4+4 Tips for packing light as a solo traveling girl

Whenever I travel somewhere with friends we always decide on one person taking shampoo, one person taking make-up removal, one person taking toothpaste and so on.. Just because you then have more space for other important things (like clothes, duh) in your suitcase.
But when you are traveling solo, that’s not how it works. You have to pack everything you need in your own luggage. So how can you save some space in your luggage? Here are my tips.

#1 You don’t need everything you think you need.

This might sound weird but once you are traveling, you somehow turn to minimalism without thinking about it. Especially when you go to warm countries. I mean, who wants to wear tons of jewelry in a 35 Degree heat? And how many different shorts do you actually need? Just think about it twice and take the things you can easily combine with each other and you’re good. (Insider tip: There are washing machines all around the world ;))
Same goes for make-up by the way. Take a light powder and some mascara and you’re good to go. You don’t need much else.

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Going trekking? Leggings (great for flights as well), a shirt and sneakers are all you need.

#2 The important things can be bought.

Every time I go somewhere and think about what I could have forgotten, my mum always says “You’re not out of the world, they have stores everywhere”. So this became my mantra. When I go on big trips, I only bring small tubes of everything – toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel – and when it’s empty, I just get new ones wherever I am. It makes life so much easier!

#3 Always buy the lighter versions (aka travel gear).

And with travel gear I mean all the things you actually need when backpacking and not all the camping gear – definitely two different pairs of shoes.
So what I mean, for example, is a microfibre towel. Because, let’s face it, you need a towel when staying in hostels, since no one really fancies paying money to hire a towel that has been used by 100 other people before without knowing how clean it actually is. But all the normal towels can take away half of your backpack, so a microfibre towel it is. And a plus: It dries super quickly!

#4 Switch to alternatives. 

Every girl out there needs tampons once a month. And if you think about traveling for 2-3 months you need to bring tampons. And they take up space. So why not switch to menstruation cups? They are easy to use, take up less space and are clearly better for the environment. So give it a try and you don’t have to worry about having enough tampons to get you through your trip to countries where they can’t be found easily.

Another thing you could use an alternative for are contact lenses. If you need those and have daily lenses, you obviously have to bring 100 pairs on a long trip. Why not try and switch to bi-weekly or monthly lenses?


And once you’ve got all your things together and start filling your pack, make sure to use your space wisely. Think about it:

#1 What needs to be within reach easily? (Underwear, socks, rain cover)
#2 How many little pockets do I have on my backpack? And how can I fill them?
#3 What needs to go in my carry on? (charger, book, diary, toothbrush and -paste)
#4 What else CAN go in my carry on? (layering and stuffing’s key!)

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And voilà, you are ready to go! (Photo via flickr.com (Zach Dischner))

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Funding traveling through flea markets: 7 survival tips.

I am in a few travel groups on Facebook (Girls love travel and Girls vs Globe are my favourite ones, btw) and one question that gets asked quite frequently is how people fund their travels. And one tip I can give you is selling at flea markets. Why? Because you get rid of unnecessary stuff AND get some money for your travels. Win-win situation I would call that. And because selling at a flea market sounds easier than it is, here are a few tips I can give you. (And I owe a lot of them to a good friend of mine who is the queen of flea markets :))

#1 A good spot is the key!

Try and find a spot where people see you right away. It always depends if you are outdoor or indoor, but try to imagine where you would go first. Corners can be hard, because people walk past quickly, same with hallways. If you can’t choose your spot but you get assigned one, you should make sure that you at least follow the next tip.

#2 Make your stall look interesting and appealing!

Yes, your clothes might be great, but if your stall looks like a big war zone, it might not attract as many people as you’d want to. That’s why you should try to make your stall look as appealing as possible. Get a few racks, so you can hang up almost everything. Put up a table, to present your sunglasses, beauty products, bags or anything else you sell. And put up your shoes neatly. Voilà! (Yes, it might not look like this after the people start showing up but it’s a good start.)
Above you can see a video of our stall at a flea market last weekend. We were four girls, that’s why it looks like one big boutique.

#3 Wear something cool

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Think about it.. If you go to a flea market and there are 100 stalls to choose from, you are probably more attracted to a stall where you like the seller’s outfit. So think about what you wear, so it represents the style of the clothes you are selling, at least a little bit. (But wear comfortable shoes, you’ll be standing around for hours after all!)

#4 Be equipped

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Flea markets are long and tough. And sometimes there are calm moments where you just want (and need) to relax. So make sure to bring a chair! Also, snacks and drinks are essentials, of course.

#5 Make up your mind about prices before

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That’s a mistake I made the last time. I just decided when someone came up and asked and most of the time I sold it for way less than it was still worth. And I never even tried the selling it for that price in the first place. So make yourself some mental notes about it.

#6 Watch out for thieves!

This obviously depends on the kind of flea market you plan to visit and the client base it has, but make sure you always have an eye on your stuff. It might be useful to only put out one shoe, especially when you don’t have a good view over the whole stall, or only hang up pictures or put out the box of expensive jewelry. In the end, you can never be sure if no one stole anything, but you can always try to prevent it, at least a little bit.

#7 But above all, don’t take it to seriously

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Yes, make up the prices beforehand but if a nice lady comes up to you and really really wants that jacket you wanted to sell for 15€ but would only give you 10€ for it, maybe give in sometimes. In the end, you have one less item in your closet and you made someone very, very happy!

5 Quick Bites in Dublin, Ireland

I already fed you with a few quick bites for Munich, just in case you are in a rush, traveling solo or just not in the mood for an actual sit-down meal.
And because I know my way around Dublin as much as around Munich, I have a few quick bites for my lovely Irish second home as well.

#1 Dall’Italia Pasta Bar (4 Merchant’s Arch)

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One of the main advantages of this place is, that it’s right in Temple Bar, so close enough to all the tourist places you might visit. It’s hidden in a little alley just by the Liffey and offers great Pasta dishes for a quick snack. You can either sit in (they have around 5 seats in there) or just take it away and sit down at one of the benches along the Liffey.

#2 Fumbally (Fumbally Lane)

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Fumbally is a place, that is located in Dublin 8, close to the Teeling Whiskey Distillery and St Patrick’s Cathedral. It might not be one for the “quick bite” because they prepare everything freshly and you might have to wait a little bit but it’s great for solo travelers because it seems like the place has more costumers that are alone than groups of 2 or more. It’s the perfect place to sit down with your laptop and work or read a book in one of their comfy chairs, since the place has a real living room vibe with their vintage furniture and pictures on the walls.
They are open Tuesday-Saturday for breakfast, lunch and coffee and Wednesdays also for dinner. Check out their website for events they offer!

#3 KC Peaches (e.g. 27-29 Nassau Street or 54 Dame Street) 

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Our new exterior!

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KC Peaches is a chain that is located all around Dublin. Two of the most interesting ones are the ones in Dame Street, Temple Bar and the one in Nassau Street, close to Stephen’s Green. They offer a range of different sandwiches, daily changing warm dishes on display, salads, soups and juices (all to eat in or take away).
It’s the perfect place to hide out for a bit when you’ve done too much walking and have a quick snack to refuel your energy for the next leg of exploring.

#4 Yum Thai Noodle Bar (Baggot Street Lower)

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Another spot on the southside, close to St Stephen’s Green, where you can get a quick bite you shouldn’t miss if you like Asian food.
I, myself, am a huge fan of Asian and I think it’s always hard to find a place where you can get a great take away box (just like in the movies) filled with delicious noodles to eat on the go or sitting down somewhere. This place has it all. And for all those who still study, they also offer student discounts.

#5 Di Fontaine’s (22 Parialment Street)

Well, Di Fontaine’s is actually my go-to place when I’m drunk and just stumbled out of Workman’s but even during the day it’s a great snack. The pizza slices are huge and definitely fill you up – and all of that for around €4! They have chilli oil, garlic and a few other things to top up your pizza if you feel like it and especially at night, the music and atmosphere in there is fun and uplifting. It’s a bit of a New York pizza place kind of vibe. Don’t miss out on it!

And another tip, this time for desserts, because you would miss out on a lot if I didn’t tell you:
Marks and Spencers have the best cookies ever. Yes, it’s a department store but in their basement they have a food market, including freshly baked goods, and their chocolate chip cookies are probably one of the best things ever. AND they come in packs of 3 as well!

And my second favourite dessert place: Camerino! Read my post about it here.

San Francisco: My favourite American city in photos

America is a country I’ve been connected to since I was a little girl. My mum has a huge obsession with the country since she had an “exchange student” (not really, but it was a similar situation) over in Munich when she was 17. So needless to say, as soon as me and my sister were old enough, we jumped on a plane over to the US. We tried to go every 2-3 years and traveled a lot around the country. But there was one particular American city I lost my heart in really quickly which made me also go back on my big trip in 2013: San Francisco.

Here are a few of my favourite photos I shot there, including a few tips for you.

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If you want to see the see lions, just go down to Fisherman’s Wharf (even though it might be the most touristy part of San Francisco) and follow the noise.

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At least he’s honest…

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Make sure to rent a bike (you can do it in many places around San Francisco, especially when you get closer to the Golden Gate bridge) and cycle across the bridge. You can either cycle back again or you take a ferry back to San Francisco from Sau Salito.

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The view of San Francisco

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We made a picnic on the beach

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The way to the beach. Can’t tell you where exactly it was, since a local took us here by car.

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Love the buildings in San Francisco!

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Necessary tourist photo

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Take a cable car up to Lombard Street and enjoy the beautiful view from up there!

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Twin Peaks

I took a Wild SF Walking Tour through the Mission District, which is known as the gay area of San Francisco (hence the flag), and it was great! Judging from their website a lot changed in the last 4 years, but I am sure even though (or maybe even because) they offer different tours, it’s still one of the best tours for San Francisco. But bring your walking shoes, because San Francisco is hilly, as you might know!

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Mission District

The Mission District is also a very unique neighborhood. It’s full of lovely little shops, vintage or not, cafés and restaurants. And none of them are chains! Why? Because the area decided not to let chains in. When Urban Outfitters tried to open a shop there, they refused to give them the space.
Well, this was all back in 2013, but I really hope the area is still as cool, unique and individual as it was.