11 Tips For Your Summer Travels

11 Tips For Your Summer Travels

No matter how much you plan, something will always go wrong so be flexible.
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Summer is here?? Whether you’re traveling abroad, taking a road trip with your homies, backpacking or going on a cruise — there are things you need to remember when taking a vacation. All of us have left a few necessities at home or overpacked, so here are some tips and tricks for all your future travels.

1. Carry a water bottle and snacks with you

Buying food in the airport can break your budget, especially a college budget. Bring a reusable water bottle in your carry-on bag so you can use the water fountain and not pay $4 for one bottle of water. You can’t bring any full water bottles through airport security, but snacks are a go. Buy yourself a box of granola bars and you’ll be set.

2. Learn common phrases of the local language

I went to Peru for spring break and I wish I would’ve brushed up on frequently used verbs before I left because knowing how to say pancakes or chocolate milk doesn’t call you a taxi.

3. Go with the flow

No matter how much you plan, something will always go wrong. So, it’s good to be flexible when things don’t go as you expected. You never know, you might end up taking a van across the country and seeing all the sights along the way (shout out to Peru).

4. Roll your clothes when trying to pack everything in your carry on

Also, ditch the full bottle of sunscreen and buy it when you arrive because who wants to lose all your clothes for two days because you checked your bag?

5. Know how much it should cost for a taxi

You should be aware of what the average cost of a taxi is so you don’t end up paying twice as much.

6. Carry tissues

You never know when you might need a good cry or more importantly, you never know if there will be toilet paper or not.

7. Make sure you notify your bank that you’re traveling

Not setting a travel alert with your bank is a rookie mistake — you want to make sure your debit card will work when you’re stopping for gas at 2 AM on your road trip or trying to get a snack when you land in a foreign country.

8. Ask locals where the best places are

You might end up at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, but it’ll probably be the best meal of the trip.

9. Be respectful

Pay attention to the culture and make sure you’re practicing sustainable tourism.

10. Be aware of altitude sickness

Plan some time to rest and adjust to your schedule because you never know how the heights will affect you. The altitude change can feel okay until you take an uphill walk and realize how hard it actually is to breathe, so know your limits and listen to your body. Pro tip: bring altitude and motion sickness medicine.

11. Bring a journal

Many of the people I went to Peru with journaled every single day while we were there. At first, I thought what is the point because I want to live in the moment and not spend all my time writing. I realized journaling about your trip is nice because so much is happening all at once and you want to remember all of it. Write a short journal entry before bed to relax or write about your adventures on a rainy day when you can’t spend the day outdoors.

Make sure you’re taking care of yourself while traveling and look out for everyone if you’re adventuring with others. Take lots of pictures, but remember to stay present because you’ll gain and experience so much more that way.

Cover Image Credit: Lindsey Ocock

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If You Give A Girl A Little Brother

You've given her the world.
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I remember back to my childhood, standing at the top of the steps yelling down to my parents "Why did you decide to have another child?" I remember riding in the backseat yelling "Mom, was I not good enough for you?" as my brother threw snow at me .

I remember crying when my mom made us share our first cell phone. I remember playing in a pool at a waterpark, and my dad couldn't play with me because my brother couldn't swim and needed my dad to be with him. I played by myself, thinking "They must have not wanted a girl when they only pay attention to him."

But now, at almost 22, I realized that the best gift God has ever given me was my little brother.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a pain in her ass.

Oh, he'll be annoying. He'll get in the shower just because you said you were going to. He'll start talking every time you do. He'll pull stupid pranks, he'll make you listen to bogus music, he'll make you watch stupid tv shows, he'll smell up the bathroom (and probably smell himself.) and boy, I promise there will be day's you will resent him. But he's just training for living with your husband one day.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a role.

As a big sister, I had somebody copying all my moves. If I did something, so did he. If I didn't eat something, neither did he. If I didn't like somebody neither did he. He was like a little shadow that did everything I did, so I was always motivated to make good choices and make him proud of me.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a rough side.

I wouldn't have done half the things I did if it wasn't for him. Play basketball in the drive way, spend hours on our bikes, spend the summer days in the pool, or down at the park. I wouldn't have learned that it's okay to get in the dirt and have some fun. I wouldn't have played half the made up, imaginary games we played every day. I wouldn't have played with Hot Wheels, or Lincoln Logs, or Leggo's. I would have played with Barbies by myself all day long, and what's the fun in that?

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her the best friend she'll ever have.

In the end, when our parent's both pass away, I won't be alone, because I will have my little brother. When the world gets tough, and everyone turns away from me, he will always be there. No matter where he end's up in life, I know he will drop everything and come running when I'm in need.

For Christmas this year, I bought my brother his first tattoo. We got matching tattoo's on our sides. Our lives our different now, because we're grown up and live on opposite sides of the state. But no matter where we go in life, if we look up, we will be looking at the same sun and moon. We are made up of the same matter, 'made' by the same people, and love each other more than I think we'd like to admit.

Alex is my true other-half.

Give a girl a little brother, and you made her whole.

Cover Image Credit: Abby Engel

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What It's Like Being A West Coaster Attending College On The East Coast

From California to New Jersey, here are changes I've encountered and how I've handled them.

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Aside from better pizza and bagels, I've encountered a lot of changes since I've moved to New Jersey. I'm from the coastal side of Los Angeles where rain doesn't exist and you could wear either shorts and a tank top almost everyday of the year and be comfortable.

There's an abundance of coffee shops and little boutiques that occupy some of the coastal front. We don't go "down the shore," we don't have to pay to get on the beach, and we don't have debates on whether it's called pork roll or Taylor Ham. It was nice knowing that the weather ranges from 65 to 75 about eighty percent of the year. But, at the same time, I like having a variety of seasons.

Apparently leaves falling from trees is an annual thing. Southern California has a small number of deciduous trees, so I experienced a real fall last year. I picked a pumpkin from the vine instead of from a tub at the grocery store and got farm fresh donuts from an actual farm with fields and animals.

I was able to witness a first snow and how pretty the trees look when they're covered. I made a snowman in the back of campus and had a snowball fight with some friends.

I also experienced a terrible snowstorm where my umbrella turned inside out and smacked me in the face and then hit the person behind me. I then tried to go after my umbrella and slipped on some ice which the person also saw...so after that I died of embarrassment in my dorm for the rest of the weekend. There were a lot of ups and downs.

Everything in suburban New Jersey is spread out, so it's been a struggle not having access to a car. Back home in California, a CVS, Target, Office Depot, and even a Spencer's (if you're in that weird shopping mood,) was right around the corner. The other night I tried looking up the nearest Mexican restaurant and it was 15 miles away. The Uber was expensive so I canceled it and decided my basic white girl order of plain chicken tacos with a side of guac wasn't worth the trip.

I've tried remembering major cities in Jersey so that when I meet someone and they talk about where they are from I can say, "Oh, I know where that is!" I try asking about their town, how school was, or their family. The only question I've been asked when telling someone I'm from LA is, "do you know any celebrities?"

I don't really mind the question, I've actually come up with some pretty good fake stories on the spot. I just can't believe people think that the famous actors of Beverly Hills just randomly walk the streets. But just for the record, one time I met Wee-Man from "Jack-Ass" at his chronic taco shop. And yes, I got plain chicken tacos.

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