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by Erin Weaver

So you want to strike out as a solo traveler, but you’re still a little apprehensive. Maybe you haven’t traveled much before, or you usually go away with friends. Perhaps this trip is just more daunting, for whatever reason. Nerves are a natural part of solo travel, particularly if you’re a woman – we’ve all had the experience of feeling less confident or safe than our male counterparts in certain situations. But how can you equip yourself to master solo travel and become a fearless female explorer? There’s no perfect recipe for easy solo travel, but these skills will certainly help.

Packing Light

When there’s no one else to carry your baggage for you, the weight really starts to matter (there’s a life lesson in there somewhere…!). Be realistic about what you’ll wear, read, and use, and leave the rest behind.

Acting Confident

Chances are, you’ll encounter some questionable situations when traveling. If you’re out there alone, you need to give off the impression that you are strong, determined, and not to be messed with. And guess what? Once you’ve started acting that way, it’s basically true.

Planning Ahead

You can’t rely on anyone else to make the plans for you, so you need to spend some time figuring out transportation and directions when you’re on the move. This is the perfect excuse to flex your planning skills, or to finally develop some!

Trusting Your Instincts

This bar feels dodgy? You don’t like the guy who’s sat next to you on the train? Trust your instincts; find a safe crowd, or get out of there. Politeness doesn’t matter when you’re traveling solo, so learn to trust your instincts.

Adapting To New Situations

Here are things you will find when you’re traveling: Food that seems weird. Bathrooms that seem weird. Customs that seem weird. Adapting and making the best of odd situations is part of solo travel, and it really will make you richer.

Talking To Strangers

If you’ve always been shy about talking to strangers, or prefer to let others handle it, solo travel will really flex your social muscles. Checking in, ordering at restaurants, and asking for directions, often in another language…this is your chance to learn to socialize and negotiate for yourself.

Saying No

As a single female traveler, you’re an easy target for salespeople, hopeful men, and other travelers who want to socialize. That can be great, but it can also lead to a lot of uncomfortable situations if you don’t learn how to firmly and clearly say no when you don’t want to do something.

Saying Yes

On the flipside, when you’re traveling alone, people want to get to know you. On top of that, every day can be spent exactly how you want to spend it, so learn to say yes to new things! Take that tour, hang out with the locals, and accept me-time when you need it.

Solo travel can be eye-opening, energizing, terrifying, and hilarious, often all at the same time. Once you’re in the swing of it, you’ll forget that you ever even worried, but getting to grips with these skills will help you take the first few steps.

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6 Easy Hacks to Control Your Summer Sweat

Do you struggle with awkward amounts of sweat in the summer? I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that you’re not alone — if you’re a human, you’re gonna sweat, sometimes in places or amounts that are less than ideal. The other good news is that there are some easy fixes.

The bad news is… well, actually there is no bad news. Sweating is a totally normal human function, and chances are that you’re sweating a relatively normal amount. “Hyperhidrosis” is the condition that causes excessive sweating out of proportion to the environment, and while you may be thinking “That’s me!”, only 3% of people actually have hyperhidrosis.

Whether your sweat is statistically excessive or not, though, it can feel pretty icky. Here are some ways to improve the situation.

Deodorant everywhere

Antiperspirant is pretty controversial among us earthy types, but sometimes it’s the only thing that works. It’s not just for your armpits, either. You can use deodorant on your hands, feet, underboob area, thighs, and other areas of the body where you sweat profusely. It has the added benefit of preventing chafing.

There are special wipes for this purpose, or you can use the same stick that you use for your ‘pits. Just don’t overdo it – it’s important to let your sweat ducts breathe.

Breathable fabrics

Simply put: Unlined, natural fabrics and loose-fitting designs are your friends. Whenever possible, opt for cotton, linen, or bamboo, which are very breathable natural fibers. Avoid synthetic fibers like polyester that trap bacteria and sweat, causing your sweat to be stinkier than usual.

The exception is certain sportswear materials, which are both breathable and moisture-resistant. Nylon, for example, is breathable yet also wicks away sweat.

Dry shampoo in your shoes

Foot sweat is among the stinkiest types of sweat, and worse, it lingers and ruins your shoes. Baby powder or talcum powder both work well for prevention, and there are specific powders made especially for foot sweat. A neat trick, though, is to use a dry shampoo instead, the same type that you would use on your hair.

Pantyliners

One unglamorous but effective way to protect your shirts and bras from sweat is to stick an absorbent, thin pantyliner in there. You can use this for the underarms of your shirts as well as the pads of your bras.

Stink emergencies

Sweating is mostly inevitable, but smelling bad is not! If you find yourself a little funky while you’re on the go, reach for a natural astringent like lime juice, tea tree oil, or witch hazel. These work very well at preventing underarm stink — they won’t actually stop the sweating, but they will keep you from smelling.

Prevent sweat and deodorant stains

Sweat can cause ugly stains on light clothing, and if you wear deodorant, that gets on your dark clothes! Ugh, can’t win.

To prevent sweat stains, spray the sweaty areas with lemon juice before laundering. If it’s too late for prevention, use white vinegar, baking soda, salt, and hydrogen peroxide to remove the stains.

To remove deodorant marks, use baby wipes.


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