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12 Awesome Summer Travel Essentials

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travel essentials

Everyone is a traveler nowadays. Whether it is for business or leisure, traveling can become very hectic very quickly. If you are an entrepreneur or social influencer, you are probably traveling even more as part of your business. We’ve crafted a list of travel essentials that will make constant travel a bit easier. While creating this list of tools, we wanted to keep in mind: price, size, weight, available options and gear it towards a wide audience.

1. Compressed Mini Towelscompressed towel tablets

Mini towels that expand when you add water is a great addition to your travel essentials. Long flights can really put a toll on your body. If you are traveling to a business meeting or have a reunion once you getting off your flight, you want to look and feel refreshed. Keep a couple of compressed towels, like the ones from Prospector Co., in your bag and quickly run to the restroom after your flight to wash your face. There are so many possible uses for these towels. Going on a hike? Coming up to a river, stream or a body of water, expand one of these towels to wipe yourself down a bit. Camping? Now you have dish towels.

2. Social Influencers on a Budgetinstax camera

Visuals are so important nowadays. For many travelers, pictures are a way to capture moments to reminisce on further down the line. For social influencers, these pictures are a way of sharing a place, history or culture that will captivate others to visit a location or try a new dish. Photography gear can get quite expensive and heavy to carry around. A mini camera that prints pictures instantly can capture moments as they happen. The Instax SQ10 is perfect for the traveling artist. The pictures have a retro look that differentiates from your average photo.

3. Mini Tripodtripod

Small and lightweight, this item can be tossed into your backpack without you even knowing that it is there. When it is time for a group or solo picture, quickly attach your phone or small camera, set the timer and RUN! Have some fun with the group with pictures that will bring back fun memories. It is also easier and more comfortable to hold the legs of a mini tripod when taking videos while walking than it is to hold onto the device. Starting at around $10 on Amazon, there are many options of mini tripods to add into your travel essentials. Ones with legs that expand, ones with legs that can bend in all sorts of ways and even ones with magnetic legs.

4. Phone Camera Lensiphone camera lens

Not everyone wants to carry around an extra camera while travel but most people do have a smartphone. These iPhone lenses are small enough to fit in your pocket and are quick and easy to attach to your phone. Most sets only comes with three types of lens: macro, wide and fisheye. Attach the wide angle lens to capture more of the landscape or fit more people into your group selfies. Attach the macro or fisheye lens to get a bit artsy. A quick search on Amazon will return many lens options starting at around $20.

5. Pocket Wi-Fipocket wifi

Sometimes, public Wi-Fi just doesn’t cut it. You may be working on your next big project and need to make sure your data is secure. Invest in a pocket Wi-Fi like the Hippocket to get connected wherever, whenever. This is also great to add to your travel essentials if you are traveling to a remote location with limited access to your cellular data plan or Wi-Fi. There are many options for a pocket Wi-Fi. Ones with daily payments for a certain number of data, others that only charge for what you use, international ones, etc. Do some research and analyze your own data usage to figure out which one is best for you.

6. Multi Port USB Wall Chargermultiport wall charger

Most of us carry multiple devices that needs charging at the end of the day: phone, tablet, battery pack, GoPro, etc. Don’t go unplugging lamps in hotel rooms looking for an extra wall outlet. Many of these multi port USB chargers, like the Moshi Wall Charging Kit allows you to charge up to several devices at a time. You also won’t have to run around the room collecting your devices in the morning.

7. Hanging Toiletry Bagtoiletry bag

Perfect for those who are constantly traveling for business or a quick weekend trip. This handy tool will keep you organized. Hang this bag from a hook, towel rack, or even the doorknob in the bathroom to avoid having to whip out your essentials every time you have wet countertop. Counter space is often limited, especially if you are sharing a bathroom with someone. Keep your essentials in a hanging toiletry bag out of the way and well organized. There are many styles to choose from for these bags. Do some research to find out what your preference is but keeping in mind: weight, size, durability, compartments and the size of the hook. You will want something with a big enough loop to hang on thicker objects.

8. Quick Dry Toweltowels

Whether it is because you do not like to use the hotel’s towel or want to be able to shower in the morning before moving on to your next destination, a quick dry towel is a great option to add to your travel essentials. Most dry in less than half the time of a regular towel and is much more compact. Great for traveling light and when you are quickly moving from location to location without much time in between to wait for your towel to dry before packing it back in your luggage. It is also a good choice for days when you are going on a water excursion. You can dry off quickly after your activity and wrap it around you without feeling like you are wrapped in a wet blanket.

9. Emergency Laundry Kit

You packed just enough clothes for your trip but you accidentally spilled something on yourself or sat on something wet. With the laundry kit, plug the sink, throw in a couple of laundry sheets, do some washing, and you are all set! Nice and clean. An emergency laundry kit is a must-have for your travel essentials. 

10. Wi-Fi Locator in Apps

Recently, Facebook rolled out a feature to find wifi spots near you. This is a great feature for those who are running low on data, digital nomads who need to get some work done, or travelers who wants to find the next place to eat or visit. If you are not on Facebook, there are plenty of other apps that will help you find free wi-fi. For example: TWC Wi-Fi Finder and Wi-Fi Map are highly reviewed apps.

11. Google My Maps

Most of us use Google Maps while traveling. If you like to plan before a trip, you can easily create, organize, share, and collaborate using My Maps. With the option for creating layers, you can organize where to eat, sleep and see into separate layers or organize by different days of the trip.

12. Facebook Travel/Blogger Groups

Instead of the same must see places you find in most travel lists, ask fellow travelers specific questions about their personal experiences. Many of these groups include travel bloggers who have lots of experience, resources, and knowledge they would love to share. It is free to join the groups, but if invest some time, you may really grow a connection with people from around the world. Maybe even make new friends to show you are ready when you visit their city. Here are a few active groups to start with:
Ultimate Travel Group
Nomads
Travel Advice by Travel Bloggers
Travel Bloggers United

I take too many pictures. A month without any kind of adventure makes me antsy. The water is my home.

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Lifestyle

8 Easy Habits To Adopt In Your Workplace To Boost Your Health

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8 easy habits to adopt in your workplace to boost your health

Working a desk job is not the best for your health. However, many jobs require work on the computer that it feels unavoidable. If you work at a desk in an office, there are things you can do to boost your health physically and mentally. You may not be able to completely ditch your desk, but you can create a more health friendly environment in the office.

Clean your desk

desk

How are you with distractions? Are you someone who is bothered by every little sound or are you someone who would not notice if the filing cabinet was engulfed in flames? Just because you can work in a messy environment, doesn’t mean you should. Walking into a neat cubicle or office will help you remain on task and complete your work. Wiping down your keyboard and mouse will help prevent the spread of germs. Keeping your drawers organized will make locating paperwork more automated and will save time and drama. The same can be said about organizing your desktop. Keeping well-labeled documents and files on your desktop helps you navigate your computer quickly. That way, the next time someone emails you one minute after they need something emailed to them, you can drag and drop without a second thought!

Stock up on healthy snacks

Health habits

Healthy snacks sometimes feels like an oxymoron in a work setting. The standard snacks in offices are often leftover bags of chips, cookies, and soda from conferences and meetings. When that afternoon energy crash comes your way, you may be inclined to reach for some type of caffeine and a sugary or crunchy snack. To avoid the draw of Doritos in the break room, stock up on your own snacks to boost your health. If you are looking for crunchy, try some hummus and veggies or trail mix. If you looking for a sweet treat, reach for a piece of fruit and pair it with yogurt or nut butter for more satiety. Many healthy snacks can be purchased pre-portioned so you won’t be tempted to mindlessly devour a whole jar of peanut butter at your desk.

Bring your reusable water bottle

water bottle

If your workplace has a filtered water dispenser or a classic water cooler, you can use your breaks to walk over and hydrate. By bringing your own water bottle, you can reduce waste and monitor your water intake. If you use a smaller water bottle, it will allow you more opportunities to get up and fill up. If you use a huge bottle, you may be getting your steps in on the way to the restroom. Either way, stay staying hydrated is super important if you want to boost your health.  

Set timers and get up

regain confidence

People only have so much mental stamina when it comes to tasks. Setting timers is something that can help motivate you to completely dedicate yourself to a single project. When you know you only have 30 minutes of concentrated effort before you earn a break, it becomes easier to power through. When the timer goes off, give yourself a five minute break to walk around, stretch, or use the restroom. Use the break to tear yourself away from the screen and give your eyes a rest. This habit helps break up the day and drives productivity.

Headphones On Om

belkin

Working at a desk could have you feeling super plugged in all the time. This is a fact of the current workplace and it is pretty unavoidable. A lot of people turn to playlists and podcasts to get into their flow state. It is important to be mindful about what you are listening to. There are a ton of apps and podcasts that offer guided meditation and motivational soundtracks. You do not need 8 hours of guided meditation everyday but it is nice to break-up the trap music with some super positive vibes and take time to breathe and be in your body.

Ditch take out

morning rituals of entrepreneurs

While healthier options at restaurants are on the rise, packing your lunch is still the way to go. This is a habit that starts at home and carries over to the office. By bringing your lunch, you can tell exactly what is in it, control the portions you eat, and save some money. Eating complete meals that include protein and healthy carbs and fat can help your energy levels remain steady throughout the day. If you need more meal prep ideas to boost your health, you can find them here.

Eat somewhere else

smart food

Whether you pack your lunch or pick something up, try to sit somewhere that is not your desk. Aside from the fact that your keyboard and desk is really germy, it is just healthier all around to have a designated eating area. If your work doesn’t have a designated eating area, maybe you can duck into an open office or conference room. When the weather is nice you can try to get outside and boost your Vitamin D. Bonus points for inviting your coworkers and having a face-to-face conversation with them instead of messaging them back and forth on G-Chat.

Stand, Sit, Walk?

Vanguard

Desks are becoming more versatile these days. You don’t have to sit all day anymore! If you work from home, your desk situation may be more mobile, but office workers may not have that flexibility. Many offices are encouraging employees to get desks that adjust between sitting and standing. You may even work somewhere that allows desk treadmills to boost your health. Even if sitting is your only option, there are free online guides and resources on how to adjust your posture to alleviate neck and back pain.

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Business

What To Do When Your Brain Is Fried

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We’ve all been there before. A great creative week where ideas are flowing endlessly, inspiration and great feelings abound. You feel like you’re breezing through and galloping towards the finish line. Then you come in one day and spend hours and hours staring blankly at your computer screen. For writers, it’s writer’s block, while others simply refer to it as a fried brain.

If you’re struggling to think coherently or if you feel like there are no ideas or clear thoughts coming from your brain you may be suffering from mental fatigue. This can occur anytime to anyone and can hamper your productivity. For most people their first step is to get a caffeine fix. But this might not be the only way to beat a fried brain. Here are some great examples on how you can get your brain to work again.

Take A Walk

According to a study conducted in Edinburgh Scotland, taking a quick walk can help combat mental fatigue. The study hooked 12 people to a portable ECG machine that measured their brainwave patterns that can be used to gauge excitement, frustration, arousal and more. The participants were asked to walk through a predetermined route around Edinburgh through busy shopping districts and green spaces. ECG readings of the participants showed that walking through green spaces reduced feelings of frustration indicating a reduction in stress levels. Richard Coyne, PhD and one of the authors of the study states that taking a walk through a park reduces cognitive overload and can help you overcome your fried brain.

Think Positively

When the brain is stressed, it has problems sending signals from the amygdala – the brain’s center for emotions, emotional behavior and motivation – to the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for higher level thinking. However, focusing on positive thoughts like your plans for the upcoming weekend or even quitting time can help lower stress levels thereby increasing the flow of information to your prefrontal cortex. This means happy thoughts can help you think clearly again.

Go On Youtube

Did you know that YouTube has the same calming effect as taking a walk around the park? Studies show that humor has a very positive and relaxing effect on the brain so when you’re feeling as if your brain is fried, hit Youtube and look for humorous clips from Jimmy Kimmel, Carpool Karaoke from James Corden, or Jimmy Fallon. Or if you’re looking for something more inspiration look for FunForLouis, Casey Neistat, or Gary Vaynerchuck. The videos won’t only help your brain “laugh,” but also increase your motivation and perseverance so that stress is decreased and you regain mental clarity and health.

Sleep

The brain gets tired too. Although it never really goes to sleep, sleeping helps the brain slow down so that it essentially takes a break from thinking and just focus on bodily functions and repairing your body after taking a beating from stress. Switching off can help you forget about what’s keeping you stressed at least for the night and give you energy to tackle problems tomorrow. When the brain is rested you might see your problem in a new light and give you new angles on how to best tackle it.

Fatigue, slow mental response, irritability and finding it harder to perform are some of the signs of a fried brain. Giving your brain a break from time to time will not only keep you from burning out physically but mentally as well. Finding ways to relax your poor exhausted brain will help you in the long run too.

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Business

How To Get Rid Of Office Gossip

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office gossip

Office gossip is a negativity that affects almost every office. No company encourages rumor or gossip, but it is present everywhere. A little gossip is not that harmful. However, rumors and gossip can cast a spell of mistrust among employees. Handling harmful gossip can be difficult for managers. It is not very comfortable for them to bring the issue into the daylight. As a leader, you should control the gossip and let your employees know the actual situation. Here are some ways to get rid of the continuous flow of gossip.

Do not take work gossip to heart

In most of the cases, office gossip is deliberately created to spread malicious nonsense. Some people want to create a sense of fear and insecurity in the minds of the employees. So, you should not take the rumors personally or defensively. The management of the company should take strong actions against spreading false stories. Focus on the present and try to find the reason behind the rapid growth of gossip inside the company. You should try to deal with issue objectively avoiding all kinds of personal attacks.

Do not participate in any kinds of gossip

As a management head or a team lead, you should not participate in any kind of gossip inside the office premises. It would be a wrong signal for your subordinates. Do not belittle yourself in front of the employees of the company. Try to keep a distance from the groups who believe in big talks. Be aware of all the happenings in the company. Keep the facts ready to assure your team when they are in doubt. Motivate your team to stay away from the gossip mills.  

Get your facts right

You know you need to stop the flow of gossip and rumors to keep the office environment professional. Before you can act, you should know the true facts. Try to know where the office gossip started. Ask the team leads and departmental managers what they have heard. You should maintain an easy relationship with them. They can come and speak freely to you. It would be easier for you to fathom how much the gossip have spread and who are behind the wall.

Address the problem frankly

The first step to stopping the gossip is directly talking to the person who is spreading it. You should always remember that there are other people too who are indirectly related to it. There are some people who always believe the story and are responsible for spreading it in no time. So, as a leader of your company you need to address the entire team and if it is a very serious issue you need to address the entire company. If your employees are concerned about certain issues, answer them frankly. You can keep a suggestion box where your employees can post anything anonymously. If their identity is protected, they will cooperate with you to get rid of the harmful rumors spreading inside the company.

Make it a company policy to prevent gossip

It is important to draft a strong policy against spreading of rumors. All the employees should know how creating negative stories about the company will be treated. Provide them with examples how to keep the office environment free from rumors. Tell them how to curb negative interaction and discourage gossip-lovers.

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