Lindsay Carreiro

Lindsay Carreiro

Fashionista's Travel editor Lindsay Carreiro is a Teacher in Providence, RI with a healthy addiction to Luna Bars and Culinary Mysteries. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, SHOPPING, and things that start with "S".

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Traveling is expensive, that's no secret. From booking flights to hotels, cheap is never really a word we would use to describe traveling. When you can lighten the financial load, that's always a plus. I often find it helpful if I pack items that you might typically buy when you're traveling.

Most of these items will often cost you more if you buy them at the airport or once you've reached your destination. If you take a moment to check these items off your list before leaving then you will be saving yourself both time and money. (Two things we all need a little bit more of, no?)

Reading Material

Whether it's a book or a magazine make sure you've got it ready to go before your trip. If you're a Kindle person like me and consequently have Amazon Prime, you will find that they offer plenty of free books and discounted magazines. I always make sure I stock up my Kindle with plenty of light-reads for each trip. Magazines are another staple of mine but can be very costly at airports. Your best bet is to check your local bookstore or see if any of your friends have old issues they will lend you.

SNACKS

I had to capitalize this one, not only because I'm a foodie but because airport food costs a fortune! I like to hit up a local store and buy a box of protein bars, usually at a pretty discounted price. They pack easily and will fill you up for those in between waiting times. Trail mix is also another great snack to pack, it's even cheaper if you buy the nuts and dried fruit yourself and create small baggy's for them. You could easily spend $10 and more on airport snacks that aren't even that great.

Water Bottle (With Purifier)

Now we all know you can't bring liquids through airport security BUT if you wise up and purchase a water bottle with built-in purifier you can fill your bottle up at the water fountain after you've gone through security. A bottle of water cost at least $3 at the airport -- who feels like that?

Sunblock

Not traveling to some place tropical? Skip this one. However if you are on the verge of a tropical vacation bring your own sunblock. Vendors in tropical climates realize that many tourists will either not pack sunblock, or run out. That being said, its no surprise that they will jack up the prices on sunblock, because they know they can make money on it. (One of the best tricks I've used is to take a regular 6oz bottle of sunblock and squeeze it into two 3oz travel sized bottles. This is very clever if you don't want to check your luggage...you'll be able to save quite a bit of money this way.)

Headphones, Chargers, Accessories

These items you think would be a no-brainer but how many times have you seen people purchasing ear-buds and chargers from those Best Buy machines? Generic chargers and headphones can cost around $5-25 depending on where in the world you are, airport prices will charge at least double. And sure, you can buy some off the street if you happen to be backpacking through some Southeast Asian country, but those crappy fake products will only last a few days before they break. Trust me, repeatedly experience. (And always remember: you get what you pay for...unless you are buying it at the airport)

Other Recommended Items

  • Neck Pillow
  • Travel Blanket
  • Eye-Mask
  • Sleep Aids
  • Headache/Cold Pills

If you take the time to purchase a few of these before your travels you will be pleasantly surprised how less stressed you will be not only mentally but financially as well. Having a snack handy and a good book can go a long way. Happy travels!

Relieve Anxiety 3 Ways During Travel, Is there such a thing? Yes, and no I'm not talking about taking Prozac.

I can tell you first hand how difficult it is to travel when you are anxiety prone. All those thoughts about missing your flight, lost luggage, crying babies can be enough to really make you lose sleep over traveling. (especially the crying babies, kidding)

So what can you do to overcome such anxiety? Well I'll share some of my tips that I just recently used for trips over the summer-trust me they work!

1. Prepare

If you are the type of person to get very overwhelmed with packing and missalaous things that go along with travel preperations then you want to make sure your giving yourself enough time to prepare.

  • Enough time to book flights and hotels
  • Enough time to pack and track down any items that need replacing

Try making a check list of everything that you could possibly need; even if it may seem silly at the time of packing, it will help curb anxiety if you decide you need it.

When traveling internationally make sure you've taken into account how long it takes to retrieve luggage, go through customs, and also immigration. You don't want to hear how I ran through Miami International Airport at warp speed. Those are the little things that can push your anxiety through the roof.

2. Research

Its been said a lot but doing your research before you travel is often a must. I'm not just talking about the place your visiting; you may find it helpful to do some research about the airports you will be landing in and or having layovers in. Does that sound silly? Doing airport research? If it helps you figure out just where you'll be going then I say screw the silly!

It is also helpful to research the area surrounding where you'll be visiting.  Finding out helpful tips such as, rental car locations and other hotels could end up saving you quite a bit of headache if such a tip is required.

3. Confidence 

This may seem a tad cliche to say but when you lack confidence your just setting yourself up for failure. Do you think that when I ventured to Costa Rica to teach a group of middle schoolers ESL and stay with a host family that didn't speak English, that I wasn't a nervous wreck? I believe my exact words when arrriving in San Jose where "what have I gotten myself into".

Anxiety is hard, traveling solo is hard, put them together and you may feel like a walking diseaster. It doesn't have to be. Pulling together just the smallest amount of confidence will take you very far. One of the things that makes me feel comfortable when traveling is having familiar items with me. Maybe its a great play list on your iPod or even a pillow from home. When you surround yourself with familiar items and reassure yourself that "you've got this" you will indeed GET IT.

There should never be anything stopping you from traveling, especially solo travel. It took me quite a few months to get up the courage to visit another country by myself. And before you leave thinking I'm someone without anxiety, think again.

I left my heart in Costa Rica. It's true. I can not tell a lie. As the Summer fades away I can't help but be saddened by how much I miss Costa Rica.

It's been a few months now since I've been home and back to the daily grind but almost everyday I think about Costa Rica and the children whose faces I miss (even when I didn't think I would).

So while I've been having nostalgia for this awesome country I thought I might share with you the things I miss about Costa Rica and the things I don't (I mean really don't).

Bad news first:

I hate to break it to you Costa Rica but I DO NOT MISS all the hills. If you've ever ventured to the city of San Pedro you know what I'm talking about. The hills are just EVERYWHERE.

I also DO NOT MISS no sidewalks. Its like your just walking in the middle of the street. And those streets that do have sidewalks are usually covered in construction.

Here's the big one: I DO NOT MISS not being able to flush toilet paper! This was probably the biggest adjustment I had to make while I was there. Pretty much only the airport allows for toilet paper to be flushed. I know what your all thinking, what about when you have to go "number 2"? Well it gets a tad awkward.

I DO NOT MISS having to check the numbers on the side of the cab to make sure it is a legit cab. True story, you have to make sure that your getting into a "real cab". They feed on tourists.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, lets talk about all the things I MISS about Costa Rica.

I MISS...

...My host family

...The children of the Abraham Project

...Teaching ESL

...Speaking "Spanglish"

...All of my new found friends in the Teaching English program

...Homemade Empanada's

...Teaching my host family words in English (such as yummy)

...Drinking large glasses of orange flavored beer

...$1 Tequilla shots

...My amazing tan

...Finding Tom's brand shoes for $10 

...Movie nights

...Chasing the dog Bianca around the house

...Having the dog Bianca sneeze in my crotch

...Fresh squeezed juice

...Taking the time to appreciate life

So as you can see my list of things that I miss out weighs the things that I don't miss. Its easy to see why, visiting Costa Rica was hands down the best experience of my life thus far. Venturing out on my own took great guts and I have so much to show for it now.

So while I may have left my heart in Costa Rica, I know that there is always a part of my heart there, how many people can say that?

Receiving my Amazon Kindle as a birthday present a few years ago was one of the best presents. Not only did it excel my book-worming habits but it also made packing for travel a snap. So e-readers are not new but if you don't know own one yet you don't know what you're missing.

After all the extensive travel I did this summer and with my Kindle chock full of amazing books I thought I would share some of my finds that were great to read while on the road. Many of these are available in paperback too.

1. 50 Shades of Grey   by E.L. James

Yes I'm being incredibly cheesy by listing this but if you haven't gotten on the 50 Shades bandwagon I suggest you do so pronto! Now don't get me wrong the writing is nothing to write home about (pardon the pun) but the story line makes for a very easy read which is perfect for passing time on a trip.

2. The $100 Startup   by Chris Guillebeau

Best gift ever! The $100 Startup was given to me at a festival in New York City. I started it on my way home from that trip and was completely engrossed. It's a really great motivating book that you can relate to many aspects of your life. Quite possibly the best book ever.

3. Chasing Rainbows   by Kathleen Long

Feeling down? Chasing Rainbows is extremely uplifting to read. Always amazing but definitely even better to read when you're feeling a tad down in the dumps. I read it and then have recommended it to many other people.

Twenty Miles Per Cookie: 9000 Miles of Kid-Powered Adventures is a great travel-worthy book and must read before bicycle traveling as a family

4. Twenty Miles Per Cookie: 9000 Miles of Kid-Powered Adventures   by Nancy Sathre-Vogue

Seriously one of the BEST books I've read! If you love travel then read about this family who traveled North America on their bikes!   Learn More

5. The Help   by Kathryn Stockett

If you've been living under a rock, The Help is still one of the best books I've read in years. It's an amazing story (movie wasn't too bad either) that will seriously melt your heart.

6. Happier Than A Billionaire   by Nadine Hays Pisani

Happier Than A Billionaire is was the book I read before my trip to Costa Rica. This is about a husband and wife who pack up and move their life to Costa Rica. It's really a great read about moving to another country and also extremely helpful if you plan on visiting Costa Rica. Highly recommended!

7. Romantically Challenged   by Beth Orsoff

If you're in the mood for a good chic book that's easy to read and fall in love with the characters then Romantically Challenged is the book for you. I felt like it personally described my life.

Queen of Babble is a must-read travel book series

8. Queen of Babble   by Meg Cabot

I love series and Queen of Babble is the first one in the "babble" series so it's the obvious place to start. Another set of great characters that will have you dreaming of backpacking Europe in seconds.

9. The Good Girls Guide to Getting Lost   by Rachel Friedman

LOVE LOVE LOVE The Good Girls Guide to Getting Lost. Such an amazing memoir that will make you want to leave it all behind.

10. Eat, Pray, Love   by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love is the book that I always go back to. This is the book that made me fall in love with Rome. If you haven't read it or just haven't read it in a while I really suggest giving it another go.

Reading is one of my favorite past times and something that I particularly enjoy when traveling. I love stocking up on some great books for my trips and adventures. A few of these books were actually free on Amazon using the Prime feature. All others are less than $10.

  I'd love to know what other books people swear by when traveling or are just great comfort reads.

  flickr // oliverquinlan

Why is solo travel better than traveling with friends or family? Sure, there are many pros and cons to each -- but it is up to everyone to decide which works best. Many of us who are single tend to do most of our traveling solo. Until recently I wasn't sure how I felt about that but as of late I couldn't be happier than when I'm traveling alone.

If your like me and are on the fence about traveling alone or always trying to dig up a travel buddy, consider these reasons and you may just end up wanting to travel solo.

1. Less Baggage

And no I'm not talking about actual luggage. When I say less baggage I am referring to the amount of hassle that untimely comes with anyone you are traveling with. This could just be the age of the person (kids, elderly), the amount of luggage they bring with them and consequently drag through the airport, and also their personality. When you travel solo the only person's "baggage" you have to worry about is your own.

2. Sitting Alone

Sitting together on a plane always seems like a good idea in theory, it's always nice to have a familiar face, but in all actuality how much talking do you actually do with your traveling partner? In my case it is next to zero. I usually am way to tired to talk or end up putting in head phones to listen to music or catch the movie that's playing. So if sitting alone is your reason for not traveling alone, you might want to reconsider it. I LOVE sitting alone.

3. Less Stress Through Airport Security

I can't tell you how many times the line at airport security has gotten me into a tizzy. It's bad enough when it's just one person going through but if you've got a few people in your party then you can bet your ass your going to be waiting awhile. This also comes in handy when traveling internationally. Just recently I was in a predicament where lines through Customs and Immigration were very long, thank goodness it was just myself traveling or I probably would not have made my connecting flight.

Reading by the sea is a great way to relax on vacation

4. No Back Seat Drivers

I can only take another person's opinion on what travel plans should be so many times before I actually start to get annoyed. Traveling solo is the perfect chance for you to do what YOU want to do. There is no one else telling you when to go, where to go, and how to do it. Consequently this is also excellent for solo road trips.

h3>5. Come And Go As You Please

This pretty much goes hand in hand with the previous statement. It's really nice to be on your own schedule as far as your plans go. Traveling with multiple people or even just one can often make making plans seem difficult. While there is always compromise, there is just never enough time on a trip to get to see and do what everyone wants.

6. Having New Adventures/Experiences ALONE

It's good for your soul to try something new and different all by yourself. After my recent trip to Costa Rica, I learned the importance of just that. If you constantly feel scared or nervous to venture out by yourself, your life will not be as fulfilling.

7. Finding What It Takes To Be Your Own Person

Once you've decided to venture out on your own you will really see how far you can push yourself. Whether it is learning a new language or swimming with sharks you will really test your limits. I spent a good part of this Summer finding out who I am and I couldn't be happier. Perhaps you'll find out you don't like traveling alone but at least you can say you did it.

8. Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Push that threshold just a little bit, please? If you knew me 8 months ago you'd never hear me say that. I speak from experience when I tell you how good you will feel after. After embracing a new culture and language (which really pushed my threshold) I've come out of it a new person. The newness of life EXCITES me now!

Making new friends while trekking in Nepal
Making new friends while trekking Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal

9. Meeting New People

This is one of the best parts about solo travel. This could also push your threshold if you're a bit shy. It will force you to interact with others (something I'm still working on when traveling). You'll never know who you will meet and what they could potentially offer you in life. Whether its new friends or simply networking with other companies, putting yourself out there is one of the best things you can do.

10. Stories

Who doesn't love a good story? I have more stories from traveling this Summer then I know what to do with. The best part about this is you can put it directly into your website or blog. Not blogging? Well keep a journal of your travels, trust me you'll want to remember the details.

How long term travel changes people forever

So whether or not solo travel is for you, you have to admit that it does sound pretty amazing. From finding yourself to networking you really can't go wrong. If you're not quite up to solo travel then I encourage you to start small. This can be simply taking a road trip to the next state alone. I would also encourage that if you are traveling with multiple people to take some time apart. Discover the city, town, or state you are visiting on your own. Finding simple ways to get your solo travel in will not only fulfill you as a person but make you crave it as part of a regular getaway.

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