Category Archives for "Packing"

travel with a tablet

Should You Bring Your Tablet On Vacation? 10 Reasons My Tablet Is Indispensable When I Travel.

should I travel with a tablet

Can a tablet be a useful travel device to bring on your next vacation or road trip?

YES! A tablet is not only a fun and entertaining gadget BUT it can also be a an extremely convenient and useful tool to use while travelling or while on the go.

10 things I use my tablet for the most when I’m travelling or when i’m on-the-go.

When we first decided to  live in France for a year, I was skeptical about the practical uses of a tablet, especially for travellers. That was then and this is now.

Now after two plus years of field testing my tablet for both travel and my daily on-the-go needs, I can honestly say I am no longer a skeptic. In fact, thanks to it’s versatility and portability, my tablet has turned into my go-to device that travels with me everywhere.

Find out the top 10 things I use my tablet for while travelling.

#1 – I never ever get lost anymore. 

use your tablet as a gps device when you travel

I turned my tablet into a voice enabled navigation device that gives me turn by turn directions. (Without an expensive roaming or international data plan). This feature alone makes my tablet indispensable because it has gotten me UN-LOST more times than I can count.

Application I use on my tablet:

There are quite a few navigation apps for tablets but the one that I use is called OsmAnd.  Like most Navigation apps, it takes  advantage of the embedded GPS chip in your tablet.

WARNING**Not all tablets have built-in GPS. Make sure the tablet you buy has GPS that works without a DATA and Without a WiFi internet connection.

Some of my favourite features of the OsmAnd navigation app are that it works online (fast) or offline (no roaming charges when you are abroad). It automatically re-routes whenever you deviate from the route. There are loads of useful options like the voice warning when I go over the speed limit and oh so much more.

OsmAnd is strictly for the Android.  If you have an Apple tablet than you can use an APP called Co-pilot.

#2 –I can carry as many books as I want without weighing down my luggage.

use your tablet as an ebook reader while you travel

Even though I prefer to read actual paper books, there are times when the convenience of having all your books at your disposal anytime you want comes in really handy. Like when you have an unexpected long wait or you forget to bring a book or cant’t find an English bookstore while travelling.

Even if you don’t read books, you can still use your tablet to carry travel guide books, language dictionaries and children’s books

Application I use on my tablet: 

You’ll need to download an e-book reader app. I use an app called MoonReader which costs less than 5 dollars. It can read multiple file formats such as  e-Pub books and books purchased on Amazon which are in Mobi format. It can also read PDF files. If you only plan on reading books from Amazon then you can download the kindle app for free. 

#3 – I can easily make video calls from any room in the house.

use your tablet to skype while you travel

Because a tablet is lightweight and small, it’s easy to hold and carry to places where a laptop might be less optimal such as on the couch,  in bed or for those times you want to give someone a virtual tour of your home or garden. For this reason, I actually prefer using my tablet over my laptop to make video calls

Application I use on my tablet:

I use Skype which is absolutely free to use but you will need a WIFI connection to use it.

#4 – I can quickly update my friends and family using social networking sites. (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)

use your tablet for social networking on sites like facebook

If you use social networking sites like Facebook or instagram then you are going to love using a tablet. No laptop or desk required. Just head over to a comfy couch or your favourite reading chair and hold your tablet like you would a magazine or book.

Application I use on my tablet:

I use the Facebook app and Facebook messenger app. Even though you can access any networking site via the browser on your tablet, I tend to use apps because they are optimized to work best on the smaller screen size and can notify you of new messages and updates with a soft sound or beep.

#5 – My tablet helps me in the kitchen with recipes and measurement conversions. use your tablet like a portable cookbook and cooking conversion tool while you travel

I like to cook a lot but I don’t use physical cookbooks mainly because we try to keep our possessions to a minimum while living abroad. (No sense in accumulating things that you can’t carry back home). Instead I use the internet for my source of inspiration. Thanks to my tablets small form factor I can easily use it in the kitchen because it doesn’t take up much counter space. Also I can hold it in my hands like a regular cookbook if need be.

My tablet also allows me to convert cooking ratios which is useful when I have to convert U.S.A. measurements to European such as how many grams are in a 16 ounces can of tomato or when I have to convert cooking temperatures between Fahrenheit and Celsius.

Lastly, let’s not forget all the great cooking apps from site like the food network an Epicurious which have loads of recipes or calorie counter apps which help you stay the course during your diet.

Application I use on my tablet:

I use a wide variety of apps in the kitchen. There are just too many cooking apps to list . I almost forgot to mention that I also use the Youtube app on my tablet to do searches for recipes. I really love watching how certain things are cook, especially something that involves more technique. And finally, for converting cooking ratios, I normally just use search google for how free online conversion tools but you could just as easily download an app to do this too. 

#6 – I can watch any TV show in any room on my tablet.

use your tablet to stream and watch American and British TV shows while you travel

There may come a time while you are travelling or living abroad when you will want to watch your favourite American or British TV show in “ENGLISH”.

How to watch TV on the internet using your tablet.

There are lots of ways to watch TV on your tablet. I however choose to download TV network apps. For instance if you want to watch the mentalist which is on CBS, just download the CBS App. If you want to watch Hulu or Netflix just download their app. Pretty simple if you are travelling within the U.S.A. however If you are travelling outside of the United States then you will be blocked from watching. BOO!

The good news is there is a way to get around geographic restriction like this but it involves fooling the TV NETWORK sites into thinking your tablet is actually in the U.S.A.. All you have to do is change your foreign IP address to a U.S.A. IP address.

I am sure there are many ways to do this but the way I change my IP address is by using a VPN service. (VPN stands for virtual private network.)  It took me about 30 minutes to set up my VPN and cost me 40 dollars per year which is still cheaper than cable TV. Everyone in the house can use my VPN to mask their IP address and watch any of the network shows.

Application I use on my tablet:

I use several apps including Hulu, CBS, BBC, Netflix etc.

To change my IP Address using VPN so that I won’t be blocked from watching TV network shows via the internet, I use Private Internet Access. You can try it for free before you buy it. 

There are more questionable ways of watching TV via the internet but I won’t get into that today.

#7 – My tablet keeps the kids entertained in the car and during long trips with movies, games and books.

use your tablet to keep the kids entertained in the car and on long trips while you travel

A tablet is perfect for keeping the kids occupied and happy in situations where you want them to sit quietly like on planes, on long road trips or even at boring dinner parties. Just load the tablet up with movies and games and be amazed at just how quietly your kids sit for long periods of time.

I think what I like most about tablet games over DS games is the affordability, choices and ease of purchasing new games and even movies via the internet. No need to carry cartridges or dvd’s.

#8 –I never miss a photo or video opportunity.

use your tablet to take photos and video while you travel

I used to get so annoyed when a good photo-op presented itself but my camera was nowhere to be found either because I did not want to lug it around or because I forgot it. That never happens anymore.

Thanks to my tablets slim and lightweight form factor, my tablet is ALWAYS IN MY PURSE WITH ME and ALWAYS EASILY ACCESSIBLE which means I can take a photo or video anytime I want.

For example check out the photo above of my husband Blake driving Catherine and I to the airport. I wanted one last shot of us in the car but my camera was in the boot. Rather than let the opportunity pass, I pulled out my tablet, plopped it on the dashboard, set the timer for 2 seconds and voila! I’ve captured a pretty funny moment. ahhh memories!

Application I use on my tablet :

All tablets are pre-loaded with the ability to take photos and video so there is nothing you need to download to have this feature work. You can download apps like instagram to edit your photos and post to social networking sites. 

#9 – LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE

Use your tablet to learn a language while you travel

A tablet is the perfect tool to help you learn a few key phrases and words for your next trip.  Many language learning apps even have audio so that you can hear how foreign words are actually pronounced. The language apps for children often seem more like games so even the kids will enjoy learning to speak a new language.

#10 – I can keep all my travel plans organized in one spot

synch my calendar with my travel itinerary

Our family of 5 does a lot of travelling and it sometimes gets hard to keep track of it all. I used to keep it all written down on paper but recently I have been putting all our important travel informationon on  Google calendar. This works find but this method has it’s flaws.

Then I learned about Tripit. Not to sound like a TV commercial but Tripit is like a master Itinerary and it’s pretty amazing.

In short, Tripit is a web based site where I put in all of our travel details from our trip including transportation details, hotel details, times, dates. It even has some other useful things like maps, local weather, restaurants and a ton of other things that any self respecting traveller would find handy.

That’s not all though. TripIt can synch to my google calendar which makes my life so much easier. I can see on my calendar when my son is arriving or when my husband is scheduled to fly out and all the detail concerning their trip.

Wait there’s more. I can even keep my friends, family and colleagues in the know about upcoming travel itineraries by clicking the “Share” button on my itinerary from within TripIt. Or you can post your travel plans on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter with one click.

Application I use on my tablet:

Google calendar app and the TripIt app.

Don’t Forget To Protect Your Tablet

protect your tablet with a SNUGG tablet cover case

A tablet is never going to replace your laptop, after all it is a “content consumption device” which makes it more efficient and convenient to consume media (songs, movies, etc), participate in social networking, et directions etc . That’s okay though because much of what you will use it for while travelling are content consumption activities anyways.

If you do decide to buy a tablet, I can’t stress how important it is to buy a cover to protect your tablet especially if you plan to bring it along for travel. After all, it is going to be shoved in purses, crammed into bags, sat on, dropped by the kids and examined at airport security.

Which tablet case do I use?

I have tried several cases but my favourite to date is a case made by SNUGG.

What I like about the SNUGG tablet covers is that they are fairly thick compared to other tablet cases I have owned. It just feels like my tablet is better protected with this thicker exterior. My SNUGG tablet cover also has an Integrated hand strap which comes in handy when I want to read.  For those times where I want to watch the screen hands free, like on a train, or in the kitchen, there is a little kickstand in the back.  There is even an integrated stylus holder which I don’t actually use but it’s nice that it is there.

SNUGG makes tablet cases for Apple iPads and iPhones, Google Nexus, Motorola zoom, Amazon Kindle, Microsoft surface and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

QUESTION:

Do you use a tablet while you travel.

How to sleep in an airport comfortably and safely

Long Layover? How To Sleep At An Airport Like A Pro

How to sleep in an airport comfortably and safely

Whether you find yourself sleeping in an airport by choice or by some unfortunate stroke of bad luck, it is possible to sleep in an airport relatively comfortably and safely. Here are a few tips to help you make your overnight stay in an airport less stressful and almost fun.

6 Must Know Tips On How To Sleep In An Airport Like A Pro

If you’ve ever travelled by plane, you know sooner or later you’ll be caught in a layover between flights. No biggie if your layover is short-just read a book or grab a bite to eat and wait it out. If however your layover leaves you stranded in an airport overnight, that’s a different story. Here are some things you can do to make sure you sleep better, stay comfortable and safe. You’ll be glad you know this information.

1- Check in advance to see if you are allowed to sleep at an airport

Is it open? You won’t be able to sleep in an airport if it is not open 24 hours. Some places frown upon sleeping in airports like in Japan. If you know in advance you’ll have a long layover, research whether you can or can’t sleep in the airport overnight. If you can’t, try to make arrangements for somewhere to sleep or at least research it.

Is it disgusting? Not all airport sleeping areas are created the same and even though sleeping in the airport is possible, you may not actually want to. According to news.com.au, London Heathrow airport is considered by many travellers to be one of the worst airports to sleep in overnight.

Heathrow has been labelled as too cold with very little comfortable seating to sleep on. Some travellers even complained that the carpets were dirty and flea infested. Others claimed they couldn’t sleep because it was too noisy or that the cleaning crew came around and asked them to move so they could clean.

Know before you go by using sites like http://www.sleepinginairports.net/ which provides user-generated reviews about almost every airport you can think of. You’ll find all the information you need about a particular airport such as whether or not there is free wi-fi, or if an airport is clean, allows sleeping and so much more.

2-Pack A Survival Kit In Your Carry-On Luggage

airport-survival-kit

In addition to wearing or packing comfortable, loose-fitting clothes, you should consider packing a survival kit that will get you through a night or two in the airport. At minimum you should pack the following items plus anything else you think you might need.

  • Pack a change of clothing: My husband and I were stuck in an airport in Colorado when the airport was snowed in. Having a change of clothes was the pick-me-up we needed to feel a littler fresher. When my daughter spilled hot chocolate all over her dress in Switzerland, I broke out her spare clothes. Mommy to the rescue!
  • Pack a toiletry bag full of basic toiletries: toothpaste, toothbrush, contact solution, sanitary products, lotion, 3 oz./100ml bottle of shampoo or soap, deodorant, gel, hair brush, hair scrunchy. I sometimes pack vaseline because it’s so useful.
  • A subset of makeup: Use a clear see through makeup bag and put just the basics. A little BB cream, mascara, lip colour and face powder. The clear makeup bag makes it easy to see what you’ve got at a glance. You can pull it out easily and take it to the restroom rather than rooting around the bottom of your bag to find that lip gloss.
  • Something to cover your eyes: Bring an eye mask or simply lay a shirt on your head to block out the airport lights. I’ve seen some people wear a beenie pulled down over their eyes.
  • Earplugs: You’ll be glad you have some earplugs even if the airport is not super loud. Blocking out the sound really does help you sleep. Try the earplugs with strings attached. You’ll never lose them if they fall out.
  • A small travel pillow or roll up a sweatshirt for you head. Seen some people actually bring their bed pillows from home. I like to pack compact micro-beed filled pillow because it stuffs easily in my bag and when you lay on it, it forms perfectly around my head.
  • A small travel blanket,  sweatshirt, or a fashionable oversized scarf like a pashmina to cover yourself: It gets cold in airports. Oversized scarves look great too.
  • Wet wipes and or tissue paper: Wet wipes or travel wipes really come in handy for quick washing’s in the airport sink. I like to bring wet wipes which have moisturizer in it already just for my face.
  • Snacks: Bring something that won’t get crushed and can curb your hunger. Nuts, chocolate, granola bars? Snacks are expensive in the airport.
  • Entertainment: A book, iPhone for music, Kindle eReader
  • Spare battery for your electronics: If you can’t get a spot by a wall plug, having an external battery on hand to keep you electronics charged is a life saver. Make sure you choose an external batter pack that has enough juice to keep your phone or tablet charged up to 24 hours. The one I use is rated 10,400 mAH. The standard input voltage of smart devices is 5 volts so don’t buy an external battery that is less than this. I highly recommend the Ravpower external battery which I use almost everyday even when I am not travelling. It can charge 2 devices at the same time which means you won’t be fighting over who gets to charge their electronics.
  • Pack the kids stuff: If travelling with kids, pack their essentials too including clothes to sleep in, toys and some form of entertainment like crayons or books.

3- How to find the best spot to sleep at the airport

airport-sleep-overnight

Sleeping in an airport is a bit of a science and not all airports are created equal when it comes to sleeping in them.  Some airports have sleeping facilities, lounges and even rooms where travellers can sleep. You should ask someone at the airport if this exists. If not, you will need to find the best spot to sleep in.

Take a walk around the airport and look for a good place to sleep. Here are some things you should consider when choosing a spot to sleep.

  • Safety: If possible try to sleep where other people are sleeping. Safety in numbers
  • Stay away from high traffic areas: Toilets, check in desks, next to stores or food vendors are all high traffic and noisy areas to sleep in which could make it difficult to sleep. However if you pack some earplugs and eye mask this might be less of an issue.
  • Look for a set of chairs with no arm rests: It will be easier to stretch out on and more comfortable and cleaner than the floor.
  • Look for clean carpeted areas: If there are no chairs, consider sleeping on the floor. I like to sleep close to a wall or window on one side of me with my luggage between me and the wall.
  • Look for outlets: If you have to charge your phone or laptop, you may want to stay near an outlet.

4-Protect your passport, purse, property and luggage

airport-sleep-lock-luggage

Here are a few tips to keep your luggage or valuables from being stolen while you sleep

  • Keep you passports, credit cards and cash near you or on you. Otherwise put your valuables in an INSIDE pocket of your bag NOT the outside pocket where it can easily be snatched.
  • Put larger expensive things like cameras, laptops and purses inside your luggage with a carry-on luggage lock.
  • Try to put your luggage between you and a wall like a sandwich.
  • Lay your head on your bag or take a strap and anchor your luggage to a chair near you or to you which will make it impossible for anyone to run off with your luggage. You can use locks especially made for this which are light or bring a bicycle lock with you.

5- Don’t miss your connecting flight

sleep-in-airport-alarm-cloc

Confirm your flight details so you know when you need to wake up to catch your connecting flight and which gate you need to go to.

Take precautions so you wake up on time by any means necessary. I have seen people put stick-it notes on their head that say “wake me up at 8:30 in the morning so I don’t miss my flight”. You could just bring a travel clock or set the alarm on your phone too.

6- Prepare for bed

Just like you would at home, it helps to clean up before bed even if it is on some yucky airport floor. Change into something comfortable if you have to. Brush your teeth, wash your face and take off your shoes. I like to have a pair of socks on hand or small slippers. Then set your alarm, listen to some music or read a book if you have to, then try to relax and get some sleep.

Conclusion

Sleeping in airports can be fun or it can be total hell. My kids love sleeping in airports but it’s a different story the next morning when I try to wake them up after a night of sleepless excitement.

Use your best judgment on deciding whether or not to sleep in an airport for long layovers and be sure to check out www.sleepinginairports.net.

Bon Voyage

4 Rules to help you pack light and fashionable

How To Pack Light Without Sacrificing Style Or Comfort: A Guide For Women Infographic

If you’ve ever over-packed your suitcase or packed things you never wore during your trip because they were so badly mismatched, don’t feel bad. There’s actually a kind of science to packing light and fashionable and it’s not that difficult to do if you follow these 4 very basic rules.

infographic: 4 Rules to help you pack light and fashionable

4 Basic Rules To Help You Pack Light AND Fashionable

#1) Pick clothing items that match your travel location, it’s culture, the weather and activities.

Packing clothing items to match your location isn’t just about checking the weather. You have to consider your activities. Will you be going out on the town, working out, doing lots of walking or going to the beach?  If you are travelling someplace very different from your own culture you should do a little research to make sure you don’t dress inappropriate unless of course you want to draw a lot of attention to yourself.

For example, I have a friend who went to Egypt and wore a spaghetti strap top and shorts not realizing that this was a no-no in a land where women dress very conservatively and do not show skin for religious reasons. She was getting cat calls and getting stared at a lot until she finally figured out that she stood out like a sore thumb.

#2) Choose a simple colour palette and light weight layer-able clothing.

Choose a colour palette for your wardrobeChoose a simple colour palette and bring clothing that matches that palette. Like magic, the 5 shirts, 4 bottoms and 3 dresses you packed for your trip turns into over 23 different outfits because everything you brought can be worn together (thanks to colour palette). 2 weeks worth of clothing in one carry-on. Nothing will clash and you’ll look effortlessly stylish.

If you need help choosing a colour palette or want to learn more about this check out this link. http://into-mind.com/blog/2014/08/25/how-to-choose-a-versatile-colour-palette-for-your-wardrobe-incl-36-sample-colour-palettes

Another trick is to choose items that are light weight so you can layer them. This way you can just layer up for warmth if you need to.

#3) Choose Versatile comfortable shoes

Shoes weigh a lot and take up a lot of space so make sure you bring shoes that are versatile and can be worn with multiple outfits. Take ankle boots. They can be dressed up, down, worn with shorts, jeans and a dress.

To cut down on the amount of space shoes take in your luggage, try wearing your heaviest bulky shoes rather than packing them. Also, don’t let those nook and crannies of your shoes go to waste. Pack your undies and or socks in them to maximize every inch of space.

#4) Use accessories to add colour, bring to life and expand the looks of your outfits.

Scarves are an easy and light weight way to add punch to your outfits. Plus they can also do double duty as a sarong or a shoulder wrap for the evening. I use them on planes to cover up when it gets chilly. I often bring scarves in lieu of necklaces.I always have 2 pairs of earings.

One last thing

Try to plan your packing ahead. Don’t wait for the last-minute. It never ends well and you’ll end up with clothing items that just don’t go together.

 

51 Reasons To Pack Vaseline in your luggage on your next trip.

51 Reason Why You Need To Pack Vaseline In Your Bags on your next trip

Travellers don’t always agree on what you need to pack or where to go but 9 out of 10 will agree on one simple rule!

It’s best to try and pack as light as possible.

51 reasons you need to pack vaseline in your luggage for your next trip

Save Space: Pack Multi-Purpose Items

As a seasoned traveller, I have learned a few packing tricks that help me keep my luggage to a minimum.

One of these tricks is to pack as many things as I can that do double duty and have multiple uses.

  • A sarong can do double duty as a scarf, a belt, a head wrap even a towel in a pinch.
  • Bring one pair of shoes that you can wear with multiple outfits and dress up or down.
  • Bring a tablet which doubles as a computer, e-reader, mp3 player and child entertainment center.

You get the picture.

Vaseline was originally marketed to protect cuts, scrapes and burns

Enter VASELINE: *trumpets playing da-da-da-daaaaaaaaa*

Vaseline is one multi-purpose thing I never leave home without.

It’s like magic to me and literally replaces dozens of products I use and frees up tons of suitcase space too. 

I’ve only listed 51 uses but there are literally hundreds of uses for this miraculous gooey stuff which makes it the perfect item to pack in your luggage or even your purse for that matter.

51 reasons you need to pack Vaseline in your luggage on your next trip.

Beauty and Skin Care

Vaseline when used on the skin literally locks in moisture and prevents dryness which is what makes it such a great product to use on your skin.

Check these beautiful and famous woman who swear by it.

Tyra Banks, Jennifer Aniston, J-Lo, Halle Berry and probably hundreds more.

Tyra banks is crazy about vaseline and uses it on her face for multiple purposes

1-Apply a very light coating of Vaseline before flights and you won’t get that icky dry skin feeling. It actually prevents moisture loss.

2-Seal in moisture after a hot shower:

3-Put under eyes to keep wrinkles at bay.: Jennifer Aniston does this and she looks flawless.

4-Rub a little on fine lines like your crows feat area. It will reduce the appearance of fine lines.

5- Night time Hand and feet moisturizer: Make this a nightly ritual and put a pair of socks over your feet and you will have the most touchable, softest hands and feet in the world.

6- Night Cream: Just warm it up for a few seconds and apply a thin coat on your face.

7- Lip cream replacement: Halle Berry puts some on her lips and lets it set before putting on lipstick. I actually think it makes my lips look plumper but it feels great.

8- Cracked heels: Apply daily and nightly and watch your cracked heals turn to butter.

9- Dry elbows:

10-Stretch your favourite lotion by mixing with a little Vaseline each time: Great for when travelling with a small amount of your favourite lotion.

11- Body scrub: Mix a little sea salt in a bowl with some Vaseline and you have a pretty darn good body scrub. This keeps my hands caress-able.

12- Chapped Lips: Rub on lips and watch the magic happen. I think it is better than chapstick.

Make Up & Beauty Enhancers

13- Make-up remover: J-Lo aka Jennifer Lopez uses Vaseline as a make-up remover and so do I. Especially eye makeup.

14- Make your own lip gloss colours: I love this. Get a spoon full of Vaseline and melt it in the microwave. Add a sliver of lipstick and pour into a portable container and let it cool. It will harden and turn to lip gloss.

15- Blush: Use the lip gloss recipe above as a cream blusher. Or add a little powdered blush to Vaseline to make cream blusher.

16- All over body moisturiser: 

17- Eyelash s strengthener: Put some on your eyelashes before bed to make them longer and thicker. Some women swear by this.

18- Mix with eye shadow to make new creamy colours.

19-Harsh weather skin Protection: Put some on exposed skin before going out in harsh or windy weather. Example on your hands and cheeks.

20- Apply under eye shadow for a shiny effect:

21- Rub a little on your cheeks for a dewy radiant look

22- Perfume Enhancer: Apply some to pulse points before spraying perfume and your scent will last longer.

Hair Product

pack vaseline because when you use it as a perfume base it extends the scent of your perfume.

23- When dying your hair, put a little along your hairline to prevent your skin from touching the chemicals and dyes.

24- Hide Split Ends by rubbing some on your hands before applying to split ends. Great for when you can’t get to the salon.

25- Hair Gel: but only a little bit or you’ll will end up looking like greasy drowned rat.

26- Hair scrunched: rub a little on hands and scrunch hair to give tussled wavy look.

27- After Shave balm: apply to smooth and sooth your skin

28-Condition your scalp with a little before shampooing.

Health & Personal Care

Make extremely moisturising lip gloss on the fly for pennies.

29- Helps calm rashes like poison ivy.

30- Reduce scaling and itching from dandruff

31- Can improve and ease the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis by helping to get rid of dry patches.

32- Moisturiser for people with acne: No it does not clog pores.

33- Use as a diaper rash cream for babies.

34- Thermometer lubricant: Apply some to the thermometer when taking your baby’s temperature through the rectum.

35- Male genital rash: Yes, you heard me right. if it works on baby rashes why not male genital rash. (NON STD TYPE ONLY)

36- Helps alleviate toenail fungus. YUCK!

37- Can prevent chaffing: Runners sometimes put Vaseline on their nipples to prevent chafing caused by t-shirt friction.

38- When applied thick to the scalp, it eliminates lice by smothering them.

39- Minimize your allergies: Place a little under the nose and you’ll trap pollen before it enters the nostrils.

40- Nail and Cuticle Care: Rubbing a little on makes cuticles softer and better looking.  while keeping fingernails healthy.

41- Hemorrhoids: Yes applying a little Vaseline can help relieve the pain, itching, and burning associated with Hemorrhoids.

42- Protects and Hasten healing of burns, cuts and scrapes: put a little on affected area to seal the wound which prevents germs from getting in the wound.

43- To care for a reduce scarring after surgery:This apparently is standard post – surgical therapy. Who knew?

44- As um a personal lubricant. wink wink. But never with a condom because it will make the latex fall apart. YUP. I’m not lying.

Miscellaneous

45- Fuzzy Photo Effect: An old photography trick is to smear some Vaseline on a lens filter to give it that foggy effect.

46- Fix squeaky doors: There are squeaky doors everywhere.

47- Remove gum from hair: rub on gum and surrounding area. Take a comb and gently start to comb out.

48- Remove rings that are stuck on your finger.

49- Shine your shoes or leather bags with a dab of this and rub vigorously.

50- Remove lipstick / Make-up stains from clothing and napkins: just rub a little on stain before washing.

51- Lubricate suitcase wheels and skateboard wheels too.

 Conclusion

I always keep Vaseline with me wherever I go. Even when I’m not travelling it is a staple in my medicine cabinet.

*NOTE:  Vaseline is sometimes hard to find in some countries or not readily available. Case and point France. It exists but it’s not in all pharmacies or at least not in the ones where I live. So don’t assume your destination country will have it. Bring a little three ounce container of it in your bag at minimum.

Here is a quick video of 50 uses for Vaseline in less than 2 minutes. Please share this post on faceook, it helps drive traffic to this site so i can keep providing you with unique content.

10 Common Travel Packing Mistakes To Avoid So You Can Pack Better

“What am I going to do? It’s below freezing and I didn’t pack a jacket, sweater or anything warm”……

Those were the words I muttered to myself when I realized I had forgotten to pack one single warm piece of clothing in my bags.

If you thought packing for a 2 weak vacation was tricky or daunting, try packing for a year long adventure for you and your family of five. Oh and you can only bring one 50 pound suitcase each for the entire year.

How will you get everything you need into your bags? What do you bring? What do you leave behind?

Today I’m going to share my top 10 list of common mistakes you should avoid like the plague which might help you pack just a little better for your next trip.

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how to Minimize your book collection before you pack them and move

How To Minimize Your book Collection When You Need To Move Or Travel

how to Minimize your book collection before you pack them and move

Whether you are moving to the next city or across the ocean to another country, you are going to have to downsize your book collection or get rid of all your books all together. Here are the steps I took that helped us tackle our monstrous book collection.

My First Minimalist Baby steps

It broke my heart but we had to do it. We had to sell, donate and throw away our books or pay hefty storage fees to keep them in some storage unit. We opted to get rid of most of our books and just keep the ones which had sentimental value which we thought would be easy but we were wrong!

Why we had to get rid of our books and many of our belongings.

We were leaving our life behind in California to start fresh on the east coast or so we thought.

See also: Why we decided to leave California before: Before we moved to France.

See also: How we downsized our stuff

We had no jobs so the plan was to store our things in a storage unit near Boston until we found jobs and then find a place to live near that job. We had no idea how long it would take to find jobs so we wanted to minimize our belongings as much as possible and get the smallest unit possible.

  • First we sold, donated or threw away the things we knew we didn’t need. That was easy. Clothes, old toys, furniture that was stored, cheap furniture and plants. Lots of big potted plants like a maple tree, bamboo plants and my beloved Kafir tree that I used for Thai cooking.
  • Then we got rid of the books we knew we didn’t need or would never read. We kept the rest. You’ll soon learn why.
  • Once we thought we were done minimizing our belongings, we rented the biggest truck we could legally drive- a 26 foot long Penske truck.

Unfortunately, even after we reduced our belonging by half, we discovered we didn’t have enough space in the truck. OUCH. This also meant that our stuff would not fit into the storage unit we rented on the east coast. Double ouch!

We had to learn how to become semi-minimalist within a couple of days.

We decided to take care of the elephant in the room. The books.

Collectively, my husband and our three kids had enough books to open up a small used book store or two so the obvious place to reduce even more was our book collection. We ended up giving up over 85 percent of our books but we should have gotten rid of more. For now what books we have are sitting in a storage unit waiting for us to return to pick them up one day, someday.

I wonder If I will be glad we paid to have them stored or feel like an idiot that we stored them for so long.

Below are my tips to help you minimize and pack your book collection. 

My advice to anyone is never store any books if you think you will store them for more than a year. It’s just not worth the extra storage cost. You can easily replace the books you get rid of or sell with the money you save on storage fees. But if you have to store them, here is my advice on how to go about doing it. They may seem like common sense but if you have tons of books like we did, you’ll need to pack them in an orderly fashion otherwise you’re going to have boxes over filled, too heavy or unorganized.

STEP 1: . Start early In The Morning.

You are the freshest and most clear headed in the morning. Unless you have some ultra human stamina, you will be exhausted by the evening. Save the evenings to relax and if you have to, continue the following morning.

STEP 2: Have sustenance on hand

The last thing I wanted to do was cook. We ordered some take out and had plenty of drink and snacks on hand. Food will help keep you stable and avoid low blood sugar which can make you grouchy and cloudy headed. This turned out to be a brilliant idea.

STEP 3: Clear a large area on the floor:

We used the living room as our staging area because it was big and wide enough so we could spread out all our books on the floor to clearly see them all in one place.

Step 4: Start making small book piles:

Start making small piles of books based on whatever organization method that makes the most sense. I broke up books by genre. For instance, Art books, French books, math books, sci fi books, historical fiction books etc. I also had books broken out by person. For instance, our youngest daughter had boxes just with her box and so did my sons.

Then I had “keep” and “don’t keep” piles followed by a “maybe keep” pile. If you have kids, you can ask them to do the same for their books but in my experience they will just keep everything like ours wanted to do.

STEP 5: Get your boxes ready (IMPORTANT!!! THEY MUST BE SMALL)

Books are heavy. We made the mistake of choosing boxes that were too big and when it came time to move them, we almost broke our backs lifting them.

We decided to re-pack the boxes only half way which posed another problem. The books shifted and moved around in the boxes and when we stacked them up they collapsed on each other. DOH! Plus half filled boxes just was a waste of limited truck space.

In the end, we took a box cutter and trimmed down our boxes to make them smaller. The boxes were lighter, we filled them to the top making them easier to stack and carry but they were not cut evenly and some were lopsided. Again not good for stacking in our moving truck.

STEP 6: Start Packing your piles of books

Remember those piles of books you made? Take all the books you are sure you want to get rid of and put them aside, drive them to goodwill or whatever.

Now is the time to step back and look at all the books you have left. Can your get rid of more?

Then put all the books you have tagged as “MUST KEEP” in the boxes. Label the boxes with a sharpie on at least two sides. This will help you when loading them onto the truck to see that it’s a book box and what’s in them when you eventually unload them.

Remember, you have limited space in your moving truck. Do you really want to keep them all. If you have to, let a day pass instead of making hasty decisions.

Now go through all the book piles tagged “MAYBE KEEP” and decide whether you really, really, really want to keep any of them. We thought we did but then when we saw the books which we already had decided to keep, we thought it best to just get rid of the “maybe keep” pile. We just didn’t have the space to keep them all.

STEP 7: Tape up all the boxes

Once you have all the books you want to keep in the boxes, tape them up. If you can, do a dry run and load them on the truck. Otherwise, you are done. One last thing, try to be strategic with regards to where you load the books in your truck or car. We found that it was best to load them first so that they were against the deepest part of the truck against the wall. This way there was no shifting and they would get unloaded last.

Conclusion

Getting rid of books is hard.  It will be painful at first but time will heal your wounds.

If you are brave, you will get it down to one box. We couldn’t but now that we’ve been away from our books, I don’t miss them at all. I’ve gone totally digital. My husband Blake who is old school who said he would never read eBooks now does reads e-books from time to time. He still buys used books from time to time but he promptly donates them or discards them.

ps..Don’t forget to pick up plenty of packing tape along with a tape dispenser. Having plenty on hand will come in handy if there are multiple people packing. Plus, we kept misplacing our tape so it was nice to have extra rolls lying around just in case.

Store coming soon Dismiss