Tag Archives: tips

Avoiding Hostel Horrors

Filed under: Tips, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Since traveling to the country of Georgia, I have been learning a lot from my first abroad experience. I recently stayed in my first hostel. I was pretty excited to find such a deal on for one night. The hostel had great reviews so I didn’t expect any problems. Unfortunately, my stay in this particular hostel was a little less than enjoyable. Here are five tips I have for you just in case you’re preparing for a hostel stay since it may be a little bit of a different experience you may be used to:

1. Bring Soap

I thought it was a ‘given’ that the hostel would provide soap in the bathroom or shower like typical places you stay overnight in. Instead, I had to ask for it. Some hostels do not provide towels either so you’re better off bringing your own. Also, don’t walk around barefoot in the bathroom, no matter how clean it may appear.

Bar of Soap

Photo © Care2

2. Bring Earplugs

Whether you get your own private room, or you take a bunk bed in a dormitory, you are going to want earplugs. The lights may go off at a certain time, but that doesn’t mean the people around you will stop chattering. You may also want to consider bringing your own sleep sheet, just in case the hostel doesn’t provide sheets.

College Girl Sleeping With Earplugs And Mask

Photo © Alice Benjamin

3. Don’t Bring Anything Expensive

Before you check out your hostel, it’s a good idea to see if they provide lockers. If you have a private room, you should be fine leaving your stuff. If you stay in a dormitory, be careful. Some hostels are perfectly secure, while it would be best in others to not leave your fancy Canon camera.

Hostel Room

Photo © Table For One

4. Ask The Staff

Feel free to do some research on your own to see where the best restaurants are locally, but don’t forget about the hostel staff. Ninety percent of the time they will have great recommendations not only for restaurants, but sights to see, and things to do.

Hostel Staff Man

Photo © Sakura Hostel

5. Don’t Be Cheap

Just because you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean you should go for the cheapest hostel around. Price your trip well in advance and plan to pay extra for whatever level of comfort you want. Saving money is not as important as your safety and comfort.

Cheap Dirty Hostel

Photo © Darren Alff

If you have never been in a hostel before, definitely be warned that it is completely different from a hotel. Be prepared to bring anything you may need and to not bring anything too valuable.

If you have any hostel-staying tips, feel free to leave them below!

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3 Ways To Take The “Dying” Out Of Studying

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

It’s finally November; meaning that the first college semester and quarter of school is nearing its end. If you are like me, you may be burnt out from studying for midterms and exams by now. Don’t stress! Here are three of my favorite tricks to making studying more interesting.

1. The Reward System

I learned this studying trick back when I was in elementary school. My parents used to reward me for completing homework assignments with tasty treats like ice cream or cookies. Luckily, I have continued this habit of rewarding myself after completing long studying sessions since I learned this to be a great motivation tool. Assign yourself a certain amount to study and have your reward waiting right beside you! I usually like to reward myself with things I rarely indulge in, such as a nice Starbucks drink or yummy cupcake treat! Or you could try the most infamous studying incentive – the gummy bear tactic.

Gummy Bear Book Reading Study Trick

Photo © Life Cheating

2. Study Buddies

Throughout the past four years that I’ve been in school, I’ve really learned to love study groups! Having study buddies livens up the content that you are studying and you learn more when you study together. In previous study group sessions I’ve had, we like to play different games such as Jeopardy, Fact or Fiction, and Hedbanz. My favorite game is Hedbanz in which we use the actual game Hedbanz but replace the game cards with our flashcards. The objective of the game is for the rest of the players to define the word and the person with the word on their forehead has to guess the correct term that is on their flashcard without ever seeing it. You can mix up the rules so that the players have to explain a concept, event, theory – or whatever it is you are studying for – for you to guess.

Headbandz Study Buddy Group Game

Photo © media cache

3. Study While Working Out

I like to download my professor’s lectures and listen to them while I’m working out. If there is no podcast available, then I like to bring my notes or books and read them while I’m biking or on the elliptical. I’ve noticed that because I’m multitasking by running and reading, I really concentrate on reading the material. It really works for me, so give it a try!

Exercising While Reading And Studying

Photo © Top 10 Workouts

Hope my three tricks for making studying more interesting will help you quickly grasp the material while also having a bit more fun. Instead of just sitting and reading the material, try these out.

Good luck with studying this semester!

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Traveling With Homesickness

Filed under: Social Life/Relationships, Tips, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

I have been in Georgia (the country, not the state) for a while now and I am finding adjusting to be a bit more of a chore than I expected. When I signed up to teach English abroad, all I pictured was living in a cool little town with interesting people, and no problems whatsoever. I could not have underestimated this journey more.

I’m in a small village only a 3 minute cab ride from the city, but the village looks like a completely different world. If I’m not wearing earplugs at night when sleeping, I wake up to the sound of chicks peeping, pigs oinking, roosters crowing, and dogs fighting. Being in this village without anyone I know immediately close by, and living with a family with an English level similar to that of an 8-year-old, has made me really homesick. However, I’ve been getting creative with how to soothe myself with this culture shock, so if you are experiencing homesickness abroad, here are my suggestions:

1. Buy Something Comforting

I’m surprised at the number of similar products Georgia has in their mini-marts. Whenever I’m in town, I make sure to stock up on treats: chocolate, Fanta orange soda or Sprite, and Pringles. Not only will you be satisfying your snack cravings, but you will be eating something familiar, which will help you relax. This applies to other products other than food too, although some may be hard to find in a different location.

Can of Pringles

Photo © Food Junk

2. Don’t “Should” Yourself

Do not think, “I should be feeling happy.” Everyone deals with situations differently. Allow yourself to wallow, cry, be sad, and be alone. It is normal to feel this way. Just don’t sit in it for long periods of time.

Sad College Student Traveling Abroad

Photo © A Sharing Connection

3. Reach Out

Email or call friends and family and tell them how you are feeling. Talk it out to whoever will listen. Advice, comforting words, and a new friend will often come of it. You will feel better just talking to someone you miss as well.

College Student Talking On The Phone To Family Friends

Photo © Confused

4. Distract Yourself

There have been plenty of times where all I want to do is curl up in bed and do nothing all day. Unfortunately, that would not only make the situation worse, it would also mean missing out on cool excursions, such as Georgian wine-tasting at local vineyards. It is actually better to make yourself busy so you forget you are homesick!

Martha's Vineyard Travel

Photo © New York Times

5. Pick Up A New Hobby

Take advantage of the time you have available and learn or brush up on a new language, or pick up that book you’ve always wanted to read, etc. The time will pass anyway, so you might as well take advantage of it by doing something fun and intriguing.

College Girl Reading Book

Photo © MindShift

The best piece of advice I have been given in regards to traveling: do whatever you have to to make yourself comfortable. I take things day by day instead of looking at the long term, and that seems to make all the difference in this experience traveling abroad.

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5 Important Things To Bring Abroad

Filed under: Tips, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography
 

 

 

 

 

A few days after I arrived in T’bilisi, Georgia, I became homesick already. For someone who has never traveled out of the country, it is a surreal experience. It has made me wonder if perhaps traveling to England or France would have been easier.  At least I know that I am thankful to have brought with me some things to make this experience more comforting. Here are some things that you should bring with you if you are going abroad anytime soon:

1. Travel Adapter

You can buy these at Target, Best Buy, or any other home goods store. No matter where you get it, just get one. You need this for all of your electronics. The plugs are very different abroad and if you don’t have the adapter, you will have to trek out and buy one, which could cost you extra.

Travel Power Adapter Plug In

Photo © AViiQ

2. Something Personal From Home

Bring your favorite blanket, pillow, or indulgence. Once you are abroad, you will be craving the familiar and anything resembling normal. For me, it’s a pillow my mom bought for me before I left and Dove chocolate.

Fun Square Throw Heart Pillow

Photo © The Creativity Exchange

3. First Aid Kit

This should contain anything from gauze and bandages to Tums and what you would normally take for headaches. Your body is going to take awhile to adjust to the new times, new foods, and new routines. You will want to be prepared.

First Aid Kit

Photo © iVillage

4. Snacks

This will pretty much be a backup and act as comfort food should regular meals not be easily accessible (or if you just get the midnight munchies).

Snack Box

Photo © Fast Track Fundraising

5. Clean Clothes

Pack extra of everything (especially underwear)! This will make you feel clean even if you aren’t. Unless you are staying with family, you never know how often you will be able to do laundry.

Pile of Clean Clothes

Photo © rgbstock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It helped reading travel articles before I started packing to keep in mind everything I needed to get before the official packing process began. Don’t forget to include practical things too, such as sunscreen or some kind of face lotion, toothbrush, and extra toothpaste, Chapstick, and a book. Internet may not be steadily available wherever you are so having a book will come in handy.

Any extra tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

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Moving Tips

Filed under: Tips, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

My husband and I just got done moving into a new condo and there are many things I wish I would have thought of, and many things I am so glad that we did to make the move easier. I wanted to make a list of do’s and don’ts so that when you make your move into a new apartment or dorm, it will be easier!

1. DO – Hire Movers / Rent A U-Haul

The first time we moved, we had movers pack and unpack everything. It was the easiest move I have ever experienced. If you have the money to do so, I highly recommend to hire movers, it will save you time, energy, and many headaches. This last time we moved, we couldn’t afford movers so we decided to rent a U-Haul, which I also recommend doing if you can’t afford the movers. We only had to make two trips with our small truck!

Hired Professional Movers

Photo © Meathead Moviers

2. DON’T – Wait To Pack

Do not wait to pack things up until you get furniture out. My husband and I thought it would be way easier to pack a lot of our stuff once we already started moving. Do NOT do this. It was so stressful, and we felt rushed as we were packing. We didn’t know what boxes we put what in, so we became even more stressed. Packing is awful, and it’s easy to procrastinate, but trust me, get it done with before the moving process begins! And don’t forget to mark on each box what’s in it!

Moving Boxes

Photo © Premiere Cleaning

3. DO – Ask For Help

Do not be nervous to ask your friends to help you. Obviously, it’s not going to be the greatest favor they ever do for you, but being someone’s friend isn’t always glamorous. We had some really great friends help us move, and so we bought them lunch and beer and it turned out being a great day!

Moving Day Friend Family Help

Photo © Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The biggest advice I can give you for moving, is to be prepared. We were completely prepared the first time around, which made things so much easier, and almost stress-free. We are still dealing with stress from our last move, because we put off a lot of things that needed to get done.

Learn from our mistakes, and don’t procrastinate!

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