Travel Tips: Packing for a Week Long Vacation in a Carry On.

Travel Tips: Packing for a Week Long Vacation in a Carry On.

Beach vacation, my ultimate favorite subject matter. My next trip I am trying  going to only pack beach essentials but for girls like me who really love lipstick and multiple outfits a day, that is HARD, but I am trying.

This vacation I plan to only take a carry on (well and a personal item, because duh). I mean I’m going to an island with 14,000 people what could I really need besides a few bathing suits and cover-ups. I always TRY to pack light but once you start adding the curling irons, the shoes, the accessories and all of a sudden the entire closet is packed.

Suitcase used: Samsonite Hardside 20″ Spinner

Here a few rules I am attempting to follow while packing for my beach vacation.

Pack more rompers! I love love love a romper or a jumpsuit and the whole outfit in one item saves tons of space.

All shoes must be multipurpose; a cute sandal that can be worn to both the beach and a casual dinner.

Keep makeup and toiletries to a minimum. For me, this means only one eyeshadow palette and less than 10 lip products. This is the hardest tip for me to remember to follow. If I wasn’t conscious about packing light I would have a full roller bag of lipstick, sparkly eyeshadow and hairspray.

Try to pack only one outfit per day.

Areas I do not skip out on, bathing suits. I mean, you have to have one per day, right?

Stay organized; I like to separate my items by catagory (tops, bathing suits, etc)  and put them in packing cubes, it’s so easy to get unorganized while traveling but this little tip helps with ATTEMPTING to stay organized. I bought these last year and I love the cute kitty design.

End Result:

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Packing for a Beach Vacation

I love improving my vacation packing techniques, what tips help you pack light?

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Traveling with a Cat in a Car.

Traveling with a Cat in a Car.

Within 5 minutes of meeting me, you will know one thing for sure I love my cat, Penny! 3 years ago today my husband, then boyfriend, found her in the middle of nowhere, Alabama. She weighed just over 2 pounds and had an eye infection, I’m so happy she found Mike and made him take her home because she is my absolute favorite thing in the world and every day is better with her in it.

 

With all that being said, I hate leaving my baby at home, she’s sweet, she’s cuddly, she’s needy; basically, I’ve created a monster and I can’t leave home without her. We take her everywhere; the beach, weekend lake trips, to visit family, you name it and we have attempted to take our Penny there. The idea of driving long distances with cats scares most people but it can be made easier with a few little tricks.

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Traveling with a cat in a car.
  1. Calming Treats; My local pet store introduced me to these composure treats and they seem to help a lot. It is important that the cat(s) eat the treats at least an hour prior to departure for the best results.
  2. Bach Flower;  Similar to calming treats, a holistic approach to calm a cat for a long car ride.
  3. Limit food and water intake the day of travel; especially if it’s a long travel day. I know it sounds like torture but kitty will thank you!
  4. Make the car feel as close to home as possible; Does your cat have a bed they always sleep in or maybe it’s a blanket they love. If so, make room for that item so they can find refuge if they become stressed out. And don’t forget their favorite toys!
  5. Make sure the cat is the very last thing put in the car, this seems like common knowledge but who knows.
  6. Give the kitty room to roam; an overly stuffed car will make the kitty scared and uncomfortable. I know some people travel with their cats in carriers but that does not work for our spoiled monster, we have the most successful trips when Penny can see what is happening around her.
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My baby Penny loves to lay on the car mat for long car rides.

I think a lot of cat owners only take their cat in a car to visit the vet so it’s no surprise that the next time the cat is put in a car it freaks out.

The truth is, if the cat didn’t get acclimated to riding in cars at a young age it’s going to make car rides more difficult. If you have an older kitty that you now want to take in the car with you, start off by slowly introducing them to the idea. Maybe it’s a drive down the street or around the block, do this several times before driving the cat for multiple hours.

I have only flown with my sweet Penny once and that was a whole other beast that we will save for a later date.

These tips will absolutely lead to a more content kitty copilot. Happy Exploring!

 

Travel Tips: How to survive a long haul flight (12+ hours)

Let me start this post off with most people won’t agree with, I love to fly, like love love love but the idea of a flight from LAX to Sydney still gave me intense, unavoidable anxiety. To prepare for the long haul I took my normal flight preparedness and amped up the intensity by 10 folds to ensure a happy transpacific flight.

This past November we flew from Birmingham, AL to Sydney, Australia with layovers in Houston and LAX. The longest haul of the flight was from LAX to Sydney, 15 hours in the air! We were landing in Sydney on my birthday so I wanted to be in the best possible condition. Basically, I wanted to know how I could sleep for 15 hours straight, unfortunately, there is no magic potion for this but I tried HARD! I did a ton of research on how to get adequate rest on a long haul flight and have some tips to share.

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A Very Happy Birthday in Sydney

Tips

  • No alcohol
    • I know, total bummer but if you would like to get deep sleep and wake up rejuvenated than this is the path to take.
  • Drink tons and tons of water.
    • Flying alone dehydrates you and then add in the salty snacks and sodium-heavy food if you aren’t drinking tons of water that’s a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Carbo-load.
    • Prior to loading the flight or once on the plane, take advantage of carb-heavy foods. This increase in carbs will help with a deeper slumber and give you more energy once you arrive at your destination.
  • Exercise the day of, get your body moving! Once on the flight, you will be sedentary for 16+ hours so make sure to get as much exercise in prior to wheels up.

What to pack:

  • A small blanket or  a wrap
    • Most long haul flights will provide a small blanket but I never want that to touch my face so I always bring my own wrap to cover my neck and face because I need the plane to be DARK!
  • Lotion
    • I’m sure most people have normal skin but if your skin is insanely dry like me, this is a must! I love this calming lotion, with hints of lavender it’s just a great one to have.
  • Sanitizing wipes
    • Airplanes are crawling with the grossest germs and recycled air,  so wipe everything down! I mean how horrible would it be to arrive on vacation and have the flu!
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • In a normal 16 hour period I brush my teeth at least twice, why would that be any different on an airplane?
  • A quality neck pillow
    • I have searched everywhere for a neck pillow that would actually help support my neck and help increase the chances of a deep sleep. After many failed pillows I have found the holy grail of neck support. I really love this neck pillow because it not only supports the back of the neck but also the front and alleviates the annoying head bobbing that happens.
    • My favorite neck pillow can be found here.
  • Sleep Headphones
    • This pair was recommended to me by a friend, life-saving!!
    • These headphones are a game changer, comfortable to sleep in while also keeping your ears warm. I am an extremist while flying and want complete silence so I put my over the ear headphones on top of the sleep headphones.
  • Compression socks
    • I always thought this essential was only for travelers 30 years my senior, but I was wrong, a necessity when sitting that long
  • Healthy Snacks!
    • Chances of an American based airline having good healthy snacks are slim. My favorites to bring along are beef jerky, fruit, nuts, Lara bars and if I am feeling crazy tuna packages.
  • Makeup remover
    • Duh, because 16 hours in makeup is gross.
  • Eye Mask
    • Unless I am rewatching an entire season of Real Housewives, I want to be asleep and I need it to be dark, like dark dark!
  • Calming Supplement
    • I was once on a flight where there was “extreme turbulence” and all passengers had to sit in their seats for 6 hours, these came in handy!

On top of this list of items, I also took a melatonin pill and slept great, woke up in Sydney and almost felt normal (almost). I hope these tips help inspire you to book a transatlantic flight tomorrow!

The Perfect Bachelorette Party in Palm Springs!

The Perfect Bachelorette Party in Palm Springs!

Are you Bride heading to Palm Springs for your Bachelorette Party? If you are looking for inspiration for the perfect weekend, you came to the right spot.

Palm Springs is becoming the Charleston of the west when it comes to bachelorette parties, in the past 4 months I have attended two bachelorette parties in Palm Springs. This picturesque desert town is the perfect location for a laid-back, relaxing weekend with your favorite people.

If you are looking for a location crawling with straight, single men for your friends on the trip then keep looking, Palm Springs isn’t the best location to hold your fun weekend. But if you are looking for the cutest eateries, relaxing pool days and cute cocktail bars than Palm Springs is the perfect location.

Summer is off-season in Palm Springs and while the prices may be tempting the heat can also be a different level of miserable.

Restaurants
I live for Mexican Food so my suggested list may be a bit bias.

  • Rio Azul, great for large groups
  • Kaiser Grille, the location is perfect and possibly the best people watching in Palm Springs
  • Las Casuelas Terraza, YUM! The outdoor sister to the Palm Desert staple, they are able to do set menus for larger groups.

Pool Clubs
If you are looking to spend your afternoon at a bar that is cozied up to a pool there are tons of great options in the Coachella Valley.

  • Ace Hotel and Swim Club
  • Elixir Pool Bar and Grill at the V Palm Springs
  • The Saguaro Palm Springs
  • Arrive Palm Springs

Day Time Activities

  • Aerial Tram
    • We all remember that great episode of RHOBH where they ride the Palm Springs aerial tram and once they are on the peak Kim Richards Prays next to the trash can. If its good enough for Real Housewives its probably worth a visit but In all seriousness, the peak is beautiful. There is a 6000 ft altitude change in the 10-minute ride, so bring a jacket because it is cold!
  • ATV
    • If your group is looking for something outside the normal bachelorette party ideas, right up CA-111 is an offroad rental ATV Park. This 4-wheeler adventure spot is 10 miles away from downtown Palm Springs and the perfect afternoon activity for an adventure-seeking bride.
  • Hike
    • If staying up all night drinking is your cup of tea than this activity is probably out but if you are looking to opt for a physical activity the mountains around Palm Springs are crawling with hiking locations. My personal favorite is the bump and grind, approximately 3 miles round trip and is great for individuals of all endurance levels.
  • Spa
    • The Desert is crawling with luxurious spas to relax and rejuvenate at during a boozy weekend. If you are looking to really indulge yourself the Palm Springs Yacht club is the place for you. This luxurious spa located within the Parker Palm Springs is dreamy and worth booking an appointment at.

Palm Springs Lodging
The cute mid-century modern homes that line the streets of Palm Springs play the perfect host for bachelorette parties. There are homes that please every budget and group size. Outside of the traditional AirBNB below is a list of additional websites that manage some of the best Palm Springs home rentals.

https://vacationpalmsprings.com/

https://www.flipkey.com/book/palm-springs

https://www.acmehouseco.com/vacation-rentals/palm-springs

Cocktail Bars
Palm Springs plays home to some fabulous cocktail bars and drag shows below is a look into some of my personal favorites. If this list doesn’t tickle your fancy, a quick yelp search will give a long list of additional bars perfect for your group.

  • The Tonga Hut Restaurant and Tiki bar
  • Bootlegger Tiki
  • Toucans Tiki Lounge
  • Retro room Lounge
  • Hair of the Dog

There is one traditional club in Palm Springs targeted for heterosexuals, just a bit of advice, don’t go! Its slimy, it’s small, it’s in a strip mall – this location does not feel very true to the area and defeats the purpose of having a bachelorette party in Palm Springs.

Here’s to a perfect weekend celebrating your future nuptials with your besties in Palm Springs!