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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

Meal Prep Ideas for Your Busy Work Week

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Here are some meal prep ideas for your busy work week. If you're busy, then you may not feel like coming home and investing energy in cooking complicated meal prep ideas. However, with proper planning and doing the meal prep on weekends, this task can become easy and fast. If you prepare a menu for the week, you can buy all the ingredients at once and preserve them. Here are few steps to ensure that you get nutritious homemade food even during a busy work week.

Planning in Advance

Plan in advance for the meal prep ideas that you are going to prepare for the coming week – just pen it down. You should create a menu either for the week (preferable) or the month, and make sure that you have a list of the ingredients that you need for every meal. Make sure that you have a list for every meal that you will be preparing at home, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make sure to have snacks available.

Preparation

Another way to save time is putting meals together, especially those that you'll be baking or slow cooking. You can do this for as many meal prep ideas as you want, and store them in your freezer to pull out whenever you are going to cook them. Make sure you have all ingredients. Put all ingredients into the slow cooker and leave it to cook.  Set the timer correctly to avoid the food getting burnt.

Easy meal prep ideas

Prepare easy meal prep ideas such as salads, soups, sandwiches, and pasta. There are also other items that you can find in stores that are “ready to make” packs. Have them on the menu and leave the most complicated recipes for the weekend. Simpler meals will often suffice as long as you put some love into it. Just ensure that whatever you eat is healthy and nutritious.Shop intelligently. You can have your menu ready and do the shopping all at once on a weekly or monthly basis. This saves time and money as well. Also, you can make it easier for yourself if you just plan in advance and ensure that nothing is left for the last minute. Here's also some healthy ideas you could try with super foods.
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Lifestyle

The Divorce of Fantasy and Science Fiction

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fantasy and science fiction

The divorce of fantasy and science fiction

When you walk into any Barnes and Nobles, you'll notice that the layout of the store is separated by shelves.  Each row of shelves is marked by genre.  There's an isle for Romance, one for History, one for Children's Books, and New Releases.  If you continue walking, you'll notice an isle titled fantasy and science fiction.For most of the history of literature, you'll see these two paired together. Fantasy and science fiction are both genres of fiction and they present worlds where impossible things happen.  What's the difference?  In fantasy, the story is driven by mystical and magical forces often in a time and place that isn't real.  In Science Fiction, the story is driven by technologies not yet known or mastered, often with settings in the far off future.

The divide between fantasy and science fiction

Until recently, it made sense to group Science Fiction together with Fantasy.  Stories of these genres often shared similar tropes and literary aesthetics and both being worlds of impossibility.  However this is quickly becoming less and less true.  There is a chasm growing between these genres.  This gap grows parallel to the current explosive growth of internet and technology.  Famous science fiction novels like The Time Machine and 1000  Leagues Under the Sea would seem far outside the realm of possibility, especially to people during the Victorian era (the era that produced the steam punk aesthetic).  But when you compare the fictional plot lines of these same works to what we're achieving technologically today, you won't see too much of a difference.  Famous classic pieces like Issac Asimov's, iRobot don't look very different that the automated world we live in today.  In an age of drones, artificial intelligence, and self-driving cars, how far from the future are we?

What does the future hold for these genre?

We're reaching a point in time where these two genres need their own separate bookshelves and it seems that as humanity changes, so does our literature.  As imaginative and timeless as the genre of fantasy can be, the magic that shapes it will sadly never truly exist.  As we continue to innovate more and more, science fiction will have to find itself a new name.  In what category will we call the stories of the future?  What new genres will we create?
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Lifestyle

Beating The Post Holiday Blues

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holiday blues
The Holidays are always a rush of gift giving and food. We usually ride the season with a lot of adrenalin to help us get through the parties, vacations, and coming home to mom and dad's. But, after you've opened all your presents and uploaded your holiday pics to social media sites, the adrenalin wears off and you start to feel down in the dumps. It is no surprise that holiday blues usually take place after the trimmings are taken down and the festivities have ended. During the crash, fatigue sets in, we don’t want to go to the gym and postpone opening and reading emails. All we feel is laziness usually due to over indulgence of food. But it does not have to be this way. Here are ways to kick the post holiday blues.

Stay Connected

Just because you've said goodbye to friends and family does not mean that you can't communicate with them until the next holiday season. Drive away the doldrums by keeping in constant contact. Continue to update them on social media or send them emails from time to time. Call mom and dad on the phone even just to say hi. When you stay connected with the important people in your life, you feel less lonely and won’t miss them as much.

Exercise

Did you know that exercise is a good way to get rid of depression? Working out can actually make you feel better. Exercise releases dopamine into the bloodstream so you feel happier and content. As a bonus, you get to melt off pounds that you probably put on indulging in turkey and dessert during the holidays.

Plan Your Next Holiday

Nothing can get you more fired up than thinking about your next trip. Why wait for Christmas when you can plan another getaway during Valentine's Day or any holiday? It can be something simple as a budgeted long weekend or even an overseas trip. Whatever your plan is, it will make returning to work easier and help you avoid thinking about the holidays. Cultivating something positive and forward thinking is also a good way to reset your brain.

Schedule Fun Activities

Drinking alcohol will only make you more depressed, so switch to scheduling fun activities instead. Research tells us that having things to look forward to makes us happy. You can host a President's Day party with friends or a small tea party to catch up with friends you weren't able to visit during Christmas. If you want to keep it simple, you can engage in movie night with your siblings, dinner with the family, or a relaxing massage.

Spend Time Outdoors

This might not be possible for some people but spend time outdoors every day. According to a meta-analysis of 10 studies, spending as little as 5 minutes outside everyday can help improve mood and self-esteem. Spending time outside is also recommended for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or winter depression.Keeping these strategies in mind can help you beat post-holiday depression. The holidays have to end, but it does not mean to say that the fun has to stop. Think of these suggestions every time you’re battling post-holiday misery.
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