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Staying Safe As You Solo Travel: A First Timer's Guide

If you’re a first time solo-traveller, then you need to make sure you’re going to do what you can to stay safe. Everybody is probably already lecturing you about this, but you probably switch off when they start going on because it seems like they’re trying to put a downer on your experience! Usually, they are genuinely worried, especially if it’s something that they have never experienced themselves to understand. Below, we’ll go through a few things first timers should do when solo travelling for the first time. At the very least, you’ll have peace of mind and keep your loved ones happy!

Know How You’ll Stay In Touch With Your Loved Ones
Your loved ones are going to want updates on your trip. They will worry if they don’t know you’re ok. Arrange a regular Skype or phone call so you can update them. You might even want to send them a short message each day so that they have peace of mind. Arrange it with them beforehand so they know what to expect.

Research An Area Thoroughly Before Traveling There
Make sure you do as much research as possible on an area before travelling there. Know what the dangers are and what you should be looking out for. In some places, for example, it can be strange for a female to be seen without a man in public (old fashioned, but the way it works in some places). Aim to arrive in day time so you can get your bearings and avoid feeling panicked arriving in a new place at night time.

Get Insurance And Take Other Precautions
Make sure you have the insurance you need for your trip - don’t just get the cheapest policy. Actually read through and find the best one for you. Take other precautions, too. You might find it useful to know where you’ll find medical air ambulance flights, especially if you’re going to be taking an adventure trip and doing lots of high adrenaline activities.

Don’t Show Off Expensive Items
It’s unwise to show off your expensive items, wherever you go. Leaving expensive jewelry at home can be the best idea, and you shouldn’t be flashing your cash too obviously. A money belt can be a great way to reduce your risk of being pickpocketed. Make sure you dress to blend in, rather than to stand out, too.

Remain Aware Of What’s Going On Around You
Stay mindful. Don’t scroll on your phone while walking.

Don’t Trust Too Easily
You’re going to meet people while you travel, and for the most part, this can be great. However, you shouldn’t trust too easily. Spend time getting to know people properly before you go anywhere alone with them, and you should still notify people where you’re going and who with. Send a message to friends/family and leave a note in your room.

Be Smart With Your Alcohol Consumption
Don’t drink too much alone. Take care of your health in other ways too. Make healthy food choices and stay hydrated. You don’t want to end up really sick!
If you wait for someone, you will never go. Just do it - Gillian Seetso
Not Just A Pretty Face

8 USEFUL Tips before becoming an Au Pair In America

So I am back from my wonderful journey in America. And wonderful it was indeed, I still question myself why I had to come back. But that is a story for another day. 

By now everyone knows that I was an Au Pair in America, in Sunny California, to be precise. And I really want to start sharing my experience with fellow young wanderlust human beings so that they are able to work and travel abroad.

If you are looking to be come an au pair and don't know where to start, be sure to check out the following blogs:

This is everything that I went through and I would love to share it with my loves. Because I am sure it would make the process so much easier. 

With all that being said, I have also gone and recorded a video sharing useful tips before becoming an Au Pair. And trust me there will be more to come. I am all abut empowering young women and of cause seeing the world ON A BUDGET, if I might add.  

Be sure to grab your notebook, some water and of cause click on the link for the tips. 

 8 Useful Tips before becoming an Au Pair

Life is short and the world is wide.
Not Just A Pretty Face

Curating a Unique New Wardrobe for the New Year

2019 is fast approaching and many of us are looking forward to turning a new slate in many areas of our lives. We may be tempted to apply this approach to our wardrobes too! What better time to switch up our look than at the beginning of a fresh year? We can step out feeling bold and confident! Here are a few places that you can bag some bargains and develop a unique look for yourself!

Browse Boutique Stores

Standard high street stores mass produce products to meet mass customer demand. This means that many of us will end up in the awkward situation where we bump into someone else wearing exactly the same outfit as us! Instead, if you want brand new, well-designed items, but want something that you’re unlikely to see others in, you might want to browse boutique stores like Petal + Pup. These stores generally sell out quickly and once items are gone, they’re usually gone for good! So, check in regularly to bag the dresses, playsuits, tops, bottoms, and other bits and bobs that you want!

Search Depop

If you haven’t heard of Depop before, it’s time to download the app now! This relatively new app has dramatically increased in popularity over the past couple of years. It is essentially a combination of Instagram and a sales app - people post images of what they have to offer and you can either buy the product outright or message them to negotiate a lower price and ask further questions about the product. You can find all sorts of unique and one-off pieces on here, as there are a lot of creative types who source rare products, customise and alter products, and even create products from scratch.

Head to a Thrift Store

Thrift stores are filled with little gems. Their stock generally consists of donated goods, so items in there can range from brand new and modern items to well loved vintage pieces. You never know what you might find in there when you head in! Stock will rotate regularly and shelves and rails will be refilled when new items come into stock. Not only can you find some beautiful items, but you can feel good knowing that the profits are going to a good cause too!

Consider Vintage Stores

If you do like the vintage clothes that you might find in vintage stores, you can give yourself better chances of finding vintage pieces by visiting a vintage store. These are specialist and gather these types of clothing while making sure that they are in good and wearable condition.

These are just a few different places that you can source items for your brand new wardrobe in the new year! Not only can you save money by shopping in these places, but you can get a truly unique look too!

The world is your runway - Gillian

Not Just A Pretty Face 

Six Smart Ways To Keep Your Travel Money Safe

The best feeling in the world is the one just after you pay the last instalment on your next trip. You work hard all year and you deserve a few days of fun and relaxation! Now that the payments have been completed, you next need to think about organizing your travel money for the time you’re away. This is important to do early on, as you don’t want to end up with any surprises when you’re away. Your travel money has been saved up and worked for for months, which means you need to save wisely and plan your cash with all the right precautions taken.

Nothing can ruin your trip faster than your cash going missing or being stolen. Pickpockets will target tourists and they stick out like a sore thumb in a new place. If you’re careless, you could find your money swiped from under your nose. It doesn't matter whether you buy gift cards for specific locations of your trip, or you have money in a wallet around your belt loops - it can go missing at any time. Here’s how to keep your travel money safe.
Gold Coin
  1. Limiting your cash usage by using credit is going to help and while there is a much bigger temptation to overspend, you can’t replace cash!
  2. Using gift cards is always a nice way to keep your money safe, but the last thing you need is to have them stolen along with your purse. You may go home and look for ways to sell gift cards near me that are leftover, but the point for your trip is to use them so that you can enjoy yourself. Gift cards are like cash - not replaceable. So keep these in a separate purse to your usual one.
  3. Keep a note on your smartphone of your customer numbers and account numbers for bank account and credit card information - just in case you need to cancel your card or trace any contractions.
  4. Don't go and take money out of secluded cash machines in secluded areas. While you may think that the danger is in being in busy places where people can snatch over your shoulder, a secluded space means there are no witnesses seeing a thief come at your cash. 
  5. You can now buy gadgets for the beach that you can hide your loose change in, such as these. Whether you are just on the beach to enjoy yourself or not, you need to ensure that you won’t lose your cash when you go for a splash in the sea!
  6. Money belts and waist belts are out of sight out of mind. They are the best place that is safe from pickpockets so that you can enjoy your cash and cards without anyone putting their hands where they’re not wanted.
When you get back, your currency and gift cards need to be turned back to regular cash, which is why it’s important to find somewhere to sell your gift cards early on. Take time to keep your cash safe so that you’re not left without.

Don't let money stop you from seeing the world - Gillian Seetso
Not Just A Pretty Face