Zip and Flip
Sometimes you need a travel pillow and sometimes you need a cuddle buddy. Our Zip and Flip Travel Pillow is both. You’re welcome.
One of the greatest things about college is it presents you with opportunities to go places you’ve never been. However, whether it’s for school itself, or you’re studying abroad, or you’re just planning on going on a road trip with your roommies, a little heads up is going to do you a lot of good. Both in the enjoyment of your trip (make sure to hit up some seriously off the beaten path entertainment) and the safety of your trip. And great news, we’ve got Cheap Bastard’s Guides to all of the following cities!
If you could choose from any of the locations on this list, where would you go?
Traveling the World While in College
Ah, traveling the world. Now in theory, this sounds quite exotic. When it comes to the idea of going to france, I tend to envision myself painting the Eiffel Tower while holding a baguette and saying something deep, meaningful, and definitely french to passerbys. In reality, I would probably never be able to find the damn Eiffel Tower, the baguette would be my food for entire week and my french would be so poor I would probably accidently insult someone. And why? Because I don’t plan trips.
I know I should, but I just don’t. Whether I’m going to another city, state or country I just back a bag and figure it’ll all work out. Sometimes it does, but the vast majority of the time it doesn’t. Thing is though, during your college years you can get away with that sort of thing. As long as you have strength in numbers you’ll probably be fine. It’s when you graduate and travel on your own that things can get a little sketchy. So here are a few tips:
1.) Strength in numbers. I already said it, but travel in a group. Not only will you be able to look out for each other (it’s a helluva lot harder to kidnap 4 people than 1), but it’ll be a way of making memories for the rest of your life. Plus, if you can’t find anyone you know (see below), having a group of 4 can seriously cut the cost of a hotel room or a hostel.
2.) Know someone! Sure you might be going somewhere you’ve never been, but network a bit and you’ll find you know someone that lives there. Whether someone in your travel group has family there, or an old high school friend, or just an old penpal, knowing a local is the best way to know any destination. And if you don’t, buy a book that tells you about it! Not one of the “touristy” guide books, but one written by locals, like one of these.
3.) Be flexible. So it’s your first time in New York and you wanted to see the Statue of Liberty but there was a storm like no other brewing outside. Hit up a local bar or an art gallery nearby. Off the road spots tend to be the most interesting.
4.) Bring food. Sure you’re going to want to try all the local fair, but trust me, the cost is going to add up. Just imagine how much it would cost if you ate out every meal in your own hometown for a week? So bring some food with you. Think granola bars or things that travel well. Shop at farmer’s markets for all day snacks (fresh fruit, good bread), then eat out only one meal a day.
5.) Shop like a pro. Forget about the tourist traps, most of those little trinkets and souvenirs are jacked up in price anyway. Instead, really scavenge your destination. Would you rather have a little knick-knack of the Eiffel Tower (one that was probably made in China) or a beautiful painting of it done by a local artist? Thought so.
Are you a traveler at heart?
What to Pack on Long Weekends
Recently, this request was found in our inbox:
********I know it isn’t the time but can you make a post about what to take back home for different kinds of break/what to pack. I’m heading back to the dorms tomorrow and I realized I packed way too many things for winter break that I didn’t even use and now I have to take those things back with me. =/ ********
And I gotta say, I know EXACTLY how you feel!
Everytime I go home during a break, I bring everything I think I could possibly need with me. Here’s the irrational dialogue:
Reasonable Mind: You’re only going home for 3 weeks, not 3 months.
Irrational Mind: Yes but so much could happen!
RM: You’re probably going to use the same things you use here.
IM: But what about New Years? I should bring a glittery dress! But I don’t know which heels to wear with it…I’ll bring these 26 pairs just in case. And a parka of course…
RM: You’ll be in Florida…
IM: Oh so I should bring a swimsuit too! Swimsuit, parka, all my homework (because I’ll DEFINITELY be studying during my free time), books I haven’t read yet, an Allen Wrench…
RM: Yeah I’m gonna go take a nap.
IM: my favorite deep fryer, 40 movies, my sewing machine, a snakebite emergency kit, a kite, a strainer (in case I need to strain something), my pocket knife, a snow globe…
And the list goes on.
The fact is, it’s easy to over-pack. You want to make sure you’re prepared for everything! So here are a few tips to make sure you’re not lugging all that extra weight around all break long.
First of all, make a list. It’s the easiest way to make sure you won’t forget anything, and since the biggest culprit to over-packing is stressing over whether or not you forgot something, this should make things easier. Got your list? Good. Now let’s narrow it down.
1.) Clothing: The biggest problem in this area, by far, is clothes. To make sure you don’t overpack clothes, pack a couple outfits. You only need to bring enough clothing (and the right clothing) to be able to make about 8 outfit combinations. You want something a little more formal, in case you end up going to a nice dinner with your family or something, and then your casual stuff. If you’re a guy this means you could potentially get away with two pairs of pants, four different shirts and the appropriate number of boxers and socks (you know if you need to be packing more than 8). Girls? Be smart. If you’re only going to wear that dress one time don’t bring it, it’ll just take up room. If you’re probably going to be wearing it a couple times a week then by all means, pack it.
2.) Homework: Ugh, no one wants to bring their homework home on a break, but the fact is you need to bring it. That being said, bring what you need. Have you gone all semester without so much as cracking open your textbook? Than don’t bring it! If you aren’t using it at school you don’t need it on break. Having said that, if you’ve got a class that has no homework but you want to bring the book home with your other homework “just in case you want to get ahead” don’t bother. It’s break. You’re not going to be reading extra textbooks in your free time. Leave it in your dorm and save yourself the extra weight.
3.) Electronics: These are going to be on your list. Your iPod, your laptop, your Kindle, etc are all things you’re probably going to use at home, and the fact is they don’t take up all that much space. Make sure you bring all the appropriate chargers and leave it at that. No attachable mouse, no portable DVD player…you don’t need to bring your humidifier for cryin’ out loud.
4.) Beauty Products: My God the amount of beauty products a woman can have! Now ladies, I’m going to be frank; that giant container with all the makeup you’ve ever owned starting in 3rd grade? Leave it in your dorm. You don’t need to bring 12 differenct perfumes back with you, and the chances of you actually needing your glittery aqua eye-shadow are pretty slim. As a matter of fact, if you do go home and your lack of glittery aqua eye-shadow is what ruined your break; message me, I’ll apologize directly.
But otherwise, bring a little case with your essentials and call it good. And as far as the hair dryer, curling iron, straightening iron, and every hair product under the sun? Leave them home! I know, I can hear you gasping now, and as a fellow woman I fully understand that anxiety that goes with having to use an unfamiliar hair dryer, but I’m here to tell you it’s really not all that bad. Use your mom’s/sister’s hair dryer and curling iron. You don’t have to use your own.
5.) Anything Else: Unless it’s presents for someone’s birthday or random necessities (swimsuit, snowboard), leave it at home. No, you don’t have to bring your deep fryer home with you. Everything will be okay without it.
Do any of you over-pack on trips back home?