6 Things To Pack In Your Suitcase Every Time You Travel

6 Things To Pack In Your Suitcase Every Time You Travel

We humans have been exploring the world since we could walk on two feet. We’ve explored by ship, boat, plane, and foot (to name a few) and we continue to do it day in and day out. We’ve even explored places we’ve already explored! My motto is and always will be: travel more, spend less. Although traveling is exciting, it can sometimes be stressful, nerve-wracking and super exhausting. That’s why I’ve created a list of must have travel items for every excursion, be it long or short.  

1.     Non-perishable food

Remember that one time you flew to Cincinnati to visit your second cousin and you sat on the tarmac for three hours without any food or caffeinated beverages and thoughts of punching the flight attendant crossed your mind? Unfortunately, this happens but it doesn’t have to lead to physical harm toward anyone else or yourself. Pack snacks. I recommend a variety of nuts, homemade cookies, granola bars, protein bars, fresh fruit and banana bread. Eating healthy, filling food will help with hunger, energy levels and hopefully help you keep a cool head.

2.     Earplugs and/or Headphones

What has two legs is bald and on every flight? A screaming baby. Although babies can (sometimes) be enjoyable to be around, the last thing we want to hear on a crowded flight is the sound of a shrieking baby. Pack earplugs if your music is too distracting and headphones if you’re ready to jam. That way you can block out the babies, drunk people, loud talkers and disruptive announcements.

3.     Neck Pillows

Yes, you may not look like the coolest person on the plane, but you’ll definitely feel the smartest. Neck pillows are the only way to go! These magical half-donut looking head rests will prevent you from passing out on a stranger’s shoulder, neck pain and chronic sleep deprivation while traveling.

4.     Pain Killers

Traveling can sometimes lead to unexpected injury or illness and as they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Pack Ibuprofen or Advil for headaches, cramps, muscle aches or back aches. These tiny painkillers may not look like much but they can turn a horrible experience into a pretty good one in under 20 minutes.

5.     Cell Phone Charger

You’re tired, hungry, restless and eager to get where you’re going. The last thing you want is a dead cell phone. People got around without cell phones once upon a time but that time is forever over. Also, have you seen a pay phone lately? Pack your cell phone charger or get used to overpaying for a taxi, purchasing overpriced chargers in the airport and being bored because we all know reading a book can only entertain us for so long.

6.     Reusable Water Bottle

Two scenarios: Drink 15 tiny water bottles and pay 40 dollars or fill up one large ass reusable water bottle and pay nothing. Who would choose the first option? A rich crazy person, that’s who! The next time you’re packing for a trip, remember this item. You’ll save money, look cool, and you’ll never have to bother the agitated flight attendant for water again.

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Working Out of a Cafe

It’s 2017 and the work-from-home life style is stronger than ever. We millennials are realizing the stagnant office life is dead and the option of working anywhere is absolutely, 100 percent alive. Hallelujah! Although working from home in our pajamas (or naked) can be glorifying and freeing, it can get lonely. It can also be a sure way to gain 15 pounds. Nobody is judging you for shoveling cold pasta in your mouth when you work from home, unfortunately. That’s why coffee shops are sometimes the answer to all the problems we freelancers have. As someone who’s worked out of cafes and coffee shops for the last 3 years, I will be your coffee shop guru for effectively working from any cafe' in the world! Let’s begin.

1.     Prepare for the worst

You find the ideal spot, plug your laptop in, order a perfectly prepared drink and find a flawless work rhythm. The last thing you want to do is leave, right? That’s why you have to prepare for the absolute worst. Bring your headphones for the loud talkers/mouth breathers, pack a cell phone charger for emergency battery issues, tuck away tampons for the ladies, tissues for the allergies and Advil for the headaches.

2.     Bring a portable mug

If your own a portable, stylish mug you’ll most likely get a small discount (10 cents off at Starbucks), help the environment by using less paper and if you order a small size, they’ll probably fill up your large cup all the way. Unless the barista hates his/her job. Either way, it’s a little cheaper, you’re (kind of) saving the rain forest and you’ll look like a regular.     

3.     Wait for the perfect spot

Finding the right table is one of the most important things about working in a café’, but sometimes that one ideal location is unavailable. In order to snag that cozy booth or stylish barstool, wait it out. Find a less desirable table, begin working and the minute that special table opens up, grab it as quickly as humanly possible. It’s okay if you look like a weirdo; you’ve got work to do.

4.     Pack your own lunch or eat before

Although prices in café’s or coffee shops are often reasonable, hummus packs, protein smoothies and cold cuts add up. I recommend packing your own lunch, and ordering a non-specialty coffee. That way it’s cheap, easy and they couldn’t possibly kick you out because you are a paying customer.

5.     Make friends with the baristas

Think of the baristas as your co-workers. You may be coming to this café’ every day for the next two years. The better you treat people, the better they’ll treat you. They might even hook you up with an extra shot of espresso, a tasty treat or invite you to that sold out show you’ve been dying to see. You could also make a new friend out of it. It’s a win-win-win.

6.     Find an independent coffee shop

If you’re worried about spending more money on coffee than you’re making, don’t go to Starbucks. Find an independent coffee shop. Local coffee shops are often cheaper, play better music, and the people-watching is phenomenal.  If you’re still paranoid about using your hard earned cash, take all those quarters, nickels and dimes you’ve been collecting over the years and put them to use. You may not want to be that person using exact change at the register, but if you’re feeling bold, go for it.

7.  Do your research

Be sure to look up the hours of operation before you head to your coffee shop of choice.  Call ahead to make sure they have convenient business hours, offer free wifi and seem genuinely friendly. The last thing you’d want to do is travel there, get comfortable and have to leave in 20 minutes. It could interrupt your very important train of thought and cost you a big business deal.

 

7.     Charge all of your gadgets

Charge your devices ahead of time and/or overnight.  This will eliminate the need to sit by a plug and will reduce any added stress in your already hectic life. It’s also wise to invest in a portable phone charger. They’re convenient, clever and many are fairly cheap. If you’ve got the dough to buy a portable laptop charger, it’ll be well worth the money to not have to plan ahead for battery life. Lastly, if you really want to make your life easier, just sit by a plug, especially if you plan to be there all day.

 

8.     Plan for parking

Factor in parking (especially if you live in a bustling city)! If your café’ offers limited parking and isn’t walking distance from your home, ditch the place. Parking costs money, causes anxiety and takes time. If you live close enough to a coffee shop, definitely try that one first. Just think! Your morning commute could be a pleasant sunny stroll.

 

9.     Never leave your laptop unattended

Drinking coffee non-stop usually means using the bathroom non-stop. Although this may be obnoxious, take your laptop into the bathroom every single time. Leave your book bag, notebook or coffee on the table to save your supreme spot, but never gamble on leaving your laptop. It’s not worth the risk.

10. Mix things up

While I recommend having a primary “home base” coffee shop, never fear exploring other cafes or coffee shops. Working at the same place every day is what office jobs are for! We freelancers have the option of going anywhere we want whenever we want, so venture out and discover more. This should be fun.

What It's Really Like Being An Assistant in Hollywood

The 80th something Academy Awards was on Sunday and celebrities, filmmakers, editors, writers, and top billionaire executives invited to the show were loving themselves SO HARD! As for the regular people in the world, we gathered our friends at home, we made oscar themed snacks and mocked and marveled at the celebrity fashions and self-obsessed speeches, or we didn’t watch at all (because believe it or not, a lot of people don’t give a shit). That leaves us with the other people. I’m talking about Hollywood’s hard-working assistants. Those people got the shaft. They got the wrong end of the stick. Those people got screwed and they got screwed hard. Let me explain.

Starting in January the entire city of Los Angeles starts freaking the fuck out. “It’s award season,” they’ll say. “I’m going on a juice cleanse,” they’ll say. They say a lot of annoying shit and it lasts until the day the Oscars end. That day is when assistants all over the city exhale and count their blessings. They didn’t get fired, they didn’t fuck up any dinner reservations and they managed to get by only eating once a day and peeing with their cell phones in hand. Although I’m sure people assume living the life of a Hollywood assistant is difficult, it’s less about difficulty, and more about having to deal with things that do not matter and will never matter to anyone other than an entitled person working in the entertainment industry. Try to imagine working with a 12-year-old terror that you can never EVER say no too and if you do, you better pray your life doesn’t end right there.

Here’s how I really feel about “award season” and the entertainment industry in general. Celebrities, top executives, agents, studio heads and entitled little shit head children of these people should not get whatever they want, whenever they want. If you cancel and change your reservation 15 times, you shouldn’t be allowed to ever make a reservation for as long as you live. If you scream at your assistant, you should apologize and probably go to therapy for yelling at someone that did nothing to you. If you notice the people who work for you are terrified by your presence, change who you are. We are all human beings that deserve to be moderately respected and Hollywood should stop treating these people like they are anything more than the human species. I have met many actors and celebrities in my 29 years on this earth (thanks to my mom who is a celebrity hairstylist, god bless her) and I would say the majority of these people are less impressive than my toothless God Mother that drinks water from a stream in the middle of nowhere in Texas. I mean, these people are attractive, somewhat talented, hard working and fun but I can say that about the majority of people from my first improv class.

You may be asking yourself, “what does this bitch know about the entertainment industry? She’s just a lame writer probably sitting in a Starbucks alone eating a cake pop.” You’re right about most of that (cake pops are amazing), but believe it or not, I know a shit load about the soul-sucking entertainment industry. You see, I was a celebrity’s assistant for over 2 years. Two whole years of scheduling, car service requests, award show planning, dress fittings, wrapping birthday presents for children, texting 12 hours a day, pretending to look busy out of fear, getting yelled at over coffee temperature, etc. I did it, I went to therapy for it and I got out. I’m not saying every industry job is bad because there are great ones out there, but the majority of assistant jobs in Hollywood suck…really really suck.

So here’s what I think should happen. I think Hollywood should give their assistants a break. I think celebrities and top industry people should remember they are not god’s gift to earth. They are regular people that poop like the rest of us (even if they do use really expensive, soft toilet paper). They are not Obama (although they probably met him and posted a picture of it on Instagram). They are not brain surgeons. They are in the entertainment industry. Their job is to make entertainment happen. So entertain us, shut up and get your own coffee.