Travel Tip

Packing for a Fall Vacation: What to Bring!

  I'm taking a bunch of trips this Fall and in my opinion, Fall is the hardest season to pack for! You can never really be sure if it is going to be sunny or chilly and the temps can drop a ton as you go into night. I have four Fall essentials that I always pack with me for absolutely any vacation!

SHOW
SHOW

Open Front Cardigan- The open front cardigan is an absolute must have for me when I am packing! I love them because they are lightweight, don't wrinkle easy and can provide a lot of warmth if I need it!

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Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 3.19.48 PM

I usually bring one in a neutral color and one in a fun color. They are small enough to fit into a purse or backpack if it ends up being warm enough. They also make great little sweaters for night time. The one pictures above is from Nordstrom, but these can be found at any store!

Leggings- In Fall I always pack a pair of leggings, especially if I think it might be a little chillier than I was suspecting.

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Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 3.21.17 PM

Leggings are absolutely perfect for under a dress or even under jeans if it is really chilly! You can also wear them to bed in an emergency or wear them out with a long sweater in Fall. They are comfy, cozy and perfect for travel. Oh and PS these leggings are only $18.

Scarves- I always, always throw a scarf in my purse when I am traveling in the Fall. If you get a little chilly you can throw it around your neck or use it as a small sweater.

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Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 3.23.04 PM

A scarf is also a light-weight way to add some layers and pizzazz to your outfit! With five colors to pick from, there is a color for every outfit!

Flare Jeans- This is not something I normally pack for the Fall, but flare jeans are making a big come back and they are AWESOME for travel!

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Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 3.18.56 PM

You can wear flare jeans with any type of shoe (boots, flats or sandals), which makes them a super candidate for Fall packing.

What are your go to items when packing for a Fall vacation?

What's Up Wednesday

Today I'm linking up to What's Up Wednesday to give a sneak peek into the life of a travel-loving entrepreneur.

What we're eating this week- There are so many amazing new restaurants in Austin right now! We are taking advantage of it big time by trying a few new places. Up next on the list...Juliet!

What I'm reminiscing about- One year ago today we were on an AMAZING safari in Africa! I have been reminiscing big time about the amazing adventure and experience we had. 

What I'm loving- If you are a travel lover like me, you will loveee these Coordinates Collection bracelets. I am obsessed with them and totally loving them! The hardest part is picking a location.

What we've been up to- Tons of travel planning! We have 5 big trips coming up before Christmas and they all require a ton of planning. Any guesses where we are going?

What I'm dreading- Nothing right now! That sure is a nice feeling :)

What I'm working on- A ton! Travel planning, running my business and trying to find a few great Fall outfits! It's a busy time around here.

What I'm excited about- Fall starting! We have football season, visiting friends, visiting family and a ton of fun trips. After a summer of no travel, I am so happy to be heading into Fall.

What I'm watching/reading-The boys in the boat! One of the best books I've read this year!

What I'm listening to - Discover Weekly on Spotify! They seem to always pick out the best music!

What I'm wearing- These open front cardigans are my GO TO for traveling these days. Light enough to carry around all day, but actually help keep you warm. They are also SO easy to pack.

What I'm doing this weekend- Relaxing! This is my first weekend in a while with no concrete plans. I plan to enjoy it!

What I'm looking forward to this month- A quick vacation to Park City, Utah! I'm looking forward to breathing in some cool mountain air.

What else is new- Traveling while owning a small business has always been really hard on me! I wrote some tips to help other people in the same situation.

Happy Wednesday!

Tips for Planning a Family Vacation

I absolutely love traveling with my family. Because we live in different cities, it is the perfect opportunity for some uninterrupted family time. Of course, planning a family vacation isn't always easy :) I just finished planning one for my family and I learned a few things along the way.

1. Pick a resort or vacation rental over a basic hotel- The whole point of a family vacation is time together. At a basic hotel there aren't many spaces for together time. I always recommend either staying at a resort that has good communal spaces or trying to find a vacation rental to accommodate everyone. This will give your family the most together time.

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2. Pick a place that has something for everyone- My family has members as young as 6 months and as old as 61 years old. A vacation is a huge commitment both time wise and money wise for my entire family, so I wanted everyone to be happy. The only way for everyone to be happy is to go a place where there are activities for everyone. We picked a beach location this time which has great water slides and pools for my nephew but also has great food and spa for everyone else.

3. Don't over plan- With a big group it can be tempting to over plan, but don't. Enjoy each other's company, enjoy meals and try to relax while you are with your family.

I can't wait for our upcoming trip as a family. What are your best tips for traveling as a family?

Adding Wanderlust to your Home Decor

Lately I've been "workin workin workin day and night." The hardest part, for me, about owning my own business is that it makes it nearly impossible for me to plan big trips and take multiple weeks off. In an effort to not go stir crazy, I've been adding some travel decor to my home.

It's been really fun to add a few new items around the house that remind me of my love for travel. Here are a few of the things I've picked up.

1. Bar Ware- You don't typically think of barware as travel related, but the C. Wonder store has some amazing travel related items. After our trip to Africa, I really wanted to add some animal items to our house and this was the perfect way.

The first item I added are these incredible animal safari glasses from C. Wonder. I have a glass bar cabinet so I see them every day and they remind me so much of the amazing animals we saw in Africa. I couldn't help myself so I also bought this safari wine bottle opener.

Just these two items remind me so much of Africa. Of course, I picked up a few wooden pieces in Africa as well, which I have scattered all over the house.

2. Maps- I actually bought this over a year ago for my husband on our first anniversary (paper), but I love it just as much now as when I bought it. This pushpin travel map from Etsy makes me smile every time I walk in the room!

I especially love it because you can keep track with different color pushpins of places you have been together versus separately. Even though we have been A LOT of places, our map looks a little bare (Russia is a huge chunk of the map :)).

3. Books- I have a very extensive travel book collection and I've been adding to it for the last year or so. Even though a lot of information is on the internet, I love having a book from places I have been. Recently I added the following books to my collection (PS some of these are affiliate links):

Humans of New York- Even though this isn't really a travel book per say, this book reminds me a lot about WHY I love to travel. The people, the connections, the moments, the experiences. The book also makes a wonderful coffee table book or gift.

Cathedral of the Wild: An African Journey Home- This book was written by the founders of the safari I went on in September. I bought the book as soon as I got home and absolutely fell in love with it. It's also home to one of my favorite travel quotes: "You can from where you stand, make a decision to restore from within, even if your mind screams that it is not possible. Whatever feels unresolved, the animal part of you is already tracking the healing you need. Follow that trail, the medicine will feel like freedom."

Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph- For anyone who loves to explore and experience nature, this is a book for you. It tracks Jennifer Pharr Davis as she breaks the record for hiking the Appalachian Trail. It's a beyond fantastic book and always reminds me to get out of my comfort zone when I travel.

I'm always looking to add more decor to my house to make it feel more like the house of a world traveler. Comment below and let me know what else I should add to my house!

My favorite travel quotes

I thought it might be fun to share a few of my favorite travel quotes with you all today! I made them using WordSwag, but feel free to borrow and use as your background.

"Life a trip, enjoy the ride" has always been my favorite life and travel quote. What are some of yours?

Booking a Trip With Zicasso

On our latest trip to South Africa and Zambia, our traveling companions were really excited to introduce us to a travel company called: Zicasso. Zicasso is a company that helps match you with two or three travel consultants who are experts in the area to help you book your trip. Typically I am a "book it yourself" type traveler, but:

1. Our traveling companions for this trip weren't

2. I didn't know anything about Zambia

3. I didn't know any good travel agents who specialize in Africa

In comes Zicasso! We were able to submit a request and were immediately matched with two stellar travel agents. They each provided us with rough itineraries to pick from. It was easy for us to tell that both of them knew a lot about the area we were going to. One of the agents happened to be located in Austin (my hometown) so we were actually able to meet him in person and have our whole trip scheduled and ready to go.

This was our traveling companions third time booking a trip with Zicasso and I totally see why now. The travel agents they match you up with are really much, much more than travel agents. They are explorers and adventurers of where you are going. They know the land, the people, the food and more. This isn't some Disney travel agent who is going to help you get a good deal on park tickets, this is literally someone who is going to take what you want and mold a one of a kind experience for you.

Since I own my own business, which severely restricts the amount of time I get to travel, I always want to make sure that my time spent on vacation is well used. And Zicasso's skills in matching people with agents are just incredible.

How did they know to set me up with a travel agent who knows one of the best chefs in Cape Town, Chef Bruce of the Flagship?

How did they know that a safari would be a life changing experience for me?

I'm not entirely sure, but they set us up for the trip of a lifetime. Next time we book a trip to an exotic location or are in a time crunch where we can't plan our own trip, I will definitely be using Zicasso again.

PS This is not a sponsored post at all (mostly because I'm not important enough). I just really like this service and think it is a cool, unique travel product. 

Tips for Traveling During Christmas

For some reason my family loves to travel during Christmas! It probably has to do with the fact that we a) aren't Christian and b) we always have time off from work during this time. I have gotten pretty good at Christmas traveling. Here are a few of my tips: 1. Plan insanely early- I mean, insanely early. You can't plan far enough in advance for Christmas time. Especially if you want to visit a warm weather destination like the Caribbean. For this Christmas we had our trip planned before summer started. This will give us enough time to get all of the flights we want at a semi-decent price.

2. Fly early and on off days- Flying early in the day is the best way to avoid huge delays. I always try to take a 6 or 7am flight out of town around Christmas time. I also always try to fly on off days and NEVER on the day before or after Christmas. Flying on Christmas Day is another great way to avoid travel traffic.

3. Carry on an outfit and toiletries- The worst time to have your luggage get lost is when you are headed somewhere for Christmas. I always pack a nice outfit, my toiletries and a bathing suit (if I'm headed to the Caribbean) in my carry on. This way if my luggage gets lost I can still have a great time with my family until it shows up.

4. Make dinner reservations ahead of time- Most restaurants require reservations for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, so make sure you reserve ahead of time if you want to eat out.

5. Check openings of tourist destinations- A lot of tourist destinations are closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and sometimes the day after Christmas. Check your destination before you go and make plans to accomplish everything on the days they are open.

This Christmas I am headed to Amelia Island Florida with my family for a little rest and relaxation. Do you have any other tips for traveling during Christmas?

Friday Travel Favorites

Today I am linking up with a few bloggers, whose blogs I love, but who don't typically write about travel. I love the idea of Friday favorites, so here we go!

I LOVE to travel, but if you don't have the right gear, traveling can be a nightmare. I've spent a lot of time curating some of my favorite gear, which I am going to talk about in my Friday travel favorites.

Momfessionals

1. Open front cardigans- My favorite open front cardigan is actually on sale at Nordstrom right now. This 

MOD.lusive by Bobeau cardigan

is the BEST for layering. They are light-weight but warm, which means you can easily take them off or add them on depending on the daily temperature. They come in a bunch of colors and patterns, which means you look cute each day and each cardigan allows for a totally separate “look.” So easy to pack, the best, best, best.

2. A wheeled duffle- I have been obsessed with this

Victorinox duffle

that I have had for over five years now. The duffle is SO light but it actually fits a lot of items. It's almost impossible to pack this bag over the 50 pound weight limit, which makes packing very simple. It also has a side and front compartment for tiny items. Traveling with one big bag has always been easier for me than traveling with a few smaller bags.

3. Walking shoes- Walking shoes are not cute :( BUT you have to have them. I just bought a pair of flats and lace-up 

Ecco

walking shoes for my last trip and they were a life saver. I also love walking in my Toms while on vacation. The bottom line is you MUST have a good pair of shoes that can last you the entire day.

4. Mini sunscreen and a mini umbrella- No matter where you are going, just pack them! Sunny, windy, rainy...just trust me here. They have definitely been life-saving travel favorites for me.

Lucky me I was able to borrow an umbrella to see the penguins in Cape Town!

 5. A battery operated iPhone charger- This is definitely my favorite travel favorite!! I never have to worry about running out of battery (especially when I use my phone as a camera) because I have a battery operated charger. I also am always using my map app when I am traveling and having battery for that is critical. Adding one of these to my travel gear was so helpful.

What else am I missing? What are you travel favorites? What do you always pack?

Top Five Things To Do in Breckenridge in the Winter

Every February we head to Colorado for a ski trip with our friends. They have a house in Breckenridge so we always find ourselves there for at least a long weekend. Here are a few of my favorite things to do each winter:

1. Ski- OBVIOUSLY. This is a beautiful, yet expensive, mountain for skiing. For first time skiers they have a great ski and ride school and for experienced skiers there is a ton of mountain to explore.

2. Try a non-skiing activity- It's always a good idea, unless you are a expert skier, to have one day where you enjoy a non-skiing activity. I love tubing at Keystone, dog sledding and ice skating. There are even more to pick from, so find one your crew will like.

3. Hit up the spa- You will be sore, trust me. Enjoy a quick massage, pedicure or facial to rejuvenate yourself. Blue Sage is one of my favorite spas in Breck.

4. Walk around the town- There are so many cute stores and shops in the town of Breck. Save yourself at least an hour or two to walk around. It does get a little cold and slippery so dress warm and wear your best boots when walking around.

5. Eat out- There are a lot of great places to eat out in Breck. We've eaten almost everywhere in town and I've rarely been disappointed.

I hope you enjoy your time in Breck as much as I do!

What to Pack: First Time Skiing

If you are anything like me, you may be a little late to the skiing game. I only learned how to ski about four years ago and the hardest thing for me was figuring out was what to pack!! I also get very cold, very easily. These are my quick tips for packing for your first ski trip. 1. Borrow what you can- Do you have a friend who skis all the time? Borrow her clothes for your first trip! It saves you money in case you don't like skiing and you can test out different clothing items. This was KEY for me the first time I went skiing. I was able to borrow an entire outfit and then I knew exactly what I wanted to buy.

2. Buy good socks- This is so, so important. If your feet are cold, you will be miserable. Go to a ski store and buy a legitimate pair of socks. This is the brand of socks that I currently wear.

3. Chap Stick and Sunscreen- Even if you don't think it looks sunny out.

4. Layers, layers, layers- Both on the bottom and the top. It will keep you warm and you can remove layers as needed.

5. Warm boots for after skiing- Every time you go out for a meal after skiing or want to walk around the ski town, you'll want a very warm pair of boots to wear. Make sure they are water-proof and insulated.

What are your ski packing tips? When did you start skiing for the first time?