Plans for the Upcoming Year

I am lucky enough to have a family that brings me on amazing trips almost every year and I cannot thank them enough for it. This year, the fam is venturing to Marco Island, Florida. I haven’t been to Florida since I went to Disney as a kid, so it’ll kind of be an entirely new experience for me. My parents have been thinking about moving down there after they retire so the trip is really half vacation/ half location hunting.

My mom is the planner of the group, so she rented a beautiful house along the canal to stay in for the week. It includes an enclosed pool, fishing access, and a bedroom for each of us. My family is funny when it comes to vacations because we all have different preferences. I am happy with going to the beach and relaxing for a week. My brother likes the country and open roads, so a road trip is his cup of tea. My dad can never stop moving, so any kind of place with a lot to do and see is perfect for him. My mom is the mediator, so she tries her hardest to make everyone happy. Last year we went to North Carolina (as previously mentioned) and that trip was more for my brother and dad. This year is more for me, because we’ll be by the beach and have a pool and will be able to hang out as a family.

This trip was planned awhile ago, but I just found out that I will probably be going on another one in the winter. My sister lives in California with her husband and she just broke the news that she is pregnant! I’ve never been to California and every time I asked to visit my dad said we will go when we have a reason to go. Well, a new nephew for me (and a grandson for him) is a perfect reason! So we will probably be going to visit sometime between September and December to see the new addition to the family. Sounds pretty awesome to me because not only do I get to travel more, I get to do it for an amazing reason. I can’t wait!!!!

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What to Pack in Your Carry-on

The perfect carry-on is difficult to pack but not impossible. There are many sites you can go that supply a check list of items that people should not forget to pack, but have you discovered the perfect carry-on bag? I have and its called the O.M.G. bag from Lo & Sons. Check this out.

It has a pocket for everything you could ever need. It includes sections for your laptop, your tablet, extra shoes, phone, make up, wallet, passport, and more. Instead of lumping all of your belongings into one or two pockets which creates havoc and could lead to losing things, this bag has a place for anything you may need which allows for easy access and makes it possible to remember where everything is.

So now that we picked the perfect bag, what do we need to pack? I like to create a list before I begin so I have everything written down. This way, it is easier to spot if I am missing something because everything is right in front of me. Let’s say you are traveling internationally, what do you need for the traveling process?

In my carry-on, I will pack my passport, plane tickets, wallet, phone, laptop (if needed), head phones, tissues, an extra shirt, my make up bag, and a snack or two. The first few items are obvious, but the last few may not be considered for a few of you. I bring an extra shirt because you can never be sure of the temperature that the plane will be compared to the temperature outside. Also, lets say you are traveling in the winter from New Jersey to the Bahamas. You will probably not want to wear the same shirt that you put on in Jersey while in the much hotter Bahamas weather. Bringing snacks is also a necessity because if you are someone who is not thrilled by airplane food (like me) or you are on an airline does not provide complimentary food, you do not want to be starving for the entire trip. By picking up a bag of chips or piece of fruit, you are taking a step to making yourself more comfortable on the trip.

Overall, everyone has different items that they find necessary while flying. Aside from the obvious, there are a few things we can bring in our bags to make our trip more enjoyable. It is up to us to remember them!

The Perfect Airport Outfit

When I go to the airport, I want to comfortable and I’m sure I’m no the only one. As I previously mentioned, I went abroad this past Spring Break. During that trip, we had five different fights (there were two layovers). There were some days that I practically lived in the airport and then would spend hors upon hours on the plane. If I was wearing anything other than sweats, I don’t think I would have survived.

I like to rock the sweatshirt and leggings vibes, just like so many others. My go-to outfit usually included a t-shirt with a pull-over sweatshirt that I could easily take off, black leggings, and sneakers. I wore minimum make-up and sometimes rocked my Monmouth baseball cap (if my hair was a mess).

I recommend wearing comfortable clothing while traveling because you want to be in a good mood while going somewhere amazing. Wearing something that makes you uncomfortable will ruin your travel experience and you don’t want that. Everyone finds different things more comfortable than others, so if you’re one of those people who think jeans are the most comfortable piece of clothing, or even weirder, a dress, then be my guest. It really depends on the climate, your destination, and your own preference.

For warmer, Summer weather I would recommend wearing a t-shirt and leggings. The reason I still say to wear leggings is because shorts can cause your legs to be directly on the seat which could cause you to sweat. For the colder months, I recommend a long sleeve and a heavier sweatshirt that you can remove easily. The reason I do not bring a winter coat is because they are often too big to fit in that tiny seat and if the plane gets too warm, there will be no comfortable place to put it.

These are just a few of my ideas but it is really up to you to decide what you feel most comfortable in. Keep calm and travel on.

Traveling Europe in 10 Days

I would like to give you all just a short synopsis of my trip because I simply cannot stop talking about it.

So just to get things started, I am 100% going back to Europe ASAP.  My friends and I are already planning our next Spring Break trip to Florence and Dublin (so we are there for St. Patrick’s Day) while our other friends are planning their stereotypical trip to Cancun. Don’t get me wrong, that will probably be a great time, but once you spend a week in London and Florence, you probably would rather go there instead of a beach too.

There is probably not one thing that I did not like about this trip. Okay, maybe the men trying to sell roses and selfie sticks were kind of annoying, but that was nothing in the grand scheme of things. The beauty and excitement that was at every turn was nothing like I have ever experienced before.

I was surprised by how comfortable I was with traveling the world with just a few friends and building relationships with locals. I suppose that had something to do with the fact that a few of my traveling companions had been to the places we went before, so I knew I was in good hands. I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable, even when I was with just one or two friends instead of the entire group. This was especially the case in Florence, where I often walked around with just one person just to explore. Even if we got lost, we never felt unsafe or felt the need to ask for assistance. We were actually kind of forced into that because the majority of us did not have service while abroad so we really did not have much to rely on when it came to directions.

Overall, this trip solidified my desire to travel the world and see as many places as possible. I have always been told by my parents to travel in my twenties because that is the time to do it, and I’ve always agreed but never really made plans. Now I am creating a list of all the places I absolutely need to visit before I’m tied down with a family and a career. Point is, traveling changed my life and I’m only 20. I cannot wait to see how it changes me as a person and helps me grow within the next ten years.

Traveling Florence

Being in Florence was an amazing experience and something I will never forget. Unlike London, when I was in Florence it really felt like I was abroad. The history and architecture is unlike anything I have seen before, and the city itself was full of colorful personalities and experiences. I was amazed by almost every sight, including the Duomo, the many piazzas, and the mini streets with cute shops and restaurants.

Obviously, Italy is known for their food, and when I visited, I was not disappointed. I ate my weight in pizza and pasta at almost every meal so its actually pretty impressive that I didn’t gain at least twenty pounds by the end of the trip. Two of my friends had studied abroad in Florence this past summer, so we were able to find the best (in our opinion) places to eat. One specific place that we continued to go for dinner night after night was Dante’s. It had fantastic food and I ate an absurd amount of pasta every time I went. Another main reason that we continued to go to this place was because if you are a student of the local Florence college, they gave you unlimited wine for free. We were not students at that college but they assumed we were so we did not complain.

Another thing that you should be aware of when you go to Florence is the amount of people selling things on the street and the gypsies that walk around asking for money. The amount of times I was asked to buy a selfie stick is unbelievable; I didn’t even think there were that many selfie sticks in the world. They also sold a lot of purses, bracelets, and roses. The key (which I learned after the fact) is to completely ignore them. It sounds bad because that is not what we are taught in our culture, but if you show any kind of interest, they will not leave you alone.

Overall, Florence was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life so far. I met so many amazing people because workers are so kind and welcoming. My friends who came on the trip with me met a few people when they studied abroad so when we went, we met up with those same people and built friendships with them. I cannot wait to go back, and I’m already planning my next trip there for next Spring Break!

Traveling London

As some of you may know from my Instagram posts, I have just recently returned from Europe on my Spring Break trip! I travelled to London and Florence with a day trip in Venice. The experience was more than I could have ever hoped for and I am already planning my next trip oversees.

When people ask “What did you like better; London or Florence?” I cannot give them a straight answer. There is simply no way of comparing the two cities because they are so different yet amazing in their own ways. Today I will focus on London, as it was the first place I visited.

London surprised me. I’m not really sure what I was expecting when I went there, but it was definitely not what I thought it was going to be. London is pretty much a cleaner, quieter New York City. I loved being able to walk around and see the amazing sights like Big Ben, the London Eye, and Tower Bridge right in front of me. I guess I felt the way that people who travel to visit NYC feel when they see the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building for the first time. (Do people feel that way?) I was lucky enough to have a few days of being a tourist, going over the bridges, onto the London Eye, and through the streets of famous markets. I was accompanied by my friend who is currently studying abroad, someone who previously studied abroad, and her friend who was born and raised in London. I found that to be a blessing because I got to experience the local’s spots in the city. I was introduced to little alcoves and hideaway bars that I never would have thought to go to if I was with a bunch of tourists.

If any of you ever visit London, here’s a few things that I did that I think are definitely worth it:

  1. The London Eye: I highly recommend this because you get to see a view of the entire city and it is unbelievably cool.
  2. The Tower Bridge: If you take the tour of the bridge, you get the opportunity to take an elevator up and walk across the top. While you are up there, there are glass floors and a mirror ceiling which makes for awesome views and pictures.
  3. Abbey Road: Little did I know, this road is in the middle of a busy intersection and cars are constantly trying to get past which makes it very difficult to reenact the Beatles picture. But if you do get the chance to take a successful picture, it is definitely worth it. There is also a gift shop dedicated to all of the music that was born there.
  4. Tea Time!: There are so many tea shops all around London and if you are anything like me, you want to be able to say you drank tea like an average Londoner.
  5. Buckingham Palace/ Changing of the Guards: I did not actually get the chance to see the Changing of the Guards because we ran out of time, but I have heard it is a great thing to witness at least once. I did get to see the palace which is so beautiful (and well-guarded)

Those are just a few of the more touristy things I got to do while in London. There were also a lot of pub crawls and margarita spots we found that aided to the fun of the trip.

Traveling on a Budget

This one is for all my fellow college students out there who want to begin traveling the world but are living off a broke college student budget.

There is no denying that it is difficult to travel while young. Working part-time jobs can only get you so far, and if you’re anything like me, you spend most of your money on eating out and clothes that I probably don’t really need. But that is no reason to limit yourself of seeing the world. Whether it be to the state over or across the globe, find a way to save money and travel.

I will be spending my Spring Break in both London and Florence; two places I have never been but have always wanted to visit. I am going with my six best friends and we have all been discussing our budgets. Some of us are paying for the whole trips ourselves while others got some help from their families but all in all, we all need money to spend while on the trip. For me, I found that working all summer and getting a part-time on campus job has helped a lot. I had a lot of money saved up throughout my years of growing up, so that of course went to use also. The trick for me when I am tempted to eat out while home is to remember the places I will be going and the restaurants I will want to eat at. If  I do that, I remember that I will probably be unable to eat all the things I want to eat and do all the things I want to do if I spend all of my money here at home. This small thing helps me save money so I am able to pay for the Air B&B for Florence and hotel for London. That is another important thing to remember while planning to travel on a budget. Think about where you are going to stay. I lucked out by traveling with a large group because we were able to find places that were decently priced by splitting it between seven people. If you are going alone or with just one or two companions, search the Web for cheap but clean places to stay, because they are out there!

But we all can’t go across the Atlantic for a trip. Some people could have just as much fun traveling somewhere nearby. This can cost much less because you can cut out expensive travel expenses like flying. Taking a car, train, or bus to a nearby state (or somewhere within your home state) could be just as fun as traveling somewhere abroad. This is especially regarding young college students. Go to a beach, or a city, or some middle-of-the-woods area where you could spend the day relaxing. These types of places are often very affordable and could offer deals for students.

The moral of this post is that if there is a will, there is a way. Start saving up now for your upcoming trip (even if you don’t know exactly what it will be yet). Remember that traveling helps people gain worldly experience which will help you later in life. Remember that you are only young once, so live it up as much as possible. And lastly, remember that it doesn’t matter whether you travel near or far, just getting away in general may be the thing you need most.

Tips & Tricks!

Here are some tips and tricks on traveling! You can use them or not, as different things work for different people. These are just a few tips that I discovered worked for me. Good luck and enjoy!

  1. Get to the airport early- there’s nothing worse than having to rush through the airport process.
  2. Bring a snack or two for the wait before getting on the plane- buying food could get expensive!
  3. Bring as much in the carry-on as possible. Less/lighter luggage that you check, less money it is.
  4. Get enough sleep the night before! You do not want to be half asleep while going through the airport process. It’s dreadful enough as it is, you don’t want to add sleep deprived to it.
  5. Get a window seat if possible! If you’re unafraid of flying, seeing out of the window is a great way of preparing you for the journey ahead. It gets you thinking about where you’re going and what you can see from so far up!
  6. If you are someone who is scared of flying, get an aisle seat. You will be far enough from the window that you can get your mind off of the journey itself and focus on other things.
  7. Bring a book or something to do on the plane (in my case, homework). This will allow for the time to pass by instead of thinking solely about the fact you are in flying through the air.

I hope some of these tips and tricks apply to you and you can use them for your next excursion! Hopefully by using a few of these ideas, the airport process will be less of a struggle and you will be able to focus on what really matters- the trip itself!