adventure europe

Catching up with Rosina Mae - 20 tips for a fashionista on a budget

Monday, May 20, 2013 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

20 travel savvy ideas for a fashionista on a budget. You don't have to spend a lot to look good and get the full experience.
Rosina Mae recently caught up with the team over at Halfstack after a multi-month adventure in Europe! Here are some great shots of her adventures as well as some tips on traveling for the fashionista in us all.

1. Travel light. It's hard omitting things, but you'll most likely want to shop once you arrive in another country. Have a close friend help you part with things if your suitcase is overflowing.

2. If things fall apart during your trip or get damaged (which will happen if you're gone for months at a time), you can find designer replacements at outdoor markets! Like a thrift store, you do have to be patient. Most markets are open very early on Sunday mornings in Madrid, Milan, and Berlin. Some people sell various clothing for only 1-3 euro a piece!

3. Find FREE or discounted places to stay on AIR b n b or Couch Surfing. Always have a backup plan and keep phone numbers and skype info of friends and relatives in nearby towns and cities just in case. Hostels are also an affordable option.

4. Limit your eating and drinking while exploring. While traveling, I cooked most every night and I would snack on little things during the day while trekking the city. Take advantage of the healthy street food around you... and I suggest buying wine and drinking before heading to the bar. In places in Spain, Italy, and Germany… you can get some great wines for only 2-5 Euro!

5. It's okay to rely on the kindness of strangers if you can do something for them in return. Be aware of your own talents and use them to your advantage. While I was stranded overnight in the airport in Madrid crying my eyes out because of my own stupidity for missing a flight… nice strangers swept me up and bought me coffee. I also practiced my Spanish while helping them improve their English. And while this kind gesture didn't resolve my situation... it gave me a temporary peace of mind and some comfort since I was alone and far from home.

6. Never look lost even if you are! Looking lost only makes you a target. It's like having a large x on your forehead. Study the language as much as possible... even if your comprehension isn't the best, try and ask directions in the native tongue. People appreciate that more than you wanting them to speak English.

7. Keep one hand on your belongings at all times especially while on public transportation. Don't take out fancy phones and cameras in crowded areas where people could snatch them away... or where they could fall through the cracks.

8. For as many things as you purchase... also be willing to part with that many things. It's also fun to swap with friends! You'll look stylish and fly… and they'll also be happy with a new look.

9. If you are couchsurfing and buy groceries.... keep track of what is yours and bring it to your next "couch" if you don't leave the leftovers with your host. Though living is free on CS... it's nice to bring small gifts like chocolate or wine. If you are able to cook for your host in return, that is also a nice gesture. Lastly, always be courteous and write someone a review.

10. Always remember to get keys. Have the directions correct… and make detailed notes about landmarks and locations on each place that you stay. You must be able to find your way back safely... and silly mistakes will set you back. I didn't even have a phone while I was abroad so this was extremely important for me.

11. Read and research as much as possible on the city you're heading to... news, blogs, etc. Also talk to friends. They will likely give you tips. :) Also a very small pocket dictionary or city guide with phrases may also be useful.

12. Keep a notebook and pen handy at ALL times... You will need it for many things. Directions, landmarks, people you meet, jotting down things you learn, observations, inspirations... It is also a wonderful reminder of your trip. When I open my notebook I am flooded with amazing memories and instantly transported.

13. Go off the beaten path... Go ALONE. Make solid moves. Find your own way. Be free. Have a plan, but don't jam pack your schedule and make your life stressful. Do what you want to have the BEST time ever.

14. Budget as best as you can and be content with living on less. Be happy with just one cup of coffee or a snack instead of having a huge meal. Don't indulge too much or you may be hurting later on.  ;)

15. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude. Other customs may be shocking or make you feel aloof, but this is good and all part of the experience. The fun is finding commonalities with total strangers.

16. Take a few important things that remind you of loved ones if you need to. Great souvenirs that are very much appreciated are postcards and currency from another country. My friends loved my handwritten notes with stamps from abroad.

17. Take pictures and do your best to record your trip without going overboard. I didn't post everything on Facebook, but I did try to update the important people in my life of my little adventures… posting pics here and there.

18. If you go for business, take things seriously. Even though no one may know you while you're abroad, still try to be professional. Don't go overboard with partying. There is a time for work and a time for play. Try to find a balance.

19. Let your taste buds indulge. Try new foods every other day. During the holiday season there is always an abundance of chocolate and traditional cakes in Europe.

20. Get out and do something each day! The world is at your fingertips and there is so much you can take in. Don't find yourself in a sedentary mode in front of a TV or lost in a book for more than a couple hours. Get out of your comfort zone.

Bon Voyage! :)
Rosina Mae

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