20 THINGS YOU SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE IN YOUR CARRY-ON

Needing to rush out last minute and feeling panicked that you’re going to forget something? Well, I have you covered! I’ve compiled a list of must haves to take with you at all times of travel. The more I travel, the more people ask me questions and just recently the question was: what do I carry-on with me to make my travels more enjoyable and stress-free? So here are some of my must haves and favorites in no particular order. With these travel essentials on hand, you’ll be ready to go at a moments notice:

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  1. Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones: I contemplated getting these for quite some time, but boy am I lucky that I sucked it up and finally got them. What a huge difference it makes in the quality of your travel experience. Don’t get me wrong I love kids, but I don’t need them yelling in my ear mid-flight and scaring the bejesus out of me. They are worth every penny my friends!
  2. Eye Mask and Ear Plugs: I try my best to sleep on the plane. It’s not always a success, but I enjoy as much peace and quiet as possible. An eye mask is the best to block out the cabin lights and fall into a nice restful state. Ear plugs can actually be worn under your headphones for even more of a noise canceling effect. Optional: add a shot of something (Tequila, Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker) on the rocks before hand (you choose your poison) and before you know it you’re ready for dreamville.
  3. Extra Ear Buds: for that just incase moment your bose speakers are in the overhead compartment and you can’t get up right away to get them.
  4. Extra foldable Shopping bag: I love this cute little Calvin shopping bag made out of nylon material. I always keep one in my carry-on. It’s great for buying snacks before your flight or for any extra goodies you bring home from your trip.
  5. Snacks: ever wake up on a flight and realize you’re starving? Lets be honest… airline prices are bit absurd, so bring your own snacks. I bring a couple Kind bars, an apple, orange, dark chocolate, healthy plantain chips, and of course some gummy bears 🙂
  6. Meds: too much wine at dinner. Too much sun at the beach. Too much stress from rushing to the airport. Whatever the cause, get yourself a small little pill case for your travels and prepare it with your favorite pain relievers: Asprin, Ibprofen, benadryl, pep to, xanax…. it’s better to be prepared for any type of situation, than not.
  7. Travel-Size toothpaste & Mini toothbrush: I keep one in my travel bag at all times (start collecting them from your hotels). I like feeling fresh before I land from a long flight. I also always have mouthwash and Listerine strips on me too (I hear gum makes you bloated- just saying).
  8. Travel Journal: I don’t leave home without it. Some of the best memories, funny moments or life changing experiences happen while you travel and I love writing them down immediately on paper. Its so nice to look back at your trips at the end of the year and see how much you’ve learned from your personal experiences.
  9. Your favorite pen: We all have one, so don’t forget it at home. You’ll need it to fill out travel documents and of course to keep tabs in your journal
  10. Anitbacterial Wipes: There are hidden germs everywhere! I don’t even want to think about it. I wipe down my entire seat before I sit down, my folding tray, armrest…etc They come in convenient travel packs which makes it easy to carry at least two packs at all times.FullSizeRender-4
  11. Baby Wipes: You have no idea what the bathroom conditions will be like when you travel to another country. You also don’t know If there will be toilet paper in your stall at any given moment, so again these come in convenient travel packs and can really come in handy!
  12. Business Cards: You can place these in the information area of your check-in luggage or in your carry-on luggage as well, just incase your luggage tags are ripped off. Also, I just don’t leave home without them. This life is all about networking. Handing someone a business card before you make a request, give a compliment or complaint even puts you one step ahead in the negotiation game.
  13. iPad: I love having multiple selections of books to read on my iPad while I travel. I finish a book and I want to read another one immediately, so always have lots of them downloaded and ready to go before you travel.
  14. Book: I haven’t made the switch to a kindle yet, but sometimes the glare when you’re laying out by a pool makes reading on your iPad difficult and sometimes nearly impossible, so I always have a book with me. I actually enjoy reading an actual book more than my iPad, but we can’t walk around with a library on us. Also, your iPad can easily die on you and what will you do without a good book? tic-tac-toe for 3 hrs?
  15. Photocopy of your passport: Let me be clear! Don’t lose your passport! You never ever want to lose your passport, especially in another country! The terror that will come over might make you sick to your stomach till you get a replacement and that could take up to 24hrs. So lets hope you don’t, but lets say that you do, you will improve the chances of getting a quick replacement from the local U.S. embassy or consulate if you have a color copy of your passport and a photo ID issued by the state you live in. But just to emphasize the importance of this DON’T LOSE YOUR PASSPORT 🙂 Leave it in your safe where it’s safe and travel with your photocopy when you arrive to your destination.
  16. Travel Brush & Mirror: I don’t know about you guys but after an international flight my hair looks like a version straight of the lion king. So no one wants to look at that hot mess. These little brushes are great to fix those crazy locks.
  17. Refresh Eye Drops: The cabin pressure alone will dry out my eyes and skin, so lubricating your eyes is great to avoid itchiness and blood shot eyes.
  18. 2 Small Zippered bags:  to keep your loose items. I use these light weight Vera Bradley pouches to keep my: extra headphones, earplugs, compass, watch, eye drops, hair ties, lip gloss, business cards…etc
  19. Luggage tags: I always take a few extra with me incase they brake off or look rugged after traveling.
  20. A Watch: something about having a watch on me at all times when I travel makes me feel better. Our phones won’t always be charged or on us and its very important to always have the right time on you when you’re traveling.

I hope these travel essentials help you on your next experience away!

What are some of your favorite travel necessities?

CHECKIN IN: ENCHANTMENT RESORT

Feeling sluggish and needing to rejuvenate? Looking for a mystical place? A weekend in Sedona, Arizona is perhaps just what you’re after. Heading north from Phoenix on I-17, I realized how excited I was to finally experience Sedona. After hearing so many good things about this sublime desert oasis, I arrived with high hopes and sure enough all my hopes were met! Within moments of being here I knew this was officially one of my favorite towns in the United States. You just feel so vigourous here, plain and simple. Driving up Dry Creek Rd toward the Enchantment Resort I got a sense of calmness, every curve I took on the windy road reminded me why I needed this trip and when I finally arrived to the valet stand, I just knew why this magical place was called Enchantment; I couldn’t have felt any better or special and I had only just got out of the car.

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The shift may have happened when I saw the vibrant hues of the Boynton Canyon behind me. You begin to think of words to describe this one-of-a-kind setting and they nailed it. Enchantment Resort feels different, because it is so different. You feel the presence of history. Enchantment is nestled within a natural arena of vermillion-colored rock formations, this resort captivates guests with the rugged beauty of the Southwest, together with unparalleled five-star accommodations and unsurpassed service. Service and attention that I guarantee you will not experience anywhere else!

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Sedona History

Long renowned for the stunning beauty of its red sandstone formations and its importance to Native Americans, Sedona has become a gathering place for New Agers, who believe the region emanates a mystical power. Founded in 1902, Sedona now has a population of about 15,000. In the 1960s and 70s, Sedona began attracting artists, retirees and tourists in large numbers. Around 1980, followers of the New Age Movement began pouring in to seek its vortex energies. Now one of the world’s centers for the New Age movement, the small city of Sedona attracts large numbers of believers, tourists, and the simply curious looking to experience the “power vortex” of the red-rock country. According to believers, a vortex is a site where the earth’s invisible lines of cosmic power – “ley lines” – intersect to form a particularly powerful energy field. The town of Sedona is full of advertisements for such services as past-life regressions, crystal healing, angelic healing, tarot readings, reiki, axiatonal therapy, electromagnetic field balancing, soul recovery, channeling, aromatherapy, myofacial release, and aura photos and videos.

 

Resort Overview

IMG_6522In many ways, it’s incredible. There is really no where on Earth quite like this place. Set on 70 Acres of panoramic nature terrain, Enchantment resort stands at the doorway of secluded Boynton Canyon…surrounded by red rock formations know for inspiring the mind, body and spirit.

Enchantment located inside the Boynton Canyon which is one of four rock formations in Sedona believed by New Age adherents to contain a power vortex. It is said to contain a balance of masculine and feminine energy. For non-vortex-enthusiasts, it is simply a wonderful place for hiking.

Located 8 miles west of the “Y” in Sedona, Boynton Canyon is one of the most beautiful spots in the area. The vortex here is considered a site of strong electromagnetic power, with a balance of masculine and feminine energy.

The Boynton Canyon Trail is a favorite with hikers, providing magnificent views of natural rock formations as well as several Sinagua cliff dwellings that are hundreds of years old. So if you exit the resort there is a parking area outside the gates of the luxury Enchantment resort. The Boynton Canyon Trail leads 3 miles up into the canyon and you can find the entrance to the trail right from the parking lot they’ve built.

The Casitas

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Private, spacious, cultural and soothing is how I’d describe this spectacular casitas. Every room is impeccably appointed. It is above and beyond what you imagined. Private decks and patios overlooking the grandeur that is Boynton Canyon. Cozy fireplaces that add the perfect evening ambiance. Lavish furnishings and authentic Southwestern appointments. The Casita Stuido is an ideal choice for those looking to have additional space to unwind, relax and stay awhile as the room comes with and oversized queen pull-down bed that hides from view when not in use. A well-appointed kitchenette, living room and a spacious outside deck with a built-in gas grill for those tired nights in where you just want to relax.The Junior suite is fantastic as well; you don’t have the kitchenette or the grill, but you get a bath tub and that second bed. 
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The Spa

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The Mii Amo Spa left me speechless! As an Enchantment guest, you’ll have exclusive spa privileges at Mii amp, recently named one of the world’s top destination spas by Travel + Leisure.

A holistic approach to rejuvenation. Inspired by the rich wisdom and traditions of Native American people, complemented by the beauty and energy of Sedona, Mii amo presents a unique, full-service luxury spa experience where guests can find balance and harmony. A one-of-a-kind experience you won’t soon forget.

The daily resort fee includes complimentary access to Mii amo Spa for all registered Enchantment Resort guests age 16 and older. This entitles guests to the use of all Mii amo facilities including locker rooms, steam, sauna and whirlpool, fitness room, indoor pool, lounge area with fireplace, outdoor lap pool and spa, as well as participation in all fitness classes, art lessons, cooking demonstrations, programs by visiting experts, and other activities at this luxurious Arizona spa retreat.

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The Crystal Grotto

One of the coolest things I’v experienced at a resort! Such a fantastic way to start your day. The Crystal Grotto ia a sky-lit room with an earthen floor, serves as the heart and soul of Mii amo. The womb-like, circular space connects earth and sky via an earthen floor and domed ceiling, with a circular aperture directed at the sun on the summer solstice. The circle is a symbol of wholeness, and the Crystal Grotto is used as a place for meditation and affirming one’s intention for the day. A crystal mandala, illuminated by the sun and moon, lies within the space.

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Activities

One of my favorite things about this resort is the endless activities provided and included in your stay. With over 100 activities offered each week at no additional charge, one can easily embrace nature and adventure without foregoing comfort. There’s always something new to discover here. Enchantment Resort offers guests a diverse and endless stream of on-property activities.  Whether you prefer hitting the links or the trails, nurturing your artistic side or recharging with a fitness class, an exciting adventure awaits. Take a look at the Spring Schedule and tell me if you think you’ll want to leave the resort?!

The Food

A culinary Enchanted Haven is what they should call it. Why leave the resort when the best of the best is here!

5 restaurants & bars to choose from:

  • CHE-AH-CHI
  • VIEW 180
  • TII GAVO
  • MII AMO CAFE
  • SEVEN CANYONS RESTAURANT

OFF PROPERTY FUN:

  • Jeep Tours
  • Grand Canyon Tours
  • Airplane/Helicopter Tours
  • Train Tours
  • Shopping/Art Galleries
  • Wine tours and more

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Awaken your spirit at Enchantment and change your life! 

Have you ever experienced a Vortex? Let me know in a comment below…

 Information provided by the Enchantment Resort

CHECKIN IN: COSTA D’ESTE

Looking for a quaint beach town escape, with a chic vibe and a sophisticated edge? You need to head to the charming town of Vero Beach in Central Florida’s Treasure coast and Discover Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa— A Gloria & Emilio Estefan’s luxury oceanfront resort.

This celebrity owned establishment indulges you with their top notch service from the moment you walk in to the moment you have you car pulled up and leave. The talented staff stand ready to inspire and pamper, providing harmony and soul to every interaction. Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s personal taste is evident throughout the beachfront resort. This hotel is truly an extension of their home. Infused with their own spirited personality and modern cuban style.

I had the pleasure of staying here for a night and I can’t wait to head back!

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Checkin in

As soon as I drove into the valet area at Costa d’Este I knew I was in for a special day. A modern and chic waterfall cascades over the side of the building as you walk out of your car and as you enter the lobby you immediately feel relaxed and at ease with such a sophisticated ambiance around you. A fantastic bonus about this resort is that it’s 100% dog friendly, so as we entered the lobby we were immediately greeted by the staff and they spoiled my pup rotten with treats and kisses. She absolutely loved every minute of it! I was immediately handed my welcome packet, keys and showed to my room.

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Rooms

The rooms at Costa d’Este are nothing but amazing! Luxurious and rich accommodations designed with the beach goer in mind. Perfect for work, rest or play!


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Dinning

Whether you choose The Wave Kitchen & Bar, the Cabana Pool Bar & Grill (where you can go pick up your two free Mojitios btw!!), or in-suite dining, you will not go wrong. Their flawlessly-prepared delicacies are infused with locally-grown produce and fresh-caught seafood. They both feature New American Cuisine and select Cuban specialties developed by Costa’s owners, Emilio and Gloria Estefan.

Pool and Beach

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They had me at “Pool Concierge Services!” 

SO WHAT IS A POOL CONCIERGE?!

Their intuitive poolside service brings beach and pool service to a new level. Costa d’Este Beach Resort’s & Spa pool and beach-side Pool Concierge know what you need before you do and stand ready to assist seven days a week for 8am to 5pm. This team of waterside attendants offers a variety of complimentary services to ensure a good time is had by all. The services include, sunglass cleaning, a selection of the latest magazines, a selection of chilled sunscreen and spritzers, frozen grapes, chilled aromatherapy cloths and fruit-infused water.

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POOL CONCIERGE SERVICES:

  • SUNGLASS CLEANING
  • MAGAZINES
  • CHILLED SUNSCREEN
  • CHILLED AROMATHERAPY CLOTHS
  • FROZEN GRAPES
  • INFUSED WATER

ENOUGH SAID!

 

IMG_5778You have to check out Costa d’Este! You will have the best weekend and your pups will too!

Let me know your thoughts on Costa d’Este and if you see yourself booking a trip soon!

 

PORTS OF CALL: BON BINI BONAIRE

 

From the depths of it’s pristine waters, to the height of it’s tallest peak, you will feel Bonaire’s magic wash over you from the moment you arrive and throughout the day, as you become attuned to Bonaire’s unhurried way. You will find that here on Bonaire, there is a peaceful ambiance for daily life, without the hassle of traffic lights, hustle and bustle, or normal day-to-day worries. Your only concern will be how to spend the time you have on Bonaire wisely. No wonder cruise lines have added this hidden gem to their ports of call!

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History

Bonaire is an island in the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. Together with Aruba and Curaçao, it forms the group known as the ABC islands, located off the north coast of South America near the western part of Venezuela.

Unlike much of the Caribbean region, the ABCs lie outside the hurricane belt and have an arid climate. This helps tourism as visitors to the islands can reliably expect warm, sunny weather. Bonaire is a popular destination for scuba divers, well known for easy access to its reef from the shore.

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Salt Flats: Bonaire

 

Things to do:

  1. Scuba, Snorkel, Surf
  2. 22 Beaches
  3. Cadushy Rum Distillery
  4. Historical and Heritage tours
  5. Salt Flats
  6. Lake Gotomeer
  7. Flamingo Sanctuary
  8. Donkey Sanctuary
  9. Klien Bonaire Island
  10. Karels Beach Bar

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Shore Excursion Suggestion: A day in Bonaire

Being a small Island this, is one of the best places for you to get off your ship, tour the entire island with a private taxi that will be $25pp for 3 to 4hrs and than have them drop you off at your favorite beach or at the water taxi pickup/dropoff at Karel’s Beach Bar (Have a drink while you wait) and head to Klien Bonaire for the day. Water taxi is $20pp round trip.


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Beaches

Bonaire has over 22 beaches. On Bonaire and sister island Klein Bonaire, the sands of some beaches are soft and blindingly white, while others are coarser and darker due to the high content of crushed shells and coral. But that’s a fair trade for having such spectacular reefs right offshore! Beach condition is intrinsically tied to the health of those reefs. You can help by taking your plastics and trash back with you, leaving the shells where they lie (they might be a home for hermit crabs) and wearing eco-friendly sunscreen.

A Few Beaches:

  • 1000 steps Beach
  • Bachelors Beach
  • Noname Beach
  • Sorobon Beach
  • Pink Beach
  • Flamingo Beach
  • Boka Kokolishi Beach

Beer

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And you of course can’t leave without trying their local beer!

 

There’s a dominant beer in Bonaire: Polar, which comes from nearby Venezuela, although many also prefer Heineken.

But a new small-batch label is looking to make a mark: Bonaire Blond. It’s a pale beer, with what are described as “hints of lime and aloe vera,” the latter one of the island’s indigenous plants. For now, it’s being served at some of Bonaire’s most famous eateries: At Sea, La Cantina, Little Havana and Hang Out Beach Bar.

All in all, Bonaire is a gem in the caribbean and a phenomenal place to spend your day!

Have you been to Bonaire? Let me know how you spent your day below!

TRAVEL MAKEUP IN UNDER 5 MINUTES


If I could go without makeup everyday I surely would! On most days I do, but there are some days that you just look absolutely exhausted or days you want to look fresher than others. Either way, when I’m traveling the first thing I want to do when I wake up is drink coffee, than explore the city and after that find a fun new restaurant. The last thing I want to do while on vacation is worry about applying a face load of makeup. So, on those days you’re not hitting the beach and are walking around town or jumping on a flight, give yourself 5 minutes to put a little makeup on. I call it the: I don’t want to look like I have make up on, but I have makeup on look. A little goes a long way!

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A Step by Step: Travel Makeup

I like to buy all of my daily makeup in travel size that can easily fit in a small cosmetics bag. I don’t keep eye shadow palates longer than 6 months, I replace my mascara and eye liner every 3 months and I buy individual packets of foundation that I replace once I’ve used it up which is about every 2 months. This help to prevent an eye infection and breakouts.

 

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Step one:

Wash your face with a gentle face wash.

I religiously wash, tone, and moisturize my face every morning, night and every time I shower. I also get a facial every month or so to prevent breakouts and keep my skin feeling great. Ideally, what we use under our makeup is truly more important than the makeup itself. I’ve been using the same products given to me by my esthetician for years now and I love them. Danielle Hayden is the best of the best at what she does and I wouldn’t let anyone else touch my face. She introduced me to these Silver products that have significantly improved the quality of my skin. She also formulates her own natural oil recipes for each persons specific skin care needs. I use this as my moisturizer.

Step two:

Apply a toner, moisturize and if it’s in the am or afternoon apply a lightweight SPF

Step three:

A concealer is pretty useful on days you have dark circles, blemishes or red spots. Apply that and blend into the areas needed using a sponge. A concealer will always look lighter till you apply your foundation over it.

Step four:

Apply a light layer of foundation. I like to go for a light pressed powder and apply it with a sponge applicator and make sure to blend it all over my face and neck. I’ve been using the same foundation and concealer from Aveda for years now and absolutely love the dual foundation they have. Aveda Makeup goes beyond minerals to combine their energy with plant-derived ingredients that help care for your skin. Formulated without parabens, talc, or mineral oil.

Step five:

Blush is a great way to add some color, but not a lot. You don’t want to look like a barbie. When applying, be sure to use a brush and use light strokes. I always like to tap my brush before applying, to make sure there’s not a ton of powder on it before applying to my face.

Step six: 

I like to keep my eyes simple during the day, so using a brush- I do a light shimmer under my brow and a cream color on my lid, than I use a brow pencil to fill and shape my brows a little.

Step seven:

Mascara I just do one coat during the day and two at night. Eye lash curlers are fantastic.

Step Eight:

For my lips, I keep it super simple. Either a nude gloss or tinted pink lip balm for some color to give you that fresh-look!

Now you have that: I don’t want to look like I have makeup on, but I have makeup on look. A little goes a long way!

What are some of your favorite travel makeup tips?

 

THE BARE ESSENTIALS: WHAT I WOULDN’T TRAVEL WITHOUT

 “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

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The more I travel the world, the more I realize what is essentially needed on my travels. We all have those travel essentials that we are fond of and must travel with at all times, but are some of them really necessary? Do you tend to pack things that you never seem to use? After traveling for so many years I’ve realized which items you should always travel with and which items you can really do without. So to minimize your packing list and to help you travel as light as possible, here are some ways to strip back to the bare essentials…

Watch

Eventhough our phones offer everything these days (time, camera, compass, even a flash light), it’s a good idea to unplug for a few days and ditch the phone while on your vacation. I love this simple Casio rubber waterproof watch. I have it in various colors and its perfect for being on the go during a fun filled vacation.

Camera

A picture can say a thousand words and honestly it’s a cheaper souvenir. I love my old school Nikon D40. I’m I’ll eventually upgrade to something different, but it takes the best pictures and it fits inside most of my travel crossbody’s.

Journal

One of the best ways to remember everything you did during your travels is to keep a travel journal. This could mean somedays I write down a few words or notes to help me remember certain things, or there are other days I’m feeling metaphysical, thus leading the way to a 8-page high school style entry. Everyday will be different.

Luggage Tag

Its smart to put a luggage tag on each bag you take with you and to bring some extra with you just incase they break or fall off. You never know what can happen and its better to be prepared.

Map

We are so used to using our phones and our GPS to get us from A to B. Call me old school, but I always have a map on me of the city I’m in. Trust me a map is always a good companion and these days you can find some awesome fun maps catered to your liking. They may even show some fun new restaurants or bars in the area.

The Real Essentials 

Then of course you can’t go far without a passport, current travel papers, copies of your travel insurance, a plane ticket, an extra ID, credit cards, cash, and a willingness to open your mind and heart to whatever it is you are exposed to along the way.

Packing Less is More

In terms of clothes, I can finally say that after years of overpacking I have finally managed to master the art of a carry-on bag for trips of up to two weeks. My advice is: less is truly more. The worst that can happen is you forget something and you buy it upon arrival. I suggest thin clothes, sticking to a color palate to easily mix and match, cotton t-shirts and shorts, sundresses, and a comfortable sweater that matches it all. The only time this can become a little difficult is during the winter, to which I would suggest to always wear your coat, jeans, and boots on the plane and your light changeable clothes in your carry-on!

 

Let me know your thoughts. What are your tips for packing less and do you agree with going back to basics!?

VISITING THE CANARY ISLANDS: TENERIFE

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If you’ve never been lucky enough to visit the Canary Islands in Spain, chances are that you’ve at least seen pictures of its breathtaking landscapes. After saving up for months, I decided to go for it! Having seven Canary Islands to choose from I decided on Tenerife, as it’s one of the largest and most populous Islands. It’s amazing how Tenerife truly has something for everyone! With its array of different kind of beaches, dramatic cliffs, World Heritage sites and consistent sunshine, Tenerife made the perfect destination to escape to. Here’s a look at why Tenerife is rightly proclaimed as one of Spain’s most prized holiday destinations and why I fell in love with this gorgeous Island.

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Beaches

What else can you find on an island that has almost 365 days of sunshine and mild temperatures, besides the museums and the “normal” places of interest? The beaches of course! Tenerife is home to some of Europe’s best beaches, several of which have soft golden or volcanic sand with warm tranquil waters ideal for swimming. Another one of my favorite things about this island is the amount of natural pools all around the coasts.

Swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic is always a pleasure, but the experience turns into something unforgettable when you swim in one of the natural pools of the Canary Islands. They tend to be chillier during certain times of the year, but an amazing experience nonetheless. The archipelago is particularly rich in these natural resources as well as in these types of pools, all of which are full of charm and are strikingly beautiful.

The natural pools are enclosed spaces into which, due to their natural formation, the sea water seeps without any human intervention apart from adding steps, walkways and diving points. This is why they are a must see for all those visitors who, apart from having a refreshing dip, look for authentic and natural perfection.

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The climate

Tenerife is known internationally as the “Island of Eternal Spring”. The island, being on a latitude of the Sahara Desert, enjoys a warm climate year-round. Tenerife’s climate makes it a favorite destination for those refusing to believe that summer is over.

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Dramatic landscape

The coastlines in Tenerife are nothing short of dramatic. Golden sandy beaches, volcanic sand & rugged cliffs run for miles along the Atlantic Ocean, rising up steeply from the beautiful beaches below. The best way to explore the coastline is to rent a car and set off for the day.

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Seeking Adventure

Tenerife is home to the third largest volcano in the world! The Teide National Park (World Heritage Site) is right in the center of the island, it is the highest elevation of Spain & the highest of the islands of the Atlantic Ocean. What better way to spend one of your days than to drive up to Mount Teide. You’ll want to hop on the cable car to the very top which will put you at 3,555m altitude roughly 11,666ft, so be prepared for the altitude & weather change.

Side note:Altitude sickness tends to affect men more than women, especially men between the ages of 16 and 25, for unknown reasons. It is important to remember that just because you are young and healthy, and haven’t experienced altitude sickness in the past doesn’t mean you are immune to it on future climbs. Physical fitness is not necessarily a good indicator, and neither are strength or good health. You may react badly to altitude despite being fit, young and healthy. In fact, the fit, young and healthy have a hidden risk: their general physical capacity leads them to believe that they should handle altitude just fine, which is not always true.

Once you’re adjusted, hike up a bit more to grasp Teide’s true natural beauty. You’ll be in awe, as you see yourself over the clouds starring into what I like to call ” The stairway to Heaven”.

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Sunsets

There’s nothing better than coming back to your hotel room after a long day of sightseeing, unwinding with a nice glass of wine and watching a killer sunset from the comforts of your balcony. I suggest that you get yourself one when you book your trip to Tenerife, because you won’t want to miss these stellar views, as the skies hues change right before your eyes.

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The Food

Canarian cuisine: the typical food of the Canary Islands are pretty simple dishes consisting of grilled meat or fried chicken,  papas arrugadas (potatoes), & red and green Mojo sauce. Simple and delicious!

IMG_2714I can’t wait to return to this fun filled Island and I hope that you venture off to this superb destination in the near future!

Let me know your thoughts bellow!

PORTS OF CALL: BIBA DUSHI IN ARUBA

Knowing how to spend your time wisely at your ports of call like Aruba, can really make or break your day in paradise. In order to make the most of your time ashore, a little planning will help make the most of your days. Whether it’s knowing which tours are more beneficial, where to grab the best cocktail, or how long it will take to get back to your ship – we’ve got you covered! This year I will cover as many ports of call as possible, so here’s how to spend a rememberable day in Aruba!

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History

A pearl in the Caribbean | where island vibes and their mañana way of life blend with all the modern comforts of back home, making Aruba a true home, away from home.

Located 15 miles north of Venezuela in the warm waters of the southern Caribbean, Aruba is home to beautiful white-sand beaches, 82-degree days, and some of the warmest people in the world. As we arrived we were greeted with a smile and their local saying of: BON BINI to Aruba! Which means Welcome to Aruba!

Aruba is a part of the 3 ABC Dutch Islands. Arubans speak primarily dutch, but you will see that most Arubans speak English and Spanish as well. So these are the main three “imported” languages in which Arubans can communicate very well, in addition to their native tongue. The mother-tongue of Aruba is ‘Papiamento‘. It is a language, not a dialect, and evolved from several older languages as most languages today have done. A saying you’ll see all over the Island is “Biba Dushi” which means: Living the Sweet Life or Sweet Life. Arubans have turned this saying into their way of life and it’s something you’ll surely want to experience.

Arriving to Aruba onboard a cruise line is a great way to experience the Island for a day, but it’s sure to leave you wanting more. So get ready to plan your return!

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Shore Excursion Suggestion: A day in Aruba

Most cruises arrive early morning to make most of the day in port. The port of Oranjestad has a modern Cruise facility with three terminals. Upon arrival at the air-conditioned terminals you will find friendly and welcoming staff at the information booths. They will assist you with any information you might need for your Aruba visit.

Upon exiting the doors I recommend taking a taxi tour of the Island to start off. This way you will get to know the entire Island and make a decision on where you would like to spend the rest of your day after the 2hr tour ends. On this tour you will see the entire Island.

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Main points of Interest:

 

  1. Casibari Rock formations
  2. Presidents house
  3. Aruban homes
  4. California Lighthouse
  5. Some Beaches: Palm Beach, Boca Catalina Beach, Eagle Beach, Arashi Beach
  6. The town of Palm Beach
  7. Shops/Restaurants at the port of Oranjestad

 

 

 

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Aruba: HIlton Palm Beach

After the tour is done have your taxi driver drop you off at The Hilton Palm Beach. From here you can walk the shops on the Palm Beach strip and than have lunch at the beach restaurant on property or walk down the beach boardwalk to the left and have lunch at the Bugaloe Beach Bar & Restaurant on the pier. I always have to try at least one of the countries or Islands local beers and the local beer here is fantastic, so start off with a Balashi and enjoy the magnificent views from the deck.IMG_5238You can than rent some beach chairs, or book a snorkel trip, maybe rent a jet ski. Whatever you want to do, just make sure you have some fun & enjoy one of the most fantastic beaches in the world.

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Aruba: Bugaloe Beach Bar & Restaurant

You should wrap your day up around 4pm if your ship leaves at 5pm and head back on a taxi to the port which will cost you $14 & take you 10mins from the Hilton (I like to give myself an hour to get back onboard as you never know what can happen or how long a taxi can take). You can also hop on the public bus, just make sure you look up the schedule before being dropped off, so you have enough time to get back to the ship before it leaves for the day. Even though, if I was going to get left somewhere I wouldn’t mind if it was here in Aruba!

 

Transportation Cost:

Some fun

Go Bananas & Hop onto a colorful open air Banana Bus for your Explore Aruba tour.

Tuesdays through Thursdays/ 4hr Tour
9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Price: US$ 37.50 per person

Taxi

-A 2hr PrivateTaxi Tour of the Island is $95 for 4ppl

-Taxi to the town of Palm Beach will cost you $14 from the cruise terminal (Drop off at the Hilton is a good location)

Public Bus
Arubus N.V. is the major public transportation of Aruba owned by the Government of Aruba. Arubus provides public transportation over major areas of the island. The main bus station is right across the street from the Cruise Terminal.

The lines that can take you from Oranjestad to the beach and hotel areas are:

Line 10, Line 10A, and Line 10B

The rates they charge for bus trip are very reasonable priced. A single bus trip costs 2.50 florins with your Smartcard and 4.00 florins or $2.30 cash.

Over to you guys…What did you love in Aruba? And what did you do there?

Feel free to comment!

| Biba Dushi in Aruba |

6 TIPS TO HELP YOU STAY FIT WHILE ON VACATION

If you are like me, finding ways to stay fit while on vacation is always a challenge. You’re supposed to be vacation and the last thing you want to do is put in more work, when you’re there trying to escape it. But, you have put in months of hard work to get lean, tight and feel healthy, so why sabotage this while on vacation? You don’t have to! Follow these 6 tips to help you stay fit while still having a blast on vacation:

1. Early Bird Work Out

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Wake up early to start your day the right way and go for run, a long walk or swim. If you’re staying at a beach resort this is a perfect way to explore the shore around you! In the city? Get to know the area and maybe find a fun coffee shop to end your work out at. Also, if you get a small work out in early you will not disturb the friends or family you are on vacation with. Why waist the hard work you put in to prepare for this vacation while you are away? Getting it over with first thing in the morning is a great way to have the rest of your day to play!

2. Walk to your destination

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Instead of jumping on a city bus or grabbing a taxi, why not utilize your feet? Is it possible to walk to your destination? If so, do it! Take the stairs! This small walking session will add up to your calories burned! So walk on your vacation and you will stay slim and feel great! Hey, if you choose your dinner as your cheat meal and want to cab it back at least you walked it there!

3. Stay Active

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Choose excursions, tours and activities that require you to have fun and stay active. Hike to that waterfall, kayak down the river instead of doing the boat tour, paddle board at the resort, or walk to that observatory! Get the most out of your vacation!

4. Choose what you splurge on

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Sipping cocktails and and indulging on food all day shouldn’t be your vacation. It is okay to enjoy a few cocktails and cheat on some meals, but do not make this the center of your vacation. Try eating healthy for two out of the three meals while on vacation and just make one of your meals a cheat meal! Switch it around every day. So, if you cheat on breakfast one day than switch the next day to cheat on your dinner. Try following this and you will enjoy yourself, but not feel deprived of your indulgences!

5. Make sure there is a gym before you go

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I like to make sure to always stay at a hotel/resort with a gym that has quality equipment. You never know what the weather will be like. This way if you can’t get outdoors, you can still get sometime in at a gym. Remember you’re on vacation though, so just stick to a simple 30min work out a day!

6. Dance!

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You’re on vacation! Have some fun and let loose!! Why not dance the calories away?! Did you know that vigorous dancing for 1 hour burns a crazy amount of calories and it is a whole lot of fun people! So find as many opportunities to dance while on your vacation. Not the dancing type? Or maybe you are shy? Remember, you’re on vacation! You’ll most likely never see these people again. You are stuck with your family and friends though, so don’t try any dance moves you’ll regret the next morning!

I hope these tips helped! If you need help planning that next unforgettable experience away email: info@lovetravelevents.com to get your plans started!

8 TRAVEL TIPS THIS TUESDAY

I was recently asked “What new tips do you have that I can use on my upcoming trip?”. I thought to myself “Wow, where do I start?!”, so I figured it was time to write ‘some’ new ones down. I’ve been doing some traveling lately, for business and for pleasure and have realized that for the most part you have the same mentality when you travel for either one. Whether it be to a tropical destination, a flight to Europe, a U.S. city for a night on business or a conference in another country. You want things to go as smoothly as possible, you want efficient service, and you want to enjoy the experience. Here are 8 tips to help you out on your next trip:

1. Before you go, do your research or have someone do it for you. Make sure the hotel or resort you’re staying at is all that you expect it to be. Have a travel professional you trust give you true insight on all the hotel and location has to offer.

2. You want to make the best of the time you have at your location, so have some restaurants in mind before you go. You shouldn’t spend the time you have their looking up restaurants and bars. Have a few written down and choose which fits best on that particular day/night.

3. If you’re traveling alone or you’re not picky don’t pay to pick your seats. By pass that step and have the airline pick them for you for free. When you cheek in at the airport you’ll see what seat you were given. If you prefer a window wait to get to your gate and ask if there are any window seats available.

4. Make a list before you go! You don’t want to get to your hotel to realize you left your laptop or phone charger at home. Check it off before you walk out the door to save you time and money.

5. No matter where you’re flying to, a must these days are noise canceling head phones. It’s so nice to just relax on a flight, focus on your work or enjoy that movie without any distractions. You can get them anywhere these days. They range from $30-$300. Beats by Dre are my favorite and they come in fun colors.

6. Ladies bring a small cosmetics bag (with face wash, tooth-brush, toothpaste and some minimal makeup) on board to freshen up when you land. Especially, if you’re on a flight over seas. You may have another leg on a train or in a car and you’ll want to feel fresh to keep on going.

7. Have some extra zip lock bags with you in your luggage. They will come in hand for that wet bathing suit on your last day or for any 3oz bottles you may want to carry-on with you on your way home.

8. If you travel often there’s nothing like speeding through the TSA line or bypassing the customs line. Sign up for CLEAR, TSA Pre, and Global Entry. You’ll thank me later!

Happy Travels My Friends

to book you next experience email: Info@lovetravelevents.com