Period Travel Tips: Navigating Menstruation on the Go

Period Travel Tips: Navigating Menstruation on the Go

I get it. Periods suck. They suck at home. They suck at school. They suck at work. They especially suck when they pop up on a beautiful trip you’ve been planning for months.

As the queen of bad periods and an avid traveler, I have had some extremely annoying and uncomfortable period situations around the globe.

Today, I am spilling all of my period travel tips. I am sharing some wisdom born of over a decade of menstruating on the go. Brace yourself for many pieces of valuable information and a little bit TMI.

8 Tips for Traveling on Your Period

When I was in middle school and fairly new to periods, I bled really badly while biking in Cape Cod with my family. I was too embarrassed to say anything to my mom, so I just pushed through. However, the universe was looking out for me. I crashed my bike and got pretty cut up and was able to pass any visible stains off as “part of the accident.”

I don’t know if this was good luck or bad luck, but this experience made me extremely nervous to travel on my period. I wanted to avoid it at all costs. I have talked to grown women who are scared to plan trips anywhere near the time of their period since so much is out of control when you’re on the go, especially if it’s with others.

Without medical intervention, you can’t just skip your period for a trip. If it comes, you have to deal with it.

That’s why I have decided to throw together some of the period travel hacks that have saved me from uncomfortable situations time and time again. Let’s get to it.

1. Pack the Products

I learned the hard way that period products can be hard to come by in some countries, especially ones where tampons are considered extremely risque. Sometimes, it isn’t that there is a shortage of products, but the packages are very small and can get expensive.

For example, in the Dominican Republic, tampons were so incredibly expensive (even though everything else in the grocery stores are relatively cheap). Pads were fine, but I know a lot of people have strong preferences either way.

I typically calculate how many products I’d need for the time of the trip. However, I do not typically buy a whole thing of pads and just stick them in my suitcase. I divide them up and put them in different places in my luggage. I do this for two reasons.

First, I like to have multiple sizes of pads and tampons easily accessible no matter where I am. If I have a backpack, purse and carry on, the products get divided between all of them. If any bag gets lost, you still should be good to go

Second, I do what I can to save space. Period products are the last things I pack because know that they can be shoved to fill small spaces at the end.

Of course, which products you use will depend on your preferences, but take into account the activities you’ll be doing on your trip. We will get a little bit more into this in a moment.

2. Play it Safe with the Liner

Do you want to know how many times my period has gotten funky while traveling? Too many.

If I know that my period is going to be coming at some point on my trip (even if it’s DAYS away), I wear a panty liner from the time I leave for the airport. Carrying around bloody clothes wadded up in your suitcase or putting a pad over bloody underwear for the remainder of a 15 hour flight is not the slightest bit fun.

Honestly, this is also a non-period travel hack for long haul flights that I have heard before. Since traveling around the world often promises a day or two of no showering, many people wear panty liners and change them regularly so that their underwear stay nice and fresh.

Either way, I feel like being prepared with liners are the way to go.

Oh, and one last thing to mention. Make sure you buy the liners with the wrapper as opposed to the wrapper-less ones in the box so that you can keep them sterile without taking up too much space.

3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Traveling has a tendency to make you dehydrated. The plane alone dries you out, but I know when I’m on the go I tend to drink less water.

Combine this with your period and potential related symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea and all that fun stuff) and you’re heading down a dark road.

There are a couple of ways I combat that. First off, Vitamin C is my best friend. I use Vitamin C packets, pills and gummies before and during my trip. Vitamin C has a million health benefits, including aiding in hydration and the absorption of iron.

I also bring a metal water bottle when I travel. This helps me avoid buying tons of plastic water bottles but makes it convenient to bring water on the go.

At home, I am a Yeti girl. But on the road, I am a Zulu girl. I got my Zulu water bottle at Sam’s Club a few months back, and I love it because it doesn’t leak and it keeps my water cold. You can get a 2-pack on Amazon for under $30 which is super nice.

4. Black Leggings, Spandex and Bike Shorts

Looking cute when you travel is obviously the preferred way to go, but with all of the bloating and bleeding, feeling cute can be difficult.

Black leggings and spandex have been life saving in situations when I have been unable to use a bathroom for hours on end. Black leggings and spandex have been life savers.

I wear the black leggings when appropriate, but then I pack outfits (like t-shirt dresses) that can be worn with black shorts underneath. I have had many pairs of black spandex over the years, but my favorite are the Nike Pro style but from Under Armor. I am sure the Nike ones are just as good (if not better) but I do my best to avoid Nike for ethical reasons.

My favorite black leggings are from American Eagle. I really like their shiny move leggings and I have them in a million colors, but the black is the important one here.

Another clothing item that I have recently thrown into the mix is black bike shorts. These are cool because they have the effect of leggings (holding everything in, no thigh chaffing and hiding period stains if they are black) but they are shorts. They are typically long enough that my butt cheeks don’t fall out and they are a modest length for wearing in public.

I feel like bike shorts and big tees are the perfect period outfit because they make me feel like I am held together but not busting at the seams when I get super bloated. It’s also a cute alternative for boating, kayaking and other water activities that don’t necessarily need require a bathing suit.

I found my favorite bike shorts on Amazon. There are two brands I like, and they both have pockets! One is BALEAF and the other is Holure.

5. Period Friendly Swim Options

As I mentioned, I have been wearing oversized tees and bike shorts as a water activity alternative. However, swimming in your clothes is not fun.

I have two go-to black bathing suits for when a bathing suit is absolutely necessary on my period. I have one simple black one piece and high waisted black bikini. I also have a black crochet coverup.

If you notice, black is a common theme here. I do not love to wear black, but like I mentioned earlier: I have had so many period mishaps because I was unable to get to a bathroom for a really long period of time due to being on a boat or being out in the middle of nowhere. Of course, you’ll do what you can to protect yourself against leakage, but black is a great way to cover it up.

6. Preparing for Pain

I, for one, get the most painful periods. The first day typically consists of me writhing in bed and crying. I often have cramps so bad that keep me up all night, so that ruins a second day. Missing this much time of your trip can be absolutely frustrating.

If Midol, Pamprin or another period medicine works for you, make sure you pack it! I have been taking CBD and that helps. I was lucky to be in a Cannabis-friendly state during one of my last trips that was graced by my period and a low-dose of THC before bed actually did the trick. When in Rome, am I right or am I right?

If you suffer from bloating, I recommend carrying a couple bags of moringa tea with you. It tastes like green tea and relieves a bloat like no other.

For nausea or an upset stomach, I swear by doTERRA’s ginger digestive drops which are essentially cough drops made from ginger. You can get these on Amazon or from a doTERRA distributor.

Homemade heatings pads can also come in handy. Rather than packing your own (which would take up a ton of space in your luggage), you can make your own with some rice and a sock.

Other than the heating bad and THC, I would recommend getting all of these before you travel, especially if you’re traveling internationally. Buying medicine in a language that you only kind of understand can be dangerous.

7. Create a Period Travel Kit

In addition to packing the items I mentioned, I also recommend creating a period travel kit of sorts that is always easily accessible.

I stow a little pouch with a couple of pads and tampons plus an extra pair of underwear in my purse or personal item (usually a backpack) so that I don’t have to dig into my suitcase if I am in the airport or something like that.

You can go ahead and throw any meds in here if you want. What it comes down to is packing what works best for you.

8. Plan Period-Friendly Activities

When it comes to planning excursions and adventures, you’ll probably want to plan your most low-key ones on the worst day of your period.

You know which days are your heaviest or most painful. I don’t recommend going out on a boat or climbing waterfalls on those days (although I’ve done it before). Save those for when your flow is a little lighter and you don’t expect crazy cramps.

I know that staying active on my first few days help me, so a nice relaxed hike or nature walk could be nice. Honestly, do what makes the most sense for your body. You’re on vacation, and you deserve to have a nice time.

The Takeaways

I know nobody prefers to travel on their period, but I don’t think this natural process should hold you back. I feel like your period should not cause you to miss amazing experiences.

If you can plan travel around your period, that is great. If not, I hope these 8 period tips helps you travel with comfort during that time of the month.

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15 Places to Visit Before I Turn 30

15 Places to Visit Before I Turn 30

If you haven’t gathered this by now, travel is kinda my thing. Some people buy cars or clothes as soon as they have a penny in their pocket.

But when one of my lovely clients pays an invoice, I just send out a mass text to all of the major airlines and say “Who wants my money this time?”

Obviously, I kid. If I was on a first name basis with any important people from an airline, I’d never be in one spot again.

I have traveled a fair amount over the past few years, but every time I look at a map, I realize how few places I have actually been.

Earlier today I read a post called “15 Places I Want to Go Before I’m 30” on Embark to Explore, another travel blog. You may have read my “30 Before 30” post on my lifestyle blog which is more of a general bucket list, but the post on Embark to Explore has inspired me to come up with a list of 15 places that I’d like to visit, as well!

Climb aboard, because we’re about to go around the world.

1 – Bali, Indonesia

Image result for BALI
Photo from thepointsguy.com.

This destination is probably super basic considering Bali is a very hot spot right now. But based on the research I’ve done, it’s for good reason.

You can rent a beautiful home for 6-10 guests for about $2000-3000 per month. Ideally, I’d like to spend a month there with a group of friends, but most of my friends are in school and on track to work regular 9-5s.

That being said, if you want to move to Bali with me for a month, shoot me an email. HAHAHA!

2 – Cape Town, Africa

Image result for capetown
Photo from steppestravel.com.

Cape Town is another dream destination. The photo I’ve seen are absolutely beautiful. I haven’t been anywhere in Africa, so this would be crossing the fifth continent off my list.

3 – Phuket, Thailand

Image result for phuket
Photo from nomadicmatt.com.

When I traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand a couple months back, I was planning to travel south to Phuket. Right after I booked, I got nervous and canceled my reservation.

Traveling around the world by myself was scary enough, so I deciding that adding extra legs to my trip was not going to make things any easier.

I truly enjoyed my trip to Chiang Mai, and I’m glad that I spent my entire time there. However, I’d love to head back and visit Phuket soon!

4 – Bern, Switzerland

Image result for bern switzerland
Photo from weather-atlas.com.

In the summer of 2018, I fell in love with the idea of Switzerland. I read Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms in my Western Lit III class.

Of course the picture that Hemingway paints of Switzerland is set close to the southern border, but the story led me to do some research. Once I saw pictures of Bern, it was immediately added to my list of places to go.

5 – Cinque Terre, Italy

Image result for cinque terre
Photo by wanderlustcrew.com.

Cinque Terre is an absolute dream destination for me. Although, I really prefer Southern Italy to Norther Italy, this destination is definitely going to bring me back.

This is another tentative destination for my trip this summer, so hopefully it will make the cut.

6 – Iceland

Image result for iceland
Photo from mentalfloss.com.

Last year, I wrote a whole series of blog posts about Iceland for a client site. Ever since then, I’ve been absolutely obsessed. Iceland is one destination that I really would prefer not to take on alone since it requires a ton of driving from one spot to another.

Ideally, I’d like to go in the summer to do all of the hiking and such. But honestly, I wouldn’t complain about a winter trip. I’d love to see the Northern Lights.

7 – Auckland, New Zealand

Image result for hobbiton
Photo from garykent.com.

For the past year or so, my eye has been on New Zealand. Recently, my favorite blogger took her fam on an RV trip through New Zealand and my mind was made up: I have to road trip through this gorgeous country.

So, I am not into Star Trek, but I am dying to visit Hobbiton, which is where the set of the trilogy was filmed. All of the photos that I’ve seen of New Zealand, specifically in this area, are phenomenal.

8 – Barcelona, Spain

Image result for barcelona
Photo from vox.com.

Barcelona is another spot I’m hoping to hit on my trip to Europe this summer. Maybe it’s cheesy but every time I hear Ed Sheeran’s song “Barcelona,” I have to physically restrict myself from booking the flight.

Airfare is so cheap from FLL to BCN so I am always on the look out for deals. If I don’t make it there on this trip, I will definitely find a time to go over the next couple of years.

9 – Peru

Image result for machu picchu
Photo from fodors.com.

I’ve experienced a great deal of South American culture living in South Florida, and a few of my very favorite people are Peruvian. Peru is so rich in culture and history, so I think it would be the perfect spot for my first trip to América del Sur.

10 – Costa Rica

Image result for costa rica
Photo from fodors.com.

Backpacking in Costa Rica has also been on my list for years. This past spring, two of my cousins went for spring break and their stories made me want to go even more.

I really want to stay in a tree house in the jungle. Costa Rica is a destination that I’d prefer to visit with friends, so submit your application if you want to join me.

11 – Tel Aviv, Israel

Image result for tel aviv
Photo from robbreport.com.

A food blogger that I follow travels to Tel Aviv all the time, so her photos piqued my interest. But over the past couple of years, several people that I know went on their Birthright trips to Israel.

According to Ancestry.com, mom is 2% Ashkenazi jew so I did some hardcore research to see if there was any way that I could qualify for a Birthright trip. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the cut.

12 – Pink Lake, Western Australia

Image result for pink lake in australia
Photo from misterweekender.com.

I visited Sydney, Australia when I was 18, and I was devastated when I learned that the Pink Lake was 36 hours away.

This spot has been high on my list since I was a teen. I am really hoping to backpack through Australia one day. At that time, I’ll make it a priority to hit this spot.

13 – Kraków, Poland

Image result for krakow poland
Photo from openx.com.

My maternal grandmother’s father (so my great grandfather) was Polish, and my family still keeps some Polish traditions (mostly related to food). I’ve heard wonderful things about Kraków and I am dying to visit.

And while, I’m there, I’d love to visit Auschwitz. It’s a little bit out of the city, but I’ve also heard that this is a historical spot that cannot be missed.

14 – Munich, Germany

Image result for munich
Photo from tavelzoo.com.

Oktoberfest has been high on my bucket list for years, so naturally, Munich is on this list.

Thanks to Ancestry DNA, I have found that my paternal grandfather’s parents immigrated from Germany. I am trying to track down exactly where they came from, but I found some people that share my last name that live in Munich, so I think that’s a pretty great place to start!

15 – Alaska

Image result for alaska
Photo from millionmilesecrets.com.

I have never been a cold-weather-destination kinda girl, but recently, it’s become more and more appealing to me. I’d love to visit Alaska sometime soon.

I’ve heard that Alaska is best visited by cruise. Cruises are definitely a ton of fun, but aren’t my go-to when it comes to travel.

Driving in snow makes me so nervous, so I think a cruise would be my best bet for visiting Alaska, especially if I go in the winter to see the Northern Lights.

Oh, The Places I’ll Go

I fully intend on visiting each and every one of these places in the next eight years, so stay tuned for photos, stories and travel guides.

Are any of these places on your travel bucket list? Drop your top destinations in the comments below!

The Pros and Cons of Traveling Alone

The Pros and Cons of Traveling Alone

The first time I boarded a plane for a trip without parents or chaperones was shortly after my 18th birthday. Granted, I was traveling to see friends and family in Pennsylvania, but that was the first time I was able to travel totally on my own terms.

Since this first trip, my trips have become a bit more daring. I went on a few small trips around the States by myself, then I spent some time alone in Rome after the rest of my group left. Most recently, I jetted off to Chiang Mai, Thailand for my first major solo trip.

I’ve traveled with my family, with my friends, as part of a study abroad group and on my own. Each trip I’ve taken has been unique, but the type of company I have on each has really made a difference. Throughout my travels, I’ve come up with of several pros and cons of traveling alone.

There is no right or wrong way to travel, but here are a few drawbacks and benefits of solo travel that you should consider before taking your first trip alone.

The Pros of Traveling Alone

Traveling alone is amazing, but it is not for everybody. It requires a bit of independence and confidence, but the benefits of solo travel are unmatched.

Let’s talk about some of the best parts of traveling alone.

Freedom

The ability to do whatever you want is pretty amazing. You choose where you go, where you sleep, what you eat and anything else you do. When you travel alone, you’re totally in control.

I really like this aspect because I am naturally super independent. I don’t like people telling me what to do, so when I’m on the other side of the world by myself, I truly have nobody to answer to.

Confidence Boost

Solo travel requires a ton of confidence. If you aren’t the most confident to begin with, you’ll likely experience some degree of shift. It’s a survival of the fittest situation.

I know that sounds harsh, but if you want to thrive on a trip by yourself, you will be forced outside of your comfort zone.

You’ll have to ask strangers for help, whether it’s with carrying your luggage or finding a convenience store. You’ll have to mutter a few words in a foreign language to get where you’re going at some point or another. Honestly, you may have to adopt a different culture for a little bit.

When you accomplish these little things, you will feel 100x more confident than before.

Alone Time

Spending time with yourself is so important. It gives you the opportunity to do a lot of reflection. You get to know yourself in a way that you’ve never experienced before.

You’d be surprised how much you learn about yourself during long periods of silence.

Personal Development

Traveling solo is definitely a feat. Getting yourself on that plane by yourself is something to be proud of.

Over the course of your trip—even if it’s just a week long—you’ll probably notice that your confidence and independence is greater than when you left your home.

You’ll also find out a lot about what you like and don’t like. Maybe the alone time teaches you that you’d prefer more down time. Or maybe a wild bungee jumping experience will teach you that you’re an adrenaline junky.

Solo travel requires a lot of putting yourself out there, and that alone will help you grow as a person.

pros and cons of traveling alone

The Cons of Traveling Alone

Solo travel has tons of perks, but there are also some downsides to consider before planning your trip by yourself.

Here’s what you need to know!

More Expensive

When you travel alone, all travel expenses are on you. There is no splitting accommodation costs, groceries, taxis, etc.

If you make an effort to find deals on accommodations and such, this won’t be as hard on your wallet. However, if you plan on staying at super fancy hotels, things may get a bit expensive.

It Gets Lonely

As I mentioned before, the alone time is one of the greatest benefits of solo travel. However, you will get lonely if you don’t put yourself out there to make friends.

If you are confident enough to introduce yourself to strangers and insert yourself into social situations, then this may not be an issue for you.

You’re Responsible

When you travel alone, you’re responsible for everything. You have to plan every detail, and you have to make sure all of the details are correct.

Knowing bus numbers, train times, airline info, reservation details and the like all falls into your hands. This can get a little overwhelming, especially if you have several destinations on a trip.

Less Secure

Before my first solo trip, so many people warned me that I was going to be robbed, killed or taken advantage of. These words were definitely discouraging.

I’m not here to say that you will die if you travel by yourself. I just want to make the point that you have to be more cautious when you’re on your own because you’re the only one there to watch your back.

The only time that this has really been an issue for me was when it came to going out alone or drinking. I am not much of a drinker, but I am a light weight. I don’t drink at all when I’m alone because there is nobody there to make sure I’m okay. However, not drinking saves me a ton of money so I could probably add this to the “pro” column.

No Photographer

Okay so this is super silly, but one of the saddest parts for Instagram lovers like me is not having anybody to take pictures for me. Even if you aren’t big on social media, it is still nice to have photos to go with your memories.

Of course you can ask people to take pictures of you, but there is no guarantee that they will turn out how you want them to. Obviously, I wouldn’t let this con hold me back from traveling alone, but it is an annoying aspect.

Taking the Plunge to Travel Alone

As you can see, there are quite a few pros and cons of traveling alone. However, I don’t think any of the cons are bad enough to outweigh the benefits of solo travel.

I do enjoy traveling with a group, but traveling alone is an experience like no other. Even if you take a solo trip and realize it’s not for you, you will be proud of the confidence you had to make an experience like that happen.

So, what do you think? Is traveling alone an option for you?

6 Best Airbnb Tips: How to Choose the Best Airbnb

6 Best Airbnb Tips: How to Choose the Best Airbnb

Airbnb has made travel more affordable for so many people. It has also given people with a spare room or investment property a way to make some extra cash.

While there are tons of gems on Airbnb, there are also duds. This happens naturally on platforms where everybody and anybody can list what they have to sell.

Personally, I’ve had all great experiences with Airbnb, but there were some times when I’ve wished I would’ve paid a little more attention to smaller details.

Here are the 6 best Airbnb tips that will help you choose the best Airbnb for your stay.

1 – Consider the Number of Beds and Bedrooms

Even if your Airbnb says it sleeps 6, make sure there are enough beds and bedrooms to give each member of your group the privacy they desire.

I’ve seen places where a rental has only one room and everybody is sleeping together. This would be fine if your entire party is cool with sharing a room, but if you have the situation where you have multiple couples and people who are not comfortable sleeping together, this could be problematic.

Figure out what everybody is comfortable with then filter through the stays at your destination to find the place that has enough bedrooms and beds. Most places will give you a breakdown of how the beds are spread across the rooms.

2 – Check How Many Reviews it Has

So, a near perfect rating on Airbnb is great. But if a host/property only has 2 or 3 ratings, I tend to stay away. This is not to say that a newly listed place is bad, but I like to see a decent history of proof that the place that I’m going to stay is decent.

I also check the dates of the reviews. So if there was a bad review about a leaky faucet or a clogged toilet from three years ago, I’m likely to ignore those if the recent reviews where stellar.

Get $40 off Your First Stay

3 – Read What the Reviews Say

Obviously, you’ll want to stay at a place where people have reported having a great experiences with the property and the host. But reviews can give you even more useful information.

Look for comments that people make about the distance from airports or major landmarks that you want to hit. This will give you some more insight on the location since you may be looking for a place to stay in a city you’re unfamiliar with.

I also look at the comments to get a feeling of how cool the host is. I like to stay with hosts who like to chat and interact with me. But I also like to see that the host respects guests’ privacy. Read the reviews to make sure the host has the vibe you’re looking for.

4 – Consider Extra Fees or Discounts

Many places on Airbnb offer discounted rates on weekly or monthly rentals, so even though one place may look more expensive than another based on the daily price, scroll through the page to look for discounts.

The same goes with fees. One place may have a lower daily rate than another but it may have higher service fees, cleaning fees or charges for additional guests.

Look beyond the initial price that you see listed on the main page. You could save yourself a few bucks.

beach at airbnb in kaanapali, maui, hawaii

Learn more about landing discounts on Airbnb!

5 – Check if It’s a Shared Room or Space

Often times, Airbnb hosts offer up a room in their home. This means you’ll probably be sharing bathrooms or living spaces. If this is an issue to you, make sure the property you’re looking at is the entire apartment or home.

I’ve never had issues staying in a private room with the host sleeping in the room over, but I can see how some may find this uncomfortable.

Listings also will specify if the private room has its own lock. This is something I also typically look for.

6 – Save Money on Your First Stay

One of my life mottos is “never pay full price for anything.” In true saver fashion, one of my best Airbnb tips will help you follow that motto, too.

If you’re a first time Airbnb user, you have to take advantage of the $40 discount on your first stay. You can only get this discount if another user invites you.

Lucky for you, I’m inviting everybody who reads this post to use my invite link to access their discount.

Using the Best Airbnb Tips

So, now you have the resources to help you choose the best Airbnb for your stay. Whether you’re looking to book a staycation or a trip around the globe, I hope these tips help you find a magnificent place!

I have stayed in so many cool Airbnb properties that I’ll remember forever, so I’m excited to see what you’ll find!

What My First Solo Trip Taught Me

What My First Solo Trip Taught Me
solo trip to chiang mai

I did it. I took the leap and went half way around the world by myself. It’s not that taking a solo trip was particularly scary for me, but it was definitely out of my comfort zone.

Everybody was curious as to who would accompany me on this huge trip. Many were shocked when I said I was going alone. The more people I talked to, the nervous I got. Just about everybody I talked to warned me of the dangers that lie overseas.

But made it through. I lived to this point, and I am here to share what I learned during my first solo trip.

7 Things I Learned During My First Solo Trip

I am not going to sit here and pretend that I had an Eat, Pray, Love sort of experience. But I definitely learned a lot during this trip.

I’m also not claiming to be any sort of solo travel pro. Really, I’m here to share quite the opposite.

My trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand taught me a little bit about myself and a lot about travel in general. Here’s what I learned.

1 – It Gets Lonely

The first two days of my trip were spent at a conference, so I assumed I’d meet people to hang out during the remainder of my trip. I was wrong.

As somebody who spends a ton of time alone (mostly because I work from home), this was a bit difficult. I am typically super social, but I have a hard time approaching people and making the first move.

Being 12 hours ahead of my friends and family at home meant there were a lot of times that I didn’t have anybody to talk to if I was desperate for some conversation.

Something that was great for beating the loneliness — and the occasional boredom that came with it — was doing Airbnb experiences. These are small tours and experiences lead by locals.

The groups were very small (most are capped at 10 people, but mine each had 5) so it was easy to get to know the other people. I spent time with people from around the world who had all different backgrounds and reasons for traveling.

One woman made a comment about how much she enjoys traveling alone because her job demands a lot of attention and interaction with others. This opened my eyes to the different perspectives of different travellers.

Learn more about getting discounts on Airbnb experiences.

2 – But Being Alone is Nice

Traveling alone really gives you the power to travel exactly how you want to.

I had a ton of quiet time to rest, work and do whatever I wanted. Despite the moments of boredom and loneliness, spending time alone was pretty refreshing.

I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted. There was no coming to a compromise on where to eat or what to do. If I wanted to go to sleep at 9:00 PM, I didn’t have to worry about if somebody else wanted to go out.

There was nobody else to answer to or compromise with.

3 – Plan More Carefully

So, I pretty much booked this trip on a whim. Here’s how it went: I saw a post about the SEO conference, bought a ticket and booked flights all in a span of about 20 minutes.

While I am glad I booked the trip, I should’ve worked out the logistics a little better. I did not consider the dates I was traveling, and I missed a huge festival in Chiang Mai by about 24 hours.

I didn’t consider how rough the jet lag would be. My plane arrived the evening before my conference, and I slept through over half the work shops.

Next time, I will plan my layovers better because the 12 hour time change and full day of travel made adjusting really rough and I wasted so many days sleeping.

Since I was traveling alone absolutely all of the planning was up to me. I know now that I need to pay attention to even the smallest of details.

4 – Be Ready to Face Your Fears

For many, boarding the plan to head around the world is really scary, so even making the trip is facing a huge fear.

Booking my first solo trip was a feat in itself. It wasn’t that I was particularly scared of going, but it was a giant area of unknown.

I definitely had some small fears going into this trip and most of them surrounded food. I know it sounds silly, but I am not a brave eater. Ordering food from a restaurant was seriously the scariest thing to me.

It took an unreasonable amount of convincing and pep talks to get myself into stores and restaurants. But I did it. I was mostly nervous about the language barrier.

Approaching others was also way out of my comfort zone. This was a fear that I didn’t completely overcome on this trip. But I know next time I travel alone I’ll need to make a greater effort with this.

Something else that held me back at first was an overwhelming fear of accidentally offending somebody. Chiang Mai has a very unique culture, and I didn’t want to accidentally do something rude.

Getting to know locals who were open to my million questions was really helpful. I was able to ask them about common behaviors that I observed but didn’t understand (like people bowing to me).

If I learned anything from my solo trip, it was that I have to put myself out there, go beyond the confines of my comfort zone and face some fears.

5 – The World is Not Out to Get You

So many people — mostly people who have never really traveled — warned me of the dangers that I’d face overseas. I was told I’d be raped, kidnapped and killed. This is not to say that there are dangerous places on the other side of the world, but there are also lots of dangerous places here in the United States.

I actually felt safer in Chiang Mai than in NYC during the layover on my way home.

The only time I felt really scared was when I arrived early to a meeting point for a sunrise hike. I was on the outskirts of town at 5:35 AM and I couldn’t find where I was supposed to be.

I talked to 4 people and they didn’t understand what I was asking them. They did not come across as threatening. But they knew that I was lost in the middle of the night so it would’ve been easy for them to rob me or take advantage of me.

6 – But Be Safe

Even though I didn’t come across any danger, I know that it is there. I just don’t let the possibility of danger (which is absolutely everywhere) scare me from traveling.

You just cannot let your guard down.

Blending in rather than drawing attention to yourself is important. Don’t flash your money or valuables. Wear plain clothes.

Something that one of my professors said when I studied abroad was to not act like an American. In Asia, it was a bit difficult to hide my ethnicity because I am clearly caucasian, but in Europe it’s much easier.

She told us not to speak English too loudly. What it came down to was not being obnoxious or flashy.

Just pay attention to your surroundings and follow your intuition. And don’t be too trusting!

7 – Solo Travel is Not for Everybody

While I enjoyed my solo trip, I can see why others wouldn’t. You have to be confident and adaptable.

There is some extra effort that comes with traveling alone. All of the planning responsibility falls on you.

Also, if you hate being alone, you may not enjoy solo travel. It could also serve as a great experience for self-reflection as it gives you quite time to work out why you don’t like being alone.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with preferring to travel with pals.

What I learned on my first solo trip

The Takeaway from My First Solo Trip

If you’re on the fence of traveling alone, I’d say go for it. People will tell you all of the reasons you shouldn’t, but it’s really what you make of it.

If you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone, you’ll be fine.

During the first few days, I swore I’d never travel alone again. I was still super jetlagged pretty nervous about the whole food thing at this point, so I hadn’t gotten out to explore.

I enjoyed the freedom that came with solo travel. The down time to think and reflect were also very enjoyable.

I’m not really sure how long of a solo trip I could handle. But something that an older traveler I met stuck with me.

She commented on how traveling has changed as she’s aged and “gotten better” at traveling.

I love traveling now and I’m confident that I’ll get better at it with experience. I’m eager to plan another solo trip, but I’m definitely not opposed to traveling with others.

Traveling with my friends when we studied abroad was a blast, so I’d definitely like to travel with groups of friends again.

Since most of my friends are either in school or have jobs that are location dependent, I see lots of solo trips in my future.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to take your first solo trip?

Rural Pennsylvania — Visiting Family in Fall

Rural Pennsylvania — Visiting Family in Fall
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Going Home to Rural Western Pennsylvania

Remember in Hannah Montana: The Movie when Miley goes back to Tennessee to get a break from the hustle and bustle of the #CelebLife and revitalize her soul?

Last week, I did that too. I made my way back to rural Western Pennsylvania, about an hour or so northeast of Pittsburgh.

Okay, so I’m definitely not a celebrity, but life has been crazy amd draining. Sometimes, traveling to familiar places can do wonders for you.

I spent nine days catching up with family and friends. Most of the time was spent with my grandparents, which was really nice. We ate at my favorite restaurants, visited my Amish friends in Smicksburg and took my little cousins for some fall fun at a local farm.

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The leaves were absolutely beautiful. I was there from the time some of them started changing until most of them were on the ground.

Fall is my absolute favorite season. We don’t have fall in Florida so I make a point to travel to somewhere that has a change of season every fall!

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Yes, my grandmother has three alpacas.

A Rural Pennsylvania Wedding

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Shop this look: Booties, Dress, Denim Jacket and Leopard Barrette (Not Pictured)

During my trip to Pennsylvania, I had the honor of attending my cousin’s wedding. He and his fiance were tying the knot at Fairman Family Farms, a little barn close to Indiana, PA.

We really didn’t know what to expect because it was literally being held in a barn. I was prepared for a full scale rural Pennsylvania wedding.

I kept thinking about the radio commercial that talks about a couple renting a barn for their wedding and then showing up and the animals are still in there on the wedding day. My imagination began running a little wild What I pictured the event to be was a little more country than I’m used to, but it ended up being absolutely beautiful.

I got to catch up with some aunts, uncles and cousins that I haven’t seen in quite a while. It was really nice that I could make it because so many of my cousins have been getting married and having babies, but being in school up until recently made it hard to drop what I was doing to attend those events.

Times like these, I am especially thankful for my career path.

Cafe Contrary: My Favorite PA Cafe

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It’s so strange how specific tastes bring back so many memories.

When it comes to breakfast, my standards are set high. My favorite restaurant from my childhood is called Cafe Contrary in Saxonburg, PA. It’s a simple cafe, but I crave it all the time.

When I walked in, the waitress who always took care of us when I was a child seated us. I didn’t think she’d recognize me without my parents because I’ve grown up quite a bit since we were regulars.

After she seated us and came back from drinks she asked how my parents were doing. She said she wasn’t sure if I was who she was thinking of at first. It was funny because when we first got there, I told me grandma that she had been there as long as I could remember.

They used to only make these godly cinnamon rolls on the weekends, but I went on a Tuesday and lucked out. The breakfast special and cinnamon roll were enough to send me into a minor food coma, but it’s always worth it.

leaves changing in western pennsylvania | Western Pennsylvania in the fall

It is always nice to visit the place that was my home for so many years. I can’t wait to go back next month!

Looking for an Airbnb to stay in during your trip to rural Western Pennsylvania? Check out this post to get $40 off your stay!


Disclaimer: If you make any purchases through the affiliate links on this page, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you! Thank you for your support!

Airbnb Coupon Code That Works: $40 Off Your First Stay

Airbnb Coupon Code That Works: $40 Off Your First Stay
Airbnb in Massa Lubrense, Amalfi, Italy. Airbnb coupon code that works.
The view of Capri from our Airbnb in Massa Lubrense, Amalfi, Italy.

Having a safe place to lay your head at night when you travel is pretty important. For years, hotels, motels, hostels and inns have been the first thing to come to mind when travelers consider their vacation accommodations.

In the past few years, Airbnb has become more and more popular among travelers who want something a little different than the more traditional options. It is particularly popular because of its wide variety of accommodation options (you can stay in anything from a room in a boutique hotel to a treehouse in the jungle).

Airbnb has stays for every budget, but do you know what’s cool? Getting a discount on your first Airbnb reservation. I have an Airbnb coupon code that works to get $40 off your first stay and $10 off your first Airbnb experience.

What do you say? Ready to take a trip with Airbnb?

How to Use an Airbnb Coupon Code for $40 Off

Getting $40 off your first Airbnb stay is a breeze. You’re just a few steps away from saving some money on your next trip.

Here’s how you can claim your discount:

  1. Sign up for Airbnb with this link!
  2. Choose a cute place to stay.
  3. Book a stay with a total of $75 or more. (Keep in mind that your $40 will be applied to that total, so you could stay for as little as $35!)
  4. Stay in your cool little spot.

How much easier could it be? You can book your first Airbnb stay in no time.

$40 Off Your Airbnb Stay: Airbnb Coupon Code That Works

The Perks of Staying in an Airbnb

Airbnb is such a versatile booking platform. Hosts can offer you their entire home or a room in their boutique hotel. You may even find a more unique spot in your special destination.

Here are some of the perks that set Airbnb apart from more traditional accommodations:

  • More affordable than a hotel
  • Homelike accommodations
  • Tons of unique experiences
  • More variety and options
  • Quirky properties that make for a memorable stay

Even if you typically prefer hotels, trying Airbnb is worth a shot.

Sign up today to get $40 off your first stay.

Discounts on Airbnb Experiences

You were looking for an Airbnb coupon code that works, and today, you’ve hit the jackpot…twice.

In addition to $40 off your first stay with Airbnb, you can get a $15 credit towards your first $50+ Airbnb Experience when you sign up with the referral link.

Airbnb experience hosts are there to lead you in some of the most exciting local activities. From photoshoots in NYC to sunrise treks in Thailand, you’re bound to find something super cool in your destination.

Use Your Airbnb Coupon Code that Works to Book Your Stay Today

So are you ready to book your next adventure? Stay in a tree house, igloo, spare bedroom, sailboat or whatever cool accommodation that fits in your agenda.

There are so many amazing stays on Airbnb, so it is wonderful to give it a try at a discounted rate.

This Airbnb coupon code works, and it is all yours. Don’t leave your $40 discount on the table.

Looking for a travel content writer? Find out how to work with me today!

View from penthouse Airbnb in Maui.

When you sign up with my Airbnb link, I get a little bonus to put towards my next stay at no cost to you. This support allows me to continue to travel and create content like this! Thank you.