Travel Tips

How I control my social media when I travel (without disconnecting completely)

I love social media - but I am becoming more aware that social media has a dark side - it can so easily take you away from what you’re doing, especially when you’re travelling.  So I thought I would share my tips for making sure social media enhances your trip instead of pulling you away from it.

Don't cave in to free WiFi

When you’re travelling you’re probably taking some pretty amazing photos for Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. The kind of photos that tend to get lots of likes and comments. It’s hard to resist the desire to check your phone and get the instant gratification it gives to see the notifications pop up.

One thing that I noticed overseas was that lots of places have free WiFi - museums, coffee shops, galleries - and I found it really hard to resist the urge to check my Instagram every time we were in one of these places.

I’ve mentioned before how important it is to disconnect in order to prioritise self care when you’re on holidays and this is an important part of that disconnect.

Don't edit on the go

Although it’s tempting to immediately go and edit the awesome photo you just took so you can share it on Instagram but please wait until you are back at your accommodation. Firstly this will allow you a chance to slowly go through the photos of the day and help imprint the memories forever. Secondly it prevents you from ignoring your friend, lover or your surroundings because you’re too busy selecting the perfect filter.

Choose your time to use the internet

As I mentioned above - a lot of places have free wifi these days; cafes, museums, galleries and of course any accommodation worth it’s salt has wifi these days.  And that’s awesome - but use this access wisely. Decide the times that you are going to connect to the internet and take mini internet detoxes in between.

I like to stay off of the internet in the morning and only connect in the afternoon. Normally by that stage I need some unthinking scrolling time and I find it strangely pleasurable to deny myself internet access with the promise of unbridled access later.

Use a hashtag

I know it sounds strange but having a hashtag for your travels is a great way to keep all your memories in one place. I love going back and seeing all the photos I took on our honeymoon - and they’re conveniently all linked together by the hashtag #lawrancehoneymoon. Jordan of Oh Happy Day is particularly awesome at coming up with amazing hashtags for her travels with her family.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo


Why it's important to prioritise self care when you travel

Self care is really important if you are travelling for any length of time. It will help you to keep up your energy levels so you can actually enjoy your adventures.

Drink Water

This is really important - when I’m on holidays its a habit that always seems to fall by the wayside. Unless you want your skin to get flaky and to feel tired all the time of course. Keep a water bottle handy whenever you can and just remember to occasionally take a pull from it.

Exercise

Now before you panic - by exercise I don’t mean pack your gym clothes and go for a run every day - unless you want to. All I mean is do something active on purpose. Stretch in your hotel room or walk or go for a swim.

Take time to rest

The longer the trip the more important it becomes to make time to lounge in your hotel room, take a bath and read or nap for awhile. You may think travel is relaxing but being places where you don't know the language, have to deal with problems that you don't easily know how to find the answer to and even the simple fact you don't get to go back to your own house at the end of the day take a toll that adds up over the weeks.

Use Your Brain

Inevitably when you are on holidays you will get bored. You don’t think that you will because you’re somewhere magical but inevitably you’re on a train for six hours or you’re in your hotel room and you aren’t tired enough for a nap but you really need to rest your feet.

When this happens be ready to entertain yourself - and what’s even better is this is a great chance to do all the things that you don’t have time for in your normal life - read, listen to podcasts, learn a language, write a novel.

Disconnect

Can I tell you a story? Mike and I were standing in the Acropolis museum looking at the Caryatids which are these incredible statues of women - incredible because they managed to hold up a temple for thousands of years without the women having necks resembling that of the All Blacks. Essentially - not a moment to ever forget.

Around us a bunch of American teenagers milled. All of them were on their phones or complaining about being in a museum and it was truly depressing to see - how awful that this genuine wonder of the Ancient World was less interesting than Snapchat.

Please please please switch off, disconnect, put your phone away on holidays. These are moments that you cannot get back. They are not the same as the moments where you are standing in line at the grocery store or on your commute. They are truly precious.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo


How to hack packing for long term travel

Over packing is the curse of long trips - the first time Mike and I went to Europe I went a little nuts with my clothes because I had never been away for so long and I just didn’t know what I needed.

I learnt my lesson and the second time round I pared my packing all the way back and I still think I could have taken less!

You want less, not more choice when you’re travelling. When you’re heading out every day for an adventure you won't be particularly interested in having endless choices for clothes.

Don’t panic though - I don’t think you should sacrifice style just so you can pack less clothes. It’s not about packing your track pants and sweatshirts - it’s about curating the nice clothes you already have so that you only take the bare essentials.

I’ve tried to make these tips as general as possible but ultimately these tips are based on my personal style + gender. So if you’re not keen on any of these tips feel free to disregard them.

What to pack

  • Only take one or two bottoms: Take your favourite pair of jeans and a pair of shorts or a skirt.

  • Pack a handful of tops: I would recommend prioritising comfort when making your choices

  • Flesh out: With dresses, an extra skirt, shorts or pants. Remember to only pack as much as you need either:

    • To last one week

    • To last between access to a laundry

  • Shoes: Only pack three pairs of shoes - MAX. On our last trip I took my boots, a pair of flats and a pair of fancy shoes because we were going out somewhere nice for Christmas.

How to pack

  • Roll your clothes: I know this sounds like one of those weird myths but you absolutely have less wrinkled clothes and let you pack more into less space.

  • Unpack when you get there: Regardless of how long you're spending in a place the easiest thing to do once you get to your accommodation is to unpack what you plan on wearing for the days that you’re there. It seems like more work but ultimately it saves you rummaging around and messing up your rolled clothes every morning. I love taking a bit of time when I arrive in a new place to unpack my clothes and also my toiletries, shoes and entertainment. Repacking takes a lot less time than you think and it really helps to make a place feel more like home and make you feel less like a guest.

  • Utilise packing cubes: I know packing cubes are going through a bit of a moment right now. There are lots of different packing cubes available but I just use large zip lock bags. I don't use them for my actual clothes which I'm happy to roll but I do use these bags for my underwear, jewellery and chargers/cables. It keeps things together rather than having them loose in your bag.  I also use different toiletry bags to separate my morning face routine, night face routine and make up.

  • Have a laundry bag: It seems so strange but when you're living out of a suitcase it's hard to remember where you're at in terms of clean clothes (particularly underwear). Having a laundry bag handy makes it easier to keep track of when you're starting to run out of clean clothes.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo


The unofficial textbook on getting around when you travel

One of the biggest things to consider when you travel is how you're going to get around. That's what this post is hopefully going to help you with! It's divided into two parts. Part One is all about travel between countries and cities. Part Two further down looks at travel where you’re at your destination.

Part One

I absolutely recommend you book as much of your transport in advance - especially when you’re travelling between countries. It can really help things run smoothly when you’re there - particularly in avoiding issues with language barriers.

Planes

Choosing your airline should be based on one consideration - how long is your flight. For myself living in Australia most flights are lonngggggggg and so I have no problem going with a slightly more upmarket airline to get that little bit of extra comfort, nicer food and more entertainment options.

On the flip side for our short flights within Europe we took full advantage of the incredibly cheap options available. I didn't mind so much about getting the most comfortable flight available - instead I was much happier prioritising price. It blew my mind that we could fly (with baggage) from Rome to Athens for under $300 AUD for two people. 

Trains

Whenever you can - take the train. It really involves you in the country in a way flying doesn’t. Some of my favourite memories are of Mike and I flying through the countryside on a train - particularly in places like Switzerland where the scenery is ridiculously beautiful.

Feeling close to nature also makes time go so much faster than when you’re on a plane - there were multiple days where we were on a train for over 5 hours - and it never felt like a long time because you get more space, you get natural light and you can take coffee on the train without getting dirty looks from staff members.

Lastly trains are normally a lot more affordable than planes, and not nearly as cramped and uncomfortable as a bus.


Part Two

Public transport

In our last trip whenever we couldn’t walk we took public transport - to and from train stations, airports and on adventures out to ancient ruins. Amazingly this was less stressful than negotiating the language barriers and lack of local knowledge that comes with taking taxis.

Google Maps is really useful for working out public transport options - you just put in your location and your destination and it will suggest car, bike, walking and public transport routes for you.

Walk

Wherever and whenever you can - walk. It is the absolute best way to see a place. I am fascinated by the way people live and walking in cities really make me feel like I know a place compared to seeing it from the back of a taxi or a bus.

Obviously this isn’t always possible, but most cities are walk-able. Mike and I walked well over 12 km one day in Paris and it is absolutely why I fell so in love with the City of Lights. You will also see things you will would never otherwise have seen - foreign cities are full of things that are so familiar and yet so different to what you see every day.


But what about...

I'm yet to hire a car or use an Uber in a foreign country. I love Uber in Australia but I don't feel like I can give an opinion of using it as a transport method until I've used it somewhere unfamiliar. The same goes with hiring a car. 

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo


How to use Trip Advisor effectively

 If you haven't heard of Trip Advisor before, it's a community reviewed website that covers hotels, motels, B & B and hostels. It also has restaurant reviews and travel guides for lots of major cities. It's my secret weapon for booking accommodation, finding restaurants and learning more about fun things to do. I'm really excited to share how I use Trip Advisor effectively to make my holidays more magical.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not being paid by Trip Advisor at all for this - in writing it I realised it sounds like I'm sponsored by them but I'm not. I just really love their website.

Booking your ACCOMMODATION

Finding accommodation that's in budget, in a good location and is a nice place to stay can seem very elusive sometimes. Never fear though, I have a fairly specific method that I use to find a good place to stay and I’m really excited to share it with you. This method has been honed over time and through many, many hotel bookings.

  1. Select your price range (in your local currency): Trip Advisor let's you narrow the search down by price range which is perfect but make sure it's in your own currency - conversion rates can vary a lot and doing this makes sure you stay in budget.

  2. Narrow down by rank: Trip Advisor has different sorting options and I recommend using the Ranking option, this is the rating Trip Advisor users give from highest to lowest.

  3. Now we've filtered we can start investigating what's left: First a warning - the top hotels in the ranking are most likely going to be big chain hotels. They get good ratings because of their size and familiarity but they are a perpetual disappointment - they look pretty but they never have the same level of service or personality as the smaller places. So give those a miss as often as you can and instead:

    1. Start with the highest rating and work your way down.

    2. When you go into a listing read the last five comments people have left. This will give you a great snapshot of the place. It also gives you clues as to any problems with the accommodation.

  4. Check the location: Use the map to see where it is in the city. As one friend told me once - just because a place is called Hotel Venice doesn't mean it's actually in Venice. It also helps with the other end of this spectrum, Trip Advisor comments saying "It's not very close to the city". I'm not sure what most of these comments mean as very rarely is the accommodation legitimately far from the centre of the city.

  5. Go with your gut: Ultimately you could look at 50 hotels and never feel like any of them are perfect. The aim isn't perfection, it's about picking a place that ticks enough of your requirements.

A final point - I always book through the hotel rather than Trip Advisor - even when I might get a deal with Trip Advisor. There are arguments on both sides of this but I like the control I have over the communication with the hotel. When I'm travelling for a long time removing the third party makes me feel more confident.

researching fun things to do

I'm not known for returning to places I've been to previously (Paris and Lucerne are so far the only two repeat offenders out of a possible 14). This means I'm always researching new to me places for all the fun things you can do. The Trip Advisor app comes with travel itineraries for many cities. I've never followed any of the itineraries exactly but I use it as a really good starting point for learning about what I might want to do in the city.

Finding good restaurants

Eating is possibly my favourite part of travelling to new places and so finding interesting places to eat is very important. I definitely think some of the best meals I’ve had were in places that Mike and I just wandered past and decided to check out - highlights include the best ramen I have ever eaten (in Tokyo) and an incredible seafood pasta in Rome (in a place called, no joke, De Niro).

Average meals are the flip side of the taking your chances with restaurants - and that’s where doing a little bit of prep and research can help to out. That way you are guaranteed at least one meal that is delicious.  I know this article is titled "using Trip Advisor effectively" but I actually have a few suggestions for finding delicious places to eat. I hope you don't mind me straying a little from the chosen topic:

  • Trip Advisor: Trip Advisor can be a bit hit and miss because it is relying on the opinion of individuals but you can find some real gems. My favourite restaurant in Venice and my favourite restaurant (so far - I can’t commit to forever) in Paris were both Trip Advisor recommendations. You can also save recommendations so you can start plotting good places to try months in advance.

  • Travel blogs (and vlogs) of people you trust: Local Milk, Smitten Kitchen, A Beautiful Mess and The Cherry Blossom Girl all have travel guides as part of their websites.

  • The hotel you’re staying in: Sometimes they can suggest super touristy places but on our recent trip to our hometown the apartment where we stayed gave us some amazing recommendations - most of which made their way into my Adelaide Bar Guide. So ask for their suggestions, do a bit of Googling to avoid tourist traps and who knows what you might find.


How to entertain yourself on long flights

Spending hours on a plane has limited ability for excitement. Sure initially it’s fun but that wears off quickly. I am fiercely determined to occupy myself on any flight I get on - being bored on a flight really does make it go approximately one thousand times longer. Here are my current favourite ways to entertain myself on a flight:

Podcasts

We all know that I am a podcast obsessive and you can check out my favourite podcasts right over here. When I travel I download a bunch of episodes so I can listen whether I’m near WiFi or not (I use the Stitcher app). I also sometimes resist the urge to listen to episodes from my favourite podcasts in the lead up to a trip so I have lots to listen to when I’m away.

Colouring

My favourite thing to pair with listening to podcasts is colouring. So far I’ve taken big colouring books on flights but I recently discovered small colouring books (I mean I say discover like they were hiding from me but obviously they weren't) and I’m excited to give these a go next time because I think it will be more convenient; for both me and the people in the seats around me. I use Derwent pencils (which are so fancy) when I colour.

I’ve also started using a colour by numbers app; there are a ton out there, and a lot of them can be used without wifi (I cheat and just “start” a bunch before I get on the plane so it downloads the image). It’s a good work around for short flights if you don’t want to be lugging your art supplied with you.

Games

There are tons of really awesome games you can download to your laptop these days - not just games like Candy Crush but adventure and puzzle games as well. My current favourite is the Nancy Drew games - they are just difficult enough to hook me in without being so difficult that I get frustrated. I’m so excited to download a game (or two) to play next time we fly.

Read

I love books and I always take at least one with me on the flight. I try and make it something a bit lighter that will suck me in rather than a more serious tome. I also buy a few magazines (favourites include Peppermint, Gourmet Traveller and Collective Hub). Lately I've also been really into Audible for non-fiction books.

Write

I always journal when I travel but lately I have also been taking my laptop with me on flights so that I can do more free-form writing. As much as I love the idea of having a beautiful notebook that I could write in between staring pensively out the window and sipping a martini the reality is my handwriting is awful and as a leftie I end up with stains on my hand. A laptop removes those obstacles and lets me pour out ideas.

Music

When I’m reading or writing I like to listen to music. Spotify is my app of choice for listening to music. I always make sure I have at least one playlist downloaded so I can play it offline. Normally it’s something atmospheric and peaceful, some of my favourites are:

TV & Movies

Most airlines these days have some pretty awesome choices of television shows and movies. I do recommend leaving TV and movies until you have exhausted all your other options. It’s much better to do all of the more “active” entertainment choices first and leave movies and TV for when you are just too exhausted (inevitable on a long haul flight) to do anything else.


How to budget for your trip: A Beginner's Guide

One of the biggest challenges when you want to travel is money; both saving enough money and ensuring you keep your money safe whilst you travel. It's definitely something that has weighed on me and worried me on almost all of our adventures.  Over time though I've picked up a few different tips to help me budget better & keep our money safe when we're away.

Setting a budget

Setting a dollar figure for your budget is ultimately a personal choice - what’s affordable for me may be out of budget for you and vice versa. So I won’t be talking figures, only about how to work out a figure that makes sense to you. The reality is without funds you can't travel, and I have come to the conclusion over the years that you should aim to primarily travel on your own funds rather than using credit cards or loans. Of course this isn't always possible (it hasn't been for us) but working out your budget early on can help make sure you do save the money you need to travel.

Before starting to plan your budget make sure to take into account the conversion rates. This is the secret killer of budgeting because you can spend all this time working out how much you need to save in your local currency only to realise that it’s worth half the value of the currency of where you are going.

Planning your budget can be broken down into five simple steps:

  1. Firstly work out your flights: This is always the biggest expense for me so it's always the first thing I save for.

  2. Next up work out a maximum you would be willing to spend per night on accommodation and multiply that by the amount of nights you’ll be away.

  3. Now do the same for your daily budget, working out a maximum spend and multiplying by amount of days you’ll be away. Make sure you include food, drink, local transport, entertainment and shopping in your daily spending. Lonely Planet is a good resource to work out what different daily amounts will get you and what different basic items cost.

  4. Inter - country (or city) travel is next and it’s always a bit tricky if you’ve never been to a place before. Again Lonely Planet is a good resource for finding the names of public transport companies and hire car services, and also gives tips about what the best options are (in terms of the time of year and cost associated). Most websites will then give you an idea of how much a ticket  will cost to buy, or how much a car will cost to rent.

  5. Lastly remember to budget for travel insurance - it’s non negotiable. 


Money while you travel

Having money and feeling secure about your funds is very important when you travel - often you're dealing with a huge chunk of money that you wouldn't normally have. I actually have to thank my husband for the tips below - he handles all the money when we travel and he’s got a really good system.

  • Have some of the destination currency on you before you leave: Nothing is worse than landing in a country and just wanting a coffee or a sandwich and not having some cash to buy said items.

  • If you have a layover make sure you have cash in the currency of the country the airport is in.

  • Take cash out in blocks, only enough for a few days at a time - initially we did this unintentionally because we didn’t have ATM’s in every city for our local bank but it did make us feel better because we didn’t have a huge wad of cash in our bags

  • Just put your daily budget in your wallet - at the end of the day anything left over carries to the next day.

So why cash? If you rely on card you can’t guarantee that everywhere will have the capacity to process EFTPOS payments. It also prevents you from overspending because you can see how much cash you have left. Lastly if you’re taking cash out in blocks and then storing some of it safely in your hotel if you then lose your wallet you still have cash you can use.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo


Tips for travelling with your lover

Travelling with your lover is a fantastic way to get to know them better and to have an adventure that you can cherish. It isn’t without its challenges though - it can reveal differences in your personalities that aren’t obvious when you are in your home environment. Navigating these challenges aren't impossible - and it can be a great opportunity to learn more about your beloved and get closer to them.

Understand what you want

The first thing you need to work out is what you want from your trip: do you want to lounge in your hotel pool, go on hikes or drift from one bar to another. There is no right way to travel - and what you want from one holiday might be vastly different to what you want from another.

It can also be interesting to learn what you define as relaxing - it might be that you find skiing relaxing or you might prefer to sip hot chocolate in the chalet. It's important to not just understand what you want to do but to also accept your preferences. As I said; there's no right way to travel - so if you really like laying on the beach and not going anywhere near the sea don't feel bad. 

Understand what they want

This isn’t just about you of course; it’s about your lover as well. What do they want from the trip? My husband is definitely more relaxed than I am when we travel - he does enjoy going on adventures but he also enjoys chilling out in the hotel room as well. His attitude is definitely a really good balance to mine because if I had my way I would be out of the hotel all day and would probably burn out really quickly. So I've learnt to really enjoy those relaxing moments.

You may have a very similar or very different attitudes towards travel - and if they are very different it’s important to chat with your lover before you travel to help come to an agreement. Maybe you’ll go out for a solo adventure whilst your lover takes an afternoon nap (or vice versa). There’s no problem with not having the same desires from your holiday - it’s far more important that you’re upfront about it to avoid frustration and resentment later.

Really focus on them

Going on holiday is the perfect time to focus on your lover. This is the time to put away your phone and really engage in the relationship. In your day to day life you often don’t have much time together (I know I don’t) so take this opportunity to get to know your lover better.

Some of my favourite memories are ones from our trips together; without all the day to day distractions that pull us away from each other. Travelling together has absolutely made us much closer; both through having a shared experience and by making sure that we really engage with each other when we're away.

Allow for some space

I know I just said you need to really focus on your lover, but it’s also important to take some time by yourself. It's likely that you will be sharing all of your meals as well as a hotel room and this is normally a lot more time than most people spend together. For many couples their first holiday will be the most time that they will have ever spent together and the best way to avoid conflict is to take time by yourself.

This could mean taking some time to read in your hotel room or going for a solo walk in the morning. Allowing for some space will help make your time together more special, and help ease any natural tensions that will happen when you’re spending 24 hours a day with the same person.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo


Why I have a travel Routine and How it Helps me enjoy travel more

Travel is lovely for the break from regular routine - but when you travel for a long time it’s important to think about introducing some structure to your day. It will help you to feel grounded and more peaceful. It really helps me to enjoy travel so much more.

When I say “routine” I don’t mean having a timetable that you have to follow to the minute - that’s definitely not the point (unless you're really into that). This is more about having touch points in your day, they don’t have to be done at a certain time (though of course you can have morning or evening routines) with the aim of introducing some elements of self care. In general I tend to add things that are already part of my routine at home - I often just adapt them to suit the more relaxing nature of holidays.

What could be included

There are lots of things you can include in a holiday routine; mine tends to focus on self care. Currently when I travel I add the following elements to my travel routine:

Meditation: In the morning I like to meditate for at least 10 minutes, but on mornings where we have a lot going on I'm happy to drop it back to 5 minutes. It’s more about having a few moments of calm in the day - travel can be relaxing but it can also be overwhelming with the unfamiliar languages and/or culture - it’s nice to focus on my breath - even if it's only briefly.

Five Minute Journal: I love my Five Minute Journal; it’s a great and simple way to introduce more gratitude into my life (you can read more about the journal here). Travelling is magical; and taking a moment to be grateful for this time can really enhance the experience. I’ve used the physical one in the past, but I’ve recently moved over to the app, which is a lot easier when you’re travelling.

Exercise: When we’re on holidays overseas I don’t add exercise to my day as we tend to walk everywhere, however when I'm travelling for business or when we go home to visit our parents I go for a 30 minute run most days.

Travel journal: When we travel overseas I spend some time every afternoon writing in my travel journal. I really love noting down the things that have bought me joy and the little stories from the day. I know I will be so grateful to have these records in the future.

Take a bath: This doesn't form part of my normal at home routine but since we tend to travel in winter taking an afternoon bath is the perfect way to relax and warm up. I really look forward to this downtime - especially after a morning of adventures.

Allow for flexibility

Most important is not letting having a routine get in the way of the whole point of your holiday - which is to relax and enjoy yourself. Sometimes I would write in my travel journal in the morning on the train to our next destination instead of in the afternoon or have a sleep in instead of meditating. These routine elements are meant to be touch points to help keep you grounded on days that are often very unstructured - they aren't meant to make your day feel more restricted.

So if adding a certain routine element stresses you out - just don't do it. It's that simple.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo


How to confidently travel solo

In the last year or so I’ve done a lot of travel by myself - mostly because of work. Now as a card carrying introvert the idea of being alone doesn’t really bother me - in fact I find it very peaceful. However I was still initially nervous about being in public by myself and doing things that are traditionally group activities like going out to dinner or sightseeing. I feel like this is what most people are nervous about - that you’ll look weird, or you’ll feel lonely.

Once I started travelling I realised that I really enjoyed being by myself and travelling alone. I also worked out how to get past my nerves. I thought I would share my tips for being confident and having fun when you travel solo.

Choose your schedule

When you travel alone you are the only person who has a say on your schedule and it is so important to take advantage of this. I love when I travel solo because it means I can decide on a whim to go for a walk on the waterfront, have a post work day cocktail or relax in the bath.

Although it is a lot of fun to travel with your lover or friends there is something so liberating about not needing to discuss your plans with anyone. It also means you can follow your passions without worrying about whether it’s boring or frustrating anyone.

For example I really enjoy going on walks with my camera - I always feel a bit guilty taking so much time to take photographs and play around with composition when I’m travelling with others - so I like that I can spend 10 minutes setting up and taking photographs without delaying anyone except myself.

Be Confident

I know it’s very nerve wracking to go to dinner all by yourself. Every time I do it I wonder if anyone is staring at me or calling me a loser in their head. I try to take an attitude that people:

a) don’t think I’m weird for dining alone and;

b) may even think I’m kind of cool for being brave enough to be sitting alone in a restaurant.

So when I walk into a restaurant or bar I pretend that everyone is so amazed by how self possessed I am. It sounds kind of weird but it really works - pretending to feel unbothered by the opinions of others tricks my brain into actually feeling like that - which is a lot more fun than awkwardly slinking into a restaurant and sitting in the back where no one can see me, rushing through my meal so I can retreat to my hotel room.

If you’re wondering what to do whilst you eat or drink you can:

  1. Read a book

  2. People watch: I love to sit at the bar so I can watch what the wait staff are doing as well as the customers (plus sitting at the bar in a restaurant makes me feel very cool)

  3. Listen to podcasts: this is my personal favourite because you don’t need to need to try and balance eating and holding a book plus you can still people watch.

Entertain Yourself

When you travel alone you have a rare opportunity to focus. I find when I’m travelling solo I get so much done - in particular on the plane - because I just have so much time on my hands. The downside of course is that with all this peaceful time on your hands if you don’t bring things to sufficiently entertain yourself you will get bored very very quickly.

So I like to take a few different options for entertainment - I’ve already mentioned podcasts but other suggestions include:

  • Audio books: I’m a total Audible convert

  • Colouring books: Particularly useful for the plane

  • Laptop: I love to settle in on the plane and get a ton of work done.