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". See more at her blog Fashionista's Travel.
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 you will be saving yourself time and money. (something we all need a little bit more of)
1. 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.
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 my local Target 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.
3. Water Bottle w/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?
Not traveling to some place tropical? Skip
However if you are on the verge of a tropical vacation bring your own sunblock. Tropical/warm climates realize that many tourists will not pack sunblock due to the size. That being said these area's 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 60z 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.
5. 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 (at least for the iPhone) can cost around $7, airport prices will charge at least double. The same goes for ear-buds just recently I purchased a second pair at Kohls for $10. If you don't spend a lot of money then you probably won't care if something were to happen to them. I will often keep these extra headphones and chargers in my carry-on so I know I will always have them when I travel.
Other items that I recommend you bring yourself:
- neck pillow
- travel blanket
- 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!
I love like New York City. I'm one of those people that really wants to LOVE New York but I just can't. Perhaps it's the crowds, the trash, the SMELL but I just don't love it. Don't get me wrong I like it enough to visit for a weekend or in my case 24hrs but I've said it once and I'll say it again I could never live there.
That's a pretty big statement for me to make because I'd pretty much want to try living anywhere just once, but I just can't do New York.
So if you find yourself in New York City with roughly 24hrs like I did this past weekend then here's what you could do:
Take in a movie or ten
The first stop on my 24hr New York City experience was to attend the Nomading Film Festival. This festival rocked! Earlier I had written about this festival and I might add it was everything I thought it would be and more!
The tacos were amazing-I don't think I ever ate so fast in my entire life.
The beer and wine selection was also top notch-Porkslap Pale Ale and some Moscato wine were perfect with our Nofff taco's.
Voting on 10 movies was awesome, especially since we knew one of the film makers-even though she didn't win it was still great to catch her up for noimation at this festival.
Add in a game of table tennis, a wall climb, and some more beer-well you've got yourself one hell of a Saturday afternoon.
Hungry? We've got you covered
We've got some serious pro's and con's going on with this restaurant.
Location, location, location! You can't beat the views at this place-right on the water, gorgeious views of the city.
Price-There is definatly something on here for every budget which make's it nice. Prices range from a $4 hot dog to a $26 steak.
CROWDED! Be prepared to feel like your at at festival when arriving. If you don't like dinning with a lot of people go somewhere else. By the end of the night it started to look like a homeless shelter with cans of beer everywhere and groups of people sitting on the steps.
Long wait time-on a weekend night you could wait up to 45minutes for dinner. My advice would be to get there early.
SMELL-It's a tad smelly, especially near the bathrooms.
Now this place is a must visit. This is probably one of the best meals I ate all weekend.
If you love Thai food your in luck-they make some of the best flat rice noodles I've ever tasted. Their chicken is soft and literally melts in your mouth. I'm getting hungry again just thinking about it!
I recommend ordering:
Grilled Chicken Satay
Chicken grilled in skewers served with peanut sauce & cucumber sauce.
Noodle Mao w/Chicken
Broad rice noodles sauteed with chili, sweet soy sauce, basil, tomato, pepper, onion, bean sprouts & lime juice.
I promise you won't be disappointed!
This is apparently New York City's version of In and Out Burger on the west coast.
I couldn't have been more pleased with the food-for burgers and fries it was simply awesome.
It's not the cheapest place on the planet but its one of those things you must try when visiting the city.
Our recommendation when visiting was to order a Shack Burger and Cheese Fries. And boy were they dead on! Lots of gooey cheese filled the burger and the fries, wash it down with a bottle of water and your looking at $11 meal.
Thirsty? We can help you there too
And no we aren't just talking about soda. If you want to try a few bars in the city then take a look at these two bars.
If your looking for a chill place to grab a few beers then this could be it. They have outside seating which is great for those nice summer days.
Grab a beer and relax-no frills-but they do have an extensive food menu which looked amazing.
This is a great place to catch the game. Lots of daily drink specials, especially on Sunday-all day specials! Cheap beers and awesome shots-how can you go wrong?!
Now it is in Time's Square so if you don't mind the crowd its defiantly worth the trip. Say hi to Brittany, a friend, and awesome bartender.
Need to work off all that food?
Head on over to Central Park West. This part of the park was a tad more quiet and full of families and joggers. Take a break and sit down on a bench and try to convince yourself you could move here-hey that's what I did.
Did it work? Could you move to New York City? I'm still on the fence about that one but it sure is fun to visit and catch up with friends. And now that I've had the most amazing Thai food I may just be back sooner rather than later!
You stay classy New York.
Have you ever stayed in a hostel before? Oh you have? Then I guess its just me. A 29 year old hostel virgin is what I was up until last weekend. I wish I could say that my first hostel experience was somewhere exotic like Thailand but alas it was none other than New York City. A city that is 3hours from my home state of Rhode Island. Why would I choose to stay in a hostel only 3hrs from where I lived? Well I'll tell you...
It all started when NaEun Park my buddy from Boston asked me to attend the Nomading Film Festival in New York City on Saturday June 23rd. Now if your loyal fans (which I'm assuming you are) you've already read that post and know all about it. If your just tuning in-go check it out! Anyways so she's like "hey lets go to New York this weekend and did I mention we are gonna stay in a hostel?" Ok so maybe she didn't word it quite like that but I was like HOSTEL???? Have you seen me?!
One of my favorite quotes regarding hostels is "You ain't seen hostel till you put me up in one."
That's pretty much how I was feeling until we arrived.
It's one of those situations that unless you've stayed in one before you have no idea what to expect. Here I was a 29year old "travel blogger" and I had yet to stay in a hostel. Uh oh this smelled like trouble for me...
I was so WRONG!! Hosteling International is like a freakn' hotel! It's super chic (almost W Hotel vibe). You are greeted with crazy cold AC which is a nice, loud club music, super friendly staff, and plenty of HOT travelers to go around. The question now is, why on earth haven't I been staying in hostels before!?!
So let me break Hosteling International down for you:
- Cheap $44/night
- Onsite cafe
- Free WiFi
- At least 3 lounges
- Pool table
- Internet room w/ computers
- HUGE outside area for reading, sunning yourself, etc
- Bathroom's are new and VERY clean
- Huge lockers to store your belongings in
- You could be sleeping in a room with up to 12 people
- You don't get to pick which bunk you get (but I hear if you ask nicely they can switch you)
- You have to pay to use the internet but WiFi is free
- Check in is at 4pm and check out is a 11am (not the most convenient)
We stayed in a room with 12 people and HONESTLY it wasn't really that bad. Thankfully we could sleep in pretty late the next morning which made it manageable. The girls in our room were pretty respectful, you can't really help what time you need to get up in the morning. Other than that it was actually pretty quiet in the building--although I am kind of a sound sleeper.
Here are a few tips we picked up:
- Bring your own lock
- When arriving grab the towels that are on your bed and put them in your locker (someone took mine, thank god I had bought my own)
- Keep your pajama's out on your bed--makes it easier when your stumbling in at midnight
- Headphones or ear plugs are a must if your a light sleeper
So its safe to say that my hostel experience was an excellent one. You can't beat the price for New York City--in fact I just might be more inclined to visit the city more knowing I can stay there. I should also note that staying in a hostel seems like a really great way to meet people, so there's that.
So if your still a hostel virgin and a little nervous, look into staying at one that's sorta close to where you live that way if it sucks you are closer to home!
Food and travel seem to go hand in hand. There is almost always memories that are associated with food and when travel is involved its almost inevitable. How often do we find ourselves remembering some great times and also saying "hey remember that amazing meal we had."
This got me thinking; I've had some of the best food of my life while I have been traveling. I'm constantly wishing I either had access to those amazing meals or how I could recreate it here in Rhode Island. Well the later is often difficult so here is the question I have for you; where would you travel for food?
Since deciding to write this post I have been thinking (drooling) about all the amazing food I've tasted in different parts of North and Central America.
What foods will make this list? Lets read on shall we...
Conch Fritters-Key West, FL
I've visited Key West a handful of times and without fail I have to stop at the Hogs Breath. While this dive-like bar might not have a dress code they do make some amazing conch fritters. What is a conch fritter you ask? Conch, pronounced /ˈkɒŋk/ are sea snails. Snails? Did I really just say I love snails? Yep, I'm pretty sure I did, only when battered and deep fried. They are delicious. For those of you in New England I would compare them to a clam cake.
Shake Shack Burger and Fries-New York City
This might be the only item on my list that is actually doable to visit on a semi-regular basis. On my last visit to New York City, the Shake Shack was recommended by fellow travel bloggers. We stopped, we ate, we fell in love. Our must order when arriving was the Shack burger. Which is a cheeseburger covered in shack sauce, lettuce, and tomato. We also decided to indulge in cheese fries, which were deliciously covered in Shack cheddar and American cheese. Amazing isn't even the word, thank you New York City.
Beer Battered Brown Bag Fish and Chips-Prince Edward Island
This may seem like I'm cheating on Rhode Island but I've gotta tell you, I've had some of the best fish and chips while visiting PEI. These are not traditional fish and chips. For starters the portion size was actually appropriate and they actually contained fish! After stopping at Gahan House in Charlottetown, I was hooked and preceded to order fish and chips on the rest of my tour of Halifax and St. John. The fish is ridiculously fresh and there is just something about them arriving to your table in a brown bag that makes it all the better. Although trying to order sour cream with my fries made for some strange looks. (I think that's only a Lindsay thing)
Beavertails is a place where you can get dough-boys or in Canada Beavertails. These are the typical Rhode Island dough-boys these are long, beaver tail shaped fried dough. What makes these really unique is the toppings that are added to it. My personal favorite is a Beavertail with Nutella. The next best thing is a Beavertail with Nutella and bananas. It really doesn't get much better than that. Of course this can be duplicated here in Rhode Island but its just not the same.
While I may be making an assumption here because Costa Rica is the only Hispanic country that I have visited but what they are doing with their Empanada's is amazing. After visiting Costa Rica this summer it was hands down the best food that I have ever tasted. If unfamiliar with Empanada's they are friend dough that is stuffed with meats and cheeses. Of if you prefer just cheese. My favorite is chicken and cheese. I also have to throw coffee into the mix in Costa Rica, second to Columbia they have the best coffee, I was lucky enough to bring some back and not a day goes by that I don't wish I had some more.
So are you getting hungry yet? I'm starving and this was starting to remind me of a Travel Channel show. Well nonetheless its fun to go down food memory lane and pinpoint some of your best meals and or snacks. What are some of yours? Sharing is caring so happy eating!
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!
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.
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.
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.