3 Pieces of Clothing You Need for Your Next Trip

One of the biggest worries of planning a trip is knowing what to pack.

How many shirts do you bring?

Should you pack jeans?

Will you ever even where that dress?

These are the type of questions that flooded through my mind when I was packing for my first back-packing  trip. I didn't want to pack too much, but I wanted to have all of the right things. I'm usually the girl who packs 30 outfits for a weekend, just in case...ya know? So, packing for a 3.5 month trip in a 40 liter backpack was my worst nightmare.

Since then, I've learned what works & what doesn't. I've been able to identify some key pieces that make getting dressed on trips a breeze. Some pieces have been obvious - like a good pair of jean shorts, but others have surprised me. Here are 3 clothing items you'll want to consider packing for your next trip! 

A MULTI-USE ROMPER

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Rompers are absolutely effortless, which is necessary when traveling- especially backpacking. You can throw on a romper, add a few accessories, and look as if you really put thought & time into getting dressed. It's practical, yet still stylish. Unlike a dress, rompers can be worn while exploring because you don't have to worry about your lady bits being exposed if a gust of wind hits. Its perfect for day AND night! It's casual enough for exploring during the daytime, and you can transition this look for a night out if you select the right style & color.


A SIMPLE BODYSUIT

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Bodysuits are simple, yet versatile. They can be worn with anything, ANYTHING. Throw on shorts? You're good! A skirt? You're good! You can wear all of the things with a bodysuit. They can be dressed up or down. The biggest plus? You don't have to worry about it staying tucked in! It's perfect for layering under sweaters or sweatshirts. Bodysuits are thin, comfortable, and useful in a variety of climates.

A SOLID COLORED SWIMSUIT

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Regardless of style, a solid colored swimsuit is necessary for any beach trip. While I usually bring multiple swimsuits, it's key to have a solid colored swimsuit because you can easily mix & match it with other pieces. You can get more wear out of it by mixing a top with a patterned bottom without feeling like you're wearing the same bikini over & over again. 

In collaboration with www.tobi.com

CONFESSION: I'm obsessed with Reggaeton after traveling Latin America + A Playlist

If you attended middle school in Texas during 2004 like I did, there’s an iconic song that you probably remember being played at every school dance & party. No, not ‘My Boo’ by Usher or ‘Breakaway’ by Kelly Clarkson.

Gasolina.

Remember that song?

None of us knew the words, which was probably best for a couple of middle schoolers.

The only word we knew was ‘Gasolina’.

Then we’d do our best spanish impersonation for the rest of the song.

Good times, right?

As far as I can remember, that was my first encounter with reggaeton. I didn’t necessarily like the song. It was just one of those fun, catchy songs that everyone kinda knew.

Growing up in Texas, I was always surrounded by Latin culture and this included the music. However, I’d never actually made the decision to listen to spanish music myself. Id hear it every so often, but I wouldn’t have necessarily chosen to turn the radio station to or add the music to my ipod.

It wasn’t until I heard the music non-stop during my trip through Latin America that I became a bit...OBSESSED.

Reggaeton was everywhere. It was only inevitable that I’d end up liking it. It’s kinda like Bruno Mars here in the US. You hear it so many times that you have no choice but to eventually succumb. One day, you find it annoying & corny. Next thing you know, you find yourself shopping in the mall and somehow you know every single word when the song comes on???

I’d hear the music inside restaurants - as I was eating my tacos, or empanadas, or rice & beans.

And during the entire duration of my sailing trips. One night the crew even cleared the deck as we sailed the San Blas Islands and 7 of us danced over the water all night long.

And on chicken buses, which are essentially old American school buses that looked like they’ve each been on an episode of ‘Pimp My Ride’.

And even on the streets - to the point where you’re looking around wondering where exactly that music is coming from? But of course you dance anyway.

That time we stumbled upon a reggaeton music video being filmed in Medellin, Colombia - where some of the artists on this playlist were born. The genre originated in Puerto Rico.

That time we stumbled upon a reggaeton music video being filmed in Medellin, Colombia - where some of the artists on this playlist were born. The genre originated in Puerto Rico.

I eventually had to admit that I was a fan. No, I wasn’t just a fan. I loved it. Even when I couldn’t understand more than 5 words.


Once I finally embraced my love for reggaeton, I was dancing everywhere. I mean, how can you not? I was in a good mood anytime I heard it. No matter where I was - the store, the taxi, my host mom’s home,  everywhere. It didn’t matter that all of the songs sounded the same. In fact, that made it even better.

All of my trip memories are riddled with the same group of songs and I couldn’t be happier about that. Anytime I hear these songs, I’ll remember the long bumpy rides on chicken buses, the late nights with new friends, and the trip that taught me so much.

And yes, I’m listening to it right now, to set the tone as I write this blog post & also, because it’s SO dang good.


Hope you all enjoy the short playlist!

 Is there a certain type of music that reminds you of a place or experience? Are you a reggaeton fan? If so, drop your recommendations below! I know this is lightweight ;)

Why you might need a Tep Wireless Portable Wifi Hotspot for Your Next Trip

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Wifi in Central America was....complicated.

Although many places advertised wi-fi, it was often painfully slow. 

This wouldn't be a huge issue if I didn't have the desire to share my experiences on my blog, but I do. On top of that, it makes a lot of things easier on the road like booking flights, researching destinations, connecting with folks back home, accessing bank accounts, and everything else we use the internet for these days. In this case, reliable wi-fi is a necessity while traveling - especially for long periods away. 

When the advertised wi-fi was non existent and my T-mobile international data plan was lagging, I was able to rely on my Tep Wireless wi-fi hotspot. 

What is it?

Tep Wireless offers a convenient portable wi-fi hotspot in 100+ destinations around the world. I wasn't so sure what to expect, but I was often impressed on the reliability of this device that is small enough to fit in your pocket. It allows you to privately connect up to 5 devices on a 3g or 4g network. Basically, you can have ALL of the wi-fi anywhere you go. 

How it works

You must rent a device on their website. The device, along with a small instruction manual will be shipped to you within a few days before your trip departure. Once you have returned from the trip, you will need to return the device using the shipping label provided. If you plan to use the device for an extended period of time, you may choose to purchase the device instead of renting. 

Once I received my device, I was able to set it up within a few minutes. It's extremely easy, but you can always contact their support team if you have any issues. 

Where it works

You can view the coverage map  here to see if it will work in the country that you're traveling to. You may purchase coverage for a single country or for multiple countries. I was using the global pocket wi-fi which works in multiple countries. Beforehand, I knew that the hotspot would work in all countries I was traveling to - except Belize. It always worked best in very populated areas. However, it is quite a bit slower in less populated areas and some remote areas where there is no local network to connect to. On my sailing trips, I was unable to use the device. However, it would often work if the boat was sitting at the port or close to land. 

Overall, the device worked at least 80% of the time that I tried to use it. It was unavailable in areas where there is no cell signal to connect to & I read this on their site beforehand. In all other instances, it saved my butt. 

Why you might need a Pocket Wi-fi

On the road, you can usually access the internet through public wi-fi networks(hotels, restaurants, etc), International data plans(T-mobile's is free), or purchasing a local SIM card. Hotel & restaurant connections can be slow or unreliable, Data roaming can be extremely expensive if you don't have a free international plan, and purchasing a local SIM card isn't ideal unless you plan to stay in a specific country for at least a few weeks. So, Tep Wireless offers an alternative to each of these options. Given you are in a covered country, you will have secure and private access to wifi at any point. It can be used to: 

  • book flights, hotels etc. 
  • use maps 
  • research destination activities, history, etc. 
  • upload photos & videos to the internet
  • use apps like WhatsApp & facebook to connect with friends & family back home
  • check bank accounts, email accounts, etc. 
  • do remote work 

Price

TEP's portable wifi rental is currently priced at $8.95 per day. This option is better suited for quick trips. You also have the option to purchase/own a device at $99 and then pay $8 per day. You will only pay for the days that you choose to use the device. This option works best for those who travel for extended periods of time & move around to different countries. 

Yes, this is pricey. For budget travelers, this might not be the best option. However, it may be worth it if you need to do work online - like myself. The pricing also works out great if you are traveling in a group, because you can split the daily cost between up to 5 people/devices.

Additional Details

Battery Life: 8 hours of use from one charge 

Wifi speed: unlimited 3g up to 7.2Mbps

If you're unimpressed, they offer a 100% satisfaction guaruntee.


Overall TEP worked very well when I needed to use it. I was often impressed with connection speeds even in some remote places like the Andes Mountain. For someone who intends to work online like myself, the device works just as described. I'd recommend TEP's portable hot-spot it to anyone who is searching for an unlimited, quick, private, & reliable wifi hotspot to use during their travels.

 

Disclaimer: TEP Wireless sent me a device to review, yet all opinions are honest & my own.