Let's Connect!


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

How To Spend 3 Days in Tucson

Back in January, I took a trip to Arizona with my mom and husband. This was his first time there, which was an interesting perspective considering I spent my entire school-age life there. Since this was our first trip where we didn't drive during Covid, we planned to do quite a bit outside, which was great, because the weather was perfect for this kind of visit.

Back in January, I took a trip to Arizona with my mom and husband. We were there for just 4 days, but we made the most of those days.

We were there for just 4 days, but we made the most of those days. If you are looking for a short getaway and want to enjoy the outdoors and the desert landscape, here are my suggestions for visiting Tucson in just a few days.  

Click to see full res panorama

Take a Day Trip

We rented a car, because I knew we would be doing quite a bit of driving. One of our days we took a day trip to Tombstone and the surrounding area. Tombstone is a wonderful little historic town, with wooden sidewalks, dirt roads, and saloons. There's a mine tour, to help you learn about their history with silver mining. You can stand where the shootout at the O.K. Corral happened. Head to Old Tombstone Western Theme Park to immerse yourself in Wild West entertainment.

We started our visit with a stroll through Boothill Graveyard, which is the resting place of many people who lived and died in Tombstone, including the three men who were killed in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Many who reside here were actually killed over petty disputes or from diseases that we now have vaccines or other cures/preventions for. 

There's even a Jewish cemetery and memorial that sits on the site, a little off from the main cemetery, where you can sit and reflect or pay your respects. While there are no individual gravestones, it's a lovely memorial.

Next we got lunch, walked the main street, bought some exotic jerky, and then took in a show at the Saloon Theatre. For about an hour, you learn the history of the city through historical gunfight shows. Three actors in Wild West costume reenact some of the gunfights that shaped the town. 

We planned to go to Bisbee afterward, but we were running low on time, so we headed to Fairbank, which was touted as a ghost town. While there was indeed no one there, it was also a camp site for RVs. Due to Covid, we couldn't go into any of the buildings on the site, but were able to view what remained of the town, including the post office and school house. 

You may want to visit Bisbee, another mining town, Kartchner Caverns State Park, where you can learn about limestone, or Colossal Cave Mountain Park, where you can take in the colorful rock formations.

Biosphere 2

When we lived in Arizona, Biosphere hadn't opened to the public yet. I remember how excited everyone was about this experiment going on where scientists were going to live in a self-contained environment, which I assume was meant to see how well we could do this maybe on another planet or if we tried to move to other inhospitable environments. I knew if I went back I was going to take a tour. 

While you'll want to bring good walking shoes, there isn't a lot of "hiking" like the website and the signs say. Yes, there are some stairs, but not a ton. It is also mostly accessible for those with mobility issues. We took a self-guided tour, via an app on our phone. There is staff on-site to answer any questions, but you basically learn everything you need about how the environment works through the app and from signs along the way. 

Inside you can view the ocean environment, the rainforest, the sleeping quarters and more. The only place we were unable to go was the observatory. For as much as is on the site, the tour is pretty short, giving us plenty of time to do other things after our morning visit.

Tucson Botanical Gardens

I love to visit botanical gardens when I travel, because they showcase many of the local plants and flowers. Even though there are a lot of cactus at this garden, there's also art, flowers, herbs, and butterflies. There's also a small museum and gallery within the gardens, a café, a lovely gift shop, and a miniature train. 

We spent much more time here than we expected to, because we learned so much about the couple that started the gardens and the plants within, plus we enjoyed admiring the many large art pieces dotted around. 

Presidio San Augustin del Tucson

There's no better way to learn about a place than with hands-on and interactive exhibits and the Presidio is the perfect place to get both of those experiences. If you plan your visit well, you will be there during living history time. You'll get to talk to a blacksmith, listen to an orchestral circle, ask about kitchen tools, learn about baking in a clay oven, and watch a real cannon ceremony and witness the firing of it.

The Presidio is small, but it's got a lot packed inside and out in the courtyard. It's the perfect place to visit if you have kids traveling with you, though we three adults greatly enjoyed it as well. I spoke to a plant historian who taught me about how they learned about people and their travels by following the route of a certain plant and its mentions in stories and accounts. I found his enthusiasm contagious.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Another way to learn about the area you're visiting is through animals. The Desert Museum was one of my favorite places from when I'd lived in Tucson. It has acres of animals and plants that are indigenous to the area, including wildflowers for pollen-collectors, reptiles, and birds. 

There is a lot of outdoor walking without cover and on uneven ground, so wear your sunscreen (or maybe a hat) and good shoes. I did see someone in a wheelchair cover the loop, so it's accessible to all, but even if you don't take that loop, there's still much to see on a paved path.

If you're looking for a more traditional way of viewing animals that isn't a 30-minute drive from the city center, check out Reid Park Zoo. It's one of the best zoos I've ever been to, and small enough to visit in just a few hours. 

There are many other things to see and do in Tucson, especially if you enjoy hiking and getting outside. We mostly only found ourselves inside during some dining experiences, but even then we were often seated away from others or near those who also entered wearing masks. 

You'll find traffic in the city is pretty horrible, but since it's not that large, it's not the worst traffic you'll ever see, but it also makes it seem worse than it is, because there aren't too many other ways to get where you want to go than the main streets. Just give yourself extra time to get anywhere, or go early in the morning, when traffic is light. Many things close before 6pm, because it can get quite hot in the afternoon, so an early start is smart if you want to do multiple things per day.

Have you been to Tucson? If so, what were your favorite things?

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Travel Is Educational

Travel always teaches me something, whether it's something big or something small like researching dining options before regretting your dinner choice. We haven't had any big trips since September of 2019, but that gave us a lot to marinate on for the next couple years. 

Just when you think you've got your travel style perfected, you learn something new or need to change your mindset. Travel is always educational.

Just when you think you've got your travel style perfected, you learn something new or need to change your mindset. 2019 was a cool year for me travel-wise. I had fantastic trips and I also learned a lot of things Here are the four I found most important:

You can always pack lighter
I'm great at packing light, but I'm also great at overpacking. When we fly somewhere new, I give myself a finite space to pack in, but I can overpack my small bags. This year traveling to Scotland, and having to pack dressy clothes for a wedding, we had half a carry-on full of items that we were basically just wearing once or twice.

I love gadgets, but I need to remember to pare down. I don't always need to take my iPad with me, or 3 magazines I never read, and I definitely need to reevaluate everything in my toiletry bag, because I'm still not using some of the items in it. The only extra item I was really happy I took with me was a second jacket. I brought a packable winter coat with attached hood and then a separate rain jacket. I figured if it was really cold, I could wear both, as the one could have zipped into the other. I didn't have to do this, but I did need my rain jacket on the last day of travel, because it rained all day and then poured for an hour straight. I joked that we got 2 weeks worth of rain in an afternoon, because we were really lucky the whole rest of our trip.

You can travel with family and still like them after

I don't really travel well with many others. I like my space and need to recharge from group time. Being with people 24/7 is a lot for me, especially when those other people aren't like me. I worried that 5 of us sharing a vacation rental would be too much and either I would yell at people halfway through the week or they would think I was a jerk because I would hide in my room after a day out. 

We decided to plan our days out the way we wanted to and then let family know they could join us or not. We did some stuff with people and a lot of stuff on our own and then met up for lunch or dinner or connected when we all got back for the night. At one point, Eric and I were at the same place as his sister and her husband and we didn't really hang out until we were done with our tour and then had lunch together. Having expectations that you don't have to spend all your time together so everyone can do what they want and not get sick of each other is pretty important.

Uber and other rideshare can be cheaper than public transportation
This is especially true in places like London where tons of people are going to and from the airport and there are few ways to get there if you don't live there and have a car. We paid something like $70 for the two of us to take the Heathrow Express, because we didn't realize we needed to book tickets 3 months in advance to get the much discounted price, but we also were traveling at peak time, so we couldn't buy discounted tickets going back either. 

A few days before departure, I looked up train info and then got an estimate for Uber. We actually saved money and also didn't have to schlep our bags half a mile to get to a bus or Tube station, which was such a relief, because we (okay *I*) bought so much stuff to bring home with us.

Have a back-up plan
This is always important to me. You never know what's going to happen. Well, in this instance we found out that the washer in our rental didn't work (and there wasn't even a dryer) and there wasn't a laundromat anywhere near us. We re-wear our clothes, because we pack so few. I try to bring dark colors that don't show stains and also clothing that's breathable and doesn't hold odor (if possible). So, when we found out the washer didn't work, it was annoying, but I hand washed socks and underwear in the sink and hung them up overnight next to the radiator and was good to go.

Unfortunately, two of our group had put all of their clothes in the washing machine, which turned on, filled up, and then did nothing. After wasting half a day trying to fix it and call the owner, they finally hung everything up, but all the pants were jeans, and those take forever. My tip: Unless your jeans are visibly dirty, don't bother washing them on vacation. Even Richard Branson, who owns Virgin Airlines, will only bring/wear one pair of jeans on his entire trip. I won't go that far, as I also tend to throw in a pair of black pants for dressier occasions, and I wash everything else before they go back into my rotation. I couldn't do that this time, so I just made sure I washed enough socks and underwear to get us through to London and could wash everything else there.

This won't be my last what-did-I-learn post, as every trip teaches me something, and we can all benefit. Tell me some of the things you've learned about yourself or travel from your trips in the comments.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Do You Need Travel Insurance?

Travel is never truly inexpensive, unless you camp or stay in hostels. Most of us are more interested in sleeping in hotels or going on cruises. Nobody likes to be screwed out of their hard-earned money by unforeseen circumstances beyond their control and travel insurance can prevent that from happening. 

Nobody likes to be screwed out of their hard-earned money by unforeseen circumstances beyond their control and travel insurance can prevent that from happening.

Now, you may have been traveling for years without taking this precaution, or you may have been in a situation where you wished you had taken out insurance to protect you. Fortunately, travel insurance can be affordable and easy to add on to your trip, but when do you really need it?

Look into the right type of insurance

There are many different types of travel insurance, including illness, injury, lost luggage, theft and more. You can also get basic coverage that includes many of these things, but you will want to get the one that suits the trip you are going on. If you are going to hike Machu Picchu, you will need a different insurance than if you are going on a European cruise.

You bought a package deal

When you purchase a vacation package, it is all tracked under one company name. You can usually get internal travel insurance with them, or you can purchase you own, in case the company goes out of business or their insurance doesn’t cover last-minute tragedies like a death in the family.

The vacation is a once-in-a-lifetime trip 

Sometimes you go on trips that cost a lot more than you normally pay for a vacation. There is a big difference in price between going to Napa for the weekend and going on a week-long Kenyan safari. If you have to cancel or rebook your trip to Napa, it probably won’t break you in the long run, but if something unexpected happens and you can’t go on your safari – weather, natural disasters and health issues are almost never something you can predict – you will be very sorry to be out thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars that you can’t recoup without insurance.

Unexpected things happen

With countries opening up and then possibly shutting down, or a war moving into different countries (hopefully, this doesn't happen), everything is sort of in flux and anything could happen at any time. You might get Covid and can't go. The country you're traveling to may suddenly prohibit people from certain countries entry. Your country may not allow flights to certain countries. 

I've booked a flight to France for September, including a package to go to Disneyland Paris. Our credit card will take care of our flight, but I totally bought insurance for our portion going to Disney, because there are so many things that need to happen, including getting a Health Pass once we arrive in France, in order to do almost anything touristy. I'm still monitoring if my Covid booster from December 2021 will be acceptable at that time or if I'll need another one before I go. As of right now, it's too soon to tell.

You travel often

Travel insurance will generally cost 5-8% of your total trip, but if you do more than just take a yearly vacation, then you might benefit more from buying yearly travel insurance plans instead of paying for each trip separately.

When you do insure your trips, make sure you know exactly what each policy covers. When something happens and you have to make a claim, take notes on everything that happened and who you talked to. If a theft has occurred, report it immediately and make sure you are tenacious if the insurance company seems to drag their feet on paying out. Obviously, they make less money if they have to pay out on a claim, but if you know what your rights are, you shouldn’t have a problem getting what’s owed to you.

Remember, if you make any changes to your travel plans, alert your insurance company as soon as possible, so you can be sure you are still covered for everything you need.

Have you ever wished you had travel insurance on a trip?

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Make The Most Of A Long Layover

Sometimes you just can't help ending up with a long layover. We've had ones from 4 hours to overnight and we've always viewed it as a challenge in fun. I am always disappointed when I only have an hour or so and can't explore a new airport, because so many are becoming cultural hubs.

Sometimes you just can't help ending up with a long layover. How much time do you have? Here's how to fill it!

How much time do you have? Here's how to fill it!

Under 3 hours
  • Check out the airport's art collection. Lots of airports have art installations and some even have galleries. 
  • Grab a bite to eat. Most airports have restaurants from the local area that also have locations in the airport. Even if you don't have time to check out the city, you can at least enjoy some local food.
  • Take a nap. If the airport you're in has sleep pods, you can make the most of your layover and get some shut-eye. You can always camp out on a few chairs though. On our last trip, we witnessed a guy soundly sleeping in an out of the way section of floor.
  • Get some exercise. Some airports have gyms and/or yoga rooms, so fill your time getting relaxed or burning calories before you have to sit back down again. If the airport you're at has neither of these, you can always just walk up and down the terminal. If you have kids, you might be lucky enough to be in an airport with a playground where they can burn off their excess energy.
  • Hit up the spa. Pamper yourself with a pedicure, manicure, or massage. 

3-6 hours
  • Take a city tour. I've been to airports, like Salt Lake City, that actually have free buses to/from the airport to the city center, where you can take a tour, check out some local landmarks and do a bit of shopping.
  • Watch a movie. We've done this before. We brought some movies from home, camped out in a very quiet terminal, and then watched two movies on our laptop. Now, it's easier, because you can stream everything wherever you are. Of course, some airports even have theaters, including Portland International that runs an hour's worth of locally-made entertainment around the clock.
  • Get a day pass to the airport lounge. Maybe you just want some quiet space and to get a little work done. If you feel like the cost of access is justified, most lounges have free snacks, drinks, nice bathrooms (some have showers) and desks with outlet. 

6+ hours
  • Rent a car and get out and explore. We once had 8 hours to spare in Vancouver, BC, so we hopped in a rental car, went to one of the city's popular parks, got some walking in, visited the conservatory, had lunch, and then drove to the salt room nearby and got a bit of relaxation in.
  • Meet a friend. On an 8-hour layover in San Francisco, a friend came to pick us up at the airport, and we did some city things, hand lunch and dinner, then she dropped us back at the airport and we continued on our trip. It was like two trips in one.
  • Get a room. Once on a trip through DFW, we found a really great deal on an international flight to Ecuador, but we had a 14-hour layover. Even with a hotel room at the airport Marriott, it was a deal, so we checked in, hit the town, took in a movie, got a good night's sleep in a nice bed, grabbed a continental breakfast and got back to the airport and onto our main trip. It was fun.

Sometimes you just have to make the best of a bad situation if you didn't plan it or you're trying to save money. If you end up with a long layover due to the airline's fault, then make sure you get compensated.
  • Download the GateGuru app before you leave home so you can find all the shops, restaurants and amenities near your gate and everywhere else in the airport. 
  • Have some cash on-hand, just in case. you never know what might happen.
  • If you aren't traveling with just a carry-on (and I highly recommend you do), make sure you have spare clothes, pajamas, and toiletries with you. I also suggest snacks, so you aren't paying the crazy mark-up at most airline shops.
  • If your flight is delayed more than two hours (or you get bumped), you are owed compensation. Ask for cash, if possible. The airline regulations clearly state that compensation should be paid in cash, electronic transfer or checks, unless the passenger chooses to accept travel vouchers instead. If you choose travel vouchers, then you have rules you have to adhere to and can only use it on the airline you booked originally.
    • You can also sometimes finagle airport vouchers for drinks and food.
    • If the delay is responsible for an overnight stay, the airline owes you a voucher for a free hotel night. 
    • Some tips for getting the most from your cancellation/delay: 
      • Be nice. You need to keep your cool when talking to airline counter agents. They can't do everything, but if they can, they are way more inclined to do it if you're nice to them.
      • Ask. It never hurts to ask. The worst that can happen is they'll say no, but hopefully give you something worth more than what they were going to give you.
      • Know your rights. Make sure you know what you can ask for under which situation. Weather delays are not in the control of the airline, so in that case, keep the airline's 800-number on-hand to call and rebook. Usually they will waive fees for you. If all else fails, take to Twitter to contact the airline for help.
What's the coolest thing you've done on a layover?

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Be A More Frequent Traveler

Every successful budget traveler knows the importance of frequent flyer miles. If you want to save money on your trips, then doing everything possible to get free plane tickets - or upgrades or even a partial ticket - is going to help you greatly when trying to spend less and still get to where you want to go. 

Every successful budget traveler knows the importance of frequent flyer miles. Not quite sure how they work? Then read on!

Traveling on a budget doesn't mean that you can't visit far off and exotic places. It just means you have to be more creative with your planning and spend a little more time searching for bargains on things you want to see and do. Not quite sure how they work or how you will ever fly enough to earn a reward seat? Then read on!

Sign up for your favorite airlines
You can't earn miles if you don't become a mileage member. You can sign up for as many or as few as you want. I suggest signing up for preferred one or two airlines and try to fly exclusively on those. It's free and easy. You just need to enter your member number when you book a ticket. Don't forget that you can earn miles between companies that are codeshare partners and book rewards seats as well.
Earn on the ground
It would be a long waiting game to a reward ticket if you could only accrue miles when you flew, unless you fly a lot for business and can use your personal mileage account for those flights. Luckily, you can earn frequent flyer miles for a ton of other things:
  • Get a credit card that earns miles - Maybe your debit card already has this feature or it is available as an add-on through your bank. If not, there are a ton of other cards out there to choose from. You might as well earn bonus miles for things you will be buying anyway.
  • Rent a car - You can rack up miles by driving! When you fill in your reservation info online, make sure to add your frequent flyer number before you finish booking.
  • Stay in a hotel - Just like with a rental car, you can gain miles by sleeping in most chain accommodations.
  • Buy stuff online - Buy items from travel merchants through your airline's retail site to maximize your points. You can also sign up for ThanksAgain.com to bulk up your mileage by eating, parking and shopping at the airport and other off-site merchants.
  • Eat out - If you dine out regularly, check out your mileage dining program. Register your preferred credit cards and eat out as usual. You'll automatically earn points at participating restaurants when you use those cards.
So, as you can see, frequent flyer miles aren't as mysterious as they sound and they can be super easy to earn quickly if you take advantage of all the ways you can accrue them. Now you just need to pick a destination, pack your bags and start planning!

Saturday, March 12, 2022

How To Quit Overpacking

So, I'm a recovering overpacker. I've learned how to pack less over the years and still I feel like I pack too much whenever I travel. You can totally learn to pack less and enjoy the freedom of spending less (time and money) at the airport and of going from plane to trip without a visit to the carousel. Here's what you need to do:

You can learn to pack less and enjoy the freedom of spending less (time and money) at the airport and of going from plane to trip. Here's how.
This is all I took for 5 days in Vegas. It would have been smaller, but I took my laptop.

Commit, commit, commit 
Say you're not going to overpack and don't just give up because it's too hard. Commit to it and eventually it'll become second nature.

Stop playing the "what if?" game
Don't pack for worst case scenarios. Pack for what will probably happen. Going somewhere warm? Pack for warm weather, but don't forget a pair of long pants, shoes that aren't flip flops, and a cardigan/long sleeve shirt, just in case. It'll probably rain. Don't pack for "if" you do this or that. Have you planned it? Then you probably won't do it. 

Make a packing list & plan ahead
This is where most people fail. Stop packing the last minute and it'll be way easier to be objective. Make a packing list before you start, print it out and see what you really need and don't need. I find this much more helpful than picking out all your stuff and then culling half of it. If my packing list all fits on one page (including my must-bring toiletries), I feel like I've done a good job, but the real test is getting it all into your carry-on.

Here's everything underneath my seat

Color coordinate
How do you know what to pack and put on your packing list? Pick a color scheme and stick with it. I generally like to go with blues or greens, but if you have neutral bottoms, then it's super easy to match with them, especially if you make them all the same color family, like blacks or tans. That way all your tops go with the bottoms and finding two pair of shoes to go with everything is super simple. Yes, I said two pair.

Start with the right size bag
Most people are trying to start with a bag that's way too big. Find a reasonable sized carry-on. One that won't be too heavy for you to lift into the overheard when it's full. If you pull out your big suitcase and give yourself the option of using it, you're going to overpack and end up checking it and wasting money (and time).

Don't be afraid of laundry
I plan my laundry days on vacation. It's not glamorous, but I'm way more happy to not break my back heaving a bag up stairs and into the trunk. I'd rather spend a couple hours over the course of a week winding down and doing a load of laundry than having too much stuff and also coming home with a bag full of dirty clothes.

I'll admit to packing and repacking my bag before I leave a few times. I use all the space possible, but I also try to only bring what I need for any given trip. It's going to take you a few trips to master it, but when you see what you've packed and not worn over and over, you'll know what to leave home next time.

Are you a chronic overpacker?

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

How To Travel Solo Well

Some people don't like to be alone, but others do. I'm happy to just be in my own company, even when I travel. You don't have to answer to anyone, you can sleep in late every day, you can eat in for dinner in your pajamas if you want. Solo travel is liberating and you should do it at least once in your life. If you're on the fence, here are a few ways to make it easier:

Solo travel is liberating and you should do it at least once in your life. If you're on the fence, here are a few ways to make it easier.

Know the language

If you don't know a language other than English, that's okay. There are plenty of places you can travel and still feel at ease if you aren't adventurous enough to learn on the fly. England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Belize and the Bahamas are all fantastic destinations, but France and Amsterdam also have tons of English speakers if you want to branch out.

Plan your trip 

While you will probably want to make some decisions when you arrive, don't leave the big things to chance. Plan the skeleton of your vacation - accommodations, transportation to/from airport, transportation around town, tours, etc. - before you leave home, so there aren't any big surprises. Do your homework and put a list of important addresses and phone numbers either in your phone or on a cloud-based service like Evernote or Dropbox, that way you always have a way to access them.

Talk to locals 

Your trip might be really boring if you never talk to anyone. Hit up friends on social media who live where you're going to see if you can get together. Use MeetUp.com to find other travelers or locals that meet to do things, like dining and hiking. And if you just want to talk to people without hanging out with them, hit up a local farmers' market.

Stay safe

Don't scare your mom by becoming a missing person. Book your accommodations and group tours in advance, arrive during the daytime, have a plan for getting around, don't get drunk in the bar with strangers, share your itinerary with your friends/family (solo travel is best when it is planned out as much as possible), check in every few days, and keep your itinerary online - TripIt is a good app - along with a copy of your ID and passport if you're going out of the country and need it in case of robbery.

Have fun! 

Eat at that food cart that catches your eye, go to that museum nobody else would like, take a cooking class, sit at a sidewalk café drinking coffee and people watching.

The world is your oyster, and you can see as much as you want when you don't have a travel partner that you have to compromise with and make happy. Maybe you'll find you love traveling alone, or maybe it'll show how much you take your usual travel companion for granted, but it's nice to connect with yourself while exploring a new destination.

What are your favorite places to travel solo to?

Saturday, March 5, 2022

How To Survive Travel With Other People

I don't like people 24/7. And you don't have to either. Travel can be stressful, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time. Just because you're having fun doesn't mean other things aren't happening underneath the surface. I've been on lots of vacations that seemed cool until one day I just burst into tears. It's hard to be with people around the clock. 

Travel can be stressful, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time. Just because you're having fun doesn't mean you're necessarily happy.

Whether you're traveling with only one person or several, it's not hard to find yourself snapping. Let's talk about how to deal with living in someone's pocket while on vacation.

Plan Together

Traveling is better when you do things you want to do. Planning ahead for things that sound fun can make your trip a whole lot more fun and less stressful than doing things on the fly. Ask your companion(s) what they would like to do, so you everyone is happy and you don't resent each other.


You can't always find things that makes everyone 100% happy, which means you may have to compromise. You don't want to be mad that the others don't want to do any of the activities that you want to do and vice versa. Compromise is the key to a smoother trip for everyone.

Maybe you don't want to go parasailing, but your companion doesn't want to go hiking, and you each compromise by doing both activities, so no fighting happens. You'll both be happy with your chosen activity and might find you even enjoy the other one. Hopefully, you can find a majority of activities that you both/all want to do.

Don't Forget to Eat

I get hangry. I know it. If I wait too long to eat, I get mean and yell and threaten bodily harm to those around me. Luckily, my husband knows this and will steer me into a café or something when I start to get hungry and irritable. I also know that he doesn't always get hungry while we're out, so I do t ask him where he wants to eat, so he doesn't get angry at me in turn.

Knowing your limits and those of others can really help you to get along with each other and travel better together. Maybe have an honest talk before you take your trip and let each other know about your quirks, so neither of you are blindsided by the other.

Give Yourself Some Space

I like to get a vacation rental whenever possible, because it generally will give you a little more room to spread out. As an only child, and an introvert, I relish my alone time. Being around people for long periods can be exhausting. Even if I can just go sit in another room for a bit (or at the table on my laptop doing a bit of work), it's enough to recharge me. A lot of people don't know this or don't really think about it.

Self care is important. Even if you just go do some shopping alone for an hour or sit in the hotel lobby with a book, it's better than having to be around your travel partner longer when you need to be alone. I'm the worst morning person and being able to have 30 minutes to just wake up and read news or play a game on my phone without being talked to goes a long way to making my day start off right. That, and coffee. It's hard to say "please don't talk to me right now" in the moment, but easy to let someone know ahead of time that you need that quiet time.

It's okay to not be "on" 24/7 and to need a few minutes alone and to maybe even do your own thing for a day. Whatever works for you can't be faulted by anyone else. When I booked a girl's trip with my friend to Disney, we already had some ground rules established before leaving. Not doing so ahead of time can can actually ruin a friendship/relationship, which you don't want at all. Communication, just like in most things, is very important.

How do you survive travel with others?

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

How To "Work From Home" From Anywhere In 20 Easy Steps

There are many different names for the work-from-home lifestyle – digital nomad, remote worker, telecommuter. But they all describe people who can do their job without having to go into an office. For some people, this means being able to work from anywhere in the world as long as they have a laptop and an internet connection. For others, it might mean working a few hours each day from home while taking care of their children or doing other household tasks.

No matter how you define it, the work-from-home lifestyle is becoming more popular every year. Here are 10 ways to do it from anywhere.
photo credit

No matter how you define it, the work-from-home lifestyle is becoming more popular every year. There are many reasons why people choose to work from home. Some want more flexibility in their schedule so they can spend more time with their families. Others want to avoid the stress and noise of a traditional office. And still, others want to be able to travel the world while they work.

Whatever your reasons, here are ten steps for how to live the work from home lifestyle:
Steps 1-10

1. Figure out what you need to make it work.

Before you can start working from home, you need to figure out what you need to make it happen. Do you need a designated workspace at home? A good internet connection? Enough money saved up so you can afford not to work for a while?

Once you know what you need, start putting together a plan to make it happen. If you need a new computer or a better internet connection, start saving up for them. If you need to find a new job that allows telecommuting, start researching your options.

2. Make a schedule and stick to it.

One of the benefits of working from home is that you can set your own hours. But that doesn’t mean you should work all the time. Just like in a traditional office, it’s important to take breaks and get some exercise.

Set a schedule for yourself and try to stick to it as closely as possible. That way, you can avoid the distractions that come with working from home and stay productive.

3. Create a workspace.

If you’re going to be working from home, you need a designated workspace. This could be a separate room in your house or an area in your living room that you can call your own.

Make sure your workspace is organized and has everything you need, including a good internet connection, a comfortable chair, and plenty of storage for your files and materials.

4. Stay connected.

One of the challenges of working from home is staying connected to your team or boss. Make sure you have a good internet connection and set up regular video conferencing calls or chat sessions to keep in touch.

5. Get dressed for work.

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can wear pajamas all day. In fact, it’s a good idea to dress like you would for a traditional job. That way, you’ll feel more productive and professional.

6. Stay organized.

Working from home can be chaotic if you don’t stay organized. Make sure you have a system for filing your papers and organizing your files. You might also want to create a calendar to keep track of your deadlines and appointments.

7. Set boundaries.

One of the challenges of working from home is resisting the temptation to work all the time. Make sure you set boundaries for yourself and stick to them. That way, you can make sure you have enough time for your family and friends, as well as your work.

8. Take breaks.

Just like in a traditional office, it’s important to take breaks when you’re working from home. Get up and move around every hour or so, and take a break for lunch. That way, you’ll stay productive and avoid getting burned out.

9. Stay connected to the outside world.

Working from home can be isolating, so it’s important to stay connected to the outside world. Join a book club or a fitness class, or meet up with friends for coffee or dinner once a week. That way, you’ll stay social and sane.

10. Embrace flexibility.

The best thing about working from home is the flexibility it offers. You can work when you want, take a break when you need it, and travel whenever you have the chance. Embrace the freedom and flexibility that comes with this lifestyle, and you’ll be happy you made the switch.

So there you have it! Ten easy steps for how to live the work-from-home lifestyle. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to successfully transition to this new way of working.

Now we move on to steps 11 through 20 for how to live the work-from-home lifestyle, focusing more on the digital nomad side of things.

Steps 11-20

11. Choose your travel destination wisely.

Not all countries are created equal when it comes to being a digital nomad. You’ll want to find a place that has good internet connectivity, affordable living costs, and plenty of things to keep you busy. Some popular choices include Thailand, Spain, and Portugal. You can also keep it local and check out Breckenridge cabins for your home away from home!

12. Invest in a good laptop.

A quality laptop is essential for any digital nomad. Make sure you choose one that is powerful enough to handle all of your work tasks but also light enough that you can take it with you on the go.

13. Download some useful apps.

There are a number of helpful apps out there that can make life as a digital nomad a lot easier. Some of our favorites include Slack for communication, Google Drive for document storage, and Airbnb for finding accommodation.

14. Create a workable budget.

One of the most important things to do when becoming a digital nomad is to create a realistic budget and stick to it. This means factoring in all of your regular expenses, as well as the cost of living in your chosen destination.

15. Get yourself some decent travel insurance.

No one wants to think about the worst-case scenario, but it’s always a good idea to have travel insurance in place just in case something goes wrong. Make sure your policy covers all of the activities you plan on doing while abroad, such as skiing or diving.

16. Invest in some quality gear.

When you’re constantly on the go, it’s important to have quality gear that can withstand wear and tear. Make sure you have a good backpack, a sturdy laptop case, and weather-proof clothing for any extreme conditions.

17. Stay connected with loved ones back home.

Even though you’re living the nomad life, that doesn’t mean you have to be completely disconnected from your loved ones back home. Make sure you have a way to stay in touch, whether it’s through Skype, WhatsApp, or Facebook.

18. Create a work routine.

One of the benefits of being a digital nomad is that you can work from anywhere in the world. But this also means you need to be disciplined and create a work routine that suits you. Try to stick to the same hours each day, so you don’t get too distracted.

19. Explore your new surroundings.

As a digital nomad, one of the best things about your lifestyle is that you get to explore new places all the time. Make sure you take advantage of this and see as much as possible of your chosen destination.

20. Have fun!

Above all, remember to have fun and enjoy the journey! You’ve worked hard to achieve this lifestyle, so make the most of it. Live a little, try new things, and meet as many people as you can. The world is your oyster!

There You Have It

Twenty easy steps for living the work-from-home life from anywhere in the world. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to a more adventurous and fulfilling lifestyle. Bon, voyage!

Pin It button on image hover