How To Carry-on Like A Pro – Youqueen

Do you ever see the travelers who have only one bag – (that’s not even bulging!) – that look super put-together and get right off the plane and into a cab? Do you wish you could be more like them?

Walking through a hotel lobby or past the check-in desks at the airport or watching families that seem to bring everything they own on vacation makes one wonder how much they paid in baggage fees and chiropractor visits. Now that many airlines have started charging for checked bags, it is time to downsize.

Making a commitment to becoming a to “carry-on-only” traveler can not only save money, but also time and headaches. No more waiting at the baggage carousel forever wondering if your suitcase will be, yet again, the last one off the plane. No more worrying that you will have to vacation with just the few clothing items in the carry-on or what is on your back. No more backbreaking trips up the stairs hauling too-heavy bags behind you.

Yes, it can be difficult at first to ditch the comfort of a large suitcase that can carry all your shoes and hair products and “what if” items. It is better to pack by a set list of rules and go on vacation with everything you’ll need and only a few things you might need. So, how is it possible to pack so little and not go crazy? Here are the rules to travel by:

1. Mix and Match Everything You Take

Pick a few things you love and want to take with you and then build a travel wardrobe around them. Make sure everything is in the same color palette. If you like bright tops, then bring neutral bottoms. That way, everything you take will match other things in your travel bag. Bringing mix-and-match separates is the perfect way to travel, because if you have four bottoms and five tops, you can make 20 different outfit combinations! It also helps with Rule #2.

2. Two Pairs of Shoes are all You Need

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When everything in your bag has a similar color scheme, it’s much easier to find shoes to coordinate. Almost everywhere for the same two kinds of shoes: general walking shoes and comfortable dress-up shoes. With ballet flats being so popular these days, it’s easy to find a great pair that will be comfortable to walk in all day and still look good with everything from shorts to dresses. Wear your heavier shoes on the plane and pack the smaller ones, so you have more room for clothes and other necessities.

There is an exception to this rule and that is for flip flops or similar sandals. They take up little space and are convenient for many things, so shove them into an empty space in your bag and pretend they aren’t shoes. You can wear them to the pool, to do laundry, get your continental breakfast, the beach and so much more.Travelling could be exhausting, especially if it lasts longer. Read more tips on choosing the best travel shoes for women.

3. Prepare to Do Laundry

When you take so little, unless you want to walk around in dirty – and possibly stinky – clothes, you will want to throw them in the wash at some point. Most decent hotels and vacation rentals have laundry facilities. You can pop your clothes in on your way to dinner or when you get back from sightseeing. It will take much less time than you think and then you will be fresh the next day.

If your accommodation doesn’t have on-site laundry, you will normally find a Laundromat nearby. If you are at a destination long enough to need to do laundry, you will have enough downtime to do it.

4. Don’t Forget to Layer

When traveling to cold weather destinations, or even preparing for chilly nights during your stay, don’t start dumping in bulky sweaters and jackets. You will get three of those in your bag before it’s full and you can’t pack anything else in it. Look for lightweight fabrics that pack well and can be layered with other pieces. These pieces work well over most of your normal clothing, like a t-shirt or tank top, and can be crammed into your day bag when not being used.

If you are traveling in the winter time, layering works just as well. Sweaters that are thin or lightweight fleece pieces are great, because sometimes you think it’ll be cold and then it’s not as cold as expected. If it is, you can wear layers underneath these to stay warm. T-shirts and tanks work here, too, but if it’s going to be really cold, look to purchase base layers – thin, but super-warm separates that look like long underwear. They trap heat to your body, but also wick moisture, so you don’t sweat to death while trying to prevent hypothermia. You can pack several sets of these in your bag and they take up little room and are undetectable under your everyday clothing.

5. Downsize Your Toiletries

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How long does it take you to go through a full-size bottle of shampoo? Two months? So why take that big thing with you on your vacation? TSA rules allow you to bring a one-quart plastic bag full of three-ounce bottles. If your problem is that you can’t find your same shampoo, conditioner, facial scrub, hairspray or whatever else in a travel-size container, make your own. Purchase small bottles, pumps, vials or jars and decant your favorite items into them. This gives you just the right amount you need for your trip and allows you to take them with you in your carry-on.

If you’re one that needs to carry beauty tools with you, like a flat iron or curling iron, purchase a mini version specifically for your travel bag. You can normally find the same brand you use at home that works just as well, only smaller.

6. Streamline Your Beauty Routine

Don’t stuff your toiletries bag full. Your objective here is to pack as little as possible. Look for make-up palettes and multipurpose products that will enable you to pack less. Tinted moisturizer that has SPF in it pairs perfectly with a powder foundation for a flawless look. Lip tint is often used as cheek tint, plus it can be applied with your finger, so you don’t need to pack another brush.

We’ve compiled a guide for you to follow in preparing your beauty essentials, as well as some important skin care tips that’ll make sure that you’ll be looking your best while travelling. Here it is.

There you have it: 6 easy rules to pack by that will help you travel lighter and save you tons of hassle. If you can’t lift your bag to put in the overhead, you probably have too much in it. It’s really true what they say: Lay out all the clothes you want to pack and then put half back in your closet. Creating a detailed packing list can help you see if you have way more than you really need, and helps reminds you of the essentials (– like underwear!) – and also helps you repack on the way home.

When you travel with an organized carry-on, not only do you save money on baggage fees, but it helps your trips go smoother, so you only have to worry about what to do first when you get to your destination.

Things To Do In Amsterdam – Youqueen

Amsterdam is a beautiful city defined by its bicycles and boats. The Dutch way of life is relaxed, happy and fun. Read on for tips on enjoying your trip to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is a very popular destination for a European city break, and with good reason. It may not be the cheapest city in all of Europe, but it is not as expensive as other places such as Paris or London, and you can get a lot for your money.

If you want to see some fantastic art and architecture, have some delicious food and drink, and then blow away the cobwebs by whizzing round the city on a bike, Amsterdam is the place for you.

Dutch Words and Phrases

There is a very high standard of spoken English in Netherlands, and many Dutch people speak more than two languages. According to some sources, over 80% of the Dutch population can speak English, so in a big city like Amsterdam you are not likely to encounter many language barriers if you are an English speaker.

What’s more is that Netherlands has a very multicultural society, so whatever your native language, you might find somebody who speaks it! However, as in every country, one of the best ways to show that you are a polite person is to learn how to greet people in their own language.

To say hello, say hallo

To say bye, say dag

To say thank you, say bedankt

To say please, say alstublieft

Food and Drink

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Or as the Dutch would say, Eten en Drinken. Keep an eye out for these words if you’re hurrying to find somewhere to eat. There is no shortage of great places to find some delicious food and drink in Amsterdam. Dutch specialties include delightful dishes such as croquettes and bitterballen. These are often served as bar snacks, which are popular and plentiful, especially in bruin cafés.

Bruin café is the name given to a casual bar, similar in style and clientele to a British pub. Their name is rumoured to come from the brown hue that has developed on the walls after years of tobacco smoke – even though smoking in bars is now illegal in Amsterdam.

If you would like to sample some Dutch cuisine in a more structured setting, search for Moeders or De Blauwe Hollander. Moeders means mothers, and the restaurant itself is covered floor to ceiling with pictures of customers’ mothers. You might even try taking along a small framed picture of your own mother dearest – they could put it up on the wall! De Blauwe Hollander has been serving up fresh, comforting food since the late ‘70s, but was refurbished in 2010 to keep up with modern trends.

While many people think of dining out as a great experience to incorporate into their trip, some might see it as a waste of time and an inconvenience. These people are in luck, as Amsterdam has loads of great fast food outlets, so they can quickly grab something and eat it as they make their way to the next must-see thing on their list.

If you are truly dedicated to the fast food experience, find the nearest FEBO and order up some hot food from a vending machine. As well as being a novelty to anyone who isn’t Dutch, the food from these machines tastes pretty good too.

Another popular chain is Chipsy King, where they serve up huge portions of Belgian-style fries to hungry locals and tourists alike at reasonable prices. Overall, there is no need to plan where to go for fast food in Amsterdam. Just take a walk around the city and you will find something you fancy.

If all else fails, there will always be McDonalds, just like most other cities.

Boats and Bikes

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When you think of Amsterdam, you might think of a city whose residents travel everywhere on their bicycles. You wouldn’t be too far off the mark. Amsterdam is a very flat, compact city compared to some other capital cities, making it a perfect place for cycling. Don’t worry about taking your own bike, as it is very easy to hire one while you are there.

If you don’t feel comfortable making a solo excursion, it won’t be hard to find a cycling tour to join. If there’s a certain area of the city you would like to explore, see if there is a specific tour that will take you through that part of town. Keep your wits about you while cycling, and if you’re new to biking, ask for tips and advice when you hire your bike. They should be happy to help – after all, they want you to return the bike safely to them at the end of the day!

Boats may not be the best way to get around the city, but it is fun to take a canal cruise. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, there is the option to treat yourself and your loved one to a sumptuous meal while cruising along Amsterdam’s waterways. There is even an all-you-can-eat pancake boat, for a more laid back canal dining experience.

If the idea of spending a long time on a boat does not appeal to you, there is also the boat equivalent of a city sightseeing bus, which allows you to get off the boat and then get back on a little later.

Museums and Galleries

monument near amsterdam canal

Amsterdam is home to countless great works of art, and is a prime destination for fans of all kinds of artwork. From the old Dutch Masters to exciting modern art, there will be something to suit every art fan.

Dating back to 1876, the Rijksmuseum is the Netherlands’ oldest and best-loved museum. It has been closed for renovations, but will be opening again on Saturday 13th April 2013, allowing visitors to once again take in a vast array of art and historical artefacts. For those who don’t have enough time to spend in this impressively large museum, there is a small branch at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport.

To see the work of one of the world’s most famous painters, head to the Van Gogh Museum in the city’s Museum Quarter. This museum houses famous and lesser-known works by Van Gogh, and provides information about his short, troubled life and its tragic end. Until Thursday 25th April 2013, the Van Gogh Museum itself will be closed, and a temporary exhibition will be housed at the Hermitage Amsterdam.

The house at Prisengracht 263 harbours a dark past. It is the house where the Frank family hid during the Second World War, as is told in The Diary of a Young Girl. The house has now been transformed into a museum called the Anne Frank Huis, which is a fascinating and moving look at life during the war, and the eventual capture of the Frank family.

This museum is a very popular choice among tourists, due to its incredible historical importance, so try to get there early in the morning to avoid long queues. You might want to plan a relaxing few hours after leaving the Anne Frank Huis in order to process and decompress.

The Red Light District

Rather than just a salacious detail of a liberal city, the Rosse Buurt actually illustrates some important historical and social points. Unlike in some other countries that have a large prostitution industry, sex workers in Amsterdam are working legally, and many even pay tax on their earnings. There is a common argument that legalised prostitution helps to keep sex workers safe, and reduces social stigma around being involved in sex work.

Unfortunately, the Red Light District may not be the arena of female empowerment that some would imagine it to be. Make what you will of the Red Light District, but make sure you treat the women with respect. Do not stand outside their windows to point, laugh or take photographs.

Whatever your opinion on the Red Light District, it is a relatively safe area to explore, especially during the day. If you don’t want to see anything at all, then find it on your city map and avoid it. Otherwise, you might find yourself simply strolling through it on the way to somewhere else in the city.

Coffee Shops

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Marijuana is legal and regulated in Amsterdam. There are many establishments around the city set up for the express purpose of smoking or eating marijuana. Perhaps confusingly for some people, these places are called coffee shops. While some of them may serve a good cup of coffee, don’t go to them if coffee is all that you want.

The best coffee shops will offer the option of selling you marijuana pre-rolled, on its own, or baked into a space cake. Many tourists visiting Amsterdam will have come specifically to seek out a legal high that is not so easily obtained in their own country, but if you are not used to smoking marijuana make sure you are with someone you feel safe with and trust.

At the time of writing this article, to the best of the author’s knowledge, marijuana was legal in Amsterdam for both residents and tourists, as long as it is consumed within licensed premises. YouQueen and the author hold no responsibility for the way in which the reader uses this information.