Travel post – UK

2/2: Ahh this sounds so fun, I’m so excited for you!! I definitely recommend the train! The trains going out of King’s Cross can be pretty inexpensive (anywhere from 60-80 pounds), and they’re still really fast! I definitely recommend that for traveling around London, Cambridge, Bath, Oxford, Somerset, etc. If you’re in London make sure you get an all day tube pass for zones 1-5…I swear its like 12 pounds per person and so nice for when the walking gets tiring.

Trains are such an easy, simple trip and you can still bring your luggage aboard. Also if you get the trains off peak (after 7 pm) they are sooo much cheaper (20-30 pounds) (trains most expensive between 3-7 because of work hours).

Also, Saint Pancras for international travel is really efficient as well. You can go anywhere from Paris to Scotland for not very expensive (To paris it was like 40-50 pounds)…I definitely recommend that! It’s right across the street from Kings Cross. It is pretty busy so you might have to get tickets a week or so in advance, but again it’s a very comfortable ride and you can easily bring luggage on! For Scotland, flights may be a cheaper and quicker option because the train ride is about 5 hours. Also, you’ll have to fly to Dublin, no train goes straight there unless you get a ferry.

I definitely don’t recommend taking a plain if you’re going anywhere within the U.K because the train system is so great (my boyfriend agrees…he’s British haha). The trains are so much quicker and cheaper, you can avoid security/checking in/checking luggage/etc.

I recommend checking out AirBnb….There can be some really nice, affordable ones, especially around Oxford and Cambridge because of Uni students renting out their apartments for the summer holiday. (p.s there’s this tiny coffee shop in an alley across from Kings College thats really good). Also, Cambridge has a great mall with (Grand Arcade) with Lush, Cath Kidston, Jo Malone, and more. Also, Cambridge has some really nice markets all the time! I’ve also heard of there being some really nice ones in London because the hotels there can be quite pricey!

If you have any more questions let me know!! Especially if you need ideas of what to do in Oxford, Somerset, Bath, etc….I’ll have my boyfriend answer with his favorite non-touristy things to do! haha
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Travel and packing post

universi-tea:

Packing is one of the things I’m best at. Seriously, ask my mother, who’s been having me pack for her since I was 7. Between my parent’s travel-oriented jobs, summer mission trips, and working at a summer camp, I’ve spent a good bit of my life living out of a suitcase, and I’ve pretty much mastered the whole packing thing by now. And you can too! Just think of me as your travel Yoda. 

get the right luggage for the trip

If you’re flying:

  • Regulations allow you to have two carry on bags – one personal item (purse or laptop bag, or item similar in size) and another bag. They can be no larger than 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches, though at least one should be much smaller.
  • Rolling bags – small as a carry-on, or larger if you’re checking a bag.
  • Backpacks – day packs for little things, or backpacking size for your main bag.
  • Tote bags – DON’T overpack these! Just keep the essentials in here so you don’t break your back.
  • A small cross-body bag to keep your passport in. Keep it on you at all times, lest you forget your backpack on a bus in Paris with no one around that speaks English to help you, not that that happened to me.
  • Remember that if you’re checking a bag it needs to be under 50 pounds or you’ll be charged extra.

If you’re driving:

  • Rolling bags
  • Duffel bags 
  • Basically anything! You have a lot of flexibility here, just be mindful that you’ll be sharing the space with other people’s bags, and having to ride in it – nobody likes sitting in an overpacked backseat.

what to take in your carry-on

  • Important travel documents (passport, boarding pass, copy of hotel reservations, etc)
  • Your phone & charger
  • Some cash
  • Earbuds (and music on your phone)
  • A book, ebook, or magazine (don’t go crazy and bring your whole bookshelf – one is enough)
  • A journal and pen, for making note of important things or filling out customs forms.
  • A light hoodie – planes are cold!
  • Some snacks (that don’t smell – be kind to your fellow flyers)
  • An empty water bottle – fill it up when you’re past security.
  • Any medications you have, in their original bottle if they’re prescription.
  • A change of clothes, in case your luggage is lost.
  • Glasses/sunglasses
  • A foldable tote bag, so that when you get to your gate you can take the essentials (phone, charger, book, snacks) out of your main bag to store under your seat, and stow the rest in the overhead bins.
  • If you’re traveling with film, be sure to keep it in your carry on and take it out for TSA to hand check – the x-rays will ruin it otherwise.
  • Anything that you couldn’t live without if your luggage
  • Don’t forget that liquids need to be under 3.4oz and in one 1 quart clear bag and taken out at security, so don’t bury them at the bottom of the bag.
  • Laptops also need to be in their own tray, so keep it handy! (tablets are fine to stay in your bag though!)

how to avoid overpacking

  • Edit edit edit
    • Pack everything you think you need, then take it all out and cull anything that you’re not positive you will need. Repeat until you’re left with only the basics.
  • If you don’t wear it at home, you won’t wear it there. Only pack stuff you love.
  • Bring stuff that works for multiple outfits – if you can only wear it once, it stays at home.
    • Exception: You’re going somewhere for a specific event, like a wedding. In that case, please don’t leave a bridesmaid dress at home or wear it multiple times that trip, cause like, that’s weird.
    • Side note: this should go without saying, but this does not apply to underwear.
  • Check the weather, and avoid the whole “But what if it rains and I need an umbrella!” bit.
  • Have a general idea of what you’ll be doing and what you’ll need to wear, for the same reason as above.
  • Make a list before you even open your closet – that way you’ll know how many shirts you need up front, instead of doing the whole “oooohhh this is cute, I’ll pack it. and this, and this, and this” thing where you eventually spiral into insanity, and bring roughly 30 shirts with you.

the necessitates 

Organization

  • A small cross-body bag to keep your passport, phone, and wallet handy.
  • Ziplock bags in every size. Bring extras, you’ll need them.
  • Packing cubes, to keep your black hole of a backpack from eating your socks.
  • Hanging toiletries organizer. Seriously my favorite purchase ever. It has saved me so much time and hassle, I’ll never travel without it.
  • I’m a huge believer in using makeup bags to organize everything. Chargers, snacks, hair ties, you name it. 

Clothes/toiletries/misc

  • A light hoodie or raincoat
  • COMFORTABLE shoes
  • A slightly dressy outfit in case you wanna go out for a nice dinner
  • More underwear than you think you need
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste/floss/a dentist
  • Shampoo (I love bars for flying!)
  • Anything you use in your nightly/daily routine
  • Ask for samples at Sephora/department stores to get TSA friendly sizes of makeup/lotion/whatever

other important notes

  • Never keep your passport or wallet in a backpack – make sure it’s somewhere that you can keep an eye on, especially in crowded areas.
  • Your bag will get five pounds heavier on the way to the airport. I don’t know how, but trust me, it will happen. Make sure you’ve got some wiggle room on that 50lb limit.
  • Always pack less than you think you need. Not having to deal with the stress of heavy bags is worth leaving behind a shirt or two – you don’t need options like you think you do!
  • Leave room for souvenirs! You’ll come back with more than you take, even if you don’t think you’ll be shopping.
  • RANGER ROLL! It saves sooo much space. 
  • Have fun, and don’t stress! If you forget it, you can pick up always pick up another when you get there.

Happy travels, everyone!

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Another travel and packing post

universi-tea:

I love to travel, but between security, long-haul flights, lost baggage, and uncomfortable seats there’s no denying it can be a major headache. Whether you’re flying, driving, or taking the bus, here are a few things that I’ve found make traveling easier, and maybe even enjoyable. 

Sleep 

  • A Neck Pillow
    • The last time I traveled, I left mine at home since it was just a three hour flight. Big mistake. I ended up wanting to nap, and woke up with a majorly sore neck. Never again. Mine is from Muji and it’s super soft, plus you can unhook it and it will lie flat if you’re stuck in a sketchy hotel and want your own pillow. 
  • An Eye Mask 
    • If you’re on a long flight (8+) you’ll likely be given one on the plane, but I like to bring my own since those are often uncomfortable. I have a few (since I use them at home, as well) but when I saw one on Etsy that was shaped like a fox (my favorite animal!) I had to have it. It’s ended up being very soft and durable, 10/10.
  • Headphones
    • I have a pair of wireless that are so nice for sleeping on planes. You can plug your phone in to charge and pop it in the seat pocket and not have to worry about getting tangled in cords. 
  • or Ear Plugs
    • If you’re not worried about listening to music so much as blocking out the crying babies, ear plugs are a cheap and comfy option. 
  • A Calming Playlist
    • I download a few playlists to Spotify before I leave for a trip, so no matter what mood I’m in I can find something to listen to. They offer a free trial, so traveling is the perfect time for a test run. Also, now that Netflix lets you download movies you’re set for entertainment – just don’t forget your charger. 
  • Comfy Clothes 
    • I can’t stand to be uncomfortable when I fly! My go-to outfit is a pair of joggers, a tee shirt with a cardigan/hoodie, and a scarf that can double as a blanket. I’m also always sure to bring a pair of fuzzy socks to slip on while on the plane!

Snack

I always like to bring my own snacks to fly, so that I don’t have to buy an overpriced parfait at the airport before I board (seriously, $9 for a cup of yogurt and some soggy fruit? No thank you). Be sure that they’re gentle on your stomach, and don’t smell too strongly for the sake of your fellow passengers. A few of my favorites: pretzels, fruit snacks, goldfish, cookies, and trail mix. I’m also always sure to bring an empty water bottle to fill up after I get through security. Staying hydrated is so important while traveling!

Store

  • Reusable TSA-approved Bag
    • TSA requires you to keep all your liquids under 3oz and in a 3qt clear bag. A plain ol’ Ziplock will do the trick, but it’s no fun when they break. I picked one up for under five bucks that is much more environmentally friendly and sturdy enough to use for years.
  • The perfect carry-on tote
    • I’ve had some variation of this bag for as long as I can remember. Whether I needed it to carry toys, library books, or clothes for a sleep over Land’s End’s had my back. Now, I use it to hold my liquid bag, travel documents, headphones, a magazine, and my wallet when I fly. 
  • Passport Case
    • To protect your passport, hold boarding passes, and help you keep track of which one’s yours if you’re traveling with others. I once accidentally grabbed my friend’s passport, and that was not fun to explain to security.
  • More about this in my packing masterpost

Happy travels!

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Going on vacation in Iceland this July. Temps should be in the 50s. Suggestions on outfits that won’t take up a ton of suitcase room? I love scarves and layers but I have to conserve space!

Ahh Iceland is so pretty! That’s not incredibly cold but I’m sure it will be windy or very chilly in the mornings/afternoons. Definitely wear your heaviest layers on the plane, you can take them off once you get through security. Boots or rain boots, leggings, a thick sweater and scarf, and a jacket. If you’ll be there for longer than a week I suggest avoiding bringing a razor, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, face wash, etc. and buy it all once you get there. Just bring a travel size pack of makeup wipes! That’s what I do whenever I travel internationally, but then again when I do travel internationally its for 3-5 weeks at a time (plus I always start any international traveling in England at my boyfriends house so I know where to buy toiletries and things like that…Boots is life).

Rolling your clothes really helps and so do packing cubes. Most people think rolling your clothes doesn’t help that much but when I went to Greece I took a carry on and folded my clothes…it was so stuffed. When I flew back to England I rolled the same exact clothes I brought with me and I had so much more room for souvenirs. (Make sure you leave room to bring things back if you want). However it only works for lighter pieces…a thick sweater will take up less space lying flat, but a thin shirt or blouse will take up less space rolled.

This post about packing for London has some good tips for international packing as well as some clothing pieces that I recommend bringing (definitely the same clothes that I would recommend for Iceland…They’re so versatile). Also if you click on that link, it has some links attached for packing, international travel, and airport outfits in the post.

It definitely depends on how long you’ll be there and also if you’re bringing a suitcase or just a carry on, but I would bring a pair of leggings, a pair of black jeans, and a pair of blue jeans. Definitely utilize your carry on purse for space. Then I would bring a few staple t-shirts, some long shirts, some blouses, one or two sweaters, and one or two jackets. One or two dresses/skirts/fancy outfits, and a pair of tights is fine, don’t overpack. Bring a pair of brown booties or boots and a pair of black booties or boots because those two pairs of shoes will go with everything. Bring one scarf and don’t worry about bringing excess pajamas or comfy clothes (I always overpack that stuff but really one pair of pajamas, a sweatshirt, and a pair of leggings with a t-shirt or comfy sneakers (not workout shoes but maybe like Adidas will definitely do). 

Definitely plan out each outfit before you go and take a picture of yourself wearing it, accessories and all, so you don’t forget it when you get there. Pack shirts or pants that can be used in so many different ways. When I go to England I only pack two pairs of jeans, and a pair of black jeans because I can wear them with everything! 

Hope this helped! If you have any other international or traveling questions let me know, I love to help! 

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Hi Im going to London to study abroad this semester, any tips on what to pack?

Hi! Whenever I go to England it’s to my boyfriends house, which is about an hour from London, and it tends to be a lot colder. Though you will be there for the Fall/most likely beginning of winter, London is a warmer area of England.

I recommend packing:

  1. Jeans, leggings, sweatpants/pajama pants
  2. Sweaters, rain jacket, jackets (a thin and a thick one)
  3. Scarves, a pair of gloves, and a hat (for November/December time)
  4. Nice tops, long sleeve tops, casual tops 
  5. Booties, boots, rain boots, comfy walking shoes, sneakers, sandals, flats, wedges
  6. Dresses, skirts, shorts, tights
  7. International wall plug, portable charger
  8. Umbrella
  9. Neutral colored clothes (I rarely see people wearing bright colors or white in London)

Packings tips

  1. Pack your heaviest items (shoes, jewelry, makeup) in your carry on
  2. Don’t bother packing items like lotion, face wash, razor, shampoo, hairspray, etc. It takes up a lot of space and you can just buy it there
  3. Wear your heaviest clothes on the plane to save space (leggings, rain boots, jacket, etc…you can always take it off once you get through security, but it’ll take up a lot of space in a bag)
  4. Keep in mind the weather, it tends to be pretty cool, cloudy, and rainy most of the time 
  5. Don’t pack your bags full incase you want to do some shopping while you’re there. There is nothing worse than having to pay hundreds of dollars for an overweight/extra bag 

Hope this helped:) Let me know if you have any other travel/Europe type questions. I love traveling and have been to London at least 5 times! 

Here are some previous answers to asks I have received about traveling, London, and airport info

London packing

international travel

London outfits

Airport outfits 

Study abroad

To do in London

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College freshman essentials?

1. Plug in fan; the dorms get so hot in the spring (my University kept the heat on until like April)

2. Reusable water bottle; to fill up between classes

3. A rain jacket, rain boots, and umbrella; it rains all the time on my campus

4. A sturdy, comfortable, waterproof backpack; I recommend investing in a North Face backpack; I love mine and it’ll last all 4 years

5. An agenda; so so important

6. A laptop, of course again, so important

7. A bag of essentials; sewing kit, iron, mini ironing board, first aid kit, flashlight

8. Memory stick, phone and computer chargers, printer, calculator, and headphones

9. Bed risers so you can store stuff under the bed and command hooks/strips because you normally can’t nail into the walls

10. Coffee machine if you drink it; I recommend the small Keurig so you can make all sorts of drinks

11. A sickness bag; ibuprofen, Benadryl, personal medicine, q-tips, cotton balls, allergy medicine, tweezers…stuff like that

12. Shower caddy and shower shoes if you have a community bathroom

13. Laundry bag and supplies

14. Most dorms come with a microwave and fridge, but if not, one of those

15. A mini TV (if you want)

16. A small set of kitchen supplies; plates, bowls, utensils, paper towels, etc as well as dish soap and a scrub brush (if you make anything in your microwave you’ll be washing it in your sink)

17. Two pairs of sheets (usually twin xl), bedside lamp, and alarm clock

18. Organizational bins for under the bed and in your closet

19. Those thin felt hangers to maximize closet space

20. And of course, your toiletries, clothes, blankets, and personal items

21. Class appropriate outfits; some colleges generally dress up for class, others wear a t-shirt and shorts everyday. It would be helpful to ask an older student at your college what the general class attire is (mine is t-shirts, shorts, and sneakers)

22. Sneakers, and workout outfits 

If anyone has any other college related questions, feel free to ask! I’m going to be a senior at university this year, and I love answering them!! 

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