My 5 Favorite Travel Hacks

I don’t know if you’re a new reader or if you’ve been with me from the beginning (either way thank you for being here) but if someone asked me what’s the one thing that’s defined my life I would say without a doubt that it’s all the traveling I’ve done! I’ve been truly lucky to have been able to travel with friends and by myself too many times to count, but I also grew up all over the world with my family never really settling down in one place. We moved every 1-2 years, sometimes every 6 months and others we moved within the same month and that has taught me so much! I am grateful to my parents for giving me and my brother these life experiences that have made me who I am today.

So as I was writing down ideas for new blog posts the other day, I realized that I’ve never really shared any traveling tips on the blog so here are some helpful hacks I’ve learned one the years to keep in mind for your next travels:

*I’m aware that the first one runs long, but trust me you need to consider this…

Travel Hack No. 1: Rent a car to get from/to the airport. If you live right next to the airpot then obviously disregard this, but that’s not usually the case. I’m here to share that it’s cheaper to rent a car from your local Car Rental service provider and drop it off that same day at the airport than to pay for an Uber/Lyft or even worst to leave your car at the airport and pay parking for the week –that gets expensive fast. This of course also works from airport to home because again these car rental providers are everywhere! So it’s easy to drop off the car rental and take an Uber from there to your home or have a loved one pick you up at that nearby location.

To give you an insight… Last time I did this, I rented a car for $26 (tax included) from San Diego to Orange County (about 90miles away). I booked it online because it’s cheaper than waiting to get to their facility and I had of course chosen the lowest rate expecting to receive a small Fiesta, who cares right? But instead I was nicely surprised that they gave me a new Jeep Renegade 4×4, more than enough space for me and my 2 pieces of luggage. I had checked UBER and LYFT and with either it would have been close to $100 one way. In this case it’s also cheaper than taking the Amtrak train, and cheaper than the expense of gas from driving myself back and forth and having to pay the parking structure for however many days –This of course varies depending on where you live, but you get the idea. It is also a better option than having to ask a friend or my boyfriend to drive the 2 hours down there (that’s if there’s no traffic) and then a 2hr drive back just to pick me up. This also is not taking into account that during peek seasons and even holidays, flights tend to get delayed and having to re-arrange pick ups last minute is just one more thing I don’t want to worry about when I’m already stressed. So truly, this is just so much more convenient!! Next time you need to head to the airport consider this option, I live by it.

Travel Hack No. 2: Avoid over packing by taking photos of the outfits you’re taking. I swear it’s not a blogger thing! It might sound over the top at first, but hear me out because I started doing this years before I ever started blogging and it 100% works! If you take a photo of exactly what shoes you’ll need with what outfit plus handbag and accessories included, then it inevitably prevents you from over packing. Simple as that! I do however always pack a dressier option regardless if I think I’ll need it or not, it’s just smart to be prepared rather than feel underdressed, right? So what I do is I wear the FULL outfit and literally take a full body mirror selfie and then roll the clothes. That way I know that every single item I’ve packed is worth the space in my luggage, plus it’s not like you have to make a cute face… Think of it as taking inventory so it really just takes a second! This also helps me see if I can re-style an item with several other outfits therefore saving me tons of space. *Don’t forget to pack several Fresh Scent Packets in your suitcase to keep things smelling fresh, you’ve probably heard this plenty but I always do it and feel so grateful I did.

Travel Hack No. 3: I use Muslin bags to protect my shoes inside the luggage. I bought a pack from amazon, but I know they sell them at Michaels and Joan’s and all of those craft stores. They’re cheap and so worth it! Because I don’t know about you, but it just kills me to put new shoes next to things inside my lugage that might dent and damage them or what’s worse, let the dirty soles touch ANYTHING else I’ve packed (I get anxiety just thinking about it). But these thin little bags with their cotton strings won’t take up any extra space, they’re easy to wash and really do keep your bffs safe.

Travel Hack No. 4: The Travel Pillow with Hoodie that actually works. Take it from me, I DO NOT sleep on planes, I have been flying since I was 1 year old and my mother can testify that my mind and body cannot relax on a plane. That is until she recently gifted me a Pillow with a Hoodie attached, I’m sure many of you have seen them but I’ve truly figured out what makes a travel pillow work! The hoodie part needs to be long enough where it basically covers my face down to the tip of my nose so I don’t feel claustrophobic and the pillow part needs to be the higher/taller memory foam one so I don’t feel like I’m choking, I swear this combo makes it easier to tune out the rest of the world. I know there’s eye masks but I get headaches and migraines ALL the time and sleeping masks always end up giving me a pulsing pain on the temples after a while, so no thank you! Of course, you could argue that you could just wear a normal hoodie with your travel pillow but there’s something about both items being attached that keeps your head nice and levelled allowing you to actually fall asleep without the annoying pillow slipping off or moving around. It’s been life changing for me. I guess you would have to go try a couple different ones to see which is your best fit because some necks might be longer than others but look for these details and you’ll never travel the same!

Travel Hack No. 5: I use Stopwatch on my iPhone. This one is simple but it keeps me from going insane. How? Well let’s say my flight will be 5 hrs and 20min, so the moment we are actually taking off (not a second sooner) I press start on Stopwatch, close the app and wait as long as I possibly can to peek at how much longer the flight will be (if you have an android you will find the option as well). I know it’s a mental game, but it really keeps me occupied on other things and distracts me from how much I do not want to be there. I also make it so the timer goes off about 25min before landing that way I have time to put myself together, freshen up my face with any face mists I have, fix my hair, put away my things, etc.

And lastly guys, there’s nothing more wasteful than coming home with foreign change in your pocket so why not donate it to someone in need? Before you leave a country do a good deed and think about giving it to a homeless person. It’s of little loss for you but a huge help to those who have nothing.

Hope you found these hacks helpful on your next travels and if you do apply any of them you can tell everyone Erika shared it with you lol. And please don’t be shy and let me know, it would make me so happy! Safe travels everyone.

Thanks for stopping by at Wander With Love,

Let’s talk: Why INTENTION matters

I always try to lead my life with focused intention on what I wish to accomplish and what energy I want around me. I might not share this on my daily IG Stories but it is something I fully believe in and I think everyone should do the same, why? Because when we are mindful on intention in relation to everything we do, we remain focused on achieving our goals faster and more effectively. Think about it… Intention is the thoughts, beliefs and emotions in which we approach people, opportunities, new challenges (the good and bad kind) and life all together, we basically breathe it in every single day so why not focus on making it strong and beneficial rather than passive or even obstructive?

This is why it is important to be mindful of how we act towards others and ourselves because remember, you receive whatever you put out there so even our feelings become our very essence and energy and you want to make sure it’s not a toxic one. 

It is very easy to spot a person that goes through life as a downer, someone who simply chooses to see everything and everyone out to get them only to sink deeper into their desolation. But just the same we can spot someone who without evidence of circumstances getting better, they still manage to see things for how they could be, see every great possibility out there and sooner or later find themselves living that life. One of these two examples is living life with focused intention to succeed and be happy.

If however you find yourself surrounded by others who do make those life choices… that environment is just as toxic even if you don’t live your life that way. This last example can be particularly hard to be in because you might be close to this person, love them and want to be there for them but hard as you try, it is on THEM to make the effort to change NOT YOU so you should not allow foreign energies to cloud your own. In this case take a step back, reevaluate what you want to attract into your life and take positive action towards that, trust me, in the end this helps the other person too.

Truth is nothing was ever built or existed without intention, so how can we practice being mindful about it?

In small ways but doing it consistently everyday. You could:

  1. Start the habit of repeating to yourself every morning what you want for your life for a few minutes before you even get out of bed. Really, while you’re tossing and turning take a deep breath and let the message sink in. I think this is an excellent way to start your day with the right mindset.
  2. Or try it at night before bedtime as a way to cleanse your mind of negative thoughts and attitudes from others or yourself that held you back that day. Go to bed feeling serene and recharged to wake up feeling truly rested.
  3. Search for clarity while you work out. Whether it’s yoga, boxing class, going to the gym, running, barre class… whichever one you enjoy. Allow in that moment of feeling powerful and motivated to run deep through you and envision that intention touching EVERY part of your life. Do this until you can see it clearly, until it feels like second nature, a part of who you are.
  4. While you enjoy your cup of coffee/tea. In the morning or on your break time, use those few minutes to yourself to practice being aware of your energy, of intention.
  5. Or it can be as simple as while you’re cleaning your home or making dinner. I find it that while I’m doing those familiar tasks, my mind tends to wander off, my body goes on automatic mode and I end up reflecting deeper on whatever I’m dealing with that week. So why not use that productive time to train my mind to be mindful of intention. 

It all starts with an intention, then it’s a behaviour, then a habit until it is the very essence of who you are. So try leading with intention and you will see what a big change it will be on your small day-to-day goals, on your long-term career goals and in your relationships in general.

Hope you found this post helpful! And if you have other ways to practice this please share them in the comments below so we can all learn from one another.

Thank you for stopping by,

xo Erika

5 Blogging Resources

Hi Guys!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some tips and resources I use on my blog, so I thought I decided I would dedicate this week’s post to just that!

  1. Tools for your BlogCreative Market.  I use this website for their Fonts, I LOVE them! They are really easy to install and are not expensive. They also have Themes, Graphics and Plug-ins.  They have it all! By the way.. the font I use for my “XO ERIKA”at the bottom of my blog posts was bought from this site. I usually pay $8 per font, this one was $16 but I also used it for my business cards and pretty much everything else so it was worth it! Here’s the link if you want to check it out.
  2. Tracking your Social MediaIconosquare.  Some of you might have heard of this site before and yes its just as great as they say! You can use it to track your Instagram statistics. From your hashtags, the best times a day to post, your engagement, it basically gives you full control. It’s a great tool to use whether you needed it for personal reasons or business like creating your Media Kit. They have a 7-day free trial so I would recommend you check it out to see if it’s a right match for your needs.
  3. Improve your mind with Books: This is a great way to stay motivated! And you should never stop learning so I’m sharing some of the authors I love:                                    –Malcolm Gladwell is my favourite right now! I read Outliers: The Story of Success and loved it. He talks about the pattern behind brilliant software billionaires, athletes, musicians and how their backgrounds, family and culture led them to be successful in each of their industries. After reading it I immediately bought The Tipping Point. Now this one talks about how some trends, ideas and social behaviours can sky-rocket and explains the reasons behind this sudden success. Both books are really helpful for anyone! But they have really helped me understand this Blogging/Fashion Industry. I highly recommend them!                                                                                                              –Garance Doré brings you a candid view on her career as one of the first bloggers out there. In Love Style Life she shares stories on life, style and truth behind the fashion industry. It’s not a Pulitzer winning book by any means, it’s a fun book read. BUT what I truly loved about it her witty unapologetic style of writing. She is brutally honest, she’s not full of herself (like 90% of the books in this category are) and has truly impeccable style. A true gem in this industry. I read this book on my last vacation and fell in love with her journey.
  4. Links: Bitly I rely on this website all the time! If there is something I hate seeing is long endless links on profiles. And with Bitly you can easily shorten your links for any platform. They also provide measure and optimization services on your audience and marketing strategies. But I mostly use it for links.
  5. Engage with your Readers: ConvertKit . This is the only one I havent fully tried. But now that I’m thinking of jumping on email lists I am dying to put this website to work! I have done a lot of reasearch and this one seems to be the best fit. From what I’ve seen so far its pretty easy to use and holds the reputation for the best marketing service out there. But what really did it for me was that it was created by a Blogger for Bloggers.

 

 

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I hope you found these helpful!

Thanks for reading,

xo Erika

4 Key Habits Every Girl Boss Needs To Know

This year is flying by! I can’t believe it’s almost May, right?! Spring just brings a lot of work to my week, so with a full agenda it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love what I do but its a lot of work! So I realised that by implementing these 4 key habits I am able to get things done much faster:

  1. Make Friday your Plan Day: Monday’s are universally hated. That’s a fact. Well then it makes sense to end your Friday’s day work with a list of next week’s To-Do List by prioritizing what will help me move my career/business forward. Why? Because that way even when you have an unbelievably busy schedule, by making next week’s list you’ll have one less thing to worry about at the end of each day and more importantly you will be able to enjoy your weekend without dreading Monday (as much). This brings me to step #2…
  2. Tackle the hardest thing on your list first: Okay so Monday comes and everyday I have my to-do lists. But still, seeing a long list might make you feel stressed, so what I do is I tackle the most tedious and/or most important thing first. Why? Because I’ve realised that by doing this it gives me a sense of accomplishment. I feel the weight come off my shoulders therefore I’m more motivated and the rest of my list doesn’t seem as hard.
  3. Boomerang for Gmail: This is a LIFE SAVER. It works for scheduling your emails. No matter in what industry you’re in, we all get tons of important emails everyday. Now, my biggest nightmare is when I forget to email back during work hours or worse to follow-up! So with Boomerang, you write an email and it gives you options like Send Now or Schedule For Later or you can also set it up to remind you to follow-up in “x” mount of days/weeks if you don’t hear back. Amazing right?! That way I can answer emails at the end of my day and schedule to have them send first thing in the morning! And just like that my morning starts way less stressful aaand helps out with step #4 (keep reading)..
  4. Exercising M-F: I know what you’re thinking WHEN do you find the time to work out during the week? Why not go the weekend instead?? Well let me tell you.. if you make the effort to get up extra early and make it to the gym, the rest of the day you will feel way more energized! You feel more motivated and trust me your attitude dramatically changes. Exercising during the week is the main reason why successful people get every single task done that day. Think about it, the endorphins you realise when exercising keep you focused and driven all day so you see.. the week is WHEN you need that extra push, keep the weekend for other fun activities or hell sleep in! You deserve it Girl Boss! Dont believe me? Try it <3

 

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What I wore:

White Halter dress from Zara | Espadrille Wedges from Forever21 | Sunnies from Ray-Ban

Shop similar looks:

Ray-Ban Rounded Sunglasses $112.50        Forever21 Crochet-Trimmed Halter Dress  $22.90

             Rounded Sunglasses                                   Crochet-Trimmed Halter Dress

Forever21 Faux Suede Espadrille Wedges $34.90          Nordstrom White Flare Dress $198.00

wedges                        Norsdtrom white dress

 

These 4 habits have completely changed my outlook of the day ahead of me. You should start your week eager to keep growing and chasing your goals, not dreading your day’s work! So try them out and let me know what you think! And if you have any suggestions or things you do to better your days please share them below, I’d love to know!

I really hope you found this post helpful.

Thanks for reading,

Love, Erika