Mental Health While traveling

So yes.. I have been diagnosed with general anxiety and depression disorder. Supposedly, this has been going on ever since I was a little girl. I use to worry about every little thing possible. But the severe depression and anxiety started more recently, like this past summer. I’m not going to get into a lot of details but I was sexually harassed at my job and my life took a complete 180. I was scared to leave my house, let alone my bed. I was scared someone was going to touch me inappropriately again. I was embarrassed and ashamed of myself and thought that I did something to make this happen to me. I know now that isn’t the case..

However, one thing saved me. And that one thing was travel. And adventure. Traveling made me go out of my comfort zone. It allowed for me to try new things and make me come out of my shell again. Traveling got me to meet new people and when I was put in a new setting it got me to talk again. Be able to use my voice and be heard and have normal conversations again.

It’s kind of strange. The one thing that saved me for spiraling down a deep hole was getting up and going. Going where ever my mind took me. My trip to Mexico this past summer had me worried. I was afraid of getting on the plane, I was afraid of the people I might encounter, I was afraid that the one thing I loved most in the world was taken away from me. That wasn’t the case at all. When I went back in the airport for the first time after my situation everything fell back into place. I felt a sort of ease that I haven’t felt in a long time. Like I said in my previous posts, the people I met were beyond amazing. They were the most genuine people. They were kind and watched out for me. I felt like someone finally cared. And while I was on that trip, I felt nothing. No depression. No anxiety. No bad thoughts. No worry wort Payton anymore. It was an incredible feeling.

I believe that travel benefits a person’s mental health. You become your true self and you get to enhance your personality. You get more than just a happy feeling. The excitement and feelings you get during and after your trip aren’t just all. You get that feeling before, you know that you are going to be traveling soon and it gives you that added push to get through tough situations. I think the best thing about travel is it gets you to make and create strong relationships. Traveling puts you in those situations to enhance not only yourself but other’s around you as well. Having people around for you to get through tough situations while traveling will make dealing with situations back in reality, easier.

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How to Save Money

Of course traveling is expensive and typically you never think that you’ll end up spending as much as you do. Time and time again it seems that we all go way over our budget when planning and executing vacations.

I think the hardest part is figuring out how much money that you need to save. Because like I said earlier… you never think it’s going to be a lot until it’s too late. I would say to always save more than you think that you need. A savings plan is always beneficial for any life scenario but it’s especially useful for travelers. Saving before your trip allows for you to take bits and pieces of money and stock it away for safe keeping and still be able to pay your bills. I think saving for a trip is exciting, it gives you something to look forward to and it’s extremely rewarding saving your own money and buying your own trip from it.

There are typically 5 basic steps for this article that readers need to take away..

  1. Assessment
  2. Setting Goals
  3. Creating a Plan
  4. Implementation
  5.  Monitoring and Reassessment

Assessment is key because you need to be realistic. Can you actually afford this or are your dreams a little to big? To make things easier you can look over your income and start a budget. Use an excel spreadsheet. Write it in your journal or on a piece of paper for the month. Budget out what you need like food, rent, your car payment, etc. Then of course budget out things like a night out with friends or a new shirt. Dine in, trust me it is cheaper. But set a specific number amount so you can’t go over it. Then what is ever left put it in your savings account. To make it even better start a savings account where you can’t touch the money unless you physically go into the bank. That was my biggest problem when trying to save, I would dig into it here and there because it was so easy to go online and transfer it to my checking account.

You guys might think this is crazy but starting a change jar will end up surprising you. I know there is some loose change in your pockets or cup holders or in the dryer.. put them in the jar. It doesn’t look like it’s a lot of money but over time, it adds up significantly. Find a local second hand store near you that lets you sell your items for money. Donate blood or plasma. Get a side job for the weekends. Create a Go-Fund me account. The possibilities are endless. It will take time but if you start early enough and plan ahead it won’t seem like it’s that long. But if you wait last minutes to book a trip coming up with the money quickly will be difficult.

Creating a plan and sticking to it is what will be the most helpful for saving money for your trip. If you create a plan, sticking to it is the easy part. After the first couple months it becomes a habit. If you love to travel you will find a way to save, no matter what it takes. It’s hard but in the end… it’s worth it.

Travel Agents

Do any of you still know about these people and what they do? I hope that you do. I honestly think these people are honestly the best and I wish that they were still useful and people used them more. With my experience with travel agents, I encountered nothing but the best. I always think that they have access to sources that we at home do not. Because how do they find such good deals?

Now a days though travel agents are hardly used. With today’s technology everything is 10x easier. You can book your vacation online by booking directly from hotels and airline companies. Travel blogs like ‘Nomadic Matt’ and other websites that provide good deals for the customer are taking over travel agents.

In a recent Huffington Post article it states that even in today’s world it is still extremely beneficial to organize your vacation through a travel agent or travel agency.

International travel especially is extremely important to stay organized and a travel agent can help you with just that. They take into consideration your budget and the dates that you are wanting to travel and they take your travel wishes seriously and do all legwork. As the traveler, travel agents provide a sense of security and ease your travel worries. Not only that, but they give you advice about where you’re about to travel. This is their job so they know what they’re talking about. It’s legit.

In the traveling world, the question of “is a travel agent worth it?” is a big controversy. They come with a lot of myths. “Travel Agents are for non frequent travelers”. That is so not true. I am a frequent traveler and I go through a travel agent EVERY TIME I go international. I’m telling you right now if you are planning to go on a cruise, go through a travel agency. They have connections with cruise lines and they get deals that an average person wouldn’t find on the internet. It’s just like that. They have connections and they are there to find you the best deal.

I know a lot of you think that you can book a trip on your own, yes that is true. But, travel agents are there to help you. They are there to do all the work and are there if anything goes wrong. They do the complex stuff. Travel agents are on the rise again with the millennial generation. And, I couldn’t be more happy. Being a travel agent would be my dream job… making people happy through travel.

Apple Vacations

If you haven’t heard of Apple Vacations you are honestly missing out. This site will help you throughout you’re entire vacation experience. Apple Vacations is the #1 tour operator throughout the world and it is used by people in all different kinds of countries. This website is basically you’re online trip organizer.

I apologize for the lack of accessibly to this picture. I am on my schools computer and it’s a chrome book so obviously I shouldn’t have expected to get a high quality photo.

But Apple Vacations makes it so easy for the traveler, they basically have everywhere in the world on this site so you have a wide range of options of where you would like to go. My family and I have benefited so much by using Apple Vacations and planning our trips to Mexico through this site. If, you would like you could get set up with an apple representative in your city/state and they can basically do everything for you. Kathy, our trip adviser here in Iowa City is amazing. We called her telling her we would like to go to Mexico in the month of December and she did her magic. She played around with dates and different locations to fly in and out of and ended up finding the cheapest deal for us. There are so many hotels in Mexico, obviously. But, Apple Vacations is so nice and they have lots of options to choose from like the ‘Rivera Maya’, ‘Cancun’, ‘Cabo’, ‘Puerto Vallarta’, etc. And within those different places in Mexico you get the option of choosing between HUNDREDS of hotels. There are all-inclusive hotels and then there are some where it only allows a place for lodging.

P.S. look for the golden apples! Those are typically the best hotels with the highest rating!

Apple Vacations allows for guests to comfortably enjoy their vacation because everything gets taken care of. You don’t have to worry about anything. A vacation package comes with; airfare, lodging, transportation, and unlimited food and drinks. All for a considerably decent price.

I think the best part about it all is once you get off a plane there are apple guys all over the place in colorful Hawaiian flowered shirts and they are more then helpful. They also have apple representatives at your hotel in case anything goes wrong. They tell the guests what time they need to be in the lobby for checkout and they help with any excursions you might like to do while on your vacation. These guys are so helpful and will do anything to make sure you have a great time.

I would highly highly recommended using Apple Vacations to book your next trip. I promise you, you won’t regret it.

(Also, there are SO many places to go while using Apple… I just used Mexico as an example since I have had an experience with it)

Happy Booking!! 🙂

Planning Lodging for a Tropical Vacation

So, I want to tell you guys about some good ideas for going on a tropical vacation. Since, if many of you read my blogs you know that the tropical route is my cup of tea.

I mean, planning a vacation is tricky and there a lot of things you need to do before you can just hop on a plane and take off. There is the airfare, transportation, food, lodging, etc. I think one of the most stressful parts is figuring out where to stay and what a good bang for buck would be.

I am a huge advocate of all-inclusive hotels! Trust me, they will honestly change your life. You get the best of the best where ever you go. However, everything is already paid for in advance. Food, lodging, airfare, transportation, etc! You get all you can eat food and drinks 24/7 because it’s free…. well… technically you paid for it. Let me tell you, it is a weird feeling eating at a restaurant and getting up and leaving without paying or leaving a tip. It makes your vacation a lot more enjoyable and laid back because you don’t need to worry about money and how much to save for the rest of your trip. All-inclusive resorts are extremely affordable as well! When we went to Mexico for a week it was $1,200 a person… and when you really think about it, it is a great deal.

All-inclusive resorts are honestly the best. I mean look at that! You get gorgeous views, unlimited access to the pools and beaches, and you’re basically stuck on your very own tropical island. It really doesn’t get much better then this. Don’t even get me started on all the accommodations that come with an all-inclusive resort.

Another way to go is renting a home or condo through someone at your destination. There are a lot of great apps and websites like AirBnb, VRBO, and many more! I have never done this before so I can’t talk much about it but I think they would be great. I’m not sure if I would like them parse because I like having people to interact with and having things to do and I think you would be very limited at a vacation rental. However, they would be very spacious and nice for a big group of vacationers.

GO ALL-INCLUSIVE GUYS!!! YOU WON’T REGRET IT!