Packing List for Women in Europe

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Packing light can be hard especially when traveling to Europe when the desire to look stylish is quite strong. Putting everything in one bag is hard enough and isn’t any easier when you have to pack nice clothes on top of the necessities. Here are some great ways to make this task less daunting!

How to Choose Your Clothing

  • Mix and Match: Never pack any clothing that can only be used with one other item. Everything you pack should match each other so that you end up having limitless options. It also helps so that you can layer and be comfortable to matter what climate you’re in.
  • Easy Care Clothing: It’s best to bring clothing that doesn’t wrinkle easily or need to be dry-cleaned.
  • Nothing You’ll Wear Once: Anything you bring you should be able to picture yourself wearing it on multiple occasions; otherwise it’s not worth the space.
  • Accessorize: Small accessories can be the perfect way to change up outfits and keep it interesting like a lightweight scarf.
  • Purchase There: You know you’ll end up shopping anyways, so save room in your bag to buy clothes abroad. You’ll be looking as stylish as the locals fast.

Tops

  • Four Shirts: It’s best to bring both short and long sleeve shirts depending on the weather of where you are headed.
  • Cardigan: Even in the summer it’s a good idea to have a sweater to put on when it gets cold at night.
  • One or Two Dresses: A great idea is to bring ones that could be worn casually during the day but with the right necklace and make up could be appropriate to go out at night as well.
  • Tank Tops: A few of these are a good idea as they are the most versatile. They can be worn as undershirts, a pajama top, or out on the town on hot days.

Bottoms

  • Dark Jeans: These are stylish any where in the world and great because we all feel great in them!
  • Skirts: I prefer bringing about three skirts since they’re so comfortable and I know that I always like to wear them.
  • Shorts: These are not as common in Europe so I wouldn’t suggest bringing too many, besides of course active ones for hiking and bumming around in at the hostel.

This list could go on and on but you’re getting the idea! There are also a myriad of other items that are needed and we mustn’t forget. Keeping all these clothes clean be tricky but a flexible travel clothesline, laundry soap, and stain remover can help with that.

A sleep sheet, ear plugs, and eye mask will help ensure that you feel clean wherever you’re sleeping and will help you take naps in the middle of the day when you’ve stayed out too late the night before.

A menstrual cup is so useful for travel. While pads and tampons are relatively easy to come across in Europe, you’re better off getting a menstrual cup before you leave home so you don’t need to worry about finding period supplies on the road. Trust me! It’s much easier to bring a cup and not worry about tampons and pads. You can also leave a cup in for 12 hours which is fab for long travel days or busy sightseeing days.

My personal favorite, a notebook. I’m not much of a journal person but for some reason love to write when I’m on the road. I like to paste in ticket stubs or photographs and write a few precious memories from the places I’ve gone. I find that these journals are my most favorite thing I bring back from my travels.

Make sure to follow this short guide and you’ll be sure to tackle Europe like a pro!

The Beach is Where It’s at!

The Beach is Where It’s at!

You might be under the rather false assumption than when you visit Sydney, you are simply going to be doing the city break thing, e.g. nightlife, restaurants, culture, shopping etc. Yes, you can do all of this, in fact you can do it in abundance, and you can climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and check out a performance at the Sydney Opera House too, but you can also head to a stunning beach and chill the hell out, or even learn how to surf!

Sydney is surrounded by fantastic beaches, and they are all very easy to get to. Bondi Beach is of course one of the most famous and iconic beaches in the world, and this is a stone’s throw from the centre of Sydney itself. Sit and watch the professional surfers practising, or you could even give it a go yourself, by taking lessons at the surf school!

Another beachside destination which is certainly very popular is Manly. Head over to Manly on the famous ferry, and tick something off your Sydney bucket list, before truly enjoying everything this vibrant and chilled out area has to offer. There are many outdoor activities in Manly too, and it’s not all about chilling on the beach!

Where you stay is really a personal decision, but you will find a range of accommodation all over the city and surrounding suburbs too. There is also plentiful Manly accommodation on offer, if you want to stay nearer to the beach and its chilled out vibe.

Of course, Bondi and Manly are not the only beach areas you can visit, as there are countless others besides. You could head to Tamarama, Bronte or Clovelly, these are all beautiful beaches to check out, or you could put on your comfortable walking shoes and venture across the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, where you will see some of the most breath-taking scenery for miles – the fact you are so close to such a huge urban metropolis will seem completely baffling to you!

Freshwater is another surfing beach, very close to Manly, whilst Maroubra and Cronulla are two beaches which take surfing to a very high level indeed. Put simply, you can venture out to several beaches and explore to your heart’s content, or you can pick your favourite and dedicate your beach time there. The choice is yours, but don’t forget the city-based activities that Sydney is famous for too!

A Grand Slam Break!

A Grand Slam Break!

What better combination than sport and the city? If you’re looking for somewhere new to head this year, how about using the first month of the year to enjoy Melbourne, and the Australian Open?

If you’ve love tennis, this is a must do. Running from 16-29 January 2017, the biggest names in the game will all come together in one place, namely Melbourne Park, and will fight it out on the court for the first Grand Slam title of the year. Last year’s winners, Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber, are odds to win again, but a new number 1 in the men’s game, namely Andy Murray, and the resurgence of Serena Williams, could bring about a truly epic battle for both the men and women’s titles.

The Australian Open is, as we have mentioned, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year on the ATP and WTP tennis tournament calendars, and finding tickets for the Australian Open can be difficult if you don’t know where to look. The best advice is to always stick to official and reputable websites, and the Box Office of the venue itself. There are many unscrupulous types out there who are only too happy to take your money in exchange for a ‘ticket’ but you will soon find out that your ‘ticket’ is not valid at all. Stick to official lines for a successful outcome.

Of course, Melbourne is sports mad at the best of times, and you will find a truly celebratory and exciting atmosphere in the air. It’s certainly worthwhile getting out and about and checking out some of the other attractions however, as this is a vibrant and big city, packed with nightlife, shopping, and culture. This is the second largest city in the country, and is obviously located within the state of Victoria. Very close to the Great Ocean Road, you should certainly get out and see at least some of it, if not all of it! You can also venture out into the Grampians National Park with ease, helping you see a little more than the city itself.

Try and stay somewhere as central as possible, as this will help you when finding your way around the city, however there are easy links through public transport wherever you want to go, including the venue of the tennis tournament itself. Certainly check out St Kilda for a beachside vibe, which is laid back and totally summer-fun in its atmosphere too.

Put simply, Melbourne is about much more than sport, but if you can venture out to the Australian Open, you’re combining your sporting hobby, with one of the best cities in the world.

Looking For a City With it All?

Looking For a City With it All?

Look no More!

Few cities have the same laid back charm as Brisbane, and when you factor in that seemingly endless sunny weather, it’s no wonder that so many people choose to head to with vibrant, lively, and very friendly Queensland city.

Finding somewhere to stay is not difficult, as there is an accommodation option available for every budget and requirement. There are also many cheap hotels Brisbane to choose from, so it’s really just a case of shopping around and finding what is best for you.

Of course, this being a big city, there are many places to check out, including the main area, known as the CBD, or The City. This is where most of the businesses are based, but there are also many tourist areas too, as well as shopping opportunities – the huge Queen Street Mall is definitely worth a visit for a spot of credit card bashing! South Bank is where you will find a more bohemian, edgy vibe, with cafes, restaurants, and a small beach too. For nightlife however, it has to be Fortitude Valley, because this is widely thought to be where the best live music is, not just in the city, but the whole country!

For a nice evening walk, head down to Portside Wharf, and if you want to head into the great outdoors, check out Mount Coot-tha – this is perfectly walkable, with many trails to follow, and there is a café at the top, with fantastic views across the city and beyond.

This is by no means all that Brisbane has to offer, but it’s definitely worth donning your walking boots and getting out to explore on your own steam. The city is also perfectly placed to explore a little further afield too, including the ever bright Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. Many people choose to indulge in a twin-centre type of break when visiting Queensland, e.g. a few days in the city, and a few days on the coast – the best of both worlds!

Of course, you are also very close to some of the more natural wonders of the world, including the world famous Great Barrier Reef, as well as the idyllic and clearly breath-taking Whitsunday Islands. You can find excursions out to both from the city quite easily, so shop around for the best deal, according to your budget.

There really are only a few cities on the planet that offer you pretty much everything you could want, and whilst it is a true cliché to say ‘it has it all’, Brisbane really does. Once you have visited, try and think of something it didn’t have – you’ll be thinking for quite a while!

Why Should You Cruise For Your Next Break?

Why Should You Cruise For Your Next Break?

If you’ve never considered a cruise holiday before, maybe it’s time you changed your mindset and gave it a try.

Once upon a time these types of holiday were reserved for those who were a little well off, or perhaps those who were a little older, but this has all changed, because nowadays you can find all manner of fantastic and vibrant cruise breaks, heading to some fantastic destinations, for much lower costs.

There are countless cruise companies out there, so shopping around for the best deal for you, as well as the best itinerary, is easy. You simply need to dedicate time and patience to the cause!

Where can you go? Lots of places! The top cruise destinations include the Caribbean, the Far East, Norwegian Fjords, the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, and even Antarctica. If you want at true wilderness break, somewhere that will blow your mind completely, then the latter choice is for you – you will probably need to save up for this one, as it is one of the most expensive cruise destinations on the market, but it is more than worth it! If you really wanted to, you could go on an around the world cruise, taking you to countless destinations across a longer span of time – you’ll need your sea legs for this one!

Having said that, even days at sea are filled with activity and fun, because cruise liners are basically floating holiday resorts, packed with entertainment and facilities; some of the larger companies have ships that will make you not want to venture off them!

It’s always best to plan your land days quite carefully, because you don’t have a huge amount of time in any location. Cruise companies will have excursions to sell to you, but you could head online and check if you can find an alternative trip, which might suit your needs and budget a little more. Do be careful with this, because if you are late back, your ship is not going to wait for you!

The great thing about choosing a cruise is that you get to see so many different destinations within the space of one holiday, rather than just one or two on a land-based break. This may help inform you of where you might like to spend more time in the future, so you could consider a try before you buy kind of deal!

Whatever type of cruise you go for, and whatever itinerary you choose, the chances are that your first cruise, will not be your last!

The City That Really Never Sleeps

The City That Really Never Sleeps

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City breaks really are fantastic experiences. Not only do you get a wide choice of different nightlife opportunities, but you also get gastronomy, shopping, culture, sightseeing, and sometimes even beach time too! Of course, some cities are more famous than others, and one which is definitely up there is New York.

The Big Apple is on most people’s bucket list, and for very good reason too. Think about it – some of the most iconic sights are here, including Times Square, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Coney Island, Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, the list goes on. If you want to shop ‘til you drop, well, you have some of the biggest department stores to choose from, such as Macy’s, and Bloomingdales, as well as huge stores such as Tiffanys, to name just one world-famous brand.

Put simply, if you plan on going shopping in New York, you need to a) dedicate at least a day or two to this activity alone, and b) warn your credit card company!

A Broadway show is another rite of passage when it comes to visiting New York, New York. Many people dream of seeing Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, but you don’t have to just stop there, how about Cirque Du Solei? Jersey Boys? Kinky Boots? The list goes on yet again.

When shopping around for your Broadway tickets, always use a reputable site, such as Showtickets.com, or head to the Box Office at the theatre itself. Ticket touts will be everywhere, but if you make use of them then you are probably going to find yourself out of pocket and without a valid ticket. In terms of your show day, plan to enjoy a meal before or after your show, and you’ll find countless restaurants around the Theater District too.

Taking a bite of the Big Apple is really going to be a tiring experience, and unless you plan on not doing too much, you might be rather exhausted by the end of it. It’s certainly worth packing in as much as you can during your time there however, and doing some research ahead of time and thinking about the places you want to go and when is a great way to make sure you don’t miss out on any top experiences. We’re not suggesting you draw up an itinerary and stick to it like glue, but you should have at least a rough idea of when you are going to head to a certain sight.

Remember your comfortable shoes and get ready to immerse yourself totally in the city that really never sleeps!

Fun in The Desert – Welcome to Vegas Baby!

Fun in The Desert – Welcome to Vegas Baby!

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Any first time visitor to Las Vegas needs to know one thing – distance is a serious mirage in this city!

You can easily stand at one end of the Strip, perhaps near the airport if you are staying at the Luxor, for example, and you will gaze in the distance, maybe even from your hotel window – you will see the other end of the Strip, or even just a hotel a few buildings down from you, and you will think that it is an easy stroll.

Wrong!

In terms of mirages, this is the biggest you will come across!

That Strip takes longer to walk down than you will realise, and for that reason you need to think comfort, rather than style!

This slight problem aside, Las Vegas truly is a wonderful destination to visit, whether it’s your first, fifth, or tenth time, and there are always new experiences and attractions to head to. A Vegas show is a production like no other, and finding Vegas show tickets should be high up on your agenda. Of course, you should only ever use reputable sights, such as BestofVegas.com, or use the hotel Box Office – always avoid ticket touts.

The hotels in Vegas are attractions in their own right, and not just somewhere to sleep. Most large themed hotels have casinos, shops, shows, restaurants, bars, and fantastic facilities in terms of rooms, and it’s really about finding the best deal out there. If you have always dreamed of visiting France, head to the Paris hotel, and if you have always wanted to go to Venice, the Venetian is for you. The Bellagio offers total glitz and glamour, with those iconic fountains of course, whilst Caesar’s Palace and the Luxor take you back in time to ancient Rome and Egypt respectively.

In terms of what to eat, you really can imagine any type of gastronomical delight and then find it when you visit Vegas. A good tip however is to take advantage of breakfast buffets. Not only will you get the choice of some of the most amazing delicacies out there, but you will also be able to fill up for the rest of the day, so you don’t need to refuel until much later on.

All in all, you need to make peace with the fact that your time in Las Vegas is probably going to be very far from relaxing, and you may even feel like you need another holiday afterwards to recover! When you jet back home, look around you at the tired faces in the airport and you will see that Vegas really is a riot in the best possible way!

Packing for “Girly-Girls”

Packing for “Girly-Girls”

Maybe we have this idea of travelers as being rough, down-to- earth hippies or earth lovers who don’t care about make up or material things. True, this is some people. But not all! There are plenty of us out there who, whether we’re on the road or not, enjoy getting dolled up and don’t want to sacrifice that in order to travel. Believe it or not, you don’t have to. It may not be the exact same as when you’re at home and have your full arsenal of products at your disposal but it’s still possible to pack your bag in a way that will keep you feeling like yourself during your travels.

Shoes

While packing for style is a priority so is packing for safety. It will be necessary to bring a pair of boots for any outdoor activity to be sure you don’t end up with a sprained ankle or worse during any hiking or horseback riding. In order to save space it’s a good idea to buy a pair that can be worn in the city as well. These are the ones you’ll want to wear on the plane as well since they will be your heaviest.

For hikes that are a bit less difficult you could wear running shoes which can be quite stylish. If you plan to be in warmer climates then make sure to have one pair of flip flops (you’ll especially want these in hostel showers!) and also a dressy pair to wear at night.

Large Plastic Bags

These are great for separating your clothing. I’m sure you’ll be bringing along some of your favorite clothes so you can look your best in all the places you’ll be visiting. The worst is if your nice clothes start to smell like your dirty socks that you’ve also got in your bag. To avoid this, keep your clothes in separate zippered bags.

Pack your Worst Clothes As Well

You’ll likely be doing some shopping while on the road so it’s a good idea to bring some of your older t shirts and clothes that you don’t want anymore. That way once you wear them you can donate them wherever you are. This makes space in your bag and also helps avoid making your bag quite stinky!

Travel Towel

These are a lifesaver. Some hostels will have towels but you will usually have to pay. It’s much better to have your own but make sure it’s a quick drying one. There’s nothing worse than carrying a damp towel in your bag.

Accessories and Makeup

Us girly-girls are not ones to go without these things and there’s no reason we should have to. It’s completely feasible to still bring some makeup and your must-have accessories and products to keep your hair manageable. However, it is important to be realistic and bring only what you truly need.

On You Go!

This list should help with your packing and show you that it’s completely possible to maintain your girly ways while on the road. But the best part, you’ll probably be enjoying your adventures so much anyways that your looks will be far from your mind.

Travel Guide: Europe for Women

Travel Guide: Europe for Women

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There are some tips that can be applied to travel anywhere in the world but others that specifically work well in Europe and for women. My first tip before taking a trip is always to research as much as humanly possible and the information below is a great way to start. Read on and get ready!

Why I Love Solo Travel

I remember on my first trip being terrified out of mind. I began the adventure with one of my best friends. We had a blast that first week together and I couldn’t stop crying when it was time for her to leave. I thought for sure I’d never survive on my own. I was so wrong.

After she was gone, I learned that I am much more capable than I realized. I could find my way around new cities and learn new public transportation systems without getting lost, I could make new friends easily and best of all I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.

It didn’t matter if I felt like sitting in a park, exploring a museum, going out to eat or staying in to cook, party all night or stay in to read. I could do whatever I felt and usually was able to find someone to join me on any adventure if I decided I wanted a buddy. That kind of freedom is quite amazing. I thought for sure I would feel lonely and it turned out quite the opposite; I often couldn’t get enough alone time!

One of the more noticeable parts was that I realized I was taking everything in more when I was alone. If you’re with someone it’s easy to get caught up in each other and your conversation. When you’re alone all of your senses are focused on taking in every detail of a new city, it’s pretty beautiful.

Things to Keep in Mind…

  • Go Slow: It’s easy to try and pack in a bunch of cities and activities quickly. This will only lead to burnout and not enjoying things to their full potential. Pace yourself.
  • Plan Ahead: Sometimes showing up in a city without a hostel reservation works out fine, other times it doesn’t. It’s best to book ahead to keep yourself out of a bad situation.
  • Forget the Selfie Stick: These are becoming ever so popular especially in Europe, don’t do it! It’s so much better to ask someone else to take your photo as this often leads to a nice conversation at the very least and possibly even a new friend!
  • Find a Buddy at Night: Europe has huge cities and huge cities anywhere can get less safe at night. If you want to go out, stick with a friend.
  • Avoiding Getting Hit On: People will try to hit on you anywhere in the world but many places in Europe are especially open about this. Wearing a wedding ring can deter people as can sunglasses so that you don’t make accidental eye contact with someone you’re not interested in.

Traveling with friends can be a great experience but solo travel can also be great if not better. The only difference is when you’re alone you have to look out for yourself more. If you can do that, you’ll be great!

Safest Destinations as a Solo Female Traveler

Safest Destinations as a Solo Female Traveler

While there are many things that can be done to stay safe on the road as a solo female traveler no matter where you are, many people want to know if certain destinations are safer than others. Of course! Some places are much more traveler friendly especially for women. Here are some of my favorites.

Iceland: This country has become a popular destination for many travelers and with good reason. The city of Reykjavik is known to have a great music scene and nightlife. With something always going on, it’s easy to go out and make new friends. Not only that, but Iceland has some of the most stunning natural beauty in the world including glaciers and the infamous Blue Lagoon.

Scandanavia: This includes the countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. While it can be a little chilly, these countries are filled with beautiful architecture. Norway and Denmark have even been ranked as some of the happiest places on earth!

New Zealand: This is the place to go if you’re seeking outdoor adventure. It’s got beaches, fiords, and glaciers all at the tips of your fingertips.

Dubai: This one may surprise you seeing as it’s such a large city. However, Dubai is full of people from a plethora of backgrounds, religions, and nationalities. There’s so much diversity and everyone gets along well so you will fit right in. It’s still important to respect the culture and cover up anywhere other than the beach.

Canada: A country full of breathtaking landscapes and some incredibly fun and happening cities. Canadians are known for being some of the friendliest and you’ll see why quite quickly.

Belgium: One of my favorite countries I’ve traveled to, especially the city of Ghent! You’ll encounter friendly locals who will take you out to some of their favorite pubs and then wake up the next morning and see castles. You can’t go wrong in Belgium, especially with a beer in one hand and chocolate in the other!

Ireland: It would be easy to spend night after night in the pubs of Ireland. The music and the energy is intoxicating, you can’t help but to have fun. I’ve also truly never seen greener grass or breathed fresher air. Keep Ireland at the top of your list!

Bali: With temples, yoga, and beaches you’ll feel relaxed and right at home. It doesn’t hurt that the food and accommodation are incredibly cheap! The culture here is great and with so many travelers being drawn here, you’ll make friends quickly.

Amsterdam: It’s reputation holds true, Amsterdam is a place of happy care-free people. It’s easy to spend the day sitting at cafes or strolling in parks, you’ll never want to leave!

Cruise: These are great with so many organized activities it’s easy to make friends. Not only that, but it’s a stress free way to see many places without having to plan your own itinerary.

This list only names a few of many places to go. No matter where you go just stay smart, be wise, and enjoy yourself! Travel on!