City Stays: Air BNB vs Hotels

True, True, True… This is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, but being new to Airbnb, I couldn’t help but analyze.

There are two major cities in which I have visited both Airbnbs and hotels, so I am not at all claiming to be an expert. Nonetheless, here are some differences that I noted as well as when and why I would stay in each. Continue reading City Stays: Air BNB vs Hotels

Island Travel Interviews- Philippines, Take 3

Philippine Island Travel Bohol Samal
Photo Credit- Pixabay

With over 7,000 islands making up its archipelago, it’s easy to see why we are headed back to the Philippines for the third time. (If you missed the first four islands, you can check them out here and here.)  This week, we are headed to Samal with Ruben and Rachel of Gamin Traveler as well as to Bohol Island with Meira from Oimeira. Here are their answers to my Travel Interview series questions… Continue reading Island Travel Interviews- Philippines, Take 3

Inexpensive Flooring: How to Stencil Concrete Floors

Inexpensive Flooring How to Stencil Concrete Floors

Yes, this is still a travel blog. I just am grounded and started a basement laundry/mudroom project back in February that needs to be finished asap. I hemmed and hawed about the flooring, looking into a million and one different options for our ugly, uneven concrete floor. They were all not technically going to work or were too expensive for a room that, let’s face it, only I’m going to see. I looked into everything- wood, vinyl, laminate, large tile, small tile, stamped concrete, stained concrete, etc., etc. I was disappointed that the Portuguese tile I really wanted wasn’t going to work out. How fun would it have been to have a tiled floor inspired by travel! Dreams dashed… Continue reading Inexpensive Flooring: How to Stencil Concrete Floors

Where to Eat in Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City Beach

I was recently asked where we were headed next. My answer…No where! And I was excited about it! This weather is what Michiganders endure 6 months of winter for! It is finally going to be beach weather and we have some of the best beaches and beach towns (I may be a bit biased.) Okay, so I’m not exactly going to stay put. Truthfully, I am going to take every opportunity to hit up the lakeshore and road trip it up north. We just had our very own family tradition of our “unofficial first weekend of summer” in Traverse City. Here is where we ate: Continue reading Where to Eat in Traverse City, Michigan

Island Travel Interviews- Indonesia, Take 1

Hello again! This week is exciting!!! We are going to a part of the world we haven’t visited yet… Indonesia! Thankfully, Chantell from Travel For Your Life and Rain from Words and Wanderlust are here to provide some insight and lovely pictures. Let begin our journey in Bali… Continue reading Island Travel Interviews- Indonesia, Take 1

Where to Stay in Denver: Hotel Teatro

Hotel Teatro Denver Colorado

I cannot stay enough good things about Hotel Teatro. We usually go for the larger hotels (you know, the hotels with the massive Christmas trees in their lobbies in December) but will without a doubt stay at Hotel Teatro on all future trips to Denver. The staff was incredibly friendly, helpful, and professional while still providing a relaxed and calm environment. The location was also very convenient, especially if you plan to take advantage of Larimer Square’s decadent restaurant scene (which we did and you can read about here), walk to Union Station, head out to a Colorado Rockies game, or enjoy a performance at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. You can also walk to mostly mainstream shopping on the 16th Street Mall or boutiques in Larimer Square. But back to the hotel… Continue reading Where to Stay in Denver: Hotel Teatro

Island Travel Interviews- Caribbean, Take 5

Hi all! This week, I’ve decided to take us back to the Caribbean. I just can’t seem to stay away! This time, we’ll be visiting Curacao with Margarita from Downshifting PRO and St. Lucia with Christina and Adam from Our Sweet Adventures.

Since we are fresh off of the beautiful buildings in Hvar, Croatia, from a couple of weeks ago, let’s continue the trend with gorgeous Curacao. (If you missed the post on Hvar, you can catch up here.)

What is Your Name and Blog Name/URL?

Margarita Ibbott from DownshiftingPRO – FAMILY + TRAVEL + LIFE

Which Island Will You Be Talking About and Why Did You Choose This Island?

Curacao – Part of the ABC Caribbean Islands (Aruba, Bonair & Curacao). I was in Curacao in December and I was charmed by the beauty of the beaches. This was my first solo trip and I would recommend it highly as it was very safe.

How Many Days Would You Recommend Staying on This Island?
One week would be good but 10 days may be better if you want to switch resorts as I did. Well worth the packing and moving around!

What was Your Favorite Thing About/Memory From Your Trip to This Island?
My favourite part of the Island was Kenapa Grandi Beach. About a 60-75 minutes from Willemstad (the capital of Curacao), it is easy to get to and has amenities. It was beautiful, not crowed and pristine.

Caribbean Island Travel Curacao
Photo Credit- Margarita Ibbott @Downshifting PRO

What is Your “Can’t Miss” Activity on the Island? What activities/opportunities does this island provide?
You can do anything you want: sail, jetski, golf, go to clubs, dine out, go to museums. It has it all. That being said, I would not miss a photo tour of Willemstad. The colourful buildings and interesting architecture provides wonderful photo opps! I would not miss the Kura Hulanda Musem which features the history of slavery in the Caribbean.

Best Restaurant/Place to Eat?
My favourite restaurant was Jaanchi’s it is a local place off the beaten path but the owner is a character. Jaanchi gifts you with a souvenir (a small cloth pouch) and he asks you to buy a lottery ticket and send him a portion of the winnings- when you win of course! It was charming and funny but I think he was serious 😉

Photo Credit- Margarita Ibbot @Downshifting PRO

What Surprised You About this Island?
It’s size. It is very manageable and you can easily drive tip to tip in about 2 + hours but you are going to want to stop and take in some of the views, have so great food and lounge on a beach or two (or three).

Any Travel Advice for those considering this island as a destination (e.g., where to stay, ease of getting there, how best to get around, language, money)?

It is best to rent a car. Driving is very easy and safe and the roads are fairly good. Just download the Curacao Google map to your phone or tablet beforehand. You can get to different places fairly easily with a car. Why rent a car? Taxis have a monopoly on transportation (so no hotel shuttles to/from the airport) and they can be pricey!

I have two different stays to suggest: If you want a private, European-style of hotel stay at the more remote Papagayo Hotel and Beach Resort. It has a wonderful beach, great restaurant and is just lovely but out of the downtown area. If you want to stay right in town, I preferred the Renaissance Resort and Casino. Attached to the RIF Fort (an entertainment district located in an old fort), you have access to restaurants, bars, boutiques and daily entertainment is right beside the hotel. The breakfast buffet was to die for!

Although the currency is the Antilles Gilder, you can also pay with American dollars just about anywhere that you go. I also used my credit card easily and the exchange was reasonable. I did not bother converting to Gilders, I just tipped any service personnel in American dollars.

Photo Credit- Margarita Ibbott @Downshifting PRO

There were a few unique museums that I would strongly recommend: Kura Hulanda is an entire historical district that has been lovingly restored. It has a lovely hotel (that I would also recommend), a small restaurant area, and the Kura Hulanda Museum. It is a historical and cultural museum that documents the slave trade and its importance to Curacao. There are very interesting artifacts and it is curated magnificently.

I also had a quick visit to the oldest Synagogue in the northern hemisphere. The curator was a wonderful woman that showed me both the museums and the synagogue (the floor is sand, one of only a handful of synagogues that have this feature).

If my readers want to hear more about your island, do you have a link to your full article?

I have a series of posts. The links are within my answers to both the blog, YouTube videos and Trip Advisor reviews.

 

I have heard such wonderful things about St. Lucia but have never been. I’m excited to learn more about this fabulous island from Christina and Adam.

What is Your Name and Blog Name/URL?
Christina and Adam of Our Sweet Adventures

Which Island Will You Be Talking About and Why Did You Choose This Island?
Saint Lucia. We picked this island for our honeymoon because it had everything we wanted – seclusion, great beaches, lots of adventurous activities, and a low chance of getting hit by hurricanes (we went during hurricane season).

How Many Days Would You Recommend Staying on This Island?
At least 5 – 6 nights. Allotting for travel time/adjusting, one day of pure relaxation, and the rest for exploring.

Caribbean Island Travel St. Lucia
Photo Credit- Our Sweet Adventures

What Is Your Favorite Thing About/Memory From Your Trip to This Island?

There are too many to choose from! Hiking the Gros Piton was a favorite moment because we knocked off two things on our bucket list in one day. When we reached the top, not only did we have incredible views, but we hiked the highest point of the island and were as high as the clouds! Feeling the clouds touch our skins was an amazing feeling.

“Can’t Miss” Activity on the Island? What activities/opportunities does this island provide?

Definitely the mud bath at Sulphur Springs. Spreading mud on each other for our honeymoon was a lot of fun. Then we washed the mud off in the hot springs. When we got out we looked 12 years younger!
Other activities to do at Saint Lucia are:
Snorkeling
Sailing
Jungle Biking
Botanical Garden Tour
Zip lining through the jungle

Best Restaurant/Place to Eat?
We ate at Jade Mountain Club everyday because we had an all-inclusive program with the Jade Mountain Resort. The food was incredible and prepared by a James Beard Award winning chef. Some of our favorite dishes were: fresh ceviche, nutella french toast, seared scallops with coconut rice and Saint Lucian tiramisu.

Caribbean Island Travel St. Lucia
Photo Credit- Our Sweet Adventures

What Surprised You About this Island?
The locals would work all their life then retire to become a police officer or firefighter because there was very little crime and fire. In fact, we saw a police officer in uniform at a bar….drinking beer!

Caribbean Island Travel St. Lucia
Photo Credit- Our Sweet Adventures

Any Travel Advice for those considering this island as a destination (e.g., where to stay, ease of getting there, how best to get around, language, money)?

Definitely stay at a resort that is all-inclusive, offers transportation, and includes excursions in the package. This is an island for both relaxation and a lot of adventure. The common language is English. The currency used is Eastern Caribbean Dollar, but USD is readily accepted throughout the island. Credit cards are acceptable, but in more local areas it is best to bring cash just in case.

If my readers want to hear more about your island, do you have a link to your full article? 

Yes, of course! We would love to gain more readers and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask us in the comments or contact page.

https://oursweetadventures.com/2017/04/13/our-favorite-activities-to-do-in-saint-lucia/

Many thanks to Downshifting PRO and Our Sweet Adventures!

Want to save this for later? Here is the pin…

Caribbean Island Travel
Photo Credit- Pixabay

** Please note that this post may contain affiliate links meaning that, at no cost to you, I may receive some compensation if you click and purchase. Thank you!

  

 

Travel Capsule- Spring Styles

I have been intrigued with the Capsule Wardrobe concept for some time. While not all the way there yet, I figured that a TRAVEL capsule wardrobe was a good place to begin. I was also thrilled to collaborate with local business, Lee and Birch. Store manager, Elizabeth, met with me and helped guide me in selecting 11 pieces that could be combined to create so many different outfit combinations. She was fabulous, as has been all of the staff when I have shopped there on previous occasions. If you are local, stop in. (They also have locations in Rockford, Michigan and Grand Haven, Michigan.) If you aren’t local, you can still check them out online at www.leeandbirch.com.

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

Here are the pieces we chose and a bit about each outfit. Oh, and as a side note, there is a lot me in this post- sorry! Fortunately, one of my good friends was taking the photos, which was also handy and hilarious and included statements such as “that’s a fake smile- let’s do another one” and “here, wear my bracelet- you need a little sparkle.” ❤️ 

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

We decided on a tank for piece #1 of the capsule. Spring is unpredictable, but you do get those warm (sometimes even hot) days. I’m not that fun or spicy (as a flight attendance once called me- I’m the opposite), but this tank is just the right amount of fun for me. Elizabeth also recommended some cropped Paige jeans. The are great and do not stretch out, which is perfect for travel because, let’s face it, there isn’t ever a washer or dryer around when you need it. 

#1: Saturday, Please Stay Tank– https://leeandbirch.com/products/saturday-please-stay-tank

#2: Paige Jeans– https://leeandbirch.com/products/verdugo-crop-edie

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

This would actually be a great outfit for the plane too- just add a trendy jacket and you are good to go.

#3: Roper Jacket- In Store Exclusive (stop in or call for details)

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

Or, if you want to be even more stylish, you could pair a white tee with this beautiful kimono. A white tee is a risk (that’s what Shout wipes are for) but also a staple in a Spring Capsule wardrobe. And this kimono…well…just look at it. 

Maybe the mornings are chilly and the afternoons warm up. Then, you can easily swap the jeans for these silky, soft, and stylish shorts. If I didn’t live in Michigan where it can rain on Monday, snow on Tuesday, and be in the 70’s by Saturday in the springtime, I would live in these shorts.

#4: White Tee– https://leeandbirch.com/collections/tops/T-Shirt

#5: Kimono- https://leeandbirch.com/products/monarch-carmen

#6: Ruffle Shorts– https://leeandbirch.com/products/ruffle-waist-short

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

If it’s a little chillier or you don’t trust yourself traveling with white, this shirt is another option to pair with the kimono. Not only does it pair well with the jeans and kimono but it is full of surprises, making it casual enough for site seeing but fun enough for dinner, too. The neckline and sleeve length make this shirt a classic choice. But then there are the slits up the side. They lay over each other but with movement, glide open, giving you the option to put a basic camisole underneath or perhaps something fancier or nothing at all if you are really trying to keep the capsule minimal. 

#7: Baseball Tee– https://leeandbirch.com/collections/tops/T-Shirt

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

While we are talking dinner, it’s always good to be prepared for a nicer night out. Herein comes this LBD. It is light enough that it is perfect for the spring and summer months (and won’t take up any room in the suitcase). Even if you aren’t going anywhere, you may want to check this one out.

#8: LBD- https://leeandbirch.com/collections/dresses-skirts/Dress 

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

What about going to museums or meeting friends for lunch? We have you covered there too. This dress is perfect and, as with most outfits, can be dressed up or down depending on shoe and jewelry choice. The bottom is a wrap. Before you count yourself out because wraps are usually a little irritating, there is a built in skirt/slip underneath, so you can move freely without constantly adjusting. Genius. You could also throw the jean jacket on (in the following picture) if it is cold or you are worried about the air conditioning (as I always am).

#9: Hester Dress- https://leeandbirch.com/products/hester-dress

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

 

Planning to spend a day shopping or checking out art galleries? There is an ensemble for that too. This ruched skirt is very comfortable and easy to take a stroll in. Again, it can be paired with the White Tee from above and this jean jacket. Done and Done.

#10: Ruched Skirt- https://leeandbirch.com/products/ruched-skirt

#11Jean Jacket- https://leeandbirch.com/products/maddox-jacket-sunwashed

Many thanks to Lee and Birch for this collaboration! Here is a pin in case you feel like shopping later this week or passing the info along to husbands and children for Mother’s Day. 

 

Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

**This is not a sponsored post or ad. I am not receiving anything from Lee and Birch, aside from having a fun Wednesday and receiving guidance putting this capsule together. 

 

Island Travel Interviews- European Islands, Take 2

Have you gotten a sense that there is very little rhyme or reason to the course we are traveling on this island interview journey? This week, we are headed back to the European Islands with Wayfaring with Wagner and Finding Upendi for the Island Travel Interviews focusing on the Croatian Island of Hvar and the Spanish Canary Islands (La Palma to be specific).

Let’s Begin with fellow native Michigander, Jordan fromWayfaring with Wagner, as she assists us in discovering Hvar.

Name and Blog Name/URL

Hi! My name is Jordan and I curate the blog “Wayfaring With Wagner.” Like Marta, I’m from Michigan (Traverse City) but now live full time in Hamburg, Germany.

What Island Will You Be Talking About and Why Did You Choose This Island?

When I think of paradise, I think of the island of Hvar. This island off the coast of Croatia is my favorite island in the entire world. Hvar is great because although it is a bit more remote (2+ hour ferry ride), it is not impossible to get there. I find that the island has the perfect mix of culture, history, relaxation, beaches, and delicious food!

Photo Credit- Wayfaring with Wagner

How Many Days Would You Recommend Staying on This Island?

To properly see the island, I’d recommend at least 4-5 days. I stayed on the island for only 3 days and really regret not having a bit more time in order to see everything!

Photo Credit- Wayfaring with Wagner

What is Your Favorite Thing About/Memory From Your Trip to This Island?

My favorite memory from Hvar was the road trip I did one day around the entire island. This allowed me to see the old fishing villages, lavender fields, vineyards, agricultural fields (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), rolling hills, tucked away churches, and an immense amount of beauty. Definitely rent a car, go out exploring, and purposely get lost!

Photo Credit- Wayfaring with Wagner

“Can’t Miss” Activity on the Island? What activities/opportunities does this island provide?

It is hard to choose just one “can’t miss” activity but if you have the time, drive (or climb) up Fortress Fortica Španjola at sunset. You will get the most amazing view of Hvar Town (yes, the main town is named “Hvar Town”), the harbor, and the Adriatic Sea.

Best Restaurant/Place to Eat?

To be honest, I mostly ate at small, locally owned restaurants. Nothing really stood out to me because I also don’t eat seafood (the island’s staple food) so I can’t be a good resource! Definitely try some of the local wine grown and produced on Hvar. Croatian wine is cheap, yummy, and totally underrated!

Photo Credit- Wayfaring with Wagner

What Surprised You About this Island?

I was most surprised by how much there is to do on the island and the history surrounding the island. Although Hvar is now part of present-day Croatia, the first inhabitants arrived on the island around 3,500 BC! The island was initially colonized by the Greeks around 400 BC but passed between the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Slavic tribes, Republic of Venice, Kingdom of Hungary, Habsburg Monarchy, French Empire under Napoleon, Italy, Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Communist Yugoslavia, and finally modern-day Croatia. Like I mentioned above, the agricultural fields are a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the formation of them and water collection system devised by the Greeks thousands of years ago. This system is still used today! I am amazed by how much culture and history fits on one island and the legacies, architecture, traditions, food, crops, and techniques left behind from each subsequent era.

Photo Credit- Wayfaring with Wagner

Any Travel Advice for those considering this island as a destination (e.g., where to stay, ease of getting there, how best to get around, language, money)?

In terms of getting to the island, ferries leave multiple times a day from Split, Croatia (a great city that I recommend spending a few days visiting either before or after your trip to Hvar). Make sure to check the schedule because ferries are VERY limited in the low season (high season starts in May and ends in either September or October).

Photo Credit- Wayfaring with Wagner

Deciding where to stay really depends on what type of traveler you are. I wanted a relaxing environment and opted for the quiet but gorgeous town of Stari Grad (literally translates to “Old Town”). However, if you want more of a party scene, head to Hvar Town.

It is imperative that you rent a car on the island (don’t bring a car over, just rent it on the island!). The bus connections only run a few times a day and you’re really missing a lot of the island if you only stick to bus routes. Car rentals are really cheap and easily available. If coming during the high season, book a car ahead of time.

While Croatia is part of the EU, it is not yet part of Schengen which means that it doesn’t count towards your 90 visa-free Schengen days (this is relevant for Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, Japanese, etc. Really any country that is allowed 90 visa-free days in the Schengen zone). Because it doesn’t count towards your 90 days in Schengen, you get an additional 90 days just for Croatia. However, Croatia is expected to join Schengen soon so make sure to check ahead of time. Also, Croatia hasn’t adopted the Euro yet. The local Croatian currency is the Croatian kuna (1 USD = 7 kuna, 1 Euro = 7.5 kuna, 1 CAD = 5.25 kuna).

Just a small fact about the beaches on Hvar – most of the beaches are stony/rocky. There are still plenty of places to sunbathe and relax! However, if you’re expecting sandy beaches, they’re quite sparse (I think there is only one or two located on Hvar) so don’t be disappointed.

Photo Credit- Wayfaring with Wagner

If my readers want to hear more about your island, do you have a link to your full article?

Here is my photo diary of Stari Grad: https://www.wayfaringwithwagner.com/heavenly-hvar-island-stari-grad-croatia/

Next Up… the Canary Islands with Silvia from Finding Upendi.

What is Your Name and Blog Name/URL?


Silvia Galvan – Finding Upendi (www.findingupendi.com)
 


What Island Will You Be Talking About and Why Did You Choose This Island?



I’ll be talking about La Palma, one of the seven Canary Islands. I feel like everybody knows the Canary Islands as a sunny cheap destination full of resorts, but most people are completely unaware there is a lot of unspoiled natural beauty as well, especially in the western islands, which include La Palma. In fact, the whole island is a UNESCO Biosphere reserve.
 


European Islands La Palma
Photo Credit- Finding Upendi

How Many Days Would You Recommend Staying on This Island?



That depends on what you are interested in doing. There are two types of visits: for those that are willing to rent a car and go roadtripping, or for those interested in hiking around the island. If you are roadtripping you can easily make it a daytrip from Tenerife and get a feel for the island, but to actually get to see the island properly I’d say a minimum of three days is required. If on the other hand you are interested in hiking, I’d recommend a mimum of four days, up to seven.
 


What Is Your Favorite Thing About/Memory From Your Travels to This Island?



That would definitely have to be our visit to Los Tilos. Stopping at Los Tilos wasn’t part of our plan, but we had some spare time before driving to the airport and decided to make a quick stop, which turned out to be the best decision we made during the whole trip. A sub-tropical laurel forest, it is a representation of what makes La Palma such a beautiful island – the steep and abrupt mountains covered in a very dense green. We spent less than an hour there, but after wandering into a small tunnel found ourselves admiring a waterfall in the middle of the forest all alone. That’s the thing about La Palma – it’s full of hidden surprises around every corner! I can only imagine what some of the areas only accessible on foot could be hiding…
 


European Islands La Palma
Photo Credit- Finding Upendi

What Is Your “Can’t Miss” Activity on the Island? What activities/opportunities does this island provide?

 

I’d have to say that a visit to the National Park of La Caldera de Taburiente is a must. This National Park protects what’s basically a 10-km wide crater, with it’s highest point at 2000 metres. The landscape as well as the views are absolutely breathtaking. It is at this highest point that you will also find the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, which containes some of the world’s biggest telescopes, as well as being the best observatory on the northern hemisphere after Hawaii. This is precisely why stargazing is a very popular activity in La Palma, and astronomy-tourism is on the rise. The best activity though is hiking – the landscapes are just begging to be explored on foot, and there are hiking routes across the whole island that have recently been revamped and are all properly sign-posted. If you are neither into star-gazing nor hiking, there are also some pretty good swimming spots, as well as whale and dolphin-watching opportunities.



Best Restaurant/Place to Eat?

 

The local food is absolutely delicious and I’ve never had a bad experience so I’d say anywhere is good. The only thing would be that there are extensive areas of the island without any towns, so it’d be wise to plan ahead. The capital, as well as some of the biggest towns, like Los Llanos, would be the ones with the biggest amount of places to eat. Tazacorte as well, although not very big, has a nice promenade lined up with loads of restaurants by the sea.



What Surprised You About this Island?

 

The absolute and sheer beauty – it is simply amazing, and very different from the other islands! Even though it is volcanic, it is not as dry as the other islands but rather covered in a beautiful layer of green forests, as well as natural volcanic pools. It is heaven for nature-lovers!

European Islands La Palma
Photo Credit- Finding Upendi

Any Travel Advice for those considering this island as a destination (e.g.,where to stay, ease of getting there, how best to get around, language, money)?

 The island remains relatively untouched by tourism (although hiking tourism is booming at the moment), which means it might not be the easiest of islands to visit and might require a little bit of planning! For starters, the airport is very small (and hard to access actually, so it is not uncommon for flights to get delayed due to bad weather) and there aren’t a lot of flights with the exception of flights from Tenerife. There’s a new direct flight from London with Easyjet, so it has recently become a lot easier to visit! Also, the local language is Spanish and I would not expect the locals to be able to speak English, with the exception of restaurants and hotel staff. If anything, you might stand a better chance of finding German-speaking people, given that most of the tourists they receive are German. As for moving around, as I previously mentioned, you really only have two choices – either rent a car or do it on foot.

The best advice I could give is to just go for it, get out and explore the island – no matter where you decide to go or do, I haven’t met a single person yet who hasn’t loved La Palma!



If my readers want to hear more about your island, do you have a link to your full article?



I wrote an article last year covering a one-day roadtrip itinerary of the island which can be found at: http://findingupendi.com/one-day-roadtripping-in-la-palma/

Many thanks to Wayfaring with Wagner and Finding Upendi! 

Here is a pin so you have these beautiful islands at your fingertips.

European Islands
Photo Credit Pixabay

Did you miss the other European Islands we have explored? Check them out here.

Interested in Caribbean or USA or Philippine Islands? I have you covered there too.

**Please note that this post may contain affiliate links meaning that, at no cost to you, I may receive some compensation.

Top 5 Travel Hacks

Hi all! I feel like it’s been awhile. It’s just incredibly wonderful to feel the spring sun and watch the beautiful flowers in bloom. Also, we’ve been out traveling twice in the last month… that along with birthdays, school plays, soccer, yard work, shooting hoops in the driveway too late past bedtime… you know how the springtime awakening goes… Since packing (and unpacking) have been fresh on my mind lately, I thought that a few travel hacks were in order.

I try to be a no stress traveler. The whole point of going on a trip is to relax and explore. That said there are a few travel hacks that make life easier and don’t require too much planning ahead.  I have also narrowed it down to my top five. While there are plenty of travel hack articles out there,  most of them have lost me at “top 25.” Who has time to read 25 hacks when you are trying to get ready for a trip?

#1  Take a photo of the information plaques while out sightseeing.  This hack came from my sister-in-law and is my favorite hack of them all. We all think we are going to remember our pictures in the details (or even where we took the picture), but there is so much to see that the details often get lost. Having a picture of the info from a historic monument or the name of the restaurant you loved helps when you are sharing pictures with family and friends. Or perhaps, you are just in awe of the architecture (or chasing down your energetic young ones) and don’t have time to read all of the history behind the site. Your picture allows you to read the plaque later that day in the quiet of your hotel room.

#2  Plastic Gallon Bags. Not good for the environment (so obviously try to reuse them as much as possible) but great for packing. This hack is especially useful if you are sharing a suitcase with your children. I put an outfit for each day in a plastic bag and also have one for toiletries, pajamas, and swimsuits. This helps alleviate the drama of them tearing through the suit case to choose an outfit or find a swimsuit and disrupting the order with which I so carefully (most of the time) packed it.

#3  Blue Apron. I love it. I would use it every week if I were able to. However, Blue Apron is a once-a-month kind of thing at our house. As such, I always reserve an order for the week we return.  We will undoubtedly be making several trips to the grocery store, but it is nice to avoid having to plan at least one meal a day until the bags are unpacked and the laundry is done.

#4 An Empty Stainless Steel Water Bottle. (My redemption for using plastic bags.)  The water bottles are great for filling up at the airport once you have passed through security. This can save you quite a bit of money in the long run. I also like having the water bottle at our hotel. If the water tastes funny or we are not supposed to drink it, I can always take my water bottle down to the fitness center to fill it up for the day.

#5 Take a Photo of Your Row/Level at the Airport Parking Garage. Haha- yes, our phones are full of random signs. However, this again is extremely helpful. When in a rush to make our flight (as we undoubtedly always are), we always take  a quick snap and are grateful we have when we return from our trips with our heads in the clouds and sleepy children. 

There you have it- 5 quick, no-stress, no-plan travel hacks. What about you? Do you have any travel hacks that you implement regularly? Planning to stay put and enjoy all that spring and summer have to offer? Me too… but here’s the pin for next February 😉

 

**This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that, at no cost to you, I may receive some compensation. Thank you!