Tips for Travel Planning

Charlie and I are leaving for Washington DC next week! Though I’ve been to DC as a kid I barely remember a thing, and Charlie has never been. Traveling as adults is such a different thing for me, especially to places I’ve never been before. As a kid all I have to do is pack up my things and go! 
1. Transportation, sights, and the area. As an adult with no one responsible for my safety except me it requires some pre-planning lol! I have to do research to make sure I know how to get around, if a car rental is required, or if public transit is sufficient. Charlie and I have also found we have certain types of areas we like to stay when we travel. We’re not really touristy people, we’re not the type that like to take scheduled bus tours. We like to explore the city on our own, experience a place through its food scene, and do our own research before visiting monuments and sightsee.
2. Weather and packing. Something we do before a trip is monitor the weather wherever we’re going. That way we can make sure we packed the correct type of clothing for the trip. I tend to be an over-packer (surprise, surprise!) and Charlie prefers to travel as light as possible. As much as possible I try to keep my luggage limited to just a carry on so I don’t have the hassle of a checked bag. Either way it’s always good to bring some “just-in-case” items, you know, just in case. Even if it’s the dead of summer, at least bring a light sweater. If it’s winter bring something for warmer weather like a tank top or a t-shirt. You can always add the tank top as another layer in case it’s blistering cold!
3. Buy toiletries when you get there. Speaking of carry on, I always try to buy things like toiletries when I get to my destination. Especially if I’m only taking a carry on. That way I don’t have to worry about the 3 1 1 liquid rule. Once I get to my destination I usually go to a drug store or grocery store anyway, so might as well pick up simple necessities like tooth paste, sunscreen, shampoo, etc.
4. Distractions. Truth be told I’m not the best traveler. I get a stint of anxiety whenever we travel so I make sure I have a plethora of things to keep me distracted. I download games that don’t require and internet connection, I download tons of books and magazines, I have melatonin on hand so I can sleep at least part of the way, and I make sure I have at least 2 types of earbuds. I also try to work while I’m on the plane, that way I can get something done and be productive. Basically, anything I can do to keep my mind off being over 10,000 feet in the air I’ll do lol!
5. Create a general itinerary. Once I have wrapped my head around the basics of my travel destination I start to plan my trip in Evernote. I’ve done a YouTube video on this in the past and I’m telling you – it’s been a game changer. It just makes traveling and all the tiny little details a little more simple. I’m sure you can do something similar in any of your favorite note-taking apps or in your planner or notebook, but I love how Evernote doesn’t require me to have an internet connection (in case I’m traveling abroad), I can collaborate with Charlie or other travel buddies, and I can keep a carbon copy of all my confirmations in Evernote. The best thing is I don’t have to leave the app which is so useful when you’re trying to find confirmation numbers or little details on the spot.
I’m starting to get pretty excited to see a new place with my hubby! I’m so glad that Charlie and I travel well together. We’re interested in similar sights and attractions and our travel style is the same. We both like a balance of relaxation and exploring. I guess that lends well toward planning for travel since there’s not much planning to do lol! We both don’t like being pressured to be on a time table, be with a big group, and allow the location to just push us where the wind blows 🙂
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Advice from a 33 Year Old

I’ve always felt like I was one of those “13 going on 30” type of kids. I don’t know why I was always in such a rush to grow up. Not necessarily on purpose, but just naturally. My mind thought differently from my friends and classmates my age. At 33 I look back at my life so far and see how quickly I just knew things I wanted and just went for it. 
  • At 19, I started my first business. Growing up I thought I wanted to work for someone (seeing how hard my parents worked) but one day I just changed my mind. I knew I wanted to be my own boss. I might not have known what that would mean at the time or the consequences of that decision, but I knew that’s what I wanted.
  • I enrolled in a 2 year college with no intention of going to school any longer than I needed to. I graduated in 18 months. School just wasn’t my thing.
  • I always thought that school was important and I knew I wanted to get a degree in something. But I thought it was silly that I had to pay someone to do work when I can get a job and get paid to do it instead.
  • I always thought learning on the job was the best way to learn.
  • The only thing I regret is not traveling more in my 20s. My excuse was that I didn’t have enough money or time but if I really wanted to make it happen, there’s always a way. Work and business was always my priority.
  • I’ve always believed in God, I grew up Catholic. But there was a time when I completely shut God out of my life. Not because I didn’t believe, it was more that I was stupid enough to think I had it all together. I thought I had it handled, that I didn’t need God. I had everything I could ever ask for. But despite that, I still felt empty and incomplete. One day I decided to go back to church and reignite my relationship with God. It changed everything.
  • Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, be true to yourself and who God made you to be. Don’t waste your life trying to fit someone else’s mold of who they think you should be. 
  • Life is short so make the time you have on Earth count. Hug your family tighter, tell people you love them, make time for your friends, don’t stay angry, smile, don’t hang on to expectations, and be kind to others as much as you can.
  • Be grateful for what you have in your life, don’t focus on what you don’t have. Contentment is one of the hardest things to achieve. We live in a society that wants us to always want more. Be grateful for what you have.
But most of all – pave your own path, walk the road less traveled. Yes, it might be rockier. It might be way harder than you ever expected. People will tell you it’ll be too hard, that you can’t do it, or that you’re crazy. It will mean you have to make sacrifices, a lot of them. But take it from this 33 year old, it’ll be more worth it to try and fail than to do nothing at all.
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Why Retail Job Experience is So Important

Photo by: Sarah Pflug

I’ve had this conversation with so many different people from different walks of life. Because of this I thought it would be worth mentioning.

I highly recommending working in the restaurant, retail, or customer service industries at some point in your life.

I’ve worked in a lot of industries that revolved around customer service, and as much as I hated some of those jobs, each one has taught me a lot. Whether it’s a new skill or something about myself, I’ve learned so much from working in customer service jobs.

I learned how to be more patient.

I learned to break out of my shyness. (I used to be really shy as a kid)

I learned that a simple smile can go a long way.

I learned how to sell a product without being pushy.

I learned how to multitask.

I learned that I have worth and deserve respect.

Thanks to working in industries such as food and clothing I met some really great people. A lot of my coworkers turned into friends! I’ve met some great friends thanks to working in these jobs. Friends that helped make work more tolerable and more fun!

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but working in these industries was such a big part of my life. Yes, it wasn’t great all the time but it made such a big impact on me. When you’re on the receiving end and you’re a customer you definitely have a different perspective compared to when you don’t.

If you’re in college, between jobs, or just want something more interesting I highly recommend something revolving around customer service. I can tell you one thing, you’ll definitely get something out of it aside from just a paycheck. You’ll probably learn something about yourself that you didn’t know before.


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