It feels weird to be doing my traditional monthly recap post whilst everywhere around me the internet is reflecting on the entirety of 2018. In truth, I haven’t taken much time to look back over the year as a whole. I’ve got my plane flight back home from NYC in a bit (I’m waiting in the airport as I write this), and I seem to do my best thinking at high altitudes. Maybe that will lead to some reflection. In the meantime, let’s take a little look back at 2018’s final month…
Where was I in December?
Michigan (Lansing, Detroit)
Most popular Instagram in December…
View this post on Instagram
HOW TO FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS ✈️💰(Save for your 2019 travel booking!).⠀ ⠀ Just booked my first two trips of 2019: Snagged a return flight to NYC for $100 and to London for $230!⠀ ⠀ I visited 21 countries on a student budget, and continue to travel on a budget bc I’d rather spend my $$ on quality experiences than an airplane I’ll just be sitting in for a few hours! Here are my TOP tried & true tips for cheap flights:⠀ ⠀ →Track flight patterns with Google Flights and @hopper … both predict the cheapest time to book. I always have an ‘anywhere’ alert on for my local airport and alerts for any upcoming trips.⠀ ⠀ → Use @skyscanner ‘anywhere’ feature to find cheapest destinations, and monthly view to find the cheapest day. Works best on desktop. This finds the best deals on the internet and directs you to the airline to book with. Tuesdays and Thursdays are usually cheapest!⠀ ⠀ → Follow @secretflying on Facebook. They post error fares AKA ridiculously low prices but you’ve got to book ASAP.⠀ ⠀ → Before booking a flight ALWAYS delete your browser history and then use an incognito window (cookies in your browser raise flight prices if you’ve previously searched the destination). I have literally saved hundreds doing this!⠀ ⠀ → If possible also book from a different IP address (say a cafe or friend’s house), this also reduces chances of predictive cookies raising the flight price.⠀ ⠀ → Look at alternative airports. This summer I saved $600 on my flight to London by driving an extra 2 hours to depart from Cleveland instead of Detroit!⠀ ⠀ → Start frequent flyer miles accounts with every airline you book through. These add up over time! I once flew to London for 1 cent using miles!⠀ ⠀ → Sign up for a no fees travel rewards credit card. I use @bankofamerica which has a huge sign on bonus! You can book free travel (no blackout dates or restrictions).⠀ ⠀ → Travel light. An obvious one as most airlines now charge you for baggage. I got return flights to Miami for $36 once, and stuffed all my things in a tote bag as the checked bag fee was $60! It was fine as I was in a swimsuit the whole time anyway 🤷🏻♀️⠀ ⠀ Have you used any of these tips? Any I forgot to mention?
My favorite Instagram in December…
December blog posts…
- Cherry Tree Inn Traverse City MI Review
- 2018 Travel Favorites
- Repat Diaries: Life in the USA One Year On
- October & November Recap
- Traverse City Holiday Shopping Guide
December adventured like…
- The beginning of December saw me chopping off 15 inches of hair! This stuff has literally been weighing me down since the sixth grade. With so much else in my life in transition, particularly my health, I just wanted to get rid of it. I am SO happy with my decision. I feel not only physically lighter but emotionally so as well. I should write a book called ‘The Magic of Chopping Your Hair Off’ if the millions of women who’ve already discovered this magic haven’t already done so.
- I worked extra days through both Christmas and New Year’s at my job. It was certainly stressful being the holidays, and with reduced staff, but I actually really enjoyed being with the care home residents during the holidays. I mean, I think that’s really what the spirit of the season is all about. Although next year I won’t complain if I have Christmas day off to spend with family 🙂
- I’ve had a flare of endometriosis over December. At first I thought it was a couple bad days I could attribute to going off my strict ‘endo diet.’ And maybe diet is to blame, but whatever the cause, I have been experiencing pretty bad symptoms of late. I can’t say it’s over yet or I’ve learned any great lessons from this experience but it is what it is.
- My family went to Detroit for a belated Christmas and had another meal at Buddy’s Pizza which was just amazing!
- I also spent a lot of December cooking various dishes either with my new Instant Pot (!) or other specialties like these life changing cookies and these fudgey brownies! (both are refined flour free, gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free!)
- Although there wasn’t much travel in December, I did spend a lot of time planning my 2019 travels which are looking to be pretty exciting! Check out my travel plans here.
- I also managed to finish my goal of reading 52 books in 2018, or one book a week. Granted I cheated my way with a binge of some crappy romance novels that take about 4 hours to read halfway through the year, but I promise I did balance that with some quality literature LOL. Check out my reads on Goodreads.
- I have been using a lot of [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DMNZH3G’ text=’lavender epsom salts’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence06-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’880cffd2-3614-4863-be44-43e16cc3a7dc’]. I’m talking like three baths a week. Going to share more about this in my next ‘wellness habits lately’ blog post!
- I also have developed a slight addiction to [amazon_textlink asin=’B005M4AMYI’ text=’Justin’s nut butter cups’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence06-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3ab5b207-1ace-4bad-95c9-e691d872f7a8′]… particularly the dark chocolate almond butter cups and cashew butter cups.
- Other than that I have to say most of my December purchases were on Christmas presents! I tried to make some myself (I gave everyone a pottery ornament I made), but the holidays are always a pricy time. Hoping to do a better job budgeting in 2019!
I hope 2019 has been treating you kindly so far. I’m excited for all it has in store. In fact, I decided my word for 2019 is ‘self compassion.’ I’m curious – how were your Decembers, and do you have any intentions for the year ahead?