ask Hotel Or Hostel Staff About Local Deals

                                                                          37. Take The Road Less Taken And Avoid Touristy Areas

                                                                            38. Take Night Trains

                                                                              If you’re getting around Europe take a night train to avoid having to pay for accommodation.

                                                                              39. Go For Runs

                                                                                Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean that you should stop exercising, it’s important to keep up the good habits so you’re ready for whatever life throws at you.

                                                                                40.  Talk To Locals

                                                                                  What better way to learn about the culture than communicating with the people? They’ll probably be more than happy to answer all of your questions too!

                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Thomas Huang via flickr.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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