24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free

For some people, flying is just another way to get around. For others . . . it kind of feels like you’re tempting fate every time you’re within 50 feet of a plane. If the bumps on your flight make you anxious – or worse, sick to your stomach – then follow a few simple tips that real flyers gave us on how to have a stress-free plane ride and travel experience in general. Try these tips and some helpful airport hacks, and you may even end up looking forward to your flight.

For Anxiety:

  1. Be prepared: Pack completely the night before so that you can get a good night’s sleep without worrying about last-minute details. Get to the airport earlier so you aren’t stressed out about time.
  2. Know your facts: Read plane crash statistics and facts, because, statistically speaking, crashes are extremely rare. Remind yourself that it’s safer to fly than to drive, and research why you shouldn’t be afraid of turbulence.
  3. Get comfortable: Once you board the plane, do your best to get comfortable immediately. Adjust the air conditioning, have a snack or some water, read a book or magazine, take deep breaths, and try to relax.
  4. Sleep: Consider taking Dramamine or an antianxiety medicine that may help you sleep. If you’re sleeping, you can’t be nervous!
  5. Fly during the day: Sometimes flying during the day (when possible) is less stressful because it can lessen the feeling of being closed in, which tends to be worse in the blackness of night.
  6. Make friends: If you are a really nervous flyer, then try striking up a conversation with a stranger and let them know that you are nervous. This can be a good conversation starter and a useful distraction – especially during takeoff. Even if the plane hits turbulence during the flight, that person can help reassure you.
  7. Use your imagination: Imagine the plane landing safely on the ground every time you’re nervous.
  8. Enjoy a beverage: A preflight cocktail (and if necessary, a midflight cocktail) can be helpful.
  9. Expect issues: Especially when traveling over the holidays, always expect delays. That way, you aren’t stressed out, upset, or surprised when they inevitably happen. In fact, when and if your flight takes off on time, it will feel like a pretty big victory.
  10. Make a playlist: Listen to calming music that will help you relax and sleep.
  11. Distract yourself: If takeoffs are what cause you the most anxiety, find a good podcast – something with a calming voice or something funny – and turn it up loud enough to drown out surrounding noise (but not loud enough to drive your neighbor nuts!), or play a game on your device that requires all of your attention (preferably with a timer) so that you can’t look away and don’t even notice the takeoff.
  12. Block it all out: Use noise-canceling headphones to block out noises and distract yourself with books, music, magazines, podcasts, movies, or TV shows.
  13. Use calming techniques: Wear something around your wrist that you can jangle, pull, or snap, which can distract you just enough to get through the takeoff or turbulence.
  14. Rationalize: Think about the fact that all the flight attendants in the plane fly nearly every day, and they are all perfectly fine.

For Motion Sickness:

  1. Ginger is key: If you are prone to motion sickness, drink ginger ale or eat ginger chews to soothe your stomach.
  2. Eat mints or chew gum: Sometimes the coolness and freshness of mints, mint gum, mint tea, or Tic Tacs can help relieve some nausea. Chewing gum can also help, but avoid sugarfree gum, which can upset your stomach. Cinnamon gum, like Big Red, is a good option.
  3. Buy a motion sickness band: A motion sickness band uses acupressure to stimulate your body’s ability to fight off nausea.
  4. Don’t read: Avoid any kind of reading, including any phone applications, when taking off and landing and during periods of turbulence.
  5. Drink water: Make sure to stay hydrated and avoid alcoholic beverages or coffee.
  6. Take Dramamine: Try taking Dramamine about an hour before you will be on the plane.
  7. Find a fixed point: If the takeoff, landing, or plane ride is bumpy, keep your eyes on the horizon so that you’re focused on a fixed point.
  8. Plan ahead: For the 12 hours before you’ll be traveling, stick to simple, easy-to-digest foods, avoiding lettuce, nuts, and any kind of dairy.
  9. Breathe! Try taking deep breaths, which will help to relax the muscles that tend to contract when you’re feeling sick.
  10. Bring a fan: Pack a portable fan! Keeping yourself cool can do wonders for motion sickness.

17 Wildly Awesome Travel Adventures to Have Around the World This Summer

Are you looking for a YOLO-worthy adventure? It’s time to stop procrastinating and start living your life! This Summer, try out one of these incredible activities that travelers have experienced all over the world. You’ll feel so fulfilled, and let’s be honest – you’ll get an awesome picture out of it. Check out these dreamy locations.

Ways For Introverts to Get Their Energy Back When Other Humans Suck It Out of Them

I love people, kind of. I enjoy being social, occasionally. But people also really, really stress me out. To the casual observer, I’m probably perceived as somewhat of an extrovert, mainly because I can hold a conversation (never mind how many hundreds of times I go over that conversation in my head afterward), and because I am pretty talkative.

Because of this, it sometimes comes as a surprise to the people around me when I turn down an invitation to an event or even to a quiet cup of coffee when I physically cannot be around them anymore. This is no fault of their own; I’m just a true introvert at heart, and when my mental battery is drained, I can’t find the energy to interact with people until I’ve done something to recharge it again. I love all things Myers & Briggs, and I recently came across a Quora thread with tips from introverts on different ways to “recharge” themselves. If you’re a hardcore introvert like me, these tips may really help you figure out ways to make the most of your happiness – both socially and personally. Here’s what you can do to get some of your energy back when other humans suck it out of you.

1. Recharge via output.

Whether it be photography, crafting, cooking, knitting, painting, gardening, or even coloring, introverts can benefit greatly by creating something. By testing their own abilities and patience and by having something – big or small – to show for it at the end, we enjoy a sense of accomplishment. “When I actually finish a task that I had set to myself and that was creating backlog, something that I had to do alone . . . I feel recharged,” said Quora user Sagorika Sinha. “These are crafts that are actually really simple to make but that take a lot of time that I can spend alone. I have patience. The fact that they turn out pretty (sometimes I have no idea of what the result will be) it feels like a real victory over something.”

2. Shop alone.

It may seem counterintuitive to send an introvert out into the wild (aka to a store or the mall), but it’s not necessarily people in general introverts need a break from, but interactions with people that require a lot of effort. Sometimes getting in the zone at the grocery store or mall can allow introverts to check things off their list and feel accomplished – but these trips are usually better when done during off-hours and with headphones in.

3. Socialize in a small group.

“It’s not always that we need silence to recharge ourselves. Sometimes we do so by socializing with others, and in such cases the group is either two or three people,” said Quora user Wasio Abbasi. “It’s mostly trusted friends with whom we can be ourselves and not sit awkwardly, have a good and meaningful discussion. We can even spend hours talking in such a group. But increase the number of people and we are done for. Too many people to listen and talk to, and energy goes down real fast.”

4. Take a long drive.

I don’t think there’s anything that helps me recharge more than a long drive alone. Introverts are able to literally distance themselves from people and feel comfortable in their own controlled environment while experiencing the freedom of mobility that driving (especially down long, open roads) provides.

5. Avoid any contact with people.

Sometimes introverts really, truly need to be by themselves. “Imagine it like this,” said Quora user Wasio Abbasi. “The more we have to speak and/or hear others speaking, the more tired we become. The more tired we get, the more silent we become (which was a lot to begin with). When there is no contact with anyone, and this sometimes include SMS/web chats too, we feel relaxed. It’s like our being is at harmony again. The world feels right, the time feels right, everything feels right, and we stay in that bliss until we feel rejuvenated enough to interact with the world again.” Couldn’t have put it better myself.

6. Read or write.

There is no better escape for an introvert than through a good book. We are able to get inside our own heads, or better yet, inside another world completely. In these worlds, real or not, introverts can retreat into themselves – a place they are typically the most comfortable – and gain energy from within. Similarly, writing is a way escape and to express our thoughts and feelings in a productive way without having to verbalize anything at all.

7. Enjoy self-entertainment.

Being an introvert is kind of like being your own little one-person party. Which is actually pretty awesome, because we have no problem enjoying ourselves doing countless activities alone. The most important thing to understand about an introvert is that being alone does not equal being lonely.

8. Try single-person exercise.

Take up yoga, Pilates, dance, or any type of activity that is both good for your body and good for your inner introvert. Meditation is not necessarily a workout per se, but it’s another way for us to regroup within ourselves and can be just as beneficial health-wise as other single-person exercise.

9. Listen to music.

One of the easiest ways to recharge, even if you are surrounded by people, is by listening to music. It can be done anywhere and it’s a way to shut out all of the external factors that tend to stress out introverts. Commuting, shopping, exercising, traveling are all things I simply don’t enjoy unless I have my headphones in; introverts can use this time to recharge while giving off a not-so-subtle signal to other people that they want to be left alone. Just hope they take the hint!

10. Clean the house.

To be completely honest, cleaning the house is one of the most effective ways for me to completely recharge myself. There is something so rejuvenating about being alone and having free reign over your home – one of the most cherished spaces for an introvert. I love to turn on music, light some candles, and get completely lost in cleaning the house from top to bottom. It can take hours, but afterward I am not only recharged, but I have a spotless house to show for it. It’s a win-win.

11. Be alone with your thoughts.

“Sometimes I am literally just sitting down and taking the weight off my feet while the same thing is metaphorically going on in my brain,” said Quora user Michael Peacock. “It might mean taking an hour or longer to take off my shoes and socks at the end of the day because I’m too busy thinking . . . stuff. And then on the other end; when I’m putting my socks on and getting ready to public; I’m rehearsing in my mind the people I will or might see and the kinds of conversations I will be expected to have with them. Sometimes that takes inordinately long, too.”

Being alone in this case means potentially even avoiding TV and definitely social media, which can both add to internal clutter that wears us out. Sometimes (well, often, actually) we just need a mental break so that we can come back with a fresh perspective and the energy we need to interact with people again. It’s just how we work!

Don’t Know What Wine to Drink? Tap Into Your Zodiac For the Answer

The wine list comes to your table and you have to pick your poison. However, you’re not sure what kind of drinking mood you’re in, what kind of flavors you want, or even what wine is good. You break into a sweat because everyone else seems to know what they want but you – you’re left pouring over the menu again and again, totally clueless and holding up everyone else’s orders.

It may not seem logical, but tapping into your zodiac sign may help avoid a scenario like this in the future. Zodiac rules a certain amount of our qualities and traits, and can definitely help you out in the wine department if you let it.

So, which wine should be your go-to based on your zodiac sign? Not only did we find out, but we can tell you why, too.

15+ Copycat Starbucks Recipes That Are Easy on Your Wallet

Frappuccinos, scones, and mocha lattes, these are just a few of our favorite things from Starbucks. As delicious as the real things are, frequent Starbucks visits can really add up, which is why we’ve gathered the best copycat recipes so you don’t miss out on the flavors you love. In addition, we’ve also included seasonal recipes like the coveted PSL, because why should we have to wait for Fall to enjoy pumpkin-spiced coffee?

3 Essential DIY Cleaners That Will Make Your Kitchen Sparkle

Say goodbye to harsh cleaning agents and hello to all-natural cleaning sprays that are just as effective (if not better) at eliminating dirt and grime. This DIY tutorial will show you how simple it is to whip up your own kitchen cleaners using some simple household products.

  • Distilled vinegar: to help cut through grease, eliminate stains, and has great antibacterial properties.
  • Baking soda: to clean and deodorize surfaces.
  • Castile soap: a vegetable- and oil-based liquid soap used as a natural cleaning agent.
  • Citrus fruits: rinds of oranges, lemons, and grapefruits consist of a natural property called limonene, which helps cut through oily residue and will leave your home smelling fresh and clean.

These products are not only safe and effective but will also serve as a big money-savers for those who are on a budget. For more on how to keep your kitchen spic and span, read on for recipe details.

Citrus-Scented Vinegar

Ingredients:

Mason Jar

Lid

Vinegar

1 grapefruit

1 lemon

Directions:

Step 1: Wash and dry the fruit.

Step 2: Using a knife, gently slice off the rind of the fruit.

Step 3: Place the rinds into the jar and fill the jar with vinegar.

Step 4: Seal the jar tightly and store in a dark, cool cupboard for one to two weeks.

Step 5: When ready, pour vinegar through a strainer to filter the rinds. Vinegar is ready for use.

Step 6: To make each of the cleaners, combine the ingredients as listed below.

Microwave/Stovetop Degreaser

2/3 parts water

1/3 part vinegar

3 teaspoon baking soda

4 teaspoon of Castile soap

8-10 drops of essential oils (lavender, orange blossom, mint)

Spray bottle

Floor Cleaner

1 cup water

1 cup vinegar

4 tablespoon of Castile soap

8-10 drops of essential oils (i.e lavender, orange blossom, mint)

All-Purpose Cleaner

1 cup water

1 cup vinegar

8-10 drops of essential oils (lavender, orange blossom, mint)

Spray bottle

9 Surprising Truths No One Tells You About Moving Into a Tiny Home

The meteoric rise of the tiny-house movement in recent years has been spurred on by contemporary homeowners’ desire for a simpler, unfettered life. While these micro dwellings do come with some great perks – they’re inexpensive and low-maintenance, freeing up time and money for other things – they also come with a few lesser-known cons. Before you sell off your belongings and take the dive into the tiny-living lifestyle, get all the information. Check out nine surprising truths of tiny-home ownership below.

Basic Life Functions

Everyday things you take for granted in a standard house, like getting mail and doing laundry, require thought when living in a tiny house. If you decide to downsize, you’ll likely find yourself going outside the home to pick up letters at a P.O. box or wash clothes at the laundromat.

Legal Trouble

One of the biggest – and least known – complications of living in a tiny home is the legality of it. Many states have minimum home size requirements that tiny houses don’t meet, making them illegal dwellings. There are some ways to navigate around this, such as having the house reside on land where it’s a secondary accessory dwelling to an approved primary house or trying to have it registered as an RV. But these are complicated issues that require serious research. Ignore them, and you could find your tiny home with an eviction notice on it.

Clutter Reality

The beautiful images of tiny homes that fuel your daydreams have been styled to Pinterest perfection. In reality, tiny homes get messy just as fast, if not faster, than traditional homes. In such a tight space, it begins to feel cluttered the second an item is out of place.

Entertaining Limitations

Say goodbye to big dinner parties. With a good floor plan, you can squeeze one other couple in, but otherwise you’ll need some outdoor space to accommodate company. And when it comes to having overnight guests, you’ll need a fold-out chair and an adventurous guest (and yes, that was guest singular). There just isn’t room for more.

Forced Intimacy

If you plan on moving in with another person, prepare to get up close and personal. There’s no private space to escape off to for alone time. You’ll be constantly connected and have to compromise on basic things such as what to cook for dinner (no room to prep two meals) to what TV show to watch (only one set).

Plumbing Considerations

Depending on how often you plan on moving your home and where you plan on moving it to, there are several plumbing options. Homes can be built to plug into sanitation and electricity infrastructure in RV parks, have a pressurized water hookup to connect to a hose when parked in a backyard, or even collect rainwater and have compostable toilets for those looking to go off the grid. All require more work than plumbing in traditional homes.

Health Changes

Before taking the plunge, consider how your circumstances might change within the next few years. Changes in health or a growing family can seriously impact your ability to live in a tiny house; for example, it will be nearly impossible to navigate your way up to a loft bed if poor health causes your mobility to be limited or you’re heavily pregnant.

Lifestyle Proclivity

If you’re a homebody or one who enjoys decorating the house and tending to the yard on the weekend, you may not be suited for microhome living. Those who prefer being in the great outdoors and detest home maintenance – and generally live their lives outside of their home – tend to fare best in the microhome community, as domestic activities and decorating are extremely limited.

Downsized Belongings

One of the biggest perks is also one of the biggest challenges to small-space living: getting rid of things. On one hand it’s very liberating to toss most of your belongings, but on the other hand downsizing means you have to get rid of some sentimental and valued pieces. If you’re not willing to part with Grandma’s treasured dress collection or heirloom antique furniture, then you might not be ready for a microhome.

30 Wedding Favors You Won’t Believe Cost Under $1

You’re spending a lot on your wedding, so one of the easiest places to save some money is with your favors. Check out these cute ideas that barely cost a thing – don’t worry, your guests will love them! Some are edible, some are DIY, and some are just unexpectedly fun. The one thing they have in common is that they are super affordable. It doesn’t get much better than that!

All-in-One Laundry Bombs

Laundry doesn’t have to be a chore. Instead of lugging your detergent, stain stick, fabric softener, and your laundry to the washing machine, here’s a homemade laundry bomb that does it all. You can pick up the basic ingredients at your local grocery store for a few dollars, making these little helpers seriously budget-friendly. Scent with your favorite essential oil for a personalized smell and you’re ready to get washing.

What You’ll Need:

  • Small mixing bowl
  • Grater
  • 1 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup Fels-Naptha
  • 2 tablespoons Epsom salts
  • 3 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 15-20 drops essential oil
  • Sheet pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Measuring spoons

Directions:

  1. Grate the Fels-Naptha into the mixing bowl and add the washing soda and Epsom salts. Fels-Naptha is a laundry bar soap that does a great job of attacking stains and cleaning your laundry. The boost of all-natural washing soda softens water while washing clothes. And the Epsom salts cut down on static cling and also soften fabrics once clothes hit the dryer.
  1. Now add the hydrogen peroxide and give things a stir. Hydrogen peroxide naturally whitens clothes and keeps your colors fresh. Stir in the vinegar, which busts through stains while leaving clothes soft. Then scent with several drops of your favorite essential oil.
  1. Once everything’s incorporated, the mixture should resemble wet sand and clump together when pressed. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper and then use a rounded 1 tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop up the mixture, press against the side of bowl, then tap out onto the pan. Finish with a quick spritz of equal parts vinegar and water. Let set for eight hours before using.
  1. Your laundry bombs are ready to toss in the washing machine! Use one round for small loads and two when washing lots of laundry. You’ll love how they refresh your clothing without all the extra cleaners!

Makes around 28 laundry bombs. Want to try making more helpers for the home? Here’s how to make 35 other cleaning supplies for pennies.

6 Little Things That Could Be Getting in the Way of Your Personal Happiness

Travel and sex have been proven to make people happier, but we often overlook the more obvious influences that can affect us as well. Many times, it’s the things we don’t think much about that have the biggest impact. So if you’re wondering why you aren’t quite as happy as you want to be, you may want to consider the six things below.

  1. Your friends: The people you surround yourself with have more influence on your daily mood and overall happiness than you’d expect. It’s important to have a strong tie to those who are positive and supportive and who can help foster a healthy social environment.
  2. How much you sleep: Not getting enough shuteye doesn’t only affect your physical health, but it’s proven to mess with your mood as well. Lack of sleep makes you cranky and restricts your ability to cope with emotions.
  3. Putting your dreams on the back burner: Setting your passions aside could result in an unfulfilled self, and therefore a less happier you. The best way to live a life with minimal regret is to actually take as many chances as you can to avoid the haunting “what if” question down the road. So don’t be afraid to go after what you want most!
  4. A bad attitude: Outlook is everything! It’s not as much what life throws at you that determines your happiness; it’s how you choose to handle it. Optimism can be powerful, so catch yourself when you notice any negative thoughts or emotions filling you up.
  5. Not having a stress outlet: It’s not healthy to internalize your frustrations until you’ve reached your boiling point. Instead, relieving stress regularly, whether it’s through fitness or a creative outlet, can help you release some of that built-up tension.
  6. Fear: Whether it’s fear of disappointing your family or fear of making a fool of yourself, fear has the ability to cripple you. By listening to that little voice in your head, you’re holding yourself back from new experiences, people, and opportunities that may very well open up the door to contentment.