What to Pack for a Trip in the Winter

What to Pack for a Trip in the Winter

Taking a trip in the winter to a place that is cold seems like a nightmare in the packing department. How can you pack all your winter clothes into a suitcase? After traveling a few times this winter to places that were cold, I have figured something out that is amazing: your coat covers your clothes. This is amazing because you don’t have to stress out about putting together the perfect outfit. Of course when you go out to eat or get a coffee, you will take your coat off but still 😉

Here is a list of things I have found useful on a winter trip!

Sweaters

Usually one to two is enough, especially if they are a solid color. You can layer them to keep warm while sightseeing the town! I have a sweater dress that is a solid color and so comfortable! It is the perfect winter travel dress.

Solid Shirts

Perfect for layering under your sweater and also good to rewear and no one will know you are 😉 Packing one to two is the perfect amount to save space.

Scarfs

Also another staple to keep warm, but also the mix up your outfits! I usually bring just one.

Pants

I will usually bring one pair that are black or a dark blue.

Shoes

Wear your heaviest pair! Make sure they are water proof and warm. In winter you don’t really need to bring a variety of shoes, but I like to bring tennis shoes in case my feet get tired. Not the best for the cold, but for comfort.

Socks

Bring wool socks if you have them! Walking around a lot outside can make your feet cold! I also like to bring pantyhose that is fleece lined for my sweater dress so I am really warm.

Hat and Gloves

Make sure to bring a hat and gloves to keep you warm. Bring an extra pair of gloves just in case!

 

 

I hope my list will help you pack for your next trip!

I think packing for a winter trip is easier than summer! Do you?

 

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How I’m Able to Travel

How I'm Able to Travel

Everyday we see the blogs and Instagram accounts of people who give up everything and travel the world. They make money blogging and are able to see the world because of it. While I do have a blog, that’s not how I travel. There is really one big reason why I am able to travel and another factor that helps a lot in being able to afford it. So if you are wanting to travel more, I’m sharing how I travel and more ideas on how you can see the world!

Au Pairing

This is basically the number one reason why I am able to travel as much as I do currently. I live in Europe so it’s much easier to travel to another country over the weekend. While the daily life of an au pair is not glamorous or necessarily fun, you get to live in another country for free. If you want to know more about au pairing I have a whole tab dedicated to this topic. You can read more HERE!

Teaching English Online

This is a major factor that enables me to travel. While I do live for free, at 25 I do have bills and au pairing doesn’t pay that much per month. So I decided that if I wanted to travel I needed to do something more to make that happen. Teaching online has been awesome and I love the company. It’s pretty flexible and the hours work for my schedule. If you want to know more I also have a tab dedicated to this, you can read more HERE!

Other Ideas

The two things listed above are basically the two major reasons why I am able to travel. But I do realize that a majority of people can’t do them for numerous reasons. So below I’ve listed more ideas on how you can travel based on things I’ve seen or heard of people doing based on their life.

College Students

In college I know that it is hard to travel because of time and also money. I think one of the best ways to travel and probably the easiest is to study abroad. You take classes that can count toward your major and also live in another country! I didn’t study abroad but I did go to Europe twice while in college. Both times I saved up money to go. The first time I went with EF Ultimate Break and was able to pay for the trip with monthly payments. The second time I went to Ireland for a week and the ticket was pretty cheap! Search for deals and start saving!

Families

Having a family might make it hard to travel. Not only do you have more schedules to work around, but it also costs more because you have more people. I don’t think this should stop you though! If you and your partner value traveling and want your children to experience the world then you should! I think paying off all debts or most is important so that you can focus on saving money to travel. Sell things you don’t need, downsize, and maybe pick up a second income.

Living paycheck to paycheck

I think this is pretty common for a lot of people. With student loans and maybe even just things that have happened in life, you can’t seem to save to travel. Like I said above, try to get your debt down first. Sell things you don’t need, downsize, get a second job. Take small trips or weekend trips for a while during this time. Once you are able to save enough, then you can start traveling more!

If you are anything like me, travel is a big part of my life and I want to keep it that way.

What do you do to be able to travel?

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Three Cities You Should Visit During Winter

Three Cities You Should Visit During Winter

For some reason I always think that traveling should happen during the summer. It’s warm out and easier to pack, so it’s the only time to travel right? Not at all! Since living in Europe I’ve learned that traveling in the winter can be fun too! You just have to get better at packing and it doesn’t matter what you are wearing because no one will see it 😉

Some cities are also even better in the winter than summer! So if you are looking for a winter getaway here are three cities that you should visit during winter!

Zermatt, Switzerland

Three Cities You Should Visit During Winter

Picture found here.

Below Matterhorn peak at an elevation of about 1,600m is Zermatt. It’s in southern Switzerland and close to Italy. This city is known for resorts, skiing, hiking, and climbing. On Zermatt’s website they state that there is snow guaranteed 365 days a year! So really anytime you visit here is winter time 😉 Honestly just the view alone is putting Zermatt on my bucket list.

New York City

Three Cities to Visit During Winter

Picture found here.

I traveled to NYC during winter for New Years Eve last year and this city is seriously beautiful! All the Christmas lights were still up and I loved it. Last year it didn’t really snow, which I think would have made it even more pretty. New York City has so much to so. It is called the city that never sleeps for a reason! If you want to read more about NYC check out my post HERE.

Banff, Canada

Three Cities You Should Visit During Winter

Picture found here.

Located in the province of Alberta and within the Banff National Park is the resort town of Banff. With so much to explore in the national park and enjoying hot springs, this town is a perfect winter get-away! To me nothing is better than mountain vies with snow on them and Banff does not disappoint.

 

What city do you love to visit during winter?

 

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How to Spend a Weekend in Stockholm

How to Spend a Weekend in Stockholm

I’m honestly surprised I haven’t visited Stockholm sooner! It’s only an hour flight from Finland so it’s an easy weekend getaway. Going in January was also fun since it’s not a high tourist time so there were no lines, but it was pretty cold! I’m excited to share how I spent my weekend in Stockholm!

Museums

Stockholm has some pretty cool museums! The bad thing is that they are all pretty expensive and there is no student discount for any of them. Here are a list of some worth checking out.

  • Vasa Museum
  • Skensen
  • ABBA Museum
  • The Nobel Museum
  • Nordic Museum

The Largest Art Gallery

AKA the metro. Stockholm is home to the largest art gallery that is also their metro system. We paid for a ticket and spent an hour riding the metro and getting off at the stops to look at all of the cool designs. Sorry for bad quality pics, but the lighting was not the best down there!

How to Spend a Weekend in Stockholm

Walk Around Old Town

See the iconic colorful buildings of Stockholm located in Old Town.

How to Spend a Weekend in Stockholm

Eat at the Ostermalm Food Hall

A traditional Scandinavian food hall with all the delicious things to eat! When I went it was still under construction and located across the street, but still worth a visit! I had a dish with Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, and lingonberries. So delicious! I would also recommend trying the fish soup.

Where to Stay

I stayed at the Generator Hostel Stockholm. They have a bar connected to the hostel and it was pretty cool! We got a pretty good price for the beds and overall a nice little hostel for a weekend. Linens are included, but towels and breakfast are not.

 

I also think it’s important to point out that Stockholm is a pretty expensive city. I currently live in Scandinavia, which has higher prices, but Stockholm honestly surprised me. Don’t let this make you not visit, just be prepared.

What city do you like to visit over a weekend?

 

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Traveling to Amsterdam During Winter

Traveling to Amsterdam During Winter

After my day in Brussels, the next morning I made my way to Amsterdam. I have never really felt an urge to go to Amsterdam, but it was an easy place to go to after Paris (and a cheap flight back to Helsinki) so I thought I would check it out. And I am so glad I did! This city was so surprisingly beautiful and has so much to do. Even in the winter it was a great city to visit. So if you are wanting to travel in the winter, Amsterdam is a great option. Here are some of the fun things to do during your stay!

Check out the Canal District

Traveling to Amsterdam in Winter

This is a UNESCO World Heritage sight, but also walking along the canals is beautiful. Even in the winter I could have walk around for hours. I can only imagine how beautiful it would be during the warmer months. Find a nice cafe and enjoy the views!

Go to the Anne Frank House

Traveling to Amsterdam in Winter

Going to the Anne Frank House was at the top of my list of things I wanted to do in Amsterdam. I read her diary that was made into a book as a little girl and it really opened my eyes for the first time of what Jewish men, women, and children experienced. Walking through the small hideaway that they lived in for so long was humbling and I really suggest going. I also recommend getting tickets ahead of time on the website. They are available to book two months before you want to go. You can get in line at the time that you booked.

Go to the Van Gogh Museum

Another place on the top of my list to see was the Van Gogh Museum. My favorite style of painting is Impressionism and while Van Gogh is not my favorite painter I still enjoy the style. This is another museum I would suggest booking a time before going. You can order your tickets on the website.

More Museums

Amsterdam has a neighborhood called the Museum District because there are so many! Here are some that you can visit:

  • Rembrandt House Museum
  • Rijksmuseum
  • Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
  • Hermitage Amsterdam
  • Science Center NEMO
  • Sex Museum
  • Red Light Secrets

Take a Picture with the IAmsterdam Sign

Traveling to Amsterdam During Winter

I should say “try to” take a picture. There are so many people here climbing and taking pictures that it is really hard to get one. This sign is located in the Museum District along with all the museums.

Check Out Begijnhof

Traveling to Amsterdam During Winter

This is a little community tucked away in the center of the city. It’s the oldest hofjes in Amsterdam and also just really pretty. I loved the architecture of the houses here!

Walk Through the Red Light District

The Red Light District was nothing like I imagined. I thought it would be this dark alley with sketchy men standing around, but it was nothing like that. While yes there were partially dressed women in windows, they weren’t naked and it was more of like a regular street in Amsterdam. There were so many tourist and even children. I will say this street did have more bars and placed for live sex shows, but that is the whole point of the neighborhood.

Go to a Coffee House

A coffee house in Amsterdam is not a place to get coffee. It’s where you can buy weed. I personally did not go to one while here since I was solo, but I’m going again in April with a friend so if we have time I will have to check one out.

Eat Pancakes, Stroopwafel, and Cheese

Danish pancakes are like crepes except bigger and are not folded. You can get them sweet or savory. I tried both ways and I will say both are really good. There are many pancake houses all over the city to try! When you’re in Amsterdam you have to try stroopwafels. I even brought some back with me they were so good! They are two thin waffles that have caramel in the middle. So delicious. One of my favorite parts of my visit was walking into the cheese shops and getting to taste the cheese. You can walk to each cheese shop and sample their cheese for free, so if I needed a snack I would just stop into one 😉

Going to Amsterdam During Winter

Amsterdam was amazing and I am excited to go back again in the spring!

What city would you love to go back to?

 

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Three Things You Should Do in Brussels

Three Things You Should Do in Brussels

Have you ever traveled to a city and literally planned nothing? I mean nothing. Not even how you get to your accommodation. Well that’s how I showed up in Brussels. When I got off the bus from Metz I suddenly realized that I probably should have at least looked up how I get to where I’m staying.

I stayed one night in Brussels before heading off to Amsterdam. Honestly I never had any interest in going to Brussels, it was more of a pit stop on my way to Amsterdam so that the bus ride wouldn’t be too long. I’m glad I checked out Brussels and was able to do these three things you should do there!

 

Try Some Belgian Specialities

Belgian beer, waffles, and fries! These three things were the main attraction on my trip. Check out Delirium and try their cheery beer. For waffles, these are the things you will crave when you go back home. You can get them plain, with Nutella, whipped cream, or powdered sugar. Honestly any way you get them they are delicious. Belgian fries are special because they don’t just fry them once, but twice. This makes them crispy and extra tasty. You can even choose from multiple sauces to dip them in. There are many vendors around the city that sell them!

Check Out the Grand Place

Grand Place is the central square of Brussels. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All the buildings in this square are decorated in gold and looked beautiful with all of the Christmas lights. Here you can find the City Hall, The Museum of the City of Brussels, a Beer Museum, and also many shops and restaurants.

Find the Cities Famous Statues

Brussels famous statues are a little intersting. They are all of people or animals peeing. Not joking. The most famous one is “Manneken Pis” or little boy peeing. The others are “Jeanneke-Pis” young girl peeing and “Zinneke Pis” dog peeing. These three statues are located at different parts of Brussels and are fun to see if you can find them all! Brussels does have other statues, but for some reason these are the most famous ones.

 

I would say even though I did not plan anything, I saw (and ate) a lot in Brussels.

Have you ever traveled to a city and not planned anything?

 

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Two Cities in France You Need to Visit That Aren’t Paris

Two Cities in France You Need to Visit That Aren't Paris

 

When you hear “France” you most likely think of Paris. It’s the capital and I would say where everyone usually visits when they decide to travel to France. This winter I learned that France has a lot to offer! I was able to go with my friend, Julie, to her family Christmas. We stopped in Paris for a night first, you can read my post about our day HERE.

Julie’s mom lives in a small town called Post-a-Mousson that is between Metz and Nancy. During my time with her family we were able to make a trip to visit both cities! I was so surprised with both cities and how much I liked them. It made me want to explore France even more!

Metz

Two Cities in France You Should Visit That Aren't Paris

Now apart of France, Metz was part of Germany in the past. You can still see this from the houses and building around the city that are designed like those you would see in Germany. Metz is also known as France’s “Green City” because of the high amount of green space.

Things to do in Metz:

 

Two Cities in France You Should Visit That Aren't Paris

Two Cities in France You Should Visit That Aren't Paris

It was dark when we visited (which was like 4pm because it was winter) so I was not able to get good pictures. I found these HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Nancy

Two Cities in France You Should Visit That Aren't Paris

Nancy really surprised me! When you walk into the square you almost feel like you are at Versailles. There is gold everywhere! We visited around Christmas time so we got to enjoy the Christmas market and also ride the ferris wheel! It gave amazing views of the city.

Things to do:

These are just a few things, but there is so much to do!

Two Cities in France You Should Visit That Aren't Paris

Two Cities in France You Should Visit That Aren't Paris

 

Both of these cities really surprised me in how beautiful they are! After visiting them, I want to explore France even more.

Also- both cities are located in the Lorraine region of France so you should of course try a quiche Lorraine since you are there 😉

What’s you favorite city in France?

 

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How to Spend a Day in Paris in Winter

How to Spend a Day in Paris in Winter

 

I have always had a love for Paris. Even before I ever visited the city, I knew I would love it. I’m convinced I was a Parisian in my past life 😉 Four years ago I was finally able to visit the city of my dreams. We would be going to Barcelona, London, Paris, Rome, and Naples and I was ecstatic! The moment I stepped off of the train I knew this was my city. From the romantic feel in the air to the fresh baked baguettes you could get every morning, I loved it all.

Fast forward to this year- I wasn’t able to go home for Christmas and was telling a friend I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Then she told me her mom had just moved up to a city only three hours from Paris and would be going home for Christmas. She then went on to invite me to her family Christmas and suggested we stop first in Paris. I immediately said yes! Paris was amazing in the summer so I figured around Christmas time it would be a great time to visit and boy was I right!

So today I share with you how you can spend your day in Paris!

Check Out the View From the Arc de Triumph

The picture above was taken from the top of the Arc! It gives you a 360 view of the city and it is amazing. The entrance was only $9 or is free if you are an EU member under 26. When we went there was also no line which I think has to do with the time of year.

Head Over to Montmartre

How to Spend a Day in Paris in Winter

This little city inside a city was the hub for artists back in the Impressionist period! You can visit Sacre Coeur, pictured above, and Moulin Rouge. I definitely suggest taking the metro over and checking out this neighborhood!

See the Eiffel Tower

Of course! What visit to Paris doesn’t include the Eiffel Tower? You can go up the tower to see the view of the city also. I would suggest going during the day and also at night to see it light up.

See the Decorations at Galeries Lafayette

How to Spend a Day in Paris in Winter

Embarrassing story: at first I thought this was a museum until we walked in and it was a mall. Every year the mall has elaborate decorations and I have to admit, it is pretty cool!

Walk the Champs Elysees

How to Spend a Day in Paris in Winter

Not only is it famous for all of the shops, but in the winter it is decked out in lights! Grab a coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy a nice stroll!

See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre

This museum is huge and you could honestly spend all day looking around. I would suggest if you only have a day in Paris to stick to one section of the museum and also go early so you have enough time to explore the city.

 

When we were planning what to do with our time in Paris, my friend and I were joking about “how many times do you have to visit Paris to do all the things you want to.” But seriously! I’ve been twice now and there are still things that I want to do that I didn’t have time for! I guess that means that I will just have to plan another trip 😉

Do you have a city you love even before you visited?

 

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Four Countries You Need to Visit in 2018

Four Countries You Need to Visit in 2018

And just like that we are in 2018! I still can’t believe it. But with a new year comes new travel plans! Have you already started planning your trips for this year? I have a couple planned, but only until May. When I start thinking of my next trip it feels almost overwhelming. Like where do I even start? There are so many places that I want to go that it’s hard to choose. Today I’m here to help you choose the countries you should visit in 2018!

Estonia

Four Countries You Need to Visit in 2018

The capital of Estonia, Tallinn, is like what you would imagine a city in a fairy tale would look like. It gets even better because not only is the city beautiful, but it’s also cheap! What more reasons do you need? 🙂

You can read my blog post on my trip to Tallinn HERE.

Georgia

Four Countries You Need to Visit in 2018

Georgia lies right on the boarder of Europe and Asia. It’s capital, Tbilisi, is filled with old winding streets and beautiful architecture. While in Georgia you can visit the Black Sea and also the Caucasus mountains. This beautiful country is definitely one to check out this year!

Photo was found here.

Chile

Four Countries You Need to Visit in 2018

Located in South America, Chile is a country that should be in your travel plans this year. Chile really has everything! There are mountains, oceans, rivers, lakes, and big cities! So if you want to surf, you can surf or if you want to go hiking, you can go hiking. Chile is also home to Easter Island. What more could you want?! Chile is the perfect destination for 2018.

Picture found here.

South Africa

Four Countries You Need to Visit in 2018

This picture alone makes me want to buy a plane ticket! South Africa is located at the southernmost tip of Africa. You can enjoy beautiful weather all year round here in South Africa, so it’s perfect for whenever you plan your trip! South Africa is another country that has so much to offer with beaches, city life, safaris, hiking, and a vibrant culture. You do not want to miss out on this country!

Picture found here.

What are your travel plans for 2018?

 

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Three Things to Remember When Planning a Trip to Europe

Three Things to Remember When Planning a Trip to Europe

When you’ve never been to Europe before it’s hard to plan because, you’ve never been there. You don’t know how things work or how easy they can be. I remember people telling me that traveling around Europe is cheap and easy, but how?! After helping a friend plan out her first trip to Europe I remembered what it was like planning that trip for the first time. To help you plan your first trip, here are three things to remember!

Don’t Over Do It

I know you want to go everywhere possible when you’re in Europe. I remember wanting to fit as much as possible into the trip. Because if you’re there then yo might as well go. But this isn’t the case. Pick an area or country you want to see and try to stay around there. You will spend less on travel time and money getting to those places.

Here is an example of wanting to go to too many places in two weeks!

After showing my friend this map of how far every country she wanted to visit was and that she would need a plane for every trip, I helped her plan a better route.

Utilize Trains, Ferries, Buses, and Public Transportation

In America these things are not that common to use to get to places. But in Europe they are so easy, convenient, and cheap! I would have never thought to take a ferry to Tallinn from Helsinki, but it was cheaper than flying and a cool experience. Look at all the options you have to travel to your destination when planning. Also, public transportation in awesome. You can get where you need to be quicker than walking. Don’t be daunted about trying to figure out a metro system in a different language. You will probably get lost, but that’s normal and you will figure it out!

Take Time to Go to Less Touristy Spots

While of course I think you should check out the famous tourist things, because those things are really cool! But also there are so many other cool things that are not as famous. You can also really see a culture better when it’s not overrun with tourists.

Wherever you go, have a blast! And I hope these three things help when you are planning your trip 🙂

What advice do you have for first time travelers? Or where is your first trip to?

 

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