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We're soon heading back to uni for the new year - some of us are even starting uni for the first time and others moving from their home countries, across the world to come to Kingston! Wooh! Exciting! But with moving comes the time-consuming task of packing. All your clothes, shoes (oh so many shoes), toiletries, lucky teddies, sheets, towels, kitchen stuff! After 3 years of uni I can safely say that packing is an absolute nightmare! But hopefully my little tips will help you get through it all with a little less frustration. So here goes: 

Roll don't fold!

1. Roll, don't fold!

My favourite and most used of all my tips. After years of folding my clothes into neat little piles to fit into my suitcase, I discovered that rolling clothes (like little swiss rolls) really is the best way to save space. The little rolls can block up any gaps in your bags or boxes and become small enough to stuff into objects , which brings me to tip number 2.

 

Making use of all those shoes!2. Stuff, stuff, stuff

We all have odd shaped objects which are hollow and take up soooo much more space than they need to so my advice is to use your space wisely and stuff your little rolls of clothes, your socks and underwear into shoes, pots and pans, lamp shades. This way your clothes protect your objects from any damage and you save more space. Fewer trips to the car! Yay!

 

Yes or No!

 3. Only pack what you absolutely need

 I learned this the hard way! Being an island girl, I am programmed to think that bikinis are an essential, no matter where you go. This is definitely not the case in the UK! So have a long hard think about the things that you are bringing along with you and if you have any doubts, then you should probably leave it behind.

Lists, lists,lists!

 

4. Lists!

Making lists may sound like something only grandparents do but they really are helpful! Have different lists for different things. A list for things you need to do before you leave, a list for important documents (passport, admissions letter, visa) and a list for all the odd bits you don't want to forget (medicine, favourite shoes, lucky charms).

 5. Weigh your suitcase

Getting to the airport and having to unpack is painful and very stressful. If you are flying into the UK make sure to check and double check how many kilos you are allowed. Don't forget to check the weight requirements for your carry-on luggage as well as you can stuff quite a bit into your carry-on (usually 15kilos). On many airlines you are able to add extra kilos for a bit extra money and it is always cheaper to do so before hand as there are extra charges once you are at the airport. Try your best to weigh your bags before heading to the airport!

 

Whilst at University I have been diagnosed as Gluten intolerant, being a massive foodie this did come as abit of a disappointment and at times can be abit of a pain in the ass, but I am slowly starting to understand what my body likes and dislikes, and after a few slip ups I have learnt the importance of maintaining a suitable diet. Here are my top tips for all food allergies suffers –

1. Get organised – the hardest time of day for me was lunch time, gluten free lunch meal deals are difficult find, and usually there is absolutely no variety, so try and find some lunch ideas that you love and have it all in stock!!

2. Research – find support groups online – which often help and advice on all the questions you have. When I first found out, I had too many questions and the list grew and grew as the days went on, so I would endlessly be searching online, is this gluten free? Can I eat this? Is there an alternative to this? Help?? The internet is a massive source of information, whilst not always true, I am sure you can find the answers to all your questions and more.

3. Surround yourself with people who know - at first I had a few forgetful slips up, especially after a drink or two, and having people around me who knew did reduce the amount of times I have eaten the wrong thing. Having to think about everything you eat is difficult at first and once it’s in your mouth its too late. Thankfully it does get easier over time, but having friends around to remind you every now and then is very handy.

4. Try not to let it get you down, leading up to my diagnoses I felt terrible pretty much everyday, and it was a vicious circle, but I can guarantee your energy levels will rise and you have days when you feel 100% once you start fuelling your body with the right things. Unfortunately having bad days is unavoidable, but I just make sure that I make the most of the good ones.

5. Finally, enjoy exploring new foods and recipes! Being diagnosed doesn’t mean I’ve been restricted it has just forced me to move away from the comfort zone I was in, and my regular eating habits and try news things.

 

Peace everyone,

It's my first post - and how better to start than by writing about my favourite hobby: Travelling.

This is part of a series of posts that I dedicate to my current most favourite place on earth, Istanbul. In this series I will pretty much publish something similar to a diary, as well as a guide, my personal thoughts and opinions of how things are. The guide will include tips and tricks and all the money related stuff. You can do Istanbul for 8 days in June, for under 300 Euros!

After a year of hard work, everyone deserves a break. I feel it is important to do something outside of town, get a feel for a different place, see how things are somewhere outside of your comfort zone. A market in Istanbul

Imagine how different it felt being out of Europe? I was wary but at the same time excited about going. I was wary because I have not been to anywhere near Asia in over 15 years! And excited for I have always wanted to see what the fuss on turkey is about!

I was lucky enough to receive the bursary that Kingston University offered. I received full £3,000; £2,000 was a tuition fees waver whereas the other £1,000 went straight to me. I used that as my budget.

I felt it was important to travel on a budget, especially as a student. For this reason, I booked my tickets well in advance, in fact about 6 months prior. Good times to search are straight after Christmas, as I read, and Tuesdays and Wednesday (I cannot remember the reasons). It is also important that when comparing tickets websites like Kayak and Skyscanner are used to give an overall feel for how much you'll be spending. I ended up getting my tickets for £139 without the 25kg luggage allowance and flew with British Airways.

Similarly, I booked my hotel around the same time, 6 months prior to flying, and found a decent one in the Sultanahmet area which was about 7 minute walk from the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. I shared the room with my cousin who travelled with me. We spent a collective 280 Euros on the Hotel which included breakfast. So for flight and hotel I spent £250. Just one of the beautiful sights of Istanbul

What to look out for in the next post: Planning an itinerary, travelling from the airport to the hotel, eating out, travelling around in Istanbul.

Peace!

 

*excluding ticket and hotel

 

 

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