Monday, April 18, 2016

Traveling: What has worked for me

Hi baes! As some of you have noticed in my snaps and Instagram, I've been traveling a bit. It was a resolution of mine. In addition to that, I've been dating someone long distance so that also means lots of traveling! :)
There's so much that I love about traveling, I mean who doesn't love to travel. Your twenties are all about discovering yourself, and they are your selfish years so why not spending them exploring the world? I've decided to do at least one big trip a year. When I say big, I mean at least 5 days away in a place that requires me to use my passport. I am making it a point to not repeat places (as much as I love London, wahhh) but I'm making it a goal to visit as many countries as possible before I turn 30. 

I blame my parents for this outrageous travel bug. They used took my brother and I somewhere new every summer. For one week of the summer they'd pack us in the car or an airplane and we'd go to a new state or country. Thanks to them, I've always loved to travel. As I've gotten older and my traveling desires more extravagant, I've really learned how expensive traveling can be. 

This time last year I began planning my first big trip with one of my best friends,Cynthia. We both had been itching to travel and Europe was a dream of ours. We started planning about 6-7 months out. Sounds crazy but it worked for us. We checked what month would be best to take off from work, how long we wanted to go for, which cities we wanted to visit and how much we were willing to spend. As our Eurotrip plan started to come together, I learned how complicated and exciting this trip would be.
Home Away from Home
Because Cynthia and I were on a tight budget, we compared prices between staying in hotels and hostels. Since it was only the two of us we decided to research the top hostels through HostelWorld.com. It was super easy to navigate and narrow down the top-rated hostels. Hostels provide a very welcoming environment for younger travelers especially those traveling alone or in small groups. We knew we'd only be sleeping in our hostels and that we'd be out and about all day so we were fine with dorm style living. In our hostels in London and Paris, we shared a bedroom but shared the bathroom with the floor and in Barcelona we had our own bathroom. Hostels offer lots of options. When traveling I would recommend do lots of research when it comes to deciding on where to stay. You want make sure you are comfortable - it will be your home away from home! We loved where we stayed especially in Barcelona! You can read more here. Since then I've traveled to Puerto Rico and stayed at my first Airbnb which was lovely and I'll share more about it in my next post :)
Excursions
While in Europe, I was determined to see and do as much as possible in a short period of time. I did research on Trip Advisor and through a few travel blogs to loosely plan what we would do every day. They recommended the top actitivities in each city and provided affordable prices for lots of tours and excursions!
Me Time
Even though traveling requires lots of energy and time, remember to take some moments for yourself. Sounds a bit weird since we usually take trips to get away from our daily life but often traveling can be a bit overwhelming. After taking long flights, traveling through different times zones and stay in places that aren't your own -- who wouldn't be overwhelmed, and exhausted? Lots of times I feel like I need a vacation after a vacation so I try my hardest to take some time for myself. To take it all in. I like to have some moments throughout my trip where I can write in my journal, reflect on my trip, why I took the trip and what it means to me. Maybe even just taking a small walk, one not tour related and just soak in all the world around you. I kept a journal when I went to Europe and it's so great to look back and read over the moments we experienced while we were there. 


I hope you find these tips helpful and I'd love to hear what are your favorite tricks and tips in the comment section below.

Xo,
Maia

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