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15 Travel Apps You Must Have

4:35 AM
Hi, my travel readers! Thank you for keeping reading my travel articles. I don't know why I never thought about writing about more travel adventures after seeing so many places. Since moving to Eurasia, we got to discover more amazing destinations. Today, I had a small chat with one of my followers (check her out @thesimplesarah). Sarah was asking me for tips for how to travel in Europe. Our conversation inspired me to write this blog post. I am sharing with you my favorite travel apps that I have been using while traveling.

1. Maps.me is probably the best app I have ever used. It works without cellar data and you can drop a pin on certain locations to prepare you for traveling in areas with no wifi or cellular data use. Make sure to load the map of the city where you are planning to travel.

2. Paris Metro / City Rail Map . In case you planning to take a trip to big cities like Paris, NYC, Barcelona, Portugal etc  All major cities have a metro system! One of these apps has a city subway map that is easy to use. It can also locate your location and let you know which subway to take. Or you can always look at the apple store for particular cities like: Barcelona Metro, Lisbon Metro, etc. Always make sure that you load one that will work without cellar data!


3. Flixbus. If you are planning to take some trips around Europe (26 countries) and save some extra $$ for more travels - FlixBus is a way to go! I can't share my experience with Flixbus in other countries (though, I rode similar lines like Lux Express in the Baltics), but I took this bus from Munich Airport to get to another German town, and also travelled from this small town to bigger cities. The road was longer, but was cheaper than train. Normally, the bus offers a free wifi. From my experience, sometimes their wifi is working great, sometimes not very good. Every bus has a  bathroom. Make sure to bring sanitizer, snacks, and toilet paper. You never know! The app works great. You can show your ticket from the app with no need to print out.

4. DB Navigator. If you come to Germany, even for short trip, and plan to take a lot of trains. I am going to advise you to sign up for their promotional ticket "Bahn Card 25 Probe". You pay only 19 euro for the card, but you can travel for 3 months with 25% OFF on every single ride. It helps only if you are traveling a lot via rail! Don't forget to cancel your card before expiration date, because it will automatically charge you for the next year. The app works amazingly. You can load your ticket and Probe card. I also booked tickets through the app and got notifications when anything changed.

5. I Visited App. To not lose track of how many countries I have visited, this is an app that I have been using so far. It is kind of fun when adding new countries to my list.


6. Booking.com I love booking.com because you can always find cheap options and book your hotel right away (with the option of free cancellation!). I remember when we travelled across the country, I booked our stays on the same day, or even a few hours before check-in. Also, it's great to read reviews that are usually pretty revealing. The app is handy because it keeps your reservations and stays organized, negating the need to print off hotel confirmations.  I am sharing my referral link to my friends, so they can get an extra $20 off for their next stay, which means I get $20 too. If you are planning a trip very soon, use my referral link ;) →→ here.

7. Uber / Lyft / Taxify. If you are not sure how to use buses or the metro system, or are just super exhausted wanting to get to your hotel faster, I always use taxi apps. Since Uber has a bad reputation, I would advise you to send the car number to your friend just for your safety! Btw, Uber doesn't work in many European countries. Taxify seems more popular in many Eastern European countries and in Eurasia.  Taxify is also much cheaper than Uber.



8. Express VPN. You want to be able to check your emails or banking information, and feel protected while using public Wifi. I always use a VPN in other countries to protect myself from hackers.

9. Expenses OK. As a travel and style blogger, traveling to other places can involve meeting with other people and making expenses you'll need to track for tax season. Knowing how you spend your money is the best way to stay organized. I try to pay by credit card usually, because it lets me keep track easily. Though, sometimes cash is the way to go for certain businesses!

10. DocuSign. While traveling, I usually don't bring my computer, just because I don't have time to do anything on it. I check my emails through my Gmail app. Sometimes, it happens that I get contracts and need to sign them quickly. This app saved my life!

11. Skype. To stay in touch with my family, or even if I have to call overseas, Skype is my best friend! The cheapest way to call your family or friends, I always use Skype! All you need is just to find a good spot for Wifi. There are other similar apps, but Skype is tried and true.

12. Tile. Don't want to lose your wallet, keys or camera? Use TILE! I advertised Tile a year ago and never knew that I will order more for myself and my family. It is a little tracker that can fit into your wallet or be your keychain. Find more here. Anyway, the app is the way to find your belongings if they got lost.

13. Canary. Since we leave our house so frequently, we need to keep our home secure with the Canary Home Security Camera. I can watch my house from other countries, and if anyone enters my house, my app will send me signal very quickly. Well, the sensitivity of the camera is so good, that it reacts even to change in the light and air (especially during bad weather).

14. Whatsapp. Another way to stay connected with my family and friends. I actually love this app because it eats so little of your data (unless you are sending pictures!). You can also call your friends as a free international call.

15. Wifi Map. I discovered this app last year. One of my friends advised me to use it. Basically, you can find out the password of any location that has WiFi. No need to ask for passwords anymore. Pretty crazy, right?!

I hope this post was very helpful, and if you know any other great apps, please share in the comments below. This post wasn't sponsored or paid!




Few tips before you go to Fashion Week

12:11 AM
Hi, guys! Fashion Week season just started. I know I am a bit late to give you a few tips before you go to Fashion Week, but better late than never! This year, I attended Paris Fashion Week for the first time. I got plenty of invitations to stay busy. You know, I mastered Seoul and New York Fashion Weeks. It is not the first time for me to be in Paris, but attending Fashion Week for first time in Paris made me feel a bit nervous. I decided that it would be great to give you some general tips based on my experience to make this kind of event easier.

1. Don't be afraid to contact PR agencies. 
2. Give your hotel address as a place invitations can be sent.
3. Bring business cards with you. 
4. Carry an extra charger and extra batteries with you.
5. If scared to travel by yourself, contact fellow blogger to plan a travel adventure together.
6. Contact hotels in advance to see if you can stay for free or pay media rates.
7. Bring comfortable shoes with you. By the end of fashion week, everyone gets so exhausted.
8. Make sure to learn in advance how to travel around - taking a taxi will make your trip extra expensive.
9. Bring some snacks with you. Usually, I don't have any time to eat while running from show to show and lose weight. 

In case you're curious about the shoot below, we chose the location of Tobermory in Scotland.  It was a super cute place to visit!










How to make your Valentine's Day special

6:58 PM
Hello, guys! Valentine's Day is right around the corner and we are all thinking about how to spend our date or what to give for your loved one.  I now want to inspire my dear readers for what can you do to make this day special. 
  1. Decorations: Make sure to decorate the room. I found all decorations for Valentine's Day at the Party Store. I went there because I needed a convenient place that would make it easy since they had everything. I was able also to get candies, candles and confetti (We stayed at a hotel in NYC and the poor house keeper probably hates us after we left. Confetti was everywhere!). Anyway, if you are not scared to make your room messy, I would definitely advise you to use some confetti too, just because it will add some extra magic to the atmosphere in the room. 
  2. Dinner Date: Plan a dinner or something to drink. Since we stayed at the hotel, and we could not prepare dinner there, we just went out. I'm not a big cook, but I had a subscription to Sun Basket for almost a year. Their dinner menu is really amazing and can pass as a romantic dinner in case you don't know how to cook. For us, I just grabbed a bottle of red wine and some cookies, along with grapes. 
  3. Sexy Outfit: In my opinion, if you wear something unusual or even a nice classic dress with perfect lingerie, you will spice up your evening. 
  4. Gift:  I always have a hard time on what to give my husband for any occasion, but I know any man would appreciate a relaxing evening after a long week. If you really want to give something, you can always give a watch, maybe something from a men's wear collection, or consider the dinner as a gift. Or, go nuts, and get him a customized tomahawk. 

Best Way to Style red leather jacket

4:47 AM
Hi, guys! I hope you enjoyed reading my previous post about my travel itinerary to Barcelona. And found it enough inspiring to book a vacation to beautiful Barcelona. Since, I had no time to shoot my outfits during Barcelona trip. I am going to show you what I wore in our Portugal journey. 

Luckily, wit was warm enough to style my new red leather jacket that I purchased at Zara sale. Like any true fashionista, I own two black leather jackets and one blue (also from Zara). But when I saw this red jacket was only €25, I knew that I have to get it. Leather jacket is a very statement piece and can be styled in different ways to look trendy. Probably one of most beloved styles by many bloggers: a pair of blue jeans and white shirt or tee. If you will google for "red leather jacket style" and you will find that most of the people wore it with a pair of jeans. It made me think, it would be nice to bring something fresh for google search, in case you were wandering too how can you style your red leather jacket. So, instead of blue jeans, I combined my red leather jacket with pleated skirt, red boots (Public Desire), red plaid scarf (find similar here) and red beanie (here). What do you think? 











What will you do without blogging world?

5:36 AM
While drinking my tea, eating dark chocolate with sea salt from Seattle and reading a few blogs, it made me think - what would I do if blogging didn't exist?! Have you ever asked yourself? Many take blogging as a great hobby to escape from real life, others use it as a serious business, and countless more blog to share their lives with friends and family. It's a little bit of everything for me. How could I live my life without my blog?! 

I wasn't planning to be a full time blogger. All I wanted was to have a real job that can support my family back in Kazakhstan. I have two BAs from different countries and haven't used my skills to build my career. You would think this sounds like a waste of time and money. Well, I guess, yes and no. Yes, because I feel like I should've thought out better what I really wanted to do in my life, and picked a different degree. No, since I got a free scholarship in Kazakhstan anyway, and education in Germany is the cheapest in the world. I think meeting my future husband changed my path and plans too. All I want in the world now is to just be with him, and here I am. He supported my idea to be a blogger and still continues to be my best supporter /sometimes sponsor ;). 

I have been blogging since 2013. I keep writing silly blogs believing that someone is interested to read every single word. Is it naive?! I am not even good at writing! Sometimes, I think that it is a great hobby to stay busy. It's better to do something rather than nothing. Otherwise, it helps improve my English skills (well, kind of, I still make many of the same mistakes). I've met so many great people, designers, photographers and creative individuals who have opened my eyes, and told me that I am talented too. I never thought that I had an eye and some skills for photography (btw, you should check out my second IG accounts @horsfallgotravel ), or that I can easily photoshop an elephant into my pictures and no one will know that I did it. Lol. I keep learning, but I'm still scared to offer my skills to a real market. I suppose the time will come when blogging will stop to exist (for me) and I will have to find a real job where I can render my skills. I'll keep working on them until that day comes. What would you do without your blogging world?











 
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