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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

6 Reasons To Choose a Vacation Rental

As a timeshare owner, I've gotten used to having a larger space to crash in when I vacation. Unfortunately, I can't always get into a timeshare property, or there aren't any where I'm going. Usually, I check out Airbnb {<--use that link for $40 off!}. There's a time and a place to opt for a hotel, but as a budget traveler, being able to save money on food and saving my sanity by not being in everyone's pocket 24/7 is very important. Here are my 6 reasons to choose a vacation rental.

You get a kitchen

This means you can cook your own meals! Now, keep in mind, I don't go on vacation to cook, especially since cool new foods are the best part of traveling to me. I do, however, hate getting up super early, so I tend to load up on breakfast foods. This allows me to spend a little more time in bed, plus I save money on morning dining. We usually spend at least one dinner in, either making something easy or eating leftovers, which we were able to bring back, because we have a fridge and an oven.

In many rentals we've stayed in, they've also included grills, so we could BBQ if we wanted. This is great if you are traveling in the warmer months. If you travel with kids, having a place to prepare and store foods can be imperative for your sanity and saving money.

You (generally) have a separate bedroom

Listen, I don't need to have a different room with a bed, but it's nice. I'll settle for separate, defined spaces, just so I can get away from my travelmate(s) for a minute. I adore my husband, but we don't always want to be in each other's faces. A hotel room normally has a bed and one chair. If you're lucky, you get a tiny table or a desk. Even if you bring back leftovers, you can't really sit anywhere comfortable. If you have to do work or just want to play on your laptop, there's not a good place to do that either. 

I don't always go to bed at the same time as people I travel with. It's nice to have a table where I can type away, a couch to relax on, a bed for sleeping purposes that doesn't also double as a terrible chair, or a room where I can just hang out alone in that isn't the bathroom. 

You can choose your amenities

I have a small list of must-haves when I travel: WiFi, TV, a shower (if I'm traveling to Europe where not all places have one), and laundry facilities. I get these things in a timeshare property, but I can also choose these things specifically when searching for a vacation rental. For example, we're going to Edinburgh and London in the fall and I want to pack light. Because of this, it's especially helpful to have access to a washer and dryer. I've had to go to the laundromat in the past and while it wasn't the most annoying thing, it cost quite a bit in London. 

You can choose your price range

Sure, you can do this with hotels, but for the same price, you can search for a vacation rental that is in a location desirable to you, plus includes all the amenities you hope to get in a place to stay. If you can get all this for the same price or a little more, you're still saving money on baggage fees, food, laundry, and possibly entertainment, because you have room to spread out and play games and/or watch movies.

You can feel at home

This is the number one reason I enjoy a vacation rental over a hotel. Feeling weirdly displaced when you travel is hard. I like to feel like my space has a home. I don't need a maid to come in and clean up after me every day. I want my space to feel cozy and comfy and lived in. I can make a rental feel like my home until I leave. I can spread out my stuff, not worry about anyone coming in to clean (where I have to clear up things before I leave each morning). 

Having what equates to a small home or apartment makes me feel like I'm a traveler instead of a tourist. Like I'm living like a local. Some come with free parking, some are in buildings with extra security, some have pools or gyms. The best part is that if you don't want these things, you rent a different place and don't pay for them, unlike when you stay in a hotel that offers them for everyone.

You have a true local on-call

One thing you usually don't think about is having someone you can contact for an inside look at your destination. Yes, there's the front desk or concierge at a hotel, but when you rent from a local, it's easy to pick their brain to find out where they like to go and what they'd recommend seeing to an out-of-towner. They probably aren't rich and they certainly don't get kick-backs for pointing you in the direction of an activity or restaurant. Some live steps away or welcome calls/texts or leave detailed folders with all the cool stuff for you to peruse. I always get awesome suggestions this way. 

What are your favorite reasons to choose a rental over a hotel?

Saturday, February 23, 2019

How I'm Packing for Vegas

The Travel Goods Show is coming up next month and I'm already packed. Yes, it's four weeks away, but you know by now that I never wait until the last minute to do such things. I have packing down to a science now, so here's how I packed for four days in Vegas:

The bag

I often come back home with a whole bag full of freebies and/or review items, and sometimes a brand new suitcase, so bringing a rolly bag when I might end up with a second one is out. Bringing a shoulder bag is nice, but if I don't end up with a rolly bag, then I have two shoulder bags to figure out how to juggle, so this time I opted for a slim backpack from Timbuk2.

With a small backpack, it's easy to navigate everywhere, I still have my hands free if I have to drag a rolling bag or carry my spare tote and I can shove my small purse in my tote as well, so I'm still only carrying two bags on the plane, one of which fits under the seat. My goal is to not pay baggage fees unless I absolutely have to.

This new backpack is meant for a laptop, so it's padded and has different compartments. It gives me less width in the main compartment though, so I can't over pack.

My laptop

Usually I take my laptop on trips with me to work when I have downtime. It's a monster seventeen inches, because I like a big screen and a separate number pad. This makes it a little difficult to find a bag that it fits in. I do t always bring it on short trips with me, but last year I only took my iPad mini and a keyboard and I really couldn't get any good work done. 
I'll also be flying back through Seattle and taking the train home from there to save money, so that should be a good set up as a little office for those 3+ hours.

My electronics

We've already discussed my honkin' huge laptop. I also bring along my iPad mini, because it's good for games and videos and reading on the plane and in bed. I can also do quick photo editing.

Of course my phone is coming with me. It doubles as a camera, notebook, and distraction if I'm waiting for things. And I keep a large battery backup for long days.

I need to bring charging cables for all these things, plus I always travel with a small power strip, because I like to plug everything in in the same space in my room. That way I know where everything is and I don't forget anything when I leave. It has 3 USB ports and a regular outlet. It's perfect when I travel by myself. (It doesn't look like it's available anymore, but I've used the one above for travel and at home.)

My clothes

I'll be going from cool weather to (hopefully) warmer weather on this trip, but the nights might be chilly. I'm a big believer in layering, so I'm wearing a pair of dark stretchy jeans that are also appropriate for everything else, meaning I can straight from the airport to breakfast to the convention center. On top I'm wearing a basic tee and a cardigan and then I'll have my coat if it's needed. I'll also be wearing walking shoes on the plane.

In my bag, I've packed 4 tops that all work with my cardigan and a pair of nice sandals. My color scheme this trip is blue, black and gray, so everything mixes and matches well.

I'm not doing socks, but I always get cold in my room, so I've packed a small pair of slippers. And , as always, I'm bringing my Happyluxe wrap just in case I need a spare layer or want a blanket for the plane or my room.

Of course I have pajamas: a t-shirt and a pair of joggers. I needed a backup pair of pants in case I needed to run and do some laundry out in public. And then undies and an extra bra.

All of my clothes are rolled up in two very small packing cubes and I've added a packing zipper bag (like a Space bag) in case I'm in need of a little extra space on my way home.

My toiletries

Since most of my time will be spent at the show or with friends (or on the plane/train), I don't really need much. I've packed sample sizes of my favorite makeup, will use my compact powder in my purse, and am only taking some sample size shampoo and conditioner packets. I've got a tiny pot of dry shampoo for days my hair needs a bit more help.

I've opted to save my biggest space for allegy meds and other necessities that cost a fortune if I need to buy them, like Emergen-C, and a bigger tube of sunscreen.

Because I've got TSA precheck, I don't have to separate my liquids and use yet another bag. This in itself is a small win.


I'm always hungry when I'm on the move, so I've packed enough snacks for travel days and an emergency ration or two in my purse for convention days.

Last, but not least, I have a small box of spare business cards and a puzzle book, because you never know and sometimes you don't want to stare at a screen.

For some of you, this will seem like way too little for 4 days, but I don't want to bring a bigger bag that I have to lug around. For others of you, this may seem like more than I need and I salute you. I'm not going to do laundry if I don't necessarily have to, which is why I brought two extra tops. If it's super warm, I want to be able to have a second shoe option that allow my feet to breathe. I know I probably don't need my laptop, iPad and phone, but the smaller two both fit in my small handbag, so I don't feel like I'm wasting space I need for other things that are important.

What are your favorite ways to pack light?

Disclaimer: this post includes affiliate links, which will result in compensation should you shop through them. Not only will you get awesome products, but also my gratitude for helping me keep this blog running.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

It's Time to Plan Your Summer Vacation

I know, some of us have finally just gotten out of winter, and some of you are still getting snow. Summer is the most expensive time to travel, with 75% of travelers going somewhere away from home June, July and August. This isn't always conducive to being a budget-traveler, especially if it's the only time you have to travel with the kids. 

Well, you're in luck! With my Summer ebook, you can learn all the tricks to getting cheaper deals on flights, food, fun and lodgings. How can you get the best rates on airfare? When should you travel to save more? How do you get the most from your dollars on accommodations? Can you get theme park tickets for less? The answer to all of these and more are in my Secrets to Summer Savings ebook, so you can do more for less on your summer vacation and still have money in your pocket when you get home for bills, food and a winter road trip. 

If you want to travel more without spending a fortune, this is the place to start. Not only will you have a great summer trip that you won't be paying off for years, but you may still be able to sneak in another getaway another time of year. In fact, using my own tips, I take a week-long trip in the middle of summer then also take two weeks in the fall. If you need some help figuring out where to come up with the money in the first place, find some of my top tips here. You can get my ebook on Kindle, which you can read on the Kindle app on your phone, tablet, laptop or your Kindle. It's free to download, making it super easy. Start saving and learning how to save more now with just a few clicks. 

What are your favorite summer savings tips?

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Cheap, Awesome Eats in Vegas

There used to be a time when you went to Vegas, gambled all day and could eat at a buffet for $8. Now, everything is $30pp and that counts as budget for Sin City. Well, not for me. I do indulge a bit in an expensive restaurant or buffet, but I try to use a coupon if I can. There are still ways to at for cheap in Vegas and feel like you're eating well. Here are some of my favorites:

On the Strip

District Donuts

I just found out that New Orleans' delicious doughnuts and sliders have made a new home in Las Vegas. The Cosmopolitan opened a new food hall with two Portland staples, Pok Pok and Lardo, and District Donuts has also arrived. Now, I haven't been there yet, but it's on the top of my list for my next trip. Not only do they have dozens of amazing doughnut flavor combos, but fried chicken, sliders and breakfast sandwiches. I'm also dying for their Vietnamese coffee. 

Bruxie Waffles

Are you a lover of chicken and waffles or just waffles or just chicken? This is the place to get any and all of those things. They also have homemade soda and Irish nachos (waffle fries covered in cheese, sour cream and green onions) and desserts I've never been hungry enough to eat. Follow them on Instagram and watch for the $5 Wednesday special. You'll have to show them on your phone to get it, but it's worth it for the savings. Avoid a huge mistake and skip ordering a bottled water, which will end up costing more than your whole meal. You can get free ice water there...or bring your own.

Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips

If you love a good fried fish (or chicken or shrimp), This walk-in counter restaurant in the Linq Promenade is for you. Ramsay knows fish and knows that Vegas was missing a huge opportunity by not catering to the budget crowd. A box of fish and chips costs under $20 and can feed two, plus your order comes with your choice of two dipping sauces. It's not everyday you can eat food from a Michelin-starred chef for less than the cost of a pair of shoes.

Northside Cafe + Chinese Kitchen

This 24-hour restaurant inside the SLS serves up the tastiest, freshest breakfast (the banana pancakes are a personal favorite) all day, comfort favorites, and Chinese food. The monorail stops just steps away, so it's super easy to get to even without a car and you'll be dreaming about your meal until your next visit. 

House of Blues

Not only are there usually live musicians, but if you go during Happy Hour you can get a taste of all the awesome sounding things on the menu for way less than entrees from the main menu. Some of my faves were the BBQ chicken flatbread, gator bites and the brisket nachos. With all the money you save, you can also imbibe a little. If you like bourbon, the Beast of Bourbon is DE-li-cious. The sangria also comes in a pretty large size wine glass.

Off the Strip

Crown and Anchor Pub

It's difficult to find a good English pub in America, but this one does it and has delicious menu choices that will satisfy everyone in your party, and also satisfy your wallet. Crown & Anchor is in a cute little white building off The Strip on Tropicana Blvd. It's really easy to get to and the service is wonderful as well. You can find all your British favorites, done really well. The plates here are also large, so you may end up taking leftovers with you if you don't share. If you do share, it gives you an excuse to have one of their awesome desserts.

Bad Owl Coffee

You may remember other posts about this Harry Potter themed coffee shop. The coffee is phenomenal, but the food is just as good, with names like the Siriusly Proscuitto Sandwich, The Tonks Turkey Italian and Overknight Bus Oatmeal, the menu is really pun-derful. This is another place I like to share food at, espeically the really filling waffle breakfasts. While not super cheap, but the ambiance and quality is worth it. They just opened a second location in South Las Vegas, so now it's even easier to indulge in your Potterhead coffee dreams.

El Dorado Cantina

When you hear that a restaurant shares a parking lot with one of the largest strip clubs in the city, you do a bit of a double-take. I mean, why? But I'm open-minded and have been to my fair share of strip clubs, so I'm willing to check it out. The owner of El Dorado is lovely and the chef came out to give recommendations. He's from Mexico City and gives an upscale twist to classic street foods. Your guacamole is fresh made tableside. The cactus tacos and the lengua tacos are both to die for, and everything else I tried from other plates was delicious as well. Plates are huge, so you can easily share and order less, though you'll want to try everything once the first plate arrives, which I highly suggest should be bacon-wrapped shrimp.

Ninja Teriyaki & Sushi 2 Go

If you love sushi, then it's worth the drive into Vegas proper to visit this little hole in the wall location in a strip mall. It doesn't look like much, but the sushi is made to order, it's affordable and the rolls are monstrous. I was hungry when I ordered mine and got a rainbow roll (that's 8 pieces!) and salmon nigiri, plus an order of egg rolls on the side. It was less than $15 and I couldn't finish it all...though I tried hard to get through it. It was some of the freshest sushi I've ever had, and I go out for sushi at least twice a month. We've ordered their family meal as well that comes with a ton of sushi and teriyaki and eight of us didn't finish it all in one sitting. Look for Groupons, as they are pretty regular for this location.

Ellis Island

Not far off the Strip, Ellis Island is behind The Paris (I probably wouldn't walk though, since this area warrants there to be continuous cops up and down the street). You can grab breakfast here for a mere $7.99 and even get steak and shrimp for less than $14. Sign up for the players club and get a sirloin for just $8 You don't even have to leave to gamble, because they also have a casino. If that's not your thing, they have a karaoke lounge and an on-site brewery.

There are certainly a lot of options for dining in Vegas, but if you learn to mix cheap with expensive, you can have a pretty amazing trip. You might also find some hidden gems when you look for alternative dining. Everyone will point you to In 'N Out Burger or Whitecastle. I'd suggest trying one of the sushi burgers at the Linq Promenade instead. They're super filling and also easily shareable. 

What are your favorite cheap eats in Vegas?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Packing for a Weekend Getaway

Most travelers aren’t content never taking a vacation or even slaving away all year to wait for their annual trip. In fact, aside from the usual two weeks, it’s hard to make it through day-to-day without getting away a few other times throughout the year. We tend to take a few days here and there a couple times a year. You might not think you have the funds to do it, but if you step back and take a look at your travel style you can find ways you can cut corners, meaning you’ll need a smaller budget to fund these long weekends. There are plenty of ways to save money, no matter where you go or how you get there. 
When you fly to your destination, one of the easiest ways to save – time and money – is by traveling carry-on only. You don’t need much for a few days, which means you can pack quickly, skip the airline counter check-in and ignore the baggage carousel upon arrival. I always have a packing list to help me keep the number of items down and also to make sure I don’t forget any of the essentials. I know when I get to my destination I can probably buy whatever I missed packing, since a weekend getaway isn’t going to take me that far from home (like, I probably am not going to Bali or Columbia), but I’m adamantly against spending money for things I already have. Here’s how to build your packing list:

Instead of even travel-size shampoo/conditioner, these samples can work for a weekend getaway
Normally, I take this 3oz hand cream, but these two sample packs are more than enough for 3 days
Save those samples
I know I’m not the only one that has a bag full of samples and trial-size health and beauty items. Every purchase I make from Sephora or other department store makeup counters comes with mini sizes of beauty products. I also sign up for many freebies online. When I travel, I go through and see what I can use and then pack it in my 3-1-1 or toiletry bag. I’m never going to use a full-size thing on a two-week trip, much less just a few days, so there’s no point bringing a whole container of anything, be it toothpaste, moisturizer or shampoo.

Pare down your beauty routine
Even with all your travel-size items, it still smart to take less. If you have an extensive morning routine at home, see what you can just get away with. I don’t load up on the makeup normally, so I figure there’s no point in taking a bunch of unnecessary items that I’ll probably not use. I know when I wake up I’m going to do the bare minimum so I can hurry up and get on with my day. Four or five products are all I need: moisturizer, foundation, powder, blush and mascara (optional). See what things you can do without. If you are an eye makeup kinda girl, look for makeup palettes that have everything you need in a neat little package, so you don’t have to pack everything separately.

Decant, decant, decant
Sometimes you can't find samples of your fave products, but you don't need to waste space by bringing even a large travel-size container. In this case, I say decant. Eric has a fantastic shave cream from Kiehl's, but it takes very little for each use, so I put some in a travel pot and kept the actual container at home. This makes it doubly perfect for traveling.

Pack multipurpose items
I love it when things do more than one thing. Cheek tint that is also a lip stain. Tinted moisturizer with SPF instead of sunscreen, moisturizer and foundation. A maxi skirt that can also be worn as a dress. A tablet for games, books, email and internet. All these things are perfect companions for your carry-on bag, because they take up less space.

My previous summer Vegas attire: shorts, capris, dress, 3 tops, fancy sandals and a
pair of  ballet flats (to be worn on the plane)

Mix and match
As always, when you coordinate all your clothing, it’s super easy to pack in a carry-on. Two bottoms and three tops can mix and match to make SIX outfits. That’s way more than you’ll need for a long weekend. Don’t forget that what you wear in transit can also be rotated in as needed. And shoes! You should take two pair – max. Make sure they are both comfortable enough to walk in all day. I had a coworker who told me that she had 16 pairs of shoes she wanted to take with her to Mexico on a four day trip. Sixteen! I don’t even think that many shoes would fit in my carry-on and if they did, there would be no room for anything else, except maybe socks and underwear. Her trip was for a wedding, so aside from what she needed for the ceremony, she could have survived with a sun dress, a pair of shorts, her bathing suit and some flip flops. Learning to pack efficiently is important and can save you a ton.

That’s it. Think about what you truly need with you for three or four days and be realistic. Don’t play the “what if” game. What if I go out to a fancy dinner? What if it gets really cold? What if I want to go clubbin’? Did you plan for those things? Do you normally just change plans at the last minute? Sometimes it seems like it might be harder to pack for a short trip than a long one, but with some practice, it can be super simple. Just think, if you don’t bring something that you thought you could live without, by the time you miss it, you’ll probably already be back home.

Yup, that's my actual packing list!
My next trip will be a 4-night stay in Vegas to visit the Travel Goods Show and hang out with some friends. My bag is already packed and it consists of one pretty slim backpack that fits my clothes, toiletries, laptop and snacks. I've packed 4 tops, a pair of joggers and a t-shirt for pajamas, and a spare pair of shoes. 

Since the weather will be pretty mild during the day and chilly in the evening, I think one pair of jeans will do me. I'll be wearing a cardigan on my flight that will work for all the tops in my bag, so I'll be set for layering as well. I skipped my bathing suit, because I know me and I won't end up using it. There's no point in wasting space.

I even have a spare tote that I can use for any items that I pick up on my trip. That way I don't have to bring a bigger bag I don't want to carry and could overpack, plus it can be used as a shopping bag or laundry bag during my stay. I'll be carrying the smallest purse I can get away with, just so I don't have extra bulk.

What are some of your favorite ways to travel light?

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Where Will You Be Spending Spring Break?

Generally, I stay home for Spring Break, because I'm an adult and I save my monies for better vacation times, like Fall and Winter, but this year the Travel Goods Show lands smack dab in the middle of Spring Break in Oregon, meaning I had to do some fancy planning to do it on a budget. Now, going to and staying in Vegas was fine, because of fare sales and our timeshare, but I guess everyone wants to spend their trip in Portland, because coming back was 3-4 times as much as going, so to save money, we are returning to Seattle and taking the train home...and spending the same as flying out. 

If you're looking to get out of town and do something for Spring Break, you've got plenty of options. May cheap ones even. Skyscanner has pulled together their list of popular destinations and their average cost. They pulled it all into a fun infographic to help you decide your best route based on your budget.  

Did you have your sights set on any of these popular destinations? Where will you be headed in the next month or so?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Spring Break On a Budget

Thinking about taking a grown-up (or family-friendly) Spring Break trip? Believe it or not, you can make it affordable. Because Spring Break can vary between early-March to mid-April, there are a good 6 weeks when things are more expensive than normal. 

spring break planning

Unfortunately, Spring is a great time to travel, because the weather is warm, but not too warm and most kids are still in school, so the crowds are small if you avoid typical Spring Break destinations like Miami and Cancun. So, let's take a look at how to be a grown up and take a vacay that doesn't look like those old MTV shows full of sloppy-drunk, loud-partying, half-naked 20-somethings. 

Choosing a destination

Set your budget
Here's a thought. Instead of picking a place and planning your trip around it, decide on your budget and work around that. You may find that there are places you hadn't thought of before, but are just as awesome (or better) than where you first thought you might go. 
  • Scour deals on Groupon, Living Social and other daily sites for affordable vacations that might work for your time off. 
  • Use Kayak's Explore feature to find destinations that fit within your budget for the month/season of your choice.
  • Look at BookIt's promos for vacation packages that are awesome and budget-friendly.

Visit non-beach destinations
There are a lot of places that don't really fluctuate in price for travelers throughout the year. Some even have beaches nearby, even if they're only lakes (which can be fun in themselves). 

Travel to less-popular beaches
Some destinations just draw college kids. You can avoid those large crowds so you can at least get a little strip of sand for yourself and not have to fight people to get to the bar for a drink.
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Daytona, Florida (the small size makes it perfect for those looking for a bit of quiet)
  • Puerto Rico (cheap accommodations and dining)
  • Myrtle Beach (rent a condo for as little as $50)
  • Costa Rica (stay way from the touristy spots)
  • St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (no passport required!)
  • Willemstad Curacao (stick to the all-inclusives here)

When to buy airfare

Usually, the perfect time to buy your airfare for domestic flights is right around 5 weeks out, but because the deals for Spring Break travel might be few and far between, look to book your flights 6-8 weeks out. If you have a stash of airline miles, this is the time to cash them in, even if it's just for one way of your trip. 25,000 points and $5 (on average) is hard to beat for a flight, but the earlier you book, the more likely you will be to find a reward seat. Start looking now. 
  • Book airfare on Tuesdays, and Sundays for lower fares.
  • Fly on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturdays for the best rates. These are the least busy days to fly.
  • Fly early in the day. The earliest flights out are generally a bit cheaper and have less of a chance of getting delayed.
  • Travel light and skip baggage fees. 

How to choose a hotel

As nice as some hostels are becoming, I still don't recommend them for grown-ups and the U.S. doesn't really have many. Look into hotels that offer extras: a kitchenette, free breakfast, kids stay free, etc. I'd also suggest looking at both Airbnb and HomeAway at vacation rentals. You'll have a bit more space, the prices are comparable to hotels and you usually have both a kitchen and laundry facilities. If you're traveling as a group, this can really save you money.
  • Sometimes paying up-front can score you an awesome deal on a room.
  • If you haven't pre-paid, keep checking prices up to the day you leave, in case the price drops and you can rebook.
  • Skip online booking and call the hotel to see if they can give you a better rate than what you see online.

Alternate choices

Not all vacations are traditional. If you can plan a great trip, but the airfare seems out of reach, look into driving instead. Is it possible that there are really sweet destinations within driving distance from home that you haven't been to yet? I'd be surprised if there weren't.

Looking for more tips? Check out this article that I contributed my expertise to on Cosmopolitan.com.

What are your Spring Break plans?

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Review: Packable Lightweight Boots from Arcopédico

If you've been reading for a while, then you know I tend to travel in the off season, which usually means Spring, but mostly means Autumn. Packing for colder months can be challenging, because you need warmer clothes, which tend to take up more space in your carry-on. When you're trying to pack light, this is annoying, because you probably want to bring boots. Boots are bulky, but also the worst footwear for long-haul flights. Arcopédico is here to help you out.

Arcopédico makes a wonderful line of packable boots (and other shoes) in their Lytech line, that are also breathable, water resistant, machine washable, and super lightweight. I received the L8, which look like suede, but are actually vegan - another plus to me. I've been wearing them around, including to work, and I find my feet are still happy at the end of a long day of standing. 

Arcopédico has a patented dual arch support, which feels a bit funny when you first start wearing them, because most shoes have only one, and many don't have any. The support allows you to stand correctly and distributes your weight evenly. The top is non-binding, giving you a feeling of being barefoot. I also have wide-ish feet and have the issue of toeboxes being too tight for me  in a lot of shoes. I didn't have that problem at all in these boots, which is point. The top conforms to the shape of your foot, for more breathability and comfort.

I got these in black and they're perfect with skinny jeans, but I also wore them under a pair of wider legged pants and they looked just as good. I think they'd also look great with a skirt, and even shorts that's a look you can pull off. With my trip to Scotland coming up, where I'm going to need some good walking shoes that work with all my clothes, I'm excited to add these to my carry-on. There's enough room and stretch in these boots to allow me to wear thicker socks if I need to. I also like the slight heel they have, so I won't be flat-footing it across Edinburgh and London. 

The upper gives me room for my foot to move a bit, so I won't have the same problem I had when I went to Paris and lived mostly in a pair of tall, non-stretchy boots and then came home with a fractured foot from all the walking and stair-climbing. The fact that they are water-resistant will really help here where it's rainy most of the winter and on vacation where both places I'm going in September have similar rainy weather. 

The L8 is not the only profile of boot Arcopédico makes, but it was the one I thought would go best with everything I pack and fit my travel style. The Runa is a bit more sporty and the Liana is a tall stylish option as well. There's really something for everyone.

If you're looking for an eco-friendly, packable and pretty boot, Arcopédico is the way to go. Not only will you look great wherever you go, but you'll also be super comfy at the end of the day. Plus they won't take up too much room in your carry-on. And if you have a mom who loves traveling, Mother's Day is coming up!

More details
Where to buy them: On Arcopédico's website and on sites like Amazon
Cost: $125
Colors they come in: Brown Suede | Black (shown) | Black Suede | Bronze | Navy Suede | Violet Suede | Grey Suede
More info: Washable, vegan, removable insole, side zippers, non-metal twin arch support, made in Portugal since 1966

Learn more about Arcopédico by following them on social media: Facebook | Instagram 

Disclaimer: I was provided with the L8 booties for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% mine. This post contains an affiliate link, and if you make a purchase through it, I'll be monetarily compensated (and eternally grateful). 
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