Fall Photoshoot Ideas if You’re Single as Hell

Fall Photoshoot Ideas if You’re Single as Hell

Okay, I’ll say it – I am sick of seeing “Fall Photoshoot Ideas for Couples” all over my Pinterest! I am OVER IT.

Where are the Fall Photoshoot ideas for the people flyin’ solo? Even if you aren’t single, you deserve a solo photoshoot of you looking spectacular while wearing a fancy hat surrounded by the fall foliage.

Not sure where to start? Don’t overthink it!

Start by putting on a cute outfit with dark or neutral tones – think deep reds, tans, blacks, or even cream-colored could work as well. If you have an accent colored coat or hat, they can add a nice pop of color.

My bright red coat is one of my favorite accent pieces for photos. I’ve had this coat for probably five years now and although my mother begs me to get rid of it, I just can’t part with it!

Here are some simple ideas that almost anyone can do for a successful Fall Photoshoot.

1. Find a Pretty Street

Finding a pretty street covered in fall foliage can make for a stunning backdrop for your fall photoshoot. Strike a pose or add some motion like walking or running to really make your photo interesting!

Fall photoshoot
photo by Marc Noorman

2. Pose in Front of a Beautiful House

Fall photoshoot

Some of the homes in my town are decorated so beautifully for fall. Be sure not to invade the owner’s property for the photo or ask them permission before doing so!

Fall photoshoot

3. The “Big Leaf”

What I like to call, “The Big Leaf” is a total Fall Photoshoot classic! A large colorful leaf makes for a perfect and easy prop. There’s really no wrong way to do it!

4. Get Down & Dirty

You won’t get that dirty, I promise! Choose a nice spot on the ground that’s covered in leaves and take a selfie.

Fall photoshoot

5. Focus on the Fit

Fall photoshoot

Making your fall outfit the focus of the photo is always a great idea! Style your fit with a fall colored coat and scarf along with a trendy hat if you have one.

Taking gorgeous fall photos can be simple and so much fun! I hope some of these photos inspire you for photo ideas as a single person, and that you DON’T need a romantic partner for a photoshoot.

If you want to shop for a new outfit for your fall photoshoot, here are some of my favorites.

New From the Blog

How to Travel the World on a Budget (or free) in 2021

How to Travel the World on a Budget (or free) in 2021

To travel on a budget or even for free in 2021 seems like an impossible task, doesn’t it? However, it can be done! And frankly, it’s my most favorite way to travel. I know that 2020 was filled with little to no travel opportunities due to the horrible global pandemic….

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

These Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies are simple and delicious to enjoy for the holidays. My grandma has been making these cookies since I was a child, and they are always a delight. Recently, I went digging around in my grandma’s recipe box in search of this delicious…

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

Every year when the holidays are in full swing, I dig through my mom’s recipe box in search of my favorite cheese ball recipe. I’ve been eating this creamy and crumbly cheese ball for as long as I can remember. It’s funny how certain foods are associated with…

New From the Blog

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

These Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies are simple and delicious to enjoy for the holidays. My grandma has been making these cookies since I was a child, and they are always a delight. Recently, I went digging around in my grandma’s recipe box in search of this delicious…

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

Every year when the holidays are in full swing, I dig through my mom’s recipe box in search of my favorite cheese ball recipe. I’ve been eating this creamy and crumbly cheese ball for as long as I can remember. It’s funny how certain foods are associated with…

10 of the Most Haunted Places in the World

10 of the Most Haunted Places in the World

Do you find yourself searching for mysterious and haunted places to travel to that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up? I know I can’t be the only one! I’ve rounded up 10 Haunted Places in the World to add to your travel list.

1. The Island of the Dead Dolls (Isla de las Muñecas)

Haunted Places in the World
photo credit: orvananosphoto

First on our list of Haunted Places in the World, is an entire island taken over by dolls… yikes!

The Island of the Dead Dolls is located in between the canals of Xochimilco, just south of Mexico City.

The story is grim: The caretaker of the island, Don Julian Santana Barrera, reportedly found a little girl who had drowned in the water. Days later, he found a doll floating in the water, which he assumed belonged to the little girl.

Barrera hung the doll up on a tree as a sign of respect for the girl. Haunted by her death, he continued to collect dolls and hang them from the trees in an attempt to please her spirit. 50 years later, Barrera drowned in the same spot the girl was said to be found.

Reports claim that Barrera was driven mad due to his solitude on the island, and hallucinated the death of the little girl.

Haunted Places in the World
photo credit: orvananosphoto

2. Beelitz-Heilstätten Hospital

Haunted Places in the World
photo credit: ajjathar

The Beelitz-Heilstätten Hospital was built in 1898 and is located in Beelitz, Germany. It was used as a care facility until 1930 mainly for those who suffered from tuberculosis or other severe lung diseases.

During the first world war, it shifted to serve as a field hospital. It’s notorious for treating a young soldier by the name of Adolf Hitler who was wounded in the leg at the Battle of Somme.

Most of the hospital has been completely abandoned since 1994, with the exception of a small section that is continued to be used for Parkinson’s Research.

The hospital was also a filming location for Roman Polanski’s film The Pianist (2002).

Haunted Places in the World
Photo credit: Jürgen Glüe

3. Hallstatt, Austria

Day trip to Hallstatt

Ironically, number three on our Haunted Places in the World list is deemed one of the most “Instagrammable Places in the World.”

However, I couldn’t help but notice an eerie vibe and feel totally haunted by the town’s history. Perhaps it’s because I visited during fall (which I totally recommend!) but I think the photos speak for the spooky feels.

Day trip to Hallstatt Austria

The Skulls of Hallstatt

Long ago, old burial grounds were discovered. They were dug up, cleaned out, and replaced with new remains. Unfortunately, Hallstatt is so small, there just isn’t enough room to bury everyone.

A thousand remains are on display in this cave and decoratively painted with dates and names. Although creepy and even questionable depending on your own culture, I loved the thought of remains decorated as a tribute to one’s life.

Day trip to Hallstatt Austria

I’m not going to lie, we walked past a house on a hill and when we peeked inside the window, there were skulls just sitting on a table… We were totally freaked! Hallstatt is beautiful and spooky.

4. Hoia-Baciu Forest

“The Bermuda Triangle of Romania”

Haunted Places in the World
Photo Credit: Ioan Pan

Ghosts, missing people, and UFO’s – Oh my! The Hoia-Baciu Forest in Cluj-Napoca, Romania is labeled “the most haunted forest in the world.”

Reports have been made of green glowing eyes, little girls screaming, and silver disks flying in the sky. Some believe that the forest is haunted by those who lived in the forest long ago. There is evidence of people who lived in the forest dating back to 6500 B.C. which makes it the oldest settlement in Romania.

One of the many legends is, a young girl entered the forest and reemerged from the woods five years later unable to remember anything. Some tourists claim when they feel as if they are being watched or followed. Others report that they leave the forest with unexplained bruises and marks on their body.

The forest is only about a 20-minute taxi ride from the city of Cluj-Napoca. There are guided tours of the forest or paths that visitors can walk …at their own risk, of course. It is heavily advised that tourists only stick to the paths that have been paved and not venture off into the wooded areas.

photo credit: Dennis Eads

5. The Clown Motel

photo credit: R. Miller

The Clown Motel is located in the historic town of Tonopah, Nevada. Awarded as “America’s Scariest Hotel,” this place will surely give you the heebie-jeebies! Since the Old Tonopah Cemetery is practically located in the parking lot of this hotel, clowns aren’t the only ones keeping you company…

The hotel was built in 1985 in honor of the owner’s father, who died in the Belmont Mine Fire and is now buried in the Tonopah cemetery located next door. After the owner’s father passed, over 100 clowns were found in his basement. The Clown Motel was built in his honor.

Haunted Places in the World
photo credit: Keith P

The hotel features over two thousand clowns perfectly places throughout the thirty-one rooms on the property. Would you stay in a room filled with clowns AND ghosts!?

6. Hill of Crosses

The Hill of Crosses is located in northern Lithuania. Since the 14th century, crosses have been placed on this hill as a symbol of Lithuania’s independence and to remember the rebels who died after the peasant uprising of 1831.

There are over 100,000 crosses! Many legends are associated with this hill – one being, a church that once stood here was struck by lightning and completely buried under sand in a terrible storm (along with everyone in it).

7. The Cecil Hotel

Number seven on our list of Haunted Places in the World is The Cecil Hotel – The Deadliest Hotel in Los Angeles.

The Cecil Hotel is located in Los Angeles, California, and has now rebranded as a hostel called The Stay on Main Hotel. The Cecil has a very long extensively dreadful history that will chill you to the bone.

photo credit: @itzalexjay

The Cecil was built by William Banks Hanner in 1924 as a snazzy Beaux Arts-style hotel aimed to attract tourists, businessmen, and social elites. Unfortunately, it’s bumpy beginning was hit heavily by The Great Depression that followed in 1925, just shortly after the grand opening. The area the hotel stands quickly became known as Skid Row.

At least sixteen known murders have taken place at this hotel, and even more suicides and unexplained mysteries have followed. The Cecil also unknowingly has housed serial killers such as Richard Ramirez (the “Night Stalker”) and Jack Unterweger.

One of the most infamous murders that took place at this hotel is the mysterious and gruesome death of young actress Elizabeth Short, also known as The Black Dahlia.

8. Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel is a tidal island and mainland commune in France on the border of Brittany and Normandy.

The structure is haunted by Lord Louis d’Estouville, who commanded the slaughter of two thousand Englishmen during the Hundred Years War. The legend has it that the sand was red, stained with the blood of the Englishmen.

I had the opportunity to tour Mont-Saint Michel and I can vouch for the eerie feeling you experience while walking about the island and the Abbey. I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that someone was always watching me, even when I was completely alone!

9. St. Augustine Lighthouse

photo credit: @plur_ninja_

Located in St. Augustine, Florida this lighthouse has been guiding ships to shore since 1874.

One of the many stories that haunt this lighthouse is the chilling true story of a man, who was overseeing construction, lost two of his children in a drowning incident that occurred when the lighthouse was being built.

Another spooky tale that haunts this structure, is a worker who fell 60ft to his death while painting the lighthouse.

Haunted Places in the World
photo credit: ronaldgarciabendamio

10. The Stanley Hotel

Haunted Places in the World

Last on our list of 10 Most Haunted Places in the World, is the iconic Stanley Hotel – Located in Estes Park, Colorado, USA.

Do you recognize this famous hotel from one of your favorite classic horror movies? That’s right, The Stanley Hotel is the inspiration and filming location for the iconic movie starring Jack Nicholson, The Shining.

Author Stephen King and his wife checked into the hotel one cold winter night as the only guests just as it was preparing to close down for the season. He had a dream of his young running down the hallway in terror, which was the initial spark for the wildly successful novel.

photo credit: abbeylucas_

It’s said that co-founder F.O. Stanley haunts the hotel and has been seen checking in guests at the front desk. Pianist Flora Stanley also makes an occasional ghostly appearance along with her haunting tunes.

Other strange occurrences have been reported such as items moving around with no explanation, eerie laughter, and strange shadowy figures lurking about.

Haunted Places in the World

Which one of these Haunted Places are you adding to the top of your travel list? Let me know in the comments!

New From the Blog

How to Travel the World on a Budget (or free) in 2021

How to Travel the World on a Budget (or free) in 2021

To travel on a budget or even for free in 2021 seems like an impossible task, doesn’t it? However, it can be done! And frankly, it’s my most favorite way to travel. I know that 2020 was filled with little to no travel opportunities due to the horrible global pandemic….

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

These Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies are simple and delicious to enjoy for the holidays. My grandma has been making these cookies since I was a child, and they are always a delight. Recently, I went digging around in my grandma’s recipe box in search of this delicious…

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

Every year when the holidays are in full swing, I dig through my mom’s recipe box in search of my favorite cheese ball recipe. I’ve been eating this creamy and crumbly cheese ball for as long as I can remember. It’s funny how certain foods are associated with…

New From the Blog

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

These Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies are simple and delicious to enjoy for the holidays. My grandma has been making these cookies since I was a child, and they are always a delight. Recently, I went digging around in my grandma’s recipe box in search of this delicious…

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

Every year when the holidays are in full swing, I dig through my mom’s recipe box in search of my favorite cheese ball recipe. I’ve been eating this creamy and crumbly cheese ball for as long as I can remember. It’s funny how certain foods are associated with…

The Halloween Home With Over 500 Pumpkins

The Halloween Home With Over 500 Pumpkins

Located in Nixa, Missouri, the home known as “The Nixa Pumpkin Haunt,” is decorated with spectacular spooky details that will put you right in the Halloween spirit. Every year, hundreds of pumpkins and skeletons are carefully placed to create the most magical Halloween display.

Halloween Home
Halloween Home
Halloween Home

The Inspiration

Eric Delzell is the man behind the magic, with the help of his friend, Dané Wallace. Eric and Dané visited the now closed, Rombach Pumpkin Farm, which first sparked the inspiration to set up an elaborate Halloween display in the years to come. Within the first year, they acquired 100 pumpkins and 7 skeletons. Now going on year four, the collection has grown to nearly 600 hundred pumpkins and 67 skeletons!

Halloween Home

“My favorite parts of the display are building it, the orange glow of the lights, and the excitement it sparks. I love overhearing people guess how many pumpkins there are. I live to see families taking a walk together, just to come over and look. The other day, the kids on the school bus were chanting “skeletons!” All of it is just so happy and fun” said Delzell.

Friend, roommate, and expert skeleton placer, Dané Wallace, said she loves to climb on the roof and arrange the small skeletons. “Overall though, I really just love to watch Eric work his magic. It’s a beautiful thing to experience.”

One of her favorite set pieces is the 12 foot skeleton with glowing iron eyes!

Halloween Home

Dané also loves how the display brings the community together. “It is such a fantastic way to meet people in the area. We have met so many kind people and it is a great feeling to spread joy for children of all ages. This is an amazing old house in an old part of town and yet, with Eric’s spectacular creative genius and a lot of hard, there is a warm and welcoming vitality re-emerging and I think the whole town appreciates and celebrates it with us every year.”

Halloween Home

“Halloween was forbidden in my childhood”

“Halloween was forbidden in my childhood,” Eric explained. “I suppose I have lost time to make up for. I also think it’s sad that trick or treaters are a dying tradition. These days, there are other forms of trick or treating, like trunk or treats, etc. I wish people would decorate for Halloween again… not many do and if they did, trick or treating would surely return.”

Halloween Home

Eric’s mission is to #bringbackhalloween.

Follow The Nixa Pumpkin Haunt on Facebook here and join the HAUNTING THE OZARKS group!

Do you decorate for Halloween? Let me know in the comments!

Check out this video of the stunning Halloween Home, The Nixa Pumpkin Haunt.

New From the Blog

How to Travel the World on a Budget (or free) in 2021

How to Travel the World on a Budget (or free) in 2021

To travel on a budget or even for free in 2021 seems like an impossible task, doesn’t it? However, it can be done! And frankly, it’s my most favorite way to travel. I know that 2020 was filled with little to no travel opportunities due to the horrible global pandemic….

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

These Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies are simple and delicious to enjoy for the holidays. My grandma has been making these cookies since I was a child, and they are always a delight. Recently, I went digging around in my grandma’s recipe box in search of this delicious…

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

Every year when the holidays are in full swing, I dig through my mom’s recipe box in search of my favorite cheese ball recipe. I’ve been eating this creamy and crumbly cheese ball for as long as I can remember. It’s funny how certain foods are associated with…

New From the Blog

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

These Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies are simple and delicious to enjoy for the holidays. My grandma has been making these cookies since I was a child, and they are always a delight. Recently, I went digging around in my grandma’s recipe box in search of this delicious…

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

Every year when the holidays are in full swing, I dig through my mom’s recipe box in search of my favorite cheese ball recipe. I’ve been eating this creamy and crumbly cheese ball for as long as I can remember. It’s funny how certain foods are associated with…

The Perfect Chic Hotel Getaway in Tulum, Mexico

The Perfect Chic Hotel Getaway in Tulum, Mexico

Are you looking for a beautiful and chic hotel in Tulum, Mexico? Look no further! Coco Tulum Boutique Hotel was perfect for a chill and budget-friendly vacay in beautiful Tulum.

How to get to Tulum from Cancun

There are a couple of options for transportation from Cancun airport to Tulum. There is a bus you can take or other shared-ride options. For the bus, you can find more info here.

We decided to get a taxi to save us some time and peace of mind. If you end up booking a Coco Tulum hotel (they have four) they *should* offer you a taxi service for an additional fee around $100 each way. Really, any hotel you book likely has some sort of transport service you can book. Just be sure to contact them ahead of time. The ride to Tulum from Cancun is around 2 hours.

Trust me, anything you book in advance from your hotel in Tulum will be cheaper than the rip off-airport options. Don’t pay more than $102 each way! Don’t forget to tip around $10-$20 as well.

hotel in Tulum Mexico

Let’s Talk About All-Inclusive Resorts in Tulum

Originally, I was looking to stay at an all-inclusive resort for my time in Tulum, simply because I just thought that was the “thing” to do in Mexico. Throughout my research, I discovered that all-inclusive isn’t all the rage in Tulum like it is in Cancun. If this is a deal-breaker for you, I would suggest looking elsewhere than Tulum, or to venture outside of your comfort zone.

Most of the hotels in Tulum are boutique hotels that focus on eco-friendly operations and implement a chic minimalist style. In short, Tulum absolutely caters to the millennial and gen z – but hey they totally know their market! I am all about this style and ethics, so I really enjoyed it all.

hotel in Tulum Mexico

Boutique Hotel Stays in Tulum, Mexico

There are an overwhelming amount of really nice options for lodging in Tulum. It was such a difficult choice for me to choose! Ultimately my choices were narrowed down to Papaya Playa Project ($$$), Mezzanine Colibri Boutique Hotel ($$), and Coco Tulum ($$). We chose Coco Tulum and we had a fantastic stay.

hotel in Tulum Mexico

Our Experience at Coco Limited Tulum

Overall, our stay at the Coco Limited property out of the four Coco Tulum hotels was amazing. There was one major hiccup that occurred that I do feel is worth mentioning.

hotel in Tulum Mexico

In the middle of the night, our room completely flooded during a storm. This was extremely frightening at first. We had to move our belongings to the only dry corner of the room and sleep on the couch, as the water was leaking from the roof onto the bed and water also came through all the doors of the room. There also was no 24-hour reception (which we already knew upon booking) so there was nothing that could be done in the middle of the night.

This is a totally unexpected occurrence that I understand can happen anywhere. Unfortunately what was even more unexpected, is when we told the front desk the next morning they were not able to move us rooms or do anything about the issue. There was no room compensation, no reassurance that this wouldn’t happen again, and no help whatsoever other than room service mopping up our room.

Other than that situation, our stay was honestly fabulous and I would recommend this hotel to anyone, I would just say don’t stay in room #20 to avoid a possible flooding situation 🙂

That was the only real con with this hotel, now let’s move onto all the great highlights this hotel has to offer!

Coco Limited – The Rooms

We stayed in The Jungle View Private Bath and really enjoyed the stunning minimalistic chic décor. The room is gloriously basic and has everything you need to for a relaxing beach vacation. Less really is more!

hotel in Tulum Mexico
hotel in Tulum Mexico
hotel in Tulum Mexico

Coco Tulum Beach Club & Bar

Coco Tulum’s private beach truly blew me away. Out of all the hotels and beaches I’ve ever been to, their beach setup is my all-time favorite. The beach was extremely clean and well taken care of. The cozy beach beds were plentiful and complete with umbrellas and side tables free for anyone.

It was quiet, relaxing, totally beachfront, and has a tasty beach bar and bedside service. Just take a look at how dreamy their private beach is!

hotel in Tulum Mexico

Talk about lunch with a view!

We ate at the beach bar every day for breakfast and lunch, and the food and drinks were outstanding. This guacamole was my favorite dish at the Coco Tulum Beach Bar. The guac was insanely fresh and the tomatoes and chips were to die for. I highly recommend getting a bottle of crisp white wine to compliment your dish.

hotel in Tulum Mexico

Breakfast is complimentary (unless you upgrade) but the complimentary choices were fantastic, we had no desire for anything else.

Nearby Restaurants

Although the food at Coco Tulum was delicious, we did want to venture out to some nearby restaurants. There are some AMAZING dining experiences just within walking distance from the hotel.

Posada Margherita – CASH ONLY!

Everything about this place is stunning; The atmosphere, the food, the view. It’s one of my favorite dining experiences I’ve indulged in. While some of their dishes (mainly the homemade pasta) can be a bit pricey, it’s very much worth it if you can splurge. However, there are cheaper dishes as well like their pizza!

Wow, that view!

hotel in Tulum Mexico
hotel in Tulum Mexico

Unfortunately, it started pouring down rain so we moved inside to dine. But the inside was beautifully detailed and decorated, I was happy to enjoy both atmospheres the restaurant had to offer.

hotel in Tulum Mexico

Parole Tulum

Parole Tulum was another delicious and charming dining experience. How gorgeous is their entrance??

hotel in Tulum Mexico
hotel in Tulum Mexico

We enjoyed caprese salads, pasta, and of course a birdcage of desserts! The service at this restaurant was absolutely incredible. The servers were very attentive.

The Perfect Relaxing Trip we Needed.

Overall, we had a fantastic time lounging on the beach and staying at Coco Tulum Limited! We were looking for a hotel that was affordable, relaxing, and delicious and it completely exceeded our expectations. If anyone is looking for a hotel for their trip to Tulum, Mexico I would highly recommend the Coco Tulum boutique hotels.

hotel in Tulum Mexico

Thanks for reading, and I hope this post will help you find some budget-friendly quality options for a hotel in Tulum, Mexico!

The Best Time to Visit Budapest – St. Stephen’s Day

The Best Time to Visit Budapest – St. Stephen’s Day

The best time to visit Budapest is hands down St. Stephen’s Day, August 20th.

If you are planning a trip to Budapest and have some flexibility on when you go, I would urge you to consider spending your time celebrating Hungary’s National Holiday.

Looking for the highlights of Budapest for your trip? Check out my post The Best of Budapest.

best time Budapest

What is St. Stephen’s Day in Budapest?

St. Stephen’s Day is to celebrate the foundation of the Hungarian State, and is held on August 20th every year.

About a thousand years ago in the year 1038, St. Stephan was declared the first Christian King of Hungary. St. Stephan turned Hungary into a Christian state after a century of Paganism, therefore he is considered the state-founder of the country,

St Stephen's Day Budapest

Why is this the best day to visit Budapest?

There’s no better time to visit a capital city than it’s country’s own National Holiday.

St. Stephen’s day is the best day of the year to visit Budapest because it provides the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Hungary’s culture. St. Stephen’s Day will introduce you to Hungary’s music, art, history, and most importantly – food, all in one day!

best time Budapest

How to keep up with the festivities.

The festivities largely are the same year after year, but the times may vary. The best resource for updated times are locations is here.

Várkert Bazaar in Buda – Music & The Street of Hungarian Flavors

This is one of my most favorite parts of St.Stephen’s Day! Food stalls full of authentic traditional Hungarian dishes like specialty stews or chimney cake line the Danube along the Buda side.

best time Budapest

Of course, you are in Budapest, so there is music and plenty of beer to drink in addition to the ample food choices. I had a fantastic strawberry cider that I still think about to this day!

Listening to Hungarian music makes everything more fun.

best time Budapest

Take advantage of the free museums

On St. Stephen’s Day, all the museums are free! However, beware – the lines are LONG. I would recommend choosing 1 museum that you’d like to go to on this day.

Here are some of my favorite museums that I would recommend visiting.

Hungarian National Parliament

This stunning Neo-Gothic style building is undoubtedly the most famous landmark of Budapest.

With it being the most famous building in Budapest, getting here early on St. Stephen’s day for a free tour is a must! Expect to wait a few hours if you are not there bright and early in the morning.

best time Budapest

The Hungarian National Gallery

The Hungarian National Gallery is a fantastic art museum to view. The gallery is located in the Buda Castle.

best time Budapest

When I went, they actually had a traveling Frida Kahlo exhibit that was quite expensive to view, so that was my “freebie” museum choice for St. Stephen’s day.

House of Terror

The House of Terror is a very emotional museum, and I would only recommend if you are interested in history.

This museum contains exhibits about the fascist and communist regimes that occurred in Budapest during the 20th century. The exact building was the site of countless murders and abuse and acts as a memorial to the victims.

Festival of folk arts

The Festival of Folk Arts takes place in Budapest’s castle district. It typically takes place over the course of a few days leading up to St. Stephen’s day.

Local artists from all around Budapest showcase their skills and crafts at this folk festival. It’s a great way to get an authentic sense of Budapest’s artistic roots.

Honestly doesn’t it look like an awesome time!? Someone get me one of those outfits!

Fireworks at the Parliament

End the night with stunning fireworks along the Danube in front of the parliament. Fireworks typically begin around 9pm (21:00.)

I hope you can see why St. Stephen’s Day is the best time of the year to visit Budapest.

You won’t find any other time of the year to experience Hungary’s culture all in one day!

New From the Blog

How to Travel the World on a Budget (or free) in 2021

How to Travel the World on a Budget (or free) in 2021

To travel on a budget or even for free in 2021 seems like an impossible task, doesn’t it? However, it can be done! And frankly, it’s my most favorite way to travel. I know that 2020 was filled with little to no travel opportunities due to the horrible global pandemic….

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

These Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies are simple and delicious to enjoy for the holidays. My grandma has been making these cookies since I was a child, and they are always a delight. Recently, I went digging around in my grandma’s recipe box in search of this delicious…

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

Every year when the holidays are in full swing, I dig through my mom’s recipe box in search of my favorite cheese ball recipe. I’ve been eating this creamy and crumbly cheese ball for as long as I can remember. It’s funny how certain foods are associated with…

New From the Blog

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

These Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies are simple and delicious to enjoy for the holidays. My grandma has been making these cookies since I was a child, and they are always a delight. Recently, I went digging around in my grandma’s recipe box in search of this delicious…

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

Every year when the holidays are in full swing, I dig through my mom’s recipe box in search of my favorite cheese ball recipe. I’ve been eating this creamy and crumbly cheese ball for as long as I can remember. It’s funny how certain foods are associated with…

25 Things You Need to Get Before You Study Abroad

25 Things You Need to Get Before You Study Abroad

Preparing to study abroad can be stressful. Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a list of 25 items that I thought were really essential for my experience studying abroad.

study abroad

Studying abroad was undoubtedly the highlight of my college career. There were many things I learned and loved about my experience living in a foreign country.

Something I greatly underestimated was how much work the process itself was. If you are about to study abroad or thinking about it, check out my post Things To Consider Before You Study Abroad.

These items won’t be all you need before your great adventure abroad, but they are some of the more unusual or easily forgettable essentials that I wanted to remind you to bring!

Hopefully, these 25 Things You Need Before You Study Abroad will help make your educational journey abroad a smoother transition.

Here are 25 Things You Need to Get Before You Study Abroad

1. A Universal Travel Adapter

This travel adapter is my favorite to travel with because it works in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the US! If you can only buy one thing for your trip abroad, I would consider this the most essential for your study abroad adventure.

Actually, I always travel with 2! If you use something that blows it out, like a hairdryer or curling iron, then it can be a pain to have to wait in the mail for 1-2 weeks to get a replacement. So I highly recommend always traveling with a backup.

I also love this adapter because it has 4 USB ports rather than the traditional 2. This can be very handy, especially if you plan on traveling around in hostels during your time abroad.

2. A Quality Backpack

Since you are going to study abroad, you are probably going to want to travel around a bit! Luggage fees on airlines can cost you a pretty penny if you aren’t careful. I spent 6 months backpacking Europe and didn’t spend a dime on luggage fees.

Before I left for my backpacking trip, I knew I needed something that was completely functional and was the highest quality. I spent about a year before I left doing oodles of research on the best backpacks in the world. The conclusion came to be Osprey.

study abroad

The backpack I specifically have is an Osprey Porter 46. It fit on every airline and was totally functional to live out of for months. The weight distribution on this bag is incredible and it never feels like your carrying as much as you are.

It’s important to find the best backpack for you. If you’re a 5’3 female like I am, this bag will be perfect for you. However, if you are tall and/or are a man, you may find a bag you can carry more with. Osprey has tons of options.

3. Feminine Hygiene Products

So this one is for the women. Feminine hygiene products are something you wouldn’t think to stock up on, but the products vary by country. Your study abroad country may supply products that have the same function, but they may look or feel different. Luckily, I read this beforehand on a blog post and brought 6 months worth with me

I’m sure whichever country you are going to has something that will work, but just consider researching it before you leave.

4. A Journal

You will certainly want to document your exciting and new experience abroad! I know a journal can be a bit old school, but you will be so happy once you’re older to look back on this experience.

study abroad things to get

5. A Good Camera

Obviously you can use your camera on your phone to capture your moments abroad. However, if you are wanting to step up your photography, this is the camera I brought along on my travels when I was just starting out.

There, of course, are more advanced cameras you can buy, but I used this camera for 4 years and I still think it’s great. The only downside is it’s a little bulky for traveling, but I made it work! Here are a couple of photos of my travels I’ve captured with it. (Photos were edited in lightroom as well).

6. A Laptop

If you are a student, you may already have this. I’m sure that studying abroad is possible without a laptop, but it just may make things a little more difficult for you with everything online these days.

The laptop that I’ve had forever is a Microsoft Surface Book. The best thing about it is, it’s SO light. Perfect for traveling. My friend who traveled with a mac book always complained about how heavy it was. So if you are shopping around, try to pick a light laptop if you plan on traveling a lot.

7. Quart Sized Zip Lock Bags

All liquids are required to fit in 1 single quart-sized bag for your flight. It’s a good idea to stock up on these baggies if you intend on traveling a lot while you are studying abroad. Maybe bring 10-15 baggies, and try to reuse on your travels as much as possible.

8. Travel Bottles for Liquids

Liquids overall are just such a pain to travel with. These bottles make things a little easier, especially if your favorite liquid products don’t come in travel sizes.

9. Credit Card

This can be a very underestimated necessity while traveling. Credit cards are almost a must for travelers. They offer SO many benefits that will make your life so much easier.

When you use a debit card for a purchase in a foreign country, or you use it to withdraw from an ATM, you are charged a fee every time you swipe that card.

A credit card that you want to look for is one that does not charge you any foreign transaction fees. Without a credit card to save you those foreign transaction fees, they can really add up if you are traveling for a long period of time.

Other benefits some credit cards can offer is travel insurance, car rental insurance, and points towards free flights. Of course, these all depend on the credit card company of choice. I have a Capital One Venture One and love it!

study abroad

10. Headphones/earbuds

Need I say more? Public transportation is a headache in itself, the least you can do is invest in a good pair oh headphones to cancel out the noise.

11. Water Bottle

You know what they say, hydrate or diedrate!! A quality water bottle is essential for any type of traveling. It is very important to stay hydrated, especially as you explore the new city that you’re studying in!

study abroad

12. Extra Phone Chargers

I would recommend traveling with 2 phone chargers. The same kind of deal with the travel adapter, a phone charger is not something you want to be without. You could leave it somewhere or it can stop working, and you may be somewhere where replacing it is not immediate.

My phone charger quit working while I was waiting for a train in Paris. It was very stressful scrambling around searching for one in fear of missing my train!

study abroad things to get

13. Swimsuit

This may seem rather random but you never know when you’re going to take a dip!

Swimsuits are small and easy to stuff in your bag, it may be worth having one just in case. Even if you are studying somewhere cold and not tropical, you could find a super cheap flight to Lisbon or Morocco and definitely want to go for a swim!

14. Tennis shoes and/or Hiking Shoes

One time I ended up in a situation where I was in the mountains of Norway with nothing but a couple of pairs of sandals. Amazon was not accessible and I ended up dropping over $200 at the only hiking store in town. Not exactly a backpacker’s budget!

Hiking is one of the most spectacular and underrated things you can do during your time abroad. I would research your destination, and consider if hiking is something you want to do on your adventure. If so, I would definitely bring a good pair of hiking shoes.

I knew before I tackled this hike that investing in some quality hiking shoes was a must. One little slip and well… you can clearly see what would have happened.

15. Unlocked Cell Phone OR Sim Card + International Phone Plan

Be sure to research your specific cell phone and how it will work in the country you’re going abroad to.

I have an Iphone and I made sure to get it unlocked and also sign up for a phone company that I knew would have good international rates. I actually switched my phone plan from AT&T to T-mobile specifically for T-mobile’s international rates, which were considerably cheaper.

If you aren’t careful, your phone plan can costs you thousands of dollars in extra international fees.

16. Travel Insurance

If you are going abroad through a program with your school, they *should have insurance included within your fees. However, if you plan on traveling before or after your term, your school insurance likely will not cover it! Travel insurance is extremely important for your finances and your health.

Some people don’t use it at all, but if you have my luck, you’ll go to the hospital like 6 times during your trip and be so thankful you had it. Better to be safe than sorry!

17. Luggage Tags and Labels.

Basically everything I own has my name, phone number, and e-mail address written all over it. If I’m being honest, I lose things quite often. So, it’s important that I cover my bases in case things get lost or misplaced.

Luggage tags and labels will come especially handy if your bags get lost at the airport. Unfortunately, this happens pretty often!

I would also recommend using labels on anything remotely expensive or valuable to you – your camera, journal, cell phone, etc.

Don’t forget to include your last name so people can find you on Facebook, your country code before your phone number, and your e-mail in case they can’t contact you via phone number.

Washi tape is a great way to label things. Scotch brand definitely makes the best quality that sticks.

study abroad things to get

study abroad things to get

18. A Small Variety of Clothing Options

This is probably rather obvious, but you want to include varied options of clothes. Clothing is one of those things that you can really get anywhere you’re studying abroad. So don’t stress if you aren’t packing absolutely every clothing item you think you may need.

You will definitely want to pack accordingly to the weather that will be most prominent during the time in your study abroad destination. Then, maybe include some tropical or winter wear if you plan on traveling to other countries with different climates.

study abroad things to get

19. Towels & Sheets

My dorm at the college I studied abroad at was pretty bare. It didn’t have pots, pans, plates, towels, bed-sheets…. nothing!

However, there were options that you can buy from the school to have these things provided for you upon arrival. Some packages can be rather expensive, but it may be worth it to lighten your packing.

You can also mix and match your packages if that is an option. I opted to bring my own towels but purchased bed sheets from my university. My flatmates and I all chipped in for kitchen items on our own and just bought them in town when we arrived.

20. Extras of EVERYTHING! Medicine, Contacts, Retainers, Glasses, etc.

So, I’m a Capricorn, which means I try to be totally prepared for everything. My friend who traveled with me is not and had to deal with getting some of these things abroad, which took a lot of time, money, and stress.

It’s not that you can’t access these things in most countries, but it can just be a bit more difficult. You’ll need to stock up on contacts, birth control, any special type of medication, and anything else that is particular for you and more tricky to get abroad.

If you have to wear a retainer at night, consider getting a backup just in case you lose yours. It’s a good idea to have a second pair of glasses as well.

21. A Light Foldable Jacket

Even if you are going somewhere warm, a light jacket can be a lifesaver. Public transportation always freezes me out. I had a tiny foldable jacket that really came in handy when I didn’t need my big winter coat and just wanted something light.

22. Small Umbrella

I got some serious backlash when traveling for carrying a small umbrella. Backpackers told me it was a waste of space! I did not regret it one bit. I tried to tough it out with just a small rain jacket, and it did not go well. What can I say, I’m an umbrella snob.

study abroad things to get

23. Microfiber Towel

So, I know I already mentioned towels and sheets, however, a microfiber towel is really essential if you plan on doing any sort of traveling around during your time abroad.

Microfiber towels are not cozy and fluffy like the shower towels were are use to at home. But, they are very small and fold-able, also they dry out quickly and don’t get that moldy smell like a normal towel would if you tried packing it.

Rainleaf is my absolute favorite brand. The towels run VERY small though, so just do yourself a favor and get an XXL. It can also double up as a great beach towel.

24. Sunglasses

You’ll definitely want some sunnies for the long flight ahead!

25. A Planner

I’m a big fan of planners to keep track of my studies and my travels! I’m obsessed with the Happy Planner’s mini travel sized planners.

To make the decision to study abroad is such an exciting adventure one can experience – make sure to enjoy every bit of it!

Don’t spend too much time stressing if you don’t pack absolutely everything on this list. If you forget something, Amazon Prime is your bestie!

New From the Blog

How to Travel the World on a Budget (or free) in 2021

How to Travel the World on a Budget (or free) in 2021

To travel on a budget or even for free in 2021 seems like an impossible task, doesn’t it? However, it can be done! And frankly, it’s my most favorite way to travel. I know that 2020 was filled with little to no travel opportunities due to the horrible global pandemic….

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

These Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies are simple and delicious to enjoy for the holidays. My grandma has been making these cookies since I was a child, and they are always a delight. Recently, I went digging around in my grandma’s recipe box in search of this delicious…

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

Every year when the holidays are in full swing, I dig through my mom’s recipe box in search of my favorite cheese ball recipe. I’ve been eating this creamy and crumbly cheese ball for as long as I can remember. It’s funny how certain foods are associated with…

New From the Blog

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe

These Easy Christmas Sugar Cookies are simple and delicious to enjoy for the holidays. My grandma has been making these cookies since I was a child, and they are always a delight. Recently, I went digging around in my grandma’s recipe box in search of this delicious…

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

Every year when the holidays are in full swing, I dig through my mom’s recipe box in search of my favorite cheese ball recipe. I’ve been eating this creamy and crumbly cheese ball for as long as I can remember. It’s funny how certain foods are associated with…