The Beginning of an Adventure

Introduction to Travel Tips

Traveling in style is one thing, but the most important thing is to travel in comfort .  Every week I will be writing a blog post under the ...

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Introduction to Travel Tips

Traveling in style is one thing, but the most important thing is to travel in comfort

Every week I will be writing a blog post under the title Travel Tips, featuring ways to make your travel experience more enjoyable. From how to pack your luggage, what to bring in your carry-on for that dreaded hours-long flight, and ways to plan ahead to limit the hassle of traveling. 

New Visa Requirements for U.S. Travelers:

Something to know before planning you travels is that a new visa requirement for Americans traveling to E.U. countries will be implemented in 2024. While before you could just travel using your passport, you will now be required to also apply for a travel or ETIAS visa. There is an application fee of around $8 and your application should be processed within 96 hours, but you should submit well-before your travel date and before you purchase plane tickets as it is possible for your application to be denied and need resubmitted. 

For more information regarding the visa, please visit the Travel Europe and ETIAS sites.

Now onto this week's topic:


Anyone who's been on a plane knows that those cramped seats with non-existent leg room leave your back feeling like that of an eighty-year-old grandma by the end of the flight, especially when flying long distance or overseas. Then, after arriving at your destination, you have to lug around a giant suitcase because you, like many others, decided you needed to pack your entire closet for that one-week trip. For those of you unfamiliar with the ins and outs of air travel, navigating the airport and finding ways to be more comfortable for the duration of your flight is essential, as it's the beginning of your adventure! 

Before you arrive at the airport and hop on your plane, you must plan and pack accordingly. If you can, do some research on the typical climate of your destination and continue to monitor the updated weather forecast as the date of your trip gets closer. Depending on the time of year you travel to your destination, you never want to be unprepared for surprise weather like rain or cold temperatures, which brings us to ways to pack your luggage for optimal storage.

First thing to decide: suitcase or backpack? 

Image of colorful suitcases
Image Credit: Pixabay

Image of a rack of hiking shoes and backpacks

Image credit: Pixabay

When I moved to Denmark, I knew I was going to be staying for a while and wanted to bring everything I thought I needed with me, so I packed two giant suitcases and a rolling carry-on bag. Luckily I was traveling there with people to help me, but on my return home I was completely alone and dragging all of that luggage onto multiple trains and through the airport was a really big hassle. I almost missed one of my trains because I couldn't lift my suitcases up the ridiculously steep steps, but thankfully a very nice woman saw me struggling and helped me get them off the platform. It was highly embarrassing and if I could do things over, I would have used a backpack instead of the rolling carry-on and left the non-essentials back home.

For those who plan on having a more relaxed vacation, a suitcase is a perfectly acceptable option. While it is sometimes inconvenient to have to drag a suitcase through the airport and to your destination, these relaxed travelers tend to stay put in one place for a while, and can leave the suitcase wherever they are staying. For travelers like myself who are almost always on the move from one place to another, or have very active itineraries, a hiking backpack would be the way to go. These are more flexible, can hold tons of storage when packed correctly, and leave you hands free, allowing for faster travel. Investing in quality luggage or backpacks can be pricey, but if you travel a lot, you'll get your money's worth. Do your research and find what works best for you and your budget. 

What to Pack

As I mentioned above, it is essential to research your destination and plan your itinerary in order to decide what you need to pack. Are you going someplace warm or cold? What kinds of activities will you be doing? Will you be relaxing on the beach and need flip-flops, or will you be gallivanting around multiple large cities and need excellent walking shoes? Plan your wardrobe not only for style, but for efficiency and comfort as well! You don't want to be caught in a rainstorm without a jacket (trust me, I've been there).

If you are traveling abroad, you'll also want to pack an adapter for your chargers. Most other countries have different types of outlets and plugs than we do, and you are going to want to rely on your devices to be fully charged to help you navigate and plan your activities. I recommend an international travel adapter, which features multiple kinds of plugs and USB ports, so you can use your own charging cords. These can vary in price and size, so look up what works best for you.

How to Pack

After you find the right kind of storage for you, you now need to learn to pack efficiently. Sure, it's easy to throw everything into a suitcase or backpack and hope the zipper closes, but learning how to fold clothes and pack essentials to maximize your space will make traveling much easier. It will also allow for easier access to specific items without disturbing the rest.

For suitcases, I recommend buying flexible packing cubes

 Image Credit: Amazon

These will allow you to separate and sort clothes while keeping everything packed tightly together to allow for more room in the suitcase. They come in a variety of colors, sizes, and prices, and can be bought at almost every retail store and on online shopping sites like Target, Walmart, Amazon, and more. 

Watch this tutorial by BuzzFeed on how to use packing cubes for more information. There are also countless other tutorials explaining how to fold clothes to optimize packing space; you just need to find whatever way works best for you! 

The reason I think learning how to pack efficiently is so important is because I am a firm believer in souvenirs. I want to make sure I leave enough space in my luggage to bring home gifts for family and friends, or other memorabilia. 

Exploring with Other Travelers

For more information and advice for traveling you can visit The Blonde Abroad blog. Author of the blog, Kiersten (or Kiki), shares her many travels with readers, including tips, budgets, and itineraries. She also features tips specifically for solo-female travelers; as one myself, I find her stories very interesting and helpful!

More to Come

Join me every week as I provide my own tips for traveling. Please feel free to comment with your own experiences and advice; I want this to be a space we can really start a conversation to help each other make our trips more enjoyable! 

Until next time and safe travels!

Monday, September 25, 2023

The Beginning of an Adventure: About This Blog!

 I first got the travel bug the summer after my freshmen year of college in 2018. Back then I still had the notion that I was going to be a successful film musician and was pursuing a music major, and while that didn't pan out, luckily for me it provided me the amazing opportunity to travel abroad for the first time and play music with my friends in some of the most famous and beautiful music halls in Europe. I've even seen the birthplace of Mozart in Salzburg, Austria! 

Since then, I've traveled to seven countries outside of the U.S., but Denmark will always have my heart. I was able to live there for a while with my cousin, a resident of the country for the past ten years, working and integrating myself into a completely different culture while getting to know family. While it was an amazing experience, I found it very hard and even isolating at times being in a place where I didn't know the language or customs. Unlike a lot of expats, I was lucky enough to be staying with family who could teach me the ropes and made the transition a little easier.  

(Photo Credit: Jessie Jimenez)

My journey there started with a Facebook post. My cousin ran a successful cleaning company in her town and had published a post saying she was seeking employees to join her crew. Mostly as a joke, I commented, "You should hire me so I can move there!" She responded with, "OK." Three months later she, her Danish husband, and five-year-old son came to visit her family in the states, and a few weeks after that I was getting on a plane with them headed to Copenhagen, Denmark. After a nine-and-a-half hour, very uncomfortable plane ride, a four-hour bus ride, and a thirty-minute car ride (during all this time I was lugging around two VERY heavy and full suitcases), we arrived at her beautiful home in a suburb called LΓΈstrup...and that was the beginning.

This blog is not only going to be about my experiences in Denmark; I have many stories to tell from my other foreign adventures, but Denmark is where I truly lived locally and will be the center piece of this account. One of my fondest memories is of visiting Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, the inspiration behind Disney World. My experiences there in particular made me become a more conscientious tourist, and I feel some of my stories could really help other visitors or expats of foreign countries. Come along with me as I provide budgets, itineraries, and advice on how to be a respectful tourist wherever you go!

(Photo Credit: Jessie Jimenez)