My Best Travel Tips + Amazon Travel Essentials Part 2

This is part two of my travel tips + Amazon travel essentials! Let’s get back into it…

  • Use packing cubes

I don’t know why I am so late to the party, but I am new to the world of packing cubes. Normally, I just like to roll my clothes and try to place them in my suitcase as neatly as possible. The issue is, when I arrive at my destination and try to see everything I brought, I can’t really find what I’m looking for. This my first trip using packing cubes, so I am very excited to get more organized! I don’t know if packing cubes actually do save space, but at the very least, I know they will keep me organized. I recently got some from Amazon, and they were super affordable. This comes with 8 different sized packing cubes, which is amazing for the price! Of course, I got mine in pink, but it also comes in grey. My plan is to keep similar clothing items in one packing cube. For example, in one cube, I’ll put all of my bottoms, and in another, I’ll put my tops. If I am bringing some thicker sweaters, I will keep these separate from thinner tops. I’ll update on the packing cubes when I get to England, but I am looking forward to using them.

  • Store your makeup, skincare and haircare together

You might be thinking to yourself, “She just said she wants to be more organized”, and yes, that is correct. I recently discovered an amazing product that will keep you organized, but saves you from having to bring a million little bags for different products. Linked here is a toiletry/makeup bag that I purchased from Amazon. I absolutely love the fact that this bag has many different compartments for all of your necessities! I plan to bring all of my toiletries, makeup, and haircare products in just this bag! Of course, my liquids will be in a TSA approved Ziploc bag. This will make it easier when going through airport security (they often ask if you could take out your liquids and keep them separate from other products).

  • Bring travel sized toiletries

Even though I am going to be in England for a couple months, I still plan to only bring travel sized items (for the most part). Chances are, wherever you are going is going to have a store that you can go to in order to buy larger sized toiletries. If you were to bring a full-sized shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc., it is going to add weight to your bag, plus you’ll have to check it. Save yourself the hassle, and keep what you can travel sized.

  • Jewelry cases

I have two jewelry cases that I like to use for traveling. If I plan to bring a lot of jewelry, I like to use a bigger case that can easily roll or be folded. I have one that has a space for earrings, bracelets, necklaces etc. On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who likes to keep jewelry minimal, you may want to have a smaller jewelry case. I got a personalized one on Etsy and I absolutely love it! It is small, but it fits all that I need perfectly. By having everything in an organized case with different compartments, nothing will get lost or tangled up.

  • A purse in a purse

I recently saw a great idea for the girls who love to travel with different options. I love carrying different purses and bags, but they can take up some space. One trick to this is putting your bags in other bags. This works best if you are bringing different sized purses. Start by choosing which bags you want to bring. Then, empty them all. You’ll simply take the biggest bag and put the smaller ones in it! It is such a genius way to pack and you can easily store this in a suitcase or backpack because they will lay flat. You can also use the biggest bag as your personal item, but still get away with bringing more options for your outfits!

  • Bring an empty water bottle

While on my last trip to England, I purchased the cutest reusable water bottle. It is such a great size, and I can take it with me wherever we go! I recommend purchasing one because you are not allowed to bring any drinks with you through security, so by bringing this, you can simply fill it up at a water fountain or on the plane. Plus, it will keep you from drinking out of single use plastic water bottles.

  • Layer up

If you are traveling in the winter, or you are going somewhere where the weather will be quite unpredictable, be sure to bring layers! For this trip, I am going in late winter, but I will be there until early spring. I will be experiencing two different seasons on this trip, so it makes packing a little more complicated. My plan is to pack layers, but also keep the colors light for spring. For example, rather than packing a ton of dark colored clothing, try to keep it lighter, like wearing nude, white, or even pastel colors. I will be bringing a thermal top, thermal leggings, and fleece lined tights, just in case it is still chilly. Luckily, I feel pretty confident in knowing what the weather in England is like now, and I know for a fact that it won’t be hot! It is my goal is to not overpack… let’s see how that goes.

  • Bring a change of clothes in your carry on

If your checked bag happens to get lost, at least you know that you’ll have something to change into. If it takes some time for your bag to find you again, you can always go to the store to buy a few essential clothing items or do laundry more frequently. It may be a hassle, but it is best to keep a few small clothing items on your person because you never quite know where your checked bag will end up!

  • Don’t forget your passport

My final tip is to triple check that you have your passport on you. Always keep this in a safe place that is easily accessible (you may need it multiple times at the airport). Never put this in your checked bag. Even if you are flying domestically, it is good to have this for ID. Of course, if you’re going international, make sure that it is always with you. I recently got mine off of Amazon, and I love it because it has a few card slots for any cards you want to carry, as well as a little pocket where I keep my vaccination card. My passport fits securely in its space.

Whether you are new to traveling or you are a pro, I hope you found these tips helpful. I definitely recommend looking into the Amazon travel essentials that I mentioned because I really love them and find them useful. Thank you so much for reading! Safe travels, and I’ll be back with a new post shortly!

My Best Travel Tips + Amazon Travel Essentials

In just a few short hours, I will be leaving for the UK again! If you aren’t aware, I am in a long distance relationship with my Fiancé Tom. Since travel is a bit easier now that the Pandemic is (very) slowly fading, I have been able to go back and forth to England quite regularly. Tom just experienced his first trip to the US, and after three months we are heading back to his home together. Traveling has always been a big passion of mine, and I am grateful that I have been able to do it all my life.

Obviously, getting into a long distance relationship means that traveling is going to happen more frequently, so after a lot of practice, I feel much more confident when packing for trips. Today I will be sharing how I like to pack for an extended trip. Packing can already be a pretty overwhelming experience, but for the most part, I really enjoy it! I love choosing which outfits to bring, and of course, going on a trip is very exciting too! I will be sharing some tips and advice that I have learned over the years in relation to packing for a trip. This blog post will mostly relate to flying, however these tips can work for any form of travel! There will also be two parts, so be sure to click the link at the end of this post to continue reading.

  • Check to see what documents you need

Before traveling to another country, you need to do all of  the research you can! Tom and I know this all too well, especially since we began our long distance relationship during a pandemic when paperwork, testing AND quarantining was required. Thankfully, now we just have to fill out a couple forms and we are good to go! If you are not vaccinated, you may be required to do more than this, so keep that in mind. You may also want to do some research on how long you can stay in the country you are traveling to. For example, I can only stay in the Uk for 6 months, and Tom can only stay in the US for 3. Plan your trip accordingly, and try to avoid staying around that limit, it may cause complications if you plan to visit again. Keep all of these important papers together. I like to bring a folder with me, so I can keep these things there, and the folder can easily fit in my backpack.

  • Check with your airline for baggage allowance

If you are new to flying, or you need a light reminder, always check with your airline to see what baggage is allowed. Typically, you can have a checked bag, a carry-on, and a personal item. Your checked bag will be taken at the airport and sent to your final destination, and your carry-on is typically a slightly smaller bag that can be taken with you to your seat and stored in the overhead compartment. Your personal item can be a backpack, a purse, a duffle bag etc. and can usually fit right under the seat in front of you. of course, you don’t NEED each of these. try to pack light and avoid having to pay for a checked bag. If you really want to bring a checked bag, try to avoid bringing a carry-on. I always recommend having a personal item so you can easily access things you’ll need while in the air, and also valuables will be on your person at all times. Remember that the size and weight of your bags matters, so double check with your airline to know what to bring.

  • Check the weather before packing

Be sure to check the weather before you travel so you can get a better idea of what you’ll want to wear. If you’re staying for a longer period of time and you can’t be 100% sure of the weather, do some research. I always like to google: weather in (location) in (month(s)). For example, before my upcoming trip, I would search: Weather in England in February and March.

  • Pre-plan your activities and excursions

Before you pack for any trip, think about what you’ll be doing a lot of. If you’re doing a lot of sightseeing, bring comfortable sneakers. If you’re going hiking or taking part in a lot of outdoor activities, bring some sturdy hiking boots. If you’ll be relaxing by the beach 99% of the time, some nice sandals will work perfectly. For this trip, I plan to bring my hiking boots, a pair of comfortable athletic sneakers, pointed-toe ankle boots, and everyday boots. If you are trying to pack light, try to find shoes that can be worn for multiple occasions.

  • Know what goes in a checked bag

While every airline and airport is different, one thing is for sure: anything sharp should not go with you on the plane. The same is true for full sized liquids. When I travel, I always like to have razors, tweezers, scissors, etc. with me. When I pack my bags, I always know that these items need to go in my checked bag. If you don’t want to check your bag, you may have to wait until you arrive at your destination to buy these things. It’s better to be safe and to make your airport/flying experience as easy and stress-free as possible.

  • Use a backpack or carry on suitcase rather than a duffle or tote bag

If you plan to bring a personal item or carry on bag, don’t let it be a duffle or tote bag. I have tried traveling with these things and let’s just say it was painful. It doesn’t make sense to bring these items because they only go over one shoulder. It is very common to find yourself rushing to your gate, and some airports are HUGE. You may find yourself walking for around 15-20 minutes just to get to your gate. Trust me, you want that to be a comfortable walk (or run). I understand wanting to look stylish when traveling, but I think that you can do this while still being practical. Last fall, before my second trip to England, I bought this beautiful backpack on Amazon! I love how stylish it looks, and it has many compartments and SO much room! This comes in quite a few different colors and color combinations, but I just adore the back and gray combo. There is a space for my laptop, my toiletries, my jewelry, and my water bottle with room to spare! This backpack is also very nice quality, and I love using it for travel. I recommend bringing a backpack rather than a duffle or tote because once it is on your back, you don’t have to worry as much about it. The weight will be evenly distributed rather than bringing your one shoulder down, and it also won’t fall down as you’re making your way through the airport.

  • Lay out all of the items you want to bring

My first step every time I travel. I do this a week or so before traveling because I just love planning these things out ahead of time. Plus, it will help you to feel more confident and WAY less stressed! It is much better to know and plan out what you’ll wear while away rather than throwing a bunch of random pieces into your suitcase and hoping for the best. 

  • Pack neutrals

I am outspoken about wearing neutrals lately! If you haven’t heard me say it already, neutrals will never let you down. By packing neutral colored clothing, you will be able to pair every item in multiple ways, leaving you with many, many outfit options to choose from! On the other hand, if you only pack vibrant clothing with bold and crazy patterns, it will be much harder to style your outfits. Unless you are in love with wearing a lot of color, my best tip is to keep it simple. Bring classic pieces that you can style in many different ways.

Part two of this blog post is linked here! See you all there.

Summer Fashion Essentials

Hey everyone! I took a little time off from blogging but I am back with more fresh content! I am currently on my way home from a little beach trip (hence, the break from blogging), so I decided to use this time to relax, but also write! For me, writing is so much more than a hobby; I feel that it is my purpose in life, and I have been heavily inspired lately. This inspiration does not only apply to my writing. It is so much deeper than I can explain.

For today, I wanted to chat about some of my favorite summer trends and essentials! Some of these are very much in style for the summer of 2020, and others are just items that I enjoy wearing at this time of year!

Puffed Sleeves

I have to say, I have always loved the look of puffed sleeves. I feel that they give off a very feminine and even vintage vibe. I own a few tops with puffed sleeves, and they have been some of my favorites as of late. This is a popular trend this season, and I recommend trying it out!

Denim shorts

This is a trend that I don’t think will ever disappear. Denim shorts are an essential in my wardrobe, and I believe that most women can say the same! Of course, different styles of denim have taken over, but I love the look of some classic, high waisted denim shorts. I also reach for white denim shorts frequently. I know that denim tends to be pretty expensive, but if you’re on a budget, I have found a few great pairs at H&M for $20 or less in the past!

Panama Hats

I am not sure that this is a 2020 trend specifically, but I have fallen in love with hats! I never thought I’d be a hat person, but here we are! I recently bought a panama hat from Justfab.com, and I have been wearing it pretty much daily on this beach trip! I love the natural color because it matches any outfit. Not only has this hat been covering up my frizzy beach hair, but it is stylish and adds so much to the most basic of outfits!

Flowy Dresses

In the summer time, there is a very good chance that you will see me rocking a dress. I have become such a fan of midi dresses because they are somehow both classy and even a bit sexy at the same time. Truthfully, any length of dress can be worn in the summer; whether that is mini, midi, or maxi. Flowy dresses always look so pretty in the summer time, and these are currently the ones I reach for the most!

Strappy Sandals

In the summer, I like to keep my shoes very simple. This often means opting for flip flops, cute sandals, or block heels; nothing too fancy. Right now, strappy sandals are in style, and I love the look of them! In some ways, they remind me of ballet slippers, making them appear very feminine, which is my favorite style.

Animal Prints

I was never really the kind of person who enjoyed wearing animal prints. I remember wearing cheetah print sometimes as a kid, but I grew out of that phase, and never really looked back. Then, all of a sudden, cheetah print came back in a BIG way. Needless to say, I have bought quite a few cheetah printed clothing items since then! Lately, it seems that snakeskin has been a major trend, and I recently bought the cutest snakeskin romper from Priceless (Check out that ootd here).

Florals

Another trend that I do not believe will die. I absolutely adore anything floral. This trend could really be worn all year round, but of course, it looks best in the spring and summer time! I especially love the look of a vintage floral pattern, but bright colors are always beautiful for summer.

Bright Colors

This season, neon green, orange, and pink are trending, and I am not the least bit surprised. These colors are perfect for summer and they can be worn in clothing, or in bathing suits. Neon colors always look nice on a tan as well!

White

I have always said this, but white will forever be my favorite color on a tan. It actually makes a person appear to be tanner than they really are! It is a color that I go back to so often! (A white dress is the perfect staple piece to add to your wardrobe.)

I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my favorite summer fashion essentials! Be on the lookout for my next blog post (this one will relate to my 21st birthday)!

Thank you so much for reading!

Hiking Essentials

As many of you are aware, I enjoy living a healthy life. My fitness journey has not been perfect and I have gotten pretty far off track, but I have been doing a lot better lately. I know that exercising is not often described as fun, but I believe that there is something out there for everyone, whether that’s dancing, boxing, weight lifting, or running. I quickly fell in love with weight lifting as well as hiking, and after doing this combination for quite some time now, I have learned quite a bit about what to wear and what to bring for both occasions. Today I am sharing some of my hiking essentials (some of these may not be seen as a necessity to some of you. These are just some things I like to have with me. I like  to be prepared for anything). Hopefully, if you’re hiking with a friend, they can carry a few of these items as well. These are some items that I believe everyone should carry in their hiking bags.

  • Hand Sanitizer

Some people may not feel that this is necessary, but I definitely do! You never know what you may end up touching, and the bathrooms at public parks are not always incredibly clean. If you are anything like me, I suggest keeping a small hand sanitizer in your bag.

  • WATER

Never ever forget to bring water on your hikes! It doesn’t matter if it is cold or hot out; I always bring a couple water bottles with me. Not only should you be drinking 8 cups (or more) of water a day, but you should especially drink water when exercising; this includes hiking.

  • Snacks

Unless you plan on camping overnight or having a picnic, you do not need to bring a ton of food. A few simple snacks such as nuts, granola bars, or fruit should suffice. I always bring a couple snacks just in case. The hikes that I go on are not always very strenuous or too long, so it is not always an essential but you never know what may happen! Also, if you’re bringing a furry friend on your hike, make sure to have some food and water for them!

  • A portable charger

If you are going hiking, especially on a longer hike, I recommend taking a portable charger. I never really use my phone on hikes unless I am taking photos, but if your phone were to die, or if you were to get lost, it is important to have a charged phone. I like to let other family members know where I am just in case, but you should make sure to start your hikes with a fully charged phone and a portable charger.

  • Headphones

As I mentioned, I really do not use my phone when I am hiking, but if you do, and if you’re alone, you can always bring headphones to hear some of your favorite music to get you through those difficult hikes.

  • Hair ties

I always like to have my hair up and out of my face when exercising, whether that’s in the gym or on a mountain. You will rarely see me without a hair tie on my wrist! I always bring one with me anywhere I go in case mine breaks or it gets lost somewhere!

  • First aid

When you’re out hiking, there is always a chance of injury. Even if you just got a cut on your leg or finger, you should make sure to take care of it quickly in order to avoid infections and for it to heal sooner. I would recommend at least carrying a few band aids with you. It is better to be prepared, plus, band aids won’t take up any space and they won’t weigh you down.

  • Personal hygiene products

I really do not bring many personal hygiene products with me when hiking, but if you are the type of person to sweat a lot, bringing a small deodorant may be useful to you. Also, for all my ladies out there, bringing a couple feminine hygiene products with you is always a smart move.

  • Sunscreen

I think we often forget just how important it is to wear sunscreen daily, I know I do! To be completely honest, I really only wear sunscreen when I am going to be outside for a long period of time in the summer. I am trying to wear it more often all year round, but even moreso when it is sunny out. When I am hiking, I could be outdoors for anything from an hour and a half to three hours, and I want to protect my skin as much as I can. You do not need to carry this in your bag, but you should make sure to put some on before you leave the house!

Thank you so much for reading! Leave me a comment below and tell me what your hiking essentials are!

Workout Essentials: What’s in My Gym Bag

Hey everyone! I am so excited to share this post with you today! If you are an avid gym goer like myself, you may or may not be aware that there are certain things that you can add to your workouts that will help you reach your goals, big or small. These items can also help you feel more comfortable in the gym. Today I am going to share what is in my gym bag, and why each of these items are essential for me to have!

  • Headphones

This one is pretty obvious, but there have been times where I have forgotten my headphones at home, and it was AWFUL. (If you are an iphone user like me, and you are using headphones that aren’t from Apple, make sure to bring the headphone jack with you!) Even though the gym is always playing music, I prefer to have my own playlist going while I work out!

  • Cell phone armband

While I am working out, I do not want to have to worry about where to put my phone. I always keep an armband in my gym bag so that I can place it on my arm, and if I need to change a song or text someone back, I can still use my phone while wearing the armband.

  • Resistance bands

If you are weight training, resistance bands are game changers (particularly for lower body days)! Resistance bands are used to add resistance to your exercises. Your muscles will work against the resistance, which in turn makes exercises more challenging, but more effective as well. Using these will also help target your glutes, so I use resistance bands during glute activation and for various exercises on lower body days such as hip thrusts, squats, and fire hydrants. If these sound like they would be useful to you, I highly recommend looking into buying them. They can get expensive, but I would not recommend buying the ones made of rubber latex, because they can roll/slip, and I have had one break on me before. Try buying ones that are labeled “non-slip” and made of a stronger material. Make sure to buy a pack that includes bands at different levels (light-heavy).

  • Velcro ankle straps

The cable machines add constant tension to your exercises and they help you control your movements. Ankle straps can be very helpful for cable machine exercises such as glute kickbacks, lunges, hip abductors, and hamstring curls. I do not use these every lower body day, but trust me when I say that you will FEEL it in your muscles when you use the cable machine!

  • Personal hygiene items such as:
    • Deodorant/perfume
    • Lotion or hand sanitizer
    • Razor
    • Hair ties
    • Feminine products

It is so very important to make sure that you are heading to the gym with personal hygiene products. Before I go to the gym, I always put deodorant on, and I spritz on a tiny bit of perfume/body spray. I like to keep a mini deodorant in my gym bag just in case I ever forget to put some on, or if I need to reapply while at the gym (if you are the kind of person who sweats a lot, using a bit of baby powder on your armpits can keep you dry longer)! You DON’T want to be the person who smells like body odor, but you also don’t want to be the person who reeks of cologne (we all know these people). A little can go a long way, but just remember to be aware of and take care of your personal hygiene.

I keep lotion and a razor in my bag just in case. My legs tend to get very dry, so if I am wearing shorts or cropped leggings, I like to put on a bit of lotion. I also wash my hands after every workout since I am constantly touching dumbbells or machines that other people have touched. If you want to carry hand sanitizer instead, you can definitely do that!

There have been times when I have walked through the doors of the gym and I realized that I didn’t have a hair tie on me. I had to ask at the front desk if they had hair ties, but all they could offer was rubber bands (if you have ever put a rubber band in your hair, you know it is not fun to take out).

Don’t ever forget feminine products. I always have something on me just in case.

  • Water

I always try to drink 8 cups of water a day. It is extremely important to drink water, especially during a workout. I always bring 2 bottles to the gym with me (I usually drink at least one of them during my actual workout). In total, I drink 4 water bottles a day.

  • A quick post-workout snack

If you aren’t going to eat a full meal after a workout, you should still try to eat something. Eating after a workout is very important, so try to get something in your stomach and eat a full meal as soon as you can. If you are going to grab a snack, make sure it is healthy and that there is a decent amount of protein in it.

  • Towel

I always bring a clean hand towel to the gym with me because you never know who was using the bench or machine before you. You should always make sure to clean the equipment after you use it, and if you feel the need to, you can clean it beforehand as well. I place a towel wherever I am going to lay my head down, and I make sure that the side that is facing the equipment does not ever touch my face or my head.

  • Lifting gloves

If you don’t want calluses or rough hands from lifting, you could always wear gloves. I used to wear them when I first started working out, but I don’t really care to wear them anymore. The lifting gloves can also help with your grip. If you are a beginner, or you just want to try them out, I recommend it.

  • Barbell pad

I actually do not have a barbell pad at the moment. My gym does have a few, but I would prefer to use my own. Barbell pads are great for protecting your neck and shoulders when doing any exercise where a long bar or barbell is going to be over your shoulders. They can also help when doing hip thrusts and they can make performing exercises much more comfortable. I am asking for one for Christmas so hopefully I will have my own soon!

Thank you so much for reading! Leave me a comment and let me know what your gym bag essentials are! If you feel that I missed something and want to recommend it to me, I would love to know in a comment below!